New background: The military has been trying to raise up the new generation in preparation for the upcoming war with the fiends. They have access to teleport/quickly shuttle weaker users to distant planets that were previous warzones. In those locations, the cultivators can perform missions to earn contribution points that can be spent for materials, weapons, and even training from a nascent soul cultivator.
Arc 3: Secret Star
Now that LY is foundation establishment, he is more formerly introduced to the Secret Star Association. There’s a base deep within the wastelands since it makes it easier for transportation to other worlds. The main force is foundation establishment, since they’ll be strong enough to not die and weak enough that it’s still cost-efficient to transport them. People that were raised up in this environment are called Children of the Secret Star. Those like LY, that were recruited for showing talent and skill, are called External Star Scouts. External Star Scouts and the Children don’t have a good relationship because of some greedy Externals got themselves and some Children killed in a mission. Children tend to look down on Externals.
It turns out DLD is there. She joined the Bronze Corps, so LY joins them too. The team of 6 starts out near the bottom since two of the leading members died before DLD joined. They’re rising again since DLD joined and got a flame-related inheritance pushing her to intermediate foundation establishment.
LY and DLD help to skyrocket the Bronze Corps ranking. In their first mission, they go searching for materials, find the materials, and then find a group of fiends that are digging something up. They attack and destroy the group of fiends. As the fiends die, they release the thing they were digging up, a powerful spirit. LY takes the tool that the fiends were going to use to seal the spirit and modifies it so that humans can use it. Then he seals the spirit, earning a lot of contribution points.
Time goes on, and LY becomes a part of the top 3000 list of people that fiends want to kill. It is also announced that the top ten Star Scout groups will be given a very difficult mission. The Bronze Corps and everyone else start ramping up. They eventually make it to 11th place. Then they become 10th place because one of the top ten groups was ambushed and destroyed by fiends.
There is a quick contest to decide which 5 out of 10 groups will go on the mission. The Bronze Corps gets second place in the contest. They then head out to the “Faraway Star”. When the Bronze Corps arrives on the planet, they land in shallow water with a mountain off in the distance. They discover the mountain is actually an enormous wave and rush to head towards land (Yes, this was a nod to Interstellar). As they explore the in-land, they discover plenty of treasures and beasts and traps.
In the meantime, around 50 or so fiends gear up in advanced biochemical warbeasts, which is their organic version of the crystal armor. Wang Ji is among their numbers. They refer to the planet as “Skeleton Dragon Star”.
One of the five cultivator groups first runs into them and issue a call for help as they are massacred. Bronze Corps rushes to their aid, but they aren’t able to injure the fiends in the new biochemical warbeasts. The Bronze Corps is forced to retreat. They retreat towards a crevice in a mountain where the captain of the corps sacrifices himself to buy the rest of the team time to go further in as the fiends collapse the mountain on top of the Bronze Corps. Now deep underground, Bronze Corps discovers the remains of a Star Ocean Empire-era warship (the era of human supremacy torn apart by civil war).
The ship is in poor condition. As the others recover their strength, LY finds a diary of the person who had survived the longest on the ship. They learn the name of the planet is called “Skeleton Dragon Star” and there is a Skeleton Dragon Demon sealed there. It had been sealed by a previous Fiend Emperor (emperor of empire, stronger than just emperor rank). The entire planet is a trap to get unsuspecting travelers to release it. Learning this LY and team rush to repair the ship.
When the ship is fixed about 9%, they rush to stop the fiends. When they arrive on the scene in front of the door to where the demon is sealed, the rest of the cultivators are struggling to contend with the fiends. LY busts out the ships guns and an advanced crystal armor from the ship and kills most of them. Wang Ji retreats and blows up the vicinity, destroying the seal. The demon kills Wang Ji and possesses Wang Ji’s body.
The cultivators do their best but aren’t able to hurt the demon at all, even though it’s at its weakest point. LY uses the drill on the ship to try and pierce the demon, but the ship is too damaged and he’s too weak (his drill was not one that pierces the heavens). To save the rest of humanity, LY charges up the universe transmission drive on the ship, planning to take himself, the ship, and the demon into the reaches of space so it can’t threaten humanity back home.
With a tearful goodbye with DLD, promising to return, LY launches off. He’s transported into a nebula storm and the demon is ripped apart and most of the ship destroyed. He’s prepared to die and closes his eyes. When he returns to consciousness, he discovers that he has been saved by the spirits of 5 of the artificers that had died in the crystal armor explosion. Together with the professors, LY modifies and improves the ship. He vows to return home in 10 years at the golden core stage.