On the transportation vessel back to Firefly, Li Yao was still reflecting on the meeting with Bai Xingjian. He gradually put on a subtle smile.
An interesting fellow. Although he is a little bit impatient, Jin Xinyue will certainly be walking closer to her dream with the help of such a great general, right?
However, I do feel that I’ve met him before somewhere else. How bizarre!
Li Yao was about to search his deep memories and compare Bai Xingjian with the people who had left deep impressions on him before, when he suddenly heard weird cracking noises. He raised his head, only to discover that ‘Sword Maniac’ Yan Liren was trembling hard next to him. His teeth were colliding with each other, and appalling brilliance was beaming out of his eyes.
“Fellow Cultivator Yan, what happened to you?” Li Yao was slightly dazed.
“I’m fine. I’m just excited. Very excited!” Uncontrollable laughter echoed deep inside Yan Liren’s throat. He licked his lips and recalled the enjoyable feeling. “I did not expect to meet such a worthy opponent in the age of the modern Cultivators where legions and fleets matter much more!”
Li Yao was stunned. He looked at Long Yangjun, only to find that she was as confused as he was. “Who are you referring to, Fellow Cultivator Yan? We scanned the members of the assault team standing behind Bai Xingjian. Some of them are in the Nascent Soul Stage, but I don’t think that they deserve such attention.”
“Hehe. Of course, the trash behind him are not worthy enough for me to attack at all. I’m talking about Bai Xingjian himself!”
Yan Liren took a deep breath. With incredible brilliance shooting out of his eyes, he murmured, “Although we only stared at each other for a brief moment, I was already certain that he was an unparalleled expert like I’ve never seen before in my entire life and that he was the one who deserved to be killed by me with all my effort!”
“What!” Li Yao and Long Yangjun were both greatly shocked.
Li Yao had once practiced sword arts with Yan Liren together for three months. There was no need to mention Long Yangjun, who had met with Yan Liren annually to discuss and exchange their sword arts when she was still Lead Eunuch Wang Xi.
Both Li Yao and Long Yangjun were definitely among the top experts in the world. However, Yan Liren had never been as excited when he was competing with them in sword arts. The remark ‘like I’ve never seen before’ clearly suggested that he thought more highly of Bai Xingjian’s combat ability than theirs!
Long Yangjun was close friends with Yan Liren, so close that even Yan Liren’s Purple Pole Sword Sect had almost been classified as her accomplice. She naturally knew that, despite his arrogance, Yan Liren had never been a fan of exaggeration.
As the best swordsman of the entire Ancient Sages Sector, he had the courage and the belief to even slash a Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivator. When it came to evaluating an opponent, his eyes were definitely the keenest among the twelve experts of the Ancient Sages Sector!
Long Yangjun pondered for a moment and said, “Brother Yan, what do you mean by ‘like I’ve never seen before’? Leaving aside the Three Saints and Four Rapscallions aside, you have even met Meng Chixin and Wu Suiyun, two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, and even practiced with them. Although their capabilities have greatly fallen after losing their bodies and turning into spectral Cultivators, is it even possible that this guy Bai Xingjian is more awesome than them? Is he already at the peak of the Nascent Soul Stage and even reaching the Divinity Transformation Stage?”
Yan Liren shook his head slowly and said, one word after another, “I never judge people based on their level. There are very advanced ‘Soul Covering Arts’ and ‘Soul Hiding Techniques’ in this era. It is not difficult at all to hide one’s real Cultivation. Therefore, I don’t know whether or not Bai Xingjian is in the Divinity Transformation Stage, nor do I care.
“What I do know is that he is terrifying. So terrifying that there was even a moment just now when I almost wanted to draw my sword and kill him without considering anything else! However, I could also sense that, even if I had drawn my sword at that time, I might not have been able—no, I couldn’t have killed him. It’s possible that he would’ve killed me instead! Yes. Him alone. The worthless Exos behind him were just his camouflage. He could’ve killed me all by himself!
“Ever since I grasped my sword arts, I’ve never tasted such a feeling before. Even when I was faced with Meng Chixin and Wu Suiyun, two Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators, I never experienced such uncertainty! Is this horror? In—incredible! Horror is truly amazing!
“I must train! Since such a dreadful opponent lives in this era, I am more determined to train myself than ever! I have a feeling that if I have a gratifying fight with Bai Xinghe without getting killed, my sword arts will certainly reach the next level, and my sword will really be able to butcher Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivators!”
Waving his head, Yan Liren completely dwelled in the world of sword arts. He narrowed his eyes and shook his fingers, imaging the fierce and breathtaking battles with Bai Xingjian that could have taken place.
Li Yao and Long Yangjun, on the other hand, were left utterly dumbfounded, with ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ written all over their faces.
“Even Brother Yan feels the same way,” Long Yangjun said solemnly. “Is it possible that what I sensed just now was not an illusion?”
“Hey, hey, hey. Are you serious?” Li Yao asked. “Even you have sensed something wrong, and I was completely fooled and didn’t notice any of it?”
“No. You’re mistaken, Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture.” Long Yangjun shook her head and said, “You and I don’t have as keen senses to swords as Brother Yan. I didn’t realize that the seemingly strengthless commander of the fleet actually boasted such terrifying combat ability. I—I only vaguely felt that his appearance was not right. The way he gnashed his teeth impatiently, and his expression as if he was ‘choked’ by you, are slightly—slightly—”
“Please don’t tell me that he was acting,” Li Yao said coldly. He had never thought that anybody could be a better actor than himself. “I also carefully observed his every micro expression. It was definitely his real, uncamouflaged emotions!”
Long Yangjun nodded. “I know. His emotions were real, but the emotions seemed to be… slightly different from his true emotions.
“Let me put it this way. Suppose you are playing a video game. If you experience a setback in the game, or when you have lost a match, you will be frustrated and even infuriated, which will be your real emotions. Nobody can say that such emotions and your appearance are fake, right?
“But getting to the bottom of it, however real the emotions are, they are about a game after all!
“This is exactly the feeling that Bai Xingjian gave me. If the Big Bai Fleet was truly up to something and had come to completely seize Firefly, it would be a matter of paramount importance for both Jin Xinyue and the Star Glory Federation. At the very least, it would greatly influence Jin Xinyue’s campaign!
“However, Bai Xingjian gave me the feeling that he was merely playing a game, as if the rise or fall of Jin Xinyue’s gang did not matter to him at all, and he was merely playing with Jin Xinyue for fun!
“Such a feeling is truly hard to believe. Therefore, I’ve been thinking about it myself just now and thought that it was my imagination. However, since Brother Yan put it that way, this guy Bai Xingjian… definitely calls for our attention!”
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao felt tides surging in his heart.
He had absolute trust in the professional judgement of Long Yangjun and Yan Liren.
Therefore, in the warehouse of Infinite Fire just now, he did not swagger around and slightly humiliate Bai Xingjian; Bai Xingjian had intentionally acted weak and fooled him.
He had been humiliated by Bai Xingjian!
Who do you think I am? I have fought hundreds of bloody battles and shown off more times than I can count. I always acted weak and crushed other people. Never did I expect that somebody would make the same move on me!
*sshole, wherever you’re from and for whatever purpose you are lurking beside Jin Xinyue, it is outrageous of you to play the pig that eats the tiger to my face!
The more he thought about it, the more scared Li Yao felt.
According to Tang Dingyuan’s introduction and the files on Bai Xingjian that he had collected just now, he should be an arrogant, disobedient, and impulsive man.
However, was it possible for an arrogant, disobedient, and impulsive man to hide his real combat ability for a hundred years?
Even Yan Liren, an unparalleled swordsman at the peak of the Nascent Soul Stage, felt uncomfortable about the guy’s combat ability!
Nobody had ever noticed such a battle-type expert at least in the Nascent Soul Stage during his hundred years of growth?
Or maybe, whoever had seen him attack had been killed, both their body and their soul?
Is the guy really a cocky, rash, and fierce man?
Did he really leave the Burning Prairie Fleet because of the conflicts with his superior?
Is he really in the ‘beginning level of the Nascent Soul Stage’ due to the help of the countless resources that Jin Xinyue provided because of his mental derangement before?
Was it Jin Xinyue who chose Bai Xingjian, or did Bai Xingjian… choose Jin Xinyue?
Is Jin Xinyue aware of his real capabilities, or is she really thinking of him as a random subordinate that she can command free at will?
Li Yao could not help but hold his arms. He suddenly felt that his little disciple was in great danger!
Right then, Li Yao’s portable crystal processor slightly buzzed. It was Cui Lingfeng’s special line!
“Speaker, the situation on the Big Bai Fleet’s side is already under control. Their commander Bai Xingjian understands our current state. I don’t think that he will act recklessly.”
Thinking for a moment, Li Yao did not plan to pass on Yan Liren and Long Yangjun’s discovery to Cui Lingfeng, the main reason being that it was impossible to explain himself. With Yan Liren and Long Yangjun’s capabilities that they pretended to have, it was absolutely impossible for them to have seen through an unparalleled expert at least close to the Divinity Transformation Stage.
Also, the issue concerned the safety of his own little disciple. Naturally, he could not idle by and watch as a master, so he had to take certain actions in secret.
Cui Lingfeng, on the other hand, shook his head and said, “Leave the Big Bai Fleet aside for now. Ding Zhengyang confessed a lot of things, including tremendous intelligence about Lu Qingchen and the CFIA. However, they are not worth mentioning compared to the information that I’m about to tell you.
“Ding Zhengyang said that the Black Wind Fleet is in dire need of an appropriate jump point and a space gate so that it can stab into the belly of the Star Glory Federation. To achieve this, they have been corrupting the leadership of the federation together with the spies that infiltrated the federation in secret and the CFIA. It seems that someone among the leadership of the federation has been transformed into an Immortal Cultivator.”
“Leadership?” Li Yao was greatly alarmed. “Who exactly?”
“Naturally, Ding Zhengyang does not know who it is,” Cui Lingfeng said, “but to quote him, ‘it is a person who can change the course of the war’!”