Chapter 50 – Obtaining the Materials
Wang Xuanji was able to quickly discover that this youth’s drawing technique did not originate from any school of learning in the Sky Fortune Kingdom. His techniques looked more complex, and were incomparably smoother.
“This youth’s master’s sect is not from roots of the Sky Fortune Kingdom!” The middle-aged man said.
“Mmm. And moreover, their school of training is much more progressed than we are.”
Colorful lights blossomed together in midair. Their paths interweaved trails of light in the audience’s widened irises, leaving a bright and shimmering blur behind. Wang Yuhan held her breath, the soul force in that symbol gave a feeling of the most exquisite and careful changes of energy.
When drawing an inscription symbol, the most difficult task to grasp was to assure that the soul force was carefully calculated for every slight nuance; the smallest inaccuracy could cause complete failure. But in this young man’s hand, each small change was as if it were instinctively exact. Under his deft hands, he drew symbol like a painter who was free-hand drawing the flowers and birds, as those small birds were spreading their wings in a wish to fly.
At first, in Wang Yuhan existed a secret fear that she would be surpassed by this young boy. She had hoped that he would not be able to pass this examination. But at this point, she was already thoroughly enraptured in utter admiration and amazement. On the contrary, now in her heart she wished that he would never stop, that this perfection could continue until the end of time and in her heart was not even the tiniest shred of regret
This feeling, it was the same as musicians that longed to hear the sounds of the divine songs of nature and gods in full bloom, or the artist who yearned to see the most marvelous and splendid painting that had been handed down by the greatest painters of the past generations. Only this sort of feeling could cause a human to abandon all distractions and pursue the peak of their craft.
Seeing the dedicated facial expression of this meticulous young man, Wang Yuhan finally was able to understand why the cultivation growth of her inscription technique had come to a standstill. It was exactly because she cared too much about Qin Xingxuan, and feared that the path she walked on would be overtaken by a girl who was half a year younger than she was.
But now, seeing Lin Ming’s perfect inscription technique, she was suddenly enlightened with the truth. This land was endless and boundless; there were countless peerless talents and geniuses like herself. Being number one among the youths of Sky Fortune Kingdom in inscription techniques was merely idle vanity. There was no significance in whether she was surpassed by Qin Xingxuan or not.
What she pursued would no longer be Qin Xingxuan’s shadow, but beyond her. What she would pursue was not being the number one inscription talent in the Sky Fortune Kingdom, but to reach the pinnacle of inscription.
One minute and one second had passed. In front of Lin Ming, the number of symbols and runes was increasing, as they began overlapping in midair with light and dark twinkles, as if they had a living, breathing rhythm. Lin Ming was already familiar with the ‘Overwhelming Rune’, and drawing it was easy. The peak of the Second Stage of Body Transformation allowed Lin Ming to have enough true essence to support the entire process; he did not need to suffer hardship like he had a few months ago.
Today, Lin Ming’s inscription drawing had gone especially smooth. He had invested his total attention into creating the symbol, and had forgotten that this was an examination. He fully finished the dozens of colorful and brilliant symbols and runes, and then after a flash of light, Lin Ming’s soul force brought them all together as one, and they condensed into a square inch of a flame symbol.
This time Lin Ming did not place this symbol onto a piece of symbol paper, but instead took it to the table with the longsword, and with a flick of his finger, the symbol fell onto the longsword with a ‘chi chi’ and branded itself onto it. Its final appearance was like a raging flame.
Seeing that sword in Lin Ming’s hand, Wang Xuanji’s heart was enraptured and gave endless praise. His eyes fell on the blade of the sword and he could naturally see the potential of that flame symbol as it exuded a sense of nature. He immersed his soul force into it, and felt that the true essence circulated as easily as breathing.
Wang Xuanji was able to affirm that it was a perfect inscription symbol. But the one who drew it was a mere young boy whose true essence was at the Second Stage of Body Transformation. How much could this symbol increase the strength of the weapon?
The inscription symbol’s talk of ‘increased strength’ was not the sharpness of the blade, but the circulation and flow of true essence. If the inscription symbol was on symbol paper, no one would be able to determine how much it would increase the strength. If it was on a rare treasure like a weapon, then an experienced inscription master would be able to pour his true essence into the treasure and see how the flow of true essence was affected by the inscription symbol. They would then be able to tell what percentage of strength the inscription symbol would increase the rare treasure by.
Wang Xuanji raised the long sword in his hand and concentrated his true essence into it. He closed his eyes and let the sensations wash through him. A moment later his eyes opened, and although he had already expected this in his heart, he was still surprised.
The inscription symbol’s increased strength amounted to about 32%. This was the standard of a master class inscriptionist!
“32% increased true essence strength…….” Wang Xuanji exclaimed.
“Oh?” The middle-aged man’s eyebrows rose and he took the long sword in his hand. Generally, the primary beginning inscription master would find even a 20% increase in strength difficult. That this youth could reach 32%… it had it be known that after 20%, every little bit further was much more difficult.
The middle-aged man had worked as an examination official for many years now. When it came to evaluating an inscription symbol, he was faster than Wang Xuanji and could obtain a more precise result. “Between 32% and 33%.”
The middle-aged man laid down the long sword on the table and sized up Lin Ming. Where did this kid come from? He just came out of nowhere. Did he have any friends? Companions? Is it possible that he is the disciple of a master from some ancient sect? By why would the disciple of an ancient sect come to a small place like this Inscription Association at Sky Fortune City to apply to become an inscription master?
“Congratulations, Lin Ming. You’ve thoroughly passed the examination.” Wang Xuanji said.
“Thank you, Association President.”
“Mm. Are you willing to join our Sky Fortune City Inscription Association?” Wang Xuanji casually asked. In his view, disciples of these ancient clans would not join the Sky Fortune City’s Inscription Association. If ten were asked, ten would turn it down. He hadn’t imagined Lin Ming would nod and answer, “Yes, I want to.”
“Oh?” Wang Xuanji’s eyebrows rose. “You want to join our Inscription Association?”
“Mm. I came here to participate in the examination for this reason.”
“This…” Wang Xuanji felt strange in his mind, he could not understand Lin Ming’s reasons.
“Mm. To tell Association President honestly, I joined the Inscription Association to earn contribution points to buy materials.”
Buy materials? If you needed rare and precious materials then you would need contribution points. There were countless ways to use these materials. Was it this boy that wanted them? Or his master?
His master must be some senior of unfathomably high skill. Why would that sort of person look for materials in a small trade union in a small place like Sky Fortune City’s?
Wang Xuanji thought about this for a long time, and with a bit of hesitation said, “You, if you sell this sword to the Inscription Association, I will trade you 3000 contribution points to purchase materials.”
Lin Ming startled and was immediately overjoyed with happiness. He had worried that he would have to complete a number of missions. He didn’t think he would be so lucky that Wang Xuanji would propose to trade this sword for 3000 contribution points. Before, he had looked through the list of precious materials that he needed for his medicinal inscription, and 3000 was not a small amount. It was enough to purchase the materials that he needed.
“This Association President old man probably wanted to buy my sword to study it. But the inscription techniques are complicated and diverse. Even someone well versed in inscription techniques would find it difficult to examine, even if they were careful and spent a lot of time. Perhaps he wanted to unravel some mysteries of the inscription symbol and reproduce it, but even that is impossibly difficult. If he buys this sword, he probably won’t be able to find anything.” Thinking like this, Lin Ming said, “Thank you Association President, I was sorely lacking contribution points.”
“There is no need to be polite. If any day your teacher comes to Sky Fortune City, please welcome him to our Sky Fortune City’s Inscription Association as an honored guest.” There were two reasons Wang Xuanji gave Lin Ming such favorable conditions at the start. First, he wanted to study the sword, and second, he wanted to win over Lin Ming, and possibly have the opportunity to know the mysterious sect behind Lin Ming.
“Fourth-level vicious beasts blood, 1 jin. 1100 gold taels, 150 contribution points.”
“Sky Blue Cloud Flower Seeds, 12. 600 gold taels, 80 contribution points.”
“Dragon Bloodroot Juice, 1 jin. 600 gold taels, 60 contribution points.”
The one in charge of the sale of rare and precious materials was a 40-50 year old middle-aged woman. She was comparing her supplies as she read down Lin Ming’s list, and quoted the price each time it matched. For every match, she would stop and look at Lin Ming. This little boy, he was buying so many rare and precious things, what was he planning on doing with them in the end?
Lin Ming had listed dozens of materials, including several precious and rare ones. For instance, the fourth-level vicious beast blood, a small vial would be able to match up against a rare treasure in price. If he had left the Inscription Association to buy it at market price, it would have been at least 3000 gold taels, and even then he would not necessarily have been able to purchase it.
If this was half a year ago, Lin Ming would not even dare to dream about such things.
The amount of gold required quickly accumulated to 10,000. The contributions points needed also almost reached 2000. As Lin Xiaodong saw the required amount of gold rise, all he could hear was the unceasing drone of the abacus as it made pop pop sounds. Each pop made him feel fearful and apprehensive of the next item, but soon all he felt was numbness. He had finally seen what people called spending money like running water.
“Total price, 10,000 gold taels and 2100 contribution points. Would you like to confirm this purchase?” The middle-aged woman let down her abacus and asked Lin Ming. Even an inscription master of Sky Fortune City who was of great learning and fame, and was also noble, would not buy so many rare and precious materials. Who was this little guy? Where did he come into possession of so many contribution points?
“Mm. Yes, I would like to purchase these.” Ling Ming said and he pulled out the gold banknotes from his sleeves and also a points card. This points card had a card number that showed how many contribution points he had in the records.