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"Come now, handsome one. There's no need to chase me away so soon. Do tell, what did you do? Who did you wrong?" asked Kaa'lna, smiling from ear to ear.

Jiang Fei scoffed, "It's none of your business."

"Ever heard of the phrase 'curiosity killed the cat'? I'm obviously one of those kinds of people who are always curious about the unknown," said Kaa'lna.

She then noticed Sarila, who was slowly approaching her.

"How about you, little kitty? Would you tell me?"

In that instant, her eyes glowed with a faint blue hue, reflecting a bit of light from Sarila's own.

Sarila answered obediently, "We were sent here by Lord Aino."

Kaa'lna hissed through her tiny fangs. "That son of a b*tch!"

"Enough!" bellowed Jiang Fei.

In a fit of rage, Jiang Fei lunged towards Kaa'Ina, unleashing a flurry of psychic attacks. When he attacked her earlier while she was hiding in the shadows, he had only used a weak attack. It could not kill and would merely disorient its target.

Consumed by his anger, Jiang Fei forgot to limit his powers this time. A vast amount of psychic energy materialized as a hammer and smashed into the catgirl. She was strong, but when it came to psychic abilities, Jiang Fei was the clear winner.

Before his time with Theon, Jiang Fei's abundant psychic energy had been like a pool of water. Without the proper training and refinement, he may have been able to remain unaffected by psychic attacks from others, but he would never have been able to tap into his own powers and turn it into a weapon.

Crack… psssh!

A gemstone that hung around Kaa'lna's neck shattered.

"What a powerful psychic attack!" she thought to herself.

The stone in her necklace was not just for decoration. It resonated with her own psychic powers and served to help her defend against psychic attacks that she could not fend off on her own.

It was not as strong as one that could trap an ethereal being, as it could only serve as a one-time defence. Once the gem was shattered, there would be no second chance.

"Wait! Wait! This is a misunderstanding!" cried Kaa'lna as she took several steps back while conjuring a psi-shield, hoping that it could at least soften the next blow to make it non-lethal.

However, she was well aware that if the gem had been destroyed by Jiang Fei's attack, she had no hope of blocking it on her own.

Realizing that he had overstepped his bounds, Jiang Fei quickly reigned himself in. His attack was clearly too strong, it had consumed roughly one-third of the Core of Will's energy capacity. He didn't care about how much energy he lost, but the fact that he had nearly impulsively killed a girl scared him.

"Master, why have you sentenced me to such cruelty?!" thought Jiang Fei to himself, swearing to practice more reservation in his attacks.

Out loud, he said, "Get lost."

"Dear me… I think we've started off on the wrong foot. Can we start over? Perhaps you could hear me out?" pleaded Kaa'Ina.


"If you don't leave, I'll make sure that you regret ever being born!" said Jiang Fei in a voice so deep that it reverberated within her soul.

"S-Sorry for bothering you… I'll be leaving now."

Apologizing profusely, Kaa'Ina promptly left the building. She of all people knew how hard life on Dhiras was. The strong ruled over the weak with an iron fist. Since Jiang Fei was clearly the stronger of the two, she did not think twice about following his instructions.

Disappointed at how she had presented herself, Kaa'lna thought that it would probably be awhile before she could show herself to Jiang Fei again. To be honest, there was nothing she wanted more than to join Jiang Fei, as she had also been sent here by Aino.

Jiang Fei was a new member of the Valsalrian Army, while Sarila was too low-ranking to know about matters circulating around the higher-ups. Everyone else with enough clearance would know who Kaa'Ina is and how she ended up at the Tallgeese Advanced Outpost.

Jiang Fei had been briefly informed about the cause of the war between the Trade Federation and the Valsalrian Army. It all started because Aino's son had tried to get his hands on a beautiful girl.

Whilst trying to show off his power and impress her, he ended up making several enemies and wronging the entire Trade Federation. In the end, he'd died while attempting to prove the might of his ill-gotten fleet.

The girl that Aino's son had been trying to court was none other than Kaa'Ina herself.

She had been damned the moment she rejected Aino's son's proposal. Since she had indirectly caused the death of his beloved son, Aino had gone to hell and back just to punish her!

Whether or not she was truly guilty of his son's death did not matter. Only caring about his reputation, Aino had captured her anyways and abused his power to send her to the edge of the universe, to serve in the Tallgeese Advanced Outpost.

To a certain extent, Kaa'Ina was innocent. If the lecherous boy had not been such a spoiled brat, he would not have tried to attack the Federation just to impress her. Alas, though she was not the direct cause of his son's death, Aino still punished her by damning her to this planet.

As they had a common enemy, Kaa'Ina wanted to befriend Jiang Fei. Not because he was strong, as she had not known how strong he was until he attacked her, but because of his army. And of course, she had heard that there was another female amongst the newcomers.

Being a female in an army was already hard enough, imagine how hard Kaa'Ina had it. She lived her life in an army outpost where all the males were so horny that they would immediately drop their pants at the mere sight of a female!

If she had not been someone who was strong enough to face it all, she would have been… broken a long time ago. Sadly, not only had she failed to befriend Jiang Fei, she ended up angering him.

Jiang Fei already disliked the planet and the entire outpost. Adding on this incident with Kaa'Ina, he was now on the brink of hating the whole place.

The next morning, Jiang Fei asked Sarila a question when she came to see him, "Sarila, how do you suppose we continue to live here?"

"Well… from what I see, we have two choices. The first is to try socializing. See if we can form an alliance with the other settlements. The second option is easier. Since rules and regulations mean nothing here, we could segregate ourselves from the community and live without ever communicating with anyone else."

"Those two suggestions are literally polar opposites," said Jiang Fei.

"Hear me out. The first suggestion has its merits. Forming an alliance means that we can exchange services with each other. We could ask for information in exchange for offering them protection. At the very least, we know how to survive an Ultralisk attack. But…"

Noticing how attentive Jiang Fei was being, Sarila could not help pausing.

"But...?" prompted Jiang Fei.

"But we need to be on high-alert when dealing with the other settlements. These… locals are here for a reason, and I bet betrayal is only second nature to them. We need to watch out for any possible traps they may set for us," said Sarila, picking up where she left off.

She kept using the words 'we' and 'us', obviously trying to avoid addressing Jiang Fei as 'you'.

Jiang Fei smacked his lips as he considered both options. "What about the second one?"

Even though he was older now than he was when he first stepped out of the Solar System and the Milky Way galaxy, Jiang Fei was still lacking in terms of seeing far into the future.


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