Seeing that Li Yao was greatly interested, Hao Lingtong hesitated. "My fellow Cultivator, if you just want to open your eyes, joining the Skyhill Sword Seminar may be a great choice. But if you want to be one of the winners and thus enter one of the three main crystal suit center, then I suggest you give it a second thought.
"Skyhill Sword Seminar is a match of the highest level in regard to melee magical equipment. Every year, there are as many young refiners signing up for the match as the number of hairs on your body, every one of them craving to become famous in one shot!
"Among them, there are many rightful heirs of the ancient refining families who have the knowledge that has been passed on in their family for thousands of years. They hardly call themselves refiners; they prefer to be known as 'Sword Forgers'!"
Li Yao's eyes suddenly shone.
The sword was the ancestor of all weapons. In the ancient Cultivation world, flying swords represented all magical equipment. 'Sword Forger' was a vintage title. It was also indicative of the deep knowledge of the families of refining.
Hao Lingtong continued, "Other than those who were born in the families of refining, the rest of the contestants are not easy to deal with, either. Same as you, most of them have been training in Cultivation sects and Exo Societies for many years. They whetted their sword for ten years so that it could burst out the most dazzling sparks in the Skyhill Sword Seminar!"
Li Yao said, "I only want to know one thing. Are the top ten of the match guaranteed to enter one of the three main crystal suit centers and the top three the core projects?"
Hao Lingtong nodded his head and said, "Of course. The purpose of the Skyhill Sword Seminar is to introduce new blood into the three crystal suit centers. The talented refiners who ranked top three last year were hired by the three centers and became participants of the projects to develop the most advanced crystal suits of the Flying Star Sector!"
Li Yao's lips curled. He was best at refining battle sabers. The Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber and the Purple Electric Blue Fire Claw that he had made were as good as the high-end magical equipment of the Flying Star Sector.
Iron School, Silver Heart School, and Red Line School. The three centers stand for the most up-to-date technologies on crystal suits in the Flying Star Sector. Joining their key projects will not only allow me to get in touch with the most cutting-edge magical equipment of the Flying Star Sector but also give me a great opportunity to improve my skills in refining!
It's decided then. I will participate in the Skyhill Sword Seminar, make it to the top three, and fight my way into Heavenly Saints City!
After offering payment to Hao Lingtong via the Spiritual Nexus, Li Yao walked to the closest teleportation array.
Since it was a virtual world, the teleportation array here was merely symbolic. There were no restrictions on the number of people or the distance.
After inputting his destination, in the blink of an eye, Li Yao appeared in a splendid temple.
Large life-like paintings of fierce battles were drawn on the walls around. Cultivators, demonic Cultivators, and demons were fighting in chaos. One seemed able to hear the cries and the intense stink of blood.
Countless flying swords and battle sabers were floating in midair. They congregated into a steel torrent and flowed slowly.
It was the online registration spot of the Skyhill Sword Seminar.
Inside the temple, almost a hundred young men were idling around, with faces mixed with confusion and excitement. They did not want to sign up in a hurry and preferred to chat with their fellow Cultivators first.
Most of them came from the remote areas just like Li Yao. Having the privilege to come to the lively Thousand Sails Space Zone and take part in an annual event such as the Skyhill Sword Seminar, they felt like everything was new to them.
Several other young men in glamorous clothes, who were much calmer and more elegant, were smiling vaguely. They formed a small group and talked to each other in a low voice. Now and then, chuckles would burst out from there.
They were probably the heirs of the families of refining.
Dozens of receptionists were handling the registration procedures.
Since there were too many people signing up for the match, a screening was necessary to eliminate most refiners that did not meet the lowest standard.
It was a job that could not be done by the crystal processor. Therefore, all the staff here were real people.
Some of them were from the three main crystal suit centers, and some were the college students from the Refining Departments of various universities who were working as volunteers.
Just as Li Yao was planning to sign up, the crowd was suddenly stirred into a riot. The graceful heirs of the families of refining who'd been talking among themselves were all exclaiming in shock like roosters whose necks had been clutched.
Li Yao turned around and found that a handsome young man was stepping out of the teleportation array slowly.
The young man was wearing a pale blue robe. His face was grave. His long hair was bound casually by a thorn branch. On his robe was carved with a somewhat rigid word: 'Mo'.
"Family of Mo! Mo Tianshui!"
"It's been seven years. Finally, an heir from the Family of Mo, the family of refining that has lasted for thousands of years, is taking part in the Skyhill Sword Seminar again! Great news!"
"Seven years ago, Mo Hongxue, the eldest son of the generation, took part in the Skyhill Sword Seminar and secured the victory with a 'Snowy Sky Sword' which broke the blades of all his opponents easily. It was quite a shocking piece of news back then. Right now, he is already a master of melee weapon refinement in the 'Silver Heart School'!"
"But Mo Hongxue has stated many times that he is only the second most talented in the youngest generation of the Family of Mo. Mo Tianshui, his youngest brother, is the greatest pride of their family!"
"I'm told that Huangpu Xiaoya, the most excellent Sword Forger in the younger generation of the Huangpu family, signed up the other day, too. Now that Mo Tianshui has come too, the two sword forging families that have been competing for thousands of years will have yet another drama. Two stars are going to shine in the Skyhill Sword Seminar this year. The competition is going to be fierce!"
"Mo Tianshui and Huangpu Xiaoya are both geniuses of geniuses. Which of the two is going to secure the victory and be honored to be the 'Sword Master' of this Skyhill Sword Seminar?"
All the descendants of the renowned families were bouncing like loaches that had been poured into hot water.
For the young people from the remote areas of the sea of stars, they might not know the names of Mo Tianshui and Huangpu Xiaoya, but they'd all heard too much about the Mo family and the Huangpu family, the two strongest sword forging families of the Flying Star Sector. Therefore, they crowded toward Mo Tianshui in a flurry, too.
Li Yao took the opportunity to walk to the reception desk that had been emptied.
If it were in reality, he might be rushing forward to observe Mo Tianshui, at least Mo Tianshui's hands, too.
However, since he was in a Great Illusionary Land, many details could be concealed easily. He wouldn't be able to find anything anyway. Therefore, he might as well to finish the registration quickly and find a suitable place for his training.
Li Yao stopped in front of a young girl whose hair was in two ponytails.
The girl was craning her head gazing at Mo Tianshui's direction in admiration, while she mumbled, "Senior Brother Mo is just as handsome as the old days. Come on and sign up here. Come on!"
The young girl was named Xie Anan. She was a freshman student of the Refining Department of Flying Star University.
Since it was her holiday, she had been assigned by her professor to work as volunteer in the Skyhill Sword Seminar.
This was a tradition of Flying Star University. In such a way, the freshman students would be able to get in touch with the experts in refining at a close distance, so that they would be able to open their eyes and get more knowledge.
Mo Tianshui was also a student of the Refining Department of Flying Star University. He was a celebrity on campus. The six major sects had been fighting for him before he graduated.
But he picked none of them. Instead, he had chosen to prove his capability through the Skyhill Sword Seminar, hoping to join the core projects of the three main crystal suit centers directly!
Xie Anan had known that Senior Brother Xie would sign up this year. However, more than a hundred thousand contestants applied for the Skyhill Sword Seminar. Therefore, almost a hundred virtual registration spots on the Spiritual Nexus. Once the applicants logged in to the Nexus, they would be channeled to different registration spots.
As it turned out, Senior Brother Mo had indeed shown up at her registration spot. Xie Anan's heart was pounding, and her head was dizzy. She was close to lunging at the handsome and strong senior brother like a cat.
Reality is always far from dream. Standing in front of her was not her handsome Senior Brother Mo, but a young man with a pale skin. His hollowed eyes made him somewhat attractive, but his messy hair and continuous yawning that apparently resulted from lack of sleep had completely wrecked his image.
Xie Anan calmed herself down. The workers there had all received professional training and wouldn't make the mistake of judging other people by their appearances. More importantly, what they saw in the Great Illusionary Land might not be their real faces at all!
Xie Anan put on a warm smile and asked the applicant to fill in the basic information.
"Li Yao, born and raised in the edge of the sea of stars. He has been training alone in the relics of the ancient battlefields since he lost his parents when he was young. He was once enlightened by an exotic master and is now a refiner in the Great Horn Exo Society!"
The profile was indeed quite simple.
However, birth was only a minor factor for Cultivation. Everyone with a clean history was free to go wherever they wanted to. The Great Horn Exo Society had become quite famous recently. It wouldn't be hard to find out whether or not he was really from Great Horn.
Xie Anan smiled. "Fellow Cultivator Li, your profile is good. However, hundreds of thousands of people apply for the Skyhill Sword Seminar every year. We can't invite every one of them to the match in the Skyhill Domain. Therefore, a test has been prearranged. I hope you understand.
"The test is simple. There are test rooms all around the temple. You will enter the No. 11 test room in a moment. Three hundred structure designs of melee magical equipment will fall down from the ceiling.
"Some of the three hundred kinds of magical equipment are stronger than the rest. What you need to do is to pick the strongest ten within one minute.
"If you've found them correctly, you will receive an invitation for the Skyhill Sword Seminar immediately.
"If your final answer is incorrect, it is not a big deal. We will sum up the power of the magical equipment that you picked. As long as your total sum ranks among the top three thousand, you will still receive the invitation later.
"Is there a problem?"
Li Yao shook his head and walked to the No. 11 test room.
Xie Anan cast her affectionate eyes toward Senior Brother Mo again, with butterflies in her stomach. Senior Brother was so handsome. So gentle, so graceful. He looked like an ancient sword forging master from forty thousand years ago who had walked out of a painting!
Right then, she seemed to have been hit by a lightning. Her hair all stood up, and her eyes froze.
"What did I say just now? One minute or ten?
"Crap! I should've said ten minutes. Picking the strongest ten from three hundred structure designs within one minute? How is it possible?
"No biggie. No biggie. There is a countdown inside the test room. Even the most stupid refiner should know that the time for the test is ten minutes!"
While she was mumbling to herself, Li Yao had already walked out of the test room, still yawning nonstop.
Xie Anan immediately put on a bitter face. She looked at the monitoring light beam nearby and discovered that the fool had only used 55 seconds!
"Crap. Allowing the same applicant to take a second test requires clearances of a higher level. I'm going to be scolded by the professor!"
Xie Anan grimaced and was about to apologize, when her face froze over again. Her mouth was opened to such an extent that one might be able to stuff an egg into it.
"Ten pieces of magical equipment have been locked. No. 14, No. 56, No. 9, No. 267
"Correct answer rate: 100%. Passed!"