Star Odyssey - Chapter 1899
Justice Manor actually uprooted itself and fled westward, which temporarily put the war on a hiatus.
By this time, the Astral Beast Domain had managed to take control of ten of the Outerverse’s weaves, which shocked both the Fifth Mainland and the Celestial Beast Empire.
In the past, who could have imagined that the Celestial Beast Empire would ever be able to drive so deep into the Outerverse? No one. Xu Qing’s accomplishment was unprecedented.
Xu Qing was overflowing with energy as he gazed to the west. He would have a place in history as the only commander in the entire history of the Celestial Beast Empire to have conquered the central weaves of the Outerverse. His previous losses no longer mattered, and his current achievement was enough to erase any mistakes.
“Commander, why are we stopping? The Sixth Mainland’s already been defeated, so we can keep pushing deeper and reach the western border!” excitedly said the Celestial Demon accompanying the invasion. He had also been a part of this invasion, which meant that he would also have a place in the historical records.
Many astral beasts wanted to keep pushing deeper into the Outerverse and resume the invasion, as their progress had been unbelievably smooth.
Xu Qing shook his head and grew solemn. “Enough is enough. We won’t fight any longer.”
The Celestial Demon was left confused. “Why? Are you worried about the Sixth Mainland’s Semi-Progenitors?”
Xu Qing said, “That’s part of it. While the Semi-Progenitors aren’t willing to interfere in this war, if we go too far, we will draw their attention. Our current progress is the limit of what we can do, and if we try to push any further, it will reignite the full war efforts we faced before. If the Sixth Mainland retaliates with its full strength, we’ll be defeated.”
Xu Qing was the commander, and he would not be deceived easily. Besides, the most important thing for him had already been accomplished: an achievement impressive enough to wipe away his previous failures.
Xu Qing was under no illusions that the Astral Beast Domain would be able to truly retain control over the weaves that he had just conquered. The Sixth Mainland was incredibly powerful, and once its internal chaos calmed down, the astral beasts would not be able to stop the humans. Any random Semi-Progenitor from the Sixth Mainland was more than enough to slaughter the entire horde.
Beep beep beep!
Xu Qing’s gadget beeped, and his eyebrows rose when he glanced down and saw a call request from Lu Yin.
“Congratulations, Commander Xu Qing! You’ve made it into Tyrannical Weave! You’ve conquered the central weaves, and you’ll be remembered throughout history. Any further and you’ll be in the Outerverse’s western weaves. Invading the western weaves is a completely different level from invading the Outerverse’s central weaves. You have this junior’s congratulations,” Lu Yin said with a smile.
Xu Qing indifferently replied, “I’m sorry, Alliance Leader Lu, but I need to recuperate for now. We’ll talk later.”
The astral beast commander then immediately hung up.
Lu Yin continued to stare at his gadget, and Shui Chuanxiao spoke up from behind, “The Astral Beast Domain has stopped pushing their invasion, and they probably don’t intend to continue past this point. Xu Qing’s quite sharp, and he can clearly understand the current situation.”
Lu Yin laughed. “True, he’s very smart, and he’s not tempted to invade the western weaves, but this is already enough for us. Right now, the Sixth Mainland should start to react, which means that it’s our turn to make a move.”
Shui Chuanxiao stared at Lu Yin. “The interlaced plans were already set in motion a long time ago. If I were in Xu Qing shoes, I would not be able to do anything against it at all.”
Lu Yin finally looked up. “He has to keep going, as if he doesn’t, he’ll have to return to the Celestial Beast Empire, and he can’t bear the losses that he’s responsible for. Right now, we’re the ones who’ll decide what happens next.”
Lu Yin then used his gadget to make another call. “Master of Cloud Valley, I would like to make you an offer…”
A short while later, Lu Yin lowered his gadget. His eyes glinted, and he ordered, “Go!”
Lu Yin’s order saw the entire Great Eastern Alliance fleet start making its way towards Flaxen Weave.
Further west, in Tyrannical Weave, Xu Qing was studying a star chart and considering how best to slowly retreat without suffering too many losses once the Sixth Mainland launched their counterattack. At this point in time, his entire focus was on how to best preserve the Celestial Beast Empire’s accomplishment of this invasion into the Outerverse. He wanted his record to be as glorious as possible when recorded down in history.
Suddenly, a creeper delivered a report, “Commander, the Great Eastern Alliance has begun to move!”
Xu Qing was stunned. “What?”
The Great Eastern Alliance had remained inactive for the last two months of the Astral Beast Domain’s invasion of the Outerverse, but when they finally started moving, they did not attack the astral beasts at all. Instead, they simply occupied six planets in Flaxen Weave.
These six planets were evenly distributed across the route that the astral beasts had taken when pushing west, and they were just close enough for Yuan Shi and the other powerhouses in the Great Eastern Alliance to quickly shuttle between them. Effectively, the path back to the Astral Beast Domain and the Primal Zone had been cut off.
As soon as Xu Qing heard that the Great Eastern Alliance had started to move, he checked the planets they had occupied on a star chart, and his expression sank. He immediately called Lu Yin. “Alliance Leader Lu, you’re breaking our agreement!”
Lu Yin responded with total confusion, “Breaking our agreement? When?”
Xu Qing angrily explained, “You’ve cut off my retreat to the Astral Beast Domain! Are you working with the Sixth Mainland?”
Lu Yin smiled. “Commander Xu Qing, you’ve misunderstood. I haven’t cut off your path of retreat. This is nothing more than a standard military transfer. Flaxen Weave is also one of the eastern weaves of the Outerverse, so there’s no need for me to discuss how I handle it with you. On top of that, we’ve already agreed that the Great Eastern Alliance won’t take any actions against you, and you can rest assured that I won’t be the first to break our agreement.”
Xu Qing’s eyes flashed with a dangerous light and his voice grew cold. “Alliance Leader Lu, this is a despicable move!”
He had fallen right into the trap that Lu Yin had laid out in the wording of their agreement. Lu Yin had specified that the Great Eastern Alliance would not make any moves against the Astral Beast Domain and that the astral beasts would also do the same. However, with Lu Yin effectively cutting off their one path to retreat, Xu Qing was being forced to attack, and as soon as Xu Qing’s forces turned aggressive, Lu Yin could do as he wished without violating their agreement in any way.
“Alliance Leader Lu, the Sixth Mainland already holds a terrible hatred towards you, so why help them? Is this just because of some sort of racial loyalty?” Xu Qing asked as he tried to suppress his rage.
A smile slowly spread across Lu Yin’s face. “I already suggested that you push into the western weaves, but you didn’t listen to me, Commander. I had no choice but to give you a bit of a nudge. I have absolutely no desire to offer the Sixth Mainland any assistance.”
Xu Qing instantly understood that Lu Yin would remain impassive if the astral beasts pushed on with their invasion into the Outerverse’s western weaves, but since they had stopped, Lu Yin had correctly read the situation as the Astral Beast Domain was about to retreat from the Outerverse. If this happened, the Sixth Mainland would not suffer much and would not have to deal with too many losses. What was the purpose of this invasion? Was it to accomplish nothing more than to give Xu Qing the opportunity to erase his previous losses and reclaim his standing within the Celestial Beast Empire? Was it to simply give the Sixth Mainland a stage to use to redirect the turmoil of their internal conflicts?
Lu Yin had paid a steep price, so how could he possibly allow the astral beasts to retreat so easily? As soon as the Astral Beast Domain pulled out of the Outerverse, the Great Eastern Alliance would be left to face the Sixth Mainland alone. How would they be able to defend the eastern weaves from such an opponent?
Xu Qing was truly frustrated. Lu Yin’s intentions were all too clear to see. He should have been leading the astral beasts through each stage of this invasion one step at a time. They should have next put on a show of attacking the western weaves while secretly starting to retreat to the Primal Zone. Not only would this have preserved the majority of their forces, but Xu Qing would have also had a justifiable explanation for such a retreat, as he could have reported to the Celestial Beast Empire that the Great Eastern Alliance was about to team up with the Sixth Mainland to attack the astral beast invasion from both sides in a perfectly placed pincer attack. However, Xu Qing had lost the opportunity for this path out of sheer carelessness.
“Alliance Leader Lu, there is a saying that you should already understand: there are no permanent enemies, only permanent interests. If my Astral Beast Domain approaches the Sixth Mainland right now to negotiate an agreement for us to safely return to the Primal Zone in exchange for us not setting foot in the Outerverse for the next thousand years, what do you think the Sixth Mainland’s reaction will be? Will they agree? What if we instead join hands and both start attacking your Great Eastern Alliance? Can you survive that?” Xu Qing threatened.
Lu Yin just laughed. “As expected of the Celestial Beast Empire’s commander! It’s a bold plan. You’ve been fighting against the Sixth Mainland so violently for the last two months, but you want to cooperate with them in such a casual way now? Does this mean that you’ve forgotten my position, Commander? Don’t forget that the Progenitor of Bloodlines has already approached me.”
Xu Qing’s expression changed once again, and it grew increasingly contorted.
It was true that the Progenitor of Bloodlines had appeared after Lu Yin passed his stellular tribulation, and according to Lu Yin, the Progenitor had appeared with the intention of accepting Lu Yin as a disciple. Xu Qing was not the only one aware of this, as the Sixth Mainland’s Semi-Progenitor Lan Xian had learned of it as well. What’s more, after she left the battlefield, the Sixth Mainland had not tried to force Lu Yin to return the eastern weaves to their control.
Given this understanding, only an idiot would expect to see the Sixth Mainland cooperate with an enemy in order to deal with the Progenitor of Bloodlines prospective disciple. As far as the Sixth Mainland was concerned, cooperating with the Astral Beast Domain was the same as cooperating with the Great Eastern Alliance. Even if the Sixth Mainland wanted to take back the eastern weaves, there was no need for them to team up with the astral beasts.
The Astral Beast Domain’s invasion force had fallen into a completely passive state.
Suddenly, another beast arrived and reported that the Sixth Mainland had just launched a counterattack. It was even being led by Qing Hua and Herb Immortal, two Empyrean Imprinters. The participation of the two powerhouses more than compensated for the Sixth Mainland’s lacking numbers on the battlefield due to the countless deserters.
The astral beasts were able to deal with the counterattack for some time, but it was not long before it became impossible for them to resist the continuous reinforcements that the Sixth Mainland poured onto the battlefield.
No matter what may have happened, the astral beasts had invaded the Outerverse, which was the Sixth Mainland’s demesne. Any one of the three territories could field a tremendous number of cultivators, and it was also possible for one of the three Semi-Progenitors to make an appearance at any moment.
A few days passed, and Xu Qing gazed eastwards. He needed to order a retreat, as his forces would be completely wiped out if he tried to stubbornly persist in fighting against the Sixth Mainland.
Xu Qing was the Celestial Beast Empire’s commander, and he was skilled enough to face off against Shui Chuanxiao in military tactics. Xu Qing would never fight a battle with a questionable outcome. It did not matter how enticing Lu Yin’s promises had been, as Xu Qing had always been prepared for the worst.
Their path through Flaxen Weave had been blocked off, but this did not mean that there was no path back to the Astral Beast Domain: there was still the Astral Wilderness.
The Astral Beast Domain had dreamed of invading the Outerverse for countless years, and so, aside from the Primal Zone, they had also explored the Astral Wilderness. Over the years, they had mapped out a route, and they would use it to return.
This route had been mapped out with the intention of launching a surprise attack on the Outerverse’s western weaves, but Xu Qing was being forced to use this path to escape.
‘Alliance Leader Lu, you and I have faced each other, and we’ve each had some wins and some losses. This invasion is over, but I look forward to seeing you on the next battlefield.’
Lu Yin frowned as he read the message that Xu Qing had just sent.
“This means that they’re retreating. The invasion was led by Xu Qing, and he would never be foolish enough to strike so deep into enemy territory without having alternative roads of retreat,” Shui Chuanxiao commented as he also read the message.
Lu Yin opened a star chart and looked at the region connecting Tyrannical Weave to Armament Weave and on to Flaxen Weave. Suddenly, his eyes were drawn to the Astral Wilderness. If there was anything completely out of Lu Yin’s control, it was the Astral Wilderness.
This region was a complete mystery to humanity, and even though many people had explored the place over a period of countless years, it was not suitable for habitation. The star energy there was thin, there was no signal to connect to the network, and there were constantly unpredictable threats. That was the Astral Wilderness.
The situation was no different for the astral beasts.
Still, it appeared that the Celestial Beast Empire and the Astral Beast Domain were ahead of the Human Domain when it came to exploring and utilizing the Astral Wilderness.
“Commander Shui, just how big is the Astral Wilderness?” Lu Yin asked suddenly.
Shui Chuanxiao shook his head. “No one knows.”
“Is it part of the Fifth Mainland?” Lu Yin continued.
However, Shui Chuanxiao remained silent. Naturally, he did not know the answer to this, as he was privy to far fewer secrets of the ancient times than even Lu Yin.
There had been the Six Mainlands in the ancient era, but what had existed beyond them? Had that been the Astral Wilderness?
Xu Qing was very decisive in his actions, and he left behind a few astral beasts on the battlefield while leading the majority into the Astral Wilderness.
The dangers that one faced in the Astral Wilderness were unpredictable, so the Sixth Mainland was unwilling to take the risk of chasing after the astral beasts. Instead, the humans traveled towards Flaxen Weave by making their way through the Outerverse. They intended to eradicate all of the astral beasts from the entire Outerverse, take back control of Ironblood Weave, and then push into the Primal Zone.