Chapter 428 - The Past
Chu Huaying had lived on the Dark Night starship for 28 years. In her memories, she grew up wandering among the stars with her parents since she was a child. Unfortunately, her parents died early. The Dark Night starship never landed on the bug planet while she was there, so she only had half of an understanding of the planet.
Chu Huaying gave an order and the more than 30 star thieves on the starship gathered in the command room.
She started to question them one by one. “Have you ever been to the bug planet before? How much do you know about this planet?”
Most of the star thieves only had limited knowledge. They heard from their parents that there were bugs on this planet but no one knew what type of bugs they were. The scene of the bugs fusing that they had seen just now had made many people pale with fear.
Yu Hanjiang was more professional at interrogation than Chu Huaying. He wore a mask and stood beside Chu Huaying while carefully observing the expressions and movements of these star thieves. As Chu Huaying interrogated an old man with gray hair, Yu Hanjiang suddenly leaned toward her ear. “The moment this old man heard about the bug planet, his eyes dodged and his right hand instinctively moved behind his back. He definitely knows something.”
Body language was very important. In many cases, Yu Hanjiang could judge if the suspect was telling the truth or lying based on subtle body language. This was the result of his many years of interrogating criminals.
Chu Huaying focused on the old man in front of her.
The old man was over 50 years old and was from the same generation as Chu Huaying’s father. He was responsible for the maintenance of the starship. He usually didn’t show up much but Chu Huaying remembered him.
She walked up to the other person and said warmly, “Uncle Qin, you watched me grow up. Now I am the captain of the Dark Night starship. I should have the right to know some secrets, right? Otherwise, what if I do something like accidentally driving the starship to the bug planet again and end up hurting everyone?”
The old man trembled, gritted his teeth and refused to speak.
Chu Huaying waved the other star thieves out, then continued. “Just now, the bugs suddenly flew over to attack us. What is the reason? The bug queen asked if us humans haven’t done enough evil over the years. Do you know what she means? Can you tell me?”
The old man was silent for a moment before slowly answering in a hoarse voice, “23 years ago, we were wandering around the stars and inadvertently found there were many precious minerals on the planet. We landed at a vein and wanted to mine for some minerals to sell, only to be surrounded by curious bugs.”
“We were startled and about to pick up our weapons, only to be stopped by the former captain. The bugs didn’t attack us. They just watched us curiously. The captain said that we only had 30 people and we didn’t know the ability of the bugs. We shouldn’t rush to hurt the native race here. It was best to communicate and negotiate with them.”
“However, humans and bugs don’t speak the same language and we didn’t know how to negotiate. We spoke for a long time but the bugs just curiously surrounded us and didn’t give us any response. This was when the captain thought of approaching the bugs. He happened to have an injury on his hand and the bugs actually crawled along his wound into his body…”
Chu Huaying’s expression changed. “And then? He became a bug?”
“No, he conquered the bugs in his body.” The old man’s face had an expression of admiration when mentioning the former captain. He coughed before continuing, “It was amazing. The captain gained the ability to understand the bugs. He went to talk to the bug queen and told her that we were just taking some minerals that were worthless to the bugs but very precious to us.”
“Did the queen agree?”
“She agreed.” The old man said. “Those minerals were rubbish to the bugs but they could help humans improve the mecha armor. Coincidentally, we happened to carry plants that could help the queen accelerate the reproduction of the fungus blanket.”
The Dark Night starship did have a greenhouse dedicated to growing vegetables and fruits. After all, star thieves wandered the universe and couldn’t always eat compressed biscuits. The development of science and technology meant that nutrition solutions had become popular. It could accelerate the growth of crops and a cabbage could ripen in just a few days.
Unexpectedly, the nutrient solutions actually also worked for the bugs?
Xiao Lou suddenly had a bold guess in his heart. “So you reached an agreement with the bug queen. You would provide nutrient solutions for her to reproduce her fungus blanket while she would let you mine the minerals on the planet?”
The old man glanced at Xiao Lou. Xiao Lou was wearing a mask and his face couldn’t be seen clearly. Only a pair of black and clear eyes were seen and his voice was very gentle… the old man didn’t know if he should answer.
Chu Huaying said indifferently, “They have decided to join the star thieves and they are my people. Uncle Qin, don’t worry and say it.”
The old man nodded. “We were at peace with the bugs on this planet and designed a new starship based on the shape of the bugs. After that, we mined a lot of minerals to sell and continued to deliver nutrient solutions to the queen to spread the blanket all over the entire planet. Those three years were the best years for our star thieves…”
Chu Huaying could guess the next plot. “You sold a lot of precious minerals and the profits made other people jealous. They would definitely wonder about the source of it and find a way to track you?”
Old Qin closed his eyes with pain and clenched his fists. “Yes. During the time when we went to the bug planet to mine, we were tracked by anti-reconnaissance drones. The hidden resource star was discovered by the Minister of Resources of the Locke Empire. Then he asked the military for help and they sent an army to exterminate the bugs and occupy the resource star…”
Uncle Qin recalled the scene of that year and trembled all over. He choked up while speaking. “The star thieves had countless deaths and injuries. Finally, only a few people managed to drive the starship to escape, including me and your parents.”
Chu Huaying frowned. “In other words, because the minerals you sold were too precious and the quantity you sold was too high, the imperial army tracked you and found the resource star this way.. They didn’t know the bugs were intelligent creatures and sent troops to destroy them directly.”
Uncle Qin said, “After all, in their eyes, our star thieves should be eliminated and they should monopolize the resources star for huge profits. Of course, they wanted to kill us and the bugs… they just didn’t expect the bugs to be so terrible. They couldn’t eliminate them. On the contrary, the bugs fought hard and almost destroyed all the troops that were sent. Only a few people survived and fled in the fastest S-grade mecha.”
Xiao Lou asked, “Where is your old captain?”
Old Qin was silent for a moment before whispering, “He was captured.”
“In other words, the captain who fused with the bugs was captured by the military and returned to Capital Star?”
“Yes, he developed a strong ability after merging with the bugs. Normally he shouldn’t have been caught so easily but there were too many troops sent. In order to protect us, he piloted his mecha to fight. The elite troops of the empire also had strong combat ability. They directly trapped the captain’s mecha with an electromagnetic net and took him away…”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang looked at each other and despite wearing masks, they could both see that the other thought of the same possibility.
Chu Huaying opened her mouth. “Uncle Qin, if you know something then tell us.”
The old man sighed. “The old captain often chatted with the queen after merging with the bugs so the queen also learned human language. When we fled in the starship, I heard her say that humans shouldn’t step foot on the bug planet ever again or she will kill us one by one. Due to this, we never dared to land on the bug planet again.”
He looked at Chu Huaying with regret. “If I knew you would run to the bug planet today, I would’ve stopped it! Huaying, don’t be so impulsive again. The bugs aren’t easy to deal with!”
Chu Huaying nodded. “Thank you, Uncle Qin. I understand. You can go back and rest.”
The old man left and the rest of them took off the masks.
Everyone’s expression was ugly.
Ye Qi came to a conclusion. “The star thieves inadvertently found that there were minerals coveted by human beings in the bug territory and negotiated with the bugs for mutual benefit… However, the thieves became greedier and sold more minerals. This attracted the attention of the Ministry of Resources. After a discussion between the Ministry of Resources and the military, they decided to eliminate the star thieves and the bugs in one fell swoop in order to occupy the resource star. This triggered the fierce resistance of the bugs and they were defeated in the end. The bugs suffered heavy losses and the bug queen started hating humanity. More than half the star thieves were wounded and killed and the captain was caught. Meanwhile, the army was almost wiped out?”
If the military headquarters had softened their attitude and negotiated with the bug queen then the tragedy wouldn’t have happened.
However, it was their first time seeing these seemingly ‘weak’ bugs. Human beings were born as ‘higher creatures’ and were arrogant. They subconsciously felt, ‘Aren’t they just low-grade bugs? Fire can burn them and then the planet will be ours.’
The facts gave them a headache.
Ye Qi’s summary made the team members feel heavy, especially Lu Jiuchuan who had suffered the loss. However, this was the plot that the keeper set for him and Tang Ci and it happened before they entered the secret room. If it had been Lu Jiuchuan, he would’ve never acted so rashly.
Yu Hanjiang suddenly spoke softly, “The captain of the star ship was captured 20 years ago. It was also the year that the Noah’s Ark plan restarted.”
In 2977, the star thieves found the bug planet. They sold minerals and profited for three years.
In 2980, the star thieves were tracked by the empire and the military carried out a plan to destroy the bugs and almost wiped them out. The only gain was the capture of the former captain of the star thieves, who had merged with the bugs.
In the same year, the Noah’s Ark plan was scheduled to restart.
Could it be a coincidence?
Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “The first Noah’s Ark plan in 2975 failed because there was a problem with the culture medium. The children who were cloned didn’t live long and the experiment was suspended. We’ve been wondering why the program was restarted in 2980. Now it seems that it has to do with the discovery of the bugs!”
The timing was too coincidental!
That year, humans suffered on the bug planet and captured the captain of the star thieves who had merged with the bugs. Not long after that, the Noah’s Ark plan restarted and they invested 3 billion to study the method of cloning humans again.
Xiao Lou had long speculated that the planned restart was due to a huge upgrade in experimental techniques. Now it seemed they were inspired by the bug’s abilities to replicate cells for healing wounds.
Yu Hanjiang followed his words and kept speculating. “The culture medium that humans use to grow vegetables and fruits can speed up the growth of the fungus blanket. Can the genes of the bug race accelerate human development?”
Xiao Lou said, “If that is the case, the scientists will definitely experiment on the captured star thief captain. Perhaps they extracted the bug genes from his body and added some of those gene fragments to the gene sequence that replicates human cells?”
Xiao Lou took a deep breath and clenched his fists tightly as he shook. “This is why the second experiment was so successful that the cloned children could grow to the same age as the original body so quickly. It is because crazy scientists hybridized and modified human genes!”
A chill went down the backs of the team members when they heard this.
What if the genes of the bugs were added to the human gene sequence and mutated? Were they crazy?!
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality