The conclusion raised a minor riot among the Immortal Cultivators.
However, the real Immortal Cultivators’ nerves and will had been quenched and were as tough as steel after dozens of years of underground fights. Even a situation a hundred times more dangerous would not even slightly shake their firm belief.
Everybody’s expression remained unchanged. They held their breath and waited for more information.
Expressionlessly, Xiao Yushan continued. “The range of the Great Pagoda VII communicator is not very large. It can only cover an asteroid at best and cannot support long-distance communication across space zones.
“However, as large as Heavenly Saints City may be, it is still smaller than an asteroid. The Great Pagoda VII can cover every corner of this place.
“Therefore, the mysterious expert believed to be Bai Xinghe is very likely to start a secret conversation with somebody, or a certain organization, in Heavenly Saints City. The conversation will be of paramount importance.
“Right now, he is faced with another problem, which is to give one of the Great Pagoda VII communicators to the target he wants to talk to.
“The problem is not hard to solve. Although the Great Pagoda VII is large and heavy, since he has quite a few Cosmos Rings with him, he can store one of the Great Pagoda VII communicators in his Cosmos Ring and hide the Cosmos Ring in ordinary goods. Then, he can ship the goods to Heavenly Saints City by express delivery.
“Every day, the number of the packages going in and out of Heavenly Saints City is astronomical. Neither us nor the Cultivators have the capability to scrutinize every package. Moreover, the target might have sent hundreds of similar packages to confuse us.
“Therefore, the Great Pagoda VII communicator will probably reach the person he wants to speak to. We cannot stop him.
“This is the most likely identity, the route of his escape from the Spider Den Space Zone, the approaches he adopted, and part of the purposes of the mysterious expert wearing the Dragon King Battlesuit.
“After a comprehensive analysis on the information we’ve gathered so far, we have determined that the man is extremely dangerous. There is an 88% likelihood that the man is targeting us. But it remains unclear whether he is targeting the ‘Temple of Immortals’, our disguise, or the ‘Second Imperium’, the organization of the real Immortal Cultivators.
“With all that in mind, the command center of the Dragon Slaying Operation has come up with the following countermeasures.
“Firstly, by tomorrow morning, we will get two Great Pagoda VII communicators.
“The refiners in our organization will run the most thorough research on the magical equipment and learn its mode of transmission and the features of its signals. They will also produce magical equipment that can search for and lock onto other Great Pagoda VII communicators as quickly as possible.
“The Great Pagoda VII is a piece of civil magical equipment. It is not very complicated. The experts in our organization have read the designs. By preliminary analysis, all the work can be done within five days.
“By then, as long as the target activates the Great Pagoda VII communicator in range of Heavenly Saints City, we will sense and lock onto it within several seconds. We will also be able to interject and analyze the content of the conversation so that we know what they are up to.
“Secondly, all things considered, there is a 90% likelihood, or even higher, that the mysterious expert is Bai Xinghe’s reincarnation.
“Although Bai Xinghe was in the Nascent Soul Stage, his soul was heavily wounded five years ago. There is no way that he could have regained the capability of the Nascent Soul Stage after possessing a body for only five years.
“With that in mind, the organization is hurrying to refine a batch of magical equipment for soul attacks and summoning experts who are adept at soul attack into the Dragon Slaying Operation. We are hoping that we can kill the target and relieve all our worries in one attempt when the moment comes.
“Thirdly, the space zones that Bai Xinghe set foot in have been ascertained. Assuming that he is marching toward Heavenly Saints City without rest, the date of his arrival and the mostly likely route are both estimative.
“Millions of tourists enter Heavenly Saints City every day. Over the past few months, because of the upcoming final battle, the leadership and the high officials of the major sects of the entire Flying Star Sector have been coming to Heavenly Saints City for the rally. The population is ten times greater than usual. We cannot keep everybody on our grid.
“However, if we are sure about the time of the target’s arrival and the likely route, the range of our surveillance can be greatly reduced. Chances are that we can lock onto him as soon as he shows up!
“Fourthly, Bai Xinghe is coming to Heavenly Saints City after such a long journey. There is no way that he is going to speak to a Mr. Nobody. The person he means to talk to must have high prestige and be very influential in the world of Cultivators.
“In the Flying Star Sector nowadays, only the leaders of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City, the officials of the Star Fighters’ Alliance, the heads of the Glorious Sunlight Group, and the representatives of Iron Plateau meet such requirements. There are not too many of them.
“Therefore, while we are searching for Bai Xinghe, we cannot stop monitoring them!
“Fifthly, and most importantly, all the analysis and speculations we made are possibly incorrect. Everything may be a trap!”
All the Immortal Cultivators were listening attentively, only to be baffled by his statement.
Xiao Xuance patted Xiao Yushan’s shoulder and gestured for the young Immortal Cultivator to sit down. “Everything we have discussed is 80% likely to be solidly grounded.
“There is another 20% likelihood that everything is incorrect. The target might not be Bai Xinghe. There might not be a Dragon King Battlesuit at all.
“The worst case-scenario is that the ‘Second Imperium’ has been exposed. Or at least, the Cultivators have grown suspicious about the Grand Illusionary Soldier Project. They are testing us in such a way to make us reveal our own loopholes in the haste.
“Therefore, I must repeat myself. Everybody must obey the orders. Nobody is to act on their own. Do not overreact until the last moment.
Xiao Xuance paused for a moment. A dangerous, palpable aura flowed out of his every pore and formed a solid armor around his body.
“Right now, the likelihood that we will have to carry out Plan B has significantly increased.
“Everybody must be prepared. The battle might not go as well as we imagined. It is very likely to be a bitter one where many people will die, their souls perishing forever.
“However, eventually, on the land dyed red by the blood of the martyrs, a new, great nation, one that can lead the civilization of mankind to its prime again, will rise!
“Nobody can stop the rise of the Second Imperium. Not the Cultivators. Nor the ‘Bai Xinghe’, or whoever he is!
“This is the brief on the progress of the Dragon Slaying Operation so far. In a moment, everybody’s task will be sent to your crystal processor.
“For the renaissance of our civilization, let’s work hard together, Fellow Cultivators!
A slender Immortal Cultivator, who had a resolute face, stood up and asked, “According to the calculation of the organization, when will Bai Xinghe reach Heavenly Saints City?”
“In ten days, the four backup star beacons will be shipped to the periphery of the Spider Den Space Zone,” Xiao Xuance replied. “After another three to five days of debugging, the space gate will be totally repaired.
“When the hundred star beacons are gathered, the dazzling spiritual waves released will be like a lighthouse in a dark night. Every space zone in the Flying Star Sector will be illuminated.
“By then, the Cultivators, crystal warships, and Grand Illusionary Soldiers in every space zone will jump to the Spider Den Space Zone for the final battle.
“The morale-boosting rally will be held in fifteen days’ time in Heavenly Saints City.
“After the rally, the strongest forces of every space zone will jump to the Spider Den Space Zone at the same time. That will be the dawn of the imperium!
“As for Bai Xinghe, he is likely to sneak into Heavenly Saints City three days before the rally, in other words, twelve days from today!”
Thirteen days later, in the tenth space ring of Heavenly Saints City, a middle-aged man, who was wearing a black wind coat and carrying an old suitcase, was walking slowly on the streets of the central business district, which was packed with people.
Fatigue of a long journey still lingered on his face, but his beard had been shaved clean. The fragrant jade bracelet on his wrist was emanating refreshing smell.
He looked like a commonly-seen merchant who had come to Heavenly Saints City from another space zone for business
However, when teams of Grand Illusionary Soldiers strode past him in neat formations, there was a hint of worry and anxiety in the deepest part of the plain-looking eyes.
After five years, Li Yao had finally returned to Heavenly Saints City.
Heavenly Saints City was the economical, administrational, cultural, and military center of the Flying Star Sector.
The second Battle of Spider Den to be fought very soon would be the biggest war of the Flying Star Sector in the past five hundred years. As the center of the Flying Star Sector, it was naturally the biggest rally point of the armed forces.
All the available soldiers and crystal warships of Heavenly Saints City and the few space zones nearby would congregate here and jump to the Spider Den Space Zone together.
The first impression when Li Yao returned to Heavenly Saints City was that it had become an out-and-out military camp. Soldiers and trucks could be seen everywhere, and killing intent was rising nonstop.
Before he entered the space port, he had already seen thousands of crystal warships gathering in the periphery of Heavenly Saints City through the window of his carrier.
The fleet was in such an enormous scale that even the sky and the sun were eclipsed. Even if a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator showed up in front of the fleet, they would inevitably panic and feel dwarfed.
When he entered the tenth space ring, he saw countless Cultivators and Grand Illusionary Soldiers striding toward the space ports boarding on the crystal warships, cheered and applauded by the crowds, all set to go.
During the arrival of extraterrestrial devils five years ago, the tenth space ring had ended up being a kingdom of devils. Residents here hated the space pirates’ and the Immortal Cultivators’ guts. They were the most enthusiastic supporters of the war.
“March to Spider Den! Blood for blood!”
On the streets and valleys of the tenth space ring, colorful light beams were flashing above the heads of the hotblooded young men, indicating their excitement and the passion of the entire city.