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Chapter 11: Living Together

Yuri, just waking up from a good night's sleep, massaged her pounding head and groaned, "Oh, I dreamed all night, now my head feels so big and sore. I feel a little woozy, too."

Tuss looked at her head and then her legs, confused, thinking, "Shouldn't her legs be the ones that feel sore and unfeeling?"

The next moment, Yuri shouted in fear, "Oh no, I can't feel my legs!"

Immediately worried, Tuss quickly suggested, "Try to get up and see."

Seeing his concerned face, Yuri remembered how she had let him rest his head on her legs before they fell asleep the night before. Understanding what had happened, she calmed down and tried to make him feel better, "It's fine. They're just asleep. I'll walk it off."

With the wall's support, Yuri stood up and began to move slowly in the crowded gym. She happened to see Tuss's upset face.

This guy wasn't as strong as he seemed.

Maybe feeling a bit guilty, Tuss started acting a little different towards Yuri. He began to tell her about the Chaos Galaxy, teaching her how to tell nebulae apart and look at starry oceans.

Yuri was like a sponge, soaking up every word Tuss said. Leaning on the window, she tried to use what she learned, talking about the nebulae and starry oceans outside the window, but half of what she said was wrong. Each time, Tuss would firmly correct her without hesitation, saying, "You're wrong."

Yuri, not bothered, would laugh and ask him, "Why am I wrong? Where did I make a mistake?"

Tuss would point out her errors and correct her, all the while thinking to himself, "why ai I not seeing any sign of sadness in her, even though she lost her arm the same day I lost my legs? Why isn't she even a little bit sad?

Unaware of what Tuss was thinking, Yuri took the chance to ask him lots of questions while he was willing to answer her. Basically, she wouldn't leave him alone as long as he was awake.

Tuss finally asked her, "How did you get into Military Academy No. 1?"

Feeling a little guilty, Yuri answered, "I couldn't have cheated, could I? You know how tough the tests are." As technology got better, cheating became harder—a fact everyone knew.

"Then why don't you know some basic things?" Tuss frowned and shot back, "You lost your arm, not your brain."

A woman nearby overheard them talking and felt the need to step in, "Young man, you shouldn't be so mean to your girlfriend. Even though you lost your legs, she's still here with you, looking after you. You should be thankful."

Tuss's face tightened, and he bit his lip, staying quiet.

Yuri smiled at the woman and said, "He's all talk and no action. He's just hard on me because he worries."

The woman nodded, understanding, then turned to Yuri and offered, "Don't feel bad, dear. Everyone's brain works differently. If you're a bit slow, you'll get better with time and practice."

A small smile appeared at the corner of Yuri's mouth as she agreed, "Hmm, you're right."

Looking at Yuri and Tuss, the woman said sympathetically, "One of you is missing an arm, and the other two legs. Life must be hard for both of you."

Yuri nodded and sighed, "You're telling me. It's tough."

Tuss looked at her, surprised to finally hear her say something was "tough."

"Even when things get really hard, you can pull through if we stick together. But now—" The woman face showed a lot of worry. "I can't guess what these pirates are planning. They don't want money, they're not saying anything. My family back home is waiting for me. If I'm not there, they must be really scared. How about you both? Where are you headed, and does your family know you're here?"

Yuri had a worried look on her face too. "We have an older person on the spaceship with us. I don't know how he's doing right now."

"He should be okay." The older woman tried to reassure her, patting Yuri's hand. "The pirates haven't hurt us, and they even give us a bottle of Nutrient Fluids every day. It's clear they want us to stay alive."

Hearing this, Yuri turned to look at Tuss. Maybe Tuss was right. The pirates might want to force them to mine Blue Keystone ores.

But if they had to mine—

Yuri looked at Tuss again. She had both her legs and one arm. But what about Tuss?

Maybe she was staring too hard, and Tuss's face became serious. He clenched his teeth and said, "I can pick up the ores."

Yuri nodded and said, "When the time comes, we'll team up and help each other."

Tuss: "....."

"Your lips are chapped." Yuri suddenly noticed, looking at Tuss's mouth.

Tuss tensed up, but tried to act like it was no big deal, saying, "I'm okay."

"Have some water." Yuri told him, offering him a cup of water she just got. "Drink a little. I'll help you to the bathroom later. If you don't drink, your body will start to get weak."

Tuss looked into her eyes, searching for any signs of ridicule, but he only saw concern. Then he slowly took the water from her.

Tuss drank three big cups of water.

"Do you feel better now?" Yuri asked.

Tuss made a humming sound to say yes, "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Yuri squatted down in front of him, "Climb on. Then hold onto my neck, I can't hold you up with my hands. I hope you don't mind."

Tuss looked at the slender figure before him, quietly climbed on, held onto her neck, and said in a low voice, "I don't mind."

Tuss, who had lost both his legs, was very light. Carrying him wasn't too hard for Yuri, and they quickly got to the restroom.

Yuri took Tuss straight to the restroom, turned on the toilet's cleaning program, and after checking that the toilet was clean, she helped Tuss onto the toilet seat.

"I'll wait outside the door, let me know when you're finished." Yuri told him.

Tuss's cheeks turned red. He was embarrassed and uncomfortable. He responded with a quiet "okay," so quiet that Yuri would have missed it if she wasn't listening carefully.

She stepped out, closing the door behind her, and started thinking, "Tuss must be struggling a lot, going from being at the top of the Alliance's best military academy to being unable to do anything for himself now."

The spaceship flew for another three days, when suddenly it jerked. Yuri, who was stretching, lost her balance and fell.

With a thud, she landed on Tuss, who had tried to catch her, and their heads bumped together.

Yuri winced, rubbing her head, and looked up at Tuss. Seeing his stern face, she thought he was upset and was about to apologize when Tuss said, "We've entered the Chaotic Galaxy."

Yuri's eyes grew a bit smaller. From what Tuss had told her, she could tell that the Chaotic Galaxy was a mess. People couldn't see what it really looked like with just their eyes, and even the most advanced technology couldn't figure it out. Any spaceship or robot that went into the Chaotic Galaxy would lose its signal, and the only pictures of it people could get were a blurry grey-white.

The Chaotic Galaxy had so many planets, all mysterious and disorganized. It was a hiding place for criminals and pirates.

"Can we leave once we've gone into the Chaotic Galaxy?" Yuri asked.

Tuss looked at her sadly and answered, "What do you think?"

Yuri's heart felt tight, "Will the Alliance send someone to save us?"

Tuss didn't say anything. After a while, he finally said, "The Alliance sends people into the Chaotic Galaxy every year, but not many come back."

"So, it's a one-way trip for us?" Yuri asked suddenly.

Tuss nodded seriously, "You could say that."

"What if we joined the Chaotic Galaxy?" Yuri suggested.

Tuss looked at her missing right arm, then at his own legs that were gone, saying, "I don't think they would want 'disabled' people like us."

Yuri: "......"

The spaceship bumped along, Yuri nervously watched as asteroids passed by the window, her heart beating fast, worried that if they were to crash into one, they'd all be destroyed?

Yuri was nervous for a full day and night. It wasn't until the spaceship landed safely that she was able to relax.

Hearing her sigh, Tuss thought she was scared. He wanted to say something to make her feel better, but looking down at where his legs used to be, he felt a bitter taste in his mouth and couldn't say anything.


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
Treein Treein

Creation is hard, cheer me up!

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