The things that Qu Wanyue witnessed couldn’t be false. Moreover, she used the Chameleon card to integrate with the environment and secretly sneaked into General Lin’s house. No one could have found her so there was no possibility of deliberate acting.
Having a nightmare and calling out the name ‘Yan Yan’, but not knowing her daughter at all during the day? The most likely reason was that Zhang Shaohua was just pretending to be crazy and stupid. She just couldn’t control her dreams.
Xiao Lou looked at Qu Wanyue on the screen. “Zhang Shaohua stays home all day and doesn’t go out? Do General Lin and Lin Yan visit her often?”
Qu Wanyue answered, “General Lin rarely returns but Lin Yan will come every afternoon to find her mother. She takes her mother out to enjoy the sun, serve tea, pour water and massage her shoulders. This girl is very filial.”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang looked at each other and came to the same conclusion. “Lin Yan doesn’t know that she is a clone?”
Qu Wanyue said, “I can’t see that she is a clone. She really cares about her mother and it doesn’t seem like an act.”
Xiao Lou thought about it carefully. “The culture medium developed after the Noah’s Ark plan restarted might be able to successfully control the growth rate of the cells. For example, letting a cell grow to five years old or to 30 years old in a few days?”
Tang Ci came over and said, “Assuming that they added the bug’s fungus blanket to the culture medium and could freely control the growth rate of the cells, this would explain why the clones of General Lin’s family could appear at the same time. General Lin was 30 years old and his daughter was five years old so the clones should also meet these age characteristics.”
Lu Jiuchuan touched his chin. “In other words, the cells might’ve been taken at the same time but one catalyst was used a lot more to grow to 30 years in a short time. The other was grown to five years old. Then take them out of the culture medium and let them become a family?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes. In this way, Lin Yan has been staying with her parents since the age of five. Her parents might be clones but she has deep feelings towards them. She shouldn’t know that she is a clone.”
Yu Hanjiang added, “General Lin probably doesn’t know either. The real General Lin is dead and the clone must obey the emperor. Then there is no one who can shake the emperor’s position.”
Lu Jiuchuan crossed his arms and thought for a moment. “Among the military generals, Lin Zecheng has the highest prestige and the best relationship with the emperor. This is why his daughter was engaged to the crown prince when the empress was still alive.”
Xiao Lou looked back at Qu Wanyue. “Has Lin Yan recently met with the crown prince?”
“Yes. She went to the palace yesterday afternoon. It is said that His Highness invited her to dinner. At 9:30 p.m., she returned home and happily told Zhang Shaohua about it. However, Zhang Shaohua still had a dull expression and didn’t respond. Lin Yan spoke a lot to herself, complimenting the crown prince’s gentlemanly nature and how kind he was to her.”
“The crown prince?” Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang spoke in unison.
“Yes, Long Sen came home on vacation yesterday and told me that the emperor hasn’t mentioned the crown prince’s escape to anyone. The strange thing was that when he patrolled the palace yesterday, he saw ‘Xiao Lou’ walking with his own eyes. Based on what he heard from the guards at the Twin Palaces, the crown prince has been staying in the Twin Palaces to study recently.”
“It seems that after we escaped, the emperor simply let the clone replace me.” Xiao Lou didn’t know how to evaluate the emperor. It could be seen from the time he let the five year old Xiao Lou participate in the cruel ‘natural selection’ that he didn’t have any preference for Xiao Lou just because Xiao Lou was the child born from the empress’ body.
If Xiao Lou died in that selection, it was estimated that the emperor wouldn’t shed a single tear, right?
In any case, there were so many children exactly the same as Xiao Lou. For the emperor, all the clones were his son. There was no difference from one being born biologically and the others being artificially grown.
“Perhaps the death of his oldest son stimulated him and the emperor has long been psychologically distorted. Otherwise, he wouldn’t agree to the Noah’s Ark plan.” Yu Hanjiang looked at Xiao Lou and spoke softly, “After all, this plan can’t be made public. He doesn’t dare conduct a large-scale search for you. It is best to have the clone replace you and treat it as if nothing has happened.”
“Yes, it is also possible that he sent people to secretly look for me and kill me.” Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “Teacher Qu, continue to watch Lin Yan. If anything happens then contact Chief Shao.”
“I understand.” Qu Wanyue nodded at everyone. Then she found Liu Qiao, Gui Yuanzhang and Old Mo and spoke joyfully, “You found Xiao Liu and the others?”
“Yes, they are all merpeople. Xiao Liu is the mermaid princess,” Xiao Lou answered.
“No wonder why you have all become merpeople and collectively grew tails. It turns out that Xiao Liu and the others are merpeople.” Qu Wanyue glanced over the team members. “Oh, why don’t I see Sister Huaying?”
“Sister Huaying…” The moment Ye Qi was about to speak, Xiao Lou suddenly interrupted him. “Huaying has another task. I asked her to investigate my sister’s plotline at the Azure Empire’s palace. She will come to join us tomorrow.”
“That’s good. Take care and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.” Qu Wanyue cut off the video communication.
Ye Qi was very puzzled. Chu Huaying was obviously a wanted star thief and she was operating the Dark Night starship near Azure Planet to wait for them. Why did Professor Xiao suddenly say that she went to the imperial palace to investigate Xiao Rou? In addition, since when was she meeting everyone tomorrow? Wasn’t this speaking nonsense with open eyes?
Xiao Lou must have his reasons for saying so. Ye Qi naturally didn’t pierce it. He consciously shut his mouth and retreated behind Shao Qingge.
Next to him, Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci exchanged looks. They saw a trace of doubts in the other person’s eyes but soon calmed down.
Xiao Lou walked toward Liu Qiao and spoke softly, “Xiao Liu, Senior Gui and Old Mo risked themselves to rescue you. More than two hours have passed. The clones among the merpeople should’ve discovered that you were rescued. If the other Xiao Lou calls on the merpeople and says that we have kidnapped you, we will have many enemies. We might not be a match for the merpeople.”
Liu Qiao nodded. “Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of soldiers among the merpeople and their attack power in the sea isn’t inferior to the giant whales. If we really fight, we won’t have an advantage. In addition, isn’t this secret room implying that I should inherit the throne to clear the level? It isn’t the best choice to fight with the merpeople. Professor Xiao, what do you think?”
Xiao Lou thought about it. “I want to give you a task but it requires you to take a risk.”
Liu Qiao wondered, “What task? Am I going alone?”
Xiao Lou answered, “I naturally won’t let you take risks alone. Old Mo and Senior Gui will go with you. The three of you should first explore the path in the palace and find the laboratory where the clones are studied. Once the path is known, it can save a lot of time.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded in agreement. “The transformation effect can only be maintained for eight hours. We have to find clues in a limited time so we can’t go in circles in the labyrinth. It is good to find the path in advance.”
Xiao Lou glanced at Gui Yuanzhang and Old Mo. “The three of you were originally merpeople and you are used to the deep sea environment. In addition, Old Mo is the one with the strongest sense of direction among us. Once you find out the location of the laboratory, we will go there together.”
Old Mo agreed simply. “No problem. I’ve explored half of the paths in the palace. Now it is dawn and most of the merpeople will be sleeping after dawn. It is convenient for us to move.”
Xiao Lou said, “We should wait until after the card skills refresh at midnight to go. At that time, I will place the Peach Blossom Spring here. If there is danger, I can directly teleport everyone back… I must ensure everyone’s safety.”
Old Mo nodded in understanding. “Professor Xiao is thoughtful.”
They had slept for less than an hour last night and they were really exhausted. Ye Qi’s stomach even made a growling sound. Ye Qi scratched his head in an embarrassed manner. “I didn’t eat much last night, cough. I’m a bit hungry.”
Xiao Lou smiled at Xiao Ye. “In fact, I’m also hungry. It is better for us to eat something first. There are other arrangements this afternoon.”
The supply card could provide them with chocolate, milk, instant noodles and mineral water but it wasn’t enough to eat only these things. This deserted island was full of vegetation so they should be able to find something to eat.
Yu Hanjiang suggested, “Xiao Ye and Chief Shao, accompany me to pick fruits. On the way, we will see if we can hunt any game. Your transportation cards combined with my light footwork card means that if there are any wild animals on this island, they can’t run away.”
Shao Qingge and Ye Qi nodded. They turned and followed Yu Hanjiang to leave quickly.
Xiao Lou asked, “Brother Jiu, can you catch fish?”
Lu Jiuchuan raised his chin. “You are asking the right person. During my time in the military academy, I learned how to survive in the wild and I caught a few fish. Of course, this is on the premise that there are fish to catch.”
Xiao Lou went to the sea and saw the clear water. “There should be some edible fish in the shallow sea. Go and take a look.”
Lu Jiuchuan waved to Tang Ci. “Xiao Tang, let’s go together.”
Xiao Lou also followed. “My compass can be used to make fishing nets. I might be able to help.” He looked at the remaining three people. “Old Mo, Xiao Liu and Senior Gui, please help pick up some branches and make a fire.”
The three of them nodded. “Okay.”
Some time later, Yu Hanjiang returned carrying a hare and pheasant in his hand. Ye Qi carried many green fruits in his arms and exclaimed excitedly, “This fruit shouldn’t be poisonous. I saw several monkeys eating it just how. In addition, Group Leader Yu shot the pheasant and hare with absolutely perfect marksmanship. One shot!”
At this time, Xiao Lou also came back. He heard Ye Qi’s words and asked with concern, “Did you use a silencer? The sound of the shooting might be heard by nearby merpeople.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Don’t worry.”
Xiao Lou’s group of three also gained a lot. Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci carried several fish each. Lu Jiuchuan told them, “We caught nine fish. It is just enough for one per person.”
Ye Qi suddenly looked at Old Mo and asked a strange question, “Uncle Mo, are the merpeople carnivores or herbivores? If the three of you eat fish, do you think you are eating the same kind?”
Old Mo helplessly held his forehead. “In marine life, it is normal for big fish to eat small fish. They aren’t the same kind. The merpeople are omnivores. They eat plants in the sea as well as small fish and shrimp.”
Ye Qi was relieved and handed a fish to Old Mo.
Everyone had now changed back to human legs. Old Mo, Gui Yuanzhang and Liu Qiao could also put away their tails on land. The group sat around the branches and Xiao Lou used Bai Juyi to make a fire. The two brothers, Yu Hanjiang and Lu Jiuchuan were very professional at roasting game and the scent of cooked meat soon floated to their noses.
Shao Qingge said with a smile, “Our team seems to be really hungry.”
Ye Qi stared at the grilled fish in front of him, rubbing his hands together greedily. “After all, it doesn’t matter if it flies in the sky, runs on the ground or swims in the water. As long as it is edible, we always have a way to cook it!”
Xiao Lou chuckled. “Xiao Ye, you’re speaking as if we came to rob the secret rooms.”
Yu Hanjiang handed the grilled fish to Xiao Lou and told him softly, “Taste it.”
Xiao Lou took a bite and couldn’t help praising it, “Delicious. Xiao Liu, have you guys tried it?”
Liu Qiao’s expression was bitter. “Us merpeople usually eat fish raw. We aren’t used to eat it cooked…”
Gui Yuanzhang suggested, “Leave the three raw ones to us.”
Old Mo scratched his head. “The scene of us eating raw fish is a bit bloody. Why don’t we go somewhere else and eat it?”
Ye Qi asked curiously, “Why is it bloody? I’ve also eaten sashimi.”
Old Mo asked, “Are you sure you want to see it?”
Ye Qi smiled. “Yes, isn’t it just tearing it and eating it piece by piece?”
The next moment, Old Mo suddenly opened his mouth. They saw a large number of sharp teeth that could instantly tear through a human’s neck! His mouth opened to the size of his entire face and there was only a terrifying bloody basin in Ye Qi’s vision. After that, a fish was directly placed in Old Mo’s mouth.
Ye Qi stared and the grilled fish in his hands fell to the ground with a ‘plop’.
Shao Qingge didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he touched Ye Qi’s shoulder. “I had the premonition it would be bad but you just had to see it.”
Old Mo swallowed the whole fish and shut his mouth. His facial features also returned to normal. He smiled and asked, “Did I frighten you? Don’t look at the upper body of the merpeople that is similar to humans. They are actually very ferocious and more terrifying than sharks. It is because sharks are just fierce and don’t have an IQ. The merpeople have sharp teeth and they have the highest IQ among marine creatures.”
Ye Qi held his scared heart. “Your mouth is as big as a face and can directly bite off a human head?”
Gui Yuanzhang told them solemnly, “So we shouldn’t rush into the merpeople palace without 100% certainty. Professor Xiao is right. We have to be fully prepared.”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality