1949 Han Te and Liu Li

    "Makes sense. Let's try to upgrade it after we find a settlement of human beings," Li Yao mumbled, not entirely satisfied. His soul turned into hundreds of golden streaks of light, flowing out of Neltharion into the 'Universal Janitor' and entangled its crystal processor, which was riddled with holes.

    Infiltrate, control, and melt!

    Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!

    The spiritual puppet shivered slightly, as if it had been endowed with a new life. Sparks spluttered out of all the mechanical joints, and the indicators on the surface of its body that were polluted by dust and mud were blinking, too. A mysterious beast seemed to be awakening slowly.

    However, the sparks and the glittering light lasted only a few seconds before they dimmed again.

    "Somebody's here!"

    Li Yao and the mental devil sensed new trespassers at the same time. They stopped the movement immediately and turned into cold, iron blocks again.

    Hardly had the machine been shut down again when hissing sounds came over from the entrance of the deep, dark sewer.

    Two people, one tall and the other short, jumped on the wall and dashed into the place in the most agile way.

    They were two human beings wearing airtight, anti-radiation suits and respirators.

    Their suits and masks were bright gray, stitched with rust-colored camouflage cloth. If they crouched in the ruins, they would melt into the environment perfectly.

    Obviously, they were seasoned explorers. They should be the locals of the Martial Meritocrats Sector.

    It was not until they reached the depths of the sewer where the natural light was little to none that their masks finally emanated four dim red lights, which formed four pillars of rays as they scanned the surroundings.

    Air tanks of some kind were bound to their waists and backs, spurting out large clusters of air every now and then. With the counterforce from the jets, the two locals moved swiftly in the complicated underground environment.

    "Huh?" The taller explorer's voice came over from below the mask. "I clearly heard something from here. Liu Li, you heard it too, didn't you?"

    "Senior Brother, please lower your voice." The shorter explorer was barely able to keep up with the first person. Breathing quickly, she said, "This place is not far away from the territory of the Thunder Salamanders. It'll be a disaster if we run into the monsters searching for food."

    "Hehehe!" The taller explorer stomped on the ceiling of the sewer heavily and sprinted a hundred meters ahead like an arrow. Then he laughed confidently. "What's the big deal about the Thunderous Salamanders? If they are really bold enough to show up, I'll teach them a good lesson about the awesomeness of my Lightning Strangle. It will be a great opportunity to cut off their tongues as tonics for our master. I'm told that the tongues of the Thunder Salamanders contain great nutrition, and they seem to be called 'Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures'. Master will certainly be recovered after he takes them!"

    One of the two explorers was male, and the other was female. Their voices sounded very young, suggesting that they could not be more than twenty years old. But their Cultivation was rather impressive. At the very least, in Li Yao's senses, the spiritual waves spreading out of their body were very weird, as if...

    The shorter explorer named 'Liu Li' suddenly pointed in the direction of the 'Universal Janitor' and said, "Senior Brother, something seems to be over there."

    Li Yao was slightly dazed. He did not expect that the senses of the girl would be so keen that she would notice him when he only released a few telepathic thoughts trying to figure out the structure of the spiritual energy circulation inside her body.

    It was truly as expected of the center of the cosmos. Even a common native girl of a doomed land like the Martial Meritocrats Sector had such extraordinary abilities.

    Naturally, Li Yao was not scared by the juvenile brother and sister at all. He was simply very curious about the current situation in the Martial Meritocrats Sector and decided not to take any action so that he could elicit some information from the young man and the girl.

    The two explorers were both experienced at what they were doing. Soon, they discovered the Universal Janitor, or Li Yao.

    "Is this some sort of treasure? We're going to be rich!"

    The taller explorer chuckled in amazement. Despite the blockage of his mask, Li Yao could almost see the guy's eyes glowing with greed.

    The young man swallowed and picked out an iron ball that was full of spiritual stripes from a bag on his waist. He then pinched the ball hard.

    After a while of cracking sounds, the iron ball immediately turned into an iron glove that covered his right arm from the elbow without leaving the tiniest gap.

    Warming up his fingers that had been armed with iron, the guy cleaned up the collapsed ruins around 'Li Yao' and picked 'him' up.

    "You've got to be kidding me! A garbage puppet?"

    Seeing the rusted, cylindrical body of 'Li Yao', the young man was so greatly disappointed that he simply threw 'Li Yao' aside.

    "What a pity. Why isn't it a battle puppet of the highest level or a military model that has been embedded with tens of thousands of battle programs? We'd be rich!"

    "If it were a battle puppet, it would've been picked up hundreds of years ago. Do you think that there would be a chance for us at all?" The girl named 'Liu Li' stepped forward and fell on one knee, touching the body of 'Li Yao' softly.

    Gentle spiritual energy flowed out of her fingertips, like a brook that had been warmed by the sunlight, and leaked through the broken shell into the damaged crystal processor, nurturing Li Yao's soul.

    Li Yao's interest was aroused. The girl's brainwaves were rather weird. It seemed that she had some unique techniques that were worth studying.


    The girl named 'Liu Li' was confused by the feeble feedback from deep inside the Universal Janitor. After pondering for a long time, she said, "Senior Brother, I think that the spiritual puppet's crystal processor is not broken. It seems functional."

    "Is that so?" Tapping his respirator for a long time, the taller explorer squatted, too, and dismantled the tool compartment of the Universal Janitor. Then he observed, "The arm replacements that it has seem rather abundant. If it can really be activated, we can sell it on the black market to get the money for master's medicine. Give it a shot!"


    The girl Liu Li kneeled on the ground and took out a weird plant in a pot from her backpack that had been stuffed.

    It was a bare bud without a single petal, surrounded by almost five enormous green leaves, like a cabbage had been planted in a pot.

    The girl put the pot in front of her legs. Her fingers danced softly as she mumbled spells.

    In Li Yao's senses, together with the enjoyable enchantment, her brainwaves were constructed into the most remarkable model and covered the 'cabbage'.

    The enormous leaves of the 'cabbage' slowly opened, revealing a flower that was as eye-catching and glamorous as fire, with dozens of violet pistils at the center that were stained with sparkly, golden pollen.


    As the girl's brainwaves suddenly intensified, the weird plant seemed to sneeze and sprayed bright-gold pollen into the environment.

    A weird thing happened!

    Li Yao sensed that as the pollen spread out, the air in the ten or so square meters around was purged immediately. The radiation and the venomous impurities were gone, making the air sanitary enough to breathe directly.


    The two explorers were not surprised by the scene at all. Seeing that starry blue spots had appeared at the sharp end of the leaves of the weird plant, they looked at each other and took off their masks, breathing the fresh air deeply.

    They were indeed so young that one might be able to squeeze water out of them.

    The young man was about seventeen years old. He had long, messy hair that rose to the sky and could not be combed. There was a long scar in the middle of his nose. He seemed ambitious, disobedient, and scared of nothing.

    Ineffaceable brilliance was glittering out of his eyes that were as dark as ink, exactly like Li Yao in the past when he was in the magical equipment graveyard.

    However, the right half of his face was filled with marks that extended all the way down the right half of his body along his neck, as if he had been burnt in venomous fire. Whoever saw him would inevitably feel shocked and uncomfortable.

    Or maybe it was not the burn marks but some sort of mutation caused by radiation.

    The girl, Liu Li, was glowing like a gem, exactly like her name.

    She was fifteen years old at most. Her face was not very pretty, but her eyes from which more than ten colors were beaming out were filled with indescribable stubbornness. Together with her straight nose and her thin lips, she gave the feeling that she was both simple and persistent, as if...

    As if she were a younger version of Wei Qingqing.

    If Li Yao had a heart, it would have been pacing at least five percent faster.

    He found it hard to imagine how there could be such an innocent, uncorrupted, and stubborn girl in such a world of radiation, desolation, death, and destruction.

    Li Yao shrank his soul to the size of a bean as he lurked deep inside the spiritual puppet and observed the movements of the two young people.

    The young man named Han Te was truly like Li Yao in the magical equipment more than a hundred years ago and had an equally remarkable expertise in dismantling and maintaining magical equipment. Very soon, the guy had finished checking all the circuits of the spiritual puppet and reconnected some of the broken crystal threads and wires.

    "Let's see if it works!"

    The young man took out a long, narrow rod and stabbed it into a hole on the puppet's back. Some feeble spiritual energy immediately flowed into the crystal processor.

    Compared with Li Yao's powerful soul, the spiritual energy stored inside the rod was simply too insignificant, to the point that he drained it after the first breath without causing any reaction.

    "What happened? All the circuits are clearly on. Is the crystal processor inside completely broken? There will be nothing we can use in that case."

    The young man scratched the eye-catching scar on his nose, utterly baffled. He then withdrew the rod of spiritual energy, only to scream out with a pale face, "My spiritual energy! It was seventy percent full just now. Why has it been used up? Are-Are you a garbage bucket or a rice bucket? Even the strongest battle puppet consumes less spiritual energy than you!"

    In utmost fury, he kicked Li Yao hard.

    Li Yao was too occupied in his own business to care about him. He released a random thought and transformed it into 'very feeble' electric currents, which leaked out through the broken shell of the spiritual puppet.
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