Chapter 975 Mission Generated
When the bombing stopped, the abandoned military base had turned into a mess, with the collapsed gravel blocked off countless roads. The terrain had become much more complicated, and the gravel fell from time to time with a clacking sound.
The bottom of the base was filled with smoke and dust. The falling debris had piled up into a hill, beneath which Nero was firmly buried.
Suddenly, there was a sound akin to a slimy liquid flowing in the darkness.
An area of two square meters within the debris below gradually turned red as it shone brighter and brighter. The metal beams and stone pieces melted together to reveal an empty hole.
Nero crawled out of the hole, his hands continuously casting heat rays as he limped. The high temperature around him caused the very air to warp.
“Cough cough cough…”
A dull cough escaped the mechanical suit as Nero took gasps of air. He focused, activating the mechanical suit to do a full body scan.
“Left leg is slightly misaligned. Awaiting permission for mechanical suit to autocorrect bone alignment.”
His armor on the left leg tightened a little, and the misaligned bones were set. Nero snorted in pain before relaxing. Previously, a few tons of debris had hit his body, and although his mechanical suit was fine, the shock had given him a slight injury. After all, he was an ordinary, fragile mechanic.
The radar displayed that the enemies were above him. Nero knew that this was not the time for him to relax, and he immediately opened the communicator to contact his teammates.
“Captain, Nero here. Where are you guys, and how’s the situation?”
Static sound buzzed, broken by intermittent screams of pain. Nero shouted for quite a bit before he received news from them.
“We’re not doing good here!” His teammate’s face popped up on his tactical display, filled with bruises and cuts. His tone was hurried. “I was beside the captain just now, and when the base collapsed, the captain was stunned. An artillery shot penetrated through the ground and hit us, and many of us are now injured and scattered. No matter who hears this news, save them, and bring everyone to gather. We have to escape immediately!”
Nero immediately opened the team’s health monitoring subprogram and was shocked when he saw the red on the screen.
Everyone’s injuries were worse than his, and there were several people, including the captain, who were already on the verge of death. Because he had fallen to the bottom of the base and was buried, he had managed to escape the subsequent bombing from the battleship, so he was the least injured.
It was because of his Luck Glow.
“My condition is the best…” Nero immediately felt the pressure on his shoulders.
He gritted his teeth, opening the position locator for his team. The position of each teammate was marked on the tactical screen of the mechanical suit, and the artificial intelligence within operated at a high speed to map out the fastest rescue route.
From behind his back jetted out a tail flame, and Nero flew out of the big pit at the bottom of the base to rescue the scattered members.
The terrain was complex, but there was no time for him to make a detour. His palm continuously shot out heat rays, melting through all the obstacles in front of him, saving one teammate after another before the arrival of the Kunde ground troops. Finally, he reached the position of his captain.
Blasting aside an obstructing metal plate, Nero flew into the messy room and landed with a loud thud. He saw the captain and a group of members there, all with varying injuries.
The captain was lying paralyzed on the ground, his upper body leaning against the wall. His armor was scorched black, revealing large holes. Looking up at Nero’s entrance, he squeezed out a smile, saying in a weak voice.
“Nero, you’re here. You… cough cough… you did well.”
“Captain, don’t talk anymore.”
Seeing this, an intravenous needle shot out from Nero’s finger, and he pierced it into the captain’s chest.
Aurora’s special life potion was injected into the captain’s body through the needle, and his serious injuries were cured in an instant.
The captain’s state recovered at a speed visible to the naked eye, causing him to let out a comfortable groan. He got up full of energy, clicking his tongue. “This is the special life potion of Her Excellency Aurora? What good stuff!”
Aurora would occasionally activate her ability to produce such life medicines, but the quantity was limited after all, and there was even a shelf life for the potions, so not all warriors from Black Star Army could have them. The normal members would all use the typical store bought medicines, but with Nero’s background, he naturally had Aurora’s life potions.
“Those with major injuries come over. I still have a few more of the life potions, and it will recover your combat capabilities,” Nero shouted.
One of them could not help but say, “Leave some for yourself. There’ll be another bloody battle ahead. What will happen if you’re injured?”
“It’s ok. I still have other medicines.” Nero did not seem to care.
Everyone glanced at each other before shrugging. Having a descendent with a powerful background in their team was not too bad a thing. The backer had already offered, so why were they hesitating?
Nero healed up all his teammates, and they discussed their options.
“Everyone, we’re in an unfavorable situation. We’ve been caught in an ambush, and the entire fleet is being attacked by the enemy,” the captain explained in a serious tone. “The others are too busy to respond to us, so we can only break through by ourselves. There are three Kunde battleships above us, but we have no vehicles, so it will be dangerous…”
“If the enemy continue to bomb the fleet, it will be a desperate situation for us, but now the enemy has stopped attacking and has sent their ground troops to approach us instead.” The eyes of the vice captain flashed. “This means that they intend to capture us alive. This is perhaps our only chance to escape.”
“That’s right!” The captain nodded. “If we wish to escape, we must obtain control of the airspace. The fleet can’t meet up with us, so we can only grab a spaceship. The chances are slim but not impossible.
“This debris is our barrier. If we rush out, the enemy spaceships can bombard us unscrupulously. Thus, we can only wait for the enemy soldiers to enter the base and fight with them directly. In order to prevent friendly fire, the spaceships will not open fire at random, so we need to approach this with a two-pronged strategy. One team will deal with the enemy soldiers, while the other will go to steal a spaceship…”
The captain paused. Everyone looked at each other.
This was something that would affect everyone’s survival. Out of ten paths, only one would lead them out alive.
So, the question was, who should grab the spaceship? It stood to reason that the strongest person should be the one performing this task, and the strongest in the team was Nero with the biggest background.
But to ask someone from such a huge background to accept such a huge responsibility, and only a young teen at that… Everyone was a little hesitant.
Seeing this, Nero gritted his teeth and set his resolve.
“Let me go. There’s no one more suitable than me.”
The captain looked at him, but in the end, he did not try to dissuade him, only solemnly saying, “We’re relying on you. We’ll be engaging the enemy to earn time for you… Remember, everyone’s life is in your hands.”
Nero took a deep breath, regaining his calm. He controlled his mechanical suit to enter stealth mode, casting one last glance at his members. He then separated, vanishing into the darkness.
The captain breathed out heavily and turned to the rest with a severe expression, “You guys don’t need me to tell you what to do. No matter what, lure down every single enemy.”
“We understand.” The vice captain had a complex expression and nodded.
Other than Nero, everyone else understood what the captain’s tone implied. In actual fact, they had two plans. The first was to allow Nero to capture the spaceship and then escape with him.
But if this level failed, they would unhesitatingly invoke the hidden level… which was to turn themselves into suicide warriors, allowing Nero to abandon them and run off by himself.
It was not just because of Nero and his relationship with the Army Commander, but everyone also knew that the future of this young man was immeasurable. Only by allowing a person with potential to escape could they then obtain their revenge in the future.
After sneaking around in the dark for a moment, the commotion of his teammates fighting the Kunde soldiers came from Nero’s communicator.
At this moment, he was no longer on the battlefield but had arrived in front of a collapsed area leading to the ground level. He remained hidden, using the radar to lock onto the spaceship closest to him in the air.
His palms were slick with sweat as he carefully released a unique-looking hovering guard. It was painted in black and gold, and it looked completely different from all of Nero’s other equipment. There was an unparalleled sense of quality in it. After being released, it smartly started to circle around Nero’s head.
“I’m relying on you, brother.” Nero patted the hovering guard, his heart firm.
“Relax, kid. With your big brother here, no one can hurt you!” The hovering guard actually replied!
This was Nero’s final card. This hovering guard was a present from Han Xiao when they first met.
It was high-grade equipment personally built by a Beyond Grade A Super, driven by dark energy. In addition, it had the blessings of [Emperor’s Gift] and [Machinery Fusion]. After Han Xiao obtained the skill of [Mechanical Life Tinder], he had also transformed it into an intelligent mechanical life form, with its independent consciousness and chance to grow. He had named it ‘Sky Guardian’.
Even when Nero was a kid, the Sky Guardian without any Mechanical Force could fend off Grade C Supers.
Now, with Nero as a Grade C+ Super, along with Perfect Mechanical Sense, the Sky Guardian could unleash even more force. Even when compared to Grade Bs, Nero did not lose out at all.
Nero had never taken out this trump card of his, especially when sparring in school. Even if a pugilist rushed up to his face and beat him black and blue, he had never taken out this killing machine.
His true combat capability was unknown, even to Mia who was the closest to him.
Within the school compound, Mia had often sparred with him, but she did not know how strong he could be if he went all out.
Staring at the radar on his screen, Nero breathed in and out to stabilize himself, allowing his energy to fill every cell of his body.
“Hu, I can do this…”
Nero did not hesitate any longer and activated his thrusters.
His entire body shot forward, blasting through the rocks at the entrance and rushing into the sky!
The three battleships immediately set their guns and fired at Nero.
The power of the battleships’ cannons were deadly to a Grade C, but the Sky Guardian accompanying Nero shook, and rays of light shot out from it, forming a golden protective shield to surround Nero.
Boom boom boom!
All the artillery cannons bombarded the area in a burst of fireworks, but the shield only showed a slight crack, which instantly repaired itself. It forcibly endured an entire round of firepower.
At the same time, the Kunde battleships above understood Nero’s intentions and activated their shields, preventing external entry.
“Open a pathway for me!”
With a thought, the Sky Guardian released a blinding ray of Mechanical Force, which quickly reformed into a hexagonal shaped muzzle. An all-consuming black beam burst out, carrying immense penetrative force.
Pew pew pew!
The rate of fire was incredible and resembled the actions of someone who was rushing urgently toward the toilet.
The target battleship’s shields were blasted apart, and Nero seized the chance, rushing into the gap created.
Pa pa pa…
Compressed orbs were thrown out from his hands and transformed into laser cutting drills with electromagnetic bases. They attached themselves to the spacecraft, quickly cutting through its hull to create an entrance to the internal compartments.
Nero did a barrel roll in midair, slamming into the spaceship. Without a word, he threw out a large number of mechanical soldiers and activated his weapons, cutting through the ship’s members as if he was chopping vegetables.
Because this spaceship was the one that had sent the ground troops to capture Nero’s team, its strength on board was insufficient, and this made it more convenient for Nero.
Firing without any reserve, Nero did not take much time to kill his way into the main control room, and he immediately took out a Virtual Intrusion chip manufactured by the army. He inserted it into the core of the spaceship’s artificial intelligence. He was not a Virtual Mechanic yet, but the army provided such virtual intrusion aspects.
At this moment, Nero stumbled because the spaceship had suddenly begun to tremble violently!
Looking outside the window, Nero saw that the other two spaceships had turned around, facing him to concentrate their fire without caring about the lives of their comrades.
“To actually fire at your own teammates, how vicious.” Nero clicked his tongue but did not slow down, killing his way into the command room and seizing the authority of the spaceship.
He immediately poured the majority of energy into the battleship’s shields, controlling it to slam into the nearest enemy.
The shields of both spaceships collided, creating firework-like sparks. The other spaceship lost its momentum, careening off course.
Whether it was a coincidence or not, the direction it was sent flying was precisely where the second enemy spaceship was. Both enemies collided toward each other, and they lost control momentarily as they attempted to steady their spaceships.
Taking this opportunity, Nero piloted the spaceship, directly sliding below the two spaceships, parallel to the ground.
“Come out quickly! I’ve got the spaceship! Meet me at the coordinates that I’m sending over. I’ll beam you guys up!” Nero shouted into the channel.
His teammates exclaimed in joy. They then used their strong bodies to withstand the pressure, breaking out of the Kunde Race soldiers’ encirclement.
The next moment, a portion of the rubble exploded, and the team members rushed out, with the Kunde soldiers chasing close behind.
Nero’s face lit up, and he shouted, “Captain, don’t stop!”
This was a race against time, so Nero had no time to control the two enemy ships that had adjusted to fire at him. He immediately used the traction beam to attract his team members, at the same time releasing a large number of turrets to fire at the pursuing soldiers, providing cover.
Nero did not dare drag out the battle, so after rescuing the team, he immediately rushed into the sky, fleeing into the universe.
Soon, the rest of his team joined him in the command room, rushing up to rub Nero’s head frantically.
“Kid, good job!”
“Haha, we’re saved. I thought we were gonna die this time!”
“To get it so smoothly, it seems like luck is on our side!”
Everyone had on a joyous expression, continuously praising Nero.
“Don’t count your blessings too soon. We’re not out of danger yet.” Although the captain tried to dampen their spirits, he was grinning from ear to ear himself.
While there were still spaceships after them, their situation was much better compared to before.
After celebrating for a while, they remembered the rest of their comrades who were still trapped, and their joyful expressions quickly faded.
“We’ve managed to escape, but what about those in our unit that have been surrounded?” someone asked.
“There’s no way. We cannot help them because there are too many enemies. If we try to help, we will only get surrounded again.”
His captain shook his head in response. He understood the current situation clearly. Going with just their one spaceship was as good as sending themselves to their graves. It would only waste their chance of escaping.
This should be the best time for them to separate and run; they should not engage in further battles.
At this time, Nero recalled something, and his heart began pounding rapidly.
That’s right. I don’t know how Mia’s team is doing…
Having thought of this, Nero could no longer sit still, he immediately passed the spaceship to his teammates to operate while he took out his communicator.
The time that it took to connect was akin to him being boiled alive; it was excruciatingly long.
Nero’s heart was burning with anxiety as he waited, but the call never got through. He called every single one of Mia’s teammates, but no one answered as well.
The call only connected when it reached Mia’s captain. From it came the sounds of battle.
“Cough cough… Nero? You guys have escaped?”
“That’s me. You guys got ambushed too? How’s the situation? We have a spaceship that can save you!” Nero spat out quickly like bullets.
“Don’t… don’t come over. You guys must take the chance to run. My entire team has already been captured, and I’m the only one still left resisting. I will not be able to hold on for long as well. You guys can’t save us. Quickly go cough cough…”
While speaking, the communication was suddenly cut.
Nero’s expression tightened, and he turned to walk toward the hatch of the spaceship.
Having witnessed the previous scene, his teammates immediately leapt up, swarming over him as a mob and restraining him.
“Nero, don’t be suicidal,” the captain shouted.
“I have to save her!”
Nero was tackled by the seven or eight blokes, and he could not move at all even if he struggled. However, his attitude was firm.
“Don’t be a fool. I told you just now, but going over to save them is as good as suicide!” the captain roared in anger.
“I know. That’s why I’m not intending to ask for help!” Nero gritted his teeth. “This is my own choice. I will not let you guys get involved. You can pilot this spaceship, and I’ll go down alone. Don’t stop me!”
“Going solo will make it even more impossible. There’s no point sending yourself to die!” The captain was set on holding Nero down.
Nero struggled for quite a while before he finally calmed down. He sat down on the ground, his hands covering his face as he kept silent.
Empathizing with Nero’s situation, the captain could not help but sigh, patting Nero’s shoulder. He also did not know what to say, and he could only mutter in a depressed tone, “She has only been captured. She’s not dead yet. There may still be a chance for their survival. We can only escape for now and think of ways to save her later.”
The moment he spoke, Nero raised his head and spoke in a low tone with reddened eyes.
“You’re right. I was too rash. Thanks for stopping me… I cannot allow Mia to fall into the enemy’s hands, not knowing what they will do to her. I still have one last hope.”
As he spoke, Nero stood up, taking out his communicator. Taking a deep breath, he mustered the courage to dial Han Xiao’s number on the communicator.
He had originally decided not to rely on Han Xiao during his service so as not to disappoint him, but he did not have a choice…
The communicator rang three times in total. The interval between each ring seemed like eternity to Nero. After three rings, Nero heard the familiar voice.
“Oh, Nero. What have you called me for?” Han Xiao’s face wore a slight smile as he answered.
“Godfather, I’ve disappointed you.” Nero rubbed his eyes, softly speaking. “I’ve met something I cannot solve, and I hope you can help me.”
“Go on,” Han Xiao simply replied.
Nero quickly explained the situation with his head lowered, waiting for a reply.
Seeing his expression, Han Xiao stroked his chin as he smiled. “I refuse.”
Nero jerked his head up with an expression of shock and surprise.
“Very surprised?” Han Xiao kept his smile. “Your identity now is different. You’re no longer my godson but also an ordinary soldier. While I indeed give you preferential treatment, I cannot give you special care forever.”
“But… but…” Nero’s eyes turned red.
“It’s not that I cannot help. Putting aside our relationship, let’s look at this from a business perspective. What can you give me to hire me?” Han Xiao indifferently continued.
“I… I don’t know.”
“Then, how can you expect me to help?” Han Xiao blinked. “My relationship with you is not fake, but I cannot help you without a reason. Rules are set like this, so what you desire must be exchanged for something else. Throwing away your identity, what else do you have to offer me?”
Nero’s emotions were a mess, and he muttered, “I… I have nothing…”
Looking at Nero covering his head with both hands, his expression despondent, Han Xiao spoke softly as he smiled. “What? Are you feeling despair now? Think about it, how long have you not expressed your thanks toward me?”
Hearing this, Nero’s figure shivered, and he lowered his head.
“I’m sorry… I beg you…”
“Let me ask you again. Have you felt this despair yet?” Han Xiao narrowed his eyes, emphasizing on his words.
Nero was silent for a long time before raising his head. His lips were bleeding due to his biting, and his eyes were bloodshot as he stared at Han Xiao and nodded.
“Good. Remember this feeling, and don’t ever experience it again.” Han Xiao straightened himself up before laughing. “Relax, I’ll agree to your request this time and save your little girlfriend.”
Nero’s emotions seemed to have risen back up after being thrown into the depths of hell. He stared stunned for a while before he recovered his spirits, grasping the communicator with both hands tightly.
“Thank you… thank you…”
“Don’t rejoice so early. I never act without a price.” Han Xiao propped his head with his hands. “You don’t know what you can offer me, but in reality, you are not worthless. At the very least, you have a strong gift for machinery. How about using that as a bargaining chip?”
“What does this mean?” Nero could not understand.
“If I really must explain, you can understand it as me not wanting you to waste your gifts. You don’t need to fully understand this now, and you only need to say whether you accept or reject this arrangement.” Han Xiao spoke with a smile that was not really a smile at the same time.
Nero was still befuddled, but he had no choice. He could only grit his teeth and nod his head.
“I agree. Please help me!”
At the same time, Han Xiao received a notification on his interface while seated in his Black Star Palace.
You have triggered the Special Character Mission: Nero’s Request!
Mission Introduction: Nero has agreed to your transaction and is willing to use his own talents and abilities in exchange for your help.
Mission Requirements: Save Mia Moretto.
Reward: Select one of Nero’s Abilities or Talents.