Book 3 Chapter 6.4

Book 3 Chapter 6.4 - Long Journey

When he returned to Dragon City, Su had another pile of work to deal with. Along with the increase in the rank of missions, the people he had to contact, the reports that had to be filed, process of receiving reward, and other similar matters became increasingly tedious and complicated as well. After using up two entire days worth of time, the amount of monetary reward he received was a mere 80 thousand, far from being comparable to the rewards of the last few missions. However, Su still had profits from other aspects. This series of battles brought him more experience, put him to the test, as well as toughened and sharpened his team’s coordination. 

The damaged flakes that came off of Martham’s body were taken by Helen for research purposes instead of being given to the Black Dragonriders, and the ruined parts of the Scorpions of Disasters’ fighter aircraft weren’t worth much either. There was no way they would bring back any additional reward, so this made Su who was used to earning several hundred thousand from missions feel a bit upset. Only now did Su finally understand the pressure a combat dragonrider faced in gaining monetary reward, as well as how discovering new mutated creature specimen was something that one could encounter but not hope for. Under limited revenue, the various goods Black Dragonrider headquarters supplied became excessively costly. Only now did Su who knew a bit of basic economics understand the meaning of N958, understanding why all dragonriders, as long as they had the ability to, would find ways to create their own factories, even if it was just a small manual workshop. They would rather produce their own category one weapons and ammunitions instead of purchasing dragonrider general headquarters’ clearly more advanced firearms. 

Production costs, profits, expenditures, this was the first time Su directly experienced their magical power. An advanced dragon model three automatic rifle wasn’t that expensive. Their necessity made it so that dragonriders were willing to pay quite a bit for them, and general headquarters already set a profit margin on this good. However, the problem was that if general headquarters was also making a profit off of ammunition and other consumable parts, then using this gun would become an extremely extravagant thing. In reality, manufacturing the ordinary bullets it used wasn’t difficult, something that N958’s factory was completely capable of. There were even a few relatively simple spare parts who Kane, equipped with molding ability, could manually produce. 

Now, Su understood why everything general headquarters made had to have minimal profits. Only when there was enough profit would general headquarters start up the machines in their extremely advanced factories to produce ammunition that didn’t possess much technological requirements. Even though most families were equipped with factories that could produce standard ammunition and weapons, there would always be a few dragonriders without any foundation or who lacked economic brains that would order them, willingly letting general headquarter take a large bite out of them, for example, Su. 

Su obviously didn’t know that this was exactly what kind of image general headquarters’ supply manager had of him, but even if he did, it wouldn’t make a difference. He never felt regret over things that had already happened. Su already gave the code to start up the base to Kane, having him familiarize himself with N958’s functions and arrangement beforehand, as well as figuring out which areas needed to be improved. A base that was built several decades ago definitely had more than one or two places that needed to be patched up. 

When all of the trivial matters had been dealt with, Su was just about to heave a sigh of relief when he received Lieutenant Colonel Julio’s notification to have him immediately report to general headquarters. Even though the last meeting he had with the lieutenant colonel couldn’t be considered pleasant, Su still entered Julio’s office on schedule. 

The meeting this time was quite similar to last time. Julio, who didn’t particularly care about his appearance, was still buried behind tall piles of documents. When he saw Su arrived, he had him sit down before once again burying himself in the endless struggle of paperwork. Only after a minute had passed did Julion release a breath of air and raise his head. While grumbling complaints, he said, “Pieces of shit, there are more and more idiots looking for trouble. We can’t meet our expected strategic goals like this! Why is no one willing to complete some basic missions?”

Su didn’t know if the words Julion spoke were directed towards him. He continued to sit there, patiently waiting for the lieutenant colonel’s next words. 

When Julio looked at Su who shot up to the position of lieutenant commander like a rocket, he had no choice but to admit that Su didn’t climb his way up purely by relying on his relationship with Persephone. However, the problem instead laid in the fact that Su was just too good looking. When he was quiet, there was even more of a mysterious and profound temperament, one that made others associate him with a great noble from an aged inheritance. 

No one liked others of the same sex that were too pretty, especially when he had an affair with Persephone who possessed the complete package of excellent looks, body, abilities, and influence. That was why Julio didn’t like Su either, even if he never had any fantasies towards Persephone. 

With a pa sound, the lieutenant colonel tossed a black folder with golden patterns in front of Su before saying in a completely calm and collected manner, “There is a mission here, the higher ups appointed you to complete it. Of course, you can refuse, and if that’s the case, I’ll find someone else.”

Su received the folder, and after opening it, he found that there was only a single thin sheet of paper in it. He took out the document and carefully read it, not willing to miss out on a single word. The way this mission letter was packaged made it clear that this was a top secret grade mission, making it fundamentally different from the missions publically available in the dragonrider system. 

The contents of the document was extremely simple: “Assassination. Target: Kahli Vemano, male, 69 years old, former Black Dragonrider lieutenant colonel. Must retrieve target’s complete brain as proof of mission’s completion. Additional requirement: Minimum lieutenant commander rank. Confidential. Eliminate all witnesses.”

The second half of the document was Kahli’s list of abilities, as well as a map of places he was potentially hiding in. 

Julio leaned back into his chair and looked at Su with his arms crossed. When he thought about how Su might become a lieutenant colonel after completing this mission, he couldn’t help but become a bit jealous. Perhaps he should assist O’Brien, since rumors has it that the relationship between him and Su was quite bad. The lieutenant colonel silently thought to himself. Of course, the best result would be if Su refused this mission on his own accord. 

Su returned the document to the folder and pushed it back towards Julio. With a calm voice, he said, “A 69 year old elder, yet a lieutenant commander rank or higher dragonrider is needed to assassinate him, what unique characteristics does he have?”

When he saw that Su didn’t directly refuse, Julio shifted his body a bit somewhat disappointedly and said, “We suspect that he has some relationship with a certain enemy of the dragonriders, but that’s all I can tell you. In addition, I hear that he is extremely dangerous. This can be considered a personal piece of advice.”

“Suspect?” Su looked at Julio, his green eye making the lieutenant colonel feel a bit flustered for some reason. 

Julio quickly calmed down, inwardly disgusted at the weakness he felt just now. He composed himself and said, “Many times, suspicion alone is enough. Moreover, this isn’t within the scope of what you can ask about! In that case, lieutenant commander Su, have you decided not to accept this mission?”

Su looked at Julio, his eye that was like rippling water always making the lieutenant colonel’s body that was already starting to become obese sweat. That face that was ridiculously beautiful suddenly revealed a smile that was like a floating flower. Behind that remote and indistinct beauty was an unspeakably heavy pressure. 

“I accept.” Su took back the document folder, and after gently caressing its surface once, he crumpled it into a ball. Then, with his right hand, he tossed it into the wastebasket in the corner of the room. 

Only when Su had left for an entire minute did the stupefied Julio snap back to reality. He angrily cursed ‘what is that idiot doing’ before standing up and grabbing the crumpled document Su tossed into the wastebasket. He opened it, flattened it, and then he was dumbfounded. 

The folder was only wrinkled, yet the document inside was scorched black, as if it had been burned by flames. Everything on its surface had been completely destroyed. However, the other side was cold like ice, and only this type of coldness could preserve the other half of the document. That was why one side of this sheet of paper was scorched, while the other was cold like ice. 

Only after a long time had passed did lieutenant colonel release a breath of air with difficulty. He hatefully spat out before muttering, “This level of ability control… just too absurd!”

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