In the end, according to the experience in Ou Yezi’s memory pieces, the barbaric Cultivators from the desolate land at the edge of the civilization were generally radical and had their uncanny quirks. They were not restricted by the rules of the noble sects, either. Therefore, other people would not come to mess around with them easily.
Pretending to be such an antagonistic guy would save him a lot of effort.
Li Yao was a great expert in camouflage in the first place. He had also made thorough preparations for the exploration and brought all kinds of tools and drugs, which could even change his appearance and physique in the cellar level. It was not a challenge for him to impersonate a guy who had vanished more than fifty years ago.
But before he completely figured out the guy’s background, Li Yao did not intend to completely pretend to be Master Spiritual Vulture himself.
If the guy was a public enemy for the Cultivators, or he once pissed off great experts in the Divinity Transformation Stage, Li Yao would have been a victim of his own schemes.
Therefore, Li Yao made other plans.
The top of the long, narrow canyon was covered by the flourishing trees. When it was broad daylight outside, it was nothing but horror and darkness inside the canyon.
What was odd was that, when the night came and the two moons—one slightly blue and the other pale—were shining, the canyon was soaked in silver clouds when the gentle brilliance flowed through the tree leaves like soft smoke.
Li Yao was sitting cross-legged in midair.
The Hundred Ghosts Edict was floating in front of him, as if attracted by an invisible string.
Exactly like what Master Spiritual Vulture had done, he spurted two streams of white light from his nostrils, which were attached to the surface of the badge and touched it softly. All the souls of the children confined inside were unleashed so that they could build up themselves by absorbing the essence of the moonlight.
Before, every time Master Spiritual Vulture summoned them and allowed them to absorb the essence of the moonlight, he would torture and savage them in order to stimulate their aggressiveness.
Of course, Li Yao would not do such things. Instead, he was slowly washing the aggressiveness off with his own mild spiritual energy and the peaceful moonlight.
It was an arduous task that demanded both time and focus, and it could not be stopped any day. It would do no good to Li Yao’s personal training.
However, that was where his belief and the spirit of the federation lay, which were their greatest reliance in the competition against the Imperium of True Human Beings. Naturally, Li Yao could not turn a blind eye to the souls of the children who would inevitably grow into fearsome wraiths if he did nothing.
Almost a hundred tiny souls were crawling out of the Hundred Ghosts Edict carefully. They thought that they were going to endure inhuman suffering again and were pushing each other at the edge of the badge, reluctant to go out.
Li Yao smiled and picked them up with the spiritual energy as gentle as water, soaking them in a warm spring.
The souls of the children were just white paper, and their feelings could change very quickly. Sensing Li Yao’s kindness, they immediately cheered and danced up and down around him in greenish sparks.
They were the descendants of the locals of the forest. It was their nature to horse around. Sensing that Li Yao was not malicious at all, they grew even bolder and approached Li Yao. Eventually, they even jumped to Li Yao.
Some of them were clinging to Li Yao’s arms, some were snatching Li Yao’s hair, and some crawled over to Li Yao’s ears. A few of them were even trying to open his mouth to crawl in. They took Li Yao’s body for a huge playground.
Children often did not have many memories. Judging from the carefreeness on their faces, they had temporarily forgotten the pain of the past.
Feeling the delight emitting from the children’s souls, Li Yao could not help but have a lot of complicated thoughts.
In the three thousand Sectors, the societies, nations, laws, and civilizations may vary. Sometimes, it’s hard to say which ones are right and which ones are wrong.
However, the children who are just born and yet to be edified by any society or civilization are probably the same!
The ancient Cultivators in this Sector and the modern Cultivators may be very different from each other. Their beliefs and ours may be as contradictory as fire to water.
But is there any essential difference between the children of the barbarians born in the forests and the children born in the modern hospitals in the federation?
Perhaps, they are all the same. They are the future of the civilization of mankind!
Under the moonlight that was as clear as water, right above the surging river, amid a hundred tiny ghosts who were playing with each other, Li Yao pondered, meditated, and trained.
In the ten days that followed, he lurked in Master Spiritual Vulture’s cave, where he analyzed the Cultivation arts left by Master Spiritual Vulture and simulated the visual and sound effects when the techniques were performed.
In the meantime, he also reviewed the classic techniques in the Heavenly Refining Tower in Ou Yezi’s memories.
After that, he recrafted the magical equipment left by Master Spiritual Vulture and built a few pieces of brand-new ancient magical equipment.
When he reflected on the battle with Master Spiritual Vulture, Li Yao felt that he had revealed too many moves that did not belong to the era. They could be loopholes if someone noticed them.
For example, the worst possibility was that, if a scout from the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings had already snuck onto the planet, it was possible for them to see through his identity.
Therefore, Li Yao decided that, in the exploration that followed, he would deal with the enemy with classic techniques and magical equipment, and he would not expose the moves and the devices that he had brought from the federation unless he absolutely had to.
During the exploration, it was possible that he would be engaged with experts above the high level of the Nascent Soul Stage. Therefore, the camouflage required extraordinary tricks to slowly change his appearance on a cellular level.
The lengthy endeavor took Li Yao almost half a month.
During that time, naturally, he did not let go of the army of the Appeasing Ambassador. He sent Neltharion to search for the target’s traces in the woods and followed them neither too far nor too close.
After the bloody battle half a month earlier, and especially after an expert in the Core Formation Stage was slain, the local barbarians seemed to have become terrified of the army. There had never been any head-on conflict since. They were simply hiding in the forests in small squads and ambushed their enemy when the army was not prepared. After they took down one or two victims, they would immediately run away.
Such a tactic was tricky to deal with. Also, the natural venomous fog in the forests of the primitive land put the soldiers in miseries, too. The strong and healthy fighters before had significantly lost their weight and liveliness.
However, not all the barbarians in the forests were against the ’emperor’s army’.
After half a month’s observation, Li Yao gradually discovered that the local barbarians could generally be classified into two types. The first type of barbarians were the pure primitives who had tattoos and rings all over their bodies, lived in the caves or nests deep inside the forests, and hunted for every meal.
Such barbarians were more hostile to the emperor’s army.
The other type of barbarians, in the meantime, lived in better environments, such as the side of rivers or valleys. They were capable of tilling their land and growing crops. Their life was relatively stable.
Such barbarians were more civilized. Their utensils were finely-made, too. They knew the courtesy to cover their body with clothes. They even had the notion of ‘towns’. In the towns, some people in exactly the same attire as those in the emperor’s army were doing their business as blacksmiths or merchants. Li Yao even saw a white-haired scholar in a relatively large village who appeared to be a teacher teaching more than ten kids of the barbarians how to read.
It appeared that the notions of ‘strange barbarians’ and ‘familiar barbarians’ existed in the Sector, too. There were disobedient barbarians who resisted the authorities, and there were also obedient folks who admired the culture in the central plateaus and pledged loyalty to the central dynasty.
As he expected, Li Yao discovered that the route of the Appeasing Ambassador’s army included most of the villages of the ‘familiar barbarians’ in the mountains.
After they reached every village, although it would be exaggerating to say that the locals welcomed them with great enthusiasm, they were quite respectful to them at least on the surface.
It was especially so after the Appeasing Ambassador surnamed Ling stuck the head of ‘Black Nose’, the Core Formation Stage Cultivator of the barbarians who was slain half a month ago, to the tip of the flagpole and had some patrol around the village with the flagpole. The locals of the villages were all dumbfounded and frightened, even less courageous to resist.
They kept the heavily wounded soldiers in the army for treatment and prepared sufficient food, water, and necessary medicines for a jungle march for the army. Some of the barbarians even volunteered to join the Appeasing Ambassador’s army. All kinds of fancy flags were fluttering in the sky. The army was much more magnificent than before, at least on the surface.
Appeasing Ambassador Ling lived up to the ‘expectations’ of the locals, too. Everywhere he went, as long as the locals were obedient on the surface, he would bring what appeared to be ‘royal decrees’ in Li Yao’s eyes out of his camp, announcing that the court had decreed the local barbarian leaders as the mayors of the villages.
After being decreed and given official titles, all the local barbarian leaders were overjoyed and worked even harder to provide assets and soldiers for the emperor’s army.
It was also a regular approach that the central dynasty adopted to deal with the barbaric groups in many worlds of ancient Cultivators.
What was an Appeasing Ambassador’s job exactly? He would recruit the barbarians who were obedient to the court and include them in the bureaucratic system of the court by decreeing them as officials before he asked them to join him in crushing the barbarians that were not obedient.
Curbing the barbarians with barbarians by taking advantage of their internal strife was a smart move. How could the army from the central plateaus, who were terribly outnumbered and unused to the climate, expect to suppress the barbarians born and raised in the tough land?
Li Yao was not interested in the regular barbarians who joined the ’emperor’s army’.
However, other than the ordinary barbarians, as the news that the Appeasing Ambassador’s army entered the forests spread out, some of the ‘extraordinary’ barbarians with spiritual energy dancing around them joined the cause after they reached every town.
Those who played with snakes, tigers, or ghosts; those who rode rhinos, buffaloes, crocodiles or deer; and all the rest of the bizarre-looking Cultivators of the barbarians appeared from whichever corner they had been hiding previously.