AGM 239 - White Deer Cavern
Yan Kong crawled his way up, coughing to cover his awkwardness as he departed.
To date, since the moment he was born, Yan Kong had never been this humiliated before. He would definitely remember this debt.
Leng Ning walked to the side of Qin Wentian, staring at him with her beautiful eyes yet with a light smile on her lips. She teased, "Leng Ning greets Mr. Grandmaster."
Qin Wentian took note of her mischievous countenance as he lightly knocked on her head. "I didn't lie to you, right."
"Yes, you didn't lie to me, I was the one in the wrong. I should never have doubted Mr. Grandmaster." Leng Ning laughed as she continued, "However, who would have thought you were really at this level from all the big words you spoke? Why didn't you exhibit a little of your knowledge back then?""Wait, you mean you wanted me, out of anger or frustration from your doubting me, to inscribe third-ranked Divine Inscriptions just to brag about my actual strength?" Qin Wentian shrugged. His words caused Leng Ning to grin. True, if Qin Wentian had really done so back then out of indignation, wouldn't that be a little too cocky?
"Hmph fine, everything is my fault." Leng Ning glared at Qin Wentian. However inwardly, she was ecstatic. This braggart was actually a real third-ranked Divine Inscriptionist. Even at this point in time she didn't dare believe it, and upon recalling the words she had once said to Qin Wentian, Leng Ning couldn't help but be embarrassed.
"Haha, you can go back first. I still have something I need to do here," Qin Wentian remarked before he walked to Bailu Yi's side. She glanced at Qin Wentian, and then nodded her thanks.
Earlier, Qin Wentian had helped her brutally beat up Yan Kong.
"Well this matter occurred because of me, so I should be the one to settle it." Qin Wentian laughed, appearing extremely unconcerned. The two of them walked shoulder to shoulder as they stepped into the White Deer Institute.
"You have to be more cautious in the future. Yan Kong will definitely remember this and may find chances to create trouble for you." A hint of worry flickered in Bailu Yi's beautiful eyes. It would be nigh impossible for Yan Kong to forget his earlier humiliation.
"Mhm, noted." Qin Wentian nodded. This was also the reason why he didn't cripple or kill Yan Kong. If he had really done that earlier, Yan Kong's clan would definitely not rest until he was dead. So, he merely humiliated Yan Kong, and didn't believe that Yan Kong would be so shameless to the extent where he ignored his pride, getting elders of his clan to seek revenge for him. If he really did so because he was defeated by someone of the same generation, Yan Kong would never be able to lift his head up high again in the future.
Leng Ning fell into a daze as she stared at their departing backs. White Deer Institute's most talented genius in the younger generation was undoubtedly Bailu Yi. Cold and proud like frost from Heaven; walking side by side together with the blazing sun that was Qin Wentian, they contrasted each other, yet somehow seemed to complement perfectly. For some reason, faint traces of disappointment took root in Leng Ning's heart.
"What am I thinking?" Leng Ning shook her head. Did she really want to marry that 'big-headed' fellow?
Bailu Yi brought Qin Wentian into the White Deer Cavern, this was also the first place he entered as he stepped into the White Deer Institute on his very first day. However, back then he was only allowed to study the Divine Inscriptions engraved on the first stone walls and was not allowed to venture further inside.
But now, Bailu Yi personally led him into the depths of the cavern. The first cave dwelling within the cavern consisted of many stone walls and monuments. Different varieties of Divine Inscriptions could be seen engraved upon them, resembling dazzling jewels that were pleasing to the eyes of Divine Inscriptionists. Despite the number of Inscriptions, each Inscription's runic outlines were perfectly clear and exquisitely carved. Obviously, they originated from the hands of a grandmaster.
"This place consists of many Divine Inscriptions, and they originated from our very own Elders in the Institute. As long as one can comprehend and control the power of these Inscriptions, they will definitely become a top-level Divine Inscriptionist. At the very least, they wouldn't be lacking Divine Inscriptions to complement the forging of weapons," Bailu Yi explained, before continuing the tour deeper into the White Deer Caverns.
In the second cave dwelling, gigantic slabs of stone displayed pictures of two Divine Inscriptionists in battle. It was as though every picture on these stone walls recorded battles of Divine Inscriptionists.
Qin Wentian stood before one of the gigantic stone walls, as he stared at the outlines engraved upon it. Abruptly, he could feel a surge of destructive energy frenziedly gushing towards him. It was as though this Divine Inscription wanted to leap out from the stone wall it was engraved upon.
"Marvellous." Qin Wentian's heart trembled with excitement.
"Let's go take a look further in," Bailu Yi led him into the third cave dwelling. This cave dwelling was even larger compared to the previous two. Qin Wentian could feel that the Divine Inscriptions in here contained within them a mysterious aura. Multiple typhoons whirled through the cavern, filling the third cave dwelling with sharp gales of wind, each gale like the edge of a blade.
"Dao of Formations." Qin Wentian understood. Closing his eyes, he basked in the razor-sharp sensation, he had seen many different kinds of Divine Inscriptions before, but the ones before him seemed to be almost alive, incessantly 'dancing' about, eventually becoming a Formation.
Qin Wentian abruptly flicked out a single finger right at the heart of the Divine Inscription, causing the gales of wind to die down. Bailu Yi walked towards him, smiling as she asked, "How was it?"
"You are not worried about bringing me here?" Qin Wentian laughed. The White Deer Caverns were undoubtedly considered a treasured land to Divine Inscriptionists.
"To embark further on the path of the Dao of Divine Inscriptions, it's sometimes necessary to depend on insights comprehended by our predecessors. Several of the Divine Inscriptions here originated from many grandmasters of previous generations that cultivated at this Institute." Bailu Yi smiled, "It's never a good idea to hoard knowledge for the sake of hoarding knowledge. I believe interacting with you will definitely prove beneficial in order to advance both our attainments in the Dao of Divine Inscriptions."
"There's still one last cave dwelling. Follow me closely, step only where I step lest you are trapped within a Formation." Bailu Yi led the way, and soon after, they arrived at the fourth cave dwelling. There were several Puppets within; human-form Puppets, Divine-Weapon-form Puppets; beast-form Puppets and so forth.
"Seems like I will have to depend heavily on the White Deer Institute in the future, you cannot turn your back on me, alright?" Qin Wentian laughed. Here, the knowledge regarding the Dao of Divine Inscriptions had opened up a huge door of information in his mind.
"As long as you are willing to stay here, I won't even mind covering all your meals." Bailu Yi laughed as well.
"Okay, don't regret it." Qin Wentian stared at the fresh and pure countenance of Bailu Yi, feeling that she was growing more and more adorable every second he looked at her.
What made Bailu Yi exceptionally astonished was that Qin Wentian had spoken seriously. From that day onwards, he never took a single step out of the White Deer Cavern. And other than cultivation, he spent the rest of his time researching and comprehending Divine Inscriptions. This caused Bailu Yi's heart to tremble. Initially, she had always thought of herself as extremely hardworking, yet after she saw Qin Wentian's almost frantic efforts, she could only smile bitterly. She knew that in terms of effort, she couldn't even be remotely compared to him.
There were times when Bailu Yi stood for half a day behind Qin Wentian, yet he didn't even bother to glance at her. This degree of focus and concentration gave her a huge blow in terms of her ego. In addition to being a genius, she was also a supreme beauty and therefore always surrounded by a fawning crowd; this was the first time she was ever ignored.Yet this also caused Bailu Yi to be deeply moved. There were no natural born geniuses. Even if someone was blessed with talent, only with effort and diligence would he be able to nurture and maximise his potential. All the legendary figures whose names that could shake the Nine Continents, which one of them didn't have a resolute martial heart? All of them exhibited similar traits to the young man that stood in front of her.
Sitting beside Qin Wentian, Bailu Yi gazed at the engrossed young man. It was as though she was looking at a legendary character embarking on his pathway to greatness.
The intensity of Qin Wentian's efforts also influenced her. Day by day, Qin Wentian was improving at a crazy, almost unbelievable speed. And currently, he could already rival her. If they were to compete directly using only Divine Inscriptions, he would not lose out in the slightest.
Naturally, this also spurred Bailu Yi to work even harder.
"What are you thinking about? Do you want some fruits?" In the fourth cave dwelling, upon seeing Qin Wentian deep in thought about something, Bailu Yi passed a plate of fruits over to him.
"The Dao of Puppets is truly, incredibly profound." Qin Wentian glanced up, and when he saw that beautiful countenance of Bailu Yi, his spirits involuntarily brightened as he took a piece of fruit from the plate.
"Naturally." Bailu Yi laughed. "Have you comprehended anything after so many days?"
"Do you wish to hear about my insights?" Qin Wentian asked. Bailu Yi nodded. "Yeah."
"To you, what defines a Puppet?"
"Hmm, Puppets are Puppets. What do you mean?" Bailu Yi froze for a second.
"From my perspective, Puppets are the same as Divine Weapons." Qin Wentian smiled, "Puppets could fall under human-form, Divine-Weapon-form, beast-form categories, yet they only differ in terms of external appearances. Other than some evil methods that use real humans as the base, all other Puppet exteriors are forged by blacksmiths. Their abilities depend on the Divine Inscriptions engraved, control of them is done via linking of spiritual consciousness during refinement, while their source of power originates from embedding Yuan Meteor Stones. This was the difference between Puppets and Divine Weapons."
"Puppets are merely another advanced form of Divine Weapons. With the appropriate formations, one could draw upon and convert the energy in the Yuan Meteor Stones to become the originating energy of Puppets, thus the level of difficulty in creating one is many times higher in comparison. Naturally, the stronger the level of formation, as well as materials used for the exterior, the more powerful the Puppet would be."
"However, human-form Puppets are the strongest because the power they are able to exhibit is greater. But naturally, the price and difficulty in creating them will also increase accordingly." Qin Wentian laughed.
A look of comprehension dawned on Bailu Yi's face as she nodded in response, "I've never thought of it this way before, but after your explanation, it does make sense. Divine Weapons are really similar to Puppets."
"The Creator's designs are extremely fascinating. Have you ever thought before that the runic outlines of Divine Inscriptions resembled the arterial pathways, energy channels and meridians of a human's body? The inner structure of our bodies allows us to bring forth the might of innate techniques, so putting it in another perspective, isn't this greatly similar to the Divine Inscriptions inscribed upon Divine Weapons and Puppets?"
Qin Wentian continued, "Not only that, for those of us with forging-type Astral Souls, the greatest advantage is that we can create Divine Inscriptions within our bodies before manifesting it. If that's the case, if every droplet of Astral Energy within our bodies were tempered and converted by Divine Inscriptions, wouldn't that simply mean that Astral Energy, in some form or another, are also Divine Inscriptions?"
The quiet words of Qin Wentian gave Bailu Yi an immense rush of impact, it shook the foundations of everything that she had ever known. She had cultivated her Dao of Divine Inscriptions according to the guidance of her elders, and had never seriously studied and contemplated them before. This was also part of the reason why she wanted to study with this young man beside her.
There's something to be learned from everyone, and because she had cultivated according to the insights of her elders, her foundations had been fixed at a young age. How could any notion of doubt towards their teachings ever appear in her mind?
Yet because of Qin Wentian's words, she began questioning the 'fixed truths' which she had always took for granted.
A fascinating glow of light shone in Bailu Yi's eyes as she regarded Qin Wentian. After which, she smiled, "Thank you."
"There's a commotion outside, let's go and take a look." At this moment, Bailu Yi stood up and proceeded to walk out of the cave dwelling. Qin Wentian followed and soon, they arrived at the entrance of the White Deer Cavern. However, they soon discovered that the cause of the commotion was because of a veiled maiden trying to enter the cavern. She was otherworldly, so beautiful to the extent that even her obscured features couldn't conceal her beauty.
"What happened?" Qin Wentian hurriedly stepped forth upon noticing that it was Qing`er.
Finally seeing Qin Wentian, Qing`er's clear and melodic voice rang out, "I didn't see you for several days and thus I was worried. I wanted to go in to look for you."
Hearing her words caused Qin Wentian to be stunned, and he felt touched in his heart. So, this aloof maiden had never left his side.
"Since you are fine, I'm leaving then." Qing`er turned and walked away, disappearing from Qin Wentian's field of vision so swiftly, as though she was never there!