As a refiner, Li Yao paid great attention to other Orb Patrollers, too, because helping them maintain or modify magical equipment could earn him a lot of contribution points without any risk.
His feat in cracking a piece of magical equipment from the demon race in Mystic Glacier in a very short time had become known by a lot of people. If he behaved friendlily right now, he expected that many people would seek out his service very soon.
Many stronger refiners could call on a lot of Cultivators when they needed to. Most of the time, their friendship originated from the simple relationship of a refiner and a customer.
Hong Tong and his other teammates found a few old acquaintances and started chitchatting enthusiastically, planning to work with several other Star Teams for some difficult missions that demanded cooperation.
Soon, the lights in the hall dimmed. Many ivory, translucent crystals appeared out of thin air, emitting mild brightness that illuminated the room like a warm spring morning but was not in the least dazzling.
Almost a hundred booths rose up from the ground of the hall.
As for the plants, minerals, fossils, and remnants of magical equipment which were too large to be showed in a booth, they were displayed in front of everyone via holograms. Anyone interested in them could go to the warehouse below the convention center to study them more closely.
Ba Weiqi jabbed Li Yao with his elbow and said, smiling, "What do you think? A real eye-opener, isn't it?"
"It truly is; it really is incredible."
Li Yao's eyes were glowing, like those of a wolf which had been offered with a fat, roasted lamb after having nothing to eat for three days. He was so excited that he almost forgot where he was.
All the showpieces in the secret treasure exchange of Empyreal Star City were treasures that Star Teams had retrieved from the Occult Orbs. Not only was the scale of the secret treasure exchange ten times large than what Li Yao experienced in Serpent City, the exhibited items were also significantly more elegant.
Although Li Yao failed to recognize the background and attributes of most secret treasures, he was still deeply impressed by the intense spiritual waves that they released which swept over him like surging tides.
Any refiner would find it hard to control themselves in such a soul-stirring place.
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao started to study each item with his eyes wide open.
99% of the secret treasures were unknown to him, but the 1% that he had recognized were all invaluable and once-in-a-hundred-years rare treasures in the Heaven's Origin Sector.
'This is the egg of a 'Gold Spirit Ice Boa' infiltrated by a 'Phantom Thread Venomous Bee' which has injected its own eggs into the host. Then, the egg of 'Gold Spirit Ice Boa' provides nutrition for them. When it breaks out of the shell, it will become a 'Gold Thread Venomous Bee' that has attributes of both spiritual beasts. It is the king of insect-type spiritual beasts!
'Although the egg is lifeless after being buried in the underground for almost a thousand years, there is still a 1% likelihood that the Gold Thread Venomous Bee could be revived after thorough treatment. Even if the endeavor proves to be in vain, I can still retrieve more than ten constituents from the egg for other magical equipment. Part of the power of 'Gold Thread Venomous Bee' can be carried out, too!
'I can even refine a batch of beast puppets in the form of bees with this egg. They will be perfect for scouting and attacking lone soldiers!'
Li Yao's heart was pounding.
Triggering the vitality of this strange egg was not something that he was good at. But it was his specialty to get the useful constituents out of the egg as ingredients to refine other pieces of magical equipment.
On the second floor of the Heavenly Refining Tower, there were almost twenty books on the subject of refining magical equipment with the eggs and bones of spiritual beasts.
Looking at the price tag, Li Yao almost laughed out aloud. Such a precious secret treasure was only selling at 800 contribution points!
It was possible that except himself who had seen the Gold Spirit Ice Boa Egg in the 'Gallery of the World' on the second floor of the Heavenly Refining Tower, other people might know nothing about the item at all. Even if they knew a thing or two about its usage, they had no idea how to get the useful constituents out. That was why it had been set at such a low price.
This was the charm of the secret treasure exchange.
In this place, knowledge was money!
In the eyes of those who were ignorant, these items were garbage; in the eyes of those who were informed, they were the real treasures!
Cultivators usually did not like other people idling around when they were studying Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures. Therefore, every booth was surrounded by several crystal processors whose light beams hid the excavation process and the preliminary conclusion of the experts.
If they saw eye to eye with the item, they could place an order on the crystal processors directly.
Li Yao typed on the virtual rune keyboards and search for relevant information. This strange egg was discovered in an Occult Orb named 'Endless Frost'.
Endless Frost was home to Gold Spirit Ice Boas. The purpose of the mission had been to hunt down a Gold Spirit Ice Boa King. The team discovered the strange egg accidentally after they finished the hunting.
Li Yao's judgement was further supported.
He stopped hesitating and bought it instantly. As the contribution points in his account were deducted, a string of words appeared on the strange egg: Li Yao, Team Blue Bronze.
Then, the booth containing the strange egg gradually sank to the underground.
After the secret treasure exchange was over, all the things that he bought would be packed up together. There was no need to take it with him right now.
After buying a bargain such as the egg of the Gold Spirit Ice Boa, which was far beyond his expectations, Li Yao was greatly satisfied. He strolled in the hall, only to notice that Ding Lingdang was standing in front of a giant slate, tempted and hesitating.
A few other Cultivators were also pointing at the slate.
Li Yao stepped close to look at it more carefully. The slate was more than ten meters both in length and width. It was made up by more than ten smaller slates, which were full of bumps and hollows. Countless traces were interweaving on them.
Li Yao squinted. From the bottom of the hollows, he saw uneven stripes that looked like two extremely long bones, together with dozens of paw marks.
It was a fossil of two dragons.
The two dragons tangled each other tightly. After millions of years of time, their flesh and blood had turned into dust. The only things remaining were the scattered bones, which were still releasing an intimidating scent nonetheless.
Closing his eyes, Li Yao seemed to be able to see two dragons fighting each other in a prehistoric world where volcanoes were erupting and land was collapsing.
While Li Yao was dwelling in it, one of the dragons suddenly dashed at him and slapped his forehead, which chilled him and forced him to take a step back. Li Yao didn't come back to himself after he retreated from the hallucination for a long time.
What tremendous mental power! What a marvelous fossil!
The two dragons were dozens of meters long. This fossil was only part of their bodies. If the fossil of their entire bodies was gathered together, the mental power contained within would be enough to slay a low-level Cultivator directly.
"Do you want to buy the fossil?"
Li Yao was somewhat astonished. Ding Lingdang was the purest battle-type Cultivator. Since when had she started studying fossils?
Ding Lingdang's passionate eyes were fully focused on the fossil, unable to be moved to anywhere else at all. She mumbled to herself, "I don't know what's happening, but the moment I got here, my whole self was attracted to the fossil, and I pictured two fighting dragons which were shaking the sky and the earth. I felt enlightened!
"You know that I'm practicing 'Nona-colored Fire' as my main Cultivation art right now. But when my spiritual energy bursts out, it is always in the form of dragons! If I can buy the fossil and feel the spirit and soul of the ancient beasts restrained in it, it will be useful for me when condensing my spiritual energy, which will definitely improve my combat ability!"
"That's why you've been standing here."
Li Yao nodded his head. Feeling the spirit and soul of the deceased beasts through fossils was an advanced art in Cultivation. He didn't know that Ding Lingdang had grasped such an incredible skill after only several months of training.
"Then what are you waiting for? If you can't walk away from the fossil, it means you are connected to it. Just buy it already!"
Ding Lingdang was somewhat embarrassed. She grimaced and said in a low voice, "But it is too expensive."
Different from the egg of Gold Spirit Ice Boa that Li Yao picked up just now, the fossil was quite easy to see through. Anybody who was not blind could tell that it was a dragon-type fossil which boasted quite a long history, even if they couldn't feel the calling from it. Therefore, it was much costlier, with a price of nine thousand contribution points.
Although Ding Lingdang joined Occult Orbs Fellowship a few months earlier than Li Yao, it was quite possible that she did not have too many points saved, since she had never been thrifty. After the trip to Mystic Glacier, she only got some ten thousand contribution points. Naturally, she was hesitating to pour all of them into this one fossil.
Li Yao couldn't help but smile,
"Money is no problem. I'm here for you. Just buy it if you want it. There are quite a lot of dragon bones inside the fossil. After the demeanor of the dragons is fully appreciated by you, I can dig them out as materials for refining. Killing two birds with one stone. It's a good bargain!"
Shopping was a girl's natural instinct. Hearing Li Yao's gallant declaration, Ding Lingdang was eyeing Li Yao in a much gentler way, forgetting briefly that she was a human-shaped tyrannosaur.
The moment they bought the dragon fossil, a tall, thin, gloomy middle-aged man reached the booth hurriedly, only to witness the dragon fossil sinking down. He was dazed and smiled bitterly.
After chitchatting for a while, they learnt that the man was an Elder from 'Divine Serpent Hall', a famous combat sect in the southwest of the federation.
Many Cultivation arts of Divine Serpent Hall required the trainees to feel the actions of real-life dragons. Therefore, when he was told that there was such a dragon fossil to be exhibited in the secret treasure exchange, he came as fast as possible. Yet, he was still one step late.
Ding Lingdang was a maniac in martial arts. Her spiritual energy was always in the form of dragons. She had been longing to make friends with Divine Serpent Hall, yet there had never been an opportunity.
After talking with the Elder of Divine Serpent Hall, the two parties reached a deal to the satisfaction of both of them.
Ding Lingdang would take out the dragon fossil for the disciples of Divine Serpent Hall to appreciate and study for three days every month.
In exchange, Divine Serpent Hall would provide several of their sect's top Cultivation arts for Ding Lingdang.
This was a common way for Cultivators to make friends and get to know more people.