”Youve never… uh… visited Neptune?… ” Actually this isn the question Stairmount wants to ask. He just tries to change the topic from the pending question he was going to ask earlier. That is why his tone falters when he asks that question.

”Never. ”

”You want to go there? ”

”Of course I want. I want to travel to as many places as I can. ”

”I mean… perhaps you want to go to Neptune more than any other place, since Neptune is the land your ancestors came from? ”

”Hmm, I don get that far… ”

”Really? I think you should have more willingness to visit the land where your ancestors came from? ”

”Hey, Sir, your words remind me of what Dad has ever said. When he was alive, he always complained that he really wanted to go to Neptune since Neptune is the land where our ancestors came from, but he never got that chance, because the central government always makes it harder for us to go there… ”

”Eh, why? ”

”Here, we Neptunian ethnic groups are closely monitored by the government. Because separatist leaders who want to liberate Sapphire are cooperating with Neptune, they suspect Neptunian Ethnic groups of collaborating with them. ”

”And how about you? ”

”No, of course not! ” Daphne shakes her head firmly.

”You support the government? ”

”To be honest… I don care. Indeed, my fellowmen often tell me to be more nationalist, and love my own clan and ethnicity… but even Dad, who is the most ethnocentric one in my family, doesn have such spirit. We don care about that. Dad always said, politics is complicated and dangerous, and the best choice is to stay away from it. ”

”Your dad is a wise man. I agree with him. ”

”How about you, Mr. Rivers? Have you visited Saturn? ”

”Me?… ”

”Yes. To the land of your ancestor. ”

”Ah… ”

”Is that right, the land of your ancestor is Saturn? ”

”Yes, thats right… ”

”You have visited it? ”

”… even your ancestors are not willing to see you!… ”

After a brief pause, Stairmount shakes his head. ”Never… ” When he answers, his voice is so low it is no more than a whisper.

”Then, we are the same, Sir. We are not the indigenous people in our country, but we never go back to the land of our ancestors. ”

Stairmount turns his head away, and looks out of the window. He does that on purpose since he does not wish his sudden gloomy face to be seen by a student he has just known for a few days.

”If I have a chance, I want to go to Saturn. By the way, Mr. Rivers, you can take a trip to Neptune. Hey, does it mean we are doing tour swaps for visiting the land of our ancestors, whereas we ourselves have never visited there! ”

If you get caught setting foot on either Neptune or Saturn, youll die.

”Hmm, thats a great idea. ” When he replies, Stairmounts face beams in happiness, and he curves a wide smile. He stretches out his palm and places it on the table. ”Come on, we promise to do that. And, to return to the lands of our respective ancestors. ”

”Promise? You mean?… ” Daphne is confused as she stares at the palm that her lecturer is holding out.

”According to the Callistos, this is an augury to make a promise. One puts the palm of his hand and another puts his palm on the back of the hand of the previous one, those who make the promise are bound to implement it. Whoever makes the promise, they can break it. ”

”Eh? What a hard promise! What if the central government still forbids me to go to Neptune?… ”

”Thats why we make this promise. My Callisto friend said, the energy of the agreement throughout this way is very powerful. After we make a promise, a powerful energy will rise, and nothing can stop it. ”

”Including the government. ”

”Everything. ”

The gleam of the morning sun enters the laboratory room, spreading a little warmth this winter. Daphne holds out her hand with hesitation. Knowing the girl still does not believe him, Stairmount nods reassuringly. With a jolt, Daphne suddenly gets the urge, and becomes absolutely sure. She puts her palm on the back of Stairmounts hand.

”I promise, ” Daphne said firmly.

Stairmount replies to Daphnes steady words. ”Okay, we promise. ”

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