Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
It had been seven years since the Temple of Immortals revealed itself. The attitude of the ordinary people in the Flying Star Sector and the Cultivators had undergone drastic changes.
In the beginning, they were stunned, confused, and hesitant. Now, they were determined and confident, to the point that they were almost arrogant.
As victories were secured one after another, especially after the Grand Illusionary Soldiers were deployed to various space zones, the Temple of Immortals had began showing signs of failure. Even the space pirates, which had been quite a hazard before, were gone. Both the ordinary people and the Cultivators had a much higher sense of safety and pride now.
“The second battle of Spider Den will be the last war of the Flying Star Sector!”
“After the battle, Spider Den, the source of darkness of the Flying Star Sector, will be demolished. Also, protected by the Grand Illusionary Soldiers, none of the space towns are likely to be invaded by the extraterrestrial devils anymore.”
“An eternal peace is arriving soon. No more killing, plundering, or sabotaging!”
After Li Yao travelled through almost ten space zones, he had picked up on the optimistic, and sometimes naïve, thoughts from countless people.
As to the outcome of the battle, there was no suspense at all.
Experts and professors were unnecessary. Any random shop assistant, taxi driver, or middle-school student could elaborate on the subject.
“In the first battle of Spider Den five hundred years ago, the fuse was Yan Xinjian’s defection and murders. The six sects of Heavenly Saints City were pissed off. But other than them, the Cultivators of the other space zones were not affected.
“The fleet of the Cultivators was formed in a hurry. Many sects were not trying their best. They were technically loose sand.
“On the space pirates’ side, they had Yan Xinjian, who was familiar with the Cultivators, as the supreme commander. Besides, the connection between Spider Den and the outside world was not cut off. Other than the main battlefield, countless space pirates were still roving in the other space zones and continued bleeding the Cultivators while the defense of their homes was weak. That was one of the reasons the coalition army of the Cultivators retreated in the end.
“The second battle of Spider Den is entirely different.
“The connection between Spider Den and the outside world has basically been cut off. All the space pirates are restrained to Spider Den. They are in lack of medication, ammunition, and supplies; they are simply waiting to be killed.
“But for the Cultivators, we are more united than ever. Every Cultivator in every sect is making the greatest contributions they can.
“More importantly, during the past five years, almost every sect has produced countless Grand Illusionary Soldiers with abundant resources. When the final battle begins, all the Grand Illusionary Soldiers will be gathered in the Spider Den Space Zone as the first echelon. The Cultivators will not march forward and crush the enemy until Spider Den has already been burnt to the ground!
“The Cultivators are sure winners of the fight. The humiliation of the brutal failure five hundred years ago will be cleaned soon!”
It was the prevailing opinion nowadays. From the experts of war on the TV to the clerks at a grocery market, everybody believed that the Cultivators would win the war easily.
Among the crowds in the tenth space ring who were seeing the Cultivators off to the frontline, there was not the slightest solemnness, as if the Cultivators were joining not a battle but a parade.
In many places, festival decorations were already being prepared for the great victory soon to come.
A delighted smile was on every citizen’s face.
Li Yao realized that his heavy mind was out of place compared to the elation of the city. He managed to curl his lips into a rigid smile.
In front of him was the biggest square of the tenth space ring as well as the most populated place.
For a spy who had snuck into Heavenly Saints City in secret, it was a perfectly reasonable decision to wander in the square, which was packed with people, to get rid of the potential followers.
Li Yao moved through the crowd with difficulty while he looked around at the skyscrapers around him.
The walls of the skyscrapers had been covered by a few enormous light beams, which were displaying the news about the final battle.
“This morning, the delegation made of the leaders and the elders of the Pill Cauldron Sect, the Silver Ring Guild, the Ice Cocoon Fortress, and the other four Cultivation sects in the Red Pinewood Space Zone arrived in Heavenly Saints City for the morale-boosting rally.
“Up until now, of the top five hundred Cultivation sects of the Flying Star Sector, 401 have sent their leadership to Heavenly Saints City. It is an unprecedented amalgamation in the five thousand years of history of the Flying Star Sector!
“Ahead of the final battle, the Grand Illusionary Group has publicized the latest models of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers, namely an underground type that is designed to fight in the tunnels of Spider Den, an assault type that can break into the hostile starships and detonate themselves, and a medical type that carries a lot of medical drugs and can serve as a emergency med bay on the battlefield.
“So far, the Grand Illusionary Group has introduced 43 models of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers. The application of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers will reduce the casualties of the Cultivators to the largest extent.
“Ten thousand elites of the qi-trainers will arrive in Heavenly Saints City on the carriers of the Great Horn Exo Society at one o’clock in the afternoon.
“It is well known that the qi-trainers and the Cultivators have developed on their own on with different paths of the cultivation. But in the final battle soon to come, the qi-trainers and the Cultivators will fight side by side. Our blood will be shed together and prove that we are all citizens of the Flying Star Sector!”
Li Yao gazed at the light beams attentively. Without him knowing, he was jostled into a noisy, excited crowd.
It was a bunch of middle-school students with flowers and flags.
They seemed to have just finished the pageant. Many young men had not regained their calmness from their excitement yet. Every pimple on their faces was glittering.
They were yelling and waving their hands crazily, their saliva flying everywhere, as they discussed the final battle to come.
Nobody had any doubts about the outcome, but they were concerned whether or not all the leaders of the Temple of Immortals would be captured.
It was well known that the Temple of Immortals had four leaders, namely the Mountain King, the Sea King, the Black King, and the Lotus King.
However, after seven years of bloody battles, although the Mountain King had been confirmed to be Yan Xibei and the Black King Dark Empyrean, the real identities of the Sea King and the Lotus King remained unclear.
Over the past years, the real identities of the Sea King and the Lotus King had been a heated topic on the street and the Spiritual Nexus.
From the leaders and elders of the major sects, to the old and the weak ordinary people, they all had their opinions.
When Li Yao passed by the students, he happened to see a chubby boy waving his hands shouting excitedly. “In fact, it is not hard to guess who the Lotus King and the Sea King are. The answer is crystal clear as long as we think about it reversely.
“During the seven years of bloody battles after the Temple of Immortals showed up, who has benefited the most? The Glorious Sunlight Group, without a doubt!
“It was an unknown corporation in the beginning, but it has miraculously risen after only seven years to become the most important force except for the six sects of Heavenly Saints City and the Star Fighters’ Alliance. The Glorious Sunlight Group is definitely the greatest beneficiary of the war!
“Therefore, in my opinion, Sand Scorpion, the real controller of the Glorious Sunlight Group, is the Lotus King or the Sea King. He faked his own death during the arrival of the extraterrestrial devils five years ago in order to ease everyone’s alert. In fact, he has been hiding behind the curtain and manipulating everything!”
Li Yao was rendered speechless.
Many of his classmates made a gesture of despise to the little fatty. This was the tenth space ring. Sand Scorpion had died fighting for the residents here and was quite respected by the locals.
“That’s pure nonsense.”
A girl who had freckles all over her face shouted, her hands on her hips, “Sand Scorpion was the best warrior of the six tribes of Iron Plateau and slayed Yan Xibei, the Mountain King, in person. He perished together with ‘Hellsword’ Zhuang Ziyou, a space pirate in the Nascent Soul Stage. How could he be the Sea King or the Lotus King of the Temple of Immortals?
“In my opinion, since the Cultivators have not found out who the Lotus King and the Sea King really are after seven years, they must be the last people in the word to be suspected.
“What kind of person is the least suspected in the world?
“There’s a certain someone that you must’ve never doubted before. Li Yao, who discovered the Temple of Immortals first!
“Haha. You are all dumbfounded and did not see it coming, did you? That’s right. That is exactly what the Temple of Immortals want!
“Just think about it. Wasn’t the appearance of Li Yao, the big hero, quite odd? He was so young, and yet his hands could break into sonic speed. He was excellent at refining, but he was also an experienced Exo. That’s too incredible!
Instead of waiting for the girl to finish her theory, Li Yao curled his lips and left them.
He was not very surprised.
This was not the first time he had heard similar assumptions.
The middle-school students were merely repeating the rumors on the Spiritual Nexus.
After Li Yao returned, he had spent quite a lot of time gathering information regarding the Temple of Immortals on the Spiritual Nexus.
He did not abandon the idea that he should post Xiao Xuance’s scheme on the Spiritual Nexus so that everybody could read it.
Li Yao discovered that somebody had already posted threads declaring that the Grand Illusionary Soldier Project was a big trap and that Xiao Xuance was the Lotus King of the Temple of Immortals as early as five years ago.
Along with such a thread were ‘Si Koulie is the Lotus King, and the Temple of Immortals is just an organization where the smaller sects gather trying to overturn the six major sects of Heavenly Saints City’, ‘Sand Scorpion is the Lotus King, the Temple of Immortals and Iron Plateau are actually the same gang, and Yan Xibei’s death was purely a distraction’, ‘Li Yao is the Lotus King. Otherwise, it is impossible for a young man who appeared out of nowhere to boast such capability’. There were other conspiracy theories.
All theories seemed logical and convincing. They were even supported by plenty of valid, but circumstantial, evidence.
Xiao Xuance, Si Koulie, Sand Scorpion, and Li Yao were not the only suspects who had been accused of being the Lotus King or the Sea King. There were also the leaders and elders of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City, the heads of the Star Fighters’ Alliance, the masters of several famous families of Cultivators, and so on.
In short, almost every famous Cultivator had been suspected of being an Immortal Cultivator.
If the leader or the elder of a certain sect was not suspected of being an Immortal Cultivator, they were sometimes too embarrassed to greet their fellow Cultivators, because it meant that they were too insignificant to be mentioned.
At first, all the sects paid great attention to the accusations and investigated them thoroughly.
Xiao Xuance and his Grand Illusionary Soldier Project was the one with the most valid proofs.
The Grand Illusionary Soldier Project was postponed for half a year, as a result. Even Xiao Xuance himself was almost sent to a special court for trial.
However, after thorough investigation, it was ascertained that the so-called ‘proof’ was actually groundless or made-up. The investigators even traced it back to a special squad of the Immortal Cultivators who were in charge of cyberwarfare inside the Temple of Immortals.
According to their confession, most of the false accusations were made up by them for the purpose of disrupting people’s minds, wasting the Cultivators’ resources, smearing the leaders such as Xiao Xuance or Si Koulie, and even alienating the world of Cultivators from Iron Plateau by vilifying Sand Scorpion.