"Chi! Chi! Chi! Chi!"
As the prelude to the battle, the two Honeycomb Flying Sword Containers on the shoulders of No. 9's Thunder Axe Battlesuit were fully opened, sending out dozens of rays of lights in the color of lavender which dashed towards Li Yao like a neatly-knitted net, screaming.
Flying swords attack!
The 360 tiny flying swords on the Thunder Axe Battlesuit were all carved with strong thunder-class rune arrays made of violent thunder-class crystals.
Since they were designed for one-time usage and there was no need to collect them, their damage was extremely high.
Once they hit their target, thunder storms would be released. If more than one flying sword hit the same target, the lightning they unleashed would build up and increase the damage to an even higher level.
Even an opponent as strong as a demon general might be torn apart instantly!
Since it was just a match, all the aggressive magical equipment had been suppressed to reduce their damage to one tenth of the original.
Besides, a special program named Identification of Friend or Foe System was installed into the crystal processor, too. Once the system foresaw that a fatal attack would be performed, it would immediately withhold the action.
Even so, when dozens of flying swords, with lightning dancing in between, charged towards him as if they would destroy everything in their way, Li Yao still felt his heart skip a beat.
But then, it only started beating faster!
"This is the battle I wanted; this is everything I desire!"
Instead of dodging or retreating, he was manic enough to speed up and went directly against the flying swords face to face, the power rune arrays behind his back blazing brilliantly.
"Bait Bugs, activate!"
"Pu! Pu! Pu! Pu!"
Two plates on the outside of his shoulder blades split. From inside, hundreds of firefly-like mini puppets stormed out and hovered around him like shining stars.
But when the flying swords came close, the Bait Bugs hummed and dispersed into all directions.
Tips of the flying swords trembled violently.
More than thirty of them were interfered by the spiritual fluctuation released by the Bait Bugs whom they mistook for their target. Then they rectified their trajectory and went after the Bait Bugs.
Like brave soldiers, the Bait Bugs turned their direction and collided with the flying swords, causing a series of lightning flashes. It was like masses of purple lotuses had blossomed in the sky of the desert.
The remaining twenty flying swords that had not been interfered with continued to speed up towards Li Yao. Within a moment, they were already under his nose.
Li Yao could see vividly the waves released when the flying swords tore the air apart.
He was instantly tied by voltaic arcs.
All the attack rune arrays of the flying swords were triggered, causing a sandstorm that was dozens of meters tall to swallow him like a giant yellow beast.
In the stomach of the beast, Li Yao put everything he'd learned over the past month into practice.
He didn't condense a full-scale spiritual shield, which would consume too much spiritual energy and also affect his senses and swiftness.
Instead, he only formed a thin spiritual shield which covered him in crimson. Then he started dodging with amazing agility and speed in the super-heavy crystal suit that weighed more than ten tons.
The tracks of the flying swords were all transparent. Thousands of pieces of data were collected and analyzed by the crystal processor before it produced the most reasonable dodging plan in his brain.
In a moment, the Thunder Axe Battlesuit blurred and disappeared into hundreds of shadows, just like an elephant dancing in a storm.
All the flying swords missed their target, however close they were.
Several flying swords were able to hit the Thunder Axe Battlesuit, but they were repelled due to inappropriate angles, leaving one voltaic arc after another around as if Li Yao had put on a new galvanizing battlesuit.
Li Yao rushed out of the sandstorm.
All the spectators exclaimed in great surprise.
Li Yao's battlesuit seemed to be well-worn, indicated by the glaring scars from explosions and electric shocks on its surface.
But, with a careful look, one would discover that they were actually all scratches and none of them were fatal.
"A lucky dog?"
Many were surprised, for they thought that Li Yao had already been put down by the salvo.
However, the Thunder Axe Battlesuit was not best known for flying sword attacks, which was the specialty of the long-range crystal suits.
For the Thunder Axe Battlesuit, flying swords were merely an approach to minimize the range of activity of its opponent, so that its weakness, its speed, could be overcome and the Thunder Axe Battlesuit would have an opportunity to draw close to its opponent.
And once the Thunder Axe Battlesuit was near, its opponent would be screwed.
Naturally, No. 9 was not disappointed at the failure of the first wave of flying sword attack. He continued onto the second and third wave of attack.
Although Li Yao dodged each and every of them perfectly, their distance was getting smaller and smaller.
No. 9 seemed to have dominated the battlefield. With the consecutive flying sword attacks, he pushed Li Yao to the place he desired.
In the meantime, Li Yao launched two counterattacks by releasing his own flying swords.
No. 9 didn't even bother to dodge.
In the 10th level of the Refinement Stage, with the enhancement of the Thunder Axe Battlesuit, he was able to form such a dense spiritual shield that none of Li Yao's flying swords could break through.
A month ago, in the Refiners' Registration Examination, the Tarantula that Li Yao used was so much heavier than the Wolf King that it just ignored the opponent's remote attacks.
But this time, the roles had been swapped.
This time, it was his opponent who had more weight, more strength, and more spiritual energy!
Very soon, the distance between the two had been reduced to less than a hundred meters, which was the perfect distance for the Thunder Axe Battlesuit to sprint.
No. 9 roared. He threw all the remaining flying swords he had. Then he stomped his feet, under which the power rune arrays seemed to be transformed into two burning suns venting endless light and heat. His speed was brought up to its maximum and he dashed towards Li Yao like a rushing, high-speed crystal-rail train.
Li Yao's Bait Bugs had run out. Facing the intense attack of hundreds of swords, he had to move to one side fast and try to find a gap in the profound sword array.
This was all within No. 9's expectation.
Two steel beasts collided. Li Yao was blown up into the sky, his thin spiritual shield shattered.
"What a brutal collision!"
Many watchers felt that their blood was freezing.
No. 9's strength was one of the best among all students. This collision made them feel that they had heard the noise of their own bones being crushed.
Yet No. 9 had no intention of stopping.
He was a ferocious combat lunatic. He didn't care who his opponent was.
Maybe a newbie, maybe a master. Maybe in the 1st level of the Refinement Stage, maybe in the Nascent Soul Stage.
It didn't matter. He had one and only one solution, which was to burn out his soul and push forward unstoppably.
No. 9 stomped his feet again, sending out another round of ripples on the surface of the desert as if a meteorite had just hit the earth. With the counterforce, he accelerated and caught up to Li Yao who was still in the sky.
The electromagnetic axe on No. 9's right leg hit Li Yao's chest with a dazzling voltaic arc.
That was just the beginning.
The four electromagnetic axes on No. 9's arms and legs bit Li Yao like four fangs and wouldn't let go, causing an intimidating electromagnetic storm while both of them were falling to the ground. A small tornado was triggered.
"No. 100 is doomed."
"Had he chosen a speed-type crystal suit, he might've been able to circle around for a while longer."
"Yet he selected a super-heavy crystal suit. He thought he was good enough to beat the 'steel man'? What an idiot!"
The savage sandstorm had blocked the crystal camera, stopping everyone from seeing what was happening in the tornado.
But they all knew that the match would end within several seconds.
No, it wasn't a match but a predominated slaughter.
However, the two in the tornado didn't think so.
The more he fought, the less confident No. 9 became.
Although he hit his opponent time and time again, the feedback from the axes was different from usual when he hit the target with the burst of his spiritual energy.
On the contrary, it was as if he had hit a swamp, a cluster of mud or a bottle of gel. His spiritual energy went off and just vanished into thin air, as if his opponent were a ghost made of smoke instead of a human being!
"Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!"
Although he seemed to be dominating the match, No. 9 was filled with uncertainty. He roared and waved the four electromagnetic axes, trying to cut his opponent into pieces. Plates and components were flying everywhere in the sky.
In the scarred crystal suit, Li Yao took all the attacks quietly. His face was calm as ever, as if the seemingly unbearable bombardment was nothing but tickling for him.
Every second, his body would move dozens of times in small scale, so that he could avoid No. 9's giant axes before they hit him, or set an appropriate angle for the edge of the axes to slip away on the round plates.
While he dodged, he was observing his opponent's attack and concluding his fighting style and habits. Then he speculated the fatal flaw based on his observation.
In the meantime, thousands of structure designs popped up in his brain.
The structure and weaknesses of the Thunder Axe Battlesuit were all clear now.
"My opponent was stronger than me, his explosive power greater than mine, his spiritual energy denser than mine, and we're equally skilled at driving crystal suits.
"I have to take a risk if I am to win!"
Thousands of lights gathered into a deadly brilliance in Li Yao's eyes.