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After looking at the bounty for no less than five minutes, Xu Yangyi handed the ultrabook back to Peony. “Who was the first?”
“Senior Sunnihilator, Commander,” Peony said, bearing a wisp of long. “In the first year of his career, he was published on this bounty list. Within ten, his bounty climbed up to 80th place. As of now, he’s stayed at first place below Core Formation bounties for several decades.”
It’s him again… This was a name that Xu Yangyi was already familiar with. Since the beginning of the Qualifier, it had never ceased to enter his ear. As long as a genius was mentioned, the other’s name was sure to follow. On the occasion honor and glory were spoken of, it seemed that he was in accompaniment.
In the end, what kind of person was Sunnihilator? Xu Yangyi shut his eyes and started to rest. Perhaps he had long sleeves that drifted in the breeze? Maybe he wore the same camouflage that Xu Yangyi himself did? Or by chance, did he appear like an ordinary passerby? Or possibly he styled himself in the expenditures of the wealthy elite?
Xu Yangyi had to admit he’d been stirred with curiosity. He believed his own talents weren’t weak, but the maximum eruption of his strength had actually only been able to cause Sunnihilator’s stone stele to split open with a large crack.
“There will be a chance to see.” He smiled and murmured, “That is, if I don’t die.”
The car quickly drove back to the branch. Just as Xu Yangyi got out of the car, Mao Ba’er and Li Zongyuan approached. Their gazes intertwined, radiating with fiery sparks. It was a struggle for favor once more! Moreover, both of them were demons!
This damn madman of a master was becoming less and less principled!
Two voices simultaneously rang out, soon after dying away at the same time. Mao Ba’er and Li Zongyuan hatefully glanced at each other, coldly snorting together by chance.
“Form Transformation but without the transformation. What’re you pulling at?” Li Zongyuan said disdainfully, his voice low.
“Hehe… it’s not worth me transforming. Everyone yells at and hits your demon form, but I can lie down on Spud’s bed and sleep. So what’s the difference? This is the distinction!”
“You…” Li Zongyuan’s demon form had always been his flaw. He gritted his teeth and took the lead to speak up. “Master, the high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation is just about done being drawn. We hired Mingshui Province’s most famous talisman-specialized lineage, the An Clan. Please examine it, Master.”
Unexpectedly, there was still this move! The husky looked over at Li Zongyuan who had discarded his bottom line in an instant, his eyes blank and tongue tied. No matter what, Mao Ba’er still couldn’t call Xu Yangyi out as master. In this first turn of crossing swords, there wasn’t much to choose between the two demons who had just initially met.
“I’ve already filtered the missions suited to you,” Mao Ba’er immediately said, “If you want to accept them, I’ll go contact the mission posters straightaway.”
In their hearts, the toad and dog cursed each other out, looking towards Xu Yangyi in succession. Xu Yangyi simply didn’t care for the duo’s squabbles. Instead, he was immersed in contemplation. His present affairs seemed to be many, but in fact the most important was cultivation. What he wished to know the most was the truth behind the lotus sea.
Furthermore, not only had the Animus Armament brought about the Eternal Alchemy Canon, it had done so from a ruined version. Xu Yangyi really did want to know—what on earth was the secret hidden within it that Jadewave once spoke of “unraveling”?
“For the time being, I’m not taking on any missions.” Xu Yangyi contemplated deeply for a brief moment and faced Mao Ba’er. “I’m going into seclusion for a while. The length is uncertain. Perhaps two or more years. As soon as I leave seclusion, we’ll consider other missions again.” Not waiting on the duo to continue their clash of gazes, he nodded at Li Zongyuan. “Take me there for a look.”
The demon slayer had spent 5,000 low-grade spirit stones in establishing his cultivation room. Not only was it totally soundproof and shockproof, it was more importantly built with a kind of material known as Soundsink Stone. Even qi oscillations wouldn’t be sensed from outside.
The door was pushed open, and a room approaching a full 400 square meters revealed itself before his eyes. There was no swimming pool or sofa. All that existed was a meter-wide reed mat and a billowing black expanse.
Xu Yangyi’s slender finger skipped over the black stones that seemed to be of a single body, and he nodded in satisfaction. This facility was more than a hundred times better than the cultivation room he was previously in.
Of course, that was Zhou Tingting’s basement… This was a true cultivation room come about from the piling of 5,000 spirit stones… His gaze didn’t hover much at all, promptly set upon the group of people in the center of the room.
This was the true quintessence within! The carving of the high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation was an expense of 400 medium-grade spirit stones! From God Ming’s ring, he had raked in 3,000 low-grade spirit stones, a hundred medium-grade spirit stones, and three high-grade spirit stones. The sum total was 700 medium-grade spirit stones. As of today, the ring was as empty as it could be, but he was very much pleased.
Inside the entire room, apart from black, there was also a kind of blue. A shining blue. It appeared to be a blue strip of runes formed from crystal that extended throughout the room! It was utterly different from the insignificant Spirit Focusing Formation in the Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens Arena! Currently, be it the ceiling above, the floor below, or the four walls, each Soundsink Stone was completely engraved with runes.
Incomparably profound talismans stretched out all around like veins, causing the room’s interior not to seem deathly still, but rather containing some kind of mysterious sensation. The construction cost for this room was 200 medium-grade spirit stones. However, these formations were valued at 500 medium-grade spirit stones! Even Foundation Establishment cultivators wouldn’t necessarily be able to bear this expense! Their costs wouldn’t surpass fifty medium-grade spirit stones. These sudden massive profits would make their hair stand up in anger!
Within the room, there were five people busy at work at the moment. Precision instruments that resembled microscopes were taken into a man’s hand, and he gauged the standard line. In the air, several flying swords shuttled to and fro, passing on necessary items. At their side, a woman was holding onto a computer and using it to verify each line’s precise location.
All talismans converged at the center to take the form of a resplendent talisman ring, similar to myriad streams returning to the origin! Xu Yangyi nodded towards the busy technicians, eagerly standing at the light ring. Even if it wasn’t completed, he could sense it like ocean tides, and its bubbling from all around. However, he was unable to absorb it into his body.
Contrasted to the arrival of these qi wisps, the Spirit Focusing Formation of the Unrivaled Beneath the Heavens Arena could only be considered a minor rivulet!
“How much longer will it be?” He asked calmly, not batting an eyelid.
“It’ll take seven hours.” The woman didn’t even lift her head, her attention fully concentrated. Through her training, she said out of reflex, “In addition, I’ll remind you once, boss. A high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation is only used by Foundation Establishment Seniors because their financial resources can handle it.”
“Each activation requires the consumption of a hundred-newton spiritual-force explosion. This is equal to the simultaneous combustion of five kilos of spirit stones. Moreover, the high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation doesn’t take anything below medium-grade spirit stones.”
“What’s more, you have to keep cycling the Spirit Focusing Formation. A month will consume an estimated 100,000 newtons of spiritual force. That’s the same as continually offering an energy capacity of a thousand medium-grade spirit stones.”
In his heart, Xu Yangyi was secretly pained, but he didn’t regret it at all. Something like the Spirit Focusing Formation was like taking drugs. Once experienced, it could no longer be forgotten. Even now, he was somewhat eagerly awaiting the activation moment of this tremendous array. At that time, the qi absorption, like the eye of a storm, would surely render him dumb in intoxication… and moreover supply the required qi for the Eternal Alchemy Canon!
“Fellow Daoist, I hope you can guarantee that you’re capable of maintaining the high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation’s operations.” The woman finally raised her head and deeply eyed Xu Yangyi. However, her gaze was somewhat complex, as if she had seen a spirit stone walking in human form.
Xu Yangyi laughed, not saying a word. Even if he wished to operate the formation for fifty years, he feared that it wouldn’t be a question. A millennium-old greater demon, the origin crystal of Daomaster Jadewave, how terrifying was the spiritual force contained within? If he wanted to activate the high-grade formation, it was practically a stream in a vast river, not even regarded as a tributary. He quietly drew back, earnestly awaiting the instant the high-grade Spirit Focusing Formation came together. Outside the room, Li Zongyuan was still respectfully waiting on him.
“Get our preparation materials and bring it to the cultivation room before the work is done.”
“Yes!” Li Zongyuan answered with a booming voice. Was this… finally the start of concocting pill elixir? His master was now wealthy and possessed status. Once Xu Yangyi became an alchemist… That day was too beautiful. Li Zongyuan simply dared not imagine it.
“Also,” Xu Yangyi said insipidly, “How’s the decryption going? I don’t need an explanation of anything else. I only have to know which dynasty it’s from. The definite era.”
“I’ve already handed it over to some of humanity’s best professors.” Li Zongyuan took two steps forward and replied quietly, “A conclusion is sure to emerge in at most half a year.”
Xu Yangyi nodded and said no more. Returning to his office, he calmly waited for the passage of seven hours. As night fell, the door was finally knocked, and the woman from before entered, her expression home to an obvious fatigue. “Fellow Daoist, it’s already done. You can use it any time. Please inspect it.”
“Mhm.” Xu Yangyi replied and suddenly laughed, “What if I asked you to come work at my Xingtian Legion?”
“You wouldn’t even be able to do it.” The woman awkwardly laughed and shook her head. “Fellow Daoist, maybe you haven’t inquired about crafts payment before. I’m only a talismancer at the middle stage of Qi Condensation, but my pay is 3,000 spirit stones a year. Moreover, the cooperation of a legion and a craftmaster is based on a legion’s connections network for the master to introduce excellent commissions. I apologize for being frank, but the Xingtian Legion doesn’t have such an extensive network right now.”
3,000 spirit stones a year? Xu Yangyi was dazed. However, his lips followingly curved upwards. This was already even some businesses. If there was no industry… what would be the price? For example… a genuine medicinal pill?
“Mind if I get your business card?” he laughed.
“Sure.” The woman smiled, taking a business card and placing it on Xu Yangyi’s desk. “My name is An Ning, daughter of the An Clan’s first wife of the Southern Chen’s Bei’an. I’m the youngest talismancer in almost two centuries. If Fellow Daoist wants to hire me, consider it carefully. I’m pretty expensive.”
“3,000 spirit stones still can’t be considered hard.” Xu Yangyi took the business card in between his fingers and laughed.
An Ning laughed as well. “That’s medium grade.”
Xu Yangyi’s smile partially froze. The duo spared further niceties and walked together to the cultivation room. The door and opened, and there was a hazy expanse of blue radiance, like that of water and mist. Although all the nodes were dazzling, they were still dead before the formation was completed. Yet in this moment, they seemed to come alive.
Resembling countless blue butterflies fluttering before the eyes, gentle rays of light caused everyone’s eyes to shine. Thousands upon thousands of talismans were like slender willow branches, driving the pitch-black walls to seemingly transform into a tide of night.
“It truly is art.” Xu Yangyi exclaimed in admiration and sincerity..
“That is is.” A wisp of pride flickered through An Ning’s eyes. “Any craft, regardless of qi training, artifact refining, talismans, or true great works, are all art.”
“It’s a pity… The Dao of Pills has already been lost for so long. I read in an ancient book at home that there was once a kind of profession in ancient times called a pill hoarder. This was because… after some pills were taken out from the furnace, they appeared as resplendent stars in the sky and river stones spread all over the Earth. It was magnificent, leading pill hoarders who gathered luxurious medicinal pills to appear…”
She faintly sighed, “It’s too bad… that they can’t be seen anymore these days.”
“Even artificing and talismans are also gradually decreasing. Many of the finest ancient tomes are even harder to depict… Fellow Daoist seems to be interested. Each province has a major crafts exhibition once every five years. It’s called the Golden Dragon Conference. Although the An Clan is untalented, we were still able to get a hold of a few tickets. There’s still another three or four years until the next one, though.”
Xu Yangyi looked at the soft room and laughed, “Because I’m a big spender?”
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