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'Take the 7th gate on the left.'

Just as Tang Xiu was about to choose the gate to enter, the Star Devourer Insect's thought transmitted to his mind. His expression shifted and he quickly asked, 'What's exactly in the 7th gate?'

'The main console.'

The Star Devourer Insect might have been sealed for eons, but it was indeed more familiar with the situation in the entire vestige. It also understood through the exchanges of the human experts that their purpose for their visit was this place. Additionally, since it must serve Tang Xiu for 2,000 years according to the ancestral rule of its race, it was only natural that it would help its master to get the best things.

The main console was the central area of the entire vestige and controlled all operations. Those who were in control of the main console could easily shift the power in the whole vestige, be it it's defensive or offensive features.

Tang Xiu himself had seen an interstellar battleship of an advanced civilization and naturally knew what the main console meant. He hardly had any hesitation; instead of rushing to the 7th gate on the left, he turned to Zhu Long and said lightly, "Now that we've arrived here, we can separate. This vestige is huge and there are so many areas to explore. You can pick one gate and I'll enter another."

When Zhu Long saw Tang Xiu's strength, he already knew that the guy must leave the team sooner or later, so he didn't delay him at this time and just nodded. "Be careful and immediately evacuate if you're in danger."

Tang Xiu nodded but he didn't enter the gate directly and just watched Zhu Long's team of four picks a gate to enter. His eyes then fell on the three remaining members of the Japan team.

"It's been a long time," said Tang Xiu calmly.

Cheng Xuemei shivered inside and quickly squinted at Kuwako and the middle-aged man before she squeezed out a smile and said, "It's been a long time indeed. And you… you're much more powerful than the last time we met."

Tang Xiu calmly smiled in response. He looked at Kuwako and asked, "Who's this fellow?"

Kuwako pondered for a moment, but a dagger suddenly appeared in her hand and instantly stabbed the middle-aged man's heart the moment the guy didn't notice her movement.

"Why?"

The middle-aged man's face greatly changed and disbelief filled his eyes. He tried hard to cover his chest and shouted.

Kuwako sneered before she respectfully cupped her fist and spoke to Tang Xiu, "He's not of my men, we and Boss just teamed up temporarily. Besides, I'm at odds with the power behind him."

"Well, since you already have different viewpoints then kill if you have to." Tang Xiu nodded with a smile.

The middle-aged man looked at Tang Xiu and Kuwako with disbelief and exclaimed, "You called him… Boss? You…"

Kuwako sneered and watched him crash to the floor and then asked, "Is this Junko your people, too, Boss?"


At this time, Cheng Xuemei was truly shocked by the sudden turn of the event before her eyes. Never once she ever dreamed that Kuwako would attack her own team member all of a sudden; neither did she expect that Kuwako would even address Tang Xiu as 'Boss'. She receded a few steps backward hastily in fear that Kuwako would suddenly attack her as well.

After a moment of silence, Tang Xiu suddenly asked, "Are you on a secret mission, Xuemei?"

Chen Xuemei hesitated before she nodded. "I am."

"The relationship between me and Kuwako must not be known to outsiders, so now you have two paths you can take," said Tang Xiu. "Firstly, commit suicide in front of me and I'll take your body when I leave the vestige. Secondly, you pledge your loyalty to me—you must pick my side, even if you must go against your country. Pick between the two choices."

"Aren't you also a Chinese national?" screamed Cheng Xuemei angrily.

"I am. But I belong to my own side," said Tang Xiu indifferently. "If you become my people, you must put my interest before everything else; your duty to your country comes next."

"Then what do you want me to do?" asked Cheng Xuemei.

"I don't need you to do anything for me," answered Tang Xiu apathetically. "As long as you remember one thing—that what you see and hear in this place must stay in your stomach. And you will not report it to your immediate superior outside."

Falling into silence for half a minute, Cheng Xuemei then slowly replied, "I promise you."

"I'll hold onto your word. Now leave! I'll guarantee that Kuwako will not only not harm you later, but she can also help you in secret during your mission in Japan."

Cheng Xuemei didn't utter a word. The current Tang Xiu gave her dread, even fright.

"Kuwako will be with me and you can choose another gate to enter!" said Tang Xiu indifferently. "Immediately escape whenever you are in danger, and then head to the 7th gateway on the left to find me. Also, remember to phone your little sister if you have some time."

Cheng Xuemei's face slightly changed and she hurriedly asked, "You know my sister's current situation? She… how's she?"

"After losing your protection, what kind of situation do you think she has fallen into?" Tang Xiu said indifferently, "Feel at ease, though! She has already left your family and I think she won't ever come back. As for where she is, I've already arranged her to stay in a safe place, the place she likes. Look for me first whenever you're done with your mission and return to the mainland."

"Thank you!" Cheng Xuemei gratefully glanced at Tang Xiu and turned to pick a portal to enter.

Kuwako watched Cheng Xuemei's back until she disappeared completely and then whispered, "Boss, I think you should've killed her directly, else she'll be a big threat for both of us if she were to expose the relationship between us."

"No. I know a bit about her personality." Tang Xiu shook his head. "She will never break her promise even if we can't use her. What's more, she might even be very strong. Additionally, the most important person in her heart is now one of our people."

"Her younger sister?" asked Kuwako.

"That's right, her younger sister." Tang Xiu nodded. "You can ease your worries; she's more important than herself in her heart. After you leave this vestige and she returns to Japan, help her regardless of what her task is if you could, that is as long as it won't pose a big threat to you."

"All right," concurred Kuwako quickly. Since the Star Devourer Insect had picked up the path for him, he headed straight to the 7th portal on the left and gently pressed the button on the door. The door was opened directly and Tang Xiu and Kuwako entered. After passing through the blue corridor that was waving like the tide, a spacious hall appeared in front of them.

Whizz…

A fuzzy shadow instantly smashed at them. It was so fast that even Tang Xiu had no time to avoid it. He used his backhand to slap Kuwako in the side in a hurry as the fuzzy shadow then struck his chest. A flash of fire blasted in Tang Xiu's chest, sending him flying and sprayed out a mouthful of blood.

"BOSS!!!"

Kuwako's face changed. She only felt a bit of pain of getting hit by Tang Xiu but didn't suffer any injuries. But the moment she landed on the floor, she saw Tang Xiu flying back towards her. She reached out to catch him almost without hesitation as her feet quickly flickered backward for dozens of meters.

Cough, cough…

While his body was held by Kuwako, Tang Xiu coughed up a few mouthfuls of blood again. It was just a blow, yet his internal organs felt like they were burning which was mixed with severe pain. If it wasn't for his formidable physique, that blow could've cleaved his body in two.

In the hall, a green vine swayed its body while dozens of its branches acted like an octopus and put on a threatening stance—yet, the glowing aqua light covering its body made it look extraordinarily beautiful.

It was one of those branches that attacked Tang Xiu a while ago.

"Be careful. That thing is dangerous."

Tang Xiu raised his hand to wipe off the blood from the corner of his mouth. After taking the Holy Healing pill into his mouth, he quickly circulated his Heavenly Art of Cosmic Genesis.

Kuwako was somewhat touched inside due to Tang Xiu's action to save her. The warmness was more than a feeling when Tang Xiu gave her several medicinal pills. However, she could also determine in an instant that the seemingly beautiful vine was actually an endangering threat to them; even her Boss, Tang Xiu, was unable to avoid it and was directly injured.

Something that eased her worries was that the vine didn't attack again after that strike. It was probably because its branches were not that long.

"What should we do now, Boss?" asked Kuwako with a cautious stance.

Tang Xiu inhaled deeply and adjusted the condition of his injury, while at the same time, he communicated with the Star Devourer Insect. Through the transmitted thought from it, he finally figured out the situation regarding that vine. The vine was known as Luminous Vine in the advanced civilizations' worlds and could keep growing wherever light existed. After years of accumulated growth, it could grow into a plant with sentience and wisdom. It fitted perfectly with the cultivation of plants on Earth which would eventually turn the plant into an evil spirit.

Only, this kind of Luminous Vine would grow more and more powerful as time went by. Despite its extremely slow growth rate, this vine had been proven to be terrifying to the max after more than a million years. Even in the advanced civilization world in which it originally grew, only a few could be much stronger than it.

'Don't tell me this thing has no restriction to its lifespan?' Tang Xiu frowned and communicated with the swallowing insects.

'No. The Luminous Vine still has some restrictions in regards to its life and longevity.' The Star Devourer Insect replied, 'It will die if it doesn't get light energy for 45 days. Of course, the older this vine is, the longer it can endure. From the looks of this Luminous Vine, it can go on living even if it doesn't get light energy for a few years. It's just… that strong.'

'You mean that it can live up till now because this vestige has been providing light energy to this thing?' asked Tang Xiu.

'Yes!' replied the Star Devourer Insect.

'I want to control the main console here. How can I subdue this Luminous Vine then? Should I kill it?' asked Tang Xiu, frowning.

'Intimidate and threaten it!'

The reply from the Star Devourer Insect was actually very simple.

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