“Li Yao?” everybody exclaimed. “Isn’t he dead?”
“Although what Fei Qi said was full of lies and exaggerations, Ding Lingdang’s formidability and Jin Xinyue’s cunningness should be doubtless,” Meng Chixin sneered. “To think that Vulture Li Yao conquered such an amazing woman like ‘Blazing Tyrannosaur’ Ding Lingdang, taught the cruel and clever Jin Xinyue, and even facilitated the transformation from the Old Federation to the New Federation a hundred years ago by himself, how terrifying must the person have been a hundred years ago?
“How can such an old monster be killed so easily? Moreover, his death has been obscure with all kinds of rumors even to this day.
“Hehe. In my opinion, something must be wrong with Vulture’s death! Perhaps, the truth is that he has been training in seclusion for a hundred years!
“You must know that in the Ancient Sages Sector, many major sects and magnificent dynasties with a long history, besides the subordinates and disciples on the surface, are often supported by certain old monsters who lurked in the darkness with their immeasurable capabilities.
“Those monsters often train themselves in seclusion for hundreds of years. They never show up easily or bother to meddle in insignificant affairs. Only in a moment of life and death for the sects or the dynasties will they break out of seclusion and reverse the situation!
“Such an old monster is the last trump card of a sect or a dynasty. They are out-and-out ‘founding fathers’ of those enterprises!
“I believe that you are all well aware of the dreadfulness of such founding fathers.”
“Indeed,” Han Baling said. “Aren’t you the ‘founding father’ on the prairies, Master?”
Meng Chixin laughed and said, “I’m not an ‘old ancestor’ at all. Young emperor, I remember that your Thunderous Qian Sect fought with a ‘founding father’ of the previous dynasty ‘Great Fire Dynasty’ while you were conquering the world. That was an earth-shattering battle, wasn’t it?”
“Yes.” Emperor Phoenix’s expression changed. He swallowed and said, “A thousand years ago, when the Thunderous Qian Sect was rising, the Great Fire Dynasty was already a setting sun that was catching its last breath. The ancestors of the Thunderous Qian Sect took over half of the territory with the coalition army of eighty-eight sects without any trouble. The vanguard of the army was marching right toward the capital city of the Great Fire Dynasty. Even the seven experts of the Great Fire Dynasty, known as ‘Seven Fiery Gods’, were all heavily wounded or killed by us!
“But never did anyone anticipate that such a ‘founding father’ was lurking deep inside the royal palace of the Great Fire Dynasty, who launched the sharpest counterattack with his unparalleled strength!
“In the battle, three Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, nine Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, and countless Core Formation Stage Cultivators perished on our side. The most devastating prices were paid in order to kill the ancestor of the Great Fire Dynasty!
“It was the most dangerous battle for the rise of the Great Qian Dynasty. At the most crucial moment, the ancestor almost broke our battle formation entirely on his own, which would’ve led to the collapse of the army. If he had been slightly stronger, it definitely would’ve happened! Had the coalition army collapsed, the world would have been in chaos for many more decades!
“The sky was dim, the sun and the moon changed color, and blood was flowing into rivers in the battle. None of the high-level Cultivators involved in the battle were not scared when they recalled it later. It is said that when the ancestor of the Great Fire Dynasty activated his most powerful technique, the entire sky above the capital city seemed to be on fire. Therefore, when we compiled the history archives of the previous dynasty, the battle was referred to as the ‘Sky Burning Battle’.”
The Sky Burning Battle was the most famous fight during the rise of the Great Qian Dynasty. All the Cultivators there except Li Yao knew every detail of the event. They did not need more of an explanation from Emperor Phoenix to imagine the scene of horror and destruction.
All the experts from the Ancient Sages Sector looked awful.
Meng Chixin sighed gloomily and said, “We don’t have the privilege to witness the charisma and the terror of the founding father of the Great Fire Dynasty now. However, this Vulture Li Yao is also a terrible existence in the Star Glory Federation who is almost a ‘founding father’. If he is truly not dead yet, how strong will he be now after training in seclusion for more than a century?
“It must be noted that, while the ancestor of the Great Fire Dynasty was just a physically-strong but simple-headed warrior, he was able to deal tremendous damage to the coalition army and almost lengthened the longevity of the Great Fire Dynasty by decades entirely on his own. Vulture Li Yao has raised such a clever and shrewd woman as Jin Xinyue; his wisdom and cunningness must not be underestimated!
“Do you think that such an old monster and a founding father of the Star Glory Federation who is as good at both thinking and fighting and has been lurking in darkness all this time deserves more attention and wariness than Ding Lingdang and Jin Xinyue, who are merely two dangerous figures on the surface?”
After hearing Meng Chixin’s words, the experts from the Ancient Sages Sector all nodded in deep thought.
“What you said does make sense, Senior Meng. This ‘Monster Li’ is probably not dead yet but only training in seclusion!”
“Horrible. This is too horrible. ‘Blazing Tyrannosaur’ Ding Lingdang and ‘Venomous Witch’ Jin Xinyue are already big enough headaches, and there is still a ‘founding father’ that is lurking in the darkness! I’m afraid that this Monster Li won’t show up easily, but when he does break out of seclusion and show up in front of us, there will definitely be a bloody battle that will eclipse the sun!”
“Yes, we must pay special attention to this ‘Monster Li’. He will be the greatest unexpected factor on our trip!”
“… Cough, cough. Well, in fact, it might not be as severe as it appears,” Li Yao said. “Maybe this Monster Li truly died abruptly a long time ago. The rumors about him could be bluffs and overstatements, too. He might not be as awesome as he was made out to be. There is no need for us to act like he’s a great enemy, right?”
“Exactly!” Mother White Lotus Wan Mingzhu slapped the table and shrieked, “You are saying exactly what is on our mind! Didn’t ‘Fei Qi’ just say that there are few Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators in the Star Glory Federation? Also, the Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators of this era often only specialize in one specific field and do not know much about other fields!
“The few Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators of the federation are mostly focused on management and research right now. It is hard to say whether or not they can perform at the level of a Core Formation Stage Cultivator in a battle! In comparison, we have two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators and ten high-level Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, who are all adepts in the arts of fighting and killing!
“Now that the twelve of us have joined our hands, we are definitely enough to swagger in the Star Glory Federation. Let’s forget that Monster Li, who could’ve been dead for a long time now. Even if he is still alive and shows up right in front of us, so what? We will simply work together and suppress him. Then, we will simply pluck all the hair from the old monster and turn him from a vulture into a bare chicken! Why are you all bigging up our enemy and thinking little of ourselves? Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, that is also what you were thinking, right?”
“Alright.” Long Yangjun almost failed to stop herself from laughing. She rubbed her cheeks hard in order to contain herself. Finally, she concluded, “All you’ve said makes a lot of sense, fellow Cultivators. However, we don’t know much about the Star Glory Federation and this…’Monster Li’ yet. It is meaningless for us to keep discussing while doing nothing. Let’s just go to Fish Dragon City to collect intelligence, blend into the entirely different new world, and retrieve perfect false identities so that we can sneak into the federation!”
Long Yangjun’s proposal was seconded by everyone.
When the meeting was about to end, Heiye Lan knocked on the door.
“The examination of Fei Qi’s swordfish-like assault warship has been completed,” Heiye Lan said to everyone respectfully. “The operation pattern of the starship is generally the same as the starships of the Imperium. I can get the hang of it after slight adaptation.
“Also, the warship falls into the category of small rapid assault warships. It requires a very small number of crew members. If we cruise normally within the Dragon Snake Space Zone, the thirteen of us are totally enough for the job.”
The story that the twelve experts of the Ancient Sages Sector had told Heiye Lan was that they were sneaking into the federation to collect intelligence and cooperate with the fleet of the Imperium.
With such an excuse, they had won the support of the female warrior from the Imperium half forcefully.
Besides, the two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators had also planted a lot of barriers inside Heiye Lan’s mind and body. Li Yao had also crafted almost ten shackles in the shape of jewelry and asked her to wear them.
Heiye Lan’s every action was under their close observation. Therefore, they were not scared that the female warrior of the Imperium had ill intentions.
“Alright.” Li Yao nodded. In the past six months, Heiye Lan had been working as his assistant to repair the Colossi and the starship, and the many pieces of surveillance magical equipment on Heiye Lan had to be controlled by him. Therefore, everybody had entrusted Heiye Lan to his custody. She was sort of his ‘lackey’ now.
“Got it,” Li Yao said to Heiye Lan. “Later, capture the crew members at the key posts and interrogate them to get the specific operations of the swordfish-like assault warship. Then, move the important facilities on Weary Tooth, including the magical equipment units dismantled from the Nuwa warship, to the swordfish-like assault warship.
“We will be leaving for Fish Dragon City in three days!
“What are you waiting for? Off you go!”
After hesitating for a long time, Heiye Lan gritted her teeth and emboldened herself. “There is something very important that I’d like to speak to Master Spiritual Vulture and other seniors here.”
“Oh?” Li Yao was slightly dazed. “What is it?”
“Whatever Fei Qi said just now, including the things that have happened to the Uranian Ring civilization, please do not let it bother you, Master Spiritual Vulture and seniors.”
Solemnly, Heiye Lan replied, “A scumbag like Fei Qi is not a real Immortal Cultivator at all. The decayed and corrupt system in the Uranian Ring civilization is completely different from the true path of immortality that the Imperium of True Human Beings put into practice, too!
“I know that you must be despising Fei Qi, seniors. Chances are that you may even misunderstand the great title of ‘Immortal Cultivator’. So, I feel obliged to explain everything to you!”
Li Yao smiled. “What, is the Imperium of True Human Beings anything different from the Uranian Ring civilization? They sound very similar. Aren’t the ‘Heavenly Light’ and the ‘Earthly Brute’ the ‘true human beings’ and the ‘hominoids’ in the Imperium? The strong should stay on the top, enslaving and exploiting the weak. Isn’t that the idea that you have been preaching to us in the past half year? Why do you despise ‘Fei Qi’? Doesn’t what he said and did suggest that he is a most standard Immortal Cultivator?”