Half an hour later, in the conference room of the Refining Department.
The remaining grassroots professors and experts were in a heated discussion.
Most of them were fond of Li Yao, whom they thought was a promising young man of the grassroots refining ideology.
Not only had he learnt the basics of refining well, he was also familiar with the elite refining ideology and its secret techniques. Moreover, he was a self-taught expert in ancient refining techniques in which he had showed great talent.
What's more, since he had grown up in the magical equipment graveyard, he had a natural instinct for the maintenance and modification of magical equipment.
Although he was not good enough in the advanced theories of refining compared with the experienced experts of the trade, his manual ability was as good as the skilled refiners who had been doing their job for years, if not better.
Many professors and experts were willing to let Li Yao be their assistant and help with the refinement and polish of the key components.
His crazy, sometimes even insane, modification plans and conceptual designs were always big eye-openers for the grassroots refiners who had been somehow calcified because of decades of routine work.
For example, a week ago, Li Yao had proposed a plan named 'Modular Architecture', which meant developing the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit into two kinds of sub-models: the primary model and the derivative models.
The primary model was just a framework and the simplest plate armor, together with a Spiritual Storm Bolter and a chainsword. By doing so, its general cost could be reduced to below 80 million. Its operations were much simpler, too, so that it could be handled by the main troops and the low-level Cultivators who had never received formal crystal suit training without any trouble.
With three to five days of urgent training, most of them would be able to wear such a crystal suit.
Based on the primary model, all kinds of extensions could be developed, such as the melee extension, the heavy firepower extension, the sniper extension, the special extension for underground use, the special extension for undersea use, the special extension for the demonic-energy-corrupted environment, and so on.
In a battlefield, the soldiers could replace the extensions of the battlesuit at their will according to different conditions and purposes.
Not only had such a design significantly improved the combat ability and survival ability of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, it also allowed more flexible tactics to be carried out.
In Li Yao's plan, the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit should be the most adaptable crystal suit in the Star Glory Federation. Or rather, the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit would be a platform on which every Cultivator was free to use whatever they wanted.
One day, all the interfaces of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit would be opened to public. Every Cultivator would be able to plug their own magical equipment in, and the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit could be integrated with every piece of self-made magical equipment without any discordance.
If the wearer was really rich, he could add extensions that were far more expensive than the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit itself, so that the comprehensive ability of the new crystal suit would be greatly improved.
In an intense fight, the plug-ins and the plate armor would be the first to be damaged. With quick maintenance, they could be replaced by another set of extensions, and the combat ability of the crystal suit would be resumed immediately.
The crazy idea had sparked many debates within the project team.
But after careful consideration, most of the team members thought that it was quite feasible and were running tests to see the performance.
It was also one of the reasons why Project Mystic Skeleton came to a halt without any prototypes.
What's more, after only one year of formal study, Li Yao had passed the Refiners' Registration Examination. Now, the Demon Beast Detector that he had refined was one piece of the most popular magical equipment.
Therefore, all the professors and experts felt that Li Yao was indeed extraordinary and had been paying great attention to his ideas and proposals.
However, the suggestions that Li Yao made were mostly about the structure designs of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit.
The crystal reactor was quite different. Little could be done to improve the performance of a crystal reactor by revising its structure. It was the materials that mattered most.
Only with a major breakthrough of materials could a crystal reactor be refined that was lighter, smaller, and stronger against high temperatures and pressure with a higher capacity for spiritual energy.
The science of materials had no shortcuts. It could only be learnt by long-time hard work. Petty tricks wouldn't help much.
Li Yao had never shown much talent in the materials science before, yet now he claimed that he could solve the problem of the crystal reactor. It was no wonder that the professors and experts were doubting him.
"Li Yao, you can't joke about the crystal reactor. If something is wrong with other components, there are always remedies, but malfunction of the crystal reactor will lead to dire consequences, which we all understand too well," a thin, grey-haired refiner said solemnly.
His name was Bai Yede, an expert in materials science as well as crystal reactors. He was also the chief refiner in charge of the crystal reactor and the related components in Project Mystic Skeleton.
Since he hadn't made much progress, Bai Yede had been pulling a long face every day. His long brows were furrowed to such a point that one might think there were two brooms over his eyes.
Li Yao smiled.
"Don't worry, Professor Bai. When the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit is successfully refined, I will be the first pilot to wear it to go through tests under extreme conditions, and I don't intend to get myself killed.
"It's true that I don't know much about the materials science, nor do I have any secret techniques that can improve the hardness of ordinary materials to the extent of the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures. However, my idea does not involve the materials science. It is just a minor structural revision. Please take a look, professors"
The light beam around the conference room displayed a series of structure designs.
The clearest one was the crystal reactor that had a crack on its shell after the big explosion.
"The problem bothering us right now is that we can't find a suitable material to refine the shell of the crystal reactor to ensure that the super-compressed spiritual energy stays inside without being leaked.
"It's not doable no matter what we try.
"However, why don't we simply change our mindset?
"Spiritual energy stored in a crystal reactor is ample, which is tens of times more than that inside the body of a Cultivator.
"Only with such abundance can the crystal suit support the wearer in battles that can last for days.
"Since there is plentiful spiritual energy, what harm is there if some of it is leaked?
"Please take a look, everybody. This is the crystal reactor that was damaged in the previous explosion. It is worth noting that the body of the crystal reactor was not too damaged except for the hole.
"In fact, the main reason for the explosion was that the rampageous spiritual energy hit the warehouse of crystals and triggered a chain reaction.
"If the crystal reactor were the only thing that exploded at that time, the blast would've been far from enough to blow the entire floating mountain apart.
"As the saying goes, it's better to guide than to block. If we can't refine a shell that is firm enough, why don't we just leave an aperture on the crystal reactor?"
Everyone was shocked at what Li Yao had just said.
Bai Yede was deep in thought. Another power system expert asked subconsciously, "But wouldn't all the spiritual energy escape through the aperture?"
Li Yao tapped on his mini crystal processor. A second structure design was displayed.
It was an intact crystal reactor with an additional gadget that looked like a gyro.
"We can install a valve to the aperture. When the spiritual energy inside the crystal reactor is burning too intensely and the pressure exceeds the warning level, the valve will be pushed open to release the redundant spiritual energy; a few seconds later, when the pressure returns to the normal level, the valve will fall back automatically and seal the shell of the crystal reactor as before."
Bai Yede shook his head.
"The valve design is indeed impressive. But the spiritual energy escaping through the valve will make the crystal suit a very obvious target. It's possible that the crystal suit will be detected dozes of kilometers away. The disguise and stealth abilities of the crystal suit will be greatly undermined."
Li Yao said calmly, "There has never been a real MP crystal suit in the history of the Heaven's Origin Sector. Disguise and stealth abilities are always a top priority for all the crystal suits, because the crystal suits will be worn by high-level Cultivators who will fight high-level demons in the forests of the Dark Desolate Domain or even sneak into the Blood Demon Sector for spy missions. Therefore, stealth, disguise, and assassination abilities have always been highlighted.
"As a result, although very simple, the valve design has been neglected the whole time, because it will expose the locations of the wearers in a battlefield.
"However, the situation is different right now. What we're expecting is an unprecedented face-to-face confrontation, a dual of armies versus armies, a collision of hurricane against hurricane and tides against tides.
"So, when a panoply of ten thousand Cultivators in the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit show up in the battlefield, there is no need for they to hide their existence.
"On the very contrary, they shall declare their arrival to the world with the roars of thunder.
"When they're entering the Blood Demon Sector, they will not sneak into it, but crush into it in an unstoppable formation with their suits glittering in the sunlight.
Seeing that everyone had been attracted by his speech, Li Yao displayed a different structure design. He continued, "Don't forget that this is just the primary model. If the military need crystal suits for sneaking or ambushing missions, they can always choose a derivative model that has a better crystal reactor, or simple pick a whole new crystal suit model.
"Excellent as the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit may be, it will not be the sole model equipped by the army, will it?
"Compared with the loss of stealth and disguise ability, I feel that the loss of spiritual energy is more pitiful. Here's an idea that I'd like you to consider.
"We can connect the valve system of the crystal reactor to other magical equipment units. The attack magical equipment and the spiritual shield need to be refilled on a regular basis. Why don't we supplement them with the spiritual energy that escapes through the valve?
"Or even better, we can design an active valve system that can be controlled by the telepathic thoughts of a Cultivator.
"When the Cultivator wishes, he can open the valve and charge the spiritual shield and the flying swords, while the pressure of the crystal reactor will be kept at a low level in the meantime.
"By doing so, there's no way that any accidents will occur.
"This is all I have to say. It is still a very immature plan which definitely includes a lot of drawbacks that need to be fixed. Please feel free to speak your opinions, professors!"