"Why are you looking at me in such a way? Are you not content because you were defeated? Hahahaha. I'll give you an opportunity for revenge later. However, I need to remind you that I'm at a whole new level right now. You wouldn't stand a chance even if I gave you a hundred opportunities!"
Her arms akimbo, Ding Lingdang burst out in laughter, in a way that was inappropriate for a lady, before she took out a piece of magical equipment and handed it over. "Here, this is my gift for you. It nearly drained my contribution points. Take a look and see if it works well for you!"
Li Yao scratched his head.
Alright. He should've known better than to expect Ding Lingdang to notice his affectionate stare, which was no different from winking at a blind person.
But soon, his attention was attracted by the magical equipment that Ding Lingdang had given him.
It was a bright silver metal ball and looked somewhat lackluster. At first look, it seemed to be a toy for children.
However, Li Yao soon noticed that neat, arcane, and complicated runes had been carved on the surface of the ball. He failed to recognize what they were for despite the observation and computational ability of the Building Foundation Stage.
In the middle of the runes was an emblem. A crimson dragon was raving in the sky, with its two front claws snatching the sun and the moon respectively, its body surrounded by clouds, and its mouth in front of an exaggerated blackhole.
Although the emblem was only the size of a fingernail, it emanated boundless might, as if the entire universe was at the mercy of this crimson dragon.
"Red Dragon Swallowing the Sun!"
Li Yao's eyes suddenly widened.
The Red Dragon Swallowing the Sun Emblem was the military emblem of the Star Ocean Imperium.
Li Yao took the metal ball and felt that it was as smooth as jade. Instead of coldness, it brought a slight sense of warmth.
Li Yao extended his telepathic thoughts to the metal ball.
He immediately felt the metal ball shiver in his palm. Something deep inside it seemed to have been triggered.
As if a drifting breeze, a large batch of information streams and images flowed into his brain.
Li Yao clenched his fist as countless streaks of silver gushed out of the gap between his fingers and went upward along his arm, reaching his elbow in the end. He had a silver glove on his hand which was flowing slowly like sap.
At the front end of the glove
Changing every half a second, the flowing silver jumped and consolidated into almost a hundred extremely delicate maintenance tools under the control of Li Yao's telepathic thoughts.
Li Yao had never seen many of the tools, not to mention how to use them.
"This is awesome!"
Li Yao was excited.
This piece of magical equipment might've been called 'the Changeable Glove'. It should have been the property of a maintenance expert in the regular army of the Star Ocean Imperium.
Although Li Yao had yet to comprehend all its mysteries yet, he could sense that it was far more advanced than any kind of magical equipment for maintenance or modification in the Heaven's Origin Sector.
Most importantly, it was portable. The glove equaled to almost half of the tools in his workshop. Basically, all the maintenance and modification work that did not require a furnace could be carried out by the glove.
Right now, Li Yao had totally forgotten his previous libido. He turned it over and over as he studied in delight, and it was not until ten minutes had passed that he realized where he was again. He raised his eyes, only to notice that Ding Lingdang was observing him with a smile.
Li Yao blushed and said,"I got you a little something, too."
He lifted his hand, trying to retrieve the Crimson Phantom Battlesuit.
Cosmos Rings might be precious items in the outside world, but they were really not a big deal in Occult Orbs Fellowship.
Li Yao had noticed that many people were wearing a Cosmos Ring, some even wearing two. Even Ding Lingdang had one, too. There was no need for him to keep it a secret now.
However, the room was quite a mess with the training machines scattering everywhere. After several attempts, the Cosmos Ring sent the same message into his brain.
"Insufficient space. Unable to comply. Conflict of space may occur."
The Crimson Phantom Battlesuit was just slightly more than two meters tall. But together with the box accommodating it, it took up quite a lot of space. Li Yao's Cosmos Ring was almost filled up with two crystal suit boxes.
After moving away several training machines with Ding Lingdang, Li Yao was finally able to take out the box of the Crimson Phantom Battlesuit.
The Crimson Phantom Battlesuit looked like a torch with frozen flames, which was Ding Lingdang's all-time favorite. Li Yao was greatly satisfied seeing the enthusiasm in her eyes. He smiled while he thought to himself,'DingLingdang must've felt the same when she looked at me playing with the Changeable Glove, didn't she?'
Putting on the Crimson Phantom Battlesuit, Ding Lingdang turned into a streak of red rushing about the room. Yet, there was no sound of collision, nor did she knock over anything, which were indicative enough of her precision and control over the suit.
After five minutes, Ding Lingdang finally stopped, having not fully enjoyed herself. When she took off the crystal suit, her cheeks were already flushed, and several strands of her hair were stuck to her ear, drenched in sweat. She was smiling so delightedly that her eyes were in the shape of a crescent moon,
"Great! Great! I feel that the crystal suit was tailor-made for me. It is way better than the crystal suit that I've been wearing!"
Li Yao smiled.
"It was indeed tailor-made for you. But when I was doing the modification, I wasn't aware that you'd learnt such a brutal martial art as 'Nona-colored Fire', nor did I know that there would be so many precious Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures in Occult Orbs Fellowship. I'll further study it in the next couple of days and see if there's any possibility of additional modification that can help you maximize the power of Nona-colored Fire!
"Team Blue Bronze used to be in the top 10 of the Rank of Stars, and it definitely will be back there again with our joint work!
"By that time, we'll be able to receive the enlightenment of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator and even their spiritual seeds!
"Hasn't Iron God Yan Ba always been your idol? I remember you were talking about him all the time. He is one of the Nine Councilors of Occult Orbs Fellowship. There's a good chance that you will be able to seek his teaching!"
Ding Lingdang shook her head with a smile.
"Iron God Yan Ba is a monk of body practitioners. He is the purest 'body fundamentalist'. On principle, he won't touch any magical equipment. However, influenced by you, I'm already used to bettering my performance with the help of magical equipment, and I'm not planning to continue on the path of body fundamentalists.
"Therefore, my training ideologies are different from Iron God Yan Ba's. There's a subtle contradiction between our beliefs.
"I'm preparing to walk on the path of body practitioners, and perhaps create a path of my own in the end. That's why I can't seek enlightenment from him. His spiritual seed wouldn't work for me, either. Once I accept it, it might be a serious interference for the philosophies that I've been firmly believing in.
"But you are different. You are not a body practitioner. You don't care about the conflict of the path of Cultivation among the body practitioners. In the meantime, your body strength is amazing enough for you to accept the enlightenment of Iron God Yan Ba if you have the chance to."
Li Yao was dazed for a moment. Then he said, "Then what about you?"
Ding Lingdang smiled.
"Among the Nine Councilors of Occult Orbs Fellowship, there is the strongest culture-type Cultivator of the Heaven's Origin Sector whose name is Xie Ling, better known as 'Miraculous Marker'. She is also the best spiritual tattoo artist in the federation.
"You know that I don't have any fixed spiritual tattoos on my body, because the work of common spiritual tattoo artists is too lousy.
"If I had the chance, I would love to ask Senior Xie to make a spiritual tattoo for me."
Body practitioners and spiritual tattoo artists were two professions that were closely linked to each other. Only with the help of spiritual tattoos could the potential of a body made of flesh and flood be fully unlocked.
However, there were skilled spiritual tattoo artists and there were mediocre ones. Ding Lingdang was too proud to just ask a random spiritual tattoo artist to work on her body.
Miraculous Marker Xie Ling was a culture-type Cultivator at the Nascent Soul Stage and the best spiritual tattoo artist in the federation. She wouldn't come and make spiritual tattoos for a Building Foundation Stage Cultivator without a good reason.
This trip to Ultimacy was her best opportunity. If she was qualified to explore Ultimacy, Xie Ling would definitely make an exception for her.
"Alright. Let's strive together with Core Formation Stage as our target and see which of us gets there faster!"
The two of them suddenly went quiet. Looking at each other, they both smiled.
"Strange thing. Before I saw you, I'd prepared a lot of topics that we could talk about. But why are we talking about Cultivation again?"
"Indeed. Let's make a rule then. In the next hour, neither of us will talk about anything regarding Cultivation. Let's talk about something else."
"Like, I've already set up barriers in the four corners of the room. Even if we were to turn the room upside down, our next-door neighbor wouldn't notice anything wrong."
"That's not enough. Right now, we are both at the Building Foundation Stage. We're not going to just turn the room upside down; we're going to obliterate it!"
From that day on, Li Yao was officially a member of Team Blue Bronze. The first thing he did was to analyze the mission videos of Team Blue Bronze in order to familiarize himself with the capability and styles of his every teammate as well as the surroundings and possible dangers in the Occult Orbs.
Most of the videos were shot from a first-person perspective by the crystal cameras embedded inside their crystal suits, which brought a strong sense of reality. Li Yao greatly enjoyed himself. He also learned more about the tactics of Team Blue Bronze.
Team Blue Bronze used to boast two points of attack, a long-range one and a melee one.
The long-range attack was carried out by 'Shell' Leng Ziming, while Yin Qingfeng, the captain, core, and soul of the team, was second-to-none in regard to melee combat.
Besides, Guo Peng, another important member of the team, also had amazing combat ability. Together with Hong Tong's gravity manipulation, Ba Weiqi's metal attacks, and Yan Yangtian's scouting skill, which were all the best in Occult Orbs Fellowship, Team Blue Bronze was perfect both in attack and in defense.
It was also the biggest reason why Team Blue Bronze could rank in the top 5 although it was made exclusively of outside-world Cultivators.
After Yin Qingfeng and Guo Peng perished, Team Blue Bronze was crippled by their lack of melee fighters.
Leng Ziming's guns were not enough to cope with the formidable enemies too close to them.
They must've been desperate when they recruited Ding Lingdang, a pure fighter, as their teammate, because normally speaking, Orb Patrollers going to the Occult Orbs had to possess more than one skill other than their main profession since only a limited number of Orb Patrollers were allowed to enter the Occult Orbs at the same time.
Pure combat-type Cultivators such as Ding Lingdang were not very popular.
As it turned out, Ding Lingdang was amazing enough to break into the middle level of the Building Foundation Stage and retrieve the rare inheritance 'Nona-colored Fire' after only one trip.
According to Ding Lingdang, such a Cultivation art was one of the toughest even taking all the Cultivation arts that Occult Orbs Fellowship discovered over the past hundreds of years into account. She had also accepted the inheritance directly through the soul of its master. After she had fully grasped it, there was a good chance that she would jump into the high level of the Building Foundation Stage.
Therefore, the shortage of Team Blue Bronze was fully fixed now, not to mention that it had recruited another impressive member, Li Yao.
Li Yao was more suitable for aggressive missions. But in regard to defense, he could also give Hong Tong a hand based on his unbelievable body hardness.
His skills in maintenance and modification, which were as good as any refiner at the Building Foundation Stage, were also distinctive among the Orb Patrollers.
Therefore, Li Yao had every faith in Team Blue Bronze, which, although might not be as dominating at the old days at present, was quite promising to return to the top 10 of the Rank of Stars. By then, he would be able to receive the teachings and spiritual seeds of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator!