Chapter 0001: Artifact Graveyard


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TL NOTE: After consulting with Drazelic I have decided to revamp the terminology for each of the chapters, in this chapter the following changes were made:

  • Spirit energy -> essence (depending on context)
  • Rune character -> glyph
  • Rune Formation -> Glyph Arrays
  • Magical Device -> Artifact
  • Crystal Brain -> Crystal Processing Unit
  • Grave of Magical Devices -> Artifact Graveyard
  • Scarlet Heaven -> Crimson Nimbus
  • Azure Dragon Gate -> Viridian Dragon Guild
  • Flying Spirit Sect -> Zephyr Sect

A lake of rust.

Federal Special Waste Treatment Plant No. 23.

Also known as the “Artifact Graveyard”

Growth of civilization has been fueled continuously by the powers of cultivation. Only the Cultivators, members of the upper echelon of days past, were able to spread magical devices to every household. Transforming ordinary lives, Cultivators traveled to every family in order to teach them how to operate their new tools.

They brought p[1] easier lives, but also a great deal of waste: magical waste and metal scrap.

Artifact waste leaves behind a great amount of residue spirit energy, easily causing radiation pollution. The glyph arrays that compose the artifacts are highly volatile to the extent that there are risks of explosion. If ignored, magical waste could cause major damage to the environment.

Therefore at the perimeter of every city in the Federation, “Special Waste Treatment Plants” were installed in order to treat magic device waste.

Special Waste Treatment Plant No. 23, located at the southern outskirts of the Federation’s Cultivation City “Floating Spear.”

Underneath the hazy yellow sky, a purple polluted swamp emits a heavy stench. A mountain peak of metal shards protrudes from the swamp like the spine of a dragon. On this peak lie scattered chaotically, fragments of flying swords. Sitting next to the swords was a rusted crystal puppet, it’s vacuous eye socket showed its spirit fire had long extinguished. The only thing left was a spirit eating bug, which poked out of the skull, cautiously looking around in the “Artifact Graveyard” where danger lurks on all corners.

“BOOM!”

Closeby within another mountain of trash, a discarded artifact’s glyph array began to fracture. Its excess spirit energy suddenly exploded and sent half the mountain flying through the air.

Countless metal parts scattered in the sky like a maiden scattering flowers, spattering in all directions. The surrounding mountains were triggered into chain reactions. Looking up, all that can be seen was smoke and dust. It gave the image of a dance of demons that covered the entire sky.

Here, it appeared that life was forbidden. Only insignificant cockroaches and worms can consider this a paradise.

However…..

Behind a mountain of trash in secluded meditation was Li Yao. Licking his cracked lips, he wore a dirt yellow windbreaker covered in dust that made him blend with the environment

He shot a glance at the slowly rising mushroom cloud nearby. In his clear youthful eyes no trace of emotion could be seen, no feelings rippled out.

Only when the dirt and metal shards spattered upon his refuge mountain of trash, did he retreat somewhat deeper into the trash heap. At the same time, he slipped on goggles that covered half his face.

“ It’s here!”

When the spirit watch on his wrist began to vibrate, the youth became excited and the corner of his mouth hooked into a demonic grin.

3:52 pm 38 seconds, the daily routine garbage disposal time, also known to “salvagers” such as Li Yao as carnival time!

On his left wrist spirit watch was a number showing that it was an Elite Hunter Model. This model was produced three years ago by the cultivator sect “Zephyr Sect”. He had found it within a garbage mountain and it took him no less than two months to repair.

Outside of telling time, it has an extraordinary function. It can record the frequency of unique vibrations. When a unique vibration propagates in the vicinity, the owner is notified.

This function was intended to be used to alert hunters to the existence of powerful monsters nearby.

However after being modified by Li Yao, the function was changed changed to alert at the arrival of garbage ships.

Shortly, accompanied by an insignificant sound of buzzing, a dozen or so black dots appeared on the northern horizon.

Covering the earth and concealing the sky, the smoke and dust brought upon by the explosions still had not dissipated. The dozen or so black dots mixed were mixed within and could not be distinguished.

Li Yao raised his nose. His finger brushed gently against the glyph located on the side of his goggles. “Swoosh.”  A sheet of blood red appeared on the surface of the googles.

Under the red gaze, the garbage ships hidden by the smoke had their round silhouette rendered clearly.

The spirit watch’s hunting function also allowed locking on to the unique vibrational frequency of a single garbage ship.

“Garbage Ship No. 1327, it’s you!”

From when Li Yao was born until he was ten, these ten years he stayed in the “Artifact Graveyard.” He knew every inch of dirt and every garbage ship in the sky as if they were fingers on his hand. This “Garbage Ship No. 1327” was specifically responsible for collecting trash from Floating Spear Inner City’s upper eastern district.

The upper eastern district was the most luxurious of the rich districts, containing the residences of several cultivators. The magical devices that they threw away were of the greatest value.

There were several artifacts still in good condition. Only discarded without care by the cultivators and the rich because they had gone out of style or a new generation of artifacts had been released.

From Li Yao’s perspective, this was not a garbage ship. It was a treasure ship filled to the brim with gold!

“Swoosh!”

Li Yao’s pair of legs rippled out power. Like a shell being shot, he madly sprinted through the mountains of trash and charged into the smoke and dust, charging towards Garbage Ship No. 1327.

All around him the mountains of trash were on the verge of collapsing. Bubbles of the dangerous poison swamp rumbled beneath his feet. Li Yao was like the most nimble monkey of the mountains and woods. Now and then he would apply force somewhere on a mountain of trash, moving tens of meters with every step. His movements were like the floating clouds and running waters, giving a sense of tranquility.

“Li Yao, you bastard. You’ve come to fight over food with your senior again!”

At that moment, from behind the base of a few mountains, appeared a dozen or so figures.

Holding metal spades and rods, these people aggressively approached.

They were the same as Li Yao. They relied on “Special Waste Treatment Plant No. 23” for survival as garbage salvagers.

Where there is profit there is competition. A ship’s discarded magical devices may only be trash for the upper echelon cultivators. But for these people at the lowest rung, these devices represent hope for survival. Li Yao is the salvager that had adapted the best to the Artifact Graveyard. Of course this also made him the greatest thorn in the other garbage worms’ sides, a thorn in the flesh.

Actually, Li Yao did not care about fitting in. Giving a laugh, his waist suddenly emitted power and his body twisted in a strange fashion. Without warning he turned 90 degrees, splitting away from the glaring fat youth with furrowed brows that was in front of him. He seized the opportunity to use his foot to ferociously launch off of the fat face, propelling his whole body by 30-40 meters.

“Fatty Long, everyone’s here to bring dinner to the table. It all depends on who is faster! You should lose some weight!”

The fat youth’s face was stamped red, his nose nearly sunk into his fatty flesh. He was angry to the point of tantrum. Unable to accept this, he conducted down his hand and a party of people quickly entered the smoke and dust filled area.

As an explosion had just occurred, the area was super unstable. Dozens of garbage mountains could go off at any time, causing even the diabolical Fatty Long’s group of youths to have no other option but to slow their steps and stare blankly at Li Yao’s lightning speed.

Seeing this, Fatty Long could not help spitting a mouthful.

“This son of a bitch! He really lives up to caring about money more than his life! God if you have eyes, may lightning strike him dead….”

True to those words, a mountain of garbage exploded near Li Yao. Thousands upon thousands of metal parts and broken artifacts flooded down like a torrent!

“It came true!” Fatty long and a youth were flabbergasted. They were at a complete loss!

However, a shriek pierced through the smoke and dust crying: “Small Black, Save me!”

A path more profound than the night sky, a black streak shot out like lightning and carved a hole in the flood of metal. It was rusted, it had a nicked edge, and it was a completely black. This flying sword possessed a giant handguard that was like an extending black wing. Li Yao was like a drowning man grasping tenaciously at a rice straw. He hugged onto the flying sword for dear life. Curling his entire body onto the black streak, he pierced into the sky.

In the middle of the sky, the giant figures of a dozen or so garbage ships had already emerged. Each garbage ship was hundreds of meters long and had a round plump figure like the mythological turtle that props the earth. On top of each “turtle shell” were carved innumerable dao runes all densely packed together. They flickered with the light of essence in five vibrant colors, helping those gigantic over-10,000-ton guys resist the effects of gravity.

“Crash!”

Merely a single “giant turtle” opened the hatch on its belly. Out came a rain of metal parts and broken artifacts that blotted the sky, pounding relentlessly against the earth.

In a moment, the essence energy within the entire field was madly disturbed and shook. A perilous situation was triggered!

Even the over-ten-thousand-ton garbage ships shook left and right in the midst of the essence energy waves. Under the violent turbulence, they had no option but to use all their strength to separate from each other, in hopes of reducing the damage.

Fatty Long’s group even more so did not dare to rashly approach. They feared being caught in the turmoil.

Li Yao was still riding on the black flying sword, dashing quickly through the waves of essence energy. His appearance was destitute to the extreme, but he moved nimbly just like mud fish.

Naturally, he did not dare to directly face the raging waves and stormy sea head on. Rather, he relied on his 10 years of survival experience, striving to discover areas where the tides of essence energy destructively interfere with each other and cancel into tranquility, solely for the sake of approaching as close to the location of the dumped magical devices as possible. The pavilion closest to the water is the first to bask in moonlight.

Finally—–

After nearly 10 minutes of dumping, the garbage ship let out a rumble like an enormous beast. It changed its direction, lazily returning home. The smoke and dust gradually dissipated as well.

Fatty Long had just barely climbed onto the core of the dumped mass of garbage. He saw right away Li Yao sitting comfortably on a newly made mountain of garbage, looking at him with a beaming smile.

“Shit!” Fatty Long’s face was shaking in anger. His heart was in chaos.

Li Yao chose this garbage mountain rather cleverly. It was not the largest, and it also did not seem have the most abundant of materials.

There were still dozens of garbage mountains all around, all containing priceless discarded artifacts.

As for the scalvagers, there were more than just these two fellows…

If Fatty Long continued to compete with Li Yao, it is possible that some of the profits may be snatched up by other fishing scalvagers.

The figures of other scalvageres had already faintly emerged. Joyful cries could be heard from the peaks of several garbage mountains; people had discovered valuable treasure.

Not to mention…

Fatty Long had heard that this loathsome kid Li Yao was a well known student of Floating Spear City’s Crimson Nimbus Second Affiliated High School.

The Crimson Nimbus Guild is a famous sect located in the southern part of the Federation. Their strength was tyrannical and they had numerous experts.

Although Li Yao may not have learned any techniques, he was not someone who could be handled with just three fists and two legs. Otherwise, he would not have made a living battling for 10 years in this Artifact Graveyard, still being perfectly healthy and spry, also seizing the nickname “Vulture!”

But how could Fatty Long go on? Where did his face go? His nose was still embedded inside his flesh!

While his heart was in chaos, a gale of wind swept by. Fatty Long subconsciously grasped out his hand, and his hand turned ice-cold. In his hand was actually a scrapped crystal processor unit the size of a fist.

Li Yao laughed heartily saying: “Fatty Long, everyone’s here to make a living. It isn’t like last time when a “Starlight” grade CPU stolen from you. It isn’t like your father was murdered. Isn’t it unnecessary to go this far, to be unceasing until the point of death? Oh, that’s right. I just found a “Brave Dragon-17” CPU produced by the Viridian Dragon Guild. It’s the newest model, capable of calculating over 5000 thoughts per second. Even though it’s fried, I reckon you can get three or four thousand bucks for it. Just take it as a sign of respect from me, older brother Fatty Long. From now on we’re even, what do you say?”

“You…..” Fatty Long did not expect Li Yao to say something like this. He was immediately stunned and was somewhat distrusting, as he scratched the fat on his face.

“Yo! what are you staring at? Old Long’s men are almost here. They aren’t like this solo traveler. They will absolutely eat dozens of garbage mountains completely bare. They won’t leave behind a single screw for you!” said Li Yao as he rapidly pointed towards the west.

Fatty Long’s face changed color. He squinted his eyes for quite a while, and finally made a resolution. He immediately gave Li Yao a giant thumbs up, squeezing out a sentence:

“Alright kid, you’ve got chops! Let’s go make out with the goods asap!”

A party of scalvagers scattered in all directions, charging towards garbage mountains in every direction.

“Whew….”

Li Yao let out a long sigh of relief. His butt was sitting on a garbage heap and big beads of sweat rolled down his forehead. With a grin on his face, he wailed as he suddenly got up.

“Die Fatty! I painstakingly found that Brave Dragon-17 Processor, and it became yours for nothing!”

“Just you wait. Do you think it is that easy to take from me, the “Vulture” Li Yao? There will be a day where what you’ve eaten of mine will be spat back to me. I will take back what you took from me with interest. I will make sure it’s of high interest too! I will let you know… Why everyone calls me the ’Vulture who values money more than life!’”

“No this won’t do. I need to increase my speed. Old Lang’s Gang, those bunches of chop suey, they’re even more unreasonable than Fatty Long!”

Li Yao pulled down his goggles so that it rested on his neck. Rubbing his hands together, his pair of eyes contained a gleam of light. Licking his lips, he rushed towards a newly created garbage heap!


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