Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
What Sky Ring, Blades, and Purple Gold wanted was money, whereas the reward that Han Xiao requested was the two advanced knowledges of the compression technology. After the employer wired the money to the three armies, he personally approached Han Xiao and thanked him sincerely.
The employer had initially paid more attention to the more renowned three large armies. The biggest reason that he hired Black Star was because the other mercenary groups changed their mind and none of them dared go to Floating Dragon Island. He did not expect this small mercenary group to be the key to the success of the mission.
“My friends wouldn’t have returned safely if it wasn’t for you.”
As he was speaking, he and all the rescued Silvers put down their sense of superiority as royalties and greeted Han Xiao with the sincerest way to express gratitude in the Silver culture.
Goa and the others received the same treatment as well. They were a little ashamed, knowing that they had been imprisoned the entire time and it was Han Xiao who had turned the tables and completed the mission.
“Sadly, two of your friends died,” Han Xiao said.
“Sigh, they’re unlucky, but you’re not to blame. The Shattered Star Ring is too dangerous, so we’ll be leaving in just a while. I hope to hire you guys as guards and protect us on our way home.”
The three armies kindly rejected the offer—they were not willing to travel that far. The Sea of Star Spirits and Shattered Star Ring were two Star Fields away, so it would take too long to travel there and return even with the star gate that could transport them across Star Fields.
“What about you?” The employer looked at Han Xiao.
Han Xiao shook his head and said, “Sorry, it’s too far, not inside my business scope.”
Although the Sea of Star Spirits’ resources was richer than Shattered Star Ring, it would waste a lot of time if they traveled there. It was all doing missions and earning money anyway, so he preferred not to travel for it. The Shattered Star Ring was rural and dangerous, but it had a lot of opportunities.
“That’s a pity. If there is a chance in the future, I hope to invite you to travel to our home for a trip…”
The employer shook his head and gave him the reward.
The mission complete notification appeared on the interface. He received more than 4,000,000 experience at once plus the 5,000 Enas. Including the amount that he had obtained through blackmailing, he had obtained more than 40,000 Enas.
The other players’ rewards were not as rich as their captain’s, but it was quite good nonetheless, so they were all smiling with satisfaction.
The communicator vibrated as it received the two knowledges. This was a special reward that only Han Xiao received. He checked and made sure that they were correct, then immediately chose to learn them.
Learning… Successfully Learned! You have learned [High Density Material Compression Technology]!
Learning… Successfully Learned! You have learned [Basic Spatial Technology]!
You have acquired ability [Super Compression Technology]!
You have acquired ability [Basic Machinery Construction]!
You have acquired ability [Weight Reduction Structure]!
As always, he felt the familiar headache, which only went away after quite some time. Without hesitation, he spent twenty Potential Points and leveled up these two knowledges to the max level.
Mechanics used different knowledge combinations depending on what style they were using, but these knowledges were a must-learn for all Mechanics, and their level had to be maxed.
The knowledges of the compression technology had a hidden connection. Only by possessing all of them would one learn the ability of Compression Technology, and this was the sign of the rise of Mechanics in Version 3.0.
[Super Compression Technology] folded the machineries. As the ability became stronger, it could fold larger machineries into the size of a finger, and its effect was enhanced by Machinery Affinity, level, and Intelligence. Currently, Han Xiao’s limit was folding medium-sized machines, which was most of the machines that he could build at the moment, such as firearms, Rangers, Amphiptere, and others.
As the size of his machines decreases after compression, their density increased. The mass of an object never changed, so its weight remained the same. However, [Weight Reduction Structure] would solve this problem. It used many technologies to achieve an internal repulsive force, creating an independent hovering field, maintaining a very low weight in various gravitational environments. It was suitable for many materials. This was a basic technology to achieve large scale compressions.
To achieve compression, folding structures needed to be added into the machines, increasing its complexity by multiple times. For convenience, many machines would be split up during compression, then reconnected back to their original form when they were expanded, using [Basic Machinery Construction]. This was an active ability that required energy to use, enabling extremely high-speed weapon assembly during combat. As long as there were parts, Mechanics would never run out of ammo.
When killing other players in his previous life, the usable parts of weapons and robots of Mechanics that were shattered seconds ago would be immediately reconstructed into other weapons, largely increasing the continuous combat capability and annoyance of the Mechanic Class.
If not for this ability that acted as a ‘recycle’ mechanism, the cost of using the Mechanical Army Style would have been many times higher.
From Han Xiao’s perspective, his Mechanic class could only be counted as shaped now that he had gotten these three abilities.
With Super Compression Technology and Basic Machinery Construction, my combat style will receive revolutionary upgrades. All my equipment needs to be modified into a compressed form. The number of weapons that I can equip will increase dozens of times. I won’t need to fight head-on wearing my mechanical suit anymore. Finally, I can bully others with my ‘Machinery Sea’ tactic.
Finally, the bitter days came to an end!
This time, the superiors of Blades and Purple Gold approached.
“Black Star, we want to sign a partnership with you, inviting you to be our ally.”
These two superiors were the ones in charge of this area; them sending an invitation personally showed their sincerity.
The structure of large armies was similar. With Sky Ring Army as an example, the Army Commander was the leader and the only one that had the five rings level. Followed by two grade A Deputy Army Commanders. There were two types of four rings members—one was grade B+ High-Class Combat Personnel, and another was High-Class Managers, in charge of one business area. The superior from Sky Ring was one of them, someone in charge of numerous galaxies.
Going further down the corporate table, one would find three rings officers like Goa, who usually brought a large team along but also could choose to work alone. They also had the authority to assemble a team temporarily.
Han Xiao had become an ally of Sky Ring earliest, and now, Blades and Purple Gold also saw Black Star’s potential, so they took the initiative to invite him. Large armies like these would only be the one initiating a partnership when they valued someone heavily.
One more large army partner meant more opportunities for missions. Han Xiao agreed and signed the contract.
The Blades and Purple Gold mercenaries immediately looked at him in a friendlier way—a partner was half as good as one of their own.
Sky Ring, Blades, and Purple Gold were the most renowned armies in their Star Cluster. Becoming their partner was a very rare opportunity. Many normal mercenary groups would not even have the chance to request a partnership with just one of them, yet Han Xiao was a partner to all three of them.
After the rewards were given out, the Silvers boarded the spaceship and slowly took off.
The mercenaries were getting ready to leave as well. Goa found Han Xiao and asked, “Where are you planning to go?”
Han Xiao pondered and said, “Colton Star Cluster Star Zone One, Godora Colonized Planet. ‘Golden Palace’.”
The players were surprised when they heard.
“Black Phantom, are we not going back to Juberly Hub?” a player asked.
“Not yet, we have other things to do… Also, call me Black Star.” Many players were used to calling him by his previous moniker and found it hard to adjust. Han Xiao made an effort to make sure they called him by the correct name. Since they were already in space, his nickname would, of course, have to keep up with the times.
“What are you going to Golden Palace for?” Herlous asked curiously.
“To find someone.” Han Xiao did not explain it clearly. The others did not ask too much—they just had to follow their captain.
He was not planning to return to Juberly Hub for the time being. The Secret Message Bead was a hot potato, and he wanted to identify it first. Fortunately, it just so happened that he knew that a top-notch Godoran Mage was secluded in Golden Palace, who was good at analyzing magic patterns and charged a fee to identify unknown magic items for customers. That person was like a functional item identifying NPC in the eyes of the players.
“Let us send you there then,” Goa said.
If it was someone else, Sky Ring would have sent them to a public planet at most and not sent them straight to the destination like Han Xiao.
Han Xiao boarded Sky Ring’s spaceship. He felt the spaceship vibrate and slowly take off. The ground shrunk in his eyes.
He moved to the bow of the spaceship and looked out the window. The two spaceships of Blades and Purple Gold were taking off at the same time beside them.
Very soon, they rose thousands of meters above and were about to leave the atmosphere of this planet, entering the dark space.
The Silvers had taken off earlier than them, so they were already in space and were very far away. They could barely be seen.
At this moment, an enormous and thick laser beam suddenly penetrated the Silver spaceship. The next moment, the Silver spaceship turned into a firework in space.
Everyone saw the explosion, but no sound reached them through the vacuum. The Silvers who were just inviting them to their home not long ago were now all turned into ash, dying silently.
There was no sound in outer space—death seemed like a small matter.
It was deadly silent outside, but it was loud inside the spaceship.
“What’s going on? Who attacked the Silvers?”
The Sky Ring mercenaries were stunned.
This time, space ripples appeared. A large and black DarkStar mothership deactivated its stealth mode, many small battleships detached from the mothership and approached quickly like black locusts. Their targets were the three mercenary spaceships.
All the people who might have seen the Secret Message Bead were captured, and DarkStar had yet to find the bead. The mercenaries were the last target—the possibility of it being with them was the highest. However, DarkStar did not know whose hands it was in, so they decided to target all the mercenaries.
After Ember’s failure, DarkStar ordered Sarota’s fleet to come to the planet where the Silver employer was and capture all the mercenaries ruthlessly.
Inside the Secret Message Bead was something that DarkStar had spent a hundred million Enas to buy, a key item for them to deal with Godora’s plans. There was no way they were going to give it up.
Everyone was shocked when they recognized the renowned DarkStar Mothership.
We were never involved with DarkStar, why are they attacking us? Furthermore, they are sending an entire fleet for just three spaceships, what sort of vendetta is this‽
“Stop dazing about, turn back!” Han Xiao yelled, reminding the dumbfounded pilot. The spaceship made a sharp turn and dived toward the ground, and the other two spaceships followed.
The sharp turn made the spaceship tremble, and many people could not maintain balance and almost fell.
An entire DarkStar fleet surrounded this planet. The difference in the number of spaceships and combat power was too huge, so the mercenaries had no chance to break through the siege. Once they entered space, without any obstructions, they would be destroyed by focus fire in no time. They could not escape the siege, as they would be stopped before they could enter the jumping state, which meant they had nowhere to run.
The only way out was to call for backup and stall for time inside the atmosphere. The chance of survival was low, but it was better than certain death.
Han Xiao was frowning. DarkStar’s persistence and decisiveness were beyond his expectations—they were not going to give up on even the slightest possibility, which proved what he thought earlier. The more value the Secret Message Bead had, the higher the risk was.
What a coincidence, the Secret Message Bead is really in my hands. They don’t even know it.
This was not even a battle; it was like a hunter chasing after prey. The small spaceships of the mercenaries were absolutely no match for the DarkStar fleet. The only good news was that DarkStar did not fire immediately—it seemed like they wanted to capture them alive. This made the mercenaries feel a little more at ease, with there at least being a chance to negotiate.
“This is the most dangerous situation I have ever met!” Han Xiao felt his heart was beating very fast. Not only was he not panicking, but he was excited.
“Chance of getting out unharmed is less than ten percent. Now, this is interesting…”
He licked his lips, and excitement flashed in his eyes.
Those that were faced with imminent death either became terrified of death or fearless. He happened to be the latter. After experiencing countless dangers and even dying once, he had surpassed fear long ago.