The warship looked like a dragon whose scales were all erect; it was surrounded by the strong stench of death.
Although the model was only the size of a little finger, Li Yao had the feeling that it was unstoppable, as if the warship alone was enough to conquer a planet.
It was just a model, but there were many delicate details on it which were indistinguishable by plain sight.
It was not until Li Yao groped his way through the warship with his spiritual threads that he had a general picture of what it actually looked like.
The erect 'scales' were, in fact, numerous turrets, which were in a completely different style from those of the crystal warships in the Heaven's Origin Sector.
From his instinct as a refiner, Li Yao felt that, in regards of layout and firepower, the warship should be much more advanced than any crystal warship in the Heaven's Origin Sector.
In the front of the warship was a long cylinder that looked like a dragon which was craning its head. Judging from the appearance, it should be the main gun of the warship.
But after a prolonged observation, Li Yao didn't even figure out what kind of weapon it was.
"This warship model must be a product crafted by one of the Guilds of Provenance back in the era of the Star Ocean Imperium."
The era of the Star Ocean Imperium had been the peak of Cultivation technology. Under the leadership of the Supreme Emperor, all the twenty Guilds of Provenance had the power to cruise across galaxies. They each developed magical equipment and training systems of their own distinguishing styles.
But after the Armageddon Rebellion, the magical equipment and training systems had been mostly lost.
This warship model was probably a remnant of that era.
However, was it just a model?
Blinking his eyes, Li Yao held the warship model in his palm and pondered.
If it were only a handicraft, there would be no need to carefully store it inside the Cosmos Ring before sealing it with an encryption.
There must be something more about it!
Pausing for a moment, Li Yao bit his finger and squeezed a drop of blood on the warship model.
He was going to unveil the secret of the warship model by the Blood Baptism of the Hundred Smelting Guild.
The warship model sucked his blood in as if it were alive and shivered in a vague red light.
Li Yao was excited.
The Blood Baptism did not mean that a piece of magical equipment could be submitted by a single drop of blood. It required a serious of complicated procedures.
But at least, given that the warship model did not reject his blood, it was very likely to be a product of Cultivators.
If its creator were a demon, a devil cultivator or other species in the cosmos, it would've never accepted the blood of a Cultivator so easily.
Faced with a piece of magical equipment from the Star Ocean Imperium, Li Yao did not dare to underestimate it. He squeezed ten drops of blood from his fingertips and three drops of blood from the tip of his tongue.
The blood was blended together and turned into a mist.
Manipulated by Li Yao's spell, the blood mist seemed to be alive. It was knitted into a red net and covered the warship model, which absorbed it leaving no trace behind.
Li Yao instantly felt that a weak spiritual connection had been established between himself and the warship model.
He had the same feeling when he first wore a crystal suit.
Li Yao felt his heart was beating fast. He extended dozens of spiritual threads and pierced them into the warship model.
His spiritual threads went on without any trouble. The warship model didn't resist them at all. Instead, an intense attraction force was brewing inside it which seemed to be pulling Li Yao's entire soul in.
When Li Yao discovered that it was not good, it was already late.
There seemed to be a terrible swirl inside the warship model which had sucked part of his soul in.
Li Yao felt that he was in a Half-step Great Illusionary Land that was just opened, or like his soul had been split into two halves, because he could see two worlds unfolding in front of his eyes at the same time.
In one of the two worlds, he was still inside the suite, with the warship model at his hand.
In the other world, he was confined in a limited space that was surrounded by grey mist, unable to go anywhere.
In front of him was a panoramic light beam, where obscure control menus that were hundreds of times more complicated than those of a refining furnace or a crystal suit were popping up.
What was even more dazzling for Li Yao was that there was a 'giant' that looked silly inside the panoramic light beam, who, with a closer look, was exactly himself.
The weird ratio and perspective reminded Li Yao of a possibility.
"Could it be that part of my soul is in the cockpit of the warship?
"The panoramic light beam is the actual control system of the warship model?
"Is this warship model flyable?"
The moment he thought of that, the control menus blazed. Countless complicated rows of data streamed into the light beam.
Runes of the Star Ocean Imperium and those of the Heaven's Origin Sector were quite different.
Li Yao couldn't even understand most of the instructions, let alone how to drive the warship model.
While he was all hurry-scurry, the warship model was flying staggeringly in the air with brilliant colors and twinkles of runes. There was even a mini spiritual shield!
In the meantime, Li Yao felt that he had been hammered heavily on the head.
Although his soul was quite solid, it was still not enough to steer this warship model.
Besides, the warship model was swallowing spiritual energy from him as its power source in a way that he couldn't comprehend.
The warship model was dashing here and there in the suite like a headless fly and almost hit Li Yao a couple of times.
"Little Black, stop it!"
Li Yao's cold sweat broke out. He tried everything he could to withdraw his soul from the warship model.
Thankfully, the warship model seemed to have realized that the pilot was a newbie. It hovered for a while and eventually stopped.
Li Yao was finally able to pull back his soul. The brilliance on the warship model dispersed and resumed the unremarkable silver-grey color.
Li Yao's face was pale, and he was breathing heavily.
As it turned out, he had been too reckless.
If the warship model were malicious, or one of its former owners had implanted some vicious traps inside it, Li Yao's spiritual energy might've been drained.
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao came to the conclusion that the warship model could be a piece of magical equipment to train crystal warship pilots in the era of the Star Ocean Imperium.
Its control system must be a duplicate of a real crystal warship.
If a trainer could control the warship model proficiently, he would prove to be a qualified pilot to drive a real-life warship to cross galaxies and destroy planets.
The conclusion made Li Yao somewhat lost for words.
A piece of training magical equipment of the ancient time was of little value to him!
Suppose he had grasped the skills to steer a crystal warship of the Star Ocean Imperium, what then?
Thousands of years had passed. There was no way that he could find such a warship in real life to put what he learnt into practice.
However, on second thought, it was not necessarily true.
"The control pattern of the warship model is complicated enough for me to do the spiritual exercises. Besides, I can improve my crystal suit skills and super shuttle skills by driving this warship model.
"Moreover, the warship model is made of a rare and yet extremely tensile material, and it could be controlled by a telepathic thought. It will be a piece of great magical equipment for scouting!
"Also, once accelerated to maximum, it can also be used as a bullet!
"A bullet that is under full control of my spiritual energy will be a great help in combat!"
Coming up with several possible usages of the warship model, Li Yao felt happy again. He decided to practice the art of a warship pilot when he returned to the Grand Desolate War Institution.
During intense combat, the warship model would be his secret weapon!
"Nice! Nice! Not only did I retrieve so many marrow crystals in the Cosmos Ring which triggered the mutation of Little Black, I was also lucky enough to discover this warship model of the Star Ocean Imperium.
"This trip to the Dark Desolate Domain has been truly rewarding
"Although you are just a warship model, I might as well give you a name. You looked like a fierce dragon I'll just call you 'Neltharion'!"
Li Yao and Peng Hai met again in Peng Hai's personal training room.
Over a year ago, Li Yao had received a month of special training in this place, which was the biggest reason why he had won the title of Floating Spear City's Champion of College Entrance Examination.
He had been missing Peng Hai's personal training room.
"Senior Brother Peng!"
After one year away from each other, Li Yao found that Peng Hai was more complex than before, who, at first look, looked like a successful businessman instead of a strong Cultivator that fought in the depths of the Grand Desolate Plateau all the time.
Peng Hai had been Li Yao's role model when Li Yao was in high school. He offered generous help to Li Yao unhesitatingly when Li Yao was most in trouble.
Besides, both of them had been set on the path of cultivation by Sun Biao.
There couldn't be a closer senior-junior brother relationship in the world.
"Good boy! I've been hearing your name all the time over the past year. You even broke my credits record in the Grand Desolate War Institution. That's impressive!"
Fiend Blade Peng Hai was glad, too.
He was planning to create his own sect. A strong junior brother would be really helpful when he started to recruit his own men.
"Do you know that 'Vulture Li Yao' is quite famous in the world of Cultivators now? When I was training in the Grand Desolate Plateau, many Cultivators were asking me about you. You've been putting a lot of pressure on your Senior Brother's shoulders, Li Yao!"
Peng Hai smiled.
"I got the 40,000 credits mostly because of luck. At first, I came across a large-scale beast tide outbreak in downtown. Then I managed to let the Iron Fist Club and the Chaos Edge Hall turn against each other in the Thunderbolt Cup. That's how I earned the most crucial 10,000 credits."
Li Yao was not very confident about his achievement.
"It's all insignificant. 40,000 credits, or the Thunderbolt Cup, are nothing but campus games. Experts of the Cultivation world won't bother any of that."
Peng Hai shook his head and said, "I'm afraid you are not aware of it yet, but the true reason why you got famous is that you wandered in the Thunderous Sound Mountain for more than ten days and walked out safe and sound.
"Everyone in the Cultivation world knows what kind of place the Thunderous Sound Mountain is. Even many Building Foundation Stage experts have walked inside never to be seen again. As a Refinement Stage Cultivator, you survived more than ten days inside the Thunderous Mountain and retreated without being crippled. It was truly a miracle!
"It is because of this accomplishment that 'Vulture Li Yao' has become known by everyone on the Grand Desolate Plateau!"
Li Yao thought of something. He took out a brand-new Demon Beast Detector from his backpack and said, "Senior Brother Peng, the reason why I could survive so many days in the Thunderous Sound Mountain is partly because I was lucky, and partly, because of this magical equipment refined by myself!"