Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Floating Dragon Island was floating above a huge gaseous planet. Numerous small unmanned harvesters were going back and forth, harvesting gaseous fuel for Floating Dragon like hard-working bees.
In the guards’ base, Han Xiao met with Wilsander. This guy had bandages on his head, and he was still bleeding.
The moment that he saw Han Xiao, he immediately rushed over enthusiastically, placed his arm on Han Xiao’s shoulder, and pulled him to the side. Then he said softly with a face full of excitement, “The plan you mentioned, I think it’s quite interesting. I told Jenny about it, and she agreed. Did you bring the stuff?”
Han Xiao took out the Secret Message Bead and passed it to Wilsander, then said, “Do as we discussed. By the way, you know how to act, right? I can teach you if you don’t.”
“Do you think I need you to teach me?” Wilsander said with disgust. “How do you think I cleared my name to join Floating Dragon? Just wait for my good news!”
He then took the Secret Message Bead with a smirk, gathered his subordinates, and took off in a spaceship. The spaceship drew an arc, then headed toward Holy Stone’s direction. With a flash of light, it disappeared and jumped.
“Why is this guy more in a hurry than me?” Han Xiao shook his head, unsure whether he should laugh or cry.
What he did not know was that everyday Wilsander was in Floating Dragon, he was either catching small thieves or maintaining order, and now that he could go out and stir up some trouble, no matter whose trouble, he was as happy as going on a vacation. As an ex-galactic pirate and a hybrid Demon, chaos was in his blood. The fact that he could endure the boredom and stay in Floating Dragon was all because of… love.
Numerous space stations were fixed at the Holy Stone border like anchors. A large metal stronghold was floating in space. It was the Third Formation that was on duty. Holy Stone’s fleet patrolled the area. In the Stream Light command room, Shivate was half lying down on his commander seat, and his two legs were placed on the control panel, his hands behind his head. He was having a snooze, relaxing as he was having a sunbathe.
This time, a subordinate reported.
“Commander, a spaceship is approaching. They’ve sent a contact request…”
Without even opening his eyes, Shivate asked lazily, “Who is it?”
“Err, one of the Dragon Guard Trio, Guard Captain ‘Red Wings’ Wilsander.”
The people in the room saw their Commander fall straight off his seat.
Shivate hastily helped himself up with the chair. His face was stiff.
Whenever he heard the name Floating Dragon, he would have a feeling something bad was going to happen.
The other party was Floating Dragon’s Guard Captain. After seeing the Dragon Emperor’s astonishing strength a few days ago, Shivate did not dare to not give face to them. The request was quickly approved.
Stream Light came to the border, and an opening appeared on the side of the battleship. A mechanical magnetic tentacle extended out and sucked onto the spaceship. Wilsander boarded Stream Light, and Shivate brought his men along to welcome him. They met on the bridge.
“Are you Holy Stone’s Commander?” Wilsander said with an expressionless face.
Shivate nodded. “Holy Stone Border Guards Army Third Formation Commander Shivate. May I know why you’ve come?”
“Yes, here’s the reason. A member of Floating Dragon was chased by DarkStar some time ago, and the Dragon Emperor personally attacked and defeated DarkStar. The mercenaries that were rescued exposed the fact that DarkStar’s target was a black bead. Black Star reported this to me, and I ordered my subordinates to search for it on the Floating Dragon Island just in case.
“To my surprise, the bead was really on Floating Dragon Island, and it turns out that one of my guards found it. He turned the bead in, and we plan to give it to Godora. Since your territory is nearby, I would like to ask you to help give it to Godora so that we don’t have to waste time to travel.”
Wilsander said with a solemn tone as if these things had really happened. He took out the Secret Message Bead and placed it in Shivate’s hand while he was still stunned.
“Th—This… What? I — I, wait…”
Shivate was completely lost and could not form a complete sentence.
“The item has been delivered; I’ll get going now.”
Wilsander turned around in a cool manner.
He came quickly and left quickly, leaving a hot potato behind.
To Shivate, this was a disaster that fell from the sky, and he could not even reject it. Although this was a sensitive matter, it required little effort to help out, so there was no need to not give Floating Dragon face. When the image of Floating Dragon Island crashing into the DarkStar mothership, his legs would turn wobbly. Floating Dragon Island was an entity that he could did not dare disrespect.
Shivate reported this to the superiors immediately. After they had a discussion, they decided not to swallow the Secret Message Bead themselves. Floating Dragon knew about this, so there was no way they could hide the fact that they took it. Furthermore, keeping the Secret Message Bead would lead to DarkStar’s hostility. DarkStar was very clear in how important this was to them. They wondered what was inside.
Currently, Holy Stone was faced with a choice—should they open the Secret Message Bead and take a look?
The answer was a definite yes!
Since it passed by their hands, even if they did not take it, at least they had to take a peek and know what was going on. Anyway, the seal could be recovered, so there was no reason to be afraid.
Holy Stone quickly dispatched an Identification Mage, who spent a day opening the Secret Message Bead. However, the result left them dumbfounded.
It was empty.
How could it be empty‽
What did DarkStar want with this? Or was there a hidden message in it?
This made Holy Stone realize what would happen if they gave it to Godora. The Secret Message Bead was empty, and Godora would be suspicious, thinking that they had taken what was inside. And they could not even prove they did not.
Holy Stone was frustrated, but a thought appeared in their mind—did Floating Dragon take what was inside? Was passing it to Holy Stone just to frame them? But was there even a need for Floating Dragon to do this? DarkStar would not mess with them anyway!
Holy Stone initially wanted to hide the fact that they opened the seal. Now they had no choice but to contact Godora and tell them the truth, that there was nothing inside from the start and that they did not take it—it was empty when Floating Dragon gave it to them. Floating Dragon probably took it long ago.
Godora’s reaction was straight forward—Do you think I believe that?
How dare you, Holy Stone? Not only did you steal what was inside, but you also want us to misunderstand Floating Dragon and cause trouble for us. How vicious!
Holy Stone had no way to explain themselves or prove what they said—they could only firmly state that they did not take anything.
They suspected and doubted each other, but the item still had to be delivered. After some discussion, they decided to meet up secretly.
On Floating Dragon Island, Han Xiao heaved a sigh of relief after hearing from Wilsander.
“The blame has finally been thrown to someone else.”
Although DarkStar failed once, they would not give up so easily. They would still track the Secret Message Bead, and the mercenaries and himself were the top targets. This was a hidden danger.
Han Xiao had done this to clear his suspicion and divert the attention so that he and the other mercenaries would be safe.
Godoran and Holy Stone would most likely keep it a secret. However, the next step of the plan was to have Wilsander ‘accidentally’ leak the information. When that happened, for the sake of not being targeted by DarkStar, Holy Stone would definitely emphasize the fact that they gave the Secret Message Bead to Godora. DarkStar would then have no need to guess where the Secret Message Bead was and target Godora directly, not affecting others anymore. This would mean that the hidden danger was resolved, and that was very important to Han Xiao.
Godora and DarkStar were enemies to start with, so they would not care, but Holy Stone was the unluckiest—they had gotten involved and dragged down out of nowhere, and they became suspected by Godora. Han Xiao had actually made targets that he could choose from, but he had chosen Holy Stone because they set him up once, so now it was his turn.
You don’t want any trouble? No problem, we will give you some…
The Secret Message Bead arrived in Godora’s hands, which meant that DarkStar basically could not take it back anymore. Only Holy Stone and Godora knew that it was empty—DarkStar had no idea. Even if DarkStar knew about it from other sources, they would think that Godora or Holy Stone took what was inside and would at most suspect that ‘mysterious force’ that had also been tracing the Secret Message Bead back then.
On paper, the first party to have discovered the Secret Message Bead was Floating Dragon Island. Han Xiao had been hidden in the dark all along, and now he pulled himself out of the equation.
Regardless, he and the other mercenaries that had been chased before were now safe.
“This way, the risk should be minimized. Although I have Floating Dragon as my background, it is not me who they fear and respect. My strength is far from strong enough, and it’s not suitable for me to face DarkStar head-on. I need to accumulate more strength—maintaining stable growth is more important.”
The problem was finally resolved. Han Xiao felt that his entire body was lighter.
His identity on Floating Dragon Island was a field operative, so he could move freely. Now that his goal had been achieved, he did not stay longer.
A few days later, Han Xiao took a travel agency and returned to Juberly Hub. Herlous had already taken the group back and was standing by and resting in the station.
The three large armies had sent them the reward from Godora two days ago. It was quite a lot, 30,000 Enas. Including this money, Han Xiao had more than 70,000 Enas in his account, reaching a new height. This was just the direct income—he had yet to count in the amount in the players’ hands.
This mission was not very dangerous for the players. The intel that they had was too little, so they did not know what was happening the entire time. With Han Xiao doing the work secretly, they had made a huge fortune. Han Xiao was pleased, too. His effort did not go to waste, and it would translate directly to the players’ purchasing power.
Unexpectedly, the hiring mission that was supposed to be simple turned out to be this complicated. Han Xiao had taken quite a number of risks throughout the mission. He initially did this mission for compression technology, but he had benefited much more from it, and the value of the reward was much higher than he expected.
Profit was accompanied by risk. Luckily, he was able to get out of the storm safely.
After so long, Han Xiao finally had the time to digest his reward.
“With the compression technology learned, my combat mode can be evolved to a large extent. I finally won’t have to fight everything myself.”
Inside the machinery modification room, Han Xiao rubbed his hands in anticipation.