Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Neville kept quiet the entire way. Sunil soldiers were not known for their words, and everyone had on a grave expression, as if they did not even have time for idle chatter. They were all focused on their own missions. The metallic smell of the soldiers’ armor filled the air, accompanied by an air of silence. The only sound that could be heard was the tanks that passed by occasionally.
Sunils used to be known as a civilization that embraced life; their people loved art and culture. However, everything had changed when the disaster struck. The survivors had been forced to throw away their previous identities and harden themselves. This change was also reflected in the structures they built. Orderly fortress-like steel buildings lined the side of the road that they travelled on. It was as if they were living on a grid.
With Neville leading them, Han Xiao’s group arrived at the resting area, where a large number of mercenaries had gathered, stirring up a ruckus.
Before the Catastrophe waves struck, the mercenaries were all required to get a detailed briefing.
Neville stepped onto a platform and explained in a grave voice, “The forward scouts have discovered increasing signs of the rampaging beasts. You’re here as our hired mercenaries, and we hope that you can all work together to help us overcome this obstacle.”
After a short speech, Neville got straight to the main point. “This planet’s underground contains pockets of Prophecy Stones. Prophecy Stones can corrupt the souls of those around them, and the entire planet’s mineral veins have been altered by these stones. This is the reason behind the beasts’ berserk and extremely aggressive nature. However, this isn’t the main problem of the Catastrophe. The energy contained within the Prophecy Stones will be released once every year in ‘waves’. This is the root problem behind the beasts’ sudden outburst.
“For unknown reason, this year’s wave has arrived half a year earlier. Our specialized observation department predicts that the Catastrophe waves will explode out in full force in around seven to thirteen days. Our enemy is every single beast on this planet. During the waves in the past, we only had to deal with smaller beasts during the initial three to six days. Then, as the battle reached the tenth day or so, the frequency and intensity of the beast raids would increase. The last five days would be the most dangerous period during the wave. By then, most of our vehicles and equipment would be damaged, and most our troops depleted. The beasts we would face then were also the strongest ever, which had been attracted from far away by the dense smell of blood due to the days of bloody battles…”
At this moment, a mercenary interrupted him and said, “You have tanks, airplanes, and even space battleships. Wouldn’t killing these beasts be more like a slaughter?”
Neville gave the man a cold glance. “You will understand when the wave comes.”
Soon after, Neville turned on the projector and started introducing the different beast types one by one. After a few short glances, Han Xiao was already able to tell that the beasts on Planet Sunil were leagues stronger than the ones on Planet Aquamarine. The Prophecy Stones had already been on this planet for countless years, and the energy that they have accumulated was enough to even affect the beasts’ evolution over the years. The beasts on Planet Sunil were abnormally bloodthirsty, and they pushed the rule of ‘survival of the fittest’ to an extreme.
Maple Moon was curious. “Since the beasts are the enemies, why couldn’t they just kill all of the beasts before they get stronger from the Catastrophe?”
“Maybe it’s to maintain the ecosystem,” said Frenzied Sword hesitantly.
Shaking his head, Bun-hit-dog disagreed. “But this is threatening even the continuity of their people. Why would they care about the ecosystem at this point?”
“Can they even completely exterminate the beasts?”
The players started discussing the topic among themselves. They each had their own opinions toward the Sunils’ crisis.
After going through over a hundred types of beasts, Neville sent out this information to each of the mercenaries. The mercenaries were then assigned combat roles depending on the job assignment that they had taken on beforehand.
The Sunils kept a lot of mining and other resource collecting outposts in the wild. However, all of the Sunil people would abandon those locations and return to Forest City during the Catastrophe. They grouped all their forces into a single area to decrease the chance of getting sneak-attacked by the beasts.
With the main city as the final barrier, Forest City had a total of five walls that circled the city. Han Xiao and the others were stationed at the second last wall and were tasked with protecting scout planes and the larger battleships from the ground. They also served as a rapid-response reinforcement group for the frontlines.
Forest City was decked out with defensive infrastructure, and building everything around a main city was only a tactical decision. It was not meant to be a place for a last stand or anything of the sort, as the underground of the city was riddled with escape tunnels. The Sunil people could flee through the tunnels or even be evacuated by the air transports at a sign of danger, and this meant that it was impossible for to them ‘lose’ the main city. However, there were many powerful beasts in both the sky and under the ground, so this would only be a last resort.
The two most dangerous jobs were the forward reconnaissance units and frontline combat troops. Sunil was a planet that was covered by dense forests, resulting in many blind spots for observation from air , which made reconnaissance on the ground crucial. However, the dangers of venturing outside the city walls during a Catastrophe was obvious. On the other hand, the frontline troops’ task was to kill or wound as many beasts as they could before the horde reached the city walls. Their survival rate was close to nil.
That was why those two jobs were never taken on by the mercenaries. All of the frontline combat assignments were taken on by the Sunil warriors.
The individual mercenaries were led away by an officer to reinforce his position. Neville brought along Han Xiao’s group of people to walk them through and familiarize them with the defensive layout of the area.
Time quickly passed, and soon, dusk came.
The mercenaries were provided with accommodation in the military base. However, Han Xiao needed to enter the city to complete the subclass requirements. He found Neville by himself and said, “I want to register to enter the city.”
“Why would you enter the city?” Neville raised an eyebrow.
“I have some private matters to deal with. I have a friend in town to visit.”
“No.” Neville straightforwardly declined. To prevent any unwanted accidents, mercenaries are never allowed into the city; you are only allowed to stay in the base outside of combat.
“You cannot use this reason to enter the city. However, your friend can come out to visit you.”
Han Xiao was not sure what to do. The Storyline character whom he wanted to meet did not know him at all. There was no way that he would come out to visit him.
Did he really have to sneak in?
He had the face-disguising tool and his Night Stalker subclass. The chances of sneaking in successfully were quite high… right?
Just then, a gust of wind descended from the sky, and several beams of light landed on the ground. An airship hovered some distance in midair and released down a spiraling set of stairs. One Sunil Super after another walked down from the ship. They were all Sunil mercenaries who had been working hard to earn money away from the planet and had all returned to fulfil their duties to defend their home on the eve of the Catastrophe.
The Sunil soldiers who were on the ground all raised their heads and looked at these returning warriors with reverence and gratitude. They even performed a perfectly coordinated military salute.
Every time the Sunil warriors returned home, they would be welcomed back and treated as homecoming heroes.
Han Xiao focused his eyes and saw a familiar face. He then shouted, “Hey! Lerden!”
‘Green Knight’ Lerden was among the disembarking crowd, and he turned over after hearing his name called. It took him a while, but Lerden remembered that the other person was someone whom he had fought with. With his body supported in midair with blue flames that were shooting out of his feet, he landed in front of Han Xiao and asked skeptically, “Why are you here?”
“Black Star is one of the mercenaries that we recruited.” Neville gave a salute and hurriedly answered for Han Xiao.
“So, you’re a mercenary too.” Lerden suddenly realized that fact.
“Yeah, I only registered recently. I hurried over when I heard that your people were facing a crisis. I never thought that I would be fighting alongside you.” Han Xiao made sure to make good use of this opportunity. “I have friend in town that I would like to visit. Could you do help me?”
“If he’s your friend, then there’s no problem,” Neville added.
Lerden thought that as the two had already fought alongside each other once, even though he did not really know him, he felt like Han Xiao was not a bad person. Also, he was quite powerful. There was no harm in doing him this favor. Lerden then nodded and said, “Sure. I will accompany you into town.”
“Thanks.” Han Xiao smiled. It sure was convenient to have met someone that he was familiar with. One sentence, and the problem was solved. He no longer had to worry about taking the risk to sneak in.
It had been a while since they saw each other, and Lerden’s bionic body parts had already been repaired. Han Xiao passed the security station with Lerden, along with the other Sunil Supers, who also wanted return to the city after returning to the planet. Han Xiao and Lerden followed behind this group of people.
Sounds of cheers suddenly exploded from both sides of the road. There were posters of the Sunil Supers that still adorned the walls of the city, and the Sunil people rushed out to welcome their heroes home.