Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Notes: The story has slowed down a bit, I know. But trust me, you won’t want to miss them, because they are setups for the future.
Chapter 92: Operation Begin
Sector Z might be called the Black Triangle, but it wasn’t really completely black. It was marked black on GAL’s star map simply because it was an undeveloped zone.
Cary looked at the screen displaying the outside sceneries and mumbled to himself, “This place seriously does not resemble its name.”
Not unlike the other Sectors, the scenery outside the starship was filled with glittering stars. However, according to their knowledge, the life forms in this Sector were incredibly dangerous, and magnetic anomalies happened frequently as well.
There were small teams made up of specialized personnel on the main starship that were responsible for scanning and probing. Going by the standard rules, they’d have to probe at least ten planets whenever they reached an undeveloped zone, or the Vanguard would lose face otherwise.
The outer zones of Sector Z had already been explored, and some of these explorations were carried out by the Vanguard themselves. However, no Hunter regiment would explore and calculate the statistical data of more than a specific number of planets each time. Probing too many planets in one go was inadvisable. Exploration did not equal giving up one’s lives, and it was fine to perform within one’s capabilities. At the very least, one must recognise their own limits.
After roughly looking through the star map, Shawton selected a course. The course went into Sector Z at a certain angle, but not too deeply. Steps should be taken one by one.
The partial results of the probing team would transmitted to the six B Squadrons connected to the main ship at the same time.
Cary sighed as he watched the data displayed on the screen. This was the third planet they’d probed after arriving at Sector Z. There was one planet at Rank C planetary habitability, and two planets at Rank D.
The so-called planetary habitability referred to the measure of a planet’s habitability to human life. Normally, it was divided into four ranks of A, B, C and D. Rank A meant that the planet was extremely suitable for human life, and if such a planet was discovered, then the Sixth Squad would immediately rise to fame and be rewarded with a huge sum of wealth.
Rank B planets were just okay. The planet’s condition could not be considered great, but it was still sufficient to make do. But while many Rank B planets were not very suited for human life, they were suited for other life forms. Therefore, many great families would purchase such planets specifically for breeding purposes.
Rank C meant that a planet was unsuitable for living. Its environmental conditions would not allow human beings to live naturally on it for a prolonged period of time. Rank D meant that the planet was extremely unsuited for human beings to live in. It was not a problem of time, and simply that humans could not live naturally on such a planet at all.
If the planetary habitability of a planet was rank D, then all they needed to do was to send out probes to search and collect samples, record parameters and coordinates etc. However, these were the technicians’ jobs and had nothing to do with Cary whatsoever.
But if the planetary habitability was Rank C, then it would not be just the probes’ work. It would also involved the dispatchment of operation teams to search, explore, collect live specimens and sort out the evolution of life on the planet.
When Cary heard that one of the planets was Rank C, he immediately jumped to his feet and got ready to grab his weapons. But contrary to his expectations, Shawton had sent another small team down the surface to conduct the operation instead. The team did not discover much at all on the planet, and the evolutionary grade of its life forms were relatively low as well. There wasn’t even a single high grade plant to be found. Still, Cary was bored out of his wits and wouldn’t mind taking his mind off on a simple stroll.
In boredom, Cary glanced at Dough who was rolling on the floor with the gray cat. He chuckled and grabbed Dough’s tail before it sensed the danger, rolled it into a ball, and tossed it against the wall like a ball. He grabbed Dough when it bounced off the wall, tossed it again, then grabbed it again when it bounced back.
The gray cat’s eyes turned round with widened pupils when it saw this. Its head followed Dough’s trajectory, and it jumped right before Dough hits the wall and, smack!
“Not bad. I guess you have some use beyond eating and sleeping after all.”
As he said this, Cary tossed Dough, who had bounced back to his hand at the wall from a different angle this time, but it was smacked right back by the cat again.
He switched a tossing angle, and was return served by the cat right away. He switched again, and it was returned just the same…
The one man and one cat had quite a lot of fun playing.
“Attention to all teams, a planet at planetary habitability Rank B has been discovered. All teams be prepared!”
Dough smacked against the wall. It was no longer being smacked around since both Cary and the gray cat’s attentions were drawn to the news.
Everyone was gathered in front of the screens closest to their positions. The screens were displaying the results of the probing and analysis team’s findings.
“Low atmospheric pressure and PO2, slightly strong radiation… hey this is just fine really; it shouldn’t be a problem even without protective suits!” Cary stared at the monitor and said excitedly.
A planet at planetary habitability Rank B wasn’t easy to discover, and a Rank C planet was already enough to excite Cary for half a day. A Rank C planet normally required only the dispatchment of one team. However, a Rank B planet normally required the dispatchment of all available teams.
The group began preparing themselves with the information gleaned from the images, and the analysed data and a variety of parameters transmitted back by the probes. Each of the six B Squadrons must first send a vanguard to head out.
Seeing that Cillin, Xiao Shang, Ba Dao and Cary were all in the vanguard team, Tang Qiuqiu wanted to follow them as well.But Dias turned down her request and put her in the second team to be dispatched to the planet instead. A Rank B planet meant that there were plenty of life forms around, and no matter what evolutionary grade they were at, no matter how similar they were to humans, and no matter what level of civilisation they were at, the living beings on this planet could not be underestimated! Even plants had a time at which they preyed on human flesh.
Tang Qiuqiu was young after all, and her adventure experience was absolutely incomparable to the others. Therefore, for her own safety, Dias turned down Tang Qiuiqu’s request to join the vanguard team.
Seeing that Cary and the others had left, Dough slowly crawled beneath Eudy’s feet with a heavily injured appearance. It hugged Eudy’s trouser leg and looked incredibly wronged. It wanted to make an appeal; it was tortured!
Eudy sipped his cup of tea calmly, “You can rob Cary’s cabinet today.”
Dough, who was just looking weak and depressed immediately turned as excited as a chameleon on chicken blood*. It turned its head and immediately ran towards Cary’s room, crawling ridiculously quick without a hint of the injured look from before.
*An ancient Chinese pseudo-medical therapy
On the other side.
The gray cat most naturally followed Cillin into the aircraft, and when Cary saw it, he touched the gray cat with his gun and asked, “What are you following us for?”
The gray cat answered with a matter-of-fact look and expectation, “Of course I’m out here to hunt for food.”
Cary choked before asking Cillin, “Cillin, aren’t you worried that this little thing might run into trouble?”
Cillin swept a glance at the gray cat at his feet shaking its head rhythmically in self-narcissism and said, “It may not necessarily do worse than you.”
“Yeah, I may not necessarily do worse than you.” The gray cat answered.
Yeah, no! Don’t think I can’t hear that disdain in your tone just because you switched a word order!
Cary knocked the gray cat’s head once with his gun, “I heard that cats and tigers are of the same ancestry. We’re about to set off, so why don’t you give us a loud and domineering roar to boost our morale.”
Cary was thinking of cracking down on this gluttonous and lazy cat, but contrary to his expectations, the gray cat really did open its mouth.
“Remember that we’re on an aircraft.” Cillin reminded it.
The gray cat’s widening mouth paused for a moment, and adjusted itself for a moment. Then it drew in a deep breath and, ROAR!
The communicators of all six vanguard teams in the six aircrafts were all on. The main ship’s communication channel was open as well. And so, a sudden roar that was like a giant, prehistoric beast’s blew everyone out of their minds. The aircraft Cillin and the others were in even drew an S shape flight path in the air. The pilot was so shocked just now he nearly leaped off his seat.
Is that a beast roar?
But where’s the beast then?
Is it a sound effect purposely played for the occasion?
“Dias, what’s going on?!” On the main ship, Shawton immediately shouted at Dias.
“Ahem, uh, it’s just one of our team members letting out a roar to well, boost morale…” Dias wiped his sweat and stared at the slightly dazed Cary and the gray cat that was licking its paws nonchalantly after the roar, thinking, this is truly our team’s cat alright.
The six aircrafts that had flown out of the starship were headed towards six separate locations on the relatively green colored planet upfront.
After scanning the terrain and confirming the landing spot, the aircraft descended and activated its defense system. The ‘Sentry’ were released and scattered around the aircraft in a regular pattern. The hatch opened after safety had been confirmed, and the first one to come out wasn’t the lieutenant commander Dias, but the gray cat.
The gray cat jumped out impatiently as it twitched its nose and sucked in a deep breath, letting out a deep sigh, “The smell of food!” Then it moved all four limbs and ran off.
“Ignore it. We do what we came here to do.” Cillin said.
Dias nodded. Since they had split the task earlier on the starship already, there was no need to any additional explanation, “Begin the op.”
Everyone wore protective suits and masks on their faces. Other than shielding radiation, resisting pressure, and maintaining constant body temperature, the main purpose of the protective suit was to prevent direct contact with poisonous plants. Since this was an unknown planet with unknown species on it, it was necessary to take every precaution. The protective suit was equipped with weapons, and everyone’s rig was different from the other. They were chosen and arranged in a way that was most familiar and convenient to the user.
The masks were equipped with a scanner that had zoom-in, filter, lock-on and more options. They provided many kinds of vision while enabling the user to lock onto their targets. Such equipment did cost a lot of money, and it also proved the words Cary had said earlier that this was a money burning business.