Chapter 564: The Beginning of the Storm
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The sensation of itchiness and soreness as though vines were growing spread rapidly and twisted around his limbs. It felt like there were numerous insects crawling through every inch of his flesh and bones. Han Xiao’s ears seemed to be surrounded by the roaring of waves and thunder, and he could feel every cell in his body becoming active, undergoing an extraordinary change. His vision of the world was constantly shaking and blurring.
Every time he managed to obtain a strong talent, genetic mutations would occur in his body. The pain was difficult to endure, causing Han Xiao’s face to change as he quickly fled into the BlackLight Stealth. Once he was out of everyone’s sight, he found a practice room before sealing the door. The moment he did so, a stronger and more intense pain burst out from within his body, as though he was a wet towel that was being rung dry by a huge pair of hands.
Past experience had told him that, the greater the pain, the greater the resulting change. The pain that he was experiencing this time could be compared to when he underwent his Race Evolution to a Void Prowler. After all, the two new talents were the specialties of the Mutation Source, and not only did it bring him new abilities, it was a complete remolding of his life.
Han Xiao gritted his teeth, feeling the reorganization of his cells. He gradually discovered that he had obtained a newfound sense of control that could actively trigger cell division.
As the pain started to subside, he could feel that his body had totally changed. Through his perception, the cell membrane of each cell seemed to have become tougher but had a sponge-like texture. The internal microstructure also seemed to have changed to produce new functions.
He rubbed his thigh, carefully observing, and found out that a portion of the external impact would not be resisted and absorbed by his skin. The kinetic force would permeate into his musculoskeletal system and be converted by his cells into energy.
Bringing a knife to his arm, he drew out a thin line of blood. Han Xiao recalled the sense of control, urging his cells into action. The energy from his cells rapidly repaired the damaged cells around the wound, and the wound disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Han Xiao grinned.
This is indeed a strong specialized talent. My level of being rose another tier once again, and my flesh has become more solid.
With the two new talents on his interface, he possessed four Molding Abilities.
Han Xiao was in a jovial mood, but he suddenly noticed a problem, causing the corners of his mouth to twitch.
Oi, out of my four talents, three of them specialize in tankiness. One increases my HP, the other gives me damage immunity, and the last one speeds up recovery!
Han Xiao felt he was a huge iron pillar at this moment, his body being more durable than a machine. If he measured his progress on the path of a Main Tank, he would probably be a galloping warhorse.
The biggest weakness of the Army Style is that the users are normally afraid of their defenses being broken through and their commander being felled…
Han Xiao sniggered inwardly. With his heaven-defying tenacity, there was no one who would return alive after trying to assassinate him.
Increased tankiness was a good thing, but Han Xiao favored the skill [Energy Absorption] more. His Mechanical Army required him to use energy, and with the amount of energy used, it would accumulate to become a terrifying amount. However, now he could constantly recover his energy value, meaning his Mechanical Force bonus could be given out easily!
The most important part was, the higher his level, the greater his damage resistance, which meant that it would constantly rise along with him and not become obsolete. Thinking outside of the box, even if the enemy could not reach him, he could easily just ask one of his mechanical beasts to attack himself to absorb energy…
What was with that? This made him into a f*cking generator!
With Super stamina, he would never feel fatigue. Even if he did it consecutively for three days and nights, he would not feel any soreness in his lower body. He had truly turned into a Boss level character who had no fear of a depleted energy bar. Just thinking about this gave him a feeling of absolute power.
Just who can kill me‽
Han Xiao suddenly snapped out of his reverie, hurriedly knocking between his brows twice and restraining his arrogant and haughty outburst.
That was close. I almost went out of character.
While this Moulding Ability is on the level of a bug, there is an upper limit to the energy that it can provide. It’s far lower than the amount of HP I have. Even with a five-times conversion rate, it can only recover probably a third of my total HP. The rate of recovery is too limited.
Furthermore, I can only absorb 60% of the damage that is resisted, so if I encounter opponents at the same level or higher with strong attacking power, I will lose HP proportionally to the amount of energy obtained. After all, my resistance is not as perverted as the Mutation Source’s.
Han Xiao pondered for a while before coming to a conclusion. Unless it was a high-level Super with a Boss level template, while his Grade still remained at B+, it was almost impossible for a Calamity Grade Super to kill him. The longer the battle dragged on, the more advantageous it would be to him. Even the highly explosive and piercing combo used by Nagakin to defeat Anur could probably be shrugged off by him.
F*ck, can I still be considered a Mechanic now?
Han Xiao could not help feeling disgusted.
Shaking his head, he opened the mission panel. He had a different mission from the rest, with the [Mutation Disaster] storyline of his still showing that it was incomplete.
The mission requirements for the players were only relevant to Planet Aquamarine. However, Han Xiao’s included all the planets affected by the mutation source. His condition to prevent failure was to ensure that one planet had been saved, and he had already fulfilled it.
However, the disasters on the other planets had not yet been resolved, so his mission had not ended, unlike the Planet Aquamarine players.
In my past life, after this matter subsided, Godora created a corresponding dungeon. When I complete the Main Storyline, I’ll probably be able to get my hands on the rights to the dungeon.
While his main purpose was still within Planet Aquamarine, he had to display the proper conduct and put in some effort toward the other planets affected by the disaster. His own accumulations were an astronomical number that players could not even imagine, and even he himself could not guess how many rewards he would obtain after it ended.
After claiming all the rewards for this mission, Han Xiao went to the captain’s room, overlooking the battlefield. The place was almost completely cleaned up, with Herlous and the others transporting all the beast corpses into the spaceship. The few hundred players also entered the spaceship. Previously, in order to search for the Mutation Source, they had dispatched players all over Planet Aquamarine, and they had to collect them one by one. However, this was a job for others; it was not his concern.
Having packed up, the group of spaceships proceeded to return to the base, with the BlackLight Stealth leading in front. They maintain a relaxed speed; after all, things had already been settled, and they had no need to rush… although Herlous and all of Han Xiao’s officers were a little salty about this incident.
On the spaceship, Han Xiao did not relax but rather began to extrapolate the matters in the near future as he sank into deep thought.
Now that the Mutation Disaster of Planet Aquamarine had come to an end, according to the game plan, this signified the end of the Main Storyline. This was the time when the players would officially enter the interstellar region, becoming members of Black Star and stepping onto the true stage!
The players were the best force to allow his influence to quickly grow!
The Great Mechanic Han had always placed a lot of importance on players. His recruitment campaign had lasted for a good few months, leaving a strong impression in the eyes of the players as an interstellar guide. There was only one more step to go before his entire plan would come into fruition.
The agreement made between the Six Nations would also have to be taken care of. After all, this place was his ‘hometown’. Then, the problem of Planet Aquamarine could be shelved.
The only problem remaining is that of DarkStar.
Han Xiao’s eyes gleamed.
Since he had made such a dramatic change to the initial storyline, causing the early destruction of the core of DarkStar’s plan, it would result in them not being able to proceed with their actions like in the past.
As such, watching the reaction of DarkStar would be more important. Would they forsake the plan, or would they change their strategy?
Han Xiao was also uncertain. If it was the latter, then he could only react to their moves. He had steeled himself for this; this was the butterfly effect caused by his extreme changing of the plot.
I’m not sure if DarkStar’s next move will be the same as in my previous life anymore…
Rubbing his chest, Han Xiao fell into deep thought.
On one of the DarkStar motherships, many of the DarkStar upper echelons gathered, all of them staring at the translucent screen on the wall as the feedback of the Mutation Source being destroyed was transmitted to them for the fourth time. The silence in the meeting room was palpable.
The worst-case scenario had happened.
No matter how shocked the upper echelons were, they could not believe that in the short span of a few months, Godora had actually found a way to eradicate this Mutation Disaster.
“Now… what do we do?” Someone broke the deathly silence.
Everyone turned to stare at Degulish at once.
The person in question opened his mouth, his expression gloomy. However, he paused before finally speaking with much difficulty.
“Let’s inform the leader.”
He was the commander-in-charge of this plan, but now that it was falling apart, the severity of the situation ought to be raised with the leader.
The communication channel was quickly connected, and DarkStar’s leader appeared in the vacant main seat, surveying the crowd.
“I’m not in the Hyde Star System. If it’s nothing important, don’t disturb me… eh? All your expressions look nasty. What happened?”
Degulish gritted his teeth before explaining the entire situation. His face was extremely ugly to behold as he felt that he had completely betrayed the trust bestowed upon him by the leader.
“This is… unexpected.” The leader’s expression twitched a little, and he fell silent for a while before continuing. “There’s something fishy about this. I’m quite certain of the scientific research ability of Godora. While their magic arts are quite advanced, their technological ability falls quite short. They must have obtained some sort of external help.”
“Are you saying…” Degulish seemed to have obtained some clues.
“Yes, your deductions are correct. The thing that disappeared contained the sample of the Mutation Source. Our intelligence network has shown that the Secret Message Bead fell into Godora’s hands, but the goods inside had already disappeared. The greatest possibility is that it had been taken away by the Holy Stone Civilization, but… there’s another possibility.”
At this point, Ember, who had been completely silent, suddenly spoke with his eyes gleaming. “Floating Dragon.”
He was the member who had been tasked with searching for the lost goods, so he understood this part the clearest.
“A mysterious man was mentioned in the report of Ember. When he was looking for the Secret Message Bead, there was once a person who used the name of DarkStar to inquire about the whereabouts of the Secret Message Bead. However, in the end, Floating Dragon was the one who found the Secret Message Bead. It was handed over to Holy Stone… then here comes the question, did the mysterious man not manage to find the Secret Message Bead, or did he take the contents, leaving only the shell?”
All the upper echelons in the room quietly listened. This was originally an unsolved case, but the leader seemed to have managed to obtain some clues, and this attracted the attention of everyone present, including Ember.
“The research results of Godora must be related to the missing sample of the Mutation Source.” The tone of the DarkStar leader remained calm. “For Godora to solve the problem faced by Planet Aquamarine first, where a member of the Floating Dragon was also situated… there’s no need for more evidence; the situation is clear.”
Degulish burst into anger. “To think it was Floating Dragon! So, the whole process of passing it over to Holy Stone was a huge sham! Why did Floating Dragon want to target us? Wait, could it have been Black Star‽”
Everyone present received a huge shock, turning to Ember with an expression of shock and surprise.
They still remembered how, after the incident on Noriosse, Ember had insisted on paying whatever price possible to eliminate Black Star. However, not only did they ignore him, they had even scorned at him. To think that… Ember’s intuition had been right!
“To think that all of you still remember the suggestion that I raised.” A hint of schadenfreude passed through Ember’s eyes as he coldly spoke. “To only awaken and realize it now, isn’t it too late‽”
The expressions of everyone in the room changed, with no one daring to look Ember in the eye.
“At that time, we had no clues, and even if I was given another chance, I would still have made the same decision.” The leader sighed. “What’s done is done; now, the most crucial point is not Black Star but rather how to salvage our plan.”
Everyone sat up straight. While they regretted not taking Black Star seriously from the start, their issues were now pressing, and no one had the time to waste on hindsight.
The leader solemnly looked at all the upper echelons, suddenly relaxing his tone. “There’s no need to pull a long face. The situation is not as bad as expected.”
“Ah?” Degulish and the rest were stunned.
The entire plan is about to collapse—how is that not bad‽
“While there were some hiccups, stopping the plan from being successfully carried forward, the main objective has still been achieved, has it not? Godora has been thrown into turmoil and up in a disadvantageous position. Even if we stop our plan now and hastily retreat, the cracks between the purebloods and hybrids will never vanish.”
The eyes of everyone present gleamed. That was right; they were caught in a misunderstanding. Even if Godora managed to solve this Mutation Disaster and regained some control, the damage caused by this storm would take years to eliminate. Stopping the plan now was nothing more than reducing the damage that Godora had to clear up. What loss did they have?
“Then, do we still stop all our operations and go on standby?” Degulish asked.
“Why should we?” The leader shook his head. “Since it has already reached this point, let’s just allow the mistakes to continue. Before stopping the operation, we shall hit Godora hard one last time. Since it is no longer possible to drag the time out for the Mutation Disaster, have the infiltration teams actively feed the Mutation Source. Push all of them to the maturity phase and deceive them into attempting to destroy the planet. This way, it will make the low-level civilizations attached to Godora to suffer greatly, causing Godora to waste more energy helping them.
“The moment that the Mutation Disaster is resolved, do you still think that the Godoran troops will still stay on the calamity planets? No! They will leave sooner or later, and that’s when we send out our soldiers, destroying those low-level civilizations.
“We shall see if Godora plans to save them or not. If they do not, it would defeat the purpose of them trying to resolve the Mutation Disaster. However, if they choose to offer aid, Godora will be leashed to those low-level civilizations. How is that different from having the Mutation Disasters?
“They will be stuck between a rock and a hard place!
”Planet Aquamarine was the first to be saved from the Mutation Disaster. Before long, the Godoran troops will leave, and we can take the chance to attack the planet. Since we now know Black Star’s crimes and the Dragon Emperor is not on Planet Aquamarine, we can take the chance to eliminate him. I said before that we’d make him pay for this sooner or later. This time, I don’t want there to be any accidents.”
Ember viciously stood up, hatred visible on his face as he exclaimed, “My pleasure!”
Degulish narrowed his eyes and added in a sinister tone, “Humph. He must be killed. I’ll go and let Floating Dragon know that we’re not to be trifled with.”
“Then I’ll tag along for the fun of it. The last time, Ember and Anur failed. If we add me, there will be three people, which is safer,” a petite upper echelon added. This person was a senior combatant of DarkStar and also a Calamity Grade Super.
For a long time, their total members had been falling. Some members had been arrested and sent to the Rainbow Prison, causing DarkStar to be left with just five Calamity Grade Supers. Sending three of them already made it more than half, almost pulling out all of their resources.
The crowd seemed to have found their backbone once again and calmed down. The thought process of the leader was clear and precise. It was originally meant to be a protracted war, but since it was no longer feasible, they just had to change it to ensure the maximum losses for Godora in the short term.
Want to compete with us? Black Star, you’re too young for that!
At this point, the leader suddenly interrupted them.
“This matter is not that important though; our next immediate objective should be to attack Planet Golden Gate.”
Degulish lurched in shock. “That operation is to be continued as well?”
“Yeah, why not? We’ve already made the preparations and can attack in the next two days. Godora only managed to solve the Mutation Disaster for one planet—do you think it will have any impact on our attack?
“This is instead a good chance as they will definitely take the chance to spread the news of having resolved the disaster for the planets. In order to eliminate the contradictions within the country, won’t it be good to take this chance to simply destroy Planet Golden Gate?”
Degulish’s eyes lit up at this proposal.