Chapter 45: Ferdinand’s Words (1)
Death: Ty to jj for helping with the chapter <3,,,I can only Struggle.
“Pah! You damn【beep—】little【beep—】”
As Ferdinand opened the secret door, immaculately dressed and somewhat prepared—he was still astonished by the peerlessly brilliant cussing of the girl inside.
This embodied the collective wisdom of countless working-class people over thousands of years, one should not argue with another’s vicious wife.
Mr. Gurley absolutely wasn’t her opponent, and even the two burly men on the sidelines looked down in shame.
Ferdinand was astonished.
The girl’s complexion was very good—clearly, being captured hadn’t broken her spirit. Instead, she seemed…even more animated.
Shen Zhirou had been dragged here without makeup on, and with her sparse brows and pale lips, her face was practically a polygon. Without Yi Jia by her side, she had become a dismally ugly duckling once again, but this didn’t hinder her vigour as a youthful young lady.
Looking displeased, Mr. Gurley wiped the spittle off his face. He had to restrain himself for a long while in order to force himself to not raise a hand at this stupid little girl.
However, this stupid little girl simply didn’t care for his grace nor his virtue—the skill points that she’d acquired through the silence of many years could finally be unleashed during her kidnapping.
Ferdinand cleared his throat, trying to relax himself and not allow those obscenities to clog his ears. Even though Shen Zhirou’s words were practically all filtered through an artificial screening system, he still kept as much of an elegant grace as possible.
“Zhirou, you don’t need to be so nervous.”
Ferdinand gave her a light smile. As a breeze blew by1 figuratively…, he seemed particularly divine—he only needed to drape a mantle over himself to become a holy father.
Shen Zhirou, upon being met with his radiant expression, paused. Instinctively, she felt somewhat fearful of the man before her.
In fact, from the beginning, Shen Zhirou had been ‘invited’ here.
Mr. Gurley was a middle-aged old man with a two-stroke pencil mustache, and appeared extremely shrewd. Shen Zhirou didn’t quite like him, but since he and Shen Zhifan had worked closely together, it was hard to believe her gut feeling.
She’d originally thought that her brother had gotten into an accident, and in her panic, she didn’t think too much as she followed them. However, by the time she sensed that some things seemed a bit off, unfortunately it had been too late to run.
To stop her from doing anything drastic, they could only lock her up here.
She stared unwaveringly at Ferdinand. Even her energy from before had gone down somewhat…She was instinctively scared of him.
“Long time no see…” Ferdinand was about to help Shen Zhirou undo the ropes, but she ducked away with a cold face. Ferdinand then chuckled, reaching out to brush a strand of hair from her face, “The last time we met, Rourou was only as tall as my chest. After so many years, you’ve gotten taller—don’t you still remember your Brother Ferdinand?”
Shen Zhirou’s expression was unsightly, but because of his words, she couldn’t help but recall some old affairs—and then seemed to recover slightly.
She had met Ferdinand before; his outstanding looks and noble bearing made him hard to forget. Back in the day when Shen Zhifan took her away from the orphanage, Ferdinand had invited them out to eat to celebrate their newfound freedom2 originally ‘housewarming’ or ‘promotion’..
It was at the most expensive restaurant in the emperor planet’s northern district. At that time, Shen Zhifan was already beginning to gain some recognition, and Shen Zhirou had also been pompously dressed up, blank and helpless as she stood amidst worlds of ostentatiousness.
She had accompanied her brother to meet an even more pompous man.
Ferdinand had treated her well, warm and gentlemanly. Before they parted, he had even gifted her a necklace—it was exquisite and extremely precious—and until now, it was still hoarded into a drawer.
It must be said that with the kind of man Ferdinand was, it was truly child’s play to capture a young girl’s heart. Shen Zhirou had gone through a phase where she’d secretly crushed on him.
Unfortunately, by looks alone, the difference between these two was like clouds and mud, not to mention Shen Zhirou’s unknown status. On top of that, they barely saw each other afterwards, and so she had gradually forgotten him.
But now, when they met again, she could still recognise him at a glance.
She had always thought that her brother and Ferdinand had indeed been good friends, the same way she had once thought that Mr. Gurley was a good person.
Because their lives had drastically improved, her brother definitely looked much better than before—no longer sallow and pale, and no longer bruised and battered.
Everything seemed to be setting off beautifully towards a better place.
But now, she hesitated.
With a single look, one could tell that these two well-groomed men were of high status, and she was frightened.
“Brother Ferdinand?” She laughed bitterly, “Aren’t you friends with my brother? What do you mean by tricking me like this?”
In actuality, she only needed to think it over once for the answer—they had taken her hostage to threaten her brother.
However, what she didn’t understand was—what on earth did her brother have that was worthy of their desire? They were practically commoners among commoners, with some fame at most.
Although her brother had managed to earn a living, looking at the two expensively-dressed buddhas before her, it didn’t make sense for them to be money-hungry.
Ferdinand didn’t mind her rudeness, instead, he sighed regretfully.
Mr. Gurley disdained this silly girl who had crashed into His Highness. He originally wanted to cover her mouth, but was refused by Ferdinand.
Ferdinand twisted his agate thumb ring around. Under the sunshine, it took on a kind of faint, hypnotic light, with a beautiful sandy gold layer seeming to cover the saturated green—just as noble as his own outstanding appearance.
“Zhirou, there’s something I want to tell you.”
He spoke extremely gently, as if reading aloud the Bible and its prayers, but even so, Shen Zhirou felt her hair stand on end.
She was like a little kitten, staring at him with wide, terrified eyes.
“I am friends with your brother, there’s no need to question that,” Ferdinand looked at her like he was pardoning an ignorant child, “It’s just that he hadn’t wanted you to know about this, so there might be a misunderstanding between all of us now.”
Shen Zhirou’s mind blanked. The other man most likely already knew about Shen Zhifan’s amnesia.
“I was unable to contact your brother as he’s now very close with Yan Shuo—do you know him?” Ferdinand chuckled, though a glint of murderous intent involuntarily revealed itself in his eyes, “He’s quite an outstanding man, and younger than me by a year. Back then, when he stood in front of me, I never thought he would go so far…Oh, I digress, those are things of the past. In short, it’s very unfortunate that he’s now my enemy.”
“That’s why such a regrettable event happened, ” Ferdinand sighed again, fiddling with his pretty ring, “Your brother was originally on my side, but he has betrayed and turned his back to me.”
The word ‘betrayed’ was specifically emphasized. Shen Zhirou was stunned when she heard it, but this word felt like a thousand pounds weighing down on her heart—she was scared.
“Though he’s not to blame,” Ferdinand put on a tolerant, Holy Father-like smile again, though his brow was still slightly creased, as if he were distressed by this. “It’s because he lost his memory—this is our enemy’s plot, so he cannot be blamed. The most important thing now is to get his memories back, and take him back to my side.”
“Unfortunately, Yan Shou is keeping him close, and I can’t contact him. Only through you can I help your brother return to the right path.”
Return to the right path?
Shen Zhirou immediately began thinking, and tried to widen her eyes, but because they were originally small, even under her efforts they couldn’t become much larger. It seemed a bit comical.
What was the right path—who was the right path?
Was this something someone could judge just based on a few words?
“I…I don’t understand what you’re saying. What betrayal, are you guys a terrorist group or something?”
Shen Zhirou really was startled, but she also felt that Shen Zhifan would never do such things.
Mr. Gurley let out a heavy sigh, obviously thinking that something like a ‘terrorist group’ completely smeared Ferdinand’s name.
“Do not be rude, this esteemed person is—”
“Of course we’re not a terrorist group,” Ferdinand interrupted his grand introduction, as if also thinking this was all rather laughable, but then immediately his expression became serious. “This matter began a very long time ago. Rourou, do you remember the explosion of N-192?”
He changed the topic so suddenly that it made Shen Zhirou—who’d just caught up to his train of thought—pause again blankly.
The case of N star system’s explosion, which had buried countless lives and tore her family apart, leaving them destitute and homeless.
She and her brother had been ripped from their young, carefree lives; suffocated by life itself at every step. How could she ever forget?
Even now, she could still remember the fondness in her father’s otherwise indifferent gaze, and her mother’s affectionate nagging.
—Her small but warm family.
These were things she could never go back to and would never feel again.
Her parents’ voices and smiling faces emerged in her mind. With the god-like, gentle voice accompanying her, Shen Zhirou’s eyes immediately reddened, her lips trembling slightly.
“The N star system’s explosion case remains unsolved even to this day, however, this wasn’t a completely unknown case. So much so that it was a…” Ferdinand raised his voice and eyebrows and continued with a look of blatant ridicule and sorrow, “calculated conspiracy.”
Something like calculated conspiracies were really far from Shen Zhirou, but she still heard a hint of… terror.
“The N star system was a backwater star system…” Shen Zhirou blankly said, “for many generations, we didn’t involve ourselves in anything to do with the outside. Our lives were difficult enough, our… w-what conspiracy could a place like the N star system have?”
Land? No. The star system was so vast, besides, the majority of the N star system was a barren wasteland.
Resources? This was even more laughable. If there really was an abundance of resources and treasures, why would its inhabitants live so arduously? Why would they brave magnetic storms and risk their lives just to scavenge the cheapest ore?
N star system’s inhabitants consisted of the descendants of countries that had fallen to the empire, so most of them lived honestly and carefully.
What else was there?
Shen Zhirou helplessly pondered.
If it really was a conspiracy, then there should be something worth coveting: treasures or power. However, these were the complete opposites of the N star system.
“The bloodline you carry.”
It was as if Ferdinand was specifically answering the doubts in her heart as he softly spoke.
Shen Zhirou subconsciously repeated this word. She dazedly looked at the handsome man in front of her.
He raised a hand and dismissed the people around them.
The two of them were the only ones left in the tiny room. It was so quiet that not even their breaths could be heard.
“Correct, the bloodline amongst some of you,” Like magic, Ferdinand drew a piece of paper from his breast pocket. He slowly unfolded it. “It concerns Project Glory.”
- 2originally ‘housewarming’ or ‘promotion’.