Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Notes: If you’re wondering why the chapter’s kinda later than norm, that’s because one, I have a hectic schedule and two, I was playing Battle Brothers until 3 am everyday. But at least I’m more consistent than HxH’s mangaka, right?
Chapter 217: ‘Shortcut’ Opens [Part 2]
Even though Cillin knew Jiada only for a short amount of time, it still wasn’t hard to guess that his systems would be hard to hack even with the combined strength of the gray cat and Czedow.
Jiada walked out of his transport while being followed by two other people after the spaceplane descended on the ground. Cillin recognized one of them; it was that invisible man. This meant that they belonged to Grim Reaper.
It would appear that they were very familiar with each other. Cillin didn’t expect Jiada to share such a good relationship with ‘Grim Reaper’.
Jiada tossed over an item to Cillin. After Cillin took in and gave it a look, he discovered that it was a starmap piece. It wasn’t a piece of the starmap he was assembling, so it was probably the one Lung was looking for.
“It is time for you to fulfill your promise.”
“We’re opening ‘Shortcut’ now?” Cillin asked.
This meant that the remaining the starmap pieces of ‘Shortcut’ were all in their hands.
Looking at their appearance, Cillin understood that they weren’t going to let him contact the Sixth B Squadron.
“Don’t worry,” Jiada seemed to know what Cillin was thinking, and he said, “I’ve already contacted Ji Feng, so you should be seeing him pretty soon. This is a cooperation, so it’s only natural for us to display our sincerity.”
Having witnessed Oskulos’ power himself, Cillin grew some confidence in Ji Feng’s abilities. There was also no harm in having a Star Rank Hunter to back him up.
“Can I talk to the admiral?” Cillin asked.
“No, you cannot. But I can pass on a message for you.”
“Alright, please tell him to bring Sigma along to.”
“Sigma, is it? I’m not sure who you’re referring to, but I can permit this request.”
Jiada cast a glance at the guy playing a yoyo next to him, and the latter returned him a helpless look before walking back into the spaceplane.
It didn’t take long for the person to come back out of the spaceplane once more. “It’s sent.” Then, he went back to playing with his yoyo.
It was daytime when Ji Feng finally arrived.
Ji Feng brought five people with him to this expedition. They were all core members of the A Squadron.
Those core members behind Ji Feng were all staring at Cillin, the gray cat and Czedow like they were living ghosts because they knew that they had killed the Lone Wolf, Oskulos. But Ji Feng only smiled and said, “With Oskulos’ temperament, it’s only a matter of time before he meets his end. Speaking of which, congratulations on becoming one of the Six Stars of Hunt, Jiada.”
So everyone knew that this would happen all along.
Ji Feng’s eyes were causing chills to crawl up Cillin’s spine, however. He suddenly reminded him of Elder Mo for some reason.
Sigma kept its silence throughout the journey to this planet. This was the first time he exited his base after so many years, and the one reason that motivated it to do so was the words ‘for Shortcut’ uttered by Ji Feng.
However, Sigma’s silence was shattered the moment he saw Cillin, Czedow and the gray cat. It immediately started chatting with the gray cat in machine language, which no one else understood.
Learning that what Ji Feng told it was true, Sigma was so happy that the blue strip of its faceplate turned into big waves.
Cillin produced three starmap pieces from his possession, while the yoyo guy from ‘Grim Reaper’ named Xin Zhao produced two.
The five starmap pieces were greatly attracted to each other the second they were taken out of the subspace containers. After the five starmap pieces had joined into one, they immediately displayed the complete image of a starmap. However, no coordinates were displayed on the starmap. It was impossible to tell which Sector this place belonged to either.
A key with the word ‘Shortcut’ hovering above it appeared inside the image.
The spinning key ultimately stopped and pointed at Sigma, who was currently jumping in excitement.
“It’s not possible to know the exact coordinate without the ‘key’,” Jiada said.
No one realized that the key referred to Sigma. They all thought that the key was down the direction Sigma happened to be at.
Jiada barely finished his words before Sigma shot out a ray of light. It was the projection of a starmap, and the two starmap holograms overlapped one another.
The starmap was now complete, and one of the planets were blinking constantly. That was their destination.
“This map…” Ji Feng frowned in thought for a moment, “I think it’s somewhere around our regiment.”
“It is,” Xin Zhao said, “Juno had investigated this starmap just now, and he confirms that it is a region around your territory.”
Cillin’s pupils shrank. Juno?! Did he mean the creator or Aier?!
Jiada smiled, “That’s convenient. I was wondering what to do if it were some other powers’ territory.”
“Haha, I’m going home! I’m going to find master!”
Sigma was so happy that it moved around in circles non stop, drawing the attention of everyone from Vanguard. They asked Sigma some questions, but Sigma only replied with a simple explanation. It didn’t tell them any details at all.
Still, considering the occasion, no one minded that Sigma was withholding some information from them.
After the starmap was recorded, Cillin got onto the spaceplane with Ji Feng. Jiada had also gotten onto Ji Feng’s spaceplane. The rest of the Grim Reapers went back to their own starship on their own spaceplane.
Inside the spaceplane, Ji Feng chatted with Cillin about his takedown of Oskulos for a bit. He looked very pleased with Cillin’s performance, and his eyes started to resembling Mo Heng more and more.
At the same time, Cillin also learned from Ji Feng that the group that attacked the Sixth B Squadron’s base belonged to ‘Mist’. The base was mostly intact, and no casualties were incurred during the attack.
“Expect chaotic battles to happen all around GAL after the news of Oskulos’ death had spread. All those people who were once shackled by Oskulos’ power would definitely start making their own moves. Everyone must make preparations to face the impending battles.”
Ji Feng’s words were for Cillin to hear. He was the one who made most of the decisions inside the Sixth B Squadron anyway. Shawton’s influence within the B Squadron was slowly but surely growing smaller due to Cillin’s presence, and in fact Cillin had surpassed Shawton in the eyes of many A Squadron members.
Ji Feng’s attitude also showed that he valued Cillin a lot. He would’ve pulled Cillin over already if Cillin himself hadn’t been unwilling to accept the offer to be promoted to the A Squadron.
The coordinates shown in the starmap wasn’t far, so they quickly arrived at their target destination.
The target planet was a small and extremely unassuming rank D planet. The environment was so bad that even Ji Feng and Jiada had to put on a protective suit.
Sigma and the gray cat ran ahead of the group and drew everyone’s envy.
It was one of the advantages for being nonhuman.
The group didn’t need to scan and analyze about for an exact location. The gray cat and Sigma quickly found the place they were looking for.
It was an entrance. It was only after they had entered the entrance that they realized that the planet itself was a machine that could create jump points.
The entity to activate this machine was Sigma. It knew some of the commands because they were stored inside its memory since a long time ago.
Sigma was filled with excitement knowing that it could return home and seek out his long lost master very soon. At the same time, however, Sigma couldn’t help but feel a strong sense of regret. For some reason, it felt reluctant to part with this place. It was a feeling that it wouldn’t have experienced had it not encountered the Sixth B Squadron beforehand. Perhaps this was what humans meant by ‘conflicting emotions’.
While Sigma was busying itself, Ji Feng, Jiada and the members of the Grim Reaper asked a few questions about the ‘Shortcut’.
They came to the unanimous decision to test the functionality of the jump point and its safety for human travel before sending someone in. It wasn’t a preparation that they could skip or make poorly.
“Are you sure that this jump point is a two-way?” Ji Feng asked Sigma.
Sigma was so busy that it didn’t even turn back to answer Ji Feng, “Of course. How else did I get here in the first place?”
Everyone knew by now that Sigma didn’t originate from GAL, but Ji Feng still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was a bit off. It wasn’t something was amiss with the jump point, he just had a feeling that things wouldn’t develop the way he think it would.
Ji Feng cast a glance at Jiada. He knew at least some of Jiada’s abilities. However, Jiada was currently closing his eyes and thinking god knows what in his head.
At a side, Cillin stood together with the gray cat and Czedow. There was no longer any need for them to do anything. In a sense, if Cillin didn’t possess the starmap pieces, and if Ji Feng and Jiada weren’t here to protect him, the Grim Reapers would’ve chased him out of the place long ago. They might even have acted to rob the starmap pieces he possessed.
“Cillin, can this ‘Shortcut’ really connect to a whole new star system beyond GAL?” The gray cat asked.
“I think so,” Cillin couldn’t be sure because he hadn’t seen a new star system himself.
The gray cat licked its lips, “I sure hope that the world on the other side of ‘Shortcut’ is one that’s filled with a lot more food and a lot less mad scientists.”
Cillin scratched the gray cat’s chin and said nothing. Every system had its own way of existence and complexity. For example, GAL had places that were peaceful, war torn, prospering, or failing. There was no telling what kind of state the world on the other side of ‘Shortcut’ would be. Still, Cillin was more curious than anything else about the world that could create an existence like Sigma. There was also one other thing that Cillin was mulling over his mind.
Cillin had spent many years investigating the Elder Tree Fuji Gen Family to no avail. Perhaps he might find a clue on the other side of ‘Shortcut’.
“Ahh, it’s ready!” Sigma cried out loudly.
Everyone felt spirited when they heard this.
“Let us check if this node is stable first,” Sigma said.
It didn’t take long before Ji Feng, Jiada and Xin Zhao’s communicators rang.
The person on the other side of the communicator exclaimed in excitement when Ji Feng accepted the transmission, “Admiral, a space-time vortex just appeared outside!”
“Let’s head out and have a look,” Sigma led the way and moved outside.
Everyone followed suit seeing that Sigma had gotten out of the place.
Suddenly, a strange feeling struck Cillin.
When the crowd has gotten to the open, they could see the time-space vortex hanging on the atmosphere-less sky. Moreover, it was growing larger and larger.
“So this is ‘Shortcut’!” The gray cat let out a gasp of surprise and turned to look at Cillin.
What it saw caused every hair on its body to stand on its end.