Qiangsen roared out in laughter. "I can't believe I'm being recognized here! Seems like I've got my own fair share of fame. Young lad, we hit off well, wanna go get a drink together? You're of age, right?"
Wang Zheng shrugged. "I started drinking when I was 10."
"Ha! My man! Wait for me right here, I'll go back and get some."
Back in the room, four "indecent" looking persons were playing cards on Qiangsen's bed.
"You bastards! You're wearing shoes on the bed again!"
He chided, walking to the side. "Where's my beer?"
"I didn't do it. Rabbit did it," a short, dark, bulky-looking man said, giggling. Despite his honest looks, he had the most funny ideas and was the most crooked of them all.
"You piece of sh*t. You blame everything on me. How dare you say it was me?" Rabbit was a big, white man. His body was almost entirely covered in tattoos. A black, menacing rabbit was tattooed on his left cheek. Intimidating.
"Shut up. Baldy, go get some bottles. But don't get into any trouble," Qiangsen warned.
"Don't worry. Leave it to me." Baldy had a bald, shiny head. With a red bandana on his forehead, he claimed to have hailed from a religious background. Even his personality was as honest as a monk's. He was a rather skillful fighter.
"Hey, Boss, you're back early today, eh?"
"Yea. Oh right, Phoenix, who else other than us is on this long-distance trip?"
Phoenix was a woman on the outside, but definitely a man on the inside. Whoever treated her like a lady was bound to be killed by her in battle.
But regardless, with a female's body, Phoenix often exhibited feminine traits, such as an eye for detail. She was her team's intel collector and analyst.
"A group of scientists, I think. There are some students. They won some award in technology. Different from us."
"Oh? What happened?"
Qiangsen nodded. "Nothing much. I saw a pretty solid lad while training. He could bench six times his weight and do single-handed push-ups."
He climbed onto the bed with his shoes still on while speaking. He took over Baldy's cards and joined in the game."
"Tsk. That's nothing. A newbie like that? I can push him over using just one finger."
"Yeah? Move aside. This guy seems alright. He studies mecha too."
"Alright, Boss. People from these schools, the most they need is a few days in the army on the ground and they'll be highly ranked. They and us, we aren't even on the same path."
Qiangsen smiled and said nothing. The four of them got into their game.
Ten minutes later, Baldy agilely hopped in like a monkey. "We've been drinking too much, somebody put up surveillance. This wasn't easy to get out. Drink sparingly!"
There was liquor on board the New Olympics, but it was not for them. And to be frank, they did not fit in with the people on the ship at all. They looked like they came from a different world altogether. If not for the fact that the mission they were on was a special one, they might not even have the rights to get on the ship.
They too despised those sissies who hid in the ship all day long. They couldn't stand their air of arrogance and would rather stay in the room to play cards.
With liquor in his arms, Qiangsen made his way back to the training center. He didn't know that the lad called Wang Zheng would still be around. It seemed like they were just fated.
But the scene that unfolded before him shook him to the core. How could that be possible?
Ten times his weight!
And based on the records, it had been five minutes since the weights had been activated!
Seeing Qiangsen, Wang Zheng turned the gravity off and got up.
"Kid, you're amazing, eh? Here, catch."
Qiangsen tossed a bottle of alcohol over. The two of them leaned against the wall, each holding a bottle, and chatted. Qiangsen talked about his life, things that his teammates could not understand or empathize with. The few of them had been on battle mode their whole lives, and a peaceful life was an entirely
entirely different world to them. But for Qiangsen, his experiences had enriched his soul.
Wang Zheng was awestruck listening to his stories. He used to only think that a warrior like that should not had let his talents go to waste. Perhaps it was his willpower at work. Not only did Qiangsen recover in therapy, but his physical strength improved. At the same time, the military gave him greater responsibilities. It could all be seen as a blessing in disguise.
Qiangsen also listened to Wang Zheng's dreams and aspirations. Upon hearing it was Wang Zheng's childhood dream to become a Mech Warrior, Qiangsen almost spat out laughing. "Damn! I thought I was the only person baited into that! So you were tricked by the advertisement too!"
Every man dreamt to be a hero. Not all men lived for power.
"Right? I was lucky. Otherwise, even the military wouldn't take me in, let alone a military school."
Wang Zheng shared the story about his 28 point genetic score. Qiangsen laughed heartily.
"Kid, there's an ancient saying for humankind: Heaven's duty befalls upon all but heart and soul, body and mind will first go through hardship and tests…Something along those lines. Whatever it is, it means that the king, the duke, and the general think highly of you! You are a good piece of material!"
"I hope so. Actually, on one hand, it's to realize my dreams. On the other hand, I also hope to get the girl I like through my own hard work."
While having had some drinks, Wang Zheng couldn't help but think of Aina. It was fun hanging out with Qiangsen. He was like an elder brother, someone he could talk about the matters of the heart with.
"Life is bitter and short, so you've got to live it out! As long as you think it's right, you think it's worth it, who cares if the rest of the world disagrees?"
"Ha! That's right! A man must be harsher on himself!"
"Or other men will be harsh on you!" Qiangsen added on.
Wang Zheng was stunned for a second and then burst out laughing. "Classic! Cheers to that line!"
They then parted ways. They might meet again, or perhaps their paths might never cross ever again. But as a living person, experiences like this were a blessing.
Wang Zheng hummed a tune. He was awful at it, but he was delighted. He had met a real warrior. A warrior who had faced death and was brave about it. This was what Wang Zheng aspired to become. In school, he was mostly in contact with children whose aspirations were greater than the universe, or with some inexperienced so-called masters.
A drunk Wang Zheng bumped into Xiao Fei. For others, this was a pleasant trip. But to Xiao Fei, it was a rare opportunity to work. It was as though her life was research and her lover was science.
Xiao Fei looked haggard. Seemed like the experiment had progressed significantly. There was a price to pay for the huge funding they had received. Research could not be stagnant, because investors were also asking to see progress.
Seeing Wang Zheng, Xiao Fei smiled. She had shouldered everything on her own.
"How bold, even getting some drinks, eh, Student Wang Zheng?"
"Hehe, this, Prof, I only had a little bit." It was said that liquor could embolden someone, but meeting Xiao Fei woke him up.
"Look how scared you are! Well, it's the holidays and you're of age. Just don't drink too much. If you have time…. Forget it. Inspiration can't be attained with days of research work."
Xiao Fei smiled, but Wang Zheng could still see tiredness in her eyes. All of a sudden, he felt like he couldn't bear it any longer even though Old Merchant had told him to pace things out and not let things progress too quickly.
"Professor, actually, I've come up with some immature ideas in these couple of days, and I've been wanting to speak with you," Wang Zheng said. His mind spun as he thought about this. He had come up with some kind of new direction for the research to take!
"Oh? You wanna share?" Xiao Fei wasn't too serious or bothered. After all, many hurdles could not be crossed in an entire lifetime. It was impossible to cross one every three to five days.
"I was thinking, since we are able to use relative navigation, why can't we think about using relative speed? With both in warped space, as long as the target and course are the same, wouldn't that work like it does in reality?" Wang Zheng said, and Xiao Fei froze.
Such simple logic. Why hadn't she thought of it this way, ever?
Of course, what they needed to do was just that. The theory of space between non-warped and warped realities had not been tested, but neither was the space between warped realities! They needed this to be the first step!
Xiao Fei took a step forward agitatedly. She blushed and stopped in her tracks. "Sigh, you lovable, lovable boy! If you were not in love with someone, I'd really make you mine. Here, come with me to the laboratory right now! Tell everyone this piece of good news!"
Without waiting for an answer, she grabbed Wang Zheng and started walking. This… he brought this upon himself. Wang Zheng had wanted to return to his room to get a good rest, but seeing how happy Xiao Fei was, it was all worth it.
Even though Wang Zheng had always wanted to become a Mech Warrior, he also believed that what mankind had today was all because of these great scientists. They gave their everything to science and were very respectable.
This was also the case for another old man.
Although his aspirations did not lie here, Student Wang was altruistic.
The whole laboratory exploded with ground-shaking cheers, so much so that even the New Olympus seemed to jerk.
Wang Zheng was going to be touched by this entire group of people!
Marcus stared at Wang Zheng, shaking his head. He opened his mouth, but instead of words coming out, he burst out laughing.
He was a core member of the team, so he naturally knew some of the problems they faced. While they were not severe problems, they needed a direction. It was best that they took as little time as possible from theory to application. It didn't have to be a huge one, but at least a small part had to be tested.
It was baffling how Wang Zheng's mind worked. He was clearly spinning from drinking, yet he could come up with a breakthrough like that.
"Seems like I should drink more in the future."
Ye Zisu and the rest rushed over upon receiving the news. They were elated.
After some cheering, Xiao Fei clapped and said, "No hurry to celebrate. Marcus, let's do this in separate teams and build up the theory's framework."
Even though they had to work overtime, everyone was happy and excited.
After leaving the Sky River System and going through the second wormhole, the ship arrived at the Sagittarius Galaxy. Everyone was still excited about their first interstellar journey, but Xiao Fei and her team were completely, crazily engrossed in work. Wang Zheng's suggestion made good sense, and Xiao Fei and Marcus led their teams to do whatever they could to work it out.
They wanted to make Wang Zheng take part in the experiments, but just one line from Wang Zheng had convinced the two of them otherwise.
He was a free-roaming thinker. He would definitely go berserk if he was cooped up in a laboratory all day.
Marcus didn't know to laugh or cry at that. It made it seem that they were all working for Wang Zheng. But the charm of science made them all forget about it very quickly.