Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
"…142 fatalities so far, including 1 Homo Evolutis… Such heavy casualties…"
As the space troopers pushed deeper into the battleship, the death count kept increasing in Yao Yuan’s field report. Based on the reports thus far, the space troopers had suffered more than 50 percent fatality rate, and it showed no sign of decreasing!
Yet they pressed onwards, riding on both battlefield fervor and the need to protect their families back on the Hope. The closer they got to the AI, the more robot guards they encountered.
The robot fleet was separated into smaller cavalcades to face the space trooper units of differing sizes, a sound sign that they were managed by an overseer AI. However, with all its intelligence, the AI underestimated one crucial detail… The combative power of the Homo Evolutis!
Even those newly recruited Homo Evolutis adapted seamlessly into space combat like fish to water. Faced with challenges like a zero-gravity environment, multi-dimensional combat, and multi-layered tactics, they still managed to maintain an upper hand over the robots!
Based on Yao Yuan’s observation, of all the superhuman powers, the Perceptor’s was the most suitable for combative situations. Compared to other powers, the Perceptors seemed destined to be used in battles, and the Perceptors happened to be the majority among the Homo Evolutis!
Along the way, Yao Yuan’s unit had demolished more than a thousand robots. Simultaneously, this meant that they had the most robot guards on their tail. However, with Zhang Heng’s help, they managed to evade death by using the broken down battleship to their advantage by scurrying through broken down walls as well as debris that could be used as stairs. Anxious for their capture or death, the AI had sent more than 10,000 robots on their pursuit!
Currently, they were on their way to meet up with Ying’s unit because Ying’s report said that they were extremely close to the AI’s hiding spot but were being held back by a large group of robot guards. With such valuable information, Yao Yuan had no choice but to rush to liaise with Ying’s unit even if it meant bringing the 10,000 robots with him. The lethal cat-and-mouse game would only be stopped after the AI has been disposed of, after all.
When Yao Yuan arrived at the pavilion, he found Ying’s unit finishing off the last few robots. As the robots crumbled to the ground, Yao Yuan found himself stunned beyond words… There were around 2,000 robot carcasses around the area, but Ying’s unit had suffered no casualties… When had Ying’s unit become so unstoppable?
"It’s not us… It’s her, she’s unbelievable… You should have seen it… It was like what happened with you on the exploration mission. She basically danced between hails of bullets darting around the pavilion. There were no nooks or crannies that she didn’t use. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes. Thanks to her help distracting most of the robots, we were able to clear out the area with hand grenades, but it seems like she’s at her limit already," Ying said, while pointing at the repose Ji Jie.
Yao Yuan followed Ying’s finger and found a smiling Ji Jie sleeping on the floor. Her face was incredibly flushed, not unlike the final radiance that appeared on Jay before he collapsed. Then again, her expression was different. She didn’t look like she was in pain but rather… like a woman satisfied.
Yao Yuan shook his head to clear his mind and said, "Bring her along, it looks like her Perceptor power is stronger than we anticipated, we can’t leave her here… Ying, lead the way! We have only 10 minutes left, quick!"
Ying instantly activated his seeker power and pointed down a corridor. "This way, it looks the least damaged!"
So everyone rushed down the path. With more than a handful of Homo Evolutis, and not to mention, Yao Yuan, the All-Rounder, they basically ran over everything that stood in their way.
After they turned round several corridors, they arrived at an almost perfectly preserved central field. Other than a few broken apparatuses, the well-lit space was free from any perceptible damage. As they stepped into the area, some floating metallic plates surged towards them.
Everyone immediately lifted their guns, but the plates stayed still even after several seconds. They waited patiently about 10 centimeters in front of their feet.
"…This must be a means of transportation that can be used to replace walking," an awed Xiao Niao said. "It’s amazing how much can change with just one additional industrial revolution…"
Yao Yuan stopped to study the plates. They had a shiny surface and each was about 5 centimeters thick. In other words, there were probably tons of machinery parts inside. Yao Yuan believed they contained something that was similar to the stuff inside the round plates that held up the robots. They made up a horizontal escalator that relied on the static charge that worked between the plate and the battleship’s metallic floor.
"The AI is most likely in this area. Everyone, be careful; there has to be an ambush!" Yao Yuan said, before rushing headfirst into the field.
Since there was the benefit of good lighting, they almost instantly managed to locate the spot where the robots gathered. It was a helical structure that seemed to be screwed into the battleship. It was tethered by pipes that were attached to the ceiling and walls of the battleship. At the building’s conspicuous entrance, the entourage came upon a pair of robots that was obviously different from the ones they had faced so far!
This robot had a humanoid appearance except for the fact that instead of legs, it had 6 spider-like appendages and 4 multi-jointed arms instead of 2. They were the best preserved of all the robots they’d seen so far.
However, Yao Yuan’s team could still theoretically make mincemeat out of them with their Gaussian guns… if not for the fact that they were immune to this threat!
When the group arrived at the cluster of robots shielding the entrance, they made quick work of them. Several hundred robots perished under the combined fire of both Gaussian guns and space rifles. Unfortunately, 4 of their unit mates fell during the crossfire too… Finally, only these 2 special robots remained. No matter whether they were hit with the Gaussian guns or space rifles, a shimmering layer would appear, neutralizing the bullets. In retaliation, their 4 arms changed into gun muzzles to return the bullet hell back at Yao Yuan’s group. Furthermore, like actual spider legs, the 6 lower body appendages allowed them to stick onto and move around all surfaces with an incredible speed. The 4 fatalities were by their hands!
"God damn it! Energy shield? We should have anticipated that they would have the technology…" An anxious Yao Yuan lamented. Even though the two robots traversed the area with great agility, they made sure they were 1 jump away from the entrance. Therefore, the plan to use bait was impossible. They had been stalled at a stalemate for about 5 minutes. As time stretched closer to the 30 minutes deadline, Yao Yuan started to sweat.
Another person who was breaking out in cold sweat was Xiao Niao. He was almost shot down by the robot but was saved at the last minute by a soldier who courageously jumped in front of him. The mixture of shock and appreciation rendered him speechless.
However, his brain kept turning, picking up on their surroundings, details that they had seen or missed, until a scene flashed in his mind. It was about the metallic plates that worked as transportation. He shouted, "No, it’s not an energy shield! That’s impossible with their technology. This is electromagnetic shield! They can only neutralize metallic objects! That’s why all our bullets are useless. The way it works is… is like how Magneto can stop bullets from hurting him in X-Men!"
Yao Yuan stopped to process the information before reprimanding him. "Are you suggesting plastic bullets? Where are we to find plastic bullets now? Stop kidding! Damn, we didn’t expect the AI to keep such a powerful technology in reserve. He purposely did not put it in the normal robots so that we couldn’t possibly prepare for it!" As he finished, he threw his gun away and looked up at the red dot blinking at the top of his space helmet.
Xiao Niao saw Yao Yuan’s pupils moved upwards, so he yelled, "Yao Yuan! What you are trying to do?"
Yao Yuan replied, with surprising calm, "Xiao Niao, thank you. You’ve managed to figure out another important piece of valuable information at such a crucial time… Your mission is officially at an end now, so leave the rest to us soldiers. Ying! I will get in close to the 2 robots. The spacesuit is made up of ceramic weave, so it should be safe from harm. Since their mechanical arms are jointed, that has to be their weak points. And if I can’t incapacitate them, I’ll use my body to entangle them in my grasp. Hopefully that’ll be able to buy you fellas some time…
"I’ll leave the AI to you. Give it a good thrashing for me!"
Before the rest of them could respond, Yao Yuan flew into the fray pushed by the propellers on his back.
As they recovered from shock, both Ying and Liu Bai shouted, "As Black Stars, for glory!"
"Or for death!"
Yao Yuan’s last words came back in an echo…
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