Chapter 545: He Is Asking to Be Killed
Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
Deep down in a ragged space town where spiritual energy had almost run dry, near a raucous vegetable market that was filled with broken sewers, a bald man was sipping and enjoying a bowl of bean curd jelly in a small booth that sold breakfast.
The booth was very close to the booths that sold chicken and fish, and therefore, was corrupted by the fishy stink. The smell was quite unpleasant.
The breakfast hour had long passed. The bean curd jelly was mostly sold out. Whatever was left in the big bucket was cold with too much salt and soy sauce. It was definitely not anything close to tasteful.
But the bald man was enjoying it as if it were the most delicious food in the world. He focused his attention on the bowl and completely dwelled in it.
The bald man looked plain. He was wearing grey, like most of the ordinary people in the market. However, his eyes were long, narrow, and almost extended to his temples. His pupils were the size of needle tips, and if one were to draw close and observe carefully, one would vaguely see that two bloody lotuses seemed to be floating inside the man’s eyes.
Fengyu Zhong was sitting across him with a completely different appearance. His face was wrinkled, the hair on his temples spotted. He was wearing rubber shoes and a leather apron. He was acting like a fish dealer and gave every feeling that he was one who seemed to be outspoken and yet would take advantage of the customers at the earliest chance when they didn’t notice.
As if sitting on a carpet made of pins, Fengyu Zhong was moving uneasily and finally spoke hesitantly. “Lotus King…”
“Why are you not eating anything? One won’t have the strength to work until their stomach is full.”
The Lotus King chewed the floating scum and swallowed it, before he continued. “The food here is indeed bad. But for the seekers of the greatest Dao, everything in the mortal world is but fleeting cloud and dust. Bean curd jelly is dust. Lobsters and abalones are dust, too. Is it necessary to be picky about food when they are all dust? Just take it.”
Fengyu Zhong swallowed. The brutal bandit who had committed countless murders did not dare defy the Lotus King at all and simply ate the cold, awful bean curd jelly.
The Lotus King played with his spoon and said, “The failure at the end of the battle was not your fault. You carried out the plan perfectly on the tactical level. The problem was that factors out of the picture suddenly meddled in our affairs, which was a mistake in the strategical level. I should take full responsibility for the failure! You don’t need to blame yourself. In fact, I owe you an apology. Because of my miscalculation, you lost two starships, and your prestige on Spider Den has plunged.”
Fengyu Zhong did not expect the Lotus King to be so benevolent. He was lost for words for a moment.
The two Immortal Cultivators from the Temple of Immortals were discussing world-shaking events near an ordinary vegetable market.
But the other customers beside them, the boss of the breakfast booth, and the passers-by seemed to be hypnotized or in a dream. They were talking and laughing as if they’d heard nothing wrong.
The two red lotuses inside the Lotus King’s eyes were bouncing like fire, as he continued speaking. “What bothers me is not the loss of two starships, but the fact that you are still troubled by your only son’s murder, and you let your sentiments affect your judgement! When we were preparing, I had thought that you had already cut off all your mortal feelings and that your fury was all faked. As it turned out, that was not the case.”
Fengyu Zhong’s face was lackluster when he thought of his only son. He replied hoarsely, “Lotus King, it’s true that I failed to cut off all the mortal feelings. The decision I made was half rational and half driven by my fury. I lost my mind and—”
“Forget it.” The Lotus King sighed. “Everybody knows that immortality will be achieved the moment they cut off all their mortal feelings. But mortal feelings are not that easy to cut off, and the ultimate Dao can only be pursued with hard work!
“We are human beings essentially. Human beings are animals. Animals are prone to the vexation of natural instincts, which are controlled by our cells, our genes, and all the hormones inside our body. They constitute a solid cage that we cannot free ourselves from easily.
“What is the path of immortality?
“The path of immortality is to fight against the natural instincts and shatter the cage!
“Love of entertainment is a natural instinct, and so is the bond between father and son! Only by cutting off the natural instincts completely can we evolve from hairless monkeys into a more advanced life form so as to survive longer in the dark forest and even become the king of it!
“The natural instinct for enjoyment is easy to cut off. But those regarding blood relationships are like parasites. One might find it impossible to cut them off after a thousand or even ten thousand slashes. Even I cannot say for sure that I’ve successfully cut off all my mortal feelings!
“Therefore, although you were blinded by mortal feelings, I don’t think that I’m qualified to blame you for that.
“However, the mortal feeling of father and son is to be cut off eventually. You will not be able to view the true path of immortality until you cut off such a natural instinct!”
Fengyu Zhong was dazed for a moment. He said, “But I only have one son who is already dead. How am I going to cut off such a mortal feeling?”
The Lotus King smiled. “You can always have more sons.”
Fengyu Zhong was startled. He pondered for a moment and was awed by the infinite coldness and cruelty within those six words. He was speechless for a long time, before he managed to change the topic.
“About Li Yao…”
The intelligence system of the Temple of Immortals was very sophisticated. Now that Li Yao’s name was spreading among the Cultivators, it was only reasonable that the Temple of Immortals had picked up on it.
The Lotus King replied, “Leave the guy alone. You have more important work to do, which is to expand your forces on Spider Den and become the real tyrant of space pirates!”
Fengyu Zhong was stunned. “But right now, my manpower and reputation have hit rock bottom.”
The Lotus King explained, “Weakness is strength in disguise. Take Li Yao for example. As a Building Foundation Stage Cultivator, wasn’t he weak as hell compared to you? But he caused you a great fiasco and a huge loss of subordinates. Even yourself were almost trapped by him. You behaved better when you were chased by almost ten Core Formation Stage Cultivators before!
“Why? Because you thought that he was weak!
“If he were a Core Formation Stage, or even a Nascent Soul Stage, Cultivator, would you have been fooled?”
Fengyu Zhong was deep in thought.
The Lotus King continued. “Right now, the entire Spider Den is aware that Storm Prison has just endured a storm. You’ve also released the fake news that you are seriously wounded. Those who have second thoughts should be making plans now, and those who have been lurking in the darkness will show up shortly!
“Your wife is the daughter of the leader of Black Spider Tower. Other people may hesitate to act if she’s still on your side. So, the two of you can act like she’s betrayed you and make everyone think that you are all by yourself now. When your opponents have shown all their trump cards, we will counterattack and finish them once and for all!
“This is the move we are going to make. You can take your time to settle the details when you’re back. Draw up a proposal with the estimated budget in three days. Whatever manpower, money, or magical equipment you need, you will have them.
“In short, make it big and worry about nothing. I’m very confident in you!”
Fengyu Zhong took a deep breath and replied, “Alright. With Lotus King’s promise, I’m definitely going to take down Spider Den. However, you can never be too careful about that guy, Li Yao. It’s not just because of my personal hatred. The guy is truly cruel, crazy, and cunning. He is even more dangerous than the most brutal bandit! The organization must not regard him as an ordinary Building Foundation Stage Cultivator. I suggest that we mark him as an enemy in the Core Formation Stage level and ask the experts of Black Spider Den to assassinate him as a priority!”
The Lotus King smiled vaguely. “You don’t need to worry about that. Do you know why I asked you to choose the Iron Plateau Space Zone as your battlefield?”
Fengyu Zhong was dazed for a moment. The Iron Plateau Space Zone was a forbidden area for Cultivators, where all kinds of perils were looming. Even he had almost fallen into the traps. He had thought that the Lotus King was merely trying to take advantage of the territory there. But now that the Lotus King had brought it up again, could it be—
Fengyu Zhong beamed with joy. He exclaimed in surprise and excitement, “Do we have men on Iron Plateau?”
The Lotus King smiled but gave no replies. He sipped the remaining bean curd jelly and smacked his lips. “Landing on Iron Plateau? He is asking to be killed!”
At the periphery of the constellation, an encounter had just ended.
A starship of space pirates discovered a broken ‘Ox-level’ carrier in a remote route.
Judging from the appearance, it seemed to have been brought there by a severe space storm and had barely any impetus left. The shell of the starship was torn apart; the crystal cannons on the surface were askew. It was unable to move at all, like an animal that was mired in a swamp.
The overjoyed space pirates immediately jumped forward and docked to the starship while threatening it with the fearsome crystal cannons. A lot of space pirates boarded on the unfamiliar starship.
They were surprised that the carrier was empty without a single human being.
Right then, the cabin door was locked. Deadly gas was released nonstop and killed all the intruders instantly.
In the meantime, the shell of the carrier glittered. The peaceful appearance of a carrier was torn apart, revealing almost a hundred dense cannons that made the starship look like a hideous steel hedgehog.
The Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars flag rose up on the light beam projected by the head of the starship.
Sparkle had revealed itself!
Since the two parties were next to each other and docked by magnetic field, there was no way to avoid the bombardment at all. After twenty minutes of barraging, the starship of the space pirates had completely lost all combat ability.
The remaining space pirates fled in their crystal suits. But the current route was too remote and far away. Without the support of a starship, their crystal suits did not have enough fuel to support themselves to fly to the next supply point. They would become space dust half way through their trip.
It did not take long before the space pirates realized the situation.
Ten minutes later, all the space pirates who had surrendered were shot dead.
The Cultivators from the depths of the Grand Desolate Plateau of the Heaven’s Origin Sector who had fought the demon race for five hundred years did not know what ‘mercy’ was at all.
“The first hunting in disguise has succeeded.”
“But it took us too much time. We suppressed a starship of the lowest level in over twenty minutes. The distribution of our cannons is not accurate enough. We need to redesign the positions of the fire points.”
“The space pirates that were attracted into our starship were not many, either. The scheme to lure the enemy needs to be further revised.”
Inside the empty Sparkle, four clusters of liquid metal shivered and occasionally formed human faces.
The ‘Four Kings’ of the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution in the old days, four spectral Cultivators today, had grown accustomed to the training of their souls. They could simulate the shape of humans once in a while now.
An even larger cluster of liquid metal rolled inside and bulged into a silver human figure. But it was only half a meter tall and looked like an uncolored statue. It was Professor Mo Xuan, the previous dean of the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution and the founder of Project Mystic Skeleton.
“Li Yao has been found!”