Every muscle on Ding Zhengyang’s face was twitching violently. His face flickered between enraged and fearful, like a beast whose thigh had been bitten by a trap watching his companions abandon him without looking back.
His Adam’s apple was shivering rapidly, uttering what sounded like both bellows and moans.
Ding Zhengyang smashed the mini crystal processor against the wall, smashing it into pieces. He then stared at a loss at the glittering pieces on the ground. At last, he took a deep breath and rubbed his burning face hard as if it were a pile of soft mud. After ten seconds, he finally rubbed his face into the previous calm expression.
Glancing around quickly, he took out tremendous confidential jade chips and secret tokens to control the ‘central nerve’ of Firefly from the safes that were protected by barriers. After he stored them in his own Cosmos Ring, he tapped for a while on the portable crystal processor that he had been using previously, issuing a command for another group of his accomplices. In the end, faking his calmness, Ding Zhengyang held his head high and walked out of the captain’s office.
The whispers outside grew louder and louder. A lot of people were eyeing him cautiously. The looks of suspicion and confusion congregated into an ocean, where devastating tides that would rip him apart were about to be raised!
Ding Zhengyang coughed and unhurriedly walked to a teleportation array in a corner of the bridge. While walking, he summoned a few of his most trusted subordinates. On the surface, they were discussing the suppression of the Immortal Cultivators’ insurgency, but in fact, he was speaking to them through the private communication technique. “Leave the place alone. Run!”
The two most advanced teleportation arrays had been deployed on the bridge. Only the captain was authorized to open one of them. After some adjustment, it could lead to any of the hundreds of starships that made up ‘Firefly’. The pictures of the outside world were still being blocked, and Ding Zhengyang was still the acting captain who held the highest authority. Therefore, nobody was bold enough to ask where exactly he was going.
When most of the staff on the bridge and the Immortal Cultivators whom Ding Zhengyang did not bring away finally realized that something was not right, Ding Zhengyang had already disappeared in the dazzling light after setting his destination!
Ding Zhengyang and his four trusted subordinates arrived at a dim cabin that was riddled with holes. Tremendous broken pieces, blown by the wind, occupied the entire room.
Hardly had he stepped off the teleportation array when Ding Zhengyang shot back without turning around, completely destroying the teleportation array.
It would be impossible for the people on the bridge to be directly teleported there.
In the meantime, he edited the mainframe crystal processor of the teleportation arrays on the bridge and disguised his destination. The destination displayed on the crystal processor in the bridge would be somewhere else. Therefore, absolutely nobody would know his whereabouts.
Thankfully, I made preparations myself! Lu Qingchen, you *sshole. Just wait for it. I’m not going to let go of you!
Ding Zhengyang ground his teeth hard and cursed silently.
This was the last path of escape that he had carefully prepared for himself. The seemingly outdated starship, which was about to be separated from the main body and completely dismantled, had an intact escape room, although all the crew members and passengers had been evacuated. He had transferred the two most advanced escape capsules there in secret!
Naturally, the two escape capsules were not capable of travelling across Sectors, but they were enough for him to reach Fish Dragon City quietly. Lu Qingchen’s CIFA had their secret bureaus in the city, but Ding Zhengyang had also prepared two nests for himself in secret without telling Lu Qingchen.
It was a living example of a clever hare having three dens.
“Are you here?”
Ding Zhengyang was rather grave when he summoned another batch of his subordinates in the communication channel. They were the combat squad that had pretended to break into the prison but in fact transferred Captain Tang Dingyuan to somewhere else.
It was the elite squad of the highest combat ability for the Immortal Cultivators onboard other than Cheng Xuansu. Without their protection, Ding Zhengyang would not be able to achieve anything on his own.
Besides, Captain Tang Dingyuan was the best hostage. If Ding Zhengyang planned to save his own life or even reverse the situation, he would have to count on the former captain!
Therefore, Ding Zhengyang had asked the elite squad to transfer Tang Dingyuan to a cabin not too far away from there for imprisonment. After realizing that the situation was not good, he had even asked them to retreat in advance.
“You have already reached the escape center? Good. I’ll be there in a minute!”
Ding Zhengyang was relieved and finally put a vague smile. Then, he heard his subordinates talking in the communication channel as if they were asking for compliments. “What? You didn’t forget to bring the scarlet ball? Yes. That’s good. The item is truly quite uncanny. It will help us to track whoever is behind all this. Wait…”
Ding Zhengyang somehow felt that something bad was happening. The more he thought about it, the more scared he became. His smile gradually froze, tore apart, and vanished, but his eyeballs were protruding inch by inch. The blood streaks that jumped out instantly almost exploded on the surface of the eyeballs!
“Idiots!” he shouted desperately. “You idiots, destroy the scarlet ball right now! Something’s wrong with Professor Luo De. Something is definitely wrong with Professor Luo De! Destroy it. Destroy it now!”
There was no time.
The moment he roared, the sound of gun fire echoed on the other side of the communication channel. Crystal suits were ripped apart easily; bones were smashed into pieces; and the screams, cries, and exclamations of his subordinates all burst out like fireworks. But they fell into dead silence after only a couple of seconds. There was not the slightest sound on the other side of the communication channel, as if everyone in the escape center had been completely consumed by the darkness.
Before Ding Zhengyang had the time to moan, he was caught in darkness, too.
It was not the darkness in a rhetorical sense. The environment that he was in had truly turned pitch black. The feeble, shimmering light emanated by the illumination rune arrays in the cabin was absorbed by the darkness that was as thick and heavy as ink. Even if he put on his crystal suit as quickly as possible and activated all the scanning and probe magical equipment, he could not detect anything around him at all!
It—it was a very sophisticated barrier, a ‘smoke grenade’ that could block all the rays and waves!
In the absolute darkness, Ding Zhengyang could not hear or see anything. He was mired in the dizzying turbulence of horror!
A scream echoed behind him. It was one of his subordinates. The scream moved further and further away, as if the guy had been pulled away together with his crystal suit by a certain ferocious beast for hundreds of meters during the moment, before he was smashed into the wall of the cabin and broken into pieces!
Before his cold sweat flowed out, it sounded like another one of his subordinates had been pressed into a metal ball together with his crystal suit, a metal ball mixed with flesh and blood!
“Ah, ahhh, ahhhhh!”
The remaining two of his subordinates’ minds completely collapsed. They ran away crazily, one to the front and one to the rear. However, Ding Zhengyang could only hear their sound but not see the exhaust flames released by their crystal suits. Their insane cries came to an abrupt halt at the same time a moment later.
The two subordinates uttered no more sound, as if they had run into space without looking back and completely vanished from this world.
Then, there was a prolonged period of darkness and silence. It was not until Ding Zhengyang felt that his heart was about to stop beating that the most eccentric red lotus, which seemed to be irrigated by blood, slowly blossomed right in front of his eyes.
The bouncing, unpredictable red lotus illuminated an unreal, shadowy face that was covered in black mist.
It was the face that Ding Zhengyang had seen on the surveillance light beam just now—the mysterious person who was wearing a mass-produced Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit!
Ding Zhengyang had felt that the man was not the biggest threat in Team Red Lotus—at the very least, he was certainly not as big a threat as the bald dwarf who held the short sword.
However, with the man staring at him casually in the darkness under the illumination of the red lotus, Ding Zhengyang discovered that his horror was immeasurable, and he was a hundred times weirder than the weird bald dwarf!
Who—who is he exactly?
He—he—he is not a human!
He is a devil. He is a fiend that is a hundred times more terrifying than any demons!
Ding Zhengyang saw an ocean of blood made of red lotuses in the mysterious eyes of the stranger. The ocean of blood seemed to be some sort of voracious beast that would lunge out of the man’s face and devour his flesh, blood, and soul without leaving anything behind!
Savaged by the brutal, ruthless and vicious aura of the stranger, Ding Zhengyang’s every bone had completely melted. He did not even have the courage to think about running!
“Hey, that’s enough.” In the darkness, Li Yao frowned and spoke to the mental devil in his head. “I told you to just release some killing intent to intimidate him. Don’t act like a supervillain is showing up, alright? Do I need to cooperate with you by playing some creepy music from my abdomen?”
The mental devil felt that it had been wronged. “Why are you blaming me? I did exactly what you told me to, and you still have so much to say? I won’t help you at all next time!”
“Fine, fine. I was wrong. Anyway, this is enough. He might die of fear!”
While comforting the mental devil, Li Yao continued staring at Ding Zhengyang ‘expressionlessly’ and demanded, “Should I call you Captain Ding or Master Ding?”
“Don’t—don’t—don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!”
Ding Zhengyang had collapsed because of the intimidating aura released by the mental devil. Covering his chest, he begged hard with a pale face.
“Don’t kill you?” Li Yao eyed Ding Zhengyang up and down for a long time. Illuminated by the fire of the red lotus, his lips curled into a cruel smile. “It depends on whether you are the mastermind of the whole scheme or simply an accomplice who will help us find out the real schemer!”
“I—” Ding Zhengyang saw hope. Like someone being drowned who caught a life-saving straw, he shrieked, “I—I am not the mastermind. I was manipulated by someone. I was manipulated by Lu Qingcheng of the CIFA! I will confess everything! The roster of all the Immortal Cultivators on Firefly, the few secret dens that Lu Qingchen has in the Dragon Snake Space Zone, and the schemes of the CIFA and the Black Wind Fleet. I—I—I will tell you everything. Please, have mercy on me and give me a chance to correct my mistakes!