Tang Xiaoxing was rendered speechless.
She had never seen such a Cultivator before, either on Firefly, in the Dragon Snake Space Zone, or from the diplomatic team that the Star Glory Federation had sent to Firefly.
Of course, there did not seem to be an equally… queer existence among the Immortal Cultivators whom she had encountered!
Li Yao picked up Tang Xiaoxing and sent another stream of spiritual energy into her body, making her manage to get rid of the influence of the stunning cannonball. The two of them ran crazily down the street.
In Fish Dragon City, while robbery and gang fights were anything but unusual, few of them were as huge as the one that was taking place at that moment. Even warship cannons had been used, and quite a few magnetic rails had been blown up. No wonder everybody was running crazily in panic on the street. The two of them were not very eye-catching in the middle of the crowd.
Also, the route that Li Yao had carefully calculated took every angle into consideration, allowing them to always reach the most appropriate location at the most appropriate timing. The enemy’s sight was blocked perfectly.
The enemy, on the other hand, was mainly relying on the three pieces of localization magical equipment to determine Tang Xiaoxing’s coordinates. Naked eyes were only ancillary tools.
Li Yao brought Tang Xiaoxing into a dilapidated alley.
They were safe for the time being.
He lowered his head to check the countdown displayed on the light beam, which was the estimated time that it would take for the attackers to enter the drainage under the navigation of the tracking chips.
Ten, nine, eight, seven…
Taping his mini crystal processor, Li Yao casually said, “Cover your ears.”
“Huh?” Tang Xiaoxing was confused, unable to react immediately. The blast of the stunning cannonball was so intense that her brains were still shaking violently inside her skull to this moment, like the tofu on a bouncing van.
“Senior Lin, what did you say?” Tang Xiaoxing said in a daze. Hardly had she concluded her sentence when a series of ear-splitting explosions took place behind the two of them, as if an infuriated fire dragon had crawled out of the drain. The raging fire consumed half of the sky.
A few fully-armed Exos that had only just crawled into the drainage were thrown into the sky by the fire dragon. Before they had the chance to scream, they were devoured by the fiend!
BAM! BAM! BAM!
The dozens of manhole covers in front of them were soaring into the sky due to the super high pressure air currents. White pillars of smoke were erupting crazily!
The glass windows of the skyscrapers around and the shuttles were all shattered. The broken pieces were storming down!
Tang Xiaoxing was almost knocked over under the blast. Her face pale, she turned around and looked at the fire that was rising to the sky, unable to shut her mouth for a long time!
However, when she turned her head again, she discovered that ‘Senior Lin’ was still walking forward unhurriedly with his hands in his beach pants. His slippers were emitting weirdly pleasant sounds when they stepped on the broken glass.
“Senior Lin!” Tang Xiaoxing shouted. “An—an explosion seems to have taken place in the drainage near where we crashed!”
“I heard it,” Li Yao said, continuing ahead.
Tang Xiaoxing found it hard to believe. “And you’re not turning around to check it out?”
After a brief silence, Li Yao casually said, “If I turned around every time I heard an explosion of such a level, my neck would’ve been broken a long time ago. Let’s go!”
“What…” Looking at Li Yao’s back which had been intentionally hunched, Tang Xiaoxing struggled to shut her mouth and chased after him quickly.
Ten thousand questions were rolling in her head. However, what she was more eager to find out than the details of assault on her just now was—
Who exactly was this old man named Lin Jiu?
When she began walking, Li Yao suddenly stopped.
Right next to them was a tavern. Two double shuttles were parked outside the building.
Half a minute later, the two of them ascended to another magnetic rail that was still intact on one of the shuttles.
Inside the fully-enclosed shell, they were finally able to communicate more calmly.
While driving the pilot, Li Yao recalled what happened carefully. “The warship cannon just now must’ve adopted seven magnetic rails that are in the distribution of a lotus flower, thereby creating a triple helical ejection channel of energy. The cannonball launched is between 500mm and 550mm in diameter. When it was five kilometers away, the speed of the cannonball was between 7,000 to 7,300 meters per second. Also, there was a hexagon at the barrel of the cannon caused by the aftershock of spiritual energy. When the cannon was set in its killing mode, the aftershock was bright purple, and when it was in its stun mode, the aftershock was celeste. Do you recognize such a warship cannon?”
Tang Xiaoxing took a deep breath for a long time and finally regained the clearness of a refiner. She bulged her eyes wider and wider. “It’s—it’s the ‘Earthquake’-level rapid cannon on Firefly!”
“Oh?” Li Yao raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure?”
“I am quite positive!” Tang Xiaoxing breathed heavily. “Senior Lin, you must know that Firefly, the flagship of the rightful government of the Star Ocean Republic, is not a single starship but a super enormous amalgamation of warships. After the few starships escaped from the Imperium in the beginning, they were docked and refilled with supplies in many Sectors. The resistance warriors of those worlds joined us. After a thousand years of voyaging, hundreds of starships have been connected to the mothership. That’s how Firefly was created!
“It means that the cannons on our warship vary and come from different worlds. Some of them carry distinctive features and cannot be found anywhere else.
“The ‘Earthquake’-level rapid cannon is one such cannon!
“The destruction mode of the cannon is not worth mentioning, but the ‘stun mode’ of the cannon is quite unique. Instead of launching a metal cannonball, they send out certain ‘icy cannonball’ that is condensed by special liquids. Under the spiritual and magnetic force and the super high speed, the icy cannonball is vaporized instantly and expands, resulting in a massive blast. It is designed to stun or kill the enemy within the concealed space behind thick and heavy plate armor. If adjusted properly, the cannon can even disrupt the spiritual energy of the enemy in heavy defense and cripple them temporarily!”
“So awesome?” Li Yao clicked his tongue. “Have you seen similar effects in other cannons?”
“No.” Tang Xiaoxing shook her head. “Such a warship cannon is extremely rare even on Firefly. As for the Star Glory Federation… I’m told that they are testing a piece of new magical equipment named a ‘black hole bomb’, which can disrupt all the activities of spiritual energy within a certain range indiscriminately. However, it is still in an experimental phase, and its effect is not entirely the same as the effect of the ‘Earthquake’-level cannon.”
Li Yao nodded. “Then, has such ‘Earthquake-level’ rapid cannon ever been dismantled to sell to the Dragon Snake Space Zone and the Star Glory Federation?”
“Absolutely not!” Tang Xiaoxing shook her head. “Although we do have some technical communication with the federation, we would never export such warship cannons. There is not a large in number in the first place, and the technology to craft them has long been lost. One broken cannon means one fewer cannon!”
“What about this?” Li Yao took out the super tiny crystal thread that was embedded into the rubber.
Tang Xiaoxing’s face turned more awful than ever after she looked at the object. “It seems to be a thread made through the combination of the ‘Seven Holes Jade’ and the ‘Venomous Spider Thread’. It is a new material in our labs that is still in the experimental phase. There’s no way that it could have been leaked out.”
Li Yao nodded and put the crystal thread back. “Then, the answer is obvious now. Those who attacked you are big shots from Firefly who were qualified to mobilize the ‘Earthquake-level’ rapid cannon and the new crystal thread.
“Also, both the cannon and the new thread are very idiosyncratic. Since the enemy dared to use them blatantly, they are certainly not afraid of leaving traces.
“While the enemy came aggressively, they used stunning cannonballs instead of destructive cannonballs. So, they did not intend to kill you but planned to capture you alive. It’s doubtless that you are of great value for them.
“I’ll give you ten seconds to guess who is behind all this. Then, you will tell me your theory in the most concise way so that I can figure out how to help you.”
At a loss, Tang Xiaoxing listened to the explosions echoing nonstop around her. Deeply horrified, she gritted her teeth and proposed her speculation after a long hesitation!
Li Yao listened and nodded. Three minutes later, he concluded, “I get it now.
“You are the daughter of Tang Dingyuan, captain of Firefly. Firefly is divided right now. The technical staff, led by your father, want to join the Star Glory Federation. However, the officials of the parliament of the Star Ocean Republic, led by the Speaker Cui Lingfeng, disagree, hoping to secure a better deal or even swallow the Star Glory Federation!
“For hundreds of years, the technical staff and the officials in the parliament have been in disagreement. A thousand years ago, when you first escaped from the Imperium, since a lot of government officials left with you, they naturally prevailed. However, as the voyage in space continued and more and more technical problems occurred, the technical staff grew more and more important. Finally, once your father was appointed as captain, you were finally able to compete with the parliament!
“The disagreement this time is both an extension of your contradictions in the past and an overall breakout triggered by the fuse named the Star Glory Federation!
“All in all, it is an impasse right now. Your father, Tang Dingyuan, believes that, with the expedition army of the Imperium drawing near, you cannot stay on the fence anymore. A decision must be made quickly to unify the forces of both parties.
“Therefore, on one hand, he sent out the Election Observation Delegation, of which you are a member, so that the technical staff could reach out to the leadership of the federation first. On the other hand, he has been planning to put forward the motion of participation in parliament. Even if it is not passed, it will still raise a revolution on Firefly. As long as most of the technical staff and the ground-level sailors concur, the MPs won’t be able to stop it!
“Therefore, you suspect that Cui Lingfeng, the Speaker of your parliament, got the message in advance and dealt with you first!
“It means that, while you were assaulted, it is possible that a storm was sweeping across Firefly, and your father’s life might be in danger, right?”
“Exactly!” Tang Xiaoxing was greatly relieved. She did not expect that Senior Lin could think so clearly. She asked pitifully, “Senior Lin, now that you have learned everything, what do we do?”
“It’s not a big deal. Let me think for a moment!” Li Yao smiled and comforted the girl. Thinking quickly for a moment, he snapped his fingers. “Got it!”
Overjoyed, Tang Xiaoxing found it hard to believe her ears. “That was fast. What have you come up with, Senior Lin?”
“The crisis that Firefly is faced with is indeed very tricky and dangerous!” Li Yao said. “However, it has occurred to me that—none of that is my business. I am only coming with you to buy materials. It’s not like we are friends or anything. Why does it feel like I’m going to save the world again?
“Let’s stop here.”
Li Yao lowered the shuttle in an unpopulated slum and quickly crawled out. He waved his hand toward the shuttle. “My young friend Tang, I’ll just leave the shuttle here. Consider it my gift for you. See you next time!”
He ran away and disappeared in only half a second.
Tang Xiaoxing was left alone in the shuttle, dumbfounded. She never realized that a man could run so fast in slippers.
Looking at the slum that was pitch black, she held her arms and felt that goosebumps rising.
Dogs were barking maliciously, and the wind blowing from her back was rather chilly.