Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“If the Holy Stone Border Guards Army wants to receive us, they would definitely be in conflict with DarkStar, but take a look up there. The DarkStar mothership is still floating there and not sending out any other ships. Furthermore, this is a very sensitive border area, so it’s impossible for Holy Stone and Black Raven to take very long to come. This means that they’ve made a certain deal with DarkStar. This is the edge of their border, so the official authority here is blurry to begin with. They did not provide any help even when the Silvers were kidnapped. Now they suddenly want to help us? It doesn’t feel trustworthy.”
Han Xiao paused and said, “But of course, there’s a chance that Holy Stone did not compromise with DarkStar and really wants to protect us. However… this is very unlikely.”
He did not mention the most important reason—the mission requirement stated that they had to last two days for just the lowest rating, but only half an hour had passed. The reinforcements could not have arrived so soon. His intuition told him that there was a problem with Holy Stone’s message.
Many people started to rethink, but they still hoped that they had gotten lucky.
This time, there was a disagreement. Cerleni said in a low voice, “I choose to believe this message. Holy Stone has no need to lie to us, and this might be our only chance. I’ve decided to go to the pickup location. What about you?”
“I’m not going.” Han Xiao shook his head without hesitation and then looked over to Goa. Goa hesitated for a while, then nodded and agreed with Han Xiao’s decision. Although there were some mercenaries in the ship that had other thoughts, seeing that Goa and Han Xiao had both decided, they could only hold their thoughts in.
Porter hesitated for a moment, then rejected it as well, choosing to listen to Han Xiao’s advice.
Cerleni frowned and said, “Best of luck to you guys then.”
The Purple Gold spaceship deviated from the route and headed toward the pickup location, disappearing from sight shortly.
Han Xiao exhaled and said with a deep voice, “DarkStar’s reinforcements will arrive very soon, and our activity area will become smaller and smaller. If we continue to stay on the surface, the situation will only become worse. We have to go underground. The scanner has already recorded all the terrain we have passed by, and there’s quite a number of canyons and gaps in the terrain. The space below the ground on this planet is very huge. Plus, it has a complicated environment and many obstacles. Limited moving space will give us some trouble, but it will give those chasing us trouble too. Furthermore, the ground and block the direct detection from their mothership, providing us another layer of protection…”
He had a rough plan of what to do next. The situation was not pleasant. The reinforcement was just DarkStar’s first step, they would soon be limiting their movement areas, surrounding them, bombarding the area, and so on, forcing them to change the route. Han Xiao pondered and pondered, and eventually, he realized that in order for them to last two days, there was only one workable way—spread out.
DarkStar’s target was all the mercenaries, and two spaceships were only two targets. However, if they spread out in an undetectable environment, every mercenary would be a target. Although there would definitely be unlucky ones that might be sacrificed, it would also make DarkStar spend more time searching. After all, wishing to save everyone was not realistic.
“Let’s do as you say.” Goa trusted Han Xiao a lot.
Han Xiao changed the direction of the spaceship and looked forward. Very soon, a very long gap in earth appeared on the horizon, like the gray colored earth opening its mouth, black as an abyss. From far away, it looked like just a small gap, and only when they got closer did they realize that it was tens of meters wide.
The Sky Ring spaceship dived straight into the gap, and darkness filled their vision.
The detector sketched out the terrain in the darkness. About two to three hundred meters down, numerous caves appeared on both sides. Han Xiao chose a cave and flew in. Inside was an underground space, leading to somewhere far away.
There was a very large space under the ground of this planet. It had complex tunnels and was filled with storage stones. It had been undisturbed for countless years, and now, its first guest had arrived.
The Blades spaceship did the same, and the hovering ship fleet followed behind. Unavoidably, their speed decreased. Flying in this kind of environment required a very high reaction speed, plus space was limited, so the formation of the hovering ships had to turn into a long snake shape. Due to space restraints, ninety percent of the fighter ships were blocked by their teammates in front and unable to fire. The attack faced by the Blades and Sky Ring spaceships significantly lessened.
The two ships flew underground just in time, escaping from DarkStar’s plan to surround them on the surface.
The Purple Gold spaceship was still on the surface, and it arrived at the pickup location.
Cerleni sent a communication request to the channel that they had received the message from.
“Holy Stone Third Formation please come in. I have arrived at the pickup location. Where are the receiving units?”
He repeated that again and again, but Holy Stone did not reply and kept silent. His expression gradually changed, and he started to sweat all over.
The Purple Gold spaceship did not dare stop. It circled around the pickup location like a headless fly. When the DarkStar reinforcements came from all directions, Cerleni ‘s face turned pale. Only then did he realize that there was no one there to pick them up. Black Star was right. He had lost the gamble.
Boom boom boom!
Bullets rained down!
Not long after, the Purple Gold spaceship crashed onto the ground covered in smoke. The gate opened, and the mercenaries inside sprinted out in all directions. However, the DarkStar warriors landed from the fighter ships hovering in the sky and surrounded them. There was nowhere to run.
The struggle of Cerleni and the others did not make any impact, so they were captured easily and escorted onto the spaceship to be sent to the mothership.
Everyone in the two ships that were descending underground saw what happened to Purple Gold. Seeing that their friends that had once fought alongside them were in such a dire situation, everyone was grieving.
If not for Han Xiao standing his ground, they would have ended up the same way.
The mercenaries looked at Han Xiao with even more trust in their eyes.
“I did tell them…” Han Xiao sighed.
Cerleni had been willing to take the gamble, and there was nothing Han Xiao could do about it; he could not have taken over the control of Purple Gold spaceship.
However, from a purely pros and cons perspective, this would give them more time. With at least some result, DarkStar would be a little less in a hurry.
Inside Stream Light, the scene of Purple Gold’s spaceship crashing was being played on the screen. Shivate shook his head and said, “Too bad only one ship was captured.”
He was indeed the one that gave the order to send that message. It was to mislead the mercenaries and make it easier for DarkStar to capture them, but it was not because he wanted to help DarkStar. In his eyes, these mercenaries would definitely not be able to escape, and them getting captured was just a matter of time. He only sped up this process. The earlier the mercenaries got captured, the sooner DarkStar would leave.
The armies of Holy Stone and Black Raven were holding their position, and these mercenaries’ meaningless struggle was wasting their time, leaving these two civilizations with no choice but to stay there and monitor the situation. This increased their workload and brought along risks. Shivate just wanted DarkStar to go away as soon as possible. Giving out that order was purely for his own benefit.
Furthermore, this could not be considered as interfering, so it was not really counted as helping DarkStar. He had just sent a message—it was not a big deal.
Regarding what plan DarkStar had, he simply did not care. DarkStar had no business with them. No matter what they were up to, Godora would be the only one suffering from it. Holy Stone had no obligation to help Godora get rid of their enemies, and Shivate did not want to stir up a mess.
Sadly, not all the mercenaries were tricked.
“Commander, the target has gone underground. We’re unable to see a direct image.”
“Continue to hold your position.” Shivate shook his head.
They would not be able to see what was going on once these mercenaries enter underground. All they could do was wait.
Inside the dark underground, beams of light flashed past. These were all spaceships flying at a high speed.
Lasers hit the stone walls and caused a partial rockfall. Quite a number of stones landed on Sky Ring spaceship’s shield before being shattered by the spaceships dashing through.
The pursuit underground lasted for a few hours. As space was limited, larger sized fighter ships could not enter. DarkStar could only use the hovering ships to hunt.
The underground space was filled with twists and turns, and it was pitch black. The blurry images from the detector were the only thing that they could depend on to dodge the obstacles. Han Xiao was highly focused and did not bump into anything, but the hovering ships behind him were gradually making more and more mistakes. From time to time, fighter ships crashed into the wall, the pillars, and other things. The contrast was very obvious. The pursuing spaceships gradually lost sight of Han Xiao’s backlight.
The Blades spaceship, on the other hand, was not as lucky. They were still being chased tightly. Porter’s skill was hard to look at, and the Blades mercenaries almost wished to change ship.
Coincidentally, the Sky Ring people had the same thought.
“Can’t see the hovering ships, there are only sounds. They’re still chasing.” Han Xiao looked behind and said, “After chasing for a few hours, DarkStar’s patience should be reaching its limit.”
“We’re… reaching… our… limits too…”
Herlous was almost prostrated, unable to finish a full sentence without pauses.
He could be considered as being in a good state since at least he could talk. Beside him, the Sky Ring mercenaries lay flat down on the ground like dead pigs. Their eyes were out of focus, streams of white bubbles flew out of their mouths, and their hands and legs were shaking. The ice used to fix their legs had already shattered.
Just as Han Xiao was about to say something, the underground space started to tremble violently!
Sounds of explosions came from all directions!
“This is… a bombardment?” Goa said.
“Most likely, DarkStar has started to bombard the surface, hoping to trigger a chain reaction and cause the underground space to collapse, forcing us back to the surface. Like chasing mice out of their cave. Then, they’ll surround us on the surface, and we’ll have nowhere to run,” Han Xiao said calmly. He had expected this to happen, so he could stay calm when it happened.
“Is there nothing we can do‽” Goa did not want to give up.
“We’ve stalled for many hours with the spaceship. It’s already the limit.”
Han Xiao inhaled deeply and said slowly, “We have to abandon ship.”
The people were shocked. The spaceship was the only thing that they could depend on. If they abandoned the spaceship, it would mean they have lost the mobility, and they would really become fish in a barrel.