Before a craftsman breaks through to the Hardened Body stage, their levels are divided in the same way as a magic cultivator’s. But after they reach the Hardened Body stage, craftsmen and magic cultivators will go on their separate paths that are as different as night and day.
The path of a magic cultivator is separated into: Introductory level, Primary level, Profound level, Earth level and Sky level. Its Introductory level consists of the Refining Qi stage, Foundation stage and Hardened Body stage. The Primary, Profound, Earth and Sky levels are further divided into three big realms and twelve kinds of small realms.
On the other hand, the path of a craftsman is divided into: Introductory level, Teal soul, Crimson Soul, Purple Soul, Brown Soul and Black soul — these six soul levels. Each soul level is further divided into five stages.
First stage soulfire indicates that one has opened up 360 acupressure points, and the soul force flowing through the meridians would expand by twofold.
Second stage soulfire indicates that one has opened up 540 acupressure points, the soul force flowing through the meridians would expand fourfold.
Third stage soulfire indicates that one has opened up 612 acupressure points, the soul force flowing through the meridians would expand eightfold.
Fourth stage soulfire indicates that one has opened up 684 acupressure points, the soul force flowing through the meridians would expand sixteenfold.
Fifth stage soulfire indicates that one has opened up the remaining 360 lethal points1, the soul force flowing through the meridians would expand eightfold.
And by then, one’s soulfire would be considered to be perfectly pure, but it still would not have reached its peak state.
Soul force can be expanded indefinitely, as long as the craftsman’s meridians can withstand it.
When one’s soulfire advances to the next soul level, it would return to its initial stage.
A craftsman’s soulfire is equivalent to the Dantian Qi sea of a magic cultivator. The higher the level of their soulfire, the brighter it burns and the longer the time it can be used for crafting. However, as one’s soul stage progresses, the difficulty in cultivating it increases as well.
And what Lin Xuanzhi intended to break through right now was the Refining Qi stage’s third stage soulfire. In this stage, 612 of his acupoints would be opened up, then the soul force through his meridians would expand by a whole eightfold!
The rate at which Lin Xuanzhi formed his hand seals got faster and faster, to the point that one could hardly follow his actions with the naked eye. The soul force in his body was also flowing through the 360 acupoints in his body that had already been opened, and now it was ruthlessly surging towards the remaining 252 acupoints. The soul force within his meridians was continuously expanding as well, and his meridians seemed like they were on the verge of rupturing.
The sound of a loud blast rang out from Lin Xuanzhi’s body.
The spiritual Qi from within the mountains wantonly gushed towards Lin Xuanzhi like tidewater. The turbulent spiritual Qi whooshed through the air, as if it was about to cause a huge commotion.
The blood running through Lin Xuanzhi’s whole body was boiling; his meridians were all in the midst of rupturing and his acupoints were under a fierce barrage of attacks. This painful feeling almost made Lin Xuanzhi groan.
On the other hand, Yan Tianhen had already been awoken by this turbulent spiritual Qi. He suddenly turned to look at the Lin Xuanzhi who was by his side and saw that Lin Xuanzhi’s face was as white as a sheet; all colour had been drained from his face and cold sweat was dripping down his forehead.
Yet, his hand seals weren’t stopping and his soul force was still leaking. The spiritual Qi of the ten forged stones in front of him rushed towards the ware that had taken shape — the ingredients had already been fully integrated into it!
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The Duan Yuyang who was roasting venison also stood up. He looked towards this side with a shocked look in his eyes, and after he saw what was happening, the shock in his eyes instantly turned into admiration.
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After enduring a whole four hours of this torture, Lin Xuanzhi finally opened his eyes. His hands made a big “open and close” gesture, then he jumped up and caught the wine bottle that had flown up into the air.
Lin Xuanzhi looked at this primitive and dull-looking top-grade magic tool that had an incomparable texture, then laughed happily.
Yan Tianhen breathed a sigh of relief, then walked up and said, “Congratulations Dage for breaking through to the Foundation Stage.”
Lin Xuanzhi casually threw the magic tool in his hand to Yan Tianhen and said, “I’ll go wash up. Ah Hen, wait here for a moment.”
Lin Xuanzhi had broken straight through all the realms of the Refining Qi stage’s seventh layer and had entered directly into the Foundation Stage of his cultivation!
This kind of talent was really so heaven-defying to the point that others would find it terrifying!
Once a cultivator reaches the Foundation Stage, all the impurities within their bodies would go through a round of filtering and be expelled from their body. This was why there was a black layer of dirt on Lin Xuanzhi’s skin. Even though this layer was much thinner than most cultivators’ who had just entered their Foundation Stage for the first time, it was still unbearable to leave it on one’s skin.
When Lin Xuanzhi passed by Duan Yuyang, Duan Yuyang had already withdrawn his hand seals and stood up.
Duan Yuyang looked at Lin Xuanzhi with a complicated look in his eyes and said, “I’m afraid that from today onwards, your reputation will be even better than before.”
Lin Xuanzhi lightly smiled. His aura was evidently very different from what it was yesterday.
After he spoke, Lin Xuanzhi lightly walked away.
Duan Yuyang, “….”
He thought that, Lin Xuanzhi’s behaviour just now was practically asking for a beating. But after careful consideration, he had to admit that Lin Xuanzhi did have the right to be arrogant.
No, maybe he wasn’t being arrogant. Since reality was indeed so, Lin Xuanzhi had just spoken the truth.
When he thought of this, Duan Yuyang’s thoughts suddenly became even more chaotic.
Duan Yuyang walked over to Yan Tianhen and looked at the stupidly happy Yan Tianhen with a complex expression on his face.
Yan Tianhen rested his chin on his hand and said with a tone full of worship, “My Dage’s really amazing, isn’t he?”
“He can no longer be described by the word ‘amazing’.” Duan Yuyang said, “With your Dage’s standard, before long, he would become the top craftsman amongst the younger generation.”
Yan Tianhen nodded and said, “That’s right. I’ve seen many amazing cultivators when I was travelling with Daddy, but none of them can compare to my Dage.”
You must know, Lin Xuanzhi had directly stepped over three layers and jumped straight into the next big realm.
The Lin Xuanzhi today can already be considered to be a true cultivator!
Duan Yuyang looked at the Yan Tianhen who was sincerely happy for Lin Xuanzhi and couldn’t help but say, “Ah Hen, have you ever thought that once he becomes amazing, he won’t want you anymore? It’ll be just like before; his horizons would expand and he’ll make even more amazing friends. He’ll also have innumerable pursuers, as well as like-minded masters and fellow disciples.”
Yan Tianhen was stunned. He looked at Duan Yuyang and said, “Isn’t that good?”
His Dage was originally that kind of person anyway. It was only normal for his Dage to be surrounded by tons of people.
Duan Yuyang’s usual frivolous expression had suddenly turned solemn.
“So Ah Hen, have you never thought that at that time, where would you be? Can you still stay by his side? And in what capacity?” Dan Yuyang asked.
“I…of course I’ll still be by Dage’s side.” Yan Tianhen furrowed his brows and said, “Don’t tell me that after he becomes amazing, he won’t be my Dage anymore? He’s the only relative I have left, and nobody can change that fact.”
Duan Yuyang wanted to say something, but held it back before he continued, “You should start thinking about it.”
Yan Tianhen smiled and looked at Duan Yuyang gratefully, then said, “I know what Yuyang Gege is trying to say, thank you for your concern. But, I don’t think Dage is that kind of person. Also, I won’t be able to live for many years, but my Dage can live for a very very long time. I only hope that while I’m alive, I can accompany Dage by his side. I had never hoped for anything more.”
“What do you mean by you won’t be able to live for many years?” A cold voice travelled into his ears. Yan Tianhen shuddered, then looked up and saw that Lin Xuanzhi was actually standing about ten zhang away2.
And yet, it seemed like he was talking right next to his ear.
Lin Xuanzhi didn’t expect that right after he returned from washing up, he would overhear a dialogue that made him feel this “overjoyed”.
Lin Xuanzhi was so angry he laughed. His cold eyes swept across the Yan Tianhen who was looking at him uneasily, then said, “That idea of yours has really made me see you in a different light. Yan Tianhen, since that’s how you think, then I won’t need to rack my brains to help you think of methods to prolong your life anymore. Why not we just go back home right now?!”
Yan Tianhen immediately panicked and looked at Lin Xuanzhi apprehensively, then said, “Dage, don’t be angry. I said the wrong things just now, I’ll take it back okay?”
“Did you say the wrong things, or do you actually think that way in your heart?” Lin Xuanzhi was so resentful that Yan Tianhen didn’t meet his expectations, so he shouted angrily, “You usually lazed around, but I just treated it as you being playful and hadn’t understood the importance of cultivating. I had also thought that you were afraid because of the slow progress in your cultivation, but I never expected that you actually only wanted to live for these few dozens of years. I can’t believe your ambition is actually this low!”
Lin Xuanzhi’s unexpected rebuke made Yan Tianhen’s eyes turn red in an instant.
Yan Tianhen bit his lower lip, then raised his hand and wiped his eyes.
Duan Yuyang couldn’t watch this any longer. He stood in front of Yan Tianhen, pulled a long face and said, “Lin Xuanzhi, what are you shouting at him for? He has always been considerate of you. Do you need to scare him like this just because of a slip of the tongue?”
Lin Xuanzhi’s cold eyes swept over them and said, “A slip of the tongue, ha, this isn’t as simple as that.”
But Duan Yuyang could understand why Lin Xuanzhi was so angry, so he said to Yan Tianhen, “Ah Hen, admit your mistake to your Dage ba.”
At first, he thought that Yan Tianhen would admit his mistake obediently in a soft voice, but he didn’t expect Yan Tianhen to actually turn stubborn and spill the beans as he shouted at Lin Xuanzhi, “What mistake did I make? I can obviously only be an ordinary person! Daddy had already done everything he could to help me advance even just a tiny little bit. Plus I look this ugly, and I’m even a cripple too. I know you don’t like me — you think every part of me looks unpleasant! When we were in the Lin family, you had always turned a blind eye when someone bullied me because you hate me, you think that I can’t do anything right, that I’m a good-for-nothing…But I just can’t be as amazing as you. I don’t want to listen to you guys coax me, lie to me or comfort me. I understand very well just what kind of person I am!”
Duan Yuyang was completely stunned by these words that Yan Tianhen had practically yelled out. This shock was no less than when he personally saw Lin Xuanzhi jump from a Refining Qi Stage third layer quasi-cultivator to a Foundation Stage cultivator in one night.
Yan Tianhen has always had a good temper. He always grinned as he spoke, and he was never this impulsive even when he was being bullied. He could tell that Yan Tianhen had truly been forced to the brink of desperation.
Lin Xuanzhi was also stunned for awhile.
Yan Tianhen had never mentioned a single word about this to him in his past life.
He thought that the Yan Tianhen at this time was still a kid, and that his heart was always cheery and frank. But he didn’t expect, he really didn’t expect, that he had actually never, truly understood Yan Tianhen’s inner world.
Lin Xuanzhi closed his eyes. He could only feel sorrow gripping his heart, as well as an indescribable sense of guilt.
“Let’s resume our journey ba.” Lin Xuanzhi got on a horse after leaving this sentence, then whipped his horse and rode it towards the top of the mountain.
He needed some time to carefully think about how he was going to face Yan Tianhen in the future.
Duan Yuyang felt like his head was going to explode. He pulled Yan Tianhen onto the other Chasing Sun horse, then rode together with him as they chased after Lin Xuanzhi.
On the road, Yan Tianhen was pouting very hard.
Duan Yuyang sat in front of him. He said, “You really were very amazing today. That’s a Foundation Stage expert you know, weren’t you afraid that after you finished speaking he would have sent you flying with just one palm?”
Yan Tianhen leaned forward onto Duan Yuyang’s back and said dispiritedly, “Yuyang Ge, I must have been possessed just now.”
He thought about what had happened an hour ago and really wished that he could turn back time — he…he actually dared to shout at Lin Xuanzhi!
What’s more, it’s clear that those words were not what he really wanted to say, but why did they all just come out of his mouth without any censor?!
1. It is believed that the human body has 720 acupoints; 108 of which are vital acupoints and 36 of these 108 points are lethal. Lethal points = points that would cause one’s death if pressed on↩
2. One Zhang = 3.3m↩