In the Dark Desolate Domain of the Heaven’s Origin Sector, on the sky that seemed to be jumbled up by countless clouds, hundreds of swirls were spurting out circles of spiritual energy, crashing and consuming each other. The sky was turned into the most distorted painting.
Suddenly, hundreds of swirls of spiritual energy twisted, stretched, and combined into an even larger swirl. It collapsed toward the void in the middle, like a funnel that extended to the depths of the universe.
The sky shivered as if the universe was sneezing. A fireball rushed out of the center of the funnel and fell to the land like a shooting star, but it exploded abruptly in midair.
With a thunderous bang, Li Yao announced his grand return with the dazzling sparks!
Floating in midair, Li Yao took a deep breath of the fresh air with his eyes half closed, and it was not until the air of the Heaven’s Origin Sector had circulated three times around his body that he opened his eyes and observed the view of the Dark Desolate Domain.
He managed to distinguish the continuous Thunderous Sound Mountain at the horizon. The memory of more than ten years ago was suddenly as vivid as yesterday.
“I’m back. I’m finally back!” Li Yao roared in excitement and failed to control his ecstasy until he tore dozens of clouds into shreds.
Since the Battle of Dawn, the federation had implemented the strategy of burning everything to the ground on the Grand Desolate Plateau. All the civilians were evacuated inland, and all the towns were demolished so that no resources of use would be left for the demons.
Therefore, there was not a single civilian on the Grand Desolate Plateau. The only living creatures he could meet were the patrolling soldiers and Cultivators.
Then, his first step was to find the soldiers and Cultivators so that he could learn the latest information about the federation and spread out the news about himself.
However capable the Children of the Nether World were, it was highly unlikely that they could have every soldier of the federal army under control. After his identity was confirmed, everything would be easier.
Will I run into Ding Lingdang?
Li Yao could not help but put on a silly smile.
Although they had not met for ten years, the memory of her was the greatest motivation for him to carry on in the arduous battles.
Deep down Li Yao’s heart, a lot of feelings were popping up.
After a whistle, Li Yao summoned Black Wing. In the same posture that he used in the magical equipment graveyard, he sat on Black Wing as if it were a horse and even waved the nonexistent rein, shouting, “Hyah!”
Black Wing shook violently in dissatisfaction. Then, black exhaust flames spurted out of the grip, pushing the flying sword to dart toward the south!
Searching and moving, it took Li Yao just a few hours to pass through the Dark Desolate Domain, which would have taken him days in the past. He arrived at the Grand Desolate Plateau.
The desert was exactly the same as the old days. Wind and sand were blowing. There was not the tiniest plant on the ground. In the middle of the dried riverbed and the broken stones, enormous skeletons of demon beasts and debris of the crystal tanks that had been burnt into empty shells could occasionally be seen. Together with the air that reeked of blood, they were telling the cruelty of the war.
After leaving the Dark Desolate Domain, the magnetic interference was no longer a problem. Li Yao raised Black Wing to an altitude of several hundred meters and looked into the distance, only to discover an enormous town on the horizon.
Li Yao was slightly dazed. This was the frontline that had witnessed the invasion of demons only three months ago. Even though the invasion was a fake one, it must have been destructive enough, too. How could there be such a prosperous town here?
Was it an illusion?
Li Yao slightly frowned and approached the town hundreds of kilometers away while hiding in the clouds on Black Wing.
When he was a hundred kilometers away, Li Yao finally realized that it was not a town but an intimidating war base.
The base had more than twenty giant, mobile war fortresses as the bastions, which covered more than a thousand acres, in the periphery. It appeared to still be under construction, with construction magical equipment everywhere.
From the completed part, he could see a rather advanced factory for crystal suit maintenance, two airports that could allow for vertical landing and the simple maintenance of the crystal warships, and endless military camps.
Judging from the drill magical equipment that rose up like iron towers, the federal army was expanding the underground space on a large scale. The sand and rocks that had been dug out had already piled into more than ten hills, which suggested that the underground space was multiple times larger than the space on the ground.
This is a half-permanent war base!
Li Yao pondered.Judging from the scale, the war base can provide long-term logistical support for at least three to five crystal suit legions when it is completed. Perhaps, there are more war bases of the same kind nearby!
This place is too close to the Dark Desolate Domain and too far away from the Giant Blade Pass. Why is the federal army establishing war bases here?
Li Yao’s eyes suddenly shivered as he thought of something.
This was not a defensive war base but one designed for an invasion. It was meant to provide supplies for the troops that marched into the Blood Demon Sector!
For a moment, Li Yao felt that his blood boiling. Maximizing his eyesight, he observed the forces in the war base from the high stance.
Because the Grand Desolate Plateau had too many sandstorms, most of the facilities and camps were established below the ground. On the ground, there were only twelve crystal warships.
Those crystal warships were all the latest models developed in the past ten years. They looked vastly different from the crystal warships in Li Yao’s memory. Li Yao did not know their names. The only thing that he could recognize was the Fiery Crow Cannon installed on the two sides of the warships.
Such cannons were the main guns for many middle-sized warships, but on the new warships, which were apparently more agile, they could only serve as the ancillary, secondary guns.
Li Yao could not tell the mechanism or the power of the main gun of the warships that protruded up like a horn, but he did have a vague sense of danger.
At that moment, red lights were flashing in the base. Countless soldiers were flooding out from the underground and running to the warships. The spiritual stripes on four of the crystal warships were glittering, and their power rune arrays were emanating brilliant exhaust flames.
The war base is not far away from the Dark Desolate Domain. Advanced probe magical equipment must’ve been installed here. It’s discovered that something has teleported from the Blood Demon Sector. Therefore, they are out to look for the demon that has snuck in!
Li Yao hesitated for a moment. Seeing that the federal army was apparently on alert, he was not sure whether there would be a misunderstanding if he simply flew down and greeted them.
However, he would be discovered by the crystal warships sooner or later even if he hid in the clouds. The situation would be awkward if they attacked him without listening to him.
Strong as he might be, it was impossible for him to blow up all the crystal warships. Besides, as a federal citizen, he could not attack the federal army, either!
Right then, Li Yao discovered that there was a man-made oasis that was under construction some thirty kilometers away to the southwest of the war base.
With his keen sight, Li Yao could tell that the oasis was guarded by the federal army, too. Yet, there was not any heavy magical equipment such as crystal warships. It was much more peaceful there.
Maybe, I should communicate with the guards in the oasis first. After they confirm my identity, they can go out and talk to the federal army in the base on my behalf. There won’t be any accidental shots if so.
Li Yao shifted his direction and went to the oasis.
The oasis turned out to be a solemn memorial park. Tremendous rune arrays had been set up on the outside to stabilize the climate at great cost, creating a peaceful land on the Grand Desolate Plateau, which was usually plagued by wind and dust.
The memorial park had only just been built. Li Yao saw the Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars emblem in the entrance. The place appeared to be a memorial park for a martyr.
Building such a memorial park in the depths of the Grand Desolate War Institution would consume astronomic resources. Who was it built for? Was it built for all the warriors who sacrificed on the Grand Desolate Plateau?
Li Yao slowly descended. He uttered a shriek, intentionally exposing himself to the guards to show that he was not malicious.
“Who are you?”
Seeing that somebody had landed on a flying sword, the guards in the memorial park were not very hostile. Instead, they even greeted him.
Li Yao was now surrounded by streaks of spiritual energy and looked like the most standard Cultivator. Of course, he was one of their own.
Besides, although the memorial park had not been completed yet, many Cultivators had dropped by and offered tributes recently. They were not surprised to see a stranger.
Li Yao slowly landed. Looking at the guards who came to greet him, he shook the dust off his clothes and smiled.
Things had kicked off a good start. Everything would be settled as soon as he revealed his identity.
The memorial park was not completed yet. At the center of the memorial park was a statue that was almost done. It was a Cultivator in a broken crystal suit who was staring at the sky unwaveringly. Although it was only slightly more than three meters tall, it looked as magnificent as a huge mountain and gave a blood-boiling feeling.
The statue must have been made by an expert, but it was a shame that the head of the statue was not completed yet. There was no tell who he was.
Behind the statue, in the rear of the memorial park, there was a monument made of a piece of flawless jade. On the monument were a few calligraphic words.
“My Fellow Cultivator!” The captain of the guards stepped out. He was also a Cultivator and therefore was qualified to address another Cultivator in such a way.
“The memorial park is still under construction,” the captain said peacefully. “This is also a theatre of operations. It is not open for public right now. If you want to pay respect to the martyr, please report your name and your sect. We will apply for special permission from our base with your information.”
Li Yao coughed and looked at his compatriots. He replied kindly, “My Fellow Cultivator, my young friends, nice to meet you.
“What I’m about to say will perhaps be a bit shocking or even devastating. You may even be suspicious about it. But please don’t rush into anything. You must calm yourself down and let me finish.
“But first of all, have you ever heard of the name ‘Vulture Li Yao’?”
The guards were all looking at each other in bewilderment. Their eyes turned extremely weird as they stared at Li Yao.
The captain put his hand on his chainsword as he managed a smile. “Is this supposed to be a joke, my Fellow Cultivator? You can tell us anything you want, but I’m afraid I’ll have to ask for your name and your sect first.”
Li Yao opened his hands to show that he bore no evil will. He said solemnly, “I am certainly not joking. In fact, I am rather scared that you will think that I am joking. However, it cannot be helped now. I can’t waste any time right now.
“As a matter of fact, I am”
Li Yao’s voice came to an abrupt end, like a rooster whose neck was grabbed.
It was because his eyes passed the shoulder of the captain and stopped on the immaculate monument made of white jade.
On the monument was a line of calligraphic wordsLi Yao, Martyr.
On the top left corner was another line of smaller words explaining the identity of Martyr Li YaoUltra-Level Federal Hero.
Below was yet another line of wordsFrom Here to All Eternity!