The barks far and near grew noisier and noisier, but all of them abruptly stopped, as if the necks of the wild dogs had been cut at exactly the same second.
Tang Xiaoxing felt a coldness rising from her spine all the way to her arms and legs. Her every finger and toe was as rigid as if they were soaked in icy water. She was not even able to cry out.
The girl felt like cursing.
However, having received a decent education from a young age, she did not know how to let out her anger and fear with the profanities of common sailors, nor did she know whom she should curse—Cui Lingfeng, the Speaker of the ‘rightful government of the Star Ocean Republic’, or ‘Senior Lin’, whom she had just met but had escaped at the critical moment after giving her a slim chance of hope!
Tang Xiaoxing sniffed hard. Her teeth were deeply embedded in her pale lips. Holding back the urge to cry, she moved from the backseat to the front.
If it were indeed an attack initiated by Speaker Cui Lingfeng, it is very possible that father has already been captured by them and even—
Right now, I’m the only one who can save Firefly and everyone!
I must be resolute. I must get away from the attackers first!
Chi! Chi! Chi! Chi!
The shuttle was uttering weird noises. All its units seemed to have been frozen in the cold air.
You can’t be serious!
Tang Xiaoxing was an expert of refining. Such a piece of simple-structured magical equipment was nothing more than a toy of a three-year-old for her.
However, no matter how she sensed it and how she tried to fix the shuttle, she could not find anything wrong with the vehicle at all!
There was nothing but dead silence in the darkness amid the collapsed walls, which was a hundred times more terrifying than when the wild dogs were barking.
Perhaps it was her imagination, but under the illumination of the blue river of moonlight, Tang Xiaoxing felt that many shadows were approaching and surrounding her!
Tang Xiaoxing’s hair was rising and turning into a brush by the static electricity triggered by her techniques. She bellowed and smashed the control rune arrays hard. The weird noises inside the shuttle were finally replaced by the pleasant sounds. The anti-gravity discs right below the shuttle unleashed bright green light, and the shuttle staggered into the air again!
Hooray! Tang Xiaoxing cheered in her heart. She was about to accelerate to the maximum and run away when she noticed that a fully-armed Exo was floating right in her front after she raised her head!
The iron, emotionless mask on the guy’s crystal suit made it looked like a metal corpse. The stranger looked at her coldly.
Before she had the chance to exclaim in shock, three bullets were shot from the darkness behind her in a row. After three crisp sounds, they drilled into the shuttle.
Powerful electric arcs were released by the three bullets, interweaving into a blue, overwhelming web that deeply embedded into the shell of the shuttle. Not only did they penetrate through the power, anti-gravity, and control rune arrays of the shuttle instantly, declaring it to be a total loss, they also invaded Tang Xiaoxing’s body through her pores, electrifying her and depriving her of the ability to summon her spiritual energy!
The shuttle crashed into the ground before it threw Tang Xiaoxing out.
Holding back the excruciating pain all over her body, Tang Xiaoxing struggled to her feet. Then, she immediately sensed that at least five crystal suits were approaching her from all directions.
What was most devastating for her was that, judging from the flames emanated by the power rune arrays on the legs of the crystal suits, they were all the cutting-edge models on Firefly that had never been exported to the Dragon Snake Space Zone or the Star Glory Federation.
The Exo who had stood in the way of the shuttle just now slowly landed. His iron heel tapped the ground unhurriedly, and his voice was as cold and emotionless as the noises when the heel hit the ground, too.
A dazzling beam of light was shot right at Tang Xiaoxing’s face, imposing strong interference on her mask and revealing her face that was as delicate as a doll’s. In the meantime, Tang Xiaoxing’s eyes were also mired in a hazy, white mist, preventing her from seeing what the attackers looked like.
Tang Xiaoxing only felt that a pair of cold, rude iron hands rubbed her face hard to make sure that there was no more camouflage on her face. Then, the lifeless voice declared, “Tang Xiaoxing, as the special investigators of the Internal Affairs Division of the parliament, we are arresting you for high treason!”
Tang Xiaoxing felt as if she had been struck by lightning. The world in front of her eyes went from pale into the most desperate darkness!
High treason. So serious?
Like an earthworm lurking in the mud, Li Yao hid himself in a corner of a forsaken plaza. While observing all the anomalies in the several square kilometers nearby, he eavesdropped on the conversation between Tang Xiaoxing and the attackers through the detectaphone chips that he stuck to Tang Xiaoxing’s body when he searched her just now.
The situation was too chaotic. Even the first clue had not been found out yet. Of course, it would be too imprudent to rush into the battle right away. He had to figure out exactly what was going on and how many forces were involved!
Based on Li Yao’s calm observation, there were at least three forces that were surrounding Tang Xiaoxing in the darkness like ravenous dogs.
First of all, although the attackers shared a common purpose, they were made of two teams with obviously different tactical styles.
Those who operated the Earthquake-level rapid cannon, installed the localization chips on Tang Xiaoxing, arrested her directly just now, and announced that she had committed high treason were obviously some soldiers or special agents with the distinctive style of the regular army. They were well-trained and equipped with advanced gear.
The crystal suit each of them was wearing was no worse than the Azure Thunder that was crafted by Wu Yaxuan.
Although they were all suppressing their spiritual waves as much as possible, Li Yao strongly suspected that the team included multiple Cultivators in the Core Formation Stage or at an even higher level!
Those people must be the Cultivators from Firefly and, very likely, the subordinates of the Speaker Cui Lingfeng.
Despite their toughness, the team was not large in number due to the restriction of their identity.
The Exos who provided support for them by surrounding the periphery and blocking the loopholes, on the other hand, were rather messy and disorganized. Their crystal suits were much more underdeveloped, too. They also had a lot of redundant movements due to unproficiency that gave themselves away but also declared their lawlessness and blatancy.
In short, they were just a mob.
Those people look like the Exos of the Four Sectors Chamber of Commerce. They are the locals of this place.
After pondering for a moment, Li Yao thought it through.
To ship two warship cannons into Fish Dragon City, and to unfold and fixate them unhurriedly, the attackers certainly could not escape the attention of the Chamber of Commerce. Therefore, the attack, or arrest, operation must have been planned by certain leadership of Firefly, say, Speaker Cui Lingfeng, and the Chamber of Commerce together.
Perhaps Cui Lingfeng promised the Chamber of Commerce some benefits. For example, the extraordinary techniques or technology from the center of the cosmos. He bribed the Chamber of Commerce, making it turn a blind eye to what is happening here and send out a batch of local gangsters to provide guidance and support for the actual arresters who are not large in number.
The super tiny detectaphones that were pretending to be insects further proved it.
The secret investigators of the Internal Affairs Division of the parliament were perhaps well-trained, top-tier experts.
However, the guides and helpers that the Chamber of Commerce had sent to them were a disorganized mob, who had dominated Fish Dragon City for too long to realize that they were carrying out a secret operation. After all, it was their turf, and it was not exactly a secret operation but a legitimate arrest!
Therefore, right when Tang Xiaoxing was captured, Li Yao easily locked onto their commander and moved a walking detectaphone that looked like a cockroach to the guy.
Cockroaches were perhaps the most vigorous creatures in the entire universe. Even if the civilization of mankind perished one day, cockroaches would probably still be able to live billions of years more in the broken planets and cities left by human beings.
There were cockroaches in Fish Dragon City, too.
Although they were not exactly the same type as the cockroach that Li Yao produced, barely anyone would notice the difference on such a dark night.
“Brother Bao, who are those guys exactly? They are brazen enough to fire cannons in the downtown area of Fish Dragon City! If news gets out, the Chamber of Commerce’s reputation will certainly be tarnished. How can anybody else be assured when they come to Fish Dragon City to entertain themselves? F*ck!”
“Watch your mouth! Those people are all brutal men. Even our boss has to show them some respect. Small fries such as you and me better keep our distance from them! Make sure that you are prepared, and listen to the command of those people for the whole operation. One tiny mistake, and boss will see that you are minced to pieces!”
It was the only piece of valuable intelligence collected by the detectaphone cockroach amid endless meaningless chatter.
It proved that the assault operation was conducted by the elite Exos from Firefly and the local gangsters of the Four Sectors Chamber of Commerce together.
However, Li Yao was most interested in not the attackers but… another two observers far away.
To the southwest of the slum made of collapsed walls and ragged plazas was a building of seventeen floors. On the fifteenth floor was the best hidden observation point in the five square kilometers around.
Two observers, whose heartbeat and breathing had almost been entirely halted by secret techniques, and who were almost weightless like ghosts, were lurking in the place like two shadows, observing the situation down below calmly, professionally, and carefully.
They were so professional that even the dialogue between them was made through private talks that only the two of them could hear.
Unless somebody was within one meter from them, they would absolutely never be discovered.
When the mantis was hunting the cicada, the sparrow was waiting behind to swallow them both. The two observers were exactly the sparrow in silence.
Li Yao, however, was a hunter, whose scope had already targeted the sparrow.
Even the content of their secret dialogue could not escape from his ears because the ‘best lurking place around’ was specifically left for them by Li Yao.
Or rather, intentionally leaving Tang Xiaoxing in this place, thereby turning the carefully chosen slum into the scene of arrest so that all the forces involved would dedicate their performance on a stage that he had picked, was Li Yao’s plan.