Li Yao didn't know what to say, nor did he know what kind of expression he should put on to embrace such a 'surprise'.
He should've realized it long ago.
Where else could Ding Lingdang rush into the middle of the Building Foundation Stage in just a few months other than the Occult Orbs?
Bi Ran rubbed his hands and asked curiously, "Mr. Li Yao. You and the Queen of Fire are both influential figures from the Grand Desolate War Institution. You must've fought her on your campus, right? Are her martial arts really as brutal as they are said to be? What does it feel like to fight her in a match? I only saw several video clips of her fighting, which were indeed incredibly insane and overwhelming!"
Scratching his nose, Li Yao mumbled, "We did more than that Right, which team is Ding Lingdang in?"
Bi Ran said, "Team Blue Bronze! It is indeed a lucky team. It was on the verge of being kicked out of the top 100 teams, yet out of the depths of misfortune comes bliss. With a strong new member, the Queen of Fire, it has been completely reborn now!
"Recently, they've been training in the Occult Orbs together. I'm told that they are building a new set of tactics with the Queen of Fire as the attack damage carry. But they're coming back tomorrow.
"Mr. Li Yao, I suggest you find a place to stay in first. If members of Team Lingering Wind run into you again, you might still be in trouble. When Team Blue Bronze, their real opponent, returns from the Occult Orbs tomorrow, Team Lingering Wind will definitely trouble them and leave you alone."
Li Yao raised his eyebrow.
"Wait, is street fighting allowed in Empyreal Star City?"
Bi Ran shook his head hard.
"Of course it is not. However, if somebody asks you for a duel, generally speaking, no one will say no, because it concerns the honor and pride of an Orb Patroller. If you turn down the duel invitations from other people too many times, you risk being considered a coward. Who's willing to go to the Occult Orbs with you then?
"It is especially the case for newcomers such as you. This is the time when you should demonstrate your best performance. Declining the duels is not going to help you find a suitable team."
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao smiled and said, "I understand. Thanks for your kind suggestions. This is the number of my spiritual crane messenger. After I settle in and get more familiar with Empyreal Star City, I'll definitely help you revise your battle saber. As for which team to choose, I don't want to rush into anything right now. I'll come to you if needed."
"That's alright. I hope you can help with the modification work of Team Chosen Ones as an expert refiner in the future. The fees are not going to be a problem. We can make the transaction by contribution points!" Bi Ran said unhesitatingly while he exchanged his number with Li Yao.
After they parted, Li Yao didn't hurry to find a residence. Instead, he roamed back to the Central Square nice and easily with his hands in his pockets.
He contacted the mainframe crystal processor again and searched for information regarding Team Blue Bronze carefully.
Streams of information poured down from the top of the light beam.
Out of Li Yao's expectation, Team Blue Bronze was actually not just a random team. On the contrary, it was the only team entirely made of outside-world Ord Patrollers that once ranked among the top 5!
The former captain of the team was Yin Qingfeng, who was a Cultivator in the high level of the Building Foundation Stage as well as the soul of his team. More importantly, he was an extremely rare triple-talented hybrid-type Cultivator who had talents in combat, administration, and research at the same time!
With barely any help and nothing but his own bare hands, he built Team Blue Bronze from an unknown third-rate team into one of the best, most influential teams in Occult Orbs Fellowship.
However, three months ago, Team Blue Bronze accidentally triggered a powerful barrier when they were exploring an Occult Orb. To protect his teammates, Yin Qingfeng covered the rear and tried to resist the crazy attack of the barrier.
After the battle, Yin Qingfeng and Gao Peng, another expert in the team, perished.
Team Blue Bronze turned from a full team of six members into one that had only four members. Its position in the Rank of Stars plunged from 3rd to 91st and risked dropping out of the top 100 at any time.
Right then, the vacant Team Blue Bronze recruited a newcomer named Ding Lingdang.
Li Yao already knew the rest of the story.
After Ding Lingdang joined Team Blue Bronze, she discovered an ancient inheritance which belonged to an expert in the era of the Star Ocean Imperium during her first adventure. Her Cultivation surged and so did the comprehensive capability of Team Blue Bronze.
Right now, this team of five members was 79th in the Rank of Stars.
Team Blue Bronze didn't post any recruitment advertisements. The old team members and Ding Lingdang were still bettering their cooperation. It seemed that the team was trying to build her into the next soul of the team.
While he was reading, Li Yao smiled quietly.
When he first saw Ding Lingdang, he had felt that the girl was like a sun which emitted dazzling radiance wherever she went.
Even in Occult Orbs Fellowship that was never lacking elites and stars, Ding Lingdang was still so brilliant and distinguished herself so easily.
Seeing that Ding Lingdang was rushing and soaring in her path of Cultivation, Li Yao felt very happy, as if he had been put in a honeypot.
Pondering for a moment, he asked the mainframe crystal processor to play the video of Ding Lingdang and Guo Yu's match.
He had learnt from the guidelines for newcomers from the mainframe crystal processor that the competition inside Occult Orbs Fellowship was indeed fierce. There were countless matches every day, and normally speaking, no one would ever reject the request of a duel.
After all, the attraction of the Occult Orbs was too enormous.
Every journey to the Occult Orbs was a treasure hunting trip. Who could bear to let go of such rare opportunities?
The cost of entering the Occult Orbs was stunningly high, and the opportunities were limited. Who were allowed to go and who were not? The conflict of interest was too intense for any scheme that was absolutely fair to be implemented.
So, eventually, it boiled down to the simplest waythe criterion of strength! Quarrels should be settled by matches. Those qualified to go to the Occult Orbs were those whose fists were tougher!
The leadership of Occult Orbs Fellowship, namely the Core Formation Stage Cultivators and the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators, were very well aware of the situation.
However, since the purpose of Occult Orbs Fellowship was to bring out the elites of the best elites. They simply acquiesced to such a system.
If anything, losers in the matches in Empyreal Star City would only suffer a terrible beating. But if incapable candidates entered the Occult Orbs by chance, they were doomed to be blown to smithereens at any moment.
There was only one rule: no street fighting. All the conflicts and arguments should be resolved in an arena.
A Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator was supervising Empyreal Star City all the time. Once a street fight was detected, the guilty persons would be forbidden to set foot in the Occult Orbs ever again.
For the Orb Patrollers, it was a penalty that was even crueler than death.
By such a system, Occult Orbs Fellowship managed to maintain the order of Empyreal Star City while ensuring the competitiveness of the Orb Patrollers.
There were hundreds of arenas of various scales inside Empyreal Star City. From rings for personal duels, stadiums for matches between two teams, to vast battlegrounds where a match between dozens of Star Teams could be held, everybody could find what they needed.
Every day, countless Star Teams and Orb Patrollers fought against each other fiercely in the arenas, with contribution points or tickets to the Occult Orbs as wagers.
Li Yao played the video of the match between Ding Lingdang and Guo Yu and watched with his full attention.
The match was conducted in a rocky area where super-hot steam was ejecting from the cracks on the ground all the time.
It was completely a one-sided slaughter.
After only three minutes, Guo Yu was already beaten out of shape. He lay on the ground twitching uncontrollably with all his limbs stretched out.
Ding Lingdang sniffed and walked to the exit of the arena.
However, Guo Yu was partly faking his afflictions. Gritting his teeth with a hideous face, he picked himself up silently, while streaks of black aura tangled his right arm. Then he charged into Ding Lingdang like a black laser and attacked the back of her head.
Li Yao's eyes suddenly narrowed to the extent that they looked like two vipers. He clenched his fists so hard that the bones inside were cracking.
Half a second later, with a desperate scream, Guo Yu was blown backwards by hundreds of meters, before he crashed into a hill, resulting in a hollow greater than three meters in diameter. Pebbles were spluttering, and dust was surging.
Three giant serpents enshrouded in burning flames tied him up, which almost squeezed all his bones into pieces. His blackened skin was split, and his burnt flesh broke forth.
It was not until this moment that Ding Lingdang turned around and smacked her lips.
Li Yao was familiar with her enough to know that it was her sign of boredom when she felt that her opponent was too weak.
"You filthy bitch, just wait for it, I won't let you get away!"
Being burnt by the furious flames, Guo Yu was shrieking in excruciating pain.
Ding Lingdang yawned slightly. Then she glanced around and found a stalagmite almost two meters in diameter. She opened her arms and blared her eyes, as she exerted her strength and uprooted the stalagmite.
She spun the stalagmite for several rounds, before she smashed it at the direction of Guo Yu.
Buried by a stalagmite that weighed dozens of tons, Guo Yu's profanities immediately stopped.
At first, all his bones were fractured; then, his entire body was roasted; in the end, a stalagmite weighing dozens of tons fell from the sky right into his face.
No wonder Guo Yu had to stay in the ICU for more than half a month, even though he was at the Building Foundation Stage.
Li Yao couldn't help but grin. He smiled without a sound, his white teeth gleaming.
It was indeed as expected of Ding Lingdang.
He was looking forward to meeting Ding Lingdang tomorrow more than ever.
However, before that
Li Yao's grinning gradually turned malicious.
He dug out all the information about Team Lingering Wind, especially the combat videos where Guo Yu appeared, and studied carefully.
He was going to understand Guo Yu in every way possible, including his strength, his specialties, his combat habits, in order to find a deadly flaw.
"You want to humiliate me to show off in front of Ding Lingdang?
"You are asking for your own death. That's really not my fault!"
Two hours later, in the training room of the Children of Occult Orbs in the southern district of Empyreal Star City
"The newbie from the Grand Desolate War Institution was this close to being lured to the arena by me. He would've been tortured by me in the name of testing, so that I could warm myself up from being confined in the med bay for such a long time, and the Inferno Witch would know the consequences of provoking Team Lingering Wind!
"If only the old fart from Team Chosen Ones hadn't interrupted at the critical moment! I'm so pissed!"
While he gnashed his teeth, Guo Yu was working out on a strength training machine whose load was ten tons.
The courtesy in him was completely gone. Right now, he was surrounded by evilness and hatred.
As a Child of Occult Orbs, he had never been disgraced so much as to be terribly beaten by a young girl from the outside world and end up in hospital for more than half a month. He was a joke among the Children of Occult Orbs now!
He hated it! He hated it so much!
Not only did he hate Ding Lingdang, he had started hating everyone from the Grand Desolate War Institution.
"Don't be so hasty!"
Long Chengde, deputy captain of Team Lingering Wind, scoffed, "Eminent as this so-called Vulture Li Yao may be in the outside world, he is no one in Occult Orbs Fellowship.
"For us, he is just an appetizer. It is of little significance whether to eat it or not.
"The Inferno Witch Ding Lingdang has been on fire lately and has attracted the attention of many experts. She is our main dish!
Before he was able to finish his talk, Wan Feihe, their female teammate, came close with a weird expression and said, "Deputy captain, that new guy Li Yao has sent a message to us saying that he is very interested in Team Lingering Wind and he wants to know how to take the recruitment tests."