Cai Jianqiang raised his head and looked up to the sky. “The Neohuman Alliance is a very dark organization, and they are humanity’s mortal enemy. Why would he work with such an organization and even cultivate the Corpse King’s Transformation? And also-” He paused for a moment and looked at Lu Yin. “I am very sorry about the matter with Zi and Bai Xue.”
Lu Yin laughed in spite of himself. “You weren’t the one who created that whole mess, so what are you apologizing for?”
“I didn’t believe you back then,” Cai Jianqiang answered regretfully.
He was being quite candid; between Lu Yin and Zi Rong, Cai Jianqiang had chosen to believe Zi Rong. In the end, when Lu Yin was proven to be correct, Cai Jianqiang had felt bad about the matter and had felt apologetic towards Lu Yin.
Lu Yin liked being friends with this type of person.
“Do you have any alcohol? Let’s have a drink,” Lu Yin suggested.
Cai Jianqiang waved a hand, and a dozen unopened earthen pots of alcohol appeared on the table. This was the same alcohol that the three of them had drunk before. “After this drink, we can go back to being the forthright brothers we once were!” Cai Jianqiang loudly proclaimed.
Lu Yin raised a pot. “Alright.”
The two men finished off their pots in one go, and they started to feel good about themselves.
Even though there wasn’t much alcohol, the two men still spent the entire night drinking. In the morning, both of them felt slightly woozy since they had not dispelled the alcohol from their bodies yet. The slight high that the alcohol gave them was a very good feeling.
Cai Jianqiang leaned against the table for support as he struggled to balance himself. “Let’s forget about the past. I know why you came to find me. He can come back if that’s what you want. The Outerverse Lockbreaker Society is not as prestigious as it was before, and you can’t be expected to always lean towards supporting the Lockbreakers.”
Lu Yin nodded his head. “Thank you.”
While his visit to Hydrotink Planet had been hidden from the ordinary people, he could not hide his presence from Cai Jianqiang.
Lu Yin had no intention of keeping his meeting with Saul a secret, and as such, it was not surprising that Cai Jianqiang had already learned of it.
It was only with Cai Jianqiang’s agreement that Saul would be able to return to the Society.
Lu Yin’s goals had changed, and he no longer wanted to completely control the Society. It was just a matter of time before the Outerverse returned to normal, and when that happened, all of Lu Yin’s deeds would come to light. Given the far-reaching influence of the Lockbreaker Society, the situation would turn ugly for Lu Yin if he went too far.
He did not need more enemies; he needed more friends.
With Saul’s return to the Society, the vice president would be forced to take responsibility for what had happened in the past. However, this would not affect Lu Yin’s control of the Outerverse Lockbreaker Society.
Saul knew this as well, but there was no other option available to him. If he did not agree to this plan, then he would be hunted down by the Lockbreaker Society once the Outerverse reconnected to the Innerverse. Once targeted by the Society, even an Envoy would find it difficult to survive, much less an Enlighter.
“Since Saul is back, there is no reason for me to remain on Planet Hydrotink any longer,” Cai Jianqiang said.
Lu Yin’s heart skipped a beat. “Brother Cai, since you have nowhere else to go in the Outerverse, then why don't you help me out?”
Cai Jianqiang was puzzled. “Help you out? In what way?”
Lu Yin laughed and sincerely explained, “As you know, I was the target of an assassination attempt a few days ago. Zenyu Star constantly is met with crises, and with the Great Yu Empire’s ever-expanding influence while the Great Eastern Alliance fights off more and more enemies, I’m having a tough time.”
Cai Jianqiang still did not understand. “So how would you like me to help?”
Lu Yin responded in a hopeful tone. “I want you to join the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons and become the Captain of the Thirteenth Squadron. I want you to help me protect the Great Yu Empire.”
Before Cai Jianqiang could even respond, Lu Yin patted the man on the shoulder. “Brother Cai, please help me. Up to now, I still haven’t managed to find a captain for all thirteen squadrons, so I have to personally attend to many of the matters involved. I just need you to help me out as a friend. There’s not even a reason for you to take any orders.”
Cai Jianqiang opened his mouth to speak, but Lu Yin grabbed up an earthen pot and passed it over. “Then that settles it! Thank you, Brother Cai. Cheers for being such a good friend.”
Before Cai Jianqiang could even say a single word, Lu Yin had forcefully dragged him away.
The truth was that Cai Jianqiang had never had any intention of refusing Lu Yin’s invitation. It was true that Cai Jianqiang had nowhere else to go, and Planet Hydrotink was no longer a suitable place for him to stay. He did not see eye to eye with Saul, and he even despised gloomy people like Saul.
Lu Yin became very excited, as he had never expected the situation to develop like this after he allowed Saul to return to the Society. This possibility had only occurred to Lu Yin when Cai Jianqiang had mentioned that he wanted to leave Planet Hydrotink.
This was an unexpected, yet pleasant, outcome. Cai Jianqiang was a peak Hunter, and he was not far from breaking through and becoming an Enlighter. It was not that the man did not want to break through, but rather that he was steadily building his foundations. Once he finished preparing, after he broke through to the Enlighter realm,, he would not be any ordinary Enlighter.
The addition of such a person meant that the Great Yu Empire had effectively gained an Enlighter.
The Great Yu Empire already had powerhouses like Aden and Smoker who were Realmbreakers capable of fighting against Enlighters. In addition to them, there was also Cool Sis and Yanyan, who were not far behind.
The Thirteen Imperial Squadrons were slowly growing stronger. Right now, even if Enlighters appeared to gang up on the squadrons in an ambush, the Enlighters’ victory would not be assured.
As time went on, the strength of the Great Yu Empire had increased considerably. A decade ago, no one would have thought that one day, the most powerful member of the Thirteen Squadrons of that time, Hua Qingshan, would not even be included within the squadrons’ top five experts.
Cai Jianqiang leaving Planet Hydrotink was also a good thing for Saul.
The person who was the most affected by this development was Felynn, but no one cared about her thoughts. Lu Yin had given her a chance, but she had not cherished it. Thus, the fault was hers alone.
Seemingly afraid that Cai Jianqiang would change his mind, Lu Yin hastily led the Hunter back to Zenyu Star and then began impatiently making arrangements for Cai Jianqiang to accept his role as the Thirteenth Squadron Captain.
The dark expanse of the universe was always mysterious, and no one could know what would happen.
At a place that lay between Zenyu Star and Planet Hydrotink, a large and very ordinary looking spacecraft stopped. Flames burst out from it, and explosions could occasionally be heard within it.
Inside the vessel, there were many people in ordinary clothes who were screaming.
In one corner of the spacecraft, a dozen Sentinel realm cultivators pushed their way through the crowd. A big, burly man wearing universal armor followed behind them, he leaped into outer space with one leap. Following him, all of the Sentinels put on sets of universal armor and also jumped off of the vessel, headed for a distant planet.
There was only a finite number of universal armors aboard the vessel. If the spacecraft encountered an accident, then only those who had universal armors would be able to survive while the rest of the occupants would simply die with the ship.
“Boss, will those people tell anyone else about what happened here?” someone asked through their personal gadget as they flew through outer space.
Their leader, who was the burly man, replied, “No. The rescue team won’t get here fast enough. By the time anyone shows up, those people will already be nothing but ashes.”
Right as the man spoke those words, another explosion erupted at the rear of the vessel. If the fleeing cultivators turned to look around, then they would only see the desperation in the eyes of the people still on the ship.
However, the leader was not bothered by any of this. The people dying there were nothing but worthless independent cultivators. He had hired the independent cultivators to take part in a local skirmish, but the loss of their lives was not a big loss to the man, as they were just an inconsequential amount of money in his eyes. “Ah, what a pity. I ended up wasting my time on these people. Now, we’ll have to hire more people when we get back.”
The universe was limitless, and the size of an empire would often be so vast that its overall territory was simply inconceivable to its ordinary citizens. Most people would never be able to travel through the entire empire even over the span of their entire lives, not to mention an empire like the Great Yu Empire that spanned an entire weave.
The entirety of Frostwave Weave was under the control of the Great Yu Empire, and there were so many people within their territory that their numbers could not even be counted. The independent cultivators within the empire’s territory alone were innumerable, and there were many people who took advantage of this oversight.
Businessmen would often hire independent cultivators without registering those people with the empire, which made it impossible to even know about such people’s deaths. A spacecraft could transport tens of thousands of independent cultivators, but even those numbers were insignificant from the perspective of the Great Yu Empire’s entire population, and no one would even notice when such people disappeared.
Such situations were quite common throughout the universe, not just within the Great Yu Empire. Nearly every place had similar occurrences.
The universe was far crueler than what regular people saw.
There were no wars within the Great Yu Empire, but many small-scale skirmishes took place unnoticed. The battles between nations composed of various planets did not become widespread news unless an entire filament was affected.
Many businessmen were exploiting this neglected corner by using independent cultivators to fight their wars for them, allowing them to get rich in the process.
There were tens of thousands of independent cultivators on that spacecraft who were able to do nothing except wait for death. Every year, millions of independent cultivators would die in such a fashion. These people were seen as nobodies, and their deaths did not even draw the slightest bit of attention. The empire could not be bothered to deal with details as minor as independent cultivators who had been hired for local wars.
To some people, independent cultivators like these were even seen as murderers.
Explosions continued to ring out through the spacecraft, and the independent cultivators had already lost all hope.
Just when they thought that they were doomed to become specks of ash floating through the universe, the flames from the explosions were suddenly all extinguished. It looked as though a massive hand had grabbed the entire vessel, and all of the vehicle’s functions halted at that moment. It was as though the spacecraft had entered a state of suspended animation.
Aboard the spacecraft, many of the desperate souls were left bewildered, as they could not understand what had just happened. When they were certain that the vessel would not explode, everyone wept tears of joy due to the ecstasy of still being alive.
Behind the spacecraft, Lu Yin and Cai Jianqiang sat within Lu Yin’s collapsible spacecraft as they watched the events unfold on the larger ship.
“It’s very odd that a large vessel like this one would not prepare enough universal armors,” Lu Yin commented.
Cai Jianqiang shot a glance at the youth. “They were abandoned.”
“Abandoned? What do you mean?” Lu Yin asked, astonished.
Cai Jianqiang was over a hundred years old, and he was far more experienced than Lu Yin. “These people are independent cultivators who were most likely hired to take part in some local war. Something happened to the spacecraft transporting them, so their employers and the bodyguards jumped ship while these independent cultivators were left to die.”
Lu Yin’s eyes went wide, and he was clearly confused. “They were left to die? Doesn’t anyone care about them?”
Cai Jianqiang laughed in spite of himself. “Who would care? These aren’t respectable people themselves, and their livelihood isn’t allowed in the empire. If they’re lucky, then a rescue team might pass by and rescue them, and if they’re unlucky, then they’ll just die here.”
Lu Yin furrowed his brows as he stared at the spacecraft in front of him. He had thought that this had just been another vessel suffering from some unforeseen technical issue. He had never expected the situation to actually be hiding something like this. Since these people had chosen to join a war, then they should have been prepared to die!
However, this also allowed Lu Yin to realize that local skirmishes were a cruel part of reality.
Numerous considerations ran through his mind in a split second. He unconsciously unleashed his domain, and it enveloped the spacecraft, allowing him to hear many of the conversations taking place.
“Father, the spacecraft didn’t blow up! We’re still alive, and we’ll be able to see mother!”
“The heavens were kind enough to let us live. I hope that a rescue team gets here soon, though we’ll still most likely undergo a round of questioning even if we are rescued.”
“Elder brother, when will the rescue team get here?”
“I’m hoping that they don’t turn up at all. I’d rather leave our lives to fate, as a rescue team would just capture us and then send us to prison if they show up.”
“I just want to make a living. I don’t want to get locked up.”
“Bro, just hang in there. The rescue team will treat you as soon as they get here.”
“Cough. Don’t try to cheer me up. Even if the rescue team shows up, I don’t have any money for treatment. Our boss took off, and no one else will foot our medical bills.”
“The empire will treat us, but then they’ll also start questioning us, and that won’t be easy to escape from.”
“Just forget it.”
“If we manage to make it out alive this time, we have to expose those black-hearted businessmen! We’ll go to the Royal Regent and tell him exactly what those businessmen really do.”
“That’ll just backfire on us. We’ve fought in more than just one regional war, and there’s no way we would be able to avoid being questioned. Besides, most of those businessmen have good relationships with the media. There’s no one who can help us.”
“We’ll take this all the way to the top if we have to! We know where King Zishan’s palace is, and I don’t believe that those businessmen would dare to do anything to us at the Royal Regent’s door.”
…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Neshi/Nyxnox
TLC'ed By: OMA