"Did he really?" Long Chengde, deputy captain of the team, turned around and looked at Guo Yu. "How about it? Should we challenge him to a duel or not?"
Guo Yu's twitching face was filled with cruelty.
This was much more than humiliating the opponent and venting the anger. More importantly, this was about his own reputation.
To hang around with other Orb Patrollers, the most important things were reputation and achievements!
If an Orb Patroller was a well-acknowledged, strong person with a reputable past, other people wouldn't dare to challenge them easily. Many teams would invite them to explore the Occult Orbs together.
Even if the team fell out for various reasons, or they simply wanted to leave, it would be very easy for them to find a new team.
Despite the fact that he was only in the beginning level of the Building Foundation Stage, he had been training in the Occult Orbs for enough years to grasp many brutal secret skills. He used to be a celebrity among the Orb Patrollers; they all knew that he was a hardcore fighter and not someone easy to deal with.
As it turned out, a girl in her twenties beat him to the ground in just three minutes, and he had to stay in the most advanced med bay for more than half a month before his full recovery.
His body recovered, but his reputation did not. He became the biggest joke for all the Orb Patrollers.
Other than anything else, everybody considered him to be a docile sheep which could do nothing when it was bullied. Many impatient Orb Patrollers had started challenging him.
How much time would he have to waste on these people?
Therefore, right now, Guo Yu's top priority was to restore his reputation as a 'tough man'.
Li Yao was his best choice for this purpose.
Since the Occult Children spent most of their time in the Occult Orbs or Empyreal Star City, they did not know much about what was going on in the outside world.
However, they did read news or browse through the Nexus once in a while, and they knew that two people of the younger generation in the Grand Desolate War Institution were quite famous, Li Yao and Ding Lingdang.
More importantly, this 'Vulture Li Yao' seemed even more well-known than Ding Lingdang in the outside world.
Guo Yu was not a fool. Now that Ding Lingdang had advanced into the middle level of the Building Foundation Stage, he would be no match for her for a long time. Of course, he didn't dare to challenge her easily right now.
As for Vulture Li Yao, despite his fame, he had just entered the Building Foundation Stage two months ago, which meant he was totally a green hand for Building Foundation Stage Cultivators. Naturally, Guo Yu could beat him up without any trouble!
Since the guy was equally renowned as Ding Lingdang, teaching him a good lesson equaled to slapping Ding Lingdang in the face, didn't it?
Fascinated by the idea, he grinned hideously and said, "Alright. Let me duel with the guy in the arena tomorrow, so that I can tell this Vulture Li Yao in person the difference between Occult Orbs Fellowship and the outside world!"
"Guo Yu, are you sure?"
Long Chengde said suspiciously, "I've read news and some posts from online forums. Vulture Li Yao is also one of the youngest Building Foundation Stage Cultivators in the federation. He is even more popular than Ding Lingdang in the outside world. Don't fall into the same ditch again."
The last few words were uttered in a very low voice, so that they were the only two who could hear them.
Guo Yu's face changed. His eyes suddenly turned bloodshot.
"Deputy captain, rest assured. I've studied the file of this Vulture Li Yao. He is a hybrid-type Cultivator. His first career is as a refiner. His major in college is also refining. Most of his popularity comes from the magical equipment he crafted.
"In combat, the guy is a big fan of tricks and traps. He is a good Exo. But his personal strength is not that impressive.
"Besides, he just entered the Building Foundation Stage one month ago. I mean, after such a short time, how strong can he be? I've been in the Building Foundation Stage for four years! Even Ding Lingdang has been in the Building Foundation Stage for two years!
"In terms of popularity, he is much more popular than Ding Lingdang.
"In terms of strength, he is far from Ding Lingdang's level!
"Now that the delicious meat has been fed to my mouth, how can I not enjoy it?
"I don't believe that everyone in the Grand Desolate War Institution is as crazy as Inferno Witch Ding Lingdang. That would be nuts!"
The more he thought about it, the more excited he got. His voice grew louder and louder. Several Orb Patrollers nearby heard his declaration.
This was a fairly large training room, with a lot of advanced training facilities from the Occult Orbs, which was why many Star Teams liked to train in this place.
Hearing the conversation of these two people, many Orb Patrollers gathered around.
"Another newcomer from the Grand Desolate War Institution has joined Occult Orbs Fellowship?"
"He is even more famous than Inferno Witch Ding Lingdang in the outside world?"
"It's time to enjoy a good show!"
At the same time, in a shabby, low-level training in the west of Empyreal Star City.
Standing below a squat rack, with a 30-ton barbell which had been made by the high-density rocks in the Occult Orbs on his back, Li Yao crouched and exerted his strength. His thigh expanded immediately. Veins bulged under his jade-like skin like furious dragons jumping out of the sea.
Two ripples of air spread out from his feet. He stood straight again and took a long breath.
The reading on the light beam nearby was '99'.
The gravity here was five times the standard gravity of the Heaven's Origin Sector.
In front of Li Yao stood ten training machines that looked like ten cannons. With the electric arcs dancing and rune arrays triggered, clusters of twisted air were fired from them and dashed at Li Yao.
These were air cannons, which could absorb the air into their bores through electromagnetic forces and rune arrays before condensing it into one thousandth of its original volume and firing it out at a speed close to that of sound.
At a short distance, it amounted to the full-strength strike of a Refinement Stage Cultivator.
Once it hit anything, the cannonballs of air would disperse automatically without any trace, which made the machine a very clean and convenient training facility.
Normally, Cultivators would use air cannons to train their dodging ability.
But here, Li Yao had lined ten air cannons, aimed them at himself, and set the firing speed to the highest, which was one shot per second.
Every second, ten air cannonballs would hit body heavily.
Yet, he didn't even bother to activate his spiritual shield. He was merely withstanding the attacks with his flesh which had been built up by the Thousand Tempering Hundred Refining technique.
In such a way, he was training his ability of resistance. Yet, he was not entirely satisfied.
He was used to Ding Lingdang's heavy punches. Attacks in the level of the Refinement Stage were nothing but scratches for him.
Under the bombardment of the ten air cannons, Li Yao went on with the dull strength training. Soon, his sweat gathered into a sparkling pond near his feet, which was then blown away when he exerted his strength, turning into mysterious mist circling him.
Team Lingering Wind had texted him back, inviting him to take a 'simple test' in the arena tomorrow where Guo Yu would duel with him. Nothing would cross the line. It would be all about friend-making.
Li Yao smiled and tossed his mini crystal processor away. He resumed his tedious training by smashing a training machine.
It seemed that Bi Ran was right. Team Lingering Wind was indeed up to no good. They were planning to fool him over and teach him a good lesson.
However, it was also a good opportunity for him!
Although the mainframe crystal processor of Empyreal Star City had told him that many teams were recruiting new members, Li Yao couldn't help but notice that they were mostly tail-enders in the Rank of Stars.
Even if he were to join such second-tier teams, they would never dare to explore the more dangerous Occult Orbs anyway.
Li Yao's target was a stronger team that ranked among the top 50, or even better, the top 30.
It was not easy to join such teams.
A team was always made of four to six members, which meant that there were no higher than six hundred people calculating all the top 100 teams. In comparison, there were almost 1,500 Orb Patrollers in the entire Empyreal Star City.
The remaining thousand or so Orb Patrollers were benchwarmers. They had to gain reputation by dedicating their best performance in order to prove their value to the Star Teams and be recruited by them.
For newcomers, it was even more difficult to attract the attention of the Star Teams, because their time was limited by the daily consumption of contribution points.
Although Li Yao was sort of a celebrity in the outside world, people in Empyreal Star City did not care much about the fame and achievements in his past. They believed more in what they saw with their own eyes.
Therefore, although Guo Yu's invitation was ill-intended, Li Yao still said yes to it.
Guo Yu wanted to gain reputation, and so did Li Yao!
"In order to impress the best teams of Empyreal Star City with a grandeur presentation within the shortest time possible, Guo Yu will be my perfect stepping stone!
"How dare you ambush my woman from behind?
"Ding Lingdang was lenient and merciful enough to let you stay in the ICU for only half a month after beating and burning you.
"But don't presume that you'll get away so easily when you are snatched by the vulture!"
The following morning, in the No. 17 arena in the east of Empyreal Star City
As the most popular training facilities among Orb Patrollers, there were dozens of arenas in Empyreal Star City. The one of the largest scale was even an entire Occult Orb which had been modified after being full developed.
Although Orb Patrollers could also participate in 100% life-like simulated combat in the Great Illusionary Land, they often preferred to enjoy the feeling of hitting and being hit in the real world.
Duels in the arenas were all conducted according to the standard of real-life combat. Everyone would carry real weapons. Their safety would be ensured by the Judge Ball floating in the air.
The Judge Ball was a kind of ancillary magical equipment in the era of the Star Ocean Imperium. It had dozens of crystal cameras on its shell, as well as a crystal processor with amazingly high computational ability inside its body. During a duel, it would float in the air and monitor the progress of the duel.
When its crystal processor calculated that the battle was getting out of control and there was a 99% likelihood that either party would die, a spiritual shield would immediately appear and block the fatal attack.
As for the attacks that were not fatal, the Judge Ball would simply ignore them.
As a result, although few had been killed in an arena, it was not unusual for somebody to get terribly wounded.
Such extremity and excitement were also what Orb Patrollers liked most.
After all, the medical facilities in Empyreal Star City were far more advanced than those of the outside world. Even the most severe injuries could be cured within one month after lying in a med bay.
When Li Yao walked into the No. 17 arena, a lot of people had already gathered in the place.
Not just the members of Team Lingering Wind, many people from other Star Teams and many on the waiting list had also crowded into the arena.
Most of them knew a thing or two about his accomplishments in the outside world which seemed to be even impressive than Ding Lingdang's. Therefore, they couldn't hold back their curiosity and came to watch his duel with Guo Yu.