Countless black shadows flew out of the door. Illuminated by the purple clouds of Kunlun, they were emitting dangerous colors.
In only three minutes, the sky was occupied by hundreds of black shadows carrying chainswords and crystal cannons. The structure of their armor was entirely different from that of the armor of the Heaven’s Origin Sector and Flying Star Sector. Despite its vintage style, the flawless gear system at the joints suggested a much higher level of refining.
Hundreds of Immortal Cultivators? Li Yao felt both blood-freezing and baffled.
It was utterly illogical. The Imperium of True Human Beings a hundred years ago was only able to teleport a star child, who did not have a real body, to millions of lightyears away. Now, after only a hundred years, how was it already able to teleport hundreds of Immortal Cultivators precisely?
Were they not scared that the hundreds of Immortal Cultivators would perish in space if anything happened to the teleportation?
Such a development of technology was too unbelievable!
However, upon closer inspection, Li Yao immediately noticed something wrong. Those ‘crystal suits’ were all about 1.5 meters tall, even shorter than ordinary people. Also, their limbs were narrow and long, and they were extremely slender. Unless the Immortal Cultivators were all dwarfs, it would be impossible for them to fit in such crystal suits.
They were not crystal suits but certain war puppets. There was no sign of life inside. No wonder such a huge batch of them had been successfully teleported all at once.
Although they were lifeless puppets, their teamwork was quite immaculate. The three hundred war puppets were like a well-trained army. They established defenses around the turtle shell and searched around, as if invisible strings were guiding them from behind.
Li Yao thought quickly. Then, lightning suddenly struck his brain. His eyelids cramping, he said to Professor Mo Xuan in a low voice, “Grand Illusionary Soldiers?”
The operational patterns of those war puppets were very similar to those of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers. No, they was even more advanced than the Grand Illusionary Soldiers’, as if they were some sort of upgraded version.
“Very possible,” Professor Mo Xuan replied in a low voice. “In the Flying Star Sector, the Grand Illusionary Soldiers were the main force for the Immortal Cultivators in their rebellion.
“Although the plan was proposed by Xiao Xuance, it was in fact under the influence of the star child from the Imperium of True Human Beings, who pretended to be Xiao Xuance’s foster son Xiao Tianbao. It is safe to say that the star child actually led the project!
“Even the ‘star brain’, which controlled the Grand Illusionary Soldiers, was built by the star child.
“The clues suggest that the ‘Grand Illusionary Soldiers’, as a type of fully-automatic magical equipment, are a very mature technology in the Imperium of True Human Beings and very popular main-force gear. To carry out an expedition mission where a long journey is involved, the Grand Illusionary Soldiers—lifeless, loyal, and unemotional—are the best choices.”
Li Yao recalled the breathtaking feeling when he was surrounded by the Grand Illusionary Soldiers in the riot of the Immortal Cultivator again.
With a dull ache pervading his mind, he mumbled to himself, “I hate the Grand Illusionary Soldiers!”
Thankfully, the Grand Illusionary Soldiers as individuals were not very impressive. Their combat ability was based on their number, but there were only three hundred Grand Illusionary Soldiers there.
Even if the Grand Illusionary Soldiers of the Imperium of True Human Beings were even stronger than the ‘counterfeit’ versions produced by the star child, Li Yao would not be troubled by them because he was also much stronger than the past, not to mention that he was supported by another two experts in the Nascent Soul Stage.
But there was definitely more to the turtle shell. It was unnecessary for them to launch an assault yet. They could wait for Burning Prairie to deal with the enemy later.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
More than ten Grand Illusionary Soldiers of the Imperium of True Human Beings flew over their heads.
But they had hidden themselves with delicate camouflage in advance. They had buried themselves into crevices before they covered themselves with tremendous mud and rust. They looked exactly the same as the rest of the remains in the battlefield.
The metal reaction and spiritual waves were so intense there that they were like a few drops of water that had melted into the ocean. Unless they were observed at a close distance, it was impossible for anybody to notice them.
As they expected, the Grand Illusionary Soldiers detected no anomaly. Their masters never would have dreamed that somebody had arrived in Kunlun earlier than them.
The Grand Illusionary Soldiers were released perhaps for the purpose of exploring the local lives of Kunlun. Discovering only low-level lives such as moss, weeds, and insects, the Grand Illusionary Soldiers soon returned and stayed on alert around the turtle shell.
Another hundred shadows dashed out of the cabin, this time, not Grand Illusionary Soldiers but beast puppets about one meter long.
Most of the beast puppets were in the form of a spider and looked similar to the ‘Tarantula’ that Li Yao had refined before. A jet system was also installed to their round belly, allowing them to move agilely and quickly on the ragged folds.
The metal spiders crawled nimbly among different rock stratums, knocking the rocks now and then amid clicking sounds. In the end, they seemed to find what they desired. All the metal spiders were gathered together.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The extensible arms of the ‘turtle shell’ which had dug deep into the ground were now plucked and thrown to the air, while it crept to the location that the metal spiders had selected.
After the turtle shell was affixed to the surface again, more than ten drills extended out of the bottom of the turtle shell and suddenly penetrated underground like the drilling pipes that collected the underground minerals!
“Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum!”
The drilling pipes were revolving fast, and both the ground and the turtle shell were trembling with dull noises. Overwhelming spiritual waves were coming over from the depths of the turtle shell!
Li Yao and his companions looked at each other in bewilderment, not having the faintest clue what the ugly starship from the Imperium of True Human Beings was doing.
After observing it carefully for more than an hour, they finally guessed the turtle shell’s purpose. It seemed to be collecting the metal remains deeply buried underground.
In the meantime, the metal puppets were bouncing up and down on the folds and delivering the scraps of the larger remains to the turtle shell.
What was odd was that they simply excavated scraps that were larger and seemed to contain the most metal but showed no interest in the dead bodies of the primeval species at all or cared about the completeness of the remains.
While Li Yao and his companions were still confused, the turtle shell was going through new changes.
The shell was opened piece after piece, like thousands of blossoming buds. Many more metal puppets jumped out, with bizarrely-shaped components attached to their back by the electromagnetic force field.
Very soon, the number of the metal puppets reached almost a thousand. They jumped near to the turtle shell, where they paved the ground and established what appeared to be some buildings with the components on their back.
More than ten large buildings were being constructed at the same time. Therefore, the speed was rather now, but it was obvious that the buildings were neatly planned and quite impressive. Once they were completed, they would constitute an impenetrable war base.
Li Yao even saw that several buildings looked like smaller ‘turtle shells’!
There seemed to be a highly-efficient workshop inside the turtle shell. As more and more underground minerals and metal scraps were sent into it, more metal spiders and Grand Illusionary Soldiers were produced.
Then, the metal spiders could collect more remains and minerals and dedicate themselves to the construction of other buildings. The overall working efficiency was growing exponentially!
Li Yao and his companions did not intend to take any action at first because their star beacons were being constructed in space under the camouflage of the meteoroids. The longer they delayed, the more likely Burning Prairie was going to show up. Time was on their side. It was just a matter of speed.
However, after monitoring in secret for a long time, they all discovered that something was not right. The Grand Illusionary Soldiers deployed around the turtle shell were already more than five hundred, almost a double of the original ones, and the number of the metal spiders had surpassed two thousand!
Many buildings nearby were gradually taking shape.
The buildings deployed at the periphery were the watchtowers carved with countless attack rune arrays. Some of them were already unleashing spluttering high-voltage electric arcs.
Behind the watchtowers was a forest of cooling towers and furnaces, which constituted metal purification factories and magical equipment factories that were not small at all!
Other than them, there were also buildings that Li Yao failed to recognize. Judging from the antennas hundreds of meters tall that were being assembled, they had to have facilities to send telepathic thoughts into the space!
Several Grand Illusionary Soldiers and metal spiders were installing the crystal cannons just produced in the turtle shell to the highest place of the watchtowers.
The weird scenes reminded Li Yao of a possibility. The cold sweat on his forehead dropped into his eyes quickly, making his pupils constrict.
“This—this is a f*cking MCV[a][b] 1 !” Li Yao mumbled to himself.
“Li Yao, what did you say? Isn’t this a ‘minor apocalypse’ from the Imperium of True Human Beings?” Professor Mo Xuan asked in a low voice.
“It is not a minor apocalypse, but it is likely to be even scarier than a minor apocalypse. Or rather, it represents thousands of minor apocalypses!”
Gloomily, Li Yao replied, “It seems that we have all underestimated the Imperium of True Human Beings!”
Professor Mo Xuan and the Fire Ant King looked at each and sensed each other’s anxiety. They asked nervously, “What do you mean? Have you seen through the attack pattern of the Imperium of True Human Beings?”
“It’s just my speculation, but it should be correct!”
Narrowing his eyes, Li Yao explained, “We thought at the beginning that the Imperium of True Human Beings was likely to have launched a ‘minor apocalypse’ toward us. But if we think about it more carefully, it might not be the case. The environment throughout the universe varies greatly, and the forms of different civilizations are rarely similar. How could the Imperium of True Human Beings know for sure which kind of ‘minor apocalypse’ would work on us?
“Besides, minor apocalypses target individuals. A minor apocalypse is definitely not strong enough to trouble an entire civilization!
“Therefore, we speculated that the purpose of the ‘minor apocalypse’ was not destruction but reconnaissance and localization. It was here to lead the way and knock down the door for the army of the Imperium.
“But from what we’ve seen, we might’ve been wrong all the time. The army of the imperium is unnecessary. It is possible that the ragged starship of the imperium is enough to destroy us and conquer the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Blood Demon Sector, and the Flying Star Sector!
“Because it isn’t an apocalypse at all but… a factory that can manufacture minor apocalypses!”