”Captain, here ’s the full report of the Vanishing Colossus ’ arrays, independent and interconnected formations, operational requirements and needs, including the crew roster, details of their recruitment, and their registered cultivation levels. ” A firmly spoken voice resounded within the room designed as the central location to monitor and directly control the various operations of the gigantic Voidship.
It belonged to the square-shaped, spectacle wearing young woman at the Gravity Emission Phase. Her name was Shao Yi. She was currently handing jet-black hexagonal jade to the individual seating at the commanding seat. Its surface had faint markings emitting spiritual light.
Beside the seat were two men with calm gazes, their eyes emitting spiritual light as they simultaneously divided the workload of commanding the ship. Despite their auras at the Temporal Eye Phase cultivators, they were standing while a Gravity Emission Phase expert comfortably sat, observing the large frontal screen that projected various real-time details, including visual display of their direct course.
Wei Wuyin was the one in this seat. He asked Shao Yi, ”Inventory? ”
Shao Yi jumped slightly, ”I ’ll get a complete survey of our inventory immediately, Captain. ” She hastily straightened her posture.
Wei Wuyin nodded slightly, waving his hand as the jade crystal floated over and entered his grasp. It took only a few minutes for Wei Wuyin to sift through all the information, a little dissatisfied by the lack of extreme detail, but it was to be expected.
Shao Yi breathed a sigh of relief, giving Wei Wuyin a glance, and rushing off with a faint blush.
Shortly after Wei Wuyin made his offer, the entire room went into a silent yet animated uproar. The Timelord sitting at his now-occupied seat, formerly referred to as Captain Liu, was caught off-guard. So was everyone else. Eventually, a huge gathering took place that involved the top-tier members of the ship.
Wei Wuyin thought he ’d have to display aggressive tactics, even outright kill a few to take control of the ship initially, but after showing a few products, giving out a few casually concocted eighth-grade products to placate and give a taste to some, the vast majority of the crew acquiesced with full willingness.
The Timelords were the first to give up power, especially the second leader of the ship, Captain Chang. Just the sight of a peak-tier eighth-grade had sent him spiraling into hysteria. Wei Wuyin was slightly fearful that he might have a heart-attack or a seizure. This took him by surprise, but after thinking about it for a moment, he came to realize that the entire purpose for these pirates to exist, to form these united groups, was a means to obtain better cultivation resources.
Since he offered far better conditions, they weren ’t unwilling in the slightest. As for the rest, they didn ’t particularly care who they served, just that they received profits they were owed for work.
After a few hours, the former captains were reassigned as lieutenants of Vanishing Colossus, and Wei Wuyin had taken the leadership position. It ’s been three days since, and he had just received details about the Vanishing Colossus ’s internal operations and requirements. During this time, he was learning about the Void Pirate ’s modus operandi and the Vanishing Colossus ’ history.
According to his two lieutenants, the name Vanishing Colossus originated from its former owner, a cultivator at the Mystic Star Phase, the First Stage of the Mystic Ascendant Realm or Tenth Stage of the Astral Core Realm, depending on how you view it. He had spent his entire life-savings after failing his ascension, establishing a concealment array powerful enough to avoid all sensors beneath the mystic-level.
It had a similar function as the Shadow Egg as well, capable of camouflaging within the Dark Void and thus ’vanishing ’ from sight. Due to its large size, it was named the Vanishing Colossus. While simple, Wei Wuyin had to praise how apt it was.
As for the work of Void Pirates, they mostly performed stealthy acquisitions of low-level Voidships, stripping them for parts, obtaining whatever wealth was on the individuals onboard, and capturing them. They would then systematically investigate their background and ransom them back to their clans or families, if they can afford it, or to an underground trading network to shady organizations.
The lucky ones were recruited as crew, put to work for a steady income stream and cultivation resources. The slightly unlucky ones would work for free, just room, board, and some freedoms.
There were even some who were set to be ransomed back, but had been captured for over a decade, awaiting for the Vanishing Colossus to arrive near or at their planet or lunar satellite of origin. There were a few Evil Cultivators present, but not too many. Most just cultivated normally.
The overall operation was quite simple really, shocking Wei Wuyin on how they survived for so long. Was this really profitable? Enough to sustain two million individuals?
According to them, the Vanishing Colossus has lost leaders and deteriorated continuously over the years, even suffered devastating damage, but it had always survived by the skin of its teeth. The crew would rotate with each blow, and even Lieutenant Liu was a captured cultivator turned crew member roughly eight hundred years ago.
Lieutenant Chang had been born from two members on the ship, both long-time pirates prior to his conception.
They further detailed their income streams. The majority of their income typically originated from contacts. They would be hired through various underground circuits or accept certain requests for whatever region they were in. They would assault certain groups, clans, forces, or individuals, even perform kidnapping of specific targets, or rob certain merchant transports.
Wei Wuyin was once again reminded of the scarcity of Ascended, be it genuine or false. He was of the mind that the Ninestar Starfield and Aeternal Sky Starfield was vastly improved in cultivation standards, and experts littered the entire world. But that ’s never been the case, anywhere he ’d gone.
The Everlore Starfield never had issues with materials. It was filled to the brim with them. The starfield had enough to develop Mystic Ascendants and numerous Starlords in his golden era, and this number only grew as materials went unused rather than declined due to overuse, yet the decline remained, a steady decline over the course of eight thousand years.
While the Ninestar Starfield and the Aeternal Sky Starfield had improved environments, legacies, arts, spells, methods, higher-leveled creationist, and millions, if not tens of millions of Emperor Alchemists throughout the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region, he was once again reminded that these things required power to acquire, wealth to purchase, talent to maximize, and time to use.
Cultivation will forever remain difficult, an arduous path for all. And the population was still as disproportionately structured amongst experts and alchemists as it was in Everlore Starfield, where only five million Astral Core Realm cultivators existed amongst trillions of cultivators and less than thirty Emperor Alchemists existed overall.
When he learned that the Ninestar Starfield had publicly renowned Mortal Sovereign Alchemists, he was amazed, but he later learned they numbered nineteen, he was blown away!
The entire Ninestar Starfield had a population in the quadrillions, and new births were occurring every day to inflate that number further. Yet after tens of thousands of years since its history farthest recorded origins, only nineteen were properly fostered in the present day…
He had grossly overestimated the starfield, forgetting that the stronger grew stronger while the weak kept struggling for scraps. These Timelords had never even seen a ninth-grade product, and had consumed less than ten eighth-grade products total. Their cultivation bases were largely due to their environment being so rich, their ages being so high, and their cultivation efforts being extremely diligent.
While they might be considered as the ’bottom of society ’ that was quite untrue in Wei Wuyin ’s opinion. These Timelords have worked hard to acquire wealth and purchase available resources, not just products, but suitable cultivation materials to refine and absorb for their methods. There were others, the true ’bottom of society ’ that don ’t risk their lives in risky operations or ventures, but settle for complaining about those clans and forces that have everything, and their cultivators who are born with silver or golden spoons, sulking on their ancestor ’s effort.
These men here understood what it takes to thrive, and they were willing to bet their lives to claim what they could. The cultivation world was brutal, and they were living in it—embracing it.
Wei Wuyin admired them. When he was in the Scarlet Solaris Sect, he ’d struggled his way to the top of his generation through sheer effort, cunning, planning, and near-fatal conflicts. He didn ’t know how many assassination attempts he faced, where he barely survived, or the concessions he had to make, or situations he had to navigate.
More familiar with the realistic standards of this world, he no longer had this dismissive attitude to lower-leveled cultivators or those who fought for their means.
They had work ethic and willingness to pursue their goals. His decision to buy Vanishing Colossus felt like the correct one. It gave him a lot of thoughts towards the future, and for one, an army.
”Lieutenant Liu, ” Wei Wuyin called out. Lieutenant Liu ’s spiritual light emissions from his eyes dimmed, turning to Wei Wuyin respectfully. While Lieutenant Chang had surrendered after finding the prospect of a rich patreon, he understood that Wei Wuyin was vastly more powerful than him. So he placed an obedient expression and promptly responded, ”Yes, Captain? ”
”I want you to send individuals to the captured cells. Those who agree to join the crew may stay, those who wish to leave, put them on a fully-fueled voidship and send them off to the nearest sign of civilization. Before they leave, have them swear this oath. ” Wei Wuyin sent a spiritual transmission to Lieutenant Liu after verbally saying this.
Lieutenant Liu was startled by these orders. Even Lieutenant Chang ’s concentration was broken as he turned to Wei Wuyin. Letting them go? They were potential profits! Whether to be sold or ransomed away, they had value! He wanted to say something, but Lieutenant Liu reacted too quickly.
”Yes, Captain. ” He didn ’t dally as he sprung into action, giving orders through spiritual transmissions.
Lieutenant Chang clenched his teeth, trying to hold back his desire to speak, but was unable to do so in the end. ”Captain, those individuals have a price tag. Are you suggesting we stop capturing individuals? ” Did he not want them to be pirates any longer? Go straight? The thought caused him to question his decision.
Wei Wuyin faintly smiled, ”Of course not. But these small targets are that—small. And these so-called profits you speak of are too minor to matter. A single ninth-grade product would cover a million of them, so why bother performing such a time-consuming task? Money to an alchemist is merely a tiny inconvenience, but information and influence…that ’s the currency I seek. ”
After explaining this, both lieutenants felt shivers down their spine. They had an inkling of what Wei Wuyin intended from his words, but they felt that grasping the entirety of it was outside their scope of thinking.
Wei Wuyin ’s silver eyes were brightly lit, reflected within his pupils were a flowing network of interconnected plans slowly manifest at the forefront of his thoughts.
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