One month later, in the Heaven's Origin Sector, all the important figures of the Star Glory Federation and the ultimate Cultivators of the sector had made their way to Empyreal Star City and gathered in the Temple of Fallen Stars in the center of the city that had been built in honor of the sacrificed heroes.
More than half of the members of parliament, the commanders-in-chief of several military bases, the commanders of the first, the fourth, and the seventh fleet, the leaders and elders of the top hundred sects, the principals, deans, and professors of the Nine Elite Universities, the chairman of the Demon Hunters' Association, the councilors of the Refiners' Association, the top experts among the unaffiliated Cultivators, together with the journalists from the most influential media and websites of the federation, all fixed their eyes on the Temple of the Fallen Stars.
Everyone showing up to this place was a renowned leader in their respective field, whose coughing was enough to trigger an earthquake in their trade.
But right now, the eminent celebrities were all standing straight in solemnness.
The national anthem was played. The Rising Dragon of the Nine Stars Flag gradually rose up in front of the Temple of Fallen Stars and fluttered in the wind.
The martyrs of the Star Glory Federation had perished like falling stars, but their sacrifices had earned the flying, bloodshed flag in the blowing wind. The great dragon stopping in the highest sky stepping on all the stars was raging with its mouth and claws wide open!
Inside the Temple of Fallen Stars, the perished Orb Patrollers were represented by holographs, as well as the intense, sparking battle videos.
Xu Haoran, the Speaker of Parliament and a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, walked to the front with heavy steps, and glancing around as if his eyes were lightning, opened his mouth to speak.
"Today, I would like to reveal a top-secret operation to all the citizens of the Star Glory Federation as the Speaker of Parliament.
"In the meantime, I would also like to pay my utmost respect to all the Cultivators who have perished in the secret operation together with all of the citizens of the Star Glory Federation.
"Because they have saved the entire federation!
"A month ago, we sent out five Star Teams with thirty Orb Patrollers to explore an Occult Orb named 'Ultimacy'.
"It was not until we reached Ultimacy that we learnt that the true name of the planet was 'Boneyard', and that a gruesome demon was lurking ten thousand meters below the ground"
Every town, mine, and farm in the Star Glory Federation, and all the other places that were connected to the Spiritual Nexus and had light beam facilities, were streaming the unprecedented memorial ceremony.
Men and women. The young and the old. Everyone dropped their work and listened carefully to Speaker Xu Haoran's speech wholeheartedly.
In the more than ten minutes of speech, there was not a single sentence of propaganda rhetoric. Xu Haoran told a soul-stirring, blood-boiling story slowly and touchingly.
"Other than the martyrs that have died for the federation, there is a special Cultivator who sacrificed himself at the critical moment with wisdom and courage and teleported Skeleton Dragon to somewhere else in the boundless universe. He saved the Heaven's Origin Sector and the Star Glory Federation!
"He is a real hero of the federation, a Cultivator who deserves his name to be known!
"Currently, his status is unknown. It is very possible that he is still drifting in the depths of the sea of stars.
"However, every one of us believe that he is alive and not lost in the cosmic turbulences. He has taken the first step of conquering the universe on behalf of the Star Glory Federation and the human civilization of the Heaven's Origin Sector!
"His name is Li Yao!"
From this moment, Vulture Li Yao's name was known by everyone in the Star Glory Federation.
2,600 kilometers away, in No. 1899 boot camp, hundreds of newly-recruited soldiers whose heads had been shaved clean were gazing at the light beam.
Hearing the name of 'Li Yao', one of the soldiers was dazed for a moment. He gritted his teeth, trying to contain himself, but eventually failed. His nose was twitching, his eyes red with tears brewing inside.
"Meng Jiang, what's wrong?" his companion beside him asked in a low voice.
"It's alright. I'm fine."
Meng Jiang, Li Yao's best friend in high school, took a heavy breath and gnashed his teeth.
His clenched fists were gripping his trousers so hard that the veins on the backs of his hands were bulging. The extremely elastic military suit was about to be torn open by him.
'Li Yao, never did I expect you to accomplish something so extraordinary!
'As your best friend, I can't be left behind by you by too much!
'Although I'm just an ordinary person and cannot awaken my spiritual root to be a majestic Cultivator, I'm officially a soldier of the federal army right now.
'Who says ordinary people can't fight demon beasts?
'Just wait for it. I will train as crazily as you do. By the time you come back, I may have already slain a thousand demon beasts!'
On the playground of Floating Spear City's Mining Clan High School of Floating Spear City, all the students were weeping.
The training facilities of Floating Spear City's Mining Clan High School had all been sponsored by Li Yao. Many underprivileged students wouldn't have been able to go to school and train themselves without Li Yao's help.
Li Yao had even established a special fund to maintain the normal operation of Floating Spear City's Mining Clan High School.
Therefore, the students here all admired Li Yao and considered themselves to be Li Yao's young junior brothers. They had established an interest group named 'Vulture Squad' to collect all the news in which Li Yao appeared.
They had never expected that they would hear the news that Li Yao had gone missing in the sea of stars from the Speaker of Parliament one day.
The students were too young to have the basic concepts about the universe and other worlds. They only knew that Senior Brother Li Yao had gone to a place far, far away with no way of knowing if he was dead or alive. Inevitably, they all shed tears.
"Don't cry. We can't cry!"
A tall, thin boy who looked like a reed suddenly jumped up. He wiped his tears and announced, "Senior Brother Li Yao is a big hero from Floating Spear City. He will be fine! One day, he will come back as he promised. He will return splendidly with stellar magical equipment under his feet and blow the venomous pests of the Blood Demon Sector into smithereens!
"Until then, we, as his junior brothers, must not disgrace him!
"Senior Brother Li Yao is nicknamed as 'Vulture', which is the reason we created 'Vulture Squad'.
"Before he comes back, we will try our best to train ourselves and let the name of 'Vulture' resound on behalf of our senior brother!"
In the floating mountain of the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution, there was nothing but dead silence.
Surrounded by more than ten Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit of different models, Yuan Manqiu and a lot of other professors were watching the live stream quietly.
Yuan Manqiu's eyes were red. Two lines of dirty tears were flowing on her plump face.
"Li Yao, Li Yao"
She sighed softly.
"Hahahaha. Senior Brother Li Yao, you must rest in peace! From today on, the banner of the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution shall be flown by me, the legendary super awesome lightning-hand, the rising superstar in the world of refiners, the puncher of Jiang Sheng and the kicker of Li Yao, sorry, the kicker of Jiang Shaoyang. Yes, that's what I, Li Sanhao, will do!"
A young fatty was dancing merrily and declaring confidently in a classroom of freshmen and sophomores, only to be kicked to a corner after a cry.
In Serpent City in the south of the federation, Jiang Shaoyang was faced with a giant mountain of rusted magical equipment components.
But there was nothing except easiness in his face. Whistling a song out of tune, he was moving his hands so fast that thinking appeared to be redundant for him. Hundreds of his spiritual threads pulled almost a thousand components, removed dust from them, scraped them to the proper size, polished and reassembled them as quickly as a lightning.
Brand new magical equipment was born one piece after another in his hands which seemed to be an assembly line.
Occasionally, Jiang Shaoyang would raise his eyebrow and glanced at the light beam beside him.
"Li Yao, there is not really a winner between us yet. You don't want to run away just like that, do you?
"I hope you can train yourself to be a stronger, and even greater, person in the depths of the sea of stars!
"Only in such a way can I be granted a supreme sense of accomplishment after I defeat the invincible you!"
In the Dark Desolate Domain deep inside the Grand Desolate Plateau, thunder was rumbling, lightning was striking, and a storm was raging.
A somewhat lonely girl was traveling by herself in the wilderness. The occasional lightning illuminated the world and cast a narrow, long, and sharp shadow that looked like a saber behind her.
"Puff. Puff. Puff."
Dozens of hungry demon wolves approached the lone girl stealthily in the heavy rain.
Before the wolves were about to lunge forward, their leader suddenly had a sense of great danger. A ferociously flame seemed to be burning its heart into ash.
The girl was wearing a blood-red ring on her middle finger, which blossomed momentarily like a lotus of fire. It was sharp-edged and brimming with brutality; it had turned into an intimidating knuckle!
The girl walked toward the wolf pack with a smile and stretched to warm herself up. Explosive noises could be heard from the joints all over her body.
"My man is a hero of the federation.
"One day, he will come back with stellar magical equipment under his feet.
"I need to make use of every minute in training, too, in order to be the strongest person in the Heaven's Origin Sector before he returns!"
In the Blood Demon Sector, more than ten demon emperors in different yet equally hideous appearances gathered beside the raging, dark blood pool.
Countless demon kings and demon generals were kneeling humbly in panic beside their feet, waiting for the murderous fury to be rained upon them.
The intelligence from the Heaven's Origin Sector had been sent back.
The mission videos from Boneyard were all stored in the information bugs which were flying around them.
Elder Blood Robe waved his hand. Some ten information bugs were swallowed by the redness released and exploded into mists of blood after cracking sounds.
The mists of blood twisted and turned into life-like 3D videos, which were enough for the demon emperors to learn what had happened on Boneyard, even though the videos were mottled with blood.
In the videos, Li Yao steered Sparkle and activated the Rogue Meteorite at first, blowing countless demon generals into smithereens.
Then, with the enhancement of the Dragon Scale Extension, he turned into a God of War and slew everything standing in his way, causing immeasurable casualties.
One demon after another was slaughtered and cut into pieces as easy as pie amid their dying screams!
While he was watching, one of the demon emperors was too angry to contain himself anymore. His body quickly expanded and revealed his true self, an enormous crocodile with fearsome horns!
He slapped his tail hard, smashing the solidest rock into powder that was even finer than sand, as he exclaimed, "My grandson! My most excellent descendant with the most amazing power of bloodline whom I've bred wholeheartedly for twenty years has been slashed in two by Vulture Li Yao! Just one slash!"
Another demon emperor roared, too, "One of my true disciples was blown into pieces by him! This particular disciple had just accepted a tenth of my demonic blood. It seems it was a waste now!"
"And also my youngest son!"
"And also my disciple who has followed me for thirty years. The disciple that I'd spent so many Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures on modifying was killed! All my previous endeavors are in vain now!"
"Kill him! Kill Vulture Li Yao, pull his soul of his body, soak it into the blood pool, make him a pet of the Blood Demon Sector, and torture him for a thousand, no, ten thousand years!"
The anger of so many demon emperors congregated and triggered a surging tsunami inside the blood pool. Even the purple sky had been stabbed through, through which countless stars peered through.
Intimidated by their daunting aura, the demon kings and demon generals were all shaking in fear. Some of the weak demon soldiers in the periphery even passed out.
"Li Yao has been teleported to the depths of the sea of stars together with Skeleton Dragon?"
"Damn it! Damn it!"
"Vulture Li Yao, you can't get away, not even if you hide in the other shores of the sea of stars. All the demon emperors of the Blood Demon Sector will join hands to find you and let you taste the fury of the Blood Demons!"