When Shen Zhuofan finished handling the cat poop, he saw Lin Dongliang waiting outside the door. The Secretary of State took off his hat and saluted with a gentle smile, “Good morning.”
Shen Zhuofan sighed, “You’re becoming a regular here… How about I give you half a membership card? Regulars get a 1000-credit charge, and every visit after that is half price.”
Lin Dongliang was embarrassed by the sales promotion. Shen Zhuofan smiled evilly and sidled over to let him in.
After all, the two of them were very familiar with each other, and Shen Zhuofan could roughly guess Lin Dongliang’s reason for coming. He listened to the other party’s request but did not say anything and just made a pot of tea and put it on the table.
“Want some?” Shen Zhuofan poured out a cup and pushed it in front of Lin Dongliang, “The new tea just launched this month. It tastes pretty good.”
Lin Dongliang took a sip and nodded, “It’s indeed good.”
Shen Zhuofan smiled. He held his chin and was a little distracted, “Senior, you haven’t changed. You will clearly express whatever plan you have in mind. It’s as precise as an instrument.”
Lin Dongliang coughed awkwardly, “I always feel that by saying it out loud, there’s room for choice. The results and the risks to be borne—you can either do it or not…”
Shen Zhuofan didn’t speak. He looked through the haze outside the window, seeming to see a long time in the past.
“Senior, you and I are still different after all.” Shen Zhuofan said quietly, “I have changed a lot.”
Lin Dongliang looked at him gently.
Shen Zhuofan stretched out his hand and gently covered his chest, “I don’t have a heart as strong as yours.”
Early in the morning, Tristana got up early to deal with the troublesome lawn, and just as she had finished, the specially designated aircraft of the Secretary of State landed without any prior notice.
Lin Dongliang’s hair was still stained with morning dew. He greeted her with a somewhat apologetic expression, “Hello…”
Tristana’s expression was grotesque, “If it weren’t something like the news that His Majesty is about to die, I would definitely let the Crested Ibis peck the Yuanbao’s tail bald!”
Lin Dongliang: “…”
As the only female guide general in the high ranks, Tristana, despite having a masculine character, had a somewhat flirtatious lifestyle. No one could imagine that she, who could be full of foul language and engage in verbal sparring, could start a ship and board a fort without saying more than three words. In her eyes, anyone with a pulse was fair game for her to criticise…
“Don’t just believe in the All Universe 818.” Tristana carefully took the baked apple pie out of the oven, “Considering you’re a politician,”
Lin Dongliang pretended to close the gossip page as if nothing had happened. He looked at the horrible apple pie on the baking sheet…
“I made stars, moons, birds, and cats.” Tristana introduced them one by one. She put her hands on her hips in a bossy manner, “You can take three minutes to praise me before you can eat it.”
Half of the lawn in the garden was in a mess, with the Secretary of State’s aircraft parked on it, while the other half had been planted with tulips, which bloomed in golden or red-pink colours that were subtle and graceful.
Lin Dongliang ate the sticky apple pie without complaining. He finished one piece after another, and even Tristana couldn’t stand to see it.
“Okay… I know what my capability is, so you don’t have to give me a face like this.” Tristana snapped.
Lin Dongliang said with a smile, “It’s actually delicious, really.”
Tristana made a face, “Hypocrite…”
Lin Dongliang didn’t deny it, “I seem to have always been like this.” He finished the last bite of apple pie, “I’m used to it.”
“But you are like this…” Tristana described awkwardly, “It’s not lovable.”
Lin Dongliang raised his eyebrows, “None of the politicians is likeable, and I didn’t become a sinner just to please people.”
Tristana: “That’s right, you always have a well-thought-out plan, including the final result. It seems like you are giving the choice out, but in fact, you have already calculated even the other person’s character… Just like Shen six years ago, impulsive, proud, and daring to dedicate.”
The female general sighed, “You are very gentle.” She stretched out her hand and touched Lin Dongliang’s chest, “But this… It’s very hard here.”
Lin Dongliang was silent. After a long time, he slowly said, “The birth of a complete and centralised new regime requires the sacrifice of countless people and feelings.”
Tristana couldn’t help but ask, “So…will you sacrifice Skarter?”
The light of the morning sun softly outlined Lin Dongliang’s profile, “No.” He looked at Tristana and showed a gentle yet sad smile, “I will sacrifice myself.”
“The Secretary of State’s plan?” Qin Yun looked surprised. After they had sent Alice and Maggie back to the Star Thief’s headquarters—the Stallion Balls, they had planned to take a break and then head to Eta Star.
Moschery spent the whole day in the armoury at the bottom, and Qin Yun naturally waited on him all the time. The two somehow managed to get into a conversation about Shen and Duke Garcia’s gossip.
“Politicians are all a bunch of heartless bastards.” Moschery said indifferently. “Don’t think too highly of Lin Dongliang; it’s all just a facade.”
Qin Yun boldly joked, “You mean… you are also heartless?”
Moschery gave him a look that seemed to say, ‘Why are you acting like a little brat?’ and asked, “Am I not gentle enough with you?”
Qin Yun touched his nose awkwardly and said nothing.
Moschery threw the picked bow into the arms of his guide, “The birth of a new regime will inevitably involve sacrifices, and even I am not immune.” He looked at Qin Yun calmly, “This is why Skarter and Lin Dongliang haven’t completed the final mark after being together for so long…because they love each other so much that they are even willing to restrain the natures of sentinel and guide, just so that the other can still live safely when one has to leave.”
Qin Yun’s face looked slightly ugly, “The consequences… are really too heavy.”
Moschery curled his lips disdainfully, “If you ask me, Skarter spoils Lin Dongliang too much. You shouldn’t pamper your spouse too much; sometimes you need to be fvck them.”
Qin Yun: “…”
Because Maggie provided a lot of information about Eta Star, she and Alice were essentially completely detached from Olympus. Chen Xiao seemed even more enthusiastic about this than the parties involved.
“Where are you going in the future?” He crossed his arms and winked at Moschery, “Do you have any plans?”
Maggie’s waist injury has basically healed. She picked a silver whip from the armoury. It looked very thin but was actually heavy. Qin Yun couldn’t shake it with both hands.
“We haven’t thought about it yet.” Alice said honestly, she was a little confused, “Is this considered treason?”
Moschery sneered, “Olympus calls itself an alliance, but the empire doesn’t recognise it, so how can it be called treason?”
Maggie didn’t speak. She clearly saw that the other person was the one with the highest status among them all, but her attitude was still neither humble nor arrogant. “Then where do you think we should go?”
Moschery glanced at her with appreciation in his eyes, “Go to the Imperial Capital. It’s more suitable for you.”
“But I heard.” Maggie smiled playfully, “The Emperor’s regime is not stable, and there are many obstacles to implementing the new democratic deal. What’s more, it is still unknown whether Olympus will return in the end.”
Qin Yun frowned, “You don’t believe in the Empire?”
“I just trust what I see more.” Maggie pointed to her eyes.
She bowed respectfully to Moschery, “Your Majesty, we will be waiting for your triumph in the Empire.”
The author has something to say:
Lin Dongliang and Skarter embodied the saying: To like is to be wild, but to love is to be restrained. XD
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