Half a month later and the unprecedentedly splendid Magical Equipment Exposition was still underway.
The Flying Crystal race, in which Li Yao exceled, was played and replayed to hundreds of thousands of visitors every day on the giant light beam floating in the air.
Discussions as to whether Mystic Skeleton was stronger than Tiger King or the other way around continued unabated on the Nexus, too.
Many people insisted that Tiger King was the best MP crystal suit model whose specifications were far higher than any of its competitor's. Li Yao's victory in the Flying Crystal race boiled down to his cheating. If the race were to be held one more time, the Tiger King Battlesuit, driven by Zuo Feijing, would certainly beat it to ash.
But more people believed that since one of the two crystal suits was three times as expensive as the other one, it would be too unfair to simply compare their specifications.
Li Yao may have resorted to tricks in the final period of the Flying Crystal race. But before that, Mystic Skeleton and Tiger King had confronted each other face-to-face multiple times. It even blew Tiger King to the ground twice, which was evident enough of its toughness.
After all, moneywise, three Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit equaled one Tiger King Battlesuit.
What would the outcome be if three Mystic Skeleton Battlesuits had fought the Tiger King Battlesuit in the race just now?
Every netizen, especially those who were interested in crystal suits, took part in the furious quarrels regarding these trending topics.
But Li Yao, the center of the discussion, had vanished yet again from public attention.
Right now, he was on an unmarked crystal airship which was flying to the base of the Fifth Fleet of the federal army deep inside the mountains.
"Your Refining Department finally got its day. I'm told that you've received almost a hundred orders of Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit from major sects of the federation in the past ten days. Well well well. After all of them are refined and shipped out, the profit will be more than ten billion. Such a big fortune!"
Ding Lingdang exclaimed joyfully in the spiritual crane messenger.
"Not that much."
Li Yao counted his fingers as he was running the calculations. "As you know, our Refining Department does not have a magical equipment factory. We can refine three to five pieces by ourselves. But the hundred orders are too much a workload for us and will have to be outsourced to eligible sects. Our profit will plunge because of that.
"Besides, to increase our sales, we quoted a low price for the hundred orders with a lot of complimentary post-sales service. Taking that into consideration, there's barely any profit now."
"But it's great that the brand is finally out. You're not in the school these days. But the Refining Department has been getting more and more attention. Every corner of the school is discussing the news about the Refining Department. I also heard that leaders of the school were planning to further increase the budget for the Refining Department to build it into a special major of our school. There was a floating mountain that was supposed to belong to the Combat Department upon refinement, but it is going to be transferred to the Refining Department after modification. Our dean Old Xia nearly choked himself out of anger."
Ding Lingdang smiled. "Besides, you were quite bold in the Flying Crystal race. Many girls in the school regard you as their idol now. They know that we are very close to each other and you've been calling me sister. A few days ago, a lovely girl even came to me asking whether or not you had a girlfriend."
Li Yao raised his eyebrow. "Then what did you say to her?"
"I was quite in a dilemma, since I'd never been in such a situation before. After pondering for a long time"
Ding Lingdang said, as if it were nothing, "I brought all of the girls that were interested in you to the front of a giant rock, blew the rock into pieces with a single punch, and told them that you are, in fact, my boyfriend and whoever hits on you will end like that rock."
Li Yao scratched his head. It was truly as expected of a tyrannosaur.
While they were talking, the crystal airship slowed down after a bump.
Brightness shined in Li Yao's eyes. He stood up suddenly.
"Go for it! Be they crystal warships or star fortresses, blow 'em to pieces!"
Ding Lingdang waved her fists and cheered for him.
Li Yao smiled. He turned off the spiritual crane messenger and walked out of the cabin to the front deck.
The scenery in front of him stopped him from breathing for a moment.
In the middle of the lofty mountains, against the bloody sunset, dozens of ragged warships were floating in the air. They did not seem to be made of metal, but rather looked like pupas billions of times larger. Bones and flesh could be found through the holes on their surface which was full of dreadful warts and scars.
They were the remnants of the devil warships of the demon clan.
Different from the crystal warship of the human beings, every devil warship was a gargantuan living creature and an ultimate biological weapon that came into being after thousands of years of crazy evolution.
Such warship creatures possessed enormous brains whose computational ability was as good as the mainframe crystal processor of human beings.
By telekinesis, they could be connected to the brain of the high-level demons who then could control them at will and make best use of their firepower.
The devil warships had been wrecked by the federal army and towed to this airborne graveyard as a presentation of the might of human beings.
Passing by the devil warship graveyard, there were dozens of crystal warships in the front that were equally dilapidated and full of rust.
They were the retired warships of the Fifth Fleet of the federal army during the five hundred years of bloody battles. Floating in the air, they were ineffaceable monuments.
Behind the monuments were two steep mountains which pierced into the sky like two sharp swords. A narrow and thin valley lay between the two mountains.
This place was named Monument Valley, which was where the Fifth Fleet of the federal army was stationed.
The Fifth Fleet was one of the best troops in the federal army.
Against the spectacular sunset, dozens of crystal warships were emitting blazing brilliance that was hundreds of meters long. But they were as agile as shuttles while they danced in the sky knitting nets in sophisticated and unpredictable patterns.
Above the Monument Valley, a titanic floating fortress the size of a small city was floating in the air. Countless armed shuttles were flying in and out, humming like busy bees.
Enjoying the view in front him, Li Yao's understanding of 'war machine' grew much deeper.
He felt very proud that he belonged to such a great species.
However, when he realized that his opponent might be one of the crystal warships flying over his head, Li Yao's head immediately started aching.
"Crystal warships have been the main forces of the federal army all the time."
Yuan Manqiu walked to his side and watched the magnificent parade of the crystal warships for a while with her hands behind her back. Then she observed, "For five hundred years, the military has been focusing on warship technology and has developed countless formidable crystal warships. When a beast tide breaks out, the crystal warships will be deployed to extinguish it.
"As for high-level demons and the scattered demons hiding in forests, underground, or city ruins, they will be dealt with by Cultivators whose individual combat ability is much higher.
"The military are in charge of clearing the 'sphere', while the Cultivators are responsible for clearing the 'spot'. That's how battles have been fought in the Star Glory Federation traditionally.
"Therefore, there are many warship advocates in the military who insist that railguns and warships can solve all our problems.
"If the problems can't be fixed, that's because the railguns and the warships are not large enough.
"Now that the military is planning to endorse standard crystal suits in the federal army, the resources of the warship advocates will, of course, be greatly diminished. The budget that goes to warships will shrink, too.
"So, it's easy to conceive how much pressure there will be.
"That's also exactly why this special bidding meeting is being held. Frankly speaking, this is more about the debate of war methodologies in the military and the quarrels between crystal suit advocates and warship advocates.
"In the bidding meeting, not only do we need to prove that the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit is the best MP crystal suit model, we also need to prove that crystal suits boast irreplaceable advantages compared with crystal warships.
"How about it? Are you confident?
"According to the bidding rules provided by the military, Exos of the crystal suits in the bidding meeting are not necessarily our own candidates. The military can arrange skilled and experienced Exos to drive the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit for the final test. If you feel that there's too much pressure, we can still change you to someone else."
Li Yao turned to the side and looked at Yuan Manqiu. Then he smiled.
"Professor, that's a very strange way of encouragement."
Yuan Manqiu smiled, too. She handed over a jade slip to Li Yao.
"The military came by this morning, stating that they can arrange a super Exo who has been wearing crystal suits for more than thirty years for the final test of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit. But we declined it right then.
"All the participants of the Project Mystic Skeleton agreed unanimously that you will always be the priority Exo for the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit.
"We believe in you no matter what.
"This jade slip contains detailed documents regarding the final test. There is still some time before we land. You'd better take a look at it carefully. The test will be different from what we imagined.
"This time, the military is getting serious!"
Li Yao took over the jade slip and took a deep breath when he noticed that his nose had been clogged.
This was going to be the final test!
Passing the test, the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit would be able to secure the big order of the military and become the standard crystal suit for thousands of soldiers of the federal army. Maybe it would even become the most manufactured crystal suit model!
One day, thousands of soldiers and Cultivators would congregate into an impregnable steel torrent which would rage through the wormholes into the Blood Demon Sector and crush everything inside into pieces.
For the day to come sooner, not just one crystal warship, even if he were to be faced with the entire Fifth Fleet, he would still break out of the siege and tread over them all like a deadly vulture.
Inside the cabin, Li Yao connected the jade slip to the mini crystal processor, which immediately projected a vivid 3D warship model.
'Evening Glow' was a medium crystal warship model refined 80 years ago by the federal army.
It was 214 meters long and 36 meters wide. The main gun of the warship model, 'Heaven Splitters', after charging for half an hour, could fire spiritual energy as furious as a full-strength attack of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator.
The sub-cannons below the body of the warship model that were used to attack the targets on the ground had been upgraded to 12 Taiyi Lightning Railguns five years ago.
Li Yao was no stranger to such heavy magical equipment.
Two years ago, on the train north to Wild Waves City, it was with a Taiyi Lightning Railgun that Li Yao managed to cope with the beast tide.
One Taiyi Lightning Railgun had attracted enough thunderstorms to annihilate half of the Ghost Jellyfish beast tide.
But right now, Li Yao was going to be faced with twelve of them.