Very soon, colorful ripples appeared on the surface of the Occult Orbs Card, which seemed to have been washed by invisible rain. The pattern on the card blurred, until it turned into two lines of runes in the end.
The first line was an address on the Nexus, while the second line was a key written in spiritual tattoo.
Li Yao turned on his crystal processor. He thought of something and didn't enter the address of Occult Orbs Fellowship immediately. Instead, he logged in the Cultivators' network of the Heaven's Origin Sector.
Wars are always the fastest way of communication between civilizations.
In the War of Seven Cities, a lot of members of the regular army of the demon clan were captured alive by the Star Glory Federation, including many silver-blood demons who knew confidential information about the Blood Demon Sector.
Cultivators of the Heaven's Origin Sector naturally had countless methods to make the silver-blood demons open their mouths, or even retrieve information from their heads directly.
Right now, the federation had a much deeper understanding of its enemy.
The files regarding the social form of the Blood Demon Sector, its technology, demonic skills, names of the elite demons, and so on were hundreds of times more abundant than previously.
Most of the files, after being classified and labelled, were uploaded to the Cultivators' network.
At present, Li Yao was one of the Building Foundation Stage Cultivators who were the nuclei of the Cultivation world. His authorization on the Cultivators' network was significantly upgraded, allowing him to read the files freely.
Triggering the searching ability, Li Yao first pictured 'Wang Ji', the expert demon, in his mind, before he typed in his opponent's name on his mini crystal processor.
A search was conducted based on the two conditions. The system soon located a lot of information for him.
"Wang Ji, prince of the Kingdom of Lion Butchers, disciple of Elder Blood Robe who is one of the strongest demons in the Blood Demon Sector?"
A cruel smile appeared on Li Yao's face, while coldness resembling the brightness of his saber flashed in his eyes.
He had been keeping his enemy's last curse in his mind and dared not to forget it for even a single second.
He hadn't expected for Wang Ji to have such an impressive background.
Li Yao was aware that in the War of Seven Cities, a lot of Cultivators went missing, many of whom must've been seized by the demon clan.
Besides, according to the post-war analysis, the priority target after the demons took down each of the seven cities was always the super crystal processor center.
Dozens of mainframe crystal processors which had remarkable computational ability had been stolen by the demon clan.
It was not hard to guess that they were also trying to learn more about the Heaven's Origin Sector by gathering the data stored in the crystal processors.
Li Yao didn't like to keep a low profile and hardly hid his identity and capability on purpose. His own Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit was conspicuously different from other Mystic Skeleton Battlesuits, too.
Moreover, his deeds in the Thunderous Sound Mountain and in the Magical Equipment Exposition, especially his performance in the Flying Crystal race, had been detailed in quite a few magazines, newspapers and forums.
After collecting and sorting out the information, it would not be difficult to find out who he was.
Since 'Wang Ji' was a prince of a demon kingdom as well as a disciple of a demon emperor, the resources at his disposal must be enormous. It was quite possible that the guy had already found out who Li Yao was and wouldn't let him go easily.
But, so what?
"You want to kill me, but you don't know that I'm also planning to kill you. Let's see whose neck is harder!
"As the saying goes, nothing should be repeated more than three times. In the previous two times fought, no one died. Next time I run into you, I will definitely slay you!"
Li Yao activated the tracing ability of the Cultivators' network.
Any updates about Wang Ji would be sent to the mailbox of his spiritual crane messenger automatically and remind him to read.
Finishing everything, Li Yao finally left the Cultivators' network and entered the address of Occult Orbs Fellowship.
A quickly spinning nebula unfolded in front of his eyes as if it were a dream.
Li Yao immediately reacted. His two hands turned into a cluster of gold as he typed in the key in the gap of the nebula.
After a hum, the spinning nebula slowed down.
Soon, the brightness of the stars consolidated into a gold, translucent figure whose face was as vivid as that of a real person. Li Yao felt that the man was somewhat familiar.
"Mr. Li Yao, greetings!
"I didn't expect you to pass the test of the Occult Orbs Card so quickly. You have the opportunity to become an official member of Occult Orbs Fellowship now.
"I am Gao Tieyi, a Secondary Deacon of Occult Orbs Fellowship. I will answer all your questions about Occult Orbs Fellowship and lead you to us!"
His name immediately reminded Li Yao of something.
Gao Tieyi was a Cultivator at the peak of the Building Foundation Stage, but he was not fifty yet, which made him the youngest Elder of Purple Cloud Temple. He was best at administration and analysis. Last year, he made it to the 'Top 100 Celebrities of the Cultivation World', a list proposed by a weekly magazine named 'Young Cultivators' annually.
A Secondary Deacon who was in charge of such a trivial affair like guiding newcomers was such an influential figure. Occult Orbs Fellowship was indeed powerful.
Gao Tieyi read his face well. He smiled.
"Occult Orbs Fellowship is an organization beyond all the sects and forces in the federation. You may compare it to loose organizations such as the 'Refiners' Association' or 'Demon Hunters' Association'.
"Joining Occult Orbs Fellowship does not mean you have to quit the sect that you are in at present. In fact, most Cultivation sects encourage their disciples to join Occult Orbs Fellowship and explore the endless mysteries of the sea of stars!
"Of course, the Occult Orbs are perilous places. Even those which have been explored many times can still entail fatal dangers. The casualty rate of the explorers is very high!
"Besides, many of their injuries were caused by the ancient magical equipment and secret arts. The Cultivation technology we have right now may not be enough to treat them at all.
"Therefore, whether or not you join Occult Orbs Fellowship, and if you do, whether or not you explore the Occult Orbs in person, will all be decided by you. No one will force you to do anything.
"However, Mr. Li Yao, you are one of the youngest Building Foundation Cultivators of the federation, as well as a rarely-seen hybrid-type Cultivator. Personally, I look forward to your participation very much. At least, you can visit the headquarters of Occult Orbs Fellowship before you make your final decision. How about it?"
"Sounds good!" Li Yao nodded his head unhesitatingly.
Three days later, a blue, clear crystal airship which seemed to be carved out of a giant intact crystal was rushing under the blue sky, leaving circular exhaust flames while raising the exclamations of passengers on other crystal airships nearby.
The spacious cabin was designed into a luxury suite. Seven quiet, low-key Cultivators were seated at the corners of the cabin, while they eyed each other in respect, if not with a slight hint of competitiveness.
Sending someone into the Occult Orbs would consume a lot of resources, not to mention that the Occult Orbs themselves were full of dangers.
Those qualified to enter the Occult Orbs were all one-in-ten-thousand geniuses and elites of elites.
The seven of them were all given an opportunity to join Occult Orbs Fellowship, which apparently made them competitors.
However, if they all passed the tests, it was quite possible that they would become companions and explore the Occult Orbs together.
'Zhao Mo from Ten Ultimacies Union, a Cultivator in the middle level of the Building Foundation Stage who slayed more than thirty demon generals in the War of Seven Cities. His spiritual root was a strangely mutated one. The more seriously he is injured, the higher his combat ability becomes. He is a lunatic that gets madder and stronger as the battle proceeds.
'Cao Tongtian from Leopard Valley, a rarely-seen hybrid-type Cultivator in the middle level of the Building Foundation Stage. Other than combat, he is also talented in researching and is best at taming and reining crystal beasts.
'Nie Junxia from Heavenly Essence Village, known as the fastest swordsman of the younger generation. In a sword match hosted by the five major sword-training sects, he defeated twelve disciples from the five sword-training sects in a row as a disciple from a non-sword-training sect!
'Well well well. They're all the best Cultivators of the younger generation who have enormous potential!'
Sitting in a corner, Li Yao was quite amazed.
It was not a lie that Occult Orbs was the top organization for the Cultivators of the Heaven's Origin Sector. The guys who'd been invited were all well-known celebrities, none of whom were easy to deal with.
But of course, the other young experts were also eyeing him with astonishment and appreciation.
As one of the youngest Building Foundation Cultivators of the federation and an important contributor to Project Mystic Skeleton, Li Yao had spread his name to every corner of the Cultivation world.
Without searching on the Nexus, the young experts had all recognized who he was and considered him to be one of the most dangerous competitors.
'Is that Vulture Li Yao? I'm told that he is one of the best refiners of the younger generation. The crystal reactor of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit was designed by him.'
'His combat ability is amazing, too. In the Battle of Red Lotus City, not only did he disrupt the teleportation of a demon prince by brute force, he even managed to seriously wound the enemy later!'
'Occult Orbs Fellowship is indeed a place of geniuses. Even such a remarkable person has been tempted!'
The other six young experts were talking to each other with their expressions.
A bright, grey ball which was full of holes flew to the middle of the cabin and emitted lights. A gold figure was consolidated by the brilliance. Gao Tieyi, the Secondary Deacon of Occult Orbs Fellowship, appeared. He smiled and said, "Please be prepared, everyone. We're almost here."
Li Yao looked through the window. It was a desolate desert outside.
They were still on the Grand Desolate Plateau.
"Deacon Gao, I have a question."
Cao Tongtian from Leopard Valley suddenly asked, "Why is Occult Orbs Fellowship headquartered on the Grand Desolate Plateau? Wouldn't it be under the harassment and scourge of the demon clan?"
Gao Tieyi nodded his head approvingly. "It has to do with the key technology that enables us to explore the Occult Orbs.
"If possible, we would have preferred to establish the headquarters and launch bases further inland. But the space barrier of the inland is too stable, which blocks the sky like an invisible yet extremely thick wall and makes it very difficult to break the entanglement of our world.
"In comparison, the space barrier above the Grand Desolate Plateau is very weak, riddled with holes large and small.
"As the Blood Demon Sector and the Heaven's Origin Sector draw closer to each other, the attractive force between the two worlds is getting stronger and stronger. We can transform it into impetus, which can boost us to break the limit of our world like wind pushing a ship and set us off into the infinite sea of stars!
"Therefore, although it is dangerous, we had to set up the headquarters and launch bases of Occult Orbs Fellowship on the Grand Desolate Plateau!
"Of course, the demon clan discovered the place a long time ago. But, so what?
"You must've realized that most of the elite Cultivators of the Heaven's Origin Sector have been gathered here. If the demon clan was capable enough of breaching this place, there would be no safe place in the entire Heaven's Origin Sector at all, not even the capital city. What's the point of hiding Occult Orbs Fellowship then?"
Everyone was amused by his witty words.
Cao Tongtian scratched his head and grinned in pride.
There was no doubt that the strongest experts of the Cultivation world of the Heaven's Origin Sector had congregated in this place. If this place was compromised, it meant that the Heaven's Origin Sector had totally lost. How was that possible?
Soon, the crystal warship lowered its altitude.
In the front was a black, giant, half-circular stone which had been embedded with billions of crystals. They were glittering in the warm sunlight like blinking stars.
The stone was like a lonely gate on the desert. Its diameter was more than five-hundred meters, dwarfing the crystal airship as if it were an ant.
On the top part of the gate, nine gallant words were carved.
'THIS PLACE FOREVER BANS YOU FROM A LONG LIFE!'
The words silenced the seven Cultivators, who were deep in thought, pondering what they meant.
Gao Tieyi said, "Passing through the 'Gate of Stars', we'll reach the headquarters and launch bases of Occult Orbs Fellowship.
"The nine words on the gate were left by Changkong Wuji, the legendary Cultivator three hundred years ago as well as the first chairman of Occult Orbs Fellowship.
"Everyone has a different understanding as to what they mean. Please figure it out on your own."
Bonus Chapter (2/4)
Bonus chapters will be released on 09:00 (UTC +8) every day.
Power Ranking 16-20 --> 11 chapters/week (7 basic + 4 bonus)
Power Ranking 11-15 --> 13 chapters/week (7 basic + 6 bonus)
Power Ranking 4-10 --> double release
Power Ranking 1-3 --> triple release