Guo Ran touched his spatial ring and took out a huge crossbow. It wasn't the same as ordinary crossbows. Its crossbow limb at the front was completely straight.
The bowstring was golden, and the two ends were wrapped around two cylindrical wheels. That string seemed to have been wrapped around the crossbow randomly in an incomprehensible manner.
The crossbow was almost six feet long, around the same height as an average person. It was made entirely of the finest steel that had been tempered a hundred times. Just by looking at it, it was possible to tell that it was shockingly heavy.
Guo Ran was extremely proud of this crossbow. He wished he could show it off grandly, but it was actually too heavy for him to carry, so he could only lay it on the ground.
"Cough, so, what do you think boss? This is my new invention. I call it Voidbreaker. Can you help me shoot out an arrow?" asked Guo Ran with embarrassment.
Long Chen didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Are you telling me you can't even use your own invention? How are you supposed to fight enemies like this? Why didn't you make it lighter?"
Guo Ran was bitter. "I wish it could be lighter, but in order to increase its power, the crossbow's hardness had to be pushed to the peak. Otherwise it wouldn't have its optimal power."
"Fine, I'll help you test it."
Long Chen went to pick it up. It was no wonder Guo Ran was unable to use it. It had to be at least seventy thousand pounds.
"Wow, it really is heavy. I hope its power doesn't disappoint." Long Chen was a bit shocked. Although this weight wasn't much to him, an ordinary Tendon Transformation expert was unable to use it.
"Don't worry boss, even senior Cang Ming endlessly praised this invention of mine," Guo Ran said with pride.
"Senior Cang Ming has seen this crossbow?"
"Of course! He even praised me!"
"What did he say?"
"Are you ready? That old man said I was extremely good at boasting! … Hey, boss, stop looking about me so disdainfully! Senior Cang Ming is our monastery's number one Forging Master. Obtaining his praise is extremely difficult!" Seeing Long Chen's disdainful expression, Guo Ran was a bit irritated.
"That is true. With how prideful senior Cang Ming, just him praising you as being good at boasting is also a positive for you." Long Chen nodded.
"Of course! At the beginning when I showed it to him, after praising my boasting, he said my bowstring wasn't good enough and gave me a couple new ones. Hehe, that let my Voidbreaker become even stronger!" said Guo Ran excitedly.
The bowstrings Cang Ming had given him were all made of mithril. Mithril was an extremely soft metal, but its toughness was absolutely alarming. It was the best material for bowstrings.
However, mithril was an incredibly precious metal. Guo Ran didn't have the qualifications to obtain it yet. And even if he did, then with his still amateur techniques, he wouldn't be able to use it properly.
And so obtaining this bowstring from Cang Ming was not only a sign of Cang Ming's approval, but it also affirmed his own confidence in himself.
Long Chen really was surprised that Cang Ming would look so favorably on this crossbow. Just what mystery was behind that?
He began to pull back the string. As he pulled, the two wheels to the side also moved slightly. The messy bowstring also gradually became taut.
"Nice, that's a pretty smart move." Long Chen realized that Guo Ran had used a clever technique to use the wheels to reduce how hard you had to pull in order to nock the crossbow. But there were springs inside, and when the string was released, the wheels would immediately release their energy to increase the force.
"Hehe, back when you went to the rubble wasteland, you told me my talent was just ordinary and that I needed to find an alternative route to stand out.
"Afterwards, I thought about it, and realized you were right. I can't just keep following the same old path without trying anything new.
"And now, I've ended up being fascinated by mechanism and forging arts. Although I've only reached the entry level, I really do like these playthings. Sometimes I'll even think about them while dreaming.
"I've tasted the sweet taste of success in battle. I swear that I will become a grand craftsman now!" said Guo Ran with confidence.
Long Chen was surprised Guo Ran had become so devoted. Thinking of how he had laughed at him before, Long Chen felt a bit bad.
"Your brother apologizes to you. I shouldn't have ridiculed you."
Guo Ran laughed. "Boss, you don't need to say that. I know you were joking."
Long Chen said, "No, I was serious."
Long Chen stopped joking around and began to really pull on the bowstring. He was surprised that even with the help of the cylindrical wheels, it still needed a shocking amount of force to pull back.
Finally when the crossbow was fully nocked, even the crossbow limb at the front had curved like a crescent moon. Just looking at this taut crossbow gave Long Chen a chill.
If an arrow was shot out with that kind of force, it would definitely be shockingly powerful.
"Guo Ran, you aren't able to use this crossbow for now. Without two hundred thousand pounds of force, you won't be able to fully nock it," said Long Chen with worry.
Guo Ran was bitter. "That's also the most vexing thing for me. My Spirit Root is average, my physical body is average, and my soul is also average. In total, I am the averagest of all averages. When I managed to make this amazing Voidbreaking Crossbow, I thought I'd be able to exterminate one or two Favored, but… no matter what, I can't even carry it! It's the most depressing thing ever."
"It can kill Favored?" Long Chen was startled.
Guo Ran confidently said, "Right now it's still in its embryonic state. Once I do a couple experiments and perfect it, I'm certain that it will be able to kill Favored. Boss, take a look at the arrow."
Guo Ran went deeper into his immortal cave and came back out with an arrow. Long Chen carefully examined it. How was this thing even an arrow? It was more like a short spear.
It had to be five feet long and as thick as an egg. It was clearly also a new invention of Guo Ran's.
And as soon as he lifted he, he found that it had to be over ten thousand pounds. There were also many little grooves along the shaft.
Looking at those little grooves, Long Chen exclaimed, "Guo Ran, you really are a genius!"
"Boss, you know what those grooves are for?" Guo Ran was surprised.
"If my guess is right, these grooves should be to lessen the air resistance, allowing it to fly faster as well as letting it fly silently!"
The faster something moved through the air, the more drag and resistance it would meet, eventually causing a sonic boom. That was a law of physics.
But these little grooves were able to prevent that, allowing it to kill others silently. By the time anyone sensed it, it would already be too late.
"Boss really is boss. I had to research and experiment for a long time before figuring this out, but boss figured it out with just a glance," said Guo Ran with worship.
"Haha, let's stop shamelessly boasting about each other. Let's test it out."
The two of them left the monastery and found a small mountain. That was a stone mountain over forty meters tall.
"Let's try it out." Long Chen aimed the crossbow at that mountain from five miles away.
With a light release of a lock, the arrow shot out like lightning. The instant that arrow shot out, Long Chen felt a huge backlash and he involuntarily stumbled back a dozen steps.
That small mountain exploded to pieces from that arrow, dust filling the air.
Long Chen and Guo Ran were dumbfounded. Even Guo Ran hadn't expected this.
Although he had personally made it, he had never had the strength required to use it. Today was his first time seeing it in action.
That arrow hadn't had any explosives in it. This explosion had been considered entirely due to the power of inertia behind that arrow. Just that inertia possessed the shocking power to break apart a small mountain.
And most frightening of all, while it had been flying through the air, there hadn't been the slightest sound.
"A perfect sneak attack…"
Both Long Chen and Guo Ran looked at each other with a wicked light shining in their eyes. They laughed; they had actually said the same thing at the same time.
With this kind of weapon, Guo Ran's killing power would definitely be alarmingly high. However, after laughing for a moment, Guo Ran could no longer laugh. No matter how amazing it was, if he couldn't use it, then it was useless.
Long Chen might be able to use it, but he preferred to face his opponents head-on, fighting on the frontlines. He would never have an opportunity to use this Voidbreaker Crossbow.
Long Chen patted Guo Ran on the shoulders. "Don't worry, leave this to me."
"Aren't you just wasting words? When have I ever tricked you?" asked Long Chen. "But there is one thing I have to make clear to you first. You have to keep your Dao-heart steady. If you can keep a steady Dao-heart, I can guarantee that you'll advance without bottlenecks for your whole life."
"How is that possible?" Guo Ran was filled with disbelief.
Live a whole life without bottlenecks? Not even a god would necessarily be able to do that!
"As long as you can keep a steady Dao-heart, I can accomplish that," said Long Chen solemnly.
"Boss, what is this Dao-heart?" asked Guo Ran.
"A 'Dao-heart' is a kind of a belief, a kind of conviction in your own truths that will never change.
"Each person's beliefs are different. For example, you might believe in your inventions and creations, believing that you can use smarts to overcome any difficulties and become a revered crafting god.
"That will be your Dao-heart. As long as you can let your Dao-heart stay unrattled, I can use medicinal pills to constantly raise your cultivation base.
"However, once a problem occurs with your Dao-heart, once you start to feel lost or begin to doubt in your own choices, your cultivation base will forever stall," warned Long Chen.
Each person's Dao-heart was different. Some people believed in their inheritance, some people believed in their cultivation technique, some people believed in their bloodlines, and some people believed they were simply the geniuses of heaven.
No matter what kind of Dao-heart you had, it had to go through endless tempering. Many people ended up losing more and more confidence as they went through that tempering. In the end, they lost sight of what they were supposed to believe in.
Even people with extremely stable Dao-hearts were unable to keep them perfect forever. If they received a large enough impact, that would make it impossible for them to advance to become experts in the future.
As for Guo Ran, his Dao-heart would be extremely dangerous. Once his smarts failed and he lost sight of what he wanted from forging, he would lose his path and become lost.
That would be especially terrible for Guo Ran, as his foundation would have been built up by medicinal pills. He would never have a chance to choose a form a new Dao-heart if his old one was shattered.
"Boss, I'll definitely succeed in becoming a crafting god." If Guo Ran didn't succeed in this path, he would forever be lost. But Guo Ran was determined.
Long Chen nodded. Since he had made this choice, then Long Chen would go all-out to help him. As for how far Guo Ran could go, that would be up to him.
After all, Guo Ran's latest invention, this crossbow, was something that even Long Chen admired. Guo Ran was definitely a genius. He could think of all sorts of crazy inventions.
The next day, Long Chen was looking for something to do when Elder Sun returned.