Chapter 74: Separate Operations
The cars were parked outside. After everyone moved their equipment into the secret base, they began their pre-mission briefing.
“We have two operations. Firstly, disguise as wanderers and blend into Dark Crow Forest Town to gather intel; secondly, search for sentry guards from the Germinal Organization that are left alone and force information about their base out of them.
“We will handle the sentries, your people can go to the Dark Crow Forest Town,” Winna immediately stated.
Di Su Su frowned. There would mostly likely be spies hidden in the town. If they attempted to blend in, they might be exposed and be put in dire danger. If so, they would not achieve anything. Searching for sentries would be much safer and easier to accomplish.
Hesla just could not wait to throw all the dangerous and tough jobs to Division 13. This attitude annoyed them greatly, but someone had to do the missions after all. If it was not going to be Hesla then it had to be Division 13. As such, no one voiced any objection.
“To infiltrate the town, we must first disguise ourselves as wanderers and then find an opportunity to gather intel covertly. We must not act rashly and alert the enemy,” said Qi Bai Jia.
After some discussion, it was decided that some people would stay at the base as backup. Four people stayed behind: Lin Yao, Qi Bai Jia, Ma Qing Yang, and Han Xiao.
Hesla also left some personnel to guard the base. Han Xiao only knew Ye Fan from their group.
It was only the afternoon. The Hesla agents decided to take a rest first. They would wait till dawn, when enemy’s alertness would be at its lowest, to move off to find enemy sentry guards. They had brought infrared imaging devices, so the darkness actually provided them with an advantage. Also, they secretly wanted Division 13 to be the guinea pig to sweep away some danger first.
Once the mission plan was finalized, those Division 13 agents who were going in mixed together to form a team with Di Su Su as the leader. They were disguised in wanderer’s clothes and looked travel-worn and weary. They hunched their backs to look as if they were being weighed down by stress. They carried giant backpacks and looked exactly like those real wanderers. They then headed toward the Dark Crow Forest Town on foot.
The secret base was equipped with many computer screens that were connected to agents’ camera and earphones. Han Xiao, Lin Yao, and Qi Bai Jia would rotate to monitor the situation.
Di Su Su’s team soon arrived at the crowded town, which was displayed on the screens. There were many different types of buildings, and despite the housing being simple and crude, there were many people there, making it look like a marketplace. Although the town was small in area, it had everything, even hotels for guests.
“Let’s look for a place to stay first.”
Di Su Su and the gang were questioned by the locals, but she answered perfectly. They were just ‘wanderers that were migrating’ and ‘wanted to rest here for a while before moving off.’ Afterwards, they successfully checked in at one of the hotels in the town.
As soon as they entered the room, they immediately swept for monitoring cameras and bugs professionally. They started discussing their next steps after they made sure the room was safe.
“How should we proceed now?” Li Ya Lin curled her lips and gave Di Su Su a cold look.
Di Su Su was not in the mood to banter with Li Ya Lin. Her brows knitted together as she said in a serious tone, “People in the town are still suspicious of our identity. I think we should stay put.”
Han Xiao suddenly chimed in through the earpieces. “You guys had better act today.”
“Give me a good reason.” Di Su Su was slightly provoked.
“You guys are now foreign wanderers, so you should act your part. It is only normal to gather information about this place. It will actually look strange if you purposefully conceal yourselves, making others feel that you have an ulterior motive.”
Everyone looked at one another. “That seems like a good point.”
“…Let’s do what Han Xiao suggested.”
The town had many amenities, including entertainment facilities, casinos, a pharmacy, restaurants, and even places for one to release. As night fell, the team moved out in different groups and pretended to spend money, probe for intel, and gather information. However, they did not achieve any substantial success. The locals there were mostly ordinary wanderers, and they did not spot any people of interest.
“Our enemies must be hiding deeply. We probably won’t get anything through this method.” Qi Bai Jia’s expression was grave.
“Actually, I know a way.” Han Xiao smiled. He knew the specific spy that was station at this town. After ‘real’ players earned enough reputation from missions, they could choose to join the Germinal Organization through this NPC. By catching this NPC, they could get quite a lot of intel.
Han Xiao knew the exact coordinates of the Dark Crow Valley Base, but he was unsure of the specific military strength and defenses of the base. After ten long years, he only remembered a little information about the place. Furthermore, they were at the different point in time, so the changes would be different. It was essential for them to gather intel from the NPC.
“You guys should go to the southern part of town, where you will see a casino. There should be a bald-headed dude who knows the intel about the base.” Han Xiao was describing the spy from the Germinal Organization stationed at the town. Those ‘real’ players who were born at Dark Crow Forest Town could only join the Germinal Organization through this guy.
Everyone was shocked. Di Su Su frowned. “Where did you get this information from?”
“I have my ways.”
“What if the information is incorrect?” Di Su Su was adamant.
“Listen to him.” Qi Bai Jia spoke up for Han Xiao. Before the mission, higher ups had told him to trust his intel. This showed that the higher ups valued Han Xiao highly.
Di Su Su had to repress her suspicion and follow to the order. She took some agents to the small casino and looked for the person quietly. Without fail, they found the bald-headed guy, who was the banker of the casino.
“What should we do now? If we act rashly, we could alarm our enemies. He might have companions from the organization around him,” asked Di Su Su.
Han Xiao was speechless. “We’ve already found our target. Can’t you just be professional and do what you usually do?”
Di Su Su felt her chest tighten, enraged by his comment. But at the same time, she realized that she had asked a dumb question. She gathered her teammates to secretly surround the guy.
Han Xiao looked at the time. He got up and let Lin Yao take over his duty. He did not feel that he needed to supervise the actual execution. If they could not even catch the guy, those agents should just knock themselves out with a piece of tofu.
At the same time, Winna and her team of Hesla agents left for their objective after she gave Han Xiao a fierce glare.
Han Xiao did not plan to rest at the secret base. He went into the trunk of Big Black and started assessing the situation. Both operations are team-based. They will most likely complete them without any hiccups. I should be more concerned with my personal mission. I will need some handy tools in order to assassinate the sentry guards in the forest.
Han Xiao took out some spare parts and began working on his interface.
Do you wish to proceed with talent fusion?
(Basic Spatial Sensing + Basic Bio-engineering + Basic Mechanical Engineering)
This fusion will cost you 15,000 EXP.
Congratulations, you have invented [Miniature Biological Sensor (Spider)]!
Winna’s team sneaked among the trees silently as if they were hunters searching for prey in the dark forest. They were wearing camouflage suits and night-vision goggles.
The sentry guards were stationed right outside the base. One of the team members was a master in investigating trails. He could deduce the number of people that had walked past a location a day before based on the minimal evidence left behind.
He was called Magarnu, a tall Sharnuk. He was built like a small mountain, which made it hard to believe that he was extremely meticulous. He rubbed the soil between his fingertips, smelt it, and pondered for a few moments. “There was a man, weighing around 180 pounds, who walked past here in a northwestern direction seven hours ago.”
Winna did not doubt Magarnu’s deduction. She and her team walked carefully in that direction. Suddenly, they came to a halt. Night vision goggles showed a living entity on tree three hundred meters out.
“Search the surroundings!”
Winna kept a cool head and did not act prematurely. She instructed her team to search for any other sentry guards or surveillance devices in the surroundings. After about twenty minutes, they confirmed that they were safe.
Ye Fan gave the order through the radio. “Take him down!”
Winna activated her power, and immediately, a maroon energy trail flashed under her feet. She moved swiftly and quietly within a hundred-meter radius from the enemy. She always stayed in the blind spots of the enemy by using the trees to hide her body like a master-level assassin. She hopped onto a tree in a cat-like manner before summoning her maroon-colored energy. The energy allowed her to stick onto the tree branches, and she jumped constantly from tree to tree, quickly approaching the enemy.
The Germinal sentry guard felt a sudden gust of wind over his head. He looked up and saw a dark shadow accelerating toward him.