Past and Present (2)
On the second floor of Silver Big Dipper Fortress, two heroes who had returned triumphant sat in the office of Major General Xie Yuduo.
Jiang Jianming and Garcia each sat on a chair. The former politely took the tea from Adjutant Rita and drank it with both hands; while the latter looked coldly at the three-dimensional star map in the major general’s office.
Xie Yuduo collapsed on the spot, “Heavens, ancestors, why are you fighting again!?”
The two spoke in unison.
Jiang Jianming said coldly, “It’s just somewhat of a run-in matter.”
Garcia also said indifferently, “He gets angry too easily.”
Xie Yuduo became even more distressed, and collapsed on the table, making all kinds of messy documents and chips to fly in disorder.
Thus Adjutant Rita also became distressed, “Major General!! Please lift up your noble head, that is the information that the military always uses–” In the office, there seemed to be a huge chaos for a while.
Under the intimidation of the female adjutant, Xie Yuduo had no choice but to get up from the table like a boneless man, looked at the “cold war” between the Prince and Lieutenant Jiang, and immediately sighed again.
But………a sigh is simply just a sigh.
The major general couldn’t help feeling–This is the first time that he can see such a vivid childishness from these two young people who are far superior to their peers but each carry heavy burdens.
After all, they were still young people in their early twenties. In this interstellar age where the average human life expectancy was approaching 200 years old every year, young people in their twenties could still be called children.
Over there, Garcia whispered, “Don’t be angry. “
He spoke first to break the deadlock, but didn’t look back.
Instead, Jiang Jianming sighed softly, turned around and sat down beside Garcia, “Your Highness, I am not angry.”
Garcia stopped talking, turned his face, and stared straight at Jiang Jianming, as if to say silently: You are obviously angry.
Jiang Jianming shook his head half helplessly and half indulgently, stretched out his hand and kneaded the long hair beside Garcia’s ear, “…Alright, look, I’m not really angry anymore.”
Xie Yuduo felt all the more at a loss as to whether to laugh or cry at this situation, and thought to himself: Of course, these two, there’s even a tacit division of labor for how to make up after a quarrel?
The major general suddenly felt that he had become a big light bulb, and quickly got up to see off these guests, “Alright, both of you, Your Highness and Little Excellency Jiang have worked hard on this trip, both of you should go back and have a rest. The fortress is busy these days, if there are any concerns, just call me directly on the communication device.”
Jiang Jianming looked at Garcia, “Please go back first, I have something to say to the Major General alone.”
Garcia’s expression turned cold again, “……. Either going out late at night or having secret conversations, it seems that there are many secrets between Major General Xie and Lieutenant Jiang.” Saying so, he still stood up and walked out.
Xie Yuduo looked at him at a loss, while Jiang Jianming picked up the teacup slowly, “It’s okay, let him go, I’ll coax him when I get back.”
Garcia’s fingers snapped open the door. A second later, he seemed to hum softly, but at the same time did not, he swung open the door and went out.
Xie Yuduo: “….Little Excellency, why do I feel that the two of you do not have the matter of running-in at all.”
Jiang Jianming only smiled and said nothing, he lowered his head and drank the tea. Major Rita very perceptively said that she’d still had to deal with chores, and left with the documents in her arms.
At this time, Jiang Jianming said, “Major General Xie, I want to ask you……”
He paused for a moment, as if he was trying to organize his words, and eventually asked an overly blunt question, “What exactly is His Highness Garcia doing in Silver Big Dipper Fortress?”
Jiang Jianming frowned, pronouncing his words a little heavy, “Is he simply playing?”
“Having been with His Royal Highness Garcia for more than half a month, I feel that he is not fighting for Silver Big Dipper at all. He actually doesn’t care about honor and the Empire, he is just playing.”
Jiang Jianming tapped the table with the tip of his index finger, “Playing with mechas, playing with alien creatures–the problem is that now he’s starting to play with me, Major General, can’t you manage this person?”
As early as when Jiang Jianming said the first sentence, the expression on Xie Yuduo’s face changed obviously.
Now, the major general’s face slowly froze into a bitter smile, “…Little Excellency, your words are so sharp, it’s difficult for this lowly official to handle.”
“Actually, it is indeed the case.”
Xie Yuduo touched the tip of his nose, “The relationship between His Highness Garcia and the fortress is hard to explain. He is willing to find stimulation in the distant stars, while we need to eliminate alien creatures and defend against space pirates…….it is simply barely reaching the same purpose.”
“In fact, Silver Big Dipper can’t move him at all. His Highness, he doesn’t bother to take care of the fortress most of the time. I’m thankful if he can save people occasionally.”
Jiang Jianming thought about it for a while, and said in confusion, “So he’s really undomesticated, I thought he was just relatively raised better.”
Xie Yuduo: “……If you insist on using this metaphor, yes, it is very appropriate.”
“Is there something else the Major General is hiding from me? About His Royal Highness Garcia.”
“There’s none really, Little Excellency! It’s His Highness who refuses to talk about the past. He really had such a temper since he came to the fortress!”
“However,” Xie Yuduo said suddenly, “before he came, there was a big explosion at the Omega Alien Star…at the Black Shark Base, there was fire and smoke.”
“You already know, that place is not an ordinary small research institute. It was such a big event. Fortunately, the base is located in the distant interstellar. At that time, the Empire insisted on suppressing the news.”
Jiang Jianming didn’t say anything anymore, and deep ripples appeared in his eyes.
He looked down at the tea in the cup, where there was a piece of small tea leaf wandering in circles.
“……Okay, I understand.” Jiang Jianming held the teacup with both hands, bent his lips thoughtfully, and blew on it lightly.
When Jiang Jianming returned to his quarters, the sun was about to set.
Waiting for him inside was His Royal Highness Garcia.
And a conventional treatment cabin.
Jiang Jianming sighed with a headache. He fumbled with his fingers to unbutton the military uniform, took off his coat and put it in his arms, then he walked towards Garcia.
“Your Highness, we need to have a good talk about the use of the treatment cabin.”
“Also,” the young black-haired officer glanced lightly at the wall of the room with a side door open, “Even if our room is only separated by a door, it’s inappropriate for you to keep coming into my room like this. If this goes on, I’m really going to hang a lock on it.”
Since moving to the second floor, Jiang Jianming’s accommodation conditions had improved dramatically.
In the past, four people crowded inside a four-bed quarters in the dormitory for officers in the adaptation period, but now he occupied one bedroom, with a living room and a bathroom all by himself.
This room was very spacious, and the lighting was also very good. It could be regarded as a one-to-one configuration in a high-end residential area.
The only strange thing was that there was a side door in this bedroom, which was directly connected next door……Jiang Jianming guessed that maybe this room used to be the room of some important person’s guard, and that this side door allowed for easy on-call access.
And now, His Highness Garcia lived next door to him.
His Highness surely did not require him to be on call.
But His Highness would open the door anytime he wanted to catch him.
For example, at this moment, Garcia was looking at him with displeasure and cold eyes, “You have been traveling for six days, and today you drove the mecha at full speed for four hours in high altitude with rich crystal particles.”
Jiang Jianming: “The isolation particle performance of Slash Comet is very good, I took this into consideration when selecting the mecha.”
“It’s not as good as Snow Dove.” Garcia said, “I have told you that you can use Snow Dove when you assist me in fighting, and save Slash Comet as a backup……you are not obedient.”
After finishing speaking, the prince kept silent, and when he spoke again, he seemed to be angry, his brows turned fierce and overcast, “The mecha masters in the fortress are useless, just a single Snow Dove M-model, they can’t even develop it in a few years.”
What’s the matter with you, isn’t it you who ridiculed the Snow Dove in Beta Alien Star that it was only suitable for running away?
Besides, it would be nice to have that “tasteless, only for decoration” miniature mecha for people in special situations, also, everyone would already be fully occupied studying a bigger model!
“Go in.” Garcia signaled the treatment cabin with his eyes, “or, if you prefer me to put you in, that’s fine too.” After saying that, he stood up and walked towards Jiang Jianming.
The setting sun outside the window reflected the prince’s long hair with golden red flashes, his shadow was stretched huge, and it fell forward on Jiang Jianming’s body.
Jiang Jianming sighed and hung up his coat, “Your Highness, stop making trouble, if I keep using the treatment cabin, my body will become dependent on it.”
Jiang Jianming laughed back angrily, he turned his head and looked at Garcia, “Of course it’s not. You tell me, what will I do in a tough environment in the future? What should I do when you are not by my side?”
Garcia frowned and said, “Why will you go to a tough environment, and without me no less?”
After a few words, he had already stood still in front of Jiang Jianming, his tone was cold and firm, “It doesn’t make sense, give me a reason.”
Jiang Jianming subconsciously wanted to refute, but when he opened his mouth, he was stunned.
Garcia pressed his shoulders, the prince tilted his head slightly, his graceful curly hair scattered, “Where are you going?”
It was rarely peaceful in the alien star, and the afterglow of the setting sun was like woven colored silk, flowing gently around the two people.
Perhaps it was because of the relief after the battle was finally over, or maybe it was because the incoming evening was too peaceful and the sunset was too gentle. Or maybe it’s because the emerald eyes that were close at hand were too deep and intoxicating, like a glass of slightly drunk and sweet iced fruit wine.
Jiang Jianming fell into a trance for a moment, he was so dazed that he also felt at a loss.
He asked himself: Yes, where am I going?
Garcia got closer, “Your body is inherently fragile, not suitable for fatigue, injury, stimulation and high-intensity combat, don’t you know?”
“You are weak and susceptible to diseases, you can die just as easily, I have said it many times.”
“Even if you don’t die immediately, at the least, the foundation of your body will be damaged and it will shorten your lifespan……..The average lifespan of disabled humans among the common people of the Empire is thirty years shorter than that of new humans. This is still the data under the condition that the disabled human live in peace and receive protection and care. Don’t you know that?”
Jiang Jianming was even more at a loss.
He was confused but still thought: I know…but why does this guy always talk so close? Does he want to bite me?
“What makes you think that it is normal for you to have a fever, cough up blood, and endure pain every day just as you did when you were still an officer in adaptation period?” Garcia squinted his eyes, and the intoxicating emerald color rippled.
He tightened his fingers on the shoulders of the remnant human, “What kind of life did you live before you came to Silver Big Dipper……If you don’t want to say, I will not ask, however–”
“Jiang Jianming, you have been following me for half a month—”
“The one who has not yet grown accustomed is you.”
Jiang Jianming’s body trembled unconsciously.
It was as if some torrent ran through his limbs, bringing shuddering waves.
Jiang Jianming suddenly lowered his head and clenched his teeth.
His heart was slightly astringent, and he said softly to himself: No, I simply have a long way to go.
Although I haven’t seen clearly what’s on the road yet.
However this is not destined to be a smooth road.
Therefore he couldn’t slack off, and relax his vigilance. There were too many unknowns and secrets, no one around him could be completely trusted, no one could be completely relied on.
However…..Jiang Jianming fell into a brief daze again, he looked at Garcia in front of him and thought blankly: In the final analysis, it was because of the death of the Little Highness that he fell into this helpless widow situation.
In the final analysis, he didn’t have to suffer.
Back then, when the Little Highness had not yet had that accident, didn’t he also live in the bustling Aslan Star City, study at the most dazzling Kaios Military Academy, and lead an ordinary but comfortable life?
Not only that, because of his relationship with Ryann, his conditions had always been very generous.
Although he hardly asked the Crown Prince for anything materially.
But which disabled human being could be like him, that when he was discovered by his lover that he wished to go to the Far Star one night, the next day, the most advanced treatment cabin and crystal tranquilizers were all readied, and then they traveled around the three military fortresses?
The Crown of the Golden Dawn, the strongest in the empire, even the Commander-in-Chief Chen Hanke had never been inside its cockpit, but the Little Highness let him play with it for an afternoon, and then was carried out by him with his own hands afterwards–who could have this kind of treatment?
He wasn’t born with such a hard life, he insisted on exhausting himself to go fight against the current every day and night.
If it wasn’t for the death of the Little Highness……..
But now, Garcia was clearly standing in front of him.
Behind was the vast afterglow of the setting sun.
The past and present seemed to overlap, and it suddenly felt like a dream.
Jiang Jianming felt his waist loosened.
He lowered his head and found that Garcia had already untied his belt and pulled it away smoothly just as he was in a trance.
“What are you doing?”
Jiang Jianming’s voice was a little hoarse.
García: “You need to change your clothes, then lie down and rest.”
Jiang Jianming’s Adam’s apple twitched slightly, “No matter what…..you shouldn’t put a quilt inside the treatment cabin, it’s not a bed, and it can’t be used as a bed.”
Garcia: “The heating in Silver Big Dipper Fortress is not enough, and the night will be cold for you.”
Jiang Jianming pursed his lips and remained silent.
The temperature in Alpha Alien Star was freezing cold, especially at night. Although there were heating facilities in the fortress, after all, the soldiers were allowed to be pampered, thus the temperature was just like that.
For the new humans, endure and they’d eventually get used to it. Only for Jiang Jianming, it was really cold enough to feel painful.
Garcia held his wrist, took off his gloves expressionlessly, folded them together, and put them aside.
Jiang Jianming lowered his head, with broken snow floating in the depths of his eyes, he said slowly, “If one day in the future, you’ll leave my side…… “
Garcia’s movement paused. At this moment, the prince’s slender and bony fingers landed on a button in front of the neckline of the remnant human.
“Don’t make groundless speculations.”
He undid the button, and said lightly, “According to your current state, no matter how you think, you will be the first to leave me—fatigue, cold, disease, excessive patience with thinking, it is you and not me.”
Jiang Jianming’s silence lasted for a long time, so long that Garcia thought he was going to refuse again.
Jiang Jianming suddenly raised his eyes, his eyelashes were trembling slightly, his usual calm and firm eyes were now a little lost at the moment.
He said in a very soft voice, almost helpless, “Then, the cost of the treatment cabin……”
Garcia reacted quickly, and calmly said, “Let Xie Yuduo handle it.”
Jiang Jianming lowered his eyes again and pursed his lips.
His voice became softer, “Okay.”
“But I have to shower, and eat dinner first.”
“…So please stop and don’t take off my clothes!”
That evening, the fortress’ internal wind was calm.
Jiang Jianming put hot water in the bathtub, after washing himself clean, he soaked in the bathtub naked.
The hot bath after the fatigue of the battle seemed to be very magical, it would make people muddle headed within ten minutes after entering.
He originally wanted to close his eyes and relax for a while, but unexpectedly, soon his consciousness evaporated into a mist, and he almost fell asleep in the water.
Fortunately, Garcia called him outside.
Dinner was eaten by two people, they ordered several kinds of food from the trading area and was then delivered by a robot afterwards.
The food was delicious and expensive, but Jiang Jianming didn’t eat much of it. Garcia’s judgment was not wrong, he was indeed a little tired.
After hastily washing up, Jiang Jianming changed into his pajamas, and under Garcia’s gaze, stepped into the treatment cabin with his bare feet. This time…..
He was not forcibly captured.
But when the night rolled away gently like water waves, he was still lying in the treatment cabin covered with several layers of quilts and fell asleep just like a few days ago.