AIP - Chapter 105: Soul Weapon
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The extraction region was located outside of the cave in a barren area.
Compared to the secluded natural feeling of the rest of the academy or the blistering heat and activity of the Forging Platform, this place was rather somber and deserted.
A large and empty building was where the extraction region was located.
When Tang Jie arrived, he saw two students lazily applying extraction techniques to a broken weapon, stripping it of materials. Next to them was a large pile of the resulting scrap.
Dan Xin lightly coughed, causing the two students to fearfully stand up.
No matter how dissatisfied, angry, or reluctant they were, they could not show any of this in front of the academy's esteemed teachers.
There was only trembling fear and reverence to majesty.
Dan Xin sternly swept his gaze over the two and said, "I've brought you a new schoolmate. Starting from today, he will work with you in the extraction area. Although extraction is boring work, through extraction, you can understand the composition of magic tools. It is the most comprehensive way of studying the refining of tools. You must not devalue yourself and should apply yourself to your studies!"
The two students fearfully affirmed, but they inwardly grumbled. While the extraction area could allow them to understand the composition of magic tools, the problem was that they needed the chance to make tools.
No matter how much they learned through extraction, they needed to personally make a weapon to apply this knowledge. It was only because they had no other choice that they chose to learn this.
After Dan Xin handed over Tang Jie to them, he left.
Tang Jie and the two students introduced themselves. One was called Zhou Jiahui; the other, Liu Zihan. They were from the class above his and were already in the Spirit Lake Tier.
Perhaps because these two spent most of their time here and didn't go out, they didn't know who Tang Jie was. They simply regarded him as a student who couldn't get into one of the hotter fields and was only left with the spurned art of extraction.
Thus, they were rather cold to him. They simply told him what the basic duties of the extraction region were before going off to do their own work.
Extracting primarily consisted of two parts: undoing materials and removing seals.
Removing seals meant taking out the seals that had been inserted into a magic tool.
Various seals needed to be applied to a weapon for it to have magic powers. These seals were individually made, and it was through wondrous seal enchantment methods that they were merged together and inserted into a weapon, endowing the weapon with all kinds of special functions.
Removing seals involved taking out the seals that had been inserted into the weapons, and if a seal could be removed intact, it could even be reused for another weapon.
As for undoing materials, that involved converting a weapon back into the materials it had been made from. It sounded simple, but it was actually quite the difficult process. Materials would be modified and fused together in the manufacturing process. Splitting them back up naturally wasn't easy.
Removing seals and undoing materials both had specific spell arts: the Seal Parting spell and the Dissociation spell.
Finally, one needed to have sufficient understanding of the composition of the weapon and the structure of the seal to complete the extraction.
The deeper the understanding, the more materials one could return to their original form, and the greater the profit. Other students had to buy materials to make weapons to sell, but the extraction students were the opposite. They bought broken weapons and sold materials.
Dan Xin had already given Tang Jie the Seal Parting spell and Dissociation spell, so he now had to practice using them on broken weapons.
The school rules stated that students who were just starting to learn extraction would be given ten broken weapons for free to practice on, but they would have to buy anything more than that.
This was special treatment for the extraction region. After all, few students were willing to learn.
Following the instructions from Zhou and Liu, Tang Jie went to the storage to get a broken weapon.
This broken weapon was a war saber. It had been made using high-quality essence metal mixed with crushed starstone. The creator had presumably been someone who cultivated the Great Stellar Art and who had wanted to produce a magic tool for himself that could harness the power of the stars. But harnessing the power of the stars had never been easy, and there were many requirements when it came to the seals. There was a problem during the seal enchantment, and the seal had broken apart in the process, directly affecting the integrity of the entire weapon.
There was no seal removal for this weapon, as the enchantment had failed. Only materials could be extracted.
Even so, one first had to use the Seal Parting spell to remove the remnants of the seal from the weapon before one could use the Dissociation spell.
Otherwise, the collision of spells would not only destroy the weapon but also inflict a backlash on the caster.
Tang Jie carefully observed the lines on the saber, sensed the spiritual light on its surface, and carefully inspected the cracks on the seal. Only by getting a detailed understanding of the weapon's situation could the success rate of the Seal Parting spell be increased.
This process took almost two hours.
Observation, analysis, and decomposition were all important parts of the extraction process, but they were also extremely boring, testing the patience of the extractor.
An entire day of work could be for the sake of extracting the equivalent of several dozen, or even just a few, spirit coins of material from a weapon. For a student, this was difficult to endure.
But this was like cultivation, requiring a long period of training to gradually grow proficient in, allowing one to get faster and more efficient.
Yet for Tang Jie, it was the opposite.
He wasn't thinking about making money at all. He was researching extraction purely to understand where the limit of the Weapon Mantra was.
After he analyzed the saber, he used the Seal Parting spell to wipe away the remnants of the seal from the weapon. It didn't do a very good job, so he needed to do it several times.
If a novice wanted to do a good job, they had to double their effort, double their time, and double their patience.
Once he had finally wiped the seal off the weapon, Tang Jie activated the Weapon Mantra.
The saber instantly crumbled into countless fragments.
To Tang Jie's regret, he failed to obtain a golden grain from it.
The saber was destroyed, and he hadn't even been able to extract any materials.
"It seems that it has to have a seal," Tang Jie muttered. "The seal is the magic, the fighting soul of the weapon. Without a seal, there is no soul, making it a mortal weapon. In other words, the Weapon Mantra's true function is on weapon souls. Could it be…"
Tang Jie thrust out his finger, and a golden light emerged. As he carefully examined that little golden needle, he started to understand what was going on. "Could the golden grains condensed by the Weapon Mantra actually be weapon souls? As souls, they have fixed forms, but as soul weapons, they can undergo countless transformations. But while there are spell weapons, art relics, divine treasures, and Dao armaments in the cultivation world, I've never heard of soul weapons. Eh, forget it. It's not like the Martial Lord ever mentioned this sort of thing. I can call it whatever I want, so I'll just call you a soul weapon."
But this was only his initial impression. He still had many things he needed to verify.
Tang Jie got his second broken weapon, a five elements wheel. During the life ceremony process, there had been a mishap which led to the magic tool being ruined.
The life ceremony was when a magical tool that was enchanted with seals underwent ceremonial refinement, truly merging the two together.
A mistake in the life ceremony meant that it would be difficult to merge the tool with the seal. It would become difficult to control and could even injure the user.
But as a magic tool, it was a complete product, though one that was devoid of value. Thus, it had the highest value when it came to extraction.
Tang Jie didn't even try to remove the seals. He simply used the Weapon Mantra, and sure enough, a golden grain appeared, but it was very small, probably the smallest Tang Jie had seen to date.
This meant that the Weapon Mantra still needed the seal and tool to be fused to a certain extent, at least to a point where it was usable.
He then got another broken weapon and repeated the process.
This was a frost sword that had experienced an error during the blood ceremony.
The blood ceremony was when a refined weapon underwent another session of ceremonial refinement with the user, bonding the tool to the user so that the user could use it as if it was an extension of his own body.
But the blood ceremony was not a required process. Normally, only a student with special needs would request the blood ceremony.
This frost sword should have been snow-white, but because of that error in the blood ceremony, it was speckled with blood. It was clear that the blood ceremony practitioner had paid a grave price for the blood ceremony's failure.
But as this was the highest grade of failed product, when Tang Jie refined this frost sword that carried the blood energy of a cultivator, he obtained a golden grain about the same size as the one he had gotten from Ye Xing.
Tang Jie tried to use the Weapon Mantra on a seal alone, but it had no effect.
From this, he could tell that the Weapon Mantra also had requirements when it came to materials.
Those golden grains probably contained a part of the essence within the materials.
Finally, Tang Jie found a broken longsword in the broken tool storehouse. While this sword was broken, a single seal on the shattered blade was undamaged.
Tang Jie used the Weapon Mantra on this sword. Sure enough, he received a golden grain.
He concluded that it didn't matter that the sword was broken. The real problem was when the breaking of the weapon damaged the seal.
The higher the level of the seal on the magic tool and the higher the grade of the material, the larger the golden grain he received.
The golden grain from Ye Xing's hammer had been large because of the material.
The golden grain from the frost sword was large because of the seal.
They came at the problem from different directions, but the golden grain they provided was the same.
He now had a basic understanding of how the Weapon Mantra worked.
After using the Weapon Mantra several times, Tang Jie was so exhausted that not even his formidable constitution could sustain him any longer. Instead of going back to the Carefree House, he just went to sleep in the extraction region.
From that day onward, Tang Jie diligently began to destroy weapons.
As most of the weapons he destroyed with the Weapon Mantra were rejects, the cost was extremely low.
A low-grade spell weapon would go for several hundred to a thousand coins on the market, but because they were broken, they were normally worth several dozen to as little as a few measly coins.
Thus, Tang Jie bought many broken tools to destroy every day, and his golden grain grew larger and larger.
In the past, his golden grain was only big enough to make the finest embroidery needle, but after a few days, the golden grain had doubled in size and could be condensed into a real flying needle.
At least he could see it if he threw it on the ground.
Besides that, Tang Jie began to understand more and more the relationship between the Weapon Mantra and seals and materials.
He found that the Weapon Mantra was almost only useful on metallic materials, and any metal the Weapon Mantra was used on would be rendered into mortal iron, its value plunging. In addition, the Weapon Mantra had clear differences depending on the type of magic tool. For example, the Weapon Mantra was noticeably more effective on weapons than on armor. As for the complexity of the seal, Tang Jie was still in the discovery process and didn't have a clear idea on the relationship.
Regardless, this understanding allowed him to target his purchases and ensure that he got a greater return.
While he was busying away, he had no idea that Zhou Jiahui and Liu Zihan had been left utterly dumbfounded.
They had seen many students in the extraction region frantically buying broken weapons to practice on.
But they had rarely seen someone like Tang Jie who bought large numbers of weapons every day, using up as many as five weapons every day. After all, extracting material from broken weapons wasn't easy for a novice, and they would normally have to spend an entire day on just one.
What was truly shocking, though, was that this guy had spent several days at work but hadn't extracted a thing!
After so many days of frantic work, an investment of several hundred coins, and several dozen broken tools, even the dumbest student should have produced some materials, right?
But Tang Jie had managed to turn all those broken tools into scrap metal that could only be melted down in the furnace!
On Tang Jie's fifth day in the extraction region, as Zhou and Li watched him produce another pile of trash, one thought appeared in their minds: good-for-nothing!
Basking Moon Academy's first good-for-nothing in the Dao of Tools!