Humanity's Great Sage

Humanity’s Great Sage – Chapter 315, Forging A Ward Flag


Translator: Truth

Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys


Of course, Lu Ye wasn’t going to absorb the Earth Fire with the Tree of Glyphs. Bai Qian had brought him here to do him a good deed, to steal the fire source his sect relied on would be beyond the pale.


The furnace was bright red when Elder Bai tossed a metal ingot into the opening. While doing so, he decided to test Lu Ye’s knowledge. “What should you look for when choosing the materials to make a ward flag and a ward keystone?”


“I would look for a light but tough metal that has excellent Spiritual Power conductivity. Honeycomb Steel and Black Iron are among the most commonly used metals when forging both items. If necessary, some Spirit Beasts’ skin can be made into the flag…”


Lu Ye recalled Bai Qian’s teaching and answered diligently. The old man nodded in satisfaction before launching into a couple more questions. Lu Ye was able to answer them all in short order.


“Remember that theory is just theory. If you cannot master both theory and implementation, then you are no more than an armchair strategist.”


The metal ingots Bai Qian had tossed into the furnace quickly melted into red hot liquid. He snatched it out of the furnace using his Spiritual Power and shaped it into a ward flag in an instant.

“When your Spiritual Power control has reached a certain level, you’ll be able to forge a ward flag with just your power. Otherwise, you can use a mold to achieve more or less the same result.”


While saying this, Bai Qian sent the molten metal into an inlay mold on the forging table. It was none other than the mold used to make ward flags.


After waiting a bit for the metal to cool, Bai Qian placed the heated metal on the face of the forging table, grabbed the hammer and swung.


It was just one strike, but Lu Ye heard a rapid of clangs as if the old man had struck the metal in rapid succession. For a moment, he was unable to distinguish what was real and what wasn’t.


“Ward flags and Spirit Artifacts require exceptional Spiritual Power control to forge because the source of their power comes from the enhancements. They could be made of the most precious materials in the world, and they would be nothing more than an empty shell if they didn’t have any enhancements. 


“An outstanding artificer is capable of altering the internal structure of a Spirit Artifact to form enhancements during the forging process. In fact, some artificers could use one type of material to form the shell and another to form the enhancements before combining them to make a more powerful end product. However, that is an extremely high level technique, and I am unable to perform it because I have no talent in this way.”


Bai Qian continued to hammer away at the metal as he spoke to Lu Ye. When Lu Ye looked closely, he discovered that the hammer would vibrate violently every time Bai Qian brought it down on the metal. That was why he heard a series of clangs instead of one. Lu Ye empowered his eyes with Insight to get a better look, and just as Bai Qian had said the interior of the heated metal was changing ever so slightly and forming many enhancements.


“This is why I said that a Fire Attribute cultivator who cultivates a fire-type cultivation technique like you possess a natural talent in forging. Once your skills have grown to a certain point, you’ll be able to forge whatever you want using any forging technique without having to rely on external help. Of course, you do not need to think about this right now. At your current level, there is nothing more important than building a solid foundation.”


“I understand.”


The incessant clangs lasted only an incense stick or so. Soon, a palm-sized, fully-functional ward flag was complete.


The metal itself was just a medium though. The enhancements within the metal was what made it a ward flag. Its function varied depending on the enhancements as well. A single ward flag was useless though. One could only create or breach wards by coordinating multiple ward flags.


Now that Lu Ye had witnessed the entire process, Lu Ye discovered that it wasn’t difficult to forge a ward flag at all. In fact, anyone with a mold could create the medium of a ward flag, appearance be damned. The hard part was forming the enhancements within the metal.


This was very different from constructing a Glyph via his own Spiritual Power. Right now, his control was good enough that he could construct even the Glyphs in the books with relative ease. But to hammer them into existence and join them into multiple enhancements inside a ward flag? It was a kind of a difficulty he had never experienced before.


“It’s your turn now!”


Lu Ye nodded. In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not. Although Bai Qian had demonstrated to him how to forge a ward flag, he was sure there were intricacies he wouldn’t realize until he had tried his hands at forging himself. 


So, he accepted a metal ingot from Bai Qian and tossed it into the furnace. After it had melted into liquid, he snatched it into the air with his Spiritual Power and dropped it within the mold. After waiting a bit for it to cool, he grabbed the hammer and, while recalling Bai Qian’s methods in his hands, swung it at the heated metal.


It was only one swing, but two distinct clangs resounded in the chamber. As Lu Ye continued, his Spiritual Power began to grow out of control.


“This is just the beginning, so take it slow. First, you need to learn how to inject your Spiritual Power into the metal via hammering. Then, you need to learn how to alter its internal structure with your Spiritual Power. Only by familiarizing yourself with these two steps can you begin to form enhancements within the ward flag,” Bai Qian advised dutifully.


“I understand.”


Cling-clang, cling-clang…


It wasn’t long before Lu Ye was drenched in hot sweat. From time to time, Bai Qian would give him valuable advice that clearly highlighted his mistakes and deficiencies, allowing him to try and fix them immediately. 


For a time, it seemed like the cycle of failure would never end. The good news was that the material wasn’t wasted since he could simply toss the ward flag into the furnace and melt it into a puddle if he failed. The Soul Cleansing Water he gifted Bai Qian before was starting to pay its dividends as well. If it wasn’t for the gift, Bai Qian would not have taught Lu Ye so patiently and without reservation no matter how much he appreciated his talent. He wasn’t a disciple of the Heavenly Derivative Sect after all.


A whole day later, Lu Ye finally managed to create a coarse-looking ward flag.


Bai Qian inspected it a bit before nodding, “Acceptable. There is still much room for improvement though. Let us continue.”


Armed with that one successful experience, the next couple ward flags came to Lu Ye much easier than before. According to Bai Qian’s teaching, the most basic set of ward flags consisted of thirty six ward flags in total. That was all he needed at his current cultivation level.


For now, he did not need more advanced ward flags. He could consider them once he had increased his cultivation level and his attainment in the Way of Wards.


At the beginning, Lu Ye could only construct one ward flag a day. The process was that difficult. It was easy to alter the internal structure of a ward flag in one hammer swing, but to shape into the unique patterns of a Glyph? That was a completely different story. Moreover, one mistake was all it took for the ward flag to be thrown back into the furnace.


According to Bai Qian, true master artificers could create a Glyph in one hammer swing. It guaranteed that the forging was more efficient, and the margin of error was much bigger.


It was even simpler for a Fire Attribute cultivator who cultivated a fire-type cultivation technique like Lu Ye. Supposedly, he could alter the internal structure of a ward flag directly with their Spiritual Power when his cultivation was high enough. This would allow him to skip the hammering process completely.


Half a month had passed by the time Lu Ye managed to forge the most basic set of ward flags. When Lu Ye stepped out of the forge with Bai Qian, he felt as if it had been ages since he stepped under the sunlight.


“You should head back and rest for the day. Tomorrow, I will take you to the Hundred Wards Tower myself,” Bai Qian instructed after leading Lu Ye back to his room. He then left the young man to his own devices.


Lu Ye went to the bed immediately after he bade Bai Qian goodbye. He was out like a light the second his head hit the pillow.


He had barely gotten any rest during the half a month he forged the ward flags. His fatigue was only natural.


When he woke up, Yi Yi had already prepared a tableful of delicious food for him. He regained his energy only after he had stuffed himself like a pig.


Bai Qian showed up as he promised he would. He wrapped Lu Ye in his Spiritual Power before flying in a certain direction. They soon arrived at a valley.


There was a stone tower that was at least a hundred meters tall and dozens of meters wide in the middle of the valley. It looked as ancient as time itself.


It was the reason Lu Ye had come to the Heavenly Derivative Sect in the first place, the Hundred Wards Tower.


He had underestimated the preparation he needed to make at the beginning. In fact, he was going to enter the Hundred Wards Tower as soon as he arrived at the sect. In reality, it had taken him one and a half months just to further his studies in the Way of Wards and learn how to forge ward flags under Bai Qian.


It was worth it though. As the saying went, sharpening an axe will not delay the work of cutting firewood.


Just like the time at the forge, the Heavenly Derivative Sect had evacuated everyone in the Hundred Wards Tower and put the valley itself under lockdown. It was to prevent the fact that Lu Ye was still alive from leaking.


The Hundred Wards Tower really was incomplete. On the surface, it looked like a tower that had been snapped in half by some sort of unimaginable force. The upper portion of its body was completely missing.


In fact, Zhao Li had told him that the Hundred Wards Tower was split into three portions. The first portion was in front of him right now, the second portion was in the Cloud River Battlefield, and no one knew where the last portion was. It had never shown up.


There was a stele at the base of the tower. Aura circulated across its surface, and from time to time it would manifest some random patterns that seemed to make no sense whatsoever. At the very least, Lu Ye wasn’t able to make heads or tails of it.


“It was theorized that this stele is really a ranking list,” Bai Qian explained. “Supposedly, all those who challenged the Hundred Wards Tower and put on an exceptional performance would be recorded in this stele for all future challengers to admire. Since the tower is incomplete, the stele is unable to function properly. Perhaps it will return to normal once the Hundred Wards Tower is whole once more.”


He then turned around and shot Lu Ye a serious look. “You have researched the Hundred Wards Tower to an extent, so you must know that it is both a place of opportunity and danger. No matter what happens, do not push yourself beyond your limits, understand?”


“I understand.”


As Bai Qian said, Lu Ye had researched the Hundred Wards Tower thoroughly during his stay, so he knew Bai Qian wasn’t trying to intimidate him. Everyone knew that challenging the Hundred Wards Tower was incredibly beneficial to one’s attainment in the Way of Wards. In fact, there wasn’t a single Grand Sky Coalition ward cultivator worth their salt who didn’t want to challenge the tower at least once in their life. The good news was that the Heavenly Derivative Sect welcomed all these people with open arms. They never even charged their fellow cultivators an entrance fee. The networking opportunities it brought alone was worth it.


However, the Hundred Wards Tower was also a very dangerous place, and it wasn’t just the wards that posed a threat to the cultivators. The reward one obtained after clearing a floor itself was dangerous.


This was why a lot of ward cultivators had died while challenging the Hundred Wards Tower. A good number of them were geniuses too.




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