Chapter 617: Planet Sunil’s Natives!
The pure white clouds flew in the sapphire sky of Planet Sunil like pieces of silk. The gentle wind brought along a thin veil of fog and blew across the dense sea of trees, shaking them like a wave.
Green was an amazing color. Looking down on the surface, Han Xiao felt soothed.
The Blacklight Stealth slowly landed in the military area outside Forest City. Herlous was already waiting there with the Sunil superiors. Further away were many patrolling armored Sunil soldiers.
As soon as Han Xiao walked down the gangway, Herlous rushed toward him and gave him a passionate hug.
“Black Star, you’re finally here!”
Han Xiao patted Herlous’ shoulder, signaling him to let go. Herlous excitedly introduced the Sunil superiors to Han Xiao one after another.
They shook hands and greeted each other. The Sunil superiors were very humble. Black Star’s position in the galaxy was far above that of the entire Sunil race. Plus, Black Star had helped them solve the issues of their planet. They would never forget this.
After the introduction, they started talking business. Han Xiao asked, “What’s the situation now?”
“Amazing!” Herlous was exhilarated. He knew the most about the effect of the Black Star Army over the past few months; the situation of the Sunils had tremendously improved.
As he spoke, Herlous took out his communicator, opened the map projection of Planet Sunil, and explained in detail.
The threat on Planet Sunil came from the beasts. The cause of the Catastrophe was the Prophecy Stone mines hidden underground in various places. The sheer quantity caused a reaction and formed Psychic Currents, making the beasts go haywire.
Therefore, Sunil’s first target was to clear out the Prophecy Stone mines of this planet.
However, due to the wild being dangerous, the exploration difficulty was exceedingly high. The Sunils only controlled a very small area and could not bear the cost of expanding their territory—many young warriors would be sacrificed if they did.
Thus, the Black Star Army just so happened to make up for this. With the help of spaceships and carriers, 200,000 players fearless of death discovered close to a thousand Prophecy Stone mines within a few months.
The shorter the distance from the mine, the stronger the Psychic Current. There was almost no beast living nearby, so the players could easily destroy all the Prophecy Stones in those mines.
According to the calculations of the Sunil Research Department, the overall strength of the Psychic Current on the planet had decreased considerably. The interval between Catastrophes was likely extended to more than ten years, which was two to three times greater than before. This meant that the Sunils’ situation was not as urgent anymore. They had more time to rest and prepare. The result was exceptional.
This result was announced to the entire race, giving them previously unseen energy and hope.
The situation of their race was tremendously improved. All the Sunil warriors were excited.
Among them, Herlous was the most excited. His race was his home. The Black Star Army was the savior of Planet Sunil, and he was the one that connected the two sides. On one hand, he was excited due to his decision back then; on the other hand, he sincerely appreciated Black Star’s help.
Of course, this result was not good enough. Since they wanted to solve the problem, the Sunils hoped to be more thorough.
“What are the difficulties faced in clearing out these mines?” Han Xiao asked.
As soon as he said this, the faces of those present became grave. Herlous said in a deep voice, “We had speculated about all sorts of situations and obstacles we might face, but we never expected it to be this serious.”
Han Xiao was suddenly curious. From the way Herlous put it, it seems like even 200,000 players cannot get rid of this problem.
“By the way, where are the mercenaries? Why don’t I see them?” Han Xiao looked around and realized that there was not even one mercenary.
“Mostly still exploring and fighting outside in the wild. We built many camps to make sure that the mercenaries could resupply in the wild and not have to keep returning to Forest City. Only a small portion of the mercenaries currently reside in Forest City,” Herlous explained.
I see. That’s completely normal… Han Xiao nodded. It seemed like he needed a reason to recall all the players in the wild so that it would be more convenient for him to reap experience.
Putting this thought aside for the moment, Han Xiao rubbed his chin and asked with confusion, “So, what difficulty did you guys meet?”
“Well, the shallow mines were easy to clear out, but there are also tons of mines deeper underground, maybe many times deeper than the shallow mines. These are more difficult to clear and need bigger tools and more manpower, but this isn’t the main issue…” Herlous sighed and projected an image. On it were many strange-shaped beasts, but they all had the characteristics of insects.
“This is…” Han Xiao frowned.
“As we dug deeper, we reached a completely different layer of rocks. We shockingly discovered the tracks of some unidentified beasts. After the initial investigation, we realized that they are ancient underground beasts that never came to the surface. They are an enormous race living under Planet Sunil’s surface. From just the few nests we’ve discovered, there’s already more than a hundred million of these beasts. We have no idea how many more are in the underground world we have yet to explore…”
With a grave tone, Herlous said, “Maybe they are the real owners of this planet.”
Han Xiao now understood.
Sunil’s original mother planet had been destroyed, and they had only migrated to this Planet Sunil after that. Thus, they could be considered guests taking over the owner’s home.
As there were limited resources, Sunils did not explore underground, up till today. Only now did they realize that a large race existed under the planet’s surface. Those monsters were the natives of this planet.
If not for the Black Star Army, Sunil would still not have noticed such a huge threat lurking within the very planet that they lived on.
“For some reason, these monsters built their nests around the Prophecy Stone mines and indirectly protect the mines. They reject outside beings very strongly. Their body is very hard, they’re very swift, and they are able to secrete corrosive slime on their skin. They are about the same size as wild wolves. Dozens of underground exploration teams have been wiped out. The underground is their stage. It’s very difficult for us to fight when we can’t maximize our strength underground.
“Protect the Prophecy Stone mines?” Han Xiao pondered. Most underground creatures liked to be close to radioactive minerals—some even consumed them as food. However, the Prophecy Stone mines were not radioactive but stimulated beasts into a crazed state. Logically speaking, beasts would get as far away from the Prophecy Stone mines as they could, but these underground beasts had built their nests surrounding Prophecy Stones.
A word popped up in Han Xiao’s mind.
“Their race might be traced back to thousands of years ago. Lives change to adapt to the environment. Over a very long time, their genes mutated,” Han Xiao said. “Think about it, the Catastrophe causes all the beasts on this planet to go crazy, but you people have never met these monsters before. This means that they have never gone crazy and come to the surface, which shows that they’re used to the Psychic Currents and are immune to them. They have developed an extremely strong psychic resistance.”
The Sunils were guests that only migrated to this planet recently, while Prophecy Stones had existed for countless years. They had no idea about the Prophecy Stones’ effects on the native beasts throughout those countless years.
Herlous nodded. “That’s right. We call these underground monsters Subterranean Mutants.”
“Therefore, you guys summoned me to…” Han Xiao had a guess.
“Your Excellency Black Star, we hope to get your help,” a Sunil superior said seriously with the utmost respect. “We want to eliminate all Subterranean Mutants and completely control Planet Sunil. Our problems can only be resolved if we kill these underground monsters. Plus, there are countless resources underground. We can only collect them after the Subterranean Mutants are dealt with.”
In order to completely get rid of the Catastrophe, destroying all the underground mines was the only way. Hence, the Subterranean Mutants were the biggest obstacle. Furthermore, mining for underground resources would be unavoidable in the future. Subterranean Mutants were clearly a barrier for their development. In terms of population alone, the number of Subterranean Mutants was probably hundreds or even a thousand times that of the Sunils. The Sunils had absolutely no intention of coexisting with a species this large in numbers.
I thought so… Thinking of the beautiful nature that he had seen earlier when looking down from above, Han Xiao sighed. He looked at Herlous and said, “What do you think?”
“I agree.” Herlous was firm.
“Ok…” Han Xiao slowly said. “I hope you guys can understand that the nature of this incident has changed. This is a war hire; I will gather more spaceships and mercenaries.”
“Marvelous!” The Sunils were overjoyed.
“To ensure the transport of people and resources, I need to build a sub-base on Sunil immediately. Do you guys have any objections?”
“No.” The people shook their heads.
Coming to an agreement, Han Xiao walked aside and contacted Phillip.
“Help me to contact the Noriosse and Rossozzi financial groups. I will be building the third sub-base here in the Garton Star System, Planet Sunil. List the resources needed and send them to these two financial groups; we’ll use their channels.
“Gather the 200,000 mercenaries on Planet Sunil in Forest City. They are needed to build the base.
“Also, send out an Army Assembly on Planet Sunil, targeting all Black Star mercenaries!”
After accepting a string of orders, Phillip replied, “Orders confirmed, hum…”
Han Xiao did not stop there. Through the faction interface, he directly announced a new mission to all the players.
[Army Expansion—Base No. 3]!
Sunil soldiers patrolled outside a certain wild camp. In the camp, some players set up stores and formed teams.
There was quite a number of players in every camp. There were mission points and exploration points around the camps, and the players resupplied in the camps. Hence, they naturally became the players’ frequent spots.
Maple Moon sat in a corner with a ‘Repair’ mark on her head. She had set up a repairing store for equipment, and business was booming.
Back then, she had decided to follow the majority and went to Planet Sunil.
As a casual player, she did not like fighting and killing. She had always felt the Mechanic class was most suitable for her. In Version 1.0, she had followed Black Star for a very long time and benefitted a ton, so she was ahead of the other players. Her ability to repair and build was clearly far above many players of the same class. She was considered one of the top players.
Although she did not receive Black Star’s special treatment in Version 2.0, due to her already being ahead, her business had always been popular. Other players were more willing to go to her for repairs and purchases. With the large amounts of profits that she made from that, she had more resources to increase her strength, which formed a cycle.
However, Maple Moon rarely battled. Compared to fighting, she enjoyed the storyline more. The Sunil mission was right up her alley. Saving this race in danger and getting gratitude from the Sunils made her very happy.
There were quite many players who liked the storyline, similar to Maple Moon. To some players, profit was not the priority; what they wanted was a good story. The business plan that Han Xiao had set for the Black Star Army was to let the players experience various storylines through the hiring missions. The Sunil storyline was one of them. This way, their stories would become the army’s history.
At this time, Maple Moon realized that the players on the street had all stopped and opened their interface at the same time. This told her that something huge had happened, so she hastily checked the interface.
The mission to build the third base appeared in her eyes.
“Hmm? Black Star came to Sunil? Strange, the mission to save Sunil is not completed yet, and Base No. 3 can already be built?”
“Who cares? It’s a good thing that a new base can be built.”
The players chitchatted and left in groups, heading toward Forest City. The camp suddenly became empty.
Most players had already immersed themselves in the Black Star Army. They felt that their performance on Planet Sunil had made their faction grow again. They felt a sense of achievement.
Every time the faction developed, the players would feel fulfilled. Han Xiao’s method of building a sense of belonging was really working well.
Maple Moon packed up her store and headed to Forest City, too. Other than missions, she had another goal—to learn better blueprints from Black Star. She had stocked up quite a lot of experience over the past few months. She was not the only one; all the Mechanics on Planet Sunil were hoping to do the same.