Book 1: Chapter 10 - Precious Seed

The girl had already put on He Lei’s shirt by then. She hugged her body tight while she held the milk I gave her in her hand. The man standing next to her seemed to be her father. He held her tightly in his arms as he looked at He Lei with a pleading gaze.  

Not only the girl’s father, but even the other people implored He Lei for mercy. Even though their lips shivered in fear, they didn’t beg verbally. However, their helpless expression was even more heartbreaking. It was as though they didn’t have the courage for such petty pleading, as if they were sure to be rejected if they asked.

He Lei looked at them for a while, and he creased his eyebrows tightly when he asked, “Will you follow me?” When he asked that, it was with the full knowledge that these people’s destiny and lives were solely his responsibility. It was a promise—a promise that made one feel heavy-hearted. 

The people immediately nodded heavily as though they had boarded a rescue boat. They were crying with tears of joy.

He Lei looked at his tribe and commanded, “Drive the truck out. We need it to pass through the radiation zone.”

“Yes!” Someone ran back to the warehouse immediately. Although I had yet to find out what happened to the world and what kind of a world I was in, it gave me a strong sense of insecurity when they mentioned the word ‘radiation’.

He Lei let go of my arms. Then, he took two steps forward before he halted his footsteps. Under the tranquil moonlight, he was similarly quiet. 

He suddenly turned to look at Ah Xing, “Can you bring Luo Bing with you? I don’t have any healer and our medical resources are far behind. We can’t heal his wound.” He looked at Ah Xing calmly, and his black eyes reflected the moon in the night sky.

Ah Xing smiled at He Lei, “Don’t worry. I told Luo Bing that I will bring him back to Silver Moon City to heal him and to help recover his memory.”

He Lei nodded after hearing this, then was quiet again. Ah Xing looked at him, then  looked down and creased his eyebrows. Both of them looked at one another, but didn’t speak. It was as though the enemies suddenly realized that the other party could be their friend. However, they couldn’t put their egos aside and make up.

He Lei walked to me in silence. He looked at me and suddenly pulled me into an embrace. He patted my back, “Luo Bing, I’ll remember you, my good buddy! I hope to see you again.” He let go of me and squeezed my shoulders. He then lifted the corners of his lips and smiled. His smile was so gentle, just like an elder brother looking at his younger brother.

I looked at him dumbfounded.

“He Lei,” Ah Xing extended his hand and looked at him with a smile. Under the cold moonlight, He Lei stood in the wind, letting it blow against his short hair. He lifted his hand and pulled his scarf up to block his face from the sand in the night breeze. Then, he put his hand into his overalls’ pocket without speaking. In the end, he turned and left.

“He Lei!” Ah Xing called him again, and He Lei turned to look at him. His eyes above the scarf were extremely bright under the moonlight. He looked rather unapproachable. I didn’t know what had taken place in this world or what had happened to him. I recalled that he had said that people in Ghost Eclipse City would eat humans. I couldn’t help but shiver at the thought. I suddenly realized that surviving in this world was very difficult. If it was true that Silver Moon City opted to stay far away in order to protect themselves, then it was bitterly disappointing. They just hung themselves high above as if it wasn’t their concern. 

There was a reason behind He Lei’s hatred towards people from Silver Moon City. As I had no idea what had happened, I couldn’t make any judgements about anyone or any actions taken.

Hence, I could only watch them. It was a pity because they could have been friends. At least that was what I strongly believed.

Ah Xing took out a white round plate from his pocket. It was only the size of a monocle. On top of it, there was a symbol depicting Silver Moon City.

Ah Xing pressed the middle of the round plate once and it immediately made a sound of an engine starting. In the blink of an eye, it became a monocle that was attached with a bluetooth earphone. The monocle was transparent, but words in blue could be seen across it. It was as though it was displaying data. It looked extremely cool.

He put the instrument in front of He Lei, “This is for you. Most of the known superpowers are recorded in it. It could help you to scan your enemy and find out their superpower and also their weak point.”

He Lei looked at the instrument. I thought he wouldn refuse it, but he extended his hand to accept it. He then put it over his ear casually. The monocle disappeared and it seemed as though he was wearing a silver bluetooth earphone.

He Lei accepted Ah Xing’s present!

He looked at us and took out a small bag full of patches from around his neck. Then, he untied the knot and poured out two… sunflower seeds!

“This is!” Ah Xing was extremely surprised at the sight. I looked at him curiously. What is there to be excited about?

Suddenly, He Lei grabbed my hand and put one of the seeds in my hand carefully. I was dumbfounded! This, this, what does it mean? Does a seed carry a different meaning here in this world, like love pea back home?

Then, he passed Ah Xing the other one, “Take this and keep it carefully.”

“This is a seed!” Ah Xing looked at He Lei excitedly. He gripped the seed in his hand tightly, “He Lei, thank you! This present is too precious!"

What? Excuse me?

Can somebody explain to me what is going on?

This is just the kind of food that my uncles and aunties eat while playing mahjong or watching TV. They would consume a bunch of them at each goal. Why would it become a precious gift here?

Plus, seeds should be at the lowest rank in the world of food. If it was considered precious, how about those high value nuts like almonds and walnuts?

He Lei tied the bag and put it back around his neck, letting it fall to his chest. He patted it as though it was extremely important. He looked at Ah Xing expressionlessly, “Don’t misunderstand me. I am not giving it to you as a present, but…” His gaze grew dim, “I don’t know how long I can live. I don’t wish for the seed to go extinct along with me. At the very least, Silver Moon City could take care of it.”

My heart dropped. Just give it as a gift. What is the point of saying that you might end up dead? That sounds so bad.

Ah Xing’s face looked distressed. He looked at He Lei again, “He Lei, come back to Silver Moon City with me.”

He Lei shook his head and took a deep breath. He then looked at the seed in my palm and said, “My grandma told me that this seed could grow a beautiful flower that would look towards the sun. However, the current world is not suitable to plant the seed in. Silver Moon City should be able to give it a good place. I hope it could blossom all over Silver Moon City, facing the sunlight,” He Lei looked at Ah Xing with a tinge of expectation and hope.

“I will make sure of it!” Ah Xing nodded solemnly as though he was making an oath.

A man… planting a field of sunflowers… for another man? Why does it sound so strange? The conversation seemed to be implying that sunflowers are extinct here? How could it be!?

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