While wiping his snot and tears, Fei Qi said, “Under Jin Xinyue’s coercion, many members of the Heavenly Light elected to bend to the federation. They stayed in the Uranian Ring Sector, which had already become part of the territory of the federation. Some of them were even brazen enough to seek the citizenship of the federation!
“However, how could the real members of the Heavenly Light lower our heads in front of the dirty, humble Earthly Brute and the shameless invaders from the federation?
“All the real members of the Heavenly Brute chose to leave.
“We were forced to hand over all the main-force fleets and disarm most of the rest of the starships. We also submitted part of the techniques and technology that the Uranian Ring civilization had accumulated for thousands of years in exchange for some outdated carriers of the Star Glory Federation as well as a bunch of assets and fuel. Then, we were banished to this place by the Star Glory Federation through a space jump.
“We—we should’ve fought a desperate battle with the wretched invaders, but…
“We were definitely not scared of death. However, the last essence of the Uranian Ring civilization rested on our starships. To guard the essence and the treasures of our civilization, we had to swallow our pride and rebuild our civilization from scratch on this desolate land, yearning to rise again one day and take back what’s ours!
“We learned about the arrival of the expedition army of the Imperium a long time ago, which became our last hope. Our waiting proved to be worthwhile. Finally—finally, you are all here today!”
All the cells and nerves below Fei Qi’s cerebral cortex were being stimulated by Long Yangjun. The feelings in his subconsciousness had been triggered to the maximum. Whatever he was thinking in his head was manifested on the surface after being exaggerated ten times over.
Just because Li Yao had spoken more to him a moment ago, he mistook Li Yao for the friendliest one of all the ‘soldiers of the Imperium’s army’ there. He suddenly kowtowed in front of Li Yao and, clinging to Li Yao’s thigh, began wailing.
“Fellow Immortal Cultivators, seniors from the Imperium of True Human Beings, please help the Uranian Ring civilization! We are willing to join the Imperium. We are willing to offer all the resources that the Imperium needs. The Earthly Brute in the Uranian Ring civilization are the best miners, and they can be exported to the various resource planets in the Imperium to work!
“We are willing to offer everything, as long as—as long as the Imperium can help us take back the Uranian Ring, eliminate the deplorable she-devils such as Ding Lingdang and Jin Xinyue, and crumble the Star Glory Federation!”
“… Now that the expedition army of the Imperium has come here after such a long journey, we are definitely going to seek justice for the Sectors, as you deserve!” Li Yao declared. “What’s the big deal about the she-devils such as Ding Lingdang and Jin Xinyue? They are nothing to me at all. Any one of us could finish them in the blink of an eye! However, according to what you said just now, the Star Glory Federation is rather powerful, is it not? Yours was not the only Sector that it has swallowed, was it?
“Also, let go of my thigh. Kneel straight and speak properly!”
“Yes. Yes. I’ll kneel straight and speak properly!”
Fei Qi was overjoyed by Li Yao’s promises. Having no time to wipe away his snot and tears, he quickly began describing the situation. “The war between the Star Glory Federation and the Uranian Ring Sector took place more than thirty years ago. Having been banished to the Dragon Snake Space Zone for thirty years, we’ve gotten a deeper understanding about the Star Glory Federation. We have also run into a lot of compassionate fellow Cultivators in the Dragon Snake Space Zone, who are also refugees that have lost their everything because of the Star Glory Federation’s invasion.
“Through them, we have come to the realization that the Uranian Ring Sector was not the only victim and prey of the Star Glory Federation. Before us, three Sectors were unfortunately occupied by the Star Glory Federation, namely the ‘Forest Ocean Sector’, the ‘Water Crystal Sector’, and the ‘Nether World Sector’.
“The situations of the three worlds were similar to the Uranian Ring Sector. They were also conquered shamelessly by the Star Glory Federation with both carrots and sticks. Most of the local residents were assimilated because of the dictatorship of the federation. Only a few people were tough and determined enough to refuse to join the federation. Most of them were exiled to the Dragon Snake Space Zone.”
“Then, how many Sectors does the Star Glory Federation have today?” Li Yao asked.
“Seven,” Fei Qi said. “When the New Federation was established, there were three core Sectors. In the following seventy years, it gradually swallowed the Forest Ocean Sector, the Water Crystal Sector, the Nether World Sector, and the Uranian Ring Sector nearby. So, there are altogether seven Sectors in its territory now.”
Li Yao frowned. “The New Federation?”
“Yes. The antecedent of the Star Glory Federation was a planetary civilization originating from a single planet named ‘Heaven’s Origin’,” Fei Qi explained. “Its name was also the ‘Star Glory Federation’ with a history of five hundred years. But today, people all call the federation in that phase the ‘Old Federation’.
“Eighty-eight years ago, the Heaven’s Origin Sector and Flying Star Sector, the Blood Demon Sector nearby officially signed an agreement to be united as one country and adopt a brand-new federal calendar, which marks the beginning of a universal civilization. To differentiate it from the planetary civilization in the past, the new country is known as the New Federation. According to the calendar of the Star Glory Federation, we are now in year eighty-nine of the New Federal Calendar.”
Scratching his chin, Li Yao mumbled to himself, “That explains a lot. There are seven Sectors…”
Fei Qi, on the other hand, thought that the senior of the expedition army of the Imperium was worrying that the Star Glory Federation was too powerful to be conquered by an exhausted army after such a long journey.
The émigré of the Uranian Ring civilization grew anxious. “You may not know this, seniors, but although the Star Glory Federation does boast seven Sectors, four of them have only been acquired in the last century. How can they be conquered and assimilated so easily?
“At the edge of the cosmos, despite the ostensible dominance and invincibility of the Star Glory Federation, there are a lot of hidden problems and conflicts within the nation!
“For example, there is a deep contradiction between the three core Sectors that founded the New Federation in the beginning and the four participative Sectors that were conquered later, which is also known as the conflict between the ‘Three Old Sectors’ and ‘Four New Sectors’. Also, I’m told that Ding Lingdang and Jin Xinyue, the two she-devils of the federation, have a long history of disagreements, too. Last but not least, while many outcasts who are unwilling to surrender to the tyranny of the federation such as us have escaped to the Dragon Snake Space Zone, still more are lurking in our respective home in secret despite the mockery and mortification, waiting to rise from the ashes at an opportune moment!
“Therefore, although the Star Glory Federation looks like a majestic, unchallenged master at the edge of the cosmos nowadays, as soon as the magnificent army of the Imperium of True Human Beings marches to its border, with the local Immortal Cultivators such as us leading the way and cooperating internally, the Star Glory Federation will be nothing more than a clown that will make a joke of itself. It will be completely vulnerable and blown into smithereens in no time!”
Brutality flashed in Li Yao’s eyes quickly. “Is that so? So to speak, many people who are discontent with the federation have gathered in the Dragon Snake Space Zone?”
Not knowing the truth, Fei Qi dutifully answered, “Yes. Those in the Uranian Ring Sector, the Forest Ocean Sector, the Water Crystal Sector, and the Nether World Sector who are reluctant to surrender have either been expatriated or escaped on their own initiative to this place.
“They were mostly powerful big shots and celebrities in their respective homes with immeasurable wealth. Despite the robbery of Ding Lingdang and the extortion of Jin Xinyue, they still managed to bring some of the wealth with them to the Dragon Snake Space Zone.
“Therefore, although the Dragon Snake Space Zone is barren and narrow, the construction over the past few decades has been quite impressive. If the seniors and fellow Cultivators here are willing to pay a visit to Fish Dragon City, our main city in the area, you will definitely be able to receive the support of intelligence and resources!”
Li Yao’s interest was aroused, but he sneered and said, “You’re lying! If the Dragon Snake Space Zone is a home camp for the diehards against the federation as you have described, why hasn’t the Star Glory Federation sent an army here and annihilated each and every one of you?”
Fei Qi blinked and said, “You might not know this, seniors, but the Star Glory Federation is the most hypocritical country of all. Nothing can violate the law, and everything has to be approved by the supreme parliament. It was one of the written clauses on the surrender agreement that we shall be exiled to this place. It was the decision of their parliament! Despite our discontent with the federation, we have never committed any obviously hostile crimes. Based on what can the federation tear the agreement that they signed and attack us without a good reason?
“If the federation truly does something like this, how will the people of the four participative Sectors view it? Also, how will the rightful… no, the government-in-exile of the Star Ocean Republic view the federation?”
“Wait.” Li Yao raised his hand. “The government-in-exile of the Star Ocean Republic?”
Fei Qi nodded. “Yes. They are on Firefly…”
“I know what Firefly is, but I didn’t know that those remnants of the previous regime had fled here! Have they joined the Star Glory Federation, too?” Li Yao asked in a hurry.
“Not yet,” Fei Qi said. “Those guys in the government-in-exile always proudly regard themselves as the rightful successors of the sea of stars. How can they not despise the ‘bumpkins’ at a corner of the universe?
“In the past ten years, ‘Firefly’, the flagship of the government-in-exile of the Star Ocean Republic, has been docked near the Dragon Snake Space Zone, trading with us and the federation. They exchanged magical equipment, techniques, and technologies from the center of the cosmos for all kinds of assets to repair their starship, which was on the brink of collapse after hundreds of years of running.
“I’m told that many people on Firefly actually grew interested in joining the federation after visiting the homeland of the country.
“However, as the saying goes, it’s better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a phoenix. It won’t be easy for the refugees from the center of the universe to abandon their pride that they have persevered in for a thousand years and become a common member of a local force!
“The greedy Star Glory Federation naturally can’t wait to get ‘Firefly’. However, the big ship from the center of the cosmos, housing the lost technology of the republic, is certainly no push-over. The federation can only tempt it but not assault it.
“The officials of the government-in-exile are watching exactly how the federation treats the Dragon Snake Space Zone, which may decide whether or not they will abandon the banner of the Star Ocean Republic and join the federation. At such a critical time, the Star Glory Federation definitely has to pretend to be lenient and faithful to their words. It may be easy to take over the Dragon Snake Space Zone, but it would be a shame if Firefly was scared away!”