The Emperor's Runaway Lover - Chapter 22
TW: attempted assault
“Hurry up, we’re going to be late.” Aaron kicked open the door, nibbling on a bun in his hand, his words muffled.
Fu Yucheng breathed out a sigh of relief. “Damn, it’s just you. Are your hands broken? You don’t know how to knock so you have to kick the door?”
“Don’t you see I got my hands full?” Aaron glared at him, and showed him the steamed bun in his other hand. “This is your bun, take it.”
“Oh, thanks, Mom.” Fu Yucheng took the steaming bun and bit down on it.
“Fuck, if I hadn’t already promised Bai Mo, I wouldn’t be arsed to look after you! You kid, you don’t even bother to get breakfast in order to get a little more sleep! I can’t believe you.”
They walked out of the room, bickering, and entered the industrial elevator at the end of the corridor.
The old elevator slowly rose up with a creaking noise.
Aaron looked above the elevator door. The green sign displaying the floor number switched continuously. “Floor b35, b34, b33…”
He couldn’t resist grumbling. “A total of 36 floors underground, and we’re in the 35th basement dormitory. After two years in this cursed place, I am going crazy.”
Fu Yucheng struggled to swallow the last bite of the dry steamed bun. “This potato bun is too hard to eat. Sheesh, I want to eat white flour buns.”
“You still want to eat flour buns? Eating potatoes isn’t so bad. Besides, nothing tastes good here underground,” Aaron mumbled.
Fu Yucheng stretched out his arms. “Don’t you have one day off every week? You can go to the ground level, bask in the sun, buy some things in the trading area, do stuff. Don’t stay underground all the time, you’ll get depressed.”
“The pay is so low, and I don’t have a Bai Mo like you to keep an eye on my budget. Where would I get the money to buy anything?”
The two of them continued to chat, and, before they knew it, the elevator stopped. A pleasant, mechanical female voice rang, “The elevator has reached basement floor 18, egg workshop.”
“This is my floor.” Fu Yucheng gave Aaron a wave. “Go, don’t miss me too much.”
“Ah, just fuck off. Go and feed your chickens!” Aaron cursed at him with a smile.
Fu Yucheng laughed and got out of the elevator.
The underground factory in the Jiaolong fort was huge, and it was divided into hundreds of areas, each responsible for a different type of production. Unfortunately, Fu Yucheng was assigned to the loud and dirty egg workshop.
He took a deep breath, trying to gather the courage to step into the workshop and start another day of work.
“Cluck cluck cluck cluck-” The loud noise hit him immediately, and, with the noise, the indescribable stench of chicken shit.
The workshop was a huge, automated chicken farm. It occupied several thousand square meters, and the ceiling was nearly ten meters tall, with twenty levels of chicken cages stacked up from floor to ceiling.
Tens of thousands of barred rock laying hens were locked in the multilevel chicken coop. In front of the cages there were long, fully automated lines of feeding troughs, slowly moving as the hens constantly pecked at the feed.
Fu Yucheng sighed. “My chicken brothers, I mean, chicken sisters, let’s make a deal. Since I feed you guys every day, can you at least be less noisy? I’m such a handsome guy, it’d be a pity for me to go deaf, you know?”
None of the chickens paid any attention to him, and they kept making just as much noise as before.
Fu Yucheng shook his head helplessly, picked up a large bag of feed, and poured it into the automated feeding trough, simultaneously mixing it up with water. It took him a full two hours before he finished putting in all the morning feed for the chickens.
Fu Yucheng rubbed his sore shoulder, moving over to the suspended gondola platform next to him, and began to check the chicken cages one by one to see if there were any sick or dead hens.
The chicken farm was immense, the chicken cages stacked on both sides of the aisle were more than ten meters tall, and the loud ‘cluck cluck cluck’ noise was giving him a headache.
Fu Yucheng stepped onto the suspended platform, inspected each cage one by one, and took out two sick hens. He threw them into the cage next to him and moved the platform control panel to make it land on the ground.
Suddenly, a faint curse came from the distance.
“Fuck off, let me go, you fucking pervert!”
Fu Yucheng frowned. The voice was familiar. It sounded like Xu Youyou.
He walked around the two rows of chicken cages and saw a drunk man in the corner of the workshop up ahead, pulling at a young girl as he cursed.
The girl was in her teens and had a delicate appearance. She also had short, colorful hair. It was the proprietress’ sister, Xu Youyou.
She yanked her hand out of the man’s hold and slapped him loudly while yelling.
The slap seemed to make the drunktard angry. Abruptly,he grabbed the girl’s hair and pushed her head against the wall. “Damn, bitch, you dare to beat me?! Fuck you!”
He was about to tear at the girl’s clothes when his wrist was suddenly held back by something.
“Who the hell are you?!” The drunk turned his head viciously, feeling a sudden pain in his wrist.
With just a slight ‘click’, his wrist got twisted and actually broke.
Fu Yucheng clasped the opponent’s wrist in a reverse hold and slammed it towards his back, at the same time kneeing him fiercely in his soft stomach.
“Ugh!” The drunkard spit out, unable to even scream in pain.
“Tsk, scum.” Fu Yucheng let go of his hand in disgust, and the drunkard slumped to the ground. His face was messy with tears and snot, and a wet pool of liquid was spreading quickly underneath his body.
Fu Yucheng didn’t even bother to look at him, throwing his work jacket to Xu Youyou. “Put that on.”
“Yu-, Yucheng-ge, I came to give you something to eat. I didn’t think I’d meet a pervert.” Xu Youyou, wrapped up in his coat, still seemed a little frightened.
“It’s not your fault.” Seeing her face pale with fright, Fu Yucheng couldn’t help but sigh. “Ah, listen, why did you come here all alone? This underground factory has as many scumbags as it has good people,1 and it’s not possible to tell them apart. Let’s go, I’ll take you somewhere safe so that you can rest for a while.”
The place Fu Yucheng mentioned was an abandoned staircase located next to a hidden section of the chicken farm that Bai Mo had discovered. After Fu Yucheng finished working for the day, he would often come here to slack off.
The stairwell was very narrow and it had all sorts of miscellaneous objects piled up. It was very quiet there under the dim light. In the corner there was a pipe ending in a black hole which used to be a drainage outlet, but had gone unused for a long time.
Fu Yucheng pulled out a broken chair. “Sit down.”
Xu Youyou sat down. Shakily, she took out a bag that she had been carrying in her arms, and spoke, her voice quavering. “Yucheng-ge, all the steamed cakes I brought for you got crushed.”
Fu Yucheng looked down and saw a blackened steamed cake wrapped in oil paper, crushed into messy clumps.
Xu Youyou’s cooking skills were as famous as her sister’s, but for different reasons: one’s cooking was like heaven and the other one’s was like hell. Fu Yucheng took a deep breath, grabbed one of the clumps and put it in his mouth, using all of his willpower to swallow it desperately. He forced out a smile and said, “Ah, it’s delicious.”
The girl smiled through her tears and asked, “Really? Last time I made them for Aaron and Hans, and they both threw up. Next time, I will make them just for you, and won’t give them any!”
“Coff, coff, coff, there’s no need.” Fu Yucheng almost spat the food out, and quickly changed the subject. “Youyou, look, you see that?”
Xu Youyou’s eyes opened wide. “A little lizard!”
At some point, a bright red lizard had climbed onto Fu Yucheng’s arm. It was wagging its tail and head at Fu Yucheng, with a very clever expression.
The lizard was barely 20 centimeters long, which wouldn’t usually be considered small, but, these days, varanid lizards usually reached 20 to 30 meters. As such, in comparison to them, this lizard was pocket-sized.
“I discovered this little guy a few months ago.” Fu Yucheng pointed to the hole in the pipe. “It must have crawled in from the drain.”
Xu Youyou teased the little lizard curiously. “What kind of species is it?”
Fu Yucheng scratched the little lizard’s head. The lizard rubbed against his fingers lightly, apparently enjoying the touch quite a lot. “It’s kind of like a mutant red lizard, I’m not sure. This little guy has been growing very fast. Last month he was just the size of my finger.”
“What did you feed it? It grew so fast!”
“Uh, I only gave it some chicken food. Would you like to give it a try?” Fu Yucheng grabbed a handful of dried corn kernels from his pocket.
“Yes!” Xu Youyou cheered. She took the corn kernels, and, carefully holding onto Fu Yucheng’s arm, she fed them to the little lizard one by one.
“What are you doing?” A cold voice rang from the stairwell’s door.
Startled, the little lizard squirmed his way back into the ventilation duct.
Fu Yucheng stood up in surprise. “How come you came back today?”
The visitor was a handsome young man, sixteen or seventeen years old, staring at him with a slight frown.
The young man was very tall. His whole body was lean and strong, and he had an expressionless pale face with eyes that were black like ink, showing a cold and detached personality.
He was carrying a heavy backpack and was covered in dust from head to toe. He had obviously just returned back from the desert and, without even stopping to put his stuff down, he’d come straight there.
The boy was, of course, Bai Mo.
Bai Mo’s eyes moved down slightly, staring at Fu Yucheng’s arm. A moment ago, the girl had been holding onto that arm as the two talked and laughed.
There was a strange, indescribable feeling in his heart, sour and astringent.
He had been working overtime to finish the maintenance ahead of schedule. After he was done, he hadn’t even put down his backpack, instead coming here directly during the rest break. Fu Yucheng liked to slack off at the stairwell, it was their secret base.
But that guy, he’d actually invited a girl in.
For the past two years, under Fu Yucheng’s careful guidance, Bai Mo’s control over his psionic power had been excellent, and he had never accidentally used his power again. However, now, almost subconsciously, a faint layer of frost began to appear again between his fingers.
Even Bai Mo himself couldn’t understand where this indescribably weird emotion was coming from.
“A-Mo, you’re back!” Xu Youyou blinked, confused.
Bai Mo glanced at her coldly. “Yu-ge, why did you bring her here?”
Fu Yucheng shrugged. “Oh, Youyou wasn’t feeling too well, so I brought her here to take a rest.”
Bai Mo stared at him. “Is that so?”
“What’s wrong?” Fu Yucheng glanced at him, confused, and stepped forward to pick up the boy’s backpack. “Damn, why is your bag so heavy? What kind of shit did you pack in here, rocks? Let’s go, I’m done with my work for the morning, let’s go back together.”
Bai Mo’s face finally eased up a little bit. “Alright.”
Fu Yucheng turned his head and looked towards Xu Youyou again. “Youyou, come out with us, head back to the female workers’ dormitory and have a good rest. Don’t come alone next time.”
“Ok.” Xu Youyou nodded sincerely.
After sending Xu Youyou back to the women’s dormitory, located on floor b28, the two finally returned to their own dormitory, room 309 on floor b35.
After entering the room, Fu Yucheng held onto the backpack for a long moment, unable to find a place to put it down.
He hesitated, and finally he had to set down the backpack on the ground, pushed against the wall, with a slightly embarrassed expression. “Uh, while you were away, little Mo, lots of things have been happening in the factory. So since I’ve been busy, it’s gotten a bit chaotic around here.”
Bai Mo looked around the small room. The beds and chairs were piled up with messy clothes. There was a thick layer of dust over the cabinet. It was obvious that it had not been cleaned for a long time.
However, although it was messy, it was very familiar, and made him feel at ease.
He wasn’t listening to Fu Yucheng. Fu Yucheng ran a hand through his hair, feeling a bit guilty. This kid, Bai Mo, was he angry? After all, when he had left, the house had been clean.
He also thought that he was practically the brat’s half-guardian. So why was he so anxious about this?
Fu Yucheng turned around, determined to defend his own actions with confidence, when he stumbled upon the boy’s glossy black gaze.
For a moment, he was taken aback, and before he could react, the other had already stepped close, a pair of slender yet strong arms wrapping around him fiercely. “I missed you so much.”
This is the extra release because we reached my ko-fi goal! Thanks everyone! Finally introducing no-longer-little Mo, exciting~
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