Chapter 732: Mutual Deterrence
Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum! Hum!
Li Yao’s every brain cell was shaking violently, and his computational ability soared as he recalled Bai Xinghe’s appearance that he had caught a moment ago.
The man was still wearing the Dragon King Battlesuit, but it had been twisted during the high-intensity combat. The eight previously-magnificent dragon heads were now dangling down. Two of the heads had been entirely chopped off, with only half the artificial limb left, like eels that had been skinned and beheaded.
Besides his broken left hand, which was still bleeding, there was a shocking giant hole on his abdomen. Although he was suppressing the wound with his spiritual energy, Li Yao still vaguely saw the scattered organs through the flesh and blood.
Bai Xinghe could not have looked more lackluster.
But Li Yao was absolutely certain that it was faked.
Right now, Li Yao had two options. Or rather, he had two purposes by chasing after Bai Xinghe at risk.
If Bai Xinghe was still capable of fighting, Li Yao would try everything he could to cooperate with him. He would try to restore the man’s strength so that he could gather his remaining troops and drag the Temple of Immortals down like a sticky, smelly candy. The strength of the Immortal Cultivators would be reduced as much as possible this way.
But if Bai Xinghe was too heavily wounded to be saved, Li Yao would kill him in advance, and then—
He would take away the Dragon King Battlesuit, the best crystal suit on Spider Den!
Li Yao had not done much ‘murdering before robbing’, but since his opponent was the Pirate Potentate and a criminal who had committed countless gory crimes, he would not be bothered at all if he had to do it.
Li Yao had witnessed the invincibility of the Dragon King Battlesuit in person just now. Although he was betrayed by his disciple and two experts in the Nascent Soul Stage were attacking him collectively, Bai Xinghe had still managed to kill at least three Core Formation Stage Cultivators instantly with the Dragon King Battlesuit!
The eight extendable artificial arms of the Dragon King Battlesuit as well as the ‘dragon balls’ that can devour and pour out spiritual energy are all perfect magical equipment!
If I can combine the Dragon King Battlesuit and the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit by tearing off the eight ‘dragon heads’ and installing them on my crystal suit, well, wouldn’t it be the best crystal suit in the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector?
Li Yao was hooked by the idea.
To save or to kill all depended on Bai Xinghe’s strength.
Li Yao had not figured out the real status of his opponent yet. The scenes on the carrier occurred to him again. It was very clear to him that he was dealing with a ferocious tiger right now, and he could not be too careful.
Li Yao held the key to the dilemma here, so he was not afraid of waiting. In the end, Bai Xinghe lost his patience and said solemnly in the darkness, “I’m told that a brutal man named ‘Bloody Vulture’ who is adept at crystal bombs recently joined Fengyu Zhong’s side. I trust that it is you.
“You were the first to charge at me a moment ago, but you helped me to escape indirectly by disturbing the vision and senses of Fengyu Zhong and the rest of them. Why?”
Li Yao replied, “If I say that I’m actually a worshipper of Boss Bai, and that I pretended to join Fengyu Zhong just so that I could make great contributions by rebelling at the crucial moment, would you believe it?”
“No,” Bai Xinghe said.
After a ‘oh’, Li Yao continued. “Perhaps I felt that the benefits I would get by handing you over were less than those I would get by helping you hide, so I utilized a secret tracking skill on Boss Bai when I let you go on purpose so that I could swallow Boss Bai’s trophies after I found you alone. Naturally, if Boss Bai does not try to keep me quiet with great treasures, I will sabotage Boss Bai’s escape plan even at the risk of my death… I wonder, do you believe that?”
“This is a much more reasonable explanation,” Bai Xinghe observed.
“Clever rabbits have multiple nests,” Li Yao continued, “Boss Bai wouldn’t tell all your secrets to your first true disciple, would you? After all, he was only your disciple, not your son. Speaking of which, I’m told that Boss Bai has even slain one of your sons before.”
Li Yao tried to infuriate Bai Xinghe and find his weak spot, but Bai Xinghe did not seem offended at all. He said calmly, “That’s a fair point. I indeed have several shelters where valuable items are stored. Cultivation arts, techniques, magical equipment, crystal suit… You name it. As long as—cough, cough—as you escort me to my shelter, I can give you whatever you want.”
“Boss Bai, promise as you will, but please don’t pretend that you are heavily wounded by coughing,” Li Yao said. “However bad your injuries are, I believe that you can manage to suppress a few coughs.
“Of course, I desire your treasures. Escorting you to your shelter is not a problem, either. The real problem is how I can trust you.
“It is not far from the ground here, and you are heavily wounded right now. If we get into a fight, Fengyu Zhong’s people will notice immediately. Therefore, even if you hate my guts, it’s impossible that you fight me here.
“I’m absolutely safe in this place.
“However, when we reach your shelter, or rather, your secret base, there are bounded to be countless traps under your control. With your Cultivation in the Nascent Soul Stage, even though your internal organs are broken, they can be more or less repaired after some time.
“If you suddenly attack me by then, I will have no one to turn to at all.
“If the conundrum remains unsolved, our cooperation, or negotiation, will be completely groundless.”
“Indeed. It is very considerate of you, my young friend Bloody Vulture,” Bai Xinghe praised. “It is indeed a serious problem. Honestly speaking, my young friend, right now, I’m thinking about how I can skin you and mince you into pieces at the earliest chance. Hehehehe. You don’t mind, do you?”
Li Yao smiled. “Not at all. I’m totally cool with it. It’s perfect normal and understandable that Boss Bai thinks so.”
Bai Xinghe nodded. “It seems that we are at an impasse right now. I’m like a piece of delicious meat but with bones stuck in your throat. You stomach will be hurt if you swallow me, but you will feel regretful if you spit me out. It’s truly a dilemma.
“However, since you decided to come after me when you knew the dilemma, I believe you must have a perfect solution to it. I’m all ears.”
Li Yao retrieved a piece of magical equipment the size of an egg, which was round, emitted a greenish color, and seemed to be carved out of jade, out of his Cosmos Ring and threw it over.
“Honestly speaking, I have always admired Boss Bai, and I’ve made countless plans of cooperation should I have the opportunity one day.
“Boss Bai is the Pirate Potentate. You are as tough as a tiger and as audacious as a lion. With a simple yawn, you can devour me, who is nothing but an insignificant sparrow!
“Cooperating with you is like putting one of my feet in hell. One moment of carelessness, and my head might be chopped off.
“Therefore, I thought hard for a long time and figured out a stupid approach.
“This is a middle-sized crystal bomb that contains a minor marrow crystal. It is connected to my brain through a telepathic thought reception array and can be detonated in three ways.
“Firstly, if I recite the spell in my brain, with a telepathic thought, it will be immediately detonated.
“Secondly, if my heartbeat stops, or my brainwaves no longer spread out, it will be immediately detonated.
“Thirdly, if the crystal bomb is more than a hundred meters away from me, it will be immediately detonated.
“Please take a look carefully, Boss Bai. This crystal bomb is my masterpiece. Layers of defense rune arrays have been carved on it to make sure that it will not explode unless one of the three conditions are met. It won’t explode no matter how hard it is struck, crushed, or shaken!
“Now, will you open your mouth slowly and… swallow the crystal bomb?
“With Boss Bai’s expertise, it is definitely possible to fix the crystal bomb in your stomach by controlling your muscles.
“After that, I will have a bargaining chip to contain Boss Bai. Our cooperation will be implemented based on mutual trust and reciprocity. Isn’t it right?”
Bai Xinghe’s warm and comforting voice gradually turned sharp, mixed with anger of being fooled. “Hehe. The world has indeed changed. Even a Building Foundation Stage Cultivator dares to play tricks in front of me now!”
Li Yao said calmly, “Boss Bai, there’s no need to pretend that you are angry. We are both clear that the crystal bomb cannot kill a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator.
“Even if you suffer fatal wounds, I believe you have a hundred methods to slay a minor Building Foundation Stage Cultivator before your death!
“Therefore, unless I’ve gone mad, I will never detonate the bomb if it is absolutely necessary.
“All healthy negotiations must be built on equal terms. If one party has a capability far higher than the other, their negotiation might break apart at any point.
“My proposal is only meant to avoid risks. If we can both kill each other at any time, we will be in a balance of ‘mutual deterrence’, or ‘mutually assured destruction’, if you will.
“If you do not want to succumb to such humiliation, it doesn’t matter. Let’s fight now and see if Fengyu Zhong and the Temple of Immortals’ people can trace back to us by the explosions and noises!
“You may take your time to consider, but I cannot guarantee that I was not followed while on my way here. Chances are that Fengyu Zhong has already come down and is showing up at any moment.”
Like a silent tortoise, Bai Xinghe pondered carefully for a long time. In the end, he smiled bitterly. “It seems that I’m truly old now. Bai Wulei at first, and Blood Vulture now.
“Spider Den in the future definitely belongs to the young people.”
The Pirate Potentate was indeed decisive. Realizing that the situation was not in his favor, he picked up the crystal bomb, opened his facial cover, and swallowed it!
Patting his belly, Bai Xinghe asked casually, “My young friend, do you want to perceive with your spiritual energy and see whether I have swallowed the bomb or tricked you?”
“I already did. The crystal bomb is indeed in your stomach. Now, you can talk about our routes of escape, Boss Bai,” Li Yao said. “The chamber is enclosed on all sides and full of poisonous gas. There is not a second exit. You are not planning to hide here for a year and a half hoping that Fengyu Zhong won’t find you, are you?”
Bai Xinghe chuckled in a low voice and floated in midair with the help of the Dragon King Battlesuit.
Li Yao did not ease his vigilance at all after his opponent swallowed the crystal bomb. He stayed alert and prepared to summon the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit the moment anything went wrong.
But Bai Xinghe went directly to the ceiling and groped for something carefully.
Li Yao was dazed. He turned on the lights of his crystal camera and looked at the ceiling.
Mud, stone, and moss were falling off. On the bare ceiling, a complicated rune array was gradually revealed.
Bai Xinghe took out a bizarre-shaped crystal that looked like a cat paw and pressed it into a hollow on the ceiling. After a click, the crystal melded with the ceiling flawlessly.
After the crystal was embedded, the rune array seemed to be woken up. Glamorous brilliance was beaming out, like the shining stars in a night sky.
“You are truly lucky,” Bai Xinghe said solemnly. “I agreed to cooperate with you not because I was scared that Fengyu Zhong would be attracted here before I killed you, but because I was scared that our fight might destroy the transportation array on the ceiling!”