Leaving the sight of others, the two of them stopped under the shade of a tree. There, with his hair soaked in sweat, Wen Xingchen had a towel hanging from his neck, but he just leaned against the tree trunk and remained silent without initiating the conversation.
Wen Ye glanced at his expression and sighed softly, “Still upset with Father?” Wen Xingchen responded, “It’s quite rare to have you as a mediator this time.”
Wen Ye said, “I can’t really be considered a mediator. I only learned about this matter after coming back. I’m planning to visit home in a few days and meet the new stepfather. If you have nothing else to do, why not come along with me?”
Wen Xingchen didn’t respond directly but gave him a cold glance, “Bringing the new stepfather along, big brother, you seem to be going with the flow more and more.”
Wen Ye remained silent for a moment under his attitude and said, “You know Father’s personality. After all these years, aren’t you used to it by now?”
“Some things are impossible to get used to, big brother. Besides, promiscuity should not be associated with personality traits.” Wen Xingchen’s eyes lost all amusement, and he recalled someone’s figure, a touch of mockery appearing on his lips. “Sometimes I really admire you. Over the past ten years, Mr. Wen has changed eight legal spouses like a revolving lantern, yet you can still stand in his shoes and speak for him. How can you bring yourself to do it?”
Wen Ye remained silent.
Regarding their father’s well-known amorous nature throughout the empire, finding excuses to justify it was indeed somewhat strained. If it weren’t for receiving a communication from Wen Muqiao when he returned, crying and saying that he had upset their precious son again, Wen Ye wouldn’t have bothered to come and invite trouble.
Blame it on that man’s incorrigible lack of self-restraint. Whenever he saw an Omega he liked, he couldn’t control himself, especially under the influence of his favored pheromones. He couldn’t care less about anything else, the epitome of someone with a pure love-brained.
Among all those short-lived marriages, the five years he spent with Wen Xingchen’s mother were already the longest.
Wen Xingchen was clearly completely different when it came to emotions. He had watched his father and stepmothers change in and out like revolving lanterns throughout his life, and he couldn’t reconcile that with his mother’s suffering on the outside. Although the two elders’ relationship was still fairly decent, the rift between father and son naturally deepened.
“If you don’t want to go back, forget it.” Wen Ye tried to fulfill his duty by mentioning it and promptly changed the topic. “While I’m still at the military academy for these few days, consider joining the Imperial Navy Patrol.”
Wen Xingchen glanced at him and asked, “What’s the reason?”
During the new student challenge match, he deliberately lost the third round, so Wen Ye should already know he didn’t want to get involved with these matters.
Although Wen Ye was rigorous and methodical, he had never forced him to do anything. But this time, right after returning to school, Wen Ye came looking for him, clearly having a reason he couldn’t avoid.
“Our patrol suffered heavy casualties in the recent operation, especially the condition of Wei Qushu which requires at least half a year of rest.” Wen Ye’s explanation was very business-like and straightforward. “The inter-school competition is about to start, and according to regulations, we need to submit at least three names. Besides, your strength is evident to me. At such a moment when we should bring glory to our school, it should be natural for you to be chosen.”
Wen Ye’s personality indeed prioritized the bigger picture, but at this moment, Wen Xingchen was clearly focused on something else.
“With heavy casualties?” He frowned slightly and asked, “What about you?”
Wen Ye replied, “I’m fine.”
Wen Xingchen nodded and said, “I’ll think about it.”
“Alright.” Wen Ye didn’t insist and after exchanging a few more words, he left.
Alone again, Wen Xingchen stood still for quite some time, leaning against the tree, looking up at the stars in the sky absent-mindedly. The brilliance of the stars was somewhat dazzling, but he stood in the shade of the tree, seemingly determined not to let their light touch him.
Though Wen Xingchen and Wen Ye were half-siblings, they had always gotten along quite well from childhood. In fact, if it weren’t for their philandering father bringing new loves home after his peaceful divorce from their mother, the family as a whole could be considered harmonious.
From a young age, Wen Xingchen knew that there was a certain type of Alpha, inherently promiscuous, and he would never become a person like his father.
He wondered what kind of Omega their father had brought home this time and whether, after indulging Wen Muqiao, they would end up crying, throwing tantrums, or even attempting suicide once they woke up from the honeymoon phase.
Wen Xingchen took a deep breath, removed the towel from his neck, and walked towards the training ground.
The class bell had long since rung, and the training ground was now empty, devoid of any figures.
However, just as Wen Xingchen walked into the training ground, a golden head suddenly popped up among the lush grass.
It seemed like he had been napping, but when he drowsily looked toward the entrance, he hesitated for a moment upon meeting Wen Xingchen’s gaze before his expression gradually cleared up.
The next moment, Lu Jingning jumped up from the ground, exclaiming, “Hey, Wen, you’re back!”
Wen Xingchen: “…”
The change of atmosphere was too sudden, and it took him a moment to adjust his mood.
As Lu Jingning walked toward him while fiddling with his sleeves, he babbled, “The more I thought about it, the more I felt the victory was a bit disgraceful. Come, let’s have another match while no one’s around.”
Wen Xingchen thought he was just saying that but was surprised when Lu Jingning really made a move. He quickly reached out to stop him and said speechlessly, “Aren’t you tired?”
“Tired? How could that be! The word ‘tired’ doesn’t exist in Brother Lu’s dictionary!” Lu Jingning said brazenly.
“In that case, you win,” Wen Xingchen conceded.
“???” Lu Jingning was puzzled.
“Because I’m tired,” Wen Xingchen replied nonchalantly, stepping to the side, “Brother Lu, move aside.”
Lu Jingning reluctantly made way for him.
Wen Xingchen walked over to pick up his jacket hanging on the railing, and on his way back, he seemed to recall something, “Brother Lu, did you buy the laundry detergent?”
“Laundry detergent? What laundry detergent?” Lu Jingning asked.
“Last time you asked me about it, the green plum-scented laundry detergent. Were you waiting for me to provide it to you?” Wen Xingchen replied with a hint of amusement.
Lu Jingning thought about it seriously and said, “Maybe.”
Wen Xingchen smiled, “I never realized until now that you’re actually quite outstanding.”
Lu Jingning cheekily grinned, “Flattery, flattery.”
For the first time, Wen Xingchen found himself at a loss for words in front of someone. After a brief moment of silence, he finally couldn’t help but burst out laughing.
Lu Jingning had never seen Wen Xingchen’s so forthright smile before. The curved eyes seemed to have softened his usual aura of being a poser, making him inexplicably likable.
However, this clearly wasn’t the point now. The point was—
“Are you mocking me, Wen Xingchen?” Lu Jingning furrowed his brows.
Wen Xingchen waved his hand, still with a smile in his voice, “No.”
“Still denying it?” Lu Jingning tightened his frown.
Wen Xingchen suddenly reached out and ruffled his hair, his usually cool tone softening a bit, “Really, I’m not.”
Perhaps sensing Lu Jingning’s annoyance over his sudden laughter, when he returned to the dorm, Wen Xingchen sent him a gift the next day to express his apology.
Excitedly, Lu Jingning opened the package and found two full bags of green plum-scented laundry detergent inside.
Lu Jingning: “…”
When Yan Hebin returned to the dorm, they saw Lu Jingning pouring something from the bags into the laundry machine and couldn’t help but ask, “What are you doing?”
Lu Jingning didn’t look back but they could hear the gritting of his teeth in his voice, “Someone likes the scent of green plums, and I’m trying my best to satisfy him. I don’t believe I can’t smoke him out with this!”
Yan Hebin: “???”
The first club activity of the Mecha Society was scheduled for the weekend.
As Lu Jingning and Yan Hebin entered the society, they saw the committee members bustling about, busy with something.
At first glance, Lu Jingning saw the Alpha woman who had received them at the entrance on the day of recruitment. She walked over and greeted her casually, “Senior sister, what are you preparing for?”
As she turned her head, An Huo noticed the two new Omega juniors standing nearby, so she enthusiastically introduced, “Today is the first club activity, and we’re preparing to set up a battlefield. The core senior members of the society will give you a live demonstration of mecha combat.”
Live combat was completely different from virtual combat; though holographic simulations were highly realistic, the sensory experience of real combat with live ammunition was much more thrilling.
Lu Jingning raised his head to observe the rough layout of the venue. With An Huo’s command, a transparent light barrier instantly enveloped the surroundings.
Although it looked thin, anyone familiar with Imperial Interstellar’s defense technology knew that it was the primary material used for protective shields, indicating the society’s considerable financial backing.
“Ah, Yan Hebin, I didn’t expect the Mecha Society to be so interesting.” Just by looking at the setup, Lu Jingning knew they were preparing to bring out something big, and he, being someone who enjoyed stirring up trouble, naturally couldn’t miss such an opportunity.
In contrast, Yan Hebin, who was originally obsessed with the Mecha Society, seemed much calmer. “Hmm,” Hebin responded, his gaze falling on the newly introduced mechs that were just brought in from outside. He calmly said, “These mechs are all newly launched models in the past five years. They are not top-tier in terms of firepower, but they are a good choice for a stage show. However, if they don’t plan to use highly lethal hidden ammunition, a liquid fusion barrier is enough. They don’t need to go through so much trouble to lay down a light barrier.”
An Huo, who heard this impromptu lecture, was stunned for a moment. “Junior brother, your knowledge is quite extensive…”
“An Huo, how’s the preparation going now?” Yu Zeyang walked over and noticed Lu Jingning. He cast a disinterested glance at him as if he didn’t see him at all.
Lu Jingning was infuriated by this disdainful attitude, wanting to give him a kick right away.
But could he?
An Huo quickly reported the situation, glancing back and noticing only Yu Zeyang present. He couldn’t help but ask, “Vice President, why is it only you here? Where’s the President?”
“I don’t know either. When I just came over, Yun Lin sent me a message saying he had something to deal with temporarily and asked me to take charge of today’s activity.” Yu Zeyang spoke as he walked toward the other area, saying, “I’ll go take a look over there.”
An Huo acknowledged and watched him leave. Still a bit puzzled, he muttered softly, “Strange, what could it be? The President isn’t the type to casually miss a club activity…”
Lu Jingning listened on the side and chimed in, “Yeah, if I had known that the President wouldn’t come, I wouldn’t have bothered coming today either. It’s just a Vice President, but he acts like his nose reaches the top of his head. People who don’t know would think he’s the Vice Chancellor!”
After speaking, he was still annoyed and added, “The Vice Chancellor can’t hold a candle to him!”
An Huo couldn’t help but laugh, “Don’t say that, despite Vice President’s stern demeanor, he is actually quite kind-hearted. You’ll know once you get to know him better.”
Lu Jingning snorted disdainfully, “I can’t tell at all. I better not get to know him.”
As Yu Zeyang turned around and left, he didn’t let anyone see the deep, contemplative look in his eyes. He glanced at the current time and frowned slightly, “I hope it’s just a false alarm…”
At the same time, in the grand conference hall of the Imperial Navy Headquarters, it was already filled with people.
From their attire, there were high-ranking university officials, honorary professors who also held positions in the military, ordinary faculty members, and outstanding senior students.
The members of the Imperial Navy Patrol Squad were particularly conspicuous, wearing the uniform white military suits that were neatly aligned.
Headmaster Bing Cang sat in the central position, no longer appearing gentle as usual. His slightly narrowed eyes flashed with determination as he said, “Does everyone from the major departments already know about the situation?”
Despite the urgency of the situation and the limited time they had, the information they received about the enemy’s attack was vague and uncertain, but they had to be fully prepared for any possibility.
The naval university’s students were future soldiers, always ready for the battlefield.
Hearing Bing Cang’s words, Wen Ye could feel his teammate, Zhe Shan, clenching his fists tightly on the wheelchair, his expression full of unwillingness. Wen Ye patted his shoulder calmly, “This time, let us handle it.”
At the same time, headmaster Bing Cang’s voice rang out again, calm yet solemn, “Raise the alert, all personnel be on guard—!”
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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