"Just give it a try."
Lambert cut Li Ya Lin off as he bent down to unmask the agent. To their alarm, the man did not have a face, or rather, he did not have any facial features.
"What what is this"
Li Yao was horror-struck. They proceeded to unmask the remaining 9 men, and they were all faceless!
Suddenly, a change occurred in the first man that Han Xiao had asked them to unmask. As the mark of a black spider slowly appeared on his face, facial features also began to form, and it soon became clear that it looked exactly like Black Spider's face. Next, the wounds on this person actually began to heal up, and after a while, this 'corpse's' eyelids began to move!
"Blow his brains up!" Han Xiao instructed firmly.
Lambert fired without hesitation.
They proceeded to listen to Han Xiao and repeat the same procedure one by one on whichever faceless man the same signs next appeared on. Li Ya Lin and Li Yao were thoroughly shocked by what was happening, but they suppressed their doubts and carried out Han Xiao's instructions.
Although they had no idea how Han Xiao knew of Black Spider's secret; he, without a doubt, knew his stuff.
When there was only one faceless man left, Han Xiao stopped them.
"Don't kill him. Just cripple him."
When the mark of the black spider and Black Spider's face formed completely on the faceless man, he opened his eyes in horror and shouted, "How do you all know my superpowers"
The name of his ability was [Parasitic Copy].
It allowed him to create a faceless copy out of himself after a certain period of time. The copy did not possess intelligence and could only operate and follow simple instructions within a fixed radius of himself.
Each copy that Black Spider had was like an extra life, and he could reincarnate indefinitely as long as a copy still existed. In this manner, he was virtually immortal.
While this ability did not have any direct offensive use, what it did was alter Black Spider's very life-form and free him from the restraints of flesh and blood, turning him into a force of consciousness that could reside in any of his copies.
As long as a copy existed, he was invincible!
It was his greatest secret, and one that he would never divulge to anyone.
How could anyone have figured it out
Han Xiao laughed at the sight of Black Spider's dumbfounded and horrified face on the feed. If it had been some other mini-boss, he might not have been able to recall their abilities, but Black Spider had been a headache for countless players in the game, so he left a lasting impression.
At present, Black Spider had actually not even mastered his power, making it the perfect time to deal with him. Nonetheless, it was a superpower with extremely high potential. Who knows what someone who had mastered it would be capable of. Not even Han Xiao knew, as Black Spider had died early in the game as wellnot this early though, of course.
How did he die?
Black Spider's power might have been tricky to deal with, but there were still ways to deal with it. Since he had transcended flesh to become purely 'soul', one could simply damage his soul directly to cripple his wings. Still, superhumans with soul-damaging abilities were far and few in Galaxy, so most players remained incapable of killing him easily. This was why he was considered one of the 'Hardest Bosses to Kill" in Version 1.0.
And of course, Black Spider considered himself so as well... until he met Hila.
Out of all the classes, Espers were the ones who possessed all sorts of extraordinary abilities. Unlike the other four superhuman classes, Espers only needed to consume gene awakening drugs instead of learning knowledge in order to unlock their abilities. Each character in Galaxy was given one chance to take the gene awakening drug, and if it failed, that character would never be able to switch classes to become an Esper again.
The success rate would depend on the type of gene awakening drug used, and as you might have guessed, this was indeed a pay-to-win feature.
Even the lowest grade gene awakening drugs went for as high as 398 dollars, and the [Ultra-Perfect-Deluxe Gene Awakening Elixir], the awakening drug with the highest success rate, was worth well over 5,000 dollars despite it only having an 18% success rate without guarantees.
It was truly a money spinner for the game's company.
Previously, Han Xiao had also tried his hand at switching to an Esper. Unfortunately, the only result that he arrived at was that Esper players were all filthy rich.
Black Spider quickly calmed down and threatened, "I have unlimited copies. Even if you destroy this body, you won't be able to kill me! Mark my words! I will definitely hunt you down for the rest of your lives!"
Lambert was about to raise his gun when Han Xiao hurriedly stopped him.
"Follow my instructions..."
As Li Ya Lin listened to Han Xiao, she suddenly began to act high and all-knowing as she replied to Black Spider, "Unlimited copies? Stop trying to scare people. You can have at most have 50 bodies! Apart from the 10 here, the rest are scattered across the globe!"
Black Spider's eyes grew wide with disbelief. Figuring out the nature of his powers was one thing, but to actually know such secret information? How was that possible Black Spider's mind was racing.
Someone knows everything about my powers!
Who? Who could it be?
Could it be... an Esper who can read minds?
Li Ya Lin continued, "As long as we don't kill this copy of you, we can lock you up for as long as we want!"
Black Spider's face changed, and he immediately attempted to bite his own tongue off to avoid his impending fate. Unfortunately, Lambert was a step faster, and he managed to restrain him.
Unable to even end his own life, Black Spider could only glare hatefully at Li Ya Lin.
At this point in time, the trio had the same questions in their mind.
Who exactly is Han Xiao?
Why does Division 13 treat his identity with such secrecy?
How does he possess such secretive information?
A cleanup crew soon arrived to put a straitjacket over Black Spider and take him back.
At the same time, Han Xiao, who was relaxing in the faraway base, received a mission completion notification.
You have completed the E-Class mission, 'Black Spider', earning 5,000 experience.
You have fulfilled the secret condition: "Take Black Spider in Alive", earning 40,000 experience or a Soul Stabilizer.
The Soul Stabilizer had the effect of raising spiritual resistance, granting the user immunity to mental and spiritual attacks. It was a piece of equipment that was particularly useful against magic users.
As there were no mages or psychics on Aquamarine, the Soul Stabilizer was not really of much use to Han Xiao for now, so he naturally selected the more practical reward of 40,000 experience.
What about Hila, you ask? That would still be thinking too far ahead.
Not bad at all. Han Xiao smiled to himself.
The trio finally arrived back at the secret-ops HQ. Li Ya Lin rushed into the room and asked Han Xiao with wide, curious eyes, "How did you know that Black Spider was a superhuman?"
Han Xiao laughed enigmatically.
"I'll tell you for one million dollars," he offered, frustrating Li Ya Lin.
"Whatever. Oh right, what are we going to do about him?"
Li Yao shook his head.
"I heard that the higher-ups want to send him to Death's Door Island and lock him up forever."
Death's Door Island was a maximum security prison that the Six Nations established together. It was located in the middle of an ocean, making it impossible to escape from. Only those that the Six Nations deemed the most dangerous were sent thereevil individuals, warlords of the Wanderers Army, and other important figureheads.
Death's Door Island was so named as a sentence to the island was essentially a death sentence, except that it was worsedeath would actually be an escape.
Han Xiao was pleased with the arrangement, as there was truly no other way to keep him from coming after them for revenge.
At the end of the day, the team's first operation together was a perfect success, and after tidying up, everyone made their own way home.
Han Xiao, too, was about to leave when, suddenly, Feng Jun came up to him with a worried look.
"Internal affairs wants to ask you a few questions."
"Haven't I proved my trustworthiness?" asked Han Xiao.
"The internal affairs department appealed for a second interrogation. As it is within reason for them to do so, the higher-ups did not object. As you know, your previous identity is a sensitive topic."
"The higher-ups are split in two on the matter of yourself," he added softly. "While departments like intelligence and logistics think a friendly relationship is more beneficial, the hardliners led by internal affairs think otherwise."
Han Xiao sighed. Where there is people there will be conflict.
At internal affairs, Han Xiao had his height and weight taken again before being brought to an interrogation room, where a sole investigator awaited him.
The veins on the investigator's temple bulged.
"30... no, I mean 31."
The investigator slammed the table.
"Stop playing a fool!"
"Why ask all these pointless things? Can we just go straight to the point?"
"Continue. Family relationships," the investigator continued through gritted teeth.
"I'm an orphan. No relatives."
"Where were you born?"
"Nonsense! We didn't find any record of your birth!"
"Go ask your superior," Han Xiao replied plainly.
Obviously, the higher-ups would not divulge Han Xiao's information to a normal member of staff. This interrogation was simply the internal affairs department's idea of giving him a warning.
The investigator was being given instructions through his earpiece, and he suppressed his anger to proceed with the psychological assessment.
The investigator gave Han Xiao a number of hypothetical scenarios for him to say what he would do in each of them. Han Xiao, however, was not cooperative and gave random answers.
Finally, the interrogation ended.
As the investigator sealed the compiled information in an envelope, he coldly told Han Xiao, "The internal affairs department is always watching you. Pray we don't find anything on you."
"So you mean you currently have nothing, and can't take any action against me?" taunted Han Xiao, before leaving the room in high spirits.
The investigator's face instantly darkened, and his hands shook with fury as he clutched the envelope.