Heroic Spirit (1)
He was dreaming again.
This time the dream was weird and continuous, like waves of tide enveloping Jiang Jianming’s consciousness. He could only muddle along without any aim, sinking in incessantly.
He didn’t know why, maybe it’s because of the anesthetic, maybe it’s because of excessive exhaustion and blood loss, or maybe it was because of the mental impact of the cruelty of the battlefield for the first time.
Sink, and still sinking more.
Until I forget my name, my future and my destination.
In the evening of late winter, meteors streaked across the night sky overhead.
A young black-haired child curled up in a dark corner, his cheeks were pale, and he coughed laboriously from time to time. As far as the eye could see, the gutters filled with garbage emit a foul smell. The sensor light was not working, and the darkness on all sides had been smeared to the end of the line of sight.
The crow was asleep, and the wild dogs in the distance were still barking. The old red blanket on his body was unable to resist the cold winter’s claws and teeth, and the black-haired child shivered from the cold, snuggling up to another body beside him.
Warm palm fell on the child’s back, and the child raised his head vaguely only to see a pair of deep brown eyes, with slightly curled eyelashes that were desolate yet firm.
It was a woman in the same shabby clothes, her withered black hair was blown by the cold wind, the mother held her child in her arms and patted him gently, the sorrow in her eyes lingered for a long time.
The cold wind blew the garbage on the street corner, and the woman opened her beautiful but chapped lips. The singing voice flowed out of her throat lightly, flowing under the oppressive dark winter night.
The black sky embraces the earth,
The white starlight kisses the raindrops,
When the distant mountains loses the traces of birds,
When does the dawn rise?
Don’t you cry, don’t you cry,
Let me keep you forever……
The mother sang an unknown lullaby with a gentle and mellow voice. The ethereal melancholy tone was intermittent, like the stitches of this worn out red blanket.
Gradually, the black-haired child in the woman’s arms stopped coughing. He quietly looked at the night sky above his head, with a kind of peace in his eyes that was rare for a child of his age to have.
The black sky embraces the earth,
The white starlight kisses the raindrops…….
The woman kept on singing, when the child suddenly asked,
“Mom, are there stars even on rainy days?”
The bleak wind blew to the horizon, and dust rose.
The blazing torch fell from his hand and landed on the worn out red blanket. The young man ignited the past, and the bloody cold wind surged from behind him like a huge wave, blowing the dirty cloth cloak and the black hair under the hood.
He turned around and looked at the open field in front of him, pulled the cloak on his body, walked forward indifferently, and never looked back.
“The stars will always be there, my darling.”
Under the dark of the night, the flames after the explosion flickered on the wreckage of the starship, which lasted for a long time.
The apple fell from between the pale and thin fingers, and then rolled on the ground.
First, it rolled up a circle of dust and gravel, then rolled into a pool of blood, and finally stopped beside the winding blood-stained platinum hair.
“It’s just that the thick dark clouds cover the stars…Darling, if you want to see the stars, you have to go above the clouds…”
“Mom, we’ve been above the clouds.”
The torrential rain fell from the dark clouds, mercilessly hitting this abandoned land.
“No, it’s not enough. You have to go further afield.”
He knelt in the rain, the bottom of his eyes were dark and had no light. Thousands of starships broke through the clouds, turned into streaks of blue light, and disappeared into the sky.
Until the sound of hurried footsteps sounded behind him, someone trampled through the accumulated rain and rushed towards him. A graceful cloak covered the top of his head, and a pair of strong arms wrapped around him, pulling him up forcefully.
“—Get up! Stand up!”
“What are you looking at….Don’t look at them, look at me!”
The young man was bent over and was panting heavily in the rain, hissing loudly, his cold eyes were like a wild beast that preyed on anyone.
He had a pair of emerald eyes, and a storm was brewing deep in those eyes: violent, crazy, with the urge to destroy everything.
“I’ll take you farther than those starships!!”
In the long time, beside the dark alley corner, the woman was still singing softly for her child:
Don’t you cry, don’t you cry,
Let me keep you forever……”
In the end, the consciousness sank into a snow-white.
In the snow-white laboratory, a damaged figure leaned against a pool of blood, smiled weakly and reached out to him.
“I had a very long dream.”
The voice was very hoarse, with a lingering and sad nasal tone, “In my dream…I haven’t met you yet.”
Jiang Jianming yelled unconsciously, his fingers twitched and grasped suddenly, and he woke up from his lethargy in cold sweat.
There was a sticky blackness in front of his eyes, and he couldn’t tell where he was. The limbs were immersed in the unknown liquid and trembled intermittently, Jiang Jianming stood up and panted heavily, like a dying fish thrown ashore.
What…what were those?
Can there be such a bizarre yet so clear dream?
The warning light came on, and the darkness in front of him opened a small window, with a few silhouettes of people outside.
“Sir, relax, you are in the treatment cabin of Silver Big Dipper Fortress.” A female voice called, “I will add some more oxygen, please try to breathe slowly.”
Jiang Jianming closed his eyes and opened his mouth to breathe, his body was limp and weak, and only then did the wound on his side of the abdomen become visibly painful, making his forehead ooze fine beads of sweat.
As the memories in the dream quickly dissipated, the muddy mind regained consciousness.
Only then did Jiang Jianming realize that he was indeed just lying in the treatment cabin, but the bed in the cabin was tilted.
He was stripped of his clothes and soaked in medical fluid from the shoulders down. In order to protect the patient’s privacy, a layer of opaque screen film was raised on the hatch cover, which gave rise to that dark and frightening scene when he woke up just now.
Outside the treatment cabin, several full-time female nurses, including the head nurse of the medical area, stood by worriedly.
The head nurse couldn’t help but whisper, “How do you feel? If the wound hurts badly, we’ll add some painkillers.”
It had been three days since the fierce battle between Silver Big Dipper and the space bandits, and the story of this young lieutenant had almost spreaded throughout the fortress.
Even with the timely discovery of the space bandit’s conspiracy, the predicted location of the ambush, and the avalanche being used to deliver the message, some people still couldn’t believe it. However, in full view of the public, the feat of this disabled human driving a small mecha to collide with L-Hephaestus, as well as the tacit cooperation with His Royal Highness, his mecha manipulation, these were all deeply imprinted in the eyes of everyone that was present.
Not to mention the two shots at the face of the leader of the space bandits, plus one or two strokes of heroism like “after being seriously injured, he insisted on staying silent until the mecha landed”….
It spreaded fast–and stories would always be exaggerated in the process of dissemination.
In the end, various amazing versions of Jiang Jianming have evolved rapidly, which even Jiang Jianming himself wouldn’t think it was him being talked about.
The doctors and nurses in the fortress had a deeper understanding. They had stayed in the distant interstellar for a long time, and they usually only treated new humans…..however, suddenly, there was a disabled human being pierced with a real crystal in the body, for these professional doctors and nurses, they were still also terrified.
Not to mention that this legendary lieutenant was so young and handsome, pale and emaciated, everyone was terribly frightened when he was carried in, unconscious.
At this time, the person finally woke up, thus they all breathed a sigh of relief.
In the treatment cabin, Jiang Jianming shook his head and said in a low voice, “Thank you…you don’t need to add medicine.”
His eyes fell on the liquid that almost covered his whole body, suddenly his eyebrows moved subtly, and there was a trace of uneasiness in his eyes.
The head nurse was in her fifties and sixties, at the age of overflowing kindness. First she saw Jiang Jianming startled from his sleep with a panic, and then saw him calmly enduring the pain. She admired and loved him at the same time.
She couldn’t help but slow down her voice, “Sir, don’t worry, we will watch over you outside, and the call button is on your right.”
“Due to the stimulation of a high-concentration crystal particle environment and the crystal particles released from real crystals, you were in a dangerous situation when you were just sent back to the fortress. Thus we put these medical liquids inside the treatment cabin, which is one of the most advanced medical methods available today, it can…”
“I know……you don’t have to say it.”
In the treatment cabin, the legendary young lieutenant suddenly interrupted.
There seemed to be some pain in his expression, and he whispered, “The liquid filling mode of an advanced treatment cabin starts at 200,000 coin points, and 80,000 a day.”
“?” There was a hint of confusion in the head nurse’s loving expression.
While there was nothing wrong with it, there seemed to also be something wrong with his point.
Lieutenant Jiang closed his eyes astringently, he sighed, with closed eyes, he turned his head with the momentum of self-abandonment, “Sorry, I won’t pay this money, and even if you sell me, it won’t amount to 200,000.”
The head nurse was even more confused, and subconsciously said, “You, you don’t have to worry, more than 90% of the medical expenses in the fortress will be reimbursed……”
Jiang Jianming quickly said, “There’s still 20,000. Impossible, I don’t have it, please stop the treatment cabin, and let the Major General pay for the expenses already incurred.”
As he spoke, he resolutely reached out to touch the button next to him, trying to press the stop button of the treatment cabin.
——No money, cannot be cured.
The nurses instantly turned pale with horror.
“Hey, don’t move around—”
“No, no, Sir, calm down!”
“The cost issue is easy to talk about! Lie back first quickly–”
In the treatment area, there was a sudden burst of chaos.
Even when Major General Xie heard the news and came to visit in a hurry, before entering the inner area, the head nurse blocked the door and scolded him.
“Major General Sir, what exactly is the treatment of your officers now?” The head nurse wiped tears from her eyes and said angrily, “The heroic soldiers of the Empire, can’t even afford to treat their illnesses? Goodness, I, in the first fortress, have been working as a medic and nursing staff for so long, and I have never seen such absurd things!’
Xie Yuduo: “?”
The head nurse took out a tissue and wiped her nose, and continued to say with red eyes, “This child is too bitter, and too firm. He just woke up yet he already wanted to come out of the treatment cabin. Just now, a group of young girls under me secretly shed tears……”
Xie Yuduo: “??”
“——Oh, Major General, you pay the expenses first, the start-up fee of 200,000 coins, 80,000 a day, today is the third day, minus 90% of the reimbursement for the fortress plus the miscellaneous equipment and medicines, not a lot, just over 50,000 coins.”
Major General Xie, who was at a loss, was dragged by the head nurse just like that, and was wiped off more than 50,000 coins in his bewilderment.
The major general thought in a daze: Wasn’t it originally His Royal Highness Garcia who insisted on opening this thing, how did he end up paying for it in the end?
Inside the single room ward.
After all sorts of wrangling with the doctors and nurses, Lieutenant Jiang finally didn’t really crawl out of the treatment cabin dragging his wounded body. The medical solution was removed, and his body was covered with a soft quilt and a thermal blanket. He was still lying down, pondering the strange scenes he dreamed while in a coma.
It was almost impossible for a person to remember his dreams, and his memory of them would fade very quickly.
The only thing deeply imprinted in his mind was the trembling feeling of “this was absolutely abnormal” when he just woke up.
Jiang Jianming felt it was unreal: I have lived with my adoptive father since I could remember. Living up to the age of twenty-one, the most unusual thing I’ve experienced is that I somehow fell in love with the Crown Prince of the Empire, and then went all the way to being concerned with love and romance, then reached to the concept of getting married.
He had never been subjected to strange human experiments, he had never had memory fragments, and he had never felt any abnormalities around him……No matter how he thought about it, he was just an ordinary military cadet, nothing more.
Jiang Jianming frowned and thought to himself: Could it be related to my biological parents who have no sense of existence? Could it be that I am really not an ordinary military cadet?
Then why did he fall to the point where he had to rely on blackmailing a higher-up to pay for the medical expenses.
Jiang Jianming was immersed in inexplicably complicated emotions when there was a knock on the door outside the ward.
It was Major General Xie who pushed the door open.
Jiang Jianming still tried to get up, but Xie Yuduo strode up and held him down. “Don’t, don’t, don’t move around, lie down well, lie down—in case the wound opens, I have to pay another medical bill.”
Jiang Jianming had no choice but to fall back, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, and raised the bed in the treatment cabin a little, making him half-lying.
The two briefly said a few words, basically Xie Yuduo being concerned and Jiang Jianming being perfunctory.
After chatting for a few words, the latter asked naturally, “Speaking of which, what about His Highness?”
He had been awake for several hours, and even the busy Major General Xie, upon knowing the news, had come to see him, thus there was no reason for Garcia not to show up.
Thinking of this subconsciously, Jiang Jianming suddenly felt startled in his heart: Something is wrong with him, since when did he acquiesce that Garcia would definitely care about him so much?
This was not the time when he was still with Ryann back then, he and the current Garcia could be regarded as a superior-subordinate relationship at best.
Moreover, His Highness had protected him on the battlefield and fought non-stop for almost a whole day, so it was perfectly normal for him to go to rest now. How big was his face, and he still wanted the dignified prince of the empire to keep an eye on his side?
Jiang Jianming was subtly annoyed, of course he was angry with himself. At this time, he couldn’t take back the words, he only hoped that Xie Yuduo would not feel too awkward.
Unexpectedly, Xie Yuduo showed a helpless bitter smile, and said, “His Highness, he guarded you for two days and two nights, and just this morning, his expression was really frightening. I was afraid that he would cause trouble for himself, so after trying every possible way to persuade him, I eventually pushed him inside a treatment cabin outside to sleep for a while.”
“……” Jiang Jianming was silent.
“I also swore to him that you won’t be waking up today, unexpectedly……”
Xie Yuduo touched his nose with his index finger guiltily, pulled a chair and sat down beside him, “His Highness, he was so angry that he couldn’t keep you awake, if he comes to kill me later, you must intercede for this lowly official.”
Jiang Jianming pursed his lips, and there was a flash of absent-mindedness in the bottom of his eyes.
He quickly shifted the topic, and silently landed his fingers on the bandaged wound on his abdomen. “……..cough, I didn’t expect it to be so serious. Sleeping for three whole days, I really thought that it was just a slight injury.”
The black-haired young man lowered his eyebrows, “I’m sorry, Major General……I’m still causing trouble. I’ll think of a way again and adjust my condition as soon as possible.”
“Little Excellency Jiang, what are you talking about?” Xie Yuduo was taken aback, “Without you this time, let alone the 500 men in Silver Big Dipper dying, I also won’t know what will happen next.”
“Your military achievements are extraordinary. You can even apply for a special promotion like before. However, this is not something that I, a fortress commander, can make a decision on. I have to go to the military headquarters and have Marshal Chen stamp it.”
Jiang Jianming suddenly remembered, and asked, “Speaking of which, the Military General Assembly……”
Xie Yuduo: “Oh, I arrived late, but it didn’t delay the important matters. Instead, I skipped the official nonsense that made people’s ears callous. It’s not bad.”
He said it lightly, but Jiang Jianming couldn’t help laughing.
In the middle of the solemn and dull interstellar conference, the projection of Major General Xie suddenly appeared with a bloody and murderous look coming down from the battlefield, and greeted the group of old-fashioned people with a vicious smile………
The scene must have been cool and interesting.
Xie Yuduo happened to be Marshal Chen’s favorite general, and it had been a year or two since the old marshal indulged his temper, and in the end it was bound to result with the old-fashioned people daring to be angry but did not dare to speak out.
The curvature of Jiang Jianming’s lips deepened.
At the next moment, the door of the ward was pushed open again!
No knocking, and without a nurse leading the way.
In the blink of an eye, Jiang Jianming instantly knew who it was in his heart, then he heard Xie Yuduo called “Your Highness”.
Afterwards, he raised his brows and eyes slowly to see.
Garcia held on to the door frame and was gasping slightly. His clothes were thin and disheveled, and he was brightly illuminated by the light from the corridor outside. The luxurious long hair was not tied up, and was lazily curled all the way down to the shoulders and back, which was also shining brightly.
He stood still at the door, with a dreamy trance in his eyes, as it floated and fell into the depths of the ward.
The prince, who was used to being cold and noble, now actually showed a pure naive and confused expression, like a younger teenager.
……This person probably just woke up, Jiang Jianming thought to himself. He looked into Garcia’s eyes quietly, and couldn’t tell what he’s feeling in his heart for a while.
With a buzzing sound, Jiang Jianming opened the hatch of the treatment cabin and slowly stretched out an arm.
It was a pale and thin, naked arm, connected to the thin wrists, and with slightly raised fingertips.
Jiang Jianming reached out to Garcia.
He smiled at the end of his eyes, “Your Highness, good morning.”
When he said these two words, something new welled up in his heart silently.
They have passed through such a life-and-death bloody battle, and now they could still welcome such an early morning, saying good morning with the sleepiness of just waking up.
It was a very beautiful and happy thing.
Garcia quickly lowered his head in silence, he quickly took the first two steps, picked up Xie Yuduo and pushed him to the side.
Then he knelt down halfway, held Jiang Jianming’s hand firmly, and said nothing more.
In the treatment cabin, there seemed to be a faint light at the bottom of Jiang Jianming’s eyes.
He curled up his fingers and gripped back, although not as strong as Garcia’s, but he still held it all the time.
The silence lasted for two or three seconds, the prince raised his head slowly, his thin lips were slightly curved, and his eyes were deep and gentle, like a midsummer night.
“You laughed just now.” He said in a low voice, unaware that his eyes were also smiling imperceptibly.
“You…..what were you laughing at?”