Whether Ling Han and Shui Yanyu were willing or otherwise, Bu Zhengyun was obviously determined to go with them.
In his words, as the host, he naturally had the duty to accompany his guests and introduce the surroundings to them.
He accompanied Ling Han and Shui Yanyu. Wherever they walked to, he would be close behind. He could be considered very cordial, but could also be considered to be monitoring them closely.
Initially, Ling Han had been planning to go and look around the various houses in the village, but the moment he left the main road, Bu Zhengyun would speak up to stop him from progressing further. He would stop them from going over by providing the excuse that the people here did not like being disturbed, and even forbade the couple from talking with the passersby they saw on the streets.
His attempt to conceal things only made it more conspicuous, and caused Ling Han to be even more suspicious.
However, because he had no plans to have a complete falling out with the forces of the Island Master, Ling Han did not take any drastic actions. After taking a simple tour around outside, he returned to the manor.
Luo Wu and Fan Yong had both gone to seek out Guo Xiuwen to learn the art of puppetry. What if they really had talent in this area? If they returned to the Imperial Capital after learning this art, their status would definitely advance to another level.
One would be able to obtain an influential position in his clan, whereas the other would no longer have to follow Zhao Lun, and could be independent, becoming qualified to establish his own faction.
Hence, the two of them were very proactive.
At the beginning, Liu Ying did not seem very interested, but afterwards, it seemed like she was moved, and went out constantly.
In comparison, Yang Tiecheng’s whole mind was focused on returning, and only swordsmithing existed in Jin Zhihui’s eyes. Meanwhile, Yin Yuanxiang led a secluded life, and had always been very unsociable, whereas Fu Tian had completely no interest in areas outside of cultivation.
Day after day passed. Luo Wu, Fan Yong, and Liu Ying simply did not return, as if they had become addicted to learning the art of puppetry.
By the seventh day, Guo Xiuwen came to invite Ling Han and Shui Yanyu to look at the puppet he was close to finishing.
Ling Han did not have any interest in learning puppetry, but was very curious about the uses of puppets. Hence, he agreed readily, and went to the workshop inside the manor with Shui Yanyu.
There was a total of two workshops here, a big one and a small one. The small workshop was Pei Ji’s private area, and even his five disciples would have to obtain special permission before they could enter, whereas the big workshop was the very place they arrived.
Pei Ji taught his disciples how to build puppets here. Usually, they would practice here as well.
The workshop was separated into a considerable number of rooms, and the soundproofing was excellent here. Otherwise, with the constant hammering sounds in the workshop, would the people in other rooms still be capable of thinking in peace?
“In puppet construction, there is much need for care and attention, from the choice of raw materials to engraving of formation patterns and the filling of True Origin Stones,” Guo Xiuwen introduced as they walked. He led Ling Han and Shui Yanyu into a room which was his personal territory.
It was a huge place, and there were various materials and tools laid out all around them.
“I have been building a human-shaped puppet these few days, and have just about reached the final stage.”
This time, he was finally not riding on the tiger-shaped puppet anymore, though it was still following close at his side. Merely looking at the back, it was really no different from a real tiger, but from the front, its two eyes were obviously too fake. Two red gems had been inlaid in place of the eyes—they were not real eyeballs.
He pointed at a human-shaped puppet, an obsessed expression appearing on his face.
This puppet was completely wrapped in white bandages, so it was only clear that this was a human-shaped puppet. However, it was indistinguishable what materials it had been built from.
“The achievement of a puppeteer would be building a puppet that could be passed off as real.” As he touched this semi-finished puppet, he looked excited. He continued, “Please feel free to admire it.”
He cut open the chest of the puppet. It was completely empty inside, and 12 opposing rib bones could be clearly seen. However, they were not white in color, but rather pale gold.
“The bones have gone through a special process, and were inlaid with a layer of Godly metal. Because the raw materials of a puppet have different levels, the levels of the Godly metal are also different. In the case of this puppet, it would be sufficient to use Level Three Godly metal.” Guo Xiuwen continued to explain to Ling Han and Shui Yanyu as he quickly processed the puppet.
“Look, there are formation patterns engraved on each bone. This is extremely crucial. After all, this is not a living creature, and every part could only be activated by depending on the formation patterns. Furthermore, there needs to be comprehensive consideration. Otherwise, the fist could punch out, but the feet would be retreating, and this is naturally unacceptable.”
Guo Xiuwen was full of zest, and did not care whether Ling Han and Shui Yanyu understood and were interested. He was merely talking excitedly all by himself.
“The last step is to insert the True Origin Stones in order to activate the formation patterns.” He brought over a dozen True Origin Stones, then turned to Shui Yanyu, and said, “Miss Shui, would you like to personally insert the True Origin Stones to activate this puppet?”
Shui Yanyu shook her head quickly. Though she knew that it was only a tool, with the idea that it was a “human”, she naturally felt that doing such a thing was very disgusting.
Guo Xiuwen laughed, and did not attempt to persuade her any further. Instead, he said, “No matter what kind of powerful existence, they would have the end and die, and no matter what kind of beautiful woman, she would have the moment when she would wilt and fade.”
He stuffed the True Origin Stones into the stomach of the puppet one by one. Then, he stared at Shui Yanyu, his eyes becoming heated. “Miss Shui, you are so beautiful and captivating. With that kind of appearance, and that kind of figure, you should be frozen eternally, and should not age. Otherwise, that would be a sin!”
“This is unrelated to Brother Guo, I think,” Ling Han interrupted.
“Hehe, I forgot myself and my manners!” Guo Xiuwen quickly apologized as he closed up the chest of the puppet. Naturally, he was not using needle and thread, but rather multiple metal rings which buckled up the chest. Upon a closer look, the other end of the metal rings penetrated into the puppet’s spine.
“Now, please admire!” He took a step back, and showed a fanatical expression.
Weng , this puppet suddenly snapped its eyes open. Then, it swiftly stood. It seemed to be slightly dazed as it looked around.
“In that Earth’s Core Cave, once every year or so, a kind of material would seep out. We call it ‘Divine Mist’, and by blending the Divine Mist into our puppet, an unexpected effect could be induced, such as…” Guo Xiuwen related from the sidelines.
This puppet suddenly focused on Ling Han, its gaze no longer wandering. In the slits between the bandages, its eyes could be seen to exude the light of a fearful wolf.
“He!” The human-shaped puppet released a low roar, and kicking out its legs, it suddenly charged towards Ling Han.
Its burst of speed was extremely swift. One of its hands stretched out, and it was visible that there were two fingers that had not been wrapped in bandages. They were like metal, and the tips of its fingers were incredibly sharp as they exuded a cold light.
Ling Han was unafraid, and greeted the incoming attack with a punch.
With that exchange of blows, Ling Han involuntarily took a few steps back, while that puppet merely shook slightly, its figure quickly regaining balance. It released another shrill roar, and charged towards Ling Han once more.
‘Strength on the level of the middle stage of high extreme, or even late stage of high extreme of Mountain River Tier,’ Ling Han estimated. As the divine patterns of gravity activated, the puppet suddenly stumbled, and almost fell.
Yet Ling Han frowned as well, feeling very strained.
His opponent merely had the strength of the high extreme, yet caused him to feel so strained. Then there was only one reason for that, and that was because it was too heavy!
The same effect of gravity, taking effect on a stone and a mountain, would naturally expend completely different amounts of energy.
He recalled what Guo Xiuwen had said previously about the frame of the puppet being cast in Godly metal. Its weight indeed had to be astonishing.
What Ling Han did not understand was why this puppet would attack him when he obviously had not seen Guo Xiuwen issue any command.
Hong! Hong! Hong!
The puppet endlessly attacked Ling Han as if it was determined to kill him.
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