Chapter 8: Like a Dream
After coaxing the little rabbit, He Ruge consumed a little heart and opened the metal door of Compartment 20. The little white tiger in the compartment sat in the cotton nest, looking up at He Ruge with complex emotions twinkling in its blue eyes.
He Ruge felt that he must be crazy. He could actually see its mixed feelings on its fluffy face.
He clicked on the suspension box next to Little White Tiger to see its status.
[Friendship]: For No. 20, you are a special person with an affection level of 37 points.
[Unawakened]: No. 20 has not been discovered to be a little monster, except for by you.
Could affection increase automatically? He remembered that it was 35 points not long ago.
Strange to say, no matter how bad his mood was, his mood would clear up the moment he saw Little White Tiger. Even if the other party was pulling its face, He Ruge still found it adorable.
He clicked on [Feed.]. As the last candy he had was given to the little rabbit, there was only milk left in the feeding options.
With the milk bottle in hand, he moved the nipple toward the Little White Tiger’s mouth. He Ruge looked at the screen with anticipation. He was looking forward to seeing it suck the milk bottle.
Would it lift its head obediently to suck the nipple? Because it was drinking so enthusiastically, the bobbing sound of milk would ring incessantly, the little pink nose would then sniffled, and the flower-like ear would move along the rhythm of drinking milk…
Several times before, he had fed it through the metal door. He Ruge couldn’t see anything. He could only listen to the sound and imagine the sight. As a writer with a rich imagination, he would associate the sound of milk being slurped with a white belly, and when he thought of its white belly, a picture of a soft and fluffy cat nestled in his arms would surface in his mind.
While He Ruge’s brain was surging with emotions because of his imagination, Little White Tiger suddenly bit the nipple, retreated several steps, and pulled the bottle from his hand.
[No. 20 is independent but also gets shy easily. It is not used to being nursed by others or being watched while it is having its meal.]
Little White Tiger turned around and drank the milk with its butt facing He Ruge.
He Ruge looked at Little White Tiger’s back in disappointment. However, very instantly, the black eyes behind the glasses began to light up—
Its fluffy, soft little butt was also very cute! That tail was swinging unconsciously, making He Ruge’s heart tremble.
Although he couldn’t touch the tiger’s butt now, would the game provide the option to touch its butt if his affection level was high enough?
One must always have dreams. What if they come true?
Feeding the experiment subjects (dinner ※ completed)]
After drinking the milk, Little White Tiger held the nipple in his mouth and dragged the bottle to He Ruge. After putting down the bottle, He Rege saw that Little White Tiger’s mouth was stained with a little milk.
This was a child who treated drinking milk like it was fighting a war. If it was changed into a young boy, he should be confidently lifting the milk mug, giving it a blow, before gulping it all down. His face would even be stained with a layer of milk when he put the mug down.
Considering how Little White Tiger didn’t bother with trifles, it would not have discovered the milk stain at the first moment. Maybe it would stare at you with a blank face, and fiercely question you, “What are you laughing at!”
He couldn’t stop his imagination at all. He Ruge felt that he was finished. Following his bold idea of “trying to steal the little white tiger home”, he wanted to “kidnap a super fierce little shota home”.
With an enchanting smile on his face, He Ruge clicked on the interactive option and chose the daily segment, [Dialogue.].
In fact, He Ruge had a lot of things he wanted to chat with Little White Tiger, such as asking what Little White Tiger liked to eat so that he could go to Love Mall to buy some snacks. He also wanted to ask Little White Tiger if its head hurt, would it be sad?
But… After all, this was a game. Little White Tiger was just a character in the game. It wouldn’t be able to talk to him.
[Aowu(the yellow weasel release a rotten eggs smell)]
[Roar (the taste I like? It could be… sweet. It’s very special because I rarely taste it.)]
To his surprise, Little White Tiger talked quite a bit, it was not as quiet as before. This made him feel like he was chatting with his friends. He could help clicking on [Dialogue.] again, hoping to hear more different answers from it.
[ … (No. 20 suddenly quietened down. It was a little difficult for it to suddenly speak too much.)]
The Little White Tiger on the screen laid its chin on its paw and looked at the floor quietly.
He Ruge suddenly felt that the Little White Tiger was like a little snail. Its shell was very hard, but inwardly, it was very soft. It distrusted the outside world tremendously. It needed to work very hard and be very brave before it would be willing to take a small step towards the people it liked.
When the antennae were carefully extended out of the shell, you should not do anything to disturb it, because it would retract back into its shell at any movement.
He really… liked this Little White Tiger more and more.
He clicked on [Touch.], and the hand on the screen slowly approached Little White Tiger. Little White Tiger raised its eyes and looked at the hand that was getting closer and closer. It did not hide or dodge but kept its chin on its paws as it looked calmly at the approaching hand.
When the palm gently touched its small head, the Little White Tiger was also calm. This reaction akin to undisturbed water made He Ruge feel flattered.
[No. 20 is slowly getting used to your touch.]
[(A warm and fluffy sensation comes.)]
[No. 20 slowly closes its eyes.]
The Little White Tiger looked like it was sleeping.
[No.20 is a little sad and a little happy.]
[It is tired.]
The ten minutes of interaction time was not over yet. He Ruge hadn’t bought delicious food from Love Mall to feed Little White Tiger. But at this moment, he left the compartment.
This might be a little strange, but… his Little White Tiger was tired. If it was tired, then it should have a good sleep. Everything would pass.
He didn’t know the game’s storyline or what Little White Tiger would encounter in the future, but for the first time in his life, He Ruge had a desire to make an in-game purchase.
If this game could do an in-game purchase, he wanted to purchase the game’s currency and spoil his Little White Tiger to the sky.
After taking off his helmet, Xi Guican realised that the game might really be able to cure his illness. His sea of consciousness that was originally out of control had a vague connection with him again.
That was a good thing.
He fell onto the cotton nest. The throbbing pain in his sea of consciousness didn’t subside immediately. Xi Guican had an extraordinary endurance for pain. Perhaps, he tasted most of the pain in the world when he was a cub, so when he grew up, he wasn’t afraid of receiving serious injuries, nor would he shed tears, show his weaknesses, or cry out in pain.
It was said that children who knew how to cry would get their milk. When a child didn’t obtain his comfort no matter how he cried, he wouldn’t snivel anymore.
Later on, he accidentally discovered that killing could alleviate his pain. So, the times when his head was about to explode, he would always do terrible things.
Be it killing zergs or interstellar citizens, they were all killing. In fact, most of the time, he felt that there was no difference between an interstellar citizen and zerg. It was still killing. When he had killed until his eyes become red during the Interstellar War, he was lauded as the blade of the federation. Maybe because he didn’t feel a sense of belonging towards the federal government, he couldn’t equate his actions as defending his country.
Mao Zixie once murmured a word of advice to him– General Xi, you need to love your life.
So, he tried to love living, but on the other hand, he didn’t really want to live.
It was exhausting to live and there wasn’t much to look forward to, but he also didn’t want to end this life easily. For the first half of his life, he was trapped in prison and manipulated by others. It’s a pity to die like this when he finally obtained his freedom.
However, this body tortured by illness seemed to make living a bore. He had no friends, no family, no lover. Clearly, he stood at a high position but felt that there was nothing he could rely on. Clearly, he lived on a planet that belonged to him but felt that he was still trapped in small Compartment 20.
“Little rabbit be obedient, open the door ~,” a song came from next door, and his tiger ears followed the source of the sound.
At this moment, Xi Guican was a little confused. His original pessimistic thoughts were all disturbed by the abrupt singing. He was stunned for a while before he understood the meaning behind those lyrics.
Little rabbit be good? Such-such naive lyrics?
Xi Guican, who had never heard of nursery rhymes before, was stunned. He hesitated with a little curiosity, just like when he first arrived at Compartment 20 when he was a cub. When he heard the little rabbit next door crying for his mother, he walked to the metal wall lightly and pressed his ears on the wall quietly.
One wall apart, the man on the opposite side was singing softly. He hummed, “Little rabbit, please open the door.”
There were a lot of repeated words, which were in songs meant for children, for example, sit in rows and eat the fruits. But no one had ever said that to Xi Guican.
“Hurry up, I’m coming in~”
At this moment, He Ruge seemed to have become as big as a thumb. He stood in front of his heart and politely knocked on the door, asking if he could come in.
Behind that man was another world, a strange and multi-colored world. There would be a lot of overly fruity candies falling from the sky, making crackling sounds as the candies fell like raindrops.
He Ruge was sitting on a cloud, singing. The voice of that person was soft and warm, his speech was unhurried and orderly, but when he was happy, it would become lively, and his ending tone would rise in delight.
He held a handful of fruit candies in his hand, he shook his head and threw it into the air.
The air was filled with the sweet smell of fruit candies. The little white tiger sniffled and heard the happy murmur of the little rabbit next door.
The tail that was shaking unconsciously stopped and Little White Tiger sat back in the cotton nest unhappily. He was choked with anger all of a sudden. There was a sense of indignant feelings arising because what belonged to him was robbed.
Clearly, this was his exclusive lover. Those candies should be his.
And… He Ruge had never sung a song for him.
Xi Guican thought with an unhappy face.
At that time, the metal door was pushed open, and the young man came in with a smile. His eyes were fervent, and his black eyes seemed to be glowing. He Ruge was a very special existence in this game. The people who designed this game were truly insidious.
The designers had retained everything as it was. This gloomy environment was dark enough to breed monsters. Only He Ruge was an exception, his eyes were bright, his lips were full of redness, and these things made the person look warm.
No one would be nice to him except for He Ruge.
So it was practically an inevitable outcome for him to develop fondness towards this game character. He searched in his heart, did he like this “exclusive lover”?
… He liked him a little, maybe.
He liked how He Ruge looked at him. He couldn’t help developing a misconception that made him feel as if he was really loved.
Would people like him obtain love?
When Xi Guican was drinking the milk, he was absorbed in thinking about this problem.
——If, I mean if, if you like me, how much do you like me? Will it be more than the little rabbit next door?
——No, he should be asking, is your love toward me set by this game? If it’s set, how much do you like me?
He wanted to ask that question.
But when he wanted to open his mouth, a needle appeared from somewhere and punctured the courage he took so hard to muster.
The Little White Tiger was like a deflated balloon lying limply on the cotton nest with his tiger ears drooping and staring at the ground. He said to himself in his heart:
How could monsters like you…
…deserve to be loved?
Xi Guican suddenly felt beat, he seemed to have returned to the emergency room that day, lying on a hospital bed as he listened to the doctor saying unfamiliar science terms. That weird illness that came so abruptly made everything feel like a ridiculous dream. In the dream, he was still driving the mecha in the war. When he opened his eyes, he had been lying in bed for a long time without running wantonly.
Xi Guican slowly closed his eyes.
The hand with the smell of milk patted his forehead, it was far too gentle.
He thought that he should like to be touched like this. It was just like a dream that was too beautiful and would shatter at a touch.
But the dreamer had to wake up from his dreams ultimately.
He who had woken up still had utterly nothing and was all alone in the world.
presenting Wangji the rabbit as the cast for little white rabbit
See you guys soon~