Chapter 142 - Fire and Ice
First and foremost, Li Yao began reading the jade chips which he had unearthed from the rubble.
These jade chips were a unique kind of magical equipment which were dedicated to storing telepathic thoughts and could often go through vicissitudes of 1,000 years. Its structure was extremely sturdy and was also engraved with special array glyphs which ensured that the telepathic thoughts stored within could never be extinguished.
Thus, even after experiencing such a huge explosion, many of the jade chips were perfectly fine.
A majority of the jade chips had cultivation data and refining processes stored which Li Yao was unable to completely analyze, even with his current strength.
However, a small part of these jade chips had notes, refining experience, as well as theoretical monographs written by various seniors stored within.
Suffice to say, countless 10,000 feet high refining theories of the entire grassroots faction was built on these unremarkable "cornerstones".
These jade chips were altogether different from Ding Yin's jade chip.
Ding Yin was a refiner who had profound knowledge in mainstream refining. His refining ideology paid more emphasis on the elite faction, but it just so happens that his explanations had a very solid basis and gave everyone a reasonable and impeccable feeling.
As he dwelled on the theories of the two factions at the same time, no matter which faction it was, both of them presented themselves as a deluge of heavenly flowers, highlighting their wonderful points, and happened to go neck and neck with each other. It was like watching a pinnacle duel between two experts, making Li Yao feel overwhelmed and dazzled.
And that's not all.
In the Heavenly Refining Tower, Li Yao also came in contact with refining knowledge from the ancient cultivation world of 40,000 years ago.
Ancient refining concepts and the modern ones were two schools which were diametrically contradictory. Although both sides advocated for a simple and straightforward approach, when it came to spiritual energy entwining and conversion, there was a big difference, and a part of the core array glyph structure and usage were also diametrically opposite.
As luck would have it, at the most intense moment of the pinnacle duel between the "two experts", a third "ancient expert" butted in and hit out, so the original complex situation had been comprehensively upgraded.
Later, the situation would often change. Just as Li Yao deeply admired Ding Yin's point of view which he believed to be an irrefutable truth...
He would find another way in the jade chips left behind by the grassroots faction refiners which were supported by massive data and was even more comprehensive, concise, and irrefutable—it was simply truth among the truth.
And when Li Yao just nodded and accepted this point of view, suddenly, he would discover a "new" point of view in the ancient books from forty millenniums ago which seemed to be... more concise, clear, and irrefutable and appeared to be as unshakable as one plus one equals two!
Just like this, the theoretical foundation which Li Yao had built in a day would be completely wrecked in an hour, and the firm conviction that he built in that one hour would then be even more ruthlessly broken into pieces within a second.
For an entirety of half a month, his theoretical foundation was broken and constructed again and again. This kind of painful and happy feeling was even more annoying than experiencing fire and ice ; he wanted to express but could not vent out.
The mad theoretical study came to an end. Only one day was left before the month was over.
11:50 PM, just one day and 10 minutes were left before the deadline for the Newcomer Ranking.
Currently, in the Newcomer Ranking, powerhouses were like clouds; they were everywhere. The top 100 had almost acquired over a hundred credits. Suffice to say, in just one month, they had almost studied 50 or so theory courses.
Meanwhile, the top cultivation geniuses, much to everyone's dismay and reasoning, had acquired 200 credits.
And among the top 100, 90% of the students had their names decorated with glittering "Hidden Dragon Hall" at the back.
They were all specially recruited students and were hidden dragons who were like feathers of a phoenix and horns of unicorns in their hometown.
As for Li Yao...
His name simply didn't make an appearance in the Newcomer Ranking. For this one month, he was immersed in bitter penance in the Heavenly Refining Tower where he was confused to the point of dizziness and was even not far away from vomiting blood from the diametrically opposed refining theories. He simply couldn't spare any attention to take some trifling exam.
So his total credits were nothing but zero.
"In the Wasteland Battle Network, the basic theory test can be carried out by telepathic thoughts transmission where I can transmit hundreds of thoughts in a second. I guess 10 minutes is enough for an exam."
"I still have an entire day left. I am going to blast off 88 basic theory courses... one by one!"
Inside a three-floor high dilapidated building next to the ruins of the Refining Department, sitting cross-legged amidst a pile of jade chips, Li Yao's jet black eyes flickered with radiant light.
The Black Wing Sword lazily flew above his head.
Two spider-shaped puppet beasts quickly shuttled through as they separated the jade chips according to their class and placed them on a special bookshelf.
Over this past month, besides madly studying theoretical knowledge in the Heavenly Refining Tower, he was also insanely scavenging wastes in the ruins.
Jade chips and serious damaged magical equipment components; regardless of whether they were useful or not, as long as they were not completely melted down into an iron lump, Li Yao would retrieve it from the rubble. He was making every minute count to repair, and even when he was taking a dump, his hands were busy with fiddling with several dozen components.
On one side, he was accumulating some assets for the Refining Department, while on the other side, he was also trying to put the refining theories he had just learned into practice, testing things to find out which kind of theory was most suitable for him.
In any case, there were an inexhaustible amount of spare parts which he could squander as he wished.
These two spider puppet beasts which were specifically used to organize and maintain the jade chips had been recovered by Li Yao in accordance with the ancient refining concepts and grassroots refining concepts respectively. At first glance, there was nothing different about them; however, there were actually small differences in the core powering glyphs which utilized two different kinds of spiritual energy conversion models.
Li Yao was trying to test which model had the highest conversion rate and consumed the least amount of spiritual energy, as well as which had a longer lifespan.
If he could gather enough components, then he would be able to chew off a bit more of the jade chip that was given by Ding Yin. Li Yao also wanted to use the elite faction's method to recover a puppet beast of the same model so that he could put together three of them and compare. Only then would he be able to get to a conclusion.
After a month of in-depth study, Li Yao was no longer an ignorant child who didn't know how high the heavens were and how deep the earth was. In general, he still insisted on the ideology of the grassroots faction, but he also acknowledged that the elites' ideology indeed had some unique places which were enough to make it the mainstream refining method for hundreds of years; it was not at all an unearned reputation.
Perhaps one day, he could fuse the ancient refining techniques and the elites' refining concepts with the grassroots' concept and create a second-to-none "Fiend Star Style" refining technique.
However, for now...
A strange smile crept over Li Yao's face as four red spirit threads drilled out of his glabella and silently thrust towards the Black Wind Sword.
Just as his spirit threads charged out, four black spirit threads also charged out from the Black Wing Sword and directly cut off Li Yao's spirit threads.
Red and black; altogether, the eight spirit threads were like eight flying swords that were having a dogfight as they waged an intense and bloody battle that was invisible to the naked-eye.
Compared to a month ago, Li Yao's spirit threads were thicker and more flexible, and their reach was also longer.
However, the spirit threads stretching out from the Black Wind Sword were even thicker and more flexible. Both sides clashed with each other in the air, during which offense and defense were changing within seconds—the fight was well-matched!
Li Yao slightly smiled as terrifying spiritual energy coursed through all over his body and finally gathered at his spiritual root. Surprisingly, a 5th… 6th… 7th spirit thread appeared.
Finally, the number of spiritual threads that had emerged from Li Yao's spiritual roots had reached as many as ten, and each spirit thread had a reach of 12-13 meters!
An emergence of 10 spirit threads from the spiritual roots with every thread being 10 meters long was precisely—the sign of having entered the 2nd level of the Refinement Stage!
And... this was not all!
When the 10 red spirit threads swarmed over and surrounded the Black Wing Sword, suddenly, a strange distortion appeared in the air as every spirit thread turned back by ninety degrees, drawing a standard right angle before they intertwined with each other and weaved an airtight dragnet.
The spirit threads bent by 90 degrees to form a standard right angle, which was simply impossible for it to naturally happen in the world. It was a clear proof that the cultivators' manipulation of their spirit threads had reached a degree where they were like arms and fingers of the cultivator and could be manipulated as they wished.
In other words, Li Yao had already broken through to the 3rd level of the Refinement Stage.
In this one month, after having refined and absorbed a tremendous amount of demonic energy, which he had engulfed from the battlefield, as well as staying day and night in the Super Perception Cabin, where his brain cell activity was enhanced to 331% for a long period of time, his soul had unknowingly grown stronger.
In addition, he and Black Wing Sword had accidentally thought of this "spirit thread fighting" training, which allowed them to launch their spirit threads and fight it out with each other at leisure.
Using this way of training spirit threads, not only did it make their spirit threads thicker, more agile, longer, faster, and sturdier than any ordinary cultivator’s spirit threads, but the rate of engulfing spiritual energy had also greatly increased.
Although many descendants of wealthy and great families could break through to the 3rd level of the Refinement Stage before the age of twenty by relying on the massive amount of resources...
But for a nameless newbie like Li Yao, who had no background, to advance to the 3rd level Refinement Stage in just a short period of one month, it was absolutely a miracle.
Having swept a glance at the spirit clock, which showed that it was just 12 o'clock, on the wall, Li Yao retracted his spirit threads and licked his lips. He could not wait to log into the Wasteland Battle Network.
With the arrival of the end of the month, the competition of the Newcomer Ranking had entered a new phase of intensity. The scene of the battle network had also changed; the sky had turned blood-red while soul-stirring war drums rang everywhere, making everyone's blood seethe and anxious to give it a try.
With a move of Li Yao's thought, when he deeply thought of one word "Exam"...
Numerous streams of light swarmed over from every direction as they turned into 88 blood-red diamond crystal.
Every diamond crystal bore a tremendous amount of telepathic thoughts which represented each of the 88 exams.
Li Yao arbitrarily swept a glance around before his gaze gathered at a clear diamond crystal at one corner. This blood-red crystal immediately started shaking.
"Freshman Li Yao, are you sure you want to take the exam for ?"
The blood-red crystal split open into thousands upon thousands of blood colored fragments above his head before they started rotating at a high-speed around him and transformed into a mysterious and wondrous scene.
Li Yao stood in the air. Beneath his foot was an endless abyss. Countless swallows flew amidst the fierce winds, whereas a few transparent phantom flying swallows acted as "stepping stones" as they performed an incredibly ingenious agility technique. Woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh! They gave off a misconception of fairies flying in the wind.
"First of all, please use your thoughts to describe the source and the heritage of the ."
Amidst the wind, a gentle voice floated over.
Li Yao's spirit was shaken before he began to answer!
 Fire and Ice here means Fire and Ice Blowjob where two different temperature of liquids are taken in the mouth alternatively to increase sexual pleasure. For more information please refer to Google Guru.