"Feeling lost?" Han Xiao put a cigarette in his mouth and took out his lighter. "Well that's easy to solve. Just take your sister back to the Germinal Organization, and I guarantee that you'll never feel bored again."
Hila glared at him and stayed quiet for a second. She then said to herself, "I wasn't able to protect my sister, and I made her endure so much suffering. It's all my fault. To protect her, I kept on training myself. Even though the battle carved a bloody past in my history, I will never regret what I did. The more lives I killed with my own hand, the safer I felt. It is the only way I could prove to myself that I was protecting my sister and wash away the remorse I have.
"Back in the Germinal Organization, we rarely saw each other. I knew that she wanted to go to the outside world, which is why I always prepared stories for her and shared my experience from the world outside. Now that she has a new life, is making many new friends, and has even started to take care of a pet, she won't need my stories anymore."
Han Xiao could not light the cigarette in his mouth, so he brought out his gun and shot a few bullets up into the sky and used the hot gun barrel to light the cigarette. He inhaled before replying, "That bear was supposed to be my pet…"
"Saving her from the misery had always been my wish. Now that I have fulfilled it…" Hila ignored Han Xiao's comment and continued. "She doesn't need me to protect her anymore."
Hila opened up her palm, and a dark red aura flowed through her fingers. Hila stared at her hands and said, "Back in the days, all I wanted to do was spend every minute training my power to crush the Germinal Organization by myself. Now, my sister and I are safe, so strength and power don't matter to me anymore. I can spend all the time in the world with my sister, and this is my ultimate mate wish."
Hila then closed her hands and formed a fist, crushing the red light in her hand. She closed her eyes. "But the life I always craved only brings emptiness in my heart. I'm so lost and don't know what to do. I hate this feeling."
"After living a dangerous life for years, letting your guard down may be uncomfortable; this is the classic symptom that soldiers face as they leave the battlefield," Han Xiao answered. "Of course I believe that there's another reason. I think that violence is in your blood, and every single cell in your body craves the taste of blood. Living a peaceful life may be a drug that slowly chips away your motivation for living."
Hila had a weird expression and said, "Are you trying to get me to do bad things?"
"What else? Do you want me to comfort you?" Han Xiao shook his head. "I don't need to tell you those cheesy and fluffy lines, and you are not a kind of person that needs consolation. Your sister is your sister, and you are you. You don't need to give up your true personality for your sister, and she also does not want you to change yourself. Stop finding excuses. I can see that battles and violence are what you truly desire, and the hunger for power is what drives you to move forward. The world is much larger than you think. Even though I can beat ten of you, in the eyes of the universe, there are people that are still stronger than me."
"What makes you say that you can beat ten of me?" Hila disagreed.
Han Xiao suddenly released a murderous intent in his eyes. Hila stepped back and unknowingly used her power. She was cautious as the dark red light drifted around her body.
"Maybe one day, I will take away your sister, just like what the Germinal Organization did. At that point, if you are still not strong enough to fight me… Haha. That's why you need to get stronger, or else you will regret it."
Han Xiao withdrew his murderous intent with a straight face, but Hila still could not calm down.
For a moment, her instincts told her that Han Xiao was not kidding. He was dead serious!
As if she saw the wolf's teeth behind the sheep mask, a chill travelled through her spine.
"I can create some robots to help you train if you want, or you can learn from Emerald Glass and practice with some other Espers. Well, if there's nothing else, I'm going back to sleep. I'm leaving my cigarette here."
Han Xiao jumped down from the rooftop and headed back to his place.
After Han Xiao's shadow faded away, Hila finally relaxed and let out a long sigh. Staring at the slowly burning cigarette, she picked it up and inhaled.
She closed her eyes and released the smoke from her mouth, enjoying the taste from the tobacco.
A long time passed before she opened her eyes. Her worries and anxiety suddenly disappeared, and all that was left was a cold, lonely feeling.
"He really is a monster…" Hila said to herself and laughed. "But so am I."
Han Xiao spend all his time creating machines and training Frenzied Sword and the other three. He harvested the players' experience, and the experience on the interface rose steadily. Every day was exciting and fulfilling, and time quickly passed by.
On 7th December 688 in the Galaxy calendar, the frontline finally sent back important news on the war.
The Germinal Organization had lost all control except the area around the headquarters. The other bases had all been destroyed.
Han Xiao received the notice, and Bennett invited him to meet up in Sanctuary One.
"The war against the Germinal Organization is finally coming to an end. The cards are reshuffled, and the Dark Net also needs to start looking at the new era," Bennett said over a phone call.
After waiting for quite some time, the end of the war was finally in sight. The Six Nations were steady, and without any difficulty, they pushed the Germinal Organization to the brink of destruction. Han Xiao arranged all the work in Sanctuary Three and headed to Sanctuary One.
After a while, a helicopter landed on the roof of Sanctuary One. Bennett, who was waiting on the roof, laughed. "This is the first time you've arrived before anyone else. This isn't like you."
Han Xiao turned back to the chopper and said, "Take off now. Waste all the fuel in this thing before we come back."
Bennett was dumbfounded and quickly grabbed Han Xiao off the plane. He then said, "The board meeting will take place after the war has officially ended. It will probably happen in the next few days."
"How many days?"
"I'm still uncertain. The situation now is a bit complicated." Bennett lowered his voice. "It's hard for the situation to move forward."
Han Xiao's eyes flickered.
After they headed to the meeting room, Han Xiao asked, "So, what's wrong?"
Bennett took out the intel and explained, "In summary, we already cut off all the routes from the headquarters to the outside world. The Six Nations have completely trapped the Germinal Organization. However, the troops of the Six Nations are still far away from the area around the headquarters, and they have no intention of attacking."
"Well since they already destroyed all the other bases, isn't it simple to just bombard the headquarters and end the war?" Han Xiao replied.
"Well, it is possible. After losing all the side bases, the Germinal Organization should not have enough anti-missile supplies and equipment to hold off the Six Nations. Even if their headquarters are hidden underground, it would still collapse under the explosion. But the reason the Six Nations didn't do so was because of another complicated issue."
Bennett took out another document.
"Because of your intel, most of the nuclear warheads have been disabled, and the rest of the nuclear warheads have been carried back to the headquarters. Because of the limited supplies, they could not wipe out the entire army of the Six Nations. However, there are quite a number of nuclear warheads, and there would be devastating consequences to the climate of this planet if they went off. From research conducted by various meteorologists, if the nuclear warheads exploded at the same time, in the next five to fifteen years, the radiation will drastically worsen the climate of the world, and Andrea will be the highest radioactive place on the entire planet. It will turn into a wasteland where no living beings can survive. Under moral considerations, the Six Nations must migrate the entire population of Andrea to another land…"
"Second, during Germinal organization's retreat, they caught a lot of wanderers as hostage to prevent the Six Nations from bombarding the headquarters…" Bennett sighed. "That's why there's division among the Six Nations.
"Raylen and Theseus suggested ignoring the consequences and the lives of the hostages and directly attacking the headquarters. Then they can finally get rid of their mortal enemy once and for all. Stardragon has yet to respond. Maple wanted to force the Germinal Organization to surrender, and Hesla suggested attacking the headquarters with ground troops and trying to save the hostages. As for Ordina… they used various excuses to oppose all kinds of attacks toward the Germinal Organization."
Han Xiao was surprised. "I understand all the concerns of the other nations, but what is Ordina trying to do? They want to back off after all the fighting?"
Bennett knocked on the table and replied, "It is the last year of the term for Ordina's leader. Their political sphere has a lot of parties, so there are a lot of competitors for his position. If they can drag the war until the next year's election, they can use the reason of national security and war to automatically get elected for the next term."
Han Xiao did not know what to say. "That's a ballsy move… So, which side is the Six Nations leaning toward?"
"They want to try to make the enemy surrender. The Six Nations have their anti-missile defense system all the time, and that if the headquarters fires even one missile, they will attack and bombard the base. However, this is the worst outcome they can have. So, the Six Nations have sent a last message to the base, hoping that they will surrender and release the hostages. Then they will spare the lives of the Germinal Organization."
Bennett then shook his head. "But until now, the Germinal Organization still hasn't responded."