Chapter 50: Rescue Mission (Part 1)
Translator: MJ_ Editor: Millman97
Han Xiao’s eyelid twitched.
Trust did indeed take time to be established—Zhang Wei might have been blunt, but he was, without a doubt, simply acting the part of a responsible leader. Naturally, Han Xiao was not offended at all.
However, the chances of him being kicked out were nonexistent—after all, the top brass had decided things.
Zhang Wei himself understood this fact, but, as the leader of a squad, he could not just instantly accept someone whose background was a complete mystery—the higher-ups had not provided him with any information regarding Han Xiao.
Furthermore, in his eyes, Han Xiao was still new, and it remained to be seen if he was truly capable. In their field of work, the slightest mistake could result in the gravest of consequences, so being assigned a new guy all of a sudden was not a laughing matter.
Of course, it was not that Zhang Wei looked down on newbies. However, he believed that any new agent should have to go through two or three years of training before earning the right to even be considered for secret ops.
Who the hell threw this guy to us? Do they think that we’re babysitters‽
They’re taking this far too lightly! Damn you all!
As Zhang Wei continued to examine Han Xiao, he made up his mind to ignore the repercussions and kick Han Xiao to another team if he proved unable to gel with the squad.
Meanwhile, Han Xiao did not know what was going through his mind, but he found that Zhang Wei’s eyes were slowly filling up with animosity.
Suddenly, Li Yao’s laptop flashed, prompting him to turn his neck around with much effort. His expression changed as he yelled, “There’s an urgent mission! They want us to depart now!”
“Details?” asked Zhang Wei sternly.
“Ma Qing Yang’s team was ambushed during their mission to assault a Germinal base. The higher-ups want us to provide assistance immediately. They’ll fill us in on the plane.”
“Assaulting a Germinal base?” wondered Han Xiao. He could guess roughly what had occurred, having previously given Division 13 info on three of their bases.
All three bases were situated within Stardragon territory, which was why Stardragon had been able to immediately mobilize its troops to destroy two of them. The destruction of these two bases had increased Han Xiao’s achievement progress rate to 2.0%. However, the Germinal were no fools and had clearly anticipated that the third base would be attacked as well. They had clearly set up a trap.
Zhang Wei promptly headed for the door. When he passed Han Xiao, he paused for a moment and frowned before instructing, “Li Yao, you will stay behind to provide support. Han Xiao, you are new, so this is a good chance for you. Stay with Li Yao and learn well if you want to become useful.”
Li Yao was about to say something, but he hesitated. Han Xiao smiled and simply replied, “Fine.”
As Zhang Wei did not participate in the Black Spider mission and had only received a flowery description of events from Li Ya Lin; he did not trust in Han Xiao’s ability yet. Han Xiao sighed inwardly. He understood this well.
Han Xiao pondered for a moment before holding Li Ya Lin back to pass her four magazines of High-explosive ammo.
“Consider it a gift from a friend.”
Li Ya Lin’s eyes lit up upon seeing them.
“Is this your new invention?”
Han Xiao chuckled.
“Don’t squander them—they can start quite a fire.”
You have triggered the E-class mission: [Rescue!]
Mission Description: Provide assistance to the secret-ops team being chased by the enemy. Your role is to assist your teammates in completing this mission.
Mission Requirement: Successfully rescue Ma Qing Yang’s squad.
Mission Rewards: 8,000 experience
Bonus Rewards: None
8,000 experience only, lamented Han Xiao. Fitting for a backline support I guess.
“Brother Han…” said Li Yao. “Leader isn’t particularly against you or anything like that, so don’t worry about it.”
“I know,” replied Han Xiao casually, which eased Li Yao’s worries.
He then swiftly popped up three laptops and worked away at them to adjust the video and audio feeds. From the first-person footage on the screen, they could see that the trio had already boarded the aircraft.
Beneath HQ was a special railway used to quickly transport agents and staff to a landing site.
On the jet followed another team of twelve secret-ops agents, and on the way, Han Xiao, Li Ya Lin, and Li Yao made small talk, while Zhang Wei and Lambert closed their eyes in rest.
An hour later, the jet arrived at their destination.
It was a cold desert filled with long stretches of dunes, and a bright, scorching sun was hanging in the azure sky, the intense heat of which caused the air to shimmer and the ground to simmer. Upon contact with the sand, the agents’ boots instantly gave off a burnt smell.
“We have arrived,” reported Zhang Wei in a deep voice.
The trio were fully-equipped. Li Ya Lin, still with that yellow hoodie and black bodysuit, had a retractable knife by her waist, and a black bag over her back that contained the Lightweight Mecha Arm; Lambert carried ten modified Retractable Daggers and a huge, large caliber rifle; and Zhang Wei, whose equipment gave even Han Xiao a shock.
It was a powered armor suit!
Zhang Wei’s entire body was covered inside a sturdy, grayish suit of armor that spotted a few scars of battle. The helmet would have fit right in with the Middle Ages, and only had openings for vision, but the arms were modified and fitted two thick-barreled machine guns. The ammo belt was concealed within the amour, but the reload chamber was located near the thighs. On the back of the suit hung a hexagon shield of steel, reminiscent of a tortoise, and overall, the suit made Zhang Wei look like an incomparably heavy, giant clunk of iron that was designed for show.
It spurred Han Xiao’s interest.
This is the prototype for the [Combatant Armored Suit], one of the few suits available back in Version 1.0.
As the Six Nations each possessed different kinds of advanced knowledge, the suits that they engineered differed from one another.
Theseus was the nation that initiated development of the armored suit, and, sometime after the game’s launch, they made the [Combatant Armored Suit], a mini modular mobile suit—the first of its kind on Planet Aquamarine. At present, it was probably still under development, but although what Zhang Wei was wearing was just a prototype, Han Xiao wondered how Division 13 were able to acquire Theseusian technology.
In Galaxy, players who were ‘Exalted’ with Theseus could purchase the [Combatant Armored Suit] from them. They were extremely pricey, and even routine maintenance and repairs cost well over tens of thousands. It was not something that most players could afford.
As a back-line support, Han Xiao’s duty included maintenance of equipment, so Zhang Wei’s armored suit would probably fall into his charge as well.
Without encryption measures in place, Technicians were able to reverse engineer blueprints.
If the Technician already possessed the required knowledge, it would make the process faster, but even without any, it was still possible to reverse engineer a piece of machinery or technology—just that it would take much more time and require astronomically larger amounts of experience. Furthermore, the results would often come out as ‘Incomplete’.
The required knowledge for crafting the [Combatant Armored Suit] was an advanced weaponry knowledge possessed by Theseus.
Han Xiao bit his finger. If he could reverse-engineer the blueprints of the armored suit, then even if incomplete, they would still provide him with a new means of combat and boost his combat power. However, when he thought of how he could better spend the experience on the other more valuable and useful blueprints in his memory, he gave up the idea.
Li Yao spoke into the intercom. “Ma Qing Yang’s squad is about 13km away. There are 15 armored cars and one Black Harrier helicopter in pursuit. The meeting point is set on a hill 3km away. The objective will be to slow down the enemy and link up with the Ma Qing Yang’s squad. Do not engage the enemy excessively. I have already sent them the coordinates. Now, get ready.”
His instructions were clear, as befitting of a back-line supporter, functioning as a third eye to provide precise coordination and tactical advice.
The trio and the field team swiftly arrived at the hill, where they lay in wait for the enemy.
Soon after, the sound of engines began to approach, and on the vast desert plains appeared a single vehicle being chased by over a dozen others. The sound of gunfire was incessant, and behind the fleeing car was a continuous trail of smoke and blasts.
Aboard were none other than Ma Qing Yang’s squad.
“Ready!” ordered Zhang Wei sternly as he closely waited for the Germinal vehicles to come in range. “Fire!”
Suddenly, from behind the hill, a rain of metal dense enough to cover the sky descended upon the surprised Germinal agents. Bullets rang and clattered non-stop as they hit the armored vehicles.
Upon the sudden ambush, the leading Germinal vehicle immediately spun around to avoid direct hits, almost overturning as it skidded.