Li Yao’s heart was pounding, because he was not sure whether or not Bai Xinghe would be trapped.
Normally speaking, such a fierce person would definitely not chitchat or give a long, dull speech before their schemes worked out like normal villains in a story.
However, although it was clear that Bai Xinghe could absorb the crystal bomb into his Cosmos Ring and ambush Li Yao at any moment, he had not done so yet.
Even after they arrived at his secret base, he was still trying to buy himself more time by telling tales of ten thousand years ago.
Li Yao could only guess that Bai Xinghe was really wounded and in the middle of recovery. If they were to fight now, the man would have to pay a price he was not willing to.
He wanted to get more time for himself, and Bai Xinghe wanted to get more time, too. While the two of them were procrastinating, it might be possible for him to elicit information that Bai Xinghe would not normally speak of.
Spiritual energy at least in the Core Formation Stage was released by Bai Xinghe’s body, while he pulled a piece of magical equipment that looked like a metal ball from hundreds of meters away and stuck it to his abdomen.
The magical equipment hummed and emanated greenness that covered the wound on this abdomen.
Strong vitality could immediately be felt in Bai Xinghe’s body. He was apparently healing himself.
Bai Xinghe exhaled with the utmost pleasure and smiled casually. “Your plan of balance of threats are quite creative despite the fatal loopholes. I quite like it. You can ask a few questions, but I can’t guarantee that I will answer all of them.”
Li Yao did not want to give Bai Xinghe much time for recovery. He immediately asked, “You knew that Bai Wulei would betray you? Is the whole thing part of your scheme?”
Bai Xinghe pondered for a moment and shook his head slowly. “I knew that somebody was going to betray me, but I didn’t know who they were specifically.
“It’s been a hundred years since I rose to the Pirate Potentate and quite a few decades since the Abyss Pirate Gang became the largest pirate gang on Spider Den.
“Although the Temple of Immortals only formally introduced themselves last year, Black Spider Tower, one of their branches, has existed for a hundred years. Therefore, it’s been at least a hundred years since people of the Temple of Immortals were active in the darkness.
“During the hundred years, my rise and the glory of the Abyss Pirate Gang were definitely not things that they could overlook or let go of.
“Therefore, as long as the Temple of Immortals is not made entirely of idiots, they wouldn’t have started infiltrating the Abyss Pirate Gang only one year ago. Their real infiltration must’ve begun decades earlier.
“Spies of the Temple of Immortals must have been lurking in the Abyss Pirate Gang for a long time. It is even possible that many people were already Immortal Cultivators before they joined the Abyss Pirate Gang.”
Li Yao thought quickly and understood a lot of things. “Therefore, the whole final battle between the old dominator of Spider Den and the new one was pointless. Your real purpose was not to eliminate Fengyu Zhong but to dig out the Immortal Cultivators that had been lurking in the Abyss Pirate Gang for perhaps decades?”
Bai Xinghe nodded. “Yes. That was one of my purposes.”
Li Yao pondered for a moment and mumbled, “Since the very beginning, including the splendid-looking ‘Meeting of Heroes in Space’, everything has been your scheme. You were skeptical about everybody, even including your own true disciple Bai Wulei!
“However, if you really didn’t trust anybody, why did you tell Bai Wulei where you hide the map of the underground fortress of Spider Den and the key to it?
Li Yao bulged his eyes. “You pretended to regard Bai Wulei as your heir and that you trusted him. You even handed over the actual daily operations of the Abyss Pirate Gang to him. You told him where you hid your map and your key. In the end, you broke your hand on purpose and sent the Cosmos Ring that stored the map and the key to him
“Following which, Bai Wulei, Fengyu Zhong, the Black King all the Immortal Cultivators and the space pirates who betrayed you will enter the underground fortress with your key according to your map!
“Then, perhaps after a boom, the entire underground fortress will explode, right?”
Bai Xinghe was silent for a long time before he sighed. “My young friend Bloody Vulture, it’s a pity that you appeared at a bad time. Otherwise, I would’ve been tempted to recruit you as my disciple for your smartness.”
Li Yao laughed drily. “That will be unnecessary. Boss Bai’s disciples do not seem to end well.”
Bai Xinghe ignored his sarcasm and remarked calmly, “However, you were wrong about one thing. I didn’t consider my first true disciple a chess piece. I really regarded him as my heir and hoped that he could inherit the Abyss Pirate Gang after I die.
“This was just a minor test.
“If Bai Wulei passed the last test, he would’ve been totally fine and would have been the real master of the Abyss Pirate Gang one day.
“It is a shame that he was too hasty!”
Li Yao rolled his eyes and frowned. “No. No. If you had been suspicious about Bai Wulei and only faked your injuries, how were you hurt so badly and why did you hesitate even to kill a minor Building Foundation Stage Cultivator like myself?”
Bai Xinghe sensed that the wounds on his abdomen were recovering at a higher speed and that his strength and Cultivation were returning to himself. He smiled and said, “It was within my expectations that Bai Wulei would ambush me. I calculated everything except for one.”
Li Yao raised an eyebrow. “What is it?”
Bai Xinghe said, “Master Hidden Fog, the previous leader of Black Spider Tower, is not the Black King of the Temple of Immortals!”
Li Yao was dumbfounded again. Hellsword was not the Black King, and the leader of Black Spider Tower was not the Black King, either? Then who exactly was the Black King?
Bai Xinghe explained in a tone that could almost be called appreciation. “In the beginning, rumor had it that Hellsword, the lone wolf, was the Black KingI didn’t buy it. I knew very clearly about Hellsword’s capability. He was a fine warrior in one-versus-one fights. But managing an enormous organization? He didn’t have such expertise.
“Therefore, I personally investigated in secret. All the evidence suggested that Master Hidden Fog, the previous leader of Black Spider Tower, was the real Black King.
“Black Spider Tower was the most important branch for the Temple of Immortals. Or rather, one of them worked in the darkness while the other on the surface. Since they were integral and indispensable, it was only natural that the leader of Black Spider Tower was one of the four kings of the Temple of Immortals, wasn’t it?
“Therefore, when Master Hidden Fog, Fengyu Zhong, Bai Lei, and a few experts of ‘Eight Blades of Black Spider’ attacked me together, I was not surprised and focused much of my attention on Fengyu Zhong and Master Hidden Fog, the two Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators on the spot.
“When Bai Wulei ambushed me, Fengyu Zhong and Master Hidden Fog launched their deadliest attacks, too.
“My original plan was to pretend to be wounded by the strikes and run away to the underground fortress where I could plan my final battle!
“But I didn’t expect that Master Hidden Fog’s attack was unimaginably weak. It was not befitting for the ultimate strike of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator at all. He was in the high level of the Core Formation Stage at best. He only looked intimidating but there was nothing concrete below his disguise!
“In the meantime, on my left side, among the ‘Eight Blades of Black Spider’, an assassin whose code name was ‘Dark Empyrean’ suddenly displayed a combat ability that was even higher than that of Fengyu Zhong!
“In that moment, Dark Empyrean improved his Cultivation to at least the middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage!
“I gathered the files of the Eight Blades of Black Spider a long time ago and have watched the battle videos of every one of them thousands of times. I knew every detail about their posture, attack patterns, and habitual movements.
“Therefore, after we encountered, I made the judgement quickly that he must be Dark Empyrean, one of the Eight Blades of Black Spider. I thought that he was merely in the Core Formation Stage and did not care too much about him at all.
“Therefore, his strike truly wounded me heavily!”
Li Yao was soaked in sweat. “Are you saying that an unparalleled expert in the middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage has been pretending that he is in the Core Formation Stage and working as ‘one of the Eight Blades of Black Spider’ all this time?”
“Correct.” Bai Xinghe nodded and said, “Dark Empyrean joined the battle of Heavenly Saints City as one of the Eight Blades of Black Spider. It is clear now that he did not just participate in the battle but also commanded the troops in the frontline!
“Hellsword is not the Black King. Master Hidden Fog is not the Black King. The seemingly inconspicuous warrior of the Eight Blades of Black Spider is the real Black King and the master of Black Spider Tower!”
Li Yao was fascinated and had to admit that the attacks and counterattacks between the Temple of Immortals and Bai Xinghe were indeed marvelous.
Pondering for a moment, he asked again, “How did you know that I would catch up to you, and why did you wait for me?”
Bai Xinghe laughed. “I was not sure that you would, but it was an odd move that you suddenly marched out trying to stop me.
“I believe that every odd move has a logical reason.
“After preliminary analysis, I inferred that you planted some sort of tracker on me during our encounter.
“My head is quite valuable. It is perfectly normal that somebody wants to swallow it alone.
“Although I found no trackers on my body, it was worth a try. After all, I had plenty of time. Fengyu Zhong wouldn’t have found me for another ten minutes.
“I planned to wait for you for five minutes in case you caught up to me. Even if you didn’t, I wouldn’t lose anything.
“As it turned out, it took you only half a minute to arrive!”
Li Yao smiled bitterly. He didn’t know that his every move had been within Bai Xinghe’s calculation.
But there was one thing that confused him. He asked, “Why did you wait for me? Was I of any use to you?”
“You were,” Bai Xinghe explained. “My internal organs were heavily wounded because of the Black King’s strike, and I’m now merely in the Core Formation Stage. It would be quite risky for me to pass through the sky of the Nether River, and it would be more than troublesome if I fell into the river after being attacked by the boas and the bats collectively.”
Li Yao finally understood everything. “So, I shared the pressure by attracting half of the boas and bats, significantly increasing the odds of you passing through the Nether River safely!”
Bai Xinghe smiled. “Exactly. There is a vast difference in the pressure that fifty boas bring compared to a hundred. If the situation got out of control, I could also have ambushed you along the way so that you would fall into the river and attract the boas’ attention. That way, it would have been easy for me to run away.
“I would’ve been all on my own trying my luck. But since my young friend Bloody Vulture was so kind and friendly and volunteered to be my bodyguard, how could I refuse such kindheartedness?”
Li Yao sighed. “That explains a lot. Boss Bai is right. I was indeed asking for my own death. Nobody else is to blame. But there is one last question. I won’t rest in peace after I die if I don’t know the answer”
Li Yao had no questions.
While the two of them were talking, Bai Xinghe had been treating his wounds and recovering his Cultivation wholeheartedly. But Li Yao had been doing something else.
He pretended that he was attracted by Bai Xinghe’s explanation and was drawn closer during the conversation.
Right now, the distance between them was not 99 meters, but 67.2 meters.
It was the perfect range of attack for the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit!