The excited roars of the female warrior from the Imperium echoed in the hollow Nuwa warship and did not die down for a long time.
The soundwaves triggered rounds of ripples on the faces of the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators and Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators like tides.
“And you said that you are not a negotiator,” Li Yao sneered. “I can tell that your speech is well-organized and very persuasive. It is not like something that a general soldier can tell!”
“It’s because the Imperium has implanted a special technique into the brain of every frontier soldier who is out for exploration and colonization missions.”
Heiye Lan’s eyeballs were shuddered fast as she explained, “I have received professional half-hypnotization and subconsciousness-activation training. A lot of situational dialogues have been inputted into my brain, providing guidance for me in certain scenarios like the one I’m in right now. Therefore, my previous speech is not just my own opinion but to a large extent the official attitude of the Black Wind Fleet and the Imperium of True Human Beings!”
Li Yao was dazed for a long time. “I didn’t know that. How—how would you know what to do in every case-scenario?”
Heiye Lan smiled.
Although she was imprisoned and almost deformed from torture, the female warrior of the Imperium was still smiling confidently as if she were sure to win.
“If your country had conquered, destroyed, and devoured countless worlds like the Imperium of True Human Beings has,” Heiye Lan said unhurriedly, “you would also have accumulated abundant experience and know how to cope with any unexpected situation!”
Li Yao thought quickly but failed to come up with a counter.
Staring at Heiye Lan, Meng Chixin said, “Your offer is indeed tempting, if what you said is true. However, it is a great deal that concerns the future of our entire world, and we cannot make a decision recklessly!
“We need to know more information about the Imperium of True Human Beings and the universe to make a sensible judgement.
“I’ll give you two options.
“Firstly, here are ten jade chips. I’ll give you three days for you to confess the intelligence about the Imperium of True Human Beings, the Alliance of the Holy Covenant, and other forces in the universe after classifying it into different categories such as history, system, economy, culture, and so on. Also, you will need to tell us about everything that came before the Imperium of True Human Beings, such as the Star Ocean Republic, the Star Ocean Imperium, the Demon Beast Empire, the age of the ancient Cultivators, and the primeval era!
“After studying the files that you provide, we will naturally make a decision as to whether or not we surrender to the Imperium of True Human Beings and cooperate with the Black Wind Fleet!
“Secondly, if you are unwilling to confess dutifully, or if you are caught lying or concealing anything, we will have no choice but to kill you and exploit every drop of information in your head with techniques such as the soul-searching technique!
“Naturally, in such a case, we will no longer be able to trust the Black Wind Fleet, and the Black Wind Fleet will certainly not let us go. It will be very difficult for us to cooperate. Who knows what kind of crazy things the Ancient Sages Sector can do when mired in desperation?”
Heiye Lan hesitated for a moment and nodded. “I—I can tell you everything, but I don’t know the crucial details right now, such as the specific information about our fleet, the parameters of the starships, or the coordinates of the internal worlds of the Imperium of True Human Beings, which were sealed tightly before I left for the mission. I can’t tell you such things.
“I can only tell you conceptional stuff. If you are only trying to get an introduction to the current universe, it should suffice!”
“Deal,” Meng Chixin said. “We don’t need to know the… coordinates of your capital right now. We only want to understand the universe as quickly as possible so that we can make a final decision!”
“Then I hope that you make it soon,” Heiye Lan said peacefully. “I don’t know the Black Wind Fleet’s status right now, but your surrender is only valuable before the Black Wind Fleet conquers the Star Glory Federation and captures Firefly. If the rebels at the edge of the cosmos have all been suppressed and shattered, I can’t guarantee that the Black Wind Fleet will necessarily accept your surrender!”
Meng Chixin was silent briefly before he said, “I understand. Your soul has been exhausted. Take a rest for a moment before you input the intelligence about the universe into the jade chips!”
His hands shivered. Mystic rays flowed into Heiye Lan’s temples along the spiritual threads. The female warrior of the Imperium’s eyes quivered for a moment before they were covered by her eyelids, and her breath became deep and stable.
She had fallen asleep.
Conversely, the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators and the ten super Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators seemed to be caught in an unbelievable nightmare that they could not escape from.
For how many years, all the Cultivators of the Ancient Sages Sector had dreamed of ‘ascension’. They had hoped to appreciate the vastness and splendor of the deities’ realm.
However, when the real deities’ realm—or rather, the whole universe—was gradually unveiled in front of them, revealing its true face of infinite cruelty, the indescribable shock and oppression put them at a loss for words for a long time. They were like frogs who had seen the boundless ocean and the sharks, whales, and octopi swimming in it for the first time after they jumped out of the dry well that they had been living in!
After a long silence, Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar took a long breath and smiled bitterly. “I didn’t expect that the journey to the Divine Palace would end in such a way. The truth about the deities’ realm is too dreadful and thrilling!”
“If the woman wasn’t lying, the Imperium of True Human Beings and the Alliance of the Holy Covenant are two behemoths that we certainly cannot resist right now,” Qi Zhongdao observed worriedly. “We have just one Sector that is as divided as a tray of loose sand, but they each have more than two hundred Sectors with sufficient soldiers and supplies. They are hundreds of times more powerful than us! Not considering the technological gap, they can simply drown us with their sheer advantage in numbers!”
“The enormous starships roaming through the universe, and the warriors in crystal suits and Colossi who can break the stars!” ‘Heaven Battering King’ Qi Changsheng licked his lips and grinned. “When you think about it, it is actually quite fun!”
“I don’t like the way they treat the common folk.” ‘Mother White Lotus’ Wan Mingzhu said coldly, “Are they any different from the shameless swine of the six major sects?”
“Enough!” Meng Chixin waved his hands and interrupted the meaningless discussion. “I believe that everybody here is as shocked at the news about the ‘deities’ realm’ as me. Everything that the ‘deity’ said is too complicated, mysterious, and unbelievable!
“I think that we all need time to calm down and reflect on the issues carefully. I suggest that we consider the situation for three days and in the meantime get to know the situation of the universe. In three days, we will meet again and discuss a way out for the Ancient Sages Sector. What do you think?”
It was certainly the best option that they had right now. Naturally, there was no disagreement.
Li Yao thought of something. Perhaps he could find a chance to activate the star beacon and send the coordinates of this Sector to the Star Glory Federation within the three days.
“However,” Meng Chixin said, “the issue must be kept a secret from the people of the six major sects outside. Otherwise, with the enticing terms that Heiye Lan has proposed, it’s possible that the six major sects will dump us and even betray the Ancient Sages Sector to cooperate with the Black Wind Fleet directly!
“Hehe. The clowns of the six major sects will certainly be devoured by the Black Wind Fleet!
“The future of the Ancient Sages Sector can only be decided by the twelve of us. Even if we do surrender, it should be carried out under our supervision in order to ensure the maximal benefits and the most safety for the Ancient Sages Sector. Do you agree?”
Meng Chixin glanced around. All the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators nodded.
Meng Chixin smiled and said, “For the sake of confidentiality, and to ensure that some of you do not hurt the overall interests of the Ancient Sages Sector when other people can’t see—say, getting in touch with Heiye Lan and surrendering to the Black Wind Fleet alone in order to become the ‘Sector Master’ of the Ancient Sages Sector—I suggest that the twelve of us be classified into four groups, and the three members in each group include pro-Great-Qian Cultivators and anti-Great-Qian Cultivators simultaneously who will oversee each other. What do you think?
“‘Oversee’ might be too strong a word. This is also for our discussions and decisions in future to be smoother. After all, many fellow Cultivators here have contradictions and prejudices against each other. It will be a great opportunity for us to bond with each other!”
‘Bond’ was certainly not the favorite word for many Cultivators.
However, the rule that Meng Chixin had just raised was indeed very important.
Anybody’s heart could be treacherous. It was true that they could not guarantee that some of them would be selfish and greedy enough to set Heiye Lan free in secret or try to contact the Black Wind Fleet in order to become the ‘Sector Master’ of the Ancient Sages Sector.
Mutual supervision was necessary.
Li Yao, however, cried to himself.
If they were divided into groups of three, and he was kept in the company of Han Baling or Qi Changsheng, it would be practically impossible for him to activate the star beacons and send the coordinates to the federation!
Moreover, on second thought, even if he could send signals to the federation, so what?
Because of the technological restrictions, he only had a star beacon of the smallest scale, which was far from enough to navigate the jump of a super large fleet.
The original plan was that, after he sent the coordinates via the star beacon, the federation would teleport a batch of new materials for him so that he could assemble more star beacons. Then, the process would repeat itself until he had hundreds of star beacons. Eventually, he would connect the star beacons into a magnificent ‘space gate’ so that the federal fleet could be teleported over steadily and precisely.
Even if everything went well, the entire process could still take months.
With the current situation, it was impossible for him to have several months without being disturbed by anyone!
Besides, as soon as he sent signal to the federation, it was very possible that the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators and Heiye Lan, as a special agent of the Imperium, would notice the anomaly!
Unlike Heiye Lan, who had all the critical information in her head sealed, there were the coordinates of many important facilities in the federation, the research progress of the state-of-the-art magical equipment, the scale of the army, the files of the top experts, and a lot of other things in his brain, all of which were top secrets in a universal war!
Once he was hypnotized and interrogated by the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators like Heiye Lan had been, all the files would be exposed!
Given the dire consequences, could he make that gamble? Should he gamble?
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture? Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture!”
Li Yao was thinking when he suddenly heard Meng Chixin calling him. He raised his head, only to discover that all the other Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators had been grouped up, but there was no place for him.
Everybody else had been classified into groups of three, but he had been left alone, together with the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators.
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, please come with us.” Meng Chixin and Wu Suiyun looked at Li Yao with a smile. “There’s something important that we must speak to you.”