Li Yao hesitated.
He had been planning to join a first-rate team, preferably with a rank among the top 30. The rank of Team Blue Bronze, on the other hand, was much lower than he expected.
But Ding Lingdang was in Team Blue Bronze. He craved to fight side by side with her, too.
Seeing through his concerns, Ding Lingdang walked forward and said, "Just because Team Blue Bronze ranks in the seventies right now doesn't mean we are a mediocre team.
"If you have studied the files of Team Blue Bronze, you should know that Team Blue Bronze was a super team ranking in the top five, just three months ago. It was because of the loss of Yin Qingfeng, the former captain as well as soul of the team, and Gao Peng, another expert of the team, that the comprehensive capability of the team plunged.
"However, the remaining four teammates all boast exceptional personal abilities. Their knowledge about the Occult Orbs is abundant after years of training there.
"If we work with them together, Team Blue Bronze will definitely return to the top 10 of the Rank of Stars!"
Ding Lingdang's words made Li Yao's heart race. Returning to the top 10 of the Rank of Stars? It did sound like something particularly fit for his appetite.
Hong Tong smiled and said, "Mr. Li Yao, you don't have to make a decision right now. Selection of a team often involves the arrangement of fate. But more importantly, you need to check whether or not the style of the team works for you.
"If you think ours doesn't, you don't need to force yourself to join us. Although Ding Lingdang is part of Team Blue Bronze, it's perfectly normal for husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, or father and son to be in two different teams.
"There are advantages and disadvantages when you have a family member in the team. The advantages are that you know each other well and your cooperation can be flawless; the disadvantages are that you may care too much about each other, and when a crisis takes place, your personal feelings will hinder you from making sensible choices.
"Therefore, don't let anything bother you. Just take your time and think about it carefully.
"Even if you decide to join Team Blue Bronze, we'll need to ask you to take several tests, not because we don't believe in your ability, but because we need to make sure that your ability is what Team Blue Bronze needs right now.
"However, while you are considering, you can see a presentation of Team Blue first."
As he was talking, Hong Tong took a small step forward.
The distance between them barely changed. But Li Yao felt that a mountain had been put on his head and that his body was ten times heavier than before, as if he was being absorbed by hardening cement.
"The ability that I'm best at is manipulation of gravity. If I burn my soul to maximum, I can put the enemy in thirty times gravity at most; they will be suppressed by an invisible mountain, unable to move at all.
"Therefore, in Occult Orbs Fellowship, many people call me 'Mountain Monster'!"
Hong Tong burst out into laughter. He suddenly sped up and ran almost a hundred laps around Li Yao at an astonishing speed which was disproportional to his height and weight.
"Not only can I increase the gravity of the ground where the enemy is standing, I can also decrease the gravity of the ground near myself instantly to one tenth of the standard gravity. Naturally, I can run much faster than most people.
"Besides, since most of the hostile attacks are under the influence of gravity, as long as I control the gravity around me neatly, I can interfere with the trajectories of the attacks and disable the flying swords, venomous liquids, sharp spikes, narcotic mist, and even powerful blasts, if not stopping their attacks from being launched in the first place.
"Therefore, I'm mainly in charge of defense of the team."
Barely had he finished his sentence when Yan Yangtian jumped to Li Yao and smiled.
"I'm the scout of the team; I'm adept at swiftness and stealth skills."
While she was talking, she winked mysteriously. Her body suddenly turned transparent, before it vanished into thin air like an ice tube which was thrown into boiling water.
Li Yao's telepathic thoughts rippled out but failed to detect Yan Yangtian's existence at all.
What a remarkable stealth ability!
Then, someone suddenly giggled behind him.
He turned around, only to find two identical Ding Lingdangs smiling at him at the same time.
The Ding Lingdang on the left grimaced. In a blur, it turned into Li Yao and then Hong Tong. It even put on the appearance of a purple-haired demon with two horns on the forehead, before it returned to Yan Yangtian, who retreated behind Hong Tong with a smile.
"My ability is not so fancy. It's just shooting guns."
'Shell' Leng Ziming smiled casually. Then his hands turned into two blurred shadows, picked up two gold glittering pistols, and shot more than twenty brilliantly shining bullets of spiritual energy in a breath.
What was weird was that after the bullets spurted out and dispersed in the air like blossoming, they took a sharp turn at the same time and congregated in midair where they formed an impenetrable cage.
After a noise, the rune arrays carved on the bullets were activated at the same time. Gold electric arcs rushed crazily between them, interweaving to create a three-dimensional net about one meter in diameter.
"This is an aggressive array of my own invention named 'Gold Cage' which is formed by my bullets. According to the reaction of the enemy, there are 36 different follow-up plans!"
Leng Ziming whistled. His bullets immediately pierced inwards simultaneously. More than a hundred gold electric arcs exploded at the same time after a boom. But the damage was entirely restricted to a small zone no more than one foot in diameter. Li Yao didn't feel any spiritual waves even though he was only several meters away, which was indicative enough of a precise and professional control over spiritual energy.
The demonstrations of Hong Tong, Yan Yangtian, and Leng Ziming were big eye-openers for Li Yao.
"The three of you have done such marvelous performances. What do I do?"
Grinning, 'Dummy' Ba Weiyi patted Li Yao's shoulder and said, "Should I show you my medical skills?"
Li Yao showed neither approval nor disapproval. He was going to nod his head, when he suddenly felt a weird wind blowing.
He blinked his eyes, only to find himself somehow placed on an enormous, desolate planet which was surrounded by the boundless sea of stars and a deep, dark universe, dwarfing him and making him feel more isolated than ever.
Then, he noticed that the planet he was on was charging at a giant star.
Very soon, Li Yao's eyes were entirely occupied by the star. The scorching storm of fire ripped off his flesh from his bones like a burning butcher's knife.
From the overwhelming star, a furiously burning paw which was thousands of times than Li Yao extended all its fingers and slapped at Li Yao.
Li Yao gritted his teeth, roared, unsheathed his saber, and leaped forward!
The planet burst into pieces under his feet, while he waved his Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber and slashed at the star brutally in a streak of gold.
With the tolling a giant bell, Li Yao found himself back in the training room on the top floor of the luxury hotel in Empyreal Star City.
His combat suit had been soaked in sweat, which was sticky and very uncomfortable.
But desolation of the planet, vastness of the universe, fury of the star, and desperation in the everlasting darkness were still occupying his thoughts.
Li Yao took a deep breath, but his pounding heart would not be soothed easily.
This was the most brilliant mental attack that he had ever met.
'Dummy' Ba Weiqi was astounded and exclaimed, "It's impossible. You got away from the 'Vairocana Illusion' after only 1.7 seconds? You are truly a mons"
Before he was able to finish his sentence, he felt that his throat was cold.
Li Yao had reached in front of him. Something in his hand flashed and cut open Ba Weiqi's throat.
Ba Weiqi's head was nearly chopped off, but there was not a single drop of blood.
The remaining four people put on a weird, rigid countenance that resembled the puppets whose strings had been cut off.
The world suddenly collapsed like a tower of sand in a storm into thousands of pieces, which then danced like butterflies in various colors before they congregated and consolidated.
Li Yao was still in the training room. But 'Dummy' Ba Weiqi was on one of his knees. His face was pale, and he was pressing his throat hard, with sweat dripping off from his forehead.
Although his neck was intact, there was hissing sound coming from the depths of his throat, as if it had leaked. He seemed to be more than debilitated.
It was clear that he had undergone a backfire because his mental attack had been seen through.
This time, his four teammates, except Ding Lingdang, were truly stunned.
Ba Weiqi was more astonished than any of them. He managed to open his mouth and a hoarse voice came out.
"How did you know that the training room just now was an illusion that I set up? Even many high-level Building Foundation Stage Cultivators have fallen for the 'Double Illusion' technique, and it would often take several minutes before they noticed that something was wrong. Yet, you saw through it in less than five seconds? How?"
Li Yao smiled, but he didn't answer.
Ba Weiqi was indeed an expert in metal attacks. The illusion that he created was the most life-like one that Li Yao had ever seen.
However, Li Yao had been mired in the dreams of the legendary Cultivator Ou Yezi. He also trained himself in Ou Yezi's memory fragments regularly. His sense in distinguishing hallucinations from reality was probably one of the keenest in the world.
How could an illusion made by a Building Foundation Stage Cultivator trap him?
Witnessing the remarkable performance of the four members of Team Blue Bronze, Li Yao was greatly convinced.
Now that he'd made up his mind, he stopped hesitating and asked frankly, "Captain Hong, I'm willing to join Team Blue Bronze. I wonder, what kind of tests do I need to take?"
Hong Tong replied, "First of all, combat ability. It is the foundation of everything. After all, the Occult Orbs are full of dangers. We are not demanding on our team member's combat ability. But at the very least, one should be able protect oneself.
"Secondly, irreplaceable professional skills. I'm mainly in charge of defense, Dummy is for mental attacks, Shell is for gun fights and long-range attacks, and Yan Zi is for scouting, disguising, and hiding.
"We've all seen your combat ability just now, and none of us have any complaints about it. Why don't you show us your maintenance and modification skills, so that we'll know how good you are?"
Li Yao was going to nod his head, when Ding Lingdang suddenly strode forward. Her nose almost crashed into his, while she interrupted Li Yao with her eyes filled with provocation.
"Wait. Li Yao resorted to tricks to secure his victory just now. But in the Occult Orbs, you don't get to use your tricks all the time. Therefore, I think it will be better if we can know his true personal strength before jumping to any decision.
"Alright, let's go to the combat room. You will know my improvement in the Occult Orbs over the past few months soon!"
Li Yao smiled, his black eyes beaming,
"Fine by me. I would very much like you to know how strong I am right now after I broke into the Building Foundation Stage!"
In the combat room, Li Yao and Ding Lingdang stayed at two corners and stared at each other.
One, two, three Three snakes of fire which were different colors but equally furious craned from her back.
In front of Li Yao, on the other hand, was a super-heavy war hammer weighing 972 kilograms with abilities both in vibration and in thunder.
In between them, the air was cracking, while clusters of sparks were bursting out.
Both of their mouths curled. Dangerous temptation was appearing in their eyes.
Ba Weiqi, who was watching the game in the outside, finally couldn't bear it any longer and asked, "Are they really a couple?"