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One leg was still trapped under Han Xiao's arm, and the skin was plastered to the cold Mechanical suit.

Ames tilted her head.

"Please let go of my leg."

Han Xiao released his hold and retreated a little bit, allowing Ames to retract her long, snowy legs into her black dress.

After sizing up Ames's dress that was badly damaged in the battle, Han Xiao raised his palm, and nanoparticles flowed out, turning into a material that filled in the torn places of the fabric.

Kacha!

Ames used her Force Field to pull herself out from the meteoroid before dusting herself and stretching. Knocking into numerous meteoroids had given her quite a few bruises.

"Quite painful." Ames rubbed her slim waist and frowned. "Forget it, I suggested this spar. I was asking for it."

"I already stayed my hand." Han Xiao shrugged.

"Oh, indeed, you're now stronger than me."

Ames sighed, but her expression looked calm, as though she had expected this.

Black Star had a firm grasp of the battle situation from start to the end, and Ames had a more profound understanding of his strength now.

"There's no need to be discouraged. I…"

Before Han Xiao could finish, Ames cut him off and blandly smiled. "That's enough. Who do you think I am, needing to be pacified after I have lost?"

"It's a habit developed after I kept sparring with Hila." Han Xiao rubbed his chin in embarrassment.

He then turned to signal to his mechanical army to clear up the battlefield. Seeing the debris and wreckage floating around the universe, he commented, "The weapons I made for you are broken. I'll ask the logistics department to manufacture another for you later… Of course, you have to pay for it."

"I know." Ames nodded without objections. She had initiated this battle and even destroyed the weapon that Han Xiao had sent her. She could not allow him to just give her a new one. As a Beyond Grade A, she still had to maintain a level of pride for herself.

After the battle ended, the Floating Dragon fleet in the distance slowly approached. Ames took a deep breath, revolving the little strength she had recovered to control Floating Dragon Island to stop.

The protective shield of Floating Dragon was then opened, and the fleet landed at the docks.

The fighting mode of Floating Dragon was lifted, and the building structures that were hidden underground started to pop back up. Many of them rushed to check on their houses, assessing the damage.

The logistics team led by Haier also began their jobs to repair the houses.

Han Xiao and Ames adjusted their clothing before flying straight toward Floating Dragon Island. On the way, they attracted the glances of everyone present.

The members of Floating Dragon had all seen Ames losing to Han Xiao, and their boss seemed to have been taken advantage of. Thus, all their hearts were filled with some dissatisfaction.


Jenny rushed over impatiently, and after glaring at Han Xiao, she turned around to size up Ames, anxiously asking, "Are you okay?"

"Not really injured. Just consumed a lot of strength." Ames waved her hand and turned her head. "Black Star, let's go to my palace for a chat."

As she spoke, she started walking toward the main hall. Han Xiao removed his mechanical suit and followed.

After entering Floating Dragon's palace, Ames brought Han Xiao to the back garden, where they sat on the stone benches.

She manipulated her Force Field to pour two glasses of wine on the table. After taking it up to drink a sip, she saw Han Xiao not moving, and the corners of her lips curled up.

"This is the Dragon Bone Wine that was brewed by Aesop using the Void Dragon bones. I rarely take it out to entertain guests."

"To actually use those to brew wine, what a dark recipe," Han Xiao commented. Still, he lifted the glass for a sip. He only felt like a line of fire trailed down his throat, as though he was drinking lava itself. After this, a strong aftertaste surged back up, and he smacked his mouth as he savored the taste.

At this moment, Ames opened her mouth to speak, her tone a little emotional.

"Your strength now has surpassed me, and you only took twenty years… I've basically wasted all that time. Compared to you, I've been stagnant."

"It's not at the level of wasting it. You're just lazy," Han Xiao teased. "However, if you were to actually be hardworking, that would not be you anymore."

"In your heart, am I such a lazy person?" Ames rolled her eyes.

"Are you not?" Han Xiao laughed.

"Huh… I suppose, if I compare myself to you, I really don't have much motivation." Ames shook her head, unable to retort.

The fact that she had lost made her attitude toward Han Xiao have a slight chance. Every Beyond Grade A was clear on the difficulty to improve further, and the rule of the strong was always to respect those stronger than them.

Ames put down her glass, gazing at Han Xiao as she softly said, "To have reached this level in just twenty years, you must have suffered a lot."

Han Xiao paused, suddenly feeling as though this sentence was very familiar.

This phrase… now where did he hear that before[1]?

Suppressing the weird feeling in his heart, Han Xiao dryly coughed. "It was still ok."

"Now that you've already carved out an area for yourself in the universe, what other plans do you have in the future?" Ames changed the topic.

"Continue to develop, accumulate strength."

Hearing this, Ames paused, blinking her eyes rapidly.

"You feel that your ability now is still insufficient?"

"Before reaching the limit, strength will never be enough." Han Xiao shook his head.

"… There's actually something I don't understand."

Ames crossed her legs, holding her chin with one hand as she stared at him, and slowly spoke.

"Around eight to nine years ago, I asked you why you did not stop moving forward, and you said that you did not have the qualifications to do so yet refused to tell me the reason. What exactly are you afraid of? You're a powerful Beyond Grade A Super with great influence and have the Crimson Dynasty as a backer. What could make you so afraid?"

Hearing this, Han Xiao hesitated.

What he was afraid of was the ultimate boss of the later versions, the World Tree Civilization.

Eight to nine years ago, when he was still a Calamity Grade, their statuses had been different, and thus, he did not tell Ames. However, now that their statuses were similar, there was a certain gravitas to his words. Pondering about it, he finally made a decision and opened his mouth.

"I've received some news, and in the future, there will be a calamity of epic proportions in our universe. No one will be able to avoid it, and there will be nowhere to run."

Ames was a little surprised at his reply. "Such a calamity will be for the three civilizations to worry about. What's there to fear?"

"When the calamity strikes, Beyond Grade As will just be greater ants. How can the people below us be spared?"

Ames subconsciously stroked her wine glass as she muttered, "So, it turns out that you had this sort of premonition… I thought your drive came from your insatiable ambition."

She did not doubt Han Xiao's words. Everyone had different information channels, and just his position in the dynasty would allow him to grasp many of the secrets that she could not obtain.

Furthermore, there was no reason for Black Star to lie to her.

The atmosphere turned heavier, and Ames seemed deep in thought, whereas Han Xiao did not talk, instead appreciating the wine.

After swirling the wine around for a few rounds, Ames finally raised her head, her voice soft.

"Seems like I cannot laze around anymore. If there's such a day, I'll stand beside you to fight."

"That would be the best." Han Xiao smiled.

In the past, due to Floating Dragon Island being destroyed, the life and death of Ames during the World Tree version was not known. However, since Aesop had stayed in Floating Dragon and did not go out to roam the world, the previous tragedies that happened to Ames would not appear this time.

The influence Han Xiao brought about had changed Ames' fate. She should be able to last till the era the World Tree showed itself.

At this point, Jenny walked over and, pointedly ignoring Han Xiao, spoke in a low voice. "Your Excellency Dragon Emperor, the damage estimates are out. I need you to review them."

"Got it." Ames nodded and turned to Han Xiao. "There's some stuff I need to do, and my energy has not fully recovered yet. I need to rest."

Han Xiao stood up. "No problem, go ahead. I'll be on Floating Dragon Island until you recover. It's on the way for me to visit Planet Aquamarine anyway."

"Okay."

Ames knew that this was Han Xiao's way to showing concern and smiled.

Han Xiao nodded and turned to leave.

Sending Han Xiao off with her gaze, Jenny's cold face slowly thawed. She turned to look at Ames, her expression complex, and opened her mouth. Yet, she was seemingly hesitating over what to say.

"Hmm?" Ames glanced at her. "What do you have to say?"

Jenny opened and closed her mouth, finally gathering her courage.

"Your Excellency Dragon Emperor… do you like Black Star?"

Hearing this, Ames raised her brows.

"Why do you care?"

"I… I'm curious." Jenny gritted her teeth. "And I don't like Black Star."

"I knew the last part. You didn't need to emphasize it." A helpless laugh came out from Ames.

But Jenny shook her head seriously.

"Your Excellency, I hate Black Star not for the reasons you are thinking… Initially, no one came to provoke us due to our position as a neutral force. Our days were leisurely, and while our influence was limited, it was fine. But after he appeared, Floating Dragon has undergone so many dangerous situations, and I always think that without Black Star, there would not be such issues. He is not a simple man and will bring us into great danger one day."

Hearing this, Ames also smiled, and she thoughtfully asked, "So… you're thinking that Black Star and I are allied because I like him?"

"I've also observed your attitude toward him and cannot ignore this possibility," Jenny replied.

Ames nodded and laughed.

"Not bad, I have some feelings toward Black Star. What do you intend to do? Dissuade me?"

"I…" Jenny was shocked and did not know how to react.

"Ok, I'll stop joking with you." Ames waved her hands helplessly. "I do have some favorability toward Black Star, but who told you that was love? Just how old am I? Am I the kind that hides my emotions because of embarrassment?"

Ames then stood up. Her back was toward Jenny as she mused and looked out at the universe.

"Among the Beyond Grade As, Black Star is the only one whom I find pleasing to the eye. He beat me and has the qualifications to reproduce with me… but from the beginning till now, I've never entertained the idea of allowing a man within me to pass on his genes.

"My favorability toward him comes from the help he has rendered toward Floating Dragon and my admiration of him. My relationship with him is close, but he's at most a good friend and comrade I can trust. When have you seen us talk about love?"

Jenny breathed a sigh of relief.

Right, how could Her Excellency and Black Star have any relationship? She was probably mistaken.

However, Ames' next sentence shattered her hopes.

"However, the days are still long. If I ever change my thoughts of having descendants in the future…"

Ames thought of getting along with Han Xiao and shook her head as she laughed.

"Black Star is the only candidate."

Ka-cha!

The communicator in Jenny's hands was snapped in two.



Meanwhile, Han Xiao recalled his mechanical army and metal plates, allowing Phillip to control his spaceship to dock at Floating Dragon.

As the door closed, Han Xiao opened his interface.

The mission ['Dragon Emperor' Ames] had been completed. They had fought for over twenty minutes, fulfilling all the requirements.

And the best reward that he could obtain was a talent or ability from Ames!

Endure, endure…

Han Xiao breathed out and calmed himself down.

Feidin and Nero were not beside him, and he was definitely not going to use his bad luck to gamble.

Suppressing his itchy fingers, Han Xiao turned toward his other mission rewards—a large amount of experience, one Legendary Point, and one Character Summon Card of Ames.

[1] Han Xiao spoke the same phrase to Lothaire in Ch.904


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