Awed by the dragon fossil, Li Yao was of a mind to look for an eagle fossil to help with his training, since his spiritual energy had always been in the form of an eagle when it was condensed.
However, since eagles were always flying in the sky, there were hardly any fossils that were made of eagles. Besides, Li Yao had not reached the level where he could gain a lot just by observing a fossil. Taking a gander for a while, he found nothing and had to give up the thought temporarily.
Yet, an inconspicuous booth at a corner of the all attracted his attention, which was displaying the magical equipment scraps retrieved from the Occult Orbs. Most of them were chainswords, battle sabers, and melee magical equipment that were well damaged.
Those melee weapons were on the verge of destruction because of the fierce battles. Now, after thousands of years of time, their basic structure was all crumbling. They were just piles of garbage that had no value whatsoever either in studying or replicating.
If possible, no Orb Patroller would ever bring such rubbish back to the Heaven's Origin Sector.
However, sometimes they were terribly unlucky and found absolutely nothing useful in the Occult Orb where they were working, and, unwilling to go home empty-handed, they had to pack up some remnants of magical equipment and bring them back, no matter how discontent they were.
The scraps were uninteresting both in Empyreal Star City and in the outside world. Few people were willing to purchase them. After a long time of accumulation, they'd been piled up into a hill. What Li Yao saw was just the tip of the iceberg. There were a lot more in the underground warehouse.
Li Yao thought of something and was fascinated by the idea.
The scraps were too ruined to be repaired even by him.
However, by the fractures on the scraps, it was possible to infer the causes of the damages, just like autopsies.
Back in the Battle of Veteran Tarn City, Li Yao had comprehended quite a number of mysteries about the saber art by maintaining the broken magical equipment on the battleground.
The damage on the scraps was all left thousands of years ago. If he could perceive a hint of the saber art at that time, it would be a great benefit!
Looking at the price tag, Li Yao discovered that the contribution points required for the scraps were few to none. They were almost being sold for free.
Seeing this, Li Yao decided to take the lift down to the underground warehouse.
All the scraps of the magical equipment were piled up in a corner of the warehouse. A scent of death, which almost felt like it was coming from a living thing, was being released nonstop, twisting at Li Yao's internal organs like thousands of sharp, bloody knives.
Li Yao licked his lips and, squatting in front of the hill, started picking.
His main Cultivation art was the saber art. Therefore, he mainly singled out the scraps that seemed to have been broken by battle sabers.
It was not an easy task, but since Li Yao had always been crazy about magical equipment, he didn't find it too tedious. After more than two hours of searching, he dug out nine scraps that were relatively intact. It was impossible to tell what they had originally been, but there were slights traces of sabers on each of them.
Li Yao vaguely felt that the saber art demonstrated by the traces was as impressive as that on the stone that Long Wenhui had offered him before.
By studying the stone that Long Wenhui gave him, he invented his own 'Thunderous Tornado Saber Art'.
What would he be able to grasp after he fully understood the remaining traces on the nine scraps?
Li Yao was greatly satisfied and ready to leave, when something glinting in the hill caught his attention.
He fumbled and found that it was a piece of weird magical equipment that looked like a watch, only with an exceptionally long watchband.
If it were really a watch, its owner must've had an extremely thick wrist which presumably belonged to a giant three to five meters tall.
But its dial was even smaller than that of common watches, which was utterly disproportionate to the watchband.
Li Yao pondered for a long time, before he finally realized that it was not a watch, but some sort of hair clasp that was worn on one's head.
The magical equipment was not damaged by weapons. But it had been completely corrupted by acid. There was blue and purple rust from inside to outside, like a layer of weird moss.
But looking through the moss, Li Yao noticed that a large number of delicate components were still intact.
Thinking for a moment, Li Yao took the magical equipment as well.
The biggest problem about the magical equipment was the rust on its shell, and in regard to rust removing, he was probably one of the most proficient experts in the Heaven's Origin Sector.
Even if he failed to repair it, he could still practice his maintenance skills with the delicate components. Considering that it wouldn't cost him much at all, there was nothing to lose.
After paying for them, Li Yao returned to the exhibition hall in delight.
At this moment, the secret treasure exchange had almost come to an end. The number of the Orb Patrollers in the hall had greatly declined.
Li Yao immediately noticed that Hong Tong and Ding Lingdang were talking with three other intimidating Orb Patrollers. The leader of them seemed familiar. Thinking for a moment, he soon recognized that it was 'Yan Jun', the arrogant young man he saw when he first arrived at the headquarters of Occult Orbs Fellowship.
That guy was one of the leading figures for the Children of Occult Orbs. Team Thunder Soul, of which he was the captain, rested at the top in the Rank of Stars!
Li Yao's eyes twitched. He strode forward and stood behind Ding Lingdang.
On Yan Jun's left eye, there was an incurable scar that was deep to the bones, making his face awfully appalling. It was said that the wound was a result of the chaos caused by the sloppy outside-world Orb Patrollers. Yan Jun's blood sister perished in the Occult Orb because of the accident, too.
Therefore, Yan Jun had never liked Orb Patrollers from the outside world.
Glancing at Li Yao, Yan Jun quickly focused his eyes on Hong Tong again as he said casually, "Hong Tong, your former captain Yin Qingfeng was the only one of the outside-world Orb Patrollers that I've ever admired. It's too bad he passed away in the accident.
"Despite the two newcomers that you recruited recently, I don't think that you are half as close to what you were when Yin Qingfeng was alive.
"If you really want to fight side by side with me in Ultimacy, then just cultivate and kill crazily!
"However, do bear in mind that you only have three months to prove your capability!"
Finishing his piece, Yan Jun and his companions left, never to look back.
Confused, Li Yao blinked, having no idea what was going on at all. He turned to the side and asked, "What's the meaning of this, captain?"
Hong Tong showed no expression. He scratched his red nose and said calmly, "Occult Orbs Fellowship has released a piece of breaking news just now. In a hundred days' time, five teams from the top 10 of the Rank of Stars will be designated to execute a plan that is of paramount importance."
Li Yao's heart was beating fast. He said, "The exploration of Ultimacy!"
Hong Tong nodded and observed, "Correct. The news has been a public topic for a long time. Now, it has been officially confirmed. But it is much earlier than we expected. We must break into the top 10 of the Rank of Stars within the next 100 days in order to be qualified to compete for the mission to Ultimacy!
"Although we earned more than 110 thousand contribution points and our position improved a lot, the competition will get more and more intense as we ascend to higher places. None of the first-rate teams ranking in the top 20 are easy to deal with. It will be quite challenging to bypass them!"
Looking at the captain in the eyes, Li Yao found that there was no frustration or hesitation at all, but passion that was burning brighter and brighter, even though he was saying 'it will be quite challenging'.
Li Yao smirked.
"If it's so difficult and coming so soon, then what are we waiting for? Let's head back and start training right now, so that we can return to our best state and get ready for the next mission!"
In Li Yao personal chamber inside Team Blue Bronze's base
In front of Li Yao was a giant basin which was filled with boiling violet liquid. Bubbles and pungent steam were popping up nonstop.
Gritting his teeth, Li Yao put his hands into it. The bubbles immediately began popping ten times faster than before, while crackling noises came out.
Due to the excruciating pain, veins were bulging on his face, making him more hideous than ever. Two tears even flowed out of his eyes uncontrollably.
This was the secret art recorded in a book on the second floor of the Heavenly Refining Tower named 'Thousand Fingers Soft Bone'. By soaking his hands in the boiling liquid which had been refined out of 21 kinds of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, the bones of the hand would be destroyed and reborn.
The procedure was extremely dreadful. But once it succeeded, the speed of his hand movement could be improved by 10%!
The 21 kinds of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures that the procedure required were all rare ingredients even in the ancient Cultivation world 40,000 years ago. Li Yao failed to find any of them in the outside world. It was not until he joined Occult Orbs Fellowship that he finally gathered all the necessary materials at the cost of a great fortune of contribution points and cooked this mysterious purple liquid.
Every drop of the liquid was worth a billion. Therefore, although Li Yao was in agony, he didn't dare pass out. He quickly drew several seals in the scorching liquid while he held back the pain.
As the seals were completed, all the purple liquid was kept within the basin no matter furiously it was raging inside, as if it was bound by an invisible force.
Half an hour later, the previously dirty liquid was as clear as clean water now.
Li Yao's clothes had been soaked in sweat. Exhaling a long breath in relief, he took his hands out of the basin.
At this moment, not only were his hands smooth and warm like jade, they were also endowed with a vague layer of purple color.
Moving his fingers, Li Yao quickly drew almost a hundred runes in the midair, both naturally and gracefully.
"Thousand Fingers Soft Bone has been perfectly performed by me. My hands are much faster than before. Not only will the efficiency of the maintenance work be greatly improved, it will also be of great help when I need to draw runes empty-handed and when I am in a combat!"
Li Yao started planning.
He had been used to his Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber, which was more than mighty but not delicate enough.
Now that his hand movements were much faster than Cultivators of the same level, could he make the best use of that and refine a new weapon in order to make up for the shortcomings of his saber?
While he was contemplating, his mini crystal processor started buzzing. After reading the message, Li Yao rose up and smiled, his white teeth gleaming.
A new mission had been approved. This time, it was a pure hunting mission. Although it was more dangerous, the contribution points that it rewarded were much greater, not to mention the trophies that they might be able to get from the demons.
"Top 10 of the Rank of Stars?
"No, my target is the top of the Rank of Stars!"
Waving his hands, the purple color vanished into his flesh and blood. Li Yao strode out of the room.