11 I Also Practice Artifact Refining
Since the Hall of Affairs was so close to the Training Grounds, and his test had concluded, Jam decided to return to the Training Grounds to test his potential for Refining Artifacts. The line for testing his potential for Artifact Refining was even longer than the one for Alchemy.
Several hours passed before it was Jam's turn, where he had the a similar conversion to the one he had with the supervisor at the alchemy testing formation, but with a different supervising elder.
After Jam entered the room for testing his Refining potential, a familiar looking table appeared before him, this time it had a furnace, though. There was also a familiar set of instructions written on the walls, much like the test for alchemy. However, the handwriting was somewhat uglier this time around.
The first step was identical to the alchemy test, Jam also got the same result; his stellar fire and purification fire could create Tier 3 Artifacts. However, just like for alchemy, Jam was restricted by his cultivation and could only make Tier 1 artifacts and pills; at least until he reached the Palace Creation Stage.
The second step is where the process for testing potential differed. In the alchemy test Jam received the formula for the Energy Gathering Pill, but for Artifact Refining, Jam didn't receive specific instructions to make one type of artifact. Instead, he received a jade slip which contained the basic principles of augmentation and suppression; a handy guide Jam could use for Artifact Refining, Spiritual Cooking, and Alchemy.
The principles of augmentation and suppression was a dogma that worked for all secondary occupations. However, it showed itself most prevalently, in Artifact Refining, Alchemy, and Cooking.
To condense the principles of augmentation and suppression rules down to the most basic level, it involves of controlling multiple spiritual objects, be they ingredients for alchemy, metals for refining, or food for Cooking, all in the interest of augmenting positive effects, while suppressing negative effects.
Think of it like this: If you want a sword and you have several different types of metals, you should pick a hard and a soft metal when creating the alloy. Why? You want the hard metal, as it is sharp and strong, but it's also not very flexible and will break easily. By adding the right amount of soft metal in the mix, the sword will be more powerful as it will be usable for longer.
The jade slip also had the most basic blueprints used for all kinds of artifacts, showing how to form each part of any type of artifact, be it a weapon, piece of armor, or an accessory. It would still be up to Jam to determine what materials he would use, as well as the amount he used for each type of metal, when making his artifact.
Jam finished digesting all the knowledge within the Jade slip, and there were a variety of metals and refining materials around him. For this test, the academy didn't hold back on resources as they only needed to use the most basic materials which could at most produce Tier 1 artifacts.
Jam was happy that he could chose which type of artifact to make since he was currently in need of a bow. Even though Jam had to work with the most basic metals, he could still use his stellar energy to make his bow suitable for his Styles of the Cosmic Bow. Even if he couldn't, as long as he had a bow in his hands, his cultivation of the Styles of the Cosmic Bow, the Stellar Dao, and the Dao of Bows, would undoubtedly skyrocket.
The process for artifact refining, according to the jade slip was also composed of three steps. First, one would pick several different metals, or refining materials, and combine them to produce a unique alloy for their finished artifact. Then the alloy would be refined and shaped at the same time. The final step was to engrave runes into the artifact.
The runes created on the finished piece were all based on a cultivators experience, and each refiner had their own set of unique runes, so Jam would have to experiment for this step. The only "instruction" written for that part of refining, was for the refiner to infuse his artifact with elemental energy when starting out.
Ever since Jam took the alchemy test, his proficiency in controlling fire had risen to a formidable degree, which could be seen from his perfect Energy Gathering Pills. For this refining test, Jam only ran into problems in the last part as he had no idea what runes to inscribe; It couldn't truly be called a problem as his "experimental choice," let him create a suitable bow anyways.
Jam picked 4 different types of metals to create his bow, and his refinening and shaping of the bow was quite good considering it was Jam's first attempt. Jam didn't know what runes to inscribe into the bow, so he just infused his stellar energy into the bow. Serendipitously, as the stellar energy fused with bow, it automatically drew patterns; If Latoya, the Head of Alchemy, were watching Jam, she would notice that these patterns that were being made were the same as the Dao Runes surrounding Jam's stellar flames.
After the bow receive enough energy, it let out a scintillating flash, and no matter how much Jam tried to infuse the bow with more stellar energy the bow would not accept it. Jam was very eager to try using his self made bow, but he held back, and decided to wait until after his test was over to start toying with it.
Now that Jam had a real bow, he would also be able to generate Bow Essence faster, as well as lose less Essence when practicing or displaying his skills. The loss of Essence was improved to a degree, where Jam would be able to sustain several minutes of Tier 1 Bow Essence usage.
With the bow completed, Jam put it on the table, and the bow along with the leftover materials also disappeared. Jam was, once again, left alone for several minutes before an old man entered the room. Jam remembered that this was one of the elders that had been outside of his courtyard back when he reached Ultimate Dao Contact.
"Congratulations! You have managed to create a peerless Tier 1 Bow Artifact in one attempt! There has never been a case as bizarre as this, so we don't really have an accurate rank for your talent. In any case your talent for Artifact Refining is peerless. Would you like to join the Refiner's Divisio..." The Elder was too excited in his speech and realised he had said something unnecessary for the moment.
The Elder had seen Jam's talent for the Stellar Dao, so he wasn't surprised to see the bow Jam made have Stellar Dao Runes. Furthermore, he had recently attended a meeting of elders discussing Jam's talent.
The meeting about Jam was suppose to take place at the end of the week, since it was just to let all the elders know there is a new disciple with outstanding talent for cultivation. However the meeting's importance rose once the Latoya, reported Jam's talent for Alchemy. Jam's status in the eyes of all the elders rose exponentially, as the was a big difference between a cultivation genius, and a cultivation genius with god like talent for alchemy.
Before Jam could even answer the elders question, he spoke again "Never mind that, you can always join later. Right now the Sect Head is calling for you, I need to take you to the Sect Head immediately. Grab my hand."
Jam didn't understand why the man wanted him to grab his hand but Jam complied anyways and mere moments after he held hands with the man, he saw the room change. The elder and Jam had teleported straight to the Sect Head's office.
The Sect Head gave Jam a satisfied look before assaulting him with her energy-empowered voice "Kid! You sure know how to surprise this old woman! First it was your lack of etiquette, then it was your insane talent for the stellar Dao, after that you showed ridiculous talent for alchemy, and now you're an artifact refining prodigy as well?! How many records are you trying to break?!"
"???" Jam was happy that he was being praised by the Sect Head. However, her shouting at him in such a ferocious manner made him not know how to respond.
"Anyways, this is all good news! But! I can't just call all the elders over when you decide to "test" your potential in something. So, just for you, i'll let you take all the test in the sect without you having to wait in line. Hopefully you will keep coming out at the top of each test."
"Thanks! When can I start?" Jam was extremely happy. Who wouldn't love the feeling of cutting in line? For both the Alchemy test and the Refining test, he had to wait several hours; aside from these secondary occupations, there was still Beast Taming, Illusions, Formation Arrays, Inscriptions,and Cooking. Skipping all the tests meant that Jam would also be able to test his willpower, soul strength, as well as his body's compatibility with Body Refining.
"Right now. Go!" The Sect Head, was just as excited as Jam. She just couldn't wait to know exactly how overpowered this new disciple would be.