"You're usually meticulous, but you can be so careless at times. If Huiyin wanted to hold a concert on Mars, all these fans would be queuing up to get in. The two of us don't even come close to having that much charm."
Wang Zheng broke out into a sweat. Xiao Fei was clearly in the know and was purposely teasing him. Tch! Who would've known the Professor had such a wicked sense of humor?
He had only just arrived on Mars and he had lost face already.
Luckily, everyone's attention was focused somewhere else.
Indeed, there had been someone who had come to meet him and Xiao Fei, but that unfortunate person had been mobbed into a corner by hysterical fans earlier... When they heard that Lin Huiyin had arrived, they had forgotten their original intentions and rushed ahead.
Tch. To be an idol was such a pain!
The man receiving them looked to be about 40, and he introduced himself as Zhang Fang. Faced with the two young scientists, he was bemused by how young they really were.
"Huiyin sure has a lot of fans, even on Mars," Xiao Fei smilingly noted. She was on good terms with Huiyin, and a fan to boot.
"Didn't she just come to the Solar System a while back? What's she doing here again?" Wang Zheng inadvertently blurted.
"What do you mean here again? She only went to Earth last time. Anyway, it's been so long!" An aged man like Zhang Fang retorting so strongly... he clearly looked like a fan too.
Wang Zheng did not know whether to laugh or cry. What a strong reaction.
Xiao Fei laughed too. "Weren't you really close with Princess Aina the last time? Huiyin is her sister. You need to treat Huiyin better."
Hmph! What did that have to do with anything? Conversation never flowed easily with Lin Huiyin. Although her voice was satisfactorily sweet, that wench was nosy and had a superior attitude, constantly trying to meddle with things.
Hopefully he wouldn't meet her this time.
"Heheh, I was just a little surprised. Looks like the Solar System's market has expanded."
"That's true. The Solar System's economic outlook has shown faint signs of recovery in recent years. The industry of culture is a profitable one, and the Solar System should really prioritize the development of the tourism industry. The Aslan Empire and those other unions have also considered this point. It helps to put the Solar System back on the Milky Way Alliance's stage, which is a good thing anyway."
Xiao Fei knew best about the situation of the Milky Way Alliance.
As a mere singer, Lin Huiyin obviously did not have such power, but things had changed after her identity had been exposed. People could not help but speculate about the underlying political intentions. Regardless, it was a good sign.
The Aslan Empire's strategy was clearly right - to attack one's neighbors and treat with those beyond its military reach. In light of the Solar System's current situation, it would definitely welcome such a strong ally. Although the Solar System Federation was comparatively weaker, it had historical status, and every vote could be crucial to the Aslan Empire in a critical time.
It goes without saying that when the Aslan people got down to it, they were much smarter than other federations and empires.
As a military student, Wang Zheng did not spend all his time brooding over violence. International affairs was a compulsory module, and an important one at that. It distinguished military students from the average soldier through an appreciation of the larger picture. While it did not directly translate into military might, a holistic view had its uses and determined the promotion of a fighter.
A lasting proverb said: a soldier who did not wish to become a general was not a good soldier.
Compared to other aspects, Wang Zheng needed much more honing in this.
The seminar this time a round was of a high caliber thanks to the presence of a big sponsor. The meeting venue was at the 5-star Silver Light Hotel in Jippu, a famous city on Mars with a superbly developed economy.
After leaving a method to contact him, Zhang Fang left. Martians always did things in a rush, unlike the considerably more hospitable Earthlings.
The meeting was conveniently scheduled to commence in the hotel. It was not due to start for a full day, which allowed Wang Zheng and Xiao Fei to rest.
Xiao Fei had business to settle, and Wang Zheng could not sit still either. He was not going to pass up on the opportunity to explore after coming all the way to Mars.
Furthermore, Mars had a rich history, especially the Sage Sect that was known throughout the Solar System.
Wang Zheng had always held deep interest in matters of history since young. He had naturally started from stories of heroes, especially the unofficial histories that were non-mainstream. All those years ago, Mars had sacrificed and contributed much in the battles against the Zerg.
And in the current chapter of history, of course the Lie family and the Sage Sect should not be missed.
It was a double-edged sword to Wang Zheng's way of thinking. The Lie family and the Sage Sect had become the pride and glory of Mars, but single-family planetary leadership for so many generations would surely not be a good thing.
Although the Aslan Empire was based on an imperial system, the attraction of talent and other important matters were well-handled. It was difficult to imagine how lineage and talent were integrated so superbly. Wang Zheng felt a pang of regret that he was not a specialist in social relations.
"Wang... Zheng, it's really you!"
From behind, a delighted voice was heard.
He recognized both immediately when he turned around. One was a giant, the other a petite figure.
Were these two...Raston and Xie Yating of Caragal?
"Ah! It really is you, Wang Zheng!" Raston laughed carefreely.
Wang Zheng laughed too. "What a coincidence. Are you two...?"
From the look in his eyes, Xie Yating knew he had the wrong impression. "Raston is my... Small Uncle."
Xie Yating resented this relationship and cursed herself for being born too early.
"Haha, that's according to generational lineage, but privately we always converse as equals." Raston chuckled.
Wang Zheng smirked. "I thought there were...benefits to be had."
"Both of you are horrid! All you do is bully me!" Xie Yating stomped her foot huffily.
Raston eyed Wang Zheng with a little interest. "Yating told me about this guy called Wang Zheng that she met in Roland Garros, who was by chance also a student from Ares College. I didn't think it would be such a coincidence."
"Wang Zheng, are you here for the meeting too?"
"Yeah. Professor Xiao Fei bid me to come, so I'm taking it as a holiday on Mars."
"That's admirable of you, fighting a campaign on two fronts. I wonder which direction you'll end up developing. If you become a scientist, I'd give you two thumbs up because I'd have one less competitor."
Out of the five preparatory leaders, Raston had the most easygoing character. This was uncharacteristic of someone from the Caragal Republic. It was often remarked that space city dwellers were petty and narrow-minded, but Raston was an exception.
"Definitely. Wang Zheng has the most potential among all the scientists in the Solar System. He's the youngest to join the Genesis Coffee club. That's a scientist's club of the highest distinction - he became the envy of all our professors.
Xie Yating's perennial gloominess in Roland Garros was a far cry from her unexpected buoyant mood. Perhaps it was just the joy of an unexpected reunion.
Wang Zheng shook his head. "Entering the Physics Department was a misunderstanding. I've since changed to the Mecha Department. My ambition is to be a mecha pilot.
"Of course! If you couldn't be a mecha pilot, that'd definitely be our loss!" Raston said. Clearly a person with Raston's personality was unafraid of competition.
Xie Yating really had a big mouth. A person with such a bright future wanted to be a mecha pilot? What was so captivating about those jumping metal robots?
Raston was like that, and now Wang Zheng too.
"And you two are here for...?"
"Yating is here for the same activity as you. I'm here on Mars to visit a friend. You would definitely be interested, he's a fascinating person."
"Lie Guang, a genuine member of the Lie family. That little punk went through a rebellious phase, but he is finally ready to go home. He'll be participating in the second phase of the IG, which will really raise the standard of the Mars faction," Raston said.
These things were like a fantasy for IG members.
The name was not strange to Wang Zheng, but he could not be sure if they were the same person.
"I have long looked forward to meeting the famous Lie family from Mars."
"Shall we go together? He's a hospitable fellow, and I'm sure he would be excited to meet an interesting fellow like yourself."
"Small Uncle~, don't be a bad influence! Wang Zheng will be an eminent scientist in the future." Xie Yating protested aggrievedly.
Raston patted Xie Yating on the head. "Little wench, don't concern yourself with adult matters."
Xie Yating was left speechless. Little wench...?
Xie Yating was so angry that she could barely breathe. Wasn't she older than Raston by three days!?
Raston was not unfamiliar with Mars. "Jippu isn't a bad place. Mars' economy has been readily recovering in recent years."
Raston was clearly a rich and powerful person to casually discuss cities' economies. Regardless, his manner put people at ease. It was small talk, not overt bragging.
"My impression of Mars has been limited to the Lie family and the Sage Sect. Those of the Sage Sect are said to possess inhuman power."
"That's not fable, it's true. The Sage Sect has always been hidden in the mist. Although they do not involve themselves directly in politics, they have always had a hand in matters they deem important."
Raston said, "There is a curious matter which may be delicate for me to ask."
Wang Zheng shrugged. "Ask away. I don't have much to hide."
"Are you familiar with Li Er?"
"We're not that close. We met before at a college networking event, but didn't really talk. Shouldn't the two of you be even more familiar? I heard you were schoolmates at Academy X," Wang Zheng said.
Raston nodded. "Although we never had deep connections, I felt a particular kinship upon seeing you. Actually, the competition between IG section leaders this time is mainly between Achilles and Li Er. Everyone else is merely a follower. With your ability, Li Er's chances of winning will increase greatly if you consent to help him."
"Keke, you think too highly of me. I'm not even an Ability X user."
"I know. However, a person's uses are not limited to Ability X. I am a good judge of character. On the whole, Achilles needs to be a little stronger, but he is still no match for Li Er. Yet personality-wise, I must say I don't like Lear's character."
Raston's blunt manner revealed that he clearly did not treat Wang Zheng as an outsider.
"Lie Xin is also very competent. Is she not in the race?"
Raston shook his head lightly. "You must not have seen Achilles and Li Er's true faces of brutality. Taking the whole situation into consideration, it would be better if Li Er took up the mantle of leadership. Against other opponents in the Milky Way Alliance, Achilles' shortcomings would soon be revealed."
"Achilles isn't treacherous enough. Haha!" Raston guffawed.
"I'm not sure Li Er would take that as praise." Wang Zheng chuckled. "I'm only joining IG for the experience. Honestly, I am looking forward to it. After all, this is one direction in which I would like to develop in. It doesn't matter to me who leads, as long as he has the ability."
Raston clapped his hands excitedly. "Exactly! If a person has the ability and earns my respect, I don't mind either. Unfortunately, neither of those two are suitable."