There were only a handful of places that were qualified to be called a "palace" in the Land. The Machinery Palace was one of them. It was located in Zone TH002, which was right in the center of the Land and not far away from the Heavenly Gates.
Two transmission tickets were included with the letter, along with a passionate message from Rhode D.
"Wang Zhong, you can invite a friend along. Your friend will be considered as a friend of the Machinery race too. The Machinery Palace welcomes you and your friend."
It had to be said that under Lao Wang's subtle influence, the people of the Machinery race were changing.
A thought flashed past Lao Wang's mind. He thought of Lan Daier who was in the Anoma Club. Ever since the Kakadinme incident, he had been busy with stuff like cultivation and the Illusion Sea World mission, and he hadn't contacted that side at all. Actually, Lan Daier had written a letter to him once and told him about some interesting things that happened at the Anoma Club. However, Lao Wang had forgotten to reply as he was busy cultivating. Other than that letter, he hadn't heard from Lan Daier ever since. It seemed that she was afraid to disturb him.
A runic array was shining in Lao Wang's palm. He wanted to send Nini to carry a message to Lan Daier, but after some consideration, he decided to not use the transmission array yet. He would go and find her personally.
Wang Zhong had caused a big commotion when he came to the Anoma Club with Celeste previously. The people there were rather familiar with Lao Wang. To be regarded as an esteemed guest by the daughter of the Heavenly Shell Crown Prince, Lao Wang was clearly qualified to enter this place at will. After hearing that he was here to see Lan Daier, they immediately notified the latter without delay. After less than five minutes, Lan Daier walked out with a joyous expression. "Wang Zhong!"
Wang Zhong gave her a knowing smile. "Sister Daier, the Machinery race has invited me to participate in their law-enforcement-game tournament. Do you want to come with me?"
Wang Zhong didn't talk about the letter. Lan Daier understood that he had a lot of responsibilities and that it was impossible for him to pay attention to all sides. She trusted that Wang Zhong was still the same man.
"Of course!" Lan Daier smiled. "When do we set off?"
"It's a little rushed, but we need to set off now," Wang Zhong said.
"I'll go and take a leave of absence then!" Lan Daier appeared to be heading to find the manager, but she suddenly turned around with a spurious smile and blinked with bright eyes. "Is this considered a date?"
"Ah…" Wang Zhong was stunned.
"I'm just kidding! Look at how nervous you are!" Lan Daier let out a wicked laugh. "Wait for me. I'll be right back!"
The transmission area in the Heavenly Gates was considered to be a high-end venue that was dedicated to principal figures. Ordinary people like Lan Daier were not qualified to enter this place under normal circumstances. Even if they needed to travel to Heavenly Gates Street because of work-related issues, they would only be teleported to Zone TH006 nearby; thereafter, they would have had to embark on a long transportation journey.
There were all sorts of personalized services and full-time receptionists at the transmission area. Even the most ordinary staff there had reached the Void Core Realm. They would be considered prominent figures in other parts of the Land, yet they were now diligently helping Wang Zhong and Lan Daier carry their bags. They used honorifics with them and continuously bowed to them.
Lan Daier had seen much of the world at the Anoma Club. She knew that Wang Zhong had a high status in the Heavenly Gates; otherwise, Earth's civilization level wouldn't have increased, and he wouldn't be friends with Celeste. However, for Wang Zhong to suddenly become such an important figure who was admired by many was a stark contrast to when he worked at Lan Daier's kitchen, making her feel a mix of emotions.
The little worker who once was a "taste-tester" in the Holy City had grown to become such a towering presence that was a protector of Earth.
Zone TH002, Machinery Palace.
The transmission area of Zone TH002 was built on the outskirts of the city, similar to that of the Catanlyke District. In the Land, only the Heavenly Gates directly built its transmission area in the central inner-city area. After all, the Heavenly Gates transmission area was only used by principal figures. It was completely different from the transmission areas in open zones.
The transmission areas in these open zones saw large volumes of visitors every day. The various races gathered there were all sorts of people. It was obvious that the foreign races here belonged to high-level civilizations that were infamous in the Star Alliance. This was a normal sight at open zones that were numbered TH100 and below. It was rare for low-level civilizations to gain approval to access these zones.
That was also why when Wang Zhong and Lan Daier walked into the transmission area, many around them started frowning and making disgusted expressions.
In powerful civilizations, one would already be a Void Core expert from birth. In slightly weaker level-6 or level-7 civilizations, having a stable foothold in the Foundational Stage was not a problem at all once they came of age. However, Wang Zhong was only at the Void Core Realm, and Lan Daier was even weaker at the Foundational Stage. It was obvious that they came from very weak civilizations, yet they managed to gain permission to enter the Machinery Palace and stand with the "noble" races. They were even enjoying the same transmission-area service, which made the other races rather unhappy. A toad from the Toad race who was wearing "sunglasses" couldn't help but spit on the ground. Although this affected the image of its race, which was somewhat unhygienic, the toad felt that this was a necessary action.
However, the looks of contempt on the others' faces only lasted for a few seconds.
"Your Honor, you have finally arrived!" A voice rang out near Wang Zhong and Lan Daier.
Two Machinery race personnel, who looked like they were specially tasked to welcome Wang Zhong, had bodies that emanated a golden glow. Clearly, they were from the well known Golden Fleet of the Machinery race. For them to be assigned to welcome Wang Zhong proved that he was a VIP.
Both of them greeted Wang Zhong and Lan Daier with enthusiasm. "Greetings, my honorable judge and Miss Lan Daier. I am Devin D of the Machinery race's Golden Fleet, and this is my companion, Kase E. It is our honor to have the opportunity to welcome both of you this time. We represent the Machinery race in welcoming you," the leader of the two said respectfully.
Seeing that the suffix of his name was the same as Rhode D, his status must be rather high. It made sense since the Golden Fleet were the aces of the Machinery race, and Devin D appeared to be one of the team captains. Of course, he still couldn't compare to Rhode D. Rhode D's suffix might change again as he was in training to become one of the higher-ups. His status would definitely become higher, and it was highly possible that he would become a future chief leader in the Machinery race.
"It is my first time here at the Machinery Palace, and I think that it is breathtaking," marveled Wang Zhong. Lao Wang was definitely not stingy in praising his friends.
"It is our honor to have you here. This way please…"
In the long history of the Machinery race, the law enforcement game was the first entertainment event that could be integrated into their race. The joy one felt from achieving victory and even the annoyance one felt from losing were intense emotions that the Machinery race had not felt for countless epochs. Most importantly, this game was not banned by the higher-ups. Recently, with the rise of the law enforcement game, many people in the Machinery race realized that their "chat channels" had become more active than in any previous era. Even the Elders Association had specially set up a new exclusive law-enforcement-game channel in the communication channels and also organized the upcoming law-enforcement-game tournament.
The Machinery race was known to be lifeless and too rigid. This racial problem had bothered numerous generations of leaders and had never been solved. However, it was being overcome by a little game now! Many higher-ups in the Machinery race felt that this game was incredible; needless to say, the Machinery race players were crazily obsessed with the law enforcement game. They worshipped Wang Zhong, the game's creator, like he was their idol. The law-enforcement-game tournament was even named as one of the greatest events in the long history of the Machinery race… To other people from foreign races like Lao Wang, this was an unimaginable status for a mere game.
Devin D was a hardcore law-enforcement-game player. He was crazily obsessed over this game. As one of the team captains of the Golden Fleet, he had taken the initiative to apply for this mission to welcome Wang Zhong. He had to face fierce competition as many other "D" and "E" rank Machinery race people had applied to be in charge of this mission too. Devin D was extremely proud that he was the one in charge of welcoming Wang Zhong. The Machinery race was not good at flattering people. Otherwise, judging by Devin D's sparkling eyes, he would have praised Wang Zhong to the skies if he was as eloquent as Ma Dong.
He used honorifics in every sentence he said and bowed every so often. "Your Honor, Miss Lan Daier, the tournament will only commence two hours later. Your itinerary has been arranged. I will be your pilot on board the Aurora Spaceship and take you directly to the tournament venue. Please follow me."
Devin D was a squadron leader in the Golden Fleet and a D-rank "big shot" in the Machinery race. However, he was being way too respectful towards this Void Core human. This sight instantly blinded everyone's eyes. The toad who was wearing sunglasses wanted to spit again, but he promptly swallowed it back down upon seeing this sight.
Also, even if they were far apart, the other people of the Machinery race stopped what they were doing simultaneously to look at Wang Zhong with a special emotion in their eyes. The discipline of the Machinery race made it such that they wouldn't openly chase after their idols, but they still used their own way to express respect to the legendary judge.
The toad who was wearing sunglasses suddenly realized the huge mistake that he had made as he sensed several cold gazes from the Machinery race. A Machinery race law enforcement squad was already walking towards him. In the next few seconds, the toad licked his spit off the ground at once, making sure that the ground was spotless.
This caused discomfort to the people around him and was an embarrassing action. However, it was effective as the Machinery race law enforcement squad stopped walking towards the toad.
Wang Zhong did not care about this little interlude. Such things happened every day, and he was used to it. However, Lan Daier felt a little emotional. It had been two years since she had come to the divine territory, and this was the first time she felt her human dignity again.
Initially, Lan Daier thought that Wang Zhong being invited by the Machinery race was something that the Earth civilization should be proud of, even if he was just invited to be a special spectator. However, looking at how the Machinery race welcomed them and how the Golden Fleet squadron captain was so respectful to Wang Zhong, Lan Daier couldn't help but wonder. Even though she was mentally prepared before coming, she couldn't imagine what an important figure Wang Zhong was in the Land now. Also, what role was he playing in this tournament? It seemed to be very different from what she had imagined previously.
Foreign races had to undergo various interrogations and identification verification checks in the Machinery Palace. However, the Aurora Spaceship that Wang Zhong was on had encountered none of those.
The Aurora Spaceship had a black exterior, but was spacious and well-lit inside. It was a spacecraft that was specially used to carry guests and offered a panoramic view of the surroundings. One could see the unique charm of the Machinery Palace from this spacecraft. The Machinery Palace boasted many things that were the fusion of various technologies, attracting Wang Zhong's attention. He talked casually with Devin D and Kase E, asking about the preparations of the law-enforcement-game tournament.
The two Machinery race people were full of excitement and blabbered on endlessly. They had actually formed a team to join the tournament too, but they had been eliminated in the preliminary rounds. On the other hand, the Heavenly Gates Law Enforcement Association was doing rather well. Out of the three teams that they had formed, two had made it into the top forty, but unfortunately, they were eliminated in the semi-finals at the same time. The two teams currently competing for the champion position came from the Machinery race cabinet. They were all forces to be reckoned with, and one of them was even a general from the Golden Fleet…
Lao Wang didn't expect that such a high-ranking Machinery race person would be a participant in this law-enforcement-game tournament. A general from the Machinery race's Golden Fleet was in no way inferior to a Heavenly Gates Elder in terms of status and power. The general must have really loved this game to disregard his reputation and join this game tournament. Of course, other factors probably came into play too, such as the Machinery race's social mobility and their unique racial system and habits. Their level of position decided their identity and power, but that didn't mean that they were far more superior to their counterparts who were lower in position. Outside of work, the higher-ups and subordinates of the Machinery race were free to mingle. As long as they clicked, one could even see a general and a low-level soldier sitting side by side. This was considered to be normal in the Machinery race.
Lan Daier was dumbfounded. Law-enforcement-game tournament? Judge? The Machinery race Elders were waiting for Wang Zhong? Lan Daier was confused. She felt dizzy the whole way here. This was the Machinery race they were talking about, one of the strongest civilizations in the Land. When did Wang Zhong get so close to them? Also, wasn't the Machinery race supposed to be very rigid and habitually silent? Why were these two Machinery race people so talkative?
This felt like a dream.
However, that was not what surprised Lan Daier the most. When they reached the tournament venue which was a gigantic ring arena, a Machinery race Elder was not the only person waiting for Wang Zhong. The entire Machinery race was waiting for him! Hundreds of thousands of seats had already been filled. Screaming and shouting could be heard as Wang Zhong appeared.
"The noble game creator is here!"
"Welcome, my friend!"
Hundreds of thousands of Machinery race people were in the arena, and Lan Daier could sense a terrifying pressure emanating from every one of them. There were no restrictions in this arena. If not for Devin D's help, Lan Daier would have keeled over immediately. However, even with Devin D's protection, their cheering alone was deafening. They were way too enthusiastic and not like what she imagined the Machinery race to be like at all. Was she dreaming?
This day was a dream come true for the Machinery race. They had also invited many other residents on the Machinery Planet to celebrate this occasion.
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