Half a year later, hundreds of meters below the sea level in the middle of the thick and heavy water of the Billowing Star Sea, Li Yao extended his arms with his eyes half-closed. He was not wearing any clothes, nor was he activating his spiritual energy. He was merely resisting the deadly pressure from the seawater with the iron muscles and bones built up by the Thousand Tempering Hundred Refining technique.
His half-closed eyes opened widely. Brightness beamed out of his eyes through hundreds of meters of dark seawater to the sky like a laser.
Soaring Into Heaven in One Leap, his Soul Igniting Law, was fully triggered!
The pores all over Li Yao's body were opened up fully. A huge amount of spiritual energy was unleashed, which stirred up thousands of bubbles deep down in the sea.
3rd level of the Refinement Stage!
5th level of the Refinement Stage!
7th level of the Refinement Stage!
Li Yao's strength was rising crazily. His spiritual energy was condensed into an impregnable barrier around him, which pushed the seawater around him away one inch after another.
A lot of bubbles popped up in the surface of the sea which had been peaceful previously. Then they turned into continuous spoondrift, until they evolved into surging tides in the end.
One water pillar after another erupted and exploded into giant swirls, like the crazy devils who had opened their bloody mouth wide.
An undersea volcano seemed to be waking up in roars!
11th level of the Refinement Stage!
12th level of the Refinement Stage!
13th level of the Refinement Stage!
The spiritual energy floating around Li Yao had expanded to maximum, forming a round zone ten meters in diameter.
All the seawater inside the zone had been pushed out. There was not a single drop of liquid.
Li Yao's body was dried, too. His skin was whitened to the extent that it seemed to be made of jade. His messy long hair was emitting feeble brightness, which was spluttering in the air although there was no wind.
"BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!"
The undercurrent hit the shell of spiritual energy heavily. The round zone was full of hollows and bumps. For a moment, it collapsed inwardly; in the next moment, it held back the pressure and returned to normal, sometimes even expanding slightly.
Li Yao gritted his teeth. Every vein and every nerve inside his body were convulsing as if they were living things. Like dragons deep buried in his flesh and blood, they transmitted his strength into the deepest depths of his brain unstoppably.
A slowly-revolving swirl was formed in the middle of his two eyebrows.
Thunderous roars echoed in Li Yao's throat, as the swirl between his eyebrows suddenly protruded.
An inconceivably brutal force was exerted out of his body.
It was the most powerful spiritual energy beyond the 13th level of the Refinement Stage, as well as the ultimate spiritual gas that any Cultivator could shape.
Peak of the Refinement Stage!
On the surface of the sea, seawater was boiling. The tides solidified into all kinds of fierce beasts, before they crashed with each other, broke up, and returned to the sea.
Deep down in the sea, the round zone around Li Yao was shaped by him into a giant figure of more than ten meters tall, with a face, limbs, and everything. It looked identical to himself, with not even the tiniest detail being left out.
He seemed to have expanded several times in that moment.
"Huala! Huala! Huala!"
Following Li Yao's movements, the formidable giant of spiritual energy started boxing in the bottom of the Billowing Star Sea!
Although it was 'Thirteen Forces of War Beasts', the simplest martial art of all, it was still intimidating enough in the bottom of the Billowing Star Sea where undercurrents prevailed, as if it were going to cut the world fragment into two halves.
The longer he continued, the crazier he became. After a single punch, a wave of almost a thousand meters wide was blown outward and didn't disperse for a long time.
After finishing the Thirteen Forces of War Beasts, Li Yao felt that he couldn't be more comfortable. With a telepathic thought, the giant of spiritual energy suddenly collapsed and turned into a large bird, which triggered a tsunami under the sea with a flap of wings. Ten seconds later, it flew out of the surface of the seawater from the hundreds-of-meter deep bottom to the sky, followed by sea spray that was dozens of meters high.
Li Yao stood in the air hundreds of meters to the ground. Countless feelings were rolling over in his heart as he stared at the sea which didn't go quiet after a long time.
"Over the past six months, the school has offered me a lot of resources to help me Cultivate. I've bought a lot of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, strengthening drugs, and Cultivation appliances myself.
"After days and nights of fighting and training with Ding Lingdang gruesomely, I've finally reached the peak of the Refinement Stage with perfect control over spiritual gas now.
"Right now, I'll need a 'eureka' moment to understand the transformation of spiritual energy from the gas state to the liquid state. When the spiritual energy in my body is condensed to such an extent that spiritual liquid is flowing all over, I will successfully break into the Building Foundation Stage!"
Li Yao landed on the island in the middle of the Billowing Star Sea slowly.
The island had been rocky and rugged with all kinds of stones. It was the training ground for Li Yao and Ding Lingdang.
Two years ago, when Li Yao first entered the Billowing Star Sea, he had been terribly beaten by Ding Lingdang in this place.
After two years of hard training and countless bloody battles, all the stones on the island had been crushed and flattened.
The place which used to be full of rocks was now entirely empty, except for the hollows from punching and stomping and the spider-net-like cracks that were everywhere.
They were the traces of their fierce battles.
Li Yao at present was no longer the rookie that Ding Lingdang could finish in less than one minute.
With the understanding of spiritual gas at the peak of the Refinement Stage and the sturdy body built up by the Thousand Tempering Hundred Refining technique, he was not completely on the losing side even faced with such a combat maniac at the Building Foundation Stage like Ding Lingdang.
Over the past month, the battles between them often lasted more than ten minutes.
Then, they would start another battle.
In such battles, it often took more than thirty, sometimes even fifty, minutes before they were over.
But today Ding Lingdang was not present.
Recently, she often left the Grand Desolate War Institution mysteriously without telling anyone where she was going to.
When Li Yao asked her, she said that she would tell him everything after he entered the Building Foundation Stage.
The two of them were both crazy about training, which often required outdoor travelling and exploration. Therefore, Li Yao didn't ask much and simply trained by himself in the Billowing Star Sea.
It was a good opportunity for him to test his secret weapons and new tactics anyway.
With a telepathic thought, two shrieks rang far away.
From the corner of the island, two lasers, one black and the other silver, darted to him and spun around him like two unstoppable hurricanes.
The black laser was, of course, the flying sword Black Wing.
Right now, Li Yao was no longer the cash-strapped scavenger but, more or less, a rich guy. He spent a fortune on a huge amount of crystals and Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures for Black Wing to eat.
Black Wing was not picky at all. It had an appetite for the most eccentric Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures as long as there was abundant spiritual energy in them.
Over the past half a year, the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures that it absorbed were even more than those consumed by Li Yao during his Cultivation.
Its speed and range of spiritual threads had significantly improved, too. It could perform all kinds of incredible movements when it was moving at supersonic speed.
However, the deficiency that it couldn't be used to attack remained. Li Yao studied for a long time trying to figure out why but to no avail. He still had to consider Black Wing as the best shield and the most trustworthy means of escape.
Attacks could be carried out by the silver laser.
The laser was, no less, 'Neltharion', the warship model of the Star Sea Imperium that he retrieved from his Cosmos Ring.
After Project Mystic Skeleton was completed, Li Yao finally had enough time to explore the mysteries of Neltharion.
Neltharion was not a toy for fun. It required complicated procedures to operate.
Li Yao had estimated that it was a piece of training magical equipment in the Star Sea Imperium that had been used to train warship captains for the imperial fleets.
Once he sank part of his soul into it, his consciousness would be split into two halves.
The half that maneuvered Neltharion was faced with an extremely sophisticated control menu.
In the beginning, Li Yao didn't know where to start at all. He could barely fly Neltharion for half a minute without crashing the wall or the ground.
Learning how to steer the warship model was also a soul burning process. Without the solid soul that had been cleansed by Ou Yezi, his spirit would've been drained after only several seconds after he entered it.
Following half a year of exploration, he was finally able to maneuver Neltharion in a range of no more than a hundred meters.
He had also discovered two great advantages of Neltharion.
Neltharion boasted special stealth ability. Once it was activated, Neltharion would vanish from this world, yet it could still observe this world from where it was in a way that he couldn't comprehend.
Li Yao had tested it in front of Ding Lingdang several times. Ding Lingdang had never noticed anything wrong, which was evident that such stealth was beyond the recognition of Building Foundation Stage Cultivators.
There were several Core Formation Stage Cultivators in the Grand Desolate War Institution. Li Yao had flown Neltharion to three hundred meters away from them, and they had no reactions to it whatsoever either.
But Li Yao did not dare to go any closer.
The observation in stealth meant that he had an invisible and indestructible crystal camera in a battleground.
It would be a huge advantage.
Just like any crystal warship, Neltharion had a spiritual shield as defense, which was extremely steady.
Although it was not as fast as Black Wing, the damage of its collision was no less intimidating. With a telepathic thought, it could crash into the enemy from an unimaginable angle.
Together with its stealth ability, it would be an inconspicuous yet deadly weapon!
Black Wing and Neltharion, a black light and a silver one, with the former in charge of defense and the latter responsible for attack. Considering that he was already at the peak of the Refinement Stage, Li Yao was confident in fighting three to five demon generals at the same time when he met them!
His trump cards were more than those two.
Li Yao exited the Billowing Star Sea and returned to Ding Lingdang's bedroom.
The teleportation array to the Billowing Star Sea had been modified. It was larger and more complicated, with an additional operation panel now.
Li Yao quickly typed on the operation panel. The light beam beside him blinked. The destination on it changed from 'Billow Star Sea' to 'Diminutive Dust Domain'.
The Diminutive Dust Domain was a world fragment he bought for himself and also where his personal 'Fiend Star Refining Workshop' was located.
Li Yao stood on the teleportation array again. Brilliant brightness spurted out. He was consumed and brought to the Diminutive Dust Domain.
It was a super-mini world fragment with a diameter of no more than one kilometer.
The natural laws here were identical to those of the Heaven's Origin Sector, except for the large swirl in the blue sky which would absorb all the dust and particles in the air, so that the place would be turned into a natural cleanroom.
It was a perfect place for refining. Li Yao had built it into a quaint refining workshop in the traditional ways of the Hundred Smelting Clan.