This was a planet covered in blue and red. Different from the Heaven's Origin Sector, the earth here was bright blue, and the ocean was deep red.
The blue continent was devoid of any traces of living creatures. The tectonic movements of Ultimacy were apparently hundreds of times more intense than those of the Heaven's Origin Sector. The ground seemed to have been torn apart and sewed together countless times. Hills, mountains and valleys were everywhere.
Based on the pictures captured by the crystal cameras, the crystal processor had discovered more than a hundred mountains that were more than ten thousand meters high and dozens of gorges that were thousands of meters below the sea level.
This was a rocky planet.
The territories were too complicated to have naturally formed. They could've been the result of a salvo from a piece of 'planetary magical equipment'.
Maybe ten thousand years ago, this place had been a heaven for animals and plants like the Heaven's Origin Sector. However, savaged by warfare, glory of the past turned into scattered sand, gone in the passage of time until nothing existed.
Since the land were too unfavorable for landing, the star shuttle searched for a new landing point toward the crimson ocean with brilliant exhaust flames spurting out of the power rune arrays.
They were preparing to land on the ocean.
The surface of the ocean was quite flat. The seawater could serve as a buffer, too. The odds of success would be much higher.
The shell on the stomach of the star shuttle opened quietly, sending out five metal sensors analyzing the components of the air quickly.
In the meantime, another metal ball carved with countless runes was ejected from the star shuttle into the ocean in advance to assess the substituents of the ocean.
Soon, a report was displayed on the light beam.
Except for a very small proportion of demonic energy and impurities, the air of Ultimacy was rather clean. The oxygen percentage here was 5% higher than that in the Heaven's Origin Sector. Building Foundation Stage Cultivators could breathe the air with no aid.
There were more than 550 kinds of minerals and microelements in the seawater, which was almost as remarkable as the most famous hot spring in the Heaven's Origin Sector.
Or rather, the ocean was itself a vast 'hot spring'.
The average temperature of the seawater was 72 degrees.
By preliminary evaluation, many spiritual lodes with amazing reserves were underneath the surface of Ultimacy. Due to the intense crustal movements, the spiritual lodes clashed into one another, forming volcanoes at the bottom of the sea. A huge amount of marrow crystals and ores erupted together with magma and melted into the seawater, until in the end the ocean turned red. The temperature of the seawater was brought up during the process as well.
The conclusion excited all the six of them.
Since there were so many spiritual lodes on Ultimacy, it was quite possible that a lot of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures had been conceived. Perhaps, the battle between the Star Ocean Imperium and the Demon Beast Empire beyond the atmosphere of Ultimacy was to compete for the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures on Ultimacy.
This trip was definitely worthwhile!
"1,200 meters to the surface!"
Everyone stopped staring at Ultimacy and sank into their foam seats. The foam twisted and enveloped them all.
"800 meters to the surface!"
Their heads were their only body part left out of the foam.
"300 meters to the surface!"
At this moment, even their heads were covered by the foam, making them look like six giant cocoons.
"Three seconds left. Prepare to land!"
The plate armor of the star shuttle exploded into pieces after a cracking sound, unveiling a layer of dense, bright-silver runes which were shining dazzlingly. Streaks of silver flowed and formed a translucent white spiritual energy shell which covered the star shuttle.
Roaring, the star shuttle crashed into the crimson ocean heavily, stirring up splashes hundreds of meters high with earsplitting noises.
The translucent spiritual energy shell was quite elastic and took most of the force of the collision. After bouncing on the surface of the ocean dozens of times, the star shuttle finally stopped.
The spiritual energy shell vanished. What was left was a broken star shuttle from which black smoke was popping up nonstop.
"We've made it!"
After a long while, the cabin door was opened. The six Orb Patrollers of Team Blue Bronze crawled out slowly. They stood on the surface of the ocean, took off their helmets and breathed the air which was even fresher than that of the Heaven's Origin Sector.
"The air here has a flavor of sweetness. I feel that my spiritual energy flows more fluently after I take a long breath! Amazing!"
"Of course. A lot of spiritual lodes are buried under the surface of Ultimacy with much higher reserve of spiritual energy than those in the Heaven's Origin Sector. Now that the volcano eruptions have sent them into the air, the particle concentration of spiritual energy in the air is multiple times higher than that of the Heaven's Origin Sector. Naturally, we'll find it more comfortable to breathe here!
"This place must be what is known as a 'natural paradise'. Training here for one day will be more fruitful than training for ten days in the Heaven's Origin Sector!
"In the Heaven's Origin Sector, there are natural paradises, too. But the area is quite limited. Only the headquarters of the top 100 sects of the federation, or the personal training clubs of the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, have the privilege to establish residences on such places!
"While in this place Well well well. The entire ocean, or rather, the entire planet, is a giant natural paradise!
"If one day the technology of teleportation arrays allows, we will be able to build a permanent wormhole between Ultimacy and the Heaven's Origin Sector, saving us the trouble of travelling here through star shuttles. A giant gate to the starry sky will be constructed; Ultimacy will be conquered; the resources on Ultimacy will be exploited
"Then the Heaven's Origin Sector will be hundreds of times stronger than right now!"
Standing on Ultimacy enjoying the inexhaustible spiritual energy, everybody was greatly amazed by the promising future.
Captain Hong Tong was more practical than his teammates. He waved his hands and said, "Alright, let's focus on the job at hand for now. As the first explorers of Ultimacy, it is our responsibility to bring back as many precious Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures as possible, or a few pieces of magical equipment and Cultivation arts that are far more advanced than what we have in the Heaven's Origin Sector!
"Let's get down to business. Vulture, set up the first star beacon!"
They were in the middle of the ocean, about hundreds of kilometers from the seashore. It was quite tranquil nearby. The only thing that could be seen was the endless mountains in the horizon, which were distinguishable although there were hundreds of kilometers in between because of their remarkable height of almost ten thousand meters.
Li Yao scanned the environment through his crystal cameras and found no anomalies.
He retrieved a lot of magical equipment components from his Cosmos Ring, preparing to build the first star beacon.
Star beacons were the lighthouses in the sea of stars. They could broadcast their coordinates in the universe and their specific location to the Heaven's Origin Sector.
Once a star beacon started burning, it would be much easier to launch a second star shuttle, which would be teleported nearby the star beacon instead of the outside of the atmosphere, provided they were not thwarted by accidents like cosmic storms.
Star beacons were the most important magical equipment for mankind to conquer the sea of stars.
Back in the era of the Star Ocean Imperium, human beings had established gargantuan, permanent star beacons in every corner of the universe, many of which remained active despite the countless wars by absorbing the natural spiritual energy automatically.
Finding the ancient star beacons was also one of the goals of Occult Orbs Fellowship.
It was with the guidance of countless such ancient star beacons that the Heaven's Origin Sector was able to locate so many Occult Orbs, even though it was still underdeveloped.
The star shuttle which Team Blue Bronze had taken, after the intense collisions in the debris belt and the high-temperature friction while breaking through the atmosphere, was already on the verge of destruction and impossible to bring them back to the Heaven's Origin Sector.
Therefore, their priority was to deploy a star beacon.
In one month, the Heaven's Artillery would send five new unmanned star shuttles to Ultimacy. As long as they waited near the star beacon, they would be able to get a new star shuttle.
Since the vehicles had no passengers, they would be filled with abundant crystals, which would provide enough energy for the initial boost to 'pull' the vehicles back to the Heaven's Origin Sector.
While thinking, Li Yao unfolded the units of the star beacon on the surface of the ocean deftly.
To survive in extreme environments, star beacons had a solid fixation system and defense rune arrays that were remarkably strong.
Li Yao adjusted the pedestal to the ocean mode. After a "Chi" sound, the pedestal quickly absorbed air and expanded into sixteen giant airbags floating on the ocean.
In the ocean mode, the star beacon could resist tenth-level strong wind, which should be enough to survive one month without being damaged.
Li Yao's hands danced up and down, connecting one component to another. An octagonal metal tower about five meters tall with various branches was taking shape.
Li Yao extended four spiritual threads through the gaps in the hand of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit and connected them to the mainframe crystal processor of the star beacon. Then he started setting the coordinates and the environment information on the tiny light beam that had been projected to his retina.
At this moment, he felt that something was shaking the ocean.
The antennas on the star beacon were also trembling.
From the crimson ocean jumped up countless weird fish with sharp horns in front of their heads. While uttering eccentric noises in their mouths, they opened their fins into membranes almost one meter long, which allowed them to glide in the air for a long time before they fell into the ocean eventually. Then they sprang and glided again anxiously. They were fleeing in such a flurry that they didn't even have time to bother the weird-looking intruders that were Li Yao and his teammates.
Li Yao suddenly had a bad feeling. He asked, "Captain, is one of the undersea volcanoes erupting?"
Captain Hong Tong was even more confused than him.
"We have sunk quite a few probe balls undersea. The mountains below are peaceful within a hundred square kilometers with no sign of volcano eruption at all. There's no undercurrent, either. The shaking seems to be from the seashore. Could it be an earthquake?
"It doesn't sound right. According to the map drawn by the crystal cameras, the land should be on the other side!"
Li Yao was greatly alarmed.
The land was on the other side?
Then, what were the continuous mountains almost ten thousand meters high that they saw on the 'seashore'?
Li Yao's eyes were twitching violently while he turned around. He didn't know if it was his imagination or not, but the mountains at the end of the ocean were even higher and more majestic than before. They were swallowing almost half of the sky.
The shaking was becoming more and more intense. Thousands of sharp-horned, gliding fish leapt and cried in desperation passing by them like a group of deserters.
Li Yao blinked his eyes to make sure that what he saw was really happening.
The red mountains at the horizon grew taller still. Two thirds of the sky had been devoured. Destructive roars finally swept over, too.
It was clear now that the sky-blocking existences ten thousand meters high and hundreds of kilometers long were not mountains but a tsunami!