Chapter 755: Poseidon’s Surprise

    Chapter 755: Poseidon's Surprise

    "I hope you're able to keep your promises, Admiral. Do whatever you can to protect our home." Sylva Austin was no longer concerned with the return of his fleet. There were more important things to consider now. Even if they were absorbed by the East, even if they became beholden to their Alliance, their survival would mean a chance for their family.

    Richard saw Lan Qing from a different perspective. He looked so familiar! He looked like that man... the one who... why did they look so similar?

    The sounds of footsteps approaching from outside interrupted his thoughts.

    "I heard you took the Austin's fleet?" Lan Jue stepped through the door and called to his brother. He only noticed the other two men after he spoke.

    Richard froze, but quickly his face turned dark and angry. This thief was the last man he'd expect to see here. He could see the relation between Lan Qing and Lan Jue right away. If only he had known perhaps he wouldn't have given his family's ships up!

    Lan Jue cast him a glance, walked over to his brother's side, then laughed amicably. "We meet again."

    Lan Jue could almost hear Richard grinding his teeth. "Zhou Qianlin? Where did you kidnap her away to?"

    Star Division's commander heaved a sigh. "Please stop asking pointless questions like that. I'm fairly certain you will never have an opportunity to see her, ever again."

    Richard paused, and little by little the rage drained from his face. Thi man, standing beside the Eastern Admiral, with an aura no less impressive than Lan Qing's, made Richard feel just as small. Why did he have to suffer such disgrace? Why was he not given a chance?

    His bitterness showed plain on his face. "Is she well?"

    Lan Jue scowled. "Not really."

    "What?" Richard's anger flared again and he took a step forward. A hand shot out and grabbed Lan Jue by the front of his shirt. Sylva didn't have an opportunity to stop him.

    The Western president was filled with dread. How could he son act so brazenly in their weakest moment? This was their ship - their lives were in the East's hands.

    Richard's eyes were red as he glared at Lan Jue. "'Not really'? What's the matter with her?"

    When he saw the look in the young man's eyes some of the distaste Lan Jue bore for Richard melted away. Whatever sort of man he was, he really did care for Qianlin.

    "She got hurt trying to protect me. Don't worry, I'm working on a cure." Lan Jue said it like a solemn oath, and made no effort to extricate himself from Richard's grip.

    The Austin successor's breath was quick and ragged. Eventually he loosened his hold. When he spoke his words were lilted with depression. "Care for her, keep her from harm. I know any chance I had with her is gone, but I still hope for her happiness."

    "Yeah. I'll make sure of it." Lan Jue nodded resolutely.

    Richard stared at him for what felt like a long time. All of a sudden he felt different, something clicked in his mind. It was a moment of maturity, and the animosity he bore for Lan Jue disappeared. So did the flame he carried for Qianlin. Instead, he heard the words of his father echoing in his mind.

    Lan Qing had a soldier take the two men away. Only once they were gone did he address his brother. "Weren't you locked away, preparing? What brings you out?"

    Lan Jue smirked. "I'm more or less ready."

    Lan Qing's eyes sparkled. "So you mean..."

    He nodded. "But I can still hold back. I believe the longer I resist the better the results will be when the time comes. When the Pharmacist broke through there was a surge of incredible energy - I think it was Occisus waking up. It was so powerful it scared the Violet Princess away. When Qianlin and I break through the burst will be twice as potent and I don't want to waste it. We're moving in on the aliens now, so this presents a good opportunity."

    Lan Qing rewarded him with one of his rare smiles. "Good. When you break through we'll have to find a time to spar."

    Lan Jue answered with a dark chuckle. "I'm gonna kick your ass."

    Lan Qing muttered something, a few quiet words, but they wiped the grin from Lan Jue's face. "Could you not? This is revenge!"

    Lan Qing's reply was indifferent. "It was father's decision, if you have a problem with it you should speak to him. If you could convince him then you don't have to worry about the title."

    "Ruthless! I'm leaving." Lan Jue spat the words in irritation and spun around to leave.

    "Wait a moment." Lan Qing called him back.

    "Eh?" When Lan Jue turned back his brother was once more the definition of solemn duty.

    "Early reports say things are pretty bad. Aliens have already taken several of the planets around Europa. I'm sure you know what they're up to. We're going to face the enemy with only three bastions and few soldiers. But sometimes few soldiers can have its advantages."

    Lan Jue's heart jumped. "You think the aliens will underestimate us and rush in?"

    The Admiral nodded. "If we came in with seven or eight bastions I'm not sure we'd have a better result than last time. We haven't done well with direct confrontation. But we're only bringing three, and I'm sure they'll know it."

    "Father said those successive teleportations must have weakened them. At their level, if they get too weak they won't have the energy necessary to resist the pressure universal protogenia. That would mean their immediate destruction. I imagine they're more worried than we think. When you're worried you make quick and stupid decisions, which I suspect they will if they think we're in an inferior position. If we can confirm that they are beginning the evolution process then we should press the attack."

    "The problem we're facing now is uncertainty in how long their evolution takes. That leaves us no choice but to hurry as much as we can. It's a gamble, but gamble or not it's the best option. We need intelligence, and I'm sure you know specifically what intelligence we need. If the aliens are distracted, that's the time to strike."

    "You're right," Lan Jue agreed. "I'll go. I'll make every effort to find out what we can."

    A strange look overcame his brother's face. "A-Jue, you know I hope this mission of yours isn't successful."

    "Huh? Why?" Lan Jue asked, confused.

    He explained. "If they're doing all they can to prevent it, chances are high they are trying to hide their evolution. Prepare to dispatch. I've back two plans to formulate, and once they're ready it'll be time to act. Hua Li is nearby, we'll be meeting up with him soon."


    The Austin family had left with only a single fleet. However, as one of the most important families in the West their ships were special. They were better equipped and more powerful than standard military vessels. When the money flowed who didn't want to spend some of it on security? Cost didn't matter when the results were good and useful. It was as true for their mecha suits as it was for their ships.

    The Austin's ships were equipped with the best Western equipment their money could buy, as well as some choice items from the North. How they got their hands on it, you'd have to ask the Austins.

    It didn't take long to incorporate them into the Eastern legion, especially with the cooperation of their crews. The stronger they were together, the better their chances of success. Six fleets now surrounded Middle Heaven as they continued deeper into Western territory.

    A day later they stopped again, though not to intercept. This time they were joining up with friendly forces. A sky-blue bastion ship hung in the darkness of space before them. It was about half the size of An Lun.

    Middle Heaven was the largest bastion ever created, and it was only possible because of the molinite discovered in its core. The fact that it was a planet with a lithosphere all its own constituted its size.

    Meanwhile the other ship was constructed from some nameless blue material they weren't familiar with. Lan Qing and Lan Jue both looked at it from the window. After going over the analytics for the ships, they both shared a single thought questioning Hua Li's modesty.

    Just looking at it they could tell it probably had more firepower than the North's Terminator-class. Its size didn't seem to affect this. It was also surrounded by four interstellar fleets, each ship coated in the same cobalt blue. Four full fleets!

    Everyone always talked about Poseidon Group's riches, that they were the greatest human family. Lan Qing and his brother didn't know precisely what that meant until they saw the results of those riches hovering outside their window. Compared to Poseidon Group, the Austin family was hardly worth notice. If Hua Li and his people wanted to take over the West they surely could, so long as the East and North didn't interfere.

    "You sure brought us a pleasant surprise, A-Li!" Lan Jue spoke to the pretty face looking back at them from the screen. Praise was evident in his voice.

    Hua Li chuckled. "The Four Divine Horsemen are riding together into battle, we need to make a show of it. This is all of our family's strength and wealth. And they're all under your command, big brother 1. We serve at your command."

    1. Lan Qing
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