He suddenly grabbed my arm, staring at me urgently, as if there was some grievance he had to avenge. “Bing, I-! I…” He turned anxious, like something was itching in his heart, ensnarling him in unprecedented anxiety and frustration.
“We are good brothers…” He took a deep breath, seemingly holding something back with great effort. He didn’t look at me anymore, instead his gaze fell to the ground as he avoided my eyes. “Don’t scare me…” Slowly, he released his tight grip on my arm, then gingerly took a step forward to hug me but his body was even stiffer than mine. His chest heaved up and down before me.
“What happened, He Lei?” Confused, I wanted to push him away. But he suddenly hugged me even tighter and said, “This is the first time I believe in the existence of God. I really thank Him for bringing you back.” He held me tightly, as though he was afraid that he would lose his family again.
Moved, I returned his embrace. I didn’t expect that his just relaxed body would stiffen again. I hugged him gratefully. “Don’t worry. I won’t act on impulse anymore.” I embraced his slender body. His waist was slim yet strong. I felt a sense of security when hugging him. He had always been a man that could give people a sense of security.
He forged ahead and killed his enemies courageously under the moonlight. He’d negotiated a deal with Queen Bee in Blue Shield City with calm and steadiness. He’d been charming as the general of the Aurora Legion. Later, he’d fought fearlessly against the Ghost Eclipsers. He Lei’s name was only second to Xing Chuan’s.
Gehenna had said it himself; besides the bunch of people from Silver Moon City, they only knew one other person named He Lei who was amazing.
He Lei continued to hug me tightly, his body slowly relaxing in the night breeze.
My death seemed to have been a great blow to him. Just like when Raffles had first seen me again, he held me in his arms for very long. He really treated me like his brother, his blood brother.
In my heart, he was also a very important friend. We were comrades and family now. I desired a family, I yearned to have relatives because mine were in another space and it was impossible for me to get together with them again.
“He Lei, we are brothers!” I said happily.
His body stiffened. I tried to push him away again but his arm clenched and he rested his chin on top of my head. “Yes, we are good brothers!”
I felt awkward because this hug had lasted for way too long. “How’s Sayee?” I switched the topic. “Is it okay for you to leave like that?”
He finally let go of me, and instead turned to face Mary. “Wars are like that. She is only a commoner and she is also a girl. She can’t be in the war.” He seemed to recall something and turned to look towards the bonfires. “There is a girl in your team this time. You have to protect her.” He had always been caring towards girls.
I smiled and looked over to where Xiao Ying and Sis Ceci were sleeping soundly too. “Don’t worry. Xiao Ying has her knights and her superpower is also to digitalize. As long as there is a data disc, she will be able to survive!” I chuckled and glanced at He Lei. I punched him casually. “You still show so much compassion and care for women. If I was a girl, would you let me fight in the war?”
“Of course not!” He replied at once, as if he didn’t even need to think it through at all. He looked at me seriously, just like a brother strictly prohibiting his sister from heading out casually. “If you were a girl, I definitely wouldn’t let you go to war. If anything happened to you, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself!” He became emotional again. “Bing, promise me you won’t act recklessly!” He lifted his hand to hold my shoulders as he spoke tome solemnly, as though he was giving me a warning.
I nodded lightly. “I won’t. My loved ones are with me. I have to take responsibility for them."
At once he froze again, dumbfounded in the night breeze. For a moment, he seemed lost in his thoughts.
I shot a look at the suddenly dazed He Lei. “He Lei, why are you behaving so strangely tonight?”
He slowly came back to reality and chuckled but didn't look at me. “Yeah, Raffles is with you… Hold on. Loved ones? Who are the others?” He Lei looked at me confusedly.
I glanced in the direction of Ghostie’s water bucket. “Harry.”
“Didn’t Harry-?!” He Lei paused in surprise.
I smiled faintly in the night breeze. “I feel like he is right next to me.”
“It’d be great if Harry was still alive…” He Lei sounded gloomy. “He was a powerful metahuman, and also a great leader. I learned a lot from him. Because of him, the Aurora Legion slowly took shape to become how I’d imagined it to be. Until now, we are still training with his methods. Harry’s death was heartbreaking for me. He died because of us too…”
He Lei choked with sobs. He had to pause to take deep breaths under the hazy moonlight.
I furrowed my eyebrows and asked, “Who told you about Xing Chuan’s plan?” Who had exposed the secret? Harry hadn’t managed to tell He Lei and the others. Besides, Harry had probably intended to hide it. That was why he’d gone to confront Xing Chuan alone and tried to stop Xing Chuan.
Because Harry would have taken the big picture into consideration. He would have known that the Aurora Legion and Silver Moon City would have a fallout if he had exposed the plan. In the end, it would have done no good for the overall situation. Hence, he wouldn’t have said it until some resolution was reached.
However, who would have expected Xing Chuan to be so brutal!
He Lei thought for a while before he shook his head. “I have no idea but it spread like wildfire after you died. Everyone was angry and fought with the Silver Moon City troop on the ground.”
Hearing that, I sank into deep thought. “Among Silver Moon City and the Aurora Legion, there might be people from the Ghost Eclipsers.”
“What?” He Lei was shocked.
“Who benefits the most if the both of you fight?” I looked up at He Lei.
He Lei’s expression immediately deepened and he narrowed his eyes. “It seems that it was the right choice to tell my comrades that Fat-Two and I died in a disaster.”
“You told them so? Is the person who shared the message reliable?”
“Mm, he’s my brother.” He Lei looked worried. “But he…”
“But what?” I asked closely as I watched his handsome face under the moonlight.
His eyes flickered and he avoided my gaze, knitting his eyebrows as he looked away. “But he will tell Captain Chaksu and Sayee the truth. However, he doesn’t know that I am with you,” He Lei immediately turned back and explained.
I reckoned he was worried that the mole would guess something from Sayee or Captain Chaksu’s behavior.
“Don’t worry. I think the mole probably wouldn’t get in touch with his master, at least he wouldn’t do it too often,” I speculated. “Otherwise, he would have gotten found out long ago. This person or the few of them only changed the war situation at the most crucial moment.”
“Yet that’s the truth of the situation.” He Lei’s face grew glum. He clenched his fists in anger but this time he managed to suppress it, and still looked rather calm. “In Silver Moon City’s eyes, we are nothing. From the very beginning, they only viewed us as a target to take advantage of. We shouldn’t have believed in Silver Moon City. We sacrificed so many of our brothers!” He Lei furrowed his eyebrows and went quiet, seeming even more distressed in the dark.
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