Along with Tang Dingyuan’s description, an unbelievable picture of war slowly unfolded in front of Li Yao.
Bai Xingjian’s ‘garbage fleet’ was projected into the battlefield in the middle phase of the war against the Uranian Ring Sector, naturally, not as a main force in head-on clashes but as a guardian fleet to protect the supply lines
The protection mission for the first six months was done with neither flaws nor accomplishments. There was no telling how much commanding ability Bai Xingjian had left after the mental derangement and the plummet of Cultivation.
However, in a mission to transport strategic assets of an enormous scale, one carried out by four guardian fleets together, they suffered an unexpected assault by the main force of the fleets of the Uranian Ring Sector.
It was an assault that the Uranian Ring Sector natives carefully planned for half a year. All the spies and staff of the federation were fooled.
The four weak guardian fleets that had temporarily been thrown together were no match for the main-force fleet of the Uranian Ring Sector at all. After a few days of fierce battles, they were entirely wiped out. At least, the headquarters of the expedition army of the federation believed so at that time.
However, weird messages began to come over from the rear of the Uranian Ring Sector half a year later.
It was said that a ‘ghost fleet’ made of the souls of the deceased soldiers of the federal army had popped up at the rear of the Uranian Ring Sector’s defense line. The fleet was entirely made of ‘ghost starships’ that were ragged and riddled with holes without the least sign of power.
The ghost fleet was utterly unpredictable. It would run away immediately after a battle, and when it ran away, it would simply vanish into thin air. The style of the fleet was both like real ghosts and the fleets of the space pirates that had plagued the Flying Star Sector more than a hundred years ago!
The ghost fleet was not large in scale, and its firepower was not high. It could not deal a fatal blow to the army of the Uranian Ring Sector. But like a humming mosquito, it flew randomly around the head of the Uranian Ring Sector, making the enemy dizzy and upset.
The Uranian Ring Sector was determined to annihilate the ‘mosquito’, but nobody was ever able to catch it no matter how many troops were mobilized. However, if the ghost fleet was left alone, it would always bite those places with the weakest defense in the Uranian Ring Sector and suck a belly of delicious blood.
It was not until the ghost fleet was active in the depths of the Uranian Ring Sector for half a year that the expedition army of the federation finally realized that it was actually Bai Xingjian’s garbage fleet!
During the assault half a year ago, the four guardian fleets of the federal army had almost been crushed entirely. The six flagships of the other three fleets had been blown up one after another. The fleets had been caught in chaos without leadership.
At the critical moment, it was Bai Xingjian who had stepped up to lead the defeated soldiers to fall back. Before they retreated, they had also detonated the ammunition and crystals that were supposed to be shipped to the frontline, creating a glamorous blockage to stop the enemy from chasing.
Then, instead of retreating toward the base of the expedition army, he led the defeated soldiers directly toward the heartland of the Uranian Ring Sector out of everyone’s expectations!
Neither the army of the Uranian Ring Sector nor the federal army expected that he would be bold enough to march into the heartland of the Uranian Ring Sector with a bunch of mobs who had the lowest morale after the crushing defeat without any support.
In fact, according to the investigation after the war was over on the officers who belonged to the other few guardian fleets, even they were unaware of Bai Xingjian’s insane plan.
They had all been fooled by Bai Xingjian.
“According to our intelligence, our escape is entirely blocked by the people of the Uranian Ring Sector. Another fleet is waiting for us exactly on the path of our retreat. We have no choice but to move forward for now. We will find a different way home after we get rid of the Uranian Ring Sector’s fleets!”
At the fiercest period of the battle, that was what Bai Xingjian told the officers.
At that time, the commanders and chiefs of staff of the other three guardian starships had all been killed. The officers who had taken over their duties were also overwhelmed by the unexpected assault. They were entirely at a loss.
Bai Xingjian was the commander with the highest military rank and position among the survivors. Naturally, he took over the command of the four broken troops and issued the order of ‘go home in a different way’.
Nobody knew that when he issued the order, there was no ‘go home’ in Bai Xingjian’s crazy head at all.
It was not until two years later when the order ‘go home in a different way’ was really carried out.
At that time, the regular space fleet, which absolutely should not have been able to cruise and fight independently for more than a year, had already performed all kinds of harassment, ambush, plunder, and sabotage missions in the heartland of the Uranian Ring Sector, like an excellent Deep Sky Fleet.
According to the statistics afterward, in only two years, they had knocked down and hijacked 1,925 carriers and commercial starships of the Uranian Ring Sector, whose registered tonnage was shockingly 38,550,000 tons!
That was not counting the assaults that they had launched on the resource planets, the star fortresses, the floating space docks, and star beacons that were under the control of the Uranian Ring Sector.
In the end, when they finally decided to go home, Bai Xingjian precisely grasped the timing in the final battle between the main force of the Uranian Ring Sector and the main force of the expedition army of the federation, namely the Burning Prairie Fleet. In a camouflaged assault, they successfully carried out the ‘decapitation strategy’ and captured ‘Flawless Light’, the flagship of the Fifth Fleet of the Uranian Ring Sector, as well as the chief of staff of the fleet whose rank was Vice Admiral.
Bai Xingjian’s vehicles were immediately updated. He announced his grand return on ‘Flawless Light’.
It was the officer of the highest military rank that the federal army had captured alive during the entire war.
Of course, according to the theory of the Burning Prairie Fleet, Bai Xingjian shamelessly ‘stole’ the starships and captives that should have belonged to them while they were fighting hard against the enemy in the frontline.
Bai Xingjian could not have cared less about the Burning Prairie Fleet’s dissatisfaction. He even declared in a press conference to welcome their return, “In fact, we had a chance to capture a fleet commander alive, but on second thought, we decided it would be more fun to capture a ‘chief of staff’.”
He was obviously hinting at Bai Kaixin, who had just been promoted to the chief of staff of the Burning Prairie Fleet, because of his remarkable performance during the war against the Uranian Ring Sector.
It appeared that there was indeed certain an unresolvable grudge between Bai Xingjian and Bai Kaixin that outsiders would never know.
After the battle, the main force of the Uranian Ring Sector suffered great losses, and the war gradually came to an end. Eventually, the Uranian Ring Sector was merged into the Star Glory Federation. However, Bai Xingjian, who had been a respected war hero a moment ago, was sent to a military court.
He was faced with two charges.
Firstly, after inquiring a lot of officers of the other fleets who were not under his command in the beginning, and after carefully examining the battle in which the four guardian fleets were attacked, investigators found that there was no fleet waiting to ambush them on the route of their retreat at all!
In other words, they could have retreated to the expedition army’s base safely and securely. There was no need for them to march to the enemy’s rear alone at great risk. Bai Xingjian did not receive any command, nor was he qualified, to lead the defeated soldiers on such a crazy attempt!
In ninety-nine percent of cases, such a decision would not only be a suicidal action but would also raise the suspicion that he was trying to surrender to the enemy with the remnants of the troops!
Bai Xingjian responded to the charge as such. “You don’t know a damn thing. If it were anybody else, say, a rookie such as Bai Kaixin, it would’ve been a suicidal mission. But since I was the commander of the fleet, we were definitely able to turn the world upside down in the Uranian Ring Sector! At that time, the elite fleets of the Uranian Ring Sector had been fully mobilized, and they were cleaning the battlefield enjoyably while looting our tremendous assets. The defense line at their rear was terribly weak! The opportunity was too good to be missed. Was there a better timing to crawl to the enemy’s rear?”
The second charge was even more appalling. The military court found that Bai Xingjian had released a lot of officers of the Uranian Ring Sector and appointed them in his own team after plundering and capturing the hostile starships without informing the expedition army of the federation. He did not care about what unpardonable crimes those people might have committed, and he even tried up cover for those people after the war by fabricating their identities, hoping to fool everyone!
Bai Xingjian pleaded guilty to the charge.
“This is how a war goes,” Bai Xingjian said. “Do swine like you know how to fight a war?”
Despite his halo of ‘war hero’, once he was found guilty of the two charges, the best outcome that he could expect was probably forced retirement, and the ‘garbage fleet’ that he had established would fall apart, too.
It was at this time that Jin Xinyue intervened.
Jin Xinyue was an ambitious woman who had infinite desire for power. After decades, as she gained more and more support, she did not hide her goal of becoming the Speaker of the Federation and leading the entire Star Glory Federation.
To be the Speaker of the Federation, the support of the major sects in the core worlds alone was not sufficient. She had to find a powerful ally or subordinate in the military.
The military was Jin Xinyue’s disadvantageous field.
She was a demon after all. Because the Blood Demon Sector had initially surrendered on the condition that most of the armed forces be disbanded, her influence in the federal army had been weak for the past hundred years.
Ding Lingdang, Jin Xinyue’s rival, was different. The Grand Desolate War Institution where Ding Lingdang came from was deeply associated with the army of the Old Federation in the first place. Her Patriots Front had a lot of members who were soldiers or their family, too. The federal army was almost Ding Lingdang’s home stadium.
As for the Burning Prairie Fleet, the best army of the federation had been founded for the sole purpose of striking the Imperium!
In the hundred years, the Burning Prairie had stayed neutral in all political conflicts and stuck to the principle of non-meddling.
Jin Xinyue was neither able to spread her influence in the ground troops of the New Federation nor in the Burning Prairie Fleet. Right when she was upset about the military, the ‘freak’ Bai Xingjian jumped out. Were they not most suitable for each other?
Jin Xinyue helped Bai Xingjian secure his ‘garbage fleet’ and his command with Skyfire, the Ministry of Equality and Development, and the big shots of the core worlds. Bai Xingjian’s troop was even upgraded to an ‘independent Deep Sky Fleet’, theoretically equal to the Burning Prairie Fleet.
Just like that, in the past thirty years, Jin Xinyue had invested countless resources into Bai Xingjian, getting him advanced starships, armed shuttles, and crystal suits. The ‘garbage fleet’ had been developed into the ‘Big Bai Fleet’, one of the best troops other than the Burning Prairie Fleet!