Chapter 14 – Increasing Strength
Lin Ming spent half of his concentration on maintaining the integrity of the symbol runes with his true essence, and the other half of his concentration was directing the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ to speed up the rate of true essence absorption. With these two opposing thoughts in his mind, he failed his inscription!
After five consecutive failures and five piles of materials turned to ash, Lin Ming came to the realization that he was completely unable to complete the inscription before he ran out of true essence. After spending such a long time on these futile efforts, he finally cut off the soul force. The remaining seals in the air trembled, and then detonated in a succession of brilliant sparkles.
Looking at the beautiful brilliance, Lin Ming felt a stabbing pain in his heart. This was money! This was all his money…
Although he didn’t expect the first time to be successful, but losing so much gold was hard on him. The only silver lining was that he had not arrived at the stage where he had to use his most rare and expensive material, the Sky Worm Silk!
His leftover material was about enough for ten more attempts. If he was unable to complete an inscription before then, then he would be dead broke and unable to continue any further.
Any other inscription master would have listened to his thoughts and coughed blood. Wanting to succeed in ten more attempts? What a fantasy! This was his first time attempting inscription, let alone completing an inscription in the next ten tries, a normal inscription student would have trouble even drawing up a successful line!
Lin Ming gathered the residual ashes of the materials, and began to recount his mistakes from a moment ago. The memories that he inherited from the elder weren’t wrong, but it was just that the gap of soul force between them was simply too vast. He might not even be able to complete a simple inscription.
These inscription techniques in the elder’s memory may have been considered simple and light by him, but in the Sky Spill continent, they were still incomparably complicated godly techniques. Once drawn, even the inscription masters of this land would be shocked!
After summarizing the reasons for his failure, Lin Ming began to plot countermeasures. He couldn’t enhance his own soul force in such a short time, but what he could do was minimize the mistakes he made as much as possible. It was simply because each mistake was a waste of soul force. If he made less mistakes, then he would not only have more materials and thus money, but more soul force to use.
Thinking like this, Lin Ming gave up using materials and instead only practiced using his soul force again and again like an unthinking zombie.
His idea was very simple. Using soul force was free and it was easy on the body. If he practiced the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ well, then he wouldn’t lose anything, but would also be able to practice at the same time. What could possibly be more perfect! It was as if these two were made for each other.
As long as he didn’t waste any money, then he had no fears! It didn’t matter if he practiced 100 times. If that wasn’t enough he would practice 1000 times. If that wasn’t enough he would practice 10,000 times, or 100,000 times or even a million times, until the process became a reflex, and then he wouldn’t believe that he would fail again!
Sky Fortune City. Marshal’s Quarters
In Sky Fortune City, two complexes were considered the most grandiose and splendid architectural achievements, the Imperial Palace, and the Marshal’s Quarters, which was situated in the Sky Fortune City’s northwest corner. The Marshal’s Quarters was three miles long from one end to the other, and it was a thousand steps wide. There were rocky waterfalls with beautiful flowers, and a winding corridor garden, along with countless waterside pavilions. It truly was breathtaking.
Right now, in the Marshal’s Quarters library pavilion, was an elderly man wearing a long gown and carrying a gold gilded bird cage. Next to him stood a peaceful looking girl in white; it was Qin Xingxuan.
“Oh? So there is someone like that out there? Even you were humbly defeated by him?”
“Mm.” Qin Xingxuan politely nodded. The old man was her master, Sky Fortune City’s most prestigious and famous inscription master, Mister Muyi.
Qin Xingxuan had a very good memory; she completely recounted the events that had happened, even every word of Lin Ming’s. After the old man listened, his expression grew increasingly dignified. At first he assumed that his young student was in love and being modest about some boy she liked, but it seemed like she really was inferior. Moreover, that youth’s knowledge was too rich and experienced; it wasn’t likely to come from someone in the Sky Fortune Kingdom, but instead some ancient master from another, more developed land.
After she finished, she also described how Lin Ming drew up the foundation lines and symbols with such ease and fluidity. It wasn’t something that she was capable of doing.
“Being able to draw the foundation lines with soul force, but also not stopping and still being able to grasp the intricacies of the energy of each point… what is this?” Muyi said with surprise.
“Mm…” Muyi inhaled. He had always dreamt of performing this so called drawing by instinct, but one need millions, if not billions of attempts to even think of it. Did this young boy start practicing while he was still kicking around in his mother’s womb?
“You’re really sure that he is 15 or 16 years old?”
“Yes.” Qin Xingxuan replied with certainty.
“Marvelous, marvelous!” Muyi sighed, “Such a small age and he is already this accomplished. It truly is amazing; this is the first time in my life seeing such a heaven defying young talent! I thought I’d only hear of geniuses like this in legends. But I’m even more curious about who this boy’s master would be.” Muyi thought in vain. In his mind, he considered the entire Sky Fortune Kingdom, and even several nearby countries, but he could not think of any hidden inscription master who could compare with this elder.
Even though Muyi could not think of anyone, in terms of inscription knowledge he was considered the forefront expert in the Sky Fortune Kingdom, and even in neighboring countries he would be well compared to their own inscription masters. But compared to this mysterious elder, he could not say that he had any chance of winning!
Muyi said, “I cannot think of anyone who is capable of teaching such a talented disciple. But if I ventured a guess, then the young boy’s master might have come from some ancient clan.”
“Ancient clan?” Qin Xinghuan startled. Sky Spill Continent was vast, and had many thousands or millions of years of traditions of ancient clans. These clans had incomparably deep and profound heritages and legacies!
For instance, just the most recent clan of Sky Fortune Kingdom had established the Seven Profound Martial House. They were the Seven Profound Valleys. They likely had their own secret masters and legacies.
Twelve years ago, the Seven Profound Valleys’ elders arrived at Sky Fortune Kingdom, and even the Imperial Family had to be respectful. Qin Xingxuan’s master, Mister Muyi, was considered the top inscription master in the country, but to the large clans, he wasn’t anything special.
Muyi said, “Xingxuan, if you see him next time, be sure to ask him to stay so that I can personally introduce myself. This youth isn’t so simple. Even if he has a master that comes from some ancient clan, for him to have this degree of ability is simply heaven defying in this day and age. Also, be polite to him and treat him with respect. His master is a person of inconceivable skill, which the entire Sky Fortune capital cannot disrespect; nor afford to offend.”
As the day passed, Lin Ming tore off another page from the calendar. Lin Ming had been practicing inscriptions every day. Every sort of symbol and line and rune had been practiced god knows how many times, and each was thoroughly imprinted in his heart.
Using soul force day and night was very tiring to his spirit and mind, so his eyes were always red with exhaustion. His true essence had long been wrung dry. He was constantly like a lamp without any oil. But he had gained some benefits. Lin Ming discovered that besides the progress in his inscription technique, his perception had become increasingly sensitive.
Now he was still deboning in the Great Clarity Pavilion, but even if it was a second-level vicious beast, Lin Ming could easily perceive the entire structure of the beast, avoid the bones, and let his knife smoothly follow through the solid flesh of a second-level vicious beast. Lin Ming needed only an incense stick worth of time to completely finish!
At such a monstrous speed, the Great Clarity Pavilion’s staff were astonished at first and didn’t believe it, but after seeing it, they became numb to disbelief. Now in the Great Clarity Pavilion, Lin Ming had a much higher status. His work hours were optional and even rush hour was optional! His wages were no less than those of master chefs!
With such treatment, any employee would be satisfied. And although Lin Ming was privileged, he still kept deboning for two hours per day. It was also a form of practice to him; deboning was a good way to take advantage of the soul force utilization.
However, Lin Ming soon found himself not being able to work the two hours. There just weren’t enough vicious beasts in the entirety of the Great Clarity Pavilion. Indeed, all of the storehouse’s stocked goods were already sliced and prepped by Lin Ming. When Sister Lan, who was responsible for checking the kitchen daily, went to the ice storehouse, she saw that all of the vicious beasts had been turned into neat piles of meat and bone. Not only that, but each piece was uniform in size and marbling. Sister Lan was naturally speechless.
This young boy was simply a machine!
Finally, it was the last ten days of the first month. Lin Ming had prepared both his mind and the materials. It was time to start the inscription once again!