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Chapter 1123 A World of RingsThis felt the same as last time.
It was like his entire body fell into a boundless abyss. He was falling toward the edge of the universe.
Perhaps because of the huge amount of information, the “loading time” was longer this time.
Lu Zhou was almost starting to get impatient when he finally saw a spot of light approaching from the distance.
He waited as he continued to fall toward the expanding spot of light.
Suddenly, he felt a huge gravitational force pulling him toward the light source.
Lu Zhou closed his eyes as the light shone on his face.
When he opened his eyes again, the darkness was gone. And he was in an unfamiliar world.
When his feet touched the ground, the feeling of gravity was rather light.
Lu Zhou looked around. At first glance, he could tell this was probably the cabin of a s.p.a.cecraft. He could see the stars outside the windows.
There were also twenty-five “people” standing nearby. They were dressed the same as him, and they were even the same height.
It looked like they were soldiers.
The exoskeleton armor on their bodies emitted a murderous vibe, and the sticks hanging across their chests appeared to be some kind of rifle guns.
For some reason, this reminded Lu Zhou of the virtual reality performance test that happened a while ago.
He had a strange look on his face.
Did I make a mistake?
He didn’t get a response.
Lu Zhou frowned and felt something was off.
Maybe the virtual reality device hasn’t booted?
Or maybe it’s not synchronized with the system s.p.a.ce?
Or maybe, the neural demodulator he made was too poor, causing it to have a weaker simulation intensity than the “high tech system”. Thus, his simple device wasn’t able to interfere with the system s.p.a.ce at all.
This made it so that he couldn’t “cheat” in the system s.p.a.ce.
Lu Zhou began to frown.
He had made quite a lot of preparations for this, so he didn’t expect it to fail at the beginning.
“We’ll see what happens…”
Lu Zhou began to carefully observe his environment, especially the well-armed soldiers.
Because of their masks, Lu Zhou couldn’t see their faces. He wasn’t even sure if they were humans or not. Nor did he know what language they spoke.
However, he suddenly heard a sound from the communication channel in his ear.
Fortunately, the language was Chinese.
After that, it felt like the s.p.a.cecraft was caught in a huge gravitational field as it gently quaked.
A ray of light finally appeared out of the window.
Lu Zhou saw the most spectacular and shocking scene he had ever seen in his life.
They didn’t arrive at planet Reach.
“Welcome to the Capital of the Empire… This is the most densely populated area in the galaxy. Fortunately, there has yet to be any evidence of any extraterrestrial life visiting us.”
The announcement was made in a joking way, giving the cabin a relaxing atmosphere.
Unfortunately, Lu Zhou didn’t get the joke.
His attention was entirely focused on the planet outside the window.
A huge metal ring and countless different s.p.a.cecraft were rotating around a relatively small star.
The civilization must have exhausted the resources from all of the surrounding planets to create a gigantic ring on the habitable orbit zone.
It was hard to imagine what kind of power they had.
Their technology far exceeded the scope of human civilization.
“This is amazing…”
He heard a chuckle come from the communication channel. It might be because he was the only one staring outside the window in awe.
Unlike the previous announcement, this voice was sent to his personal communication channel.
“Everyone that arrives at the Capital for the first time is shocked. I’ve seen plenty of people with their jaws on the floor upon their first time witnessing this magnificent city. Where are you from? Industrial planet? Agricultural planet? Don’t tell me you come from a mining station?”
Lu Zhou opened his mouth and didn’t say anything.
He had no idea how to answer this question. He didn’t expect the NPCs to act like living people. He thought he was just a bystander, living in the body of an anonymous soldier…
It seemed like the other soldiers had lost interest in him. They looked away and left him alone.
Suddenly, the cabin hatch opened. A tall and well-built soldier wearing an exoskeleton appeared in front of them.
On the other hand, he heard an announcement from the public communication channel again.
“It’s nice to meet you all. Let me introduce myself. I am Commander Ince from the C-12-27 Capital defense station.
‘”A month ago, the security department received intel that Professor Lane from the C-12-01 section research inst.i.tute was targeted by an unidentified terrorist organization. His safety is in danger. The reason is said to be a physics experiment related to an Empire secret.
“As soldiers, it is our duty to protect the order of the Empire. It is our duty to destroy anyone that rebels against the Empire! It is our mission to escort Professor Lane from the hideout to the Empire building, as well as eliminate the possible attackers.
“The mission information is already in your mission brief. From now on, you will be under my command.
The group of people stepped out of the s.p.a.cecraft in an orderly and uniform fas.h.i.+on. The footsteps resonated on the metal floor.
Lu Zhou followed Commander Ince’s footsteps as he opened his mission briefing from his helmet’s AR display.
Not a lot of information was disclosed to him.
Basically, a physicist named Lane discovered an amazing secret during a physics experiment. This secret could affect the Empire for the next hundreds of years.
The codename of this secret was “Oracle”; it was impossible to tell what it was just by judging the name alone.
As for Professor Lane, who had the power to influence the future of the Empire, he was summoned by the Parliament. They wanted him to explain his findings in detail.
Even though this was an “Empire”, the system here was quite liberal.
Unfortunately, it seemed like there was a chaotic undercurrent flowing in the dark. For some reason, some people didn’t want Professor Lane to reach the parliament. They didn’t want the “Oracle” to reach the hands of the Empire government.
Who is he?
And what is the Oracle?
Also, what is his physics experiment about?
Lu Zhou made note of this name, as well as the scattered clues around him. He closed the mission briefing from his AR helmet.
His intuition told him that the physicist Lane played an important role to this Void Memory.
If he wanted to collect the information from this memory, he had to find Professor Lane and figure out what the Oracle was.
His role right now was basically a bodyguard for a VIP.
If everything went well, he should be able to meet this professor; he might even be able to talk with Lane, maybe about academic problems.
Of course, Lu Zhou didn’t get his hopes up. It was unlikely the high tech system would allow him to exploit the Void Memory this way.
Even if he talked to Professor Lane all night, he wouldn’t be able to extract the secrets of faster-than-light travel, as well as all the obscure physics theories. This was knowledge only an advanced civilization could master.
The s.p.a.cecraft was docked.
The soldiers boarded a train-like elevator.
People around them looked surprised, and they kept their distance from the soldiers.
Lu Zhou looked anxiously around him. He could finally see what the people here looked like.
Generally speaking, they looked similar to human beings. They had two arms and two legs, and even five fingers. However, their skin was blue and their head was elongated.
Lu Zhou was curious about the similarity between these aliens and humans. Before he could stop and think about it, the elevator suddenly stopped.
In order to stay low-key, Lu Zhou left the elevator and blended in with his team. They arrived inside a magnificent and s.p.a.cious building.
They were currently standing on the surface of the orbital “ring”.
The atmosphere here was quite lively. People came in and out of the elevator terminal, and there was a line nearby with people waiting for their luggage.
Lu Zhou looked at the world through the building windows.
With vehicles traveling in the air, the endless complex building structures looked like a maze. He couldn’t help but worry about the flying vehicles colliding.
What Lu Zhou was most interested in was the type of architecture.
It seemed like the civilization had an “efficient” style of aesthetics, with most buildings being square and having a minimal amount of decoration.
Compared to the houses built with bricks on Earth, their buildings looked more like standardized modules that came from a factory a.s.sembly line. It was like they were stacked layer by layer all the way to the top.
This sounded like a weird way of construction, but it made sense.
After all, the entire world was a man-made object. All of the buildings in this ring-shaped world were akin to expansion modules on s.p.a.ce stations.
Using primitive construction methods wouldn’t make any sense.
After Lu Zhou pa.s.sed through the security checkpoint, he finally realized how large the population of the Empire was.
Just walking through the crowd and out of the building would take a long time.
Lu Zhou saw a large display hanging in the terminal. He read that every section of the ring world had a Tower of Babel-like elevator. The commute between s.p.a.ce stations and the “Ring” was done by elevators, while commuting between sub-zones was done by a vacuum tube train.
Even though this seemed insignificant, it gave Lu Zhou some understanding of the civilization’s technology level.
In this civilization, food, clothing, housing, and transportation were all non-existent problems.
People did not need to work hard. As long as they were living on the Ring, they could live a life of luxury.
This was almost like a utopia…
Even though Lu Zhou was interested in this society, due to his mission, Commander Ince did not give him time to sightsee at all.
After leaving the elevator terminal, they boarded a levitating car parked at the entrance. They floated into the air and merged into the traffic. After half an hour or so, they reached their destination.
Seven black flying cars with the Empire military logo stopped in front of a square building.
Lu Zhou followed the other soldiers and got out of the car. He noticed a skinny person wearing a white coat walking out of a metal door anxiously.
“I’m being followed, someone is watching me!”
The scholar immediately ran toward Commander Ince.
The muscular soldier spoke in a calm and gentle voice.
“Don’t worry, Professor Lane, you are under the protection of the Empire army. We will escort you to the Empire council.”
Because of the army’s reputation, it seemed like Professor Lane had calmed down. He took a deep breath and spoke.
“Let’s go then…”
“Okay.” Commander Ince nodded and pointed at the middle flying car as he said, “Please get in.”
The VIP extraction was successful, and the group of people began flying again.
Lu Zhou wanted to sit in the same car as Professor Lane, but unfortunately, his car was near the back of the fleet.
Even though he was a little annoyed, there was nothing else he could do.
If he made any unusual movements that made him look suspicious, it would be even harder for him to be in contact with Professor Lane.
The seven flying cars levitated in the air and went on the high-speed airs.p.a.ce.
Lu Zhou was bored, so he pa.s.sed time by looking at the scenery outside the window.
However, something happened all of a sudden. He heard a violent explosion from behind, followed by a ball of red fire.
Lu Zhou’s heart dropped. He instinctively grabbed the rifle across his chest when he heard a voice come from the communication channel.
“Vehicle 7 was attacked, damage at 95%, people on board were killed.
“Team A will continue to move forward, team B will begin to descend to the ground.
It was almost like this was nothing out of the ordinary; the calmness in the announcer’s voice was chilling.
Lu Zhou wasn’t sure if the civilization had a unique culture, or that they viewed death in a different way. The soldiers did not look angry or shocked at all. In fact, they did not seem to show the slightest of emotions at all.
However, this kind of calmness in a chaotic situation gave them the ability to fight.
The second they were attacked, it was like all of the soldiers sprung into combat mode.
Blue energy rays flew all over the sky, aimed toward the flying vehicle engines.
Faced with the intense firepower, Lu Zhou’s vehicle was forced to touchdown and land on the metal ground.
“Prepare to fight back!”
The well-trained soldiers quickly left the vehicle and used the vehicle as a s.h.i.+eld. They set up their rifles and began to fire back at the attacker.
Even though Lu Zhou didn’t really want to fight, he wanted to blend in.
He tried to imitate the actions of the other soldiers and desperately tried to recall his marksman skills, which Doctor Yan had taught him. He stood in a safe spot, stuck out the gun muzzle, and pulled the trigger.
It didn’t matter if he hit anyone or not.
In such a complex battlefield environment, there was no way he could hit anyone.
The blue energy rays filled the entire battlefield. It left holes in the ground and surrounding walls. However, the vehicle that served as a s.h.i.+eld remained intact.
It was as if there was a special force s.h.i.+eld that covered the surface of the car, dissolving the energy rays.
The gun made an overheating sound.
Lu Zhou had already emptied his magazine. He quickly copied the other soldiers and changed his ammo.
However, he suddenly saw an empty battery ejecting from his gun, and the battery was still giving off a white smoke.
His eyes squinted as he suddenly remembered something.
Seen this battery before?