Chen Bai earnestly felt it this time.
Translated by JayQue of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: Gwyndolyn, Kris
That wasn’t a normal magnetite.
In reality, though the period of discovery wasn’t long ago, and neither Berkeley nor the Alliance’s scientists had given them specific categorisations to be distinguished by, magnetites still had differences in strength.
For example, the one that Chen Bai had argued with the man in the monkey mask for at the outer edges of the black market was very weak among magnetites. Its only characteristic was being able to be reused. Even so, it couldn’t be overlooked that its strength was relatively minuscule. Unless the user was extremely skillful, it would most likely not exude any formidable power.
But the one in this small box was completely different as Chen Bai could clearly feel its valiant disturbance force. When the box was opened by Heinz, and the black brocade lifted away, Chen Bai could even feel Heinz’ brain region tremble violently for a split second, obviously having been attacked directly by this sudden gathered force.
Thus, the latter quickly closed the small box. And yet the effect caused by the cover lifting away could not be wiped out. Fatty seemed to have expected it, as he shifted the floating car into autopilot.
Chen Bai’s gaze landed on top of the closed box and blinked.
That brocade was a product of research by Berkeley. It was used to store magnetites that were too powerful but were a necessity. And the magnetite in Heinz’ hand right now was clearly one worthy of Berkeley using such a precious brocade to store in.
A stone like this, if placed in Ellie’s banquet at the time, would have been able to control several hundred people in the place with just one of its kind. If there was an outstanding psychological manipulator, this number could very possibly be increased by several times.
So, Heinz’ target… was this stone?
A stone like this being taken away so brazenly by someone, it was impossible that Berkeley would just sit and do nothing about it. So why did Heinz do it?
“Boss, this thing is quite amazing! If it wasn’t for Kureya and the team accidentally opening the brocade, it wouldn’t have caused this much chaos, and we would’ve run away earlier.” From the front, Fatty seemed to have sensed that Heinz had realized the destructive power of this thing and hurried to say something nice to make up for their slip up today.
“Doesn’t matter now. We never intended not to let them discover it in the first place.” Heinz closed the small box, then weighed it in his hand, feeling the weight of the magnetite. He curled up his lips before adding, “This thing is very important to Berkeley; something important he needed to trade in the higher levels. If they lost one, it would be a massive loss of profit for them, so they would never just let go of it.”
That was true.
Chen Bai knew all of these things, too. From a long time ago, Berkeley was already slowly consuming the power and profits of the Alliance, whether big or small. Berkeley always used these magnetite deals to exchange for some influential officials’ trust, even exchanging the magnetites themselves.
Of course, after the exchange, Berkeley would dispatch secret agents for all-weather protection and use whatever Berkeley considered as a suitable method to reclaim the magnetites back at a suitable time.
Chen Bai had received such missions before. A strong magnetite like this would be a massive business deal for Berkeley. With it taken away so openly under their noses, whether it was losing something so important or their reputation within the circle, Berkeley would not just stand by and watch.
“So, boss, you want them… to investigate?” Fatty furrowed his brow and probed. He and Kureya’s men only acted under orders. After following Heinz for so long, they all would climb mountains of knives and go into seas of fire with his one command. But before this, he had never second-guessed Heinz’ intentions.
“Not just investigate, but rather hoping they would investigate directly onto me,” Heinz corrected as he leaned on the back of the chair, rolling his shoulders.
“No,” Fatty paused, “I don’t understand it, boss. Didn’t you always say that it’s not time for us to lay our cards on the table with Berkeley? Why suddenly give the emergency order for this? We were also too anxious setting up the mission, so there wasn’t a full preparation…”
Fatty seemed quite scared of being blamed by Heinz. As a soldier under Heinz, he would never go against his commands, and he made almost no mistakes with all the problems he had faced. They were only stealing a stone today, and yet they had accidentally made it into such a difficult situation… In other words, it proved how much importance Berkeley had placed on this stone, and their efforts in stealing it were not in vain; but, Fatty was still feeling slightly unwilling regardless.
“Timings can change. Does Xiao Bai still remember what happened this morning?” Heinz was still cold when he spoke the front half of the sentence. The moment he called Chen Bai’s name, his voice suddenly turned gentle.
Chen Bai’s brain was still swirling on Heinz’ intentions as mentioned by Fatty, thus when he suddenly heard the question, he didn’t have time to react to Heinz’ difference in attitude. Fatty however, heard it clearly and couldn’t help but stick out his tongue.
“Mn… that contractual beast.” Chen Bai nodded.
Jokes aside, Fatty’s reaction speed was not slow. “Ah, that; I saw it too. The video of that exploded on the net.”
“Mn, that female Gabudor was handed to the Eagle Hunter troops. Then, the latter put the blame on the beast keeper’s mistake, asking them to compensate and taking away their disciplinary points. I had just asked about it casually after the incident and found out that the leader of the Eagle Hunters that initially came in contact with me spoke very vaguely. Therefore, I investigated it slightly more,” Heinz explained.
Chen Bai furrowed his brow.
Honestly speaking, he also felt that something was wrong with what happened in the morning. But he wasn’t sure if it was because it had been so long since he’d been in Venus. He couldn’t tell where the sense of wrongness came from.
“Xiao Bai also mentioned before that Gabudors only engage in parasitic birthing and such dangerous behaviours under extreme shock. I asked someone for this information, and it became a point of doubt.
“In actuality, because it’s inconvenient for the Alliance to capture contractual beasts, they place much more importance on contractual beasts that can be impregnated and reproduce in the Alliance, even setting up a specialised research institute to take care of them. A pregnant Gabudor on the verge of giving birth escaped a city central pet store because the beast keeper didn’t look after it carefully…? With the Alliance’s management of the contractual beasts, this is almost impossible.
“So I entrusted someone to check on the store’s bill and found that this pregnant Gabudor’s record is messy and careless, as though it was hastily filled in at the last moment. And with the Alliance’s attitude on handling pregnant contractual beasts, this is almost impossible.”
Heinz’ speech ended here; Chen Bai suddenly understood where the sense of wrongness he felt came from.
“So you think that the store keeper is lying?” he asked, using his dark eyes to look at Heinz.
He had deliberately spoken shallowly and knew that what Heinz pointed out was not that simple.
“Not only that. There are also problems in the Eagle Hunter troop. Before this, I had never imagined that Berkeley could possibly have their influence seep into the Eagle Hunters.” Heinz said and pinched the bridge of his nose. The commander-in-chief of the Eagle Hunters in the earlier days was his father’s best friend and also his most respected uncle since young. Even though he was retired now, the Eagle Hunters were still a legendary military troop under his uncle’s command, no less inferior when going into battles.
“We can open our minds and think about what Berkeley is researching. If they really are doing contractual beast-related research, then that means the things under their control are far more than what we imagined. Even the Eagle Hunter troop could already be under their control.”
Fatty was dumbstruck as he listened from the front, not even willing to switch the autopilot back. After a long moment, he then swallowed and said, “Boss, no, it couldn’t be, no, even if the Eagle Hunters hid this, and there are private deals happening, it might not even be Berkeley, right? And… and maybe only the Eagle Hunters’ leader made this deal. How did it come to the entire Eagle Hunter troop? You saying it like that, grouping all of them together…”
“With the situation in the Alliance right now, only three kinds of people have power and status,” Heinz said, his gaze turning cooler. “First, those who stand with the government. Second, the neutral. Third, those who stand with Berkeley.
“The former two have very few numbers, and most people are standing from a third person’s point of view. Which means, it’s impossible for Berkeley not to find a place researching contractual beasts with its network. And after finding it, it’ll only be taken or annexed by them; there’s no third option.”
Chen Bai gave Heinz’ deduction an assessment in his mind. Not only that, in reality, any projects related to contractual beasts would have already started early on in Berkeley. The start was way earlier than when the military discovered it. It wouldn’t even be wrong to say that this was Berkeley’s most ancient project.
But… how to deduce that there was a problem in the entire Eagle Hunter troop?
“As to the second question, why was it the entire Eagle Hunter troop?” Heinz asked as his eyes flickered. Then he answered himself, “It’s because when I felt that something was fishy as I received the report today, I saw an application letter on my board. A special movement application from the Eagle Hunter troop.
“The Eagle Hunter troop usually hunts in the Omega rainforest at the end of the month and goes back to the Alliance at the start of the month. To make sure that the number of contractual beasts doesn’t diminish drastically, and that our movements will not cause too much harm to their reproduction, the Eagle Hunter troop has to adhere strictly to this rule. If they want to move out of the stated rules, they need to get approval from the highest positions in the military.”
Chen Bai knew this. There were three votes in total, one of them being the military’s highest position, Marshal Heinz. Another is the meritorious General Abraham, and the last vote was from the Chief Commander of the whole military.
As long as the three votes authorized it, the Eagle Hunter troop could continue with their special movement.
But there were very few special movements from the Eagle Hunters. Ever since Chen Bai entered the Eagle Hunters, he had never given up any information from there. And in the ten years since then, the Eagle Hunters had never applied for it more than three times.
Which means, after the attack, an application letter appeared on Heinz’ desk?
…. No, following the process of the application, it would need at least 1-2 days. So, they had already sent an application, but something unexpected came up at the last second?
“Their steps must be very messy, as an application through the system cannot be intercepted. I would discover it, so they can’t change anything about it. Thus, they put the application letter on my desk, as a form of probing the situation,” Heinz commented, suddenly curling up his lips.
Probing whether Heinz knew about Berkeley, how much he knew, and… if he wanted to wallow in the same mire as them.
Looking at the stone weighing in Heinz’ hand, Chen Bai’s gaze glimmered slightly.
That’s right; strong magnetites were always used by Berkeley to make deals with the higher ranks. If Berkeley found out that what happened was because of Heinz, considering his position, they definitely wouldn’t make any rash movements, instead they’d feel out the situation and try to make a connection with him.
At this turning point, Berkeley wouldn’t want to cause offense to Heinz. Since they risked letting the Eagle Hunter troop apply for special movement, it said that Berkeley really needed something like this.
Then when making deals with Heinz, Berkeley would definitely not send any simple character to interact with him for the sake of sincerity. It should be at least someone from the military, or someone allied with Berkeley in the government.
As Chen Bai’s thoughts were guided here, he suddenly had an idea.
If that was the case, then both his and Heinz’ goals were one and the same. Which meant, if he could understand how deep Heinz’ knowledge went, he could adjust their direction slightly and integrate Heinz into his own mission, hopefully getting twice the effect with half the work?
His thoughts working here, Chen Bai couldn’t help but purse his lips. Then, acting as though he had just received some major information, he furrowed his brow and mulled for a long while, before asking, “That’s not right… You said Berkeley was against the government. If it’s just for that, why would they stir up so many complications, even genetic engineering? This isn’t a small project, right?”
“Not just against the government.” Heinz shook his head. “And…”
“Boss…” Fatty seemed to be shocked by Heinz’ attitude of revealing everything to Chen Bai, as he couldn’t help but interrupt. “Can we?”
“It’s fine.” Faced with Fatty’s hesitation, Heinz didn’t stop himself. Instead, he turned his head, his gaze carrying gentleness as he looked at Chen Bai, “He can know anything.”
The warmth in his gaze… Chen Bai earnestly felt it this time.