Duan Qianji had just ended the video conference with Fang Zhao when she received a video call from her husband Hong Lou.
There was a trace of anxiousness in Hong Lou's voice. "How was it?"
"I have said all that had to be said," Duan Qianji replied.
"That means to say that you have not raised the matter with him?"
Duan Qianji sighed. "Now is not a suitable time to raise matters on your side. I know what sort of person Fang Zhao is. He actually understands a lot. This time, when I spoke to him, besides the stuff that I talked about, there were some hidden meanings that I'm sure he understood."
Hong Lou did not believe it. "Are you absolutely sure he understood? How old is he? There is a limit to what he can understand. If you don't raise it, how would he know? Can he understand the twists and turns here? Wife, how about you give him another call?"
Duan Qianji did not say anything. She just looked helplessly at Hong Lou.
Hong Lou sighed. "All right." He also knew that it was impossible. Duan Qianji surely had her own misgivings too. Although the whole world knew that Fang Zhao was signed to Silver Wing, they did not know that Fang Zhao's contract was different from other artists. At first, his contract as a composer had been more restrictive, but after he had developed, Duan Qianji had had no choice but to change the terms in his new contract.
Now, to her fullest extent, Duan Qianji was trying to keep him at Silver Wing. Duan Qianji had told Hong Lou before that Fang Zhao did not care much about wealth, but if you showed him sincerity, he would also return the good faith.
"Just wait, and we will know the answer," Duan Qianji said.
"Sigh, so anxious. Everyone has started to make their moves. Many of us at Yanzhou's military district wish to join the mix. The allure of planet Baiji is just too great now. You also know that bloke Shanta is refusing to acknowledge anyone. He even ignores higher-ranking personnel, let alone me who is ranked lower than him. He isn't even replying when I use my family connections."
Currently, Shanta had the entire planet under his control. Forcibly stepping in was difficult. Those people that had just been dispatched were connected to him. Shanta had kept himself hidden away well and had only appeared when this big fuss had started. He had endured so many years on planet Baiji and had reckoned there were no prospects for development. Now that a chance had come, Shanta would surely hold on to Baiji till death. No matter what benefits were thrown his way, he would not be removed.
There was a rumor in the military that Shanta would pick a few cooperative partners in each continent's military districts. That's why many parties were in an uproar. Hong Lou believed the saying that the pavilion closest to the water enjoyed moonlight first. Since Fang Zhao was an artist signed to his own wife's company, in times where Shanta was uncontactable, he could get information from Fang Zhao's side. However, Duan Qianji had preached patience, so all he could do was wait. He could only blame himself for not being close to Fang Zhao.
Shanta was pleased with himself. He was grateful to all the people who had neglected planet Baiji for so many years. The troops garrisoned at planet Baiji were all his people. Those that were coming later might not be considered trusted aides but were also on the same side. Now, all authority of speech in planet Baiji was his. If those old heads in the top brass wanted to forcibly remove him, he would never yield.
He had indeed decided to pick a few cooperative partners from each continent. In theory, it was picking out cooperative partners, but in reality, it was just pacifying all parties and stopping them from voicing dissent. The choices would not be made right away. He needed to arrange his own personnel first and maintain control over Baiji. Nobody else but him should even think about prying open the planet he defended!
And when Shanta bragged, he had the tendency to make others dislike him. In the next live broadcast, Shanta even said, "Really thankful that the two exploratory spaceships Arcturus and Formalhaut did not accept Fang Zhao's kindness."
Shanta had learned from Fang Zhao that when Fang Zhao had been submitting his applications, he had starting applying to the most difficult vocations. If Arcturus and Formalhaut had not rejected Fang Zhao's request, he would never have come to planet Baiji..
Conveniently, Shanta also flaunted about how he had rejoiced when he had received Fang Zhao's application. Otherwise, he would be included among the people that were regretting today.
As Shanta expected, after the Arcturus and Formalhaut received news about planet Baiji, they were incessantly regretful. Furthermore, watching Shanta's smug manner, the commanders aboard those two spaceships felt like throwing up blood.
Regrettable. Truly regrettable.
First was Project Starlight, followed by grade A power ore. How were they to have known that Fang Zhao, that little celebrity, could do so much?
Regret was not just limited to the commanders of those two spaceships. Other planets toward the tail end of the development sequence were also contemplating.
In the past, planet Baiji had been just like them, part of the "impoverished family," and planets that were even more "impoverished" than Baiji or were placed further behind on the development scale had witnessed planet Baiji's overnight change in fortunes. Now, all these bases had the same line of thought: Should we get Fang Zhao to come over and take a walk around?
After what had happened at Baiji, the Alliance government gave instructions. Professional teams would bring along the latest models of equipment to a few planets to see whether there were others in a similar situation as Baiji.
People unable to get a chance to invest in planet Baiji had their own plans. Even if the military did not have plans to assess, these people would create their own teams and rent apparatuses to make a gamble.
But nobody could know for sure. Power ores were a peculiar thing. Instruments and machinery might not necessarily detect them and could be deceived. Previously, detection instruments that made use of soundwaves had been unable to detect these ores, so nobody knew how Fang Zhao had managed to hear the position of the ore. Perhaps back then, those instruments had been outdated, or maybe there were other reasons.
However, in principle, Fang Zhao was under the care of planet Baiji during his military service. If Shanta did not approve of it, nobody else could have Fang Zhao.
On that day, when Fang Zhao returned to base, Shanta spoke to him in private and wanted to let his own medical team run a medical examination of Fang Zhao.
Shanta had received news that, among the research team on the verge of arriving, there were some whose objective was Fang Zhao's ears. Shanta had decided that, should his own medical team discover any peculiar features in Fang Zhao's ears, Shanta would help him cover them up. If the situation became complicated, Shanta could make Fang Zhao stay on planet Baiji on the grounds of protecting him.
Fang Zhao agreed to Shanta's suggestion of a medical examination.
However, Shanta found the medical results very unexpected. Other than his eighth cranial nerve 1 being better developed than other people's, it seemed like there was nothing else strange or special.
First, smell. Second, vision. Third, eye movement. Fourth, eye muscle. Fifth, facial sensations. Sixth, outward gaze. Seventh, facial expressions. Eighth, hearing. Ninth, taste. The eighth cranial nerve was also the hearing nerve.
A doctor discovered that, at specific times—for example, when listening to particular sounds or music—Fang Zhao's nerves had a distinctly heightened awareness.
The doctor said that this might be related to Fang Zhao's profession.
Having obtained this result, Shanta could not tell whether to feel relaxed or sorry.
On the contrary, Fang Zhao did not find this unexpected. Back when he had realized he might be different from other people, he had examined himself. There had been a number of examination equipments back at home. He had not discovered anything too peculiar. In addition, he had gone for another medical examination before his military service had started. Other than having a slightly higher rating, there was nothing extraordinary.
"Fang Zhao, since this is the case, why don't you return to the base and rest first. Those people would be arriving soon. Do you know the matter about the naming rights of the new element?" Shanta asked.
"All right then. Go and think of a name."
Once the detectors were upgraded, there would not be a need to trouble Fang Zhao.
In the last 100 years, Fiery Bird's game consoles had already been developed to the 10th generation. For these sort of detectors, they had gone through close to a hundred iterations, almost one upgrade per year.
Anyone could see how much manpower and resources were put in given the fast-paced upgrades of these detector instruments.
When the dispatched troops and research team arrived at Baiji base, Fang Zhao was in his room writing song scores.
An old man with snow-white hair and kind eyes came looking for Fang Zhao. His name was Xike, a vice-president of the Academy of Science HQ. He came personally to invite Fang Zhao over to the laboratory and discuss the new ore.
There were more instruments and machinery in the experimental area. When Fang Zhao stepped into the ore analysis lab, he saw a few people wearing lab coats he had never seen before. Not all of them were mining engineers.
One person's gaze was fixated on the display screen of an instrument, and he was mumbling to himself.
He was watching it fanatically, as if it were his secret lover. "Beautiful, so fascinating!"
"Don't mind him. He is always like this when it comes to ore," Xike told Fang Zhao. On the display screen was a chart of the power ore's chemical breakdown. In it, a new element was shown, a metallic element previously thought to be impossible.
"Have there been a lot of new elements discovered since the New Era began?" Fang Zhao asked.
Xike laughed. "How could that be!"
As Fang Zhao did not understand this area, Xike patiently explained it to Fang Zhao. "Every time a new element is discovered, it brings about an enormous number of possible technological changes. But new elements are not so easy to discover. Ever since the Academy of Science was founded, some new elements have been synthetically created, though these new elements only have a code but no name." Xike pointed at the diagram displayed on the screen and told Fang Zhao, "Actually, this sort of element was synthesized in our institution in the past. However, it could only exist for a short time, and the difficulty of duplicating it was high. The experiment results were not recognized, so till now, it only has a code and has yet to get an official name.
In the New Era, humankind due had discovered some new elements. Some were discovered on other planets while exploring the cosmos, while others were man-made. And of new elements that were acknowledged, there were only two found on other planets. One was an element that existed in grade A+ power ores, and the other was the newly discovered element found in grade A ores. This was also the reason the Academy of Science had mobilized such a task force.
"It's appearance here could be due to a certain period in this planet's history. Perhaps, during that period, certain exceptional conditions that are beyond human technology caused it to be created, leading to the stable condition of this sort of chemical compound."
When Xike looked at the screen, his eyes seemed fanatical yet restrained, unlike those young scientists that were so caught up in their obsession.
Noticing Fang Zhao seemingly pondering something, Xike asked, "What are you thoughts?"
"Just had some inspiration, that's all," Fang Zhao replied.
Remembering Fang Zhao's profession, Xike chuckled. Smiling, he asked, "According to customary practice, the first discoverer gets the naming rights. Have you thought of what to name it?"
Xike thought to himself, If this young fellow suddenly decides to be immature and give a particular name full of "individuality," he and the others would go all out to not permit it.
"I have already thought of it," Fang Zhao replied.
"Oh? That's good. Let's have a meeting to discuss."
Xike notified his team, and together with Fang Zhao, they had a two-hour-long meeting. Kevin Lin was not permitted to join the meeting and could only wait outside. After everything inside was settled, only then could he report the outcome.
Two hours later, Kevin Lin received the meeting's outcome.
The newly discovered ore would be called Baiji ore. As of now, it was only found on planet Baiji.
The new element was named Zhaoium and had the chemical symbol "Zh."The vestibulocochlear nerve known as the eighth cranial nerve, transmits sound and equilibrium information from the inner ear to the brain.