Using the Wind Sword Style, Lin Mu Yu displayed an eddy of natural and elegant movements. Following his sword dance, he looked over to see the old Master laughing. “Ah… This Three-Flow Sword Skill indeed looks to be absolutely worthless.”
Lin Mu Yu turned bright red. “Master, I purchased this second hand sword skill from the commerce chamber.”
“Second hand? No wonder it looks so unrefined.”
The Sword Master was not in the least bit generous with his critique. “Young hero, do you not have any other sword skills?”
“I have one more.”
Lin Mu Yu released a shout, true energy bubbling forth from his arm and transforming into lightning that gathered as a swirling mass on the blade. With a slash as ferocious as a typhoon--ka! electricity crackled through the air, slashing a poetically perfect aperture into the atmosphere--Lightning Chop!
The Sword Master was taken aback this time. He blinked a few times, before laughing. “This is interesting… but this is only one move. It’s not exactly a sword technique. Moreover, this is merely a second-rate sword move.”
Lin Mu Yu flushed with indignation. “Master, this technique was passed on to me by the Great Master Fire Cauldron Qu Chu.”
“The Fire Cauldron Qu Chu’s sword technique, eh?”
The Sword Master guffawed until there seemed to be tears forming in his eyes. “That old geezer knows sword skills? I only know that Fire Cauldron Qu Chu is number one in his fighting technique and palm method, but I never knew he had it in him for sword-dancing! Hahaha, no wonder it’s such a second-rate move…”
“Master knows Grandpa Qu Chu?”
“Huh, not at all.”
The Sword Master’s smile vanished. “Young hero, you have satisfied the first two conditions, but, sadly, you do not qualify under the third condition. You have a poor understanding of sword skills… poor is an understatement. I think it would serve you better for you to go back and train. Should you improve, this old codger gladly welcomes you back to show off your improvement, what say you?”
Lin Mu Yu was unconvinced. “If I’m really able to reach the next level of sword art, there would probably be no need for me to come here and be treated with such a cold shoulder.”
The Sword Master laughed heartily. “Ah, young hero, you are quite the honest person, aren’t you? How about this… your foundation seems to be not bad, indeed. But to learn this old geezer’s sword style… there is a condition.”
“Yes, what is it?”
“Bring me something I can consider a favorable legendary weapon!”
Lin Mu Yu was at a loss. “My Prairie Fire Sword… does this count?”
“The Prairie Fire Sword can only be considered Rank 3 in terms of Spirit Martial Blades. It is not truly a legendary weapon. The young hero must at least bring a spirit-refined mysterious-grade blade, what say you?”
With a deep breath, Lin Mu Yu nodded. “Then I shall re-refine the Prairie Fire Sword, will this suffice?”
“Recasting the Prairie Fire Sword?”
The Sword Master was momentarily stunned. “Don’t tell me you’re also a Blacksmith?”
“You could put it that way.”
“Haha, excellent. If you are truly able to recast a mysterious-grade sword, this old geezer is willing to share with you all the knowledge he has about Imperial Sword Skills, what say you?”
The Sword Master was indeed obsessed with swords!
Lin Mu Yu grinned cheerfully. “Just wait for my good news then!”
After returning to the Temple, he found out that the secret chamber had been restored and arranged, with the stone bed replaced. It was suitable for living in again, and even though there had been a death inside, Lin Mu Yu was past caring. In this messed-up world, what was one more death?
The Alchemy Cauldron, a large mass occupying a lot of space in front of him, emitted a droning high-pitched squeal. The Alchemy Cauldron was an energy body, not truly an alchemic implement, but Lin Mu Yu believed that there was no alchemic implement more precious than the Alchemy Cauldron.
Prairie Fire Sword in hand and summoning his true energy, he caused the sword to fly to the middle of the Alchemy Cauldron.
Lin Mu Yu fluttered his eyelids shut, feeling the Prairie Fire Sword’s breath and residual beast spirit. After all, alchemy is a process of extracting essences, but prior to extraction, there must always be a thorough understanding of the alchemic target’s structure and composition. This stage took around ten minutes, with the Prairie Fire Sword slowly unravelling to its distillation in Lin Mu Yu’s mind’s eye. The blade itself had some definite impurities lingering within it… especially by the tip of the blade, largely affecting the accuracy and sharpness of the sword. No wonder this was only a spirit’s weapon.
There are three factors that affect the quality of a martial blade. Firstly, it’s the raw material: common metal is destined to be inferior to mythical metal and mysterious metal… and of course, far, far less superior than the precious holy metal. Secondly, it’s the degree of purification: the more impurities there are, the farther it will be from attaining the ideal resilience or pliability. Finally, it’s the refining spirit itself. The beast spirit residing within the sword determines the strength of the blade.
There was a soft burst of light and the spirit lady Lulu materialized beside Lin Mu Yu. In this world, Lulu acted a spirit guide for Lin Mu Yu. Without Lulu, he probably wouldn’t even have been able to access the Alchemy Cauldron.
Lulu giggled, her wings fluttering in the air. “This Prairie Fire Sword’s raw material is the mysterious metal, a most favorable choice. However, there are too many impurities, and the beast spirit is too weak. Brother can refine this until most of the impurities are removed, but at most, the Prairie Fire Sword will only upgrade one level higher as a spirit blade. If you want it to reach the rank of mysterious blade, you must replace it with a stronger beast spirit!”
Lin Mu Yu nodded, considering this. “What should I do?”
“Hmm, you’ll need around two to three kilograms of mysterious metal, and also a spirit stone of a spiritual beast, at least 5,000 years old. It has to be a flame-type spirit stone, or there’s no chance you can upgrade this to mysterious-rank.”
“Is that so? Okay, then!”
There was no rush in refining. After all, preparation was half the battle when one wanted to do a good job. It would serve him better to fully prepare all the materials before he began. As for alchemy, well… that was his special area of skill, there would be no problem at all.
He hurried towards the Empire Capital Trading Company. These things could all be procured from the Auction Hall. If he went to the Dragon Seeking Forest to look for beast spirits, it would take too much time. And besides, there was no certain chance that he would beat beast spirits that were 5,000 years and above. It would be far more efficient for him to spend the 22 diamond coins in his pockets.
The minute he took out his diamond card inside the Empire Capital Trading Company, the shopkeeper plastered a wide beam on his face. “A VIP is here! Is there anything I can help you with, sir?”
“I want to see Miss Jin Xiao Tang.”
“Oh, I will go and call for the Young Miss immediately.”
Not before long, a Jin Xiao Tang clad in a long green gown glided out from the rear hall. “Lin Zhi!” she called out in a soft voice. “I never thought we’d meet again so soon. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit? Do you require anything?”
“I want to buy a few ingredients.”
“Oh, what is it that you need? Come, let us walk.”
The two walked shoulder to shoulder down the trading company’s crowded bypath. “I want three kilograms of mysterious metal.”
“Oh?” Jin San Tang blinked before smiling. “It looks like the Great Master is about to cast blades?”
“Then I will do my best to help Great Master pick only the purest mysterious metal.”
“No, it’s okay. I can purify them myself,” Lin Mu Yu said. He knew that purified metal sold in trading companies sold for a much higher price… after all, this was the hubbub of ruthless capitalism.
Jin Xiao Tang raised a surprised eyebrow, but acquiesced. “As you wish. If Great Master does not mind the complicated process of purifying metals, then… is there anything else you require?”
“Oh, what kind of spirit stone?” Jin San Tang whirled around to face him, her hands clasped behind her back and a beatific smile on her face. “Here at Empire Capital Trading Company, we don’t boast of anything else, but spirit stones are indeed our specialty. We have more stones here than one can imagine!”
Lin Mu Yu cleared his throat. “I need a 5,000 year old flame-type beast spirit stone. Is it possible?”
Jin Xiao Tang stared at him blankly. “To tell you the truth, anything past 3,000 is already a rarity. 5,000... Well… we can go check. Maybe something will turn up.”
The two followed the winding road until they reached the spirit stone shop. Spirit stones are the crystallization of beast spirit’s souls, and they are also called Taoist internal alchemy or the beast’s nucleus. After killing the beast spirit, there is not a very high possibility to obtaining the beast’s nucleus, and so thousand year-old spirit stones are rather hard to come by.
Jin Xiao Tang nodded in acknowledgment. “Shopkeeper Zhou, do you have any 5,000 year-old flame-type spirit stones?”
“Five thousand…?” The shopkeeper wore the same expression as Jin Xiao Tang awhile ago. He glanced at the person standing next to her. “Well, there is this one stone… but it absolutely does not come cheap. We have here a 9,000 flame dragon spirit stone. It’s been in the store for half a year already. Is the young hero willing to purchase it?”
“Nine thousand…?” Lin Mu Yu was temporarily stunned. “It must be quite expensive... ”
“Not too bad!”
“19,000 golden yin is all.”
“Oh god…” Lin Mu Yu considered it. He only had 22,000 golden yin… This one moment would undo all his hard work!
Jin San Tang understood Lin Mu Yu’s hesitation. She giggled. “Lin Zhi, have you forgotten that you are now the trading company’s diamond VIP member? You have the benefit of enjoying 30% off on all purchases, so it would amount to… approximately 13,000 golden yin. Ah, let me decide, I’ll help you remove the latter digits. 13,000 golden yin flat, okay?”
Lin Mu Yu gave it some thought before nodding. “All right, 13,000, then.”
He begrudgingly presented 13 diamond coins, wincing as he placed them on the counter. He wouldn’t have much occasion to buy the illegal rainbow lotus either, even if he did have the ability to use a sort of “personal overdraft,” banking on the fact that he was from the Temple, it wouldn’t be too smart to have someone recognize him as a familiar face constantly purchasing this particular ingredient, and having to be sent for by the Military High Official to have tea. And so he had no idea when the next time would come for him to be able to refine the Peak of Dreams.
TLN: have tea = to be “spoken to”
In a flash, the shopkeeper deposited the heated spherical stone in his hand.
The mysterious metal was less painful on the drawstrings. Even though they were uncommon, they were not exactly rare, and so one kilogram only cost ten golden yin. After some thought, he bought another hundred kilos for future experiments. He hadn’t yet had experience with casting weapons in this world yet, and he needed some experience. He didn’t want to destroy the Prairie Fire Sword on his first try...
Additionally, he purchased a few more hundred year-old stones, as cheap as it could get.
His longing to begin casting weaponry was akin to a young girl yearning for love. The sun had already set by the time he returned to the Temple. After wolfing down whatever he could find, he disappeared inside the secret chamber to begin forging.
Translated by: korezmi, lxnuy
Edited by: patrick_father_of_dragons