"No wonder uncle wouldn't want to leave, I too feel like staying here forever," said Mi Qi. For an educated man at the age of seventeen, he was rather handsome, his gestures could justify his background too. There were gazes from ladies all over the place, from time to time. And Mi Qi, seemingly used to it, showed negligence towards the phenomena around.
"Well, uncle had been working really hard over his life. Now he really could use some decent rest at a place like this. It is delightful to see him feeling happy here," approved Mi Su, being the elder sister of Mi Qi. They had been good brother and sister ever since they were born in the same family.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
The communicator rang on the wrist of the middle-aged man. The brother and sister held their steps and looked at him approving transmission, whispering briefly and pulling a long face after.
"Uncle Yun, is there anything wrong?" stated Mi Su.
"Lady," Bowed Uncle Yun, "The clan's intelligence had reported a restless activity in Lunaris. Pirates had appeared apparently."
"Lunaris?" Frowned Mi Qi, "Isn't that place where we need to pass to our destination?"
"Yes sir, the leader had sent a few more men, all for the safety," stated Uncle Yun.
Their trip this time was to pay their great uncle a visit. While their great uncle appreciated the visit of his two young relatives, he did not fancy the visit of a crowd to his home, so the brother and sister did not bring anybody else than their loyal butler on their journey. The plot twist though, was unexpectedly the bloodshed of Foundation between the Jie experts and the Aristocrats. So rather than having those worried guardsmen by their side, they instead sent these men out to hear about the incident, while they - under the accompaniment of their childhood caregiver, Uncle Yun - would pretend as some random tourists on the spaceship. It was a smooth sail to Yu Ju.
"Brother..." Hesitated Mi Su, "How about we move few days later?"
"No way!" Rejected Mi Su right away, "The trial is just around the corner, being the son of the leader I could not be a latecomer."
Mi Su remained silent, she knew her brother. Having the personality from his father, whenever the clan was mentioned, he would be this stern and dead serious.
"It looks like we would need more men," concluded Uncle Yun, pessimistically. The young master and mistress had been under his care since birth, so he also caught on Mi Su's temper.
"Though I wonder..." Frowned Mi Su, "I wonder of what standard the pilots here are... If there's a squad somewhere...conveniently."
To this statement Uncle Yun responded nothing, in his mind he had already confirmed the standard of the pilots here, the economy here had told everything, as affirmed by his experience being in the outside world, unlike young master and mistress who grew up in a well-guarded lawn.
But it did not look like he had any alternative either. They really needed to employ few more men.
The communicator rang again, but it was Mi Su's this time.
A glance on the caller's ID brought a smile upon Mi Su's face, "Yes? Sister Qing?" Mi Su jumped to the other corner of the street the moment he heard the most frightful name of the entire galaxy. Uncle Yun was finding the scene funny.
"Sister Qing, you got home?" Fan Qing's hologram was on the communicator clear, although the forceful lady was currently stretching on her bed. Yes, Fan family had always been in good relation with Mi family since the brother and sister were born. All three of them had been great playmates since childhood, the brother and sister would frequent the room of Fan Qing back then.
"Yeah, like I finally finished the task this time. Sissie, hehehe, you won't be able to guess which squad did it!" The lady sounded proud, well only in front of her fellow good mates. No acquaintance would see that ladylike side of hers.
Mi Su being her playmate for years knew what the sister wanted to play, "Douglas? Could it be?" Douglas was a well-known pilot squad, the squad did not consist of a large number of members but they were surely all elites. The entry test to their squad was extremely harsh apparently. It would be a solid proof of strength if one was able to join them. As there were only a few members, Douglas hardly accepted requests on major operation. Instead, they aimed those tough, super tough missions that did not require a pack of nonsense but a well team of royal flush like them. Those missions were tough, so obviously they got paid handsomely too.
"Douglas? No!" Shook Fan Qing, she had dealt with Douglas a few times before, so she knew which Douglas the girl was mentioning.
"Ummmm... Trilobita?" The next name rolled in, which associated with a major pilot squad, with expansive forces over the galaxy; the leader Luo Ru Feng was a public figure, very sociable among the forces, including Mi and Fan family.
"Well I don't know...," said softly Mi Su, with a smile. Her memory only contained these two names befitting to her sister's standard, they were the frequent squads in business too.
"I knew you can't guess it. Let me give you a hint," giggled Fan Qing, "Half a star. The rating."
"Half? A star?" Mi Su almost screamed, "What can a half-starred pilot squad do?" Mi Su might not be fully aware of the outside world but she knew the basic - the rating of a squad would be directly dependent on their performance in completed tasks. Those squads with half a star were mostly at the bottom of the entire food web. The elite squads like Trilobita and Douglas for example, would be flaunting those sparkling five stars of theirs at the public.
"That's what I thought too at the beginning. But they somehow got new members, and they were very much stronger. You know what, they found Rippling Orchids, back and alive, with 3 of them."
"Three Rippling Orchids?" Mi Su covered her mouth in shock. She knew the value of Rippling Orchid, it was almost priceless and rare. She also knew how Fan Qing took forever to find them and now someone from nowhere got it, three of them. Fan Qing carried on, stretching her perfect curves again, "Guess what, they are heading to Yi Ju. They aren't going for the developed planets. Aren't this strange you feel?"
"Yi Ju?" Everyone rose their eyebrows.
"Yeah, I have no idea why they would want to go that sh*tty place," swore Fan Qing, very naturally on her temper.
"Sigh, Sister Qing, you just swore again," said Mi Su, shaking her head, "Well Yi Ju is still a pretty planet, brother and I are right here right now. So how strong they are, sister?" Rebutted Mi Su.
"Hmmmmm...," pondered Fan Qing, "I dunno. But I think they aren't weak, just... weird. Those new strange masked men who came along for the meeting that day ain't looking bad though."
"Masked men?" What a weird title.
"Yeah, weird isn't it? The leader said it was their traditional practice, with special emphasis on the practice of chastity, vowing to death not to show faces to anybody else than their other half. Hah, Mi Su I got a brilliant idea, you should really take their mask off, see if they would fulfill their vow of death on you and perish along. Right, they would be dragging you to a hall nearby and get their tribal chief to declare both of you husband and wife. Hahahahahahahahahahaha! How romantic!" The lady was rolling back and fro on her bed.
"Would you be serious at once!" Mi Su gave an eye-roll, "Sister Qing, do you have their contacts though?"
"Oh why Mi Su? Why would you want that?" Held her laugh, Fan Qing looked confused.
Mi Su then briefed Sister Qing the situation, which caused the sister's face to drain, "Hm..." Pondered her again, "You could go for a try. They were a little weird that is. I'm not sure but just make sure you don't expose your identity. Sadly I don't have any pilot on duty there or both of you would not have to bear with this foreignness."
"Okay, understood~" answered Mi Su nicely.
"By the way, how was Qiqi?" asked Fan Qing.
"AWWWWWWWWW!" Qiqi's face was twitching, as he covered his stomach wailing, "My stomach, ouch, I'm running, kay thanks bye!" Then he stampeded away, like the deer upon seeing the carnivore.
"Hahahahaha..." Mi Su was giggling, while Fan Qing, "Hmph!" was angry, "This stupid Qiqi!"
Deep inside the isolated, long valley of mountain, a spaceship was parked there. The six letters were gasping weakly in the jungle, with their letters hardly discernible, "COXCOMB". The body of the spaceship was technically torn, distortion could be seen everywhere.
Inside the Coxcomb... Little Rock was performing calculation, while Zhu Ling was checking out the Overwing. The ace mech of the Sanctuary was now a toy in her hand. Qiu Man was sitting there silently, with Lian Yue being at the side with a look of a No.1 fan, muttered constantly. If there was someone with good hearing there... the content would be...
"Such perfect chin. Such curve lovingly gorgeous for a throat of a fair lady."
"Your snowy skin, your scented breath, your gaze captivates me, tsk, tsk, tsk, the ultimate loot for the living men."
"Strange. Why did that line feel so familiar?" Mu's mechanical eyes shone upon the scenery outside.
The elder of the Sanctuary was having a headache at the situation now. Everything grew more intense and his forces were torn around. The few best teams he sent to scout that primary planet never returned ever since, not even messages were heard. He was feeling bad about the situation, he had sent 5 batches away but they just disappeared like a rock into the river. The planet was as if a distortion disc, a black hole, that would engulf everything at once...
When he was facing the lack of workforce, the authority sent him a new order, of withdrawing all ace pilots including Feng Su right back to the HQ. He was shocked of course, it was the first time seeing the authority required that much of forces that urgently in his entire life.
But well, all he could do was to laugh bitterly and send his last few forces back.
"What? They don't allow visitors? Excuse me?" Mi Su was shocked.
"Yeah!! I was like, 'could you please let us in, have a look at the office?' and they were like, 'No!' with a slam on the door!" Mi Su was angry, stampeding the ground, "I have never been so insulted in my entire life!"
"That's really weird," muttered Mi Su.
"Indeed," added Uncle Yun, "Normally a squad would not refuse visits as this would be a good opportunity for the squad to demonstrate their strength to convince their clients to take them."
"So did they accept our request anyway?" Tilted Mi Su's head, asked.
"Well! They say, 'we will talk about this on our meeting'."
Guo the old chief was snorting at the local office, then he was wakened up by a communication by someone claiming to be under recommendation of Fan Qing. Of course the man was overjoyed, but then the demand of visitation was a puzzlement... "How do you think?" He consulted Ye Chong for final opinion and certainly, a low-profiled man like Ye Chong would decline directly.
No way I would say yes to that. My base has mechs, only mechs, nothing else. And my 5000 men were almost as strong as the Jie experts, and any real expert could identify them in the tiniest gesture. If I ever let the visitors in, it would alarm the entire galaxy in no time!
I do need money, but not to an extent I would lose sense of my security. I picked Yu Ju mainly because it was towards the edge of Calamitous Asteroid Belt, if anything would go wrong, I would be able to evacuate my team back into the belt anytime.
Ye Chong was right, the Calamitous Asteroid Belt was a natural maze, with complicated landscapes that would confuse the foes from teaming up against them. And nobody else was more familiar with the asteroid belt than the Sangs. And there was Red Sea, with Archipelago. They had a perfect hiding spot between Archipelago and Yu Ju.
Never flaunt your own strength.
Ye Chong learned the lesson the hard way before.
Well, if the real leader said so, Guo the leader in disguise could only respond with a nod. He could imagine the frustration of the client though, as according to the practice of pilot squads, such decline would be a bald on the record, a blatant disrespect. Moreover, the client was under Fan Qing, the lady who just gave them 2,000,000 points for a few sprouts of plant. Clearly the client was something.
Sigh, the business is off I guess.
Guo ended the transmission and carried on his forty winks.