Li Yao was both delighted and worried after hearing Meng Chixin’s words.
He was delighted that Meng Chixin did not mean to surrender to the Imperium of True Human Beings wholeheartedly but was trying to ensure the independence and interests of the Ancient Sages Sector even after hearing about the dominance of the Imperium from Heiye Lan.
The guy’s stance could be the most critical breach later.
After all, the Star Glory Federation was certainly not as aggressive as the Imperium of True Human Beings. If the Ancient Sages Sector was willing to join the federation, it would probably exist as an autonomous world.
That should be very attractive to many Cultivators of the Ancient Sages Sector.
What worried Li Yao, on the other hand, was that Meng Chixin, as the Wolf God born and raised on the Dark Cloud Prairies, still believed in ‘survival of the fittest’, which was similar to the Imperium of True Human Beings’ ideology.
But it was not something beyond his expectation.
Preaching freedom, democracy, natural rights, and equality to an ‘ancient person’, and not just any ancient person but an ‘ancient barbarian’? Li Yao would be a fool if he did that!
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, with everything coming to this point, whatever choice we make and however much the enemy offers us, the most critical thing is that we must be strong enough ourselves!”
Meng Chixin stared at Li Yao very solemnly. “Only if we are strong enough can we possibly strike a deal and seek a future for our home, the Ancient Sages Sector!
“I wonder, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, in your opinion, what is the strongest part of the Ancient Sages Sector that attracts the enemy most and makes them want to buy us over?”
Li Yao pondered for a moment and replied, “The spiritual energy in the Ancient Sages Sector is dense. The Cultivators here are generally strong, which means that they are the best cannon fodder. That could be the enemy’s motivation.
“However, most of the Cultivators of the Ancient Sages Sector have been divided into different sects that are at loggerheads with one another. They are worse than loose land! For us, for the Imperium of True Human Beings, or for any other force, it won’t be an easy job to organize those selfish guys who each have their own sordid schemes!
“In my opinion, the most magnificent force of the Ancient Sages Sector is still the twelve of us!”
“Well said!” Glamorous brilliance beamed out of Meng Chixin’s eyes. “Having risen to fame from the murky Southland of Sorcerers and become a critical person in the quest for the Divine Palace in only half a year, you truly deserve your fame, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture!
“However, I fear that you haven’t seen through the whole picture yet.
“Judging from Heiye Lan’s description just now, the Imperium of True Human Beings and other forces in the universe, such as the Star Glory Federation, must attach more importance to large-scale magical equipment. Personal combat ability matters less to them than it does to us!
“In the dark, cold, airless universe, under the barrage of a hundred warships, I’m afraid that even the strongest Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator or Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivator can be blown to smithereens!
“The sea of stars is a vast and perilous place. Without ‘starships’ as vehicles, it is impossible for a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator or a Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivator to fly from one Sector to another in a decade. Strategically speaking, such Cultivators will be confined to where they are!
“Therefore, with only the twelve of us, we will not be able to march out of the Ancient Sages Sector. Even if our Cultivation was twice as high, I’m afraid that the Imperium of True Human Beings still wouldn’t pay as much attention to us!
“The reason that Heiye Lan offered such generous terms to us, in my opinion, lies in the Cloud Qin Gold Statues, the Colossi, the ultimate weapons in the universe!
“Twelve Cultivators in the Nascent Soul Stage and Divinity Transformation Stage might be negligible to the ‘deities’ from the deities’ realm, but what if the twelve Cultivators are each piloting a Colossus?
“Heiye Lan, as the daughter of the commander of the Black Wind Fleet, was only given a ragged, well-worn Colossus!
“Blazing Tyrannosaur Ding Lingdang is respected as a ‘legendary expert’ of the Star Glory Federation with the intact Colossus Draconic Phoenix!
“It is not hard for us to infer the dominance of the Colossi!
“On our side, we can absolutely jumble twelve Colossi that are basically intact with the highest combat ability. If the twelve of us all learn their usage, we will definitely become a force to take note of in the universe between the Black Wind Fleet and the Star Glory Federation, twelve valuable chess pieces that can very possibly change the outcome of the war!
“This is where our true strength lies. This is the biggest ‘bargaining chip’ for us in our negotiation to come!
“Therefore, our priority right now is not to make a decision but to learn how to pilot the Colossi. We will ‘wake up’ all the Colossi nearby that have been asleep for hundreds of thousands of years!”
Li Yao’s breath became heavy. With an expression of an appropriate ratio of surprise, suspicion, and excitement, he asked, “S—Senior Meng, are you willing to teach us the techniques to manipulate the Colossi? Are you so selfless?”
“Before I learned the vastness of the universe, I might’ve kept something to myself to fight for the tiny planet we are on,” Meng Chixin said casually. “However, knowing the boundlessness of the sea of stars and that the Ancient Sages Sector is just a tiny pebble at the edge of the world, with us being insignificant dust on the pebble, what’s there to keep from other grains of dust?
“It is truly boring to fight internally with you people on this pebble. If a man must fight, he should soar into the sky and fight the deities in the universe!”
Although he was a spectral Cultivator without a real entity, the ambition radiating from Meng Chixin during his declaration still illuminated Li Yao’s face like fierce flames.
Meng Chixin looked at Li Yao and said in a seemingly honest way, “To fight the magnificent beings in the universe, I cannot act on my own. However strong I am, I will only be a joke when faced with thousands of warships! We are all locals of the Ancient Sages Sector, ‘barbarians’ despised by the ‘nobles’ at the center of the cosmos. Who else can I trust if not you?
“A hundred years ago, many people on the prairies called me the Wolf God. Wolves are not as strong as bears, not as fast as leopards, and not as ferocious as tigers or lions, but they are the biggest threat for the people on the prairies. Why? Because they are united! Of all the animals, only the wolves hunt in packs and resist the bitter coldness together. In perilous moments, the individuals will sacrifice for the community!
“I prefer the wolf to the lion, the tiger, the bear, or the leopard. In my eyes, the Cultivators of the Ancient Sages Sector should be wolves running in space!”
Li Yao was greatly touched. He turned his eyes to Wu Suiyun.
“I share the same view as Meng Chixin,” Wu Suiyun said casually. “A hundred years ago, when my late husband was still alive, he promoted the integration of the major sects as the leader of all the Cultivators, hoping to end the internal strife and target the common foe. It’s a shame that… he failed eventually.
“Then, I realized that the people of the major sects are too worthless to be supported! The twelve of us must not learn from them and focus all our attention to deal with ourselves. If that happened, the Ancient Sages Sector would truly be in a hopeless position!
“Therefore, Meng Chixin and I have decided to teach the ten of you how to pilot the Colossi that we have figured out in the past decades and the tricks we learned from Heiye Lan. With the twelve Colossi, we will participate in the game in the sea of stars!
“This is also a gamble for the future of the Ancient Sages Sector. I hope that the ten of you will not disappoint us!”
Li Yao took a deep breath, only to find that he was still too excited to contain himself. However, it was a normal reaction at this moment that did not require disguise. He solemnly said, “Rest assured, seniors. I am certainly not one of the shortsighted rats that only know how to attack each other! Just as you said, Senior Meng, if we must fight, we should fight the entire universe to our heart’s content!
“However, you could’ve informed the Three Saints, the Four Rapscallions, the Monk, and the Emperor as well as me of your plan at the same time. Why did you choose to tell me alone?”
“Because your role in the entire gamble is vital,” Meng Chixin explained. “You have never piloted a Colossus before, so it’s possible that you don’t under the mysteries. In terms of ‘manipulation’, the Colossus is not very difficult to use. All the Cultivators in the Nascent Soul Stage boast extraordinary wisdom and souls. After one to two days of adaptation, five days at most, you will be able to control the Colossus to perform the basic movements and simple attacks.
“Such magical equipment seems to have been specifically refined by the primeval deities—specifically, the Nuwa Clan. They are designed for human beings to use and are much easier to control than many flying swords. It’s basically the same with regular armor!”
Li Yao nodded.
What he said was quite true. Although the Colossi were ultimate treasures in the primeval era, they were designed in a very user-friendly way. Years ago, when he tried Draconic Phoenix for the first time, he had already been able to perform a rather sophisticated technique and blow up a member of the Pangu Clan!
Meng Chixin and Wu Suiyun, as two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, had studied it for decades. It was not strange that they could perceive the usage of the Colossus.
“However,” Meng Chixin said solemnly, “although the Colossi are not difficult to maneuver, they are extremely delicate in structure. The rune arrays and the spiritual energy circuits are sometimes even traceless and unpredictable. It’s extremely hard to repair and maintain them!
“In fact, there were more well-preserved Colossi when we first discovered the warehouse, but after decades of study, almost ten of them had been ruined. It was truly a waste that made our hearts ache!
“We did find some jade chips and books that seemed to be instructions on the refinement and maintenance of the Colossi. However, neither Wu Suiyun nor I are Sword Forgers, and we only know the fundamentals about magical equipment. Also, we are just two spectral Cultivators without real entities. It is terribly troublesome for us to maintain the Colossi!
“Do you understand now, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture? It is not difficult to make the twelve Colossi run and defend the future of the Ancient Sages Sector in the universe!
“However, to adjust them carefully so that they fit the characteristics of each user, and to repair them as soon as possible after a fierce battle to reduce the wear… All in all, all the technological issues regarding the Colossi will depend on you, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture!”