As the bounty league was organized by the public, participants came from all over the interstellar space. Some were sent by various planetary organizations, while others registered individually through official star networks. As a result, the skill levels of the participants varied greatly. According to previous years’ experiences, it was very likely that there would be scenes of overwhelming victories in the preliminary matches.
However, this didn’t deter many people from eagerly wanting to participate, even though they knew their abilities were insufficient. The main reason for this enthusiasm was that the organizers would broadcast each match on major platforms. If they could showcase outstanding performances and attract a large number of fans, it wouldn’t be impossible for them to become stars right then and there.
Numerous star-making companies watched the bounty league from all over. In an era of interstellar turmoil, more people admired combat heroes with powerful abilities than those internet celebrities who only relied on looks and singing and dancing.
Thus, just like previous years, everyone was looking forward to the emergence of a new bounty star who would be all the rage across interstellar space.
Even before the competition officially began, various star network forums were filled with all kinds of voting posts. Some were created by talent agencies to promote their artists, while others were organized for fun and gambling. The spectacle was entertaining.
The first thing Lu Jingning did after settling into the hotel was to log in to the registration platform and check the grouping for the preliminary matches. As a result, he discovered that the order of everyone he knew had been completely disrupted, and they were assigned to different groups.
This meant that they either had to try to win over their teammates in the group before the competition started, or they had to be prepared to fight as a lone wolf.
Lu Jingning chose the latter option.
With no knowledge of the others’ abilities, who knew if their teammates would be an asset or a ticking time bomb? It would be more straightforward to face everything alone, unarmed if need be!
After scanning his group’s information, Lu Jingning closed the star network and lazily lay down on the bed. Now, compared to the preliminary matches, he felt that Lu Jiyuan, his eldest brother, was more like a level one boss.
The next day after lunch, Lu Jingning received another communication from his eldest brother. The message was as succinct as ever, stating the time and location of the meeting. However, this time, there was an additional sentence: “Invite Wen Xingchen, I want to meet him.”
Lu Jingning’s gaze repeatedly shifted back and forth over that last sentence. He felt complicated, yet somehow it was within his expectations.
Lu Kongbin always went to Lu Jiyuan whenever he encountered something difficult. It had become a customary procedure.
So that’s why Lu Jiyuan waited for him after that day and didn’t make a sound? He was waiting for this meeting?
As for why Lu Jiyuan had contacted him only now, it was probably because he really had business in the B Star System this time. Lu Jiyuan was not the type to make a special trip for such a trivial matter. Doing so would undoubtedly insult his strictly adhered-to schedule.
After Lu Jingning relayed Lu Jiyuan’s invitation to Wen Xingchen. The latter did not refuse.
Lu Jingning looked at Wen Xingchen’s seemingly calm expression, and after considering it for a moment, he suggested, “Since my big brother is also there, do you want him to accompany you?”
Wen Xingchen patted his forehead lightly, “Do you think this is a challenge? Why would I need company?”
Lu Jingning thought for a moment and realized, “If my big brother beats you up, you probably wouldn’t dare to retaliate. It’s true; you can’t really fight back.”
The reality was too harsh, and even Wen Xingchen had no way to refute it.
What bothered him most was that his boyfriend knew his brother wanted to fight him and didn’t show any intention of helping. It even seemed like he was gloating?
Lu Jingning, seeing Wen Xingchen not saying anything, assumed he was worried and comforted him, “Don’t worry, my big brother is just an ordinary Omega. Even if he does something, he won’t really hurt you. At most, he’ll tickle you a bit.”
“Really, that’s great?” Wen Xingchen replied with a hint of relief.
As the appointed time approached, the two bid farewell to Bing Yunlin and left the hotel, heading straight to the coffee shop where they were to meet Lu Jiyuan.
As they entered the shop, Lu Jingning waved at the man sitting in the corner from afar and then walked over, feeling a bit heavy in his steps.
Wen Xingchen looked up and saw a man sitting there, dressed in a neat suit, with a meticulous hairstyle that exuded an air of formality. His facial features revealed he was an Omega, but his entire demeanor exuded a calm and restrained aura. He sat quietly there, yet even Wen Xingchen could feel a faint pressure emanating from him.
This was probably the gaze of a big brother.
After sitting down, Lu Jingning introduced the two to each other briefly and then ordered two cups of coffee before engaging in casual conversation.
Lu Jiyuan mentioned that he had been invited by the organizers of the bounty league to handle various agreements during the event. As a result, he would temporarily stay in the B Star System during the preliminary matches.
Lu Jingning forced a smile and replied insincerely, “That’s a really happy occasion.”
Lu Jiyuan took a sip of coffee and asked, “Why did you decide to participate in this bounty league? Is dad cutting off your pocket money?”
Lu Jingning, of course, couldn’t reveal the truth. He casually replied with a pitiful tone, “Yeah, I accidentally almost destroyed the school’s mecha and was restricted from spending my money by Dad. I had to figure out a way to replenish my piggy bank. Otherwise, your cutie might end up penniless, big brother!”
Lu Jiyuan’s expression remained unchanged as he casually tapped on his terminal. “I’ve transferred some money into your account. If it’s not enough, remember to let me know.”
Lu Jingning’s eyes immediately lit up. “Thanks, big brother!”
Lu Jiyuan replied, “I kind of want to eat the sweet osmanthus cake across the street. If you’re really thankful, go buy me some.”
Seeing that Lu Jiyuan was trying to send him away, Lu Jingning subconsciously glanced at Wen Xingchen.
Lu Jiyuan asked, “Aren’t you going?”
Lu Jingning looked hesitant. He knew that if he stubbornly stayed, Lu Jiyuan would probably take back his financial autonomy. But to sell out Wen Xingchen for such a small sum of money… was he that kind of person?
Wen Xingchen noticed Lu Jingning’s twisted expression and nodded slightly, wordlessly suggesting, “Go.”
Seeing that Lu Jingning finally moved his feet, Lu Jiyuan’s gaze became even more probing. He understood his younger brother well, and he knew that Lu Jingning was not someone who could easily be swayed by others. However, after witnessing their interaction just now, he could tell that Lu Jingning had complete trust in this Alpha.
He couldn’t be sure if that was
a good thing or not.
Wen Xingchen could clearly feel Lu Jiyuan’s scrutinizing gaze, and he didn’t avoid it. Instead, he lifted his head and met the other’s eyes. “It seems that you still don’t entirely trust me,” he said without a trace of hostility.
Lu Jiyuan replied, “It seems that our family hasn’t agreed to let Ning marry yet.”
As Lu Jingning had addressed Wen Xingchen as “big brother” earlier, Lu Jiyuan caught on that this Omega was indeed special to his younger brother. But their family hadn’t yet officially accepted him.
Wen Xingchen smiled faintly, “I will find a way to make them agree.”
Lu Jiyuan, having encountered all sorts of people, rarely found someone who could meet his gaze without evading it. Gradually, he retracted the probing look in his eyes and said, “Ning has already told Dad about your situation. The compatibility of pheromones is indeed a fateful bond, and we do acknowledge that finding an Alpha who likes his pheromones won’t be easy for him. However, this should only be taken as a reference and not an absolute criterion.”
Wen Xingchen nodded, “I understand.”
Lu Jiyuan continued, “Our Ning is different from ordinary Omegas. He has had a strong personality since he was a child, and even we, his two older brothers, often find it challenging to handle him. In the future, he will undoubtedly enter the military, which is his dream. This also means that he won’t be the type to stay at home and be a docile househusband. Right now, your relationship is based on mutual appreciation, but can you guarantee that after the novelty wears off, you’ll still accept him as he is?”
Wen Xingchen replied, “I like Lu Jingning for who he is, and I don’t need to compare him with other Omegas.”
Lu Jiyuan chuckled, “I can believe that’s how you feel, but what about the others in your family?”
Wen Xingchen smiled again, “I can make decisions about my own life.”
Lu Jiyuan’s eyelashes drooped slightly, his tone devoid of fluctuations, “I hope you can stick to what you just said, at least 80% of it.”
Wen Xingchen’s initial reaction was that Lu Jiyuan was acknowledging him. However, he heard the latter continue with a calm tone, “After Dad found out about your relationship with Ning, he was very angry and demanded that we handle you with care. Although I’m not interested in such matters, I think if you want to become Ning’s Alpha, you should show some sincerity that Dad can approve of. Testing you is inevitable. So, today, apart from meeting you, I’m also giving you a test to see your true strength.”
Wen Xingchen understood that the crucial part of their conversation had arrived and pressed his lips together. “What’s the test?”
“If you really want to become part of our military family, then show your personal strength. The Lu family doesn’t accept weaklings. The test is quite simple: I want you to defeat everyone in this bounty league and win the championship. If you can do that, we will acknowledge you. By everyone, of course, I also mean Ning.”
Lu Jiyuan’s face remained emotionless, and he narrowed his eyes with a meaningful glint, “And I don’t think it’s necessary for him to know about this. You understand what I mean, right?”
Wen Xingchen could feel Lu Jiyuan’s gaze like a heavy hand pressing down on him. He remained silent for a moment and replied, “… There’s no need for him to know.”
When Lu Jingning returned, he saw the two of them engrossed in conversation.
Lu Jiyuan took the sweet osmanthus cake Lu Jingning bought and stood up, “I have other matters to attend to. I’ll take my leave now.”
Lu Jingning walked Lu Jiyuan to the door and came back to find Wen Xingchen still sitting there. He couldn’t help but ask, “So, what did my big brother say to you?”
Wen Xingchen looked at him quietly for a moment and didn’t bring up the agreement he made with Lu Jiyuan. Instead, he asked, “Does your big brother have an Alpha?”
Lu Jingning was puzzled, “Yes, he and Brother He have been married for three years already.”
Wen Xingchen continued, “What’s Brother He’s combat strength…”
Before he finished speaking, Lu Jingning waved his hand and laughed, “Brother He is just an ordinary businessman. He doesn’t even have B-class pheromones. What combat strength could he have? But my big brother likes him and Dad approves of their relationship.”
Wen Xingchen fell into complete silence.
To marry into a military family, one must have absolute personal strength? It seemed that these requirements were only targeted at him. Double standards, much?
As for this test, he had to choose between fulfilling Lu Jiyuan’s requirements and hurting his boyfriend, or disregarding Lu Jiyuan’s request to keep his boyfriend happy.
Whichever way he looked at it, it seemed to be a life-threatening question…
Author’s Note: So, what should Wen Ge do?
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~
If you like my translations, feel free to donate to my ko-fi!
I really, really appreciate all the support from my readers <3 It goes a long way and motivates me lots!
Also, check out the other series we have on HoH!
If you like cats, check out Revenge of the Garfield
What about the perfect, most non-toxic male lead ever? Laws of Love
How about MC nursing ML back to health? Forced into the Deep
Thank you for all your support <3 Leave a comment if you life 🙂 I love reading them!