At the banquet table.
The Ling Family was enthusiastically treating Qing Lie, continuously urging him to drink to thank him for the things he had done for all of them.
After Ling Xuanxuan drank a few cups, she gradually eased up and she gazed curiously at Qin Lie with bright eyes. She suddenly seemed to be brimming with interest in him.
“Don’t drink anymore!” Ling Yushi shouted to curb everyone’s enthusiasm so they would stop drinking.
Ling Chengye’s face was flushed as he chuckled and said with a nod, “Alright, no more drinking, no more drinking.”
“Uncle Ling, I’d like to ask about my grandpa.” At this time, Qin Lie put down his drinking cup and suddenly asked, “You had once said that you and my grandfather frequently conversed… what did he talk about with you, where did he go?”
Ling Chengye’s expression was strange. A beat later, he sighed and said, “Qin Lie, Uncle Ling will not lie to you, I do not understand your grandfather at all. What I said at the engagement ceremony was to deal with the Du Family, all of it was false. I’m not familiar with your grandfather at all. Even though you are asking me, I have no idea know how to answer.”
The reason that Qin Lie had come over with Ling Yushi, other than to use the Realm Assessing Stone, was that he hoped he could learn where his grandfather had gone from Ling Chengye. He hadn’t expected to receive this kind of result after eating and drinking. This caused his mood to instantly plummet.
“My grandpa left a letter for me telling me that he was going to be gone for a few years and would return when I turned seventeen. If he has not come back by then, then he most likely had an accident… I do not know much about my grandpa’s situation, but I hope nothing bad happened to him,” Qin Lie said with his head bowed.
The Ling brothers and Ling Kangan looked at each other and saw the shock on each other’s faces.
Qin Shan’s passing away two years ago had been very suspicious. When Ling Chengye found the strange formation inside Herb Mountain, he had guessed that Qin Shan could have possibly faked his death. Now, he had finally confirmed it due to Qin Lie’s words. This shocked them, causing them to feel that Qin Lie and his grandfather Qin Shan were not simple in the least.
“Qin Lie, you… why were you and your grandfather at Ling Town? Where were you before?” Ling Chengye asked.
“Don’t know, I don’t know.” Qin Lie shook his head, and a forlorn and disappointed expression surfaced on his face. “I do not have any memories from before I was ten years old. Starting from where I do have memories, I had come to Ling Town with Grandpa and then spent the next few years in a dazed cultivation state. I also want to find my grandpa and understand the situation.”
Seeing Qin Lie’s current expression, Ling Yushi’s heart suddenly hurt. She stood and said, “Let’s end it here tonight. Qin Lie, you must be tired, I’ll accompany you back.”
Qin Lie was very disappointed since he had not been able to learn anything from Ling Chengye. He did not linger and left expressionlessly, with his heart heavy as he walked together with Ling Yushi.
Ling Yushi feared he had drank too much. She threw an arm over his shoulders as she walked with him in the darkness towards his stone house.
Under the clear moonlight, the shadows of the two lengthened and then seemed to merge together…
At the door, Ling Chengye watched as the two walked away with an odd glint in his eyes.
Ling Chengzhi had a slight smile as he said thoughtfully, “Little Shi seems to have gradually forgotten that the engagement between her and Qin Lie… is just a scheme to stall for time. When Qin Lie turns seventeen, Big Brother, you and Qin Lie can end this engagement unilaterally. After three more months, Qin Lie will be sixteen…”
Ling Chengye was astounded, and then he furrowed his brows. He remained silent and did not say anything.
Ling Xuanxuan stood at the side. Looking at the two shadows that had melded together, a thought suddenly rose in her mind: If I hadn’t opposed it, then the person that would be walking with Qin Lie right now wouldn’t be Big Sister, but me…
Thinking like this, helplessness and pain rose within, causing her to suffocate as if there had been a blockage in her heart.
“Chengye, Qin Lie is actually a good child, and he has helped the Ling Family multiple times. He also seems to be interested in Little Shi. I feel his marriage with Little Shi… there is no harm if it turns into a real one, what do you think?” Ling Family’ Clan Elder Ling Kangan smiled slightly and said, “There are only a few of us who know the details. If we do not oppose this, I think this matter will be completed.”
“Sigh, everything about Qin Lie is good, but his origins are unknown… I’m afraid that it will cause great trouble in the future.” Ling Chengye was very worried.
He didn’t know why Qin Shan and Qin Lie had hidden themselves in Ling Town, but this grandfather and grandson pair were definitely not simple; they may even have great origins.
But the Ling Family was just a little force and could not afford to deal with trouble. If Qin Lie and Ling Yushi’s marriage caused the Ling Family to land in a calamitous situation, how could he face the members of the Ling Family?
As the leader of the family, he had to consider all factors and try as much as he could to help the clan avoid future dangers. He needed to be extremely careful.
“Your concern is reasonable. We’ll talk about this more based on the situation, so let it progress naturally.” Ling Kangan thought about it again and his heart also cooled slightly. He understood that Ling Chengye’s caution was necessary.
“Really, my dad had to urge you to drink. He thinks you are the same as them, hmph.”
In the stone house, Ling Yushi helped Qin Lie back and complained that her father should not have allowed Qin Lie to drink so much wine as she entered the house.
“Rest first, I’ll help you get water for a bath. You as well, don’t drink if you don’t want to. They can’t force you, can they?” Ling Yushi reminded him. When Qin Lie sat down, she went to the washroom to open the tap. “Don’t worry too much about your grandfather. Nothing will happen to him, and he’ll definitely come back to Ling Town when you turn seventeen, so rest your heart.”
Qin Lie sighed lightly. He shook his head and didn’t know what to say.
“Qin Lie, I think… something must have happened when you were young. You might have temporarily lost your memories, but you might suddenly remember them at some time. Then you can find your parents and discover where your relatives are.” In the washroom, Ling Yushi’s tone was gentle as she comforted him.
For an unknown reason, as he listened to her gentle and soft voice, his worries gradually disappeared. The depressed mood caused by the alcohol started to ease.
“I’ve let out the water.”
Ling Yushi, walking out of the washroom, had a slight smile, but her eyes seemed slightly dejected.
“I’m going to leave first. Have a slow bath, and remember not to get cold.” Her head was lowered, and when she arrived at the doorway, she said with her back facing Qin Lie, “You have so many contribution points in Nebula Pavilion and the Nebula Token. You can instantly become a core member of Nebula Pavilion at any time. If you cultivate at Nebula Pavilion, it will definitely be much faster than here at the Ling Family… if you want to go to Nebula Pavilion, then go. That place is more suitable for your growth.”
When she finished, Ling Yushi’s back figure was lonely as she left through the door.
Qin Lie was astounded, and it took a moment for him to react. A long while after she had disappeared, he shook his head and laughed, “Stupid, if I wanted to go, I would have left long ago, why would I wait until now…”
The second day in the caves of Herb Mountain.
Qin Lie woke up from his cultivation. He used his mind consciousness to enter the Soul Suppression Orb to gaze at the complex and mysterious spirit diagrams on the walls and to look at the lines upon lines of bright flashing spirit lines.
The thickness of every spirit line was not the same and represented different degrees of spirit energy. They caused him to suddenly remember his grandpa’s words.
The inscription of spirit diagrams required very precise control over spirit energy. When each spirit line takes form, the spirit energy used needed to be extremely precise. A spirit diagram could have thousands of spirit lines, and the length and width of each line were not exactly proportional to the amount of spirit energy used. If one spirit line was incorrect, the entire spirit diagram’s inscription would be a waste of effort.
A spirit artifact would sometimes require several spirit diagrams to be layered and merged together. This demanded even more control of spirit lines, and it demanded precision to be maintained at an extremely terrifying degree. One bit of carelessness was a calamity, and it was very likely for the spirit artifact to be turned to scrap at but a moment’s notice.
“The spirit diagram is imprinted in the mind, but in order to be inscribed, it requires extreme precision! Those spirit lines of varied thickness and brightness represent a special inscribing method, like techniques and art formulas. If one only knows techniques and does not understand the matching art formula, they cannot express its true power…”
Visualizing the four spirit diagrams in his mind, Qin Lie thought in silence and gradually found the trick.
Today, he had completely memorized the four Spirit Gathering, Amplification, Spirit Storage, and Strengthening spirit diagrams. He knew that what he memorized was just the “technique.”
In order to truly inscribe them, he still needed to master the precise width and length of the spirit lines and know how much spirit energy was in each line. This would require repeated practice and not just visualizing as in the past.
“Practice, practice, practicing inscribing spirit diagrams requires special ‘spirit tablets.’ I do not have ‘spirit tablets’ to practice with, so it seems I need to think of a way…” Qin Lie rubbed his chin as he thought, “Grandpa is an artificer, so I should also become an artificer like Grandpa and one day make a wondrous spirit artifact like the wooden carving. If Grandpa comes back and finds that I can already inscribe spirit diagrams, he would be… delighted, right?”
In the evening, he came out of Herb Mountain and was in deep thought all the way until he reached Ling Town.
In the dining hall, he ate dinner with the Ling Family; he found that Ling Yushi’s mood was slightly depressed compared to usual, and her smile was slightly forced.
“I need ‘spirit tablets’ to practice spirit diagrams inscription, where can I get them?” Qin Lie suddenly asked.
“Spirit tablets to inscribe spirit diagrams…” Ling Chengye was shocked. “They have to be made from special materials. The Ling Family doesn’t have the wealth to foster artificers, so we naturally do not have these kind of objects. Some of the material shops in Icestone City should have spirit tablets, and Nebula Pavilion naturally does too. Oh, right, you have Nebula Pavilion contribution points, so you can trade for them at Nebula Pavilion.”
Qin Lie’s eyes lit up.
“Nebula Pavilion…” Ling Yushi’s eyes dimmed as she thought: As expected, he has decided to go.
Thinking like this, she suddenly felt that the usually delicious food tasted the same as wax.
“Uncle Ling, I am not planning to go to Nebula Pavilion in the short term, I need to wait here in Ling Town for my grandpa to come back. Can you get someone to go to Nebula Pavilion and exchange some of my contribution points for spirit tablets for me?” Qin Lie thought and then asked with a smile.
“Of course,” Ling Chengye instantly agreed. “This is very simple. I’ll let someone use my name to go to Nebula Pavilion. As long as they recognize your contribution points, it will be easy to acquire spirit tablets, it isn’t troublesome at all.”
“Thanks, Uncle Ling,” Qin Lie said.
He then looked at Ling Yushi and found that Ling Yushi’s beautiful eyes were flashing brightly as though they had suddenly became alert. She also smiled sweetly at him, and that beautiful action — struck him and plucked at his heartstrings.