In the Dark Desolate Domain, Burning Prairie lowered to an altitude of about a hundred meters from the ground. The spiritual waves raised by the anti-gravity rune arrays were spreading out like tides, blowing many younger trees away.
The marines on Burning Prairie jumped down and built up temporary commutation rune arrays on the ground. Channels of light seemed to be established between the ground and the super warship.
The commutation rune arrays were essentially short-distance teleportation rune arrays with fixed destinations. They could move the soldiers, crystal suits, crystal tanks, and other war assets into Burning Prairie from the ground.
Thousands of crystal suits and armed shuttles were flying in midair against the pouring rain and entering the super warship directly through the docks and airports on the super warship.
If one were to observe from afar, it was like rows of well-trained ants migrating into the body of a giant fish incessantly.
In less than an hour, almost half of the soldiers and war assets had boarded.
At this time, the remaining seventeen legions were still scattered in the Dark Desolate Domain according to the subjects they were training.
The entire drill plan had neatly been drafted based on Lu Zui’s suggestions to make sure that the few legions that he infiltrated most were near Burning Prairie at the ‘perilous moment’.
The other legions that he had less influence on and whose commanders were relatively independent were now training the most arduous and complicated subjects in the mountains in the depths of the Dark Desolate Domain.
Now that he had control of all the communication bases, the commanders would not become suspicious in the next twelve hours.
After Burning Prairie jumped to the Blood Demon Sector, the remaining members of the Patriots Partnership in the army would naturally issue new orders and get more and more legions involved in the turbulence of warfare!
Zhou Hengdao dragged up a soldier who tripped himself over in the mud and patted the dirty water off his uniform. He roared, “One second sooner, and we will save one more life! Get on board now!”
At the center of the Grand Desolate Plateau, Li Yao darted toward the north at an amazing speed after being integrated with Black Wing!
On his way, Li Yao continued retrieving crystals from his Cosmos Ring and feeding them to Black Wing, which often guzzled all of them in only several seconds.
After absorbing enough spiritual energy, Black Wing roared and further accelerated time and time again.
Far behind him, Ding Lingdang’s ‘Furious Flame Armed Shuttle’ was emitting ear-splitting noises. Steam was popping up from quite a few power rune arrays. All the magical equipment units were beyond their limits and could not hold on any longer!
“Li Yao, wait a moment, I will put on the crystal suit and follow you!” Ding Lingdang roared in the communication channel.
“It’s useless!” Li Yao replied in the communication channel. “It’s impossible for you to catch up with me even if you put on your crystal suit! Also, the crystal suit only has a limited storage of spiritual energy. If you rush for a long distance at the highest speed, not only will the crystal suit be drained, you will consume a lot of your physical strength and spiritual energy, too. When we arrive in the Dark Desolate Domain, you will be exhausted. How do you plan to stop Zhou Hengdao?”
Ding Lingdang was not an unreasonable person. She knew that she did not have an ultimate flying sword such as Li Yao’s. If she were to finish the rest of the journey with her spiritual energy, she would be more or less paralyzed when she reached the Dark Desolate Domain. She would only be Li Yao’s burden!
She gritted her teeth and lowered the speed, “Can you do it alone?”
“Trust me! I’ve returned safe and sound from the Flying Star Sector and the Blood Demon Sector!” Li Yao laughed. “How can a minor Dark Desolate Domain trap me?”
“Okay!” Ding Lingdang instantly made the most sensible choice. “You go and check the situation first. Try to avoid a head-on clash with Zhou Hengdao and just stall him! Me and the fellow Cultivators will contact the military bases nearby and make sure that the ‘ultimate order’ reaches every troop in the area. Hang in there. We will be joining you in no time!”
“Alright!” Li Yao stomped on Black Wing. The wings of spiritual energy on its two sides further expanded, only to shrink again. Like an arrow released from the bow, it accelerated to beyond five times the speed of sound the next second!
Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!
Ominous noises of explosion were echoing inside Black Wing.
The flying sword that had accompanied Li Yao for more than twenty years seemed to have reached the end of a certain phase, too.
Li Yao was both sorry and anxious. “Little Black!”
But Black Wing released more and more spiritual energy time and time again, leaving an exhaust flame that was as thick as an angry dragon behind them and demonstrating its strength in such a way!
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao felt that tears were rolling in his eyes. He mumbled, “Hang in there, Little Black. Hang in there! After the battle, I will definitely collect the most precious Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures in the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector and upgrade you into the unparalleled strongest sword in the universe! But right now, please hang in there and be faster!”
One in the south and one in the north, Li Yao and Zhou Hengdao were engaged in an invisible race.
Zhou Hengdao, who took action in advance, turned out to be faster than Li Yao. Two hours and fifty-four minutes later, the boarding procedure was completed!
“Teleportation work completed. 105,000 soldiers from three legions of the federal army, 7,520 crystal tanks, and 5,500 armed shuttles have boarded Burning Prairie!”
“The ground has been cleaned!”
“Burning Prairie is taking off and will float at the altitude of five hundred meters until it is ready to break the barrier of the three-dimensional world!”
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
In the space jump cabin, which was right next to the engine compartment, the super heavy space jump array was functioning slowly. Rune arrays were glittering one after another, pushing the rotors to revolve rapidly and release immense impetus!
The broad tubes of spiritual energy dozens sent the energy to every part of the super warship. Glamorous brilliance popped up on the outside of the warship. The iron beast was bathed in an amazing ocean of light and was about to vanish from this world!
On the bridge of Burning Prairie, Zhou Hengdao, Luo Xingzi, and other leadership of the Burning Prairie Fleet stood next to each other and gazed at the changing parameters on the control light beam.
On the face of the Iron Commander of the Federal Army, the parts made of steel and gel and those made of flesh and blood were showing vastly different expressions. He seemed to be both hoping that the space jump could begin as soon as possible and hoping that it would never begin.
Cracking noises were echoing deep inside his man-made eye, as if two strengths were crashing fiercely in his head.
“Super space jump array, output efficiency: 20%!”
“All crew members are in position!”
“Super space jump array, output efficiency: 40%!”
“Activate the protective membrane on the magical equipment on board. Prepare to resist the quakes during the space jump!”
“Super space jump array, output efficiency: 60%!”
“The coordinates of the destination have been locked. The estimated environment of the landing point has been preset!”
All the crew members and soldiers were set for the space jump. The brilliance around the warship was brighter and brighter, illuminating Burning Prairie into glamorous transparency like a burning torch of light.
Tiny swirls were appearing in the air around, crashing, meeting, and merging into larger swirls that were raging and tearing the flame of light around Burning Prairie. The enormous iron beast seemed to be shivering lightly.
Nothing seemed to be able to stop the ultimate jump of the beast now.
Li Yao was still rushing thousands of kilometers away, but it was impossible for him to move to the front of Burning Prairie instantaneously.
On the warship, the soldiers of the federal army who did not really know what was going on scratched their chainswords and storm bolters. Some of them were sighing in silence, and some of them were writing last letters to their family, but none of them were wavering.
The members of the Patriots Partnership among the soldiers, sensing the shaking of the warship, put on gloating smiles in secret.
“Super space jump array, output efficiency: 80%!”
The space jump was about to begin. Even everybody in the bridge sat in the special buffer rune arrays. The hesitation on Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao’s face was finally gone, replaced by coldness and determination. He stared at the light beam so hard that his natural eye was even redder than the other!
Everybody held their breath and braced themselves to meet the Blood Demon Sector!
A weird noise seemed to be echoing deep inside the warship. The iron beast slightly shivered. The flame of light around was significantly dimmer than before!
“Alarm! Alarm! A fault has occurred in the engine compartment. The instant energy output was too high, which led to the explosion of the No. 2 unit of the space jump array! Emergency maintenance is required! Unable to complete the space jump for now!
“Quitting the space jump state. Progress…”
Looking at the progress bar on the light beam that was shorter and shorter, everybody was dumbfounded.
Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao even jumped out of the buffer rune array, every muscle on his face trembling!
“What—what has happened?”
Even Luo Xingzi and the leadership of the Burning Prairie Fleet were stunned. After quite a fuss, they finally got the preliminary fault report from the engine compartment.
Luo Xingzi’s face was written with disbelief after he read the report. He handed it to Zhou Hengdao somewhat in embarrassment.
The reason of the fault… was simple and very hard to believe.
The super space jump array was one of the most important facilities on Burning Prairie, which was powered by the energy outputted from the engine compartment. In the engine compartment, more than a hundred specialists and refiners were responsible for the steady output of energy.
However, a few hours ago, one of the specialists was sent to the medical cabin due to food poisoning.
All the doctors were at a loss what to do. They could only conclude that a certain local food of the Heaven’s Origin Sector might have been carrying a germ that was nonexistent in the Flying Star Sector. Or maybe, the guy was just unacclimated.
Thankfully, the illness was not fatal. He was merely seriously dehydrated and needed a good rest.
The specialist was in a very unique post and could not find a suitable substitute for the time being. Eventually, one of the boy scouts of the Burning Prairie fleet was summoned because of his distinguished performance previously.
Before, the boy scout had operated on his own many times in even more complicated posts and had done the jobs smoothly. Also, several old masters were supervising him, too. Nothing could have gone wrong.
But as it turned out, the boy scout did something wrong at the critical moment despite his usual excellent performance.
When he was supposed to type in a key parameter and adjust the intensity of a certain rune array to 30%, his hand suddenly shook hard, and he typed 300% into it!
It was not too serious a mistake. Even if it escaped the old masters’ attention, the control crystal processor of the engine compartment had its own alarm system that would give warnings about the abnormal data.
According to the investigation after the accident, a key wire connected to the alarm system in the control crystal processor of the engine compartment was somehow gnawed apart by a certain weird thing.
The thing was very likely to be… a mouse.