The post titled 'Shocking news! The man behind the war was actually' instantly shot to the top of the Planet Aquamarine forums.
The players on Planet Aquamarine back then had all of their attention on the war between the Six Nations and the Germinal Organization. Being able to participate and contribute in this world-shaking event allowed them to be truly immersed in the game. And this was also when the post revealed that 'Zero' was the person who had manipulated events behind the scenes and single handedly caused this war.
Some players remembered that the Germinal Organization had put out a massive bounty for Zero, and they felt intrigued by this character.
This kind of plot where an organization's traitor was able to turn around and cause massive damage to the organization was very compelling to many people.
He had to be the key character in the main storyline!
The post detailed the things that Zero had done against Germinal up till now, but when the players thought that was the end of the post, they found out that there was even more information at the bottominformation on Black Phantom. The post's author did not give any explanation and simply listed Black Phantom's achievements as well. The players were confused but patiently read through it as there was no harm in understanding more about Black Phantom.
But everyone's face changed when they got to the last line'Black Phantom and Zero are one and the same!'
"They're the same person"
Many players doubted the authenticity of this information. However, the post also came with a recording of Han Xiao rampaging through the Germinal headquarters, shocking the players when they watched it.
The players were not too familiar with Zero, but it was a whole other story when it came to Black Phantom. Ever since the start of the open beta, this NPC had provided them with countless benefits and interacted with them countless times. When the players watched the recording of Black Phantom wreaking havoc in the Germinal base, they felt an odd sense of familiarity, and they had the impression that this was something that only Black Phantom would do.
Now, his identity had been exposed.
He was Zero and also Black Phantom.
His name was Han Xiao!
Zero's past and Black Phantom's achievements complemented each other perfectly and created an image of a character who, after losing everything to Germinal, escaped from the organization's evil grasps. He never gave up to his miserable circumstances but only slowly grew stronger and gradually worked toward toppling the gargantuan organization that had wronged him before he finally swept the whole world into war. This story sounded as if it came right out of a Hollywood film.
Hero stories always sold well, and Han Xiao's badassery had already firmly placed him on top of a pedestal in the players' hearts while Germinal was immediately seen as the planet's antagonist. Although there was not any true right or wrong in this world, people had already grown used to taking sideshaving two extremes was much easier to understand. Players stopped caring about Germinal's ideology and took Han Xiao's side as they had already thought of this NPC as 'one of their own'.
This post's popularity exploded in a never before seen manner, and it felt like a historical moment for the players on Planet Aquamarine. The upvotes were increasing by tens of thousands every the second, and instantly, it took one of the top ten spots on the Galaxy forum's trending posts ranking.
Just as Han Xiao had thought, the combination of his two identities, when revealed, caused a chemical reaction and pushed his popularity on to a new height, further consolidating his position in the players' hearts.
Interacting with players was something he had focused on doing ever since the open beta, and he was now seeing the fruits of his labor. The tiny spark that he had started several months ago had now turned into a raging fire with the reveal.
The players were the first to know about the news that get posted on the forums, and now, Han Xiao's group had just escaped from the Germinal base.
Their vehicle rolled over the rough landscape of Andrea under the darkness of the night, gradually getting further away from the base until it was but a dot on the horizon.
Han Xiao, who was driving, had not unequipped his suit, but he opened up the mouth hatch. He lit up a cigar and started puffing smoke in and out his mouth, giving off the vibe of an old truck driver, as he held the steering wheel expressionlessly.
The car stopped abruptly and caused rocks and dust to fly everywhere around it.
"Switch. You drive. I need to give the car some anti-radar modifications. I have no wish to be blown up into the air by missiles." Han Xiao pushed opened the car door and got out before maxing out SUI: Anti-radar Coating and Camouflage Paint in his interface.
He also took a glance at the advancement missionhis progress was 72/2000. This was normal as advancement missions were often long-term goals.
Hila closed her eyes and took a deep breath before she got out of the car and supported herself with the side of the car to suppress the nauseous feeling welling up in her stomach. Although it was almost unbearable, she had to admit that under their previous peril, Han Xiao's driving had made her feel safe enough.
Aurora, on the other hand, was fast asleep in the backseat and was completely unbothered. Han Xiao saw this scoffed and said, "Your sister will definitely get further in life than you."
Hila did not even bother with replying and got into the driver's seat. As she watched Han Xiao taking out all sorts of gears and parts to attach onto the outside of the car, she said, "We're still in Germinal territory, so we shouldn't take the large roads. However, driving through the wilderness will take eight to nine days before we can get to safety. Not to mention, the Germinal troops that must've been sent to pursue us. They will bring planes, armored vehicles, and even missiles."
"You can just follow the map and take whichever route you think is safer. You're more familiar with the area, after all," Han Xiao replied without even turning. Now that Germinal knew about his face-changing capability, they would definitely kill all those suspicious. Escaping would not be easy.
Han Xiao did not guess wrong. This time, all search parties were equipped with cameras that were connected to headquarters' command center at all times to prevent him from masquerading as one of the Germinal soldiers sent to catch him. Once a camera lost connection, the whole squad would be considered as KIA.
The Germinal Organization practically utilized all their forces to chase them, and their only chance of escaping was to run faster and break through the encirclement before they were completely trapped. Once they were in the Six Nations' territory would they truly be considered safe. Germinal also knew this and would do whatever it took to kill Han Xiao and the sisters off while they still could. Escaping from enemy forces was often the most dangerous, as enemy reinforcements would be endless.
Fortunately, Han Xiao had anti-detection measures to prevent them from being pinpointed by their pursuers. Germinal's only way of finding them was to throw in as much manpower as possible
But there was also another problem.
"Our fuel can only last another eight hours, and we're completely out of food and water. Moreover, we are also running low on ammunition. We need to find somewhere to resupply soon, or things won't be looking good," said Hila.
"We don't need to look for supplies," Han Xiao replied calmly. "The enemies will just bring it to our doorsteps themselves. I'm a mechanic. It won't matter if we run out of equipment to use as I can just make more."
Hila did not have a response to that. By now, she had long since thrown away the thought of splitting up with Han Xiao to escape. It was much safer for her sister and her to stay with him.
Han Xiao tried to think of his next steps in silent as he made the modifications on the car.
"Although we have anti-radar measures, we should still be careful of the Germinal Organization getting desperate. I need to find some way to deal with missiles."
They were currently still in Germinal territory, so nuclear missiles should not be a worry. What they needed to watch out for were the countless short-range tactical missiles from the nearby Germinal bases. These missiles would be more than enough to take out the few of them. With their destructive capability and range of up to several thousand kilometers, they were often used to target important enemy structures.
As a C-class superhuman, tanking attacks from normal firearms and smaller troops was not an issue, but it was still too early to talk about taking missiles straight on.
Superhumans were able to resist attacks based on their energy levels and skills, but there was a limit to how much they could absorb. Taking on weapons of mass destruction to the face would simply be suicidal.
A superhuman's body was relatively fragile when compared to those weapons of war. However, this all changed when one got strong enough. A-class superhumans and above were capable of reigning over whole regions in Galaxy and were even capable of taking on whole small space battleships by themselves. However, those kinds of characters were few, and although superhumans could get very powerful, it was still impossible to take large armies on by themselves. This was especially so when highly advanced civilizations were involved. Galactic entities had access to terrifying weapons such as electromagnetic and beam weapons. Even a random foot soldier would be equipped with an advanced combat suit. In wide reaches of space, strength was calculated by one's civilization, not individual strength.