Chapter 12: Fearless
Shawton did not waste his words. He passed over the tablet with Aiflon’s photo to him.
Cillin was stunned the moment he saw it.
If he didn’t know very well that his current appearance was due to the alteration of gene expression, Cillin himself would have suspected that person on the screen was his own father!
What a coincidence!
After briefly explaining to Cillin about Aiflon and the current trading situation, Shawton pointed at a chair at the corner of the room, “Cillin, just sit there when the negotiations start.”
“Okay.” Cillin had guessed a few things by now. That they had allowed him to join the Sixth Squad and be part of the main force so easily meant that he his usefulness was rather huge. At the very least, his face was very important to the Sixth Squad.
A while later, the video conference began.
On the screen, the thirty seven years old Aiflon might wore a kind smile on his face, but his every movement suggested an inviolable spirit. Originally, he had planned to end this negotiation swiftly by rejecting the Sixth Squad’s business deal and choosing Navigator’s, but the moment he saw Cillin sitting at the corner, he did not say the words he had prepared beforehand.
Aiflon and Shawton were both smart men. They only needed a glance to guess roughly each other’s thoughts. In that single instant, many thoughts had passed through Aiflon’s mind.
After a short pause Aiflon chuckled, “Do allow me to consider the matter of our deal again. However, I believe that we have some matters to talk about, am I right, Commander Shawton?”
“Of course. It is my pleasure.”
He waved his hand for the others to go out, and Shawton was left alone in conference room.
Cillin laid on a chair at the lounge after being pulled out of the conference room by Dias and shut his eyes, calming the surprise in his heart. He had guessed the few possible scenarios that might happen soon, and Cillin looked forward to them no matter which kind it might be. This was his first mission after going out of Planet Brown Earth.
Shawton was feeling really, really good right now. The reason he was able to become the Sixth B Squadron’s Commander was not due to his powers alone. Shawton viewed problems with deeper insight, and the reason he allowed Aiflon to see Cillin was to confirm that assumption inside his heart.
Two hours later, Shawton called Cillin over for a private discussion.
“Pose as his son?!” Cillin stared at the mission plan Shawton had sorted out.
“Yes. Although Aiflon had not given his reason, but I believe that this move will play a very important role in Aiflon’s contest for the position of the successor of the Douance Family. What do you think? Tell me your thoughts.”
Cillin swiftly browsed through Aiflon’s information in his mind before saying, “Although the outside world claims that Aiflon has no children, I believe that’s not true. It’s just that he would not reveal them before he acquired the position of successor to ensure their safety. It’s too dangerous otherwise. His motive is for me to cover for his true offspring and attract firepower from certain people. Only then he can dish out more energy to contest for the position of successorship. But of course, this is just my guess.”
“Very good. You did well to figure out all these just by reading these partial materials alone. However, this is but a part of the mission Aiflon had put forward. The other part can only be decided after he has seen you personally. So my question for you now is: Cillin, do you want to accept this mission?”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“There is a degree of risk to this mission. Members of the Free Fleet have their own decision-making power. We are not the military, and you do not need to obey a superior’s unconditionally. You can refuse.”
“Why would I refuse?” Cillin looked at the sum on the plan and felt very satisfied. Normally speaking, a mission’s risk was proportional to the amount of income.
Shawton looked Cillin up and down, “You don’t seem like the miserly type.”
“This is the nature of a Hunter, isn’t it?” A Hunter was not an adventurer. A Hunter was the kind of person who would walk the line between life and death for money and self-gain.
“That’s right, that’s what a Hunter is.” Shawton chuckled, “You will come with me to see Aiflon two days later. As for the price tag, we can definitely ask more than this. Use these two days to make your preparations.”
There were some things that Shawton did not say, but Cillin knew that – ignoring the mission’s risks – if Cillin had accepted the mission, then the business deal Sixth Squad and Aiflon were negotiating would most likely succeed. Moreover, through this matter, Cillin could even gain the acknowledgement of the other Lieutenant Commanders of the Sixth Squad. This was very beneficial for his advancement in the Sixth Squad in the future.
The contest between the top four Hunter regiments was growing more and more intense, and although there were no large scale head-on collisions, there were definitely undercover forces at work, which was why the main squad had already begun to take precautions. The achievements of every B squadron had tremendous impact to the people of those squads. If through Aiflon, they were able to influence a communication between the Sixth Squad and the Douance Family, then it would no doubt promote the Sixth Squad’s development greatly.
The importance of a great galactic family towards a Hunter regiment could not be ignored. The reason these families could stand out from the ash heap of history was mainly due to various channels and networks. Meanwhile, the relationship between the military and a Hunter regiment was very delicate. Although they weren’t exactly standing on the opposite side of each other, they did not share a harmonious relationship. If possible, the military would not allow a Hunter regiment to exist, but reality was much more complex. Therefore, even if they could not pressure them openly, very often the military would secretly work to obstruct a Hunter regiment’s mission; to obstruct their development.
There weren’t many people in the galaxy who would dare provoke the main squadrons of the top four Hunter regiments, but the B squadrons were a different story. The military, various Sector-level political institutions and the small scale Hunter regiments. As long as they got the chance they would put a paw on the B squadrons, because the B squadrons’ very existence was to rob them of their money and fame. Of course, if there was a great galactic family pulling the strings from within, then the B squadron’s development would become much easier.
So of course the Sixth Squad wasn’t willing to give up after obtaining the opportunity to meet Aiflon. Moreover this was a situation where they were competing with another Hunter regiment’s B squadron, so naturally they would strive for it even harder. Furthermore, if Aiflon really did become the successor under Cillin’s assistance, then the Sixth Squad would gain unlimited benefits in the future. They were all well aware of this, so it could be said that the few heavyweights of the Sixth Squad who knew about this had high expectations for Cillin.
As for the preparation, Shawton had asked of Cillin, what he meant was for Cillin digest all the information necessary for this mission during these two days of free time.
Cillin absolutely could not compare to those veteran Hunters in terms of experience. Moreover, due to his origin, Cillin’s understanding of the latest information was also very one-sided. This was a huge flaw for a Hunter who travels the galaxy. For this reason Shawton had purposely chosen some information for Cillin to look through.
After arranging a single room for Cillin, Shawton summoned the six Lieutenant Commanders and started yet another meeting; dealing with the matter regarding keeping Cillin’s work confidential. However, when Shawton ended the meeting and brought food for Cillin, he discovered that this person who was supposed to be making the best use of his time was fast asleep with a tilted head. In fact, he appeared to be sleeping very soundly, even.
The tablet registered with the information were thrown at a side. The monitors of the surrounding computers were all blinking rapidly; whatever it was displaying could not be seen clearly.
At the side, Dias opened his mouth, but in the end he swallowed the words that were about to jump out of his mouth. Carefully peeking at Shawton’s changing complexion, he shouted inside his heart: Cillin, you idiot, where is your fighting spirit! How can you be sleeping at such a critical moment?!
Taking a deep breath, Shawton put down the food tray on his hands, turned around and walked out of the door. Dias followed behind Shawton with a bitter look.
For the next two days, Cillin had slept to the point that he did not even touch his food, and during this period of time, everyone in the Sixth Squad had noticed an atmosphere that could freeze someone to death. From the Commander Shawton to the six Lieutenant Commanders; every one of them with a kind of aura that said, ‘DANGER! STAY AWAY’.
If it wasn’t for Shawton, some of the Lieutenant Commanders would have probably knocked him awake and forced him to read those info. A Hunter who did not know to master his information was not a good Hunter.
“Tell me, how can that kid possibly sleep so easily?” Shawton lay down on his chair and tapped rhythmically on the table surface with his fingers.
Sitting on the opposite side, Dias scratched the curly hair on his head, “Cough, how should I say this. Although the kid’s behavior really makes you feel like whooping him a good one, but…” Dias searched for the right words, “I can’t help but feel that the kid’s being fearless.”