Chapter 301 – Studying Artifact Forging for the First Time
A mocking sneer rang out from the crowd.
Li Qingshan looked back with a raised eyebrow. He was unable to tell which ignorant person was trying to provoke him. Was it a daoist disciple under the slovenly old daoist? Or was it a buddhist disciple who was unhappy with Xiao An?
However, all he saw was a young man in white dressed like a scholar with two pretty girls beside him. Hmm? A confucian disciple.
“Who’re you supposed to be? State your name.”
Chu Tian sneered. “Don’t act like you don’t know me. This young master is Chu Tian.”
Li Qingshan found him to be slightly familiar. Suddenly, he remembered who he was. Wasn’t he the genius young man who was discovered to possess the Five Elements constitution during the elemental affinity test?
However, he had never had any contact with him, so why was he so antagonistic? He had no idea about how Chu Tian had lost a thousand spiritual stones because of him, but even if he did know about it, he would have still told him that it served him right.
Seeing how hostile Chu Tian was, Li Qingshan did not bother being polite either. He said indifferently, “I don’t have a habit of remembering the names of small fry.”
Chu Tian furrowed his brows, and he immediately lost his temper. Since young, never had anyone looked down on him so much.
“Alright you, Li Qingshan. I came here and insulted you a little. All you had to do was put up with it obediently and make me happy, and it’ll be your good fortune. Instead, you’re bold enough to even talk back. You have no idea just how much trouble you’ve made for yourself. I can see you’re quite a man of talent, so if you apologise to me right now and call me big brother, we’ll be brothers.”
Li Qingshan was utterly dumbfounded by this. He really had not seen such a piece of work before. Even his anger vanished. He looked at Chu Tian with a frown, turned his head, and asked Hao Pingyang, “Is there something wrong with this person’s head?”
Hao Pingyang and Zhang Lanqing were dumbfounded too. They deeply agreed with that question. Never did they think that one of the three geniuses from the entrance examination this time, Chu Tian, would actually have something wrong with his head.
Although Li Qingshan’s identity as the primary disciple of the school of Novels garnered quite a lot of contempt or even hostility, all the people here were new disciples. Just who would want an enemy just for a moment of verbal pleasure? That was simply sheer stupidity.
However, this genius, Chu Tian, clearly had not considered that. He spouted a bunch of nonsense that even shocked the onlookers.
A girl beside Chu Tian grumbled, “How dare you speak to our big brother Tian like that? Don’t you know that our big brother Tian is-”
Before she had even finished, Li Qingshan had already pulled Hao Pingyang over, hiding behind him like he was hiding from a psycho. It immediately made her face redden.
Chu Tian was furious. “Li Qingshan, stop right there! Are you afraid of me? If you’re afraid, then call me big brother, or I’ll never spare you!”
Li Qingshan said, “In my entire life, there’s only a single person who I would call big brother. Compared to him, you’re like a turd. Stay away from me. Just because you’re a turd doesn’t mean I’m afraid to step on you.”
Their argument had already attracted quite a lot of attention. There was a roar of laughter with that.
Hao Pingyang laughed. “That’s one amazing metaphor.”
Hua Chenglu and Yu Zijian were there too. Under the guidance of their seniors, they knew this professor from the school of Mohism taught basic artifact forging the best.
Hua Chenglu smiled. Li Qingshan was still the same as when she first met him, as haughty and arrogant as he could be.
Chu Tian never thought he would instead become a laughing stock. He was utterly fuming. Just when he was about to blow his top, someone called out, “The professor is here.”
The disciples all returned to their seats. Chu Tian was utterly furious, but even he was not bold enough to begin fighting before a professor. There seemed to be quite a lot of freedom in the academy, but it still had rules, and these rules were upheld by the school of Legalism, which was renowned for their draconian administration.
Hao Pingyang and Zhang Lanqing used this opportunity to bid farewell. They could be regarded as senior disciples in the school of Mohism, so they would never waste their own time by retaking these basic classes. They just said that they would look for him after class and show him around the island.
Li Qingshan stopped paying attention to Chu Tian too. He found a spot towards the back and sat down. The entire lecture hall was structured like a great swirl, while he sat on the edge of the swirl. This habit of his actually originated from his distant past life, which made him sigh slightly.
However, as soon as he sat down, the space beside him immediately emptied out. In particular, a female disciple from the school of Confucianism basically showed disgust as she retreated seven or eight steps away.
Li Qingshan smiled. He did not care. Chu Tian’s voice suddenly rang out in his ear. “Do you understand who is the turd now?”
Li Qingshan frowned. There was a gentle gust of fragrance, and Qian Rongzhi sat down beside him. She smiled. “Nice clothes.”
Chu Tian was surprised. Qian Rongzhi was a woman he had taken a fancy to. He immediately felt like he had just been betrayed. He turned his head away furiously.
“What’s up?” Li Qingshan did not shift his gaze when he asked that. A skinny old man with grizzled hair entered with a few boxes in his hands, making his way to the centre of the swirl and standing on the circular platform.
Afterwards, he began to drink tea without the slightest care in the world.
Everyone was surprised by this, but none of them dared to talk among themselves. They all communicated using true qi.
Qian Rongzhi asked, “Where’s Xiao An? Why isn’t she with you?”
“I don’t think our relationship has reached the point where we can talk about her.”
Qian Rongzhi became sad. Li Qingshan was unable to discern her real feelings either. “She’s currently in the school of Yin-yang, learning the Cloud Bookcase of the Seven Lots with Ma Buyi. If you have something to say, spit it out.”
Li Qingshan could completely disregard Chu Tian’s so-called provocations from a genius, immediately cursing back, but when he spoke with her, he had to raise his guard slightly. He was reluctant to fall out with her over something as petty as this, and he just had a feeling that her concern for Xiao An was not fake.
Even if Chu Tian ground his teeth in hatred against him, he would not care, but if he sensed hostility from her one day, then only the word “kill” would remain.
“Thank you. Wei Zhongyuan. Do you have time?”
“You’re in such a hurry?”
Qian Rongzhi leaned against her hand. “You gotta be swift with revenge, right? I don’t need you to kill him right now either. I still need to plan a little.”
“Revenge? You mean yours or mine?”
“Mine, of course.” Qian Rongzhi rubbed her smooth cheek. She wanted to return that slap ten fold, a hundred fold. She said leisurely, “I can’t wait to tell vice sect master Wei in detail just how I tortured Wei Yingjie to death. After that, I will unleash the same method on him. Hehe, now that’s the joys of life.”
Under the principle that the enemy of an enemy was a friend, Li Qingshan sucked in a deep breath and held back his urge to curse her. What a fucking deviant.
Qian Rongzhi seemed to be extremely amused by Li Qingshan’s expression, as if she had finally found someone who would listen to her inner voice, and that person would be forced to listen too.
“As remuneration, I can investigate Chu Tian’s background for you. He won’t just leave the matter like this. Oh, and that female instructor who wants to harm Xiao An too.”
“We’ll see. The old man is about to begin,” Li Qingshan answered casually, neither agreeing nor declining. Wei Zhongyuan had to die anyway. As for the female instructor, he would kill her if he met her. It would bring him a bit of pleasure too.
However, little did he know that in the eyes of regular people, this thought of his made him seem no different from a deviant.
On the lecturing platform, the professor finally stopped drinking tea. He gently coughed twice with a satisfied expression. “Everyone, I’m Meng Xiqi…”
The two of them stopped conversing, focusing on the class.
It was fine when the professor called Meng Xiqi was quiet, but once he began, he did not stop. Words flowed out of his mouth like a river, going from the origins of forging artifacts to the development of forging artifacts. His voice echoed through the spiral lecture hall, clearly heard by everyone.
“Some people say alchemy, forging artifacts, and so on are all outer paths of cultivation, and they’re not wrong. However, it’s exactly because of these outer paths of cultivation that you can sit here in peace, without having to worry about attacks from daemons, yet those daemons that truly only practise a greater path of cultivation are forced to hide deep within the mountains or underground…”
This was basically the first time Li Qingshan had come in contact with the path of forging artifacts, so he listened extremely carefully. And just like what Zhang Lanqing had said, Meng Xiqi spoke extremely well, full of wit and humour and striking great interest in the audience. He was only at the eighth layer, but he could be regarded as an expert in the aspect of forging artifacts.
After giving a general overview on the history and significance of forging artifacts, Meng Xiqi began to teach the actual path of forging artifacts.
Li Qingshan was entranced by it. Only then did he learn just how wondrous the path of refining artifacts was. From the initial transformation and fusing of materials, followed by the infusion of glyphs and inscription of formations, every single step was extremely impressive.
He never thought that these “outer paths of cultivation” would actually be so closely linked either. The glyphs mentioned in forging artifacts were different from the glyphs from the path of talismans, but they were identical in nature.
Glyphs were characters, characters that communicated with the world. Just the common types numbered at almost a thousand, and they had a myriad of effects depending on their combinations. During the process of forging artifacts, the infusion of glyphs was a crucial step, so understanding a little about the path of talismans was critical.
And, above spiritual artifacts were arcane artifacts, which were inscribing formations into artifacts to produce even more powerful and complicated effects. Qi Practitioners obviously lacked the ability to achieve this, but if they wanted to become a real artifact smith, then they had to know some basic formations.
Li Qingshan knew he had to revise the subjects he would be taking, but he felt like he had found a direction in the darkness. He was overjoyed.
Meng Xiqi spoke for two hours before returning to the very basics of forging artifacts—transforming the state of the materials.
“A good blacksmith goes through many steps to forge a sword. The basics steps include smelting, hammering, and quenching. They need many tools, like furnaces, large hammers, small hammers, air bellows, tanks of water, grindstones, and so on. However, to us, just a single artifact forging furnace is sufficient, or even no furnace…”
Finishing up with his explanation, he picked up the wooden boxes he had brought with him. Inside were many small, square pieces of wood, arranged neatly. He made the disciples in the front row pass them backwards.
Meng Xiyi requested them to turn the wood into a sphere without destroying the wood grain. The wood was pine wood, so it was relatively soft and easy to mould. In order to learn artifact forging, they needed to be able to mould a substance with their own power.
Li Qingshan received a piece of pine wood too, and he immediately began to practice with it. He slowly channeled true qi into it, following the method that Meng Xiqi had taught him, gradually fusing the true qi with the wood.
With the purity of his true qi and the gentle nature of Gui Water true qi that made it easier to control, he succeeded on his first try with this.
As he began to mould his true qi, the piece of wood began to twist and mould with it too, as if it was not wood, instead becoming gas or water with the Gui Water true qi.
PS: Sure enough, this pace suits me better. I gotta control my own mind delicately like forging artifacts!