Library of Heaven is Path
1207 Leaving Aperture Ordeal
Saint 5-dan Leaving Aperture realm was the level where a cultivator's Primordial Spirit gained the ability to leave its physical body and survive for a prolonged period of time independently, but in order to do so, the cultivator had to undergo the Leaving Aperture Ordeal first.
While artifacts were able to reach the Leaving Aperture realm as well, their spirits were unable to make the metamorphosis into Primordial Spirits. As a result, unlike normal cultivators, they were unable to leave the confines of their body. Nevertheless, they would still gain the ability to grow hands and legs, granting them greater ease and flexibility of movements.
The Golden Origin Cauldron had already been at Half-Leaving Aperture realm prior to the upgrading, and after having the Black Goldcrystal Ore fused into it, it successfully overcame its previous bottleneck and drew in the Leaving Aperture Ordeal.
Dark clouds swiftly gathered in the area, causing the darkness to spread. A powerful gale raged, tearing apart the roof of the Forging Hall, exposing the room to the world.
This was the first time that most blacksmiths in the room had witnessed an artifact's Leaving Aperture Ordeal, and they stared at the sight before them intently as their bodies trembled in excitement.
A deafening peal of thunder rumbled as countless blue streaks of lightning tangled with one another within the dark clouds.
"Why would the cauldron draw in the Leaving Aperture Ordeal despite having yet to be tempered? Does Zhang shi not intend to temper it?" Guild Leader Qin asked in confusion.
There were three main steps to smithing and upgrading a weapon. First, the fusing of the ores to form a suitable alloy. Second, the forging of the alloy into the correct form. Third, the tempering of the formed artifact to enhance its durability and flexibility!
Most blacksmiths would be able to grasp the first two steps with sufficient practice. What was truly difficult to master was the third one.
Whether an artifact would be able to achieve true perfection depended on how well the blacksmith was able to conduct the tempering.
There were many techniques used in the forging process that he was not able to understand, so he had thought that the tempering stage would be an eye-opener for him as well, allowing him to catch a glimpse into the prowess of a true genius blacksmith. Yet, before the tempering could be carried out, the Leaving Aperture Ordeal had already fallen!
"It's not that he doesn't intend to temper his cauldron; he is going to temper it now," Master Lin Jie replied hoarsely, his quivering tone reflecting his disbelief at the situation.
"He's intending to temper it now? Wait a moment, Master Lin Jie, you don't mean that… Zhang shi intends to use the Leaving Aperture Ordeal to temper his cauldron?" Guild Leader Qin froze upon hearing those words, and his eyes bulged in disbelief.
Master Lin Jie nodded. "That seems to be the case. He's probably intending to use the lightning to temper his cauldron to perfection."
"But the devastating might of the Leaving Aperture Ordeal is one that could incapacitate even True Leaving Aperture realm experts! To temper an artifact that rose to Leaving Aperture realm just a moment ago with the Leaving Aperture Ordeal is utter madness!" Guild Leader Qin exclaimed in shock.
At this moment, he really felt that Zhang Xuan had gone insane.
In the Leaving Aperture Ordeal, one would have to undergo a lightning tribulation, which was the nemesis of souls and spirits alike! Even True Leaving Aperture realm experts would cower from it, not daring to take it head on.
Even though the deceased Pavilion Master Gou had long reached the Leaving Aperture realm, he still had not dared to undergo the Leaving Aperture Ordeal due to his old age, fearing that his soul would dissipate.
While everyone was eager to avoid the Leaving Aperture Ordeal, that fellow was actually intending to use the lightning to temper his artifact!
Wasn't he being too gutsy?
That was truly playing with fire! The slightest mistake could very well render all the effort he had put into upgrading his artifact futile. More importantly, if the Golden Origin Cauldron failed to withstand the lighting ordeal, it could very well explode on the spot!
That would be equivalent to the explosion of a Leaving Aperture realm cultivator! The entire Blacksmith Guild and everything in its vicinity would be utterly obliterated!
"Elders, begin evacuating everyone from the area!" Guild Leader Qin could not afford to take this risk, so he quickly issued commands.
Even if the Blacksmith Guild was destroyed, as long as their men remained, they would at least still be able to rebuild it.
But the problem was that all of the 7-star blacksmiths in Qingyuan City were currently gathered in this room to listen to Master Lin Jie's lecture. If all of them were killed due to this, the Qingyuan Empire Blacksmith Guild would really become a thing of the past.
"Everyone, hurry up and flee!"
"Quick, contact the Master Teacher Pavilion and have them dispatch some personnel here! If something goes wrong, it could end in a disaster!"
The other blacksmiths also swiftly came to realize the grave danger they were in, and their faces turned ghastly pale. They hurriedly rushed out of the Blacksmith Guild and dashed into the distance.
Soon, only Zhang Xuan, Chu Xiang, Master Lin Jie, and Guild Leader Qin were left in the room.
In this moment, Chu Xiang's face was pale in fright as well, and his body would not stop trembling. He quickly turned his gaze toward Zhang Xuan, only to see the latter standing with his hands behind his back, looking at the sparks of lightning in the sky calmly. Not only was there not the slightest hint of fear to be seen on his face, there was even a tangible vibe of excitement around him.
"Zhang shi…" Chu Xiang gulped as he called out to Zhang Xuan in apprehension, perhaps wanting to seek comfort from the other party's words in this unnerving situation.
Seeing through Chu Xiang's worries, Zhang Xuan replied with a light chuckle. "There's no need to worry. Just a mere Leaving Aperture Ordeal, the Golden Origin Cauldron will be able to survive it with ease!"
Normal tempering would be able to further the effects of the Black Goldcrystal Ore on the Golden Origin Cauldron as well, but the results would not be as pronounced as tempering through lightning. By tapping into the lightning energy in the Leaving Aperture Ordeal, not only would it perfect the fusion between the Black Goldcrystal Ore and the Golden Origin Cauldron, more importantly, it would grant the latter the Power of Lightning as well.
The Power of Lightning would put the Golden Origin Cauldron at a decisive advantage when facing other Leaving Aperture realm experts!
While the others were still in a state of shock, the first streak of lightning descended from the heavens.
It struck the Golden Origin Cauldron squarely, but surprisingly, the latter managed to absorb it easily without any problems. Its exterior became even more lustrous, and its structure seemed to have become more compact and firmer.
"This…" Master Lin Jie was astonished by how easily the Golden Origin Cauldron managed to withstand the lightning strike. "Given that the cauldron is a Saint intermediate-tier artifact, and the Black Goldcrystal Ore has been fused into it, it's understandable how its body is able to withstand the first lightning strike easily. But how could its spirit remain completely unharmed?"
Possessing the yin attribute, spirits and souls were innately weak against lightning!
Once the lightning was absorbed into the artifact, the spirit would naturally be devastated by the Power of Lightning as well, possibly even resulting in its dissipation.
Yet, the spirit of the cauldron was completely unfazed by the lightning. In fact, it was even shaking its body gleefully in the air, as if provoking the lightning in the heavens to give it its best shot…
Just what the heck was going on?
Seeing how frenzied Master Lin Jie was from being unable to comprehend the situation before him, Zhang Xuan shook his head and explained, "The spirit of the Golden Origin Cauldron has been tempered by lightning once in the past, thus granting it some degree of immunity to lightning. While the lightning tribulation in the Leaving Aperture Ordeal isn't weak, it is no longer sufficient to cause significant damage to the Golden Origin Cauldron."
Back in their expedition in the Qiu Wu Palace, the Golden Origin Cauldron had exposed itself to concentrated streaks of lightning in order to shield the rest of the expedition team from harm. Eventually, its spirit had ended up falling into a dormant state from the immense damage it had sustained. While it had nearly lost its life from the encounter, surviving the ordeal had made its spirit more resilient than ever.
Even though there had not been anyone managing the grade-8 lightning formation then, its might was still something that a Leaving Aperture Ordeal could not compare to.
It was due to that experience that Zhang Xuan dared use lightning to temper the Golden Origin Cauldron.
"It has been tempered by lightning in the past?" Master Lin Jie nodded in realization. Everything made sense if that was the case, but soon, worry surfaced in his eyes. "The Leaving Aperture Ordeal is divided into primary stage, intermediate stage, advanced stage, and pinnacle. May I know what realm the Golden Origin Cauldron is at currently?"
When Leaving Aperture realm cultivators achieved a breakthrough to primary stage, they would undergo their first lightning ordeal, which consisted of a single streak of lightning. Even though it was only a single streak, its might was not to be underestimated. Nevertheless, if a cultivator successfully withstood it, their Primordial Spirit would become significantly more resilient once it had recovered from the injuries it had sustained.
Fortunately, it would take an ordinary cultivator several decades or even a century in order to cultivate from Leaving Aperture realm primary stage to intermediate stage, giving them sufficient time to recover from the damage caused by the lightning ordeal. With that, it would become much easier for it to survive the lightning ordeal during their breakthrough to intermediate stage.
However, this was different for artifacts.
Artifacts could be upgraded several cultivation stages at once. If the Golden Origin Cauldron was upgraded to Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle in a single go, it would have to undergo the primary stage, intermediate stage, advanced stage, and pinnacle lightning ordeals consecutively without any time to recover in between the ordeals!
In the face of four consecutive lightning ordeals, no matter how powerful the spirit was, its defenses would gradually be worn thin before eventually dissipating.
Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before replying. "Chu Xiang's forging technique is still slightly lacking, so he inevitably made a few minor errors in the forging process. As such, the Golden Origin Cauldron was unable to achieve a breakthrough to Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle. So, it should currently be at advanced stage."
While the Black Goldcrystal Ore had the incredible effect of raising an artifact's tier, the materials that the Golden Origin Cauldron was made of were simply too weak, thus limiting how much it could be upgraded. Furthermore, Chu Xiang's proficiency in his forging techniques were also slightly lacking as well, so even though there was no error in Zhang Xuan's guidance, it had still met its bottleneck at Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage.
Nevertheless, the Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage Golden Origin Cauldron was not to be underestimated.
At Saint 5-dan, the advancement of every single cultivation stage became incredibly difficult, with bottlenecks at every turn.
With the Golden Origin Cauldron's current cultivation and the Power of Lightning it would wield after its tempering, ordinary Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle cultivators would not be a match for it. Putting aside the Qingyuan Empire, the Golden Origin Cauldron would probably go unmatched even in the Qianchong Empire!
Master Lin Jie's lips twitched upon hearing those words, and a worried frown emerged on his face. "Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage? Doesn't that mean that it'll have to undergo three consecutive lightning ordeals? That will be dangerous!"
Since the Golden Origin Cauldron had reached Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage in a breath, it would have to undergo the primary stage, intermediate stage, and advanced stage lightning ordeal consecutively. Each one would be more fearsome than the last, and to clear all three of them was nigh impossible!
"I know." Zhang Xuan nodded. "However, I believe that my Golden Origin Cauldron will be able to succeed!"
How could one see the rainbow without weathering the storm?
The Golden Origin Cauldron might have appeared immature and unreliable at times, but it was still a spirit that had lived for innumerable years, nourished by the spirit of countless master teachers.
Since it had survived the field of lightning back at the Qiu Wu Palace, Zhang Xuan believed that it would surely be able to withstand the Leaving Aperture Ordeal as well.
While they were still chatting with one another, the second streak of lightning fell.
The energy harnessed within this lightning bolt was more destructive than the previous one, and even the air seemed to char from the overwhelming energy it possessed.
When the lightning bolt struck the Golden Origin Cauldron, the latter shuddered slightly. Under the devastating might of the lightning streak, it was unable to keep itself in the air any longer, and it fell heavily onto the ground, leaving a massive depression in its wake.
Even though it was a tough fight, the Golden Origin Cauldron eventually managed to withstand it.
Hong long long!
As soon as the second streak of lightning came to an end, the third streak fell before anyone could respond.
The deep-blue third streak of lightning had a width reminiscent of a large water vat, and it ripped through the air with incredible momentum to strike the Golden Origin Cauldron.
Seeing the astounding might of the lightning, the composure of Zhang Xuan's face finally cracked, revealing a hint of anxiety. "Sh*t! The lightning ordeal is stronger than I thought; the Golden Origin Cauldron might not be able to withstand it!"
As much as he trusted the Golden Origin Cauldron, the third streak of lightning was simply too powerful. If the cauldron took it head on, there was really a good chance that its spirit would dissipate on the spot.
"Golden Origin Cauldron, swallow the earth flames and use them to neutralize the might of the lightning!" Zhang Xuan immediately commanded as he flicked his wrist and whipped out a bunch of formation flags.
Sou sou sou sou!
The formation flags fell into the surroundings of the Golden Origin Cauldron, forming an even more powerful formation to tap into the earth flames underground.
Since the lightning was too powerful for the Golden Origin Cauldron to withstand by itself, they would just have to find another power to offset its might!
And the strongest power that they could tap at this moment were the earth flames!
Due to the powerful pull of the formation, raging earth flames were forcefully dragged from beneath the earth, generating a violet inferno in the area.
The Golden Origin Cauldron also knew that it was a do-or-die situation. Struggling out of the depression it was in, it opened its lid and swiftly absorbed the purple inferno into it.
The flames circulated within the Golden Origin Cauldron's body before bursting forth in the form of a fiery dragon.
The fiery dragon soared into the sky, clashing straight on with the third streak of lightning.
A powerful shockwave rippled into the surroundings, shaking the heavens and earth alike. In the blink of an eye, the entire Blacksmith Guild was torn down as if it was a mere sheet of paper.
"My guild!" Guild Leader Qin widened his eyes in horror.
Didn't you say that you weren't here to crash my Blacksmith Guild? I gave you permission to upgrade your weapon, and yet, you still ended up destroying my building. How do you expect me to face my predecessors now!Just a reminder, the Qianchong Empire is the strongest Conferred Empire whereas the Qingyuan Empire is ranked last. The Qianchong Empire also contains the Sword Lagoon, which the candidates of the Combat Master Halls were vying for a while back.