Chapter 1094 Pandora“s Box
Harrison Moore, a well-known interstellar free explorer, had been passionate about digging for relics and searching for the unknown throughout his life. Though his strength was low, he would magically unearth and discover countless historical relics over the years. He had written more than ten works, and his adventurous spirit had attracted a large number of followers in the universe. He was regarded as a spiritual leader and a beacon of light in life.
During the war against the World Tree Civilization, Harrison was in his old age and had already semi-retired. The three Universal Civilizations were the ones to be discovered and thus raided by the World Tree Civilization. They were caught off guard, suffering heavy losses. Because they did not know the origin of the enemy, all civilizations within the explored universe were basically beaten in the early stage. Their entire universe was on the defensive and could only passively resist the endless stream of invaders, as all their planets were occupied by the World Tree Civilization and used as nourishment.
The three Universal Civilizations tried their best to collect clues about the World Tree Civilization, of which the most important one was where the World Tree itself was located.
The World Tree was a Universal Treasure, and it was discovered by the World Tree Civilization during the slash-and-burn era of farming. As such, it gave rise to a distorted form of civilization, where all the development of the civilization was carried out with the World Tree as the core. Countless people tried their best to nourish and enhance this Universal Treasure.
Due to the special nature of the World Tree, only through finding its main body could the problem then be solved from the root. Otherwise, no matter how many invaders they repelled, the World Tree could still use the nutrients from the planets to transform and nurture more troops.
The main body of the World Tree was rooted within the secondary dimensions and hidden deeply. Within that era, the exploration teams mostly consisted of soldiers, and many exploration teams were spontaneously organized to search in the secondary dimensions. Harrison had also re-emerged and joined them.
Because of a series of coincidences, he was also the first to discover the secondary dimension containing the World Tree’s main body. He sacrificed his life to record the coordinates, throwing it into the spatial storms of the secondary dimension.
The coordinates were like a drifting bottle floating within the vast ocean, bobbing up and down before finally falling into the hands of the three Universal Civilizations. Thus, Harrison’s deeds were passed down, and the world knew of all his achievements.
All of these were Harrison’s achievements in the later versions of Han Xiao’s past life.
In this current era, Harrison was still a young and new explorer. His great curiosity and desire to explore had prompted him to give up the opportunity to inherit the wealth of his financial group and instead step into this industry.
As a newcomer to this exploration team, Harrison’s intuition was obviously not convincing to them. His teammates had the mentality that they could not set off and come back empty-handed. Thus, Harrison’s spirit of questioning the source, unfortunately, went unheeded.
Harrison himself had no choice. His curiosity outweighed his vigilance, so he pressed down the vague worry to the bottom of his heart, continuing the journey with his team.
A scavenger spaceship passed through a high-altitude sandstorm, hovering around a hundred meters above the ground before dropping a multi-functional burrowing vehicle. Its outer armor was full of colorful and wild graffiti. Very obviously, it had undergone some processing by this bunch of scavengers with limited knowledge of art.
The group boarded the burrowing vehicle and burrowed into the ground under the instructions of the detection radar, quickly approaching the underground cavity on the map.
Because such underground remains had existed for too long a time, the structure was typically unstable and stood a chance to collapse. Thus, the scavengers normally did not directly drill into the passage but chose to follow the path set.
Very quickly, the tip of the drill penetrated the rock formation, exposing a cavity. The team members got down, switching on their flashlights to observe the surrounding environment.
This was an underground cave with traces of being made by man. It was about seven or eight meters high, and at the end of this cave was a closed metal door, which seemed to be the entrance to this underground ruin.
Their short member who served as the detector jogged over, taking out various instruments to scan the metal door. He muttered, “It’s well preserved, with few traces of rust. This is a high-strength alloy material, and according to the rough detection results, the material is likely synthesized by a star system level civilization or above. However, there’s no matching material record in our database…”
Hearing this, the crowd got excited. The higher the level of the lost civilization they discovered, the more valuable their discoveries would be on the black market.
However, this also represented more unknown risks.
“Any energy responses from inside?” the captain asked.
“Let me see, er… totally absent. I think the energy source has been drained dry. Even if there are traps or defensive measures, they should be frozen.”
“Then let’s go in and take a look,” the captain said. “Later on, take precautions. Without my command, no one is to remove their own protective shield.”
A group of personnel cut open the door using a laser cutting, before tiptoeing inside and fumbling their way. The route within resembled that of a large underground military base.
Harrison walked to a sign, wiping the dust off it, and let the translator read the text. However, there was no result.
“There’s no record of this kind of text in the database. We can determine that this is a relic of a civilization that has not been discovered thus far.” Harrison spoke through the channel.
“Today is really my lucky day. No wonder Ah Xiang finally responded to my daily greeting even though I’ve been sending signals to her for months,” the short detector guy replied in excitement.
“What did she say?” Harrison was curious.
“She said ok.”
“… Keep it up.”
Everyone chatted idly as they searched. They were carefully all the way but found out that there was no danger within. Searching the rooms, they only found living facilities, with no special equipment nor text documents present. Even the energy and network facilities were absent along with any sort of defense facilities. It seemed as though this base had been long abandoned and everything within emptied.
The flames of excitement in everyone’s hearts seemed to have been extinguished by a basin of cold water.
“This can’t be it, right? I found an unknown ruin, but there’s nothing valuable here. Isn’t it a wasted trip then?” the detector guy complained.
“It’s not in vain. At least we managed to discover a new language, which means an unknown civilization that once existed.” Harrison raised the translator in his hand. He had recorded all the signs on the path that they had walked down so far.
“What does this bullsh*t archaeological result mean for us? We’re not even historians!” someone among the team complained. “If it weren’t for getting valuable stuff, who would want to come to such a weird place?”
Scavengers did not have much patience, and their searching speed got faster along the way. It did not take long before only the last room was left, located at the core position at the bottom of the base.
The group cut open the door and walked in, collectively taking a gasp.
There was a triangular body about three to four meters high, embedded in the ground in the center of the room. The whole body was pitch black and as smooth as a mirror. It resembled obsidian somewhat, but the detector revealed it as a metallic material. On one side, a display screen was embedded.
Only this thing existed in the room, nothing else, as though this was an exclusive warehouse.
“Haha, there’s finally something.”
“What is that?”
Everyone surrounded it, brimming with curiosity, feeling here and there and knocking around. Although they did not know what this was, just looking at its appearance, there was no worry that it could not be sold on the black market.
The detector guy came over to the screen on the triangle and pressed a few times, but there was no response. He fumbled around and finally found that there was a movable board beside the screen, which revealed a socket seemingly for charging it.
“Uh… this is the first time I’ve seen a socket of this shape, but there should be no problem.” The guy groaned but quickly took out an energy storage device, transforming its transmission line to fit with the socket.
Just as he was about to charge the triangular block, Harrison was frowning and suddenly spoke.
“Wait a moment!”
Everyone turned to look at him.
“What’s wrong now?”
“I… I feel that it’s still better to be cautious. No one knows what this device is for. What happens if it’s a weapon that has run out of energy?”
Harrison had an expression of hesitation. The moment he set eyes on this triangle, he had felt an inexplicable palpitation, as though there was a voice in his heart warning him that this thing was dangerous. The instinct that he had been born with had never been so strong.
The short detector guy did not even look back as he explained, “Relax, I probed it just now, and this is actually a sophisticated disposable safe device that will be destroyed when opened. It’s just that the innermost layer contains a material that isolates any detection, so I don’t know what’s stored within.”
With that, he directly plugged into the socket, releasing a weak energy charge. The triangle device’s display lit up, and a password input interface popped up.
The captain scooted over for a look. “Can the code be cracked?”
The short detector guy took out another device to fiddle around, and spoke with certainty, “The code of this device changes in real time, so it has to be connected to the quantum network and then use Virtual Technology to decipher the code… The tools I currently have are not good enough, but so long as I use a deciphering device with a higher computing power, it can definitely be opened.”
“If this is the case…” The captain hesitated for a while before saying, “In that case, let’s not open it. Like you said, this thing is a one-off thing. If the items stored inside are not valuable, we’ll lose money. It’s better to just put this safe on the black market for auction and let others draw the prize. Anyway, stuff like this is very common on the black market as well…”
“Can we discuss these things later?” Harrison was feeling nervous for no reason. “Let’s get out of here now. I have a bad feeling…”
“Since when has your intuition been good?”
The captain glared at him but did not reject his proposal. He got everyone to transport the device to the rig.
This was the only valuable thing in this ruin, so this entire group took the device and left, not even bothering to look back at the ruins.
Suddenly, one of the team members noted in a thoughtful manner, “This is strange. By logic, since this planet has traces of an unknown civilization, there should be others, but the detection result only showed this one… That’s impossible. Did that unknown civilization only dig this one underground facility on this planet?”
“That’s right. I thought it was strange too,” another worker added.
At this moment, the shortie took a glance at the radar and exclaimed, “Captain, the ruins seem to have collapsed!”
Everyone turned over to look and saw that the cavity had indeed mysteriously filled up and disappeared. They could no longer return even if they wished to.
“How strange…” the captain mumbled, shaking his head. He ordered, “Forget about it, let’s just mark down the coordinates of this planet, and go to the nearest black market to reap our rewards for today.”
Hearing that, everyone immediately put away any distracting thoughts and started to move, operating their spaceship to leave the planet.
Harrison was the only one who remained standing at the porthole, looking at the shrinking planet. He suddenly felt a little chill run down his spine.
He had a hunch, as though the goal of those ruins was specifically just to store this triangular device.
The ruins had collapsed immediately after they left, as though they had only been waiting for someone to take this thing away.
Harrison could not help but turn his head back for a look.
In the corner of his eyes, the triangular device lay silently at the back, as though it was a Pandora’s box that was waiting to be opened.
The opening ceremony of the Black Star Cup was wonderfully opened, and its qualifiers were in full swing the next day. The army had become very lively, and hundreds of millions of members were actively participating on the field, which also improved the enthusiasm of the universe audiences.
Because there were so many events, each media group provided live broadcasts and video review functions throughout the day. Viewers could freely adjust their channels and choose to watch any event, venue, or even the players, which caused countless people to hold up their communicators and stare at them all day long.
The ratings of the Black Star Cup were maintained at a very high level throughout the universe. At present, the average ratings in each region were second only to the news broadcasts of the three Universal Civilizations.
The Black Star Cup tournament organization department, which was only established little more than two months prior, counted the programs with the highest ratings. Other than the battle events, the best were the entertainment programs. Especially in the talent audition category such as singing and dancing, there were countless galactic residents happy to see the Supers appear on alternative programs rather than just in battles.
Some of the talented people had even attracted a large number of admirers, and there were even audiences on the net arguing about the pros and cons of each person… As it turned out, no matter which age it was, such a program would also garner views.
As for the lowest ratings, it was as Han Xiao expected. They were those technological and skill-based competitions, such as the machinery maintenance that Reynold had asked for, waste modification for machinery, and even blueprint crafting competitions…
While there were people willing to look at such programs, they were few and between.
However, Han Xiao did not mind it. Such technical programs were treated more as auditions, to explore potential talents in the various fields and add more fresh blood to the army.
The way to rise in the army had always been clear, and one’s rank and position were linked to meritorious service and their qualifications. The Black Star Cup was just another shortcut for its members to ascend in the rankings. Those who were more capable at their level would move toward the upper ranks. This made the members enthusiastic as this model allowed many people to obtain more opportunities within the army.
While the players had their own competition brackets, they were keener to participate in the normal competition brackets, running over to play with the NPCs.
Because the Evolution badge shone in such low-level team events, more and more players had also begun to purchase this item, causing the sales of it to soar drastically.
Using the Evolution badges in events below Grade B gave players a huge boost in strength, but this did not necessarily mean they would win. The biological aberrations were strong in close combat, but their weaknesses were also obvious; their resistance to magic and psychic attacks plummeted, and their range also decreased to melee attacks. They were extremely easy to kite. Plus, they lost HP constantly.
When facing Psychics or Mages, the aberrations usually failed quite badly.
In the Grade B and above ranks, the role of the Evolution Limit: Aberration was not so strong. Grade Bs could directly contend against the aberrations themselves.
Meanwhile, the players from the other countries could only watch with envious and reddened eyes at the festivities in full swing within the Black Star Army.
Let alone attending, they did not even have the qualifications to bet on the winning players!
If one were to split apart the characters of ‘following the crowd’ (从众), they would get five ‘people’ characters (人). The majority of people understood the meaning of ‘the more the merrier’, and seeing this group of Black Star players having fun, the sense of loss was even more intense.
Everyone is playing so happily, and all without me!
Compared to the faction war event more than half a year ago, there were more players that were being moved by the Black Star Army this time. Most likely, the army would indirectly poach a lot of players once more.
Even the Limitless Financial Group experienced a huge outflow of players, but Sorokin was acting extremely low-key, which meant he could not react.
The most painful ones were the foreign clubs in the other factions. They obviously did not do anything this time, but they still had to watch on as the ordinary players left their factions. They could no longer find any reason to stay and just felt like crying.
Why are you forcing us to join this party?
Black Star Army! You’re too much!
A man can only take so much anger. If you have the guts, you can anger me again!
If you force me again, I’ll really join your organization!