Chapter 865 Falling into the Trap
Following the data link channel that was built by Phillip, Han Xiao’s consciousness warped through the quantum network, and the nodes appeared in front of him.
Sweeping through, Han Xiao confirmed his target and entered one of the databases.
The defenses of the artificial intelligence within such interstellar nodes were practically nonexistent before one who had grasped the Beyond Grade A Mechanic knowledge [Virtual Creator].
Under his control, Phillip easily entered the back door of the harbor’s database, copied the relevant data, and quickly found the disguised identities of Sagman and Taylor. He found the two in the wide area quantum network, as well as the record of all activities of the identity so far.
“The two of them are unassuming galactic residents, and the last time they appeared on the log was…”
Browsing through the information, he saw that their record was seamless and estimated that they should indeed be real people. The actual owners should have died in outer space, and their identity was then collected by the Arcane Church’s spies.
Since there were countless interstellar travelers who died within the universe each year, it provided the gray forces with a large number of fake identities. Han Xiao remembered that there were large-scale sales of this identity by intelligence organizations on the black market.
“If not for the fact that the players had noticed it, no one would notice two ordinary people with such innocuous resumes in the vast universe.” Han Xiao shook his head as he smiled.
Upon checking the ID of the spaceship that the two people used, he discovered that it was still docked within one of the lots, which meant that the spaceship should have been abandoned. The two of them had probably gotten on a new one after reaching this central port, and Han Xiao had to trace the new ID of the spaceship they used.
“Since they bought a new spaceship, then there has to be transaction records of them within the port… but the accounts of the people they impersonated did not show any movement of funds, so it is likely that they used a different account… Phillip, check which supplier the spaceship originated from. They could have made a transaction there. From there, we can trace it to their secret account.”
“Master, hum… there’s no information about the origin of the spacecraft in the port database. This information is generally stored separately in the shipyard’s independent database.”
“Oh… then mark all the network nodes of the shipyard, ship market, and black market in this port.”
“Marking complete. There are 1,374 nodes, hum…”
“Hack into all of them.” Han Xiao waved carelessly.
The moment the command was given, Phillip immediately mobilized huge computing power, and the more than a thousand quantum network nodes were invaded one by one. The colors changed from a peaceful white to green with control authority, akin to a virus infection. Han Xiao’s control range within the port expanded rapidly.
Before long, Han Xiao had gained control of the more than a thousand databases. and all the backdoors were opened by him while the other party knew nothing about it.
With his current Virtual Technology expertise, so long as he could establish a link, he could easily spread his control over a whole planet’s network, taking over the entire planet remotely.
Phillip’s processing system had been strengthened countless times by Han Xiao, and his computing power was now extremely strong. In a few moments, he had completed the data search and discovered the origin of the spaceship as well as Sagman’s purchase history, together with his spending accounts.
In this way, they gained an additional tracking clue. If this secret account was utilized elsewhere, even if they changed their disguise, they would be exposed.
However, Han Xiao was still unsatisfied. He wanted to trace the early transfer records of this anonymous account, as he was sure that the money had been sent through the Arcane Church. From this, he would be able to latch onto their other spies and secret accounts. As long as he continued to follow the trail, there would be more clues.
From this small breakthrough, he might be able to lock onto a portion of the Arcane Church’s identities.
The moment the mission [The Crimson Dynasty Search Operation: Region Investigation] was released, it received the attention of the enthusiastic players. Millions of them accepted this prize pool task and gathered from all directions to move toward this area.
Initially, they were akin to headless flies and could only blindly search due to the lack of knowledge. Thus, some people went off to perform other missions.
But the situation had changed. With a mission area demarcated, the chance of completion would be greatly increased, so countless players flocked over.
The prize pool of ten million experience was no small sum, but what drove the players was the prize money of three million Enas. When they took one normal mission, the amount received would not be more than a hundred thousand Enas.
To have such a big sum of money in front of them, three million, they could not resist the temptation!
There were even players fantasizing. If they completed the objective alone, would they not gain the whole reward?
The requirement to enter this mission was only two hundred experience. With such low investments and high potential returns, the players did not think too much, and the crazy accumulation of experience in the prize-pool became the factor that pulled in even more players.
For a period of time, the players poured into the area, and the probability of interstellar citizens meeting members of the Black Star Army increased significantly.
Within the interrogation room of a dynasty battleship, a group of captured Arcane Church spies were firmly tied to a chair, and the dynasty soldiers guarded the entrance to the room with guns.
This group had been captured based on the intelligence of Black Star. He had dug out some information from the secret accounts of Sagman, and the dynasty had been able to select new targets.
The door to the interrogation room opened, and a man with a smile on his face strolled in. He wore the trench coat of a dynasty officer and black gloves.
Standing in front of the captives, he softly laughed.
“Let me introduce myself. I’m a psychic, one of the Senior Officers of the Crimson Dynasty’s Intelligence Department. My name is… heh heh, there’s no need to tell you guys. Anyways, we’d better hurry up. I’ll be digging some information from your brains today. Please cooperate, else you will burn out your brains, and I won’t be responsible for that.”
As he spoke, he walked up to one of the captives, placing his palm on the head of said captive.
The captive began to struggle violently, as though suffering from epilepsy.
A few seconds passed, and trails of blood leaked out from all seven orifices on his head. The captive’s mouth was slack, and tears, snot, and saliva mixed with the fresh blood dripped onto the ground. He looked miserable as he continued to convulse.
“Thank you for your cooperation.” The smile of the Intelligence officer got even wider, and he walked toward the next person.
Looking at him approach, the rest had expressions of horror, as though saying, Don’t come over!
Screams of misery sounded out. “Argh!”
Looking at this scene, the guards at the door subconsciously tightened their grips on their weapons.
Very quickly, the intelligence officer’s job was completed. He took off his gloves, placing them in his pocket before leaving.
As he was walking out, he tapped one of the soldiers’ shoulders and jerked his head toward one of the captive spies who was foaming at the mouth.
“Don’t clean up the scene. There’s still some use for them. I require their genetic code to verify their identities as spies.”
“Un… understood.” The guard swallowed with difficulty.
The officer then took out his communicator, reporting to Tarrokov.
“There’re a few of them who have come into contact with Beyond Grade As, and we have confirmed that they were Taylor and Sagman. I’ve confirmed that all of them match with the identities of spies from the Arcane Church, as well as the tasks entrusted to them.
Tarrokov shook his head. “Are there any you suspect to be true personnel that personally received the instructions?”
The espionage was based off the command from the Arcane Church, and the missions they received were all different. A large portion of them were giving misleading or false information, and only a small portion were really in contact with Sagman.
Because Han Xiao had locked onto the area where the two of them were, the dynasty could rule out many of the misleading locations, and the spy with a mission location around where the two of them were located was thus the suspected actual personnel, so they could also narrow down their scope of operations even further.
Only when they discovered the actual personnel involved could Tarrokov then implement a plan, which was to impersonate the espionage agent of the Arcane Church. Because Sagman was in contact with the Arcane Church, they would not trust anyone other than the person who was actually in charge of this mission.
Impersonating was difficult but not impossible, as long as they caught the person in charge. Even if the Arcane Church were to discover it later, it would be too late.
Following the search of the Black Star Army, Sagman and Taylor found many irregularities, as though they had been grasped in the palm of someone.
They immediately took all sorts of measures, but it was as though a large net had been spread toward them, trapping them before being slowly tightened.
Their every move seemed to be monitored, as if an assassin was hiding behind them.
While they did not know where the problem lay, but when they thought about it carefully, they realised it was most likely the fact that Black Star was following them through the quantum network, and their spaceship and purchases had likely been tracked.
Thus, the two of them decided to abandon their spaceship, float around in the universe with their fleshly bodies for a period of time. When they had left their spaceship at a distance, they then transferred to another spaceship operated by their spies, and donned on a new disguise.
The situation improved for a period of time, and Sagman as well as Taylor both thought that they had shaken Black Star off.
But they were unaware that the dynasty had already completely locked their position and quietly started to tighten the circle, following them. When the Beyond Grade As of the dynasty arrived, that would be the time to reel in the net.
Within the wormholes of the Shattered Star Ring, the Fallen Ark fleet led by EsGod was roaming about.
On the flagship, Fakisen spoke to the main body of EsGod. “Your Excellency EsGod, are you sure we are leaving the Shattered Star Ring through this method?”
“And if we don’t?” EsGod laughed. “Who will lend us their stargate?”
At this moment, EsGod had already completed his evolution and was full of vitality. Fakisen could feel a deeper level of pressure from him, coming from a higher life form.
EsGod, who possessed information from the Evolutionary Civilization, had gained a lot from the evolutionary energy, and no one could tell how much he had improved.
Fallen Ark had only established a temporary stargate between the desolate universe belt and the Flickering World, and there were also no stargates present in the Shattered Star Ring. Furthermore, they had borrowed the Arcane Church’s stargate to travel from the Central Galaxy to the Flickering World, and they naturally could not use the same gate when returning.
From the beginning, EsGod had been prepared to leave the star field through the wormhole group of the Shattered Star Ring, one of the reasons being that it was where he had first discovered a certain fortuitous encounter.
“The transmission locations of these unstable wormholes are completely randomized, and we don’t know where we’ll be thrown. The risk is too great. We can just slowly proceed along the desolate universe belt, avoiding the crowd for a period of them.” Fakisen tried to dissuade him.
EsGod turned a deaf ear, looking at the unstable wormholes constantly emerging and disappearing outside the porthole. “Just look at how disorderly and chaotic this scene is. This is the true meaning of the universe, and only in this disorderly state can it contain endless possibilities.”
EsGod then turned to Fakisen, casually asking, “Any intelligence on the remaining Beyond Grade As from the Arcane Church?”
Fakisen nodded. “The dynasty is pursuing the remaining four with all their might and did not put much energy into chasing us. The Black Star Army, Bloodshed Land, and Klent Kingdom are also the heads of the Shattered Star Ring, so the dynasty will probably catch one of two of them.”
“It seems like the Arcane Church will suffer great losses this time.” EsGod blandly eyed Fakisen. “Are you happy?”
“Of course.” Fakisen laughed. “The moment they contacted me, I was already picturing this scene.”
“Ah, I’m afraid it is not just this reason…” EsGod laughed but did not pursue the exact reason. He then turned back to face the wormhole, leisurely commanding, “Let’s enter.”
The Fallen Ark fleet slowly traversed into the wormhole and vanished.
A stream of light shot through the universe. It was Sagman and Taylor’s spaceship.
“There are only seven more hours before we reach the next public stargate. We’re nearing the border of Shattered Star Ring. The dynasty has little control over the next star cluster. The spies are also already in place and are waiting to assemble the stargate. The moment we move to a different area, the dynasty will not be able to find us so easily anymore,” Sagman said.
Taylor nodded, his expression finally easing a little.
They had hidden high and low for almost three months, and this sort of life was stifling for them. Finally, they had hope of escaping unscathed.
Sagman sighed. “It’s a pity that Mercer and Dylan were captured. Out of six of us, only four of us can return… no, maybe only three. Psyker’s base is within the Shattered Star Ring, and sooner or later, he will have to come back and face the pressure from Black Star and Heber.”
At this point, neither was in the mood to talk further. Their mission that they were so confident in had actually put them in such a sorry situation.
At this point, the artificial intelligence of the spaceship suddenly sounded, and it was a familiar voice.
“If you have the time to be concerned about others, you’d be better off using that time to worry about yourselves.”
The duo jumped, their expressions changing.
This voice… Black Star‽
The next moment, the spaceship suddenly shuddered, and the artificial intelligence of the spaceship killed the hyperdrive function, causing the spaceship to come out from hyperdrive.
Even the ordinary engine was turned off, so the spaceship simply floated in the universe.
The magic interference traps that Milizaus and Ravenlaude had placed in the void in advance completely enveloped this area. All spacetime abilities were blocked.
Streams of light shot out from eight directions, wrapping around Sagman and Taylor’s spaceship.
Milizaus as well as the Beyond Grade As from the dynasty were all on the scene, and each occupied a position, staring at them like tigers toward prey.
“We’re surrounded!” Taylor’s face drained of color.
Sagman’s face twitched violently, his expression mixed with incredulity and fury. He suddenly noticed a mechanical army blocking their path ahead.
Standing at the front were the four Apostle Weapons lined up in a row—Psionic Prime with a crown and a spear, Giant King Kong with its hulking body, Silver Flash with its gleaming hand-cannons, and Mad Sky Hunter with its arrogant bearing.
Standing in front of them was a figure, but it was not Han Xiao. It was the mechanical host, codenamed ‘Mammoth’. At this moment, Han Xiao was utilizing [Lord’s Descent] to project his consciousness and will into this mechanical host. Its tough mechanical body looked dazzling with the blue-gold Mechanical Force arcing around it.
This mechanical host had seemingly transformed into Han Xiao’s avatar, sharing his attributes, skills, and expertise. It practically possessed a Beyond Grade A combat power at this moment.
“Surrender.” Two dark streams of energy flowed from Milizaus’ nostrils, who was in his dragon form.
While he was unwilling to chase and fight so hard, the dynasty had already locked onto the enemy, and he and the rest of the Beyond Grade As could not openly defy the dynasty’s orders.
Sagman’s eyeballs darted around before finally landing on Han Xiao’s machinery.
After being played by Han Xiao a few times, he had already gone beyond the point of anger.
Seeing this, Han Xiao leisurely replied, “In this situation, your odds of escape are close to none. We just want to capture you guys alive. How about surrendering?”
Sagman breathed out loudly before suddenly smiling. However, his smile was full of viciousness.
“When did you hear that a Beyond Grade A does not fight and just surrenders?”
“Maybe today?” Han Xiao’s brows rose.
While he said that, his posture slightly lowered, preparing for battle. Several other Beyond Grade As were also prepared to move, ready to follow Han Xiao’s lead at any time.
With his gaze fixed to the front, Sagman suddenly spoke to Taylor. “I’ll try to hold all of them back; you look for an opportunity to escape. They only want to capture one of us. If one more of us can escape, that will be a bonus.”
“Don’t be stupid. They came prepared. I can’t run.” Taylor let out a bitter laugh before taking out his staff. “I’m better off staying and fighting with you. Even if we can’t change the result, I can’t let myself be caught without dignity.”
Sagman nodded before murmuring, “After this battle, I don’t know when we’ll next be free.”
They then looked at each other.
The next instant, the spaceship shattered, and the duo rushed out toward the Supers of the dynasty.
Galaxy Chronicles (Official Revised Edition)
In the Year 705, on the 27th Day of the 9th Month on the Galaxy Calendar, the Arcane Church and Fallen Ark teamed up to launch a surprise attack on Planet Lighthouse within the Flickering World. Their goal was to snatch the Evolution Cube and kill the Beyond Grade A allies of the Crimson Dynasty—Beyoni, Black Star, and Milizaus.
‘Magus’ Austin intervened in this battle, and the Arcane Church used the Ten Thousand Deity Scepter to hit Milizaus, but it was later countered with some special sealing means by Black Star.
Black Star later captured the Beyond Grade A Super of the Arcane Church, Dylan, netting great achievements. The Arcane Church was forced to retreat and entered an escape phase, where the dynasty began hunting them down.
In the same year, on the 3rd Day of the 10th Month, just as the Arcane Church’s fleet left the Flickering World, fleet commander Rogue and Mercer were captured.
In the Year 706, on the 21st Day of the 1st Month, with the assistance of the Federation of Light, the Bloodshed Land, Black Star Army, Klent Kingdom, Purple Crystal, and more, the Crimson Dynasty finally successfully intercepted the Beyond Grade As Sagman and Taylor in the Shattered Star Ring. After a bloody battle, they were both captured by the Crimson Dynasty.
At this point, the pursuit from the dynasty came to an end, and the fleet of Arcane Church was completely annihilated. Four Beyond Grade As were captured, and only two escaped. This became known in history as ‘The Battle of Planet Lighthouse’ and ‘The Attack of the Arcane Church’.