In the dim light of the crystal suit graveyard, Li Yao was left alone with 146 wrecked crystal suits.
Li Yao felt that his entire world had become a small boat floating in the surging tides of stars and sea.
And he was merely an ant on the boat which was completely stunned by the overwhelming dominance.
He stood up shaking, and tried to keep balance by stretching his two arms.
But he suddenly found that the whole world was tilting leftwards and he was falling to his left beyond his control into the crystal suit ruins.
Just like quicksand, the 146 crystal suits flew towards him and swallowed him.
Li Yao screamed. Then he recognized that all the crystal suits were in their original place.
They didn't fly towards him. Instead, it was him who staggered towards them like a headless fly.
"The balance system of my brain is totally in disorder now. I can't even stand straight, and whenever I sit down, I feel like vomiting. How can I maintain the crystal suits like this?
"No! If things remain unchanged, I'm never going to finish the maintenance work within a month. And even if I do, there will be no time left for me to learn any crystal suit skills. I'm definitely going to be eliminated!
"It might be exactly what the chief instructor hoped for!
"I won't let it go your way, asshole!
"First, stand up and hold on for three seconds!"
Li Yao gritted his teeth. Veins were appearing in his pale face.
He shouted and stood up, and it took less than half a second before he fell down on his face again.
10 minutes later.
Li Yao had tried 79 times. Not once did he successfully remain standing for more than two seconds without falling over. His face was swollen, his body covered in bruises.
Then Li Yao tried to stand up for the 80th time. But this time his body couldn't bear it any longer and he leaned backwards before he kissed the knee of a solid crystal suit with the back of his head.
The thump echoed in the small graveyard for a long time.
The back of his head was wet. Blood was running out.
But Li Yao opened his eyes with wonder and astonishment.
"What's going on?
"The dizziness was relieved when my head hit the crystal suit?"
He lay there for a while to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. No, he wasn't. The sense of balance had returned to his body. He was able to sit up and take a deep breath.
But before he enjoyed himself enough, the swirling feeling crawled back and devoured him like a giant beast. He was locked up in darkness again.
Li Yao lay down again. He gazed at the ceiling and started pondering.
A moment later, he fumbled around the floor and found a crystal suit component.
He weighed it. It was neither too light nor too heavy and exactly fit for his purpose.
He clutched the component and hit it really hard in his head.
There seemed to be a giant bell ringing in his brain. Li Yao blinked with a twisted face due to the pain.
But with the sharp pain came the ease of dizziness. He was able to sit up and enjoy his freedom for a couple of seconds again.
What's more, there was joy of insight in his eyes.
He finally understood what had happened.
Even though a small boat was floating in surging tides, an experienced sailor would still be walking with ease on the bumping deck.
Their trick was to anticipate the direction and degree of each bump the moment it happens.
Then they would impose a force of the same degree, but in the opposite direction, to offset the impact of the tides.
Normally, when someone was hit in the head, there would be concussion and dizziness. Sometimes they'd even see stars dancing before their eyes.
But Li Yao was already extremely dizzy before he was hit.
The second wave of dizziness, caused by the knock, offset the first wave of dizziness triggered by the Balance Breakers, resulting in a new subtle balance.
It was exactly the same as the experienced sailors who used their own movement to offset the movement of the sea.
Or rather, it was like two rapid shuttles at the speed of 800km/h, which were in the state of relative rest although they were both moving fast.
"This is why!
"The Balance Breakers has completely overturned the balance system of my brain. There's no way that I can subvert it.
"However, by introducing a second interference, I can activate a second wave of imbalance.
"When the two waves of imbalance confront each other, they will offset, and my balance system will probably be restored to normal again!"
After figuring out the mechanism, Li Yao started trying.
He shook his head at an astonishing speed.
When one shakes his head too fast, he would feel dizzy because there's a lot of liquid contained in his brain which will hit the skull when it's being recklessly shaken.
Just like when the brakes of a shuttle are slammed on, the passengers in it will lean forward uncontrollably even though the vehicle has stopped.
Li Yao couldn't hold it back any longer and started vomiting.
Since he'd failed to control the intensity, the two waves of dizziness didn't offset. Instead, they combined together as if a stun grenade had detonated in his brain, which immediately put him down.
But Li Yao was not the least frustrated. On the contrary, he was excited.
Because his theory had been proved. An external impact could influence the dizziness inside his brain.
If the dizziness could be strengthened, of course it could be weakened.
"Come on now!
"I've got it!
"Let's see who can stop me now!"
An hour later.
47 new wounds and 209 new bruises were added to Li Yao's body.
He finally grasped the frequency of dizziness, as well as a special skill named brain concussion.
Although it was not enough to extricate him from the swirl of dizziness, he was able to stand and get back to work now.
"Balance training can't be done in a day. I'm already doing well with such recovery in such a short time. Let's improve it later in the days to come!
"Now, start the crystal suit maintenance!"
Li Yao couldn't wait any longer.
Magical equipment maintenance was what he had always been best at!
But after checking the total-loss crystal suits carefully, he found that things were a bit tricky.
What the chief instructor left for him was nothing but scraps that couldn't be scrappier.
Crystal suits, as the top magic equipment, boasted a high level of precision.
Key components in the total-loss crystal suits, such as the Super Compressed Crystal Reactor, had all been torn away. The only thing left on each of them was the bare framework.
Just like a dead body without muscles, arteries, nerves, and organs. A pure skeleton.
But still, it was much more complicated than Li Yao had imagined.
It was not Li Yao's biggest problem, since the jade slips that Mao Feng left for him had all the structure designs and maintenance manuals in them.
He had not been asked to modify or upgrade them. Therefore, he only needed to decompose and assemble them according to the illustrations in the jade slips.
It would take some time, but it was not undoable.
The trickier problem was that those crystal suits had decayed in the open air for so long that their components were all utterly rusted, which were as rotten as bones that had been buried underground for decades.
The garbage that had been overlooked for almost a hundred years would be maintained by him and him alone.
"What a bunch of scrap! They're not crystal suits; they're pure garbage. They're even worse than the rubbish that I used to gather in the magical equipment graveyard!
"Any other refiner would find himself unable to do anything about it.
"But it's me and I have to do my best now!"
Li Yao gritted his teeth and sat cross-legged.
He closed his eyes. His soul returned to the deep down of his brain.
In the middle of the depth of his mind, Ou Yezi's Tree of Memories was flickering brilliantly.
40,000 years ago, the Hundred Smelting Clan was a major sect for refiners. It had considerable expertise on magical equipment maintenance.
In the Hundred Smelting Clan, the novices would serve as workers or assistants to help maintain the magical equipment before they started refining formally.
Even Ou Yezi himself had spent a few years on the onerous job of maintaining magical equipment in his early days.
In ancient times, there weren't many maintenance tools as today. Everything had to be done with their bare hands.
Many of Ou Yezi's memory pieces devoured by Li Yao were related to magical equipment maintenance.
But Li Yao had never studied them before, since he'd never had the chance to use them.
Now, he watched the hundreds of maintenance jobs done by Ou Yezi while fast forwarding. Then he sank his consciousness into Ou Yezi's self and felt the delicacies of the art of magical equipment maintenance in ancient times.
Rolling them over in his mind, Li Yao felt that he was onto something.
He chose another memory piece and went into the first floor of the Heavenly Refining Tower, where he found a book named Seven Ways to Hide Edge and started reading intensively.
Seven Ways to Hide Edge was an introductory book to magical equipment maintenance from the Hundred Smelting Clan.
It contained instructions on how to remove the rust, how to lubricate, how to illuminate an obscure rune array, thousands of ways to mix maintenance oil Nothing anyone could imagine regarding magical equipment maintenance was not in it.
Most of the tricks in the book had already been forgotten 40,000 years later.
Li Yao absorbed the knowledge in Seven Ways to Hide Edge by telepathic thoughts transmission technology, like a giant whale absorbing water.
Even so, it still took him a day and a night in the Heavenly Refining Tower before he fully grasped the tons of information in the book.
Then he chose Ou Yezi's memory pieces about magical equipment maintenance again and practiced the skills that he'd just learnt a couple of hundred times.
In the end, the miraculous tricks and skills were wholly embedded into his soul.
When Li Yao returned to himself satisficed, the time in reality had passed 24 hours.
He could see something unusual about the rusted scrapped metals now.
In the level that ordinary people couldn't reach or feel, he seemed to hear the steel soldiers roaring astoundingly despite the rust on their body!
"Even though you're dead, I'll bring you the dignity you deserve.
"You should be sitting majestically in war museums and talking to the world about your magnificent history as heroes, instead of rotting silently in this shithole!"
Li Yao inserted the jade slips into the crystal processor. He started warming himself up while reading the maintenance manuals.
Cracking sounds came from the joints of his fingers, which seemed to have become ten hungry dragons lusting for food.
Picking up the tools he needed, Li Yao walked to the first crystal suit solemnly.
I'm starting to realize why you guys call him a sadist after reading this chapter...