Chapter 193 – Speed of light
“Thank you!” Ye Wei nodded, bowed, and stepped into a museum of priceless collection.
The young master of the temple paused baffled by everything around him, it was not his first time entering the runic chamber, however he couldn’t stop looking at the etchings on the mahogany doors.
‘These runes are… ‘ Having participated at in the Runemaster Union entrance exam deeply changed his perspective on runes, ever since he spent three days working with them and finally created his own stance, he learned to appreciate the beauty of runes.
It was not until today that Ye Wei appreciate he was looking at decades of hard work and research, that each curve and straight line of the runes meant something.
Specialized runes represented power. Runemasters and even grand-Runemasters have been known to involve themselves in violent feuds, both on the battlefield and out, just to acquire one of these rare runes. The value of the runic chamber’s content exceeded by far the most powerful sky stance in the Runemaster Union’s inventory.
Ye Wei inhaled deeply and pushed the heavy doors. The dark hall lit up immediately after the mahogany flaps sealed the runic chamber’s entrance.
The young Runemaster walked into a starry night, the twinkles were the only light source in the otherwise empty hall. The specialized runes were scattered, loosely filling the hall. They all appeared to be fading but the shine was solid.
“Where do I even start?” Ye Wei muttered, he closed his eyes and felt the energy of each of the runes in the air. Some of them had cores hotter than magma, some of them were as cold as glacier, some raging like storm, some stable and sturdy like rocks; or too sharp to touch and others soft enough to use as a pillow.
Ye Wei sat himself down, thinking of nothing but the Starblink Steps. He dictated the rune sequence that composed the stance in his mind, took it apart and tried to identify where he could insert any of the thirteen thousand six hundred runes to improve it.
Having used the stance in real combat, Ye Wei gained a better understanding of how primal energy was converted to speed when he created the stance. After a few minutes of experimenting, he was able to find a few more stable runic structures that were suitable for the initial fractions.
After consolidating the initial fractions, Ye Wei felt a need to widen the sequence due to the increased Qi flow within the sequence.
With his exceptional will-force, Ye Wei identified a few more ductile runes which would make it possible for the stance to run at a high speed even when Qi input is lower than optimal.
The sequence was becoming complete as Ye Wei infused more specialized runes into it, the flow was becoming smoother and faster.
After four hours of continuous hard work, Ye Wei had found optimal position in the sequence for all the runes he added to the sequence. A thundering rumble sounded as he put the twelfth rune in place, and Ye Wei was suddenly consumed by a huge pillar of cosmic energy.
‘This is…’ Ye Wei opened his eyes, looked at the sequence in front of him and smiled, satisfied with his modifications, “it’s now a low-level Myst stance!”
Ye Wei had many previous experience with cosmic energy, he knew better than to waste some of the purest energy he could have access to. He activated the Falling Star form as fast as he could and immediately processed the raging energy that entered his body.
The silver ball of energy in Ye Wei’s dantian expanded as the result of the cosmic surge, the eighth crack appeared. It was not a surprise to him as he was already a peak seven-star condensed prime Warrior before consuming the cosmic force.
The pillar of light eventually faded, Supreme Falling Star form was running fast and smooth, it took less than an hour for Ye Wei to process the wild energy.
“This is good, but not enough, Starblink Steps needs to be a forbidden high-level Myst stance…” Ye Wei muttered to himself, he figured out that if he would be fighting returned prime Warriors, he still needed more speed.
Ye Wei calmed himself down, continuously attempted to fit runes into the Starblink Steps Sequence it took him half a day to infused twenty-four extra specialized runes, and by the end of the session his stance became a mid-level Myst stance.
After receiving cosmic energy again, Ye Wei diluted and absorbed all of it as quickly as he could. Even though the surge was not powerful enough to push Ye Wei to another breakthrough, it greatly improved the capacity of his meridians.
“I can’t think of a better place to refine stances!” Ye Wei said to himself.
Encouraged by the positive result, Ye Wei continued researching on the runes after a short rest, in hopes that he would be able to pick out ones that are useful for improving any of his stances.
The young Runemaster sat still in the middle of the runic hall, the Qi is his body was calmly pulsing, completely in sync with the runes around him. He became a part of his surrounding.
The runes in the hall were attracted to Ye Wei, all of them seemed to be shining towards him, highlighting him in the rather dimmed enclosed space.
The more specialized runic structures Ye Wei learned, the more he gained respect for the Glacial Emperor. It seemed to him that the more he discovered, the more mysterious the strongest cultivator of his time had become.
Ye Wei was starting to understand how the Supreme Falling Star form was able to buffer primal energy more efficiently than other formulas he learned, and he was even beginning to imagine how some of the stance in the hall could be related to how the Sage was able to create a stance to harvest power from belief.
‘I will master all these runes one day! And I will make a name for myself!’ Ye Wei thought to himself as he jumped up into the air, he reached his arm out and grabbed an energetic spark.
“Number eighty-one! This should be the final piece!” Ye Wei opened his eyes, looked at the rune in his hand constantly shifting its shape with a smile on his face.
“Swoosh!” He drew the runes sequence to the Starblink Steps with his right hand while holding the eighty-first extra rune in his left.
“Get in there!” His left arm swiped outwards, shot the rune into the sequence he just drew. The rune was constantly moving, whizzing through air looking for the most suitable position to insert itself under Ye Wei’s guidance.
Ye Wei’s tired eyes lit up, after an hour of putting runes together and taking them apart, his will-force identified the weakest point in the sequence.
All the runes in the newly refined stance brightened simultaneously and lit up the hall.
A surge of Qi flowed through the rune sequence, a long ribbon of glowing star-like energy sparks filled up the runic chamber, it grew into a belt that briefly resembled the milky way.
Triggered by Starblink Steps’ upgrade, another pillar of cosmic energy descended from the heavens, engulfing Ye Wei entirely.
‘It’s technically only a high-level Myst stance but the specialized runes should give it an edge, its effect should be comparable to a low-level Earth stance!’ Ye Wei thought with a slightly twisted, euphoric smile on his face. He knew that he would be able to compete with Lu Qianhuan, or maybe even other returned prime Warriors if the Lu’s decided to send them to Green Moon City.
“It’s a shame I will need a lot more Qi in order to push for nine-star condensed prime level.” Ye Wei shook his head, “I should work on my Sentient, I’ve improved so quickly it has become one of my weaker sides from being the strongest.”
For a sixteen-year-old, eight-star condensed prime level is naturally unreachable, although Ye Wei was the one of the nation’s best young cultivators, the same drive that motivated him was also frustrating him.
‘The Selenic Reveal should be the next to be refined…’
“Offensively I have Selenic Reveal; Starblink Steps for speed, and with the light clone as my safety line, I should be able to deal with whatever the Lu’s are going to throw towards my direction!” Ye Wei muttered to himself, planning to turn a crisis into a self-improvement exercise.
“Speaking of which, I need to work on the clone too.” Ye Wei frowned, not satisfied by how little impact the technique made in his last fight.
‘Only if the clone had the power of a two-star returned prime Warrior…’ He thought to himself as he stood up and walked towards the exit of the chamber, ‘Maybe I should ask Pu Yuan to see if he had any more tips and advices.’
Ye Wei rushed back into the main hall and spoke with the temple’s guardian about his recent encounters.
“Light clone!?” Pu Yuan’s curiosity made him look like a child again. “You have to show me it before I can help you with improving it!”
Ye Wei channeled his will-force, a bolt of starlight shot out of his forehead, became a clone and had taken the shape of its owner within the blink of an eye.
“Your forefather is a genius!” Pu Yuan looked at the light clone in awe, he appeared calm but was just too shocked to show emotion He once was the Glacial Emperor’s follower, and even he had never seen a technique quite like Ye Wei’s light clone, he could not fully understand how the clone seemed to have its own meridians and Qi flow. “This is the perfect combination of a stance and a formula!”
“So, do you think you can help me improve the stance?” Ye Wei was impatient and needed an answer.
“I am not sure, kid, but this is not just any clone technique, it seemed to be an enhanced version of your mirrored self.” Pu Yuan answered in an uncertain tone, “Like all other stances, it should become stronger as your cultivation becomes higher.”
“That’s what I’ve discovered, it is stronger than it was before my breakthrough just a couple hours ago.” Ye Wei became more frustrated, “My question is, do you think there are other ways the technique can be improved?”
“It is still too soon to judge. Just be patient, you will see soon!” Pu Yuan smiled, patted Ye Wei’s shoulder, “For now you should just focus on breaking through to the returned prime level.”
“Runes and Qi don’t feel pain, even if your light clone only has the power of a one-star returned prime Warrior, it will be able to fight two and even three-star returned prime Warriors as you might already have realized.” Pu Yuan continued, “use it to aid yourself escaping for now, worry about how to fight alongside it when it becomes stronger!”