Li Mu walked into Qin Lie’s little room.
Inside the room, pieces of scrapped spirit tablets were messily placed about. Many spirit tablets had shattered into little pieces. Some were even burnt charcoal black and exuded an unpleasant odor.
“You…” Li Mu grimaced. “This place is even dirtier than before you came here here. You said you were going to clean the shop for me, so what’s this?”
Qin Lie’s face was filled with awkwardness. “I was busy so I didn’t manage it properly. It will be better after a while.”
Li Mu nodded. “Mn, when one commits all their attention to something, they will not pay attention to other details. Most artificers that are even the slightest bit competent have this exact strange habit you do. Once they begin… they would be fully immersed, miss the other things in life, and be completely unaffected by any other matters.”
“Uncle Li also understands artifact forging?” Qin Lie was shocked.
Shaking his head, Li Mu continued, “No, but I know an Artificer. That guy has many bad habits and seems to have an obsession with cleanliness in daily life. He needs to clean everything and bathe many times a day, yet when he starts forging, he would become dirty to a frightening degree. He will not eat or bathe for multiple days and only return to normal once he stops.”
“Then, that senior must be extraordinary.” Qin Lie suddenly felt respect.
Li Mu smiled but did not confirm or reject the words. “You have recently shut yourself in your room to inscribe spirit diagrams, forgetting about food or rest. Your concentration and persistence is no less than that guy’s, but… this is definitely not the most efficient method. Sometimes, taking breaks appropriately, adjusting your state of mind, and waiting until you are fresh and relaxed before continuing can give you unexpected results.”
Qin Lie’s expression became serious as he said, “Uncle Li, please guide me.”
“This isn’t guidance, I’m just talking about a habit of my friend in hopes that you can gain a flash of inspiration.” Li Mu went silent for a moment and then started once more, “My artificer friend, when he encounters a barrier while inscribing spirit diagrams and cannot break through after repeated tries, would put it down completely for a period of time.”
He looked at Qin Lie and continued, “That guy will come out and shout to his heart’s content, drink liquor, find a woman to release himself, and completely forget the difficult problem he had. After several days letting go, all his pressure and his exhaustion would be alleviated. His tense nerves would also relax…”
“He would then start again on his artifact and put his full attention back onto the problem he was struggling with. Through this, he would frequently break through the problems he had and find the optimal solution, easily sweeping past his issues.”
Li Mu smiled slightly and stated, “His method is extremely effective. You can try to learn from him and might have unexpected success.”
“Shifting one’s attention to temporarily release oneself, completely forgetting anything related to artifact forging. Returning the mind to a normal and peaceful state after releasing all the built up pressure and then starting over once more…”
Qin Lie silently thought it over, and his eyes gradually lit up. He felt that that Li Mu’s guidance was very profound.
“Thanks, Uncle Li,” sincerely thanked Qin Lie.
Waving his hand, Li Mu signaled that he did not need to be so polite. He then invited Qin Lie. “Come to the courtyard and drink a little wine. A friend will come over soon. You can also accompany me and have a little chitchat.”
“Great.” Qin Lie put down the spirit tablet and walked out with him into the yard.
There was a big tree in the middle of the yard with a stone table and some benches beneath it. There were already some side dishes and wine on the table, giving off a fragrant and appetizing scent.
Li Mu had Qin Lie to sit down and then raised a wine bowl at him, saying, “Come, let’s drink and talk.”
“Don’t we need to wait for him?” Qin Lie asked, surprised.
“No need.” Li Mu smiled faintly and drank a bowl first. He then breathed out the scent of wine in pleasure, saying, “Don’t be polite, come, drink! This wine is very good.”
Qin Lie obeyed and gulped some down. WIth that, he started to cough loudly, his face flushing red.
He had never drank such strong wine before!
When the gulp of liquid reached his throat, it was like a fiery burning ball of fire sliding down. The next sensation was from his stomach, and it was like molten metal flowing inside him. It was so scorching that he almost cried out.
“Cough cough, cough cough, this wine, this wine is so strong!”
Qin Lie’s body was burning, his stomach feeling a scorching pain and his face became as red as blood.
“It’s like this when drinking for the first time. It will be fine when you get used to it,” Li Mu snickered. “If you can’t bear it, hmm, you can dilute it with a bit of water. When your stomach gets used to it, you can take small slow sips.”
“Then, let’s dilute it with water…” Qin Lie was not stubborn and instantly surrendered, turning to find water. After a while, he came back with a big jug of water.
Li Mu was shocked still, then smiled at him, but didn’t say anything.
Qin Lie held up the big jug of water and was preparing to dilute his drink when his gaze suddenly filled with astonishment, which made him pause in place.
The burning pain in his abdomen had stopped, and a warm and pleasurable feeling gradually spread throughout his body. That thick and strong scent of wine also spread through his esophagus like air and made him savor its indescribable beauty. This feeling when drinking wine… he had never experienced it before.
A dizzy and half-intoxicated feeling was a pleasure to him.
“Good, good wine…”
After pausing for a while, he burped and put down the jug of water. His face red, he picked up the bowl of wine again and took a little sip. He instantly closed his eyes, silently feeling the spiciness of the wine entering his throat, the burning heat in his stomach, and savored it. An intoxicated feeling showed on his face.
Li Mu showed slight shock and reminded Qin Lie with good intentions, “This wine … is a bit strong, your body might not be able to bear it when drinking for the first time. You better add a bit of water so it won’t harm your body.”
“No problem, it’s alright, I can still tolerate it.” Qin Lie said with a dazed drunkenness.
It was only just two little sips, and he was already slightly drunk. He had gotten intoxicated much faster, and it was much stronger compared to when he drank ten bowls of liquor back at Ling Town.
“Then I won’t say anymore. You take note of your condition and stay within your limits.” Li Mu looked deeply at him, smiled slightly, and said while nodding, “Little Ice is coming…”
Just as Qin Lie was astounded, a big wolfdog that was completely snow-white came in from outside.
This big wolfdog was about one meter long, its fur as glossy as silk and its eyes almost human-like, flashing with intelligence…
When it came over, it headed straight for the other bench and sat on it like a human, its paw grabbing the wine bowl and poured itself a bowl.
It quickly finished a big bowl of the strong wine, and its eyes showed great pleasure as it burped.
Qin Lie looked at the big wolfdog at that suddenly appeared in shock. He asked, “Uncle Li, this is?”
“This is the friend I was referring to.” Li Mu smiled and then he happily stroked the white fur of the big wolfdog. The big wolfdog seemed very comfortable under his touch, its eyes narrowed as it crouched soundlessly.
“Qin Lie, if you want to become a true artificer, you cannot just practice inscribing spirit diagrams,” said Li Mu. He then thought for a bit and continued, “Yes, spirit diagrams are the true core of spirit artifacts and their essence, the factor that decides the level of the spirit artifacts.”
He looked at Qin Lie. “But for a true artificer, they need to know how to merge and refine all kinds of spirit materials to make an ‘artifact.’ Only when there is an ‘artifact’ can you inscribe spirit diagrams on the ‘artifact.’ What you are practicing now is the last step of the artifact forging process, yet you do not seem to be familiar with the breakdown, mixing, smelting, and precipitating of materials to make an ‘artifact’?”
“It is just as you said,” bitterly replied Qin Lie with an honest face. “I’m just dabbling, not a true artificer. I do not have anyone teaching me how to smelt materials to make ‘artifacts.’ I only know a few spirit diagrams, so I can only start from there.”
“So that’s how it is.” Li Mu made a sound and then said, “You should go to Nebula Pavilion and ask to be Yao Tai’s assistant. Yao Tai is an artificer of Nebula Pavilion, his skill in spirit diagrams is… very normal, but he has some skill in combining materials and smelting them to become ‘artifacts.’ You can go and learn from him.”
Qin Lie’s expression changed slightly. He thought carefully and then asked, “Artificers only pass on their knowledge of artifact forging to their disciples and even occasionally conceals it from them. That Yao Tai… will he teach me? Will he teach me how to smelt materials into ‘artifacts’?”
“Haha, what artificers protect with their life is just the core spirit diagrams. Most of the time, they would not be very careful with the art of smelting. This part only requires observation and experimentation. It does not need a lot of guidance to be gradually mastered. Each artificer’s true core secrets are the spirit diagrams that they inscribe. That is what they would not easily divulge, even to their disciples.”
Li Mu looked at him with a smile. “And for this part, you don’t need to learn from him, right?”
“Would he be willing to accept me?” Qin Lie’s eyes grew bright. He had been convinced by Li Mu. “Most artificers are very proud, eccentric, and hard to relate to. Furthermore, there are many competing to be assistants, I don’t know if that Yao Tai is willing to accept me…”
“You will know when you try.” Li Mu smiled meaningfully.
“Great, I will report to Nebula Pavilion tomorrow and see if I can request to be moved to Yao Tai’s place,” Qin Lie said firmly in his drunken stupor.
“Qin Lie, the world outside is very big and you are just starting out. Youth… is really good.” Li Mu sighed emotionally.
“Uncle Li, do you know about the outside world? Can you recount your experiences to me?” Qin Lie’s thought wandered away.
“I roamed around when I was young, went to some places, encountered some people, knew of some matters…” Li Mu nodded. He took another swallow, his eyes slightly red as he continued in a low voice, “Just speaking of this continent under our feet called Scarlet Tide, it has at least a hundred Limestone rank forces like Nebula Pavilion and Shattered Ice Manor. Forces similar to Dark Asura Hall and Seven Fiends Valley that are Black Iron ranked forces, there are more than ten.”
“And above that, there are only two Copper ranked forces… these two Copper ranked forces have dominated the Scarlet Tide Continent for centuries and have taken over the best cultivation resources. Not only that, they possess the best quality mines, they rule the multiple Black Iron ranked forces like Dark Asura Hall and Seven Fiends Valley, and they control all the beings on this continent, able to decide whether low ranking martial practitioners live or die.”
Li Mu paused, looked deeply at Qin Lie, and then faintly smiled. “In Spirit Realm, there are many continents like Scarlet Tide. On the Scarlet Tide Continent, those at the highest rank are only at the Copper rank, but on other continents, there are Silver ranked forces and even Gold ranked forces! Those continents are even vaster than Scarlet Tide, more prosperous, and even possess wonders you cannot even dream of or imagine!”
Qin Lie’s blood surged while he listened as though he saw a vast picture, his mind floating to the other beautiful continents.
“Uncle Li, since you know this much, then shouldn’t you have traveled to many places?” Qin Lie inquired in admiration.
“Yes, I went to many places, roamed and stumbled for half of my life, but in the end, in the end, I still… sigh.” Li Mu’s face was lonely. He did not finish speaking and sighed. He gulped down the strong wine in the bowl and seemed to be in reminiscence.