[Starfall Mountain Standard Forging Scripture Volume 1]
[Notes: Contains extremely limited knowledge about basic forging techniques. Includes surface-level knowledge about 4770 materials, and 34 treasure nurturing, 18 metal forging, 3 exotic metal processing techniques. Requires 2 Profound Point(s) to comprehend at Master level.]
[Profound Points: 176 -> 174 (-2)]
Han De reviewed his newly acquired knowledge. Everything turned out just as he expected.
'Useless… But, at least I can bluff my way when Yu Xian officially becomes a disciple…'
Any kind of forging seemed an extreme waste of time from Han De's perspective. Money was nearly infinite, but his time was not. He would much rather pay someone than sit on the same spot for days just to temper an item with his Qi.
Thankfully, it wasn't a complete loss. Forging techniques included metallurgy techniques too. Exotic materials like Star Iron couldn't be melted and cast properly without spiritual fires with certain characteristics. But normal materials, like iron, lead, or gold, could be melted with simple spiritual spells. Han De didn't need to find or forge his own spiritual flame.
The building he was inside was a repurposed training hall. Everything in it was thrown away, to the point that Han De could hear the echo of his breathing. The first layer of bunker formations were complete, while secondary, and tertiary ones were almost done being set up outside.
'Conditions could hardly be more ideal…'
Han De created 2 sets of molds through his Immortal Bastion spiritual spell. The first one was finger-sized, the second one was arm-sized rod molds, 100 of each. Then he cut pure iron ingots into smaller pieces with the Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture, and finally used the simple spiritual spell he learned to melt them.
Thanks to the metallurgy knowledge he knew iron's tempering characteristics. But for the purposes of his test, he simply let them cool on their own.
Hordes of array materials appeared from the storage ring he got from Long Yanmei. Han De did a small calculation in his mind.
'There's enough for… 10000 batches. Plenty of wiggle room, not bad…'
Unlike forging, or alchemy, arrays didn't take that much effort. Especially the simple ones could be set up in an instant, provided the materials were ready. Han De was setting up already existing designs, not creating new ones.
Unlike a traditional railgun, his railgun formation didn't use any physical rails. He still stuck to the dual magnetic field concept since it was easy enough to recreate with what was available. Besides, what he was looking for was proof of concept, not R&D.
A few minutes of blind fiddling with magnetic formations later, he realized he was almost ready to test.
'Alright! I can form a barrel with Immortal Bastion and start testing!'
Though the sight before him was quite disappointing, Han De wasn't flustered. So what if his first prototype of a railgun formation had a diameter of 25 meters?! Those were minor details!
Han De couldn't help but look around with caution. His mother's spiritual sense was far away. Through reality sense, he could still detect her traces even behind the bunker formations. However, so far she was the only one he could detect while he was in 'close proximity' with Long Ai.
Long Yanmei's cultivation was unknown, she could be watching him right now. Asking someone's cultivation was rude, but since she was serving under Han De, it was still acceptable. He couldn't help but feel slight regret.
'Oh well, a railgun isn't some earth-shattering secret anyway…'
At first Han De wanted to use spirit stones as the energy source. In the interest of saving time though, he decided to use his own Qi for now.
'Barrel is looking good. The finger-sized rod cooled down and looks alright. Target has adequate defenses. Everything is ready.'
Han De charged 10% of his maximum Qi into the array, and went outside the building. To be even safer, he created 10 layers of shields with the Immortal Bastion spiritual spell. He would rather over prepare rather than under prepare!
'9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Fire…
It should've fired, right?'
One flaw of the bunker formations was the blocking of spiritual sense. The formation was set on a 2-minute timer to give Han De enough time to vacate and take cover.
'I should wait a few more minutes, just in case there was an error with my setup…'
10% of his energy wasn't enough to kill him, but it could injure him, especially in the form of a freak accident. Han De stared at this 'Calamity Attractor' fate as he waited 5 more minutes. Just in case.
When he finally went inside after 10 minutes, he was surprised. The target he set up had shielding formations, and 5 layers of full power shields made with his Immortal Bastion spell. The formation was intact, but those 5 layers were gone.
'It… makes sense. 5 layers take less than 1%. Even with the loss of energy through air travel, it makes sense… Wait…'
Han De was… dumbfounded!
'Did I… actually make a railgun?'
He couldn't believe his eyes.
'This S#$% actually works??
After jamming 348 formation scriptures inside his brain, perhaps it shouldn't have been that surprising. Given enough materials, time, and opportunity, he could make an entire continent disappear through arrays alone. Propelling a metal rod wasn't rocket science compared to that.
Still, in Han De's eyes, this was a monumental moment. It was proof that his spotty science knowledge had a practical use in this Xianxia universe.
Meanwhile, just as Han De suspected, Long Yanmei was watching Han De's every step. The 'bunker' formations as Han De called it, weren't powerful enough to block her spiritual sense. Even if they were, she would've modified them on the spot so she could observe Han De more.
She too, was a little surprised.
'Did that small piece of regular iron destroy a Nascent Soul level shield?'
It was impressive for a piece of iron size of a finger, but in the end, it was an impractical technique.
Under Long Yanmei's watchful spiritual sense, Han De grabbed an arm-sized rod this time. If it worked, then naturally, he had to go bigger!
After some light modifications, the formation was ready. This time, he wanted to test the current formation's limit. Once he loaded up 50% of his total Qi, he followed the self-made safety procedures and stepped outside once again.
'3… 2… 1… Fi-'
Long Yanmei's eyes opened wide. She realized Han De wasn't randomly testing. He understood the principles of mass! Was Long Xiu careless enough to teach natural laws to her Nascent Soul realm son? Long Yanmei rejected the thought immediately. Then, her eyes lit up with understanding. Han De was testing his own understanding, to further refine his knowledge.
Han De checked the bunker formation's energy to get a better idea of what's going on. He couldn't even spot a drop in the bunker's energy reserves. For safety's sake, he carefully disabled spiritual sense blocking sections.
As he tentatively moved his spiritual sense inside, and saw how the room was utterly covered with soot from the inside. Starting from the target at one corner of the room, specks of molten iron were everywhere. Even the backup rods he prepared were nowhere to be seen. The railgun formation itself was destroyed too.
'Oh, it didn't explode. It was the impact that damaged it…'
Ultimately, Han De was a Nascent Soul expert. His power was limited to the Nascent Soul realm. However, this was an array that propelled regular material at high speed. Han De only chose to use his own power out of convenience.
What if he used something else? What if he used an Immortal Realm treasure? What if he used a Transcendent Realm power source? Unlike other arrays of higher realms, the railgun array was stupidly simple.
'OK, I can etch arrays into the rods to reduce the air friction. That should prevent some of the energy loss. The size of the array isn't a problem. I don't care if I can't carry it around. Using it as artillery isn't a bad idea.'
Besides, after seeing the scorched interior of the training hall, Han De wasn't willing to stay near one of them. Han De wasn't as tough as the walls of the training hall. He wasn't made out of exotic materials!
'I need more testing to calculate the destructive force and test its range...'
After thinking things through, and letting the training hall cool down enough, Han De recreated everything from scratch. In the next few tests, he used finger-sized projectiles and only used 0.1% of his power to charge the formation.
Even with a small projectile and minimal amount of power, the array was accurate enough to hit the same point in nearly 40 tests.
Han De enthusiastically took out his diary to start taking notes, but he stopped after remembering Long Xiu's spiritual sense. Someone else might be watching, there was no point in showing the English language to anyone else.
'I must make a large-scale prototype and test orbital bombardment as soon as possible…'
He reckoned he could make easily make a bus-sized rod and spit it out at extremely high speeds. It was only a matter of energy! Reaching close to 1% of light-speed was not only possible, but it looked relatively simple!
In the next few hours, Han De did tests by carving friction reduction arrays into the rods themselves. Through trying to make sense of his test, he started using made-up units.
The results were a mixed bag. Simply reducing the air friction didn't increase the destructive force. If he put 1 unit of Spiritual Energy into the railgun array and 1 unit into the rod to friction reduction array of the rod, the total damage was similar to putting 2 units into the railgun array.
Both cases destroyed 10 to 12 layers of extremely thin shields. Though the measurements weren't exactly accurate, the picture they painted was obvious. Both were losing energy, but in different places.
'Still, in terms of orbital bombardment, an anti-friction array might be useful.'
Long Yanmei kept watching Han De's experiments despite not understanding his reasonings. She had set up her zither a few hours and was waiting for him to leave.
A cultivator like her could understand taking defensive measures against higher cultivation individuals. More trump cards one had, the better their chances of survival would be.
However, the thought of attacking someone 5 major realms higher than herself, would never even cross her mind. That level of difference could only be dealt with through social connections.
If a Transcendent Realm expert dared to attack an Immortal Realm disciple of the Long family, would the Long family let the matter go? Of course not. The expert and all their associates would be destroyed in retaliation. This was the benefit of being a member of an organization.
For Han De though, this could be barely considered a benefit, because retaliation was useless. Why would he care about his family avenging him when he was already dead? It just didn't make any sense!
When he was at the Core Formation realm, he was often attacked by Nascent Soul experts! When he was at the Nascent Soul realm, he encountered Immortal Realm experts! If this kept up, he was bound to die. One way or another!
'Even if the Orbital Bombardment project doesn't work, I can make my lackeys mass-produce bomb formations. Ok, in hindsight, learning those formation scriptures wasn't that bad of an idea.'
After reviewing his options, Han De went outside to find Long Yanmei. It didn't take long for him to hear her playing zither. The melody evoked a sense of loneliness and longing. He used his spiritual sense and found her underneath a lonely tree in one of the side courtyards.
Han De immediately gave her +5 style points. This woman knew her stuff. The sight of her playing zither in a trance was simply too mesmerizing! Too… Xianxia-like!
'If this is the level of romance she's going for, I can handle this. Easy.'
The normal procedure for something like this was to stand still in a daze. And Han De did that. Then he thought of something. Why was he trying to fake interest?
This time, Han De's really stood still in a daze.
'Wait. Why am I automatically refusing her? What was my original thought process? There's something wrong with this picture.'
One reason was the values within the Xianxia universe. Compared to western society, marriage here was much more serious. Divorce was extremely rare, and pre-marital relationships without the intent of marriage were highly frowned upon.
The other more pressing issue was to stay within the cultivation idiot's template. At the time, that made perfect sense. Han De had no idea of the System's limits, and his family's cultivation was extremely high.
Since then, he had met Long Ai and was still alive. Through soul cultivation he even started suspecting himself to be the previous incarnation of the cultivation idiot. The value of sticking to the idiot's template was at an all-time low.
This revelation proved that Han De needed to re-evaluate some of his earlier crisis plans.
Of course, what Han De decided on was a re-evaluation. He was aware of his weakness. Safety was still his number one concern.
Long Yanmei finished her piece and expertly noticed Han De gazing at her from afar. She bowed with perfect posture.
"My lord Han De, this Long Yanmei apologizes for the unsightly display."
Han De could tell this spectacle was supposed to evoke his instinct to protect her. Unfortunately, his alarm bells started ringing instead.
'She knows that I know she is trying to manipulate me, but she is doing it anyway because even if I know she is confident that she'll win in the end?'
This woman with the soul-shattering voice, was actually good at manipulation! Even if he didn't need to preserve the cultivation idiot's template, he still needed to be aware of the dangers!
Long Yanmei noticed Han De's accelerated heartbeat, and his difficult-to-decipher gaze. She prevented herself from frowning and continued her strong but vulnerable act. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bad idea, because Han De's heartbeat kept accelerating!
'I've made a mistake' though Long Yanmei. She already suspected Han De lacked experience when dealing with women. Still, she went through with her seduction at a slow pace, to lay the groundwork for the future. She never could've expected Han De to be this… unfortunate. No wonder he still had his vital yang energy.
Normally, she would've withdrawn and acted in a reserved manner to further increase the curiosity towards her. Unfortunately, if she did that now, Han De's interest may go over the critical point. If there was no Wen Jiayi that would've been fine, but Long Yanmei couldn't afford to be the one that ruined that alliance.
While she kept hesitating, Han De made the decision.
This was going to be the first accident!