As winter neared, the officers in the adaptation period will have seven days of field experience which was just the same as the “red caterpillar time trial” and also belonged to the usual training in the First Fortress of the Silver Big Dipper.
If the latter focuses on training individual combat capabilities and allowing young officers in the adaptation period to come into contact with alien creatures for the first time; then the former focuses on team combat and facing the cruel natural environment of Alpha Alien Star.
—For example, the wind and snow that swept over half of the surface of the alien planet.
The cold wind beat on the mecha’s armor, making a sound like wailing ghosts and howling wolves. It was still the same several rows of M-IP 18 and L-Evil Shark as they struggled forward amidst the wind and snow.
Overhead, gray clouds weighed low. The field of vision was dark and obscured, the sky was filled with heavy snow whistling sadly, and every step of the mecha, its metal feet would plunge into the snow one-third deep.
Lieutenant Colonel Huo Lin’s roar could be heard from the communication channel every few minutes, resounding inside the cockpit of everyone’s mechas.
“Boys, remember, the terrestrial mode is indeed the dominant form of the IP, but if you encounter an enemy in this kind of blizzard–don’t think too much, change into a flying mode directly and engage in battle.”
“The snow will only drag the mecha’s feet, and the ice will make you slip. Whether you want to attack or escape, you will be greatly restricted, unless you fly into the sky.”
“But pay attention to energy, the flight mode consumes three times more energy than the terrestrial mode. What did I say? The last look before departure, always make sure that the backup energy pipe is placed in the storage compartment!”
“Now everyone, report their names and coordinates according to the order of the team!”
Voices of different people sounded in the channel immediately.
Huo Lin snorted through his nose. “I can see all the location information of the IP here, do you know why I still ask you to report now? Because of the importance of the location! You must engrave it in your mind!”
“If you fall behind and get lost in the blizzard, then congratulations, you will become a snack for alien creatures as they spend the winter. In case of positioning failure, and as the mecha will eventually run out of energy, you can just wait for yourself to freeze to death……”
Before nightfall, they had marched to their intended destination.
This time it was no longer an ice forest with tall vegetation, but a mountain with undulating and steep rocks. The sound of the wind bellowing between the stone walls was very gloomy. Lieutenant Colonel Huo Lin ordered everyone to camp here tonight, and taught them how to quickly build a new type of special far star marching tent.
“In fact, for many times,” Lieutenant Raymond, who was also traveling with them, explained, “we would choose to sleep directly in the mecha. Although it is not as comfortable as a sleeping bag, it is more convenient for survival.”
The marching tent was large enough for at least six people–the size of a squad–to sleep in.
As the wind and snow were too cold, Jiang Jianming, who was a sick disabled human, didn’t get off his mecha, and let the other five people put up a tent.
When a few people were sitting in the tent eating dinner, Ellie muttered, “I don’t know what we’re going to do this time.”
She took a bite of the compressed food with a bitter face. “I’m tired of eating this hard food. I heard that those veterans would go to the trading area to buy some delicious food before they go on missions. Maner, do you know anything delicious?”
Nearly a month had passed, yet only the girls in the team had become familiar with each other. Bei Maner thought for a while, then shook her head. “I don’t seem to have paid attention to these things, let’s go and have a look when we get back.”
Ellie nodded with a “hmm” and then looked at the boys again. Li Youfang and Joe were eating food silently, while Tang Zhen was putting his coat on Jiang Jianming with a sullen face.
She called out, “Hey, Jiang…..can you still stand it?”
Jiang Jianming’s face was pale, his head was lowered weakly, and he pursed his lips as he tightened his clothes.
He raised his head, glanced quietly at the darkness and snow outside from the transparent window of the tent, and whispered, “…it’s a bit cold.”
That night, Tang Zhen was suddenly awakened by the suppressed coughing sound beside him.
He turned over, and two seconds later he lifted the quilt and sat up in a jerk.
“Little Jiang!? What’s the matter!”
Bei Maner woke up earlier than Tang Zhen, and was supporting Jiang Jianming. She raised her head in panic and said, “Young Master Tang, he seems to be…!”
“I…cough cough cough.” Jiang Jianming wanted to speak, but couldn’t stop coughing. He covered his lips and bent over, a small line was formed with his thin spine, and his whole body was trembling.
Li Youfang, Ellie and Joe had also woken up, looking at him with blue faces.
This time was only about one or two o’clock in the morning, and the wind and snow seemed to be much lighter than before nightfall. The long night was silent, and no other sounds could be heard except for the sounds in their tent.
“Jiang Jianming,” Joe stuttered, “you…you’re disturbing our sleep.”
Bei Maner suddenly raised her face and said angrily, “How can you say something like that!? Can’t you see that he’s uncomfortable!”
Li Youfang pushed Joe irritably, “That’s enough.”
Joe shut up in embarrassment.
Jiang Jianming coughed until his hands and feet were cold, and finally felt that he couldn’t breathe. Tang Zhen dragged him to drink a few sips of water in a daze, and it took a long time for him to finally recover.
In the darkness, he squinted his eyes and looked down, a few drops of dark color fell between his fingers…..It was blood.
He actually coughed up blood.
Jiang Jianming was stunned for less than half a second, and turned his palm over as if nothing had happened. But it was already too late, Tang Zhen grabbed his hand and he immediately intake a sharp breath, “Hiss, you—”
Bei Maner suddenly covered her mouth, her pretty face turned pale. “How could this happen?”
Jiang Jianming gasped and said, “It’s nothing, you guys should go back to bed…I’ll go outside and take some medicine.”
Although the wind and snow were less, the temperature outside the tent could still freeze people to death. Tang Zhen couldn’t believe his ears.
Jiang Jianming glanced at him, and said helplessly, “What are you thinking about? The cockpit of the mecha has thermal insulation facilities. I will sleep outside tonight.”
Joe’s face turned white then red for a while, and said in a muffled voice with shame: “Hey! I…never told you to go out…why are you acting like you’ve been bullied?”
Jiang Jianming ignored him, dressed himself and went out.
A few people were left looking at each other. Tang Zhen was stunned for a while, then gritted his teeth. “It won’t work like this, I’ll go and persuade him to go back to the fortress.”
Bei Maner anxiously wanted to grab his clothes. “Me too…”
Tang Zhen turned around and pressed her hand. “The cockpit of the IP can only accommodate two people at most, don’t worry about it.”
He hesitated for a second, then gently pushed Bei Maner’s shoulders towards the sleeping bag. “Listen to me, go to bed, I’ll tell him to go back.”
Outside the tent, the howling wind had subsided as expected, and the thick clouds had dispersed a lot.
There are only a few small snowflakes still falling in the dark night, and it looks a little beautiful after gazing at it for a long time, looking like white cherry blossoms falling in the river in early spring and drifting down.
Wrapped in a military coat, Tang Zhen came out of the marching tent, turned on the flashlight of his wrist device, squinted his eyes to find Jiang Jianming’s IP from among the six parked IP’s.
He stepped on the snow and walked over. He noticed that Jiang Jianming was already seated inside it.
Jiang Jianming was already drinking the medicine in his hand, and his expression was not so terrible anymore. Seeing Tang Zhen approaching with lights on from a high position, he smiled softly. “It’s fine if you want to come up to sleep, just don’t persuade me to go back.”
When Tang Zhen walked up to the mecha, the cockpit opened. Jiang Jianming even leaned over and stretched out his hand to pull him, but Tang Zhen didn’t dare to touch him at all, and jumped up on the edge of the mecha by himself then urged, “Close it quickly!”
Jiang Jianming closed the cockpit hatch, left the alloy glass bare without the plate, and lowered the back of the driver’s seat. Soon, he and Tang Zhen were half lying side by side under the snowy sky of Alpha Alien Star.
But Tang Zhen couldn’t lie down, he sat up, then grabbed his hair anxiously. “Listen, Little Jiang, you have to listen to me……”
He took a deep breath, “I really didn’t expect it to be this serious. If I knew… I would have stopped you at the beginning.”
Jiang Jianming raised his head and drank the last bit of medicine, and looked over with his eyebrows bent. Reflecting on the glass, his side face was as white as the snowflakes outside, which was a kind of beauty that was about to melt away.
His casual attitude made Young Master Tang anxious, and the latter punched the armrest of the seat as if venting his anger.
“I know you can’t let His Royal Highness go. If you are a new human, even if you only have the lowest D-level crystal bone, I will definitely not stop you from staying in the far star, but…”
“Staying here is too much for you, you see, and it’s only been a month that you’ve been here!”
Tang Zhen gritted his teeth, and he looked at Jiang Jianming, “Little Jiang, listen to me, go back to the Empire. You have to admit that a disabled human is born with this physique. Is it worth wasting your life before you can do anything?”
At the end, he was already roaring, “If you really have such deep love for His Royal Highness the former Crown Prince, doing something like this, it should already be enough…!”
Jiang Jianming put the empty medicine bottle aside, and suddenly spoke lightly.
He had just coughed, and his voice was a little hoarse, but his tone was a bit chillier than usual, as if he had been caught in the wind and snow outside.
“Do you think it’s love…the longing and reluctance for Ryann that drove me here?”
“Such insistence is meaningless at all… huh?”
Tang Zhen didn’t react.
He was still immersed in the bitter heart of “wanting to persuade a friend who died in love to go home”, but was stunned by Jiang Jianming’s words.
Through the alloy glass of the cockpit, Jiang Jianming quietly stared at the dark night outside and the falling fine snow.
He shook his head to himself and said, “No, it’s not.”
He lowered his eyes, and emotions brewed in the bottom of his eyes into a vortex that kept sinking. After a long time, he seemed to have made up his mind, and then he spoke again, “I haven’t told you…the last time me and His Highness saw each other.”
“At that time we had a very unpleasant quarrel, in fact…” Jiang Jianming paused, “If it had been very serious, we would have ended our relationship at that time, and I wouldn’t be Ryann’s widow now.”
These words were no less than a bolt out of the blue to Tang Zhen.
He opened his mouth blankly for a long while, and choked out a sentence, “You…don’t scare me!?”
Jiang Jianming shook his head and said leisurely, “Want to hear a bedtime story?”
He lifted his eyelids, and there was a little teasing in his eyes. “Unfortunately, it’s not the pure love and sadomasochism that Young Master Tang thought…” The corners of his lips curled up, and he whispered, “that was both thrilling and suspenseful. “
Tang Zhen’s face froze. He shivered, always feeling that the current Jiang Jianming was the one that was more thrilling and suspenseful right now.
“Actually, three years ago–”
Jiang Jianming said calmly, “Before the Little Highness actually sacrificed his life, I knew he would not live long.”
“He asked to die by himself. I tried to persuade him, but in the end I couldn’t.”