Erza appeared to have contributed little in helping Wang Zhong obtain the vacancy, but the truth was otherwise. There was no need for her to claim credit for this, and this was a friendly gesture towards the Machinery race too.
"There's another piece of good news." Erza waved. "If you are selected to become a member of the Celestial Honors Class, your civilization will obtain approval from the Star Alliance and be promoted by a certain degree. After all, your civilization cultivated an outstanding talent for the Heavenly Gates. If I'm not wrong, the Earth is a level-4 civilization? It is directly qualified for promotion by half a level, which means it will become level-4.5. If you can successfully graduate from the Celestial Honors Class, Earth will be promoted to level-5 as a civilization."
"Level 4.5?" Wang Zhong was excited upon hearing Erza's first sentence. There were way too many benefits to be gained from the promotion of a civilization. However, he didn't know that a civilization could be promoted by half a level…
"Why not?" Erza couldn't help but smile. This reminded her of the Heavenly Shell race's past and her legendary ancestors. The Heavenly Shell race started from humble beginnings too and grasped every opportunity to be promoted. It could never have progressed from a low-level civilization to a level-8 civilization without some plundering. To put it plainly, although the Heavenly Shell race was considered to be rich and powerful in the Land, in their bones, they still admired their historical culture of how they had risen to power. They were different from many other level-8 civilizations in this aspect as the others placed heavy emphasis on rules and courtesy.
"There is meaning behind the classification levels of the Star Alliance. There is a huge difference between a level-4 civilization and a level-4.5 one. This promotion by half a level means that your civilization is one of the level-5 civilization candidates. It will enjoy better treatment as a quasi-level-5 civilization in terms of taxation, Star Alliance benefits, transaction regulations, and many other aspects."
Erza didn't go into the details and just touched on the main points. Given her status, she had already spent a lot of time speaking to Wang Zhong today.
Lao Wang was quite touched. Looking at the Heavenly Shell superintendent's expression, he knew that she saw through what was going on in his mind. Nonetheless, she didn't mind and readily made several promises to him. In particular, he was most happy about the promotion of Earth's civilization level. Lao Wang wouldn't believe this promise if it was made by someone else, but since the Heavenly Shell superintendent said so, Earth would definitely be promoted to a level-4.5 civilization.
"Thank you, Superintendent Erza!" Lao Wang wasn't an ungrateful lad and knew when to stop asking questions. He bowed deeply.
Erza smiled and waved her hand. "You will be having your classes at the Pill Refinery Hall as per normal. If the Celestial Honors Class has any special course or mission, a messenger will contact you. You may go back."
Looking at Wang Zhong leave respectfully, Erza was a little distracted. Sure enough, just like what Celeste had said, he was a smart guy. Still, Erza believed that Wang Zhong must be feeling confused now and wondering why the Heavenly Shell race was suddenly helping him.
Was it because of Celeste? Of course, she was part of the reason, but not the main factor. Personal relations were not enough to influence the relationship between two civilizations, especially when there was such a huge difference between them in terms of status and power.
In fact, she did investigate further on things other than Wang Zhong. Ever since Celeste told her about Wang Zhong and the elemental spirits previously, Erza had become suspicious. She knew some secrets about Heaven that most did not know about. In the past, the four races in Heaven had been suspicious of Earth too. Otherwise, the four races in Heaven wouldn't have gone to such great lengths to enter Earth and spread their religions. Earth had been a semi-primitive society with no civilization potential; however, because of their intervention, Earth became an amusement park for Gods. One had to know that the other "amusement parks" were fairly civilized to be able to attract the Gods' attention!
She got hold of some amazing news after investigating further. Wang Zhong was not the only Earthling who came here… Indeed, Earthlings were a mysterious race that held much potential. Aiolos from the Sacred Arena, the two self-proclaimed Netherworld River representatives in the Netherworld… Ahem, these guys were all troublemakers, and all of them possessed special talents that weren't inferior to Wang Zhong. They came from the same civilization and had the same genes, yet they were able to walk three different paths and come up with three different methods to form a Core! This was an incredible feat for a level-4 civilization that had just entered the Star Alliance and didn't have any accumulation of resources. Level-5 or level-6 civilizations, even the Heavenly Shell race of back then, couldn't have possibly achieved this…
"Earth is so magical." Erza flipped her palm upwards, and a crystal-clear hologram of a blue planet appeared in her hand. She carefully examined it but still failed to find anything familiar from it.
Erza shook her hand. Even if Earth had a complicated origin as she suspected, the four races in Heaven had probably investigated countless times when they started spreading their religions on Earth. They probably combed through Earth hundreds of times and left without managing to find what they wanted. If they couldn't find anything special there, then how could she discover anything by looking at a mere hologram?
"It will appear if it's meant to be. I guess all I can do is wait. If it really is what I think, then I am not qualified to intervene anyway. I can only be a spectator." The hologram in Erza's palm gradually dissipated. With a flash of her silver eyes, she disappeared instantly from the palace hall without a trace.
Aiolos's situation didn't change despite the fact that he had been noticed by the higher-ups. His conflict with the Sacred Arena had even worsened. Aiolos had to take his hat off to the Crystal person. They had yet to have a face-to-face confrontation because the Crystal person had been able to restrain his emotions every time they were on the verge of a fight and gave in to Aiolos.
With that, Aiolos continued pushing his luck. Their discord was on the verge of turning into a full-fledged conflict. To him, regaining his status as a free being gave him room to manipulate the situation. He no longer had anything he wanted from the Crystal person's Arena. It was the Crystal person who was begging for him to stay now.
"Flaming Boss, if this continues, I'm afraid our collaboration will be coming to an end."
Aiolos had just won a match. Backstage, he stopped the Crystal person who was in the middle of arranging the next battle.
The Crystal person suppressed his anger and looked at Aiolos, who had a spurious smile on his face. He put on his standard businessman smile and said, "My dear ace, what's the matter?"
"My opponents! My recent opponents have been too weak, and I'm very dissatisfied. The outcome of these gladiatorial battles is practically fixed. I'm pretty sure you have suffered great losses too! Without a fierce fight, the spectators must have spent less money and given fewer gifts. I should be concerned as I have a share of the profits too!"
The Crystal person's face turned pale. His anger had reached a breaking point. How he wished he could strangle this abominable human! If Aiolos hadn't killed so many experts, especially the Spirit Dragon, it wouldn't be so hard to arrange his opponents!
The Spirit Dragon was at the peak Void Core Realm, and its power was comparable to a Solid Core!
With this example, who would want to send their Void Core gladiator to battle against Aiolos? Everyone, including the Crystal person, knew that Aiolos was staying at the Arena because he wanted to stabilize his Void Core through battle experience, and not because he felt attached to the Arena. He had just reached the Void Core Realm and needed several strong opponents to test the power of his newly acquired Void Core. No one was dumb enough to send his most powerful gladiator up against such a monster just so that he could gain experience.
Previously, the Crystal person had been able to source some powerful opponents through richer incentives. However, he was no longer able to do so after the Spirit Dragon died. Because of its death, he had to pay a large sum of Star Coins to that old damned vampire. After Aiolos defeated the Spirit Dragon, arranging an opponent that was strong enough to match Aiolos came with a sky-high price, which the Crystal person deemed unacceptable. The Crystal person was already facing some financial difficulties after compensating the vampire.
The Crystal person was actually rich, but sustaining the Arena required a lot of money. He didn't have much liquid capital. His assets mostly included the slave gladiators and his Arena property. He had just bought a 1,000-year-buyout lease from the Star Alliance not long ago. After expiration, his family would have priority to renew the lease. This cost him more than half of his savings, but it was a good deal. Everyone had been envious of his 1,000-year lease over the Arena. He practically had permanent ownership over the Arena, which was something not just anyone could accomplish. Also, as time passed, he would probably earn tens of thousands or even millions of times more than what he had spent on the lease! That would be an inestimably astronomical figure!
This investment and the compensation he had to fork out to the vampire had dealt a huge blow to the Crystal person's finances. Because of this, he faced cash-flow difficulties. Nonetheless, this could not yet be considered a crisis to the Crystal person. He had faced countless similar crises throughout his long life. He was confident that he could solve this one. And the solution was right in front of him.
It was Aiolos, the troublemaker who also posed an opportunity for him to earn his money back.
Of course, he was still in the middle of planning his next step.
Looking at the arrogant Aiolos, the Crystal person backed down yet again. "Don't worry, Aiolos. I am in the middle of arranging a strong opponent for you. He will appear soon. It's just that with your reputation now, it's really hard to find a worthy opponent for you. It would have been easier if you hadn't killed the Spirit Dragon previously! You really need to listen to me next time."
Aiolos stared at the Crystal person with a spurious smile. "Hurry up. You should know my current situation. There are many others who want me. Flaming Boss, I'm only staying here because I'm a nostalgic person."
The Crystal person stared at Aiolos's back. His suppressed anger suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a mocking and cold expression. Ignorance and arrogance were a recipe for death in the divine territory.
After killing the Spirit Dragon, Aiolos had become more and more arrogant. The Crystal person was happy to see that. He continued arranging battles in which Aiolos achieved perfect victories, creating a terrifying battle record for Aiolos. In doing this, the Crystal person was planning for a turnaround battle!
A critical battle that could take care of his troubles!
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