Chapter 599: Point of No Return!
Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
Li Yao crumbled the sharp stone into powder in his palm and sprayed it on the two circles, while he said casually, “I’m not a detective. I merely let everything run the most natural course and see what would happen.”
Xiong Wuji rubbed his rough face hard and remarked, “There is a loophole in your deduction. What if the rescue team of Cultivators were faster than you thought and came before my identity was exposed? There wouldn’t be conflicts if so.”
Li Yao explained, “Don’t you see? The one behind the curtain knew of your identity long ago. That was a bomb that they could detonate anytime they wanted!
“Also, the six tribes of Iron Plateau, at least the Burning Sun Tribe, has been infiltrated. The spies had everything under their control. If needed, they could even have created some ‘evidence’ to prove that you were associated with the hundreds of battle-type Cultivators who fell onto Iron Plateau!
“The bottom line is, there were bound to be conflicts when the rescue team of Cultivators arrived!”
Xiong Wuji asked, “Raising a war between the Iron Plateau natives and the space residents… What benefits can the Temple of Immortals get from such an endeavor?”
Li Yao explained, “Before the battle of the apocalypse, although I knew that many qi-trainers were in the ‘superlative height’ beyond the 14th level of the Refinement Stage, I did not think too much of it and believed that the Cultivators’ powerful fleet and techniques could destroy the Iron Plateau natives easily.
“But the battle against the apocalypse changed my opinion. In regard to combat on the ground, the Iron Plateau natives would definitely make the most formidable opponents!
“Despite the powerful fleet of the space residents, Iron Plateau was still protected by a piece of defense magical equipment very close to the stellar level. They could not launch large-scale attacks from space!
“Let’s say they bombarded Iron Plateau crazily from space, but Iron Plateau has the most profound underground life-support system. Years ago, even the apocalypse failed to demolish the planet completely. The space residents would never kill all of you simply by bombarding you from space!
“Therefore, when the war began, the space residents could only break into the atmosphere and start marching on the ground if they wanted to win the war.
“I believe that the space residents would definitely underestimate your combat ability—I doubt that they would see you as anything more than barbarians—before reality taught them a harsh lesson.
“If so, Iron Plateau would be a swamp of war that could mire and eliminate a huge number of soldiers in the world of Cultivators! Wouldn’t that be the greatest benefit for the Immortal Cultivators?”
Thinking for a moment, Xiong Wuji replied, “What if the Cultivators were smart enough to recognize the invincibility of the Iron Plateau natives on the ground after the few battles in the beginning and decided to cut their loss and retreat!
“We must note that the Iron Plateau natives do not have the ability to sail in the sea of stars. If the Cultivators stopped attacking Iron Plateau, we would not be able to counterattack however angry we were.”
With a weird smile, Li Yao observed, “Indeed you do not have the ability to cruise the cosmos. But other than Cultivators, there is a third force that boasts such an ability!”
Xiong Wuji shuddered. “Space pirates?”
Li Yao nodded. “Yes. Space pirates.
“Before, although space pirates are a major hazard, it has always been mobility and speed that they counted on most. They are a bunch of bandits after all. In regard to head-on battles, they are definitely no match for the regular soldiers in the world of Cultivators.
“Therefore, they can only block sailing routes, ambush carriers, and loot small towns. As for the larger star fortresses where the strong sects were stationed, they wouldn’t dare to touch them for the world!
“But let’s imagine such a situation. The space residents and the Iron Plateau natives were engaged in a total war and fought several battles hard on Iron Plateau, both parties suffering heavy losses. Then, the space residents realized the strength of the Iron Plateau natives, ceased the war, and ran back to space.
“For Iron Plateau natives, their homes must’ve been ruined, and their family killed, in the war. They were grasped by endless pain and hatred, but they could not catch the mortal enemies because they did not have vehicles!
“At this moment, space pirates showed up, with disguises and fancy slogans, naturally. They might have called themselves ‘liberty defenders against the tyranny of Cultivators’, for example.
“The enemy of my enemy is a friend. Now that the two parties both loathed space residents, with the propaganda of the spies who had infiltrated the Iron Plateau tribes earlier, they would definitely form an alliance swiftly!
“If so, the shipping capacity of the space pirates and the combat ability of the Iron Plateau natives combined would be so much stronger than calculating them independently.
“If three to five starships of the space pirates were to transport thousands of Iron Plateau natives into space, how many cities and towns in space could resist them other than Heavenly Saints City?
“I’ve been curious all the time. For an organization living in the darkness such as the Temple of Immortals, ‘confidentiality’ is supposed to be its lifeline. Why is it jumping out impatiently as if it’s worried that everybody in the universe doesn’t know them? It’s like the Immortal Cultivators are trying to kill themselves!
“Of course, Immortal Cultivators of the Temple of Immortals are not committing suicide. Their purpose since the very beginning has always been to raise a war between the space residents and the Iron Plateau natives, the latter being their cannon fodder. As long as everything went as planned, their combat ability could even be expanded hundreds of times instantly!
“This could be their whole scheme and their ultimate goal!”
Xiong Wuji was awed by the terrible potential future. He mumbled to himself, “It’s horrible. Too horrible!”
Li Yao said, “To carry out the scheme, the Temple of Immortals must’ve worked in secret on Iron Plateau for many years. Besides the Burning Sun Tribe, even the Furious Bears Tribe might’ve infiltrated by some of them. However, the most critical question at hand is, who killed Chief Yan Zhengdong?
“It seems difficult to find the murderer. But in fact, it is not.
“First of all, your identity must’ve been exposed long ago instead of only being revealed by Chief Yan Zhengdong before his death. If the Temple of Immortals learned your identity so late, they wouldn’t have been able to make such a scheme at all.
“If Chief Yan Zhengdong was the only one who knew your secret before, he would only have told someone very close to him who would in no way leak it out.
“Also, Chief Yan Zhengdong’s murderer was either someone so strong that he was assassinated in silence without putting up any resistance or someone extremely close to him who he wouldn’t have believed would assault him.
“Moreover, the murderer must be very familiar with Chief Yan’s handwriting and the game he played with his sons when they were young, so that the murderer could prepare a hidden script of spiritual gas in advance and make sure it could be found.
“Considering all the conditions, it is not hard to figure out who the murderer was. It was Yan Xibei, the elder brother of Chief Yan Zhengdong and the previous best warrior of six tribes of Iron Plateau!”
Xiong Wuji suddenly shivered and blurted out, “That’s impossible!”
Li Yao said, “Other than Yan Xibei, Yan Chihuo, who was jumping and yelling and demanding that you go to the Truth Cabinet, might be the true murderer, too. But I think the odds are low that he committed patricide.
“The reason is simple. He is too young and short-tempered for Chief Yan to tell him the big secret that you are a space resident. What if he went out and told everybody he met the story? A war between the two tribes might have started. I believe that Chief Yan would rather have talked to the chiefs of the other two tribes than let his impatient son know the secret.
“But Yan Xibei is different.
“Not only was he the best warrior on Iron Plateau decades ago, his integrity was also well acknowledged. As Chief Yan Zhengdong’s elder brother, he must be the person that Chief Yan trusted and relied on most.
“Chief Yan knew your big secret, yet he did not dare tell anyone about it in fear of the division of the six tribes. It was perfectly normal that he went to his elder brother to discuss the matter when he felt depressed, wasn’t it?
“But he did not know that Yan Xibei had joined the Temple of Immortals long before and was the agent of the organization in charge of the scheme on Iron Plateau. Such a piece of shocking news was definitely the ultimate treasure for him.
“After that, the whole scheme that the Temple of Immortals concocted was built on the secret!”
His eyes half closed, Xiong Wuji’s voice was shivering. “I still can’t believe it. Why did Master Yan do that?”
Li Yao sighed. “Of the billions of techniques and paths of Cultivation, I only ask you this—do you want immortality? If Yan Xibei has really joined the Temple of Immortals and become an Immortal Cultivator, what cannot be abandoned or traded for the pursuit of the so-called immortality?”
Xiong Wuji lowered his head and meditated. He suddenly shook his head and said, “No. No. Something’s not right. Your deduction has a deadly flaw.
“All the story you told just now is what might have happened if you didn’t exist!
“But the fact is that your arrival caused a problem for the Temple of Immortals in the battle at the edge of the Iron Plateau Space Zone. The three starships on the Great Horn Exo Society’s side did not release any escape capsules. Hundreds of fully-armed battle-type Cultivators were not forced to land on Iron Plateau. You were the only one who reached this place!
“Just because of you, would the six tribes of Iron Plateau be vigilant, and would the Cultivators send a large-scale rescue team?
“The scheme of the Temple of Immortals should’ve been disrupted when you appeared. Why was Yan Zhengdong still killed in the end?”
Li Yao replied calmly, “You’ve forgotten about the ‘Oasis Plan’.
“The Temple of Immortals has been planning in the darkness for too many years. How on earth could they put all the eggs in one basket? I think that the battle in the periphery of the Iron Plateau Space Zone was their Plan A, and it’s possible that the ‘Oasis Plan’ was their Plan B!
“No matter which of the two plans succeed, a large batch of Cultivators will be unwittingly lured to Iron Plateau!
“Just wait for it. I estimate that a piece of shocking news will come from the Dark Continent in the next couple of days, one that will attract all the qi-trainers’ attention.
“That’s because every plan will expose its loopholes and the designer’s true purpose sooner or later.
“Yan Zhengdong was not killed by you after all. If the six tribes are to pursue the investigation further, more and more suspicious points will be found.
“You, the qi-trainers of Iron Plateau, seem outspoken and straightforward with more brawn than brains. But in my opinion, the chief of the Giant Axe Tribe and the chief of the Feathered Snakes Tribe are as shrewd as monkeys!
“They won’t be deceived for long.
“Even within the Burning Sun Tribe, many qi-trainers will notice the anomalies of the accident a few days after they calm down.
“Besides, you’ve been the chief of the Furious Bears Tribe for more than ten years, and you boast unparalleled prestige. Without solid proof that you are the murderer, what’s the big deal even if the blood of space runs in your veins?
“Besides, although you were born in space, you’ve grown up on Iron Plateau since you were a baby!
“Right now, people may still be eyeing you with bias because of the shock. But after a few days, I’m sure many of them will let go of the prejudice. By then, you will still have strong influence in your tribe even if you are no longer the chief!
“Your identity is like a time bomb. Once it is detonated, huge damage might be dealt. But when smoke clears, everything will be peaceful again.
“Therefore, I estimate that the Temple of Immortals will definitely seize their chance in the coming few days and release another piece of devastating news that will lead the situation to the point of no return!”