Led by Professor Mo Xuan, Li Yao and Ling Xiaole were each given one immersive virtual cabin, after passing the dual tests of the federal army and the Secret Sword Agents.
Li Yao slowly sank into the thick, dense liquids.
The special nerval interaction liquids contained tremendous man-made neuron elements. There were also a lot of brainwave feedback patches that could both stimulate all the nerve endings on a human body and connect a human brain to a crystal processor, or rather, connect the soul to the grand-unified Spiritual Nexus, through the special simulated brainwaves.
The main difference between advanced virtual cabins and low-level ones lay in the quality of the nerval interaction liquids. What Professor Mo Xuan had adopted was apparently the most cutting-edge nerval interaction liquids that had only been developed in the federation recently. It could make someone dwell completely in the virtual world, the Spiriters Realm.
Before he was fully consumed by the nerval interaction liquids, Li Yao glanced at the big shots in the rows of virtual cabins next to him, who were from the military, the Secret Sword Bureau, the government, and the various research institutions in the Hundred Flowers Space Zone.
They were all there to attend the launch ceremony of the Tinder Plan tomorrow. At this moment, their souls were all visiting the Spiriters Realm.
Looking at their bodies that were absolutely still as if they were in a deep sleep, Li Yao somehow felt creeped out.
Thankfully, Long Yangjun was still next to him offering protection.
Well. Although such a person whose sexuality and purpose were equally ambiguous was also not one hundred percent reliable, at this moment, Li Yao suddenly had the feeling that she was even more trustworthy than Professor Mo Xuan!
The moment Li Yao was completely consumed, he saw Long Yangjun winking at him, reassuring him with her eyes.
Light and shadow changing in front of Li Yaos eyes, Li Yao soon found himself on a tiny hill in the middle of a quite prairie on a brand-new world.
The sky was clear, and the clouds were scarce. The scent of flowers was flowing in the air. Ripples were spreading out on the lakes which looked like mirrors. Silver rivers zigzagged into a town that was of an ancient style and flowed out into the distance.
Almost every household in the town had colorful wind chimes in front of their door. The pleasant sounds that they uttered only added to the serenity of the town.
On the hills far away, somebody was singing folk songs aloud.
There were also kids who were flying in the sky to their hearts content, as if they were carrying enormous kites. This was an illusionary world that did not need to abide by the laws of the reality after all. As long as one had enough computational ability and soul power, anything beautiful could happen.
Most virtual worlds cannot be perfect simulations to reality, partly because the computational ability of the crystal processors is not enough for too many participants, partly because the remote communication across Sectors is too unstable, causing the high lag and inconsistency for the people in different worlds, and partly because perfect simulations of reality are too painful and very likely to lead to accidents. But most importantly of all, it is because of peoples attitude.
Professor Mo Xuans deep and passionate voice echoed behind Li Yao.
Even if it is a perfect simulation of reality, if those who enter it only consider it a game and themselves players, how can they treat everything seriously?
After all, everything is fake and can be rebuilt anytime. Even if they break the rules, they will not suffer any penalty greater than being kicked out of the game.
When countless false attitudes overlap, they create a gigantic, weird, and false world. Therefore, it is not strange at all that the DLCs of Civilization for regular players are called virtual worlds.
But this place is different. I assure you that the Spiriters Realm is a home to the Spiriters. It is a place where we live carefully and will defend with our lives. This place has its own rules and laws. Even if I am its creator
When Li Yao turned around, he saw Professor Mo Xuans true appearance, which he had only seen in pictures before.
He was a tall man with particularly broad shoulders, bronze skin, stubble, and a pair of determined eyes.
He looked like some sort of hybrid between camel and bull, which would persist to the end of its goal after a goal was set no matter how harsh and unfavorable the environment was. Even though he had fallen and died and decayed into a pile of bones, it would still take thousands of years before his remains were entirely effaced.
Professor Mo Xuan, in a gray suit, was squatting on the ground. Narrowing his eyes, he touched the smooth, moist grass that scattered the ground. Suddenly, a sapling rose up from where he touched and grew up quickly in the wind into an apple tree more than three meters tall. Then, three heavy red apples dangled down from the tip of a branch, so round and succulent that the juice inside seemed as if it would explode at any moment.
Professor Mo Xuan picked the three red apples. He had one bite of the apple and chewed it while he threw the other two at Li Yao and Ling Xiaole. Moaning in great satisfaction, he finally finished the rest of his remark. I have to abide by the laws of this place, too. The best I can to is treat the honorable guests from afar with two apples.
Li Yao and Ling Xiaole looked each other and bit the two apples hard.
With cracking sounds, the juice rolled into their virtual throat, esophagus, and stomach like sugar that was mixed with a tempting sour flavor.
Li Yaos and Ling Xiaoles nerve endings all sent signals of joy to their brains.
Do you feel Observing them without an expression, Professor Mo Xuan asked, Was it real or virtual when you enjoyed the bite of apple just now?
Li Yao pondered for a moment and replied, You seem to be implying something, dont you, professor?
Professor Mo Xuan smiled and shook his head. No, nothing. Look. The town at the foot of the mountain is the home of 122 Spiriters and will very possibly be the last home of humanity in millions of years. The heads of the local garrison, a branch of the Secret Sword Bureau, government departments, and research institutes are right there. Do you want to go down and join them?
That will be unnecessary. Li Yao thought of something and said, I am actually more interested in you, Professor Mo Xuan. Why dont we take a walk here and have a chitchat?
I can vouch for him! Holding the giant apple, Ling Xiaole grimaced and said, Special Representative Lin is indeed quite interested in you, Professor Mo Xuan, especially your virtual life project. He asked me for a lot of files about the project!
Opening his arms and enjoying the breeze that was embracing his face, Li Yao distinguished the fragrances of seventeen different flowers in the wind, which were identical to the fragrances in reality and did not have the tiniest flaws. Before, I didnt understand why you abandoned the studies on the virtual life project, but Ive found out the reason after visiting such a tiny Spiriters Realm. With such a delicate and enjoyable little world, who cares about the virtual life?
Professor Mo Xuan took another bite of the apple. Wiping the juice on the corner of his lips, he smiled. Who says that I abandoned the virtual life project? In fact, the project is very close to success now!
Li Yao was dazed. He felt that his body was rigid when he asked, What? Professor, you have truly created virtual life? Where is it?
Li Yaos mind was in an utter mess. Countless strange thoughts were occurring to him instantly, but Professor Mo Xuan simply pointed at the town before the mountain up ahead and said, Its right over there. Isnt the town full of them?
After that, he pointed at himself, Li Yao, and Ling Xiaole. Theres also the three of us. Arent we virtual life?
Ling Xiaole was confused, too. Professor Mo Xuan, what are you talking about? I dont understand!
Professor Mo Xuan finished the apple after another few bites. He dug a hole on the prairie and buried the virtual apple core. Then, he covered the hole carefully and patted his hands. In the end, he looked at Li Yao solemnly and said, Are you really interested in virtual life? Have you read a lot of my theories and documents?
Li Yao nodded quickly.
Then, you should know that, with the level of the crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus that the federation has today, it is absolutely impossible to create a brand-new life form from scratch in the next thousand years, Professor Mo Xuan said solemnly. Ive mentioned on many occasions that our people must not be misled by the third-rate tales and entertainment products that are designed for fun.
With the development level of our crystal processors nowadays, to create a virtual life that is highly developed with intelligence and self-awareness and poses a threat to the civilization of mankind in the next hundred years is as difficult as giving you a handful of ancient fungi and a primitive planet and asking you to make the fungi evolve into dinosaurs in a thousand years. Is it even possible at all?
Li Yao had given it a lot of thought previously. Therefore, he simply shook his head and said, No. Professor, I dont think that your metaphor is correct. Ancient fungi are far too unevolved compared to dinosaurs in every respect. But it is not the relationship between crystal processors and human beings. Many crystal processors boast a computational ability hundreds if not thousands of times higher than that of a regular human being. How do you know for sure that a brand-new life will be born during the collision of data that is as vast as an ocean? It is even possible that such a life will boast tremendous destructive power the moment it is created.
Think about it. If an ancient fungus evolves to a thousand meters in diameter and has an absorption ability and movement speed that are even more terrifying than dinosaurs, it will be natural for the dinosaurs to be frightened by them because of natural intuition, right?
Professor Mo Xuan was slightly dazed. He looked at Li Yao thoughtfully and smiled from the bottom of his heart. Very good. As expected of an expert from the Star Ocean Republic. You are smart enough to have thought so far. What you have in mind right now was exactly my motivation when I started the Virtual Spirits Sector project decades ago.
At that time, I thought exactly the same. Although I always said that virtual life could not be born overnight and that the odds of success were probably one billionth after thousands of years if we were unbelievably lucky, I was reluctant to give up deep in my heart and determined to find a certain way to transform the enormous computational ability of a crystal processor into real self-awareness and intelligence.
I believe that virtual life will inevitably be born. With that in mind, we must control it in our hands and not allow the Imperium and the Covenant Alliance to do so. Even if we must destroy it, we must learn of its origins, development, and means of evolution first.
For such a purpose, together with a few other researchers, I established a small virtual world with twelve Jing-level super crystal processors, the most advanced models in the federation at that time. The world, logically, was named the Virtual Spirits Sector.