Li Yao shook his head. “This question is too sensitive for me to answer. You’ll have to ask a different one.”
“I can guess the answer even if you refuse to reply,” Long Yangjun sneered. “The delicacy and the style of your armor far exceed the expertise of the Cultivators in any dynasty in the Ancient Sages Sector. Also, you are familiar with the Pangu Clan and the Nuwa Clan, you know a thing or two about the Nuwa warship, and you don’t appear thrilled when discussing the voyages in the sea of stars. So, you should be from a world beyond the dark nebula, where cruising the universe is just a common technique, right?”
Li Yao sniffed in confirmation.
The Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, as a crystal suit built in the industrial system of the modern Cultivation civilization, was greatly different from the armor of the ancient Cultivators crafted purely by hand. Anyone who was not blind would be able to tell that.
“I’m not surprised that you are an extraterrestrial Cultivator. What surprises me is why you have shown up in the Ancient Sages Sector,” Long Yangjun said. “You are obviously on your own without any support. If you didn’t end up here in an accident, you must be some sort of scout collecting intelligence for the main troop behind you, right?”
Li Yao’s heart nearly skipped a beat. He did not know that Long Yangjun’s senses were so keen that she had figured out his real identity through the insignificant traces!
Long Yangjun’s eyes suddenly grew sharp, and her voice turned cold. “If you have countless warships similar to the Nuwa warship that we are standing on right now, coveting us outside of the dark nebula, I don’t see any possibility of cooperation between us!”
“Make no mistake!” Sensing her rising killing intent, Li Yao hurried to reply. “We mean no harm to the Ancient Sages Sector!”
“Then it is quite odd.” Long Yangjun raised the critical question immediately. “Since the Ancient Sages Sector is hidden inside a dark nebula and can hardly be noticed by the rest of the universe, why are you here if you mean no harm?”
“In fact, it was the Ancient Sages Sector that sent a signal to my world first.”
After pondering for a moment, Li Yao attempted to narrate the whole story in a fuzzy way. “I cannot tell you the specific details right now, nor can they be explained in a few words. Let me just put it this way.
“One peaceful, summer night, when you are resting in your own house, you suddenly hear someone chuckling right next to you. You rise and investigate in shock, only to discover that the laughter was probably from a mountain thousands of meters away from your house. What would you do in such a situation?”
Long Yangjun was slightly dazed and deep in thought. “The laughter from thousands of kilometers away found its way into my house late at night? I’m afraid that I would not sleep well until I found the source of the laughter!”
“Precisely,” Li Yao said. “You may consider me as an investigator who has come to the Ancient Sages Sector to locate the source of the laughter!”
Long Yangjun rolled her eyes. “Then, have you located it?”
“Not yet,” Li Yao admitted frankly. “The distance between the Ancient Sages Sector and my world is much longer than you can ever imagine. Even if a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator with infinite spiritual energy rushes at full speed for ten thousand years, they may not be able to cover the whole journey!
“To deliver the laughter to such a long distance away requires some very advanced magical equipment or rune array. However, although I’ve been active in the Ancient Sages Sector as a magical equipment specialist gathering the intelligence of the magical equipment in this world, even including the groundless tales, I’ve found nothing useful!
“But considering that the Nuwa warship we are on is so well-preserved, even if it cannot cruise in space anymore, it is possible for the warship to send out a few chuckles to the outside world.”
“Are you saying that someone sent a message to beyond the dark nebula through the Nuwa warship about a hundred years ago?” Long Yangjun’s eyes suddenly turned extremely dangerous. “When specifically?”
Li Yao calculated for a moment and said, “Exchanged to the time of the Ancient Sages Sector, it was probably ninety-seven years and eight months ago.”
It was quite odd that the time cost for the Ancient Sages Sector, the Heaven’s Origin Sector, and the Blood Demon Sector to revolve around their respective stars was almost identical. Therefore, the calendar that they used was more or less the same.
Perhaps the worlds that allowed carbon-based life forms such as the Pangu Clan, the Nuwa Clan, and human beings to survive and thrive into brilliant civilizations shared something in common.
“Ninety-seven years ago.” Long Yangjun’s face suddenly turned extremely weird. “I am ninety-seven and a half years old right now, but I have always counted my birthday from the day when I was picked up by my foster parents, which means that I could’ve been born ninety-seven years and eight months ago!”
The hair on the back of Li Yao’s head was all standing up. He felt as if creepy, cold air was rising all the way up from his spine to his skull.
It could not have been a coincidence!
According to the calendar of the Ancient Sages Sector, ‘something’ must have happened on the Nuwa warship ninety-seven years and eight months ago that resulted in the launch of the mysterious signal and the birth of Long Yangjun!
“We seem to be approaching the answer to the puzzle. I have a theory about your identity, too.” Li Yao threw out a bait. “However, in order to find out the truth completely, I would like to hear your answer to the last question. How exactly did you find the Divine Palace?”
“You know who I am?” Long Yangjun rose up suddenly and glared at Li Yao for a long time before sliding down against the pillar of the crystal processor system again. “I grew up in the remote valley until I was eight. Bearing the torture of the uncanny dreams every day, and reluctant to hang around with other kids because of the irregularities of my body, I preferred to wander in the wilderness by myself. Gradually, I became a freak in my village.
“All the while, my strength was awakening.
“The folks living in the borderland were very tough. Infamous bandits often choose to hide in such places. There were a few fighters in my village who claimed to have killed a lot of people. I used to learn fighting skills from one of them. But after only a few days, I began to feel that his martial arts were too shabby and not nearly as effective as the weird arts that I received from the uncanny dreams.
“But at that time, I was too young to control my strength, and I was loathed by the villagers when I almost beat several children who were five or six years older than me when we were playing. So, I was even less willing to go back to the village. I found a cave in the valley and lived in seclusion.
“My foster parents regarded me as a blessing from the heavens because of my mysterious backgrounds. They did not dare to discipline me but simply let me go!
“At that time, I trained myself and hunted in the wilderness during the day. At night, to get away from the torture of the uncanny dreams, I sat outside of my cave and looked at the sky. All kinds of weird questions occurred to me.
“What was beyond the sky? What were the so-called deities all about? The enormous bones that were occasionally found in the wilderness were claimed to be the ecdysis of the primeval deities and worshipped by everyone. Temples and altars were even established to enshrine them. But when I touched the bones, I did not feel any reverence at all but only familiarity and sorrow. Why was that?
“Of course, what I thought about most were still my dreams.”
“Was everything that happened in my dreams just my fantasy, or was it real? Was the picture where the stars in the universe exploded instantly and ten thousand starships were burning something that I saw in my previous life?
“Just like that, the mottled pictures and the squeaky noises, after being repeated in the dream countless times, gradually condensed into an inexplicable belief. I was somehow told that the answer lay at the end of the Land of Eternal Night. As long as I came to this place, I would find out who I was exactly!”
After saying that, Long Yangjun paused for a moment and took a long breath. With vague sorrow on her face, she quickly said, “Later, the village that my foster parents were living in was pillaged by a bunch of defeated soldiers from the prairies. At that time, the Divinity Transformation Stage Cultivator Meng Chixin and Wu Suiyun had both vanished in the Land of Eternal Night, and the new dominator Han Baling was yet to distinguish himself. The situation on the Dark Cloud Prairies was extremely chaotic. The tribes and the few sects were fighting each other all the time. The soldiers who were defeated always plundered all the way while they were running as bandits. My hometown was unfortunately caught by them. All the villagers were massacred.
“When I trained myself in the wilderness, I chose the most inconspicuous spots, sometimes even the underground crevices, in case other people ran into my secrets. I didn’t know it when it happened.
“It was not until my training section was done and I saw the rising fire on the horizon that I realized something terrible had happened. After I returned to my village, the only things awaiting me were the burnt, dilapidated buildings.
“My foster mother was hiding in an underground burrow. She was already dying because of the high temperature and the intense smoke and passed away after she managed to tell me about my birth.
“I tracked the bandits, trying to kill all of them, but outside my expectation, there were quite a few tough fighters among them. Also, my strength was newly awakened. Eventually, although I executed each and every one of them, I was also heavily wounded and nearly dead, and I wasn’t myself again until three days and three nights of slipping in and out of consciousness later!
“However, it was exactly because of the life-and-death struggle that my intuition grew much keener. The pictures and sounds in my head were clearer than before, too!
“My hometown had been destroyed, but an origin that was much more remote seemed to be concealed inside my body. I suddenly felt a strong urge to find my real hometown and figure out who I really was!
“What was odd was that I should’ve been extremely ignorant since I grew up in the wilderness uneducated and barely visited the town hundreds of kilometers away before.
“But my head was extremely clear at that time. I reached the conclusion instantly that it was absolutely impossible for me to reach the Land of Eternal Night on my own. Even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to find my destination, which was hidden in a certain place on the vast snow field!
“I had to conduct real training to improve my capabilities. I also needed to establish my own force and gather more intelligence about the Land of Eternal Night!”