Chapter 92: Covenantor (XV)
After three days in the hospital, Shang Ke’s body was mostly healed. Apart from the mental exhaustion, he’d recovered well in all other respects.
When Lu Xiufan walked into the hospital room, he saw Shang Ke leaning on a pillow, head bowed over some reports, with two covenantors sitting beside him. Lu Xiufan looked at him expressionlessly.
The three people noticed Lu Xiufan’s entrance, raising their heads at the same time. The two covenantors merely looked up once before returning their gaze to Shang Ke. Shang Ke very naturally cast Lu Xiufan a polite glance, silently greeting him.
As Lu Xiufan looked at the three people, a strange feeling stirring in his heart. These two covenantors entered the hospital room with his permission, and his previous interactions with them individually were nothing special. However, when they were together with Shang Ke, the two groups’ differences were obvious.
The two covenantors’ expressions were wooden, with expressionless eyes, like autistic children immersed in their own world—lifeless. Shang Ke however, appeared completely different from them; while his face didn’t show much expression, his eyes were entirely clear, as if possessing infinite depth and comprehension of everything he saw.
Lu Xiufan vaguely realized that his previous beliefs were a bit prejudiced; he’d thought that all covenantors were the same, when in fact Shang Ke was head and shoulders above the lot of them.
“It’s time for a break,” Lu Xiufan said to him.
Shang Ke glanced at the time, before responding, “Please give me another fifteen minutes.”
This was the time he’d set aside for the two covenantors, so even if he wanted to end earlier, the two covenantors wouldn’t agree to it unless he forcibly commanded them to stop.
Lu Xiufan stood aside to patiently wait.
“The specific operation can be completed according to…”
Fifteen minutes later, while Shang Ke was still speaking, the other covenantors were already packing up their bags.
“… the previously established implementation of the plan.” Shang Ke barely finished his sentence before the two left the hospital room.
After more long term interactions with real covenantors, Shang Ke realize that his own covenantor impersonation had been sorely lacking. In terms of keeping time and being borderline obsessive-compulsive, he constantly fell short. From now on, he needs to plan everything in advance, organizing his schedule to the second; otherwise he’d certainly be left in the dust when compared to other covenantors. No wonder they’re considered “robots”; they’ll always carry out everything they’ve planned, ignoring anything outside those plans.
Of course, he could always give the two covenantors new instructions and order them to stay; however, he tried to avoid doing so in case he developed bad habits.
“Little Ze, there’s a problem. One we need to have a nice, long chat about,” Lu Xiufan sat beside Shang Ke with a serious expression.
“What’s the problem?”
“I’m your employer, you’re always obliged to follow my orders, especially in times of danger,” Lu Xiufan said in a stern voice, “like the accident a few days ago; when I ordered you to evacuate the car, why didn’t you?”
Shang Ke was silent for a bit, before replying calmly, “I’m Jill and Yurian’s employer; I have an obligation to protect them, just like you protect me.”
“Then,” Lu Xiufan glared at him, “if we were all in danger, all at once, who would you save first?”
Seems like he’s heard this before? How is this any different from the question previously posted on the Internet asking “If your mother and wife both were drowning, who would you rescue first?”
Shang Ke was thunderstruck, but finally responded solemnly, “I would save Sir.”
“But that time, you chose those covenantors.”
“Because Sir’s life wasn’t in danger. Under those circumstances, saving lives took priority,” Shang Ke said with conviction.
“But for me,” Lu Xiufan grit out one word at a time, “your life is my top priority!”
Shang Ke remained silent.
“Promise me, Little Ze,” Lu Xiufan gripped his hand with burning eyes, “to first consider your own safety if you ever encounter such danger in the future.”
“Sir,” Shang Ke answered perfunctorily, “Your life takes priority over all else.” Thus, he refused to follow Lu Xiufan’s order.
Lu Xiufan’s heart quaked as he quietly gazed at Shang Ke for a moment, before wrapping him in his arms and whispering, “Your life as well.”
At this point, Lu Xiufan had already been summoned by the Queen multiple times; now that Shang Ke’s body was mostly recovered, he finally responded to the requests for an audience with the Queen in the palace.
Within the inner court, besides the Queen and the Queen’s Consort, there was also an old man; this was the Chang Family head, Chang Si
“Your Majesty,” Lu Xiufan did a light bow to pay his respects.
Chang Si also got up and paid his respects to Lu Xiufan.
After exchanging a few niceties, the Queen asked about the issue concerning Mistress Chang and Yue Xuan, her words carrying a hint of rebuke. Lu Xiufan, as a member of the royal family, shouldn’t meddle in other family’s affairs.
“This wasn’t simply a family matter. I’m interrogating Mistress Chang and Yue Xuan regarding the attempt murder of the Yue Family heir, Yue Ze,” Lu Xiufan responded.
“Really? I also heard you used torture against them,” the Queen said solemnly, “Their background is different from that of ordinary civilians; the interrogation should be public, with all members of Yue Family and Chang Family eligible to attend.”
“That’s fine,” Lu Xiufan unexpectedly didn’t object.
The following day, Mistress Chang and Yue Xuan were both taken to a special interrogation room, and the two families (Yue and Chang Family) were allowed to watch.
When Mistress Chang saw her father, her first words were, “Father, please seek justice for us, His Excellency forced Little Xuan to undergo surgical treatment for the mental virus, turning him into a covenantor.”
Chang Si’s expression darkened as he turned to look at Yue Xuan, who had a wooden expression no different from that of a covenantor.
Enraged, Chang Si immediately requested from the Queen a physical examination of Yue Xuan; if it was confirmed he was forcibly turned into a covenantor, the Queen would have to administer justice.
The Queen seemed to murmur in agreement, before shooting Lu Xiufan an uncertain glance; Lu Xiufan’s face was indifferent, as if this discussion had nothing to do with him.
Chang Si brought Yue Xuan to the Royal Hospital to carry out the covenantor identification examination. This kind of examination is generally used on patients to analyze the mental virus and the neural shock reflexes.
Yue Xuan sat on a metal chair and underwent the identification examination. Not long after the diagnostic machine was turned on, the originally lifeless Yue Xuan suddenly began shouting and his expression became tortured as he desperately struggled on the chair. All the faces of the people watching changed upon seeing this; there’s no way he was a covenantor!
The diagnostic machine issued an ear-piercing alarm and the doctor immediately shut it off. A couple paramedics arrived and prepared to remove Yue Xuan when he unexpectedly bit one of the paramedic’s arms, his eyes as fierce as those of an evil spirit.
“Little Xuan!” A few members of the Chang Family immediately cried.
“Argh!” Yue Xuan released a cry like a beast, biting whomever he saw like a madman.
Mistress Chang shouted with worry, “Quickly, someone save him!”
The doctor, with the help of other paramedics, injected Yue Xuan with a sedative, which finally calmed him down.
“What happened?” Mistress Chang asked.
The doctor’s face was unsightly as he replied rhetorically, “Since he’s not a covenantor at all, why would you request a covenantor identification examination? Don’t you know the damage this could do to a normal brain?”
The doctor had previously reminded them to first do a routine examination, but they’d refused. Since they were convinced Yue Xuan was already a covenantor, they just wanted to get the identification report as quickly as possible.
Covenantors’ neurons are different from those of ordinary people and will not react under the stimulation of the diagnostic machine. However, a normal person’s reaction is acute, even a slight stimulation can cause incredible mood swings. The resulting moods differ by person; an excited person will become more excited, a sad person will become sadder, a frightened person will become more frightened, an angry person will become angrier…
As for Yue Xuan, the strongest memory in his consciousness was of fear and anger; after stimulation with the diagnostic machine, those feelings were amplified, causing him to sink into madness.
The doctor was about to give Yue Xuan a full examination when his eyes unexpectedly flew open and his arms reached out to choke the doctor’s neck; venomous words came from his mouth, “I’m going to kill you, kill you!”
The doctor’s face turned blue, eyes bulged. He would have been strangled to death if the person behind him hadn’t quickly come to the rescue and prised apart Yue Xuan’s hands with difficulty, giving Yue Xuan another tranquilizer shot while he was at it.
Yue Xuan softly fell onto the bed, but his eyes remained opened with a terrifying, ferocious light.
The doctor coughed a bit, and angrily said in a hoarse voice, “Now it’s been completely confirmed, this second son is definitely not a covenantor; his emotions are very ‘rich’!”
The expressions on all the members of Chang Family were particularly interesting; their suspicious eyes floated toward the unaffected Lu Xiufan.
Lu Xiufan sat on the bench, coldly watching the farce playing out in front of him.
“Since this is the case, you guys can handle the issue amongst yourselves.” The Queen rose with grace and sedately left with her consort.
While her face didn’t reveal any displeasure, her voice reflected her annoyance with the Chang Family.
“Your Excellency, what exactly did you do you to Little Xuan?” Mistress Chang glared directly at Lu Xiufan.
Lu Xiufan said indifferently, “He merely got what he paid for.”
After his reply, he turned and left.
Earlier that year, Yue Ze had been given a psychotropic drug which caused him to go mad, which led to him to be treated as if he had the mental virus, and forced him to undergo surgical treatment, which caused him to become a covenantor. So Lu Xiufan also injected Yue Xuan with a psychological drug, except this drug doesn’t make people mad, it makes them lose consciousness.
Mistress Chang jumped to conclusions. Thinking that Yue Xuan had already been made into a covenantor, she had allowed the doctors to immediately conduct the covenantor identification examination, causing his mental breakdown and forcing his descent into insanity. This type of insanity, originally induced by a psychotropic drug, will become permanent unless he actually undergoes surgery.
In reality, this type of medicine’s effect only lasts half a month. Previously, they’d used a tube of psychotropic drug, making Yue Ze act crazy, causing him to become a covenantor; so now, Lu Xiufan similarly used a tube of medicine to cause Yue Xuan to act forgetful. It was Madam Chang jumping the gun that delivered him straight to crazy street.
Lu Xiufan may have gotten the ball rolling, but in the end, it was still no fault but their own that they didn’t stop it.
But this was not over yet. There was an eighty to ninety percent chance that the attacks on Shang Ke had to do with the Chang Family. What sort of surprise should Lu Xiufan gift them with? As thanks, of course.
Lu Xiufan’s eyes turned colder than ice just thinking of it.
However, walking into Shang Ke’s hospital room, the warmth he felt immediately brought him peace.
Shang Ke was sketching something on his laptop’s screen.
Lu Xiufan walked closer to take a look, and saw a calendar displayed on the screen, with all the days between the 2nd to the 10th circled.
“What is this?” Lu Xiufan sat by the bed, one arm wrapped around Shang Ke’s waist.
He was thinner and bonier than he should have been and Lu Xiufan immediately planned to help him remedy that when they returned home.
“These are the days I’ve missed work.” Shang Ke meticulously responded, “I’ll have to make up for them later.”
Lu Xiufan raised an eyebrow, “How are you going to make them up?”
“Currently there are two options.” Shang Ke replied, “The first is to work an extra two hours a day, until the hours are made up. The second option is to exchange special services for the missing hours.”
With barely a pause, Lu Xiufan firmly chose the second option.