48- Yin Frost Basin (2)
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Looking at the silver-haired girl's back, Liu Xun started to think about his memories. What is that dream...it felt quite different from his usual recounts of The Million Suns' experience.

Well, there is no use thinking further about it...

Liu Xun said to himself as he shook his head lightly.

System, status.

[Affirmative, opening status page.]

Cultivator:

Liu Xun

Roots:

Mortal

Cultivation Level:

Qi Gathering Stage 6 [233/643]↑128

System Credit:

 177  35

Inventory:

Cons: 1x Premium Gacha Talisman, 1x Fireball Talisman [SSR], 1x Exemplary grade minor regeneration pill

Misc: [System Subscription Channel], [System Rulebook], [Deceiver Detective System Update]

Active:

Purple Heaven Gathering Pill (Duration: 63 days)

Skills:

Passive:

Minor GuanXin Knowledge

Archaic Sun Aura Wisp [19%] (+50% to cultivation speed, minor resistance to yang elements)

Shadow Concealment Aura (87%) - ON ( Currently Qi Gathering Stage 3)

Auto Appraisal Lv 1 - ON

Intuitive Combat Lv1 - ON

Draconic Language Proficiency - Master

 

Support:

Area Scan Lv1

Appraisal Lv1

 

Movement:

Shadow Grasping Illusory Steps (93%)

 

Weapon:

Crimson Dragon Beheading Axe (Incomplete) [53.8%]

Basic Yang Divine Scorching Eyes

Talents:

Movement Cultivator Adept (+15% to efficiency of Movement arts and effects)

Intuitive Cheater - ON (Grants minor reflexes boost alongside Intuitive Combat)

Hmm, so it has been three days since I last opened this page. Surprisingly, I have somehow managed to break through to the 6th stage of qi gathering already! It must have been due to that intensive battle. Even after taking some restorative qi pills, my qi is only 233, almost only a third of my maximum threshold. The new system update has given me a whole lot of useful skills...and a new talent? Intuitive cheater...I wonder how does it work. It seems to synchronize with Intuitive Combat.

[It helps you predict and move according to when the Intuitive Combat skill is activated. As expected of a system cheat skill.]

I guess it is pretty much a broken skill based on the description. Looks like there is also the minor regeneration pill as well which could help to restore my qi to the maximum in an emergency. Otherwise, it seems to be about 43 days till the Thousand Blossoms Sect recruitment date. This journey has taken up a significant amount of time, it looks like we would likely have to head out shortly after we return from our journey. Draconic language though, I thought that it would be only used for lizardmen, but I guess it works for other reptilian beasts and perhaps dragons as well?

[Host, most dragons are intelligent enough to speak human language and even other ancient languages. Though, you are right that you can speak to other reptilian beasts which have a similar genealogy to lizards.]

Thinking through everything, the black-robed youth then decided to get up on his feet as he took his old ax. It was probably an opportune moment to digest all his battle experience from yesterday as his body is rested up. He does not have to expend any qi during the simulations since he was already expended most of his reserves. Just some basic practice would be sufficient. Liu Xun knows that the way he handled things yesterday was far from optimal. Even with the Deceiver Detective System Update, his choices of moves were still far from the best possible choices. He could only improve on his critical decision-making skills to be able to properly make use of the system itself.

The Thousand Deceivers nods at your sentiment. You have been given a small pill (5 points)!

As he slowly walked towards the campfire, he noticed a rather familiar scene.

"Hmm, I should put this in now....wait no, there is the need to put in an Onyx Tyrian Beetroot first. Phew, I almost destroyed the concoction...."

An old raspy voice mumbles out as a yellow-robed old man was stirring a pot full of golden-bluish liquid. It seems that Senior Gan is up early in the morning, refining some pills for the journey yet again. Liu Xun admires the old man who was very dedicated to his craft. Despite being a rather stubborn and hardheaded person, Senior Gan does not have any bad intent and had always given the group sufficient pills and help without demanding anything in return.

Looking at the old man fumble about the ingredients as he continued to refine pills, Liu Xun decided to take a few steps forward.

"Hello there, Senior Gan. Do you perhaps need any help? I can be an extra pair of hands."

He offered out. There was no reason to not do so. Senior Gan's pill-making has helped the group immensely and assisting him would be a wise choice. Even his self-practice would offer limited benefits to the expedition compared to producing another batch of golden Qi Burst pills. The old man looked over in surprise as he slowly massaged his long white beard.

"Haha, if it isn't Junior Liu Xun. Come, come! This old man would appreciate any little help he can get. Most of our stocks of qi burst pills as well as my talismans and other special artifacts have been expended. While you help me out with the menial chores, I shall let you see some of the little tricks this old man uses to run around the Xin Country unhindered! My talisman arts, pill-making, artifact configuring. I will gladly show it to you. It is up to your aptitude if you are able to understand and digest some of this knowledge!"

Senior Gan then gestured with his hands to welcome Liu Xun beside him. The old man had a faint aroma of herbs around him as he stood beside the boiling cauldron of pill-making concoction. Liu Xun looked at the table beside him as he observed the Blue Qi Essence Roots, Golden Qi Apples, Onyx Tyrian Beetroot, Purple Mending Essence, and many other subsidiary ingredients that were components of the golden Qi Burst pills. He then began to slowly arrange them as he stretched out his hand in response to Senior Gan's orders.

"5 jin of Purple Mending Essence!"

"Alright."

"Now, 2 jin of White Ice Fluid."

"Coming right up."

"Too cold, add more wood!"

"Okay!"

"Now, 3 pinches of Murillian Pillbug Extracts!"

"Ready!"

.

.

.

The process repeated itself as Senior Gan kept issuing instructions, while Liu Xun fetched the ingredients or complete the task. The refinement process was completed smoothly shortly afterward as the duo completed another pot full of golden qi burst pills. Senior Gan looked rather proud and relieved after completing the refinement process as he gave himself a light pat on the back.

"Ohhhh, it is good to have you around Junior Liu Xun. This old man could do his refinement with double the speed and reward with half the errors and effort. This one must be getting really old, haha. Before, I could easily do such a refinement with such ease and haste alone."

The old man praised Liu Xun while talking about himself self-deprecatingly. He looked away as he slowly reminisced of his past for a short moment. He quickly snapped back to normal as he turned around to Liu Xun and said in a happy tone.

"Say Junior Liu Xun, you would probably learn some of these tricks once you enter into a big sect. Still, do you want to see this man craft some talismans? Let's see, I would require to make some Purple Qi Swords, Golden Bell Shields, Crimson Piercing Arrows...oh, and some Fireball talismans as well! You would not be able to make most of them until you get to the Essence Foundation stage, but they are pretty nifty tricks to pick up while you are a novice qi gathering disciple!"

While these words came out, the old man withdrew the cauldron into his sleeve as it minimized into the storage pouch. From his sleeve also came out a stack of blank yellow talisman paper as well as a bottle of blood-red ink. The old man then took out 2 chairs as he gestured the black-robed young man to sit on one of them.

"Come Liu Xun, have a seat! So firstly, I would be making the Purple Qi Sword talisman. To understand talisman crafting, you would need other knowledge of spell formations and history as well as the origin of ingredients. So to start with, the purple qi sword was made by a core formation cultivator in the past by the name of Dongyang Qiu. This man was a righteous sword cultivator who had a minor in spell formations. His sword skills were known to be paramount of all those in his cultivation realm back then. He then developed this talisman to aid other cultivators for fighting against demonic beasts. It was widely appreciated by all cultivators back then until now."

The old man said proudly as he started to draw upon the blood-red ink with his brush. He slowly waved his brush as delicate strokes appeared on the unblemished yellow paper.

"Hmm, this senior must have been glorified and proud of his great achievement."

Liu Xun responded back with a passing remark, he was not too clear on the history so he could only give some cursory compliments in an attempt to please Senior Gan. Yet, Senior Gan gave a light sigh rather than a pleasant look, to Liu Xun's surprise.

"Haih...proud of his achievement, huh. Yes, he was initially content with his contribution to the cultivation society. That was until his dao companion was hunted down by an evil cultivator. Ironically, the skill that was used to finish her off was a Purple Qi Sword talisman."

Liu Xun was rather shocked by his words. To create something which indirectly harmed your most precious person, Senior Dongyang must have felt very regretful. Liu Xun did not say out any words as he could not find the appropriate words to express how he was feeling. Well, Senior Gan continued his speech as he drew upon the talisman paper.

"This senior vowed for revenge as he wiped out the perpetrator as well as uproot the entire evil sect that caused this demise. Yet, her death could not be reversed. The bright young prodigy ended up depressed as he went into seclusion. Nothing much else was mentioned about his achievements from that point on. Anyways from this story, you could see that the better the sword qi and the sharper the brush strokes, the more effective the talisman would be. A layman could easily produce a Purple Sword Qi talisman as well, but its efficacy could be up to ten times weaker. That would be a waste of time and materials! So just take away that you need sharp astute brushstrokes resembling the 'Purple' as well as sword qi while drawing for 'Sword'. Legend says that the 'Qi' word could be replaced with 'Resentment' based on his past history, whereby the product is a forbidden talisman with great effects but side effects to the user as well. Personally, I haven't seen it before."

The old man continued upon his words as he rambled on while drawing upon the talisman. Once all the words were neatly written and the spell design was drawn behind in. The old man then shifted the paper aside, before placing another yellow talisman paper in front of him.

"Well, that is about the gist of it. Spell talismans can also be arranged in an array or formation which would have synergistic effects. But these are content for more advanced users, something a vagrant cultivator like me would be unable to come across easily. Do you want to try making some talismans?"

A surprising question came at the end as the old man in yellow robes drew out another brush and a smaller stack of talisman papers. Liu Xun was rather surprised by this gesture as he had not expected that he would be able to get live practice and guidance. He only expected to observe and gather knowledge from Senior Gan, which had already been immensely helpful to him. Still, the old man seemed to not mind letting him try out writing some talisman paper even if it seems to be a waste.

"Well, just don't waste my paper by drawing badly. If you understand my words, then try to mimic what I did just now. Since you know its origins and how the spell design works. You could probably make a very weak version of it. Just remember to eat one of these golden qi burst pills before starting! We do not want to weaken ourselves before a potential battle over some talisman-making practices!"

The old man rambled out as he gestured to Liu Xun to start drawing.

Hmm nowadays, I have been writing another title which is a fanfic. Anyways, I will try to advance the story to the next fight by the weekend. Then it would be a long fight.

 
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