Amidst the silence of the boundless space, a crater was suddenly created at the bottom of the rock - that was what the stunned the folks in the ship. They could not see Han Jia but they could see what was happening. The crater was of a size that could fit a rescue craft.
Without hesitation, Ye Chong headed into the giant piece of rock.
His instinct was right.
It was a spaceship.
It was a spaceship disguised as a piece of asteroid in the space. Old Xu was really imaginative and creative. With the rocky surface of the ship, no one would have suspected the boulder when they traveled by, since one could see asteroids everywhere in space, boulders like this would be given equal ignorance as the grasses and the pebbles you see by the road. The cost of the disguise however was horrendous. It was not because of how the rocks could be expensive but it would be a major operation to coat the entire body of the ship with meteorites. Moreover, the ship would certainly be limited by its disguise for it must float, hover like the other asteroids in the space. It could neither accelerate nor perform a space-jump. Consequences would be there if the ship was exposed.
The spaceship seemed to be created quite some time ago. Old Xu was such an insightful planner, although ironically he still suffered from his inescapable fate. Sigh, fate was such a capricious being sometimes.
Ye Chong piloted Han Jia and sank to the inside of the spaceship. There was no security measurement of any kind that required an identity verification. Ye Chong travelled smoothly, all the way to the core of the ship, the commander's room to be exact.
Ye Chong took out the blue chip and inserted to the main processor.
"Verification complete. Password confirmed. All program activated. Ship: Cornerstone welcomes the lord." A mechanical voice rang sweetly like an angel whispering to the ears of Ye Chong.
He then prompted the layout statistics of the ship. The interior was designed fairly well, the resources were pretty complete, all units were operative, there was even an advanced alchemy laboratory located in the ship.
"Tsk, tsk. Such spaceship," said the little boy when everyone joined the Cornerstone. "Whoever thought of this idea must be a genius." He carried on giving his comments as he inspected the area. Then he spat his tongue, "Though the other places were unimpressive." People were being transferred to the interior.
They took a look at the surrounding, curiously wondering how there would be an unknown world hidden inside a piece of asteroid in the space. Fei Si was excited upon seeing the alchemy lab. It was not spacious but those were some of the most advanced apparatuses there. Old Xu probably intended to have this lab for Fei Si, which justified its quality. Technically, the spaceship was pretty decent in terms of performance, since it was a kind of escape pod for Old Xu, of course he had to be serious building it.
"What's your plan? Where are we going?" asked the little boy. He did not seem to be concerned of his own safety as he elaborated, "A strong electromagnetic zone had been enforced all around Zhou Jian, you can't be thinking of space-jumping."
Ye Chong then called up the intergalactic map and began thinking.
"We don't head out," reminded the boy, "The design of this ship might be clever enough to swindle some random patrol guys but the armies of the Aristocrats could never miss it. It's impossible to run, especially with Huang Jiming, Ye Yin and Xue Nuolan leading the armies. Those are the smart ones, extremely cautious ones too. They would be shooting down every piece of weird pebble upon seeing it on the way."
The expression of those bodyguards was turning odd, except for the scarred guardsman, who seemed to be unmoved by the statement.
As mentioned, there was electromagnetic field to interrupt the transfer, so a space-warp would be implausible. Ye Chong must travel the traditional way, which would take about forever...
"What's your thoughts then?" asked Ye Chong.
"Hmm...," the little boy pondered for a moment.
Three minutes lapsed, "We could go here...," grimly he replied, pointing one spot of the intergalactic layout, "Mhm, we might indeed encounter a few regular patrolling teams but they would not be a problem. The armies of the Aristocrats should not be arriving yet, not so soon at this point of time." It was really odd to see a 6-year-old acting all grim and dead serious, even for an oddity like Ye Chong himself.
"What's after that?" interupted Ye Chong while the boy was explaining.
"We head here!" Pointed the tiny finger.
"Nebula? We are heading to the nebula?" Ye Chong was shocked, while the men had their jaws dropped.
"There are people..." said the boy, in a kind of complicated emotions, "After the nebula."
"People?" Fei Si screamed a little. "That is preposterous! How could there be people in an interstellar cloud?" Even Old Jalopy's face was twitching.
"There is and there will be," stated the boy slowly, who sounded like an elderly who had experienced the darkest time of life, his voice rang like a lethargic drum. "In this world, not every person favors technology. Because of that... there was once a great divide, a long, long, long time ago, where there was one particular group of people who fancies the morning sun and not the fluorescent lighting, the chilling breeze and not the turbine spinning. They moved out, looking for a place, a new settlement for the deviance of humankind like them. Well, they found it, a galaxy, not really a galaxy though. Frankly speaking it's merely a zone with 32 inhabitable planets, located somewhere in the dark, unknown by the world. They cut away contacts with the outside since then. Years had passed, nobody really knows where they are anymore..."
He held his words and glanced at everyone, "This is... what they called... the lost space zone of nature."
The secret had been revealed and truly people had their mind blown.
"And Xi Feng tribe came from here." A new piece of information bombarded the remaining sanity of the people. One of the three aristocrats was actually from a lost world? How could that be not shocking enough?
"According to records, the zone is inhabited by mainly martial arts practitioners and mentalist. With that in mind, I would say that's the true origin of all beauty of breakthrough made in human anatomy." The little boy's expression was showing a kind of worship, and suddenly the expression was distorted into a joy of naivety as he jumped up and down, "And now we could finally head to the legendary zone unknown to the world! I had been looking forward to go there ever since I was born!"
"Is there really such a place?" asked Fei Si to Old Jalopy.
"Uhhhhhhh." The old man seemed to have been reminded of a bitter past regarding the place, "He's right you know."
Little boy was shocked of the statement, for Old Jalopy actually was aware of the place.
"History did mention of a natural interstellar zone like that..." His profound voice was depressed, "30 years ago, when I was still 35, at the prime of a man, I was informed of a place like this when learning the mechanics of the ancients and sadly there had barely been any actual machines created by the ancient people. So I worked hard, striving to find the place, as I wanted - with my own eyes - to witness the working of a true ancient machines. So I, with a bunch of pals as crazy and passionate as I was, barged into the unknown zone. That was a team of 9, if I remember correctly."
Fei Si never expected Old Jalopy to have such legend behind.
"We found it, to be honest," stated Old Jalopy, "though it was the most painful visit we ever experienced in our life. When we got home, there were only 2 of us left, and my other friend passed away last year."
"Seriously?" There were exclamations, including one from the little boy who tried to act all mature and experienced while he waddled to Old Jalopy, "Old man, did you really get into the place?"
Old Jalopy was once looking grave, but that clumsy movement of the boy brought up a smile on him, showing an unconcerned attitude to the way he was addressed, "Yes we did, boy." He rubbed the boy's head, "Yes, we did."
"How did it look inside?" The boy was curious.
"Well, boy. That place is a rather..." It took a while for the old man to piece his thoughts, "I can't really describe it with words. Sigh, it's not something one could feel with mere description. You have to experience it yourself," he said with a bitter smile.
"Ah! Ah! Ahhh! I want to go! I wanna go!" The boy jumped in screams, finally acting like his age, though it felt like he was on a shopping day with his mom and was trying to get a toy he wanted in the shopwindow.
"It's very dangerous inside. We were lucky enough to survive. We even bumped into a spaceship of the Xue Lai clan. I wonder what happened to them after that. If it was not our great lucky, we would have been knocked down," said Old Jalopy, with fear crawling up his words.
Ye Chong was hearing the stories, while his eyes were all focused on the intergalactic layout. Ugh, there was in fact no other workaround for the escape. They surely would encounter the armies anyhow. It seemed like they could only head to the Nebula like what the boy had suggested.
Ye Chong realized he did not have much options there.
At least there were people who had been there before, they would be the tour guide then. Ye Chong was a little relieved, "Old Jalopy."
"Do you still remember the way there?"