“What’s wrong?” Qin Lie asked.
Yao Tai was an Artificer nurtured by Nebula Pavilion and was also the only Artificer they had. He forges artifacts with Nebula Pavilion’s resources, and the forged artifacts would then be placed in the Artifact Tower so martial practitioners could trade in contribution points for them.
Normally, if weapons of Nebula Pavilion’s martial practitioners were damaged in battle, they were also to be fixed by Yao Tai.
Those were Yao Tai’s daily tasks in Nebula Pavilion.
“Qin Lie, you might be thinking too lightly of this. I know that Artificers have extremely high statuses and are also admired by others, which is why there are many who wish to become Artificers.” Han Qingrui stroked his beard with knitted brows, and continued with sincerity, “However, it is difficult for you to imagine just how challenging it is to become an Artificer. This path… will be far more arduous than you have imagined.”
Qin Lie silently nodded. “I understand.”
“Great Master Yao is an Artificer of the pavilion. He has already been here for over twenty years and can still only successfully forge Common Grade Four spirit artifacts. Mn, his ranking would also be at the Common Fourth Rank.” Han Qingrui pondered and said, “Advancing ranks in Artifact Forging is much more difficult than that of a martial practitioner’s realm advancement. Practicing forging would require enormous training resources as support, millions of tempering and research, astonishing comprehensive abilities, as well as… a great teacher’s guidance. Without a great teacher, without anyone to teach the inscription of spirit diagrams, it is nearly impossible to become an Artificer on one’s own.”
“Uncle Han and Great Master Yao are at least friends, and some things are troublesome to say, so let me do the honors.”
Little fatty Kang Zhi voluntarily assumed the duty of explaining. He looked toward a building not too far away, showing Qin Lie that the place over there was precisely Great Master Yao’s forging grounds, then said while bitterly smiling, ”Great Master Yao was also previously a martial practitioner, though his realm wasn’t too high. Uh, he seems to only be at the early stage of the Natal Opening Realm even now. It is said that his luck reached as high as the heavens and he unwittingly bought a scripture at Commerce Street. He later discovered that there were a few eccentric diagrams in the last few pages of the scripture. Only after fumbling for a long time did he come to realize that those were the most basic spirit diagrams. Then, he went wild with joy and started trying to forge artifacts through trial and error…
“He gathered low ranked spirit materials himself, and after fiddling with them for who knows how long, he finally forged a Common Grade One spirit artifact. Then, he took that spirit artifact, came to Nebula Pavilion, and found the Pavilion Master at that time, which was big bro Tu Ze’s father. He told Uncle Tu that he was an Artificer and demanded Nebula Pavilion to hire him.
“Back then, Uncle Tu had just founded Nebula Pavilion not too long ago and had a bold spirit that reached the heavens, so he took him in. Great Master Yao could only forge Common Grade One Spirit artifacts at the time. The materials for practice weren’t precious, so Uncle Tu supported him, also hoping that he would succeed in the future.
“In a flash, twenty-odd years passed by. Uncle Tu had gone to Dark Asura Hall a long time ago while Great Master Yao also attained his current Common Fourth Rank from a Common First Rank Artificer.”
As he spoke till here, Kang Zhi paused for a little and bitterly laughed, “Over twenty years, to have only come from the First Rank to the Fourth Rank, this rate of advancement… is beyond slow. The reason why this is the case is all because the spirit diagrams that Great Master Yao had acquired back then were the most basic and simplistic kind.
“A few years prior, Uncle Tu came back from Dark Asura Hall and also brought a Artificer with him. The moment that Artificer saw the spirit diagram that Great Master Yao possessed, he explicitly stated that if Great Master Yao merely relied on only those few basic spirit diagrams, it would be difficult to break through into the ranks of a high rank Artificer during his lifetime.”
“Which is to say, Great Master Yao’s achievements are merely so much, and it would be very tough to advance any further.” Han Feng interjected, “He came into the profession without much proficiency, with no one to show him the path and no guidance from a master. Most importantly, he doesn’t have any way to acquire higher ranked spirit diagrams, so he cannot inscribe higher ranked spirit artifacts either.”
“Not only that.” Kang Zhi squinted his little eyes. “In these years, there were also many martial practitioners who have joined the pavilion, carrying their hopes and dreams, and voluntarily requested to become Great Master Yao’s assistant, hoping to receive his good graces. However, Great Master Yao treats his spirit diagrams as though they were his life and would never speak about any details regarding them, only allowing those people to assist him with the forging.
“You ought to know, spirit diagrams are the soul of spirit artifacts. Inscriptions made without a grasp of spirit diagrams cannot make the ‘artifact’ turn into a spirit artifact. This was also why when those people, who had come for Great Master Yao, realized that he had not taught them anything about spirit diagram inscription after a few years had passed, they all left his side while cursing him in rage.
“After that stingy and selfish reputation propagated, none of the newcomers in recent years were willing to be an assistant apprentice over there. Nowadays, he is doing all the artifact forging entirely by himself. He had also complained to the pavilion, grumbling that there was not enough manpower. But unfortunately, every time the pavilion wanted to arrange some people to him, they would all firmly refuse after some slight inquires about him…”
Kang Zhi illustrated Yao Tai’s situation in minute details and concluded at last, “If you want to follow Yao Tai, then don’t even think about getting a single spirit diagram from him in ten years. That guy considers his spirit diagrams to be even more important than his life. I advise you to change your mind right now, and don’t waste your time there.”
“Mn, Qin Lie, you can’t really take it for granted and think that he is really some ‘Great Master.’ That guy, even though he isn’t very capable, if he was willing to impart spirit diagrams to others, there’d still be many who would be willing to learn from him. Unfortunately, he blankets those spirit diagrams so tightly that no one could attain anything. Who would still be so foolish to help him work?” Han Feng too offered his opinion.
Through Kang Zhi and Han Feng’s explanations, Qin Lie roughly understood what kind of person Yao Tai was. However, the reason why he applied to be assigned to Yao Tai’s side just happened to not be for spirit diagrams…
“Uncle Han, please arrange me under Yao Tai, I wish to become his assistant.” Under the three’s shocked and confused gazes, Qin Lie said, “I’m not going there for his spirit diagrams, and I won’t stay over there for too long either, about a year or so at most. Trust me, I am not a fool. I have my own plans and reasons for this, so there’s no need for you to dissuade me any longer.”
The moment he said that, the three all became puzzled as they looked at each other’s faces, wondering what goal he could possibly have.
They had explained Yao Tai’s situation very clearly and thoroughly without any covering up; but since Qin Lie still insisted, there was nothing they could do either.
“Alright, I’ll arrange it for you.” Han Qingrui nodded at last.
Holding a writing brush with his head lowered, he very quickly wrote a introduction letter on the paper, explaining Qin Lie’s identity and status. He stamped it and then passed it to Qin Lie. “Take this letter, and just go directly report to Yao Tai over there. Mn, before that, let Han Feng take you to the warehouse, pick up your garments, and arrange your lodgings.”
“Uncle Han, is it already possible for me to go train in the cultivation rooms and borrow books to read from the Scripture Tower now?”
“Naturally, you still have one thousand contribution points that can be used. As long as you have contribution points on you, you can take advantage of any facility within the pavilion,” Han Qinrui said as a matter of fact.
Inwardly rejoiced, Qin Lie thanked him. Then, under the lead of Han Feng and Kang Zhi, he fetched four sets of martial practitioner uniforms specially made by Nebula Pavilion and was even assigned to a small house.
Through Han Feng and Kang Zhi’s connections, the location of that house was quiet and peaceful, the facilities inside were complete as well, and it was even near Zhuo Qian’s pavilion.
“Zhuo Qian isn’t our Nebula Pavilion’s personnel. She was born in Dark Asura Hall, and her father was also a commander like Uncle Tu. Her father’s ideology was similar to Uncle Tu’s as they both thought that juniors ought to be grinded and sharpened from powers at a lower level, letting the junior generations feel the rigidity in different levels of powers. Through their own efforts and struggles they will advance without being entirely reliant on their parent’s generation.”
“So, she was sent to our Nebula Pavilion at a young age. High hopes were also placed on her by her parents, hoping that she would mature independently through the experiences in a lower leveled power. Mn, she is the same as big brother Tu and have also broken through to the Natal Opening Realm. Currently, she is stabilizing her realm, and ought to come out soon enough.”
Kang Zhi took Qin Lie to that little house and explained as he pointed at a three-story pavilion beside the rock garden and bamboo forest.
That pavilion was very elegantly constructed. There were many designs of spirit beasts on the wall, appearing secluded in good taste amidst the rock gardens and bamboo forest.
This little flat of Qin Lie’s had three rooms, and rubbing off the good fortunes of Zhuo Qian, the surrounding environment was pretty good and also exceptionally quiet; very suitable for quietly cultivating.
“Usually, Han Feng, Chu Peng, and I will be in the pavilion, and we only go out at night to play around. If you need any help, you can come and seek us out. Oh, right, let’s go take a stroll tonight, we’ll hold a welcoming reception for you!” Kang Zhi’s eyes brightened as his chubby face revealed a hint of ambiguity. “I’ll take you to a good place!”
Qin Lie was astounded. “Let’s pass on that today. I’m also tired after walking for an entire day and in a little while I will go to borrow a few books to read at the Scripture Tower. My understanding of the martial way’s basics is much too lacking, so I need to properly cram for a bit. Tomorrow, I still need to go report at Great Master Yao’s place. I don’t have time, man. Maybe another day, another day.”
“Alright then, after big brother Tu comes out, we are going to go there and play together. That’s settled, okay? You can’t keep shrinking down when that time comes!” Kang Zhi said as he pretended to be angry.
“Alright.” Qin Lie agreed for the lack of a better option.
Shortly, Kang Zhi and Han Feng said their goodbyes and left while he alone proceeded in the direction of Scripture Tower by himself.
“Eh, isn’t that the Ling Town’s brat?” On the way, a cold voice suddenly came through. A martial practitioner around thirty years old looked at Qin Lie with creased brows.
Qin Lie turned around and gave him a glance, and he found that a group of people had walked out from the Armament Tower to the side.
These people were all subordinates of Du Haitian. They had gone to Ling Town with Du Haitian before and pressed the Ling Family to the brink of total destruction. In the end, however, because he displayed the Nebula Token, those people had to retreat from Ling Town in defeat with their heads drooping and faces ashen.
“Hehe, that kid was engaged to the Ling Family’s First Miss, but too bad the marriage promise was broken.” One of them mocked with a cold face, “The Ling Family has really grappled onto some high-hanging fruit. Those two girls reached the heavens with a single leap and were directly chosen by Seven Fiends Valley’s Granny Jiu as disciples. How can that Ling Chengye… allow such a kid affect his daughter’s future prospects?”
“Right, if I were Ling Chengye, I would also have immediately rescinded the engagement.” Continued someone else.
The Scripture Tower and Armament Tower were situated across from each other. Around this area, there were many martial practitioners who come and go.
Hearing the ridicule those few spouted, many others stopped and revealed expressions of interest, and even inquired further to ask about just what were the circumstances.
After they figured out the situation and found out that Ling Chengye had thus abandoned Qin Lie for Ling Yushi, they all had odd looks in their eyes, pointing and gesturing at Qin Lie as they clamorously commented.