"An organization that's a level higher than the Hundred Saber Alliance?"
These words sent Li Yao's heart in a turmoil.
The Hundred Saber Alliance was one of top hundred sects in the federation and could be counted as top ranking, super sect, which held its position in between thirtieth to fiftieth throughout the years.
Even the ten strongest sects in the federation, that were bigger than the Hundred Saber Alliance scale-wise, did not dare to say that they were "a level higher".
Exactly what kind of existence was this organization which Long Wenhui spoke of?
Having subconsciously taken the silver-white card, the subsequent sense when he touched it astounded Li Yao even more.
At first glance, the card was even smaller than the gold transfer card, yet it was extremely heavy. On touching, it felt neither metallic nor wooden, when pinched, it felt like a mass of free-flowing metal.
As Li Yao carefully flexed the card with his fingers, Li Yao came to find that the card was rather thin, so thin that its thickness was under a tenth of a millimeter.
It was quite reasonable to say that the edges of such a thin card would be very sharp, yet when Li Yao cautiously rubbed his thumb upon the edge, some kind of weak power happened to block his finger.
When Li Yao further applied strength to his fingers, a ripple-like texture appeared on the surface of the card before the card started bending until it surprisingly folded in the middle.
As Li Yao let go, the card, like a spring, recovered its original shape as the ripples diffused. One simply could not find any trace of folding marks upon it.
"What is it made of?" Li Yao was extremely surprised.
Having been learning under the guidance of the "Deep Sea Goddess" Yuan Manqiu for a year, along with the assistance of ancient records in the Heavenly Refining Tower, Li Yao's theory and basics were solid. Various common materials that could be found in the cultivation world were on the tips of his fingers.
Whereas a material with such strange characteristics would absolutely not be something that could be buried under shade, yet why had he not heard of it ever?
Long Wenhui said with a smile, "This card is an invitation but, at the same time, also a test. All the information of the federation is stored inside this card. Student Li Yao, explore it slowly, okay? Once you have uncovered all the secrets of this card, a gateway to the new world will gradually open to you!"
Long Wenhui's words piqued Li Yao's curiosity to the high heavens.
His gaze once again fell on the card's smooth, mirror-like surface.
"The card doesn't appear to have anything inside, so how can it hold a lot of information?"
Li Yao, who had flipped the card up and down for a long while, didn't find anything apart from his own anxious look.
Subtly tracing with his finger, some strange changes in the subsequent frictional force caught Li Yao's attention.
Li Yao's eyes flickered with brilliance as his fingertips subtly traced the card's surface.
He immediately discovered that the card's surface was uneven, albeit so subtle that one was unable to notice any traces of the shallow engraving. It seemed that the surface was engraved with a sentence written in calligraphy that was as flamboyant as flying dragons and dancing phoenixes.
Having closed his eyes, Li Yao carefully felt the subtle changes from his fingertip and read out in low voice, "When the stars shine..."
Just as these words escaped his mouth, the card happened to lightly tremble as ripples on the silver, reflective surface madly spread and a black hole appeared at the center, continuously corroding the silver-white surface.
After a moment, the card had been engulfed in darkness!
No, no, no, it wasn't darkness but rather as deep, serene, and dark as the sky in the night, spotted with flashes of starry brilliance that gathered to compose a shining whirlpool which was surely rotating, albeit slowly!
Suddenly, Li Yao felt as if sandwiched between his finger was the whole universe!
This incomparably strange scene lasted for a second before the everything went black; the galaxies broke as the card turned back into a silver-white mirror.
Sending Li Yao into a trance, leaving him shocked.
His spirit was still immersed in that vast and endless starry sea; for a long time, he was unable to calm down.
"What an incredible material, such a profound ability!
"Mysteries of endless cosmos interpreted within a few square inches!
"This technique simply transcends the limit of Heaven Origin Sector!
"When the stars shine? What does it mean? Does it represent the purpose of the federation?
"Is this a kind of federation?!"
In Li Yao's mind, endless thoughts circled madly.
Whereas Long Wenhui was as amazed as Li Yao was. Touching his bulbous nose, he muttered, "Within only 1 minute 42 seconds, he was able to solve the first mystery!?
"In the past, I took an entire 9 minutes!"
As Long Wenhui calmed his spirit down, his eyes flickered with extraordinary splendor. He smiled and said, "Student Li Yao, keep the card. When you're not busy, take your time to study it.
"What you've just discovered was nothing but one percent of the secrets that this card holds. The world is vast and wonderful, and it's waiting for you to discover it!
"Remember, this card not only represents the supreme glory but also mysterious and unpredictable dangers.
"Building Foundation Stage, you have to at least step into the Building Foundation Stage before you'll have the qualifications to research the new world on the back of this card!"
Long Wenhui paused for a bit before he touched his bulbous nose and said in a heavy voice, "In accordance with the tradition, each year, any freshman that displays particularly good performance in the Thunderbolt Cup will be entitled to guidance from the guests. I don't have too much time on hand to teach you a whole set of saber techniques, let alone to someone like you, who, I'm afraid need not just one or two sets.
"So, I'll send you a gift!"
Long Wenhui's gaze wandered before he walked to rocks on the lakeside and bent down before extending his chubby palm towards a fist-size rock.
This seemingly run-of-the-mill action, in Li Yao's eyes, however, gave birth to a feeling as though wind were raging and a storm was about to arrive.
The air seemed to turn into a strong adhesive that put him right where he was; Li Yao seemed unable to move even a millimeter.
All he could do was somehow open his eyes wide and watch Long Wenhui's chubby hands with rapt attention.
With a flick of Long Wenhui's sleeves, a fleeting aura passed by before he grabbed the rock and blew upon it.
"Ffffffffff." The dust scattered about.
The rock that used to be irregular, after having the dust dispersed, actually revealed eighteen smooth and glossy surfaces, just like a piece of gemstone that had been carefully chiseled.
Long Wenhui flashed a smile as he handed the rock over to Li Yao.
Only at this moment did the air return to its normal condition and Li Yao was finally able to breathe freely and unimpeded.
However, no matter how much attention Li Yao had paid a moment ago, he still failed to capture Long Wenhui's actions.
All he knew was that Long Wenhui took out his saber for sure and slashed one after another to cut the rock into current appearance!
"I even failed to capture the trajectory of the saber! Is this how powerful a Core Formation Stage powerhouse is?"
Solemnly, Li Yao took the rock using his both hands as though he was taking over a magical equipment worth an entire city.
As he traced his fingertips upon it ever so subtly, his pupils immediately contracted.
'They are not the same!'
The seemingly smooth and glossy mirror-like surfaces had subtle differences.
Each surface carved out by the saber, the impact speed of the blade, angle to the strength exercised seemed to have incomparably mysterious variations.
This saber technique of Long Wenhui seemed to have reached the peak of perfection of Core Formation Stage powerhouse. In what appeared to be just an instant, traces of eighteen completely different saber strikes had been left on the rock!
Holding his breath and closing his eyes, Li Yao used his hands, just as lightly as the wind, to feel about the rock surfaces continuously.
In his mind, inconceivable saber aurae appeared one after another. Li Yao was completely immersed in the world of the saber technique.
When he was so feverish that sweat was dripping down his face, Li Yao opened his eyes to find that Long Wenhui had already left some time ago.
The surface of the artificial lake was ever so calm, yet a series of footprints was impressively left upon its surface, extending to the other side of the lake.
It appeared that Long Wenhui had walked right over the lake's surface.
Whereas the footprints he left behind bore such terrifying spiritual energy that even after a long time, the water surface still remained solidified!
At this moment, a calm voice rang in Li Yao's ears, "Be sure to put your best into cultivation. Student Li Yao, we don't have much time left!"
Li Yao exhaled a breath of relief as he sat down on the lakeside, gazing at the footprints on the lake's surface in a daze.
Whether it was the silver-white card that would change into a star-filled universe or the amazing technique revealed by Long Wenhui, Li Yao got to experience a higher world.
A wonderful world that he had never dreamed of!
"The world of cultivation is vast indeed!
"The me of today can only set off a little wave in the Wild Waves City.
"I have to put my full effort into cultivation, craft the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, and also enter the Building Foundation Stage as soon as possible; then I can step into Log Wenhui's so-called new world!
"That would truly be a wonderful life!"
Having thought of this, a smile crept upon Li Yao's lips.
In any case, he had won the Thunderbolt Cup and received a reward of 10,000 credits. His total credit had broken through the 40,000 mark. Now, all he had to do was to get a letter of recommendation from the dean and he could go and participate in the Refiners' Registration Examination!
As long as he passed the examination, the Refining Department would remain as is and the institute would also increase next year's funding; allowing them to restart Project Mystic Skeleton.
As long as he worked hard, such a prosperous future could be achieved!
"Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!"
The crystal processor had received a message.
"The Utility Patent I had applied has also passed, now I hold the patent for the Demon Beast Detector!
Jumping high in the air, Li Yao punched the air in excitement.
He was too excited, so much so that he could not get hold of himself and happened to jump into the lake!
Over the next few days, Li Yao was rather busy.
He had received the letter of recommendation personally hand-written by Dean Xiong Baili himself. Also, the "Thunderbolt Cup" crafted from amethyst would be kept by the Starfire Union for a year until the next year's match, after which it would be handed over to the next winner.
Having won the Thunderbolt Cup, Li Yao's credits had broken through the 40,000 mark in just a year, thereby creating an unprecedented new record in the Grand Desolate War Institution, and inevitably became the focus of much attention. He had also been interviewed a few time by the campus reporters.
In addition, he had been warmly invited by the fellow students of Iron Fist Club and Chaos Edge Hall to talk about his winning experience.
Which Li Yao flatly refused on the spot. 'What a joke! Wouldn't I be walking right into a trap?!'
Even Ding Lingdang planned to help him celebrate winning the Thunderbolt Cup and invited him over to her house for dinner. However, he dared not go.
Every day, aside for being holed up in the research laboratory where he improved the Demon Beast Detector and prepared for the Refiners' Registration Examination, Li Yao would take out the silver-white card and the rock cut by Long Wenhui to research, whenever he had the time.
The more he researched, the more profound he realized the mysteries within them were.
Even when he blankly stared at them for a day and night, he would not get tired.
However, after three days, an unexpected message interrupted his much devoted cultivation.
"The Zephyr Guild wants to buy the patent of Demon Beast Detector from me?"