Because of the pouring rain on the ground, the underground drainage system was also activated to the maximum. Countless rainwater tubes and dirty water tubes were emitting deafening noises as currents ran inside!
The difficulty of tracking Li Yao escalated all of a sudden. The Secret Sword Agents, who had barely slept in the previous couple of days, almost went crazy!
Li Yao reached out to Professor Mo Xuan again through another electric cable.
Professor Mo Xuan brought the information that he wanted most.
Li Yao had been anxious about the mysterious sniper.
Even after injecting a huge amount of cell restoration drugs, his heart was beating with a dull pain. It would even occasionally threaten to stop beating.
The quick, lethal shot last time was too terrifying!
Li Yao did not want to brag about himself, but there were no more than three snipers who could threaten his life to such an extent in the entire federation.
The man did not show any intent to capture him alive but just wanted him dead. If the Patriots Partnership did exist, the man was very likely a member of it, which meant that he would be a good candidate for Li Yao to get started with.
Therefore, he asked Professor Mo Xuan to investigate the man's identity.
The sniper's identity was not too much of a secret. After all, although the marvelous shot concealed the force and intimidation as best it could, thereby escaping ordinary people's attention, the high-level Cultivators could definitely smell the vague scent of spiritual energy. There was no hiding that.
Also, Director Lu Zui had acknowledged frankly that there was another hunting team in case of the infiltration of the Children of the Nether World. The leader of the squad was the well-respected chief coach of gunnery in the federal army. The Cultivators who did not know the inside information naturally would not have any doubt.
It was 'Death Ray' Ye Changkong!
Li Yao clicked his tongue.
As the chief coach of gunnery of the federal army, 'Death Ray' Ye Changkong was also a legendary person who had been famous for more than a century and was a well-deserved hero of the federation. It had never occurred to Li Yao that he would be a member of the Patriots Partnership!
Li Yao quickly evaluated the combat ability of the two sides.
'Death Ray' Ye Changkong was in the middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage. He was adept at manipulating objects at distance, locking onto the enemy mentally, and hiding his own traces. Also, he had the enhancement of a gun that was an ultimate treasure. At a distance of more than a thousand meters, he would certainly have the advantage.
In comparison, Li Yao was in the superlative height of the Core Formation Stage. He was good at deploying traps and close-range combat. If the distance could be shortened to within a hundred meters, the entire battlefield would be under his control.
However, what Li Yao wanted was much more than simply killing 'Death Ray'.
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao sent a message to Professor Mo Xuan. "Any idea what gun 'Death Ray' Ye Changkong is using?"
Professor Mo Xuan was a seasoned expert of magical equipment. Naturally, he knew a lot about the commonly-used weapons of the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators in the federation. "The gun he uses most is a 'Heavenly Shuttle IX' anti-armor sniper rifle. The sniper rifle is designed to deal with the demon experts who boast super-thick armor and the behemothic demon beasts. Controlled by the experts about the Core Formation Stage, the sniper rifle could blow a hole or make a headshot on a demon beast a hundred meters tall easily!
"Ye Changkong's Heavenly Shuttle IX was also modified by Li Chenxin, a master of firearms, and it consumed incalculable Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures. It was utterly reshaped and combined the techniques of multiple types of guns. Together with the marrow crystal bullets that were carefully refined, the gun is a unique, ultimate treasure. Even Master Li Chenxin was very satisfied with the masterpiece and named it 'Herald'!"
Li Chenxin was the most famous master of firearms in the federation. No wonder the heavy sniper rifle was so powerful—it had been modified by him in person.
Li Yao thought for a moment and asked again, "Is there any way to hack into Master Li Chenxin's crystal processor and steal the structural design and the modification procedures of Herald?"
Professor Mo Xuan was silent for a moment, before replying, "It is not difficult to sneak into Master Li's crystal processor. After all, gunnery is just a secondary art. Even the designs of 'Herald' can't be a top secret. However, the Secret Sword Bureau is closely monitoring me. There will be a lot of trouble if I want to hack into someone else's crystal processor without them knowing. I estimate that it will take more than half a day. Also, the information contained in the designs is too huge to be transmitted through text."
"That's not a big deal," Li Yao said. "Ding Lingdang is still 'hunting' me anyway. After Professor Mo gets the designs, you can store them in a super-mini chip and ask Ding Lingdang to put it in a specific location. The inner wall of a certain trash can in a certain block, for example. I can pick it up myself."
"Alright. I will try to bypass the surveillance, hack into Li Chenxin's crystal processor, and retrieve the designs of 'Herald' in six hours," Professor Mo Xuan replied. "However, why do you want them?"
Li Yao smiled. "I've figured out an approach that is worth a try, but it requires your cooperation, especially Ding Lingdang's."
Li Yao hesitated for a moment and took a deep breath. Still, he typed in a line of words in the end. "You know everything, but you cannot let go of your hatred for the demons?"
There was a long silence, and the light beam remained blank.
Li Yao stared at it without blinking, with hot sweat dripping down his forehead.
It was not until half a minute later that a new line popped up on the light beam.
"You know that my father and my mother were killed by the demons right in front of my eyes. The scene is like a cluster of thorns that always entangled my heart. Now, I am already at the peak of the Core Formation Stage. But at night, I still wake up from nightmares because of fear, and I feel that I'm the desperate little girl who is surrounded by the beast tide again.
"The road that you and Jin Tuyi described looks straight, beautiful, and correct. Perhaps, there is really a promising future if we embark on that path.
"However, the cluster of thorns is still entangling my heart, my limbs, and my whole body without letting go. I can never get rid of it no matter how hard I try!
"Can you teach you how to put down the hatred?"
Li Yao was silent and did not know what he could say.
Whatever he said at this moment, it would only be hypocritical, stupid, and even cruel.
He had never experienced the pain that Ding Lingdang had. How could he be so shameless as to toss out some irresponsible nonsense?
Scratching his head hard, Li Yao failed to come up with any solution.
The light beam was blank for another half minute before the letters popped up one after another again. Ding Lingdang was typing very fast. Li Yao could even picture her biting her bottom lip.
"However, no matter how much one hates the demons, no matter how unwilling one is to cooperate with the demons, it is definitely not a reason to kill thousands of compatriots, thousands of ordinary people, and thousands of innocent fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters!
"I watched my parents die in front of me in person. I know exactly how it feels.
"In the Federal Square yesterday, how many little kids at the same age as I was years ago tasted the same feeling? Years later, will they wake up from nightmares and burst into tears like I do today?
"Slaying evil is our responsibility, but the purpose of slaying the evil is to protect ordinary people so that none of us need to bear such pain!
"If thousands of innocent people must be sacrificed first in order to slay evil, wouldn't it be putting the cart before the horse? What evil are they slaying?
"Last night, I thought for a long time while holding the pictures of my father and my mother, but I was still uncertain what path I would take.
"However, there is one thing that I'm absolutely certain about.
"The scumbags who killed so many innocent people, even if they are wearing a human skin covered in fancy clothes and carrying the righteous banner, are still evil. The most shameless evil!
"I am a Cultivator. Guarding ordinary people and slaying evil is my responsibility! Regardless of whether the evil is wearing the skin of demons or that of human beings, I will catch them mercilessly, grab their neck, and beat the last bit of crap out of their filthy body!"
Li Yao gazed at the light beam for a long time. He felt that his nostrils were occupied by some sour liquids. He rubbed his eyes hard and quickly typed.
"Got it. We can discuss our future path later. We'll definitely work something out.
"Right now, let's catch the evil in human skin first and beat the crap out of them!
"Look at the back of the third cooling tube below the left abdomen on your crystal suit.
"Hehe. When you punched the Cosmos Ring into my mouth, I gave you a little something, too!"
Six hours later, in the command center of the Demon Execution Division of the Secret Sword Bureau, Ding Lingdang was gnashing her teeth while her red hair was dancing crazily in midair. She was holding a thin chip in her hand.
She jabbed the chip at Guo Chunfeng's nose.
"What's this?" Guo Chunfeng slightly frowned. He was a refiner with keen eyes. Naturally, he could tell that it was a chip for a crystal processor to connect to the Spiritual Nexus wirelessly. There was a unique identification rune array and spiritual stripe embedded inside, too. It was used to connect to the network.
In other words, the chip was a crystal processor's 'SIM card'. Only after the chip was inserted and activated could a crystal processor connect to the Spiritual Nexus.
What confused him was why Ding Lingdang brought a network chip to him.
"I found the chip in the cooling tube of my crystal suit while I was maintaining it. It is definitely not mine." Ding Lingdang spoke to him solemnly.
Although she was not a refiner, an excellent Exo still needed grasp the knowledge of the regular and simple maintenance of their crystal suit.
After the battles that were not very intense, if the crystal suits were not damaged, it was common practice for the Exos to perform the maintenance themselves.
Guo Chunfeng thought quickly and gasped. "It must've been inserted into your crystal suit secretly by Blood Devil Li Yao during combat. The chip is not under our surveillance. As long as you replace it with the one in your crystal processor, you will be able to establish an unknown, confidential communication channel!"