Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Chapter 217: ‘Shortcut’ Opens [Part 1]
Czedow was just analysing the tissue sample of Oskulos he snatched from the gray cat’s mouth, when he heard its cry and turned over.
A cat’s tooth was lying on the ground while the gray cat was circling around the blade.
Oskulos had already been turned to dust, but the blade he left behind was still intact. The gray cat gave it a bite and accidentally lost a tooth as a result.
A blade that could break this cat’s tooth must be extraordinary. It absolutely must be a very special blade.
Czedow analysed the blade for a moment. One of the main elements that composed the blade didn’t exist in his database.
Czedow himself was created out of some very special materials, but this blade had nearly cut off his arm entirely. Of course, he could reattach his arms quickly even if they were cut off.
“Let’s decide what to do with this blade after Cillin wakes up,” Czedow set the blade aside and continued to analyse Oskulos’ genetic information.
Oskulos’ genes was far superior to any other Rank A genes he had seen so far. His constitution was several times stronger than even Rank A+ constitution, and it actually looked a little like Cillin’s genes. His DNA was more helical than others, and he had a lot less recessive genes.
Czedow cast another glance at Cillin while analysing Oskulos gene sample. Although Cillin was already starting to heal, his recovery was very slow probably because of the boosters he used earlier and his very severe wounds. Still, at least his vital signs were somewhat stable.
Not far away from Vanguard’s allocated zone, there was another starship that was parked in place.
Two people were seated next to a table inside a room.
The younger person of the duo was playing with a yoyo while staring at the man flipping and reordering cards on the other side of the table. It wasn’t like he understood what the man was doing; he was simply looking at him play because it was a novelty to him.
Suddenly, the man withdrew all of the revealed cards on the table, put them together, and picked up the topmost card of the deck. He flipped it open.
The person playing a yoyo grabbed his toy and paused for a second. Then, he asked, “What does that mean?”
He didn’t know what the patterns of the cards meant, but he had seen this card once in the past. When this card appeared last time, someone important in the army had passed away. So who was this unfortunate person this time?
Jiada said indifferently as he stared at the card, “Oksulos.”
The yoyo was crushed into bits.
The person shook off the crushed pieces of the yoyo and asked seriously, “Are you serious?”
Jiada cast a glance at him, “Since when have I joked about this thing?’
The person sucked in a deep breath, “If this is true, then first, congratulations, because you’ll be replacing Oskulos as one of the Six Stars of Hunt immediately.”
For balance’s sake, the hole must be replaced with a new Star Rank Hunter. Neither the Six Stars of Hunt nor the Four Heavenly Edict Generals could lack a single member.
Jiada didn’t express any joy at the person’s congratulations.
The person continued, “Second, this is seriously some good news. GAL is about to be thrown into disorder.”
Jiada set down another card as he said this. The man stared at the patterns on the card and frowned.
“How could this be?”
“How could what be?” The person asked curiously when he saw Jiada’s frown.
Jiada didn’t answer his question directly. Instead, he said, “Shortcut can be opened now.”
“That’s great news, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time already!”
When Cillin woke up, it was already night time on this planet.
Czedow had parked the spaceplane nearby while Cillin was sleeping, but both him and the gray cat stayed next to Cillin and watched over him.
When Cillin woke up, the gray cat happily rushed over to rub its ears on Cillin’s body before showing him the broken cat tooth on its paw, “Cillin, that blade broke one of my teeth!”
Cillin sat up and glanced at the blade Czedow was holding once, saying, “This is a pretty strange blade.”
Cillin then opened the gray cat’s mouth to give it a look, “Your new tooth’s grown already?”
“But of course!” The gray cat answered cockily.
Cillin rubbed his own head and pondered about his own condition. He had recovered a little, although a full recovery likely take some time still. The final blade wound especially was healing very slowly.
“Thank you for making it in time, both of you. If you were any later, you’d be attending my funeral instead.”
The gray cat immediately grew excited when this topic was brought up. It told Cillin how it felt that he was in danger, how it managed to identify where he was with its extraordinary senses, and what happened back at the base.
Cillin scratched the gray cat’s chin and asked, “How’s the base doing?”
“They’re okay. The starship left not long after we did,” Czedow answered.
“Didn’t you say that there’s a rescue team? Why hasn’t it shown up yet?” Cillin looked at the time. He had fainted for two calendar days straight.
Czedow’s eyes flashed once, “I only told them that you are safe.” He meant that he didn’t tell them their exact coordinates.
It was no wonder the rescue team didn’t show up.
“That’s not a bad idea. There’s no need for too many people to know what happened here.”
Cillin stood up and inserted the blade into his leaf patterned ring. Then, he looked around him once. Although it was night time, the small amount of light coming from the spaceplane’s direction still allowed him to see everything clearly.
“You’re the one who destroyed Oskulos’ body, so did you find the starmap pieces?” Cillin asked.
The gray cat opened its mouth and stretched out its tongue. There was a dull, gray, and completely average looking ring on it.
“A subspace container? You treat it like this and the subspace didn’t collapse?” Cillin accepted the ring and flicked the cat’s ears once.
“Do I look that stupid?” The gray cat lifted its chin proudly.
Cillin twitched his mouth in his mind: Now that, is a question.
Cillin took only the starmap inside the ring before tossing it back to the gray cat, “Keep this ring for your fish biscuits, but don’t move the memory cards and materials inside it carelessly. Trouble will visit us otherwise.”
If the military discovered that they were the ones who took out Oskulos, they would absolutely put them under tight observation.
The gray cat smiled so happily that its eyes turned into slits, “Okay!”
“Let’s go. It’s time to head back to the base. Come and lend me a hand, Czedow.”
Czedow lifted Cillin and supported him all the way back to the spaceplane because he was still a little wobbly on his feet. The gray cat walked in front of them with a raised tail.
However, all three of them looked up into the sky just before they got up the spaceplane.
“Who is that?” The gray cat flicked its ears once while looking up.
“It’s definitely not the Sixth B Squadron no matter who they are,” Cillin said.
Czedow’s eyes flashed once, “We have an incoming transmission from an outside source.”
“Connect them through.”
Jiada’s voice rang the moment the call came through.
“How do you feel?” Jiada asked smilingly.
Cillin stared at Jiada’s image and let out a sigh, “A Hunter should never allow their prey to have too much time to prepare, nor allow their prey to know them too well either. Otherwise, they may die an infuriating death one day.”
Cillin wasn’t the one who knew Oskulos well. Jiada was. Had Jiada not told Cillin so many of Oskulos’ habits, then there was no way he could’ve escaped from under his blade, much less turn the tables around and kill him.
Jiada didn’t say anything except that one line. He was simply informing Cillin that they were coming.
“I guess going back is starting to become an increasingly unlikely possibility. Czedow, is it possible for you to get in touch with the base?”
“There are interferences. I cannot link up with them,” Czedow looked at the sky, “Something outside is jamming the signal. Should we try hacking into their systems?”
“Forget it. Jiada must have his reasons if he dares show his face like this. Let’s see what happens and decide later.”