Chapter 628: Two Years Later
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Including Godora, there were six Star System level civilizations that wanted to gain control over the Hyde Star System, which was located in the Colton Star Cluster. Their forces were deployed to the respective region that they had control over, and skirmishes were extremely common.
Outside the region controlled by the armies of these six civilizations, the Hyde Star System had many planets that served as a transit station for the galactic travel agencies. Because the territorial borders of the Hyde Star System were blurred, these transit stations became gray regions where dragons and snakes mingled. Not only were there scrap pickers, pirates, and wanted criminals, even the officers of the armies would occasionally visit these transit stations for leisure.
Planet Orange Transit Station was such a gray area, and a group of players were currently operating in this district.
Hao Tian, Sleepy Winter, Twinkle Fried Rice, and the others were walking down the bustling streets. Of the ten or so players in the group, a portion of them were the pro players of Club Long Sky, and the others were the players of the club. Frenzied Sword, together with his teammates, were currently working together with Long Sky.
Both parties had accepted the same Hidden Chain Mission, and the final portion of the mission was located on Planet Orange Transit Station. Hao Tian and Frenzied Sword had immediately clicked, and thus, both the parties traveled together.
Because of Frenzied Sword’s spectacular performance in the first Pro League, Club Rivervale had built a new team with Frenzied Sword as the core. The majority of Frenzied Sword’s teammates were newbies, and they were currently warming up to each other.
Preparations for the second Pro League had already started, and it was a hot topic at the moment. Galaxy Times had revealed that there would be changes to the tournament format this time, and all the teams were currently preparing for the Pro League.
More than a year ago, the players of the other novice planets had also stepped into the galaxy and hit the level limit of the current version, level 90. Their skills, equipment, talents, and special tools were the main focus for all the players.
Both Long Sky and Rivervale worked together because they were eyeing the reward for this hidden mission.
As the core of the team, Frenzied Sword felt immense pressure and wanted to obtain good results to prove himself. He did not wish to disappoint the club and would not let go of any opportunities.
“Captain, the person we are looking for is on this planet, but how should we find him?” Evil Sword asked Frenzied Sword.
Evil Sword was Frenzied Sword’s teammate and an extremely talented newcomer. In the entire Rivervale team, only Evil Sword’s skill had caught his eye, barely making him Frenzied Sword’s assistant. As for his other teammates, they were no more than ordinary players who did not make mistakes to Frenzied Sword.
“The last phase of the mission will definitely be extremely difficult. The mission hint asked us to find clues on our own. According to my experience, the entertainment centers of these gray districts are the go-to places for information. We can start there,” Frenzied Sword said with a deep voice.
At this moment, the captain of Long Sky, Hao Tian, said, “We can find the clues later. We should first worry about our safety.”
Upon hearing that, the players began to look around, only to see groups of pedestrians dressed in tattered battle suits staring at them greedily. Their gazes were fixed on the exquisite battle suits and weapons of the players and seemed intent on snatching them.
The majority of the pedestrians around them had red colored names, and the others had neutral yellow names. Not a single green could be found.
“Pirates or scavengers?”
Everyone remained calm. As members of the Black Star Army, they had killed an uncountable number of galactic pirates over the past two years.
Yellow Mechanical Force covered Frenzied Sword’s body, and his helmet appeared to cover his head. Following which, his armor began unfolding with the various components of the armor appearing to form heavy armor that looked like a luxurious knight’s armor.
This was weakened Commander Class armor called [Mountain]. It was a pink grade equipment that the guild had obtained after paying a sky-high price to Han Xiao to custom make. With the players’ current level, [Mountain] was the best equipment currently available.
He took off the long box on his back and activated it with his Mechanical Force. The box rapidly changed shape and transformed into a long, heavy close combat weapon that had both the blade of an axe and a cannon barrel. This was a modified Strike Cannon, and it was almost half the size of a person.
All the other players entered their battle mode with a myriad of different weapons. Even the weakest piece of equipment in the group was purple grade. The function of a club guild was to serve the professional players, and thus, it was impossible for these professional players to be lacking in equipment. All their equipment was of the highest tier among the players currently.
The atmosphere grew tense and both parties were locked in a standoff.
Just when the pirates were about to take action, one of the members suddenly cried out, “Stop! Don’t move! They’re Black Star’s men!”
The moment the words sounded, the menacing gaze of the pirates disappeared, and their expressions drastically changed. A second ago, they had wanted to pounce forward, but the next moment, they had all retreated in fear with their eyes widened as they studied the equipment of the players carefully.
On a hidden location of the players’ equipment, an insignia could be seen. The insignia was a black round gear with white borders and four straight lines extending away from the gear to represent light beams. It was like a black star that was emanating light.
All the pirates understood what this insignia represented.
This was the insignia of the Black Star Army!
All the pirates revealed looks of horror and did not dare move.
Right at this moment, a deep voice sounded from the other end of the street.
“Humph, this place seems extremely lively.”
Everyone turned around only to see a couple of Godoran officers walking over slowly with their cold gazes fixed on the pirates.
In the player’s vision, the only green that they could see came from the sudden appearance of the Godora officers.
The officer in the lead cracked his neck and said with a chilly tone, “Our friends from the Black Star Army, do you need any help?”
The previously ferocious pirates were immediately reduced to trembling little rabbits. In the Hyde Star System, there was an unspoken rule that must not be broken. They should never attack the officers of the six civilizations. If not, the army would not mind sweeping through the gray area.
The entire Colton Star Cluster knew that the Black Star Army and Godora were allies. These pirates had kicked a steel plate that they could not afford to provoke and were truly unlucky.
The pirates immediately scattered in all different directions.
The players seemed to be extremely used to such a scene and put their weapons away without bothering to chase after those small fries.
Upon seeing this scene, the Godoran officers did not take action. They nodded toward the players before turning around to take their leave. Their intention was very simple. They had just gone over to help because they saw members of the Black Star Army.
Both the camps were allies, and Black Star was the recipient of the Golden Gal Badge. All members of the Black Star Army would be able to gain extra help from the Godorans, and the Black Star Networking Group that the players joked about gradually became a reality.
After running for a long while, two space pirates only dared stop after making sure that no one was giving chase. They placed their hands on their knees and bent forward while panting heavily.
“Hu… I thought that we would be dead for sure. Thankfully, they didn’t give chase,” the shorter pirate said.
The taller pirate nodded in agreement with a face full of relief as though he had just escaped death.
In the few Star Systems around the Garton Star System, apart from Star System level civilizations, no organization was willing to provoke the Black Star Army.
“Thankfully, we are only a small gang without any bounties. If not, we would be in huge trouble,” the shorter pirate said while panting heavily.
“We don’t even have the right to be wanted criminals.” The taller pirate laughed bitterly and did not know whether he should be happy or sad.
There was a saying among the pirates—they would rather meet the Dragon Emperor than meet Black Star!
One of the reasons for the swift uprising of the Black Star Army was because they took on the role of bounty hunters. All the galactic pirate groups around the Garton Star System had become the prey for the Black Star Army. These pirate groups had been wiped out, and all their battleships had been captured. The Black Star Army had at least four hundred battleships that had been snatched in this manner.
The pirates in the neighboring Star Systems had felt threatened, and a portion of them had joined hands to assassinate Black Star for their own survival. However, they had ended up falling into an ambush with over a million mercenaries being sent into battle. In the end, those allied pirates had ended up being completely wiped out.
While many infamous pirates had been captured, the majority of these pirates had been hidden by Black Star with only a small portion being exchanged for their bounties. These pirates that were taken out by Black Star had been tortured by Black Star to the point they did not even seem like humans.
After this piece of news was spread, many pirates trembled in fear and all felt that Black Star had some sick fetish toward pirates. Thus, Black Star immediately seemed a hundred times more ferocious in their eyes, causing the saying that they would rather meet the Dragon Emperor than Black Star to spread.
Dragon Emperor Ames was on neutral ground, but her field team had something against galactic pirates. Thus, they would rather land in Ames’ hands than end up being in Black Star’s hands.
As such, the pirates in the Star Systems surrounding the Garton Star System all escaped, and the security of these few Star Systems became extremely good. Currently, there were only a few small, puny galactic pirate groups left behind.
“Who would have thought that the members of the Black Star Army would appear here? Could it be that the Black Star Army think that it isn’t enough to monopolize the jobs in the Garton Star System and want to expand into Hyde?”
“Who knows? However, that isn’t impossible. In the few neighboring Star Systems, apart from the few Star System level civilizations, which other organization dares provoke the Black Star Army? They’ve already monopolized this region.”
After catching their breath for a while, both of them continued running.
Frenzied Sword and Hao Tian were currently searching for clues in the transit station. After a few hours, they finally managed to piece together the clue for the last phase of the mission.
All of them came to a deserted maintenance workshop, and their target was a crippled maintenance worker. He had lost both his arms and replaced them with prosthetic limbs. He was currently repairing a badly damaged communicator and had an ordinary aura.
However, according to the information that the players received from the Detect skill, this maintenance worker called Ronaldo was ‘Fatally Dangerous’.
Hao Tian and Frenzied Sword looked at each other and pushed Sleepy Winter into the workshop in unison. Sleepy Winter had the highest Charm stat among them and was the most suitable to talk to NPCs.
Sleepy Winter took out the mission item, handed it over, and respectfully said, “Hello, someone requested that we hand this over to you.”
They had accepted a hidden mission that required them to hand this mission item over to Ronaldo. The mission item was a letter.
Upon hearing that, Ronaldo looked up and glanced at the crowd. He then placed the machine in his hands down before calmly asking, “Who are all of you?”
“We are from the Black Star Army.”
“Black Star Army‽” Ronaldo’s gaze flickered, and he said in a deep voice, “I’ve heard of you guys before. It’s said that Black Star is an extremely powerful Mechanic. It’s truly a pity. If it was a year ago and both my arms were still around, I would have wanted to exchange pointers with him.”
Frenzied Sword and the others were shocked.
Han Xiao was a Grade A Super, and if the person before them dared say exchange pointers, he should be a Grade A Super as well. This hidden mission was truly unfathomable.
“Don’t be in a rush to leave. Let me see what’s written.”
Ronaldo lowered his head and opened the letter that was filled with secret codes. He lived in seclusion due to some reason and could only use such a method to transmit information.
All the players waited for a moment, and Ronaldo sighed after reading the letter.
“These are truly turbulent times. A new storm is about to arrive. Sigh, please tell your employer that I am in seclusion and will not accept any hires. I only wish to stay here silently; the tremors of the Shattered Star Ring shall not affect me anymore.”
The final mission objective on their interface changed to ‘report back to their employer’, and they would be able to accept the mission reward at any time. However, these players did not leave immediately as they were extremely sensitive to hidden storylines. Upon hearing Ronaldo’s words, they knew that there was information to be dug up.
“I wonder, what do you mean by a storm?” Sleepy Winter asked.
Ronaldo looked at him and perhaps found Sleepy Winter to be more pleasant to the eyes. “Have you guys not noticed the hidden currents in the Shattered Star Ring over the past year or two? The seven Star Cluster level civilizations’ actions have been weird; this is the signal of a storm. A whirlpool is gradually forming and is only in its infancy. When this whirlpool surfaces, the entire Shattered Star Ring will be dragged in, and not a single organization will be able to avoid the storm.”
Everyone was completely puzzled. They had only visited the few Star Systems around the Garton Star System and did not understand much about the storm in the Shattered Star Ring. After all, their area of operation was not large enough.
There were some players who wanted to explore new maps and visit other Star Clusters. However, the effort that they put in and rewards they received usually did not match. They could only view the scenery most of the time and make a wasted trip.
The galaxy was extremely large, and just the Shattered Star Ring alone was already enormous. Trying to find a mission alone was akin to finding a needle in a haystack. On the contrary, the Black Star Army had numerous missions for them to choose from, and they would definitely have returns. Thus, their target was extremely obvious.
Sleepy Winter continued asking, and Ronaldo replied, “No one knows the target of these Star Cluster level civilizations, but the storm definitely isn’t a coincidence. I think that there must be a powerful organization directing the changes in the Shattered Star Ring.
“Powerful organization? Is it the three Universal Civilizations that have only appeared in the background, or is it someone else?” Everyone guessed to themselves.
The players did not know about the Tyrant’s gathering and naturally did not know what was going on behind the scenes. However, this did not stop Frenzied Sword, Hao Tian, and the others from guessing that this was related to the storyline of the future version.
After all, this was not the first time. Black Star had also revealed Version 2.0’s Mutation Disaster during Version 1.0.
Having clues of the future version ahead of time could provide them with a huge advantage.
Right at this moment, Ronaldo seemed to have thought of something and said, “Right, all of you are Black Star’s subordinates. Give something to him for me.”
Everyone was stunned for a moment before nodding. This was obviously a new mission.
Following which, Ronaldo took a pen and paper to write a long list of names before handing it over to the players.
Sleepy Winter received the piece of paper, and the interface notified him that he received a copy of [List of Names].
This time, Frenzied Sword could not help but ask, “What is this?”
“This is a list…” Ronaldo said with a deep voice. As though he thought about a terrible memory, he grabbed the position of his arm, and a trace of anger and fear flashed past his eyes. “A list of targets.”
“Er, why do you want us to pass this to Black Star?”
“Because… he is on the list!”