Chapter 599: Stepping onto the Right Path and Expanding Blueprints
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Back on Planet Golden Gate…
The round trip had taken him close to a month. The twenty-four spaceships that Han Xiao had taken returned to Base No. 1. The pillaging ships were smaller in size, and after modifying the messy coating on their exteriors, these were absorbed into the assault fleet.
The Crow Grade ship was on the same grade as a Violent Falcon Grade battleship, so it was stored in the hangar. After it was repaired, it could be put into use.
Including those spaceships, Han Xiao had close to a hundred spaceships under his fleet. It was divided into four divisions. One was the strategic core division that was made of the Fortress Grade flagship alone. The second was the battleship division formed by Violent Falcon Grade and Crow Grade ships, in charge of guarding and direct combat. The third was the assault fleet formed by the seized DarkStar assault ships and the galactic pirate pillaging ships, with speed superiority. The fourth was the rented carrier spaceship division used to transport manpower.
As for the BlackLight Stealth, it was for Han Xiao and Han Xiao only. Made by the Federation of Light, its grade and performance were way ahead of all other spaceships in the Black Star Army. Also, Risda was not willing to let too many people use his body.
Watching the last spaceship being parked in the hangar, Han Xiao had Phillip close its gate and locked Sykes and the other captives in the secret cell of Base No.1.
This cell had been built from an extremely strong alloy, covered with many automatic weapons such as cannons, nerve gas, sedative injectors, large vacuum gravity field, and many others. Inside the walls were many mini cameras monitored by Phillip at all times. The security was extremely tight to prevent the captives from escaping.
Because he had extracted the Super-Gene of those captives every day on the way back, they all were weak, including Sykes.
Since Calamity Grades were able to recover much faster, Sykes received special treatment. His production rate was more than five times that of the others.
Han Xiao had stored hundreds of Ability Potions that were categorized. Some were for his own use; some were sold in the faction store.
The interior of Base No.1 was filled with bridges like a beehive. As Han Xiao walked on the streets, players could be seen everywhere, getting used to the new Main City.
Many people looked at Han Xiao. He was a renowned NPC in the eyes of the players, and he was the leader of the faction. When the players saw him, they all felt a sense of closeness to him, and quite a number greeted him, to which Han Xiao nodded back in reply.
There were many issues in the faction waiting to be resolved. Han Xiao checked through Sylvia’s homework then returned to his room. He took out a concentrated nutrition bar and started chewing while settling these issues.
The first issue was to clean up after the missions carried out by the many players.
Other than Planet Sunil, most of the players carrying out missions around the Garton Star System had completed and returned. This was the first large scale hiring event for Black Star Army, so Han Xiao took it quite seriously. He told Phillip to filter out the problematic records in it and browsed through them one by one.
Of course, not all players were doing well. Some of the players had a rather low mission completion percentage. Furthermore, there was even a small group of people that messed around and completely messed up the mission, sullying the name of the Black Star Army. For the former, Han Xiao told Phillip to send a sincere apology to the employer on behalf of the Black Star Army. As for the latter, the Credibility Rating of their mercenary profile was deducted, and the grade of the missions that they could accept was lowered.
Since Han Xiao wanted to expand the Black Star Army with the help of the players, he was prepared for the problems that came with it. The issues now were all small problems. The effect brought by the players was much more beneficial than detrimental.
The first large scale hire event stabilized the name brought by the Godora award ceremony.
When looking for mercenaries, the employers in the Garton Star System all chose the local Black Star Army as their first choice. The Mercenary Alliance recognized the Black Star Army’s position in the Garton Star System as the top of the industry and provided them with a continuous supply of high-quality employment missions.
The result of this was that the business of the Garton Star System mercenary industry was practically monopolized by the Black Star Army. Although the population of a Star System was very high, not many people needed mercenaries. The freelance mercenaries in the Garton Star System suddenly started to notice that they could hardly find high-quality hires anymore. The list given to them by the Mercenary Alliance consisted of most low reward jobs.
The freelance mercenaries were very jealous of the business enjoyed by the Black Star Army. Many people had realized that if the Black Star Army continued to grow at this pace, the available jobs in the Garton Star System would all be finished sooner or later, and the new jobs would then be taken by the Black Star Army as well. Then, the freelance mercenaries could very likely end up with no job, which was a very horrible future to think about.
The rise of the Black Star Army could not be stopped. The freelance mercenaries had to choose one of three paths. First was to not care about future developments and continue doing what they were doing; second was to leave the Garton Star System and find jobs in another place; third was to request to join the Black Star Army.
Quite a few freelance mercenaries took the third path. The Black Star Army was increasing in size and had an extremely good name, and since Black Star Army was on its way to monopolize the entire mercenary industry of the Garton Star System, joining them did not seem like a bad choice after all. From the victims of the Black Star Army’s rise, there could be some who benefitted from it and enjoyed the Black Star Army’s businesses.
In Han Xiao’s plan, there was a part of it that included increasing their name with the players in order to attract freelance mercenaries. After the players joined, their size exploded to hundreds of thousands of members. The facilities of their base were mostly complete, and they had ample funds, so he was not planning to control the Black Star Army’s number of members. He told Phillip to filter the background of the freelance mercenaries that requested to join, who then deleted some that were clearly incompetent and were there just for the easy missions, leaving those who were skilled and had good records.
About 7,000 freelance mercenaries were left after the first selection.
However, this number was still not decided yet. Han Xiao told Phillip to send a notice to those mercenaries to come to Base No.1 for an interview fifteen days later. Some would be disqualified again, and only the ones who remained after that would be recruited by the Black Star Army.
Recruiting more freelance mercenaries was a very important step of the Black Star Army’s expansion.
The second issue waiting to be resolved was also related to the players.
After the first independent hiring event, these players were more familiar with the galactic environment and mission flow. Many players shared the difficulties that they met during the hires on the forums.
Han Xiao paid attention to these problems. In his previous life, he had also experienced the stage of not being used to the new environment after first entering the universe, so he had expected this. He knew about most of the difficulties the players faced.
As early as one year before Version 2.0 started, a part of his machinery production line had been building support items, which were intended to help with the players’ ability to carry out missions.
Now that there was finally a demand for this, Han Xiao planned to put these mechanical items into the faction store as well. The timing was perfect—the players were just done with their first hire, and most of them had to return to Base No.1. The sales were definitely going to rocket.
In the store area of Base No.1, many people were going in and out. This was the place with the highest player density.
Although they could shop online through Phillip, they could only see the physical item at the store, which was also the collection point.
Many players used their latest earnings to buy equipment.
At this time, the faction store suddenly refreshed. A number of new items were placed at the top of the list with a very visible ‘NEW’ sign in their top right corner.
“New items so soon?”
“Let’s see what they are.”
Every update to the store would attract attention from a large number of players, and this time was no exception.
Di di di…
The sound of communicators rang continuously in the crowd. Many people took out their communicators to take a look. It was Phillip’s supporting program that announced the update of the store, which could be browsed through the pre-order list.
Very soon, players realized that the new items were surprisingly not combat equipment.
They looked at the introduction of the new items.
[Mini Land Flattening Core]—Quickly changes the terrain of a small area into flat ground suitable for a temporary stronghold. The specific measurements are…
[Multi-functional Airdrop Bag]—Includes many machines needed for airdrop, suitable for various situations occurring during airdrop…
[Portable Mini Folded Fortress]—Can be expanded on unoccupied land, forming a temporary alloy fortress to be used as a stronghold, equipped with stronghold weapon slots and basic security functions…
[Automatic Guarding Cannon Turret]—Large caliber cannon, includes 1,000 Iron Core Shots, 300 Armor Piercing Shots. Provides firepower support…
[Patrolling Sentry]—Mini scouting robot, able to scout, patrol, and alert, can be used as a sentry for a stronghold…
[Interference Resistant Electromagnetic Bracelet]—Resists electromagnetic interference and data hacking to a certain extent…
[Portable Strong Electromagnetic Interference Device]—Interfere with the functions of the machines within a certain range…
[Nuclear Flying Backpack]—Provides long duration flying ability, includes self-destruction option…
[Force Resonator]—Adjustable vibration frequency, able to shatter metal and concrete buildings within a large distance…
[Worker Bee Armor]—Single Unit Mining Armor, used to gather minerals and fuel. Equipped with multi-functional digging tools and mineral firearms. High weight, suitable for handling ores…
The players faced complex environments while carrying out the missions. The mission requirements varied, including but not limited to infiltration, pursuit, mining, scouting, assassination, combat, and others. Sudden developments often occurred.
Although these mercenaries added by Han Xiao were not equipment that heightened one’s combat capability, they could allow one to adapt to many situations. These were tactical items that could efficiently increase the players’ ability to deal with accidents, enhancing their performance as mercenaries.
The technology used in these machines was not advanced, but they were things the players needed very much. They were cheap, useful support items.
For machines such as the turret, they were something that Han Xiao had created long ago. He had been using the turrets, but only now did he sell them to the players in large quantities. He was not yet selling the more advanced electromagnetic turrets and energy turrets but gunpowder turrets. The average level of the players now was around seventy, so the gunpowder turrets were still quite useful.
Some Mechanic players at the time could also build some of these products, but in terms of quality, cost, and price, their products were grossly inferior compared to those on the Black Star Army store.
These functional items were just right for the new needs of the players.
“These seem very useful.”
“I was just about to accept a job. These new items came right on time.”
The players were pleasantly surprised.
Not only the players in Base No.1, but the players who were on Sunil or doing missions on other planets also received Phillip’s notification. They were all very tempted.
Especially the 200,000 players in Planet Sunil. They were dealing with the Catastrophe, so they had to deal with the complicated wilderness situations and even clear out the underground Prophecy Stone Mine. The addition of [Worker Bee Armor] was absolutely perfect.
Stock was limited, and the players hastily bought what they needed. The prices of these new products were very low, so their demand was high. Within twenty minutes, the inventory was cleared out, and many who could not buy them pre-ordered the next batch.
The players were used to the special ‘Growing Faction’ attribute of the Black Star Army. They felt that the reason that these new items appeared was because the players of the Black Star Army had worked together to develop the faction. Looking at the new items of the faction store, many players felt a sense of achievement.
After adding these support items, Han Xiao observed the sales. Since they were functional items, their price was low and affordable. Nonetheless, the entire inventory was sold out within half an hour. His funds rose nonstop as the players’ money flew into his personal account.
This sale had made him an astonishing total of 6,600,000 Enas!
Including Noriosse’s investment and the income from the last sales, Han Xiao had a total of 44,000,000 Enas!
This was a lot of money.
“Funds are abundant. With this money, I can build my Mechanic Army any way I want.” Han Xiao was very content.
With so much money, if he was the only one using it, it could last him a very long time. However, of course, these funds had to be used to operate the Black Star Army and support the Black Star Army’s expansion.
The blueprint that Han Xiao had set for the Black Star Army’s development was gigantic. He planned to use the Garton Star System as a foundation, choose dozens of important NPC resource planets, and keep building sub-bases. He would turn the Garton Star System into the Black Star Army’s headquarters, controlling the mercenary business there tightly or even monopolizing it.
Then, he would expand the business to other Star Systems and build sub-bases in other Star Systems, expanding step by step. Many parts of this plan required a lot of money, such as adding a large number of spaceships, recruiting, building partnerships with more organizations, and so on.
The identity of a mercenary group was just a stepping stone; Han Xiao’s real target was to develop enormous military power, like Bloodshed Land.
The funds required for this blueprint was a number that he could not calculate or imagine.
The only thing he knew was that the money that he had now was far, far from enough.
His mission was heavy, and the road was long.
“This won’t be completed within a short time. The sales route is already built anyway, so profit will keep coming. There’s no need for me to be too tight on spending.”
Han Xiao smiled. He took out his communicator and ordered a large number of materials from the raw material provider that he had been working with.
Finally, he had some free time to strengthen all his combat equipment to the Calamity Grade standard!
“Let’s hope something like the Purple Snake Space Pirates incident doesn’t happen again…”