Pitch-black and boundless. Two phrases that shouldn’t be put together. But if you were to use them to describe the universe, it would be appropriate.
But even in the pitch-black universe, on occasion, there would be some beautiful sights. For example, right now!
A ray of silver light streaked past the dark space, flying off into the distance.
This was a spaceship. A passenger spaceship that was quite frequently seen in the New Era, also known as an interstellar shuttle. It was usually around 534 meters long, 168 meters wide, and colored white. This was the color of the Northern Alliance, the most powerful of the three great powers which arose after humanity entered the New Era.
This interstellar shuttle was capable of simultaneously carrying both passengers as well as large amounts of cargo. It had a pre-determined route. It would jump through the safe wormholes which humanity had discovered during the past hundred years which led to each of the stars which humanity governed.
Not too far away, an enormous planet was visible. This was the capital planet of the Northern Alliance, the planet of Luo. This was an administrative planet which was even larger than the planet of Skyfire, and half of its surface was suitable for human life.
Drawing near its target, the interstellar shuttle’s speed began to lessen as it prepared to make an atmospheric entry into the planet of Luo.
When entering the atmosphere, the speed couldn’t be too fast, as otherwise, even an interstellar shuttle would break apart.
Just as the interstellar shuttle was slowly down to roughly three times the speed of sound, the empty space to its left suddenly distorted slightly, and a faint shadow suddenly, silently attached itself to it.
What was even more astonishing was that the interstellar shuttle didn’t react at all. Its sensitive radar seemed to have been completely unable to sense the presence and arrival of this shadow.
Suddenly, the interstellar shuttle shook powerfully. Its left side began to reveal traces of faint blue electric bolts, and the entire shuttle began to shudder violently.
“DIIIII! DIIIIII! DIIIII!”
Within the interstellar shuttle, ear-piercing warning klaxons were going off!
Bosen [Bei’seng] was an interstellar shuttle pilot of thirty years, who had over a hundred thousand hours of piloting experience. This captain was an old pro. Hearing the warning klaxon from the ship, he picked up the communication tool in an unhurried, unpanicked manner.
“All employees, please take your seats and fasten your seat belts. We have encountered some static electricity in the atmosphere, and will temporarily postpone our passage through the atmosphere. Everything will be fine soon. At the same time, please temporarily refrain from engaging the procedures for waking our passengers from deep sleep.”
Captain Bosen’s judgment was extremely accurate. Moments later, the interstellar shuttle’s vibrations halted and everything returned to normal.
Most interstellar shuttles had roughly 70% of their renovated space reserved for holding cargo. Only the remaining space was used for holding employees, and of course the passenger cabin.
The passenger cabins were divided into three types. The first class cabin, the middle cabin, and the economy cabin, which was also known as the commoner class.
The three different cabins naturally had astronomically different prices, and each had their own services.
Each person in the commoner cabins only had a square meter of personal space, a simple seat, and were locked in place by metallic bonds, as though they were being chained up for punishment. When reaching light speed, the only support their heads had for when they were in deep sleep was a helmet which definitely couldn’t be described as comfortable.
The middle cabins was slightly better. At least, it allowed for a person to lie down while wearing the helmet. Thus, when waking up out of deep sleep, at least they wouldn’t feel as miserable as those people in the commoner cabin, whose entire bodies would feel sore, as though they had been beaten.
As for the first class cabins, it could only be described using the phrase ‘lavish’. Every single first class cabin had twelve square meters of space, including a proper, comfortable sleeping berth, a lavish seat that could be sat on or reclined on, and a shower as well as a changing room.
When sleeping within these sleeping berths during interstellar travel, not only would they receive the best rest, more importantly, these sleeping berths were equipped with nutritional liquids that could allow their bodies to be in a state which used up very little energy, to the point where the aging process was greatly slowed. After all, every single long-distance journey would take perhaps more than a month. Compared to those in the commoner cabins who over the course of the journey would perhaps lose at least a terrifying ten pounds of body weight, the first class cabins would actually help their passengers be in peak condition.
The price of a first class cabin was ten times that of a middle cabin, and a hundred times that of a commoner cabin!
Most standard interstellar shuttles only had around thirty or so first class cabins. After all, very few people would choose to pay such an astronomical price. The middle cabins were already enough to satisfy the needs of most ordinary people, who only wanted their bodies to not be damaged during the passage.
Leng Lingxi, undergoing the deep sleep awakening protocols, slowly escaped from his deep slumber.
“Uhhh….what a wonderful sleep.” She murmured, then looked through her mask and found the green button which opened and closed her cabin. With a gentle push, the cover above her sleeping berth opened.
Leng Lingxi sat up from the middle of the viscous nutritional fluid, revealing her slender, fine lines. She removed the mask on her face and took a deep breath of fresh air. Instantly, she revealed a relieved look on her face. However, she immediately began to brush off the liquid on her arm with a look of some disgust.
“Sleeping in a first class cabin is comfortable, but these nutritional liquids are really unpleasant. Can’t they improve it to something which is similar to clear water?”
There were partitions to every single first class cabin. Even if the first class cabins were all full, as long the partitions weren’t pushed open, nobody would be able to see anyone else.
Climbing out of her sleeping berth, she rinsed off the rest of the nutritional liquid in the shower, then put on a clean set of clothes. Leng Lingxi immediately felt much better.
She made several stretching motions and did a few yoga movements, then walked towards her seat while opening her partition.
The partition next to her slowly opened with a gentle, metallic sound, revealing the walkway for her cabin as well as the outside scene.
Hey, someone was even faster than me? Leng Lingxi looked with some surprise towards the left partition. That partition was also opened, and there was someone sitting on a seat.
This was a young man with short black hair, deep blue exercise clothes, and an extremely handsome face.
Someone seated in first class was wearing exercise clothes? This discovery caused Leng Lingxi to be unable to retrain her curiosity. This was the first time she had seen a guest like this in first class. Generally speaking, shouldn’t most people change into crisp suits or chic apparel, so that they would be ready to start working as soon as they disembarked the shuttle?
Leng Lingxi herself was an exception, because she herself was wearing a set of white exercise clothes. Thus, another exception easily attracted her interest.
“Hi, how are you. I think I didn’t see you when we boarded the ship?” Leng Lingxi’s temperament was completely different from her surname Leng, meaning cold. Not only was she not cold, she was very warm and generous.
A faint smile drifted onto the face of the young man. In a very gentlemanly manner, he inclined his head towards her. “Greetings, beautiful young miss.”
What proper etiquette, and not seeming affected or pretentious at all. “To be able to see such a handsome gentleman by my side as soon as I woke up truly is a happy event. My name is Leng Lingxi.”
The young man seemed to have been somewhat intrigued by the ambiguous meanings in her words. His lips curved upwards. Smiling, he said, “My pleasure. I am Zeus!”