Age Of Cosmic Exploration - Chapter 73
Chapter 73: The New Year Party
Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Lucas
News about the New Year party and movie screening spread among the Hope's citizens like wildfire. People weren't expecting much from the government due to their busy schedule, but to have such a momentous date marked with a big celebration was a joyous comfort.
Of course this meant that the authority had more things on their plate. Personnel who were still stationed on the Hope and workers on the radioactive mining sites as well as the industrial level were going to return to the base's residential area to join in on the celebration. Plans had to be made to tighten the security and to maintain order. Shifts would have to be introduced so that the guards themselves could take a breath and join in the fun.
However, what's a party without food? And for a celebration this size, the amount of food they needed to prepare was ginormous.
But a promise is a promise. The authority wasted no resources preparing delicious meals and luxuries like cigarettes, candies, fruits, and wines. Nevertheless, it was all done within Yao Yuan's stipulated limit. Their emergency stockpile of food was not to be touched. They were already using every single acre of fertile land of the biomes. This precious stockpile needed to be kept untouched in case of emergency.
Even so, the amount of resources used to make this party a success was not something to be brushed off, but Yao Yuan felt that it was permissible because the completion of the external cabin would help restock these resources quite easily. After weighing all the options, Yao Yuan finally resolved to approve the request to pretty much empty their stored food items. Following that, he also started recruiting experienced chefs.
However, a party is not just food;there needs to be conversations and events. The issue of language barrier then stood in the way of this.
So, Yao Yuan lost himself in another busy week preparing for the party...
While dragging a grumpy Ren Tao to the canteen, Chou Yue grumbled, ’’Would you stop giving me that sad face, Ren Tao? So I woke you up from your sleep, what's the big deal? You could do the same to me next time.... Alright, listen up because I have a serious question for you. Do you think I should join the audition? Humble brag, I do know a lot of pop songs.’’
Ren Tao scratched behind his ears uninterestedly. ’’You, singing? Please, you'll only scar the audience. Think of the senior scientists and technicians who will be joining this party;I don't think their hearts could withstand your singing. I don't think your status as a pseudo-diviner could excuse you from a mass murder of that scale.’’
Chou Yue smacked the back of Ren Yao's head angrily, yelling, ’’If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything! That's a life lesson for you. Plus, it's you who can't appreciate my unique tone. But fine, I won't be auditioning. Happy now? And so what if I'm a pseudo-diviner? It's still better than you, who isn't part of the Homo Evolutis elite! After I've mastered this power, maybe they'll even give me a military post, maybe one like Zhang Heng's. You'll really feel sorry then!’’
Ren Tao only smiled blankly in return. In his mind though, he was actively rearranging all his observations from the past few months.
The Homo Evolutis his sister had just quoted was the group of people who survived Virus X. To his knowledge, this group of people acquired superhuman powers after the ordeal. An example was the diviner like his sister. She could predict danger, or as he saw it, it was a heightened sixth sense. Research on sixth sense had been around for quite some time, and although there had been no conclusive proof, experts agreed that such an attuned sense does exist in some people.
The most powerful diviner on the Hope was the famous Zhang Heng. His power was so focused and trained that his was more than a mere sixth sense;it could legitimately be called a superpower.
Other Homo Evolutis included the likes of researchers, Ivan and Bo Li. They were The Whisperers. According to hearsay going around the ship, the pair had been responsible for solving many scientific conundrums facing the Hope ever since their powers had been discovered. They were even named the future Newton and Einstein by people of the Hope.
(Now that I think about it, my powers do seem awfully similar to the Whisperer. But instead of hearing voices, clues, logical deduction, and reduction come easily to me. Maybe I should give myself a cool superhero name as well... Hmm... How about the Thinker?)
While Ren Tao got lost in his thoughts, Chou Yue, who was still fuming, stormed ahead. After a while though, she felt something was off. The sense of weight she was supposed to be dragging disappeared. After turning around, she realized that she had been holding on to the limp sleeves of her brother's jacket, and the body that was attached to it had completely vanished...
On the other hand, Ren Tao in his undershirt found himself five feet in the air, hanging on to the side of a sturdy tent pole after unconsciously clambering up it...
The New Year party was a great success. The people who got through the audition presented a hilarious and varied series of performances. Naturally, these weren't professionals, but that only added to the sense of camaraderie surrounding the party.
The party came with a quotaed buffet. Luxuries like seafood, cigarettes, alcohol, and truffles were limited to few servings per individual, but bases like noodles, rice, soup, and potatoes were unlimited.
Served with delicious food, surrounded by a joyous crowd, and serenaded by musical performances, for many, it felt like a regular night off back on Earth...
Reminiscing about the journey they had taken since then, many surreptitiously wiped away their stray tears...
They had spent hours, days, weeks, and even months worried about personal safety when they first left Earth, when they landed on Planet Sahara, and when they ended up trapped in the nebula. It was, for many, a touching and inspiring moment.
Right then, Ning Xue, who gave a beautiful rendition of a melodious pop song, concluded her performance and left the stage. The next person to ascend the stage was a 17-year-old Asian girl. With a head of lustrous hair shimmering like black silk, she was a beauty with her toothed smile and pearly skin.
But what truly grabbed everyone's attention was the fact that the girl was wearing a traditional Han costume. Like a lady who came out of a Chinese period drama, her outfit added a sense of class and dignity to her beauty. As she readied for her performance, everyone started to quiet down.
With the host's aid, she laid down a GuZheng  on the table before her. Then she proceeded to mesmerize the audience with a haunting string musical...
’’ Starry, starry night, a world shining in pearly haze, do you remember our carefree days, a world that we have loved deeply so...
’’But we were forced to go, to a world that is unknown still, a cosmos blowing with its winter chills, an empty, empty land...
’’Now strong and proud we stand, for hope spoke to you and me...
’’How strong this hope has made us be. It said we'll again be happy. No matter the distance, no matter how. In fact, I can see it now... Starry, starry night...’’
From the song's rough edges, it was obvious that the song was an original and the girl didn't have much experience performing in public. It was highly possible that she wrote the song herself.
However, everyone present was moved by the lyrics and melody of the song. From the devastation of losing a home planet, the excitement in the prospect of progress, and hope for the future, it was as if they were reliving these moments vicariously through her song!
It was a magical and indescribable experience. It was as if the audience was charmed by the girl's performance and they could share her emotions, feelings, and her soul through her song.
Homo Evolutis like Yao Yuan, Zhang Heng, Jay, Ren Tao, Chou Yue, Xiao Chen, even Xiao Niao, Qiu Qiu, and Dan Dan in the crowd though shared surprised and cryptic expressions.
They saw something of themselves in the girl. During the performance, they felt like the girl was communicating personally with them on a spiritual level through her song.
Yao Yuan quickly waved for his secretary to bring him the files on the girl.
’’Nian Xi Kong, so you're one of the Homo Evolutis, and one whose power hasn't been discovered...
’’The ability to effectively communicate feelings and emotions on a spiritual level... An Anima ?’’
A Chinese string instrument
Translation of the lyrics is roughly modeled after the song, Vincent
Greek term for soul