Age of Cosmic Exploration
Translators: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lonelytree, _Dark_Angel_
Editors: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lucas
Chapter 85: Song for the Soul
Regarding the 4 people Yao Yuan named… Both Zhang Heng and Yao Yuan had long since been ready. After catching up on some precious sleep, they had been waiting for Yao Yuan to call on them. Even Ren Tao predicted he would be called so he wasn’t at all shocked when the order arrived.
The only exception was the 17-year-old girl, Nian Kong. She stood timidly before Yao Yuan. Obviously uncomfortable in this unfamiliar situation, she was as scared as a spooked rabbit.
This threw Yao Yuan for a loop. Due to his military background, he was used to dealing and negotiating with men like Jay and Zhang Heng… but an anxious little girl?
Yao Yuan cleared his throat and spoke in his kindest tone possible, "Xi Kong, hi, my name is Yao Yuan and I’m the captain of this ship. Please don’t be afraid, you’re not here because you did something wrong, you’re here because I need you."
Xi Kong was shocked being directly addressed by Yao Yuan. Turning red, she mumbled barely above a whisper, "So… sorry… This is the first time I’m meeting you so… I’m going to have to decline… Plus my parents will probably disagree…"
Hearing that, Yao Yuan slapped himself on his forehead, making Xi Kong jumped in shock, and chuckled lightly, "I might need to rephrase what I said. I mean I need you to follow me back to the underground base. I… We need you, the people who are still trapped down there need you!"
The little misunderstanding made Xi Kong’s almond-sized face burned even redder. She stole a glance at Yao Yuan who stared back at her with a straight face. She wished a hole would swallow her up right there and then. Finally, she nodded gingerly.
Just like that, escorted by 15 soldiers, the party of 4 took a short-distance bus and sped towards the base.
Along the way, Yao Yuan kept asking Xi Kong about her power.
"…Actually I’m pretty much clueless about this power myself. I just know that every time I pick up my Gu Zheng or hum a note, my surrounding will get peacefully quiet like everyone and everything has fallen away, leaving only the empty cosmos as my stage," speaking from memory, Xi Kong continued, "it was a mysterious experience seeing the cosmos stretch before me. Initially I was very afraid but as the melody came to me, these little orbs of light appeared around me, and I could feel the warmth coming off of them. There were in the beginning only 10 of them but slowly their number grew. They burn with varying intensity but there is always 1 in the middle which shines the brightest. As if guided by natural instinct, every orb gravitates towards it. I always feel safe bathed in its silvery glow…"
Here, Xi Kong stopped to look carefully at Yao Yuan. She turned away shyly and continued, "I’ve tried communicating with these little orbs of light but trapped in their own world, my voice can find no way of reaching across. So I resorted to singing, and gradually my field of vision expanded… The cosmos isn’t empty at all, it is filled with these little orbs… or rather singular sparks of light, and there are tens of thousands of them. It is as if I find myself immersed in a field of stars."
Even though it didn’t show on his face, Yao Yuan was deeply intrigued by Xi Kong’s experience. When she took a pause, he urged, "And then? What else did you do?"
Staring at her feet, Xi Kong resumed her story, "As I’ve said, my attempts at communication, even turning to using all the languages that I know, had been to no avail. But my singing worked, and somehow when I sing, I feel less alone… And everyone crowds around me whenever I sing. They say I have a beautiful voice like I was singing with my soul."
(Singing? But sound waves need air to travel, and the chute is going to be insulated… No wait! I mustn’t underestimate her ability as The Anima. I could also see the orbs of light but not the little sparks she mentioned so her mastery of the skill must be more powerful than I am.)
Ever since they left Planet Sahara, Yao Yuan had received confirmation regarding the existence of Homo Evolutis. In fact he had ordered a section of The Academy, which comprised of 10 scientists and over 50 lab assistants, to head a special group specifically dealing with mystery of the Homo Evolutis.
Other than that, he himself also had been testing and trying to expand his powers.
In the several months after they left Planet Sahara, no matter how exhausted he was, Yao Yuan would still dedicate about 1 hour each day to practice his superhuman abilities.
He had gotten so familiar with the powers of the Perceptor, the Diviner and the Seeker that he could use them at will. He had bypassed the necessary trigger of using imminent danger.
He had also been training his Whisperer power. However due to its passive nature, he hadn’t had it under full control to be able to switch it on or off at will.
Lastly, there was Jay’s Deceiver ability but it didn’t appear like Yao Yuan had access to this power.
Thus far, of the recorded Homo Evolutis, the majority was the Perceptor. Among them were Ebon, Lee, Liu Bai, and Fei Biao.
There was only one pure Seeker and that was Ying.
There were three known Diviners, Zhang Heng, Chou Yue and a random other who were attuned to prediction of danger.
The Whisperers were those could receive sudden inspiration when they were contemplating difficult questions. There were two of them aboard The Hope, Bo Li and Ivan.
Lastly, there was Jay, the sole Deceiver.
As the All-rounder, Yao Yuan was unique in the sense that he had access to all the above mentioned abilities, with the exception of Jay’s.
Nevertheless, on his low moments, Yao Yuan couldn’t help but feel like a jacks of all trades but master of none. It might not be obvious now but he knew his malice detection wasn’t as sharp as Ebon’s, prediction of danger wasn’t as accurate as Zhang Heng’s, clarity of vision wasn’t as clear as Ying’s and now he knew his connection as the anima wasn’t as profound as Xi Kong’s… It was only a matter of time when his power would be no longer needed.
Yao Yuan mulled over this newfound type of Homo Evolutis, the Anima. He believed its power shouldn’t be that simple. All the recorded superhuman abilities shown its first sign after The Hope left Earth. So the simple deduction was that they were born out of human’s adaption for survival in space. And since there was essentially no air in space, he believed The Anima’s power went beyond reliance on sound waves.
With that in mind, Yao Yuan said, "Zhang Heng, Jay and Ren Tao, I want all of us to close our communication for 3 minutes. Xi Kong, would you please sing for us in the next 3 minutes? You can sing any song you like but don’t tell us the title beforehand."
Yao Yuan was the first to switch off his communication, after some hesitation, Zhang Heng and Jay followed suit. Ren Tao though remained silent, staring blankly at the space before him. It was until Yao Yuan moved to give his space helmet a slap that he unwillingly joined the rest.
Xi Kong was suspicious of Yao Yuan’s intention but she obeyed his order. Unable to sit facing Yao Yuan while she sang due to her extreme shyness, she moved her body away from the three men. When they saw the side of her mouth moving, they knew Xi Kong had started singing.
(Hmm… I hear nothing. Have I been overthinking? Indeed, without the help of air, how could sound travel to our ear lobes and into our brain? It was physically impossible. I need to stop basing my judgments on science fiction…)
Yao Yuan sighed inwardly but when he moved to open his communication, he heard a sound.
No, instead of a sound, it was more like a signal or an emotion…
 Blue shining like sapphire; Blue blinding like the sky and sea…
Blue, we shall no longer be…
When Yao Yuan came to next, he could feel wet tears flowing down his face. Hurriedly, he switched on his communicator and shook the other 3 out of their tearful reverie. As communication came back online, Xi Kong’s mellifluous voice poured forth…
Instead of singing, she was humming part of the melody from the Home Sonata. Circumventing the law of physics, Xi Kong had sung the desire for home right into the men’s hearts.
"You can stop now, we can hear you perfectly. It was a song for the soul," finished Yao Yuan with a complicated expression.