Chapter 25.1

False Feeling

Translated by boilpoil
Edited by boilpoil

While the insectoids outside are crying and bawling for the comic’s plot, Cheng Zhaoci is having peaceful days to himself. Though generally, peaceful days do not last long.

“I don’t see you outside very often,” Sun Wushe says with a smile, “you like staying home?”

Cheng Zhaoci is staring at Sun Wushe coldly from the garden where he is sunbathing, as unpleasant memories make the rounds again, “why are we always seeing each other here?” Ah, the embarrassing memories of making up radio calisthenics on the spot and being spotted and then stared at for half a day!

Sun Wushe points to the right, “possibly because my house is next door.”

“And you go home by the backdoor?”

“As a personal interest,” Sun Wushe, seeing Cheng Zhaoci all ready to retreat inside, quickly says, “do you want to take a stroll outside?”

“Hm?” Cheng Zhaoci looks around warily; his senses tell him this guy is quite the mischievous sort. As evidenced last time when he stood beyond the fence, crouching while observing his sprained form splayed on the ground with interest.

And also, he feels quite different from the typical shemale of the insectoid society. Sun Wushe seems to hold nothing but possibly a little contempt for males in general. His eyes last time weren’t exactly warm despite his smile.

“Don’t be alarmed. It just looks like you’re bored at home,” Sun Wushe walks a bit closer, “you haven’t been to many places on the Capital planet, have you?” So he’s basically investigated Cheng Zhaoci on his own.

Compared to last time, the tone is creepily gentle enough that Cheng Zhaoci feels like he’s going to have goosebumps listening to him continue, “I remember males all like watching movies and stuff.”

“Oh, anything but that,” the movies? Like those earliest superman comics of the twentieth century of his past world? With everything formulaic black-vs-white? No thanks. Cheng Zhaoci is going to refuse Sun Wushe’s invitation, but he asks something instead, examining Sun Wushe up and down.

“You’re on holiday?”

“Yeah. I just got discharged from a mission and handed in a report yesterday. I get three days’ rest.”

Oh. So it’s not a general holiday. Officer Wei is probably busy at work, then. Cheng Zhaoci does have somewhere he wants to go – since he finally succeeded in ‘git gud’ at the virtual mecha fighting simulations, he can still feel his trigger finger getting itchy.

Sun Wushe would probably do. He’s a half brother of Wei Zhuo, and also a shemale soldier. Unless he’s gone insane, there’s no way he’d do anything against him, a male.

“Do you like the virtual mecha fighting games?” Cheng Zhaoci asks in consideration of the fact that perhaps not everyone would enjoy it, especially someone for whom operating mecha is already a job and general training regimen.

“You like those?” He wasn’t expecting that. Sun Wushe feels like the little male really is like a treasure trove. The more he gets to know him, the more interesting discoveries he’s digging up, “you sure have particular interests.”

Sun Wushe agrees to take him to play, so Cheng Zhaoci just happily tags along in a shirt and simple cargo shorts. Normally, Cheng Zhaoci will try to dress himself up to block advances with a rather sombre and unapproachable look, but with a shemale by him, there won’t be any blind advances, usually.

Sun Wushe does not understand why Cheng Zhaoci looks so happy, or why a male insectoid like Cheng Zhaoci would decide to go without playing dress up for half an hour. Does his image not matter to him?

Then the questions dispel soon enough after a few rounds of fighting in the virtual mecha bars. Not that Sun Wushe has found his answer, but his questions have been replaced with ire at Cheng Zhaoci’s playstyle that can only be charitably described as ‘brainless’ and frequent subsequent deaths.

Shemales are often quite competitive, so you can imagine how much they hate teammates that drag them back. Especially when Sun Wushe isn’t as adept at fighting as Wei Zhuo, and cannot necessarily win in a 1-on-2.

Sun Wushe also doesn’t have the temperament of a saint like Wei Zhuo does. After a final death, he drags Cheng Zhaoci out from his pilot’s seat.

And our ignorant Cheng Zhaoci looks clearly confused, “why does it feel like the opponents today have become much stronger than before? They’re also not fighting to pattern either. Maybe we should come up with counterstrategies?”

Sun Wushe’s veins are bulging, “before? Tell me exactly what happened ‘before.'”

“Officer Wei took me here the day before yesterday…” Cheng Zhaoci explains how Wei Zhuo patiently accompanied him for dozens upon dozens of games until finally, he successfully discovered how the shemales would generally fight, and killed them a few glorious times.

After listening, Sun Wushe mercilessly reveals the fact that Cheng Zhaoci must have been playing against AI in the latter half, turning Cheng Zhaoci from a youthful and excited teenage male into a dried, parched up, shrivelled up carrot.

Cheng Zhaoci completely wasn’t expecting that the kills he achieved were AI. And even beginner AI, at that. And he was killed more often than successfully killed the beginner AI mechas. Oh wait! Then Wei Zhuo must also know! So he didn’t say a word yesterday just so he won’t spoil his mood?

Cheng Zhaoci shrinks a few sizes in ego.

“Do you still want to play?” Sun Wushe is rubbing his temple as he asks.

“It’s fine. Just take me some place else,” Cheng Zhaoci’s tone does not hide his enervated state at all, “anything would do.”

Seeing how much damage he seems to have inflicted on Cheng Zhaoci that he’s lost all motivation, Sun Wushe suddenly asks, “do you think I have a worse personality than Wei-ge?”

“Not really,” Cheng Zhaoci is still wallowing in the sadness of realising he is a bad teammate, and answers absent-mindedly.

“You’re happier hanging out with him, though,” Sun Wushe says, “he wouldn’t expose how you’re a shit player, and wouldn’t spoil your mood,” and it’s always been like that. While he and Wei Zhuo had the same father, they grew up with distinctly opposite personalities. Wei Zhuo is capable and strong, but he follows the ‘conventions’ and ‘rules’ without nary a word. He acts like he’s equally a law-abiding citizen, but deep down, he wishes to tear it all down. They really are not alike. Not alike at all.

“Hu-I mean, insectoids are different from each other, and so are the way different insectoids interact with each other. There is no such thing as a ‘better’ or ‘worse’ personality. It’s all a process of negotiation and concession,” Cheng Zhaoci narrows his eyes at Sun Wushe, “for example, if you do not say a word about how bad I am at playing, our compatibility might be just that little bit higher.”

Sun Wushe blanks out for a second, before erupting in boisterous laughter. He’s laughing so hard, he has to hold his stomach as he collapses onto the ground, a laughing mess. Ah, so interesting, so very interesting! A male insectoid said this?! A selfish, greedy male insectoid?!

Meanwhile, Cheng Zhaoci’s head is decorated by question marks just watching Sun Wushe’s sudden inexplicable outburst.

Until finally, Sun Wushe recovers a little bit, and looks up, telling him, “but it was the truth,” and Cheng Zhaoci’s face sours immediately.

“If it isn’t for our difference in physical grade, you’d be lying on the ground for a long time,” Cheng Zhaoci says, gritting his teeth.

Sun Wushe doesn’t laugh some more at Cheng Zhaoci’s powerless expense, though, but instead, stands back up and changes the topic, “want to go to an amusement park?”

“Amusement park?” The insectoid society has built such things?

“They’re places for little shemales and demis. I’m sure Wei Zhuo hasn’t taken you there, though, since he probably doesn’t even know there are ‘amusement parks’ on the Capital planet,” nor did Sun Wushe. His dad died far too early. After he came of age, he went there alone once or twice, but it felt boring.

The young male insectoid would probably like it, though.

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