Chapter 35: Repairing a Spirit Artifact
Maybe it was because he was standing closer to the fire crystals, or maybe it was because of something else, but Liu Yan's forehead was now covered in sweat.
He watched as Qin Lie crouched on the ground and heated the Hexagonal Shield on top of the fire crystals until it was crimson red. He also felt an inexplicable tension beneath his heart, and even his fists were clenched tightly away from people's eyes.
"It's broken anyway, and there is also the chance that we might not make it out alive. Might as well let him give it a go, you know?" Liu Yan said with feigned calmness.
"You’ve also gone mad!" Gao Yu stared frostily at Qin Lie with a chilly expression. "Have you seen such a young artificer before? Do you think that a fellow who could fix a Common Grade Five spirit artifact can be this young? I don't understand why you took this risk at all; this is a two thousand contribution point spirit artifact, and you're letting a guy like him ruin it? How utterly ridiculous!"
Liu Yan could only smile bitterly upon hearing his words. He also thought that he had been too rash and could not help but feel a twinge of regret inside.
The growth of every artificer was a long and arduous path. In general, only powerful forces could afford to raise them.
Practicing Artifact Forging just used up too many spirit materials, and a small force simply could not afford it at all. To raise an artificer, there needed to be complete dedication and devotion, accumulated time, and countless heaps of spirit materials…
The Ling Family obviously did not meet those requirements, and Qin Lie... was just too young.
No matter how you looked at it, it was impossible for Qin Lie to be an outstanding artificer. No wonder Gao Yu thought that he had gone mad.
"All of you, please be quiet!"
Ling Yushi's brows were slightly furrowed, her face bright red from the light of the crimson flames burning on the fire crystals. Listening to the noisy crowd around her, she could not help but yell at them because she was worried that they would distract Qin Lie from his task.
The crowd quieted in response. Countless pairs of eyes settled on Qin Lie's back, and every one of them had faces that spoke of their shock and amazement.
"Swoosh Swoosh Swoosh!"
The flames of the fire crystal were wild and fiery, and they heated the Hexagonal Shield until it was completely red. The turtle-shaped pattern occasionally glowed bright red under the sweltering heat, and it looked incredibly beautiful.
Under watchful eyes, strings of pure white spirit energy seeped out of Qin Lie's right forefinger as he pointed it towards the turtle pattern on the shield from a distance. A beam of white spirit energy immediately stabbed the top of the shield's pattern.
There was a wisp of mind energy mixed inside the spirit energy, and in an instant, he had made a connection with the shield!
He didn't need to touch the artifact directly with his fingertip. With spirit and mind energy alone, he could clearly see the two spirit diagrams inside the shield.
The mind energy began to gradually spread out like a web until it covered the two spirit diagrams inside the shield and locked the twisted parts of the network in place.
Then, the spirit energy rushed out rapidly and gathered at the sections of the network where it was a clustered mess.
Qin Lie closed his eyes abruptly, more focused than he had ever been before. Feeling the twisted section of the network with his consciousness, he began steadily increasing the input of spirit energy and controlled them to flow towards the critical areas.
He did not act hurriedly, and instead threw himself into feeling the interior of the artifact and its invisible details…
The Hexagonal Shield was propped up with four pieces of stone as the fire crystals continued to burn it on the inside. Even the front part of the shield, that was used for defending, was slowly turning red.
Qin Lie pressed closely against the fire crystals and the shield, and the spirit energy on his forefinger was like a bright white graver resting on top of the turtle pattern.
While maintaining this posture, he began to sweat profusely until his clothes were entirely drenched, almost as if he had just been fished out of a pool.
Time slowly trickled by…
His consciousness gathered around the shield's components themselves; he didn’t dare to relax for even an instant as he focused entirely on feeling the subtle changes of the components themselves!
Under the fire crystals’ continuous heating, the solid components inside the shield were finally starting to soften, almost seeming like they were about to melt on the spot.
This is it!
As if the floodgates had suddenly opened, the long suppressed spirit energy abruptly rushed towards the twisted spirit network!
Under the guidance of his mind energy, his spirit energy followed the routes he had already planned out in his mind. It split up and attacked from various different directions, instantly untangling the twisted spirit network!
The clogged spirit diagram was now completely unblocked!
There was no longer anything to impede the spirit energy as it flowed through the spirit diagram at a rapid pace! They poured into the Amplification spirit diagram inside the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram, and through the Amplification spirit diagram, they were split into six different parts that charged into the six corners of the shield!
"Zzt Zzt Zzt Zzt Zzt Zzt!"
Six blades of silver light suddenly shot out from the six corners of the shield, causing a huge fright among the Ling Family members nearby as they scrambled backwards in surprise.
Liu Yan was busy wiping the hot sweat off his face, but the moment he saw the all too familiar six beams of light, his body shuddered and his eyes shone with unspeakable excitement. He yelled, "It worked! It worked! Qin Lie actually did it!"
Listening to his cries, everyone from the Ling Family were shocked to the core as they stared incredulously at Qin Lie.
"Heavens, he... he actually did it." Ling Yushi's eyes glittered brightly, and her lips curled into quite the pleasantly surprised smile. She didn't even know what to say anymore.
"You can put out the fire from the fire crystals now." Qin Lie melted down to the floor like a pile of rotten mud while reminding them in exhaustion, "Once the shield cools down, it should then be usable once more. I'm way too tired right now, so I'll be going to get some rest."
Never did he imagine that fixing a spirit artifact would expend so much spirit and mind energy. This was even harsher than cultivating Heavenly Thunder Eradication. It was barely more than a moment, and he almost already collapsed.
Not only had he used a lot of spirit energy, he almost lost too much mind energy to boot. The high amount of concentration also caused him to become overly tense, and there was that terrifying feeling that he might collapse at any time. This artifact forging experience was... too profound so to speak, and it was more tiring than any art formula or cultivating!
"I'll keep this brief. Please accept these spirit pills first and use it well so you can recover quickly." Liu Yan walked forward and turned over an entire bottle of Spirit Recovery Pills, then, towards Qin Lie with glittery eyes, he continued "...Everything that happened before is forgotten. I owe you a favor. If I make it out alive this time, then no matter what troubles the Ling Family may face in the future, you can come looking for me. If I can help out, then I will definitely lend you a hand!"
"Thank you, Brother Liu!" Without waiting for Qin Lie to speak, Ling Yushi suddenly thanked him with a terrific smile, her beautiful face in high spirits.
She knew that Liu Yan held a considerable status inside Nebula Pavilion. Now that they had Liu Yan's promise, not only would they no longer be held accountable for the matter where they snuck out of the canyon, they might even be able to acquire help through Liu Yan and have more confidence and certainty going up against Du Haitian.
"You should be thanking Qin Lie instead of me," Liu Yan replied while smiling amiably. Then, he suddenly realized something and slapped his head. "Or maybe not. Haha, I almost forgot that the two of you are family."
He teased in goodwill, causing Ling Yushi to blush a little and laugh once softly with pursed lips. Her beautiful eyes glanced at Qin Lie with rippling emotions.
The instant he accepted the Spirit Recovery Pills, he swallowed three without a second thought. At the moment, he had his eyes closed and was fully focused in recovering. It was as if he hadn't heard their conversation at all.
"What are you all still standing there for? If you have time to waste, then start channeling your energy and recover already!" Ling Yushi abruptly turned around, still smiling, and reprimanded the Ling Family with a glare.
It was only now that the Ling Family members, who had gathered over to watch Qin Lie repair the spirit artifact, seemed to have regained themselves from their shock. They stared at Qin Lie from left to right, and to left again, until finally, they looked away after a while and returned to their original positions to cultivate.
Gao Yu and his two family member's faces changed abruptly and kept quiet when they saw Qin Lie actually succeed in fixing the Hexagonal Shield.
When he heard Liu Yan and Ling Yushi's words, Gao Yu knew that Liu Yan was no longer going to hold the Ling Family responsible for selfishly leaving the canyon.
He felt a quiet anger brimming inside his heart. Coldly, without even bothering to talk with Liu Yan, Gao Yu silently trudged away with his clansmen.
"This is the spot! They've been here before!" The Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioner who was skilled in tracking led the men towards the thicket Qin Lie and the others were resting in earlier. While narrowing his eyes, he suddenly laughed, "The Ling Family was here too, I think. Judging from the tracks... it appears that they've actually gotten together."
"Very good; we can now slaughter them all at once. This saves us a lot of energy." Elder Yan Dewu from Shattered Ice Manor let out an odd laugh before shooting a glance at Feng Yi beside him. He said consolingly, "Don't worry, Feng Yi. No one will slip through our grasp."
The Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners at a side let out a gloating expression when they heard the Elder's words. The strange looks on their faces when they looked towards the Feng trio was unmistakable.
Feng Yi had turned incredibly silent, and the bright smile that usually filled his face had been gone for a long time. The only thing left in his eyes were hatred and a desire to kill. "I will kill them all to appease my clansmen," he answered in a faint tone.
"When the time comes, those two little girls of the Ling Family, well... I will take responsibility and hand them to you for three days. It'll be fine as long as you show me their bodies three days later," Yan Dewu chuckled.
Feng Yi nodded without a word and clenched his fist in silence: Qin Lie! Ling Yushi! Just you wait!
"We probably won't catch up to them tonight. But if there are no surprises, we should find them tomorrow." The old tracker furrowed his brows and said, "If we hadn’t happened to run into a pack of spirit beasts last time, Liu Yan and the rest would all be dead already. Our luck should be better this time."
"Right, we shan't waste time any longer." Yan Dewu nodded and continued, "Let's wrap this up soon so we can quickly get back to Celestial Wolf Mountain and mine some Fiery Solar Jade. If this drags on for too long and Nebula Pavilion realizes our intentions, then it won't be an easy task to mine out the Fiery Solar Jade."
Qin Lie slowly awakened from his cultivation.
As he opened his eyes, he realized that everyone else was all ready to go except for him. They were all looking at him, as if expecting him to lead the way again.
Not even Gao Yu was an exception, and he appeared to have been waiting for a while patiently. It was only when he saw him awaken that he hmphed and said, "If we don't go now it's going to be daylight."
"If you're in a hurry, you can always leave first, right?" Ling Xin poked fun at Gao Yu. "Though it would be bad if you accidentally broke into one of the spirit beast’s nesting grounds and died, even saving Shattered Ice Manor the trouble."
Gao Yu grit his teeth but did not reply. His expression remained as cold as ever.
"Let's go." Qin Lie nodded and once again led the way.
The moment he circulated his spirit energy, Qin Lie's eyes abruptly turned bright. He could acutely sense that the spirit energy inside his dantian was a lot purer and more refined than before.
This surprised him, and as he proceeded to sense his mind energy, he found that he was completely refreshed.Even his mind energy had improved by a significant margin. He was overjoyed by the discovery.
"When I was fixing the spirit artifact, my focus had reached an unprecedented level, and my spirit, body and mind were all in their best condition. It is now obvious that the process of expending both spirit and mind energy to tune a spirit diagram is also a wondrous way of cultivation! By fixing the spirit artifact, both my spirit and mind energy were actually enhanced! It looks like... this may very well be an excellent method to cultivate!"
Qin Lie thought to himself and slowly revolved his energy. While spirit energy circulated around his body, he realized that there would be a tingling sense of pain whenever it passed through the acupoints in his body.
"When spirit energy passes into the meridians, one may unleash his power through the acupoints. This is the threshold of the eighth level of the Refinement Realm! This tingling sense of pain inside my acupoints... Am I about to reach the eighth level of the Refinement Realm?!"
For a while, Qin Lie thoroughly savored the feeling with an excited expression as his eyes filled with joy.