Capital Nest was burning.
The biggest city on Spider Den had never been affected by any war since the battle to protect Spider Den five hundred years ago. But in Li Yao’s five-year absence, it had become battered and buried in debris.
Li Yao walked upwards along the spiral stairs. Wherever his eyes reached, he could see that countless tunnels and caves had collapsed, and many of what used to be buildings were debris lying awry on the ground now. Traces of fire and battle could be found in a lot of places. In some places, even the mountains were half blown apart, revealing the bare, ugly rocks below.
Li Yao was planning to capture a space pirate for interrogation when hasty alarms suddenly echoed above his head. He raised his head and found dozens of white pillars of smoke left in the sky, as if several shooting stars had just flown past the broken atmosphere.
Brightness vaguely flowed out of Li Yao’s eyes. He raised his hands and released Neltharion, which had been heavily modified by him. The magical equipment entered stealth mode instantly and observed the earth from the sky hundreds of meters from the ground.
The surface of Spider Den was enshrouded in smoke and dust. The ground near Capital Nest seemed to have been hit by hundreds of meteor showers. Steams and smoke were popping up nonstop from the pits. The colorful smoke did not vanish until a long time later, as if it had been frozen. On the top, the smoke dispersed into what seemed to be mushrooms, making them look like a weird forest.
When the ‘shooting stars’ passed the sky, hundreds of sword auras and pillars of light rose from the ground and darted toward the ‘shooting stars’. A certain defense rune array seemed to be functioning.
However, the trajectories of the ‘shooting stars’ were extremely unsteady, and they were as unpredictable as dry leaves in a blowing wind. Besides, there were defense rune arrays outside of the ‘shooting stars’, too. Even when they were hit by the sword auras on the ground occasionally, they would continue smashing at the ground without being damaged after ripples of light spread out over their surface.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Countless shooting stars hit the ground and raised a sand storm hundreds of meters high.
Soon, clattering noises echoed inside the sandstorm. A silver metal torrent flooded out of the sandstorm and blossomed like a flower into the various tunnels of Capital Nest.
Grand Illusionary Soldiers!
Li Yao pupils constricted violently. From the perspective of Neltharion, he could clearly see that the metal torrent was made of silver war puppets with limbs, a head, and everything. But they were all no higher than two meters. It was unlikely that they were crystal suits. The only possibility was that they were the Grand Illusionary Soldiers!
The Grand Illusionary Soldiers that had been dispatched for the battle were completely different from the prototypes that Li Yao had seen in the Meeting of the Next Millennium five years ago.
They were apparently better made. The rune arrays carved on their bodies were more elegant and glamourous. Illuminated by the setting sun, brilliance was flowing on them, indicating that they were made of more advance materials, too.
The Grand Illusionary Soldiers have been deployed to assault Spider Den, and the Temple of Immortals and the space pirates are actually the defenders now. It seems that the Immortal Cultivators are in a bad position.
A lot of the Cultivators’ warships must have gathered near Spider Den.
The Grand Illusionary Soldiers required the Spiritual Nexus to be connected to the enormous database of the Grand Illusionary Group in order to achieve their best performance. Based on Li Yao’s knowledge five years ago, there was no Spiritual Nexus in the Spider Den Space Zone.
Therefore, quite a few crystal warships of the Cultivators must have gathered in space and established a temporary network as its nodes.
The Immortal Army and the space pirates in various directions of Capital Nest, noticing that the Grand Illusionary Soldiers had invaded, lunged out and fought the intruders hard.
The Grand Illusionary Soldiers are quite strong.Li Yao observed the situation calmly.
Compared with the prototypes five years ago, the Grand Illusionary Soldiers today moved more agilely and had abundant tactical choices. Li Yao noticed that they frequently performed the classical moves of the best Exos as if actual humans were controlling the metal puppets.
Common Grand Illusionary Soldiers could resist the bombardment of crystal cannons head-on almost five times. For the Grand Illusionary Soldiers, which were more eye-catching in color and protected by multiple layers of spiritual shields, they could even be on par with the space pirates in the Building Foundation Stage during the battle.
It will indeed be terrifying if there are a million such warriors!
Li Yao continued climbing upwards, searching for a suitable target.
Very soon, he found a burning building and a few dead bodies on the ground nearby.
Li Yao opened his fingers. His spiritual energy surged out like a tide and forced the bodies to float in midair.
He moved his fingers quickly. The crystal suits on the few bodies were dissected into the most basic components after a ‘huala’ sound.
Tens of thousands of components formed a tornado in the air and swirled rapidly.
Li Yao curled his finger. The tornado of components moved toward him and wreathed him. After a period of clattering sounds, a brand-new crystal suit was assembled, and the redundant components darted out automatically into the rocks like bullets in earsplitting noises.
His left hand behind him casually, Li Yao extended his right index finger. A brilliant sun was soon shining on his finger.
Immense spiritual waves were spreading out of the light ball, which was soon perceived by the Grand Illusionary Soldiers.
They were like a group of sharks that had smelt a drop of blood.
Seven Grand Illusionary Soldiers immediately lunged at him.
Li Yao shook his right hand. The light ball of spiritual energy vanished into thin air. The surface of his crystal suit was covered in a thin spiritual shield, and he simply allowed the Grand Illusionary Soldiers to barrage him.
He discovered that the Grand Illusionary Soldiers were made of teams of seven. Every team had roles such as remote attackers, melee fighters, snipers, and tanks. The teamwork was neat and flawless, indicating that they had been well-trained.
The specifications of the temporarily assembled crystal suit plummeted like a thermometer that had been broken.
Bathed in the sword auras and the bombardment of spiritual energy, Li Yao noted every perceivable change, deep in thought.
In less than half a minute, the crystal suit on his body had been riddled with holes and was on the brink of destruction.
Some of the crystal cannons hit the parts of his skin that were exposed to the air, but it seemed that they had missed their target since there was absolutely no damage at all.
The combat data has mostly been collected.
Li Yao extended his right hand again and snapped his index finger.
A streak of whiteness darted out of his fingernails and blew up the head of a Grand Illusionary Soldier instantly before it marched to the next one.
It was not until the heads of three Grand Illusionary Soldiers were blown up that a high-pitched noise was echoing above the battlefield.
What is their internal structure?
Li Yao opened his right hand and pressed down. The remaining four Grand Illusionary Soldiers seemed to be suppressed by an invisible mountain. However many sparks were bursting out of their joints, they could not move forward even one step.
Hundreds of spiritual threads emerged like vipers on Li Yao’s right hand. They slithered toward one of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers. They circled around the Grand Illusionary Soldier three times before they found the first gap.
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
Li Yao’s spiritual threads flew up and down around the Grand Illusionary Soldier. Five minutes later, the Grand Illusionary Soldier was dismantled into the most fundamental components.
The structure is quite precise. The designs of five classical crystal suits have been borrowed from. The key components are all made of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures. Quite a piece of magical equipment. It must have consumed a lot of resources, though.
Li Yao’s eyes were like two crystal cameras with extremely high resolutions. The loose components were transformed into microstructural designs and saved in his brain.
In the same way, he dismantled the rest of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers that were designed for different purposes.
According to the different tactical purposes, the sniper, the melee fighter, and the heavy firepower Grand Illusionary Soldiers boast different designs. The commander has a strengthened telepathic thought reception rune array attached to its crystal processor, which ensures that enough information can be received even if the Spiritual Nexus is unstable, and it can share the information with its ‘subordinates’.
Li Yao held his right hand. All the components floating in midair were pressed together by the invisible spiritual energy as if they were plasticine. They were crumbled and crushed until they became a big, smooth iron ball.
Watching the iron ball falling into the deepest part of a mining hole, Li Yao was deep in thought.It seems that the technology in the Grand Illusionary Soldiers has significantly improved in the past five years. Such a team of Grand Illusionary Soldiers may mean little for the Cultivator above the Core Formation Stage, but they can pose a huge threat for common Cultivators.
If there are enough of them, say, ten thousand, even a Core Formation Stage Cultivator would have a headache.
Also, since those Grand Illusionary Soldiers have been deployed for battles publicly, they are perhaps not the best weapons under Xiao Xuance’s control. Chances are that he is manufacturing even stronger Grand Illusionary Soldiers in secret!
Li Yao roamed the battlefield in the ragged crystal suit, looking for a suitable target to interrogate. He was desperate to know what had happened in the outside world exactly during his five years of training below the ground.
He did not intend to capture an ordinary space pirate, because they were merely cannon fodder and had no access to inside information.
He did not want to capture the soldiers of the Immortal Army, either. Those Immortal Cultivators might know much more information, but they were also the most fervent zealots and would not tell him the information he needed easily.
Soon, he found a perfect target.
It was a team of space pirates with a battle emblem of a bloody raindrop, which was a sign of the Storm Prison Pirate Gang, on their crystal suits.
Since Fengyu Zhong was designated by the Temple of Immortals as the new ruler of space pirates, his subordinates must know more than other people do.
The space pirate in the lead is in the peak of the Building Foundation Stage. He must be one of the core members in the Storm Prison Pirate Gang.
It shall be him!
Li Yao moved forward and turned into a streak of brightness. When he accelerated, the whole world seemed to be frozen by a cluster of invisible glue. The Immortal Army, the space pirates, and the Grand Illusionary Soldiers were suddenly slowed down, and he was the only one that retained the high speed!
When Li Yao reached the center of the battlefield, the ragged crystal suit on his body had long been shattered, but his target was a muscular man more than two meters tall, more than 2.5 meters tall including his heavy crystal suit.
However, Li Yao snatched the neck of the space pirate with his right hand only and dragged him off the battlefield without any trouble!