As a super starship more than thirty kilometers long, Heavenly Phantom boasted an extremely spacious bridge. The tallest section was almost a hundred meters. It was essentially a splendid palace!
On the cabin walls were dense crystal processors that were emitting lackluster brilliance. Like weird eyes, they stared at the intruders without blinking.
The crystal processors were surrounded by defense rune arrays that looked like membranes. They were shivering and shining like bubbles below sunlight. In the rear of the bridge where the star brain was located, more than ten defense rune arrays had been established, drowning the star brain in a mysterious, flowing mist.
At this moment, on the bridge, thousands of Grand Illusionary Soldiers were piled up from the ground into the air neatly in the shape of a cube.
The Grand Illusionary Soldiers were tall, slender and elegantly-designed. Their bodies seemed to be made of white jade, and there was not the slightest incongruity, except for the battle emblem of a burning golden planet that was embedded on the chest.
Li Yao had never seen such delicate, glamorous Grand Illusionary Soldiers before. They were essentially lifeless combinations of machinery and crystals, and yet they were releasing spiritual energy to the surroundings blatantly as if they were intelligent creatures.
The spiritual energy of so many Grand Illusionary Soldiers interweaved into an indestructible cage!
The cage was slowly pushing close to the Cultivators.
Li Yao could not find a trace of Xiao Xuance.
Did I make a mistake? Has Xiao Xuance entered the central area to attack the hall of the Meeting of the Next Millennium instead of staying on Heavenly Phantom to command the battle?
Li Yao was somewhat confused. Logically, it was simply impossible. The star brain was of paramount importance for the Immortal Cultivators. It was unlikely that Xiao Xuance would give up its protection and move somewhere else.
Or, did Xiao Xuance think that the unprecedently strong Grand Illusionary Soldiers were enough to block all the Cultivators?
“Give it up!” Right then, a cold voice came from the broadcasting rune arrays below the skull of a Grand Illusionary Soldier. “You have come a long way from the tenth space ring. You are running out of strength. You are doomed to be drowned by the ocean of Grand Illusionary Soldiers. You do not stand a chance.
“Give up the futile resistance and the meaningless sacrifice.
“We are all the strongest warriors in the lead of the path of evolution. We are the hopes of the civilization of mankind. There is no reason we should attack each other!
“If you surrender now, I will not care about your doings in the past. Even Bai Xinghe can be pardoned. We will work together to build the Imperium of True Human Beings and realize the renaissance of the civilization of mankind. We will fight against the horrifying foreign species in the dark forest side by side!”
Li Yao was suddenly alarmed. He vaguely guessed the tactic that Xiao Xuance had chosen.
Before he opened his mouth, Luo Xingzi, Xiao Xuance’s junior brother, had already roared in the utmost fury, “Shut up!
“Xiao Xuance, you are talking about the civilization of mankind all the time. Greatness, glory, and renaissance. They are indeed high-sounding and righteous!
“But look at what you’ve been doing when you were talking about the rise of the civilization of mankind!
“Seven years ago, in the Skyhill Sword Seminar, you blew up tens of thousands of people through the Temple of Immortals!
“On Iron Plateau, your scheme nearly put Iron Plateau and Heavenly Saints City at loggerheads against each other. Should the civil war have begun, countless innocent people would have lost their family and buried themselves in space!
“Five years ago, in the tenth space ring, the arrival of the extraterrestrial devils, directed by you, resulted in the deaths of more than a hundred thousand people. Even more suffered severe life-changing injuries!
“During the past five years, the crimes that the Immortal Cultivators have committed in the Flying Star Sector are simply too many to count!
“How many innocent victims have been killed by you, the sordid Immortal Cultivators? They were all living souls made of flesh and blood. They were somebody’s father, mother, son, daughter, husband, or wife!
“You filthy bastards used living human beings as chess pieces, as your tools, and as the ‘fuel’ that kept your ambitions burning. Even your own son was killed without any hesitation when the situation demanded it. And you are shameless enough to talk about the civilization of mankind? Damn you!”
The Grand Illusionary Soldier fell silent.
However, not far away, another Grand Illusionary Soldier raised its head, with crimson colors beaming out of its eyes. It commented calmly, “In mankind’s millions of years of glory, what is the difference between the so-called son and a hair? Will you hesitate when you pluck out one of your hairs?”
After saying that, the Grand Illusionary Soldier fell silent, too.
Far away from the two Grand Illusionary Soldiers, a third Grand Illusionary Soldier at a another corner of the cube opened its mouth. “In the boundless sea of stars, in the dark forest where the strong prey upon the weak and only the fittest survive, and in the everlasting war that has been on for billions of years, individuals are absolutely meaningless. Only the civilization of mankind as a whole is invaluable!”
A fourth Grand Illusionary Soldier at the center of the cube continued, its voice piercing through the distance of dozens of meters like a sharp sword, as tough as iron. “Every human being is a cell. When all the cells are gathered, the great civilization of mankind is formed.”
A fifth Grand Illusionary Soldier next to the fourth one went on. “For a living creature, its metabolism, the death and birth of its cells, is the least unusual thing in the world. The weak cells may wither, but they will give place to the cells that are even stronger. Only after countless cycles of metabolism can the creature become stronger.”
A sixth Grand Illusionary Soldier, which was right before the Cultivators, said, “This is the path of evolution! This is the path of immortality! For the immortality of the civilization of mankind, what’s the big deal about sacrificing some tiny cells? Not just millions of people, even if billions of people must be sacrificed, we Immortal Cultivators will be justified and unwavering!”
All the Cultivators failed to come up with a response.
Li Yao was so worried that he was having a headache.
It was not because of Xiao Xuance’s bewildering propaganda, but because he had finally found out the tactic that Xiao Xuance had adopted!
Xiao Xuance was truly sordid enough. He was on Heavenly Phantom, but he was wearing a crystal suit that looked exactly like the Grand Illusionary Soldiers and hiding himself among the thousands of counterfeits!
The thousands of Grand Illusionary Soldiers had become the best camouflage for him.
Since the Cultivators were not able to tell which of them was a Grand Illusionary Soldier and which was the real Xiao Xuance, the Cultivators had to focus all their attention and go at full strength prudently when they were faced with every Grand Illusionary Soldier.
Even for the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, their spiritual energy was still limited. It would be used up very quickly in high-intensity combat.
Before, when they were faced with the Grand Illusionary Soldiers, which were basically expendable, the Core Formation Stage Cultivators and the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators could suppress their strength and fight the battles in a frugal manner.
However, right now, they knew that one of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers was the best expert of the Flying Star Sector. Who dared to preserve their strength anymore?
The cost of one moment of carelessness would probably be their own life!
Li Yao cursed within his heart.Are you kidding me? As the best expert of the Flying Star Sector, he could have crushed the enemy with his muscles. And yet, he is now fighting with his brain. He is really not giving other people any chance at all!
“For the last time.” The thousands of Grand Illusionary Soldiers each raised one finger at the same time. “Is there anybody willing to pledge their loyalty to the Imperium of True Human Beings, and to me, Xiao Xuance?”
All the Cultivators bit their lips hard, as if their tongues had all be cut off.
Luo Xingzi burst into laughter. “Xiao Xuance, save your time! Our beliefs are different. In the eyes of the Cultivators, human beings are just human beings. They are not monkeys or ants, much less cells! As long as there is a single breath in the last Cultivator, they will fight your Imperium of True Human Beings until the end!”
Xiao Xuance sniffed. The giant cube made of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers moved again slowly and drew close to the Cultivators.
“Li Yao, we’ve broken through the first defense line. The virus will be planted very shortly. Not only will it be able to paralyze the star brain, a large batch of Grand Illusionary Soldiers will also fall into our control! Do something and buy us more time!” Professor Mo Xuan shouted in the secret communication channel.
Li Yao shuddered. He suddenly raised his hands high in the posture of surrender and said, “Wait, Xiao Xuance. After hearing what you’ve said, on second thought, I suddenly feel as if you are very reasonable, and I can barely find any rebuttals!
“It’s quite right that every weak human being is just a cell. The death of millions of people is just the loss of a hair or a fingernail for the civilization of mankind. Honestly, we rub off some of our dead skin when we are taking a shower every day, right?
“Therefore, Fellow Cultivator Xiao, I wonder, can you give a little more introduction about your Imperium of True Human Beings? For example, what kind of benefits are there if we join the imperium, what will the constitution of the imperium be when the regime is in place, and what are the ranks of nobility of the imperium? For the men of justice who abandon the darkness for the brightness in the frontline such as myself, can you knight me? Why don’t you tell me about that?”
All the Cultivators looked at Li Yao, dumbfounded.
Li Yao felt as if he heard a feeble curse in the communication channel, too.
All the Grand Illusionary Soldiers, on the other hand, chuckled in amusement.
“Alright.” The Grand Illusionary Soldier in the front extended three fingers and said, “I’ll give you three seconds. Attack any Cultivator with your strongest move sparing no effort, and I will believe your sincerity and introduce to you the future of the Imperium of the True Human Beings in great detail.”
“Huh?” Li Yao was stunned.
“Beep. Time is up. The window is closed!”
All the Grand Illusionary Soldiers unsheathed their sabers, their spiritual energy all bursting out!
The bird that takes the lead is often shot first. Hundreds of intimidating auras locked onto Li Yao at the same time!
Damn you! It’s only been one second!
Li Yao felt like crying. Every time he meant to stall his enemy, his enemy was always smarter than he thought!
The thousands of Grand Illusionary Soldiers shrieked earsplittingly. The soundwaves pierced into the Cultivators’ crystal suits without any hinderance and blew into their ears. Everybody’s head was aching, as if somebody was twisting their brain with sharp knives!
The cube suddenly crumbled. The thousands of Grand Illusionary Soldiers, mixed with Xiao Xuance, the best expert of the Flying Star Sector, lunged at the dozens of Cultivators from various angles!
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
Li Yao threw out countless crystal bombs that could jam the Spiritual Nexus.
However, this place was the center of the star brain, and the intensity of the signals of the Spiritual Nexus was unbelievably high. Other than making the eyes of the Grand Illusionary Soldiers blink for a moment, the crystal bombs had absolutely no effect!