Chapter 874 Isolation
Han Xiao did not contact the Gulal Civilization immediately. The banquet was still ongoing, and it would be rude to ignore the guests.
Returning to the banquet, Han Xiao collected more communication numbers. The relaxing time passed in a flash, and the banquet quickly approached the end. The guests all bade their farewells and left the venue.
Han Xiao saw Ceselin among the throng of people leaving, his footsteps hurried but nothing strange from his expression. His display toward Han Xiao this time had brought nothing but ruin.
However, Han Xiao did not intend to snitch someone to such a small star system civilization. He was a Beyond Grade A and had no obligation to report to such people.
As the guests left, the mechanical waiters appeared to clear up the messy venue.
This was the first year of holding the evolutionary banquet, and both the scale and influence were limited. It would need a few more years before its reputation would sound in the Shattered Star Ring and become a practice.
After leaving the venue, Han Xiao did not idle but met up with the elites of the Crimson Dynasty separately. These people were more important, so they received special treatment. They did not talk about business but rather just chatted idly to improve their relationship.
All these people in the Crimson Dynasty had varying levels of influence, and making more contacts would allow him to help expand his network in the dynasty, as well as his speaking rights.
Because of the battle at Planet Lighthouse, Han Xiao’s fame and status in the Crimson Dynasty had increased, and he found that the elites’ attitude was now even more awed than the previous batch; they no longer treated him as a normal Beyond Grade A ally.
Everyone had a great chat, and only after Han Xiao sent them off did he return to his room and got Phillip to contact the upper echelons of the Gulal Civilization.
He did not disclose Ceselin’s backstabbing but indicated that Ceselin had offered him war employment and completed his mission, leading him to call to discuss this matter.
The Ancient Emperor Party did not suspect anything and offered a price for his war employment efforts, including remuneration, military supplies, machinery materials, and long-term mining rights for their resource rich planets.
Normal mercenary groups would only obtain remuneration, military factory borrowing rights, procurement channels, and other rewards, but due to the nature of the Black Star Army being vastly different, they were able to obtain resources such as mining rights.
Unsurprisingly, the Gulal Civilization civil strife turned out to be a mission series. After he contacted the Ancient Emperor Party, a similar S-ranked mission appeared, the only difference being the name of the mission titled ‘Protect the Orthodoxy’. The mission objective was to aid the Ancient Emperor Party in suppressing the other two parties and reclaim their territories.
Without giving the Ancient Emperor Party confirmation, Han Xiao cut the call, stroking his chin as he contemplated.
“Both are S-ranked missions, so the reward should be the same… Oh, there should be some minute differences. Because the Ancient Emperor Party is the strongest, suppressing the other two will be the easier option. If I help a weaker party ascend, the reward should also be higher.”
After thinking about it, Han Xiao had Phillip search for the leader of the Pioneer Party’s number. Ceselin was just an unexpected factor, and Han Xiao was prepared to just leapfrog ranks and talk straight to the leader.
With the military division within the Gulal Civilization, the Pioneer Party had a clear territory, so it was easy to find the required number.
The call was quickly connected.
“Hello, may I know who you…” The leader’s secretary appeared on the screen, but in mid speech, the person exclaimed upon seeing Han Xiao’s face. “Black Star‽”
With Han Xiao’s current fame, only bumpkins would not recognize him. As someone who was an official of a star system civilization, they would not fail to recognize this face.
“Connect me to your leader.” Han Xiao calmly spoke.
“Oh oh, I’ll divert the call now, you… no, sir, please hold on,” the secretary stammered. While they were not the ruling party, the leader of the Pioneer Party was not someone that any Tom, Dick, and Harry could meet as and when they liked. However, Black Star was obviously an exception.
Not long later, the leader came online. He found it difficult to hide the surprise in his eyes. He was waiting for an important call, but he suddenly received news that Black Star was on the line, which gave him quite the shock.
How come Black Star, who had never had any dealings with them, suddenly called and asked to speak with him?
“Your Excellency Black Star, may I ask… what business do you have with me?”
“I’ve heard about the situation in your Gulal Civilization, and not too long ago, the Ancient Emperor Party requested me for a war employment, wishing to borrow my strength to annihilate the other two parties. Are you aware of this?”
“Is this true‽” The leader’s expression changed. While he did not know this, he had been waiting for a report from his spy, who had reported some movements from the side of the Ancient Emperor Party. He had guessed that they would seek aid, but this report was now directly confirmed by Black Star.
The Pioneer Party leader also knew the importance of such a matter and immediately panicked. He quickly recovered though. If Black Star had accepted the employment, then there would have been no need to inform them. Black Star must have a reason for calling them.
In a flash, the leader understood Black Star’s thinking. “Your Excellency Black Star, no matter what price the Ancient Emperor Party offers, we’ll double it and will not go back on our word.”
Since the other party had already made his intentions clear, there was no need for pleasantries. The Pioneer Party immediately gave his offer. In fact, he also wished to receive the aid from the Black Star Army, but it was nigh impossible since the Ancient Emperor Party had long forged a connection with the Black Star Army through their business dealings.
What a good fellow, he actually treated me like a warmonger… Han Xiao’s brows twitched, but from the perspective of the Pioneer Party, this was natural since he did not know about Ceselin.
After thinking about it, Han Xiao did not choose to reveal the existence of Ceselin. After all, he had provided him with this mission. Before he took the initiative to jump over, his merits and fame would be hidden.
After pondering for a while, he nodded to the nervous expression of the Pioneer Party leader.
“Good, then it’s settled. When the time comes, I’ll look for someone to allow you to sign the employment contract.”
He ended the call.
Staring at the darkened screen, the leader of the Pioneer Party slumped in his chair, looking out of sorts, as though he had just woken up from a dream.
Without any warning, he suddenly obtained the help of the Black Star Army, such a behemoth?
“Could it be that Black Star is really trying to be a warmonger? He doesn’t have to do this.” A seed of suspicion bloomed in the leader’s mind.
But Black Star clearly had no dealings with his Pioneer Party, so why did he choose them?
“There must be some underlying factor…”
The expression of the Pioneer Party leader flickered.
It was just that Black Star did not reveal anything, and it was not a good time for him to ask. However, the Pioneer Party leader did not wish to be kept in the dark. He decided to slowly dig out the reason. There had to be someone involved that had made Black Star seek employment from him.
On the other side, Han Xiao put his communicator away. His part had come to an end; he only needed to send someone to get the contract finalized before sending out the mission to his faction. The rest would be completed by the players and his members, which did not require his concern.
He had chosen to help the Pioneer Party, not because it had any relation with Ceselin, but because it was indeed the best among the three. Only when he could protect his own interests would he think about sowing good karma. This had always been his work ethic.
On the other hand, the Pioneer Party looked more righteous. Many players loved such a scenario, so it would satisfy their emotional and ethical needs.
Thus, after considering all these factors, he had chosen to give up on the Ancient Emperor Party and Descendant Party, and help the ‘righteous’ Pioneer Party. This would be conducive to enhancing the players’ sense of identification with the army.
A few days later, the elites left the Black Star Army headquarters.
The Gulal Civilization’s spaceship also left the port, heading into the universe. Ceselin looked back at the Black Star Army headquarters disappearing, his crestfallen expression hard to hide.
Two days prior, the Ancient Emperor Party’s leader had contacted him, praising him for his effort and explaining that Black Star had contacted them. They were expecting the Black Star Army’s aid soon.
“I didn’t manage to convince Black Star… The Pioneer Party…” Ceselin was depressed, and he did not think that he alone could reverse the current plight of the Pioneer Party.
At this moment, his teammate suddenly held out the communicator and exclaimed, “Guys, come look! The Pioneer Party just announced that they’ve employed the Black Star Army and are formally launching an offensive!”
Everyone was stunned and took out their communicators as well, Ceselin included. The more he read, the more emotional he got.
This… this… what happened‽ Did my words… really have an impact‽
Ceselin was so moved that he found it difficult to restrain himself. His actions had really ushered in a turning point, causing Black Star to make a different choice. If he did not take the risk this time, Black Star would most likely have agreed after the Ancient Emperor Party made their request.
No matter what conditions the Pioneer Party had offered Black Star or how he thought, there was still the fact that he had played a part in this.
Just like the split in train tracks, he was the one who pulled the wrench and steered fate away from its original track.
Ceselin turned back to look in the direction of the Black Star Army, and while he knew that Black Star did not need his gratitude, he still revealed a thankful expression.
He was not aware if Black Star had revealed his identity or chosen to bury this issue. He only thought that he was doing the right thing and did not think to claim credit from the Pioneer Party.
Within the machinery factory, Han Xiao released the faction mission that he had on hand before opening the forums to have a look.
The players were already used to such war employments, and since it was such a large-scale collective action each time, they had always welcomed such big events.
While this time was a star system level war, helping a party to destroy its competitors, being able to have their own teammates, and not facing against the entire star system civilization made the difficulty more manageable for the players. The players in the army were excitedly signing up and calling for more support through the forums.
After a few glances, he confirmed that the players’ reactions would not have problems and closed the forums. The matters afterward would be settled by the players, so he did not need to worry.
This war employment would likely last until the late to end stages of the version, which gave the players a lot of stuff to do.
This way, I’ll have more time to construct my mechanical army.
Han Xiao let out a deep breath.
He had to tide past the experience penalty period, as well as face off against EsGod, sealing his mouth for good. This was the important matter. Because of that, Han Xiao decided to isolate himself in the factory and no longer paid attention to the matters outside.
EsGod was already strong enough. Since he had even obtained an evolution, his combat ability would be off the charts.
Thinking of this, Han Xiao could not help but feel pressure.
To kill this fellow, he had to put in a lot of effort.