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The moment Han Xiao saw Stephanie, he felt that she looked familiar. As he looked at her carefully, his heart skipped a beat.

He did not recognize the other hunters, but he was familiar with this woman!

Many players in his previous life had known Stephanie. She was very active during the Calamity of the Supers version. She was a subordinate of the Beyond Grade A from the Abyss of Stars, [Thousand Shadows]. She fought for Thousand Shadows with countless Supers as pawns, including many players that teamed up to kill her. In the end, she died in a battle while being surrounded by many forces… or she was finally freed.

After that, a related Dungeon Crystal appeared. Stephanie was inside the dungeon as a hidden boss. There was a chance of obtaining an extremely rare reward by defeating her.

In the later stages of Han Xiao's previous life, with an extremely high 87.6% player repeat rate, she entered the list of top hundred hard workers and received the honorable title 'Lady Stephanie'!

At that stage, the player count of Galaxy was dozens of times greater than the player count of Version 2.0. The number of players online at the same time was more than ten million. The fact that more than eighty percent of players had repeated Stephanie's dungeon before represented its popularity!

It was a little embarrassing to mention, but Han Xiao had fought Stephanie with at least three hundred different accounts. He could not have been more familiar with her.

Han Xiao did not expect to recognize one of the enemies, so he was surprised.

Initially, he did not know who the mastermind was. Now that he had seen Stephanie, everything became clear, and he found the truth.

It was Thousand Shadows!

No wonder, no wonder, everything connects now… Han Xiao was excited. If the mastermind was indeed Thousand Shadows, he knew why the hunters were capturing Supers.

It was to provide 'shadows' for Thousand Shadows!

Thousand Shadows' ability was very strange. He could absorb other individuals and turn them into his underlings, who were called 'shadows'. The shadows still retained most of their personality, but they had a sense of belonging and loyalty toward Thousand Shadows that could not be erased. In this condition, their memories were slightly altered.

The shadows slept inside Thousand Shadows, but at the same time, they could act for him.

The abilities of the shadows were preserved, or even enhanced, after fusing with Thousand Shadows. Thousand Shadows had lived for too long. No one knew how many shadows were in his body. He was an extremely mysterious member of The Ancient Ones.

Han Xiao recalled a secret that a player had found in his previous life. In order to live longer, Thousand Shadows sought help from specialized people and gave his Esper ability vitality. He then gave up his body and turned into a strange 'Esper Being'. Usual methods could not kill him. He had lived for close to a thousand years and was a member of The Ancient Ones.


Discovering the truth, Han Xiao was feeling gloomy. Thousand Shadows liked high-quality shadows, so he probably would not give up easily on Han Xiao. Han Xiao absolutely did not want to become a part of Thousand Shadows; he would lose himself and become a puppet!

Stephanie was Thousand Shadows' shadow. Her life story was rather tragic, too. Before she died, her true self returned for a moment and explained her origins.

Back at the start of the exploration era, before the Primordial Ones had been born, when the war between the three Universal Civilizations extended throughout the entire universe…

She was born in an era of war, an Antarrian. Her civilization's mother planet was dragged into the war. She displayed extraordinary talent from a young age, so she was chosen as a warrior, fighting for her home and quickly growing.

In a short period of a little more than ten years, she had already become the protector of her home, at the age normal Galaxy Human Race women were at their peak. At such a young age, she became the top protector of Antarr. She was so strong that even the three civilizations had heard of her.

However, a gigantic war broke out between the Crimson Dynasty and Federation of Light that used an entire Star Cluster as the battlefield. The Antarrians were affected. Their mother planet fell, and their colonial planets turned into ruins under the Crimson Dynasty's iron hoofs. Only a handful of people escaped with spaceships used for migration—Stephanie was one of the survivors.

People in wars were realistic. The survivors had no time to miss their mother planet and left the battlefield quickly, looking for a new home to rise again. However, an unwelcome guest had his eyes on Stephanie… Thousand Shadows.

Thousand Shadows was originally from a long-lived race and had already lived for many years. At that time, he had yet to give up his body and was not Beyond Grade A. He wanted Stephanie's power, so he intercepted the spaceship that the Antarr survivors were in.

In the ending, the Antarr Civilization was another extinguished civilization, and Stephanie became one of Thousand Shadows' shadows.

The history only recorded what happened—the cold words could not record emotions. The motives, feelings, and the reactions of everyone back then became mysteries. In Han Xiao's previous life, after Stephanie became a part of the dungeon, some players looked for her history out of curiosity. From a few descriptions in some history books, they came to know that some historians believed that if Stephanie did not 'mysteriously disappear', she might have become one of the [Primordial Ones].

However, during the exploration era, there had been way too many Calamity Grades that had a lot of potential, and most of them had died in battle. The Primordial Ones were the first group of Beyond Grade As that walked out of the mountains of corpses and seas of blood alive. Thousand Shadows was not one of the Primordial Ones. He was always very mysterious, only appearing as a Beyond Grade A near the end of the exploration era.

In just one look, these thoughts flashed through Han Xiao's mind. He took a deep breath. The true identity of the enemy had been discovered—it was definitely very stressful to be Thousand Shadows' enemy, but that was something for later.

The most imminent problem was dealing with nine Calamity Grades.

Especially Stephanie.

With a push, a beam of [Psionic Impact—Whale] headed right toward Stephanie. The enormous mechanical army around Han Xiao started to move toward all the enemies.

Bang bang bang!

Countless Psionic Cannons crisscrossed, and mechanical soldiers approached the enemies with weapons and shields in their hands. Stephanie and the rest moved, too.

The battle erupted; the scene instantly became chaotic!

Han Xiao never overestimated himself. Although his mechanical army was much stronger than before, facing nine experienced Calamity Grades was still beyond his capabilities. Among the nine enemies, there were two Mechanics. One of them was a Cannon Master, shooting out large beams from extremely high caliber cannons, shattering mechanical soldiers one after another.

The other one used the Galactic Stronghold Style. A several-hundred-meter-tall fortress expanded from his hands. It had extremely strong firepower and its own guards.

Clank!

Metal clashed against metal nonstop, electrical sparkles replaced blood, and scrap metal and wires fell like rain.

Among the rest of the enemies, there were two Pugilists, one Mage, and four Espers. Stephanie was one of the Espers!

Stephanie's ability was the most mysterious. Like a diving eagle, she headed right for Han Xiao in the middle of the army. Everywhere she passed, the nearly mechanical soldiers all shattered. The air around her looked like it was bent by high temperature. From very far away, she raised her hand and aimed at Han Xiao.

With just this one move, several notifications popped up on Han Xiao's interface.

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You have entered the [Slightly Slowed] state. -12% DEX. Duration: 8 seconds!

You have entered the [Slightly Weakened] state. -6% all attributes. Duration: 8 seconds!

You have entered the [Slightly Confused] state. +10% chance of being interrupted while using abilities. Duration: 8 seconds!

You have entered the [Abnormally Excited] state. Your attack is fluctuating at 80%–110%. Duration: 8 seconds!

You have entered the [Light Illusion] state. -10% accuracy, -10% perception. Duration: 8 seconds!

You have entered the [Slightly Tired] state. +8% expense in energy and stamina. Duration: 10 seconds!

Your Ability [Steel Body] is activated. All True Damage is nullified!

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