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Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Seeing Nagakin board the DarkStar flagship, Han Xiao knew that the enemy flagship was finished.
With the flagship in danger, the DarkStar fleet at the front did not turn back to reinforce their comrades. It was almost certain that Nakapu would end up in Nagakin’s hands, and the DarkStar fleet was completely helpless. All the officers a level lower hurriedly took over command of the fleet and repeated Nakapu’s orders to retreat. They then made use of the opportunity where the attention of the Godora fleet was attracted by their flagship and ran for their lives.
On the other side, the DarkStar assault forces had also broken free from the forty or so Godoran battleships and escaped in a different direction.
The DarkStar fleet abandoned their flagship and escaped with their tails between their legs. Only the flagship was left behind, deep within the enemy formation like a bunch of hunting dogs surrounding a lonely wolf.
The BlackLight Stealth hovered not too far away, and Han Xiao did not join in the fun. With Nagakin causing destruction within the interior of the ship, there was no need for him to take action. At this moment, he had his attention on something else.
“Risda, are you able to connect to DarkStar’s main system through the enemy’s AI and infiltrate DarkStar’s main database?”
Han Xiao stroked his chin as he pondered. All the spaceships in the same organization would usually use a child AI from the main system so that it would be easier to manage the entire battle. Just like how Phillip was in charge of controlling ten or so spaceships in his mercenary group. As long as a spaceship was equipped with Phillip’s duplicate microchip, Phillip would be able to open up a new channel of operation.
The child AI would be related to the main AI. Usually, a DarkStar mothership would use a main AI, and all the subsidiary spaceships under its command would use the mothership’s child AI. If they are able to track the communication route between the two systems, they might be able to lock onto the position of a DarkStar mothership and find their coordinates in the vast universe.
Risda’s voice sounded like a bucket of cold water. “Not possible. Before the enemy’s AI was paralyzed, it cut off all its connection with the main system. This is a very common way to prevent infiltration from the enemy. The AI of the other spaceships check its identification number and ensure that the connection is trusted before allowing it to reconnect with the main system.”
“DarkStar is still extremely careful.” Han Xiao nodded. This was an extremely simple method. If there were two spaceships, A and B, that used the same child AI, the moment A noticed that it had been infiltrated, it would automatically cut off all connections with the main system. It would not be able to share any data with the main system, and the main system would not be able to determine A’s position and status.
After A solved its infiltration problem, if B’s data its within its range, the child AI of B would automatically evaluate A’s AI. Only after ensuring that A was safe would B send the signal back to the main system and allow A to connect back to the main system. Currently, the flagship that had been left behind had naturally severed all of its connections, so it would be impossible to infiltrate the main system.
DarkStar made use of such a system in order to protect the coordinates of its mothership. The Great Mechanic Han was not the only Mechanic Hacker in the universe, and there were plenty of them all around the universe. DarkStar needed to guard against this point.
While he found it to be a bit of a waste, Han Xiao was not too disappointed. If it was this easy to lock on to DarkStar’s position, DarkStar would have been long destroyed by Godora.
While he did not take a very long time to paralyze the enemy’s flagship, Han Xiao’s hacking skills was far from being able to easily infiltrate an enemy spaceship. Risda was an important assistant of his, and the efficiency of this AI lifeform was extremely high. It was far superior to Phillip and greatly strengthened Han Xiao’s skill judgement.
It was a pity that Risda was a free man… er, free AI and did not belong to him. Who knew when he would be able to strengthen Phillip to be on the same level as Risda? Stroking his chin, he wondered if he could get Risda to help raise Phillip’s level.
After all, the one who understood AIs the most would be an AI. The growth of Risda’s species would be determined by the exchange of data and upgrading each other’s software. If that was the case, Risda should be able to help Phillip optimize his structure.
Ginette and Sylvia stared at each other. One of them was a Cannon Master, and the other was a Mechanical Pugilist. Hearing a Mechanic and an AI lifeform having a conversation about Artificial Intelligence, they felt a great upgrade in their intelligence.
Sylvia felt as though she had forgotten about something. After pondering for a long while, she came to a realization. She had been too busy being shocked previously, and it was time for her to vomit for a while.
After waiting for a moment, Nagakin finally sent news about his success. He had successfully taken control of the enemy’s flagship. Han Xiao and Barette both boarded the enemy’s flagship and saw Nagakin in the control room, together with a large bunch of captured DarkStar members.
“Well done! Truly the famous Officer Nagakin.” Barette was overjoyed.
Nagakin waved his hands and calmly replied, “This isn’t my merit. It is all thanks to Black Star. If not for him paralyzing the enemy’s spaceship, it would have been impossible for me to unleash my strength. He is the one with the biggest merit.”
“Haha, you are right,” Barette said with a smile. “Black Star truly lives up to his name.”
“It’s nothing. I didn’t do much,” Han Xiao replied humbly.
After a short conversation, everyone got to work and calculated their gains and losses.
Godora had lost fewer than ten battleships and destroyed a similar number of enemy battleships. Furthermore, they had been able to capture an enemy flagship together with its command team. They would be able to interrogate these members after this and find out about DarkStar’s plans. Together with Black Star taking care of the ten or so assault battleships that had appeared suddenly, they had earned a huge amount in this battle!
After suffering from plenty of losses, Godora had finally achieved a victory. The War Bureau could finally heave a sigh of relief.
Nakapu looked up, and his gaze swept over the control room. Barette? A radical commander who had been played a fool by him and could not enter his sights. Nagakin? A famous high-ranking member of the War Bureau. While powerful, he was not the deciding factor in this battle.
Finally, Nakapu’s gaze landed on Han Xiao like a nail. This was the person who had decided the result of the battle!
Nakapu felt that his loss was due to the underestimation of Black Star’s strength. If not for a problem with their intel, the assault force would have easily ambushed Planet Aquamarine and escaped. At the same time, he would have been able to escape as well.
He had never imagined that he would be caught.
“A single mistake cost us the entire battle…” Nakapu’s eyes turned dim. He knew that there was no chance for him to make a comeback.
In the last three minutes of the DarkStar fleet’s escape, the loss of their flagship and the news of Nakapu being captured was quickly sent back to DarkStar’s headquarters. This was the first time that they had suffered a loss in an ambush mission, and the attention of the upper echelons was immediately drawn.
The entire battle was not too long, and the upper echelons in the headquarters had quickly understood the situation. At this moment, the highest in command present was the vice leader of DarkStar, another doyen who was just as experienced as Anur. His name was Degulish, and he was a stern individual with great prestige.
“Black Star again!”
Degulish frowned with dissatisfaction in his tone. After the incident with Anur, DarkStar harbored great enmity toward Han Xiao, but due to it being the crux of their mission, they did not take their revenge. After all, Han Xiao had Floating Dragon as his backing, and DarkStar was not willing to provoke Ames.
The scene of a DarkStar mothership being smashed into smithereens by an island was still deeply imprinted in their minds.
But now, DarkStar had once again obstructed their plans. Degulish was not as composed a person as the leader of DarkStar. Now that their leader was personally carrying out a secret mission, he was the one in charge of the headquarters. Furthermore, his style had always been extremely aggressive.
“He’s provoked us over and over again, and it’s time for us to help him understand what kind of an existence he is provoking. I want to make him pay the price for his wrongdoing,” Degulish said in a low voice. “Ah, doesn’t he want to protect his homeland? Send out two DarkStar motherships and destroy Planet Aquamarine!”
“Vice leader, this isn’t in line with our plans. We shouldn’t destroy a calamity planet,” the one in charge of intel said.
“I remember Ember suggesting that we should get rid of Black Star regardless of the cost, and his words make some sense. We have more than ten calamity planets, and destroying a single one won’t affect the big picture,” Degulish replied.
If Ember was there, he would definitely have raised both his arms in agreement. It was a pity that he was not present at this meeting.
More accurately, most of the upper echelons were not present in the meeting as they were all carrying out various missions. While ambushing a calamity planet seemed to be DarkStar’s only mission on the surface, a large number of their upper echelons were out on missions in secret.
The one in charge of intel shook his head. “This is on the basis that we will be able to kill him. If not, we will only be wasting our ships. He has a BlackLight Stealth that he got from who knows where, and this is a high-quality spaceship from the Federation of Light. It will be impossible for us to capture him.”
Degulish frowned. “He can run, but Planet Aquamarine won’t be able to escape!”
The one in charge of intel shook his head. “If Planet Aquamarine is his weakness, it would be a waste to destroy it.”
“A waste? What are your thoughts?”
“Black Star is only a mercenary. According to my observations, he has always been going against us either because Godora hired him or because we took the initiative to attack him. Of course, I am not trying to speak up on his behalf. Regardless of the reason, he still has to pay the price.
“The problem is, if we destroy his only weakness, he won’t have any more apprehensions and will go all out to fight us. He may even seek aid from Ames, and this isn’t to our advantage.”
“Since when have we been afraid of others?” Degulish said in a cold tone. “I can easily crush a Mechanic of Black Star’s standard with a casual clench of my fists. So, what about the Dragon Emperor? Will she be able to find us?”
“What I mean is, since Black Star is protecting Planet Aquamarine, it means that he cares about this planet,” the one in charge of intel said with his eyes narrowed. “It would be extremely easy for us to destroy Planet Aquamarine. Why don’t we use this as a handle to threaten him when necessary? He will then feel true regret and may even be forced to work for us.”
As Degulish heard that, his expression changed and felt that those words made sense.
“My subordinates will continue to gather news about Black Star. Black Star is a subordinate of the Dragon Emperor, and we may be able to achieve an unexpected result by making use of him. The concealed team left behind on Planet Aquamarine have been monitoring his actions. While the Godoran radar is able to use tracking methods within a certain distance, the concealed team shut down the engines of their spaceship, and they’re only maintaining their stealth functions. As long as they do not turn on their engines, they won’t be exposed. I am prepared to arrange spies in the Black Star Mercenary Group. They are only a bunch of mercenaries. As long as we pay the price, there isn’t such a thing as loyalty. We will plant some spies within their group and monitor all of his actions.”
The failure of their assault mission was like a spark that caused DarkStar to place their attention on Han Xiao. Since they could not fight head on, they would employ their methods in the dark. In any case, they had many methods up their sleeves.
After thinking for a moment, Degulish finally nodded. “Do as you have planned.”
“I recommend you don’t attack Planet Aquamarine in the near future. Just as you have said, it is only a single calamity planet, and it won’t affect the big picture. Furthermore, we will have to pay a large price if we want to attack Planet Aquamarine with Black Star around, so the losses will outweigh the gains.”
As everyone returned to Planet Aquamarine, the BlackLight Stealth landed in the Sanctuary. At this moment, nine DarkStar assault spaceships were parked in the Sanctuary. These were the new spaceships that the mercenaries had captured.
Of the thirty DarkStar spaceships that had attacked, a portion of them had been destroyed, and fewer than ten spaceships managed to escape. The Black Star Mercenary Group had captured all the remaining spaceships. While all of them were damaged in one way or another, all the spaceships still had their basic functions.
Han Xiao was in a pleasant mood. Nine small-sized assault spaceships was a great harvest. If he calculated according to their cost, these spaceships would be worth over a million Enas. The most valuable areas of these spaceships were their energy cores, engines, protective shields, and particle cannons. Taking all these away, the value of the spaceships would be decreased to a fifth of their original value. If the cores of those spaceships that had crash landed were not destroyed, some materials and spare parts could be salvaged, which would be an unexpected gain.
This ambush mission did not result in much of a loss for Han Xiao but allowed him to earn a tidy sum instead. With those assault spaceships, the firepower of his fleet would be greatly increased. Han Xiao was overjoyed and wished that those fellows from DarkStar to come more often and allow him the chance to expand his fleet.
Just when Han Xiao was prepared to board the ship to inspect the assault spaceship, Barette landed as well.
Walking over, Barette’s eyes swept over the surroundings. Nodding solemnly, he said, “Black Star, you did well this time. My men will come over and takeover these spoils of war. It has been hard on all of you this time.”
Han Xiao’s footsteps paused abruptly, and he looked at Barette’s confident expression with a frown.
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