Splitting the Heave

Chapter 499: Entering the Mysterious World

There were 3 rank four talisman inheritances recorded in the Zhu Family Talisman Scripture but because they belonged to Shang Xia, he never handed them over to the institution.

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Because of that, there were only 8 rank four talisman inheritances that belonged to the institution. One of them was the Abyssal Void Shattering Talisman Shang Xia just handed over to them.

Of the 8, Shang Xia only had experience in crafting the Spiritual Protection Substitution Talisman.

Naturally, it would be impossible for Shang Xia to craft all 8 different rank four talismans with the 14 pieces of rank four talisman paper he was given.

From what he estimated, he would be able to craft 4 or 5 of them at best.

Talisman crafting was an intricate task at the end of the day. Shang Xia needed to make his preparations and it was especially so before he could use his unique method of talisman crafting. He needed to run through every step of the crafting process before he even moved his brush before he could be confident of success.

In the following days, Shang Xia remained in his secret chamber to think about the crafting process for the rest of the talismans. He also waited patiently for the rest of the resources he required to arrive.

Like every other day, Shang Xia had been circulating his Four Seasons Extermination Origins while cultivating. Cultivation was a long and arduous process to begin with and Shang Xia’s increase in strength had been too rapid previously. That was why he had been taking out time every day to consolidate his foundations. 

He felt a disturbance from the corner of his divine perception all of a sudden and discovered Ren Huan approaching his secret chamber.

Slowly retracting his inner qi, Shang Xia calmed his breathing by the time Ren Huan arrived.

“Brother Shang, am I disturbing you?” Ren Huan’s voice came from outside. His tone was extremely gentle and he didn’t dare to raise his voice too much when he came. He might be able to call the Martial Extermination Realm Shang Xia his fellow brother, but he knew that he had to ensure his actions didn’t go overboard.

Shang Xia chuckled in amusement, “I’m having a break right now. Brother Ren, please enter.” 

The moment Ren Huan entered the room, Shang Xia saw a wooden plate in his hands that contained several stacks of talisman paper and several chunks of solidified ink.

A light lit up in Shang Xia’s eyes and he gasped, “Brother Ren, how did you manage to craft so much Abyssal Talisman Paper and Ink so quickly? There are even rank four talisman papers among them!” 

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Placing the wooden plate down, Ren Huan chuckled bitterly, “Brother Shang, you’re kidding. How can this be considered quick? These are rank one and two Abyssal Talisman Paper, but I managed to make them easily due to their low rank. There are only 3 pieces of rank four Abyssal Talisman Paper in here and there are only two chunks of Abyssal Ink. These are of the first and second rank. It’s difficult for them to craft rank three Abyssal Ink…’ 

Back when Shang Xia handed Ren Huan the recipe for rank four Abyssal Ink, he also included the recipe for Abyssal Talisman Paper. 

Both items would be able to greatly benefit the crafting of those talismans in the Abyssal Series but they could also be used to craft other talismans.

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After mentioning the ordinary talisman paper and ink that Shang Xia had mentioned before that should be created as soon as possible, Ren Huan pointed to the 2 pieces of rank four talisman paper and muttered, “These are the treasures that I have been collecting for some time now. All of these are my personal property. Now that you have a need, please use them first.” 

Shang Xia quickly rejected Ren Huan’s goodwill, “This… I can’t…” 

Before Shang Xia could finish, Ren Huan interrupted, “Brother Shang, do you think I can do anything with 2 pieces of rank four talisman paper even if I kept them?” 

Shang Xia stared at him in shock as he continued, “I will have to get someone to turn them into rank four talismans anyway. You might as well be the one to use them.” 

“These… If I manage to turn them into rank four talismans, Brother Ren has to keep one!” Shang Xia muttered.

Ren Huan wanted to say something else, but Shang Xia waved his hands in dismissal. “Brother Rem, there’s no need to say anymore!” 

After chatting for a little more, the two of them eventually started to talk about the crafting of tools.

Ren Huan might not know anything about crafting talismans, but he knew quite a bit about talisman paper, talisman ink, brushes, the paperweight that was used to hold the talisman paper, and even the incense Shang Xia burned during the crafting process.

Shang Xia’s knowledge in the way of talismans was deep, but there wasn’t much else. As a qualified talisman master, Shang Xia felt that he should at least learn a little about the others.

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In the end, Shang Xia was the person who learned from Ren Huan most of the time. The fatty spent almost all his time teaching Shang Xia everything he wished to know.

Luckily, Ren Huan was a master at keeping track of the situation. Realizing that Shang Xia’s time was precious, he chose to take his leave even though they were having such a pleasant conversation. Before he left, he asked, “Brother Shang, do you know that our Talisman Hall might possess 14 rank four talisman papers, but there are more in the institution?” 

“Huh?” Shang Xia stared at him in confusion for a moment before looking at the additional rank four talisman paper Ren Huan provided. A look of contemplation formed on his face.

Another two days had passed and Shang Xia slapped the Spatial Pouch in his hands. He thought about how he had basically gathered all the resources he required and decided to start heading for the back mountains of the Tongyou Institution.

That was where the entrance to the Tongyou Mysterious World lay and it was protected by the experts of the Protection Division. Unfortunately, Shang Xia didn’t run into Song You, the head of the Protection Division when he arrived.

Shang Xia heard that the institution had been increasing their support for Martial Extermination Realm experts after the events that happened in the battlefield between the two worlds. Yuan Zhen, Song You, and Qian Sitong who had broken through with the institution’s help were probably in the Tongyou Mysterious World to consolidate their foundations. 

The person in charge of security was a Martial Intent Realm cultivator and even he naturally wouldn’t offend Shang Xia for the fun of it. He quickly sent Shang Xia on his way after some quick checks. After learning about Shang Xia’s identity, the disciple in charge of security even had some intentions of currying favor.

When Shang Xia arrived earlier, he had seen several familiar faces. They were students who studied in the same batch as himself but when they met him, none of them dared to meet his gaze. Shang Xia chose to ignore them too since he didn’t wish for things to get awkward.

After passing through the checkpoint, Shang Xia looked at the entrance of the Tongyou Mysterious World not too far away.

A middle-aged cultivator stood close to the entrance as he approached Shang Xia suddenly.

“Disciple greets Deputy Patriarch Liu.” Shang Xia wouldn’t show Liu Zhiyuan the slightest disrespect now.

Laughing in amusement, Liu Zhiyuan responded, “Martial Nephew, there’s no need for such formalities! There are no outsiders here and you can just call me Martial Uncle Liu!” 

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Shang Xia showed his respect and he wouldn’t lower himself any further. He smiled in response, “Martial Uncle, are you here to stop me from entering the Tongyou Mysterious World?” 

A strange expression appeared on Liu Zhiyuan’s face as he replied, “Martial Nephew Shang, why would you think that? You have entered the Martial Extermination Realm and you’re a Talisman Grandmaster of the institution. I might be a deputy patriarch of the institution and the head of the Warehouse Division, but I can’t affect your qualifications to enter the Mysterious World.” 

Shang Xia knew that Liu Zhiyuan had his reasons for waiting for them there and continued, “Then… Is something else the matter?” 

Liu Zhiyuan grinned before handing a sealed wooden case over. 

Opening it slightly, Shang Xia noticed 3 pieces of rank four talisman paper contained within.

“This…” Shang Xia stared at Liu Zhiyuan in confusion. Even though his first instinct was to reject the gift, he wasn’t willing to do so.

How could Shang Xia not understand the most precious treasure he could receive as a Talisman Grandmaster was rank four talisman paper? Trying to improve at his level didn’t have much to do with talent. He needed to practice and rank four talisman papers and high-level resources were something he couldn’t do without.

At the moment, he was truly lacking in resources. Every single piece of rank four talisman paper was extremely precious to him.

Liu Zhiyuan noticed the hesitation on his face and he couldn’t help but laugh in response, “Martial Nephew Shang, feel free to accept them. After all, our great families should help each other. You entered the Martial Extermination Realm and became a rank four Talisman Grandmaster. I haven’t given you anything to congratulate you yet and you can consider these talisman papers my blessing to you. I hope you don’t think they’re too little…” 

Well, one would only give blessings when they had something to ask… 

Shang Xia couldn’t find a reason to reject the gift and he needed those rank four talisman papers. Keeping the case, he smiled, “I will have to thank Martial Uncle Liu then. If you need anything in the future, feel free to let me know. I will try to accomplish them to the best of my abilities.” 

A satisfied smile appeared on Liu Zhiyuan’s face. “It’s nothing too overboard. I heard that Deputy Hall Master Liu was a little rude and he didn’t think his words through when speaking with you. He’s just a little too hasty in reaching his goals and might have offended you unintentionally. He doesn’t mean anything bad. I hope Martial Nephew Shang can forgive him.” 

“Of course! It’s nothing too serious. I only wish to craft talismans, nothing else. Moreover, I still need to thank everyone in the Talisman Hall for getting so many resources for me.” 

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“That’s great, that’s great! It’s no wonder you improved so quickly!” Liu Zhiyuan praised.

Shang Xia had already indicated that he didn’t wish to bother with the Talisman Hall’s workings with what he just said. He was only interested in crafting talismans and even though Liu Zhiyuan wasn’t able to gain the greatest benefit of pulling Shang Xia over to his side, it was enough. At least Shang Xia wouldn’t stand against him and cause trouble.

No matter what, Liu Zhiyuan had to admit that Shang Xia’s position in the Talisman Hall was something he had to pay attention to!

“But…” Liu Zhiyuan muttered softly. At the moment, he seemed to be afraid that he would offend the youngest Talisman Grandmaster of the institution and he thought about his words again. “Oh yes… This is a little difficult for me to say, but it is related to Deputy Hall Master Lou’s request to leave behind recordings of you crafting talismans. That will greatly assist future generations of talisman masters… Of course, if you feel that this matter will hinder your progress…”

“It’s alright.” Shang Xia broke into laughter all of a sudden.

Obviously, Lou Zizhang wasn’t the one who came up with the idea of recording the talisman crafting process. The person who wanted it was probably Liu Zhiyuan and he clearly didn’t expect Shang Xia to agree so quickly.

Staring at Shang Xia in shock, Liu Zhiyuan only managed to process what happened after some time. “Martial Nephew Shang is truly amazing! I have to thank you on behalf of all the other talisman masters of the institution!” 

“Martial Uncle Liu, there’s no need to exaggerate. However, I like there to be peace when I craft talismans. I hate it when other people watch me. Why don’t you leave the recording to me?” 

Liu Zhiyuan felt that Shang Xia was planning to alter the recordings slightly in order to hide some crucial steps but getting Shang Xia to agree in the first place was already a win for himself. Now that Shang Xia agreed, he couldn’t go too far. “Of course. As long as you leave them a recording of your talisman crafting process, it would be enough!” 

What Liu Zhiyuan didn’t know was that Shang Xia wasn’t planning to let anyone observe him due to his personal habits. He wasn’t afraid that they would steal his unique talisman crafting method at all.

Leaving a recording behind wasn’t anything bad for Shang Xia. After all, his unique method of talisman crafting required him to become one with the talisman. How would watching a recording allow them to learn his technique? They would have to go through every stroke in their mind, along with the process of crafting the talisman from start to end. 

Of course, they might not be able to learn his technique entirely, but they would still be able to learn a thing or two. Shang Xia wasn’t against sharing those. After all, he felt that he was a member of the Talisman Hall and he should at least teach them that much.

As Liu Zhiyuan left in satisfaction, Shang Xia turned to make his way into the Tongyou Mysterious World with 3 more rank four talisman papers in his collection.