“What are you doing?”

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    Ryan, who was sitting cross-legged beside the planting cabin, turned his head to look at the door and saw that, the person who should be busy actually appeared here and his eyes were full of surprises, “I found a wild strawberry in U167.
I dug up a few plants and brought them back to the spaceship and the laboratory just notified me that the inspection passed and they were sent over by robots.” 

   If the members of the ground operations team found something they were interested in, on the planet they were exploring and if they really wanted it, they could pick the sample and send it to the laboratory.
As long as it was determined to be non-toxic and harmless and it would not have adverse consequences for the ship, the sample could be owned by the individual.

    Ryan moved a stool for Auston to sit next to him.
He had to plant the wild plants in the planting cabin as soon as possible.
The plants had been out of the soil for nearly 20 hours since they were picked.
No matter how strong the vitality of the plant is, the phenomenon of water shortage and curling will appear and it would be wilted like a puppy that was taken away from its mother.

    “The fruit was picked for testing.
I deliberately picked a plant with a lot of fruit and dug it up, but I didn’t expect that none of them were left.
It doesn’t look like a strawberry, but more like a raspberry.
The fruit is small and smells a little sour.
It melts in the mouth, with creamy silkiness and a sweet aftertaste.
I believe that after several generations of breeding and domestication, a very good variety of strawberries can be produced.” 

       According to the regulations, animals and plants on unfamiliar planets could not be eaten during ground operations, so as to avoid poisoning and other phenomena.

    Then, how did Ryan know the taste of wild strawberries? It was a complete accident.

    “Probably the first plant I improved was strawberries.
I’m very much interested in strawberries that I have to study them when I see them.” Ryan said as he made the movements of his hands without pausing for a moment, “When I raised it to study, a strawberry fell into my mouth…” It disappeared so quickly that it was too late for him to spit it out.

    For this reason, the team activated the emergency mechanism and stayed in place for half an hour to make sure that he was physically okay before taking further action.

    Auston looked at the busy young man with his head down in front of him, the pain in his body and the troubles in his heart moved away from him in an instant.
Listening to his ramble and purposeless gossip, a feeling of laziness emerged from the bottom of his heart.
He pushed the stool away, sat down cross-legged beside him following Ryan’s movements and tried to put his head on Ryan’s shoulders. (Aww!!…Auston is so cute!)

    “On the ground operations, you still have to be more careful.”

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    Ryan’s digging stopped and his range of body movements became smaller and the movements of his hands became more and more meticulous.
He said with a smile: “Well, I will be more careful in the future.
You, don’t worry.”

    Not getting a response made Ryan a little lost, but not getting a response made him slightly happy.
Not denying it was the greatest affirmation of all.

    “I don’t have a professional inspection machine at hand to determine the plant activity of wild strawberries.
So, I can only try to cultivate them, hoping to produce strawberries that are suitable for import.
Wild strawberries are still too sour in the mouth and the characteristics of ripening and polarisation are not very good.
And the fruit is very small, you know, that fruit is like a soybean, if I hadn’t been dealing with strawberries, I would have missed it.”

    The intersection of two people’s lives was too little, from which to find topics was certainly not a good way.
After finally being together again, Ryan didn’t want to be in quiet silence and just talked in a random manner, without any purpose or revolving around anything.

    “I raised a pony, which was bred from a cross between planet M and the pony of the mother planet.
It was smaller than a golden retriever and had the same temperament as a puppy.
I named him Chestnut because he likes to eat chestnuts the most, raw ones and also likes to eat a variety of small desserts made from chestnuts.” Ryan talked about the situation at home and the trivial things in life, “Aunt Peggy can make chestnut muffins, which is Chestnut’s favourite.
When it’s happy to eat it, it will squint its eyes and make a yo-yo-yo sound and its tail will wiggle around.”

    Auston chuckled, already imagining a little brown pony in his mind eating chestnut-flavoured muffins.
After eating, he raised his head happily and let out a yo-yo-yo sound, revealing a mouthful of white teeth and a long, tassel-like tail whipping around, a pair of black eyes staring at the master as if saying: give one more, give one more.

    “My parents planted many plants according to the different seasons, water and soil conditions of the planting stars, including tall banana trees.
After cutting down, they cut the hard shell and the inner core was a small carrot-sized piece, which can be eaten.
It tastes best when it is fried with the little black pork that was raised at home.
The little black pigs grow slowly and are not suitable for large-scale farming and cannot be promoted to the market, so they are raised and eaten at home.” After finished speaking, Ryan said embarrassedly, “It’s kind of boring to talk about these things.”

    “No, it’s interesting, I like it.” Auston adjusted his posture, indulging himself in Ryan’s tenderness, “My life is very dull and boring, monotonous and can be summarised in a few words, learning, training, passing the assessment.”

    Ryan felt distressed.
Behind the success was hard work and sweat and Auston’s childhood was not colourful at all.

    “It’s not only those, let me tell you, our planting star is not big and the geological conditions are not the best, but the scenery is good.
There is an inland sea in the northern hemisphere.
In autumn, the leaves that grow in the shallow sea will fade from green and become a beautiful reddish-brown colour and large white birds will stay in the woods.
At sunset, the rays of the sunshine on the sea, which is like a dream.” Ryan desperately thought of the views of his own home, hoping to take Auston home to see those beautiful scenery, “There are ice crystal flowers growing on the ice fields of Antarctica.
This kind of flower is edible and ice cold.
It is best used to make a salad with lettuce leaves and lobster meat.
The taste is a very light lemongrass flavour and grows in pieces on the ice surface.
When the sun shines on the ice surface, it will reflect colourful rays of light and if the angle is good, a rainbow will appear.”

    Ryan paused and continued: “There is an ocean vortex in the sea near the equator.
When a small submarine is driven deep into it, fluorescent shrimp can be found within 100 metres.
They are transparent and the glowing shrimp brain is washed and marinated in wine for a while to make the choking shrimp very tender and smooth…”

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    “Auston, When we are no longer responsible and the empire doesn’t need us to defend our country, will you settle with me on the Planting Star?” Ryan asked nervously, after talking a lot.

    Auston nodded gently, thinking that his movements were too small for Ryan to see, he whispered, “Well, the Planting Star is beautiful, quiet and peaceful.
I like it very much.”

    The smile on Ryan’s face became bright and the corners of his mouth were almost grinning to the back of his ears, “You will definitely like it, I’m afraid that by then, you will feel that the planting star is too dull, the sun rises and the sun goes down, day by day, the time passes very quickly and we’ll be old in a blink of an eye.
Later, our children…”

    At the mention of the children, Ryan’s eyes were restrained and shy, “Later, our children will drive the spaceship to the planting star to see us and we will also have Grandchildren.
Haha, I’m thinking too far, right? I don’t have any children, so why should I think about my grandchildren first?”

    Auston was a quiet person.
When the two people got together, it was often Ryan who talked non-stop, like talking to himself, but he would get some responses after his voice fell.
Speaking of future children, Ryan waited for a while but didn’t wait for Auston’s answer.
He became quiet and the sound of Auston’s long and gentle breathing sounded in his ears and he actually fell asleep like this.

    Ryan curved the corners of his mouth and wiped his hands clean with the towel in front of him.
Then he took the book and started to read, keeping his upper body still.
If he hadn’t been afraid of affecting Auston’s rest, he would have carried the person to the bed.

    He looked at the closed planting cabin.
The leaves and stems of the newly settled wild strawberries were standing upright, obviously well adapted to the planting environment inside.

    Using his personal terminal to adjust the brightness of the lights in the dormitory, Ryan plunged into his studies and there were less than ten days left before the exam.

    Whether he can become a mecha engineer or not, depends on this move.

    There are only three exam qualifications for a mecha engineer in one’s life and it requires strict recommendations from the school they graduated from.
They have to eliminate all confusion in the early stage and the procedures are very strict.

    However, once failed, the second exam would be delayed until three years later.

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    Ryan didn’t want to miss the opportunity, let alone wasting time.
Going a step further and getting closer to Auston was his goal.

………………..

    In a blink of an eye, it was the day of the mecha engineer exam.
The exam was divided into morning and afternoon.
The theoretical exam in the morning started on time at 8:00 a.m.
in the central star time of the Empire, which was 5:00 a.m.
of Ryan today, far away from the edge of the empire.
Once you get the time wrong, then it will be a wrongful death.

    Fortunately, the ship attached great importance to this test and a special person was responsible for checking the time to ensure that it was accurate.

    Fully prepared, Ryan walked out of his dormitory and with a ding, his personal terminal received a message from Auston.

    “I can’t send you to the exam, Sorry.
I wish you success!”

    Ryan’s eyes stayed on each word for a while and said warmly, “With your blessing, I think I will definitely succeed.”

     While walking to the elevator door, his team member Amy ran over in a hurry, still wearing pyjamas, her hair was piled up on her head in a mess, panting and said: “Luckily, luckily, I didn’t miss it.
Come on Ryan, you have been working hard for so long.
It will surely succeed.” 

     In the end, he rushed over and hugged Ryan, “Come on1, come on, you are the best in my mind.”

    Amy was slightly shorter than Ryan and had a slender frame, but the force of the rush was still not small.
Ryan was knocked back two steps and subconsciously grabbed the opponent’s waist to stabilise his body.

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    “Thank you, Amy, let go of me.
The elevator is coming.”

    Amy nodded as if pecking at rice, kissed Ryan’s face suddenly and let go of Ryan with a flushed face, “This, this is a blessing ceremony, don’t get me wrong.”

    Behind, the elevator door opened and Auston’s figure slowly appeared.

    Amy was facing the elevator door and saw the general’s figure first, pushed Ryan, stood at attention and saluted, “Good morning, General.”

    Ryan’s eyes turned deep and the calm figure said clearly: “Amy, thank you for your blessings.
We are good brothers.
There is no need for this.
Such an intimate ceremony should be given to lovers.
I am very sorry, I have never said that I am married.”

    The blush on Amy’s face gradually faded and turned pale under the dismal morning light of the Xingtian ship.

    The author has something to say: The staff in the laboratory looked at the wild strawberries under their hands and realised afterwards that they had eaten them…

 

  Translator’s little theatre:

  At night,

  Baby Ryan(kneeling on the washboard): I swear I only love you!! I won’t look at anyone other than you.
♡o(╥﹏╥)o ♥♡

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