Stardragon Tower was a top-secret government facility where the headquarters of Division 13 was located at. The inside of the tower was like a maze. Han Xiao followed Feng Jun through passageways and tunnels for half an hour before finally reaching the HQ. This time, he wasn't blindfolded.
"This place is so damn hard to access," complained Han Xiao.
"That's why it's safe," replied Feng Jun as he swiped his security pass over the sensor to unlock the giant automatic gate.
Han Xiao stepped through the gate into an extremely spacious hall bustling with people. To his surprise, despite being underground, Division 13 HQ was both well-lit and well-ventilated.
Feng Jun handed Han Xiao his security pass and a mouth mask.
"It's better not to reveal your face to too many people. Wear this."
Han Xiao was about to put it on when he noticed that there was a picture of a naked bodybuilder printed on it. He frowned and turned to see Feng Jun stifling his laughter.
"Why are you looking at me? Put it on quickly!"
Han Xiao suddenly yanked Feng Jun's arm to rip out a piece of fabric from his sleeve.
"This thing suits you better," he casually said as he tied it over his face and threw the custom mask back at him.
Feng Jun almost broke out into tears.
"This is my newly issued uniform..."
Suddenly, Han Xiao felt someone watching him. He looked around to find an unfamiliar young man wearing a white coat glaring at him hatefully.
"What's he so angry about?" asked Han Xiao, bewildered.
Feng Jun laughed bitterly.
"He... just ignore him."
Luo Xuan had never seen Han Xiao's face before, but he knew for certain that the person beside Feng Jun was him.
The covert-ops department had a single floor all to themselves. It was noticeably less crowded than the other departments.
Feng Jun brought Han Xiao to a meeting room before leaving.
Han Xiao stepped through the door to see that there were already three people seated inside. They were none other than Li Ya Lin, Lambert, and Li Yao.
"You're the logistics guy that the director gave special permission to join our team?"
Li Ya Lin rose up to circle around Han Xiao as she examined him.
Han Xiao raised an eyebrow. Special permission? Logistics guy? Suddenly, he noticed that the woman who had spoken to him was not only slender and perky, but extremely pretty. In Han Xiao's books, she was easily up there with Hila. She was wearing a yellow sports-style jacket on top of black tights.
"I am Han Xiao, a mechanic."
Li Yao abruptly stood up, knocking his chair down in the process.
"Ni-ni-nice to meet you. I am Li Yao, the team's hacker," he introduced, stretching out a hand.
"I am the sniper, Lambert," introduced Lambert plainly without getting up.
Han Xiao shook Li Yao's hand and casually acknowledged Lambert with a nod. He was obviously the silent type.
"Hey, why are you wearing a mask?" asked Li Ya Lin with big, bright, curious eyes as she reached out to pull Han Xiao's mask off.
Han Xiao dodged.
"Why are you hiding your face! Don't you trust us?" Li Ya Lin questioned unhappily.
"My identity is top-secret," Han Xiao replied.
Although being assigned to this team would have to mean that these people were trustworthy, Han Xiao still felt that not revealing his face would save him some trouble. He could imagine the questions they would have for him after learning of his face
"Aren't you that wanted fugitive?"
"Why would Division 13 want you?"
"What did you do to the Germinal Organization?"
Answering all those questions would be a real headache.
Besides, Han Xiao did not plan to stay in Division 13 for too long.
"Your identity is top-secret? Hold on..." Li Ya Lin seemed to recall something, and she jumped in front of Han Xiao, asking, "Were you the one who made the Lightweight Mechanical Arm?"
Han Xiao gave a start.
"How do you know"
"Ha ha! So it's you!" Li Ya Lin jumped about excitedly before slinging an arm over Han Xiao's shoulder. "Make another one for me!"
Han Xiao's mouth twitched.
"It won't be free."
Li Ya Lin laughed loudly before asking softly, "Can I have a discount?"
"I still don't know your name." This overly friendly pretty lady was giving him quite a headache.
"Li Ya Lin, in charge of close combat," she reluctantly answered.
"So the four of us are a team?"
"No, there's still our leader."
"Where is he?"
"He's not here. He's recovering from an injury."
"Even the leader gets injured. Covert-ops must be some dangerous work," remarked Han Xiao.
The trio exchanged awkward glances.
"The leader is sick from food poisoning," explained Li Yao.
Han Xiao was speechless.
Li Yao coughed dryly.
"The covert-ops department takes on special high difficulty missions. Each team contains 4-7 people, and other than completing the missions assigned to us each month, we are basically free to do whatever we want in our free time," he began to explain.
"Covert-ops personnel are the cream of the crop. Some of us, like Uncle Lambert, are recruited from other organizations. He was recruited in from a special forces squad. Your designation is field support. You will be in charge of equipment, scheduling, and, during operations, gathering and organizing intel. You'll be our eyes and ears from now on."
That's nice and all... thought Han Xiao, but I want to hunt monsters!
Nevertheless, he could understand why Division 13 arranged things like this - they would rather not put a valuable asset like him in the face of danger.
Well, at the end of the day, Han Xiao not only gained their protection, but also a platform to make some money, so he was satisfied.
Mechanics were really too weak early on compared to pugilists or espers, so crafting was much more efficient for them to earn experience.
"Does our team have a name?" asked Han Xiao.
"Team name? What use would that have?" replied a still displeased Li Ya Lin.
"That's true..." muttered Han Xiao.
Suddenly, Li Yao interrupted, "We were just issued a mission to take in Black Spider. Apparently, he's still hiding here in the Western Capital."
Han Xiao raised an eyebrow. The timing of the mission was too sudden. It was probably deliberately assigned by the higher-ups.
"Black Spider?" Li Ya Lin wondered aloud. "I know him. He's infamous for being a solo bounty hunter. The last time those field agents tried to bring him in he blew up two whole streets. Why would he still hide here in the capital?"
"When will we depart?" Lambert asked.
"There's no rush. Since they've already confirmed his location, let's just act at night."
"Since this is your first mission, just familiarize yourself with the logistics preparation."
Although it was their first meeting, the trio did not inquire too much about Han Xiao's identity. To be assigned to covert-ops already meant that the higher-ups trusted him, and that was enough.
[You have triggered the Class-E mission, [Black Spider]. Accept/Decline]
Mission Hint: Black Spider is a notorious murderer and bounty hunter. This is your first mission with the covert-ops department. Your responsibility is to help the team succeed.
Mission Requirement: Defeat Black Spider
Reward: 5,000 experience
Bonus Reward: 40,000 experience or Mind Stabilizer