Chapter 52: To Keep up with Your Footsteps
Many scrap spirit tablets had been scattered around him, and each spirit tablet showed marks of failure. Some of the stone tablets were fragmented into pieces while some of the wood tablets were scorched as they seemed to be laughing at him.
Beside his left hand were more than twenty untouched and mirror-like stone spirit tablets.
A piercing explosion came from the wooden spirit tablet on his hand, and a gust of thick smoke erupted. The spirit diagram had cracked, and the spirit tablet once again turned to scrap.
The corner of Qin Lie’s mouth was full of bitterness, and looking at the burned spirit tablet, he helplessly shook his head.
This month, other than the times when there was lightning and he bitterly cultivated Heavenly Thunder Eradication, he would focus the remainder of his energy on practicing spirit diagram inscription.
In the beginning, he would quickly cause a spirit tablet to be scrapped due to tiny mistakes.
In just the first week, more than forty spirit tablets were quickly used up and turned to scrap.
That was when he had been completely unfamiliar with inscribing spirit diagrams. It was where he had wasted the most spirit tablets while gaining the least progress in developing his inscribing skills.. Frequently, he would only inscribe a few spirit lines before suddenly failing and turning the spirit tablet to scrap.
As he continued to practice and failed again and again, he gradually discovered the trick to inscribing spirit lines…
His amateur mistakes gradually decreased over time, and the rate at which he used spirit materials visibly slowed.
He started to be able to get the spirit lines to intersect, but out of ten intersections, on average, eight of them would be failures.
The occasional successes would later on fail due to a mistake in the succeeding spirit line intersection which would cause the spirit diagram inscription to break apart.
The Spirit Gathering diagram was formed from thousands of spirit lines criss-crossing one another and were extremely complex and profound.
During the process of inscription, any mistake, no matter how elementary or minuscule, would render all previous efforts worthless and would leave only the bitter taste of failure.
In this month, he had gone from complete ignorance to slight familiarity, so now he was able to avoid many elementary mistakes.
From using turning one spirit tablet to scrap every ten minutes to one a day and from only being able to draw out a few spirit lines at once to being able to draw a simple diagram of hundreds of spirit lines intersecting one another…
He was improving bit by bit.
However, he still had yet to succeed even once and was still relatively far away from success.
The Spirit Gathering diagram was composed of two thousand three hundred and fifty seven lines crossing together. In his best attempt, he had inscribed over six hundred spirit lines on the spirit tablet.
In other words, his best try was only successfully inscribing one-fourth of the entire Spirit Gathering diagram.
Success was very far away, but he had pretty much used up all the spirit tablets. Looking at the rate of consumption, the remaining spirit tablets would not last until he could successfully inscribe the Spirit Gathering diagram…
“As expected, without great perseverance, without the bravery to endure failure, and without being able to avoid delusions of grandeur, becoming an Artificer is extremely difficult.” Sitting in the center of a room full of scrap spirit tablets, Qin Lie’s brows knitted, but his eyes were flashing. “I hadn’t expected that practicing spirit diagram inscription would actually be very beneficial for my cultivation; this is an unexpected gain.”
In the previous month, he had put all his energy into practicing inscribing spirit diagrams. He had originally assumed that it would affect his cultivation realm, however, he found that not only was inscribing spirit diagrams not detrimental to the growth of his spirit energy, it instead raised both his spirit and mind energy. This made him extremely surprised and overjoyed.
Inscribing spirit diagrams did not just require a continuous expenditure of spirit energy but mind energy as well. He needed to precisely control spirit energy when he was extremely alert and use his mind to grasp the slight changes in the spirit diagram…
Each second of this dramatically consumed both his mind consciousness and spirit energy.
He would quickly expend all the spirit energy in his dantian’s spirit sea, and his mind would become exhausted. Whenever this happened, he would temporarily pause his inscription of the spirit diagram and use spirit stones to replenish both his spirit energy and mind energy in the state of Thoughtless Tranquility.
When he recovered, he would always find his mind was refreshed and his spirit energy had become pure and abundant.
“After the spirit sea in the dantian and mind consciousness are completely exhausted, the new round of replenishing and recovery was able to cause spirit and mind energy to receive differing amounts of growth!”
He had made such a conclusion after going through the process multiple times. He then paid close attention and truly found proof that this conclusion was accurate.
Maybe it was that while practicing inscribing spirit diagrams did not affect his cultivation level, it still caused his spirit and mind energy to grow, so even though he failed time and time again, causing numerous spirit tablets to turn to scrap, he still grit his teeth and managed to persist.
“I need to replenish my spirit tablets, soon there won’t be enough.” After thinking for a while, he walked out of the mountain cave and headed towards Ling Town.
In this period of time, he had essentially been cultivating day and night in Herb Mountain’s cave, eating and sleeping there. His occasional returns to Ling Town was only to get food supplies, and then he would spend a few more days without going outside.
Ling Yushi had also been working hard recently. In the multiple trips he made to Ling Town, Ling Yushi was also in a state of cultivation, so the two did not meet up.
Today, he returned to Ling Town in the evening and finally saw Ling Yushi on the dinner table when he ate with the Ling Family.
Not having seen each other for a month, Ling Yushi seemed slightly slimmer, but her mental state was very good, and her eyes were bright when they were opened. It seemed that her spirit energy had a substantial increase recently.
“Why do you make yourself so weak?” Seeing him come over, Ling Yushi said with distress, “When martial practitioners cultivate, they need the nourishment of food the most. Otherwise, their bodies cannot endure it. You cannot stay inside Herb Mountain every day, you need to come out for frequent walks. At least, you need to sunbathe in the day.
“Mn, I will pay attention.” Qin Lie smiled.
He then said to Ling Chengye, “Uncle Ling, can I trouble you to send someone to Nebula Pavilion to help obtain three hundred more spirit tablets for me.”
“Another three hundred spirit tablets? That would use up a thousand and five hundred contribution points. This many contribution points is enough to exchange for a pretty good spirit artifact.” Ling Chengye had a shocked expression as he sincerely continued, “Qin Lie, I will remind you that it is very hard to become an Artificer. The growth of an Artificer requires such an unimaginable pile of spirit stones.”
“I understand.” Qin Lie nodded.
He knew what Ling Chengye said was not an exaggeration. Even such a force like Nebula Pavilion could only support common rank artificers. Even Nebula Pavilion did not have the ability to support artificers of higher rank.
Nebula Pavilion would not be able to even support the spirit materials needed to develop a profound rank artificer which was only one level higher.
“Without support from a powerful force, Artificers cannot grow. It is just a waste of effort.” Ling Chengye seriously suggested, “It is better to put your efforts into your martial cultivation. Even though martial practitioners also need the support of spirit artifacts, spirit pills, and spirit stones, compared to Artificers, the amounts of resources needed is many times less. Even if martial practitioners did not have those spirit materials, there is the omnipresent nature spirit energy. Leveling up would be much slower, but you can keep cultivating and do not have to rely on material items at all.”
“Mn, if Artificers do not have materials to practice with, they cannot progress at all,” Ling Chengzhi chimed in.
“I understand, I will consider it. But still, exchange for those spirit tablets for me since I don’t know what to use those contribution points for at this point in time,” expressed Qin Lie.
Seeing that he was insistent, Ling Chengye nodded and did not try to urge him further. He said, “Alright, I will have someone to do it.”
After eating the meal, Qin Lie stood to leave for his stone house.
“I’ve finished eating.” Once he left, Ling Yushi quickly stood up, threw down the words, and followed.
In the night, Qin Lie paced and was unhurried as though he was waiting for something…
“Qin Lie, Gao Yu broke through to the ninth level of the Refinement Realm recently and has been admitted into Nebula Pavilion.” Ling Yushi’s voice came from behind him. The beauty naturally walked up to him and matched his pace.
“Aren’t only those who break through to the Natal Opening Realm before turning twenty able to enter Nebula Pavilion?” Qin Lie said with shock.
“That is true, but nothing is ever absolute.” Ling Yushi’s expression was calm, her voice as gentle as water. “In Celestial Wolf Mountain, the Gao Family lost too much. Nebula Pavilion allowed Gao Yu’s early entrance in order to compensate the Gao Family. Of course, it is also because Gao Yu is at the ninth level of the Refinement Realm and just a step away from the Natal Opening Realm. Additionally, he is still young and will definitely be able to break through to Natal Opening Realm before twenty, so he was admitted early.”
“So that is how it is.” Qin Lie nodded.
“Feng Yi’s brother, Feng Kai, secretly left Nebula Pavilion when our people were still at Celestial Wolf Mountain and defected to Shattered Ice Manor. Because one of Feng Yi’s arms was chewed off by a Silver Winged Demon Wolf, Feng Kai recently sent out word that he would definitely kill you, so you should be careful in the future.”
“Only one of Feng Yi’s arm was broken? Pity…” Qin Lie’s brow furrowed slightly. “The Feng Family should be tightly monitored by Nebula Pavilion right now. They definitely would not dare to appear on territory controlled by Nebula Pavilion, so I will not have to worry about him for now.”
The two talked as they walked and reached Qin Lie’s stone hut shortly. Just like usual, Ling Yushi naturally helped him sweep and clean the house and then ran water for his bath.
Qin Lie sat, sprawled out as he watched her move around with a slight smile and continuously detail what had happened recently. He suddenly felt his heart gradually calm down.
“I’ve been working very hard recently, and I will continue work hard on my cultivation. I need to break through to the ninth level of the Refinement Realm as soon as possible. I need to enter the Natal Opening Realm as early as possible…”
In the washroom, Ling Yushi shouted as she expressed with great solemnity as though she had made a great decision.
“Why are you suddenly working so hard? I came out a few times this month and didn’t see you…” Qin Lie grumbled.
“The water is ready.” Ling Yushi walked out. Her face dimmed, and her head was lowered as she said in a low voice, “I do not want you to stay in Ling Town forever because of me. I need to break through to the Natal Opening Realm as soon as possible and enter Nebula Pavilion with you. In the future, I hope I can be by your side. I hope I can help you and not… become your burden.”
She suddenly raised her head and looked deeply at Qin Lie, her eyes flashing with a moving light as she said serenely, “You improve too quickly. Your potential and qualities are much too exceptional. If I do not work hard, I will fall further and further behind. I just want… want to keep up with your footsteps.”