Dominion’s End Volume 5: Zhanjiang Garrison
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Prologue: Captain of the Ice Spears—translated by Miaka_Mei (proofread by EvlNabiki; C/E edited by lucathia)
“Join my squad!”
I simply got straight to the point. Things had already reached this stage; it was meaningless to continue beating around the bush.
Chen Yanqing’s face brightened, and he almost gave a quick nod. But Wen Jianuo, also known as Ah Nuo, grabbed and pulled the former backward, then stepped forward himself.
“On what terms?”
Thank god he’s not demanding a dowry…
I harrumphed and said, “Discussing terms with me? Do you have holes in your brain? My family’s big brother is the boss of this troop. Consider yourself lucky that you get to join my squad. You’d actually dare haggle over terms with me?”
Ah Nuo spread his palms out, and helplessly said, “Even so, do you think we’re gonna agree to be the cannon fodder of the squad?”
I rolled my eyes, and snapped, “Wasting so much effort to save two cannon fodders, you think I have so much free time? Ah Qing, you’ll be the vice-captain of the squad.”
Chen Yanqing stilled, glanced at Wen Jianuo, then honestly said, “Ah Nuo is better than me at this kind of thing. You should pick him.”
“But you’re more obedient.”
Wen Jianuo folded both arms across his chest, with a look of “I’ve already expected this.”
Chen Yanqing scratched his nose, and continued to try and persuade me. “Don’t judge him for always disagreeing with you. He’s actually extremely protective of his people. Once he’s part of your squad, you’ll be considered one of his people and he won’t butt heads with you all the time anymore. There is nothing you need to worry about making him your vice-captain.”
Wen Jianuo almost choked in rage. He roared, “Chen Yanqing, which side are you on!? I’m helping us discuss some terms, but you’re rushing to expose our inside information. Do you really think you’ve been married off?”
Chen Yanqing said in a low, grating voice, “I’m recommending you to Xiao Yu to be the vice-captain. Which side do you think I’m on? You keep going on and on about marriage. Marriage, my ass! Xiao Yu was right, your brain must be rotting. Wen Jianuo, if the man standing in front of you right now was Xiao Yu’s big brother, let’s see if you’d still dare to discuss freakin’ terms with him!”
Wen Jianuo’s face twitched, but he didn’t retort immediately. Dàgē’s ultimate move really did prove to be valuable. It scared them so much that they didn’t even dare to discuss any terms.
“Just because of Xiao Yu’s young age, you’re not taking him seriously. Let me tell you: those aberrants that got us running with nowhere to go and almost annihilated us all, Xiao Yu could freeze each and every one of them into a popsicle with just a single attack! Like hell you can negotiate with him!”
Wen Jianuo abruptly turned to look at me, dumb with disbelief.
Like I said, Chen Yanqing had seen a lot, so he knew a lot too, and this had nothing to do with him wanting to get married off or not. No, wait! Why am I going on about this marrying or not marrying thing, too? Even if he dared to marry me, I wouldn’t dare to marry him!
Chen Yanqing turned to look over, and remarked, “Xiao Yu. Ah Nuo might be nitpicky and fussy, but he’s really quite capable. It’s better to choose him as the vice-captain.”
Wen Jianuo hesitated, but ultimately chose not to talk about any terms. It was evident that he did have some faith in Chen Yanqing.
“You want to discuss terms with me, too?” I coldly said, “I want you to be the vice-captain. You got any complaints?”
“None!” Chen Yanqing promptly replied, then shot a helpless glance at Wen Jianuo.
Contrarily, Wen Jianuo appeared nonchalant. That expression really did look like he didn’t care even one bit. If this wasn’t an act, then his tolerance truly deserved admiration.
“And…” I chuckled, and said in a low voice, “Ah Nuo will be the captain.”
Stunned, both turned their heads and stared at me in unison, as if trying to find the implication “I’m just joking” on my face. But sadly, they only found “I’m serious.”
Wen Jianuo was barely able to squeeze out the words, “Then, what are you gonna be?”
I was about to say “squad member,” but it might seem a little strange that the younger brother of the Big Boss was merely a member of a small squad. Therefore, I changed my mind at the last moment, and said, “I’ll be the same as Ah Qing—a vice-captain.”
Wen Jianuo asked in doubt, “You’re worried that you won’t be able to put people in their places because of your young age?”
I shook my head and said, “I don’t want too many people to know about my real strength. It’ll be more convenient to do stuff that way. You guys will also be covering up for me. It’s best that I appear to be ‘just a pretty face’ and completely lacking in any threat.”
Although most of the soldiers had already seen me in action, Dàgē had shown such a powerful move on his first appearance that I didn’t appear so conspicuous anymore. Except for someone like Chen Yanqing who had seen everything from start to end, the others shouldn’t be able to fully comprehend my strength with how chaotic the situation had been.
Wen Jianuo nodded. “That’s easy. You look just like a pretty face. There’s no need for deception.”
“…If you wanna die early, just let me know. I’ll send you on your way.”
Wen Jianuo stood straight and gave a military salute, “Reporting to the vice-captain, I do not!”
I rolled my eyes, and said, “Pick some soldiers to join the squad. I want men who are very tight-lipped and who would never disobey. There is no room for even the slightest doubt!”
Wen Jianuo looked displeased and was about to speak, but I interrupted him. “The only thing you need to know is that if news of what I plan to do gets out, a great disaster will befall the whole troop!”
He scratched his head in confusion, and said, “You’re entrusting me to manage such a serious matter?”
I shot him an askance look. “It’s not whether or not I trust you, but rather that the great disaster is called the Molecular Organic Research Center.”
Hearing these words, both of their faces darkened. Their eyes brimmed with hatred to the point that they nearly overflowed. Their deep hatred toward the MORC wasn’t any less than mine.
To be safe, I deliberately reminded them of what had happened in the past.
“The MORC caused your entire division to be lost. All of your old comrades were strewn all over the ground, with not even a single one of their bodies in one piece. You guys are probably the most unlikely people to be bought off by them.”
“It’s absolutely impossible!” The two of them agreed with bloodshot eyes.
I had fully anticipated this. You can tell how deep the camaraderie those soldiers had just by looking at Blackie. Despite the circumstances, he had still stopped the others from bombing the MORC entrance and hadn’t hesitated at all to go down to save people. It’s almost impossible for the MORC to buy off these two.
In order to exact vengeance on the MORC, subduing these soldiers is of vital importance!
Wen Jianuo doubtfully asked, “It’s undeniable that we hate the MORC, but why do you hate them so much?”
“Xiaotian is no more,” I quietly said.
They gawked at first. Then, a distressed look spread across their faces. Chen Yanqing muttered in disbelief, “How? How could they bring themselves to hurt such a small child?”
Wen Jianuo asked in a bewildered tone, “Is it really related to the MORC? Why would they kill a child?”
“He was collateral. Their main goal was to recapture Thirteen while I wanted to kill him, so there was a confrontation. I don’t want to talk about the rest of it. You’re also forbidden to talk about Xiaotian. Just remember that the MORC and I are irreconcilable enemies. I will never forgive them!”
Hearing this, Wen Jianuo was clearly a bit moved. They would have a place to stay, and even vengeance; they couldn’t possibly have dreamed of a better option.
Chen Yanqing tried to persuade him again, “Come on, Ah Nuo, agree to join. If you keep on hesitating, Xiao Yu might not want us anymore!”
Wen Jianuo rolled his eyes at him, then turned around and said to me, “OK, I got it. I only have one request and that is, you can’t treat our people as cannon fodder.”
Just how many times do I have to emphasize this? I rolled my eyes at him and said, “Don’t worry. You’re more precious than diamonds. If you guys got carelessly sacrificed as cannon fodder, then where am I supposed to find a bunch of MORC-hating people to be my subordinates?
Currently, nobody knows the MORC yet. But in the future, everyone would be fighting over their products. They would gnash their teeth in anger and curse them as blood-sucking vermin for profiting from others’ misfortune and charging exorbitant prices. But no one had ever thought of destroying them. When all was said and done, those items were just too useful. Plus, there were many people with insubstantial abilities that depended on their weapons for survival. If someone wanted to exterminate the MORC, a lot of people would rise in opposition.
Wen Jianuo probed, “So you’re forming the squad in order to annihilate the MORC? If that’s the case, then you can take us all in. I guarantee that everyone will put their back into it!”
If annihilating the MORC was so easy, I would have sought Dàgē out to do that long ago. Why would I ask you guys, a bunch of passersby?
In terms of strength, the MORC had ability users, enhanced and powerful aberrants, and even army troops. Meanwhile, Dàgē’s troop wasn’t strong enough yet. At first glance, we seemed to have three hundred people; however, the amount of strong and capable ones might not even reach thirteen. Confronting the MORC was basically a road to ruin. There was no way I’d trade my whole family to avenge the Ice Emperor, and the Ice Emperor himself would absolutely not wish for me to do so either.
“Then, what are you forming a squad for?” Wen Jianuo became even more puzzled.
I thought for a bit, and added, “We will start with finding seeds and catching livestock. Sowing and breeding will begin at a later time.”
“…” The two soldiers’ faces were so dark, it was as if they had been farming for a whole lifetime.
Wen Jianuo said through gritted teeth, “So we’re actually not cannon fodder—we’re peasants!”