Bone Sculptor - Chapter 4
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Chapter 4 – Exchange
The Exploration Planet City Base #3 occupied an area of more than 500 square kilometers. The population within this base numbered no more than 70,000, and was mainly composed of scientific, technical, administrative, logistical, medical, and combat personnel from planet Totas.
The District Chief of City Base #3 was Valenor, one of the Consul members of planet Totus, while the military defense fell under the responsibility of Major General Milos.
This survey expedition was the fifth time that Milos led a team, and his mission was to collect data on the various unknown creatures on this planet, and to gain a practical understanding of their species, habits, and risk levels, so that he could develop a corresponding countermeasure.
He returned to the base and first went to the General Affairs Center to report the findings of the expedition to Valenor.
“Milos, this is the first time there have been casualties when you led the team.” Valenor remarked with a teasing tone.
“This is just the beginning. The number of deaths and injuries will only increase in the future.” Milos replied coldly.
“I know that this planet is filled with many dangers, but no matter how dangerous it is, it is only a primitive planet with low-level civilization. With our technology and weapons, it is only a matter of time before we conquer it.” Valenor had always been confident about this.
Milos, however, disagreed with him. The planet they were exploring might be a primitive one, but technology and weapons might not be able to play much of a role against it. Especially after he had seen the kind of skeleton monster that could withstand the shot from an energy gun and the bone sculpture that possessed a beast spirit. Perhaps the claim “low-level civilization” needed to be revised.
Though he thought so, Milos didn’t say anything else; everything was still subjected to further research.
Once he left the General Chamber, Milos headed straight towards the 3T-01 Research Center. Earlier, he had left the box containing the human bones in the research center, and he believed that no one had touched it. The researchers were very busy with their own work, especially since the planet was full of mysteries and subjects to be studied, no one would pay attention to a human skeleton.
When Milos entered the research lab, dozens of researchers were bustling about. To his arrival, they had only nodded in his direction as a greeting.
Milos did not care about this treatment, and went straight to where the box was and opened it.
An Yi, who had been in the box for two days, almost lit up the spiritual fire in her eye sockets when she saw the bright light after being confined in the dark for so long. Thankfully she was able to restrain herself on time. Then she felt her head being picked up by a pair of large hands, the owner of which was the same Milos who had brought her here.
Milos examined the skull in his hands and noticed that her teeth were very well preserved – not only were they compact and neatly aligned, they were also full with not a single missing tooth. He held open her jawbone with the intention of pulling out a tooth, but the tooth seemed like it grew from the jawbone, he couldn’t pull it out.
‘Why are you trying to pull out my tooth? Don’t you understand how tough it was to have grown such a beautiful tooth like that!’ An Yi was so angry that she held onto her teeth firmly, with the resolution to not let him pull it out.
Milos abruptly halted his action when he felt warmth seeping into his hand from the skull. However, there seemed to be nothing and no changes after a while.
He gave up pulling out the tooth, and instead, picked out a femur from the box.
Her femur! Without the femur, she couldn’t walk upright! An Yi watched as he handed her femur to a researcher and instructed him to extract the DNA in order to find the identity of the “deceased”.
‘Don’t waste your time, you can’t find out my identity this way. If you must extract DNA, then take the tooth. Leave my femur alone, I’ll give you the tooth!’ She exclaimed.
A tooth suddenly fell out from its previously secured location with a thud and landed on the table, rolling around a few times.
Milos, who was still in the position of handing the femur over, stared at the lone tooth on the table in silence: “…”
“Major General, do you want me to extract the DNA?” the researcher asked hesitantly.
“Hmm.” Milos took back the femur and handed the tooth to the researcher.
DNA extraction did not require much effort, and with their technology, the results would be available the next day.
Once the arrangements were made, Milos put the bone back into the box and took the whole thing back with him to his residence.
His residence had a private storage room, in it was information on various dangerous creatures and the latest weapon and equipment.
Milos opened the case, then took out the bones inside and placed them one by one on the table to make a complete human skeletal frame.
He carefully examined it, wanting to find some useful clues from it. Soon, he realized this particular human skeleton had distinctive features to it. First of all, its color was white and flawless, without a single crack. Logically, no matter how careful a person is, it is inevitable that they will have bumped and bruised themselves so the bones should not be perfect. Even if it had never been damaged, the bones were exposed in the wilderness; there ought to be deterioration and cracking due to insects and the like. Unless she had just died, but that was highly unlikely, and she should have been dead even before they started the survey in that area.
Secondly, her rib cage was missing two bones compared to a regular person’s, and the frame was also smaller and finer. Judging from the shape of her pelvis, these bones belonged to a woman. Her height was about 170 centimeters, and these bones had a hard texture but were very smooth in the hand as though one was holding a white jade.
Besides, the bone knife inlaid on the left arm bone that he noticed earlier, was also a factor for doubt.
Milos ran his finger gently on the leg bone, all the way up to the hip bone, the spine, and then to the sternum. He basically touched An Yi all over her body.
This is a… blatant perversion. Although she was now just a skeleton, her sense of touch was not very sensitive, but she was not a dead person.
‘Take back those perverted claws and be a gentleman with decent manners! You think a female skeleton ain’t a female anymore? To be running your hands like that…’
Milos studied for a while longer, but he did not find anything else. So he decided to wait for the DNA results to come out the next day before he made further plans. He turned around and left the collection room. Once the metal door was shut, An Yi finally acquired some personal space.
Two clusters of ethereal blue spirit fire immediately flared up in her eye-sockets, and she observed the room. When she did not find anything resembling a surveillance camera, she began to assemble her body.
Just as she was sitting up from the table, the metal door suddenly opened from the outside. An Yi was frozen stiff in an awkward sitting posture on the table, her hands were still holding her head where she was about to put it on her cervical vertebrae.
Milos stood in the doorway with an expressionless face, staring at the skeleton on the table that was assembling itself silently.
The room immediately fell into an eerie dead silence.
‘Uhh… is it too late for me to die and go back to the previous position?’ An Yi thought glumly.
“So it’s you.” Milos suddenly spoke out amidst the dead silence, “It was you who hid in the forest and spied on our camp before, and it was also you who saved my life.”
An Yi felt that this man’s reaction to foreign creature was a little too calm. Was there no horror legend of skeletal ghosts on Totus? Normal people who see a walking and moving skeleton, even if they do not scream or directly pull out their weapons, should at least reveal a look of fright, right?
However, Milos was only a little surprised at the beginning, and then there were no more fluctuations in his expression and emotions.
He slowly approached An Yi, stopping just three meters away from her. He did not make any move that seemed hostile, and this managed to calm An Yi a little. She continued with what she was about to do earlier, put on her head and got off the table, standing straight in front of Milos.
“Who are you? Or rather, what kind of creature are you?” Milos’ eyes skimmed over her skull and cervical vertebrae, secretly wondering how she managed to join these bones together and hold them in position.
An Yi did not possess a language system, so she naturally could not answer his question.
Milos thought about it, and changed the question, “Can you understand what I’m saying?”
An Yi nodded her head.
“What about reading the texts?”
An Yi shook her head.
Milos was silent for a moment and asked again, “Were you originally from Totas?”
An Yi shook her head.
“Were you originally like this?”
She had already become a skeleton when she came to this world, so it should count. So An Yi nodded her head.
“Are there any other creatures like you on this planet?” Milos asked again.
An Yi nodded her head in response. She didn’t know what this man planned to do with her, so she could only answer his question obediently for now.
Just then, Milos took out the bone pendant An Yi had thrown out from his pocket and displayed it on his palm, “Did you make this?”
She nodded her head and reached out to take the bone pendant back.
Seeing this, Milos’ fingers quickly wrapped around the pendant and put it back into his pocket. It was obvious that he had no intention to return it to her.
An Yi felt the need to withhold her evaluation of this man.
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you, as long as you have no hostile intentions.” Milos made his stance clear, “However, I would like you to assist me in my survey of this planet.”
Although he had yet to know the origin of the creature in front of him, there was no doubt that she possessed some special power that they did not fathom. With her assistance, the survey should become much easier.
An Yi did not immediately agree to Milos’s request. Milos seemed to be asking, but the tone of his voice had a hint of unquestionable forcefulness. Now that the initiative was his, she was indeed at a position of disadvantage.
Milos added, “You don’t have to worry about your identity being exposed, the base has a fully armored uniform that you can wear to hide, including your eyes. At the same time, I will do my best to protect your safety.”
Hearing the word “protection”, An Yi felt that she had no more reason to refuse. As long as she could leave the base safely, she can reconsider the issue of staying or leaving when she gets out to the wild.
However, she was more inclined to cooperate with this man. If she could get his protection and help, she could not only save time exploring the planet, but even have free access to human society.
The two reached a preliminary agreement and the relationship entered a relatively friendly tangoing stage.
Milos led her out of the storage room to his lounge, and passed her a fully armored uniform set.
An Yi took the compact uniform, and was at a loss as to where to start.
Seeing this, Milos was convinced once more that she was not a Totasian. He walked over and helped An Yi to put on the full armor uniform with a demonstration.
After An Yi had grown up, this is the first time she enjoyed having someone attend to her cloth fitting once again. After the last gap closed, a slender, fully armored warrior appeared in view. From the outside, it was completely impossible to tell that what was packed inside was just a skeleton.
An Yi originally thought that this kind of uniform would be very awkward to wear on the body. She did not expect it to be unexpectedly comfortable and ventilated, and it did not affect the limb movements at all together with a clear vision of the surroundings.
“For the next few days, stay here and do not wander anywhere. I will arrange an identity for you, and then I will show you around when the time comes.” Milos was not completely at ease with this unknown creature, but he had plenty of patience. But he had the patience to slowly unravel the secrets of this creature.
This translation is presented by Nocturne Translations.
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