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Chapter 1636: Standing By, Awaiting Orders
While Hao Ren had planned to tell the rest about the World Tree and the navigation mark to the Umbral Realm the next day, Lily’s loud mouth meant that nothing could be hidden. By the time he realized it, everyone had already come down to see what was up. Even Lil Pea, who was about to sleep, came bouncing into the living room and was now lying on Rollie’s head as she stared curiously at the green ball on the table.
Nangong Sanba gave his opinion as he saw the Seed of the World Tree. “This is the World Terminal? Doesn’t look all that grand… and oh, not even comparable to the three Ks.”
“Nonsense, this is just a seed, and it hasn’t even sprouted yet.” Nangong Wuyue rolled her eyes at her brother. “And didn’t Mr. Landlord say earlier, this is a simplified type. That means its a portable version, and the K series fortresses are all top tier items. Of course, it’s different.”
Hao Ren smiled. “It’s not due to its simplified nature, but it’s mainly due to how different the tech tree of the Galacticus Starlords and the Xi Ling Celestials are, so the World Terminal being different is a given. The Galacticus’ terminal is more like a control panel, while the Xi Ling’s Sovereign Cores also serve as a fortress and garrison with a sh*t load of other external plugins as well. The difference is too big.”
“Sounds like it’s super OP.” Lily’s eyes widened. “So this thing is going to replace Battie on the Throne? Can this link up with the Weaves of Destiny? Wasn’t there a bunch of inherent flaws in the Weaves…”
Hao Ren shrugged. “Well, Raven 12345 said no problem. That thing will directly overwrite the bugs in the Weaves and use its own system to patch things out. The Weaves, to it, is like support hardware.”
Rollie stared intently at the green orb on the table, and her cat eyes were widening slowly as she got interested. And without anyone noticing, she poked the orb and the latter starting rolling on the table.
“Don’t play with it!” Vivian smacked the dumb cat on the back. “It’s very important!”
“Nya!” The dumb cat shrunk back. She was actually listening intently but only understood every little. She then asked Hao Ren innocently, “So Big Boss Cat is going to plant a tree?”
“Plant a tree… Well, it’s not wrong either,” Hao Ren replied as he threw a glance at the group. “Since everyone is here, I have something nice for all of you. I actually planned to give it out tomorrow…”
Everyone’s eyes landed on Hao Ren’s hand but as the latter pulled out plates of peanuts, sunflower seeds and red dates from his Dimensional Pocket, their expressions of antic.i.p.ation turned crestfallen. Little Y’lisabet even grumbled, “Huh? What’s up with these…”
“I took them from Raven 12345.”
“Sh*t, give me some, give me some!”
“Mr. Landlord you basically just took them without asking, right?! Such an insane amount!”
“Who stepped on my tail!”
“Anyone with a tail, keep it! Especially you, Wuyue, keep your coil of a tail under the table! Get it to the back!”
“Why is there a cup here?”
After a moment later, everyone was sitting around the MDT on the sofa, cushion and any chair they could pull up. They chomped on the snacks and watched a movie while they discussed the matter of the Umbral Realm. Hao Ren felt that the pre-war meeting was all sorts of wrong, but when he looked at the sunflower seed in his hand, it did not feel all that wrong…
“This time we are going to that lost kingdom, and frankly speaking, there are too many uncontrollable variables. It’s really perilous,” Y’zaks said with a serious look as he ripped open a peanut and fed it to Y’lisabet who was sitting on his lap. “The worst-case scenario would be the G.o.d slayers who fell together with the G.o.ddess were not wiped out, they used the Umbral Realm to escape divine retribution, and that the war is still ongoing there. If we head in like this, we will fall right smack into a war zone and with both sides already wailing at each other for so long, we’ll definitely be fell upon by both sides the moment we step in.”
Vivian pondered for a bit. “That explosion back then was quite something though, and chances are, the G.o.d killers and the guardians were both wiped out. But their energies would be left behind in some shape or form, becoming a continuous source of disaster in the kingdom. This is obviously no better than what the big guy said.”
“Yeah, the most probable situation is probably either of those,” Hao Ren nodded, “The first scenario means we will be up against a war with an intelligent foe, the latter means we will be facing a hostile environment. Comparatively, the second scenario is probably easier to overcome. All natural phenomena have some sort of law binding them, but we can’t leave it to luck. We better be prepared.”
“There’s bound to be other situations as well,” Nangong Sanba added.
“Of course, the unexpected is pretty much expected, especially in that distorted dimension. We can only prepare for worst-case scenarios.” Hao Ren nodded lightly, “And this time around, Raven 12345 used the Prophecy Crystal to tell me to prepare something in advance: bring Lil Pea along. But she doesn’t know why.”
Everyone’s gaze turned towards the little mermaid bouncing on the table, and the latter was surprised by the attention. With her big googly eyes, she stared back at the adults. “What are you doing… I don’t wanna sleep! I’m not sleepy!”
Nangong Sanba shook his head. “Really can’t see how can she be a messiah.”
“Well, who cares. Since the G.o.ddess has already purposely reminded us, let’s just go with it,” Vivian said as she looked at Hao Ren. “Since we need to prepare for battle… are we bringing an army with us?”
“No, that’s too rash and too difficult.” Hao Ren waved it off. “Firstly, we’ll be in an unknown environment. Bringing in an army directly is like declaring your intentions the moment you leap into an unknown battlefield, so we need to scout ahead. Secondly, the marker that Raven 12345 recalibrated can only be used by the Petrachelys’ navigation system. While it can provide guiding signals, it requires the Petrachelys to get there first.”
Lily’s ears fluttered. “Can’t set up a warp gate?”
“Nope, since the situation within the Umbral Realm is complicated, it is a ‘unique dimension’ that cannot be reached by normal hypers.p.a.ce travel. So opening a warp gate directly into the dimension is difficult. Raven 12345 has given me a plan, which is to have the Petrachelys carry a high-efficiency rift generator. Once the ship successfully enters the Umbral Realm, we will then turn on the rift generator and broadcast it towards the main universe. That will allow the fleet waiting outside to use the marked path.”
Vivian was stroking Rollie’s furry ears as she spoke, “So that all depends on the successful planting of the World Tree, right?”
“Yep, we will use the World Tree to activate the Weaves of Destiny, and use the laws of the universe to ‘anchor’ us down, and that will ensure we don’t get lost within the Umbral Realm. This is a critical prerequisite, and without it, we are basically flying to our doom.”
“Then, let’s go to the Core to ‘plant that tree'”—Vivian smiled faintly—”and brief Salaman as well as the rest about our plans to advance into the Umbral Realm. I think the guardians have been waiting for this day to come for far too long.”
It was already late night when they dispersed, and the house quickly quieted down.
However, Hao Ren had yet to sleep. After putting Lil Pea to bed, he put on a shirt and climbed onto the roof.
It was the best place to view the moon.
The night was cool without any clouds and a bright full moon hung upon the sky and at the edge of the moonlight were slivers of blood red. This sliver could not be seen elsewhere, aside from the vicinity of this house.
Vivian too had not slept, and she was sitting on the roof as well, looking into the sky.
She felt Hao Ren approaching and turned with a faint smile. “Can’t sleep?”
“Not at all. Lil Pea is super energetic today, took me a good while to get her to sleep.” Hao Ren sat beside Vivian and noticed there a third “person” there. It was Noobie. The tiny tot was actually lying on Vivian’s leg with a handkerchief as a blanket, snoring away. “That little b.u.g.g.e.r… You brought her up?”
“She came over herself.” Vivian looked at the little one, “I didn’t understand what she wanted, but she climbed over suddenly before blasting a salvo of energy arrows to the sky. After she got tired, she climbed on my thigh and fell asleep. A real self-centered one she is.”
“No one understands the structure of Noobie’s brain. Perhaps, she’s never even had any coherent thoughts before. But I do envy her at times.” Hao Ren looked at the little one because she seemed to have noticed some noise and she turned over sideways, covering her head with the blanket. “At least now she has many readable emotional reactions, likes, and dislikes, plus I can see that she’s getting close to you.”
Vivian smiled. “As long as she doesn’t go ‘biubiubiu’ on the dishes I cook, I’m thankful enough.”
“So what you were thinking earlier?” Hao Ren looked at her in the eyes.
After a short silence, Vivian whispered, “Am… Am I going to see the G.o.ddess of creation soon?”
“Nervous at finally meeting your mum?”
“I don’t know… That concept is foreign to me.” Vivian shook her head, her voice was distant. “I’ve been wandering the world ever since I gained my consciousness as a powerful being. I have no memories of growing up or being raised and cared for. While I’ve seen animals or other humans raising their children, I’ver thought much about my own circ.u.mstances…”
She stopped, and Hao Ren waited for her to continue patiently, “But, I do have a creator.”
“You’re worried that you won’t get along with the G.o.ddess of creation? Or do you feel that your current form doesn’t fit what the G.o.ddess had originally ‘intended’?”
“A bit of both. I do think that I’ve never met the G.o.ddess’ expectations. I didn’t complete my duty as a guide or return to the Plane of Dreams with my own ability, and in the end, I even refused the Throne of Destiny. You can say that I’ve never finished a single mission that the G.o.ddess has created me for… Do you think that she would have considered all of this when she created me back then?”
“I think… a G.o.ddess that finds fun in puzzle bobbles shouldn’t be a calculative one.”
“Don’t overthink things. She won’t blame you. So what if she’s a calculative one, I have workbooks enough to last her till the end of times.” Hao Ren pulled out a box of divine teaching materials from his pocket and started to tap the box as he continued, “If she dares to bully you, I’ll give her more homework to do.”
Vivian burst out laughing. “Pfft, stop fooling around. I don’t think that she’s such a character. I’m just scaring myself silly.”
“So feeling better now?”
“Yes… Thank you.”
“Let me give you a kiss…”
“Eh, Noobie’s still here…”
“Oh right, let me put her in my pocket.”