20 The Woes of a God and a Mortal
The sunlight falling onto Zhen Shi's eyes caused him to open his eyes in annoyance. He was leaning against the balcony and staring at his status screen with an annoyed look in his eyes.
Since he had been unable to sleep last night, he had tried out some training. Not that one sleepless night would effect a cultivator of the Core Formation stage.
As he could cultivate by the system, Zhen Shi had instead spent several hours analyzing and meditating upon the elemental aether and had made some decent progress owing to and his new memories. He had also tried to meditate on the primordial chaos but failed to reap any tangible results...
As for the situation of OP; His plan to use to earn OP had been a roaring success... at first.
Within the first 10 hours, he had been able to earn 20 OP at the initial rate and successfully bring his grand total up to 95 OP! But after that, the rate of OP gain dropped steeply...
Even Isolde had arrived early in the morning, asking for him, and since he didn't have anything in particular to do besides waiting, Zhen Shi decided to spend some more time chatting with her. He had cited some more mythological stories through the \"Mythologue\" and had even presented some movies and anime as stories made by himself... mentally cursing all those who dared to accuse him of 'plagiarism'!
Either way, spending time with her had helped pass the time, and before he knew it his OP had hit 99. As such, Zhen Shi had excused himself saying that he still had to recover from his injuries.
But that was more than 3 hours ago!
[Otaku Points(OP): 99]
*Sigh* 'System why the hell did the rate of OP gain slow down so much? Is this the legendary cliffhanger?'
The user has reached the current threshold for . As such, the rate of OP gain has been reduced.
But almost instantly,
Congratulations to the user for earning 1 OP!
Zhen Shi who had been bored out of his mind immediately perked up and mentally said, \"Alright! System go get me a divine boon for a weapon from Hephaestus!\"
Divine Boon request acknowledged! Divine boon gained!
Instantly, a mass of white silvery particles, that was nothing like the aether that Zhen Shi had seen appeared in front of him... These white particles slowly combined and coalesced to form a mystical piece of paper.
On it was the following words,
God Hephaestus owes 'this handsome and scholarly self' a divine weapon.
Zhen Shi stared at the paper with a pale face and facepalmed himself, (>ლ)
'Don't tell me that all that was for a stupid piece of paper? Is this entire thing supposed to be some sort of BAD JOKE? And how the hell am I supposed to find Hephaestus? And even if I did, how do you expect a core formation fellow to get a GOD to pay up!?
But... I do agree with how you referred to me. Looks like my good influence is rubbing off on you. System-nii, OMEGA GOOD JOB!' 👍
There is no need to worry. The user can activate the divine boon at any time. What is promised will definitely be received.
Zhen Shi heaved a sigh of relief, 'Damn, shouldn't you have started with that? I got flustered and shouted for no reason. Don't you know that shouting is bad for blood pressure?'
Zhen Shi continued with a smile, 'Alright then! Use up the divine boon! Get me a divine weapon!'
Request not acknowledged. Materials must be supplied.
Zhen Shi grimaced, 'Fine. It's Highway robbery... but I couldn't have done much with it anyway.'
Consoling himself as such, Zhen Shi opened the System inventory. He threw the Sky Sun Bone, Miasmic Metal, and the set of tetra-elemental Arachnid Corpses at the piece of white paper. His heart ached as he threw away his spoils of victory so far...
The piece of paper absorbed the materials and disappeared, scattering into white particles.
In the divine realm, inside a cave hidden within a blazing volcano, there was a muscular and bearded man dressed in a light leather overall, pacing back and forth with a frown on his face.
His face and body were covered in grime while one leg was horribly misshapen causing him to walk with a rather obvious limp. The ground was covered in nuts and bolts and all sorts of various scrap metal shards, but the man walked over them without so much as a wince of pain... In fact, it was the scrap shards that were shattered into dust by his feet.
The cave was extremely large and appeared to have been fashioned into the guise of a crude room. There were a variety of furnaces, a variety of anvils and even some unidentifiable tools. At the very center of the cave room was a large pool of lava. The color of the lava changed from place to place, as if the pool mystically maintained the lava at a variety of temperatures.
But the most surprising objects within the cave were none of this, it was legions of metal automatons! They had the appearance of metallic spheres and walked about with tripod-like limbs. There were thousands of metal automatons and they were engaged in all sorts of activities; some forged weapons and armor, some tended to the instruments and tools, some maintained the lava pool, and some proceeded to forge even more metal automatons.
But none of this caught the attention of the bearded limping man. The only thing that caught his attention, on the rare occasion was a set of ordinary-looking anvil and furnace.
This fellow was Hephaestus!
He was frowning over the fact that he had fallen into a slump in the last few centuries and had not been inspired on his craft in a while. But, honestly, he was madder over the fact that his wife, Aphrodite( The Goddes of Love and Beauty) had been caught cheating on him with his brother, Ares( The God of War)!
To make matters worse, the goddess he actually liked, Athena (The Goddess of Wisdom and Intelligence) had pushed him off when they were having 'fun' together, resulting in him falling down to the Earth and accidentally 'impregnating' the Earth Primordial Gaia!
Now, not only was he heartbroken, but he would also soon have to take care of an illegitimate child. And the worst part... Gaia was basically his Great-Grandmother!
While Hephaestus continued to bask himself in his woes, suddenly, a white piece of paper appeared in front of him, causing him to pause.
He was surprised that something had been able to get through all of his defenses, but he wasn't afraid... After all, he was a GOD!
Reading through the paper, his first thoughts were, 'What the hell is an IOU? Can you eat it? And who the hell is this 'handsome and scholarly self'? Has some talented fellow Daoist succeeded in shedding his mortality? But since when did he owe this fellow Daoist anything?'
Immediately he scoffed derisively, \"Bah! What makes some little godling think that he deserves a weapon from your's truly--?\"
However, his words were caught in his throat, and his eyes widened in surprise, as he suddenly felt a great surge of inspiration! Tears of happiness rolled down his cheeks as he felt that feeling that he feared he had lost... he could finally craft another masterpiece!
Hurriedly wiping off his tears, he roared with incomparable excitement, \"Now to find some good materials!\"
As if in reply, the piece of paper glowed and supplied a set of materials.
Hephaestus observed the materials with some interest, \"Oh?\" but his face soon turned into a disgusted frown, \"Ugh... What am I supposed to do with all this junk?\"
If Zhen Shi had heard this, he probably would've cried himself to sleep.
Raising the four arachnid corpses, Hephaestus continued, \"I guess... this stuff is barely sufficient to make some low-quality god string.\"
\"Hmm... Perhaps these materials have some sentimental value to fellow daiost 'this handsome and scholarly self'? In that case, I should respect his wishes and try to incorporate them into this weapon.\"
Thinking so, Hephaestus flicked his right hand. Instantly, a set of metallic automatons clanked over to him.
The spheres on the automatons opened up revealing a horde of valuable materials. Hephaestus began to whisper to himself, \"What to use? Some of the strange meteorites that I discovered in the last millennia... A block of Mythril, some Obsidian... A bit of Spatial Rock and Liquid Chaos... Ah! Can't forget some Divinity,\" and began to chuck blocks of valuable materials like rocks. If any of these materials appeared within the mortal planes it would cause a huge commotion and countless cultivators would claw each other to death for it.
\"Hmm... I wonder if the fellow cultivator is in a hurry. Well, better safe than sorry,\" and clicked his fingers. Suddenly, a magical dome appeared around surrounding him. The strangest part was that the automatons outside this dome seemed to not be moving at all, and even when they did, they were extremely slow... It was almost as if the time within the dome had been sped up or the time outside had been slowed down...
With his preparations complete, Hephaestus waved away the material automatons and limped over to his furnace and anvil. With the heat of the lava, he easily purified the materials in a single fluid motion and began forming a basic skeleton. As the process continued, his fingers danced in the air like those of a skilled musician playing his best piece.
A thrum of energy washed out as another set of arms grew out of his body, and instantly wielded a pair of gigantic hammers.
Divine sparks flew as he molded the weapon and forged it; both at the same time! A repetitive clang rang out within the dome as the hammers struck metal.
Hephaestus continued to work with a pleased grin on his face. A year passed within the dome, and soon a hundred! It hadn't been longer than a few hours outside. Either way, a hundred years was nothing much for a god!
Hephaestus finally stopped, reverting his arms back to normal and deactivating the dome.
The entire volcano and the cave shook, as the total sum of the sound of hammering for 100 years washed out in a single instant!
Hephaestus easily brushed it off and calmly admired the weapon that was just finished within his furnace.
He was extremely satisfied with this weapon which bore the apex of his ability. Moreover, he was relaxed as he had forgotten his worries regarding love by throwing himself into work. Thus he heartily laughed while saying, \"This must be the best weapon I have ever created! Even the one that I was forced to forge for little Eros is much weaker than this. I truly owe 'this handsome and scholarly self' a debt for giving me the inspiration to forget my woes...
Staring at a small artifact he continued, \"However I was unable to bring myself to ruin this masterpiece with the worst of those materials... As such, I forged them into another simple artifact. I hope that the fellow Daoist will forgive me...\"
\"Whoever 'this handsome and scholarly self' is, he is truly skilled to be able to inspire me! He was even able to predict that I would be in his debt! However, I hope that he is skilled enough to wield this. I don't see anyone besides ancestor Chaos being capable of wielding this weapon...
Either way, that's not my problem. I just need to find him and gift this... but how?\"
Almost in response, the piece of paper that had been silent this entire time glowed mystical light onto the artifacts within Hephaestus's hands and instantaneously disappeared with them in tow.
Hephaestus was speechless. 'Fellow Daoist shouldn't we at least meet up? What happened to the basic etiquette between gods?'
But at the same time, a loud booming commotion was heard from outside the volcano, followed by a shout, \"Hephy! Open up! It's me!\"
Another voice, \"Old hag, give the child to me! There is no need to bring in that perverted weaponsmith into this matter! It was my fault, so I'll take responsibility!\"
\"Shut up, little girl. Go and take care of your libraries and books. I and cute little Hephy will take of our child! By the way, you should learn to show some respect to your Great-Grandmother!\"
Hearing the voices and the drama that would soon follow, it was now Hephaestus's turn to cry himself to sleep.
Back in the mortal realm, only one hour had passed. But Zhen Shi was pacing back and forth impatiently.
Suddenly he realized something that he had forgotten, 'Wait a minute! I never mentioned what my weapon should be... and this damned system never asked!
Shit! What will I do if I get a musical instrument for a weapon? Will I play my enemies to death? Or something even more ridiculous like a pen? Will I write my enemies to death then?'
\"System, quickly make my weapon into a sword! I may have memories of archery, but my first weapon has to be a sword! So bring me a sword!\" After all, it was a man's romance to wield swords and fly on their blades!
The request has already been processed and will be arriving shortly. Specifying the weapon would've increased the cost.
'Fuck! Since the bed has been laid I might as well sleep on it. But please, let it be a sword!'
Divine Boone received. Will the user receive it?
'Of course, I will!'
Instantly a bright golden light appeared within the room almost blinding his eyes. The light was followed by a terrifying pressure, the strongest Zhen Shi had ever experienced, and it increased the gravity within the room by many folds. Even the aether within the room retreated in fear... It was simply DIVINE!
And within this light lay a bow! It was completely unlike anything he had wielded in his memories. Rather than a bow, it looked more like a gracefully curved laurel wreath. Every edge and crevice seemed to have been crafted intricately and it shone with a divine finishing.
Zhen Shi who was stupefied by this sight completely forgot to complain about the fact that he had not received a sword!
'Well, at least it wasn't anything too weird. Even if the dream of wielding a sword goes further away, this is the most practical decision, especially since I already have memories of archery.'
He wordlessly walked forwards and grabbed the bow, but soon realized that he was unable to budge it. A few minutes later, Zhen Shi was heaving heavy breaths unable to budge the bow by even an inch.
Since the weapon has surpassed the divine tier, the user should bind the weapon first and be acknowledged by it.
'Oh? *Cough*, Of course, I knew that! I was just testing you...'
So as most weapons were supposed to be bound, Zhen Shi bit his finger and dropped a pinch of blood onto the bow. With excited eyes, Zhen Shi waited patiently...
Some more minutes passed and nothing happened. 'What the hell! Is this the legendary instance of weapon not acknowledging the master?'
Zhen Shi grabbed on to the bow once more while asking, \"System, now wha--?\" He asked no further because the moment his hand touched the bow, a streak of chaos was dragged out from his primordial chaos base and merged with the bow, completely subduing it.
Zhen Shi gawked in surprise as he now felt a strong sense of connection with the bow... as if it was an extension of his own body! He could also sense an unfathomable power that lay dormant within the bow. Even if he was only able to use a fraction of it, that would already grant him a great power boost!
But, just when he was about to celebrate, he noticed a glaring problem. Staring at the glowing golden bow, he fell into thought, 'How the hell can I take this thing outside? It is so attention-grabbing that it would probably be stolen before I can even fart!'
Almost in reply, a surge of information washed into Zhen Shi's mind from the bow. This information told him that he could easily mold the bow into the form of any object and that he also had free control of its spiritual pressure!
Zhen Shi couldn't help but grin as he imagined the possibilities of this ability... He could maybe even satisfy his fantasy by reforming the bow into a sword... and then make use of his archery intent to attack!
After all, there were like-minded men who were fans of swords like himself and were shameless enough to wield swords with saber intent... His actions would simply be similar to that.
But for the moment, he wanted to test the power of the bow. As such he sealed away the pressure and the golden light, reforming the bow into the form of a simple pitch-black bow with some light gold carvings on it.
He almost chose the form of the Verdant Storm Bow gifted by 'Zhou Tong', but changed his mind at the last moment and went with something simple.
But, just when he was about to leave, another system notification rang out.
The user has also received a bonus defensive artifact.
Instantly, a small necklace like artifact appeared in front of Zhen Shi. The necklace looked rather ordinary with a barely acceptable appearance.
Zhen Shi grabbed and examined the necklace in surprise. He hadn't been expecting another item to be suddenly gifted for no reason. As such, \"System, what is this? And why did I get it? Not that I'm complaining...\"
Certain excess materials were crafted into an additional artifact. This artifact is a one-time defensive artifact bordering on the semi-law tier.
Zhen Shi immediately grinned in satisfaction. As one who was well-versed in Mythology, Zhen Shi could easily list several talented Blacksmith Gods. He had even been skeptical about asking for a divine boon from Hephaestus because he was a god of the Divine Church. But this result completely blew away his worries!
'Awesome! To think that I was even given a complimentary gift! Old Hephaestus is definitely getting a 5-star review from 'this handsome and scholarly self'! What superb Customer Service! If I ever need any more artifacts crafted, I'll be sure to get them from him!'
But if Zhen Shi knew that most of his 'valuable materials' were called 'junk', and were mainly used for the necklace, which was forged as an apology... what would he think?
Nevertheless, he ignorantly stored the necklace within his system inventory.
Having made his preparations, Zhen Shi grabbed the bow and excitedly walked out of the room. Still admiring the wonderful customer service of this world...