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The Era of Intelligence

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In the vast expanse of the cosmos, Lin Zhen, a seasoned stellar warrior, had traversed a lifetime burdened with regrets and unfulfilled desires. From the era of Earth's dawn to the monumental human migration beyond the solar system, he struggled to carve out a meaningful existence, yet his life remained a litany of untold grudges and unrealized aspirations. As Lin Zhen neared the end of his mortal coil, he pondered the prospect of a second chance. Envisioning a life where he could leverage his foresight to ascend the pinnacle of existence, he closed his weary eyes. In that moment, the cosmos yielded, and a cosmic black hole appeared, ushering in a collapse of spacetime. When Lin Zhen reopened his eyes, he found himself transported back to Earth during the cataclysmic era of the Great Catastrophe. The opportunity to rewrite his destiny, armed with the knowledge of a lifetime, beckoned. A journey through time and space awaited, where Lin Zhen would strive to rectify past mistakes, settle long-standing vendettas, and fulfill the dreams that had eluded him before. In this odyssey through the ages, Lin Zhen would grapple with the challenges of a world on the brink of chaos. Will he seize the chance to reshape his fate and stand unrivaled in this new era, or will the complexities of time and destiny prove insurmountable? Embark on a thrilling adventure as Lin Zhen navigates the treacherous currents of time, weaving through the fabric of history to reclaim lost opportunities and forge a destiny worthy of the cosmos. The echoes of his journey will resound through the epochs, leaving an indelible mark on the tapestry of existence. The Age of Intelligence beckons, and Lin Zhen is poised to redefine his legacy amidst the tumultuous currents of time.

Chapter 1

“The Return of Time”

In the embrace of October, the vast northern lands lay beneath a pristine blanket of snow, a world shrouded in white silence.

At the edge of the wilderness, a grand city ascended from the earth.

The city walls stood tall at a hundred meters, their breadth stretching dozens more. On these formidable walls, two large trucks could race side by side. A testament to human engineering, the entire structure crafted from reinforced concrete. Within a perimeter of kilometers, myriad sensors lay scattered around the walls, and the metal muzzles protruded, concealed or exposed, presenting an impenetrable defense.

Even beneath the city walls, meters into the ground, concrete structures prevailed. Alloy iron gates, weighing hundreds of tons, sealed the city, forming an almost impregnable fortress. Armed to the teeth, whether in the sky, on the ground, or below, the city was a stronghold for humanity's survival in the northern realm.

...

The Sixth High School resided in the northern district of the Ice City, a campus bustling with thousands of students. Today marked the final class for the senior year, preceding the impending graduation exams.

The homeroom teacher of Class Three stood at the lectern, addressing the students.

"Today concludes my last lecture for you. In three days, the graduation exams commence – morning for academic tests, afternoon for physical fitness assessments. This day determines your future. Scores will be released immediately, with military officials and prominent dojos recruiting on the spot. Your destiny hinges on these crucial moments. As your mentor, I wish you all the best."

With those words, the teacher packed up and exited the classroom as school hours concluded.

...

As students dispersed, many lingered on the campus, harboring sentimental feelings for their alma mater. Gathered in familiar groups, they bade each other farewell, discussing their future paths.

"I'm so nervous. Graduation exams are upon us. I have no interest in attending university; I aspire to be a warrior. Cultural subjects are manageable, but what about the physical fitness test? My punch falls short of 150 kg. No dojo would consider recruiting me."

"Though my punch has reached the qualifying 200 kg, I average a substandard 4.5 punches per second. Will I be relegated to conscription as a mobilized soldier?"

"A punch speed of 4.5 should have room for improvement. As long as cultural subjects are passed and the neural response hits the 0.1-second threshold, entering a dojo is still plausible. Besides, the military is a viable option. Many formidable warriors emerge from the armed forces."

"But the military's scale is vast. True powerhouses still hail from dojos. Take Long Feng and Tu Long, for instance; these dojos aren't accessible to ordinary folks. In our class, only Ouyang Yu, Meng Dong, and Lin Zhen have a chance. They're the three pillars of our class."

"Ouyang Yu and Meng Dong are reasonable prospects, but Lin Zhen may fall short. I heard he offended Ouyang Yu over our school flower, An Ning. Ouyang Yu made it clear; he won't allow Lin Zhen into any dojo."

"Is it possible for dojos to heed Ouyang Yu's influence?" A skeptical student questioned.

"Hard to say. Ouyang Yu comes from an influential family, his father holding a high position in the municipal government. As long as Lin Zhen's performance isn't extraordinary, the average dojo might yield to Ouyang Yu's wishes."

"Really? That's perilous for Lin Zhen. His grades are just above the passing line. Oh! Where's Lin Zhen? He was here just a moment ago."

Several gossiping boys scanned the surroundings but only spotted a distant figure – Lin Zhen.

...

His strides quickened, a silhouette against the fading light. Lin Zhen had forgotten how long it had been since he moved so swiftly. Though his body remained feeble, his blood simmered with newfound vigor. The cosmos had favored him. As his life's candle neared its end, an inexplicable cosmic phenomenon unfolded – a black hole, spatial collapse, time reversal. His soul, on the verge of dissolution, found itself back on Earth, on the eve of his high school graduation.

In his previous life, Lin Zhen ardently pursued martial prowess, hoping to alter his fate and that of his family. Alas, fate seldom favored him. Despite reasonable talent, born into the lower class and starved of resources, his martial journey proved arduous. Choosing between mediocrity or genius, Lin Zhen, a bottom-tier warrior, struggled to stand out amid countless prodigies, a stepping stone for others.

Surviving the conclusion of the Divine Era, Earth underwent its second upheaval. Humanity ventured beyond the planet, migrating to the stars. Even within the vastness of the cosmos, Lin Zhen barely breached the Transcendent Realm, enduring but never ascending. His life remained at the bottom rung.

Not until a failed breakthrough, with life ebbing away, did Lin Zhen grasp the essence. He had lived cautiously, prioritizing safety above all else. Though longevity was his reward, he found no further advancement. It wasn't the path of a warrior. He had erred from the start.

In the face of a second chance, Lin Zhen vowed to seize every opportunity, exploit every resource, and tread the path to unimaginable heights.

A warrior, by nature, defied the ordinary. Choosing mediocrity rendered martial arts meaningless. This epiphany marked Lin Zhen's final moments in his past life. He deemed it too late to comprehend, with everything concluded. No chance of a fresh start.

As he closed his eyes, anticipating the void's embrace, cosmic energy tearing at his soul, Lin Zhen, upon reopening his eyes, found himself within a high school classroom.

He was Lin Zhen, alive and well, retaining all memories, back to Earth, back to the age he most yearned for.

Walking out of the classroom, Lin Zhen could scarcely believe the sights around him.

"After such a long time, my long-lost family, I've returned! The girl I adored, I'm back!"

Regrets of a past life had no place in this one.

Chapter 2

**The Humble Abode**

The northern base city sprawled in a rectangular expanse, a hundred miles in length and eighty miles in width. The northern district, occupying one-fifth of the city's area, paradoxically housed half of its population—a quintessential representation of the commoners' enclave.

In this land of scarce inches and precious metal, residences belonged to the affluent if they were single-story and to the destitute if they soared into the skies. To optimize space, the entire commoner's district was an array of perfectly square buildings, reaching several dozen stories in height. Packed densely together, each family inhabited a confined space.

Even in the tightest of quarters, inhabitants dared not venture beyond the towering city walls. Beyond lay a world ruled by monstrous creatures—a forbidden territory for ordinary folks. Only the mighty warriors could navigate and survive outside.

Lin Zhen traversed a

Heroes

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