"Well well well. You are quite something. Building Foundation in your junior year. It's even one year earlier than me. You truly deserve to be my boyfriend!"
In the shadowed hologram, Ding Lingdang was standing in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by countless eccentric rocks. Her fire-like combat suit was somewhat ragged, but she was in high spirits. Her hands rested on her hips, as she burst into laughter. "However, if you want to defeat me, you might as well continue training for another hundred years!
"I'm going to tell you a piece of good news. No. For you, it is probably a terribly bad one. Your sister, me, has successfully ascended to the middle level of the Building Foundation Stage! Hahahahahaha!
"Over the past few months, I've been training in a special place where I couldn't reach the outside world in order to break into the middle level. As it turns out, my efforts were not wasted. I made a breakthrough without much trouble!
"Right now, I need to stabilize myself in here for some time. I will probably be back by the end of next month. I've even got a gift for you!
"Don't be sloppy in training while I'm away. I'm very looking forward to fighting you in the Building Foundation Stage for three hundred rounds!
"Right. Now that you're in the Building Foundation Stage, don't forget to eat your Foundation Building Egg. However, don't eat it by yourself either. Wait until I'm back. You ate part of my Foundation Building Egg when I reached the Building Foundation Stage. You owe me that one!"
Ding Lingdang was talking and dancing joyfully, leaving no chance for Li Yao to interrupt.
It was not a real-time conversation, but a pre-recorded video clip.
Knowing that Ding Lingdang was safe and sound, Li Yao was greatly relieved.
He was very well aware of the personality of his human-shaped tyrannosaur girlfriend, who was a lunatic in martial arts and considered fighting as the greatest fun in her life.
There could only be one reason why Ding Lingdang didn't participate in the War of Seven Cities, which was that the training sessions she'd been engaged in were not as comfortable as they appeared to be. They could be hundreds of times more perilous than the War of Seven Cities.
Ding Lingdang must've deliberately kept the place of her training a secret to prevent him from worrying.
Maybe she was fighting in an unseen frontline in the depths of the Dark Desolate Domain!
'After just one year, she has ascended from the beginning level of the Building Foundation Stage to the middle level. It is quite amazing of her.
'I thought that I had already surpassed her. But she is always one step ahead of me.
'However, I am not a body practitioner. The gap between our capability can be made up by magical equipment!
'Anyway, I'm qualified to fight side by side with Ding Lingdang without dragging her down now!'
Li Yao smiled and turned off the video clip that he had watched countless times each day over the past few days. He focused his attention on the refining furnace and sensed the temperature change inside of it.
He was at his personal refining workshop in the Diminutive Dust Domain. It had already been one month since the War of Seven Cities.
During the one month of time, with the help of Super Perception Cabin, he dwelled in the depths of his brain and absorbed Ou Yezi's memory pieces crazily.
He had absorbed Ou Yezi's two-year-long memory pieces in the month and read a lot of the classics on refining on the second floor of the Heavenly Refining Tower. He even got in touch with a lot of core secret arts of the Hundred Smelting Clan.
Seven days ago, he was finally fully prepared and was ready to refine the Red Jade Mist Mirage Saber.
The Red Jade Mist Mirage Saber was a piece of demonic equipment designed to be wielded by demons. The energy flow as well as the working pattern was not very suitable for Cultivators to grasp.
What Li Yao wanted was not the Red Jade Mist Mirage Saber per se, but the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures contained inside.
He had separated the precious marrow blood crystals from the Red Jade Mist Mirage Saber with the secret arts of the Hundred Smelting Clan after seven days of hard work.
Then he divided the marrow blood crystals into two portions, one larger and the other smaller.
He melded the larger portion, what was left of the marrow crystals inside his Cosmos Ring, and a huge amount of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures that he spent a vast fortune on into his battler saber.
Today was the day of the melding's completion!
Sensing the abrupt temperature changes inside the refining furnace, Li Yao felt that an irritated deadly animal was going to break out of its cage. He hurried to extend his telepathic thoughts into the refining furnace, while he quickly typed on the light beam to adjust the temperature, pressure, and direction of flames in the refining furnace.
Ten minutes later, the hole above the furnace opened, from which a red-and-blue laser dashed out with electric arcs.
Wind and thunder seemed to be echoing in the peaceful Diminutive Dust Domain.
Li Yao was fully focused. His spiritual energy surged out to the sky, as his hands was drawing hundreds of spiritual runes which snatched the laser and pulled it back to the long-prepared cooling liquids.
Raging, colorful steams were popping up from the cooling pool.
After the temperature cooled a bit, Li Yao put the blade on an iron mat which had been crafted out of a meteorite.
Immense spiritual energy burst out of Li Yao's body. A giant, who was more than three meters tall, appeared in his back.
Mimicking his gesture, the giant bashed the iron mat together with him.
Two noises of forging echoed closely one after another.
After forging for a moment, the blade was thrown back to the refining furnace again, before they were polished and furbished by more than ten different cooling liquids.
The process was repeated for nineteen times until dawn arrived, and the upgrading of his battle saber was finally completed!
Sweat was all over Li Yao's back. But he was in high spirits. Spiritual energy was burning around him like flowing flames.
He touched the new-born battle saber gently and affectionately.
The battle saber that he was holding right now was 2.15 meters long and weighed 137.4 kilograms. The body of the saber was gracefully curved. The back of the saber was full of vein-like crimson streaks, which were tangled by countless violet lightning patterns, making the saber more than splendid.
Li Yao picked up the saber and waved it. Humming sounds echoed inside his brain, as he began to feel the new abilities of the saber.
The new battle saber, which had been embedded with multiple kinds of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, could not only trigger lightning and tornadoes but was also endowed with a new ability, the activation of blood aura.
Once Li Yao's spiritual energy was fully functioning, a blood aura as long as ten meters could be summoned.
When the enemy was hit by the blood aura, there would be no external injuries. But the hematopoietic system of the enemy's body would be wrecked, to the point that the body would mistake the enemy's own blood for foreign matter and resist it, eventually leading to a continuous loss of blood.
If the enemy was insignificant, second-rate demon beasts or low-level demon soldiers, they would bleed to death when they were swept by the blood aura.
Even if the enemy was an expert demon, they would still have to spare part of their demonic energy to suppress the injuries or simply flee for better treatment when they were hit.
In life-and-death combat, if the opponent continued bleeding, the situation would of course be in Li Yao's favor.
"What a marvelous, rarely-seen weapon. It is perfect even by the standards of the Hundred Smelting Clan 40,000 years ago!
"With your brand-new abilities, it's inappropriate that you don't have a proper name yet.
"I'll call you Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber, then!"
Taking the Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber, Li Yao felt that thousands of clouds and lightning were roiling in his chest, making him more confident than ever.
As for the smaller portion of the marrow blood crystals, Li Yao was planning to refine them into the remaining eight marrow crystal bullets.
Marrow crystal bullets were Li Yao's life-saving contingencies.
In the battle against Wang Ji in Red Lotus City, it was with a marrow crystal bullet that Li Yao reversed the situation and secured the final victory.
Marrow crystal bullets were themselves powerful enough. How much further could they go if the marrow blood crystals were added in?
With the new marrow crystal bullets, as well as his Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber, even a demon king would have to pay a good price if they wanted to take him down.
"Now that I have a decent saber and new powerful bullets, with the protection of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, it should be enough for me to explore the Occult Orbs, shouldn't it?"
Li Yao played with his battle saber in ecstasy for a while. Then he took a deep breath and calmed himself down, as he picked out the Occult Orbs Card.
Over the past month, other than devouring Ou Yezi's memory pieces inside his brain, Li Yao dedicated the rest of his time into cracking the boundless labyrinth inside the Occult Orbs Card.
He had a feeling that he was close to success.
Touching the surface of the card softly, Li Yao saw those same four words again.
'When Stars Are Shining'.
Li Yao shut his eyes and started meditating. All the body cell activities were suppressed to minimum. But his telepathic thoughts kept expanding.
A huge amount of liquefied spiritual energy flowed out of his spiritual root into the labyrinth inside the Occult Orbs Card like thousands of rivers.
Even the most complicated maze couldn't stop promptly-changing water. Li Yao's telepathic thoughts gradually entered deeper, deeper and deeper inside the labyrinth flowing together with the spiritual liquid.
He seemed to have heard the calling of stars!
Lightning struck inside his brain. He suddenly saw scenes of bizarre yet magnificent wars.
In prosperous and populated metropolises, below deep and rugged valleys, on ever-surging oceans, billions of soldiers of the human army and the demon army were colliding.
Even the most ordinary soldier in the human army was wearing glamorous crystals suit and wielding weapons whose auras could be dozens of meters long.
In the meantime, the vanguard of the demon army was exclusively made of demon kings!
In the sky, crystal warships of the human beings and devil warships of the demon clan had blocked the sun, making the broad daylight almost look like midnight.
Out of the atmosphere, in the background of the starry sky, a Babel Battle Star, which was known as 'stellar magical equipment' that was even larger than some satellite planets, was enshrouded in thousands of mystic colors, fighting against an endless beast tide in space.
Suddenly, an uncanny wind blew over. Everything that Li Yao saw, both the formidable troops of human beings and those of the demon clan, turned into lackluster rocks and stood still on the desolate battlegrounds like billions of statues.
Then, the entire world collapsed, turning into countless pieces which flew in the dark void before sinking into nothingness in the end.
Li Yao let out a long breath. He blinked and found himself exhausted and covered in sweat, although he was still in the Diminutive Dust Domain.
The starry sky and the words on the Occult Orbs Card were all gone. What replaced them was a picture of a vast orbital system whose one end pierced into the sky and vanished into the cosmos.
It looked like a launch base for some sort of warships.
However, the anti-gravity technology of the Star Glory Federation was quite advanced, with which crystal warships could fly out of the atmosphere directly. What use was there in such an orbital system?
Li Yao was quite confused.
But there was one thing that he was certain about.
He had passed the first test. Occult Orbs Fellowship was now open to him!