Chapter 138: A Foot in the Door
Qin Lie prepared to keep trying.
Gathering his mind, he calmed his heart. His emotions gradually steadied, and he entered his dantian’s spirit sea through his soul consciousness.
Within his spirit sea that was like a sea of clouds, the three Natal Palaces were like heavenly paradises floating above the spirit sea.
The Natal Palace condensed from thunder and lightning was like a ball of lightning. Lightning arced across it, and thunder boomed loudly inside it. The Natal Palaces made from the power of frost were like two crystal balls that gave off a glowing light. Coldness flowed through them.
A wisp of consciousness divided into three slender threads that entered the three separate Natal Palaces.
His soul seemed to have suddenly entered three completely different worlds. One was full of rampaging lightning and thunder, bolts of lightning tangled together as they flashed and thunder boomed in waves.
Inside the thunder and lightning Natal Palace, great vibrations came from explosions that occurred everywhere. If the thought that entered there did not come from him, it would have been blown apart immediately.
The two other threads of thought landed in the two ice crystal spheres that were his two Natal Palaces. It was akin to stepping into a world of freezing ice and frost.
“Frost concept, the picture scroll drawn with cold power from the Natal Palace. Comprehending frost concept, grasp the method of using the frost power…”
He kept in mind the reason why he was going deep into the ice balls. Qin Lie’s two strands of thought moved through the two ice balls. He tried to manipulate a thread of frost power and use his soul consciousness to form it into a spirit line. He wanted to draw the lines of the frost picture scroll in this icy land.
Strangely, as this thought of his arose, he was able to easily manipulate the cold power filling the two, ice-sphere Natal Palaces!
Up until now, he had been unable to draw out the true frost power from the Natal Palaces and could not merge it into his spirit energy to perform powerful spirit arts.
As of recent, when he fought, the cold energy released from his body came from inside his body. It was from the cold energy his corporeal body had recently absorbed.
It was also because he could not control the cold energy and merge it into his Natal Palaces that he gave people the feeling of aloofness and coldness.
If he could channel the cold power and comprehend the essence of the frost concept, he could change all of this.
Threads of glowing ice formed from cold power were manipulated by his soul consciousness and slowly moved in the world of crystal ice…
He had drawn out the general shape of the frost picture in his mind. As his soul consciousness moved in his icy Natal Palace, he gradually grasped the wonders of the two ice-sphere Natal Palaces. He could clearly feel threads of cold energy gather through his muscles, veins, limbs, and even from his pores.
The thick-white, cold mist came from all directions and shrouded the area around him.
Under the Arctic Mountain Range, in that cruel, cold land covered in glaciers on top of a crystal peak, the extreme cold energy that never dissipated slowly flowed as though it was alive and gathered atop Qin Lie’s head.
Qin Lie seemed to be situated at the top of white clouds. The icy energy around him was so thick a desolate and freezing essence was released.
Time flowed by.
An unknown amount of time later, Qin Lie was startled awake. His eyes opened suddenly.
The thick-white, cold energy, that had gathered in an instant, cleanly disappeared. At the same time, the frost picture scroll that he had drawn in the two ice-sphere Natal Palaces also shattered into fragments of light and turned to pure frost power that merged into the ice balls.
“Frost concept, so it needs to be coordinated with the mind, needs the mind to be as cold as frost, as hard as steel…” he murmured. His eyes suddenly became emotionless and frighteningly cold. “I finally found the solution and know how to comprehend the true frost concept. If I continue, I will completely grasp the cold power of the two Natal Palaces sometime in the near future.”
When he had been immersed in the frost picture scroll and adjusted his mind and emotions to become icy and emotionless, he found that he became extremely sensitive to the cold power and could finally get it to respond.
To channel the frost power, it needed the mind and soul as one, needed his entire mind and body to be fully immersed, and needed his body to be as hard as ice!
His eyes gradually lit up.
A long time later, he stood. He took out the Eye of Frost and activated it.
Outer sect of Armament Sect.
“Three Poison Scale Scorpions, you are to take off the entire skin intact, I want to use it to make spirit armor. One skin will be thirty contribution points. You have nine days to complete the mission. Remember, each skin cannot have flaws. Otherwise, you won’t get any contribution points.”
Nine days later.
“Three hundred Sunshine Stones. You are to extract flame energy from them. Let’s put it at three hundred contribution points. I’ll give you fifteen days.”
Fifteen days later.
“Six Dragonhorn Rhinoceros horns. You are to sand them into the shape of spear. I want to forge them as the core for long spears. You have ten days. I’ll give you one hundred and fifty contribution points.”
“Twelve Dragon Bone Jade, you are to…”
In the following three months, Qin Lie and Tang Siqi would have a conversation like this once in a while.
Every time, Tang Siqi would get Kan Yang and others to come with spirit materials and arrange for Qin Lie to work on processing or sanding.
Qin Lie would coldly accept the task each time and then prepare the materials by the deadline. Kan Yang and his group would then deliver them to Tang Siqi.
Kan Yang and the others never dared to attempt any tricks in secret.
After a mission was completed, he would have three days of rest. Using those three days, he would go to the little compound outside the sect and use the Eye of Frost to enter the underground area of the Arctic Mountain Range to cultivate.
As his knowledge of frost power increased, he gradually grasped how to focus his mind and body to cooperate to channel the power of frost.
During the days when thunder and lightning were prevalent, he would find a remote place devoid of people and continue his cultivation of Heavenly Thunder Eradication…
His progress on the martial way was extremely quick. He felt that if he truly grasped the power of frost, he would smoothly break into the middle stage of the Natal Opening Realm.
On the other side, as he continued to work and prepare all kinds of spirit materials, his understanding of the attributes of different spirit materials deepened.
The mission that Tang Siqi gave each time were guaranteed to not be relaxing and would challenge his limits every time. He had to expend great mental thought and effort to reach Tang Siqi’s demands so she did not have the chance to nitpick.
Next time, Tang Siqi would arrange for an even more difficult mission which he would use all of his strength to finish by the appointed time…
The two started to try to one-up each other like this.
In a cave on Flame Volcano.
A crimson snake of fire jumped on a dragon-shaped longblade. It was extremely lively as though it was continuously tempering the blade’s impurities.
Tang Siqi was wearing a thin, red dress with sweat flowing down her forehead. Her eyes flashed with a heart-shaking and beautiful light and her hands continuously moved irregularly while executing a mysterious spiritual art.
That crimson-red snake of fire would turn thick and coil around the longblade and then shrink down to a line of fire to burrow inside the blade.
On the dragon-shaped longblade, a beautiful snake-shaped pattern slowly formed. It caused the longblade to appear grand and extraordinary, like it was filled with a moving intelligence that made one want to grab it and rush into the world.
The crimson-red snake of flames turned into a burning line of fire that suddenly disappeared in Tang Siqi’s palm. Her beautiful face became even redder and moving. She looked with satisfaction at the dragon-shaped longblade, smiling and nodding her head.
“Siqi, how has it been recently?” Lian Rou had been standing by the cave entrance for a while. Seeing her finish, Lian Rou walked in. “Have you tamed that Qin Bing?”
“No,” replied Tang Siqi as she wiped away the sweat on her forehead. “That guy is a piece of ice. He’s like that all the time, and I find it irritating when I see it. I want to beat him up!”
“But you… seem to frequently go to his place?” Lian Rou teased.
“His work is good.” Tang Siqi walked over to the cave entrance. Under the red light of the sunset, she looked at the stone towers at the base of Flame Volcano and then looked specifically at Qin Lie’s tower. An odd look came into her eyes. “I’ve never seen someone as concentrated as he is. Not just the outer sect disciples, even the senior brothers of the inner sect… are not as good as him in some areas.”
“What do you mean?” Lian Rou stood shoulder-to-shoulder with her, and her gaze landed on Yi Yuan’s tower. “He’s good at his work?”
“Look at this Dragonhorn Rhinoceros horn…” Tang Siqi picked up a rhinoceros horn the length of her arm and handed it to Lian Rou.
Lian Rou felt it with her fingers and picked up on the smoothness of the dragonhorn’s surface, feeling the elegant curve, and then touched the sharpness of the horn’s tip. “Very good. Even if I’m was the one sanding it, I may not be able to do it in such a beautiful fashion.”
Tang Siqi nodded and then said, “Six Dragonhorn Rhinoceros horns, ten days. He can sand it to this quality. I don’t even need to prepare it a second time and can immediately use it as the primary material for the ‘Soul Breaking Spear.’ It has saved me a great amount of effort.”
“Six horns, ten days, all of them are of this quality?” asked Lian Rou in shock.
“Yes, all of them like this.” A strange expression came into Tang Siqi’s eyes as she looked down at the stone tower—one of admiration.
“You really picked up a treasure. This Qin Bing really has been of great help to you.” Lian Rou was moved and then she grit her teeth and said in frustration, “Yi Yuan is an idiot. What he produces is not so detailed. When I get it, I need to redo it.”
“Yi Yuan is the same as Pang Feng, he doesn’t have any interest in forging. He is here solely for the position of outer sect elder.” Tang Siqi thought and then said, “That Qin Bing isn’t the same. He really came here to learn forging. I increasingly feel… that he has not come for me. Maybe we have misunderstood him.”
“Siqi, are you wavering?” Lian Rou stilled and then shouted, “If you have this kind of thought, then you really have fallen for the trap! I admit that this guy might truly like artifact forging and is very focused on his work, but this should just be another one of his tactics! He first got you to dislike him so you would choose him. Then, he would use his great performance to get you to slowly change your opinion and have you treat him differently.”
Lian Rou felt it was more likely the more she thought about it. When she got to the end, her expression suddenly became grave. “This Qin Bing is really a powerful person. Compared to him, your past suitors aren’t even on the same level! Siqi, you have to be careful. Do not get enchanted, otherwise, he will entrap you!”
“Is it really like this?”
After Lian Rou said this, Tang Siqi wavered as well. She felt that the words were reasonable and could not figure out if her feelings were right or if Lian Rou’s judgement was correct.