Chapter 176 Smuggler
Exodus TalesExodus Tales
Because the vast expanse of No Mans Space was not under the protection of the Alliance, falling into pirates hands would make for extremely dire straits.
Piracy was an ancient profession, and these space pirates were far more merciless than the pirates who just steered sailboats in the high seas centuries back.
The cosmos had become the perfect hiding place for them, and it would be hard to locate any pirates even through a large-scale search.
Xia Fei hesitated for a moment before accepting the communication signal.
At the end of the day, he was piloting a battlecruiser, and the average pirate was absolutely no match for it.
Unless he encountered the rumored warlord bands, this battlecruiser would definitely be able to have an unimpeded cruise through space.
This is the Tomahawk; state your identity at once, Xia Fei ordered.
Tomahawk was the name Xia Fei had given this Vexor-class battlecruiser.
Since its exterior looked like a silver tomahawk, Xia Fei named it accordingly.
Without the support of the interplanetary internet, interstellar communication would be subjected to troublesome interference from plenty of environmental factors.
In fact, ultra-long-distance communications had long been a problem that plagued mankind.
The Tomahawk had a high-tech communications facility, so its signal reception was decent.
Though it was evident that the other party lacked any advanced communications equipment, for the voice that got transmitted back was broken and very static.
Please state your identity again, as well as the warship composition of the enemy.
Xia Fei frowned.
The present situation was that the spaceship under attack could hear Xia Feis voice, while he was unable to hear anything from their end aside from static.
If there were two pirate ships, Xia Fei believed that he could make quick work of them and save this one, but if there was a whole fleet of pirates, then that would be bad.
Furthermore, the cunning pirates here in No Mans Space would intentionally use SOS signals as bait, luring other ships into their traps, so it was prudent for Xia Fei to act cautiously here.
The only words Xia Fei could make out from the intermittent voice coming through were help, Kestrel-class, and pirates.
He could infer that the civilian ship had unluckily bumped into a pirate-piloted, Kestral frigate and was now unable to escape.
His fingers tapped on his screen as Xia Fei piloted his frigate and warped to the signals coordinates.
What are you saving them for What would you do if this turned out to be a trap Phantom worriedly asked.
Xia Fei shook his head.
I have no idea, but all that matters is that I want to go.
Phantom was speechless.
Reality was just that intriguing.
Xia Fei was an intelligent and sensible man, so logically, he ought to be the calm and composed sort who was not prone to making impulsive decisions, yet Xia Fei would often seek to deal with things according to his abilities in an extreme manner, not caring about the costs or consequences, even becoming unreasonable sometimes.
Fortunately, Xia Fei had a superhuman intuition, and his sixth sense was usually on the mark, which was why he had not really suffered a huge loss this whole time.
It was just that these extreme traits, which had all appeared in Xia Fei, made it really difficult for others to get a good read of his intrinsic character.
Phantom had been with Xia Fei for more than two years and the conclusion he could ultimately settle on was that Xia Fei was neither the calm and composed nor the impulsive sort; he was the complicated and unpredictable sort.
Covering the thirty-five thousand lightyears in the span of several minutes, the huge Tomahawk appeared from the wormhole and came gleaming against the dark space.
He saw a small industrial ship being hounded by a Kestrel-class frigate, the latter circling around its prey as it unleashed attacks.
The missiles left trails of blue flames as they shot out, exploding upon the industrial ships fuselage.
It was apparent that the industrial ship was already on the verge of falling apart.
If Xia Fei were even a minute later, this could very well be its grave, becoming just one of the plenty of debris drifting in space.
Release the light combat drones; target the Kestrel-class frigate.
Give them a sound beating for me!
Prime the warp disruptor, and get ready to interrupt the enemys warp attempt!
Xia Fei, who was very calmly sitting on the command deck, continuously gave out orders after orders to the onboard intelligent command system.
Benefiting from this intelligent programs existence, Xia Fei was able to control the huge cruiser all by himself, without needing additional crew to help.
If this had been the galactic society long ago, Xia Fei would have very likely needed thousands of people just to man this ship.
The Kestrel-class frigate was completely no match for the Tomahawk; the two were like peaches against a watermelon.
The former was completely outmatched by the latter.
Oh, god! Thats a battlecruiser, and its even one belonging to the Adjudicator Union!
Quick! Initiate the emergency warp! Hurry!
The pirate ship began to flee in their panic when they saw the Tomahawk appear, pushing their warp engine to its maximum capacity, disappearing without a trace into that endless expanse.
They would most likely find it hard to shake off the specter in their minds for a very long time after today.
The sudden appearance of a battlecruiser was already very unnerving to these pirates; what more since it was one belonging to the Union, with possibly many powerful Adjudicators onboard.
Actually, they were only half right.
The Tomahawk did indeed have an Adjudicator inside, but there was only one, and this Adjudicator was still just an apprentice.
They actually fled! Xia Fei pursed his lips, somewhat feeling dissatisfied.
Though the battlecruiser was a powerful ship, it was a little sluggish when dealing with small targets.
After all, the larger a warship was, the longer it would take it to respond.
They wouldnt have gotten away if I had been onboard Vampire, Xia Fei muttered to himself.
I read from your ancient books that taking down an enemy without losing one soldier in the process is considered to be the best strategy.
Isnt this great Let a lousy ship flee; best we focus on saving that industrial ship first.
Xia Fei nodded, then grabbed the communicator from his command console, and hailed the industrial ship, which had already been battered down to its frame.
State your name, Alliance serial number, and your purpose.
The names Harris, and my Alliance serial number is XXXXXXX.
Im a businessman, intending to sell some food to Black Abyss, only to be waylaid by pirates, reported an old-timer in his fifties, who appeared on the screen.
Xia Fei chuckled.
There was no way a businessman would take the risk through No Mans Space all alone on a small ship.
He had no doubt this Harris was a smuggler.
Xia Fei had nothing against the smuggling profession.
At the end of the day, their existence more or less brought some supplies to the Death Trio Star Region.
With the local warlords acting like tyrants who aggressively exercised their might, the common folks were the ones who ended up suffering tremendously under their yoke.
Being able to obtain some cheaper products through these smugglers would at least make the lives of the citizens in the Death Trio Star Region a bit easier.
As such, the people of the star regions shared this welcoming attitude toward smugglers, often taking the initiative to provide them with supplies, even giving them shelter when they were subjected to the pursuit and hunt of the local warlords.
Xia Fei had learned all these through the interplanetary internet, though it was unfortunate that there was limited news and information regarding the regions, so Xia Fei barely had a clear picture of the Death Trio Star Region.
Hows your ship Xia Fei asked.
The old-timer shook his head and pitifully.
Eighty-nine percent of its frame has been damaged beyond repair.
Im afraid it can hardly hang on any longer.
Esteemed Adjudicator, where are you headed to Do you mind taking me along
Any spaceship would have their energy shield, hull, and frame as layers of protection, and this industrial ship had been damaged to the point that its structure was already falling apart.
There was no way for it to do any long-range warping at this rate, for the suction force of the wormhole could easily tear it apart.
In this vast No Mans Space, being unable to warp was as good as a death sentence; there was basically no way to survive this.
Xia Fei mulled over this request.
Are you the only one onboard
Yes, just me alone.
Please take me along, Harris very urgently pleaded; his old face, which was showing paleness from the pirates attack before, trembled as he spoke.
A smuggler will definitely be very familiar with this route.
Having him onboard might prove to be useful, Xia Fei thought to himself.
Right now, the biggest problem he was facing was how he was unfamiliar with the route ahead.
Piloting a ship in space was not simply just traveling along a straight line between two points; there was also a need to avoid fatal blackholes and whiteholes, ion storms and rays that could damage their ships, and more.
What had been a nine-day flight schedule ended up eating away thirteen days of his precious time, and he would still have to face plenty of natural dangers and obstacles along the way.
Thankfully, the Tomahawk was a large spaceship that had a very sturdy hull.
It was far more capable of handling most dangers unlike the smaller spacecraft.
He might very well have lost his life had he attempted this trip on just his Vampire.
No Mans Space was a long distance away from the Alliances territory.
The star maps on this part of the universe were hardly comprehensive, with plenty of dangerous locations not mapped.
It would be far better to have someone familiar with the territory here acting as a guide than for Xia Fei to blindly navigate through it all by himself.
Open up your ships docking channel and Ill pick you up.
Bring along your ships route map and navigational computer, Xia Fei said.
Since Harris was a smuggler who would often take this route to the Death Trio Star Region, his navigational computer surely contained plenty of useful information that Xia Fei could use, which was why he had ordered him to bring his ship route, too.
Harris readily agreed, all the while repeatedly thanking Xia Fei.
Soon, the two ships had completed connecting their docking channel and Xia Fei headed from the command deck to the channel to wait for the old man there.
He was not one to put his guard down against a stranger, so Xia Fei felt it was necessary for him to deal with this carefully when a stranger boarded his ship.
Harris dragged along two big sacks, panting heavily as he boarded the Tomahawk from his industrial ship.
The man looked very refined at first glance, pale-skinned even, and his fingers were clean and unseasoned.
The old-timer wore metal-rimmed glasses, which rested effortlessly on his nose bridge, though the glasses had clearly been broken right in the middle since white tape was used to stick them together, which had turned greasy and dirty over time.
Xia Fei examined what Harris was carrying and, after ensuring that there were no problems with it, asked, Do you have a spatial ring of any sort on yourself
Xia Fei reached his hand out to interrupt him.
Esteemed Adjudicator is too much of a mouthful.
Just call me Xia Fei.
Xia Fei, I am but a poor businessman.
Theres no way I could afford a spatial ring, Harris politely answered.
Xia Fei nodded, not saying another word.
Harris turned around and started to make his way back to his ship, causing Xia Fei to call him to halt.
What are you doing
Xia Fei, the cargo on my ship is my lifeblood; Im going to go broke if I lose it all.
Xia Fei chuckled.
This old-timer was indeed a businessman through and through.
His industrial ship looked like it was about to blow up at any moment, yet he was still thinking of the cargo he had onboard, truly demonstrating how much he valued money over his life.
Without another word, Xia Fei detached the channel and immediately piloted the Tomahawk away from the industrial ship, which would most likely explode any time.
Harriss expression turned extremely distraught, nearly fainting from the pangs of pain he felt inside him.
Sure enough, the moment the Tomahawk left, that industrial ship exploded in a fiery display, leaving nothing in its wake.
Harris had one hand over his chest, while a look of shock flashed across his face, almost as if his heart ached over his loss.
No one had noticed that there was not a trace of cargo in the wreckage of that ship.
For a smuggler to have nothing in its cargo hold, could he have been smuggling air
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