"Does it work?"
Li Yao's forehead was covered in sweat, his cheeks puffing, while he stared at the watch-like magical equipment with a racing heart.
He was both nervous and excited.
This was the first time he'd ever repaired a piece of magical equipment from the Star Ocean Imperium. If it succeeded, it meant that he had made a great leap forward in the path of refining.
Although it looked perfect and the spiritual energy flowed smoothly, whether or not it was fully functional depended on what would happen after it was triggered.
Holding his breath, Li Yao picked out a red crystal the size of grain. The moment it came close to the watch-like magical equipment, a hexagonal hole was opened in its back where three metal threads stuck out and snatched the red crystal, dragging it inside.
The red crystal was part of a marrow crystal.
Although the watch was not large in size, the spiritual energy that it consumed to function was astronomical. Ordinary crystals and crystal cells were not satisfactory at all. Only marrow crystals could meet its need.
After absorbing the marrow crystal, something shivered inside the watch-like magical equipment. All the components were resonating as if they had been brought back to life by Li Yao again. The dial was also shining like a starry night sky.
Li Yao was fascinated. He put the magical equipment on his head and aimed the dial at his spiritual root. The watchband seemed to be able to automatically adjust its length, which fastened the magical equipment to his head comfortably. There was no feeling of coldness or hindrances at all. It seemed to have melded with his flesh and blood.
Calming himself down, Li Yao extended one of his telepathic thoughts into the magical equipment.
Almost a hundred streams of information flooded into his head as feedback. They scanned through his brain and, after making sure that he was a human being and that he had never used such a piece of magical equipment before, transmitted detailed instructions and user manuals.
This magical equipment was weirdly known as 'Slaughterhouse of Demons', which had been used by the imperial army of the Star Ocean Imperium as a training facility.
However, not all the soldiers were qualified to train with the 'Slaughterhouse of Demons'.
It had been specially designed for the special forces of the imperial army, as well as the elites in the ordinary troops who had enormous physical strength and ultra-solid souls with remarkable accomplishments.
Those who were entitled to use the 'Slaughterhouse of Demons' were all the best warriors of the Star Ocean Imperium!
The reason was that the 'Slaughterhouse of Demons' was extremely dangerous as a tool for training. Only those with strong mental power and a solid soul would be able to exercise with it at their will.
If a random soldier were to use it carelessly, they would possibly be killed by it instantly!
Li Yao read the documents carefully. The Slaughterhouse of Demons was divided into 100 levels, with Level 1 being the easiest and Level 100 being the most difficult.
However, since many of the key components had been broken and Li Yao failed to repair them, it was only opened until Level 37, with a few missing levels in between. There were only 29 levels in total that he could make use of.
"Is it really as scary as it claims? Let me set it to Level 1 and have a try."
Slaughterhouse of Demons projected dozens of complicated operation menus inside Li Yao's brain. The way of using it was different from any kind of magical equipment in the Star Glory Federation.
However, Li Yao had been playing with another piece of magical equipment from the Star Ocean Imperium named 'Neltharion', whose operation system was hundreds of times more complicated than the Slaughterhouse of Demons'.
Therefore, it didn't take long before he figured out the options of the Slaughterhouse of Demons, set it to the easiest level, and initiated the magical equipment.
Li Yao felt an ivory ray of light beam out of his forehead and condense into a transparent hologram not far away from him.
A moment later, the hologram became more solid. A dry, thin, greenish-skinned demon who had sharp teeth and protruding cheeks was eyeing him coldly from three meters away.
Before Li Yao was able to take any action, the demon grinned hideously, displaying its brown tusks, before it suddenly turned into a streak of brightness and passed by Li Yao.
Unimaginable, unpredictable and unstoppable!
Li Yao was dazed for a moment. He felt that his throat was itching, cold and uncomfortable; then he heard large swishing noise; it was not until several seconds later that he realized it was the sound of blood spurting out of the ruptured carotid artery.
He scratched his neck, only to find that his hand was covered in blood.
Li Yao was greatly shocked. At this moment, an acute pain finally grabbed him, while a black swirl started revolving in front of his eyes, swallowing his soul.
He told himself repetitively that it was just an illusion. But it took him ten seconds before he finally got himself away from the pressure of death. He touched his neck again, and he did find a drop of blood there.
This time, it was not an illusion, but the body reaction after the brain cells were seriously stimulated.
Many experts of mental attacks could hypnotize and fool other people into thinking that their hand had been cut by a knife. It was often the case that injuries would appear on their hand even though nobody hurt them.
This was a world where mental power could change reality after all.
No wonder only the most determined experts were allowed to train with the Slaughterhouse of Demons.
For the ordinary soldiers who were not resolute enough, their brains might be wrecked when they were killed in the illusion!
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao calmed himself down, yet his eyes caught a hint of greenness again.
The mysterious, greenish-skinned demon was not gone yet. It was grinning hideously at him behind him, to the left. Before he knew it, it turned into a streak of brightness and darted at his neck again.
Li Yao's eyes were twitching violently. His pupils constricted to the size of two needles. There was no time for him to defend himself. He simply ignited the purple flames in his hands and snatched at the chest of the green demon.
The artery on Li Yao's neck was cut open again.
In the meantime, the guts of the demon were minced into pieces by Li Yao's Purple Electric Blue Hell Claw Art.
After a scream, the green demon burst into thousands of pieces of brightness and vanished.
Li Yao finally woke up from the illusion. He scratched his neck which was still aching and licked his lips excitedly.
He was beginning to understand how the Slaughterhouse of Demons worked.
When it was put on his head, it would stimulate his brain cells and generate all kinds of illusions of strong demons in front him. His nerves would be kept in a highly active state while he was completely devoted to the fierce combat, so that he could break his own limits and improve himself under the menace of death all the time.
This time, two green demons appeared in front of his eyes, both of which carrying coldly-shining poisoned daggers in their hands.
It seemed that the Slaughterhouse of Demons would automatically adjust the difficulty of the training according to the approaches undertaken by the trainee.
Every one of Li Yao's brain cells were burning furiously. His eyes were so bright that fire seemed to be popping out. Before the two green demons could launch their attack, Li Yao had already charged at them!
From the afternoon to the next morning, Li Yao played with his new toy for more than fifteen hours without any sleep or rest, dwelling in the new world and forgetting where he was.
From Level 1 to Level 7, he was 'killed' 372 times and 'killed' 631 demons in total.
At first, his opponent was the simplest greenish-skinned demons; but after Level 5, he was faced with enemies with greater strength than a middle-level demon general, many of whom were new to him but not any less formidable. By his estimation, they must be the strong ancient demons who had gone extinct thousands of years ago.
Li Yao's combat skills continued on the rise after each 'death' and each execution.
He was planning to practice another three days and three nights, but Ding Lingdang suddenly appeared and disrupted his nice plan.
Ding Lingdang's eyes were wide open. Staring at the refining workshop which was in a mess, she exclaimed in astonishment, "What are you doing here? Why is it so messed up here? You didn't have an accident in one of your crazy experiments with explosive magical equipment, did you?"
Ding Lingdang strode close and examined Li Yao's body carefully. She was greatly relieved when she noticed that there were no wounds on Li Yao's body.
Li Yao smiled.
"I'm fine. Why are you here? Aren't we on a five-day vacation because the captain said we needed a good rest after a month of frequent visits to Occult Orbs? What, anything wrong?"
Ding Lingdang grimaced. She waved her wrist where her mini crystal processor was worn and said airily, "Good news, or maybe bad news. You made it to the list. You are now the 2998th on the Stars to Destroy List."
Li Yao was dazed. He repeated, "I made it to the 2998th on the Stars to Destroy List?"
The Star Glory Federation, to tackle the powerful enemies in the Blood Demon Sector, resorted to every method possible to track down the demon kings, demon emperors, and other influential figures and proposed a 'Deadly Demons List', where the names of three thousand expert demons that were most threatening to the Star Glory Federation, as well as their respective bounties, were written.
It was one of the highest honors for a Cultivator of the Heaven's Origin Sector to slay a major demon who was on the Deadly Demons List.
At the same time, some demons of the Blood Demon Sector were designated to gather and analyze the intelligence from the Heaven's Origin Sector, too, and they offered the names of three thousand Cultivators who were most threatening to the Blood Demon Sector, which was known as the 'Stars to Destroy List'.
One might say that the three thousand expert demons on the Deadly Demons List and the three thousand Cultivators on the Stars to Destroy List were the most influential figures in their respective worlds for the war to come.
They were the well-deserved celebrities in their worlds!
One year ago, Li Yao could only look up to the three thousand Cultivators on the Stars to Destroy List in admiration.
Never had he anticipated that his name would appear on the list one day!
Although he was only the 2998th, it was already a remarkable achievement.
Speaking of influence and importance to the federation, the leaders, as well as many Elders, of the top 500 sects in the federation were all more than qualified to appear on the Stars to Destroy List, not to mention the presidents of the Nine Elite Universities, renowned professors, generals of the major military regions, senior Cultivators who had been fighting against the demons for hundreds of years
There were few places left for beginners.
There were even fewer experts who had become a center of hatred for the demons and made it to the Stars to Destroy List before thirty.
Not quite fully convinced, with her hands resting on her hip, Ding Lingdang exclaimed, "I never expected that you could rise to fame so fast. I'm been training day and night dreaming to squeeze into the Stars to Destroy List, and yet you still arrived earlier than me!"
Li Yao grinned and was well aware that his appearance in the Stars to Destroy List was not just based on his excellent performance in the Occult Orbs over the past two months. It had more to do with his ability in refining, or more specifically, the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit.
Although the demon clan didn't launch massive attacks over the past several months, the warfare never ceased in the northernmost of the Grand Desolate Plateau.
As more and more troops were equipped with Mystic Skeleton Battlesuits, the defense of the federal army significantly improved. In dangerous areas which were too risky for crystal warships, legions armed with Mystic Skeleton Battlesuits could be deployed to confront the demons in head-on battles.
To some extent, the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit brought as much trouble to the demon clan in the war as a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator would.
As the youngest participant of Project Mystic Skeleton, Li Yao also boasted amazing personal combat ability. More importantly, considering his young age, his potential was enormous, which was the primary reason why his name appeared on the Stars to Destroy List.
The fact that he was discovered so soon and registered as one of the three thousand most threatening Cultivators for the Blood Demon Sector also proved the effectiveness of the demon clan's espionage work. It was evident enough that their infiltration into the Heaven's Origin Sector was quite productive.
"From now on, I'm no longer a Mr. Nobody. I can put myself on the scale of victory now. Even if I only weigh one gram, I still have the chance to change the balance of the war!"
Weekend Bonus Chapter #1