Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The people immediately disagreed. How were they going to escape without a spaceship?
“It was never possible to break through DarkStar’s army in a spaceship,” Han Xiao explained. “The chance to escape has always been close to zero. We only had one choice from the start—stall for time and wait for backup. Abandoning ship and losing ability is obviously disadvantageous, but it will also decrease DarkStar’s efficiency.
“Without spaceships, we will be fish in a barrel to DarkStar, and their alertness will further be decreased. Once we spread out underground, DarkStar will stop bombarding the surface. Because without protection from the spaceship, we will be buried alive if the underground space collapses. What they want is the… ahem, what they want is to capture us alive. Therefore, they’ll most probably use the hovering ships and send out troops to search slowly.”
This was a risky plan, and the mercenaries exchanged nervous looks.
Although the plan did make sense, the risk of abandoning the spaceship made them hesitant.
“Are you absolutely confident about this?” Goa could not help but voice her doubt.
“What do you think?” Han Xiao shook his head. How could he be one hundred percent confident in this kind of situation? If he was, it would not be called a risky plan.
Staying in the spaceships looked safe, but their chances would be almost negligible. Abandoning the spaceships looked desperate, but it could squeeze out more time and stall them longer.
The bombardment continued, and time waited for no man. Goa and Porter discussed a little, then finally clenched their teeth and agreed with carrying out the plan to abandon the spaceships.
“So,” Goa asked, “what is the plan?”
“The plan is…” Han Xiao explained in detail.
In the sky, dozens of DarkStar bombardment fleets were in a neat formation, dropping bombs down on the surface. Mushroom clouds rose up one after another. Heated wind from the explosions stirred up dust and sand all over the sky, creating countless craters filled with cracks like spider nets.
In the command room of the DarkStar mothership, Sarota was staring at the image of the surface, and his fingers were tapping the table continuously. His impatience was clearly expressed through these small movements.
Since the spaceships escaped underground, a few hours had passed, and they still had yet to make any progress. His patience had run out, so he decided to send out bombardment ships to destroy the planet surface, causing the underground space to collapse and forcing the targets to get out of the twisted narrow underground and come back to the open surface.
He also sent out many medium intercepting ships to form encirclements. As soon as the mercenaries’ spaceships appeared on the surface, there would be no more chasing and running—they would be able to capture the spaceships immediately.
“Commander, the interrogation is completed. These captured mercenaries have never seen the Secret Message Bead before. We searched their clothes and inside their bodies as well, and they don’t have it,” an officer said. These captives were Cerleni and the others.
“At least the range is smaller.” Sarota nodded.
Therefore, the last two ships were the most suspicious.
At this time, the Sky Ring spaceship appeared on the image from the hovering ship fleet. The hovering ships had almost lost them, but now, they were catching up. The Sky Ring spaceship’s speed had become much slower, and it even bumped into walls from time to time.
Lasers hit the spaceship’s shield. It was as if the Sky Ring spaceship had changed its pilot. There were no more dazzling dodges, and it looked very clumsy.
Almost all attacks landed on the target.
The shield shattered in no time.
Lasers fired at the tail of the spaceship, unleashing a trail of flames and smoke!
Sky Ring spaceship’s accelerator broke and lost its power. It glided forward and shattered about a dozen stone pillars before crashing into the stone wall, stirring up thick smoke.
The hovering ships surrounded the spaceship, but the Sky Ring spaceship was silent. A few units of DarkStar warriors jumped out of the hovering ships and blasted the gate open with their guns, only to see that there was only darkness inside the spaceship. The DarkStar warriors rushed in, but there was no one inside. A warrior headed to the pilot seat and checked system, then quickly reported the situation to their superior.
“Report. There’s no one in the spaceship. It was the spaceship system’s autopilot.”
Sarota slammed his hands heavily on the table, and with rage in his eyes, he said, “They’ve abandoned ship!”
On the other side, the Blades spaceship did the same and jumped out of the spaceship in different batches. As they did not get out of sight of the enemies like Han Xiao, the image of them jumping out was directly seen by the chasing ships. However, the mercenaries did not care about that. They landed and spread out on their own.
“Abandon ship… Seems like it’s to stall for more time. Tsk, they still have hope for reinforcements.” Sarota sneered. “They have some guts to gamble like this…”
Then, he loudly ordered, “Stop the bombardment. Hovering ships, split up and search for vital signs. Send out ground troops to continue to pursue.”
Sarota looked to the side and said, “Ember, you’ll lead the ground troops.”
Ember nodded and left the command room.
Hundreds of egg-shaped airdrop cabins were ejected from the mothership, falling toward the ground. Inside were all DarkStar Supers, including Ember.
Sarota could see through Han Xiao’s plan, but he still did as Han Xiao expected because DarkStar’s target was indeed to capture everyone alive. From how he saw it, this was what the mercenaries were gambling on—there was nothing that he could do about it.
The target did not have a spaceship anymore, so Sarota was not worried. If they were hunters chasing after prey earlier, now they were just catching them in a ring—there was no need to worry about anyone escaping.
This time, in a hard-to-find corner underground, a silver-white metal sphere was parked quietly. Inside the metal sphere was a sophisticated cockpit, where Han Xiao and a few others were.
This was a transporting tool that Han Xiao had been building—[Portable Sphere Fortress].
On the outside, it was just a metal sphere, but its structure inside was complicated. It could travel in both sea and land as well as air. The sphere was made up of many layers. The most outside silver layer were both the armor and the mobility device to move on land, as the sphere was suitable for rolling movements and was able to change direction and speed easily. When it rolled, only the outside layer would move. The inside pilot cabin had an individual structure and was separated from the outside layer, so it would not spin as well. The real-time image of the outside was played on the large curve inside the pilot cabin.
When traveling through complex terrain, four mechanical pedipalps could be extended out of its body for crawling purposes. Furthermore, the sphere was also equipped with thrusters, balance wings, and turbines. It could fly at relatively low heights and move in the oceans. It was a multifunctional transport tool.
In his previous life, the players had called this the ‘Car Ball’. Han Xiao had built it while he was on Floating Dragon Island. He had placed it in the spaceship, and now that they abandoned the spaceship, it was time to use it.
The plan was to spread out, so the ones in the Car Ball at this time was only Herlous, Aroshia, the three brothers of Volga, Frenzied Sword, and Maple Moon.
“The bombardment has stopped.” Han Xiao was sitting at the controlling seat, his eyes sparkled.
The underground terrain did not tremble anymore, which meant that DarkStar had stopped the bombardment as expected, which made him feel relieved. From now on, DarkStar will send out ground troops to carry out the search and start a game of cat and mouse. The mercenaries have all spread out, so there’ll definitely be some people that’ll get caught. Hope we can stall for longer…
The Car Ball rolled backward and disappeared in the dark and twisted underground tunnel.
Darkness was mercenaries’ cover, which made the search more difficult.
There were two to three hundred people in the two spaceships. Now that they had all spread out, the number of targets that DarkStar had to capture changed from two to hundreds. The hovering ships split up as well, slowly searching every corner with their cone-shaped blue searchlights.
Not long after, the ground troops led by Ember arrived underground and started their thorough search. The sound of footsteps echoed in the underground space.
The situation went from spaceship pursuit to time-consuming search. It seemed to be less heated, but the nervousness in the hearts of mercenaries kept growing as they were in the constant alert of not knowing when they would meet enemies in the endless darkness.
In the beginning, DarkStar captured some mercenaries very quickly. However, as time went on, the mercenaries became more spread out, and their capture efficiency rapidly decreased.
Often, DarkStar had to take a very long time only to find one or two mercenaries. The mercenaries had all sorts of abilities, and some were very good at hiding.
Time trickled by.
In Stream Light, Shivate was rather annoyed. DarkStar had stayed for one day now, and they had yet to leave. He had sent several warnings, but DarkStar had told him that because the mercenaries had abandoned their spaceships, it would not take too long to capture everyone. Shivate had no choice but to continue waiting despite his impatience.
The alarm suddenly rang. The radar showed that, not far away, a new fleet was jumping toward this direction, and its numbers were growing rapidly.
“Whose forces are these?” Shivate’s face changed.
Through the porthole, he saw that in the space behind the DarkStar mothership, streams of light dashed across and stopped, showing their true identity.
It was an enormous fleet with mixed styles like it was made up of battleships from many different races. It looked like a motley army, but when they saw the symbols on these battleships, the faces of the Holy Stone and Black Raven commanders immediately turned grave.
This was a fleet temporarily gathered by Sky Ring, Blades, and Purple Gold. Other than the three large mercenary groups, there were also dozens of mercenary group partners. Hundreds of all kinds of battleships faced the DarkStar mothership.
“Do these large armies really have to make such a huge scene?” Shivate was surprised.
If these mercenaries and DarkStar could not come to an agreement, they would definitely start fighting. By then, it would be very difficult for Holy Stone and Black Raven to not be affected.
Shivate’s expression became terrible. If these mercenaries had been captured earlier, such a troublesome situation would never have happened.