“Yes,” Professor Mo Xuan said. “After discovering that the cost of the mission is so high, the whole team of the ‘Heavenly Road Plan’ has evaluated whether or not it is necessary to carry out such a mission many times.
“If the mysterious world was not a local military center of the Pangu civilization hundreds of thousands of years ago, where the war relics and even the arsenal of the Pangu civilization can possibly be stored, if it is not covered in a weird ‘black spot nebula’, if it didn’t suddenly ‘wake up’ and ‘greet’ us, if it doesn’t happen to be on the route of the expedition army of the Imperium and will likely be scanned and detected by the Imperium…
“If any of the ‘ifs’ didn’t exist, chances are that we would abandon the mission. After all, it is too complicated, dangerous, and lengthy. Should anything go wrong, we will lose a precious Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator!
“However, with the four factors combined, it’s like a sting that has deeply pierced into our eyes, making us unable to ignore the mysterious world.
“If we do, just like you said just now, it is very possible that an army vastly different from what we have anticipated will be knocking on our door in a hundred years’ time!”
Li Yao listened to the professor’s introduction carefully while he measured the virtual star map, estimating the distance between the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the mysterious ‘black spot nebula’ and the possible spiritual energy cost.
After calculating in silence for a long time, Li Yao tapped between his eyebrows softly and said, “If we are indeed performing such an exploration, it will be the longest space jump in the history of the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector. No wonder we can only send a super-tiny starship such as ‘Spark’, which is both light and fast!
“However, I do have a technological question.
“After receiving the space jump technology of the Pangu civilization and the Imperium of True Human Beings, our Heaven’s Artillery, Eye of Blood Demon, and Cosmic Slingshot have all been upgraded into top-tier space jump platforms. After necessary modifications, it is indeed possible to launch Spark to the black spot nebula millions of lightyears away.
“But how is Spark coming back?
“Assuming that there is a vast and surging river between us and our destination, a strong, muscled man can definitely throw a pebble over the river.
“But the biggest issue is how to make the pebble fly back even though it is easy to be thrown away. ( Boxno vel. co m )
“However, our mission is exploration and topography. If we have indeed collected tremendous intelligence, we will have to bring it back one way or another. Won’t it be a suicidal mission if we can only jump over but can’t jump back?”
“We all have considered the issue.” Professor Mo Xuan turned on a second light beam. This time, it was the complicated 3D designs that were displayed in the virtual space.
The figures, spiritual stripes, and rune arrays were as small as the heads of flies, and they had taken up almost every corner. Normal refiners would feel dizzy when they read any of them.
Li Yao, however, craned his head and studied with great interest.
“This is what we have in mind right now.” Professor Mo Xuan pointed at the design and said, “Look. This is Spark after being modified. There’s a special super-compressed space in its rear. You may imagine it to be a Cosmos Ring with an extremely high capacity. We have stored the units that can be assembled into a star beacon in the space.
“After the explorer jumps to the black spot nebula, the first thing he needs to do is collect the local astronomical parameters, measure the appearance of the universe nearby, and look for the world that probably still exists and has ‘greeted’ us.
“After the explorer finds the Sector, he will find a safe and stable space nearby, where he will assemble and unfold the star beacon. That way, the precise coordinates of the Sector will be sent back to us.”
“Wait a moment.” Li Yao raised his hands. As a professional, he immediately noticed something wrong. “The black spot nebula and the three Sectors are so far away from each other. Only the specific coordinates information sent by the largest star beacons will be able to be successfully received by the three Sectors, right? Even if the message is received, it will be like a flickering firefly in a dark night. Obscure and incomplete, it will be far from enough to navigate the space jump of a fleet!
“To guide a collective jump of an enormous space fleet covering a distance of millions of lightyears, hundreds of star beacons are needed to be put together into a ‘space gate’!
“So many star beacons are definitely beyond the capacity of a tiny Spark!”
“Li Yao, your concerns are very reasonable. The cases are different. Let’s talk about them separately,” Professor Mo Xuan explained unhurriedly. “After discovering the new Sector, the explorer will need to enter deep into the mysterious Sector. Without exposing his own identity, he will need to figure out their ethnography, their civilization level, the distribution of their Pangu relics, their attitude toward us; whether or not they are related to the Imperium, the Covenant Alliance, the demon race, the extraterrestrial devils, the Pangu Clan, the Nuwa Clan, or any other alien species… but most importantly of all, find out why exactly they ‘greeted’ us!
“The explorer will collect all the intelligence of value and run a preliminary analysis on the ground.
“In the best-case scenario, the creatures of this Sector boast a very developed civilization and are quite friendly to us. They are glad to communicate or even ally with us, like the relationship between the Flying Star Sector and the Heaven’s Origin Sector.
“Then, the explorer will send the result back through the star beacon.
“At that time, the federation will send more units of star beacons toward the coordinates where the explorer is at.
“You see. Although the flickering light millions of lightyears away may not be enough to guide an enormous fleet, it should be more than enough to guide a few lifeless units of star beacons.
“After the units are teleported over, the explorer will collect and assemble the units on Spark into a second, a third… and even a hundredth star beacon, until an intact ‘space gate’ is established so that our main force will be able to jump over to establish deeper communications with the stranger.
“After the main force arrives, they will bring larger carriers that accommodate magical equipment to dredge the space sailing routes. So, it will no longer be a problem to go home for the explorer.
“If the kindness of the creatures of this unknown world is unquestionable, it is very possible that they will have their own highly-developed space jump techniques. Maybe, the explorer can go home with their method.
“After all, the situation right now is utterly different from when we were wandering in the Flying Star Sector. At that time, we didn’t know the specific coordinates of the Heaven’s Origin Sector at all. Naturally, it was extremely troublesome for us to return home.
“But right now, we know everything about the specific coordinates and the astronomical parameters of the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Blood Demon Sector, and the Flying Star Sector. With a platform on the level of the Heaven’s Artillery, it will be very easy for the explorer to return!”
Grinding his teeth for a long time, Li Yao shook his head slowly. “I’m afraid that we cannot be so optimistic. A friendly, highly-developed civilization? It doesn’t sound very hopeful to me.”
“Then, it will be the second case-scenario, which is relatively worse,” Professor Mo Xuan said. “If the explorer discovers that a powerful civilization that is hostile to us and even deeply associated with the Imperium, the Covenant Alliance, the extraterrestrial devils, the Pangu Clan, or other forces is dominating the unknown Sector, and that they are planning to conquer or even destroy us, the explorer will still have to collect all the intelligence about them before he returns to the ‘jump point’ that he has deployed in space!
“By then, the explorer will send a different signal to the three Sectors. After receiving a message from him, the three Sectors will also teleport assets to him, not the units to assemble star beacons this time but the units to make ‘thrusters’.
“You may think of a so-called ‘thruster’ as a super-mini ‘Heaven’s Artillery that is specially for Spark’s use. It will kick Spark hard right in the bottom. Together with the space jump facilities installed on Spark, the starship will be able to be teleported back, too.”
Li Yao thought for a moment and said, “The second case-scenario is ‘worse’. So, there is still the ‘worst’-case scenario?”
“In the worst-case scenario,” Professor Mo Xuan said calmly, “the explorer will fall into the hands of the locals.
“It is a possibility that we can’t ignore. After all, the fact that they ‘greeted’ us from millions of lightyears away is indicative enough of their civilization level. Now that our explorer is entering the dangerous land without knowing the first thing about them, we have to consider the possibility of the explorer being captured and studied by them.
“If that’s the case, the explorer must be able to terminate his own life before he confesses any crucial intelligence about the three Sectors, especially our war potential and our specific coordinates!”
The cruel possibility cast both Li Yao and Ding Lingdang into silence for a moment.
“Professor, allow me to summarize your requirements.” Li Yao rubbed his face hard. Sorting through his messy mind, he said slowly, “In order to explore the mysterious world, the explorer you are looking for must have abilities in two aspects.
“Firstly, the abilities to fight on his own deep behind enemy lines, to assume other identities, and to collect and analyze intelligence.
“Secondly, the abilities to assemble and maintain magical equipment independently! It is very possible that the explorer will have to establish a ‘space gate’ purely on his own. Although all the assets will be teleported from the three Sectors, it will still be an extremely difficult task to assemble tens of thousands of units, debug them, and make sure that the function normally!
“It is needless to say that the magical equipment units may malfunction after breaking through the void. He will have to test and maintain each and every one of them, which is not a job that any random refiner can accomplish.
“There are the most distinguished special forces soldiers, intelligence experts, and camouflage masters in the three Sectors. There are also the most excellent refiners and magical equipment specialists.
“However, Spark is modified from the escape capsule of the Pangu Clan, and it can only accommodate one passenger!
“You can count the Cultivators who boast the abilities in both the two aspects with one hand. I think that there are fewer than three names on your candidate list, Professor.”