Chapter 18- “So how about it? Do you dare?”
Recently, there doesn’t seem to be any major events worth paying attention to among the Guide’s Alliance. If it weren’t for her dragging 001 to play with her every day, Lin Yan would’ve long gotten sick of staying at the base every day.
If she knew she was going to be stuck here with nothing to do earlier, she wouldn’t have busied herself with searching every nook and cranny of the base when she first got here.
Lin Yan yawned with a bored, disinterested face as she sat on the bed, flipping her long black hair behind her shoulders as she powered on the screen of her device.
There was no news from Crimson and Lin Yan had no idea where the woman went as even her tracking ability failed to locate her again and again.
Lin Yan sighed, Crimson was probably still traveling in hyperspace….so unless she was somehow able to hack into the relay stations and destroy their system to get the travel information, there was no way to truly contact the other.
So she began playing a game instead and started one round after another.
Lin Yan played halfheartedly which led to the character she controlled dying multiple times to the boss. She became annoyed and frustrated after so many losses and modified the parameters of the game by changing her weapon to the most powerful item in the game and then happily crushed anyone who blocked her path.
However, it was a pity her effortless crushing didn’t last long as she was interrupted by 001.
001’s voice sounded out from above her, from a sound system installed in the ceiling: “Your Highness, it’s time to get up. Have you forgotten that today is the day when ‘Chu’ returns?”
Lin Yan raised her head: “Huh?”
She slowly recovered from her immersion in her game and sifted through her memories for a long time before she remembered who this ‘Chu’ is.
In order to catch her up on the internal situation of the Guide Alliance, 001 had been whispering in her ear nonstop for the past few days until she knew every aspect about the Alliance like the back of her hand.
And compared to the fledgling organization 10 years ago, the current Guide Alliance had improved by leaps and bounds.
The current leadership of the Guide Alliance was currently split in three ways.
First up was James. He represents the academic group, the ones who are looking into mastering the production of heat-period inhibitors and soothing agents. Their faction included a large number of scientific researchers who play an extremely important role in the development and research of these drugs.
Furthermore, the sales of these inhibitors and soothing agents were important sources of income that supported the day-to-day operation of the Guide Alliance.
The second group was headed by Lin Yudu, who is in charge of public relations and options. Lin Yudu’s abundant resources and connections help to maintain the Alliance’s public image. Even Mihana, that little spoiled brat, seemed to have some ability as she was actually a popular star on Pandora.
In other words, as long as Lin Yudu wanted to, she could easily instigate and incite a storm of public opinions either for or against the Guide Alliance at any time.
Lin Yudu and James were always headbutting each other over many things due to philosophical differences and this ‘Chu’, according to 001, was the person that helped to maintain this delicate balance between the two factions.
Chu is a very mysterious figure.
He has never revealed his real name, for even James and Lin Yudu only know him by his surname.
Chu is a Guide, but his combat power is comparable to that of a high-level sentinel and the combat teams under his authority have rescued many newly awakened young Guides. They save young and impressionable Guides from the very clutches of the Guide Academy.
Crimson’s brother was saved in this way.
This fact alone was enough for Lin Yan to be full of curiosity and possess slight gratitude towards Chu.
Lin Yan sat up on the bed, and the little owl who had also escaped her spiritual sea at some point fluttered onto her shoulder.
She quickly dressed herself up and then left the room.
Chu had hurried back to the base from his mission just to see Lin Yan.
Lin Yan strolled through the long corridors and then arrived in front of Chu’s chamber.
The door slid open and Lin Yan saw a long-haired man sitting in a chair at the table. His gaze was focused on a pot of flowers as he stared at it in a daze.
Chu raised his head and his long side bangs swished over his right ear. His high ponytail flickered behind him as he gave her a friendly smile.
However, Lin Yan wasn’t focused on his smile as she froze at the sight of the flowers.
If she remembered correctly, this should be a pot of….some kind of Scabiosa atropurpurea. 
The round and light purple flowers were lovely, fresh and cute looking. If she hadn’t read her mother’s favorite book on the language of flowers then she might’ve thought that this gruff uncle was a softie on the inside that liked cute things.
She returned his smile and stretched out her hand: “Hello.”
They shook hands.
His hands were not a pair of hands that should’ve belonged to a Guide but more like a Sentinel’s. They were covered in thick calluses from holding and training with guns and knives, much like Crimson’s hands. And the scars that crisscrossed them could only be formed by the deadly onslaught of battles filled with bullets and blood.
Chu was not like Lin Yudu. His straightforward, forthright personality meant that whenever he has something to say, he will say it straight to one’s face if he doesn’t like them. So he went straight to the point.
“Lin Yan, I have received your information 001 sent to me during my mission. Do you really know how to hack?” He didn’t care for Lin Yan’s identity as a princess and called her directly by name. However, this informal demeanor made Lin Yan feel at ease instead of feeling insulted.
Lin Yan nodded her head: “That’s correct.”
“Then this will be easy.” Chu moved the flowers to the side and snapped his fingers. A holographic projection quickly appeared with a three-dimensional model of something, “Since you can escape Planet Ta so easily, your skills shouldn’t be bad.”
He pointed at the holographic image of the starship slowly floating in front of him: “Look at this. If we were to only give you a photonic device, would you be able to destroy the starship’s system and release the people inside?”
Lin Yan studied the model and felt that the starship looked familiar. She raised her head, straightened her back, and then looked him squarely in the eyes: “As long as I have access to an internet connection, there should be no problem.
Chu stayed silent.
Lin Yan felt there was something more to the situation and continued, “Did you encounter any problems?”
Chu frowned, he looked at the new girl in front of him: “There’s a new mission.”
He seemed to have made up his mind and stood up with determination. He brought up something and threw the projection into the air.
Lin Yan stood up and studied the material spread out in the air in front of them.
Chu lightly tapped on a map from the pile of images, he clicked on it to zoom in: “ The routes on this map are currently all the routes that the Guide Alliance have recorded to be known for Guide trafficking.
“So many?” Lin Yan exclaimed.
“You should be well aware of where they get their Guides. Some are raided from war zones, some secretly concealed for sale, and some are sold after they tried to hide their awakenings but were discovered by traffickers.” Chu’s fingers moved quickly, pointing out routes marked with various colors before pointing at the starting point of most of the routes, “But the most chilling thing is that most are from Planet Ta.”
Chu’s eyes turned icy and were full of ridicule: “Everyone knows that on the surface it seems that Planet Ta’s Guide Academy is where the Guides in the Empire must go to….but how many of them know that hundreds of Guides are transported from there to be sold elsewhere every year?”
“Every year?” Lin Yan snapped her head to the side and stared at him, “Weren’t there only two cases of Guides disappearing from the academy?”
Chu snorted: “Just because you don’t know about them, you think that means that it doesn’t happen?”
“Impossible!” Lin Yan widened her eyes, “I’ve checked it myself. Every student in the academy was accounted for and except for those two separate cases, there should’ve been no other incidents.”
Chu didn’t speak and reached out a hand to rub Lin Yan’s head.
“Then what about the Guides that aren’t given an identity, a number, to begin with? How is one accounted for if they aren’t even in the system?”
“Why do you think Planet Ta’s economy is booming?’ Chu’s lips twitched weakly, “They’ve been doing business by trafficking A-level Guides.”
“Those who aren’t born on Planet Ta will be assigned to the ‘elite class’ but this elite class does not exist on record. These people…from the moment they enroll…will be ‘voluntarily’ sent to various planets.”
As if remembering something, he quietly raised his head and looked at the data that followed the unknown disappearances of so many Guides.
His cool gaze traveled from Planet Ta and then to the vast numbers in front of him before recovering and turning off the map.
“This mission will be a bit more difficult than before,” Chu quickly pulled up the mission data from the pile, “In addition to an A-level guide being held captive in the innermost cabin of the starship, there should be several B-level and C-level Guides as well.”
“According to our intelligence, they will arrive at Pandora for docking and transit in 54 hours. This will be our only chance.” Chu’s unperturbed eyes sharpened and stared fixedly at Lin Yan, “Are you willing to participate?”
“The network conditions in the port are terrible, but….” Lin Yan raised her head, her amber eyes were clear and bright, “I would like to give it a try.”
Chu looked at her for a little longer, a rare smile appearing in his eyes as be turned his head towards the other side of the chamber, “See, I told you she would agree.”
The room distorted on the other side and two figures appeared, one tall and the other short.
The shorter figure, a woman, snorted, “A fart’s ass, only a ghost knows what will happen afterward.”
The tall figure, a man, held his head high and snorted: “Chu, as I said before, I will not protect anyone other than my dear.”
Lin Yan watched as these two appear seemingly out of nowhere and the woman shook her hand disdainfully when she saw Lin Yan’s dazed look, “Brat, haven’t you seen optical camouflage before/”
….I have but never seen it used like this.
“Cindy, don’t be rude.” Chu glared coldly at her.
The man beside her grinned: “Chu, if you want us to be polite or not….depends on the person.”
“We don’t understand the manners of these Planet Ta nobles anyways.” The man grabbed his neck and pretended to vomit, “They don’t have much ability, but they do like to put up a worthless pretense.”
Chu frowned slightly, apparently not expecting this level of hostility from his subordinates. He wanted to reprimand them but felt something pull on his arm. It was Lin Yan.
Lin Yan took a step forward and smiled: “Do you two have anything against me?”
The man crossed his arms: “Yes.”
He looked at her reprovingly: “You can’t even lift your own shoulder with your hands, yet we have to work hard to protect you…hmph, I can’t guarantee if we can protect you either.”
Lin Yan’s smile did not waver: “Then what must I do to meet your…requirements?”
Cindy smiled maliciously at her: “What else is there to do? To satisfy people like us, you must prove yourself by fighting.”
The man stretched out a hand and wrapped it around Cindy’s waist, “If we give you a photonic device, a network connection and a distance of 1000 meters…and we won’t use any long-range weapons. Are you confident you can defeat us?”
“So how about us, do you dare?”
In the language of flowers, Scabiosa atropurpurea means remembrance, a widow’s sorrow, a dream
Chu is a man with a story, so I will secretly bury some foreshadowing for him.
 Scabiosa atropurpurea: