“Grandpa Lei Hong, stop spying already…”
There came a few muffled shuffling noises from outside the rock door, and without even looking, Lin Mu Yu knew it was Lei Hong “protecting” him.
Lei Hong was not the least bit embarrassed. He chuckled heartily. “I see you have so many mysterious metals there… forging, I presume? It’s too bad you don’t even have a furnace, should I have someone get one for you?”
“No need, but I would appreciate it if you didn’t peek on me, sir.”
“All right, concentrate on training then.”
The sound of his footsteps grew fainter and fainter as he walked away.
Lin Mu Yu set down the mysterious metal, and with one hand, summoned the Alchemy Cauldron. The gold oracle bone script characters etched around and inside the cauldron signified that the cauldron was also refined to its peak. It rightfully qualified as a priceless treasure in this world.
Considering the weight of the mysterious metal was crucial. Weapons in the Empire were usually heavy, and swords usually weighed around ten to twenty kilograms. Using Zhang Wei and the others’ favorite phrase, “light blades cause no pain.” With Zhang Wei’s personality, it was not unlikely that he’d go around with a watermelon knife hacking at people as an elevated and avenging master.
He selected a 20 kilogram piece, and confidently tossed it into the cauldron, where it was suspended, floating in the center. After removing impurities, it would probably be around 15 kilograms. But then again, it was not some long-stemmed lance or war sword… any of which would easily be a whopping hundred or so kilos.
At the summon of true energy, the Alchemy Cauldron filled with dancing flames, rapidly devouring the mysterious metal with a boiling heat. The smelting process was surprisingly fast, it only took five minutes for the piece of metal to heat into a pile of fiery red metal serum. The serum swirled around peacefully inside the cauldron, controlled by an incorporeal source of power, that was, of course, Lin Mu Yu.
Encouraged by a swell of true energy, flakes of stardust floated up from the metal serum, the sublimated product of the combustion of the impurities within it. The refining process took around ten minutes, and the purity of the mysterious metal was able to reach a little past 99.5%. This was an amazing feat in itself, as Lin Mu Yu had took care to check as he was in the weaponry shop that the mysterious metals had purity rates not exceeding 90%.
Now that the metal serum was refined… time for the spirit stone.
Lin Mu Yu took out the 700 year-old Bluestone beast spirit stone. With a wave of his hand, the stone flew to the core of the Alchemy Cauldron, and within a moment, was consumed by blazing fire. Refining spirit stones are extremely easy when you’re strong. The stronger you are, the faster you refine. Lin Mu Yu’s strength was already top-notch, and far exceeded that of a 700 year-old beast spirit.
As the spirit stone was about to completely finish refining-- hong! a radiating green beast leapt out and sprung at Lin Mu Yu with sharp talons.
Lin Mu Yu, startled, rapidly summoned his fighting spirit. Verdant Shell materialized, blocking the talons from Lin Mu Yu’s body. His chest thumped with radiating heat, but there was no injury. Lin Mu Yu gave a low shout, releasing his true energy, and immediately banished the creature back inside the cauldron.
The Bluestone Beast’s howls of fury could be heard, but they seemed to get softer and softer, until the spirit was completely extinguished within the serum. The beast spirit was officially refined. But Lin Mu Yu was left in a cold sweat. With a shaky sigh, he leaned back, never thinking that he would be put in danger while refining. How frightening that beast spirits would think to counter-attack the alchemist.
With the task that faced him in mind, he was unable to help feeling worried. A 9000 year-old fire dragon… if it were to counter-attack, what would he do?
He burst out laughing at the thought. No wonder the holy craftsmen of this world had so much difficulty producing top-tier martial weapons. Aside from the actual act of forging, there was also the matter of personal strength to consider. There must have been more than a few holy craftsmen who perished under the counter-attacks of beast spirits.
“Brother, what sword form do you need?” Lulu asked, already embodying the role of Lin Mu Yu’s blacksmith assistant.
An array of double-edged sword forms surfaced above the cauldron, all of which were custom-planned by Lulu. Lin Mu Yu’s gaze swept across them, and he ended up choosing an average-shaped sword. The Alchemy Cauldron began shaking with an invisible force, incorporeal energy condensing into the shape of a sword. The metal serum containing the beast began flowing into this incorporeal sword form.
Lin Mu Yu slowly stopped the flow of his true energy, and within moments, the cauldron cooled down as well.
This averagely-shaped sword floated up and submerged itself gently into a pond of water by the cauldron’s side, all the while emitting thin columns of steam. After waiting a few beats, he reached into the ice-cold water and retrieved his sword. The only judgment he could make on the sword was that it was bright, cold, and raw. He laughed. “I haven’t yet figured out how to categorize the workmanship of martial blades. Do you know how, Lulu?”
“Brother, this is a rank 7 spirit martial blade! Your first creation is already spirit-level, that’s not bad!”
“Okay, that’s all I needed to know!”
Lin Mu Yu allowed himself a relieved smile that lighted up his entire face. It looked like as long as he tried his best, becoming a first-class holy blacksmith in this world wasn’t an impossible feat after all. Even though he probably wouldn’t be able to complete a weapon like Stars, he was fairly confident that he would be able to create mysterious-level weapons.
In succession, he crafted four more swords, three of which were rank 7 spirit blades, and one of which was a rank 6 spirit blade. Not bad for the quality of his materials. After all, they were all at the hundred year mark and not particularly precious. Rank 6 and 7 were probably the highest level that the blades could attain.
Finally… it came the time to recast the Prairie Fire Sword!
He carefully placed the Prairie Fire Sword within the cauldron, but because it was already a fully formed sword, it took longer to completely refine it. After half an hour, the sword finally melted into a pool of metal serum, and unsurprisingly, the beast spirit leapt out of the cauldron.
Lin Mu Yu calmly aimed Sonic Punch at it, scattering it with an explosion.
The Prairie Fire Sword thus became an unrefined martial blade, but no worries, the fire dragon spirit stone was all ready.
Closing his eyes, he summoned his true energy, directing it within the cauldron to refine the metal serum’s impurities. Flecks of vermillion stardust begun rising from within, floating and filling the cauldron, before falling lightly to the ground.
He added the new mysterious metal and tempered it. After an hour or so, the vermillion metal serum had condensed within the cauldron into a stream, resembling a boiling and swirling girdle. The impurities had already been thoroughly removed, the purity was at around 99.8%, which was the best Lin Mu Yu could do with his current ability.
With a deep breath, he took out the fire dragon spirit stone. The true danger was about to begin.
The fire dragon spirit stone was unusually stubborn. The refining process alone took nearly two hours, and when the surface layer began to peel off and show signs of melting, Lin Mu Yu summoned his fighting spirits, Dragon Rampart and Verdant Scale.
And indeed it came! A giant fire dragon beast spirit leapt out from the cauldron, its wide jaws angled at the alchemist. With a burning flash of light, it crashed into the Ebony Scale and Dragon Rampart. Sparks flew. Lin Mu Yu, with a guttural roar, started punching and throwing kicks randomly. He reached for a newly crafted martial blade and slashed at the beast spirit with little attention on form. The Alchemy Cauldron began shaking with a ferocious intensity, filling the chamber with piercing, blood-curdling shrieks.
It felt like the longest half-minute of his life, but the fire dragon beast spirit slowly began to wane, leaving Lin Mu Yu with ragged breathing standing in front of the cauldron. He felt red-hot sears of pain across his chest, additional injury on top of his existing wounds. The fire dragon beast spirit was definitely no joke. If he could incur that much damage while he was inside the cauldron… it was a horrifying prospect.
But no matter how you looked at it, Lin Mu Yu was ecstatically relieved that he was still alive. It looked like this sword wouldn’t be turning out too shabby after all.
As the fire dragon beast spirit melting within the metal serum, its faint whines could still be heard.
Lin Mu Yu released his true energy, continuing the refining process. He chose a particularly intimidating double-edged sword form among Lulu’s blade plans. The metal serum poured into the incorporeal form and the reconstruction merely took a few minutes. With the Alchemy Cauldron dismissed, a vermillion sword was left suspended in mid-air. Lin Mu Yu held out a palm and pushed, his energy releasing a strong gale that forced the sword into the pond of water.
The moment the blade was submerged, steam billowed up from the pond, practically polishing off most of the water in the pond.
Carefully fishing the sword out the pond, he suddenly realized he had forgotten to christen the sword. For lack of a better option, he produced a solitary dragonflame from his finger, and etched the two words “Prairie Fire” on to it. The vigorous calligraphic style was a tribute to the style of Wang Xi, otherwise known as the Calligraphy Sage. Lin Mu Yu had practiced calligraphy since a young age with his father, and at his age, he was practically legendary… now he was finally able to put the skill to good use.
“Brother, congratulations! What you have made is a rank 5 mysterious blade!” Lulu clapped her hands in glee.
Lin Mu Yu shot her a gratified smile.
The new Prairie Fire Sword was heavier than the original one, and no longer fit the sheath as well. He would have to make another one.
Hugging the Prairie Fire Sword, he leaned against the headboard of his bed and descended into a fitful slumber.
The energy needed for crafting martial blades far exceeded that of alchemy. Having crafted so many swords in succession, he felt like his body’s energy was utterly drained.
When he awoke, it was already morning. Dong, dong, someone knocked from outside the door.
“Lin Zhi, time to wake up,” Deacon Ge Yang’s voice drifted in from outside.
Lin Mu Yu rolled out of bed, vigorous and replenished after an entire night of sleep. He rushed to open the door and greet Ge Yang. “Grandpa Ge Yang, isn’t this my intermission? Is there something wrong?”
Ge Yang’s eyes crinkled in a smile. “Yes, the High Deacon is looking for you. He asked you to bring your newest creations to the Holy Hall.”
“Eh… okay, then.”
Though he had no idea what was happening, he doubted that Lei Hong would harm him.
After freshening up, he hugged the six swords to his chest and followed Ge Yang to the Holy Hall.
Early in the morning, the trainers and instructors had all finished breakfast and left for training, leaving the Holy Hall in a deafening silence.
“Ah Yu, you’re here!” Lei Hong’s voice was injected with a meaningful tone.
TLN: Ah is commonly added to a name to make it a more familiar way of calling, something like a nickname.
Lin Mu Yu could spot from a mile away that lurking underneath the sincere expression was a request. He laughed. “Grandpa Lei Hong, if anything’s the matter, kindly just say so.”
Lei Hong chuckled sheepishly. “So last night… your Grandpa I was actually guarding your door. I see that you’ve made some excellent blades, and so… ehem… maybe Deacon Ge Yang should continue on with the rest...”
Ge Yang’s assumed a helpless expression. “Ah Yu, what the High Deacon is trying to say is that… even though the Temple has the full financial support of the Empire, our weaponry storehouse is sorely limited, and are mostly third-rate goods. You’ve seen it yourself: the martial blades constantly break and are damaged. These are all common blades, and we don’t have even a single spirit blade, and so… when we found out that you can craft spirit blades, the High Deacon was extremely relieved.”
It dawned on Lin Mu Yu. He laughed. “Oh, so my two Grandpas want to purchase the blades I forged in the name of the Temple, yes?”
Ge Yang fiddled with his fingers, looking every bit the part of a conniving salesman. “But we’re a family, are we not? You will give us an insider price, won’t you…”
Translated by: korezmi, lxnuy
Edited by: patrick_father_of_dragons