Although she was being hypnotized by two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators simultaneously, every muscle on her face was still twisted into a hideous smile. She licked the blood on the corner of her lips and said, “If we could capture Firefly and the last warriors of the ‘rightful government of the Star Ocean Republic’ and possibly retrieve the ‘Star Ocean Seal’, it would certainly be the most incredible accomplishment in the history of the Imperium! With such an accomplishment, the Black Wind Fleet would certainly be restored to an Alpha legion and become the best troop of the best troops again!
“Therefore, my claw fleet immediately lunged at Firefly!”
“Wait a moment.” Meng Chixin interrupted her again and raised new questions. “Since it was such an important target, shouldn’t you have requested reinforcements from the mother fleet first? Why did you attack on your own?”
“We couldn’t send out any signals,” Heiye Lan said. “We discovered Firefly by accident. They found us at exactly the same time we found them. In the accidental encounter, Firefly reacted first and activated powerful interferential waves, blocking all communication signals sent to the outside world!”
Meng Chixin slightly frowned. “Is there such a technique in the world?”
“It is not a very sophisticated art,” Heiye Lan explained. “Destruction is easier than construction, and disruption is easier than transmission. In the boundless sea of stars, to transmit the information streams steadily and precisely to a point hundreds of years away despite the scourge of the stellar radiation and the cosmic storms is an extremely difficult task in the first place. The ‘disruption’, in compassion, is not very sophisticated. As long as you detonate certain bombs that can interfere with the signals in space nearby, it is very easy to create a ‘blackout space’ where all means of information transmission are blocked!
“Firefly was highly vigilant and had abundant battle experience after running for a thousand years in the universe with the remnants of the previous regime. Although they were merely floating the orbit of a forsaken mining planet, gathering assets from the planet to repair their starship, they still deployed a great number of floating bombs throughout the entire galaxy. Hardly had we discovered each other when they activated all the bombs, disrupting the transmission of telepathic thoughts and secluding the whole galaxy!
“For battles in the sea of stars, ‘information’ is the most critical factor. Blocking signals is a very common tactic.”
Deep in thought, Meng Chixin nodded and said, “That explains a lot. Those frightened birds were certainly not worthless. How did you react once all the signals had been blocked by the enemy?”
“We had two options,” Heiye Lan said. “Firstly, we could wait patiently while the blockage created by the interferential bombs dissipated. But the process could take dozens of hours, during which time the enemy would certainly release new interferential bombs to build up the ‘blackout area’.
“Secondly, we could escape from the ‘blackout area’ and jump to a place beyond the range of the interferential bombs where we could communicate with the mother ship.
“However, Firefly knew that very clearly, too. When we were preparing for a space jump, it released countless Exos and space shuttles to harass us, stopping us from entering the space jump state stably. In the meantime, its own space jump units were unleashing immense spiritual waves, suggesting that it was trying to enter the emergency jump state, too!
“If we had insisted on jumping out of the blackout area to report to the mother fleet, Firefly would’ve jumped to somewhere deeper in the sea of stars and escaped again by the time the mother fleet arrived!
“Therefore, we had no choice but to charge forward and bite down hard, not letting it run away!”
Touching his chin, Meng Chixin asked, “You can’t be disrupted while you are performing a… space jump?”
“A space jump is just like how you use your teleportation array,” Heiye Lan said. “What will happen if the teleportation array is attacked and detonated while you are halfway through your teleportation?
“I’m afraid that your limbs and your internal organs will be teleported to random parts of the world separately!”
“Got it!” The two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators looked at each other. They were both smart enough to understand the dangers entailed in a space jump through the examples around them. “So to speak, once you were caught in a ‘blackout area’ where you couldn’t deliver a message to the outside world, and a space jump was not an option, you could only fight the enemy to death, right?”
“Yes.” Heiye Lan sniffed. With immense confidence flowing out of her dirty eyes, she gritted her teeth and said, “Firefly was modified based on a main force warship of the Star Ocean Republic in the past. However, the technologies it adopted were from a thousand years ago. The magical equipment and techniques installed were rather obsolete!
“Also, it had suffered heavy wounds countless times during its thousand years of escape, only to flee in search of worlds that were compassionate toward the Star Ocean Imperium and hostile to the Imperium of True Human Beings, where the starship was updated as much as possible. After the army of the Imperium arrived, it would run away again with a batch of rebels who disobeyed the Imperium and identified with the previous regime!
“After a thousand years of running, Firefly was already a pile of scraps with patches everywhere! The resources on board must’ve been insufficient, and the morale couldn’t be high. How much combat ability could it have?
“My claw fleet, on the other hand, boasted ‘Bloody Blade’-level assault warships, one of the latest models in the Imperium, whose firepower was quite impressive. Although we were just a team of scouts that was not large in scale, we even had a Colossus, or the Cloud Qin Gold Statue to your knowledge, which was piloted by me!
“We were to Firefly what a shark was to a whale. Even if the enemy was more than ten times larger than us, as long as my Colossus crawled into the enemy’s belly, we were seventy percent certain that we could kill the enemy!
“That was our plan. We hoped to disrupt the enemy’s positions and distract their firepower with a violent assault so that a small communication starship on our side could jump out of the blackout area and contact the mother fleet!
“The battle went quite well at first.
“Firefly’s situation was exactly as we had expected. After an escape of a thousand years, it had fled to the edge of the cosmos. If it went any further, it would escape out of the range of the civilization of mankind as a whole and enter the mysterious, highly perilous extraterrestrial lands.
“They were a bunch of stray dogs that were approaching their doom. They were short of ammunition, crystals, and other resources. Their morale was lower than ever, too. They were no match for us at all.
“The last warriors of the Star Ocean Imperium were crushed by us one after another, ending up as cold cosmic dust. I also landed on the shell of Firefly successfully in a Colossus under the cover of the immense firepower of the ‘Bloody Blade’-level assault warship!
“Colossi are the most terrifying, ultimate weapons in the universe. As long as I blew out a huge hole in the shell of Firefly and broke into the warship, I would definitely be able to march forward unstoppably and completely wreck the space jump units on it!
“If it was deprived of the space jump abilities, it would have nowhere to run. We would be able to follow it and deal with it slowly. At normal cruising speed, it was impossible for the starship to get rid of us. It would only bleed slowly as more and more claw fleets and even our mother fleet arrived!
“Victory was soon to be ours, when—”
Heiye Lan paused for a moment. With shock and fear beaming out of her face, her lips trembled for a long time before she managed to continue. “—when a mysterious fleet emerged out of nowhere in our rear and launched the most violent assault on our most vulnerable parts!
“The scale of the fleet was more than ten times larger than our claw fleet. The models of their warships, space shuttles, and crystal suits were different from the traditions of the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance. It was obvious that they belonged to a new force.
“Although most of the magical equipment that they employed was outdated by generations compared to ours, they had the sheer advantage in numbers. Also, we were too focused on Firefly in front of us to realize that Firefly could possibly have reinforcements. Therefore, we suffered major losses after the first encounter!
“The entire claw fleet was immediately covered in fireballs and blasts. Countless Exos and space shuttles that were not protected by the warships were even blown into smithereens within the moment. A lot of warships were attached to the enemy by magnetic fields. The most dangerous boarding battles soon began!
“Because of the enemy’s absolute advantage in numbers, our warships were captured one after another. Even the communication starship that was prepared to jump out of the blackout area to contact the mother fleet was blown up by the enemy directly during the emergency jump!
“The—the—the most horrible thing was that the mysterious fleet boasted a Colossus, too!
“It was a Colossus as red as fire in the shape of the combination of a dragon and a griffin. The Colossus was so brutal and aggressive that it ripped one of our starships in half during a single attack. The starship was truly ripped apart in half!”
Her words seemed to be praising the enemy and undermining the might of the Imperium.
If Heiye Lan was fully conscious, she would never have put it in such a way.
However, she was in a half-awake-half-asleep state because of the hypnotization of the two Divinity Transformation Stage. The deepest memories inside her head had been triggered.
The Colossus forged out of crimson flames had left such a deep impression on her that it almost became an ineffaceable shadow in her sub-consciousness. Stimulated by the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, she immediately confessed everything dutifully.
“I—I was piloting the only Colossus in the claw fleet. Naturally, it was my responsibility to deal with the enemy’s Colossus!”
In utmost pain, embarrassment, and shock, Heiye Lan stammered, “But—but I didn’t know that the enemy’s combat ability would be so terrifyingly high. I was no match for her at all. After only a few rounds, I was already beaten into heavy wounds. Even my Colossus was almost destroyed!”
“Is this mysterious fleet from the ‘Star Glory Federation’ you mentioned just now?” Wu Suiyun asked.
“Yes,” Heiye Lan replied obediently. “During the chaotic battle, we managed to capture a few captives from the enemy’s side. After we interrogated them, we learned some basic information about who the enemy was.
“The fleet was from the ‘Star Glory Federation’, a country in the desolate area nearby. The Colossus that defeated me was known as Draconic Phoenix. Its user was a legendary expert in the country whose name seemed to be ‘Blazing Tyrannosaur’!”