Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Han Xiao squinted and stared at Horlaide without saying anything. After a while, Han Xiao shook his head and said, “I won’t help you to persuade them. Keep the money.”
Horlaide was surprised. “Why?”
“Everything has rules.” Although the reason Han Xiao became a mercenary was to earn cash, since he had already started this job, he would follow the rules in the industry. He had strong morals as betraying the employer was the worst crime that one could commit. Thus, he declined Horlaide’s offer to trick his employer.
“Don’t you want to earn money? That’s the reason you choose to be a mercenary, right? Fifteen people could sell three million Enas. Let’s say if you only get ten percent, that’s still a lot of money that you can’t earn while serving others. Because I’m your colleague, that’s why I decided to share some of the benefit to compensate the reward you lost after your mercenary group failed the mission. Do you really want to let go of this opportunity?” Horlaide asked as he shrugged.
“Sorry, my creed is honorable. I don’t do shady business.” Han Xiao was not lured by the amount of cash. He did not want to follow Horlaide’s intent. He wanted to have an image of being trustworthy. Moreover, he had accepted the mission from the Silver; however, it was not for money but to earn knowledge.
On top of that, the mission still had to depend on whether or not the Silver would reach an agreement on the negotiation. If they did, then what was the need for mercenaries? Han Xiao would not get any reward.
Horlaide made a duck face. “All up to you. I will talk with your boss myself.”
Han Xiao took out the communicator and called the employer. The face of the Silver showed up on the screen. The Silver was surprised when they saw Han Xiao. After thinking for a while, they finally remembered that Han Xiao was one of their mercenaries. They asked in confusion, “Why did you call us? Where are the guys from Sky Ring? Oh right, where you are now? When are you coming back?”
Han Xiao shook his head. “There have been some accidents. We got attacked, and the hostages were sent to the slave market. The people from Sky Ring, Blades, and Purple Gold have all been captured, so I am in charge of the mission now. I found the manager of this slave market, and he wants to negotiate with you.
“Hehe, your comrades are in my hands…” Horlaide straightened his clothes, and he started to list his demands.
The Silver raged. “That’s too expensive! We can’t accept that price!”
“Sorry, you are in no position to talk back,” Horlaide said back in a deep and firm voice. The hostages were in his hands, and he was confident that the Silver wouldn’t abandon their people. Three million Enas was a lot, but the Silver’s pockets was deep enough, so they could still squeeze enough money.
“We’ll need time to discuss.” The Silver ground his teeth, but he could not reject the offer.
“Call me after you reach a conclusion, but there is a time limit. A lot of our dear customers really want to buy your friends, so you are not the only buyer,” Horlaide threatened.
Han Xiao turned off his communicator and left without any expression. Horlaide wanted to wave, but he did not move an inch, sitting on his chair.
As Han Xiao stepped outside of the door, a man wearing a mask was trying to get into the room. They brushed past each other’s shoulders, and time froze at that moment. Han Xiao’s hair all stood up, and he felt something sharp pointing on his forehead.
Both of them looked at each other as if they exchanged punches. The scene froze in place, the environment all lost its color, and only their eyes were visible.
The next second, color and sound broke the ice. They acted like nothing happened and kept on walking.
After several steps, Han Xiao looked back at the man. With greater power, he also had a better sense on the outside world. He felt endangered after getting close to a powerful being, and that was the feeling that the man in the mask gave Han Xiao. It was not only strength, but the aura of the man hinted the smell of blood of the dead. Only people with strong senses could notice this detail.
Han Xiao’s instinct told him that the masked man was also here for the Silver.
I wonder where he is from…
Han Xiao shook his hand and contacted the employer.
The Silver was upset. “Why are the ones rescuing captured? Now what? Do we have to pay the money?”
“Don’t rush to a decision,” Han Xiao replied. “It seems that the hostages are still save. I will think of another way.”
“… Okay. Remember, you must prioritize their safety.”
After the call ended, Han Xiao grabbed his hair and felt a headache coming on.
“What should I do? The hostages are all with Horlaide. Right now, I am a member of Floating Dragon Island, so I can’t draw attention. Um… There’s only one way to force Horlaide to give up the hostage. I need to persuade Jenny and Ames…” He suddenly had an idea and hurried to formulate this plan.
At the same time, Ember, the masked man, also went to try and buy the Silver.
“How much are you offering?” Horlaide asked.
“Fifty thousand per person.”
Horlaide shook his head and seemed disinterested.
Ember frowned. “This price is already fifty percent more than the original price. Why are you still refusing?”
“There’s someone who’s paying more,” Horlaide replied.
“Seventy thousand,” Ember added.
Horlaide still shook his head.
“A hundred thousand. That’s my final offer.”
“Then how much do you want?” Ember was patient.
Horlaide laughed. “The generous buyer is offering 210,000 per person. Of course, the deal is not yet settled. But… if you are able to pay more than 200,000, then that fact might change…”
“Okay. I will think about it.”
Ember nodded and left the slave market.
“Leader, how’s the negotiation?” his team member asked.
Ember took off his mask and calmly said, “Change of plans. We will take the hostages by force.”
DarkStar had the money to pay, but it was not worth it. Even if they settled on the price, there was a chance that the manager would increase the price again.
What kind organization was the DarkStar? They were the bad guys! If they obeyed such orders, what would happen to their dignity as villains?
On the planet of the Fawn Galaxy, there was conflict among the Silvers.
“They have already named a price. What are we waiting for? Let’s get the money!”
“Wait a second. This whole thing looks sketchy. Did the mercenaries work together with the slave market managers to scam us? Everyone in Shattered Star Ring is a greedy goblin. We need to prepare for this possibility,” someone in the group said.
“In the end, safety comes first. Sky Ring, Blades, and Purple Gold have all fallen, so how can we trust this Black Star Group? If they push over their limit and try to be heroes, they might bring more danger to the hostages. Let’s just give the money.”
“What if they don’t release the hostages after we meet their demands,” one man said in worry.
After some chaotic discussion, in the end, the captain stayed calm and made the decision. “The reason they failed last time was because they were outnumbered. I am going to trust them one last time. We will have the Black Star Mercenary Group try one more time, and if they can’t do it, I believe they will give us an accurate reply. Giving the money is our last option.”
A team of players rode an aircraft and scouted around an area.
Li Ge was on the aircraft. He dodged out of everyone’s sight and took out the Secret Message Bead.
“What is this thing?” Li Ge mumbled to himself. “The instructions say that there will be a bonus reward if I give this to a specific person, but there is no hint on who the person may be. I do have to activate it myself…”
Li Ge had a lot of experience in gaming. With items that did not have clear instructions, the player would have to take the initiative and show this item to different NPCs. If an NPC reacted differently compared to the rest, that should be the ‘specific character’.
“Let’s do this.” Li Ge made up his mind.