Elder Nether Spring’s hands dug out two rocks that were as hard as diamond from the long desk and crushed the rocks into sand. The black sand quietly slipped through his fingers, like two hourglasses that were coming to an end.
Elder Nether Spring stared at the ‘hourglasses’ in a trance.
Nobody knew what decision he was going to make when the ‘hourglasses’ ran out.
All the demon emperors were holding their breath. Their feathers and demons were all shivering uneasily. Suppressed by their dominating aura, the long desk was uttering rattling noises. Countless scattered cracks that looked like spider webs appeared, as if many invisible animals had just crawled over the desk.
The ‘hourglasses’ continued pouring.
Elder Nether Spring suddenly shifted his gaze to Master Hollow Wind.
Master Hollow Wind shuddered and could not help but look at Jin Tuyi.
Jin Tuyi got to his feet. His formidable demonic energy surged out without the least disguise into unstoppable waves. He pressed down on the black desk. The cracks congregated into a sharp blades that quickly extended to the other end of the desk.
“Right now is the most dangerous moment in the thousands of years of history of the Blood Demon Sector. One misstep, and our entire race will be annihilated. You must think before you leap. Don’t do things that will satisfy your foe and hurt your friends!
“In the past five hundred years, the Blood Demon Sector possessed biochemical technology that was far more advanced than the technology of the Heaven’s Origin Sector. We also had almost a hundred strong demon emperors. But why have we never been able to destroy the small Heaven’s Origin Sector and Star Glory Federation and simply waited and watched while they rose up to a point that we can barely deal with?
“The wormholes are too small and unsteady to teleport the great army and top-tier experts That’s just an excuse!
“The most critical reason is that we are not united!
“The Gold Crow Kingdom, the Kingdom of Lion Butchers, the Sea Dominator Kingdom, the Nether Spring Kingdom, and the other smaller forces are merely attacking each other in internal strife for their own petty benefits. We can never be truly united and fight for the interest of the Blood Demon Sector as a whole selflessly!
“Not until today, when we are forced to launch a national war that will decide the fate of our family and compatriots.
“To be honest, our strategy is too risky, too crazy, and the odds of success are too low!
“Are we going to attack each other at this critical moment before the war begins?
“Elder Nether Spring, I have no doubt about your loyalty to the Blood Demon Sector. Over the years, in the war against the Star Glory Federation, the Nether Spring Kingdom has made the greatest contribution, too. What were your endeavors for? You must think about it carefully!
“In the name of the commander-in-chief of the coalition army and the leader of the Clan race, I guarantee you that this arrangement is just temporary. After everything is settled, I will support you to come back to this place with my best!”
Elder Nether Spring took a deep, deep breath. The brutality in his eyes was gone. He suddenly appeared to be absent-minded.
He retreated his eyes from Master Hollow Wind and stared at his clenched fists. Five seconds later, he finally relaxed his hands, allowing the last bit of the sand to fly away in the wind.
The vigor deep inside his body seemed to have left with the sand, too. Losing his power and sitting in a stool that was beneath everybody, he appeared to be an empty shell.
All the demon emperors secretly took a breath in relief. Master Hollow Wind could not help but wipe off his cold sweat.
Elder Nether Spring said coarsely, “The Fire Ant King is my blood brother after all. During the rise of Void Turmoil City, I gave them a lot of aid, and we had numerous exchanges in terms of business, resources, and personnel. Therefore, I admit that I am indeed not suitable to stay among the decision makers of the Pantheon of Demons in these harsh times.
“The ‘Red Tide Plan’ will be all yours. I will spend most of my time and energy on the investigation and strike of the Blade of Chaos and the ‘triangle’!
“The Fire Ant King is my blood brother. His rise was because of my negligence. I should be the one to eliminate him!
“I have only one requirement.”
“What it is, Elder Nether Spring? I’ll see that it is done!” Jin Tuyi said solemnly.
Elder Nether Spring let out a long sigh and waved his hands lethargically. “I am willing to leave, but do not deprive the warriors under my command of the honor of fighting for the Pantheon of Demons! I hope that you will at least bring my ‘Nether Shadow Guardians’ together with the core legions into the Heaven’s Origin Sector and stab into the heart of the Star Glory Federation during the Red Tide Plan. They should be sacrificed in the most brilliant way!”
Jin Tuyi pondered for a moment and nodded. “No problem. If we do march into the capital city of the Star Glory Federation, the Nether Shadow Guardians will be the first troop to see the parliament building of the federation!”
Elder Nether Spring managed a smile and stopped talking.
Jin Tuyi tapped the long desk hard before he said solemnly, “Unification. I must repeat myself. Everybody, we must be united!
“The Red Tide Plan is perhaps the riskiest plan in the history of war between the Blood Demon Sector and the Heaven’s Origin Sector!
“Part of the ground troops from the Kingdom of Lion Butchers and the Nether Spring Kingdom will pretend to be our entire main force and march into the Heaven’s Origin Sector through the wormholes in the Dark Desolate Domain. They will tear apart the Grand Desolate Plateau and impose pressure on the Giant Blade Pass, the most important defense line of human beings at the south of the Grand Desolate Plateau!
“This is destined to be a suicidal attack with no return. Their sole mission will be to distract the attention of most of the crystal suit legions of the Star Glory Federation so that the main force of the Star Glory Federation will be gathered around the Giant Blade Pass!
“In the meantime, our real main force, a great army with dozens of emperors, will show up in the ocean east to the Star Glory Federation through the secret channels that the Far East Demon Kingdom built for their escape five hundred years ago. After taking a brief rest in the base that the Far East Demon Kingdom left, we will march out, charge at the eastern coastline of the Star Glory Federation, sweep across the most prosperous and populated area, and stab into the heart of the federation!
“The secret channels are highly unstable. The base that the Far East Demon Kingdom left is nothing to be optimistic about, either. Such an assault is so risky that we might wind up being wiped out without any survivors!
“However, we don’t have any choice but war. Right now, the only things we can count on are the valiance of our warriors, the unification of everybody here, and the blessing of the Pangu Clan!”
Elder Nether Spring listened quietly on the opposite side of Jin Tuyi, emotionless.
When he heard ‘the Pangu Clan’, two subtle ripples finally spread out his eyes that looked like black springs.
However, the two ripples quickly faded away. When the rest of the demon emperors looked at him again, Elder Nether Spring had turned back into the empty, expressionless shell again.
In the last base of the Blade of Chaos inside the Mysterious Shadow Domain, Li Yao, the Fire Ant King, Han Tuhu, and Suo Chaolong were all deep in thought, frowning, while they listened to Yuchi Ba introducing the whole process of Elder Nether Spring’s loss of power, part of which was public and part clandestine.
“This is impossible. It is impossible that Master Hollow Wind grasped the key information.”
Deep in thought, Han Tuhu analyzed, “Even though Master Hollow Wind caught the traces that the Fire Ant King left, there was no way that he could know that Suo Chaolong had returned to the Blood Demon Sector or anything about Li Yao.
“It is stated clearly on the arrest warrants that a ‘Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator’ has snuck into the Blood Demon Sector. The only battle in which Li Yao demonstrated the combat ability equal to the Nascent Soul Stage was the one on the island of the Nether World in the North Pole!
“Elder Nether Spring is the only party that knows of the matter other than us. It is impossible for a third party to have learned of it.”
“Master Hollow Wind can’t have uncovered my tracks,” the Fire Ant King said calmly. “He is a complete idiot. He has merely been mounting the high horse based on his background and bloodline.
“Think about it. Elder Nether Spring and I are both from a secondary branch of a middle-sized noble family. Although we had the legacies of Chaos, we were seriously short of support after all.
“But as the leader of the traditional nobles of the Nether Spring Kingdom, he failed to come up with anything useful to deal with us for decades. He missed countless opportunities where he could have suffocated us while we were still growing. In the end, he could only wait and watch us rise until we were too huge for him.
“This is your first clue about the capability and wisdom of the ‘master’.
“He is one of the old-school demons. He has been dwelling in the improvement of combat ability and considered it to be everything. He has also taken down a lot of competitors with his formidable strength.
“But he did not know that fighting and scheming are totally different. Now that he has run into Elder Nether Spring, whose combat ability is even higher than his, he is totally useless.
“In regard of combat ability, he might be only slightly weaker than Elder Nether Spring and better than me. But in terms of planning, not just Elder Nether Spring, even I can play him like a fiddle!
“How could such a guy have discovered evidence of my activities?”
Suo Chaolong narrowed his eyes and said coldly, “Therefore, somebody intentionally fed the information such as your real identity, my ‘betrayal’, and Li Yao’s ‘infiltration’ to him and lured him into unveiling a plot that did not actually exist so that Elder Nether Spring would be involved and kicked out of office?”
The Fire Ant King nodded and smiled bitterly. “Correct. The someone is obviously my big brother, Elder Nether Spring!
“I’m afraid that every word that Master Hollow Wind said was what Elder Nether Spring wanted him to say, and every action he took was manipulated by hundreds of invisible strings whose other ends were right in the hands of Elder Nether Spring!”
“But why?” Suo Chaolong scratched the back of his neck. “Why did Elder Nether Spring deliberately expose the information? Not only will he lose the decision-making role in the Pantheon of Demons, he will inevitably raise a lot of suspicion!”
Li Yao rubbed his temples softly and activated the first brain and the second brain that were at the two ends of his spine at the same time. The ‘dual-core thinking system’ boosted his computational ability to the maximum. A moment later, he smiled and said, “The reason is very simple!”