Li Yao coughed and pretended that he did not hear what Ba Xiaoyu said. Explaining the whole event from beginning to end quickly, he finally concluded, “Our purpose is to get an appropriate identity. Then, it is obviously better to cooperate with Speaker Cui than with Captain Tang.
“First of all, he is the legitimate Speaker of the Star Ocean Republic and the well-deserved No. 1 person on board. Theoretically speaking, even Captain Tang has to obey his commands. It is impossible for us to completely bypass him if he hamstrings us, but if he claims that such a secret ‘Team Red Lotus’ exists, Captain Tang can barely prove that it is false.
“Secondly, Speaker Cui does not have any trusted subordinate right now, but Captain Tang has at least absolutely reliable subordinates who are still in prison. Therefore, even if Speaker Cui is somewhat suspicious about our identity, he will have to cooperate with us sincerely under such a situation until he establishes a new group of subordinates that are in balance with Captain Tang again. But it won’t be easy!
“We mean no harm for him or Firefly; we only want to enter the Star Glory Federation with them as an intermediary. There is no fundamental conflict of interest. I believe that our cooperation will be pleasant.
“Thirdly, unlike Captain Tang, Speaker Cui is not entirely in favor of the Star Glory Federation. Even if he is truly willing to let go of his insistence on the Star Ocean Republic, he will still need to run a deep, sweeping investigation on the Star Glory Federation. As long as he is willing to concede in that regard, with the many precious techniques and facilities on Firefly as the leverage, I believe that the Star Glory Federation will certainly open the door and allow his ‘special representatives’, namely us, to enter the core departments of the federation for observation, which is the whole purpose of our trip!
“Last but not least, I am truly not a snobbish man who likes showing off, but I was already forced to blow out the strength of at least the middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage in front of Speaker Cui in the perilous moment just now. What else can we do if we don’t cooperate with him? It’s not like we can simply kill him and keep his mouth shut, right?
“Fellow Cultivators, just think about it carefully. Does it make sense?”
There was a brief silence in the communication channel. Then, Meng Chixin’s low voice came over. “Although we made the step by accident, based on Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture’s analysis just now, it is indeed more beneficial to work for the Speaker than to work for the captain. Fine. Team Red Lotus sounds good enough. It will do as long as we can enter the federation openly with a special identity!”
Li Yao had only just taken a breath in relief, when Ba Xiaoyu’s voice came over again. “Wait. I have a question. Why are you the captain of Team Red Lotus, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture?”
Blinking quickly, Li Yao said, “Because I showed the Cultivation of the middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage in front of Speaker Cui and told him that you were between the Core Formation Stage and the Nascent Soul Stage and at the peak of the Core Formation Stage on average! Is a Core Formation Stage Cultivator more qualified to be the captain than a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator is? The twelve Cultivators at the peak of the Core Formation Stage were already a huge shock for him. It’s not like I could tell him that you are all at the high level and peak of the Nascent Soul Stage, some even in the Divinity Transformation Stage, right? He definitely would have passed out! How can the Red Lotus Sector breed so many Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators and Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators with the harsh environment and the disordered spiritual energy?”
Wu Suiyun, the other Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, casually said, “Now that we have come to the unfamiliar world of modern Cultivators, the twelve Cultivators of the Ancient Sages Sector should be united. We are all here for the survival and future of the Ancient Sages Sector. Does vanity really matter? Since Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture rescued Speaker Cui by chance, he is certainly the best candidate for the captain of Team Red Lotus. Not just that, I also propose that Fellow Cultivator Wang Xi acts as the vice-captain, because ‘Team Red Lotus’ is founded for the same purpose as Fellow Cultivator Wang Xi’s Ghost Character was. It is more appropriate for him to be in charge of the actual command than for me, Fellow Cultivator Meng, or any other people here who are more used to commanding a huge army.
Long Yangjun’s ‘previous life’ was probably a captain of the assault team or the special forces on the Nuwa warship, which was why she had founded the organization Ghost Character in the Great Qian Dynasty. It was indeed an easy and familiar job for her to work as the vice-captain of Team Red Lotus and take charge of the operation to attack the Black Stone Jail.
The experts of the Ancient Sages Sector had no objection. Long Yangjun did not hesitate, either. They quickly discussed the plan. Li Yao took the opportunity to send the detailed map of Firefly, the new friend-or-foe identification code, and the special permissions to them via Speaker Cui’s portable crystal processor.
“Next, I’ll send a series of tokens to you.” Li Yao operated quickly and said, “Through the tokens, you will be able to jump to a secret node on the Spiritual Nexus that solely belongs to the Speaker. Then, log in with the twelve passwords that I’m about to send to you. After that, you will be able to download twelve certificates with the highest permissions. Input the certificates into your tactical crystal processors and your crystal suits; you will be identified as ‘allies’ and ‘superiors’ by the defense system, cabin doors, magical equipment, police officers, soldiers, and all the other armed forces! Whoever doesn’t acknowledge your identity and disobeys your command, just show them the toughness of Team Red Lotus that has slept for two hundred years!”
“Haha. Hahahaha!” ‘Heaven Battering King’ Qi Changsheng laughed in a weird tone. “Such a prerogative will definitely make a lot of people jealous!”
“Right.” Li Yao suddenly thought of something else. “How do you plan to explain it to Heiye Lan? It does not seem very suitable to simply tell her we are going to fight the Immortal Cultivators, right?”
“Nothing is not suitable,” Meng Chixin said unhurriedly. “Just tell her the truth. There’s no need to lie to her. This is a rebellion that was never going to succeed. Even if we hadn’t interfered, the scheme of the Immortal Cultivators wouldn’t have worked out, either.”
“Huh?” Li Yao was confused.
“You can’t see it clearly because you are in the game. After hearing your explanation just now, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, the truth is very obvious now,” Meng Chixin said casually. “Do you not feel that the Immortal Cultivators’ riot this time is so hasty that everything is basically an unorganized mess? Neither Ding Zhengyang nor Cheng Xuansu are prepared to take over the whole of Firefly. Now that they have buckled up to activate their plan, even if it works out briefly, they will be faced with the tremendous pressure of the Star Glory Federation soon!”
Li Yao squinted. “What do you mean, Senior Meng?”
“It’s very simple. Somebody secretly urged Ding Zhengyang, Cheng Xuansu, and the other Immortal Cultivators hiding in darkness to jump out. However, it is not necessarily ‘Master Lu’ of the CIFA who did that; it was most likely Jin Xinyue. Or maybe, ‘Lu Qingchen’ and ‘Jin Xinyue’ are the same gang, and this is just a trick to lure the enemy out.”
After saying that, Meng Chixin turned around and said, “Fellow Cultivator Wang Xi, you are much more familiar with ploys and schemes than I am. Why don’t you explain it to us?”
“No problem.” Long Yangjun chuckled. “The Star Glory Federation and Firefly are both faced with tremendous military pressure from the expedition army of the Imperium. A war is about to break out, but the Black Wind Fleet is just an external threat. Faced with the seemingly invincible Imperium of True Human Beings and the tempting true path of immortality, a lot of Immortal Cultivators in the darkness are bound to have emerged in the Star Glory Federation in the past hundred years and on Firefly in the past thousand years.
“Neither the Star Glory Federation nor Firefly can completely destroy the ideas of the Immortal Cultivators, because ideas cannot be killed, annihilated, or sealed. The more you block and discourage the ideas, the more alluring, valid, and strong they will be!
“In times of danger when the enemy is far stronger, it is an inevitability for Immortal Cultivators to be born. So, they are a very serious internal threat that can possibly become a fatal, venomous sting in the war!
“Therefore, before the great war begins, all the Immortal Cultivators lurking in the federation and on Firefly must be dug out and eradicated. It is very important!
“Instead of going through the trouble of searching for the Immortal Cultivators, it is a better idea to prompt them to jump out on their own. See. Under the motivation of ‘Master Lu’ of the CIFA, haven’t all the Immortal Cultivators on Firefly jumped out actively?
“If my guess is correct, in a couple of days, a federal fleet will ‘happen to’ arrive near Firefly, and the Dim Moon Fund or the Secret Sword Bureau will release a batch of critical evidence that proves that Ding Zhengyang, Cheng Xuansu, and the rest of them are the Immortal Cultivators, which will mark the complete collapse of their scheme!
“As a result, not only will all the Immortal Cultivators on Firefly be fished up, the government-in-exile will also lose their leverage in the negotiations with the federal government. The ‘participation’ of Firefly and the combination of resources later will be smoother. This is definitely a stone that kills two birds!
“If Lu Qingchen is not Jin Xinyue’s subordinate, it will be hard to explain why they launched such a hasty rebellion at such an idiotic moment!
“Right. There’s also Tang Xiaoxing. Why did the Dim Moon Squad take Tang Xiaoxing? The reason is simple. That’s because she has part of the ‘jump token’ that is critical. Without her, even if Ding Zhengyang, Cheng Xuansu, and the other Immortal Cultivators want to run away with Firefly in their desperation, they will only be able to cruise with the regular engines. But Firefly hasn’t finished its maintenance yet. How fast can the regular engines be? It will only be a matter of time for the fleets of the federation to catch up!
“This should be the Dim Moon Fund’s plan. If it works out, it will be a great victory for Jin Xinyue’s campaign.
“Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, do you see it now? The Immortal Cultivators on Firefly are dead for sure anyway. Heiye Lan is a smart person, not an emotional one. She naturally knows what to do now!”
After a long silence, Li Yao said, “I didn’t know that Jin Xinyue was so sordid. It seems that joining the Star Glory Federation is a rather dangerous option. One moment of carelessness, and she will swallow us from the skin to the bones without leaving any remains behind!”
“Sordid?” Long Yangjun laughed in amusement. “Why did you say that, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture? How can you expect to compete with the Imperium of True Human Beings without sordidness? If the leadership of the Star Glory Federation was a bunch of naïve and innocent sages, we would never entrust the future of the Ancient Sages Sector to them. Don’t you agree, fellow Cultivators?”
Low laughter echoed in the communication channel.
“Alright. Let’s hurry up.” Long Yangjun turned solemn. “Team Red Lotus, let’s take action. This time, the higher profile, the better!”