Chapter 2: What I Want

The red sports car ran into a tree and countless alarmed people rushed over. Yang Chong and Huang Yao’s lives weren’t in danger. In fact, Huang Yao was unharmed, but Yang Chong came out of the car ashen and his walk was very strange; he gasped with each step he took. 

To let the matter truly ‘rest’, Li Mo paid extra attention to direct one thread of blood qi towards Yang Chong’s little brother.(TN: euphemism for p****) It wasn’t likely to leave him impotent, but it shouldn’t show any ‘movements’ for one-two years. 

“Hu~, the Sanguine race’s Blood Boil Technique is too harmful for the user. I’ll have to hurry and achieve Foundation.”

Using the Blood Boil Technique caused Li Mo’s face to pale. The Blood Boil Technique was the Sanguine race’s cultivation method that consumed one’s blood to arouse their spiritual qi. Just one use had consumed a tenth of the blood in his body. 

Li Mo passed through the crowd and left calmly.

Six centuries ago, the Earth’s ten most famous and largest video game companies worked together and proclaimed to have used thirty years to develop the galactic adventure online game, Starscape, and began in-house testing. After one year, they shifted from in-house testing to a public one, and by the fifth year of operation, Starscape was officially released to all the people of Earth to enter and play.

But it wasn’t a choice. It was mandatory.

In the beginning it was declared that Starscape’s best selling point was its ability to change humanity. The game companies claimed to have adopted a network technology a thousand years more advanced than the present to allow the players to enter the game with their ‘real bodies’. Players could gain power inside the game and everything they obtained could be brought back to reality unchanged.

“Superhuman physiques, super equipment, and species never before seen on Earth. Friends, the Great Galactic Adventure Era awaits!”

Li Mo still remembered the Starscape commercial’s every word from six hundred years ago.

But who could’ve imagined this revolutionary game was built on a lie. With the government of each country in the lead, the ten great game companies acted as accomplices in building a trap to cheat everyone!

Li Mo slowly walked away with his hands in his pocket. He looked around the campus and everything in view, be it of a blade of grass or stone, evoked a smile on his face.

‘It’s great to be back!’

“I’ve arrived!”

Li Mo stopped before a rectangle building with a plaque placed on its wall that was written with the word ‘museum’.

Though hardly of great value, Century Middle School’s museum held a great deal of items.. It had far too few ancient items while it had tons of items from the modern era. All of them laid around, good mixed with bad. And because there was no one in charge of this place, it hardly received any visitors.

But Li Mo was the only exception.

In his previous life, he used to come to this ‘museum’ almost every day in his middle school years.

The museum was rather empty. A few pieces of crude glass barriers were enclosing some bones from an unknown era and were already turning yellow. At the westernmost corner, there was a specimen of an ostrich but there were hardly any feathers on it. It was so bald it evoked pity. 

There was only one man in this whole museum, holding a magnifying glass over his desk and inspecting a foot-long rusted metal rod.

“Li Mo, you’re here.”

“Teacher Huang.”

Li Mo felt warm inside when he looked at the man. He picked up his pace.

The man holding the magnifying glass and inspecting the rusted metal rod was the curator to this nameless museum, Huang Lixing.

In his previous life, Li Mo liked history and loved archeology. The two of them shared the same likes, but neither of them pursued their likes beyond mere hobbies. Li Mo didn’t have the means to promote his studies in these fields, nor did teacher Huang. But what Teacher Huang excelled at in comparison to Li Mo was that every theory of his was more outrageous than the last, enough to scare people.

Huang Lixing waved at Li Mo warmly, “Quick, come and take a look at this.”

Li Mo smiled silently as he stood next to Huang Lixin but his eyes burned hot when he saw the rusted rod.

‘I thought I still needed to look for it! Who would’ve expected I’d be seeing it straight away! Heaven’s helping me!’

“The design of this rod is peculiar. It should be made from a mix of copper and iron, dating back to the Bronze Age.(TN: Shang and Zhou Dynasties period) Li Mo, do you know how precious this Bronze Age copper-iron rod is?”

Huang Lixing extended five fingers with an exaggerated expression, “No less than five thousand!”

Li Mo put on a serious face and nodded.

“This item is proof of my great eyesight. I found it in the flea market and bought such a precious antique with just ten dollars. But our headmasters are clueless to its significance and won’t even let me put it on display. This is a truely, truly waste of something great.”

Li Mo looked around the museum in silence. Ever since Teacher Huang took charge of the museum, there were more and more vases, jars, bones and stone tablets. If Headmaster Xia hadn’t issued the order to get rid of a large amount of them last year, the museum would’ve been wallowing in antiques. 

“This copper and iron mixture of the Bronze Age is a rare find, without a doubt. From its design I can surmise that this is a Bronze Age’s giant’s large ladle, um… handle. Yes, handle. And look, see this curve. That giant was left-handed!”

Li Mo forcefully gulped down mouthfuls of saliva.

‘A copper and iron ladle, moreover, used by a left-handed giant of the Bronze Age…’

‘Did the Bronze Age even have such species?’

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Seeing Huang Lixing engrossed in his fantasy, Li Mo felt more and more that his past self was a chūnibyōu.
(TN: A Japanese slang. People with chuunibyou either act like a know-it-all, or believe they have special powers unlike others.)

In Li Mo’s past life, he used to have unwavering faith in Teacher Huang’s ‘appraisal’.

Li Mo said, “Teacher Huang, I feel that if the headmaster sees this ladle, probably won’t let you keep it in the museum. How about I give you five thousand for it and take it for safekeeping?”

“You want to buy it?” Huang Lixing lowered his large glasses, watching Li Mo in shock.

“Take it.”

He placed the rusted ladle before Li Mo.

Huang Lixing shook his head, “Of over three thousand students of Century Middle School, you are my proud pupil and will one day take my mantle. A mere Bronze Age giant’s copper and iron ladle pales in comparison!”

“Thank you teacher.”

Li Mo didn’t decline and reached out to receive the metal rod that had several rusted spots.

‘The Staff of Origin, I didn’t think you’d return to me so soon.’

He looked at the rod lost in thoughts.

Strictly speaking, Huang Lixing’s ‘archeology’ standard was definitely considered ‘poor’. He was able to talk nonsense, but in terms of having a proper standard, there wasn’t a hint of it.

Only allowed on

His ‘standard’, if one could call it, was that of blind cat stumbling on a dead mouse.

This rusted rod was Huang Lixing’s ‘mouse’. The one and only item in this place truly worthy of the name ‘antique’.

The Staff of Origin, humanity’s ancestral artifact! 

This plain metal rod was a galactic-renowned sacred item.

His past self met with this scepter also, in almost identical circumstances. But at the time, he only thought of it as a left-handed Bronze Age’s giant’s copper-iron ladle.

The rod was ultimately turned into an exhibit and two years later, a strong alien from the Hexamand race by the name of Domon stole it. When the Staff of Origin left Earth, all the so-called fantasy game entrances vanished and, even though the people kept what they gained so far, humanity’s growth was stunted. 

“Starscape isn’t a game nor is it something the ten game companies developed. Starscape is the God Realm. Entering this realm was the same as entering the galactic world!”

Li Mo muttered as he tightened his grip on the Staff of Origin.

“Mo, Mo, come here, come see this painting.”

Huang Lixing was oblivious to Li Mo’s trip down memory lane as he ‘appraised’ a drawing with his magnifying glass.

It depicted an old man on a bicycle chasing another bicycle pedaled by a youth under the clear moon.

“This is a painting of Xiao He chasing Han Xin below the moon. Wow, this is a true antique. Help me do research on these bicycles… “

(TN: a Beijing Opera play based on the romanticized book on Western Han Dynasty.)

Huang Lixin was so engrossed in his appraising that when he came to and looked around, his ‘prized pupil’ was gone. 

“Mo? Little Mo? Li Mo? Anyone?”

Huang Lixin searched but did not find him. He was out of it for a bit but picked up the magnifying glass and returned to researching the painting.

“The brushwork, the style, the colors, tsk, tsk, how genuine!”

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