80 The Start Of A Long Week
After a healthy afternoon snack, Jam got back to his Artifact Refining Room. He was thoroughly rested, full, and ready to upgrade his various treasures. To start off, he had to make another Cauldron, as his previous Pill Cauldron had been designed to only support up to Tier 4 pill concoction. It was about to break down after Jam repeatedly experimented and succeeded in creating Tier 5 Cooling Yin Pills.
Reactivating the True Soul superpower, Jam began to refine more tons of spiritual ore into thick plates of metal. Pill Caldrons weren't as dense or heavy as anvils, but they were still quite the hassle to deal with. Still, there was some solace in the fact that Jam no longer had to fuse entire bricks of metal together.
A well rested Jam only needed an hour total, to complete his new Pill Caldron. Well, complete in the sense that it was fully functional and ready for pill concocting, but Jam — the hopeless romantic, we all know and love~ — felt that he just wasn't at home with This plain looking Caldron.
He just couldn't help but compare it to his old Pill Caldron. The exquisite gold markings that were now faded made Jam sad and even a bit nostalgic. He decided to bring out the inscription pen from his furnace station and chisel out the same decorative pattern into his new Pill Cauldron. Jam didn't hesitate to pull out all the stops for his new equipment, when he suddenly took out some heavy refined gold and incorporated it to finish his Pill Cauldron.
Taking a step back, Jam felt proud of his workmanship. He might have less than a year of experience, but even ordinary Tier 5 Refiners would be left dumbstruck by his skill.
With the Pill Cauldron done, Jam did the more easily accomplished tasks of merely upgrading his already created Peak Armor, Gauntlets, and Stellar Yang Bow. Tier 5 brought about the fun ability of Spatial Manipulation, meaning Jam's completed artifacts could shrink and enlarge with but a thought. His Shapeshifting would soon be usable for combat…
Jam also took sometime to add new Dao Runes across the board to his Armor and Gauntlets. While the Stellar Yang Bow only became more focused on only the Stellar and Yang Dao Runes, Jam incorporated all ten of the Daos he understood onto his Armor and Gauntlets. Who knows how ridiculous Jam's Dao of Beams would become in the future? Maybe he'd need all ten Daos to create one mega fused beam and destroy the world…
Along with the upgrades, Jam's equipment could finally start to handle the stress he put on them. Where before, tears and cracks would litter his armor, now that it was Tier 5, the regeneration and defensive properties would also improve to the point that even if Jam fought with all his power, there wouldn't be a need for him to manually keep his weathered armor in check. His Gauntlets which looked like a jumbled mess of metals after the war, would "probably" not enter return to that state...
Jam's Stellar Yang Bow hadn't really been exposed to damage from his enemies, but as a Tier 4 bow, it wasn't really created to support Jam while he used Sage levels of strength; it was almost in pieces as well, after that barrage of arrows Jam had used to hold back two factions.
Going by the rule of "Less by One," cultivators usually had equipment one Tier lower than what they could create could create themselves. For Jam's level of raw strenght, he should be running around with Tier 7 armor, pills, and so on. But because he was in actuality just a Rebirth Stage Spirit Realm Cultivator, Tier 3 is where he "should" be.
Generally speaking, cultivators could at most contend with a couple demonic beasts their level. Usually these demonic beasts — entire dens of them — would be guarding the area with treasures that they could use, and with the time also playing a huge role, not everyone could focus on both battle, cultivation, and secondary professions like Jam did. Usually, if a cultivator was a famed Alchemist or Refiner, they would probably not be the best fighter…
Unlike Jam who could sit around for a couple hours and improve his rank upon breaking through to a higher cultivation, the common cultivator would spend months, years, or even decades working on just one Secondary Occupation before making a breakthrough. This was time off battle, off cultivating, just to break through in one rank.
Of course, Jam could accomplish these "miracles" due to his Divinity helping him boost whatever it was that needed boosting. But his insight and comprehension was sometimes not credited as much as he should have. Even if you told a God to start a secondary occupation he was not at all familiar with, they'd still need at least some practice, getting their own experience…
Jam might have had a pretty swell start of in his cultivation career with Divinity allowing him the chance to train in some Sage level legacies, allowing him the chance to practice all kinds of secondary occupations… But it was his dedication to whatever he set out to do that gave him his accomplishments. Maybe, if Divinity had fallen to a different person, a less dedicated and motivated cultivator, they would have gone complacent with their superpowers and stagnated. But Jam… this training fanatic would stop for nothing to work, work, and then work some more!
Now, with his equipment back to its peak condition, Jam put it away and moved on restocking his pills and talismans with their Tier 5 counterparts… He would be stuck at work for many more days, constantly over drafting his soul just to get this done. Well, at least it wouldn't be as bad as the experience with the creation of a new recipe. Back then he truly did suffer more than he led on…
For all the pills and talismans Jam was about to prepare, he already knew what to do, but the difficulty of transcending his soul's limits would still be present. Jam managed to get through six hours of work before having to let his soul rest. Then six hours and ten minutes, then six hours and twenty five minutes… The time he could keep on working was evidence of his soul being tempered through the constant over drafting.
Jam was stuck at work for a total of three days, not yet finished with replacing all his pill inventory when the first of his friends came in compliance with his request. Kirin, was the first to come, wondering to himself why Jam would want all of them to stop by once before the trip to the Core Nexus.
'Maybe he wants to fix our equipment before we leave?' He still remembered how in the past, Jam had fixed his armor. Now that he thought about it, he still had that same Tier 3 set as before… maybe Jam could upgrade it to Tier 4 since he had crossed over the Soul Fusion Stage!
Kirin was thinking on the right track, as that was exactly what Jam set out to do. Only, he wouldn't be stopping a Tier 4. Jam took Kirin's armor and spear and quickly upgraded it to Tier 5. It was a shame Jam didn't know anything about the Dao of Ice, or he would have made Kirin's equipment all the more overpowered. The only thing he could do was improve the constitution of Kirin's armor and spear with special Ice and Yin metals, he had harvested in his time crossing the Tundra.
Kirin looked at Jam for a solid second after receiving his equipment back, he thought it was odd for him to recieve Tier 5 armor as Jam was still chuck full of spirit energy, but everyone had their secrets, so he just left Jam a bunch of random natural treasures he had found on his journey with Rina. Jam couldn't even decline his payment, as he teleported away…
"Mhmm… herbs, ores, huh? What's this?" Jam organized the things Kirin left for him and found a couple random jade slips. "Technique, technique, herb locations, technique, geography of the mountains, technique, technique..." there were a bunch of random skills and jade slips full of knowledge, coming straight from the hands of dead Munchie bastards.
"…Garbage, garbage, garbage… I guess these info slips are alright, garbage, garbage… Oh? 81 Hands To Submission? A Blood Dao technique?" Jam was intrigued when he found of all things, a Blood Dao technique.
"Lets see… With the Eighty-One Hands To Submission, nothing is impossible! Ascending to Immortality? Ruling the World? None are capable of stopping when the hands play this symphony of terror!" 'Wow, this sounds like it's pretty dominating' Jam thought, but as he kept reading, his face became increasingly downcast…
"What the fuck! This is just a technique for massaging!" Jam couldn't help but curse after completely reading through the technique. His outburst got Tzatziki's attention, and after a bit of digging, Tzatziki also took on a downcast tone "Jam..."
"Huh? What?" Jam asked. He knew the technique was pretty bad, but it shouldn't have gotten his teacher this upset.
"Jam this technique… Its.. It's the real deal… Though it's been camouflaged as a worthless Saint Realm technique, if you practice it to completion… I can't even begin to think of the damage that would descend across the world with this technique in your hands..."
Jam was surprised. 'Could this shady massaging technique really cause worldwide calamities?' Tzatziki continued "If I'm not mistaken, this technique was the famous signature technique of Evil God Drutchen back before he was killed for his heinous crimes across the Divine Plane. What was it called? Sinuous Hands Of The Devil? This technique… its… forget about it… Just don't go insane with power after you discover its true effects."
'Wow, he already assumed I'd pick it up? Well, now I ready do have to pick it up! If he hadn't spoken I probably would have thrown it aside. Mhmm… could it be that he wants me to pick this technique out of mysticism? Whatever, lets just see how this plays out.' Jam thought to himself, and finished sorting through the jade slips lying around on the floor.
In the end, Jam also picked up some other techniques in various other Daos. Not to train in them like he did his main set of Daos, but to increase his foundation for creating artifacts. Not being able to add Ice Dao runes to Kirin's armor set made Jam feel like he had slighted his friend; he knew for a fact that picking up on Daos, even to the Dao Infusion level was but a joke to him, so he set out to start expanding his foundation.
Among the jade slips Kirin had left for him, Jam could start learning the Ice, Light, Darkness, Yin, Earth, Water, Wood, Metal, Wind, and Martial Daos. There were also a bunch of weapon based Daos he could start learning, but Jam didn't plan on abandoning his Bow and Beams.