Previously when Xiao Lou found the sunken Egret Starship in the deep sea, his first reaction was that General Lin Zecheng piloted the starship to escape and heard the merpeople’s song at sea. Since this song had the ability to ‘confuse people’, they were unable to stop themselves from flying to the place where the song came from and were devoured by the whirlpool.
There were a large number of destroyed ships and human skeletal remains near the whirlpool. This proved that the legend of merpeople hunting with songs was true. For this reason, Xiao Lou speculated that General Lin’s group was unlucky and had an accident.
But what if… it wasn’t an accident?
There were currently at least 10 known planets inhabited by humans. Why did Lin Zecheng go to the Azure Empire?
The Egret Starship might’ve been decommissioned but it was the empire’s top warship. How could it ‘accidentally’ drive to the sea and also get involved in a whirlpool?
There were too many coincidences to be explained as an ‘accident’ and too many unreasonable areas. Now Zhang Shaohua confirmed that her husband had fled to the Azure Empire to carry out a ‘mission’ and it further proved Xiao Lou’s speculation.
Xiao Lou asked softly, “Did General Lin go to the Azure Planet when Princess Xiao Rou got married?”
Zhang Shaohua nodded. “Yes. I was worried that His Majesty would kill all those who knew about the cloning plan so we got together to discuss countermeasures. During this time, Capital Star was heavily guarded and patrol troops kept going back and forth. So many people fleeing together would definitely be noticed…”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “So Xiao Rou’s wedding became the best opportunity for you to escape?”
Zhang Shaohua took a deep breath and looked at the two of them. “The princess was getting married to Prince Herman of the Azure Empire and he came to pick her up in person. The gate over the space station was open for a period of time. The emperor was busy presiding over the wedding. My husband launched the Egret in advance and took the opportunity to escape. Then he went to the Azure Empire with Prince Herman’s wedding team.”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang exchanged looks. It turned out to be like this.
It was no coincidence that the Egret sank in the sea area of Azure Planet. They fled with Princess Xiao Rou’s marriage team. Xiao Rou must’ve known this but didn’t tell Xiao Lou. Instead, she misled Xiao Lou with the ‘legend of invisible people’. She even let Xiao Lou and his teammates go to the sea to find the merpeople.
He was afraid she knew the location of the merpeople long ago. She knew that the merpeople could use their songs to crash nearby ships. The Egret sinking into the deep sea was probably done by her.
Instead of saying General Lin’s group encountered an accident, it was more accurate to say they were deliberately silenced by Xiao Rou!
Xiao Lou recalled the sister who smiled softly at him and his heart got a chill. He always felt that something was wrong before. Now thinking about it carefully, they actually ignored many details in the process of the investigation.
Xiao Rou’s story was that 20 years ago, she accompanied her mother to the hospital and happened to enter a laboratory. There, she found hundreds of identical children who looked exactly like her brother.
The cloning project was a top secret plan. How could the princess ‘happen’ to enter the laboratory? Was the area where they did the experiments not monitored? People could freely come and go at will?
Xiao Rou also said that after she learned about it, she panicked and didn’t dare to tell anyone. Her father asked her to marry Prince Herman so she agreed.
There was also a contradiction here. Since the emperor wanted to keep it a secret, how could he let his daughter who knew the truth marry into another nation? If Xiao Rou told this story, wouldn’t the Azure Empire know the secret of the clones?
If the emperor wanted to keep it a secret, the best course of action was to keep the princess under house arrest in the palace, not to let her marry.
The princess was obviously lying.
Xiao Lou looked at Zhang Shaohua and said, “Professor Zhang, can you give us the information about the Noah’s Ark project?”
Zhang Shaohua shook her head. “The information isn’t on me.”
Xiao Lou was surprised. “It isn’t on you? Did you hide it?”
Zhang Shaohua’s fists tightly clenched and her lips trembled slightly. “Those who participated in the project died successively and I knew that the emperor wanted to kill everyone to hide this secret forever. I could only pretend to be a clone in order to live. I couldn’t carry the information on me so I had to hand it over to Mrs Ye.”
Mrs Ye Bowen? In other words, Ye Qi’s biological mother.
Yu Hanjiang asked in a low voice, “Is Mrs Ye still alive? Where is she?”
Zhang Shaohua answered, “She is dead but her child should be alive.”
General Ye and General Lin escaped from Capital Star together and died on the Azure Planet. Mrs Ye was pregnant at the time so Zhang Shaohua gave her the information to secretly take away. Mrs Ye fled to a remote city where she gave birth to Ye Qi and sent Ye Qi to an orphanage… Meanwhile, Zhang Shaohua couldn’t escape from the emperor’s pursuit.
The official obituary stated that General Ye and his wife died unexpectedly on the front lines. Their child Ye Qi was sent to an orphanage. It wasn’t known what method Mrs Ye used but the emperor didn’t kill the child.
Later, Shao Qingge went to the orphanage to do charity. He felt Ye Qi was familiar so he adopted Ye Qi.
The emperor only killed the insiders but he didn’t kill an innocent child… perhaps he didn’t expect that those in the know would leave clues by various means, including the safe and Morse code left by Chief Shao’s father and the full information that Mrs Ye might’ve left behind.
It seemed they would have to rely on Ye Qi if they wanted to find this complete information.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang exchanged glances and the latter continued to ask, “Where is the laboratory?”
Zhang Shaohua answered, “The first experiment was done in the secret laboratory on the top floor of the Royal Star Hospital. I don’t know if the laboratory has been moved away in recent years.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “Was Rod Bell, the captured leader of the star thieves, also taken away by General Lin?”
Zhang Shaohua nodded. “Yes, he was the first generation gene sample to be taken.”
Xiao Lou closed his eyes and carefully organized his thoughts in his mind. After finding the parts he neglected about Xiao Rou, most events could be reasonably explained. However, there was still one final link missing.
Why did the emperor give him the S-grade mecha, Spirit Fox? In addition, who sent the invisible man who sneaked into the Twin Palaces?
Xiao Lou thought about it for a moment before suddenly asking, “20 years ago, the Noah’s Ark project was restarted. Among the first clones you made, there were samples from His Majesty, right?”
“Of course. We only made one clone of His Majesty, which was also His Majesty’s request. He wanted a copy with his body data in case of future injury or illness. This way, he can always have access to the clone’s organs.”
This was also expected by Xiao Lou.
Xiao Lou continued to ask, “Is there a clone of Xiao Rou?”
“There is one as well.”
Xiao Lou, “……”
His guess was correct.
The emperor had cloned his son. How could he ignore himself and his daughter? The original intention of the cloning plan was to make a copy of the body data so that when the original was sick or injured, the organs or tissues of the clone could be used at any time. How could the emperor not prepare such ‘insurance’ for himself and his daughter?
Therefore, the first batch of clones didn’t only contain Xiao Lou. There were also the emperor and Princess Xiao Rou.
Of course, the throne of the empire was inherited by the crown prince and there was no need to select the best princess through the Gu raising plan. This was why the emperor only made one clone as a genetic backup for the princess and hid it in a laboratory.
Back then, perhaps Xiao Rou didn’t only find her brother in the laboratory but also herself.
Zhang Shaohua said that the Noah’s Ark project had created a clone of the emperor and Xiao Rou but they were missing from the information found among the merpeople and the bugs. Their genetic data had obviously been deleted.
Who deleted it?
It could only be the person who had been holding the relevant data of the cloning project, Rod Bell.
Apart from the backup left with Zhang Shaohua, the most comprehensive copy of the original Noah’s data was the one taken away by General Lin. After the shipwreck, General Lin and the others drowned in the deep sea. Only Rod Bell, who was fused with the bug genes, and the unconscious clones survived.
Rod Bell obtained and modified the data, deleting the part about the princess and the emperor. Then he handed it over to the merpeople.
The bugs also obtained the information with the deleted parts. Therefore, Xiao Lou never suspected if the emperor or Xiao Rou were clones. It was because there were no genetic samples of these two people in the database!
It now appeared that Rod Bell deliberately deleted the data of the emperor and the princess to mislead Xiao Lou in their investigation.
He knew Xiao Rou.
Maybe all this was a collusion between him and the princess.
Yet why would a princess and star thief join forces?
Through questioning Zhang Shaohua and combining it with their previous investigations, Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang finally confirmed most of their speculations. The two of them secretly sent Zhang Shaohua back to General Lin’s villa before summoning the other teammates to the Peach Blossom Spring.
Xiao Lou told them the results of Zhang Shaohua’s interrogation and his current speculation. The teammates were shocked when they heard it.
Ye Qi couldn’t believe it. “Xiao Rou? She looks gentle and kind and has been helping us the whole time. She is actually the boss behind the scenes? My impression of her was quite good.”
Shao Qingge asked helplessly, “So my sapphire necklace was directly given to the instance’s boss?”
Lu Jiuchuan chuckled and touched his nose. “Giving a gift to the boss is something only you can do, Chief Shao.”
Shao Qingge, “……”
Ye Qi helped him out. “Cough, fortunately, you copied it before giving it away. However, Chief Shao’s necklace might’ve had some effect. At the very least, Xiao Rou didn’t immediately send someone to kill us after getting the necklace.”
Xiao Lou said, “She didn’t kill us. She just used the ‘legend’ to induce us to investigate the merpeople at sea. If we hadn’t reacted quickly enough, we would’ve died in the deep sea.”
Ye Qi was stunned. “…So she borrowed someone else’s knife to kill us?”
Yu Hanjiang summed it up in a low voice. “The princess’ method of borrowing someone else’s hand to kill us is really wise. Perhaps the shipwreck of the Egret was also her doing.”
Lu Jiuchuan raised an eyebrow. “This woman looks weak but she is really hiding her strength. So why did she do this? Does she want to inherit the throne? She doesn’t seem ambitious…”
Xiao Lou said, “Her motives are still unclear but she must’ve joined forces with Rod Bell.”
The group was silent for a moment before Xiao Lou changed the subject, “How is the wedding investigation?”
Tang Ci answered calmly, “I checked the time, place and list of invited attendees. At that time, Brother Jiu and I will disguise ourselves as General Lin’s guards and go to the wedding.”
Chu Huaying added, “The wedding will be held at St John’s Church. I will dress up as a priest of the church.”
Shao Qingge asked, “How am I going to attend with Ye Qi? We don’t have an invitation. If we have to pretend to be someone else, there is Liu Qiao’s Twin card that allows us to be someone we’ve seen within one and a half hours.”
“You don’t have to go to the wedding scene. The two of you have another task.” Xiao Lou looked at Ye Qi and asked, “Xiao Ye, you grew up in the orphanage. Do you have any impression of your biological mother?”
“I don’t remember what my mother looks like. I was an orphan without any parents…” Ye Qi scratched his head and frowned as he thought back carefully. He was reminiscing when he remembered something and his eyes lit up. “Yes, there was a kind aunt who came to the orphanage every weekend to visit us and bring us delicious food. Could she be…”
“She is probably your mother. Think back. Did she give you anything?” Xiao Lou wondered.
Xiao Qi, have you ever heard of a wish bottle? If you bury the wish bottle under the tree, your wish will be fulfilled.
A childhood memory flashed through Ye Qi’s mind.
The image of the woman in his memory was very vague. After all, he was far too young, being less than 5 years old at the time. He only remembered that the woman had a gentle voice. Every time she came to the orphanage, she would bring a lot of food for everyone. She was funny and playful and the children liked her very much. One day, she said this and hugged Ye Qi. Then she never appeared again.
“A wish bottle under the tree.” Ye Qi remembered this childhood memory and looked at Shao Qingge. “Let’s go back to the orphanage to search. There is a tree at the door of the orphanage. Perhaps the clue she left me is there?”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality