1423 To War As Soon As Possible

    After a series of meaningless greetings, the game of cards began. Jiang Fei had never dabbled in the art of gambling, much less in any kind of alien board games. That is why he had not participated in the game even though the others were more than willing to teach him.

    Alas, he eventually gave in and decided to give it a shot, just for the sake of joining the fray. For several reasons, winning or losing mattered not to him. First, he had no need for money. Second, the game itself was not as exciting as he thought it would be. He was more of an action-type arcade gamer. And finally, he did not mind losing since his every expense was borne by General Lockseed.

    The game, in the end, was just a gathering for him to meet and recognize the other important players in the military playground.

    General Lockseed only played two rounds before excusing himself, "Allow me to do everyone here a favor by leaving the table. I'm sure no one here is comfortable playing with a superior."

    Indeed, as he said, none of the officers were behaving openly while their superior was playing with them.

    "It is an honor to play with you sir!" said the officers as they stood up to bid farewell to their superior, Jiang Fei included.

    "Ah! How could I forget about this important matter? Ah Fei, if you would please follow me?"said Lockseed, returning to the table two seconds after he left.

    Jiang Fei agreed immediately, "Sure."

    To be honest, he was not needed there, and if Lockseed needed him, Jiang Fei was more than happy to oblige. Kaa'lna and Sarila followed as well, but as for Lucius and Rais... they were conflicted on whether to stay at the table with a group of important military officers or to follow Jiang Fei and Lockseed.

    Technically speaking, they should be following Jiang Fei wherever he goes. However, Jiang Fei had literally zero connection to them. It was purely by chance that they had walked into this building together, just like bumping into each other on the streets of Hyur.

    The two wanted to befriend Jiang Fei, but seeing how the situation was unfolding, they were starting to feel unsure of themselves. With Jiang Fei and General Lockseed talking as equals, their mental image of Jiang Fei as just a powerful, young Terran morphed into something bigger. As a matter of fact, he was now so big that the pair was thinking twice about whether they could even stay by his side.

    "Stay and play, if you want," suggested Jiang Fei.

    He couldn't care less about the fantastic duo. However, it was best if they were to remain out of sight, away from General Lockseed, lest they stir up any trouble.

    Lockseed led Jiang Fei and the two girls into a private room. "Come, let us sit here."

    When everyone was seated comfortably, General Lockseed cut to the chase, "Fei, no one else is around, you can speak your mind. What do you plan to do now?"

    "Plan to do? Nothing of importance. Aino has wronged me and I want to return the favor."

    "Revenge, I presume?"


    Lockseed probed further, "In that case, might I ask about the degree of punishment you wish to bestow on him? And perhaps you could also tell me, what will you do after that?"

    "I have nothing in mind for now. After I'm done with Aino, I think I will pay a visit to my master," said Jiang Fei after giving it some thought.

    His body had not been thoroughly checked, who knew what condition it was in? After dealing with Aino, Jiang Fei would need to ask Theon about the black matter in order to properly understand it.

    "Very well. I'm telling you now that you are going to the Alpha Sector. There are two fleets that belong to Aino there. One of them is his personal fleet, the Second Fleet of the Valsalrian Army.

    "The other fleet is the 9th Hybrid Fleet, a fleet of random soldiers grouped together. They have average combat strength but still pack a punch. Which would you choose to target? I shall send a squad to support you either way," said Lockseed.

    He wanted to see how Jiang Fei would react, to know whether his resolve to leave the Valsalrian Army was true.

    Jiang Fei scoffed. "Choose? I'll wreck them both!"

    Ever since he was 'infected' by the black malice, Jiang Fei became incredibly decisive when it came to killing. This was a complete change from before, when he would have second thoughts about going to war with someone.

    "Good," said Lockseed, smiling with a certain glint in his eyes.

    He had expected something like a protest, but instead he was met with a decisive call-to-action to take on all the Valsalrian Army forces in the Alpha Sector. It was obvious then that Jiang Fei had no regrets splitting away from the Valsalrian Army.

    "General Lockseed, with your permission, I would like my soldiers to rest for another three days. During this time, I wish for some maintenance work to be done on my ship. In three days time, I shall take my soldiers to the Alpha Sector!" said Jiang Fei.

    "It will be done. I shall dispatch four squads and an elite fleet to assist you! Godspeed to you, Ah Fei!" exclaimed Lockseed happily.

    Of all the things he thought Jiang Fei would request, he had never expected for him to request for his ship to be fixed as soon as possible!

    "You have nothing to worry about. I will make sure that Aino doesn't get away!"

    Jiang Fei's eyes glinted with a faint blackened hue. At the same time, the scratch mark in between his eyebrows darkened. That was where the Mark of the Tribe had first appeared.

    It started off red, and had now tuned into a greyish color. Faint, as per usual. The one thing that changed was the mark no longer had any connection to the Devils of the Lake.

    To be honest, Jiang Fei had completely forgotten about the mark and the cannibalistic aquatic life forms. Then again, they were only dangerous in water, and were as harmless as the grass on the ground once they left the lake. And anyway, they were just too weak. Even after obtaining status as their tribe leader, they were of no benefit to Jiang Fei.

    They lingered for a bit and once night came, each of them went their separate ways. Jiang Fei and the girls immediately returned to ship, he would rather waste his time on the bridge than in a fancy room filled with boring military officers. Once he was on the ship, Jiang Fei had Bison give the order for the soldiers to return in three days.

    After three days of playing, resting, rampant fornication, and relaxation, the soldiers returned looking fresh. Naturally, their morale was boosted. They had been nothing but stray dogs before, simply living by the day, awaiting their deaths. Now, once they had proper treatment, their whole perspective of life changed.

    It would seem that the Trade Federation treated its soldiers with the utmost care, in terms of both mental and physical health. They paid their soldiers well and even sent them off for vacation during the non-essential period. In this, they were better than any Valsalrian Army fleet.

    Now, the soldiers loved the Trade Federation more than anything. They would rather die than defect back to the Valsalrian Army!

    That was exactly why the Trade Federation sent those who had surrendered to them to Hyur. Once they enjoyed what the Trade Federation had to offer, no one would want to return to their daily life of torture.

    Who would want to be trained at a training ground where the lesson itself could kill you? Who would want to leave once they had a taste of heaven?

    "Listen close, ladies and gentlemen. We are going back to war now. I'm sure not all of you bear hatred towards Aino, but I am also sure that he wrongly sent more than half of you to the Tallgeese Outpost. Today is your lucky day as we are going to war with that ugly bastard!" declared Jiang Fei.

    He knew there were soldiers in his army who hated that man. It goes without saying that they would be more than willing to join his venture to shred Aino into pieces!
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