Star Rank Hunter

Chapter 388: Watch Out For Worms

Chapter 388: Watch Out For Worms

The explosion signaled the official start of the inevitable battle.

Both the A Squad and the B Squads had their own roles to play. The A Squad had already altered their battle formation, and no B Squad was allowed to enter their zone unless absolutely necessary. It was because their presence could potentially disrupt their battle formation and battle plan. Worst case scenario, the A Squad might even have to treat the intruding B Squad as an enemy and destroy them.

That wasn’t to say that the B Squads were just there to watch the show. On the contrary, they had their own battlefield to win.

The Third Squad wanted to protect the Eleventh Squad, but the battlefield had quickly devolved into a confusing mess where small spaceplanes and fighters were everywhere. It was very difficult to locate the spaceplane carrying Cillin’s crew, not to mention that they just received the order to protect the Eleventh Squad’s starship.

Besides their commander, no one else in the Third Squad knew that the friends they thought they were protecting were no longer in their starship; that they had been forced to leave by their own supposed allies.

Cillin had already spoken with the Third Squad’s commander about their situation. He assured him that they were fine, and that the best thing the Third Squad could do for the Eleventh squad was to protect their starship. Reluctantly, the Third Squad commander acquiesced as he had to protect his own Squad and respond to any enemy attack at first notice. They simply did not have the power to protect another Squad who wasn’t even in their starship.

The starships and spaceplanes raised their energy shields the second the alarm rang. The black red energy shield warned all fighters and spaceplanes outside that their shields were activating, and attempting to reenter the vessels now would result in self-destruction.

“Ah! These energy shields are powered by the energy ores we discovered, am I right?” Wheeze exclaimed excitedly when it spotted an image on the live feed.

“That’s right.”

The dark red shields surrounding all Vanguard starships and spaceplanes were using the energy ores the Sixth B Squadron had discovered when Cillin was still with the squad. Later, the excavation rights of the energy mines had been transferred to the A Squad. Thanks to it, the Sixth Squad’s evaluation among the other B Squads skyrocketed for a time.

That was all in the past though. That was the achievement of the old Sixth Squad’s, not the new Eleventh Squad’s.

“I don’t like it!” Wheeze declared resentfully. It was because they barely got to enjoy their fruits of labor before it was claimed by the others. In fact, Wheeze got so mad that it put a few holes into the metallic table beside it, and that was after Czedow had consoled it too.

In the spaceplane, Eudy was sitting on the commander’s seat and giving orders while a bunch of robots assisted with the piloting of the spaceplane. It freed up the others to invest their focus elsewhere.

Six fighters had already left the spaceplane in two-man teams. They were Sha Rou and Tico, Udoze and Tang Qiuqiu plus Snowball, the Dias husband and wife, Shusag and Tesoro, Cary and Scarlet Wind, and finally Xiao Shang and Ba Dao. Their job was to intercept the Navigator fighters closing in on their position.

Shusag had always thought that the Eleventh Squad was influential despite its ludicrously small crew size. As he and his son fought side by side in a battlefield filled with countless spaceplanes, starships and fighters of all shapes and sizes though, he finally understood why the A Squad members had acted the way they were when they, for all intents and purposes, booted them out of their own starship.

They could be the strongest Squad in the entire galaxy, but what did it matter in a war involving thousands and thousands of units? Why would Vanguard as a whole respect a Squad whose total crew count didn’t even exceed twenty?

In the past, the Eleventh Squad always had a presence even though people thought that they were a joke. A starship piloted by a ludicrously small crew was still a starship-level threat after all. But now, the biggest vessel they had was a spaceplane. Forget presence, no one could even imagine that a B Squad commander of the Great Four would be piloting a spaceplane in this massive battlefield. It was like an ant trying to influence a battlefield between humanoids and the occasional behemoths.

Shusag recalled the expressions on Stanley and the A squad members’ faces. He wasn’t sure what they were thinking back then, but now he realized that it was probably a mix of pity and scorn.

The battlefield was filled with fighters, explosions, and all kinds of acoustic and magnetic interference. Energy-absorbing weapons and cannons took turns to attack and counterattack the crap out of each other. Pure white freeze cannons and red hot particle beam cannons criss-crossed space and made the messy-looking battlefield even messier than it already was.

Countless fighters and even small spaceplanes were being destroyed by the minute. Both sides were suffering a good amount of casualties in just a short time. The battle had just begun, but already the space was filled with debris of all shapes and sizes.

A fighter that was flying in front of you just a second ago could be blasted into pieces the next second. They wouldn’t even leave behind a scream in this infinitely black vacuum. Life and death were literally decided in an instant.

Cillin recalled a line he read in Chamonidine’s diary, “A battlefield that is fueled by life.”

A raging hot battle—even one that was waged in cold, soundless space—could always get a Hunter’s heart pumping. Even the most cowardly Hunter would subconsciously forget their fear and immerse themselves completely in the battlefield.

Cillin was currently standing at the bridge and looking at eight screens at the same time. Six of the screens showed everything that was happening around the spaceplane—up, down, left, right, front and back—and the remaining two were displaying the planet. Most people would be hardpressed to keep up with two or three screens of activities, but not Cillin.

From time to time, Cillin would instruct Cillin to make a record or calculate certain information. Wheeze was the only one out of all of them who had nothing to do. Right now, it was walking circles above a metallic table and scratching it every two revolutions or so. Judging from the frequency its whiskers were twitching, Cillin knew that the gray cat was just barely holding back its impatience. He could tell it desperately wanted to participate in the battle.

Cillin frowned as he continued to observe the screens. For some reason, he felt like he had missed something. He watched the screens carefully until his attention were directed to the increasing amount of floating debris in the space. In fact, it grew to the point where the fighters were forced to slow down or risk crashing into them and killing themselves. This was especially true for the fighters fighting at the center of the battlefield.


Cillin instructed one of the screens to zoom in. It looked like there were some sort of unidentifiable rocks floating among the debris.

What are those things?

Cillin magnified the live feed from the other screens as well.

“Can you perform an in-depth analysis of these objects?” Cillin asked Czedow.

Czedow looked at the floating rocks on the screen and did as Cillin requested. However, the results were subpar as there was only so much he could do without physical contact, not to mention that the battlefield was overflowing with interference right now.

“It’s no use. I can only tell that it’s no normal debris because it gives off some sort of strange signal,” Czedow answered a while later.

Cillin was racking his brains about this oddity when his communicator abruptly blinked a few times.

Yin Wushe?

This time, he received a message instead of a transmission: “Watch out for the worms.”



Cillin immediately reached out to his six fighters and commanded, “Watch out for the floating debris! Do not make contact with them unless absolutely necessary!”

The hull of a fighter was pretty tough. Generally speaking, it should be fine flying into a small debris or two. This was something they had all missed until Cillin had warned them about it.

The crew was confused by Cillin’s warning, but they heeded his order and slowed down. Everyone was slowing down anyway, and frankly the battle here wasn’t nearly as intense as it was at the center of the battlefield. There, the A Squad fighters flew much faster than the B Squad fighters even though they had slowed down to avoid the debris. It was both a technological gap and a skill gap.

Udoze didn’t think that his skills were lousier than the A Squad’s. In fact, he was confident he could fly into the heart of the battlefield, take out a few enemy fighters, then make it back without a scratch. If Cillin hadn’t warned them not to take unnecessary risks before the battle began, he would’ve done so. Even then, he was plotting to move closer to the heart of the battlefield and test the waters so to speak. Fortunately, Cillin’s new warning reached him before he could put his thoughts into action.

Udoze did not understand what was the point of avoiding the smaller, harmless debris. The computer automatically calculated what was harmless debris and what wasn’t based on the fighter’s functionality, defense rating and other factors. It would actually hamper their ability to fight to avoid every debris on their path.

It didn’t long before they realized why Cillin had given the order. Cary was performing a sharp turn to avoid a barrage of shots from a Navigator fighter when he accidentally collided with an unidentifiable object.

Scarlet Wind immediately reminded him, “You hit a wreckage.” It was because it hadn’t been two minutes before Cary had screwed up even though it was an accident.

“I know, my young friend!” Cary replied before checking the parameters and confirming that the debris was harmless.

He was just about to throw this harmless incident out of his mind when he realized that the “wreckage” was clinging to his fighter. After attempting to shake it off his fighter’s hull to no avail, he was going to ignore it when suddenly, his fighter’s alarm system began shrieking in earnest.

“What’s going on?” Cary blurted in confusion.

Scarlet Wind responded quickly by bringing up the exterior camera and checking what was triggering the alarm.

“What is that?” Scarlet Wind exclaimed in alarm.

Cary blasted an enemy fighter to kingdom come before turning his head to check Scarlet Wind’s monitor. Then, he swore on top of his lungs, “HOLY SHIT!”

A meter long object was attached to the tail end of their fighter. At first glance, it looked no different from a random rock in space. In reality, it was the furthest thing away from a rock: it was alive!

Its craggy, oval surface slowly expanded until a bunch of scythe-shaped claws extended out of its main body. While clinging to the fighter’s body using the suction cups on its limbs, it started spitting some sort of corrosive substance that swiftly ate away at the fighter’s hull!

The good news was that Mo Heng had built the fighter using some special materials, so the alien creature only managed to put a shallow dent on Cary’s fighter after a long time. A Navigator fighter not far away from them wasn’t so lucky. The alien creature quickly put a hole in that fighter, and in space, even the smallest leak could be fatal.

There was no way to tell what exactly happened to the fighter. All Cary knew was that the unfortunate bastard was shot down by a fellow Vanguard not long after it wobbled past them. He didn’t even know if the alien creature was annihilated with the fighter.

Cary immediately reported his findings and his situation to Cillin, though Cillin was already responding to the situation and recalling all fighters. Thankfully, Cary was in no danger yet as the fighter’s anti-corrosion material was pretty strong.

After Cillin sent out the intel he had compiled on the spot to all B Squad commanders, he beckoned Czedow and Wheeze to his side while saying, “It’s time to head out.”

Wheeze immediately perked up. Finally!

Cillin brought up a star chart and circled a particular area. He then told Eudy, “Try to stay within this area as much as possible.”

“I got it. Don’t worry.” Eudy shot the star chart a glance and noted that it was where their starship was at. The Eleventh Squad’s starship had been flying within the designated area this whole time, though more and more Navigator and Vanguard fighters were converging on the area.

“Motherfucker! Electrocution does nothing to the fuckers!” Cary swore while checking the live feed of his exterior camera. There were now two alien creatures clinging to their fighters.

He hadn’t noticed it, but the amount of alien creatures in the environment seemed to be growing by the minute. When did they start to appear, and how?!

“I can climb out and take them out,” Scarlet Wind suggested.

“Not yet. We’re almost at the area Cillin told us to go. Focus on dealing with the three fighters on our tail first.”

There were two sets of weapons systems in the fighter. One of them was for the pilot, and the other the co-pilot. Scarlet Wind was the co-pilot right now. He left most of the piloting to Cary and focused on taking down the fighters, though personally he preferred to fight with his hands, no, claws more.

Cary did not send Scarlet Wind out to deal with the alien creatures attempting to put a hole in their fighter because the little fella was so-so at space combat at best. It would be horrific if he screwed up his armor controls and got accidentally flung into space or something.

When they had finally arrived at their destination, Cillin’s voice appeared from Cary’s communicator. “Set your flight speed to third gear, cruising speed and cease all attacks for half a minute. Czedow and I will clean up the hostiles on your hull during this time.”

Cary did exactly as Cillin said while counting down to half a minute. The Eleventh Squad had always been a stickler for time. When exactly half a minute had passed, Cary and Scarlet Wind would resume offensive operations once more.

Cary was just counting down to the thirteenth second when suddenly, they saw a person flying toward their fighter. They landed on three limbs before punching toward the worm that was still spitting acid at their hull this whole time.

There was no sound in space, but if there was, Cary thought that the impact would probably sound like a crack. It was because the alien’s head looked incredibly tough. Despite this, the person was still able to punch a hole in its head in one strike.

The worm immediately died from the blow, but its limbs continued to cling to the hull with a death grip. The only way to remove it was to pull it off physically. However, even after the figure had ripped the worm off the hull and flung it into space, the suction cups still clung to the fighter’s surface.

Cary could not help but feel a chill when he saw that the suction cups were irremovable even after the limbs were literally ripped off. Just what the hell were these things?

The second worm was dealt with the same way as the first worm. It took the person only three seconds to remove the worms completely.

“Thanks, Czedow!” Cary yelled as the person flew away.

“That’s Czedow?” Scarlet Wind asked in confusion.

“Who else could it be? Czedow is the one who usually fights with his bare hands because it’s less troublesome, isn’t it? Also, Czedow is probably the only one in our crew whose fists are tough enough to crack that alien in one hit,” Cary said matter-of-factly.

Scarlet Wind did not seem to agree with Cary though. He scratched his red hair with its claws before replying, “I still think he’s Cillin, not Czedow.”

“Cillin? Our commander usually fights with his blade and gun though?” Cary retorted, but he quickly fell into thoughtful silence. The person had removed the worms so smoothly that it was as if they were on the ground, not space. His movements were so smooth and natural that Cary could not imagine anyone but Czedow pulling off such a feat.

However, Scarlet Wind looked incredibly sure that the person who helped them earlier was Cillin. Was he wrong? Was it really Cillin who helped them?

“The fuck are you doing? Now is not the time to be distracted!” An angry shout abruptly jolted him out of his thoughts. A second later, Cary realized that an enemy had locked onto their fighter, and they were half a second away from being shot before Xiao Shang had blasted them to kingdom come.

“Ahem, excuse me. I was distracted,” Cary quickly put on his game face while replying.

“On this battlefield? Get your head in the game, senior!” Xiao Shang taunted him.

“Yeah, yeah. Thanks man!” Cary stopped thinking who their helper was and focused on the fight in front of him.

Cillin loved to keep a low profile even within his Squad, and Cary was fully aware of that fact. Despite this, he still underestimated Cillin’s capabilities from time to time. For example, he had subconsciously underestimated Cillin’s physical strength and barehanded fighting skills just because Cillin usually fought with a blade and a gun.

Meanwhile, Cillin was eliminating the worms on Tico and Tang Qiuqiu’s fighter after helping Cary and Scarlet Wind. He asked via his communicator, “How is it, Czedow?”

“I’ve transmitted the analysis data of the sample to Xi Kai,” Czedow reported while ripping off a worm clinging to Shusag and Tesoro’s fighter. He and Cillin could’ve done this themselves, but they were quite busy right now.

Meanwhile, Wheeze was taking a bite out of the worm on Udoze’s fighter. It only managed two chews before it spat it out the meat in disgust.


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