"Two months ago, I discovered an ancient inheritance in an Occult Orb through the soul of a deceased Cultivator who was killed in a war 7,400 years ago. I learnt a brutal martial art named 'Nona-colored Fire' which is a skill to manipulate the spiritual energy of the fire class. When the martial art reaches the top level, nine fire snakes of different attributes can be summoned. But at present, I can only grasp three of them," Ding Lingdang said slowly. The three fire snakes on her back were getting more and more vivid, as if their resolution had been adjusted to a higher degree. They turned from phantoms to reality and blared their fangs at Li Yao.
"Over the past three months, not only have I broken into the Building Foundation Stage, I've been also enlightened with a unique skill in heavy weapon manipulation. I suggest you be careful of it."
Li Yao was talking about the '179 Hands Chaos Gale Hammer Technique'.
The Chaos Gale Hammer Technique was originally one of the most rudimental martial arts that the servants and low-level disciples of the Hundred Smelting Clan learnt to build up their bodies and veins.
But Ou Yezi was talented enough to upgrade it to 179 moves which he made best use of in the battleground against the invasion of the demonic Cultivators.
The 71 additional moves were all brutal skills of killing.
Li Yao spent about one month absorbing Ou Yezi's memory pieces, during which time he had already touched the memory pieces of the beginning of the demonic Cultivator invasion. He had also grasped the first 13 moves of the martial art.
His purpose was to blend the '179 Hands Chaos Gale Hammer Technique' and 'Thunderous Tornado Saber Art' into one, so that he could invent a saber art that solely belonged to himself.
Although he was not even close to success yet, the first several moves that he tested out were already formidable enough.
The power of the martial art would be five times bigger if it was to be carried out by his Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber. But since he was practicing with Ding Lingdang, he chose a war hammer which was in fact much safer despite its frightening appearance.
"Come on!" Ding Lingdang roared.
The three snakes charged toward Li Yao from three directions, but Ding Lingdang was even faster than them. She had appeared in the front of Li Yao in the blink of an eye, while her Red Lotus Knuckle burst out in flames on her fist where a sharp-edged crimson lotus fully blossomed!
Li Yao had no time to pick up his war hammer at all. He lifted his left fist and punched back the hard way, only to be blown backwards like a kite whose string was cut off.
But there seemed to be nothing wrong with him. He stomped on the wall of the combat room when he reached it, leaving two deep footprints, before he flew back like a cannonball with the counterforce. Then he picked up the war hammer and smashed down without any mercy.
"BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!"
It sounded like two tyrannosaurs were on a rampage inside a small cage.
Although multiple layers of barriers had been implemented outside the combat room, the four spectators still felt slight shaking, as if an earthquake was taking place deep beneath the ground.
The high-density barbells on the training machines that weighed tons were all shivering in fear, with ringing sounds coming from them.
"Seriously? They're fighting for real?"
"Are they a couple or archenemies? This is crazy!"
The four members of Team Blue Bronze felt that their teeth were sore, because they'd been biting them too hard and for too long.
They had thought that Ding Lingdang would definitely go easy on her boyfriend whom she hadn't seen for such a long time.
Never could they have foreseen that Ding Lingdang would be even more furious than when she was training with them. Her burning fighting will was raging unstoppably like a dammed lake which was flooding out after being blocked for months.
In the meantime, Li Yao had also redefined the term 'training maniac' for them; he didn't even blink after being punched so many times. If anything, his smile was even broader than before. He was waving the war hammer in such an intimidating way that it seemed that he was ready to perish together with his opponent at the same time.
"I finally understand why Ding Lingdang always complained that she was unfulfilled after she practiced with us!" Leng Ziming muttered to himself, somewhat lost.
"Captain, this Vulture Li Yao's ability of resistance seems to be as excellent as yours!" Ba Weiqi exclaimed, too.
"Not exactly. My defense ability is based on intervening in and undermining the enemy's attacks by manipulating gravity."
As the 'Main Tank' of the team, Hong Tong had a much deep understanding about defense than his fellows.
His three teammates were just enjoying a good show. But he had read so much more from Li Yao's movements, as if he were appreciating a great masterpiece of a renowned artist.
"In regard of body hardness, I think Li Yao might even be better than me. Although his spiritual energy is not as abundant as that of middle-level Building Foundation Stage Cultivators, his spiritual shield has been condensed in a special bubble structure. At the cost of the same amount of spiritual energy, its protection for his body is at least three times better than the protection of common spiritual shields!"
"Unbelievable! Really unbelievable! His combat ability alone is good enough to earn him a place in many Star Teams."
"Moreover, according to the files, he does not like hardcore combats on a battleground. He is better at crystal suit fighting, magical equipment fighting, trap deployment, and maintenance and modification."
"This time, Team Blue Bronze has indeed got a talent!"
"We'll definitely be able to return to the top 10 of the Rank of Stars within half a year, which means we will have the chance to participate in the 'big operation' at the end of the year!"
Three minutes later, Li Yao and Ding Lingdang, who were covered in bruises and yet looked completely refreshed, walked out of the combat room with their heads held high.
"It's been a long time since I last enjoyed myself that much!" Li Yao observed, not very satisfied.
The 'Thousand Tempering Hundred Refining' technique that he had been training with was originally a very brilliant skill of defense, which could condense a spiritual shield in the form of bubbles during combat. Not only could the spiritual shield absorb the ferocious attacks of the enemy, it could also stimulate the acupoints over his body by the force of the attacks, so that his body could be further built up and his strength further improved.
The stronger his training partner was, the faster he would grow.
It was a skill that could better his body most when he suffered the greatest beating.
When Ding Lingdang was away, it was difficult for him to find a second person that was as strong and intimate as her to train with him for as long. He hadn't been feeling fulfilled for a long time, either. Now that he finally had the opportunity to let it out, he couldn't feel better!
Ding Lingdang was equally excited. Among the other four members of Team Blue Bronze, Captain Hong Tong was the only one who could train with her long enough. But the defense of the captain was based on the alternation of gravity, which made her punches extremely uncomfortable, as if she had hit soft cotton. There was no gratification from hitting the target with all her might at all.
Finally, at this moment, she found the familiar feeling from Li Yao again.
The two of them looked at each other and smiled.
"It feels strange that we haven't fought against each other for several months. I didn't dare release my full strength, but only used 70% of it. I suppose you are more or less the same. Why don't we fight again after we have supper?"
The four members of Team Blue Bronze were completely speechless. They eyed Li Yao and Ding Lingdang as if they were two demon beasts wearing human skin.
"Captain Hong, what did you think of my performance just now?" Li Yao asked with a smile.
Hong Tong commented, "Team Blue Bronze already has an 'MT' which is myself. If it were a different team that was lacking an expert in defense, your amazing body hardness and monstrous strength would be enough to get you a nice position! After all, in the Occult Orbs, Cosmos Rings might not be readily usable. Many gears have to be carried by the team members in person!
"However, since you are a refiner, we would like to know your limits regarding magical equipment, too, which could potentially influence the methodology of our team in the future!
"We don't need to run many complicated tests. You are already a famous refiner. I'm told that several of the Novem Stellae of the Refining Department of Deep Sea University have been defeated by you. 'Solar Eclipse' Jiang Shaoyang, who has become quite a celebrity in the south recently, also lost in competition against you before."
"How about a little match with 'Shell'?"
Li Yao nodded his head.
Exploration in the Occult Orbs could be extremely dangerous. Every companion must know their fellows well. As the captain of the team, it was only fair that he proposed such a request.
"No problem. What kind of match?"
'Shell' Leng Ziming walked close and glanced through his teammates. Then he smiled and said, "Even when our old captain Yin Qingfeng was here, there was no excellent magical equipment expert in the team. So, the simple maintenance and modification work has always been done me. I think that makes me a half expert in magical equipment.
"I believe in your skills in refining. There's no need for us to go to a refining workshop. Let's just work it out in this place."
Like a magician, he picked up two gold, shining pistols, which were then dismantled into a pile of components in cracking noises. He snapped his fingers and the components flew to every corner of the room.
Then, he put his hands to his back, where he took out two storm bolters. Very soon, they were pulled into pieces and thrown everywhere, too.
What followed were two heavy machine guns, two snipers, two Thunder-Palm launchers and even an electromagnetic cannon for personal use.
His body was like a black hole which had absorbed all kinds of deadly weapons. Now, they were all pouring out.
Li Yao was eyeing him in appreciation, knowing that Leng Ziming must have a Cosmos Ring, too.
Even so, the speed of him retrieving objects from his Cosmos Ring was still quite amazing.
Leng Ziming gestured at Hong Tong.
Hong Tong nodded his head. Narrowing his eyes, he started casting his spell.
The thousands of components that Leng Ziming had just thrown away now floated and staggered in the air.
Four pieces of round magical equipment suddenly appeared in Leng Ziming's hands and were tossed to the walls of room, where they exploded and released dense black smoke filling the entire room.
"These are not ordinary smoke grenades. They contain substances from the body liquid of demon beasts which can impose intensive interference on the senses of the Cultivators in the smoke. They are very common in the Occult Orbs. We often fight in such environments.
"Do you still remember the two gold pistols that I disassembled in the beginning?
"Let's see who's faster to find out their components, reassemble them into an intact pistol and press it against the other's forehead in such an environment, shall we?"
Bonus Chapter #1