Mech: Shattering of the Galaxy - Chapter 1
Translator: Noodletown Translations Editor: Noodletown Translations
Planet Loga, which belonged to the fourth subdivision of the United Galaxia Federation, was the most remote planet that resided in the borders of the federation’s territory. Instead of a given codename, it was named after Major-General Loga, who fought in multiple brutal wars and ultimately sacrificed himself to defend the federation. Although Planet Loga was unique in its exception to the naming system, most people still forgot about it.
Dense rings of space junk surrounded the planet, and the only safe path through belonged to the planet’s administrative personnel. Every two months, a batch of substandard supplies was delivered onto the planet. Therefore, most of the citizens struggled along the borderline of poverty and starvation.
The sky was painted a dark greyish color while the city lights lit up brightly in the central area of District 22, and the city was bustling with noise as the day approached its end; deadly stillness and vitality, that were completely opposite to each other, were in perfect harmony.
Thirty kilometers away from the central city area laid an abandoned factory filled with messy industrial junk and broken pieces of mechs that were damaged in battles and could not be repaired. The planet was lacking in its resources and supplies, and those in power didn’t bother to put forth their energy in dealing with these pieces of junk. The free laborers in the slums could take care of these troublesome problems for them instead, and at the same time it would also save them a big chunk of their budget; so why not?
There was a deadly silence in the wilderness, with the occasional sound of animals squeaking. Around one of the corners in the abandoned factory, sparks occasionally shot off from a silently burning bonfire, casting the shadow of a slim figure onto the ruins.
Mu Fan, who was 17 years old, didn’t know who his biological parents were; he was told by his adoptive parents that they had found him behind a garbage chute while they were collecting scraps for a living. It was at dawn when the brilliant rays of starlight surpassed the horizon and shined gently upon baby Mu Fan’s face. Two separate tags fell off from the baby when they picked him up from the ground. The word “Mu” was carved onto a brown wooden tag while the black metal tag had “Fan” engraved on it.
His adoptive father didn’t think much about the order of the two words. He was fortunate enough to have read a few books, so he named the baby Mu Fan, based on how smooth it sounded. When Mu Fan was still a kid, he didn’t have the sense to ask his adoptive parents about his origin, and when he got a little older, his adoptive parents died from stray bullets during an interstellar pirate attack while they were out collecting scraps. He had just turned ten that year, and there were no more chances for him to find out more details about how he got adopted.
Mu Fan didn’t like to talk much, but he was a sensible kid and knew what had happened. He didn’t cry after he heard the news. Instead, he returned to the broken little house and took out a pair of ripped leather gloves that they had found from collecting scraps. Then, he started to help his neighbors and strangers further away with labor work, regardless if he knew them or not. He was working all sorts of jobs; moving items, dishwashing in the suburbs, delivering packages for citizens who lived in the city district, and also selling scraps that he had found in the factory… He only had himself left, and he had to survive.
This year marked the seventh anniversary of his adoptive parents’ deaths. Mu Fan raised his head as he glanced at the bonfire in front of him, and then he looked down again as he continued to sharpen his dagger that reflected chilling light. He didn’t take care of his looks much. His black hair was chopped short, and although he didn’t appear to have a strong figure, he was taller than the average boy his age. His eyes were brown, but if one observed closely enough, one would notice that there was a trace of red deep down, and it flashed in his eyes every once in a while; it was like the color of roses but also resembled the color of dried blood.
The weather was turning cold during this time of year at District 22, and Mu Fan was wearing a sailcloth jacket with a pair of work pants covered in grease and oil. It was during his break at nighttime when he came out to sharpen his weapon, a dagger made from an industrial alloy. He was at the growing age when it was easy to feel hungry, but he used most of his earnings to buy second-hand books at the flea market, and the remaining money was just enough to purchase two packages of the lowest-grade of synthesized food per day. Although it was enough for an ordinary person to get full, it was barely enough to keep him from starving to death. This situation would be maintained if he didn’t go out and hunt for more food himself.
However, he was coming home one day when he saw something fall from a hawk that just took off. It was half of a rat. Through the dancing flames, it was the first time that Mu Fan tasted what meat was like.
Since then, he had set a new survival rule for himself; he must hunt twice per week. The size of the animal didn’t matter, nor if the animal was dead or not; it was a victory as long as there were gains for him. He needed the energy to grow, but also because every cell of his body desperately craved meat.
Mu Fan retrieved his dagger as the last spark flashed. With his left hand lightly holding the blade, he squinted his eyes as he looked at the dagger with satisfaction. Tonight, he would have meat for dinner!
It was ice-cold during night times on Planet Loga, and the coldness made people shiver from their bones.
Yet Mu Fan walked shirtless in the wilderness; the multiple scars across his body were his medals from combat. His figure was thin but not skinny, and no one would doubt that there was explosive power hidden underneath his smooth muscles that had a natural beauty.
Mu Fan didn’t feel the ice-cold that his neighbors were talking about. Instead, he felt a refreshing coolness that he enjoyed as it made his mind crystal clear and calm. He didn’t know why he always felt hungry, but he noticed that his endurance was several times better than the others around him… Or it might have been even more above average. Mu Fan didn’t have a sense of what was average, and he didn’t bother to ask around about it.
With the night as his cover, Mu Fan went unnoticed and reached the forest that was 15 kilometers away from the factory. On this dead-silent night, Mu Fan seemed like he was fused together with this land, and only the heat emitting from his body was evidence of his presence.
There was a river stream here, and it was Mu Fan’s favorite place to wash the blood and sweat off his body even though the water was bone-chilling cold. If he was lucky, sometimes he would catch a fish in the stream. Eh, it tasted good even raw, as long as it was meat!
Mu Fan’s goal today was to hunt down a large-sized animal, and he was feeling hungrier and hungrier. Two rats weren’t enough to satisfy his body’s needs anymore, and he wanted to eat more meat.
This forest was far away from the city district, and in this poor and resource-lacking Planet Loga, the administrative personnel didn’t have the capability to place surveillance satellites everywhere. As one of the rare places where cities and nature co-existed, this forest was preserved in its natural state with stronger beasts that lived here. For Mu Fan, it meant that there was more enriched food!
Whoosh! Mu Fan suddenly stopped, and his glimmering eyes shone even more brightly as he stood near the edge of the forest and picked up the presence of a beast nearby. There was no doubt that it was a mutant beast! Mu Fan could sense the aggressiveness in the blood of that mutated beast, and that made his stomach growl again. He pressed his lips together as a trace of red light flashed in his eyes.
He wanted to eat meat!
Desire motivates humans. When a growing boy meets hunger, that was enough to generate extraordinary power in order to satisfy his desire, especially that it was Mu Fan who already knew what meat tasted like.
Mu Fan closed his eyes. When he reopened them, the faint trace of red light had completely disappeared, and his eyes became crystal clear. It was as if the darkness of the night didn’t exist for him, and he could see the forest, the insects, and the birds perfectly. He couldn’t remember the first time that he had discovered his ability to see sharply at night, but after he had used it to catch rats at night, he started to purposely train himself in order to fully grasp this gifted ability.
The thick clouds in the night sky blocked the starlight.
A “meteor” pierced through the atmosphere and left a trail of light above the clouds…