Limited Ambiguity Chapter 3

Chapter 3

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The wound on his finger healed completely that evening as if by a miracle, but he pretended not to notice Lu Fenghan’s hesitation to speak. His finger remained wrapped in the white bandage as he wandered around the house.

For the first time, Lu Fenghan found the bandage an eyesore.

On the third day, when Qi Yan’s finger was still wrapped in a thick layer of bandage and he refused to let Lu Fenghan help him untie it, Lu Fenghan pinched the bridge of his nose helplessly and said, “Qi Yan, your wound is already healed. It will not leave any trace.”

Qi Yan was reading by the window, scanning the pages ten lines at a time. When he noticed Lu Fenghan standing opposite him, he didn’t even lift his eyelids. He turned slowly, his back to Lu Fenghan, and replied, “I know.”

I know, but I don’t want to remove the bandages.

Lu Fenghan reflected, wasn’t he paying too much attention to that bandage? If Qi Yan didn’t want to remove it, so be it. Maybe he just liked his fingers wrapped in bandages? There were thousands of planets and so many humans, who didn’t have some special quirks?

Concluding his self-reflection, Lu Fenghan checked the time and reminded, “It’s nine o’clock, you should go out.”

Qi Yan finished reading the last two pages, then changed into a light grey silk shirt, “Let’s go.”

This was the first time Lu Fenghan had gone out with Qi Yan since taking his position.

From his observations over the past few days, Qi Yan’s daily routine was very regular. He woke up early, had breakfast, then immersed himself in reading or extensive calculations until nightfall.

Qi Yan’s reading speed was astonishingly swift. At least in Lu Fenghan’s experience, he had never witnessed pages turning so rapidly. It led him to wonder, albeit fleetingly, whether Qi Yan was truly engrossed in reading or simply honing some peculiar page-flipping technique.

As for the formulas and calculations penned by Qi Yan, Lu Fenghan glanced at them briefly—each symbol was utterly unfamiliar, twisted into convoluted shapes resembling hieroglyphs from a long-lost realm.

Lu Fenghan entertained a second doubt: Could it be that he was, in fact, illiterate?

Qi Yan lived in a two-story detached house with a parking space for his hovercraft in the basement.

Catching sight of the parked hovercar, Lu Fenghan’s brow arched slightly. “Modified hovercar?”

“Yes,” Qi Yan replied simply.

Striding closer, Lu Fenghan flexed his knuckles, lightly tapping the sleek metal surface of the hovercar. He heard a dull thud. “Made of liquid composite metal? The protective grade is exceptionally high. This hovercar of yours could rival an armored vehicle on land.”

Naturally, it came with a hefty price tag.

Feeling a hint of stuffiness underground, Qi Yan undid the top button of his shirt with one hand, his mind still mulling over the scientific article he had just finished reading before their departure. Only when Lu Fenghan inquired did he respond, “Probably.”

The car had been transported here, parked in the basement all this time, before Qi Yan returned to Leto. This was the first time he had seen it. If it weren’t for today’s outing, he might have forgotten about its existence altogether.

Men, by nature, held an inherent fascination for such objects, and Lu Fenghan was a typical example. He inspected the windows and noticed they were likely crafted from an upgraded material, capable of withstanding most terrestrial weapons with a single shot.

This meant that the car door, once removed, could serve as a shield on the spot.

Qi Yan put his personal terminal on his wrist close to the hovercraft. The next second, the car doors spread out like wings. He remembered something. “Right, when you drive, select full manual control.”

Nowadays, every hovercar was equipped with a multidimensional control system, allowing for options like fully automatic driving, semi-automatic driving, or manual operation.

Hearing Qi Yan’s words, Lu Fenghan recalled a murder case he had heard about before—a hovercar’s control system had been hacked, causing the automatic driving mode to fail, and by the time the owner realized something was wrong, it was too late. The hovercar crashed straight into a building, and after the explosion, not even a fragment of the car body could be found.

As a result, the number of people using full automatic driving mode hit an all-time low during that period.

Lu Fenghan took the driver’s seat, casting another glance at Qi Yan. Suddenly, he remembered that there were no household robots or medical robots in Qi Yan’s home.

Was it because Qi Yan didn’t like using them, or was it out of caution?

After all, with system intrusion and command manipulation, household robots could easily turn into murder machines.

It had been a long time since Lu Fenghan had touched the control lever of a hovercar. However, in his mind, driving a hovercar wasn’t much different from piloting a starship.

The all-black modified hovercar sped onto the express lane, the scenery on both sides resembling oil paintings rubbed with sandpaper, completely blurred.

Lu Fenghan gripped the control lever with one hand, while the other casually rested on the window sill. He glanced sideways at Qi Yan, tentatively probing, “It seems a bit fast, right?”

Qi Yan sensed his eagerness and replied, “Drive however you like.”

With Qi Yan’s remark, they arrived at their destination a full hour and a half ahead of schedule.

Stepping out of the car, Lu Fenghan only then realized that their destination was Turan Academy. Almost instinctively, he turned around and glanced backward.

In stark contrast to the scholarly atmosphere of Turan Academy, with its marble buildings, sculptures from different eras, and lush greenery, the other set of buildings, while predominantly white, had simpler roofs and walls, with a rugged style that exuded a compelling aura of iron and solemnity.

Even with his eyes closed, Lu Fenghan could picture it clearly: beyond the entrance gate, a hundred steps away, stood a stone monument. On rainy days, the monument would be soaked, its color deepening.

Carved on the monument were the bold words of the Alliance’s military declaration: “With our bones as blades and our blood as shields, only for the Alliance, we fight relentlessly and never surrender.”

Over the years, Lu Fenghan had silently recited this line countless times, etching it into his very being.

“What are you looking at?”

Lu Fenghan snapped out of his reverie, offering a casual smile. “Nothing, really.”

Qi Yan followed his gaze into the distance. “Isn’t that the Alliance’s First Military Academy?”

Lu Fenghan nodded casually. “Seems like it. They say the First Military Academy is right across from Turan Academy, separated by a river, distinct yet interconnected.”

“Distinct yet interconnected” was a rather polite description. In reality, the people from both schools disdained each other.

Those from Turan Academy consider the people of the First Military Academy as uncivilized barbarians who only know how to brawl and have no use for their brains.

Conversely, those from the First Military Academy view the people of Turan Academy as a bunch of arrogant sisies on the field and spineless bookworms off it, with nothing but intellect to boast about.

Qi Yan wasn’t privy to the intricacies of this rivalry. With a simple “Hmm,” he led Lu Fenghan inside.

The parking spot for the hovercar wasn’t far from the principal’s office. Since it was the holiday season, the school was deserted. Qi Yan and Lu Fenghan walked past the lawn and ascended to the second floor, where the principal was already waiting at the office door.

Qi Yan gestured towards the open-air balcony beside the office. “Wait for me here?”

Lu Fenghan shrugged. “Sure.”

The principal’s office was spacious. Directly facing the door was a glass wall offering a view of the verdant lawn below. To the right stood a row of wooden bookshelves, while to the left, the guest area featured a historically designed brick-red fireplace.

The principal of Turan Academy was a genial middle-aged man with sharp features and deep blue eyes. He was impeccably dressed, not missing a shirt, vest, tie, or cufflink. Standing by the fireplace, he resembled a gentleman stepped out of an oil painting.

Seeing Qi Yan’s gaze linger on the fireplace, the principal chuckled. “Looks real, isn’t it? The flames in the fireplace are holographic projections. During Leto’s winters, many people like to come to my office and sit by the fireplace. Even though the fire is fake, they still feel a hint of warmth. Isn’t it strange how humans can be deceived by their eyes?”

The bright firelight cast a crimson hue on Qi Yan’s skin. Instead of dwelling on the topic, he asked, “Did you summon me for something?”

The principal was about to respond when he caught sight of the bandage wrapped around Qi Yan’s finger. “Injured hand?”

Qi Yan raised his hand, inspecting his finger. “Hmm, but it’s already healed.”

“Then, the bandage?”

Qi Yan’s finger moved slightly as he explained, “The bowknot looks pretty.”

“Ah, I see.” The principal smiled and examined it closely. “Indeed, this bowknot is tied quite nicely, with both sides symmetrical and the size just right.”

Qi Yan nodded in agreement.

“I invited you here today mainly for two reasons,” the principal said as he led Qi Yan to sit on the sofa. “The new semester is starting soon. Have you decided on your major and which year’s courses to take?”

Qi Yan pondered for a moment. “Artificial Intelligence, second year. Is that okay?”

“Of course, that’s perfectly fine. I’ll handle the paperwork as soon as possible,” the principal replied without objection, then chuckled. “The second matter is, I wanted to meet you. You know, not just me, but I’m sure many others have wanted to meet you over the past three years. It’s just that they haven’t been as fortunate as me. I suppose I got to the pavilion early and saw the moon first, huh? But, you’re quite different from what I imagined.”

Qi Yan: “What did you imagine I would be like?”

The principal held his coffee cup and described, “In my imagination, you should be a middle-aged man in his thirties or forties, serious, reserved, perhaps even taciturn, with the light of wisdom shining in your eyes,” he laughed first, then pointed to his own forehead, “because years of pondering questions would leave noticeable wrinkles here.”

Just as he was about to continue, suddenly, in the blink of an eye when neither of them had a chance to react, the glass wall of the office unexpectedly, “Bang”—

—a deafening sound!

Countless transparent glass shards exploded instantly, scattering and showering like shattered ice!

In the blink of an eye, Qi Yan glanced outside the door, then swiftly made a decision, “Get out of here!”

As the two of them leaped through the broken wall and rolled onto the lawn, a beam of light streaked into the office. With a deafening “boom” accompanied by thick smoke, half of the building disintegrated into debris before their eyes, glass and rubble raining down like a cataclysmic storm.

Qi Yan’s face turned pale as he propped himself up on the grass, quickly tapping on his personal terminal. As the communication connected, his tense posture suddenly relaxed.

A cold voice came from the other end, “Where are you?”

Qi Yan’s voice remained steady, “On the grass below, I jumped down with the principal before the explosion.”

Lu Fenghan’s voice was low, “Stay hidden, I’m coming over.”

As the communication ended, the principal’s lips tensed. “It’s a land-based photonic pressure bomb, a precise long-range strike,” he said with a complex expression. “The school’s defense system didn’t activate. Logically, this photonic pressure bomb shouldn’t have been able to bypass the interception of the defense system.”

Upon hearing the name, Qi Yan frowned. “Photonic pressure bomb? Is it the rebels who attacked?”

The principal nodded, his voice barely audible. “Your identity hasn’t been exposed. They’re after me.”

Qi Yan quickly pieced it together—on the rebels’ hit list, the principal ranked 71st.

Detecting the scent of blood, Qi Yan affirmed, “You’re injured.”

“It’s nothing serious, just a fractured hand bone.” The principal grimaced in pain, a cold sweat forming on his forehead. Still, he reassured Qi Yan with a smile, “The military has sent people to protect me. They’ve had enough time to react by now, so we’re temporarily safe. But just to be sure, we can’t stay together. If they can locate this place, they might also locate me. I can’t risk involving you if something happens to me.”

Qi Yan didn’t say much. “I’ll run in the opposite direction with you.”

As the words left his mouth, a familiar presence approached. In the next moment, Qi Yan’s arm was seized, and he was pulled up forcefully. Following the momentum, Qi Yan slammed into Lu Fenghan’s chest.

The tip of his nose hurt and turned red. His eyes instantly filled with tears.

Glancing at the disheveled principal nearby and seeing military personnel approaching, Lu Fenghan spoke briefly, “I’ll take him.”

With that said, he tightened his grip on Qi Yan’s wrist, then remembered how delicate Qi Yan could be. The bruise on his wrist hadn’t fully healed yet. So, he loosened his fingers and wrapped his arm around Qi Yan’s waist, effortlessly embracing him.

Holding Qi Yan like this, Lu Fenghan took a short run and smoothly stepped over the steps, hiding behind the nearest cover.

Qi Yan could only hear the sound of the wind in his ears. In the blink of an eye, he had already been moved to another location.

Lu Fenghan scanned Qi Yan up and down, making sure that there were no obvious wounds. He then saw Qi Yan’s eyelashes wet with tears. “Why are you crying? It’s okay, I’m here now. Don’t be afraid.”

Qi Yan: “I wasn’t crying.”

“Alright, if you say you weren’t crying,” Lu Fenghan responded dismissively, squinting as he glanced at the now-ruined building. “Was it the rebels?”

“Yes, the explosion was caused by a land-based photonic pressure bomb, a common tactic of the rebels. The principal said the rebels were targeting him.”

Lu Fenghan immediately caught on, furrowing his brows. “What rank is the principal of Turan Academy on the blacklist?”

The blacklist, short for the rebels’ hit list, documented the names of the top one hundred elite researchers in the Alliance.

Qi Yan: “Seventy-first.”

Lu Fenghan’s expression turned grim. “This is still the capital of the Alliance, yet they dare to be so audacious.”

Despite being only in the year 216 of the Star calendar, the Alliance and the rebels had been in a standoff for seventy years. The Alliance had yet to completely eradicate the rebels.

Recently, the Alliance had just suffered a major defeat on the front lines, with casualties numbering more than half, giving the rebels a breathing space. This was followed by an update to the blacklist, and in the blink of an eye, they were causing trouble in Leto once again.

“Stay indoors more often. Given the rebels’ obstinate nature, if they strike, it’s likely not limited to just this area,” Lu Fenghan added, mindful of not alarming Qi Yan. “Leto is still very safe. Today’s attack was an accident. Who knows where the traitor slipped through. After all, Leto’s defense network, patrol drones, Turan’s defense systems, and the Central Army stationed in Leto are not just for show.”

Qi Yan nodded.

Seeing Qi Yan’s fair face tensing up and his obedient nod, Lu Fenghan couldn’t help but smile. “Are you injured?”

His arm and palm were grazed, his waist was cut by flying glass shards, his knee was scraped, his shin was grazed, and his ankle twisted.

With several injuries, Qi Yan didn’t know which one to mention first.

Seeing his dilemma, Lu Fenghan smiled again. “Start from the top and go down.”

Qi Yan then spoke up, “Arm, palm, waist, knee, shin, ankle.”

As Lu Fenghan rolled up Qi Yan’s shirt grass-stained sleeves and saw the wounds on his arm, he realized that this time the injuries were indeed… quite serious.

There wasn’t even any blood.

It dawned on him once again that his and Qi Yan’s understanding of “injury” were likely light-years apart.

But with broken skin and a large area turning red, coupled with Qi Yan’s fair skin, it looked rather striking.

Lu Fenghan took out the wound cleanser and healing gel he always carried with him, skillfully treating the wounds.

Qi Yan kept his hand out. “Aren’t you going to use bandages?”

Lu Fenghan lied with his eyes open, “Didn’t bring any.”

Without suspicion, Qi Yan nodded. “I see.”

Lu Fenghan teased him, “Even if I had brought some, with so many wounds on your body, do you want to be wrapped up like a mummy and carried back by me?”

Qi Yan instinctively felt Lu Fenghan’s smile was a bit malicious, so he changed the subject, “I have another injury.”

Lu Fenghan frowned. “Where?”

Qi Yan pointed with his hand. “On my left earlobe, it hurts a bit.”

At first glance, Lu Fenghan couldn’t see the injury. Upon closer inspection, he noticed a slight redness on Qi Yan’s fair and delicate earlobe, probably from being pricked by the tip of a grass on the lawn when he landed.

Lu Fenghan ordered in a low voice, “Stand still.”

After that, he leaned closer, blowing gently on Qi Yan’s pale earlobe.


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