AGM 279 - Pressure
Bailu Yi's heart pounded madly as her beautiful eyes stared unblinkingly at Qin Wentian.
"Fourth-rank?" Her rosy lips moved, a quaver could be heard in her voice.
Within the Moon Continent, the youngest of all fourth-ranked Inscriptionists were at least aged fifty and above, with the majority of them all old eccentrics above a hundred years old. Almost all those monstrous geniuses were talented in both fields, but would rather spend the bulk of their time advancing their cultivation. Almost none of them would be willing to invest the effort in the Dao of Divine Inscriptions at all.
Qin Wentian, was definitely a different species compared to them.
"Not yet." Qin Wentian smiled, his words causing Bailu Yi to gently let out a breath that she wasn't conscious of holding, as her twin peaks jiggled slightly from reflex. Obviously, she wasn't aware how much killing power her unconscious movements contained from the perspectives of males.
"You scared me." Bailu Yi glared at him.
"What rank of Inscription is that?" Qin Wentian smiled as he asked, pointing to what he'd earlier etched, the ordinary-looking, simple vertical line that hid a mighty sword-type Inscription within.
"The third rank," Bailu Yi replied, but amazement was still reflected in her eyes. Although Qin Wentian hadn't broken through to the fourth-rank, he had stumbled upon a higher truth in the Dao of Divine Inscriptions. How many third-ranked Inscriptionists could inscribe a third-ranked Inscription instantaneously with a wave of their hands? Not even a fourth-ranked Inscriptionist might necessarily be able to do so.
"Instantaneous inscriptions, and you even condensed the essence of that sword-type Inscription into a single line. A major breakthrough indeed." Bailu Yi smiled.
"It was all thanks to your advice, reverting to simplicity from complexity. Before this, from the first and second rank all the way to the third rank, the level of Inscriptions was originally simplistic in nature, yet they become gradually more complex. Each and every thread of the runic outlines interweaves to form a clearer and more complete picture as our understanding in Divine Inscription deepens. The complexity of the Inscriptions naturally corresponds with the level of difficulty. But now, following this line of thought, if we want to advance from the third-rank to fourth, wouldn't that mean our Inscriptions will contain even more runic outlines, making it countless times more complicated? If that were the case, the difficulty of inscribing fourth-ranked Inscriptions would be beyond imagination."
"Hmm, what you're saying is correct, isn't it? That's why those geniuses talented in both fields would rather focus their efforts on cultivation. The difficulty in breaking through from the third-rank to fourth-rank might be even tougher compared to breaking through to Heavenly Dipper from Yuanfu," Bailu Yi continued, "Also, during a battle, a Heavenly Dipper Sovereign could easily kill a fourth-ranked Divine Inscriptionist before he could even etch an Inscription. There won't be anyone waiting for you to inscribe fourth-ranked Inscriptions during a real battle."
Qin Wentian naturally understood this logic; this was also one of the reasons Di Cheng had used to humiliate him. And it was true. If not, him having an attainment at the peak-tier of third-ranked inscriptionists would already mean that his combat prowess could rival those at the peak-level of Yuanfu. Apparently, this was not the case.
It was impossible to compare the cultivation path and the Dao of Divine Inscriptions like this.
In spite of this, it wouldn't affect the status and amount of respect a fourth-ranked Inscriptionist would enjoy. After all, being a fourth-ranked Inscriptionist meant that you could forge fourth-level Divine Weapons or set up fourth-ranked formations. There would be many people seeking their help, Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns included.
"There is a myriad of ways and methods to advance on the path of cultivation, and the same holds true for the Dao of Divine Inscriptions. Other Inscriptionists would naturally have their own method to inscribe Inscriptions while this, reverting to simplicity from complexity, is what I've comprehended. This is my way. In any case, where the water flows, the canal is formed. Although I'm still at the third-rank, it's only a matter of time before I step into the fourth-rank."
Qin Wentian stated this matter-of-factly, with no hints of arrogance. His way of Inscription had a lot to do with the Spirit Refinement Method he'd unlocked in one of the old fogey's memory fragments. The Spirit Refinement Method consisted of using Divine Inscriptions to convert Astral Energy into Divine Energy. The indicator for when one reaches the perfection stage of the first level would be the ability to instantly convert Divine Energy from Astral Energy from any type of first-ranked Divine Inscription. The indicator for when one reaches the perfection stage of the second level would be when one can instantly convert Divine Energy from Astral Energy, using any type of second-ranked Divine Inscription.
Now, for the Spirit Refinement Method, Qin Wentian still had not reached the perfection stage of the third level. But at the very least, he could already insta-inscribe some of the simpler third-ranked Inscriptions. This meant that he was at the minimum, already at the great success stage of the third level Spirit Refinement Method, he was only a hair's breadth away from the perfection stage.
Indeed, the Spirit Refinement Method had contributed the most to Qin Wentian's way of Inscriptions.
"In other words, are you saying that you are very close to breaking through to the fourth-rank?"
"Since I've already comprehended this insight, breaking through to the next rank merely requires more time in expounding and meditating on what I've learned. It's like I've already found the doorway, I only need to open it wider. It shouldn't be too difficult," Qin Wentian replied with a smile, his casual words causing Bailu Yi's heart to palpitate again.
A nineteen years old fourth-ranked Inscriptionist?
She couldn't help trembling the moment she imagined it.
"I guess I have to go back into closed-door seclusion again," Qin Wentian smiled resignedly. Although he placed a heavier emphasis on the advancement of his cultivation, the Dao of Divine Inscriptions was the only thing that could allow him to gain the recognition of the White Deer Institute within a short period of time. Hence, he was temporarily choosing to focus on his attainment, aiming to break through to the fourth-rank.
In that case, as a nineteen years old fourth-rank Inscriptionist, his status and fame wouldn't lose out to those names ranked at the top of the Heavenly Fate Ranking.
The White Deer Institute would also view him in a new light, which would smooth his path to gaining control when he eventually revealed his Azure Emperor Token.
"Okay, you should do your best and focus, you must definitely break through, okay?" Bailu Yi pumped her little fist up in the air, her smile full of innocence and beauty. "As long as you step into the fourth-rank, with the additional weight provided by the authority token, any objections to you gaining control would go unheard."
"Yeah." Qin Wentian nodded in agreement. The difference in 'weight' for a fourth-ranked Inscriptionist to take out the authority token compared to a fourth-level Yuanfu cultivator taking out the authority token was worlds apart.
Bailu Yi then raised her hands, clenching it into a fist while Qin Wentian mirrored her actions. "Boom." Their fists gently bumped each other before she turned and departed. It was a fist bump of support and friendship.
Qin Wentian drew in a deep breath, before sitting down cross-legged and proceeded to clear his mind. Time, he needed more time.
Before the Institute fully recognized Di Feng, he needed to overturn the current situation by revealing the authority token. If not, everything would be too late.
In the quiet back mountains, the green grass was spread like a lush carpet. Sunshine, raindrops, and the gentle breeze nourished the area and over here, a young man sat cross-legged with his eyes closed, appearing cut off from the rest of the world. It was as though nothing could disturb the peace of his heart.
Beside the young man, a snowy puppy was imitating his actions, attempting to sit cross-legged, its antics extremely adorable.
In the day, the snowy puppy would run about randomly, chasing its tail. At other times, an appearance of kinship would appear on its countenance as it licked the face of the young man, as though it considered him family. And yet, what was truly shocking was that every night, as the puppy laid down to rest, beams of Astral Light would cascade downwards and enter its body, causing a golden-colored radiance to emanate forth from it as it infused itself with starlight.
As for Chu Mang and Fan Le, they spent their days at the grueling landmark of the Moon Continent - Hell Arena. Over there, through the relentless tempering of real life-and-death situations, their combat prowess grew exponentially.
Chu Mang had long broken through to the sixth level of Yuanfu, while Fan Le had also just stepped into the fourth level.
The two of them also sparred often with each other during this period of time. Although Fan Le's cultivation base was still not at Chu Mang's level, he was strong enough to barely keep pace with him in a fight if he activated his bloodline limit. This period of time was well-spent.
Indeed, the Moon Continent offered a more enriching experience than the little country that was Chu.
Many things happened in the Moon Continent within this period of time as well. One of which, was the news that there was a character named Qin Wentian who met a stroke of good fortune and obtained the inheritance of the Ascendant - an ancient scroll of Divine Inscriptions from the secret realm. Naturally, this news immediately caused huge waves of commotion the instant it was circulated. Several Grandmasters all felt the stirring of greed arising within their hearts.
The Gold-Element Ascendant wasn't just a supreme powerhouse in terms of his cultivation level; he was also a terrifying fifth-ranked Divine Inscriptionist. One could only imagine how tantalizing the inheritance was to fourth-ranked Divine Inscriptionists.
But when their investigations showed that Qin Wentian was in the White Deer Institute, there were many whose hopes were immediately shattered.
The White Deer Institute was a place that specialized in Divine Inscriptions. Since Qin Wentian was there, it was highly likely that the inheritance had already landed into the hands of the Institute. And indeed, their investigations further showed that it had been a long period of time since Qin Wentian had stepped out of the White Deer Institute. Either his movements were restricted, or he was imprisoned by the elders of the White Deer Institute.
And just at this moment, where many eyes were focused onto Qin Wentian, the man himself still remained in closed-door seclusion inside the back mountains of the White Deer Institute.
Today, Bailu You brought along two younger disciples towards the back mountains, but upon reaching its base, found themselves running into Bailu Yi who blocked their way.
"Little Yi, what is the meaning of this?" Bailu You had an unhappy expression on his face as he irritably remarked.
"Uncle You, I know the purpose of your visit. He's in closed-door seclusion now; please refrain from disturbing him." Bailu You was the eldest son of Bailu Tong and had some attainment in the Dao of Divine Inscription, albeit not very high. His purpose of visiting the back mountains was as clear as day.
"When did the back mountains of my White Deer Institute get occupied by an outsider? I can't even enter there even though my surname is Bailu?" Bailu You coldly laughed. "And in any case, I'm here today only because there's a number of guests that wish to meet with him. Even without me saying so, you should know how important these people are."
"He won't meet them," Bailu Yi stated with utter certainty. She naturally understood who those people were. Recently, there had been many fourth-ranked Divine Inscriptionists paying a visit to the White Deer Institute because they wanted to meet with Qin Wentian.
The White Deer Institute couldn't reject the visit of these fourth-ranked Grandmasters as each and every one of them had extraordinary backgrounds. But it was obvious to Bailu Yi that there was someone who wanted to use these fourth-ranked Divine Inscriptionists to pressure Qin Wentian.
With the pressure mounting, if the Institute chose to forsake him, then Qin Wentian would be left with no allies in the Moon Continent. The only choice remaining for him that could ensure his safety would be to hand over the ancient scroll to the White Deer Institute. Undoubtedly, it would be the best course remaining to him.
"Oh? Little Yi, your friend is truly arrogant. He won't even meet fourth-ranked Grandmasters?" Bailu You coldly laughed. "Even if he chooses to decline the meeting, he should be the one to reject it personally. Get out of my way."
After speaking, Bailu You continued moving forwards. Bailu Yi's eyes glittered, and as her silhouette flickered, she appeared once again before Bailu You, blocking his path.
"IMPUDENT!" Bailu You shouted, as a fearsome aura gushed forth from him. Since it came to this, he wouldn't bother to take into consideration familial ties any longer. Even if it meant that he had to make a move against Bailu Yi, he had to see Qin Wentian today.
Bailu Yi's countenance turned incredibly unsightly. She didn't expect that someone from her own family would act against her.
"Since Senior wishes to meet me, why would I reject?" It was then that an ephemeral-sounding voice drifted over from afar, causing Bailu Yi's eyes to light up. She couldn't be more familiar with the owner of this voice!