”We are in no danger of envelopment. We have a fine opportunity to destroy the enemy on each vector. You tell me not to make the most of this opportunity and to make a meaningless withdrawal, but to do so would not be merely passive, it would be criminal. ”

”Why? Because our mission is to do battle with the rebel forces and destroy them. An honorable withdrawal, you said. But where is the honor in failing to complete the mission with which His Imperial Highness has charged us? Does this not resemble the self-justification of a coward, milord? ”

Luo Xiaoyi transfixed the shocked, unmoving Vice Admiral Zhao with an ironic gaze, pressing his advantage.

At the mention of ”His Imperial Highness, ” a ripple of tension ran through the bodies of four of the admirals, excluding Rear Admiral Yang. Luo Xiaoyi thought it all absurd.

”So you say, although Your Excellency may call this a fine opportunity, you are the only one here who believes it to be so. Even from the standpoint of commonsense tactics, it is impossible to accept. For a strategy which has no proven track record. ” Rear Admiral Yang Implied.

”This ones not just incompetent, hes an imbecile ” Luo Xiaoyi concluded—

”An unprecedented operation can have a track record. Its record will begin with the coming battle, will it not? ”

”Then tomorrow, Milord, you will verify its record with your own eyes. Is that not acceptable? ” Speaking aloud, Luo Xiaoyi said it with an unwavering commitment.

”Are you certain of success? ” Vice Admiral Zhao asked him with a Grim Expression on his face. It was almost as if he was about to cry over it.

”I am. But only if all of you follow my strategy faithfully. ” Luo Xiaoyi answered in a nonchalant manner.

He didn care for what they thought or for whatever reasons they came to convince him to retreat as he had already thought of winning this upcoming battle.

”What kind of strategy? ” Vice Admiral Zhao asked, making no attempt to hide his suspicion.

Xiaoyi glanced at Lieutenant Commander Lin Feng for a moment as he hasn even disclosed his strategy to him yet as he had planned it all while watching the enemies formations and then began to explain the operation to everyone.

”. . . . . . . . . . . . . ”

Two Minutes Later.

”That sounds fine on paper, but there is no way it will actually work, Excellency. This kind of— ”

The interior of the soundproof field was filled with the sound of Vice Admiral Zhaos shouts.

”Enough! Theres no need for further debate. His Imperial Majesty named me as commander for this operation. Your obedience to my commands needs be interpreted as proof of your loyalty toward His Majesty. ”

”Is that not the duty of a soldier of the empire? Do not forget, I am your commanding officer. ” Luo Xiaoyi implied with an annoyed expression.

It showed his superiority over them in this operation.

A moment passed in silence.

”All authority over your lives rests in my hands. If you wish of your own accord to defy the will of His Highness, very well. ”

”I will simply use the authority he has vested in me to relieve you of duty and to punish you severely as insubordinates. Are you prepared to go to those lengths? ”

Luo XiaoYi Xiaoyi glared at the five men standing before him. They did not answer.

”. . . . . . . . . ”

After a while, the five admirals departed. They neither accepted nor consented, but they did find it difficult to oppose the authority of the emperor.

Only Yangs expression could have been interpreted as favorable toward Luo Xiaoyis plan for the coming operations, but the expressions of the other four were to varying degrees saying, ”How dare that brat brandish the emperors authority! ”

For Lieutenant Commander Lin Feng, circumstances were forming in which it was a bit difficult to remain silent. Even without all this, Luo Xiaoyi had a bad reputation as an overly young upstart. From the standpoint of these veteran commanders, he was nothing more than a weak little asteroid in their eyes.

It was not as though this was Luo Xiaoyis first campaign, though. In the five years since he had been enlisted, he had already emerged victorious in a number of battles. But if someone were to tell that to the commanders, they would only say something like, ”He was in a good unit ” or ”The enemy was too weak. ”

And because it was difficult to say that Luo Xiaoyi was humble and courteous in all matters, their antipathy toward him had been amplified, and now in the shadows he was widely referred to as ”that impudent white haired brat. ”

”Are you sure about this? ” Lieutenant Commander Lin Feng asked Luo Xiaoyi, a look of anxiety rising up in his eyes.

”Leave me alone, What can they do? They
e cowards who can even make a nasty remark individually, even for that they have to come in a group. ”

”They do not have the courage to defy the emperors authority. ”

Luo Xiaoyi said in a nonchalant manner.

”But what little courage they have may gather in the shadows. ”

Lieutenant Commander Lin Feng replied with a worried expression, he wasn wrong, those five commanders may resort to underhanded tricks.

Luo Xiaoyi looked at his aide de camp and gave a low, amused laugh.

”You need not worry, Lin Feng. Theres nothing to fret about. Even though they
e full of grievances now, that situation will change in a single day. And Ill show that idiot Zhao a framed copy of the rack record he loves so much. ”

Saying that he had enough of such talk, Luo Xiaoyi rose from his chair and returned to his private room for a break.

Leaving the bridge under Lieutenant Commander Lin Fengs control, Luo Xiaoyi set out for his private room to get some rest.

Inside the Private Room.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Meanwhile In the Human Dao Alliances Camps.

The twenty one year old Mu Kongdong, with his long grey hair, black eyes, and tall height and build, gave more of the impression of an easygoing scholar than that of a soldier. At least thats the impression one might describe if pressed. Most people who looked at him saw nothing more than a very quiet-natured young man. Most couldn believe their ears when they heard of his rank being a Rear Admiral.

He had reached the Foundation Establishment Realm and was a history addict with great admiration for those who lived in the past.

Currently he was in his private room, reading a passage containing information of the bloodlines found in the Great Change Era.

After a moment of pause, the passage that was displayed on the consoles tiny screen suddenly dimmed and faded out. Faster than one could push a control button, another passage appeared.

”Rear Admiral Mu Kongdong, the Lieutenant commander is calling for you, Please report to the command room as quickly as possible. ”

His reading interrupted, Rear Admiral Mu Kongdong grabbed his uniform and ran a hand through his unruly head of long grey hair.

He was a senior staff martial in the Human Dao Alliances Second Fleet, occupying a private room near the bridge of its flagship, Hades.

Since he had been enjoying his private time reading on a console originally intended as a tactical computer, there was no sense in feeling annoyed.

When he reached the Command room, Commander Lu Piao, who was at the Peak of the Foundation Establishment Realm, and his other subordinates were inside waiting for Rear Admiral Mu Kongdongs return.

”Welcome back, Your Excellency!! ”

Upon his Arrival all of them stood up and greeted Rear Admiral Mu Kongdong. He waved his hand, as a signal that they may sit down.

”How is it going? Is there any problem? ”

Mu Kongdong inquired them with a smile across his face. He was an easy going person so most of the time he acted casually in front them.

”Yes, sir. Ive looked over the tactical plan you submitted, It was a fairly interesting idea. But too cautious, Your Excellency? ”

Commander Lu Piao asked in a careful manner so that he does not offend Rear Admiral Mu Kongdong in any way.

”You don say. ”

Rear Admiral Mu Kongdong replied with a smile. He said it in a very quiet tone of voice.

”But sir, as you yourself noted, it would be pretty hard to lose with this strategy. Weve gotta win. We
e closing in on the enemy from three directions. And on top of that, weve got thrice their numbers. All the conditions are lined up for a big win. ”

”So, I was just wondering, why are you thinking up ways to avoid losing? ”

Commander Lu Piao asked again. He had a dumbfounded expression on his face as he was hundred percent sure that there was no way for the empires fleet to win this battle.

”Well, yeah, but its not like they
e surrounded already. ”

Rear Admiral Mu Kongdong replied with an unfazed expression. He was pretty cautious and knew that if the enemy forces survive the attacks of their current formations, the situation would turn grave.

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