While he was thinking, Shangguan Ce added, "This is everything that I can tell you right now. Anyway, try harder to Cultivate, Li Yao.
"Threats of the Blood Demon Sector are drawing closer and closer. It is only a matter of time before the two worlds finally collide.
"Put in the words of the ancient Cultivation world, this is the time when dragons and tigers leave their caves and fight in winds and clouds.
"According the theories of the modern Cultivation world, a collision of two worlds will raise intimidating spiritual tides. Many Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures that have been buried underground for their entire lives will be exposed to the public. The Cultivation speed of Cultivators who are drowned in the surging spiritual tides will be hundreds of times higher than normal.
"In a time of tranquility, no matter how gifted and fortunate a Cultivator is, it requires dozens of years or even hundreds of years for him to break into the Building Foundation Stage and the Core Formation Stage.
"But in a magnificent era of iron and blood such as right now, with enough courage, one may be able to rise from an insignificant Refinement Stage Cultivator to be a world-shaking Core Formation Cultivator within ten years' time with any luck.
"The same logic applies for the human beings in the Heaven's Origin Sector as a whole.
"After five hundred years of rapid development, we've created a brilliant Cultivation civilization which nearly drained all the resources in the Heaven's Origin Sector. Still, we are confined to the lone island in the edge of the sea of stars, failing to establish a great route to the center of the cosmos.
"If it goes on like this, we may still be unable to find a destination for our civilization when all the spiritual energy in the Heaven's Origin Sector is exhausted. Our civilization will culminate in the brilliant peak and slowly decay in the barren pebble that we are standing on right now.
"The war with the Blood Demon Sector is our last chance.
"If we fail, there will be no need to say anything. Human beings of the Heaven's Origin Sector will end in doom after five hundred years of struggling.
"However, if we defeat the Blood Demon Sector, we'll be able to combine the resources of the two Sectors and, maybe, make a leap to the center of the cosmos. The Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars Flag will fly in the middle of the sea of stars!
"Cultivators are the battle sabers of the human civilization. The destiny of the human beings of the Heaven's Origin Sector lies in our hands.
"Whether we end up in the stomach of demon beasts or beyond billions of stars slashing our way forward depends on our endeavor!"
Hearing his words, Li Yao was breathing heavily. His throat felt completely dry.
Shangguan Ce finished his speech. He patted Li Yao's shoulder and walked out.
When he was almost out of the door, Li Yao suddenly asked, "General Shangguan, can you tell me if there is any secret art in the Occult Orbs that can restore Phantom Entities to ghosts with self-awareness?"
Shangguan Ce stopped. He pondered for a moment and shook his head,
"Not that I know of.
"However, the Occult Orbs that we've explore so far are only a tiny portion of all the Occult Orbs out there.
"There are many Occult Orbs that we detected but did not dare set foot in because of the perils they entailed.
"Some of such Occult Orbs are closely related to ghosts, souls, and the like.
"The sea of stars is boundless. Billions of civilizations have billions of different technologies and arts. Who knows how many secrets have been buried among them? Everything you want to know lies in the depths of the cosmos. Try your best to unveil them!"
As he was talking, Shangguan Ce walked out of the door.
Li Yao sighed gravely. He touched the Soul Condensing Pendant on his neck.
The Phantom Entities inside were emitting much stronger waves than before.
They were like the fireflies at dusk who were releasing greenish brightness in a bloody mist.
Every now and then, Li Yao could even perceive some of their thoughts, but moments like that were as brief as lightning.
The professors and senior brothers of the Refining Department were feeling proud of the success of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit.
However, it was not enough!
"Occult Orbs I'm definitely going there!"
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao strode out of the room.
The moment he stepped out of the door, he met every one of the delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution.
The meticulous, serious-looking professors and experts were all smiling with their mouths wide open like kids who had just won a football match.
Li Yao grinned uncontrollably. He was going to hug Yuan Manqiu, when she and the rest of the project team crowded forward, lifted him up and threw him to the air.
"Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution has won!"
Three days later, the delegates of the Grand Desolate War Institution who had returned with honors held a victory party of the highest standard in the campus.
Although the military hadn't announced how many Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit would be purchased, according to sources, the sham battle had significantly improved the influence of the crystal suit advocates in the military.
In the meantime, warship advocates had also started studying how to attack aggressively in collaboration with crystal suits when a crystal suit legion was on board.
Every clue indicated that the number purchased would be more than expected. Maybe it would exceed 5,000 and even reach 10,000!
After the presentation at the Magical Equipment Exposition and the sham battle, the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution quickly rose to fame. All of the grassroots refiners got their day.
The share prices of the sects that had been sponsoring the Refining Department had witnessed rapid growth, too.
As a result, more sponsors joined in.
Twenty years of hard work finally produced the sweetest fruit in the world. Everyone dropped their manners and turned the victory party into a gathering of alcoholics. Even Yuan Manqiu was drinking the delicious wine which was made of Drunk God Vines. Her face was wet. There was no telling if it was wine or her tears.
It was not even 10 p.m. yet, and Li Yao was already wasted. Ding Lingdang snatched his collar and pulled him to her place.
"I never knew that you are so bad at drinking. Three cups of wine made of Drunk God Vines and you're drunk like this?" Ding Lingdang said caringly and frowned. However, Li Yao, whose eyes had been drowsy because of over-drinking a moment ago, was blinking soberly and looked at her in a smile.
Ding Lingdang's eyes bulged,
"You pretended to be drunk?"
Li Yao smiled.
"I'm indeed a little drunk. But not seriously. There have been enough celebrations with everyone over the past days. Right now, I want to celebrate with you alone."
Ding Lingdang's breath stopped for a moment. She suddenly felt her head was dizzy even though she didn't drink much.
Li Yao lay down with her smooth, flawless leg as his pillow comfortably and picked up her hand. Then he said, "Do you know the biggest significance of the Project Mystic Skeleton for me?"
Ding Lingdang was a little confused. She shook her head.
Li Yao said solemnly, "I know you've been feeling guilty that you hamstrung my growth, and that if it weren't for you, I would've chosen the Refining Department of Deep Sea University and grown into a successful refiner much more easily.
"But because I met you, I picked the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution.
"As it turned out, a terrible accident took place on the very first day of my college life. The entire Refining Department was almost ruined. My dream of becoming a refiner suffered a tremendous setback.
"You must've thought you were responsible for my misfortunes, right?
"But right now, Project Mystic Skeleton has succeeded. Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution regained its fame in the world of refiners. I've even defeated several guys of the Novem Stellae personally.
"For me, the biggest significance of all this is to rip apart the shadow in your heart and stop you from feeling guilty ever again.
"Two years ago, you made a right choice, and so did I!"
Ding Lingdang was dazed. Her eyes were filled with ripples, like a lake which had been stirred by spring breeze.
They stopped talking. Their eyes intertwined like four little snakes.
Quietness took over the place. It was a night with great moonlight.
Right now, actions indeed spoke louder than words.
Three minutes later
"Are you kidding me? What the hell are you doing?!"
"Stop your hand! And your mouth! Give metwo minutes!"
Li Yao almost gritted his teeth to pieces. He forced himself out of Ding Lingdang's octopus-like entanglement by inhuman determination, and, taking a deep breath to soothe himself, rushed out of the door as fast as he could.
Li Yao's speed was brought to maximum.
He had never run as fast before in his entire life.
Even when he encountered two demon generals in the Thunderous Sound Mountain, or when he was competing with twenty crystal suits in the Flying Crystal race, he had not been this fast.
After only 27 seconds, Li Yao stopped in front of the vending machine beside the gate of the neighborhood.
The vending machine of the Grand Desolate War Institution was clearly much more advanced than that in the underground ghost market of Floating Spear City. There was even a Puji Critter on the top of it as a shopping guide.
"What kind of civil magical equipment do you want, mister?"
The Puji Critter flew to the air and asked joyfully.
Li Yao didn't answer. He glanced through the closet and soon found the item that he was looking for.
However, there were so many kinds of it that his eyes were dazzled.
Seeing Li Yao's eyes which were exploding at any moment and the burning desire in his body, the Puji Critter analyzed him demand automatically.
"Why don't you try this one? This is the lightest, thinnest model in the entire federation that is refined out of the intestinal membrane of 'Nine-section Lantern Fish' with 49 working procedures.
"More importantly, it is luminous!
"As for this model, although it is refined out of natural rubber, it has more than ten tiny bladders in which almost a hundred super-tine rune arrays are stored. The rune arrays can trigger hot and cold feelings at the same time. Perfect sky-diving experience guaranteed.
"This is an ultra-solid model specially designed for Cultivators, especially battle-type Cultivators. It is ten times more stable and tensile than ordinary models. Even if you fail to control yourself at the critical moment and exert your full strength, it will still remain intact.
"Which model do you want, mister?"
Veins were bulging in Li Yao's forehead as he exclaimed, "Okay. I'll have one box of each!"
1 minute and 49 seconds later, he returned to Ding Lingdang's home.
His shoes had been grinded out of shape.
The invisible flames of hunger and irritation from Ding Lingdang seemed to be burning the entire house to the ground.
The aura of the two of them crashed in the middle of the air with cracking sounds.
Skulls of the demon beasts which had been placed on the desks, closets, and walls were all shivering.
Li Yao strode to the control rune arrays of the building and activated the muting rune array to maximum.
Whatever noises inside the room would not be heard by the outside world.
Li Yao seemed to have turned into a deadly animal. He was going to lunge at Ding Lingdang, when she made a leap forward and knocked him to the ground.
The two of them melded together like two clusters of magma.
"Let's do it!"