Li Yao shook his head. He could never fool her about that question. “No.”
“If what you said is true, and I am really the reincarnation of a certain someone hundreds of thousands of years ago,” Long Yangjun said coldly, “there are certainly great secrets hidden in my body, which are doubtlessly very invaluable!
“How do I know that I will not be captured by your force and dissected for studies after I choose to cooperate with you? After all, I’m all by myself, but you have an immeasurable force behind you that should be enough to chew me from the skin to the bones without leaving the slightest residue!”
“Then, how do I know that everything you said is true, and that you are really unaware of anything and all by yourself” Li Yao said sincerely, “instead of covetous about my force that you are preparing a shocking trap to deal with?
“Of course, we can suspect and close our door to each other, but it is useless! To be honest, after the mysterious signal was sent a hundred years ago, it is very likely that the coordinates of the Ancient Sages Sector have already been exposed. However thick and mysterious the dark nebula is, it can’t protect you or restrain you forever!
“Even if you don’t believe me and do not cooperate with me, the Ancient Sages Sector will be discovered sooner or later! Burying your head in the sand like an ostrich is the most useless action. Whether you are willing to or not, walking out of this secluded world and embracing the boundless sea of stars is the only viable option!
“If you refuse to embrace the universe, the universe will crush you and the world you are living on sooner or later!”
Li Yao’s words were like a bash in the head and cast Long Yangjun into a long silence again. She lowered her head and pondered for a long time, as if she were weighing the pros and cons to cooperate with Li Yao, or maybe she was simply searching for the loopholes in Li Yao’s declaration.
Suddenly, she raised her head. With cleverness beaming out of her eyes, she put on a vague smile and said, “I realized that your face was a bit weird when ‘Emperor Phoenix’ Zhu Zongyou was mentioned earlier. You seemed to be hostile and highly vigilant of him.
“It is reasonable for me to hate Zhu Zongyou. After all, he almost sabotaged my plan, which I have been toiling at for decades. But there should be no personal grudge between you and him. So, where were your hostility and vigilance from?”
“Well—” Li Yao was dazed for a moment. He did not realize that Long Yangjun’s eyes would be so keen, such that she had been observing his micro expression in secret the whole time.
Also, he was too dwelling in the secrets of Long Yangjun’s birth just now to be a hundred percent mentally prepared!
“Besides,” Long Yangjun said unhurriedly, “I am curious about one other thing. If you did not end up in this place because of an accident but came here well-prepared on purpose, you certainly have a certain technique that allows you to communicate with your hometown or return there conveniently. You should also be able to summon reinforcements from your hometown. Yet, you didn’t do any of that. Why not?”
The cold sweat behind Li Yao’s neck was dripping down.
“I have come up with a possibility.” Long Yangjun stared at Li Yao and said, “The force that you belong to isn’t the only force that has detected the Ancient Sages Sector. It is possible that some other forces that are hostile to you have discovered the Ancient Sages Sector, too, and sent out spies, or scouts, if you will, just like you, to the Ancient Sages Sector!
“You fear that those people will discover who you are. That’s why you have been acting so mysteriously and why you are so desperate to cooperate with me and drag me over to your side!
“As for the boy Zhu Zongyou, he is the person that you are most suspicious of right now, and the force that is hostile to you may be hiding behind him, right?”
Li Yao was rendered speechless. He slapped himself hard in his heart. Long Yangjun was truly an extraordinary person. Just based on the few clues that he had accidentally exposed, she had almost completed the whole puzzle!
One really could not be too careful when dealing with such a dangerous person!
“I’ll take the lack of a response as acknowledgement.”
Long Yangjun smiled. She gradually recovered from the disturbance caused by the revelation of the secrets about her birth and regained her full computational and manipulation abilities.
“Your suspicion makes a lot of sense. Without the help of outsiders, how could Zhu Zongyou, whom nobody had high hopes for or supported, and who was thrown into a wretched temple waiting to die, have risen miraculously after only a few years and even control a magnificent, mysterious armed force?
“On the other hand, if I were an extraterrestrial Cultivator who intended the Ancient Sages Sector harm, and I were interested in raising a puppet, a member of the royal family such as Zhu Zongyou—who is simple-minded, lacks social experience, and has more ambitions than his talents can afford—would certainly be the best target for me, especially when he is not involved with any other forces!
“So, it appears that Zhu Zongyou is our common foe now?”
“Exactly!” Li Yao took the opportunity to make a suggestion. “Whether or not we proceed with our cooperation, we should at least dig out the force behind Emperor Phoenix together right now! As you said, Emperor Phoenix might’ve known a thing or two about the Divine Palace a long time ago, and he had been planning for the quest for the Divine Palace earlier than he should’ve. So, his target is definitely much more than a few Cloud Qin Gold Statues. Chances are that he already knows something about your identity, and this is a special trap for you!”
“Hehe!” Long Yangjun chuckled and glanced at Li Yao with a fake smile. “Do not try to mislead me with your alarmism. I have my own judgements!
“It is absolutely impossible that Zhu Zongyou knows my birth. However, you do have a good point. Keeping him and the force behind him active will do neither of us any good.
“If you want to cooperate with me, you will have to promise me a few things first!”
Li Yao’s heart was racing. “What are your conditions?”
“Firstly, I want the secrets about my birth to stay in this room. Without my permission, I don’t want them to be learned by anyone, including the force behind you!” Long Yangjun said coldly. “If our roles were swapped, you would’ve proposed the same terms, wouldn’t you?”
That did make sense. The issue was Long Yangjun’s greatest secret. If everything learned of it, she would be mired in infinite trouble. Li Yao thought for a moment and nodded. “Alright. I promise you. But there will be nothing I can do if somebody else finds out by investigating themself.”
“We are both smart people, so I’ll skip all the unimportant details,” Long Yangjun said. “Of course, you can try lying to me, but you’d better make sure that you can kill me once and for all, otherwise you will bear my boundless wrath!
“Since you have been assigned to such a dangerous and critical mission, you must be one of the most distinguished warriors in your world, which means that the strongest warriors in your world will not be too high above the Nascent Soul Stage. Then, the overall combat ability of this world can’t be too high!
“If you infuriate me, I can and will certainly find a way to die together with such a world!”
Li Yao cursed in his heart secretly. Long Yangjun was indeed insane. She had inferred the overall capabilities of the Star Glory Federation just based on his Cultivation!
However, she was wrong about one thing.
A hundred years ago, Li Yao did indeed stand for the top warriors of the Star Glory Federation, but he was not sure that he still could after a hundred years.
Besides, under the industrial system of the modern Cultivation civilization, in the Star Glory Federation, which had stepped into the interstellar information-based society, the importance of personal combat ability had in fact been undermined.
A Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator was enough to be a dominator in the Ancient Sages Sector. However, in the federation, even if his Cultivation doubled, his influence on the whole society would be incomparable.
Even the strongest Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator might be killed under the bombardment of multiple cannons. So, their roles were less important.
However gifted and smart Long Yangjun was, she had been born and raised in the Ancient Sages Sector, and her mindset was restricted. It was impossible for her to estimate the full potential of a modern Cultivation civilization!
However, Li Yao did not intend to lie to her.
The federation was faced with too many powerful threats. The Imperium of True Human Beings and the Alliance of the Holy Covenant was each incredibly brutal. At such a critical time, it was highly unnecessary to piss off such a mysterious person who could be an heir of the Nuwa Clan.
Serious cooperation with her would be the more rational choice.
“Secondly, I’m aware that you are very interested in this Nuwa warship. You must be hoping to activate it to help your force fight against the hostile force, right?” Long Yangjun said casually. “It’s not unnegotiable to help your force in a battle. After all, it is impossible for me to maneuver the Nuwa warship purely on my own. I will need the support of crew members and resources.
“However, if I do help you, when I recall my destiny later, will you give me a hand, too?”
Li Yao pondered for a moment and said, “As long as your destiny does not contradict with the national interests of my country, I will try my best to persuade our national leader to help you without reserve. Even if our leader refuses my request—which is quite unlikely—I will still try my best to help you personally!”
“Alright!” Long Yangjun stared at Li Yao for a while. “These are my only terms. I’ll believe your replies for now. We’ll talk later after we work together and get the problem of ‘Emperor Phoenix’ Zhu Zongyou taken care of!”
Li Yao was refreshed. “How are we going to take care of it?”
“Let me see if I can activate part of the techniques on the Nuwa warship.” Long Yangjun smiled bitterly and said, “It was supposed to be the first thing I did after I entered… the bridge. I’ve been delayed by you for long enough!”
She paced slowly among the hundred enormous pillars that were almost a hundred meters tall. While pacing, she touched the stripes on every pillar, and her back was completely exposed to Li Yao’s eyes.
Li Yao pondered for a moment but did not launch a sudden attack.
Long Yangjun observed and groped on every pillar carefully for a long time. Her face fell into a trance every now and then, as if the zigzagging patterns on them reminded her of something that had been buried in the deepest depths of her soul.
Eventually, she stopped before a pillar that was particularly tall and about five meters in diameter at the front of the bridge.