As dozens of Immortal Cultivators dashed into the Complex Star Plaza, nine rune arrays in the three hundred square meters nearby hummed together like wild butterflies. Rays of light soared into the sky like the fireworks for a festival.
Although they were dazzling, many other places were igniting firecrackers for celebration in the night of joy. The flashing flames did not catch anyone’s attention.
However, when the colorful flames reached the highest point, they condensed together and formed a fully-enclosing light beam that descended like an upside-down bowl and covered the entire Complex Star Plaza!
The real Complex Star Plaza was collapsing fast.
However, the illusion that the light beam presented was normal and peaceful. There were no quakes, noises, or dust at all. The Complex Star Plaza was still standing on the ground solidly.
It was a special array that could block all kinds of waves. Not only would the sounds and quakes be retained inside, the signals of the Spiritual Nexus and the telepathic thoughts of the Cultivators could not be sent out, either.
The Complex Star Plaza had been severed from the outside world!
When Xiao Xuance charged into the building, the middle part of the building completely collapsed. The floors above that had remained intact buckled and blew away the foundations of the building like a giant bomb.
Inside the area that was blocked, the earth was shaking, and smoke was rising everywhere.
Searching for a target in such an environment was like fishing for a needle in an ocean.
However, Xiao Xuance and all the other Immortal Cultivators taking part in the operation were experts adept at assassination. Before the bombardment, they had calculated where the target might be after the building collapsed precisely!
More than ten streams of flames spurted out of Xiao Xuance’s crystal suit as he locked onto Bai Xinghe after a series of dazzling small-scale movements!
Before he launched his first mental attack, Bai Xinghe had vanished into the depths of the smoke at a speed much higher than he had expected, like an unpredictable cloud, giving the feeling that he had not been affected by the bombardment at all.
Xiao Xuance suddenly felt greatly alarmed.
The bombardment of three super-heavy cannons should have at least dealt some damage to a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, even if they could not kill him instantly.
Besides, Xiao Xuance had added a lot of rune arrays for mental attacks to the three super-heavy crystal cannons.
For a man who had possessed a new body and did not have a stable soul, the bombardment should have been the heaviest shock. He should have been stunned for a second or two even if he was not wounded!
How did Bai Xinghe run away so fast?
Xiao Xuance’s nose twitched quickly. His pupils constricted, and his temples seemed hollow.
He had sensed the scent of the residues of crystals and the remaining spiritual waves after a large-scale rune array functioned.
But the large-scale rune array was not the ‘Gold Horn Soul Poisoning Array’, which could boost the consequences of the Blood Oath, but a certain defense rune array, one of the highest level that would cost a great number of crystals!
Bai Xinghe pretended that he was deploying the Gold Horn Soul Poisoning Array, while in fact he set up a defense rune array that could protect two people at the center of the false array, which helped him to resist the bombardment of the super-heavy crystal cannons!
The two rune arrays were of completely different qualities and could in no way overlap, which meant that the Gold Horn Soul Poisoning Array did not exist at all. It was just a disguise.
In that moment, Xiao Xuance thought everything through.
He did not curse, nor did he waste any second in regretting. Instead, he simply accelerated to his maximum speed, trying to run away from the other side of the collapsing skyscraper!
But there was no time!
Several screams echoed in the smoke below him, followed by the sounds of crystal suits being broken and bones being fractured. All of the sounds came from the Immortal Cultivators that Xiao Xuance was most familiar with.
Then, five intimidating auras soared up into the sky and locked onto Xiao Xuance in less than 0.1 seconds!
Xiao Xuance could only come to an abrupt halt.
One meter further, and the five aggressive auras would have launched a critical strike at him simultaneously!
Even though he was in the high level of the Nascent Soul Stage and was known as the best expert of the Flying Star Sector, it was impossible for him to resist the full-strength strikes of five Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators!
Very soon, five crystal suits that were in different shapes but equally daunting slowly revealed themselves in the smoke and surrounded Xiao Xuance from various directions.
Outside of them, almost twenty Immortal Cultivators that were not dead yet were floating in midair, too. They stared at their ‘prey’ in bewilderment, not having the first clue why the bodyguards who were supposed to be in the Core Formation Stage were so strong!
The stone, rebar, and cement fell on the crystal suits like a meteor shower, only to be blown into pieces by the surging spiritual energy.
The Immortal Cultivators and the Cultivators stood in midair, confronting each other in silence in the undying smoke.
Although the five people surrounded him were wearing crystal suits and he could not see their faces, Xiao Xuance still distinguished who they were quickly, because the crystal suits of the super experts were often specially modified or even tailor-made. Also, the unique spiritual waves of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator helped him to determine who they were, too.
“Liao Huagu of the Furious Bears Union!
“Zhuge Ci of the Silver Moon Can!
“Master Empty Cicada of the Burning Sun Alliance!
“And you, too, Luo Xingzi of the Feathered Snakes Brotherhood, my good junior brother!”
In the circle of Cultivators, the names of the four experts were among the most influential ones. They were the life goals for many Cultivators.
They were all the deputy leaders or elders of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City, as well as battle-type Cultivators in the Nascent Soul Stage!
However, Xiao Xuance’s eyes did not stop for long on the four Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators. Very soon, he gazed at the fifth person on the spot, as if the guy who was coughing slightly right now was his real opponent.
A layer of ever-surging black smoke covered the fifth person’s crystal suit and concealed most of the details.
However, the six artificial limbs protruded out of his back that looked like dragons exposed who he was.
“Bai Xinghe,” Xiao Xuance said softly, one word after another.
Li Yao chuckled in amusement as response.
“So, this is really a trap?” Xiao Xuance said casually. “Bai Xinghe showed up on purpose to attract my attention. He let me discover that he stole two Great Pagoda VII communicators and lured me into eavesdropping on your conversation. But everything has been a scheme since the beginning.
“Si Koulie’s four bodyguards swapped identities with the four experts of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City a long time ago. Let me see. Maybe it was last night. When you were discussing the rearrangement of the transportation plan in the hall of the Meeting of Next Millennium, the four experts disguised themselves as the four bodyguards and left with Si Koulie. Then, you came to the Complex Star Plaza together, didn’t you?
“Hehe. What a pity. I should have attended the meeting yesterday. If I did, I would have seen through your disguise instantly.
“But I was too busy tracking Bai Xinghe and only asked my deputies to participate on my behalf.
“It seems that Bai Xinghe doesn’t have any proof, does he? But me showing up here right now has offered you the best proof!
“There’s just one thing that I don’t understand. Bai Xinghe is an infamous bandit. How did he persuade you into setting up such a trap when he did not have any evidence? Junior Brother, even you are part of the scheme. Why?”
Amidst the raging smoke, the sixth crystal suit slowly rose up. It was Si Koulie, the leader of the Star Fighters’ Alliance, who was the bait in the trap.
Hiding behind Luo Xingzi, a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator from the Feathered Snakes Brotherhood, he said coldly, “Give it up, Xiao Xuance. We know what you are thinking about!
“You want to buy yourself more time so that your accomplices on Heavenly Phantom in the central area of Heavenly Saints City can take action.
“It’s useless. You are not the only guys who know how to set up barriers. At exactly the moment of the assassination, an even larger array was unfolded and covered the one square kilometer around the plaza. All the telepathic thoughts and signals of the Spiritual Nexus in the area are being jammed indiscriminately!
“Whatever commands you have, you will not be able to send them out!
“In the meantime, at least five Cultivators in the Nascent Soul Stage and more than ten in the peak of the Core Formation Stage are now marching toward the tenth space ring with the elites of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City and the Star Fighters’ Alliance!
“As for the headquarters of the Grand Illusionary Group, your nest, and Heavenly Phantom, your flagship, they are now being taken over by a special squad of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City!
“You must have thought that we could not respond to changes when all the messages were cut off, mustn’t you? But it never occurred to you that the loss of messages was also a message!
“Before we set up the trap, we had made a deal with the experts of the six sects of Heavenly Saints City, the Star Fighters’ Alliance, and the Glorious Sunlight Group. We would send a message to them every other second.
“If they did not receive any messages after three seconds, then something was wrong! They would enter the headquarters of the Grand Illusionary Group and board the Heavenly Phantom immediately!
“Therefore, it doesn’t matter that you want to buy yourself more time because time is now on our side!”
Xiao Xuance was silent for a long time. He exhaled for a long time and smiled bitterly. “I have no words to say about my misjudgment. I only want to know this. Why did you believe in Bai Xinghe?”
Si Koulie shook his head and said, “You’re wrong. It was not Bai Xinghe that we trusted, but the Glorious Sunlight Group and Iron Plateau.
“I don’t know how Bai Xinghe convinced the Glorious Sunlight Group and the heads of Iron Plateau, but Professor Mo Xuan of the Glorious Sunlight Group yesterday declared non-confidence in you, the commander in chief, and demanded a ‘test’ for you before the final battle on behalf of the Glorious Sunlight Group, the Great Horn Exo Society, and the several chiefs of Iron Plateau.
“If the requirements were not met, the Glorious Sunlight Group, the Great Horn Exo Society, and Iron Plateau would withdraw from the final battle unilaterally.
“It was quite a big deal. The six sects of Heavenly Saints City and the Star Fighters’ Alliance could not allow such a thing to happen. Also, the so-called ‘test’ would be absolutely harmless as long as you were innocent.
“More importantly, whether you are an Immortal Cultivator or not, we will be able to capture Bai Xinghe!
“Or rather, Bai Xinghe proposed to turn himself in as long as we ran the test.”
“Turn yourself in?” Xiao Xuance was truly dazed. He turned to Li Yao again and said, “I didn’t know that you were willing to pay such a high price for your revenge!”
Li Yao burst into laughter and replied, “You killed my parents. As long as you are crucified, I can die ten thousand times without complaint!”