Although the speed of interstellar era transportation was very fast, but this was after all, planet-to-planet navigation. When Duan Hengye saw the news after class, it was already two hours later, and if he were to leave now to return to the Institute, it would take him a few hours to arrive.
Although Duan Hengye didn’t understand why Meng Jinhuai would suddenly go to the research institute at this time. But after seeing the message from Su Mingge, even though he was still far away from the planet Duguang, he could imagine how tense his colleagues were at the research institute.
After class, the students dispersed one after another, and Duan Hengye also returned to his lounge. But today he didn’t leave the teaching area as usual, but took his light computer out again, and then sent a message to Meng Jinhuai.
…… Duan Hengye estimated that it was almost the closing time of the Institute, and it could be guessed that as long as the Lord Marshal was still there, no one would dare to leave before him. So Duan Hengye thoughtfully relieved the staff – he sent a message to Meng Jinhuai saying that he could first go to his residence in the living area of the Institute to rest.
Just as Duan Hengye thought, the hemisphere where the Ye Tian Empire’s Mecha Research Institute was located was at sunset. In theory, by this time, many of the researchers who had finished their work should have left. But today, until now, the tense atmosphere of work in the whole institute still hadn’t dispersed.
Although no advance notice was given when he arrived, the news of Meng Jinhuai’s arrival spread throughout the institute immediately after his arrival.
It wasn’t the first time that Meng Jinhuai came to the institute, but it was clear that he hadn’t lost his interest in the place. As he walked around, Meng Jinhuai asked a lot of questions to the staff who accompanied him on the tour. As an imperial marshal with numerous military achievements, Meng Jinhuai’s knowledge of mechas was far better than even the ordinary researchers. Soon everyone realized that each of Meng Jinhuai’s questions were not casually mentioned, but were rather deep and thoughtful.
For a while, everyone got nervous, fearing that Meng Jinhuai would suddenly wander over to their station and ask some difficult questions.
Although Su Mingge, the vice president, was only accompanying the tour, he couldn’t help but get nervous along with everyone else after hearing Meng Jinhuai’s various questions.
In the blink of an eye, the daytime working hours of the institute had ended. But looking at Meng Jinhuai’s appearance, he still had no intention to leave. But when Meng Jinhuai immediately walked to the research institute’s light screen system area, the sharp-eyed Su Mingge suddenly saw Meng Jinhuai’s light computer light up.
As the marshal of the empire, Meng Jinhuai would receive countless messages on his light computer every moment. If he was like ordinary people and set the message alert mode to the general state, he would have already been annoyed by the beeps. Su Mingge remembered that Meng Jinhuai’s light computer had never flashed once in the past few hours, and then guessed that the other should have set the emergency message alert mode.
So now after seeing Meng Jinhuai’s light computer light up, Su Mingge couldn’t help but get a little nervous. The staff’s ability to get off work on time was a small matter, but the safety and security of the empire was a big deal. Like Su Mingge, Meng Jinhuai also saw his suddenly bright light computer. Then he stopped in his tracks, then took the silver-white round light computer into his hands and opened the message.
Su Mingge wasn’t the only one with Meng Jinhuai, several other key people in charge of the institute were present. After seeing the alert from the Lord Marshal’s light computer, everyone tensed up.
Along with Meng Jinhuai’s movements, the attention of everyone around was focused on his hands. But after a few seconds, people realized that the terrifying sight that …… they had imagined didn’t happen.
After opening the light computer, Meng Jinhuai not only didn’t show a gloomy expression, but even smiled slightly toward the object in his hand.
So what exactly did the marshal see?
Meng Jinhuai turned off the light computer, then turned around in a rather good mood and smiled towards the staff who had been following him, then said, “Well, thank you all for the explanations today.”
Hearing Meng Jinhuai’s words, everyone couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief. Just when Su Mingge was about to ask Meng Jinhuai if dinner was arranged for him, he heard Meng Jinhuai say to the military staff who had been following him, “Go to the residential area, SIU-7.”
“Okay, Lord Marshal.” At those words the staff member who was wearing a black military uniform and didn’t speak the entire time nodded his head, then picked up his light computer and began to deploy the hover car.
After hearing what Meng Jinhuai said, Su Mingge stood there for a moment. Then he remembered that the “SIU-7 area” that Meng Jinhuai mentioned was the coordinates of Duan Hengye’s residence on the planet.
Well, there was finally an answer to the question of who just sent that message.
Generally, after the afternoon class at An Luo University, Duan Hengye always stayed directly on Duguang Star for one night, and then went back the next morning. However, due to Meng Jinhuai’s presence in the research institute today, Duan Hengye boarded the starship after finishing his class at night.
At the same time, Meng Jinhuai also stepped into Duan Hengye’s home in the research institute. Although Meng Jinhuai had been here several times before, he had never seen the place properly.
Duan Hengye’s residence was a three-story villa, and the word “cozy” popped into Meng Jinhuai’s mind when he first entered. At first glance, the style of this place seemed to be a bit incompatible with Duan Hengye himself, but after looking at it for a long time, he thought that it strangely fit Duan Hengye.
Meng Jinhuai also found a black upright grand piano placed in the corner of the first floor of the villa. Although this piano hadn’t been used in a long time, but because the robots regularly cleaned it, so it looked clean and well-taken care of.
At this time, the setting sun came obliquely from the window, which just coated the black piano with a layer of honey-color, just like chocolate with syrup.
Meng Jinhuai walked through the door and paused for a moment, then walked towards the piano that no one had touched in a long time.
The starship that Duan Hengye was on was huge and flew extremely smoothly. So although the journey back waa slightly longer, the journey wasn’t too exhausting. Although the starship had sped up, but by the time Duan Hengye returned to the Institute, it was already the night there.
Just walking to the entrance, Duan Hengye found that the lights on the first floor of his residence were still on. But before Professor Duan could think of anything, the recognition device at the door automatically sensed the owner’s return, and then the villa’s door slowly opened.
A smooth musical sound flowed out from the house. The soundproofing of this house was too good, and the sudden sound that rang out after the door was opened caused Duan Hengye to freeze for a moment. But then he saw that there was a familiar figure sitting by the piano not far away.
Of course, Meng Jinhuai also heard the sound of the door opening, but he didn’t stop. Duan Hengye slowly walked towards the piano, to be honest although the size of yhe piano was very large, but because it had been quietly placed there, Duan Hengye even almost forget that there was a musical instrument in his home.
But the most important thing was that Duan Hengye had never heard that Meng Jinhuai could play the piano before.
Because the main heroine of “Dumping Interstellar”, Shang Mengzhen’s main scope of activity was the entertainment industry, the book would naturally not miss the scenes of her playing the piano. Also the author directly put the classical songs available on Earth in this world.
Therefore, despite the change of world, Duan Hengye was still very familiar with the piano music played by Meng Jinhuai. He walked to Meng Jinhuai’s side, then gently put his hand on the edge of the piano, and then quietly admired his skill.
The window behind Meng Jinhuai wasn’t closed, and the evening breeze lifted the light gray curtain by the window slightly, and the foot of the curtain also touched the edge of the piano. The current Meng Jinhuai didn’t look like he had ever been on a battlefield and his cold aura was gone, hee looked elegant to the extreme.
Although he didn’t remember the name, Duan Hengye could hear that Meng Jinhuai was playing a lyrical song. However, this song style wasn’t “exciting”, but Duan Hengye’s heart began to accelerate little by little. The hand that held the edge of the piano also unknowingly moved to his chest – he thought that the sound of his own heartbeat might have disrupted the rhythm of this lyrical song.
After another unknown period of time, Meng Jinhuai finally stopped playing. As the only listener of this young, elegant pianist, just as Meng Jinhuai finished playing, Duan Hengye couldn’t help but applaud.
As a son of a Martial Arts family, Duan Hengye also learnt this instrument when he was young, like most people. But unfortunately, Duan Hengye didn’t like the boring activity of “playing”, so he didn’t learn for long before he stopped. But today, after hearing the music played by Meng Jinhuai, Duan Hengye felt the beauty of it for the first time.
Seeing Duan Hengye gently applauding there, Meng Jinhuai smiled towards him, then stood up and closed the lid of the piano. Seeing this, Duan Hengye surprisingly couldn’t help but show a lost expression.
“I’ll play for you next time.” Meng Jinhuai’s eyes unconsciously narrowed slightly when he smiled, his usual seriousness was all gone.
Duan Hengye nodded, and then couldn’t help but glance at the piano and said, “If it weren’t for you, this piano would be wasted here.” There was some regret in his words.
Hearing this, Meng Jinhuai shook his head without saying anything. Perhaps it was because he had been sitting here for a long time, and after Duan Hengye came back, Meng Jinhuai went to the dining table on the side, he took a sip of water and then said, “I was in a bit of a hurry a few times before, and I wanted to have a good look at the place where Ah Heng lived as a child. But once I thought of your absence, I didn’t end up running around.” After saying that, Meng Jinhuai gently raised his eyebrows towards Duan Hengye, as if he was ready to get a compliment from him.
Duan Hengye thought for a moment about the time Su Mingge sent him the message, and then realized that Meng Jinhuai had probably been sitting here for as long as several hours. He turned to look at his still cold kitchen, then couldn’t help but frown a little and ask Meng Jinhuai, “Have you not eaten dinner yet?”
Meng Jinhuai shook his head, then added as if he could see what Duan Hengye was going to do, “I ate late for lunch.”
Duan Hengye ignored Meng Jinhuai’s later addition, and after hearing the previous sentence, he walked straight towards the kitchen. Perhaps it was because he was afraid that Meng Jinhuai would stop him, Duan Hengye said while walking there, “Just in time, I haven’t eat either.”
Duan Hengye, who didn’t turn around while speaking, didn’t know that the eyes of Meng Jinhuai were indescribably tender as he looked at him.
“Okay.” After a long time Meng Jinhuai replied.
This day’s dinner started very late and was very simple. But in Meng Jinhuai’s eyes, the simple dinner with this house where Duan Hengye grew up, was extraordinarily warm. He thought, maybe “home” should be like this.
Meng Jinhuai was the marshal of the empire. Although the empire had been fairly peaceful recently, he didn’t come back to the research institute just to hang out, he also had business to do.
The next day, early in the morning, Duan Hengye and Meng Jinhuai took a hovercraft to a corner of the Institute on the star where no one had set foot in a long time.
“Arriving, coordinates: KN-0, asking for permission confirmation.”
The hover suddenly stopped in mid-air without warning. And hearing the coordinates reported by the synthesized electronic voice, Duan Hengye slightly hesitated, and then put his hand out and gently pressed the light screen on the side of the hovercraft.
“Permission confirmation begins.
Duan Hengye, Director of Ye Tian Empire Mecha Research Institute, confirmed. Permissions open.”
After the voice fell, the inside of the hovering machine gently “dropped”. Immediately after that, the hovercraft, which had been hanging in the air for a while, once again headed ahead. Gradually, the scene ahead became clear.
The planet where the institute was located, seventy percent of the area was wrapped in buildings. Other than that, all the places were artificially planned greenery belts. This planet was very standard, after the complete development of the appearance of the interstellar era planets, everywhere looked exquisite and beautiful.
But now, the place in front of Duan Hengye had a completely different style from the rest of the planets.
If he used two words to sum it up, it was: “desolate” and “decadent”.
If he looked down a little, he could see that the land beneath his feet wasn’t covered with any greenery, but was completely scorched black. When he observed it, he could see that in the scorched black ground, there were some vague silvery lights.
From the time the hovercraft slowly drove into this area, Duan Hengye had been looking down. Seeing this, Meng Jinhuai, who was standing next to him, couldn’t help but cast a worried gaze over, “Ah Heng, how is your condition now.”
In fact, just now when Duan Hengye looked down, his brain was completely blank. It wasn’t until Meng Jinhuai opened his mouth that his mind was finally pulled back. Duan Hengye pursed his lips, then shook his head and said to Meng Jinhuai: “…… No, I can’t think of anything.” Duan Hengye’s voice was a little small when he said this, and his demeanour was quiet and confused.
“The hovercraft is about to land.” Seeing that Duan Hengye’s state was still okay, Meng Jinhuai glanced at his feet as he spoke to him.
Not long after Meng Jinhuai’s words fell, the hovercraft landed on the scorched black land in front of him. With the opening of the silver hatch, Duan Hengye took a deep breath, and then finally walked out before Meng Jinhuai.
Perhaps this was a place that should have been too familiar for Duan Hengye
–The president’s office that was once independent of the main building of the institute, the place where Duan Hengye lived as a child.
Duan Hengye was picked up by the royal family after the experimental accident happened. So it wasn’t until Duan Hengye started working on re-investigating the incident a few days ago that Duan Hengye discovered that the site where the accident occurred that year had actually not been filled in, but had been left there in its original state.
Although he didn’t know why the investigation team made such a decision, but this ruin, which remained intact, was indeed a clue that couldn’t be missed.
As soon as Duan Hengye stepped out of the levitator, he heard a strange “click” coming from under his feet. Now the surrounding area was really too quiet, so the sound under his feet also seemed particularly obvious. Although Duan Hengye’s psychological quality was very good, but suddenly hearing the sound coming from under his feet, he couldn’t help but shiver a little. At this time, Meng Jinhuai, who was standing behind Duan Hengye, held his shoulders and then whispered in his ear, “It’s okay, it’s a tree branch.”
After hearing Meng Jinhuai’s words, Duan Hengye slowly squatted down, and then picked up the dark object under his feet that couldn’t be seen in its original shape. Just like what Meng Jinhuai said, it had the appearance of a tree that had been hit by a special optical weapon. Although he understood the reason for its formation, Duan Hengye wasn’t like Meng Jinhuai – the other was a marshal who was used to seeing the wretched appearance of a planet after a war, so naturally he didn’t recognise it at first.
After confirming what this thing was, Duan Hengye gently put it back on the ground. He looked around and then said to Meng Jinhuai, “The area that was destroyed here is even larger than I thought.”
“Yes,” Meng Jinhuai nodded, and then said to Duan Hengye while reminiscing, “That year, that mecha went out of control too suddenly, and at the time of the incident, many people were confused as to whether or not it was a deliberate experiment made by the director. So it wasn’t until ten minutes later that the Institute’s garrison drove other mechas over to control the scene.”
This office was far from the Institute building, there was an open space around, the last director often used this open space to do some small experiments. So that year, although the Institute detected the energy anomaly, they hesitated because they didn’t know if it was an experiment, so they didn’t respond quickly.
The point just mentioned by Meng Jinhuai, was written in the accident investigation report released to the public, and has been regarded as the biggest cause of the death of the previous director.
Probably because of the loss of this part of his memories, Duan Hengye returned here in a more subdued mood than he had imagined. The two of them just walked deeper into the ruins while recalling the lab report.
Finally, after a few minutes, Duan Hengyr and Meng Jinhuai stopped in front of a silvery broken metal column. When the investigation was conducted, the staff in charge of the investigation left a little mark here, and after getting closer, Duan Hrngye saw the words “Research Room No. 7 Metal Pillar”.
Before coming here, Duan Hengye studied the structure of the original laboratory. So after seeing this pillar, he realized that he and Meng Jinhuai had already reached the indoor part of this office – although nothing could be seen from the scorched blackness.
More than ten years had passed, he didn’t know if it was an illusion, but once he walked here, it was as if a strange, lingering burnt smell appeared at the tip of Duan Hengye’s nose.
He glanced at Meng Jinhuai, and after noticing his expression he confirmed down that the smell wasn’t an illusion.
For a while, Duan Hengye felt that the atmosphere around him had become somewhat bizarre. He took another look at Meng Jinhuai and then said, “This smell is not right.”
Whether it was the investigation report released to the public or the one that existed in the royal family’s internal network, neither one mentioned this smell. Duan Hengye believed that this apparently odd smell wouldn’t have been missed by the investigators.
Just as he thought of this, Meng Jinhuai also said with a heartfelt smile, “The smell isn’t right, let’s find out where the source is.”
“Hmm.” Duan Hengye nodded towards Meng Jinhuai, and then the two of them split up and went in two directions towards the ruin. Now that they’d reached the indoor area, the wreckage left behind varied because of the different materials of the melted structures inside. Fortunately, he had some ancient martial arts skills, so he didn’t trip over the things under his feet.
Slowly, the distance between Duan Hengye and Meng Jinhuai was getting farther and farther. When he was about to walk out of the indoor ruins, Duan Hengye suddenly saw a special piece of metal with a dark blue glow in front of him.
He slowly squatted down, then hesitantly tore off a piece of the hem of his shirt. Then Duan Hengye hesitated and slowly picked up the piece of dark blue metal. Just when Duan Hengye squatted down to get it, Meng Jinhuai also came over in the direction he was.
Finally, Duan Hengye slowly stood up with the object in his hand. Just at this time, Meng Jinhuai also walked up to his side.
“This is ……,” Meng Jinhuai murmured as he looked at the thing in Duan Hengye’s hand.
Even though Meng Jinhuai didn’t explicitly say it, Duan Hengye gently nodded his head, and then he turned to Meng Jinhuai and said, “That’s right, this is it.” If it were the other people, they might have overlooked this inconspicuous dark blue metal, but the people who came here today were Duan Hengye and Meng Jinhuai.
Both of them knew that the object in Duan Hengye’s hand was some kind of solidified fuel – it was usually used inside a large anti-personnel weapon that hadn’t been assembled into a mecha yet.
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