In the Grand Illusionary Land behind Su Changfa, another poignant picture showed up.
Almost half of the picture was occupied by a huge, setting sun. Below the bloody sun was a desert that was full of debris and corpses from a war. A black shadow that was weary and small was marching forward alone.
Behind him, the wolves and hyenas that were depicted in an anthropopathic way were tailing him. Their countenance that were both cowardly and brutal, both greedy and hypocritical, could not have been more vivid!
The pictures in the Grand Illusionary Land were obviously drawn by experts among the Immortal Cultivators who were adept at painting. Whoever saw them would feel deeply sympathetic toward Wuying Qi and indignant about the mediocre Cultivators and the avaricious ordinary people!
Li Yao stimulated his soul with spiritual energy time and time again, in case he walked into Wuying Qi’s shoes and observed the entire world from the ‘Blackstar’!
“After recognizing who his real enemy was,” Su Changfa said slowly, “Wuying Qi was no longer as frank and demanding as he had been in the past when he was willing to insult all the leadership in the Empyrean Terminus Sector, the capital, in order to win the war. He focused more on stabilizing the defense line and reducing the consumption of assets and the death rate of the soldiers. Finally, he got a moment to catch his breath. However, in secret, he had been expanding the influence of the Salvation Syndicate by accepting more ‘fellow Cultivators’ who shared his vision!
“Wuying Qi believed that most of the officials in the Star Ocean Republic and the old Cultivators were too deeply poisoned to be rescued. Only the young Cultivators were the future of the country and the future of the civilization of mankind!
“At that time, the lethargy of the Star Ocean Republic also triggered many hotblooded young Cultivators’ passion to revolutionize other than Wuying Qi. With Wuying Qi’s personal charisma and the calling of a great cause, the Salvation Syndicate quickly expanded, winning countless young Cultivators over!
“However, even at that time, Wuying Qi never thought of completely splitting apart from the world of Cultivators. The so-called Salvation Syndicate was merely a discussion group where everybody gathered and talked about subjects such as the relationship between Cultivators and ordinary people, the Cultivators’ real responsibility to the civilization of mankind, the great kindness and the petty kindness, the position of the civilization of mankind in the universe, and so on. They only meant to stop the country from declining and improve the civilization!”
The picture behind Su Changfa flashed. Many young people were talking and laughing around a black crystal suit.
Every tiny stroke was brimming with vigor and hope, entirely different from the style when the parliament of the Star Ocean Republic was depicted!
Su Changfa gnashed his teeth. “Initially, Wuying Qi prepared to walk down the path of the reformists. He hoped to build up the Salvation Syndicate into the largest party in the Star Ocean Imperium. The representatives that belonged to the Salvation Syndicate would be the majority in parliament. One day, he could even campaign for the position of Speaker of the Star Ocean Imperium so that he could seize power legally and reform the civilization of mankind as he saw fit!
“However, at this point, what worried Wuying Qi most happened!
“The Covenant Alliance suddenly launched an attack toward the Star Ocean Republic with an enormous army including more than fifty fleets!
“The scale of the strategic attack far exceeded the combination of all the attacks from the Covenant Alliance in the past ten years. It seemed that the testing at the beginning was finally over, and the Covenant Alliance played a real move that could decide the outcome of the war!
“Right now, the mysterious, well-trained troops of the Covenant Alliance, with their state-of-the-art weapons, finally attacked in earnest. The exhaust flames from the warships of the fifty fleets were enough to rip the entire universe into shreds!
“Because of the sluggishness and the obstructions from the past, Wuying Qi, as the highest commander on the frontline, only had warships with low tonnage and firepower and legions that were seriously lacking all kinds of assets!
“Even so, Wuying Qi did not give up his responsibility. Exerting all the knowledge that he had learned in his hundreds of years of travel in the sea of stars, he defeated the enemy multiple times when his troops were terribly outnumbered, postponing the Covenant Alliance’s advance, which was as aggressive as fire!
“Of all the battles, the most decisive one was the Battle of Karan!”
The Grand Illusionary Land behind Su Changfa displayed a bleeding galaxy where explosions were bursting out like raindrops.
With that as the background, a yellow, unattractive planet popped up.
“Karan was a resource planet near the frontline under the control of the Star Ocean Republic. Although it was not large in size, it had the storage of dozens of rare materials including the Green Lotus Stones, the Frost Brilliance Crystals, and in particular, the Purple Thunder Crystals, which were in a high reserve and quality. The Purple Thunder Crystals are an extremely rare super catalyst for fuel. After they are mixed into the fuel of a starship in a certain ratio, the maximum speed of the starship can be improved by more than five percent!
“A speed increase of five percent! What a terrifying improvement that is! In any interstellar battle, not five percent, even a one percent speed increase is very likely able to reverse the final outcome!
“For the two parties whose starship technologies were close, the Purple Thunder Crystals were strategic assets of paramount importance. Therefore, Karan was the most important place in the frontline, and both parties desired it!
“Wuying Qi’s command center was established on Karan, too!
“The Battle of Karan was a strategic sudden assault that Wuying Qi had carefully prepared long ago.
“General sudden assaults require our troops to attack the enemy unexpectedly, but this time, Wuying Qi was preparing to let the enemy launch a ‘sudden assault’ on him!
“Before the Battle of Karan, despite the continuous victories that Wuying Qi had secured, they were just tactical victories after all due to his limited troops. The Covenant Alliance, on the other hand, was well-prepared and did not fear a war of attrition.
“Behind Wuying Qi’s defense line, it was not the homeland of the Star Ocean Republic but more than ten vassal Sectors, which were also known as ‘sub-republics’. They boasted a certain degree of independence and were in fact undetermined flip-floppers.
“Those flip-floppers were like the appeasers in the Martial Meritocrats civilization. All they cared about were their own interests. They had always been reluctant to carry out Wuying Qi’s military demands and would simply stay back when the Covenant Alliance’s army arrived while asking Wuying Qi’s troops to resist the enemy. Some of them were even conspiring with the Covenant Alliance in secret, selling assets and intelligence to the enemy!
“Since this place was too far away, even the parliament of the Star Ocean Republic could barely do anything about the sub-republics. They could only maintain the harmony on the surface.
“Wuying Qi knew better than anybody that the flip-floppers were not reliable. If he suffered a crushing defeat, the vassal worlds would certainly not fight to the end for the Star Ocean Republic. If anything, they would be the first to surrender. By then, the failures would snowball until the final defeat was unstoppable!
“Therefore, Wuying Qi had to secure a glorious victory with the few troops that he had!
“He decided to gamble. After finishing the preparations on Karan, his nest, he pretended that he had grown arrogant because of the recent victories and marched to attack the Covenant Alliance’s supply lines.
“The Covenant Alliance saw through his fatal disadvantage, his shortage of troops, as he expected. Seizing the momentary opportunity, they launched an assault to Karan.
“With his remarkable commanding arts, Wuying Qi pretended that he was crushed and had to run away in panic. He threw away Karan and escaped to a vassal Sector in the rear.
“In order to fool the Covenant Alliance, he even pretended that he had been attacked by the local armed forces who were determined to surrender to the Covenant Alliance so that the Covenant Alliance would think that he had completely lost his power.
“The Covenant Alliance was tricked as he planned. After they occupied Karan, because of the strategic resources on the planet and since Wuying Qi had left the facilities such as the maintenance docks, the space ports, and the communication bases intact, they considered the place to be a new command center and were preparing to conquer the ten or so vassal Sectors nearby.
“But they didn’t know that Wuying Qi had made preparations beneath Karan’s surface!
“Since the Purple Thunder Crystals on Karan were enough to boost the maximum speed of a starship by five percent, it is not hard to guess that they are materials that contain abundant spiritual energy and are both highly active and highly unstable!
“With the methods that he had learned when he was wandering in the universe, Wuying Qi established a great array that pierced through the core of the planet and connected all the mother lodes of the Purple Thunder Crystals, turning the whole of Karan into an enormous ‘planetary bomb’!
“It was indeed the most insane tactic!
“It must be noted that, when Karan was converted into a ‘planetary bomb’, Wuying Qi’s main force was still gathered in the place. Even he was commanding the battles there in person, too!
“One moment of carelessness, and he would’ve been blown to smithereens!
“It was an appallingly risky gamble, but it paid off!
“The Covenant Alliance considered the occupation of Karan a landmark success. The main force of the fleets gathered on Karan to rest and regroup ahead of the attacks in the next phase. Most of the generals were gathered in the command center on Karan, too, dispatching troops and discussing strategies.
“Choosing a perfect opportunity, Wuying Qi activated the great array deep inside Karan. The spiritual energy contained in the Purple Thunder Crystals was unleashed all at once, blowing the entire planet apart!
“The shocking explosion affected the entire space. Not only were the generals of the Covenant Alliance all cooked up, most of the main force warships also became wasted garbage floating in the universe!
“The more than ten vassal Sectors couldn’t help but become awed by such a glorious achievement. Called and intimidated by Wuying Qi, they all submitted their local armed forces. A coalition fleet was founded and chased after the enemy. Eventually, the Covenant Alliance’s strategic attack was crushed. A lot of starships of the Covenant Alliance were captured, too. It was indeed the most brilliant victory!”
Li Yao had been holding his breath the whole time and did not exhale again until this moment.
There were certainly exaggerations in Su Changfa’s rhetoric, but the key tactic was unlikely to have been fabricated.
Despite the possibly different stance, Li Yao was truly amazed by Wuying Qi’s strategical judiciousness and his tactics that bordered on insanity!
Seeing Li Yao’s apparently touched countenance, Su Changfa, however, put on a cold smile and gnashed his teeth. “After winning the battle in such a glorious way—shattering the Covenant Alliance’s intentions and almost annihilating all the invaders—when the troops on our side were so terribly outnumbered by those on the enemy’s, logically, he should’ve returned a hero and received the bouquets and cheers from the people of his homeland!”
Li Yao found it odd. “Did he not?”
To this moment, he had not figured out what was wrong about Wuying Qi yet at all.
Su Changfa frowned. “Of course not. What awaited Wuying Qi was not applause but the barrage of the Cultivators, the despise of the general public, and a trial of the military court on the grounds of ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘massacre’!”
Li Yao was dumbfounded. “Wh—why?”
It was almost like one of the classic plots where good guys were wronged without a good reason!
Su Changfa coughed and said, “Because… in order to deceive the Covenant Alliance, Wuying Qi did not bring away the ordinary people living on Karan when he ‘fled from the planet in panic’.
“There were approximately 8.2 million civilians on Karan, most of whom were miners, mechanics, and specialists of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures and their families.
“When Karan was detonated, the 8.2 million civilians were naturally… sacrificed, too.”