Chapter 274 - Solar Eclipse
Another sleepless night had passed, yet Li Yao didn't feel the least tired.
He felt that there was a tornado of thunder and lightning blowing inside his brain. Every one of his brain cells was screaming in the wind!
With the coming of dawn, the illumination rune arrays on the wall and the dome of the underground world were gradually lit up, unleashing a brilliance as blazing as the sun.
Li Yao drove the ALKAID that had been given a rebirth one lap after another on an empty track. After every lap he drove, he felt that his soul was burning brighter than the previous one. Fervor and passion seemed to have become thousands of ants that were tearing his body apart setting off on the journey to infinity.
At ten o'clock in the morning, Li Yao was bursting with eagerness and ready for the match.
Together with Yuan Qi and Mr. Sun, he had the ALKAID transported to Aurora Autos by a special super shuttle truck.
However, he was truly shocked by the lively crowds outside the Aurora Autos.
The steel bird nest was glittering invitingly with lanterns and lights. Almost a hundred giant light beams were floating in the sky playing the fantastic scenes of super shuttle racing games. There were even several stereoscopic light beams which caused rounds of exclamations when they covered the crowds as if many super shuttles were diving down from the sky and hitting the crowds.
The super shuttle fans that came to the Aurora Autos today were tens of times more than those of the previous day.
There was anticipation in everyone's face.
Several commentators were shouting desperately and firing up the audience, adding to the jollification of the scene.
"They're here! They're here!"
Many enthusiastic super shuttle fans moved at Li Yao and his companions while their eyes were beaming in joy.
Li Yao looked at Yuan Qi in dissatisfaction.
Although he was not crazy about keeping a low profile and did not object to showing off every once in a while, he did not intend to attract much unnecessary attention right now, considering that he was on a secret trip in Serpent City under a pseudonym after all. All he wanted was to earn some money and leave quietly.
He thought to himself, 'What is wrong with this guy Yuan Qi? Does he have to invite so many people to watch my game and make such a fuss?'
Li Yao frowned and said unhappily, "To be honest, isn't it—"
"They're here! The master's here!"
Screaming and shouting, the crowds flooded to Li Yao. Yet they ignored Li Yao as if he didn't even exist and went on running to his back.
Not very far away behind Li Yao, two giant super shuttle trucks were landing slowly.
Two groups of people, with similarly impressive auras, walked out of the trucks as if they were two invincible armies.
"What's the matter, Master Fang? There are so many people today. Some big shot must've come!"
Yuan Qi was standing on his toe in excitement trying to find someone he knew from the crowds.
Li Yao scratched his nose and replied, not without embarrassment, "I was meaning to ask you, which big shot has come today?"
"I don't know. I've been cracking your double encryption since I got home yesterday all day and night. I don't have any time for gossip. Wait a moment. Let me see if there's someone that can enlighten us here."
Yuan Qi looked here and there. Suddenly he snatched a young man from the crowds, "Gao Rong, what's going on? Is anyone special here?"
"You haven't heard yet? Four top experts contending on the Hell Storm Racetrack. It's definitely not something that you want to miss!"
Gao Rong was screaming in thrill, "I texted you, like, twenty times last night and I didn't get a single reply. This is the real summit confrontation! The super shuttle drivers and fans in the entire Serpent City have gone wild with joy!"
"Four top experts? Who are they?"
Yuan Qi was excited, too. He stood up on his toes and craned up his head, trying to see who was walking up in the front.
"It's 'Fiend Fire' Lu Feng and 'Battle Axe' Guan Dong, the two best professional super shuttle drivers and two rivals with a deep grudge for over ten years. They're going to challenge each other again on the Hell Storm Racetrack!"
Yuan Qi gasped.
"Fiend Fire and Battle Axe are both here?"
After a protracted, messy explanation while they danced waving their hands up and down, Li Yao finally understood everything.
Fiend Fire Lu Feng and Battle Axe Guan Dong were two first-class experts among the professional super shuttle drivers.
They were classmates when they were little, and their driving talent was discovered at the same time. When they grew up, they became both friends and rivals.
Not only did they compete in the professional championships of various levels, they also liked to travel in the federation together and find interesting amateur racetracks to ride on.
The Hell Storm Racetrack was their favorite amateur racetrack.
The lap record of the Hell Storm Racetrack was set by Fiend Fire Lu Feng three months ago.
That time, Battle Axe Guan Dong was one step slower. He was beaten by 1.7 seconds.
Today, he had come for revenge.
"Wait, you just said that 'four top experts contending on the Hell Storm Racetrack'. Who are the other two drivers besides Fiend Fire Lu Feng and Battle Axe Guan Dong, the two life-long rivals?"
Li Yao couldn't help but asked when he heard this part.
"That's why I said that this is not something that any super shuttle fan wants to miss."
Gao Rong slapped his legs and exclaimed, "What we're going to see is a dual competition. It is a match of both two best drivers and two best super shuttle modification masters. Well well well. I'm thrilled just thinking about it!"
The outcome of super shuttle racing was partly based on the driver's driving skills and on-the-spot performance, and partly dependent on the incredible modifications by the refiners according to the different conditions of different environments.
In the world of super shuttle racing, a super shuttle modification master often enjoyed higher fame and status than a professional driver. They were respected as people who could manipulate time.
Yuan Qi asked hurriedly, "Who are the two refiners?"
"One of them is 'Void Wing' Mei Ze, who has been hired by Fiend Fire Lu Feng as his personal modifier."
Gao Rong explained, "Mei Ze is one of the Novem Stellae of the Deep Sea University who specializes in super shuttle refinement and modification. It is said he was best at refining armed shuttles. Modifying super shuttles is just one of his hobbies.
"Even so, he has become one of the best super shuttle modification masters in the federation within several years.
"Fiend Fire Lu Feng's achievements couldn't have been accomplished without Mei Ze's modifications."
Li Yao felt his heart was beating fast when he heard what Gao Rong just said.
His eyes were filled with bloodthirst immediately. His hostility was so dense that it seemed be consolidating into burning waterdrops.
"Void Wing Mei Ze, one of the Novem Stellae?
"One of the best super shuttle modification masters?
"As for the last one—"
Gao Rong intentionally paused for a second before revealing the mystery.
"He is the 'Solar Eclispe'!"
Yuan Qi shouted at the highest pitch he could uncontrollably, "Solar Eclipse? Solar Eclipse has come?"
Right then, the crowds were also enchanting the name 'Solar Eclipse', which made his hysteria less shameful than it should be.
However, Li Yao was dazed for a moment.
He knew the names of most of the renowned refiners in the federation, but 'Solar Eclipse' did not sound familiar.
It was not until he asked curiously that he learnt the story of 'Solar Eclipse', who had been one of the most popular and influential celebrities in Serpent City over the past three months.
Three months ago, when he entered Serpent City by himself empty-handed, no one knew his background, nor did anyone bother to.
He then visited the most respected refiners in Serpent City and challenged them in the fields where they were most adept at.
In the first month, he hardly secured any victories.
During his worst day, he was on an eight-match losing streak. Everybody thought of him as a joke or a lunatic.
But he didn't care. He simply challenged them time and time again, and he had been growing at an inconceivable speed.
In the second month, he was already able to draw with some refiners in competitions at their specialized fields.
In the third month, he started crushing the refiners of Serpent City one after another like a massacre.
'Solar Eclipse' rose to fame like a volcano eruption. He became one of the best refiners in the Serpent City after only three months.
Considering his challenging frequency, it was believed that the 'one of' could be dropped and he would become THE best refiner in the Serpent City within the next year.
His nickname 'Solar Eclipse' came from his insane declaration.
He claimed that he would become a burning star even brighter than the sun in the sky, and that when he showed up, his brilliance would be everything that could be seen. Even the sun would be overshadowed by him.
That was why he was called 'Solar Eclipse'.
Although many people questioned his mental health, no one ever doubted his capability.
On the contrary, the name 'Solar Eclipse', which carried a vibe of lunacy, couldn't be more fit for a wild, chaotic place such as Serpent City.
When his story was known, he quickly became of the idol of many young men in Serpent City.
"Wait a minute…"
Li Yao was deep in thought. "This guy 'Solar Eclipse', the best refiner of the Serpent City, doesn't happen to have a bald, shining head, does he?"
"How did you know?"
Gao Rong nodded his head, "Solar Eclipse is indeed bald. But his head does not shine. When the name 'Solar Eclipse' spread out, he asked a spiritual tattooist to tattoo a vivid picture of annular eclipse on his forehead, which looks like a collapsar that absorbs all the lights around."
That was the one!
Li Yao grinned. As it happened, old friends had met each other again.
"Yuan Qi, hadn't you been wondering where Solar Eclipse comes from? It's been revealed now!"
Gao Rong continued, "Solar Eclipse's true name is Jiang Shaoyang. He comes from the Refining Department of the Deep Sea University and is known as the 'Tenth Star', the top refiner apart from the Novem Stellae. He is also the nephew of Jiang Sheng, the Supernova."
Yuan Qi was shocked and shook his head, "Solar Eclipse is not the kind of person willing to be below somebody. 'The top refiner apart from the Novem Stellae'? It's like slapping his face!"
Gao Rong was grimacing, "Why do you think they are holding a match today? Jiang Shaoyang, the Solar Eclipse, is declaring war on the Novem Stellae with the Hell Storm Racetrack as the battlefield. He is going to take out Mei Ze, the super shuttle modification master of the Novem Stellae, in his first battle!"
Yuan Qi was so elated that he felt dizzy now, "It is indeed a dual competition! Fiend Fire Lu Feng versus Battle Axe Guan Dong, Void Wing Mei Ze versus Solar Eclipse Jiang Shaoyang. How marvelous it's going to be!"
Gao Rong and Li Yao tried to squeeze themselves through the crowd.
A moment later, he realized something. Then he walked a few steps back and said to Li Yao while scratching his hair, "Master Fang, it seems that today is not your lucky day.
"Jiang Shaoyang and Mei Ze, two experts in refining, must've racked their brains and modified two perfect super shuttles for this confrontation.
"Fiend Fire Lu Feng and Battle Axe Guan Dong, two ace drivers, will try their best in the upcoming game in their best state.
"Whoever wins will definitely set a whole new lap record for the Hell Storm Racetrack!
"You won't stand a chance to compete with these guys!"