Chapter 72: I Am Not A Merman (IX)
With experimental material in hand, the research institute ceased pressuring Qin Yuan as much. However, the dolphin fans started to cause a ruckus because it has been several days since the last video update of Flames and Waves daily antics.
As such, Shang Ke turned back into a dolphin and restarted the live broadcast of his free and easy underwater life. Waves was already over a year old by this point, but he was still very dependent and liked to stick close to Shang Ke. He would still throw a tantrum if he hadn’t see Shang Ke for a few hours, which left all the other breeders helpless. But as long as Shang Ke appears, he would immediately be all smiles, the model of cuteness and obedience, as if the one that was throwing a tantrum before was someone else.
Shang Ke led him through the marine building’s pools, teaching him how to hunt prey, leap, breathe, hide… and scare people. Each day was different and fulfilled the cravings of their fans. They wished they could jump through the screens and play with the dolphins as well.
When Qin Yuan arrived at the marine building one day, Shang Ke was leading Waves along in the glass tank, playing. The tank was five meters tall and ring-shaped. Channels were connected to different points of it, allowing water in and out. The structure was classified as a half natural and half artificial environment.
Shang Ke immediately scooched close to the window at the sight of his arrival. He winked at him, then flipped his body up to reveal his white belly.
Waves followed his example, the only difference being that his head was pointed down to glare at him lightly.
Qin Yuan was somewhat speechless at the scene of two white bellies being flashed at him.
After a moment, a dugong slowly swam into view by behind Shang Ke, glancing over at them lazily.
Shang Ke turned around and swam until he was on top of the dugong and let it parade around with him on top. Waves chased after them, darting left and right energetically.
Qin Yuan recognized this dugong as the one the researchers introduced in preparation to breed with Shang Ke. Watching how happily Flames was playing with it, a feeling of anger and fear arose in Qin Yuan’s heart. Flames could transform! If one day he felt unhappy about being human, would he try changing into a dugong for a change of pace? Then maybe find a female dugong to mate with!?
Thinking over this possibility, Qin Yuan’s face darkened. He took a few brisk steps to catch up with Flames, knocked on the glass and said: “Flames, keep away from other creatures. Do not forget that you’re a dolphin with a mate.”
Shang Ke gave him a glance and thought that he was just worrying unnecessarily.
Qin Yuan, on the other hand, did not feel that his worry was unwarranted at all. Other people only have to guard against men and women around their lover, but the targets he needed to guard against have no racial boundaries! Any living being in the world could turn out to be his potential rival, the most dangerous of all being aquatic mammals.
Such a huge lineup of rivals, just thinking about it is terrifying, okay?!
Flames wasn’t genuinely of the human race, thus he wasn’t restricted by morals and laws. What if, one day, he suddenly took a fancy to other organisms and changed species on a whim then dumped him?
Qin Yuan felt that it would be necessary to explain in depth the concept of human marriage to him, lest he be stolen away by others.
That same night, Qin Yuan downloaded several touching, romantic movies. He pulled Shang Ke to watch together on the bed and specially prepared his favorite dried fish and donuts for snacks.
This world’s 3D technology was very advanced, allowing people an immersive visual effect. So although the story was very much melodramatic, Shang Ke still watched with great interest.
Qin Yuan’s mind wasn’t on the movie at all. His eyes were constantly drifting to Flames sitting beside him, his mouth moving, watching and eating happily.
Right at that moment, Flames stopped chewing, locked on to a scene that surprised him.
Qin Yuan turned around and saw that the movie was broadcasting the passionate bed scene of the male and female protagonists.
The R18 scene was performed in detail.
Qin Yuan scolded himself for being careless. Why didn’t he filter them in advance? Letting Flames see this kind of thing wouldn’t have any side effects, right? Just as he was deciding whether to change the movie or fast forward, Flames spoke up: “It turns out that a male and female mating is the correct pairing.”
Qin Yuan: “…” Why was the bad feeling only worsening?!
Flames added: “We’re both males. It seems like we shouldn’t mate.”
“No!” Qin Yuan said seriously, “Mating is gender-neutral!“
“But males with males can’t reproduce.” Flames pointed to the screen and analyzed spiritedly, “It was said in the movie just now that only a male and a female can reproduce.”
Qin Yuan quickly turned off the movie: “That’s not all. As long as two people are in love, they can also mate.”
“But to reproduce is the responsibility of each species, and a species that can’t reproduce will quickly become extinct.” Flames righteously declared, “I must not be an irresponsible dolphin!”
Qin Yuan: No, please do not be so responsible!
Qin Yuan took a deep breath and said in earnest, “Flames, remember those ‘experimental materials’ you gave to the institute? Even if I don’t have a child, you won’t lack children! Maybe the bloodline won’t be as pure, but they’ll still carry your genes.”
Flames’s genes could promote sperm-egg fusion, greatly improving the rate of conception. This point had been verified, but they hadn’t conducted a complete human experiment yet. The newborns that would be bred this way would have the characteristics of Flames’s genes, but no blood relations with him. Their role was mainly to promote the survival of the sperm-egg.
However, Qin Yuan wouldn’t tell this to Flames, lest he intends to shoulder the task of reproduction again!
“Really?” Shang Ke’s crystal-clear eyes shone brightly at Qin Yuan.
“Really.” Qin Yuan nodded with certainty, “So you don’t have to worry about the issue of reproduction at all.” If it was his wish, he may choose the species he likes in the future, then they’ll help to breed a child who belongs to him.
Qin Yuan considered the rarity of dolphins. It would be too selfish of him not to let him leave behind any children.
Shang Ke saw Qin Yuan deliberately use tricky words to elude him and he couldn’t help but inwardly laugh,. He leaned his body backwards onto him and lazily said: “Fine, we don’t reproduce, only love each other.”
Qin Yuan’s face relaxed, silently relieved. In the future, they wouldn’t watch romance movies ever again! Who knows if Flames would have anymore deep questions about race continuity from the male and female couple?
“Flames, how about I take you out for a stroll tomorrow?” Qin Yuan suddenly proposed.
Flames had stayed as a human for several months but had never left the aquarium. Qin Yuan thought that he should take him out to have some fun.
Shang Ke’s eyes were full of smiles and he raised his head to give him a dolphin kiss to express that he was very satisfied with his suggestion.
The next day Qin Yuan left the aquarium with Shang Ke, who was dressed brightly and tastefully. The first battle was the top dating destination — the amusement park.
At first, when Shang Ke looked at these people playing merrily, he gave off the feeling of a flower on a tall cliff that was disdainful of all living things. However, after really joining in with the fun, the nature of a dolphin was instantly exposed and his entire person was excited. He burned like the sun and it almost blinded Qin Yuan.
After lunch, Qin Yuan took Shang Ke to the shopping mall and bought him lots of clothes, snacks, toys, and some daily necessities.
Qin Yuan wanted to pamper Flames to the moon and back, making it so he couldn’t bear to leave him afterward.
Dolphins do not love exclusively, this is the nature of their species. Qin Yuan was unable to change this, but the feelings nurtured in their future days might be able to capture the heart of this dolphin and secure him as his partner, who’d belong to him and him alone.
The two of them played until the evening lights were lit, before going back to the aquarium.
Several staff members who noticed their return immediately showed expressions of surprised joy and excitedly said: “You’re finally back! Hai Yan, quickly go to see Waves, it’s dying.”
Shang Ke’s face changed and he quickly rushed towards Waves’s location. Qin Yuan also followed behind him closely.
Plop, Shang Ke plunged into the water without taking off his clothes.
Qin Yuan stopped on the shore and coldly asked the staff member: “What happened?”
The staff member who spoke just now shrank and laughed dryly, “I’m sorry, it’s my fault that I didn’t say it clearly…”
What ‘dying’? Sheer nonsense!
Shang Ke looked at the beaming Waves who was swimming towards him, and then at the scattered pieces of coral that it had made a mess of. He couldn’t help but poke Waves’s forehead with his finger and chastise: “Throwing a tantrum again, hasn’t it just been one day of not accompanying you?”
Waves felt wronged and rubbed against his body, expressing that it felt really hollow and lonely.
“Don’t make such a fuss next time, otherwise the other small fish won’t be willing to be friends with you.”
Waves gave a look to Shang Ke: Don’t bully it thinking it’s young and foolish, how can a small fish be friends with a dolphin? It will get eaten in minutes, alright?
Although its heart disapproved, Waves still nodded its head and showed a sincere and apologetic expression.
Shang Ke was fully aware of his character, so he didn’t bother chastising any further. He looked up slightly and produced a melodic dolphin sound to calm the water creatures’ frightened dispositions.
Seeing this, Waves followed his frequency and produced a clear singing sound.
The water surface trembled slightly. Qin Yuan and everyone else on the shore heard this unique and beautiful clear sound. On a quiet night, like a mermaid’s singing voice, it made everyone feel extremely peaceful.
That night, when the staff members weren’t paying attention, Shang Ke transformed into a dolphin in the camera’s blind spot and went to spend the night in the water with Waves, leaving Qin Yuan in the bedroom alone.
Qin Yuan was very distressed. Whenever he saw Flames having ‘skinship’ with other creatures, he feared that something untoward would happen between them. Clearly it was just a normal contact, but it would make him nervous for a long time afterward.
Shang Ke vaguely sensed that there was something wrong with Qin Yuan. Every time he played with the other creatures in the water, a certain someone looked like he was going to commit mass homicide. Yet he didn’t say anything and wasn’t afraid of causing internal injuries to himself by holding back.
That night, Shang Ke washed himself till sweet-smelling and then lay down next to Qin Yuan with the dolphin pillow in his arms.
Qin Yuan held his hand, his eyes deep and looking melancholic.
The two stared at each other for a moment. Shang Ke could see that he really wasn’t going to talk, so he pulled Qin Yuan’s hand in front of him and eyed the sapphire ring on his finger. Then, he looked up at him, raised his hands, flipped them left and right, and said: “Qin Yuan, do you think there’s something missing on my hand?”
Qin Yuan carefully observed his fingers and palm for a while, then said, “White and soft, all ten fingers are perfectly sound.”
Shang Ke: “……” So insensitive, you’re preordained not to have any friends!
He expressed an ‘I still want to redeem you but my heart is tired’ smile, then turned over and adamantly refused to mate with him.
The next day, Qin Yuan, whose desire was unsatisfied, was in a bad mood. Furthermore, when he ran into a pair of married clients who constantly showed affection in front of him, he ruthlessly ripped them off. He cheated them until they fell from the river of love and into the Dead Sea.
Before they parted ways, the client’s wife suddenly asked, “Director Qin, are you engaged?”
Qin Yuan refuted, “No.”
The client’s wife smiled, “I thought you were engaged because of the ring you’re wearing.”
Qin Yuan paused, his sight falling onto the sapphire ring on his hand, and his mind exploded. He remembered the question Flames had asked yesterday, “Do you think I’m missing something on my hand?”
How could be he so stupid!