The Record Of Unusual Creatures - Chapter 325
The wreckage had been lying at the bottom of the lake for months. And a month or so had also passed since Hao Ren issued the "lost and found"notice. The owner, who had just been found did not belong to any civilisation sphere. Instead, the owner was from an exploration and mercantile consortium. They were not related to any government and they were situated in a remote corner of the universe, where transportation and communication were inconvenient. That explained the slow response.
Hao Ren took the opportunity to scout more information about them and learned that they were a unique phenomenon in interstellar expansion.
The universe was a vast and diverse place;with a sufficient level of technology, the colonial choices and opportunities offered to interstellar races were huge. Opportunity came with risk, but to the brave explorers, the word "risk"was simply not in their dictionary. That was how the exploration and mercantile consortium operated. The group consisted of members of different races from various civilisation spheres;there were merchants, mercenaries, exiled politicians and even pirates. They were rich and powerful, and they had the ability to build their own kingdom in the vast universe. Some races supported their own kind in exploration where they would form alliances among themselves. However, the conservative races viewed such exploration as illegal. Nonetheless, despite the regulations, interstellar exploration never stopped. Instead, it flourished. The vast and open universe made it difficult for any ordinary civilisation to enforce the regulations on exploration activities. So, planets colonised by explorers began to develop on the fringes of the major civilisation spheres. These colonised planets initially became the transit points for pirates or merchants, but they later developed into something bigger. They became centre stage and existed as small kingdoms, gaining recognition from other civilisation spheres. These tiny kingdoms, even with only a few colonised planets were starting to gain legitimacy.
Under normal circumstances, these tiny kingdoms were basically small players. They survived in the gaps between other giant civilisations. However, despite their different social formation, mode of survival and development, they were categorically considered as "commonwealths"by the major civilisations.
Half of the explorers were made up of merchants or people who claimed to be merchants. They were collectively known as "the exploration and mercantile consortium"among the major civilisation spheres, irrespective of whether their members were former merchants, former pirates or former mercenaries.
A group who called themselves the Kabala Commonwealth had exerted claim on the spacecraft wreckage in Hao Ren's announcement. The group constituted of at least 10 exploration and mercantile consortiums, which was a pretty normal phenomenon. Most of the members of the group came from the Kerbal Civilisation Sphere. The Kerbal Civilisation Sphere, a relatively young civilisation was known for their zeal in interstellar exploration. They supported any exploration efforts that were not against the laws of the Imperial Empire. For this reason, the star regions in their neighborhood had seen many small kingdoms of this kind flourishing. This civilisation sphere had confirmed the legal status of the Kabala Commonwealth using the official channel. And now, it sent the relevant documentary proof to assist the Kabala Commonwealth in its claim.
Hao Ren was basically waiting to meet up with the little green men in Kuiper Station either the following day or the day after that.
Once Y'zaks was back, Hao Ren announced the important news. Everyone, except the clueless Becky and the chopstick maniac, Lil Pea was happy. They felt a sense of relief because the puzzle was finally solved.
"I've talked with the MDT and there's a probable solution to the salvaging operation."Hao Ren nodded. "Since the spacecraft is a non-living thing, getting it through the Wall of Reality isn't going to cause much harm. We can tow the wreckage to the real world with little impact. The only problem is, how do we get the owner and their salvage team into The Plane of Dreams, and then retrieve the wreckage from the bottom of the lake without alerting the natives?"
"I've requested a large teleportation gateway, which will arrive in the next few days. It'll be installed in some unused work space in Kuiper Station. That teleportation gateway could send the entire salvage team into The Plane of Dreams via dream. Meanwhile, Hao Ren will use his Dimensional Pocket to bring the salvaging equipment in,"the MDT added. "The landing spot shall be near the Beinz Blood Lake. But, we're not sure if the search effort there is still going on, so let's just improvise when we get there. We have the technology. If necessary, we'll create an explosion nearby to act as a distraction. When they move their army away to check out the explosion, the salvage team can then make the dive. As far as I know, the Kabala Commonwealth has enough technology to accomplish the salvage operation alone."
Hao Ren nodded, then said, "We have plans for other aspects of the operation too."
"Good."Y'zaks guffawed, scraping his shiny bald head. "I guess I can take a back seat. What about Lily?"
Lily was sitting in a chair with her back and drumstick tail facing them. She was clearly in a good mood. She was eagerly waiting for her beautiful, soon-to-be-reborn tail despite the fact it looked really weird with the bandage. "Leave me alone, I'm having a facial treatment."
Hao Ren sighed and said, "Do you call that a facial treatment, on the butt? Really?"
Agitated, Lily pounced on Hao Ren.
The scuffle only scuffle only lasted a few seconds before someone interrupted. Becky, who had been silent the whole time suddenly said, "Can I go home now?"
Hao Ren's hand was still in the air, holding off Lily's ghastly teeth. He froze like a deer in headlights when he heard what Becky said. Lily did not get the memo and she bit on his arm. Hao Ren's Steel Membrane Shield then popped up like a trump with a tingling, metal sound. Lily covered her mouth in pain and ran with her tail between her legs. "You bastard, why didn't you dodge?"
Hao Ren coughed a couple of times and forced himself to act naturally while his mind worked hard to find an excuse to pacify Becky. But, he knew he could not sweep the matter under the rug any longer. Becky was not a retard. She was only here on Earth for sightseeing after all. Wishing for her to forget about going home was not possible. The more he evaded her question, the sooner she would get suspicious.
It was better to say something earlier than later. Hao Ren knew he had to bite the bullet now. So, he took a deep breath, then said, "Becky, I... umm... I have something to tell you. But, let's have a drink first."
Becky took a glass of water from Vivian and Hao Ren gave the MDT a couple of knocks. "Play some relaxing music."
Then, he took out a sutra and shoved it to Becky. "Read a couple of pages first. It'll help if your mind becomes empty and void..."
Becky could not stand it any longer. She demanded an answer, "What an answer, "What are you trying to say?"
Hao Ren spread his hands. "You can't go home. More specifically, you can only go back home for a short while. You can't stay in The Plane of Dreams anymore. You, just like us, have become an authentic earthling..."
Becky almost dropped her glass. She was dumbfounded. She asked, "What... do you mean by that?"
Hao Ren began to explain everything to her. He had specifically emphasised the fragile relationship between The Plane of Dreams and the real world as well as the unimaginable consequences if life from the real world overstayed their welcome in The Plane of Dreams.
Becky froze like a mannequin for a long while, but her facial expession changed like buttons in messenger. It was hard to guess what she was thinking. Only after Hao Ren was sure that Becky would not go berserk, he began to explain further, "You can still go home. It's just that the time you can stay at home has become a little shorter. Think of it as moving from The Plane of Dreams to Earth. Aside from that, there's no difference—"
Becky raised her hand and stopped him. "That's okay, I understand. I just need some quiet time. And don't freaking ask me why I need that goddamn quiet time."
Hao Ren felt a sense of relief. She was still as loquacious as usual. That meant everything was going to be fine.