Profound Heaven City, Song Family Residence, in a quiet and secluded artifact forging zone.
A copper red furnace was scorching red from a scarlet flame. Threads of lightning sparked out from inside the furnace from time to time.
There were three people beside the big furnace who appeared to be very serious. They were the Song Family’s patriarch, Song Yu; Song Yu’s cousin, Song Zhi; and Song Tingyu. All of them were standing beside the huge furnace, and their faces would brighten or darken occasionally from the flame’s light.
The eyes of the Song Family’s artificer, Gu Ping, were attentive as he listened to Song Tingyu’s explanation, adding spirit materials, adjusting the flames, and utilizing many kinds of extraordinary methods and spirit arts to refine the artifact inside the furnace.
Gu Ping was a Profound Seven rank artificer just like Mo Hai. He was invited from overseas by the Song Family and was specifically here to help forge artifacts for the Song Family’s martial practitioners.
Currently, Gu Ping was smelting and integrating spirit materials according to Song Tingyu’s guidance. Every step he took was the same as when Qin Lie had forged the Terminator Profound Bombs.
Time passed swiftly.
A while later, lightning no longer sparked from inside the copper red furnace. Gu Ping also took the opportunity to recover a bit.
“Miss Song is truly amazing. You actually remembered every detail and every tiny change of the Terminator Profound Bomb’s forging process so clearly.”
“Tingyu has had a photographic memory since she was young.” Song Zhi also looked joyful.
He was slightly fatter and shorter than Song Yu. His eyes rolled about without stopping, as if there were always something attracting his gaze at every moment. They shone with an intelligent light.
Song Zhi’s mind was incredibly active. He was the Song Family’s brain, and his shadow was often behind many of the great, critical matters relating to the Song Family.
Song Yu respected and trusted his cousin greatly. He had put much of the decision-making power of Song Family’s business in his cousin’s hands.
Song Zhi did not betray Song Yu’s expectations either. Many of the policies he came up with had allowed the Song Family and Profound Heaven Alliance to earn a profit. It helped develop Profound Heaven Alliance to the point where it was slightly stronger than Eight Extreme Temple on the Scarlet Tide Continent.
For example, Profound Heaven Alliance had never really sent a lot of experts to the Nether Battlefield for many years. The moment they discovered that the evil races of the Nether Battlefield were weak, they would often find an excuse to vacate the area so that the evil races would not completely collapse and would have the opportunity to catch a breather…
They weren’t willing to give it all they had. Instead, they allowed the evil races to exist so that they would be a fishbone stuck in Eight Extreme Temple’s throat so the evil races could continuously exhaust Eight Extreme Temple’s strength.
However, when the evil races ran amok and Eight Extreme Temple was close to collapsing, they would exert their power and prevent the evil races from truly charging out of the Nether Realm.
Through this policy, Eight Extreme Temple gradually grew weaker while Profound Heaven Alliance preserved its strength. Therefore, they were slowly outperforming Eight Exteme Temple in terms of overall strength.
This matter was mainly overseen by Song Zhi. He had impressed Song Yu, Xie Yaoyang, and Nie Yun.
“If we can really forge the Terminator Profound Bombs, then we will gain an advantage no matter who we face, be it the evil races, Eight Extreme Temple, or Joyful Union Sect.” Song Yu nodded slightly. “It is unfortunate that Qin Lie is only willing to become a Song Family foreign delegate. We cannot seize the forging methods of the Terminator Profound Bombs directly. Otherwise, we would not need to go through so many hoops.”
“I have already done all that I can to attract him as a Song Family foreign delegate. As long as he continues to stay with the Song Family, then the rest will come easily.” Song Tingyu smiled beautifully. “Plus, he already promised me that he would sell the Terminator Profound Bombs to us. We only need to give him contribution points for them.”
“Yet, it would certainly be best if we could master something as powerful as the Terminator Profound Bombs with our own hands.” Song Zhi smiled and looked to Gu Ping. “Please do what you can, Master Gu.”
“I will give it a try today. Please wait for a while.” Gu Ping nodded.
An hour later, Gu Ping opened the furnace and took out five round metallic balls. They were Terminator Profound Bombs, the interiors of which had yet to be inscribed with a spirit diagram. Judging from their appearances, they were exactly the same as Qin Lie’s Terminator Profound Bombs.
“This is it, right?” Gu Ping passed one to Song Tingyu.
Receiving it, Song Tingyu slowly used her hands to feel the object, probing its inner patterns with her mind consciousness. After a while, she smiled joyfully. “Master Gu truly is an amazing artificer. Everything except the spirit diagram is exactly the same as the Terminator Profound Bomb that Qin Lie forged.”
Gu Ping’s expression was indifferent as he toyed with a Terminator Profound Bomb, saying, “An artifact is just an artifact after all. A spirit diagram is the soul of an artifact. Without a spirit diagram, an artifact can never unleash its true might.”
“Master Gu, can you construct its spirit diagram?” Song Zhi asked.
“I do not know if I can inscribe a composite spirit diagram capable of activating the Terminator Profound Bomb’s thunder and lightning powers. I am prepared to test and see the… results after the spirit diagrams have merged with the artifacts,” Gu Ping answered after pondering for a moment.
“Please give it a try, Master Gu!” Song Yu said joyfully.
Gu Ping nodded and immediately began inscribing spirit diagrams for all five Terminator Profound Bombs under the heavy gazes of the three Song Family important personages.
He already had a plan in mind some time ago, and he inscribed the spirit diagrams at a great speed. He had actually inscribed a different composite spirit diagram for each Terminator Profound Bomb in just a few minutes.
All five composite spirit diagrams could activate the thunder power inside the Terminator Profound Bombs. They were all magical diagrams that could make the Terminator Profound Bombs explode instantly!
“Come on, let’s give it a try at the testing field!” Song Zhi exclaimed softly as the quartet arrived at the testing field behind the Song Family Residence.
Gu Ping activated the five Terminator Profound Bombs within their respective heavily shielded zones. After five explosions, five pits of differing sizes appeared in the ground of the testing field.
The smallest hole was only the size of a fist, and the biggest hole was no bigger than a human head.
Song Yu, Song Zhi, and Song Tingyu all wore helpless looks on their faces when they saw the might of these five “Terminator Profound Bombs.”
Gu Ping frowned as he shook his head and said, “I knew it wouldn’t be this simple.”
“No need to rush. Please continue with the experiment, Master Gu. It is artifact forging. It is only natural that one would not succeed immediately,” Song Zhi comforted him.
“Mn, take it slowly,” Song Yu followed up.
After consoling Gu Ping for a while, Song Yu, Song Zhi, and Song Tingyu then departed from the scene. After a moment of thought, Song Yu said, “Yu’er, about this Terminator Profound Bomb… you may have to put in a little more effort…”
Song Tingyu smiled bitterly. “I understand.”
Yao Tai had officially detached himself from Xu Liang and moved to Qin Lie’s place.
He randomly chose a small house beside Qin Lie’s stone tower and spent entire days researching the 《Complete Exposition of Middle Grade Spirit Diagrams》 without food or sleep, caring about nothing else.
Qin Lie respected Yao Tai’s obsession from the bottom of his heart. He knew that, if Yao Tai could keep this up, his achievements would definitely exceed his current level by many times, even if he might never ascend to the peak of artificing because of his age.
Qin Lie was not idle while Yao Tai researched spirit diagrams. He was attempting to decipher the message inside the wooden sculpture.
That message had emerged from a strange, ancient diagram at the back of Herb Mountain and was imprinted inside the wooden sculpture.
It was obvious that someone had left that message for his grandfather.
Furthermore, it was also his only lead in his search for Qin Shan.
Qin Lie gathered his mind consciousness inside the cultivation room and continuously attacked the ball of light inside the wooden sculpture. The ball of light was made up of tormented souls and malicious spirits. It overflowed with an evil aura and burned with ghostfire. A powerful mind aura emanated from it.
At first, Qin Lie had only used his mind consciousness to try and crack the message inside the wooden sculpture. However, he realized just how feeble his mind consciousness was in the face of the ball of light.
He found the key to his dilemma only after Xue Li had reminded him later on—to use his mind consciousness to attract thunder and lightning!
Thunder and lightning were the bane of all evil spirits. A tiny attack was enough to purify the fragmented thoughts of the tormented souls and malicious spirits in the outer layer of the ball of light. He would be able to view the things inside it, just like peeling the shell off of an egg, and discover the meaning behind that message.
“Zzzt zzzt zzzt!”
Bolts of dazzling, forked lightning under the control of Qin Lie’s mind consciousness continuously bombarded the ball-shaped light.
As wisps of smoke dissipated, Qin Lie could clearly feel that the tormented soul barrier outside the ball of light was beginning to loosen and fall apart.
Seeing a spark of hope, Qin Lie worked harder and harder, forgetting to eat or sleep just like Yao Tai.
“Just a little more, just a little more! Almost there!”
Inside the cultivation room, a haggard Qin Lie focused his thoughts and rammed against the tormented soul barrier within the wooden sculpture repeatedly, ignoring the possible consequences.
“Whoosh whoosh whoosh!”
The tough tormented soul barrier was finally destroyed as bolts of lightning weaved into the ball of light. The fragmented thoughts and souls of numerous malicious spirits dissipated into smoke and vanished.
Qin Lie’s expression shook, and he hurriedly slipped a wisp of mind consciousness inside the ball of light.
As a result, a clear soul message was released from inside the ball of light and reflected into his mind.
Qin Lie instantly jolted.