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The eight anti-gravity ships gradually moved into the docking bay of the Distant Expanse, like tiny fleas jumping on the back of an ocean turtle. The difference in size between the two was enormous.
Li Yao was still in an revering state of mind when he jumped onto the Distant Expanse.
Today’s Distant Expanse had already been remodeled into a war museum. As soon as he stepped on the front deck, Li Yao saw an enormous bronze statue, engraved upon which was a navy officer wearing an expression of resolute determination. One hand was on a long sword. The other hand pointed to distance. He seemed to be in a middle of a battle roar.
Even though it was just a statue, there was an absolute aura of courage from that of bloody battles. Li Yao could even faintly hear the crackle of lightning and roaring of thunder coming from within the bronze statue:
“Heaven’s Field has been sunk!”
This was the first, and the last, appointed captain of the Distant Expanse. A statue of the Orichalcum stage cultivator Ping Yuantao.
There were even nine words engraved at the base of the statue, a famous quote said by this Ping Yuantao.
Legend has it that Ping Yuantao entered a cultivator guild when he was a child. During those days, the Heaven’s Origin sector was still a paradise for Fiend Beasts. Humanity could on live a bitter life full of struggles in the towns and cities controlled by the cultivator guilds. The Star Glory Federation had just been founded, and so considered the Federation a real nation. For the sake of mutually convenient communication, the nine cultivation guilds loosely established an organization.
At that time Ping Yuantao and a bunch of other youths entered into cultivator guilds together. The elders of the guilds asked them according to convention, “Why do you want to cultivate?”
The youths chatted and bustled lively. They chatted with vigor. Some said they wanted glory, riches, and beautiful women. Some said they wanted to never grow old, to be free and unconstrained for all eternity. Some said they wanted to learn a hundred magical abilities, a thousand transformations, so that they could do whatever they want and move freely within heaven and earth. There were also some who wanted to slay and destroy the Fiends and Devils, to protect their friends and family.
And when it came to be Ping Yuantao’s turn, he said nine words:
“I cultivate so the Federation can rise above all!”
A hundred years later, Ping Yuantao gave up his life for the sake of these nine words, resulting in a glorious and splendid ending. And these nine words became the motto of countless cultivators in the Star Glory Federation, encouraging them to pursue manifest destiny, slay Fiend Beasts, and make the Star Glory Federation the strongest human nation in the entire Heaven’s Origin Sector!
“Way too cool!”
Even though he had learned of Ping Yuantao’s story from textbooks on more than one occasion, and had heard of these words before, when he saw these words on the Distant Expanse he couldn’t help being excited. It’s said that here these words are written personally by Ping Yuantao. And so the significance was obviously different. Quite a few students were stirred into shouts and cries. They came, continuously, over to take a selfie with the bronze statue of Ping Yuantao as a souvenir, posting the picture to the web to show off to their friends.
Li Yao also wanted to take a selfie. And, Dong Zhengming actually dragged him, walking directly inside, saying that he wanted to take him to check out some commotion.
“That statue is staying right here. It won’t run away. We need to attend the big occasion early. If we’re late, we won’t be able to squeeze in!”
“What big occasion?”
“Every time before the Limit Challenge Competition, the Nine Elite Universities will hold a conference outside of the arena, an ‘Interactive Exchange Convention.’ The intention is to show off how awesome the Nine Elites are to the exam candidates and to attract the interest of self-candidates of genius cultivators. There are a total of nine booths, where cultivators from the Nine Elites will directly exchange words with the exam candidates. The occasion is quite chaotic. We need to get in quickly!” Zheng Dongming said, demonstrating his familiarity with the proceedings.
“Cultivators from the Nine Elites?” Li Yao’s eyes shined with a bright light. He no longer needed Zheng Dongming to drag him and quickly increased his pace.
The entered the first holding of the ship. That large space was packed with over a thousand students. The bustling of human voices was in the air, creating a lively atmosphere.
The entire hall was divided into nine separate areas. And atop of each area hung the names of each university in the air.
Zheng Donging looked left and right before pulling Li Yao to walk towards the area of Sky Fantasia Academy.
“Why do you want to go to Sky Fantasia Academy’s booth first? Is their overall true strength the strongest?” Li Yao didn’t quite understand. It looked like Sky Fantasia Academy had the most people crowded by their booth.
“Who gives a damn if their true strength is strong or not! Sky Fantasia Academy is the only school of the Nine Elites to specialize in educating culture-type cultivators. They produce large amounts of beautiful women! The quality of their women is good, and they all are super cultured!” Zheng Dongming swallowed a mouthful of saliva. His two eyes glittered with light.
The two people had just entered the crowd with extreme difficulty, when they were met with an extremely plain booth of Sky Fantasia Academy. A few written works were hanging on all sides of the walls. One corner to the side had a few university students squinting their eyes, shaking and swaying their heads, being immersed in a world of music. The other side even had a youngster, with unkempt hair and stubby beard, trembling all over; he was in the middle of reciting a poem.
And in front of them was someone wearing a white robe. Her black hair reached her waist to form an image of a classical beauty. She was in the middle of pouring her heart into a painting.
Li Yao watched, following her sparkling jade-like fingertips. He discovered that her painting style was completely different from that of a goddess. The strokes were painted in an utterly violent and sharp manner. She painted out a raging sea with stormy waves, in which a small dilapidated fishing boat was struggling against an 8 clawed ocean monster.
“The painting’s not bad~……”
Although Li Yao didn’t understand the fine arts, he still felt a hair raising aura coming from this scroll painting. He nodded lightly, and he heard the faint sound of waves coming from the corner of his ear.
The sound of waves?
Li Yao blanked out. All of a sudden, he found himself standing on the front deck of a violently shaking small fishing boat.
In his surroundings was a berserk ocean that stretched as far as the eye could see. Li Yao raised his head and saw the mountain-like skull of the eight clawed ocean monster just above the boat. A pair of blood red monster eyes stared rigidly at him. Those eyes seemed to give off a soul-sucking aura!
Li Yao’s hairs stood on end, and he could not hold back a scream.
This scream seemed to shatter the illusion. His mind returned to his body that was already covered in overflowing cold sweat, waking up from a different world.
He looked to his side. Zheng Dongming was also pale and his two legs were trembling.
“You should know just how fearsome culture-type cultivators are now right? This beautiful woman did not have bad intentions, and the painting is only half completed, yet it was able to pull us into a terrifying illusion. If she were to actively attack, and were to use a completed painting, do you feel like you can still escape?” said Zheng Dongming with a trembling voice.
Li Yao let out a long sigh of relief and thought back to the moment inside the illusion. The scene where the eight clawed ocean monster glared fixed at him.
Even now, he didn’t believe that the cause of this terrifying illusion was actually from just a half-completed painting.
Indeed, culture-type cultivators are extremely terrifying existences.
“*Sigh*…. Although there are plenty of beautiful women, all these culture-type cultivators are lunatics. We cannot tease them rashly. We can only gaze from afar. We can’t disrespect and toy with them! Horrible. Just look at the bastard reciting poems over there, his face flushed red with excitement. He’s reciting to the point of forgetting his surroundings. When his mental powers explode, who knows what sort of terrifying illusion he will create. Lets get the hell out of here. It would be bad if we get pulled into his illusion. I really don’t want to enter the mental world of an ugly guy.” Zheng Dongming dragged Li Yao, squeezing out of the crowd. They arrived at the second booth of the universities.
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