The team’s particulars had to be reported to the supervisors before they left the ship. There was no time to wait. As if he already knew everything that Astra was thinking, Wen spoke, “Aside from the two of you, there’s another person who wants to join the team.”
From behind him, out walked a youth with an aura colder than an ice cliff. The look in his eyes was unwavering, like the still water of an abysmal ocean, and his expression was cool enough to be carved from a glacier as he spoke, “I’m Linus, I’m an expert in Mechanics and the Starnet.”
Handsome and prim, along with this shameless confidence, Linus was exactly like his description in the book. Astra looked at Wen and the youth in shock. “Wow, what a coincidence.”
Linus shook his head and spoke curtly, “Not a coincidence.”
He’d seen Astra asking everyone about him from his quantum computer. Linus was very confident about his own ability, but he also knew that the entrance test couldn’t be completed with technology and knowledge alone, so he decided to join Astra’s team. But once he came out of his corner, he saw Astra already engaged in a conversation with two other people, so he went straight to Wen to ask about joining the team.
Wen wasn’t surprised at all by Linus’s request, his reply was to muse wistfully, “…Of course, it’s him after all.”
T/N: I think here Wen means that Astra is really capable, and the fact that Linus volunteered to join, just when Astra was looking for Linus, just goes to show how capable Astra is.
Linus had used his quantum computer to collect data on all of the new recruits, so he knew that the person standing in front of him had a spiritual energy score of 1850, a similarly powerful existence as that cadet called Astra Li. But right now, Linus wondered if the numbers were false.
This future teammate, Gu Wen Cheng, wasn’t as simple as he seemed.
After they figured out the team members, Astra relayed the details to the supervisor.
Solaris Academy’s test mission spanned five days. In that time period, everyone would carry with them a specific number of nutrient packs, as well as a siren the size of a thumb nail. The mission would take place on the seventh of the Empire’s eight major galaxies, on Vagor.
Vagor was a primordial planet. Aside from its lack of technology, it also had a large number of monstrous wild animals that were the products of a vicious evolution. In short, these wild beasts were in no shortage of attack power. When the spaceship landed, the students — who had received the information on the planet’s wildlife — looked out at the scenery outside with grim expressions.
Other than the spaceship from Sirius, there were two other ships carrying the new recruits from two different planets.
As Sirius’s number one, Astra was called by the supervisor to stand at the front and lead the other two hundred or so Sirius recruits to join the other planets’ cadets. After the recruitment officers from the three planets talked for a while, the officer from Sirius suddenly asked, “How are the students from the planets that the two of you are in charge of?”
“They’re a pretty talented bunch,” one of the younger teachers answered with a smile, “though this year’s results aren’t comparable to the best year we’ve had, there was still someone from Ursa Major with a score over 1800. Unfortunately, there’s only one cadet with such a score, the second place’s score is 1600 or so.”
The older officer sighed and shook his head, but he stayed silent.
The officer from Sirius asked another question, “Over 1800? What’s the exact score?”
“What a coincidence,” the officer from Sirius spoke, “the second highest scorer from Sirius had a score close to that. 1850, pretty good.”
The other two officers were stunned. “Second highest?”
“First place was only 1890, there’s not much to mention. This brat was daring enough to release and manifest his spiritual energy, I was actually waiting for this entrance test to teach him a lesson.”
The other two officers exclaimed in surprise, their eyes gleamed as they looked towards Astra. Astra rubbed his nose in embarrassment, and smiled cheekily. “Teacher, I know I was wrong. I won’t do it again.”
The officer from Sirirus grunted in reply, he was satisfied with this little bragging session.
Later, all the new recruits were brought to a barren clearing. The three planet’s worth of new recruits numbered over 600 people, but despite the big number, they were only able to take up a small section of the giant clearing. This planet’s environment was very inhospitable. The gusts of wind rushed over the area where they were standing, taking up yellow dirt into the air. In the distance, visible to the naked eye, was a dense primordial forest. In the other direction was a snowing glacial world.
Wen gazed into the distance for a while. “Where do you guys want to go?”
Simon spoke spiritedly, “Forest, forest! If we get eaten by the wild beasts, at least the inside of their mouth would be warm, that other side is so cold that we wouldn’t even die comfortably.”
Jiyu and Linus glanced at Simon with matching expressions of disdain.
“We won’t die.” Wen still looked as relaxed as ever. His attitude made the others unconsciously calm down and listen to everything he was saying, “The seemingly dangerous things are often the least harmful, it is these seemingly harmless things that have to hide all their claws and thorns. Vagor’s environment looks so bad because this planet is trying to hide its benign nature behind a bad appearance.”
Astra looked at him, this was probably why Wen, the male lead, loved to play wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Wen was right. The Academy had already explored the planet dozens of times, and was certain that there was nothing extremely dangerous in here. At the same time, they also had invisible setups following the students at all times to protect them. The alarm device had a single use shield and compressed medicine. As well, the security forces and the medical teams from the Academy would be on standby in the ships, hovering over the testing grounds. The students’ physical health would be monitored the entire 24 hours of the day. As soon as even a minute thing went wrong, the security forces would arrive within 5 seconds to rescue the students.
Of course, if the students refused to use the alarm device when they encountered danger, the security forces wouldn’t take the students away by force either. Instead, they would watch the cadets closely and only intervene if the situation was life threatening.
——Because in the history of the Academy, there were two students who had managed to breakthrough to their full potential while facing down death during their entrance tests.
The students chatted among themselves for a bit before the Academy sent down the survival packages. Aside from the nutrition packs and quantum weapons, there was also a military-grade dagger. After everything had been distributed, the people from the Academy didn’t say anything and just left!
The three groups of students stared stupidly as the engines on the spaceships roared to life, watching as the spaceships rose into the air. Within moments, all of the teachers had left. The representatives at the front of each group looked at each other, before one of them blurted, “Your teachers didn’t reveal any information to you guys?”
Those that heard him shook their heads. Someone clicked their tongue. “That’s so irresponsible.”
This type of style was exactly to Astra’s liking. No bullshit, straight to the point, saving a lot of time that would’ve been taken up with inspirational speeches and what not. But as the teachers left so suddenly, the 600 or so students below them were still trying to understand what had just happened. Many were still staring up at the sky in the direction where the spaceships had gone. Astra asked Wen directly, “Are we going to start?”
Wen threw the question back at him with a smile, “First place, you’ve gotta do something, right?”
In this harsh and murky area where wind scattered the yellow soil into the air, Wen’s smile bloomed like fresh lotus flowers.
“How did you get your face dirty.” Astra raised his hand and stroked Wen’s cheek. “Such a handsome face, can’t you be more careful?”
Not only did Wen’s face look soft, it was soft to the touch as well.
Wen raised a brow, he looked a bit surprised. Before he could reply, Astra decided to step up to his role as number one and coughed twice to clear his throat. Before he even finished shouting the first word, Wen suddenly interrupted, “Use your spiritual energy.”
Just as he thought of this, a powerful force stirred deep within, as if anxious to escape the cocoon of his body. The stirring sensation and the slow burn was exactly like what he had felt on the spaceship. Astra went along with his brain’s reactions and spoke, “Everyone, please go find your teammates. Pick up your survival packs, let’s disperse.”
The dispersing spiritual energy brought his voice to every ear, the sound was as clear and loud as a blast. Astra couldn’t control the range of his spiritual power, so his message reached every corner that his spiritual power had managed to spread into.
His message was not only heard by the students from Sirius, but also by everyone from the other two planets as well.
As soon as the adults left, some of the students had been feeling a bit unsettled. They unconsciously listened to Astra’s instructions. It was only when they’d met up with their teammates and were about to head their separate ways that they realized it was one of the students that had spread the message.
“…Who? Is it someone from our planet?”
“I heard that our Ursa Major had someone whose spiritual energy was above 1800, so it’s probably this human deity that we’re talking about. I can’t believe that he can do so much already even before we’ve started school. I can’t even find where my spiritual energy is.”
“What the f*ck, the number one from our planet is actually this powerful! If he goes through more training once school starts, doesn’t that mean that he’ll be at the top of our year?”
“Of course, the guy figured out how to use spiritual power right after he found out he had it, the dumbasses from the other two planets can just watch the show, it’s their bad luck that the genius of our year is from Ursa Major! Hahahahaha.”
The students from Tian Shi Planet, where no geniuses were discovered, felt envious and disappointed. But the new recruits from Sirius that were passing by heard part of the conversation and just couldn’t hold back. “Who told you it was the number one from your planet that sent the message? You didn’t even bother to check before you started to gloat, don’t you find that embarrassing?”
Meanwhile, the main ‘subject’ of their argument, Astra, was completely unaware. He and his team grabbed their stuff and began heading into the forest. Jiyu announced, “The nutrition packs that the Academy provided us will last us two days only.”
Everyone else on the team sighed. “There’s some edible animals on this planet, we can eat those for meals and use these nutrition packs as emergency rations.”
Linus raised his wrist and opened up the hologram function on his quantum computer. A string of golden code flowed in the hologram, above which the circular shape of a planet appeared, spinning in its orbit. It was a hologram of Vagor.
Simon gasped in surprise. “Didn’t the officer say that they’ve enabled the Starnet jammers?”
“I connected to the Starnet on the spaceship.” Linus zoomed in on the hologram, and the details of the forest appeared. His hands flew over the quantum computer, the hologram’s display switched constantly, showing all kinds of animals. “The Academy has placed 328 monitoring devices in the forest, we can use those to see everything beforehand.”
Even Jiyu was impressed. “That’s so smart!”
The corners of Linus’s mouth curled upwards as he turned to look at the other three. Simon slapped Linus’s shoulder in excitement, admiration radiating from his eyes. Astra gave him a thumbs up while Wen clapped to suit the occasion.
That was more like it. Linus felt satisfied after everyone gave him a round of compliments. He relayed the view from the five directions — North, South, East, West and Upwards — onto his teammate’s quantum computers, making sure that all the different vantage points were controlled by the team members.
With ample preparation, they stepped into the forest that was known to planet explorers as the ‘Wildebeest Forest’.
The Wildebeest Forest looked pretty and fresh from the outside, but it didn’t look that great from the inside. The giant ancient trees had foliage so thick that not even a sliver of the sky showed through. Sunlight leaked down from the dense treetops in speckles. They couldn’t look at the quantum computers all the time, especially since they had already encroached into the Academy’s surveillance area.
They walked towards the water source at the heart of the Wildebeest Forest. Nothing happened, and their journey was very uneventful. All of them relaxed their vigilance, and Jiyu couldn’t help but comment, “Looks like nothing’s going to happen today.”
Astra, “……” They were done for.
In the book, despite his many endearing qualities such as his handsome looks, his sense of humor and the dad jokes, Jiyu was known for only one other thing.
His ability to jinx absolutely anything and everything under the sun.
As expected, as soon as the words fell from his mouth, a white silhouette shot out from the forest. When the beautiful white fox saw them, it changed its trajectory and hid itself cleverly in the bush behind them.
Then, the loud roars of animals began to close in, rocks and pebbles bounced as the ground beneath their feet trembled.
A colossal, enraged beast appeared in front of the team, glaring at them with bloodshot eyes and roaring in anger. Saliva dripped down from its giant mouth, burning small holes into the ground wherever it fell.
The line of humans, “……”
Silently, they all turned to look at the little fox.
The sky blue eyes of the little fox stared back at them cutely.
This large animal that was in heat… You stupid fox, what exactly did you manage to do to it?
T/N: 凌年 (Lin Nian) has now been translated to Linus. And 碎星 (Sui: broken, Xing: star) is now Vagor (latin for ‘to wander’), because the author decided to copy a random name from the internet, and the name also implied ‘msc scattered planet’ so I just screwed with it and translated it to Vagor, the wandering planet. As for the name Linus, could I have chosen something cooler? Absolutely I could’ve, but I’m a fan of Peanuts, and you’ll just have to put up with it 🙂