"Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!"
Despite the twenty times gravity, the sounds of air being torn apart grew more and more intense, as if an invisible storm was raging inside the small room.
Li Yao's chest was fluctuating fast. Arrow-like breaths were rushing out of his nose. The misty air inside the room twisted and blurred his figure.
It was his sweat which had been vibrated and atomized by his muscles.
Suddenly, the mustard suit on Li Yao's body, which was supposed to be elastic enough to be stretched to ten times its origin length, exploded into shreds the size of a fingernail and spluttered in the room. More than ten deep footprints appeared on the super-alloy floor. Every toe was distinguishable!
A moment later, the stomping noise echoed from the ground like thunder.
A mild synthesized voice came from the walls.
"Beep! Beep! Your time is up!"
Taking a long breath, Li Yao walked out of the gravity room. One of the walls had glided open to two sides. Three pairs of artificial arms picked up a brand-new mustard suit and put it on him.
Black as the background, with red lines on the edges which gathered into jumping fire on his chest, the mustard suit highlighted his muscles and make him look sharper than ever.
He stretched his arms, and staring at the capsule for the last time, Li Yao strode out of the training room, never to look back.
A small teleportation array was waiting for him outside.
The last test was going to be held.
Of the ten Star Teams, only five could enter Ultimacy as the first echelon.
Everybody knew that the first echelon would be very likely to experience unexpected adventures.
As for the second echelon setting off half a year later, there might not even be leftovers for them.
Nobody would give up such a once-in-a-thousand-years opportunity.
Then, just let your capability do the talk!
Li Yao smiled confidently and stepped into the small teleportation array.
In the blink of an eye, he appeared in a world fragment.
This was a world of rocks. Clouds the color of lead were floating in the sky, as if they'd all been stuck together. The environment gave a feeling of gloom and mugginess.
Hills dozens of meters tall standing in the middle of nowhere like giant maze-like city walls.
Between some of the hills, there were pits and cracks dozens of meters deep where steams were popping up nonstop.
From the underground came suspicious noises that did not resemble the screams of demon beasts but sounded more like the roars of the earth itself.
Beside the teleportation array was a solid mini crystal processor as well as a vest refined from gold threads as thin as a cicada's wings and embedded with countless crystals.
Li Yao put both of them on. With a telepathic thought, the vest uttered a 'Bo' sound and enveloped him in a bright gold spiritual shield.
The mini crystal processor was activated automatically, from which a fervent voice came out.
"Elites of the Orb Patrollers, your one month of special training has ended today!
"Over the past month, you've all experienced perilous tests and passed by the shadow of death more times than anyone could count. But you are also blessed with incomparable Cultivation knowledge.
"First of all, I'm sorry to tell you that, during the last month, five Orb Patrollers went deranged during their training and their brains were seriously damaged. Their lives were saved miraculously with attentive care. But their spiritual roots have been destroyed, and they will never be able to Cultivate again.
"There are another two Orb Patrollers who suffered even more injuries than them. They perished on the spot before any treatment could be applied!
"They've all sacrificed for the Star Glory Federation and for all Cultivators in the Heaven's Origin Sector. Let's have a one-minute silence in honor of the heroes!"
Li Yao was startled.
For him, absorbing memories were as simple as eating and drinking. He'd never realized that the process was so dangerous for other Cultivators.
Supported by the training facility from the Star Ocean Imperium, monitored and protected by so many Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators and Core Formation Stage Cultivators, many of them still failed to make it. The result was beyond his expectation.
There were 61 Orb Patrollers in total. Seven of them had accidents. The casualty rate was approximately one ninth!
It was a stunningly high failure rate, and the consequences of failure were too dreadful!
Did Ding Lingdang and the other members of Team Blue Bronze completed the training successfully?
All of them had been secluded for the past month. Everybody was too busy minding their own business to communicate with other people.
To this moment, Li Yao had never learnt of Ding Lingdang's progress. He became somewhat anxious.
After a minute of silence, the passionate voice was heard again.
"But for those who have succeeded, your gains are tremendous.
"Some of you have absorbed dozens of memory pieces and retrieved valuable combat experiences.
"Some of you have taken in the spiritual energy contained in the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures. Your capability has soared and even lead to your breakthroughs.
"In fact, four high-level Building Foundation Stage Cultivators have climbed to the peak of the Building Foundation Stage.
"In the meantime, there are almost twenty Cultivators who broke into the high level from middle level or broke into the middle level from the low level.
"It is not an exaggeration to say that you've already become the best Building Foundation Stage Cultivators ever in the history of the Star Glory Federation!
"You've all done your best. So, it will be decided by yourselves as to who is eligible to go to Ultimacy and who is not in this final test!
"Rules are simple. All the 54 Orb Patrollers have been randomly placed in this world fragment named 'Thousand Mountains Domain'.
"The mini crystal processor that you carry has communication and positioning functions. It can help you find your teammates.
"The spiritual shield covering you will be broken every time you encounter a fatal attack and absorb 90% of the damage for you.
"Every time it is shattered, you will be given ten seconds for rest and adjustment, during which time you cannot attack or be attacked. You can try to escape during the ten seconds or shift to a different tactic.
"After your spiritual shield is broken ten times, you will be forced to leave the fragment.
"Your task will be to destroy the spiritual shield of other Orb Patrollers that are not your teammates as many times as possible. You will get one score after you break a spiritual shield once.
"The scores of the Orb Patrollers that belong to the same team will be summed. In one hour, the five teams with the highest scores will be acknowledged as candidates for the mission to Ultimacy!
"Please note that one of the Star Teams has lost too many members to maintain the original tactical system. Therefore, according to the study and analysis of the experts of Occult Orbs Fellowship, the remaining members of the team have been regrouped into other Star Teams that have vacancies.
"I'll end with three reminders for you all.
"Firstly, it is suggested that you find your teammates as soon you can and work as a team.
"Secondly, you are all on the border of Thousand Mountains Domain. You have no equipment except for your mustard suit. But in the center of Thousand Mountains Domain, a lot of magical equipment has been randomly strewn.
"Thirdly, the tectonic structure of Thousand Mountains Domain is extremely unstable. Earthquakes might take place any time!
"Now begins the final test!"
Hardly had the announcer finished his talk when the shrieks in the underground turned into roars.
The earth was shaking. The rocks were rolling. The hills that were dozens of meters high suddenly sank into the underground, while a lot of other hills that were as sharp as tusks rose up and pierced the sky abruptly.
The land had been shattered and turned into an ocean of rocks in which stones were surging and splashing.
Li Yao turned into a streak of black light, dodging the raging stones swiftly, and picked up two of the stones.
After cracking sounds, one of the two stones was crushed into dozens of sharp stone blades which he hid all over his suit, whereas the other was crumbled into stone powder by his spiritual energy.
It was not until he had finished doing everything that he turned on the communication and positioning system.
The six light spots on the map and the names beside made him greatly relieved.
All the members of Team Blue Bronze were safe and sound.
'Dummy' Ba Weiqi's cheerful laughter immediately echoed in the communication channel.
"Excellent! We are all here!
"Over the past month, I've been being tormented in the deepest level of hell. Thankfully, everybody has made it!
"I've absorbed nine memory fragments. Most of them belonged to the Grand Illusionist Meng Weiyang. I tried all her methods of mental power training. They are indeed mysterious and marvelous!
"Right now, I'm almost twice as strong as one month ago!"
"Don't be overjoyed yet. There are 54 Orb Patrollers, which equals to nine Star Teams. Four of them will be eliminated. Let's pass this test first!"
"Yes, I survived the hell-like training and absorbed twelve memory pieces not to be substitutes!" Yan Yangtian shrieked.
"We should group up as soon as possible. It is tricky for me now that I don't have any guns in hand. Other Orb Patrollers are appearing nearby already!" 'Shell' Leng Ziming said, somewhat anxiously.
Captain Hong Tong commanded, "Let's scan the territory around and make clear where we are and what the environment is. Then, join everyone's map and congregate to Shell immediately.
"Lingdang, Vulture, Yan Zi, your personal strengths are relatively better. Try to collect some magical equipment from the center of the map.
"If you are engaged with a formidable enemy, don't be held up by them for too long. It's our top priority to gather together!"
"Let's move out!"
Among the rocks that were rising and collapsing, the six members of Team Blue Bronze acted quickly. Li Yao and his other two teammates rushed to the center of the map, in case other people took away all the magical equipment and they had to fight bare-handed.
'Look, it's Vulture Li Yao of Team Blue Bronze!'
'He is just at the beginning level of the Building Foundation Stage. As a refiner, he is best at fighting with magical equipment and in crystal suits. Right now, he has nothing at his disposal. This is his weakest moment!"
The two Orb Patrollers had been confronting each other fiercely.
Now that Li Yao appeared out of nowhere, the two of them immediately thought that this was a good opportunity to secure one score from a push-over. They glanced at each other and, crushing the stones below their feet into pieces, charged at Li Yao simultaneously with one on the left and one on the right!
Weekend Bonus Chapter #1
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