Listening to the cracking noises of crystal suits being put on in the communication channel, Li Yao smiled. He knew that he did not need to worry about their operations.
“What do we do now, Sir Speaker?” Li Yao turned around to look at Cui Lingfeng, who had gathered the crystal processors of the Immortal Cultivators and was studying the map of the area carefully.
“Cheng Xuansu hasn’t contacted Ding Zhengyang for a long time. Ding Zhengyang must’ve realized that something is wrong and will definitely send someone over soon.”
Cui Lingfeng pointed at the map and said, “We’re in the middle of a forsaken starship waiting to be dismantled. There’s a long way from here to the parliament, the No. 1 Fortress, or the cabins of any garrison. Once Ding Zhengyang discovers that I’m not dead yet, he will certain try his best to block us.
“Therefore, we cannot go to the central area of Firefly. The closest place to us that is reliable enough is here, the Third Military Academy of the Republic Guard Corp!
“It is a military school for the ‘potential developers of spiritual roots’. It is designed to raise the bottom-level officers for the Republic Guard Corp. It is impossible for the Immortal Cultivators to compromise the students of the military school of such a low level. Except for the few tutors and leadership of the academy, most of the students must be still loyal to parliament, the Speaker, and the Star Ocean Republic!
“Also, the Third Military Academy boasts a fairly large arsenal, in which quite a lot of attack magical equipment is stored. We will be able to get the situation under control if the students are armed. So, that is our destination!”
“Potential developers of spiritual roots?” Li Yao was slightly dazed. Then, he realized what it meant. “You mean ordinary people?”
“In the official context, there is no such term as ‘ordinary people’ in the Star Ocean Republic,” Cui Lingfeng said solemnly. “Calling those without spiritual roots ‘ordinary people’ implies that only the Cultivators are not ordinary and can accomplish something great, which is not politically correct. Anyone, whether their spiritual root has developed or not, is able to accomplish something great and become ‘extraordinary’ as long as they work hard.”
“Okay, understood. But the name ‘potential developers of spiritual roots’ sounds rather clumsy. Why don’t you simply call them… the unawakened or people without spiritual roots?”
“What do you mean by ‘unawakened’?” Cui Lingfeng asked. “Should anyone who has a spiritual root be considered ‘awakened’, whereas the people who do not have one will be ignorant people that you can never wake up? It is even more politically incorrect. As for ‘people without spiritual roots’, it is not a definitive name, either, because everybody has the chance to awaken their spiritual root. Just because they do not have a spiritual root right now does not mean that they won’t have one in the future. Such a name denies the possible returns of hard work. All things considered, ‘potential developers of spiritual roots’ is the most exact term to describe the relationship between Cultivators and non-Cultivators. It is best for 99% of the citizens of the republic.”
“… So complicated? Do excuse me, Sir Speaker. We have only just come from the Red Lotus Sector, no, a hibernation of hundreds of years, and we are not used to the latest way of speech.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Cui Lingfeng said. “However, when you do visit the Star Glory Federation as a representative of the Speaker, you must watch your language prudently. Right now, ‘political correctness’ is worshipped in the Star Glory Federation. It might not matter if you say ‘ordinary people’ in private, but the term will only introduce trouble when you give a public speech as a special representative of the Speaker. You can only choose among ‘potential developers of spiritual roots’, ‘current developers of spiritual roots’, and ‘future developers of spiritual roots’. Do bear that in mind!”
Li Yao scratched his head hard.
Fine. A hundred years had passed, and a lot of things in the world of Cultivators changed, too. Even ‘Monster Li’ had to learn more to adapt to the brand-new world.
“This is where the Third Military is located.” Cui Lingfeng waved his hands, unfolding, paving, and connecting many translucent 3D maps in midair. He then retrieved the sophisticated secret tubes that were as tiny as hairs, which were much more detailed than the tubes that Li Yao had detected through the probe magical equipment. “Captain Lin, take a look at it. How can we get there?”
Narrowing his eyes, Li Yao observed the zigzagging, complicated ventilation tubes, maintenance tubes, spiritual energy tubes, and tubes for toxic waste. A hundred secret infiltration routes immediately popped up in his head. But a moment later, he shook his head hard and grinned. “I’ve taken a look. Sir Speaker, we will simply walk to the place openly. Should we meet any hindrance on the way, you will reveal your identity as the Speaker. If they are Cultivators, they will certainly listen to your command and follow and protect you. If they refuse to obey and even accuse you of being a counterfeit, they will certainly be Immortal Cultivators, and I can take them down easily.”
Cui Lingfeng was slightly dazed. “Simple as that?”
“For Team Red Lotus, it is simple as that!” Li Yao nodded.
Hehe. He now belonged to the secret armed force that the Speaker of the Star Ocean Republic had hidden more than two hundred years, and he had the highest clearance to open fire on the starship. Why would he crawl through any ventilation tubes?
Five minutes passed.
After pulling the bodies of Cheng Xuansu and the other Immortal Cultivators into a corner with complicated feelings, Li Yao truly took Cui Lingfeng to march toward the Third Military Academy of the Republic Guard Corp through the central pathway of the forsaken starship!
Shua! Shua! Shua!
The previously locked gates were opened one after another under Cui Lingfeng’s telepathic thoughts.
He was the Speaker, and it was impossible for either Ding Zhengyang or Cheng Xuansu to cancel his control permissions other than by destroying him physically. The only way to cancel his highest permissions, except for breaching the mainframe crystal processor of the starship by brute force, was to impeach him in parliament and deprive him of his privileges.
But obviously, that was impossible.
Only a handful of gates could not be opened with the Speaker’s permissions because they were cut off from the Spiritual Nexus or even completely sealed.
But however thick and impregnable they were, it was impossible for them to withstand Li Yao’s bombardment.
Every unopenable gate was blown up by Li Yao with one punch or one kick.
It was not until they came to a gate of super alloys more than five meters thick—made of the Heavenly River Mother Copper, the Gold Steel Colorful Diamond, and more than ten super-hard materials—that Li Yao was delayed for a while.
“Sir Speaker, please stand back for a moment.”
Observing the gate that had only collapsed inward two meters without being blown up after taking two punches from him, Li Yao frowned. Then, he put on the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit and leaned to one side. He slightly widened his stance to support himself better. Keeping his left hand behind his back, he raised his right hand and opened his fingers. Bright green lames of spiritual energy surged out of the gaps on the shoulder like ghosts and swirled on his entire right arm, turning into a drill of spiritual energy condensed by the green ghostly fire.
Zi! Zi, zi, zi, zi, zi, zi!
Li Yao suddenly shook his right arm. The drill of spiritual energy rushed toward the gate of super alloys, triggering sparks that were even more dazzling than a supernova outbreak and letting out world-shaking, deafening noises. The entire pathway was soaked in the explosion of his raging spiritual energy, and the gate was scorched, ripped apart, and burnt through brutally!
Five seconds later, a hole two meters in diameter, from which the melted metal was still dripping, appeared in the gate of super alloys that was five meters thick!
“Alright. Sir Speaker, after you. Please mind the heat.”
Extending his index finger, Li Yao blew out the last bit of green fire on the tip of his finger. He then turned around and made a ‘please’ gesture to Cui Lingfeng. However, he was slightly dazed after seeing what Cui Lingfeng looked like right now. “Sir Speaker, why is your face so pale, and why are you so devastated? Even your spiritual shield is riddled with holes and seems to be collapsing.”
“Didn’t I ask you to retreat to eight hundred meters away and stay back for a moment, Sir Speaker? You didn’t go there?”
Looking at the new channel that was two meters wide and five meters long, the melted metal that was flowing on the ground randomly like magma, and the mass-produced Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit on Li Yao that could not be counted as an advanced crystal suit in any sense, Cui Lingfeng was rendered completely speechless.
He finally understood why Cheng Xuansu would rather kill herself than confront the mysterious Cultivator ‘Lin Jiu’ from the Red Lotus Sector. She did not run away perhaps not because she hated running but because Cheng Xuansu, as a battle-type Cultivator in the Nascent Soul Stage, knew that she could not get away from ‘Lin Jiu’ at all!
Cui Lingfeng was not the only one who was rendered speechless and utterly stunned.
On the other side of the gate, a troop of 122 Exos had arrived in a hurry.
Hardly had they arrived there and before they had time to open the gate, they saw that the toughest gate made of super alloys suddenly produce two huge dents as if it were made of rubber. Then, accompanied by a series of blood-freezing screeches of metal, the gate was burnt with a tiny hole, which expanded at a visible speed and grew to around two meters wide in only a couple of seconds.
Many Exos craned their necks as far away as their crystal suit allowed them to. Through the hole that was burnt and melted, they saw that an Exo who was wearing a mass-produced Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit blew off the last spark on the tip of his finger softly.
Supported by their spiritual shields, Li Yao and Cui Lingfeng slowly floated through the terribly scorching hole and appeared in front of the 122 Exos.
The 122 Exos, like 122 iron statues, stared at Li Yao and Cui Lingfeng in silence.
Cui Lingfeng was not wearing a facial cover. Naturally, the general policemen and soldiers knew who he was.
“Which legion do you belong to? Where is your commander?” Li Yao asked, although he had locked onto the commander since the beginning. “The Speaker was attacked just now. Firefly is in the most perilous situation. Whatever mission you are carrying out at present, abort it immediately and follow my command to protect the Speaker!”
Li Yao made a step forward after each word he said until he had almost walked to the center of the fully-armed Exos in the end. His footsteps were quite light, and there was barely any sound. Yet, every Exo felt that somebody was drumming heavily inside their heart!