Translator: flycrane01 Editor: Millman97
“Ladies and gentlemen in front of the light beam, this is ‘Across the Heaven’s Origin Sector’, a special live segment hosted by the Flying Star TV. The most thrilling moment is about to come. The first echelon of Cultivators to go to the Heaven’s Origin Sector has boarded on their starships!
“Ten thousand years! We’ve lost contact with our brother worlds for ten thousand years after the Star Ocean Imperium collapsed.
“For the ten thousand years, we’ve been resisting the extraterrestrial devils, the demon beasts, and the apocalypse in the cold, bleak universe all by ourselves.
“But everything will be different from now on. We are about to fight side by side with another Sector!
“Let’s congratulate the return home of Li Yao, Mo Xuan, and the other friends from the Heaven’s Origin Sector and pray that the Cultivators of the Flying Star Sector will have a safe journey and bring the greetings of the Flying Star Sector to our brothers in the Heaven’s Origin Sector!”
At this moment, the Flying Star Sector was silent. The ordinary people closed their eyes and prayed in silence, while the Cultivators made hundreds of different gestures and sent telepathic thoughts of bliss into the universe.
At the periphery of the Spider Den Space Zone, on a ragged carrier, dozens of thickheaded, brutal-looking crew members crowded in a stinky cabin. Their muscles were so tight that their clothes were almost being ripped apart, and their fists, which were the size of a pot, were twisted so hard that sweat seemed to be dropping, while they prayed for the travelers in a way that did not seem praying at all.
While those rude and yet kind men were praying quietly, an inharmonious noise came from a corner. Somebody laughed in a shrieking voice.
“Mouse Bai, you are asking for trouble again!”
A muscular man with a long beard opened his eyes, only to see an extremely ugly young man whose head was disproportionally huge.
The young man was wearing an expression of easiness. He was actually yawning at such an exciting moment. Instead of praying with everybody else, he had taken out a bag of peanuts from god knew where and was enjoying himself. For some reason, his appearance made people want to beat him.
The young man was really ugly.
He seemed congenitally deficient and malnourished after he was born. He was only around 1.3 meters all. His pinky skin was wrinkled. His ears were larger than fans. His nose was long and red. Two of his big incisors protruded out, but his eyes were as small as needle tips, and the freckles that surrounded his eyes were as dense as the stars in a night sky, making him wear a natural eye-patch all the time. He did not seem to be a good person at all but fitted every description of a thief.
The young man’s surname was Bai. Since he looked like a mouse, and he kept two weird white mice as his pets, everybody called him ‘Mouse Bai’.
Mouse Bai had boarded the carrier three months ago.
At that time, Spider Den was being developed heatedly. The demand on carriers and engineering starships was very high. The carrier that belonged to a private company joined the gold rush and worked for half a year on Spider Den.
When they left Spider Den, the young man somehow got himself on board.
Other than space pirates, there were many civilians on Spider Den, too, who were the victims kidnapped by the space pirates, the posterity of the victims, or the family of the space pirates. Not all of them had committed crimes. Many of them were even slaves who had been oppressed for a long time.
After Spider Den was taken over, naturally, the victims could not be all killed. After rigorous identification and lie-testing, the residents of Spider Den who were innocent were asked to join the construction of Spider Den if they were eighteen or older and go to temporary school if they were not.
Even so, many people were plagued by their bad habits. They hated working as much as they hated school, and they simply horsed around and made trouble every day.
Mouse Bai was exactly such a man.
When he just got on board, his situation was much worse. He was essentially a skeleton, and he had a giant hole that basically incrusted on his head. The doctor on the starship said after examination that his skull had been bashed into several pieces. 99.9% of the people would have died of such injury, but the young man was tough enough to survive.
His injury somehow triggered the sympathy of the captain of the starship, who sent his photo and his fingerprint to Spider Den to check, only to find that the young man was an orphan who roamed the streets every day. A few days ago, he accidentally fell into a mining pit. Everybody thought that he was killed, but he somehow ended up on the carrier.
He was not a space pirate, nor did he ever commit any crimes. He looked rather pitiful for a teenager. Therefore, the captain took him in.
The young man’s vitality was tougher than that of a cockroach. It took him less than a month to be fully recovered, but because of his indolence, which he developed on Spider Den, he was the first to come for dinner and the last to go to work.
The captain was kind enough to ask him to take several courses through the crystal processor, but he fell asleep every time a book was opened.
Seeing that he was not interested in books, several crew members meant to teach him martial arts, but he only laughed and refused them.
After several days, everybody on the carrier was pissed. They only regretted that they could not open the ventilation tube and throw the slug into space.
The only shining point about the scalawag was that he was good-tempered and smiling all day. He was never angry when other people cursed him or pulled his ears. Even when other people snapped his head in outrage, he would act like it was nothing. There was no telling whether he was broad-minded or simply shameless.
Mouse Bai was still enjoying his peanuts although dozens of muscular men were glaring at him. He even picked his teeth with his little finger now and then, utterly satisfied.
“Hey!” One of the muscular man held his ears and pulled him up, his saliva darting to the young man’s face like nails. “Mouse Bai. It’s fine that you are lazy and sleazy normally. But how can you be so indifferent when we are all praying for Li Yao and the other travelers?”
Mouse Bao simply allowed his ears to be pulled and continued enjoying his peanuts. He said with a smile, “I knew that my boy Li Yao is an unbelievably lucky man and that I could trust him to do anything nicely and smoothly.
“If so, why do I have to waste my time with a useless prayer?”
“Huh?” Brother Hong was even more furious. He pinched Mouse Bai’s ear hard. “You have a tongue disproportional to your size, wrinkly Mouse Bai. Li Yao is the top-tier super experts of the Flying Star Sector, and a formidable man who slayed Xiao Xuance? You are no match even for his booger. How did you dare to call him ‘my boy’?”
“Hiss” Mouse Bai pretended that he was in pain. But the smile on his face told everyone that the pain was actually nothing for him. “Brother Hong, as I have repeated carefully to everybody three thousand two hundred and twenty-five times, you can beat me or curse me at your will, but can you please stop calling me Mouse Bai?”
Brother Hong burst into laughter. “Why don’t you look at your reflection in your pee? What are you if not Mouse Bai?”
Mouse Bai blinked his eyes and said, “Please call me BoBrother Bai.”
All the crew members were laughing hard. Brother Hong mocked him. “You’re a lazy kid who can’t drag or carry anything. Every time we ask you to do anything, you always have excuses. You even mocked our martial arts. What, we are now worthy to be your brothers?”
Mouse Bai yawned and said, “I have explained many times. I was born for something big. Of course, I’m not interested in the trivia such as repairing the ventilation rune arrays, cleaning the toilets, or dredging the sewer.”
Brother Hong sneered, “What is ‘something big’, BBrother Bai?”
Mouse Bai tilted his head and thought carefully. “Caught in a cosmic storm, engaged with space pirates, visited by the extraterrestrial devils Should such incidents occur, I will certainly show up and help you handle everything well in return for your favor to save my life.”
Everybody was laughing even harder. Brother Hong was so amused that he curled his fingers which were thicker than Mouse Bai’s wrists and snapped Mouse Bai’s big forehead. “Stop bragging about yourself. If you really want to return the favor, just get the hell out of here as soon as possible. You are not only a nuisance for us but also a waste of the food on the carrier!”
Mouse Bai smiled and tapped the rusted secondhand crystal processor on his wrist. A mottled light beam was projected.
It was a virtual application form displayed on the light beam.
“I’m feeling rather embarrassed myself that I’ve troubled you for so long. Besides, it’s too peaceful and boring here. Since I have had enough rest, I’m thinking of doing something more interesting that I’ve never done before.”
The glittering two words ‘Burning Prairie’ on the light beam dazed all the crew members briefly, who looked at each other in bewilderment, only to laugh so crazily that the small carrier seemed to be exploding!
“The Burning Prairie Fleet?”
“The wrinkled Mouse Bai is going to join the Burning Prairie Fleet?”
The Burning Prairie Fleet was a new fleet currently being planned in the Flying Star Sector. The purpose was to break the traditions of the sects and the Exo Societies and to gather all the young elites of the Flying Star Sector who would be trained from scratch. It was estimated that they would become the most influential forces of the Flying Star Sector decades later.
When the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings arrived in the Flying Star Sector, the Burning Prairie Fleet would give them a great welcome gift!
In short, it was a fleet targeting the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings and a future fleet established for the war a hundred years from now!
‘Burning Prairie’ was named after the proverb ‘the smallest spark can set ablaze an entire prairie’, with the hope that the two tiny sparks that were the Flying Star Sector and the Heaven’s Origin Sector would raise a furious fire of humanity in the dark forest!
The Burning Prairie Fleet might decide the fate of the Flying Star Sector.
Therefore, all the sects devoted a lot of resources and sent their most distinguished disciples to join it.
The Burning Prairie Fleet was also recruiting students from military schools in the entire Flying Star Sector. All the children from six to fourteen were allowed to apply.
A hundred years later, those people would be slightly more than a hundred years old. For Cultivators, it was the perfect balance point of spiritual energy and life experience. They would be at the peak state of their life and work as the pillars of the Flying Star Sector.
The Flying Star Sector was all shocked by the news. The disciples of the noble families were all cramming to apply for the fleet.
Because of the fierce competition, the pass rate of the first test was just 1 in 13,000.
The entrance test of the Burning Prairie Fleet was extremely rigorous even for the students from military schools. It was said that one of Luo Xingzi’s great grandsons were eliminated during the test.
And now this wrinkled mouse was planning to apply?
Was there a greater joke in the world?
Brother Hong laughed so hard that he was burping. “What makes you think that you are qualified to apply for the military school of the Burning Prairie Fleet? Ha. You’ve even changed your name into Bai Xingjian? The name sounds awesome enough, but it does not seem to match your magnificent appearance!”
Mouse Bai smiled and shook his head. “Wrong. I’m not going to apply for the Burning Prairie Fleet; I’m going to command the Burning Prairie Fleet.”
Everybody was literally rolling on the ground in laughter. Holding his belly, Brother Hong laughed so hard that he almost could not catch his breath. “Hahahaha. You are trying to murder me with laughter, aren’t you? Since when has Mouse Bai become such a man of justice? Are you planning to defeat the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings as the commander-in-chief of the Burning Prairie Fleet one day?”
Mouse Bai opened his mouth and planned to explain, but after thinking for a moment, he shut his mouth with a self-deprecating smile, before he retreated to a corner.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the countdown has begun. Our warriors will be off in ten seconds!”
The host on the light beam was shouting desperately, catching all the crew members’ attention. Nobody bothered with the fanfaronade any longer.
Mouse Bai narrowed his eyes. Lights and shadows were alternating on his face. Glimmers polished after hundreds of years of time were spreading in the eyes of the extremely ugly young man.
Two lumps suddenly protruded on the back of Mouse Bai’s neck. Two little mice crawled out of the lumps soon.
The two mice had smooth skin and looked more appealing than himself. There was wisdom in their eyes as if they were intelligent creatures. The tail of one of the mice had a hint of bright gold.
Mouse Bai snapped his fingers. Two peanuts flew into the air, only to be caught by one of the mice with its tail, which then shared the food with its companion.
“You understand me, don’t you?” Mouse Bai said to the mouse with a golden tail in a smile.
Weird brilliance was blinking in the mouse’s eyes, as if it did understood what he had just said.
Mouse Bai threw another peanut to the mouse and said causally, “You must know why I am going to command the Burning Prairie Fleet and confront the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings, don’t you?
“Of course, it is not for the Flying Star Sector, or for the future of the civilization of mankind, or for other crap like that.
“It’s only because I want to taste the feeling of failure.”