Chapter 76: Mend
Inside the small house, Qin Lie was touching the longblade with his brows locked together.
The incomplete Spirit Gathering spirit diagram inside the longblade kept appearing inside his head. It made him incredibly antsy, and he couldn’t help but feel a deep thirst — a thirst to mend that Spirit Gathering spirit diagram.
Dark Asura Hall’s Great Master Lu had already inscribed the main diagram inside the longblade. The main nebula-shaped diagram was located at the core part of the longblade, and it could activate the star power inside the Stellar Iron to fully grant the longblade a marvellous power.
The Amplification spirit diagram was located inside the nebula diagram, and it was also finished and would increase the speed at which the main diagram’s spirit energy ran.
The only problem was that only a very small part of the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram was inscribed, so the main diagram inside was unable to draw in spirit energy. This longblade could not even be called a spirit artifact because of this problem.
“Since the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram cannot successfully merge with the main diagram, the main diagram cannot exert its true power. Hence, even if the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram was forcefully inscribed inside, this spirit artifact cannot possibly be of high rank…”
These words came from Tu Ze, who answered the crux of the problem and explained why Great Master Lu did not finish the spirit diagram.
Qin Lie pressed a finger against the smooth surface of the longblade, directed a wisp of mind energy and consciousness into its interior, and examined the compound diagram’s miraculous designs.
“From the looks of Great Master Lu’s Spirit Gathering spirit diagram inside Zhuo Qian’s Dragon Bone Whip, it should be the same as the incomplete Spirit Gathering spirit diagram inside this longblade. Compared to the Spirit Gathering I know of, Great Master Lu’s Spirit Gathering spirit diagram is simple and friable. Therefore, its Spirit Gathering effects are also… limited.”
As Qin Lie continued to ponder, a thought floated in his mind, “Maybe if I mend this with the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram I know of, it may experience a new change?”
His eyes slowly brightened.
He immediately adjusted his breathing and heart rate, cleared out the jumbled thoughts in his head, and slowly sucked in a breath.
The finger pressing against the longblade’s broadside abruptly glowed with the light of spirit energy!
Abruptly, his mind and consciousness connected with the spirit diagram inside the longblade. A tiny spot of light abruptly brightened inside the blade’s interior world!
The spot of light appeared accurately at the breaking point of the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram.
The glowing spot slowly shifted, and where it had passed through, a new spirit line had clearly appeared on the surface.
Inside the house, Qin Lie had his eyes closed. There were obvious fluctuations of spirit energy around him. His fingertips glowed sharp like a needle as it slid across the blade’s surface continuously.
Time passed slowly.
The sweat first appeared on his forehead before it slowly spread all over his entire body. His clothes were quickly drenched, and a trace of sickly white appeared on his ruddy complexion.
His spirit and mind energy were both expended at an unbelievable rate!
As if the lights had gone out, the light on his fingertips suddenly disappeared. His body shuddered slightly as he abruptly opened his eyes.
The glowing longblade suddenly dimmed because he light on his fingertips had disappeared, and it now looked no different from common steel.
“S-so this is what you call inscribing diagrams on a spirit artifact…”
Qin Lie was shocked on the inside as he collapsed to the floor covered in sweat and stared blankly at the ceiling.
This was the first time he recognized the huge difference between inscribing a spirit diagram inside an artifact and on a spirit tablet.
To inscribe a spirit diagram inside a spirit tablet was like actually painting with a paint brush. A clear picture could be seen wherever the soft tip of a pen brushed through and ink spilled across the paper. It was an extremely easy and relaxing task that required almost no pause at all, so the person could never get too tired doing it.
But to inscribe a diagram inside an artifact was a completely different sensation. Not only was it not easy at all, it also expended a tremendous amount of mind and spirit energy!
To inscribe inside an artifact was akin to sculpting or carving on top of wood or stone. Not only did it test one’s skill and technique, it was also very demanding on one’s strength.
The components of an artifact were created through the blending and smelting of spirit materials, and therefore, was much, much tougher than a spirit tablet. The spirit and mind energy spent during the process of inscribing a spirit diagram was leagues above inscribing on a spirit tablet!
With his current realm and spirit energy, he could very easily inscribe a complete Spirit Gathering spirit diagram inside a spirit tablet in one go.
However, when he tried inscribing on a real artifact, not only did he nearly expend all of his spirit and mind energy, he had only managed to inscribe one fifth of the entire Spirit Gathering spirit diagram!
“No wonder they said that powerful artificers are often superb martial practitioners themselves. I guessed I finally learned why that was the case today.” Qin Lie’s expression was visibly moved. “Without a deep and refined pool of spirit energy, it would be completely impossible to complete the inscribing of a complex spirit diagram!”
He had already pushed his body past its limits, so he had no choice but to temporarily stop and recover using Spirit Recovering Pills.
“Qin Lie, you have haven’t left your room for a full day, so get out of there right now and make some food! Let’s fill up our bellies first!” Just when his spirit energy had recovered by more than half, Li Mu’s shout came from the outside.
“Yes, I’m coming.” He pushed open the door and walked out.
The sun was high and bright. A few small dishes were placed on the stone table in the shade of the small courtyard. Li Mu slowly sipped his wine as he frowned at Qin Lie’s appearance.
Qin Lie gave a simple summary of the situation.
Li Mu appeared surprised and also seemed to be more spirited than usual. “You want to mend the spirit diagram of a defective artifact? Pretty interesting. Hm, this will definitely be quite the test of your skills alright. It’s defective anyway, so even if it fails, it doesn’t matter, so sure, go give it a try.” He encouraged him.
Qin Lie sat down, drank some wine with Li Mu, and filled up his belly. He felt that his mood had improved quite a bit.
“Off you go. Do remember to take a small nap first though so you can recover your mind energy,” Li Mu said understandingly.
When he went back into the small house, Qin Lie did not act immediately. Instead, he listened to Li Mu’s advice and went to lie down for a little. When he woke up, he discovered that the sky was already dark, but his mood was in fantastic condition.
So he immediately set to work...
And so, after a couple of periods of on-and-off sessions, on an early morning, he had finally inscribed the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram inside the longblade.
When he had clearly outlined the final spirit line, the main nebula-shaped diagram inside the longblade was like a galaxy that had been switched on as countless stars began to glitter one after another!
First, Qin Lie slipped a wisp of spirit energy into the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram. The spirit energy was like a river flowing in the diagram’s gaps, and after it was slightly enhanced by the Amplification spirit diagram, its flowing even faster until both the spirit threads and the gaps seemed to shine with light...
Finally, the spirit energy was injected into the main diagram, and it caused a huge disturbance to occur inside the nebula-shaped diagram! The main diagram began to operate with extreme fluidity!
Looking at the longblade, one could see that many rice-sized star-like dots began to suddenly and rapidly appear on the blade’s surface!
The few hundred star dots clustered together to form a nebula pattern, and the nebula on the surface actually constantly fluctuated and even quietly shifted its position...
At this very moment, it was as if the longblade had come to life!
Qin Lie was absolutely ecstatic. He knew immediately that he had succeeded.
This was because he could very clearly sense that the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram he had inscribed did not conflict at all with the main nebula-shaped diagram when it directed spirit energy.
Not only there was no conflict, it even perfectly merged together and energized the main diagram with incredible effectiveness!
“Uncle Li, I did it, I did it!”
He rushed out of the small house with the longblade in hand and began dancing wildly in the courtyard; he couldn’t hold back his joy.
Li Mu walked in from the front of the shop, and with sharp eyes like thunder, he looked at the longblade, grinned, and extended his hand. “Let me have a look.”
Qin Lie subsequently handed the longblade over.
Li Mu accepted the longblade and felt it with narrowed eyes. He immediately broke into surprised laughter and yelled at Qin Lie, “My word, kid, are you trying to dominate the other artificer? Why is is that the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram you inscribed has taken in the other artificer’s main diagram instead? Originally, the Spirit Gathering and Amplification spirit diagrams were meant to be placed inside the main diagram and act as support.”
He held a strange expression on his face as he continued, “But after you tinkered with it, the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram has been expanded at least seven or eight times its original size and wrapped in the other party’s Amplification and main diagram instead. Now it looks like your Spirit Gathering spirit diagram is the main diagram, and the rest of his diagrams are just acting as support.”
Qin Lie himself was feeling embarrassed. “Even if you add up both that artificer’s main and Amplification spirit diagrams together, you couldn’t even get seven hundred spirit lines, and they all looked really simple and shoddy. The Spirit Gathering spirit diagram I added on later was formed with more than three thousand spirit threads, and because he had inscribed a rudimentary shape of it later on, I couldn’t shrink everything at the early stages and had no choice but to build according to his scale. As a result, well, um, it turned out this way. I didn’t really have a choice, you know?”
Normally speaking, a spirit diagram’s size can be freely controlled by the artificer.
Take the Spirit Gathering spirit diagram for example. Qin Lie could expand it as wide as ten acres of land or shrink it completely into the size of a palm.
On principle, the power of a spirit diagram had no direct correlation with its size.
That was to say, the effects of a ten-acre-wide Spirit Gathering spirit diagram and a palm-wide Spirit Gathering spirit diagram was exactly the same. They would gather spirit energy only.
If the spirit artifact was larger, then the spirit diagram inscribed would also be larger. If it was smaller, then the spirit diagram must also be shrunk down as well, but the effect of the spirit diagram was still the same.
It didn’t matter if it was enlarged or shrunk. This was all done to perfectly fit it with the spirit artifact.
Sometimes, a fine spirit diagram could be harder to inscribe and more testing of the level of an artificer.
It was rumored that a powerful artificer could even inscribe a few composite diagrams in the interior of a small needle.
“Heh, if the original artificer knew that you have turned his main diagram into support, then he’ll probably be mad enough to spit blood.” Li Mu smiled lightly. “On the other hand, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for this spirit artifact…”
“Li Mu, can this longblade now… be considered a spirit artifact?” Qin Lie’s expression was excited.
“Of course, of course it counts as one. In fact, this is a spirit artifact with a very specific purpose. As for its ranking, it’ll have to be determined through its components and how fast the spirit energy flows, the power it can create, the limits of endurance, and so on. I don’t have any tools here, and only places like Armament Pavilion can lend a professional opinion, so I can’t tell you what rank it is.”
Li Mu stroked his chin and thought for a little while before smiling. “This is definitely a spirit artifact alright, but you did not complete this independently. The majority of its merit is not on you because all you did is repair it at a latter stage. Right, if you want to know how well it performs, you will still have to return this to your friend and let him use his corresponding spirit art to test it out. Only then will you know if it truly suits him or not so you can verify your success.”
“There is still a Dragon Bone Whip with the same problem; the Amplification diagram and main diagram are in conflict with each other.” Qin Lie chuckled.
“Keep up the good work then, and work faster this time since you’ve gained a little experience,” said Li Mu. “I’ll help arrange your meals so you don’t need to worry about it. Just go; I want to see how big of a success you can achieve this time.”
“Uncle Li, thank you,” Qin Lie said sincerely.
“Save it.” Li Mu waved his hands nonchalantly.
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