Gao Cheng shook his head groggily.
There was a hazy darkness in front of him, his ears were filled with buzzing sound, his brain felt like filled with cotton, sluggish unable to think.
Where was… he?
He blinked forcefully, and the fog that enveloped his eyes gradually dissipated.
Gao Cheng finally saw exactly where he was.
It looked like an abandoned warehouse, flickering weak light bulbs hung in the mid-air from a wire, dim light hardly illuminating the shabby and mottled interior of the warehouse — only a few broken chairs, crooked low table with broken legs and a few dusty old canvas covering the debris in the corner, leaving only vague outlines to be seen.
It looked like a scene from a horror movie.
Gao Cheng fell goosebumps all over his body. He tried to get up from the ground, but he then he realised that his hands were tied behind him — it was a dead knot, making it impossible to break free.
The boy’s voice was clear, with slight hoarseness from a voice changer, breaking the silence without warning coming from right beside him.
Gao Cheng was startled and suddenly looked in the direction from which the voice came.
He saw that there was a fairly complete long table next to the place where he was tied, with a lamp placed on the corner of the table, barely illuminating the dark corner.
The young man sat on the long table and looked at him with a slight smile*, his two slender calves swaying leisurely in mid-air. Half of his porcelain-white face was illuminated by the yellow light of the desk lamp, which outlined the corners of his slightly raised lips, and dyed those abyss-like dark eyes with a layer of silently burning fire.
*笑眯眯 – xiaomimi, a slight smile with narrowed eyes
Without the cover of the hat, the pair of fluffy cat ears on his head became more distinct and conspicuous.
it… it’s a lycanthrope!
Gao Cheng felt chill on his back and his hair rose in an instant, the memories before fainting flooded back into his mind like a tsunami—
He remembered that he had met Chen Ziyan who hadn’t come to school for a long time in an alley, and then… he accidentally knocked off the hat on the other’s head… The last image left in his mind was that the other side was facing him with a bright smile, everything that happened next seemed to be a fragmented spinning picture. He felt a pain in the back of his neck, and then everything was swallowed up by the endless darkness.
Although he had been wearing a metal collar that suppressed mutation ever since he could remember, he also knew what he might look like if he didn’t wear the collar.
However, in the current strictly controlled by the government society, this was the first time that Gao Cheng had seen a true transformed lycanthrope.
After all, he was from the generation who grew up surrounded with modified education and propaganda. In their hearts, the lycanthropes were synonymous with brutality and bloodshed, they brought only bloodshed and chaos — although they loathed to wear the collar around their necks that symbolized their otherness, but this did not mean that they identified as lycanthropes themselves.
Even more, they feared and hated lycanthropes more than ordinary people.
Ge Xiu jumped off the table and walked towards him.
Gao Cheng’s face was pale and his throat was dry. He asked in a cracking voice fearfully, “I…I, what about…the other two?”
Ge Xiu pointed casually behind him.
Gao Cheng turned his head with difficulty and looked in the direction the other party pointed, and saw that his other two companions were also tied up tightly like rice dumplings*, lying on the dusty warehouse floor motionlessly, not showing any sighs of waking up from the coma.
“They… what happened to them?” Gao Cheng asked nervously.
“I didn’t control my strength when I attacked.” Ge Xiu shrugged regretfully, and the cat ears on his head twitched slightly with his movements.
He retracted his gaze and looked at Gao Cheng again, the curvature of his lips deepening slightly:
“However, since you awoke first, let’s start with you.”
Gao Cheng’s face was pale again, and his voice trembled slightly from panic: “You… what do you want to do?”
The youth turned around and walked to the table with brisk steps. He lowered his head under the dim light of the table lamp and carefully selected the equipment and tools on the table.
From this angle, Gao Cheng could only see the icy silver glint coming from the metal equipment on the table, as well as hear the tingling sound that made the scalp tingling.
He shrank back in panic, but was restricted by the tightly bound rope, so he could only press himself firmly against the pillar behind him.
Gao Cheng stammered, “Please, I, I can give you money…”
The teenager had already picked out the tools and walked towards him unhurriedly.
“Aahhhhhhhh…” Gao Cheng let out a blood-curdling scream.
The familiar facial features looked so unfamiliar at the moment, the corners of the lips had risen, showing a cruel and bloodthirsty smile like an evil spirit.
“Scream all you want, no one will hear it.”
Ge Xiu grabbed the tool in his hand, paused slightly his steps, then tilted his head thoughtfully:
“…This sentence sounds very villainous ah.”
Gao Cheng was stunned for a moment, the scream that had just rushed out of his throat was stopped in the middle, he was choked by his own saliva, making him cough piercingly.
When he was coughing until he turned confused and dizzy, Ge Xiu had already squatted down and started to fiddle with Gao Cheng’s neck collar with a tool.
The sound of metal knocking on mental came to his hears, Gao Cheng stopped coughing in horror, and stammered:
“No, don’t! Electric, electric…”
Ge Xiu glanced at him indifferently, and then withdrew his gaze unmoved, not stopping his actions at all.
Gao Cheng felt despair in his heart — it wasn’t that he had never tried to remove his collar when he was young and ignorant, but after being punished by high-voltage electric current several times, he never dared to do so again, especially as he grew older, because the intensity of the current would increase with age.
Just as he was waiting for the electric shock to come, he felt a chill in his neck, and then, the sound of footsteps of the other sounded, gradually moving away from him.
Gao Cheng was startled.
He opened his eyes and turned his head.
His neck was empty, the cold wind blowing from the bottom of the door of the warehouse swept across his neck, bringing a slight coldness — this was the first time he felt the feeling of taking off the metal collar.
But this feeling was more frightening than wearing a collar.
If he didn’t wear it, he may become a new lycanthrope, and this process was irreversible.
At that time, whether it was the endless pursuit or the hostility of the whole society, even thinking about it made him shudder.
This was the dilemma of today’s collar wearers — they loathed the mark on their necks that separated them from normal people, but were inexorably dependent on it, dreading the untold suffering they may face if the collar disappeared.
Gao Cheng begged: “Please, don’t take the collar away…”
Ge Xiu was working at his desk without raising his head: “Don’t worry, you won’t transform in such a short period of time.”
“How do you know?”
“Haven’t you changed your collar since you were young?”
The body shape changed a lot during the growth period, and the collar obviously didn’t have the function of adjusting the size, so it must be replaced regularly — that is to say, taking it off for a short while would not cause any undue impact on the wearer.
The warehouse fell into dead silence.
After a long time, Gao Chengcai asked uncertainly: “So, will you give me back the collar?”
“Of course.” Ge Xiu gave him a strange look: “What would I want it for?”
Gao Cheng hesitated: “You…don’t you plan to turn me into a beastman like you?”
“Too naive.” Ge Xiu replied casually while working, “What would I want from you. “
Gao Cheng: “…”
Although he felt relieved, why did he suddenly feel that he was being insulted?
He continued to ask tentatively: “Are you not going to do experiments on me or something?”
Ge Xiu put down his tools and began to seriously think about the possibility of doing so:
“Forget it, I don’t have enough surgical equipment and anesthesia right now, loses from cutting you open in such a harsh environment is likely to outweigh the gains.”
Gao Cheng: “…”
Trembling in fear.
He closed his mouth and sat quietly in the dark, trying to minimize his presence.
Ge Xiu concentrated on dismantling and researching the metal collar in his hands, writing and drawing on the paper with a pen in one hand, outlining its internal structure.
However, to his surprise, the internal structure of the collar was much simpler than he thought. The electric shock function he observed last night actually constituted of the main body of the entire collar — its main purpose was actually to prevent the wearer from taking it off, there was no high-end technological equipment nor electronic structure that could support the so-called “mutation gene suppression” effect.
Except for the part of the material that Ge Xiu was unfamiliar with, it was just an ordinary electric shock collar.
The key point must be here.
Ge Xiu disassembled the part covered by the material — it hid was a simple energy amplifier, and inside the amplifier was a silver-white metal with regular edges, radiating a faint light.
He recognized at a glance that it must be artificially made as it had very obvious traces of being processed.
Ge Xiu had never seen such material before, he looked at it again and again, frowning in confusion.
Suddenly, he suddenly thought of something, turned and jumped to Gao Cheng, who was tightly bound, holding the piece of metal in front of his eyes: “Is it glowing?”
Gao Cheng was frightened by this unexpected question. He was stunned for a moment. Under the pressure of Ge Xiu’s real eyes, he bravely observed the metal block that was held up in front of him:
In Gao Cheng’s eyes, this was just an ordinary silver-white metal.
——now it’s right.
Ge Xiu thoughtfully retreated to the table and lowered his head to play with the piece of metal in his hand.
He was able to see invisible forms of energy, so the metal was glowing to his eyes — that’s why energy amplifiers were placed on the outside of it, and its ports were aimed at the wearer’s glands and dense in nerves neck.
Not only was it not a suppression device, but it was more like a source of radiation that was constantly applied to the human body from the outside.
Then why was this synthetic radiation material able to play the role of “inhibiting mutation”?
Unless… the manufacturer knew very well what caused the mutation.
Ge Xiu began to ponder a possibility that gradually became clearer.
The appearance of the lycanthropes had always been the result of the natural mutation of human genes in public media reports, but the timing of its appearance was too uniform, with the state protecting intelligence and all information too tighly.
The appearance of lycanthropes was likely to be man-made.
Just as he was in deep thought, he suddenly felt a slight sway in front of him, and then, the familiar feeling of weightlessness came, as if he fell down from a height.
Ge Xiu struggled to break free from the clothes covering him, then turned his head and glanced at the gap in the warehouse door — the sky outside was completely dark.
Ge Xiu was stunned for a second.
Because he studied too seriously, he forgot the passage of time for a while.
Not only did he become a cat outside, but he also didn’t have the time to return Shen Boyan’s clothes!
In case he found that there was one set of clothes missing from his wardrobe, his vest* may not be guaranteed.
*a cover for secret identity
He jumped onto the table, shoved the piece of metal back into the amplifier with fluffy paws, and jumped off the table with it in his mouth, tossing it onto the stunned Gao Cheng’s lap.
Although this effect will be weakened, it was enough for Gao Cheng had been unstoppably radiated for more than ten years to have the collar nearby.
Ge Xiu licked his paws, then turned around and ran out of the warehouse.
Gao Cheng watched in shock as his small and agile figure leaped into the darkness, and blinked hard in disbelief—
was that… a cat? ? ?
The author has something to say:
Gao Cheng: Are all beastmen so cute?
Bamboo has something to say:
I am using lycanthrope and beastman interchangeably even though raw isn’t shouren, but the setting is basically normal beastmen in modern times so that might make it easier for long time danmei readers~
Sorry for the long break, I was working on a big project! It’s a short novel teaser and it probably won’t but it might be uploaded here~ Everything is at work still now.
EDIT: IT WILL BE UPLOADED ON MY SITE, TOMORROW! expect big pack of updates next few days!
they had been kidnapped by:]