Translated by JayQue of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: Kris, Gwyndolyn
That night, Chen Bai and Heinz finished their meal in silence, without any of Donina’s charming atmosphere.
After dinner, Chen Bai hesitated for a bit while sitting in the mech, then turned to look at Heinz, “When the Alliance is roped into war again… I mean ‘if’…”
Heinz was piloting the mech while his gaze scanned the dark road outside. The lights on the dashboard made his eyes shimmer, but it did not break the deathly silence.
Chen Bai’s heart suddenly softened. He felt that maybe he shouldn’t have asked that.
Nothing was more upsetting to a strong young soldier who was forced to retire and was unable to protect their homeland.
“What?” Just when he was thinking of how to end the conversation in a reasonable manner, Heinz suddenly asked.
Chen Bai paused, “Nothing.”
He decided not to ask. Even if Heinz’ brain region could heal completely and became possible for him to step back into the battlefield, there were no prior examples in the Alliance.
Which means, to Heinz, his wounds would never heal completely. On the battlefield, any soldier with an injured brain region would be vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks or even manipulation, especially if it was Heinz.
Berkeley had already known about his mental injury.
If something happened one day, Berkeley could likely kill Heinz by targeting the wound in his brain, even affecting the entire army. This was definitely not something Heinz wanted to see.
In other words, Heinz believed that he had lost all chances of being able to join the battle. If the Alliance was attacked again, Heinz not only couldn’t join the battle, but he also didn’t have a successor in the Alliance.
If a person who was like the god of war to the Alliance suddenly fell, it would be similar to having all their hopes crumble into dust, leaving only a military full of misdeeds and a shaky government.
Then, who would protect this country?
After mulling over Heinz’ emotions, Chen Bai still wondered how Berkeley found out about the wound. With this sort of injury, Heinz would have definitely kept things under tight wraps, and those he trusted might not even know.
After saving him back then from Pisaka Area, Chen Bai hadn’t had any time to check Heinz’ brain region. Which meant, this wound was very obscure. If he hadn’t found it, then it was even less likely for Berkeley’s experimenters.
After that, Heinz recuperated at home for a long time before returning to the military.
It wasn’t that there weren’t any genius psychological manipulators in the military; Dr. Einbergen was an example. However, their research on this matter was not as in depth as Berkeley’s. And with how much Dr. Einbergen valued Heinz, he would definitely have seen and told Heinz about the wound during his treatment.
Otherwise, he would not be this silent.
Which meant… in this environment where Heinz should be able to trust everyone, someone had betrayed him?
“Ask whatever you want,” Heinz leaned back in his chair and said in a low voice, “I’ve said it before: there’s no need to worry so much when you are with me. I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.”
Heinz was always trying to build an environment where they could be open to each other about everything. He put a lot of effort into letting Chen Bai trust him, so Chen Bai didn’t want to refute or let him down.
Thus, he spoke his mind.
“I was actually surprised that Berkeley knew about it.” When Heinz said this, his eyes were filled with dark fog, and Chen Bai was stunned for a moment.
He thought that Heinz was mostly frustrated about his brain region injury preventing him from going into the battlefield. But Heinz’ expression when he spoke that line made Chen Bai realize that his thoughts were probably wrong.
Compared to not being able to go into the battlefield, Heinz was more angered that this information had been leaked.
“You most likely won’t be able to go into battle… Don’t you think it’s a pity?”
Chen Bai really didn’t understand, so he couldn’t help but ask. Because to him, anyone would feel pity for a young and capable leader like Heinz who couldn’t go into the battlefield anymore.
But Heinz looked very relaxed, as though he had never thought about this question. Chen Bai could tell.
“No. Rather, I wish I don’t ever have to go into battle again in this lifetime,” Heinz said, then smiled. “Nothing is more reassuring for the people than not needing soldiers to go into battle, right?”
Heinz and Chen Bai were different people in the end. Though both were born with a military background and had undergone military training, Chen Bai was a special agent, and Heinz was a marshal.
He led a small team of five elites, whereas Heinz led thousands of soldiers. So while they may have similar experiences in many areas, there were still some substantial differences.
“But…” Chen Bai furrowed his brow. “But you’re still so young.”
Hearing that, Heinz turned to glance at him, then shook his head. “There were countless soldiers younger than me that lost their lives in the Century War. My brain region was just injured, and it wasn’t an accident.”
“Not an accident?” Chen Bai paused. When he had seen the wound, he had immediately thought of the Gar’s special troops that could affect brain regions in the Century War. Their surprise attack had caused countless Alliance soldiers to be sacrificed in the cosmos, and the previous military had never imagined a sort of method that could affect brain regions.
But now Heinz said… it wasn’t an accident? Was it because he knew about the possibility of brain regions being affected, or?
“Mn.” Heinz said. He seemed to have sent a message with his light screen, then tilted his head to smile at Chen Bai, saying with a very gentle voice, “It’s my decision. And I was very glad for it.”
Glad about this, meant… the injury was caused by himself, and he was quite satisfied with it?
This was an injury that was highly likely to never heal and could even cause him to have mental energy dissociation for the rest of his life. But that was his attitude? What kind of strange mindset was that?
In that moment, this thought flashed across Chen Bai’s mind before his light screen received a message.
It was from Mani.
[Black wants to meet you.]
The Teacher’s Competition held every three years was always a hotspot of the Alliance’s attention.
Not only would the students of Aldia watch it, but the military followed it too, as well as nearly all of the people in the whole Alliance.
In the past, the Teacher’s Competition allowed them to get in close contact with the Alliance’s military personnel. Since many of Aldia’s teachers were wounded or retired generals of the military, they also presented the qualities of a soldier.
This hearty competition also let the people of the Alliance see the power of their own country, making them feel at ease, raising morale and strengthening the Alliance.
Yet this year’s competition was slightly different than the previous ones.
First, it was the first one to be held after the Century War. To the people of the Alliance, this would let them witness hope in their country’s future; soothe their fears of having their homeland destroyed; and bolster their belief in the military’s efficiency and such.
Apart from these facts, there was also the hotly discussed topic this year, Chen YiBai.
The Century War might have been frightening, but the Alliance soldiers had fought to the death in defense, never letting the Gars into the heart of the Alliance. So, the war had only reached the edges of Beta Region.
That’s why, although there were countless soldiers with injuries and casualties at the time, with the Alliance on alert and brimming with a tense atmosphere every day, most people were free from harm. Aside from intense fear and some personal experience, none of them were deeply affected.
Not to mention, in their hearts, Heinz was just like a god. They believed that with Heinz here, the Alliance would be safe.
The story in which he led a thousand soldiers and defeated hundreds of thousands of Gar soldiers was still a legend in the Alliance to this day.
So at this time, his partner, Chen YiBai, would be compared and contrasted against him. A few days before the start of the Teacher’s Competition, the forums had already begun their discussions.
[Monkey Bag: He doesn’t have any good training and went to a big competition like that? Did he think he was not embarrassing enough?]
[ButtButt: He probably wanted all eyes on him. His popularity just dropped; who knows what this peasant wants to do.]
[Dazzle Dazzle: Are you primitive humans who haven’t touched the Internet before? Chen YiBai was admired by Aldia’s students in just a few days of teaching there, and that staff member had also cleared up everything that happened in the breakfast shop. He actually has substance. I don’t care about you, but I’m excited.]
[Babyfat: I heard before that Chen YiBai’s psychological manipulation is very strong. The Teacher’s Competition not only tests their mental control, but also their stamina, right? Anyways, I’m a little worried, though I think he’s in the same group as Mundi…]
[Ddd: Ahh Mundi is my favourite! His speed and power is absolutely astounding! Though it’s slightly below the Marshal, I’m still excited! Although Teacher Chen is liked by a lot of people, he’s still a newcomer. Hope he doesn’t ruin it~ Anyways, after such a long time, I quite like him. His face is not too pleasing, but he has quite the character~]
[Wow: What a bunch of brainwashed people! I just don’t think that this person can create any storms. I’m Mundi’s loyal fan, and if he drags down the team during the competition, I will have no mercy for him!]
[Kirkdan: Agreed. I really think that someone with nonexistent stamina shouldn’t participate in the Teacher’s Competition. It’s not like he doesn’t know how intense it was. It’s fine if he has Professor Vanda’s SS-rank mental energy, but his level? Tsk tsk…]
When the name Chen YiBai appeared on the list for the Teacher’s Competition, it immediately stirred up a hot debate.
There were endless discussions about him online, especially because he seemed to hate taking photos… the available photo was still the widely spread ‘dead fish’ face from before.
But no matter what, the competition had to commence.
On the starting day of the competition, when Chen Bai arrived on the small military planet near Venus, Faye and Mundi were already there waiting.
“Ready?” Faye wore a skin tight suit, the smooth curves of a woman carrying hints of power and hardness. Chen Bai could imagine how scary she would be when her power exploded.
“There’s no turning back here.” Mundi leaned on a steel case, then waved a fist at him. “First things first, I don’t accept disqualification. We will only walk the path of a champion.”
Faye whistled. “Big ambition you got there, man.”
When they were talking, Carlyle and Waldo came running up from behind Chen Bai.
“I’ve thought of the name, Eagle Hunter.” Mundi was once one of the hunters in the Eagle Hunter troop. Chen Bai knew that he was an agile and great asset, but he switched to the military after getting injured.
“Any questions?” Mundi said as he threw the suitcase onto the floor, then gave them a once over.
Carlyle and Waldo gave each other a look, both not daring to speak. Faye leaned on the wall and smiled with a raised eyebrow, knowing that the question wasn’t directed at her.
“No.” Chen Bai smiled at him, then shook the hand that the other had reached out.