1830 Collapse of Black Wind

    Looking at his wife's glittering eyes where all the stars of the universe seemed to be shining, Li Yao had a bellyful of words that he wanted to tell her, which were almost running out like a flood.

    He wanted to tell Ding Lingdang about the loneliness and the mixed feelings when he traveled deep inside the dark nebula by himself. He wanted to tell Ding Lingdang what it looked like when a star ten thousand times larger than the sun unleashed a storm. He wanted to tell her about the glamorous nebulas, the enticing Ancient Sages Sector, and all his discoveries in the Nuwa warship. He wanted to show her the Colossi that he had repaired like a child showing off his toy and invite his wife to choose the biggest and best one for herself.

    In the meantime, there were a lot of things that he wanted to find out, too. He almost couldn't wait to hear about Ding Lingdang's experience in the past hundred years. He wanted to know how she had convinced the spectral Cultivators in the Nether World Sector with her fists in the devastated wasteland and what kind of soul-stirring, unbelievable stories she had from the dark mining holes of the Uranian Ring Sector.

    Did she go through life-blighting dangers and crises? Did she suffer damage that she would rather not recall? How did she manage while he was not around?

    He had too many words that he wanted to say and listen to, but his computational ability that was almost equal to a crystal processor was suddenly frozen, turning 'Vulture' Li Yao, the dominator of three Sectors into a silly boy. He was dazed for a long time before he finally asked, "Are you alright?"

    Ding Lingdang smiled. "I'm fine. What about you?"

    "Me, too." Li Yao paused for a moment. He tilted his head and thought for a long time. Then he said again, "I'm back."

    "Yes." Ding Lingdang continued smiling. Such a peaceful and gentle smile had not blossomed for a hundred years because, of the trillions of people in the three thousand Sectors, only one could wake up such a flower of a smile. She softly said, "It's great that you're back."

    Feeling that his heart was hot, Li Yao swam to Ding Lingdang.

    "Wait." Ding Lingdang hurried to say, "Although the glass medical cabin is blocked from the outside world, our biophysical parameters are still closely monitored by the medical facilities. The change of any index will be read instantly!"

    "I know," Li Yao mumbled. "I just want to hug you. I've wanted that for... a hundred years."

    Ding Lingdang was slightly dazed. Like a blooming flower, she sent herself over.

    The two of them hugged each other so hard that they were almost embedded in each other's bodies.

    At this moment, the vast universe outside seemed to disappear, and the only things left were their breathing and heartbeats that were of the same rhythm.

    Time lost all meaning. They seemed to be hugging for all eternity, but even that did not seem enough for them, and it would not be enough even if they hugged for another ten eternities.

    "This-this is about enough." There was no telling how long had passed, but intoxicating redness spread out of Ding Lingdang's cheeks. She pinched Li Yao's shoulder and breathed hard. "Watch the time and location. Let's hug more after we are back home. I bought a new world fragment recently. The Nine-Colored Prairie inside is big and comfortable. It is the best field for the discussion of Dao. The war is not finished yet. Don't be so hasty, alright?"

    "Of course." Li Yao's soul was finally back in position, and his brain began to function at full speed again, completely waking him up. However, he still did not intend to let go of Ding Lingdang. Curling her red long hair with his fingers, he asked, "How long have I been in a coma? What happened in the meantime? What is this place? How is the war right now?"

    "You can take a look yourself." Ding Lingdang released a telepathic thought. One side of the shell of the medical cabin turned transparent as if it were entirely gone. The vast, boundless sea of stars immediately embraced them.

    In space, the central battlefield had already become a wasteland of cold, dim debris. Remnants of starships and crystal suits as well as the empty shells of space shuttles were everywhere, colliding with each other in the chaotic turbulence.

    Further away, the fire of war was still burning here and there, pushing the battlefield away to the edge of the Heaven's Origin Sector, which was tens of millions of kilometers away. Small-scale starships and groups of crystal suits were chasing and fighting each other everywhere. Emergency jumps and unexpected explosions were happening all the time. The intensity of the local battles was lower, but they were even crueler.

    In the bottom-left corner of their vision, the capital of the federation, protected by the Wall of Heaven's Origin, was clearly visible. Dense spots of light popped up near the capital planet and marched to the broken battlefield overwhelmingly.

    The enormous Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars flag could just about be seen among the light spots. They were all fleets of the federation.

    Despite Li Yao's abundant experience in space cruises, he was still deeply awed by the scene on the battlefield after the fierce fight.

    "We are now on Mica, the medical starship of the highest level in the Burning Prairie Fleet. This is a super medical cabin specially prepared for the experts in the Nascent Soul Stage," Ding Lingdang explained. "It was excavated from Kunlun thirty years ago and designed for the Nuwa Clan in the beginning. We have got it operational after thirty years and adjusted it to a pattern that is compatible with human beings.

    "The medical cabin boasts the function of healing heavy wounds by absorbing natural essence. Therefore, we have directly embedded it at the outermost layer of the medical starship like the eye of a fish. What you see is not a 3D light beam but the most authentic universe."

    "Have we won?" Li Yao smiled. Then he nodded very positively. "Our space gates have been repaired. The main troops from the Burning Prairie Fleet and the local garrisons from other Sectors have all arrived. We've won!"

    "We secured our victory because of the unexpected assault of you and the experts from the Ancient Sages Sector." Ding Lingdang could not help but smile. She pressed Li Yao's ear and said, "You even demolished Heiye Ming's Colossus, Black Satan. I almost jumped to my feet in fury. That was supposed to be my prey!"

    "Is that so?" Li Yao blinked. "I don't remember any of that now."

    "Yes, it is," Ding Lingdang replied. "It was Yan Liren and Long Yangjun, the two friends you made in the Ancient Sages Sector, who told me. They said that Black Satan split apart all of a sudden and spurted out the densest black fog from its body. Then, it was reshaped into a bloody mouth and bit your Tartarean Skeleton hard.

    "The crimson thorns that entangled your Colossus darted out and stabbed into the body of Black Satan.

    "The two Colossi were at an impasse. While your friends wondered how to separate them, the black fog that surrounded the Black Satan suddenly dispersed, and the Colossus itself was rusted and riddled with holes as if it had decayed over ten thousand years. It then completely fell apart.

    "At that time, the head of Black Swirl had already been completely blown up. There were intense explosions at the middle and rear parts of the starship, too. Fearing that you might be affected, they hurried to bring you out to escape. As for Heiye Ming and Black Satan, they must've been killed in the big explosions.

    "The Black Wind Fleet's space gate was destroyed, eliminating the possibility of reinforcements. Half of their morale was gone. Then, their highest commander was slain by you, and even their flagship was blown into twisted debris. Do the remaining Immortal Cultivators have any fighting will left at all? They are merely struggling to resist before their death."

    The real situation was much more complicated than what Ding Lingdang said. Li Yao did not know where to begin his explanation at the moment, either. He could only chuckle.

    Ding Lingdang sniffed and pinched Li Yao's shoulder before she declared in discontent, "Enough of that. We have all become used to the miracles you create! I won't be surprised no matter what shocking things you do except for getting pregnant and giving birth to a baby."

    Pausing for a moment, she added, "No, for such a monster like you, if you do get pregnant and have a baby or two after ten months, it still wouldn't seem very strange."

    "You flatter me," Li Yao said solemnly. "Whatever insignificant achievements I have accomplished today are because my wife is smart, visionary, and educates and commands me well. Ninety-nine percent of the credit is yours. Tsk, tsk, tsk. You are indeed the legendary God of War in the federation to teach your husband so well!"

    "Huh..." Ding Lingdang was satisfied. "This is more like it!"

    She continued describing the situation to Li Yao. Fifteen hours had passed since Li Yao fell into a coma. After the demise of the highest commander and the destruction of the flagship, the Black Wind Fleet finally slid toward collapse.

    However, collapse did not equal annihilation. To fight a clean, neat battle of annihilation in space was ten thousand times more difficult than on the ground, bordering on impossible.

    According to the plan of Li Yao and the experts of the Ancient Sages Sector, Heiye Ming would be their representative to clean the mess.

    But Heiye Ming was not deeply rooted in the Black Wind Fleet after all. She had never been among the most distinguished, and she had been missing for ten years. Would she still have any popularity left?

    Despite the support of the twelve experts from the Ancient Sages Sector and the aggressive fleets of the federation, she only managed to talk twenty percent of the defeated soldiers into surrendering.

    Another twenty percent of the defeated soldiers were stubborn diehards who were determined to fight the Cultivators to the end.

    The last sixty percent of the defeated soldiers, in such a desperate situation, actually did not have much loyalty to the Imperium of True Human Beings anymore. But driven by their natural survival instincts, they simply dispersed and ran to the outskirts of the Heaven's Origin Sector.

    The universe was a vast and desolate place. Those starships that had been heavily damaged in the war and used up most of their fuel and supplies did not stand much chance of survival.

    Perhaps, after their boiling brains gradually calmed down and made them realize their own situation, they would turn around to surrender to the federation.

    But it would certainly take time.

    A few starships performed space jumps without considering anything else, trying to return to the brown dwarf dozens of lightyears away and join the main troops.

    However, space jumps could be very dangerous. Not only did it require a long period of preparation and sufficient fuel and spiritual energy, the integrity of the structure of the starship needed to be high, too.

    When such starships that were seriously twisted and damaged performed a space jump, it was more like suicide than escape.

    After more than ten starships broke apart and were torn to shreds during their space jump, no other starships of the Imperium had the courage to follow their example.

    Besides, even if they could return to the brown dwarf, so what? The Black Wind Fleet had wagered all their ammunition, crystals, and fuel on the assault. Even the only super large space gate had been transported to the Heaven's Origin Sector. The reinforcements near the brown dwarf were large in number but insufficient in combat ability. It was difficult for them to perform a long-distance space jump. If they returned to the homeland of the Imperium, despite all the risks on their way, what would become of the defeated soldiers?

    The Imperium of True Human Beings was a paradise for experts but a slaughterhouse for the weak. The 'losers' who had just suffered a crushing defeat like them were too embarrassed and discouraged to return to the Imperium.
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