Chapter 4: Master Shocked
Zhang Li Qing, wearing a tired expression, was organizing the drafts on his table.
Nangong Yun stepped into the lab and asked: “Old geezer, how is the progress today?”
Zhang Li Qing rubbed his tired eyes: “Hard hard hard, still no progress!”
“Talisman research usually requires the wisdom of an entire team, but doing this by yourself will spread your efforts too thin.” Nangong Yun was still suspicious of the matter with Meng Ying Ying. She suddenly had an idea and pulled out the scroll: “Oh right, I received an advice draft, maybe it might help you out a little. ”
Zhang Li Qing asked: “From whom?”
Nangong Yun did not want to reveal it immediately: “It doesn’t matter, first take a look at the content of it. If it really is helpful, then I will tell you.”
Nangong Yun did not hold out much hope of this.
What kind of good suggestion can that girl really give?
However, once the scroll had been laid out, Nangong Yun became dumbfounded. More than a dozen startling red crosses harshly marked the design. Comments that criticized Zhang Li Qing to no end filled the remaining blank spaces.
What the hell!
This missy so imperious! How come I normally failed to notice it?!
No matter who, if their brainchild is criticized to the extent, they would have lost patience. However, Zhang Li Qing was a tolerant and cultivated person. He suppressed his anger and patiently read the details of the criticism.
“This is not that simple!”
“These few words are enough to hit the critical spots!”
Zhang Li Qing’s expression became serious. It was just a comment of few hundred words but it could point out all the mistakes in the design, and seemed to contain a large amount of information. Zhang Li Qing read it over a few times, each time gave him a different feeling.
Second time. His brain became clear; all the chaos was swept away. He could not wait to overthrow his previous theory and redesign his draft again.
Third time. He noticed that every word seemed to contain great wisdom yet unpredictable at the same time. This had caused Zhang Li Qing to hesitate.
Fourth time. Zhang Li Qing felt confused again; became unsure of where to start.
Like reading a classic; the surface only seemed to show a shallow yet simple story; however, it contained many hidden profound and practical wisdom. Zhang Li Qing became a little obsessed when he carefully read the secrets. This is a fantastic feeling.
“There is more on the back!”
Zhang Li Qing turned the scroll over and gasped. His eyes widened and his face turned red; then turned white, and then turned red again. His lips quivered, tongue-tied and was speechless: “This, this, this, this…..”
Nangong Yun pulled out a pill and handed it to him.
Zhang Li Qing swallowed the pill, his expression eased somewhat but was still very excited. His hands clutched tightly to his chest and his head was already full of big beads of sweat. He trembled and for a long time could not speak: “Hur..hur..hurry up and help me cover it!”
Zhang Li Qing had some heart problems. If this continues, his heart would have burst asunder and kill him.
Nangong Yun was suspicious. Normally this geezer is always calm and steady, he would never make a big fuss over little things. How come he became this excited after he saw the figure?
“This figure is?”
Zhang Li Qing had difficulty suppressing the excitement surging through him and swallowed another pill. Like someone protecting their treasure, he slowly opened the scroll. His eyes were petrified looking at the scroll. Slowly, tears came out of his old eyes and murmured: “To see such a perfect talisman design in this life, I can die without regret!”
“Hey geezer, aren’t you lacking a bit of ambition? You, yourself, are also a master!”
Zhang Li Qing said with a self-deprecating smile: “I only have a small reputation in Tian Nan City. If you were to compare me with this person, then it would be like comparing a lone star in the sky with the sun and moon, like comparing a duck to a phoenix. What right do I have to call myself a master? Tell me, whose is it? I would like to personally visit the real master!”
Nangong Yun showed a strange expression: “I am afraid that she is younger than you!”
Zhang Li Qing sneered and said: “Those that are more knowledgeable are the masters. There are countless geniuses in this world; do you think this old man is that inflexible?”
Nangong Yun bitterly laughed and said: “But she is one of your students!”
“Rubbish! I should be the one that is the student instead!”
“I will be honest, she is your fourth year student, named Meng Ying Ying. But old geezer, you yourself have expelled her this morning.”
Meng Ying Ying?
Really my student?
Got expelled by me?
Zhang Li Qing remained stunned for a while: “Are you sure?”
Nangong Yun nodded and said: “She personally handed me the scroll this morning.”
Zhang Li Qing’s eyes turned white, clutched his heart and fell: “Medicine! Medicine! Bring me the medicine!”
Zhang Li Qing’s sanity was slowly becoming abnormal.
Old people cannot endure too much excitement. One might kick the bucket if not careful!
Nangong Yun rushed to feed him a couple of pills and then helped him to the lounge. Zhang Li Qing lay in bed, his face pale, his eyes closed, his mouth trembled, issuing a string of gibberish.
After an hour.
Zhang Li Qing suddenly sat straight up: “Where is this place?”
Nangong Yun got surprised. Did this geezer got too excited and went mad? “This is the lounge. You just fainted.”
Zhang Li Qing showed an ecstatic expression: “Fainted? So what has just happened is not a dream? Hurry, hurry, bring me the scroll!”
Nangong Yun worriedly said: “In your state, it’s best not to see it.”
Zhang Li Qing scowled and said: “Enough talk, hurry and bring it over here!”
Nangong Yun could only do as he says so and brought the scroll over. The seventy years old geezer carefully held the scroll in his hand with an obsessed look on his face; like someone gently holding the hands of their first love, he slowly stroked it over and over again. This action gave Nangong Yun goose bumps.
“This talisman design itself is already flawless. What is more impressive is that it is designed based on my idea; this would without a doubt increase the difficulty ten-fold!”
“Forty two thousand years ago, humanity mastered magic power. Twenty six thousand five hundred years ago, humans discovered magical array. Fourteen thousand two hundred years ago, talisman making became part of the history.”
“Present day, on this continent, there are a few mature styles of talisman making. Each has its own merit and influences each other. However, this design does not fall under any of those styles, yet it contains hints of each one. It has mastered and reached the extreme pinnacle of each style. This design is thousands of years ahead!”
“Art! Pure art! This old man has been studying magic formation and talisman for a few decades, finally have the luck to see a real master.”
“This old man will test its effect personally!”
Zhang Li Qing crafted the talisman.
When the talisman was activated, an invisible but vigorous force immediately enveloped his whole body’s skin.
Zhang Li Qing became excited. When he was designing the talisman, he already picked a good name for it. It would be called “Rock Armor” because once the talisman was activated; rocks would cover the whole body like a suit of armor, obtaining good defence capabilities. Judging from the talisman’s initial activation, this concept is very close to my original conception.
That’s not right!
Zhang Li Qing was covered in cold sweat!
After the magical energy activates the talisman, the energy is converted by the magical array. The output energy envelopes the whole body, and then begins to penetrate into the flesh!
How come it will penetrate into the flesh?
Could this talisman be dangerous?
Zhang Li Qing thought about it again. The designer could come up with something this perfect, how could they make an elementary mistake on safety? Zhang Li Qing gritted his teeth and continued. The top flesh and skin swelled up, quickly hardened, his skin began to rapidly change in colour to grey and finally turned black.
Zhang Li Qing was stunned looking at the mirror. His skin became solid and its hardness was similar to that of bedrock!
How can this be done?
Skin surface hardness increased significantly, yet it does not affect flexibility and mobility?
The most unbelievable fact is that elemental power has merged with cells in the body, allowing it to temporarily use the powers of the element. Zhang Li Qing remembered his mentor, the famous talisman maker He Tian Ming, purposed such theory once; but was ridiculed for it by many people.
For this to be realized in a simple level 2 talisman!
What a special and bold design!
Understanding of creation itself!
Nangong Yun couldn’t help but be amazed: “This is Godly!”
This is a strike to one’s morale!
A big strike to one’s morale!
The “rock armor” that Zhang Li Qing had painstakingly researched was complete rubbish compared to this!
Five minutes later, the skin returned to normal colour; there was not even the slightest sign of side effect. All of the aspects were perfect!
“Did Meng Ying Ying really turn this in?”
“Meng Ying Ying normally procrastinates in doing her homework. Of the amount due, half is usually missing and is amongst the dead last in the class. Today is an exception, Meng Ying Ying is the first to turn in homework and she completed all of it; which is very strange.”
Zhang Li Qing thought for a moment, and said: “Bring all of Meng Ying Ying’s homework here.”
Nangong Yun helplessly said: “I’m afraid that is not possible.”
Zhang Li Qing glared: “Why!”
“Because my fellow junior-apprentice Han Shao Long told others to burn all of it.”
“Burnt?” Zhang Li Qing’s beard trembled with anger: “All burnt!”
Nangong Yun nodded.
Zhang Li Qing angrily roared. As if had gone mad, he burst opened the research lab door and then kicked down the reference room door.
The few students who saw teacher coming in furiously were all scared silly. Teacher is typically very calm but what has happened today?
Zhang Li Qing came over with a sullen expression carried on his face. He reached out with his trembling hands into the stove to pick up the charred fragments.
The talisman paper was typically made using special wood or skin and was generally resistant to fire and water; so they would always leave some little fragments.
This is a clearly a level 1 talisman. If memory serves me correctly, this is the bugged talisman exercise given to the students, asking them to find the errors. However, the whole talisman is marked by a single red cross.
What does this mean?
Is the whole thing wrong?
On the back was a completely new figure. Even though it was burned and mottled, Zhang Li Qing could still recognize, that’s right….this is handwriting of that expert! This is the handwriting of that expert!
“What have I done!”
Zhang Li Qing stared at the ashes in the black stove. His expression became unstable; sometimes red, sometimes pale. He suddenly looked up.
A mouth full of blood sprayed all the way to the ceiling!
Zhang Li Qing felt dizzy and fainted on the floor!
The few apprentices were all stunned.
“Deadbeats! Bunch of deadbeats! You guys are in big trouble!” Nangong Yun quickly propped up Zhang Li Qing and glared at the few apprentices: “Take advantage of the time the old man is not awake, go pack up and flee! No matter where you go, Tian Nan City has no place for you guys!”