Chapter 1086 The Definition of a Qualified Second in Command
“This is my collection room.”
As the group walked into the room, Han Xiao spoke. Behind him were the former officers of the Beast Ancestor, including Jotina.
As soon as the field team destroyed the Beast Ancestor’s headquarters, Jotina led her sisters and brothers to express their appreciation to Han Xiao. Han Xiao remembered that he had promised to take them to see Gorutan, so he took them there.
This was the collection room he used to hold his five Beyond Grade A captives. There was the name of each captive on every showcase. They were the church’s ‘Red Devil’ Tolaen; the federation’s ‘Lone Ranger’ Jackornitz, ‘Energy Soul’ Womre, and Hades; and ‘Beast Ancestor’ Gorutan.
The five Beyond Grade A specimens displayed there were the best proof of his achievements. Just this scene alone was enough to shock everyone.
Jotina’s eyes locked onto Gorutan immediately. Seeing that this man she had hated and feared all her life was locked inside the Amber, joy filled her heart.
“You deserve it!”
Jotina clenched her fists with excitement. She felt that this was the happiest day of her life. The dark times in her past seemed to have all been forgotten. The world in her eyes seemed to be colorful once again.
It was like a breeze of fresh air blew past her mind, bringing the mountains of hatred, despair, anger away with it, only leaving the refreshed feeling of hope for a new life.
She turned to look at Han Xiao. Her eyes were filled with admiration and gentleness.
In her eyes, Black Star seemed to be glowing with holiness, like he was the light that would lead her toward a new life.
Feeling Jotina’s passionate sight, Han Xiao’s face trembled slightly.
He did not have much contact with Jotina, but he had a very vivid impression of how direct and passionate she was.
The reward of [Liberate Beast Ancestor’s Organization] had already been given. He had received a lot of Favorability, and he was guessing that Jotina’s loyalty meter to him was almost going to explode.
Han Xiao coughed and said, “Some of you don’t have an exact position yet. Since we just rescued a large group of Beast Ancestor’s young offspring, I shall leave them to you guys to guide. Any problems?”
“Not at all!” Everyone nodded, quite happy about this arrangement.
“Take your time and look around. I have some things to attend to.”
Han Xiao found an excuse to leave alone. Jotina and the others had been troubled by this hatred for many years, so he did not want to disturb them from venting it. Anyway, Phillip would be watching over them. He did not have to stay there.
After returning to his office, Han Xiao pondered about the human resource distribution of the army.
“Currently, the top-tier Calamity Grades under my command are only Hadavy, Lothaire, Feidin, and Jotina. The other ones with potential have yet to grow up. These more than a dozen Beast Ancestor officers are quite important. Together with this group of young children of Beast Ancestor, they will surely form a new faction in the army in the future…”
There were all kinds of factions in the Black Star Army, not including Han Xiao. They could be classified into a few big groups.
One was the elder faction led by Herlous, among which were smaller groups such as Sunils, Godorans, Aquamarinians, and so on. This faction represented the senior members of the army. Another was the academy faction led by Lagi and Nero, formed mostly from the graduates of the Super Academy. They were quite active. Third was the mainstream faction led by the Calamity Grades who joined later on, which was also the largest faction mainly made of official warriors and mercenaries with no backgrounds. Fourth was the political faction led by Sylvia and Reynold, mainly consisting of those who did not take part in the battles but took care of the army’s other matters. They managed the army’s day to day affairs, logistics, economics, and so on.
Jotina and the others would most likely form a Beast Ancestor faction after they stabilized their positions in the army.
As for Hila, since she was always alone, she had no faction. The Black Star Guards had limited influence on the various departments of the army, so they did not form a faction too. Lothaire, who was managing the Assassin’s Society outside the army base, was a secret, so he was not in any factions.
These factions would have conflicted with each other privately, but with Han Xiao’s existence, they all held themselves back. All big organizations had continuous internal conflicts as they expanded, but the Black Star Army was considered a new organization in terms of how long ago it had been formed, so the internal conflicts were not large, limited to internal business conflicts.
Completely getting rid of internal conflicts was impossible. Everyone had their own mindset, and there was no way to ask people to give themselves selflessly. Even pillars like Herlous had their own personal goals—for example, to obtain more benefits for his Sunil race.
Power could change one’s mind. The longer the high-level officers worked for the army, the more they would want to obtain. Furthermore, those Supers who joined the Black Star Army later on came to search for a brighter future in the first place, so no matter how large the cake was, the competition would never disappear.
“It’s the same for the development union. It’s only just been created, so the factions have not formed yet. Once the resources are united to a certain extent, there will definitely be factions…”
He could guess that the three Universal Civilizations would try to infiltrate the Beyond Grade A Association by dividing it, as there would definitely be some who did not agree with the shared battlefront for Beyond Grade As theory. These people would be easier to woo.
Beyond Grade As were all full of pride. The root of factions being formed was the different opinions people had to begin with. The development union was fated to be full of arguments since it was created, but the upper echelons above the position of director all knew how important it was for them to unite. The stage where the association’s resources were linked and united was crucial.
As the vice president, although his position was lower than Manison’s on paper, it did not mean much. How much weight his words carried depended on two things—his overall strength and his influence in the association.
“The resources uniting stage is my chance. I can use my advantage to meet more members and form my own faction, slowly expanding my network to catch up to Manison. As long as there are enough people who support me, I’ll be able to have as big an impact on day-to-day decision making as Manison. It will also be beneficial for me to have consecutive terms in the future too. Furthermore, if I don’t do anything, I might not even be able to maintain the vice president position…”
Han Xiao pondered. He had chosen to take a step back because he wanted to slowly accumulate his advantages.
And now there was a great opportunity right in front of him. Although the three Universal Civilizations had accepted that the development union was legal, Dark Lord’s mission had yet to end.
This meant that Clotti, who was an honorable director on paper, would still attack other members. This would undoubtedly damage the development union’s credibility. This was an act of provocation and contempt from the Universal Civilizations, as well as a way of testing the waters.
“Since this is the case, those neutral Beyond Grade As hired by Super Star Cluster Civilizations will probably be very afraid. This looks like a good opportunity for me to cut in. If I’m able to convince the dynasty’s upper echelons to stop Dark Lord’s mission, not only will I be able to display how important I am as the vice president, but I will also receive favorability from those neutral Beyond Grade As…”
Having thought of this, Han Xiao told Phillip to send a message to all the neutral Beyond Grade As in the association. The message started with some formal greetings and routine questions like “Have you eaten?”. He then brought up the matter regarding Dark Lord.
Although he decided to personally settle this issue, Han Xiao did not want to keep it a secret. Only spare tires would help others quietly in the dark. As for him, he would either not do it or let everyone know he was the one who did it.
Therefore, the Great Mechanic Han first planned to contact these neutral Beyond Grade As who were possible targets of Dark Lord and tell them to bring this matter up in the next meeting when everyone attended. All the Beyond Grade A members would host a meeting together once every so often. The development union made this kind of act official, which was also one of the initial reasons to form this communication platform.
“Speaking of which, Dark Lord captured Traveler, and Traveler put the blame on Sorokin, so the dynasty definitely won’t let this slip easily. I wonder how they’re going to punish the Limitless Financial Group.”
Han Xiao chuckled.
Right at that moment, his communicator rang.
The federation and the church had sent him a message one after the other. The content was the eleventh revision of the terms of bailing their allies.
Han Xiao looked through them. Compared to the initial version, the compensation the federation and the church offered was much richer.
Since he had never given any suggestions, the ones who were in charge of drafting the terms on both sides were almost going mad.
“It’s been quite a few months. I’ve tortured them enough. Time to bring this to a conclusion.”
Han Xiao tutted and changed some terms on both sides, such as swapping some resources compensations into gold-grade blueprints.
The two Universal Civilizations both had a very rich inventory of gold-grade blueprints, so the blueprints they would be willing to give out were not crucial ones. However, this was not important to Han Xiao at all as it was just a source of God’s Trait Transformation Points.
As soon as the two price lists were sent, the people of the federation and the church were immediately overjoyed. With no hesitation, they sent a communication request and started an official negotiation with Han Xiao.
This time, Han Xiao did not torture them. After some negotiation, an agreement was made. He would receive three Universal Treasure Grade blueprints.
The captives he planned to return first were Tolaen and Hades, one for each side.
He did not sell the federation’s allies to the church. Although this would be quite a useful move, it had its cons.
Anyway, he still had two more federation captives. What Han Xiao needed now was influence over the Universal Civilizations to improve his position in the development union, and the best way to do that was to not make any moves. As long as the captives were still in his hands, the Federation of Light would have to give him face to a certain extent, and the church would still have hope about him selling the federation’s allies to them. Therefore, he was not going to let go of all the captives easily.
After confirming the agreement, Han Xiao looked at these two relieved diplomatic officials and slowly said, “I shall wait for the day of your public apologies.’
Public apologies from the federation and the church were the first terms on the compensation agreements.
“Surely, please pay attention to the news.”
The two diplomatic officials bade farewell in their own traditional ways before ending the call. Their remote projections disappeared.
Han Xiao leaned back, crossed his legs, and murmured, “The federation and the church have compromised. For the time being, the dynasty will also follow through with their decision to make selling the Evolutionary Totems public to mend their relationship with me. They won’t be targeting the development union on the surface. From the way it looks, the three Universal Civilizations are not going to cause any problems for quite a while…”
He knew the characteristics of the three Universal Civilizations very well, so he knew that this peace would last a few months to a year.
However, this would only be calm before the storm, as the three Universal Civilizations still had an arch enemy to deal with—the Super Star Cluster Alliance, which had been keeping a low profile and expanding in the free competition zone.
Once the three Universal Civilizations were ready, they would certainly deal the Super Star Cluster Alliance a heavy blow, and it would not be the same gentle way they dealt with the development union. They definitely would not hold back, to eliminate the unrealistic ambition of these Super Star Cluster Civilizations. It could also be said that the three Universal Civilizations were only forgiving about the Beyond Grade As because the Super Star Cluster Alliance was their top priority.
“In this brief window, I’ll have to keep building my advantages.”
Han Xiao looked at the interface. He had been receiving tons of EXP every single day. Although the cost of leveling up from level 320 to 340 was outrageous, in the face of his merciless leek harvesting machine, he would have enough sooner or later.
The players had become familiar with the Flickering World version, exploring while fighting one another. It was intense.
Han Xiao planned to make their game experience richer, so he wanted to host the Army Tournament that he had come up with some time ago and make it a large festival event for the faction.
The happier the players were, the more motivated they would be to contribute more EXP to him.
At the same time, at a certain hidden location in Black Star Palace, a player called Paradise Disco was led by two mechanical soldiers through multiple security checks and down a dark corridor.
There were no decorations in this corridor at all, only pale white lights that extended deeper ahead. At the end of the corridor was a metal wall and a turning corner. No sound could be heard other than their footsteps.
Feeling the cold and frightening atmosphere, Paradise Disco could not help but ask, “Buddy, where are we going?”
The two mechanical soldiers had no intention to reply and continued walking in synchronized steps.
“What’s so secretive?” Paradise Disco opened the interface and mumbled, “What on earth is this mission anyway?”
On the mission list, a mission called [Special Experiment] was glowing.
To Paradise Disco’s recollection, this mission was suddenly triggered, and he did not do anything. It asked him to follow random mechanical soldiers to the destined location to carry out a special experiment, and that was all the introduction the mission had. The reward was exorbitant. It was about the reward of seven to eight Grade B missions.
Curiosity drove him to accept the mission, and on the way to the destination, he never stopped guessing.
Did I come across the secrets of the Black Star Army?
Has the army actually been carrying out some kind of forbidden secret experiment?
Why did I trigger it?
While he was making wild guesses, the mechanical soldiers in front of him stopped, and before them was an ordinary alloy gate.
After passing the identity scan, the gate opened. Paradise Disco quickly looked in, and a white lab entered his sights.
At this time, there was another player in the room, and he looked over too. The two of them looked at each other and were both slightly stunned.
“You accepted the mission too?”
“Special Experiment, right?”
“Yes, yes, that’s the one. Do you know the details?”
“No idea, I’ve only just arrived too.”
“It’s so mysterious. I love it.”
The two of them chattered and exchanged information. They became even more intrigued.
Since they had come to such a secret place in the headquarters, it could be no ordinary matter.
At this time, a team of mechanical soldiers pushed two life-sustaining cabins in. Two mechanical soldiers then took out two facial devices that blocked the wearer’s senses and passed them to the two players.
The leading mechanical soldier captain said, “Lie in the cabin, wear the mask, and wait for the experiment to start.”
The two players exchanged looks and, suppressing their curiosity, went inside the cabins.
Paradise Disco put on the mask and instantly fell into darkness. His vision, hearing, and smell were all gone. He had no way of knowing what was happening in the outside world.
Both of his hands and legs were locked up tight; he could not move at all.
Time went by extremely slow in this state. Every second felt like years.
Paradise Disco became even more curious. He almost wanted to break the restraints a few times and see what was happening. However, the heavy failure punishment of this mission discouraged him from doing so.
Just as he was about to get impatient, a notification suddenly popped up on the interface.
Your Grade B+ Potential Esper Ability [Physique Enhancement—Bone and Muscle Inflation] has been taken away!
You have entered [Ability Frozen] state. You are not able to use any abilities related to your Esper Ability.
Paradise Disco was shocked and appalled.