The exploration area for the fourth exploration phase was four Star Clusters. They were considered as the center of the Flickering World in terms of geographical location.
Opening the new Star Field to the outside world was the dynastys way of splitting the cost of construction. The third phase areas were basically properly split and highly controlled, so they were considered areas with high security. These four Star Clusters, however, were areas for all the forces to compete freely. The dynasty did not restrict the outside organizations from fighting for territory, so they were low security areas.
The external organizations would choose one or more Star Clusters to explore while at the same time fighting for their territories. At the initial stage of the exploration, these organizations focused on occupying their territories first before slowly exploring the further unknown areas.
It had not been long since the countless outside organizations had arrived there, so the exploration area was still limited to the edges of the four Star Clusters. However, the situation was already looking complex and chaotic. If there was a star map that marked the territories the various organizations now occupied in detail, that would be the most complicated star map in the entire universe.
Most organizations had already foreseen the intensity of the competition and formed various alliances here and there. Roughly speaking, the main factions that were active in the free competition zones could be classified into the following categories.
The first category comprised the local snakes, consisting of the dynasty and its allies. They all had some territory at the edge of these four Star Clusters, so their position was quite above the others. After all, most of the outside organizations did not want to fight with them, and the organizations belonging to the dynasty did not put too much effort into exploring as well, so they did not participate in the intense competition.
The second groups had alliances of different civilizations, among which, the Super Star Cluster alliance stood at the top. The rest were the Star Cluster civilization alliances of various Star Fields. They had been expanding ruthlessly and occupied plenty of areas that were close to each other. These alliances were strong contenders in this free competition zone.
The third category covered the financial groups, who mostly had mercenaries under their command, mainly focused on making money. The territories they occupied were quite scattered. The fourth group included the external Beyond Grade A organizations, which were also very strong contenders, but there were not many of them.
The last was the civil organizations from all over the universe. This group had the most complex composition and the most scattered territories with the most conflicts that often changed ownership in the previous life.
As for the federation and the church, they were both keeping a low profile in their corners and did not seem to intend to expand. They were only letting their allies take part in the competition freely.
The three Universal Civilizations had the silent agreement of giving the stage to let the other organizations fight and compete.
Currently, although there were occasional conflicts in the free competition zones of the four Star Cluster, there had yet to be any large scale armed conflicts. The exploration had only just started, so there were still plenty of unknown areas. Everyone was exploring further from the edges of the Star Cluster; the organization structure was far from saturation.
Currently, these organizations mainly feared the dynastys stand on this, but the fight would start sooner or later. With the Black Star Army firing the first shot in the Flickering World, this process would be sped up tremendously.
In one of the free competition zones of the fourth phase within the Emerald Star Cluster, the enormous Black Star Army exploration fleet rode out of the dynastys military stargate and arrived at the border of the Star Cluster.
Inside the command room, Hila stood before the operation console with a poker face, carefully looking at the holographic star map before her.
She had changed her clothes and was wearing a combat suit made of nanomaterials that Han Xiao had specially made for her. It was a black uniform with two rows of buttons. Its style was the luxurious version of the army officers military uniform, skintight, showing her beautiful curves. The armys symbol was on her collar, and there was also a wide high-collar cape behind here in the color of black and gold with magnificent patterns. The inside of the cape was red. This set of clothes suited her unique vibe and elevated her aura.
The combat suits model was Crimson SnakeFirst Gen, Beyond Grade A equipment. It consisted of tons of top-notch technology. Its usual mode was like a piece of normal clothing, but when in combat mode, it would showcase its powerful performance as a Beyond Grade A mechanical suit.
This combat suit was not built at the last minute. In fact, Han Xiao had made this equipment long before Hila returned. When Hila received this gift, although she did not say much on the surface, she had been wearing it since. She clearly liked it a lot.
"Deputy Army Commander, where are we going now?" the female aide-de-camp beside her asked.
Hila pressed on the holographic star map and zoomed in on one area. This was a planet at the edge of the Emerald Star Cluster called Planet Phiri. Its location was a little rural, so no one had occupied it yet.
"Here, to build a bridgehead," said Hila.
She was now the commander of the exploration fleet. Han Xiao had given her a lot of freedom in terms of making decisions, only limiting the armys exploration target to be the Emerald Star Cluster. The details would all be controlled by Hila.
The reason Han Xiao had chosen the Emerald Star Cluster was that this was also the main exploration target of the Modo Civilization, as well as a relatively prosperous area in his previous life. He remembered that there were also some hidden factors in the region. There was the wreckage of an old civilization that was discovered in this Star Cluster, and it was quite an advanced civilization with plenty of technical information. It caused conflicts between countless organizations in the previous life, but he did not know the exact location of it.
Most importantly, the Emerald Star Cluster was one of the locations where the Primal Chaos Mysterious Energy might appear in.
According to EsGods heritage, there were many coordinates the Primal Chaos Mysterious Energy might appear at, and Han Xiao could not judge which one was real. Since EsGod did not die in his previous life, this information was not leaked, and he had secretly secured the Primal Chaos Mysterious Energy without attracting the attention of the outside world. Even the players did not know much about it.
Nonetheless, Han Xiao had always been secretly monitoring Evans whereabouts. This man who was the owner of the Primal Chaos Mysterious Energy in his previous life found a job after he was freed from prison and became an ordinary member of a financial groups exploration fleet, responsible for cleaning and repairing spaceships. The fleet he was in had come to the Emerald Star Cluster.
Therefore, Han Xiao was quite sure that the Emerald Star Cluster was where the Primal Chaos Mysterious Energy would appear. After all, after the Primal Chaos Mysterious Energy was defeated by EsGod, it had definitely found an owner nearby, so the area where Evans was in had the highest possibility.
Of course, Hila did not know about any of that yet. She casually issued orders and commanded the fleet to head to Planet Phiri.
Meanwhile, some player guilds did not follow the main fleet but spread out on their own.
These guilds that had completed their registration had the authority to move on their own. In order to obtain their own stronghold, they did not want to move together with the main fleet. This was approved by Han Xiao silently. Furthermore, he even prepared quite a number of missions just for the players in the army interface, which had rich rewards. This was to encourage the guilds to move on their own and expand their lead.
Somewhere in the Emerald Star Cluster, Beast Ancestor Gorutans fleet was stationed on one planet, building a bridgehead.
Although Gorutan was the protector of the Galactic Black Market behind the curtains, he also had his own organization. If there was anything special about this organization, it would be that most of its members were his offspring.
Gorutan stood at the peak of a mountain, looking down at the ground that was slowly being covered in metal. Above him was the dark galaxy, and northern lights flew in the sky.
His muscular and fearsome body was completely nude. The lion-like fur all over his body swayed with the corrosive wind, and dots of light surrounded his body, each of which was made of highly condensed Pugilist flames.
As a peak Beyond Grade A Pugilist, his training method had ascended from purely training his body. He had to use every inch of his body to feel the way the universe operated; it was very mysterious. Gorutan had stopped taking baths in Fixed Stars like Heber long ago.
This time, numerous meteors flew over from the sky and landed behind Gorutan. They were all Calamity Grade officers, and there were more than forty of them.
Everyone lowered their head and spoke with respect at the same time.
These officers were the Beast Ancestors offspring, and they all had different appearances as if they were different species.
Gorutan really lived up to the ancestor in his nickname. In fact, he had a more down to earth nickname among the civiliansSeed Spreader of the Galaxy.
After he evolved to become a Beyond Grade A species, he had obtained a very powerful reproductive capacity. His genes had extraordinary adaptability. He could have offspring with most species, and his way of expanding his race was brutal and simple. He captured females of different races for mating to give birth to all kinds of hybrid species.
If there were any outstanding mutants in his offspring, he would then turn that offspring into his mating machine to breed even stronger offspring. This way of doing things contradicted the ethics of some races, so Gorutan was disliked by quite many civilizations who felt he was like a savage beast. However, many races did not care about it. After all, the ethics of every race were different.
Gorutan turned around, not minding the fact that he was fully nude in front of his offspring, and said with a deep voice, "What is it?"
An offspring stepped forward. This offspring had the appearance of a spider-like insect but had a human-like face. His six pedipalp-like arms held a communicator at the same time to express his respect to Gorutan. "Father, Sorokin is looking for you."
Gorutan took the communicator, and Sorokins hologram appeared before him.
"Whats this about?"
Sorokin smiled calmly. "Remember my plan for the Black Star Army? Its time. When the Limitless Financial Group firms its ground, we will start to target the Black Star Armys businesses in his territory. Before that, we need to restrain the armys exploration."
"And you need my help?"
"Thats right. Right now, the Black Star Armys exploration is heading to Planet Phiri, which is not far from you. I hope you can occupy Planet Phiri in advance. Their leader is Hila. Test her depth. Best to force the Black Star Army to retreat and delay their exploration progress while damaging their reputation."
"Why not do it yourself?"
"My original body isnt in the Emerald Star Cluster. Plus, I cant beat Hila." Sorokin smiled.
"Humph, we made a deal with you because I dont want to deal with the Black Star Army personally, but now youre asking me, the employer, to help. Why is that so?" Gorutan snorted. As a peak Beyond Grade A, he was not afraid of offending Black Star. He just did not want to work for free.
"My abilities are limited; I only have some strengths in terms of operating a business," Sorokin slowly said. "If you dont help me, I wont be able to restrict the Black Star Armys exploration. By then, dont blame me for not giving Black Star enough pressure Also, I can leak this information to you; the federation and the church have plans to get rid of Hila."
"Oh? Are they not afraid of enraging the dynasty and starting another Tragedy of the Pinnacles?"
"Well, the fact is, Hila belongs to the Black Star Army; she did not agree to join the dynasty. So, killing her will only enrage Black Star. Hila becoming a Beyond Grade A is an unforeseen issue, but it has also shown us a new way to damage the Black Star Army."
Gorutan squinted. "Have you forgotten what Black Star said during the Meeting of the Gods? There are too few Beyond Grade As. Anyone dying wont be beneficial to us."
"Haha, is that really the case?" Sorokin smiled. "The Mechanic Emperor is extremely ambitious. He hopes to gather all of the Beyond Grade As to obtain more things, but when you think of it, arent we being used by him? My thoughts happen to be the complete opposite of his. If there are fewer Beyond Grade As, those who are left will be safer. Theyll be more important to the advanced civilizations."
Gorutan frowned. "Are you betraying the shared battlefront of the Beyond Grade As?"
"There has never been such a thing as betrayal. What have the others got to do with us? Is the situation the Beyond Grade As are in now not good enough?" Sorokin did not care at all. "When we plot to obtain things that dont belong to us, this kind of ambition will only lead to our demise."
"Dont ever say something like that to me. Ill take it as if I didnt hear what you just said." Gorutan waved his hand impatiently. "For the sake of our relationship, Ill help you this time. Ill visit Planet Phiri, but double my dividends for the next quarter, or theres no deal."
"Okay." Sorokin smiled.
Gorutan ended the call and looked back at his many offspring. "Prepare the spaceships and follow me."
This time, one offspring could not help but ask, "Father, for us to mess with the Black Star Army in the Flickering World, is it really worth"
"You think Sorokin is the first person to have asked me to do this?" Gorutan snorted. "Hehe, in the Flickering World now, there are all too many organizations that want to deal with the Black Star Army"
In the middle of their travels, the Black Star Army exploration fleet suddenly received a piece of information.
The female aide-de-camp hastily rushed into the room. "Your Excellency Deputy Army Commander, theres a situation."
Hila who was meditating opened his eyes, frowned, and said, "What is it?"
"Planet Phiri was occupied by someone before us. Its Beast Ancestor Gorutans fleet. S-should we take use another planet as our stronghold?"
"Gorutan?" A tint of coldness flashed past Hilas eyes. "We did not hide our whereabouts, so the outside world knows our target, yet he deliberately snatched Planet Phiri. This is a provocation to the army! If we take a detour, it will damage the reputation the Army Commander has put a lot of effort in to build."
"But Gorutan is a peak Beyond Grade A. Y-you" The aide-de-camp did not dare continue.
"Your Army Commander is also a peak Beyond Grade A. Theres no reason to back away!" Hila stood up and said with a deep voice, "Advance at full speed!"
So what if its a peak Beyond Grade A? Its not like I havent been beaten by a peak Beyond Grade A before!
She was not someone like Garoze, who had already reached his peak. She was not afraid of challenging someone strong.
She believed that only fighting with strong people could stimulate her own potential.
At the same time, Han Xiao, who was counting his EXP with a grin every day in the Black Star Palace, received Phillips message too and was slightly surprised.
"Gorutan? When did I offend him?"
Han Xiao scratched his head and was a little speechless.
Although he did not know the reason behind this, he was not a nobody anymore. There was no reason to back away.
Well, since youve decided to cut short your life span, it has nothing to do with me.