Chapter 542: Homecoming
Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
A month of blood and darkness had finally passed.
Over the one month, the Flying Star Sector was like a wide, peaceful river that had fallen off a cliff and turned into a narrow, zigzagging torrent.
Assassinations, plots, traps, and explosions. More than half of the world of Cultivators had been involved in the abrupt changes. Not only had the space pirates demonstrated their immense power in the sea of stars, the Immortal Cultivators and the Temple of Immortals behind the space pirates had shocked all the Cultivators even if they were not struck personally.
For most of the time during the month, the Cultivators’ performance had been less than satisfactory. Their biggest weakness had been revealed.
Cultivators who were scattered in the sea of stars and based on starships and star fortresses were too far away from each other. The transportation lines and the supply lines were too long. The fragile sailing routes between space zones and world fragments were like fat lambs. The wolves lurking in darkness could choose to attack the weakest of them any time they wanted.
Even a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator could only yell in anger when they ran here and there exhaustedly and in vain when they were faced with the boundless cosmos and a supply line that could easily be millions of kilometers long.
When the month was about to come to an end, and when countless experts and top-tier organizations, including the six major sects in Heavenly Saints City, were greatly frustrated, a brilliant battle report came from the Iron Plateau Space Zone in a corner of the sector.
The Great Horn Exo Society, the Swooping Eagle Sect, and the Flowing Flower Sect, three second-rate organizations in the Flying Star Sector, had fought an unbelievable battle with their courage and craziness!
In the beginning, their three starships were ambushed by the long-prepared Storm Prison. They should’ve been demolished at that time.
But in the end, Storm Prison paid a price of two starships, even including Blood Rain, the flagship of the fleet!
Although Fengyu Zhong had gotten away, forcing him to abandon his flagship was like cutting off one of his arms!
The entire Spider Den fell silent, while Cultivators and ordinary citizens of the Flying Star Sector were dancing in joy upon hearing the wonderful news.
The terrible cloud over their heads for the last month had cleared!
Of course, such a victory was at a great cost, too.
Of the four hundred Exos who had joined the suicidal attack in the end, less than one fifth of them had survived, while the rest had all perished in the sea of stars.
Blood Rain’s final self-detonation had dragged Gold Horn into the swirl of destruction, too. Both of the two starships were almost torn into pieces simultaneously!
The Swooping Eagle Sect and the Flowing Flower Sect both had their bases and headquarters. Their losses were heavy but acceptable.
However, for the Great Horn Exo Society, Lei Dalu had narrowly escaped death because he had failed to break into Blood Rain after suffering severe wounds when he led the charge at the beginning of the battle. Other than him, Bai Kaixin, the advisor, and the other non-combat staff, as well as other heavily-wounded members, stayed in the starships of the Swooping Eagle Sect and the Flowing Flower Sect and therefore survived the battle.
After the battle, the Great Horn Exo Society had only the old, the weak, the sick, and the disabled left. Even its mothership had been blown up. It was half a step away from its destruction.
But a named related to the Great Horn Exo Society was spreading among the Cultivators of higher levels quickly and secretly.
It was said that the man had been an ordinary mechanic in the Great Horn Exo Society.
It was said that the man distinguished himself in the Skyhill Sword Seminar and might well have become the darkest horse after Huangpu Shiyi. However, he was kidnapped by the space pirates when he was about to reach the peak.
It was said that the man was much more than a simple refiner. He had stirred up the battle all by himself and sabotaged Fengyu Zhong’s success when it was close at hand. Fengyu Zhong had suffered heavy wounds and excruciating pain!
It was said that the man had asked Huangpu Xiaoya to deliver a precious message and to inform the Cultivators of the existence of the Temple of Immortals.
It was said that, after the battle, Cultivators had sent multiple starships to search the edge of the Iron Plateau Space Zone and even risked approaching the planetary ring of Iron Plateau, only to find no traces of him whatsoever, as if he had been buried inside the planetary ring and become space dust.
Lei Dalu, Bai Kaixin, Huangpu Xiaoya… Many Cultivators of the Flying Star Sector were asking the same question.
“Li Yao, are you still alive?”
“Where are you exactly?”
In the headquarters of the Great Flourishment Sect in the East Continent Space Zone, a heated debate had lasted three hours and reached the most intense moment.
The debate was unavoidable.
To cope with the menace of the space pirates and the Temple of Immortals, all the Cultivation sects had taken actions to prepare themselves for the war to come.
One of the measures they were taking was to bring out the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures and the best Cultivation arts that they had been kept secret in their respective sects for hundreds of years in order to better train the young disciples of their sects. They were hoping to bring up the best warriors as soon as possible!
Of course, there was only a limited number of people who could have such privileges.
It was not hard to understand that whoever got chosen and became the core disciples of the sect would have a promising future!
The Great Flourishment Sect had prepared a hundred third-degree positions, thirty second-degree positions, and three first-degree positions. Disciples of each degree would be invested with different amounts of resources and tutored personally by experts of different levels such as elders or even the sect leader.
For the three first-degree positions, they were all the absolutely important future stars of the Great Flourishment Sect and would be mentored by the previous leader of the Great Flourishment Sect, a Cultivator in the peak of the Core Formation Stage bordering on the Nascent Soul Stage!
Therefore, the competition for the three first-degree positions had been extremely intense since the beginning. Every candidate was questioned from various angles, including experience, talents, personality, and credits… Their every aspect was scrutinized and judged. Only after tedious arguments, negotiations, and compromises could one person be determined.
However, when a name appeared on the light beam, the elders, deacons, and executive board members who were all mean and sharp-tongued a moment ago coughed and failed to express any disapproval.
The leader of the Great Flourishment Sect looked around and declared, “Zuo Xiaohu is to become the third ‘core disciple’ that will receive special education. Is there a problem?”
Zuo Xiaohu was the well-deserved number one of the younger generation of the Great Flourishment Sect in terms of credits, talents, and capability. He was at an overwhelming advantage against the other two ‘core disciples’.
There was a long silence. Then, one of the elders hesitatingly said, “But Zuo Xiaohu only signed a ten-year contract with our sect.”
The leader smiled. “If he has the opportunity to be the core disciple, he will get the real secret Cultivation arts of our sect as well as abundant resources. There won’t be any trouble asking him to sign another contract of thirty to fifty years, will th—”
Before he had completed his sentence, the gate of the meeting room was pushed open softly.
A young man with a pair of sunglasses so large that they were almost hilarious and in a fur coat appeared in front of the elders, who were all staring at him with a weird expression.
The young man whistled and slid across an envelope, which span and stopped in front of the leader.
The leader frowned. He found a continuously changing, paper-like light beam inside the envelop and gasped after glancing at it. “Zuo Xiaohu, you want to cancel the contract and quit the Great Flourishment Sect?”
Zuo Xiaohu took off his sunglasses. Two ultra-clear eyes revealed themselves, as their owner blew at the glasses and wiped them. He replied, “Yes. When I joined the Great Flourishment Sect, we had made it clear that I would only stay in the Great Flourishment Sect for ten years. During the ten years, you helped me train myself, and I helped you fight your battles. It was a fair deal.”
The leader squinted and said, “But it’s only been seven years. Besides, we’ve decided that you will be promoted to a ‘core disciple’. You will receive the wholehearted enlightenment of the Cultivators who are close to the Nascent Soul Stage, and you will enjoy resources a hundred times more abundant than before! It’s very likely that you will become a Core Formation Stage Cultivator before fifty!
“All that is required of you is to serve the Great Flourishment for another thirty to fifty years. Your payment during the time will be given according to the highest standard!”
Zuo Xiaohu vaguely smiled, his two shallow dimples appearing.
Other than his bizarre clothing, he was indeed a handsome and attractive young man.
“Leader, I remember there is a clause in our contract which states that, whenever the Great Horn Exo Society is in danger or in need, I am free to go as long as I pay a fine.”
Zuo Xiaohu threw a silver card over. It fell in front of the leader gently, as he continued speaking. “The fine is all inside, with every coin calculated. You can examine it with your crystal processor.”
The leader’s face color changed. “Zuo Xiaohu, you’d better think about it more carefully. The Great Flourishment is one of the strongest sects in the Flying Star Sector other than those in Heavenly Saints City!
“You’ve made great accomplishments by slaying demon beasts, space pirates, and Demonic Cultivators since you joined the Great Flourishment Sect!
“Right now, everyone in the East Continent Space Zone knows the name of ‘Bright-colored Tiger’. Countless young men consider you their role model. The leaders of two sects have come to propose marriages for you!
“You should be well aware of what a great place the Great Flourishment Sect is and how friendly people here are now that you’ve spent seven years with us!
“Stay here! Stay in the Great Flourishment Sect, and your future will be nothing but bright! You will have access to the most powerful Cultivation arts. Countless hotblooded men will cross the sea of stars under your lead! One day, you may gain the shares of the Great Flourishment Sect as everyone else does here and become one of the real controllers of our sect!
“I know that you are from the Tiger Camp of the Great Horn Exo Society, and you were one of the orphans rescued by Lei Dalu. But there are more ways to return the favor if you insist!
“I promise you that, as long as you stay in the Great Flourishment Sect, we will try our best to help rebuild the Great Horn Exo Society. How about it?”
Zuo Xiaohu listened quietly the whole time. It was not until the leader finished his speech that he put on his sunglasses again and walked outside.
When he reached the door, he said softly, “I’m sorry, leader. I know that everyone in the Great Flourishment Sect has treated me well. I like everything in the East Continent Space Zone, too, especially the girls here.
“I also believe that you meant what you said. Someday, when the timing is appropriate, you will definitely help rebuild the Great Horn Exo Society.
“However, I can’t wait for the ‘someday’ to come. In fact, I can’t even wait for one second right now.”
“I’m going home. Leader, elders, farewell.”