Cui Lingfeng was not just an admin-type Cultivator in the Nascent Soul Stage but also the nominal supreme leader of the country that had been gone for a long time.
However, when he made the declaration with a voice that was not very loud but particularly touching, the great tides that he raised in Li Yao’s heart were as intimidating as the suffocating auras that Li Yao had felt when he confronted Lu Zui, Zhou Hengdao, Xiao Xuance, Bai Xinghe, and Elder Nether Spring!
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao stood at attention and solemnly said, “Sir Speaker, Team Red Lotus has been activated and is ready for battle. What’s our mission?”
Every wrinkle on Cui Lingfeng’s face seemed to have turned into a dagger. He quickly said, “We have reached the most perilous moment. The parliament is as badly compromised by the Immortal Cultivators as the bridge. Neither side looks promising. It is not difficult to figure out that Cheng Xuansu, as the commander of the secret police, could only control the Internal Affairs Division at best. She certainly couldn’t have controlled the whole of Firefly or influenced the bridge. To play a greater role in the war between the federation and the Imperium, the bridge is certainly the key!
“Therefore, Cheng Xuansu cannot be the leader of this rebellion.
“Chief Mate Ding Zhengyang, the former general commander of the deck floor, accused Captain Tang Dingyuan with detailed evidence. I studied the evidence carefully. A lot of information he provided could only have been known by insiders. It was also why I did not doubt him at all and arrested Captain Tang immediately! Right now, he has assumed Captain Tang’s post according to the regulations and temporarily gained full control over Firefly!
“So, leaving Lu Qingchen of the CIFA’s role in the rebellion aside, the No. 1 person on the Immortal Cultivators inside Firefly is definitely Ding Zhengyang!”
While speaking, Cui Lingfeng turned on his mini crystal processor and triggered almost a hundred light beams in a row.
As the Speaker, he had the highest clearance on the starship, which allowed him to retrieve most of the surveillance pictures from most places.
According to the Immortal Cultivators’ plan, he should have been killed directly. Therefore, his clearances had not been canceled. Also, it was difficult for Ding Zhengyang and Cheng Xuansu alone to remove the Speaker’s permissions to manage the starship.
Pictures of shouting, uneasy crowds, and rising fire and smoke, shot by mini crystal processors of the people, occupied every light beam.
Every critical node of Firefly contained large-scale riots. Countless angry people had crammed into the narrow cabins and pathways, demanding that Captain Tang be released immediately. They were shoving the police officers who were maintaining order. The two parties were at loggerheads.
At such a time, as soon as a few malicious people in the crowd or among the police opened fire at the other side, a great fight would definitely be caused!
“Although Ding Zhengyang is the acting captain, he couldn’t have developed a lot of Immortal Cultivators in secret!”
Considering the issue for a moment, Cui Lingfeng said, “The participants of the ‘Immortality Orientation’ must be very few. Only those who passed the meticulous vetting arranged by Ding Zhengyang, Cheng Xuansu, and their lot would be brainwashed by them. It is impossible for them to kill everyone who joined the ‘Immortality Orientations’ but was reluctant to turn into an Immortal Cultivator! There couldn’t be many ‘accidents’, which would attract unnecessary attention!
“It means that the Immortal Cultivators only control some critical posts on the starship. For most people, even if they are involved in the insurgency, they are simply being fooled, and they do not know exactly what they are doing!
“Let me take a guess. Ding Zhengyang and Cheng Xuansu’s arrangement is probably to have a troop that pretends to be the Immortal Cultivators break into the prison. On one hand, they can kill me along the way. On the other hand, it will be undeniable proof that Tang Dingyuan is an ‘Immortal Cultivator’. As a result, both the technical staff who are loyal to Tang Dingyuan and the MPs who are loyal to me will suffer a heavy blow. Then, if Ding Zhengyang and Cheng Xuansu join hands, it will be more than simple for them to suppress those on Firefly who disobey them!
“Cheng Xuansu is dead, but Ding Zhengyang still holds the bridge. If he is grasped by desperation, I don’t think that there’s anything he won’t do!
“Therefore, we have two top priorities now. Firstly, we must let everyone know that the Speaker is still alive. Secondly, we must get Ding Zhengyang under control before he goes crazy!
“Ding Zhengyang can’t die. He must know a lot about the Immortal Cultivators, including the fact that the Black Wind is already here and is lurking in the darkness preparing to launch a fatal strike on the Star Glory Federation. It does not sound like a pure bluff. We have to exploit every piece of intelligence in his head!”
Li Yao nodded. “What do we do now? Go rescue Captain Tang Dingyuan first?”
“No!” Cui Lingfeng shook his head. “Rescuing Captain Tang alone will be useless. He has been smeared by Ding Zhengyang as an ‘Immortal Cultivator’. In such chaos, it is practically impossible for him to prove his innocence or control the bridge.
“Moreover, now that Ding Zhengyang has decided to wager everything on this, he must’ve transferred Captain Tang. It will be impossible for us to locate him for now.
“Rest assured. Captain Tang knows a lot of core secrets about Firefly. Ding Zhengyang cannot kill him immediately if he wants to completely control the starship. His life must be secure for now.
“Team Red Lotus only has thirteen warriors. You are too few in number and must not be divided. Therefore, instead of rescuing Captain Tang, you might as well save the other prisoners who have been captured by Ding Zhengyang and Cheng Xuansu!”
Li Yao was slightly dazed. Then, his eyes immediately glittered. “Exactly. We can’t tell the Cultivators from the Immortal Cultivators. But Ding Zhengyang and Cheng Xuansu know it clearly. Those who are imprisoned by them must be innocent!”
Cui Lingfeng disconnected his mini crystal processor from the Spiritual Nexus. Retrieving a few maps that were stored on the chip, he explained, “We locked and interrogated Captain Tang and the rest of the prisoners separately. Up until this morning, besides Captain Tang, 122 people had been arrested in secret. Most of them are the leaders of the key posts on Firefly, influential scholars, and social activists. They are all locked here, in Black Stone Jail, which was modified from ‘Black Stone’, a heavy carrier designed to transport dangerous products!
“I am going to transmit a password of the highest permission right now. You will distribute the password to the other members of Team Red Lotus so that they will have some of the permissions on the starship and set the prisoners free in the Black Stone Jail!
“Any method is allowed. If the jail does not cooperate, they are permitted to take all measures necessary!
“Tell them that on Firefly right now, they have the greatest power only secondary to the Speaker’s!
“After everyone is saved, they will escort the prisoners back to their previous posts and ask them to soothe the chaos on Firefly as fast as possible. Should your team encounter any troops on their way, Team Red Lotus will take over commander with the password as the order!
“Captain Lin, are your men capable of such a mission?”
Li Yao licked his lips and smiled. “No problem at all, but it never occurred to me that the Speaker boasts such great power. You can essentially turn Firefly upside down any minute!”
“Exactly.” Cui Lingfeng put on a creepy smile. “For a thousand years, the ‘good Cultivators’, led by the captain, have been trying to reduce the power of the Speaker and the parliament. We conceded in many respects, but when it comes to the boundary, the ‘bad Cultivators’ certainly will not give in!”
Li Yao nodded. “It shouldn’t be difficult to break the Black Stone Jail. After all, the guards of the jail can’t all be Immortal Cultivators. Only some of their leaders might be. The ‘decapitation strategy’ should resolve the problem perfectly.
“But my communication magical equipment hasn’t been paved to this area yet. The signal is still intermittent right now. It is difficult for me to reach out to my teammates.”
“It doesn’t matter!” Cui Lingfeng said resolutely. “Just use the civil Spiritual Nexus!”
“The public network?” Li Yao was slightly dazed. “Then, won’t we be discovered by the enemy easily?”
Cui Lingfeng sneered and declared, “Firstly, with the riots on Firefly right now, the enemy won’t have time to identity you from the messy signals on the Spiritual Nexus. Secondly, with everything coming to this point, are we scared of being discovered?”
Li Yao took a deep breath and thought the whole thing through. Yes, it was true!
Team Red Lotus had been activated. It was Ding Zhengyang and the other Immortal Cultivators who should be scared!
Glancing at him, Cui Lingfeng knew that those ‘natives of the Red Lotus Sector’ certainly had their own secrets that they needed to discuss. Therefore, he simply walked away considerately and collected the crystal processors of the five Immortal Cultivators, checking if there was any unexpected evidence.
Li Yao walked to a corner and connected Long Yangjun and the rest of them through the public network. Noises and chaos were obvious in the background.
“What’s the situation on your side?” Li Yao asked.
“You’re finally in contact,” Long Yangjun replied. “What happened to you? You were silent for such a long time! We have already snuck into Firefly. However, the plan has not gone so well. There seems to be some sort of change on the starship. Infuriated people and highly-alert policemen and soldiers are everywhere. The defense is ten times higher than before! Also, we have been keeping a low file and concealing our capabilities. It is barely possible to move forward!”
“Yes. Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, we were worried about your safety,” Ba Xiaoyu added. “We were afraid that we would bring new trouble to you if we cause any fuss here. Also, we kept in mind your repeated reminders that we must be calm, restrained, and low-key. We did not dare act freely. We’re almost suffocated now!”
“Well, in fact, the outsider world is much more complicated than the world we were in,” Li Yao said. “It doesn’t matter if we act according to the changes when carrying out a mission, and we don’t necessarily need to keep a low profile…”
“… What do you mean?”
“Cough, cough. As a matter of fact, I was with Speaker Cui Lingfeng of the Star Ocean Republic just now. He has proved to not be a bad man at all, nothing like what we mistook him to be.”
“Get to the point!” Long Yangjun exclaimed.
“The point is, I revealed the capabilities that are far beyond the beginning level of the Nascent Soul Stage in front of Speaker Cui. At the most dangerous moment, I killed four Immortal Cultivators including Cheng Xuansu, the head of the secret police, and saved the Speaker’s life. Then, Speaker Cui, admiring my talents, appointed me as his new trusted subordinate, his special representative, and the captain of the Speaker’s secret armed force ‘Team Red Lotus’. He also said that as soon as the riot of the Immortal Cultivators is settled, the identity of the ‘natives of the Red Lotus Sector’ will be taken care of by him. Well. That’s about everything. So, there’s no need to worry now. Our greatest headache has been resolved by me.”
“…” Long Yangjun.
“…” Wu Suiyun, Wu Suiyun.
“…” Han Baling, Qi Zhongdao, Yan Liren, and the rest.
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture,” Ba Xiaoyu said, “I have a lot of complicated feelings hearing what you said. Can I express my feelings with some local slang that I picked up on the Spiritual Nexus?”
“Oh? You can say whatever you want, Fellow Cultivator Ba.”
“Why did you go out in secret to show off when we agreed to keep a low profile together?”