There was one last day to go before Li Yao’s departure.
On the Grand Desolate Plateau, right below the starry sky, he and Ding Lingdang left two lines of overlapping footprints on the desert, hand in hand.
There was not a single town in the hundreds of square kilometers around. The night sky was so clear that it looked like a large block of jelly that could not bear the weight of the stars. As a result, the stars seemed to be all raining toward them.
Looking at the deep and boundless sea of stars, the two of them were silent for a long time.
Everything was already said in the quietness.
After a long silence, Li Yao finally opened his mouth and said, “I’ve thought many times that it is such a pity that we can only live one life where we are bound by the heavy realities!
“The universe is so vast. Inside a grain of sand might be a whole new world, and every world means an episode of a new life. I wish that I could live an unlived life in the depths of the dark nebula and bring the new ‘me’ back to meet you.”
“In that case,” Ding Lingdang replied, “what you would be meeting would certainly be a new ‘me’, too, one who has been living a few wonderful lives in different Sectors!”
The two of them looked at each other with a smile and sat down on the desert.
The moment seemed to become eternity.
“Dear audience in front of the light beam projectors and the crystal processors, we are now live streaming from the Heaven’s Artillery, the national launch field at the center of the Grand Desolate Plateau. In half an hour, the very first mission of the well-anticipated ‘Heavenly Road Plan’ will be performed here!
“The launch will be a groundbreaking event for everybody in the federation and the three Sectors!
“The Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector have finally broken free from our internal conflict and cast our eyes upon the depths of the sea of stars!
“From today on, there is only one opponent that we are going to fight and conquer—the universe!
“March to the universe and toward the infinities of infinities. Leave the traces of our civilization at the end of the edge of the cosmos!”
In most of the places of three Sectors, the blood-boiling if not crazy roars were echoing while the live stream was displayed to everybody.
In the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Flying Star Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector, human beings, demons, ordinary people, Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, demon emperors, teachers, students, workers, farmers, miners… Everybody in every place dropped their work at hand and focused their attention on the groundbreaking launch.
On the launch platform of the Heaven’s Artillery, which was dozens of kilometers in diameter, the tiny ‘Spark’ was barely visible, like a grain of sand inside an ocean.
But it was much more than a grain of sand; it was a bullet that represented the very first roar of a nascent civilization at the edge of the sea of stars toward the whole universe!
Inside the Miners’ High School, all the students were gathered in the playground, clenching their fists, holding their breath, and waiting for the arrival of the biggest hero in their heart.
“He’s here. He’s here. Li Yao is here!”
On the light beam, Li Yao was striding close from the end of the pathway wearing a black, fit protective suit.
The tall and handsome pose, the magnificent aura around him, and the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators who were surrounding him like stars surrounding the moon made the high school students’ eyes shine in indescribable brilliance.
It was exactly the same brilliance as when Li Yao saw the grand entrance of ‘Fiend Blade’ Peng Hai for the first time in the past.
“He’s so awesome!”
“Strong, dominating, and invincible! His eyes seem to be electric and just shocked me brutally! My heartbeat almost stopped!”
“How much money can such an unparalleled expert such as Vulture Li Yao earn in a year? Several million? Wouldn’t he be able to buy whatever he wants?”
“Several million? You’ve got to be kidding me! Several billion, at the very least! Chances are that a random training facility around him will cost several million apiece already!”
“If I can become such an unparalleled expert for one day, or even one second, I will die without regrets!”
“Hehe. You are too unambitious. Didn’t you not learn anything when Master Li Yao came back to school and gave us lectures a couple of days ago? We are all made of flesh and blood, and we have two arms and one head just like him. Nothing is impossible!
“What he can accomplish is also accomplishable for us, as long as we work hard enough!
“Chasing after him and surpassing him are his greatest hopes for us and the best reward we can return for enjoying such excellent training conditions here for free!”
In the downtown area of Floating Spear City, not far away from the Miners’ High School, a bunch of neighbors had been gathered in the hair salon of Meng Jiang, Li Yao’s best buddy from high school.
Everybody had closed their shops and gathered together, enjoying the live stream.
When they saw Li Yao walk into Spark slowly through a vacuum channel, and when the full view of Spark and the Heaven’s Artillery was displayed again, they all exclaimed in amazement.
As insignificant shop owners in the city, the folk might not have high diplomas, and they did not know the real significance of Li Yao’s mission.
However, when the Star Glory Federation’s Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars flag rose up slowly in front of the magnificent Heaven’s Artillery, the hairdressers, the bread dealers, the shuttle mechanics… and everybody else still had an amazing feeling of pride.
“I’m told that… Li Yao is going somewhere far, far away. Maybe as far away as millions of lightyears. How long is the distance exactly?”
“Such a huge pot must be at least dozens of kilometers long. It can shoot someone out of the sky in only one blow, right? That’s truly awesome!”
“Li Yao is quite a mysterious man. I don’t know whether he is smart or stupid to abandon everything and go somewhere so far away, searching for a world that may or may not exist. What if he dies? We really can’t figure out what is in the mind of the big shots even if we think our brains out!”
“Hey. How much do you think such a launch will cost? I went to visit the Magical Equipment Exposition last time and even saw a big guy named Colossus. That’s truly something. After only one attack, a starship was blown into smithereens!
“If such a launch is saved, wouldn’t we be able to produce a few more Colossi? Wouldn’t it be better?”
All the neighbors were discussing with each other.
Everybody was scratching their head hard but failed to find any answer.
Meng Jiang and his wife, on the other hand, simply listened with a smile.
None of the neighbors knew that Meng Jiang and Li Yao had been best friends in high school who were as close as blood brothers.
Meng Jing had kept the secret at the bottom of his heart and was preparing to do the same for the rest of his life.
Sipping the wine, he tapped a plate with the chopsticks and said slowly, “What you said is too complicated for me, but I think that the ‘Heavenly Road Plan’ is not made for us but for them.”
Everybody looked at where his chopsticks were pointing at.
Six or so children of the neighbors were playing together, pretending that they were Li Yao, Spark, the Heaven’s Artillery; or the stars, the moon, and the sun; while they were giggling merrily.
In the Flying Star Sector, the headquarters of the Star Fighters’ Alliance was the largest starship manufacture center in the three Sectors.
On the circular dock, a super starship as attractive as Burning Prairie was being produced. The keel had already been formed, and the starship was slowly taking shape.
It was a sister starship to Burning Prairie.
The brand-new starship that included the heritage of the Pangu civilization and the techniques of the Imperium of True Human Beings was destined to play an even greater role than Burning Prairie!
At this moment, all the refiners and workers, as well as the technical officials sent by the ‘Burning Prairie Fleet’ to supervise the production of the starship, gathered together and watched the launch of the Heaven’s Artillery.
As starship specialists and people of the Flying Star Sector who were born to roam the sea of stars, they found the unprecedented, soul-stirring voyage particularly meaningful for them.
“Piloting the fastest starship of the three Sectors to the unvisited mysterious space zone… Li Yao is such a lucky man!”
“Just wait for it. In several decades, he will certainly send the specific coordinates back to us from the depths of the dark nebula!”
“We will build a large, well-equipped super fleet as crazily as we can in the next decades. As soon as we receive the coordinates information, they will all be able to jump over at once!”
“If we have ten super starships on the same level as Burning Prairie, we can be confident to fight whatever enemies are hiding deep inside the dark nebula!”
“Ten? Ten is far from enough!
“You don’t know this yet, do you? In the Flying Star Sector alone, two large starship manufacture centers are under construction. Another three are being built in the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector!
“On Kunlun, there’s another state-of-the-art starship manufacture center, which is designated to the research of the starship debris of the primeval era and the duplication!
“in several decades, the super warships the level of Burning Prairie will be nothing more than ‘canoes’. Not just ten or fifty, we may have a hundred of them by then!”
In a corner, a technical official sent by the Burning Prairie Fleet for supervision was sitting on the ground rather sloppily. He was blowing a whistle while he listened to the chatter of the workers with his eyes half closed.
He was as ugly as a weasel. When he closed his eyes, he was almost repulsive.
However, when he opened his eyes, the brilliance beaming out of his eyes vastly reshaped his aura. His originally unbelievably ugly face seemed to have become the background to highlight his eyes, filling them with soul-stirring charisma.
This was the second time that Bai Xinghe had watched Li Yao take off at the center of public attention, the first time being when he returned from the Flying Star Sector to the Heaven’s Origin Sector.
When the earth was shaking on the light beam, a cluster of light resembling a supernova outbreak burst out of the Heaven’s Artillery, and ‘Spark’ was floating at the center of the ball. Everybody exclaimed beyond their control, praying that Li Yao’s teleportation would be a success.
However, Bai Xinghe was utterly untouched because he knew that Li Yao was too fortunate a man to have an accident in such a place.
“Last time on Spider Den, because of the disruption of the scumbags including Xiao Xuance, I never had a chance to have a gratifying battle with you!”
Scratching his uneven face, Bai Xinghe smiled and said in a voice only audible to himself, “So, I’m looking forward to another competition in a hundred years, my… good disciple!”