Team Blue Bronze had planned to stay for one month on Boneyard, or even three to five months should the mission demand. Therefore, they'd all carried a lot of crystals inside their Cosmos Rings.
But they were far from enough to provide impetus for a warship from the Star Ocean Imperium, let alone the drill of mystic rays, the cannons, and the space jump system.
Li Yao thought hard for a long time. Then he suddenly realized something and bumped his fists in joy.
Of course! There were the Flowing Brightness Crystals inside his Cosmos Ring!
The marrow crystals that came into being after billions of years of high temperature and high pressure in the underground were captured by the roots of the Flowing Brightness Grasses, and through esoteric chemical reactions, such super marrow crystals which contained enormous spiritual energy were born!
Even in the notes of the predecessors of the Hundred Smelting Clan, Flowing Brightness Crystals had been treated with great importance and deemed as one of the ultimate treasures.
"As a multipurpose exploration warship, Sparkle must have a very adaptive crystal reactor which can absorb crystals of various kinds as its energy source. Also, Flowing Brightness Crystals are extremely condensed and stable with barely any impurities. Even a human body can absorb it directly, so a crystal reactor should be fine!
"Yes, the Flowing Brightness Crystals shall be the source of spiritual energy!"
Although Flowing Brightness Crystals were invaluable items in the Heaven's Origin Sector, Li Yao had made up his mind that he wouldn't hesitate to pour all the Flowing Brightness Crystals he had found into the warship if it was a must to survive and to kill Skeleton Dragon.
"Haha. Skeleton Dragon has fallen victim to his own scheme this time," sneered Li Yao.
According to his estimation, the abundant Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures in the first underground world they saw should be part of the evil plan of Skeleton Dragon, who had somehow spread a bit of his strength and manipulated the underground creatures to modify the environment into one that was more favorable for the invaluable treasures.
The purpose of the plan was simple: to lure the explorers deeper underground.
The explorers would naturally conclude from the fact that there were so many treasures in the periphery that more precious Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures must be buried in Skeleton Dragon's residence in the depths of the endless underground ocean.
In such a way, the explorers would be too greedy to notice the anomalies on their way forward, until they opened Skeleton Dragon's residence in the end!
But right now, Li Yao had received Gao Xingce's warning. He could use the Flowing Brightness Crystals, the bait of Skeleton Dragon, to destroy the small fries such as Wang Ji and the unparalleled deadly beast that was Skeleton Dragon himself!
Li Yao extended his telepathic thoughts through the crystal wires, toward the engine compartment in the rear of Sparkle, and into the main crystal reactor.
The crystal reactor on a warship was much larger than that used in a crystal suit. Its structure was hundreds of times more complicated, too. Li Yao's telepathic thought wandered inside the delicately-made crystal reactor and studied its design meticulously.
As he expected, although the efficiency of the crystal reactor was not very impressive, it could accept spiritual energy from extensive sources. Four magical equipment units inside of it could automatically refine the raw crystals with more than 70% of impurities before they were transformed into spiritual energy; super marrow crystals such as Flowing Brightness Crystals would definitely work well enough.
The crystal reactor was the heart of a warship. It was the most heavily protected component. It had suffered the least damage from the fierce battles and was the first item that the mustard-level maintainers repaired.
After thousands of years of maintenance, it was almost brand new. 85% of it had been fully fixed, guaranteeing normal functions.
"Excellent. With a few Flowing Brightness Crystals, the crystal reactor will be able to generate sufficient spiritual energy to wake up Sparkle and improve the speed of the mustard-level maintainers by hundreds of times.
"Many simple components can even be manually repaired by me. In a couple of days, Sparkle will be able to voyage again!"
While thinking to himself, Li Yao scanned the weapon system of Sparkle with his telepathic thought.
The main gun of Sparkle had been modified into a drill of mystic rays. All the secondary cannons and air defense cannons were too seriously damaged in the fierce battles thousands of years ago to be renewed. After such a long time, only an air defense cannon was close to completion.
Li Yao laughed out aloud the moment he saw the holograph of the air defense cannon.
The air defense cannon, named 'Rogue Meteorite', had an axis surrounded by eight cylindrical crystal rails. At first glance, it was a Six-barreled Vulcan Machine Gun enlarged dozens of times. The trigger and manipulation methods were very similar, too.
"This is a weapon that is destined for me!"
Li Yao's blood was boiling into scorching steam surging out from his nostrils.
His hands were shivering, as he couldn't wait to control the 'Rogue Meteorite' in person!
For him, an air defense cannon was a weapon even better than the main gun.
The main gun of the warship was designed to deal with the hostile warships, star fortresses, and orbital defense. Its speed of reloading was slow, its spiritual energy consumption extremely high, and it had a high demanding on the user.
Gao Xingce was a Core Formation Stage Cultivator. It was his qualification as the chief gunner of Sparkle to wield the Sky Dragon, the main gun.
On the other hand, air defense cannons targeted the hostile experts who were approaching the warship. It had a high shooting frequency, with remarkable precision and a low requirement for the expertise of the user. Building Foundation Stage Cultivators were more than capable for the task.
What Li Yao was going to deal with were the demons such as Wang Ji. Air defense cannons would serve the purpose better than the main gun.
"The Rogue Meteorite will consume the spiritual energy very quickly. Let me deeply modify it so that it can directly utilize the Flowing Brightness Crystals as a source of spiritual energy. One attack will be enough to blow the biochemical beasts together with the demons inside into smithereens!"
Other than the Rogue Meteorite, there were no other usable weapons on board. Most of them had been dismantled into maintenance materials.
In a corner of the arsenal, however, Li Yao found a metal statue that had been sealed by barriers and protected carefully.
"This is a whole set of strengthening plug-ins, the Ares Extension!" Li Yao exclaimed in disbelief.
The sea of stars was an unpredictable place. The conditions of many worlds were the opposite of each other. A crystal suit wouldn't be applicable for all battlefields.
Therefore, it was not unusual for a crystal suit to be added with a lot of strengthening plug-ins before it was deployed to a battlefield.
For example, before Team Blue Bronze dived into the silver ocean, Li Yao had installed undersea combat plug-ins that resembled fins to all the crystal suits in the team.
Some of the strengthening plug-ins had been manufactured as sets, with a lot of powerful yet high-consumption rune arrays which would also impose heavy blast upon the materials and the human body.
The activation of the rune arrays could improve one's combat ability instantly, but it would also result in the serious erosion of the materials and the immense backfire to the body and soul of the Exo. Therefore, it was not suitable to carve the rune arrays on a crystal suit.
Such strengthening plug-ins manufactured as sets were like an intensified shell covering the crystal suit. Since erosion was no longer an issue, all kinds of crazy, detrimental rune arrays could be carved on it as far as one's imagination went.
The strengthening plug-ins produced as set were known as 'Ares Extensions'.
Ares Extensions were the top confidential magical equipment of the Star Ocean Imperium. Since they would become total loss after being used for once, the Heaven's Origin Sector had never discovered any of them before, except for some scraps.
Even Li Yao had only read files about them before.
Right now, a legendary Ares Extension was standing right in front of him. Li Yao's eyes were beaming with joy, his heart pounding.
"Rogue Meteorite, plus an Ares Extension. I'm definitely going to have a nice talk with the scumbags of the demon race such as Wang Ji!"
Li Yao scanned Sparkle from head to tail again. Then he jumped up and ran off to the engine compartment at the rear of the warship.
In the engine compartment, Li Yao retrieved ten Flowing Brightness Grasses from his Cosmos Ring. His hands were moving so fast that they turned into a cluster of grey mist, while he sorted out the thousands of roots tangling the Flowing Brightness Crystals and separated them.
The roots were like the veins of the Flowing Brightness Crystals. They couldn't be torn off by force or the quality of the Flowing Brightness Crystals would be undermined.
Ten minutes later, pure round crystals that looked like pearls were rolling inside his palm. The intriguing aura was flowing around him like water, putting his mind more at ease than ever. Two brooks were running through his palm into his body and circulated slowly among his internal organs.
A moment later, Li Yao was wreathed in a small cloud cluster. Brilliance was being emitted from the center of the cloud cluster.
"No wonder it is called Flowing Brightness Crystals. The brilliance it unleashed is in the liquid state like water. The Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures in the Cultivation world are truly unbelievable!
"Phew. There are bound to be even more exotic and entertaining Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures in the center of the universe where there are the most shining stars. It's a shame that I don't have an opportunity to go there this time.
"If I can dig out a detailed star map in the future, I'm definitely going to explore the depths of the sea of stars!"
While he was thinking, Li Yao tossed the Flowing Brightness Crystals into the crystal reactor and set the operation pattern of the crystal reactor on the mainframe crystal processor with his telepathic thoughts remotely.
At his command, spiritual energy surged out, and the crystal reactor was successfully activated!
Centered at the crystal reactor, rounds of scarlet brightness rippled out and evolved into a raging sea. In the blink of an eye, it had turned into an unstoppable, boundless ocean!
Countless runes were illuminated one by one. Virtual runes enveloped in gold, octagonal brightness appeared in midair and surrounded Li Yao, dancing to the brisk sounds of metal.
The crystal reactor was like a ferocious animal which had been starved for thousands of years. It was working at the highest efficiency and gulped the Flowing Brightness Crystals hungrily. They were transformed into the purest spiritual energy by countless rune arrays, which was then transmitted to every corner of Sparkle through the spiritual energy tubes.
Innumerable pieces of magical equipment were woken up simultaneously. Their hums didn't die down for quite a long time.
Outside, on the smooth shell of Sparkle, thousands of gold lines suddenly popped up. They connected and extended, and very soon, the entire body of the warship was caught in a net of gold brightness.
Then, the shell of the warship split and stood up, like a dragon whose scales had gone erect. Brutality and bloodthirstiness were added to the originally meek-looking warship!
The information flooding into Li Yao's brain was ten times as much as before. He involuntarily grunted even though he had been training with Neltharion for a long time.
Inside his brain, the lackluster holograph of Sparkle suddenly bounced, before it was lit from the back to the front gradually, until it was bathing in splendid radiance in the end.
Sparkle had been fully awakened!