Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Notes: First, I’d like to thank R.V., H.R.and the Patreon contributors who sponsored the previous chapter!
Next, I’d like to thank immortalbutterflyTKP for posting the wonderful fanart below, which I’ve decided will substitute today’s meme (it’s totally not because we ran out of ideas) AND the cover of Star Rank Hunter, preferably permanently if immortalbutterflyTKP would be so kind! (I’ve left you a message at your deviantart so do reply soon, immortalbutterflyTKP!)
Once again, I know I sound like a parrot, but thank you all for your support!
Chapter 131: A Glimpse of Extraordinaire
There were a few relatively safe gates around the edges of Sector Z. While there were other unsafe zones that were well hidden and similarly allowed entry, they were a lot riskier to use as well. For example, Poison Fang was one of the few who chose to enter Sector Z through the unsafe zones because they were unafraid to take the risks. Barthus and Songba Leruo’s squadron also came through the unsafe zone, but unlike Poison Fang it was because they had better technology that enabled them to shield themselves from the risks.
But those were the exceptions. In general, the four great Hunter regiments’ B squads and other Hunter regiments would use the safe passages. The gate of every safe zone had a stretch of rock belt, and every rock belt had exactly one passage established by the government. The rocky areas beyond the passage were extremely harmful to a starship and other flying equipment, so normally only a single fleet was allowed passage at a time.
In reality, GAL could’ve made the passage wider when they were setting it up. However, for ease of management they did not go beyond the planned width.
There was a planet at the surrounding of Sector Z. GAL had set up a Sector Z base here so they could supervise the rocky areas.
To their surprise, today was a coincidental day where a huge number of Hunter regiments had chosen to gather at this gate at this period of time.
The garrisoned GAL troops on the planet were happy to see the Hunter regiments’ argument. In the best case scenario, these Hunter regiments would fight each other to the death so they could fine them accordingly.
When multiple Hunter regiments ran into each other, they often loved to show off their insignia. Therefore, all sorts of Hunter regiment insignias and logos were displayed above every giant starship. It was as if they were afraid that people wouldn’t know who they belonged to otherwise. But when Navigator and Heaven’s Birth’s starships showed up, the rest of the Hunter regiments were obviously inferior. Their insignias alone were enough to intimidate a few Hunter regiments to back off.
The great four truly was the great four. Even their B Squadrons were capable of serving as a deterrent to others.
Both Navigator and Heaven’s Birth’s B Squadrons blocked in front of the gate and refused to give an inch to the other party. With so many other Hunter regiments around them, neither side could put down their pride and just give the way either. If they allowed the other party to gain first entry, then it likely wouldn’t take long before the rumors spread throughout the entire galaxy (E/N: does the galaxy really have nothing better to do). When that happened, not only would they lose status within their own regiment, their Hunter regiment would lose face on their behalf as well.
Since both B Squadrons had taken up half a passage each, if anyone tried to force their way through they would most definitely run into the rocky area.
Meanwhile, inside the GAL base on the planet, the people inside the monitoring room were smiling and delighting at the Hunter regiments’ misfortune displayed on the screen. Suddenly, a supervising personnel reported, “Sir, there’s a fleet on the other side of the belt requesting permission to come through.”
“Oh? Who is it?” The officer raised his eyebrows and asked.
“It’s a B Squadron from Vanguard.”
The officer smiled. He did not think that three of the great four’s B Squadrons would be gathered here today. This is going to be fun. The officer immediately said, “Send them a message and tell them that Navigator and Heaven’s Birth had taken up half of the gate each. Therefore, passage is impossible.”
“Okay!” The supervising personnel was also looking forward to the clash between the three titans.
Meanwhile, both Navigator and Heaven’s Birth received a transmission stating that Vanguard’s Sixth B Squadron was coming through from the other side of the passage, and that the both of them should give way.
When the commanders of Navigator and Heaven’s Birth had heard about the news, they were both angry and amused. Vanguard’s Sixth B Squadron? Who do you think you are?! You want to come out? Sure, go figure it out yourself how you’re gonna pull it off then. In any case I’m not budging an inch, and what can you do about that?
The transmissions from both sides hadn’t ended for long before every Hunter regiment and the monitoring room on the planet realised that there was a fleet coming over from the other side of the passage.
They were actually coming their way!
The people’s first reaction was that the Sixth Squad had gone insane. Their second reaction was that things are really going to be fun now! Right now every Hunter regiment had received a signal coming from the other side of the passage. It was a signal characteristic of a Vanguard’s B Squadron which in normal circumstances would have caused any Hunter regiment who received it to maneuver out of the way accordingly. Meanwhile, the actual situation was that all other Hunter regiments except the three of the great four had backed off, and Navigator and Heaven’s Birth were the only ones who were literally going to meet face to face with Vanguard within the narrow path. One on two? Interesting! No matter which side won, this would be a rare and interesting show regardless for the onlookers.
The signal displayed on the screen indicated that both sides were getting closer and closer to each other. Orders had been laid down, and weapons systems had been prepped within the Navigator and Heaven’s Birth B Squadrons. If the Sixth Squad tried to force things, then they would not mind opening fire right here and then. They were two B Squadrons of the great four after all. Even if you were looking to one versus two, you should at least see who your opponents were first, shouldn’t you, Vanguard?
In many people’s opinion, Vanguard’s Sixth B Squadron had acted too reckless this time. If they were to put it a little vulgarly, it would be suicidal. However, this opinion was soon overthrown.
Just when Navigator and Heaven’s Birth were about to open fire, the Sixth Squad suddenly veered off course, that is to say they had flown outside the passage. However, the Sixth Squad showed no signs of slowing down at all.
What exactly were they trying to do?
There was a white flash, and a combined fleet enveloped in a layer of red-and-black energy shield charged into the open. In fact, they had appeared from above both Navigator and Heaven’s Birth B Squadron.
The rocks that were in the way were frozen by the white flash before smashed to bits by the combined fleet enveloped in red-and-black energy shield.
The red-and-black energy shield enveloping the combined fleet appeared even stranger and mysterious than usual in this atmosphere. As the fleet flew out, carrying with it some rock bits frozen by the cold beam, the glints reflecting off the rock bits were immeasurably gorgeous amidst a dark background.
At the same time, six stressed cannon-like sounds of a specific rhythm began to appear in the transmission received by every fleet and the base’s monitoring room. Each sound was only greater than the next, and the interlayered music that like connecting a chain of beads caused the data and images on electronic displays of some poorly secured starships to beat along the same rhythm. The Hunters who heard this music all had a bewitched feeling that their hearts were beating along with it.
The music slowly turned as distant as time immemorial; like a dagger that was interweaved in every space. A massive dagger symbol appeared above the fleet, and although it was just a light projection, it gave off the feeling of an unsheathed blade that had become sharper than before.
The number ‘6’ was projected beside the projected dagger. Together, they represented Vanguard’s Sixth B Squadron!
Although they had not attacked the Navigator and Heaven’s Birth B Squadron, Vanguard’s Sixth B Squadron had flown out right above their heads while wearing Vanguard’s defining dagger insignia above their fleet.
This was a face slap! A face slap before everyone’s eyes!
The four great Hunter regiments had always wrangled with one another, and while open fights were rare, covert maneuvers were plenty. This encounter was one such example. No one fired even a single bullet, but the outcome was more intense than an actual battle.
After the combined fleet had flown out of the passage, it did not attempt to communicate with any parties. The only thing they left behind was the gradually weakening signal and music.
Just like a king would depart, they left behind only a glimpse of extraordinaire, and that one instant when people looked up to them.