The five spectral Cultivators, including Mo Xuan, were silent for a long time. The liquid metal was rolling with bubbles popping up nonstop as if it were boiling, indicating that they were in the middle of high-intensity thinking and computation.
Ten minutes later, Professor Mo Xuan finally spoke again.
"No matter where we are right now, the most important issue at hand is to repair Sparkle and make it able to perform space jumps once or twice.
"This is a gaunt wasteland. We will be hopeless if we are stuck here."
Li Yao nodded his head and said somewhat worriedly, "What is the situation of Sparkle?"
Professor Mo Xuan added, "According to what you said just now, Sparkle suffered serious damage seven thousand years ago and was locked in an undersea rock stratum until recently. Although the mustard-level maintainers have been repairing the warship slowly, they are only able to fix the external components and units that are relatively simple in structure. As for the core magical equipment that is more precise, such as the mainframe crystal processor, they can't fix it without the manipulation of a refiner.
"After thousands of years, Sparkle was finally fixed to the extent that it was functional. But then, it was engaged in a fierce battle against Skeleton Dragon, before it performed an insane, aimless space jump. 99% of the units on board were already on the verge of collapse at that time.
"After that, Sparkle encountered a cosmic storm and a meteor shower. Even its shell is battered now.
"Had we not woken up in time, I'm afraid Sparkle would've broken down and ended up as dust in the universe.
"Although we maintained the warship as quickly and thoroughly as possible, we only ensured that its structure remained intact. Right now, Sparkle has lost most of the impetus and abilities; it is no better than an empty shell!
"Therefore, whatever our future plan is, we need to fix up Sparkle first.
"The refining level of Sparkle is far beyond the knowledge of the Heaven's Origin Sector. It's impossible to restore it to one hundred percent with just the few of us.
"Thankfully, the Heaven's Origin Sector has abundant experience in refining crystal warships, too. We can modify Sparkle, however primitively, and make it regain thirty percent of its abilities. That shouldn't be a problem. Then, we will be able to perform one to two space jumps and leap out of this doomed wasteland.
"The biggest problem we are faced with right now is the lack of materials and spiritual energy. A cook cannot make food without ingredients, however skilled they are. Without sufficient Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures and spiritual energy, we will not be able to conduct the maintenance work."
It was indeed a tricky problem. Li Yao started pondering.
Since they were in a wasteland, there were not too many Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures or spiritual energy available for them.
Even if there were, the desired items were most likely to be buried in the planets and stone belts that were close to the star.
With Sparkle's current status, it was impossible to fly to the nearby of a star. When they came too close, they might be consumed by a stellar storm instantly because of the debilitated spiritual shield.
After remaining silent for a while, Li Yao suddenly thought of something and exclaimed excitedly, "Wait, how are we lacking Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures and spiritual energy? Isn't Skeleton Dragon's dead body scattered around us? We can make the best use of whatever's left of it, even though most of it has been swept away from the cosmic storm and the meteorite cascade!
"Skeleton Dragon's strengthened bones were all created through secret arts forty thousand years ago based on the bones of the most formidable demon beasts at that time. They are extremely hard!
"Although most of the ancient magical equipment inside its body has been drilled to dust with their abilities gone, the scraps can be used to fill up the cracks and holes of Sparkle!
"Its transparent flesh is extremely elastic; it can be stretched from ten meters to a hundred meters momentarily. It can also offset the enemy's attack like jelly. Such an excellent material is bound to improve the defensive ability and agility when it is applied to the key structure of Sparkle after we fully grasped its mysteries!
"When its demonic soul was annihilated, a lot of demonic energy was left, which can be transformed into spiritual energy that Sparkle can use through purification procedures. The spiritual energy can be used for our training, too!
"Anyway, Skeleton Dragon has offered us an enormous treasury. With its body's remnants, it's definitely possible to repair Sparkle and restore its space jump ability!"
Li Yao's words excited Mo Xuan and the others. Their membranes were pulsating quickly.
"Correct. Building magical equipment with the flesh and bones of demon beasts is a regular method in the art of refining. We are all experienced at this. The odds of success are not slim at all!
"As long as Sparkle is repaired, we will be able to perform a space jump again and land in a new world. So long as it is not as barren as this one, we will definitely be able to collect new materials and spiritual energy.
"Space jump after space jump, we will definitely meet other Cultivators in other human civilizations in the sea of stars one day!"
"A new world of Cultivators"
Li Yao was fascinated by the idea. Confidence and determination brewed in his chest, as he mumbled to himself, "Yes. The Heaven's Origin Sector is on the edge of the sea of stars. Since we arrived at this place randomly, it's very unlikely we'll be teleported back with just one space jump.
"Now that we are not going to find the way home any time soon, we might as well stride forward confidently!
"To the new world of Cultivators! To the center of universe! To the end of the infinite stars!
"The worlds in the center of the universe are very likely to possess technology, magical equipment, and secret arts that are more advanced than those of the Heaven's Origin Sector. I can learn from them and train myself crazily so that I can be stronger!
"I'm still too weak at this moment. Middle level of the Building Foundation Stage is absolutely nothing in front of the real experts! Skeleton Dragon would've slain me effortlessly if it had regained 5% of its peak capability when I faced it!
"The previous captain of Sparkle was a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, too. Sparkle could function at the 100% level in his hands.
"But the acting captain right now is only in the middle level of the Building Foundation Stage, who can only bring out 10% of Sparkle's potential. Senior Gao Xingce would be ashamed of me if he knew this!
"It's officially decided then. I will traverse the sea of stars and advance into at least the Core Formation Stage in the coming few years. In the meantime, I will try to collect a few pieces of planetary magical equipment, if not stellar magical equipment, along the way. Then I will return to the Heaven's Origin Sector!"
According to the astrologists of the Star Glory Federation, the final melding of the Heaven's Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector would take place in twenty to thirty years.
Until then, neither of the two worlds had an overwhelming advantage against the other one.
Therefore, Li Yao set a ten-year limit for himself.
In the next ten years, he would try to build up himself, excavate powerful magical equipment, and then announce his grand return!
Mo Xuan and the other spectral Cultivators agreed unanimously.
Professor Mo Xuan chuckled in satisfaction.
"Cultivators of the Heaven's Origin Sector have always yearned to reach out to other Cultivators in the center of the sea of stars. But our starships are still too underdeveloped. Even the stars around the Heaven's Origin Sector are not entirely clear to us yet.
"Now that we have jumped out of the Heaven's Origin Sector by accident, of course we need to make best use of the opportunity to travel, train, and take in as much knowledge as possible. We will not go home empty-handed, but with a huge amount of magical equipment and Cultivation arts!"
Xiong Qili was a war maniac. He shouted, "In my opinion, we should establish our own forces in the sea of stars and bring a fleet of starships home with us!"
Everybody was amused.
Professor Mo Xuan then said, "Establishing our own forces may be unnecessary. But since Sparkle, as a multipurpose exploration starship, boasts a lot of labs, refining workshops, and Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures analysis chambers, I think it is quite feasible that we can establish a 'Space Branch of the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution' on this ship!
"Mr. Li Yao, hasn't your dream always been to defeat the Refining Department of Deep Sea University and take over their title of 'Holy Land of Refiners'?
"It is also a dream of mine, as well as the rest of the professors and students in our department, which has never to been forgotten.
"However, to be completely honest, it's hardly likely for us to realize the dream within the Star Glory Federation.
"But now, everything is different!
"Right now, we are in possession of a multipurpose exploration starship from the Star Ocean Imperium. With its amazing space jump system, we are blessed with the opportunity to get in touch with hundreds of new constellations, other human civilizations and worlds of Cultivators, and previously-unseen magical equipment, Cultivation arts, and refining techniques!
"Let's make Sparkle our base as we will explore, research, and study the best magical equipment in the universe. We can even recruit the prodigies with potential in refining from other worlds in the name of the Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution!
"If so, when we return to the Heaven's Origin Sector in ten years, our capability in refining will definitely be hundreds of times higher than Deep Sea University's; our department will be the well-deserved Holy Land of Refiners!"
Li Yao's blood was boiling while he was listening.
Beating the Refining Department of Deep Sea University had been his dream even before he took the College Entrance Examination.
However, as he walked further down the path of refining and climbed higher and higher, the formidability of the Refining Department of Deep Sea University was clearer and clearer to him.
It was true that the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit suppressed the Tiger King Battlesuit and became the most renowned MP crystal suit model in the federation.
However, the MP crystal suit project was just one of the dozens of projects of the same level for the Refining Department of Deep Sea University.
The behemoth known as 'Deep Sea' was too huge, too strong, and had lived for too many years. The failure of an MP crystal suit project was but a scratch for it.
Therefore, the dream hadn't occurred to Li Yao for a very long time. He didn't forget it, but he failed to find a way to achieve it.
But right now, Professor Mo Xuan's words ignited his passion once again.
Li Yao's eyes were glittering, his fists clenched. He seemed to be able to see the brilliant future in ten years' time.
Professor Mo Xuan's voice was coarse, but it was getting louder and more impassioned.
"Haven't you always planned to bring back a piece of stellar magical equipment?
"In my opinion, since the Star Ocean Imperium has been gone for thousands of years, it is an impossible task to find a piece of intact yet unowned stellar magical equipment.
"However, aren't we all refiners?
"Why don't we create our own stellar magical equipment with Sparkle as the core?"
Professor Mo Xuan's bold proposal almost made Li Yao's eyes and nostrils spurt fire.
He finally realized why Professor Mo Xuan was known as 'lunatic' in the world of refiners.
It was because he was indeed a lunatic, even more insane than Li Yao himself!
Assembling each component, carving each rune, and refining a piece of stellar magical equipment that could suppress an entire galaxy with one's own hands?
Li Yao was so ecstatic and enthusiastic that he was dancing, despite the sharp pain all over his body.
"Then what are we waiting for? Hurry up. Let's have a brainstorm and discuss the general modification plan for Sparkle now!"
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