Star Rank Hunter

Chapter 392: The Third One

Chapter 392: The Third One

The Vanguard members walked toward the exit after the energy shield within the training grounds was shut down. Mogas reached Czedow first and asked, “Are you okay, Czedow?”

Czedow was currently missing a chunk of his shoulder while electricity rippled constantly across his body. He did not look like he was in pristine condition either. His Armor might be tough enough to reflect bullets, but a bomb was a completely different story.

However, as soon as Czedow had withdrawn his Armor, his wounds began healing on their own. It took him mere seconds to recover and look as good as new!

This stunned the A Squad members to say the least. The robot had endured a literal bomb at close range, but he still recovered in just a matter of breaths!

Meanwhile, Shusag and Snowball had already walked up to Czedow and stood protectively beside him. While everyone here was technically an ally, Shusag did not trust the A Squad one bit. He certainly wouldn’t mind engaging them in battle if push came to shove. To Shusag, everyone outside the Eleventh Squad was an outsider.

Instead of answering Mogas’ question, Czedow manipulated the functioning projectors within the training grounds into showing what was going on inside the ship. They could see through the holograms the invisible robots taking out the remaining stragglers and retaking the bridge. They could also see Czedow reactivating the external shields of the starship, though he maintained the same speed at which it was traveling before.

The moment the external shields came up, everyone outside knew that Cillin’s team had succeeded in their mission. Previously, their starship was just passively enduring the bombardment of the fighters. Now, the sentry guns and intelligent weapons were online and annihilating all hostile forces within range.

While everyone was watching the holograms, Czedow beckoned Shusag and Snowball to join him in cleaning up the training grounds. While the robots were already on it, there were some messes that could only be cleaned up annually. At the same time, the robot was scouring the dead bodies for information.

Stanley watched the trio going about their business while wondering how he should break the ice. Should he thank them for saving their lives? He couldn’t quite get over his embarrassment to do that. Should he just greet them as fellow Vanguards then? How should he even begin?

In the end, Stanley remained silent because he was unable to drop his pride. In fact, Mogas was the only one orbiting Czedow like a moon and shooting questions at the robot like no tomorrow.

“Where’s the commander, Czedow? I don’t see him in the holograms. Sir cat must be somewhere on the ship, right? And what about the others?”

“They’re all carrying out their own respective missions…” Czedow explained briefly before looking at Snowball, “Careful, Snowball. We still need that head.”

Snowball was currently toying with Laton’s frozen head. The white bear had already put away its armor and returned to its normal size. Snowball obeyed Czedow’s request and set the head carefully on the floor, but it wasn’t long before it got bored again. It scratched its butt once before it began roaming the training grounds. Specifically, it was collecting the Navigators’ weapons and tools to add to its “toy bin”.

Some A Squad members tensed up when the white bear got close to them. The white bear looked simple, docile and even cute right now, but no one had forgotten how it had flattened most of its enemies into pancakes in one hit. Logically, they knew the white bear probably wouldn’t attack them for no reason. Emotionally, it was impossible not to get nervous in the presence of such a formidable creature.

Snowball paid them no attention. It was solely focused on collecting its new toys until it glimpsed a new rifle an A Squad member was holding. It immediately walked up to the guy and stared at the gun.

The guy holding the rifle felt nervous to say the least. He tried shooting Stanley a soundless plea for help but quickly noticed that the vice admiral was absorbed in thought. Left with no choice, he gulped once before asking carefully, “Do you want my rifle or something?”

Snowball scratched its ear with a fat paw. “I just want to borrow it for a bit. I promise I’ll return it to you later.”

That sounds like what a scam artist would say. Also, can this bear really handle my rifle? What if it misfires or something?

Despite his doubts, the man eventually handed his rifle to Snowball. One of his comrades immediately shook his head in disapproval, but he stayed silent because Shusag abruptly shot him a look almost as if he had eyes behind his back. They had all witnessed how Shusag had slaughtered the Navigators earlier. They did not want to make an enemy out of him unless they had no other choice. They might be fellow Vanguards, but it was clear that there was a vast divide between them.

Not only that, everyone in the A Squad was wondering just how powerful the Eleventh Squad really was. Earlier, Mogas had mentioned that the three strongest combatants in their squad were Cillin, Czedow, and their cat. Shusag was expressly not one of them. They had witnessed Czedow’s prowess with their own eyes, and they were pretty sure they had a feel for Shusag’s limits as well. Assuming Shusag was just the baseline, they would definitely have to revise their opinion on the Eleventh Squad.

But Cillin is just in his early twenties. Can he really be as powerful as Mogas claimed?

The A Squad members were still trying to figure things out when suddenly, a series of shots dragged them back to reality. They turned toward the source of the commotion and saw Snowball holding the rifle it had borrowed and firing at the warped chunk of metal the Navigators had carved out of the entrance earlier. It was standing seventy or so meters away from its target when it fired the rifle, and the resulting bullet holes formed a near perfect circle on the metal!

Sure, shooting with near perfect accuracy at seventy meters away was easy peasy for most of them, but the white bear was no human. That wasn’t all. After the test fire, Snowball scratched its ear again as if confused about something before seemingly twisting the rifle. It took them a second before they realized that Snowball wasn’t ripping the rifle in half, but dismantling it.

The rifle wasn’t made to fit Snowball’s paws as a matter of course, and even if it was, its massive, clumsy-looking paws didn’t look like it was capable of such delicate work at all. And yet, there was no denying that the white bear had dismantled the rifle perfectly.

Snowball studied the rifle’s parts for a bit before assembling them back together. Then, it handed the rifle back to the man as if it had lost interest.

The man was still in shock when he accepted his rifle. It wasn’t until his companion gave him a gentle slap that he jolted back to reality. His first thought after coming back down to Earth—or rather, the starship—was: the fuck, what the fuck was that look of disdain when that fatty gave me back my gun!

Meanwhile, Mogas was still prodding Czedow for more details about the happenings on the ship to no avail. Czedow could sense where the commander was right now, but he didn’t reveal his whereabouts for obvious reasons. Earlier, he didn’t kill the Navigator leader in one hit even though he could because he needed to be sure that the signal was fully jammed. He waited until after the Navigator leader had failed to send the detonation signal before killing him.

On the other side of the starship, a veiled figure was slowly walking along a side passage leading toward the reactor room. The corridor was fully lit since the starship’s lighting system had come back online, but the figure remained shrouded in shadows. They were wearing a long cloak and a big hat that covered them completely.

The figure was currently toying with their wrist device in an attempt to contact the others, but they quickly discovered that the message couldn’t be sent. It was probably because the ship was being jammed somehow. Suddenly, the wrist device vibrated and displayed some sort of warning message that caused the figure to pause in their tracks in disbelief. A second later, they quickened their footsteps as if realizing that their time was short.

They didn’t manage to take more than three steps before stopping again, however. They looked up and stared at the young man standing on the other end of the passage about thirty meters from them.

“Blue Phantom?” Cillin called out to the veiled figure.

He was here for one reason and one reason alone, and that was to stop the third and final Mist killer—also the one who had nearly killed him back then—from accomplishing her objective.

Blue Phantom removed her cloak after Cillin had identified her. She called out in return, “Commander Cillin of the Eleventh Squad?”

Prior to executing the mission, the three of them had reviewed everything they got on the members of the Eleventh Squad. Naturally, Cillin did not escape their notice. Blue Phantom was puzzled because Cillin should not be here. He should’ve surrendered control to Stanley and left the ship a long time ago.

It did not matter though. BAll Blue Phantom wanted to do right now was to destroy the bomb the Navigator leader had installed in the reactor room. Although the mission had already cost them two lives—the warning message she received earlier was about the deaths of her two comrades—nothing was more important than ensuring that the mission was completed. To that end, she was willing to detonate the bomb and destroy the entire ship including herself. She would be dead if she failed the mission anyway. In that case, she might as well take everyone down to the grave with her.

Blue Phantom rushed Cillin as soon as she asked her question, blue laser blades jutting out of her hands in just the blink of an eye. Her eyes were just as cold and merciless as he remembered it. Right now, her only objective was to detonate the bomb in the reactor room, and Cillin was the obstacle to be eliminated!


To her surprise, Cillin pulled out a thin, black blade and blocked both of her weapons because they could carve him into pieces. That surprise turned into shock when she realized what she was looking at.

“It’s you!”

Despite her words, Blue Phantom didn’t actually recognize Cillin as the prey she nearly killed a long time ago. No, it was the blade she wielded that she recognized.

You’re the one who killed Oskulos!

That was what she was trying to say.

Alarm bells rang in Blue Phantom’s head as she mustered her laser blades once more and swung them so fast that it looked as if she was weaving a web of pure light. But unlike an actual web of light, this one would carve Cillin into many tiny pieces if he was even a little careless. Already, her blades had carved many crisscrossing patterns on the walls.

Cillin wasn’t wearing his Armor. He didn’t use his Water Bullet gun or his Purgatory Thunder Snake either. Fighting Blue Phantom with only his blade, he defended every strike while slowly backing away from her.

At first glance, it looked like Cillin was being pushed back by Blue Phantom. However, the killer knew that that was not the case. It was because his blade was always in the perfect position to block her laser blades no matter the number, angle or speed of her attacks.

It’s not the same. The first time he fought Blue Phantom, her blue blades had struck fear into his heart. Back then, he had found no opening he could possibly exploit to overcome them; possessed nothing he could possibly use to even defend himself against the deadly beams. That was no longer the case, however. Forget intimidating him to the point of running, the blue blades now felt as ordinary as a pair of kitchen knives. They could whale on him until the end of time itself, and he was confident that they still wouldn’t be able to harm a hair on his body.

It wasn’t that the blue blades were any less intimidating than they were before. It was just that this level of intimidation was no longer enough to suppress his spirit. Blue Phantom wasn’t aware of this, but Cillin felt like a machine functioning at a level she could not possibly comprehend right now. No matter how fast she swung her blades, no matter how complicated the moves she used, he was able to memorize it all, predict it all, and counter it all in just an instant.

Zzzt zzt zzt zzzt—

The blue blades made this sizzling noise every time they clashed against Cillin’s blade or gouged into the walls. The concentrated energy being emitted by the weapons were no joke either. He could feel his skin prickle every time it got close.

However, Oskulos’ blade was truly incredible. Not even an enhanced plasma blade was able to put a single dent on it.

Cillin blocked both of Blue Phantom’s blue blades again, but unlike usual, he jumped away from her instead of standing his ground. As if on cue, another two pairs of blue blades appeared out of seemingly nowhere and carved deep into the walls of the passage!

Blue Phantom didn’t just have two hands. She just rarely needed to use all six of them. Of course, each one was wielding a deadly laser blade as well.

Blue Phantom was certain that the surprise attack would catch Cillin off guard, but forget killing the commander, it didn’t even burn the fabric of his suit. This made her realize that there was little chance she would be able to defeat Cillin, and that extending the fight would only be a waste of time. She immediately decided to retreat and find another opportunity to infiltrate the reactor room or just destroy the starship another way.

Unfortunately, the thought had just crossed her mind when suddenly, she felt chilled to the core. It was as if the air around had suddenly turned into solid ice. Every nerve in her body was shaking so hard she almost didn’t know how to react. In fact, pure instinct had taken over as she bent all six of her arms to form a defensive web of slashes in front of her. It was a reflex she had formed after countless life-and-death battles.


Blue Phantom’s eyes widened in utter shock as her three left arms were severed from their sockets. The attack was so swift that she had not been able to react to it at all. The laser blades winked out of existence as soon as they clattered against the floor, leaving behind only the severed limbs.


That was all she managed to say before a crack appeared from the right side of her neck and stretched all the way down to her left waist. Blue blood darker than even her blue skin began gushing out earnestly.


Blue Phantom knew she would have to give it her all from the moment she recognized Oskulos’ blade. After all, he was the man who had killed Oskulos, and the resulting fight had only served to strengthen her belief. However, it wasn’t until that final blow that she realized that the commander hadn’t been using his full strength at all. At that moment, she felt as if she was facing Oskulos himself, the man who stood on the same level as her boss, Nebelah.

Why would he drag out the fight until now when he could’ve ended me in one strike? Did he think this a game?!

That wasn’t the only question in her mind. She did not understand why the man who killed Oskulos would willingly rot away in an insignificant B Squadron of Vanguard. She did not understand how no one in GAL had noticed how big of a threat Cillin had become. How was it possible for a Star Rank Hunter to walk among them while remaining under everyone’s radar?

Unfortunately, Blue Phantom would never find out the answer.

If they knew that their target was protected by such a threat, Nebelah himself and combatants stronger than her would’ve carried out the mission. At the very least, they wouldn’t have sent the three of them over to die a dog’s death…

Just like Laton, Blue Phantom had completely forgotten about the young man whom she had given chase and nearly killed back in that level one prison.

But Cillin had never forgotten them.

Cillin put away his blade and made a hand gesture. A robot slowly manifested into view not far behind him.

“Carry her.”

“Acknowledged, commander.”

Blue Phantom’s eyes were wide open with shock and disbelief when the robot went over to carry her. She did not know Cillin was this strong until it was too late, and she never received answers for her final questions before she died. Of course she wouldn’t be able to rest in peace.

While the robot was dragging Blue Phantom, Cillin turned around and looked into the reactor room. There, a cat was sitting at the entrance while nodding off as if it could fall asleep at any moment. Scratch that, it was actually asleep.

Tsk. This might be the only cat, no, sentient being in the entire universe who could doze off with a ship bomb right next to it!

Earlier, Cillin had instructed Wheeze to guard the reactor room and ensure that the bomb did not go off. Its ears twitched, and its eyes opened when Cillin walked up to the gray cat. It then let out a huge yawn that revealed some very suspicious-looking substance between its teeth.

“How many did you swallow?” Cillin asked.

“I don’t remember. Two? Maybe three?” Wheeze yawned again before lifting its butt and stretched for a good couple seconds. After giving its fur a good tussle, Wheeze shot Blue Phantom a glance and said, “You’re done? Awesome! Let’s meet up with Czedow and the others already.”

The gray cat could hardly wait.

“Let’s take care of the ship destroying bomb before we go anywhere, hmm?” Cillin said before lifting Wheeze by the nape. Then, he walked back into the reactor room.

With Wheeze’s help, Cillin was able to disarm the bomb in just a short time. For obvious reasons, no one (except a certain cat) could relax until the bomb was fully disarmed.

Half an hour later, Cillin handed the disarmed bomb to another robot. The robot then threw it out of the starship.

“We can demand compensation, right Cillin?” Wheeze asked while stretching its claws.

“But of course.”

At the training grounds, the A Squad members were standing in a circle and discussing something. Czedow and Shusag were still busy tidying up the place, and Snowball was playing happily with itself.

Suddenly, Czedow glanced at the entrance and said, “Cillin’s back.”

As if on cue, everyone in the room turned toward the entrance at the same time.

Footsteps began ringing from the corridor. It was mixed with the incessant chattering of a certain fat cat. A short while later, the duo finally stepped into the light.

Shusag relaxed when he gave the commander a look over and found him to be perfectly fine.

Mogas immediately ran up to Cillin while cheering, “Commander! You sure took your—”

The young man was about to say something when he suddenly noticed that Cillin wasn’t alone. Specifically, there was a robot behind him dragging a corpse he recognized just a second later. He wasn’t the only one who was speechless when the corpse was brought into the training grounds.

That’s the third one…

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