The war between humans and the Zergs had lasted for tens of thousands of years. Regardless of the era, both sides sought to become stronger by any means possible.
Currently, the Empire and the Federation were the last areas of human survival. They worked hard to maintain their homes while remaining vigilant against the Zerg forces eyeing their star systems.
Although the Zergs hadn’t launched a frontal attack in nearly a century, conflicts and skirmishes continued in the border systems. Everyone knew that this warlike species was merely waiting for an opportunity to break the long-standing peace and consume human civilization entirely.
Overall, while the Empire portrayed an image of a peaceful society, the name “Zerg” was not unfamiliar to anyone. However, for ordinary people, it often only existed in distant historical documentaries.
But now, this white-haired man had suddenly appeared before Lu Jingning without any warning, within their Empire’s territory. Everything about this situation seemed to be an extremely dangerous signal.
Lu Jingning couldn’t believe that Yan Hebin, who never cared about anything, had shown unusual concern regarding the Zergs. After discussing it with Wen Xingchen, they decided to report this highly serious discovery to the elder headmaster, Bing Cang.
That afternoon, Bing Cang received them in his office. The new headmaster’s office was located on the top floor of a building next to the central artificial lake of the campus. The interior was more like a large database than a luxurious room.
Through the floor-to-ceiling windows, they could see the tranquil ripples on the artificial lake, gently swaying under the breeze.
Seeing the three young figures standing before him, Bing Cang’s gaze swept over them one by one and finally settled on Yan Hebin. He furrowed his brows as if wanting to say something, but the words stopped at his lips, and he sighed deeply.
A few high-ranking professors stood not far away.
The director of the Academic Affairs Office, Zhu Zhai, paced back and forth restlessly, occasionally looking at Lu Jingning and the others. His footsteps quickened each time he looked their way.
Lu Jingning found him dizzying with his pacing and couldn’t help but break the uncomfortable silence. “Headmaster, do you mean to say that you knew about the Zergs already?”
Bing Cang glanced at him and smiled, “Quite perceptive.”
The worried expressions on their faces all wrote how to silence them. If they still couldn’t sense that something was wrong, they must be big fools.
Lu Jingning couldn’t help but roll his eyes internally. He asked directly, “So you’re saying that you high-ranking people have been hiding something from us. Tell us, for instance, is the recent attack by the space pirates also related to these bugs?”
At first, these two incidents seemed unrelated, but with the attitude of the school staff now, it reminded him of the recent strange internal changes in the Imperial Navy. He had already been suspicious about the pirate attack, and now, linking it to the Zerg, all the doubts strangely converged, pointing towards the same place, and the answer was almost within his grasp.
Bing Cang stood in place for a moment, then turned around, taking three documents from a drawer. “These are confidentiality agreements. Once you sign them, it means that everything discussed today cannot be revealed to anyone else. Of course, the more you know, the more you need to bear, and it also means that you will officially become a member of the Imperial Special Forces. In the future, you may undertake highly dangerous missions with a potential risk to your lives.”
As he spoke, his gaze was calm, as if he was examining them.
Lu Jingning glanced over the contents and asked, “Is this Imperial Special Forces some kind of military title?”
“That’s right, it’s under the military department,” Bing Cang confirmed.
“Great!” Lu Jingning smiled and boldly signed the document with a flourish, not hesitating in the least.
Wen Xingchen followed suit, picking up the pen.
Yan Hebin, too, had no hesitation.
Zhu Zhai, not far away, saw this and couldn’t help but widen his eyes. “Headmaster, are you sure you want them to…”
Bing Cang waved his hand, interrupting Zhu Zhai’s words. “It’s fine. Wen Xingchen and Lu Jingning are both born S-class individuals. They are bound to know these things sooner or later. As for Yan, with his temperament, he probably wouldn’t rest until he found out.”
At this point, Bing Cang smiled wryly, “Rather than letting him investigate alone afterward, it’s better to answer his doubts directly. It’s much better than getting into unnecessary danger because of this.”
Yan Hebin handed his signed agreement to Bing Cang, his expression as calm as ever, but his eyes revealed an unprecedented determination. He said to Zhu Zhai, “Director, I believe I have the right to know about these things.”
Zhu Zhai, knowing Yan Hebin’s background, didn’t know what else to say and finally impatiently waved his hand, “Whatever!”
Bing Cang put the confidentiality agreements back in the drawer and looked at the three of them, asking, “Does anyone remember when the last major battle with the Zergs took place?”
Wen Xingchen thought for a moment and said, “The Sphera Battle.”
Years ago, the Zerg suddenly gathered their forces and launched a massive attack. The Empire and the Federation fought side by side in the Sphera star system, engaging in a large-scale battle that lasted for a hundred years.
Countless heroes sacrificed on the battlefield during that war, and the soil of every planet in the Sphera star system had once been dyed crimson.
That battle was undeniably extremely brutal. According to incomplete statistics, millions of imperial soldiers lost their lives, and even hundreds of planets were completely destroyed due to the war, leaving no trace of life due to the high radiation of weapons. There were countless refugees forced to leave their homes, wandering aimlessly, searching for other desolate planets to rebuild their homes.
Fortunately, the battle ended in human victory, and since then, the Zerg had disappeared from sight for a century, never daring to invade again.
Listening to Bing Cang mentioning this, Lu Jingning’s eyes faintly flickered.
He felt that he was getting closer and closer to the answer he had been racking his brain for.
“Since the Sphera Battle, everyone believed that the Zerg could no longer pose a threat to us humans. However, in fact, since twenty years ago, the military has discovered traces of them in different regions. They didn’t completely give up, but are searching for a new opportunity.”
As Bing Cang spoke, he subconsciously glanced at Yan Hebin, his tone slightly heavy. “In the beginning, we didn’t know what they wanted to do until ten years ago, when a secret task force successfully acquired critical information on a distant, desolate planet. Before all members of the team disappeared, they managed to transmit this crucial intel back to the Empire.”
Yan Hebin’s face turned solemn, and where no one could see, his hands were already clenched into fists.
His father was a member of that secret task force.
He knew that, although the team was considered lost, everyone had assumed that the team members were mostly dead.
But he refused to believe it
Regardless of the enemy being Zergs or anyone else, one day, he would join the military and lead a fleet to the star system where his father had disappeared. Whether he had been utterly lost or sucked into a wormhole, he would bring his father back safely, no matter the cost.
Bing Cang noticed the changes in Yan Hebin’s expression and couldn’t help but sigh internally.
After Wen Xingchen finished speaking, he frowned. “So, what are these Zergs looking for?”
On the Watcher’s Island, there were obviously no high-energy, new-type weapons that the warlike race coveted. Instead, there were only unscrupulous merchants scattered throughout the major star systems. So, the only possibility was that those unlucky merchant groups carried something the warlike race desired.
Bing Cang looked up at the artificial lake outside and didn’t answer directly. Instead, he said, “Everyone knows that the Sphera Battle inflicted unprecedented damage on the Zergs, but very few people know how the victory was achieved.”
He paused slightly. “In reality, humanity was pushed to the brink of life and death. Under desperate circumstances, Marshal Hill, the highest commander of the military, had to take a risk and lead the top warriors deep into enemy territory. In the end, on the brink of desperation, he detonated all his pheromone energy within his body, sacrificing himself to thoroughly destroy the Zergs’ main energy source, the Toxic Night Crystal.”
Lu Jingning had heard from Lu Kongbin before that the Zerg possessed an absolutely powerful energy body, and it was through this energy body that their entire race continuously evolved, surpassing humanity.
But he had never imagined that the historic Zephyra Battle had such a significant event.
He opened his mouth in astonishment. “By destruction, you mean… it’s still usable?”
“Although Marshal Hill already had quasi-divine powers, he was only able to cause a slight crack in the Toxic Night Crystal. However, for the battle at that time, it was enough to be the crucial turning point. With their energy source cut off, the Zergs retreated one after another and were soon completely driven out of the star systems,” Bing Cang explained. Then he glanced at them. “As for now, one thing is certain—the Zergs are actively searching for the most powerful energy bodies in interstellar space to attempt to repair the Toxic Night Crystal.”
Lu Jingning fell silent.
To be honest, the amount of information was overwhelming, and he needed a moment to process it all.
But now that he knew the background, he finally understood why that white-haired man had chosen to target their merchant group. What started as a made-up “Star God’s Light” had turned out to be one of the legendary treasures containing extremely powerful energy.
After a moment of silence, Lu Jingning couldn’t help but ask the final question in his heart, “So, you’re saying the last time the interstellar pirates attacked us was because…”
Bing Cang apparently didn’t expect him to deduce this layer and smiled approvingly. “Yes, indeed. Underneath the campus of Imperial Navy Academy, there’s something they’ve coveted for a long time.”
This item had existed since the founding of the academy, but very few knew about it. It was still unclear how the Zergs obtained the information. They even took advantage of the interstellar pirates’ resentment. Thankfully, heroes emerged in their time of need, and the crisis was eventually overcome, although with some tense moments.
“Now that all your questions have been answered, let’s talk about the matters regarding the Imperial Navy Special Task Force,” Bing Cang’s eyes narrowed slightly. Before Lu Jingning could continue questioning, he smiled amiably at them. “First of all, congratulations on becoming a member of the Special Task Force. Now, let’s move on to your first mission.”
Lu Jingning: “……”
All he could say was that this old principal and Bing Yunlin were quite the pair. In the blink of an eye, he felt like they were being sold again.
Bing Cang, seemingly deep in thought, touched his chin. Then he seemed to have made a decision. “Recently, there’s a star network bounty competition in the 5292C star system with high visibility and decent rewards. Initially, I was considering who to send to represent our school, but now it seems like you guys will do just fine? That’s settled then. Remember to inform Wen Ye when you have the time.”
Lu Jingning: “????”
After so much discussion, shouldn’t they be sent to the frontlines? What kind of online bounty competition was this nonsense?!
Author’s Note: Heh, why do you always have to rely on your fists, Lu
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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