Chapter 2: The Avaricious Wolf
Federation Star Time: December, 29th, 2844.
The Khetar Space Rogues were captured by the Federation Police’s Chunmeng Galaxy Sixth Division.
That night, the division members all gathered in a pub, shedding tears of joy for completing their difficult year-end assignment.
To be fair, while they may have concluded this battle, the public security of the Federation has not been good since its establishment.
The citizens of the major galaxies have complained incessantly, but the Federation Police also felt utterly wronged.
After all, the rogue and anti-Federation groups in the major galaxies were shockingly numerous.
Although no massive wars have nominally broken out since the beginning of the Great Interstellar Era, small-scale skirmishes have indeed become commonplace.
All around, from what anyone could tell, only the Capital Galaxy genuinely counted as ‘stable and peaceful.’
Under these kinds of circumstances, the Sixth Division seized, recorded, and sent off the newly liberated slaves in under three days, a speed that was truly worthy of being called miraculous.
At this time, four days after the event dubbed ‘the perfect ending of the Khetar Space Rogue capture saga’, inside of a small prison under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Division, the interrogator was standing in their superior’s office delivering a progress report.
“She still has not said anything?”
The captain was a fifty-something-year-old man of mixed descent from both Earth and Alpha.
His mild stature gave off an air of affability and benignity.
In fact, he really was not some sort of career man.
Since he had assumed his current position, he only did the minimum.
Each year, the assignments handed down from the higher-ups were always barely completed.
Rumor had it that his superior was a classmate who graduated in the same semester from the Almia Military Academy, as well as someone of the same familial line.
Their personal relationship was quite good, so one could only turn a blind eye.
The interrogator performed a military salute, then got straight to the point, “Correct! This is what others have described about her.
Please take a look, sir.”
The captain took the documents from the interrogator, the data up appearing between them as a holographic screen.
Thank the lucky stars, since the development of Star Link, the Federation had at last entered a unified paperless era, saving an untold number of forested planets famous for their old-growth timber.
The captain’s gaze moved rapidly as he scanned through the material.
Nameless, female, ten years old.
According to the genetic test, a rare single-planet genealogy made up of more than 50% pure Earthly descent.
Quiet and timid personality, not talkative.
No match in the Star Link registered citizen database.
Kidnapped in the Chunmeng Galaxy.
Based on the description from the other kidnapped citizens, she almost never communicated with anyone and was suspected to be a wanderer without an identity prior to the kidnapping.
But it was precisely this orphaned girl—one that was not remotely eye-catching—who had, during the time the arrest was being carried out, attracted attention by her ‘possession and skillful use of laser weapons.’
If involved in a major operation, such a person would undoubtedly be labeled “suspicious’ and ‘dangerous.’
However, she had appeared in a miniscule operation like this.
Compared to the wars that broke out occasionally in the outer galaxies, this was of little consequence.
“Diet, then?” The captain closed the screen.
He felt that the brightness stung his eyes painfully.
In front of his subordinate, he restrained the urge to take out some eyedrops from his drawer and only rubbed his eyes impatiently.
His family retained some of the old customs of Earth.
Even though the Star Link connected directly with people’s minds, some Earth descendants always believed that something like this would do irreversible damage to their vision.
The interrogator answered, “In accordance with procedure, after three days, she will be automatically transferred to a top-level prison, where a senior interrogator will take over.”
“Let’s do that then.” The captain’s thoughts had already drifted to which presents he would buy his daughter for the new year.
He distractedly waved a hand like he was shooing away a pesky fly.
“Sir, I need you to sign off on it.” The interrogator said methodically, “It’s procedure.”
“Oh…right, a signature.” The captain accepted the documents from the interrogator at his own leisure.
After he marked the appropriate blanks with his mental stamp, he sent away the guest directly, “If there’s nothing else, don’t come bother me.
Once you guys wrap this up, you can go on holiday leave.”
The interrogator once more gave a military salute, then walked out the door like he had not heard.
At the end of the year, no one felt like working.
In accordance with procedure, he handed over the permit.
Quickly, the person responsible for the transfer came to the Sixth Division’s prison.
While it was called a prison, it was actually a much better environment than some of the territories on the outskirts.
The wide area was subdivided into cells by silvery-white bars, with only the side facing the middle corridor transparent: an ionized divider.
In the middle was an enormous, mily-white, electrified screen, which not only perfectly cut off all visual and auditory communication between the inmates, but also perfectly capable of electrocuting any limbs seeking to touch or dismantle it.
Regarding its outward appearance, in contrast to a prison, it seemed more like a sinister, top-secret laboratory for experimentation.
“Number thirty four, transfer.”
The transfer officer docked shortly with the robotic door guard.
And the ‘number thirty four’ that was mentioned—the child who had strangled Lilith, to be exact—keenly sensed them looking at her.
She sat with her arms across and leaned against the bed frame.
She stared at the transfer officer’s flapping lips with raised eyes, reading his lips to gain further understanding of the other’s motives.
It was not yet time.
She cautioned herself repeatedly.
It was not yet time.
The wounds on her body had already been seen by a doctor; they were just a few flesh wounds.
The military doctor was never in the mood to deal with vagrants like her, nevermind the fact that it was the end of the year and his thoughts had long been elsewhere.
The doctor had only smeared on some of the most basic wound cream and wrapped the wounds in bandages.
God knows why, when there were enough ads on Star Link about ‘one-minute recovery” wound medication to blot out the sky, these kinds of traditional therapies still existed in the universe!
“Number thirty four, come out.”
The transfer officer’s voice sounded through a one-way speaker, reverberating through the narrow room.
At the same time, the transparent, ionized screen in front of the child dissipated.
“You have one last chance to confess.”
They stated once again, going through the motions.
The child expressionlessly disregarded this statement.
She rubbed the bandage on her left arm.
Out of humanitarian reasons, the traditional sort of shackles had long been obsolete for a prisoner of her level, but the red marks left behind on her wrists and ankles from before still remained.
Her bones popped loudly as she stood up.
She was stiff from sitting too long.
She was wearing a snow-white prison uniform.
The low-quality fabric rubbed against the scratches on her skin, tickling slightly.
A long corridor awash in white light, white uniforms, white screen, white robots…
Even the end of the corridor was blocked by a white door.
Hazy, dreamlike, reminiscent of the Holy Paradise of legend.
The child walked very slowly, each step in time with her breathing.
She lowered her head, carefully counting the number of steps she took toward the end of the corridor.
Her pulse was a steady seventy-six beats per minute.
Walking to the end of the corridor required five hundred and ninety seven steps, so she could waste approximately seven minutes and eight seconds.
Three minutes and eight seconds.
Six minutes, nineteen seconds, and seven milliseconds.
Seven minutes, six seconds, thirteen milliseconds, and eighteen microseconds.
The child stopped in her step.
She raised her head.
The door opened inward, a cold wind gusting in—along with a glimpse of the twinkling blackness of the stars.
The black uniform was like a drop of ink spilling into the pure, white space.
This word suddenly streaked through her mind.
Starlight danced on the black buttons of a military uniform, overflowing with silvery light.
A badge of the Avaricious Wolf was emblazoned on their chest, a mark of the military’s foremost special forces unit.
Black hair, golden irises, and angularity marked their features, radiating a chilling presence.
The Eastern Galaxy had four major special forces units: the Avaricious Wolf, the Vermillion Bird, the Black Tortoise, and the White Tiger.
The unfortunate thing was, because of their legendary status, the average soldier had never heard of them.
The transfer officer was stunned for a moment, then swiftly performed a standard military salute.
The person who had arrived did not mince words and simply passed over a piece of paper.
——In the paperless era, one should know what this means, right?
A top-secret military order.
This flimsy piece of paper, could, when carried in the hands of a trusted person, avoid the distinct possibilities of system viruses or mental hackers!
“I’m taking this person.”
The man merely flashed the paper in front of the transfer officer and took his position, like a darkness suddenly cleaving the Holy, intolerant of both questions and hesitation.
He stopped in front of the child, standing with his legs parallel.
A slight tap of his military boots’ heels released a powerful sound, which bounced around the wide prison block.
Every inch of the uniform was closely tailored to his skin: precise, proud, cold, and strict.
And the child in front of him simply tilted her head, amber-colored irises sweeping over the man indifferently.
She was standing there, barefoot, dressed in a uniform that looked like it was pulled off an adult.
Truly worthy of being called shabby and miserable.
She frowned and looked the man up and down with her strange eyes.
She said, as if this whole thing was commonplace, “Where’s Hyde?”
“Informing Colonel Lu! When Lieutenant Colonel de Witt was on standby, he received an urgent transfer order.
My name is Jiang Wei, graduated from Almia Military Academy in 2844, here to replace him.
The child raised her eyelids, somewhat listening to him.
She turned and passed through the space between Jiang Wei and the long-stupefied transfer officer, then spoke composedly:
“You are four seconds late, your military salute is two and one half degrees more tilted than the standard salute, and you say too much useless rubbish.
One sentence beyond the direct submission of orders is a waste of words.”
Her voice did not sound discontented, like she was merely stating facts.
She asked rhetorically: “Are the Origin Planet’s requirements for new graduates this low?”
Liang Wei looked dazed, then immediately became a little embarrassed.
He had graduated fifth in his year.
He had never been ridiculed like this before.
After fighting for a long time, it was inevitable that the essentials of etiquette would become rusty, but he had never thought he would encounter a new superior this derisive.
“What are you doing standing there?” The child turned around and glanced at him calmly, “Are you waiting for my invitation?”
“…Understood! Colonel Lu!” Jiang Wei rushed to answer and walked with vigorous strides to catch up to her.
However, the child frowned again, “You don’t even remember the basic material? I’m not surnamed Lu.
Louie——this is my full name.”
The author has something to say:
Ai, many readers have pointed out the problem of the military ranks…I can only explain a little bit.
This piece definitely changed before publishing it, so there are some bugs that have not been changed.
In the latest version, Louie was promoted from Colonel to Lieutenant General.
If there are any bugs, you are welcome to point them out.
When I have time and see them, I’ll change them, but the military ranks do not have much of an impact on the plot and don’t affect the reading experience.
*The title, 贪狼 tanlang, refers to one of the three stars in Chinese astrology, 杀破狼 sha po lang (priest readers will be familiar with this name, of course).
Coincides with Dubhe, or Alpha, of the Big Dipper and symbolizes lust or greed.
狼 lang also means wolf, hence why I translated it that way, given that the other group names are animals.
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|↑1||Here and in other spots, the author uses the word 精神, which can mean mind, spirit, soul, vitality, etc.
For now, I’m treating it as a mind telepathy kind of gig
|↑2||贪狼, see note at the end of the chapter|
|↑3||These names may be familiar to some readers.
The Vermillion Bird, Black Tortoise, and White Tiger are three of the four mythological animals of Chinese mythology alongside the Azure Dragon.
The Avaricious Wolf, 贪狼 Tanlang, is not part of this group, but rather comes from a form of astrology.
|↑4||I will be translating 寸 cun as inch because it’s closer to the actually length than a centimeter.
Hopefully we aren’t using U.S.
Customary/Imperial System in the future QAQ
|↑5||母星, or Mother Planet.
Also refers to the Capital Galaxy mentioned earlier
|↑6||I’m basing her name on a transliteration of 路伊, Luyi, but this is just my guess|
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