At the same time, in the capital city of the Star Glory Federation in the Heaven’s Origin Sector…
Ever since the Blood Demon Sector’s conditional surrender to the Heaven’s Origin Sector a hundred years ago, the three Sectors had integrated and embarked on a high-speed development. The population of the three worlds had immediately boomed, and the residents of the Heaven’s Origin Sector alone had increased by more than ten times. The capital city had also expanded by dozens of times. Not only had it swallowed the more than ten satellite cities around, it was also marching to higher altitudes and established a new space district beyond the atmosphere based on super-fast lifts and the short-distance teleportation arrays made of new materials, which was also known as the second capital.
The enormous starships from the countless resource planets of the seven Sectors could dock in the space port directly and immediately show up on the ground of the capital city through the short-distance teleportation arrays.
It was an extremely lively and prosperous city, and a paradise for the ambitious, hardworking fellows. Almost a billion people lived in the sky, on the earth, and below the ground, providing the beating power for the heart of the Star Glory Federation!
The southeast of the capital city was the solemn governmental area. Passing through a small square where flowers were blooming and birds were singing, there was the plaza of the Ministry of Equality and Development.
In the small square, there was a very famous statue named ‘Rainbow’s Smile’.
It was seven children in different clothes and even in different forms, carrying the distinctive local features of the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Blood Demon Sector, the Flying Star Sector, the Nether World Sector, the Water Crystal Sector, the Water Crystal Sector, and the Forest Ocean Sector. Three of them were boys, and four were girls. They were holding each other’s hands and jumping up and down, playing carefreely.
The little girl of the Blood Demon Sector who had the bloodline of the demons, the locals of the Forest Ocean Sector whose body was growing grasses and flowers due to the special speeds implanted to his skin, or the young man from the Nether World Sector who had died too young and was preserved in an iron puppet… they were all wearing the same brilliant smile.
The statue was a symbol for the ‘assimilation of the seven Sectors’ and the most popular image in the federation in the past decades. Its replicas were everywhere to be seen in the stores and on the street in the seven Sectors. The features of the statue had even been simplified and made into the emblem of the Ministry of Equality and Development.
However, if someone were to walk onto the lead gray stairs of the plaza and enter the Ministry of Equality and Development, they would see another statue in the lobby that was of a completely different style, one that perhaps illustrated the real functions of the Ministry of Equality and Development better.
It was seven overlapping hands that were grabbing seven blades of different forms and also of distinctive local features.
The seven swords and sabers were all stained with blood, which was dripping from the gaps of the fingers and merging into one stream.
The name of the statue was the Alliance of Seven Swords.
Click, click, click!
The crisp sound of high heels knocking on the marble floor that was as smooth as a mirror.
When Jin Xinyue walked past the statue of the Alliance of Seven Swords, Jin Xinyue raised her glasses, which had a deep purple frame, concealing the subtle feelings in her eyes when the statue was reflected there.
The clerks walking in and out all greeted her, and she responded with a perfect smile. Even the bottom-level workers, who had only worked in the ministry for a handful years after graduating from college, could still feel the genuine warmth from her friendly smile.
Since she had led the charge in the battle to stop the outbreak of the spore virus in the Blood Demon Sector a hundred years ago, Jin Xinyue had always been in such a sacred, brilliant, and benevolent style.
The past hundred years did not seem to have left too many traces on her skin, which was as smooth as jade, but it had added a profound and passionate air to her deep, beautiful eyes and her overall demeanor. The perfect dimples on her face also suggested that she had grown from a girl who was slightly too young into a woman in her most gorgeous, glowing, and appealing season.
As part of the leadership of the federation, she had become used to the simple black-and-white clothes many years prior. She had also been wearing a pair of glasses that did not mean anything for a Cultivator in order to disguise her astounding beauty.
Today, she was still wearing a black suit that could not have been more formal. The few decorations all over her body included the Smiling Rainbow brooch, which was designed based on the emblem of the ministry, and a pendant of the Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars emblem that was hanging from her fair, elegant neck.
It was exactly as she had declared to the media publicly a long time ago—”I’m a woman who has been married to the Star Glory Federation.”
Her friendly, immaculate smile was kept without fading at all as she walked to the first lift, which was reserved for the minister.
It was not until the door of the lift opened again and she stepped into the corridor of the thirty-third level of the building that she finally took a breath softly. The deep purple frame of her glasses was gradually spreading a vague hint of blood as the light changed. The subtle aura that belonged to the ‘Venomous Witch’ was flowing out of the corner of her smile.
Click, click, click.
She stood straighter, held her head higher, and walked faster. Like the sharpest saber, she lunged at her target.
Many ugly, muscular men in the corridor with scars all over their faces and even the unmistakable features of demons suddenly changed their expression. They stood at attention and saluted her quickly.
This time, she did not return a useless smile to any of them but simply nodded before she walked to her destination without any pause.
The thirty-third level of the building was the Division of Logistics and Cleaning. Those ferocious-looking muscular men were the ‘cleaners’ of the Ministry of Equality and Development.
Of course, they had another identity. They were the employees of the Dim Moon Fund.
Jin Xinyue was the president of the Dim Moon Fund.
Not everybody was qualified to call her ‘president’. Only the old comrades who had gone through life and death hundreds of times in the four new worlds over the past few decades had such a privilege.
Jin Xinyue reached the Archive Management Office of the Cleaning Division.
She closed the door from inside.
The thick, heavy door made of super alloys uttered mechanical noises as it was rolled and closed. More than ten defense rune arrays blinked one after another, indicating that the files that had been heaped in this place were much more than just unimportant records on how much toilet paper the Ministry of Equality and Development had used the previous year.
There was only one overaged artificial body, manipulated by a spectral Cultivator, in the Archive Management Office.
In the government departments, especially those related to battles, the spectral Cultivators took up a fairly large proportion of all the employees.
Those people had mostly been seasoned soldiers when they were alive, who had made great contributions to their country and fortunately kept a relatively clear self-consciousness after they unfortunately died.
If they were unwilling to retire, they would often stay in their original department and continue their service by doing the paperwork.
This archive manager, however, looked particularly old. He moved and turned much more slowly than normal, and his lackluster artificial eyes fell into darkness every now and then, as if he could completely disperse in any second.
“The Dim Moon Plan has begun.” Jin Xinyue sat down and looked at the archive manager with a complicated expression. She seemed both full of expectation and a bit ill at ease. “I’ve been planning for thirty years in order to draw a perfect full stop for the Red Tide Plan. Is there nothing that you would like to say?”
The archive manager sluggishly raised his rusted head from the files that had been sealed for a long time. Intermittent brilliance was shooting out of his artificial eyes, but he failed to come up with anything after a long period of silence.
“What a shame.” Jin Xinyue continued smiling, but there was endless bitterness and loneliness in her smile. She seemed to be talking to herself. “I spent the most beautiful thirty and even hundred years of my life, and I even wagered my entire future, on the shift from the Red Tide Plan to the Dim Moon Plan. Finally, the most critical scene of the play is about to be aired. However, of the two ‘spectators’ that I expect most, you have been reduced to such a state because of the protracted sleep, and he is still lost in the depths of the universe, nowhere to be seen…”
Hisses echoed from the outdated broadcast rune arrays of the archive manager. After arduous efforts, he struggled to condense the noises into a piece of advice. “Do… not… turn… yourself… into… a… second… Lu Zui.”
“Lu Zui?” Jin Xinyue took off her glasses and played with them in her fair, smooth hands. “Do you know? Over the past few decades, I’ve been replaying the confrontation between the Blood Demon Sector and the Heaven’s Origin Sector years ago as a mind game and a way to relax myself. Sometimes, I even stood in the shoes of the Patriots Partnership and considered from Lu Zui’s perspective, trying to figure out how I could’ve resolved the conundrum and annihilated all the demons completely!
“It’s very difficult, I have to admit. The situation that Lu Zui was faced with was truly difficult. Neither the odds nor the support of the people were on his side.
“However, of all the ways to break the dilemma, he chose the most idiotic one. The assassination attempt on the Speaker in Federal Square and the intentional massacre of the civilians were more than enough to forever nail him on the cross of shame in history. There is no way that his reputation can be restored.
“I couldn’t help but wonder, what if Lu Zui hadn’t done any of that? What if he did not do the things that were beyond any moral standard but decided to carry out his belief through relatively legal approaches?
“Perhaps he wouldn’t have stood a chance at that time, and the battle would’ve been lost temporarily. However, most of his supporters and subordinates would’ve been retained. He would have been able to make a comeback after a hundred years!
“You all decried Lu Zui as a local Immortal Cultivator of the federation, but even if he did appreciate the ideology of the Immortal Cultivators, as long as he hadn’t violated the law of the federation or the common sense of the people, what could other people, including my master, have been able to do to Lu Zui?
“If we get to the bottom of it, he was too rash, but it couldn’t be helped. Lu Zui, at that time, was already a dying old man. He did not have many days left. So, he had to make a desperate attempt. What else could he have done?
“But I’m different. Rest assured. I am different from Lu Zui—
“—because Lu Zui failed, and I will win.”
Jin Xinyue, the leader of the Ministry of Equality and Development of the Star Glory Federation, covered her eyes with the glasses that were reflecting scarlet colors. She paused for a moment and put on an even more brilliant smile. ” We will win!”