Chapter 318: Arriving at the Black Abyss
A fleet comprising the Impaler, two Iteron-class industrial ships, two Catalyst-class destroyers, and four Kestrel-class frigates flew past the Pan-human Alliances border as it headed straight for the Black Abyss.
“Everyone, have you received my route map yet” Xia Fei stood aboard his Impalers captain cabin as he asked the other captains on his screen.
Xia Fei chuckled and gave an order.
Then we shall have Brother Butcher lead two destroyers and take point as the vanguard.
The rest will support.
Lets pilot our ship toward our destination, the Black Abyss.”
Butcher nodded gravely.
Leave it to me.
As long as this radar of yours works fine, I can guarantee that this escort mission will be a success.”
Xia Fei replied, “Its called the Black Bat radar, and while it isnt perfect, it should not be too weak.
As long as you send out the signal for an all-clear after you land, the rest of the fleet will soon follow.”
This escort mission was anything but mundane, so Xia Fei had to act with caution.
While the interplanetary internet was operating smoothly right now, there was no saying that it would not stop working any days from now; they would, thus, have to completely rely on the Black Bat Radar to engage in long-distance communication.
The nine ships lined up one by one, with two destroyers in front which abruptly created a wormhole as Butcher told Xia Fei, “Well be making the first move and send you a signal once were certain that theres nothing strange on the other side.”
Xia Fei nodded.
Ill leave this to you.”
The two destroyers quickly disappeared into space as Xia Fei hugged himself and waited.
Normally, the Catalyst-class destroyers should be leaving their respective wormholes in approximately ten minutes and regain their communications capabilities.
Sure enough, after ten minutes passed, Xia Fei received a call from Butcher reporting that all was well on his end, so the rest of the warships proceeded to prepare their warp jumps, leaping across the universe toward their destination.
Five minutes after Xia Feis fleet departed, an Amarrian Crusader-class interceptor appeared at where the fleet had previously been parked.
Clean Knife was in a chair, trimming his fingernails with the butterfly knife.
His fingers were slender and long just like a womans, though the difference was that his two nimble and pretty hands were drenched in fresh blood, a complete contrast from the elegant temperament that often accompanied such hands.
The mustachioed man was seated at the command deck.
The entire ship only had him and Clean Knife, so he had taken up the responsibility of being the captain of this ship.
“Not going after them Arent you afraid of losing them” Clean Knife asked breezily, not even lifting his head as he did.
The mustachioed man harrumphed.
“Lose them This is an inceptor of the latest model, considered to be a T2 elite warship.
Its fitted with an extra-long range warp engine, and I also installed a positioning chip on Xia Feis warship.
Ill be able to catch them even if they run off to the ends of the universe.”
Clean Knife was nonchalant.
“I dont know a thing about warships.
All I know are knives.
In any case, I wont be the reason if we fail to catch up to him.
As long as the money that should be in my pocket remains unchanged, I dont care what happens.”
The mustachioed man glared at Clean Knife, a little irate.
“When did you become so money-minded in those few years I havent seen you”
Clean Knife retorted, “I havent seen you these last few years, and youve turned into a guard dog.”
The mustachioed man was speechless for some time before he left out a sigh in annoyance.
“We wouldnt have had so many problems if youd just killed him before he even stepped out of the alliance.
Now, all we can do is follow them on a trip to the accursed Death Tri-region.”
Clean Knife happily whistled.
“I told you that the Death Tri-region is a very interesting place; I really wish to take a spin around the place.”
“But I dont!” the mustachioed man growled.
Clean Knife continued to whistle a little tune, which he learned from parts unknown, with a cheeky smile plastered on his face.
“I dont care whether you like it or not.”
This trip was unexpectedly uneventful, and even the usually weak interplanetary internet remained uninterrupted, not to mention any of those pirates who were rumored to have banded together.
At a location some twelve warps away from their destination, the fleet took a break.
Two small shuttles ferried Sarah and Butcher to Xia Fei in his Impaler.
The three sat together, then Xia Fei pulled up a star map.
“Brother Butcher, Sarah.
Theres an asteroid belt out here, so hold the fleet here, while I go discuss some details with the Black Abysss Consortium Forces.
Ill use my Black Bat Radar to signal you guys once we reach an agreement.”
“Xia Fei, arent you being a little too overly cautious here”
Xia Fei switched off the star map and seriously answered, “Anything abnormal surely means that somethings amiss; our journey so far has been too uneventful.
After all, were traversing through a warzone, yet we havent seen a single outlaw, pirate, or even a trace of the military.
Dont any of you find that strange”
“Well”—Butcher paused—”when you put it that way, its indeed a little strange.
The news in the alliance greatly exaggerated the extent of the war in the Death Tri-region, but who wouldve thought that it would be so peaceful Okay, well do as you instructed.”
“Give me three days time.
If I fail to contact any of you within the next three days, leave immediately,” Xia Fei very calmly ordered.
Sarah was startled.
She did not understand what Xia Fei was trying to say here, and she looked at him puzzledly.
Xia Fei faked a cough before smiling.
“Im just giving you these orders in case.
Ill be fine.”
Butcher expressed his understanding of Xia Feis arrangements.
He needed to think with the worst-case scenario in mind—caution, caution and even more caution.
Patting Xia Fei on the shoulder, Butcher laughed.
I know what you mean.
Go on; I guarantee to send you safely back home if anything happens.”
Sarah was even more baffled now.
She was still a woman, so she had no clue about how men did things.
She bit her lower lip, seemingly wanting to say something but unable to bring herself to do so.
Arriving at Yaweis military base once again, Xia Fei could not help but lament what he saw.
The huge parking apron for warships was empty, with only several old and rundown ships remaining for show.
Most could not even fly.
The entire base was quiet, and the weeds were beginning to sprout.
It did not take long for these hardy little organisms to grow, occupying a large patch of the ground.
Xia Fei met Yawei in his office.
The latter had plenty more white hair than when they last met; even his face looked to have aged quite a bit since then.
Only his well-ironed uniform looked the same.
“Sit.” Yawei tossed the document in his hand down as he asked, “Hows master”
Xia Fei smiled.
The first thing Yawei asked him was not the military equipment but Qin Mang, which showed how much he still cared for that old man.
“Oh, the old man recovered from that severe illness of his before, and his appetite has recently been great, able to devour half a cow in one sitting.
Hes currently back on my home planet, Earth, recuperating.
Hes spending his days so carefreely that you dont have to worry.
With me around, Ill definitely make sure that old man Qin Mang can live a comfortable life.”
Yawei nodded, saying to Xia Fei, “To think that me, as his disciple, couldnt even be beside the master when he needed people the most; what a great sin.
Brother Xia Fei, I heard that its all been thanks to you.
Master told me that you had risked your life to obtain the medicine needed to save his life.”
Xia Fei waved his hand dismissively.
“That old man and I have quite a good relationship with each other, so of course I did everything I could.”
A moment of silence was shared before Yawei broached the subject matter at hand.
“Why are you here alone”
Xia Fei answered, “Dont worry.
The goods will immediately arrive the moment we sign the contract.”
Yawei tightened his brows.
“Brother Xia Fei, dont you trust me”
Xia Fei laughed boisterously.
“Thats definitely not the case.
My warship is merely much faster, so I arrived first and proceeded to greet you as well as get myself a drink.
The cargo is already on its way here and will be arriving shortly.”
Yawei was still skeptical, so he said, “How about this: Ill immediately contact the Consortium headquarters and do my best to get you an audience with the main leaders so that we can all sit down and discuss the details of the agreement.”
Xia Fei pulled out a cigarette and plainly stated, “Im in no rush, Brother Yawei.
You can take your time and contact them.”
It was Yaweis expression that had changed greatly.
Of course, Xia Fei was in no hurry; if the negotiations fell through, all he had to do was get up and leave, but could the natives of the Black Abyss do the same After all, they were all essentially stuck here.
They were the local warlords, and no one would give them even the slightest glance if they returned to the alliance.
Terminus and Evil Gulfstream had both formed a large coalition force and were aggressively making moves on their land.
At present, they already hold one-third of the Black Abysss territory, so if this were to continue, it would only be a matter of time before the people in this region ended up getting swallowed by their aggressors.
This was a war that had no means of retreat; they either had to win or lose everything.
“Dont worry; the Big Five will convene tomorrow morning and go over the finer details of the agreement.
As long as the conditions are acceptable, the Consortium will most definitely have the agreement locked in as soon as possible,” Yawei said.
Xia Fei laughed.
“I hope thats the case, too.
Ive recently reached a consensus with the Alliance Military, and now theyre hurrying me to increase production of the energy-shield boosters so they can equip their ships with those.
Yawei knew very well that Xia Fei had become an A-list supplier of the Alliance Military and that his words bore much greater weight than before.
He was only afraid that Xia Fei would be too greedy in tomorrows negotiations.
Ive prepared a reception for you.
Meanwhile, we can celebrate your company becoming a designated A-list supplier of the military.
This is a very happy event worthy of toasting to,” Yawei said.
Stepping out the door, Xia Fei subconsciously turned to look around the place.
“Phantom, Ive felt it again.
Seems like someones truly following me.”
“Then, all I can say is that the sense of perception that you are so proud of seems to have weakened recently.
Anyway, I dont see anything.”
Saying this, a gust of wind came blowing past, carrying fluttering dust, which very quickly disappeared into the horizon.
“Why havent you made your move yet” The mustachioed man frowned at Clean Knife, his words sounding reproachful.
“Youre the one who said that youll do the deed the instant we arrived at the Black Abyss.
Clean Knife was playing with his butterfly knife as if nothing had happened.
The knife danced and twirled deftly in his hand.
“What are you so anxious for I still wish to take in the sights the Death Tri-region has to offer.
Ive already picked out the time and location; Ill rest tonight and use my Butterfly Ten-steps tomorrow to retrieve his two eyes and hands for you so that you can give your master a satisfactory account.”
The mustachioed man was slightly shocked.
“The Butterfly Ten-steps Killing thousands in ten steps—youre actually going to use the Butterfly Ten-steps on Xia Fei Is there even such a need for you to use the strongest martial arts technique, which you are famous for, on him”
“Of course.” Clean Knifes pupils withheld a cold intent.
He then emotionlessly remarked, “Against a warrior who climbed out from the depths of hell, its necessary to send them off with the best I can offer.”
Clean Knife smiled.
You wont ever understand it, anyway.”
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