1419 Befriend

    "Don't know. They are new after all," Rais confessed.

    "Tell me the truth! You knew him all along! You knew that he was barbaric!" snarled Lucius, having had enough of the prank.

    "Calm down. Yes, I knew him. But only as much as you. I got a knife pressed into my gills by that woman earlier. I thought you would laugh at me once you knew, so I wanted you to experience the same thing!" said Rais, not the slightest bit apologetic.

    "Screw you! You almost got me killed!" barked Lucius.

    Just because Rais did not want to be laughed at, he had him almost killed by a newcomer!

    Rais laughed. "I was wrong, I was wrong! I admit it, okay? But in the end, everything turned out alright!"

    "Alright your smelly gills! I was slammed to the ground!" snarled Lucius again. He was not done venting his anger.

    "You're right about one thing though. They are barbaric but we cannot deny that they are strong. If they hadn't stopped, I don't think we would have been able to save your arse, even if all of the bodyguards we hired attacked at the same time," said Rais.

    He explained how he managed to examine Kaa'lna's combat level earlier. The reading he got nearly made him soil his pants.

    Lucius started monologuing in response, "I don't get it. Who are they? Why are they so strong? What are they doing here? Most importantly, I've never heard of anyone in the Trade Federation being so young and strong."

    "Fifth Bro, go ahead and do some research about those three," ordered Rais.

    "Will do," said the lackey in question. He acknowledged the order and quickly left to start his investigation.

    "What are you going to do by investigating them? Take revenge? Are you seriously not thinking about the consequences? Why are you being so petty over such a small matter?" spat Lucius.

    He seemed to forget that he was almost killed by the pretty cat-lady not five minutes ago. Nevertheless, he was safe and alive. Being vengeful over such a squabble would do him no good.

    If anything, he would end up looking like a petty man who was jealous of Jiang Fei for having a pair of beautiful girls. Additionally, crossing powerful fighters just for the sake of getting back at him wouldn't be the wisest of moves.

    "Nothing of that sort," said Rais.

    "I think he is a man we can reason with. If we're lucky, we might even befriend him! I'd rather be friends with a straightforward, barbaric Terran than those sneaky, cunning friends who would trick you into gambling with them just so they can win all your money!" he added.

    Rais might be delinquent-like but he was not stupid. Money plays a bigger role in the Trade Federation than actual individual strength. Once dead, one's strength cannot be passed down to another, but money can be.

    As such, money was usually the most common source of conflict. Families fighting over inheritance, companies fight over product control, national wars over a source of income, and many more.

    Large scale wars, such as the ongoing one with the Valsalrian Army, were not liked since the entire Federation was burning through more money than they could earn.

    Rais and Lucius were the prodigals of society, they wasted their living days indulging in their posh lifestyles which mainly involved women and gambling. Even so, they had sharp minds and pairs of eyes that were keen on seizing every opportunity.

    In this case, Rais had thought of something interesting. Who wouldn't want to secure a stronger 'friend' to protect oneself? Who wouldn't want a better chance of securing one's own wealth? Befriending Jiang Fei would be the stepping stone to something even greater! In this case, a way for them to secure their family's inheritance.

    It is common sense to think that every head of a family would not want their family name to be tarnished. As such, the logical way to ensure that would be by selecting the best in their family to inherit all of their fortune.

    But how does one determine who is the best? In the Valsalrian Army, the best means the strongest, literally. In the Trade Federation, the best is whoever has the most power, possessing the larger and wider social connection.

    Rais had an epiphany when he saw Jiang Fei leaving. He had a firm grasp of all the youths in the Trade Federation and no one, not a single one of them, could be as physically strong as Jiang Fei.

    That is why he concluded that Jiang Fei must be someone not of the Trade Federation. If his speculation was right, Rais and Licius would be the pioneers in Jiang Fei's adventure. If Rais had a chance to befriend Jiang Fei, he would have a helping hand in his next step to seize his family inheritance.

    "Interesting idea," Lucius concurred.

    The reason Lucius had even befriended Rais in the first place was because he hoped that Rais had connections that Lucius could to take advantage of. And now, there was another who could join that wide web of connections.

    The lackey that left earlier returned in no time and reported good news. He had taken only less than 30 minutes. "Master! I have news!"

    "Do tell!"

    "Those three are ex-soldiers from the Valsalrian Army! Due to certain misunderstandings with Aino, they have chosen to defect to the Trade Federation. Right now, they are all under General Lockseed's protection. That man is called Jiang Fei and he is their leader. The two girls are his personal women."

    "Their... leader?" Lucius muttered the two words slowly.

    "Yes. Jiang Fei is currently the highest in command of a small army of around 30,000 soldiers. The weakest among them is at least 200,000 combat level. One of his underlings is called Bison and his combat level measures at over 9,500,000!"

    Rais gasped. "N-N-N-Nine million?! That's... he could be a ruler of a galaxy!"

    Lucius probed further, "I don't understand. How could someone so strong become the subordinate of a young Terran? What is the strength of that leader, Jiang Fei?"

    He knew that the Valsalrian Army determines a leader by their raw power. It is rare, or rather, close to impossible, for someone weak to rule over the strong. Something about this entire thing, Jiang Fei, to be precise, further intrigued Lucius.

    "According to what I investigated, Jiang Fei's combat level is only at around two million. But I think that's tainted data. I'm 100% sure Jiang Fei is much, much stronger. I think he could even have a higher combat level. Perhaps as high as eight million!"

    "Unlikely. It is impossible for someone so young to have a combat level of eight million. Are you joking?" asked Rais.

    "Not impossible. But improbable. I think he might be even stronger than that," said Fifth Brother, arching an eyebrow.

    "What do you mean by that?" asked Lucius.

    "I received this news not too long ago. Apparently, someone leaked reports about Aino apologizing to Jiang Fei and wanting him to come back to the Valsalrian Army."

    That piece of information was like a nuclear missile-devastating. As a matter of fact, Jiang Fei was still oblivious to it!

    Lucius muttered to himself, "Is this true? Aino is an important officer in the Valsalrian ranks. His strength supersedes even that Bison guy. Why would he bow his head to someone like Jiang Fei?"

    Things had just gotten more interesting.

    "I cannot tell whether the news is genuine or fictitious. Rumors would not spread without a cause. Nevertheless, I still think that Jiang Fei is someone that we ought to be careful of," said Rais.

    "What do you plan to do?"

    "I don't know yet. First things first, we should find that Jiang Fei and try our best to befriend him. Whether he remains in the Federation or defects back to the Valsalrians, having him as a friend would do us no harm!" said Rais, his face turning rigid.

    "Great minds think alike," replied Lucius.

    "Go. We cannot miss this opportunity! We must find him now!" roared Rais as he jumped to his feet and started to run.

    "Wait! I'm coming too!"

    The two had several of their lackeys follow them and in no time, they managed to find Jiang Fei and the two girls, not far from where they first encountered them.

    "Do you really want to die that much? Do you really think I won't kill you right now?" spat Kaa'lna when the two confronted Jiang Fei.

    "No, no! Wait! We are here to offer our sincere apologies. If you may, allow us to do something as a means of seeking forgiveness," said Lucius as both him and Rais bowed their heads.
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