Li Yao stared at Professor Luo De. His telepathic thoughts crawled into his brain through the professor’s pupils as he perceived the quakes of his every brain nerve carefully. It was not until he gazed at the professor for half a minute that he finally snapped his fingers and retracted the bluish rays, which were only half a millimeter away from the professor’s eyeball.
Professor Luo De took a deep breath in relief. His central nerves had regained control of all the pores on his face, and he was finally able to squeeze the cold sweat out of his forehead.
“Alright. I’ll believe what you said just now. I’ll believe that you are truly ignorant of the situation and were merely a tool that somebody else took advantage of.”
Still staring at Professor Luo De in the eyes, Li Yao said coldly, “But tell me this. Are you absolutely certain that Captain Tang has defected and degenerated into an Immortal Cultivator?”
Professor Luo De’s eyeballs shivered quickly, with intense confusion beaming out. He struggled to reply. “I don’t know.”
“What if I told you that it is very possible that Captain Tang has been framed and that the real Immortal Cultivator is one of Speaker Cui Lingfeng, Cheng Xuansu and Ding Zhengyang, if not all of them? Do you believe that you have been fooled by them and that everything you did will very likely cause Firefly to fall into the hands of the Immortal Cultivators completely, leading to the early arrival of the Black Wind Fleet?”
Professor Luo De’s eyes immediately bulged, and the blood streaks inside his eyes were almost spurting out like fire. “No!”
“I also cannot show you the critical evidence. I cannot even tell you who I really am. I can only assure you that I am also a Cultivator, and I want to prevent the Immortal Cultivators from arriving! However, in order to stop the Immortal Cultivators, I’ll require your cooperation!”
Professor Luo De hesitated for a long time before he struggled to reply, “I—I don’t know. What do you want me to do? I am just a regular refiner!”
“I know.” Li Yao smiled. “What I’m asking you to do is very simple. You are the best super-minute carving specialist on Firefly, and you have profound research on the production and the dissection of tiny magical equipment. That’s why the extraordinarily-made scarlet ball was delivered to you for study after it was discovered, right?”
Professor Luo De nodded. “Yes. So what?”
Unhurried, Li Yao continued. “The scarlet ball, being a very important exhibit, will certainly not be kept in your lab for long. After you complete the analysis, it will be delivered to the more crucial big shots, won’t it?”
“It is true that Cheng Xuansu requested that I finish the analysis report of the scarlet ball as soon as possible,” Professor Luo De said. “She said that she would have someone pick it up later. As for exactly whom the report will be delivered to, I don’t have the slightest idea.”
“Alright,” Li Yao said. “I’ll give control of your hands back to you. You will continue writing the analysis report exactly as you usually do your job. Then, you will dismantle and assemble the scarlet ball once in front of me with your regular methods.
“Right. There must be experiment logs of your daily refining in this place, right? Retrieve all the videos. I want to see the appearance of your hands when you are doing super high-precision carving.
“Let me take a look… The jade chip cabinet over there is perfect in size. After you finish everything, I’ll stuff you into the cabinet and lock your veins and nerves with barriers. Then, I’ll cover your entire body with a metal membrane that can block all the spiritual energy and heat detection but will leave sufficient air for you. You will be able to neither move nor scream for three days and three nights. But don’t worry. It is absolutely normal. In three days, you will regain your freedom, and there won’t be any sequelae at all.
“By then, if Captain Tang and your student Tang Xiaoxing have proved innocent, and Cheng Xuansu and her lot are the actual Immortal Cultivators, I will certainly testify for you that you are not related to the whole event and that you only almost made a huge mistake because of the treachery of Cheng Xuansu and Ding Zhengyang!
“What I’m asking you to do is as simple as that. Do you agree to do that?”
Every wrinkle on Professor Luo De’s face was twitching violently. After a long hesitation, he still found it hard to believe. “Chief—Chief Mate Ding is truly an Immortal Cultivator?”
“I don’t know, either,” Li Yao replied honestly. “But as long as you cooperate with me, we will be able to figure out exactly who the Immortal Cultivator is.”
His words moved Professor Luo De, who nodded slowly and said, “Alright. I’ll cooperate with you.”
Professor Luo De finished the analysis report in two hours. Then, he dismantled and assembled the scarlet ball carefully one time.
In the meantime, by studying the videos of his refining, the experiment logs, and the posture in which he wrote the analysis report, Li Yao basically figured out Professor Luo De’s style of refining, hand movements, language habits, and so on.
Two hours later, when the old officer of the secret police knocked on the door, only one ‘Professor Luo De’ appeared to be in the refining workshop.
Of course, it was the one that Li Yao was playing.
“Professor Luo, have you completed the analysis report?”
The old officer stood in front of Li Yao respectfully, not having the faintest doubt at all.
“Yes. This is a real masterpiece, an extraordinary work of art, a priceless treasure!”
Li Yao waved his hands crazily in front of the secret officer, as if he were greatly fascinated. “Look at it. Such delicate seven-layered-tower structure, such amazing super-tiny carving techniques. This is truly—”
“Well, Professor Luo.” The secret officer coughed to interrupt him. “If you have completed the analysis report, I’m afraid that I have to take the item and report away now. This is very urgent and concerns the safety of Firefly.”
“Fine!” Li Yao sniffed, as if he were very regretful. After thinking for a moment, he asked, “After you have checked it, can you return the item so that I can continue studying it? It is too beautiful, delicate, and unbelievable. I’m going to study every rune array on the item carefully and the different materials employed in every layer!”
“About that…” Hesitating for a moment, the secret officer nodded and said, “Professor Luo, you are one of the best specialists in super-minute carving. I believe that the scarlet ball will be sent back to you for further study eventually.”
“That’s good!” Li Yao pushed the scarlet ball over to him on the desk.
But this time, it had been installed into a cylinder with a metal ring on both ends. The cylinder was filled with bright blue liquids.
“I do not want to completely ruin its structure,” Li Yao explained. “However, the rune arrays preserved internally are too precise and mysterious. The general ‘blockage gel’ may not be enough to entirely prevent it from sending and receiving telepathic thoughts. Therefore, it’s best that the item is sealed by my ‘super strong gel’ and ‘wave blocker’. Be careful. Do not drop it on the ground or make it shake too violently.”
The old officer nodded. He picked up the metal cylinder with both hands dutifully and took it away together with the jade chip that stored the analysis report.
Li Yao’s face retained the expression of fondness and deep regret until three seconds after the door of the refining workshop was closed again. Then, he put on his normal expression and took out his tactical crystal processor, triggering the light beam.
Bo… Bo… Bo…
A tiny red spot was moving slowly at the center of the light beam. As the bright redness spread into the surroundings incessantly, the precise structure of all the pathways and cabins around, as well as the passers-by, were scanned without exception!
Moreover, based on the power of the heartbeat and breath of the passersby, the crystal processor could even basically infer whether they were civilians or Cultivators, civil officers or well-trained soldiers!
As the red spot slowly approached the core, the heart of Firefly was gradually unveiled in front of Li Yao. No secrets were kept from him anymore!
Naturally, such powerful scanning and localization rune arrays could never be carved into a scarlet ball that was less than three millimeters in diameter. Li Yao would not have been able to achieve that even if his refining arts were three times more professional.
Therefore, he had simply installed the scanning lens and the localization rune arrays into the metal cylinder that ‘sealed’ the scarlet ball.
The metal cylinder was the size of a baby’s arm. It was enough for him to hide all the chips and rune arrays that he needed as well as the marrow crystal of high energy levels.
Yes. The scarlet ball was merely bait, a piece of ‘seemingly awesome’ magical equipment. However, because its size was too small, the marrow crystal stored at the center was as insignificant as a grain of dust and could not unleash sufficient spiritual energy. Therefore, even if the item did detect tremendous intelligence, it would have been extremely unlikely for the item to send the information to the outside world by piercing through the thick shell of the starship.
The ultimate purpose of implanting such a scarlet ball into Tang Xiaoxing’s throat was to deliver the metal cylinder, which was big enough, into the enemy’s heart!
Li Yao sat on Professor Luo De’s swivel chair comfortably. Placing his feet on the desk and softly whistling, he finally turned on the communication channel.
“The ‘stick’ has been sent.” Li Yao smiled. “With the delicacy and flawlessness of the scarlet ball that I crafted, together with Professor Luo’s analysis report, I believe that the ‘stick’ will certainly be sent to the guy who is behind the entire scheme. It is even possible that the enemy will take the ‘stick’ to Captain Tang in their paranoia and interrogate him about the information concerning the scarlet ball.
“After all, we are a force other than the Immortal Cultivators, Firefly, and the Star Glory Federation. Absolutely nobody is aware of our existence!
“If someone is behind this scheme, it is very possible that they will consider the people who are trying to rescue Tang Xiaoxing as Captain Tang’s trump card. They will certainly try their best to figure out the truth about the trump card.
“Of course, if Captain Tang is behind the whole scheme himself, he will certainly be very interested in the scarlet ball of mysterious backgrounds, too.
“Then, not only will we be able to figure out the map of Firefly’s heart through the scanning lens and the probe magical equipment hidden inside the ‘stick’, it is also very possible that we will hear some interesting secrets via the detectaphone chips!”