Chapter 1: Arrest

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You have the right to remain silent.
Now, put down your weapon. 


Near the end of the year, the days of the Khetar[1] Space Rogues did not pass easily. 

As a small-scale criminal gang, the Khetar Space Rogues worked many different kinds of jobs: smuggling, trafficking, looting, anything that would bring in money. 

In previous years, the Khetar Space Rogues would complete a big job to buy supplies for the new year ——But this year, the unfortunate thing was that the space rogues, who did not even make the top ten thousand on that awfully long list of wanted criminal organizations published by the Interstellar Federation, had made an accidental mistake.
Just as they were snatching merits at the end of the year, they bumped into the Federation’s Police. 

A tragedy. 

“I said to be careful when grabbing the kid more times than I can count.
Now that brat Zhao Yu bungled it and that garbage galaxy Chunmeng has alerted the Federation’s Police Headquarters.
They’ve been pursuing us relentlessly for a fucking month!”

The one speaking was a golden-haired beauty in a revealing outfit.
Her seductive curves and dark green eyes made people think of the Earth legend of Medusa from antiquity, but this Medusa’s temper was the most fiery amongst the Khetar Space Rogues——no one else came close. 

“Lilith, stop complaining.
Zhao didn’t mean it.
Who would’ve thought it was possible to run into a Federation patrol unit in a remote galaxy like that? Bear with it, we’ll be at the delivery point soon.
I’ll have Zhao take you to the Capitol Galaxy to drink the rum there?”

The Khetar Space Rogues had few members.
Compared to the other interstellar rogues at the top of the list, who even had their own bases, they only had thirty-two people in their group.
Having an imposing presence was really out of the question. 

While they were few in number, they were nimble.
The Khetar Space Rogues, because of their recent job in a major galaxy, attracted the attention of the Federation Police. 

It was just too bad that, while not a large group, they were really cunningly evasive.
Each time the Federation Police caught up, they slipped away like a fish.
And as for the Federation cops responsible for catching them, after each and every one of them were dressed down for a whole day and night, they learned from their mistakes, and after a year of using their military might, they managed to trace them. 

When Lilith heard someone chime in, her beautiful eyebrows creased and she snorted. 

She kicked the child beside her that did not even reach the height of her waist and spat on the ground, “Unlucky!”

That child had a tattered cloak draped on her body, her greasy, short hair covered by the hood and splotchy black soot smeared on her face, their expression empty.
Due to a long period of malnutrition, her body was weak and she staggered to the ground.
Her face went white because of the kick and suddenly coughed up a pool of blood. 

Red, irregular-sized droplets dripped onto the crimson sand, the color combination dazzling to the eye. 

The child was kicked onto the sandy ground.
The sand opened wounds in her knees and palms, causing unbearable pain, but she did not dare make a sound.
Under Lilith’s forceful gaze, the child tried to get back up, but because she had not eaten in such a long time, her body was truly weak.
She grew more flustered and more scrabbling, and she slipped and fell back to the ground. 

The Crimson Sand Planet was a planet in the northwest quadrant that would soon be abandoned. 

The surface of the Crimson Sand Planet was entirely covered in red grit with only a few special water holes occurring naturally, like an enlarged version of a desert.
With average, year-round temperatures no lower than 40°C, it had even earned an Earthly name—— “Sahara Planet.”

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As for the indigenous people of this planet, they had long since all boarded illegal smuggling vessels to seek a living elsewhere.
Only those who were wanted in other places, bandits with nowhere else to go, and persons charged with “special jobs” stayed here. 

And now, the Khetar Space Rogues linked together the thirty-or-so slaves that they had trafficked from many different galaxies and walked them one in front of the other in a long, skewed line reminiscent of the caravan trains stretching across the desert during the ancient era to the outskirts of the Crimson Sand Planet. 

“Faster! Slow pokes, all the rogue groups were targeted by the cops before.
And now it looks like you’re going to make the whole line stop so you can climb out of this shithole, right?”

Lilith looked at the child but did not hit her.
She unraveled the whip hanging at her waist.
Suddenly, the whip lashed out.

The incisive tip of the whip sliced the tattered cloak into thinner strips of cloth. 

The child groaned and started to sway side to side, rattling the chains on her wrists and ankles and making an ear-piercing sound. 

“Hey! Lilith! Calm down——here.”

Zhao Yu, who was from the same group, was tall and strapping, but a bit chubby around his face. 

He pulled out a fruit-like seed and tossed it to Lilith. 

Zhao Yu figured that Lilith might have Romani blood of ancient times running through her veins.
Otherwise, she would not dress so similarly, with so many accessories hanging from her body; perhaps there was a natural-born passion for these curious decorations deep in her bones. 

“What is it?” Lilith caught it and under the direct sunlight, she narrowed her eyes to appreciate the object, which was no larger than a fingernail. 

The ‘seed’ was the color of white gold, wrapped in a flowing, unknown metal, and roughly oval in shape with two pointed ends.
In the sunlight, it flashed with a subtle, sumptuous luster.

One had to say, it really suited Lilith’s tastes. 

She swiftly moved her attention away from the child, entirely unaware that the child had timidly raised her head to glance at her. 

While her gaze may have been weak, she stared directly at the ‘seed.’ Like a dragonfly skimming across the surface of a pond, she soon averted her gaze and lowered her head like nothing had occurred. 

“Do you still remember when we came across that unstable planet, and we wanted to take advantage of the chaos to loot, making a fortune?” Zhao Yu scratched his head, “Luckily we ran into someone from Sylouis——legend has it that this planet’s people are dwindling fast.
I pulled this thing off her neck.
It looked pretty, some upper-class woman would like it.
Think you’ll get a good price for it at the black market one day?”

Lilith was overjoyed and she shook with laughter: “Why did you give me something you’d give to an upper-class woman?”

Zhao Yu smiled ingratiatingly: “Of course I’d give something so pretty to the most beautiful flower in our group.”

“How thoughtful!”

The two of them continued their flirtations, their voices dissipating into the gusting wind of the boundless desert. 

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The child followed behind Lilith, mimicking her movements.
She suddenly felt the person behind her pull on her cloak, and she unhurriedly turned her head around and met a quick-witted gaze——while their body’s condition was not much better, their eyes shone with a distinct light. 

“Are you alright?”

The other person, who looked like they were the same age as her or perhaps a bit younger, asked in a low, halting voice. 

The child shook her head silently, seeming like she had neither the energy nor the desire to talk with the other, and went to turn back around directly. 

The other person hurriedly pulled on her hand again and cautiously pulled a water sack out from underneath their cloak.
Their concerned gaze returned, like they were wordlessly asking if she wanted a sip. 

They were slaves being trafficked, but to keep them alive, the interstellar rogues would provide them rations at set intervals——of course, it would not be an expensive, nourishing nutrient pack.
It was just to keep them alive. 

Even if it was like this, everyone’s water supply was far from enough. 

Two days had already passed since they had last been provided water, so the child did not expect that the other person would have a sip left. 

She stared at the other person calmly.
Pure, simple, with an unworldly innocence.  

And an undefinable, overflowing sympathy. 

The child’s frosty eyes seemed to twinkle, and her gaze met the other’s momentarily, then she averted her eyes, as if nothing had happened. 

Head shook. 


The other person wanted to say something else.
However, the child had already resolutely turned away and continued to stare at Lilith’s back. 

Like a snake slithering in pursuit: glum, composed, strong, and patient. 

Lilith was currently playing with the little gift she got from Zhao Yu. 

For a split second, she sensed some kind of frightening gaze on her.
She instinctively turned around, but could only see the child, who was walking along like she might keel over at any moment. 

“How much longer until we’re there? The client only specified how many slaves, but didn’t so much as show their face.” She shifted her line of sight slyly, “Then they gave us the coordinates to the outskirts of a planet where even birds don’t shit——do you all see anyone here for the trade off?”

“Doesn’t matter! As long as we get the money! Just wait until we get the payment then we’ll slip away at the nearest jump point——I’m still worried about the Federation Police.”

Zhao Yu shrugged.
Just as he answered, a message came through on his personal Star Link terminal. 

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All of the interstellar rogue group members received the same message simultaneously. 

A holographic screen popped up in front of his eyes.
Zhao Yu skimmed through the message quickly and his expression shifted abruptly. 

“What? He’s calling off the deal?!” Lilith roared, her complexion bad. 

Just as she said this, Lilith’s ears caught an immense electromagnetic buzz. 

A gargantuan, bullet-shaped starship suddenly split the sky above the Crimson Sand Planet with the force of a tremendous destruction! In the clear light of the day, the colossus was terrifyingly imposing.
The enormous, dark-green Federation Police signal slashed across the yellow sand, which whipped through the air and into everyone’s eyes. 

“Damn it! Are they so well-informed?” Lilith spat and grumbled. 

“Listen up!——Give up the goods, everyone scatter!”

The bandit leader’s order came through the communicators of each member for them to hear. 

All of the slaves trafficked by the bandits revealed glad smiles. 

“Fuck!” Lilith pulled the laser gun at her hip.
Just as she was going to look all around for a place to conceal herself, she suddenly caught the child, who had been standing next to her earlier, staring at her intently. 

“What’re you doing?” Lilith’s voice unconsciously revealed a trace of unease. 

But the child, as before, kept her frightening silence.

Except, just as Lilith finished her question, the emaciated child, with legs like twigs, suddenly produced a great springing action, and she leapt into the air! Her hands wrapped around her neck, exposing the blue veins on her arms.
Using Lilith’s neck as a fulcrum, she flipped over in mid air!

Her two legs replaced her hands, and she used the silver chains binding her feet to form a deadly garotte around Lilith’s throat and choked her to death.
She grabbed the laser gun clutched in Lilith’s dead hands, then, without waiting for the other interstellar rogues to react, she took aim and opened fire!

“Damn it!” The others sensed that something was wrong and pulled out their laser guns.
Laser beams from every direction melted sand as they converged!

“You little whelp!”

“Look out!”

“Kill her!”

But the child used Lilith’s body as a shield, skillfully evading the first strafe.
Bringing along Liliths’ already-dead corpse, she somersaulted and intercepted the incoming laser blasts to sever her chains.
Lilith’s disorderly jewelry was also torn apart in the brawl. 

A sharp sequin had sliced a thin, deep cut on her left arm from shoulder to wrist, and countless bits of gravel and accessories had been embedded in it, but the child lowered her eyes and hid behind the corpse, not saying a word. 

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“People below, put your hands up! If you continue to fight, it will be considered resisting arrest! I repeat! Put your hands up!”

Innumerable small spacecraft split off from the main ship into two divisions.
Police dressed in Federation Police uniforms controlled the fleetingly chaotic scene. 

A low hum rumbled through the outskirts of the Crimson Sand Planet, reverberating through the open space. 

“Come out!” A police officer coldly pointed their gun at the child hiding behind the body and watched them intently, “Put down your weapons and put your hands up!”

The child was half-squatting on the ground, looking at the kid who had shown her kindness.
They were holding their hands in the air, looking at her anxiously, their worried expression seeming to urge them to comply. 

The injury on her arm felt numb, like water was gently washing the wound, affectionately and lingeringly.

The child tilted her head, stared at the other person, and slowly revealed a slight, slight smile. 

“You have the right to remain silent.
Now, put down your weapon.”

A light buzzing of energy instantly flowed from her cranium to her eardrums.
Her tense nerves broke, burst, exploded into colorful fireworks. 

The ice-cold muzzle of a gun pressed down on her head. 

The author has something to say:

FL enters the stage in chapter 7.
Interstellar, slow burn, plot-centric.
People who aren’t drawn in by chapter one, please persist until chapter 7 to see FL, then decide if you will drop it!

I hope you all enjoy reading!

(The author continues discussing another one of their works set in the same world)

Translator notes:

There are a few names in here that are English/phonetic/other names.
I don’t really know what to do with these, so I just kind of sounded them out.
Please, have mercy on me, I suck at this QAQ

克塔尔: ‘ke ta er’, could be something like Ketar, or KTR, but it’s Khetar for now.
If there is more context later, I will change it. 

莉莉丝: ‘li li si’, I am almost certain this is Lilith

西洛伊斯: ‘xi luo yi si’, I legit have no idea with this one, just put Sylouis for the sound

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