Chapter 520: Finally Free!
“Big Brother Qin, you even know how to forge artifacts?”
Tiny stars shone in Pan Qianqian’s eyes, her face filled with admiration. She became increasingly convinced of how amazing Qin Lie really was.
Aside from Song Tingyu and Xie Jingxuan, the rest of the group wore expressions of amazement. They looked as if they had discovered a new continent.
“Seriously?” Du Xiangyang exclaimed in surprise. “You know how to forge artifacts too?”
“He’s the most talented artificer that our Scarlet Tide Continent has seen in a thousand years!” Song Tingyu declared proudly. “He forged all of his Terminator Profound Bombs with his own hands!”
The Land of Chaos martial practitioners of the group grew more and more astonished.
“Master Meng, who personally forged all of the sword tokens, is Heavenly Sword Mountain’s most prolific artificer. He can forge artifacts up to Earth Grade Five or Six!” Luo Chen snorted in disdain. “Qin Lie, are you saying that you can alter a spirit diagram that Master Meng himself constructed?”
Luo Chen’s words suddenly caused Du Xiangyang to doubt Qin Lie as well.
Du Xiangyang also came from Heavenly Sword Mountain, and he was well aware of how impressive Master Meng was.
How could the spirit diagram of such a master artificer be so easily tampered with?
“A master artificer capable of forging Earth Grade Five or Six spirit artifacts!”
This information shocked Song Tingyu. The pride on her face swiftly faded, worry clearly starting to replace it.
The number of master artificers in all of the Scarlet Tide Continent could be counted on one hand. Even Armament Sect’s Mo Hai, a publicly acknowledged master, could only forge spirit artifacts up to Profound Grade Seven.
Qin Lie may have displayed extraordinary talent at Armament Sect and triggered reactions in all twelve spirit pattern pillars, but he had started forging artifacts a bit late. He couldn’t be more skilled at artificing than Mo Hai… could he?
Song Tingyu suddenly felt that it had been kind of ridiculous for her to be proud of Qin Lie.
All of them stared at Qin Lie with doubt in their eyes.
“I can neither forge a sword token nor inscribe the spirit diagram inside of it,” Qin Lie said, a calm, confident smile on his face. “However… I don’t believe that altering a few spirit strands to adjust the spirit diagram will prove to be much of a problem.”
“Every single spirit strand in a spirit diagram is essential!” Luo Chen exclaimed in a low tone. “Tinkering with even one of them could cause the entire spirit diagram to collapse!”
The others were on the fence, half believing in Qin Lie and half doubting him.
Qin Lie just smiled and shook his head, staying silent. Under their anxious gazes, he pressed a finger to the sword token in his hand.
The moment he touched the sword token, his fingertip sparked with dazzling spirit light that resembled the tip of an otherworldly pen.
In the same instant, a wisp of his mind consciousness pierced into the sword token and entered the world of the spirit diagram.
All compound spirit diagrams, which were made by combining other spirits diagrams into one, normally consisted of the basic four: Spirit Storage, Spirit Gathering, Amplification, and Strengthening.
Two of the basic spirit diagrams, Spirit Storage and Amplification, could be seen in the sword token’s compound spirit diagram. At the center of the two, however, was a rather complicated spiral-shaped spirit diagram.
At first glance, the spirit diagram resembled a spiral funnel that constantly radiated strange spirit energy.
The mouth of the funnel diagram generated a suction force that seemed to be drawing something into it.
The basic Spirit Storage diagram contained sword spirit energy, which was the power source for the sword token. It had been sealed into that diagram to provide energy for all of the compound diagrams.
Traces of the sword spirit energy flowed from the Spirit Storage diagram. After being enhanced by the Amplification diagram, that energy then moved to power the funnel-shaped spirit diagram, allowing it to release fluctuations as it absorbed waves of energy from outside of the token. Whenever it did, a low, droning sound would resonate from that diagram, transmitting information to and from its owner...
With just glance, Qin Lie quickly saw through the secrets of the three spirit diagrams in the sword token, then turned his attention to the Spirit Storage diagram.
This diagram was still much simpler than the one he had learned and mastered. It paled in comparison.
Concentrating his wisp of mind consciousness, Qin Lie gathered it around three threads of the Spirit Storage diagram. With a thought, he twisted the threads with spirit energy, forcing them to become oddly tangled..
This led to an abrupt change in the entirety of the Spirit Storage diagram. The tangled knot of spirit threads instantly blocked the passage through which energy had constantly flowed.
This kept the sword spirit energy within the Spirit Storage diagram from reaching the rest of the compound spirit diagram.
All spirit diagrams needed energy to function. Without energy, the funnel-shaped spirit diagram immediately stopped transmitting and receiving information. This resulted in the most important function of the sword token forcefully shutting down.
Qin Lie’s mind consciousness exited the sword token.
The sword token he held in one hand, which had originally been shining brightly, suddenly went dim.
“Give it a try,” Qin Lie said to Luo Chen. “See if you can sense this with the sword token you possess.”
Confused, Luo Chen grabbed the sword token at his waist, staring at Qin Lie with cold eyes. He used his soul consciousness to activate it.
The sword tokens that hung from the waists of everyone else in the group began to ring. However, Qin Lie’s sword token didn’t respond at all.
This development left everyone stunned.
“Did you really render it useless?” Song Tingyu asked uncertainly.
Qin Lie wore a casual expression and didn’t bother trying to explain. Instead, he grabbed the other tokens at his waist and examined them just like he did with the sword token.
He discovered that the compound diagrams of all the tokens were essentially the same. Although the core diagrams differed greatly, all of them used the Spirit Storage and Amplification diagrams as a basis. In addition to that, the core diagrams did the same thing: receive and transmit information.
After giving each token a once-over, Qin Lie confidently said, “Other than the main diagram, the rest of the compound spirit diagram is mostly the same from token to token. I can alter the spirit diagram of any token and make them stop functioning for the time being.”
This time no one else doubted him. Everyone’s eyes gushed with joy.
“You’re so amazing, Big Brother Qin!” Pan Qianqian cried in admiration.
Wonder filled Xue Moyan’s eyes. She continuously found Qin Lie increasingly difficult to understand. Too many things about him couldn’t be explained in a normal way.
Luo Chen and Du Xiangyang were also inwardly surprised. Every time they looked at Qin Lie, they underestimated him less and less.
This guy possessed power in the martial way that everyone acknowledged, yet he was also amazingly skilled in forging artifacts. How in Spirit Realm did he cultivate?
An ugly expression covered Luo Chen’s face as he recalled Li Mu’s humiliating evaluation of him.
The Sixth Heavenly Sword had told Luo Chen he wasn’t qualified to become his disciple, yet the man had a great relationship with Qin Lie and wanted to take him on as his true disciple.
For the longest time, Luo Chen thought that Li Mu didn’t mean what he said, that his words were meant to purposefully humiliate him and wound his pride.
Upon learning of Qin Lie’s existence, Luo Chen had targeted him time and time again, just so that he could prove Li Mu wrong.
He also did this to prove his superiority.
However, as he continued to learn more about Qin Lie, and as Qin Lie displayed more miraculous feats, he couldn’t help but think that Li Mu had been right all along!
Qin Lie seemed to be… more talented than him in every way. He was definitely more qualified than Luo Chen to become Li Mu’s true disciple.
This realization struck Luo Chen across the head like the flat of a sword, putting him into a daze. A myriad of complicated feelings welled inside of his heart.
As Luo Chen stood there, stunned, Qin Lie took everybody’s tokens and altered the spirit diagrams inside of them.
A few minutes later, every token that their group possessed temporarily stopped functioning.
Since the tokens could no longer transmit or receive information, this meant that, from this point onward, no one could use them to track their position!
“They were just twenty five kilometers from us. Why has their energy suddenly disappeared?”
At the foot of a snow-covered mountain, the group of martial practitioners from Black Voodoo Sect, the three great families, Celestial Artifact Sect, and Ten Thousand Beast Mountain muttered amongst themselves, odd expressions on their faces.
“The white barbarians must have caught up to them and slaughtered them.” Ye Yihao laughed coldly. “Their tokens must have been destroyed along with them, preventing us from detecting their location.”
“That should be the case.” Xiahou Yuan smiled sinisterly.
“It’s such a shame, though!” Huang Zhuli cried, gritting her teeth. “Qin Lie had the Demon Sealing Tombstone and the Pure Soul Springs! They even had the Spring of Life!”
“Perhaps we should move in that direction?” Feng Yiyou suggested. “Maybe the white barbarians suffered huge losses in the process?”
Everyone’s eyes lit up at the prospect. After a moment of discussion, they decided on that as their next plan.
All of them moved in the direction that Qin Lie’s group had initially been. Soon enough, they detected several dozen eastern barbarians that were supposedly blocking the path to Qin Lie’s group and swiftly charged toward them.
While the three forces were committing suicide, Qin Lie’s group, having disappeared from everyone’s radar, continued to follow the Demon Sealing Tombstone and hurry on their way.
They were completely unaware of the terrible lesson that the white barbarians were teaching the three forces as a result of Qin Lie altering the tokens.
So they continued to approach the ice spirit.
As of this moment, Qin Lie borrowed soul crystals from the others and gripped the Demon Sealing Tombstone, preparing to replenish his soul energy and his blood once the Soul Suppressing Orb drained them from him.
He sat on the snowy ground, inhaled deeply, and inwardly shouted, “Come!”
He waited for the Soul Suppressing Orb’s never-ending demand for his soul energy and blood.
His companions watched him helplessly. They knew that the soul energy and the blood he had accumulated to this point would probably be completely drained from him again.
“Eh?” Qin Lie exclaimed a few minutes later, confusion filling his face.
“What is it?” Song Tingyu asked softly.
“Nothing’s been drained! Nothing’s happening!” Qin Lie said, eyes wide with surprise. “Previously, every time I managed to replenish my soul energy and blood, they would immediately be extracted. This time, however, nothing has happened.”
“Are you saying that… it’s stopped?” The notion came as a pleasant surprise to her.
“That seems to be the case.” Qin Lie nodded.
“I think that the amount of soul energy and blood that the thing inside you extracted from your body has probably become enough to trigger some sort of extraordinary change,” Du Xiangyang said while rubbing his chin. “In other words, after allowing it to drain you for so long, you’ve finally fulfilled its requirements.”
“So you think I’m finally free?” Qin Lie asked, joy filling his heart.
The entire time he had been subdued by the Soul Suppressing Orb, Qin Lie experienced intense fear and hopelessness.
He hadn’t the slightest clue when this cycle of constant draining and replenishing would come to an end.
He actually hadn’t expected it to ever end...
But the instant it did, he relaxed.