“This is rather… sharp!”
In the past half year, the twelve experts of the Ancient Sages Sector had witnessed the warship to be repaired and strengthened from a pile of garbage by the maintenance spider puppets that the warship brought with itself and the refiners of the Ancient Sages Sector.
However, when they stood in front of ‘Weary Tooth’, which was utterly refreshed and all set to go, they could still sense the coldness from the deadly weapon crafted in a modern civilization that was entirely from the products of their era and seemed to be able to rip everything in its way apart. They couldn’t help but feel astounded at its formidability.
Many of them were mumbling uncontrollably.
The warship deserved its name as a ‘Bloody Blade’-level assault warship. It truly looked like a red dagger made of countless crimson crystals, or a man-eating shark that was swimming at the bottom of a red ocean. Even if it was merely standing in the depths of the valley without a sound, it still gave the feeling that it would open its bloody mouth at any moment.
Thankfully, Li Yao and Heiye Lan had commanded the maintenance spider puppets to plug countless disordered, redundant remnants of magical equipment onto the shell of Weary Tooth. It was partly meant to offset the blast of meteoroids in the space and the bombardment of the hostile fire, and partly to cover its inherent aura of intimidation from the Imperium.
Although the camouflage was far from enough to fool everyone’s eyes, the remote scanning from hundreds of thousands of kilometers away beyond range of visibility might not necessarily be able to unveil the real identity of the warship.
It also befitted the false identity that Long Yangjun fabricated for them.
Long Yangjun had made up three false identities for the highly dangerous team of observers.
On the outmost level, they were from the ‘Burning Stone Sector’, a world suppressed by the Imperium of True Human Beings more than five hundred years ago.
It was a Sector that once existed for real, and one that was too stubborn to surrender to the Imperium.
The Cultivators of the Burning Stone Sector challenged the Imperium and, without any suspense, were cruelly suppressed. After the most gory and bloody battles, the entire Burning Stone Sector almost ended up in an ocean of fire.
Before encountering the Imperium of True Human Beings, the Burning Stone Sector had already developed rather advanced space cruise abilities.
After the lost battles, many warriors of resistance boarded on starships and fled to the universe. They turned into small resistance armies and guerilla troops and continued harassing the Imperium.
They hijacked the carriers from the Empyreal Terminus Sector which were sent to other worlds to plunder resources. They assaulted the mines at the remote space zones in the vast territory of the Imperium. Some of the more extreme avengers even entered the central area of the Imperium, assassinated the high officials, promoted the ideology of resistance, disrupted the relationship between the capital and the local areas, and instigated the worlds at the periphery to seek autonomy and independence. They even resorted to terror attacks for purest retaliations.
It took the Imperium two hundred years to slap all the annoying flies.
But it was not until three hundred years later that the last resistance warship of the Burning Stone Cultivators was discovered, which marked the conclusion of the ‘Riot of Burning Stone’.
All the information was confessed by Heiye Lan and verified by the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, who believed that it was reliable.
Then, according to the script that Long Yangjun made up, some of the Cultivators from the Burning Stone Sector escaped from the Imperium’s hunting and seized a warship of the Imperium during the battles, before they fled to the edge of the cosmos after hundreds of years, like ‘Firefly’ which accommodated the last survivors of the rightful government of the Star Ocean Republic.
It would explain perfectly why they suddenly showed up in the territory of the federation on the ‘Bloody Blade’-level assault warship.
For that, Long Yangjun asked Heiye Lan all the details about the ‘Riot of Burning Stone’ repetitively.
It was not a military secret of the Imperium but an anecdote hundreds of years ago. Naturally, there was no need for it to be sealed. Heiye Lan confessed everything dutifully.
According to the details, Long Yangjun fabricated a new identity for each of the twelve of them, no, the thirteen of them including Heiye Lan.
She was the leader and founder of the ‘Ghost Character’, an intelligence and assassination agency. Li Yao estimated that she must’ve been doing similar jobs in the Nuwa Clan’s army in the God-Sealing War hundreds of thousands of years ago. Naturally, she was quite familiar with the work.
It was just the first layer of their camouflage.
If this camouflage was seen through, which was very likely to happen as the twelve experts never underestimated the wisdom of the people of the federation, they would activate their second identities.
In their second identities, they would tell part of the truth.
The best lies were always covered and camouflaged by a lot of truth.
They would admit that they were from a certain ‘civilization of ancient Cultivators’. However, they would give fuzzy answers when they were asked about the coordinates of the Ancient Sages Sector. Also, they would understate the capabilities of themselves and the Ancient Sages Sector.
In the Ancient Sages Sector before, because of the opulence of spiritual energy, it could be squandered blatantly. Therefore, there was no such thing as ‘Soul Converging Technique’, which allowed a Cultivator to conceal their air and capabilities.
But the ‘Soul Converging Technique’ itself was not an advanced or sophisticated technique. Both the Star Glory Federation and the Imperium of True Human Beings had a lot of similar techniques. Naturally, Heiye Lan knew a few of them, too.
Years ago, when Li Yao only just awakened his spiritual root as a common college student, he had already grasped ‘Soul Converging Technique’ and ‘Soul Igniting Law’.
Those Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators and Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, with their immeasurable wisdom and Cultivation, had half a year to learn such simple techniques. How could they not grasp it?
Therefore, they were now free to suppress their Cultivation by one to two major levels and pretend to be common Building Foundation Stage Cultivators or Core Formation Stage Cultivators.
Long Yangjun had also devised a new script for their second identities, telling the story of how they accidentally excavated a prehistorical warship from their world, how they finally grasped the ways to drive the warship after hundreds of years of studies, how they were discovered by a claw fleet of the expedition army of the Imperium in their first space voyage, and how they captured a warship of the Imperium after battles of wisdom and courage and fled all the way here…
Naturally, such a story entailed a lot of loopholes and could be seen through.
Therefore, they had their third identities, which were their real identities.
Under the most extreme circumstances, they could tell everything about themselves, the Ancient Sages Sector, the Nuwa warship and even the ‘Bloody Blade’-level assault warship which was forced to land on the Ancient Sages Sector.
Everything they said would be true.
But only one part needed a minor ‘revision’.
In their story, they did not take the Imperium of True Human Beings’ sides. When they interrogated the warrior of the Imperium from the assault warship with ‘soul-searching techniques’, they accidentally killed the captive in their mistake.
Having killed the warrior of the Imperium, they had no choice except to take the Star Glory Federation’s sides.
The three layers of identities were each truer than the last. Even if the government of the federation did discover their existence, they would be able to cover and disguise themselves step by step. Such an idea gave most of the twelve experts of the Ancient Sages Sector an illusionary sense of safety.
“Master Spiritual Vulture, Weary Tooth has finished self-testing. It is ready to go!”
Heiye Lan, the female warrior of the Imperium, spoke to Li Yao respectfully.
In the past six months, she and Li Yao almost spent every day together studying and maintaining the Colossi and the starships.
The crazy learning speed of ‘Master Spiritual Vulture’ on the arts of modern magical equipment maintenance greatly shocked Heiye Lan. In less than three months, he had already surpassed Heiye Lan’s level as a late-starter.
Heiye Lan was both surprised and awed by the ‘Grandmaster of Great Zhou’. She couldn’t help but feel awed by the marvelous ancient sword forging techniques that he showed unintentionally and the application of such techniques in modern magical equipment. The naturalness, creativeness and fluence of his refining arts were great eye-openers for her!
What an important role he could’ve played with such extraordinary sword forging arts and such ‘naturally-endowed’ instincts about the crystal suits and the Colossi if he were working in the technical department of the Black Wind Fleet!
Heiye Lan already considered Li Yao as one of the ancient Cultivators in the Ancient Sages Sector who deserved to be recruited by the Imperium most. She tried her best to cajole him and even using the courtesies of a disciple in front of him.
She was told that ‘Master Spiritual Vulture’ had yet to recruit any disciple and was all by himself.
Although she was a pure warrior and did not intend to become a refiner, it couldn’t be anything bad if she was in a good relationship with such an excellent refiner!
Li Yao was also glad to have such a female warrior from the Imperium as his assistant/servant/ housemaid. Naturally, he didn’t not refuse her flattery and even taught her some of the half-true knowledge of the ‘ancient sword forging arts’.
As a result, the spy of the Imperium and the spy of the federation were actually in rather a close and ‘friendly’ relationship!
“Fellow Cultivators, it’s running late. Let’s take off now!”
His eyes glittering, Li Yao smiled at the other eleven experts of the Ancient Sages Sector who were wearing different expression in front of Weary Tooth.
The boarding stairs of Weary Tooth extended to their feet like the long tongue of a ferocious beast.
Looking at each other, everybody gritted their teeth and stepped on the stairs!
When it was Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar’s turn, the slobby, innocent man who was scared of nothing was suddenly perspiring hard with sweats as large as beans. He chewed his tobacco tube so hard that it was cracking, and he was hesitating to move forward.
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, you were the one who supervised the maintenance of this warship. Just tell me the truth. Is it really able to bring us beyond the sky across the universe to somewhere billions of kilometers away?”
Hesitating, Ba Xiaoyu asked in a low voice.
Instead of waiting for Li Yao to answer, he waved his hands quickly, as if he were trying to wipe off what he had just spoken. “Forget it. What will be will be. My question is redundant. Can I defect at this moment? Staying in the Ancient Sages Sector means doom anyway. However dangerous it is, this is a step that we must make!”
Holding the tobacco tube, he moved a few steps forward, before he thought for a moment and paused again. He said to Li Yao in a low voice, “Thank you, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture!”