The news about the clone of Xiao Lou must be told to their teammates as soon as possible. The easiest teammate to find at the moment was Long Sen. As a member of the royal guards, Long Sen followed the emperor directly. However, Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou hadn’t seen him when they went to meet the emperor just now. Based on the shift system of the royal guards, Long Sen was likely resting today.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou simply went to the guards’ residence and found Long Sen’s room based on their memories.
Long Sen was wearing civilian clothes and was about to go out. He was startled when seeing Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou before he hurriedly saluted respectfully. “Your Highness, Major General.”
Yu Hanjiang lowered his voice. “Let’s go into your room and chat.”
All members of the guards lived on the west side of the palace in single rooms. Long Sen led Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou into his room and carefully locked the door. Before he could speak, he heard Yu Hanjiang wondering, “After entering this secret room, have you seen any other teammates? This includes me and Xiao Lou.”
“???” After finding that Yu Hanjiang was serious, Long Sen perceived the gravity of the matter and replied, “I haven’t seen anyone else. I’ve only met His Highness, that is, Professor Xiao. At noon today, Professor Xiao and the emperor were walking around. It wasn’t convenient for me to say hello. He smiled at me when I looked at him…”
Long Sen glanced at Xiao Lou. “Professor Xiao, do you have something to say to me?”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang exchanged looks.
He shook his head and informed the other person in a serious tone, “Long Sen, I haven’t seen you at all today.”
Long Sen looked dazed. “Eh? Didn’t we just see each other at noon?”
Yu Hanjiang’s face was cold. “That was a clone, not Xiao Lou himself.”
“Clone?” Long Sen recalled the smile that Xiao Lou gave him and couldn’t help getting goosebumps. “Is it like the sci-fi movies with genetic cloning? He is exactly the same Xiao Lou?”
“Yes, Hanjiang also met that person just now.” Xiao Lou frowned with displeasure. “This time, there is likely to be a crisis of human cloning in this secret room. In order to prevent you from being deceived, Hanjiang and I came to find you first to inform you about this matter.”
Long Sen scratched the back of his head. “I really couldn’t tell. That person looked exactly like you.”
Fortunately, that ‘Xiao Lou’ didn’t talk to him. Otherwise, based on his trust in Xiao Lou, he would do anything the other person asked him to do without any doubts. Now that he thought about it, a chill went down his spine.
Xiao Lou advised, “In short, every time you meet a teammate in the future, you should check their identity first. We’ve been through many secret rooms together while the clones are stuck in this world. We can tell the real from the false by asking some random details.”
Long Sen suggested, “For example, Li Qingzhao’s skill?”
Xiao Lou answered, “Who Sent the Brocade from Beyond the Clouds and Stray Into the Depths of the Lotus Flowers.”
Long Sen completely put down his worries and gently exhaled. “You are really Professor Xiao.”
Xiao Lou helplessly told him, “The one you are seeing now is real but this might not necessarily be the case later. Be careful and check the information first. If the other person can’t answer, they are a clone.”
Long Sen nodded earnestly. “I understand. It isn’t just you. Our other teammates might also have clones. This secret room should be testing our tacit understanding? It would be bad if we are fooled by the clones.”
Xiao Lou rubbed his forehead. “Yes. At present, I’m not sure if the other Xiao Lou will fight us but based on the personality of the keepers, he definitely won’t help us.”
Yu Hanjiang saw Long Sen’s casual clothes and inquired, “Are you going out?”
Long Sen explained, “It is my day off and I wanted to go home to find Wanyue. In my memories, we live in a residential building in District F of Capital Star. Wanyue is my wife and a dance teacher at Locke University. Every guard only has two days of vacation each month to go home and visit relatives, so I want to go back and contact her.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, go home first and tell Qu Wanyue clearly about the clones so she can be careful. I will find a chance to take Xiao Lou out this afternoon to meet with Brother Jiu.”
Xiao Lou was worried. “Is it even possible for me to get out of the palace?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned for a moment. “You stay here with Long Sen while I’ll find a suitable set of clothes for you. Later, dress up as a royal guard and leave the palace with me.”
Xiao Lou also thought this was a good idea. “Okay, the size of my clothes is…”
Yu Hanjiang stood up. “I know.”
Long Sen choked up and thought, ‘How does Group Leader Yu know the size of Professor Xiao’s clothes? The height is easy to judge but what about waist circumference and hip circumference? Don’t military uniforms have to be tailored?’
Long Sen seriously suggested, “Do you want to measure it now?”
“…No need.” Did Yu Hanjiang need a tape measure to measure Xiao Lou’s waist? How many times had he hugged it?
Xiao Lou’s ears turned red and he coughed softly. “There is no need to be so careful. I think it is okay to wear it roughly.”
Long Sen scratched his head. “Oh.”
He was just kindly giving advice.
Yu Hanjiang turned to leave.
Long Sen looked at Xiao Lou with complicated eyes. “That man really looked exactly like you. Cloning technology in the interstellar era seems very advanced. Is it that easy to create a clone by using one hair of yours??”
Xiao Lou told him, “In the final analysis, cloning technology is the asexual reproduction of cells. If the technology of this era is mature enough, it is possible to reproduce countless Xiao Lous with just a few of my hairs.”
Long Sen suddenly realized. “Oh, it is just like Sun Wukong pulling out a handful of monkey hairs to create countless Sun Wukongs.”
Xiao Lou, “……”
How on earth did he catch Qu Wanyue with his language skills?
The two of them were chatting when Yu Hanjiang knocked on the door and came in holding a big bag.
Xiao Lou saw that the bag contained a brand new uniform and was happy. “You found it so quickly?”
“I am the captain. I can take advantage of the convenience of my position and go directly to the inventory to receive a new uniform suitable for you. I said I was getting it for one of my subordinates.”
Xiao Lou stood up and glanced at Long Sen. “Then I’m going back with Hanjiang first. Once you get home, have a good chat with Teacher Qu to see if she has found any clues. I’ll see you in two days.”
“Yes. I will definitely come back before your birthday party.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou left Long Sen’s room and returned to the Twin Palaces.
After entering the room, Yu Hanjiang let Xiao Lou change into the military uniform. The clothes he found really fit perfectly. It was like it was specifically made for Xiao Lou.
Xiao Lou was wearing a military uniform for the first time and he wasn’t good at putting on the belt. Yu Hanjiang walked behind him and spoke in a low voice, “I’ll help you.”
The man’s hands moved around his waist and gently wrapped the belt around Xiao Lou before fastening the buckle.
Then Yu Hanjiang asked Xiao Lou to sit on the sofa.
He went over, got on one knee and raised Xiao Lou’s foot.
Xiao Lou’s face turned slightly red. Although he was still wearing his clean white socks, the heat of the other person’s hand was still clearly transmitted to the soles of his foot. This kind of intimate feeling made him unbearably nervous and embarrassed.
Xiao Lou’s toes slightly shrunk back.
Yu Hanjiang’s voice was low. “Don’t move.” He grabbed Xiao Lou’s foot and seriously put on the military boot. He stuffed the trouser legs into the boot and then put on the other one.
The whole process was gentle, like a guard serving his master.
A man who was extraordinarily handsome in a military uniform was kneeling down in front of him and seriously putting on his boots… Xiao Lou’s heart beat like a drum. He was too embarrassed to look at Yu Hanjiang and every inch of his skin was burning.
It wasn’t easy to wear a full uniform. Xiao Lou hurriedly stood up and looked in the mirror.
The fabric of the white military uniform was very high quality. There were no creases and it was neat, revealing an air of abstinence.
Yu Hanjiang stood behind him, watching him. Xiao Lou usually wore casual clothes, but he unexpectedly looked so good in a uniform. He had a tall body, an upright posture and his aura wasn’t inferior to a formal soldier. Yu Hanjiang couldn’t look away.
In the mirror, Xiao Lou met the man’s deep eyes. His heart jumped and he quickly lowered his head to carefully put on his hat. “Shall we go now?”
Yu Hanjiang returned to his senses. “Let’s go.”
Xiao Lou lowered the brim of his hat and immediately followed behind Yu Hanjiang.
He walked calmly with the correct posture, maintaining the same pace as Yu Hanjiang like a subordinate.
There were guards patrolling everywhere in the palace. It would be suspicious if Xiao Lou appeared cowering. He might as well stand upright and act as a guard.
Yu Hanjiang was the captain of the guards. Most of the guards saluted when they saw him. The ‘small soldier’ following Yu Hanjiang didn’t attract too many people’s attention.
They walked all the way to the gate of the palace unimpeded. The soldier in charge of security saw Yu Hanjiang and stopped him due to regulations. “Major General, are you going out?”
Yu Hanjiang replied softly, “Yes, His Highness sent me on an errand.”
He handed his identity card and access permit to the other party for inspection. It was confirmed there were no problems and they were released.
Just like this, Yu Hanjiang left the palace with Xiao Lou.
Xiao Lou was slightly relieved and told Yu Hanjiang, “Your identity as captain is really easy to use. Where are we going now? Have you made an appointment with Brother Jiu?”
“Come with me. We’ll go directly to his house.”
In front of the imperial palace was a square that was thousands of square meters large with a fountain in the middle. The soldiers were lined up in three rows, patrolling back and forth in the square so that ordinary people couldn’t get close to the solemn palace. There were royal guards stationed within a few kilometers of the palace’s vicinity. This was similar to the ‘forbidden guards’ protecting the emperor in ancient times. It was almost impossible for outsiders to enter the palace.
The emperor previously said that Xiao Lou wasn’t ill as a child but there was an assassination attempt. How did the person get into the palace? Was it an insider?
Yu Hanjiang temporarily suppressed his doubts about this matter and led Xiao Lou across the square to the parking lot on the northwest side. He drove a suspension vehicle dedicated for the guards and took Xiao Lou to the outskirts of the city.
The suspension vehicle moved in the air lane and soon arrived at the villa where the Lu family lived.
According to the setting, Lu Jiuchuan’s grandfather and father were generals who had been killed in battle many years ago. Today, only Lu Jiuchuan was left in the Lu family.
Yu Hanjiang parked the suspension vehicle on the tarmac at the door.
After waiting a while, they saw a military suspension vehicle flying this way. Lu Jiuchuan pushed a wheelchair down and faced Yu Hanjiang. The two brothers didn’t say anything. Lu Jiuchuan walked over to open the gate and Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou followed him into the yard.
No one lived in the house but there were robots around to clean it. The yard was very clean.
Lu Jiuchuan took everyone to the living room. He examined Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou carefully and found that both men were wearing the uniforms of the royal guards. He couldn’t help chuckling as he patted Yu Hanjiang on the shoulder. “How could you take His Highness out of the palace?”
Yu Hanjiang asked calmly, “Have you seen Huaying or Old Gui?”
Lu Jiuchuan shook his head. “No, I only know Tang Ci and you two.” He looked his brother and Xiao Lou up and down with appreciation. “The military uniform really fits you. Of course, Xiao Lou is also handsome.”
Xiao Lou was initially worried that Brother Jiu and Tang Ci were clones.
However, there was nothing suspicious in their reaction when he mentioned Chu Huaying and Gui Yuanzhang. Yu Hanjiang’s question just now was a test. The clones definitely wouldn’t know Chu Huaying and Gui Yuanzhang. Moreover, Brother Jiu’s personality that could make jokes at any time and anywhere was something that wasn’t easily copied by ordinary people.
Tang Ci said, “Let’s talk about business.”
Lu Jiuchuan put away his smile. “Yes, you must’ve come to me for something. What did you find out?”
Xiao Lou looked at Lu Jiuchuan and seriously said, “Brother Jiu, it is like this. An identical Xiao Lou has appeared in the palace. It is a clone made from my genes.”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality