Chapter 173: Main Competitive Strength
"What the heck?"
At first, the group of people was deathly silent, but then they exploded with shouts of shock one after another, never stopping.
"Did he cultivate in some exceptional mystical ability to allow his spiritual energy to penetrate into the Gold Armored Saber Mantis and have it hibernate within the mantis's blood only to have it explode during its final moment?"
Lu Tieshan forehead seeped with sweat.
The Devil Fist Sect had several similar mystical abilities, but these were high level techniques that only powerful cultivators at the Building Foundation Stage or higher could use.
How could Li Yao do such a thing by himself?
Zhao Tianchong stared dead-fixed at the remote control in Li Yao's hand and shook his head:
"It's not an ability. There are bombs!"
Lu Tieshan cried out:
"Bombs? When did he have the time to put so many bombs on the Gold Armored Saber Mantis? Not to mention that the Gold Armored Saber Mantis's carapace is incomparably smooth, so how did he get the bombs to stick?"
Zhao Tianchong was a bit crushed as he muttered:
"We're still underestimating fellow student Li Yao far too much. We thought that he decided to meet force with force against the Gold Armored Saber Mantis by relying on his powerful and strong physique and his powerful ability to resist blows... I only realized it just now. This was all a trap to hide his killer move!"
Lu Tieshan gaped and his eyeballs spun. It seemed that he understood something as his expression grew more aghast.
Zhao Tianchong saw Lu Tieshan's ashen face and knew that he had seen through a few things. Zhao Tianchong nodded and said:
"Yes, I'm afraid it’s as you've guessed. For fellow student Li Yao met the Gold Armored Saber Mantis using force against force, it was only to cause the Gold Armored Saber Mantis to have a moment of dizziness so that he could draw in to close range."
"In the instant when the distance between the two closed in to zero, Li Yao took a few miniature bombs and secretly put them onto the Gold Armored Saber Mantis's body."
"As for how he was able to get these bombs to stick onto the Gold Armored Saber Mantis’s smooth carapace, I don't know."
"He was able to place a few miniature bombs with every collision."
"A dozen collisions later, several dozens of miniature bombs were attached to the vital points of the Gold Armored Saber Mantis."
"This demon beast was already seriously injured. It made a frantic getaway without caring for its injuries and was flying at high speeds when the dozen of miniature bombs exploded at that same time, so how else could it have ended beside it dying?"
"It's impossible for fellow student Li Yao to bring this many bombs on him in one go. We believed that each time Li Yao retreated to the weapons rack, it was to swap for a new weapon to use the Gold Armored Saber Mantis as a test subject for testing the might of his magical equipment."
"However, this was just one of his goals. A more important goal was to use the swapping of weapons to cover up grabbing more miniature bombs."
"The Gold Armored Saber Mantis has extremely high intelligence. If it had seen Li Yao grab a whole bunch of bombs, it certainly would have fled early on."
"Only in this way could Li Yao attach several dozen miniature bombs to the carapace of the demon beast. And it didn't even know what hit it—it never discovered it even until death!"
Zhao Tianchong laughed bitterly and continued:
"Fellow student Li Yao understands his weak point of having a lack of attack ability very well. He actually managed to think of such a strange combat tactic that displays his superiority in hand speed to the pinnacle."
"I had to think back in great detail to be able to think of this. He had performed a few seemingly redundant movements."
"I originally thought that his hands were flustered because he wasn't good at attacking, so I didn't think it was important."
"Only now do I know—that was the time he had placed the miniature bombs!"
"If we were his enemy and he places some bombs on our body when we exchange blows, what do you think the aftermath would be like?"
Lu Tieshan pondered for a moment before shaking his head hard:
"That's impossible. We're different from demon beasts."
"The carapace around the Gold Armored Saber Mantis is a layer of exoskeleton. There are no sensory organs, so it can't feel the subtle changes on its carapace, which was how Li Yao was able to attach several dozen bombs without it knowing. We're people who cultivate, and every fine hair is incomparably sensitive. We would find out in the first instance!"
Even so, fear still lingered in these two people's hearts.
This was because they realized that Li Yao wasn't a simple meat-head with overly developed limbs.
Even if he possessed tyrannical and incomparable strength, within the midst of battle, what he loved to use more was...
Zhao Tianchong's expression turned incomparably grave in an instant. He clenched his teeth as he said, "People may be given the wrong birth name, but nicknames are never wrong. I've heard that fellow student Li Yao has a nickname back in his hometown called 'The Vulture'. He truly lives up to his name. He's a vulture that's vicious, crazy, and cunning!"
During their conversation, Li Yao returned with a face full of calmness.
Everyone immediately surrounded him to chatter at the same time:
"Fellow student Li Yao, you really broke into the 4th level of the Refinement Stage? That's way too incredible!"
"Fellow student Li Yao, these magical equipment you just used, just which sect refined them? No matter how I look at them, they all look somewhat familiar, but I can't think of any at all!"
"Did you really use bombs to finish off the Gold Armored Saber Mantis, fellow student Li Yao? How were you able to have the bombs stay attached to the smooth carapace of the Gold Armored Saber Mantis for so long? They didn't fall no matter how violently it moved!"
Li Yao split into a grin and spread open his empty pair of hands. His hands subtly swayed and four fine miniature crystal bombs appeared between his fingers.
They were different from normal bombs. This kind of bomb had a sticky light green slime on one side and was carefully wrapped by a layer of film.
"This is my special sticky bomb. One side is applied with the slime of a Bullet Dart Frog. As soon as it’s exposed to the air, it can generate an extremely strong adhesive strength and stick itself to the carapace of a demon beast for a full dozen minutes!"
"This was specially refined to break the hard outer husks of demon beasts!"
The Bullet Dart Frog was a large frog species that was commonly seen in the Heaven Origin Sector.
Its tongue was very long and was even coated with a powerful, adhesive fluid. As soon as its tongue lashed out, the tongue could even cling to small animals atop of branches. The tongue would then retract and the frog would eat the prey. And so, this was how its name came to be.
After people discovered the special characteristic of this frog, the Bullet Dart Frog was raised on a massive scale for the extraction of the slime of its tongue. The slime was regarded as a purely natural glue.
However, this was the first time they saw the glue and a bomb be combined together. Their eyes couldn't be stopped from lighting up.
Li Yao handed the sticky bomb to the student next to him to let everyone take a look at it. Then, he casually raised his flaming saber:
"All of the magical equipment here have undergone my modifications and enhancements. They have quite the increase from their original performances!"
"Take for instance this Scarlet-Sun Demonslayer Flaming Saber. This is a typical design pushed out by the Scarlet Dragon Sect thirty-seven years ago. Its design is quite outstanding, and among similar flame magical equipment, it can be considered to be out of the ordinary; however, the crystal consumption for its fire is too high, and after a long period of battle, it is very likely that spiritual energy overflow would occur. As a result, the handle would then burn the hand, influencing one's combat experience."
"But after re-refining over the key areas and going through my intense forging, this Scarlet-Sun Demonslayer Flaming Saber's maximum temperature has been raised by 11% and the flaming edge has been lengthened by 8%. When using the standard purity of crystals for fire, its time in combat has been increased by 7%. Most importantly, I've fixed the defect of its spiritual energy overflow. It won't burn your hand no matter how you use it!"
"As for how to use it, each and every fellow student who uses sabers, take it for a try!"
"As for those who use swords, battle-axes, meteor hammers... Don't worry fellow students! All of the close-combat magical equipment here are all modified versions. Their performances have increased from the original version by at least 10%. I will introduce them one by one. Everyone, feel free to play!"
Li Yao held a chainsword in his left hand and a meteor hammer in his right. His mouth was a torrent of words, talking non-stop as he hyped up his magical equipment up to the heavens, causing everyone who listened to be stupefied. In the end, he spoke with radiating passion:
"Of all these modified magical equipment, the most expensive is just 990 credits, while the cheapest is just 630 credits. They're practically free!"
"What are you waiting for, fellow students? The time for battle is at hand. These weapons will greatly increase your killing efficiency when they're in your hands. Grab your crystal processors posthaste and trade with me!"
Everyone had looked through and passed on Li Yao's magical equipment. Quite a few sword cultivators revealed expressions of fondness for them, but no one said a word. The scene entered into an eerie silence.
Zhao Tianchong coughed dryly a moment later. He said with some awkwardness:
"Fellow student Li Yao, the magical equipment you've modified are really quite decent, and even I'm tempted by them. But, the price... isn't it a bit too high? Basically, they're twice as high as the original version!"
Li Yao was stunned and his brows furrowed:
"Fellow student Zhao Tianchong, we're all part of the same circle. Don't use this kind of method to haggle with me!"
"Everyone knows that the structures of the underlying magical equipment are classics. They are the coalescence of the heart and blood of numerous master refiners over several dozens of years. Even the most subtle modification wouldn't be easy to do."
"I meticulously handcrafted, hand-forged, and even assimilated high quality materials into each and every key component. Only in this way could I increase the performance by at least 10%. The amount of time, energy, and costs I spent is unknown. Increasing the price by double isn't excessive, right?"
"If the goods are real, then double the base price is not outrageous."
Zhao Tianchong admitted that increasing the performance of a magical equipment by 10% warranted increasing the price by 100%. This was a very normal thing.
In the most extreme case, even if the magical equipment was increased by 1% and the price was doubled, this would all be within a reasonable range.
After all, on the battlefield, an increase in performance of 1% could decide the matter between life and death.
The value here could not be measured by money.
"However, fellow student Li Yao, you probably don't quite understand the mentality of us students of the Combat Department."
"From our perspective, we're still at the learning stage. It isn't a good thing to use excessively powerful weapons while we're still learning."
Zhao Tianchong explained with complete sincerity:
"If we get used to using powerful weapons right now, we would become dependent on them and neglect our own cultivation. Then when we leave university, enter a true battlefield, and the masterwork weapon breaks, wouldn't we be screwed?"
Another student spoke agreeing, "There's an unwritten rule in our Chaos Edge Hall. In daily training, we must use only the simplest, the most basic of weapons to temper ourselves for true strength!"
"Therefore, even though your modified magical equipment are quite decent, from our perspective, they're a bit excessive."
Li Yao was stunned for a long time before shouting:
"That can't be right!? Sure, low-grade weapons can be used to temper and train one's combat skills for day-to-day training, but on the battlefield, you can't still be using low-grade weapons, right? You have to use one or two high-grade weapons to protect yourself, right?"
A few sword cultivators glanced at each other, but in the end, it was still Zhao Tianchong who explained:
"Indeed, fellow student Li Yao. On a real battlefield, we do carry weapons of two different grades."
"If we encounter weak demon beasts like the Black Armored Saber Mantis, we would use our low-grade weapons to temper our combat skills. If we meet demon beasts more powerful than us, like the Gold Armored Saber Mantis, we would use higher-grade masterwork weapons and stake our lives."
"Even though you increased the performance of these masterwork weapons, the problem is: the underlying model is too basic. They don't count as real masterwork weapons!"
"To sum it all up, your modified magical equipment are too good to train with and too poor to stake our lives on. The price isn't particularly cheap, and they don't have any main competitive strengths!"