1197 A Change in Attitude
Jiang Fei was floored. What happened then was not how he had imagined in his head. He was preparing himself, for Akatziris to pop the question, "Do you love me?" But instead, the question she asked was something completely out of this world.
To be completely honest, Jiang Fei could not do it. Given any circumstance, Jiang Fei could not bring himself to actually end her life. He was still overwhelmed by guilt. Still, 0541's message about her, about Akatziris possibly being a factor that could change his life. But he could not be sure! Was it something positive? Or would it be something detrimental?
"Stop," Akatziris read Jiang Fei's body language and when she had already gotten the answer, she interjected him immediately. She smiled before turning her back to him. In that glimpse of a second, Jiang Fei saw a glint of emotion in her eyes.
"I'm… sorry," Jiang Fei apologized. He was never good at dealing with a woman's emotion, much less reciprocate their feelings. He would regret not learning about it if he knew that in that moment of hesitation, Akatziris had steeled her decision.
"We're done here. You can leave now," Akatziris barked out of the sudden. Her attitude changed instantly.
Jiang Fei could not deal with that sudden change and left the room. What he did not know was that 0543 was leaking information to Akatziris, the same way 0542 did. When all of Jiang Fei's attention was focused on Akatziris, he had failed to notice the ring's odd behavior. The ring was blinking madly, like fireworks in the sky, as it transferred all the latest information about Jiang Fei to Akatziris.
As of then, Akatziris knew the real reason why Jiang Fei came to visit her. Naturally, she was not happy with it. She would not lend Energy Crystals to Jiang Fei nor would she be working with him to attack the Unknowns.
"Let's go," said Jiang Fei, defeated, as he entered the oval hall where Ariel and Isabella were waiting.
The two nodded and walked along. They did not want to cause a scene as they were in enemies' territory. If anything happened, all they could do was teleport away. They made it to the Teleportation Pad and after all three humans were sent back to whence they came, Straz paced quickly to the room where Akatziris was.
"Leader, I have reasons to believe that Jiang Fei came here with not one motive in mind," said Straz.
"I know. He came here to steal Energy Crystals. Thanks to you, he could not steal from us," said Akatziris.
"What would he want energy for?"
"It's to build his own force. The martial artists were not aligned with him. He may have the best biotechnology facility and equipment, but he lacks the energy to actually use them," Akatziris explained.
"So it seems. It's funny. He may be the captain of the ship but he lacks the power to accomplish anything. Compared to Veigar, and to us, he's nothing but a piss-poor bloke," Straz sneered.
"Leave him be. If he had energy, we might not get away from him," Akatziris laughed bitterly before adding, "how is the ship?"
"We have made significant progress now. Based on the updated prediction, we will be finishing all construction by 20 days. After that, it would take another 50 days until the ship is battle-ready," said Straz.
"Mhm. I must warn you. I predict that Jiang Fei will come after 20 days to seize control of the ship. Be sure to increase all security then," said Akatziris. She knew everything Jiang Fei had done, had prepared to do, and would do in the future.
"Yes, leader. I will protect the ship with my life," said Straz. As he turned away, he stopped at the first step and turned around.
"Leader, I have detected several oddities in your behavior, do you wish to perform a system maintenance check?"
That was the least provocative way to tell Akatziris to behave herself. All the Unknowns that served Akatziris were only slaves to her. Akatziris had absolute authority over all of them, like the administrator of the system that controls the machine. Straz would want to directly address Akatziris for involving too many emotions but he could not, or rather, dare not to ask her directly.
"No need to beat around the bush. I know what I've done. You would never see anything of that sort again," said Akatziris with a stoic expression. It was so scary that Straz would never dare to "fix" Akatiziris ever again.
"I'll start organizing the security personnel for the hangar bay," Straz whimpered away.
As soon as Bennette Straz left the room, Akatziris slammed the table in front of her and gritted her teeth angrily.
"O my master, since you are not man enough to admit it, do not blame me for not being loyal!"
Jiang Fei was unhappy but that was the least of his problems. He got moody after he had returned to Earth and had a breather. All three plans to acquire more Energy Crystals had failed him tremendously. Worst of all, he could only blame himself.
"Darling, since we can't get any help from elder sister, I think we should try something else," Isabella came to Jiang Fei, who was frowning madly, and consoled him. It was an unexpected treatment since Isabella rarely talked to him in such a manner. She had earnestly thought that Akatziris was denying every request for help because of her. That was why she came to Jiang Fei with a better attitude.
"So it seems," Jiang Fei replied. Even though Akatziris was obviously trying to get back on him, Jiang Fei had to take all the punishment as he could not afford to have Akatziris pulling out of the alliance. Right now, the only way to quickly earn him some Energy Crystals was to steal from the enemy.
He might have lost Akatziris's help but he still had the martial artists. For this plan to work, Jiang Fei planned to go all out into coaxing the Level 5 grandmasters of the sects. Alone, he could never survive fighting the Unknowns.
He knew that there was nothing Earthly that could move the heart of the Level 5 fighter except Godblades. Whatever Valium he had originally was given to Isabella during the "Berserking" episodes. Fortunately, there was still some left after Isabella had recovered. It was not enough to reforge Zhanlu Sword but good enough to make smaller weapons, such as throwing stars and darts.
"0543, how much Valium do I have left?"
"5 grams and less."
"Should be good. Make a few small shrapnels with them. Mold them into dart tips. Try and make as many as you can."
Jiang Fei had very, very little Valium left. Fortunately, it was enough to meet Jiang Fei's requirements. With the thinnest coating, the dart tips that 0543 had made were extremely small. Even so, 0543 could only make five of them. Jiang Fei smirked with satisfaction as he held the small dart tips, no bigger than a rice grain. He could make good use of them since martial artists used them, to begin with. Unlike other Metahuman humans, martial artists, like Japan's shinobis, trained using weapons besides kicks and punches. Although rarely used in a fight, they were also trained in the use of hidden weapons. Poison darts were only one of the many weapons they used.