Book 2 Chapter 5.3

Book 2 Chapter 5.3 - Dream

Li Gaolei stared at Su’s fingertips, and his eyes suddenly shone. “Leader, you never mentioned that you played with the Magic Domain before!”

“High temperature, it’s just a single level.” Su took a deep breath of the cigarette smoke and then spat out a perfectly straight puff of smoke. The poor quality smoke and cigarette smell stung as it entered his nose, but when Su inhaled it, he already filtered out the odors that he didn’t like, puffing it out. For him, the difference between good cigarettes and bad cigarettes wasn’t that great. Li Gaolei naturally wouldn’t know about this. 

“Leader, you ever wonder what the Black Dragonriders’ goal or meaning is?” Li Gaolei propped his left arm against the ammunition box. Even though he called him leader and completed the subordinate registration process, he didn’t seem to possess that much respect towards Su. It seemed like it was more likely that Li Gaolei was scared of Su’s power. 

“Probably to gain territory for the Parliament. That’s how I understand it.” Su replied. He suddenly noticed that his way of speaking was already starting to imitate Li Gaolei and Ricardo’s rather frivolous style. Conversing with others was also starting to become a bit easier, and he began to talk more too. 

Perhaps, this was a way of revealing his trust, Su’s style of doing so. 

“Blood Parliament? I don’t know how they came up with this type of name. It seems like they are all people with some strange tastes.” Li Gaolei didn’t seem to have the slightest bit of respect for Blood Parliament, the most powerful ruler of the earth they were currently standing on. He continued and asked, “Then what is the goal of the Blood Parliament?”

Su shook his head and said, “I don’t know the answer to that either. I have never met anyone from the Parliament, and rumor has it that they are some truly great figures.”

“Great figures?” Li Gaolei loosened his shoulders and said in a rather disapproving tone. “Alright, great figures. Then, Su, what is your goal? Perhaps goal doesn’t sound too good. Let’s switch to a more nostalgic word, something like dream. This word isn’t bad.”

“Dream…” Su laughed and said, “I don’t have a dream, but my goal has always been rather clear, and that’s to survive.”

Li Gaolei seemed a bit disappointed. “Survive… Good, that’s everyone’s goal, and I am no different. The Black Dragonriders can at least grant me a bit more assurance of my survival. If there is one day my mutated tissues can’t be controlled anymore, I might have hope of having it treated.”

“You just want to simply live?” Su looked at Li Gaolei. 

“Why not?” Li Gaolei’s reply was extremely simple. However, under Su’s clear gaze, he finally shifted his eyes to the side and said, “Alright, I admit it, I wish for those who I find pleasing to look at to live a bit better, or maybe the chance to survive at the very least.”

“That’s why you’ve always been poor.” Su said. 

This time, Li Gaolei was finally shocked. “How do you know this?”

Su said, “I’ve met Sally in Dragon City. When this mission is complete, you can see her when you visit Dragon City.”

“How is she?” Li Gaolei asked. 

Su hesitated before saying, “Can’t be considered bad, because she is struggling in her own way. In addition, she has that dream on her that you were just talking about.”

“Dream…” Li Gaolei seemed to have realized something from Su’s words, and a hint of anger flashed past his eyes. However, his anger turned to helplessness soon after, “Damn it! My dream is to completely get rid of the radiation everywhere. Without clean water, everyone has to endure starvation and fight against those violent rats and rotting wolves for food in this damn world!”

“Quite ambitious, and also hard to make a reality.” Su didn’t seem to treat Li Gaolei’s words purely as a way to vent, and his reply was quite serious. 

Li Gaolei chuckled and said, “Leader, you quite know how to comfort someone. My dream doesn’t have any chance of becoming a reality, and it is probably better to call it a fantasy. It’s probably no different from the words of a drunkard!”

At this moment, another piece of information was sent to Su’s tactical tablet. Su gave it a rough look and then stood up, saying to Li Gaolei, “I was serious. Either way, you still have a dream, unlike me who spends most of his time thinking of how to continue living.”

After speaking, Su walked towards his own tent. Behind him, Li Gaolei released a snort and said in a low voice, “Just to live? Who are you trying to fool?”

When he returned to his tent, Su sat in front of the portable table and began to carefully read through the information on the tactical board. The information came from Black Dragonrider headquarters, and there were two parts. The first part was the routine text that mainly talked about Su’s approved promotion to lieutenant rank, as well as the increase of his scope of authority to the second level. The second piece of information was extremely astonishing, and it mainly included information on abilities that one could learn about with the second level of authority. It seemed like headquarters understood quite clearly what a dragonrider needed to know the most after being promoted, and that was advancing strength, the way to endlessly advance their strength. 

The screen continuously flickered about, and large amounts of information were passed down. In the past, the highest level of formulated ability Su could come into contact with was the fifth level, and they were few in number, as well as the most frequently seen abilities. If Su was willing to select a formulated ability, then that was the range in which he could select from. Now that his scope of authority directly soared to the second level, Su’s choices were not only limited to the standard single domain abilities, there were also a few rarely seen new multi-domain abilities. For example, with Magic Domain’s fourth level high temperature and Mental Domain’s rare ability area control as the base, a completely new ability called flaming defense field. If one strengthened three levels of high temperature together with three levels of dense strengthening in the Combat Domain, that would produce another new ability: flame helmet. 

Abilities that crossed domains were one of the focal points of the Black Dragonriders’ research in recent years. Due to the evolutionary point requirement increasing with each advancement of an ability’s level, the price to increase a level would increase several times. For most people, after advancing to a certain level, and if it seemed nearly impossible to continue on, they would feel like advancing some points into some other lower level ability domain was more useful. However, every person’s abilities were restricted by their natural talent, so most were gathered within a single ability domain. In the other ability domains, even if they had potential to advance their ability, they would still normally only reach three levels. Abilities that crossed domains gave these ability users that reached their bottlenecks another chance to become stronger. 

Su had previously wondered what would happen if the different domains’ abilities were joined together. At that time, even with a simple calculation, he already received an astronomical array of combinations, and there was even less of a possibility of him trying them out one by one. In addition, even though Su chose to develop mainly in the Perception Domain, as soon as he used the evolution points, the corresponding ability would automatically appear, so not even he knew what the next type of ability was, so there was no way for him to gain a better understanding of the ability domains. However, the most basic abilities were virtually the same, so there weren’t many problems in most of the low level abilities Su produced on his own initiative. If he were to pick out a problem, then it was that due to their efficacy being much stronger than formulated abilities, the amount of evolutionary points exhausted would oftentimes increase a bit as well. 

After this great battle against Blue Scorpion, Su’s evolutionary points already increased to 24. However, unknown whether it was due to moving around in the scorched air of explosions and stream of bullets for too long, only at the final moment when the final Blue Scorpion Tank exploded in front of him into a ball of flame did Su notice that he had unconsciously developed the first level ability high temperature in the Magic Domain. 

After seeing the ability domain information headquarters sent back, after thinking for a long time, Su suddenly thought of the rain of bullets on the previous battlefield, the sparks that flew about everywhere, as well as the mecha’s continuously flickering electronic eyes. Su no longer hesitated and directly tossed three evolutionary points into the Magic Domain. As expected, one level of ice, one level of magnetic force, and one level of lightning appeared one after another. After possessing these Magic Domain abilities, Su felt as if related areas in the Mysterious Fields began to jump and struggle about in an attempt to break out from the densely packed genes. Su then placed evolutionary points into the Mysterious Fields, and only after placing the sixth evolutionary point did it produce a new third level ability. This ability was extremely similar to the Black Dragonriders Mysterious Fields standard third level ability ‘elemental defense’. After possessing these types of Magic Domain abilities, towards the fields these abilities touched upon, such as high temperature, electric shock, and others, he developed a much higher tolerance. After developing elemental tolerance in the Mysterious Fields, Su’s resistance towards these energies became even stronger. Of course, just like all abilities in the Mysterious Fields, elemental defense’s efficacy would be sometimes good, sometimes bad. 

However, not everyone was like Su who produced abilities on his own. Captain Curtis had said before that most people needed to get two injections to produce a single ability. One was to acquire evolutionary points, and the second was for the formulated ability. This meant that one had to pay twice. For the three subordinates, it seemed like they would more likely have to receive two injections. 

The clean up work needed three more days to complete. Without the headquarters’ new minesweeping device, they couldn’t deal with Blue Scorpion’s intelligent landmines, so there was no way to speed this matter up. For all of the various affairs, Li, Li Gaolei, and Kane dealt with them in a clear and orderly manner, so there was no need for the newly promoted dragonrider lieutenant to interfere. 

Su remembered a line he read from a book left behind from the olden era: The more you understand, the more you will learn of your own ignorance. Su was feeling a similar experience. The greater his abilities, the more fear he felt from the depths of his heart. This was an instinctive type of fear that could not be avoided or stopped. He didn’t even know what it was exactly that he was scared of. 

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