Chapter 995 Exchange Three for One?
It did not take long for the whole group of Beyond Grade As to arrive outside the Psionic Seal Ring, and the group chose an uninhabited area for the battlefield.
Han Xiao and Silver Shadow separately from the group, facing each other. The other Beyond Grade As stayed outside the battlefield and chatted animatedly, with Lotus Swordsman even building a mental network for them to communicate.
“To actually choose Black Star as his opponent, I’m not sure how long this Silver Shadow can last.” Viru shook his head.
“Even if he beat Kohler, his authority would be second last,” Lotus Swordsman indifferently replied. “Instead, he might as well choose Black Star. As long as he can pose problems for Black Star, the effect will definitely be better than fighting Kohler.”
Kohler frowned. While this is the truth, can you be less hurtful in your comments my friends!
Ravenlaude pondered, “Silver Shadow seems to have quite a lot of confidence. Maybe he has some special talent.”
“I heard he’s a pugilist, but he looks more like an Esper.”
“I’ve checked through his history, and his speed is the astonishing factor. I heard that he even has some special flying skills, allowing him to continuously accelerate to warp speed. It seems like he has a void bloodline.” Maximiler pointed to Silver Shadow in the distance. “Furthermore, look at his body surface using microscopic vision. The seemingly smooth silver surface is actually covered with extremely small mana circuits, which most likely come from the Beyond Grade A mages of the Sea of Star Spirits.”
Hearing this, the Beyond Grade As all adjusted their vision and entered their microscopic view, and they discovered that there was indeed a dense energy circuit covering Silver Shadow, much like a semi-invisible tattoo.
“There are several Beyond Grade A mages residing within the Sea of Star Spirits, but such an insane way of inscribing magic circuits should belong to the [Secret Master] of the Elderly Association. While the Secret Master is one of the controllers of behind the scenes of the galactic black market, he belongs to the neutral faction. Still, his fees are not cheap, so it seems like Silver Shadow must’ve bled quite badly.”
Ravenlaude got unhappy. “What Elderly Association? It’s called the Ancient Ones!”
Lotus Swordsman was focused on another point, and she squinted. “He has too many enchantments on his body. To be able to withstand such a load, his fleshly body should be quite strong.”
“Oh, this is indeed the case,” Beyoni said in resignation. “However, no matter how strong his fleshly body is, can it be stronger than Black Star’s?”
With Han Xiao as a shining example, no one was surprised anymore when they saw any meat shields.
“Speaking of which, ever since his battle with the Mechanic Emperor, Black Star has not fought anyone in the past twenty years. After reaching this stage, he most likely won’t be able to maintain that startling growth speed.” Viru shook his head.
Even Clotti who was usually silent could not help but say, “Upon reaching the limits known to man, climbing further will require one to break through the limits into a whole new path. Throughout history, there were many who tried and failed. It’s more difficult than it seems.”
As they chatted, Han Xiao and Silver Shadow also began their battle.
The mechanical host carrying avatar floated in the universe with a small mechanical army. Its dark armor flickered constantly with blue and gold Mechanical Force.
He, the mechanic, stood still while the Pugilist Silver Shadow was the one who took the initiative to put some distance between them.
This sort of situation was rarely seen, but everyone shared a glance, their eyes twinkling with laughter. In the entire universe, it was probably only the Mechanic Black Star that no pugilist dared to face head on.
From afar, Silver Shadow circled around Han Xiao, looking for openings and opportunities to attack.
Looking at him making circles around him, with no intention to attack, Han Xiao could not help but open his mouth.
“How long are you going to circle me? Come and attack!”
Silver Shadow did not reply, only continuing to circle around. He gradually accelerated, flying faster as his body began to blur. He was akin to a silver comet, leaving behind a series of silvery afterimages like a flaming tail of a meteor.
Through his Void Vision, Han Xiao could clearly see that the speed of Silver Shadow was not only fast—the space around him had distorted slightly, constantly warping at the rear to form the shape like a tidal wave, which allowed him to ride the waves to provide additional acceleration.
At the same time, there was a familiar Void Energy fluctuation coming out of Silver Shadow, which proved that the other party also possessed some Void Genes.
Han Xiao was quite clear of the general abilities of Silver Shadow. At the Beyond Grade A realm, Silver Shadow had a few obvious characteristics. One of them was speed, or his ability to maintain near warp speed for prolonged distances. At his peak, he could even reach actual warp speed.
The second was that his body was extremely tough and nearly indestructible.
The third was a rare racial talent.
And his fourth was the ‘whore’ effect.
Silver Shadow did not have a high HP count, but his defense was extremely exaggerated, to the point that even Heber could not compare with him. This was related to his attributes as a living Universal Treasure.
Due to his various special abilities, Silver Shadow’s actual combat capability was pushed up to the level of Heber or Viru despite him being a new Beyond Grade A, above the likes of Kohler and Beyoni. He was probably only weaker than Maximiler, Ravenlaude, and Lotus Swordsman, who belonged to the middle ranks, as he had a great shortcoming in his spiritual attributes.
As one of the dynasty’s allies with the strongest combat capabilities, Han Xiao carried himself calmly and did not mind allowing Silver Shadow to display all his means. After all, the other party was someone who had a special role. It was worth it to allow the other party to play his own style and obtain more authority to speak within their circle.
It was not that Han Xiao was arrogant, but he knew his baseline. He had already calculated the entire battle scenario time and again in his heart, and the conclusion was set.
Just with his current strength, he had enough ability to control the entire battle situation. He did not need any fancy moves to deal with Silver Shadow, he just needed to F2A, and everything would be settled.
With such an overwhelming advantage, how could he lose‽
No matter how flowery the opponent’s skills were, a raise of his hand would be enough to annihilate them.
Thus, Han Xiao patiently waited for Silver Shadow to speed up, only occasionally letting his machines shoot from a distance.
Finally, Silver Shadow felt that he was sufficiently warmed up and suddenly turned around, shooting like a beam of light straight toward Han Xiao’s mechanical troops.
With permission from Han Xiao, the battle AI Sparta immediately responded, opening the spacetime stabilizer to lock down the area.
With the increase in spatial stability, Silver Shadow’s speed was affected as part of his speed came from the distortion and warping of space. Even so, his speed remained quick, to the point that Calamity Grades would not be able to discern where his true body lay, only seeing a silver streak.
Relying on his high speed, Silver Shadow started to clash against the machinery. The psionic cannons’ shots mostly went wide, and the few that contacted were stopped at the psionic energy matrix shield that was formed from his silver pugilist flames, unable to penetrate.
After fighting for a while, Silver Shadow turned and rushed toward the psionic shield of the mechanical troops like a silver comet.
Before impacting, the silver comet suddenly changed, splitting up like a cluster warhead and turning into hundreds of tiny silver meteors. They scattered in all directions in an instant, bypassing the limited area of the shield and penetrating the mechanical troops’ formation.
Each sub-body was a silvery liquid-like metallic substance, which were reduced versions of Silver Shadow and all part of his body.
This was his racial talent, which was brought about by the mutation within the star nucleus. His body could achieve the effect of splitting itself on a nano level, as well as freely take on all shapes and sizes.
Furthermore, the split selves also possessed a considerable fighting capacity. Because his total overall strength remained unchanged, the combat capability of each smaller self would depend instead on its size. Silver Shadow’s Void genes allowed him to use the void dimension to obtain energy to boost each smaller self.
Silver Shadow’s Universal Treasure talent brought him insane defense, which would not be differentiated by size. So, even if each smaller self did not possess the same strength as its main self, it was nigh indestructible, which was his advantage.
Because of this special skill, within the suffering Pugilist class, Silver Shadow was akin to a billionaire in a society, not needing to bow to anyone to survive.
A few of the split selves rushed through the mechanical soldiers at great speed, but due to the separation in strength, the attacks were fast but could not pierce through the armor of the mechanical soldiers, only leaving traces on the surface.
The majority of his selves merged together again, turning into a childlike version of Silver Shadow, and went straight to Han Xiao.
Han Xiao’s avatar did not move, only releasing a faint blue arc from his eyes. [Virtual Paramount] struck directly into Silver Shadow’s soul!
The next moment, Silver Shadow lost control of his body, barreling out of control!
Even his smaller selves lost control and were easily captured.
Han Xiao twisted slightly, avoiding Silver Shadow, and reached out to grab his ankle, pulling him back.
Silver Shadow’s weakness was spiritual attacks, but [Virtual Paramount] did not just contain a mental attack but also the difficulty of Virtual Technology. It would take Silver Shadow a long time to escape from the skill normally, not to mention that Han Xiao’s virtual technology and level suppression would only increase the difficulty.
Nano-mechanical tentacles extended from behind the avatar, firmly binding Silver Shadow with three layers. At the same time, the tentacles were outfitted with electromagnetic, space and other control devices. Disc-shaped miniature cannons popped out from Han Xiao’s shoulders, suspending over Silver Shadow.
From afar, the mechanical army also caught up, turning their weapons toward the restricted Silver Shadow, and released the reverse psionic shield, locking Han Xiao and Silver Shadow within the small confined area. In this manner, even if Silver Shadow wished to rush out, he had to break through the shield in order to gain distance to accelerate.
Silver Shadow finally got out of the shackles from Virtual Paramount and received great mental injuries in doing so, being inflicted with many negative statuses. The moment he regained consciousness, he discovered that he had been fully bound up.
“Do you want to continue?” Han Xiao communicated within the mental network with a jovial tone.
“… This sort of battle can’t hurt me.” Silver Shadow struggled for a while before realizing that it would be hard to extricate himself. He then decided to pull out his head, separating himself from his body and turning into a miniature version of himself.
“I know, your body is extremely durable, and my troops can barely harm you.” Han Xiao nodded and smiled. “However, just this point is not enough to gain the advantage against me… Believe me, I have sufficient experience in this regard.”
In fact, he was the natural counter to Silver Shadow. If he had utilized the Spacetime Amber, with Silver Shadow’s smaller frame, it would have been easy to encase and seal him within before slowly weakening him. However, this was only his avatar, so the Spacetime Amber was not with him.
Silver Shadow sighed before hiding his arrogance and nodding. “You’ve won.”
He originally wanted to rely on his high speed and the ability to split up his body to gain the upper hand for a while. He had no confidence in being able to defeat Black Star, even if this was just an avatar.
But the offensive that he had been preparing for a long time was dissolved by Han Xiao easily, and he ended up falling straight into the grasps of his opponent. This allowed him to feel the disparity between their abilities.
With more than half of his body currently trapped by Han Xiao, it was pointless to continue fighting. Furthermore, Black Star had given him face and allowed himself to display his strength. Silver Shadow understood that clearly and did not wish to fight for a lost cause. While he wanted a strong opponent, he would not seek ridicule needlessly.
Hearing this, Han Xiao released the restraints, and Silver Shadow regained his original body. Han Xiao laughed. “Now you owe me one.”
“What will you have me do?” Silver Shadow asked.
“Er, just remember it for now. I’ll look for you when I need your help.” Han Xiao thought about it before deciding to shelve the matter.
He actually wished to research Silver Shadow’s body, to activate the Universal Treasure hidden attribute, but they did not have that good of a relationship. To suddenly suggest such an absurd thing… this was a dangerous topic for all Beyond Grade As.
So, it was better to cozy up to him first. This was not a one-off matter, so a better relationship would allow him more usages of Silver Shadow if need be.
In the past, Karlot was a good friend of Silver Shadow’s, so he was about to enjoy such personalized service free of charge.
Speaking of which, Karlot should have entered the dynasty army right now. While he was still far away from the time he was supposed to take shape, it was unknown if history would change due to Han Xiao’s interference.
“Ok, I’ll remember it.” Silver Shadow nodded.
“If you have time, you can come over to the Shattered Star Ring or Flickering World to look for me. If you have any problems, I can help too.” Han Xiao laughed in return.
Silver Shadow nodded quietly, accepting Black Star’s friendliness. Black Star sounded like an older brother right now and was just lacking the words ‘I’ll protect you’.
He felt a little emotional in his heart.
All the other Beyond Grade As were trying to make things difficult for him, but only Black Star was different. This was the attitude that the future pillar of the dynasty should have!
Seeing that the battle had ended, the rest of the Beyond Grade As flew toward them.
The result of the battle was not out of anyone’s expectations, but the calmness with which Black Star had handled this battle left everyone sighing in awe. In just twenty years, Black Star’s bearing no longer gave one the feeling of a maverick who did not stick to conventional means but rather a straightforward suppression, easily pulling it off.
While they did not cross swords, everyone could judge what would happen to them if they were faced with Silver Shadow’s skills. Their conclusion was that while Silver Shadow might be a newcomer, his combat capabilities were good. Even Kohler or Beyoni might not be able to win.
This was especially so for Kohler. He was secretly thankful that Silver Shadow did not accept his invitation to spar, or else it would have been really embarrassing.
However, Black Star could deal with Silver Shadow so easily. It represented the gap between their realms.
Other than Clotti, the respect that the other Beyond Grade As had for Han Xiao deepened.
Upon returning to the spaceship, the group set up to return to Planet Crimson Ring. While Han Xiao chatted with Silver Shadow, he summoned the interface and saw that the mission of fighting against Silver Shadow had already been marked as ‘completed’.
However, he did not settle it immediately, instead choosing to wait until he returned. He had to molest Feidin before he drew his reward—this ritual could not be skipped.
Once they returned to Planet Crimson Ring, they exchanged communicator numbers before Silver Shadow bid his farewell, returning to his quarters to rest.
Han Xiao was about to release his Lord’s Descent, when a member of the dynasty’s army approached him.
“Your Excellency Black Star, Mister Bekorodi requests an audience with you.”
“Bekorodi?” Han Xiao knew that this guy was the most important leader of the hawk faction, totally not in line with him. They did not have many dealings, so he curiously asked, “What is he looking for me for?”
“He wishes to discuss with you the problem of the Evolution Cube.”
Han Xiao was surprised. Over the past few years, the federation and church did not stop their pressure, which caused many of the dynasty’s upper echelons to question the ownership problem of the Evolution Cube. Bekorodi was one of the hardcore supporters of the dynasty owning the cube. That much, Han Xiao knew.
Then, what does he wish to talk to me about?
Han Xiao was a little curious and nodded. “Alright, please lead the way.”
“Please follow me.”
The dynasty officer guided Han Xiao to a government building, passing through layers of restrictions, before they arrived at a secret conference room.
Han Xiao went in and saw an old yet majestic dynasty official seated at the head. His skin was stretched, the wrinkles deeply carved, and his nose a little big. With his dead-set eyes and mouth, he looked like a stubborn man.
“Nice to meet you, Black Star. I’m Bekorodi. This should not be our first time meeting.” Bekorodi squeezed out a small smile.
Han Xiao sat on the other side of the conference table as he replied, “It’s the first time we’ve met in private though.”
He had only seen this person during the meeting of the senior officials of the dynasty, but they had not communicated much.
“I’m not a person who likes to talk nonsense, so I’ll get straight to the point.” Bekorodi supported his hands on the table and spoke in a deep voice. “The dynasty hopes to exchange items for your Evolution Cube. The conditions can be freely raised by you.”
Wanting to exchange for my Evolution Cube? Han Xiao’s eyes moved.
In fact, such signs had appeared a long time ago, but this was the first time the dynasty had approached him directly.
“This should not be your personal intention, right?” Han Xiao gave a smile that was yet not a smile.
“That’s right. I hope you understand. This is no personal grudge, and the reason we did not do so in the past was because the Evolution Cube was not worth much. However, the Evolutionary Civilization blueprints that were in the EsGod’s hands use the cube as the core of their technology, so its importance has changed. The dynasty hopes to obtain such a strategic Universal Treasure, but we had not asked you up till now because of the Ruler’s support for you.”
Han Xiao nodded. This was understandable. As a civilization, there were a lot of points to consider, and they would only be reassured if they could hold the strategic level object in their own embrace.
Not to mention the Crimson Dynasty, be it the federation or the church, as long as the Evolutionary Totem as well as a bunch of related techniques appeared in their hands, they would also make the same choice.
If he was a Beyond Grade A of the civilization, the rest would probably have forced him to give it up directly, rather than talking conditions.
Since he was an external ally, the dynasty could not force him to hand over his items, or it would result in a negative impression.
For the advanced civilizations, a Beyond Grade A was merely used as a tool for war, and the civilization itself was the main character of the universe instead.
However, to a Beyond Grade A, there were few who were actually willing to help a civilization to the end. They were merely exchanging services and benefits.
“Letting me make conditions at will, this is really generous…” Han Xiao smiled. “There should be an upper limit though. How about you make an initial offer?”
“Good.” Bekorodi nodded. “The dynasty is willing to use a Universal Treasure to exchange for your Evolution Cube.”
Han Xiao shook his head. “You’ve already said so yourself. The Evolution Cube’s meaning has changed. Wouldn’t a one to one exchange be detrimental to me?”
“You’re mistaken. It’s not a one to one.” Bekorodi smiled before dropping the bombshell. “Three Universal Treasures in exchange for the Evolution Cube! This is a sincere offer from the dynasty. What do you think about it?”
 F2A should be describing a macro bot in Starcraft that was so powerful that all it needed to do was to press F2 (select all armies) and then A (attack) to win any battle.