Li Yao picked up a twig and wrote Nether World on the moss. He explained, “On the Gloomy Wind Islands at the North Pole of the Blood Demon Sector, in his secret base named Nether World, Elder Nether Spring once caged the experts of both human beings and demons—including Suo Chaolong, Han Tuhu, the Fire Ant King—for the experiments of the Demon God Virus. But I snuck into the base, investigated the surroundings with Neltharion, and planted bombs. In the end, I demolished the Nether World, which was a major blow for him.
“During the battle, I observed Elder Nether Spring at a close distance through Neltharion multiple times. Although he didn’t perceive it on the spot, he must’ve noticed the existence of such a piece of magical equipment later and remembered the features of Neltharion’s spiritual waves!
“Playing the same move on a demon emperor or a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator? It would be committing suicide! Therefore, just because Neltharion escaped everybody else’s attention doesn’t mean that Elder Nether Spring didn’t discover it!”
Guo Chunfeng was deep in thought. “So, you are suggesting that, in the interrogation room, Elder Nether Spring sensed the peeping of Neltharion keenly and inferred that Vulture Li Yao was nearby based on his discovery. So, he killed himself right in front of your eyes intentionally so that the Jade Crystal Disc that his memories would be stored in could be the critical proof for you?
“So, Elder Nether Spring’s death was not a coincidence but a great chess move that he calculated carefully? He destroyed the Patriots Partnership at the cost of his life?”
Li Yao nodded. “You could say that, but the reason alone is still not enough.
“It must be noted that, although the Patriots Partnership locked Elder Nether Spring up for three months and tortured him with the soul searching technique, I was also Elder Nether Spring’s mortal enemy because I sabotaged his Spore Stratagem!
“Perhaps, Elder Nether Spring hated me more than he hated the Patriots Partnership!
“His death could naturally destroy the Patriots Partnership, but I would be the winner in the end. With Elder Nether Spring’s cunningness, would he allow me to take such great advantage?
“I was perplexed by the problem for a long time until I jumped out of everything and made a different assumption! What if Elder Nether Spring killed himself intentionally not just to destroy the Patriots Partnership? Is it possible that he had other chess pieces or backup plans that would be triggered after he was killed and the Patriots Partnership was demolished?”
Guo Chunfeng was silent for a while before he slowly said, “Therefore, you suspected that Abyss did exist and, as Elder Nether Spring’s last chess piece, could gain some benefits from the destruction of the Patriots Partnership?”
Li Yao nodded quickly. “Only if Abyss did exist as Elder Nether Spring’s last hope would he possibly ignore his grudge for me briefly and kill himself. That way, although I would get things my way, Abyss would have even more benefits.
“If my guess is correct, the one percent of his brain that was sealed contained all the files about Abyss, but it’s a pity that all the files are gone with the wind now.”
Guo Chunfeng took a long breath. “Fair enough. But even if Abyss does exist, why are you certain that it is me?”
Li Yao smiled and said, “I’ve been suspicious about you since the very beginning. Before I returned to the Heaven’s Origin Sector, Jin Xinyue and I made a list of Abyss suspects, of which your name ranked at the top.
“Less than a hundred years old. Amazing talents in training. Rose to fame decades ago. Orphan without both parents. Working at a certain critical post… Brother Guo, the description of Abyss is like your resume. If you are not Abyss, the real Abyss will be embarrassed when he sees you!
“It is because I was suspicious about you since the beginning that I considered you my greatest enemy on my way to the capital city.
“However, when new evidence presented itself, I thought that I was paranoid again like the old times. Therefore, my suspicions about you disappeared. Later, I was too busy dealing with the Patriots Partnership to think about Abyss!
“When I’ve been free over the last couple of days and thought of it more carefully, I found that Brother Guo’s many reactions in the battle were quite weird!”
Guo Chunfeng raised his eyebrow. “What’s weird?”
Staring at him in the eyes, Li Yao said, “The weirdest thing of all is your trust in me for no reason.
“It must be noted that, when I got the Jade Crystal Disc, I was all by myself and far away in the East Ocean. However, you already captured the key people such as Ding Lingdang and Professor Mo Xuan before Lu Zui did! It means that, even before we met or talked, you were already sure that I was innocent, that Lu Zui was the real schemer, and that he had ill intentions by capturing Ding Lingdang and the rest of them.
“Why? Why were you so certain that Ding Lingdang was a good person and not a Child of the Nether World? And on what grounds did you find me trustworthy?
“Ding Lingdang trusted me without reserve because we love each other. Professor Mo Xuan trusted me as best he could because I saved his life before and fought side by side with him in the Flying Star Sector!
“Even so, they were only assured that I was not the Blood Devil after communicating with me!
“What about you? Why did you trust me when you hadn’t met me and when you did not have the slightest evidence?
“Not only did you rescue Ding Lingdang, Wu Mayan, Xie Anan, and Professor Mo Xuan in advance, you even reached out to me on your own initiative. You gave me the map of the headquarters of the Secret Sword Bureau and drafted a highly perilous plan together with me. Eventually, the entire Secret Sword Bureau was evacuated, and you even went to Hidden Star to confront Lu Zui by yourself, buying time for me at the risk of your own life!
“That was quite incredible of you, Brother Guo!
“If you were an eighteen-year-old young man, your recklessness would’ve been understandable.
“But you were the mighty supervisor of the Demon Execution Division of the Secret Sword Bureau and a seasoned warrior of the trade. Your nerves are thicker than the thighs of ordinary people. The future of the federation was on your shoulders. Why did you trust me without any evidence and without meeting me? Why did you help me even if it meant that you might be sacrificed? Why were you so confident that I was definitely not the villain and that Lu Zui was behind the scheme?
“It must be noted that, if your judgement was incorrect, you would’ve lost the future of the entire federation in the gamble!
“If you are not a prophet, there is only one explanation—you had some critical information in your hands that nobody else knew about, and the critical information was enough to prove that Lu Zui was lying!”
Li Yao had another mouthful of spring water. He wiped his lips and continued. “But then, I was even more confused. Brother Guo, Lu Zui was your boss. You might have been in charge of the field work, but he had the enormous Patriots Partnership under his command, too. What information could possibly have been grasped by you and you alone? With Lu Zui’s cleverness, he would’ve seen through it if you investigated him in secret, in which case you would have been doomed!
“I was confused and couldn’t figure out the answer until I had an epiphany and realized that everything would make perfect sense if you were Abyss!
“You are Abyss, and you had a certain mysterious connection with Elder Nether Spring. Therefore, you knew that Lu Zui was lying. Lu Zui killed Elder Nether Spring, which made him your sworn enemy. That is why you helped me deal with him!
“One more reason. Personally speaking, who gets the most benefits from the fall of Lu Zui and the Patriots Partnership?
“Me? Of course not! You know that I’m not interested in politics or power. The fame right now is just amusement for me!
“It is you who has gotten the most benefits, Brother Guo! You have been promoted to the director of the Secret Sword Bureau from the supervisor of the first division. You even have power that is even greater than Lu Zui’s for now. You are now the leader on the secret frontline and one of the most influential people in the federation!
“In that case, Elder Nether Spring’s death would be perfectly logical! Perhaps he had been waiting for an opportunity to destroy the Patriots Partnership with his death ever since his capture. That is why he persisted for several months against the soul searching technique. Eventually, the unpredictable opportunity finally showed up when he detected Neltharion!
“Therefore, he killed himself and dragged the Patriots Partnership to hell with him, but he also pushed you—Abyss, his last hope—to the supreme black throne of the secret frontline of the federation!
“With your position and accomplishments today, and your quadruple talents as the strongest Core Formation Stage Cultivator, your future is nothing but promising. Even if the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector do collaborate, Brother Guo will definitely be one of the giants in the new federation!
“Would there be a better ending for Elder Nether Spring?”
Guo Chunfeng raised his head to drink more water, only to discover that the bucket was empty. He grabbed the bucket from Li Yao’s hand and said, “Very marvelous deduction. Despite the lack of evidence, everything does make better sense now.”
“No, it is not good enough yet. There’s a critical point that makes the whole reasoning illogical.”
Li Yao stared at him, his eyes shining.
“Before, Lu Zui and his lot made the conclusion that Abyss was nonexistent partly for the reason that such a person was non-manipulable. Why would a human being who did not have any secrets or even memories of the demon race be willing to listen to Elder Nether Spring’s command?
“Even the hundred or so Children of the Nether World, whose secrets Elder Nether Spring knew about, had betrayed him. Why wouldn’t Abyss?
“I thought so, too, at first. So, I came to the conclusion that ‘Abyss does not exist’.
“However, after I inferred that you were Abyss, I discovered, to my surprise, although you were not acting according to Elder Nether Spring’s plans, you did not completely ‘betray’ him, either. The fact that you charged into Hidden Star by yourself even seems to be a gesture of revenge to me.
“Why did Elder Nether Spring choose you as Abyss in the beginning? Why did he trust you without reserve to the last moment of his life?
“And why did you not betray him or join Lu Zui and his Patriots Partnership, instead standing against Lu Zui, avenging Elder Nether Spring at the risk of your own life?”
Guo Chunfeng’s eyes were somewhat hollow. He seemed to be staring at both a place far, far away and a past long, long ago.
He mumbled in the softest voice, “There’s one answer to both of the two questions.”
“Is that so?” Li Yao pricked up his ears.
Guo Chunfeng poured a handful of water and rubbed his face for a moment. Then, a feeble voice came through the gaps in his fingers. “It is because Elder Nether Spring was… my biological father!”