When Cui Lingfeng walked out of the prison cell, he was greeted by silence in the surveillance room next door.
He instantly regained his tranquility, too. His face seemed to be covered in a thick ice shell, not revealing his real emotions at all. He merely stared at Li Yao and said, “Professor Luo De, what’s the result?”
“Well…” Li Yao pretended to turn over the operation manuals of the polygraph somewhat clumsily and compared the biophysical parameters and the variation of the brainwaves collected just now with the standard baseline as marked on the manual. “Based on the data we have collected, Captain Tang behaved normally from beginning to end. The odds that he was speaking the truth are 81%, and the odds that he was lying are 12%, with 7% being ambiguities.”
“Therefore, Captain Tang was very likely to be telling the truth?” Cui Lingfeng remarked.
Li Yao nodded. He thought for a moment and added, “Not necessarily. The polygraph is a type of magical equipment after all, and any type of magical equipment has loopholes. It is a matter of whether or not the loopholes are identified and taken advantage of. As long as Captain Tang’s Cultivation is high enough for him to manipulate his brain cell activity and the variation of his brainwaves freely, or if he masters certain marvelous tricks of speech that allow him to make ‘half-true-half-false’ or very misleading statements, it is very possible that the polygraph can be fooled.”
“That’s enough. The final conclusion will be drawn by me. All you need to do is show me all the parameters that have been gathered.” Cui Lingfeng’s face was so gloomy that it looked like a dam that was about to collapse. It only took him one second to consider before he turned to Cheng Xuansu, who was standing next to Li Yao. “Xuansu, how many troops can you gather and mobilize in secret in half an hour? The number doesn’t matter, but they must not be caught by anyone!”
The head of the secret police pondered for a moment and said, “Two rapid response squads of the Internal Affairs Division, the guards of the Speaker, and two legions that are absolutely loyal to us in the Republic Guard Corp.”
“Excellent!” Cui Lingfeng waved his hands and declared quickly. “Summon all the officers and experts above the Building Foundation Stage in those troops. Make sure that they arrive in half an hour. Also, inform Acting Captain Ding Zhengyang that we have made a groundbreaking development in our interrogation, and intelligence of paramount importance has been retrieved. Invite him to come to this place in person!”
The air in the surveillance room was so intense that it was almost exploding. Cheng Xuansu did not ask anything more but simply stood at attention before she turned on the tactical crystal processor and began operating fast.
However, after she had only triggered more than ten light beams, and before she was able to send the messages out, explosions each wave louder than the last were already echoing outside, followed by great earthquakes. A lot of crystal processors and magical equipment in the room fell to the ground and cracked into pieces.
Boom! Boom, boom, boom, boom!
They seemed to be placed in a vulnerable underground fortress that was being bombarded by the enemy crazily. Many people felt that they were throwing out their guts from their throat because of the quakes!
The illumination arrays in the room waxed and waned. All the crystal processors and magical equipment that were still connected to the wires of spiritual energy were all uttering ominous noises!
The light beams that Cheng Xuansu triggered with her crystal processor were twisted and perished silently one after another, only to be replaced by new, extremely chaotic pictures!
Cheng Xuansu’s face suddenly turned paler than ever!
Cui Lingfeng strode forward, demanding, “What’s going on?”
“A riot!” Cheng Xuansu turned on more than ten light beams in a row. On every light beam, there was nothing except dense heads that occupied that entire picture. The excited crowds and the armed forces of unknown backgrounds, many of whom were even wearing crystal suits, were instigating trouble on Firefly and sabotaging everything in their way!
“Tang Dingyuan’s supporters seem to be launching riots everywhere on Firefly at the same time. They have occupied quite a few crucial cabins and blocked the traffic. They are also fooling a lot of innocent people into going with them. It will be difficult for us to deal with them if we do not want to injure innocent people!
“Not good. An elite force is coming here. They are trying to break into the prison and rescue Tang Dingyuan!”
Along with Cheng Xuansu’s exclamation, all the illumination arrays in the room suddenly died out at the same time, leaving them absolute darkness, which was driven away by the emergency lights a moment later. However, the red lights whose brightness felt like blood added to the unease of all the people who were illuminated by them!
“This is a prison break that has been planned for a long time. It even targets against the Speaker directly!”
Gnashing her teeth, Cheng Xuansu grabbed Cui Lingfeng and shouted, “Hurry up and escort the Speaker to the ‘No. 1 Fortress’!”
The explosions, screams, and sound of metal being torn apart grew louder and louder. Tides of spiritual energy each higher than the last were also blasting the door of the room. The supposedly ultra-solid door was as thin as a metal plate. Dents that collapsed inward had been blown out one after another. It seemed that the door would be completely blown up any second!
“Group Red Phoenix, escort the Speaker to retreat together with me! Group Green Dragon and Group Black Turtle, hold this position as best as you can! Group White Tiger, take the fake Speaker to break out of the siege through the second exit to distract the enemy’s attention!”
Bringing four bodyguards that looked like huge bears, Cheng Xuansu protected Cui Lingfeng in the middle. “Speaker, let’s go. It is no longer safe here!”
Blinking his eyes and observing everything, Li Yao almost found it irresistible to scratch his messy hair without considering his image.
It should not be Long Yangjun and her companions.
In terms of time, they should not be so fast. In terms of style, they should not be acting so rashly, either.
Also, a riot that was taking place in every corner of the entire Firefly simultaneously? The chaos of such enormity was certainly not something that Long Yangjun and her companions could initiate in a hurry.
Then, the conclusion was very obvious…
Thinking quickly, Li Yao cried toward Cui Lingfeng pitifully, “Speaker, what—what do I do?”
Surrounded by four bodyguards, Cui Lingfeng glanced at Li Yao quickly and said, “Bring Professor Luo De, too!”
Cheng Xuansu frowned. “But—”
“No buts,” Cui Lingfeng declared stubbornly. “Professor Luo De is a guest that I have invited, and I am responsible for his safety. Come on, professor!”
Together with Cui Lingfeng, Li Yao was protected by the four bears in black combat suits as he got on another fully-enclosed vacuum shuttle after passing through a zigzagging secret tunnel. Cheng Xuansu drove the shuttle in person.
“Summon all the troops that are loyal to us to the No. 1 Fortress. Then…”
Cui Lingfeng’s lips trembled for a long time. His face that had been sealed in ice since he left the prison cell finally broke apart. He seemed to have grown older by fifty years in just one moment, and all the vitality in his body was leaking out quickly through the cracks on his face. He stuttered for a long time but still failed to conclude the sentence. It was not until a long hesitation that he finally closed his eyes in pain and said, “Then, draft a message. When we are left with absolutely no choice, ask… ask for the Star Glory Federation’s help!”
After a brief silence, Cheng Xuansu softly said, “Understood, Speaker.”
The decision seemed to have drained all the blood inside Cui Lingfeng’s body. He was like a totally different person from when Li Yao first met him. Collapsing to his seat helplessly, he stared at a nonexistent fly in the air for a long time before he suddenly said, “Professor, you heard the whole conversation between me and Captain Tang just now. Tell me about it. Do you, and the people around you, believe that the ‘Star Ocean Republic’ has been dead since a long time ago, like Captain Tang?”
Li Yao was slightly dazed. After pondering for a moment, he shook his head and said, “I don’t know. The only things that I care about are technological issues. Such questions have never been my concern.”
“Then, I will have to ask you to consider the issue carefully now.” Cui Lingfeng gazed at Li Yao in a trance. “Professor Luo De, the answer of an outsider who is not interested in politics such as you is perhaps very important for me and the entire Star Ocean Republic right now.”
Li Yao truly felt that he was caught in a dilemma. How would the real Professor Luo De react when he was asked such a question?
After thinking for a long time, he replied, “I am a refiner who doesn’t know the first thing about politics. In the eyes of the technical staff such as me, ‘what I think’ doesn’t matter; what matters more is the facts. If ‘what I think’ is enough to make magical equipment successful, then all kinds of divine artifacts will fly in the sky everywhere!
“It’s true that I don’t care about the affairs of the outside world much, but I do know the fundamental, great events. Right now, the Star Glory Federation is faced with the threat of the Imperium of True Human Beings as much as we are. Everybody says that we only stand a slim chance of winning if we unite. Otherwise, the Star Ocean Republic will definitely soon be dead even if it is not dead for now!”
Cui Lingfeng sighed. As if he had finally found a target that he could speak to about all the feelings in his heart, he smiled bitterly. “I do not object to the unification with the Star Glory Federation, but the order and legitimacy issues are critical.
“Don’t think that I’m greedy about the pitiful power in my hands. No. I only hope to preserve the great and proud name of the Star Ocean Republic. I am willing to do anything and abandon anything for the name!”
“Well…” Blinking hurriedly, Li Yao asked, “Do you mean that if the new country after the unification continues using the name of the Star Ocean Imperium, you will agree on the arrangement even if the parliament on Firefly is disbanded immediately and you are forced to retire?”
“Yes!” Cui Lingfeng’s eyes were bloodshot. Thick veins were protruding out of the back of his fists that had been clenched tightly, too. He declared resolutely, “It doesn’t matter whether or not I am the Speaker. What matters is the revival and renaissance of the Star Ocean Republic! From our ancestors to us, we have sailed for a thousand years. The blood and lives of so many people have been frozen in the dark universe. Isn’t the rise of the Star Ocean Republic what they died for?”
Li Yao was lost for words for a moment.
If Speaker Cui Lingfeng was greedy about his power, Li Yao could have come up with a hundred methods to deal with him.
But as it turned out, the guy was a rather… enthusiastic Star Ocean Republic fundamentalist. Then, then…
Li Yao scratched his head and thought hard for a moment. Then, he realized something and reached into his pocket.
The few bears around them immediately got anxious.
However, what Li Yao picked out of his pocket was nothing but a green, rhombic crystal the size of a fingernail.
The crystal rotated in Li Yao’s hands slowly, emitting a bright green air, like a mini dancer.
Smiling, Li Yao pushed the crystal to Cui Lingfeng.