There was pain in his dull gaze. Tears began to flow out of the corners of his eyes too. He closed his eyes and bit his pale lips without saying a word.
What right does he have to cry?!
“Xing Chuan… What did I owe you? Why can’t we get along well? We are always hurting and torturing each other…” I looked down in agony. I had wanted to get along with him. I had thought highly of him. I had learned many things from him. His stubborn love towards me had once moved me.
But why were we hurting and torturing each other in the end?
“I am really… exhausted from hating you… Xing Chuan, do you know that? I am really exhausted from hating you… I have had enough of us torturing each other. I’ve had enough!” I clenched my fists but still I couldn’t grip his neck firmly.
“Bing!” Suddenly, Raffles called out in surprise. He pointed at the hand I was using to press on Xing Chuan. When I looked, I saw my symbiotic flower extending its stamen on the back of my hand. It was reaching forward, while a red parasite flower’s stamen extended from behind Xing Chuan’s neck towards my blue stamen.
Finally, both collided and entangled. At that very moment, a blurry scene unfolded before my eyes, like ocean waves lapping at me and pulling me under. Bits and pieces of images and sounds flashed around me.
On the rippling lake.
There were chunks of corpses.
On a barren land.
In a broken city.
“Gasp, gasp, gasp.” A painful and exhausted panting sound.
A hand went into the lake…
“Harry!!!” Suddenly, there came a roar in my ears.
I instantly retracted my hand in shock. The stamens were broken, dispersing the image with it. Xing Chuan’s red stamen landed on the back of my hand. Slowly it withered and disintegrated into ashes, as if it had turned into fertilizer for my symbiotic flower.
Regarding symbiotic flowers, we still knew fairly little. We’d always thought that it was merely for decorative purposes, like a tattoo.
But what were those images just now?
I touched my symbiotic flower at the back of my hand. Its color was fading slowly and sinking back into my skin. My symbiotic flower wasn’t always obvious. It usually only appeared when I used my superpower. Every symbiotic flower had its own character.
But I hadn’t used my superpower earlier. Had it reacted to Xing Chuan’s symbiotic flower?
The symbiotic flowers could detect one another but it wouldn’t respond to just any other symbiotic flower. My symbiotic flower had shown no response towards the symbiotic flower on Xing Chuan on Hagrid Island, but it had responded to Harry’s.
In short, my symbiotic flower only responded to the symbiotic flowers on people who stimulated intense emotions in me.
I looked at Xing Chuan. Hatred was considered an intense emotion too.
Xing Chuan’s expression had become dull again. The dried tears left at the corner of his eyes were the only record of that brief burst of his emotions.
“Bing, Eletta is on the line. There is a problem in Zone 1.” Raffles pressed my shoulder gently in soft comfort.
I calmed down and nodded. Looking at Lucifer, I muttered wearily, “Take care of him. He will not live for long…”
Lucifer lowered his face in sorrow. I turned away as Xing Chuan stared at me in shock. It was too exhausting to hate him.
He was dying. Now I just wanted to let him go. Once I let go of my hatred, I felt more relaxed…
Having calmed down, I followed Raffles over to Zone 1’s map. Lights gathered before me, then Eletta’s anxious face appeared. “Your Highness, they, they…” Eletta couldn’t piece together a complete sentence.
“What’s wrong with them?” I asked closely. Could there have been some accident?! Turns out that Raffles’ emergency was referring to Eletta’s zone!
“No, no, no, they are alright.” Eletta waved as he blushed. “They are not willing to relocate to Queen Town… They…” Eletta paused awkwardly. Then, he looked at me anxiously.
I met Eletta’s eyes and asked “The people in Zone 1 are not willing to come to Queen Town. Why?”
“Staying in the place where they grew up… makes them feel more secure…” Suddenly, Xing Chuan spoke up hoarsely, his voice weak as if he was muttering his last words. “Cough, cough… They have always been living in the Ghost Eclipsers’ region…. To them… it is merely a change of the Ghost Eclipsers’ Queen… Cough, cough… They… are not willing to come and they… don’t dare to…” I didn’t look at Xing Chuan but he was right.
“Eletta, talk to them nicely,” Raffles said gently. “We won’t hurt them.”
“They won’t believe it.” I regained my calm. Raffles looked at me and I furrowed my eyebrows. “Because they are afraid of the Queen.”
“Then, what should we do…” Eletta was anxious. “If they stay here, they will starve to death…”
People who had been enslaved and hurt would rather starve to death in their hometown than accept an offer from someone who could very turn out to be a demon.
I understood their fear and rejection.
I looked at Eletta and smiled. “It’s okay. We will grow crops in your hometown then.”
“What? This is a level two radiation zone!” Eletta gaped at us in disbelief.
I smiled at him. “Don’t worry. We can do it.”
Eletta gazed at me in admiration. “Mm! I will share this good news with everyone!” Eletta went offline excitedly. He couldn’t wait to tell everyone about my decision.
Raffles and I had to resolve the planting problem in Zone 1.
I studied the Zone 1’s map in front of me. Most of it was covered in rocks. The rocks piled up all over in multiple levels of height.
Raffles knitted his eyebrows and thought out loud, “Zone 1 is level two radiation zone. Our seeds won’t grow unless we move away from the pollution on the surface of the ground and the water underground.”
“In that case, we can plant here.” I pointed at the levels of mountain rock. “Cover this place with soil and it will become a terraced field. Rocks don’t carry much pollution. With my current superpower, I can cleanse the rocks of radiation.”
“Yeah! Let’s give it a try! Haggs’ idea is great!” Raffles’ eyes were beaming. “Plus, we can build a miniature reservoir at every level. It can shelter the lower field and block off the pollution brought by the rainwater. It can also store the rainwater and slowly cleanse it for consumption and irrigation! There are sufficient rocks so there is no need for other resources to build it up! Haggs and I shall design it now!” He was thrilled with excitement at the prospect of using a unique method to plant crops in a unique place.
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