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Chapter 331 - Gotcha!
With a telepathic thought, ten Electric Whip Teethed Vipers crawled into the ventilation ducts and maintenance ducts between the sixth deck and the cockpit.
In the meantime, the perception range of the probe magical equipment near the cockpit was heightened to their maximum.
Such probe magical equipment was supposed to monitor whether or not the crystal warship was functioning normally.
Although it could not transmit image signals, it could monitor subtle temperature changes and special waves from metal objects very precisely.
No more than half a minute later, Ning Feng discovered that a metal object whose temperature was slightly higher than the surroundings was moving fast in the ventilation duct from the sixth deck to the cockpit.
Ning Feng sniffed. He was going to summon the assault team to besiege the ventilation duct, when he had a palpitation and his instincts alarmed him one more time.
The intruder seemed to have exposed himself too easily.
Considering that the enemy had gone through all the trouble sneaking into the warship, there was no reason why he wouldn't cover the basic heat contrast and metal reaction. Such a straightforward plan was like he was purposefully revealing himself.
Pondering for a moment, Ning Feng's telepathic thoughts flooded to the back of the warship where he activated the alarm system around the engine compartment to maximum.
Soon, he discovered another metal object which was moving at a high speed with a temperature slightly higher than the environment in the maintenance duct in the rear of the warship.
"Is his target the engine compartment?
"The engine compartment provides spiritual energy for all the power rune arrays and anti-gravity rune arrays on Tide Berserker. A lot of crystals are stored inside. In light of the style of this fanatic bomber, he might be selling me a dummy. It appears like he is sneaking to the cockpit for a decapitation operation, but in fact, he is going to the engine compartment secretly!
"As a refiner, he might've already prepared certain special explosive magical equipment that can detonate all the crystals inside the engine compartment.
"If he occupies the engine compartment and coerces me using the bombs he sets up there, claiming that he will die together with the crystal warship, I will be defeated!
The cockpit, the engine compartment. Two metal objects were moving at the two locations respectively fast.
"Which one of the two is real?
"If the one going to the engine compartment is his disguise and his real target is still the cockpit, what do I do?"
The time was limited. It was impossible to check the situation in the front and in the rear simultaneously unless he was to divide the assault team and the beast puppets into two squads.
However, faced with such a formidable enemy as Vulture Li Yao, Ning Feng had no confidence that half an assault team would be enough to take him down.
After careful consideration, Ning Feng made a risky decision.
He decided to send seventy percent of the assault team and puppet beasts to the engine compartment at the rear of the warship and assemble the remaining thirty percent to the cockpit to protect himself.
The decision did not calm himself down. Instead, he felt his heart was heavier and heavier, as if he had stepped off onto nothing and fell into an abyss.
For some reason, he felt that he had neglected something.
After a shiver, Ning Feng quickly started replaying the footage that the Vicious Bee Shuttles had captured just now.
The video was shot the moment before Li Yao broke into the warship.
Zoom in, zoom in, and zoom in!
When the picture was enlarged by 17 times, Ning Feng found that there were two giant metal balls hanging on the waist of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, which were full of power rune arrays and flame spouts.
The files that he had read about the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit did not mention any of such things.
He did not see any function of the two pieces of magical equipment in the previous fight, either.
From an aerodynamic point of view, there shouldn't've been two such metal balls on a crystal suit in the first place.
What was that?
'My enemy has played such a trick before. By hiding a piece of magical equipment that can emit heat and metal reaction below the waterfall, he allured the chasers after him away.
'The two balls must be the same thing. They're his 'shadows'!
'The two metal objects that are moving at the cockpit and the engine compartment are both fakes!'
Ning Feng's hair was all pricking.
Although he had seen through his enemy's disguise, he did not feel at ease at all, because he hadn't found out where exactly Vulture Li Yao's destination was yet.
'On a crystal warship, besides the cockpit and the engine compartment, what critical target can be destroyed by a crystal suit in a very short time?
'He has only one chance, and he definitely wouldn't act recklessly. It's not like he can just split my warship in his suit alone.
Had he not been confined inside the capsule, he would've jumped to his feet already.
The attack of the Heaven Splitters could be as powerful as a strike of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator. Their energy consumption was, of course, enormous.
Therefore, below the Heaven Splitters, a large chamber had been set up where super-compressed crystals were stored.
Such crystals were meant for demolishing and destruction. They were much more furious and unstable than the crystals inside the engine compartments.
Setting off such a crystal chamber was a hundred times more convenient than setting off the engine compartment, but the damage would be no less.
The Heaven Splitters were above the middle of the warship. Once its crystal chamber was set off, the entire warship might be split into two halves from the middle.
To this moment, the command center remained silent without interfering with this sham battle.
But Ning Feng was well aware that thousands of eyes were fixed on Tide Berserker at present.
If his enemy really sneaked into the crystal chamber of the Heaven Splitters and set up explosive magical equipment there, the command center would definitely call the sham battle to an end.
When that happened, he would meet an unprecedented failure!
"Shut off the ventilation ducts from No. 394 to No. 423!
"Shut off the ventilation ducts from No. 224 to No. 278!
"Assault team, go to the Heaven Splitters right now. Pay close attention to the ducts near the crystal chamber!
"Electric Whip Teethed Vipers, search the ducts that I shut off just now and leave no stone unturned!
"All Vicious Bee Armed Shuttles, retrieve the beast puppets on the ground and reinforce Tide Berserker!"
One command after another was issued.
In the meantime, Ning Feng did not forget to deploy ten Electric Whip Teethed Vipers to trace the two metal signals that had been discovered in the beginning.
Although he was pretty sure that they were his enemy's decoys, what if his enemy had stored something dangerous inside them?
Right now, Ning Feng had regarded Vulture Li Yao as the most sly and sordid opponent he had ever met. He even felt that he was facing a cunning demon beast instead of a human being.
Soon, abnormal spiritual waves came from the maintenance ducts leading to the Heaven Splitters.
Someone had blown up the gate locking the ducts, which had released a lot of light and heat.
In the moment of the explosion, a crystal camera in a turn of the ducts clearly captured burning flames and a blurred figure inside the flames.
After analysis and comparison by his crystal processor, it was the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit!
"Finally, you're here!"
At this moment, Ning Feng felt like crying out in joy!
Although this was only a sham battle, he had been more anxious in this battle than any other battle that he had fought before.
His enemy seemed to have realized that his plan had been seen through and started breaking through the maintenance ducts faster.
But the maintenance ducts were narrow and zigzagged with a lot of branches like a labyrinth.
So, the enemy's pace was rather slow.
The assault team and the beast puppets had gathered around the Heaven Splitters in advance.
All the Electric Whip Teethed Vipers crawled into the ducts.
News came from the ducts at the front and the rear, too.
Electric Whip Teethed Vipers there captured two pieces of ball-shaped magical equipment, which were exactly the items that the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit had been carrying on its waist when it broke in.
They were the sources of heat abnormality and metal reactions that the probe magical equipment had detected.
However, when the Electric Whip Teethed Vipers tied them up, the two 'shadows' suddenly exploded; dense smoke and furious flames burst out.
Their round bellies had been filled with smoke grenades and napalm bombs.
Smoke and heat flowed through the ventilation ducts to every corner on the warship.
For a moment, black smoke and venomous gas spread to every cabin.
But the game was over. The fancy tricks were not of much use to reverse the situation now.
Ning Feng commanded the fire control team to enter the ventilation ducts to put out the fire. Then he focused his attention on the assault team who were getting closer and closer to the real target.
Five minutes later, an Electric Whip Teethed Viper discovered the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit which was hiding behind a large cluster of messy spiritual energy tubes.
The combat was much easier than he had expected.
Dozens of Electric Whip Teethed Vipers lunged at their target at the same time and unleashed high-voltage electric arcs which immediately tangled the intruder.
In a narrow duct that was only two meters wide, the crystal suit was more of a burden than a help. Strong as his enemy may be, his enemy couldn't even stand straight inside the duct, let alone deal with so many Electric Whip Teethed Vipers simultaneously.
Besides, almost a hundred soldiers of the assault team were keeping a close watch outside the duct with their storm bolters at hand.
Should there be any abrupt changes, they could blow the entire duct into pieces.
The brutal fight to break into the crystal warship consumed much of the spiritual energy of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit. The after effect of taking the attacks from three Taiyi Lightning Railguns the hard way finally burst out.
The Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit did not resist. It was tied up without being able to move at all.
It was not until four soldiers imposed electromagnetic shackles on his enemy and he saw the full image of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit through a crystal camera on an Electric Whip Teethed Viper that Ning Feng was greatly relieved and lost all his strength in the capsule inside the cockpit.
He had finally captured the third crystal suit.
Vulture Li Yao was indeed a formidable opponent.
Was he really a sophomore student? Incredible!
"Fire control team, put out the fire on the warship as soon as possible; damage accounting team, report the losses of the warship right now. We'll have a half-hour rest. There's still the last crystal suit on the run. Let's work harder and try to seize him before sunrise!"
The moment he let those words out, Ning Feng felt that there was something wrong. He raised his head and saw bloody sunlight beaming into the cockpit through the window. The floor seemed to be burning in mysterious flames.
The sun had been up for a long time.
With a self-mocking smile, Ning Feng continued, "Check whether or not the Exo of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit is injured and send him to the med bay immediately if he is. But don't loosen the shackles on him. Assault team, stay alert. The guy might still have other evil plans."