Chapter 168 - He’s Dead Weight!
Having finished introducing the general situation of the battle, Xiong Zongchao once again said:
"Soon, you will be entering the battlefield. I can see that a lot of you have your own weapons, but if any of you need weapons, you can head to the armory of the transport ship and take your pick. We don't have many close combat magical equipment, but we have all kinds of firearms, ready to equip. Everybody can casually take them for use!"
Li Yao's heart was astir.
All the magical equipment he had crafted were close combat-type, so it would also be better to get a firearm for self-defense.
Just as he was about to get up, he came to notice that the other students remained completely still. He couldn’t help but befuddled as he asked Ding Lingdang, who was sitting beside him, in a low voice:
"Sister Ling, why isn't anybody taking a gun?"
Ding Lingdang slightly smiled and said:
"Traditional body practitioners and sword cultivators rather don't like using firearms. It's not like we are complacent and choose to stick to our ways, but on the contrary, it’s because weapons like firearms have many flaws."
Since the development of long-range types magical equipment such as firearms, the pros and cons of long-range and close-combat type magical equipment had always been a bone of contention in the world of cultivation.
The pros of firearms were quite obvious. Not only could the firearms be fired from long-range, but the firepower was also strong. Not to mention that using the crystal cell as the energy source allows its user to preserve his or her spiritual energy, and also the fact that some low-tier firearms could even be used by the ordinary people.
However, the cons were also quite obvious. Whether it was the crystal cells or the bullets that were forged out of crystal, both were terrifyingly heavy. A Thunderfire Boltgun, along with a dozen crystal cell, plus three to five hung bullet belts would at the very least weigh over fifty kilograms.
As far as ordinary people were concerned, spending a few days or maybe even a dozen days while carrying such weight and venturing into the depths of Wasteland where demon beasts frequently lurk would truly be a terrifying thing.
And as far as cultivators go, it was compulsory for them to accelerate from zero to a couple hundred or even to the speed of sound within a couple of seconds at every move, and in just one breath, they had to dodge demon beast's attack a couple dozen times continuously in the air.
And carrying an extra kilogram of supplies would slow their high-speed movements by one second, which would decrease the number of maneuvers they could do during the battle and in-turn would make them susceptible to the demon beast's attacks!
And most importantly, due to the long confrontation with humans, demon beasts have also evolved. Many of the high-level demon beasts have a body covered entirely in a hard shell, while their vital points were concealed underneath the joints of the shell, making it very difficult to hit them from a distance of a couple kilometers. They had to approach to a hundred meters distance and fire from close-range, and only then was it possible to cause fatal injuries.
However, as far as cultivators were concerned, within a range of hundred meters, whether one used firearms or blades wasn't truly too much of a difference.
"Within the federation army, a vast majority of the soldiers were ordinary people who fight in troops, so they do not need to worry about the problems caused by the logistics support. That's why firearms are mainly used."
"Our Grand Desolate War Institution's teachers and students all specialize in close-combat and have not received strict firearms training."
"Furthermore, we are used to fighting in small teams, so we have to rely on ourselves for the logistics support. Not to mention, our hunt can easily take half a month, so we need to carefully plan every gram of supplies we will carry."
"If we are equipped with firearms, not only would it cause insufficient injuries to the demon beasts, but on the contrary, it would drag us down and affect our speed and agility!"
"However, in the cultivation world, just like sword cultivators, there are also 'firearms cultivators' who specifically train in 'gun fighting techniques'. A powerful firearms cultivator could accurately shoot between the gaps of a demon beast’s armor from a couple kilometers away!"
"The Federation's First Military College specializes in fostering firearms cultivators, and only in their hands do firearms make sense."
Having said that, Ding Lingdang pondered and said:
"However, it would also be better for you to take a gun for self-defense. In any case, you are quite powerful, and moreover, you have not formally undergone close-combat training. For you, blades and firearms are just the same. It would be rather safe for you to use the gun to shoot from afar."
Li Yao also thought the same. Apart from the [One-Hundred-and-Eight Hands Chaos Gale Hammer Technique], he had not seriously learned any other offensive techniques.
And the [One-Hundred-and-Eight Hands Chaos Gale Hammer Technique] wasn’t actually an offensive technique but rather a basic forging skill. Just like [Thousand Tempering hundred Refining], it was an exercise to beat and boil the muscles and bones to temper the body.
By carrying out painstaking training in the depths of the Billowing Star Sea, Li Yao had his strength and speed enhanced, allowing him to withstand Ding Lingdang's attack for a longer period of time.
Until now, he only had a physique which was seemingly cast from iron and terrifying strength; however, he did not have even one brilliant saber technique or sword technique.
If it was a firearm, he just had to squeeze the trigger and the bullet would blast its way out on its own, which he was capable of.
Having thought of this, Li Yao stood up and greeted Xiong Zongchao before walking towards the armory.
All the students who were sitting on either side of the aisle were surprised for a moment; they could not understand why someone would choose a firearm.
No one here was a rookie; they understood basic common sense. For close-combat cultivators like them, firearms would just slow them down and would simply be unable to unleash their true strength.
However, when they found out that it was Li Yao who was going to pick a gun, their eyes revealed a look of relief. One by one, many of them nodded their heads:
"Fellow Student Li Yao, you should take a few guns to defend yourself. Although we will protect you, in a street fight, anything can happen. It's better for you to prepare yourself for everything!"
"Yes! We have heard that your skills are pretty good; however, fighting is not your specialized field after all. On the battlefield, you can be considered as a support staff, and it would be better for you to hide behind us and fire one or two shots when the demon beasts are least expecting it. We will help you contain the demon beasts!"
Everyone was very cordial. They weren't discriminating against him because of his "meager strength" at all.
In their opinion, he was just a freshman of the Refining Department whose specialty lies in the technical field. It was very normal for his battle strength to be far from the students of the Combat Department.
It was already quite good for a refiner to fight shoulder to shoulder with everyone and risk his life amidst the dangerous battlefield.
As Li Yao wormed his way into the armory, suddenly, racks jam-packed with hundreds of dazzling, traditional firearms filled his view and caught him by surprise.
As a veteran magical equipment fanatic, naturally, he had a deep fanaticism for the firearms, which even matched his fanaticism for blade-type magical equipment.
However, in day-to-day life, blade-type magical equipment were rather easy to obtain, while terrifyingly powerful firearms were subjected to control and needed certain qualifications to equip them.
In the past when he was just an insignificant scavenger, the most he came in contact with were ordinary firearms like the Thunderfire Boltgun.
Li Yao's eyes suddenly flickered with greed as he glanced left and right. Drool was almost ready to trickle down the corner of his mouth as he swooped in to kiss the weapons a few times.
Xiong Zongchao smiled in his heart. As someone who was from the military, his love for firearms was just the same and he would always feel a sense of intimacy with them.
Xiong Zongchao generously said:
"Junior Brother, since you are a refiner and don't have any offensive strength, and as the city is very dangerous, you should pick a powerful firearm. You can casually pick any weapon that you fancy here. I will hand you the jade chip which will transmit telepathic thoughts and give you a run-down on its operating method and allow you to master its basic operation within three minutes."
Li Yao unconsciously nodded his head as he was somewhat dazzled by the armory and was at a loss as to which one to chose.
Until his line of sight happened to fall upon an enormous metal beast at the corner, after which he could no longer extricate. Swallowing a mouthful of saliva, he couldn’t help but walk towards it.
After five minutes.
Zhao Tianchong and Li Tieshan, who were the strongest amongst this batch of freshman, whispered to each other.
The subject of their discussion was none other than Li Yao.
Ever since the mystical reversal performed by Li Yao at the end of the month, during which he continually caught up with the four experts of the Hidden Dragon Hall and seized the first position in the Newcomer Ranking, the two had treated Li Yao as their strongest rival.
At first, the two, by relying on the specialized courses which rewarded many credits of the Combat Department as well as madly cultivating in the last semester, had pulled far ahead of Li Yao by a fair number of credits.
However, in the last days of the semester, Li Yao had successfully modified the 1st Generation Tai'e Furnace, acquired a scholarship, and had obtained 3,000 credits as a reward, thereby leaving them far behind all of a sudden once again.
The two were once again shocked as well as helpless. At first, they had intended to return home for the new year during the winter vacation, but under the stimulation, they didn't return home and were madly cultivating even on new year's eve.
Finally, they somehow had the opportunity to amass the credits; however, who would have known that Li Yao would also come!
Lu Tieshan hesitantly said:
"However, he is just a refiner. He is nothing more than a supporting combat staff, and at most, he could repair a few magical equipment. If he wants to get a large number of credits, I'm afraid it won’t be that easy, right?"
Zhao Tianchong replied expressionlessly:
"Not necessarily. That guy is a madman. If compelled, he could do any kind of mad stuff, and maybe, he could even give us some 'pleasant surprises'!"
"BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!"
Li Yao walked out of the armory with heavy steps.
Many people freely swept a glance at him before they were suddenly flabbergasted.
Lu Tieshan's eyes were ready to fall out as he involuntarily cried out:
"What the hell is that thing!?"
Li Yao was carrying a heavy firearm in his arm which was even thicker than his own thigh. The firearm had as many as six barrels, which had complex and abstruse glyphs engraved upon them and were inlaid with crimson crystals, arranged in a circle, giving off the impression of a burning trunk.
However, that was still nothing big when compared to Li Yao’s upper body. At this moment, it had a few bullet belts wrapped around several times in a cross pattern (X), where each bullet was as big as an infant's fist. Its warheads were inlaid with crystals while its shell had array glyphs engraved across. They were out-and-out spiritual explosive shells.
The entire set together would at the very least weigh over half a ton. A normal person would never think of carrying such a mass which would hinder their movement, if not crushing them to death!
"Six Barrel Rotary Cannon? T-t-this, this is something that is installed on crystal tans. He is actually carrying it through brute force?" Someone exclaimed.
Li Yao’s every step would shake the bullet belts, which would, in turn, make "clink clink clink" sounds as he swaggered his way towards his seat. In his heart, he raised an openhearted cry.
He could completely unleash the might of this matchless Six Barrel Rotary Cannon; it was simply made for him.
In contrast, the Thunderfire Boltgun was rather too weak. This was a weapon which a man must use!
Lu Tieshan had reached the ends of his forbearance as he stood in front of him:
"Fellow Student Li Yao, did you choose this gun..."
Li Yao raised his eyebrow: "Is there a problem?"
Lu Tieshan screamed, "Of course, there is a problem! How heavy just a single bullet is along with the weight of the firearm need not be said, and we all know that with your strength, you can carry it, but have you ever thought of its recoil? The recoil of such a heavy weapons is terrifying. Every shot would generate a recoil which is equivalent to a 3rd level Refinement Stage cultivator ruthlessly smashing into your stomach. Can you even withstand that?"
He suddenly retreated a few step as he punched towards Li Yao's stomach.
Li Yao was surprised for a moment.
He was used to sparring with Ding Lingdang, who was a Building Foundation Stage cultivator, so in his eyes, this punch of Lu Tieshan was straight and slow. It was simply like a punch fired by a one-hundred-and-eighty years old man. He had hundreds of methods to dodge it.
However, Lu Tieshan didn't seem to have any malicious intent, and this punch could even be said as him extending his arm, not to mention that he also stopped 22.87 mm away from his stomach.
Li Yao blinked his eyes and did not move as he just watched Lu Tieshan slowly fire a punch before slowly withdrawing it back.
"What do you mean?" Li Yao was unable to tell head or tail of Lu Tieshan's actions.
Lu Tieshan raised his voice:
"I just used strength comparable to a 3rd level Refinement Stage cultivator and fired a lightning-fast punch. While you not only could not react, you even failed to see it! If you fired this Six Barrel Rotary Cannon, it would be equivalent to having yourself pounded with a couple dozen heavy punches within one second. Wouldn’t you spit out blood?"
Li Yao suddenly came to a realization. Only now did he come to understand that Lu Tieshan was acting out of kindness. He could not help but feel somewhat embarrassed.
And if he clarified now that he could see Lu Tieshan's punch and had hundreds of methods to dodge it and counterattack, and moreover the fact that even if it did land upon his body, it would not hinder him too much, wouldn't… that be too arrogant?
Having thought for a bit, Li Yao said:
"Fellow Student Lu Tieshan, thank you for your reminder. I will be careful."
Having said that, he walked to his seat and sat down before holding the Six Barrel Rotary Cannon and started wiping it happily.
Lu Tieshan, upon seeing that Li Yao didn't listen to his persuasion, stomped his feet on the floor in anger.
Zhao Tianchong stopped him and said in a low voice, "The newcomers are always like this. They think that the bigger the firearms are, the more formidable they are. Wait until he suffers a few times, then he will understand."
"A few times? At the very first time, his bones will be broken into pieces, and he would turn to us to save him. He is truly a dead weight!"
Lu Tieshan was a bit annoyed.
Having seen the gun Li Yao had chosen, he knew that Li Yao was a downright rookie.
He and Zhao Tianchong had a very rich amount of combat experience and knew that the most annoying thing in combat was having a rookie who wasn't clear about the general situation in the team, and often, such rookies would become a dead weight for the team.
Sitting on his seat while meticulously wiping the Six Barrel Rotary Cannon and familiarizing its structure, Li Yao casually asked:
"Sister Ling, approximately how much percent is a blow from a 3rd level Refinement Stage cultivator compared to one of your blows when you usually fight me?"
Ding Lingdang thought for a bit:
"It is almost nothing. At most, it's a few tenths, why?"
"Oh, it's nothing."
Li Yao touched his nose while he continued wiping the cannon.
At this moment, a "BOOM" came from underneath the Thunderbird type light transport ship and started shaking, seemingly as though it had been struck by a huge wave.
They had arrived in the space of Verdant Tarn City, and in front of them was the battlefield!