Li Yao was slightly dazed, “Thank me for what?”
“Thank you for persisting in your belief and proposing a different opinion in the meeting half a month ago, when the eleven of us did not object to surrendering to the Imperium of True Human Beings.”
Ba Xiaoyu smiled bitterly, “Otherwise, we probably would’ve sent a message to the Black Wind Fleet half a year ago, and the Ancient Sages Sector would’ve ended up to be a base for the Black Wind Fleet. As for me, I would have to leave my home and wander in the universe as a helpless affiliated Cultivator in the space!”
Li Yao was touched. He said in a low voice, “Do you dislike the Imperium of True Human Beings so much, Fellow Cultivator Ba.”
“Yes. I don’t like it at all.”
Looking at Heiye Lan somewhat at a loss, Ba Xiaoyu mumbled, “In the past half year, I have studied Heiye Lan’s confessions repetitively. I also spoke to her in private many times, asking her the Imperium of True Human Beings’ attitude towards the ordinary folks.
“The path that the Imperium of True Human Beings is walking on hardly satisfies me. We are all the same kind of people. We are all born by our parents, made of flesh and body, and have feelings and emotions. Why must we be classified as ‘true human beings’ and ‘hominoids’? The so-called ‘hominoids’ can’t be called humans just because they don’t have a spiritual root? That’s—that’s downright outrageous!”
Ba Xiaoyu sighed and said, “In my younger days, I lived in a noble family of Cultivators. My life had been extravagant, and all my fancy desires could be met. However, such ‘entertainment’ was in fact intertwined with the ‘suffering’ when I had to be involved in the conflicts, betrayals and treacheries of the Cultivators. I was as happy as I was tormented.
“Then one day, pirates raided and burnt my family’s island to the ground. My family lost all the fortunes, and I was heavily wounded and fled to the coast on the southeast. I lived among the ordinary folks and treated my wounds. It was then that I learnt the simplicity of the life of the ordinary folks, where I didn’t need to be wary of anybody or make plans to take advantage of anybody, even if their life was anything but wealthy.
“After tasting the feeling of such a life, I finally realized that Cultivators are not necessarily noble and ordinary folks are not necessarily humble. In the hundred years that followes, I have always been hanging around the ordinary folks as slobby as I am today. People like Qi Changsheng and Wan Mingzhu think that I was merely being pretentious. They don’t know that I truly have fun in it!
“I’ve already been used to such a life after a hundred years. The life of the Imperium of True Human Beings where decent people are classified into ‘true human beings’ and ‘hominoids’ for no good reason is really not something that I can tolerate!”
Li Yao asked, “Why didn’t you object to it at that time, Fellow Cultivator it?”
“Object to it?”
Ba Xiaoyu smiled bitterly, “Would my opposition have been helpful? The Imperium of True Human Beings is too powerful. The small assault warship right here will be the first clue. Although I am reluctant to surrender to the Imperium, how can I bear to drag so many folks of the Ancient Sages Sector to die in the infernos of blood and fire together with me?
“I was in such a dilemma that I didn’t know how I should decide at all. I was pondering that I had no choice except to run away. Out of sight, out of mind. That was my best hope.
“Thankfully, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture stopped the collapse at the last moment and pointed out the advantages and disadvantages. Then, Wang Xi raised his ‘Star Picking Plan. So, there may still be new changes, and the surrender may not happen until a few years later!
“I wonder what kind of country the Star Glory Federation is exactly. Will it bring hope that is entirely different from the Imperium of True Human Beings to the Ancient Sages Sector?”
Li Yao felt that his heart was warm. He couldn’t help but clench his fists and tried to remain calm. “Maybe. I’m looking forward to a Star Glory Federation… that is entirely different, too!
“Please, Fellow Cultivator. Let’s open our eyes and watch the universe clearly!”
“All crew members have boarded!”
“All doors are closed. All the air gates are shut off. The internal oxygen circulation system has been activated!”
“The ancillary launch rune arrays on the ground have been activated. It is good to go at any time!”
The twelve experts of the Ancient Sages Sector, and Heiye Lan, had all entered ‘Weary Tooth’, the ‘Bloody Blade’-level assault warship of the Imperium!
On the ground, the loyal subordinates of Han Baling, Long Yangjun and the rest of them had finished the preparations on the launch platforms, too.
The so-called ‘assault warship’, as its name suggested, was a type of starships small in size, high in speed, suitable for multiple terrains and spaces, with the abilities to march into a hostile warship or the atmosphere of a hostile planet for an assault battle.
Such warships often needed to be engaged in the battles on the orbit of a planet and even within the atmosphere, and they needed to retreat very quickly after the battle.
Therefore, they boasted very powerful abilities against the gravity, which allowed them to get rid of the boundary of a planet very easily.
Li Yao had also dismantled four ancillary engine units for the micro adjustment of direction from the engine compartment at the rear of the Nuwa warship with Long Yangjun’s help. He connected the units to the back of Weary Tooth, replacing the previous rune arrays that had been seriously damaged. The basic performance parameters were restored to 70% of the original and could finally support a launch!
On Weary Tooth, the other ten experts had already dived into the buffer gel. Long Yangjun and Heiye Lan, who were the navigator and the pilot, and Li Yao, who was the chief controller of the magical equipment on board, were the only ones who were fixated to the zigzagging cabin through the magnetic hooks.
“Lord Wang, we—”
Li Yao was somewhat anxious, too.
The mainframe crystal processor of Weary Tooth had not been wrecked in the fierce battle ten years ago, and the warship had been set to the ‘automatic operation mode’, which was an operation pattern devised for the situation where most of the crew members had been killed in a fierce battle. With the great reduction of the performance as a trade-off, the demand on the number of operators was lowered to the maximum.
It was in such a mode that Heiye Lan managed to bring the assault warship to the Ancient Sages Sector only by herself.
However, the warship had stayed in the Ancient Sages Sector for quite a few years after all. Also, they had adopted too many improvised designs during the maintenance. Almost all the maintenance personnel were not modern refiners who had received professional training but the ancient sword forgers whose expertise was questionable.
Under such circumstances, whether or not the units from the Imperium’s warship and the units from the Nuwa warship could work in harmony, whether or not the squeaky warship endure a long-distance space jump, whether or not the storms in the four-dimensional space would invade the warship and rip them apart while they broke the void… Even Li Yao did not have enough confidence to answer those questions although he was the ‘technical director’.
Long Yangjun responded to his calling with a smile. Then—
She smashed the activation rune array brutally!
Weary Tooth was immediately enshrouded by light and fire.
Everybody found themselves placed in the middle of a furiously burning furnace which happened to be also rotating fast. Even their grunts were pressed back to their internal organs along their bronchia and stomach before the noises were let out of their mouths!
When they finally came back to themselves from the earsplitting fulminations and the scorching spiritual waves, they had already entered the dark, pure, lonely and vast universe.
Their hometown, the Ancient Sages Planet, was floating behind them quietly like a small apple.
In front of them was a sun a million times larger than the planet, which brought light and heat, life and energy, to the Ancient Sages Sector.
Under Long Yangjun’s control, Weary Tooth flew to the sun unhurriedly, like a moth darting towards the furious flames.
“Fellow Cultivators, we have successfully left the Ancient Sages Sector and made our first step on the trip to the deities’ realm!”
Long Yangjun’s voice was so excited that it almost sounded frivolous. She said in a smile, “As the co-pilot and the navigator of ‘Weary Tooth’, I feel obliged to repeat for the last time our journey up ahead.
“In the next, we will perform a long-distance space jump, which will bring us to the nearby of the Star Glory Federation, or more specifically, this place, the Shimmering Light Space Zone!
“First of all, this place has a fairly long distance from the destination of the Nuwa warship’s signals, which is presumably the mother port of the Nuwa warship and the heartland of the Star Glory Federation. There aren’t any habitable planets in the space zone, either. So, it is unlikely to be in the territory of the Star Glory Federation.
“Even if it is indeed within the range of the Star Glory Federation, we estimate that it will probably be unpopulated borderland. It is barely likely that we will run into a powerful army of the federation. Therefore, there will be room for us to catch our breath and make clear of the situation before we rush into anything.
“Secondly, the few resource planets in the space zone can provide materials for emergent maintenance and upgrade for our ragged starship after such a long-distance space jump.
“So, as long as we are lucky enough to be still alive after we are teleported to the Shimmering Light Space Zone on this broken warship that is riddled with holes, there will be no big problems in future. Our destination is the nearby or the edge of the Star Glory Federation. After we finish the emergent maintenance, we will be able to sneak in very precisely through multiple short-distance jumps according to the star map!
“Thirdly, and most importantly, for a space jump, other than the coordinates of the destination on the star map, the most important factor is the guidance of the star beacons.
“We don’t know the parameters and the locations of the star beacons of the Star Glory Federation. Naturally, we cannot jump recklessly at the risk of being completely lost.
“According to the map on the Nuwa warship, there was a red giant in the Shimmering Light Space Zone a hundred thousand years ago. Also, the parameters and spectrum features of the red giant are marked clearly on the star map!
“Heiye Lan told us that red giant is a form of a star, say, the sun, after it ages, whose size can be a billion times larger than when it is at maturity!
“A billion times, fellow Cultivators! A billion times than the sun of the Ancient Sages Sector in front of us!
“Now that we know the parameters and spectrum features of the red giant, we can totally consider the ‘billion-times-large sun’ as an enormous special beacon. It is a hundred times safer to jump to its nearby than to jump to the heartland of the federation recklessly!
“The longevity of a red giant is short compared to a stable star in the prime years, but it can still live millions of years. The star map under our control was from a hundred thousand years ago. After such a short time, the red giant must be still alive and hasn’t collapsed into a white dwarf yet. It will guide the way for the Ancient Sages Sector!
“Sit tight, fellow Cultivators. The gate of ascension is about to be opened. For us to be teleported to the space zone where the red giant is at, we will have to…
“… Infuriate our sun first!”v