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AIP - Chapter 106: Heartbreak Saber

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Tang Jie didn't go to the extraction region today, instead heading for Spirit Wonder Market.

He made his way through the noisy crowd to the grain store. He saw that Madam Shui wasn't there, so he went to Spirit Platform Pavilion. 

Sure enough, Madam Shui was there. She saw Tang Jie and smiled. "Why did you only come today? Fengtang came to me several days ago and said that you were going to redeem a spell weapon, so I ended up waiting several days for nothing."

Tang Jie quickly replied, "Madam, my utmost apologies. This lowly one went to the Forging Platform for several days, and the Dao of Tools was so profound and deep that I became momentarily immersed and forgot about redeeming the spell weapon. It was only today that I remembered and rushed over."

While he was respectful on the surface, he was inwardly shocked. Everyone in Basking Moon Academy, from high to low, would address Xie Fengtang as Headmaster, not even daring to add on the "Deputy", but Madam Shui referred to him directly by name. It was apparent that she had significant status and was no hidden expert who had decided to play the role of a janitor.

Madam Shui chuckled. "It's fine. I was simply curious to see how you were doing. It appears that you've made a lot of progress."

She beckoned. "Come, come. I've prepared a few small things. See which one is the best for you."

Tang Jie followed Madam Shui through the main hall and into a courtyard.

This was a vast courtyard that even had a drilling ground. There were weapons of all sorts arranged on racks, and there were several targets set up at the other end.

Tang Jie could see that even the targets were made from high-quality diamondstone, making them difficult to break.

A quick-witted student was already coming over with three silken boxes.

Madam Shui opened the first box. Inside was a pair of black iron hoops.

Madam Shui took one out and explained, "This is an Earth Loathing Ring. Spirit Platform Pavilion brought it from outside. Though it is only a middle-grade spell weapon, the materials are of high quality, and its power is rather good. Eighteen seals have been applied, creating a stellar microcosm. You can hold it in your hands to attack or toss it out. After ceremonial enchantment, only a little training will be needed to control it freely."

Madam Shui threw out the Earth Loathing Ring. The hoop flew out, a black figure in the air, and struck one of the distant targets, causing it to explode.

Madam Shui beckoned, and the Earth Loathing Ring automatically flew back into her hand.

Tang Jie was alarmed. This was what "power is rather good" meant?

The Earth Loathing Rings were definitely at the apex of power when it came to middle-grade spell weapons. Ye Xing's hammer would probably be too ashamed to call itself a middle-grade spell weapon in front of the Earth Loathing Rings.

If he shattered a weapon like this, who knew how big the golden grain he received would be…? His extraction activities had made him a little crazy. Whenever he saw a good weapon, he would get the urge to break it.

Madam Shui put the Earth Loathing Ring back into the box. "The Earth Loathing Rings come as a pair, and they can be used one after the other. But the drawback is that their power is fixed, and they will not grow stronger with the user. They're good if you're lacking in strength, but if you're already strong, you can only use them for a while before giving them up. And they favor attack and not defense, long distance over short distance. I don't think they're a good match for you."

She opened the second box.

Inside was a fiery-red longsword.

Madam Shui took out the red sword. Without any sort of action on her part, a flame erupted from the tip of the sword.

This flame floated at the tip of the sword, not flickering at all. It was evident that this flame was already very substantiated.

In the cultivation realm, the simplest way of determining how much damage water, fire, and wind attacks could deal was the level of substantiation.

The higher the substantiation, the greater the power.

Just like how the Jade Gate was used to confirm a student's potential, while substantiation was not absolute, it was an extremely useful reference.

This sword was rather similar to Zhuang Shen's Violet Flame Sword, but this flame was clearly more substantiated. Tang Jie judged that if Zhuang Shen had had this sword, Zhuang Shen would have won that fight.

He could now tell that Madam Shui was giving him some special attention.

Middle-grade spell weapons had their own hierarchy. If she hadn't liked him, then she probably would have given him the worst middle-grade spell weapons to choose from.

But Tang Jie knew how to behave himself, and Madam Shui rather liked him.

She had clearly taken out high-quality items, each one extremely valuable. Tang Jie probably couldn't buy them even if he was willing to pay two thousand coins.

Madam Shui didn't give an explanation. After revealing the flame at the top of the sword, she put it back and opened the third box.

Inside this box was a strangely-shaped long saber.

The saber was black, and a third of the way up the blade, there was a V-shaped impression, taking the shape of a barb.

Madam Shui grabbed the saber and said, "This is the Heartbreak Saber, made from black steel mixed with inkcloud stone. It is enchanted with twenty-four seals, incredibly sharp, and ideal for armor-piercing attacks. Once it plunges into the body and is pulled out, the barb will drag out the organs, dealing even more damage. Thus, it is called Heartbreak. You cultivate the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra, so this saber is the perfect fit for you. But this saber is extremely dangerous, and anyone struck by it will be crippled if not killed. You must be careful when using it…"

Madam Shui gave Tang Jie a profound look.

Tang Jie understood that this was a warning.

Of the three middle-grade spell weapons, the Heartbreak Saber was undoubtedly the most suitable for him.

Moreover, Tang Jie was sorely in need of a weapon. Although he had the even more formidable golden needle, the golden needle was not suitable in the role of his usual weapon, particularly as he needed to spend ages looking for it once he threw it out.

Upon receiving this warning from Madam Shui, Tang Jie nodded. "Yes, this student understands. This student swears that he will never bring this saber into the battleground and only use it when his life is in danger. Moreover, he promises to slash frequently and refrain from thrusting."

Madam Shui nodded. "It's fine so long as you understand. So, shall I take it that you mean to pick the saber?"

Tang Jie chuckled. "Yes, I will take it."

Madam Shui closed the box and pushed it over to Tang Jie.

Tang Jie didn't leave after receiving the box. Instead, he told Madam Shui that he wanted to buy some things from Spirit Platform Pavilion.

Madam Shui chuckled. "I forgot that the sect also rewarded you with ten thousand coins. Now that I think about it, you're quite the rich boy among the students. I should make you spend a little of that fortune here."

Rather than attending to him personally, she had someone else take Tang Jie around the shop.

Tang Jie returned to the main hall and began to carefully seek out the things he wanted.

Spirit Platform Pavilion had a comprehensive stock, offering pills, talismans, and tools of all kinds. Tang Jie was in no hurry and carefully looked through everything. Suddenly, he was drawn to a set of needles.

This was a set of flying needles, one set consisting of eighteen silver needles. Each needle was stored separately and could be kept at the waist for ready access.

The student responsible for taking him around saw that Tang Jie had his eyes on the needles and hurriedly said, "These Silver Cloud Needles are made from essence iron and have exceptional penetrating force. They are stored individually, but they can also be launched in unison. The needles are enchanted with seals that, when activated, can form something akin to a sword formation. Although it's a lower-grade spell weapon, it possesses outstanding power."

"But what do you do after you've launched them?" Tang Jie asked.

"Oh, that?" The student smiled. "You use the needle glove to bring back the flying needles. The needle glove is made from deer hide and is enchanted with a return seal that is linked to the needles. So long as the needles are within one kilometer, the needle glove can call them back."

"So if the enemy runs off with the needles, you're out of luck?"

The student laughed. "Nothing is perfect in this world. Even if it's a weapon that's gone through ceremonial refinement, if the opponent is strong enough, can't they take it from you all the same?"

"That's true," Tang Jie casually said. "How much is this set of Silver Cloud Needles?"

"Nine hundred coins," the student replied.

"That expensive?" Tang Jie frowned. "These needles shouldn't have taken that much material to make, right?"

"The flying needles don't need much material, but the labor costs are high. Junior Brother, you should know that the smaller an item is, the more difficult it is to enchant it with seals. These Silver Cloud Needles are so small that applying a seal to them takes a lot of work."

"I see. Then I'll take it."

He naturally didn't want these needles for their offensive power.

While these needles were pretty good, they were still a one-time attack. Even with the needle glove to get them back, it probably wasn't something as simple as firing them off and calling them back. The process probably required a lot of work.

This set had caught his eye mainly because he wanted to research the seal and see if he could use it on his golden needle.

Even if he couldn't do anything with that knowledge, he could at least mix in the golden needle among the Silver Cloud Needles to take the enemy by surprise. It was just that these needles were silver and his was gold, so it was hard to say how well-concealed it really was. It would mostly depend on the opponent.

After buying the needles, Tang Jie continued to browse and soon spotted a set of snowsilk clothes.

From the name alone, one could tell that snowsilk clothes were a high-class item. In truth, they had nothing to do with snow or silk. Rather, these were just clothes woven from special silver threads. They had little protective effect, but they were resistant to tearing and could fend off water and fire.

On his first trip to Tiger Roar Valley, Tang Jie had ruined his clothes in the battle with the tree sprite. Ever since then, he had been looking for a set of clothes that could endure through a battle. Ending up naked after every battle simply wasn't acceptable. Yiyi's "So ugly!" had badly damaged his dignity.

As they didn't have a defensive effect, the snowsilk clothes weren't expensive, but they still cost two hundred spirit coins.

The snowsilk clothes of Basking Moon Academy were generally designed like the uniforms. Tang Jie tried it on and looked at himself in the mirror. He decided that he looked pretty good.

After buying the clothes, Tang Jie casually asked, "Right, do you sell any good materials here?"

"What do you need?"

Tang Jie passed over a list.

The student gave the list a look-over and replied, "You'll probably have to pay two thousand coins to get all this."

The student shot Tang Jie a complicated look, thinking to himself, We're all people, yet our fates are so different. This kid hasn't even been in school for a year, but he's gotten both a middle-grade spell weapon and so much money. Mentally sighing, he said, "We have most of it, and what we don't have, we can find in the other stores. Please wait a moment while I get them."

Tang Jie needed a lot of things, and the student would need some time to gather it all.

With nothing else to do, Tang Jie continued to browse Spirit Platform Pavilion to see if there was anything good.

At this time, another customer entered the store.

It was Shu Mingyang.

Shu Mingyang's eyes brightened when he saw Tang Jie. "Oh? Why are you here?"

"Shopping. What about you?" Tang Jie replied.

"I've come here to sell, actually," Shu Mingyang replied, waving around the stack of spell talismans in his hand.

Shu Mingyang was the first member of this year's class to pick up miscellaneous studies. After the big exam, he had passed the Talisman Dao test and started to learn talismans. He actually possessed some talent in this field, and he would spend his free time making talismans.

Making talismans was really just recording the spells one knew on talisman paper. When needed, one simply needed to activate the talisman. It was much easier than casting in the middle of battle.

Talismans and formations were really just different forms of spells. Talismans were fast and convenient, and besides that, they could be given to other people to allow them to use spells they normally wouldn't be able to.

The Soulscour talisman had been a good example of this.

Formations were more about power. The same spell would have its power multiplied when expressed through a formation. It was just more troublesome to use.

Those who created weapons sold weapons, and those who made talismans naturally sold talismans. While Shu Mingyang probably had a grand time taking out talisman after talisman in a fight, the costs were actually rather high. Thus, he had to sell some of what he made every day to balance the books.

This was precisely why Shu Mingyang didn't like going to the Divine Battleground. In his current situation, a fight just wasn't worthwhile.

To sell goods, students could set up their own stall, or they could sell wholesale to other stores, though the latter would unavoidably result in less profit.

Shu Mingyang had an eight-cycle Jade Gate, so he didn't need to waste cultivation time for the sake of a little more profit. Thus, he had always sold his talismans to stores.

The two couldn't help but laugh upon meeting each other.

Tang Jie said, "I happen to be in the market for some talismans, so why not sell them to me? I can pay you a little extra, but you'll have to sell it to me for cheaper than the store will."

"Nothing could be better!" Shu Mingyang smiled. He stuffed the talismans into Tang Jie's hand. "Take a look and pick out whatever you need."

"The last time we fought, I remember you throwing out this talisman that immediately made me feel weak all over. What spell art was that?" Tang Jie asked as he looked through the talismans.

"Oh, that was a Bloodseal talisman. It weakens the enemy by dispersing blood energy, but its effects are rather lacking. It only slightly weakens the target and doesn't last for very long at all."

"I can just use a few more," Tang Jie replied. He had already picked out the talismans he wanted from the stack.

Shu Mingyang saw that he had mostly selected weakening or strengthening talismans and curiously asked, "What are you buying all these for? Are you worried that someone might buy them to use against you?"

Tang Jie chuckled. "It's not like I'm the only one with a strong body. I plan to use them on a rather troublesome fiend."

"You're going to Tiger Roar Valley again?" Shu Mingyang asked in surprise.

"Mm, I'll stop after a few more trips. If my luck is good… once should be enough," Tang Jie casually answered.

hypersheep325's Notes:

Tang Jie making preparations for what might be his last trip to Tiger Roar Valley! Is it time to catch the tiger?

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.