In the meeting room, the six members of Team Blue Bronze gathered together and turned on the mission selection system of Occult Orbs Fellowship, while they discussed what mission they were going to take.
The mission selection system was very similar to the war mission system in the Cultivator's network of the Heaven's Origin Sector not long ago.
In fact, the war mission system had been based on the mission selection system of Occult Orbs Fellowship.
Exploration of the Occult Orbs was never free at will.
Sometimes, cosmos storms, space turbulence, or asteroids would occur between an Occult Orb and the Heaven's Origin Sector, making it unreachable until everything went tranquil again.
Some Occult Orbs spun around the Heaven's Origin Sector like comets. They would only come close to the Heaven's Origin Sector every few dozen years or so.
Some Occult Orbs grew rarely-seen Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures which could only be harvested every hundred years or even longer. It would be a complete waste of time to explore them when the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures were immature.
Therefore, the most excellent research-type Cultivators and admin-type Cultivators of the Star Glory Federation had been summoned by Occult Orbs Fellowship to be in charge of monitoring the trajectories of the Occult Orbs, calculating their time windows, and assessing the possible spiritual energy consumption and the odds of success. Then, they could pick out the Occult Orbs that were most suitable to be explored at that time and put them on the system together with a general plan for each operation and their respective contribution points, so that every Star Team would be able to choose the most acceptable missions for them.
According to the latest capability evaluation of Team Blue Bronze and the outcomes of their previous trips, the system recommended three missions for them.
The first one was to protect a research-type Cultivator in an Occult Orb where a weird temple had been discovered with esoteric runes covering its walls. No magical equipment was able to record anything about the temple. Therefore, the specialist had to study it on the spot.
"I don't think this is a good one for us. Expert protection missions are the worst. We are a new team that is more suitable for aggressive missions. Such a mission is definitely not our best option."
Hong Tong looked around. The other teammates, including Li Yao, all nodded their heads in agreement.
Expert protection was a kind of very common mission. Since many relics and mysteries buried in the Occult Orbs were incomprehensible for common Cultivators, and sometimes it was impossible to bring the items back to the Heaven's Origin Sector, the specialists of the Heaven's Origin Sector often had to go to the Occult Orbs to check them out in person.
But unfortunately, the specialists were mostly research-type and culture-type Cultivators, whose combat abilities were only better than those of ordinary people. They were the burden of a team in the Occult Orbs. In the case of an emergency, the whole team might be dragged down.
Therefore, even though such missions often promised enormous contribution points, most Star Teams were not willing to accept them, unless there were absolutely no better options.
"The second mission is a big one. The target of the mission is to demolish a breeding base of the demon clan in an Occult Orb. Huh. According to the intelligence, the demon clan is trying to raise a kind of demon beast named 'Gold Furred Spiritual Cat', which went extinct twenty thousand years ago, with the natural blood pool in the Occult Orb. It promises a lot of contribution points, too. How about it?"
All of them studied the details for a moment. Then, Ba Weiqi shook his head and said, "Let's check out the third mission first. Although this mission promises quite a lot of contribution points, they will be distributed in proportion to the credits of each team. The other two teams participating in the mission both rank in the top 20. We are still new to each other, and we might not be able to gain a fair share."
"Sounds reasonable. Let's see the third one.
"The third mission is to collect the Nine-holed Stones and the accompanying Spirit Melting Crystals on Mystic Glacier. In the meantime, explore Mystic Glacier and clean up the ancient battleground."
Everyone was greatly interested. Such collection and exploration missions had no strict requirements. There would be a lot of room for them to do whatever they liked. It was perfect as the first mission for a team which had just started to collaborate.
Li Yao focused his attention on the mission of Mystic Glacier.
Mystic Glacier was an Occult Orb that came close to the Heaven's Origin Sector every 32 years. Every time it drew near, there would be a time window of around one month to send star shuttles to the place.
This was a frigid Occult Orb. Yet it boasted two kinds precious Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures in large reserve, which were Nine-holed Stones and Spirit Melting Crystals.
Nine-holed Stones were not very useful per se. But they were excellent catalysts that could bring up the hardness of 37 super alloys of the Heaven's Origin Sector by 0.7%.
Spirit Melting Crystals, on the other hand, could be used to refine the Building Foundation Liquids, which could bring up the success rate of breaking through to the Building Foundation by another 0.3%.
The Heaven's Origin Sector had its own mines of Nine-holed Stones and Spirit Melting Crystals. But they were of a very low purity. The cost to separate the useful ingredients out was extremely high. The volume of production was not very satisfactory, either. Therefore, the mines were never exploited on a large scale.
Mystic Glacier was one of the few Occult Orbs that preserved high-purity Nine-holes Stones and Spirit Melting Crystals. In fact, their purity was so high that a few collection trips would gather enough to fulfill the Heaven's Origin Sector's needs for several years.
On the other hand, since such precious mother lodes were buried in Mystic Glacier, human beings had been developing it on a large scale and established mining bases there early on in the time of the Star Ocean Imperium.
But as a result, it had become a major military target for the demon race. The two parties had been engaged in countless fierce battles for the control over Mystic Glacier.
Therefore, Mystic Glacier was also an ancient battleground, where ancient treasures and secret arts might be buried.
Mystic Glacier was discovered by Occult Orbs Fellowship more than a hundred years ago. So far, three teams had explored it. A preliminary understanding about its environment and specialties had been achieved. Part of the Occult Orb was drawn into the map, too, but only with a coverage of 9%.
Therefore, there were three targets for the mission on Mystic Glacier.
Firstly, to collect as many Nine-holed Stones and Spirit Melting Crystals as possible.
Secondly, to explore Mystic Glacier. Every square meter of previously untraveled area equal to a lot of contribution points.
Thirdly, to clean up the ancient battleground and see if there were any pieces of ancient magical equipment or secret arts that were worth bringing back to the Heaven's Origin Sector.
It was impossible to fail such a mission. The worst-case scenario would only be that they would not get as many contribution points as they wanted. It was perfect for Team Blue Bronze right now.
"If you have no objection, Mystic Glacier will be our destination!"
Hong Tong glanced around the room.
Li Yao and Ding Lingdang looked at each other and then nodded their heads at the same time. ""Seconded!"
The following morning, Team Blue Bronze was full prepared. They reached the 'Occult Orbs Observation Center' fifty meters below the launch base through the subway.
They were very lucky. No other team was trying to compete with them for the mission to Mystic Glacier. Therefore, their request was approved overnight, and they were offered a lot of files and videos of the previous missions to Mystic Glacier.
After a night of study and thorough analysis, they were all full of hope for the mission and almost couldn't wait any longer.
Passing through a pathway with ivory walls, Li Yao was somewhat stunned by what he saw.
Along the pathway, there was a piece of tempered glass five meters in width and fifty meters in length on one side of the wall, through which one could see a spacious room that was almost as enormous as an arena. The room was filled with super-large crystal processors that Li Yao was practically drooling over from just looking at them.
He recognized several models of the super-large crystal processors. They were all his dreams. He would be excited for several days if he could lay his hand on one of them.
However, the super-large crystal processors were only the juniors in this place. The mainframe crystal processor in the center of the big room was two floors tall.
Although Li Yao claimed to be a fan of crystal processors, he had never seen, or even heard of, one like that before.
Inside the room, hundreds of experts who were wearing silver robes and brain wave enhancers were working diligently.
The spiritual waves from them congregated into a surging tide. Although there was thick glass in between, Li Yao still felt that his heart was pounding with the solemnness being imposed on him.
"Hundreds of research-type Cultivators?" Li Yao murmured.
"Correct. This is the Occult Orbs Observation Center. It is the place where we discover the Occult Orbs, calculate their trajectories and draft interstellar routes, and where we design the super teleportation array.
"What you've seen is merely the tip of the iceberg. In places you can't see, more research-type and admin-type Cultivators are trying everything they can to build a bridge to the center of the cosmos for the human beings of the Heaven's Origin Sector," Hong Tong said in admiration.
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao stared at the slogan on the wall at the end of the room.
Two sentences that were the color of blood burned his eyes.
'For the destiny of Human Beings. For the future of the Star Glory Federation.'
Li Yao exhaled and smiled. His eyes were clearer than previously, as he said, "The human beings in the Heaven's Origin Sector cannot be locked in this small world forever. Let us Cultivators find a new destination for everyone!"
He started to realize why Occult Orbs Fellowship set up the Observation Center in this place where every passing-by Orb Patroller would see what was being done inside.
He felt that an invisible burden had been put on his back. But his footsteps were firmer and faster.
Soon, they reached the end of the pathway, which split off into two directions, one for males and the other for females.
Li Yao, Hong Tong, and the other two guys went into the chamber on the left, while Ding Lingdang and Yan Yangtian went to the right.
In the chamber whose walls were full of holes, everyone took off their clothes. First, they were sanitized. Then, a special strengthening drug was injected into their bodies with high pressure after it was atomized, which would keep their nerves in a super active state for the next three days. The efficiency of their spiritual energy would be a lot higher, too, so that it would be easier for them to bring out their best performance with little to no consequences.
After that, four artificial arms imprinted quite a few marks all over their bodies.
Li Yao lowered his eyes and noticed that his body was covered in colorful tattoos which were flowing like flames. They were so vivid that they seemed to have been carved on his body.
"These are spiritual stamps," Hong Tong explained, "although they are not as effective as the real spiritual tattoos, and they can only last for three to five days, it is quite convenient to use them. Once you have them imprinted to your body, it will immediately take effect. You can also choose different spiritual stamps according to the different conditions of the Occult Orbs.
"For example, Mystic Glacier, where we're going to right now, is quite a cold place. With the help of the spiritual stamps of flame, the circulation of our blood will be faster, and the pores on our body will be locked up in order to maintain the body temperature. When they are fully triggered, you can survive for dozens of minutes on Mystic Glacier even if you are naked, while waiting for aid.
"Don't underestimate these spiritual stamps. This is the work of Xie Ling, the 'Miraculous Marker'. Although it is just a stamp, it is even more powerful than the spiritual tattoos that common spiritual tattoo artists spend days making!"