In Nebula Pavilion’s large specialized combat room, there was a fake mountain area, a forested area, an urban street area, and a river area, all simulated to help martial practitioners adjust to fighting in various environments and directly increase their combat experience.
“Whoosh whoosh whoosh!”
Two figures flashed among the rocky peaks of the fake mountain area. Two balls of white light occasionally collided or violently charged on the large stones that caused the rock to fragment.
Suddenly, a ball of white light hit a large rock and suddenly stopped, turning into Gao Yu.
“Gao Yu, even if you and I do not use the arts we cultivate, it’s hard for you to defeat me.” The other ball of white light also landed and turned into a heavily-sweating Qin Lie.
He was now slightly taller, and even though his body was as thin as always, he did not seem as small anymore…
“You freak, your body is even stronger than those in the Natal Opening Realm. It really isn’t easy to win against you,” Gao Yu snorted; he too was also sweating heavily.
After fighting, his complexion seemed even more pale as though he was a seriously ill patient that left his sickbed and made people worry that he would quickly collapse and never get back up.
Yet Qin Lie knew how terrifying Gao Yu was and knew what cunning and vicious killing moves lay beneath this person’s seemingly ill appearance.
In this period of time, he learned artifact forging from Yao Tai during the day and frequently sparred against Gao Yu in the Combat Room.
After the fight against Feng Kai last time, he realized that he lacked combat experience, so he had recently borrowed books on this subject from Scripture Tower. After he studied it, Gao Yu coincidentally wanted to win against him and proactively invited him to battle. He readily agreed, and the two started to fight in the Combat Room.
At the beginning, Gao Yu fought using the art recorded on the Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record. When it crossed against his Heavenly Thunder Eradication, it was defeated every single time.
Heavenly Thunder Eradication was the bane of all scriptures that used dark souls or angry spirits. Gao Yu using his spirit art of the Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record to fight against him was basically asking to be humiliated.
When the evil or dark spirits appeared, they would instantly turn to ashes when struck by the heavenly lightning.
After multiple times, Gao Yu himself admitted that Qin Lie was his bane. He was not willing to give up and stipulated that the two of them should use a different method to fight — he would not use the Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record and Qin Lie was similarly not allowed to use Heavenly Thunder Eradication.
It was a fight based purely on spirit energy and the body.
Gao Yu had a plethora of combat experience and in the second battle, he held the advantage which caused Qin Lie to become disheveled and in more even circumstances.
But because Qin Lie’s physical body was extremely strong, he never truly lost even though he was always at the disadvantage. After he underwent Gao Yu’s barrage, his body would frequently just be lightly wounded, and it did not greatly affect his combat capabilities.
Therefore, Qin Lie was repeatedly beaten down by Gao Yu in the beginning, but he did not lose.
After sparring multiple times, Qin Lie slowly found the trick, and the one-sided situation slowly turned around.
As his combat experience grew, the advantage of his strong body was completely utilized. He started to turn from the defender to the attacker, and how he fought became disciplined while Gao Yu gradually showed his exhaustion.
In the recent few sessions, when the two battled again, Gao Yu became the one that could not stand up.
His body would not be able to stand up when Qin Lie ferociously attacked with a storm of fierce blows in close quarters, and he would lose first.
Gao Yu did not have friends in Nebula Pavilion; his personality was eccentric and made people feel he was dark and hard to interact with, so he rarely conversed with others.
It was only due to his frequent fights with Qin Lie that the two gradually grew familiar. Qin Lie also became Gao Yu’s only friend in Nebula Pavilion.
“In Nebula Pavilion, there probably aren’t any martial practitioners of the same level that can best us.” Gao Yu stood next to the stone peak, and his slightly brooding face showed seriousness. “But that is not definite. There are many variables in battle. Spirit artifacts are an extremely large variable. If an opponent possesses a powerful high ranked spirit artifact, they can defeat either of us by relying on the advantage of the spirit artifact.”
“Your spirit artifact is not ordinary. You can use the spirit artifact and even cause those in the preliminary stages of the Natal Opening Realm to be disheveled. It is only that the art I cultivate in that is your bane. If you were facing anyone else with a slightly higher realm, you would easily be able to suppress them,” Qin Lie said.
“Mn, it is exactly as you said.” Gao Yu nodded. “Since I have this kind of spirit artifact, others can as well, so we both need to be careful.”
“Why say this?” Qin Lie asked.
“The outside hasn’t been peaceful recently. It seems the spirit beasts of the Arctic Mountain Range have come out and attacked the little villages and towns near the border. There were several of my Gao Family’s clansmen that were bitten to death by spirit beasts. I heard my dad say that the spirit beasts have been acting unusual recently. Their area of activity is too broad, and they might take unusual actions.”
Gao Yu explained, “If there aren’t any unexpected incidents, Nebula Pavilion will arrange for martial practitioners to eradicate the spirit beasts. I’ve used up pretty much all my contribution points, so I am preparing to take a mission.”
Hearing him mention contribution points, Qin Lie’s face became bitter, “I’ve used up most of my contribution points too.”
Borrowing books from Scripture Tower required contribution points, using the Gravity Room, Meditation Room, and Combat Room to cultivate also used up contribution points.
Recently, he had visited those places frequently and almost used all of his contribution points. When he came to the Combat Room today, the person at registration had told him that he only had ninety-three contribution points left.
To receive contribution points from Nebula Pavilion required one to go on missions such as going out to hunt spirit beasts, finding spirit mines and materials, killing martial practitioners from enemy forces, and so on.
In order to utilize Nebula Pavilion’s cultivation resources, one had to have contribution points. Otherwise, one was not allowed to enter Scripture Tower, Artifact Tower, and all other kinds of cultivation grounds.
“You are with Yao Tai and definitely have no way of getting contribution points. You’ve also been very diligent in cultivating recently, and I guessed that you have pretty much used up all of your contribution points.” Gao Yu thought and then said, “I will go ask about the situation and see if there are any missions. If you don’t have anything to do in the near future, you can come with me.”
“Mn, let’s see what missions there are first.” Qin Lie nodded.
A piece of rock suddenly came from the street area that was next to them. The rock hit Gao Yu’s calf and caused Gao Yu’s face to turn cold and darkly say, “Which son of a bitch is throwing rocks around?”
“Bastard, what are you talking about?” Several young martial practitioners showed their heads in the street area next to them, and a tall person shouted.
“Wei Li, do not pay attention to that crazy dog, let’s continue our training.” Liu Ting was clad in rose-red attire as she valiantly stood at the corner of the street and prettily said that as she wrinkled her nose.
Qin Lie turned his head to look. That group was Liu Ting and Wei Li; Liu Ting was the daughter of the vice pavilion master, Liu Yun, while Wei Li was Elder Wei Xing’s son.
Wei Xing was on Liu Yuntao’s side and one of those that leaned towards Liu Yuntao succeeding as pavilion master.
Gao Yu’s expression was icy as he bent his head to find a fist-sized rock. He aimed at Wei Li’s chest and suddenly threw it.
That rock whistled and was extremely forceful. If Wei Li was struck, he would definitely have to lay on the bed for a few days.
Wei Li’s talent was very normal and only at the eighth level of the Refinement Realm, slightly lower compared to Qin Lie and Gao Yu. Seeing the rock howling as it came, his face couldn’t help but change.
Liu Ting shouted, her left hand reaching out lightning fast and steadily received the rock; her body just shook lightly.
She snorted and then said with a cold face, “As expected, he’s a rabid dog, biting whoever he sees. Wei Li, ignore them. Both of them are poor and have used up all their contribution points. In a few days, we won’t see them in the cultivation grounds anymore. The outside hasn’t been peaceful recently, and many people will be sent out on missions. These two might go out and never come back, so why pay attention to them?”
“Sister Ting is right,” hurriedly said Wei Lie after he released a breath.
“The next time your rocks dare to fly astray, what will be returned won’t be rocks. Instead, I’ll let you have a taste of my vengeance spirits.” Gao Yu’s expression was dark as he replied coldly and then left shoulder to shoulder with Qin Lie.
In the days to come, when Qin Lie was learning artifact forging from Yao Tai, martial practitioners would continuously come and ask Yao Tai to help fix their spirit artifacts.
“There seem to be many people sent out on missions. It really is troublesome that so many people’s spirit artifacts are damaged. They are wasting my artifact forging time.” Yao Tai complained every day. “If the spirit artifact material has not been heavily damaged, it can still be used, but if the spirit diagram is damaged, then it needs to be repaired. The repair of the spirit diagrams is not so simple, and is too deep for you. You don’t need to come for the next few days.”
With that, Qin Lie temporarily had nothing to do during the day.
“Qin Lie, come and chat with me.” This day, when Qin Lie returned to his little room, he heard Zhuo Qian shout.
Twisting his head to look, Qin Lie found Zhuo Qian in her little three-story tower as she leaned against the window and beckoned for him to come over with a hand.
“Coming.” Qin Lie smiled and naturally walked to Zhuo Qian’s little tower.
In this period of time, he frequently went to Zhuo Qian’s place to chat. Sometimes it was about cultivation, sometimes about the state of Dark Asura Hall, and sometimes about the unique attributes of Seven Fiends Valley.
“What has Sister Qian been busy with recently?” asked Qin Lie when he came over.
“Gathering spirit materials. I’m preparing to ask someone to forge a suitable spirit artifact for me, so I’ve only returned to the pavilion these few days ago.” Zhuo Qian was wearing sleeping robes and was in a lazy state. She smoothed the bangs in front of her forehead as she said with worry and vexation, “Sigh, I’ve gathered all the spirit materials and sent it over. I just don’t know if it will be a success. If it fails, I’m done for.”
It was not difficult for the martial practitioners of Nebula Pavilion to get spirit artifacts. They could search and trade for them in the Artifact Tower through the use of contribution points. But the majority of spirit artifacts in the Artifact Tower were not of high rank and were all forged by Yao Tai.
If one had enough spirit stones and could go to the Commerce Street, they could pick higher ranked spirit artifacts in places like Armament Pavilion.
—The spirit artifacts there were of better quality than those Yao Tai forged and were much stronger.
Of course, those who were pickier and had their own avenues would find special spirit artifacts themselves and find an artificer to custom-make one for them. They would smelt a unique spirit artifact that was most appropriate for them based on their cultivation and art.
These spirit artifacts that were forged based on the user’s attributes were the ones that martial practitioners dreamed about and also the most valuable and suitable for them.
Both Zhuo Qian and Tu Ze’s fathers were commanders of Dark Asura Hall, so both were the type with such avenues. They could ask high ranked artificers to make a spirit artifact specifically for them.
“Tu Ze has gone to Dark Asura Hall with his spirit materials and also the spirit materials I’ve gathered. He knows my situation very well and will tell everything to the artificer there. As to whether a suitable spirit artifact can be made for me… no one can say for sure.”
Zhuo Qian’s face was full of worry. “This is the third time. If it fails again, I’m afraid I won’t be able to bear it.”
“It’s failed twice?” Qin Lie was shocked.
“What did you think?”
Zhuo Qian grimaced. “The failure rate of artifact forging far surpasses the rate of success. The higher the rank of the spirit artifact, the higher the rate of failure. Yet, for the uniqueness, for it to be completely complementary with the art, sometimes, one must swallow the bitter pill of failure.”
He looked at Qin Lie and forced a smile. “This is actually not bad. If Tu Ze fails this time, it is his fourth time; he’s worse off than I am…”
“Uh, after failure, does the artificer need to take responsibility?” Qin Lie was astounded inside.
“What responsibility does the artificer need to take?” Zhuo Qian’s face was puzzled. “Even the top artificers do not dare to guarantee a hundred percent success rate. Failure is a normal event, nothing to wonder at. Even if the forging fails, we still need to pay a portion of the fee. Did you assume that the artificer would work for free?”
“You need to pay even if it fails?” Qin Lie’s eyebrows rose.
“Of course. Even though the fee is slightly lower than if it succeeds, the fee is still definitely something that has to be paid.” Zhuo Qian nodded and said in a matter-of-fact manner, “There is no artificer that forges for free. Success or failure, they will take their fee. This is a basic rule of the artificer world.”