Chapter 211: The Art of Crafting! (First)
In the main point of the Crafting School one fine morning three days later.
Behind the grand hallways, a magnificent building was built with all sorts of pavilions adorning the beautiful landscapes. There were lush forests and beautiful lakes on this part of the mountain, and so it was befitting for the headmaster and other elders to reside here. There were also many libraries for people to enjoy, armories forbidden for the general student populace from entering, many classrooms for the sake of teaching, drill grounds and other training-related buildings here.
Northwest from there, a single courtyard could be seen. And in this courtyard, there was a secret room built underneath the ground.
The room was three hundred square meters in area and had several fist-sized white crystals for illumination. The entire room glowed brightly as a result, and in the center stood a middle-aged man with a younger man listening earnestly to him.
This younger man was Bai Yunfei, and the middle-aged man speaking pleasantly in front of him was the headmaster of the Crafting School, Kou Changkong.
The entire room was abundant with elemental fire, so the temperature of the room was quite high.
This was because of Bai Yunfei’s performance just now. He was showing Kou Changkong the fruits of his labors after studying the Secrets of Firebending and learning the ways to manipulate fire.
“Very good! Bai Yunfei, you’ve met my expectations. In a single month, you were able to learn the Secrets of Firebending to such a degree, that much alone is hard enough to believe.” Kou Changkong nodded his head pleasantly, “The Secrets of Firebending is an important primer to the art of crafting, I cannot emphasize that enough. From here on out, you must concentrate even more on your training so that your proficiency with the elemental fire grows. This way, learning the art of crafting will become twice as easy for half the effort.”
Bai Yunfei nodded his head, “Yes, master! Your disciple will do so earnestly!”
“Haha, very well. I understand that you are anxious to start learning the art of crafting, so I won’t say anything more.” Kou Changkong remarked.
“And now, I will teach you our craft!”
Excited beyond belief, Bai Yunfei began to concentrate with all his focus in fear that he might just miss a word Kou Changkong might say if he failed to keep his emotions in check.
The earnest expression on his face had led to Kou Changkong from nodding his head in satisfaction. Keeping a calm voice, he spoke, “The art of crafting is complicated, but in layman terms, it follows the steps a normal blacksmith might follow for forging a normal weapon. Our school emphasizes three phases; liquation, compoundment, and refinement!
“The three phases are divided into two sub steps, which is later divided again into countless segments.
“Liquation—the act of smelting the ingredients and picking out the best parts. This is the most fundamental step of the crafting process, as without a good understanding and handling of materials, a good soul armament will not be crafted.”
“Compoundment—the act of infusing materials and molding the basic shape. During the refinement process, every soul armament has different needs for different materials. These materials might be the same, but the amount of it won’t be. By understanding the balance and composition of compounding the materials, a perfect soul armament can be crafted. Whether you are making a blade, a sword, a staff, a club, or anything else, this is the time in which the basic shape is formed.
“Refinement—the act of condensing and refining the shaped product. This is the most crucial and the last phase in the process before a soul armament is complete!”
After summarizing the three phases to Bai Yunfei, Kou Changkong paused to give Bai Yunfei time to digest the information.
“And now, I’ll demonstrate everything from start to finish, so look closely and experience it for yourself.”
With a wave of his hand, Kou Changkong took out a black stone the size of a washbasin into his hand, “This is an ordinary piece of vermiculite. As the main material, what we first need to do is rid of its impurities by liquating it.”
“Bang.” A fireball burst into life from his hand, consuming the vermiculite in his hand. Right before Bai Yunfei’s eyes, the vermiculite began to grow smaller and smaller while Kou Changkong explained, “A different intensity of elemental fire is required for every different material. When it comes to liquation, an incredibly hot flame isn’t everything. If the intensity is too much, then the material will be completely burnt up. So the better the control one has with elemental fire, the more controlled your manipulation can be. Of course, not all materials have to be completely liquated. Some special materials, like the rare minerals and herbs of nature, or even the flesh and fur of whatever soulbeast can be used as materials. But without a proper understanding of soul armaments and how they’re crafted, using those will be impossible for you.”
As he spoke, the fist-sized vermiculite began to take on the form of a blob of gold liquid. Spinning and turning around over Kou Changkong’s palm, the liquid let loose a golden light that was almost as bright as the fire that was surrounding it.
“The armaments I’ll be creating right now are the most basics of one where only one main material is required. The more high quality ones will require a few to even dozens of materials.” Kou Changkong remarked as he flipped his hand. Dust and pieces of ore appeared out of thin air over his left hand before making its way over to his right. Amongst these materials was a golden primal stone. “When a primal stone is added to the mix, the power is increased. A primal stone of a different element can be added, but that will add to the difficulty of the process. Several more materials will be needed to stabilize the composition.
“And then there is the compoundment phase.” Kou Changkong’s eyes narrowed slightly so as to concentrate on the task. The materials that were floating over his left hand slowly made its way over to the right hand where the fire was still burning over his palm. The fire-type primal stone was turned into a crimson liquid and blended into the pure mix of vermiculite. “The materials needed to stabilize the composition of a soul armament differs, and so the composition will always differ from soul armament to soul armament.”
After liquifying the rest of the floating materials, he had them consumed by the fire in his hand. Compressing the fire, he started to stretch it longer and longer until it took on the shape of a small dagger made of fire. The liquid was still hovering over his palm, but it looked as if the fiery dagger would be the receptacle in which the liquid would be used to be poured into it and be turned into an actual dagger made of a solid substance rather than fire.
“This is what we call ‘casting’. When you manipulated the elemental fire into the shape of weapons, this is an application of the technique.” Kou Changkong spoke. “Up next is the most important part, pay close attention now!”
A wave of soulforce pulsated out from Kou Changkong’s body as he spoke, causing the fire over his palm to shudder. Then, like a surging wave of water in a storm, the fire began to tremble while still maintaining the shape of a dagger while the liquid started to slowly flow through the shape.
All Bai Yunfei could sense was that the soulforce Kou Changkong was pushing out was undergoing a constant transmutation. At times, it rippled fast, and at other times, it moved slowly. Sometimes, it was strong and vigorous, at others, it was almost non-existent. For twenty-eight variations, his soulforce continued to change in how it moved before finally coming to a stop. The fire over Kou Changkong’s hand had started to change as well from when his soulforce was being fed into it. The liquid that had been casted into the fire mold had underwent this series of change as well before finally coming to a stabilized calm.
There was an explosion and a wave of hot air that scattered through the room with Kou Changkong at its epicenter. Bai Yunfei had been momentarily blinded by the light that accompanied it, and his clothes danced furiously like a banner out in the winds. But even still, Bai Yunfei tried his best to stare at the center of the explosion—namely the space above Kou Changkong’s hand.
The crimson light slowly abated from sight, revealing a small golden dagger floating above Kou Changkong’ hand. With the aid of the several glow stones in the room, the dagger glistened beautifully.
“And so, a soul armament has been crafted!” Kou Changkong stated calmly. Smiling when he saw the pensive look on Bai Yunfei’s face, he asked, “Yunfei, do you understand now?”
“Uuuhh…..” Bai Yunfei thought for a moment before speaking in a soft voice, “Your disciple is a slow-witted one. When master began to fluctuate his soulforce, I only understood about seventy percent of it.”
“Haha, understanding seventy percent of that is already quite decent for a first attempt. Trying to memorize the pattern in which the soulforce must fluctuate is pointless. You must learn by experiencing it yourself. I was only demonstrating it to you so that you could see and understand the process of crafting and what points must be carefully trained. There’s no need to try hard to understand the concept, just remember the feeling. The art of crafting will come to you with time and experience.”
“Yes, your disciple will take note of that.” Bai Yunfei replied.
“Very well. We shall end our lesson here then. Go back and think about what you’ve learned today. Engrave the details into your head. Tomorrow, I will teach you how to refine a soul armament.” Kou Changkong spoke. Waving his left hand, the golden dagger flew towards Bai Yunfei, “I’ll give you this dagger for you to look at. Hopefully you’ll learn from studying it.”
Accepting the dagger, Bai Yunfei bowed respectfully, “Thank you master. Your disciple will take his leave then.”
“Very well. You may leave.”