Just to make sure, he read that line over and over again. He focused on each and every single word. One by one.
[Can only cultivate, contain, or interact with Primordial Qi types.]
'… I can't cultivate non-Primordial scriptures? So, no Sword Qi, no Spear Qi? Non-elemental cultivation methods can't be used either?
…What the F#$% is Primordial Qi…'
Thankfully, the System didn't answer with [It's Qi, just more Primordial].
'S#$%, this isn’t just a matter of cultivation method at this point. How am I going to divine stuff if I can't use Light Qi? How am I going to use the aura of the Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture without Light Qi?.'
Han De couldn't help but notice the convenient appearance of the scripture modification feature. Though it wasn’t unlocked just yet, the System had mentioned it already. It was just a waiting game at this point. Everything fit together well. Too well.
In video game terms, this would be known as a gold sink. Since the currency generated by a game is infinite, there had to be ways to remove some of it from players. Repairs, cosmetic modifications, and sales tax were common gold sinks.
Han De knowingly nodded to himself. Part of him really believed that this was a gold sink mechanic, while a part of him was just desperately hoping.
'Just as I expected. There had to be a Profound Point sink. It seems not even the System is immune to the effects of inflation.'
A gold sink wasn't a problem. Any new plan he was going to make will take it into account now that he was aware of it. The problem was the modification feature itself. For some reason, none of the privilege level 3 features unlocked properly.
'I guess I better use all the tokens, starting from the Enlightenment Token. Then Method Creation, and finally Method Modification.'
Han De purposefully didn't make any plans for creating or modifying a method by himself. Thanks to the cultivation idiot, he knew what it would take to create a martial art from scratch. Thanks to grandmaster level scriptures in his mind, he also knew how things could go horribly wrong.
Creating a new cultivation method was a risky and time-consuming endeavor. Lack of knowledge about the so-called Primordial Qi types wasn't helping either. It would take years to create a method that was safe enough to use, and that was only for the Qi Condensation stage.
Modifying a cultivation method also wasn't simple. In some cases, it was harder than creating a new method. There was a reason why Starfall Mountain Sect utterly failed to complete and simplify the Blazing Sun Scripture. The elders that tried were experts in their fields, none of them were incompetent.
'Sebastian would be the last resort before contacting my family. Creating a basic cultivation method shouldn't be too hard for a higher being, even it is a netherdemon. Constructing the correct pretext without hurting my image is the difficult part…'
Han De checked and rechecked everything within his status page. Then he took some notes on his diary to better organize his thoughts. After making sure he had no stone unturned, he was finally ready to activate the Enlightenment Token.
He noticed there were quite a few written pages in the diary as he threw it away, but since his mind was focused on fixing his cultivation problem, the thought of looking at the previous pages simply flew away from his mind.
'Right. How does this even work? OK. Calm down. Yeah, let's calm down and focus. Cultivation method. I need a cultivation method. Cultivation. Method.'
[Enlightenment Token Invoked]
[Calculated consumption at the current realm is 134 Profound Points per minute]
[Profound Points: 8746]
'...Cultivatio- Wait what? It uses Profound Points?!'
[Initiating final preparations]
'F#$%... Cultivation Method. Cultivation Method. Cultivation Method.'
[Entering Enlightened State]
Han De's mind went blank.
Even without the Profound Point cost, he knew every second of enlightenment was precious. He had to squeeze the most value of this token.
Nearly a full minute passed by, but Han De's mind was still completely blank. Nothing came to his mind. This oddly peaceful state was rather comfortable. Who would've thought not having any worries was such a pleasant experience? Ignorance was bliss. Truly.
If he could, Han De would stay in this state forever. If only cultivation was this blissful, he would cultivate 24/7 nonstop!
Somehow, the experience of enlightenment gave a feeling of Deja vu. But not in a good way.
It was then, Han De was reminded of his life's mission. The feeling of Déjà vu subsided, and Han De sneered.
'I do need some reference.'
[Blazing Sun Scripture requires 231 Profound Points to advance to the Grandmaster level]
[Celestial Storm Scripture requires 168 Profound Points to advance to the Grandmaster level]
'Very interesting, so the Grandmaster level also gives me the lifelong habits of a true Grandmaster. But that's not important right now.'
Han De's went over the Grandmaster cultivation methods that he had. Starfall Scripture, Blazing Sun Scripture, Celestial Storm Scripture, Yellow Grove Scripture. All 4 had different elements and followed different paths to cultivate. Although their process was different, and the output was different, their basic input was the same. Raw spiritual energy was the basis of them all.
'I see. This Primordial Light Qi is closer to the raw spiritual energy. It is a less refined but more sophisticated version of the regular Light Qi. More difficult to control, but holds more properties. It can take the shape of lesser versions, but can't be cultivated with simplified methods.'
As soon as Han De thought about the properties of the Primordial Qi types, his mind was filled with thousands of possibilities. He silently enumerated them all and rejected the wrong ones instantly. He didn't know why they were wrong; he just knew that they were wrong.
'I see, this Chaos energy is actually a different state of the raw spiritual energy. It clashes with raw spiritual energy. Refining raw Chaos energy into Chaos Qi is obviously crucial.
Destabilize the Chaos Qi and release the Chaos energy inside it. The spiritual energy that interacts with the Chaos energy will destabilize and become malleable. Then use another Chaos Qi strand to attract the raw Chaos energy. Only then the refining process can start. Such a convoluted method...'
The process was quite violent, but Han De didn't bat an eye. He moved on to the refinement process instead. Every passing second Han De rejected thousands of permutations. He had mastered hundreds of scriptures, and grandmastered 4 cultivation scriptures. This accumulation of experience allowed him to fully exploit his enlightenment state.
'This is the configuration. Cycle time is too much but the efficiency is great. Doesn't have any latent dangers. Fits the Otherworldly Light Body well.'
Different types of Qi were better at different things. Light Qi was great for illusions and healing, but its gentle nature was terrible for offensive arts and spells. Fire Qi was aggressive in nature and was difficult to use for defense. Han De hadn't encountered Chaos energy, or Chaos Qi. He never heard of them either. It was all theoretical at this point. Still, he was able to grasp some of the properties of the Chaos Qi.
'1. It has something to do with reality.
2. Its nature makes divinations obsolete. No, it isn't divinations, that is just the symptom, not the cause.
3. Doesn't interact with anything without outside intervention.'
"Sebastian, take out the illusion scriptures from the ring."
While the butler was busy, Han De went over the initial cultivation method and refined it further. Primordial Light Qi was rather impressive. Its cultivation wasn't easy, but it was worth the effort.
[Wandering Mirage Scripture requires 187 Profound Points in total to comprehend at the Grandmaster level]
[Twilight Phantasm Scripture requires 141 Profound Points in total to comprehend at the Grandmaster level]
Han De had chosen those illusion scriptures right before leaving the sect. Thankfully all the scriptures he retrieved were still in his main storage ring rather than the rings he gave to his disciples.
'Interesting. Chaos Qi is very suitable for illusion arts, just like I thought. It works both ways though. Illusion can become reality, and reality can become illusion. Latter isn't that hard, but the former won't happen without elevating my existence first.'
Wandering Mirage Scripture turned out to be an external illusion art. In lower levels, it was mere tricks of light. As proficiency advances, more intricate illusions could be made. These illusions were nothing more than holograms, however. The amount of Light Qi required to make something tangible wasn't something to scoff at. It would take a late-stage Foundation Establishment just to be able to make a usable dining table.
Twilight Phantasm Scripture in contrast was an internal illusion art. It projected the illusion directly to the mind and soul of the target. It was more of a hybrid between mind techniques and illusion techniques. In some ways it was similar to the Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture.
'With only a few modifications, these two illusion arts could be used with the Primordial Light Qi. I should have grandmastered these long ago...'
Modifications were fairly easy to make due to the structure of the Primordial Light Qi. In the future though, he would have to create new methods!
With the illusion methods out of the way, Han De concentrated on the elephant in the room. Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture. It was the most complicated method that he had. It became much more energy-efficient after using upgrade tokens, but unfortunately, most of those modifications were now useless. Han De used the latest version as a basis but removed all of the Qi generation functions without hesitation. Reconstruction of those sections took more than 20 minutes!
Next was the Immortal Sentinel Scripture. His only divination method. It worked by detecting the changes in fate through the usage of a medium. Compared to other mediums such as coins, starlight was far more reliable. Its origin was millions of light-years away, as such, it didn't need any cleansing, and it couldn't be tampered with. Modifying the Immortal Sentinel Scripture was a good usage of enlightenment time.
[Through the Starlight requires 86 Profound Points to advance to the Grandmaster level]
[Immortal Bastion requires 35 Profound Points to advance to the Grandmaster level]
[Golden Spark requires 41 Profound Points to advance to the Grandmaster level]
[Heavenly Gaze requires 27 Profound Points to advance to the Grandmaster level]
Changes for his various spiritual spells and his footwork method popped in Han De's mind one after the other. Although spells were much simpler than illusion scriptures, they obviously had a depth of their own and still took some time to modify them.
He still had enough points to continue for another 10 or so minutes. However, according to his calculations, if he tried to create a body cultivation method its power would be severely limited, and it would be incomplete. Mastering and converting other spiritual spells had certain risks too. He needed future proof options, not one-off spells. Quality was far more important than quantity.
After considering that he still had a chance to create a method with a token as well, Han De decided to exit the enlightenment mode.
[Time Elapsed: 00:48:18]
[Enlightenment Expenditure: 6473]
[Error: Modifications in progress]
[Secondary upgrade in progress. Timeframe unknown.]
[Congratulations! A new enlightenment record has been set!]
It took Han De a few minutes to come around. When he finally regained his faculties, he was speechless.
[You have created a new cultivation scripture!]
[Issuing 100 Profound Points as a reward.]
[Light of Creation Scripture (Mortal)]
[Power: Very Weak]
[Stage: Qi Condensation (0/13)]
[Profound Points: 8746 -> 1357]
Grandmastering many different arts in one sitting was a heavy blow. Not because of the Profound Points expenditure, but because of the phenomena that came with grandmaster comprehension level.
'I have to be conscious of cultivation and illusion related actions. Hopefully I won't gain some strange habits...'
As he went over the whole experience Han De noticed something peculiar. He could remember everything that happened, but he couldn't remember how or why they had happened.
'How the hell did I determine the qualities of the Primordial Light Qi? How the hell did I invent this circulation method?! F#$%! Is this thing even safe to cultivate?! Where the F#$% did this Chaos energy stuff come from?!'
At the time, he had full confidence in his theories, but now it looked as if he made everything up. The damage would be catastrophic if his assumptions were wrong. Han De started taking deep breaths.
'It's fine. It was enlightenment. It's natural to forget about everything else and act like a jackass. Weren't there stories about a soldier that went through enlightenment in the middle of a battle? Yes, this is normal. Absolutely normal.'
Han De opened his eyes. He wanted to check the new modified scriptures, but he couldn't focus on anything due to complicated emotions. Relief, bitterness, and regret completely paralyzed him. Han De couldn't figure out why he was feeling like this. Was it a residual effect of the enlightenment? He felt too tired to speculate. A massive weight was finally off his shoulders, a weight that he didn't even know was there.
What would cultivation idiot think if he were here? He had spent years, sacrificed his precious cultivation time, just to find someone that went through enlightenment!
His life goal was fulfilled with one random token.
Out of habit, Han De wanted to change the scene, but his cultivation was too low for conjuring illusions. He could only sigh with resignation instead.
'I am already at the grandmaster level with the Light of Creation Scripture. By the way, who gave it that name? I certainly don't remember naming anything. And why is this so wordy and long? It’s almost like a novel for F#$% sake!
Should I even cultivate this? The System recognized the cultivation method. It was created through enlightenment too. It should be safe...'
From Han De's perspective, only half a day ago he was sitting on the jury-rigged spiritual boat, making steady progress with his cultivation. But now, he was reduced to the 1st stage of the Qi Condensation. Thankfully, he was still rich. Those copious amounts of resources inside his storage ring were the second largest factor that was keeping Han De sane at the moment.
[Compatible Cultivation Method Found]
Han De gave his undivided attention to the System prompt. He had a feeling that this particular prompt was important!
'… Uhh… '
But nothing happened.
'Don't tell me the System is running out of batteries. Is that the reason for all those errors and missing texts?'
If it wasn't for the ancient insane beings that had power beyond imagination, Han De couldn't care less about the System itself. But since he already had experienced close encounters of the unspeakable kind, he was firmly within the pro-System side right now.
'Hey, System, get it together man. You can do it! Come o-'
[Error: Environmental energy is inadequate]
"Find me a place with _extremely_ rich spiritual energy reserves. Now."
Sebastian immediately re-checked all the areas with rich spiritual energy and reconsidered their positives and negatives. Once it was done, it re-checked, then re-checked, more than a hundred times.
* * *
Being the dharma protector of the young master was a great honor. Doing it thrice in a row, was an even greater honor. Trust of the young master was really the greatest reward that Sebastian was hoping for. That's why it was so meticulous before, and why it was so meticulous now.
However, being right under a populated cultivator settlement made things tricky. Sebastian did not put its own assumptions to its master. And it did not question anything.
As far as it knew:
1. Young master's current body was important.
2. Young master didn't want to kill, or otherwise bother with this world's population.
Thus, Sebastian first started with warnings. Any spiritual energy fluctuation above a certain level received some of its netherworld aura. Unfortunately, things escalated quickly.
First it there was the attempts to probe with spiritual sense. Inexplicably, once the spiritual senses were blocked, some of the Transcendent Realm disciples started digging! The impudence made Sebastian's blood boil! All those vibrations and spiritual energy fluctuations… was unacceptable!
Instantly all those involved were destroyed in body and soul. Anyone that was 2nd step or higher was put into a deep nightmare for good measure. Anyone that tried to cultivate was crippled. Anyone that tried to have a breakthrough was torn to pieces. Anyone that spoke over a certain loudness level passed out.
Sebastian took no chances.
The next 4 hours were relatively peaceful after the first few minutes of chaos. There wasn't even a need to separate the space this time. The ancient array access point they were on top of was far sturdier than the lesser plate from before.
Naturally, it wasn't an accident that Sebastian chose this place instead of others. A servant had to be proactive. A servant had to pay great attention to minute details. A servant had to fulfill not only their master's wants, but their needs as well.