Chapter 33: Dan Hen
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“As a soldier, there is only one thing you need to do, and that is to obey commands,” the sergeant said coldly as he scanned the faces of everyone with a dark expression. “Don’t be a smartass about things that are not within your jurisdiction. We’ll begin getting into our groups now. Black Bird, Gray Bullet, Dark Assassin… The lot of you are in a group. Go behind that pile of rocks!”
The three associates of Yellow-tooth stood out upon hearing his instructions. As the Light Armor Warrior left, he glanced at Feng Luo mockingly. Feng Luo was expressionless.
“Sister I Want, Wing of the Sky… You lot go behind that thicket,” the sergeant continued. Two Manipulators and a Heavy Armor Warrior formed another team.
“Feng Zhi Luoye, Dan Hen, Marauder Swordsman. The three of you are in a group. Go somewhere near the coordinates −2210, 0705. Find a good spot to hide.”
The Scout who had shown disgust toward the Roaring Dragon Mercenary Group outside the Battle Command stood out. He seemed to be in his 30s. He wore a jungle camouflage military uniform, and his complexion was a pathological sallow, although a sense of sharpness could be seen in his eyes. After a standard military salute, the Scout grabbed his equipment and headed straight to the destination.
Marauder Swordsman walked slowly with an unhappy expression, mumbling in dissatisfaction, “Humph. It’s just a game. Is there really a need to be like this? One after another, they’re all sick!” He was the Light Armor Warrior who had tried to show off just now.
“Soldier?” Feng Luo asked the player a few steps behind him. It was the man with the ID name called “Dan Hen.” Dawn was still a few hours away, and if he did not find someone to talk to, it would be difficult to endure the wait. Plus, Feng Luo had noticed earlier that this player hadn’t been impressed by the Roaring Dragon Mercenary Group, so he did not have to worry about his opinion of Feng Luo’s “wanted” status, as posted by the group.
“Retired!” answered Dan Hen.
The man had a scar that covered half of the right half of his face. It looked like an old gunshot wound, giving him an appearance that was a bit striking. When players created characters in War, they could choose to change the outer appearances. Dan Hen had not done that, and with that name, he was probably someone with a story.
“Which regimen?” Feng Luo asked.
He was definitely interested. Although the world he entered was a unified federation, it still had a standing army. Army service was not compulsory. Everything was voluntary.
The main task of the military was not for war between member nations of the Federation. Rather, it was mainly to protect space routes and resource extraction on various planets. It was safe to say that in this world, most of the locations where soldiers served were planets that were not yet fully developed, space stations, or space battleships. It was quite different from soldiers back on Earth.
“T-456 fleet, Third Marine Corps,” answered Dan Hen. “Main task was to patrol the area near the 23rd Administrative Planet!” There was a sense of yearning in Dan Hen’s tone, and the sharp gaze in his eyes also seemed to have softened a bit.
Marauder Swordsman walking behind them suddenly interjected at that moment. His lips curled upward as he said in an arrogant and mocking tone, “A big soldier, huh? What’s the effing use…? Stuck in stinky protective uniforms, not able to see a woman for months at a time. And barely any entertainment joints to visit. There’s only so little money after retirement. Not even enough to buy a house in Sector 11—not even on par with a single month of my spending money.”
He had been protected by the NPCs earlier and had embarrassed himself in front of everyone. The reason he spoke up now was to attempt to use his sense of superiority to regain some dignity—to try to shift the awkwardness to someone else. Unfortunately, the two people in front of him did not pay any attention to him. They only continued their conversation. Their expressions and behaviors clearly showed that he was being ignored.
Anger flashed in Marauder Swordsman’s eyes. “Damn it!”
The feeling of being ignored was undoubtedly even worse than the prior feelings of awkward embarrassment. The thought process of a second-generation tycoon who spent his life as the center of attention was something ordinary people could not easily comprehend.
The ambush location the three of them were assigned to was positioned on the right side of the intersection at the front of Dark Moon Valley. It was essentially the first layer of the ambush circle.
The difficulty of defending this place is hardly low, thought Feng Luo. Considering the terrain of the valley, if the enemies wanted to retreat, there was a high chance they would choose this place. Based on the intelligence level of the system in War, assignments are normally based on strength evaluation. In this case, whether it is Dan Hen beside me or the second-generation rich kid called Marauder Swordsman behind me, they must be players with decent strength according to the evaluation of the system.
One could forget about the wealthy kid. After all, he was fully equipped with high-level items, so it was normal for him to receive a high valuation.
The defensive equipment on Dan Hen’s body, however, seemed to be pretty ordinary, especially considering he was a Scout. There was definitely some other reason he had received such a high evaluation. In addition, he did not seem to like the Roaring Dragon Mercenary Group. Perhaps they could become friends. Feng Luo was not a person who liked to exclude others. In fact, as a mercenary, he had needed to learn how to build good relationships with his associates. At the very least, it was wise to ensure that they would not shoot you in the back on the battlefield.
After reaching the ambush position, Feng Luo used the dim moonlight to observe the surroundings in detail. In the end, he found a reasonable sniping position. He cleared a space and set up his M110.
He closed his left eye while his right eye inched toward the scope. He looked into the scope and found that everything in view was pitch black. The light entering the scope was insufficient; even if he were to equip a night vision, it was hard to say whether he would be able to shoot accurately in such an environment.
With light like this, it was practically impossible to snipe. It was a good thing that, based on the intel, the ETA of the mission target was at dawn. By then, the conditions for sniping ought to be sufficient!
After setting up the M110, Feng Luo turned around and discovered that Dan Hen had procured his main weapon from his backpack: a submachine gun with a silver glow that looked similar to an MP-5.
“Nice gun!” he said.
“Death Messenger, Level-45 Excellent-grade weapon,” said Dan Hen. “Fastest firing rate is 350 rounds per minute. Perfect evaluation. A modified item!” He touched the gun with pride. His tone indicated that he was showing off a little.
A Scout could use daggers, stilettos, and other close-quarters combat weapons, as well as submachine guns, automatic rifles, and other mid-range and long-range weapons. A submachine gun with a Perfect evaluation and Excellent grade, when modified properly, would be on par with a piece of Rare-grade equipment.
Feng Luo understood why the system had evaluated Dan Hen so strongly. It seemed like his normal defensive equipment was just a front—the man was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“M110, Level-35 Excellent weapon. I created it myself!” Feng Luo said to Dan Hen while patting the butt of the M110.
Although the gap between their guns was 10 whole levels, the fact that he had created it himself filled him with confidence.
“You created this gun yourself?” said Dan Hen. “I never would have thought that you were actually a gun mechanic, Brother Feng. Moreover, your level probably isn’t low, right? A piece of Excellent-grade equipment—only advanced-level life profession players can create something like this!”
Dan Hen did not try to hide his shock. Moreover, the way he called Feng Luo “Brother Feng” showed that Dan Hen’s emotional sensibilities weren’t nearly as cold as his outer appearance would have led one to believe.
“I reached Expert level not that long ago!” Feng Luo said, smiling slightly.
“Expert Gun Mechanic! How strong!” Dan Hen said, giving Feng Luo a thumbs up. The phrase was filled with genuine sincerity. Then he paused and went silent for a while before asking, “Brother Feng, did you start a feud with the Roaring Dragon Mercenary Group?”
“I was ambushed by their people, and I killed a few of them in retaliation,” said Feng Luo. “Then I hung up on a call with an idiot known as ‘Roaring Dragon Ruinous Star.’ But I never would have thought that they would actually place a bounty on a nobody like me!”
Feng Luo did not hide anything. In truth, this was the effect he had wanted when he’d revealed the information about his life profession level.
Even in large player groups, players who had reached the Expert level were few and far between—even among players who trained specifically in life professions. This was because increasing life profession levels in War was not done purely through simple equipment manufacturing to accumulate experience. Without luck and talent, it was extremely difficult to become an Expert. In the game’s current version, any Expert-level life profession players would be highly valued. It was enough to receive invitations from most powers in the game.
“Roaring Dragon Ruinous Star!” said Dan Hen. A look of recognition filled his face as he repeated that name. He smiled at Feng Luo. “Brother Feng, I won’t hide it from you. I am someone from the Veterans Tribe!”
Roaring Dragon Mercenary Group. Veterans Tribe. These were the two strongest forces in Silvermoon City, and they were also two rival forces that competed against each other.