The following morning, at a Special Waste Treatment Plant near Lake Rusty in Floating Spear City known as the magical equipment graveyard
Li Yao had grown up in this place.
During the three years that he was away, countless scavengers were still making their living by recycling the abandoned magical equipment.
Although it was merely dawn, countless scavengers were already searching every piece of magical equipment that was still usable on the shaking garbage hill while holding back the pungent smells.
On the eastside of the magical equipment graveyard, two gangs were confronting each other.
Each gang had around fifty people. Some of them were clenching iron tubes wreathed in steel thorns, while some others were waving coldly-shining, sharp blades.
The leader of one of the gangs was thin and somewhat hunched with a brown skin. Cunningness and cruelness beamed out from his triangular eyes, making him look like a hungry hellion.
The other leader, in comparison, was tall and brawny. His muscles were tearing his clothes apart. His eyes were bloodshot, and he looked a furious bear.
The triangular-eyed man said coldly, a dagger folded in his hand, "Fatty Leung, we all make our living in the magical equipment graveyard. Conflict is inevitable. But you didn't have to be so brutal. Just for a wrecked shuttle, you beat up two of my brothers terribly. Do you think that my temper has died down now that I'm older?"
Fatty Leung was brawny, but it did not mean that he lacked brains. He rebutted unnervingly as he laughed peculiarly.
"Wild Wolf, don't presume that I do not know what you did. Last week, when three of my brothers were doing their job, the garbage hill collapsed suddenly. Four broken legs. That was all your doing!"
Wild Wolf and Fatty Leung were representatives of the two largest scavenger gangs in the magical equipment graveyard. As their gangs flourished more and more, unrest continued to grow. A fight seemed to be unavoidable.
The vibe grew more and more intense. A tiny spark could set the scene ablaze.
Somebody was tying their wrists with cloth quietly in case their hands slipped during the upcoming fight because of sticky blood; somebody was preparing exhilarant drugs to stimulate them.
Suddenly, an earsplitting shriek burst out in the sky, as if a falling star was coming, or a giant bird was diving down.
Shocked by the shriek, everyone flinched. An earthquake seemed to be taking place.
Many scraps of magical equipment were rolling down from the garbage hills nearby.
The color of Fatty Leung's and Ye Long's faces changed. They were unable to command their subordinates anymore, because their shouts were dwarfed by the overwhelming noise.
Every scavenger gazed at the sky, stunned, as if they had been frozen by some spell.
A round, jade-like shuttle, which one could tell was as lavish as any shuttle could be, flew past the sky of the magical equipment graveyard while glittering brightly.
It appeared that the extravagant shuttle was arriving at its destination, because it was slowing down and preparing to land. Spiritual waves rippled in the air, spreading out and diminishing, until they broke into thousands of butterfly-like light spots and vanished in the air.
As scavengers, Fatty Leung and Wild Wolf had never taken real extravagant shuttles in person. But they'd both seen them a lot in magazines and on the Nexus. They could tell whether a piece of magical equipment was valuable or not when they saw it.
Although Wild Wolf always considered himself to be a knowledgeable man, he had never seen a shuttle as beautiful before. It was so shockingly splendid that it did not even seem to belong to the Heaven's Origin Sector.
"There is nothing but scum and low-rent residential areas around the Lake Rusty except for the magical equipment graveyard. Why would such an advanced shuttle land here?"
"Is this really happening? I've seen the vehicles of the mayor of Floating Spear City and the leaders of the major sects in the city. Even their shuttles are not as good as this one!"
"Who's on the shuttle? What is it doing in this place?"
An unimaginable big shot appearing unexpectedly could not mean anything good. These scavengers that had been working in the grey area of the law were the most sensitive to danger.
Exchanging a look, Fatty Leung and Wild Wolf both put the upcoming fight aside.
"Look, the shuttle is landing in 'Morning Sun Village'!"
"Morning Sun Village? Does that mean the guy on the shuttle is Vulture Li Yao?"
Everyone was greatly shocked.
Morning Sun Village was the cheapest and the least frequented low-rent residential community. Even scavengers such as themselves wouldn't live there as long as they had a few coins in their pockets. Nothing interesting had happened in that place since it was built dozens of years ago.
Until three years ago, a celebrity from that place rose to fame, Vulture Li Yao!
As an orphan growing up in the magical equipment graveyard, he had become a Cultivator at the Building Foundation Stage before he was 25. Even in the five hundred years the Star Glory Federation's history, he was also one of the few legends who achieved that!
Fiend Blade Peng Hai, who had been quite a superstar in Floating Spear City a few years ago, was eclipsed by Vulture Li Yao's brilliance.
Cultivation in the Heaven's Origin Sector was never easy. A Cultivator at the Building Foundation Stage was qualified to be a professor in a university, an Elder in a sect, or a commander of a military legion. In the eyes of the insignificant scavengers, he was one of the super big shots living in a different world.
"Vulture Li Yao has his days now! He could buy the magical equipment graveyard with part of the shell of such an extravagant shuttle!"
"In the old days, I even fought him before. It's really scaring to think that I used to fight against a Building Foundation Stage Cultivator!"
"I was even kicked by him once! Well well well. My life is fulfilled now, knowing that I had such an encounter with a Building Foundation Stage Cultivator!"
Scavengers such as Fatty Leung and Wild Wolf were not in much of a friendly relationship with Li Yao, who might not even bother to sort everything out with them now that he was a high and mighty Cultivator. But if they continued on fighting and caused a riot, who could say for sure that it would not trigger some bad memories for Li Yao?
Fatty Leung and Wild Wolf looked at each other and retreated with their respective gang silently, thinking jealousy and complicated thoughts.
Seeing Vulture Li Yao who used to be searching for abandoned magical equipment in garbage hills like themselves turning into an influential Cultivator and owning such an expensive shuttle, they somehow lost all drive to fight anymore.
Fate was such an erratic thing!
In Morning Sun Village, Li Yao could have parked the shuttle that he borrowed from Occult Orbs Fellowship in midair beside the window, so that he would be able to enter his room directly.
Yet, he still chose to land the shuttle on the ground and walk slowly into his room through the dark and muggy stairs.
There were four days left before the trip to Ultimacy.
An expedition to ten thousand lightyears away was hundreds of times more dangerous than adventures in common Occult Orbs.
Many of the thirty Orb Patrollers of the first echelon were core disciples of major families and sects, or descendants of renowned Cultivators. They had to take care of their personal affairs first.
Therefore, for the last few days, Occult Orbs Fellowship didn't arrange further training missions for them but gave them some time to reunite with their family and friends and bid farewell to them properly.
Li Yao had no family now. But Floating Spear City was the place where he grew up after all. He felt he was somewhat rooted in this place.
He didn't feel that his hometown was anything unusual before. But when he realized that he was going ten thousand lightyears away through the sea of stars, he suddenly had the impetus to take a tour around Floating Spear City.
Just now, he lowered the altitude of the shuttle and slowed it down on purpose, just in order to see the place he grew up in one more time.
Although that part of his life was filled with difficulty, suffering, and street fights, he found that what he remembered most were the warmth and wonders.
The spotted walls of Morning Sun Village as well as the colorful graffiti suddenly pulled himself back to years ago.
"It's been three years since I last came to this place. Last time I returned to Floating Spear City, I left in a hurry after meeting Senior Brother Peng Hai, and there was no time for me to come back.
"Now that I'm finally here, everything is exactly the same as when I left.
"The only thing that has changed is myself!
"From a little scavenger struggling in the ditch and garbage hills of the magical equipment graveyard, to a middle-level Building Foundation Stage Cultivator who is about to fight for my nation and for myself ten thousand lightyears away!"
Li Yao stopped in front of the door of his home.
The blemished iron door was covered entirely in spider nets. The lock was rusted over, too.
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao pressed his hands on the lock and knocked it off with his spiritual energy. Then he pushed the door open and walked in.
Most of the precious files that his adoptive father left for him had been packed up and sent to the Grand Desolate War Institution a long time ago.
But many magical equipment scraps were still in the corners of the room.
There were also many antique crystal processors dangling from the ceiling, which were shaken by the breeze and pealed like wind-chimes.
This place was very close to the magical equipment graveyard, and therefore had an extremely low rent. But few people still resided here. After Li Yao went to college, he kept renewing the lease on the house which he considered to be his home.
On his way to the Grand Desolate War Institution, his spiritual root was awakened, allowing him to become a Cultivator. When the news reached Floating Spear City, everybody was greatly shocked. The magical equipment graveyard was never short of thieves, but none of them dared to trespass on his household when they learned that it belonged to a Cultivator.
Therefore, three years later, except for a thick layer of dust on everything, there was barely anything different about his home.
Li Yao glanced over every corner of the room and was somewhat surprised that his home was much smaller than he remembered it to be. It was like two pigeon cages.
But in his memories, this room had been his entire world where so many beautiful things happened.
Old scenes flooded back one by one.
It was in these very rooms that his adoptive father taught him the skills of magical equipment maintenance as well as all kinds of eccentric knowledge.
From the repulse at the beginning, to the ecstasy of reading a maintenance manual of a crystal warship in the end. Too many traces of his growth had been left in these two rooms.
Li Yao sighed slightly. He was planning to pack everything away with his Cosmos Ring, but on second thought, he decided to keep them where they were. In the end, he merely picked up a 'Ghost Fire IV', a crystal processor refined by Blue Flame Sect 124 years ago, from the antique crystal processor collection.
The performance of the crystal processor was mediocre. Yet, it was weirdly designed into the form of a skeleton head, which added to its value as a collectable.
Li Yao stored it inside his Cosmos Ring as a memento of his past.
Closing the door gently, he jumped out of the window. The extravagant shuttle was already waiting for him outside.
Li Yao set off to Floating Spear City's downtown area!