Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Daylight was fast approaching on V Proton.
From the current map, the most serious were Chrisport, where they landed on the way in, Desert City, and Licorro City, where the gene was first discovered. These three cities seem to have had no room for maneuvering, although the population of V Proton wasn’t densely distributed, several cities combined were less than half of the central city, but seriously, almost the entire city had become the so-called ‘alien,’ which was why they were so quiet when they came.
Because they no longer felt the presence of humans, only that everyone was their kind, they did not need to bother to attack, peaceful coexistence was good. The first task of the support team was to clean up the three cities that were plagued by the alien species, and then observe the other adjacent cities according to the flooding situation, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the central city was not attacked by this gene.
Chang Lin sent the detailed map of the entire planet and the information of each resource point and energy supply place in a package, and only after confirming that it was correct. He trembled and gave a deep salute of the highest standard to the Imperial soldiers who came to support him. He still couldn’t help but have red eyes, he understood that once these mecha started this time, he would lose tens of thousands of his people.
But hesitation could not solve the problem, and in order to return to a healthy central city, he could only agree and cooperate with all the plans.
At the moment before He YunTing was about to walk towards the mecha, ChangLin gave him a third piece of advice, “None of the researchers we sent out before have ever returned, so no matter what, even if you have a better expert this time, you must ensure his safety. If not necessary, you must not get close to those aliens, otherwise…” The more he said, the lower his voice got, “Anyway, I don’t want to see any new people fall into this abyss.”
He YunTing glanced at him and nodded at a small angle.
Soon, without any hesitation, he walked towards the tarmac, towards the mecha that had been with him for a long time, towards the subordinates and soldiers who were waiting for his orders, and towards the blood-stained dusk that was about to come.
Because of the detailed navigation and instructions given by Chang Lin, it took less than three hours for them to reach the first nearest desert city. After all, there was no point in staying in the central city, and Xu Zhiheng, whose purpose was to understand the situation, followed them. Since the Aegis, as the first line of defense, had to stand at the front, He YunTing arranged Xu Zhiheng into a mecha some way back for safety.
Everyone was concentrating, the energy and intra-team communication had been checked when they came, eliminating all surprises. In order to facilitate communication, in addition to the public channel, He YunTing had a private line to Lu AnHe, for emergency orders and to say some inconvenient words to the public.
However, He YunTing was already a man of few words, even more so during official missions, so this private channel did not blink often. Lu AnHe was reporting all the real-time data outside on the public channel, and for a while no one spoke after the voyage was on track. But this time was different. Halfway through the journey, the private line inside Lu AnHe’s Zeus suddenly lit up.
He did not dare to be slow and immediately connected.
“Have you found any problems during the time you protected Xu Zhiheng.” He YunTing said in a deep voice, “Any aspect.”
Lu AnHe was not surprised that He YunTing would ask this question, and explained one by one the various situations after he entered Xu Zhiheng’s secret laboratory, “For the time being, I can’t see. Except for Ji Meng’s funeral, he was basically within view and was indeed helping Qi JiaZe with all his heart.”
“Speaking of which,” Lu AnHe thought for a moment, “his condition was indeed improving before I left, there was no longer any aggression, the vertical pupils were even sometimes invisible. I wonder how the past few days have gone.”
“I asked Mr. Lin to take a look.” He YunTing said, “I will ask him the results.”
Lu AnHe, “Okay.”
Speaking of Lin Han, He YunTing couldn’t help but remember that he had asked him to look up something about three years ago in his study.
Obviously, he knew immediately after remembering that date that he should have been routinely checking the shooting training of the paramilitaries at that time, but after Lin Han gave himself a negative answer, He YunTing recalled it carefully and found that he could only remember the details of the morning. Even if he knew that the afternoon was a shooting training session, he should have a vivid memory of which training range he was at, who he eliminated, and whether he made any mistakes, just like the morning.
There was only a general outline in his mind, as if a voice was saying he had done something, like a compulsion, in order to keep himself from looking deeper. Because he now looked deeper, also could not recall even a hint.
It was as if that afternoon had been dug out of his mind, with no trace of it at all, leaving only an empty shell with a false impression.
So the three years after that would be missing? Or before?
He YunTing understood that directly asking Lu AnHe about that afternoon the other must not say it explicitly, but he was not a person who could beat around the bush, simply bring it up again, “About what you said, the day Xi Yuan went to the academic lecture, besides him and his own teacher, was there anyone else who went?”
“This?” Lu AnHe was stunned for a moment, “because Professor Xu’s level of learning is very high, and is a public lecture, mobility, the presence of many students of life sciences, of course, there are also some community members.”
“Those students are okay, even if their majors are different, they can check their identity information with their ID cards, but those who come and go, it’s really hard to find.”
“Okay.” He YunTing nodded to the point and did not look deeper.
“Boss?” Lu AnHe took the initiative to say, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” He YunTing said straightforwardly, “Is there a possibility that after experiencing something, one’s memory will be significantly deviated?”
Lu AnHe didn’t pick up so smoothly this time. He obviously stiffened for a moment and laughed dryly, “I didn’t learn this in military school back then, and then I went straight into the army, so I really don’t know.”
“Mn.” He YunTing only responded.
This time Lu AnHe also no longer speak, the communicator was quiet again.
It was afternoon when they arrived at Desert City, and it was also the most sweltering time of the Proton Planet.
The unique ecology of the planet has only two seasons, and the temperature remains high all year round, but it is still much better than the harsh environment of the Imperial borderlands.
All transportation hubs in Desert City were closed, and the army found a square in the center of the city and opened their glider wings to land together.
The whole city is as quiet as it was when it came, but there are some human-looking “aliens” scattered all over the place.
Because there are no more “humans” here, so they do not need to launch any attacks, but only to sleep in the way of slow consumption of energy – there is still an abundance of food on the shelves of supermarkets and shopping malls, but they do not need, preferring to gnaw the roots under the land, break the lush trees, with human teeth and digestive system, mechanical and numb chewing the food that did not belong to them.
Like the Zerg, they eat once and could sleep for a long time until the next time they wake up, or, by something else, startled.
It was a warm, brightly lit city, but it was eerily like a pre-Apocalyptic battlefield.
Clearing the pattern was not difficult.
They had enough hard steel armor to gallop through the universe, the most advanced military power, a magnetic rail gun with plenty of energy, their mechanical arms were also equipped with thrusters, not only touch explosive shells, but also particle cannons responsible for long-range firepower.
They had mecha arms on which they could even use the laser as a lightsaber, the sharpest blade, the most perfect weapon. They also had the thickest defensive shields, with cold weapons and hot weapons. And too many advanced weapons, mostly made to defend against Zerg, to not be impaled by their foot limbs, to be able to rip their brains out.
But the ones in this city now, no matter how mutated, were ultimately just humans who were too fragile to fight. Before He YunTing gave the order, he coldly said to the mecha containing Xu Zhiheng, “Keep an eye on Professor Xu’s emotions. It’s best just not to let him see.”
Maybe Xu Zhiheng would hate him and would never be able to forgive him, maybe even after he returned to the Empire, all his actions would be made public, there would always be people who misinterpret the facts. He would become a cruel executioner with the blood of countless ‘compatriots’ on his hands, killing people.
He had no feelings, he was just a cold murderer.
“From the center of the city, all mecha spread out,” he ordered, “Zerg jamming mode to the highest, make sure to cover the whole city, to attract enough… aliens.”
“Consider protecting buildings at your discretion for future reconstruction,” an icy voice spoke over the public channel, word for word, “but after attracting the aliens out, there are no strings attached… All of them will be killed.”
“Repeat that again…”
“Kill them all.”
A moment of silence followed before the stations mecha took orders.
“He YunTing, you’re massacring the city-“
Xu Zhiheng’s indignant voice finally came over the communicator, completely roaring out.
Soon he was pulled away by the sergeant in the mecha he was in, and the words that followed were gradually inaudible.
This was probably the shortest dusk in Desert City.
Never had a dark night come so quickly as now, when the empty city was filled with uninvited guests of gold and iron, who let out sickening sound waves to wake the sleeping, or slowly feeding, aliens from their dreams of the unknown. The group of aliens opened their vertical pupils and began to search for the source of this frequency, then screamed and hissed loudly in a language no one understood, and spontaneously gathered towards the source.
They ran in anger, with limbs that may had been half broken, they did not know fatigue, just wanted to attack and bite like crazy, they called on what they thought were their own kind of partners, and rushed together, wanting to fight to the death with this sound.
To destroy, to destroy…
So they came together, in an otherwise peaceful corner of the park, in the once bustling school yard, in the sacred church, a symbol of love and peace.
And all that awaited them was the fierce particle cannon and the relentless fire and smoke.
–There was no way to resist.
The mecha formations swept through every corner of the city, sparing no possible alien, even if some of them had fallen into a deep sleep, or had been genetically tainted so soon that they were not deeply mutated and appeared to be just a normal human being.
Even the war was not called.
There was no victory or defeat.
Because the prerequisite for victory or defeat was that the two sides at least had a measurable difference in strength.
This was just a boring and monotonous, blood-washed night.
But after the dazzling star of dawn flashed, the dawn still lit up as usual.
The temperature in Desert City was slightly cooler at this time, and the morning was as quiet as usual.
The battle group that had been up all night had finally completed their mission, and at every scattered point, the pilots reported back that no longer would a single human open their eyes with vertical pupils and lunge at them menacingly.
The mecha began to consolidate, bringing with them countless blood and smoke.
After all, the entire day’s operation consumed too much energy, and the team regrouped to where they had originally come from and began to do a simple inventory. They were about to do a short recuperation here, and after the pilots and mecha had recovered a little, they would move on to the next area.
“Boss, take a rest too.” Lu AnHe’s tired voice came over the communicator, “We’re not too far from here to Chrisport, so you should at least get some sleep.”
He YunTing responded, also handed down to let everyone catch up on their rest, and leaned back on the first cockpit seat himself to get lost in thought.
Since he heard that Xu Zhiheng no longer even had the strength to do so, even though he had not faced the process head-on. But He YunTing did not bother with this professor of high academic standing for the rare time.
He just wanted to rest.
He YunTing’s expression was unpleasant, his lips taut, flat and cold and hard. He seemed to be thinking about something, and as if he was just letting go and fixing, thinking about nothing. Suddenly there was a vibration and his personal communicator rang.
This time there was no transition of voice communication, it was a visual invitation, from the distant core of the Empire.
There was a momentary blank in He YunTing’s mind, but after the blankness passed, he quickly clicked yes. The light screen popped up, but instead of the young man you wanted to meet, the screen was full of black.
No one spoke.
He YunTing was a little confused. Shouldn’t Lin Han called him and knew he would answer the video message? Why was it covered? It was so late to connect but he did not speak, then he could see this whole screen of ‘black,’ actually moving.
A few moments later, a fluffy black blob appeared on the screen.
It stared at the sudden appearance of He YunTing in a daze, as if he was also surprised.
… It turned out that it had accidentally pressed the video when it was playing with Lin Han.
He YunTing didn’t know what to say for a while after knowing the cause and effect.
After two seconds, the hairy ball rolled back, with black bean eyes, and He YunTing stared at it.
He YunTing, “…”
After another two seconds, seeing that He YunTing didn’t say anything, the little guy stretched out his short paws in dissatisfaction and was about to poke at the button that popped up this interface–
“… Don’t hang up yet.” Mr. General finally gave in to a small creature the size of his palm, “I’ll just look at him.”
Grr, despite still having some prejudice against He YunTing, eventually did not press his paws and rustled to the other side. Into the eyes was the all-too-familiar retro décor of his own, with dim lighting.
It was his room.
It turned out that Lin Han was not just talking about it, but was really here again.
The window was open a crack, the wind blew in, the curtains moved slightly, but as if they were conscious, they did not disturb the person on the bed. The young man was asleep, but he did not seem to be at ease. He seemed insecure even in his sleep, curled up with his knees bent and slightly scrunched up in the bed.
The planet Proton was a rainforest climate, so high winds and rain were the most common weather. At the moment there was a wind blowing through the metal shell of M2742, carrying the smell of blood and making a whirring sound.
He YunTing, however, felt that the wind at the moment was all tinged with gentleness. The angle of the problem, he could only see half of Lin Han’s side face, but all the tiredness and weariness still dissipated one by one when seeing him.
He felt that Lin Han was like the wind at this moment, and the feeling in the air was scattered in the wind and came to his heart.
He slept so quietly.
Like those who originally did not say a word today.
The youth’s brow frowned slightly, He YunTing even wanted to reach out and touch the virtual light screen, across the distance of light years, to soothe the uneasiness that prevailed in between for him.
He was so tired today, and his hands had too much blood.
Soon, Lin Han turned over.
He YunTing finally got a thorough look at the youth in the virtual light screen.
Lin Han covered himself with soft bedding, in his hand, he was clutching something tightly. Grasping it, Lin Han’s eyebrows were finally stretched a little.
–It was an ordinary, clean uniform.