"The Dim Flame Belt is not an ordinary stone belt. It was one of the main battlegrounds in the Armageddon Rebellion ten thousand years ago. The battle was so intense that the Flying Star Sector was even torn apart.
"You may think of the Dim Flame Belt as a wound of the Flying Star Sector or an extremely large crack.
"Over the past ten thousand years, countless small planets, meteoroid showers, and world fragments have been attracted into the crack. They collided, crushed, and eventually reassembled. Thousands of streams of spiritual energy gathered together, resulting in countless mysterious reactions. Eventually, the Dim Flame Belt was formed.
"The meteoroids inside the Dim Flame Belt all carry immense spiritual energy of the fire class. They are hundreds of times more damaging than common meteoroids. Some of the wreckages of the war ten thousand years ago still have attack rune arrays that were not activated and are still functioning. They are like ticking time bombs that will set off randomly.
"Entering the Dim Flame Belt is like entering a surging river haunted by infuriated ghosts. Therefore, experienced sailors call the place 'Wraiths' Wrath'. None of them ever enter the Dim Flame Belt unless it is absolutely necessary.
"We have no other choice. The Dim Flame Belt has absorbed the materials and spiritual energy of the few space zones nearby and turned them into bleak, desolate uninhabited areas.
"If we bypass the Dim Flame Belt, we will have to sail for at least two to three months before we can find a depot world fragment.
"With our current supplies and the status of the starship, there is no way that we can go for such a long time. Once the spiritual energy runs dry, even our own training will become a big problem.
"Cruising through the Dim Flame Belt, on the other hand, will take only three days, if the journey is smooth.
"After that, we will arrive in the Angry Serpent Domain within the following ten days. The Angry Serpent Domain is a fairly large world fragment. Many Cultivation sects have established branches in the area. There is also a middle-sized dock where we can take a brief rest and buy a lot of supplies.
"Going forward from the Angry Serpent Domain, we will be entering the center of the Flying Star Sector. There will be more world fragments and space towns that are guarded by Cultivation sects along the way. The transportation is convenient and safe, too. We can get abundant supplies very easily.
"Therefore, it is a necessity that we pass through the Dim Flame Belt."
Bai Ze explained to Li Yao, pointing at the star map on the light beam, "Going through the Dim Flame Belt is a great test for our spiritual shield. Have you completed the task that I entrusted to you yesterday? What is the status of the No. 7 unit now?"
"The spiritual pressure stabilizer had a short circuit, resulting in the abrupt increase of spiritual pressure, which damaged the nineteen defense rune arrays nearby. I've replaced it with a stabilizer of a higher level and carved the nineteen defense rune arrays once again. Besides, I've optimized the alarms, so that they will emit green light when the spiritual pressure reaches 80% of the limit, red when 90%, and they will buzz when it reaches 95% of the limit. With such a system in place, we will know if there's an anomaly with the spiritual pressure in advance," Li Yao replied in a hurry.
He actually quite respected Bai Ze.
Although Bai Ze was merely in the high level of the Building Foundation Stage, similar to himself, and his comprehensive capability in refining might even be higher than Bai Ze's, Bai Ze had dedicated dozens of years' time to the study of defense rune arrays and spiritual shields. He had made remarkable achievements both in theories and in practice and was a well-regarded specialist in spiritual shields.
What Li Yao had learned was rather jumbled. Speaking of the study of defense rune arrays and spiritual shields, he was absolutely no match for Bai Ze.
One could always learn from one's fellows. Li Yao had always respected the real specialists. He would've humbly asked for the enlightenment of a refiner with abundant experience who had spent more than half of his life studying spiritual shields even if the refiner was in the beginning level of the Building Foundation Stage. Now that Bai Ze's Cultivation level was even higher than his, there was no reason he shouldn't learn from him.
Over the past two weeks, Li Yao had indeed learned a lot of things from Bai Ze.
Putting aside everything else, just the nineteen-seven brand new spiritual shield models were more than enough for him to digest for a year and a half. His future would benefit a lot from them.
Li Yao was also greatly inspired by the spiritual shield generator. He had devised quite a few pieces of small-scale magical equipment that he could put into the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit to increase its defense ability when he had the opportunity to.
"Excellent. We have three days to go. During these three days, we will reexamine all the working units. I will also ask Master Xiong to have the useable components of the spiritual shield generator on Ghost Jail delivered to this place.
"A storm is coming!"
Three days later, Gold Horn dived into the Dim Flame Belt.
Li Yao observed the magnificent scenes through the panoramic light beam quietly.
Watched from afar, the Dim Flame Belt was a river of magma raging in the boundless space. Countless burning, red meteoroids were creaking, colliding, crumbling, and condensing. The boiling magma tossed up thousands of waves, each of which were even more splendid than the prominence of the sun.
Wraiths' Wrath truly deserved its name. Even the divinities would be frightened if they came to this place.
Li Yao felt that his palms were sweating.
It was not going to be an easy task to break through such a dangerous stone belt.
As Gold Horn fully entered the Dim Flame Belt, the scenes inside the light beam changed.
Most of the red meteoroids were actually still far away from the starship, but the furious light and heat that they emitted blew at Gold Horn like crimson hurricanes.
Half an hour after they entered the Dim Flame Belt, the temperature around Gold Horn had surpassed 1,500 degrees.
The originally bright gold spiritual shield gradually turned a deep shade of red as it was resisting the high temperature nearby.
"Attention! We are entering an extremely hot environment. Set the spiritual shield into anti-heat pattern. Activate the cooling rune arrays to cool down the shell and the engine compartment. Activate the rune arrays of the wind class to blow away the streams of heat!"
Under Bai Ze's command, the light beam in front of Li Yao suddenly changed from the view of the universe to a series of runes the size of the head of a fly, which poured down from the top of the light beam.
Emotionlessly, Li Yao turned his two hands into two clusters of grey mist. The grey mist then surrounded him and started operating on the circular light beam.
With Li Yao's lightning-like movements, countless runes were jumping on the sixteen metal plates that constituted the spiritual shield generator. The brightness they emitted was interweaving into new patterns.
Around the generator, the cooling liquids were roaring. A lot of bubbles were popping up as it was in an extremely high temperature.
"Alright. The temperature of the plate armor of the starship is steady at 850 degrees, which is bearable for us. Keep the general spiritual pressure stable and make sure that the twisted force field is functioning normally in the high temperature. The meteoroids of this area are very chaotic without any distinguishable pattern. Beware of the collision of meteoroids."
Bai Ze had only just finished his sentence when dangerous redness popped up in the light beam.
A burning meteoroid more than five hundred meters in diameter emitting weird redness was rushing at Gold Horn straightforwardly at an unbelievable speed!
According to its trajectory, there were thirteen seconds before it hit Gold Horn!
The chaotic, heated environment of the Dim Flame Belt interfered with the probe magical equipment of the Gold Horn, which was why they failed to detect it earlier.
Bai Ze was greatly alarmed. He was planning to take over the operation panel, when he noticed that Li Yao did not even blink his eyes. Li Yao's previous storm-like movements suddenly turned gentle, as if he were trimming the hair of a sleeping cat. His narrow and long fingers slid on the light beam softly and fluently and finished the adjustment and activation of the twisted force field within five seconds.
Jammed by the twisted field, the rushing meteoroid altered its trajectory slightly and brushed past Gold Horn.
The shortest distance between them was only 99 meters!
Due to the interference of the spiritual energy contained inside the meteoroid, Gold Horn shivered. Blood red flakes and waves appeared in the light beam.
Bai Ze was so shocked that cold sweat was appearing on his forehead.
On the other hand, Li Yao was still emotionless. However, there was delight in his eyes. He even licked his lips, showing that he had greatly enjoyed himself.
Travelling in the dangerous Dim Flame Belt seemed to be just an interesting game for Li Yao.
Bai Ze took a long breath in relief.
"Job well done. You switched promptly between the 'Twisted Force Field' mode and the 'Energy Mediation' mode. The shell of the starship was not heated much even when the meteoroid was brushing past us. It is indeed very impressive!
"However, the temperature will only get higher, and there will only be more meteoroids. Let's take a look and input several other processing modes!"
Bai Ze had completely forgotten that Li Yao was a newcomer who had only been on board for one month and simply treated him as an equal working partner. The two of them started discussing excitedly.
"The No. 337 unit is broken. Change it to a new one!"
"A meteoroid shower is coming at us. There are more than ten meteoroids that are greater than three hundred meters in diameter! Alter their trajectories immediately with the twisted force field now! As for those beyond our influence, ask the pilot to blow them up with the turrets!"
"The plate armor's temperature is more than 1,300 degrees. Part of it is more than 1,900 degrees! No. 16 zone is about to be melted through. Brief the circumstances to the cockpit and inform the crew members in the No. 16 zone to put on their crystal suits. Let the emergency team stand by and prepare to mend the hole!"
Two days later, the cabin of the spiritual shield generator had greatly changed.
The spiritual shield had experienced four minor explosions. The whole cabin was in a mess, with a vague odor of empyema. The units which used to be glittering were now dark like wet paint. Both Li Yao and Bai Ze had topsy-turvy hair, bloodshot eyes, ragged clothes, and faces that had been soaked in oil.
But the two of them couldn't care less about their appearances. They were bellowing at each other every once in a while, like two angry gorillas, before they started operating crazily again.
The same scene was happening in the cockpit, in the engine compartment, and in every other cabin.
With the efforts of all the crew members, they were about to complete an impossible mission: leaping out of the Dim Flame Belt with a dilapidated starship!
"Keep it up, guys! Another three hours, and we will be out of Wraiths' Wrath!"
"By then, we will have performed the biggest miracle of the Flying Star Sector!"
"Abandon all the zones that are beyond repair and wait until we are out of Wraths' Wrath!"
"We made it. We are going to make it!"
Li Yao and Bai Ze were screaming hoarsely, cheering up each other as well as themselves.
Because of the prolonged, high-intensity operations, their souls had been burnt to their limits. They were now over-exhausted and would crumple like a rotten tree if they were to ease themselves for one second.
Gold Horn trembled violently. A blood-freezing noise of metal fracturing occurred deep below their feet!
Both of the two fell to the ground.
Countless components were dancing in midair as if blossoming.
It felt like an invisible hand had extended from Wraiths' Wrath, snatched Gold Horn, and pulled it toward the depths of the immense crack brutally!