Chapter 708: The Terminator’s Good Faith

    Chapter 708: The Terminator's Good Faith

    Lan Jue was somewhat surprised by his words. Skyfire Avenue would of course never allow Jun'er to come to the North for obvious reasons. But for him, with his status and history, to come to see her? Didn't he fear reciprocation for what he'd done? It was the sort of masculine confidence his father had become famous for.

    The Terminator's eyes looked passed Lan Jue, to the row behind. Lan Qing had stood as well and regarded the Terminator with an easy smile.

    The Terminator returned his friendly expression. "And the waves crest higher. It seems you've already stabilized your new powers - another young hero."

    "It seems his Majesty is also nearly ready to attain the next degree. Congratulations."

    The Terminator's eyes lit up. The Terminator was stronger than Lan Qing, and had been a Reflection of Heaven and Earth for many years. Of course it would surprise him for Lan Qing to so readily sense the state of his powers.

    "There is an opportunity for me to break through. You and I should compare notes." The Terminator was back to his easy, smiling façade.

    "I hope we have the opportunity," Lan Qing replied.

    The Western delegate and his Colonel secretary also took their seats on the second row of the dais. Qiu Xiaochen quietly told her superior everything she'd discovered.

    The Western general's face was strange, especially when he saw the Terminator speaking with the two young men. Secretly it annoyed him. How the world has changed, he lamented! The young were truly something.

    The older one was a legend among soldiers, and the younger one - the one who'd turned his hand against Qiu Xiaochen - represented the greatest Adept organization on the planet.

    Without question, the Eastern Alliance was enjoying an unprecedented era of growth. From the moment the aliens made their presence known to now - and even into the future - it appeared every decision the East has made was correct.

    Their merits spoke for themselves. They were the first to acquire vital crystals; the first to learn the benefits of the exuvium process; first to learn anything about the alien threat; became rich through their auction; and finally, saved the lives of many Northerners through their efforts in the failed expedition. Most importantly, Skyfire Avenue continued to grow in strength.

    The East was in an advantageous position when it came to Adepts, more than any other Alliance. Word had gotten out that the legendary Jue Di had also returned to the worlds of man. That man alone was as destructive as a Bastion ship - likely more so.

    And the West? They were woefully deficient in good Adepts. Evil rumors of the Pontiff had begun to circulate, which were forcibly silenced. But as a high-level government official, the general knew all about it.

    The West's two Citadels used to think they were rivals of Skyfire Avenue. Though there was a discrepancy in strength, it wasn't insurmountable. Now, however, the only people holding on to that assertion were the delusional and ignorant. Even if one considered the frankly impossible possibility of the two Citadels merging, they still couldn't hold a candle to the Avenue. They had more Paragons than the West had peak-ranked Adepts! Catching up was out of the question.

    Where that became pertinent to the war against the aliens was in recent research. Although the findings were still uncorroborated, it appeared as though Adepts were particularly well suited to killing the monsters. If this was true, the East's status among humanity would only benefit. They would become even more powerful and important.

    Lan Jue was a top leader in the Avenue, and not even a Paragon yet. Skyfire Avenue's seat on this dais proved all his conjectures true.

    "Sir." Qiu Xiaochen's voice brought him back to the present.

    "Ngh." He grunted by way of response.

    Curiosity glimmered in her eyes. "How do you think they did it? They're so young but have so much power. Is that purely due to talent?"

    The general smirked. "There's no such thing as a casually successful person in this universe. It's true now, and will remain true in the future. You see them how they want you to see them, out here in the crowd. You don't see the hard work they put in to get themselves here."

    Qiu Xiaochen seemed unconvinced. "But I work hard! How am I still so weak compared to them?" She was a ninth level Talent, a rare thing in the military, but only first rank. Compared to the two brothers from the East, it was hardly worth noting.

    "I can't answer that," he replied. "If you're able, do what you can to get close and ask them yourself. Only they know the truth."

    The conference hall was quickly filling up. Seats on the floor below and on the dais were quickly becoming occupied. In the first row, aside from Lan Jue, were three representatives each from the Great Conclave and Northern Army. The last came as a surprise to Lan Jue.

    "You continue to get stronger. When did you break through?" A near perfect smile filled his vision. As familiar as the two were, Lan Jue was still taken aback each time they met. His first thought was always, if this guy was a woman he'd bring down nations.

    The final person to sit at the head table was none other than Poseidon - Hua Li. Though he sat near the end of the line, it was nonetheless a show of respect.

    To Lan Jue's left was the President of the North. To his right was the Army Chief of Staff. It was an extremely flattering position for him. Meanwhile the Eastern Chairman and Army Chief were seated on the far end. It was all arranged according to power and prestige, as all these types of meeting were.

    The Terminator himself sat in the second row, at a distance from Lan Qing. He represented the Eastern army, whereas here the Terminator only represented the interests of the Great Conclave.

    Beneath the blazing lights illuminating the hall, seats quickly filled up. All the dignitaries were military leaders from the three Alliances. Most were from the North.

    The atmosphere became more suffocating and boisterous as more people filed in. No one held on to foolish facades of ease, not when the dangers of alien invasion were evident. It felt like the weight of a giant boulder bearing down on everyone.

    Bang! Bang! The Northern President was an elderly man who oozed with charisma. Today he was wearing a dark suit that complimented the somber atmosphere of the meeting. The sound of his gavel rang across the hall, and everyone fell silent.

    All eyes turned toward the dais.

    To the people below it was a spectacle. Mostly just for the presence of Hua Li and Lan Jue. They both were so young, and exceedingly handsome. Although Lan Jue didn't look as striking as his friend, absorbing the thunder essence had imbued his presence with an inexplicable power. He seemed more elegant, almost ethereal like he was a visiting spirit from another plane. Even looking directly at him, it was difficult to penetrate that power and see him clearly.

    Lan Jue did not concern himself with the spectacle of it all. He sat calmly in his chair, his mind on Hua Li.

    Specifically, Hua LI's presence here proved something. It proved that the Poseidon Group had more clout than he gave them credit for.

    He'd heard that the group had recalled their Bastion - named Poseidon - to protect their home planet. All of the family's workers, servants and soldiers had been brought back to planet Poseidon. It was as though they didn't fear standing alone against the alien planets, as though they were confident in their self-defense.

    By all accounts Poseidon Group had consolidated a great deal of power. Hence Hua LI's position of authority here. After the meeting he would have to spend some time and talk, Lan Jue thought. It seemed like this guy had a lot he was hiding!

    "First, I would like to welcome all of our distinguished guests on behalf of the Northern Alliance." The President's voice was low, but abnormally powerful. Everyone could hear him as though he were standing at their side.

    "You all know why we're here. Human survival! It's the name of this conference, and to my memory never in the history of our species has a conference like this occurred. It is unfortunate, but these are the times we live in - a time when the fate of our species will be decided."

    "I hope I'm not wrong in assuming all of you have seen the results of recent expedition. What those evil planets did to our three Bastions and five fleets.  We shared all of the frightening details with you. And frightening is the right word - these monsters are far more terrifying than we thought. We lost the first battle, but it was not a total loss. Frankly speaking, with as little as we knew about them the results were not surprising."

    "Through this process the North has suffered greatly at the hands of the enemy, bearing a tremendous amount of pressure. This pressure has come from many sides. From within the armed forces, from the government, and from our beleaguered people. However I stand here among now, as a representative of our government, to say that you - all of you - have done well. Although we have been beaten, we have not been defeated."
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