Chapter 527: Tense Atmosphere
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“So, it’s like that…” Nagakin breathed in deeply.
Since the Godoran team had just arrived, they required intelligence. Everyone gathered within a meeting room, and in the next ten minutes, Han Xiao described the events over the past one month leading up to the mutation disaster. He also talked about the current situation of Planet Aquamarine, allowing Nagakin to better understand the situation.
“Black Star, you should have read the regional news. Not only is the disaster taking place on this planet, the War Bureau and Investigation Department have deployed many more teams as disaster relief as well. With so many planets suffering from disasters, we feel that this incident is embarrassing for us, so there’s someone of my level leading the entire party,” Nagakin said in a low tone. “Previously, you explained the principle behind the mutation source to me. This sort of biochemical weapon is rarely seen, and while I do not know where you got your intelligence from, I believe you have some clues about what is happening behind the scenes.”
Han Xiao’s eyes lit up. In his previous life, Godora did not understand the purpose of the mutation disaster, so their initial efficiency in providing disaster relief was low. This allowed the Mutation Source to grow uninhibited. Currently, his intelligence had pointed out a proper path for the Godorans to follow, which would undoubtedly increase the progress bar of the [Mutation Disaster] Mission. The overall damage for this storyline might be much less than in his previous lifetime.
However, telling them this intelligence had both pros and cons. It was not the opportune time to reveal all his cards, but Godora required some intelligence in order for them to begin their work. Thus, Nagakin connected the dots and was convinced that Han Xiao knew more about this matter.
As for the fact that the Mutation Disaster was a scheme of DarkStar, Han Xiao did not even plan to tell Godora that!
There were many reasons for this. The most crucial point behind this was that he could not obtain many benefits yet, as well as the fact that DarkStar’s schemes existed through many layers. This was only the start, and based on his past life, even if he told Godora that the mutation source was placed by DarkStar, they would only realize the conspiracy the moment DarkStar launched their plans. It was as good as not telling them anything.
While Han Xiao understood the plans of DarkStar, he was clear that if he went out with everything, it would exceed the scope of what was deemed reasonable. Even a foreseer would not be able to provide such detailed intelligence. This would only make Godora suspect that he had a special channel to obtain intelligence, with the final result of attracting trouble to himself. The disadvantages outweighed the benefits; thus, Han Xiao did not plan to help Godora understand that this was a plot by DarkStar. Rather, he wanted them to fall into the trap, which would suit his own benefits.
DarkStar bought the Mutation Source as a tool to ignite a disaster, and they rode on its uniqueness that there was no quick way to resolve this. The only method would be for them to hand out the original mutation source in their hands and allow Godora to manufacture a cure.
In order to maximize his benefits, he naturally could not hand the item over when the danger had not struck. Only when Godora fell into the trap and were pressed for time could he then reveal the mutation source, allowing him to obtain the most benefits.
As for the suspicion from the other party when he handed over the mutation source, Han Xiao had long made preparations for it. During the incident of the Secret Message Bead, Han Xiao had implicated Floating Dragon in the entire affair. As for the source in his hands, it could be explained as Floating Dragon helping him to unlock the bead and keeping the thing safe. Thus, he took the benefits into his own hands while making Floating Dragon the scapegoat.
Based on the position of Ames, DarkStar would not dare go against her, and Godora could not be bothered either way. Thus, his danger level would decrease—he might even allow Floating Dragon to have higher favorability in the Godoran eyes! Han Xiao was almost touched himself by the thought he put into the plan.
The thoughts flashed by in an instant, and Han Xiao did not show any abnormalities in his facial expression. He smoothly replied to Nagakin, “You’re mistaken. I once witnessed such a large-scale deployment of such biochemical weapons during one of my missions, so I went to the intelligence department to collate information. At the same time, because I’m a scholar member of the [Spacetime Research Council], I managed to obtain similar examples from within their repositories. However, I do not know the culprit behind this biochemical attack….
Pausing for a moment, Han Xiao shook his head before continuing. “But this matter is indeed fishy. If you asked me to make a guess, I would probably point this to your enemy DarkStar.”
“I was thinking of the exact same thing! DarkStar has always been against us, but they suddenly started to hide and turtle up two years ago.” Nagakin solemnly nodded in response. “I believe there must be a greater scheme behind this whole thing… Unfortunately, we have no evidence that they are behind this.”
Han Xiao lightly laughed. “With their lousy character, I believe they are bursting from trying to hold in the fact that this is their scheme.”
Hearing this, Nagakin’s face showed frustration. It was true—DarkStar did not care about pleasantries at all.
“In any case, we must provide disaster relief.” Han Xiao lightly skipped over the topic, leaving Nagakin to stew over if DarkStar was behind this plot; he had suggested enough. “We can cooperate. I arrived earlier than you guys by a few days. In my opinion, we can arrange our current problems into two jobs….”
Nagakin reined in his emotions, listening carefully. If the person suggesting the plan had been from the Six Nations, then he likely would not have adopted it but followed his own plans. However, Black Star was different. He had obtained the qualifications to have a dialogue of equals with him, so Nagakin was willing to listen to Han Xiao.
“The first would be to treat and save the refugees. I’ve already started on this, and at the moment, it seems pretty effective. However, there are more than a billion people on this planet, with hundreds of millions of people in danger. In places that our eyes don’t reach, there might be thousands dying each day. If this is not contained in time, the consequences will be unimaginable.”
Nagakin nodded in response. This was indeed a matter of urgency. If everyone ended up dying, who were they trying to save?
“The second matter is to discover the source of this disaster and snuff it out once and for all. This requires help from Godora, as the technology present on Planet Aquamarine is wholly inadequate to handle such a situation. If we wish to unravel this biochemical weapon, we will need to produce the corresponding antidote.”
The disaster relief team would not stay on the planet indefinitely. Their main objective was to research on the source of the disaster before coming up with ideas to solve the problem.
The two suggestions were also within the plan that Nagakin had thought of, so he simply acted vigorously on the execution. After the meeting ended, he immediately brought his rescue team to begin the operation, leaving only a few researchers within the Sanctuary to experiment on the infected. This was to confirm the parameters of the virus outbreak. As for the rest, they proceeded to meet up with the Six Nations, connecting with the regime of Planet Aquamarine.
The rescue team began to operate in full capacity, at the same time cooperating with the Six Nations to ramp up the production of the suppressants. This was because of the foundation that Han Xiao had set. If he did not share the recipe of the suppressant with the Six Nations, that would have been another scene. Of course, the specific actions for rescuing the refugees would still have to be undertaken by the Six Nations themselves. The Godoran team did not have enough resources, and they would not waste so much energy on such trifling matters.
The Six Nations rode on the support given by the Godorans, restoring the morale of the citizens. This was evidently useful, as many refugees in the wilderness ran over to the Six Nations the moment that they received news of its safety, allowing them to relieve the pressure on the Sanctuary.
Across the vast land, a group of refugees with ragged clothing walked in the direction of the Six Nations.
In the early days of the Mutation Disaster, large droves of people had evacuated from the cities, as they did not dare to live in close proximity of each other. As of now, more than half of the population were refugees living in the wild. Due to the danger within the wilderness, coupled with the refugees being left to their own devices, seventy to eighty percent of the people typically died during the journey. However, because the Six Nations were busy trying to stabilize law and order, they could not spare the effort. The production of the suppressants would never be able to satisfy the number of refugees present, but it did not mean that they could ignore the refugees. They had to be searched for and welcomed back.
Thus, the players entered the sights of the refugee seekers.
Han Xiao’s mercenary group consisted of the few ‘Immortals’, which was Frenzied Sword and company. However, to see so many of the supposed immortals there, it would be weird if Nagakin could remain unsurprised. However, this scenario had been part of Planet Aquamarine for quite a few years, so it was regarded as a unique phenomenon of Planet Aquamarine. They treated this group of people as a special species born on Planet Aquamarine.
A few years ago, an investigator from Godora had gone to Planet Aquamarine and recorded such a scenario. However, the conclusion of the investigation was vague, and thus, it did not receive much attention. At this point, Nagakin felt that the Inhumans were strange but also very willing to help out in wake of the disaster relief. Thus, he tried making contact with them.
In his past life, Nagakin’s Godoran faction had attracted numerous players to join them, bringing them out to space, but now that the outstanding Han Xiao had come first, the attraction of Nagakin had its limits.
A good portion of the players were definitely interested toward the Godoran faction, but they preferred Han Xiao… No, it was not just preference. It could be called love at this level.
Of course, Nagakin did not know that Black Star was the hidden ‘opponent’ that he had to face and was still unaware that Han Xiao had taken away the most precious thing of his.
Even knowing that Black Star had recruited many of those Inhumans, Nagakin did not put much thought into it. Han Xiao was someone native to this planet, and the Inhumans were naturally his people. Thus, it was not surprising that they would follow Black Star. This did not obstruct Nagakin from giving out missions to the players, and even more surprisingly, the players were willing to help him in his tasks.
Just as Han Xiao predicted, the Godoran disaster relief squad brought with them a replacement of the monetary system. The original Planet Aquamarine currency was already close to collapse, and the currency of Enas used commonly in outer space was currently being made known. While the Sanctuary also had missions, compared to the rewards given by the Godorans, there was no comparison at all between the two.
The players were all clear that Enas was the true currency that could be used in the future, so the side to support in doing their missions was clear. The missions issued by the Godoran team also had a limit, so they were always treated like hot cakes among the players. Furthermore, with the faction store of Han Xiao whetting their appetite, it made the players hate the fact that they could not earn enough money to upgrade their equipment.
Han Xiao would definitely not give out missions that rewarded Enas—it was impossible to make him do something like that. However, he used his relation with Nagakin and issued a few missions where the reward could be claimed from Nagakin, allowing those players of his faction to accept those missions. The meaning was clear—if they joined the Black Star Mercenary Group, they would get better missions from the Godorans! This reflected Han Xiao’s position on profiting through the Mercenary Group.
We’re not the producers of the missions; we’re merely the middlemen!
Using the Mercenary Group’s network and word of mouth to obtain employment tasks, like borrowing flowers to offer to Buddha, to hand them out to the players would create endless resources for them, which the players would then spend on them. This was equivalent to taking the money of NPCs and giving it to himself. The players in this case were like the hardworking little honeybees, and this setup resembled a full-fledged production system where Han Xiao did not need to pay attention to in order to reap the benefits.
The current players would witness the benefits of being in the mercenary group, and those that had yet to join would be even more pressured! On the forums, everyone discussed the pros and cons of joining either the Godoran faction or the Black Star Mercenary Group, and the final conclusion was that the Black Star Mercenary Group far outshone Godora!
Joining the Godoran faction would only allow them to accept missions, but joining Black Star would allow them, based on footage of Bun-Hit-Dog, a large variety of endless tasks!
While the players have not truly felt the meaning behind this, the moment they entered outer space, which was a foregone conclusion, things would be different. Just the speculations on the forums caused the players realize just how impressive the Black Star faction was—Black Star Network was not just for show!
The foundations that Han Xiao had laid down during Version 1.0 were slowly beginning to unfold.
The Garton Star System was still reporting news of the disaster, and polls showed that nearly all of the Godorans were supportive of the sending of disaster relief squads. The citizens also performed all kinds of blessings, sympathetic toward the experience of their allies.
The intervention of the rescue team had greatly improved the situation of Planet Aquamarine. After several days, the treated refugees reached a new high. It was a pity that the researchers never had any breakthroughs in this period.
Because they could only come into contact with the virus through the infected, it was difficult to achieve any effects in the short run.
Han Xiao was sure that there were people from DarkStar observing the situation of the disaster relief. However, it seemed as though they had not made any moves the past few days. Nagakin and the others were still in the dark, but Han Xiao had the feeling that a tense atmosphere was brewing.
Now that Planet Aquamarine looked as though the situation was turning for the better, it seemed as though the situation could be stabilized. However, Han Xiao knew that the mutation disaster would not be as simple as that.
The moment the Mutation Source advanced to the next level, the effect would increase further, and even those who had been injected with the suppressants before would be affected once more. The dosage would have to be increased in order for them to be immunized. Currently, yield was the biggest limitation, and the more people that were saved now might have to be abandoned later. The problems regarding this would be tricky to think about.
Moreover, the higher the growth stage of the mutation virus, the more its intelligence would grow. At that time, the condition of the disease happening would no longer be as uncontrolled as it currently was, and there would be motives behind its actions. During which, not only would the ordinary citizens be affected, even the weaker Supers would fall under its control. Following the growth of strength of the virus, it would slowly infect even stronger people.
The scariest thing about the virus was that, upon reaching a certain stage, the virus would cause irreparable damage to the brain with every attack. After a long period of time, their ability to think will slowly degenerate, and those with the virus would experience an unprecedented stimulation. The pleasure they felt would be many times that of mating and addictive. It would reach a point where they would subconsciously refuse suppressants, actively seeking the disease and allowing it to destroy the last vestiges of its sanity. That was the worst case scenario.
Since Han Xiao was aware of such a matter, it meant that in his previous life, the virus had reached such a level.
If this Mutation Disaster could not be solved, then the final solution would be to abandon the planet and take all the survivors with them.
This was the worst end, and Planet Sunil was a good example of it. The treatment of refugees on the Mutation Disaster planets would not necessarily be better than that of the Sunil people. In the end, there was a high chance of the demise of their ‘civilization’.
The situation had not yet devolved to such a stage, but Han Xiao was not as optimistic as the rest. While DarkStar had suffered a few losses to him, the other party was still a vicious dog.
Other than the disaster relief, Han Xiao was also following up on Hannes request, asking the Godorans to probe for leads. The other party agreed to it.
The most surprising thing was that Nagakin came to a conclusion extremely quickly, locking onto the identity of the Godoran that Hannes had met.
And the truth of it greatly exceeded their expectations.