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Very soon, a cone-shaped projection beam shot out from the communicator and quickly scanned through the room. The environment of the room quickly changed into the conference room where Urranrell and the group of upper echelons were in as if Han Xiao was there.

Han Xiao looked around and realized that everyone was staring at him with different emotions such as curiosity, respect, and surprise. One thing those military upper echelons shared in common was they all looked very interested in him.

Urranrell looked at Han Xiao and said, "Black Star, you've made a huge achievement in this incident. The dynasty will reward you generously."

"I was just saving myself." Han Xiao could not help but be humble on such an occasion, and it sure felt good.

"You deserve the credit nonetheless." Urranrell then returned to the topic. "Tarrokov has already described this battle earlier, but I want to hear your version. Some questions need you to answer."

Han Xiao knew that explaining the battle from the perspective of a Beyond Grade A would bring new information to the table, so he described it from the start to the end.

Urranrell nodded and asked, "I want to know, was what you used to stop and seal the Ten Thousand Deity Scepter a new Universal Treasure?"

"Hmm, it's what I happened to discover while exploring the Flickering World. It's a Space Wonder."

"I see." Urranrell did not continue to ask about the name and uses of the Spacetime Amber. If Black Star wanted to tell her, he would, and if he was not willing to, she was not going to force someone who had just made such a huge contribution. Beyond Grade As had the right to keep their abilities a secret; all she had to know was that Black Star was on her side.

"I've sealed the Ten Thousand Deity Scepter, and it will be very difficult for the Arcane Church to break that seal. Only, they don't know that yet… The Ten Thousand Deity Scepter is a Universal Treasure that's very important to them; they might look to negotiate with the dynasty privately."

Urranrell's eyes moved slightly, and she asked, "Are you sure it'll be very difficult for them to break the seal?"

"There are no absolutes. The Arcane Church might come up with something. However, in all likelihood, their odds of success are extremely low. It's very likely that I'm the only one that can help them break the seal of the Ten Thousand Deity Scepter."

"Understood. If what you said is true, we might have underestimated your contributions. Without the Ten Thousand Deity Scepter, the deterrence they have on Beyond Grade As will be much lower. I've already decided to counterattack the Arcane Church, so what you've done has lowered the chances of the Beyond Grade As of the dynasty suffering from accidental casualties. Good." Urranrell paused. "However, what happened at Planet Lighthouse has made things tense between them and us. The Arcane Church will probably not negotiate with us privately but act as if they have already broken the seal."


"Hmm, you're right." Han Xiao thought about it. Indeed, since the dynasty was going to counterattack, the Arcane Church would definitely not easily take a step back. It was very likely for them to act confident on the surface while being extremely troubled by not being able to break the seal in private.

"Also, about EsGod. It's unexpected for the Arcane Church to actually work with the notorious Fallen Ark. The dynasty will make an announcement to the entire universe condemning the Arcane Church's actions…" Urranrell then changed the topic. "Don't worry, the dynasty has no problems with how you used the Evolution Cube on EsGod this time."

Han Xiao was stunned for a moment then understood—his plan against EsGod had worked, but technically, he had still made a deal with EsGod. However, the dynasty was very sensible about this. They understood that he had no choice in that situation. Therefore, Urranrell expressed that they would not hold him responsible, which represented what the dynasty's stand was on this matter. They were not going to allow anyone to use this matter to besmirch Black Star's name.

From this sentence, Han Xiao noticed that Urranrell was trying to woo him into becoming a member of the Ruler's faction. Complimenting and rewarding him were not the only reasons he was called to this meeting. It was more to express her intention on wooing him. Given how enormous the dynasty was, internal conflicts between the many factions were inevitable. Han Xiao had just earned a huge achievement, so there would not be any problems in the near future. However, after some time passed, some factions might bring this matter back up as leverage.

If one of the dynasty's Grade As was killed in action this time or I did not capture Dylan, someone might have used this to try and force me to give up the Evolution Cube… Han Xiao was secretly shocked. The battle had just ended for him, and he did not think too much about it. Since Urranrell had given him a subtle hint, he understood her kind intentions.

"Thank you, Your Excellency." Han Xiao bowed.

Urranrell then asked, "What do you plan to do with Dylan?"

"I've decided to hand him over to the dynasty," Han Xiao said slowly. "Now that the Arcane Church have failed once, they won't easily try to obtain the Evolution Cube again. However, If I keep Dylan as my captive, the Arcane Church, having to consider the opinions of their allies, will not sit by idly. They will definitely carry out rescuing measures. I don't want this incident to happen again, and if it does, I might not be as lucky as I was today. Therefore, I might as well give him to the dynasty to be used as leverage to negotiate with the Arcane Church."

Although he had forced the Arcane Church to retreat this time, it would be much more than just a slap on their faces if he imprisoned Dylan personally. They were a universal civilization no matter what, and making them completely furious was not a wise decision. Dylan was a hot potato; there were far more cons than pros if he kept him himself. Instead, if he gave Dylan to the dynasty in exchange for more merits and a ton of Faction Contribution Points, he could obtain Ultimate Knowledges.

"You've made the right choice; that's what I had in mind. I wanted to convince you to do it, but since you're already willing to, that's even better."

A very rare slight smile appeared on Urranrell's cold face, knowing that Han Xiao had accepted her kind intentions. "You've done well this time. Other than the support and generous reward the dynasty will give to you and your Black Star Army, if you have any other needs, do tell."

The dynasty would provide even more resources to the Black Star Army after this, which was a given. Therefore, Han Xiao requested what he wanted the most.

"I hope to obtain more Ultimate Knowledges."

"Hmm, no problem." Urranrell approved. "I will tell the officer of the dynasty's logistics department to contact you directly. Just request it from him."

There was no way the Ruler would be personally in charge of trivial matters such as exchanging knowledge.

Han Xiao nodded with a smile and pondered in his mind. His contributions this time would definitely give him more than one Ultimate Knowledges, and every single knowledge at this level would bring a huge boost to the combat capabilities of a Mechanic.

However, it was impossible to obtain all the Ultimate Knowledges at once. He did indeed make a huge contribution, but there were rules to follow when giving out rewards. Ultimate Knowledges were one of the important methods to attract Beyond Grade As to begin with. Even the Beyond Grade As directly under the dynasty had to slowly earn them with merits and contributions.

"The impact of this incident will affect the situation of the entire universe." Urranrell was back to her formal and serious tone. "The dynasty must retaliate against the Arcane Church's provocation. However, the Federation of Light has always liked to put bets on both sides, so the effort we put in exploring the Flickering World will definitely be restrained. While the three civilizations try to mess with each other, those Super Star Cluster civilizations will definitely make use of this opportunity to further infiltrate the Federation of Light. The dynasty will be forced to deal with multiple problems at once, which is exactly what the Arcane Church and the Federation of Light want to see."

Han Xiao knew that Urranrell had a motive for saying something like this, so he followed it up and asked, "So, what do you think we should do?"

"We need to intimidate the Super Star Cluster Civilizations, so we will call back some of the Beyond Grade As and troops stationed in the Flickering World. Of course, their forces will still be exploring in the Flickering World."

Han Xiao did not speak; he knew what Urranrell meant. There was no way the dynasty would let so many Beyond Grade As stay in the Flickering World for the long term, and this thought would have occurred long ago. However, he did not mind. Heber and his territory were both in the Shattered Star Ring, which was nearby, so he was not likely to be called back.

Urranrell changed the topic and asked, "Black Star, what do you think of the situation the dynasty is currently in?"

"As you know, the conflicts are mainly around the Flickering World, and not just anyone can take part in it. The aftershock of the Crimson Tide is slowly cooling down, so those Star Cluster and Star System civilizations will stay low for some time." Han Xiao shrugged.

"Maybe." Urranrell nodded slowly then suddenly asked, "Do you have any suggestions about the dynasty's counterattack plan?"

Han Xiao knew that although the Ruler was discussing the dynasty's plan with him, she might not take his suggestions. However, this was a gesture that represented the fact that his position within the dynasty had risen.

After some thinking, Han Xiao coughed and said, "Counterattacking is a must, but the focus can be readjusted. The Arcane Church is also a Universal Civilization, so retaliating against them is just a necessary reaction. I'm sure that you know this will not achieve great results, Your Excellency."

"Go on."

"In my opinion, we should focus on taking action against EsGod. EsGod took part in the Planet Lighthouse battle as well, and he is much easier to deal with compared to the Arcane Church. It just so happens that the desolate universe belt in the middle of the Central Galaxy is known to be the default battlefield to settle friction between the three civilizations, so dealing with EsGod will not require us to make any detours. If the Fallen Ark is eliminated, the dynasty will successfully showcase its thunderous retaliation and achieve even greater intimidation levels."

This incident was a great opportunity to convince the dynasty to deal with EsGod. If he could obtain help from the dynasty, the chances of eliminating EsGod would be much higher.

Urranrell, however, did not express if she accepted or rejected the suggestion. "I will have someone analyze your suggestion. The urgent matter at hand is to chase after the Arcane Church and EsGod's fleets. When the reinforcements arrive, you guys shall follow Tarrokov's orders and act with the dynasty's fleet… We're not going to let them escape this easily!"

Urranrell then nodded at Han Xiao and said, "Go rest. You'll need to continue fighting during the pursuit."

"Okay."

As the call ended, the projection in the room disappeared.

Han Xiao breathed a sigh of relief and was delighted. The contributions he had made during this battle brought him some sense of presence among the upper echelons of the dynasty. His position in those people's mind turned from a new ally to a dependable Beyond Grade A of the dynasty. He was even wooed by the Ruler, which also increased his position and influence.

After putting away the communicator, Han Xiao noticed a new notification on the interface.

_____________________

You have received 1 Political Asset.

Political Asset (1): the Crimson Dynasty

You have made huge contributions to the Crimson Dynasty and received a certain amount of political influence. You can make suggestions to the Crimson Dynasty directly, according to the rationality of the suggestion, there's a slight chance the Crimson Dynasty will listen to it.

Your position in the Crimson Dynasty is higher. When interacting with certain organizations or characters, +30% Favorability gained.

You have valuable experience. +30% Experience gained from all sources.

Remarks: The above effects will only take place when the Faction Relationship with the Crimson Dynasty is maintained at [Reverence].

_____________________

"Yo, I thought there would only be Legendary Point but no Political Asset." Han Xiao was surprised but then understood why—this was probably a bonus reward given because of the fact that Urranrell valued him.

However, maintaining the effect of this Political Asset was not easy, as he had to spend Faction Contribution Points in exchange for Ultimate Knowledges. He had to maintain the Contribution Points he had above 6,000, which was the cost of one Ultimate Knowledge.

Han Xiao looked at the following notification, which raised his brows.

_____________________

You have received 10,000 Crimson Dynasty Contribution Points.

You have received a bonus 5,000 Crimson Dynasty Contribution Points.

_____________________

"I only received the Contribution Points after I finished talking to Urranrell…" Han Xiao rubbed his chin. He had the NPC interface, so he could reward the Black Star Army members Contribution Points any way he wanted to. As a Faction leader, the way this worked for her was the same, just that Urranrell rewarded Contribution Points unconsciously.

Ten thousand Contribution Points was the reward for this battle, and the bonus five thousand Contribution Points was probably from him handing Dylan in. Including the more than three thousand Contribution Points he had saved up previously, he now had more than eighteen thousand Contribution Points.

"Three Ultimate Knowledges, just nice." Han Xiao's eyes sparkled.

Unlike Cutting-Edge Knowledges, the dynasty would not give Ultimate Knowledges for free. The kind intentions Urranrell had for him seemed to have been displayed in the way of receiving more Contribution Points.

"This way, I can buy two knowledges and keep the remaining six thousand to maintain the effect of the Political Asset. I'm not in a hurry to spend them all anyway."

Han Xiao closed the interface with satisfaction.

At this time, a blue light illuminated from outside the porthole, shining on his young and edgy face.

He turned to look outside the porthole and saw that not far from Planet Lighthouse, the stargate was finally assembled and activated. A dark blue space energy vortex formed inside the stargate and quickly started spinning.

"They're finally here."



As time passed, reinforcement fleets flew out from the stargate one after another from the various Beyond Grade A organizations.

These were mostly troops stationed around the strongholds at the edge of the three Star Clusters. If the Arcane Church wanted to attack Planet Lighthouse now, them being completely obliterated would be the only outcome.

"The battle has already ended‽"

Inside Tarrokov's main ship, Heber, who had left his main fleet behind and returned as soon as possible; Ravenlaude, who had rushed there through teleportation; and the remote projection of Maximiler had gathered and sat across from Han Xiao and the others.

Upon knowing the fact that Planet Lighthouse's troops had forced the enemies away without any reinforcements, Heber and the other two were all shocked.

They actually managed to defend Planet Lighthouse?

Not only did Black Star turn the tables on the Beyond Grade A battlefield, he even captured one of the enemies alive.

Heber and Ravenlaude felt conflicted. They had initially thought that they were saviors, but to their surprise, before they even arrived, Han Xiao had already forced the enemies to retreat. It was almost as if they were not even needed at all…

However, this thought did not linger too long in their minds. Although they came late, they knew that the Arcane Church had only retreated because of the pressure from their arrival. Thinking this way made them feel much better—at least they had contributed in some way.

Ravenlaude was getting a little fidgety and said, "Black Star, I heard you got a new Universal Treasure in the Flickering World and used it to stop the Ten Thousand Deity Scepter."

"That's right." Han Xiao chuckled.

Hearing Han Xiao confirming the matter, Ravenlaude was filled with regret. He was exploring the same Star Cluster as Black Star, which meant that this unknown Universal Treasure had been found in the Garu Star Cluster. If there was no Black Star, maybe this Universal Treasure would have become his.

Heber turned to Austin, frowned, and said, "Why are you here? Have you joined the dynasty too?"

"I came to help Black Star." Austin smiled faintly.

Heber's eyes circled around Han Xiao and Austin; he was not feeling great. When did the two of them form such a good relationship?

Both Ames and Austin had become Black Star's friends; now Heber felt like he was alone in the Shattered Star Ring.

However, when he remembered what situation Psyker was in, he felt much better.

Nonetheless, Heber could not be glad. The achievement of capturing a Beyond Grade A alive was something he had been chasing after for many years, but it had now been obtained by Black Star, who had only stepped into the Beyond Grade A level around a year earlier.

This time, Tarrokov spoke. "I have already dispatched the troops in various locations to lock down the escape route of Sagman and EsGod's fleets. His Excellency Maximiler has yet to arrive, but we won't wait any longer. We have already gathered six Beyond Grade As here, which is enough to start the pursuit."

What he meant by 'pursuit' was not simply chasing after them but dispatching all the troops the dynasty had in the Flickering World to stop the enemies from escaping.

On the star map, the fleets of the Arcane Church and EsGod were shown to be masses of red quickly getting further away, fleeing in different directions, while blue dots representing the dynasty's troops blocked their paths.

With the arrival of the reinforcements, Milizaus and Beyoni no longer had any issues with chasing after them.

Austin expressed his intention to go home to repair his Palace of Hidden Spells and not take part in the dynasty's operation, and Tarrokov did not force an outsider invited by Han Xiao.

Heber sorted out his feelings and suddenly realized that this was an opportunity—he might be able to fulfil his wish of eliminating one Beyond Grade A.

Having that thought in his mind, Heber was very motivated. He clenched his fists so powerfully that it broke the sound barrier with a loud bang. "Humph, Mercer, is it? I've heard of this guy before. Leave him to me."

"The dynasty's dignity is not to be challenged. Milizaus' wounds have yet to heal; leave Ninjia to me." Magical light appeared in Ravenlaude's eyes.

Exterior enemies were always great solutions to internal conflicts. As members of the dynasty, after temporarily putting aside their competitive relationship with each other, they now shared a common enemy.

"I shall use my remote mechanical army to support you guys." The only Beyond Grade A who was not there, Mechanic Maximiler, looked at Han Xiao and said, "Black Star, your mechanical army has suffered heavy losses. If you need, I can lend my army to you for the time being."

"Okay, thanks."

Han Xiao nodded, stood up, and looked around at all the Beyond Grade As present. A cold tint flashed in his eyes as he said with a sharp and penetrative tone, "Let's get moving. See if they can make it back to the Central Galaxy!"

The tables had turned.

The hunters had become the hunted.

The time to counterattack had arrived!


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