Hundreds of resource boxes were stacked neatly in the warehouse. Inside were the countless parts and materials that Han Xiao had hoarded.
This was his secret base below Sanctuary Three. During the construction of the sanctuary, Han Xiao had secretly expanded the base. It was now his hidden stronghold, and every route had authorization identification equipped with guarding machine guns. There were also surveillance cameras in every entrance and countless spider detectors lurking in the dark. The security was very tight.
Han Xiao had a total of three warehouses—one for materials and parts, another for machinery backlog that he built for EXP and to sell to players, and the last was the important warehouse, storing the equipment he was using, including the new mechanical suit, Amphiptere.
All the items in his warehouses were part of his preparation for his interstellar travel.
The recent dungeon function had earned him a lot of profit once again. Money was pouring in, but he had no idea how much he would have when he left the planet. However, the very positive situation did not make him too excited. He saw some problems too.
The money that he earned came from players, and where did the players get their money?
Of course, their money came from other NPCs by doing missions.
Technically, what the players were doing was gathering the fortune of the NPCs everywhere and giving it all to Han Xiao as a form of expenditure, forming a torrent of money. The money was moving and formed an assembly line. He could be considered the destination of this assembly line. Therefore, if the players wanted to earn money, they had to work for other NPCs, and to increase the average spending and purchasing power of the players, he had to increase the number of NPCs in the sanctuary.
There was also another problem. The players would not stay in the main city forever—they would definitely go to other places to do missions and experience the storyline. To have these players return in the future, other than to have the various events, the main city had to be made more accessible.
Han Xiao planned to lay out a new transportation network in the sanctuary, building railway tracks and scheduling regular flights. This required a very high budget, and the Dark Net could not fund it temporarily. Bennett was currently developing new sanctuaries, and they did not have extra money.
These two problems had the same solution.
Find a sucker who was willing to pay the money and provide manpower.
The phone rang. Huang Yu's voice appeared after it was picked up. "The visiting group of the Alumera family has arrived at the sanctuary entrance. Shall we let them in?"
A meaningful smile appeared on Han Xiao's face as he played with the bullet shells.
"Yes, of course, we need to let them in."
A convoy parked outside the sanctuary entrance. Xiao Jin had personally brought people to visit. The people who came were mostly members of the Xiao Faction. With Xiao Jin as the leader, there were a few nephews and children. Other than the Xiao Faction, the Home Faction and Red Island Faction also sent their messengers along, mostly to express their standpoint.
They waited at the entrance for quite some time, but Xiao Jin did not show any sign of impatience. He knew very clearly that he was the weak party, and he was here to plead.
After a very long time, they were finally let in. He looked around on the way and observed the facilities in the sanctuary, nodding. Following Huang Yu to the guest hall, he raised his head and immediately saw Han Xiao sitting on the master seat, sizing them up with a mocking expression.
Without the mask, this face in the eyes of these Xiao Faction people was the missing Han Xiao, but they could not see through Han Xiao at all. It was like he was totally a different person. His eyes were as if he was looking at a group of strangers. Xiao Jin did not dare to call him son; he cleared his throat and said in a low voice, "Black Phantom."
Han Xiao looked at them without any expression and did not reply. He simply sat with his back against the chair, played with the bullet in his hand, and stared at them.
Xiao Jin understood his intention. He looked at Xiao Hai and the rest of the youngsters behind him and gave them a sign by tilting his head. These Xiao Faction youngsters caused a commotion, but after a few seconds of hesitation and procrastination, they unwillingly greeted him.
"Oh, you're here," Han Xiao said coldly. Han Xiao knew that Xiao Jin definitely expected this awkward relationship issue to happen before they came, and these youngsters were definitely mentally prepared. All this hesitation were acted just for him. Xiao Jin wanted him to go back to being 'Xiao Jin's son' and strengthen their relationship. However, this was completely useless to him, since he was not the real 'Han Xiao'.
Han Xiao was not moved. "What are you visiting me for?"
Seeing the situation, Xiao Jin coughed and said, "I can explain what happened in the past. Your elder brother wants to apologize to you personally."
Xiao Hai took a deep breath, put on a very apologetic expression, and quickly revised the script in his heart one more time. He had already come up with his apology on the way there.
He would cry and grovel, and he would show his regret and self-hatred for what he had done. Then, there would be a high chance to get Han Xiao's forgiveness.
As long as their relationship was restored, Alumera would be able to rely on this strong force. No matter how unwilling Xiao Hai was, he had to brace himself and put on the act.
Xiao Hai was about to take a step forward and start to speak.
Everyone was shocked. They followed the sound and looked over. A bullet crater still giving out smoke appeared under Xiao Hai's foot. If he had taken that step forward, the bullet would have hit the back of his foot.
Xiao Hai could not take the step and froze in place.
The empty bullet shell fell to the floor. A dark blue electromagnetic force covered his finger, and black smoke came out of the tip of his fingernail. The flick of his hand had acted as a firing pin, detonating the base and shooting out a bullet with his bare hands. Even Han Xiao himself felt it was cool and awesome.
Its power was limited, but it was enough to scare people.
"I don't need an apology, get down to business," Han Xiao said coldly.
Xiao Jin's expression changed slightly. It was clear that Han Xiao did not want to talk about emotions and only wanted to talk about their deal, which disrupted his plan. Without a choice, he could only ask Xiao Hai to step back.
Xiao Hai clenched his teeth tightly. He had already planned to apologize, but he was not even given a chance to read his script; Han Xiao did not even look at him.
Xiao Jin focused his mind and said in a low voice, "The Germinal Organization is gone, and the Six Nations will be the only large organization from now on. Due to climate deterioration, many wanderers will choose to leave their colonies and join the Six Nations. Once the Six Nations finish resting and recovering, sooner or later, they will clear out us scattered warlords, even if we were once Six Nations' partners…"
"Unless you can find someone to protect you." Han Xiao rubbed his chins.
Xiao Jin nodded. He wanted to plan for the future, to rely on Han Xiao and the Dark Net.
Han Xiao changed the topic and said, "It's time to pay back what you owe. Don't you have any idea how you got to where you are today?"
Xiao Jin was speechless, he wanted to play the emotion card, but Han Xiao just wanted to talk business, just like back then when he was only known as Black Phantom.
"… What do you want to see?"
"Money, manpower, and to move your people into the sanctuary. It's not easy to chase the debt if you're so far away."
The expressions of the visitors shifted slightly.
This would mean they had to give up what they had built. They looked at Xiao Jin and waited for his decision.
Xiao Jin kept silent for a while and decided to compromise. "Okay."
His eyes were looking at the future. The war had brought chaos, but it had also brought order. There would be fewer and fewer wanderers. Once the Six Nations had the time, the idea of warlords and colonies would disappear. Compared to waiting, it was better to look for a way out and change the business model of the family.
Dark Net's sanctuary was considered a colony as well, but different from them warlords, the Six Nations allowed the existence of sanctuaries. Xiao Jin pondered and felt this might be an opportunity, so he agreed.
After getting the others to leave, Han Xiao and Xiao Jin were the only ones left. They discussed the details of the deal, and Xiao Jin kept compromising. The end result was Alumera would be funding the building of transportation network and slowly migrate their people from all their strongholds into the sanctuary, including the refugees and wanderer under their rule, to increase the population of the sanctuary.
Alumera was the sucker that Han Xiao was looking for. Han Xiao had absolutely no intention of inheriting the thoughts of the original owner of his body, but this could be a chip to use Alumera; these people were not noble themselves anyway.
"Heard your Southern Continent division is still troubling Lu Cheng… he's my friend."
Xiao Jin sighed. "I know what to do."
Other than Alumera, Han Xiao also planned to pull in Lu Cheng. He was not going to let Alumera be the only one to grow. The Dark Net would support his operations.
Thinking about that, he remembered that there were still some blueprints that he had yet to receive from Old Man Lu.