“Fine, you can go to New Earth”.
“It’s not ‘fine’, uncle, I’m not giving up until I’ll go to New Earth- Eh! Wait, you have way for me to actually go?” Bin Bin snapped in delight and next to him Liminton also had a look of surprise plastered on his face.
“I could not help you in the past, but today I was persuaded to make some effort”. Sheldon nodded. Inwardly he was quite gratified for this opportunity he cleverly came up with the idea to manipulate in order to kill two birds with one stone. “Wait a few days with the others from your deputation. I’ll call you when everything is ready and have you sent to Rising City as my agent”.
“But how will I get access to the pathway to New Earth, uncle?” Bin Bin quizzed, as he knew that Zax do not care about Sheldon’s status, much less those who act as his envoys.
“Don’t let your mind worry about it. Now go. You, too, Liminton, leave and make sure Bin Bin is waiting patiently”.
“Of course”, Liminton concurred. “I’m under obligation to his parents until we leave here, anyway”.
On their way out of the office, Bin Bin halted his steps. “Uncle, you notified us that roughly in a year time we would all need to depart… please be fast with my entry ticket to New Earth”.
“Go, go”. Sheldon waved his hand.
The door closed and Sheldon slowly moved his hand underneath his desk. There he activated a complicated formation that opened a secret compartment in the desk.
A drawer opened and a rectangle, metallic object with elaborate runes and formation glared with a silvery sheen – a Galactic Communicator.
Being kept in the wooden desk, it obviously was not connected to anything.
Sheldon received the Galactic Communicator into his spatial ring and pressed the intercom button atop the desk. “I’m heading out. Cancel all appointments and don’t try to contact me”.
“Yes, sir”. The crisp voice of the young secretary replied from the other side.
Snow blizzards reigned on the terrain due to ever erect natural occurring formation. According to the statistics, the survival rate of typical first level Martial Mortals who attempted to cross this land was a terminally one out of twenty in a good year, more in a bad year; hence, no living soul could be sighted for kilometers upon kilometers.
These extreme environmental conditions allowed the location of the compound to remain confidential, known only to four figures in the Mercenary Association, with only Sheldon possessing full administrative control.
‘Access Code: 439Skol0’. Wearing a white coat that merged perfectly with the tempo of the cold winds, Sheldon flew toward the twenty square meters size compound, indicating his arrival via his communicator.
An approval transmission rang in Sheldon’s sea of consciousness and a hatch on an inconspicuous spot around the compound opened for him to pass through within a short span of time. Should he miss the allocated the time, the all process will have to be repeated and a hatch on a different spot would open.
Within the compound a wall size sort of Screen displayed images, through a hidden satellite, of specific locations in Ercas Mir, among them were Rising City, Northern Icecaps and Down Ocean.
Beside the Screen was a four meters long workstation with holographic keyboards and a projector at the center of the workstation that projected up to ten images. Behind the workstation stood a long table covered by old fashioned decks of paper and pencils. Most amazing in the compound and the last thing to note, before the unusual staff, was a docking station with what appeared to be a one person space pod in the shape of a rather drolly cartoony rocket.
“Welcome, sir Sheldon”. Two black, metallic humans greeted Sheldon in a voice like tinkling bells. They both were bold and looked exactly the same. Under matching silvery lab coats they wore sport jerseys, short boxers and slippers.
Gazing at the twins, Sheldon repressed the twitch in his left eye as he was most definitely certain that just before the announcement of his arrival they once again neglected their responsibilities for another sport broadcast. What amplified the anger he kept brewing inside of him was that the two could not even be consistent with the sport events they liked and so waste further time, when left alone, browsing the hundreds of sport channels from every city and clan in Ercas Mir and even those of Kingdom Earth.
Regrettably, facing the pair his sole choice was, always, to inwardly sigh.
“Kurer, Keish, Hurry and contact me to Senior Ohar. Also, if I’m already here, show me Rising City’s Star Scavenger crew’s route and compile a list of their findings”. Sheldon handed over the Galactic Communicator.
The two metallic humans might have been slovenly and negligent when alone, but their competence during tasks shown extraordinary level of collaborative skill.
Sheldon was a fifth level Martial Mortal, albeit the weakest on the planet, but still one of the handful top figures in both Ercas Mir and New Earth. Those eligible to be referred to as “Senior” by him could only be Immortals.
Senior Ohar was the Immortal supporting Sheldon in Ercas Mir, despite being off in another Plain and unrelated to the three Immortal Powerhouses affiliated to the five powers.
Opening a secure channel for communication to outside of Plains was a very complicated job and from a place such as past Earth, which already got the attention of the detection devices of three titanic groups who by themselves were remotely monitored by an undetermined number of Immortal adversaries, was many times more challenging. Yet, barely two minutes after receiving Sheldon’s request, Kurer and Keish pointed at two final holographic keys before the projector on the workstation projected detailed information on the Star Scavenger’s voyage and the wall size Screen displayed the shoulders and above of a thin, red, bald head.
“It had been mere couple of years since out last communication, Sheldon. You are not supposed to seek me out in so short intervals”. The man, whose face lacked the minuscule amount of fat, had a black sclera and blue pupils. The tips of his pointy ears stuck to his head and his parted lips exposed sharp teeth with four protrusive large fangs. Most prominent in his appearance was an emerald jewel at the center of his brows. A prolong look at it reflected baleful green flames and the outline of a humanoid figure inside the jewel.
“I know, I know, Senior Ohar”, Sheldon smiled awkwardly. “I really did not want to bother you after employing the favor you gave me. But this time I’m here about the man Zax Zel…”
“Him?” Senior Ohar huffed a complicated breathe. Moment of contemplation later he opened. “Expound”.
And so Sheldon narrated his conversation with Archbishop Silternjan.
“Such a blunder happened…” Senior Ohar mused. “So be it, you may approach Zax Zel as my spokesman. I’ll leave to you what to say, but make sure to select your words carefully. Although I do have the ability to deal with most forms of Godly Retributions, including that of the Holy Palace’s deity, your small Star is currently under the watchful eyes of a number of Gods; therefore I rather won’t interfere on this regard”.
“I understand, Senior Ohar. I know what to say”. Sheldon calmly replied.
“Then I’ll let you off with a reminder, Sheldon, so you won’t contact me again ahead of time… sometime in the upcoming decade your deadline will arrive. Make preparations for permanent departure and inform that group to also be ready”. Senior Ohar instructed and cut the transmission, his bloodshot mug on the wall size Screen replaced once more in the various locations on Ercas Mir.
“Sir Sheldon, here is the report of the Star Scavenger’s mission. I’ve sent it to your communicator”. One of the twins notified.
‘So they had not discovered signs of livings organism on any of the Stars they visited’. Sheldon first remarked to himself. ‘It was expected, but I still find it a shame. According to Senior Ohar, any Star that can sustain basic forms of life is a treasure trove in the first Valley and this Plain should have several out there, although only at the evolutionary starting line. What resources have they found…? ’ He proceeded to read the file. “Good, good, good. Not all is noteworthy, but these few are fairly wonderful things that can assist the cultivation of fourth and even fifth level Martial Mortal. Sadly, these are just useful for enriching mist energy and strengthening the body and soul. Nothing here can actually improve the understanding of the attributes for the high levels. Those fellows in Kingdom Earth can now hasten the cultivation of two or three of them to the fifth level, but should they have an insufficient understanding of the attributes they will simply become trash’.
Two days have gone by since Zax wary attempt to appease The Almighty. During this time he kept Sister Iaura locked at one of the underground chambers of his home, as she was still unconscious, while Niel was fine and dandy and sent to his Master Kartion to keep on his training. As for Zax himself, on the surface, the black cracks he suffered were no longer visible and all in all he looked in perfect shape… donning an excellent facade.
In fact, as relieved as Zax was for his son sake, for his own he was in utter dismay. His spirit, since falling to its knees, had not exhibited the slightest sign of recovery, as if some enigmatic prerequisite had to be fulfilled in order for it to revive its pursuit for the sixth bottle neck of insight.
‘I’ll wait and see after my body and soul will recover’. Zax told himself. Fortunately, these two aspects were very slowly getting better.
His dantian and Qi channels were too underdeveloped to pose complexity in restoration for someone with his capabilities. Moreover, his body and soul received nearly all of the brunt.
Lowering his gaze to the Screen atop his table, he read the content on display, which he learned about a day prior.
‘Two hundred and seventy four Stars visited and eighty eight resources foraged, bringing in a total weight of thirty five thousand kilos. Of the resources, twenty are attribute type, weighing twenty nine thousand kilos, and of the remaining sixty eight, nine are newly discovered’.
“This voyage is our second best”. Noel Maxim, a short fat middle aged man with ruddy complexion, the director of Foreign Materials Analysis in Rising City’s Department Of Space, said joyously.
The place was the fortieth floor in the ninety storeys skyscraper of the Department Of Space, midtown.
Zax and a group of men and women, the same people who monitored the return of the Star Scavenger from the viewing platform along with Niel, Jingrow, Shadow and Don, with an addition of couple new faces, were accommodated in a dark auditorium and briefed by the results of the recent space mission.
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