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‘Scripture Modification feature? Is that like the Scripture Modification Token? So I can spend Profound Points instead of farming the tokens?’

Han De had predicted there would be Profound Point sinks in the future. This feature fit the bill.

‘Wouldn’t hurt to check it out, I have so many points anyway.’


[Scripture Modification Feature Invoked]

[Gathering Statistics]
[Feature Level: 1]

[…]

[Choose scripture to modify]


‘… Blazing Sun?’


[Blazing Sun Scripture (Earth I)]
[Power: Very Weak]
[Comprehension: Grandmaster]
----------------------------------------------
[Modify Cycle Speed] [Cost: 50]
[Modify Cycle Efficiency] [Cost: 50]
[Modify Conversion Rate] [Cost: 50]
[Modify Conversion Stability] [Cost: 50]

[Modify Core Concept] [Cost: 500]
[Modify Core Element] [Cost: 100]


Han De waited, but no other panels appeared.

‘So it is useless in level 1? No perks, or detailed stuff like that?’

Unlike what he expected, the prices seemed extremely reasonable. The Method Upgrade Token was 200 points, Han De assumed the token simply ticked the first four features and left the Core Concept and Core Element alone.

‘Hmm. What would happen if I were to change the element of the Blazing Sun from Fire into Ice? Will it become Blazing Ice Scripture? Can Ice even blaze?...

Oh right, this is a Xianxia. Ice can burn too…’

Even his own Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture would darken the surroundings every time he used it. Wasn’t it a light element method? Why were the surroundings going dark? Han De had long stopped questioning these things.

‘What happens to the unmodified scripture? System, will you create a copy of it? Or will you rewrite the whole thing? I’d like to know if I need to carry back up scriptures just in case I screw up.

You wouldn’t rewrite it, would you? Surely you’d create a copy, right? Right?...’

Naturally, there was no response.

‘My mind is like a hard disk. The System can write, rewrite, or delete anything from it.’

Han De sighed and decided to test this feature anyway.

‘If I can change the concept and element of any scripture, what’s stopping me from modifying the Eternal Light Scripture and giving customized versions to my disciples?

… Huh… This might end up pretty OP…’

Han De’s lips curled upwards with anticipation.

Of course, there was another, personal positive as well. If Han De was supposed to get Dark element roots in the future, this feature was the exact thing he needed. He wouldn’t have to depend on unreliable features like the Enlightenment Token!

‘Yu Xian has his own perverted cultivation method. Treebeard will probably use that stupid scripture too. Only Liang Cuifen remains. She has ice element roots and an extreme yin constitution. What would be a good concept for her?...’

Though Han De did have a starter pack for the Ice element, everything in it was [Extremely Weak]. Since even Jin Shu had a [Very Weak] method now, he felt like all of his disciples should have at least [Very Weak] method to rely on.

‘If I go to extremes there might be some weird side effects. What was the stereotypical side effect for the Ice element? What if I choose ‘Absolute Zero’ as the core concept?’

As Han De was considering the options, a voice transmission request came through.

<Young master, disciples Ning Bi, Yao Qing, and Jin Shu exited their seclusions.>

‘Finally!’

<… Summon all my disciples. That includes Treebeard, Yu Xian, and Liang Cuifen.>

The lackey that sent the voice transmission went to work at once.

‘Right, wasn’t he the guy with the crazy eyes? Merry or something?’

Han De went back to method modification.


[Light Through a Single Thought (Mortal I)]
[Power: Extremely Weak]
[Comprehension: Master]
----------------------------------------------
[Modify Cycle Speed] [Cost: 50]
[Modify Cycle Efficiency] [Cost: 50]
[Modify Conversion Rate] [Cost: 50]
[Modify Conversion Stability] [Cost: 50]

[Modify Core Concept] [Cost: 500]
[Modify Core Element] [Cost: 100]


Light Through a Single Thought was one the most useless cultivation methods in Han De’s repertoire. In the beginning, he had learned this method so he could use a Derive Cultivation Method Token to get a better cultivation scripture for himself.

Unfortunately, that plan had failed from the start, and seeing the Derive Cultivation Method Token’s whopping 50000 Profound Points price tag, Han De didn’t dare waste them on frivolous tests. He still had all 5 of them in his inventory.

‘Alright, this scripture’s concept is to waste as little spiritual energy as possible, even at the cost of cultivation speed. Wait, I shouldn’t change the concept, I should just change the element, that’s cheaper for a proof-of-concept.’

Just for a tiny moment, Han De entertained death-seeking thoughts and pondered whether he should change the scripture to the Dark element.

‘What the F#$% is wrong with me today? System, change the element to… Air.’

Technically speaking, that was the least dangerous element for Han De right now. No one he knew has the Air element, he couldn’t cultivate it by accident, and it wasn’t one of the traditional Xianxia elements. The odds of meeting an Air or Wind element MC were rather low.


[…]

[Processing…]

[Notes: Modified cultivation method will become incompatible.]

[…]

[Congratulations.]
[Modified version of the Light Through a Single Thought cultivation method has been added to the repository.]

[Profound Points: 529874 -> 529774 (-100)]


[Alluring Whistle of the Sage (Mortal I)]
[Power: Extremely Weak]
[Comprehension: Intermediate (0/16)]
[Stage: - ]


‘… What’s with the name?- Wait, I can still remember Light Through a Single Thought! So it’s a copy!’

For once, the System made sense! Han De started smiling as he thought of new applications of this feature.

Four hours of theory crafting later, he realized his disciples were yet to arrive.

* * *

Four hours ago.

The time Yu Xian spent inside the celestial ship confirmed his suspicions. Every inch of the ship was made of exotic materials!

Doorknobs? Made from a variation myriad reflectance steel. Calling it a variation was stretching the reality a little bit, true myriad reflectance steel was less dense, by an order of five magnitudes!

Bed frame? At least a million years old wood from an unknown species of demon trees!

Pillowcase? He couldn’t even identify what it was made of! What kind of creature could create threads that are thinner than anything he thought possible?!

What about the floor tiles? Yu Xian determined that they were made from some type of crystal. And that was it. Even with his treasured little hammer, that was the extent of his capabilities as a blacksmith god!

If Yu Xian had a small amount of these materials at the height of his power, he could have refined a heaven-defying treasure and lay waste to whoever dared to rebel against him!

‘… A Celestial Realm master… might not be able to damage those bedsheets…’

The Long family was truly a family of higher beings. Yu Xian thought he now had a firm grasp of the difference in power.

This also gave him an idea of the Han family’s status. Han De’s robes weren’t ordinary in the first place, but a random faucet inside the bathrooms was tens of thousands of times more expensive!

The Han family married up. Pure and simple.

‘At least this means I won’t have trouble acquiring resources.’

As a blacksmith god, practicality was in Yu Xian’s blood.

As he stood on top of the flying sword of a servant, he was able to get a better sense of the lay of the land. For some reason, the servant was flying rather slowly, which worked to Yu Xian’s advantage.

‘There’s a city inside the celestial ship?’

How big was this artifact? In his youth, Yu Xian had crafted the biggest celestial ship of the Sable Dusk Realms, all by himself. Putting multiple cities inside a celestial ship though, had not occurred to him.

The servant slowly decreased their altitude as they flew, and Yu Xian gained a newfound respect for the architecture of this city. Arrangement of the buildings, gardens, walls, streets, all were reinforcing the same design, the same concept, He couldn’t understand their meaning, but he could at least appreciate their existence.

‘… Are all those buildings made of exotic materials too?’

Suddenly, there were complicated feelings within his heart.

When he finally got off the flying sword, he realized they weren’t done. As a sign of respect, they couldn’t get close to the palace with flight. They had to walk the rest of the way.

Yu Xian had treated his own subjects in a similar manner. Now that he, the blacksmith god, had to go through the same treatment, he couldn’t help but shake his head with a smile.

‘Maybe I was a bit too self-important back then…’

As he slowly walked towards the palace on the horizon, Yu Xian noticed the size discrepancy. Han De’s temporary residence on board this celestial ship looked to be five times higher than his old Golden Dragon Palace.

The might of Yu Xian’s proud accomplishments seemed to be getting lower and lower each passing day!

Four hours walking in silence later, he saw the other disciples and Liang Cuifen.

The girl from his ‘new old home’ was also shocked by their treatment, but unexpectedly, she adapted quite quickly. Perhaps this was an expected development in hindsight. Since unlike Yu Xian, she couldn’t understand the true nature of the materials around her.

Yu Xian understood, that’s why he couldn’t properly sleep or cultivate for the past 2 days!

The older three disciples seemed to have advanced a major realm. There was a marked difference in their demeanor and temperament.

Their strangely named temporary teacher was present too. Was he going to report their progress? If such an irregular event was going to take place, why did they make such a show and walked for four hours?

Then, Yu Xian remembered. The whims of a young master could not be underestimated. At least the old guy called Wu Fu wasn’t here. A mortal at that age could die from a brisk walk!

Through the long walk, Yu Xian was also able to reflect on the events of the past few days. Seeing Han De’s other disciples, his status, his skills, the former God-King of the Sable Dusk Realms came to an unexpected conclusion.

‘If it wasn’t for his higher being relative, Han De wouldn’t have accepted me as a disciple.’

It made sense. If Yu Xian was in Han De’s place, he wouldn’t like a dashing young man near his harem either. No wonder the disciples were wary of him; Han De had already warned them!

Five disciples, new and old, walked inside in silence. Once inside the hall, Yu Xian could barely hear the echoes of Han De’s calm voice.

“… no more walking… … … Stop wasting time… Get… so th… Peng… ..each you.”

The last sentence was clearly a warning, even though Yu Xian couldn’t understand the content, the intent was clear.

Five disciples and one teacher entered the hall without announcements. Yu Xian understood the reason with a glance at the surroundings. The giant hall was empty, not even the admonished servants remained inside. As they walked, Han De stared at them with a frown.

One by one, he gazed at everyone. Though Yu Xian did meet the eyes of his ‘master’, he was unsure of what was going to happen next. Han De’s temperament seemed… unstable!

Was he going to admonish his disciples too? Could this be a regular occurrence? Yu Xian didn’t know what to expect, because he never saw a young master take disciples!

Finally, Han De’s gaze settled on the girl with azure-colored eyes. The one called Yao Qing, who gave Yu Xian a sense of balance and stillness.

Han De stared at her for a while without a word. The atmosphere within the hall turned odd. Soon, Han De narrowed his eyes, and looked as if he was extremely displeased. Though the girl called Yao Qing had beads of sweat trickling down, Yu Xian thought Han De wasn’t angry at her, but something else.

The tension among the disciples rose as Han De stood up. His unceasing gaze stayed on Yao Qing as he closed the distance step by step. An invisible pressure started weighing down on Yu Xian’s very soul. This kind of oppression reminded him of the past, when he met an ancient spirit as a fledgling Core Formation disciple.

By the time Han De was within 6 steps' distance of Yao Qing, Yu Xian could barely breathe. Because of the suffocating pressure, he didn’t even think of checking other disciples’ conditions. If he did, he would’ve realized that no one besides Yao Qing and him was having difficulties.

Neither Ning Bi nor Jin Shu felt any pressure. Both could only watch their master in bewilderment. Treebeard knew he lacked context and stayed silent. Liang Cuifen didn’t know what to expect, so she thought this was all normal.

Meanwhile, Yao Qing, seeing her master’s reaction, already understood that she had some kind of abnormality.

Some part of her tried to resist, but the other, more dominant side stood still.

As her master got closer, Yao Qing felt as if she was standing at the threshold of existence. Once he was close enough for her to feel his breath, the previously small voice within her had turned into a world-ending tidal wave!

She had to run! She had to flee! She had to survive! Whatever the cost!

An intent bloomed within Yao Qing. As her master’s hand reached her glabella, she used every fiber of her being to stay still. Then, she felt his touch!

All meaningless thoughts of survival left her. A moment later, she realized the source of her fear was external! Something that was planted within her!

Yao Qing met the eyes of her master. Within those bottomless depths, was insurmountable anger! Her master had brushed paths with the source of her abnormality! And became enraged!

Illusory flowers started to bloom around the two of them. At that moment, Yao Qing remembered. In the rambling writings of that primordial, Black Chrysanthemums were the symbol of the End.

**Rumble**

Because of her bloodline, Yao Qing was especially attuned to the heavenly energies and recognized intent within the punishment.

Her master should have recognized it too, she thought. Yet he only stared at the illusory Black Chrysanthemums. Then, out of nowhere, he plucked one!

**Rumble**

Yao Qing couldn’t believe her eyes. Neither could Yu Xian. Did Han De… Really… Plucked a…?

Meanwhile, Jin Shu inwardly agreed with her master, and pondered whether she could do the same.

**Rumble** **Rumble**

Xin Meili saw how Han De plucked the illusory flower. With her Transcendent Realm senses, she couldn’t prevent herself even if her life depended on it! And right now, it felt as if her life really did depend on it!

As the heavenly punishment rapidly formed, she noticed a change in the illusory flower in the hands of Han De. Suddenly, it became solid!

**Rumble**

**Rumble** **Rumble**

**Rumble** **Rumble** **Rumble**

Yao Qing finally understood the nature of the heavenly punishment. She couldn’t help but scoff as she looked above! As if her master would be swept by an inherited intent from a long-dead ruler of heavens!

‘Impudent!’ She thought.

Han De stared at the illusory flower, then turned his attention back to Yao Qing. The storm clouds he saw around her had finally disappeared, just like the roaring flames around Ning Bi. All he needed to do was to touch her!

Then, he used all of his willpower to ignore the surprise tribulation, and stared at the System panel.


[Detected changes in disciple Yao Qing’s fate.]

[Calibrating…]

[…]
[…]

[Calibration Complete]

[Fate Type: Destroyer of Heavens]


**RUMBLE**

Yao Qing’s eyes flashed and she started emanating a strange power. Han De intuitively understood this was the power of her bloodline. The little noise remained from the faraway Long Ai from completely disappeared. All Han De could detect with his Reality Sense was Yao Qing. Even the heavenly tribulation was drowned!

Yao Qing spoke only one word.

“Break.”

*Crack*

Black Chrysanthemums covering the hall disappeared in an instant. A moment later, tribulation clouds followed suit, albeit reluctantly.

Yao Qing turned her attention to the person responsible. The veil in front of her eyes was no more. The enormous chains that held her back were shattered. Surely, such an act would catch the attention of a certain figure. Yet her master did not even hesitate. On the contrary, he seemed to be annoyed!

“Master, whatever you did in the past, present, and the future, this disciple will always follow in your footsteps.”

Han De looked at his disciple’s azure-colored eyes in surprise. She was a Celestial Realm master in the previous timeline; seeing her jumping to some flimsy conclusion was within Han De’s expectations. However…

‘Did you have to say that out loud? Why don’t you just use voice transmission for F#$%’s sake…’

“Some things are better said out loud, master.”

Yao Qing’s smile showed relief and gratitude. Seeing her back to normal, Han De smiled as he shook his head. He felt that he didn’t deserve this level of gratitude. But thankfully, he worked hard to cultivate a thick skin ever since his arrival to this Xianxia universe.

A master should never openly display their emotions! The Profound Expert Template C made a surprise appearance and shielded Han De’s expressions.

If this scene had happened a few months ago, without a doubt, he would’ve blushed!

* * *

At the tail end of the Han family celestial boat, Xin Meili breathed out a shaky sigh. Though the heavenly punishment looked simple from the outside, the truth was different! If that heavenly lightning had hit, she had no doubt that everyone on board would’ve perished.

On her side, Old Peng smiled.

“All events related to young master’s tribulations are subject to the restrictions from the Grand Elder of the Long family.”

If she were to try to leak even a single word, her soul would be struck down. After seeing the power of the Long family, Xin Meili had no doubts about Old Peng’s claims.

“As for us, nothing will be recorded. This wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last.”

* * *

Far away, Tian Guo felt the karmic connection he had with the girl shake, and eventually snap.

{…}

The restrictions he had put on her were undone.

{…}

He didn’t even feel the slightest fluctuation of power. Everything was done so perfectly, Tian Guo would’ve started doubting whether he had altered the girl at all. Thankfully, he was the ruler of heavens. Such a level of self-doubt didn’t exist in any of the planes he allowed to exist!

{…Seriously?}

The cut-off was so perfect, neither Tian Guo, nor the thousands of lower-level heavens had the chance to summon a tribulation. And yet, he felt the residual scent of heavenly punishment! If he wasn’t alert, he would not have noticed this discrepancy!

Heavens were part of himself, as he was part of the heavens. His power was absolute. Nothing short of total existential restructuring could have an effect over his authority. But once again, something unexpected had happened!

{Black Chrysanthemums? Again?}

Tian Guo started tapping his fingers on his throne.

His survival instincts were warning him!

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