The Inferno of Hell danced violently in his palm, emitting a deep, devilish whistle that made the rocks in the cave shiver. After obtaining the ancient immortal's remains and sword, Wu Qi had quickly found himself this cave to digest everything that the immortal had left behind.
The broadsword, ten feet long, as wide as a palm, and as thin as paper; red and shaped like a centipede, was twitching and tossing about in the inferno. Wu Qi had poured over ninety percent of his mind into the flames, sending wisp after wisp of flames into the sword to break through the complicated restrictive spells within so that he could brand his own divine sense in it.
Perhaps because it had been thoroughly soaked in innate ghost energy for countless eons, the sword, which was originally an immortal weapon, had transformed into a ghost weapon. Wu Qi did not have any cultivation technique of the Ghost League, so he could not refine this sword with the most appropriate method. However, he did cultivate the Inferno Hell Fiend Scripture, and using Inferno of Hell to refine the sword was considered a somewhat suitable method as well.
The restrictive spells within the sword were powerful and complicated, very different from those used by today's immortals to refine flying swords and magical treasures. But, as the sword was forged during the primordial times, which was the same period as that of the various arrays, formations, and restrictive spells recorded in the Scroll of Stealing, Wu Qi was able to break through them without too much of an effort, and eventually branded his divine sense in the sword.
When the last layer of restrictive spell was breached and after Wu Qi had left a thread of his divine sense in the sword, the ten-foot-long sword suddenly transformed into a small centipede that was no more than three inches long, crawling up and down his body like a living creature while letting out deep buzzing sound of the sword. It shone dazzlingly, and he felt a stabbing pain in his eyes when he gave it a glance.
"What an amazing treasure!" Ao Buzun was laying on his stomach atop Wu Qi's head, with his own head hanging down on the latter's brow. He stared at the little centipede while drooling and said, "The magical treasures of the ancient era are divided into three grades: Supreme Primordial Treasure, Spirit Treasure of Chaos, and Innate Spirit Artifact. This is clearly an Innate Spirit Artifact. Nowadays, it will be extremely difficult for a Primordial Immortal to gather enough materials to craft such a mighty treasure."
Wu Qi sunk into his thoughts. The Scroll of Stealing did mention the way in which these three extraordinary treasures were classified in the ancient times. Supreme Primordial Treasures were formed in the boundless primordial world before the Great Saint Pangu created the heaven and earth. The Kaleidoscopic Star Core he was given was one such treasure. Spirit Treasures of Chaos were the various powerful treasures formed when the Great Dao of Heaven and Earth was triggered, which happened when the primordial spirit energy was surging violently during the creation of heaven and earth by Pangu. Each of them possessed a devastating power, but they were not as magical as Supreme Primordial Treasures.
As for the Innate Spirit Artifacts, they were spirit weapons crafted by those mighty innate beings with various innate essences they had gathered within an eon after Pangu had created the heaven and earth, which inherited the primordial spirit energy. Most of such weapons were crafted with the bodies of some powerful innate beings, just like the centipede-shaped sword Wu Qi had found, which was meticulously forged using a centipede innate being as the vessel and fused with countless innate essences.
This kind of Innate Spirit Artifacts was inherently sentient, and their sentiences were incredibly strong. Although they could not become immortals through cultivation like the artifact spirits of the immortal artifacts crafted by today's immortals, they were much stronger than most of today's Primordial Artifacts in term of lethality.
But, countless almighty experts had fallen during the many apocalypses that happened since the ancient times, and the method of crafting Innate Spirit Artifacts had been lost. However, even if the Primordial Immortals of today knew the method, they still could not craft one. Firstly, they could not find a good innate being as the vessel, and secondly, they could not gather enough innate essences. Therefore, even though they knew that an Innate Spirit Artifact was stronger than their Primordial Artifact in terms of lethality, few could actually craft one.
"What a fortune!" Wu Qi narrowed his eyes and smiled.
"Indeed, what a fortune!" Ao Buzun shook his head and sighed. "To craft a Primordial Artifact, those Primordial Immortals had to spend countless eons feeding the artifact spirit with their own blood essence and going through many obstacles before they could succeed. And yet, you have found an Innate Spirit Artifact so easily, whose owner had perished in both body and soul. That is to say, it is an unowned treasure which doesn't require too much of an effort to be brought under control!"
Looking gladly at the little blood-colored centipede crawling on his shoulder, Wu Qi said with a smile on his face, "That's right, I've really struck a fortune this time! The old saying is right, fortune favors the bold. I'll call it Blood Centipede Sword then."
The sword was indeed full of sentience, as it shone with brilliant blood-colored rays right after Wu Qi gave it a new name. Sharp sword intent sliced the cave into pieces, bringing down chunks of rocks everywhere. Wu Qi and Ao Buzun could not help glancing at each other in horror, both shocked by its violent killing intent. They reckoned that countless supreme-grade materials which had inherited the innate killing intent must have been used into the crafting of this amazing sword in those years.
After marveling for a moment, Wu Qi swallowed the sword and let it swim freely in his veins, nourishing it with his own blood essence. This kind of Innate Spirit Artifact was different from the magical artifacts and flying swords the immortals used today. It must be fed with the owner's blood essence as if it were a pet; the more blood essence it consumed, the closer it was bound to the mind of its owner, and the more powerful it became. Unlike it, all it took to nourish the magical artifacts and flying swords the immortals used today, save for the natal magical artifacts crafted by those evil immortals, was energy.
As he felt the sword slowly absorbing his blood essence, Wu Qi took a deep breath and threw out the remains of the ancient immortal.
Nourished by innate ghost energy for countless years, the layer of translucent, flesh-like substance covering the ancient immortal's skeleton was actually formed by the accumulation of excess ghost energy. It did provide some defense, but compared to his skeleton, it was really nothing but useless trash.
A plume of Heavenly Fire of Phoenix burst out of Wu Qi's palm and burned off all of the translucent flesh, causing a foul smell of rotting corpses to rise into the sky immediately. Before long, all that was left of the ancient immortal was an extremely strong skeleton that even Wu Qi could not leave a trace on with all his might.
He sent his divine sense to the skeleton. The purple-and-gold bones were astonishingly dense, such that he could not penetrate them, and his divine sense was knocked back and nearly shattered by a layer of restrictive runes on its surface.
He lightly tapped the bones with his finger and they rang with a crisp sound like the clashing of gold against jade. Then, he roughly weighed the nine-feet-tall skeleton and found that it weighed hundreds of billions of kilograms, heavier than several mountains combined. Evidently, its density had reached an inconceivable degree.
Astounded, he sucked in a cold breath and shook his head as he said, "This treasure... It would be a waste to only craft it into some artifact!"
Ao Buzun suddenly darted his head forward, opened his mouth, and bit the skeleton's shoulder blade. A crisp crunch echoed out as bright sparks flew in all directions while the little black dragon covered his bleeding mouth with both claws and shrunk back into Wu Qi's hair. "It can't be used to craft artifacts and it can't be eaten, I think it's best to piss on it and let it stink for eternity!" he growled furiously.
Wu Qi shook his head. After pondering for a while, the 'Stealing Heaven Scripture' in the Seven Foundation Elevating Technique came to his mind. The scripture was supposed to be the culmination of all the different ways of stealing in the Scroll of Stealing. It came with myriad occult techniques which basically allowed one to steal anything and everything.
It seemed that it was time to start cultivating this scripture.
In it was a divine ability called the Art of Bone Changing, which was just perfect to use on this skeleton. The Stealing Heaven Scripture had suggested that it was best to cultivate this art with the remains of ancient Buddhas, as it could gradually extract the essence from the remains and fuse them into his body. It also mentioned that the more remains of ancient Buddhas were used, the faster the speed of improving would be, and so would the benefits.
According to its description, the Art of Bone Changing basically had no limit. In other words, Wu Qi could fuse the essence of all the remains of ancient Buddhas into his own bones, no matter how many he could find. If he could refine just a few golden bodies of ancient Buddhas, his own bones would be indestructible. Once his bones grew stronger, his marrows would follow suit, and his internal organs and blood would experience a transformation as well. This was a technique to strengthen one's fleshly body from the root.
Furthermore, using the Art of Bone Changing to strength one's bones was equivalent to elevating oneself with external forces, which was much quicker than cultivating on one's own. It was mentioned in the technique that with just the cultivation base of a Heaven Immortal, one could completely digest and absorb a golden body of an ancient Buddha in just a hundred years. With his current cultivation base of a Gold Immortal, Wu Qi reckoned perhaps it would only take him a few years to completely absorb this skeleton.
After a moment of consideration, he cupped his fist, bowed to the skeleton, and said, "Senior..."
The word had barely left his mouth when Wu Qi suddenly laughed at himself and said, "What am I doing? You are long dead, and I've wiped out your little conscious that had just been born not long ago. Not that you can hear and understand what I said, right?"
He gave a cold laugh and then opened his mouth, from which, a beam of chaotic light bolted out and engulfed the skeleton before bringing it into his stomach.
Inside his interstitial world, a vast amount of chaotic energy had formed into a huge cauldron at his will, and the skeleton was being slowly burned right inside of it. His blood essence was used as firewood, filling the cauldron with crimson flames while the strange runes formed from his true flame were slowly burning the skeleton.
Gradually, tiny purple-gold beads began to drift out of the skeleton. They were refined and purified by the cauldron before flying out of the interstitial world and entering Wu Qi's bones. Suddenly he was sweating all over, and he felt his bones getting warmer as streams of heat were rushing back and forth in his marrow. An unspeakable pleasure washed over him and almost made him groan.
The Art of Bone Changing was truly amazing!
Wu Qi's eyes shone with bright gleams. Just as he was about to let out an elated roar, a deep, violent dragon roar echoed out from inside of him. The soul of Taotie he had absorbed suddenly acted by itself; it transformed into a beam of light and plunged into the huge cauldron, with its four legs tightly clutched on the lid and its body spraying dazzling blood-red flames.
The soul of Taotie had taken the initiative to help Wu Qi absorb the skeleton. With the help of its innate force of devouring, his speed of refining this skeleton had suddenly increased by a hundred times!
Wu Qi was overjoyed. He did a quick calculation and concluded that he would have completely absorbed the skeleton perhaps in a month at the most!
The wonder the soul of Taotie had brought him made Wu Qi so excited that he threw his head back and let out a long cry. The rocks in the cave rumbled due to his cry, and all of a sudden, the entire cave collapsed.