Li Yao beamed with joy, and he rose up suddenly. “Boss Bai, you truly have other arrangements. There must be something wrong with the map and the key that you intentionally gave to Bai Wulei. You must know some of the traps set up by the military of the Star Ocean Imperium!”
Bai Xinghe shook his head. “Like I said just now, there are no such things.
“Bai Wulei, Fengyu Zhong, Dark Empyrean, and the rest of the Immortal Cultivators of the Temple of Immortals are all cunning to their bones. They are definitely no fools.
“There are many coincidences in my plan. One will find it weird when they think about it for a moment. If I gave them the false map and key, how could the cunning, brutal bandits have been tricked?
“Besides, the space pirates have been exploring the underground fortress since a thousand years ago. Although they never entered the central area, they had accumulated abundant experience in underground exploration.
“Since the Temple of Immortals has been lurking on Spider Den for a hundred years, they must’ve recruited a lot of prodigies in this field, too.
“The experts are surely adept at the studies of architecture, structures, traps, and rune arrays. They will have a profound understanding of the underground fortress’ design and the mechanisms of functioning behind the traps and the secret tunnels.
“After they received the map and the key, those people will definitely have studied them repetitively until every detail was made clear, before the explorers marched into the ground!
“How could I alone compete with the wisdom of so many experts?
Bai Xinghe smiled bitterly and said, “The Star Ocean Imperium did not leave any traps that could destroy the underground fortress completely ten thousand years ago!”
Li Yao blinked. “They did not?”
“There might’ve been some,” Bai Xinghe said, “but the more precise a piece of magical equipment is, the more likely it is prone to damage. After ten thousand years, with countless serious earthquakes in the period, the previously destructive magical equipment must’ve been corrupted a long time ago, if there ever was any.”
Li Yao realized that it made sense.
As a refiner, he knew the importance of maintenance very well.
Even in the world of ancient Cultivators forty thousand years ago, a primitive flying sword would have to be cleansed by various Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures and even blood, or it would become lackluster and rusted later.
As for the modern magical equipment that was precise in structure and involved complicated mechanisms, it was all the more important that such devices were maintained on a regular basis. The cost of such maintenance was usually very high. When the magical equipment was not used for a long time, the price for a major maintenance might even be higher than the price at which it was purchased in the beginning.
What was even more terrifying was that many radiative or corrosive crystals must be kept steady by changing new rune arrays every once in a while. Otherwise, when the shell of the magical equipment eroded, a great explosion would be triggered. Such accidents were not unusual at all.
Li Yao had once discovered a crystal warship from the Star Ocean Imperium named Sparkle on Boneyard. It was purely a coincidence. The crystal warship had only managed to survive until its discovery because it was soaked in the silver liquid that was full of spiritual energy deep below the ground.
Even so, the crystal warship never regained its combat ability until after multiple maintenance and strengthening sessions.
The underground fortress of Spider Den was too large in scale. Even if a certain trap that could destroy the fortress did exist, it must’ve been extremely precise. How could it remain intact for ten thousand years?
Li Yao frowned and asked curiously, “Boss Bai, you’ve known the way to enter the core area of the underground fortress since long ago. Have you never thought of building some traps of your own? It seems to be more of your style.”
Bai Xinghe replied, “Although I am in the Nascent Soul Stage, I am not omnipotent. How can I build large traps deep below the ground all by myself?
“If I wanted to build traps on a large scale, I would have had to mobilize a lot of manpower and resources. But I have always considered the underground fortress my secret base. How can I allow other people to enter it easily?
“Those who are capable of building such traps must be seasoned refiners and mechanics. They have a lot of friends, and they are quite influential. Even if I was the de facto ruler of Spider Den, it’s not like I could kill them all after the job was done!”
Li Yao thought for a moment and realized it made sense. Such complicated traps could definitely not be built by any random guy.
The refiners who were capable of building such traps must have had strong support. It was unlikely that Bai Xinghe could kill all of them in order to shut their mouths!
Bai Xinghe sighed and said, somewhat helplessly, “When I became aware of the existence of the Temple of Immortals, it became even less likely that I would establish any traps, because I did not have any idea who in the Abyss Pirate Gang were the spies of the Immortal Cultivators. Under such circumstances, wouldn’t I be killing myself if I asked my subordinates to build the traps?”
Li Yao realized that it was true. Even Bai Xinghe’s first true disciple had betrayed him. It was very prudent of him not to ask any of his subordinates to handle such affairs.
No wonder he had concocted such a scheme that seemed to be very plain and obvious.
It was because the Temple of Immortals had no worries at all. They knew for a fact that he could not have set up any traps deep below the ground!
“The bottom line is, the map I gave Bai Wulei was real. It was drafted based on multiple military maps of the Star Ocean Imperium. Some of the places were hidden, including the Star Prier’s House that we are currently in.
“But the main control center of the underground fortress, as well as the warehouses where abundant weapons, magical equipment, and crystals are stored, are all marked clearly on the map.
“The key that I surrendered was real, too. It was not really a key but a series of identification rune arrays and dynamic passwords. With the identification rune arrays and the passwords, they will be able to reach the control center without any hinderance.
“I did not leave behind any tricks because every trick and trap on the map and the key would have been seen through.
“However, I did not come to the underground fortress waiting to be killed, either. My tricks are somewhere else that I cannot tell you about right now.”
While talking, Bai Xinghe raised his hand and threw over a cluster of greenness.
Li Yao did not catch it with his hands. Instead, he covered the object with his spiritual energy carefully, only to discover that it was a Cosmos Ring with a vivid head of an infuriated dragon on the surface of it.
Bai Xinghe smiled casually. “The Dragon King Battlesuit is inside. I have cancelled the barriers on the Cosmos Ring. You are free to retrieve it now.
“If you are willing to give me a hand and prefer to deal with the Immortal Cultivators rather than the grudge between us first, help me repair the Dragon King Battlesuit.
“Because of my misjudgment, the strike of Dark Empyrean, the real Black King, dealt severe damage to the Dragon King Battlesuit, although it did not kill me instantly. The damage will be a nuisance when my real plan is activated.
“However, both ‘Li Yao’ and ‘Sand Scorpion’ are the best refiners of the Flying Star Sector. I believe that people of the Temple of Immortals will never have guessed that you are with me right now.”
Bai Xinghe had offered the strongest crystal suit on Spider Den to him!
Holding back his excitement, Li Yao’s shook as he said, “What benefits can I get by helping you repair your crystal suit?”
Bai Xinghe smiled. “Let’s be honest here. The maintenance manual, structural design, and the spiritual energy flowcharts are all inside the Cosmos Ring. The crystal suit employs a lot of technologies of the Star Ocean Imperium. Its nine dragon heads were even directly refined out of the components of the Star Ocean Imperium. They are very sophisticated.
“For such a skilled refiner like yourself, isn’t it the greatest benefit that you get to browse through the maintenance manuals and the structural design?
“Honestly speaking, I can do the simple maintenance myself. Unless it is absolutely necessary to, I never would have given the Dragon King Battlesuit to you!”
Li Yao chuckled. He finally understood why Bai Xinghe, an unparalleled brutal bandit, had been talking so sincerely with him and even telling him his childhood stories.
It seemed that the man was trying to win his trust.
Bai Xinghe must have made secret arrangements in the underground fortress.
But he calculated everything except for the identity of the real Black King. As a result, the heavy strike from the real Black King not only wounded himself but also seriously damaged the Dragon King Battlesuit!
As an expert in the Nascent Soul Stage, he could treat his wounds and recover slowly, and he could even suppress the wounds temporarily with secret arts.
However, Bai Xinghe was not a professional refiner after all. If his crystal suit was too seriously damaged, there was no way that he could repair it himself.
As it happened, Bai Xinghe discovered Li Yao’s real identity and that he was an excellent refiner in the Flying Star Sector. Then, Li Yao’s personal value for him increased significantly.
Handing the crystal suit over to an unfamiliar refiner was a risky decision because the refiner could set up countless backdoors during the maintenance without anybody knowing.
Li Yao was definitely no match for Bai Xinghe in terms of combat ability, but when it came to refining, Li Yao was confident that it would be a miracle if Bai Xinghe could find one of the backdoors when he set up ten!
Bai Xinghe had no alternatives right now and could only believe in his expertise. That was why he rambled on about his secrets as a gesture of friendliness.
Li Yao was deeply moved by Bai Xinghe’s sincerity. Then he decided that he should plant at least twenty backdoors in the Dragon King Battlesuit.
Of course, Bai Xinghe knew of the refiners’ doings and that his crystal suit would not end well now that it had fallen into the hands of such a sly man, but he did not have a second option.
After throwing the crystal suit over, Bai Xinghe said gloomily, “It will take the Immortal Cultivators three to five days for them to analyze the map and gather all of the ‘contributors’ in preparation for the exploration of the underground fortress.
“You can take your time to repair the crystal suit in the next couple of days. There is sufficient food and crystals here. Take whatever you want. No need to ask me.”
Bai Xinghe stood up again and went into the metal cabin to treat his wounds.
His two hands were still bound by the rope, and his Dragon King Battlesuit was now in Li Yao’s hands. Li Yao thought for a long time and found no loopholes in Bai Xinghe’s request or reasons to stop him from healing his wounds.
Until the problem of the Immortal Cultivators was resolved, the conflict between the two of them was not likely to escalate.
Forget it. Whether he meant it or not, the Dragon King Battlesuit is now in my hands anyway. After I set up twenty backdoors in it, I will not be scared at all even if we are forced to fight again!