1021 The Rise of the Players
“This is the armed forces convoy of the New Moon Financial Group. I’m Commander Feldman. Who are you?”
Hearing this, Maple Moon felt her heart leap with joy.
The guilds had investigated the current status of Planet Harker in advance, and seven organizations occupied the planet and were competing with each other, guarding the planet in different directions. They did not want more people to further divide their resources. If one encountered the armed forces or Star System civilizations, then the difficulty of negotiation would increase.
Having met a financial group off the bat, things would become a lot simpler.
Of course, with the current capabilities of the players, it was impossible for them to investigate such situations alone. All their intelligence was derived from the Black Star Army, allowing them to query for real-time intelligence in the Flickering World. This was an excellent resource provided to the players.
Maple Moon calmed herself and said, “This is an armed force consisting of Sky Territory, Thunder Storm, Rivervale…”
Feldman felt confused.
He had never heard of all these organizations before, nor did he recognize the emblems the players used.
He had no idea where this little ragtag group came from…
Feldman shook his head, speaking in a deep tone. “Planet Harker currently does not welcome any external influences. Please leave immediately before we take drastic measures.”
“You’re mistaken. Our objective is not to set up camp on Planet Harker. You can treat us as mercenaries.” Maple Moon took out the prepared speech. “Didn’t you post a recruitment notice on the Flickering World Regional Channel? We plan to work with your financial group as a hired armed force.”
Feldman felt surprised.
Right now, what the Flickering World had in spades was open positions. Practically all the organizations were desperately trying to recruit armed forces, and those high levelled organizations were the most attractive. Small financial groups like them almost had no chance to recruit anyone in the free competition zone, so he did not expect someone to answer their call.
However, why did they not contact the financial group in advance, instead just turning up? They could not be an unsavory group, right?
Feldman thought about it, shaking his head.
He estimated that the combat strength of this group would not be too good as well, so he did not hold much hope. However, every little bit of strength mattered now.
After a pause, he casually said, “Alright, first tell me about your battle situation, then we’ll consider if you’re worth hiring.”
Maple Moon was so excited. She had to clench her fists together. Acting composed, she replied, “Alright, our joint armed forces have a total of 7,000 Supers, of which 5,800 are Grade B…”
“Hold up, what‽”
For a moment, Feldman thought that he had hearing problems.
7,000 Supers was not a lot by any means, but to actually have 5,800 Grade Bs…
Even the whole of Planet Harker did not possess so many Grade Bs!
From the perspective of Han Xiao, Grade B was only good for cannon fodder, but in the eyes of many of the galactic organizations, a Grade B Super was the core force, enough to even serve as the main combat members.
Back when Han Xiao was still roaming as a mercenary, Grade Bs were already considered experts, great figures in the eyes of the masses.
Even the mercenary groups such as the Purple Gold Army and Sky Ring, before being brought under Han Xiao’s wing, never had more than a few hundred Grade Bs. If not for the two Calamity Grades holding the fort, their battle strength was negligible!
Are they trying to lie to me‽ Feldman’s expression was full of disbelief.
Because guilds such as Rivervale and Long Sky had large numbers of peripheral members, gathering thousands of people was an easy task. The majority of players had also advanced to Grade B when Version 4.0 opened, and those who had not yet reached that grade were newcomers or small-time players.
Maple Moon pretended to ignore him, continuing to speak. “At the same time, we’re a subsidiary organization under the Black Star Army. We were once the Immortals troops under Black Star…”
“Hold up some more! You said that you guys are under the Black Star Army, and the Immortal troops at that‽”
Feldman began to tremble, his mouth agape.
Was this not a group of ragtag mercenaries? Why did they have such huge origins, belonging to Black Star‽
His first response was to think that he had been scammed!
In his eyes, Black Star could be considered a galactic giant, unattainable by mortals. The New Moon Financial Group that he worked for could not even be compared to a fart from Black Star himself, but the Immortal troop from the Black Star Army was their famed trump card, so why would they even run over to accept their employment?
Feldman immediately accessed the public channel of the Black Star Army to check on the information of these organizations. What he saw gave him a huge scare!
Sky Territory, Thunder Storm, Rivervale, and the other organizations mentioned were really semi-independent affiliated organizations of the army. Their members were all made up of Immortals, and they had been registered not too long ago!
On Maple Moon’s side, the other professional players such as Frenzied Sword were observing Feldman’s expression of shock as though he was a frog in a well, and they screamed out internally with pride, feeling greatly satisfied innately.
Just mentioning the name of Black Star made the other party fall into a state of shock.
It’s good to have a backer!
Because of the unparalleled realism within the game, the players could deeply immerse and interest themselves. Seeing the reactions of the NPCs often gave them a sense of accomplishment.
Thus, everyone wished to borrow the prestige of the Black Star Army to improve their own influence. In a general employment relationship, the mercenaries would not have the chance to divide the resources within the planet, but with the name of Black Star, the conditions could be re-negotiated.
The choice to not monopolize the planet, instead cooperating with other organizations, was due to their lack of funds. Mining equipment required money and manpower. If one found an NPC organization to cooperate with, such costs could be avoided. While the players had high personal strength, the NPC organizations still had the advantage in numbers. Thus, it brought out the players’ sincerity in wanting to cooperate.
Seeing that the other party was not responding, Maple Moon could not help but cough loudly. She urged, “How is it? Do you think we’re good enough? If you do not require our services, we can leave.”
Feldman snapped out of his daze as though he was woken up from a dream and anxiously shouted, “No, no, to employ you is our honor. Please follow my instructions to descend. I’ll inform my superiors immediately!”
The moment he spoke, notifications appeared on the interfaces of all the players present, and when they glanced over at them, they gave a small cheer.
“It’s here. The mission has activated!”
“Damn, beautiful work!”
“Haha, I just knew it. This is the way to play the game!”
What appeared on their interface was not an employment mission but a faction mission labelled [Seizing Planet Harker]. The notification indicated that they could choose a faction and aid them in obtaining dominance over the planet. This was a sort of triggered storyline mission.
Very quickly, the player’s fleet followed Feldman to land on a certain base on the surface of Planet Harker. When the players disembarked from their spaceships, they saw a group of officers wearing the uniforms of the New Moon Financial Group waiting, looking excited and nervous.
As the players stepped forward, the people from New Moon Financial Group came up to welcome them. The leader walked up to Maple Moon, stretching out his hand, appearing warm and full of enthusiasm.
“Hello, I’m the Head Supervisor responsible for New Moon Financial Group at Planet Harker. My name is Smedix. On behalf of Planet Harker, welcome.”
“Your name… is quite unique.”
Maple Moon’s mouth twitched as she held back her smile, shaking hands with him.
Smedix did not understand what she meant, but he did not take it to heart either, warmly continuing. “You came at a good time. We’re in dire need of mercenaries now, but I have a small question before that… Your application, is it the Black Star Army’s intention, or is it your own?”
“Both.” Maple Moon’s answer was ambiguous. This question was not within what she expected, but it seemed to be more beneficial toward their side.
“Then let’s talk about the employment cooperation. Do you have any conditions?” Smedix asked.
Maple Moon exchanged a glance with the rest, and nodding, she spoke up. “We hope that this will not be a simple employment. In addition to remuneration, we would like to cooperate in the development of Planet Harker.”
“Cooperative development?” Smedix’s heart jumped as he thought of many things.
If the Black Star Army wished to occupy Planet Harker, with this group as the vanguard, there was no way the New Moon Financial Group could even compete against them.
Right now, Planet Harker could hold seven organizations mainly because everyone there was small in scale. If faced with a bigger organization, there would be no need to fight. All they needed was to tidy up their items, obediently cleaning up the planet to hand it over.
But Smedix thought that cooperation might not be a bad thing, if he was able to hold onto Black Star’s thigh… er… leg hair.
Currently, the strongest entities on Planet Harker were the two Star System civilizations, but because this planet was only their resource collection point, the other organizations could still hold on. If the entire force of the Star System civilization came over, the financial groups would most likely have to move. However, with the protection of this group of Immortals, this was equivalent to borrowing the protective talisman that was the Black Star Army.
With the competition growing more intense, there might even be other organizations that would come over to Planet Harker. A strong backer would prove beneficial to them in the long run.
Thinking such, Smedix made the decision, gravely nodding. “No problem, we will formulate the specific terms here before passing it for your review. Is that ok?”
“Okay.” Maple Moon nodded in return. She was only in charge of the negotiations and did not understand anything about contract law. For that area, their club would have specific talents in such areas. Their club president also had some knowledge on contract law, and in the worst-case scenario, they could search for a template on the quantum network or spend some money for Phillip to check it.
This was the advantage of being in the army. As long as they had money, they could obtain any service. Being rich was certainly the strongest ability one could have.
The New Moon Financial Group vacated an area to serve as the stronghold for the guilds. The next day, both sides arrived at a consensus and signed a formal cooperation agreement.
After signing the contract, the players immediately triggered the corresponding employment missions. Currently, the bulk of their mission lists were related to Planet Harker. Some were triggered by themselves, and others through the New Moon Financial Group. There were also some milestone-related missions released by Han Xiao to incentivize the players, such as ‘Find a planet to build a resource collection point’, which encouraged players to expand their reach like dandelions.
The same matter provided them with so many different types of missions, and if they could complete all of them, the players would obtain a huge reward with half the effort.
After the contract was finalized, Maple Moon and the others approached Smedix to offer their suggestions.
“Since we’re partners, but you have not publicized our origins, the other organizations do not yet know of our identity and strength. This is our advantage, so I hope we can take action immediately to carry out a raid, snatching the resource base.”
Smedix thought about it and nodded. “You’re right. Where are you looking at?”
Maple Moon opened the virtual screen showing Planet Harker and selected a few places. All of them were the resource bases of the other organizations on Planet Harker.
“Y-you guys want to attack so many at once‽” Smedix stuttered.
“Relax, we’re confident.” Hao Tian smirked.
During an interstellar battle, a fleet was important, but the resource bases were on the surface, so Supers were the main focus. Since the entire number of Grade Bs on Planet Harker did not even match up to their numbers, there should not be a problem with battles on multiple fronts.
“… Then we’ll follow your plan. My troops will do their best to cooperate.” Smedix secretly decided to hold tightly onto this leg hair that he had been offered.
The Ursa Civilization was a Star System civilization that lived on the blackhole edge. It had also participated in the competition within the Flickering World, with one of their collection teams being part of the seven on Planet Harker. They were the most powerful and had established several resource bases on the planet.
At the edge of a canyon sat a base with various hovering equipment rising and descending into the canyon to mine resources. A large number of Ursa soldiers were within the base, patrolling around, and artillery and traps were arranged in the periphery, providing a strong fortified defense.
Somewhere in the base, two people in officer uniforms walked slowly as they inspected the base.
“I heard that a small fleet arrived on Planet Harker yesterday, and it was the New Moon Financial Group that received them,” one of them, a bulky figure, said. He was the Head Supervisor of this base, a mid tier officer of Ursa, named Hundejab.
The other was the captain of the Super unit that was stationed at the base. He was a Grade B Super and was specially recruited to the Flickering World. He pursed his lips and casually remarked, “It should be reinforcements from the New Moon Financial Group. The defense captured their fleet markings, and there are no files on those organizations in the Mercenary Alliance. It’s likely that they are some small shrimps.”
Because the players’ guilds were affiliated to the army, Han Xiao did not register them with the Mercenary Alliance. His intention of obscuring it was to turn the army into a platform of a similar nature to the Mercenary Alliance. Thus, their files could only be found on the army’s website, and no one knew of the players’ guilds. The Ursa team did not discover their origins, instead thinking that they were small-time mercenaries.
“Since the New Moon Financial Group has reinforcements, there will definitely be movements,” Hundejab coldly said.
“You’re saying that their target is us?”
“Impossible,” Hundejab flatly replied. “The New Moon Financial Group does not have the guts.”
“Are you that sure?”
Hundejab had a calm expression. “Of course! This is the strongest defensive base here. Not only does it have a lot of defensive measures, but there are also more than seventy Grade B Supers stationed here. If the New Moon Financial Group is smart, they will not attack here even if they had the courage to…”
Before he finished speaking, an explosion rocked the base, and the duo staggered.
“What’s happening!” Hundejab was shocked, immediately boarding a hovering vehicle to observe the situation.
He only saw a large number of anti-gravity vehicles marked with the New Moon Financial Group emblem approaching them at rapid speed. The vehicles were equipped with shields and electromagnetic kinetic weapons, allowing them to ignore the mines placed in the outer area and exchange fire with the base defenders.
The alarm within the base suddenly rang out. “Enemy attack! All personnel, man your posts!”
Hundejab was furious. “The New Moon Financial Group actually dared attack me‽”
He had just made a prediction, and the next second, the enemies had arrived! His expression was ugly, and by the side, the Super saw his commander’s expression and did not provoke him further, simply saying, “I’ll bring the Supers to meet the enemy.”
“Good!” Hundejab gravely nodded.
The Captain of the Supers left, leaving only Hundejab on the scene. He coldly gazed at the approaching enemy forces and regained his confident image.
“Since you dare to target me, I’ll give you a painful lesson!”
Very quickly, the New Moon Financial Group arrived outside the base, and the ground forces of the base also took the initiative to advance and attack with their Supers to halt the advance.
As both sides exchanged fire, they grew closer at a rapid speed. When they were about to collide, an abrupt change occurred!
The ground vehicles leading the New Moon Financial Group suddenly opened their doors, and figures jumped out one after another. There were about a hundred of them, and as they rolled on the ground with the inertia, their bodies suddenly swelled into disproportionate sizes. Their speed increased sharply, and they pierced into the ground forces of the base.
These biochemical aberrations withstood the artillery fire with their thick skin and flesh, and their huge arms seemed to possess endless power, sweeping through all the vehicles in their path.
The ‘Black Star Army Badge: Evolution’ that was derived from the Ovitan Badge was also marked with a thirty-percent discount, allowing the guilds to purchase a large number of them and distribute them to the players.
A hundred of these players entered the [Evolution Limit: Aberration] state and instantly tore the ground troops of the base into pieces!
Hundejab’s expression sank, and he passed down a command. “Let the Supers attack and deal with these monsters!”
On the frontline, the Captain of the Supers led thousands of men onto the battlefield, most of them Grade C and Ds. At the front of the unit were the dozens of Grade Bs as the vanguard.
On the other side, the New Moon Financial Group also launched a charge with their thousands of players.
A medium-scale Super battle was about to break out, and seeing the inferior number of players, Hundejab smiled.
“Their supers only number a quarter of ours. They’re finished!”
Just as he spoke, both sides clashed. But the result was completely contrary to his expectations. His eyes almost popped out in disbelief!
The thousands of players broke out with Grade B combat strength and instantly took the upper hand, killing their enemies freely!
Seeing this scene, Hundejab’s expression changed into one of despair!
“How could there be so many Grade B Supers‽”