Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The last time that they met, Ember got a taste of defeat from Han Xiao. He had met quite a number of Mechanics, but Black Star was the first Mechanic that could use his own body to drag the battle without using machinery. Plus, Han Xiao was like a fated enemy of his power. Ember had thought about how to deal with Han Xiao, and he had come up with some plans. Thus, he had been waiting to meet Han Xiao again.
Now they had finally intercepted Han Xiao. Seeing the Car Ball turn to run away, Ember immediately activated his power.
The walls in all directions started to move as if they were alive. A large amount of black and gray particles gushed out like a black cloud, winding around the Car Ball, turning into all sorts of shapes such as spears and blades, creating sparkles on the moving armor of the Car Ball.
The underground space was narrow and twisted. The Car Ball crashed through the walls like a mole digging a tunnel. Ember and the others chased behind. The Car Ball was very fast, so even though grade B Supers were not slow, the distance between them was still getting longer.
“Call the search team and follow my position. There’s an important target here driving some kind of sphere-shaped transport tool. It’s very fast, but I will slow it down as much as I can.”
Although Ember really wanted to fight with Han Xiao, the training that he had gone through made him always put the mission first. The hovering ship fleet nearby received the message and came from all directions.
The range of Ember’s power was limited. The Car Ball was going to leave his sights. Ember’s energy turned into fuel for his power—the ground in front of the Car Ball bulged and turned into rocks, forming obstacles.
Bang bang bang!
The Car Ball crushed everything in its way, breaking through fang-shaped pillars one after another. Its thick, heavy armor was not damaged, but its speed unavoidably decreased. The curved surface inside the sphere was all made of screens, displaying the image outside. Han Xiao could see in all directions from sitting in the driver’s seat, so he quickly pressed on the control panel and activated the Car Ball’s other functions.
With the sound of mechanical parts moving, the front, back, left, and right side of the armor suddenly opened. A mechanic pedipalp slid out from each of the openings and pressed onto the ground, the Car Ball jumped up like a flea and skipped over the dangerous obstacles. Then, four anti-gravitational thrusters appeared at the bottom of the Car Ball, pushing the Car Ball forward almost a hundred meters before it landed on the ground. This process was repeated again and again—the Car Ball was not affected by the terrain at all. Ember was getting further and further away.
“Tsk. The search team will definitely surround us. We have to think of a way to get rid of the enemies. Luckily, there’s a gap between earth near here. We can…”
As he was saying, Han Xiao suddenly realized that something was wrong. He turned around and looked at everyone else. All of their faces were filled with veins like they were struggling with all their lives, and they were unable to move.
“Stop, or they die.”
In the distance, Ember was reaching out his hand with a cold face. Han Xiao was the only one who he could not do anything about, but in the case of the other people inside the Car Ball, he could use his power on them through the armor.
Han Xiao frowned a little. This was what he was most worried about. The two players were not a concern. Even if they died one hundred times, he would not even blink. But Herlous, Aroshia, and the others were different; they were his weakness when facing Ember. Han Xiao was definitely not going to stop, and he would not hesitate on this matter. He was just worried about these two characters that he had spent so much effort to recruit.
“Don’t… Don’t care about us, he won’t kill anyone. We can’t… can’t be the reason to cause our entire team’s… destruction!”
The energy on Herlous’ body was flickering. He was resisting the Esper power from Ember, and even with all his might, he could only speak while stuttering. His face was ferocious, and every word sounded like he was spending all his energy on it. Through the time that they spent together, Herlous had gained some knowledge of Han Xiao. He knew very clearly that Han Xiao would not hesitate on something like this and would be able to make choices despite the enemy’s threatening, so he did not have to worry. He only spoke so that Han Xiao would not have any psychological burden.
“Hold on, there’s a gap in front. We can get rid of the enemies once we fly down.” Han Xiao nodded and increased the Car Ball’s speed. He did not waste any words.
Seeing that the Car Ball was about to leave his power range, Ember’s eyes turned colder, and he clenched his fists.
The higher ups did not allow killing, but as long as the target was alive, it would not matter how badly hurt they were.
Herlous inhaled deeply with the scream stuck in his throat. His left hand changed shape noticeably, then slowly turned into dust and splashed on the floor. There was no blood and no metallic smell. The decomposition was spreading from his hand toward his shoulder!
“Ember…” A flash of rage appeared in Han Xiao’s eyes, but he had no time to look at Herlous’ injury. The most important thing at the time was to get out of Ember’s power range, and only then would the damage not continue to grow.
Sand fog flew out of Aroshia’s body, and she was being decomposed as well. She looked down at her body as confusion flashed through her eyes.
Most normal life forms would be curious about what came after death, but they would only have one life, and when they discovered the answer to that question, it would also mean that they had left the world of the living. Aroshia, on the other hand, had countless opportunities to try it, so death was not unknown or mysterious to her. She could see her own ‘ending’—a new life. She had been through it countless times, and she knew that she would not die. However, a new life meant that her memories would be reset again. She did not have any memory of what happened after death, and she could not remember anything about what happened before she died. She could not help but think of Han Xiao’s words.
If she did not have the memories of her past life, even if she received a new life, would she still be who she was now? Would that be just another form of death?
“So, I can die after all…” Aroshia mumbled. Suddenly, a sense of trepidation was born in her heart.
When this thought appeared, a change happened within her body.
The feeling of her body being controlled suddenly disappeared. Aroshia realized that she could move now. The world in her eyes was different—it seemed brighter, and many small dots of light were swimming in the air like fish. Her senses became completely different from just a moment earlier. Then, she realized that she was floating, and she saw the shocked expression on the people beside her.
“What happened to me…”
Aroshia looked down at her body. It was not a physical body anymore but a half transparent luminous body with a dim glow of bluish gold. Light particles floated around her. Her senses were not her body and head anymore—it was like she was no longer limited by a physical form. With a thought, she suddenly turned into a sphere-shaped ball of light.
“This… This is…” Maple Moon was shocked.
“Energy life.” Han Xiao glanced over. He was shocked as well. The characteristics that Aroshia was showing now were the characteristics of energy lifeforms. Her physical structure changed, so of course, she was not controlled by Ember anymore. He did not have the time to think of the reason for this to happen, but a thought appeared in his mind.
“Try to touch the energy core.”
Aroshia did as Han Xiao said. A thin tentacle extended out of the ball of light, passed through the cockpit wall, and came into contact with the energy core. The light particles in her body flew into the core through the tentacle.
With the sound of electric currents, sparks appeared on the engine, and the output of the Car Ball increased tremendously and went into overload mode immediately!
The Car Ball’s speed increased instantly, it jumped right into the gap in front and finally got out of Ember’s power range. Herlous’ decomposition progress stopped at his left shoulder. He was covered in sweat, holding on to his hollow left shoulder, and his face was filled with agony. Other than him, the Volga brothers suffered some damage too. However, Ember’s main target was Herlous, who had the strongest resistance, so they were still in a relatively good state—none of them were maimed.
Ember and the others stopped at the edge of the gap and watched as the Car Ball extended its balance wings and flew away at a high speed.
Ember failed twice on the same target. He yelled at the communicator, “Is the search team here yet? Target has disappeared, track it immediately.”
However, the reply was very unexpected.
“One minute ago, the mothership sent out a new order. Give up this mission. Everyone, return to the mothership and retreat immediately!” The other side of the communicator sounded very anxious.
Ember’s pupils constricted in disbelief.
How could it be an order to retreat‽
The Secret Message Bead was very important to DarkStar. Now that they were not far from succeeding, unless there was an accident, it was impossible for them to give up halfway. And this accident was definitely something that the mothership could not deal with!
The order was not to be disobeyed. Even though Ember was very unhappy, he could only watch Han Xiao and the others get away while he turned around and retreated.
What had happened above‽
Fifteen minutes earlier…
“This is Shattered Star Ring Express News. I’m the frontline reporter, Brimner, reporting live on the battle near Planet 122 of Star Zone 4, Fawn Galaxy.”
A news spaceship stopped not far from the battlefield, reporting the situation live at the scene after hearing about it.
Brimner was the reporter hosting this live news. The news was playing on the Shattered Star Ring Current Affairs Channel, reporting live on things happening around the area to all the audiences in the Star Field. People and organizations of countless Galaxies and Star Zones were paying attention to this news broadcast.
“It is known that Fawn-122 planet is located at the border crossing of Holy Stone Civilization and Black Raven Civilization. A special battle has happened in this sensitive area. As everyone can see, the battle is between DarkStar and mercenaries. As reflected by witnesses, the battle has lasted for almost two days now. The cause of this is that DarkStar wanted to capture some mercenaries, and these mercenaries happened to belong to Sky Ring, Blades, and Purple Gold, the three very well-known mercenary armies. Hence, a conflict broke out. The situation now is, Holy Stone and Black Raven’s armies are monitoring on the sidelines, while DarkStar and the mercenaries are in a stalemate. On the planet, the mercenaries who are being chased are unbelievably still running.
“According to our knowledge, the Godoran Civilization far away in the Garton Galaxy is already forming an army. DarkStar is a violence group acting against Godora, so they are naturally enemies. As DarkStar rarely appears and is very stealthy, it is very hard for Godora to trace them. Now that DarkStar has appeared publicly, Godora wants to hold onto this opportunity…”
As Brimner was reporting, a large object appeared on the edge of the image, flying toward the battlefield.
“Wait, there seems to be a change to the situation. A new force has appeared. That’s… Er, Floating Dragon Island?”
Her eyes widened in shock.
The interest of countless spectators in Shattered Star Ring who were watching the news rose immediately. Floating Dragon was ‘Dragon Emperor’ Ames’ territory—almost everyone in Shattered Star Ring knew that.
They were very curious. Why was Floating Dragon there?
Brimner paused and thought of a logical explanation.
“Our crew has just checked Floating Dragon’s route—it just so happens that it came to Fawn Galaxy Star Zone 4. Apparently, it’s just passing by out of coincidence. Holy Stone and Black Raven’s fleets are surrounding the battlefield. I believe after some communication, Floating Dragon will take a detour. This should not have any impact on the situation…”
Before she finished her sentence, Floating Dragon bumped straight into the Holy Stone fleet at the edge of the battlefield, without any intention to change course at all.