After enduring a beating, everyone thought that Lu Kongbin’s anger had subsided a bit. However, the next morning, right on time, he knocked on Wen Xingchen’s door again.
This kind of day continued for a week.
Just when Wen Xingchen doubted whether he could walk out of Lu’s house alive, the ordeal finally ended.
That afternoon, Lu Kongbin summoned him and Lu Jingning to the study. With the demeanor of an elder, he said, “I’ve talked to Wen Muqiao. This time, he showed some restraint and didn’t argue too much with me. When the time is right, we will arrange a grand engagement ceremony for both of you to settle things once and for all.”
He glanced sternly at Wen Xingchen, emphasizing each word, “Since you’ve already gone through that, if you plan to be irresponsible, I guarantee I’ll snap your neck.”
Wen Xingchen couldn’t help but feel a chill down his neck and earnestly replied, “I’ll follow Uncle’s arrangements.”
While Lu Kongbin was not entirely pleased with the idea of his son marrying into the Wen family, Wen Xingchen assured him that they would move out after the engagement, so he didn’t say much more and gestured for them to leave.
As they stepped out of the study, Lu Jingning approached with a grin, “Wen Ge, are you happy?”
Wen Xingchen nodded sincerely, “Yes, I am.”
Lu Jingning teased, “If you’re happy, then smile.”
Wen Xingchen looked at him, and a gentle curve appeared on his lips, despite the lingering wounds.
Time passed unknowingly, and the Lunar New Year approached.
On the afternoon Lu Kongbin discussed things with them, Wen Muqiao contacted Wen Xingchen through communication. Normally, Wen Xingchen might have ignored the call, but considering it might be related to his engagement with Lu Jingning, he hesitated before answering.
Wen Muqiao understood his son’s thoughts. After discussing the major aspects of the engagement, he casually asked, “Are you planning to come home for the New Year this year?”
Wen Xingchen originally wanted to refuse, but hearing the anticipation in his father’s voice, he paused for a moment and finally replied, “I’ll go back in a few days.”
Since they didn’t have a formal legal relationship yet, staying for the New Year would be inconvenient for Lu Kongbin. Moreover, many things couldn’t be adequately discussed through communication alone; a face-to-face conversation was necessary.
Although he had grievances with Wen Muqiao, he couldn’t let that affect Lu Jingning.
If possible, on the day of their actual engagement, he wanted to present the best interstellar banquet to Lu Jingning.
Learning that Wen Xingchen would go home for the New Year, Lu Jingning was somewhat surprised. However, he quickly felt happy about the improved relationship between father and son.
Though he never spoke much about the internal matters of the Wen family, deep down, he wanted the best for Wen Xingchen.
A harmonious family would bring a bit more joy.
After a few more days of being affectionate, Lu Jingning saw Wen Xingchen off on a light ship, watching it disappear into the horizon before returning home.
Days without Wen Xingchen became somewhat dull. Besides flattering Lu Kongbin every day, his routine included the scheduled holographic chat sessions every night.
Overall, the days passed peacefully.
Unconsciously, the holiday season came to an end.
As the return to school approached, one night during their usual video chat, Lu Jingning casually asked, “Wen Ge, when are you planning to return to school?”
Wen Xingchen pondered, “Probably a few days in advance.”
Having stayed at home for quite some time, although the relationship between him and Wen Muqiao was not as tense as before, the daily interactions between father and son were still limited. Continuing to stay seemed somewhat meaningless.
“I’ll wait for you at school then! Old Lu won’t let me leave early; he insists on releasing me only on the day of return.” Lu Jingning complained, “He’s so clingy, even at his age. I really can’t do anything about it. I’ll let you know when I buy the ticket, remember to pick me up!”
Wen Xingchen chuckled, “Your uncle’s relationship with you is truly enviable.”
Lu Jingning glanced at the holographic image of Lu Kongbin and laughed, “What’s there to envy? In the future, Old Lu will be your dad too.”
Wen Xingchen thought for a moment and replied, “Yes, he will be my dad too.”
… However, it would have been even better if he didn’t want to punch him the moment they met.
On the day of their return to school, as soon as Lu Jingning stepped out of the secure area, he saw Wen Xingchen standing not far away, waving at him with a smile.
Wen Xingchen was dressed in casual light-colored clothing. His loose-fitting garments casually hung, and after the holiday, his hair had grown slightly longer, giving an indescribable feeling that his overall demeanor had changed since they first met.
Despite the daily video calls, Lu Jingning couldn’t help but want to take a few more glances.
Wen Xingchen naturally took the huge suitcase and walked with Lu Jingning towards the short-distance aircraft waiting outside the gate.
They set off towards the main campus of the Imperial Navy.
When they reached the dormitory building, Wen Xingchen wanted to accompany Lu Jingning upstairs, but he was stopped.
Under Lu Jingning’s inquiring gaze, he cleared his throat and said, “The academic genius spent the whole holiday at school without going home. Now that school has started again, isn’t it a bit too cruel to bombard him with affection on the first day?”
Wen Xingchen thought for a moment and glanced at him, “Seems like it?”
Lu Jingning nodded, thinking that Wen Xingchen understood his thoughtful intentions. He turned to leave but found that the suitcase was still in Wen Xingchen’s hands, and he couldn’t pull it away.
He blinked, reminding, “Wen Ge?”
Wen Xingchen took a few steps forward, looking down at him, and with a faint smile, he said, “Haven’t seen each other for so long. Haven’t you missed me?”
As they were prominent figures on campus, even though they seemed nonchalant on the surface, countless eyes gathered around them without a sound when they stopped. The Bounty League season had nearly depleted all of Lu Jingning’s reserve of embarrassment, and now, in front of their classmates, he was starting to feel a bit awkward.
Under Wen Xingchen’s questioning, he cleared his throat and teased, “Of course, I missed you! Now that school has started again, we can see each other every day. Isn’t that especially exciting?”
“Exciting. But not enough.”
Wen Xingchen spoke with every step forward, almost reaching a close distance with Lu Jingning.
At this moment, the familiar and signature smile appeared on his face. In a low voice, he hinted, “After all, it’s the first day we meet after the break. As a boyfriend, shouldn’t you express something?”
Many people who had been covertly observing couldn’t help but excitedly cover their mouths when they witnessed this interaction. The photos they took covered all possible angles and quickly became the first couple building of the new semester on the campus forum.
As Lu Jingning’s first instinct was to refuse such a public display of affection, under Wen Xingchen’s somewhat expectant gaze, he found it difficult to resist.
After a moment of silence, he suddenly lifted his head and lightly pecked the face that was within reach.
A loud commotion erupted around them, and many people who hadn’t watched their steps stumbled and tumbled with their suitcases.
Listening to the successive sounds, Lu Jingning asked irritably, “Is that enough?”
Suppressing the laughter in his eyes, Wen Xingchen pointed lightly to his own mouth, “What about here?”
Lu Jingning exerted force, pulling the suitcase away from his hands, and turned to run up the stairs.
In the dorm, Yan Hebin, who were inside, only heard the door being pushed open with a loud crash against the wall.
Turning around, they saw Lu Jingning storming in.
A trace of bewilderment flashed across Yan Hebin’s faces. Yan couldn’t help but look at the date on his terminal, “In such a hurry, do we have class today?”
Lu Jingning casually threw the suitcase on the table and asked, “Do I look like someone in a hurry to go to class?”
Indeed, he did not.
Yan didn’t say anything more, calmly shifting his gaze back to the newly compiled mecha tutorial from the research department.
Soon, all major universities in the empire returned to the normal rhythm of classes.
However, at this time, the high-level military officials were gradually enveloped in a vague sense of unease.
… Perhaps because the restoration work on the toxic night crystals was nearing completion, the long-dormant insect race began to stir again.
First, their traces were discovered on non-living celestial bodies at the edge of the fourth star system. Subsequently, at the junction of the eighth star system, the closest to the insect race, small-scale wars began to occur one after another.
This situation was not limited to the Empire but also included the Federation Republic, a friendly neighbor.
The prolonged tranquility almost made humans forget the years of fighting against the insect race. After the events unfolded, to avoid causing unrest, such news was quickly suppressed by the leadership.
However, whether in the Empire or the Federation, although they could temporarily hide the information from their citizens, the high-ranking generals could not turn a blind eye to these unsettling signs.
They found that the current insect race, both in terms of quantity and combat power, was no longer comparable to the past.
On one side was a defeated race that had been waiting for an opportunity to rise again, and on the other side was the former ruler who had become lax and indulgent during the years of peace.
In such a critical moment where a crisis could erupt at any time, large-scale conscription was not feasible. After nearly ten days of joint discussions between the military leadership of the Empire and the Federation, a series of resolutions were finally made.
Of course, most of these resolutions were matters for the management to handle. However, one of them would have a profound impact on the military academy students of various countries.
To cope with the necessity, the Empire and the Federation had decided to establish a joint alliance army from now on.
For the first batch of troops, apart from those recommended by various units, priority would be given to recruiting from the top military academies.
The Imperial Naval University, being such a top-tier military institution, undoubtedly found itself on the enlistment list.
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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