Nan Qing sent Kane a message to probe him out, saying that he wanted to come back to the imperial capital. Kane was initially strongly opposed, but after seeing him on video, he changed his mind.
"You made yourself look like this?" He was amazed, but also somewhat thoughtful. "Didn't I tell you to make yourself look completely different?"
"But I can't stand being ugly. Big brother, I want to come back home, I want to be with Orr. After leaving him, I realized how much I love him. The original Nan Qing is dead, but Nan Li still has a chance. I know what kind of person Orr likes, I'll definitely be able to get his love again. Big brother, the Celayan family needs the Assai family's support right now, if you let me come back, I'll help you win over Orr." Nan Li was not a fool, he naturally knew what his brother needed.
"Ok, I'll send someone to pick you up." Kane considered for a moment, then agreed. Although his brother's spiritual and physical level was F, he was very good at making people do his bidding. Before, Nan Qing used to help him build bridges and expand his connections, he really helped him out. Now, he'd upgraded his looks to ridiculous heights, but also kept some of the previous Nan Qing's features. With how in love Orr was with his younger brother, he'll definitely immediately take notice.
He'd sent a private message to Orr, explaining that he'd bribed a prisoner to beat him up because of his sorrow and grief, but he never wanted to kill him. Orr didn't know that Nan Qing wasn't murdered, he must certainly still feel guilty over it, and might left the Celayan family off. Sure enough, not a few days after the letter was sent, Orr stopped suppressing the Celayan family, which made Kane breathe a sigh of relief, and at the same time, feel even more certain that Orr hadn't changed inside. He was still straightforward and honest, and he still had deep feelings for his younger brother. Such a person was actually very easy to control, if his younger brother was still here, he'd definitely be able to captivate Orr, and make him trust the Celayan family again.
Now that his brother was even more beautiful, he naturally welcomed him back. Nan Qing returned to the capital planet under the identity of the Celayan family's distant cousin, and changed his name to Nan Li. Mrs. Celayan's family name was Nan, and he looked very similar to her, so even the old house servants didn't find it odd, they just thought he was the extended family's young master from a distant minor planet.
"Big brother, I missed you so much!" Nan Qing excitedly hugged his older brother, then looked around the magnificently decorated living room, finally feeling a sense of belonging. He still loved the bustling and noisy city life, he couldn't stand the cold and lonely countryside. Originally, he thought he could become the spouse of the strongest person in the Federation, but that beautiful dream only lasted two weeks. If only he'd known this would happened, why did he have to set Orr up? He was like a person who'd left on a long journey, until they finally realized that the treasure they were looking for from the start was in their backpack, but because they'd thought the backpack was too heavy, they'd discarded it at the start of the journey.
"I'm going to marry Orr." He must get his treasure back.
"He doesn't know who you are at all right now." Kane's blunt statement, "When I asked you to get engaged with him, you said he wasn't good enough for you, isn't it too late to regret?"
"It's not too late, as long as he still loves Nan Qing, I can definitely make him fall in love with Nan Li. You just have to introduce him to me, I have ways to attract his attention. Speaking of which, I want to debut as Nan Li, please pave the way for me. Orr likes glamorous people, I want him to see my face wherever he goes." Nan Qing was clearly very satisfied with his new face, he reached out to stroke his cheeks for a moment, then unconcernedly asked, "Oh right, what happened with that murder case?"
"The military forged some evidence, and Orr was acquitted." Kane laughed bitterly, and couldn't help but sneer, "Your death didn't even cause a splash, now everyone's already forgotten about Nan Qing. Even Nan Qing's personal website was taken down by the government, because he was a 'stain' on Orr's reputation that shouldn't exist."
Nan Qing's expression turned gloomy, he immediately went online to search for information related to him. His worst nightmare was being forgotten, but now, the worst had already happened. He couldn't even find a scrap of information, when he typed "Nan Qing", the results came up blank. He finally found an online discussion about Nan Qing, but the netizens' opinions of him were extremely negative. Jeram and Lady Assai say Orr killed Nan Qing because he rejected his love, but Orr's so powerful, forget about that old D-list celeb, even if the royal princess proposed to him, she wouldn't be worthy of him. That rejected lover excuse is such a blatant lie, it's too ridiculous!
The masses' adoration for Orr had already reached the extent of blindness, they felt that as long as Orr hooked his finger, Nan Qing should've thrown himself at him, what qualifications did he have to reject Orr? And according to Jeram's and Lady Assai's testimonies, he'd rejected Orr many times, he really was the biggest idiot in the galaxy! Surely, Nan Qing was the one who was harassing Orr, and he even tried to slip him a love drug, but he didn't expect hisforced matchmakingto fail. When he followed Orr home, Orr broke out of his medicine induced coma and killed Nan Qing. Nan Qing you bitch, slut, you have only yourself to blame!
According to the evidence the military and the police department provided, the populace filled in the blanks in the case in vivid detail, completely demonizing Nan Qing. After reading the netizens' discussions and speculations, Nan Qing started trembling in rage. He wanted to post a message to defend himself, but Kane stopped him.
"Don't ever bring up Nan Qing, the people really hate that name. Right now, you're Nan Li, Nan Qing is already dead."
"...Okay, brother." The living room was silent for a moment, both brothers regretting their past actions. If they hadn't discarded Orr before, would they have to suffer so much now?
The military had 24hr surveillance on Kane, as soon as Nan Qing returned home, they immediately reported it to General Orr, asking him when to make the arrest.
"Tell them not to move yet, I'll tell them when it's time to arrest him." Zhou Yun Sheng waved.
Zhao Xuan relayed his sweetheart's instructions, then asked after hanging up the communicator, "Why not catch him now?"
"I want to pull him up high, then kick him down. That's way more fun." Zhou Yun Sheng grinned wickedly.
Nan Qing debuted again as Nan Li, he thought that even if his old self was dead, he certainly had strong appeal in the entertainment circle. He only needed to mold Nan Li as Nan Qing's successor, and he'd quickly rise in popularity. But reality was brutal, telling him that not only did Nan Qing not have any appeal, he was a minefield no one dared to touch. As long as he brought up Nan Qing, all the agents shook their heads, exposing a disgusted expression. His death sullied General Orr's reputation, even if he didn't want to examine his own private life, he had to go and pour sewage on General Orr's body, really unforgivable.
"If you want to debut successfully you need to change your stage name ASAP. Throw away Nan Li, as soon as you hear Nan you can't help but think of Nan Qing, the fans won't buy it." The gold level agent coldly explained.
"So what do you think is a better name for me?" Nan Qing patiently asked through gritted teeth. After several blows from Orr, the Celayan family was already reduced to a third-rate family, some people even outright attacked them in order to win Orr over. Kane had already used up all his connections to get him in touch with this agent, he didn't have the right to act pompous.
"We'll call you Angel."
"Angel, isn't that a better stage name for a woman?"
"Your innocent face deserves to be called Angelic, the fans will love it." The agent reached out to touch Nan Qing's impeccableface.
Nan Qing felt very pleased after hearing that, and gladly accepted the agent's arrangements. The gold level agent really wasn't all talk, very quickly, he had him lined up for a few ads and several movies, he even received a job for a military propaganda film. After the Queen took over the Star Network and swallowed many people's souls, humanity became very suspicious of online security. Currently, they were not only fearful of logging on, they didn't dare use personal terminals, so the long outdated desktop computers and laptops were starting to pop up again, and the sensory helmets and induction cabins were thrown in an corner and abandoned.
However, in order for the Empire to quickly return to a more efficient and orderly mode of operation, they needed people to start using the Star Network again. Zhou Yun Sheng worked tirelessly, and finally managed to complete the Star Network's reconstruction within three months, then he designated Angel as the ambassador. He even personally wrote a script, making the military shoot a promotional film. Nan Qing knew that this was a great opportunity, so he put all his energy into the role. When his angelic face was illuminated by soft white light, he was as beautiful as a dream. When the audience caught sight of him, they forgot how to blink, and constantly replayed the propaganda film.
Gradually, more and more people started logging into the Star Network, and the sections of society under the Star Network's control was able to resume normal operation. But Nan Qing was the most affected by this resurgence. It's unknown who started it, but comments started popping up around the network that praised Angel for being the pinnacle of human evolution on the attractiveness index. The world would never see someone with a more perfect face than Angel's, he was the perfect match for General Orr. Eventually, a photoshoped picture of the two together surfaced.
The gentle and beautiful Angel and the hard and rugged Orr were nestled together, the image was very harmonious. The netizens' reaction to this photo was mixed, some were scornful, some hated it, but some loved it to death, and formed a group of fanatical shippers. They raised a fuss every day to have the two people get together, saying that if the apex of strength and the apex of beauty became a couple, they'll be able to breed the most outstanding offspring.
Nan Qing naturally promoted all this fanaticism behind the scenes. He was very familiar with the entertainment circle, he understood how to make himself stand out as quickly as possible. So, in less than two months of hyping up a potential coupling with Orr, he became one of the top superstars in the Empire, his rise in popularity was abnormally quick. But he restrained his heart's desires and didn't allow his older brother to introduce him to Orr. He wanted Orr to take interest in him first, then wait until his interest became infatuation, so he could give him the most beautiful first impression.
Sure enough, Orr sent Kane a message, his interest in meeting Angel hinted at in-between his words.
"The time is finally ripe for you to enter the stage. His award ceremony is tomorrow, I'll introduce you two there. Wait a minute, the butler will help you prepare a suit." Kane stared at the message on his personal terminal, his smile contemplative.
Nan Qing touched his cheeks, sincerely grateful to the doctor that performed his surgery. This face was really remarkable, with it, his good luck was constant.
In order to encourage more people to use the Star Network, the military decided to livestream Orr Assai's award ceremony from beginning to end. As long as the netizen logged in, they could take the place of a spectator in the venue, to fully participate in this historic event. After the announcement, the number of people logging into the Star Network immediately surged. The scene was broadcasted to each person's terminal, meaning that everyone had a front row seat. But they couldn't see the other logins, so the scene wouldn't seem as crowded, and the real ceremony could proceed normally. The populace invariably put on their most formal attire to log into the Star Network. They knew that they were just a holographic 3D character, so they just calmly stood in the corner, when they caught sight of a famous figure, they'd go up to them, holding a red wine glass and emulating chatting with them, even though that person couldn't see them and wouldn't respond.
Just the awesome experience of coming face to face with their heroes was enough to keep them fangasming for half a year.
Honestly speaking, Angel was probably the least significant person in the room, if it wasn't for his identity as a Celayan family relative, he wouldn't even qualify to attend. The big wigs naturally didn't pay any attention to him, but the masses were quite fond of him, comments about him were constantly popping up on the public channel: "OMG, I just saw Angel, wow, I didn't know he was eligible to attend tonight's ceremony!"
"I heard that he's Kane's cousin, he's even related to Nan Qing. It's not that surprising, I always thought they looked a little similar."
"Omigosh, does that mean he's really dating General Orr? He's wearing a pure white suit, he's soooo beautiful, like an angel!" A few netizens uploaded their virtual selfies with Angel.
Nan Qing stood in a corner, using his personal terminal to read netizens' comments. He knew that the ceremony was playing in real time on the Star Network, as long as he could exchange a few words with Orr, or even better, dance with him, tomorrow's headlines would absolutely be about him. Didn't Orr want to meet Angel? Come, quickly come to me, I promise to treat you well this time. He thought of something and smiled slightly, he looked very pleased.
Just then, the Marshal and the four Admirals accompanied Orr into the venue. Not only the netizens, even the aristocrats attending the banquet couldn't help but gossip, because a boy wearing a silver-gray suit was standing by Orr's side. He looked about 18 years old, his face was still a little tender, but his golden eyes, decorated with an amber sun ring, was even more dazzling than the actual sun. With just a glance, he could instantly hook people's souls. He walked in slowly and gracefully, and in order to match his pace, Orr also walked slowly. When they climbed up the steps, Orr even stretched his arm around his lean waist to support him, but he didn't put them down afterwards, his affection for the boy clearly expressed.
The Old Marshal and the boy seemed to be on good terms, he chatted with him while they walked, after saying something presumably funny, the boy laughed, his dazzling eyes even more striking. He might not have a flawless, delicate face like Angel's, but with his soul stealing eyes, and elegant and calm temperament, even standing next to Orr, he didn't fade out. He was so distinctive and striking, he captured everyone's attention almost immediately.
People started speculating about his relationship with General Orr, because whenever he laughed, the always cold faced General Orr also couldn't help but smile. His icy and inorganic black pupils instantly melted with tenderness. He was half-hugging the boy, and whenever he started drifting away from him a bit, he would firmly tug him back, not hiding his possessiveness at all.
The netizens were very curious, flooding the public channel with questions about the youth's identity.
"Don't know, but he's certainly not a nobody, did you see how the Marshal and the Admirals treated him? Cautious and gentle, like they wanna be on his good side."
"I think he must be General Orr's lover, if you carefully observe the General's eyes, he's always looking at him."
At this comment, everyone finally noticed that Orr really didn't look at other people much, his attention was almost always on the boy. He led the boy to their reserved seats, seeing him slightly lift his arm, he immediately grabbed him a glass of juice, and even took out a white handkerchief from his pocket, ready to help him wipe his mouth. During this time, Kane tried to greet him several times, but he was completely ignored, which almost made Angel's gentle mask crack.
The netizens were amused by this scene, mocking Angel for believing in his own hype.
The Marshal knew that he wasn't today's protagonist, after making a simple speech, he took out the Empire's supreme medal and called Orr up to accept his award. Zhao Xuan was feeling a little impatient, he would've preferred spending an intimate night alone with his sweetheart, whether it was in bed, or peacefully watching a movie, or going for a hand in hand walk under the stars, all were unique, happy experiences for him. He walked onto the stage with a blank expression, but when his eyes landed on the boy who was smiling and waving at him, his irritability instantly dissipated.
He remembered his years imprisoned in the Queen's dimension. The Queen was incapable of killing him, so she used the endless reincarnation cycle to drain his energy and willpower, when he thought he was going to disappear the next moment, the boy suddenly intruded into his world, and guided him to break free of the shackles of fate. When that enormous energy was injected into his nearly faded out consciousness, he felt what it was like to have a heartbeat for the first time. He started chasing after the boy by instinct, like chasing the only light in his life. He thought he was destined to be formless, no future, no home. But when the boy sitting in the audience focused such loving, fervent eyes on him, he had a heartbeat, he had emotions, he had a form, a future and a home. He existed for him.
He'd never felt that defending the Empire was his duty, but because the Empire had him, it became his responsibility. He accepted the medal and looked seriously at it for a moment, then he slowly said, "Actually, I'm not the great selfless hero you all imagine me to be, because I only fight for one person." He raised his left hand and affectionately kissed the diamond ring on his ring finger, then smiled, "Baby, all my achievements belong to you, I also belong to you!"
The venue erupted in commotion, the crowd never expected that Orr, the nerves of steel hero, would have such an emotional, heart touching moment. Only fighting for one person, it sounded like such a narrow minded motivation, but after thinking about, you couldn't help but feel envious. Everyone wanted to know who this lucky person was, and what kind of unparalleled charm they possessed to be able to render Orr so head over heels in love with them. When he kissed the ring, it was as if he'd drank several bottles of wine, his expression was so intoxicated, dazzling, and brimming with happiness.
Zhou Yun Sheng didn't shy away, he confidently kissed his matching ring and silently mouthed, "I love you too!"
Zhao Xuan laughed and stepped down to pin the honored medal on the boy's jacket, then hugged and warmly kissed him. The venue was silent for a moment, until the Marshal started applauding, then everyone else returned to reality and exploded into thunderous applause, sending their blessings to the two. The military personnel were already well aware of the boy's identity, seeing Kane and Angel's humiliated expressions, they couldn't help but inwardly mock: The apex of beauty and the apex of strength huh? That's all you've got? These two are the combination of the strongest military power and the most powerful brain, that strength is enough to lead the Empire out of Asaph Galaxy and into a higher plane. This is a true 'power couple'.
After the kiss ended, Zhao Xuan printed a few kisses on his sweetheart's ear, then contentedly led him towards the venue's exit. The after party was a waste of time, it was better to take his baby back home to enjoy a world with only two people. The two's glowing faces and the hot sparks that flew out when they gazed at each other was enough to let everyone know why they were so eager to leave. Smiling knowing smiles at each other, no one with more than half a brain tried to stop them to strike up a conversation. Except for Kane, who hurriedly blocked them at the door and asked, "Orr, didn't you say you wanted to be introduced to Angel? I brought him today."
Nan Qing immediately presented his most innocent smile, his pure eyes like a clear lake.
The netizens could see everyone's movements because of the 3D synthetic rendering of the venue, whenever they noticed an interesting grouping, they immediately skipped over to join in the fun. Orr asked to be introduced to Angel? Omigosh, what does this mean? Does Orr have a wandering eye? Two-timing? What about the declaration of love that pulled every heartstring in the galaxy?
"Yeah, I really wanted to meet Angel." Zhao Xuan didn't wait for Nan Qing to reveal his triumphant smile before beckoning to a nearby officer, "Okay, you can arrest him."
"Arrest me? Why? What do you think you're doing!?" Nan Qing desperately struggled against the hold, Kane was also surrounded by officers.
"You can stop pretending now, Nan Qing. We know you weren't killed, that was your clone's body." Zhou Yun Sheng sneered, then waved, signaling to the police to take them away. The guests were shocked speechless by this scene, unable to gather their thoughts for a long time. The netizens were also dumbstruck, not daring to believe their own eyes. But the military and the police departments soon held a press conference, clarifying the facts.
They'd always thought that Nan Qing was a bitch, but his deeds were numerous times more vicious than the populace imagined them to be. In order to frame Orr and have him die a disgrace in prison, they even set up such a sinister play. Orr's stepmother and brother also participated, they even paid off prisoners and prison guards to try to kill Orr, how ruthless! After the long trial finally ended, they were immediately handed over to the court, and punished with the highest possible sentence. They would spend the rest of their lives in prison.
The previous adoration for Angel all transformed into abuse and condemnation, as long as they thought of how he used General Orr's spouse's face as the foundation for his plastic surgery, everyone felt extreme revulsion, hoping that they never had to see his face again for the rest of their lives. The two heirs of the Celayan family were jailed, and their under the table business dealings were also exposed, causing a huge uproar in the Empire.
But all these things had nothing to do with Zhao Xuan and Zhou Yun Sheng. While the public's eye was focused on the case and the scandals, they had already left the imperial capital, and were honeymooning on a remote beastman planet. Before his departure, Zhao Xuan donated all of the Assai family's properties to the state, to help house the post-war orphans. If Orr was still alive, he would've surely agreed with this decision. The Old Marshal, who was originally worried about Orr being uncontrollable, was completely rest assured. Although that man's temperament became cold, below the surface, he was still a loyal to the state and loyal to the people solider. After leaving the Empire to him, maybe he could finally enjoy the rest of his life in retirement.
Forced matchmaking-the author called it a 'Peach Blossom Debt' set up. Peach Blossom Debt is a popular BL novel, but I haven't read it so I don't know what the author is referencing. I think the main character is a matchmaker, so I chose that.
Well, this the end. Almost a whole year has passed since I started FOD, I'm sad to see it go, but I'm happy I could finish it.
I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you guys thatI'm moving countries, so things will be VERY hectic for me. Expect to see only a few more chapters of ABO (the rest of vol 1) and the pdfs of FOD, then nothing from me for the next few months. Sorry for disappearing on you guys, but life happens lol
My translation days are not over yet though (I hope), so I will be back. And I'll be checking on the site when I have internet, so you'll see me around.Thank you all for reading FOD, I did it as much for you as for me.