Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
A slim, indifferent-looking Immortal Cultivator spoke up. “Calm down. Calm down. Has it ever occurred to you that everything might be a trap that is luring us to step in?
“The five or so bodyguards that Si Koulie always brings with him are all in the Core Formation Stage. Two of them are even at the peak of it
“Although Si Koulie is not a battle-type Cultivator, he is in the Nascent Soul Stage after all. If he really engages in a fight, I believe that it will not be difficult for him to wield the combat ability of the beginning level of the Core Formation Stage.
“Together with Bai Xinghe, who is also in the Nascent Soul Stage, it is going to be a great mess and require a lot of hands if we want to take all of them down without alarming anybody.
“If the assassination fails, the Second Imperium will likely be exposed!”
His words put his outraged companions deep in thought.
A moment later, another Immortal Cultivator frowned and said, “What if it is not a trap?
“What if the crucial evidence does exist and falls into the hands of Si Koulie, and he sets the whole thing to public in the morale-boosting rally? By then, the attack on Spider Den might be postponed or even cancelled. The investigation into the CEO and the Grand Illusionary Group will be a hundred times more rigorous than last time!
“At worst, the CEO might be stripped of his mandate, locked up, and tried!
“We have prepared for this day for decades. Right now, the arrow is already on the bow. Many fellow Cultivators are all set in various battlefields. We cannot afford a thorough investigation!”
Xiao Xuance raised his hands. An invisible aura surged out of his body and blew away the messy discussion.
All the Immortal Cultivators were dazed briefly, but their anxiety was more or less relieved.
Xiao Xuance took a deep breath. His eyes became as clear as a brook and as deep as an ocean again as he said calmly, “You’ve all got a point, fellow Cultivators. We are now faced with two possibilities.
“The first possibility is that everything Bai Xinghe said is true, and he does have evidence to prove that I’m guilty.
“If so, we must annihilate him and Si Koulie as well as the four bodyguards during their meeting!
“Two assassination squads may not be enough for the task if we want everything to be done neatly. I will have to take action in person!
“However, there’s a second possibility.
“Everything might just be a trap. Si Koulie might have grown suspicious of me and tested me together with Bai Xinghe on purpose. If I really take action in person, I will fall into their trap!
“If that is the case, then our best strategy is to stay calm and pretend that we know nothing about it.
“Si Koulie will not have solid evidence in his hands if that’s the case. Otherwise, he could have accused me in front of the leadership of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City.
“Because of the lack of evidence, he cannot accuse me as it would lead to internal strife in the world of Cultivators. Nor does he have any reason to stop the battle of Spider Den!
“Only one of the two possibilities is right.
“If we make the right choice, the Second Imperium will thrive unstoppably!
“If we make the wrong one, our cause will suffer a heavy blow, and the civilization of mankind of the Flying Star Sector will continue sinking into the darkness of disunity for another thousand years!”
Several Cultivators shouted excitedly, “Let us do the job! If we fail, we will sacrifice ourselves for our belief. We will not expose our origins or you!”
“It’s useless,” said Xiao Xuance as he shook his head. “If an assassination takes place, it will be obvious that the conversation between Si Koulie and Bai Xinghe was overheard. The battle of Spider Den will be put off indefinitely until the force is uprooted.
“Fellow Cultivator Yuchi was right about one thing. Many of our Fellow Cultivators have initiated our plan in their posts. The bullets are out of the barrels, and the sharp blades have already been unsheathed. It is impossible to take them back without letting them taste blood!
“Fellow Cultivators, stay calm for a moment. Let me think for three minutes.
“I will sort through the detail of the whole incident from the beginning to the end and see if I can find a fatal loophole!”
Xiao Xuance fell silent after finishing his last words. Even his skin turned gray, as if he were a dull statue.
All the Immortal Cultivators held their breath and clenched their fists while they stared at their leader quietly.
Two minutes and fifty-nine seconds later, Xiao Xuance’s frozen eyes suddenly flickered. Two streams of brilliances beamed out, like the flames of spiritual energy spurting out when the main gun of a crystal warship was launched!
All the Immortal Cultivators felt as if Xiao Xuance was like a saber that had been unsheathed abruptly after being sealed for a long time. His aura dominated the entire room!
Every Cultivator felt their blood boiling, ready for a great fight!
“I’ve made up my mind.”
Xiao Xuance looked around and said, his every word sounded like a barrage of the main gun of Heavenly Phantom, “Immortal Cultivators, for the sake of the civilization of mankind, let’s take action!”
An hour and a half later, at 20:07:44…
Although the light beams on the artificial dome displayed a sky of stars, the neon lights, flashing rune arrays, and advertisement bulletin boards inside the tenth space ring still illuminated the forest of skyscrapers. It was truly a sleepless city.
The streets were packed with people who were cheering on their parade. The enormous light beams on the skyscrapers were displaying the latest promotional videos for a movie.
The movie had been produced by the Grand Illusionary Group at the cost of more than three billion, and it was predicted to be one of the best films of the year. It told the story of everything about the Grand Illusionary Soldier Project. The name of the movie was ‘New Era’.
It was said that Xiao Xuance, the CEO of the Grand Illusionary Group, had personally come up with the name.
The northwest part of the tenth space ring was an industrial zone.
In the arrival of the extraterrestrial devils five years ago, it had been one of the most severely-struck districts. A lot of debris and scrap still remained uncleared after five years. It was a rarely-seen desolate area of the tenth space ring.
At the center of the northwest district stood a building of more than thirty floors. If was half built, and there were spiritual energy transmission tubes and scaffolding on the outer walls everywhere. But all the floors had nothing except for the framework. Against the dark night sky, the whole building looked like a hollow skeleton.
“CEO, Si Koulie’s shuttle has flown into the skyscraper directly. Other than the four bodyguards in the Core Formation Stage, he did not bring anybody else.”
Since they had received the intelligence in advance, the assassination squad of the Immortal Cultivators had hidden themselves in the high towers and debris around the Complex Star Plaza earlier.
Due to the urgency, they did not have enough time to deploy complicated rune arrays, but through secret channels, they had shipped three super-heavy crystal cannons, whose bombardment equal to the full-strength strike of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, to this place.
The three super-heavy crystal cannons were all aimed at the Complex Star Plaza.
The falsified evidence had been set up, too. If the Cultivators investigated the evidence that had been left on purpose, they would find out that the assassination was another dying struggle of the Temple of Immortals.
The people who volunteered to be sacrificed had been selected, too. They were indeed from ‘Spider’s Thorn’, an assassins’ organization on Spider Den.
Xiao Xuance monitored the situation inside the Complex Star Plaza through a telescope that boasted penetrative and night-viewing functions.
He saw that Si Koulie had left his four bodyguards on various floors of the plaza and ascended to the tenth floor by himself.
As for the man suspected to be Bai Xinghe, the Immortal Cultivators had followed him closely ever since he left the hotel.
His every movement, including the process in which he set up an array inside the Complex Star Plaza, had been seen clearly.
“Our enemies consist of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator whose soul is unstable, a non-battle-type Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, two in the peak of the Core Formation Stage, and two in the middle level of the Core Formation Stage.
“Our backups include one in the high level of the Nascent Soul Stage, four in the peak of the Core Formation Stage, nine in the beginning and middle level of the Core Formation Stage, all of whom are adept at assassination, and three super-heavy crystal cannons.
“For this operation, the three super-heavy crystal cannons will open fire first with the hope of seriously wounding Bai Xinghe, the most threatening Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator for us. Then, those in the Nascent Soul Stage and the peak of the Core Formation Stage who are adept at mental attacks will hunt Bai Xinghe together!
“Everybody else will harass Si Koulie and his four bodyguards. More importantly, interferences of the highest level must be imposed. The connection between them and the outside world must be cut off. Their telepathic thoughts are not to be sent out!
“When the Nascent Soul Stage expert on our side finishes Bai Xinghe, he will return and take care of everybody else!
“If everything goes well, the battle will be concluded in thirty seconds!”
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
The operation plan was sent to every Immortal Cultivator’s crystal processor. All the Immortal Cultivators were emotionless, with the dim brightness of the light beams glimmering in their eyes.
“Synchronize the time on your light beams,” Xiao Xuance said softly in the communication channel. “Right now, it is 20:12:35. The ‘Dragon Slaying Operation’ will be activated at 20:15 sharp!”
All the Cultivators’ breathing became lighter and lighter. Their hearts were beating along with the changing time on the light beams.
20:14:30… 20:14:40… 20:14:50…
The three super-heavy crystal cannons lurking the darkness had all been filled with spiritual energy. Every rune array on the body of the cannons was flowing as if they were alive, giving a feeling that they were butterflies that had crawled out of their cocoons.
Inside the Complex Star Plaza, Si Koulie was standing on the same level as Bai Xinghe. They were confronting each other in silence.
58… 59… It was 20:15 sharp!
Xiao Xuance’s bellow came over in the communication channel. “The Dragon Slaying Operation begins now!”
Shua! Shua! Shua!
Three torrents of flame spurted out of the barrels of the super-heavy cannons like a volcano eruption. Due to the disguise of special rune arrays, the three torrents were as lackluster as the bleeding sun at dusk. They did not raise any sound when they darted through the air.
However, when they hit the middle part of the Complex Star Plaza, the entire skyscraper was like an icy block that met magma or a tower of sand that collided into a tide. It melted and collapsed instantly!
“Immortal Cultivators, attack!”
Xiao Xuance was as quick as a lightning. He dashed into the building almost the moment the crystal cannons hit the plaza. The other assassins were not as fast as him, but they were closer to the building and had already started moving when the crystal cannons were still preparing.
Therefore, the moment the building collapsed, dozens of streaks of brightness stabbed into the dissecting plaza like sharp sabers!