Lin Luoran slices down a piece of a two-meter-long shell of the Scorpion King to do an experiment. After refined by the Strange Fire, the shell gradually melts into a pile of shiny black liquid. It is floating above the Strange Fire and changing its shape.
After being refined, the two-meter-long raw material becomes one bowl of black liquid. It is the essence of the scorpion shell. The three months she spent is not wasted. She has designed a set of methods for refining armors after she completed the broken magic circle and studied the chapter of refining weapons in Introduction of Swords many times.
She puts a lot of pieces of jade next to her and sits near the Strange Fire.
Several translucent lights appear between her fingers. They connect her fingers and they target at the liquid scorpion shell.
Lin Luoran recalls her design for the armor and controls the light. She uses the light to pull and shape the black liquid carefully.
This step seems to be easy, but actually, the pile of black liquid is unbreakable and it will take a lot of strength for Lin Luoran to pull it.
The spiritual mind plays a very important part in keeping the shape in mind while refining weapons. Those whose spiritual mind is not strong enough will probably make mistakes in their first try of refining weapons: they may want a knife and end up with a sword… This subtle controlling force is a trial for controlling the spiritual mind.
The liquid becomes longer and thinner and it is shaped above the Strange Fire.
There are dazzling sparkles on the surface. Little by little, it becomes the shape that Lin Luoran wants it to be.
There is not much shiny black liquid. With Lin Luoran’s control, it is forming the shape of sleeves and waistline. After Lin Luoran used up her Reiki and the Reiki of several pieces of jade, a black armor that looks like a battle suit from manga takes shape.
She withdraws Reiki and the “battle suit” drops to the ground and breaks a few cabbages.
It is black but shiny. It is as thin as a cicada’s wings but it is very heavy. It is the clothes refined from the scorpion shell.
Lin Luoran picks up the “clothes” and she feels a little embarrassed. She doesn’t have experience in designing clothes and her family live in the city so she can’t make a robe. The design from manga seems to be funny, but it can protect the shoulders, the body and ankles very well. It is very functional as it is both protective and light.
It is very convenient for Mrs. Lin to wear it next to the skin. She can wear whatever she wants and no one will notice.
Of course, this is only the first step.
After regaining Reiki, Lin Luoran takes out the diamond of fire that she got from the Strange Fire. There is no Reiki inside her mother’s body, so after she finishes the magic circle, this armor can only take a few attacks before it cracks, just like the jade pendant of Commander Qin’s grandmother — after all, this kind of magic weapons are made for cultivators and when they are used to protect ordinary people, they need to be more powerful.
If she doesn’t have the diamond of fire, Lin Luoran will probably inset some pieces of jade. Although it may look like she is showing off, they are useful. Now that she has the diamond of fire, it is enough to be used as the circle core.
Lin Luoran is making hand gestures and carefully pinches a fire line from the Strange Fire and burns it at the waistline. That part becomes soft gradually and Lin Luoran insets the diamond of fire at the melted part with Reiki.
She withdraws the Strange Fire and waits until the clothes cool down again. The diamond of fire is inset at the waistline. The scarlet diamond is eye-catching on black. Lin Luoran restrains her excitement and keeps the clothes inside the space.
Walking out of the basement, she finds herself very hungry so she heads to the kitchen. Lin Luoran looks at her watch and finds that the refining and shaping of the armor take three days. No wonder she feels hungry.
After getting something to eat, Lin Luoran goes back to her room and has a nice sleep in her bed. She has slept for over ten hours. Therefore, when she returns to the space, she is in a good fettle again.
The reason why she is so solemn is that the next step is very crucial in refining weapons — carving magic circles.
The armor Lin Luoran refines is a low-grade magic weapon. There is room for mistakes at the beginning of the refining process. When purifying raw materials, if it is not purified enough, it will affect the quality but will not cause any other bad consequences; if anything happens during shaping, it will only make the product look uglier.
However, if anything goes wrong with the carving of magic circles, the magic weapon will be ruined unless the maker starts all over again.
The scorpion shell is extremely hard so Lin Luoran cannot carve with Reiki. The best way is to control the Strange Fire to carve the magic circle.
Lin Luoran has to be highly focused to pinch a line of Strange Fire and use it to carve the magic circle.
She casts a “Fire-drawing Spell” and pinches a line of fire from the Strange Fire. It looks like a needle jumping inside Lin Luoran’s hand. Lin Luoran calms down and starts carving.
Actually, she is more like “piercing” instead of carving.
Every needle falls on a special node. These nodes seem to be arranged casually and disorderly, but together they form a shape, which is the key to this protective magic circle.
Lin Luoran knows that the most important part of a magic circle is its nodes after she made a lot of experiments and drawings and finally completed a broken magic circle. It is the nodes that evoke the echo of Reiki between the sky and the ground. The nodes can change some rules inside the magic circle and make it powerful enough to make life-or-death choices.
It works like the spells. Each spell has a corresponding hand gesture. The higher the level of the spell is, the more complicated the hand gesture is. Perhaps this is how cultivators draw Reiki to them. It is indeed a bold assumption that the nodes and the frequency of spells are connected. Lin Luoran doesn’t know if other cultivators know about this. However, she only has one broken magic circle to study but other cultivators must have a lot if they want to, no matter how much the cultivation world has declined.
Every spot Lin Luoran pierces with her “needle” is close to the diamond of fire, which is the circle core she sets for the magic circle. As long as the diamond is not broken, it can deliver Reiki and make the armor able to protect ordinary people.
She is highly focused. Some nodes are big, so she has to burn it with the Strange Fire more; some are very small, so she has to pierce it quickly. This job is very taxing and every movement she makes is made carefully.
When she is tired, she lies down under the apple tree; when she is hungry, she eats some fruits; when she is thirsty, she drinks from the little pool… One day, Lin Luoran finds that food tastes bland in her mouth and she realizes the passing of time.
Finally, she finishes the last movement…
The trace of the magic circle is like a complicated pattern. Lin Luoran looks at this simple clothes with secret design hidden in it and smiles.
Her nails have grown longer and she seems to be staying in the space for a long time.
Fortunately, she is now better at controlling the Strange Fire and she has made no mistakes. Looking at the armor, Lin Luoran knows that the last step has come.
Lines and nodes have only set the foundation for the magic circle. Making an armor that can protect the owner needs more than Reiki. The final step is called “incepting in spirit”.
Reiki is not enough for this — this step requires Wakan of Laying Foundation. Therefore, even if ordinary people get something like an “encyclopedia for magic circles”, they can carve nothing more than a pile of useless lines.
Wakan lights up the nodes one by one… They are just like stars hidden behind clouds and now they are showing themselves. Lin Luoran increases the input of Wakan. After a long time, she finally sees the “stars” connected together by Wakan. They are now moving on an orbit centering the diamond of fire—
The armor is still dark, but suddenly, it has a soul. Lin Luoran smiles.
She takes the clothes out. The snow on the roof has disappeared and vegetables are growing well in the backyard. There is green on the willow trees near the lake. Winter has gone and spring arrives. It’s been half a year since she went in… She has spent six months to make this one armor. With all her time and energy, even she has been dealing with an ordinary piece of iron, it should be an unstoppable sword!