Chapter 69 – In One Go
Commerce Street. Inside Li’s Shop, Qin Lie had one finger pressed against the spirit tablet. His mind and consciousness floated listless, and his spirit energy shot around like electric currents.
It had been more than a month since he last practiced inscribing spirit diagrams, yet the moment he started, not only did he not feel rusty at all, he even felt a kind of unspeakable joy. The practiced coordination of his mind and spirit energy worked with had actually reached a completely new level as the spirit line was inscribed.
The entire world even felt silent.
In his eyes, the only world he could sense was the Amplification spirit diagram inside the spirit tablet.
There was nothing else.
Now this was infatuation!
—This was his infatuation towards spirit diagrams. Only by being obsessed to the point of insanity, would it allow an Artificer to enter this wondrous state.
It was as if his mind and consciousness, his soul, his five senses, and his emotions were all pinned into the world inside the spirit diagram, causing him to forget the real world itself.
At this moment, it was as if he had become a ghost inside the spirit diagram. Whenever his soul made a move, the spirit lines responded in kind and surged forward. The Amplification spirit diagram’s network was undergoing a distinct/clear change…
Without almost any pauses or taking notice of the passage of time – forgetting oneself completely – the Amplification spirit diagram began to rapidly form.
Mustering his strength, he controlled his spirit energy with his mind and soul and drew a perfect Amplification spirit diagram within the spirit tablet’s world.
All in one go.
Suddenly, the tablet in his hands glowed with a misty blue light. The tablet itself had become as clear as crystal, its textures translucent, almost as if the material itself had undergone a change.
Qin Lie withdrew the tablet, performed a slight check, and discovered that he had expended only about half of his mind and spirit energy.
He felt hungry and, at the same time, saw that it was already dark outside. He did not know how long he had spent on drawing the Amplification spirit diagram but felt really comfortable all the way to the bones.
For the first time, he realized that inscribing spirit diagrams could actually be such an enjoyable matter.
He felt joy and obtained mental satisfaction from the process, both his body and heart feeling delighted.
This was in itself a kind of ascension in realm.
From the moment his finger touched the spirit diagram, he clearly realized that as he resumed practicing spirit diagram inscription after a month and a half’s gap, not only did he not regress at all, he had even miraculously improved in the art of inscribing spirit diagrams…
“Sometimes, by setting something aside first and calming your heart, diverting your attention somewhere else, and forgetting it momentarily, you’ll often find some unexpected rewards when you pick it up again and resume.”
He suddenly remembered Li Mu’s words from before, as his eyes gradually turned brighter.
More than a month ago, he was not able to break through in his attempts to draw the Amplification spirit diagram no matter what, and had encountered a bottleneck.
He had practiced again and again, yet his attempts were met with repeated failures. He slowly became irritated, and it caused even more frequent mistakes in his future attempts to the point where even a lot of beginner mistakes were starting to crop up, making him even more agitated.
While he stubbornly continued on his task, Li Mu had come over and told him that he could transfer his attention elsewhere, to try and take a break for the moment and focus his efforts somewhere else.
Li Mu had shown him the path, directing him to Nebula Pavilion to apply to be assigned under Yao Ta, to first learn the most basic parts of artifact forging.
He put down his drawings and listened to his words.
At Nebula Pavilion, not only had he successfully broken through to the ninth level of the Refinement Realm, he had also truly grasped all the steps of smelting artifacts into shape, learning to recognize many the characteristics and effects of numerous low level spirit materials.
Now that he had returned to Li’s Shop and restarted his practice on inscribing Amplification spirit diagrams, to his surprise, he realized that after more than a month’s break, that not only had his drawings not turned rusty, he instead made a most delightful improvement, even completing the Amplification spirit diagram he had repeatedly failed to inscribe in one go.
“Uncle Li’s advice was actually unbelievably effective. It resolved the many problems that confounded me all in one go!” Within the small room, surprise flowed out of Qin Lie’s eyes, and while rubbing the spirit tablet with one hand, he thought, “If Uncle Li’s outlooks are so unique, then he probably… is a lot more than he looks.”
Suddenly, there was the sound of the door opening from the front yard, and Qin Lie abruptly woke up from his dormancy.
“Who is it?” Qin Lie exclaimed in a low tone.
“Who else? Of course it’s me, your Uncle Li.” Li Mu’s lazy voice rang over from the courtyard. “When I came back earlier, you were absorbed in drawing spirit diagrams, so I didn’t disturb you and went to take a short nap.”
The moment he recognized Li Mu’s voice, Qin Lie relaxed and went out of the small room while holding his newly inscribed spirit tablet.
It was already night, and under the bright moonlight, with his hands behind his back, Li Mu stood at the courtyard together with that snow white wolfdog. Its beastly eyes seemed to be richly filled with wisdom, shone with a strange glow that was akin to moonlight; it caused one to feel that it was even more intelligent than humans.
“Thank you, Uncle Li!” The moment he got out, Qin Lie immediately bowed with respect towards Li Mu and sincerely thanked him. “Thanks to Uncle Li’s advice from before, I’ve gained quite a lot. Because I have listened to your words, not only I have broken through to the ninth level of the Refinement Realm, I have also successfully inscribed the Amplification spirit diagram. Furthermore, I have learned from Yao Tai valuable knowledge on artifact smelting.”
Li Mu waved his hands with a smile to indicate there’s no need to be so polite, then said, “Since you’re out now, why don’t you join Uncle Li for a little drink. Oh, there are no dishes today, so we’ll have to make do. Hm, look, the moonlight is quite good today, we’ll be taking it as our drinking dish for the night, haha.”
He gestured Qin Lie to sit down at a stone bench. From his bosom he took out a exquisitely made shot cup and poured one for Qin Lie and one more for that big wolfdog.
“Ever since I’ve drank Uncle Li’s liquor, I wonder why anything else I drink all felt tasteless to me.” Qin Lie did not act modest either, as he sat down with a smile and immediately took a small sip from the cup. As he tasted the burning sensation in his mouth, he could not help but exclaim in pleasure.
“Haha, you little fella, was actually a little drunkard too!” Uncle Li laughed heartily before saying in half-jest, “Still, it is better if you cast away this idea. To drink, you are drinking a kind of mood, and doesn’t have much to do with the alcohol itself. Besides, Uncle Li’s liquor isn’t something that you can find anywhere on the streets, so if you came to love my liquor and only mine, then all future alcoholic drinks will seem tasteless to you. You will never be able to experience the joy of drinking again.”
“I have received your guidance” Qin Lie answered in thought.
“Come, let me see your newly forged spirit tablet.” Li Mu extended his hands.
Qin Lie handed it over.
After receiving the spirit tablet with the Amplification spirit diagram inscribed in it, Li Mu narrowed his eyes slightly, as though closely examining it.
After a while, he nodded to himself before returning the spirit tablet to Qin Lie, saying, “Amplification spirit diagrams are usually used to complement other spirit diagrams. A single Amplification spirit diagram alone will not be able to display its true wonders. Mn, you can try drawing a spirit gathering spirit diagram and an amplification spirit diagram on the same tablet. Only then will you know the true effects of the Amplification spirit diagram.”
“Uncle Li must know artifact forging, right?” Qin Lie asked in surprise.
Shaking his head, Li Mu amusedly said, “I really do not know how to forge artifacts. I am not an Artificer, but the things that go through my hands are often somewhat diverse, and I have used some spirit artifacts and thus have a bit of knowledge in this area. But if you really want me to draw a spirit diagram, heheh, I won’t be able to inscribe even the simplest diagram. Every field has a master; and since I have never studied this particular field seriously, I really am not as knowledgeable as you think I am in artifact forging.”
“You said that every field has a master, so… which field do you specialize in, Uncle Li?” Qin Lie asked tentatively.
“Opening a store and doing business, of course.” Uncle Li laughed.
Seeing that he wasn’t willing to talk more on this subject, Qin Lie curled his lips and did not pursue it any further.
“Hehe, come, let’s drink, drink some more. It doesn’t matter if you get drunk, you’ll recover after a good night of sleep anyway.” Uncle Li personally served him a full cup and said smilingly, “Tomorrow, try inscribing both a Spirit Gathering and an Amplification spirit diagram together, and see if it can enhance that Spirit Gathering Board’s effect to gather the spirit energy of the world. I believe your Amplification spirit diagram should be able to create quite the effect too; even Uncle Li here is looking forward to it a little.”
“Okay.” Qin Lie let himself go and began drinking, and before long, he had drank himself into a mush and lay on the stone table unconscious.
He was entirely out cold, but Uncle Li and that big wolfdog continued to drink freely, as if they were completely unaffected by that liquor’s killer effects.
It was at this moment that the big wolfdog’s intelligent eyes glanced at Qin Lie, then suddenly at Li Mu with doubt leaking out of its eyes. It was as if it was asking Li Mu why he would bother wasting energy on someone like Qin Lie.
“I may not know how to forge an artifact, but I have come across quite a lot of spirit artifacts in the past and naturally just as many spirit diagrams. The two basic spirit diagrams he possesses, ‘Spirit Gathering’ and ‘Amplification,’ are the most complex ones I’ve ever seen. They are at least ten times more complicated than any other Spirit Gathering and Amplification spirit diagram, or even a little more than that.”
Li Mu smiled while slowly shaking his glass, narrowing his eyes as he lazily said, “Perhaps an extraordinary artificer has come into existence right before my very eyes, and under my tutelage too. Hehe, this is actually quite the interesting and accomplishing matter. If this artificer can grow up to become a great martial practitioner in the end – then that will make me even happier.”