It had been twelve hours already, and despite consuming a recovery pill, the other party hadn't fully healed from her injuries. This was a little… way too slow!
Halting her meditation, Luo Qiqi lifted her head and replied, "My injuries are too severe… Even though I've consumed medicine, I'll still require around three days to make substantial recovery, and half a month to recover to my peak state."
She had incurred serious injuries from the previous battle, and to be able to heal within three days was already an incredible feat.
After all, recovering from one's injuries wasn't like eating, where one could speed up just because one wanted to.
Hearing that she would still require such a long period of time, Zhang Xuan frowned. "The longer we wait, the more danger we are in."
While they were currently hidden by the formation, no one could guarantee that there wouldn't be any abrupt changes, especially not in a foreign place like this. Time was a luxury for them at the moment.
After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan asked, "Do you have a Qi Regeneration Pill?"
"Qi Regeneration Pill? I do," Luo Qiqi replied.
Qi Regeneration Pill was one of the most common medicaments that cultivators used to recover their zhenqi. Naturally, there were different tiers to cater to those of different cultivation realms.
Similar to Spirit Gathering Formations, a single leap in the tier of the pill would spell a world of difference in its effectiveness.
The Qi Regeneration Pill in her possession was at grade-5 primary. Even if her zhenqi were to be sapped dry, by consuming one, she would be able to recover around fifty percent of her zhenqi for a short moment to cope with any danger before her.
Flicking her wrist, she took out one.
Grabbing the pill, Zhang Xuan circled it around his fingers before passing it back. "Eat it."
"Yes!" Even though Luo Qiqi was perplexed, she still swallowed the pill.
Qi Regeneration Pills were only used to recover one's zhenqi. Given that her zhenqi was currently full at the moment, what was the use consuming it?
Just as she was bewildered by Zhang Xuan's actions, the Qi Regeneration Pill she swallowed slowly melted, and a warm surge of energy flowed through her entire body.
Wherever the energy flowed, her injuries, be they internal or external, healed at a noticeable pace. A few breaths later, she felt completely re-energized, as though a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Luo Qiqi stood up and moved her body around, and her eyes immediately widened in disbelief.
The injuries that should have taken at least half a month of recuperation actually healed right after consuming a single Qi Regeneration Pill!
"Teacher, this Qi Regeneration Pill…"
No matter how slow she might be, it was clear that her teacher had done something to the Qi Regeneration Pill to turn it into such an incredible recovery medicine.
Without even using a cauldron or adding in any medicinal herbs, just by touching it, he was able to change the property of a pill… How in the world did he do it?
Zhang Xuan waved his hands casually and instructed, "Alright, prepare yourself. We will start smithing soon!"
If they were to depend on Luo Qiqi's means of recovery, it would have been a long while before they could have started smithing anything. The only way to have healed her injuries so swiftly via his Heaven's Path zhenqi.
However, this type of zhenqi was too peculiar, and the other party was a 5-star master teacher as well. If he had infused it into the other party's body directly, there was a high chance that the other party would have noticed the peculiarity in his zhenqi. Thus, he decided to make use of an intermediary.
The Qi Regeneration Pill, which contained rampaging spiritual energy, was the best intermediary for him to store his zhenqi in. It helped to conceal the presence of his zhenqi at the initial phase, and by the time the other party realized that something was odd, his zhenqi would have already melded with the other party's zhenqi, thus making it impossible for her to investigate the matter.
In essence, it worked the same way as his Saint recovery medicinal wine as well.
Due to the spiciness of the wine, it drew one's attention away from the already nearly indiscernible Heaven's Path zhenqi.
Knowing that her teacher was unwilling to speak about the topic, Luo Qiqi also knew better than to probe the other party's secrets. Thus, she stepped up to the Crimson Blaze Cauldron.
There were all kinds of materials around the cauldron, be it coal or ores, allowing her to start smithing any time she was ready.
"Let's begin!"
Taking in a deep breath, Luo Qiqi flicked her wrist and placed the coal into the cauldron before lighting it up using a unique zhenqi infusion method. Under the infusion of her zhenqi, it didn't take long for the cauldron to grow fiery hot.
The temperature required for forging a weapon was much higher than that required to forge a pill. The surroundings were scorching, and it felt as though any sword would melt as soon as it was thrown in.
"What is the highest tier of weapons you have forged?"
Judging from the fluid movements Luo Qiqi made as she lit up the flame within the cauldron, Zhang Xuan could tell that she had a good foundation and nodded in commendation.
"Teacher, the best weapon I've ever forged is a Spirit low-tier weapon… I've never succeeded in forging a Spirit intermediate-tier weapon before…" Luo Qiqi said with a reddened face.
The basic requirement to becoming a 5-star blacksmith was to be able to forge a Spirit low-tier weapon. It seemed like she barely reached the mark.
"5-star primary blacksmith… It'll indeed be difficult for you to forge a Spirit high-tier weapon."
Zhang Xuan frowned.
Unlike pill forging, the cultivation requirement for smithing was far stricter.
For the former, as long as one refined and fused the medicinal herbs in the most accurate manner, there would be a high chance of forming a pill.
On the other hand, in smithing, if one's cultivation wasn't sufficiently high, one would be unable to bring out sufficient heat from the coal, thus making it difficult to even melt the ores. Under such circumstances, it would be difficult to forge a good weapon.
Given that Luo Qiqi had never succeeded in forging a Spirit intermediate-tier weapon, chances were that there was a huge flaw in her control over the flames. Her current cultivation realm didn't help either. If she couldn't even generate sufficient heat to melt the ores properly, how could she succeed?
With a dark expression, Zhang Xuan began scanning through the various materials which Wu Yangzi had left behind.
"Crimson Flower ore, Gild Violet ore, Cold Emerald Stone…"
Every single ore that Zhang Xuan saw only made his complexion darken further.
All of them were hard to process, and even the easiest Cold Emerald Stone demanded a minimum cultivation of Transcendent Mortal 7-dan to melt. As for Crimson Flower ore and Gild Violet ore… these would require one to be Transcendent Mortal 8-dan or even 9-dan to process!
In other words… putting aside smithing, just melting these ores would be nigh impossible for them!
After a long moment of thought, Zhang Xuan finally said, "Given your current capability and cultivation realm, forging a Spirit high-tier weapon is impossible… However, if it's just upgrading an existent weapon, it might still be possible!"
If they were unable to melt the ore, they would be unable to form metal ingots to smith weapons.
However, if it was just raising the tier of an existing weapon, the job should prove to be significantly easier.
As it was already a completed piece, they wouldn't need to melt the ores entirely to upgrade it.
Since upgrading an existing weapon could be considered as forging as well, there was unlikely to be any fuss on this aspect.
"Upgrade?" Luo Qiqi questioned a little awkwardly. "Upgrading an existing weapon would indeed be easier, just that… I lost my only Spirit intermediate-tier sword in the previous battle… not to mention, none of my weapons are upgradable!"
Upgrading a weapon may be easier, but there were specific prerequisites for a weapon to be upgradable.
She did have a Spirit intermediate-tier weapon, but it was smashed into the ceiling in the battle at the stone room earlier, and she hadn't gotten a chance to retrieve yet.
More importantly, these weapons were completed products. If they were to be tempered any further, they might exceed their limits, resulting in a fall in quality instead.
Only specific upgradable weapons could be further forged and refined.
But these types of weapons were incredibly rare, even she had hardly seen any of those. How could they find any all of a sudden, especially given that they were trapped here?
"Let's use mine then."
Flicking his wrist, Zhang Xuan took out his Glacier Rain Sword.
He had obtained this sword from the Mystical Treasure Hall back then, and it was an upgradable Spirit intermediate-tier pinnacle weapon.
"This… Alright then!"
Seeing how her teacher offered to use his own personal weapon despite the risk of having its quality lowered, Luo Qiqi felt a surge of warmth flowing through her heart.
Noticing the other party's lack of confidence, Zhang Xuan encouraged her. "There's no need to be nervous. Just do as I say, and it won't be too difficult to raise the Glacier Rain Sword to Spirit high-tier."
Having learned from the six books of Heaven's Path Smith Art, his understanding of smithing had reached a level surpassing that of even Wu Yangzi.
Even though he was unable to melt most ores due to the limitation of his cultivation, it wouldn't be too hard to raise the Glacier Rain Sword, which was already a step away from a breakthrough, to Spirit high-tier.
"However… our current goal isn't Spirit high-tier but… pinnacle!" Zhang Xuan said grimly
"Pinnacle?" Luo Qiqi was taken aback.
Reaching high-tier would meet Wu Yangzi's requirement, and they would be able to obtain the heritage already. Was there really a need to reach pinnacle?
Even ordinary 6-star blacksmiths would find it hard to craft a Spirit pinnacle weapon.
For her to do so… even if it was just upgrading, she didn't think that it was possible at all.
Zhang Xuan nodded. "I don't know what kind of ores that puppet was coated with, but ordinary weapons can hardly scratch its skin. The only way to kill it is to wield a weapon of that tier…
"Even if we obtain Wu Yangzi's heritage and find the exit, we will still be in danger as long as we are unable to get rid of this fellow. Instead of risking it, we should just forge a Spirit pinnacle weapon and slay it!"
A sharp glint flashed across Zhang Xuan's eyes as he clenched his fists tightly.
After fighting against the puppet, he realized that the only way to injure the puppet was to wield a Spirit pinnacle weapon.
Since there was a chance to upgrade his weapon now, it was best that he made full use of this opportunity and get rid of the threat looming before them.
Luo Qiqi's face twitched.
She didn't even have the confidence to upgrade the weapon to Spirit high-tier, but now she had to upgrade it to Spirit pinnacle? How was that possible?
Unconfident, Luo Qiqi said, "Teacher. Given my current capability, I can only soften the Cold Emerald Stone and refine it slightly. I won't be able to melt it entirely… As such, I don't think I'll be able to forge a Spirit pinnacle weapon!"
"Don't worry, that's enough!" Understanding her worries, Zhang Xuan smiled and reassured her.
Luo Qiqi blinked her eyes in confusion.
Cold Emerald Stone was indeed a rare and valuable ore, but it was significantly inferior to the Crimson Flower ore and Gild Violet ore.
Not to mention, her inability to fully melt the ore would make it harder to fuse it with the Glacier Rain Sword. Given that, it would be already difficult to raise it to Spirit high-tier, needless to say, pinnacle.
How could she possibly succeed?
"Of the entire smithing process, what is the most important step to making a weapon sharper and harder?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"It's… quenching!" Luo Qiqi replied.
Quenching could induce a qualitative change in a weapon through fusing the various materials within it better.
Performing the quenching process well could cause a significant quality difference in two weapons forged using the same materials and smithing techniques.
Using pill forging as an analogy, the more thoroughly the various medicinal herbs were fused together, the higher the quality of the formed pills.
As such, quenching was an extremely important process that would determine the ultimate tier of the weapon.
It was a technique that countless blacksmith dreamt of mastering, but very few succeeded.
Zhang Xuan chuckled.
"Indeed, it's quenching! Under normal circumstances, the greater the difference in temperature, the better the effects of the quenching. However, given the limitations of your cultivation, it'll be impossible for us to raise the temperature to a satisfactory level. Since that's the case… we can always lower the temperature required for quenching!"



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