820 The Star of the Main Storyline and Stowaways
The fleet stayed on Planet Lighthouse for two days receiving all kinds of exploration devices from Tarrokov. Huge alloy containers were loaded into the transport ships of the Black Star Army and neatly arranged.
These were all exploration supplies provided by the dynasty. There were stargate devices, Foolproof Planet Base Expansion Packs, universe surveillance buoys, and so on. These were all military devices that were unavailable to the general public and only occasionally appeared on the black markets.
Han Xiao told Phillip to do a count. They had received about five hundred sets of stargate devices, six thousand Foolproof Planet Base Expansion Packs, and fifteen billion universe surveillance buoys. These were not given but lent to him as mission items.
Also, Tarrokov had dispatched a dynasty fleet that temporarily joined the Black Star Army’s teams to assist him in exploring the Garu Star Cluster. The commander of this fleet was a major under Tarrokov. His name was Senico.
Tarrokov would be stationed on Planet Lighthouse as the chief commander, and the dynasty fleets he sent out all had their own commanders. Senico was Tarrokov’s direct subordinate, as well as one of the dynasty officers stationed in the Flickering World according to Han Xiao’s memories. Han Xiao had a faint image of him.
As they would be working alongside each other during the exploration, Han Xiao met and spoke with Senico. They came to a simple consensus; Senico expressed that he would not interfere with Black Star’s exploration plan and would only be assisting them mainly.
After preparing for two days, the chief commander finally announced the start of the operation. The fleets of various forces went in their separate ways to the Star Clusters of their choices.
The Renault Star Cluster would be explored by the Bloodshed Land and Klent, Garu by the Black Star Army, and the Crown Star Cluster by the dynasty’s remaining fleet. Comparatively, the Crown Star Cluster had the most people, and the Garu Star Cluster had the fewest.
The Black Star Army and Senico’s fleet headed to the most South Star System of the Garu Star Cluster.
Before departing, Han Xiao had already announced the army’s exploration plan to all the members, including the millions of players.
He had put up all kinds of tasks on the faction mission list, such as exploring planets and deploying buoys, which were also classified into different areas. There were plenty of missions, but each one of them had a maximum participant limit.
The many kinds of exploration missions sparked discussion on the forums. Different exploration missions gave different Exploration Points, and the Exploration Points relied on the actual results of those missions. The players would only know how many Exploration Points they would get when they completed them, so the players could only speculate and analyze for the moment, but they were still enjoying it.
On the forums, the players generally agreed that exploring planets theoretically would lead to the most results. As discovering resources and lives, digging up the planet’s history, mining the resources, and the other activities that would possibly happen during exploring planets all gave Exploration Points as a reward. At the same time, the process of it was filled with the joy of discovering the unknown.
In comparison, those missions to deploy buoys, build stargates, and construct strongholds were considered hard labor tasks. They were the least popular missions among the players.
Han Xiao knew that once the players were more familiar with the process of the exploration, the guilds would start fighting each other as the large guilds would want to make planets with rich resources their guild resource point. Although they would only be able to obtain a small portion of the total resources mined, that would still be considered a large reward to the players.
In his previous life, there were two reasons for the players of different nations to fight each other—faction wars and planets with rich resources. Now, however, all the millions of the players were in his faction, so there would be no faction conflicts. The only reason they would fight each other now would be for the ownership of resource points.
Although things had yet to reach the stage of intense guild wars, he knew that there would definitely be competition since there were club guilds from different nations in the army.
One reason he encouraged socializing between players was to reduce the impact of the guild conflicts on normal players as much as possible. The conflict between players was unavoidable, but he wanted to prevent the players from having direct hostility toward each other.
As long as the players in his army were not divided to such an extent, the competition between guilds would not affect his profit. After all, the players would still have to repair their equipment in the army after they damaged it during battle.
After some days, the various fleets arrived at their respective locations and officially started their exploration tasks.
The Black Star Army’s exploration team came to the southernmost Star System of Garu and built the first transit station according to the plan, connecting with the Dawn Star Cluster.
The engineering team used a Foolproof Planet Base Expansion Pack on a desolate planet at the border of the Star System. The transport ship opened its cabin, and hundreds of thousands of gigantic mechanical bases that looked like needles flew out—they were all base nodes.
The base nodes formed a large net and shrouded the entire planet.
Then, the thrusters of these nodes shot out orange flames and penetrated the planet’s atmosphere. Like hundreds of thousands of missiles, these nodes landed and plugged deep into the planet surface, stirring up endless dust.
The next moment, all the base nodes were activated. A red light appeared on the top of these nodes as they started to modify the planet’s environment and terrain. Every node was vibrating and emitting impact waves one after another, triggering earthquakes and tearing the ground open.
Gray and silver metal extended from these nodes and spread over the ground, turning the planet surface into a metal surface. According to the preset program, bases, fortresses, and warehouses would rise from the ground.
After dozens of hours, the initial modification was complete. The once desolate planet now looked completely different; it became a planet fortress in gray and silver. This was the first stronghold in the Garu Star Cluster.
The dynasty’s engineering ships were not just watching. They dragged along gigantic parts of the stargate and were assembling it beside this stronghold.
An unactivated stargate looked like a gigantic hollow mechanical ring. After it was activated, the inner circle of this mechanical ring emitted blue light and space energy, connecting to one of the stargates near Planet Lighthouse.
Then, the hollow part of the mechanical ring turned into a wormhole-like blue vortex, becoming a fully functional stargate.
Other than the team left behind to build the stronghold, the rest split up. Some went to deploy buoys nearby, and some went to explore the unknown planets nearby.
A Star System had about ten Star Zones. The main team of the Black Star Army was now exploring the first Star Zone.
According to the plan, Han Xiao sent out a special task force led by Hadavy to move alone with a hundred and fifty stargate devices. Its goal was to cross the many Star Systems and head to the east of the Garu Star Cluster, building a long distance stargate route on the way.
The spaceships given to this special task force were all high-grade transport ships that had a maximum speed of 14.1 warp speed. It would take about four months for them to reach the destination through nonstop hyperdrive.
After the special task force completed building the long distance stargate route, the four-month trip would be reduced to a mere few hours.
As countless army members were doing their part, Han Xiao led a group of army warriors and players to a planet at the center of this Star Zone on the main ship.
In his memories, this planet was a trade transfer station and one of the entrances into the Garu Star Cluster in his previous life. It was rather valuable. Furthermore, it did not have a harsh environment and was quite habitable. It also had a native civilization.
Currently, this planet did not have a name yet and only had a serial number. He wanted to head there in advance and start its exploration.
Outside the border of the Shattered Star Ring was the edge of the known universe, the desolate universe belt between the Shattered Star Ring and the Flickering World.
Fleets left from the border one after another from different locations, turning into hyperdrive streams of light and entering the desolate universe belt, heading in the Flickering World’s direction.
News of the Crimson Dynasty exploring the Flickering World had spread across the entire galaxy. Although the dynasty clearly stated that the other civilizations were not allowed to enter, the mere words on paper were not enough to scare those powerful forces away. They all wanted to enter the Flickering World in advance to grab the opportunities there.
These fleets were from different civilizations and organizations; they all hid their identities.
As they were unable to use the dynasty’s stargate, they could only sneak into the Flickering World, taking along stargate devices and planning to secretly build stargate routes without getting discovered by the dynasty.
Even though these fleets were all extremely quick. it would still take a very long time for them to cross the desolate universe belt and arrive at the Flickering World.
Among these smugglers, some were doing it for profits, and some had ulterior motives.
One of them was the group of people the Arcane Church secretly sent.