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Ink watched Qin Luo with a pair of big sparkling eyes. At first, Qin Luo was not too bothered. He thought that Ink was only curious and would only be entertained for a short while before being bored. After all, a normal human being would not be able to stare continuously without the need to blink. Qin Luo soon realized his mistake, a person who caught the attention of The Institute could not be a normal person. Furthermore, this weirdo has been staring at him for ten minutes straight now. Even with his eye mask on, he could still feel the heated gaze of the other.
Qin Luo opened his eyes and looked at Ink helplessly, “Why the heck are you staring at me and not sleeping?”
Ink bit his lips and struggled for half a day* before he said, “You- you’re a good person, a very good ‘good person’…” It was as if he this was the only adjective he could think of to best describe Qin Luo.
*T/N: It is use to describe that he took a long time and made a difficult decision. He did not actually take half a day to reply.
The trace of anger that Qin Luo initially held due to Ink’s staring had disappeared without a trace from this statement. He recalled that time when Qin Ke had been locked up in a snow white isolation room by those lunatics, tortured till the point he no longer resembled a human being and right now looking at Ink, he was unbelievably thin, as if his pure gaze would be broken with just a touch. Qin Luo’s hard heart softened immediately, even the tone of his voice became very gentle.
“What is so good about me?” Even he, himself, felt that his voice was soft and light, as if he were sweet-talking a child.
Ink was still staring at him, “You did not hit me or chase me out of the house, you gave me clothes and even let me sleep on such a soft bed. And – and you’re very great, you helped me remove that thing… no matter how I tried I could not break that collar.”
Qin Luo ruffled Ink’s hair, this person’s standards were pretty low. Ink responded to his touch like a little puppy, rubbing his head against Qin Luo’s hand. Qin Luo patted his head, “Be good, close your eyes and go to sleep.”
Ink obediently closed his eyes but he retorted, “Even if I close my eyes I can’t fall asleep.”
Qin Luo rolled his eyes but asked with a gentle voice, “Why?”
“En… glad, happy… Should I say it that way?” Ink was a little uncertain, there were very few that would speak to him, especially in such length. Ever since that ‘incident’, it has been a while since they gave him anything, much less talk to him.
Qin Luo arched his brows, “Because you are able to break away from them?”
“En… won’t be forced to do those painful experiments… won’t suffer electric shocks when I’m not obedient… and don’t need to take injections into my bone in my calf. That injection hurts the most and it needs to be taken every day… very – very scary.”
From the sudden tense reaction of Ink, he most likely feared the pain of the injection the most.
Qin Luo frowned, he had met Ink four years after the apocalypse broke out. At the time he had found out that Qin Ke had been sold to The Institute by George. Therefore he gathered a few capable individuals, planning to take the risk and rescue Qin Ke. What he hadn’t expected was that The Institute was far bigger than he had thought. They had only infiltrated a sub-research center and they were almost wiped out. Fortunately, Ink had also brought his men and had attacked the same branch at the time and they were able to escape the hands of death. His team later followed Ink and began to destroy branch after branch of their sub-research centers, rescuing many others as he worked harder to find the whereabouts of Qin Ke.
In Qin Luo’s eyes, Ink was a serious and cold person. Although he rarely led the team personally but when he did he was superb. He had never heard of Ink having a defect in his legs. However at the time when he was supporting Ink from the kitchen to the bathroom, he had found that there were a few problems in his legs. Especially his left leg, it was as if it was being dragged along as he walked. Did this have a relation to the injections he was forcefully given in his fibula*.
*T/N: Fibula is the medical/scientific name for calf bone.
“Would you allow me to take a look at your legs?” Although Qin Luo’s intonation was that of a question, he had already begun to lift the quilt that covered Ink’s legs.
Ink was a little nervous, but he did not stop Qin Luo.
The lounge pants had originally been loose, additionally Ink was very thin so Qin Luo easily rolled the pants up to his knees.
Ink stared at Qin Luo without blinking, he could feel the warm fingers of the other party running slowly along his calf.
Qin Luo’s face turned sour, twisting more and more. He actually felt the presence of metals in Ink’s legs and it was liquefied metals. What’s more, it was a large volume and the same type of metal.
Ink watched Qin Luo’s face souring and he nervously clenched the quilt. He was afraid that in the next moment this person will chase him out.
Those who have been conducting experiments on him daily had once said that he is a dangerous monster and no one would ever be willing to take care of him. So even if he escaped, he would have nowhere to go.
Qin Luo noticed the tension in Ink and patted his leg, “No need to be nervous, I just want to help you cure your legs but it might be very painful to do so.”
Ink was stunned, he did not expect Qin Luo, who had originally frowned would suddenly say such a thing. He rushed to squeeze out a smile at Qin Luo, this seems to be the way of expressing goodwill in his memory.
“It doesn’t matter, I feel the pain everyday… I’ve gotten used to it… Thank – thank you”
Qin Luo was surprised by the smile that he had squeezed out. Although the smile of this guy was stiff, it already had a mesmerizing effect on all beings. He ruffled his hair. “Don’t be scared, I won’t remove it all in one sitting. It would be too painful if I did so. I will take out a measured amount each time and I will do my best to make it as painless as possible.”
Ink nodded and laid still obediently.
This novel is translated by – The Sounds of Soothing Rain – Please kindly read it on our site.
Qin Luo’s pressed his hand firmly on Ink’s legs and caressed them gently. Although he could borrow the power of his space to slowly absorb the metal particles in his fibula, the problem was that the silver particles were too small. Before this, Qin Luo had never used his space to hold a substance that was of such small caliber. What’s more, the volumes nestled in Ink’s legs were much too large. This matter could not be settled in just a few minutes.
In order to divert Ink’s attention – so that he would not concentrate and focus on the pain – Qin Luo chatted with him. He just recalled that, although he had memories of Ink, to Ink he was a stranger, a stranger whose name he does not even know.
“My name is Qin Luo, what’s your name?” Qin Luo’s soft voice asked.
Ink stared with his sparkling dark eyes and pondered for a while before replying, “Name… they had always called me ‘Zero’ or ‘Experimental Body No.0’… but I don’t like this name.”
Qin Luo frowned. No one would like a name which sounds like something given to a little white lab rat. During the apocalypse, he had heard of the 6 experimental bodies that were the most important to The Institute coded: ‘Zero’, ‘S’, ‘T’, ‘R’, ‘Ultimate 7’ and ‘Evolution Body 3000’. Qin Ke’s code at the time was ‘R’, therefore his location was top secret and ‘Zero’ was said to be the earliest experiment to be lost. Qin Luo hadn’t though that Ink would turn out to be the ‘Zero’ and it’s no wonder that he would come to hate The Institute so much.
Qin Luo sighed, if it were not due to the fact that Ink had been captured when he was too young or the fact that the research institute had used a type of method to erase his memories, then it can be concluded that Ink was probably the result of some kind of genetic research.
When Ink saw that Qin Luo had stopped talking, his voice was once again lowered, as if he were mumbling to himself, “Sometimes, there will be voices in my head. They seem to be calling me but sometimes it is as if they aren’t because they always called me ‘Murphy’. I don’t really know if that is my name…”
Qin Luo looked up at him. Ink returned his gaze with pitiful eyes, hoping to get a positive reply. Qin Luo nodded as he had hoped, “It’s very likely that is your name, the name also suits you.”
Ink’s eyes shimmered and he seemed to be very happy, “I think so too! No wonder those people always said that ‘Zero’ looked very similar to ‘Murphy’ because I am Murphy!”
Qin Luo’s brows knitted ever so slightly in a subtle, almost undetectable frown. It seems that Ink was most probably not ‘Murphy’. If it was as he assumed, Ink should be an experimental body originating from ‘Murphy’‘s genes. Also this name ‘Murphy’… Qin Luo recalls that he had once came across it from The Institute’s classified information that was labeled top secret. However due to the rush at the time, he only skimmed through the information and not to mention it was from a long time ago. The memory was not pronounced. Even after searching through his memories for half a day, he was unable to come across any useful information.
Ink tensed out of the blue, originally he had lost the sensation of his left calf but just then, he seemed to have felt that the object that was suppressing his strength was being absorbed by some kind of power. It was penetrating the layer of his bone, little by little, slowly moving it towards the outer layer of his skin. Even though it was extremely painful, compared to the pain he felt from the injections, it wasn’t as bad. This was still tolerable.
Gradually a layer of bright powder gathered on the surface of Ink’s leg and the layer of powder moved into the hands of Qin Luo and gradually disappeared.
After a while Qin Luo gathered the silver particles that had been absorbed into his space. He took it out. In his hand was a round silver bead, the size of a small thumb.
Before the apocalypse, in addition to making jewelry, silver could also be used as fungicidal antibiotics. Some formulations with silver particles also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as promoting cell regeneration in open wounds. However after the apocalypse begun, the most prominent use of silver was for making weapons to kill several different species. For example, silver bullets can penetrate the hard as steel like skin of a mutant werewolf and can also cause a fatal injury to a vampire. Another example was silver plating melee weapons which increases the damage it deals to these creatures. Especially when dealing with vampires, wounds caused by silver weapons would lower their healing rate, in other words it was harder for them to heal. .
Gripping the small silver bead in his hand, Qin Luo’s eyes slowly moved to Ink’s face. It seems that the answer was on the tip of his tongue but in the end Qin Luo gave up trying to figure it out. This was because the last ten years have helped Qin Luo build his instinct that helped with sensing danger and he could not sense anything that indicated that the person in front of him is dangerous. Moreover after the apocalypse started, Qin Luo personally rescued a lot of experimental bodies; he lived and ate with them in base, fighting the crisis of the apocalypse together.
In Qin Luo’s point of view, he himself is not a normal person. So it wasn’t important what Ink was. The important thing is that he will not harm him. Moreover, he is alone in the apocalypse and he had four others, the young and old disabled who needed to be protected. Doing it on his own will not be easy. If he includes Ink, it will undoubtedly give him an advantage.
Ink’s fingers slowly curled around the quilt, tightening as he carefully watched Qin Luo. He was afraid that he would see fear, panic, hatred from Qin Luo’s eyes…
Due to thinking about all the cruelty The Institute has imposed on to experimental bodies, Qin Luo’s face gradually turned gloomy.
Ink nervously reached out and grabbed Qin Luo’s arm. “I – I… I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
His voice was getting smaller and smaller, as if his bloodthirsty nature had been seen through by the only person he can trust. For once, this made him detest the power that he possess.
Qin Luo relaxed the tense expression on his face and ruffled Ink’s hair, “You must promise that you won’t hurt my friends and relatives.”
Ink raised his head in surprise and solemnly nodded. “I promise.”
Qin Luo looked into his eyes “I also promise that I will not hurt you, nor will I let them hurt you.”
Ink’s eyes turned cloudy, he blinked hard and the cloudiness slowly dissipated.
The rain outside has stopped and Ink remembered what Qin Luo had said before; he will only allow him to stay until the rain stops. He bit his lip and looked out the window before turning to look at Qin Luo with a pitiful look. He looked as if he was about to be abandoned.
“Do you have a place to go?” Qin Luo looked at him funnily.
Ink shook his head, Qin Luo rolled down the leg of his trousers and flipped the quilt over his legs, “Then sleep, I have no intentions of kicking you out.”
Ink obediently closed his eyes, yet he secretly reached out and held on to the hem of Qin Luo’s shirt. Qin Luo felt that his childish actions were somewhat uncalled for but he was still inexplicable distressed by them. He didn’t want to disappoint him so he leaned on to the headboard and unexpectedly fell asleep.
Translator: DC Proofreader: Naito