Doubtlessly, the ‘Star Picking Plan’ was unanimously approved by the twelve top experts of the Ancient Sages Sector.
The plan to infiltrate an unknown country on their own was still immature, with many flaws and risks.
However, faced with an unprecedented change in its hundred thousand years of history, it was impossible for the Ancient Sages Sector to survive the catastrophe safely without any danger.
Even if they were to surrender to the Imperium of True Human Beings right now, they were still under the risk that they would be exploited and devoured by the Black Wind Fleet. All the twelve experts understood the point perfectly!
Nobody was born an expert. The twelve of them had experienced too many dangers, risked too many things, and knocked at the door of hell more times than they could count, before they advanced to the level that they were at.
However high the risk was, as long as the final gains were ten times more than the rest, it would certainly be worth a try!
The Star Picking Plan was passed successfully. But not much time was left for them. Deep inside the universe, the war between the Imperium and the federation might be breaking out at any time. Or maybe, it was now being fought heatedly or even coming to an end.
They had to seize every second and take action immediately!
After repetitive calculations, the twelve experts reached the same conclusion that they only had half a year to maintain ‘Weary Tooth’, the warship from the Imperium, and to familiarize themselves with the modern magical equipment such as crystal suits and Colossi.
They would have to take off half a year ago and run to the universe beyond the darkness!
Only by doing so could they expect to jump to the Star Glory Federation within a year before the great war broke out completely!
In the three-party game of the Imperium, the federation and the Ancient Sages Sector, the greatest trump card for the Ancient Sages Sector was the immense strength of the twelve of them.
But their strength had to be enhanced and unleashed through the ‘Colossi’, the ultimate weapons in the universe.
Therefore, the Colossi had become the most important things of all!
It was also why Meng Chixin and Wu Suiyun paid so much attention to Li Yao and even allured him with ‘Tartarean General, the most powerful Colossus of all, and why Long Yangjun said that Li Yao played an irreplaceable role in the plan.
In the few days after the Star Picking Plan was passed, Li Yao was completely devoted to the examination and test of the Colossi.
Not only was he responsible for examining, debugging and maintaining, he also needs to grasp the performance features of every Colossus precisely, so that he could choose a most suitable Colossus for every expert as an ‘advisor’.
Well, of course, his arduous work also included setting up ‘backdoors’ inside the Colossi.
As to whether or not the ‘backdoors’ would be noticed by the experts of the Ancient Sages Sector?
Li Yao felt that it was a hundred times more likely for them to directly see through his identity than to discover the ‘backdoors’.
If a local of the Ancient Sages Sector picked up such profound knowledge about the Colossi after such a short amount of time that they could discover the ‘backdoors’ that he deployed, Li Yao would admit his defeat without complaint!
Seven days later, in an independent training room on the left side of the temple of the Colossi, Li Yao and Long Yangjun were alone in the vast virtual test field.
There was also a Colossus that Li Yao carefully selected for Long Yangjun.
The test of the Colossus was highly private. Chances were that the tester would carry out their ultimate techniques that they would rather nobody else know.
Therefore, the two of them had perfect reasons to lock the door of the training room and set up barriers on the door and the wall.
Even the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, to show their respect, would not break the barriers and drift in to eavesdrop their conversation.
What Li Yao picked for Long Yangjun was a snake-shaped Colossus with a light armor, a high speed, and a streamlined body figure.
The greatest feature of the Colossus was the narrow and long skull that could rotate to every angle like the neck of a snake, other than the black and white scales which fully covered the body of the Colossus without leaving the tiniest gap.
Above the skull that looked like the head of a cobra, more than ten twisted tentacles were growing out. They were antennas that could enhance and release telepathic thoughts.
“This is a special Colossus that highlights agility and stealth four reconnaissance and assault purposes. The firepower and the melee combat ability are not very impressive, but it boasts very powerful disguise and escape abilities.”
Patting the black and white scales which felt like oily leather, Li Yao explained to Long Yangjun emotionlessly, “I believe that, with Lord Wang’s shamelessness and cunningness, and your position as the ‘mastermind’ in the team, you wouldn’t want to charge to the front for a combat when a fierce battle takes place, would you?
“So, this agile Colossus which is particularly convenient for stealth and escape is definitely most suitable for Lord Wang!
“Moreover, a very powerful commanding and communication crystal processor has been installed to the head of its skull that looks like a snake head. With the dozens of signal-enhancing antennas, the Colossus’ abilities in intelligence collections, battle surveillance, tactical processing and information transmission are very strong. So, it can serve as half a ‘commander’, too. Do you understand the jargons, Lord Wang?”
Long Yangjun nodded in a smile. She looked at the Colossus as if it was her partner whom she had met again after a long separation. She smiled, “Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture deserves to be the ‘Grandmaster of Great Zhou’ and the best sword forger of the Ancient Sages Sector! The Colossus that you have picked for you is exactly what I wanted in the beginning! What’s the name of the beautiful Colossus?”
Li Yao said, “According to the ‘operation manual’ embedded inside the Colossus, its original name was ‘Black White’. However, now that Lord Wang has become its new master, you are certainly qualified to choose a new name for the Colossus.”
Long Yangjun glanced at the scales on the surface of the Colossus which were black and white and looked like a chess board. She immediately understood the reason for the name. Pondering for a moment, she shook her head and said, “It is not a good name. Now that it is mine, I’m going to call it…’Yin Yang’ in the future!”
Note: Yin and Yang are two terms in Chinese philosophy that are too sophisticated to be explained here. In general, Yin is often associated with female while Yang is associated with male. For more information please see Wikipedia for entry “Yin and Yang”.
Li Yao eyed Long Yangjun up and down. Recalling her mysterious technique to change freely from the two identities ‘Wang Xi’ and ‘Long Yangjun’, he chuckled to himself, [It’s inappropriate to call your Colossus ‘Yin Yang’; you should call it ‘Non-Yin Non-Yang!]
Emotionlessly, Li Yao said, “Now, please test the performance of the Colossus ‘Yin Yang’, Lord Wang. I will perform more precise adjustments according to your habits and your combat style.”
The breastplate of ‘Yin Yang’ divided into dozens of tentacles like a chrysanthemum, before they rolled to the outside and revealed the entrance to the dark cockpit. Everything inside was obscure, making it look like the widely open mouth of a ferocious beast.
Li Yao opened his hands and made a ‘please’ gesture.
Long Yangjun rolled her eyes and chuckled, “Why the hurry? Nobody is around. Barriers have been planted on the door and the walls. Our conversation will not be overheard by anyone.”
Li Yao said, “So?”
Long Yangjun replied, “So, shouldn’t you express your gratitude now?”
Li Yao smiled. Without changing his face color, he said in a seeming sincere tone. “Thank you, Lord Wang, for standing up for what’s right in the meeting and managing to bridle the wild horses that were almost breaking free!”
This time, Long Yangjun was truly somewhat startled. She eyed Li Yao up and down for a long time and shook her head, before she laughed in amusement. “It seems that I’ve underestimated you after all. I thought that you would burst into fury and curse that I did not keep my words. I didn’t know that you had already thought it through. Your reactions in the meeting were all faked?”
“Not entirely. At first, I was indeed a bit surprised.”
Li Yao narrowed his eyes and said, “Lord Wang’s ‘Star Picking Plan’ has temporarily prevented the Ancient Sages Sector from surrendering to the Imperium immediately and deprived the Black Wind Fleet of the most perfect camping place. Perhaps, their full attack will be postponed by a few years. If they can’t find a suitable planet as their ‘frontier camp’ all the time, their overall combat ability may be diminished by thirty to fifty percent. So, the two contributions you have made are already of immeasurable strategical value to the federation—”
Long Yangjun giggled. “So, you do understand my real purpose. It seems that my trouble in coming up with plans to help your federation is worth it!”
Li Yao sniffed and said, “However, your plan means that the unpredictable, dangerous fellows will be sent into the federation. This game is getting bigger and bigger with more and more unexpected factors. It is more and more uncontrollable, too! At the very least, you should’ve informed me in advance so that I can make preparations. That’s what you should’ve done if you consider yourself to be my partner! Otherwise, next time, I’m simply reveal your identity as an ‘heir of the Nuwa Clan’ to everybody without any warning, before I raise a series of follow-up plans in a smile when everybody whets their scalpels ready to dissect you into slices for research. Do you want to taste what it feels like?”
“Well… I didn’t know that Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture’ acting skills would be so excellent. However, on second thought, it does make sense. A spy of the federation who is bodacious enough to sneak into the Ancient Sages Sector on his own can’t be somebody easy to deal with. Your position in the federation must be a hundred times higher than Heiye Lan’s position in the Black Wind Fleet, isn’t it? It was my negligence to underestimate the capabilities and the acting stills of such a big shot from the federation like yourself. I can apologize to you!”
Long Yangjun was still smiling. “The game is indeed getting more and more thrilling. However, if you think about it carefully, you will realize that we actually don’t have a choice. Meng Chixin, Han Baling, Qi Zhongdao, Qi Changsheng, Wan Mingzhu, Ba Xiaoyu… None of them are easy to be fooled and convinced. How could I have talked them into action if I hadn’t understated the difficulty to infiltrate the federation and exaggerated the benefits of the endeavor?
“If we don’t get them to the federation, they will only be able to surrender to the Imperium. Once the Black Wind Fleet acquires such a perfect base in the rear like the Ancient Sages Sector and receives the support of manpower and resources, you will be dead for sure, won’t you?
“Moreover, what are you scared of, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture?
“The ‘simpleminded’ locals of the Ancient Sages Sector, however wise they are, will never understand what the modern Cultivation civilization is exactly.
“However, I have managed to get a glimpse of the enormity, complication and horror of the wars and armies in the universe from the mottled memory pieces deep in my head!
“Every individual only has limited strength. However powerful a Cultivator is, they cannot expect to compete with an entire modern country. You must know that very clearly. That’s why you agreed on the ‘Star Picking Plan’ so quickly, right?
“What’s more, for the Star Picking Plan to work, and if the twelve experts of the Ancient Sages Sector want to overturn the Star Glory Federation, they will have to depend on the Colossi. But the critical parts of the Colossi are all in your hands. I don’t believe that you won’t do any trick.
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, my proposal is essentially tying up the other ten experts, cleaning them up, and sending them into the bloody mouth of your federation. Can you just let go of the flawed details?”