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Shadow Slave

Chapter 814 Special Company

Once they entered the confines of the port fortress, the human traffic lessened to a considerable degree. However, there were still plenty of people around, all moving with determined haste. Master Jet parked the PTV near a blocky, low building and opened the hatch to exit.

Breathing in the cold winter air, she closed her eyes for a moment, and then let out a long sigh.

After that, Soul Reaper glanced at him with a grin.

"Actually, you arrived just on time. The officer roster of our company is more or less full as of a few days ago, so we were about to hold our first briefing. It was supposed to start half an hour ago, but I postponed to come grab you from the train station."

Sunny raised an eyebrow.


Master Jet nodded:

"Everyone more or less only knows as much as you do, so I'll bring all of you up to speed in one go. Granted, the rest had more time to prepare, not to mention the fact that they have been with the government for years. Don't let those old dogs intimidate you, though."

Sunny smiled.

"Do I look like someone who is easily intimidated?"

She glanced at him and laughed.

"You do, actually. That is one of your advantages, as far as I'm concerned. Being underestimated is always a boon."

She walked forward at a brisk pace and said without looking back:

"The paperwork can wait for later. We'll get you settled and processed after the briefing. Usually, you would not have been allowed anywhere near the classified information without proper clearance and documentation, but these days proper procedure has taken a backseat to efficiency. Plus, there are very few people who can… resist my charm."

Sunny hurried to keep up with Master Jet as they entered the low building. After cutting through several checkpoints without anyone daring to look directly at Soul Reaper, let alone say something about the apparent civilian she was dragging into the guts of the military bunker with her, he understood that her status and reputation truly trampled procedure, at least to a large extent.

Not only mundane humans, but even Awakened treated her with fearful respect. Even an occasional Master they walked past seemed to give her face.

He hesitated, then asked with curiosity:

"Can I ask… what, exactly, is your official title in the First Army?"

Master Jet glanced at him, then smiled.

"Why, I am now Colonel Jet, senior officer of the First Awakened Irregular Company of the Northern Quadrant Corps of the Evacuation Army. Kind of a mouthful, huh?"

Sunny blinked a couple of times, then reached into his memory of the government force organization and hierarchy. He had studied the topic a bit before leaving the city.

"Wait… aren't companies supposed to be commanded by captains? Colonel is… three or four ranks above that. It's just one step away from being a general!"

Soul Reaper nodded.

"Usually, you would be right. However, titles and authority become messy when Awakened are involved. As a rule of thumb, Awakened are one rank above what they would have been as mundane soldiers. That's just for normal ones, though. As irregulars, we will exist somewhat outside the army hierarchy, so our status was bumped up to reflect that."

Sunny scratched the back of his head.

'Outside the hierarchy? What?'

He hesitated, then said in a subdued tone:

"I am… not sure what "irregulars" mean."

She flashed him a smile.

"You will be in a few minutes."

ραпdǎ Й?νêl(сòm) Together, they entered an elevator that brought them deep underground. Master Jet led him through winding corridors of the military bunker and then pressed the palm of her hand against a complicated biometric lock to open a thick alloy door.

Sunny found himself in a spacious chamber that housed a large, round table. Five individuals were already seated around it, quietly waiting for the start of the briefing.

When Master Jet entered, they all stood up and saluted her.

…It was then that Sunny realized that all of them were Ascended.

Three of them were men, while the other two were women. The oldest Master seemed to be nearing his fifties, while the youngest was only slightly older than Soul Reaper. All of them wore serious expressions on their faces and looked at her with somber respect.

She waved a hand.

"At ease. We are all Ascended here. There's no need for ceremony."

The Masters hesitated for a few moments, then relaxed and sat down.

Master Jet unbuttoned her navy blue trench coat, then threw it on the backrest of an empty chair.

Sunny let out a heavy sigh, then made sure to look somewhere else. His cheek suddenly started to burn, for no apparent reason.

As it turned out, his new superior had dismissed her usual uniform in favor of a tight-fitting black bodysuit. In fact, all the Masters present in the room were wearing one.

It made sense. People like Sunny and them had no need of army-issued armor. They would all be using their Memories in the field. A bodysuit like that could easily fit under any type of enchanted armor, so wearing it instead of a uniform was not only more convenient, but also practical.

That didn't make it easy on Sunny, though. There were very few places he could rest his eyes on without potentially getting into trouble.

It was pure torture!

Master Jet sat down, prompting him to do the same. As much as Sunny was flustered by the black bodysuits, the rest of the Ascended were similarly confused by his civilian clothes and age.

Finally, one of them glanced at Soul Reaper and asked:

"Excuse me, ma'am. Who is this… young man? Is he your new adjutant?"

She glanced at them, remained silent for a moment, and then smiled.

"He? Gods, no… this "young man" is Master Sunless, the latest and final additions to the command structure of the First Irregular Company. He is not only one of the youngest humans in history to reach the Rank of an Ascended, but also has a kill count higher than most of you combined. So… give him a warm welcome, I guess…"

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