In the blink of an eye, seven days had passed since the training exercise had been conducted in the Dark Forest by the nine martial academies. New students were enrolled, and the numbers of the martial academies swelled.
The Emperor Star Academy was no exception, however not all of them felt happy and excited about the matter. Luo Huan waited on the outskirts of the Dark Forest for an entire three days and three nights, but failed to see Qin Wentian. She returned to the Emperor Star Academy and currently was sitting on a grandstand, overlooking the training grounds and watching as the new students pitted themselves against each other, with a depressed feeling in her heart.
Every year, after the enrolment exercise was concluded, the Emperor Star Academy would commence a ranking competition that lasted for seven days to determine the ranking of each of the students. Not only did this affect the honor and prestige of the student, it also determined the number of resources that they could use. This was the best method to ignite their fighting spirits, and cause them to be motivated to become stronger. Only when there was competition, would there be motivation.
Today was the first day. And the one that was currently standing on the stage was Orfon. Among the new batch of applicants, Orfon could be considered one of the most outstanding ones, as he defeated his opponents with relative ease.
Upon witnessing this, traces of laughter flashed in Luo Huan’s eyes, but embedded within that laughter, was sadness, and a hint of extreme coldness.
She really did like that sunny youth from before, had he really died in the Dark Forest? Today, he should’ve been the one standing on the stage, and the person that shined the most brilliantly.
At this moment, at the boundary of the Dark Forest, two youths and a little adorable puppy walked out.
“Ah, what fresh air.” Qin Wentian gazed upon the city in front of him, as he broke out into laughter. The current him, his features and aura, all had traces of perceptible differences if they were compared to before — even his eyes shone with a discernibly brighter glow.
The current him had already “opened up” all of his acupuncture points, which enabled him to store even greater amounts of Astral Energy. At the same time, his stellar meridians had been cleansed of impurities and transformed into a circular stellar pathway, which connected his energy channels with his inner organs throughout his entire body, creating an intricately connected network, forming a completed Arterial Circulation pathway.
The Body Refinement Realm emphasized on perfecting the fleshy body. Stepping into the Arterial Circulation Realm, opening up his acupuncture points, connecting his meridians and energy channels to transform into a circular pathway, had granted him heightened senses, increased movement speed and agility, and had improved his entire fleshy body — equivalent to a total upgrade.
“The beauties of the Royal Capital, here I come.” Fatty closed his eyes, as a look of enjoyment floated onto his face as he deeply breathed in the fresh air.
“Swosh……” Qin Wentian directly aimed a kick at Fatty, almost causing Fatty to fall down.
“Qin Wentian, you’re too overbearing.” Fatty had his hands on his hips, glaring at Qin Wentian imposingly. The air went out of Fatty like a punctured balloon just as Qin Wentian shifted his gaze onto him. Thinking of the beating that he’d endured during the time they’d spent inside Mirage City, after Qin Wentian broke through to the Arterial Circulation Realm, it only caused him to sigh helplessly as he cursed in a low tone, “You’re bullying this magnificent fatty too much.”
After that, Fatty strode ahead, as a slight smile broke out on Qin Wentian’s visage, and he followed. No matter how much he tried, it couldn’t be blamed on him that he was unable to get used to the wretched behaviour of Fatty. The last night, before they had left Mirage City, this Fatty had actually invited a beautiful maid into his room under the pretext of Qin Wentian inviting her to discuss about the matters of life…..
And this wasn’t all. Just as Qin Wentian had finished his cultivation and was about to go back, that beautiful sister (maid) had looked at him pitifully before asking, “Young Master Wentian, I heard that you were looking for me.”
That was about 3am in the morning, and after that, Qin Wentian had brutally beat Fatty up. He could do whatever he wanted, as long as he didn’t drag Qin Wentian’s name into it.
But still, as he thought of his experiences in Mirage City, he couldn’t help but be filled with a sense of curiosity. Who was the person who’d known him? Not only did he not kill them, the mysterious figure had greatly aided him instead.
And as they neared the City entrance, and as Qin Wentian prepared to enter the city, he noticed a familiar silhouette standing near the city gate. This person was none other than Francis.
“Master.” Francis respectfully greeted Qin Wentian, and his eyes lit up, as he slightly ran forward.
Looking at the dirty robes of Francis, Qin Wentian felt a warm feeling in his heart. Never had he thought that Francis would have waited out here for him for so long.
“Why are you waiting here?” Qin Wentian asked.
“Hehe, I was already here seven days ago. However, I failed to see you among the crowd of returning applicants, so I asked your senior sister about your whereabouts. Your senior sister waited for three additional days before she departed. I had nothing to do, so I continue to wait here. In any case, if you had desired to return to the city, this was a place that you would have to pass by.” Francis smiled tiredly.
“Oh yeah, Master, I’ve already found a resting place for us.” Francis continued smiling, as if he’d thought of something joyful.
“Let’s talk while we walk.” Qin Wentian stated.
“Okay.” Francis nodded his head, and began to explain to Qin Wentian, “Among all of the great powers in the Royal Capital, there’s one that’s extremely strong – The Divine Weapon Pavilion. The power they wield is almost incomparable to the others, and their purpose has mainly been to buy and sell Divine Weapons and other treasures. There’s a saying out there that, as long as you want to buy something, and are willing to part with a sufficient price, that the Divine Weapon Pavilion will definitely have it. Not only that, there are many types of Divine Weapons sold there. Hence, there are plenty of weaponsmiths and master forgers that are staying there under the capacity of invited guests, forging and refining the weapons there for them.”
“However, they are different from the Star River Association. They don’t accept missions, and merely engage in the buying and selling of treasures. And right now, I’m a guest staying over at the Divine Weapon Pavilion.
“Not bad. For you to help the Divine Weapon Pavilion forge and refine weapons, what compensation did they give you?” Qin Wentian continued asking.
“There are different levels of guests, and the level of treatment and remuneration directly correspond with the level one is at. For example, those who join the Pavilion as a Martial cultivator will be able receive a monthly stipend of a fixed amount of Yuan Stones and Yuan Meteor Stones. As for high level guests, the treatment they received was exceedingly good — the level of treatment has even exceeded that of the Star River Association.” Francis continued.
A look of contemplation was on Qin Wentian’s face. Francis’s choice to be a guest at the Divine Weapon Pavilion was an excellent one. He could craft and forge weapons, while practicing his craft, while at the same time getting many other benefits. And in the future, no matter what he wanted, it would be much more convenient. For example, getting Yuan Meteor Stones for cultivation through Francis’s current connections.
“Francis, if you have a 2nd-level divine imprint, would you be able to forge a 2nd-level divine weapon?”
“The insights behind 2nd-level divine imprints are exceedingly difficult to comprehend, and it’s basically impossible for one to succeed on their first try. Only through countless experiments would one be able to carve the basic outline of the 2nd-level divine imprint. But still, I’m confident that if I had a 2nd-level divine imprint to study from, I would be able to completely forge a 2nd-level divine weapon.
“Great, let’s go to the Divine Weapon Pavilion. The divine imprint will be engraved by me. This time around, let’s co-operate to forge a weapon. And after that, try to see if you are able to exchange it for Yuan Meteor Stones for me.” Qin Wentian pondered over his decision, although he had already broken through to the Arterial Circulation Realm, he had not opened his 2nd Astral Gate yet. In order to do that, he would require vast amounts of Astral Energy aiding him. For the past few days, he had been trying to open his 2nd Astral Gate, but it had been to no avail. Seems like he would still require the help from the Yuan Meteor Stones.
Not only that, as for the tiny astral-being inside his sea of consciousness, they would also require an immense amount of Astral Energy to be activated. It merely depending on the Astral Energy within his body, the speed at which he absorbed the Astral Light from his constellation to replenish, would be too slow.
“If we really managed to completely forge a 2nd-level divine weapon, Yuan Meteor Stones are definitely not a problem.” Francis exhibited an expression of joy on his face. The Royal Capital was densely populated, and there were many requests and hopes for the cultivators for divine weapons. Especially the risk-takers, possessing a divine weapon could mean the difference between life and death.
“Why didn’t we see anyone using divine weapons when we were inside the Dark Forest?” Qin Wentian curiously asked Fan Le.
From earlier, Fan Le had been listening at the sight, inwardly cursing in his heart. This abnormal guy still had actually comprehended divine imprints. Divine imprints are exceedingly mysterious and unfathomable, and would require vast amounts of time to study them and thus, majority of cultivators wasn’t willing to spend their time on it.
“How can applicants of examinations be allowed to bring divine weapons with them. Are you treating the examiners as fools?” Fatty snorted.
“Oh yeah, you are right.” Qin Wentian shrugged his shoulders as he smiled. Now that he was out on the streets, he could see that almost everyone had a divine weapon with them.
The Divine Weapon Pavilion was located within the 4th sector of the Royal Capital, along with the major clans and the Star River Association. The pavement was spacious, and the buildings were majestic — those who were on the street were all people who possessed a certain amount of authority and background.
“That’s the Divine Weapon Pavilion.” Francis pointed to an enormous-looking majestic building, where crowds of people were continuously leaving and entering. This was the most popular place where those with power and authority would frequent.
“Master, do you want to take a look inside?” Francis respectfully asked.
“There’s no need, just bring me to the place where you forge weapons.” Qin Wentian replied. He wished to open his Astral Gate earlier, and condense his 2nd Astral Soul before entering the Emperor Star Academy to offer his “thanks” to the various people like Orfon who had given him the “welcoming” treatment during his time inside the Dark Forest.
Since they wanted him dead so much, he would show them the opposite. He had to enter the Emperor Star Academy.
Of course, before that, he had to condense his 2nd Astral Soul and increase his combat ability. After all, the Emperor Star Academy was a place where geniuses were as common as clouds.
Francis led Qin Wentian onwards, and passed through the Divine Weapon Pavilion, towards the inner courtyard. The prosperity and success of the Divine Weapon Pavilion, was entirely supported and sustained by the inner-workings of this particular inner courtyard.
And similar to the Star River Association, as a guest of the Divine Weapon Pavilion, Francis not only had his own weapon-forging hall, he even had two apprentices helping him forge weapons. Stored in here, was a plethora of materials and embryonic casts. Not only that, the temperature of the smelting furnace could be adjusted at will, and the environment provided here did not lose out in any way to the one at the Star River Association.
“Master, what type of divine weapon do you want to forge?” Francis asked, as he walked towards the place where the embryonic casts are stored.
“You make the decision, you’re most adept at selection. I will prepare myself to comprehend the insights of the 2nd-level divine imprints, as the type of divine weapon forged doesn’t matter to me. As long as the forging process has no errors, we should be able to forge a complete 2nd-level divine weapon after I inscribe the divine imprints on to it.”
“If that’s the case, how about forging a bow?” Fan Le at the side, felt an unbearable itch in his heart as he interjected.”
Qin Wentian rolled his eyes and ignored Fan Le. Among the plethora of divine weapons, divine bows were amongst the hardest to forge. The degree of the curve… the length of the bow… even the mysterious runic lines of divine imprints were the hardest to inscribe upon a bow.
In the end, Francis chosen a sword-type embryonic cast, and prepared to forge a divine sword. He carefully selected the materials, before feeding them into the forge fire. Qin Wentian quietly sat by the side, attempting to comprehend the various complicated 2nd-level divine imprints that were in his memories, as he carefully analysed every trace of runic lines as he practiced drawing them out, using the Astral Energy within his Stellar Meridians.