Chapter 620: Budding Civilization
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Han Xiao looked into Herlous’ eyes and saw nervousness and hesitation in them. It seemed like Herlous cared a lot about what he was going to say next.
Ever since Han Xiao became Calamity Grade, the Grade B officers had started to respect him more and more. He had known Herlous for many years and knew him well. Herlous had wasted many years before starting to help his race. Compared to these Sunil warriors who had been suffering for a long time, he was not as decisive and thought more about things.
In the previous life, Herlous had been willing to die while stopping the Catastrophe; he was very heroic. Now that his experiences were different, naturally, his mindset was different as well.
“You’re overthinking it. There are no ethics or morals in the battle of survival, just different sides. If I don’t help, the Sunils will be the ones that meet their end. Isn’t this what you guys hired me to prevent?”
Han Xiao patted Herlous’ shoulders and said, “Indeed, Sunils are outsiders, and the Subterranean Mutants are innocent. They’ve done nothing wrong. However, the rules of the jungle apply everywhere; the Subterranean Mutants are an obstacle to the survival of Sunil. Since you have no choice, don’t empathize with your enemies…”
“I know that, but how are we different from DarkStar if we do this?” Herlous replied.
Sunil’s mother planet had been invaded and destroyed by DarkStar; they were the victims. Now, they had become the invaders like DarkStar. Herlous did not know how to feel about this change of character.
“Sunil isn’t DarkStar. DarkStar destroys for the sake of destroying, but you people are trying to ensure your race’s future. The motives are different. This is a battle for survival between races. Since you Sunils can’t migrate again, the only thing left to do is to eliminate your enemies. There’s only the weak and strong, no wrong or wrong. Don’t feel too guilty about it…”
Han Xiao paused and added, “If the Subterranean Mutants paid to hire me and told me to chase the Sunils away, I might be on their side. You wouldn’t hope for me to chase away your race, would you?”
As a chaotic neutral and a professional mercenary, this was not an issue at all. He had no intention of interfering with Sunil’s decisions.
Battles of survival happened every day around the universe. A large number of species were being killed every second while many were being born.
Han Xiao’s attitude toward this made Herlous feel relieved. At least Black Star did not dislike him because of this.
“Stop chatting, let’s start,” Sehrinde said coldly and impatiently before jumping right into the cave.
Herlous sighed and jumped down, too.
Han Xiao activated Berserk Ape and followed behind.
The three of them descended for a while, and the cave entrance started to become hard to see. Their vision was filled with darkness, and there was not a single light source. Han Xiao turned on night vision.
About a few thousand meters underground, the three of them finally arrived at the bottom of the cave and stepped on solid ground.
In front of them was the pitch-black underground, the tunnels were twisted and complex. There were quite a few Prophecy Stone mines around there, which meant there were also many Subterranean Mutant nests. The Sunils had first discovered the Subterranean Mutants’ existence when they drugged till here. They had lost some exploration teams, so the digging had been stopped.
There were only marks of mining near the cave—any areas further in were the world of Subterranean Mutants. It was enormous; just the discovered area was already much bigger than Forest City. The Subterranean Mutants had probably reproduced for many years to be able to build such a magnificent underground world.
The temperature this deep under the ground was very high and contained rich heat energy. Han Xiao opened the vital sign detection radar. On it, a nest far away was filled with dense dots. Each dot represented a Subterranean Mutant, so their numbers were terrifying. In just one nest, there were tens of millions of Subterranean Mutants.
Sunil numbered these nests. The one that they were going to was the nearest Nest No. 1.
This was just the tip of an iceberg of the underground world. With how large Planet Sunil was, there was still an unknown number of nests that they had yet to discover. There were hundreds of millions of Subterranean Mutants. They were undoubtedly the owner of this planet.
The nests spread out from the Prophecy Stone mines. The dots were most dense right around the nests, like a city center.
After following the radar for a while, the three of them got closer to the nest. The corrosive slime from the Subterranean Mutants started to appear on the ground and the walls. From years and years of the Subterranean Mutants living here, the slime had turned into a thick and rubber-like layer. It felt dense and tough to the touch.
This time, the radar suddenly rang. More than ten Mutants passed by in front of them. Han Xiao turned on the binoculars and locked onto the Mutants.
With one acceleration, Han Xiao instantly closed in on them. His movements left a series of afterimages, and in the blink of an eye, all the Mutants were beaten to the ground. In the face of Han Xiao’s Calamity Grade strength, the battle was completely one-sided.
Herlous and Sehrinde approached and secured the Mutants. Their mission was just labor work.
The Subterranean Mutants were more than one meter long, and they had certain characteristics of insect species. Their carapace protected their muscles, and hair extended from the gaps in between their carapace, secreting slime from the inside. Their head was very small, and they had yet to develop eyes, only four agile antennae on their head. Their mouth was filled with sharp teeth to aid them in consuming rocks. They had four very lean legs with backward joints, allowing them to sprint and jump. They had a spine and a tough tail covered in carapace with a shovel-shaped end. Their overall appearance was rather vicious.
“We’ve caught the samples. Shall we return now?” Herlous asked softly.
“You guys go first, I’m going deeper into the nest to take a look.” Han Xiao waved. The two of them did not object; they had no reason to worry about Han Xiao, given how strong he was. They took the ten or so Subterranean Mutants and returned the way they came from.
Han Xiao was the only one left. He looked at the battle information from earlier, and the attributes of the Subterranean Mutants popped up. Their total level was about thirty to forty, and they were beast type beings. They all had the Psychic Resistance talents. Other than that, there was nothing special.
Their psychic resistance is quite high indeed; they won’t be affected by the Prophecy Stones. Han Xiao nodded. Now, he had to find out the reason these Subterranean Mutants lived near the Prophecy Stones.
Activating the stealth function, Han Xiao moved deeper into the nest. He started to meet Subterranean Mutants more and more frequently. However, Berserk Ape’s stealth function was definitely not something that the Subterranean Mutants could discover. It was a smooth journey.
The closer he got to the center of the next, the bigger the Subterranean Mutants got. From over one meter long to more than four meters long, their carapace was also thicker.
Han Xiao suddenly realized that there were some skew slash marks on one of the stone walls that formed images with unknown meanings. He looked at it carefully and confirmed this was a drawing made by Subterranean Mutants using their tails.
“Is this a type of recording? The Subterranean Mutants’ language?”
The creation of words usually meant that civilization was sprouting.
Are the Subterranean Mutants in the transition from beasts to an intelligent species?
This thought flashed past, and Han Xiao continued forward. Very soon, he came to a Prophecy Stone mine. He noticed that there were not any signs that it had been mined before, as if the Subterranean Mutants had never used the Prophecy Stones, only guarding the mine.
Do the Subterranean Mutants just like the radiation from the Prophecy Stones? Han Xiao was curious. Suddenly, he thought of destroying a part of the mine so that he could test what the Subterranean Mutants’ reaction would be.
Han Xiao deactivated his stealth mode, took out the Watcher Instrument, and ruthlessly bombarded this small mine.
The explosions made this part of the tunnel tremble.
The next moment, the radar showed that the Subterranean Mutants in the entire nest were gathering toward this place as if they had gone crazy.
The Subterranean Mutants sprinted over from all directions. Han Xiao casually set the Watcher Instrument into explosive attacks and free fire mode. Beams of light exploded within the beasts as its power easily tore many Subterranean Mutants apart.
The Subterranean Mutants came nonstop, but not even one could get close to Han Xiao without turning into shattered meat and becoming a part of the carcass pile that kept growing taller. Han Xiao strolled about casually. The huge difference in strength made the Subterranean Mutants’ advantage in numbers meaningless.
Although there was no danger, this phenomenon made Han Xiao realize one thing.
Why is that when I caused damage to the Prophecy Stone mine, this entire nest went haywire and they all came toward me?
This feels like the reaction a being will have when its weakness is attacked… Han Xiao started to speculate.
This meant that this nest had a collective mind. Maybe their communication method was psychic waves and there was a psychic network around the nest. The Prophecy Stones then happened to possess psychic radiation, which had affected these Subterranean Mutants for many years, causing their psychic abilities to evolve. Maybe the Subterranean Mutants were using the Prophecy Stones to maintain their psychic network.
Therefore, the Subterranean Mutants were using the Prophecy Stone mines as tools. It was a ‘communication base station’ for them!
That would explain why the Subterranean Mutants had set up their nests around the Prophecy Stone mines, or tribes might be a more suitable term. One mine could only be used by one Subterranean Mutant tribe, each tribe had no connection to the others, and the Prophecy Stone mines could be considered a part of these Subterranean Mutants.
This type of race specialty… why is it somewhat similar to the World Tree Civilization?
Suddenly, Han Xiao felt slight dizziness. Notifications popped up on his interface continuously like he was being spammed.
You have received a psychic attack. Due to the high difference in level, you are immune to its damage. Judging debuff… passed. You are immune to the [Confused] status!
Psychic attack? Han Xiao was shocked. He quickly looked at the battle information and noticed that the usual Subterranean Mutants did not have this ability, but these three- to four-meter elite Mutants all had the [Psychic Confusion] ability.
The level difference was too large. Plus, Han Xiao had [Advanced Psychological Resistance]. Most of the psychic attacks from the elite Mutants had no effect on him, but there were also very few of them that did pass the judgment out of luck and disrupted his mind.
Han Xiao became alert. Psychic attacks were a counter to his mana to health cycle. He did not remain in place anymore. The Berserk Ape activated in an instant and turned into a stream of black light, opening a bloody path in the wave of beasts.
Going back the way he had come and arriving at the cave entrance, he killed thousands of Subterranean Mutants in a short period. As long as Han Xiao had enough time, slaughtering all the Subterranean Mutants would be a piece of cake to him. However, the level difference was too huge; killing one Subterranean Mutant only gave one experience point. Even if he killed ten million Subterranean Mutants by himself, it would only give him the same number in experience. It was far from harvesting his leeks.
However, to the players, killing was a path to leveling up fast. There were players who did exactly that in Han Xiao’s previous life. In the end, they were wanted by countless organizations and used up all their revives every single day. These were even more fearless than the Great Mechanic Han.
Having collected quite an amount of intelligence, Han Xiao went out of the cave and returned to the surface. As soon as he came up, he saw Herlous and Sehrinde waiting for him. The ten or so Mutants that had been captured alive were all in cages and secured.
“Black Star, what did you discover?” Herlous smelled blood.
“Hmm, quite a lot of interesting information. We’ll talk when we get back.”
The three of them boarded the spaceship and returned to Forest City. The Sunil Research Department was already waiting. They smoothly handed over the Subterranean Mutants that they had captured.
Han Xiao shared his discoveries with the Sunil Research Department, regarding signs of Subterranean Mutants becoming a civilization, the use of the Prophecy Stone mines, and so on.
He easily completed many small goals from the Sunil Main Storyline missions. All the goals under ‘Slaughterer’ were completed, which gave him a few million experience. The Mission Rating increased visibly, too.
Next, he needed to wait for the Sunil Research Department to finish their study on the Subterranean Mutants, as well as wait for the galactic construction team to arrive and build Base No. 3. After these two things were done, the elimination of Subterranean Mutants would officially start.
Right after Han Xiao left, the Subterranean Mutants in Nest No. 1 collected all the carcasses and piled them up together. It was very bloody. If a normal person saw this, they would most likely vomit.
Countless Subterranean Mutants waved their antennae as if they were communicating silently.
After quite some time, all the Subterranean Mutants seemed to have come to an agreement. They all gathered around the mine area and lowered their bodies as if they were worshipping the mine, similar to worshipping ancient totems.
Right after that, all the Subterranean Mutants suddenly started to use their shovel-shaped tails to mine the Prophecy Stones, digging them up, and piled them together under tight protection.
A few hundred Subterranean Mutants wanted to eat the Prophecy Stones but were attacked by the others and quickly bitten to death.
The Subterranean Mutants dug very quickly. With their large numbers, not long after, the huge mine was entirely harvested. All the Prophecy Stones were dug out.
The tall, elite Subterranean Mutants moved the large Prophecy Stones and formed an enormous group, protected by countless other Subterranean Mutants that surrounded them. Then, this Subterranean Mutant tribe with tens of millions of members gave up their original nest and moved to further away.
During that, there were some that took a bite at the Prophecy Stones. Like the others, they were killed. Their bodies were torn apart, and the Prophecy Stones were dug out from their stomachs to continue to be transported.
This Subterranean Mutant tribe started to migrate, going further away from the nest that Han Xiao and the others had entered.