It was the end of the video.
There was no applause at all because, including Xie Wufeng, all the lecturers, professors, and students of the Sky Fantasia Academy were looking at their hands, as if a tiny, feeble, embryonic ‘child civilization’ was truly growing at the center of their palms and about to be born.
Professor Mo Xuan’s incredibly calm voice broke the barrier of time and space. Even Li Yao could not help but slightly open his hands as he watched the video today decades later.
Somehow, he suddenly recalled what he did in the vacuum near Kunlun in front of the pulsar.
At that time, he had made up his mind to have an adventure deep in the dark nebula, but he did not know whether or not he could come back alive. Therefore, he had absorbed the essence of nature and the universe and attracted the immense spiritual energy from the pulsar, leaving some life seeds behind.
When the night was dark and full of terror, one would be fearless if they had left life seeds behind that could grow into more beautiful, strong, and evolved offspring, even though they knew that they might be killed on the road up ahead. They would have more courage to protect what they swore to and to march forward and fight!
That was so for individuals, but was it not so for the civilization of mankind as a whole when travelling in the deep, dark universe alone?
As the saying goes, family are the best partners in a battle. Human beings were still too lonely after all. If a child civilization was truly created, would it be even better because the child and the parent could fight against the darkness and peril of the universe together?
Li Yao looked out of the window in a daze.
It was exactly the moment when the manmade dome of the circular world was slowly replaced by a night sky and when the lights were turned on in thousands of households.
On the obstreperous streets in the downtown, a lot of citizens were slowly walking down the street with their entire family to restaurants to enjoy dinner.
Some of the children were playing on the swings, holding their parents’ hands; some were running around their parents; and some were pestering their parents for something they wanted. Carefree laughter could be heard everywhere.
The joy hidden in the deepest part of their parents’ wrinkles, on the other hand, was even more intense and brilliant than the children’s smiling faces!
Looking at the warm pictures, Li Yao could not help feeling conflicted.
The hundred years during his hibernation was but the blink of an eye. Back when he was in the Ancient Sages Sector, he did not really feel the passage of time and still considered himself as a young man in his thirties.
However, after he returned to the federation and felt that a hundred years had passed for real, his mind went through subtle changes, and he almost really regarded himself as an old man.
Child civilization Child Huh. Even Ding Lingdang has adopted a daughter, but the life seeds that we left years ago did not seem to be bred!
Li Yao had checked the relevant files carefully. If the life seeds of the ‘dominator of three Sectors’ and the ‘God of War’ were truly taken out and bred, it would certainly be an explosive piece of news in the federation that everybody knew.
Apparently, such a thing did not happen.
Li Yao did not know whether he should feel regretful or deeply relieved.
On second thought, if several boys and girls suddenly popped up out of nowhere and called him ‘Dad’ when he met Ding Lingdang after he returned to the federation
Li Yao could not help but shudder hard when he imagined such a thing.
It was so horrible. He would rather that it never happened!
From the perspective of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, he was still young and in his golden years. He was the sun at eight o’clock in the morning, and he intended to travel to more places in the universe. Therefore, he might as well put off the things such as having children!
Calming himself down, Li Yao tried to hold back the messy thoughts in his head. He asked Ling Xiaole, somewhat curiously, “I’ve finished watching the video. It is indeed very enlightening, but I wonder, what happened later? Was the ‘child civilization’ born under Professor Mo Xuan’s hard work?”
“Of course not.” Ling Xiaole sighed and pouted. “Creating a new life with self-awareness and a new civilization that is highly developed is definitely not as easy as that. This is not some fairytale, after all.
“If you cannot understand the difficulty of the attempt, let me explain it to you with a metaphor. If you are given a primitive planet with an atmosphere and water, which is basically suitable for the birth and reproduction of life, and then some monads that are particularly tough and boast infinite possibilities of evolution, how long do you think it will take for you to raise them into a real civilization after they are projected into the ocean of the planet?”
Li Yao nodded, deep in thought.
It was true that the birth of a life was destined not to be accomplished overnight. Even if the law of evolution in the virtual world was different from reality and the speed could be hundreds of times faster, it mattered little considering the unbelievably long years that the birth of a new life required.
There was no need to mention that the fragile life at the beginning could even possibly perish when it was still halfway!
“Decades ago,” Ling Xiaole said, “a research team headed by Professor Mo Xuan indeed made explorations in the relevant fields. Like selecting a ‘primitive planet’ that was suitable for the birth of life, they established a ‘virtual planet’ in a tiny corner of the grand-unified Spiritual Nexus. Then, they developed a DLC, or rather, a tiny ‘hatcher of child civilizations’, that solely belonged to the research team.
“They tried to create virtual life in the small world known to be the ‘Virtual Spirits Sector’. Of course, not advanced life with self-awareness but certain primitive virtual life at best. For example, ‘virtual fungi’, ‘virtual algae’, ‘virtual trilobites’, and so on.
“I don’t know much more about the mechanism and terminology, but this is basically what they tried to do. Can you understand?”
Li Yao thought for a moment and asked, “You mean, like the viruses on the crystal processors?”
“More or less, but certainly much more advanced and complicated than the crystal processor viruses. Professor Mo Xuan hoped that the ‘virtual prehistoric life’ could reproduce, evolve, and upgrade on their own, shedding light for human beings to understand the mysteries of the birth and evolution of ‘virtual life’.”
Li Yao was fascinated. “What happened later? Did it work?”
“No. The birth of life is mysterious and unpredictable. Just because you have gathered all the necessary factors for the birth of a new life does not mean that the new life will certainly be created. There are billions of planets in the universe, but only a fraction of them have witnessed life, even if the life is but primitive fungi. The most insignificant factors are often enough to cause the untimely end of the primitive life.”
When she got to that, Ling Xiaole looked rather depressed. “Everybody has only limited wisdom and strength. How can you be a ‘creator’ so easily? Professor Mo Xuan failed. The ‘Virtual Spirits Sector’ completely collapsed and was reduced to digital debris that was full of death and desolation. It was eventually sealed and saved. The failed attempt was perhaps the most unbearable strike for the New Federation since it was founded a hundred years ago.”
Li Yao thought for a moment but was still puzzled. “Wait. The so-called ‘virtual life’ was unsubstantial and unpredictable in the first place. Nobody expected them to be born in only decades after all. It was an innovative, groundbreaking experiment after all. I don’t think that it could be counted as ‘the most unbearable strike’ even if the experiment failed in the end, could it?
“I’m afraid that you’re wrong. The collapse of the ‘Virtual Spirits Sector’ was not a big deal per se, but it led to another few severe ramifications,” Ling Xiaole explained. “At that time, the few most important members of the production team of ‘Civilization’, including Professor Mo Xuan, Professor Su Changfa, and Su Changfa’s disciple Lu Qingchen, all joined the ‘incubation team’”
Li Yao blinked. “You mean Lu Qingchen, president of the CFIA and the most wanted criminal in the federation right now?”
“Yes,” Ling Xiaole said. “He was not a villain at the beginning. A hundred years ago, he was Su Changfa’s only true disciple, and Su Changfa was the greatest contributor to ‘Civilization’ only secondary to Li Yao. Naturally, during the early phase of ‘Civilization’, Lu Qingchen was a core member of the production team of ‘Civilization’ as Su Changfa’s right-hand assistant. He was the most distinguished content deviser and creator of virtual worlds.
“Professor Mo Xuan, Professor Su Changfa, Lu Qingchen, and a batch of the best crystal processor specialists in the federation created the special DLC ‘Virtual Spirits Sector’ together. They were only supposed to run some simple experiments and test the most fundamental theories and principles. But for some reason, the experiments went wrong, and a devastating accident took place.
“The accident directly caused the death of Su Changfa. Later, Professor Mo Xuan was frustrated and came to the conclusion that, with the development speed of the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus in the federation at the time, it was impossible for a virtual life that boasted self-awareness to be born for another five hundred years. Also, because of the tremendous military pressure from the Imperium that we were faced with, he was forced to switch to other fields of study. In the end, Professor Xie Wufeng took his place.
“Most importantly, the accident and the abrupt death of his master planted a seed of rebellion in Lu Qingchen’s heart, making him lean toward the Imperium of True Human Beings and become the president of the CFIA!
“In hindsight, if Professor Mo Xuan hadn’t been so radical as to perform the experiments in the ‘Virtual Spirits Sector’ impatiently when the conditions were still quite immature, Su Changfa wouldn’t have been killed, Professor Mo Xuan wouldn’t have been frustrated himself, and Lu Qingchen wouldn’t have joined the Imperium’s side because of the great upset.
“Then, wouldn’t the situation that the federation is faced today be much better? After all, inside the federation, the CFIA is definitely the greatest headache for us!”
That explained a lot. Li Yao did not know that so many things had happened outside while he was sleeping soundly.
The accident that Ling Xiaole briefly described must have more to it than she cared to admit. Su Changfa was killed in such an uncanny way, and even Professor Mo Xuan was frustrated because of the failed attempt. It was truly
Li Yao frowned. He suddenly felt that something was not right.
Based on their experience on Fireflyor specifically speaking, the rebellion that Ding Zhengyang and Cheng Xuansu would not have launched without the incitation of Lu Qingchen of the CFIALi Yao and Long Yangjun reached the conclusion that Lu Qingcheng was very likely to be Jin Xinyue’s man and that they established a ‘CFIA’ to attract all the Immortal Cultivators on purpose so that all the dissidents could be fished up together.
However, Ling Xiaole had just claimed that Lu Qingchen had joined the Imperium’s side because of the collapse of the Virtual Spirits Sector and his master’s abrupt death.
Were there more secrets to the whole event?