Obvious disgust and contempt flashed on Su Changfa, Kou Ruhuo, and Tang Qianhe’s faces.
Su Changfa slowly extended his hand and patted Li Yao’s shoulder.
His hand was soft and comfortable like giant, warm foam. Li Yao felt that the bones all over his body were itching.
Pretending that he did not catch Li Yao’s last sentence, he retained a sincere smile. “Fellow Cultivator Li, since you do know about the Star Ocean Imperium, our trouble to explain it to you can be saved. That’s right. We are exactly from the Star Ocean Imperium’s capital area, the most glorious land of the civilization of mankind in the past!
“In the territory where humanity once thrived, a new country is now rising as the successor of the Star Ocean Imperium’s will and the guardian of our civilization. It is evolving, evolving, and evolving while it explores the true meaning of ‘human beings’!
“Our civilization has developed to a very high level, and we have defeated countless evil creatures who coveted the prosperous land. The center of the universe is under our steady control!
“But we know that, at the edge of the universe, many human brothers and sisters are still struggling in darkness and obscuration!
“Therefore, some of us have been volunteering to explore the universe on starships that represent peace and brightness, hoping to find more Sectors so that we can share our knowledge, wisdom, technologies, and techniques. Eventually, the civilization of human beings as a whole will leap forward!
“That is everything that we want.
“A few years ago, we discovered a world named the Flying Star Sector from an ancient star map of the Star Ocean Imperium. It was allegedly a central world at the frontier of the imperium ten thousand years ago. Maybe, we thought, many compatriots are still living there ten thousand years later!
“Therefore, we set off on our journey and try to find you despite the long distance!
“It’s a pity that the universe is simply too vast and dangerous. With the incomplete star map of the past, we couldn’t lock onto the coordinates precisely and lost our way in the super long-distance space jump. Later, we were involved in a cosmic storm, which consumed most of our fuel. We were forced to land here in the end!
“But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. We didn’t know that we would run into Fellow Cultivator Li from the Flying Star Sector here! It seems that the connection between us and the Flying Star Sector cannot be ripped apart by even the cosmic storm!”
While talking, Su Changfa continued patting Li Yao’s shoulder softly.
His five fingers were bouncing thousands of times in the tiniest movements, sending uncanny forces into Li Yao’s body.
“Huh. This old fart is stimulating your nerve clusters!”
The mental devil crawled out of Li Yao’s head and commented on Su Changfa hypnotization skills. “Not bad. Not bad. He is sending spiritual energy into your body without alarming you and stimulating your nerve clusters, making the hormones in your body be secreted precisely. Your central nerves and brain cells will thus be affected. Not only will you believe his words beyond your control, he can even manipulate your emotions to some extent. This is a rather interesting technique!”
The mental devil was a great expert of manipulation itself. Li Yao’s brain was what it most desired, too. Hardly had the foreign forces entered Li Yao’s brain when they were discovered and seen through by the mental devil.
Li Yao sniffed in his heart. His soul had gone through too many blasts and mutations. It was much stronger than that of regular Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators!
Also, when he was in the Flying Star Sector, he had once received a secret technique of Hellsword, a Nascent Soul Stage expert, who specialized in mental attacks. He practiced hard later and became an expert of mental attacks himself, too!
To some extent, he was attacking and defending against the mental devil hundreds of rounds every day deep inside his brain. The two parties were on par with each other, and he was even at a slim advantage. That was why he could suppress the mental devil.
Yet, the old man was trying to hypnotize him? He did not know what he was doing!
Even without the reminder of the mental devil, Li Yao still understood the changes happening to his body. The secretion of his hormones was under his precise control, too.
It was only because he did not want to alarm them that he allowed Su Changfa to ‘hypnotize’ him.
Li Yao’s face was exultant, thrilled, and then twisted while he was drooling greedily. He bowed and adulated, “So—so, you are three seniors from the center of the cosmos. What—what—what a—”
He pretended that he was lost for words in excitement.
His reactions were within the Immortal Cultivators’ expectations. Vague inky colors dyed Su Changfa’s almost transparent eyes, turning them into two bottomless springs, while he said in a soft voice, “There’s no need to flatter us as seniors. We are here for communication on equal terms. Let’s just call each other ‘fellow Cultivator’.
“Fellow Cultivator Li, the purpose of our journey is to disseminate the culture at the center of the cosmos and to reach out to the brothers and compatriots in the Sectors at the edge of the cosmos. We are here for peace and communication, and we didn’t carry too many weapons with us. Except for Fellow Cultivator Kou Ruhuo, who boasts abilities to protect himself, neither I nor Fellow Cultivator Tang Qianhe know how to fight!
“From what we’ve heard, the Flying Star Sector is rather a dangerous place plagued by the space pirates and the Immortal Cultivators, isn’t it? Would they threaten our lives if we go to the Flying Star Sector?
“I know a thing or two about the space pirates. Bandits who travel in the space and rob other people. That’s all. But I wonder… what are the Immortal Cultivators?”
Li Yao sneered to himself. Do not know how to fight? Chances are that the most dangerous one of the three Immortal Cultivators is the old fox who is good at hypnotization and mental attacks!
However, on the surface, he pretended that he was completely hypnotized and confessed everything he knew. “The Immortal Cultivators are terrorists who have popped up in recent years. They established an organization named ‘The Temple of Immortals’, which has been complicit with the space pirates!
“The Immortal Cultivators are different from us Cultivators!
“We Cultivators always dedicate ourselves to the execution of evil and the protection of ordinary people. We won’t hesitate to burn ourselves to illuminate the world!
“The Immortal Cultivators, however, consider ordinary people to be nothing but ants. They have no moral standards to achieve their purpose, and they can sacrifice tens of thousands of ordinary people without batting an eye!
“In the Flying Star Sector, the Immortal Cultivators have launched too many terror attacks. Countless ordinary people have been killed by them. They are a major trouble for us!”
“I didn’t know that there were such shameless Cultivators in the world!” Su Changfa said in shock. “Then, haven’t the fellow Cultivators of the Flying Star Sector figured a way to eliminate them yet? Have your Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators and Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators not taken action?”
In confusion, Li Yao replied, “Divinity Transformation Stage? There’s nobody in the Divinity Transformation Stage in the Flying Star Sector. Even the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators are only a handful, and only one of them is battle-type! The Flying Star Sector is too large a place. One battle-type Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator is far from enough!”
Su Changfa, Kou Ruhuo, and Tang Qianhe looked at each other, almost unable to hold back their derision and delight.
Kou Ruhuo, the tall and strong ‘chief of arms’, stepped forward and asked solemnly, “Fellow Cultivator Li, I wonder, what’s the population of the Flying Star Sector? How many warships and worthy Cultivators are out there?”
It was quite a sensitive question, but Li Yao appeared inert enough to catch the killing intent entailed in the sentence. Tilting his head and thinking for a moment, he shook his head and said, “The population… is about seven to eight billion, or maybe even ten billion. I really can’t tell!
“The Flying Star Sector is a civilization based on starships. Most of the people live on starships that drift from space zone to space zone. There is not a central government. No conclusive census has ever been conducted, so nobody can tell the precise population!”
“There isn’t a central government?”
In a daze, Kou Ruhuo asked, “Then, how do you organize your army to fight the space pirates… and the Immortal Cultivators?”
With a bitter face, Li Yao replied, “That’s the problem! The Flying Star Sector experienced a great catastrophe five thousand years ago. The environment of the entire world underwent drastic changes. Ever since then, we have been loose sand. A few starships make a sect, and every sect minds their own business. There has never been a united army. That’s why the space pirates and the Immortal Cultivators have been causing so much trouble!
“However, after the Immortal Cultivators showed up, all the sects finally joined our hands to build a piece of magical equipment named ‘Grand Illusionary Soldier’, hoping to exterminate the Immortal Cultivators!”
Tang Qianhe, the ‘navigator’ and the only female Immortal Cultivator, asked with a smile, “Grand Illusionary Soldier? What is that?”
Li Yao nodded at the Grand Illusionary Soldiers of the Imperium of True Human Beings in the sky. “It is similar to the metal puppets of yours. Such magical equipment can fight on their own without being controlled by a Cultivator. All the Grand Illusionary Soldiers are manipulated by the ‘star brain’, a super crystal processor. It is said that several million of them will be enough to settle the trouble of the space pirates and the Immortal Cultivators once and for all!”
“That explains a lot!” Su Changfa’s deep, dark eyes rolled time and time again. “But I wonder, when did you end up in this place? At that time, the final battle between you and the Immortal Cultivators had not begun yet, had it?”
Li Yao nodded. “We were ambushed by the space pirates five years ago. Then, we drifted in space for about three years before we found this place. It’s been around two years since I was forced to land here!”
“Since you were forced to land in your crystal suit, you certainly didn’t have a starship to live in,” Kou Ruhuo said coldly. “Where have you been residing in the past two years, Fellow Cultivator Li?”
Li Yao pointed east and said, “I’ve been living in a cave several hundred kilometers to the east!”
Cold brilliance suddenly shined in Tang Qianhe’s eyes. “If you’ve been living hundreds of kilometers in the east, why did you come here?”
Sullenly, Li Yao replied, “I’ve been hiding in my cave, not daring to come out, fearing that some ferocious beasts might be lurking on this planet. But the food that I carried is about to run out. It’s not like that I can feed on moss every day, right?
“Besides, my crystal suit hasn’t been maintained for two years, so many components have already rusted!
“I detected a large-scale metal reaction in this direction. That was why I decided to risk coming over. Even if I couldn’t find any food, I could at least find some fuel and metal components so that my crystal suit could be more or less repaired. After that, I would be able to hunt in the abysses!
“I’d found nothing of value after exploring for almost half a month until I noticed that my fellow Cultivators landed today. I didn’t know whether you were friends or foes, human beings or demons. That’s why I was lurking and observing in the dark!”