"Wow! Brother Yao, what's that? A fat panda with three pairs of wings hovering in the sky?"
"It's Bei Bei, the official mascot of the Magical Equipment Exposition this year. It is a very smart crystal beast. Inside its tummy there's a super super awesome crystal chip. If you can't find your mom again like just now, all you need to do is wave your hands at it, and it will fly to you and help you find your mom!"
"Ah, so many flying swords are flying in the sky! So beautiful! Even more beautiful than the fireworks in the Spring Festival! Huh? The flying swords flew into the clouds and tore them apart!"
"Those are meteorological flying swords that are used for weather adjustment. If a place has been raining for such a long time that a flood is coming, those flying swords will drill into the clouds and break them, so that the sky can be cleared up."
"Brother Yao, there are so many people here. I don't think that our entire county has this many people."
"That's why you need to hold your mom's hand tight. Didn't that auntie stamp a seal on you and your mom's hands? The seal is a special rune that can trigger a strong attraction force between you and your mom. You won't be lost again if you and your mom's hands are pinned together, Little Ying."
In the massive crowds at the entrance of the exposition, Li Yao said to a little girl no more than ten years old in a smile while he created an invisible spiritual shield which covered the three of them, so that the mother and the daughter wouldn't be tripped over by the crowds.
The little girl was very thin, with dark skin, big eyes and yellowish hair. She was curious about everything that she saw and was jumping up and down like a naughty monkey.
Her name was Ai Zhiying. She came from the Serene Mountain Province in the south of the federation and lived in a small village deep inside the mountains. She and her mother had come a long way to visit her father who was working in Deep Sea City, and it happened to be the time when the Magical Equipment Exposition was held.
The family had planned to visit the Magical Equipment Exposition together.
However, the father was caught by something urgent and had to ask his wife and daughter to go on ahead.
However, the mother and the daughter had been living in the village for their entire lives. The biggest, liveliest place that they'd ever been to was the county town which had a population of no more than fifty thousand.
When they came to a place as crowded as the Magical Equipment Exposition, they were completely overwhelmed.
With the moving and pushing of other people, the girl and her mother were separated.
Li Yao had just finished his breakfast and was ready to explore the Magical Equipment Exposition joyfully, when he noticed that the little girl was crying in a corner.
Two mascot pandas and several other tourists were trying to help her, but they only made her more upset; she simply shrank back and refused to say anything.
Seeing this, Li Yao hurried up and set a mind-settling rune on the little girl to calm her down. Then, with the help of the staff, he finally found her mother, Zhou Xiulan.
Judging from their plain clothing and somewhat confused faces, Li Yao knew that they'd probably never experienced such hustle and bustle before.
The Magical Equipment Exposition was extremely large with complicated booths and stands that made it look like a labyrinth. Besides, the place was packed and messy. If he were to leave them alone, the two of them would never be able to enjoy the exposition, not to mention that the little girl might get lost again.
Having nothing to do, and to better take care of them, Li Yao decided to accompany them and volunteered to interpret the magical equipment for them.
"Mr. Li, thank you so much. We would've had absolutely no idea what to do if it weren't for you. We never expected that there would be so many people. We were actually planning to go back just now."
Zhou Xiulan was a simple, sincere village woman. She was so anxious that she didn't know where to put her hands while she was expressing gratitude to Li Yao.
"You're most welcome. It would be boring to tour the exposition by myself anyway. With a few companions, we can talk to and look after each other. Isn't it much better? Also, don't call me 'mister'. 'Little Li' will be good."
Li Yao grinned.
"That will be too presumptuous. You are a Cultivator. I'm told that my mad daughter was cooled down by a rune that you casually drew. How can I call you Little Li?" Zhou Xiulan answered hurriedly.
Ai Zhiying was jumping up and down as she merrily said, "Yes, yes. Brother Yao is so awesome. I was so desperate that I felt my head was dizzy and my ears were humming. I couldn't see, hear, or say anything. But after Brother Yao touched my forehead, it was like a bucket of cold water over my head. I was immediately able to see and hear things again, and I could speak too."
"That's alright. Just call me Little Li. It's more comfortable for me that way. Cultivator or not, you are my senior anyway. Just because I am a Cultivator doesn't mean I'm older than I'm supposed to be."
With a big smile, Li Yao said, "Alright. Let's go and start our adventure. Little Ying, didn't you say that your dad is a construction worker and used to work in this convention center? Maybe one of the windows here was installed by your dad himself. Hurry up. Let's explore the battlefield where your dad once fought."
Ai Zhiying was not a shy girl. She had been famous for her naughtiness back in her village. She was just overwhelmed by the large crowds that were beyond her imagination. Now that Li Yao was there to back her up, her restless nature had returned. She opened her arms and uttered "Swoosh! Swoosh!" as if she were riding a nonexistent flying sword.
Talking and laughing, the three of them walked into the first gallery with the crowds.
Every Magical Equipment Exposition had a theme. The theme of this year was 'Twenty Years Later'.
The exhibitions in the first gallery were mostly the state-of-the-art magical equipment related to the everyday life of ordinary people.
"Wow. Beautiful clothes!"
In front of the colorful and splendid stand, Ai Zhiying started at a brilliantly shining dress with her cheeks puffed and shouted in excitement.
Li Yao raised his head and noticed that it was the Heavenly Apparel Guild's stand.
The Heavenly Apparel Guild's main business was robes, costumes, uniforms, and battle clothing. The school uniform of the Grand Desolate War Institution had been outsourced to the Heavenly Apparel Guild.
Other than the battle clothing for soldiers, the Heavenly Apparel Guild had been trying to expand its market in civil clothing.
Rolling her eyeballs, Ai Zhiying lifted her finger, planning to touch the dress while no one was watching her, when the brilliance on the dress suddenly vanished. The long dress turned into a silver-grey clothing that covered the model tightly, then it turned into a red-and-yellow sportswear after flashing in redness.
"I didn't touch it! It changed by itself!"
Ai Zhiying thought that she was to blame for the ruined clothes. She pulled back her hands hurriedly.
Li Yao read the introduction and smiled.
"Don't be scared, Little Ying. The garment is a piece of magical equipment refined by the Heavenly Apparel Guild whose name is 'Capricious Costume'. It is made of luminescent materials mixed with the traditional silk. It is a piece of clothing as well as a walking light beam.
"Its prototype is the silver-grey clothing that you saw just now. However, you can set it into different themes which you can download from the Nexus. Short skirt, long skirt, sportswear, business wear. Red, blue, yellow. It can be changed to whatever you want."
Ai Zhiying's eyes were shinning. She bit her fingernails as she said, "Whatever I want? Does it mean that if I buy it, it's like I've bought a hundred pieces of clothing?"
"More than that!"
Li Yao said in a smile, "The clothes can also detect your mood and adjust itself accordingly. For example, by customizing several settings, when you are in high spirits, the front of the clothes will display a shining sun, and your friends will know that they can come and play with you happily when they see that. If you come across anything sad, a crescent moon will be displayed in the front of the clothes, and your friends will know that it's time to comfort you."
Ai Zhiying was amazed. She swallowed and said, "I'm going to buy one!"
Li Yao said, "The theme of the Magical Equipment Exposition is 'Twenty Years Later'. Most of the magical equipment exhibited here is still experimental. It will take another ten to twenty years before such magical equipment can be manufactured and made available for ordinary people.
"Take the 'Capricious Costume' for example. It requires a lot of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures to be refined, which means its cost will be unbelievably high. Also, its lifespan is not very long. Therefore, it is only equipped by the special forces of the military. Ordinary people have no access to it right now."
"Twenty years later!"
Ai Zhiying blinked her eyes. "That sounds like a long, long distance away. But it's fine. Such a nice costume must be very expensive. My dad has been working in construction sites. It is a very exhausting job. I wouldn't bear to let him buy such an expensive item anyway. In twenty years' time, I'll be independent. I'll save money and buy it by myself and I'll buy three pieces. One for myself, one of my dad, and one for my mom."
Thinking for a while, she added, "No. I shall buy four pieces. Brother Yao should get one, too."
Li Yao couldn't help but laugh. He led the mother and the daughter on.
The stands here were all exhibitions of clothing magical equipment. Li Yao introduced them one by one, "The silver-glittering costume which seemed to be made of flowing resin is called 'Mustard Costume'. It is actually constituted by billions of pieces of magical equipment as tiny as mustard seeds. It is mainly used in battlefields as 'mustard suits'. However, take a look. Its provider 'Twinkling Star Home' is trying to promote the Mustard Costume to the civil market. They will first refine all kinds of work clothes that will be able to endure high temperature, high pressure, and intense impacts.
"Firefighters, aquanauts, miners Many people will find such work clothes very useful.
"For example, if the firefighters wear Mustard Costumes with frost rune arrays carved inside as work clothes, they will no longer be afraid of fire and it will be easier for them to rescue those who are trapped.
"Another example. Your dad works in construction sites. Sometimes he will need to work high above the ground. With the Mustard Costume as work clothes, the special enhancement rune array inside the clothes can increase your dad's strength a lot. He'll find it easier to do his normal work. Daily bruises can be avoided, too."
Ai Zhiying was listening carefully. Her eyes were shining. She bit her mouth and nodded her head.
"It will be great if the Mustard Costume as work clothes can be refined sooner. My dad hurt his finger several days ago. I would rather buy a Mustard Costume for my dad than getting a Capricious Costume for myself."
Li Yao smiled.
"Rest assured. The uncles and aunties in the Twinkling Star Home are working on it. Maybe in the next few years, the Mustard Costumes will be popularized!
"Check this one out. This piece of clothing is named 'Health Costume'. Not only can it examine your health, it can also trigger weak electricity to stimulate the activity of your muscles, veins, and organs to build up your health. It is best to be used as school uniform and sportswear for teenagers to help with the growth of their bodies. If you wear it, you will be tall and beautiful in the future.
"This is an Anti-collision Lifesaving Costume designed to be worn when taking crystal trains or crystal airships. In the case of an accident, it will expand into a giant balloon and lock you inside, so that nothing will happen to you.
"As for this one"
Hi, guys. To celebrate the upcoming Spring Festival tomorrow, were going to release 6 bonus chapters starting from 00:00, Feb. 16 (UTC +8). The bonus chapters will be posted every five minutes until 00:25. So, make sure you have enough spirit stones. :)
After the Spring Festival, there will be a change to the release schedule. All the remaining chapters will be published daily at 21:00 (UTC +8). Occasionally, bonus chapters will be published with or without prior notice.
Thank you for your support.