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Chapter 161 -  A Showdown Between Refiners

    “The Mystic Spirit Seven Transformations’ flaw is merely its excessively compact layout. It needs special array glyphs to control the circulation of the coolant, and this sort of special array glyph needs a specific suitable algorithm in order to bring out its greatest potential.” 

    “It was precisely because Daoist Master Scarlet Moon didn’t have a suitable algorithm that he gave up on this kind of elaborate layout.” 

    “And I just so happened to find several fresh algorithms from an ancient book which were then integrated with the modern Mustard Seed Algorithm, Solar Corona Nine Algorithm, and etc for a total of four modern algorithms, forming a computational cluster containing seven types of algorithms. The issue was barely able to be resolved in this way.” 

    “Elder Lei, please look!”



    Li Yao swiped his finger, pulling Blueprint No.109 over. He endlessly tapped the enlarge button.

    A series of densely packed formulas immediately appeared from the void.

    “A computational cluster comprised of seven different algorithms?”

    Every single liver spot on Lei Yongming’s face glistened as his pair of eyes suddenly turned clear, seemingly as if he was ten years younger. He concentrated his mind for a minute and beckoned at Li Yao, “Come come come. Youngster, let me ask you……” 

    From the perspective of all the students of Empyrean Terminus Central High School, the following ten minutes were dreadfully the hardest ten minutes for them to forget of their third year high school period.

    Old Lei Yongming crossed verbal swords with Li Yao—you come and I will lead. The speed of their words grew faster and faster, and they tossed out jargon endlessly one after another that was extremely rare and nearly unheard of. They were simply like two alien lifeforms from millions and millions of light years away quarreling in a different language and dialect. 

    Not only was their talk extravagant and elusive like the clouds and mist that cover the mountains and akin to falling into a dream, even their refining teacher, Jin Quan, who was the most awesome person in their eyes, stood to the side somewhat dully. He was barely able to stick in a question, and soon, the two people had their spittle splatter all over as they spoke to settle things. Once in awhile, the two people would toss out a problem or an algorithm that would cause Jin Quan to be at a loss for words. Even if he rolled his eyes for half a day, he wouldn’t necessarily receive an answer. 

    “What the heck? It looks like this weirdo knows more than Teacher Jin?” 

    “Grandpa Lei is the most senior and veteran refiner in our Empyrean Terminus Sect, and yet, he is even chatting with great exhilaration with this weirdo. It can’t be that this weirdo's level of theory is on the same level as Grandpa Lei’s, right?” 

    “That’s impossible. This weirdo will get stumped by Grandpa Lei’s questions sooner or later. Just look. Grandpa Lei asked him about some Seven Stage Fire Variation Control problem and he can’t answer it!”

    “That’s just not being able to answer a single question. Teacher Jin can’t even butt into the conversation!” 

    Even though the youngsters lowered their voices to the minimum, how could their words escape Jin Quan’s ears?

    Jin Quan’s shame and humiliation reached its limits. It was as if a giant pair of invisible hands had launched a series of slaps from left to right, smacking him right in the face several dozens of times. His entire face was burning painfully. 

    If there was a crack in the ground, he would have certainly stabbed his way inside and never come out! 

    “Yuan Manqiu must have taught him ahead of time. She had him mechanically memorize this for the sake of demonstrating in front of me, a graduate of the Deep Sea University’s Refining Department.  That’s just how awesome their Grand Desolate War Institution’s Refining Department is!"

    The more Jin Quan thought about this, the more reasonable he felt it was. His heart was venting his anger, and his back molars were nearly ground to pieces. 

    In the beginning, Old Lei Yongming was only somewhat interested in the Mystic Spirit Seven Transformations. He never thought that this ancient layout, which was discarded over a hundred years ago, would actually still be used in practice by someone. Not to mention that this someone was such a young university student. He couldn’t help asking Li Yao some questions. 

    He never thought that things would become this uncontrollable. The two jumped from one topic to another, jumping from a structure that was a variation to another structure that had been adjusted. 

    Old Lei Yongming’s sentiments towards the 1st Generation Tai’e crafting furnace ran very deep. If not for it, he wouldn’t have come to visit from distant lands. He probably never thought that the 1st Generation Tai’e crafting furnace could actually be modified in such a wild way beyond all imagination. He was captivated for a time and even forgot that he was in the middle of an examination. 

    He only awoke from his dreamlike state ten seconds later. He brushed his head full of hair and spoke somewhat embarrassed:

    “Pardon me, Jin Quan. It's been quite a few years since this old man has encountered a modification proposal for a 1st Generation Tai’e, so I was excited by my memories when seeing this in front of me. I spoke a few extra words with our little friend Li Yao, interrupting your examination. Come come come. You can continue. Don’t hesitate to speak of any issues that still remains with these blueprints and spiritual energy flow diagrams!” 

    Jin Quan did not know whether to laugh or cry. My heart said that you, old grandfather, had raised all the crucial points just now, and this kid spoke so extravagantly. If I try nitpicking again, wouldn’t I be helping myself to dishonor? 

    Jin Quan grew all the more certain that the entire modification proposal came from Yuan Manqiu’s hands.

    Perhaps Li Yao, this mad amateur, was somewhat gifted in the aspect of theory, but that wasn’t enough to complete such a complicated and exquisite modification! 

    In front of his many students, Jin Quan found it hard to rage. He forced himself to say: 

    “There aren’t any major problems with the structure and spiritual energy flow side of things. Let’s give a real time operation a shot then and see if the operational process is stable or not.” 

    Li Yao nodded his head. He walked in front of the control console.

    “Swoosh swoosh swoosh swoosh!” Seven translucent holograms suddenly lit up, surrounding him completely within.  

    Several thousand lines of control glyph-script emerged on the holograms, forming a super complicated, ring-shaped refining interface. 

    Cultivators refining magical equipment was different in nature from the steelmaking and iron forging of the common people. 

    There were at most a few dozen procedures in steelmaking and iron forging, and the temperature of the steelmaking furnace was usually maintained to be constant. 

    When cultivators refine magical equipment, they need to take several dozen or even several hundred different materials and fuse them together. The furnace’s temperature would vary over three to five times every second, and the temperature may need to be raised to be above a thousand degrees or dropped below zero each time. 

    When several hundred materials were placed within, with such switching of temperature every second, the tempering timing needs to be grasped perfectly… Even if it's the simplest flying sword, the magical equipment would need to undergo several hundred procedures for the initial successful step in refining. 

    Because of this, it was possible for the control interface of the crafting furnace to be even more complicated than that of the main control interface of a crystal warship. 

    From the perspective of a refiner, this was the stage where their talent could be put to full use!

    Li Yao shook his fingers in a not urgent yet not slow manner.

    The scope of his movement was very small, yet it caused a series of pitter-patter to ring out like that of a firecracker going off. The power of the sound was quite terrifying. 

    “You guys guess, what kind of magical equipment will he refine?” 

    “Flying sword? Saber?”

    A few high school students couldn’t help commentating in low voices.

    Li Yao series of gorgeous performances just now had caused them to be a bit rattled. An inexplicable expectation was born from the bottom of their hearts. 

    “Don’t be stupid. Only the most common of swords could be formed with only a single go in the crafting furnace. I’m guessing he will refine a very complicated magical equipment component out of it, one with a dozen or so curved surfaces.” 

    Right at this time, Li Yao suddenly moved.

    He was like a viper that had been hibernating in the depths of the underbrush; he changed from extreme stillness to extreme movements within the span of 0.1 seconds as his pair of hands suddenly transformed into two hurricanes that pounded crazily against the control glyph-script atop the translucent hologram! 

    “P-P-P-P-P-Pow!”

    The high school students couldn’t see Li Yao’s pair of hands at all. They could only hear the faint sound of the control glyph-script after being stimulated.  In the end, the sound formed a single line that was indistinct to the ears.

    Ferocious!

    Sharp!

    Li Yao’s style of manipulation was just like his nickname, the Vulture. He was incomparably wild and brutal, and it caused people to be unable to bear being anxious for these translucent holograms. What if they were completely shredded by his wild hands!?

    Following his super-high hand speed came the awakening of the entire steel jungle.

    The 1st Generation Tai’e crafting furnace was like a demon beast with a stomach rumbling with hunger that had discovered its prey. Every joint and every strand of flesh from head to toe was cast into the wildest of operations. 

    “Tss…”

    In an instant, the steam excited an ear-piercing sound that was ten times sharper than before, and a giant cloud of steam enveloped the entire steel jungle. The high school students could only stare as the countless crystals flickered between brightness and darkness within the depths of the fog, much like countless beasts blinking their pairs of eyes! 

    “In the end, is this refining? Or is this murder?”

    All the high school students were in complete shock.

    Afterall, they had seen their parents refine before, all refined and cultured, methodical. They had never seen a refining style like Li Yao’s—it was simply extremely fierce! 

    Within the curling mist,  Li Yao’s pair of hands danced madly for five minutes. The roar of the steel beast weakened a little at last.

    Li Yao's body faded within the depths of the white mist, only to emerge a short time later. He carefully and cautiously held an object as he walked towards the crowd.

    "It's only been five minutes, what can he refine?"

    "What could it be in the end? Could it be an extremely small assassination weapon?"

    The students that shouted in curiosity stretched their heads over, striving to outdo one another.

    As soon as they saw the object held in Li Yao's pair of hands, everyone went "Wow". Seven to eight large eggs could be stuffed down their mouths.

    Li Yao had been so crazed, savage, brutal, fearsome... yet what he refined was actually a nail.

    It was the size of a finger, had a pitch-black body, and was ordinary—it was a nail that was not altered in any way!

    Even though the nail could barely count as a sort of magical equipment component, this was too unpresentable when compared to the refining style he had displayed in great seriousness!

    There were even quite a few of these high school students who were able to operate a crafting furnace and refine a magical equipment component more complicated than a nail!

    Only Old Lei Yongming's eyes flickered with radiance. Taking the nail in a serious manner, he held it in the hollow of his palm and tossed it upwards to get a feel for its weight.

    The old man's eyes revealed a hint of astonishment, but he didn't say a word. He kept silent as he handed the nail over to Jin Quan

    Two of Jin Quan's fingers twirled about, casually swaying the nail. He was endlessly sneering in his mind and his opinions only grew firmer.

    At most, Li Yao was just a bookworm with a gift in theory, or perhaps, he had mechanically memorized some dishonest theory to scare people. When it came to practical application, his weak link was exposed. 

    However, he didn't come here today to evaluate Li Yao on his level of refining.

    Even if someone else's level was even crappier and refined out a rectangular steel block, this had nothing to do with him at all.

    "How can I make this kid disgrace himself?

    Jin Quan's eyeballs turned as he tossed the metal nail to Li Yao. He put on a fake smile and said: "Then next, it's my turn, right?"

    In accordance with the examination process, the refiner on the modifying side would first make a piece, then the refiner of the Empyrean Terminus Sect would make another piece.  

    If no issues occur after both sides give a real operation a go, then the modification was pretty much considered a success.

    Jin Quan walked with his head held high, appearing before the control console, and surrounded by the refining interface.

    His refining style was completely different than that of Li Yao. 

    Although his hand speed wasn't that fast, it appeared to be quite concise, grand, and elegant. At first glance, it made people think of the flowing rivers of the high mountains; it held an unspeakable gracefulness.

    Pairing it with his handsome features, it gave him the appearance of a true immortal cultivator refining magical equipment. 

    He finished his refining five minutes later as well and brought his workpiece to the face of the crowd. 

    Everyone extended their necks to look, and all were stupefied.

    What Jin Quan had refined was actually another nail.

    However, it was different than the ordinary pitch-black nail that Li Yao refined under careful observation; Jin Quan's nail was as vast as the heavens and the earth.

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