Chapter 7- The Platinum Jubilee Pagoda’s Insight
Today marks the change in our training. Grandpa Dugo calls for a village meeting. He says that he will be testing our skills in blacksmithing. He teaches us the most basic technique called hitting the impurities. It looks so simple and he does it. I go ahead and try it only to know that doing it first hand is way harder than it seems. Holding the hammer at the opposite edge of the hammer, I swing the hammer to hit the hot iron. However, the hitting is without precision and proper control of strength. The final result of the iron ingot produced is embarrassing. It is clearly out of its standard like shape and the purity of the iron ingot is about 80% which is bad. Any amateur will get their purity level around 80% as well. Some adults manage to get the purity level at 81.1%. Although the difference is only 1.1%, it makes a big difference in the later part of melting the iron ingot to make weapons and sword. After a painstaking trial and error for a week, I have managed to rise the purity level of my iron ingot to 81.0%. Basically, this smelting requires speed as the longer the period the iron ore is left to complete the higher the impurity in the iron ingot. The whole purpose of the smelting is basically hit the semi-solid iron making the iron ingot more compact and consolidate it to prevent further mixing with the air.
In just one month, I find out actually there is another method to smelting but I do not seem to have reach that specific level require. Dejected and losing my interest, I have stopped smelting and go back to my daily routine of cultivation. Grandpa Dugo also brings back the Iron Lava Tree back and I can see some fruit appearing. It is estimated that the fruit will fully matured in a week time. Another thing noted is that the bird that has bonded with Jeslyn has a completely change in appearance. The bird, now called Abby, looks fiery red with some hint of majestic aura. Abby is of course a female bird. Abby has transformed into what Grandpa Dugo calls as Fiery Red Sparrow. Grandpa Dugo do note to me that every birds dream is to become a phoenix and only by overcoming tribulations and all the other competitors. By then, the bird will be burned and be reborn as an all mighty phoenix. However, becoming a phoenix is not that easy. Going back to my cultivation progress, I can feel that my cultivation is at the peak of 2 stars 4 stripes. I then go back to my home, I am trying to attempt to breakthrough to 2 stars 5 stripes. Sitting down and making sure that my position is comfortable, I shut my eye and concentrate my chi in the dantian. I try to draw in a bit more chi but my dantian is rejecting the extra chi. After forcing it for another hour, the dantian finally give in. My dantian finally shook and the dantian is shrinking and compressing the chi into a denser chi. I have broken through!
Grandpa Dugo then says that my cultivation speed need to be hasten. He then summons a small pagoda floating on top of his palm and this pagoda enlarge per each rotation. After 50 rotations or so, the pagoda stops rotating. Grandpa Dugo gestures me to enter the pagoda and says that I will see a mission once I enter the pagoda. When I am centimetres away from the pagoda, I can feel such a strong suction force which draws me into the pagoda.
“Welcome to The Platinum Jubilee Pagoda’s Insight. At here, you have to pass a series of challenges before I can let you go. If you never pass, you can stay here for infinitely,” says the mysterious voice.
All of a sudden, a banner unroll itself. It is written Test 1-Destroying The Target. I happen to notice that there is a dummy is made out of straw. Easy! I dash forward and without caring for my surrounding until one my feet lands on the tile. The tile sinks for a few centimetres causing me to lose my footing. Stumbling, I fall flat on my face and it hurts. The next instance the tile seems to rise up in a superb speed sending me upward and such ferocious wind blow pushing me all the way back to the starting point. I guess I have failed. HAHA! I cannot believe I have just failed. Calming down, I immerse my thoughts in finding and correcting my mistake. Probably this trial is meant to teach me that even when there is an easy prey in front of me, I have to pay extra vigilance to this surrounding. Restarting again, this time, I move in a subtle speed while paying attention to my surrounding. The target is within the reach of my sword. I stab the dummy but the hardness of the dummy is ridiculously tough. From the attack, the rebound has cause the huge shock to my hand resulting in numbness in my hand. Using my numb hand to hold the sheath of the word and my other hand to hold the hilt, I perform the technique. The crescent like air manage to cause an uneven dent onto the dummy. Uneven dent! I notice that some area are harder than the other. The dent of the dummy recovers and I strike again but my wrist shook in agony. What? How can the soft area become the harder area all of a sudden. This is going to be harder than expected. After a few more attacks, my prediction is correct. The hardness of the dummy in any area in totally random. This is going to test by perception. After a week has passed since then, this dummy is still prevailing. However, my instinct and perception is fairly sharpened. Brimming with confidence, I stab the dummy with all my might and finally the dummy gives way for my attack. The dummy disintegrates only leaving a vermillion colour like dantian.
What is this exactly vermillion coloured dantian? Basically when a Vermillion Tiger uses their vermillion flame, the vermillion flame will engulf all of its opponent chi. Upon engulfing all the chi, the vermillion flame will try to engulf the dantian. Normal circumstances for this case is that the dantian will completely engulf but when the dantian survives the engulfing, the dantian will undergo a variation. The dantian will turn into vermillion in colour and become a good cultivation resource for the Vermillion Tiger. That is of course regardless of what happen to the dantian, the opponent is bound to be dead the moment the Vermillion flame reaches the dantian. A vermillion dantian and judging by the intensity of the vermillion colour, I suspect that this dantian is from an Advanced realm cultivator. This is perfect cultivation resources for my realm. I start to draw in the chi from the vermillion dantian. After hours or so, I have reaches 2 stars 7 stripes. Now that I have finished absorbing the chi, I finally notice that I have been a week since I have eaten but surprisingly I am still feeling full.
A corridor then appears. Judging from its appearance, it is highly probable that this corridor will lead me to my next stage. I then move until there is a ladder and I climb the ladder. Up I go. The room is marvellous. There are so many different colour of flame. The banner unrolls itself with some words written on it. Test 2- Subjugate a flame. It is then an influx of information is gushing into my brain. Involuntarily, I accept all the information. Among all the information that I have received, I have managed to highlight some fairly important ones. The information are:-
1) The Vermillion flame is the king of all flame. Use the Vermillion flame to subjugate one of the flame to be used by me as the alchemy flame.
2) Once subjugated, I cannot reverse or regret my choice. Therefore, I must carefully choose my desired flame.
3) The stronger the flame is, the harder it is to be subjugated but the benefits is exponentially great.
Almost every colour of flame can be found. The suggestion for which flame I should subjugate is the Yin Yang flame, Yin flame, Yang flame, Golden Spark flame, Hazardous Violet flame or Turquoise Nature flame. The Yin Yang flame is a more balanced flame but is still fairly strong. The Yin flame and the Yang flame is more often use as fires to assist the owner in battle. The Yin flame and Yang flame is respectively good in making water based element pills and fire based element pill. Golden Spark flame is the best flame to be used in blacksmithing making artifacts. The Hazardous Violet flame is the best flame to make poison pills and used in fights to deal poison to the opponent as the flame burns the opponent. The Turquoise Nature flame is the best flame in making any pills but it lacks any battle prowess.