AGM 0017 - Tiny Astral-Being
When Qin Chuan saw the unity that the members of the Qin Clan possessed even in times of danger, it caused him to be filled with joy. The men of the Qin Clan were all strong and determined, unyielding even in face of death.
"2nd brother, 3rd brother, follow me to see father. Wentian, Yao`er, the two of you can go back first." After which, Qin Chuan led Qin He and the rest away.
"The previous emperor graced our ancestor with kindness. Our ancestor and our grandfather, Qin Wu, always cherished that display of kindness, not even hesitating to sell their lives for the country. But now, the Royal Clan actually wants our Qin Clan to disappear. I'm afraid grandfather will no longer be able to tolerate this." Qin Yao murmured in a low voice, as Qin Wentian tried to console her, "Don't worry, I'm sure grandfather has a plan."
"And you, this fellow, actually hid the fact that you had condensed your Astral Soul from me. During the exam, you caused the drum to sound out the 8th reverberation, signifying that one possesses 80 bulls of strength. What's your current cultivation level now?" As they walked on, Qin Yao blinked her beautiful eyes as she asked curiously. If one didn't take into account the boosting effect of martial techniques and astral souls, they must at least be at the 9th level of the Body Refinement Realm to possess the strength level of 81 bulls.
"You guess?" Qin Wentian shrugged his shoulders. After all, having such strength at only the 6th level of the Body Refinement Realm seemed somewhat implausible.
"How do I guess?" Qin Yao's lips lightly twitched as she glanced smilingly at Qin Wentian. "How does annulling the marriage engagement with the top beauty of our Sky Harmony City feel like? Are you depressed?"
"What's there to be depressed about? Don't I already have a beauty at my side?" Qin Wentian intentionally allowed his gaze to roam over the svelte figure of the 1.7m tall Qin Yao. Even when compared to Autumn Snow, Qin Yao was definitely a top class beauty, especially now, as she emitted a slightly mature air since she had returned from her training in the Royal Academy.
"Hmph. You even dare to take liberties with me." Qin Yao face reddened after she saw the unbridled look that Qin Wentian shot her way, as she extended her hands towards his waist region and pinched mercilessly, until Qin Wentian involuntarily drew in a breath of cold air.
"Sister, I was wrong." Qin Wentian bitterly smiled as he apologised, before Qin Yao would release him. After which, Qin Yao caused Qin Wentian's expression to freeze, as she retrieved two Yuan Meteor stones from her robes.
"These are the first two meteor stones that you gave to me. I've always kept them with me, just in case you needed to use them in the future. " Qin Yao grabbed Qin Wentian's hand, as she passed the stones over to him.
Looking at the beautiful countenance in front of him, Qin Wentian's heart slightly warmed. Yuan Meteor stones were of paramount importance to Stellar Martial Cultivators, enabling them to raise their cultivation at an unimaginably fast speed. Qin Yao had actually kept two of them throughout all this years, just to pass them back to him when he needed it.
"Sis?" Qin Wentian looked at Qn Yao, causing Qin Yao to stare back at him as she smiled. "What? You want to offer yourself in marriage?"
"Hmm." Qin Wentian's eyes flashed, as he stared at Qin Yao with an unwavering look in his eyes, causing her face to redden again as she hurriedly turned her body and replied, "You must work hard to cultivate, and prove yourself to everyone."
After which, Qin Yao half-walked and half-ran away from the courtyard they were in.
"Ye Clan, Bai Clan, Royal Clan." Qin Wentian muttered in a low voice, as he sat down cross-leggedly. The past few days, things had happened at too fast a pace - there wasn't even time for him to properly inspect his current cultivation level.
As he calmed his heart, Qin Wentian fully immersed himself in that state. He could sense the existence of his Astral Gate, and within it, was the Heavenly Hammer Astral Soul, emitting a tyrannical strength.
"The Heavenly Hammer Astral Soul was condensed through forming an innate link with the constellation in the 5th Heavenly Layer. But the me now, is still incapable of fully harnessing the power it contains. Only after I've stepped into the Heavenly Dipper Realm, will the true might contained within the Astral Soul fully support me in battle."
Qin Wentian silently speculated that the higher quality an Astral Soul was, the more terrifying the strength contained within would be. That was why, despite Qin Wentian's current cultivation at the 6th level of the Body Refinement Realm, he was able to unleash such terrifying strength; it was all thanks to the boosting effects caused by his Astral Soul.
"Not only that, the Heavenly Hammer Astral Soul should also be able to grant me an increase in talent in forging and smithing abilities, but I haven't unearthed that yet."
As he pondered, his heart couldn't help but feel slight traces of awe, as his thoughts drifted to that tiny Astral Being from before. The mysterious and effective Tempered Thousand Hammer Refinement Technique, was bequeathed to him from the memories contained within that Astral Being.
And what's more, that tiny Astral Being was materialised from the stone that his dead old fogey of a father left him. It might be an Yuan Meteor Stone that hailed from one of the highest heavenly layers.
That stone probably underwent the transformation after absorbing the Astral Light emitted when Qin Wentian was condensing his Astral Soul. As he thought of that, Qin Wentian's consciousness drifted towards the Astral Being. However, at this moment, that tiny Astral Being emitted no light, but instead, it looked as dull as the corona of light that was extremely dimmed - as if it was somehow sealed. There was no way for his consciousness to establish a link with it.
With a slight intention of will, the astral energy within Stellar Meridians transformed into a swirl, and as the tyrannical energy contained within his body madly surged and flowed towards the tiny Astral being, it was akin to a creek flowing into the ocean - once a flood was started, it was nearly unstoppable. And abruptly, columns of Astral Light cascaded into, and were absorbed inside, the body of the tiny Astral Being, disappearing without a trace - as if the columns of Astral Light had never existed.
"As expected!" Qin Wentian's trembled slightly, as he unceasingly controlled the Astral Energy to flow towards the Astral Being. However, it was akin to a bottomless pit, relentlessly devouring the Astral energy provided, yet with no hint of any other reactions.
Finally, Qin Wentian stopped the flow of energy. As he opened his eyes, hints of astonishment could be seen. It seemed that if he wanted to trigger the tiny Astral Being, he would need an immense source of Astral Energy. Apparently, the energy that was stored in his body was insufficient.
Traces of thoughtfulness filled his eyes. This tiny Astral Being had bestowed upon him the Tempered Thousand Hammers Refinement Technique, not to mention the fact that this was an inheritance the old fogey of a dad had left for him. He had a very strong intuition that there might be a great secret hidden within.
Hardening his heart, Qin Wentian withdrew a Yuan Meteor Stone and placed it on his palms, closing his eyes. At the same time, as the Astral Energy in his body started to flow in a frenzied manner towards the Astral Being, he was drawing upon the energy contained within the Yuan Meteor Stone, absorbing it into his body.
This time around, the process lasted longer. The Astral Being was akin to a bottomless pit, madly devouring the Astral Energy, like it was impossible to satisfy it. Qin Wentian felt depression in his heart. If he'd used the energy absorbed to practice the Tempered Thousand Hammer Refinement Technique, he'd be much closer to breaking through to the next level.
But now, the Astral Energy contained within was absorbed into his body, not used to aid him in his cultivation. It was hungrily devoured by that Astral Being instead.
However, the Qin Wentian now, was akin to riding atop the back of a tiger, unable to dismount halfway - he must reach a result. As time passed, the Astral Energy within his body continuously was depleted, which in turn caused him to draw upon the energy of the Yuan Meteor Stone more and more, until the point where even the Astral Energy was about to be fully exhausted, before that tiny Astral Being finally slightly gleamed with light.
"There's a reaction" Qin Wentian's heart shuddered as he manifested his will, causing his intention to drift over to probe the Astral Being. He had a feeling that the Astral Being was nothing but a body of made up of a vast consciousness. When his own consciousness came in contact with it, it was as if he had fallen into the boundless awareness and thoughts of that Astral Being. Qin Wentian could feel that he himself, was just an insignificant being, and was very small and tiny - as if he was standing in front of one of the Astral Rivers.
Qin Wentian's consciousness wanted to form an innate link with Astral Being, but it seemed impossible to do so. That vast consciousness of the Astral Being seemed to be somehow sealed still.
"I need even more Astral Energy." Qin Wentian gritted his teeth as he continued channeling energy into the tiny Astral Being. All the way up until the Astral Energy contained within the first Yuan Meteor Stone was fully used up, before he took out the second stone, and continued. At this point, there was no way he'd give this up. He had to get to the bottom of the matter.
Finally, Qin Wentian could feel the seal on the Astral Being was gradually breaking apart, and after some time, an intense ray of blinding Astral Light suddenly erupted forth, and all Qin Wentian could feel, was that his own consciousness was being enveloped and shrouded by that vast consciousness of the Astral Being.
All of a sudden, he could feel that a ray of light had entered into his consciousness, causing his consciousness to undergo vibrate intensely, as if it was struggling not to get disintegrated. His heart trembled violently, as a twinge of acute pain stabbed into his head, and his body collapsed on the ground.
"Hu......" Qin Wentian drew in a deep breath. During that last instance, the circumstances were similar to now, when he was bestowed the Tempered Thousand Hammers Refinement Technique. A moment felt as long as an eternity, as rivulets of sweat flowed down his entire body.
"Memory, it's another fragmented memory." Qin Wentian's heart shivered with excitement, as the tiny Astral Being, begin to dim and returned to it's original state, forcing out his consciousness. But now, a new memory was imprinted in his mind.
The Astral Being was akin to an endless memory device storage treasure box. Every time it activated, it would grant him an extraordinary piece of fragmented memory, which usually happened to be what he needed. Previously, it was the Tempered Thousand Hammer Refinement Technique, and this time around, it was exactly what he needed. It was some memory fragments about the forging of weapons!
"That damned fogey, what on earth did you leave for me." Qin Wentian stared blankly at the space, as if he suddenly saw a silhouette, an extremely gentle looking face. The face of his dead father that was looking down at him from the heavens.
Lost in contemplation for a while, Qin Wentian opened his palms, glancing at the 2nd Yuan Meteor Stone as he mumbled in a low voice, "Activating the Astral Being requires a colossal amount of Astral Energy, and moreover, this amount of energy is only sufficient to activate a few memory fragments. If I wanted to activate it again, there's a need to depend on the valuable Yuan Meteor Stones."
After his mumblings, Qin Wentian continued, and started to absorb the Astral Energy within the Yuan Meteor Stone. However, the energy absorbed this time, wasn't used to activate the Astral Being, but to replenished the astral energy in his body which had been exhausted earlier. At the same time, Qin Wentian also began to process the newly obtained fragments of memory.
Weapons could be categorised broadly into two types - ordinary weapons, and divine weapons. Ordinary weapons wouldn't have any additional effects, while divine weapons could boost the user's might by a huge level. And as such, when cultivators referred to weapons, they would usually mean divine-leveled weapons.
There were 10 levels for divine weapons, with each level being further divided into three tiers. For cultivators that had the abilities to forge weapons, they were all greatly revered, and were known as either weaponsmiths, or master forgers. For those that had a forging related Astral Soul, it was even easier for them to become a weaponsmith, and as for Qin Wentian, his Heavenly Hammer Astral Soul, was precisely a type of forging-class Astral Soul. Uncle Black had once listed out the various constellations in the 5th Heavenly Layer for him, thus, it could be seen how knowledgeable Uncle Black was.
"According to this memory fragment, for a weaponsmith to forge a weapon, other than mastering the relevant forging techniques, the other most important thing was the inscription of divine runes and imprints. For those who possess a forging-type Astral Soul, in terms of forging weapons, hold an absolute advantage because they can create divine imprints within their bodies, and can directly, via their Astral Soul, inscribe the divine imprint onto the weapons created."
Qin Wentian slowly digested the contents within the memory fragment, as the memory fragment also contained information about formations.
Divine imprints were actually considered a special type of formation, and were specifically used during the forging of a weapon - they were extremely complicated.
In his memory, there existed a plethora of basic-level imprints, and even some combined ones. But to fully understand them, would require a long period of time.
"All weaponsmiths and master forgers are greatly respected, and hold an extraordinary status in this world. I possess a forging-type Astral Soul, and can already be considered a basic-level weaponsmith - able to create weapons in exchange for Yuan Meteor Stones. And if I could breakthrough and become a 1st-level weaponsmith, I'd gain the right to join the Star River Association, and upgrade my status. By that time, even in the Royal Capital, the Royal Clan and the Ye Clan would no longer dare to be so arrogant."
Qin Wentian was thinking in his heart. He had a forging-type Astral Soul that was condensed from the 5th Heavenly Layer. How could he not put it to good use? Since he was already embroiled in this current chaotic situation, he had to do something for himself, and plan for the future of the Qin Clan. Increasing his strength through cultivation, as well as becoming a forging master.
Five days later, since the him now, had no power to change anything, Qin Wentian attempted to gain enlightenment and insights on the divine imprints during the day, while continuing to improve his cultivation level with the Tempered Thousand Hammers Refinement Technique at night, showing no concern for the circumstances outside. Since Qin Wu expressly forbade him from doing so, he decided to just focus all his attention on upgrading his strength.
At this moment, there were several metallic materials strewn about the training courtyard Qin Wentian was in, and on the surface of these metallic plates, there were traces of complex imprints carved upon them. The almost-completed imprints emitted a strong vital aura, fluctuating above the surface of the metal plates, interweaving together into the picture of divine imprints.
"Now my accuracy has gotten much higher." Qin Wentian stood there, while within the Stellar Meridians inside his body, tiny symbols of divine imprints glittered. Those mysterious divine imprints grouped together, and condensed into the form of an incomparably sharp sword, possessing a tremendous penetrating force, while in Qin Wentian's hand, a gigantic hammer, in the shape of the Heavenly Hammer Constellation, materialized.
Qin Wentian's steps lightly trembled, as instantly, the force of the incomparably sharp sword created from the symbols of divine imprints inside his body flowed along with the activation of his Stellar Meridians, towards his arms, and imbued the Heavenly Hammer. While at the same time, Qin Wentian raised his arms and ferociously slammed the hammer towards the direction of the metal plates.
A ringing sound rang out, as the Heavenly Hammer landed onto the metal plate, and instantly, on the surface of that metal plate, the symbol of a divine imprint in the shape of a sword that glowed with astral light, while emitting an extremely sharp and penetrative aura, appeared before infusing into it. After which, the traces of the previous divine imprints disappeared, causing the visage of Qin Wentian to breakout into a joyful smile.
"The most critical thing in forging a weapon - the divine imprint, is not a problem for me. Seems like I'm truly a natural born weaponsmith. Forging weapons will be as easy as turning over my palm for me."
Qin Wentian chortled in a low voice. Although he was extremely satisfied with his divine imprint inscriptions, Qin Wentian was still unsure about how terrifying the advantage he held was, when compared to other weaponsmiths.