This incident gave rise to a round of passionate discussions in gaming circles.
The photo of Fang Zhao's "Virtual vs. Reality" was bookmarked by a lot of people.
"I suddenly feel like I can stand taller. In the future, if anyone tells me that playing games can only allow you to go savage in the virtual world, I will take this photo and wave it in front of their faces!" some gamers said excitedly.
Of course, there were voices of disapproval.
"Don't praise it to the high heavens. We don't even know the full truth. It might not even be as you are imagining it."
"Maybe it's just the outpost team helping him show off."
"All of these fans of Fang Zhao are blind and praise him so much. Be careful reality doesn't smack you in the face."
After this sentence was posted, a heated discussion started.
"Bullsh*t, wasn't the terrorist attack real? The military even announced it, as did many authoritative television channels. These are not lies. Fang Zhao already did well. Do you think anyone can stand out under these sorts of circumstances?"
"After all, Fang Zhao is just a gamer. Making such a rash decision to come out, it's a miracle that he managed to stay alive."
"That is why surviving is already really not too bad. If he'd had a little less luck, he could have taken a stray bullet and lost his life. It's best to stop while you are ahead. Since the situation is already under control, it's best to wait at one side. Why follow them into the woods? Don't get yourself killed in the end."
"Cough, certain people's own abilities are unable to match up to their ambitions, so they can only hope for others to fail as well. How sour!"
"I feel that he is not showing off. Also, the soldier that was saved by Fang Zhao when he previously went out mentioned that, if not for Fang Zhao's timely arrival, he would have long been dead. Seems like Fang Zhao has done some meritorious deeds this time and will surely receive a medal."
"It will probably be an outstanding service medal or a memorial badge."
"I also have a memorial badge. Isn't it something that every conscript gets?"
"There are also different grades for badges! Your kind is probably the normal one. Nobody would even want it if you put it up for sale!"
"There might be some under-the-table manipulations for this," someone said.
"There might be, but how much can they falsify? Fang Zhao is a celebrity with lots of presence, and so many people are watching him. How can they fake it!"
"That's right, planet Baiji does not have the final say on a lot of things. Baiji is only in charge of evaluations and reporting. There are many things that require their superiors to audit. Given Fang Zhao's high presence in the media, the top brass will surely audit it very strictly."
The forums discussed topics ranging from how many shots Fang Zhao had fired to how he had managed to survive. They talk about whether he had accomplished any meritorious deeds and what sort of military medals Fang Zhao would be awarded.
Now, many gamers idolized Fang Zhao. In the past, they had only idolized his gaming skills, but now, they idolized him as a person.
Currently, Fang Zhao had no idea of the discussions about him online. He had followed Bie Liao and the others as they had ridden the flying transport to do a cleanup of the woods.
Some of the beasts had slipped into the woods. These dangerous beasts could not be ignored and had to be cleared.
Riode tried to restrain himself, but he could not help it and said to Fang Zhao, "Brother, just asking. Later, if we discover any beasts, could you not make your move first?"
When they had entered the woods, the moment a beast had been spotted, Fang Zhao had immediately fired three consecutive shots before anyone else had even been able to place the beast in their sights. He had been firm and decisive, without even a tiny hint of hesitation. This had completely been Fang Zhao's subconscious reaction.
Three shots, and all had buried themselves within the beast's skull. Although it was not so godly that the three bullets wounds had been in the same spot, it had been enough to amaze Bie Liao and the others.
The beast had been running and the transport flying. For all three shots to have accurately hit the head was really no easy feat.
If it had been any other old soldier from the base or outposts that had achieved this sort of result, everyone would have been full of praise and not have been so astonished. However, the person that had shot was Fang Zhao, a conscript. Furthermore, he had just gotten this gun from Yan Biao. No matter what, there should have been a period of getting used to it. To think that he would actually have achieved this sort of result his first time using this gun, was his gun sense that strong?
But when recalling how Fang Zhao had shot dead the two terrorists, Bie Liao was no longer that surprised. Riode could not help but speak out when he remembered how Fang Zhao had settled that beast.
Actually, Riode had not wanted to bring Fang Zhao on this operation, as Fang Zhao would fight with them for meritorious deeds, but Fang Zhao's hearing was good, and he was just a contingency. If any equipment failed, they could rely on Fang Zhao.
But now, Riode and the others were feeling some regret. If the whole process of "cleaning up" was like this, would they even get the chance to act? They had decided that, after cleaning up, they would report to the superiors and take credit, but if everything stolen by Fang Zhao, what credit could they even get?"
Fang Zhao understood where Riode and the others were coming from, so he nodded. "All right."
He also had not intended to snatch glory from them. What had happened previously had been a subconscious reaction.
After that, when any beasts were found in the woods, Fang Zhao would only stand aside and watch.
Given Fang Zhao's result of shooting dead a target with three shots, Riode and the others took over 10 shots before downing one and were too embarrassed to find an excuse.
Luckily, this was Fang Zhao's first time using this sort of gun. If he were given the time to practice with it, would one shot have been enough?
"Fang Zhao, how did you get so accurate? Is this really your first time using this sort of gun model?" Bie Liao asked curiously.
"Not really. I came across it before when I played 'Ultimate King of Guns'."
"'Ultimate King of Guns'?" Everyone in the flying transport looked toward Fang Zhao, puzzled.
"A shooting game that was really popular last year," Fang Zhao explained.
The interior of the flying transport fell into a weird silence.
They searched in the wooded area outside the outpost for a day, followed by another two days of joint searching with people from other outposts. Only when they did not find any more escaped beasts did they return back to the outpost. Even if they did not discover any beasts, during routine patrols, they would still be able to notice any that slipped their grasp.
The outpost had suffered severe damage. Half of the stockpiled resources in the storehouse had been destroyed, but for the outpost and the troops stationed on Baiji, these were no longer that important.
Baiji's rise was imminent. In the future there would be no shortage of resources.
After returning to the outpost, Fang Zhao, together with Kevin Lin, Fan Lin, and the others, were sent to the base. Troops with serious injuries were transported to the base for treatment as well.
Arriving at the base, Fang Zhao went to pay a visit to Yan Biao. Yan Biao had just completed an operation on his legs, and a portion of his lower legs had been amputated.
Fang Zhao asked around. Yan Biao had gotten injured while saving two brash outpost soldiers. Even the medical procedures of the New Era had been unable to save Yan Biao's legs. His legs had been seriously injured, and there had been complications. Because Yan Biao had endured for so long during the attack, when he had been transported from the outpost to base, he had been fading in and out of consciousness.
During this terrorist attack, the five outposts had lost a total of 29 people. Of the 29, three were from Outpost 23. Although this was the least compared to the other four outposts, comrades from the same outpost had still lost their lives. Those close to them had already hidden themselves away to cry.
If the security systems and equipment had not been upgraded, the number of sacrifices would have been greater for this premeditated bombing and suicide attack.
It was not the first time that this sort of thing had happened, and sacrifices were inevitable.
Baiji base conducted a memorial service for the 29 soldiers who had lost their lives in this attack. Yan Biao, who had just undergone an operation and was in bad shape, also participated.
Returning to his room, Yan Biao had mixed feelings. With a heavy heart, he felt sorry for the comrades that had lost their lives and bemoaned his own injury. Yan Biao knew that he could no longer continue serving here and would need to be discharged early.
Yan biao had only returned to his room for a short while when Bie Liao, Riode, and the others came to visit.
Watching Yan Biao lying there, Bie Liao and the others did not know what to say.
Yan Biao spoke first. "I heard that you guys appeared on the live broadcast?"
When this was mentioned, Bie Liao and the others' gloomy moods were somewhat lifted.
"Don't bring it up. We just had a talk with the political instructor." Bie Liao looked remorseful, but looking closer, his eyes had a trace of happiness.
Not just Bie Liao, Riode and the others had the same sort of reaction.
Yan Biao frowned. "I heard that you guys didn't put on helmets and your faces were revealed? A full-body shot in high definition, too. Did you all forget your own ranks and the rules?"
Bie Liao defended himself. "We didn't voluntarily reveal our faces. That reporter was too excited and forgot to either keep away or censor it."
"Yeah, that's right. It wasn't our fault. We are all victims," Riode hurriedly added.
Yan Biao absolutely did not believe them. "What nonsense! If you guys really had the intention, wouldn't you guys have avoided it? Especially you, Bie Liao. You called out to Fang Zhao on purpose, and rather loudly too. Don't tell me you didn't notice Kevin Lin holding the camera? And when you realized it, you didn't evade?"
After all, these soldiers all served under him. Having worked together for all these years, how could Yan Biao not know what they were thinking. He could tell what sort of tricks they were trying to pull with one look.
"You guys are thinking about the immigration policy," Yan Biao said slowly.
Planet Baiji was going to construct a large military district. Although no concrete news had been leaked, given their political sense of smell, which had been trained for many years, they could guess it.
Following in the footsteps of the few planets at the front of the development sequence, when constructing a large military district, housing, schools, hospitals, and other basic facilities would surely be constructed. When family members moved in, these soldiers would not pine for their home planet that much. This was the place where they would achieve their aspirations and ambitions.
Garrisoned soldiers like them were considered the first batch of immigrants. However, family members moving over would surely begin from the high-ranked officers, at least around Yan Biao's rank. Bie Liao and the other's ranks were not high enough yet.
They had been in the military for a long time already and had engaged terrorists numerous times. This time, they had been exposed due to "negligence" and "unexpectedness." To protect their families, the base would surely prioritize looking after them.
If Yan Biao could see these little intentions of theirs, would Shanta and the other high-ranking officials not be able to realize this?
Actually, everyone was clear on this, and what words were said and actions done were nothing more than formalities.
Bie Liao and the others did not quibble and just laughed. They knew they could not have hidden it and decided not to. When they thought about their families moving over after the military district was constructed, they could not help but be excited, and their eyes glowed.
Watching their expressions full of anticipation, Yan Biao felt a little envious and helpless, but he had no regrets. All he could do was sigh and feel sorry for himself.
He would not get to see the day where planet Baiji's military district was ready. After this round of treatment, he would have to be discharged from the forces.
His comrades would have bright prospects, while Yan Biao would still need to talk about the future. Getting discharged under these sorts of circumstances, Yan Biao would surely be taken care of and would be allocated a job. He might not necessarily like the job, but at least his situation would not be miserable and he would at least have a large pension.
After Bie Liao and the others calmed down from the excitement, the mood became a little awkward. Wiping the smiles off their faces, they told Yan Biao, "Captain, you will always be our captain. When planet Baiji opens up, you can come over and visit us."
These were just words, but Yan Biao knew that planet Baiji would not be opened up to the public and currently did not have any tourist districts planned. After leaving, it would be very difficult to return. Furthermore, the costs of traveling to and from Baiji were not cheap. Leaving the place, even after many years, it was still uncertain if he would ever have the means to return.
When Bie Liao and the others left, Yan Biao stared at the ceiling. He had just gone through an operation, and his body was weak. He actually felt quite weary, like he could fall asleep if he closed his eyes. He seemed like he was trying to find fault with himself and was exerting all his strength to keep his eyes open as his mind thought about a lot of things, in both the past and the future.
Actually, he still felt a little regret. He had thrown away his glorious prospects to save others. Although it sounded like he had lost a lot, if he got the chance, he would gladly do it all over again.
"That's life!" Yan Biao sighed softly toward the ceiling.
After sighing, Yan Biao decided to rest. At this moment, someone else came to visit him.
"Fang Zhao?" Yan Biao was surprised.
"I'm just visiting." Fang Zhao sat himself down on the stool beside the bed. "What are your future plans?"
"I'm going to be discharged for sure. With my condition, there is no way for me to continue with the forces. In a few days, the base is going to send us special wounded back to Earth to continue with follow-up treatments arranged for us. After that, I will get prosthetics and a job will be arranged for me." Yan Biao had a sanguine outlook. "Therefore, you don't have to pity me, really." He did not need others' sympathy. It was not as if he had no way of living on, and compared to his comrades who had lost their lives, he was considered lucky.
"I'm still lacking a bodyguard," Fang Zhao said. Duan Qianji and Zu Wen had both said that having one bodyguard beside him was too little. Zuo Yu was also having to juggle being a driver and assistant as well. Once Fang Zhao's military service was over, there would be many more things to do. When the time came, Zuo Yu would not be able to cope.
Yan Biao was silent for a few seconds. "Actually, I'm really pathetic. Honest!"