Chapter 1156 Nation Saving Plan
The conflict of the Flickering World was seen as a resistance by the Super Star Cluster Alliance toward the three Universal Civilizations’ hegemony. The Galactic Society eventually gave this resistance a formal name – The Flickering War.
For this Flickering War, the Super Star Cluster Alliance had prepared decades in advance. From the first to third exploration phases, they had continuously sent stowaways into the Star Field, establishing secret Stargates. While the three Universal Civilizations were preoccupied with the Intelligent Plague, the Super Star Cluster Alliance had started to prepare war resources, avoiding eyes and ears to establish hidden warehouses in the barren universes at different locations. They even managed to build secret military communication networks.
And today, all of their hidden hands had been connected. The Super Star Cluster Civilizations had built a secret transportation network to deliver lifeblood to the Flickering World, and the secret force that transported the Soul Swap Twins also utilized this secret stargate to arrive at the Shattered Star Ring, leaving no record in the public stargates.
In the temporary detention room of the spaceship, Lagos, the warlord of the Modo Civilization Expedition Fleet, was communicating with the twins to explain the mission.
“… Your mission objective this time is Aesop Hurricane, the adoptive father of the Dragon Emperor and the current Special Consultant for the Black Star Army.”
“Didn’t the superiors call us over to deal with Black Star? Why is it another target now?” the elder brother of the twins said.
“This is part of the plan to deal with Black Star. Aesop is a key figure, and his position is important to the Dragon Emperor. With the relationship between Black Star and Dragon Emperor, we can use this strategy to shift Black Star’s attention away from us,” Lagos solemnly said.
In the past few months, he as well as all the other upper echelons of the exploration army had repeatedly analyzed the pros and cons, finally choosing this method to save their nation.
This battle plan had received approval from the various members of the Military Strategy Department. According to Modo’s current situation, if they wanted Black Star to stop, they could only do so by throwing him into another vortex.
The Modo Civilization was also aware of the name of Aesop. This long-lived man had a strong power of Prophecy and was thus difficult to deal with. But in contrast to going head on with a Beyond Grade A, it was easier to attack Aesop.
It was precisely because of Aesop’s predictive abilities that he had to be specifically targeted. In the past few months, Aesop had paired up with Nero to search the Shattered Star Ring. They had discovered the location of multiple transportation lines dedicated to the Super Star Cluster Alliance, which caused a substantial number of problems for them. If it were not for the fact that the Black Star Army only targeted the Modo Civilization, the overall damage to them would be even larger.
While Nero’s luck also played a huge part, in the eyes of the Super Star Clusters, the main point was still Aesop’s Prophecy that did the work. Thus, even if they could not deal with Black Star, they had to get rid of the problem that was Aesop.
However, the Soul Swap Twins were terribly disappointed.
“I thought that I would be able to directly attack Black Star. I rejoiced for nothing.”
Lagos frowned. “If you went directly against Black Star and failed, you would die immediately. Isn’t targeting Aesop the safer option?”
Hearing this, the Soul Swap Twins displayed sarcastic smiles.
The way they spent their lives was as good as not living. So, why would they care about it?
Black Star was a pinnacle Beyond Grade A, and he would definitely not be easy to deal with, but they did not care about the danger. They only looked at his huge assets and lofty status.
If they could utilize the Soul Swapper to occupy Black Star’s body, all of that would belong to them. Not only would they gain their freedom, but they would also become a top powerhouse in the universe, taking away the foundation of power and strength that Black Star had developed for decades. Compared to their lives, the twins wanted to gamble on this, but there was no need to express their hearts at this time.
“Tell us the process,” the younger brother of the twins said hoarsely.
“Aesop is currently a Special Consultant for the Black Star Army,” Lagos explained. “He is highly guarded, and he has his ability to find any hostile targets, so we will use some forged transportation lines as bait to lure the snake out of its hole. Then, we’ll find a way to allow you to make contact with Aesop. You can then use the Soul Swapper to temporarily distort his thinking and manipulate him to intervene in the conflict of a certain civilization, before asking him to commit suicide. This will anger the Dragon Emperor into pinning the blame on the civilization… We will help to secretly propagate this. All you need to do is to be responsible for your own mission.”
Be it for official or private reasons, Aesop had to die, and his death would be blamed on a Star System level civilization that was protected by a peace treaty. This was for the Dragon Emperor to form some hatred toward the civilization, forcing her to lose control and cause a slaughter due to her anger. Even if the Dragon Emperor did not give in to her grief, she would inevitably have a conflict with the civilization due to her temperament. No matter what, Black Star would turn back to help, and to protect the Dragon Emperor, he might even have to resort to using force. As a result, the Black Star Army would gain another opponent and would have a high probability of withdrawing its armies.
“Understood.” The Soul Swap Twins were noncommittal.
It was not the first time they had done such a thing
Lagos instructed them some more before cutting the communication. The guards then closed the door again to prevent them from moving around.
The Soul Swap Twins glanced at each other, understanding each other’s meaning without needing to speak. This was a chance for them to become free men. The moment they obtained the Soul Swapper, they could escape after finishing their mission. They were not reconciled to spending their lives as tools.
In the office, Han Xiao read the report of the Shattered Star Ring, from time to time looking up at the remote projections of Nero and Aesop in front of him.
“Discovered thirty-eight Super Star Cluster Alliance transportation fleets; completely destroyed two lines of the Modo Civilization and seven secret resource bases, seizing daily supplies, weapons and ammunition. Another eleven suspected transportation routes of the other Super Star Cluster Alliances during the monitoring…” After browsing the report, Han Xiao smiled and praised them. “Well done.”
“It’s all because of your tutelage.” Nero scratched his head as he laughed dumbly.
“You’re now the chief in charge of the Shattered Star Ring. Don’t laugh so stupidly. You have to be more serious, understand?” Han Xiao rapped on the table. Nero immediately straightened his expression.
He was already an adult, but in front of Han Xiao, he behaved in a very relaxed manner, naturally revealing his childish side.
At this moment, Aesop smiled as he said, “I like this kid. He has a lot of potential. Given enough time, he will become quite a unique character. His luck is pretty good.” Han Xiao nodded and asked, “Any forecasts so far from your Prophecy?”.
Aesop shook his head. “It’s still the same foggy sense of danger. Three months have already passed, but they have not seemed to move.”
Han Xiao turned back to Nero. “Take note to increase the collecting of intelligence. At the first sign of trouble, report to me.”
During this period of time, he had analyzed the possible plans of the Modo Civilization and felt that the probability of them attacking him was quite low. It was more likely that they would choose to start with the people around him, so he had strengthened the protection around his mother planet as well as various officers and increased Phillip’s monitoring of the entire army.
Because most of the information was actually reported up by level and might not be able to reach him, he lowered the standard of importance for Phillip to directly report to him. While this might cause his workload to increase, it was a trivial matter for such a period.
“By the way, what did you say to Ames?” Aesop asked. “I’m running everywhere with the Black Star Army right now, but she does not seem to be afraid that I’ll suddenly leave.”
“Oh, I told her that I’m watching you for her. If you run away, then I’ll bring you back.” Han Xiao laughed.
“Tsk, I knew it.” Aesop’s eyes narrowed. “Is she that unconfident of me? The stuff I’ve seen, how could she know more than me? I’ve probably eaten more salt than the amount of rice she has eaten.”
“Then you must feel thirsty a lot,” Han Xiao joked. “From your tone, it seems like you were really intending to slip away.” “I’ve been under house arrest in Floating Dragon for decades. I can’t possibly stay there until the end of my life.” Aesop folded his arms in front of him. “To be honest, with you taking care of Ames, I feel reassured. There’s no need for me to remain here. I took those years of staying as a rest, and now I’m ready to continue my travels.”
Han Xiao did not find it weird at all. For a long-lived species such as Aesop, a decade or two was just like a year or two for a normal person. This old man’s desire for adventure was carved deep into his bones, and he could not settle down in one place forever.
“Then, why don’t you just tell Ames directly? If you are honest and truthful, she definitely won’t stop you.”
“No, no, then she won’t send people after me. That would be so meaningless.”
Aesop shook his head, revealing a gleeful tone akin to someone goading another party to catch him.
Han Xiao was speechless. I suddenly have the desire to beat this old man up…
“Aren’t you afraid that I have preparations made to prevent you from slipping away?” “Haha, even if I tell you, you won’t stop me.” Aesop smiled. “I want to maintain a tacit understanding with her, so I’ll need you to help convey my meaning.” Han Xiao understood. This meant that Aesop was planning to leave without saying goodbye, and he planned to use Han Xiao as a microphone. This was also a way to get back at him. Previously, it was Han Xiao who had caught Aesop, making the latter lose face. Giving himself a reminder before successfully slipping away would settle their debts.
“Then, when are you preparing to leave?”
“I’ll help you with this last task, and once the Flickering War is over, I’ll leave.”
“Hey, when the time comes, I’ll see if you can escape from my palm.” Both of them shared a laugh.
By the side, Nero suddenly felt as though he had become a lightbulb. Han Xiao gave him a few more instructions before hanging up. Thinking about it, he then called Ames. Only two rings had passed before the call connected.
“Oh, busy man, you have the time to chat with me now?”
Ames’ laughter was like a clear spring bubbling through the communicator. “What are you up to?” Han Xiao smiled.
“Practicing the Knowledge you got for me.”
Han Xiao had managed to exchange a Knowledge of the Esper Class, passing it to Ames. She had been studying it diligently. Because ordinary people did not have an interface, they could not do it overnight but had to slowly pore over the research.
The two of them chatted a little before focusing on the trending topic.
“Black Star, how long do you think the Flickering War will last?” Ames was curious.
Han Xiao contemplated. “At least three to five years, a decade or two at max.”
The Super Star Cluster Alliance would not give up so easily. The previous Flickering War lasted for quite a long time. The players were only contracted as agents around the end of Version 4.0, and in the later stages, most of it was reduced to cutscenes as the players went offline.
This time, because of the sudden emergence of the Intelligent Plague, the Super Star Cluster Alliance was more prepared and could resist for a longer period of time. However, with his own intervention, the course of the battle would be shortened. The two factors both affected each other, changing the plot of his previous life. Thus, Han Xiao also found it hard to say how long the alliance could support itself this time.
But the final result should be the same as in his previous life, where it would end with the failure of the Super Star Cluster Alliance. This battle was for them to gain a glimmer of hope, a gamble with a low success rate.
“So long…” Ames sighed. “I originally wanted to invite you to travel to the world of the secondary dimensions, but it seems like you don’t have the time in the next few years.”
“You’re not willing?” Ames tilted her head, her hair spilling over her shoulders like a waterfall.
“Cough cough, I’m actually not that busy. You also know that us Beyond Grade As cannot personally enter the Flickering War. After destroying the Modo Civilization, I’ll be free, and I can accompany you to visit the secondary dimensions…”
… as well as allow Aesop to slip away. Han Xiao finished in his mind.
“Then we have a date.” Ames’ eyes curled up as she smiled.