Li Yao quickly retreated to ninety-nine meters away. One meter further, and the crystal bomb inside Bai Xinghe’s stomach would be detonated immediately. Still not relieved, he opened his hands and formed four spiritual shields in the front while planting a hundred crystal bombs that would explode the moment they were touched amid the spiritual shields, building three walls of bombs!
After finishing the decoration in the blink of an eye, Li Yao was somewhat relieved.
Bai Xinghe was dazed. He seemed to be surprised as he said, “My young friend Bloody Vulture”
“Don’t move. Don’t talk. Let me think for a minute!” Li Yao yelled. Every cell in his body was vibrating crazily as he prepared himself for battle. The chaotic butterflies of thought congregated and dispersed inside his brain, leaving starry brilliance behind.
From the moment he caught up to Bai Xinghe, Li Yao had been feeling ill at ease. But during the way, Bai Xinghe had behaved obediently, and the multiple traps below the ground had distracted Li Yao’s attention. Therefore, Li Yao had gradually overlooked the warning in his heart.
But right now, the uncanny behavior of Bai Xinghe introducing a secret story from ten thousand years ago without a good reason made the warning pop up again. Something was buzzing earsplittingly inside his head.
This is not right. My intuition tells me that I must have ignored something very important. That’s why I felt so alarmed all the way here!
Details! Remember every detail of Bai Xinghe!
Li Yao utilized all his computational ability and analyzed every second since Bai Xinghe’s appearance by dividing them into a hundred pictures and scrutinizing every single frame.
It was like the wildly flying butterflies in his brain were fixed, and the stripes on them were zoomed in. Everything was crystal clear now!
When the totally different stripes on two butterflies were conflicting with each other in his brain, Li Yao’s pupils constricted violently because he realized the reason of his unease!
The first picture was on the carrier of the Tiger Teeth Pirate Gang, where Bai Xinghe kicked Luo Jinhu down and said,“Cut the crap! With a decent price, you wouldn’t even blink before selling your family! Also, for a decent price, I guarantee that I will sell your mother to the brothel tomorrow! We are all lawless space pirates. Are you pretending that you are a loyal knight?”
The second pictureNo, actually it was not picture, but a voice that Li Yao had heard. It was the miserable scream when Bai Xinghe was ambushed by his first true disciple.“Bai Wulei, you, too?”
The scream was indeed full of bewilderment, fury, hatred, and desperation!
Li Yao also recalled ‘Stormy Sword’, a notebook written by Fengyu Zhong personally, in which Bai Xinghe’s rise was elaborated in his biography.
During the process of turning from a treasure hunter that was humbler than a rat miraculously into a Pirate Potentate, he betrayed at least three leaders who were practically fathers to him and sold twenty sworn brothers!
‘Stormy Sword’ was a tutorial on the arts of space pirates that Fengyu Zhong had written for his son, Fengyu Ming. It was quite personal, and there was no reason for him to slander Bai Xinghe in such a way.
Therefore, for a great man who established his fame with plots, betrayals, and treacheries and knew clearly that there was no warmth between space pirates but only backscratching, how would he utter such a desperate, painful, and stunned scream even if he was truly betrayed by his disciple?
But if his scream was faked, or at least half faked, what would have been on his mind?
Li Yao thought quickly and put himself in Bai Xinghe’s shoes.
If he had been in Bai Xinghe’s position, heavily wounded and aware that there was a secret teleportation array that nobody else knew of deep below the ground of the Red Steel Crystal Suit Center, he would know that he had to get there as quickly as possible.
Shua! Shua! Shua!
Every crevice and intersection when he traced back to Bai Xinghe in the beginning popped up his brain again.
He constructed a transparent map of escape inside his head, while he calculated quickly how long it would take for a Building Foundation Stage Cultivator to finish the whole journey.
Five seconds later, he came to a conclusion that almost froze all the blood throughout his body.
“You were waiting for me,” Li Yao mumbled. “I didn’t catch you; you were waiting for me next to the secret teleportation array on purpose!”
Bai Xinghe’s voice was equally warm and comforting, like the everlasting spring breeze, when he said, “My young friend, what you are talking about?”
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao stared at every power rune on Bai Xinghe’s body and gnashed his teeth. “According to my calculations, even though Fengyu Zhong was right about you being in the Building Foundation Stage because of the heavy wounds, you would still have been able to enter the teleportation array half a minute before I showed up!
“Through the teleportation array, it would have taken you only a few seconds to reach the entrance of the fortress. You needed only to destroy the teleportation behind you, and I would never have been able to find you again!
“If you were indeed running away without caring about anything, there was no reason for you to have been delayed there for half a minute!
“The only plausible explanation is that you slowed down on purpose to wait for me, or rather, somebody who might catch up with you!”
Bai Xinghe smiled casually and clapped his hands. “My young friend, you are indeed thoughtful as a well-known bandit in the circle of space pirates who rose to fame in only one short month. Although your epiphany comes too late, it is worth complimenting.”
The armor on the hands of his crystal suit clashed, emitting crisp sounds that echoed inside the vast palace, mixed with a hint of scorn.
Li Yao’s heart seemed to be swallowed by a black hole. He found himself barely able to breathe.
While Bai Xinghe applauded, he realized that something impossible had happened!
The crystal bomb that he had forced Bai Xinghe to devour was gone!
From the very beginning, Li Yao had bound one of his telepathic thoughts to the crystal bomb tightly. Even when he was passing the hunting range of the ‘Lustful Rock Spider’, he had been bold enough not to retreat it!
According to Li Yao’s calculation, there were only two approaches if Bai Xinghe wanted to get rid of it.
Firstly, by stimulating the muscles and the internal organs, he could push the crystal bomb from his stomach to his throat within half a second and spit it out!
Secondly, he could secrete liquids that were extremely corrosive and melt the trigger of the crystal bomb.
For Li Yao, when he activated the Art of the Swallowing Whale, he could even corrode, melt, and absorb steel. Since Bai Xinghe was in the Nascent Soul Stage, Li Yao, having the good habit of never underestimating his enemy, assumed that he had equal ability and a speed of corrosion ten times higher.
Even so, it would take one second to destroy the bomb!
In comparison, it would only take 0.1 seconds for Li Yao to detonate the bomb!
Therefore, after making sure that the crystal bomb was in Bai Xinghe’s stomach, Li Yao had been following him confidently.
But it never occurred to him that the crystal bomb would vanish into thin air within only 0.05 seconds!
Li Yao’s forehead was immediately soaked in cold sweat.
Bai Xinghe did not spit the crystal bomb out, and there was bound to be debris even if he eroded the crystal bomb with his gastric acid. But Li Yao felt nothing when the crystal bomb was obliterated without a trace!
Bai Xinghe was still standing ninety-nine meters away. He was chuckling in a low and confident voice, like a kind old man who was watching a kid who was uneasy because he had done something wrong.
Yet, Li Yao felt that cold wind was swirling behind him, as if Bai Xinghe was standing right behind him and staring at the back of his head!
There was only one Bai Xinghe, and yet his scent could be sensed in two locations simultaneously. It was definitely not something that could be done for a heavily wounded Building Foundation Stage Cultivator!
“My young friend Bloody Vulture, you are indeed smart. But maybe because you are too smart, you tend to ignore things that are very obvious,” Bai Xinghe said unhurriedly. “Maintaining a ‘mutual deterrence’ with your crystal bomb? It is indeed a clever move. But it is also more than easy to solve the dilemma.”
Cold sweat was pouring down, as Li Yao gnashed his teeth. “No. The crystal bomb must be still in your stomach. You are merely bluffing!”
Bai Xinghe sneered. He gradually straightened his back, which was somewhat hunched because of the pain a moment ago.
Illuminated by the dim lights, he could not have looked more high, mighty, and terrifying!
“I have been roaming in the sea of stars for a hundred years. Do you think I need bluffs to deal with such a junior like yourself? The solution to your ‘mutual deterrence’ is very simple. You will find it not worth mentioning at all after I explain it to you!
“For space pirates like you and me, we often carry more than one Cosmos Ring with us. In order to keep them away from others’ attention, we often hide them all over our body, sometimes even devouring them and storing them inside our body.
“I have a Cosmos Ring that is hidden in my stomach.
“I merely moved my stomach just now and triggered my Cosmos Ring to absorb your crystal bomb.
“Naturally, the independent space inside the Cosmos Ring is billions of lightyears away from the Flying Star Sector we are in. Therefore, the crystal bomb was detonated the moment it was absorbed into the Cosmos Ring.
“However, the best it could do was destroy the items inside my Cosmos Ring. It could never do any harm to myself.
“Do you see, my young friend Bloody Vulture? Your ‘mutual deterrence’ had a terrible loophole from the beginning!”
Li Yao was dumbfounded. He thought carefully and realized that he had indeed ignored the possibility.
No. He did not ignore it. Triggering a Cosmos Ring required summoning spiritual energy and a certain gesture in order to cooperate with the runes.
It was also one of the reasons Cosmos Rings were built into the shape of rings and worn on fingers. In such a way, it would be easier to change the hand gesture.
For example, raising the middle finger and the index finger of the right hand and touching the middle of his eyebrow slightly was Li Yao’s special gesture to retrieve a crystal suit from his Cosmos Ring at the highest speed.
But Bai Xinghe could complete the gesture to trigger the Cosmos Ring simply by moving his stomach?
Was it even possible?
“Therefore, the mutual deterrence is now broken. The wounds you suffered are not half as heavy as they appear. Killing a Cultivator in the peak of the Building Foundation Stage is a piece of cake for you.”
Li Yao smiled miserably. “It seems that I’m a victim of my own scheme now.
“Boss Bai, right now, the only method that I can threaten you with has lost effect. But you didn’t kill me instantly and tried to dawdle. I believe that you must be more or less injured and would like to fight when you are better recovered.
“Now, you are trying to treat your injuries, and I don’t want to die soon, either. May I ask for one last thing from Boss Bai?
“There are many suspicions points about the whole event that baffled me. Would you care to explain the crucial parts so that I can die an insightful death?”