After the end of the sneak attack campaign by the Imperial Navy, they were fully engaged in post-disaster reconstruction work. Meanwhile, Lu Jingning found a temporary settlement and went straight to sleep. He slept so deeply that when he woke up, three whole days had passed. As he opened his eyes, he saw Ren Jin’s concerned face, asking cautiously, “Lu bro, are you… alright?”
With sleepy eyes, Lu Jingning rubbed his messy hair and yawned, “What’s the matter?”
Ren Jin couldn’t forget how Wen Xingchen took Lu Jingning away, and now, glancing at the faint marks on his neck, he hesitated to ask the question on his mind due to the presence of others. He could only vaguely reply, “Um, it’s good that you’re okay.”
Frustrated by Ren Jin’s evasiveness, Lu Jingning pulled him to the side and pointed three fingers in front of him, “Look at this, tell me, what number is this?”
Lu Jingning’s mouth twitched involuntarily, “Two.”
Ren Jin exclaimed, “Oh no, you really are clueless!”
“You’re the clueless one!” Lu Jingning retorted irritably, kicking him, “You’re a complete idiot!”
Despite being kicked, Ren Jin looked delighted, “That’s right, you’re back to normal!”
Lu Jingning rolled his eyes in silence, restraining the urge to beat up the two fools. He grabbed his coat and put it on, looking around, and curiously asked, “Why are you all gathered here? Do you have this much free time now?”
“We haven’t had classes recently, so we’re quite free, but we’ll be busy soon,” Ren Jin said with a carefree smile, “You woke up just in time. We’re about to hold a school-wide assembly. If you didn’t, we might have had to consider carrying you and your bed together.”
Lu Jingning blinked, “What school-wide assembly?”
Just then, the door opened.
Yan Hebin stood at the doorway, glanced at the situation inside the room, and finally landed his gaze on Lu Jingning, lovingly reminding, “Lu Jingning, you better change into cleaner clothes. Don’t make it look like you’ve been taken advantage of; it doesn’t look good.”
Lu Jingning: “???”
Though he didn’t know the reason, considering Yan Hebin’s character of not easily speaking, Lu Jingning still found a clean set of clothes and changed into them earnestly.
In the afternoon, the school-wide assembly finally began, and Principal Bing Cang first offered condolences for the loss of faculty and students in the recent interstellar pirate attack. He expressed that the Empire would provide compensation and condolences to the families of the deceased. Though no amount of compensation could heal their hearts, it was a small comfort offered by the government.
As each name was announced, the whole venue fell silent, and everyone lowered their heads, mourning their fallen comrades and teachers. Many had perplexed eyes, facing death so closely for the first time, which naturally stirred feelings of despair and unrest. Remembering their deceased classmates and teachers, their emotions became even more complex.
After three consecutive salutes, the mourning ceremony concluded.
Principal Bing Cang composed himself and proceeded to explain the follow-up arrangements. Due to the damages sustained by the entire campus, it wouldn’t be possible to complete the post-disaster reconstruction in the short term. As per the military’s request to the Imperial government, they decided to leave the fourth-year students to use the remaining teaching resources. The students from other grades would be temporarily transferred to the 232nd Military Base on a neighboring planet until the reconstruction was complete, and they could return to their own campus to continue their studies.
The arrangement sounded reasonable, but Lu Jingning couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. Why would they leave the fourth-year students behind if the entire school was going to be transferred? Wouldn’t it mean some teachers would have to travel back and forth between two planets? Something about it felt deliberate.
As he pondered this, Lu Jingning suddenly heard his name mentioned.
After outlining the deployment, the assembly moved on to the final commendation section. Principal Bing Cang stood on the stage, looked around, and in a calm yet solemn tone, said, “During this confrontation, some students displayed exceptional performance. Today, on behalf of the entire school, I would like to express our sincerest gratitude to one of these students. Without his courageous action in stopping the interstellar pirates’ self-destruction, we would not have been able to wait for the military’s support. At this moment, on behalf of the Empire, I will present the third-class Meritorious Service Medal to this outstanding student of ours, Lu Jingning from the Integrated War Faculty!”
With these words, the entire hall erupted in thunderous applause.
Everyone craned their necks, eager to see the person behind the name Lu Jingning. It didn’t take long for them to understand the reason for the excitement. First, he won the one-against-two challenge during the freshmen’s initiation; then he revealed himself as the first S-class Omega in the whole star system, and now he single-handedly saved the entire Imperial Navy University. Each of these achievements was enough to make him a legend within the Empire’s history.
And now, the Empire’s government awarded him the third-class Meritorious Service Medal.
Though it wasn’t on par with the first and second-class medals, it was still an absolute symbol of honor that many soldiers strived for their whole lives. Anyone with meritorious deeds, regardless of their rank, would enjoy the highest status and treatment within the Empire’s regulations.
To earn the third-class medal in his first year at the Imperial Navy University, Lu Jingning was destined to become famous both inside and outside the Empire.
Feeling the awe-inspiring gazes from the crowd, Lu Jingning couldn’t help glancing at the new clothes he was wearing. Indeed, appearance mattered, and he was grateful for Yan Hebin’s advice; otherwise, he would have been quite embarrassed.
He looked towards Yan Hebin, silently expressing gratitude, and then confidently strode to the stage amidst the eyes of all.
Principal Bing Cang calmly assessed Lu Jingning’s state of mind and, satisfied with his appearance, signaled him to step into the center of the arena to give a brief speech.
Lu Jingning hadn’t prepared anything, but that didn’t affect his spontaneous performance.
Standing at the lectern in front of the entire audience, he cleared his throat and started, “Um, I feel deeply honored to receive this third-class Meritorious Service Medal. I would like to express my gratitude to Universal TV, Empire TV, the Imperial Navy Academy, my parents, and…”
Suddenly, Lu Jingning’s speech paused briefly, and a deeply moved tone replaced his casual demeanor, “But above all, I want to express my sincerest thanks to one of my fellow students.”
When Wen Xingchen heard Lu Jingning’s words, his expression slightly faltered, and he seemed to have a bad premonition. And sure enough, as Lu Jingning spoke, he suddenly turned to look in his direction, and their gazes met. Lu Jingning’s words were filled with sincerity, “That student is none other than Wen Xingchen! If it weren’t for Wen Xingchen’s silent support and help, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Every step I’ve taken is inseparable from him. If possible, half of this third-class medal should belong to him too!”
The audience’s attention immediately shifted to Wen Xingchen.
Wen Xingchen: “…”
Lu Jingning’s words were filled with genuine emotions and deeply heartfelt, but they made Wen Xingchen’s temples throb fiercely. He almost wanted to go up there and beat this annoying guy to a pulp. Who asked for this doggone merit? “Inseparable”? Do you even know the meaning of inseparable?!
After Lu Jingning finished his speech, he basked in the thunderous applause around him, feeling extremely satisfied. The Omega on the mothership, who was also listening to this heartfelt expression, was almost moved to tears.
However, Lu Jingning was their lifesaver, so they could only bury what they saw and heard deep in their hearts as a secret. At this moment, witnessing the beautiful bond where they both shared the merit equally, they silently shed a tear of emotion.
This kind of silent support and help, inseparable from each step, what kind of heavenly love story was this? This CP (couple pairing) was utterly captivating!
As one of the protagonists in this love story, Lu Jingning had no idea how he had almost moved a bunch of people to tears.
After he got off the stage, he was still immersed in his award speech, feeling like he had added another layer of tiles to the solid revolutionary friendship between him and Wen Xingchen. He looked toward Wen Xingchen with satisfaction.
But just as their eyes met, Wen Xingchen’s expression turned indifferent as he averted his gaze.
Lu Jingning: “???”
What’s wrong with him now?
Does he feel that half the third-class merit is not enough and wants the full share?
Without giving it much thought, Lu Jingning was already planning his next move. He was eager to surprise Wen Xingchen!
However, before he could step out of the door, someone suddenly intercepted him.
The person’s words were straightforward, “Let’s talk?”
With such a pompous tone, Lu Jingning couldn’t find a second person among those he knew who could match it. Indeed, he lifted his eyelids to see Yu Zeyang standing in front of him, oozing an air of arrogance that even the bandages wrapped around him couldn’t hide.
Lu Jingning was currently full of plans to surprise Wen Xingchen, so without much thought, he coldly replied, “No time, move aside.”
As he spoke, he attempted to bypass Yu Zeyang and continue on his way.
Yu Zeyang was infuriated by his attitude and grabbed him, teeth gritted as he said, “Where are you running off to? It’s really urgent!”
Lu Jingning was stopped in his tracks and looked at Yu Zeyang with raised eyebrows, “If it’s a thank you, forget it. I’m busy now, stop bothering me.”
“Who’s bothering you?!” Yu Zeyang almost spurted blood. He had to forcefully restrain himself from uttering words of gratitude. With a straight face, he said, “I’m not here to thank you. It’s about the club.”
Lu Jingning finally halted and turned back, arching an eyebrow, “The club? Why are you telling a freshman Omega who just joined the club instead of talking to the president?”
Caught off guard by the sarcastic remark, Yu Zeyang felt like a string of reason in his head was being tugged fiercely. He took a deep breath and controlled the emotions that were about to explode, managing a forced smile, “This matter must be discussed with you. Have you heard about the upcoming Military Academy Joint Exchange Tournament?”
Lu Jingning nodded, “Yes?”
He did indeed have a vague impression of it.
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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