Li Yao and Ding Lingdang both nodded, somewhat helplessly. They had never considered the issue from that perspective before.
On second thought, it was indeed a conundrum that could barely be bypassed.
“Secondly, the complexity of the universal exploration. We have to try everything we can to increase our odds of discovering a new Sector,” Professor Mo Xuan said. “For the ordinary people who live on a planet, with a blue sky above their heads and a solid land below their feet, when they are faced with the night sky brimming with brilliantly shining stars, it is often impossible for them to truly understand the vastness and enormity of the universe!
“How many stars are scattered in the three-dimensional universe to our knowledge?
“By the preliminary estimation of generations of astronomers, there are approximately ninety sextillion, which means a nine with twenty-two zeros behind it!
“What does 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 mean exactly?
“Let me put it this way. We are now on the Grand Desolate Plateau at the north of the continent of the Heaven’s Origin Sector, which is a famous desert. There is another boundless desert at the south of the Blood Demon Sector known as the White Silver Death Desert!
“Say that every grain of sand in the desert stands for a star, then, even if all the grains on all the planets in the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector are combined, their total number will still be smaller than the number of stars in the universe!
“But although there are so many stars, only a tiny fraction of them can generate stable galaxies, and of the stable galaxies, only a tiny, tiny fraction are qualified to be called a ‘Sector’ with abundant spiritual energy!
“We must consider the investment and the possible yield before we develop the Sectors. Some of the Sectors may boast bountiful spiritual energy, but they are too far away from us, and their environment is too harsh. So, they will be of no use to us at all for the next hundreds of years!
“In the end, the Sectors that fit our filtering conditions are few to none!
“This is the difficulty of universal exploration. The ‘Heavenly Road Plan’ equals to a mission to locate a few grains from the billions of grains on the Grand Desolate Plateau.”
Ding Lingdang could not help but interject, “But don’t we have a lot of star maps?”
“Yes,” Si Koulie replied with a smile. “It is exactly because of the star maps left by the Pangu civilization and the observational magical equipment passed on from the Star Ocean Imperium that such an arduous mission is ‘possible’. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even be able to begin the first step!
“However, there is still a long way to go from ‘possible’ to ‘successful’.
“On the other hand, the universe is dynamic and changing all the time. Every planet, every galaxy, and every nebula is moving and rotating incessantly, affecting and interfering with each other. So, the universe can be quite mysterious and unpredictable.
“The star map of the Pangu civilization that we have retrieved is a product from hundreds of thousands of years ago. It is now incomplete and lacking a lot of critical information. But even if we manage to repair it, what it records will still only be the status of the sailing routes from hundreds of thousands of years ago.
“Although hundreds of thousands of years are just a snap of the finger for the whole universe, the relative position among the galaxies and the Sectors has still gone through drastic changes!
“Therefore, we must calculate the trajectories and the patterns of most Sectors and worlds before we deduce what the universe looks like right now based on the ancient star map.
“Or to put it more straightforwardly, the star map of the Pangu civilization is already ‘outdated’, and we have to ‘refresh it’!
“It is not hard to imagine that, with the level of our civilization, there will be all kinds of errors when the star map of the Pangu civilization is being refreshed.
“With the help of the Star Prier’s House, the observatory of the Star Ocean Imperium, we have tried to narrow the errors to the minimum. Together with the historical and archeological evidence, we have determined hundreds of space zones where a Sector may exist.
“But it doesn’t mean that we can jump into the core of a civilization simply based on the coordinates we have determined! The odds are basically negligible!
“Our explorers will have to jump, drift, and grope in the infinite darkness, in order to have a slim chance of finding a new Sector!
“To increase the possibility of finding a new Sector, we are preparing to send as many explorers as possible to different directions and distances!
“Every new exploration team means a greater likelihood of finding a new Sector and building up our federation. That is the only way that we can expect to resist the scourge of the expedition army in the battle to come!
“If two Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators are kept in the same team, if they are unlucky and find absolutely nothing after drifting in the universe for decades, it will not just be their own time that is wasted but also the future and destiny of the New Federation!”
“So, that is the case…” Li Yao and Ding Lingdang both frowned.
The two old seniors did make a lot of sense. From the perspectives of both anti-risk and success rate, it was indeed inappropriate to keep the two Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators on the same team.
“In fact, if Ding Lingdang hadn’t advanced into the Nascent Soul Stage so quickly,” Professor Mo Xuan said, “Li Yao in the Nascent Soul Stage and Ding Lingdang at the peak of the Core Formation Stage would’ve been made a gold team!
“But nobody expected that you could march into the Nascent Soul Stage so quickly, Little Ding. Right now, you are both ‘national treasures’ for the Star Glory Federation. How can we send you out recklessly?”
“Okay.” Li Yao held Ding Lingdang’s hands tightly and immediately sensed what his wife was thinking about from her palm. Thinking for a moment, Li Yao said, “It doesn’t matter even if we have to be split apart for a while. After all, the ‘Heavenly Road Plan’ is a well-prepared, active exploration, instead of a random, aimless shot in the dark like when I jumped to the Flying Star Sector last time. I assume that there will certainly be results after three to five years of exploration, won’t there? Or maybe, can you arrange two space zones that are close to each other for me and Ding Lingdang to explore so that we may be able to take care of each other?”
After hearing that, Professor Mo Xuan and Si Koulie both put on a weird expression and fell into silence.
Li Yao raised his eyebrow and asks suspiciously, “What’s the problem? Even that isn’t an option?”
“It is.” Professor Mo Xuan coughed and said, “Li Yao, there’s a top secret that we were planning to officially publicize on the Meeting of the Nascent Soul Stage in a few days, but now that you’ve mentioned it in advance, we can tell you the secret first.
“But for the record, we are only informing you of such a mission right now. The nature of the mission is very special, and we are definitely not imploring you to do anything. After you hear the introduction, it will be up to you whether or not you should accept the mission! Although you, Li Yao, are the best candidate in our mind, it doesn’t mean that you are irreplaceable. Do you understand?”
Now that Professor Mo Xuan was speaking in such a serious way, Li Yao’s curiosity was aroused.
Looking at Ding Lingdang for a moment, he smiled. “Isn’t it just a mission to explore a new Sector? That’s my thing. Do you have to be so serious, professor?”
“Wait until you hear the introduction.”
Professor Mo Xuan and Si Koulie communicated in a low voice for a moment. Then, Si Koulie retrieved a bizarre-shaped mini crystal processor from his Cosmos Ring and triggered a colorful, complicated star map.
It was a repaired and abridged version of the star map of the Pangu civilization inside the escape center.
Countless shining stars immediately enveloped the four of them, building a mysterious vibe.
Professor Mo Xuan seemed to be hiding behind a fuzzy nebula. His voice was moving up and down unpredictably as he said, “Li Yao, you should know that, although the universe seems to be cold and empty, radiation, cosmic storms, and space-time ripples can take place anywhere and anytime. As long as we monitor the vacuum with suitable magical equipment, we will be able to hear chaotic, messy sounds, which are collectively called ‘universe noises’!
“However, the so-called ‘universe noises’ might not necessarily be meaningless noises. It is very possible that extremely precious information is contained inside some of the ‘noises’, except that we can never understand the information!
“On Kunlun, the escape capsule of the Pangu Clan had been sending out distress signals that were highly penetrative to the outside world all the time, but the signals were considered by the Immortal Cultivators as ‘universe noises’. Tang Qianhe, the spy of the Covenant Alliance lurking among the Immortal Cultivators, was the only one who was able to understand it.
“When we were developing Kunlun profoundly, we got in touch with some magical equipment with which the Pangu Clan transmitted information in the universe. We partly figured out the Pangu Clan’s methods to send out information to the universe and are now able to distinguish their information from the ‘universe noises’!”
Li Yao nodded slowly. Up to now, he still had not realized what Professor Mo Xuan was getting at yet.
“Long story short. Five months ago, the Universal Surveillance Center that we deployed in the Star Prier’s House suddenly picked up some ‘universe noise’ from the depths of the sea of stars. After analysis and restoration, we found certain patterns from it that are quite similar to the Pangu Clan’s methods of universal communication!”
Professor Mo Xuan made a gesture. Li Yao and Ding Lingdang immediately heard the sound as if drops of water were hitting a rock.
“Tick… Tick… Tick, tick, tick… Tick… Tick… Tick, tick, tick… Tick… Tick… Tick, tick, tick…”
In front of their eyes, soundwaves rather patterned, if not graceful, slowly blossomed like a flower of ghosts in the depths of the universe.
“The technique through which the information was sent is extremely sophisticated and utterly incomprehensible for us. We only know that it may have something to do with ‘gravitational wave communication’. They basically teleported a ripple through the four-dimensional space to our world instantly, ignoring the distance in three-dimensional space.”
Professor Mo Xuan’s voice sounded like a cold wind blown over from somewhere deep in the universe. “Soon after the Flying Star Sector received the message, the Heaven’s Origin Sector received exactly the same message. Tick… Tick… Tick, tick, tick!
“It is almost like that a mysterious existence in the depths of the universe… greeted the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Flying Star Sector in a way similar to the Pangu civilization’s technology!”