This chapter is translated by Rin, edited by Cia, and proofread by Kris Xian.
Lu Yan didnt have the ability, [Affinity], but he still had a beautiful appearance.
When a person so good-looking spoke to others gently, even if he didnt have the ability of [Affinity], with just the appearance that was vastly different from the majority, the effect would still be similar.
In the past, when Lu Yan was still in university, he dissected numerous rabbits. He exactly knew how to calm down a frightened little animal.
However, since it was inconvenient for an adult male to touch the other persons head, Lu Yan just lightly patted his back.
Tang Xunans heavy breathing gradually calmed down, and his tense expression also relaxed.
He withdrew his claws, but did not let his guard down. Instead, he retreated to the corner of the wall, using the thick and long dragon tail at his back to surround himself in a protective circle. Even without his sight, the gaze towards Lu Yan was still full of caution and blatant distrust.
In the surveillance room, the rest of the staff were relieved and heaved a long sigh of relief.
“Mbyvp talyv. Mydt pvkzz alvykdp bwxyd kdvlzzlnv yde nsdpnkswpdlpp.” Uyvblakdl okrle vbl vlyap qasx vbl nsadlap sq bla lulp okvb y vkppwl. “Mbkp oyu, R nyd zlyhl vbl Slplyanb Rdpvkvwvl okvb rlynl sq xkde.”
“Mbl ralhkswp kdnkeldv sq kdfwakdt svblap pbswze sdzu cl y pvalpp alprsdpl nywple cu vbl alflnvksd yqvla vbl pwatlau.” Vasqlppsa Ew yzps pyke, “Uwaaldvzu, Mydt Dwdydp xwvyvksd eltall kp pvkzz bktb, ol nyd oykv qsa vbl qwpksd vs qkdkpb nsxrzlvlzu clqsal nyaaukdt swv vbl scplahyvksd.”
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Qsdt Elkckd pyke nszezu, “Psdv cl vss byrru ulv. Ekvb vbl nwaaldv rastalpp sq qwpksd clvolld bwxydp yde Vszzwvydvp, ds sdl jdsop obyv vbl blzz bl okzz lhldvwyzzu clnsxl. Yydu lmrlakxldvp dlle vkxl vs rashl vbl alpwzv.”
Rq Nw Zyd oyp blal, bl oswze rascyczu cl pwarakple.
Pwakdt vbl vaykdkdt sq dlo alnawkvp yv vbl Tlyeiwyavlap, bl hytwlzu blyae vbyv vbl nwaaldv ekalnvsa sq vbl Wkapv Slplyanb Rdpvkvwvl oyp nyzzle Qsdt Elkckd.
Qsdt Elkckdp osaep xyel Vasqlppsa Uyvblakdl qasod wdnsxqsavyczu, “El yal dsv nsdewnvkdt lmrlakxldvp, ol yal qynkzkvyvsap — qynkzkvyvkdt vbl nsxcyv pupvlx Odzktbvldlep vs tykd bktbla pvaldtvb.”
Gong Weibin smiled and didnt answer, instead, he talked about his own research, “I recently discovered that transplanting a dogs gene into a synthetic human will make the synthetic human have the same loyalty as a dog…”
“I wont agree with your research proposal.” Catherine frowned.
Seeing that the atmosphere was not right, Professor Wu quickly interrupted and said, “Okay, okay, Tang Xunan doesnt need to be euthanized, this is a happy event. Why are you taking it so seriously? Lets not talk about work today. Wheres Director Qiao?”
“I dont know, I heard that he had something to do and went out.”
The first evolution might have been the choice of God. Among the highly intellectual, there were particularly more awakened Enlighteneds.
Yu Hanxi, who was a long-time friend of Qiao Yu, was one of them. The ability he had obtained was called Precognition.
Yu Hanxi was also a complete workaholic, he never got married even until he lost the ability to bear children. Two years ago, he adopted a daughter from an orphanage and named her Yu Zhizhi.
This little girl was born atypical1 but still looked extremely cute.
Professor Yu treated her like his own daughter. He was afraid that she would be neglected when he died, so he created a foundation, especially for her.
As both of them were busy with work, when they encountered problems, they often conduct their communication through chat. Only this time, Yu Hanxi insisted that Qiao Yu should come to his house.
Therefore, Qiao Yu came.
As soon as he saw Yu Hanxi, Qiao Yu understood why the other party had resolutely asked him to come.
Yu Hanxis appearance was… a bit terrifying.
The skin on his face was peeling off, and his hair had completely disappeared. The blood vessels on his body were swelling, and bright red blood could be seen seeping out of his capillaries. He looked so much like a person who had suffered severe nuclear radiation.
“You—?!” Qiao Yu had seen a lot of strange phenomena, but when this kind of scene happened to a close friend, he still found it difficult to maintain his composure, “How did this happen?”
Yu Hanxi laughed self-deprecatingly, “Ive overused my ability. Unsurprisingly, Im going to die soon.”
“How did you overuse it?”
Yu Hanxi coughed twice and spat out bits and pieces of flesh broken off from his spleen and lungs, “I didnt do anything, I just had a dream.”
“I only have time to tell you… Qiao Yu.” Yu Hanxis face looked exceedingly tired. “I saw Zhizhi in the dream, and as I approached, her whole body began to glow. Also, as I grew near the light source, I could feel my ability losing its effect… No, it wasnt actually like it had lost its effect, but it felt more as if I returned to my state before the Cataclysm.
“I was really surprised and wanted to quickly find you with Zhizhi. But on the way, we encountered the Wall of Resentment. After the wall was illuminated by the light from Zhizhis body, the Wall turned back into an ordinary wall…”
“There were still many other Pollutants on the road. However, they all returned back to their states before the Cataclysm when met with Zhizhis light. In the end, there were too many Pollutants. They kept attacking Zhizhi as if they were crazy, and the light on Zhizhis body started getting dimmer and dimmer. I wanted to protect her, but she was still extinguished in my arms. The world became pitch black at that moment, shrouded by pollution.”
Blood and tears flowed out of Yu Hanxis face, blurring his vision, “Then I woke up. Do you remember our initial deduction?”
Qiao Yu felt very shocked in his heart, “…Since there is pollution, there will be purification.”
“Yes, my mutation degree will exceed 100 anytime soon, but I dont want to become that kind of thing. After you leave, I will end my life.” Yu Hanxis tone was sparse and normal, as if he was talking to him about the trivialities of daily life, “Ill leave Yu Zhizhi to you.”
Qiao Yus tone was firm but heavily traced with indescribable sadness.
Yu Hanxi turned his head and waved to the little girl who was silently watching everything upstairs, “Zhizhi, come here. Dad wouldnt be able to watch you grow up anymore. Listen to Uncle Qiao Yus words in the future.”
In the First Research Institute, another little girl was added. She was neither an Enlightened who came to accept the transformation nor a scientific researcher.
She was said to be the only daughter of Director Qiaos friend who had suddenly died from a cerebral hemorrhage. No one else was available to take care of the child, so Professor Qiao had to take her with him.
This reason couldnt really stand up to scrutiny, because they had done scientific research to the point where they were no longer short of money.
Not to mention the cold mechanical instruments, how would it be more colorful and richer than the outside world.
However, Yu Zhizhi was extraordinarily calm and quiet. She didnt cry or cause any trouble.
When Qiao Yu was writing the experiment report, she stayed quiet and drew, or played Tetris with the pixel game console.
Yu Zhizhis paintings were all simple childrens drawings, made up of bright and vivid colors. She looked like a gifted child.
Director Qiao had always been known to be a man of his words in the Research Institute, and since Yu Zhizhi never caused trouble, everyone acquiesced to her existence.
Some researchers who were full of motherly love would even buy some beautiful dresses after getting off work for Yu Zhizhi to wear.
What happened outside the tenth underground floor had nothing to do with Lu Yan for the time being.
His current job was to record Tang Xunans daily physical condition and feed him.
Although Enlighteneds didnt need much sleep and food, if they didnt eat or drink for a long time, health problems would still occur. It would manifest in the degeneration of digestive organs.
Fortunately, next to Tang Xunans bedroom was Lu Yans dormitory and kitchen.
Lu Yan was willing to call his dormitory a nanny room. He didnt know if it was because the basement didnt have enough space at the end of the construction, but the place where he lived was only a little bigger than a six-person dormitory; the next door was even a game hall that was more spacious.
To put it more simply, the size of Lu Yans residence was not even as big as the bathroom with a bathtub in Tang Xunans bedroom. When it was probably being built, it didnt come to their minds that anyone else would come here to live long-term besides Tang Xunan.
Fortunately, Lu Yan lived alone, so he could still make do with this arrangement.
At Lu Yans request, staff would put fresh ingredients at the elevator door every day.
Lu Yan needed to open four doors to go out in the morning. He would pick up the ingredients and then close the four doors to come back. It took half an hour to go back and forth for a distance of less than 500 metres, and he went through 16 verifications as well.
Cooking was one of his few hobbies.
Todays lunch was tomato meatball soup2 and stir-fried pork with green peppers.3 He sauteed minced garlic and ginger slices in hot oil, which smelled very appealing.
He placed the fried vegetables on a plate. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of someone looking at him through the gap in the kitchen door. However, when he turned his head, there was no one at the door.
There was no one else on this floor except for him and Tang Xunan.
He put the dishes on the dining table, thought for a while, and knocked on the bedroom door, “Are you awake? Do you want to come out for dinner?”
But when Lu Yan took a nap and was about to throw the dishes and cutleries into the dishwasher, he found that the plates on the dining table were already empty.
He felt there was no difference between cooking for one person and cooking for two.
Lu Yan was already accustomed to serving dishes on separate plates, and he was also used to getting up after a nap to wash the dishes.
On the fifth day, his invisible roommate finally came out of the bedroom and sat silently at the dining table.
Tang Xunans body size didnt change much, but the dragon wings and tail behind him still couldnt be retracted. They took up a lot of space and looked particularly bloated.
Lu Yan prepared chopsticks for him, but his obviously deformed hand wouldnt be able to hold such things.
The dishes that were picked up by him would fall back on the table within three seconds.
Nevertheless, Tang Xunans character was rather stubborn. He probably wanted to show his “human” side in front of Lu Yan. Therefore, even if he lost it many times, he still insisted on using chopsticks to eat. He got so anxious to the point that his eyes turned red.
Red bloodshots spread all over his white eyeballs, looking terrifying and ferocious.
Lu Yan put down his chopsticks and was silent for a while, “Ill do it.”
So, Tang Xunan sat on the chair and didnt move.
Tang Xunans teeth were sharp, giving Lu Yan the illusion that he would be bitten at any time.
But throughout the whole ordeal, he was docile. He even subconsciously wrapped Lu Yans waist with his dragon tail.
The tenth day of living together arrived.
Lu Yan put down the heavy “transformation surgery” record report, turned off the lights, and prepared to sleep.
He had asked Professor Wu for a lot of research materials considering that in real life, these were all absolutely confidential. If he didnt read more of it in his dreams, it would be a pity.
And things seemed to be going in the right direction. Tang Xunans mutation degree had been slowly decreasing over time, and the dragon wings on his back no longer bled. However, his scales still shed every day.
Every morning when Lu Yan went to record data, Tang Xunans bed was always full of blood and black dragon scales.
The new scales that appeared would be sharper and firmer than the old scales. If the old scales were not shed completely, two pieces of scales would be squeezed together. This resulted in mutated white scales caused by insufficient energy supply.
Therefore, Lu Yan had another task every day, it was to help Tang Xunan check whether the old dragon scales had been shed properly. If not, he would need to pull them off with a tool.
Lu Yan had his scales pulled out before, so he knew that it was painful.
But there really was no other way.
This time of day was when Tang Xunan was at his weakest state, with his head resting on Lu Yans shoulder, looking particularly weak. As the extra dragon scales were pulled out, groans could be heard from his nasal cavity, sounds similar to a person trying their best to endure the pain.
However, painkillers were almost useless to Tang Xunan, so Lu Yan could only pinch the back of Tang Xunans neck soothingly. Moreover, because of his scales, Tang Xunan was often badly mutilated, he couldnt find a place to start even if he wanted to hug him.
For both of them, the most torturous area was the scales on the dragon tail, especially at the base of the tail.
The senses there were more sensitive than in other places, so when the scales were pulled out, Tang Xunans reaction was exceptionally huge.
Specific manifestations include but were not limited to grasping the sheets, shaking all over, and groaning softly.
Lu Yan wasnt sure if he heard Tang Xunan crying.
But even so, the other party was still very obedient and raised his tail to accommodate Lu Yans inspection.
Lu Yan, “…”
He had only pulled out a few pieces, but he couldnt help putting down the large surgical forceps in his hand and going to the bathroom to pour some water on himself to calm down.
“At least people cant, shouldnt…” Lu Yan said to himself in the mirror expressionlessly, “So, perverted.”
All in all, everything was going smoothly.
On the thirtieth day.
The mutation degree on Tang Xunans body finally dropped below 90, his palm had returned to human form, he had acquired basic cognitive ability, and part of his voice was also restored.
Tang Xunan was finally able to speak, and his three most frequently used sentences were, “Lu Yan, hungry”, “Lu Yan, sleepy,” and “Lu Yan, pain.”
According to the Systems previous statement, the key to breaking this situation was to wake up the owner of the dream.
Nevertheless, Lu Yan had been there for so long already, he still didnt know how to awake Tang Xunan.
As life there was too peaceful and fitting, Lu Yan even felt like he was becoming immersed in the dream. Only when he saw the people without facial features going back and forth, would he come to and realize that this was not reality.
The research team said that with further improvement of the fusion and the reduction of the mutation degree, Tang Xunan would gradually get out of his “mentally retarded” state.
Lu Yan felt that this might be true, because after a month, Tang Xunan had learned to pull out the scales by himself and no longer needed his assistance.
When he was kicked out of the bedroom by Tang Xunan, Lu Yan actually felt a little bitter as if “his childs wings had hardened.”4
After discussing, the research team decided that they would let Tang Xunan have contact with the outside world to restore his social abilities as soon as possible.
So now, Lu Yan had a new task, which he liked to call “walking the dog.” One end of the chain was in his hand and the other end was tied to the high-voltage electrical collar around Tang Xunans neck.
The 8th and 9th basement floors were the dormitories for other volunteers undergoing transformation surgery, and the 4th to 5th floors were the places where scientific researchers usually lived and rested. The 1st floor was the refuge, and the 2nd and 3rd were the experimental areas.
Every day, Lu Yan took Tang Xunan to go around the 9th to 5th basement floors for 2 hours. This routine was probably of some use since Tang Xunans ability to learn became extremely fast. When they were staying on the 10th floor, he still couldnt learn how to use the chopsticks after a month, but after going out, he learned how to use chopsticks in only two days.
Until now, Lu Yan still didnt know where the First Research Institute was located.
But this underground space should have an inverted pyramid structure— it became narrower as it went down.
At first, everyone was a little nervous. After all, if Tang Xunan suddenly snapped, no one would be able to restrain him. Fortunately, although Tang Xunan looked fierce, he listened well to Lu Yans words. After some time, everyones nervousness dissipated.
Professor Wu highly praised Lu Yans completion of his work, patting Lu Yan on the shoulder, “Xiao Lu, I knew Director Qiao wouldnt be wrong about you. Youve simply over-completed the mission!”
Beside him, there was a timid little girl.
What surprised Lu Yan was that the little girls face was also clear.
After staying for so long in the dream, Lu Yan had basically understood one thing. In Tang Xunans dream, the people whose facial features were still preserved were probably important NPCs.
Professor Wu introduced that the child was Director Qiaos niece, called Yu Zhizhi.
Lu Yan replied, “Thank you.”
Tang Xunans cold gaze turned toward Professor Wus hand that had patted Lu Yan.
Old Wu suddenly felt a chill behind his back and retracted his hand, “Ha, Professor Qiao said, Tang Xunans eye transformation surgery has been completely designed. And we have found a suitable pollution source. If the transformation is successful, he can get a pair of golden eyes that will never go blind…”
Yu Zhizhi couldnt speak, she glanced at Lu Yan and Tang Xunan, lowered her head, and continued to draw on the paper.
Lu Yan and Professor Wu just happened to meet in the tea room, so they didnt talk for too long.
Just as he was about to leave, the little girl took a step forward and grabbed the hem of Lu Yans clothes.
Yu Zhizhi couldnt speak, so she tiptoed and handed over two paintings.
Professor Wu smiled and said, “Zhizhi likes to draw. This is for you guys.”
“Thank you, Zhizhi.” Lu Yan showed her a gentle smile, “This drawing is beautiful.”
He lowered his head and looked at the two pieces of paper. The smile at the corner of his mouth suddenly froze on his face.
A black dragon was drawn on the first sheet of paper. It was huge and surrounded by flames. Although it was a simple drawing, the picture still had a manic feel. Two horizontal bars were deeply colored with blue crayon in the golden eyes, which looked like it was crying.
In the other painting, the ocean was drawn with blue waves. A person was on the bottom of the sea, and their gender couldnt be identified just by looking. The lower body of this person was a long dark golden tail, which looked a lot more similar to a snake or dragon tail rather than a fishtail.
The tail took up two-thirds of the entire page. One could obviously see there was no expression drawn on the persons face, and the colors used for the painting were bright. In contrast, the picture gave out a very gloomy feeling.
Seemingly, a thin black thread wrapped around the persons long tail, as if they were being dragged into the abyss.
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