Chapter 284 - On Fire!
Li Yao finally agreed to Fiend Blade Peng Hai's plan. They co-created a new sect with each of them providing part of the capital.
This way, Li Yao and Peng Hai would be tied to the same boat.
With mutual interests, their relationship would be closer, which was good for both of them.
Fiend Blade Peng Hai was the leader of the new sect in name. The actual daily operations were run by Shang Tianling.
In fact, there weren't too many affairs that needed to be handled, since it was an investment sect without many members. The bulk of its revenue was generated by investing other sects.
The main target of the investments at present was, naturally, the Mountain Sea Sect.
Li Yao devoted most of the money he earned in Serpent City to the new sect, which made him the second largest shareholder.
Other than that, he left two sums of money to Grandpa Wang and his Enlightenment Master, Sun Biao.
He also asked Shang Tianling to set up a trust fund with part of his money to help improve the teaching quality of Floating Spear City's Mining Clan High School, as well as the students who were gifted and in need.
It took Li Yao an entire day to settle everything before he returned to the Grand Desolate War Institution as fast as he could.
Li Yao was quite occupied for the next couple of days.
On one hand, he needed to familiarize himself with the experts and researchers that just came to the Refining Department, each of whom had a unique personality and refining style.
While Li Yao was getting to know them, he also learnt a lot from them and found it very helpful.
His lightning-like hand movement, natural instincts about magical equipment, and fantastic ideas about modification were praised by the experts.
On the other hand, Li Yao proposed a series of plans to promote the Demon Beast Detector to the leaders of the school through Yuan Manqiu.
Since the Grand Desolate War Institution had invested huge amount of money into the Refining Department, naturally, it wanted the Refining Department to make a difference.
As the first commercially valuable magical equipment crafted by a student of the Refining Department, the Demon Beast Detector didn't find much trouble getting support from the school.
Just like that. When the Zephyr Guild was tightening the noose around the Mountain Sea Sect's neck with the capital chain and the dealers, a bigger storm was brewing in the seemingly quietness.
Three days later, the first lightning of the storm flashed.
"Li Yao, nice to meet you. I am Gao Xueman, a journalist of 'Predator' hosted by the Demon Hunters' Association. Thank you for your time to take this interview."
Seeing the short-haired girl in neat hunting clothes standing in front of him, Li Yao felt somewhat shocked.
He knew that Fiend Blade Peng Hai and Shang Tianling were going to do something, but he didn't expect them to be so powerful.
Demon Hunter was a very special career in the Cultivation world. They were professional demon beast hunters.
They might not be the strongest, but they boasted the most experience in hunting and wilderness survival. They could hunt down demon beasts in a much more efficient way than ordinary Cultivators.
For Cultivators such as Li Yao, Ding Lingdang, or Guan Xiong, hunting down demon beasts was a way of training and accumulating wealth.
But for a professional Demon Hunter, the hunting was a fulfilling process and ultimate gratification in itself.
The Demon Hunters' Association, as its name suggested, was a partnership of the fierce Demon Hunters.
'Predator', hosted by the Demon Hunters' Association, was a very professional and influential magazine in the Cultivation world. It posted the updates of the Grand Desolate Plateau and tips against demon beasts, as well as magical equipment introductions every day.
Many Cultivators read 'Predator' to learn how to fight demon beasts and how to save their lives in the wilderness.
Sales of 'Predator' were not as high as the three magical equipment magazines. But it was more authoritative than them in regards of wilderness combat and survival.
Critics of the three magical equipment magazines were all experts. But they might not be very familiar with the wilderness, which sometimes made their reviews impractical.
However, the journalists and critics of 'Predator' were renowned professional Demon Hunters who wrote their reviews based on the bloody lessons they learnt in real battles.
If the Demon Beast Detector were to be endorsed by 'Predator', the negative influences caused by the three magical equipment magazines would be greatly assuaged.
"Li Yao, I'm told that you survived ten days and ten nights deep inside the Thunderous Sound Mountain in the Dark Desolate Domain and returned home safely, which has been confirmed by the Thunder Training Camp. Also, from what I know, your crystal suit had been seriously damaged before it started, and you passed the ten days with nothing but your saber."
Gao Xueman had done her homework before the interview. She smiled and said, "Your remarkable achievement has become well-known now. Many of the readers of 'Predator' are curious about one question. How did you persist until the end without your crystal suit when you are just a Refinement Stage Cultivator?"
Li Yao cleared his throat. He took out a well-worn Demon Beast Detector from his pocket and said, "When I lost my way in the depths of the Thunderous Sound Mountain, I nearly gave up all my hope. Thankfully, I had brought a piece of magical equipment refined by myself, which was the biggest reason why I could run away from the Dark Desolate Domain that was full of perils although I was only a Refinement Stage Cultivator!"
Li Yao only partly meant what he said.
He had swallowed ten drops of lion dragon heart blood in the Thunderous Sound Mountain, and undergone a super pressure caused by the demon core explosion that was similar to the environment when the Thousand Tempering Hundred Refining technique was created, which led to a major breakthrough of his body.
Not only did he advance to the 11th level of the Refinement Stage, his body was even sturdier than any other body practitioner of the same level. Together with the daunting scent of the mutant lion dragon and the help of the Cosmos Ring, he eventually managed to get out of the Thunderous Sound Mountain alive.
However, he was not telling a lie when he said that the Demon Beast Detector played its part too.
Li Yao had long been informed that he was going to be interviewed. He had written a lot of scripts with interesting excerpts from his adventure and memorized them. Now that he started talking, his eloquence made Gao Xueman nod her head frequently.
As a journalist of the 'Predator', Gao Xueman was an expert in wilderness combat and survival too. She raised questions now and then.
Li Yao was telling the truth, although only partly, so he was not scared by her questions. He simply described him to be a reasonably good Cultivator at the 7th level of the Refinement Stage and highlighted the importance of the Demon Beast Detector.
"So, you're saying that the Demon Beast Detector is really a marvelous tool in wilderness survival?"
Gao Xueman was hooked, too. Based on her abundant battle experience, she sensed the value of the Demon Beast Detector immediately.
"You can have a try yourself, Ms. Gao, if you want."
Li Yao had been prepared for this. He led Gao Xueman to the field teaching zone of the Combat Department, which was a simulation of the wild environment where hundreds of different kinds of demon beasts were farmed.
Gao Xueman put on a Demon Beast Detector and ran tests for an hour excitedly. The efficiency of the magical equipment was far better than she had expected. She felt that she hadn't enjoyed it enough yet when the tests were over.
Seeing this, Li Yao brought out five Demon Beast Detectors and intend to give them as gifts to the staff of the 'Predator'.
But Gao Xueman rejected his offer and paid for them.
Letting them keep several Demon Beast Detectors was exactly what Li Yao had been hoping for.
Gao Xueman was quite efficient. The very next day, 'Predator' posted an article titled with 'Ten Days in the Demon Mountain', which emphasized the fact that Li Yao was only at the 7th level of the Refinement Stage and the great usages of the Demon Beast Detector.
In the end of the article were some reviews written by Gao Xueman and some other critics of the 'Predator'.
Their conclusion was far different from those of the three magical equipment magazines.
"As the very first commercialized magical equipment of a new refiner, the Demon Beast Detector has a lot of shortcomings that could be improved. However, the ingenious idea to refine it into a monocle is a major breakthrough of probe magical equipment, whose significance has not been fully recognized by the Cultivation world yet.
"For a high-level Cultivator with amazing computational ability, the Demon Beast Detector matters little.
"For low-level Cultivators who mostly go on missions in teams, it seems redundant for each team member to wear a Demon Beast Detector.
"However, in the cases where a low-level Cultivator is unfortunately left alone in the wilderness due to an accident, a Demon Beast Detector would no doubt elevate his likelihood of survival."
Although the article was posted on a secondary page, the lavish praises still caught much attention.
The wilderness of the Grand Desolate Plateau was a place where anything could happen. Nobody could grantee that they could be safe all the time.
A team being scattered by a strong beast, leaving a team member in wilderness waiting for rescue… It was not unusual during a hunting task.
Who would say no to a piece of magical equipment that was both convenient and able to raise their odds of survival?
Li Yao continued to develop the cooperation with the Grand Desolate War Institution.
The Combat Department was no doubt the most influential and in the most need of the Demon Beast Detector inside the Grand Desolate War Institution.
For the two student organizations of the Combat Department, Ding Lingdang was the previous president as well as the incumbent instructor of the Iron Fist Club, and Fiend Blade Peng Hai used to be the legend of the Chaos Edge Hall who led it to its peak by beating the Iron Fist Club.
Supported by Ding Lingdang and Peng Hai, the Demon Beast Detector project met absolutely no trouble in the campus. Also, many students still remembered Li Yao's fascinating performance and soaring credits in the last semester and were curious about the red magical equipment that he had been wearing all the time.
The first five hundred Demon Beast Detectors were sold to the Grand Desolate War Institution at a price 20% below cost, which were then redeemed by the students with their credits.
There was no telling the actual performance yet. But five hundred students walking indifferently and intimidatingly in the campus wearing a scarlet monocle was already an impressive scene.
A few days later, when the students were back from their field trips to the wilderness, most of their trophies had significantly increased.
Thereafter, the Demon Beast Detector was on fire inside the Grand Desolate War Institution!