AGM 0022 - Francis's Visit
The pain that Qin Wentian felt was unbearable. He'd personally witnessed Qin Rao's head be smashed by Ye Lang - as he was killed cruelly - and that hideous smile on Ye Lang's visage... that was something he would never be able to forget.
"Ye Lang!" Both his hands clenched into fists. Qin Wentian sat down upon the training ground, drew in a deep breath, and calmed himself; a blood debt most definitely had to be repaid in blood.
The skies had already darkened, and Qin Wentian in that instant, seemed to have entered into a world of his own, as the hubbub of the external world was no longer able to affect him. Raising his head to the skies, a brilliant astral light shone out, and a faint shadow of the Heavenly Hammer appeared. At that instant, high up in the 5th Heavenly Layer, the Constellation of the Heavenly Hammer began to cascade resplendent rays of astral light downwards, merging together with the shine of his astral soul, tracing magnificent lines of light in the night sky.
The two Yuan Meteor Stones that were placed by Qin Wentian on top of the Astral Soul he released, were actually attracted to the resplendent rays of Astral Light cascading downwards, as they floated up into the air. The energy released by the Yuan Meteor Stones merged together with the magnificent lines of light, before being absorbed by the Heavenly Hammer Astral Soul, undergoing refinement and nourishment - transforming into Heavenly Hammer Astral Energy - before flowing towards Qin Wentian's four limbs, bones, inner organs, energy channels and meridians.
A Stellar Martial Cultivator that had condensed an Astral Soul could only absorb Astral Qi from the constellation that they had formed an innate link with. Ye Lang's Astral Soul was of the Demonic Wolf Constellation, and thus, the Astral Qi he absorbed was permeated with an unbridled wild beast aura characteristic. As for Qin Wentian, his Astral Soul was condensed from the Heavenly Hammer Constellation, and thus he was endowed with tyrannical attack as well as a talent for forging.
Previously, when Qin Wentian had directly absorbed the Astral Energy contained within the Yuan Meteor Stone, it had absolutely no way to compare to the Astral Energy which he absorbed from the Heavenly Hammer Constellation. And thus, for greater efficiency in processing the energy absorbed, Qin Wentian first used his Astral Soul to absorb the astral energy contained within the Yuan Meteor Stones, before allowing the Astral Energy from the Heavenly Hammer Constellation from the 5th Heavenly Layer to "purify" the astral energy before absorbing them into his body. Despite the fact that he knew that doing so would cause some of the Astral Energy to disperse.
After a short moment, when Qin Wentian felt that his whole body had been infused with Astral Energy, he circulated the Astral Energy around his body as he activated the Tempered Thousand Hammers Refinement Technique. Instantly, cracking and rumbling sounds rang out as violent vibrations shook his body. His Qi and blood surged, akin to the cracking waves of the oceans - to the point where all of his muscles started to convulse, as the tyrannical energy tempered his body by forcing him to break his limits over and over again, until his fleshly body became even stronger, and more perfect.
The second day, the news about the Qin Residence getting encircled, was spreaded throughout Sky Harmony City. There were many of those who came to the outside of Qin Residence that sighed ruefully - The Majestic Qin Clan of the past, was soon to be nothing but a remnant of history.
Outside the Qin Residence, were the Chu Dragon Guards of the Sky Harmony City, as well as the Silver Feather Legion led by Icehawk, and the troops of Asura Wu. These three powerful forces had the Qin Residence trapped in such a tight web that not even a drop of water could leak out. Intermittently, they would send troops to test the defense of the Qin Residence, while the members of the Qin Clan resisted stubbornly, sending their strongest Martial Cultivators, as well as their Defenders, to guard the main entrances.
The passerbyers and outsiders who were watching the scene, sighed in their hearts, as they felt that the Qin Clan evidently wasn't able to resist much longer, and would must likely be annihilated.
"There are only two more days to the Annual Offerings Day. I wonder if the Qin Clan will still be able to survive till next year." This thought echoed through the hearts of many people. Annual Offerings Day was the day before the end of the year, and it was also a day for people to offer sacrifices to their ancestors.
A stifling sense of pressure permeated the entire atmosphere in the Qin Residence, as Qin Chuan and the important members of the clan gathered inside the war hall to discuss tactics and strategies.
"The three great legions: as long as our opponents unleash a command, we have no choice but to clash directly - and based on the strength of our Qin Clan, we don't even have any hope at victory." Qin Chuan gaze roamed about, looking at everyone, as he stated.
"How strong are our Defenders?" Someone asked, as that person looked to Qin Chuan. Don't mention external parties, even people of the Qin Clan themselves were unsure of the actual strength of their Defenders.
"The Defenders are all elites of our Qin Clan, and can be considered stronger than the vast majority of the troops out there. However, taking into account the entire perspective, the disparity between the strength of our forces are still too great."
"How about those who were loyal to the Wu King in the past? Would they lead their troops to our rescue?"
"The old patriarch should have his own arrangement, but water from afar wasn't able to extinguish a near fire. In addition to that, the troops that belong to the three powers seemed to be in no hurry to initiate the attacks, yet still seemed tremendously confident - this is what I'm worrying about." Qin Chuan sighed. The war hall was only filled with his voice, with no one else proposing any other strategies.
After a moment of contemplation, Qin Chuan commanded, "Once the fighting begins, I will mobilise a division of troops, and put them under the command of Qin He and Qin Ye. Both of you are responsible for protecting the safety of Wentian, Qin Yao, and the rest of the younger generation. Remember this clearly, you aren't allowed to clash with our enemies, and are only allowed to escape.
"Big Brother, I'm not a coward." Qin Ye bellowed with rage.
"We have already reached the limit of our cultivation levels. The younger generations are the hope of the Qin Clan. I did place them under your charge, but this doesn't mean that I'm causing you to become a coward - do you understand now?" Qin Chuan slammed his palm against the table, as he roared in anger, causing the expression of Qin Ye to tighten.
"This matter isn't open for discussion. Those who defy my orders, aren't fit to be a member of my Qin Clan."
The words of Qin Chuan, caused everyone to be speechless. Qin Yao and the rest of the younger generations, Qin Wentian included, were unhappy with the decision too, as they nurtured the anger in their hearts, wanting nothing more than to clash against their enemies.
"Clan Leader." At this moment, there was someone who had entered the hall from the outside as he spoke, "Clan Leader, Grandmaster Francis from the Star River Association requests an audience with you."
"Star River Association?" Traces of astonishment flickered in Qin Chuan's eyes, as he replied, "Invite him in."
Shortly after, Francis entered the great hall, and upon his arrival, Qin Wentian involuntarily displayed a weird expression on his face.
"Francis greets Master Qin Chuan."
"Grandmaster Francis, please do not stand on ceremony with me, may I know the reason behind your visit?" Qin Chuan was extremely polite. The status of weaponsmiths were extraordinary indeed.
"I'm here to look for Young Master Wentian." Francis revealed a bitter smile, as he cast a sidelong glance at Qin Wentian. That day, Murin had announce that he would select Francis to accompany him to the Royal City, and Francis, in a moment of greed, had lay false claims to the creation of the divine weapon which Murin inspected. Never had he thought that Murin would want him to duplicate the creation process again, which caused him to fall into depression, and thus, he had no choice but to question Lin Yue, and finally discovered the identity of that young man who wanted to become an apprentice, who was actually Qin Wentian. Although the Qin Clan was surrounded by enemies, Francis still had no choice but to choose to visit.
Luckily, he was someone from the Star River Association, and the people outside all gave him some face, as he randomly made up a reason for his visit.
The faces of the members of the Qin Clan all displayed weird expressions; why did a grandmaster want to look for Qin Wentian?
"Is anything the matter?: Qin Wentian indifferently asked.
"I wish to cooperate with little brother Wentian to forge a divine weapon together, I wonder if little brother would be willing to grant me the chance." Francis could feel that the attitude Qin Wentian was displaying towards him was extremely cold, and as such, he had no choice but to smile, as he asked for help, with a pitiful tone in his voice.
QIn Wentian's heart lightly shuddered. This Francis actually wanted to forge a divine weapon together with me? Could it be that the previous divine weapon that I created randomly had already surpassed his standards? If not, there should be no reason why he would look for me.
"It seems like the divine imprint from the memory fragment which I gained insights into, was extraordinary." Qin Wentian silently thought, that there this possibility existed, as he involuntarily let out a cold laugh, as he replied, "Currently, my Qin Residence is in a moment of crisis, I have no time to accompany Grandmaster Francis in the forging of divine weapons. And as for the embryonic cast and metallic liquid which I used previously, I can't afford to pay for them, please depart."
Francis bitterly smiled as he looked at Qin Wentian, lowering his voice as he implored, "Young Master Wentian, please let me know if you have any conditions."
"Firstly, tell me the reason why you want to forge a divine weapon with me." Qin Wentian stared at Francis the earlier weapon created was just a first level divine weapon, therefore Francis should be able to forge it too. Although the carving of the divine imprint couldn't be compared to the one inscribed by Qin Wentian, there was no need for Francis to lower himself to such an extent, begging for help from Qin Wentian.
Francis displayed an awkward expression.
"If Grandmaster doesn't wish to reveal the reason, then there's nothing to discuss."
Francis cast a glance at Qin Chuan. Qin Chuan understood his meaning as he waved his hands, signalling for the majority of the Qin Clan members to depart from the hall.
"Grandmaster, you can say it now." Qin Wentian stated, causing the expression on Francis's face to stiffen, as he sighed in his heart. He had no choice left, and thus, he revealed the facts that happened after Qin Wentian left that day. After hearing the reason, Qin Chuan and the rest, all had expressions of startlement and awe on their faces - Qin Wentian could actually inscribe divine imprints!
"Wentian, I could send you to the Star River Association. That Murin, he would definitely ensure your safety." Qin Chuan's eyes flickered with a sharp light. This Murin was the division leader for the Star River Association's weaponsmith division, and was endowed with an exceedingly strong ability with matters related to forging, thus elevating his status and position. If he were to help, the Qin Clan would surely survive.
Grandmaster Francis who was standing at the side, had an anxious expression on his face. The current him felt as if he was caught in between a rock and a hard place.
"Grandmaster Francis." Qin Wentian looked to Francis as he said, "There's no way I would forge a divine weapon together with you. However, the reason why you wanted to accompany Murin, was purely to raise your ability in the forging of weapons. I've gained insights into plenty of divine imprints, and could share some with you, so you too, would be able to explain to Grandmaster Murin."
The countenance of Francis froze, it seemed like it was impossible for him to get Qin Wentian to agree to forging a divine weapon together. However, if Qin Wentian would really be willing to pass down the divine imprints to him, it wouldn't be too bad as well - at most, he would just apologise and hand over the divine imprints to Murin.
"If that's the case, I would have to thank Young Master Wentian." Francis courteously replied.
"Wait a moment." Qin Wentian walked out of the grandhall, causing bizarre expressions to be displayed on the faces of Qin Chuan and the rest.
"Big brother, you've taught Wentian regarding the inscription of divine imprints?" Qin He curiously asked.
"Divine Imprints are exceedingly mysterious and complicated. I, myself, haven't gained sufficient insights regarding them yet, how could I still teach it to Wentian." Qin Chuan shook his head, as he intoned in a low voice, "Strange...... Qin Yao, Wentian has always been close to you, do you know anything regarding this matter?"
"That little bad egg still hides many secrets from me." Qin Yao pouted, however, she still hoped that Qin Wentian could accept the lifeline offered by the Star River Association. This way, the Star River Association would ensure his safety and extend their protection to the Qin Clan, resolving the crisis.
After some time had passed, Qin Wentian returned with many pieces of iron sheets, causing even more bizarre looks to be displayed on the faces of Francis, and on the rest of the Qin Clan members. But as Francis received the iron sheet which Wentian passed to him, and after a thorough inspection, his heart trembled in excitement - these were divine imprints, and not only that, they were all intricately, exquisitely inscribed. How on earth had Qin Wentian managed to inscribe such perfect imprints?
"A Forging-type Astral Soul." Francis' heart shuddered, as he stared at Qin Wentian
"Right, my Astral soul is a Forging-type Astral Soul, condensed from a constellation at the 3rd Heavenly Layer. I could gift these iron sheets to you, and moreover, if Grandmaster Francis is willing to supply us with some divine weapons, I'm willing to use divine imprints to exchange for them." The words of Qin Wentian almost caused excitement to bubbled out of Francis. The divine imprints of Qin Wentian were incomparably exquisite. As long as he could gain insights into one of them, in the future, creating a top grade 1st level divine weapon would be extremely simple for him.
"Okay, I shall bid you farewell first." Francis nodded his head heavily, he decided to fess up after he returned. He believe that with this imprints, Grandmaster Murin wouldn't blame him too much.
Qin Wentian's expression flickered, as he watched Francis departing. He intentionally displayed his forging talent, wanting to borrow the mouth of Francis to relay the news to Grandmaster Murin. With the strength and status of Murin, there might be a chance that he could resolve this crisis for the Qin Clan.
"Father, I shall depart first." Qin Wentian departed from the grand hall, as he made preparations to gain insights into the unfathomable and mysterious, 2nd level divine imprints.