It was Hidden Star, a stealth warship with optical camouflage all over the body that solely belonged to the Secret Sword Bureau.
Other than being the largest intelligence agency of the federation, the Secret Sword Bureau was also responsible for executing demons, devils, and evil Cultivators that had snuck into the heartland of the federation. Therefore, they boasted their independent armed forces and even fleets that were not under the command of the federal army.
The crystal warships of the Secret Sword Bureau were focused on the small-scale battles in cities. Their firepower was not as fierce as that of the crystal warships of the military, but in terms of the search precision, stealth, and manipulability of their magical equipment, the rune arrays to suppress ground targets, and the technique reserves, they were much more advanced.
Also, the soldiers that the Secret Sword Bureau tutored on their own gained abundant experience after fighting in the downtown area, which was often populated and boasted a complicated terrain.
It was safe to say that, in such an environment, they were stronger than any special force of the federal army.
At this moment, Hidden Star, Hidden Fog, Hidden Wind, Hidden Moon, and more than ten other crystal warships designed to suppress ground targets were hovering in the sky of the capital city in silence. Together with the thousands of surveillance cameras scattered everywhere in the capital city, they constituted an impregnable dragnet that enveloped the entire city.
Most of the crystal warships were under the direct command of Lu Zui.
As for Lu Zui himself, he was staring at the light beam in silence in the secret command room on Hidden Star, the flagship.
On the other side of the light beam, Guo Chunfeng was briefing about his previous operation from the headquarters of the Secret Sword Bureau full of delight. "Reporting to you, director, Mo Xuan, Ding Lingdang, Wu Mayan, and Xie Anan are now all under control!
"Mo Xuan is guilty of hacking into Li Chenxin's crystal processor and stealing files on his sniper rifle Herald. He handed the files to Blood Devil Li Yao and helped him defeat 'Death Ray' Ye Changkong!
"Ding Lingdang played an important role in the whole incident, too. It is now safe to say that they have both been beguiled by Blood Devil Li Yao!"
Lu Zui opened his mouth. He was meaning to ask, Why did you not inform me earlier of such a big operation?
Before he proposed the question, Guo Chunfeng gave the answer himself. "Director, I only just got the news that it was Mo Xuan who hacked Li Chenxin's crystal processor. After I got the message, I immediately started the operation without half a second's hesitation. That was why I was able to fish them up!
"Professor Mo Xuan is a crystal processor specialist himself. It is very possible that he was performing 'anti-surveillance' on us. It is needless to say that Blood Devil Li Yao is an expert of eavesdropping and peeping, too!
"If I had reported it in advance, it is very likely that they would've noticed it. At the very least, Blood Devil Li Yao would've noticed something wrong!
"But right now, we have captured them as quickly as lightning, and Blood Devil Li Yao doesn't know the first thing about it yet!
"It means that they are now the best bait for fishing up Blood Devil Li Yao!"
Lu Zui was silent for a long time. His computational ability soared as he quickly deduced different outcomes of the whole event.
However, ever since Elder Nether Spring was captured, he had been sparing no effort dedicating all his brain cells to the scheme without a proper rest for quite a few months.
A few days ago, everything had mostly been settled. He was going to make use of his secret technique and recover his brain last night, only to be disrupted by the news that Li Yao had robbed the undersea base!
Exhausted, he was now almost in a trance faced with the unexpected changes.
"Director!" Guo Chunfeng, who was on the other side of the light beam, gritted his teeth and declared, "I am the chief commander of the operation to capture Blood Devil Li Yao, but he has escaped multiple times and even caused tremendous damages. That was all my fault, and I am willing to be punished in any way!
"However, I want director to give me another opportunity! I wager with my head that he is definitely not going to run away this time, not unless he steps over my dead body!
"This is the proposal of my operation. Please take a look, director!"
Guo Chunfeng sent a proposal over through the Spiritual Nexus.
Lu Zui read it carefully for a long time and calculated every detail in it repetitively. Then, he raised his head and observed Guo Chunfeng's resolute face on the light beam. Finding no anomaly in the eye contact, he nodded eventually.
"Alright. Do it as you've planned, but remember—"
Lu Zui lowered his voice that was brimming with killing intent. "Blood Devil Li Yao is extremely dangerous. In case he bewilders other people with his mysterious secret arts and hurts even more compatriots, kill him immediately as soon as his trace is discovered!"
"Understood!" With a cold smile, Guo Chunfeng said brutally, "There's no need to give such evil beings a chance to talk!"
The light beam was turned off. Lu Zui was silent for a long time watching the blankness.
Lu Feng, his foster son, walked forward and asked in a low voice, "Father, why didn't you ask Guo Chunfeng to deliver Ding Lingdang, Professor Mo Xuan, and the rest of them to us?"
"How?" Lu Zui asked back. "Guo Chunfeng is the supervisor of the first division. For more than ten years, he has been directly commanding all the operations in the frontline. It is not an exception this time. He is the chief commander!
"A plausible reason is required if we want the captives from him.
"Yes, we can accuse Ding Lingdang of being a Child of the Nether World, but Ding Lingdang is not the key point here. The key point is Professor Mo Xuan, who is capable of cracking the Jade Chip Disc!
"Professor Mo Xuan is more than a hundred years old now, and he has been in the Flying Star Sector in the past ten years. There is no way that he can be a Child of the Nether World!
"Now, Guo Chunfeng has discovered evidence to link Professor Mo Xuan to Blood Devil Li Yao. All the captives are keys to fishing up Blood Devil Li Yao. Guo Chunfeng must be watching over them closely. On what grounds should we ask for them?
"Of course, we can demand that he send them to us, but Guo Chunfeng is definitely going to be suspicious. Will that do us any good?
"Guo Chunfeng is the strongest Core Formation Stage Cultivator of the federation. If he grows suspicious, he could prove to be as much trouble as Li Yao!
"We have lost two battle-type Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators. Dealing with Li Yao and Guo Chunfeng at the same time? The price is too high, and it is too risky."
Lu Feng thought for a moment and realized that it did make sense. He frowned and said, "In fact, we should've told everything to Guo Chunfeng before and absorbed him into our organization! His parents were both killed in the beast tide. He definitely would've supported us because of his hatred toward the demons!"
"That is unnecessary," Lu Zui replied. "I've worked in the Secret Sword Bureau for almost two hundred years. Guo Chunfeng is perhaps the most suitable guy for the trade with the most potential that I've ever seen. A year ago, he was already the indispensable commander in the frontline for the Secret Sword Bureau. If we had told him everything, but he refused to join us, he would've been a trouble that was even more troublesome than Li Yao right now!
"It would not have been difficult to get rid of him, but it would have been quite difficult to find a commander who could replace him. People of our trade don't just count on their big fists or sharp sabers; it is their brain that matters!
"Therefore, I tested him several times and abandoned the attempt after failing to find his real attitude.
"After all, he has been doing an excellent job when he knows nothing. If so, why should we turn him into an unstable factor?"
Lu Zui sent Guo Chunfeng's proposal to Lu Feng's crystal processor.
Lu Feng glanced at it and said, "The odds of success are not low."
"Very high, I would say," Lu Zui said. "Right now, the leadership of the Heaven's Origin Sector has learned that Li Yao heavily wounded Ye Changkong, which is further proof that he is now the Blood Devil. All the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators have raised their wariness and won't give him the chance to approach. Without evidence, how can he persuade other people? Just with his sharp tongue?
"Evidence is what he needs most right now, or to wit, the Jade Crystal Disc that contains Elder Nether Spring's memories.
"The Jade Crystal Disc, however, is locked by a barrier.
"Few people are capable of cracking it, and most of them are under our control. He can only go to Professor Mo Xuan! Also, he cannot dawdle for too long because in another few days, the federal army will march into the Blood Demon Sector!
"Therefore, in the upcoming few days, maybe today, he will certainly return to the capital city and look for Professor Mo Xuan!
"Now that he doesn't know that Professor Mo Xuan has been captured, it is very likely that he will fall into Guo Chunfeng's trap!"
Lu Feng nodded. "Then, should we sit and wait for the success of Guo Chunfeng's operation?"
"Of course not!" Lu Zui narrowed his eyes and said, "Our hunting team must be deployed, too. Make sure that Li Yao is killed the moment he shows up!
"More importantly, the Secret Sword Agents we arranged around Guo Chunfeng should take action, too, and make sure that Guo Chunfeng doesn't grow suspicious of the whole thing!
"Right. See that the evidence that proves Guo Chunfeng to be Abyss is prepared!
"The guy is a genius. I cannot bear to destroy him. If everything goes smoothly according to our plan, it will be best. But otherwise…
"We'll have to cover his head with the big hat called Abyss!"
Dozens of meters below the command center of the Demon Execution Division of the headquarters of the Secret Sword Bureau, inside a secret chamber, Ding Lingdang, Wu Mayan, Professor Mo Xuan, and Xie Anan were struggling hard against the constraint barriers. However, there was not much that they could do except trigger the dazzling electric arcs.
The alloy gate several meters thick glided to two sides. Guo Chunfeng strode in and sat on the metal chair on the opposite side. He eyed them casually in the posture of a victor.
Ding Lingdang suddenly spat right in Guo Chunfeng's face. "Damn gofer!"
Emotionlessly, Guo Chunfeng took out a dirty handkerchief from his pocket and wiped off the saliva slowly. He then picked up a glass cup that was full of cracks. He sipped, squinted, and tasted the flavor of the tea.
The tea leaves were the cheapest ones, but in his mouth, they seemed to be as tasteful as the Flowing Gold Leaves, which cost tens of thousands of bucks per gram.
After chewing for a long time, he finally swallowed the tea leaves and covered the tea cup with a lid before he said casually, "Speak now. What's the means of contact between you and Blood Devil Li Yao?"