Chapter 106: Don’t Be Scared, We’ll Cover You
While Cary was speaking, Cillin saw a spaceplane entering the planet from outer space, flying towards Dias’ mining spot.
“Cillin, do you want to go and have a look?” Enji asked.
Before Cillin could answer, his communicator rang. It was Shawton.
“Cillin, come over for a second. Dias is here too. Bring Wheeze with you as well.”
“Alright, I’ll be there right away.” Breaking off the connection, Cillin turned his head towards Enji and said, “Let’s go together.”
Enji nodded, putting away the tools in his hand. The gray cat ate faster and finished all of the crab meat, and just as it was about to jump up Cillin’s shoulder, Cillin caught it in mid-air, “Go take a bath first.”
If his guess was correct, the A Squadron’s key focus of this trip would be the energy ores, and the gray cat.
There were many people inside the Sixth Squadron who either overlooked some of the gray cat’s performance, or simply had not thought about it due to their lack of knowledge towards cyborgs. But Cillin believed that there were plenty of people in the squad who were guessing towards that direction already. Although Cillin thought that the A Squadron’s outlook of the gray cat was positive, they had not actually declared their stance yet after all. He believed that they would know where the Vanguard’s top management stood in regards of the gray cat during this meeting.
Before he led Cillin up the spaceplane, Dias patted Cillin’s shoulders and said, “Don’t worry, everything’s going better than you think.”
Naturally, Cillin understood the hidden meaning behind his words. He gave him a smile and and made a ‘got it’ hand gesture.
This spaceplane did not belong to the Sixth B Squadron. Although its structure was similar, the symbol on the spaceplane was not entirely so. It was still a dagger symbol, but there were also additional patterns that were missing from the Sixth Squad’s.
Someone was already waiting for him at the hatch. When the person saw Cillin, he came over and led the way cordially. Cillin did not recognise anyone they ran into along the way, so they were probably people from the A Squadron. These people paid little attention to Cillin before moving their gaze to the arrogant-looking cat on Cillin’s shoulders. It was a rather interesting sight.
Cillin was led to the entrance of a meeting room, “This is the place.” The man knocked on the door before yelling, “Boss, I’ve brought your man!”
“Got it. Now get lost!”
Cillin had never heard this voice before.
The man continued to smile ingratiatingly and opened the door for Cillin, saying, “Well, I’ll be getting lost now. Just go in.”
Cillin entered the meeting room. It was a small-sized meeting room with a small table seated with three people at the side. He recognised Shawton, but not the other two people. He had a feeling that these two strangers were pretty strong, not to mention that they both had rather distinguishing qualities. One of them had a very long chin. He did not look like a normal human, and his beard was almost long enough to reach his stomach. The other person wore a big, black hat on top of his head, and the hat’s brim covered nearly half his face. His eyes were hidden just like his emotions were, and his silence and motionlessness only caused greater pressure to the people around him. The only people chatting inside the meeting room were beardy and Shawton.
“Come here, Cillin. Let me introduce you to these two seniors,” Shawton pointed at beardy and said, “This is Barthes, former commander of the Eighth B Squadron.” Then Shawton pointed at the other person sitting on the chair and said, “This is Songba Leruo, former commander of the Second B Squadron.”
In Hunter regiments, the older generation would often be addressed deferentially as senior. This was because many people of the newer generation were brought up by them, which was why anyone with the title ‘senior’ had large influence within their Hunter regiments.
“Good day, seniors.”
“Like hell it’s good. We travelled all the way here and Shawton isn’t willing to even make tea for us.” Barthes complained while toying with his long beard.
Shawton was familiar with Barthes’ character since a long time ago, so he directly ignored this line of complaint.
“Hey, why so shy? Come here and have a seat.” Barthes pointed at a chair at the side.
Cillin looked at the chair, then at Barthes before walking to a different chair that’s not the one Barthes pointed at and sat down. Barthes’ face immediately contorted while Shawton laughed most cheerfully at the side.
Songba Leruo, who had been quiet all this time let out a short laugh and spoke with a deep and low voice, “Hey beardy, you bet you pay, so you either pay up or sign me a promissory note right now. I still have loads of Vanguard bills with me anyway.”
Barthes humphed, “It’s only two hundred thousand GAL credits, how can I not afford such a small amount of money? Why on earth would I sign something as shitty as a promissory note?”
With a bang, Barthes slapped a debit card on the table and said, “There’s more than two hundred thousand credits in this thing. You two split it among yourselves and return the rest of it to me.”
“This card sure looks familiar.” Songba Leruo said, “Did you steal Manny’s card again?”
“Tsk! How would someone with my morals possibly steal her card?!” Barthes folded his arms together and said looking pleased with himself, “She forgot her card again during lunch so I brought it for her in passing. She only has so many passwords, so just test them all until you get the right one.”
Cillin: “…” These people sure have ‘amazing’ morals!
Barthes turned his head and looked at Cillin, “Hey brat, you made me lost my bet. How are you going to compensate me?”
Barthes pointed at the chair that was tampered with. Anyone who sat on it was guaranteed to have their asses blown apart, but most people would not have noticed the trap at all. Only those with incredibly good observation skills or sensory skills would know it.
“What do you want?” Cillin asked.
Barthes stroked his long beard and pointed at the gray cat on Cillin’s shoulder, “I want it.”
“Sure, this little guy still owes me a debt. If you can clear out its debt, then you can have it no problem.” Cillin nodded.
The gray cat stared bright and round-eyed at Barthes. Debt settlement? That’s great! Once it’s paid it could regain its freedom.
“How… how much?” Barthes asked.
Cillin showed five fingers, “Five hundred million. GAL credits.”
Barthes put on a straight face and said, “Alright, that’s enough banter. Let’s talk about business!”
That line of conversation changed pretty quick.
“It was only four hundred million, you bastard, wait, it was only three hundred plus million!” The gray cat slapped Cillin’s face with its front paw and corrected his mistake.
Barthes looked at the gray cat, and his solemn expression immediately blossomed like a flower once more, “Hey, little cat, come here and let’s have a chat.”
The gray cat glanced at the guy who had zero intentions to settle its debt at all, walked over with elegant steps and, jump!
Under the quartet’s gazes, the gray cat clung onto to beardy’s beard and swung back and forth like it was a toy. It even pulled at it as if giving vent to its anger.
“Ow, be gentler, little cat. Listen here. A person of integrity should pay their own debts, get it?” Barthes said.
Both Shawton and Songba Leruo looked at him from the corner of their eyes: Integrity? Are you sure you have such a thing?
The gray cat cocked its head in ponderment. He’s right. It’s just too catbarassing to let someone else pay its own debt, and it’s beneath its dignity!
Releasing Barthes’ beard, the gray cat jumped back up Cillin’s shoulder.
“Hey, don’t be angry little cat. If anything happens in the future you can just come to us. We’ll cover for you. There’s nothing to be afraid of even if it’s those bastards from the military!”
Barthes sounded like he was joking, but in truth his words also represented the Vanguard’s bearing in this matter. Cillin smiled and nodded towards Barthes to indicate his thanks.
They didn’t ask too many questions and chatted casually for a moment. The only thing that was important was to transmit their stance. Before long, Cillin departed from the meeting room.
After Cillin had left, real seriousness finally replaced Barthes’ cheerful outlook, “Shawton, we received intel when we came that Poison Fang has entered Sector Z.”