Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The Sunil Civilization advocated the admiration of Supers and the army, and the spirit of contribution was indoctrinated into them from a young age. Lana had dreamed of joining the army ever since he was a child; he wanted to become an honorable soldier to protect his race, and he had been training hard for it. His neighbor was a veteran, so Lana and the nearby kids always asked the veteran to train them, counting down the days till they reached the age requirement of the army.
The Catastrophe came once every few years, so the time between was all they had for the development period—to collect resources, build more weapons, and train a new batch of soldiers. The Sunils would usually start recruitment for the army after the Catastrophe. Although their population was less than ten percent of their peak population after the DarkStar disaster, the population density was still quite high when they squeezed into a large city.
There were two types of recruitment, one was a self-request, which needed no further explanation, and the other was conscription, targeting prisoners and families with many children. All the youngsters coming of age were also required to take part in military service for some time to go through basic training so that when the time of danger arrived, these people could be recruited as soldiers on the spot.
Of course, Lana wished for more than joining the military services. He wanted to request to enter the army and become an official soldier, but he was met with strong rejection from his parents.
“How can you say something like this? Protecting the race is an honorable thing to do; countless people have sacrificed themselves. I’m willing to dedicate my life to it, too. It’s an honor!” Lana said with his eyes wide open.
“You’re still young and don’t understand many things,” Lana’s parents said. “There are so many people joining the army every year—it won’t make a difference if you don’t go.”
“No, it’s a shameful thing! My dream is to protect our race!” Lana said passionately.
“Then have you thought about us?” Lana’s mother was sobbing. “You used to always look for Mr. Neville next door for training. Yesterday, he was killed in action. His corpse was transported back, shattered. You did not witness the scene—his wife fainted while crying many, many times, and he left a child with only a mother, only able to get past the days with pension money. It’s way too heartbreaking. He still has a kid of a few years old to raise, and we are already old. We only have one child, you. If you die, what do we do? How do you want us to live?”
Lana could not speak properly as he mumbled, “This is not right…”
“Lana, be it Supers, the army, or Mr. Neville, they are all great people, but we are just normal civilians. I love my race, and I will work to contribute to the race. The battlefield shouldn’t be something in our consideration.” The Father placed his hands on Lana’s shoulders and spoke with a heavy heart. He respected Supers, and he respected the army too. While he appreciated the contribution that they made, when it came to himself, he could not make the same choice.
Lana lowered his head and stopped speaking.
“Lana, you have to promise us!” the mother said anxiously.
“… I promise,” Lana said unwillingly while looking down. “I will enter military service, not the army.”
His parents heaved sighs of relief.
Outside, Herlous leaned against the window sill, staring blankly into the sky.
In the sky, the nine battleships blocked the sunlight that was supposed to shine into the city like heavy clouds, the engines on their undersides creating streams of air that became wind. The pungent smell from outside the city could almost not be smelled as the engine fumes were blown into the city.
Many memories showed up in his mind—Fernas’ bitter smile, Lana’s passion, that drunk customer’s blame, the bloody battlefield, the sacrificed soldiers, the admiring people, countless times of pulling himself away from reality after sobering up, every day he spent letting himself rot while being in the bar, and the DarkStar disaster, which he had not thought of for a long time. That was the last time that he had seen his older brother, Delvis.
In his memories, Delvis was still wearing a pair of thick glasses, with messy and oily hair that had not been washed for a long time. His white research coat looked like a robe on his short and thin body, appearing weirdly funny. In the video communication, standing before a research lab with a shattered dome, Delvis pushed his glasses out of habit, then said to his hulking younger brother, Herlous, “Kid, I left something for you in the research lab at home. The password is our parents’ birthday backward. I didn’t waste much energy on the encryption.”
His tone was just like normal, full of disappointment and expecting better from him but with a little hint of not wanting to leave. The communication ended there. At the time, Herlous had looked outside the window, at the direction of the military research lab where Delvis had worked. There had been countless ferocious DarkStar Battleships hovering above, along with mushroom clouds exploding from the ground.
He had used the password to open Delvis’s personal research room—Herlous had always wanted to sneak in and wreak havoc. However, he never could figure out the password. Inside, he had seen the inheritance that his older brother had left for him.
More and more memories appeared. Herlous still remembered, back then, he was a thug that did nothing useful, enjoying himself with his older brother’s salary, reaching grade B at an extremely young age. He had been a thousand times stronger than Delvis, but he had always stood lower when he faced his older brother, always getting blamed and scolded. Yet, he had not cared because it made no difference.
“Brother…” Herlous muttered softly to himself.
The memories were like rolling bubbles. His thoughts stopped at Han Xiao’s deep and dark eyes—his pupils seemed to have the current of time hidden in them.
Herlous’ expression became a little firm. He went back to the bar, entered the attic, then opened a wardrobe that had been closed for a very long time. Inside was the tunnel toward the secret basement under the bar, which was already covered in dust. He walked down slowly, turned on the light, gazed upon the pile of boxes in the basement. Most of them were Delvis’s relic.
He walked directly to the corner of the basement, pulled out a wooden box, swept away the accumulated dust, and opened the cover.
Inside was a dark colored suit, the inheritance that Delvis had left for him, armor that had been specially built for him in secret—[Shattered Light]!
During the DarkStar disaster, Herlous had relied on this armor to stay alive, and he had never used it after that. Thus, it had simply collected dust in the basement as a souvenir of his older brother.
It was possibly the last usable Commander Class armor in the entire Sunil race.
Herlous stared at the armor, and his eyes gradually turned sharp.
“It’s been too long since I battled… hope I don’t get cramp.”
The beasts appearing in the last stage were horrendously strong. They were all at the top of the food chain on the planet, and some of them already exceeded the beast category and could be called monsters.
One such monster was the Huge Acidic Flying Beetle with a wingspan of more than a hundred meters that would not die even after taking more than a dozen rail cannon shots. It was able to shoot out corrosive acid from its mouth, sticking onto the shield of the battleship and sizzling with smoke. One of this monster could be dealt with easily, but they appeared in groups, and the firepower of the camp could not match up. So, the shield of a battleship was broken, and its exterior armor was damaged. It was forced to descend and undergo emergency repairs.
“What did the monsters on this planet eat‽”
The mercenaries were in shock. Monsters with a hundred-meter wingspan were almost as large as Sunil’s smaller battleships. This was just a wild animal on a planet, but it had grown into something comparable to a battleship. Such an enormous monster did not even require the ground scouting team; the reconnaissance aircraft could locate it directly.
Missiles exploded deafeningly in the sky nonstop. Suddenly, an alarm sounded from within the defense ring—it was an emergency announcement.
“Prepare for impact! Prepare for impact! Mountain Beasts have been detected and are closing in. Estimated to arrival is 14 minutes. All soldiers, get ready. High Energy Concentrated Particle Cannon, begin charging!”
At the fifth defense ring, the ground cracked open, showing a metallic, fearsome, and extremely complex cannon. Its muzzle was a hexagon, and it was embedded into the hollow Particle Stabilization Device, like a cannon being divided into sections. Han Xiao’s mechanical suit immediately released a high energy reaction warning as a light started to appear in the muzzle of this enormous cannon.
This High Energy Concentrated Particle Cannon was a scrap product spat out from the central wormhole of the Shattered Star Ring, a galactic-level war weapon, and it was unknown which higher civilization it came from. It had been picked up by scavengers for sales, and the Sunils had spent a huge sum to buy it. This was what they had learned from the huge loss they suffered from the first Catastrophe—they had to have a trump card against strong beasts.
Although it was a scrap product, it had cost the Sunils a fortune. It had technology protection from a higher civilization, could not be repaired or studied, and could only be used. Every shot required a large amount of energy, which was precious on Planet Sunil. Every shot meant burning away a large amount of fortune, as their energy technology naturally did not match up to higher civilization’s. It had to take a long time to charge up before firing, so they only used this enormous cannon when they met the most fearsome monsters.
The Sunils had explored this planet for more than ten years, and they had recorded a large number of beasts in their database. Mountain Beasts were one of the monsters at the very top. Strong beasts were all diverted away by the frontline combat troops, so the appearance of this Mountain Beast meant that they had failed.
Han Xiao was surprised. He casually penetrated an approaching Thunder Leopard, turned around to look at the High Energy Concentrated Particle Cannon, and felt like he was almost drooling.
This feeling of butterflies in my stomach…