Chapter 709: Rules of Darkness
Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
Normal people would think that, since space pirates committed all kinds of crimes, Spider Den, their home camp, must be a chaotic and lawless place.
However, according to Fengyu Zhong’s notes, that was far from the truth.
Although countless brutal bandits were gathered on Spider Den, a set of effective rules of darkness had been established after thousands of years of cruel competition.
Restricted by the rules, few open fights had ever broken out on Spider Den, although competitions in secret were not uncommon. At first glance, Spider Den was a peaceful and ordered place.
But it was quite understandable on second thought. Since so many lawless, ferocious space pirates gathered in the same place, if they were not restricted by a set of unquestionable rules, they would have attacked each other until all the other people died and turned Spider Den into a mess. It would have been impossible for them to go out and rob other starships at all.
Li Yao heard that many seasoned bandits allowed their subordinates to do all kinds of cruel things during their operations. However, when they were back to their nest, or even the villages near the nest, they would abide by strict rules and forbid their subordinates from even touching the belongings of the villagers.
As the saying went, the fox preys farthest from his hole. It was not because of their sense of justice but a necessity for their survival.
It was exactly the same for Spider Den. Under the tough rules of darkness, the space pirates were divided into three classes.
The bottom class, as well as the class that boasted the largest number, was made of people who could barely be called space pirates.
They were the reserves of the space pirates.
Some of them were fighters and Cultivators who committed felonies such as murder or robbery and violated the laws of their space zones. They had nowhere to run to except Spider Den.
Some of them were the victims who had been kidnapped and brought back to Spider Den after all of their belongs had been looted by space pirates. Having no other options, they turned from victims into persecutors.
Some of them were the offspring of the space pirates on Spider Den over the past hundreds of years.
Living in such an environment, they learned nothing other than the arts of robbery. After they grew up, they often had no alternatives except to walk on the path of darkness, too.
Those people were in the bottom of the food chain of Spider Den.
They had to prove their capability in places such as underground arenas in order to be hired by a certain pirate gang.
After all, all the space pirates were risking their lives when they were doing their job. Even if the newcomers were not real experts, they had to prove themselves to be brutal and fearless of death in order to participate in the hunting game.
After they were picked, they were still not counted as real members of the pirate gang. The pirate gang was merely taking them to loot the lambs together.
Most of the trophies belonged to the pirate gang that took them for the mission. It was considered the ticket fee for keeping them aboard.
It was the unspoken rule of Spider Den.
There were no other ways. Without a starship, even a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator would barely loot any victims in space.
After a few life-and-death battles, the survivors of the newcomers would become official members of the pirate gang.
Then, some of the trophies would be allocated to them, and they could exchange them for more advanced Cultivation arts and techniques on the black market.
For the people in the bottom class, it was sort of the starting line of their career.
But there were some weirdoes among them who went on their own when they had the chance to join a pirate gang. They would board other space pirates’ starships but not work together with them.
Such people were the lone wolves among space pirates. ‘Hellsword’ Zhuang Ziyou was one of the best of them.
However, most people still preferred to join a pirate gang. They would then be in the middle class of the space pirates and become real bandits.
Real space pirates and reserve space pirates differed in whether or not they had their own starships.
With a starship, they could perform free hunting and would be the owner of most of their trophies. It was vastly different from the shrimps of the bottom class.
But these bandits were still not at the top of the food chain of Spider Den. Above their heads were the real dominators of space pirates.
Space pirates came and went like the wind, their paths unpredictable. They were only limited by two factors.
Firstly, supply bases, where they could repair and modify their starships, refill their fuel, and purchase new crystal suits.
Secondly, intelligence and money-laundering network, or in other words, large-scale black markets. It would be better if extravagant places for entertainment were in such places where they could forget the risk of everyday life in cold, dark space.
Both factors could be found on Spider Den. They were controlled by the real dominators of the space pirates!
Take ‘Pirate Potentate’ Bai Xinghe for example. Under his control, he had forty percent of the docks on Spider Den, almost ten crystal suit centers, and a secret arsenal allegedly left by the Star Ocean Imperium.
Although most of the magical equipment in the arsenal was now debris, some of the units were still functional and could boost the performance of modern magical equipment when they were activated!
If the starship of a space pirate was damaged, they had to repair it in the docks that belonged to Bai Xinghe in most cases because some of the maintenance facilities could not be found anywhere else.
Naturally, Bai Xinghe could ask for whatever price he wanted. After he earned a huge amount of money from the brutal bandits, the bandits could only swallow their anger and express their gratitude.
That was the real space pirate of the space pirates and the king on Spider Den.
The three classes were clearly divided. The bottom class did not have their starships. The middle class had their starships but could not maintain or supply them. The top class had starships and could maintain, modify, and refine crystal suits on their own, to the point that they were almost an army.
There were nine such dominators who boasted their own docks and crystal suit centers on Spider Den. They formed an organization named ‘Nine Dragons Union’ to enforce the rules of darkness.
The rules were simple. Everybody was free to do whatever they wanted on Spider Den. Assassination, robbery, betrayal, massacre… Anything they wanted could be done.
But no matter what they did, no evidence was to be left behind.
Without evidence, even if all of Spider Den knew that a certain massacre was done by a certain space pirate, nobody would bother about it.
On the contrary, they would praise the space pirate for their marvelous skills in secret.
However, if the victims luckily survived the accidents and brought undeniable proof with them, then the nine biggest pirate gangs would say sorry and eliminate the unfortunate criminal.
It was not because of the crime he committed, but because he was idiotic enough to leave an eyewitness after the crime.
Restricted by such rules, the dark society of Spider Den had functioned smoothly for a thousand years even though countless brutal bandits were gathered in the place.
Over the past thirty years, the leader of the Nine Dragons Union had always been ‘Pirate Potentate’ Bai Xinghe.
It was not the first time that Li Yao had seen the name ‘Bai Xinghe’.
In the entire ‘Stormy Sword’, the name appeared 136 times.
In most paragraphs where ‘Bai Xinghe’ was mentioned, Fengyu Zhong wrote with a tone mixed with hatred, jealousy, fear, and respect.
At the end of the notebook, Fengyu Zhong even specially wrote a biography for Bai Xinghe and recorded his marvelous rise on Spider Den, hoping to set a role model for his son.
In the biography, Fengyu Zhong even mentioned ‘Yan Xinjian’, the legendary ancestor of space pirates five hundred years ago!
In the history of the Flying Star Sector, Yan Xinjian was a rarely-seen capable man.
He had originally been the elder of the Heaven Wolves Fortress, one of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City, and the vice commander of the joint fleet of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City.
His boss and his wife were both disciples of the Silver Moon Clan and were involved in a relationship.
After learning of the matter, Yan Xinjian made thorough plans without alarming everyone. He butchered his wife, his boss, and every other member of his boss’s family before he joined Spider Den with a bunch of loyal followers and became one of the most troublesome bandits in the world.
Five hundred years ago, the Flying Star Sector was short of anything but heroes. The Cultivators formed a super fleet of almost a thousand starships, hoping to take over Spider Den and annihilate all the space pirates.
When the fleet drew close, all the space pirates panicked. It was Yan Xinjian who organized the mobs who were essentially loose sand and waged a war against Cultivators for several years until a cosmic storm destroyed a lot of the starships on the Cultivators’ side. The assault was thereby aborted, and the myth that ‘Spider Den is never to be breached from the front’ was left.
From then on, Yan Xinjian was respected as the emperor of all space pirates. It was even said that he boasted the technique of summoning cosmic storms.
Aside from his personality and integrity, in regard to Cultivation and capability in administration, Yan Xinjian was definitely one of the most distinguished people in the thousands of years of history of the Flying Star Sector.
Fengyu Zhong did not go so far as to compare Bai Xinghe to such a legendary person, but it was evident enough that he thought very highly of Bai Xinghe.
Bai Xinghe’s rise was another shocking story.
He was not a native of Spider Den. It was said that, when he was seven, the starship he boarded on was engaged in a cosmic storm. He was discovered by space pirates and sold to Spider Den, only to become a ‘treasure hunter’ later.
‘Treasure hunter’ sounded like a cool title, but it actually entailed endless sweat and blood.
Spider Den was a planet of resources and industry in the days of the Star Ocean Imperium. Although most of the resources were drained during the civil war, a lot of secret treasures and facilities were still left behind.
It was said that, at the end of the war, to deal with the enemy, the whole of Spider Den was hollowed, and an extremely complicated underground labyrinth was built.
The underground labyrinth was a fortress whose size was unimaginable. Countless arsenals and shelters were built inside, and tremendous invaluable secret treasures as well as unbelievable Cultivation arts, techniques, and training facilities were hidden.
With the technology of the Flying Star Sector nowadays, the space pirates never went deeper than two hundred meters, a far distance away from the center of the underground labyrinth, even though they’d been working for a thousand years.
Traps, secret tunnels, and automatic defensive magical equipment had been deployed in the deeper parts of the labyrinth so that the guards could continue the fight after they retreated into the fortress when the enemy invaded.
The space pirates wanted to excavate the arsenals, magical equipment, and techniques and did not want to be hurt by the traps. Therefore, they would hire ‘treasure hunters’ to explore the underground.
Sometimes, when nobody answered their call, they would buy slaves for the mission.
They were more like suicide missions than treasure-hunting missions. The death rate was shockingly high. The treasure hunters were essentially experimental mice.
It was said that Bai Xinghe had the ability to soften his bones. Also, since he was only seven years old, his body size was small, allowing him to crawl into tunnels no larger than mouseholes. He was the best treasure hunter.
For five years, he worked as a treasure hunter. He crawled below the ground of Spider Den and narrowly escaped death countless times, as if he were blessed by a deity.
In the end, the space pirates who owned him were amazed and moved him out of the dark place. He was promoted to be an official space pirate from a dead-for-sure treasure hunter.
It was said that many space pirates believed that he had unbelievable luck, and that if they kept him on board, their starships would not be blown up by Cultivators.