Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xie Sen’s craft flew all the way to the entrance of Star City, and then landed for inspection. There was a long line of inspection shuttles and craft in front of them.
Long Teng stuck his head out of the window, surprised. “There are so many people.”
The pilot said, “It’s been like this every day for the past few days. None of our company’s aircrafts are available. If you hadn’t booked in advance, you wouldn’t have been able to call for a flight at short notice.” He sighed. “The danger zone isn’t that easy to go to. Many people have been in trouble recently. You’re so young, are you sure you don’t want to think it over?”
“No,” Maine said shortly.
Xie Sen took a look at the speed of the craft, and estimated that it would be another ten minutes before they would be at the front of the line. He opened his bracelet to read the reports about the deep forest, but as soon as he opened the Starnet, he saw a headline about Maine.
[Cox Family announces that it has severed ties with Maine Cox!]
Xie Sen thought about it. This kind of information couldn’t be hidden, so he put his hand in front of Maine, and indicated to him to read the news.
Maine looked at the news, and grunted indifferently. “Just what I wanted.” He casually grabbed Xie Sen’s hand, and held it. He put it between their seats. “Don’t think too much. Rest first, there may be no rest in the forest.”
Xie Sen looked at the hand he was holding and moved his fingers. Maine leaned back in his seat with his eyes closed, as if he didn’t feel anything at all, and kept holding his hand without releasing it.
Xie Sen recalled the scene as they dressed that morning. The combat uniform cuffs and pants all had to be tied tightly. He was inexperienced, so Maine hand-dressed him. After the cuffs were tied, he took his hand and placed a kiss on the back of his hand.
He still remembered how fluid and natural Maine’s movements were, as if there was nothing wrong with him. Maine had become closer to him than before, and was always touching him from time to time.
Xie Sen tilted his head to look at Maine’s delicate face.
A thought suddenly popped into his head. I wonder if a bite would leave marks?
When Xie Sen realized what he was thinking, his face burned red and he looked away. He screamed in his heart, I sound like a pervert! Never, never let Maine know that I had such thoughts!
Ten minutes later, the four of them passed the inspection. The pilot reminded Long Teng to close the window, then continued the flight. A little over an hour later, at quarter past nine, the craft arrived at Maine’s destination, over the middle of the dangerous area in the deserted forest.
The pilot was a little uneasy. “The last vehicle we encountered was at least 100 kilometers away. Are you sure you want to land here?”
“Yes,” Maine said. “Hover.”
The pilot, doubtful, still followed Maine’s instructions, and hovered the plane.
Maine opened the window, took out the two unmanned detector probes, programmed them to enter the forest slowly and then opened his bracelet. He checked the information returned by the probes, expanded the virtual screen and projected the picture in front of them.
Xie Sen looked at the projection. The view of the probes became clearer and clearer, the closer they got to the forest. The taller trees appeared on the projection. As the probes descended, the view became dimmer and dimmer. This place was full of trees, so the forest below was hidden by trees and completely out of sight.
Suddenly, a rough panting sound that belonged to a fierce beast came out of the probe, followed by a hand-sized turquoise eye that appeared on the projection.
“Oh, what a big eye. It’s a big guy,” Long Teng said excitedly.
Xie Sen looked at him. He really admired his tough line. Didn’t he think that the more fierce the beast underneath, the more dangerous?
The forest was dense with vegetation and branches, but Maine’s hands moved the probe sideways with great speed. If he had been playing a game of passing the obstacles, he would undoubtedly be a top performer.
About fifteen minutes later, the probe’s image was clear again. It was in some high terrain with only a few trees on the slope. Not far ahead was a cliff, as if a complete mountain was suddenly split.
Maine made an immediate decision, and pointed to the location of the probe. “Go land there.”
The pilot flew the craft to the location Maine pointed out. He couldn’t help asking, “That’s a great probe. Where did you buy it?”
Maine said, “I made it myself.”
The pilot looked at him in amazement, and was about to praise him, when Maine said, “Open the door, and put out the tractor ladder.”
The pilot subconsciously opened the hatch, and lowered the tractor ladder as he had been told. Then he turned on the display in front of the vehicle, and the tractor ladder appeared in its entirety. The pilot said, “It’s too high from the ground. We need to descend, so hold on to the handrail.”
Xie Sen reached out, and grabbed the upper left handrail, then got a good grip. His waist was grabbed, and he turned his head. He saw Maine was holding him with his left hand while he grabbed the upper right handrail with his right hand.
When Long Teng saw this scene, he turned his head and asked Bai Jiao, “Are you afraid, or should I–”
“No need.” Bai Jiao didn’t wait for him to finish. He refused with a slight smile, as his hand held the handrail steadily.
Xie Sen coughed dryly, and inclined his head to look down. Not far away, the canopy of a large tree was already clearly visible in his field of view.
“That’s fine,” the pilot said before long. “Which one of you will go down first?”
“I’ll go first.” Maine let go of Xie Sen, and moved toward the door.
Xie Sen looked at the display ahead, the traction ladder was shaking slightly in the wind. It went straight to the ground, while the length was higher than the nearby trees, at least thirty meters. Xie Sen’s heart was beating wildly. This was too high!
Maine was very calm. He grasped the handrail of the door to maneuver his body out the door first, got his feet on the traction ladder, and then let go. His hands grabbed the traction ladder on both sides. He took two steps down. His body swayed slightly with the traction ladder, and Xie Sen couldn’t help but crane his neck to look out the door with a nervous face.
Maine seemed to notice, and looked upward. When he saw Xie Sen, the corners of his mouth hooked up in a small smile. “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid. I’ll wait for you at the bottom.”
Xie Sen clenched his fist, and nodded. “Yes. You be safe.”
Maine responded, then began to climb down.
Xie Sen couldn’t see Maine from the doorway, so he looked at the display again. Maine’s speed was extremely fast, and the traction ladder was shaking more and more as a result. “The quality of this ladder won’t be a problem, right?”
“Of course not.” The pilot was very confident. “It’s made of the most resilient material. It can withstand ten of him.”
Maine went down halfway smoothly. Xie Sen was relieved to see his relaxed look.
“Caw…” Suddenly, a loud bird call came from below, followed by a full-colored black bird like a cannonball, that was heading straight for Maine.
Xie Sen’s body leaned forward. “Maine!”
Maine grabbed the side of the ladder with one hand, bent his body inward, then in the opposite direction and swung the traction ladder forward violently to avoid the black bird’s attack. The black bird flew over him, quickly turned around and flew toward him again.
Maine used the momentum of the swing to lift his leg, as he kicked hard toward the black bird. It dodged sideways, and continued it’s attack with a flap of wings and a forward lunge. Maine let go, and his body naturally fell downward.
Xie Sen’s heart stopped almost instantly. He saw Maine dodge the attack with the fall, then he hooked the traction ladder with his foot in time. He breathed a slight sigh of relief.
“This is the end.” The pilot licked his lips nervously.
Xie Sen shot him a look. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
He summoned the watermelon vine and ordered it to bind Maine’s waist. It was to do nothing, he emphasized, except lifting Maine in case he fell. He didn’t dare let the watermelon vine do anything else for fear of interfering with Maine’s counterattack movements.
“What’s this?” The pilot said in surprise. “Why did those vines suddenly appear?”
Xie Sen ignored him, and watched anxiously as Maine and the black bird fought. He looked at Long Teng and Bai Jiao. “Is there anything we can do?”
Bai Jiao shook his head worriedly. Long Teng touched the earring in his left ear with a torn expression. After a while, he smiled. “This is it!” he said, and pulled out a launcher from his backpack. It’s groove was set with a small, cylindrical, rocket-like object.
The driver saw it in the rearview mirror, and was startled. “How did you get a rocket launcher? Do you have a permit to buy it?”
Long Teng moved to the door with the rocket launcher. Xie Sen, worried about him falling out, grabbed the handrail with one hand and his arm with the other.
Long Teng looked down through the scope. “Permission? Sen said he wanted me to prepare more weapons, so my grandfather helped prepare…No, Maine and the black bird are too close. He’ll get hurt by mistake,” he said and took a step back as he dropped the rocket launcher. “I’ll go straight down.”
“Don’t.” Xie Sen hurriedly grabbed him. The traction ladder was shaking so much that it was dangerous to move from the craft to the traction ladder, let alone climb down that far.
Long Teng said anxiously, “What should we do?”
Xie Sen said, “You use the rocket launcher to stop the black bird. I have a way to move Maine away. How far away is safe?”
“At least ten meters,” Long Teng said. Then he asked in confusion, “How will you move him?”
Xie Sen didn’t explain. “You’ll know later. Get ready first.”
Long Teng was confused, but followed his instructions, picked up the rocket launcher and aimed at the black bird. “Aim. Ready.”
Xie Sen looked at the screen in front of him. Maine had just dodged an attack from the black bird. He ordered in his mind, “Bring Maine to a position one meter above the ground and twenty meters away from here.”
Maine was about to switch hands and grab the ladder, when his whole body was suddenly pulled downward by the vine around his waist until he stopped a meter from the ground.
At the same time, a violent rattling sound came from overhead. A wisp of gray smoke dissipated in the air. The body of the black bird fell straight down, and landed with a bang on the ground not far from him.
Xie Sen ordered the watermelon vine to let go of Maine, recalled the watermelon vine, and contacted Maine with his communicator. “Is everything okay?”
“Fine.” Maine looked upwards. “The vines are yours?”
Maine looked around and saw no danger. “You come down first.”
“Okay,” Xie Sen responded, and cut the connection.
“Cool!” When Xie Sen hung up the communicator, Long Teng’s eyes were shining at him. “I want to play too! You get me down!”
Xie Sen’s face had black lines. “You’ll get hurt.”
If the watermelon vine was tied to a person, although it was safe, it wasn’t thick enough, so dragging people at high-speed could easily hurt them. He was now very worried about Maine.
“No! I want to try!” Long Teng said expectantly.
Xie Sen had no choice. “Okay. I’ll go down first, and let you try it later.”
The driver was already stunned. “You…Who the hell are you people?”
This was too good! No wonder they dared to land directly in the middle of the danger zone!