These people did not like discussing nonsense, so the issues were solved very quickly. It did not take long for the rough structure of the association to be formed. On the surface, it was a platform to settle conflicts between Beyond Grade As, while internally, it served to unite the Beyond Grade As. The rules, regulations, and reward system all had a brief outline to be fine-tuned accordingly in the future.
At the same time, the official preparations for the organization were brought forward. These initiators started to relay the message to every Beyond Grade A to recruit members. At the same time, they had to choose a location to build the headquarters of the Beyond Grade A Association in the Flickering World, which needed the Black Star Army’s help. Also, every Beyond Grade A would have to set up an agency in their territory to serve as embassies. It felt quite similar to the United Nations.
The preparations would have to take about several months. Before the official formation of the association, the management positions had to be decided. Currently, it was in the form of President, Vice President, and the Governing Council.
After their discussion, they decided to set the duration of one term for the president and vice president to be thirty years. One could only hold the position for three terms consecutively at most but would still be able to take on the position of director after stepping down. Once two terms had passed after stepping down, that person would be eligible to be re-elected for president or vice president.
The president had the most responsibilities. He had to both have appeal and the strength to take on pressure from the three Universal Civilizations. Currently, Manison had the most support, but no one would ignore Han Xiao and confirm the president before he returned.
As for the proposal Manison made to break the monopoly on Ultimate Knowledges, the opinions were currently diverted. In the past, the Ultimate Knowledges were only given by the advanced civilizations as a method to woo Beyond Grade A allies. Even if their allies learned them, they were not allowed to easily teach them to others. Han Xiao had experienced that in the past.
If the association turned the Ultimate Knowledge into one of their rewards, it would basically break the three Universal Civilizations’ rules, which would cause severe responses from the three Universal Civilizations.
However, if it really worked, rights would be taken back from the advanced civilizations, and the Beyond Grade As would indeed be free from many limitations and become more independent.
This was an unavoidable step to increase the position the Beyond Grade As had in the universe so that the new Beyond Grade As in the future would not have to become allies of the advanced civilizations for Ultimate Knowledges. At the same time, the Beyond Grade A Association would be able to attract newbies much easier, which was extremely beneficial for those peak Beyond Grade As who had the full set of Ultimate Knowledges of their own class.
On this issue, what the people argued about was the timing. Some felt that this should only be carried out once the association had established a firm base, since this was basically directly confronting the three Universal Civilizations, and a new association would not be able to hold against such an intense conflict. Some felt that it should be carried out as soon as possible to regain their rights, emphasizing why this association existed in the first place.
There would be a lot of time to discuss these details. On the other hand, an excuse or opportunity for the outside world was needed to form this association. They planned to contact some Beyond Grade As to fake some conflicts with each other in the next few months and escalate the issues into physical fights. The key point of this plan was the impact it would bring. The Beyond Grade As involved would only be acting, but they would have to make sure that the conflict would damage different organizations.
Not only were they going to have a huge fight in the Flickering World, but they were also going to encourage their own organizations to cause friction in the various Star Fields, once again letting the other organizations realize how much the conflicts between Beyond Grade As could impact others. This way, the public would lean toward hoping the Beyond Grade As would stop fighting, which would set down the path to forming the association. This plan would both give the three Universal Civilizations pressure and face. Neither side wanted to expose the conflict of interests between them to the public.
After the bosses confirmed the strategy, they started executing it very soon. The Flickering World became even more boisterous than before, and the free competition zone became more chaotic. At the same time, Beyond Grade As started having conflicts with each other in various Star Fields at the same time.
Due to the appearance of this phenomenon, the three Universal Civilizations temporarily put their conflicts behind, and the upper echelons held a remote conference together to discuss how to deal with it.
In the completely secured conference room, the remote projections of the federation, church, and dynasty gathered.
The dynasty’s Ruler Urranrell, the federation’s President Bader, and the church’s Pope sat in each corner of the triangular meeting table with their own upper echelons.
In usual times, the three of them fought each other in every way imaginable, but when the explored universe started to become unstable, these three sides would come together and decide the fate of this universe.
Bader looked around and said, “I don’t even remember the last time the three of us hosted a meeting like this.”
“Of course you don’t remember. The last meeting wasn’t during your term,” the church’s Pope said calmly.
Bader gave him a glare but had nothing to say.
The Federation of Light was indeed the one that changed their leader most often. The federation’s president had already changed many times before the church’s pope even changed once.
“Let’s get down to business,” Urranrell said expressionlessly. “The unification of the Beyond Grade As is pushed by the big picture. If our objection is too forceful, the Beyond Grade As will strongly repel it. In order to avoid the fate of becoming mere tools, there’ll be more new Beyond Grade As in the future who will decide to hide their strength and live a low-profile life. In that case, our efficiency in recruiting allies will increase tremendously. At the same time, recording the total number of Beyond Grade As in the universe will become more difficult.”
Bader nodded in agreement. “We have to not let the Beyond Grade As smoothly form that development union or whatnot but not use extreme methods. We’ll have to work together. We can’t target our own allies, so we shall target each other’s. The dynasty will target my allies, I will target the church’s, and the church will target the dynasty’s allies. This way, we can cause some trouble to some of the Beyond Grade As, especially to those who are still undecided.”
“That will only act as an obstacle and make forming the union more difficult. It won’t solve the root issue,” the Pope said calmly. “If the Beyond Grade As unite as one, they’ll have a horrifying amount of influence on all Star Fields. They’ll even be able to shake the structure of the entire galactic society.”
Bader shook his head and said, “Sadly, it’s not possible to clear out all the Beyond Grade As. Not considering how big a price we’ll pay, we still have to make sure those extremely powerful individuals exist in this explored universe. They’ll apply pressure to those Beyond Grade As who’ve hidden their strength and escaped to the secondary dimensions, as well as act as a form of insurance for when we explore unknown territories. We never know when we’ll run into another unknown advanced civilization, and we can’t give up this advantage we have.”
“In the calculated model of the galactic society, this is a problem that was bound to show up sooner or later,” Urranrell said with a deep voice. “It’s just like how the workers formed worker’s unions in the early days to protect their own interests. The situation we’re facing now is similar, only the targets have changed into special individuals with great strength. Since the exploration era, we’ve been oppressing them way too much. This day was destined to arrive.
“Therefore, we have to make preparations on both sides. If the formation of the union can’t be stopped, we’ll have to try to divide them. At their management level, there’ll certainly be Beyond Grade As with different opinions and interests, whom we can either bribe or woo to be our eyes and ears. We can then use them to affect the union’s decision making.”
The pope narrowed his eyes, looked at the two of them, and said, “Speaking of which, the Mechanic Emperor and Black Star are the main ones who initiated this. Their opinions are divided to begin with… Humph, seems like both of your people are difficult to deal with. My Kasuyi is the best as always.”
“Manison is very, very ambitious,” Bader said with a displeased tone. “In recent years, he’s been doing a lot of things behind our backs. It’s very possible he wants to be completely out of the federation’s control. Frankly, we can’t really control him now.”
The Pope looked at Urranrell and asked, “What about the dynasty? Your Black Star loves to cause trouble too. Are you going to teach him a lesson?”
“You guys don’t have to be concerned with that. We have our own plans for Black Star. The Evolutionary Totem will be sold to the public as promised. You don’t have to worry about that,” Urranrell said casually.
The dynasty planned on continuing to ease the tension between them and Han Xiao, so they decided to be patient and wait for Gaud to grow till they could solve the technical issue of the Evolutionary Cube. This way, they would be able to reduce Han Xiao’s control over the Evolutionary Totem business.
Of course, Urranrell was not going to explain this plan to others.
Seeing this, Bader changed the topic back and said, “Other than dividing them, we’ll also have to infiltrate them and not let our people be stopped outside their doors. They want to form the association, so they have to give us some high positions in return and let our people have a say in the management level of their association. Basically, they’ll be open spies who’ll inform us of what they’re up to…”
The three of them discussed the matter for a while, made various proposals for the measures they should take, and slowly came to some agreements.
Time slipped by quickly while the structure of the universe gradually changed.
A few months later, in Black Star Palace…
With a flash of light, three people appeared in the army commander’s office. It was Han Xiao, Ames, and the Mysterious Energy Host. They had returned from the secondary dimensions.
The two of their mechanical suits came off automatically. This time, a surprised voice sounded from behind.
“Hmm? You’ve finally decided to return?”
The two of them turned to look over. It turned out Sylvia was in the room and was lying comfortably in Han Xiao’s chair. But now, she instantly jumped up like there were springs in the seat.
Seeing this, Han Xiao joked around and said, “Tsk tsk, not bad. Have you been sitting in my chair the whole time I wasn’t here? What are you planning to do, take my position?”
“Of course not, I was just… just…” Sylvia’s eyes spun frantically as she blushed trying to find an excuse. Stuttering, she then said, “Ahem, it’s just that your chair is very comfortable to sit in.”
As she was speaking, her expression suddenly froze as her eyes moved down onto Han Xiao’s arm, which was wrapped around Ames’ waist. Ames did not, however, reject it as Sylvia would expect. It was as if she was already used to it.
Noticing her look, Ames moved her waist slightly out of Han Xiao’s hands. She then raised her hand and touched Han Xiao’s cheek. “Busy man, I’m going back to the Shattered Star Ring. Jenny is probably going crazy now.”
“Must be tough for you to remember her existence.”
Han Xiao smiled. He wanted to grab Ames’ hand on his cheeks but was a second too late after Ames had already moved it away. She blinked at him and smiled elegantly.
Then, Ames turned to look at the stunned Sylvia, smiled, and walked out of the room.
Sylvia stood in place, appalled.
These two had only gone for a tour in the secondary dimensions, and now their relationship had already become this much more intimate‽
“You, you guys…”
Hearing this, Han Xiao turned into a serious expression and said, “What ‘you guys’? Do you know your priorities? In the days I wasn’t here, how have things in the main universe been? What about Hila? What’s she doing?”
Seeing Han Xiao’s indisputable expression, Sylvia clenched her teeth, suppressed her boiling curiosity, and explained the changes that had occurred in the past few months.
Sometime earlier, Hila had inherited the Underworld dimension and formed a link with it, so she no longer had to stay in the Underworld to charge it. She had returned to the main universe long ago and was now in the free competition zone, continuing the exploration work.
In the recent few months, the heat of the ambush on Hila gradually cooled down. As the exploration progressed further in the free competition zone, many organizations were already going all out. Furthermore, with the ‘conflicts’ many Beyond Grade As had with each other, it was very boisterous.
The players’ level had increased quite a bit too, and their actions gradually grew more organized. Their presence had been steadily growing in the universe. It was said that there were some small to medium organizations that were already calling the players the Cancer of the Universe, which meant things were following the path Han Xiao was familiar with, only that this nickname was not publicly recognized yet.
The dynasty had also sent a lot of messages that were all related to the development union. Since Han Xiao had hidden for a few months, he had managed to dodge the dynasty’s direct questioning.
The preparation of the development union was almost complete. Recruitment was basically already done. The three Universal Civilizations had not held back on interfering with their efforts. The two sides had clashed countless times secretly. Many Beyond Grade As received oppression to various extents, which unfortunately for the three Universal Civilizations, was not very effective. Although Han Xiao did not participate directly, his influence impacted it to some extent. With his permission, the Black Star Army had provided quite a lot of help.
Meanwhile, Dark Lord had already escaped from the chaotic space streams and had publicly arrested another neutral Beyond Grade A. As a direct member of the dynasty, lingering in the Flickering World at this time attracted a lot of attention and hostility from many Beyond Grade As.
All these changes, however, did not affect the dynasty’s plan to sell the Evolutionary Totems to the public. The army’s logistics department had already produced a ton of Evolutionary Totems, waiting for Han Xiao to charge them. Countless organizations’ preorders poured in like tsunamis.
Looking through the changes, Han Xiao thought to himself, Looks like things have been going well while I wasn’t around. Manison and the other elderlies really are something… Alright, the formation of the development union is now certain. It’s time I make a visit.