Breaking the shell
Gaia’s auction of rare plants was held as scheduled. All the connoisseurs in the interstellar who were preparing to participate in the auction came to Gaia early by starship, fearing that they otherwise would be delayed on the road and risk missing the auction.
It went without saying that in order to benefit the auction, Soma Auctions had promoted it online and had begun to pay attention to the excitement on the starnet starting half a month ago. Their work had paid off and it had not been long before the name of the auction spread throughout the appreciation of the rare plants circle.
If someone belonged to this circle and did not know of the auction, then they may be too embarrassed to call themselves a rare plant connoisseur.
Originally, these connoisseurs had already been excited and couldn’t wait to participate in the auction immediately. However just a few days before the auction began, Soma Auctions released an official message on their website, saying that they had unexpectedly added an extraordinary treasure to their next upcoming auction. The big words behind it made everyone even more thrilled and they were itching to see what it was.
Even if it was boasting, just the fact that they dared to heighten everyone’s expectations and claim it on the official website, meant that even if the treasure didn’t live up to the big words it must still be an outstanding treasure, better than anything the auction normally displayed.
To further tease them the auction house had ambiguously described it to have a flower like a blushing lotus, with a color like a treasured jade…. There were still a few days left until the auction and they were anxious enough to die!
To the connoisseurs who came to the auction the other plants could be said to only have been appetizers. Because on the day the auction started, everyone rushed in with only one plant in mind, the one that had made them think about it day and night, the treasure that would show up in the finale of the auction.
On the other hand, after successfully entrusting the plant to the auction house, Xie Luan did not pay attention to this matter anymore, he just waited for the auction to close so that he could receive his money.
It was probably just a small income, therefore Xie Luan had thought about it and decided that when he got the money, he would first go onto the starnet and buy some toys for the cubs in the branch.
He had heard that many nursing clubs would build special playgrounds for cubs. Since they didn’t have a playground, the least he could do was to buy them some toys.
Otherwise, these young cubs would have nothing to play with. Of course, Xie Luan was willing to play with them but he couldn’t stay with them for too long since he had other work to do and they were simply too many for him to care for at once. He therefore felt that toys were a necessity.
On the second day after the auction ended, Soma Auctions sent their financial supervisor to visit their big client in person. On the two sides of the bustling commercial street, she found a broken old cub raising branch… The financial supervisor stood in front of the rusted iron gate and almost thought that she had gotten it wrong.
How could a big client possibly stay in a place like this??
Generally, a person who could sell that kind of treasured item should have a good background, right?
Although it was a surprise, the financial supervisor did not forget what she was here for today and quickly opened the gate, soon finding the target of her trip.
“Hello, Mr. Xie, I am the financial supervisor of Soma Auctions.” The supervisor politely handed a business card to the human youth in front of her, as well as a dark purple crystal card, “The auction proceeds of 15% has already been deducted and the balance in this crystal card is now a total of 3.06 million.”
Xie Luan was prepared to reach out and pick up the two cards, however his hands froze midair at her words, he was suddenly doubting his hearing. “..How much?”
The supervisor became a bit nervous. Did the client feel that the auction price had been too low and that they did not reach the expected amount? Was he dissatisfied?
“3.06 million,” the supervisor said this carefully and tried to make herself look more sincere as she spoke.
Thinking that the young man was unhappy with their service, the supervisor hurriedly tried to explain and put in some good words for their auction house, “In fact, the transaction price for this item is already the highest of all auctions in rare plants so far. Before this one, the highest record was only 1.17 million, so you can say that the transaction price for the commission is quite unique.”
In today’s interstellar ages, the most valuable and most attractive events were the auctions of cutting-edge weapons such as rare resources and new mechs. Auctions of rare plants and the like, which only had the purpose of viewing and satisfying personal hobbies, often could not sell more than three million.
If you only looked at the money, the auction house should be able to collect more if they held a popular type of auction, like a starcraft engine auction, but Soma was an ambitious auction house. In addition to earning money, the top management had also set their sights on fame.
After all, there were many trade planets in the interstellar, and the auction houses were even more numerous. If you wanted to stand out among the many auction houses, you had to establish a reputation. This time’s divine plant auction was known to all in the rare plant appreciation circle, and even outsiders couldn’t help but join in the fun auction, which brought considerable attention to the auction house.
Now, after accumulating a reputation, was when Soma Auctions wanted to start to earn more money. Clients who could produce rare items were therefore very important and that was why the financial supervisor was so keen on explaining and changing Mr. Xie’s view on the matter.
Confirming that he really did not misunderstand or misheard, Xie Luan took the two cards from the other’s hand. He looked down at the purple crystal card and stroked his fingers across its surface. When he then turned it over he saw a number in the top right corner– 3060000
Xie Luan was a little embarrassed but he still maintained a normal expression and gave a nod, indicating that he understood and was very satisfied with the transaction price.
Seeing the young man nod, the supervisor secretly sighed with relief and then smiled as she eagerly said, “To be honest, I have seen a lot of items during my years in the business and there have been a lot of rare plants, but I have never seen such a magnificent and fascinating treasure. It has already fascinated and attracted the interest of many people, even outside the appreciation circle.”
On the starnet, there had even been a wave of appreciation for the precious plant since yesterday. Some people who usually did not pay attention to this circle were now somewhat interested.
Xie Luan nodded with an emotionless face as he listened to the other praising the simple plant that he had raised on earth. His mood was very complicated…
“If you have any more items to be auctioned in the future, we hope that you will consider using Soma Auctions again. In terms of commission rate, we are willing to give you a discount and lower it by one third.” This was the main purpose of her visit today.
Xie Luan did not refuse and replied with a simple, “I will.”
When the other left, he directly went to the office and used the old connector to log onto his newly-created Xingyou account that he had made just a few days ago.
Xingyou had a similar function as Weibo had on the earth. After logging in, Xie Luan actually saw the word “divine” on the hotlist, and he curiously clicked on it to see the plant that he had already auctioned.
There were countless praises. Reading through them, Xie Luan’s eye could not help but slightly twitch, “This may be a rare species that has been nurtured by countless botanists on an undeveloped planet,”
No… that’s actually just…
A normal plant, not worth more than a few dollars.
After searching some more, he turned off the connector and took a deep breath, in order to settle his complex mood. He then did as he had read and put his finger in the center of the crystal card for three seconds, binding ownership.
Standing up, Xie Luan tightened his grip on the crystal card worth more than three million and decided to go to the president in order to discuss the development of their club.
The amount from the auction had been completely beyond Xie Luan’s expectations. With this money, Xie Luan felt that he could be an investor of this nursing club.
The president was very old however when he heard Xie Luan’s thoughts, he lifted his head and looked at the other with almost childlike excitement.
He did not know where he came from, but the youth’s actions were tantamount to sending charcoal in snowy weather. The old president who had been worried about the survival of the club finally saw hope.
Of course, the old president did not reject Xie Luan’s investment proposal. He nodded almost immediately and accepted the contract.
During their conversation, Xie Luan had happened to glance out of the window and seen Xia Qi and Zhao Chuan arguing once again. Maybe it was because of this that he stopped himself as he was about to leave and brought up one more matter.
“I will remind you again, if you keep your current work attitude, you will eventually be dismissed,” Xia Qi coldly stated. Recently Zhao Chuan had been more and more excessive, if only he would be a little more serious about his job, then she would not need to always be on alert and babysit him too.
Some people were good talkers but not willing to listen, they always thought that they were right, it was really frustrating.
The word “dismissal” had originally been a bit shocking for Zhao Chuan to hear, but after repeatedly hearing it from Xia Qi, he was already immune. Besides, after working at this cub raising branch for two years, Zhao Chuan knew that with the club’s conditions, no new employees could be found and since they had insufficient staff, they would definitely not dismiss him.
Therefore Zhao Chuan had never taken it seriously and never tried to change, still keeping that horrible attitude. But suddenly the human youth came up to him and with an emotionless face said one sentence.
“You are fired,” Xie Luan said this clearly and slowly so that he would not mishear.
There was no anger in the voice of the youth, only a very ordinary statement, and his face, although it didn’t express any clear emotions, it didn’t look cold, it was rather calm, neutral.
“You said that YOU’RE firing ME?” Zhao Chuan laughed as if he had heard something ridiculous, “You are just a new employee. You should learn how to respect your predecessors, or are you thinking of yourself as the president?
Xie Luan was not annoyed. He only said, “I can actually count as at least half the president.”
Zhao Chuan only thought that the other was delirious and originally wanted to laugh at him, but then the president appeared and his words made him stifle the laugh in his throat.
“If Xiao Luan said that you are fired, then you are fired. You have one day to pack and leave. This month’s salary will be transferred to your crystal card.” Although the human youth was now the biggest investor in their club, he was still the president. The formal dismissal still needed to be done by him and he had only agreed because of this employee’s poor work attitude.
It was only now that Zhao Chuan really began to panic. He still hadn’t figured out how the young human in front of him came to have such a big influence but he let it go and instead focused on what was most important. He quickly changed his face and put on a pitiful expression. “President, you can’t fire me and just push me out. Where can I go? I don’t even have a place to go outside. Don’t even talk about work. If you fire me, isn’t it just like pushing me off of a cliff, I…”
“We are a cub raising association, not a poverty alleviation association.” Xie Luan suddenly interrupted his words.
“You–” Zhao Chuan wanted to swear but as he was unsure of the human’s backing and the reason for the sudden closeness to the president, Zhao Chuan had to swallow his words back and beg, “I don’t want to leave, don’t dismiss me!”
Zhao Chuan had begun to use his tricks and was very persistent, which made Xia Qi and the president both scrunch their eyebrows. If he refused to go, how could they drive him out?
However, Xie Luan was blunter than them, “You really don’t want to leave?”
Asking this, Xie Luan waved to the muka cub, who had come out of the building when he heard Xie Luan’s voice, signaling for it to come closer.
Seeing the dangerous muka cub approaching, Zhao Chuan suddenly had a bad feeling.
Then, when Zhao Chuan did not pay attention, Xie Luan grabbed his arm and lifted it up. In front of this muka cub, Zhao Chuan’s arm was then pulled down so that his hand slapped Xie Luan’s shoulder.
It clearly didn’t hurt at all, but Xie Luan did a lively performance on the spot and shouted in pain as he held his own shoulder and backed off.
“Hisss–” Seeing that the youth was attacked. The muka cub suddenly loudly hissed, threatening him. His pupils contracted and he hurriedly hid the youth behind him. His scarlet eyes were staring at the one who had attacked the youth and he continued to issue a low hiss in the back of his throat.
The more it stared at Zhao Chuan, the more frightened he became and this obvious gesture of aggression reminded Zhao Chuan of when he had been chased by this muka cub. He only managed to endure for a couple of seconds before he dashed to escape.
“Solved,” Xie Luan nonchalantly said.
“You’re awesome,” Xie Luan reached out and patted the foreleg of the muka cub as he slowed down his speech and praised him.
The young muka cub, who was praised by the young man, turned his head slightly and made a vague hissing sound, he then bowed his head and snuggled into his arms.
The youth did not have the ability to fight, so it was necessary to protect him. In the muka race, the loss of combat ability basically meant death. Therefore, in the mind of this muka cub, if he did not want the young man to die, then he must be “protected.” While protecting, he also needed to provide the other with living resources so that he could survive.
Xie Luan did not know what the cub was thinking and was stuck in his own thoughts. Now that there was a considerable amount of money, he could use it to really make changes around here. Xie Luan made a rough plan in his head.
One day passed quickly. After entering the hatching room and putting the nutrient solution on the three eggs inside, Xie Luan went back to his room and laid down on the mattress. He was eager to start his plans but it would have to wait until tomorrow, right now he needed some sleep.
Although Xia Qi had said that the nutrient solution could be applied once every few days, in the past few days, Xie Luan had still gone to the hatching room every day and applied it as he gently spoke to the eggs.
[T/N: I guess the crack was too small for him to notice?]
When he closed his eyes, he was still thinking about the development of the club, but the sleepiness came very quickly. It didn’t take long for Xie Luan to go to sleep, and his breathing gradually became shallow.
The club during the night was quiet and dark, and in this quiet night there was only one place that still had light, and something was happening at this time –
[This egg has not hatched for so many years, it should be a dead egg.]
[It’s a dead egg, but I have heard that there was still a little life reaction in the test.]
[When there is no life reaction, I will immediately throw this egg away.]
[Since all other noxs have died, it is better to leave this cub to do so too.]
[Sorry, our club can’t accept this egg, you have to send it to another nursing club.]
[Considering the complaints from parents, it is not convenient for our club to keep this egg, you…]
[Get born soon, ok?]
“Kre.” A crisp sound suddenly rang out in the quiet hatching room. With the appearance of this sound, a clear crack appeared on the black egg.
This crisp sound repeatedly echoed in the empty room, then with a push, a piece of the eggshell fell off, creating a gaping hole and out of this dark hole a white paw suddenly emerged. Gripping the edge of the shell a small round cub climbed out and landed on the red cushion.
There was still a certain scent in the hatching room, and although he had left the warmth of the egg he still felt warm and cozy as he smelled it.
But the scent left in the room was too light, almost impossible to feel. This made the cub issue a low humming sound in disappointment.
It was strange, despite being in a heat preservation room, the cub still felt a cold feeling that seemed to pass directly to his innermost heart. Like some kind of dark pulse hiding deep in his soul. The only thing that made this feeling retreat was that comfortable smell.
Beyond the bright hatching room was only darkness, but even though the cub was facing this world for the first time, he still chose to walk into the scary night.
[Get born soon, ok?]
“Meah,” the cub responded to the memory with a light joyful voice and then moved the tip of his tail as he began his search.
I hope that he can find Xie Luan soon, I mean how cute wouldn’t it be if Xie Luan woke up with a new fluff ball by his side!（≧∇≦）
 – Yóu Xīng means planet. But in order to make it less confusing and I have chosen to use the pinyin and swap them to make it sound better.
 – Sending charcoal in snowy weather is an expression that means to send help in someone’s time of need.