In the gloomy mountain cave, the dazzling needle on Qin Lie’s fingertips moved slightly, and the stone spirit tablet beneath his hand was also filled with light.
Scrapped spirit tablets were strewn messily around him. At this time, his eyes were completely bloodshot, sweat dripping from his forehead as he held an extremely grave expression with deeply furrowed brows.
He focused all his attention on inscribing spirit diagrams, onto that spirit tablet under his palm!
This was number three hundred and seventy six…
Time passed in a flash and another half a year had passed. In this half year, as before, he still forgot to eat or rest as he focused exclusively on inscribing the Spirit Gathering diagram without a moment of inattentiveness.
He had almost used up the three hundred spirit tablets that Ling Feng had brought back. Right now, he only had twenty four spirit tablets remaining that were usable…
His mind consciousness was inside the spirit tablet under his finger, and a dazzling, extremely complex spirit diagram was clearly imprinted in his mind!
This was the most recent spirit tablet that he had personally used seven days to inscribe. Up until now, there hadn’t been a single mistake at all!
Over two thousand spirit lines flashed where they crossed like the stars that flashed in the vast galaxies.
Those bright and complex spirit lines were like the trails left behind by the movement of the stars, containing indescribably profoundness and beauty.
On a corner of this complex and mysterious spirit diagram, a blinding dot of light was still moving and drawing out new spirit lines!
That blinding dot of light moved like a intelligent snake, drawing out clear spirit line marks and slowly neared the end of another spirit line. It had to connect with three other spirit lines and form a perfect rectangle.
This rectangle was at the last corner of the spirit diagram, and was the last part of this spirit diagram…
Qin Lie’s finger trembled slightly. He felt that his dantian’s spirit sea was close to empty, and his mind was starting to float away.
He gritted his teeth and focused all of his mind consciousness to prevent any outside emotions from affecting his inner heart. He controlled the dot of light to slowly move towards the end of another spirit line.
—Which would complete the entire Spirit Gathering diagram!
The two spirit lines finally met!
Like countless lanterns lighting at the same time, the enormous spirit diagram suddenly became extremely bright, as thousands of lines completely linked at this moment. The intersections of this complex and mysterious Spirit Gathering diagram were as bright as stars!
As the spirit power flowed, this diagram became alive and filled with a wondrous attraction!
Qin Lie’s voice was hoarse as he collapsed due to the lack of strength, but his eyes were frightening bright.
After taking his hand away, he couldn’t use his mind consciousness to examine the Spirit Gathering diagram. He could only see the faint light exuded by the spirit tablet; the light slowly spread as though it had an indescribable attraction…
A moment later, Qin Lie’s eyes showed shock. He could clearly feel the spirit energies of the heaven and earth start to move and gather where he was.
More accurately, they were converging towards the palm-sized spirit tablet in front of him as if they were attracted by the light of the spirit tablet…
“…Spirit Gathering diagrams, Spirit Gathering diagrams are able to gather the energy of the heaven and earth. This, this is a true Spirit Gathering Diagram!” Qin Lie’s body shook ferociously, his face glowed with shock, and his eyes fill with inexpressible joy and surprise.
His knowledge of Spirit Gathering diagrams came from his grandfather.
Yet, according to his grandfather, the so-called Spirit Gathering diagram only gathered the spirit energy that martial practitioners channeled in, and allowed the spirit energy of the material practitioners to gather inside the “artifact,” so that the spirit energy could flow through the “artifact” and therefore cause the spirit energy to go through the other spirit diagrams of the “artifact” to release their power.
His grandfather had never mentioned that the most basic Spirit Gathering diagram could gather the spirit energy of the heavens and earth, and was a spirit artifact that could attract nature spirit energy…
“This unimaginably complex Spirit Gathering diagram has such wondrous ability, it is able to directly gather the spirit energy of the heavens and earth. This means that it can increase the rate that martial practitioners consume spirit energy to cultivate.” Qin Lie looked with his spirit ablaze at the spirit tablet, took a deep breath, and tried to feel it.
A moment later, he found that the light of the spirit tablet did not expand any longer, and the nature spirit energy in the area around him was more than a quarter as strong as before!
This discovery caused him to become very excited.
Martial practitioners that cultivated in places with high nature spirit energy naturally would have a faster cultivation rate than those who cultivated in places with low spirit energy. The more abundant the nature spirit energy, the faster martial practitioners could condense spirit energy. This was a pattern that was eternal and unchanging.
The Spirit Gathering diagram inside the spirit tablet could cause the nature spirit energy around the cultivator to increase by a fourth. This meant that it could increase the rate that martial practitioners absorb and condense spirit energy!
“Such a wondrous Spirit Gathering diagram…”
Qin Lie’s eyes became brighter. He rested for a while and then put his hand back on the spirit tablet to feel it with his mind consciousness.
He found that the burst of spirit energy he had channeled into it before was flowing through the spirit lines of the Spirit Gathering diagram, as though it had activated this complex and mysterious diagram and caused the Spirit Gathering diagram to have such wondrous effects.
After a long while, he retracted the spirit energy he had put in, and the the spirit tablet’s glow gradually retreated back into the tablet. The additional spirit energy in the surroundings gradually dissipated after losing its constraint…
“Spirit tablets are only the lowest level of spirit materials, they are only used to practice inscribing spirit diagrams and cannot channel the true power of the spirit diagram. If this was not a spirit tablet but a true “artifact,” a high level spirit artifact at that, and this complex Spirit Gathering diagram was inscribed into it, what effect would it have?” After everything returned to normal, Qin Lie thought, and then suddenly stilled.
Spirit Gathering, Amplification, Spirit Storage, Strengthening were the four spirit diagrams. Today, he had inscribed the Spirit Gathering diagram successfully for the first time but he had used three hundred and seventy six spirit tablets!
Also, he was completely unable to guarantee that he would still succeed on the first try if he inscribed the Spirit gathering diagram again.
He had not completely mastered the Spirit Gathering diagram. He needed to continue to practice and experiment.
Only when he would succeed between eight to nine times out of ten tries would he have truly grasped this Spirit Gathering diagram. Right now, he was… still far from that.
“As expected, bringing up an Artificer requires the support of a large force and requires the endless expenditure of spirit materials. It is terrifying to just think about it.” Qin Lie sighed and then his expression shook. “Grandpa could make the wood sculpture, and the inside of the wood sculpture is made from the perfect merging of several kinds of spirit diagrams.”
Thinking about this, he missed Qin Shan even more, and his desire to open the seal inside his mind and find his memories of ten years ago increased.
“I’m sixteen now, there is still one more year left. If Grandpa doesn’t come back to find me in an year, where should I go?” Qin Lie was confused inside. He cleaned up simply and walked outside the cave.
It had been a long time since he went outside the cave. When the sun shined down as he walked out, he suddenly felt dizzy and his eyes became extremely dry and sore.
He gradually adjusted after a long while. Then, he recalled that Ling Yushi had once reminded him to come out to walk frequently, sunbathe, and not always stay in the cave.
“I wonder how she has been recently…” A thread of mirth was at the corner of his mouth.
“Qin Lie!” Ling Feng’s voice suddenly came from the base of the mountain. He waved his hand towards the opening of the cave and bellowed loudly, “It’s been seven days, you have finally come out!”
Ling Feng’s eyes were anxious, and his expression clearly grave. This caused Qin Lie to be astounded. He jumped off the mountainside and quickly came next to Ling Feng, asking, “You were waiting for me?”
Ling Feng nodded and said with a light sigh, “I’ve waited two days for you.”
“What is it?” Qin Lie said in puzzlement.
“Let’s talk as we walk.” Ling Feng’s eyebrows were furrowed as they walked together towards Ling Town, “It is about the matter of you and First Miss.”
Qin Lie narrowed his eyes. “What’s going on?”
“Two days ago, Granny Jiu of Seven Fiends Valley passed through Ling Town. When she saw First Miss and Second Miss, she liked them very much. She said that First Miss’ personality was gentle, and her spirit art and constitution were all water-oriented. Second Miss’s personality was fiery and unruly while her spirit art and constitution were both fire-oriented. The two of them, one fire and one water complemented each other, and they are sisters so they were very suited to a kind of spirit art that she has. Granny Jiu wants to take the two misses as disciples,” Ling Feng explained.
“Seven Fiends Valley? What kind of place is that?” Qin Lie asked with creased brows.
“Seven Fiends Valley is a Black Iron force at the same rank as Dark Asura Hall, a whole rank above Nebula Pavilion and Shattered Ice Manor!” Ling Feng’s expression was respectful and fearful. “The Seven Fiends Valley is composed of seven valleys: Mystical Fiend Valley, Dark Fiend Valley, Gold Fiend Valley, Wood Fiend Valley, Water Fiend Valley, Fire Fiend Valley, and Earth Fiend Valley. Seven Fiends Valley and Dark Asura Hall are friendly, and the private relationships between high ranking martial practitioners of the two forces are also very good. Granny Jiu’s true name is Jiu Liuyu. She is a true Netherpasssage Realm expert! And is also the Valley Master of Dark Fiend Valley, ranked second within Seven Fiends Valley!”
Qin Lie’s heart felt slightly cold. After being silent for a while, he said, “Isn’t it a good thing that she wants to take the two misses as disciples? Does the patriarch not agree?”
“The Seven Fiends Valley that is stronger force than Nebula Pavilion, and Granny Jiu, a Netherpassage expert who is also Valley Master of Dark Fiend Valley, wants to take the two misses as disciples… the Patriarch can’t even dream of something this good. He is so happy he has almost forgotten everything, how could he not agree?”
Ling Feng also had a dreaming expression. “To enter Seven Fiends Valley to cultivate, it is something we do not even dare to think about. For the two misses, it is taking one step and going into heaven. They have skipped right past Nebula Pavilion. If this was any other person… they probably would not be able to reject the temptation.”
“That is true, it is a hard-to-reject temptation,” Qin Lie said indifferently.
“But First Miss refused…” Ling Feng said with a grimace.
Qin Lie’s eyes flashed with an odd light, and looked deeply at Ling Feng. “Why?”
“Granny Jiu heard that First Miss has an engagement. She said… she needs First Miss to be pure, and does not want her constrained by the engagement. She wants to end First Miss’ engagement, and she also said that when they go to Seven Fiends Valley, it would be very difficult to return to Ling Town, so the two misses have to consider clearly,” Ling Feng said.
Qin Lie was silent.
“Also, Granny Jiu said that she would take the two together, or not take any of them at all.” Ling Feng’s expression was strange. “But right now, First Miss ignored the Patriarch’s lectures, the urgings of Clan Elder and Third Master, and will not agree. Granny Jiu gave a deadline of three days. She said that after three days, if First Miss still will not agree, she would not use force, and will leave Ling Town.”
Pausing, Ling Feng added, “Tomorrow is the deadline. For this matter, the Patriarch has almost gone crazy from waiting.”