And so, Qin Lie stayed at Nebula Pavilion.
During the day, he would learn to recognize all sorts of low ranked spirit materials and paid attention to the steps taken by Yao Tai to smelt the spirit materials in his hall.
At night, he would study the artifact forging books, 《Identification of Low Grade Spirit Materials》, and 《Elementary Artifact Forging》 to deepen his knowledge and continue in his attempts to form a whirlpool so he could break through to the ninth level of the Refinement Realm.
During this period, he had returned once to Li’s Shop and found that it was actually closed; the person in question was also nowhere to be found.
Li Mu only left behind a letter, informing him that he was going out and would only return after two months.
“Qin Lie, how many spirit materials have you committed to memory in my Artifact Forging Hall?” Today, Yao Tai, wearing the appearance of a bird nest hair and an unshaven beard asked, “It’s been a month now, and I’ve told you to remember all the ranks of the spirit materials and categorize them properly. So how is it?”
For the past month, Yao Tai was just busy with his own stuff and frowning everyday. Most of the time he would leave Qin Lie alone and focus on drawing spirit diagrams.
He simply passed Qin Lie a few thick stacks of paper. Written on those papers were countless tiny words densely packed together, describing the in-depth knowledge of all kinds of spirit materials.
“Dragon Bone Jade, Common Grade Three spirit material. Shaped like dragon bones and very solid. When assimilated with an artifact after refinement, it can increase the toughness of said artifact, making it hard to break…”
“Ground Crystal, Common Grade Four spirit material. Yellowish-brown in color, able to connect with earth energy, suitable for spirit artifacts that are used to cultivate earth-type powers. Needs to be complemented with a special spirit diagram to function properly.”
“Golden Rhino Horn, Common Grade Three spirit material. The horn of a rhinoceros, golden in color, of incredible toughness and sharpness. Can be used as the main component when forging weapons! When complemented with metallic and sharp materials, its power will be tremendous!”
The special effects of all sorts of spirit materials were clearly written on the stack of papers, and from the looks of these scribbles, they were probably all written by Yao Tai himself.
All these years, Yao Tai had spent a tremendous amount of effort to identify the qualities of all kinds of spirit materials and made records of them.
When it came to artifact forging, Yao Tai’s attitude was about as straightforward as it gets. The detailed explanation of the characteristics of spirit materials were all inside those thick stacks of paper—it was the accumulation of over twenty years of his experience.
The 《Identification of Low Grade Spirit Materials》 Qin Lie borrowed from Scripture Tower had only simple drawings of the spirit materials. It was just enough for people to recognize Dragon Bone Jade, Ground Crystals, Golden Rhino Horns, and other spirit materials on sight, but there were no detailed explanations or details of their purposes for an Artificer.
Therefore, this 《Identification of Low Grade Spirit Materials》 had almost no value in comparison to the thick stacks of paper Yao Tai gave him.
“I’ve almost memorized all of them. I should be able to recognize all the spirit materials in the hall and roughly understand their characteristics.” Qin Lie put down the last stack of paper in his hands as a sincere smile appeared on his face. “It is thanks to your deep love and concern, Great Master, that I was able to have a real in-depth understanding of these spirit materials.”
He knew very well that those thick stacks of papers were the accumulation of Yao Tai’s twenty odd years of artifact forging experience, and they were invaluable to him.
If he were to learn Artifact Forging without these notes and without a teacher to guide him, then he would have to experiment again and again to confirm the characteristics of each and every spirit material.
That was to say that he would have to repeat the years Yao Tai had spent on this path.
“It’s nothing.” Yao Tai waved his hands and carelessly said, “Even if I didn’t tell you about their characteristics, if you were to slowly test them out, given a few years, you would eventually be able to figure all that out anyway. However, if no one is to teach or guide you on the drawings of spirit diagrams, then it will be neigh impossible to master just with basic understanding and experimentation alone…”
“Spirit diagrams are the true essence and core of Artifact Forging. An artifact without a spirit diagram can only be called an ‘artifact’ and not a ‘spirit artifact.’ You must understand this. If you want to become a true Artificer, the process of smelting an artifact itself… is just the foundation. Spirit diagrams are the key.”
“I’m not in a hurry.” Qin Lie chuckled.
In the first place, he hadn’t gone to Yao Tai for spirit diagrams at all. What he wanted to learn was the process of smelting artifacts and not the process of turning an ‘artifact’ into a ‘spirit artifact.’
“Today, you will continue to memorize all the characteristics of every spirit material. I will be forging artifacts tomorrow, and when that happens, you must bring over any spirit materials that I ask for at first notice. You must also make sure that the measurements are precise, and there cannot be even the slightest error!” A distinctively serious look surfaced on Yao Tai’s slightly chubby face.
“No problem.” Qin Lie nodded in agreement. He was also looking forward to it on the inside, hoping to witness the process of Yao Tai forging an artifact.
Once Yao Tai was finished, he began to frown in ponderment again, as if he was thinking about the details of tomorrow’s artifact forging.
On the other hand, Qin Lie was walking back and forth between cupboards which held the spirit materials in the hall, memorizing their respective locations so he could prepare for Yao Tai’s Artifact Forging tomorrow.
“Fatty Yao, can you help take another look at my ‘Mirror of Thousand Illusions’ again? It’s malfunctioning again after you helped me fixed it the last time. Did you really fix it then?”
In the evening, Qin Lie and Yao Tai were busy with their own affairs in the Artifact Forging Hall when, suddenly, they heard a tender shout.
Yao Tai was still calculating the precise number of spirit materials he needed to gather for tomorrow. The moment he heard the voice, his chubby face soured, and he muttered quietly, “What an annoying little girl…”
During this time, there would be some Nebula Pavilion martial practitioners who would look for Yao Tai to repair their broken spirit artifacts.
Every single time these visitors would act respectful and be very careful with their words. They were afraid that if they offended Yao Tai, he would break their spirit artifacts.
So this really was the first person he knew who would insultingly and openly address Yao Tai as ‘Fatty Yao.’
Qin Lie himself was inwardly surprised. He wondered who the newcomer was to cause even Yao Tai a headache.
Very soon, an unruly seventeen to eighteen year old girl, in tight orange clothing, arrived. Her hair was tied in a pair of twin tails, her face was cone-shaped, and her body was shapely and curvaceous. She held a mirror in her hand, and held an accusatory expression as she exclaimed loudly, “Are you capable of fixing this or not? If you’re really can’t, then I’d rather spend some spirit stones to let the Artificers at Armament Pavilion fix this. Every time I use it there’s always a problem; how troublesome.”
“My great grandaunt, Liu Ting, would you please give me a break? When you forged that Mirror of Thousand Illusions, there were a few materials that were inherently incompatible with each other, so it’s naturally going to malfunction more often than usual.” Yao Tai continued with a look of distress, “If you’re looking to fix it at Armament Pavilion, then just go. Even if I fix it again for you, next time you use it, it will break just as easily, and when that happens, you will just put the blame on me yet again.”
Qin Lie’s face flickered, and he couldn’t help but examine this girl who had walked in closely: So she’s Liu Ting…
As of late, he interacted quite a bit with Kang Zhi, Han Feng, and the others, and he had heard them utter the name “Liu Ting” several times. Liu Ting was the daughter of the Vice Pavilion Master, Liu Yuntao. Her talents were extraordinary, and she was already at the ninth level of the Refinement Realm, close to breaking through to the Natal Opening Realm.
Kang Zhi’s father, Kang Hui, would often compare him to Liu Ting, and every time he spoke of them, he would complain in an exasperated tone that Kang Zhi could not even compare to another’s girl.
As long as Liu Ting’s realm improved, then Kang Hui would lecture Kang Zhi, claiming that he had embarrassed him. Quite often than not, he would force Kang Zhi into cultivating in seclusion, saying that while he did not expect him to exceed Liu Ting, at the very least he should still be able to catch up to her footsteps.
That was why every time Kang Zhi mentioned Liu Ting, he would not have a single good word to offer. Words like “insolent little brat” and “lowly little girl” would often be common utterances.
“If the materials are incompatible, then why can’t you fix it until they’re not incompatible?” Liu Ting’s eyebrows flew high up as she continued to question aggressively, “You’re just bad, you hear me? If you were truly skilled, then you would be able to resolve even a problem like conflicting materials! You say it like it’s that easy; do you think I don’t need to spend spirit stones to fix things at Armament Pavilion? Seriously, Nebula Pavilion has fed you for so many years and supplied you with so many spirit materials to waste, yet you would shirk from your responsibility at a critical moment. I don’t even know for what are we feeding you for…”
The girl’s expression was impudent, and her tone was quite harsh to say the least. Yao Tai’s face turned colorful from anger, and he came this close to exploding.
On the sidelines, Qin Lie too was frowning inwardly.
“And you? You’re called Qin Lie was it?” You came from some vassal power called Ling Town and even hurt Dou Yang not long ago. I’m really surprised. Do all fellows who rise up from vassal powers these days know no manners at all?”
Liu Ting’s brows straightened as she abruptly turned her fire to Qin Lie’s head with just as tart a tone.
“First there was a Gao Yu, and now you. Both of you newly promoted bastards are of the same ilk with no concept of your own status at all! And I wonder what those people inside the pavilion are thinking. The rules they make are getting more and more ridiculous. Even fellows who haven’t managed to reach the Natal Opening Realm are allowed to enter Nebula Pavilion! Hmph, if my father was in that position, then don’t even think that the two of you can just get in so easily!”
“If you have any subordinates who are capable enough to severely injure Shattered Ice Manor’s Yan Dewu, to the point he couldn’t escape, then we will also allow him to join in straight away.”
Zhuo Qian’s teasing laughter suddenly rang out at just the right time, and on the final note, she walked right in with her bombastic body. Kang Zhi, Hang Feng, and the others were also following behind her, and they were all looking mockingly at Liu Ting.
“Severely injure Yan Dewu? Him? Like hell I’ll believe you!” Liu Ting curled her lips in disdain, but she was less arrogant than before after seeing Zhuo Qian coming towards her.
“It doesn’t matter if he did it himself; the point is, it is because of him that Yan Dewu still hasn’t been able to leave Shattered Ice Manor’s recuperative site.” Zhuo Qian smiled seductively. “Since the merit was reported by Ye Yangqiu’s subordinate, Liu Yan, there is no mistaking this. If you don’t believe it, then you can go look for Ye Yangqiu and reason with him; let’s see if the Discipline Hall will listen to you, hmm?”
After that, Zhuo Qian smiled brightly towards Qin Lie and said apologetically, “This sister of yours has been busy solidifying her realm as of late, so I had to dally until now before I could come looking for you. I really hope you don’t blame me.”
Qin Lie chuckled, “Congratulations, Sister Qian, for breaking through to the Natal Opening Realm.”
“And you are late. I thought you would have come to Nebula Pavilion a year ago, but who knew you would’ve taken this long to arrive.”
Zhuo Qian walked forward and, without any regard for the opposite sex, gave Qin Lie a powerful hug. She didn’t mind it at all even when her swollen breasts were pressed tightly against Qin Lie’s chest.
After letting go, she looked deeply at Qin Lie and said, “About that matter of yours, I’ve heard about it. You can say that your fiancee’s luck has turned around to be able to enter Granny Jiu’s sect. You have nothing to be depressed about; Seven Fiends Valley is at the same rank as Dark Asura Hall. With your talent and hard work, as long as you are alive, I am sure that one day you will be able to honorably reunite with her again and take her in your arms once more!”
A warm feeling bloomed inside Qin Lie’s heart as he smiled and nodded towards her.
“Hmph, the only reason you entered Nebula Pavilion was because you used your connections, and now you wish to enter Dark Asura Hall! Dream on, you fool!” Liu Ting let out a snort with a face full of ridicule. Then, she placed the Mirror of Thousand Illusions on top of a table before rolling her eyes at Yao Tai, saying, “I’ll be coming back for this in seven days. If there are any more problems, then sooner or later, I’ll have my dad fire you!”
And with that, she walked out of the hall.