Chapter 715 Seven Years
As Aesop, Vilna, and Jenny were chatting, a most familiar spaceship to all three of them came from afar. It was Han Xiao’s Blacklight Stealth.
“Why is he here?”
The three of them were surprised. They were just talking about Han Xiao, and speak of the devil…
The Blacklight Stealth squeezed into the Floating Dragon Island’s dock. The hatch opened, and Han Xiao stepped out. He looked around at the shivering galactic pirates around, curled his lips, and then looked at Aesop, Jenny, and Vilna.
“Yo, you’re all here.”
“Why have you come back?” Jenny snorted.
“It’s been a long time since I last saw you, and I’ve missed you, especially that pretty hairline of yours. I missed it so much I could barely sleep at night… By the way, have you had time to sleep recently?”
Han Xiao raised his brows. After knowing Jenny for so long, he knew very clearly of how to piss her off.
“You’re such an asshole!” Being hit where it hurt, Jenny clenched her teeth, turned around, and stomped away as if the ground was Han Xiao’s face and she wanted to stomp a hole in it.
Han Xiao then looked at Vilna and said, “What were you guys doing?”
“W—We were inspecting the second Field Team…” Vilna stuttered with a slightly blushed face. Han Xiao was the one that had spent the money to build this team, and Aesop had just told her that this was a symbol of Han Xiao showing his decision of leaving. With Han Xiao suddenly appearing, she felt very uncomfortable as if she had been caught in the act.
Being extremely experienced, Aesop was not awkward at all, he changed the topic and said, “Are you looking for Ames? She doesn’t know you’re back, so she should be in the palace training. Go find her.”
Han Xiao nodded. He casually patted Vilna’s head till her face was completely blushed, and then he finally walked away satisfied.
Although Vilna was a Calamity Grade, her personality was too soft, and Han Xiao could not help but tease her every time he saw her. After all, she would be his successor in the future, so he was casual when treating her.
He had just completed a mission that happened to be near the Floating Dragon Island, so he decided to make a trip there. While he was there, he was also going to use the Blank Character Summon Card on Ames.
Near the palace, Han Xiao saw Hila and Aurora, and his eyes sparkled.
Hila was wearing a tight red battle suit made of high strength nanofiber. Compared to three years ago, her body was even sexier. Her appearance and vibe had become more aligned with the Goddess of Death that she had been in his previous life, cold and indifferent.
Aurora had grown quite a bit taller, too. She was still smaller than Hila overall but not smaller at all at some places. It was clear that she had developed her vital energy Esper ability very well.
The foreheads of both of them were covered in sweat marks as they walked out of the palace. It seemed like they had just finished training Upon seeing Han Xiao, the two of them stopped simultaneously.
“Whoa, are you here to see us?” With surprise all over her face, Aurora pounced into Han Xiao’s arms and hugged him.
Hila’s eyes twitched as she slowly walked over.
“Alright, alright, they’re big enough.” Han Xiao quickly pushed Aurora away by her head then sized the two of them up. “It looks like you guys have trained well under Ames.”
Both sisters had Grade S Esper ability potential, so they had grown at an astonishing speed. The energy they gave off had reached Grade B, with Hila giving off stronger energy. Han Xiao speculated that Hila’s Energy Rank should be about around 6,000.
In the original storyline, she reached Calamity Grade in Version 3.0. Although she’s not increasing her strength by slaughtering countless lives, with her potential and how hard she’s working, the possibility of her reaching the Calamity Grade within the next seven years should be quite high.
Han Xiao patted Aurora’s head, paused, and said to Hila, “When you’re at Calamity Grade, come back to help me.”
Given how strong Hila had been in her previous life, she would definitely be a great help when she reached Grade A. As a very powerful healer, Aurora would also be able to effectively reduce the casualties of his officers. Both of them would be fantastic additions to his army.
“Okay.” Hila nodded and replied very decisively.
“I thought you would hesitate. After all, it’s safe here with Ames. Haven’t you always prioritized safety?”.
With an expressionless face, Hila said, “This is something we agreed on. Plus, when I’m at Calamity Grade, I will be able to protect Aurora. Since we’re here in the universe, we can’t possibly stay in one place all the time instead of exploring the world. Furthermore, she is now capable of protecting herself to some extent.”
Han Xiao looked at Hila and said, “Why do I feel like you didn’t really mean that?”
“Humph.” Hila looked away.
She did not train so hard just to protect Aurora in the galaxy but also to be able to help Han Xiao as soon as possible to repay him. With her strong personality, she had to repay others for their help.
Furthermore, she would be able to see Han Xiao often if she worked for him. She could only see Han Xiao once in a very long time while training on Floating Dragon Island, so she rather missed him.
“Are you here to see Her Excellency Dragon Emperor?” Hila asked.
“…She should be in the garden, go see her then.” Hila looked down.
Han Xiao was just about to walk into the palace when Hila suddenly stopped him and asked, “How strong have you really become?”
She was not at Han Xiao’s level yet, and the news was mostly exaggerated, so she had been very curious about how strong Han Xiao really was.
“Hmmm, I should be able to beat a hundred thousand of you without using both of my hands.” Han Xiao smiled.
Hila clenched her teeth in her mind.
She had known Han Xiao for the longest, but now she could not even see Han Xiao’s footsteps.
In the garden, Ames was floating in the air, looking up at a dim star at the edge of the sky.
Hearing the footsteps, she glanced down and slowly landed before Han Xiao. Her smooth, silky hair and her thin black dress waved with the wind.
“You’re back, Black Star.” Ames smiled and complimented, “I’ve heard about you funding the second Field Team. You’ve done well.”
“Everything is easy with enough money.” Han Xiao chuckled as he secretly used the Blank Character Summon Card on Ames.
“Why did you come back to see me?” Ames blinked.
“Do I need a reason to come to see you?” Of course, Han Xiao was not going to say that it was because of the Blank Character Summon Card.
“You’ve become less and less cautious in front of me.”
“That’s because we’re very close now, aren’t we?” Han Xiao joked.
“Is that the only reason?” Ames stared at Han Xiao’s eyes with a faint smile.
Black Star had become stronger and stronger, and his position was also growing continuously. The differences between the two of them in every regard were shrinking at a very high speed. Black Star became more casual when facing her, not as a subordinate of her anymore but more like an equal.
Ames suddenly said, “How long has it been since the last time I went to tour your territory?”
Han Xiao thought about it and said, “Quite a few years, why?”
The last time that Ames toured the Black Star Army was when Version 2.0 just started. It was then that she had taken Hila and Aurora as her students.
“It’s only been a few years, and your organization has already grown to what it is today. Black Star, how about you take me to tour your territory once again?” Ames slanted her head and gave Han Xiao a smile that he did not understand.
Han Xiao was a little surprised, but he was used to how random Ames was. He thought about it, and it seemed that there was no reason for him to reject her. He felt that it was most likely because Ames was extremely bored, so he nodded and said, “Sure. Since the boss wants to do a tour, I will accompany you. I’m on holiday anyway. Let’s go to the Black Star Army headquarters, what do you say?”
“Hmm, you decide.” Ames smiled.
The two of them left immediately.
Aesop was still inspecting the troops when he saw with resignation that in the short time Han Xiao left, he had already kidnapped Ames and taken her away.
The Blacklight Stealth returned to the headquarters. The two of them alighted the spaceship, and Han Xiao took Ames to tour the various areas of the headquarters. In the process, the many Black Star Army members that passed by them all gave them strange looks.
The rumors of the two of them going separate ways never stopped. Now that they saw their captain appearing together with Ames, many felt strange. Currently, Ames was still the boss of the Black Star Army, so it looked like she was there to do an inspection.
As the two of them walked, Han Xiao explained and introduced the various areas while Ames kept quiet. Very soon, they finished touring all the areas in the headquarters and arrived at Han Xiao’s office. All the officers in the headquarters had been summoned there by Han Xiao, waiting to meet Ames in the office and be inspected.
As soon as Ames walked in the door, the Black Star Army officers all stood up and nodded, giving the Beyond Grade A their respect.
Ames looked around and saw Herlous and the others. She smiled and said, “I remember some of you. You’ve all been working with Black Star for a very long time.”
“You’re Herlous, right?” Ames came before Herlous, smiled, and nodded. “I can see your potential. You should be able to reach Calamity Grade.”
Herlous’ face became joyous. He had always been troubled by this, and now he felt much more relieved-he trusted the judgment of a Beyond Grade A.
Ames then came before Aroshia. Seeing that she was still cold as always, she smiled and did not say anything. She then walked up to Sylvia and patted Sylvia’s head.
“What a smart kid. I feel you have the potential to become a Calamity Grade too.”
Sylvia’s eyes opened wide, and she felt a little bit weird.
She felt that Ames seemed to like guessing others’ potential, and she wondered if it was Ames’ strange habit.
Ames stopped for a while in front of every officer and spoke a few words. Every officer reacted differently. Feidin smiled gently; Harmon was lost; Reynold was solemn; Rossellin was indifferent; Karmbe, Marian, and Misecech were overjoyed.
Lastly, Ames came to Lagi and gave him a few more glances. “Didn’t expect you to be the former Forbidden Sorcerer Commander under Austin.”
“Sigh, what good does that do? I’m still fired.” Lagi sighed. He was used to seeing Beyond Grade As, so he was the most casual among all the officers.
Ames smiled and walked back to Han Xiao. The officers did not speak, all intimidated by Ames.
“Okay Black Star, I’ll be going back now.”
“So soon?” Han Xiao was stunned. Was she not going to stay and play for a few days after going all the way there?
“I’ve seen what I wanted to see.” Ames shook her head.
The rise of the Black Star Army was too quick, and observing the Black Star Army was equivalent to observing Han Xiao’s ambition. She had found the answer to what she wanted to know.
Maybe… I’m really not suitable to be his leader.
Having understood what Ames meant, Han Xiao sighed in his mind and told the officers to scatter as he took Ames back to the dock. The two of them stayed silent on the way.
“Give me a spaceship, I’ll go back myself. You don’t have to make another trip,” Ames said.
“Okay.” Han Xiao called the person in charge of the dock over and told him to bring a spaceship over.
As the two of them waited for the spaceship on the dock, Ames suddenly spoked without even turning her head.
“A few years ago, you told me you were going to join the secret war, but you did not seek my help-why?”
Han Xiao coughed and said, “Your position is too sensitive to take part in the secret war. I notified you, and you didn’t stop me, so I took it as you allowed it. Back then, you didn’t show any signs of wanting to take part in it, so I didn’t seek help from you.”
“Why didn’t you try?”
What is that supposed to mean? Han Xiao frowned, but he could only see the back of Ames’ head.
He changed the topic and said, “A few years ago when I was ambushed by Thous… ahem, Klent, I asked for your help, but you didn’t agree to help me.”
Han Xiao was talking about when he asked for Ames’ help during the third round of [Prey] and was rejected.
“If you insisted back then, I would’ve still agreed. If you insisted on asking me to join the secret war, I might not have rejected… though I don’t like to be involved in these things,” Ames said with a calm tone.
Han Xiao could not see her face, so he could only speculate what she meant from her tone. “You mean that you want to take part in the secret war?”
“I’m no longer needed.” Ames paused and changed the topic. “Ever since the first day I met you, I’ve never seen you stop your footsteps, why?”
Are we doing quizzes now? When did you start to speak in such a mysterious way? Han Xiao’s lips twitched. He thought for a moment and said with resignation, “It’s not time to stop. You have the choice to stop, but I don’t.”
“What are you afraid of?”.
Han Xiao’s eyes were slightly moved, and he did not answer.
At this time, a spaceship finally stopped in front of Ames. The hatch opened, and the gangway was lowered.
Ames stretched her body. Her clothes tightened and highlighted her cursive, beautiful waist. She sighed and softly said, “I hope you’re willing to stop one day and look at the scenery along the way. This universe has an end no matter how enormous it is, but ambition has no limits.”
Then, she boarded the ship and closed the hatch, blocking herself from Han Xiao’s view, never letting him see her expression.
Han Xiao watched as the spaceship turned into a stream of light and disappeared. Then he sighed and massaged his temples.
He had a feeling that Ames had changed, and her mood had become more unpredictable.
When did she start to change? Han Xiao pondered.
The conflict between the Crimson Dynasty and the Federation of Light affected the entire Galaxy. All the Star Fields were affected by the Crimson Tide. It was a time of chaos. Big and small wars were also happening in the various Star Clusters in the Shattered Star Ring.
The Crimson Tide swept the entire Galaxy. Comparatively, the chaos in the Shattered Star Ring was just the tip of the iceberg.
The situation of the secret war was many times more complicated compared to his previous life. More people were involved, and more ‘accidents’ happened that had never happened originally. Nonetheless, overall, the situation was still a stalemate between the Bloodshed Land and Section Zero.
War meant opportunities; no one fought wars for the sake of fighting wars. The Black Star Army was slowly expanding and benefiting.
Han Xiao was very active in the secret war and became the brightest star onstage.
Like a violent river that never stopped or flowed backward, the secret war became more and more intense in the midst of this chaos that affected the entire universe.
In the flames of war, seven years passed in this universe.