Chapter 215: Forging Cauldron
Ashamed of his failure, Bai Yunfei turned to Kou Changkong, "Master, your disciple has failed you again..."
But instead of reprimanding Bai Yunfei, Kou Changkong smiled. "Yunfei, why do you think that you've failed me?"
"Your disciple has practiced for ten days, and not even a single soul armament was made even after all master's careful instructions. I've..."
"You're wrong." Kou Changkong interrupted Bai Yunfei's small tirade of 'self-blame', "Let me tell you something. I've been nothing but satisfied for the past ten days. In fact, you can say I'm quite impressed. What you've shown so far has exceeded my expectations."
"Eh?" Bai Yunfei wasn't sure if he even heard right. Almost unsure if he should ask, he started to speak, "Master, do you mean that I...."
"Correct. The amount of progress in the last ten days is an extremely high achievement in itself. Your control over elemental fire is far beyond what I expected. It would be no exaggeration for me to say that you're aptitude so far is way better than your seniors when they first started to learn!"
Kou Changkong's sudden praise of him had knocked Bai Yunfei for a loop. But even in his daze, the feeling of disappointment he felt was quickly thrown out so that joy and a little amount of pride could make their way in.
"Yunfei, do you know why you are failing to make even an incomplete soul armament?"
The question mystified Bai Yunfei.
"Is it because my control over the elemental fire wasn't enough....?"
"No, your control was fine. In fact, even if you were making a low-grade human-tier soul armament, you'd have more than enough to spare!"
"What?" He still didn't quite understand what Kou Changkong was getting at.
"The reason why you are failing to craft even a single armament is because you are missing an extremely crucial item!" Kou Changkong smiled.
"What...what item?" Bai Yunfei asked.
Unwilling to keep Bai Yunfei in suspense, Kou Changkong waved his right hand just once. Following a bright flash of red and a "thunk", something fell down by Bai Yunfei's side.
"A crafting cauldron!"
Eyeing the object, Bai Yunfei could see that it was about half as tall as he was and two meters squared in area. The cauldron had a red twinkle to it, and waves of elemental fire could be felt emanating from it.
Continuing to speak, Kou Changkong spoke, "This is an essential must for all students of the Crafting School. A lot of aspects must be relied on the cauldron for something to be crafted. A good cauldron could increase the chance of success many times over for when a soul armament is being crafted. This on cauldron is a normal one. To craft items such as spears, halberds, and battle-axes, a long-shaped cauldron is required. Of course, crafting without a cauldron is possible, but your strength is without a doubt not yet at such a level...."
"So even the Crafting School has a key 'item'....." Bai Yunfei realized what Kou Changkong was getting at.
But at the same time, a question arose in his mind. "Then why didn't he...."
"You must be thinking 'why didn't I give you a crafting cauldron to begin with?', correct?"
Nodding his head in an honest reply, Bai Yunfei listened as Kou Changkong speak, "You are a disciple of mine. The more potential you have, the bigger the expectations I'll have for you. The past ten days were for you to understand just how hard crafting a soul armament is. From today onwards, you'll be more cautious in your craft while also helping you understand the many questions that might occur. As your master, I must teach in a way that you will learn the subject in a comprehensive matter."
"You might not understand what I've said so far, so let me teach you one of the many uses of the cauldron. Craft a soul armament with it and you'll understand what I'm saying then."
Kou Changkong walked over to where the cauldron was and placed his right hand by his side. Pushing his soulforce into it, the cauldron began to light up before a fire burst into life from the inside.
"All crafting cauldrons are created using materials that harmonize greatly with fire. Through it, one is able to make and maintain a fire with ease." Kou Changkong explained. Waving his left hand, a small clump of vermiculite ore was thrown into the cauldron and transformed into a fist-sized glob of pure essence almost instantly.
"There's countless of blocks in the cauldron which can be be influenced in any way to change the shape and outcome of the soul armament. Supplementary materials can be placed in these slots as well so that they can be compounded at any time." Kou Changkong waved his hand to fill up several of the slots. With a crackling sound, a mold of a small dagger was formed at the bottom with the fire engulfing the materials and filled up the dagger mold with its liquid. "While the cauldron provides the mold, you must make sure to maintain the fire as it burns the materials so that the shape and compounding can go without a problem."
"During the refinement process, the cauldron can be used to push your soulforce in without deviation." He paused here for a moment, and at the same time, a wave of soulforce was suddenly pushed out in such a huge drove that Bai Yunfei's heart was momentarily stunned. Imbued by the red light, the flames in the cauldron disappeared, and in the next moment, a dark red dagger flew up into Kou Changkong's hand.
A soul armament had been crafted in practically half the time it took for Kou Changkong to make one for Bai Yunfei ten days prior to this!
From start to finish, Bai Yunfei had been completely transfixed on each and every action Kou Changkong made. Even his words were engraved into Bai Yunfei's mind.
Knowing that Bai Yunfei had been so intent on watching, Kou Changkong spoke, "Yunfei, you come and try!"
Letting out a deep breath, Bai Yunfei nodded and took two steps forward to walk up to the cauldron's side.
Following what Kou Changkong had said and done, Bai Yunfei's hand pressed against the cauldron and fed in his soulforce to rekindle it.
Inserting a piece of vermiculite ore and several other materials, he begun the process to liquate, compound, and refine them....
Step by step, Bai Yunfei came to realize something-
This was an effortless task!
When the flames disappeared, a throwing knife with an icy-cold sheen was left at the bottom of the cauldron.
He was shocked.
Crafting a soul armament was....this easy?
Yes! Compared to the previous attempts which took ten whole days to make one, Bai Yunfei had only needed a short ten minutes to make a soul armament with ease!
After his shock dissipated, Bai Yunfei slowly took the silvery throwing knife into his trembling hands. The make was ordinary and was three inches long and one finger width wide. This one was designed exactly the same as the most basic design from the manual he had about throwing knives.
Equipment Grade: Superior
Upgrade Requirement: 50 Soulpoints
It was an incomplete soul armament, but it was already extremely close to being what a soul armament would be. Caressing the blade, Bai Yunfei's eyes lit up with an extremely excited light.
Nodding his head in satisfaction, Kou Changkong spoke, "Very good. Yunfei, remember this feeling. The art of crafting is...exactly like this!"
Storing the throwing knife away, Bai Yunfei bowed to his master, "Yes, master!"
"It's getting late, so let's end things here." Kou Changkong smiled. "Don't try to craft anything more today, but remember this state and savor the feeling of the craft. Take note of everything that happened in these past ten days and commit it to memory. With your strength, you will surely make huge improvements in the future. I am sure that even middle-grade human-tier soul armaments won't be an issue for you!"
"Yes master," Bai Yunfei started to speak, "Then, your disciple will come by tomorrow...."
But Kou Changkong shook his head, "No need. Starting from tomorrow, you don't need to come here."
"Eh?" Bai Yunfei was confused, "But why?"
"You need to master what you've just experienced. I've taught you all that needs to be taught. From here, work so that you grow more proficient with the art of crafting and increase the chances of making human-tier soul armaments." Kou Changkong smiled.
"Seek out Song Lin tomorrow and have him appoint you a cave of your own in the Western Point. Practice by yourself, and show me how much you've improved every ten days. If you have any question, ask your seniors or come straight to me."
As it were, Kou Changkong was still the headmaster of the Crafting School. The fact that he spent ten whole days teaching Bai Yunfei without interruption was a statement on just how much importance he placed on Bai Yunfei.
Taking all of this into consideration, Bai Yunfei nodded his head. "Your disciple understands." He spoke respectfully. "Thank you for your guidance, master. Your disciple will work hard so that I won't disappoint you in the future!"
"Good. As your master, I will believe in you. However, do not try to advance down the path of crafting too quickly. It isn't a road meant to be sped through." Kou Changkong handed a gray-colored ring to Bai Yunfei. "This ring contains plenty of materials. It should last you for some time. There's also a scroll that details the art of crafting on a more detailed level. Several of the more common synthesis can be found in here, and tidbits on the crafting procedure as well. I've several of my own notes written in here, so read it carefully. Understanding it shouldn't pose too much of a task to you. This cauldron is yours to have as well. I'm sure you'll use it well with your strength."
Bai Yunfei's eyes shined brightly as he took in Kou Changkong's words.
"Well then, go ahead back to the Western Point...."
After Bai Yunfei left, Kou Changkong was left alone in the room. He sighed, "Giving him three months to craft an earth-tier soul armament was too much. He can't possibly make one as he is now...."
"Perhaps I should make an announcement to cancel the trial...."