78 Settling On A Date
"Don't even think about trading for those worthless treasures! Go for the Nexus right away!" The usually suspicious and calculative Tzatziki was gone; replaced by some hyperactive junkie…
"Ok, ok... Stop yelling! I wasn't going to take the treasures anyways..." Jam was really getting tired of having his soulscape rumble with thunderous pressure from Tzatziki's agitation. Having a god's soul bounce around in one's soulscape could really tire even the most overpowered ten year old…
"Um… let's go with the Nexus thing." Jam turned around and asked if anyone wished to trade opening the Core Nexus for some treasures. To no one's surprise, none of Jam's peers went against his decision. They didn't hear Tzatziki's wild ramblings, but if it was as Xie Ming explained — a perfect environment for training — they'd gladly chose it over some random treasures.
"Whew~ I knew you guys would prefer going there, only… there's a pretty big catch." Xie Ming shook his head as though he wasn't confident in his words. He continued "You see, the Core Nexus is "damaged." Well, if it wasn't I doubt any of us would even be able to enter. But, because it's in that weakened state, we have a chance to force our way through.
Now, let me tell you a story. Perhaps it will give you an idea of why this might not work out… Long ago, like several thousand years ago, before I was even a Saint, there existed two more factions in the center of the mountain range. Back then, things were relatively more peaceful, and though we were all competing for resources, there were no hatreds that lasted until death.
Back then, even those Munchie bastards weren't as crazy, they were even considered allies with us at one point. But, because we came upon the Nexus' entrance, everything changed for the worst. If I recall correctly, it was the Li Clan that discovered the Nexus first. They tried to explore it single handedly, but in the end they lacked the strenght to open a path to the Nexus by themselves.
Since they couldn't reach it no matter what they did, they consulted their allies for help. When even four faction's worth of power wasn't enough to open a path to the Nexus, they finally resorted to asking us to help them. But even then, it was only after everyone — a total of 9 factions — worked together that a path to the Nexus was carved out.
Inside… I don't know much about what went on in there as I was far too young and weak back then to participate in the event, but I do recall the devastating news that the chieftain of that time said. Dozens of Saint Gods from all factions died, those two factions I previously mentioned were wiped out, the irreconcilable hatred between us Junkies and the Munchies had formed, and godly treasures found only in the higher realms appeared.
In the past, it took nine factions to open the Nexus… Now we only have four factions remaining, and back then we had close to fifty Saint Gods working in concert. Even if we add your guys' strenght… opening another path to the Nexus seems impossible." After Xie Ming completed his monologue, the room fell silent.
Once again, Tzatziki's voice spoke to Jam "Che! If it only took fifty Saint Gods to open a path to a Core Nexus, even a damaged one, we could probably make it with no problems. Hmph! These idiots actually did something as ridiculous as open a path forcefully? *Sigh* Given your "talents" you could probably breakthrough single handedly..."
Xie Xinyi who had been quiet over on the side as her husband,spoke of the past, decided to share some extra information. She touched the scarred tissue on her shoulder and said "You know, inside the Nexus, while I never personally was able to enter, I did find out that several of the secret trump cards that were revealed back during the war came from there. Even that Silver Blood Pill that almost killed my Ming came from there…
In the past, when I became a Saint God, I once had a talk with Xie Fang, and he told me that when his father had explored the Nexus, he had led the other factions for most of the trip, and they only went through less than ten percent of the entire Nexus complex."
When she finished talking, Jam spoke up "In any case, I want to see the Nexus even if we can't open it. I want to see how this Nexus blocks people with my own eyes." He had confidence in Tzatziki's words, even if he had no idea what the Nexus even looked like.
Xie Ming was about to agree and take Jam to the Nexus' location, but his wife kept staring daggers at him. She could read him like a book, obviously knowing what he planned to do, so she sent him an energy transmission "Don't you think our little friend needs a rest? He's gone from the war to healing us… Surely he'd need to take SOME time recovering, right?"
"Oh… um, right!" Xie Ming returned a transmission before speaking out loud "Say, uh… Jam. How about you take a couple days of rest and prepare for the trip to the Nexus..."
"Mhmm… Now that you mention it, I do need to make preparations..." Jam discussed with his friends to settle on what day they would leave for the Nexus, and the date ended up being one week from today.
As everyone was preparing to leave, Jam turned to his friends and said "Before we leave next week, I need all of you to come back to my place." He didn't say much else before leaving back to his mansion with thoughts of work floating through his head.
When Jam arrived at his mansion, he picked one of the many empty rooms and immediately started setting up a refining station. Jam opened a portal from his Storage Dimension and allowed almost a ton's worth of spiritual ore to land on the ground. He used Purification Flames to turn a boulder-esque chunk of ore into pure metals; there wasn't even enough for him to complete ten percent of what he needed…
Jam kept refining out entire blocks of ore until about 80 tons of purified spiritual metals lay stack on the floor. There were all sorts of metals laying around, most in the shape of bricks. Jam laid out the bricks in the rough shape of an anvil and took a couple minutes to restore his soul's strenght back to perfection.
He initiated the True Soul superpower and prayed that his stamina would last until the anvil's completion, before starting the process. For hours, Jam stood hovering over the superheated metals, watching them slowly fuse together. Jam wanted to upgrade his armor and weapons to Tier 5, so he would need a furnace of the appropriate calibur. Though he could make due with a Tier 4 furnace station, Jam felt that he might as well create the highest Tier furnace he possibly could.
Jam just barely managed to finish perfectly fusing the metallic properties of the anvil before he overdrafted his soul and collapsed powerlessly to the ground. He popped a few Soul Nurturing Pills, also using the True Soul's ability to regenerate soul strenght, leaving him only having to wait a couple minutes before he could resume the creation process of his furnace station.
After recovering about half of his total soul strenght, Jam continued on with his project. He had made the anvil section of the furnace station first as it was the hardest part to complete. All he needed now was a artifact quencher, a flame stabilizer, and some smaller tools.
The artifact quencher was just a small bucket holding some quenchant to temper/harden artifacts; being just a bucket made of metal, Jam could make it much faster than that ridiculous 80 ton anvil. The flame stabilizer could be considered a spiritual treasure by its own right. It allowed artifact refiners the ability to better control the strength of their flames when forging. Flame stabilizers were usually what people thought of when the word "furnace" was spoken. The last couple tools Jam needed were things like hammers, inscription pens/chisels, and tongs.
Jam used three hours to make the anvil, but he only needed an extra hour and a half to complete the rest of the furnace. He could only stare at his creation with pride for a couple seconds before turning back to his old set up and turning sorrowful. With a Tier 5 Furnace Station, what was he to do with his previous equipment? He couldn't just throw it away, at least, not for now…
Jam put his old and outdated equipment in his storage dimension, and headed out of that stuffy room. He had been working far too much recently and finally craved a bit of rest. Since he recovered from his Rebirth Stage Tribulations, Jam had been travelling without rest with Cynthia, he had played a major role in a war among Saint Gods, and then after all that came the repeated abused to his soul. At first, when he treated his friends the toll taken wasn't that noticeable, but now after he completed another set of Tier 5 creations, despite not being a Saint, even Jam had to call it quits…