Chapter 8

Life Mimics Fiction

Translated by boilpoil
Edited by boilpoil

“Jin Yue has always been good at evading capture. I suspect he already knows we’re here,” Meng Yuele says, looking at the portrait photograph of Jin Yue he has on his holodeck.

Long, golden hair, in a suit of military garments, presumably designed by himself, and tragically unfashionable. Buttons left unbuttoned. Making an arrogant smile at the camera, and just needing a middle finger to complete the whole look.

The way the unruly, unscrupulous guy looks in the photograph is getting on Meng Yuele’s nerves, “can they not use another photo? It always looks like he’s despising me.”

Wei Zhuo, standing beside Meng Yuele, ignores him, as he analyses their surroundings.

Crowded streets, lack of sanitation robots who would clean the streets regularly like on the Capital planet, and none of the shemales seem to be conscious of how important it is to keep their surroundings clean. The air smells of rotten food.

Most shemales look ashen grey. What ‘hotels’ operate here probably don’t need identification provided either as long as payments are kept, since most people here are either criminals at large or exiled, so none of them will give up their identity voluntarily, just in case the Federation or their enemies come knocking.

A paradise for crime. It’ll be a pain to capture their target.

They’ve managed to chase him into Zhousuo, but it’s one whole planet. God knows where Jin Yue could have ended up. They found his landing site, but Jin Yue isn’t dumb enough to think he’s safe still around where he landed.

Wei Zhuo doesn’t have time for some thorough sweeping operation, “contact the Zhousuo local broadcasting corporation and get me those tied up crewmen of Jin Yue. Tell him he has two days to turn himself in, or we’ll kill one every day after.”

Pirates arrested are stripped of all rights in the insectoid society. Their biggest utility, apparently, is to be used in situations like this. Well, they are completely psychotic outlaws, for that matter.

So most of the time, the simplest and most brutal methods will suffice instead of wasting time. That’s how they meet their end; and vice versa, if any of them end up in the hands of the interstellar pirate fleets.

Wei Zhuo knows Jin Yue, and while he does everything from destruction of property to daylight robbery, and he’s temperamental to the point of insanity, he still has principles; if he has taken a crewman in, then it’s his responsibility and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect them.

The insectoids working at the TV station work quickly, probably because they don’t want any trouble either. Half an hour after Wei Zhuo made that order, Jin Yue’s holodeck is playing a video where his crewmen are tied up together, kneeling, without even a cursory bar over their eyes, probably ordered by Wei Zhuo to make him watch his crewmen suffer.

“Bastards!” Jin Yue ruffles his hair, upset, “Wei Zhuo has become more and more brutal.”

His rage is making the hostages fearful. Jin Yue, with a scary face, looks over at the one standing out the most, “little ugly thing, here.”

Cheng Zhaoci, basically a tied dumpling right now, can only hop over clumsily.

Jin Yue pulls him over, and then pulls out a dated dagger from his leather boots, and puts it right at Cheng Zhaoci’s neck.

The oddly-dressed little shemale nearby yelps, but keeps his mouth shut tight when Jin Yue looks at him threateningly.

Cheng Zhaoci is all stiff and pale; Jin Yue is happy with his expression, and quickly snaps a photograph, sending it to Wei Zhuo directly.

His position will be immediately compromised, Jin Yue knows that.

But he has a ‘male hostage’ up his sleeve. The shemales in the top brass won’t dare to do a thing. If this resulted in the ‘male’ injured, never mind just getting a dishonourable discharge, they might even lose their lives

When the two of them – with Meng Yuele standing next to Wei Zhuo – see the photograph, Meng Yuele yells out, “fuck me! Has Jin Yue finally lost it?! How dare he actually kidnap a male?!”

“He’s done enough things that would have him executed a hundred times over. He might as well do another,” since there isn’t a more severe punishment than capital punishment in the universe.

At the same time, Wei Zhuo observes the male carefully, and asks, “is he really a male in the Federation?”

There are enough insectoids around that, while males are extremely outnumbered, there are still quite a few, but this one that Jin Yue has kidnapped is far too good-looking not to have a whole platoon of shemales fawning over him.

It’s illegal to have private photographs of males without consent, but in the military, the bunch of virile shemale soldiers have done everything they can to sneak in posters, photographs, even shaky cam videos. Wei Zhuo doesn’t even know how many he’s confiscated; and he’s seen enough to know this male is part of the crème de la crème in terms of looks, for sure, but he has also never seen this male before.

This is abnormal.

But Wei Zhuo isn’t suspecting that Jin Yue has captured a demi and trying to pass him off as male, either, because shemales are quite different from males. Maybe Wei Zhuo would be hesitant if he saw Cheng Zhaoci with all the insectoid marks over his face, but being able to see the face clearly, Wei Zhuo is certain.

There are subtle biological differences between males and shemales. Shemales have a more prominent bone structure, especially in the forehead and brows. Their jaws are also more flat, even the demis that can’t fight if their lives depended on it.

And no matter how emaciated or malnutritious a shemale or demi gets, their genetics dictate that they can never become as thin and small in frame, while also looking a little distant and unfriendly like this male in the photograph.

Of course, he wouldn’t expect the male-phobic Jin Yue to know those differences. In fact, few insectoids are able to reliably identify males from demis or shemales this way, but Wei Zhuo is a rare grade S shemale who has prospects of even becoming the Marshal in time.

Oh, right, but if anything happened to this male, never mind promoting, he’ll have trouble just staying alive.

Wei Zhuo isn’t blaming the male one bit, though. In fact, such a looker of a male insectoid but entirely unknown might imply he’s actually living on this landfill planet while concealing his identity for reasons unknown. But as targets of protection of top priority, such a male insectoid ending up on a landfill planet is definitely a severe dereliction of duty on the part of MIPA – the Male Insectoid Protection Association.

Living on a landfill planet, though? Wei Zhuo recalls the scenes he just saw walking around the landfill planet, and knits his brows. He can’t imagine a male living in such an environment. In fact, he suspects the male insectoid might even be a minor.

Anything that ends up involving a male insectoid must be taken to the higher-ups now. They cannot make any drastic moves anymore.

Jin Yue has his reply from Wei Zhuo, basically saying ‘don’t do anything rash. If Jin Yue ensures the male’s safety, then Wei Zhuo will also guarantee his crewmen’s safety.’

He is happy enough with the result that he ruffles Cheng Zhaoci’s hair like mad, before taking a step outside to check what the military’s response would be.

He’s worried that, since his position is exposed, Wei Zhuo might be trying to keep him placated but is actually setting up a perimetre around him. He knows the little ugly thing isn’t a real male, and there’s a possibility that bastard Wei Zhuo could have seen through it. It’s crucial to verify that Wei Zhuo really is deceived before he can start negotiating.

A ‘male’ for his whole crew, plus a new craft to escape, would be a bargain.

As for whether the pissed military top brass will do anything to the little ugly thing… Well, if he could, he would take the little ugly thing away with him, but it’ll depend on the risks involved.

When Jin Yue has left the dilapidated house for real, the little oily shemale has actually managed to untie himself – Jin Yue was probably too hasty in escaping to have any proper rope to tie them with. If he’s using the normal ropes scattered around a landfill planet, with how often these little buggers get tied up for their antics, freeing themselves is probably already an innate response.

After he’s untied himself, he ignores all the shemales around and quickly comes to untie Cheng Zhaoci’s rope for him.

Cheng Zhaoci is worried that his kidnapper has left something behind to stop them from escaping, but the little insectoid that has since bolted for the door… Oh, he’s fine. He actually just escaped without problems.

Did that guy named Jin Yue really not worry that these hostages on the landfill planet would escape?

Hmm, maybe not. He must have seen and known males to have a phobia of them. It means he was probably pretty well off in the past – in stark contrast to people who live their lives on the landfill planets, who are basically the very bottom of the bottom rung of society. He might not have been on a landfill planet his entire life before piracy, even.

He can also see a few other shemales escaping their bounds after the little shemale has helped him untie.

“We have to split up,” one of them quietly says.

Spreading out is, of course, far better than escaping together and getting recaptured together. Though even if they spread out, it’s probably more likely the kidnapper would go after Cheng Zhaoci.

Not that Cheng Zhaoci minds, because he knows he can’t even keep up with the others with his trash physical capabilities. He quickly rubs dirt over his face from the ground; it’s far less effective than fake and trypophobia-triggering insectoid markings, but he hasn’t the toxins nearby. It’ll have to do instead of running around with a clean white face.

He’s taken off opposite of his home – worried that his dad might be coming home. If the shemale kidnapper faces off against his dad, he’s not sure if his dad can prevail.

He is running so quickly like never before, but the physical limitations of the male body really are too cumbersome. He’s in even worse shape than his past life, and is gasping after a short distance already. He must not stop, though. He doesn’t know if the kidnapper has already returned to that little shed. That guy could probably reach him in no time. He has to, he has to think of…

“Oh fuck!” He yells, eyes widened, having twisted his ankles, and falls right into the pile of rubble nearby.

“Who’s there?!” Not far away from where Jin Yue has his hostages, Wei Zhuo, who is getting into position to spy on the shed, is spooked.

He is a much better soldier than Jin Yue, so he is confident Jin Yue won’t see him, and he was sure no one was around. The moment he settles down, though, he hears a crash not far away.

With his particle ray pistol pointed at the source of the sound, he declares, with a cold and steady tone, “come out, or I’ll shoot!” His muscles tense up; he will count to five, and shoot if nothing happens.

Before he can even say ‘one,’ the insectoid is yelling, “no! W-, wait! I’m innocent!”

Cheng Zhaoci has his hands in the air immediately; his whole body aches, and he thinks there are parts of himself he can’t really feel properly right now, but the will to survive has him drag his body out with all he has, “don’t shoot!”

Then Cheng Zhaoci is shocked. That shemale opposite him is dressed in a fitting navy blue military suit. His heterochromic eyes are fixed dead on him. The pure black, right eye even has a scar on it… He almost looks like, yes, his protagonist in the comic! The strongest shemale of the insectoids! It’s almost like life imitating fiction.

Wei Zhuo has also frozen up, watching the male in front of him with a blank expression.

A lot is going through his mind right now, but after clearing out everything irrelevant, there is just one simple sentence left——’So it turns out it really is possible to find a male insectoid emerging from a pile of rubble.’

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