Chapter 968: Artificial Intelligence?

"Will the battles be exclusively one-on-one or will there be group battles as well?"

"There are no group battles for now. This edition of the competition is split up into two sections, one for mechas and the other for Soul Masters, and all of the matches will be one-on-one battles. This is a competition that takes participants from all over the entire federation, so the finals will only be held after the regional competitions. It's said that all Soul Masters that can reach the finals will be given very good prizes, and those who can make the top 16 receive even greater rewards. Apparently, the final champion will receive all of the resources required to construct a red mecha or heavenly refined metals that can be used to construct a suit of four-word battle armor; that's absolutely insane!"

……

"Star Battle Net?" Tang Wulin looked at the information that had been sent to him by Blood One, and a surprised look appeared in his eyes.

The latest technology released by the federation allowed Soul Masters to enter the Star Battle Net to engage in simulated battles through pieces of equipment known as Star Cabins.

The premise was kind of similar to the Spirit Pagoda's Spirit Ascension Plane, but there was no limit on the number of participants, and it couldn't enhance one's soul rings like the Spirit Ascension Plane could, so there was no conflict of interest between this technology and the Spirit Pagoda.

The main benefit of this new technology was that it provided a platform for all Soul Masters and mecha pilots to compete against one another.

This entire Star Battle Net was the first prototype that had just been released to the general public, and it was said that it was constantly going to be upgraded in the future.

The mission that Blood One had assigned to Tang Wulin was for him to participate in the star battle net competition and finish in the top three.

Tang Wulin's lips twitched upon seeing this. He had thought that even if the mission were going to be very difficult, he would definitely be able to complete it. However, after assessing the details of the battle net competition, his confidence had been severely dented.

All Soul Masters below the Titled Douluo stage could enter this competition, so that included eight-ring Soul Douluos. Even with the restriction against suits of three-word battle armor, there had to be many Soul Douluos and Soul Sages who were also two-word battle armor masters. With their suits of two-word battle armor, they'd possess powers comparable to that of Hyper Douluos.

This was a competition that encompassed the entire continent! He was quite confident in his own abilities, but he certainly wasn't confident enough to think that he was invincible below the Titled Douluo stage!

Blood One's objective behind assigning him this mission was quite simple; he wanted Tang Wulin to hone his practical combat skills during this competition and continue to improve himself by battling powerful opponents.

Tang Wulin was in full approval of this, but the mission was still way too difficult to complete! If he only had to finish in the top 32, then he'd still be relatively confident, but top three was an entirely different story.

A lack of confidence didn't directly translate to a lack of battle intent. After all, he had always grown stronger in the face of adversity.

A Star Cabin had been carried directly into his dormitory room. The dormitory room that he was currently staying in was in the Blood God Battalion, as opposed to the one that he'd been staying in before.

The fringe members of the Blood God Battalion lived on the level above the circular hall, but their living conditions didn't improve much; only the most basic of facilities were offered to them. The rooms were slightly larger, but there was actually less living space compared to his previous room due to the presence of this Star Cabin.

This thing took up around eight square meters of space, and it resembled an enlarged coffin. It also appeared to be quite complex, so it had most likely been quite expensive to produce.

Not only did the Blood God Battalion have these Star Cabins, the rest of the legion also had access to them. Furthermore, Tang Wulin had heard from Long Yuxue that their legion was among the first batch of people to be testing out the Star Battle Net, but even so, there were only 50 Star Cabins in total in the entire legion. Apparently, these things were extremely expensive to construct, and shipping them here had also been quite difficult.

The Star Cabins in the legion couldn't be reserved, so people had to line up to use them. As such, the rooms that the cabins were situated were always packed to the rafters, and that was why Long Yuxue hadn't taken Tang Wulin to the Star Cabins before.

As such, Tang Wulin had been quite excited to see that he had a personal Star Cabin all to himself. This was the latest technology released by the federation, so it could definitely be considered to be a luxury product.

Let's give it a try. The registration process has already commenced, and the regional competitions will be held in two days. Prior to the commencement of the regional competitions, I have to complete my registration, and after that, I can familiarize myself with the Star Battle Net.

Tang Wulin pressed a button to open his Star Cabin before stepping into it.

The internal structure of this thing was very complex. At the very least, it was far more complex than the equipment used at the Spirit Ascension Plane.

Even after the cabin cover closed, there was no sense of oxygen deprivation at all. Various types of metallic lines adhered themselves onto his body, while a series of metal rungs locked his body into place. These measures were designed to prevent energy seepage during his battles in the Star Battle Net.

All of the connections were only completed after about five minutes, and Tang Wulin was starting to feel like a lab rat.

All of a sudden, his vision completely darkened, and an electronic voice sounded. "The Star Cabin is fully prepared; would you like to enter the Star Battle Net?"

The voice was extremely mechanical, and it wasn't very pleasant to listen to. "Yes."

He then abruptly jolted as powerful electrical currents ran through his entire body, making him feel as if he'd become a part of an electrical circuit. It was no wonder that normal people weren't permitted to use these Star Cabins; without a sufficiently powerful physical constitution, just this soul energy scanning process would most likely cause irreversible damage to a normal person's body.

Just as these thoughts were running through his mind, he was struck by a rush of dizziness, and when he returned to his senses, his vision had already returned to him.

He wasn't taken directly to another world as was the case when he entered the Spirit Ascension Plane. Instead, there were all types of numbers and binary codes flashing before his eyes.

"Body scan complete; connection to the Star Battle Net has been successfully established. Please state through verbal communication what you would like to do, and the battle net will process your verbal request."

"I want to register to participate in the Star Battle Net Inter-federation Competition." This thing didn't seem to be all that high-tech!

"Alright, we'll begin registration right away. What is your name?"

Tang Wulin hesitated momentarily before stating his real name. Blood One had told him that he and Zang Xin had arranged for him to join the Blood God Legion as he wouldn't have to worry about his cover being blown here. In this place, he was absolutely safe, and no one would come to hunt him down here. Aside from the fact that the Blood God Legion held an extremely lofty position in the military and in the entire federation, very few people knew of its specific location, so this was a very safe place.

On top of that, the Star Battle Net had brilliant confidentiality, and the internal information was only recorded by the mainframe of the battle net. After this information was recorded, all of the Soul Masters who joined the battle net would be given a certain rank, and that rank could only be improved according to one's battle record. Even the federal parliament couldn't access the information in the battle net mainframe unless approval was secured from the entire parliament. This effectively circumvented the possibility of people with sinister intentions gathering information through the battle net mainframe.

The system asked a series of questions as part of Tang Wulin's registration process.

"You can give yourself a nickname, and that nickname will be what's displayed to your opponents during the competition."

Tang Wulin considered this for a moment. "I'll go with Golden Dragon King."

"Golden Dragon Turtle? Please confirm."  [1]

Tang Wulin was left feeling rather speechless. "Golden Dragon King!" 

"Golden Dragon King? Please confirm."

"Yes."

The electronic voice sounded in reply. "Sorry, the nickname you've selected has already been taken." 

If Tang Wulin could see his own face right now, he'd discover that his expression had completely darkened.

"Please choose another nickname."

"Little Tang." Tang Wulin could only give himself a random nickname.

"Little Tang? Please confirm."

"Yes."

"You have successfully set your nickname as Little Tang. Tang Wulin, soul power rank 59, special physical constitution, what appears to be a dragon-type bloodline, unreasonable levels of physical prowess... You have been deemed as a supremely talented Soul Master. The registration is now complete; would you like to sign up for the Star Battle Net Inter-federation Competition?"

"Yes." Tang Wulin's heart was filled with shock. He had discovered something that was quite extraordinary to him during the registration process; in the past, regardless of whether he was in the Spirit Pagoda's Spirit Ascension Plane or some kind of similar simulation world, he had never been able to interact and communicate with those worlds. However, this electronic voice was holding a conversation with him, which was the equivalent of the entire Star Battle Net communicating with him!

Tang Wulin finally understood why this was such a monumental piece of technology. The technology wasn't extraordinary due to the simulation system. Instead, it was the artificial intelligence element that was very remarkable.

To think that technology in the federation had developed to such an extent that even artificial intelligence could be planted into simulation systems. Even though this system still appeared to be quite rough around the edges and was a lot less refined than the Spirit Ascension Plane, the fact that artificial intelligence had been integrated into it made it far superior in caliber to the Spirit Ascension Plane.

The internal framework of the system wasn't difficult to set up, but this artificial intelligence technology was a massive stride! This electronic voice that was extremely mechanical and rather unpleasant to listen to was most likely the prototype of artificial intelligence, and it was the first time that humans had put artificial intelligence into practical application. This was a groundbreaking development!

As opposed to saying that this competition provided an opportunity for Soul Master to experience this cutting-edge technology, it could instead be said that this artificial intelligence system was being tested through the battles between all of these Soul Masters. If artificial intelligence were to be gradually perfected, human technology could very likely enter another period of highly accelerated growth. 

[1] [OK, this one's a little hard to explain, and it won't be very funny in English, but here goes. Tang Wulin used the Chinese particle “吧” at the end of his sentence, which is pronounced "ba", the same way that the character "八" is pronounced. The character of king (王) in Golden Dragon King is pronounced as "wang". That, followed by the "ba" particle, is pronounced as "wangba" (王吧), which is the same pronunciation as turtle (王八), hence the mixup. There's also an extra layer of humor here as turtle is a derogatory term in China, generally implying that one is a coward who hides within their shell.]

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