Chapter 1012 The First Shot in the Flickering World
The logistics fleet was made up of mainly transport ships, cargo ships, and industrial ships, which were all rather large. Although they were also equipped with weapons and shields, their mobility and firepower could not match up to the combat spaceships with the same technology level. Therefore, they hid in the center of the formation, protected by the armed fleet.
At this point of time, some of the logistics spaceships were virtually hacked, bashing at the guard ships, instantly tearing up the Expedition Fleet’s formation. And these ships’ weapons were put to use, too, firing continuously at the back of the guard ships.
As the exterior part of the armed fleet did not put much energy into their rear shields, they were immediately damaged. Many divisions burst into panic.
“Control these spaceships, hold on! Other spaceships, strengthen the artificial intelligence firewall immediately, and increase the system self-check frequency!” Roddick did not have time to think about anything else. He quickly commanded the fleet to deal with this sudden situation.
Beyond Grade A Virtual Mechanics had always been weapons of mass destruction in galactic wars that no fleet would want to face.
The most direct solution would be to turn off the artificial intelligence on all of the spaceships, but in that case, the chain of command would collapse, which would be no different from suicide.
Currently, controlling the spaceships and their communication with the quantum network was the best method. Although other methods such as magic or biological systems existed, they had more shortcomings.
For example, magic could be used to modify spaceships into an organism, but the cost of doing so would be many times more expensive, and the efficiency in controlling such spaceships was much lower than the quantum network technology, not to mention their vastly inferior communication distance and efficiency. Also, they would not be as secure as the firewall of the quantum network and would just be as fragile when facing Mages or Psychics.
All the civilizations in the universe had methods to prevent Virtual Intrusion, but whether it would work or not depended on how strong the opponent was.
Facing Han Xiao, who was now a peak Beyond Grade A, the artificial intelligence defense measures of the Modo Civilization clearly could not last; it could only stall for time until the other spaceships were hacked but not truly prevent Han Xiao from intruding. No matter how much they struggled, their lines of defense would still be penetrated one after another.
As for the spaceships that Han Xiao had already gained control of, taking them back was an almost impossible mission.
In the battlefield, the Expedition Fleet was being attacked from both sides. They had no choice but to send a part of their fleet to turn around and contain the panic caused by the haywire spaceships. The situation became very chaotic, and the Modo Civilization fleet was slowly losing their grip.
Some of the out of control spaceships penetrated the formation and were obtained by the attacker. The rest launched suicidal attacks not just on the guard ships around but also on the other logistic spaceships that had yet to lose control.
To prevent more damage, Roddick had no choice but to order the destruction of some logistic spaceships. Watching those logistic ships with key resources turn into fireworks in the cosmic space, his face was almost twisted.
There were people everywhere in the Flickering World. Although this route was unpopular, there were still people who passed by. The impact created by this battlefield spread out and very quickly attracted the attention of quite many fleets that passed by.
Most did not want to get dragged into this mess and hastily left.
But there were also some organizations that cautiously moved closer to watch from afar. Seeing the symbol of the Modo Civilization on the fleet, they chattered in the public communication channel.
“The Modo Civilization’s fleet has been attacked?”
“Who did this? Who dares mess with a Super Star Cluster civilization and still seems to have the upper hand?”
“We’ve just entered the Flickering World, but this attacker already has such a large fleet, so it can basically be confirmed that the attacker is from the dynasty.”
“The attacker hid their organization symbol, so we don’t know who it is.”
“Tsk, the very reason they hid their identity is to make sure not to leave any evidence. Watch what you say, and don’t get into trouble.”
Although these organizations that were passing by were gossiping, none of them would interfere—no one wanted to get into trouble.
As the intense battle carried on, Roddick made his fleet keep moving while fighting. The battlefield kept moving closer to the location of the next stargate station.
There were dynasty fleets stationed at the stargate station. Although Roddick knew that the attacker definitely had something to do with the dynasty, the dynasty could not attack the Modo Civilization publicly, or the negative impact would be too big. Not only would that affect the dynasty’s promise to open the Flickering World freely, it would also be a stain on their politics.
Growing up in a Super Star Cluster civilization, he knew all too well about what the three Universal Civilizations were like. In his eyes, not only were the three Universal Civilizations bullies, they also wanted to maintain a good image so that their position as rulers would be approved.
With such a large crowd watching, Roddick knew that the stargate station’s dynasty fleet had to reinforce him. Therefore, as long as he could move close enough to the stargate station, he would be able to force the attacker to retreat.
After the battle lasted a while longer, the attacker finally stopped the attacks and backed out of the battlefield. The fleet then entered hyperdrive one after another, turning into streams of light and disappearing.
“They’ve run away.” Seeing this, only then did Lagos’ uptight body relax. He said with hesitation, “Shall we chase them?”
“We can’t. This isn’t our territory.”
Although Roddick was furious, he did not lose his senses. He clenched his teeth and said, “Clean up the battlefield, and calculate the losses.”
The losses were very quickly calculated. The aide-de-camp walked to his side, not daring to look into Roddick’s eyes, and cautiously reported.
“Sir, we have lost eight percent of the armed guard ships. Twenty-nine percent of the armed guard ships suffered various extents of damage. They’re currently being repaired. The logistics fleet has lost thirty-seven percent of its spaceships, fifteen percent of which were captured by the enemy, mainly transport ships…”
Roddick almost fainted.
The logistics fleet had lost more than one third of its spaceships all at once. This ambush had caused seriously heavy losses!
“Unbelievable!” The Three Kings’ expressions were as furious as could be. The communication did not hang up throughout, and they had witnessed the entire process of the Expedition Fleet being heavily damaged.
The three of them had high hopes for the Expedition Fleet and Roddick, yet they had suffered such a huge loss so soon after entering the Flickering World. The Three Kings’ disappointment and anger at Roddick was clearly expressed in their tones and expressions.
“Sorry, this is a dereliction of duty on my part.” Roddick hastily turned around, clenched his teeth, and accepted this as his fault.
As the commander, there was no way Roddick could get away from being blamed for this. It was not like he could blame the enemies for setting up a trap there. No matter what justifiable reasons he had, a huge loss was a huge loss, and not being able to protect the logistic fleet was a fact. If he still tried to reason, it would very easily give the Three Kings an impression of him ‘making excuses’. Therefore, no matter how justified this loss was, he could only put up with it and accept the loss.
“We let you lead the Expedition Fleet because we trusted your abilities, but your performance is making us doubt if this was the right decision,” one of the Three Kings growled.
Roddick did not dare talk back to his leaders at all; he could only stand there, take the scolding, and promise that he would definitely keep in mind in the future.
After giving Roddick a scolding, the Three Kings of Modo then told him to quickly settle the following issues before ending the call.
Roddick finally stood up. He was about to explode with rage.
He knew that he had left a bad impression on his bosses because of this. If he could not make up for it, his future would undoubtedly be filled with darkness.
The room was filled with a cold atmosphere. Everyone present looked at Roddick while shivering. Roddick was supposed to give the next order to the fleet, but no one dared get on his nerves now.
Lagos coughed, having no choice, and said, “The dynasty only has so many Beyond Grade A Mechanics. Although the enemy used Virtual Intrusion, he did not appear. According to the enemy’s Virtual Intrusion speed, I’m guessing it’s most likely Black Star.”
“You don’t have to guess. It’s him!” Roddick’s tone was cold and filled with rage.
“Sadly, we don’t have any evidence. He…”
“So what if we do have evidence‽” Roddick interrupted him and ground his teeth.
Even though they knew that the attackers were almost definitely the Black Star Army, it was no use. The Flickering World was their territory. With the forces he had here, messing with the Black Star Army would basically be suicide.
Earlier, Roddick had tried to board the enemy ships and capture the opponent’s crew as evidence, but the attackers kept their distance and did not allow him to do so. To him, even if there was evidence, it would not affect the Black Star Army much if at all. In the Flickering World, the Black Star Army could do almost whatever they wanted!
Although the Modo Civilization was a Super Star Cluster civilization, their base was in the Primeval Star River, which was far from the Shattered Star Ring and the Flickering World. No matter how strong their forces were, there would be nothing they could do to the Black Star Army. Furthermore, they were not universal civilizations, which had a ton of Beyond Grade A allies, so there was nothing they could do to Black Star personally.
So, they knew who the attacker was, but there was nothing they could do. They had no choice but to watch themselves get targeted.
Roddick took a few deep breaths, suddenly turned around, and glared at Lagos. “Contact Garoze. I want to question him personally about why he didn’t join the battle!”
He had no choice but to vent his anger on someone. Nonetheless, Garoze was indeed partially responsible for not joining the fight despite being so close. Roddick had no idea what the hell was wrong with Garoze. His rage was reasonable.
Lagos then contacted Garoze again. The call quickly got picked up, and Garoze appeared on the screen.
“Give me a reason!” Roddick yelled furiously.
Garoze frowned and coldly said, “Watch your tone.”
When facing Black Star who he could not mess with, his attitude was full of respect. However, when facing Roddick, he immediately found the pride of a Beyond Grade A.
There was just one word to describe him—pragmatic.
“Why did you watch on the side?”
“I’ll cancel the job with your boss.” Garoze did not explain himself and immediately hung up the communication.
When he accepted the hire, he thought that the mission would just be to deal with the competition with other outside organizations. Never did he expect to have to deal with Black Star. Hence, this job became unprofitable, so he did not want to do it anymore. Even if he would incur some losses due to breaching the contract, it would be better than getting involved in the conflict between the Modo Civilization and the Black Star Army.
Since he was about to cancel the job, of course, he was not going to expose Black Star. It would be idiotic to offend both sides. Since he had chosen to be on one side, he was going to stand by it.
Furthermore, he did not want to admit that he was afraid of Black Star, so he did not want to tell any outsider the reason.
However, this arrogant and superior attitude made Roddick’s blood pressure, which had just decreased a little, skyrocket again!
Oh, so you think that my position is not even high enough for you to give me an explanation‽
Roddick was trembling with rage, and his fists were clenched tightly.
“We have lost a lot of devices and resources, so we can only turn to the supplies in the stronghold in the Shattered Star Ring, which will definitely slow us down. This will have way too big an effect on our plan,” Lagos said with a frown.
All the organizations were competing. By being behind others from the start, how much potential profit would they lose? Lagos did not dare think too much about it.
It could be said that the Modo Civilization’s plan in the Flickering World was completely shattered by this attack!
At this time, the dynasty’s patrolling fleet that was responsible for maintaining order finally came. They sent a communication request, and a dynasty officer appeared on the screen.
“We have detected energy reactions of a battle. What happened here?”
Roddick took a deep breath and explained what had happened with a long face.
The dynasty officer nodded. “We understand the situation and will immediately send out men to track the attackers. We will notify you as soon as we find anything.”
Then, the dynasty’s patrol fleet turned around and scattered in the attacker’s direction.
It looked like they were sincere, but Roddick and Lagos both knew that this would certainly not lead to anything at all.
At the same time, some of the attackers stopped in a certain area and entered stealth mode. They then gathered the seized logistics spaceships together and started moving the resources in them.
The captured Modo Civilization crew members were all chased into a spaceship with its communication signals cut off, and all their devices were confiscated. These captives looked around at the armored warriors with panic.
This time, an armored warrior stepped forward, took off his helmet, and exposed his childish face. It was Nero.
Seeing him, the crowd immediately made a fuss. Some of them had seen Nero’s data before, so they instantly knew that the attackers were from the Black Star Army.
Nero looked around and tried his best to make a serious expression, which only made his childish face more adorable.
“Now, there are two paths ahead of you. First, death. Second, give up your freedom in exchange for your life and work for us forever.”
The crowd went silent. At this time, a voice sounded.
“Are you not afraid of us betraying you?”
Nero squinted. “Who’s talking?”
A short man walked out and softly said, “I’m the vice logistics manager of this fleet, also the leader of the engineering technical team. I’m a high-level engineer.”
Nero’s eyes sparkled.
It seems like we captured one of their high-level technical officers.
“You don’t have to worry about that. You won’t have any chance to come in contact with the outside world. You’ll forever become the shadows of the army,” Nero said slowly. “Those who are not willing, we won’t force you. The hatch is right there; jump into the cosmic space yourself. Make your choice now.”
“Looks like we don’t have a choice,” the vice logistics manager said with resignation.
The people exchanged glances. Without much hesitation, all of them chose the second option.
Very soon, Nero picked out the technical personnel. They were all useful people who would be secretly working for the army to make use of their remaining value.
As for the other crew members, following Han Xiao’s orders, they would be sent to the Kunde Race’s planet. Whether they became slaves or were torn into pieces by the Kunde Race, it made no difference. One way or another, they were tools for the Kunde Race to vent their anger.
Since these people had taken part in the Modo Civilization’s expedition, they were mostly soldiers. Maybe they did not know about the Kunde Race incident, but they were definitely not innocent. Whatever their civilization owed, they would be the ones paying for it. Being soft hearted did not exist in the process of revenge.
Han Xiao, who was heading toward Black Star Palace, received Phillip’s brief report. He nodded with satisfaction.
“Now it will be even more difficult for the Modo Civilization to develop in the Flickering World.”
Han Xiao had ordered a fleet to hide their identity and attack the Modo Civilization’s expedition team. As long as they did not leave any conclusive evidence, even if the Modo Civilization knew that he was behind this, he would not be affected.
He did not plan to wipe out Roddick’s fleet—he could not completely annihilate the Modo Civilization’s hope.
He would only be able to carry out long-term revenge if the Modo Civilization continued to put resources into the Flickering World. If they really decided to give up on the Flickering World, he would have to go to their territory in the Primeval Star River to deal with the Modo Civilization, which would be way too troublesome.
Cutting meat with blunt knives was the most torturous…
According to his memories of his previous life, the competition between external organizations would only become more and more intense. There would be many more incidents where people hid their identities to attack other organizations.
Today, this is me firing the first shot in the Flickering World…
A flash of light sparkled in Han Xiao’s eyes.
So, just you wait. This is only the beginning. There’s plenty more to come.