Within the longblade, three spirit diagrams were embedded together. He did not recognize the primary spirit diagram which had a relatively unique structure that formed a nebula cluster with specks of starlight.
He examined and then found out that the stars of the main spirit diagram were a reaction caused by a special material called Stellar Iron.
In other words, the primary diagram in the nebula cluster was important to stimulate the Stellar Iron and bring out its abilities.
Qin Lie wasn’t familiar with the primary diagram and did not know its name. He could just barely see its effects and was unable to copy or modify it.
The other two spirit diagrams were a Spirit Gathering diagram and an Amplification diagram. They were both basic spirit diagrams.
Also, compared to the Spirit Gathering and Amplification diagrams that he had mastered, the Spirit Gathering and Amplification inside the longblade seemed to be simplified versions. Whether it was the level of detail or the number of spirit lines inscribed, it was much weaker.
The Spirit Gathering and Amplification diagrams were embedded within the primary diagram. The Amplification diagram had been successfully inscribed, but the Spirit Gathering diagram… was only half complete and seemed like the person had abruptly stopped there.
In other words, the spirit diagram inside the longblade had not been successfully inscribed at all.
It was only a half finished product.
His eyes were startled as he took out the Dragon Bone Whip and felt it with his mind.
The situation was slightly different but generally the same.
The Dragon Bone Whip was made with four spirit diagrams. The primary diagram was snake-shaped; it was long and twisted, and it filled the inside of the whip as the main channel. It was also the core of the Dragon Bone Whip’s spirit diagram and the crucial factor in expressing its ability—the main diagram did not have any problems.
The other three spirit diagrams were a Spirit Storage diagram, a Spirit Gathering diagram, and an Amplification diagram. Of those, the Spirit Storage and Spirit Gathering diagrams were completely inscribed.
The one that had a problem was the Amplification diagram.
The Amplification diagram inside the Dragon Bone Whip was also only half-inscribed. The artificer seemed to have discovered something and suddenly stopped.
The situation was the same as the longblade.
Both were half-completed products, and other than the primary formation that was hard to understand, Qin Lie found that the basic Spirit Gathering, Amplification, and Spirit Storage diagrams were crude and without finesse. The structures were loose and messy, far lacking compared to the three basic spirit diagrams he knew.
There were no problems with the primary diagrams of the longblade and Dragon Bone Whip. The problem lied in the Spirit Gathering and Amplification diagrams, yet they were both basic diagrams.
“Big Brother Tu, Sister Zhuo, the spirit diagrams inside this longblade and Dragon Bone Whip… seem incomplete, why is it so?” asked Qin Lie after a moment of silence.
Tu Ze and Zhuo Qian were using the liquor to wash away their worries in depressed moods. Kang Zhi and the others were trying to comfort them.
They saw Qin Lie’s movements and had thought Qin Lie was just curious, so they had not paid it any mind.
Hearing Qin Lie’s inquiry, Tu Ze managed to respond and said with a grimace, “It seems Brother Lie‘s been with Master Yao for a while and learned something about forging. You are right, the spirit diagrams of the longblade and the Dragon Bone Whip were, in the end, not inscribed.”
An inquisitive gaze appeared in Qin Lie’s eyes.
Tu Ze put down the drinking bowl and explained to him, “Because when Great Master Lu was halfway in the forging process, he found that the Spirit Gathering diagram could not perfectly combine with the primary diagram. It might be a problem due to how it was planned out or a conflict between the materials. In any case, even if the Spirit Gathering diagram was inscribed completely, it cannot fully take advantage of the unique attributes of the primary diagram nor can it completely rouse the Stellar Iron, so this spirit artifact cannot surpass the Common Grade Four rank. In his eyes, this is a defective product.
“It is the same with Zhuo Qian’s whip, the Amplification diagram cannot truly combine with the primary diagram and cannot channel the full power of the material. This way, even if the Amplification diagram is inscribed, the level of the whip will be greatly lowered and cannot reach his predicted goal.”
Tu Ze shook his head and helplessly said, “Great Master Lu can accept failed products, but not defective ones, so when he saw it was unable to succeed, he was not willing to continue, and will not allow low level defective products to appear. For him, spirit artifacts below Common Grade Four is a humiliation to him, he definitely will not allow them to appear.”
“Great Master Lu is a Profound Second Rank artificer. The spirit artifacts he forges needs to be at least Common Grade Six! Any spirit artifacts that are lower than Common Grade Six will cause him to lose face, so he can accept failure but not the creation of low grade spirit artifacts,” added on Zhuo Qian and then helplessly finished, “Do you understand now?”
Qin Lie silently nodded.
He had followed Master Yao for a period of time and understood the artificer world. He knew that artificers had an eccentric habit — they could accept failure, but not defective works.
The great majority of artificers were perfectionists; rare were those that would make do.
He also knew that an artificer would usually have a plan before they inscribed spirit diagrams for the artifact.
They would design a compound diagram with basic diagrams and a primary diagram that was suited for the artifact. They would also first experiment on different kinds of spirit tablets. Only when there were no problems during testing would they finally inscribe them onto the spirit artifact itself.
While the compound diagrams that were specifically designed for spirit artifacts would not have problems on the spirit tablets, when they were actually used on the spirit artifact, there would be many unpredictable variables.
The material of the spirit diagram was made from many spirit materials smelted together and were more complex than spirit tablets. There were also special powers that could exist inside high level spirit materials…
With all this, the compound spirit diagram that had no problems on the spirit tablets had a high possibility of accidents on the spirit artifact.
Spirit diagrams collapsing in the process was an extremely common occurrence. There were also many artificers that were wounded in the process. Not only were conflicts between spirit diagrams and materials common situations, the incompatibility between diagrams were also common. These variations would cause the entire forging process to fail!
“Ah, I had planned to take everyone along to hunt and kill spirit beasts after these two spirit artifacts were forged and earn contribution points. Now that it has failed, my actions would be greatly discounted.” Tu Ze gulped down liquor and said with regret, “Yan Ziqian is going to overtake me.”
“Mn, I heard that Yan Ziqian has been active around Icestone City after breaking into the Natal Opening Realm. He’s already killed two Rank Two spirit beasts. It seems that someone over at Dark Asura Hall has heard his name and noted it down. Being able to be remembered by someone from Dark Asura Hall… is a great honor.”
Chu Peng furrowed his brows. “This will help him out greatly if he plans to enter Dark Asura Hall in the future. The guy really understands when to stand out.”
“Yan Ziqian’s Ice Drake Sword was custom made by Great Master Lu upon request. It is perfectly compatible with the art he cultivates. Before, when he was in the ninth level of the Refinement Realm, I felt very pressed when he fought against me with it. The true power of the Ice Drake Sword could not be displayed when he was in the Refinement Realm, so now that he is in the Natal Opening Realm, it will be even more terrifying.”
Tu Ze’s expression was dark as he inhaled. “In the future, Yan Ziqian will be even harder to deal with. If I do not have an appropriate spirit artifact when I encounter him next time, I will be at a disadvantage… ”
When the words came out, everyone’s expressions became grave, their brows tightly furrowed.
Shattered Ice Manor and Nebula Pavilion’s relationship had always been unfriendly; Tu Ze and Yan Ziqian were arch enemies. The hate between the two flowed deep, and they would explode in a fight if they encountered each other.
In the past, Yan Ziqian’s realm was slightly lower, and he could not truly display the power of the Ice Drake Sword, so Tu Ze was able to stand against him.
Now that both of them were in Natal Opening Realm, the power of the Ice Drake Sword would amplify Yan Ziqian’s power many times over. Without a fitting spirit artifact, Tu Ze would be unable to reach the limits of his art. If he met the present Yan Ziqian, the possibility of defeat was extremely high.
“The Nebula Art that I am cultivating in is the core spirit art that my father used when founding Nebula Pavilion. This art is extremely powerful. When it starts to circulate, it would form clouds of nebulas, and there are many wonders inside. However, the longblade that I use leans towards heat and fire; completely on a different path than my Nebula Art, so it cannot display my art’s true power.”
Tu Ze looked at the defective product and regretfully continued, “There is Stellar Iron mixed into this longblade. It is said that Stellar Iron is from the fragments of stellar explosions. This is something that can truly help me show the true power of my Nebula Art. If this blade could be forged, I would be completely confident if I had to face Yan Qiqian, but now… ah.”
“Big Brother Tu, Sister Qian, I’m curious about artifact forging. Can you let me examine this blade and this whip for a period of time?” requested Qin Lie after being silent for a while.
Tu Ze shrugged and carelessly said, “It’s a defective item, and it isn’t as fitting as my original one. It’s fine if you want to play with it.”
“The spirit diagrams have not been completely inscribed, so it isn’t really a spirit artifact. Take it, since it is scrap, you can do whatever.” Zhuo Qian also expressed her attitude.
The next day.
Because Yao Tai was busy repairing spirit artifacts and did not have the time to teach him how to smelt artifacts, his days were very idle.
His contribution points were almost all used up; he could not borrow books from the Scripture Tower or refine his techniques in the cultivation room.
Because of this, there was nothing suitable for him to do at Nebula Pavilion lately.
He used an oilcloth to wrap the Dragon Bone Whip and the longblade before he quietly left Nebula Pavilion and walked towards Li’s Shop on Commerce Street.
Recently, after Yan Qingsong and Feng Kai’s wounds healed, they had become Yan Ziqian’s assistants, due to the threat of spirit beasts, and hunted alongside him. They were extremely well-known at the moment, and even Crimson Fire Association and Water Moon Sect would mention these three people.
As Yan Qingsong and Feng Kai were not in Icestone City, Qin Lie did not need to worry about anything unexpected on the road and felt a bit of regret with how relaxed he was.
“You scamp, you’ve been in Nebula Pavilion and haven’t come for a long time. Are you afraid of those two from Shattered Ice Manor?” When Qin Lie walked in, Li Mu’s teasing voice sounded, “I heard that they had a terrible outcome while you didn’t end up so bad.”
“Uncle Li, how do you know?” Qin Lie was shocked.
“The girl that bought the Spirit Gathering Boards came to the store again. She saw your entire battle and mentioned it to me.” Li Mu smiled. “That girl is very interested in the Spirit Gathering Boards and quoted a price of two Common Grade Seven spirit stones. Do you have any interest in getting some spirit stones?”
“Uh, how many spirit tablets are there that are usable?” Qin Lie asked.
Before he left last time, he had taken many spirit tablets to Nebula Pavilion to practice inscribing the Spirit Storage diagram.
The practice of a new spirit diagram consumed great amounts of materials, so he had already used lots of spirit tablets. Now that Uncle Li mentioned it, he recalled there might not be enough spirit tablets remaining.
“Not many left, just thirty five spirit tablets. If you are going to keep practicing inscribing spirit diagrams, you need to replenish your spirit tablets,” Li Mu said with a smile.
“It seems that I need to earn some more spirit stones.” Qin Lie rubbed his head. He thought and then said, “If I add an Amplification diagram inside the Spirit Gathering Board, the rate at which the energy of the world is being gathered can be doubled. A stronger Spirit Gather Board should be more expensive, right?”
“You scamp.” Li Mu snickered. “Practice as you want. I promise to take care of that and give you a satisfactory price!”
“Thanks, Uncle Li, I’m going back to my room to think about a problem.” Qin Lie’s smile was bright. Taking the oilcloth bundle with the longblade and the Dragon Bone Whip, he walked towards the back yard. Just as he was going to leave the shop, he suddenly thought of something. He stopped in his steps and turned his head to look at Li Mu lazing on the chair. In a serious manner, he said, “I also have to thank Uncle Li for your great liquor.”
Finished, he walked out and into the little room in the back.