In Black Raven Valley Base, the Throne of Gods guild had gathered together for a meeting in-game.
Things had not gone according to plan. As the other beta testers were all preoccupied with leveling up, their call for information had gone unanswered. Just as Jupiter was fuming over what to do, someone shouted, "Leader! The quest hint changed!"
Jupiter gave a start. Upon checking the quest tab, he discovered that the quest location had actually been updated. It now stated that Zero was inside the Western Capital.
"The mission was updated"
Jupiter scratched his head. However, while he was confused, he was not upset. It was the 12th and last day of the beta test, and they had barely made any progress thus far.
"We'll send members to search the Western Capital after the official launch."
Once the game launched, the guild would be able to make full use of its advantage in numbers. With so many members, there was no way that they would not be able to find him.
Jupiter clenched his fists.
"This B-class quest is ours for the taking!"
This was their chance to take a step ahead of their rivals.
In Germinal's headquarters, a report was being read out to the boss.
"Commander Rosa was last heard from in the Western Capital. Another man also disappeared along with him: Lu Gao En, our head contact in Storm Eye. Li Ruo has said that he will find a replacement for him immediately"
"It's Zero," said the boss abruptly. "He silenced Rosa and Lu Gao En in order to keep his exact location a secret. Humph, so you are in the Western Capital. Stardragon's Division 13 must be keeping him under their protection!"
Rosa was the ace assassin of the Germinal Organization, while even Lu Gao En had given the boss a favorable impression. It was a huge loss.
That blasted Zero!
The boss was furious.
'Zero did you think that you would be safe as long as you found protection?'
While he had at first belittled Han Xiao, over time, he had come to recognize the threat that he posed.
According to the analysis of the security footage from the Valkyrie Laboratory, Zero had never displayed any unusual behavior. Where he had gotten hold on their intel from remained a complete mystery.
"Order Storm Eye to pinpoint Zero's location. I don't care if he's hiding within Division 13's HQ, find him no matter what it takes!"
The boss' voice was filled with murderous intent.
As there was no way to know exactly what other vital information Zero possessed, getting rid of him before he caused further damage was the only option.
"Get five commanders and two hundred Night Owls ready to take action as soon as he is found. I will permit the use of guided missiles.
"Zero, you're dead meat!"
'The beta test is ending.'
Frenzied Sword sighed as he watched the countdown timer. If only he could have just a bit more time to train.
Of course, he was overall still quite happy with the progress that he had made. Han Xiao's quests might have been very unseemly, but they sure did give a ton of experience. Furthermore, all the equipment that he had purchased from him helped to boost his combat power significantly.
Although the skill set of the Mechanic class revolved largely around crafting, which he disliked, seeing Han Xiao's strength had given Frenzied Sword all the affirmation that he needed.
'I, too, will gradually become that strong!
'There will be a spot among the pros for me!'
Beta Test Concluded. Countdown to Game's Launch: 122 Days, 1 Hour, 23 Mins.
Han Xiao shook his head upon discovering that the discussion board button had been grayed out.
'Looks like I was right, the amount of time between version changes in the real-world is not synced with my current time.'
"Why are you shaking your head?" asked Gu Hui suddenly. "I wonder what other information you possess."
Han Xiao was currently inside a conference room back at Division 13's headquarters. There were three big shots seated in front of him: Gu Hui, the Division Director, as well as the two heads of the Intelligence Department and the Secret Ops department.
Division 13 had known all along that Han Xiao must possess some degree of combat ability, but he had completely exceeded their wildest imaginations. Yet, what was more perplexing was the degree of ease at which he had been able to single out Lu Gao En.
Lu Gao En had been operating from within the city for over two years without ever leaving a trace. Division 13 had attempted to look for him many times, but they had all ended up in failure. The fact that Han Xiao could so easily locate him served as solid proof that he knew way more than even they themselves.
And so, this meeting had begun. Simply put, Gu Hui wanted to learn more of Han Xiao's intel.
Breaking out of his daze, Han Xiao stroked his chin as he evaded the question. "My location is now exposed. Germinal might not know exactly where I live, but they will definitely send even more killers into the city."
Gu Hui furrowed his brows. Although unsatisfied with Han Xiao's reply, he followed Han Xiao's lead.
"Then what do you intend to do?"
"There's no more need for hide-and-seek. I want to participate in the next operation."
"It's too dangerous!" protested a livid Gu Hui. "If you show yourself, that will only give them the chance to take action."
Han Xiao faked a cough.
"Can we talk alone?"
The two department heads exchanged exasperated glances. 'Do we seem that untrustworthy?'
Han Xiao glanced at his surroundings before whispering, "I can change my appearance."
Gu Hui was visibly shocked.
"You have superpowers"
Han Xiao shook his head.
"I can create a gadget that allows me to alter my looks, so there's no way that they will be able to find me."
'A skin mask? Not a bad idea,' thought Gu Hui. However, Han Xiao sounded as though he meant something more advanced than a simple skin mask that Division 13 already employed.
"Even if you use a mask, it's still too risky. You will have to take it off eventually."
The corner of Han Xiao's lips curled up.
"My mask is more convenient than that."
"Alright, then show it to me before I approve."
There were two reasons behind why Han Xiao wanted in on the action. The first was, of course, for the experience. The second was that he did not want to remain cooped up inside the Western Capital. This was the only way that he would be able to participate in more incidents.
Ever since the assassination attempt, Han Xiao had been spending a lot of time thinking about his next move.
The Black Raven Valley Base was situated near the border of Hesla, one of the Six Nations. It was a major base on a completely different scale from the three sites that Division 13 had taken action on previously. Not only were the security and defenses extremely tight, the commander of the base was a superhuman! He was known as the Sword Phantom, Pan Kuang, a Pugilist close to reaching D-level.
Near Black Raven Valley was a gathering spot for many wanderers known as Black Raven Village Town. It was a beginner starting zone.
Han Xiao planned to destroy Black Raven Valley Base as it would prevent a substantial number of new players from joining the Germinal Organization simply because of the base's proximity. This idea had occurred to him upon discovering the Throne of God's post, after which he had given it some proper thought and became fond of it.
It was not only an act of revenge toward the Germinal boss, but it was also a preemptive strike that would have unseen but deadly impacts.
Han Xiao grinned with glee at the prospect.