Arc 6: Interstellar Art Soldiers Chapter 19
Tao Yuan was in the cockpit of the Zuo Lei’s Mecha. He was asking questions left and right, while Zuo Lei patiently answered them one by one. Tao Yuan suddenly saw those literary soldiers, all standing in front with excited expressions, looking at their way while discussing enthusiastically. He thought, what a coincidence that these people came to see the mecha at this moment.
Tao Yuan originally thought they would just take a look and leave. He planned to have Zuo Lei take him down after they left. But those people looked for a long time and still seemed like they couldn’t get enough. Tao Yuan felt hungry, and it was also time for a meal, so he didn’t bother to wait for those people to leave.
Tao Yuan asked Zuo Lei to take him down. Under the gaze of those people, the two of them walked out of the cockpit and then landed on the ground. Those people all looked stunned.
Lin Ya looked at Tao Yuan, then turned to look at the stunned expressions of the others and couldn’t help but smile. Although he felt quite envious of Tao Yuan, he genuinely felt happy for him. And those people looked jealous and resentful of Tao Yuan but couldn’t show their frustration, made him feel the situation was funny.
They can only stand there and watch and can’t even get closer, while Tao Yuan had already been inside the cockpit twice, both times being carried down by Zuo Lei.
As soon as Erman saw Tao Yuan coming out of the cockpit, Erman immediately turned to look at his brother. He wanted to pull his brother away right away but was worried that doing so might make his brother even more uncomfortable. He regretted his decision. If he had known that Tao Yuan was inside the Mecha’s cockpit with Zuo Lei, he would never have dragged his brother over, and his brother wouldn’t have seen this scene.
Dean had initially been looking at the mecha and had found it shocking. Almost everyone has a dream of piloting a Mecha deep down in their hearts. But he knew that no matter how hard he tried, he could never fulfill that dream. He kept gazing at Zuo Lei’s Mecha and was a little bit dazed. He was unable to stop his mind from making fantasies.
But when he saw Tao Yuan and Zuo Lei coming out, the fantasy shattered like a mirror, pulling him back to reality.
Dean stood still for a moment, then turned and walked away. He told himself that his heart had become numb, that he no longer felt pain, and that he didn’t care about anything anymore, no matter what he saw.
Erman opened his mouth as if to say something but couldn’t find his voice. He could only hurriedly follow Dean.
For the next two or three days, Tao Yuan basically stayed in Zuo Lei’s resting room. He had already greeted the squad leader, and as for what others thought, Tao Yuan didn’t care.
Tao Yuan informed the squad leader that he and Zuo Lei were already engaged, and they were not only legally engaged but also had their families preparing for their wedding. They would soon be legally married. Upon learning that the two were engaged and about to get married, the squad leader didn’t say much. In the base, as long as a couple was engaged or married, they could live together without any issues.
Tao Yuan continued to stay with Zuo Lei, and the squad leader had no objections. But some people began to feel discontented and approached the squad leader to express their dissatisfaction.
“Squad Leader, ever since we entered the cave base, Luo Xi comes by every day and then leaves, never staying overnight. Even if he’s in a relationship with General Zuo Lei, they’re not married yet. Isn’t it inappropriate for him to keep staying with him?”
“That’s right, he’s always with General Zuo Lei. How do you think that makes the other soldiers feel? If they see all the literary soldiers acting as casually as him, it could tarnish our reputation and image.”
“The marriage is not even official but he’s already been staying in Major General Zuo Lei’s personal lounge. Do you think this is suitable?”
“He hasn’t even married yet, and he’s been living in General Zuo Lei’s personal resting room. Isn’t that something to consider?”
“He’s even a team leader. If he doesn’t know boundaries, his team members might start imitating him. As soon as they have a lover, they’ll just move in with them. Everyone will learn from him.”
“If he wants to live with Major General Zuo Lei, he should at least wait until after the marriage, right? Living together before getting married, just how impatient can he be?”
The squad leader waited for them to finish their comments before looking at them and asking, “Are you done? Is there anything else you want to say?”
The individuals exchanged glances and seeing the squad leader’s expression, they stopped talking.
“Luo Xi and General Zuo Lei are already engaged, and as soon as this border assistance mission is over, they’re getting married back on the Imperial Star,” the squad leader said firmly. “According to the regulations, once you’re engaged, you don’t have to wait until marriage to live together. They haven’t violated any rules. So, what’s your reason for not letting them stay together? Based on you jealousy?”
“They’re engaged?! And getting married soon?!” The individuals eyes widened in surprise, wearing expressions of disbelief.
“General Zuo Lei personally sent me a photo of their legal engagement document and asked to see me in person. He personally told me that Luo Xi will be staying with him these days,” the squad leader told them. “If you still have doubts, I can take you to General Zuo Lei and have him personally explain it to you. How about that?”
Those individuals hadn’t anticipated that Tao Yuan was already engaged to Zuo Lei and had kept it quiet. If it were anyone else, they might have said to show it off. After hearing the squad leader’s words, they had no choice but to suppress their jealousy and quietly walk away with their heads down.
Other people who overheard their conversation were also surprised, mainly because Tao Yuan didn’t reveal anything about his engagement with Zuo Lei.
Although network communication beyond A11 had been cut off, the internal network communication in the cave base was still functional. So, when those individuals went to talk to the squad leader, Lin Ya had already dialed Tao Yuan’s communicator, and he had heard everything.
Tao Yuan was lying in bed, covered by a blanket. There was nothing on his body underneath the blanket because Zuo Lei had only left a short while ago, and he was still resting. Tao Yuan turned off the communicator, closed his eyes, and waited for the lingering sensations in his body to fade away. Then, he lifted the blanket, got out of bed, and walked to the bathroom.
An hour later, Tao Yuan appeared in the collective rest area for the literary soldiers. As soon as he entered, nearly everyone’s attention turned toward him because they had been discussing his engagement to Zuo Lei and their approaching wedding just before he arrived.
Tao Yuan first greeted the squad leader first and then walked towards Lin Ya.
“What are you doing?” Tao Yuan asked as he sat down on the couch by Lin Ya’s bed.
“What can I do besides daydreaming and sleeping? I can’t do much else. Why are you here?” Lin Ya leaned back on the bed and asked Tao Yuan intentionally.
“I got bored of daydreaming in my wife’s resting room, so I came here to daydream for a change,” Tao Yuan replied with a grin.
“Well, then you’d better daydream for a long while, or else people will start saying you just show up and then leave,” Lin Ya playfully said in a loud voice.
“I was actually thinking that way. With the downtime while we wait for the storm to pass, it gets boring. For certain people who can’t help but talk about others, I thought if I’m not here, they can gossip freely, which might make them feel better, and it would pass the time. Unfortunately, someone doesn’t appreciate my efforts, so I had to come here and daydream, just to make them jealous.”
“Who told you to not only be excellent yourself but also find an excellent fiancé?” Lin Ya said. “People like them, they’ll never surpass you in this lifetime. Besides jealousy and gossip, what else can they do? Just understand it that way.”
“I think there’s a saying that makes a lot of sense. ‘Beauty comes from within.’ Do you know why I’m so good-looking?” Tao Yuan asked with a playful tone. “Because I’ve never been jealous of others, and I don’t talk behind people’s backs. If I have something to say, I say it to their face. Some people, the reason they look ugly is that their hearts are too dirty, and it shows on their faces. A dirty heart, coupled with an ugly face, I wonder who’ll be unlucky enough to marry someone like that in the future.”
Tao Yuan didn’t refer to any names, but he came close to it with his remarks. Those people’s faces, upon hearing Tao Yuan’s words, had visibly changed with anger, but they didn’t dare to argue with him. Among the team members, they could debate about performances, but personal conflicts and arguments were strictly prohibited. Engaging in such conflicts could lead to reprimands and point deductions, and even though Tao Yuan had high scores and didn’t mind losing a few points, they would be quite upset if they were docked even one point.
“Oh~” Lin Ya said, as if he had just realized something. “This is what you meant before when you said ‘jealousy makes people ugly.’ No wonder some people seem to get uglier with each passing day after joining the fleet.”
Tao Yuan and Lin Ya’s conversation could be heard by everyone, including Dean who was reading a book. He didn’t lift his head, but he heard their words clearly. In his mind, he thought, no wonder their squad leader said that Tao Yuan was not someone to mess with. Listening to what he said, every sentence had a sharp edge that could hurt people. But it is also not right in the first place for the other people to gossip behind someone’s back first.
As Tao Yuan and Lin Ya continued their conversation, they managed to infuriate those individuals to the point where their faces contorted. They eventually shifted the discussion to other topics.
As they chatted, Lin Ya suddenly asked, “Have you and General Zuo Lei set a wedding date?”
“It’s settled. Zuo Lei’s family has prepared everything they can in advance. We just need to register when we get back and then we can have the wedding right away,” Tao Yuan replied.
“I thought you would start preparing for the wedding after you returned to the Imperial Star. So, they’ve already started preparing this early? It seems like his family really wants you two to get married as soon as possible,” Lin Ya commented, then looked up and started to imagine, “What kind of wedding have they prepared for you both?”
“Do you want to see? Zuo Lei’s mother sent me a lot of pre-designed scene models and asked me to choose,” Tao Yuan said as he opened his communicator.
“Of course!” Lin Ya straightened up in excitement and curiosity. “Why didn’t you say so earlier? Let me see them quickly.”
Tao Yuan clicked on the projection on the screen and began showing him the three-dimensional images and animations one by one.
“They’re so beautiful! Are you going to get married in a place like this?!” Lin Ya looked at the three-dimensional models of the venues, and his eyes practically sparkled. Despite coming from a noble family himself, the luxurious yet elegant decorations was enough to make anyone’s heart race with just one glance.
“Yes, the venues were specially designed by Zuo Lei’s mother. I selected and arranged these accessories and small decorations. Do they look good?” Tao Yuan felt that since it was his own wedding, he should be somewhat involved in the decoration. For the larger-scale arrangements, he didn’t need to worry too much because Zuo Lei’s mother had already done a perfect job with the design. But for these smaller details, he wanted to put in a little more thought so that he can feel a sense of participation.
“It’s so beautiful!” Lin Ya couldn’t take his eyes off them and exclaimed from the bottom of his heart, “These items are already stunning on their own, but the way they’re arranged makes them even more beautiful. When it’s my turn to have a wedding in the future, I’ll have you help me choose and arrange things.”
“Sure,” Tao Yuan readily agreed and continued to show him the other parts of the venue’s decoration.
“My goodness! How much money are you spending on this wedding?” Lin Ya couldn’t help but be amazed when he saw the decorations.
“I also think it’s a bit extravagant, but Zuo Lei’s mother said that this is her last time hosting a wedding. In the future, when her grandchildren get married she won’t be involved. She’ll let the parents handle everything themselves. So, this time she wants to give her all and make sure it’s perfect, so that Zuo Lei and all of us have no regrets,” Tao Yuan explained. He had also advised Madam Rui Ya against going overboard, but Madam Rui Ya might have been so delighted that her son was marrying someone she approved of that she decided to use her own personal funds to throw them a luxurious wedding, with everything being the best.
Lin Ya nodded in understanding and said, “Parents tend to dote more on their youngest child. General Zuo Lei is much younger than his two brothers, so his mother is definitely more partial to him. But I think, from such a luxurious wedding, you can also see how satisfied she is with you. If she wasn’t genuinely pleased with you, she wouldn’t have organized such a grand event.”
Tao Yuan thought to himself, amazed at how accurately Lin Ya had hit the mark.
As Tao Yuan showed the projection of the three-dimensional images to Lin Ya, the people around couldn’t resist their curiosity and looked over. The dreamy scene decorations filled them with envy, making their hearts itch like a cat’s paw scratching. Even the squad leader couldn’t help but glance over and thought that such a wedding setup was something every woman and cixing person dreamt of.
Dean had been reading with his head down, but when he heard what Lin Ya said, he involuntarily lifted his head and stared at the projection screen in a daze. In his heart, he wondered if, had he not broken up with Zuo Lei back then, he would also have had such a carefully arranged wedding by Zuo Lei’s mother.
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