The only level three lab in the city was located on its edge.
Fortunately, the city was not overly vast, relative distance to the lab wasn’t too far.
Ge Xiu had already memorized the path to the laboratory during the day. Under the cover of night, he flexibly shuttled between alleys and street corners, cleverly using the shortcuts around the main roads of the city, coming from one end to the other in the blind of an eye.
The laboratory at night was dark and the outside door was closed, making it look gloomy and lifeless.
Ge Xiu could clearly see the densely distributed detection and monitoring instruments. However, in his eyes, the shimmering lights in the air reflecting from those high-precision monitoring devices were as clear and vivid as mouse scurrying through the night in cat’s eyes.
The pitch-black kitten swiftly and nimbly leaped into the building, soundless like a shadow.
Its movements were so sharply precise, it perfectly avoided all monitoring facilities not making a single sound, the layers of confidentiality measures in the laboratory were like a phantom in front of it.
Ge Xiu first destroyed the surveillance video in the laboratory from the inside.
After confirming that he could not be photographed, he intruded into the main space of the laboratory along the ventilation duct.
The black kitten jumped down lightly, its slender tail helped it keep balance and the pads under its feet minimized the impact of landing, as it gracefully landed on the experimental table.
Ge Xiu paced in front of the testing equipment, carefully took the metal sample he hid at the root of his teeth, bit through the bag, and then skillfully operated the machine to test the relevant properties of the metal.
Soon, the test results were out.
Ge Xiu dragged the test sheet to his eyes with his paws, his green cat pupils flickering in the darkness, scanning the data on it with ten lines at a glance.
As he imagined, this unknown material was extremely radioactive.
However, what Ge Xiu did not expect was that although this material was indeed artificially synthesized, in fact, if one were to be more precise, it was more like a reworked product created by artificial reversal of existing substances at the molecular level. The most primitive source on the level was…
Looking at the data displayed at the bottom of the long inspection sheet, Ge Xiu was slightly taken aback.
This element symbol… For some reason, he felt it was a little inexplicably familiar.
Ge Xiu jumped off the testing table and turned on one of the computers in the laboratory. His fluffy paws skillfully tapped the keyboard, and a series of information instantly jumped out on the computer screen that got automatically connected to the Internet.
He stared intently at the screen that lit up in front of him, the characters scrolling on the computer were reflected in the depths of his pupils.
This substance was a newly developed type of energy. Just a few micrograms could release high-efficiency clean energy comparable to nuclear energy, furthermore it was easy to develop and store. Its appearance was a huge sensation, setting off a new industrial revolution, and it had been widely used in mass production and people’s lives since then. It could be said that its existence had reshaped the face of the whole world had become indispensable since
The essence behind this world’s technological advancements in energy weapon field that could almost match the high-tech starship era was the development of this new type of energy.
The reason why humans won the war between lycanthropes and humanity was closely related to the research and development of these weapons.
Ge Xiu squatted in front of the computer, his fluffy cat face was serious, the pointed ears on the top of his head quivered slightly.
——He always felt that something was not right.
So, he began to follow this clue, traced back to the source, and began to dig deeper into the details.
Finally, Ge Xiu found some clues.
The birth of this new type of energy was actually far earlier than the war that subverted the rules of this world. Sixty years ago, there was a laboratory reporting the results of related energy source experiments. However, that research laboratory was directly closed without warning, and all the archives were sealed, but Ge Xiu was still able to find out a steady stream of funds being allocated from and to the account.
Fifty-eight years ago, it all came to an abrupt end.
There was nothing to be found, whether it was a new energy program, the closed lab, or the money allocated from the finance department.
Ge Xiu sifted through the vast database, and finally found clues in a violation report fifty-nine years ago.
The violation report had been erased, and even after restoring and reconstructing the original file, he barely got an incomplete version of the report.
It was a violation detection report issued to a multinational company. Eighty percent of the content had been destroyed, but it still could be seen that it was reporting an incident of a company’s large-scale use of undeclared energy.
The international relations in this world were far more complex than in previous worlds. The competition among the powers was fierce, especially when it came to energy. It could be said that whoever could master new and efficient energy would master the lifeline of the world economy.
And the company mentioned in the violation report was the leading company in the large international strategic plan of the country where Ge Xiu was currently located. Although it belonged to the state in name, in truth it was managed by private individuals.
In the year when the violation report was signed, Ge Xiu found out that the company’s stock price was on the rise, rapidly increasing its market share…
Three months later, beastmen began to appear all over the world.
Ge Xiu compared the company’s trade routes with the regions where the first lycanthropes appeared, and unsurprisingly found a 95 percent overlap between the two.
Everything came to light and the truth was out.
The country desperately needed new energy sources to gain the upper hand in the fierce competition. Although the laboratory was successfully completed, it was stopped due to its huge flaws — and this flaw was most likely to be related to the correlation between the radiation and genetic variation in humans — according to the current data, the percentage of such variation was about 5%.
However, one of the companies took over this unsafe new energy source and used them widely in production.
The lycanthropes mutated by the radiation have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain.
In order to prevent from being held accountable, the state choose not to expose those facts and impose punishment, but decided to seal the truth.
However, everything gradually went out of control. The war between the beastmen and humans broke out, and humans gradually fell behind. Therefore, in order to prevent the further deterioration of the situation, the government had to use this new energy to conduct weapons research, and this energy also entered people’s vision and filled their life.
After the war, it gradually became indispensable until people no longer could leave the new energy source.
But the sealed secrets couldn’t be exposed.
So the government had to go the other way—they researched substances that would reverse this radiation at the molecular level, identifying groups that were susceptible to being mutated by radiation, forcibly assigning collars to those people, using this way to maintain social stability, hiding their fatal mistakes in greed and selfishness.
It was a purely man-made disaster.
Ge Xiu’s eyes sank, he subconsciously lowered his head to lick his paws.
Things have developed to this point, the research on the follow-up closure must be more urgent.
Ge Xiu jumped to the keyboard and checked the domestic research institutes that were still researching new energy projects — the laboratory that he was currently in was impressively among them.
He blinked, beginning to wonder how far they had come now.
So, Ge Xiu began to hack into the laboratory’s database.
It was much less difficult to operate from inside the laboratory, and in less than five minutes the door to the database opened unsuspectingly in front of him.
Ge Xiu quickly located relevant research projects.
He quickly scanned the data and research results in front of him, and couldn’t help being slightly taken aback.
It had clearly already been discovered that this artificial reversal of radiation by the collar was not permanent.
Now that new energy was widely popularized, it could indeed temporarily suppress the genetic variation of susceptible people, but it would be accompanied by endless negative effects.
It shortened the wearer’s lifespan over time.
To make matters worse, as the human body gradually developed resistance to the released radiation, the effect of the collar would gradually become weaker and weaker, and the wearer would gradually lose their sanity and act more and more according to their own instinctual desires. After certain wearers that had gone past the breaking point transformed, their transformation would no longer be restricted by day and night, but would let them maintain the most destructive state, venting their accumulated raw anger to the outside world with no end.
So the lab submitted a plan to the state.
About how to get eliminate lycanthropes once and for all.
However, this plan was obviously top secret, so that even Ge Xiu couldn’t access it.
Ge Xiu turned his head and glanced at the clock in the laboratory. There was only half an hour left before sunrise, and he had to leave within this time.
He began to quickly clean up his mess, erasing all traces of his presence.
At this moment, his hind legs accidentally swept across a stack of folders, kicked its buckles open, and the snow-white pieces of paper were scattered on the table in an instant.
Ge Xiu turned around and began to use his paws to settle back the stack of documents.
At this moment, his eyes caught a familiar photo on the folder.
The stern-faced man looked towards the direction of the camera. The face with deep features was covered with shadows, making it blurry and distant. A pair of dark eyes were hidden under the sharp eyebrows, like a snow-white blade tearing through the darkness, wild, icy, Danger.
Ge Xiu was taken aback.
This was… Shen Boyan.
He pulled out the document with his claws, only to find that 90% of the content on it had been blacked out, and it was almost impossible to obtain any particularly important information.
the bright red and huge “MISSING” printed on the photo, with a clear date below.
——This was a photo from fifty years ago.
Ge Xiu left the laboratory, running in the bright sky.
Sunrise was getting near.
He casually found a resting clothing store, and quietly sneaked into the dark storefront.
Twenty minutes later, the first ray of morning light pierced the sky, dispelling the coldness and darkness of the night.
Ge Xiu randomly found a piece of clothing from the clothing store and put it on, skilfully hiding his tail and ears.
He slipped out through the back door and returned to Chen Ziyan’s apartment.
Using his newly bought laptop, Ge Xiu began to search the Internet for everything related to the war started by the lycanthropes fifty years ago.
But he soon found out that except for some innocuous and insignificant content, nothing else could be searched, as if it had been systematically erased and sealed.
In addition, Ge Xiu also discovered some bizarre wounding incidents reported in social news in recent months.
It appeared that the consequences of the gradual weakening of the collar’s effects started showing up little by little.
The whole day passed by quietly.
Ge Xiu didn’t realize that he had been immersed in his own world for so long until he found himself suddenly shrinking and turning into a cat again.
He broke free from the clothes piled on him, then left the room through the gap in the window, and ran towards Shen Boyan’s apartment.
Although he had not completely sorted out a clear and systematic conclusion, but if Ge Xiu’s guess was correct…
Then Shen Boyan was not a potential beastman, but a human who had turned beast before, and the collar’s impact on him was completely unknown.
Ge Xiu raised his head and stared at Shen Boyan’s pitch-black window, feeling that his mood was a little chaotic.
Don’t be influenced.
He reminded himself.
Ge Xiu skilfully jumped onto the window sill, and found that the gap in the window that he opened before he left was still there.
The room was pitch black, the reflections of the dazzling light outside reflecting on the window made it mostly impossible for him to see what was inside the room.
Ge Xiu drilled into the gap.
He jumped lightly to the ground, barely making a sound.
But at this moment, he heard a man’s low voice in the darkness:
“You are back.”
Ge Xiu was startled and looked vigilantly in the direction of the voice, only to see Shen Boyan sitting in the darkness, staring at him with his eyes lowered:
“This time you have been away for more than 24 hours.”
His voice had slightly rough hoarseness, the low vibration spread in the air, plucking at one’s heartstrings.
Shen Boyan sounded unexpectedly calm.
But under that calm, there seemed to be some kind of intense, dangerous, unsettling vortex and undercurrent, spiralling beneath the smooth surface of the water.
“I thought you had left.”
Shen Boyan raised his eyes.
Ge Xiu suddenly noticed — the color of the other party’s eyes was close to an eerie scarlet.
He couldn’t help, but be slightly startled.
Ge Xiu subconsciously took two steps back, his brain spinning rapidly.
This…was this one of the side effects of the collar?
A gradual loss of sanity and control and an increasing submission to instinctual impulses and desires.
Shen Boyan stood up and walked slowly towards Ge Xiu.
His face was quiet and calm, the towering browbones were casting shadows over a pair of scarlet vertical pupils staring at him from the darkness, whose depths were filled cruel brutal and primitive sense of danger that was almost inhuman.
Ge Xiu’s heart shook.
He turned and ran in the direction he came from, moving quickly and agilely, like a shadow piercing the darkness.
The open gap was close at hand.
The cool night wind was sent in from the open corner of the window, blowing over the tips of the fluffy ears, the night sky was right in front of him.
However, Shen Boyan’s actions were one step faster than his.
All characteristics of lycanthropes were rapidly emerging, whether it was the strange pupil color or the abnormal increase in speed and strength, all of which showed the increasing awakening and mutation of the power rushing through the blood vessels.
The slender, cold fingers reached under Ge Xiu’s ribs and picked him up gently but irresistibly.
Ge Xiu watched helplessly as he got farther and farther away from the ground and then was carried into an embrace with no possibility of breaking free.
Shen Boyan lowered his eyes, gently stroking the head of the kitten in his arms with his fingertips, following from the fluffy back to the base of his tail.
Ge Xiu blinked and looked up above his head.
The metal collar on the opponent’s neck reflected a faint cold glint in the darkness.
Ge Xiu narrowed his eyes, a gleam of light flashed in his emerald pupils.
Shen Boyan stared at him fixedly, his eyes darkened and his expression unpredictable.
At such a close distance, Ge Xiu could clearly see the other’s eyes.
Scarlet deep like coagulated blood, the color gradually deepening from the outside to the inside, and the narrow slit-like vertical pupils were embedded in the strong and brilliant blood-colored iris, an evil and eerie look.
He couldn’t help but being taken aback.
Ge Xiu remembered seeing the exact same eyes in the second punishment world he experienced.
The last Fenrir left in the world.
The giant wolf with two wings on its back was, born from a legendary mythical creation.
Ge Xiu had read all the information about the beasts that can be found, although lycanthropes can also become lions, leopards, tigers, wolves and other beasts, and their body size was often more exaggerated than size of real species in the nature, their aggressiveness and destructive power was also more astonishing and exaggerated, but Ge Xiu had not seen any records related to it being able to become a species derived from mythology like Fenrir.
Could it be that this was why he was able to see the profile photos of Shen Boyan from fifty years ago in the laboratory?
Assuming that the settings of the previous world could be used in this world, then… after Fenrir got seriously injured, he would return to his childhood form.
Ge Xiu stared thoughtfully at the other’s face.
Some guesses that could only be considered vague before gradually took shape.
——Shen Boyan once participated in the war between beastmen and humans.
The hideous layers of scars on his back came from that tragic war, and the reason why he was able to maintain this young state was closely related to his beast form.
Fenrir was no ordinary beast.
Ge Xiu looked deeply into the depths of Shen Boyan’s scarlet pupils, and saw his inverted reflection at the bottom of his eyes.
A fleeting image flashed through his mind.
The tall man knelt down on one knee, his long black waterfall-like hair slid down his shoulders, he bowed his head reverently, pressing his lips on the back of his hand.
Immediately afterwards, everything around them began to fall apart, all the walls and ground melted into powder, leaving only the two of them standing opposite each other in the darkness. Time seemed to be frozen in that one second, each millisecond was like an eternity.
Ge Xiu forced himself to wave away the image in his mind.
Upon analysing and judging the information he had learned by now, he had basically been able to complete the lost logic chain in this world.
Shen Boyan was now in an abnormal state. The gradual recovery of the lycanthrope gene had made him lose his rationality, therefore he would be driven by his instinctual desires, plundering his self control and bottom line with no end.
This was a side effect of the collar’s radiation.
Ge Xiu had in fact seen relevant news reports before he left Chen Ziyan’s apartment.
These similar incidents broke out in these two months. It was clear that the effectiveness of the collar had fallen by big numbers in the short period of time. If no further control was carried out, the threat posed by the lycanthropes would inevitably occur on a large scale. However, this may be exactly the situation the government wanted to see——
They posses control over the electric shock function of the collar.
Then the storm caused by the new lycanthropes would be controllable.
Letting the riots happen, arousing the humanity’s fear and rejection towards the beastmen, would give them an opportunity to clean up this potential group of threats.
Strictly controlling a group of time bombs on the verge of exploding would create much less public opinion resistance than restricting the surveillance of collar-wearers who were safe and under control.
Nor would it cause a massive backlash from collar wearers.
After all, they were more worried that they would lose their minds and become uncontrollable monsters, so they would naturally give their personal freedom to government’s hands.
It would be a win-win for the government.
Similarly, Ge Xiu was also very clear about what he should do to get out of the current predicament.
No matter how tough the enemy was and how bad and dangerous the situation was, he would always leave a way out for himself and prevent himself from falling into a predicament with no way out.
Ge Xiu always had a backup plan.
Just like now.
Even if Shen Boyan, who was gradually leaning towards the direction of beastization, had far greater strength and speed than himself, while he was just a frail kitten with no way to reverse this purely weak state.
——However, Shen Boyan’s collar was still wrapped around his neck.
If Ge Xiu could briefly get out and activate the electric shock program on his collar, it should create an opportunity for him to escape from being controlled by others.
The only question was…
was he going to do it?
At this moment, Shen Boyan lifted the palm-sized little black cat and held it in front of his eyes, carefully examining it.
Two pointed ears stuck out of its little fluffy head, the black and soft body was stretched by gravity, two small hind legs hanging in the air, one front paw laid on his wrist, the other curled slightly, so that pink paws could be vaguely seen.
A pair of eyes green like young leaves blinked, looking cute and well-behaved, without the slightest threat.
It made a soft cry.
Shen Boyan stared at the cat that was held high on his eye level, narrowed his eyes slightly, and asked slowly:
“What are you thinking about now?”
“Are you thinking about how to leave?” he leaned closer, a smile without any warmth swept over his lips: “Or how to counterattack?”
Ge Xiu was slightly surprised.
His face was furry now, and logically thinking, there should be no obvious emotional expression.
And… he wasn’t even a human now.
Did Shen Boyan actually like cats so much?
The little black cat in front of him blinked innocently, like an ordinary little animal that didn’t know the world, making a soft and ignorant cry again:
Shen Boyan’s eyes were tumbling with blood colour.
The next second, the little black cat moved closer, stretched out the tip of his pink tongue and licked lightly on the tip of his nose.
There was a slight tingling sensation from the rough tongue, Shen Boyan couldn’t help being stunned for a moment, and stepped back subconsciously.
The little black cat flicked its tail and tilted its head: “Meow.”
The bloody scarlet in Shen Boyan’s eyes faded a little, he was stunned for a while, and then fixedly looked at the cat he was holding in his hands.
Ge Xiu was not sure whether the other knew his identity or if he still thought he was a real cat — after all, he recognized Shen Boyan the moment he saw him. The kind of imprint that seem to take root deep into his soul let him distinguish him at a glance, maybe the other felt the same way, so he felt a similar sense of closeness and familiarity to him as a cat.
Or… the other party discovered something.
However, he had already reached this point and he can only continue to go on this way.
Taking advantage of the slight relaxation of Shen Boyan’s palm, Ge Xiu broke free from his hold.
He habitually jumped onto the bed, squatted on the pillow, lowered his head, and combed with his tongue the messy fluff on his body little by little.
Shen Boyan walked to the edge of the bed and sat down.
He reached out and rubbed the little black cat’s ears.
The little black cat stopped combing its hair, raised its head, leaned in and sniffed Shen Shen’s fingers. The kitten touched the other’s finger with the tip of its wet nose, then as if confirming the other’s identity, he placed his chin on his fingers, rubbing against his head.
Shen Boyan habitually curved his fingers and scratched his chin.
The kitten’s whiskers trembled, its green eyes narrowed slightly, a purring sound came out of its throat as it leaned uncontrollably on his hand.
The scarlet in Shen Boyan’s eyes faded a little again, mainly turning back to the deep pitch black colour again.
The restlessness and fury that burned inside him the whole time gradually faded, a strange sense of calmness and secret joy filled his heart, the rage that was about to explode, the anxiety that could not be controlled, and the huge sense of unease as if he was close to losing something, gradually became appeased and comforted little by little.
He stared at the little black cat lying on the pillow, his fingers running softly through its delicate fur.
Who was he?
Before yesterday, Shen Boyan deliberately avoided talking about this issue.
He was worried that the status quo would change.
He was afraid that if he took a step forward, the peace they had would pop, just like bursting colorful soap bubbles in the sun.
But after waiting anxiously for a day and a night, his mind had completely changed.
Shen Boyan realised that he didn’t care who was hiding under the cat’s skin.
No matter what, he had to hold him firmly in the palm of his hand.
——he is mine.
A trace of dark red flashed at the bottom of Shen Boyan’s eyes.
It doesn’t matter, he will know at dawn.
We can entirely skip Ge Xiu asking ML “would you love me if I were a worm” he would no matter what animal.
Ge Xiu: Don’t get influenced don’t get influenced.
Also Ge Xiu: I could shock him with his collar but… idk. Not feeling like that today. Might as well purr purr and lick.
Sorry it took me so long, this chapter is really, well, long! 4K in EN and 7K in chinese characters!