The star fruit was like an asteroid, but that was just its outer shell. The core of the fruit wasn’t nearly as massive. Inside, all kinds of xenogeneics were bred. Every fruit contained different xenogeneics.
According to legend, the star tree was a shadow of the universe. Star fruit represented the stars of the universe, so each star fruit held xenogeneics that were specific to the star system that the fruit represented. Thus, star fruit from a single tree could produce many different types of xenogeneics.
Of course, that was just a legend. The tree worked a little differently in reality, but the star fruit really did produce different kinds of xenogeneics. And they were at least King class.
“Outer Sky is an amazing place. If this star tree existed within the normal geno universe, it would throw the entire universe into war. No wonder the Very High never ask for anything or fight for resources like the Extreme King. In Outer Sky, even though their race only has a few hundred people, their resources are seemingly infinite.”
After Han Sen thought of that, he suddenly realized, “Outer Sky is between the real world and the anti-material world. Is this zone independent? If it is, that means that a few hundred Very High are using a whole dimension’s worth of resources. That is pretty awesome. Plus, Outer Sky has that Underworld Lake that connects to the anti-material world. They can get anti-material resources while still remaining connected to the real world. That suggests that the Very High have connections to all three worlds. What could be better than that?”
But this didn’t concern Han Sen. Han Sen hadn’t been flying for long when Exquisite teleported toward him with Bao’er.
“How long are you going to fly around for? Let me take you there.” Exquisite put a hand on Han Sen’s shoulder and teleported him to the top of the tree.
Han Sen, eyeing each and every star fruit that was nearby, made his choice of fruit carefully.
Exquisite told him the star fruit didn’t really ripen, but the xenogeneics that were growing inside would make the shell turn dark red when they were grown. If someone picked a star fruit before that, the xenogeneics wouldn’t be fully grown yet. The creatures within would be low level.
“Let me pick a few and try my luck.” Han Sen couldn’t tell what xenogeneics the star fruits held. So, he didn’t need to choose carefully. He found a nearby star fruit and flew toward it.
The shell of that star fruit was already dark red. It looked like a setting sun, the light of which could still be seen as it slipped beneath the horizon. The star fruit was red like an orb of fire.
Han Sen flew to where the branch connected with the star fruit. Following the instructions that Exquisite had given him, he pressed his hand against it. And then, the giant star fruit fell from the branch.
The star fruit that fell was falling quickly. It didn’t have the sense of mass and gravity that Han Sen had expected, though. It was actually very light.
As the star fruit fell, the dark red shell started to melt away. It looked like a giant fireball that was burning furiously, sloughing off layers of itself as it went.
The star fruit didn’t release energy like you would expect from a fireball, though. It only took a second, and the shell of the giant star fruit dissolved completely. And there was a xenogeneic curled up inside.
That xenogeneic looked like a flying dragon. Its head was near its tail, and its wings were folded closed. Its body was covered in green scales. Judging from its long body and tail, it had to be at least 40 meters long.
“It looks very powerful. It cannot be a deified xenogeneic, surely,” Han Sen pondered, his heart thumping.
Exquisite said the star fruits mostly contained King xenogeneics, and very rarely, they would house a deified. But no matter what xenogeneic it was, it would be low level when it emerged. It would be like a freshly-born, first-tier King, or in rare instances, it would be a primitive deified.
But they progressed like ordinary xenogeneics after that, of course. They could be grown. How much they grew would depend on their talent.
Xenogeneics were woken from a deep slumber as they were freed from the core of the star fruit, so they were easy to kill as they emerged. Alternatively, the person who opened the fruit could allow the xenogeneics to fully awaken. The Very High had a special contract. If the xenogeneic signed the contract, then it would basically become the pet of the person who opened the fruit.
Of course, this process couldn’t be completed if the xenogeneic was hostile. If the creature resisted the contract, then it would remain dangerous and uncontrollable. That was why the Very High generally activated contracts when the xenogeneic inside the star fruit was still sleeping. Being asleep kept the creatures from resisting, granting a much higher success rate for the contracts.
“This should be an aran dragon. It is a King class xenogeneic. If it is given enough resources, the aran dragon can be turned into a half-deified creature. It is a good xenogeneic to have,” Exquisite said to Han Sen, as she watched the descent of the green dragon.
Han Sen was very disappointed, though. It was a meager King class xenogeneic. For Han Sen, having such a creature would be practically pointless.
Exquisite could sense what Han Sen was thinking, so she said, “It isn’t completely useless. Star beetles migrate through space, and they only periodically descend to the star tree. If you guard the star tree yourself, you will have to wait for the beetles to descend before taking them all out by yourself. If you had some helpers, however, they could kill the star beetles before they even reach the star tree. Plus, you might need some help once you begin to travel around Outer Sky. I suggest you sign contracts with most of the xenogeneics that emerge from the star fruit.”
Han Sen thought that her suggestions were quite reasonable. The old man who originally guarded the star tree only let the beetles descend on the tree en masse because he needed them for Han Sen and Liyu Zhen’s test. If he hadn’t, he would have thinned out the star beetles long before they arrived at the tree.
Ordinarily, the star beetles wouldn’t even have a chance to touch the star tree. The old man would kill them before they got close. But even if Han Sen set up a defensive net of guardians, beetles would occasionally slip through the net. Han Sen would have to kill those himself.
And of course, the old man had performed the task easily, but he had been much stronger than Han Sen currently was. If a large swarm of star beetles headed for the star tree, he would need some backup.
Han Sen looked at the sleeping aran dragon. He knew it was going to wake up soon. He had to make a decision before then. If it woke up, he would be forced to kill it. It would be harder to force the creature into a contract once it was awake.
Setting aside his hesitation, Han Sen used the method that Exquisite had taught him and initiated a contract with the aran dragon.
When the contract was complete, a weird spell coalesced over the aran dragon. The spell flashed repeatedly, waking the aran dragon up.
The aran dragon spread its wings and unleashed a roar that shook the sky. Then, the beast looked down at Han Sen.
Han Sen curiously sent a thought toward the aran dragon, and the creature responded immediately. With a light flap of its wings, it lowered itself by Han Sen’s feet.
Han Sen stepped up onto the aran dragon’s back. Feeling good, he said, “Having a mount will be pretty nice. I can use this guy like a transport ship. When I get enough resources from around Outer Sky, he can haul cargo for me.”
“I still have another 49 star fruits to select. I hope I can get a few deified xenogeneics!” Han Sen thought to himself. Then he turned and flew toward another star fruit.