Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lu RanKong hung up the terminal, his face sank, annoyed as he pulled out his cigarette case from his trouser pocket. He tapped out a cigarette and after checking all his pockets, he found that he had no lighter. He raised his hand to ask the soldier not far away to get one, but just raised his hand and then put it down. He was holding the cigarette and looking ahead in a daze.
While the soldiers recovered their spirits and started laughing and joking again, the background sound coming to his ears seemed like being muffled through deep water.
“Little Kong, guess what mommy cooked for you today?” The woman squatted in front of him and asked gently, her figure against the sun, her features blurred and unreadable.
“Is it chicken wings?”
“Little Kong is so smart, you guessed it right away.”
“Then mommy you have to reward me with an extra one.”
The woman stroked the top of his head, her palm warm and soft, “Then mommy rewards you for eating one more.”
Bang Bang Bang!
Continuous sharp gunshots woke him up from his thoughts, his body speed was greater than his mind’s reaction to leap up and grab the ion gun behind him in his hand.
The moment the arthropod interstellar beast burst into view, his body flashed and rushed out.
Lan Yu shot at the big cockroach, the bullets sparked on the black hard shell, emitting a metallic crunch.
The big cockroach’s huge body trembled with the frequency of the bullets, swinging its tentacles backward a few steps.
Someone was shouting to stop, Lan Yu ignored, finger dead on the trigger, ion gun spewing tongues of fire ahead.
Until a hand gripped the barrel of his gun and pushed it upwards, sending all the bullets into the air, and then the safety was snapped shut.
A figure sprang up beside him and rushed to the large cockroach that had just stood still. With a bright flash of sand, the head of a face-basin-sized insect with hair and tentacles rolled to Lan Yu’s feet with a grunt, splashing a sticky, clear liquid on his leather boots.
Lu RanKong stood in front of Lan Yu with his dagger in hand, frowned at him and asked, “What’s wrong with you?! The hard-shelled bullets of the gelded insects can’t be penetrated! Just cut off the head where their neck is softer! Don’t you have any common sense?”
Lan Yu pursed his lips with a pale face, gripped his gun tightly and took a step back, replying in a hoarse voice, “I forgot for a moment…”
“Just… A little too excited to kill.”
Soldiers also stood up to look their way, there were several team leaders that ran over, went around behind the dirt mound to look down, then one of them reported, “Colonel Lu, Colonel K, there are several bodies here, the time of death only being two days. Judging by the clothing and weapons… are those the missing patrol soldiers?”
After saying that, he walked to the headless corpse of the gelded insect, kicked it with his foot and said hatefully, “It was killed by this son of a bitch.”
Lu RanKong didn’t ask Lan Yu again, walked to several corpses crouched down, and reached out to look, while muttering, “These patrolmen are second class, veterans of more than three years of service. Even if this gelded insect was in stealth and then did a surprise attack, they couldn’t have been killed—”
He stopped mid-sentence, crouching there fully tense, like a bent bow, and then slowly stood up, looking sideways to the open space around him.
Lan Yu instantly sensed that something was wrong. His heart pounding, he looked around vigilantly and opened the safety on his ion gun.
Suddenly remembering Lu RanKong’s words, he put his gun back behind his back and pulled his dagger from his equipment belt.
Several team leaders also held their breath and daggers, and stood back to back.
Lan Yu only heard his own heartbeat and the breathing of several people, and the sound of the wind blowing in his ears, rolling up a flurry of dust.
At that moment, a hundred meters to the right, the air seemed to have rippled with a similar distortion, and layer by layer spread into the distance. Like someone threw a stone to hit the water, bouncing over the surface of the water and it began to fluctuate.
“Gelded insects!” A team leader at Lan Yu’s side shouted out, “Attention all, there is a gelded insect.”
The soldiers stood up and got ready, each with their daggers drawn and facing this direction.
Lan Yu took a deep breath and saw Lu RanKong still standing by the corpses, so he moved a few steps to the side and stood with the team leaders without moving.
“Over here too, over here too, there are gelded insects.” A yell also came from the direction of the soldiers.
Just to the left of them, the same air fluctuation appeared. It gradually extended out and connected with the one on the right.
Then, transparent forms slowly emerged from the air, becoming clearer and clearer, gradually revealing the shape of a gelded insect. There were tentacles twitching everywhere, and the long black hard wings were glowing in the sunlight. As far as the eye could see, it was full of gelded insects, and they were swarming all over the place, already surrounding the two battalions.
Lan Yu saw this situation, and couldn’t help but feel his scalp go numb and his legs tremble. This was like being at home only to open the door and turn on the lights and be greeted by a room full of cockroaches but it was a thousand times scarier. He couldn’t pass out, so he could only face everything in front of him.
“This, I’m afraid that there are hundreds of them.” A soldier’s voice began to tremble.
“Maybe there are more than that…”
“How can there be so many gelded insects? Don’t they stay in the Cullen Planet sphere?”
“Colonel Lu, Colonel K, should we bring out our mecha?”
Lan Yu was lost in thought and didn’t make a sound. Lu RanKong turned around and saw that all the gelded insects had shown themselves and were moving, so he turned around and yelled, “All of you, get out your mecha!”
Lan Yu withdrew his mind and saw Lu RanKong, including several tema leaders around him, quickly spread out and each tapped the metal ring on their hands.
The metal ring flashed green, and at the same time, several huge steel machines were instantly pulled up in the open space in front of them.
Lan Yu couldn’t see what the machines were, until they entered the hatch, closed it. But when the machines stood up, having similar forms with arms and legs and body, he understood.
I’ve seen this movie.
There was also a rumbling sound from the soldiers’ direction, and the ground seemed to shake as a two-story mecha rose from the ground.
Uniform dark blue, marked with their respective numerical logo, its whole body glinting with a cold metallic glaze.
The gelded insects had fully revealed themselves, but they didn’t move, only using their long, bent feet to grind the ground irritably, raising a cloud of dust.
Lan Yu hurriedly raised his left wrist to look for the button on the metal ring. Now the situation had changed, he would feel safe in a mecha.
But the metal ring was very smooth, tightly wrapped around his wrist, not to mention the button, not even a joint could be found.
He was anxious, as he examined his wrist carefully, with fingers poking randomly.
At that moment, there was a sharp whistle from the swarm, like a hacksaw piercing into the eardrums, and all the gelded insects bent their hind legs and raised their barbed front legs, ready to pounce.
Clank, clank, clank!
The continuous sound of steel also sounded, which was the long knife that popped out from the wrist of the mecha.
A full meter long, sharp sword, the blade had a blood groove carved into it. The two sides confronted each other as a great battle was about to begin.
Lan Yu’s sweat trickled down his forehead.
What the hell is this? How do I trigger the mecha?
He poked the metal ring while backing up, but his back suddenly hit a barrier, and his feet couldn’t stand still and stumbled two steps. He hurriedly reached out to hold the next large square pillar.
When he looked up, he saw a shadow on the top, and he was holding the right leg of a mecha, standing under its crotch.
The sharp whistle sounded again, and Lan Yu felt bad when he saw those big cockroaches open their wings collectively. At the same time, the mecha above his own head let out a loud cry, “Attack!”
The voice changed a bit through the loudspeaker, but he could still hear that it was Lu RanKong.
The gelded insects fluttered their wings and leapt at the mecha swarm, covering the sky with blackness like thousands of locusts in transit.
The mecha also rose up in the air, and the large square pillar where Lan Yu was hiding left the ground, and he reached out in panic to wrap his arms around it, but they were empty. He only looked up and saw three numbers behind the mecha.
The mecha and the gelded insects collided, wings and steel swords flying together, the sound of gold and iron clashing on all sides, and the screeching of spikes scraping across metal surfaces.
The soldiers were trained to slash at the head and body of the insects with their long knives, and the heads of the insects were cut off and rolled to the ground.
Lan Yu struggled to leap over the ground, watching out for the giant insect carcasses beneath his feet, while guarding against being trampled to pieces by some running mecha.
No one noticed him, he was like a tiny ant at the moment, struggling to find a place to land in the torrent.
Bang! An insect leg suddenly fell in front of him, and Lan Yu almost ran headlong into the pile of hideous spikes. His body leaned forward a few times, narrowly stopping his feet. He raised his head and his eyes met with a pair of inorganic crystalline eyes, and the blood in his body instantly flowed backwards.
The gelded insects opposite him swiveled its eyes, its tentacles swung in the air, and hissed from its mouthparts as it raised its two sharp front legs to swing down on him.
Lan Yu dodged to the left, the bowl-thick front legs with a fishy wind slid past his chest. Then he leapt from the left behind the gelded insect, flashing the dagger in his hand, and slashed at the neck with thin scales.
A viscous liquid sprayed out as the insect head and body split apart and fell to the ground, two long tentacles around the mouth still shaking.
He held back his nausea and fear and was trying to get around the insect carcass in front of him when he was spotted by the gelded insects in front of him, seven or eight of which instantly pounced with gusto.
He tried to turn around, but just then, the sound of wing flaps came from behind him as well.
It was too late to escape, a group of gelded insects had arrived in front of him. There was no way to retreat.
He only had a short dagger in his hand, so he could deal with one or two of them, but he didn’t know what would happen to a group of them. But now he couldn’t care less. He could only grit his teeth and charge at the nearest one.
Ignoring his internal resistance to discomfort, his left hand grabbed the hair of the insect head, his right hand flashed with a silvery glint, and when he let go, the insect head fell off. Just as the insect body still maintained its inertia and continued to slide forward, he dodged behind the other one, raising his hand and stabbing the insect head in the neck.
The sharp dagger pierced through the fine scales, and with a little more force, the dagger body brushed the flesh, and dark green and black mucus gushed out along with the blade.
Two gelded insects fell almost simultaneously, but in this instant, other gelded insects also rushed to the front, their jagged legs close to his eye.
It was so close that Lan Yu could see the tiny scales on the barbs.
The spikes touched the skin of his face, and the bent forelimbs were like the scythe of death, cold and cruel.
Time seemed to stand still, the image was infinitely magnified, reflecting the despair and fear in his eyes.
However, the expected pain didn’t come, the scythe was broken with a click, and then, the other gelded insects beside him also hissed and fell to the ground, their separated bodies falling instantly.
The threat of death was dispelled, time resumed its flow, and Lan Yu dully rolled his eyes to see a long, silvery knife pulled from the insect corpse in front of him.
The tall black mecha stopped in front of him, its steel head dropping slightly, and Lan Yu seemed to be able to see the doubt in its owner’s mind through the pair of mechanical eyes.
“Why don’t you get in your mecha?” came Lu RanKong’s voice.
Lan Yu opened his mouth, and his voice was gravelly as if it had been mixed with sand, “I like to fight in the flesh.”
The mecha visibly stalled for a second, but said nothing more, crossing over his head on metal legs and darting toward the distant swarm.
Every step he took sent tremors through the ground, with the massive 666 on his back.
Lan Yu could not hold on any longer and sat down on his butt with weak legs. His clothes were soaked with sweat and his whole body shivered like a pendulum. He simply held the dagger with his left hand and squeezed the trembling wrist with his right hand, trying to make it quiet.
With the slight pressure, the metal ring on the wrist suddenly rotated half a turn to the right. A after the slight sound of machine expansion and a sense of pause, the metal ring flashed with a green light.
With a boom, a black mecha instantly appeared in the open space in front of him.
It stood majestically and silently, with three hot gold numbers emblazoned on its chest.
Two more gelded insects rushed in next to him, and Lan Yu rose quickly to block them, using his dagger to pluck the swinging front leg out of the way. Then stabbing it forward in one smooth motion, he drove the dagger into its protruding mouthparts. As the other gelded insects lunged, he let go and darted into the open entrance of the mecha.
With a bang, the entrance closed and the hatch made a harsh scratching sound almost simultaneously.
Lan Yu gasped and stood up, hastily glancing around the interior of the mecha. The interior was small, just a few square meters of space, with a small round platform for one person in the middle.
He tried to step onto the small platform, and just as he stood, a three-dimensional display appeared in front of him. It was the scene outside the mecha, and there were virtual manipulation keys at the bottom right.
A crunching sound came from overhead, as the gelded insects landed on top of the mecha and used its sharp forelimbs to try to cut through its surface.
Lan Yu observed the complex virtual controls for two seconds before reaching out and pressing them.
The soldiers outside, wielding their long swords, were fighting with the gelded insects.
Even so, the insects kept coming, pouncing on the mecha one after another.
The mecha were not in good shape either, with scratches all over their bodies and cracks in some of their metal shells, revealing their inner parts.
Lu RanKong maneuvered his 666, just cutting over two gelded insects that pounced on the fuselage, and then ripped off the one on top of the next mecha with his hand.
“Colonel Lu, it’s not a good idea to keep killing like this. We can’t keep this up until dawn tomorrow ah.” The team leader beside him pulled his long knife out of the insect corpse, “Besides, everyone’s strength can’t keep up, and some of the mecha have been damaged.”
Another soldier heard and wondered, “What’s up with these gelded insects, they used to come only a few a year and the patrols easily dealt with them. Is this the great migration of the race now?”
As soon as the words left his mouth, he heard that sharp hissing sound behind the swarm again, as if giving orders in a hurry. Hearing this sound, the gelded insects pounced upwards even more desperately.
Two of the mecha failed to resist and fell to the ground with a loud thud. Fortunately, the soldiers beside them helped them to get up again from the insect siege.
Lu RanKong looked back at the battlefield behind him, “Forget about the cause, there’s a king among these gelded insects, and I have to kill it. If we let them go, when they get to the town outside the desert, the consequences will be unthinkable. But I can’t do it alone, I need a strong helper.”
“I’ll go with you…”
“I can also…”
“Colonel Lu, let me go.”
The surrounding soldiers manipulated the mecha to fight against the gelded insects while volunteering themselves.
“You can’t, you’re not strong enough. You won’t be able to kill the bug king and you’ll be in danger yourselves.” Lu RanKong waved his left arm and killed another gelded insect, raising his eyes to look around, “I just saw Crazy K— Colonel is spreading his madness, and didn’t get into his mecha but was running around. I’ll tell him to come.”
A second battalion mecha soldier flying low in the sky heard it and proudly exclaimed, “Colonel K has entered the mecha and will soon be killing it. Look, he’s on the right.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, a fierce drumbeat rang out on the right, accompanied by a high, loud bass and hoarse male voices that echoed across the battlefield.
What the hell was his problem? Who played rock music at this time of day? Everyone, including those who were fighting with the gelded insects, couldn’t help but look back.
The black mecha with 999 on its back was standing there motionless, with its head and body full of gelded insects.
So it was Colonel K?
Then it was okay.
Lu RanKong also looked over, full of disbelief, and he yelled in shock and anger, “Lunatic K, have you gotten fucking sicker again?”
Lan Yu was also startled by the sudden sound of the music, he tried to turn it off and pressed the buttons on the virtual console. The result was a lot of fumbling, but the music continued to play at a high decibel level.
From the display, he could see the entire body. There seemed to be more gelded insects standing overhead, and the sound of them scratching the mecha casing could not be suppressed even by this soul-crushing song.
He took turns pushing those buttons, trying to pop out the two long knives.
Forget the music, kill the cockroaches first.
Lu RanKong started running towards Lan Yu, and along the way saw this black mecha suddenly carrying a mortar and retracting it. The end of the ion gun, retracted. Raise the flamethrower, retract.
The two long, shiny blades came into view, Lan Yu’s heart was relieved, and then decisively tapped on the largest green button.
Please, let this be the start button, please.
He was surprised to hear the sound of a captive bug sliding down from the top of his head.
The mecha head followed suit and bowed.
Lu RanKong with a cavernous anger, felt that the gelded insects were hateful just like the black-hearted K. Even if he didn’t kill the gelded insects now, he wanted to kick that stupid mecha, and then give him a solid beating.
At that moment, he saw 999 suddenly move.
The black mecha sprinted into the sky, a few tens of meters away, doing a backflip, then sliding down before the wings of the gelded insects opened. The gelded insects were grabbed, then thrown down to the ground.
He was so fast that he couldn’t even see how the iron arm moved, only saw that the other gelded insects were also caught in turn, falling to the ground like dumplings.
The gelded insects hit the ground heavily, raising yellow dust.
Amidst the sky-shattering heavy metal rock music, the mecha followed suit and swooped down to the ground, bouncing two long blades in the air, refracting the sun’s light.
“I’ll tear the black sky and earth, and make this place a timely rain…” The rock singer was roaring at the top of his voice.
With a tremor, the mecha landed on the ground, and the long knife was swung high.
“In front of my arrogant gaze, rain is spurting, your blood dripping…”
The long knife cut an arc in the air, chopped down, swish elongated, seven or eight insect heads at the same time flew high up.
The black mecha maintained the posture of bending his knees and raising his sword without moving, as if he was a god of war, with 999 on his body extraordinarily eye-catching.
It took Lan Yu several seconds to react, standing up in a trance, pressing his hand against his fiercely beating heart and bending over to catch his breath.
But to the eyes of the others, the tall mecha was holding his left chest with an iron arm, slightly leaning over to make a gesture of thanks.
Lu RanKong slowed his pace and suddenly gave a short laugh, “Fuck, he’s such a pretentious prick.”
- Unlike in Christianity term, the number 666 in China is actually auspicious. 666 – “You’re doing amazing sweetie,” 666 (pinyin: liùliùliù) represents 溜溜溜 (pinyin: liùliùliù); or smooth/slick (comes from chinese gaming slang, where gamers would put ‘666’ in the chat after seeing another showing an impressive skill)
- 999 – It has a similar meaning to ‘666’. Because ‘9’ looks like ‘6’ upside down, so it usually mean something is even better than things we call ‘666’. “The wish for a couple to be together for long time”,99(pinyin:jiǔjiǔ)represents 久久 (pinyin:jiǔjiǔ),it means something(in the word ’99’ usually means love) lasts a long time.