Professor Mo Xuan was silent for a moment before he nodded and said, “You’re right. Not many people are suitable for the task, and you are on the top of the list.
“On one hand, you have the valuable experience of exploring the Flying Star Sector and the Blood Demon Sector on your own, which nobody else in the three Sectors shares.
“The results of your adventures are not bad at all, proving that you have all the abilities required for the mission. Although luck did play a role in your journey, the newborn Star Glory Federation needs some luck, too, in order to embark on the way to dominate the sea of stars!
“On the other hand, you are also one of the best refiners in the three Sectors. Although you are not good at theoretical studies, your practical abilities are definitely among the best and can even rank in the top five!
“The mission requires the explorer to assemble a large amount of magical equipment units and even perform sophisticated maintenance work. Such work does not demand much theoretical knowledge, but it calls for very high practical abilities!
“Therefore, generally speaking, you are the best candidate!
“However, as I have explained the difficulties of the mission to you just now, one day in your journey may mean one year in the real world. Such a mission will greatly influence your life plans and the future of your family!
“You are no longer the unknown, poor boy that you were twenty years ago who had nothing to lose when you were having your adventures. Now, you are the core member of the Colossi Project, and you are responsible for sorting and writing the operation manuals of the Colossi, which essentially makes you the ‘chief tutor of the Colossi’ of the three Sectors. You also have many organizations under your name, such as the Glorious Sunlight Group, the Double Dragons Union, Skyfire, and so on, which are operating quite well in the three Sectors. Also, you have only been married for five years and don’t have any children yet…
“If you are to carry out the mission, it means that you will be separated from everything I mentioned just now for decades!
“A lot of things will happen in the next hundred years. When you return from the foreign land, the Star Glory Federation will be destined to be something entirely different from what it is right now!
“You and Ding Lingdang need to consider the possible influences carefully.
“In fact, even I don’t know whether or not it is worthwhile to choose you for the mission because you can also play an irreplaceable role if you stay in the three Sectors. Chances are that you will make even more contributions here than if you go to explore space!
“Therefore, even if you and Ding Lingdang decline the mission after deliberation, I will absolutely support your decision. I can arrange a few Sectors that are closer to us and less difficult for you to explore!
“I mean what I said. Perhaps, it will be even better to keep you in the federation as a ‘symbol’. The fame, influence, wealth, and resources that you can possibly gain here will be much more than you can from the depths of the sea of stars. You will also create value for the federation in a much more stable way. ( Boxno vel. co m )
“This jade chip stores all the research files regarding the mysterious world ever after we received the uncanny signal. You and Ding Lingdang can take a good look at it and consider all the factors comprehensively before you give us a reply. We don’t need to rush into any decision after all.”
Hesitating for a moment, Li Yao took the jade chip. The jade chip was as small as a cicada, but it felt as heavy as a thousand tons on his palm.
Thinking for a moment, Li Yao asked one last question. “Professor, the issue is indeed too complicated. I need time to think about it more carefully with Ding Lingdang! However, I’m indeed very curious about one thing. I wonder, can you tell me—how many candidates are on your list? Who’s out there besides me?”
Li Yao was asking this question simply because of his pride.
He was eager to know who else other than him was capable enough for such a mission.
With glamorous brilliance glittering inside Professor Mo Xuan’s eyes, he said slowly, “I was lying when I told you that there were many names on the candidate list. There are only two names on the whole list.”
“Oh?” Li Yao’s eyes suddenly shone. “Who’s the other guy?”
“Myself.” Professor Mo Xuan extended a liquid metal tentacle and pointed at himself. “I have listed my name in the second place on the list. If you choose not to go, I will certainly be going. So, there is no need to think of a third name for the list.”
“Professor!” Li Yao was greatly surprised. “Are—are you going to abandon everything for an adventure deep inside the dark nebula?”
“What? You think that I’m not as good as you?” Professor Mo Xuan smiled. His voice was tranquil but filled with unquestionable confidence. “In the past five years, while you were making significant breakthroughs, other people were not standing by, either. At the very least, I, for one, have undergone drastic changes compared to five years ago!
“My body of liquid metal is not as simple as only being able to swallow crystal processors. It can play a role that is beyond the enemy’s expectation in battles, too!
“Of course, since I am a creation-type Cultivator, my combat ability can never be nearly as good as yours however I train myself.
“But the focus of this exploration mission is stealth, infiltration, and intelligence collection. Head-on battles may not be necessary. So, my unfixed form gives me quite an advantage.
“Moreover, after swallowing the star child and the star brain, my computational ability is higher than yours. When it comes to the calculation of astronomical parameters, inferring the coordinates of space jumps, and intelligence collection and analysis, I will have more advantages than you do!
“Why can’t I go?”
Blushing, Li Yao shook his hands quickly and said, “That—that’s not what I meant. I’m just saying that—If you do join the mission, what about Professor Yuan?”
Li Yao was referring to Professor Mo Xuan’s wife, the former dean of the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution and a famous refiner in the federation.
Yuan Manqiu was also the first teacher who deserved the full meaning of the word for Li Yao after he began the systematic studies on the arts of refining.
The original version of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit had been made by Yuan Manqiu and Li Yao.
“She will understand and support me. I know it,” Professor Mo Xuan said peacefully, with a hint of indescribable affection in his calm voice.
“But why?” Li Yao found it hard to understand. “Professor, do you have any idea how important you are to the future of the three Sectors? You are now president of the Refiners’ Association of the Federation. Countless super magical equipment projects will be awaiting your leadership in the next hundred years! Why must you carry out such a dangerous mission?
“I don’t believe that we cannot find a third candidate who is suitable for the mission. If there isn’t anyone who is very suitable, we can always select a top-tier expert who has distinguished abilities in a certain regard and train the candidate with the abilities in the other field. With the computational ability and the learning abilities of the Nascent Soul Stage, a year and a half’s intensive training should be more than enough, shouldn’t it?”
Professor Mo Xuan chuckled and said casually, “Li Yao, you’re wrong. I put myself as second place on the candidate list, not because of my concerns about the future, but for myself; not because ‘I have to go for the federation’, but because ‘I want to go’. Nothing more!”
“You want to go…” Li Yao was dazed for a moment. Reciting the words for a few times, he felt that he had sensed something, too.
“Of course I want to go!”
The brilliance emitting from deep inside Professor Mo Xuan’s soul was too intense for his man-made eyes to bear. Dazzling sparks were bursting out on his face.
His voice seemed to be echoing among the stars, deep, hollow, and powerful. “A mysterious world in the depths of the sea of stars, which could contain the secret treasures of the Pangu civilization from hundreds of thousands of years ago, with a scale ten times larger than those on ‘Kunlun’!
“In this world, there may be the most dangerous enemies who are lurking in the darkness. The Imperium, the Covenant Alliance, the extraterrestrial devils, the Pangu Clan! There may also be powerful, potential allies—say, another civilization of Cultivators that is struggling to survive in the dark universe or even the Nuwa Clan who once fought side by side with human beings in the past!
“All the answers are hidden in the mist, waiting to be explored and found out by us!
“For a Cultivator, can there possibly be anything more thrilling than that?
“I am a man who has been reborn from death. My second life was born in a cosmic storm in the first place. As long as I can witness the infinite wonders of the mysterious world in person, does it really matter if my life has to perish in the sea of stars again?
“The ancient people said that ‘if you learn the Truth in the morning, you can die peacefully at night’. Maybe, this is exactly what they are talking about!
“Therefore, Li Yao, did you know? Had it not been for the fact that you are indeed more suitable for the mission than I am, I never would’ve put your name at the top of the candidate list!
“Even right now, I’m still strongly hoping that you can turn down the mission and give the rarely-seen opportunity to me!
“Go now. Discuss with your wife and tell me your answer. I’ll be waiting for you!”
Professor Mo Xuan waved his hands and stopped bothering Li Yao, returning to the small world that was the ‘Heavenly Road Plan’ together with Si Koulie.
On the Grand Desolate Plateau, the sun had only just risen in the middle of the thin clouds, dying them with tides of gold and crimson.
Hand in hand, Li Yao and Ding Lingdang roamed in the clouds while they looked down at the board-like cities below them that were even smaller than matchboxes.
“I feel that we are back to twenty years ago,” Ding Lingdang said with a smile. “Do you still remember the day when you were heavily wounded in the ‘Limit Challenge Competition’ on the Devil Flood Dragon Island and ended up being a useless person because your spiritual root was entirely ripped apart?”
“Of course I do!” Li Yao’s eyes were sparkling. “At that time, nobody believed in me. They thought that I was done for and would sink to the abyss. When I managed to wake up, nobody cared about me. You were the only one who trusted me. Not only did you stay with me when I was in a coma, you even paid a visit to the Crimson Nimbus No. 2 High School for me. Then, you brought me to the very clouds where we enjoyed the great view. You cheered me up and encouraged me to rise up and stride forward again!
“Right. I remember that you brought a lot of delicious food. The sausages, roasted chicken, ham, and other things gave me quite a shock!”
“Hahahaha!” Ding Lingdang laughed hard. “Did I leave such a deep impression on you that you hopelessly fell in love with me?”