Chapter 467: The Missing Nanming Association
Aside from the heavy-assault cruisers becoming available, there was another type of ship known as the interceptor, which was what Xia Fei and Thuram had both ridden on to return to Endaro Star Region from Venal Galaxy.
It was a high-speed light warship.
Under normal circumstances, a warship could warp over a distance of approximately fifty thousand lightyears.
Interceptors, therefore, had the advantage of traveling over a shocking one hundred thousand lightyears per warp, which was practically twice the distance of a conventional warship! That was to say, a voyage, which would originally take a month to complete, would only need half a month if an interceptor was used, which was a practically astounding movement speed!
Of course, the heavy-assault cruisers had also seen quite a bit of improvement in their warp drives, though their speed still paled in comparison to the quick and nimble interceptors.
These two new T2 warships would greatly change the peoples existing knowledge of warships, with the heavy-assault cruisers being called the nightmare for warships below that of a battleship, and perhaps some battleships would not even be their match.
Meanwhile, the interceptors would become ships adept of reconnaissance.
Though they could not completely replace the role that electronic warships fulfilled, the interceptors would at least become ships that were unparalleled in chasing and capturing other ships.
Battleships with heavier hull plating and a more powerful artillery deterrence might be hard to replace, the position once held by traditional cruisers, frigates, destroyers, or even battlecruisers would all be affected by the appearance of this new generation of warships.
It would not be long before the new types of warships completely overtook the old warships, becoming the new darlings of space.
There was no doubt that what Nicole had handed to Xia Fei was first-hand detailed information of the technological push; aside from the new interceptors and heavy-assault cruisers, there were accurate descriptions of the products, including their relevant production costs, from the other three major companies.
Xia Fei was not particularly surprised given how the four major warship manufacturing companies were cooperative partners and business rivals, so they would surely not let slip any chance to investigate one another.
Looking through the document and information detailed, Xia Fei said gravely, “I never would have thought that the Deimos class heavy-assault cruiser you gave me a year ago was but a prototype, and it can now be mass-produced, and the production cost has decreased enough to make it more affordable.
The strength of the four major warship companies sure are something else.”
“We have a legacy which spans over tens of thousands of years, and if the four lacked even the power to achieve this, we would long be replaced by competitors, would we not So what are your thoughts about the two new warships”
Xia Fei answered solemnly, “Its inevitable for these new warships to replace the conventional warships.
If thats a strong possibility, then I will have to start with a comprehensive upgrade of my newly formed fleet.”
His eyes darted over to Nicole.
Xia Fei understood that not anyone would be able to buy a new product even if they wanted to.
After all, production was limited, and the military, various large companies, and organizations would all have their eyes on the new lines of warships.
Nobody would be willing to fall behind with their rivals when it came to equipment.
Nicole casually offered.
“I can sell you some of the products that Gaia Industries manufactures, but I wont have the ability to do so for the other three major companies.
I can only introduce you to them.
I believe that, with your fame and what face I have, youll be able to acquire some.”
Xia Fei smiled.
“Youll be helping me a great deal here, Nicole.
How should I repay you”
Nicole actually blushed, though she did not hide from Xia Fei like some blushing little lady.
Instead, she looked straight into Xia Feis eyes, her eyes burning with determination.
“Have a meal with me,” Nicole simply answered.
Xia Fei suddenly felt a sense of foreboding.
To give him such sensitive information and even help purchase a fleet of the latest types of warship, Nicoles goal might not merely be a simple meal.
Actually, Xia Fei could already tell that Nicole seemed to be particularly nice to him, and he also knew that she had been kidnapped when she was younger, but she was not as fortunate as Avril, for she did not have someone like him to protect her back then.
Nicoles wrists were pristine.
When Xia Fei offered her the advice to live life anew and abandon the shackles of her past, Nicole actually heeded his words.
It should be said that Nicole had a very stubborn personality and that her father had time and again hoped that she would get those scars from her past removed, yet she had not done so, but a single statement from a chance meeting with Xia Fei was enough to convince her; no one would have believed that there was no hint of ambiguity there.
Nodding his head, Xia Fei chuckled.
“Youve provided me with plenty of very useful information; Ill go study them for now.
Ill be back in Sido in about half a months time.
Ill gladly host a dinner and treat you to a wonderful feast then.”
“Im asking to have a one-on-one dinner with you.
Arent you afraid of Avril getting jealous”
Xia Fei replied, “Avril will understand.
Thats one of her merits which I love the most.”
He raised his head proudly when the subject of the conversation turned toward his lover.
He firmly believed that Avril was the universes most noble existence be it in terms of looks, temperament, or personality, and he had an even greater faith in the choice he made.
Nicole felt discomfited seeing how much Xia Fei cherished Avril, lightly saying, “Ill be waiting for you” She then shut her screen.
“Ill be waiting for you Xia Fei, that line there is very ambiguous,” Phantom teased.
Xia Fei shrugged helplessly, unable to come up with any words in response.
This voyage he was on was anything but relaxed.
There were plenty of decisions and purchases that Xia Fei had to make, given the huge immigration plan to the Terminus Star Region that he had set into motion.
Whenever he had free time, he would spend them studying the formation of the fleet, cultivating, and accompanying Avril for some tea or just to chat.
Sun Zhan was becoming even more troubled the closer they got to his home planet.
For seven whole days, he had been attempting to contact his family and failing.
The connection line itself was open, but there was always no one to pick up on the other end, which was highly unusual.
Xia Fei could only try his best to console him, though it was hardly effective.
Life in space was boring, and Avril spent her time playing with Furball and Pod whenever Xia Fei was busy.
Pod was an AI service robot, so conversations with humans, washing clothes, and cooking meals were all part of his daily function and duties, but the same could not be said for Furball.
Ever since he was force-fed with cake by Avril last time, he had developed this lingering fear of the woman, feeling even more terrified to see her than Xia Fei.
However, it just so happened that Avril especially liked the furry exotic beast.
From the moment Xia Fei told Avril about that, she no longer randomly fed the holy beast food, but she kept wanting Furball to play games with her or accompany her to hear the stories that Pod told.
Getting the formidable holy beast, Shatterstar, to play and hear stories This very idea itself was already a bizarre story in itself!
Helpless to Xia Feis strict order, Furball had no choice but to let Avril torture him.
Sighing repeatedly every day, appearing all glum and despondent, he felt as if his days were passing with utmost hardship.
When she had the time, Avril would even learn from Pod how to do household chores, and the couple slowly settled into a simple and happy lifestyle aboard.
“Is this Nanming Associations base” Xia Fei knitted his eyebrows together as he peered outside the window to a strange planet.
It was a very small planet, at most a quarter of the size of Earth.
Half of the planet was forever being illuminated by a nearby star, while the other half was shrouded in darkness.
Thats Planet Nanming.
Though half the planet looks lush and verdant, the back half of it is actually extremely dangerous.
Strange peaks and mountains abound, and plenty of precious plants and strange beasts live there.
The planet takes twelve hours to make a complete revolution, though the sun here never sets.
We usually eat breakfast before heading out, only getting back for dinner and rest.”
Xia Fei nodded.
He did not know why, but most life-sustaining planets had a revolution time close to 24 hours, so it was rare for there to be planets which had a twelve-hour revolution like Nanming.
Nirvana was ill-suited to park itself here, so Xia Fei and Sun Zhan would be piloting the Vampire to make its landing.
“Whats the matter, master” Pod blinked its electronic eyes and asked.
“Take care of Avril.”
Xia Fei, Sun Zhan, Furball, and Phantom all boarded Vampire and flew off, landing the frigate in an open field several minutes later.
An imposing three-story building stood upon the grassland, with densely packed single-story buildings built around it.
The design of the place seemed ancient; be it in the material used or the appearance, these buildings all lacked any touch of modernity, making it seem like a place where ancients lived.
“This is the Nanming Association, and its also my home.
Father and mother usually stay in that central three-story building, and servants, as well as my fellow senior brothers and sisters, live in those buildings around.
Nanming is but a small organization, with only roughly 700 or so members.” Sun Zhan pointed ahead with one hand as he spoke.
Xia Fei abruptly squatted as they were making their way forward, picking up a handful of dirt and sniffing at it.
“A spaceship came here about a week ago.
The blades of grass around were all obviously slanted, which was most likely caused by the force of wind created by a warp engine.
The dirt itself carries a charred scent, yet there are no scorch marks.
This means that the spaceship did not land but hovered some tens of meters above, and people leaped onto the ground from the boarding bay.
It recently rained around here, so the scent has faded a lot, though enough lingers for me to track them,” Xia Fei said with a grim look on his face.
Sun Zhan felt a wave of nervousness wash over him, rubbing his hands together restlessly.
A week ago was about the time when he lost contact with his family!
Sure enough, Xia Fei discovered some footprints that had mostly been erased by rainwater not too far away from them.
“There were seven of them, and they left very deep imprints.
This means that theyre either carrying weapons or other heavy equipment.
These are Alliance standard combat boots, the outdoor hiking variant.
The prints are clear, meaning that they should be brand new.”
Sun Zhan was shocked as he listened to Xia Feis analysis.
Sun Zhan was just a new warrior, and he lacked the combat experience that Xia Fei had.
Had he returned on his own, he would surely have been unable to discover these fairly inconspicuous traces so quickly.
Looking to Nanming Association a short distance away, Xia Fei saw that the green gates were open, and there was hardly any sound around, as if no one was within the compound.
“Facing right at the gates, and so close to it… That means these people came prepared, not at all worried about being discovered.
Perhaps someone received them, or people from Nanming already agreed to meet them.” Xia Fei stood up and examined his surroundings.
“No, thats impossible.
Nanming Association strictly avoids much contact with outsiders.
Even when we need to sell off medicinal ingredients, my father always makes the trip out by himself.
Furthermore, he only does so once a year.
Theres hardly any visitor,” Sun Zhan said.
“Hmm” Xia Fei squatted yet again after walking a few more steps.
“These are a set of completely new footprints, left behind after heavy rain.
Such deep imprints.
Someone else was here after your parents went missing.
Furthermore, this is just one person who came walking right out of your home and headed straight to the dark side of the planet.”
By now, Sun Zhan was already in a state of panic.
He ignored all else and went dashing into the compound, yelling loudly the names of his fellow seniors and parents.
Unfortunately, all that greeted him back were just the echoes of silence.
Sun Zhan ran into the prominent three-story building, while Xia Fei followed the last set of footprints he found and traced these all the way to the backyard.
There were three frigates parked upon the empty courtyard.
Of which, two had the insignia of green plants and probably belonged to Nanming Association, while the other was an Amarrian Crucifier-class, high-speed frigate imprinted with the Adjudicator Union insignia!
“Could the Adjudicator Union be involved in the disappearance of everyone here in Nanming Association” Phantom asked, frowning.
Xia fei shook his head.
“This ship is from that person who came last; before the truth of the matter comes out, theres no way of saying anything with certainty.”
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