Five days later, outside of the gravitational sphere of the red giant at the center of the Dragon Snake Space Zone, a city was floating in the middle of the violet space.
The enormous city in space had a translucent honeycomb-shaped core, which seemed to have been piled up by hexagonal, identical crystals and glasses. At the intersection of the crystals, huge solar sails extended in all directions.
The solar sails that were as thin as paper were also translucent and looked like crystal. The carefully carved runes and the tubes to condense and transmit spiritual energy on their surface made them look like big, clear leaves that were shaking slightly in the invisible cosmic wind.
The solar sails could absorb the radiation and heat from the red giant, which contained spiritual and magnetic waves, and transform it into spiritual energy to the maximum extent. Then, through the tubes that looked like capillary vessels, the energy would be transmitted to the honeycomb-shaped core drop by drop as the main energy source to support the functioning of the city.
It was Fish Dragon City, the heart of the Dragon Snake Space Zone.
The swordfish-like assault warship, which carried twelve experts of the Ancient Sages Sector and a female captive of the Imperium, passed through two enormous solar sails and approached the No. 99 dock in the middle of hundreds of starships in various forms under the direction of the port navigator.
When the fixation rune arrays, invisible to the naked eye, attracted the starship to the branch-like dock of Fish Dragon City, soft tubes whose entrances could automatically secrete blockage glue extended out of the branches.
The soft tube, like the mouthpart of a certain mollusk, shivered, sniffed, and scrambled before it found the gate of the swordfish-like assault warship. Then, they were connected by the blockage glue without the slightest gap. The docking had succeeded!
The Dragon Snake Space Zone was an anarchic land of outcasts.
The order of Fish Dragon City was basically maintained by the Chamber of Commerce made of the Uranian Ring Hall, the Water Crystal Valley, the Nether World Fortress, and the Forest Ocean Gang, four forces from the four conquered Sectors.
In fact, anybody could enter and exit Fish Dragon City provided that they submitted a ‘port construction fee’ to the Chamber of Commerce and did not carry any mass destruction magical equipment. On the surface, nobody would pry into the identity and the purpose of the newcomers.
Of course, the mass destruction magical equipment could be hidden inside Cosmos Rings. Therefore, the only requirement to enjoy life in the lawless land was money.
Fish Dragon City, a paradise for adventurers, a stage for the bold, and the battlefield for maniacs!
After decades of rapid development, the wealth brought from the four Sectors had created abnormal prosperity. Not only the rebels who were discontent with the Star Glory Federation took the place for a luxurious sanctuary, the experts within the federation who craved adventure and slaughter, the young men who lost patience with the peaceful reality and dreamt of becoming famous overnight, and all kinds of other scumbags and vicious fellows had been attracted to the place like flies were attracted to the rotting flesh.
For the past decade, Firefly had been docked near the Dragon Snake Space Zone. Many Cultivators of the ‘rightful government of the Star Ocean Republic’ had arrived at the place in disguise to enjoy the extravagant entertainment that they could not enjoy on the harsh Firefly. Some of them had even escaped into the Star Glory Federation with the Dragon Snake Space Zone as a platform. After all, the ‘rightful government of the Star Ocean Republic’, which had been supported by a single Firefly for a thousand years, did not seem to be capable of surviving for another thousand years.
All in all, that was Fish Dragon City. Pirates, spies, assassins, bodyguards, bootleggers, black market doctors, headhunters, traitors, Immortal Cultivators… All kinds of vermin were living dramas woven by schemes, blood, slaughter, and betrayal day and night.
When Li Yao walked to the exit of the spaceport in the middle of the eleven experts from the Ancient Sages Sector and Heiye Lan, he gradually felt a shortness of breath because he could hardly hold his excitement any longer.
Before they ‘took care of’ the amateur space pirates including Fei Qi, they had looted enough anonymous crystal cards as well as crystal tubes, which had been pressed into the shape of coins by special magical equipment and could be used as currency in the Dragon Snake Space Zone.
At the cost of only five ‘crystal coins’, they went through the most convenient VIP channel, saving themselves the trouble of waiting in line and other unnecessary procedures.
After passing through the double airlock gate in front, he would be returning to the modern civilization that he had been away from for a hundred years!
Although this was not really the territory of the Star Glory Federation, it was certainly heavily influenced and infiltrated by the federation. He could certainly gather more information about the federation and his family and friends there!
A hundred years had passed. How developed was the federation with seven Sectors?
What were the details of Ding Lingdang’s and Jin Xinyue’s adventures and development?
Also, Wu Mayan, Xie Anan, Guo Chunfeng, Lei Dalu, Bai Kaixin, Xiong Wuji, Professor Mo Xuan… What had happened to them, and how were they doing?
Li Yao could not wait to learn everything.
However, he did feel nervous as he approached home. He could not imagine what it would be like when he met Ding Lingdang, Jin Xinyue, and the rest of them again.
Although he had spent most of the hundred years in hibernation and it had been nothing more than closing and opening his eyes, it had still been a hundred years, almost long enough to make him forget the feeling of the ‘competition of beliefs’.
Li Yao suddenly felt his heart palpitating.
He recalled the days and nights when Ding Lingdang and he discussed their life, chatted about their dreams, and shared the techniques on the asteroids, in the trenches tens of thousands of meters deep, and right next to the gravity sphere of the pulsar…
Federation, I’m back. Sweetheart, I’m back!
Li Yao chuckled to himself as he strode to the double airlock gate that was installed with automatic sensor arrays.
The gate opened.
Although Li Yao had thought that he was prepared for anything, he was still deeply awed by what he saw!
Unfolding in front of his eyes was a city established on the internal wall of the ‘crystal honeycomb’. There was no up, down, left, or right at all. High towers—or rather, ‘branches’—extended from the internal wall to the center from every direction.
They were illuminated by the tiny light balls that were floating in the middle air and shining like fireflies. Those light balls were created by the spiritual waves and the radiation from the red giant, which was sent to them through the transmission tubes that looked like capillary vessels.
Every light ball was floating like a dandelion. The brightness from them was not brilliant individually, but when the brightness of hundreds of light balls was combined, it turned into a splendid ocean of light.
The ‘longevity’ of every light ball was not very long. They were breaking and perishing like ivory soap bubbles all the time. However, new light balls would drift to the center of the city in their place, putting a highly deceiving veil over the lawless, chaotic city.
Illuminated by the light balls, the four districts of the city with vastly different styles were fully displayed to Li Yao and everyone else.
The aristocrats of the Uranian Ring Sector highlighted elegance and agility, which were duly reflected in the style of their architecture. Their buildings seemed to be piles of insufficiently grown twigs, with the upper halves being significantly larger than the lower halves. Such buildings gave the feeling that they were unsteady and could fall anytime.
The people from the Water Crystal Sector, on the other hand, liked everything that was shiny and bedecked with jewels. Their buildings looked like corn ears that were fully embedded with man-made diamonds.
The Nether World Sector was a world of ghosts. Their buildings were deep, dark, and heavy and looked like piles of black turtle shells. Such buildings could help them withstand the fatal radiation from space to the maximum extent so that their feeble soul would not be drained for nothing.
The outcasts from the Forest Ocean Sector adored nature. It was said that their hometown was a planet surrounded by primitive forests. Some bizarre plants even grew out from the bottom of the ocean to the outside the atmosphere.
In Fish Dragon City, it was naturally impossible for them to grow such enormous trees that could grow beyond the sky, but still, they decorated their new home with many weird plants. Li Yao even saw many things almost a hundred meters in diameter that he wondered if he should call ‘flowers’ blossoming on their buildings that looked like tall trees!
The modern buildings in so many forms, colors, and styles were already enough to dazzle the ‘bumpkins’ from a world of ancient Cultivators for a long time, not to mention the shuttles that were flying freely among the buildings and the trains that were running in the vacuum tubes all over the city. What gave them the biggest surprise, however, was the overwhelming, ubiquitous light beams!
The greatest difference between a modern society and ancient society was not the architecture, not the vehicles, but information, or rather, how information was displayed and transmitted.
In the modern Cultivation civilization after the information boom, the transmission and display speed of all kinds of information was a hundred times crazier and more explosive than in the world of ancient Cultivators!
Thousands of enormous light beams that were hundreds of square meters large were floating in midair, displaying video information at a stormy speed. On some of them, cute girls with heavy makeup and barely any clothing on their bodies were tempting potential customers. Some other light beams were displaying the first-person perspective in an arena where broken limbs were flying everywhere in the goriest manner. On another light beam, the information about the stock market of the Star Glory Federation was dropping like a waterfall, accompanied by the desperate screams of the specialists, scholars, frauds, and lunatics. Then, there were promotions for new magical equipment that could be useful or useless. All kinds of crazy devils were jumping and dancing with various colors and music, triggering the deepest lust in everyone’s heart. The Cultivators from the Ancient Sages Sector were utterly dumbfounded!
Confused, ‘Iron Saint’ Qi Zhongdao extended his hands to touch a certain nonexistent thing in the air.
It was a commercial on an enormous 3D light beam. The hot girl simulated by the most advanced pupil focus and Half-Step Grand Illusionary Land technologies was about to jab her fingers into his eyes.