Chapter 163 - Seven Layered Heavens, Hidden Dragon Scales!
Jin Quan did not respond in the slightest, seemingly as if he had just been struck by lightning; he was at a total loss and didn't know what to do.
From head to toe, every part of his body was trembling, and even his two rows of teeth were clattering.
His handsome face was completely distorted, revealing an embarrassed smile which was even uglier than crying.
Elder Lie Yongming heaved a sigh as he pulled Li Yao's nail as well as the fragments of the dragon scale nail into his hand before walking in front of his apprentice grandson and waved his hands to the high school students, gesturing for them to come over.
"Jin Quan, do you know where you lost?"
Jin Quan felt like weeping but had no tears. His lips quivered, but how could he answer half a word?
Elder Lie Yongming earnestly said:
"Casting Dragon Scales is an exemplary skill of our Empyrean Terminus Sect, and I am very pleased by the fact that you, at such a young age, have mastered it as well as being able to apply it so skillfully and forge a dragon scale nail."
"However, Jin Quan... kid, you have been proud and arrogant since you were a child. You are too impatient to do everything and had been negligent in your work. Take a look at these fragments. Can you see the 'dragon scales' you had cast are somewhat scattered? Due to this, the dragon scale nail was irregularly heated inside the crafting furnace, and there is a 0.01% difference in the weight on both sides."
"The internal structure is also unstable, so what's the use of laying three to five layers of dragon scales on the surface?"
"It doesn't necessarily mean that there is a problem with your method. It is quite possible that the reason for you to forge a flawed dragon scale nail is because it was your first time using this crafting furnace and you had been too arrogant and proud. You had forged it before even familiarizing yourself with the performance of the crafting furnace!"
"And the nail forged by Student Li Yao..."
Elder Lie Yongming slightly smiled as he beckoned and said, "Student Li Yao, what's so special about your nail?"
Having approached, Li Yao said in a neither humble nor arrogant manner:
"The forging method of this nail is derived from an ancient book and is called 'Seven Layered Heavens'!"
Elder Lie Yongming's eyes flickered with a sharp gleam as he repeatedly nodded:
"Good, good, very good—Seven Layered Heavens!"
"Students, don’t be fooled by the jet-black ordinary surface of this nail. In fact, there is a universe inside!"
"The so-called "Seven Layered Heavens" is using seven levels of hidden strength. In other words, seven different kinds of material are mixed with each other layer after layer. If you cut this nail in the middle, you will be able to see a seven layer structure spanning from inside to outside. Seven Layered Heaven, each level supporting the other, softness with hardness, flexibility with rigidity. It is absolutely a notch above the dragon scale nail!"
"Furthermore, Student Li Yao has personally modified this crafting furnace and is perfectly familiar with each and every performance parameter. The nail forged by him is of uniform density, and its dimensions are accurate; there isn't a single flaw. It has a first-rate quality and can also be considered a peerless nail!"
"Jin Quan, if you had spent a dozen minutes and tried to figure out the performance of the crafting furnace, then the dragon scale nail refined by you would not have had a single flaw. Perhaps, it would have been able to collide with Student Li Yao's 'seven layered heaven nail' a dozen times, and it would have been difficult to tell who the winner would be."
"However, you were impatient and didn't place Student Li Yao in your eyes, thereby refining a flawed dragon scale nail. Of course, it could not be a match for the seven layered heaven nail."
"In other words, you didn't lose to Student Li Yao—you lost to yourself!"
Upon hearing this reasoning, the high school students were caught by surprise. They had never imagined that the jet-black nail forged by Li Yao would be so exquisite.
Seven Layered Heaven Method?
It sounded quite domineering!
In the blink of an eye, Li Yao's image in their mind once again grew big and tall, turning into a humongous monster that was baring its fangs and brandishing its claws.
Jin Quan lost his wits. The lines on his forehead simply composed a “三” character as a downcasted look was painted on his face.
Patting his shoulder heavily, Elder Lie Yongming said:
"Jin Quan, don't blame Grandmaster for intentionally making a fool of you. Your Grandmaster has watched you grow up since childhood. In the past, your grandfather and father have also followed Grandmaster and learned refining. In Grandmaster's eyes, you are just like a grandson!"
"And your refining talent in the Empyrean Terminus Sect is also outstanding!"
"In the first place, Grandmaster has high hopes for you, I hope that you can become a top-tier refiner and lead the Empyrean Terminus Sect to greater heights."
"However, from the beginning to end, you have been too impetuous. Although graduating from Deep Sea University's Refining Department is pretty good in the eyes of ordinary people, in Grandmaster's eyes, it’s still far from reaching your limit, let alone breaking through your limit!"
"Hopefully, today’s duel can wake you up. I hope that the impatience and arrogance deep down in your heart can be swept away once and for all so that you can walk on the true road of refining with firm footing!"
"Now, take your dragon scale fragments to the side and self-reflect, ok?"
Jin Quan's face turned red to purple and then purple to black. One by one, his face turned into seven to eight colors.
Finally, he was as silent as a grave as he walked to a corner in a crestfallen gait before squatting down, whereupon holding his head, he stayed down.
"Student Li Yao..."
Elder Lie Yongming's eyes bloomed with a magnificent brilliance. His entire body was as though it had donned an invisible battle suit as he faintly smiled and said, "In the last couple decades, this old man has never seen such exquisite modifications to a 1st Generation Tai'e Furnace, so this old man is itching to give it a try. Can you lend it to this old man to try a hand?"
Just a while ago, from Yuan Manqiu's introduction, Li Yao came to know that this old man had been immersed in refining for over a century. Although his cultivation was not that high, his experience, on the other hand, was extremely rich. He was an old ginger that could not be underestimated.
Just a moment ago, Jin Quan had lost a great deal of face for the Empyrean Terminus Sect, so of course, this old ginger would like to recover it!
Promptly nodding his head, Li Yao respectfully said, "Old Lie, please!"
"Wow, Grandpa Lie is going to refine!"
The high school students were all excited to the extreme.
Lie Yongming was an elder of the Empyrean Terminus Sect and had an aloof status. For a long time, he had never crafted anything in public. Nobody would have imagined that he would make an exception for Li Yao.
Everyone stretched their neck as they held their breaths.
Elder Lie Yongming appeared before a console as he intently observed the refining interface.
His eye revealed a deep love just like a hot-blooded young man looking at his beloved girlfriend.
Suddenly, his emaciated pair of hand started to move.
Compared to Jin Quan, he was several times slower. His every action was neither too fast nor too slow and appeared extremely ordinary.
His actions were neither crazed nor maddening like Li Yao’s, and neither was it elegant or comfortable like Jin Quan’s.
It was like an old worker who had rich experience, finishing everything with persistence and consistency; so calm, so accurate, so relaxed.
But when Li Yao was watching, the words "Governing the whole country like cooking a small fish!" emerged from the depths of his heart.
As far as Elder Lie Yongming was concerned, refining to him was perhaps just like frying a little yellow croaker; it was nothing more than simple and boring day-to-day work.
After a moment, the elder walked out of the steam, calmly holding a "nail" in his palm!
"Student Li Yao, this old man had also forged a nail. Please tell me what you think."
The eyes of the teenagers sparkled. They had never expected for Grandpa Lie to also forge a nail.
It must be a dragon scale nail—a flawless dragon scale nail!
Li Yao's eyes contracted as he solemnly used both hands to hold the nail forged by the elder.
Li Yao was a bit surprised as the nail was jet-black on the surface, appearing as ordinary as the nail forged by him. He could not see even a single thread of dragon scales.
Many students were perplexed and could not help but shout.
Li Yao, on the other hand, was as though he was holding a masterwork weapon. His eyes were madly trembling while cold sweat emerged on his forehead.
Suddenly, he flicked his fingers, making it seem as if the nail had been struck down by lightning seven times.
"Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!"
A strange thing occurred.
To everyone's dismay, with the flick of his fingers, the solid nail burst forth with cries of tigers and dragons that shot through the roof and lingered in the air.
"Sounds from the flicks of fingers?"
Elder Lie Yongming was truly astounded as he muttered to himself, "Such an unorthodox testing method. I thought that it had already been lost. I did not expect—"
Li Yao too was shocked in his heart and that too was ten times more intense than the elder.
The arrogance in the depths of Li Yao's eyes was swept away, and his face was filled with admiration: "Old Lie, your dragon scale nail is truly flawless. It is even more rigid than my seven layered heaven nail. If we do a collision test, I’m afraid that my nail would not be able to withstand even three collisions!"
"Dragon scale nail?"
"Where are the dragon scales? Why can't I see them?"
The teenagers anxiously grimaced. Their eyes were bloodshot, but they were still unable to find a single dragon scale.
Li Yao slightly smiled and explained:
"Old Lie's dragon scale nail looks ordinary from the surface, but all the dragon scales are hidden inside the nail. Furthermore, if I am right, the internal structure bears more than a layer of dragon scales, and there are at least three layers, with layers upon layers of reinforcing. The principle is almost the same as my Seven Layered Heaven Method, but the difficulty of forging layer upon layer of dragon scales is obviously ten times greater!"
"A master craftsman is a master craftsman—I am convinced!"
Li Yao made a deep bow to Lie Yongming.
The elder's skill has given him a very timely lesson, making him deeply understand that the refiners' community was filled with crouching tigers and hidden dragons. No matter how good one thought they were, there is always someone out there who is better!
Even a Building Foundation Stage refiner possessed such skills, then what about a Golden Core Stage refiner? And there is also Nascent Soul Stage refiners!
Li Yao was completely looking forward to the limitless and brilliant future!
Elder Lie Yongming was once again stupefied:
"It's not at all strange that you can perceive my "hidden dragon scales" method; however, you can surprisingly perceive that I have cast three layers of hidden dragon scales. This is truly inconceivable!"
He gave a thumbs up to Li Yao: "At the beginning, this old man came to visit your institute just to see the 1st Generation Tai'e Furnace, but who would have thought that your institute would give this old man such a pleasant surprise! Student Li Yao, this old man's skills are simply nothing. I have just accumulated a little bit of experience that’s not worth mentioning over the many years of repeated refining, that's all. I believe that it would only take a decade or two for you to surpass this old man's achievements!"
All the teenagers were dumbfounded. They didn't expect that the highly respected Elder Lie Yongming of the Empyrean Terminus Sect would give Li Yao such a high evaluation.
In a moment, many of the students' complex gazes fell upon the crestfallen Professor Jin Quan at the corner.
Jin Quan was like a group of tangled roots as he held onto the dragon scale nail fragments with a blurred gaze. He seemed to be in a trance, mumbling something, and maybe even he himself didn't know what he was saying.
Suddenly, he felt heat waves billowing from all around him.
As he raised his head to look, he discovered that all the students had gathered at his side and surrounded him in a circle as they looked at him with sparkling eyes.
Jin Quan flushed red to his ears; he was extremely ashamed. He didn't know how he should face his own students.
He truly fell very ruthlessly. 'The students must have come to ridicule me, right?'
The fat boy called Li Shanhao came forward and loudly said, "Don't be sad, we will always support you!"
"That's right, your opponent was simply a monster. Even Grandpa Lei praised him and said that he would catch up with the achievements of Grandpa Lie in a decade or two, so how could a normal person win against such a monster? Professor Jin, don't be sad. In our minds, you are still the best!"