Chapter 1093 Tide from Afar
At this time, the sights of all the media groups and army spaceships were locked onto the biggest floating stage. On it was a lectern.
Today was the opening ceremony. As the leader of the army, the founder of the Black Star Cup, Han Xiao was going to speak to the entire universe here.
Countless galactic residents of the explored universe watched their communicators as time passed by. Finally, the time for the official start of the opening ceremony had arrived.
Watched by countless people, a black silhouette descended like a meteor from space, gradually decelerating and accurately landing on the edge of the stage. With a light spin, the dancing black and gold coat spun like a black tornado, getting rid of the flames from when he penetrated the atmosphere.
Han Xiao slowly walked to the speaking desk and looked up at the sky. The spotlights from countless spaceships above were like distant stars. Countless eyes were watching him through the live broadcast.
With his hands placed on the sides of the lectern, Han Xiao looked around at the starlight in the sky and slowly spoke. Through the specially made speaker, his voice echoed across the planet.
“October 2nd, Year 688 of the Galaxy Calendar, that was the day the army’s former identity—the Black Star Mercenary Group—was founded. Back then, I was only a surface civilization native who had just stepped off Planet Aquamarine. To save my mother planet, like a newborn animal, I headed into the wide universe, ignorant and weak. To me, this was a world filled with unknown danger. However, for the survival of my mother planet, and the safety of my friends who stayed there, without any hesitation, I…”
The speech was played out live in the various Star Fields. To the Planet Aquamarine people who were watching the broadcast, this old memory started floating to the surface. A sense of pride appeared in their heart.
No matter what Black Star’s position was in the universe, in the eyes of the Planet Aquamarine people, he had only one identity—the greatest man of their planet, the pioneer of Planet Aquamarine who first stepped into the universe. That was a small step for Black Star but a big step for Planet Aquamarine.
Inside the national headquarters of the Aquamarine Federation, Bennett pushed back a political meeting and watched the broadcast.
His hair had already turned white, but it was still combed neatly. He had more wrinkles on his face too. He had become an old man. Having possessed the top power of the planet for many years, he had already developed the vibe of a man with power.
However, at this time, Bennett’s lips were slightly raised, making more wrinkles on his face, and the corners of his eyes were glistening.
Decades ago, when he first met Han Xiao, that lonely man in his memories seemed to overlap with the tall and strong Black Star now.
Thousands of words rushed up to his mind, but all turned into a satisfied sigh.
I’m glad to have met you…
The speech was still going. Han Xiao’s tone gradually became more emotional.
“When I was weak, I met dangers, and I met great men. On the way, I found both enemies and friends. The experiences I had at that time are still vivid in my mind, but when I think about them now, it almost feels like it was an entire lifetime ago.
“I worked hard and spent more than forty years developing the Black Star Army to what it is today. I think I have the right to be proud of it…”
Many army members nodded with admiration.
Almost all army members had taken thought-alignment classes; they knew about the rise of the army. Even those who joined the army for their own future admired the achievements Black Star had made in just over forty years.
Looking at the entire history of the Galaxy, how many people were able to start with nothing and build such an enormous force in such a short time? There was no one else!
Of course, there were people who had achieved more than Black Star, but they also spent a longer time. Black Star, and only Black Star, had risen in the Galaxy at a speed no one in the past could ever compare with.
In the exploration frontline stronghold at the free competition zone, Hila watched Han Xiao from the screen. The adventures they had together in the past flashed through her mind, and her gaze softened.
Manison, Kasuyi, Sorokin, and other Beyond Grade As were also watching the broadcast. Even the Dynasty Ruler Urranrell squeezed out some time in her extremely busy schedule to watch it. Hearing Han Xiao’s words, these people uncontrollably sighed.
Maybe Black Star had conflicts with them, but from the bottom of their heart, they still admired what Black Star had achieved. None of them felt they could have done better than Black Star if they were in his position.
“What was I doing again when I was younger than a hundred years old? Still managing the logistics for the former chief?”
Manison was nostalgic.
At the venue, after Han Xiao listed the achievements of the army, his tone became formal.
“As I’ve just mentioned, although the Black Star Army has achieved many great things, its contribution to the universe is still too little, and I’m ashamed of that. Therefore, I felt that I should start a public report to the entire universe to show everyone what we’re capable of, to do my best to give anyone with potential the chance to showcase themselves. And that is why I’ve founded the Black Star Cup…”
“That’s quite a good way to put it…” Urranrell nodded in agreement.
She liked seeing Beyond Grade As enjoying their privileges while not forgetting about making contributions to the entire universe. Sadly, most people did not have this resolve. Although Black Star was unashamedly profit-oriented, she was quite happy he even had this mindset.
When the speech came to an end, Han Xiao smiled and said, “I’ve said enough. Now, this stage shall be given to the great kids of the Black Star Army. I hereby announce, the first season of the Black Star Cup Army Tournament starts now!”
As his speech ended, deafening applause sounded at the venue!
This was indeed an added sound effect.
If the speech ended and no one applauded, that would have been hella awkward. Plus, the army members were all in the spaceships, so their applause could not reach there.
In the cheering and applause, Han Xiao teleported away. The organizers of the competition showed up right after and started to direct the participants into the venue.
The audience also landed in their seats. The venue became boisterous.
According to the planning that Sylvia had hired some professional event organizers to do, there would be a large performance at the opening ceremony, and only a few more important competition items would be held.
Of course, combat-related events were a must. Referring to the Pro League, Han Xiao had also set up Singles, Groups, Duels, Flag Modes, and so on. He even brought up modes that only appeared in the later Pro Leagues and used them in the Black Star Cup.
There were ordinary people groups all the way up to Calamity Grade groups, as well as groups exclusive to Immortals. All the groups had to choose a representative to participate in the opening ceremony and showcase themselves.
As for the tons of sports and entertainment items, those more popular ones would be carried out.
Quite a number of sports and entertainment items did not have groupings, and Wayne Cards was one of them. Although there were no groupings, it surprisingly had the most participants, so it was chosen to be displayed in the opening ceremony.
The two Wayne Cards players who were about to play in the opening ceremony were Herlous, who was respected in the army’s card social circle, and Hadavy, who was a known rascal in the gambling social circle of the army.
Inside an indoor venue, a Wayne Cards board was set up. As soon as the two players stepped into the venue, the difference in their treatments was already clearly visible.
The moment Herlous appeared, cheering from the countless card friends he had sounded, he was clearly very sociable. Hadavy, however, received a deafening hush when he took just a few steps. The audiences were paying their sincerest respect to this rascal who was horrible at gambling.
“Idiots.” Hadavy rolled his eyes.
This time, Herlous looked over. These two card arch-enemies who had battled each other countless times looked into each other’s eyes. They both saw the same thought in the other’s eyes.
Without Feidin and Nero, the king of cards in the army shall be mine!
At the same time, the other stage was already at the Grade D group, and a player had appeared. It was a battle between a graduate of the Super Academy and a newbie player who had only joined in Version 4.0. The two of them looked at each other.
“Remember the rules. Don’t continue attacking when the enemy has lost the ability to fight. Deliberately causing heavy injuries is not allowed, as is killing the opponent. The winner shall be determined when one side leaves the stage or admits defeat…”
The mechanical judge explained the rules from the side. Basically, other than deliberately causing heavy injuries to the opponent, there were no rules.
However, there was a special rule against players—as long as the player did not admit defeat, the opponent could beat up the player as much as they wanted; the player would not die anyway.
“That’s all. The fight starts… now!”
As the judge gave the word, this academy graduate stomped the ground and charged toward his opponent without hesitation.
Clearly, this newbie player lacked combat experience. In the face of such an aggressive opponent, he immediately panicked. He raised his hand and summoned his two guns, and the high-quality mechanical suit he had bought from the logistics department quickly covered his body. He turned into a ghost-like phantom and swiftly moved around the enemy while continuously firing his guns. He was a Cannon Master.
The academy graduate activated his mechanical suit too. A foldable ally shield extended on his arm, and the thin energy coating on it deflected all the blue laser beams of the newbie player.
At the same time, his other hand pulled out an intricate mechanical spear. The spear’s tip split open, exposing the barrel within, and shot out explosive bullets one after another, chasing after the fast-moving opponent. The stage was quickly filled with dust and explosions.
This man was a Mechanical Pugilist.
As the Black Star Army’s logistics department provided a lot of high-quality faction-exclusive mechanical weapons, be it the players or ordinary members under the army, many were willing to become Mechanics. After all, they could directly purchase the best equipment for their level in the army.
As long as they had money, they could even skip the gunpowder weapons and buy energy weapons very early on.
Actually, in the face of an Immortal, this academy graduate was more nervous.
Within the army, the players were a group of special beings that were almost deified. In the eyes of most of the lower-level army members, they were very mysterious. There were a lot of rumors about them possessing great power and being maniacs.
Just being unkillable was alright, but according to the rumors, the Immortals were maniacs who did not care about their own lives, which was terrifying…
The two of them fought intensely. Flames and lightning appeared everywhere they went.
The academy graduate fought cautiously, only to surprisingly realize his opponent clearly lacked combat experience. This made him much more confident. His attacks became more aggressive, and he gradually gained the upper hand.
“Looks like I’m about to lose…”
The newbie player looked at his steadily decreasing health, tutted, and took out Black Star Army Badge: Evolution with frustration.
The next moment, an Aberration appeared on the stage!
This muscular monster pounced forward and pressed the academy graduate onto the ground in an instant, completely locking his movements.
An Aberration with Grade B combat capabilities was completely unbeatable in the Grade D group!
This time, the Aberration opened its enormous mouth, showing its rows of sharp teeth, and looked like he was about to bite down.
“I admit loss! H-help!”
The academy graduate was horrified. Looking at the foul mouth get closer, he subconsciously closed his eyes.
However, the bite he expected did not arrive. Instead, he felt an enormous wet and soft tongue lick him from top to bottom.
“The battle has ended. Blue has won!” the judge announced right on time.
“Ah, I’ve won!”
The newbie player jumped with excitement, shook his butt alluringly for a bit, and then ran to the edge of the floating stage and jumped right down, using the quickest method to get out of this dreadful look.
The dance of the Aberration was too beautiful. The spectators who saw it had to hold back the urge to dig out their eyes.
At the same time, countless viewers felt a chill up their spine.
The rumors were right. The Immortals were indeed maniacs.
On the stage, the academy graduate lay on the ground covered with saliva. His eyes had their vibrance, and he started to doubt the definition of life.
It was a sure win, but the tables had been turned instantly by the opponent’s suicidal shapeshift.
What a hard life I have…
As long as no additional damage was done, items could be used freely in the Black Star Cup. The players were very satisfied with this rule.
In the Pro League, the various powerful weapons of the army were all forbidden. Now that they could use them freely, it felt really good.
Although this was not fair to the army members in the lower grades, this was exactly what Han Xiao wanted. He had a few reasons for it. The first was to show the outside world the terrifying side of the players, that they could possess very high combat capability even at very low grades.
The second reason was to stimulate the sales of the evolution badge. If those players in the lower grade competitions saw that the evolution badge could basically make them invincible and ensure they could achieve a high placement, why would they not buy it?
Furthermore, the evolution badge was not a one-use item, but it had to be recharged.
The last reason was that Han Xiao actually wanted the players to receive the reward for the lower grade competitions. After all, there was not much he could gain from the normal members, and giving the players these rewards was indirectly fertilizing his leek field.
What, the normal players are not happy about it? I didn’t say they can’t use those strong items, did I? If they have the resolve to not take their life seriously, they can go ahead and use them just like the players.
Even if someone really did it, the judge would not approve of it. Sportsmanship first, competition second. Committing suicide on-stage was not allowed… Oh, except for those who could not die.
Unfair? It is what it is. Not being able to die is their talent. Like those people who have healing powers, you can’t not let them use those powers too, can you? Wouldn’t that be unfair to them?
If you need to blame it on something, blame it on the fact that you’re not an Immortal. Anyway, the final rules are made by the Army Commander. Go find him if you have a problem.
Therefore, even the low-grade army members could not say anything about it. They might even think it made sense.
Without having to make other arrangements, this rule was all the Great Mechanic Han needed to achieve the results he wanted.
When the Black Star Cup opening ceremony was being carried out, at the same time, in the Ancient Star Desert Star Field, a civilian archaeological team landed on a desolate planet that no one had been to in many years.
It was called an archaeological team, but they were actually scavengers.
The Ancient Star Desert was very old. Many of its locations were ancient battlefields. There were many mysterious ruins and wastes. Therefore, this Star Field was filled with scavengers trying their luck, hoping to find something good, sell it to the black market, and make a fortune.
In the midst of a blurry corrosive sandstorm that roared across the land, a scavenger wearing a bloated protection suit was using all kinds of mechanical devices to observe underground.
A short, skinny, monkey-like looking team member operated on the screen for a while, then suddenly yelled with surprise.
“Haha, we’re in luck! There’s an ancient stratum on this planet, and the age of it can’t be detected. This means that it’s so ancient that it exceeded the upper limit of this device of ours, and more complex tests need to be done to come to a result. I’m now using shock wave detection to draw the map of the underground… Done!”
A complicated underground cavity appeared on the screen. It had a lot of splits and corners that seemed like they were built for the purpose of confusing anyone who went in. With a simple look, it was quite large.
“There are no signs of it ever being discovered!” The short man was overjoyed. “We might have run into a previously-undiscovered ancient civilization ruin!”
“Or it could be filled with rusted metal.” Another team member shrugged.
“No matter what, let’s dig in first,” someone who looked like the team leader said with a calm tone. “Have the spaceship send in the drilling rig. Let’s dive down.”
While they were about to move, this time, a team member pulled the captain’s arm and wiped away the dust on his mask with his other hand, showing a young and handsome face. He was frowning and looked worried.
“Don’t go down first…”
This man’s tone was hesitant.
“I have a feeling that we might dig out something bad…”
If Han Xiao was there, he would have definitely recognized this face.
This was a renowned explorer in the World Tree version.
The first person who discovered the main body of the World Tree!