Sitting on a metal stool cross-legged inside the No. 1 training room, Lei Dalu was clearing his ear in boredom with a green grass in his hand.
Li Yao tried to convince himself for a long time, yet he still failed to associate the guy in front of him with the young warrior who had slayed hundreds of pirates with 'his saber, his crystal suit, himself, and nothing else'.
However, Li Yao's attention was soon attracted to something else.
A brand-new crystal suit was standing right beside Lei Dalu. It was streamlined and glittering in silver brightness. The joints of the suit were decorated with gold stripes, making it both nimble and elegant.
Other than the two normal arms, six auxiliary arms that could be manipulated by telepathic thoughts extended from the back, fitted with various maintenance tools.
Lei Dalu put the grass back carefully and then said in a somewhat bragging tone, "How about it? This crystal suit is not half bad, is it? It is called 'Eight Arm', a masterpiece of 'Silver Heart Stream', one of the best crystal suit refining sects in Heavenly Saints City. It is both a professional maintenance crystal suit and one that boasts amazing combat ability!
"I noticed that you've added two artificial arms to your 'Rockman' as maintenance arms. You must be very good at controlling machines with your telepathic thoughts. This 'Eight Arm' is very suitable for you!"
Li Yao was dazed for a moment. "It's a gift for me?"
Lei Dalu nodded his head. His mouth grinned even wider and as he laughed. "Of course!
"You are the biggest contributor to our escape from the Dim Flame Belt, and you should be properly rewarded! Besides, your talent in magical equipment maintenance is really amazing! Uncle Xiong has been complaining to me that you are a monster-level genius he's never seen before, and that you are harassing him every day like an octopus and are about to finish copying whatever there is inside his head!
"A Rockman is beneath a prodigy such as yourself. This 'Eight Arm' is more suitable more you. Come on and try it!"
Li Yao was greatly touched.
With his expertise, he could see the extraordinariness of this eight-armed maintenance crystal suit just from its appearance.
Judging from the colors that it reflected under the light, a lot of Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures must've been added when it was refined.
Also, on the six auxiliary arms on the back of the crystal suit, many kinds of advanced maintenance tools could be found. There were bound to be more that had been embedded inside.
Such a crystal suit was definitely worth a fortune. The Exo Society was short of money at present, and yet they had purchased such an expensive crystal suit as a gift for him?
Taking a deep breath, Li Yao finally said after much consideration, "Captain, as I said when I accepted the offer of the Society, I wouldn't stay here for long.
"My target has always been to enter Heavenly Saints City where I will learn the more mysterious arts of refining and become a master refiner!
"Therefore, after we reach the Thousand Sails Space Zone, I will leave the Great Horn and dedicate myself to my purpose. Please note that, captain."
Lei Dalu scratched his nose and smiled. "I've been aware of that for a long time. It is exactly the reason we are giving you this crystal suit!"
Lei Dalu said, "The Thousand Sails Space Zone has always been the assembly of young heroes of the Flying Star Sector. The major forces of Heavenly Saints City will hold various kinds of matches in that place to recruit new blood.
"It is not difficult for a man of your capability to enter Heavenly Saints City.
"However, I'm afraid that you do not know how magnificent your potential is! It will be too wasteful if you simply join a random second-rate organization in Heavenly Saints City!
"Everyone walking out of our Great Horn should be ambitious. When we are not going to Heavenly Saints City, it's fine; but if we are, we will definitely join the strongest organization and study the most advanced arts of refining!
"It's going to be much more difficult to achieve that. You are doubtlessly a genius, but geniuses are what the Flying Star Sector is never in lack of. I don't know how many hungry monsters are out there in the Thousand Sails Space Zone waiting to crush you to pieces!
"I don't know the first thing about refining, so I can't help you there. What I can do is to offer you a maintenance crystal suit. This is the best I can do!
"Also, I've discussed with Uncle Xiong. Given our tortoise-like speed, it will take quite a few months for us to arrive in the Thousand Sails Space Zone. Your maintenance assignments will be reduced during the time so that you will have more free time to train yourself. Uncle Xiong will try his best to teach you, too!
"When we reach the Thousand Sails Space Zone, you are going to look for the strongest organization and the most challenging matches and win them. You will definitely rise to fame soon. Hahahaha!"
This time, Li Yao was truly dumbfounded. He scratched his head and said, "Captain, you don't mind that I will be leaving you?"
Li Yao had thought that they would definitely persuade him to stay in the Society now that he had shown astonishing talent.
However, not only did the captain see through his determination to leave, he had even made plans for him and seemed to be worrying that he might not be able to fly high enough.
"What is there to mind? It's great that somebody can jump to a higher platform than the Great Horn Exo Society."
Lei Dalu explained with a smile, "Ah Yao, since you've been living in the remote areas of the sea of stars, you might not be familiar with the conventions of the Cultivators.
"A long time ago, there were strict rules and laws about loyalty among Cultivators. Quitting an organization and joining another one was a taboo.
"However, there is a motivation for every decision. If some Cultivators want to switch to a different organization, they must have good reasons for that. For example, their life in their current organization is unpleasant, or they have new ambitions now.
"The outcome of suppressing their will back then was that those Cultivators would often dawdle along, which was a better-case scenario.
"Sometimes, the conflicts went public, and the sect sometimes even split apart. In the more violent cases, some Cultivators even conspired with space pirates and led them to attack the sect. These were real tragedies.
"Even if the uprisings were suppressed successfully, other people in the sect might feel unsafe and became unwilling to contribute.
"After such tragedies repeated themselves for hundreds of years, finally, everyone figured it out. Those who are forced are always the least motivated. What good is there if one's heart is somewhere else even though their body is present?
"Therefore, the transfer system has been established in the world of Cultivators. The process of a Cultivator quitting one organization and joining another one is known as 'transferring'. The organization accepting them must compensate their old sect with a sum of money according to a public standard with consideration of capability, potential, background, etc. In such a way, everybody involved is happy and satisfied!
"Hehe. When the transfer system was first put into use, some fogies didn't believe in the advantages of the system. But after hundreds of years of experimenting, everybody has come to realize that there are greater benefits in the system other than the monetary compensation.
"You also know that most people in our Flying Star Sector live on lone islands in the sea of stars. They are far away from each other and barely ever communicate. It is not uncommon for people to never visit their neighbors a few space zones away.
"But for Cultivators, the last thing they need is solitude. If everybody is hiding their own techniques, their techniques will be passed on to no one. Communication is compulsory!
"Before, people had no channels of communication, nor did they know each other's details. They had to tread lightly and reservedly when they got in touch with other people.
"But after the transfer system was established, the communication between Cultivators significantly increased.
"For example, in the past, if a certain brilliant genius from Sect A decided to quit and join Sect B. The two sects would definitely quarrel, if not waging a war at each other, would they not?
"But under the transfer system, Sect A would receive a large sum of compensation which could be used to train newcomers, purchase Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, and refine more powerful magical equipment. Of course, Sect A's attitude would be different, and they would definitely bid the brilliant genius a warm farewell and welcome him to come back to visit at any time.
"Let's say the brilliant genius grew up in Sect A. Sect A would be his hometown. It is very likely that his family and fellows all stay in the place. If his departure with the old sect is not ugly, he would definitely feel somewhat guilty and cherish his 'mother sect'.
"When the brilliant genius does well and makes his way into the leadership of Sect B, naturally, he wouldn't hesitate to converse with Sect A more. With the more frequent exchange of persons and Cultivation arts, the relationship between the two sects will be all the more intimate.
"It was not until the transfer system was established that Cultivators of the Flying Star Sector, who had used to shut their doors and mind their own business, were truly integrated. It is also the reason our Cultivation civilization soared exponentially!
"Ah Yao, with your talents, if you stay in Great Horn, without the enlightenment of more masters and without seeing a bigger world, the best hope for you is to become a second Xiong Tao.
"But if we help you move a step forward to the crystal suit centers of Heavenly Saints City or other top organizations such as the six major sects, who knows what you will grow into in a few years' time?
"By then, if the organization you are in intends to hire an Exo Society, won't you think of the Great Horn?
"Isn't helping each other how Cultivators should make friends and build new connections?
"Therefore, just take the crystal suit and train with it. There is nothing to be concerned about. Put your endeavors in the Dim Flame Belt aside. Just consider it a favor that can always be returned if you still bear the Great Horn Exo Society in mind when you rise to fame and fortune in the future!"
Lei Dalu's words rendered Li Yao speechless.
Although Lei Dalu was trying to help him, the guy had been talking in a way that it seemed to be a fair deal, if not one where he was talking advantage of Li Yao.
However, he found no solid rebuttals. He felt that his heart was hot and comfortable.
Li Yao finally realized why the defiant young men of the Tiger Killer Camp all supported and worshipped their messy 'Uncle Captain'.
On second thought, the system did make sense. The most thing about Cultivation was indeed communication.
Back in the Heaven's Origin Sector, all the Cultivation sects were on the same continent of the same planet, united against a common enemy. The communication between them had never been a problem.
However, in the Flying Star Sector, everybody drifted in the sea of stars like lonely boats. They wandered in darkness aimlessly. Without sufficient communication, it was not impossible that a sect in isolation would decay and perish within dozens of years.
In such a vast world, the transfer system was a necessity to ensure that the Cultivation civilization as a whole did not retrograde.
"Captain, thank you, thank Uncle Xiong and everyone else in the Society. Wherever I go in the future, I will declare proudly that I come from Great Horn," Li Yao said solemnly.
Li Yao meant what he said.
At first, his sole purpose of staying in the Great Horn Exo Society temporarily was to study secret arts, add credibility to his backstory, and also take a free ride.
However, after sailing together in the same starship for more than a month and surviving the perils of the Dim Flame Belt, Li Yao gradually fell in love with this group of people that were somewhat special.
All the muscular, hideous-looking men were actually kind and frank, despite their intimidating looks.
The refiners in the Society never kept anything to themselves, either. They taught him all their knowledge without keeping anything from him.
The vigorous young men of the Tiger Kill Camp reminded him of his days in the Grand Desolate War Institution, too.
Li Yao felt that he was extremely lucky to make his first step in an alien world with such a unique team.
Lei Dalu patted his shoulder and smiled. "Let's cut the nonsense. The most important thing about us Cultivators is candor! Come and test the 'Eight Arm'!"
Li Yao himself was eager to try it, too. He rubbed his hands and dashed to the Eight Arm Maintenance Suit.