Chapter 1354: Obvious Plot
After confirming Jiang Fei’s identity, Alexis’ fleet quickly deployed a welcoming party to safely guide his shuttle to dock with Redstone.
Alexis jumped at Jiang Fei and questioned him as soon as he returned to the bridge.
“Fei! Where have you been!?”
The shuttle that he drove back was clearly something that he could never afford. Something must have happened during his absence.
“I was chasing after the Galactic Specter and failed tremendously since the patrol ship was too slow. On my way back, I stumbled across my master,” said Jiang Fei, purposely introducing his master.
Alexis gasped. “Your master?”
Jiang Fei had only just come from Earth and trained to be part of the Valsalrian Army. The only master of his that Alexis knew of was Ottogackt, and surely he would not be in this system.
“Yea, he spotted me using the patrol ship and was mad about my appearance. So, he gave me the shuttle so as to not embarrass myself,” said Jiang Fei.
“When did you get yourself a master? How am I only hearing about this now? That thing is something that even I can’t buy, how could your master just give it away like that?” asked Alexis, doubting Jiang Fei’s words.
“Hehe. My master is… well… not the most honest person since the things he owns are never bought.”
Jiang Fei scoffed. The mere thought of Theon buying something was laughable.
“Never bought…? Who is he?” asked Alexis suspiciously.
He had a bad feeling about Jiang Fei’s master and immediately thought of someone…
“His name is Theon. I’m sure you have heard of him,” said Jiang Fei, grinning from ear to ear.
“Heh… I knew it…” said Alexis, laughing bitterly.
Theon was the first person that came to mind when Jiang Fei mentioned that his master never bought anything that he owned. Alexis already had his suspicions about Theon and Jiang Fei since Sarila told him about their little adventure in his own treasure vault.
Even though he didn’t want to have anything to do with that plunderer, Alexis remained adamant about building a relationship with Jiang Fei. Perhaps Jiang Fei would be kind enough to help Alexis persuade Theon to stop robbing his vault.
“Commander, what of the war? What is the situation now?” asked Jiang Fei.
From what he saw while he was docking on Redstone, he concluded that it had been a while since their last sortie. To make things worse, most of the patrol ships were gone, only half of the Corvette class ships were left, and a few Destroyers were missing, presumably destroyed.
Alexis sighed heavily as he sat down.
“Aino… the bastard sent my fleet to be damned twice. Just look at it! I’ve lost more than half of my ships and soldiers! Argh…”
Alexis sulked as he complained. He had tried everything he could to get as far as possible from the fight but alas, he had eventually run out of tricks.
Aino vaguely remembered the incident with the blockade and refused to let go of his anger towards Alexis. As such, he used his authority as a Chief Fleet Commander to assign Alexis to carry out suicide missions.
Nevertheless, being the war veteran that he was, Alexis had managed to survive both death missions and return alive, albeit battered and bruised.
“Commander, we have received a transmission,” said the captain of the Hypercruiser.
“Speak of the devil!” Alexis roared disgruntledly as he laid back on his chair.
“Patch it through,” he said after a long silence.
No matter how discontented he was with Aino, military rules prohibited him from rejecting a call from a superior officer.
“Alexis, I am assigning your fleet to XXX,XXX,XXX. Work with the allied fleet to attack the retreating Federation fleet,” said Aino with a poker face.
Alexis saluted and acknowledged the order even though he was cursing in his mind. “Aye, Chief Commander!”
As soon as the transmission ended, Jiang Fei came to Alexis and asked, “What about the mission?”
“Mhm. He’s a bastard alright but at least he’s not sending us on another suicide mission. But f*ck him either way! This mission is going to cost me more than half of my men!” Alexis barked.
Their mission was to stop the retreating ships of the Federation fleet. Aino’s own fleet was tasked to kill those who were retreating from the front, an easy task since they were completely exposed. Aino would be easily racking up kills, while those who were supposed to stop them from retreating would be in for a fight.
When one was running for their life, what would they do if someone were to stand in their way? Desperate, they would fight for an escape route or die trying. To make things worse, the retreating fleet consisted of ships that were superior to Alexis’ Hypercruiser!
How would Alexis stop a fleet of Hypercruisers with just one of his own as well as several battered Destroyers and Corvettes? It was like sending in hamsters to stop a stampede of wildebeest!
The predicted outcome was the decimation of Alexis’s fleet while the Federation fleet tore apart what remained to escape. By then, whether or not Alexis survived the mission, Aino would push the blame onto Alexis for failing to stop the escape of the Federation’s fleet.
Either way, Alexis would not come out of this looking good.
“What do you plan to do?” asked Jiang Fei.
“I’m not going to grace that question with an answer,” said Alexis, tired of repeating the inevitable outcome for disobeying a direct order.
Right now, all he could hope for was a resupply order from the main command, or he would be utterly destroyed by Aino’s foolish orders.
In a few minutes, what remained of Alexis fleet aligned themselves into formation. With Redstone leading the charge, the fleet was heading towards certain doom.
“Finally… it’s time for a space battle!” said Jiang Fei to himself.
He was excited since it would be his first real space battle. Although he took part in fighting the pirates alongside Domingoa, it was not as epic as he remembered since he had been interrupted by the Ultralisk.
After six hours of cruising at sub-light speeds, Alexis’ fleet arrived at their assigned position and was supposed to wait for the retreating Federation fleet.
“Send out the Wayfinders,” ordered Alexis.
He wanted to make sure that the surrounding area was clear of enemies so he could ambush them later. Countless Wayfinders were dispatched to remain on alert for any incoming signals. Two hours later, a Wayfinder pinged a signal back, indicating an enemy fleet.
“Dammit! That bastard Aino is clearly plotting against me!” roared Alexis when he read the report and noticed the leading fleet.
Through radar and powerful optical capture, Jiang Fei was able to see the fleet. Based on the captain’s explanation, the leading fleet consisted of 12 Brown Bear class Hypercruisers, the standard orthothox cruisers of the Trade Federation.
In general, Hypercruisers were powerful in both offence and defense but the Brown Bears possessed thicker armor as well as a wider array of weaponry. They were generally stronger than Alexis’ Hypercruiser, and Alexis was supposed to fight against 12 of them!
To make things worse, behind the 12 Brown Bears, there were over 50 Bombardier class Corvettes. Those things were as weak as paper but Bombardier class ships were armed with two Javelin missile launchers.
Although Javelins had a short range, their damage was strong enough to easily penetrate a Hypercruiser’s outer hull and destroy it in just two bombardments.