Li Yunxiao had been in a trance all this while. Every now and then, images flashed through his mind as if he had become someone else. He also went into a state of epilepsy from time to time; at times shouting, crying, laughing.Even stranger was the fact that there was always a voice in his mind which seemed to be reciting a strange scripture. When he listened carefully, it seemed to be a cultivation technique, and his body always swayed involuntarily with the voice. The more epileptic he became, the more fragments appeared in his mind, and the more complete they became.
Finally, he pa.s.sed out from the torture one day. But when he woke up, all the fragments were joined together in their entirety and appeared in his mind clearly. Li Yunxiao’s eyes were as clear as the stars of eternity: he had finally awakened.
« I can’t believe I was reborn! » Li Yunxiao’s eyes lit up as he turned his head slightly to look out of the window at the tall statue that rose to the top of the cloud. « Year 1033 of the Heavenly Martial Calendar… I, Gu Feiyang, have been dead for fifteen years? »
Fifteen years ago, Gu Feiyang—the Vanquisher Martial Sovereign—one of the top ten Conferred Martial Sovereigns of the Heavenly Martial Realm, accidentally pa.s.sed away in the Tiandang Mountains, shaking the entire continent! Since then, there had been an undercurrent of tension surging among the major powers, and the conflicts had been intensified. The Heavenly Martial Continent, which had been calm for hundreds of years, was once again in turbulence.
« Heh, » Li Yunxiao grinned and sighed softly, « I can’t believe I’ve been born again after fifteen years…I, Gu Feiyang, am back at last. »
« Li Yunxiao! » Suddenly a cold shout of rebuke rang out.
A sharp noise broke through the air as Li Yunxiao looked up and saw a piece of chalk flying toward him, about to hit him in the face.
He casually caught the chalk between his fingers and put it on the table. Then, he looked calmly at Luo Yunshang, the cla.s.s teacher, whose face was getting cold on the podium.
It was the nth time that Li Yunxiao’s mind had wandered in the cla.s.s, so she’d be surprised if he wasn’t distracted. But, Luo Yunshang was obviously in a bad mood today, so she needed someone to vent her depression on.
And Li Yunxiao, the recognized loser, was certainly the best candidate. For a long time, it seemed to be a habit for all the teachers who were in a bad mood to pick on him. Whenever a teacher got upset, everyone knew that Li Yunxiao was going to be in trouble.
Everyone began to snicker and gloat excitedly, all looking forward to watching the show; a few students even started to make noises.
Li Yunxiao squinted at Luo Yunshang and thought, ‘She has got a great body, long hair, and a pretty face. If she were to wear a red gown, silver horn boots, a blue cloak, and the Frosty Sorrow, I bet she would look exactly like Red Lotus Martial Sovereign…Hehe, she’s got a lot of potential for wearing costumes. I wonder if Red Lotus would kill me if she knew what I was thinking…’
Luo Yunshang’s heart gave a jerk. Li Yunxiao’s eyes seemed to flicker with a smile, and that made her shudder inexplicably. It was like a tame rabbit had suddenly been spotted by a tiger. A momentary sense of powerlessness made her feel like falling into an ice cellar.
‘What was that? The boy’s eyes…Was he laughing? No way! I am a great martial master of the Four Quadrants realm! How could I be distracted by the glance of a common boy? It must be because I’ve been stuck in that problem lately that I’m a bit unsettled.’
The look of horror in her eyes flashed away, and she soon recovered from the momentary loss of composure. Her face darkened, and a sneer flickered around her lips. « Li Yunxiao, we were talking about the crafting of weapons. Can you tell us how many methods common weapons are made with? »
Luo Yunshang was teaching the basic course on crafting weapons. Although only a handful of people could become alchemists, the most basic knowledge of weapon crafting was what every warrior must know.
‘The crafting of weapons? Ha! I’m a ninth-tier emperor-grade alchemist of the Heavenly Martial Continent! Who in the world but those few undying old fogies would dare to speak of the methods of weapon crafting in front of me?’
Li Yunxiao said carelessly, « There are forty-eight methods of crafting common weapons. »
« Forty-eight? » The cla.s.sroom suddenly fell silent before bursting into laughter!
« Haha! This fella must be talking in his sleep. »
« I told you so! If I had only looked at his composure, I would have thought he really knew the answer! »
« Tsk! If he knew the right answer, I would have been a state guard! »
Li Yunxiao frowned as his glance fell on the textbook in front of him. He flipped open it and immediately saw a sentence: « There are thirty-six methods of crafting common weapons, which are… »
When he closed the book, he saw a row of large words on the cover page: « Basic Artifact Crafting », and beneath it was a clear row of smaller words: « By Yang Di ».
‘Didn’t I tell him there are forty-eight common methods? That brat actually turned a deaf ear to my words? He’ll never have to come to my lecture again.’
He had sentenced the author of the textbook to death in an instant. Yang Di would have cried himself to death if he had known this.
Yunxiao paid no mind to all the mockery. « There are thirty-six orthodox crafting methods, » he said in a calm tone. « But sixty years ago, Gu Feiyang had invented twelve technical crafting methods, which have been recognized by the a.s.sociation of Alchemists and listed as basic crafting methods. So, there should be forty-eight. »
« Tsk! What nonsense is this brat talking about? Does he know more than Lord Yang Di? »
« Haha! He must be afraid of being punished, so he has started talking nonsense. »
« Precisely! How could Lord Yang Di, a student of Lord Gu Feiyang, not know how many basic crafting methods there are? »
The whole cla.s.sroom was filled with mockery, but a sudden shout silenced everyone.
« Shut up! He’s right! »
Yunshang slapped the table, causing a gust of strong wind to spread out in all directions. Everyone felt an overbearing force come pushing at them, and their faces fell in horror. Some of the students near the podium were as pale as paper, as if on the point of coughing blood.
Yunxiao smiled inwardly as he felt the wind. ‘Tier two-stars of the Four Quadrants Realm…She sure has a gift! And her soul seems to be very strong. I reckon she’s at least a senior apprentice alchemist.’ He was a little surprised. He had known Luo Yunshang to be very formidable, but he had never expected her to be at such a high level.
Martial warriors were divided into nine levels: The Origin Realm (Warrior), the Two Forces Realm (Martial Master), the Three Powers Realm (Great Martial Master), the Four Quadrants Realm (Martial Lord), the Five Elements Realm (Martial King), the Six Directions Realm (Martial Grandmaster), the Seven Constellations Realm (Martial Emperor), the Eight Desolation Realm (Martial Supreme), and the Nine Heavens Realm (Martial Sovereign). Each level was divided into nine tiers, from one star to nine stars. As soon as one reached the peak of the Nine Heavens Realm, one would be granted a t.i.tle by the Holy City, becoming a Conferred Martial Sovereign.
Yunshang stared coldly at Li Yunxiao as a hint of surprise flashed through her mind. Then, she glanced at the crowd and began to explain slowly.
« There have always been thirty-six basic crafting methods. Sixty years ago, Lord Gu Feiyang, with his unparalleled talent, had invented twelve additional methods, which were recognized by the a.s.sociation of Alchemists. It’s just that these twelve methods are completely beyond the grasp of the average person, so Lord Yang Di didn’t include them when he wrote this textbook. »
All the students were astonished and looked incredulous as they fixed their eyes on Li Yunxiao, who appeared to be perfectly calm. It was like the student at the bottom of the cla.s.s had suddenly solved a problem that even the top students could not.
Even Yunshang was surprised. It was no secret to the alchemists that there were forty-eight basic crafting methods, but it was very rare for an apprentice martial warrior to know this.
A thought suddenly came to her mind. ‘They say this Li Yunxiao is illiterate in martial arts…Could it be that he has a gift in the crafting of weapons, which is why he has gathered a lot of information to learn by himself?’ The idea set her heart racing. If she could train an alchemist, it was worth more than a warrior!
‘Let me test him again!’
Yunshang looked up and saw that Li Yunxiao was looking at her with a hint of smile in his eyes, which gave her a feeling as if a teacher were looking at his disciple. That made anger rise in her. With a cold grin, she said, « Don’t think you can skip cla.s.s just because you’ve learned something esoteric. I’ll ask you one more question. If you can answer that, you can skip the rest of my cla.s.s and I’ll pa.s.s you with a full mark. But if you can’t answer that…you will stay in the tenfold gravity chamber for six hours!
« Tell me why we need to add Sky Crystal Sand when making weapons? »
« Stay in the tenfold gravity chamber for six hours? That’s too harsh! »
« Haha! Don’t you see that Teacher Nalan is in a bad mood today? The brat has brought himself into the storm. »
« Well, he deserved it. Look at his face…it looks like it needs some slaps. How I wish I could step on him a few times! »
« Wow, did you hear that? That’s a tough question. Everybody knows that Sky Crystal Sand needs to be added when crafting weapons, and there’s no reason why! »
« Yeah, it’s like asking you why one plus one equals two. Haha! It seems that Teacher Nalan is trying to embarra.s.s Li Yunxiao. »
« Stay in the tenfold gravity chamber for six hours? » Li Yunxiao shook his head slightly, feeling a little helpless. If it were before, he would not feel anything even with a thousand-fold gravitational force. But ten times the force of gravity was a bit too much for his current body.
His helpless expression was quickly interpreted by Yunshang as fear, which made her completely erase the admiration she had just expressed for him, and she could not help but look down on him. ‘He is indeed illiterate in martial arts. He has not changed at all.’
Moreover, she immediately regretted it as soon as the question left her mouth. She felt a vague sense of guilt and remorse for playing such a trick on her student. After all, he had just answered a basic question very well, at least showing a studious side which was different from the past. Would she hurt his confidence and self-esteem by doing this? Would she strangle a flower that was going to turn over a new leaf?
As her mind wandered, Li Yunxiao answered almost thoughtlessly.
« In fact, the crafting of weapons does not necessarily require Sky Crystal Sand, but it is not easy for the ordinary alchemists to master the degree of fusion between materials during the refining process after quenching. So, they need to use it, which has a neutralization property, to play a moderating role. »
There was an eerie silence when he had finished. Everyone looked at each other because they could not understand what he was saying.