Chapter 120 – Icefrost Guard
Lin Ming sent Wang Yuhan a true essence sound transmission and rapidly listed the materials he required and how he needed them processed. Many of these material preparation instructions were exceedingly complex and detailed.
However, Wang Yuhan had a deep history of inscription technique learnings, and her memory was quite keen. Lin Ming spoke what would seem like an endless string of unintelligible garble, but Wang Yuhan only nodded and said, “Understood,” before proceeding to prepare the complex materials.
Wang Yuhan was very skillful at processing the various materials. Each time a material passed through her hands, it was like a magician that was working his magic with smoke and fire. The materials changed to a glossy color, and this tedious procedure, under Wang Yuhan’s dexterous and pale fingers, was filled with a beautiful esthetic sense like passing clouds and flowing water.
In terms of processing materials, Lin Ming felt that Wang Yuhan’s skill at this task was above his. The majority of inscription apprentices’ first contact with inscription techniques was with handling and processing materials, but Lin Ming had actually skipped this step and gone straight to the top.
Assisted by Wang Yuhan, Lin Ming’s inscription symbol plan proceeded much more smoothly.
Lin Ming began to revolve the ‘Overbearing Soul Tactic’, and with a turn of his hand, a drop of chilly deep blue liquid rose into the air. Lin Ming began to wave his fingers, and the drop turned into a series of strikingly brilliant rainbow lights.
As the first foundation line was drawn, Lin Ming waved his hand again, and a second drop of liquid floated up. The stunning rainbow light shined once more, but this time, a faint afterglow from the first foundation line was left behind in the eyes of those watching…
Wonderfully stunning runes appeared in the air one after another, as they constantly superimposed on each other. In the times that the runes flowed into the air and mixed, Lin Ming rarely failed.
Wang Yuhan had already finished processing all the materials, so she was standing on the sidelines at staring with her large and beautiful eyes, unblinking as she stared at Lin Ming’s every move, lest she miss even a single detail.
But to Wang Yuhan, it was impossible to learn a foreign inscription creation method by only watching. Inscription techniques involved a very fine and complex control of soul force, and not only that, but if there was even a single slight error in the foundation symbols or lines, then it would cause a massive change in its effects. These details were things that could not be seen with one’s own eyes.
Wang Yuhan naturally understood these things, but she still hoped that through watching, she would be able to obtain some inspirations. Of her grandfather Wang Xuanji’s skills, she had already learned everything that there was to learn; the only things that he couldn’t teach her were due to her low martial arts cultivation. However, Lin Ming’s inscription technique was different; it was from a completely different school of thought from the Sky Fortune Kingdom. Beyond that, it was a much more mysterious and profound technique. While she did not dare to dream that Lin Ming would teach her these mystical inscription technique methods, it was still a rare opportunity to look in from the sidelines.
As time passed bit by bit, Wang Yuhan became increasingly startled. Lin Ming did not even pause for a second in his drawing process; it was as if each movement was born out of his most basic instincts, and each movement was fluid at his fingertips and without any hint of hesitation.
These actions may have seemed simple, but Wang Yuhan was an expert who had been exposed to inscription techniques since birth, and she could tell that in these random drawings of Lin Ming, there were 7 or 8 changes in the intensity of soul force. These rapid changes were so fast that unless one went through a long and grueling period of practice, it was simply not possible for them to be imprinted in the body’s reflexive memory like this.
As a quarter hour passed, there were already several dozen runes that were floating in midair, and became an increasingly complex inscription symbol as they layered upon each other. Generally, only a senior inscription master or even a truly accomplished elder of inscription technique would be able to draw this. A beginning inscription master simply didn’t have the true essence reserves to support such a demanding process.
But Wang Yuhan wasn’t too surprised about this. Lin Ming’s strength had already touched upon the realm of a martial artist at the Large Success of Bone Forging stage. In consideration of that, to have such a thick and pure true essence was nothing unusual.
After another quarter hour passed, there were more than 70 symbols that had accumulated in front of Lin Ming. At this time, Lin Ming finally withdrew his hands, and all the glittering airborne symbols began to coalesce and converge upon each other like rays of shining light that were drawing together. For a brief moment, the Inscription Hall seemed as if it was filled with a number of wondrous stars, and eventually, they all blended together into a single symbol.
Lin Ming added a single stroke, and the inscription symbol turned into a flame-shaped pattern, and gently fell like a feather onto the armor.
With a chi chi sound as the symbol touched down, a flame mark appeared on the armor. At this moment, something amazing occurred. There was a slight jitter as if the armor were shivering, and then with the flame mark as the center, blue colored waves began to proliferate and ripple outwards. The plain black war armor gradually began to change to an ice blue color!
“Mm?” Wang Xuanji’s eyes widened. Could an inscription symbol actually change the color of a treasure?
In his lifetime, Wang Xuanji had read an immense number of ancient texts. He knew that in these texts, there were certain inscription symbols that because they had a rich, strong power and affinity towards one of the five elements, once that inscription symbol was placed on a treasure it could change its color.
For instance, a fire attribute inscription could cause a treasure to be burning red, an ice attribute inscription could cause a treasure to be icy blue, and a metal affinity inscription could cause a treasure to glitter…
However, this was only records that were in the ancient texts. Because Sky Fortune Kingdom’s inscription technique was limited, although there were some inscription symbols that contained a hint of elemental power, such as the ‘Water Parting Symbol’, or the ‘Gold Bell Symbol’, Wang Xuanji had never heard of an inscription symbol that could change the color of a treasure; today would be his first time witnessing such a miracle.
The middle-aged martial artist only saw that his armor had turned a frosty blue; he didn’t know the reason why or what it meant. At this time, Wang Xuanji excitedly stepped forward and took the armor in his hands. He let his true essence flow into the armor to feel the effect of the instruction symbol.
With this test, Wang Xuanji took a deep, disbelieving breath. The true essence gathering effect was increased by 30%.
On a normal treasure, a 30% increase wasn’t too impressive. However, this treasure had been slightly damaged. If the treasure was wholly complete, then the increased effect range would have been at least 36%. Even if Wang Xuanji had personally drawn up an inscription symbol himself and placed it on an untarnished treasure, the best he could manage would be 42%.
36% to 42% was only missing 6%. This Lin Ming was only 15 years old. But in terms of inscription accomplishments, in comparison to himself who had been steeped within the art of inscription for nearly a hundred years, was there only such a small disparity between them?
This caused Wang Xuanji to feel a deep sense of frustration.
And not only that, but this inscription symbol that Lin Ming had drawn had also spontaneously created an icy layer of cold, protective film around the armor that was able to increase its defensive capabilities. Although the increase was not too high, it was still extremely rare for an inscription symbol to produce two different results together. In Sky Fortune Kingdom’s school of inscription techniques, there were no more than 30 different kinds of inscription symbols that could accomplish this, and the value of each was more than 3000 gold taels!
He was a monstrous genius of inscription, while simultaneously having been able to comprehend a martial intent. His perception of the Dao of martial arts could only be called heaven-defying. There were simply too many dazzling halos that were concentrated on his single body, that even the gods would be jealous!
Wang Xuanji tossed the armor to the middle-aged martial artist and said, “Give it a look.”
The middle-aged martial artist poured his true essence into the armor, and a moment later, a pleasantly surprised expression crossed his face. As the owner of the armor, he was naturally familiar with the condition of his armor.
“Satisfied?” Wang Xuanji casually asked.
“Satisfied! Satisfied!” The middle-aged martial artist quickly nodded. He looked at Lin Ming, and this time there was a touch of respect in his gaze. The middle-aged martial artist was not an inscription master, and didn’t have much of an understanding about inscription techniques, so he only knew that this young boy was amazing. But amazing to what extent, he didn’t have a clear idea.
“This is President Wang’s apprentice? A famous teacher has a truly outstanding disciple. Terrific! Extraordinary!”
“My apprentice?” Wang Xuanji said with a self-deprecating smile, “I’m not able to teach such a fierce apprentice.”
“President Wang is too modest. However, this little friend is truly the most talented young inscription master that I’ve ever seen.” The middle-aged man said a few words of flattery. After all, he could tell that Lin Ming was an inscription master with an overabundance of talent; flattering him would only benefit him in the future. However at this point, Wang Xuanji said in a tepid tone, “If you have nothing else, then you may go.”
The incoming words of flattery that the middle-aged man was about to say caught in his throat. He embarrassedly smiled and said, “Then I will not disturb you. I will come back another day to give thanks.” The middle-aged man apologetically smiled and then left.
At this moment, Wang Xuanji was not in a very good mood. He had painstakingly invested all of his efforts and care into Wang Yuhan, in the hopes that he could raise Wang Yuhan into the most preeminent inscription master that the Sky Fortune Kingdom had ever seen. However, he did not know where the hell this little boy Lin Ming had come from. Seeing him in action simply caused Wang Xuanji to feel a great sense of defeat. Let alone Wang Yuhan, in a couple of years, even he might be surpassed by this abnormally devilish boy.
He had spent the greater part of his life studying inscription techniques, but was he really so inferior in talent? Wang Xuanji’s heart inevitably produced such a thought.
Lin Ming did not know what sort of thoughts Wang Xuanji was contemplating. He took a short rest, and then prepared to solve the second problem. The second client was an aristocratic family’s young son, around 20 or 30 years old. He already bore witness to Lin Ming weave his wonderful inscription technique, so after seeing Lin Ming call him, he hurried over and talked about his problem as he laid out a pile of materials.
Seeing this pile of materials, Lin Ming was quite happy. These were all rare and precious materials. His choice of becoming a guest inscription master was right. With so many rare and precious materials at his disposal to practice, his inscription technique would be able to progress by leaps and bounds. Before long, he would be able to draw up the body inscriptions symbol.
For the entire afternoon, Lin Ming solved a number of different problems. In order to avoid interfering factors, Lin Ming was given a separate room at the Inscription Association. After he obtained the materials, the door would shut, and only Lin Ming and Wang Yuhan would be inside. Wang Yuhan was responsible for preparing and processing the materials, and Lin Ming would then begin to draw up the inscription symbol.
Drawing inscription symbols was very consuming of one’s soul force and true essence. A low-level or intermediate inscription master would usually be completely exhausted after drawing just one inscription symbol. A high-level inscription master or an elder inscription master would usually be able to draw up 2 to 3, or sometimes even 3 to 4.
But Lin Ming, in this one afternoon of time, had continuously drawn up five different inscription symbols. And now, he was even planning on creating his sixth!
This gave the already apprehensive Wang Yuhan even more worries. She was only responsible for handling materials, and that was taxing enough on her true essence reserves; it left her feeling weak. But this Lin Ming fellow was just a tireless machine.
In fact, after each inscription symbol drawing was completed, Lin Ming did have a very high rate of consumption. After every one he would begin to revolve the ‘Overbearing Soul Tactic’ to nourish his lost soul force, and he would also revolve the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ to supplement his true essence.