It was already 3 o’clock in the morning and it wasn’t good to wake up their teammates in the middle of the night. Yu Hanjiang remembered that Xiao Lou had fainted in the afternoon and hadn’t eaten dinner, so he scavenged through Shao Qingge’s luggage to find some food.
It wasn’t good to ask room service to send food so he simply cooked a bowl of noodles he had obtained and added a poached egg.
A moment later, Yu Hanjiang came to the bedroom with the bowl of steaming noodles and called out to Xiao Lou. “Come and eat something. You haven’t eaten dinner so you must be hungry.”
Xiao Lou’s mind was full of messy memories and he had completely forgotten about this thing called ‘hunger’.
He smelled the noodles and his stomach cried out in response. The growling was particularly clear in the quiet bedroom. Xiao Lou rubbed his stomach and coughed lightly. “I slept for 12 hours and I’m really hungry.”
Yu Hanjiang’s lips slightly curved and he handed the chopsticks over. “Eat it.”
Xiao Lou sat down at the table and quickly finished the bowl of noodles. The food in his stomach made his whole body warm up. He had been used to living alone but now he felt it was nice to be taken care of.
Xiao Lou smiled at Yu Hanjiang. “Thank you. It is delicious.”
Yu Hanjiang packed it up and raised an eyebrow at him. “Do you still need to be polite with me?”
Xiao Lou wiped his mouth clean and changed the topic. “Has Brother Jiu thought about any other clues? Is there anything about the people who saved them on the bug planet apart from the singing?”
Yu Hanjiang shook his head. “Brother Jiu lost too much blood by the time he was rescued and his consciousness was blurred. He even thought the song was a hallucination and the sound came from Heaven. As for the rest, he didn’t see anything and he doesn’t remember what happened after he was rescued.”
Xiao Lou was thoughtful. “In other words, the only clue at present is ‘singing’. My sister told us that fishermen here sometimes hear the singing at sea. Is it just a legend? Let’s rest first and tomorrow we will investigate together.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Okay, go and take a shower before going to sleep.”
Xiao Lou’s clothes were soaked in sweat and he was really uncomfortable. Therefore, he took a shower, changed into pajamas and lay down on the bed.
In a daze, he dreamed of his five year old self locked up in a room with countless cloned children. The same faces kept swaying in front of him. Then the faces of the children gradually changed to his present appearance.
There were countless faces with all types of expressions. Some were smiling while others showed emotions like indifference, ridicule, hatred or jealousy… countless ‘selves’ appeared in front of him as Xiao Lou curled up in the strange nightmare. Yu Hanjiang found that Xiao Lou was cold all over so he reached out and gently held Xiao Lou in his arms, patting the other person gently on the back like he was appeasing a child.
The warmth from Yu Hanjiang calmed down Xiao Lou in his sleep.
He reached out as if grabbing a life-saving straw and hugged Yu Hanjiang tightly before falling asleep.
Once he woke up the next day, Xiao Lou found that his face was against the man’s sturdy chest, his hands were tightly hugging the other person’s waist and he was leaning against Yu Hanjiang in a ‘depending on each other’ posture.
Xiao Lou’s ears turned red as he quickly broke free of the man’s arms and coughed. “I had a nightmare last night. I dreamed that many clones were in front of me.”
Yu Hanjiang held Xiao Lou’s hand. “I know. That’s why I was holding you to sleep. I wanted you to have a good rest.”
Xiao Lou’s heart warmed at this soft gaze and his mouth curled up in a smile. “It is just a nightmare. Come on, it is time to go.”
The two of them walked out of the bedroom. The others were already gathered in the dining room. Ye Qi saw Xiao Lou and hurried over. “Professor Xiao, you woke up? Are you feeling better? Yesterday afternoon, you suddenly fainted and you scared me.”
Xiao Lou reassured him. “I’m fine. I just fainted because I had a terrible headache. I remembered what happened when I was five years old.”
The four people heard this and immediately walked curiously to Xiao Lou.
Lu Jiuchuan was the first one to ask. “What did you remember?”
Xiao Lou looked serious as he explained softly, “Our guess is correct. The emperor cloned so many copies in order to raise a Gu. The 100 five year old children were locked up in the same room by the emperor to compete and only the best could survive. In the end, including me, four children survived. Let’s assume I am number 1, the very obedient Xiao Lou that Hanjiang saw with the emperor is number 2, the one who attended the birthday banquet and seems the most like the official crown prince is number 3 and the one we have never seen before is number 4.”
Lu Jiuchuan was full of resentment. “In other words, the other 97 clones were killed artificially? The emperor is really sick!”
Ye Qi murmured sarcastically, “The emperor’s way of grooming his heir is really amazing…”
Xiao Lou told them, “We currently don’t have any clues about the fourth Xiao Lou. He might’ve been hidden by the emperor or he might’ve escaped from the Locke Empire. We should go find the invisible people who can sing. They might have some clues.”
The team members agreed.
Yu Hanjiang said, “The entire Azure Planet is over 50% water. It is too large so we better find a vehicle for us to use.”
Shao Qingge thought about it. “I will go find a suspension car.”
Since the other four had sneaked into the Azure Empire and couldn’t be discovered, only Shao Qingge and Ye Qi could freely travel. Thus, Shao Qingge came forward to buy a large suspension vehicle that could fit up to 10 people.
The car was similar to a ‘floating house’ with luxurious furnishings inside.
In the future, the mainstream means of transportation in the cities of the planets were suspension vehicles. Air traffic was developed and there were no traffic jams. Moreover, the vehicles had automatic navigation and driving so there was no need to consider the issue of a driver’s license.
Shao Qingge drove back to the hotel to pick up the other four. Then he followed the navigation to the nearest beach.
The beach here was as beautiful as the one in the City of the Sun. The white sandy beach was clean and reflective while the sand was delicate and soft. Many tourists played barefoot on the beach while others were playing recreational water activities.
Shao Qingge and Ye Qi inquired along the way, “Have you ever heard of the invisible people who sing?”
The tourist looked dazed. “I haven’t heard of it!”
Ye Qi also asked some innocent children. “Have your parents ever told you that disobedient children will be caught and eaten by an invisible person who sings in the middle of the night?”
The children looked at Ye Qi like he was a fool. “Haha, big brother, are you three years old? Only three year old children would believe such a story!”
Ye Qi, “……”
The two men investigated at the seaside all morning and got nothing.
Everyone knew it was just a legend, like the fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. If they pulled over a person by the side of the road and asked ‘Have you seen Snow White’ then that person would feel they were sick in the head.
Even children thought that Ye Qi was sick. Only three year old children would believe this type of story, not five year olds.
Back in the suspension car, Ye Qi had a headache. “No one has seen the invisible people who can sing and no one has heard the song. Is this legend reliable?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “Check somewhere else.”
Lu Jiuchuan leaned back on his seat, crossed his legs and analyzed it. “This legend isn’t groundless. I think there must be something in the sea, but humans live on land. We don’t know enough about the mysterious ocean. It is no use asking at tourist attractions. It is better to go find some fishermen whose livelihood is in the sea.”
Xiao Lou also agreed with this idea. “Look for fishermen. They know the sea best.”
This was the beach closest to the hotel. Shao Qingge had driven the suspension car here. After hearing Xiao Lou’s words, Shao Qingge modified the route in the navigation and the suspension car headed to the area where fishermen usually lived.
Ye Qi found the oldest man in the fishing village. “Elder, have you heard the legend of the invisible people?”
The old man basked in the sun and smiled. “Who is it? My ears aren’t good.”
Ye Qi leaned close to the old man’s ears and amplified his volume. “Invisible people from the sea! I am from abroad. I heard that there were people singing every night and out of curiosity I came here to see them.”
The old man squinted. “Singing? Oh, the daughter of Old Zhang next door likes singing best.”
Ye Qi was full of helplessness.
There was still no result after investigating in the fishing village. Ye Qi was full of frustration as he returned to the suspension car. “No one in this area has ever heard the singing. It is a rumor that is left over from previous generations.”
The clues were too vague and the vast sea area of this planet was beyond imagination. It was too difficult to investigate.
Still, Brother Jiu was right. The legend had spread for so many years and it shouldn’t be false. Someone must’ve heard it. It was just that they couldn’t find out who first heard the song and where. It had been so many years and there were no traces.
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “It seems that we can only wait until after dark to wander around and test our luck. Perhaps we can meet the invisible people who can sing?”
The sea was so big. Even if they drove Chu Huaying’s starship, it would take several hours to orbit the planet. The speed of the suspension vehicle was much lower than the starship. If they wanted to navigate around the entire planet with the suspension car, it might not necessarily be finished in three days.
Luck? It was indeed possible to bump into it out of luck.
Yet what if it didn’t happen? Wouldn’t they just waste time?
Xiao Lou thought up to here and suddenly said, “I have a way.”
The team members all stared at him.
Xiao Lou took out a card with a helpless expression. “I can only invite Di Renjie.”
They almost forgot. Out of all the strange character cards that Xiao Lou had drawn, there was one card that had never been used: Di Renjie.
Di Renjie was specifically designed to deal with ‘confusing’ situations. If they used Di Renjie’s skill they could directly find a clue in the Hearts room or eliminate a wrong maze route or unlock a mechanism in the Diamonds room. Now this was a combined secret room and it was more convenient to find clues with Di Renjie. Unfortunately, this card was limited and could only be used once in a secret room.
Ye Qi heard the name Di Renjie and couldn’t help being excited. “Out of Professor Xiao’s cards, Di Renjie is indeed the one we have never seen before. Then please invite Di Renjie to come once it gets dark?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes, I will do it in the early hours of the morning when there is no one present.”
Shao Qingge stopped the suspension car in the largest fishermen village on Azure Plane and waited for it to be dark.
The legend of the invisible people singing was passed down by fishermen so it must’ve been encountered by their ancestors when going out to sea. Therefore, the probability of finding clues near the fishing village was the highest.
It got dark and the lights in the fishing village went out one after another. Once all the fishermen fell asleep and it was 1 o’clock in the morning, Xiao Lou summoned Di Renjie.
A young version of Di Renjie, dressed in ancient official clothes and holding a fan in his hand while thinking appeared.
Xiao Lou used the skill: Detective.
Di Renjie muttered, “Let me think about it…”
Then under the curious looks of the team members, Di Renjie reached out and pointed into the distance. A soft light appeared in the distant sea. This must be where the clue was.
Xiao Lou’s eyes lit up and he put Di Renjie away. “Everyone, let’s go.”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality