Chapter 80: Covenantor (III)
Shang Ke chose a window seat in a coffee shop near the Market City hall. He sipped leisurely at his coffee while he skimmed through the web.
He conveniently happened across the latest post, titled 《Guys, a flying saucer unexpectedly appeared in the urban district of Fort Ya County today, take a look at it!!!》. Once he opened the post, Shang Ke almost spurted out his mouthful of coffee. The post was a video of his insane driving, though because he was driving too fast at the time, the video only lasted a few seconds.
This could not stump the omnipotent users online however, for under a dozen or so useless replies, someone posted a short video. The video can almost be connected with the main poster’s video, it was around a dozen seconds. In the video, the hover car Shang Ke was driving flew like black lightning, carving its way through the row upon row of building complexes. At first, most people were unable to tell what they were watching until an expert broke up the video to clearly display the car’s route, drifting angles, and the various extreme-difficulty level skills used.
It was said that even a hair’s width of error could decide everything; every change the car went through, every turn, every drift and so on. The timing in particular, they grasped, was arguably a work of art. Everyone who watched it gasped in amazement at the driver’s godly skill!
【Great God, please receive my knee!】
【This is the supercar skill of playing with your life with death!】
【This is simply too cool, someone tell me the driver please, I need to go apprentice myself to them!】
【…If I’m not seeing things, that license plate seems to belong to that lord.】
【As expected… only a god-like driver can fit that god-like lord.】
The popularity of the post shot straight up once it was revealed that the driver belonged to Lu Xiufan. This showed that Lu Xiufan’s reputation within the netizens was pretty high, and alongside him his driver was elevated as well.
Shang Ke was rather immersed in reading when he suddenly felt someone come near. He raised his head to see who it was and spied two immaculately dressed and well-built men standing next to each other by his table.
Shang Ke did not say a word. He understood the moment he saw the gun secreted in their clothes.
He’d gone through one crisis already today and was already facing a second— it was his first day as Lu Xiufan’s driver! No wonder the system labeled this world as difficult. As long as he followed Lu Xiufan, he could be used as (literal) cannon fodder any minute!
“Sorry to trouble you, but I hope you will come with us.” The man holding the gun pointed at Shang Ke, threatening coldly.
Shang Ke placed his cup near the edge of the table, his face expressionless.
“Hurry it up!” The man lowered his voice and a violent light shone in his eyes.
Shang Ke slowly stood up and swept his gaze across the hallway behind the man. Not a soul in sight. Perfect. His eyes sharpened. The moment he stood up, he grabbed the hand holding the gun and twisted it behind the man. He snatched the gun out of his grip and landed a swift kick to his lower regions, sending him crumpling to his knees. From there he slammed the man’s head on the nearest coffee table. With the crackling sound of glass breaking, the man’s face was slashed with countless shards of glass and he howled in pain.
The other man reacted quickly and was about to raise his own gun, only to stop short when the gun in Shang Ke’s hand found its way to his throat.
“You…” The man had wanted to say something to bluff his way out, but Shang Ke did not give him the chance to continue speaking. The butt of the gun smashed heavily into his skull and he fell down into an unconscious heap.
Shang Ke dialed Lu Xiufan’s number.
Lu Xiufan was right in the middle of discussing the attack he suffered on the way there with a security guard. Although they had found the remains of the hover cars, because they were unmanned, they were unable to find the identity of the attacker.
A guard sighed heavily, “If only we could catch a few of them red-handed.”
Just as he had spoken, Lu Xiufan received Shang Ke’s call. 【Sir, I caught two criminals at XX Coffee House. Please send someone to collect them.】
Five minutes later, Lu Xiufan and a dozen guards hurried to the coffee shop. The first thing they saw was Shang Ke quietly sitting on the sofa, his chin propped up by his hand as he watched the streetscape outside the window. He was enveloped by a warm light that seemed to lend him an aura of gold.
On the table, two black guns and dozens of golden bullets were neatly arranged.
Under the table, two well-built men were motionless and piled together, half-splayed on their stomachs and awkwardly arranged. It was clear that they had lost consciousness.
The guards immediately went over to take the two criminals away. Before they left, they sized up Shang Ke. His orderly and neat apparel and unique temperament was reminiscent of nobility, princely and royal. They were completely unable to fathom just how he was able to so easily take down two grown and obviously extensively trained men.
“Are you alright?” Lu Xiufan walked closer to Shang Ke, his eyes roaming his body for any injuries until they finally landed on his face.
“I am fine.” Shang Ke turned his head to face him, calmly looking him straight in the eye.
This man was taller than him by a head, with a gaze that was akin to a sharp sword. Coupled with his powerful build, he let off an intensely oppressive atmosphere. No wonder so many people feared him. It was not only because of his identity and his position that was intimidating, but the person himself held an aura of potential physical harm.
“Follow me into the Market City Hall next time—don’t stay by yourself again.” Lu Xiufan has never been able to retain people, since anyone close to him was likely to become a target of the enemy. He had thought Yue Ze would follow him and wait for him in the lobby of Market City hall. He didn’t expect him to go elsewhere for coffee. The covenantor he hired seems to be of a different strain from the others.
Without objection, Shang Ke followed Lu Xiufan out of the coffee shop.
Lu Xiufan walked in front, listening to the unhurried footsteps behind him, and suddenly felt that having such an excellent covenantor by his side was actually nice. He not only knew how to deal with injuries, but also had superb driving skills and presumably superior martial skills. More importantly, he was not afraid of him. He no longer knew how many years it had been since someone dared interact with him like a normal person.
In the past, he had contacted many covenantors. Although they had no feelings, facing him, there would still be abnormal reactions such as rejection, restraint and alienation, all far from Yue Ze’s easy composure.
The two gangsters who had been caught provided several clues for Lu Xiufan and others. They believed they would be able to smoke out the mastermind behind the attempts within a few days.
After busying himself for the whole day, Lu Xiufan was sent home by Shang Ke once night fell. Nan Te and Yin Chi did not join them the way back. Instead, two other royal guards took their place.
“Master, you have returned.” Butler Fei Lin took Lu Xiufan’s coat and smiled. “I will order the cook to prepare dinner right now.”
Lu Xiufan replied tiredly: “Not hungry.”
He went straight into his bedroom after that.
“Did something happen today?” Fei Lin asked Shang Ke.
“No.” Shang Ke bypassed the butler and left, indifferently, like his Master.
Fei Lin was thoroughly gloomy. He already had a taciturn master and now there was an additional taciturn assistant. How was he supposed to live a nice life like this?
Shang Ke went back to his room and took a shower. He laid down on the bed for a while and suddenly felt that something was wrong.
Ah! He was so busy acting high-class and cold that he hadn’t eaten yet.
Shang Ke looked at the time and found it was already past 10 o’clock in the evening. He patted his forehead, rolled over and jumped out of bed, then walked out to the kitchen.
The cook had already gone to bed by that time, so Shang Ke had to be self-sufficient. Fortunately, he knew how to cook for himself, so he could satisfy his desire for good food whenever needed. He didn’t plan to anything too complicated. A plate of fried rice, a bowl of warm soup for digestion and two fresh and tasty cold vegetable side dishes would be enough.
Shang Ke sat on the steps outside the kitchen and enjoyed his dinner quietly while breathing in the enchanting night.
“What are you eating?” A low voice suddenly came from behind him.
Temporarily forgetting to swallow, Shang Ke stood up to face the person and masterfully hid his cough as he accidentally inhaled the rice.
Lu Xiufan observed Shang Ke. Holding a plate while standing on the stairs, his cheeks somewhat puffed, his mouth littered with grains of rice. Although he didn’t have any expression, his appearance was very cute. He was like a kitten that was caught stealing food but pretending to be calm.
“Is there still some left?” Lu Xiufan asked again.
“Hm?” Shang Ke reacted questionably first, then realized Lu Xiufan was referring to the fried rice. So he replied, “No, but if Sir wants to eat some, I can prepare another serving.”
“Hm.” Lu Xiufan nodded and leaned over to let him pass, then moved up to the step he had been sitting on and sat, breathing out heavily as he unconsciously began to relax.
Shang Ke quickly whipped up a fresh serving of fried rice and walked out of the kitchen with the plate. When he first saw Lu Xiufan sitting alone on the steps, his back straight like a sculpture and looking at the night sky, he could only wonder what he was thinking about.
Suddenly Shang Ke felt that this man was very lonely. He wanted to be with him and share in his loneliness. But as many times he encountered this man he would suffer the same loss over and over. Rather than having him experience the pain again this time, it was better he stay lonely.
In this world, he was destined to die. Even if he completed the three missions, he would not live past 35 years. As that was the case, it was better to not bother his lover this time. For him, as long as he was by his side, knowing that he is well was enough.
Shang Ke curbed his thoughts and seated himself beside Lu Xiufan, handing the meal plate over.
“Thank you.” Lu Xiufan said in return, then picked up the plate and started to enjoy the meal.
He paused after a single bite, then accelerated his speed of eating. In addition to the cold side-dishes, everything was eaten within minutes.
Shang Ke cleaned up the places and give him a bowl of warm soup.
Lu Xiufan held the soup bowl and warmth seeped through the ceramic to his palm. He looked down at and glanced over at Shang Ke. The night Shang Ke seemed to be different from the daytime him, just like the soup in his hand. It was light and clear but there was a warmth to it.
He moved his gaze away and slowly drank the soup, enjoying the rare silence.
He didn’t know why, but he felt that today’s fried rice was especially delicious. He knew he would be able to finish two more servings easily. Lu Xiufan sank into deep conflict as to whether or not he should ask Shang Ke to cook him another serving.
In the end, he chose silence and continued to be a noble and ascetic king.
That night, he had a dream. Shang Ke wore an apron in his dreams, and prepared a table of golden fried rice for him… (Shang Ke: Can you please be a little more mature!)
“Master, you seem to be in a very good mood today,” Fei Lin came to his bedroom with the clothes he had prepared for Lu Xiufan. He noticed how his face was more relaxed and the atmosphere around him was less cold and more peaceful.
“Hm.” Lu Xiufan did not look back. He rested his hands on the window sill and continued to watch the scenery.
Fei Lin followed his gaze and realized that he was not looking at the scenery at all, but at the man in the garden.
He saw Shang Ke kneeling beside a flower bed, assisting the gardener with transplanting bulbs and fully flowering plants into fresher soil. His hands were covered with mud and he moved skillfully. He seemed to be better at taking care of the flowers than the gardener.
Fei Lin felt pleasantly surprised. the covenantor he employed this time was truly very capable. Any work he was issued was so skillfully completed.
He was about to compliment Shang Ke when he saw a passion and focus in his Master’s eyes that he had never seen before.
Fei Lin was secretly fearful. Don’t tell him his Master…. No, it was impossible. His Master knows Shang Ke’s identity. There was no way he would allow himself to fall into feelings that were destined to end in tragedy.
Fei Lin did not care about Shang Ke’s gender, but he cared about his life span.
He decided to just watch for now. His master had never fallen for anyone, so perhaps this was just a misconception on his part.
Fei Lin comforted himself with that and then reminded Lu Xiufan: “Master, it is getting late, please change.”
After eating breakfast, Shang Ke carried out his duties as a driver and transported Lu Xiufan to the Market City hall. In the following few days, Lu Xiufan took Shang Ke with him no matter where he went. Since the previous car chase, news of the ‘Car God’ had spread throughout the Royal Guards. Now, seeing him and Lu Xiufan get along so harmoniously, he was even more admired. Although Shang Ke was always distant, there were still many people who wanted to be close to him.
That lasted until they accidentally found out his identity as a covenantor and finally gave up.
Everyone knew that a covenantor had no feelings, and you wouldn’t get any response even if you dug out your heart for them. Most people are used to treating a covenantor as a robot. When there was something they needed, they would find them. Otherwise, they ignore them.
This was the case for Shang Ke now. When Lu Xiufan was dealing with his official duties, he was idle. The people around him came and went, but no one spoke to him.
Shang Ke couldn’t help but think, do covenantors really have not even a trace of emotion? Can they really be indifferent to the long-term indifference of outsiders? Is it because they can’t feel it, so it is not painful?
Shang Ke felt that this was a kind of pain in itself, a kind of pain that can never be vented, because they may not even know that they are alive, let alone and why they live.
So why would they care?