The staff-only workshop in the Maintenance Department of the Four Sectors Magical Equipment Center was the most advanced maintenance center with the most sufficient facilities and the best trained and most experienced refiners in the entire Dragon Snake Space Zone.
The dazzling facilities on the ground were ten times more professional than the simple maintenance platforms next to the test field.
But they could not stop the dozens of most skilled maintainers and modifiers of the Dragon Snake Space Zone furrowing their eyebrows in front of the Azure Thunder.
The armor and the maintenance panel were opened again, revealing the various components that were as delicate as the nerve network and the muscle fibers of a human body.
At first glance, as the four deep blue tubes transmitted feeble spiritual energy into the crystal suit, all the units of the crystal suit were still functioning smoothly while glittering in a patterned rhythm, fluctuating like a huge beast breathing.
However, tiny anomalies always occurred after every few seconds during the ‘breathing’. Something seemed to be wrong with the super-compressed crystal reactor of the crystal suit, which was like the heart of the beast, making it unable to input and output the blood normally.
A majestic-looking, middle-aged man was standing in front of the Azure Thunder in silence. Sha Yongming, the young refiner, was catering to him carefully nearby.
It was Nie Siyuan, the chief maintainer and modifier in the Chamber of Commerce.
He was also the manager of the Maintenance Department of the Four Sectors Magical Equipment Center, and he had only just arrived from the auditorium of the ‘Ace Game’ because of the emergency.
However, the renowned master of maintenance and modification in the Dragon Snake Space Zone did not know what the problem was exactly, either. He was staring at the Azure Thunder, as confused as Sha Yongming and the other refiners.
“Master Chu is here!”
“Professor Tang, too! Professor Tang, who demonstrated shocking performance in the test field just now, has arrived!”
The maintainers and refiners greeted Chu Chongjiu and Professor Tang like the stars surrounding the moon.
“Brother Chu!” Nie Siyuan walked forth and clasped his fist toward Chu Chongjiu. Then he bowed to the girl beside him and managed to put on a smile. “Fellow Cultivator Tang, you must be an expert on your side. Please do forgive my obtrusion by inviting you here…”
“Brother Nie.” Chu Chongjiu bowed back to Nie Siyuan. “We are too familiar with each other to bother with all those formalities. The crystal suit has gone wrong again after being adjusted by the two of us. According to the tradition of the refiners, we are certainly obliged to see what is going on and if anything went wrong during our adjustment. If it is indeed our fault, we will definitely take full responsibility!”
“Brother Chu, you are being too serious,” Nie Siyuan said solemnly. “The expertise of the specialist on your side far exceeds that of the refiners of the Dragon Snake Space Zone. The Azure Thunder is not the work of the best experts in the federation, either. How could anything have gone wrong during your adjustment?
“Also, I watched the surveillance footage myself after the incident to observe the process of your adjustment. I read the test records before the crystal suit had a second fault. Based on your modification and the combat data it displayed, there was absolutely nothing wrong. Your adjustment was almost immaculate. Fellow Cultivator Tang here was particularly marvelous to have exploited 2% more of the extreme performance of the crystal suit!”
The staff nearby all spoke up.
“Indeed. Professor Tang is so awesome!”
“She knows the performance of the crystal suit better than its creator Wu Yaxuan!”
Chu Chongjiu frowned and said, “Then I’m confused. The crystal suit was obviously perfect after the maintenance and adjustment half a day ago, but half a day later, new faults are happening. Did that… Zhao Tongtian perform any highly dangerous maneuvers in the crystal suit? But that shouldn’t be so serious. Crystal suits are designed for battles in the first place. All kinds of extreme conditions have already been taken into consideration. It shouldn’t be so fragile as long as it is not hit by a heavy crystal railgun head on!”
“You are quite right, Brother Chu. Besides, Zhao Tongtian did not perform any dangerous maneuvers. He was overjoyed after getting the crystal suit modified and renewed by the two masters. In the half a day that followed, he was familiarizing himself with the performance of the crystal suit in the test field here and doing rehabilitative exercises.”
Nie Siyuan selected the surveillance picture from dozens of angles and projected it on the light beam. “Please take a look. This is the picture of Zhao Tongtian’s training in the Azure Thunder. It can be easily seen that, although his combat style is rather aggressive and violent, and sprinting, halting, and abrupt turning are his habitual movements, they are all within a reasonable range. Such movements will naturally cause erosion on the crystal suit. However, under normal circumstances, it would take at least three to five months for such erosion to lead to a slight change in the parameters. The crystal suit is not made of paper. How can it be worn to the sensible extent after only half a day?”
Chu Chongjiu and Professor Tang both observed carefully but failed to notice anything abnormal. They nodded and said, “Indeed. He was simply sprinting, halting, and abruptly turning before he performed the not-so-radical dodging exercise. Although he was hit by more than ten simulated cannonballs, they were not really explosive. If the blast of such a degree is already insufferable, the crystal suit cannot be called a crystal suit at all!”
“Yes. There is absolutely no reason why the crystal suit should have a fault right now,” Nie Siyuan said gravely. “But it does nonetheless. According to Zhao Tongtian himself, after doing rehabilitative training for four hours, he decided to do a series of training exercises on continuous acceleration. But when he was accelerating in the second phase, he suddenly heard a ‘bo’ sound from deep inside the crystal suit, as if something was broken. Later, while the crystal suit did not have any obvious fault, he felt extremely uncomfortable no matter how he moved it. It felt even more scratchy than before you adjusted the crystal suit. To quote him, he felt that needles were stinging his back.
“He wasn’t lying.
“After I came back, I managed the test for the crystal suit myself and realized that, although the performance parameters were not changed at all, the feeling when it was worn was indeed not right. The description of ‘needles stinging the back’ was very appropriate. It was almost like the ‘flawlessness’ hidden deep inside the crystal suit, left by Wu Yaxuan and even Xie Anan, had been entirely sabotaged!
“If it were a low-level Cultivator using a common crystal suit, they might not have taken the ‘uncomfortableness’ seriously, but Zhao Tongtian is in the Core Formation Stage after all, and the Azure Thunder is a sophisticated product. Therefore, it is quite uncanny that such a problem has arisen!”
Chu Chongjiu glanced at the crystal suit that had been entirely unveiled before he said solemnly, “Brother Nie, what is the source of the problem?”
With an extremely weird expression, Nie Siyuan lowered his head and said, “This is the strangest part. I have resorted to all the most advanced magical equipment in the workshop, and I’ve invited so many refiners to study it together, but after we discussed it for a long time, we couldn’t locate the source of the problem at all!”
Chu Chongjiu and Professor Tang looked at each other, both noticing the astonishment in their eyes.
Nie Siyuan was one of the best refiners in the Dragon Snake Space Zone. There was certainly a gap between him and the top-tier experts on Firefly and the Star Glory Federation, but he should not have been so lousy as to fail to even detect the cause of a fault!
“Let me take a look!” Chu Chongjiu’s face was ten times more serious than when he had been in the test field previously.
While browsing through the test records that Nie Siyuan and other refiners had left and the changed parameters on the Azure Thunder, he stuck his hands onto the chest of the crystal suit. His spiritual energy flowed deep into the crystal suit like thick tides, brushing past the uneven surface of every component as he sensed the discordance there.
The more he sensed, the more confused Chu Chongjiu became. Furrowing his brow and pursing his lips, he fell into exactly the same trance as Nie Siyuan after a long silence.
“This is very strange,” Chu Chongjiu mumbled. “It’s true that no faults can be found at all. The crystal suit is identical to when we adjusted it!”
Whispers were echoing around.
Even Chu Chongjiu, a master of refining from Firefly, could not find the source of the problem. This was truly rare!
Nie Siyuan, Chu Chongjiu, and all the other people all looked at Professor Tang for help.
Unlike them, Professor Tang put on an interested smile.
“This is fun!”
Flames of excitement were burning inside her eyes as she stared at the Azure Thunder. She took out a tube of fragrant ointment from her pocket and softly rubbed it on her hands, which were as smooth as jade. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and put her hands into the cold empty chamber of the Azure Thunder.
Her eyelashes were shivering nonstop. Her hands were glowing from inside to outside like radiating jade until every vein and nerve inside her pure hands was readily visible. Her body seemed to have become translucent!
All the refiners held their breath. Even their hearts almost stopped beating.
Professor Tang did not open her eyes again until three minutes later. What was almost running out of her beautiful eyes was not confusion, nor confidence, but the deepest horror!
“It’s impossible.” Professor Tang could not help but took two steps back. She shook her head hard and repeated in an even louder voice, “It’s… impossible!”
“What?” Chu Chongjiu stepped forward in a hurry. “Have you found the problem?”
“There is no problem.” Professor Tang stared in a trance at the Azure Thunder, which was wide open. The dark, hollow internal space of the crystal suit was almost swallowing her soul like a bottomless swirl. Her voice was shivering as she explained in disbelief, “This crystal suit does not have any fault. It has merely been adjusted again after us. Somebody has set it to the extreme mode that is absolutely unbearable for a Core Formation Stage Cultivator like Zhao Tongtian through a brilliant approach!
“In—in other words, after I squeezed out two percent of the potential in the crystal suit that even the original designer Wu Yaxuan never thought of, somebody wrung… at least another seven percent of the potential combat ability out of the crystal suit! The price is that the difficulty of usage has been drastically multiplied. With Zhao Tongtian’s capabilities, it is absolutely impossible for him to use the crystal suit!”