Chapter 24: Celestial Wolf Mountain
Celestial Wolf Mountain comprised two mountain peaks.
From a distance, the two mountain peaks looked like two enormous wolves crouching and facing one another. Moreover, both wolves seemed to be howling towards the sky.
Between these two mountain peaks was a large, steep canyon. Embedded within the two cliffs of the canyon were fire crystals, and to mine them, one had to first scale those steep cliffs.
For an ordinary person to be able to go up and mine upon those cliffs was clearly rather unrealistic. Only martial practitioners who had spent long years bitterly training were able to take on the great responsibility of mining due to their physiques which were of much higher quality than the masses.
Qin Lie and Ling Yushi traveled with the group and arrived at Celestial Wolf Mountain right before dusk.
They immediately noticed the many hanging rattan ropes on both sides of the canyon’s steep cliffs. Relying on the support from these ropes, martial practitioners of the Gao and Feng families, maneuvered along the cliffs like monkeys, using their chisels and pickaxes to hammer at the crystals.
The setting sun’s light shined down, causing a faint, fiery crimson glow to flicker sporadically along the canyon’s cliffs.
Wherever the fiery red light flickered, a small chunk of fire crystal could be found. This crystal was crimson as if it were a kind of turbid crystallized body, and when illuminated by the sun, it would glow.
Qin Lie observed the fiery light which flickered across the canyon’s cliffs and muttered a sentence within the depths of his heart, “So this is a fire crystal, huh…”
From listening to his grandfather’s thorough explanation of forging artifacts, he knew that every time an artificer smelted spirit materials they required the assistance of a fire source.
This was extremely easy to understand. As even the most ordinary blacksmiths required fire when they smelted iron, fire would naturally be required when forging artifacts. It wasn’t possible to skip this most basic procedure.
Of course, the fire source artificers used would naturally be different from that of a blacksmith’s which was from burning wood.
The fire source for artificers was usually obtained through one of three methods. First, the artificers themselves could cultivate a fire technique which would allow their spirit energy to transform into the fire source for forging artifacts. This method was heavily dependent on the artificer’s cultivation level and was also the most taxing on the Artificer’s spirit and mind energy.
When his grandfather repaired spirit artifacts, he had used this type of fire source to smelt and forge. Artificers who cultivated fire techniques, could always forge artifacts no matter where they were. Thus, this was the most convenient method for artificers. However, it consumed the most spirit energy and was also heavily dependent on the artificer’s cultivation level.
The second method to obtain a fire source was to harness the fire of the earth’s core and use the raging fire of a volcano to forge artifacts. In general, many Master Artificers would only use this method if they needed to refine an enormous artifact. There were also specialized Artificer Sects which would select volcanoes as their forging ground, guiding the violent fire of the volcano into multiple forging chambers which the disciples would then use to forge artifacts.
This type of method which relied on the earth’s energy as a fire source could not be used at will to forge artifacts and could only be done at a designated area. However, where there were cons, there were pros as well. This method consumed very little spirit energy and did not depend on cultivation level.
The third and final method was to use fire type spirit materials like fire crystals. Upon igniting these spirit materials, they would become a fire source for Artifact Forging.
This kind of fire source did not consume the Artificer’s spirit energy and did not depend on cultivation level either. It was also portable, and thus, it was the most commonly used method by Artificers.
However, this kind of fire source was consumable, which meant that each usage of a crystal represented the loss of it.
Each of the three fire sources were able to complete the task of refining spirit materials, and each type had its own pros and cons. Sometimes, Artificers would even combine multiple sources, allowing them to use the advantages of each source.
After breaking through to the seventh level of Refinement, Qin Lie was now also able to discharge spirit energy. This meant that he was finally able to truly use spirit artifacts to their full potential.
Recently, Qin Lie had constantly been memorizing the spirit diagrams within his Soul Suppressing Orb; this caused him to more or less develop some ideas about forging artifacts…
Even though fire crystals were only the most basic fire source for forging artifacts, for him, it was not something that was easily obtainable.
There were two reasons why he accompanied Ling Yushi to Celestial Wolf Mountain. Firstly, he was afraid that Ling Yushi would run into trouble. Secondly, he wanted to obtain a few fire crystals for him to try his hand at making a spirit artifact.
“The Ling Family has come to report,” Ling Yushi tenderly shouted.
Below the canyon, a man wearing a Nebula robe sat on a recliner.
He was lazily watching the setting sun in the sky. At this time, his eyes unconsciously latched onto the members of the Ling Family. He raised his hand, beckoning them over, and said, “I am Liu Yan, the person who was tasked with this matter by those above me. Mn, it’s already late today. Starting from tomorrow morning, you will all go and mine together with the Feng and Gao families. All of the fire crystals that you guys mine will be handed over to me, and I will count them. After the task is completed, Nebula Pavilion will give you the corresponding number of spirit stones as payment.”
Liu Yan seemed around thirty years old and had a slightly pudgy body. He wore a long beard, and his eyes were seemingly always half amused. He had a kind of casual attitude about him.
“Big brother Liu, these are today’s gains from the Feng Family.” A handsome, lax youth with a robust body jumped down from above, tossing a cloth bag onto the table in front of Liu Yan. He then turned towards the Ling Family, showing a magnificent smile, and said, “Ling Feng, how long has it been since we last met, hm?”
The youth was extremely handsome and wore white battlewear. A strip of gold was etched into the corners of his clothes, causing the clothes to seem extremely precious and extraordinary.
Although he directed his question to Ling Feng, his eyes were instead fixated on Ling Yushi. Walking over with large steps and a smile as bright as the sun, he said, “Ling Yushi! Haha, so this time the Ling Family had you bring people over. It’s been quite a while since we have met, right?”
“Yes, it has been two years,” Ling Yushi responded indifferently.
“Who is he?” asked Ling Ying to the people around her.
“Feng Yi, the second young master of the Feng Family. Two years ago, he had already reached the seventh level of Refinement. By now, he has definitely reached the eighth. His brother, Feng Kai, is already a core disciple of Nebula Pavilion. If there are no accidents, this guy will also break through into the Natal Opening Realm before he is twenty and follow his brother in Nebula Pavilion.”
The crude and rough looking Ling Xin looked towards Feng Yi with faint admiration. Lowering his voice, he whispered an explanation to Ling Ying, “Two years ago, when First Miss, Ling Feng, and I were within the Arctic Mountain Range, we formed a team with them to hunt spirit beasts. There is more or less some friendship between them. Moreover, Feng Yi developed some feelings for First Miss during that time…”
“Nine Common Grade Four fire crystals, not bad. Continue to work hard tomorrow.” Liu Yan recorded the number, his eyes squinting as he smiled and nodded at Feng Yi.
At this time, the other nine practitioners of the Feng Family also descended from the canyon’s cliffs.
They stood by Feng Yi, smiled, and exchanged tips for mining fire crystals while also observing the people from the Ling Family. Their gazes were mostly focused towards Ling Yushi and Ling Ying, and they occasionally chuckled and whispered to each other.
The ten practitioners from the Feng Family were all at the Refinement Realm. Most of them were at the fifth, sixth, and seventh levels, but most importantly… they were all male.
As they had arrived somewhat earlier, they had already spent a few days mining in boredom. Now, upon seeing two fresh beauties, Ling Yushi and Ling Ying, their eyes immediately lightened up, becoming excited.
“Brother Liu, this is the Gao Family’s.”
Another youth flew down. This youth wore a black practitioner uniform with hair almost touching his two shoulders. His gaze was insidious, and the depths of his eyes revealed evilness.
“That’s Gao Yu, the youngest young master of the Gao Family. Both of his sisters have entered Nebula Pavilion. The Gao Family’s Patriarch greatly spoils him, and as for his character… he’s kind of eccentric. He should only be sixteen, a year younger than Feng Yi. Not too long ago, I heard that he had broken through into the eighth level of Refinement.”
This time, before Ling Ying could even make a sound, Ling Xin lowered his voice and explained this youth’s background.
After thinking for a moment, Ling Xin’s face became sullen, and he continued, “This Gao Yu… you should be cautious around him. Rumor has it that this guy is kind of crazy and that he has apparently slain some young girls in the past. Yes, you should avoid provoking him, or else there might be endless trouble.”
Listening to Ling Xin’s words sent chills down Ling Ying’s spine as she always liked showing off in front of Ling Feng.
Looking at Gao Yu’s pale white face and his pair of dark, cold eyes, which contained evilness, Ling Ying couldn’t help but take a step back, moving closer to Ling Feng. Clearly, she was somewhat afraid.
“Five Common Grade Four, six Common Grade Three, and a Common Grade Five, not a bad harvest.” Liu Yan sat upright, and after a moment, he turned towards Gao Yu and smiled.
Qin Lie looked carefully at them and realized that when Liu Yan talked to Gao Yu, he was no longer laying in his chair and had instead sat upright. It was as if he placed more importance on this person.
Gao Yu’s slightly cold eyes swept across the Ling Family’s group before he left with the rest of those from the Gao Family. They walked to the other side of the canyon and started preparing fire for their food.
“Ling Feng, Yushi, come and join us for dinner,” warmly invited Feng Yi.
“No need. We brought our own food. Moreover, we killed quite a few small beasts on the way over. There’s no need for the trouble,” politely declined Ling Yushi.
“Yushi, you are too courteous. It has already been two years since we last met. Let’s all just drink some liquor and happily converse for a while. Are you not even willing to give me this amount of face?” Feng Yi asked with a bitter smile.
“Then… alright, I guess.” Without a choice, Ling Yushi brought the Ling Family over to the Feng Family’s quarters.
The Feng Family’s practitioners quickly got a fire going and took out the jugs of liquor. They also took out some cooked meat, smiling as they invited the Ling Family members to sit.
Ling Feng, Ling Xin, and the others were all familiar with some of the Feng Family, and thus, sat as requested without being too courteous. They took out the wild rabbits, pheasants, and other sorts of small animals that they had killed on their way and threw them over the fire. They laughed and conversed with the Feng Family’s practitioners while expertly maintaining the barbecue.
“Qin Lie, sit next to me.” Ling Yushi tugged at Qin Lie discretely and tried to pull him to her side. Shortly after, she received the barbecued meat which Feng Yi passed over and pressed it into Qin Lie’s hands, softly saying, “We have traveled so far today in order to rush over; you must be hungry. Eat this first and fill up your stomach a little. I will go and roast a few pheasants for you to eat.”
Feng Yi, in order to impress the beauty, didn’t eat a single piece of the meat he cooked and instead gallantly gave it all to Ling Yushi.
Never would he have thought that the beauty would be even more straightforward and give it to Qin Lie beside her. This caused Feng Yi to clearly be slightly stunned, his face becoming kind of awkward.
“Who is this younger brother?” asked Feng Yi with a smile.
Qin Lie’s expression was like a block of wood, one which didn’t know manners. He just held the cooked meat and ate as if he didn’t know any decency.
“He’s my fiance,.” replied Ling Yushi reflexively.
The smile upon Feng Yi’s face immediately froze, his eyes becoming gloomy. Coughing a laugh, he asked, “When did you become engaged? How come your father didn’t notify my Feng Family? I really didn’t receive any news about it.”
The faces of other practitioners of the Feng Family also became slightly blank, unconsciously beginning to closely scrutinize Qin Lie.
Upon examining him, they noticed Qin Lie’s wooden expression and began to feel that something wasn’t quite right. Thus, they became increasingly curious.
“It’s only an engagement and not something important. Thus, my father decided that it wasn’t necessary to announce it to everyone. That’s why we didn’t notify any of our nearby friends.” Ling Yushi faintly smiled. Hearing Qin Lie’s chewing sounds, she knew that he was definitely doing it on purpose. She helplessly glared accusingly at him. Within her heart, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, thinking: This guy, you have to be laughing inside; you are definitely embarrassing me on purpose.
“Ling Xin, who is this guy? It seems as if I haven’t seen him before, is he a bit…?” tentatively inquired one of the Feng Family practitioners.
Ling Xin grunted and disdainfully said, “He isn’t a part of my Ling Family. This guy has some problem with his brain and is a complete idiot. Only the devil knows why the Patriarch agreed to let him and First Miss be engaged.”
“I knew it, look at his clumsiness. To think he’s actually an idiot.” The guy began to laugh strangely.
The fiery stick in her hand, along with the greasy pheasant on it, drew a line of fire as it flew across and hit the guy straight in the chest.
The person hit couldn’t help but groan. Afterwards, he suddenly stood up, quickly trying to disperse all of the sparks upon his chest in case they began to blaze. Turning around, he glared angrily at Ling Yushi.
“Be careful when you speak!” exclaimed Ling Yushi, her clear eyes narrowing. She suddenly stood up and turned to Feng Yi, saying, “Thanks for the hospitality!” Then, she grabbed Qin Lie, turned around, and left.
Feng Yi and everyone else’s expressions all became awkward. Feng Yi hurriedly scolded his clan member while Ling Feng and Ling Ying, seeing what it had become like, couldn’t help but rise and say their own goodbyes before leaving to follow Ling Yushi.
Ling Yushi brought Qin Lie to the other end of the canyon, her beautiful face harsh and cheerless. She waited there until Ling Feng and the rest of the group came, coldly glared at Ling Xin, and said, “In front of your own family members, there are some words that I don’t care about, but if you dare say that again in front of outsiders, don’t blame me for being uncourteous!”
She, who always seemed to be gentle and elegant, had suddenly become so strict and unreasonable. This caused Ling Xin to feel a little guilty in the depths of his heart, his face flushed red and he didn’t dare to say anything more than “yes.”
Qin Lie’s expression was still wooden, but his heart warmed.