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Chapter 17.1 – The Price of Growth
Ten days later, Su stood on a mountaintop and overlooked the scenery below him. It was an enormous city that had part of its vitality restored. The sky was still a dull gray, and the lighting within many large buildings were lit. Vehicles would occasionally move through the newly renovated roads. At the edge of the city, there was a large area of brightly lit factories, and fully loaded trucks would drive in and out from time to time. More importantly, from the city’s bright lights, it was clear that this city used a tremendous amount of electricity.
Once his line of sight passed over the city, he could see an ocean that stretched endlessly.
The low hanging layer of clouds revealed a crack, revealing the sun behind them. A large expanse of golden sunlight scattered down. Not only was the sea covered in specks of gold, the side of the city facing the sea was also dyed in a reddish-golden color. However, behind the bright golden color was a deep shadow that was similar to eternal night.
At Su’s side was Persephone who wore a shirt and a pencil skirt. Her right hand carried an elaborate-looking canvas bag, and her left hand pointed towards the great sea that flickered with millions and millions specks of golden radiance. “The headquarters of the Black Dragonriders is right there.”
Following her finger, Su saw the old-fashioned seven floor building. Even though it was rather far away, he could still vaguely see the building’s narrow and tall gate. Due to the fact that its back was turned to the sunlight, the inside of the gate was dark and gloomy, as if it was going to devour all those that dared to enter.
Ta ta ta… The sharp and clear sound of high-heeled shoes striking against the ground echoed in front of the Black Dragonriders general headquarters building that already had several hundred years of history. The bodies of the two guards at the gate immediately trembled, and then they straightened their bodies that were already quite straight a bit more. When this type of sound could be heard, it could only mean one thing: Persephone was coming.
Sure enough, Persephone appeared like a specter. She climbed up the long flight of stairs and walked through the Black Dragonriders’ gates with an upright and unafraid attitude. As soon as she appeared, the two guards immediately gave her the most accurate military salute. When they looked at Persephone, their eyes were full of respect, excitement, as well as a bit of hidden desire.
Persephone’s gait was elegant and graceful, and on her face was a completely undisguised coldness and arrogance.
The people going in and out of the lobby all stopped moving and looked at Persephone who had just returned from her task. All of the dragonriders that happened to be standing in front of her path hurriedly moved to the side.
During the few days that Persephone left, practically everyone was trying to guess at what kind of mission it was that would require the Black Dragonriders’ youngest, most powerful, most cunning, and at the same time the most beautiful and sexiest major general to personally depart. Who was that strange individual standing behind her?
Su’s expression only revealed indifference. His gaze only rested on Persephone’s waist that seemed to sway with a consistent rhythm, not paying attention to either side of him at all. His pace completely matched Persephone’s, as if he had become one with her. The distance between the two was always 1.5 meters, never a bit more or a bit less.
Countless eyes fell upon Su’s body. Jealousy, hatred, curiosity, passion, disdain, greed, amazement, puzzlement, and even fervent desire; these eyes seemed to reflect all types of positive and negative emotions as they pierced at Su.
Many men’s eyes landed on the wrapped up Barrett, and their eyes revealed astonishment, contempt, as well as anger. Within the Black Dragonriders that greatly prefered the popularized intelligent firearms of the new era, olden firearms had practically become extinct. Those that dared to use these types of weapons were all insufferably arrogant and ferocious individuals. Within the Black Dragonriders, Magic and Combat Domains seemed to be the most popular. Even if one majored in the Mental Domain, few would make firearms their primary focus, because after all, the difference between low level weapon proficiency and electronic capabilities was negligible.
There were quite a few women in the lobby, and differentiating them by their clothes, most of them were ordinary members who served as secretaries or filing positions, and there were female dragonriders too, of course. Their eyes all seemed to rest on Su’s face and occasionally look at Persephone. There were a few who couldn’t conceal their own jealousy and envy.
Su moved at an unchanged pace under countless pairs of eyes and followed Persephone up to the sixth floor.
After entering the Black Dragonriders’ headquarters, Su’s face was no longer covered in bandages.
The Persephone that returned to the Black Dragonriders possessed clear power and grandeur. Wherever she went, the sharp and clear high heels would resound to that place. However, Su attracted even more attention than she did.
As soon as Persephone reached the sixth floor, the handsome male adjutant received news and opened her office door for her.
When Persephone sat down in the office, Su silently stood next to the office table, causing a flash of shock to run past the adjutant’s eyes. This adjutant was extremely good at keeping his composure, and his many years of working his position made him clearly understand the result of forgetting himself in front of Persephone. He restrained himself, not allowing his gaze to land on Su’s body. He placed the documents he was carrying in front of Persephone.
This was the amount of work that had accumulated during the time Persephone had been away that required her personal signature. At this moment, Persephone was not in the mood at all to deal with this type of important matters. She quickly flipped through these documents and would occasionally stop to glance them over a few times before scribbling her own suggestions. The three documents only took her five minutes to deal with.
“Have any basic training camps happened recently?” Persephone dealt with the documents as she asked.
“Yes. The newest set of basic training already started yesterday. This is a complete course that Captain Curtis is in charge of, and there are currently 31 cadets being trained. The newest strengthening training camp will begin seven days later.” The male adjutant did not hesitate at all with his reply, as if his his brain had a database installed in it.
“It’s Curtis’ training camp? Seems like our luck isn’t bad.” Persephone raised her head and pointed her pencil at Su before saying, “Tell Curtis that there will be one more person joining, and it’s him.”
The adjutant became shocked and said, “This will be quite difficult. Your esteemed self knows Captain Curtis’ temper. He would never do something like accepting an individual halfway. Your order seems to be inconsistent with standard procedures. He doesn’t seem to have completed any of the normal Black Dragonriders’ procedures, and this training camp is designed for the best among the new dragonrider cadets.”
Persephone’s eyes became colder and colder. “I believe I did not give you the authority to question my orders, first lieutenant! Do not forget your status and just complete the tasks you were given! Tell Curtis that I am extremely serious about this matter without any margin for discussion! If he dares to use regulations to argue with me or use his own stupid customs, then I will personally go over to his house and break every bottle of alcohol he has! Tell him everything I told you word for word!”
“Yes! Major General!” The adjutant straightened his already straight body and used the most clear and direct voice he could muster to reply before carefully concealing the shock in his heart.
Persephone looked at Su and said, “You should follow him. Whatever you need, he will tell you.”
Before following the adjutant out of the office, Su suddenly saw Persephone make a gesture towards him. She used the black pencil to lightly draw a streak through the air.
Su who had associated with Persephone for half a month knew that she wanted him to completely overturn all of his opponents in the training camp.
Su seemed to have inadvertently nodded. Persephone would never have him complete any unnecessary matters, and he himself also understood to some extent the meaning of something like this.
The adjutant led Su directly out from the building. He personally drove a four-wheel drive off-road vehicle with a demon image etched on it and quickly brought Su away.
The road was rather long, and along the way, this adjutant carefully probed Su’s background, interests, and all other information that might be required. It was quite obvious that he already couldn’t conceal some of his curiosity. However, Su, who stood in the passenger seat carried the Barrett without saying a single word.
The adjutant’s handsome face became slightly red. It was hard for him to hold back his anger, but out of fear for Persephone as well as how little he knew about Su, he did not choose to become hostile or take action.
The off-road vehicle rumbled and surged, leaving the roads and various constructs behind it one after another. The windshield couldn’t completely block the powerful wind hitting his face, causing the adjutant’s short blonde hair to fly straight backwards.
After driving for almost an hour, the off-road vehicle drove towards the foot of the mountain and approached an extremely simple and crude looking army camp. After the guard at the camp doors inspected the adjutant’s identification, the off-road vehicle was allowed through.
The adjutant and Su waited for a whole hour before Captain Curtis brought the cadets that had been away on training back to the camp. They only heard a crash before the barracks the two individuals were staying at was kicked open. Captain Curtis carried a malevolent expression on his face as he walked in. This captain was a black individual, and his originally fierce and coarse face had many scars covering his face. His height wasn’t that great, making him only a few centimeters taller than Su. However, his body’s width and thickness seemed to be double that of Su’s! When he entered through the door, he seemed to have to move slightly sideways to enter the standard-sized barracks door.
Under the clearly custom made uniform were muscles packed with explosive power. Above the rolled up sleeves were intertwining muscles, and veins that continuously throbbed above them could be seen. His almost shining black skin was suffused with a glossy luster.
“Let me see what kind of thing is joining halfway. I want to see whether or not it is a weakling that will shit his pants under a single punch!” Curtis laughed maliciously as soon as he entered. His hands were held together, and the joints around his body rang with pop pop sounds.