The following morning, the world was greeted by a brightly shining sun.
Leading the delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution, Yuan Manqiu walked into the hall.
Under the pressure of war all year around, the military magical equipment of the Heaven's Origin Sector was much more advanced than the civil magical equipment.
In the blue sky, countless supersonic flying swords were dashing everywhere, knitting an impenetrable sword net with beautiful patterns.
It looked splendid, but a demon beast which was stupid enough to breach inside would definitely be caught by the sword net and minced into pieces.
On the ground, all kinds of beast puppets, crystal tanks, and even self-moving war fortresses constituted an iron army and patrolled inside the hall. The entire tower seemed to be trembling at their might.
Earthshaking explosions, booms of spiritual tide collisions, ting-tings of swords crashing sabers All kinds of noises were echoing nonstop.
Holding his breath, Li Yao was gazing at all the exhibitions.
This was the first time that he had joined an exposition of such a large scale and at such a high level. His horizon was broadened so fast that he felt somewhat dizzy.
The Grand Desolate War Institution had rented a booth of more than 1,000 square meters. Li Yao had thought that it was enormous.
However, now that he saw it with his own eyes, he realized that it was below average and dwarfed by the real bit shots.
Many powerful sects had rented booths as big as 10,000 square meters where hundreds of pieces of their magical equipment would be exhibited.
As for Deep Sea University, its booth was more than 30,000 square meters and took up three floors. Technically speaking, it was not a booth anymore, but a special and independent gallery. More than 5,000 pieces of magical equipment would be displayed in the place, making it the unquestionable kingdom of magical equipment.
Walking past the gate of Deep Sea University's booth, all the delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution were solemn and saw the deepest desire in each other's eyes.
Although not as outspoken as Li Yao, every one of them had been dreaming to oust Deep Sea University and take its place.
The Tiger King Battlesuit, as Deep Sea University's star magical equipment of the year, was placed in the most conspicuous spot over an artificial rock, where it was crouching and ready to lunge down at any moment.
The majestic mighty of the Tiger King Battlesuit made Li Yao's fingers twitch uncontrollably. He was of a mind to clench his fists and punch it into pieces.
"Let's go. We'll have a lot of opportunities to challenge it in the future." Yuan Manqiu patted his shoulder.
Li Yao nodded his head. Smiling viciously, he lowered his eyes and moved on.
According to the marketing plan that they'd discussed, the delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution didn't stay in their booth. Instead, they toured the hall and visited the booths of their competitors.
The colorful, brilliant, premium crystal suits indeed amazed them. In the meantime, the MP crystal suit models provided by the major sects of the federation let them understand how fierce the competition was.
"How about it?"
Quickly circling the hall for a round, which took them more than two hours, everyone was somewhat gloomy. Yuan Manqiu asked Li Yao, "We've seen all the latest crystal suit models of the federation. What do you think?"
"Deep Sea University, Star Nebula University, Gold Armor Sect These traditional giants have been working on the refinement of crystal suits for hundreds of years. The premium crystal suits that they refine are indeed delicate inventions with powerful abilities, which could be called ultimate magical equipment. I'm afraid we'll not be able to catch up with them in a short time."
Li Yao pondered for a while and continued, "But an MP crystal suit is something entirely different. I studied several popular MP crystal suit models just now. Judging from the outlook and structure, they are basically the same as the premium crystal suit models that these organizations refined before, except that the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures have been replaced by ordinary materials and that some components have even been canceled.
"If we get to the bottom of it, these sects are not presenting a new crystal suit model. What they are presenting is a 'jerry-built' version of the premium crystal suit models.
"That explains a lot. It hasn't even been a year since the military announced that the standard military crystal suit would be outsourced. It's impossible for them to design and refine a crystal suit model with brand new structure in such a short time. Therefore, they had to revise their previous designs and hope that luck is on their side.
"From what I've seen, Tiger King, Mournful Mist, Sword Torrent are the only three models that are somewhat refreshing.
"But in my opinion, the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit is better than any of them.
"Because they are designed more or less in accordance with the ideologies of the high-end crystal suits. Their creators refuse to demean themselves and do not know what the key is to a MP crystal suit.
"However, the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit has prioritized low-cost, mass-production, and durability since the very beginning.
"Speaking of the three points, no one has more experience than the refiners of the Grand Desolate War Institution do.
"All in all, my conclusion is that the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit is the only true MP crystal suit model.
"Other crystal suits, including the Tiger King Battlesuit, are just bluffing that they are MP crystal suit models.
"However impressive their specifications may be, there are bound to be a lot of flaws and defects in them.
"And what I'm going to do is to find their shortcomings and beat 'em all to the ground!"
His words cheered up his companions again.
Yuan Manqiu waved her hands and declared in high spirits, "Alright, let's go and teach the believers of the elite refining ideology a lesson about what a real MP crystal suit should look like!"
Talking and laughing, they strode forward.
While they were spying on their competitors, many other Cultivators noticed their existence, too.
The successful refinement of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit had never been known by the public. Besides, the exhibition had started for quite a long time, yet the delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution were still wandering in the hall.
Many Cultivators inevitably had the misunderstanding that they were not here to exhibit their magical equipment, but to purchase magical equipment from other exhibitors.
"Is the Project Mystic Skeleton still ongoing or what? I don't seem to see their booth."
"True that. They suffered a great failure last year. There's no way that they can work it out so fast. I assume that they've given it up already."
"I think it is a smart choice. Refining is not the Grand Desolate War Institution's strong point. Besides, crystal suits are pieces of super magical equipment that is too precise and complicated for them to handle. If they are really in need of crystal suits, the best and easiest thing to do is to buy some from other providers. It is both safe and trouble-saving."
The military magical equipment exhibition had attracted the attention of many reporters, especially those from the three magical equipment magazines and 'Crystal Suit Vista'. They had been here early waiting before the booths of the major exhibitors.
Delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution roaming in the hall instead of staying in their booth intrigued many reporters.
The noses of the reporters were much sharper than the common Cultivators. They had heard through various channels that the Grand Desolate War Institution was an exhibitor of the Magical Equipment Exposition which was going to show some interesting stuff.
However, they had looked around and didn't find the Grand Desolate War Institution's booth.
Now that they saw the refiners of the Grand Desolate War Institution strolling in the hall at ease with a mysterious smile on their faces as if they had everything under their control, the reports were naturally very curious about it.
"Director Yuan, greetings. I am Gao Yongjie, a journalist from 'Crystal Suit Vista'. I was told that the Grand Desolate War Institution is an exhibitor of the Magical Equipment Exposition. But I didn't find your booth after searching. Can you explain what is going on? Is the Grand Desolate War Institution really participating in the exposition? What kind of magical equipment are you going to display? Is it the rumored cheapest crystal suit of the federation?"
"Director Yuan, nice to meet you. I am Bian Yun, a journalist from 'Gossip Cultivators'. Thirty years ago, you were the 'Deep Sea Goddess', yet you went separate ways with your instructor and exiled yourself to the Grand Desolate War Institution because of different beliefs. It's been thirty years since you last came to Deep Sea City. Are you planning to challenge Deep Sea University on your trip here?"
"Excuse me, you must be Mr. Li Yao, the promising new refiner whose name has been on the rise. The Demon Beast Detector has been quite a hit over the past several months. I remember that you declared war against the Refining Department of Deep Sea University a long time ago. Are you confident that the magical equipment of the Grand Desolate War Institution can beat the magical equipment of the same type from the Deep Sea University?"
Many reporters crowded to them.
This was exactly Yuan Manqiu and Li Yao had been hoping for.
So many people wearing the same uniform walking in the hall round after round was an effective way to advertise and draw everyone's attention.
Yuan Manqiu and Li Yao exchanged an eye look. She smiled and said. "Ladies and gentlemen, what you've been told is true. The Grand Desolate War Institution is taking part in the Magical Equipment Exposition as an exhibitor, not a buyer. What we are going to exhibit and sell is, to quote what you just said, the cheapest crystal suit of the federation!
"However, there is so much more about it other than merely low cost. You will be astonished at its performance!
"If you are interested, please follow us. Let's unveil the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit together!"
Yuan Manqiu's words immediately ignited the crowd.
Now that the cheapest crystal suit of the federation had been successfully refined, they were definitely going to check it out despite its doubtful performance.
So, the reporters all followed the delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution.
This was the time when keeping a low profile in the beginning paid off.
Other than the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, all the MP crystal suit models had called press conferences the moment they were successfully refined. The specifications and demos of them had been known by the entire world and, without the feeling of freshness anymore, they sometimes bored people who got in touch with them.
But the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit had been hiding itself in darkness the whole time. Besides, many people still remembered the big explosion last year.
Not just the reporters, most of the Cultivators were also curious about what a crystal suit allegedly with a cost of around a hundred million actually looked like.
Therefore, the crowd grew larger and larger as it moved on like a snowball, until it reached the northwest corner of the fifth level of the convention center.
The booth in this place had been shrouded by grey fog since three days ago, with a glittering countdown in the middle of the fog that was changing every second.
Behind the countdown was a giant question mark.
Right now, many tourists had already gathered around the foggy booth before the crowd arrived, because the countdown that had been running for three days would return to zero in ten minutes, and the question mark behind it suddenly bounced into an even larger, even more brilliant exclamation mark.
As the shrink of the countdown, the exclamation mark was glimmering accordingly, like passionate heartbeat.
The ever-growing suspense had aroused everyone's interest about the exhibition to be held inside the foggy booth.
In the last ten minutes, Fist of Fury, emblem of the Grand Desolate War Institution, gradually revealed itself in the boundary of the dense fog.
Inside the fog echoed gunfire, explosions of spiritual energy, screams of demon beasts, as well as the mighty, incessant roars of human beings.
Happy Spring Festival to everybody!
Or as we say it, chun jie kuai le!
(Some of you might've read this chapter already.)
CNY bonus chapter #2