If it were only a single person, Luo Xing would have thought he was seeing a combat expert. However, this was a group of nine; or rather, a group of eight. His subordinate had identified one of them as Hai Lian, a freelance hunter. Hai Lian was a familiar character to him. As Foundation city’s resident officer, he was at least familiar with the local talents. Hai Lian was admirably capable, someone he wanted to have in his team, but the man had rejected his offers repeatedly.
To think that Hai Lian was now together with this group! Just who were these people? Luo Xing was interested to know.
If they were a group of strong combat experts, he would have immediately invited them to join his clan. The Xu Lan clan had always appreciated good talent. However, the group’s coordination skills had shocked him. In his opinion, even the best elite groups in the clan would not be able to top their level of coordination.
These were not combat experts. They were a group of highly trained warriors. Luo Xing knew the difference between the former and latter.
Normal people would not be able to acquire these skills. This was a mysterious force, unknown to him, emerging in the city. He Yue galaxy, where the Three Aristocratic Families had ruled over for years, was now suddenly facing an unknown power. What would happen to the He Yue galaxy? How could he not be worried?
He had already sent a recording of the group back to the clan. He believed that someone in the clan must know something about them. He was waiting for further instructions. As for the group, he already had subordinates keeping an eye on them.
Beep beep beep. The comms device on his desk pinged.
Luo Xing was immediately agitated. The clan had always used encrypted text to relay instructions, and had never used his comms device. It seemed that this was a big one.
He breathed deeply twice to calm himself. Then, he tried his best to project a calm exterior as he answered the call.
A woman in white appeared on the comms device’s holographic screen. Her outfit was white as snow, and her long hair reached her shoulders. Her face was cold as ice, her skin white as snow, and smooth as glass. An aquiline nose and cherry lips adorned her enchanting profile. However, her sharp eyes looked like they could pierce through a person’s soul, that none could stare straight into them.
"You are Luo Xing?" Her crisp voice rang like an icy bell, chilling the heart of its listener.
Luo Xing replied respectfully, "I am." H*ll, it was Lady Xue herself. It looked like the group represented a significant power indeed.
Lady Xue nodded approvingly. "Hmm, well done. It seems that our training is not wasted on you. Your vigilance is commendable, the clan will remember your service this time."
Luo Xing was overjoyed inside, but he tried to keep his expression as still as possible.
"Luo Xing!" Lady Xue suddenly spoke commandingly.
Luo Xing sobered, and answered solemnly, "Yes."
"The Clan Leader’s orders are to capture them, at all costs." Lady Xue ordered with a cold and stern voice.
"Yes, my lady!" Luo Xing bowed to receive his orders without hesitation.
Lady Xue softened a little and said, "You may use all your subordinates for this operation. The entire Soundfall planet’s forces of the clan are also at your disposal. If you need more men, the espionage division is also ready to assist. The clan has informed the relevant personnel about this operation."
Luo Xing was surprised. He did not expect the group to be so important. Rarely did orders come directly from the Clan Leader, and now the entire clan’s forces on Soundfall were his to command. Even the scarcely deployed espionage division was available for him. Who were those people? He was shocked, but curious. It seemed that this operation would not be easy. The espionage division was important to the clan, having been concealed from outsiders for decades. Once its members were exposed, there was no turning back. To think that the Clan Leader would consider using them this time! This meant that the Clan Leader was ready to use all the clan’s available resources on Soundfall to capture this group. The clan’s forces on the planet might all be exposed just for this operation.
Luo Xing gulped. This might be an operation too large for him to take on. The Clan Leader’s orders to spare no resources left him nervous. F*ck, he might just die in this operation. For some reason, Luo Xing had an ill premonition.
Lady Xue looked at Luo Xing and said, "There are some other details for this operation. Firstly, the man protected in the center must be captured alive. Try your best to capture the rest alive, but if it’s not possible, do what is necessary. Secondly, I believe that the Ye family and the Xi Feng tribe must have received intel on the group as well. They will make their move. Your second mission is to make sure that the man is not captured by any of them. Remember, this is more important than the Clan Leader’s order. It’s best if we can obey the Clan Leader’s orders, but if you can’t, better to let him escape than allow the other two families to get him, understand? If it’s impossible to even let him escape, then, you know what to do." Lady Xue directed a meaningful glance at Luo Xing.
Luo Xing could feel cold sweat drenching his back.
"Of course, the Clan Leader knows that your forces are limited. Our combatants from the nearest three plants have been ordered to gather at Soundfall. On the other hand, all members of the clan’s Ten Pillars, excluding me and Lian, are heading your way. However, due to the distance, they’ll only reach you in five days’ time."
Luo Xing was already speechless from shock. Eight members from the Ten Pillars were coming to Soundfall. The scale of this operation was unlike any that was carried out in decades. However, if they would only arrive after five days, how could they be able to help? Luo Xing smiled wryly despite himself.
Lady Xue noticed his expression and said, "While five days is too long, this is the fastest they can manage. Fortunately, the other two families do not have any trump card mech pilots of their own on Soundfall. You’re a smart man, work hard, and once the operation is over, the Clan Leader will make an exception and welcome you as a member of the clan."
The call ended, and Luo Xing was left feeling lost. He never thought that the clan would place such great importance on the group. No, it was the man they wanted. The Clan Leader made it clear that the man must be captured alive, while the others were not so important. However, Lady Xue’s last words were greatly encouraging. To be welcomed as a member of the clan was a great honor. It was very difficult to be accepted into the clan. Some of his seniors had worked hard for decades, and never managed to become one.
Just then, his comms device beeped again.
"Sir, the group is leaving the city." His subordinate reported urgently from the holographic screen. Luo Xing awoke from his dazed moment, and chastised himself for being distracted. If seemed that he was really perturbed by the scale of the operation.
"Stop them," Luo Xing ordered in a low voice. "Send out all our combat experts and stop them. Remember, capture them alive."
"Sir yes sir, you just wait for the good news." His subordinate sounded excited. It had been awhile since his men were stationed in the city, and they had never seen any action so far, their days spent mostly in boredom. It was only natural that they were excited for this operation. He had 30 over combat experts under his command. They had all gone through ascetic training, and he was confident of their abilities.
Suddenly, the comms device on his wrist beeped again. When he saw who was calling him, Luo Xing felt a sudden apprehension.
"Sir, the Ye Family and the Xi Feng Tribe mech pilots are gathering. No details yet." The low voice sounded nervous.
D*mned, so they had begun moving as well. Luo Xing cursed the mech pilots from the two families.
Ye Chong and company raced along the street towards the city’s entrance. Ye Chong looked grim. He had fought against the Three Forces before, and was familiar with their capabilities. He was sure that they were found out by now.
Ye Chong never imagined that the Three Aristocratic Families of the He Yue galaxy and the Three Forces would be related to each other. They must now quickly head back to Sang Mu and the rest, so that they at least have mechs to defend themselves. Then, they must retreat as soon as possible to the Calamitous Asteroid Belt. With 5,000 Collision mechs piloted by the Sang tribe members, even the combined forces from the Three Aristocratic Families would not take them lightly.
Ye Chong’s reaction had disturbed the rest in the group. They all looked ready to kill, scaring off anyone standing in their way. The group ran with all they had, no longer hiding their true abilities. Poor Hai Lian had to be carried by Sang Tie again, for fear of delaying them.
Ye Chong’s eyes suddenly widened.
"Leaving so soon, ladies and gentlemen? Hehe, why not stay a few more days, try out our Xue Lai Clan’s special anchovy dish before you go." The leader hailed. The surrounding spectators heard that it was the Xua Lan Clan, and quickly moved out of the way. A few bolder souls stayed back to watch. These people were curious. The Xue Lai Clan had always been discreet, and seldom acted so openly. Who were these people, to evoke such a reaction from the Xue Lai Clan?
Ye Chong ignored them. To him, words were wasted in this kind of situation.
Seeing Ye Chong ignoring the taunt, the others followed suit. Only Hai Lian, still carried by Sang Tie, was growing very pale. To offend the Three Aristocratic Families in the He Yue galaxy was the equivalent of a death wish! His life was over, he was sure. He thought of the power wielded by the Three Aristocratic Families, and wanted to die there and then.
Seeing Ye Chong and company not slowing down in the least, the leader turned grim. "Will you not accept our hospitality?"
"Attack. Leave no one alive." Ye Chong’s plain voice struck a chord of fear.
Sang Tie and the rest immediately sped up, leaving only an afterimage in their wake.
The combat experts of the Xue Lai clan did not expect that the group would really attack them, and panicked as a result.
The Sang tribe members were crude in their mech piloting skills, but they were shockingly competent in combat. 500 years of fighting for their survival had honed their techniques and enriched their combat experiences. Archipelago’s strong gravitational force and the strong gravity regions allowed to them to reach beyond the known limits of the human body.
Moreover, they fought with excellent coordination. Now, the Sang family, one of the Four Aristocratic Families from a time long past, finally demonstrated their strength before the world for the first time in 500 years.
Be it physical strength, speed, endurance, or skills, or even coordination, both sides were at entirely different levels.
This was a one-sided massacre. Their ruthless attitude, forced by Archipelago’s harsh environment, was finally shown to the world. Ye Chong had no need to tell them not to leave anyone alive. It was in their nature.
Ye Chong moved as fiercely accurate as before, often targeting the weak spots such as the throat, killing with a single move without wasting any effort. The rest of them did not have an understanding of the human body like Ye Chong did. It did not really matter, in the end. Even alloy metal would break under their force, much less the human body, made of flesh and blood.
Sang Tie and company killed in a bloody way. Often, limbs were broken, or skulls crushed. The observers around them nearly vomited. Even Sang Ling attacked without mercy, and the people could only watch with cold fear.
It was like wolves attacking a flock of sheep. There were no stylish moves, only breathtakingly fast movements, simple and accurate. In just half a minute, the ground was covered with corpses and pools of blood. In that half a minute, one could only hear the dull thumps of punches, cracks of bones breaking, the hiss of blood flowing out of the victims, and the terrifying shrieks coming from the combat experts of the Xue Lai clan. The mysterious group had remained silent throughout as they went on their killing spree.
The spectators around were all sporting an unhealthy pallor. They quickly retreated, afraid to get further involved.