Xiong Tao looked at his watch when Li Yao's telepathic thoughts that were as vast as ocean were fully transmitted.
It was only 3 hours, 42 minutes and 57 seconds after they sent the paper over.
Li Yao's lightning-like speed caused the maintenance workshop to fall into a weird silence again.
All the refiners looked at each other in bewilderment, but they did not dare jump to any conclusions.
With crisp 'beep' sounds, light beams blossomed one after another like petals. The five refiners divided Li Yao's answers according to the fields they were good at and reviewed the content passionately.
"Correct. Correct. And still correct."
"His ideas about how to cope with the faults are very clear. The measures are resolute, too, without any indecision."
"Huh. He thought of a different solution to the No. 44 fault which employed three new algorithms. Let me see Hiss. It's workable and 4.8 seconds faster than my solution!"
Exclamations echoed nonstop like the croaking frogs in a pond.
Of the 182 faults, Li Yao perfectly resolved 74 and located the critical parts of the problem of another 38.
As for the remaining 70 questions, they were left completely blank.
Everybody was greatly relieved to see this.
They discovered that all the faults Li Yao had worked out had been provided with clear and simple solutions, some of which were even more practical than what they had employed in reality.
As for the faults that he didn't fully work out, the elaborations about the source of the faults were very neat and precise.
It equaled to saying that the correction rate of the questions he had answered was 100%!
With that in mind, the seasoned refiners would start doubting how this young monster was born and where he came from if he could solve all 182 faults flawlessly!
Thankfully, there were still questions that he didn't understand. Overall he was still an 'acceptable' genius!
But one thing was bothering them. Based on Li Yao's knowledge, he definitely had something to say about the questions that had been left blank. But why did he choose to not write anything about them?
Xiong Tao pondered for a moment and turned on the communication channel again.
Li Yao appeared in the light beam again, with the thinking iron ring on his head. Under the dual effects of the freezing rune arrays and the medications drugs, a lot of hazy mist popped up from his head and wrapped him, making him look both eccentric and mysterious.
Xiong Tao was briefly dazed because he failed to see what the iron ring was meant for. But he didn't let the details bother him and asked straightforwardly, "I have two questions for you. Firstly, according to your solutions to the No. 14 fault and the No. 45 fault, the maintainer would be kept in an environment with a temperature higher than eight hundred degrees for three minutes. Is there anyone capable of doing that in a real-life scenario?"
"There is." Li Yao nodded.
Seeing his confident face and his unwavering eyes, Xiong Tao was almost convinced.
"The second question. Why did you not propose any solutions to the faults whose origins you had located?"
"Because I don't know any," replied Li Yao in a matter-of-fact way.
Xiong Tao's bull eyes narrowed as he said, "According to your ideas and answers to other questions, you can at least write something about them. The possible plans, for example. Why did you decide to abandon them completely?"
"Because it is a waste of time."
Li Yao answered calmly, "Everyone has the field that they are best at. It's impossible for a refiner to specialize in the maintenance and modification of all kinds of magical equipment. The starship is too large and boasts too many pieces of magical equipment. Everyone should focus on some of them.
"It's unnecessary, and impossible, for me to know all the fields. The only I need to do is to be adept at the field that I work on.
"If I am really faced with faults that are beyond my knowledge, I will ask the specialists of the fields to fix them instead of blindly coming up with ideas.
"Yes. I can try my best and write something on the paper. If I'm really lucky, they might even be correct.
"But it is going to waste a lot of my time and distract me from the field that I'm best at. More often than not, my ill-considered suggestions may even mislead other people and cause greater damage.
"Time is precious. I don't want to waste any of it. That's it."
His reply greatly interested Xiong Tao, whose lips curled in a vague smile.
Li Yao's talent in refining was already surprising enough. But what was more surprising was his awareness of self-control.
He was not like the regular 'geniuses' who did things randomly based on their immense natural gift.
The best steel should be used to craft the edge of a blade. For a Cultivator, the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures and the myriad of Cultivation arts were of course good steel, but the most important resource of all for them was 'time'!
A sensible Cultivator would always make the best use of each and every second by calculating carefully in the most frugal way. They understood which area they should devote their time to so that they could improve themselves to the ultimate level of Cultivation after days and years.
Xiong Tao had originally planned to ask Li Yao to take over several unimportant zones. But right now, he changed his mind.
He was of a mind to assign Li Yao to some important areas by himself. But since Li Yao was apparently too young, his backgrounds not entirely clear, and the important zones concerned the fate of the starship, Xiong Tao hesitated to make a decision.
Pondering for a moment, Xiong Tao finally made up his mind and said, "When you joined the Great Horn Exo Society, Manager Bai should've told you that, as long as you proved yourself to be capable enough, you would be responsible for the more important posts.
"Now, I'm thinking of asking you to work as Master Bai Ze's assistant and help him to ensure the normal functioning of the spiritual shield generator. Are you willing to take the offer?"
Li Yao blinked his eyes, but his mind was brimming with ecstasy.
Of course, he was willing to!
The spiritual shield generator was one of the most crucial pieces of magical equipment on a starship. It was even more important than the engine compartment and the mainframe crystal processor!
If the power rune arrays broke down, the starship could always drift slowly in the sea of stars, waiting for them to be repaired.
However, if the spiritual shield generator exploded because of a cosmic storm or the bombardment of a hostile starship, the spiritual shield of the starship would collapse.
If so, the shell of the starship would take the full blow of the enemy's attacks.
Even the most solid shell wouldn't be able to stand for long against such attacks.
Therefore, the spiritual shield was always outside of the shell to absorb the damage when the starship was cruising through a cosmic storm or engaged in a battle.
The spiritual energy generator, on the other hand, was always faced with great pressure. In fierce battles, it was almost certain that some faults would occur in the spiritual shield generator, sometimes even continuously. All the faults had to be quickly identified and attended to!
To master such a spiritual shield generator required sharp senses, fast hands, and resolute decisions, and none of the qualities were optional!
On a starship, the refiner responsible for the spiritual shield generator was usually the most skilled, experienced, and respected one.
Sometimes, they were only secondary to the chief refiner; sometimes, the chief refiner would manage the spiritual shield generator personally.
For the crew members of a starship, they often respected the refiner in charge of the generator even more than the chief refiner, since it was their lives that were in the hands of the refiner.
On Gold Horn, Master Bai Ze, who was in charge of the spiritual shield generator, was an expert in refining only inferior to Xiong Tao in the Great Horn Exo Society, as well as a creation-type Cultivator in the high level of the Building Foundation Stage!
Li Yao followed Bai Ze somewhat anxiously into the cabin where the spiritual shield generator was located.
There were bigger spiritual shields and there were smaller ones. A Cultivator could form a natural spiritual shield by triggering their own spiritual energy. Small-scale spiritual shield generators were also core units only lesser to the crystal reactor on crystal suits.
For the most part, the middle- and small-scale spiritual shields could only be expanded to one to two meters away and cover one or two people.
In comparison, the spiritual shield on a starship had to be enlarged to more than a thousand meters in order to protect the entire starship.
It was not hard to imagine the scale and complexity of the spiritual shield generator behind that.
In front of Li Yao were sixteen black metal plates more than five meters long embedded with countless crystals and carved with immeasurable rune arrays.
The metal plates were distributed in a circle and placed in a giant ball-shaped zone more than fifty meters in diameter.
Other than the main maintenance workshop, the engine compartment, and the cockpit, this should be the largest independent space on the starship. It protruded slightly out of the starship. Looking from the outside, it looked like a lump on the back of the starship.
The generator was emitting a huge amount of heat continuously. To better transmit the heat, most of the generator was soaking in special deep-blue cooling liquids. It was revolving slowly around a thick axis.
This super-large system was made of more than a thousand units and hundreds of thousands of components. It was large, majestic, and solemn.
For a refiner such as Li Yao, walking into this place almost equaled to walking into a splendid palace. He found it hard to breathe.
The spiritual shield generator could produce double defenses.
The first defense was one purely made of spiritual energy, which could offset the hostile energy attacks.
The second defense was the twisted force field, which would cause the materials that were rushing close, such as meteoroids and cannonballs, to deviate from their trajectories.
Such strong defenses were why it was nearly impossible for a starship to be blown up by remote attacks before it ran out of spiritual energy.
It was also one of the reasons crystal suits were so popular in the Flying Star Sector and were even one of the most important weapons on a space battleground.
This was a world where 'shields' were stronger than 'spears'. Only crystal suits could infiltrate the spiritual shield without being stopped and intrude into the interior of the enemy's defense circle so that the battle could be finished inside the starship.
Over the two months of hunting, the spiritual shield generator of Gold Horn had suffered too many adversities to work normally any longer. It was already on the verge of collapse.
In order to maintain the normal coverage of the spiritual shield, Bai Ze had dedicated all that he had. He was almost planning to jump into the generator and burn his own soul to provide more energy for the spiritual shield.
Li Yao's arrival had come at the right time.
In the following half month, Li Yao learnt to repair Gold Horn's spiritual shield generator with the assets collected from Ghost Jail.
Faced with such a comprehensive, complicated system, even Li Yao felt dizzy and exhausted despite his capability in refining.
He spent almost all his time on the maintenance work; he was so busy that he didn't even have the time to read 'Starship Maintenance Manual' and 'Stormy Sword'.
His understanding of spiritual shields grew deeper and deeper during the crazy maintenance work, too.
He had to make the best use of every second, because three days later, the spiritual shield of Gold Horn would be going through a harsh examination.
They were going to sail through the life-blighting 'Dim Flame Belt', better known as 'Wraiths' Wrath', of the Flying Star Sector!