Five minutes after Li Yao left, Bai Kaixin walked up to Lei Dalu without a sound, his face even gloomier. A dam seemed to be about to collapse in the middle of his eyebrow.
"It has just been confirmed that Fengyu Zhong has gone mad. He announced astronomical bounties on Spider Den and wants each and every member of the Great Horn Exo Society killed. According to his original words, even a flea on our starship should not be left alive! Also, whoever finds the true murderer of his son, dead or alive, will be rewarded with a starship!
"Right now, the entire Spider Den is seething. Countless space pirates, assassins, thieves, and spies consider us their targets!"
Lei Dalu scratched his messy beard and said slowly, "It's quite understandable. His only son has been killed. If Fengyu Zhong doesn't respond properly, how is he ever going to hang around with other people on Spider Den?
"However, the relationship between the Exo Societies and the space pirates has never been good. The top Exo Societies have all been attacked by space pirates before. Their fame was earned not by showing off, but by fighting in blood!
"Fengyu Zhong wants vengeance, so be it. The most important thing about us Cultivators is the size of our fists and the sharpness of our swords!
"We both know the reason we received so many donations, commercials, and loans and why the experts of the Dual Ring Sect have been working day and night to strengthen Gold Horn. The Great Horn Exo Society's situation is clear to everybody. That's why they've been supporting us so that the combat ability of Gold Horn can be doubled within half a month.
"Fengyu Zhong is a stray dog himself. I don't know how many experts are waiting to chop off his head. This time, he has set us as his target. But in my opinion, he is a mantis at best, which is being chased after by the sparrows!
"Anyway, don't be so nervous. We can't stay in the Thousand Sails Space Zone forever just because somebody is hunting us. If we unfortunately run into Fengyu Zhong, we'll simply fight him; if we unfortunately fail, we'll simply run away; if we are unfortunately captured, we'll simply die!"
Bai Kaixin's lips curled rigidly as he put on an ugly smile. "Everything seems to be extraordinarily simple in your mouth."
Lei Dalu plucked one of his whiskers and flicked it away softly. "I'm not a fan of deliberation; I prefer the simplest solutions to everything.
"However, don't bring the Tiger Killer Camp on our next mission. Send them to the Dual Poles Domain. Quite a few Cultivation sects are headquartered there. Space pirates will never carry out large-scale operations in that area. As for the excuse Just find a training camp and ask them to train there for a couple of months. They can build up their bodies and wait until everything goes tranquil again."
Bai Kaixin nodded. "Alright. I'll see to it."
But he didn't leave. His eyes were rolling, suggesting that there was something else that he wanted to talk about.
Lei Dalu raised his eyebrow. "Anything else?"
Bai Kaixin was silent for a long time, before he opened his mouth again. "Why didn't you ask him just now?"
"Ask him what?"
"You know it."
"I forgot to."
"You forgot to?"
Bai Kaixin gnashed his teeth, his long white eyebrows shaking. "Do you not think there is something seriously wrong with Li Yao's story? Lived in a far-flung town, trained with a strange master alone, and grasped such terrifying refining skills?
"Moreover, his Cultivation level is too high! Uncle Xiong, Bai Ze, and I had a meeting after the incident. Back when we were in the Dim Flame Belt, to repair the spiritual shield generator so that we could run away from the True Fusion, the guy must've been in the Building Foundation Stage, however incredibly lucky he was!
"I can believe that someone's spiritual root was awakened through fortuitous incidents and turned them into a Refinement Stage Cultivator. But advancing into the Building Foundation Stage without any tutelage? It's simply impossible!
"Okay, let's just say whatever the guy told us is true. But how do you explain what happened next?
"You offered him an Eight Arm Suit and assessed his sync rate to be 37%. Very soon, in the virtual matching platform in the World of Crystal Suits, a mysterious expert named 'Vulture' with a sync rate below 40% appeared out of nowhere and defeated many top experts in a row. The very first crystal suit that 'Vulture' wore was Eight Arm!"
Lei Dalu said, "So?"
Alertness filled Bai Kaixin's eyes, as he remarked, "So, don't you think that Li Yao might be the terrifying expert who really took Fengyu Ming down?"
"So?" Lei Dalu repeated.
"What else do you want?" Bai Kaixin turned anxious. "If he could sneak into Ghost Jail quietly, elicit the most important information from Fengyu Ming before slaying him, steal the enormous database from Ghost Jail's mainframe crystal processor effortlessly, and blow off half of the starship along the wayhe would definitely be the craziest devil in the world!
"But such a devil has stayed on Gold Horn for quite a few months. Who is he exactly? What is his purpose? What changes will his existence bring to the Great Horn Exo Society? Shouldn't we figure all that out?
"When we escaped the Dim Flame Belt narrowly, I told you most of my suspicions, but it seems to me that you haven't done any investigation yet!"
Lei Dalu thought carefully for a while and nodded his head. "I do recall you said such things. But you know that there were too many things to do, and I was preoccupied. I had no time to deal with trivial matters like this. I forgot it!"
"Trivial? A monster of unknown background who could sabotage a starship on his own stayed on Gold Horn for quite a few months, and you think it was trivial?" Bai Kaixin was almost jumping.
"When we were recruiting new crew members, we had only one condition: they must grit their teeth through the surging tides and meteoroid showers and make it to the Thousand Sails Space Zone with us.
"Li Yao has done everything we demanded.
"During the couple of months while he was on board, he has completed every mission assigned to him perfectly. When we were passing through the Dim Flame Belt, all of us would've kicked the bucket without him.
"Now that you've carefully studied what happened inside the generator cabin, you should know that, even for a refiner at the Building Foundation Stage, it was still a perilous task in which he risked his life."
Lei Dalu's eyes suddenly turned extremely clear. He said, calmly but firmly, "We have fought side by side through life and death against the True Fusion and the space swirl, so Li Yao is my brother in my eyes and a real member of the Great Horn Exo Society.
"As for where he came from, who he is exactly, how many skills he is good at, whether he likes rice or buns, whether he likes guys or girlsit's none of my damn business.
"Every traveler in the sea of stars who struggled for a living has stories. If they want to tell us, they already will have; if they haven't, it means that they don't want to tell their story, cannot say it, and if they do, someone's feelings will be hurt.
"I'm a simple and lazy man. I never bothered to ask about Li Yao's past, just like I never bothered to ask why you have the spiritual tattoos of Spider Den on your body."
Bai Kaixin's fury was about to burst out when Lei Dalu's final words suddenly stifled his emotions. His long white eyebrows were entirely frozen.
Rigid for a long time, he collapsed as if an invisible armor around him was just shattered. His dry lips trembled as he said softly, "When did you find out?"
"I'm not a space pirate."
"I believe you. The tattoo is rather fuzzy and twisted. It should've been made when you were very young, if not when you were just born."
"I had to."
"That's why I never asked to you confess anything. Hey hey hey, don't look like me with such heartbroken eyes, will you? Or is it that you've been wanting to tell us deep down in your heart but were too ashamed to speak? You want me to push you hard so that you can let your tears all out? You are not such an emotional guy, are you?"
Bai Kaixin glared at him and then smiled embarrassedly. "Why today?"
Lei Dalu's clear eyes only lasted briefly. His usual hippie expression returned as he said, "I didn't want to bring it up. I felt that it would be quite awkward to. However, your skills in acting are simply too bad. You were practically wearing a 'I-have-a-big-secret-in-my-heart-but-I-cannot-tell-it-to-you-otherwise-we-may-not-be-friends-anymore-please-do-not-ask-me-I-am-having-a-hard-time-holding-it-back-I-might-say-it-out-loud-if-you-really-ask-me' face every day. To be honest, every time I see your constipation-like countenance, I am always tempted to punch your nose and see if I can make the face even bitterer."
Bai Kaixin took a long, long breath. His face went peaceful again, but the gloom inside his eyes seemed to become much thinner. He nodded. "I understand. We will pursue the truth about Li Yao's background no further and be prepared for Storm Prison's reprisal instead."
Lei Dalu plucked another whisker and rolled it over between his fingertips. Then he shot it out at the crystal glass, triggering an earsplitting noise. He declared, "Let them come. My fists have been hungered for a long time!"
Half a month later, in the Skyhill Domain
This was a beautiful and splendid world fragment. The rare materials underground leaked into the water system over thousands of years. When they were brought out to the surface of the earth, they dyed the rivers and brooks bright silver. Among the hills, the silver streams were connected into a network; the stunning scenery was known as the 'Broken Silvers'. It was truly magnificent.
Such streams were not drinkable, but they were particularly suitable for sword-forging and refining.
Therefore, the Skyhill Domain was headquartered by many Cultivation sects and sword-forging families.
The magical equipment forged with the silver streams, especially the melee magical equipment such as sabers and swords, was valuable and popular in the Thousand Sails Space Zone.
The Skyhill Domain was not large, but there were almost a hundred enormous floating mountains in the sky, each of which were filled with zigzagged natural caves. People had been expanding the caves and increased the usable area of the Skyhill Domain by dozens of times. A lot of hills in the sky were thus formed. It was also how the Skyhill Domain got its name.
After hundreds of years of development, it had become one of the most important production bases of melee magical equipment in the Flying Star Sector.
It was a world of swords and an ocean of sabers as far as one's eyes could see. In the valleys and beside the rivers, refining furnaces, sword-forging pools, and countless sword tombs were everywhere, surrounded by bizarrely-shaped, coldly-shinning blades.
According to the ancient Cultivators, the sword tombs were established to allow the newly-forged blades to absorb the natural essence so that they could boast much more damage.
According to the theories of modern Cultivators, only by keeping newly-refined blades in a fixed position for some timewhich reduced the inner stress before the refurbishment of the next phasecould the most marvelous blades be created after several years!
In the sky, many travelers were flying with glittering wings behind them.
Such a piece of personal magical equipment named 'Airfoil' was much more agile and exciting than shuttles. Many Cultivators preferred to utilize them for the transportation between the floating mountains.
On the side of one floating mountain, five magnificent words were carved into it: "Museum of Sabers and Swords'.
A dusty young man, with hollowed eyes, plain clothes, and a pair of extremely ugly gray gloves, walked into the museum slowly along with the crowd.
Weekend Bonus #1