On little bit of curiosity, Ye Chong realized he could not even tear the fine strands apart. These were some real physic-defying threads. Well, if they were really "threads" to begin with. Ye Chong was rather intrigued by the composition of these red strands, being eager for exploration in the chemical composition of matters was a typical character setting for an alchemist like himself.
Without the hinderance of the strands, Han Jia started regaining its mobility. Ye Chong was very much avid for a fancy race on Mach 20, but he had to conserve his batteries, as he maintained Han Jia at around Mach 18. Still, Mach 18 was already a speed way different than what Han Jia used to travel at.
The mist was disappearing, as Ye Chong’s visibility restored. Han Jia’s built-in hologramic detection system had won back Ye Chong’s trust since the interference was getting overcome.
It was weird though, that Ye Chong did not see any planet despite his long travels. He technically had barely seen anything else than the red strands and red sea themselves.
In a void so vast and boundless, how could there be only a misty field of red strands? There was nothing else? Really? What is the mist for? Where do they come from? How large the field was exactly? Nobody knew, nobody could tell.
Ye Chong did have that innate curiosity to venture into the unknown, but that did not mean he would compromise his safety and jump into a potential black hole.
He travelled for the following week with the digital clock ticking inside the cabin. It was a relief when he was finally able to escape from the creepy red sea. No message was received. No notification was on his screen. There was no incoming signal as well. There were too many unknowns inside the galaxies, so many taboos they should not fondle with. It would be a miracle if he was able to encounter the Coxcomb by coincidence in a space like this. Ye Chong would not even dare to tell if Mu had successfully escaped the grasp of red mist.
He took a look around, the familiar black airless void in his surrounding. He sighed, in relief.
Till he lifted his head to the front, he stumbled upon the scenery before him.
Asteroid belt… Ye Chong realized the vast deadly red sea was actually wrapped by a far more enormous asteroid belt.
An asteroid belt was nothing new in the record of exploration by humanity. The 5 major galaxies alone would have a handful of places with asteroid belts, which some people would call it "The Zone of Dead Calamity". Humanity today showed little understanding towards the asteroid belts for it contained, as the name stated, the deadliest calamity one could imagine, not only because of the demand of exceptional piloting, but also what lived inside the core of the belt. There was hardly anybody who had hit the depth of the belt.
No one could explain how these belts were formed, while some experts claimed them having the same formation of the ring of a planet from one solar system with the name Saturn, which was not even a good analogy to begin wit
h. The structure of the asteroid belts was not something that was born by an explosion of planet or a byproduct of black hole throwing up, it was an unknown, with unidentified danger lurking within. People could not give a sound statement for the asteroid containment, but they all could illustrate a vivid imagery of the horrendous explosion of asteroid whirlpool as it was something that could devastate probably anything nearby, which stirred up the greatest fear in mankind.
And Ye Chong had experienced it once himself, if it was not Mu who woke up in time, he would have been permanently part of the belt now.
But unlike those he had seen before, the asteroid belt before him was the broadest by far, as the whole red sea was fully surrounded by it.
He took a look afar… there was nothing else. He had to either venture into the belt or get back into the red sea. Wait what? No, don’t be silly! Going back to that hellish place? I'd rather walk into that asteroid belt now!
Giving a few commands to Han Jia, Ye Chong advanced cautiously into the asteroid belt.
There were asteroids of all sort of sizes and shapes. There were a few with diameter about a few tens kilometers… some were about the size of his fist. Ye Chong had his attention fully to his surrounding, as he monitored those hovering asteroids around him. Those were the silent most killers one could face in the space. He had to watch and took necessary actions whenever the asteroids moved, even the slightest bit, as the memory came haunting him, reminding him of his horrible experience with the last asteroid whirlpool.
Like hell knows if there would anything funnier here!! I could not take more jokes to my life!
There were asteroids, lots of asteroids, but it was mentally-numbing as well. It was boring yet it was something to train Ye Chong’s will. After a few days of traveling in the belt, Ye Chong could already dodge the asteroids on a whim. Han Jia retreated to its below average velocity ever since they stepped into the belt, just to avoid these disorderly madness around.
Fortunately enough, despite the amount of asteroids around him, the detection system was unaffected, as it could still give Ye Chong direction. At least Ye Chong could maintain his direction and not make the wrong turn without noticing.
Ye Chong could feel his brain jamming. Well, anyone would have gone mad traveling in high alert for a few days straight without sleep.
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
The alarm wailed.
An alarm? Flinched Ye Chong, shaking his head to collect his thoughts, shifting his attention back onto that outdated hologramic detection system. The hologramic system would be far more useful than Ye Chong’s naked eyes within the asteroids.
There was… sign… of life?
Ye Chong frowned. No way. Where do I find a lifeform in an environment like this? But… judging by the projection… there seemed to be quite a number of signs…
Did I take a detour back to the Black Coves? Speculated Ye Chong. It made sense since the Black Coves was a base sealed within an asteroid belt like this. The location was flawless, a solid defense with countless deceiving openings for enemies to fall prey upon. It was certainly something the 3 other forces coveted and drooled at, considering how discovery of such place would require a fateful encounter rather than blind effort. Black Coves did not rely on sheer luck anyway, as they invested a tremendous amount of workforces and financial resources on building the base itself, which simply were not something the other 3 forces could have imagined.
So are these Black Covers?
Oh wait, yeah. What I’m thinking?
Ye Chong could not help but to start giggling, finding he himself being too sensitive. Of course those could never be the Black Covers, the outdated detection system of Han Jia could never detect the advanced models from the Black Coves, hah! Practically most of the detection systems were deemed useless against the models of the 3 forces anyway.
Also, judging by the figurative data generated by the system, these should be organisms, living things. But how would living things survive in harsh conditions like the asteroid belt?
Ye Chong was feeling peculiar about this, yes, he did recognize a few living things that could survive in vacuum with the drastically mutated components of their bodies compared to those habituated on the planets. However, that did not mean Ye Chong would buy the fact that, these particular vacuum-living lifeforms would just so happen to be in the asteroid belt where he was traveling, as the place blatantly shouted "unsuitable for living, stay here if you want to die" to him. And he spotted a few asteroid whirlpools quite frequently along the way. If it was not for his quick-reaction, he would have been inside one of the space blenders.
These circumstances had just proven the fact that this asteroid belt was not as benevolent, benign as it appeared to be. It was a tumor, a malignant instability that could blow up any second. It would be a myth to have living things habituated here.
He looked at the projection again, these lifeforms did not seem to be moving the slightest bit. Ye Chong felt he was unnoticed at the moment, so he grabbed his alertness and slowed down completely. He would not want to butt his head into some territory enforced by some unidentified lifeforms and get attacked by unknown methods.
Everything in the surrounding was unknown to him. So he had to be extremely careful, as every move he made would be taken into account of his survival.
… hmm …
What? There’s such zone inside the deadliest asteroid belt?
Ye Chong was stupefied.
He saw a sprout of pale lilac, with buds glowing in ghostly azure. The sprout was short, with tiny leaves and well spread over the layer of the area. Almost every rock in the proximity was covered by those sprouts. The stem was slender, bearing a fruit in haunting blue, looked like illuminating the darkness of the specks hovering nearby.
The place was filled with floating purplish rocks at a sight afar, where the blues would twinkle like the stars in the dark.
Ye Chong identified a few unknown organisms playing around the rocks. They were not tall, with a height barely 3 meters, with a pair of hind legs on the ground. Those were some real bulky legs which one would like to look out for. The top limbs were so short that it hardly reached out from their chests, armed with sharp claws that gave off hideous glows. Compared to their overwhelming hind legs, their body was rather feeble, their necks would gracefully wave at all directions along with the dark spikes over their purplish backs.
Most of their kind was busy munching the glowing bulbs on top of the sprouts. There were a few lazier ones taking a silent slumber on the cleared rocks at the side.
Ye Chong was dropping his jaws, as he never expected to see such living thing in harsh environment like this, and to top all that, those living things seemed to have taken a few turns of evolution ahead.
Ye Chong then piloted Han Jia to hide being one of the larger asteroids, since he was not sure if these organisms were naturally benevolent. He imagined that he could be skewed if he were to jump into action and alert the group’s dining. Nonetheless, the scenery was still a major shocker to his perception of the world, he would need a good amount of time to digest all these.
He had the necessary patience and nutrition capsules to last him throughout the observation, although it would be marvelous if the fleshes of these animals turned out to be edible. Hunting was one of the skills he probably was born with. Back on Trash Planet, other than the Iron Lizard which stood at the topmost of the food web, there was not any animal he could not hunt.
Moreover, as far as he had observed, these lifeforms seemed to be herbivores, which were known to be gentle by nature. Well, Ye Chong did not want to gamble just yet. The environment just turned more bizarre to his understanding. It would not be surprising if there was any funny addition to the lifeforms’ characteristic.
He analyzed the visual of the sprouts in high definition. He could confirm that he had never seen the planet before and it was not registered on Lunatic Guan’s encyclopedia.
He carried on observing in the dark. Of course he was enthralled by his latest discovery, since he would have greater likelihood to survive with these animals around.
And as expected, there was something new to his Aliendex's entry.