At three o’clock in the afternoon, a top-secret meeting was held in the big meeting room on Burning Prairie.
The participants of the meeting were almost a hundred most influential persons of the Heaven’s Origin Sector as well as the leaders of the Cultivators from the Flying Star Sector.
Ding Lingdang, Professor Mo Xuan, Wu Mayan, Xie Anan, and those else close to Li Yao were in the meeting, too.
Lu Zui, the director of the Secret Sword Bureau, was the host of the meeting.
Of the three most powerful men of the federation, Speaker Jiang Hailiu was heavily wounded and is still in the ICU, and Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao was also seriously damaged. Thankfully, seventy percent of Zhou Hengdao’s body parts are artificial organs. It will not be a big deal if they are replaced in time. Lu Zui was the only one of the three who was unharmed.
At this moment, hundreds of strong Cultivators had gathered in the room. Yet, it was as obstreperous as a carnival. Everybody was slapping the table and shouting at the top of their voice.
“Director Lu, you owe us an explanation.
“Three months ago, the enemy marched to the sky of our capital city with the beast tide, but your intelligence agency gave no warning whatsoever beforehand.
“Three months later, even the Speaker of the federation was assassinated right in public. How have you been doing your intelligence and security work exactly?
“Your intelligence says that everything was led by Vulture Li Yao. What unquestionable proof have you got?
“The Secret Sword Bureau has received full authorization and now boasts the highest permission. You were even monitoring our allies, but still, the accident! We find it impossible to be tolerant anymore. Everything must be explained clearly today!
“Otherwise, we are going to impeach you in parliament!”
Many Cultivators had already burst into fury.
“Exactly.” Luo Xingzi, the leader of the Cultivators from the Flying Star Sector who had fought side by side with Li Yao in the riot of the Immortal Cultivators, stood up and lambasted him. “Li Yao is not just a Cultivator of the Heaven’s Origin Sector. In the Flying Star Sector, especially on Iron Plateau, the largest habitable planet in the Sector, he boasts tremendous influence. The accusations against him must be made cautiously, cautiously, and still more cautiously. Otherwise, an irreparable gap between the two worlds may be caused!
“Over the past few months, you have presented some evidence, but in our eyes, it was far from enough.
“For the cooperation of the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Flying Star Sector, and to figure out everything more smoothly, we have been trying our best to help. We didn’t expect that the outcome would be likes this!
“Director Li Yao, the most complete explanation is obligatory today.
“If solid evidence proves that Li Yao has been possessed by the Blood Devil and turned to the demons’ side, and that he has come back to butcher his compatriots, of course, the citizens from the Flying Star Sector will try our best to help. Otherwise”
He stopped right there and, waving his sleeves coldly, sat back.
Not far away from them, Ding Lingdang, Professor Mo Xuan, Wu Mayan, and Xie Anan were sitting together. They were perhaps the firmest supporters of Li Yao.
But at the moment, even they were somewhat hesitating.
“Sister Ding, do you think Master would really betray the federation and kill so many ordinary people?” Xie Anan was moving her body uneasily.
Ding Lingdang bit her lips hard with cold fire dancing in her red hair.
Professor Mo Xuan sighed and said, “The real Li Yao certainly wouldn’t, but on Iron Plateau, Yan Xibei who wasn’t possessed by the Blood Devil wouldn’t betray his people, either.
“Perhaps, even to the end, Yan Xibei still didn’t feel that he had betrayed his people; he thought that he was saving Iron Plateau!”
Faced with rebukes, criticism, and even curses, Director Lu Zui was as calm as a statue of ice. He stared at everybody in silence for a long time, as if he were waiting for the saliva on his face to dry. It was not until everybody gradually stopped yelling that he activated the light beam and said peacefully, “We accept all your complaints about the Secret Sword Bureau’s work recently. However, in my opinion, this is not the time to discuss who is to blame. We should focus our attention on the problem at hand.
“It is true that we did not present the critical evidence in the past few months, which was partly because the case was too mysterious, unpredictable, and involved more people than anybody could imagine, and partly because we were hesitating whether or not there were other possibilities.
“As it turned out, it was our hesitation that trapped us and killed our thousands of compatriots!
“You said that you are going to impeach me. That will be unnecessary.
“I promise to all the representatives of parliament and the fellow Cultivators here that I will be responsible for all the faults in Secret Sword Bureau’s work earlier. After the issue is addressed, I will resign!”
The meeting room immediately fell silent.
Now that Lu Zui had publicly declared that he was going to resign for his fault, what else could other people say?
Still seemingly emotionless, Lu Zui continued. “Alright, allow me to publicize the details of the work of the Saker Squad over the past half year to everyone. You will know whether or not our accusations against Li Yao are grounded after you hear them.
“Please note that every word I’m about to say next is top secret. Whoever leaks any part of it after leaving this meeting room will be charged with high treason!”
Lu Zui took a deep breath and began his introduction.
“The so-called Saker Squad is an intelligence force lurking in the Blood Demon Sector that I’m personally responsible for. Starting from half a year ago, their sole mission was to gather all the intelligence about Li Yao in the Blood Demon Sector, reach out to him, and give him a hand when necessary.
“However, as we are all clear, we look vastly different from the demons. Also, the demons have been attacking, and we have been defending all the time.
“Therefore, it is easy for the demons to infiltrate the Heaven’s Origin Sector through the beast tides, but it is much more difficult for us to infiltrate the Blood Demon Sector.
“After decades of work, I only managed to send a small number of spies into the Blood Demon Sector. To investigate the truth of the Red Tide Plan, a lot of them were sacrificed, too. Three months ago, when the Red Tide Plan was activated, our intelligence network in the Blood Demon Sector was shattered to the point of destruction.
“However, the remaining members of the Saker Squad still sent back some critical intelligence. The most important piece of all was that it was Li Yao who destroyed the Eye of Blood Demon, disrupted the assault, and saved the capital city!”
Many Cultivators were unaware of the information. They were all exclaiming.
“Wait. Aren’t we talking about Li Yao’s defection? Why on earth did he destroy the Eye of Blood Demon?”
“Can we confirm the information? What happened exactly?”
“So, the beast tide invading the capital city was stopped by Li Yao? It means that he is a well-deserved Ultra-Level Federal Hero! Why did you hunt him?”
“Director Lu, aren’t your words self-contradictory?”
Even Ding Lingdang and Professor Mo Xuan were also dazed, not knowing what Lu Zui meant.
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
Quite a few fuzzy pictures popped up on the light beam behind Lu Zui, all of which were Li Yao’s battle scenes in the Eye of Blood Demon!
“The intelligence from the Saker Squad has been confirmed through various sources,” Lu Zui said. “It was indeed Li Yao who destroyed the Eye of Blood Demon three months ago!
“However, ‘Li Yao is a hero’ and ‘Li Yao is the Blood Devil’ are not contradictory. Fellow Cultivators from the Flying Star Sector, especially my young friend Wu Mayan from Iron Plateau, you must still have a deep impression about the last Blood Devil, Yan Xibei. Wasn’t Yan Xibei a great hero on Iron Plateau who had saved his people countless times in the past?”
Wu Mayan was too young to be qualified for the meeting. He was merely joining it as ‘Li Yao’s first disciple’. Now that Lu Zui was asking him, he could not help but blush, wondering whether he should nod or shake his head.
Lu Zui did not intend to get an answer from him, either. He simply went on. “According to the incomplete intelligence we grasped, this is the truth that we have figured out.
“When he just entered the Blood Demon Sector, Li Yao was not entirely consumed by the Blood Devil. He was on the winning side during their battle. He also managed to maintain his own soul and will.
“Li Yao in such a state naturally tried to defend the interests of the Heaven’s Origin Sector and sabotaged the Blood Demon Sector’s invasion plan.
“That was the reason for his battle in the Eye of Blood Demon!
“However, the Blood Devil was certainly a strong, terrifying being that even Li Yao had to be highly wary of. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have left us the letter at all.
“In his normal state, Li Yao might have been able to suppress the Blood Devil, but what about after the fierce battle in the Eye of Blood Demon?
“We all know that the strongest demons were gathered in the Eye of Blood Demon at the time. Li Yao could’ve been faced with dozens of demon emperors.
“What if the Blood Devil occupied his body when he was beaten to a pulp by the demon emperors and his soul power was greatly weakened?
“What I’m saying is that, when he destroyed the Eye of Blood Demon, he was still the real Li Yao, a great hero of the federation!
“However, the great hero sacrificed everything for his motherland and perished in the battle!
“After the battle, the Blood Devil swallowed his soul, took over his body, and turned him into an evil existence!”
Lu Zui’s words raised another round of exclamations. Wu Mayan was dumbfounded, Professor Mo Xuan was shaking his head nonstop, Xie Anan was holding her face crying, and Ding Lingdang gritted her teeth hard. The fire on her head seemed to have frozen!
Unmoved, Luo Xingzi, the leader of the Cultivators from the Flying Star Sector, asked coldly, “Director Lu, do you have any proof for your theory?”
On the light beam behind Lu Zui, another dozens of pictures were displayed. Some of them were Li Yao activating the Cell Obliteration Cannon with the bone spurs and the crystal on Li Yao’s arm. Some of them were Li Yao and Jin Tuyi having a warm and friendly conversation. Still some others were pictures where Li Yao and Jin Xinyue were together.
Perhaps because of the angle, Li Yao and Jin Xinyue looked particularly close to each other in the pictures. They seemed rather intimate. Jin Xinyue was so sycophantic that she appeared to be a servant who was catering to the needs of her master.
“Jin Tuyi, commander-in-chief of the coalition army of demons, must be no stranger to you.
“This is his daughter, Jin Xinyue, one of the most dreadful saintesses in the Pantheon of Demons. I believe many of you have heard her name before, too.
“Look at Li Yao’s brand-new appearance now and their attitude toward Li Yao. What can you conclude?”