Deep inside the sea of stars, a zigzagging, glittering dragon was raging forward.
Upon closer inspection, one would discover that it was actually the debris of a primeval battlefield, which was still emanating colorful radiation although hundreds of thousands of years had passed. Pushed by the storms and the undercurrents in the middle of the stars, the debris congregated into a tiny ‘Milky Way’ that was paved in the middle of the glamorous galaxy.
All of a sudden—
The head of the ‘dragon’ spat out a streak of brightness, which hovered around the river of debris before it spurted out exhaust flames and gradually slowed down. It turned out to be a super-tiny starship that was well-worn and riddled with holes!
On one side of the starship, the Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars emblem of the Star Glory Federation could be clearly seen. On the other side of the starship was the pattern of a grimacing star.
The word ‘Spark’ was carved on the head of the starship, but it had been rubbed and corroded so much in the journey of almost a hundred years that it was barely recognizable.
Inside Spark, Li Yao, who had only just woken after a hibernation of ten years, almost burst into tears and roared when he saw the glamorous world in front of him!
He had been woken up immediately after a short-distance jump, not because a new star was found, but because Spark was in a dangerous stone belt and was likely to crash at any time.
Yet, Li Yao was not scared but overjoyed at the situation.
It was because he had discovered that the elements of the ‘river’ were precisely the primeval debris that he had once seen in the periphery of Kunlun, including the corpses of the Pangu Clan, the armor of the Nuwa Clan, and the primeval treasures—Colossi piloted by human beings!
Although the debris was so rotten that it would break apart at the first touch, its very existence suggested that he was not far away from his real destination!
Li Yao shifted Spark to the manual pilot mode. With his amazing skills to maneuver the ‘super shuttles’, he went against the currents to the source of the river of the debris. After cruising for a few days, he finally discovered the Sector where the spiritual energy was unbelievably abundant!
It was an extremely stable galaxy. The star at the center of the galaxy was at the prime years exactly like the star in the Heaven’s Origin Sector was, releasing light and heat to the outside world generously and incessantly.
Also, the star seemed to be made of materials different from what often constituted other stars. They were mixed with some precious constituents that Li Yao was unaware of. When observed with his bare eyes, the star looked fresher and redder, with a hint of multiple colors. The spiritual energy contained in the star was not only much more bountiful than regular stars but also readily absorbable.
It meant that, if any living creatures existed on the planets near the crimson star, they would be able to accumulate some spiritual energy without doing any training as long as they sunbathed every once in a while.
When there was sufficient spiritual energy inside their bodies, the development and evolution of the nerve networks would be boosted, leading to the intelligence of a higher level. After hundreds of generations, formidable spiritual beasts and Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures would be born.
If any human beings were living in the place, it would certainly be much more convenient for them to train themselves than it was for the residents in the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the Blood Demon Sector, and the Flying Star Sector!
The star alone was enough to prove that the Sector here was an out-and-out ‘natural paradise’!
After inputting the astronomical parameters and the relative coordinates of the star into the mainframe crystal processor, Li Yao was finally able to fix the last missing piece on the Pangu civilization’s navigation map.
It was the economical, political, and transportation center for the Pangu civilization in this particular galaxy arm hundreds of thousands of years ago!
If the Pangu civilization had conceptions such as ‘provinces’, the space zone here should be the ‘provincial capital’ of the entire galaxy arm!
Li Yao was of a mind to sing and dance to celebrate his major discovery.
In front of him, according to the special clock, it had been ninety-nine years, one hundred and twenty-two days, thirty-seven years, and fifty-four minutes in the real world since he departed from the Star Glory Federation!
It was indeed ‘one day in the heavens means a thousand years on the earth’!
After he encountered another setback in a rough galaxy ten years ago, Li Yao had been somewhat caught by desperation and was prepared to return without any findings.
It never occurred to him that, when he was planning to find a random stable space zone to unfold the star beacons and summon the rescuers from his hometown, the mysterious destination would abruptly present itself to him!
I must not be too excited. Calm down. Calm down!
From this moment forth, the fate of me and the federation will be walking on a rope above a bottomless abyss. One moment of carelessness, and we will be screwed forever!
When he truly found himself at the door of the mysterious world, Li Yao grew somewhat uneasy and nervous after the initial ecstasy.
The abundant spiritual energy here was not necessarily a good thing because it meant that there might be an enormous force that was much more developed than the Star Glory Federation.
Recalling the blatant message that the strangers had sent to the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Flying Star Sector, Li Yao was even more wary of the mysterious world now.
What’s the quirky civilization in the world up to exactly?
Besides, it’s rather uncanny here!
Judging from the electromagnetic waves received by Spark, the artificial waves in this mysterious world are rather scarce. There seem to be only the waves released by the natural celestial bodies themselves. Signs of man-made celestial bodies are few!
Logically, with the abundance of the spiritual energy here and the tremendous relics of the civilization, if there were a civilization here, it should’ve long developed into a behemoth spanning hundreds of galaxies.
Why is the space here so empty? There isn’t even a trade route between the planets, or any starship, is there?
Li Yao was greatly baffled.
He did not intend to land on the planets of the mysterious world for investigation, which would be too risky and entail too many unexpected factors.
His original idea was that, since the civilization was able to send a message to a different world, it must have at least highly developed the galaxy that it was in, and there must be carriers everywhere among the planets.
Then, with his most favorite ‘starship breakthrough’ tactic, he would sneak into one of the stranger’s starships and observe the social form and the civilization structure based on the small world on the starship before he decided his follow-up operations.
If the stranger was truly malicious, it would be easier for him to deal with a single starship than to deal with a whole planet.
However, to his surprise, the surrounding space was utterly empty. There were no traces of artificial celestial bodies whatsoever except for the debris of the primeval battlefield from hundreds of thousands of years ago, which cast Li Yao in an awkward situation.
Could it be that the space voyage technology hasn’t been developed in the Sector yet?
Li Yao could not help but put on a weird expression.
The super long-distance space jump technology covering a distance of thousands of lightyears was certainly a very sophisticated, state-of-the-art knowledge.
However, honestly speaking, the exploration of one’s own galaxy did not involve too much difficult technology at all.
Even the ‘Earth’ in Li Yao’s memory, which was utterly devoid of spiritual energy, was able to achieve that to some degree. How could this Sector not do that?
Was it possible—
Li Yao thought quickly and realized something.
In the hundred years while he was cruising inside the sea of stars, he had always had a vague feeling that the dark nebula covering hundreds of lightyears nearby was not natural but man-made.
The ‘war fog’ was like the most advanced barrier that preserved the entire world inside carefully. The outsiders, unable to detect them or see their stars, were naturally never unaware of their existence.
No matter what happened outside, the world inside would be living in peace minding its own business.
However, as a result, just as the outside world could not see the inside, it was very difficult for the insiders to watch the outside world, too.
For human beings living inside the universe, although they were nothing more than the germs on a tiny mud ball, they were still able to view the vast sea of stars when they raised their heads late at night. Without any magical equipment, and through the most precise telescope, they were able to appreciate the mysteries in the sea of stars.
It was the foundation of human beings’ ambitions to rage the sea of stars and explore the worlds beyond!
But in this place…
Li Yao did not know whether or not the people of this world were able to appreciate the glamorous starry sky and sense the boundlessness of the universe, or maybe their night sky was nothing but darkness, with only the glimmers of a few stars.
It was practically impossible for the signals they sent out to penetrate through the thick and dense dark nebula. Their space voyage technology, when just developed, would not be enough to allow the starships to move inside the absolute darkness.
After a long time, they would not even know whether or not there was a vaster world outside of the dark nebula. Who would ever grow ambitions to explore the sea of stars?
The world here was almost like having been kept inside a ‘black box’ all the time!
Things are getting more and more interesting.
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao began to feel that the whole thing had deviated from his original plan.
However, he still could not be too prudent. Anything could happen in the mysterious universe. Even if an octopus that was secreting green pus suddenly dashed in front of him right now, he would not be surprised at all.
Li Yao had two options right now.
Firstly, to unfold the star beacons right there and send the specific coordinates of the place to the Star Glory Federation.
But during the hundred years of difficult voyage, Spark had been seriously damaged quite a few times. The supply components had long been used up. To sustain the speed, Li Yao had been forced to replace the worn components with the parts on the star beacons.
It was possible to restore the parts to where they belonged, but as a result, Spark’s performance would be greatly undermined, and it would not be able to reach a high speed.
Now that he was faced with an unknown civilization, the inability to reach a high speed meant that he would not even be able to flee!
Besides, at this moment, Li Yao still had not ruled out the possibility that everything was just a trap.
Chances were that the moment he unfolded the star beacons and sent the coordinates back to the Heaven’s Origin Sector, the enemy would lock onto him and trace the signals, until the precise coordinates of the Heaven’s Origin Sector were determined.
In a universal war, one’s own precise coordinates were something more sensitive than the patterns on one’s wife’s underwear.
Despite the formidability of the Imperium of True Human Beings, it was still their ground rule during the exploration of new Sectors that no information was to be sent back to the mother planet until the civilization level and the stance of the new Sector were completely figured out.
Li Yao might have despised the Imperium of True Human Beings’ ideology, but he would certainly not ignore their experience.
Therefore, he decided to risk sneaking into the unknown civilization’s planet and make plans after he got more details.
As it happened, many units of the star beacons that Spark carried had been terribly worn. The result might not be satisfactory if the star beacons were assembled and unfolded right now.
It would be better if he could find some resources on the planet of the unknown civilization and craft a new batch of components so that he could send the coordinates information of the place back to the federation in concise waves in the most inconspicuous way.