Chapter 312: Furballs Food
The heavy-assault cruiser, an epoch-defining product in the history of human warships, had been called a second generation elite cruiser.
It had firepower and defense that transcended the ships of the same grade, and it was by no means an exaggeration to say that a heavy-assault cruiser was already nearer to battleships, which were two grades above cruisers, in terms of performance while retaining a cruisers flexibility and speed.
Battleships were what presently made up the main fighting force of the Pan-human Alliance, with its thick armor and strong firepower, which could be quite a threat when exchanging fire in a battle.
Meanwhile, the heavy-assault cruisers were just like their namesake; they were built solely to rush at the enemy with sudden speed, flying at top speed and with high firepower as they blitzed through the core of the enemy formation, directly going for their vitals.
The appearance of the heavy-assault cruisers would completely change the way people did space battles once introduced without a doubt, complicating the battlefield even further, making it far more flexible.
“I finally understand why the powerful Comet-class frigate can no longer be manufactured; its because the Alliance now has the capabilities to manufacture T2 warships, so T1 elite warships like Comets are no longer as important.” Xia Fei mused.
“Thats right; this is part of the reason.
Actually, while T1 elite warships are less comprehensive than T2 warships, theyre cheaper to make and the production process is also much more developed; the military will still have T1 warships as their main force for a good long time, with T2 warships as support.
“To be precise, the advent of the T2 warships impacts the existence of T1 elite warships like the Comet the most, but there are some ships out there that they cant replace, such as the Vampire youre presently piloting.
Its powerful energy-draining capability cant be matched by any T2 warships.”
Xia Fei smiled.
“Miss Nicole, let us talk about the price now.
Though I really like this Deimos, Im afraid I wont be able to afford it if the price is too high.”
Nicole wagged her fingers playfully.
“This is one of the prototype Deimos-class heavy-assault cruisers weve created, properly configured in order to test the viability of warships in battle.
Every component and equipment within are top-notch, and such a ship cant be measured with money alone.
This ship is a groundbreaking prototype of a new line of warships, so it cant be sold but can only be gifted.”
Xia Fei was baffled.
“A gift for me We are hardly related, so why would you do something like this”
Nicole answered, “We are both businessmen, and surely you understand the idea behind mutual benefits Your Quantum Holdings is now an A-list supplier for the military, so we will have plenty of opportunities to collaborate in the future.
Im of the personality to give the most expensive gift if I am to do so.
How about it”
Xia Fei scratched his head.
He was no foreigner to the theory of gift-giving that Nicole subscribed to, for he was someone used to giving gifts as well, but he was more in the line of doing so with perfunctory small favors, while Nicole was being far more generous than him.
The cost of a single heavy-assault cruiser like this Deimos on the black market might be incalculably huge, making such a gift far too expensive.
Xia Fei hesitated.
He was of the belief that anything easily acquired would surely have strings attached, making it hard for him to decide at the moment.
He did not know if he should accept such a huge gift; Xia Fei really did like this Deimos-class heavy-assault cruiser, but if there were conditions behind these gifts that he could not accept, Xia Fei would not hesitate to reject the kindness.
Nicole could tell what Xia Fei was thinking, so she added, “Im not going to lie to you, though you failed to win the Golden Finger Cup this time, Im of the personal belief that youre the true champion.
This Deimos was already rejected by the military, and for a new product that Ive spent so much money and effort in researching and developing to be left in such disuse, I simply cant abide by it.”
“The four warship manufacturing companies pretty much did the research and development of heavy-assault cruisers at the same time, but its only Deimos that got rejected by the military.
All the products of the other companies more or less received purchase orders for by the military, and thats simply a huge shame.
I simply refuse to accept such an outcome.
“Thats why Ive decided to change this situation; its not just you; someone else with superb warship retrofitting skills and another with immense combat experience will be receiving my generous gifts.
Its my plan to have Deimos, dismissed by the military, not be seen as any weaker than the other warships.”
Nicole was serious when she gave this explanation, her tone filled with fierce determination.
Xia Fei greatly admired this unyielding attitude, especially since Nicole was a lady who was barely eighteen years of age.
Xia Fei said in a deep voice, “So youre hoping that Id be able to rectify the injustice brought onto the Deimos-class heavy-assault cruiser”
Nicole replied, “Precisely.”
Xia Fei furrowed his brows.
“This is a huge gamble.
In the event I fail to turn this Deimos into a fearsome exterminator, it will mean that this priceless warship of yours will have gone to waste.”
Nicole was grim.
“Im willing to make the bet.
Besides, I believe that youll have a way to maximize the prowess of this warship fully.
“Quickly agree to this! This is a heavy-assault cruiser, and theres nothing to hesitate about, Xia Fei.
It isnt like you to look a gift horse in its mouth.” Phantom could no longer stand this, yelling as he urged Xia Fei to take the deal from the sidelines.
Xia Fei used several minutes to mull over the proposition before the severe look on his face cracked into a smile.
He looked to Nicole with a grin.
“I guess even a fool wont reject such favorable conditions.
I agree to do my best in giving it a shot.”
Nicole seemed to let out a sigh.
How do you plan to retrofit Deimos”
Xoa Feo answered, “Simplify it further.
Give up on the drone bay and the living quarters.
Fully improve its firepower and defensive capabilities.
Since this Deimos is a pure gunship, there are only two things that it needs to accomplish: First is to get hold of the enemy, and second is to destroy them.”
Nicole was skeptical.
“Thats your good idea”
Xia Fei simply replied, “Theres no way to patch the weaknesses this ship has, so Ill focus on fully realizing its advantages, making it the strongest warship in a one-versus-one fight.”
“What about when there are many enemies”
Xia Fei burst into laughter.
“Miss Nicole, theres no ship that can be all-powerful.
As long as you remember this point, it becomes very easy to understand how I think.
A really outstanding warship must not necessarily be able to do everything by itself, but it will be one as long as its able to do one thing best.”
Nicole seemed to have an understanding of this, slowly nodding.
“How confident are you of succeeding”
Xia Fei answered, “What weve discussed wont mean anything before we do an actual inspection.
I merely said that Ill give it a shot.
Even if I succeed, Deimos will not suddenly see great sales, though it will at least not be a waste.”
Nicole said, “Okay, give me two days.
The ship will be completely fitted as per your specifications.”
Xia Fei found it hard to believe.
“Two days Miss Nicole, can you really complete so much work in just two days Thats inconceivable.”
“This is Gaia Industries youre talking; were one of the four major warship manufacturing companies in the Alliance.
Theres nothing that is impossible,” Nicole smugly replied.
Nicole did not return with Xia Fei but had stayed behind in the Gaian Evaluation Center, instead.
Waving goodbye to her, Xia Fei hurried onboard the warship, subconsciously catching sight of Nicoles wrist.
The exquisite bracelet she was wearing was gone and the pink scars were clear for all to see.
Nicole stared somewhat dejectedly at the sky as that frigate disappeared among the stars.
A hoverchair came floating behind her.
An old man was seated on it, casually wearing a simple cotton shirt.
It was unknown when was the last time he shaved, for the beard on his chin was a tangled mess.
“Nicole,” this old man lightly called.
Nicole turned around to smile.
“Father, are you feeling a little better today”
Squatting, Nicole placed her hand on her fathers hand.
It was unknown what illness this old man was suffering from, but his hand was shaking non-stop.
It was as if he was about to have a stroke, and a closer inspection would let one see that his pupils were also constantly bouncing about, shuddering dozens of times every second, far faster than what a normal human could achieve.
“Why are you here today” Nicole asked sweetly.
She needed to be stern and uptight when in front of others since she was the chairwoman of Gaia Industries, but she could not help but reveal the tenderness of a young girl in front of her father.
“Im here to see you,” Brundy Sawyer said.
“You should know very well that theres only one prototype Deimos-class heavy-assault cruiser, so why did you tell him that there are three”
“I know,” Nicole softly answered.
“And you ended up giving him the prototype”
“He shares a very good relationship with Avril.”
“They have been together for close to three years now and will very likely be together for a very long time.”
No matter what Brundy said, Nicole only gave him a hum for an answer.
Sighing, Brundy said, “Forget it.
Do whatever you want.”
“I would like to have the scars on my wrists removed, ” Nicole suddenly mentioned.
Brundy buzzed, hoarsely stammering, “G-Good… Good… Youre finally willing to let go… Im… Im very happy for you.”
The news of Xia Fei being accepted as an A-list supplier of the military broke out across the Alliance overnight.
Practically all the media outlets were covering it, with peoples interest in the matter digging up Xia Feis past and publicizing it.
Everyone quickly learned that this average-looking young man was anything but conventional; be it his participation in the super long battle during the Adjudicator assessment, the fact that he had gone missing for a full year after investigating ruins belonging to the ancient civilization, or how he had managed to escape from the Blood Matrix, destroying this secret organization that had existed for decades in one go.
Everyone was discussing these matters avidly, and of course not one of them could have forgotten his astounding performance during the Golden Finger Cup.
These reporters had even managed to dig up Xia Feis past of doing deliveries back on Earth.
Everyone quickly learned that Xia Feis experiences were like an inspirational Hollywood film.
In just over the course of three years, Xia Fei had transformed from a delivery boy, whom no one knew about, and becoming a warrior at the Advanced Star River rank to being an A-list supplier of the military.
It was an unprecedented leap.
Such an improvement speed could be called miraculous, and many everyday citizens looked up to Xia Fei as their goal, hoping to one day become as famous as him.
The ever sensitive news media outlets noticed the publics great interest in Xia Fei, so they spared no expense to search for any news about him to report.
Paparazzis were sent in droves, searching frantically for Xia Feis tracks, but what none of them knew was that, while everyone was eagerly hoping to learn news of him, Xia Fei had actually left.
Saying goodbye to Avril all by himself, Xia Fei piloted his newly acquired Deimos heavy-assault cruiser straight for the long journey ahead.
His goal: The Black Abyss.
Xia Fei had christened this warshipImpaler.
Impaler was an assault-focused gunship.
It only had one weapon, its blasters, and just had one goal, assault.
It had one style of combat, head-to-head, and given its long and narrow shape, calling itImpaler felt apt.
Xia Feis former ship, Vampire, was fitted in the Impalers hangar bay, able to participate in battle as an artful frigate if the need arose.
Impaler and Vampire were hardly the strongest ships in the Pan-human Alliance, but they were definitely the most unique.
Impaler possessed an insane firepower, like the boldest warrior, that even a battleship might have trouble handling the amount of damage it could dish out.
Meanwhile, Vampire was even more unruly than a street hooligan.
Armed with an energy-draining device, which could sap an enemy ships power source, it could leave the enemy ship in a state better off dead, where all they could see was themselves getting attacked without even being able to mount an effective retaliation.
Xia Fei had already realized a long time ago that a truly exceptional warship did not care to be an all-rounder but to have distinctive features.
A jack of all trades but a master of none was hardly comparable to someone who had devoted their whole life to a single field of study, taking it to the extremes.
Currently, Butcher and Sarah were on the screen.
Xia Fei smiled as he greeted the two before asking Sarah, “How are the goods that you were tasked to procure”
Ten thousand energy-shield boosters was not enough to fill two Iteron-class industrial ships.
Xia Fei had arranged for the remaining space in the ships to be allocated into carrying over some living supplies.
The Death Trio Star Region was already barren, so if they were to fall into the chaos of war, selling these supplies that they were bringing over might well see some decent profits.
Since the industrial ships would have otherwise left the space unused, Xia Fei was not going to miss out on this chance to earn some profits.
Though it might not be much, every penny counted.
“Theyre all stored in the cargo hold, ready for transport.
Were merely waiting to set off,” Sarah said.
To the side, Butcher was pouting.
“Not just that, even our frigates have been stocked along with Miss Sarahs goods.
Just take a look for yourself.”
Xia Fei saw Butcher grab a handful of compressed ham from his table, and there was even more food beside him.
The cabin was all completely packed with foodstuff as if it were a food warehouse.
Sarah knitted her eyebrows together.
“The orders I had received were to pack as much as we possibly could.
Your ships had space, so of course were not going to waste any of it.”
Butcher shrugged and did not say a word.
Xia Fei knew that Butcher was only kidding, but Sarah was being too serious.
After all, she grew up in the Wild Star Region, and flexibility was not a trait she had picked up.
Xia Fei chuckled.
“Thats not a bad thing is it Brother Butcher, you can eat as much as you like with all the food there; who knows you might even be able to put on a few more layers of fat in this one trip.
“Im enroute to our rendezvous point, so you guys can take this time to get some rest.
Give your comrades a few days of shore leave and wait for me to arrive before we head off.”
Butcher hesitated for some time before he finally asked, “Xia Fei.
I have something I wish to discuss with you.”
“What is it”
“Your Quantum Holdings has become an A-list supplier of the military, and my comrades from the Blood Matrix are all of course very happy for you, but you should know that were hoping to form an exploration team, specifically to set forth on an expedition in search of a route to Eden.
“Going by Alliance rules and regulations, our exploration team will be considered a paramilitary institution, and the paperworks for its registration will be extremely troublesome.
Plus, well have to file reports on our ongoings to the military at intervals, so were all hoping to put this exploration team under your name, calling it Quantum Expeditions, to spare us plenty of trouble.
Would you be amenable to such an arrangement”
Xia Fei was originally planning to hire Butcher and his men for his use.
After all, they were warriors who were bloodied by battles, and such experienced warriors, who knew how to act during critical junctures, possessed far more combat effectiveness than fresh recruits.
Hearing Butchers words meant that their group still intended to become an exploration team, adventuring all across the universe.
“No problem, Brother Butcher; just leave it to me.
Ill send someone to send in the application and file it with the military,” Xia Fei said.
Winning over peoples hearts was not something to be rushed; Xia Fei decided to go along with Butchers request for now before slowly convincing them later when the timing was right.
Butcher nodded gratefully.
“Thats wonderful! My comrades and I will surely do a good job with this errand, so you can rest easy.”
The journey was long; as he shifted to eating, sleeping, and cultivating, Xia Fei realized a very serious problem: The little creature Furball was not eating.
It had been dozens of days since Furball was born, and the little creature had not eaten anything aside from licking his fingers.
Xia Fei tried all he could to provide it with all sorts of food, but not once did Furball give any of these items a glance, proudly lifting its head up as if it were dismissive of them all.
There were some organisms in this universe that could obtain energy from their environment without needing to ingest food.
Xia Fei had no idea just what Furball was, but he reckoned that it must be similar to those fantastical creatures that did not need to eat.
Xia Fei only realized the gravity of the situation several days later.
Furball was lying in Xia Feis palm with its eyes half close, looking completely dazed and listless.
The originally beautiful silver fur had lost its luster, looking to be one size smaller than when it was born, appearing very weak.
The panicking Xia Fei made some milk and tried to force it down its mouth, but the little creature maintained this look of absolute abhorrence, barely drinking anything and then spitting it all out.
It looked at Xia Fei pleadingly as if telling him not to make it drink the milk.
“This thing is too picky.
I didnt even get to drink a drop of inferior-quality milk when I was growing up,” Xia Fei somewhat angrily complained.
The moment Furball saw that Xia Fei was mad, it rubbed its body against Xia Fei as if coaxing him, making Xia Fei torn between laughing or crying.
“Could it be that this exotic beasts eating habits arent the same as humans” Phantom was muttering to himself in a corner.
“According to records in the Beast Spirit Codex, there are some exotic beasts that will eat metal or ore minerals.
Should we perhaps give it a shot”
Xia Fei whizzed away from the cabin and collected what metal and ore he could carry and brought them all back.
Spreading everything out on the table, he then poured out everything inside his spatial ring, including Celestial Moon.
Furball was under this mess of items, and they saw as it listlessly stared at everything around it once.
All of a sudden, its eyes sparkled, then vaguely emitted a green glow.
Furball excitedly dashed over to where a purple ore was lying, its mouth nearly salivating.
“The purple Heart of Spirit! Furball could not possibly be thinking of eating that, could it!” Phantom exclaimed.
He looked at Xia Fei with a sympathetic gaze.
“Xia Fei, Im afraid that youre gonna go bankrupt this time.”
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