Chapter 136: Crafting
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Aalam

Aalam was enjoying his new skills. Psyforce Construction (F-Epic), Mana Construction (F-Epic), and Qi Construction (F-Epic) all allowed him to use the given resource to mold a material into the shape of his desire. Psyforce Material Cleansing (F-Epic), Mana Material Cleansing (F-Epic), and Qi Material Cleansing (F-Epic) each allowed him to cleanse the material of impurities using their given resource. And Psyforce Material Strengthening (F-Epic), Mana Material Strengthening (F-Epic), and Qi Material Strengthening (F-Epic) allowed him to strengthen the material with their resource and the power of his Laws.

With the nine Epic grade skills, he could merge three Legendary skills and then, with the three Legendary skills, he could merge one Heroic grade skill, Triforce Construction. The nine Epic grade skills together had pretty much the same effect as the Heroic grade Triforce Construction, though, so Aalam didn’t have to worry about waiting until he merged his skills to start using the best materials he had available.

He did, however, want to wait until his personal ability with the skills was better, so he was first practicing only with materials sourced from the various powers on Earth. The planet hadn’t had enough time to form any truly high grade materials, so there wasn’t much of a loss if he messed up.

And, beyond his expectations, mess up he did, over and over again for the first several days.

Cleansing materials was easy, especially when his Law Larva of Cleansing improved to high grade after working at it for a few days, and strengthening materials was quite easy as well, especially when his Law Larvae of Matter, Solid, and Liquid all improved to high grade. But moving materials with just his resources was hard. There wasn’t only a visualization component. That part he found easy. The energy control was just really difficult.

He hadn’t practiced a cultivation technique yet, so his resource control was much, much worse than Mila, Diana, or Isaiah. Thus, over the first few days working in his crafting hall in the enlightenment zone, while wasting many, many materials, his energy control increased at a rapid rate even without a cultivation technique and it was so much fun to see the obvious improvement every day.

Always being pulled away from his work for two hours at 9 am, however, was not fun. Diana would drag him to the teleportation portal—well, more like just glare at him until he did what she wanted—and then Epecteos would have him take out his bastard sword and practice the same movements while the old man sparred with Isaiah and his sister.

It was the same movements every day, with Epecteos stepping down from the air to correct him if he ever messed anything up, and the movements were incredibly boring. Also, after watching Diana and Isaiah get their asses handed to them for the 104th time, watching their many, many practice duels was starting to get boring as well.

Epecteos began always using a bastard sword when facing Isaiah and Diana about half way through Aalam’s first lesson, and each fight he would infuse his body with a different element, showing off each of his twelve styles in turn. But, while this was definitely enlightening, allowing Aalam to advance several of his Laws more quickly and helping him integrate his use of resources into his monotonous sword movements, it also showed Aalam very clearly how far he had to go, and it was very, very far.

With artifacts, Heroic grade was the best he could do at F rank for anything other than one time use items, but combat skill seemed like a deep well he could never get to the bottom of, and he just didn’t enjoy it as much as crafting.

Mila had given him thousands of blueprints earned from the Trial Tower before she left, all of them for F rank artifacts, and the grades of the items he could make by following the blueprints ranged from Common all the way to Heroic grade.

Starting with the Common grade blueprints, Aalam repeatedly attempted to craft the artifacts requiring resources he had an abundance of until he successfully crafted three, depositing both the useful failures and the successes in a set of spatial storage rings Diana had provided for the purposes.

“How can you do that for so long?” Isaiah asked one day, having taken up the habit of practicing his cultivation technique in a corner of Aalam’s crafting hall while Aalam was working. “You’ve been shaping that same box for five hours now.”

“How can you keep getting your ass handed to you by Epecteos for ten hours a day?” Aalam didn’t move his head from looking at the artifact which was taking form in front of him, about 400 kg of the frost iron stolen from the Ice Giant’s warehouse flowing like liquid in the air in the shape of a hollow three meter cube.

Isaiah shrugged and Aalam could see it using both his aura and Sensory Domain. “It’s fun.”

“And I enjoy this.” After five hours of cleansing the metal of contaminants, strengthening it to the best of his ability, and forming it into a perfect cube, Aalam began using his three construction skills along with Runescriber to start forming runes inside the material, a process which would take another hour or so. “Watching something transform from raw materials into a fully functional piece of machinery under my personal manipulations is probably the most rewarding feeling there is.”

“What are you building?”

Isaiah sounded genuinely interested, so Aalam answered.

“When it’s done, I’ll cut a doorway in it and it will be a walk in refrigerator.”

“Wait.” Isaiah’s expression and aura both showed surprise. “So you’re spending over a quarter of a day on a refrigerator?”

Aalam actually turned his head to look at Isaiah, starting to frown as he grew a bit angry. “Being able to refrigerate food allows it to last multiple times longer, giving people access to a healthier and better balanced diet. At higher grades, a refrigerator might not be as valuable as a spear, but for commoners it is far more useful.”

Isaiah looked up through the marble and glass geodesic dome and appeared to think for a few seconds. “On certain types of worlds, like Earth before the integration, yes. On other types of worlds, where hunting or protection of the home is more required, no.”

Aalam absorbed that statement, thought about it for a second, and then realized he might be wrong. “Good point.”

“Still, though, my confusion was less about what you were making than the time you’ve been spending making it. I’ve seen you create other artifacts in a matter of minutes.”

“Oh.” Aalam nodded and looked back at the artifact he was creating. “This is my first attempt at an Uncommon grade artifact without using Uncommon or higher grade materials, so I’m putting extra effort in.

“We have a lot of really nice materials, and I need to get my skills up to a level where I can actually improve on their quality.” Aalam raised his left hand to show the Left Hand of the Runescribe. “This for example was made from materials far more valuable than I truly realized at the time, but its design is flawed and can only make use of about 50% of the materials’ power. So, I need to get skilled enough to drastically increase that percentage when it advances to E rank.”

“Got it.” Isaiah stood up from his normal meditating posture and walked over to the side of the crafting hall where Camoran’s 93rd and 97th Puzzle Books were resting on a counter. “And you’re mostly doing that through the creation of more powerful runes?”

“Yes.”

Isaiah looked over at him, his face and aura both showing interest. “And those same runes can also be used to create temporary skills?”

“What do you think skills are, Isaiah?”

Both Isaiah’s expression and aura showed he was unsure, but he made a guess anyway. “I feel like the answer will be something like runes carved into a cultivator’s soul, but, if that is the case, I didn’t know that before.”

“Pretty much.” Aalam’s main mind kept working on carving runes into the artifact he was creating while one of his side minds handled talking to Isaiah. “From Nana Xara’s information packets, classes are more like clothes added to a cultivator’s soul, not quite intrinsically part of the soul itself, and the skills are carved into the soul substance that makes up classes instead of the soul, but otherwise you’re pretty much correct.

“Runes are fundamentally just specialized ways to move qi, mana, or psyforce to produce an effect. Nothing more, nothing less. There are complications and requirements, such as the environment the resources are flowing through being able to hold the resources without breaking down, something soul substance is the best at stopping, thus making high level skills much easier to create than high level runes, but anything a skill can do can be achieved with runes as well, as they are fundamentally the same thing.”

“That’s just cool, Aalam.”

Aalam turned to look at Isaiah again, but this time with a look of excitement on his face. “I know, right?”

 

Congratulations!

Your Law Larva of Passion has advanced to high grade.

 

Your soul is affected by your understanding of Law.

Spirit +256, Soul +128

 

Spirit is already at maximum.

Nascent Energy Converter ability activated.

Free stats +256

 

Soul is already at maximum.

Nascent Energy Converter ability activated.

Free stats +128


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