Chapter 227 - Rebirth of the Mystic Skeleton
"That's correct. Why?"
Ding Lingdang frowned.
"Nothing particular really. I thought you were talking about your ex-boyfriend at first and I was a little embarrassed. But later I figured out that it was impossible. Haha."
Li Yao scratched his head. For some reason, he felt delighted.
"What do you mean by 'impossible'?! Do I look like someone who has never had a boyfriend?"
Ding Lingdang raised her eyebrow and burst out in anger.
In the spur of the moment, Li Yao asked, "No. No. But, do you have one?"
"I kind of, sort of, maybe had one." Ding Lingdang replied, flushed.
"May I ask what 'kind of, sort of, maybe had one' means?"
Li Yao suddenly turned into a baby of curiosity.
"It was when I just went into college. Everybody was new to each other. You know that guys outnumber girls in our college. Then there was this senior student from the Iron Fist Club who was in hot pursuit of me. Said that he adored my passion for martial arts and hoped to explore the peak of martial arts with me. He was earnest and also handsome. So I said that I would think about it carefully."
Ding Lingdang stammered to get the story through.
Li Yao felt his throat was dry.
"Then, one afternoon, the Game of Senior Students and Freshmen in the Iron Fist Club took place. He was my opponent after drawing lots. I thought to myself: if you adore my passion for martial arts, of course, I should show you 120% of my capability, shouldn't I? But as it turned out, I should've controlled myself; I broke four of his ribs before kicking him out of the ring into the auditorium.
"That night, he texted me from ICU saying that, although I'm great, he felt we weren't appropriate for each other after full consideration, and that we should just be friends.
"That son of bitch had no manhood at all. He shrank at the first setback he met. Also, I never promised him anything. I just said that I would think about it. What did the latter half of the text message even mean? Who would want to be friends with such a coward?!
"I was in a terrible mood after all that. Two days later, the Iron Fist Club and the Chaotic Blades Hall got into a fight due to an incident. I was too angry to control myself again and sent 15 classmates of the Chaotic Blades Hall to the hospital.
"Ever since then, nobody's dared to ask me out anymore. What a bunch of losers!"
The more Ding Lingdang said, the angrier she became. She raised her head, only to find Li Yao grinning like an idiot. Pissed off, she slapped the door.
"What's that supposed to mean? I told you such a humiliating story because I treat you as a good bro. Other people laugh at me because I don't have a boyfriend, so be it. But why are you smirking, too?"
"I wasn't smirking."
Li Yao was about to laugh again as he said it.
Ding Lingdang snatched at Li Yao's face like lightning and pulled it hard. "You mouth is as broad as a trumpet, and you said you were not smirking! I got it. It is because I am mean to you and always bully you that you hope I never find a boyfriend, isn't it? You must feel happy and satisfied now, don't you?"
In pain, Li Yao found his tears swelling. "Ow! It hurts! Hurts! Let me go!"
Ding Lingdang twisted his face hard one last time, and released it in gratification. She slammed the door.
Watching Li Yao walk away while trying to soothe his face through the window, she sat down and sighed heavily.
"What's wrong with me today?"
She scratched her hair, turning it into a scruffy mess. "Why did I reveal such a humiliating story to him the moment he asked? Next time I will be a joke to him!
"Xiao Cai, come over here. Replay what you saw yesterday."
What happened last night had been recorded by the Crystal Eye of the parrot and stored in the Crystal Chip.
The seven-colored parrot bounced towards Ding Lingdang, and when it arrived in front her, it opened its mouth from which a light beam was sent out. The light beam then transformed into a 3D representation of the scenes from the last night.
Li Yao circled the villa. Li Yao crawled through the window. Li Yao checked the wine bottles on the desk. Li Yao moved on to the basement, where he was tugged by her.
Ding Lingdang's lips pouted as she watched all this.
And when she saw Li Yao's desperate expression when she was hugging him like an octopus, she burst out in anger and slapped so heavily on the ground that the wine bottles were flying to the sky.
"Was it so terrible?"
Ding Lingdang said in anger. "A hug won't cost you anything. What is that avoidance and abhorrence supposed to mean?"
Li Yao was walking towards the Refining Department lightly on the campus, when the tiny Crystal Processor suddenly buzzed.
"The professor must be impatient!"
Li Yao picked up his pace.
But when he lifted his wrist, he found that it was his newly-added contact, Jiang Shaoyang.
Through Spiritual Energy Crane Link, Jiang Shangyao's bold forehead was shining brightly under the sun. But he was wearing a strange smile.
His personality felt different from two days ago. It was now a combination of extreme madness and unparalleled calmness, like a frozen flame. No one could tell it's cold or hot.
Li Yao was in a surprise.
"No big deal. I just want to tell you that I have withdrawn from Deep Sea University and I'm about to embark on a brand new path of Artifact Refining."
Jiang Shaoyang said slowly.
Li Yao was shocked. Jiang Shaoyang was definitely a maniac, or was it because he had been influenced by what he'd said previously?
Jiang Shaoyang said in utmost tranquility, "I've put a lot of thought into this. You were right. I was bound by so many things in the past, which prevented me from fulfilling my potential.
"The moment I cut off my hair, I said goodbye to my past, my previous life, and my old self. I am ready to explore a new path that has never been set foot on before.
"So, don't call me the 'Tenth Star' anymore. I am just myself, and I'm no longer related to Deep Sea University, Novem Stellae, or Supernova.
"I remember you said that you are known as the Fiend Star among Artificers. Fiend Star or Supernova, or even Novem Stellae, if we get to the bottom of it, are all miniature stars.
"But I'm different. I will become the sun, with a brightness 10,000 times more glaring than any of you!"
The serenity in his face and arrogance in his declaration made it impossible to distinguish whether he was joking or simply insane.
Li Yao frowned.
"You don't believe me?"
Flames of billions of degrees were burning in Jiang Shaoyang's eyes.
"Not that I don't believe you. It's just that technically speaking, the sun is also a star," Li Yao said solemnly.
Jiang Shaoyang dazed.
"The sun is just the same with all the other stars. In fact, most stars are brighter than the sun. But they may not look so due to the long distance in between. For example, the Fiery Cloud Star which is close to Heaven's Origin Sector, is 17 times brighter than the sun by estimation of astronomers. Such stars are countless. This is like… common sense. What, you'd never heard of it before?"
After a long silence, during which time the veins on his forehead seemed to be bumping out, Jiang Shaoyang finally grumbled, "Metaphor! It was just a metaphor! The bottom line is, please try to keep your training up, because I will see you again soon. People will know which one is stronger, the Sun or the Fiend Star.
Jiang Shaoyang hung up in anxiety and anger.
"Why is everybody acting weird today?"
Li Yao touched his nose and carried on walking.
He went directly to Yuan Manqiu's laboratory without any rest after he arrived at Refining Department.
"Professor, sorry I'm late."
Yuan Manqiu was standing in front of a row of 3D light beams and staring at them quietly.
Shining on the light beams were the complicated structure designs of Crystal-powered Mobile Armors.
Tears streamed as she watched.
"Li Yao, thank you. I know of all your struggles and devotion over the past year. Without your dedication, it would've been impossible to restart the Project Mystic Skeleton in such a short time. On behalf of myself, Lao Mo, and all the rest staff and students who've sacrificed things for the plan, I offer you my sincerest gratitude."
Yuan Manqiu moved her body and bowed to Li Yao.
Li Yao had no idea what to do. He hurried to get her professor straight and grinned. "Professor, I'm looking forward to the day when the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit is born again and flies in the sky."
"That's right. We must seize every second in every minute so that the armor can be forged faster."
Yuan Manqiu wiped her tears away and took a deep breath. She resumed her calmness and quickly said, "I'll just cut the nonsense and get down to it. Here's a brief introduction to the current status of Refining Department.
"Because of your excellent performance, the university will increase the budget for Refining Department next year. Also, donations from celebrities have risen, too. So, funding is not a problem anymore. Our plan for now is to recruit 60 students in two classes. I believe many students will consider us now that the resources are abundant.
"As for teachers, I've managed to reach out to some experts among the Artificers over the past year. Their major concern before was the funding. Now that it has been fixed, many of them, especially those without any notable status right now, actually don't outright reject the notion of working as a teacher in Grand Desolate War Institution."
Li Yao nodded.
Money, place, methodology, and companionship were four indispensable factors in cultivator's training, among which money always comes first.
A cultivator may be uninterested in everyday life's entertainment. But their research and training also demand large amounts of money.
Now that the funding was plentiful, no wonder many cultivators had changed their minds about teaching here.
"As for teaching facilities, it's unnecessary to rebuild a floating mountain since it will cost too much time and efforts. I've made a deal with a seller and we're going to purchase a second-hand small-scale floating mountain which we can modify. Three months after it's delivered, when it has been entirely upgraded, it will be more than enough to satisfy the need of the two hundred teaching staff and students, as well as the development work of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit."