Chapter 3 The Uncanny Dream
“F*ck, Li Yao, no wonder everyone calls you the ‘Traceless Hand’! This 2011 model Mustang GT you modded can go from zero to a hundred in three seconds. It’s like you swapped it for a different car! It’s practically a rocket! I’m ecstatic!”
One minute fifty-nine seconds! One minute fifty-nine seconds! Good heavens, am I reading this right? A new god of underground racing has been born!”
“Promise me you won’t go street racing any longer. Become an honest car mechanic, no one will look down on you. There will be a day when we will have our own Auto 4S Shop!”
“Brother Yao, Brother Yao, I’m begging you, help me out. Soar one last time. Besides you, who else can achieve a time of 1 minute 59 seconds on this track? I owe Violent Scar 300 grand. If I don’t pay him back by today, I’ll die. I’LL DIE!”
“Doctor! Doctor! Hurry and save him! He’s only 23 years old!”
While in the midst of producing an ear-piercing scream, Li Yao abruptly leapt up from the floor. His body was drenched in sweat.
From outside the window, the rays of morning dawn illuminated all around. The Hologram Projector continued to chitter and chatter, broadcasting classic songs. The youth, like a puppet, was lifeless for half a minute; he was slowly shaking off the utterly realistic nightmare.
This nightmare was his deepest secret. Even the old man was never told about it. Since he could first remember, he would have this same uncanny dream every few days. It was like a period from a memory… one that was impossible to forget.
In this strange dream, his name was still called Li Yao, but he possessed a completely different life. He was in an utterly bizarre world, in a place that was called an Auto “4S” Shop, working as a “Car Mechanic.”
And at night under the city of bizarre rainbow lights, he was part of the “Underground Street Racing Circle” as an extraordinarily skilled expert car modder and racer. The rumbling of each and every engine ignited adrenaline within the night. He soared, setting staggering records — until he soared to his death!
Over and over, he repeatedly died in that dream world. Even though this was an experience filled with suffering, Li Yao did not actually loathe it. Instead, he was somewhat glad. If the dream world had not given him the experience of an another life, he would absolutely not be able to survive in the crisis-filled Artifact Graveyard until now.
It did not matter if this was a strange nightmare or if this was an entangled memory from a past life, neither was important.
There are various yesterdays, such as a yesterday of death; there are various todays, such as a today of life.
It did not matter what kind of person yesterday’s Li Yao was. Today’s Li Yao is one of Heaven’s Origin Sector’s, Star Glory Federation’s, Floating Spear City’s, ordinary high-school student
—One who will become a Master Artificer!
He took a deep breath. He had finished tidying up his room in a simple manner and completed washing his face and rinsing his mouth. The time is just past six o’clock. Li Yao shouldered his school bag, carrying the 3D hologram Generator, and with large strides walked out the house door.
Today was Monday. Dawn was just about to break. He needed to hurry to school before 7:30.
Morning Sun Village’s distance to the Crimson Nimbus Second Affiliated High School was a length of 30 miles. He could take the underground crystal rail’s third line and transfer to the seventh line to arrive at his destination. However, that would require spending 8 bucks in rail fare.
Li Yao hated spending money. He swung his long legs out, used the skill his school taught him, Body Art of the Spirit Serpent, and shot out like lightning towards the main city.
At this time, the morning sun was just rising and the multi-colored light of sunrise was boundless; it was a dawn that bubbled with spirit energy.
From afar away, Floating Spear City appeared like a giant beast waking up. Every major sect unleashed and dispersed their powers, emitting bright rainbows of radiance.
Many cultivators were floating in the air. Availing the transition between night and day, they absorbed and emitted solar essence and moonlight. Their bodies spiraled and wound in the form of an eight-figured luminous diffusing glyph script. At some people’s sides were immortal cranes and fire crows. Meteors were orbiting around. Grand and great powerful noises were produced. Altogether, they produced a domineering appearance.
A large-scale floating airship dragged along a fiery tail, sluggishly advancing in the middle of the sky. The fiery tail interweaved with the blue sky and white clouds, becoming a net of essence. The delicate and exquisite private flying shuttles continuously needled through the mesh, emitting beautiful sounding whistles.
—This was precisely the Federal Cultivation City Floating Spear’s morning!
Li Yao bounced and bounced like a spring stored with great energy. With every step, he leaped over twenty meters. His speed was exceedingly fast. Although his stance looked quite ugly and caused passersby to stare, he couldn’t give a damn and continued to concentrate on cultivating his art. In only half an hour, he arrived at his school. A white mist swirled above his head and on his back was a layer of pure white salt produced from sweat.
He did not go directly into the school gate. His body flickered and he leapt into a destitute alley next to the school.
Deep within this small alley hung a rusted store sign. On it read five words: “Old Wang’s Second-Hand Shop.” Below was a row of densely packed tiny words: “Specializing in all sorts of second-hand artifacts, also providing artifact modding, battle armor refinement, magical beast training, glyph array maintenance, monastery ceremony, and other professional services.”
As if knowing that Li Yao would arrive, a window slid open to expose a big bald head. It was a shifty-eyed old fellow.
“Haaa, last night I lost over two grand playing cards. I was just worrying about how to explain this matter to my wife, but the God of Wealth dropped by right away. Little Devil, what good stuff did you bring to your old grandpa this time?” The old fellow smiled sinisterly.
“Save it! Even if you lost your underwear, don’t think I will slash down my prices!” Li Yao, with no restraint, batted down Old Fellow Wang’s extended claw. He hesitated for a second and even though it caused him emotional pain, he still took out and passed over his hologram projector.
A large part of him wanted to hold onto the device so that he could further study the three layer stack folding crystal chip technology, but when all’s said and done, genuine gold and silver was more important. Studying at a private high school was expensive. In order to cultivate, people must purchase essence pills and auxiliary equipment, racing to increase their killing capabilities.
No matter what, at the end of the year, being poor in education and rich in martial might was also valid in leading to the road of cultivation — one that needs piles of shining white silver to complete.
“This really is some good stuff!”
It was clear that Old Wang knew his stuff. Receiving the Hologram Projector, his eyes swept. His eyes exuded a radiance of praise. He did not test it and instead spoke, “ A flat price, 9,500!”
A warmth bubbled from the bottom of Li Yao’s heart. This price was not that different from the actual second-hand market price. Old Fellow Wang was once again giving Li Yao a good price.
Even though this Old Fellow had a shifty-eyed appearance of a suspicious man, he was actually the one person, besides the old man, who treated Li Yao best. Every transaction, he would more or less add a bit to the price for Li Yao. And every few days, he would give Li Yao some work with high pay.
Without Old Fellow Wang’s assistance after the old man’s death, Li Yao would very likely be unable to continue paying the expensive fees of the private high school.
“I don’t need that much, just 9,000 is fine. Give the 500 left over to Ms. Wang, just say you won it from cards. No need for thanks, who told me to respect the elderly and cherish the young? I can’t bear to watch you and your weary old body having to kneel and wash clothes on a washboard. Gotta catch the morning assembly. Just deposit the money in my bank account!” Li Yao waved his hand and hopped away.
Old Wang suddenly shouted after him, “Hold on, Little Devil.”
Li Yao stood and purposely said, “Wa, Die, old fellow. You don’t think 500 is too little do you?”
“Bah, back in the day, this old fellow was a step above top ranking master artifact modders. In a few minutes, I could make several million. From the looks of it, in this regard, you can only make scraps? This old fellow wanted to tell you that the university exam is in a hundred days. You, youngster, need to properly take it and get accepted into a good university.
Do not believe that you already have the skill of artifact repair and not know the immensity of heaven and earth! The world is huge and you will realize this when you go to university. In front of a true Master Artificer, your current ability isn’t worth a damn!” Old Fellow Wang fumed.
Li Yao’s heart once again stirred with warmth and he vigorously waved his fist, “I will absolutely get accepted into university, Grandpa Wang!”