“Okay, here’s your money. Now remember that you have used up your three chances to hunt here for the month. Don’t come here until next month.” The guard kindly reminded Chu Shen.
Chu Shen, who had small rips and patches of dust on his robe nodded at the guard. “Thanks, see you next month then.” With the courtesies done, Chu Shen left for his house. Once there, he changed into some cleaner clothes
“Alright, now I need to find a local forge. I should be able to rent some time there. Wait, first I need to buy the inscription ink and the materials to forge. I should be able to forge some basic swords, sabres, and a couple shields.”
Chu Shen nodded. Now that he had his plan, he just needed to execute it. Heading out, Chu Shen bought the necessary materials and asked for directions to a nearby forge.
Walking in, Chu Shen found the attendant. “Uh excuse me?”
The attendant looked up at him, blinking in confusion. “Yes? What is it?”
“Well I was wondering, this is a forge right?”
“Yes, it is. We accept custom orders if you wish to do so.”
“No. Actually, I wanted to know if I could borrow your forge so I can make some weapons.”
The attendant blinked rapidly for a second. “I…….. I’m not sure what to do. I think I need to talk to the master smith before I can make this decision. Give me a moment while I find him.”
The attendant walked through a door leading to a closed end of the shop. When the door opened Chu Shen could hear the faint ding of metal hitting metal and the shop noticeably heated up a couple degrees.
After a couple seconds, a huge man stepped into the shop, ducking to avoid hitting the doorway. The man was had his clothes covered in ash, presumably from the forge.
“So, who wants to use my forge!” The man boomed out. Chu Shen raised his hand. The man looked at him for a second before laughing. He laughed so hard that tears came out. Chu Shen only stared it him.
The man wiped a tear away. “Huh. So it’s just a brat. And I thought I might be able to hire a new forger. Go on then, leave. I don’t need an assistant right now.”
“No. I can forge artifacts all by myself. I can forge Low-Tier Martial artifacts fairly proficiently.” Chu Shen stated indignantly.
“Oh? Someone as young as you boasts about forging Low-Tier Martial artifacts? Does that mean you are an artificer?” The man said. As he did became more serious. An artificer was just too rare. If this kid truly was an artificer then he couldn’t offend him.
“Of course I can.” Chu Shen said imperiously. So many people had been arrogant and looked down upon him for so long, Chu Shen was fed up with it. Now it was his turn to be arrogant.
After a second though, Chu Shen seemed to deflate. It made him so mad when others acted arrogant. If he started doing it, didn’t that make him no better than them? Sighing, Chu Shen shrugged. No use thinking too deeply.
The man meanwhile had studied Chu Shen. Reaching out, he grabbed Chu Shen’s hand. They had slight callouses, though they were very faint. The man nodded. Seemed as though this kid did have some experience with wielding a hammer.
“Alright. I hope you can sympathize with me when I tell you that I can’t believe your story without proof. If I believed everyone that said the things you do, I would be considered a fool. So prove yourself.”
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“I can give you an hour on an unused forge. If you can make a Low-Tier Martial weapon like you said, I will let you use the forge for free. But if you can’t or you damage my forge, I need you to pay me instead.”
Chu Shen nodded. It was a fair deal. If he had expected the master smith to trust such an unbelievable claim of talent without a shred of proof than all that would have proven was that the master smith was indeed a fool. “Alright, just lead me to the forge. I brought my own materials.”
The master smith nodded. “Alright. The assistant here will help you in the forge so that you aren’t distracted. You, lead this young man to forge nine. If I remember correctly, the blacksmith is taking leave for cultivation.”
The attendant who had followed the master smith back looked around for a second before pointing at himself. The man rolled his eyes. “Yes you, now go help this kid.”
The attendant didn’t say anything, only gesturing for Chu Shen to follow him. Chu Shen followed the attendant. There was a large open hall. Smoke was everywhere though most of it was billowing through the large holes on the ceiling. Obviously they were chimneys for ventilation.
The sounds of forging surrounded Chu Shen, putting him at ease. He had spent a majority of his life forging so these sounds were like a soothing lullaby to him.
Chu Shen was lead to an open room. Inside was the forge and some tools that were laid off to the side. The attendant took up a seat outside the forge while Chu Shen started laying out the materials he needed to forge. He then started mixing together the inscription ink.
Both him and the attendant said nothing about him not helping. Honestly it was Chu Shen’s way of giving face and being tactful. The real reason the attendant was here was to personally witness Chu Shen forging. Otherwise, what if Chu Shen just pretended to forge and brought out a weapon that he had bought previously?
Chu Shen started to forge, placing the metals together. Then using his Qi to manipulate the fire, he assured the even melting of the materials. Pounding out the impurities, Chu Shen repeated the steps several times. Pouring out the purified metal into the cast, Chu Shen waited for it too cool off.
Placing the finished sword on a table, Chu Shen then started the inscription process. The inscription was a simple [Burst Inscription] that stored Qi that the user could unleash all at once. Chu Shen succeeded on his first try, considering it was an inscription that he had used many times. He also used the [Hardening Inscription] to increase the sword’s durability.
As Chu Shen held up the sword to inspect it, the attendant started clapping. “I am impressed. I have seen many blacksmiths as adept as you at forging, but many were already past their prime. It is inspiring to see such talent in one so young.”
Chu Shen nodded in recognition of the praise. “Well I have been forging for a long time so it is no big surprise that I can forge so good.”
“Either way it is an achievement to be proud off. Let us go see the master smith to validate the bet.”
“Yes, let’s go.” Chu Shen found the master smith pounding away on a spear. They waited for a while and soon he put the spear in water and then left it to cool. Turning, the man expressed surprise when he saw Chu Shen.
“What? What is it boy? It’s been barely over a half hour. You can’t be quitting already?” The man cocked his head, obviously questioning Chu Shen.
Chu Shen shook his head in denial. “Quite the opposite. I am already done with the forging. Here, can you inspect this sword I forged?” The attendant held the sword in his hand and gave it the master smith upon Chu Shen’s prompting.
The smith looked at it, inspecting it very closely with his eyes and spiritual sense. Qi surged into it as he inspected the inscriptions. Sighing, the smith placed the sword beside the cooling spear. Turning to Chu Shen he sighed.
“I admit, you are a great forger. Your foundations are very solid. The sword has had all the materials spread evenly throughout the entire sword ensuring there are no weak points along with there being almost no impurities.”
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“Not to mention that the inscriptions have no error and match the sword exactly. Truly worthy of an artificer. If I had to rank this sword, I would say it is a Grade 3 Low-Tier Martial Weapon.”
“May I ask though, have you joined any other factions as an artificer?” Chu Shen was startled at the question before shaking his head. “Good. I have joined the Four Materials Shop. For someone with as much potential as you, they will certainly treat you well.”
Chu Shen thought about it for a second. “What kind of benefits would I receive?”
The master smith shook his head. “I don’t know. It depends upon your age, cultivation, and the best quality artifact you can make. But I know for me, I can receive 30% off on all materials along with being able to make requests. All I need to do is forge ten swords that can be turned into High-Tier Martial Weapons. And I am just a blacksmith, without being an artificer.”
Chu Shen realized, wasn’t this exactly what he needed? He needed to practice his classical forging and inscriptions, he also needed to gather the materials needed for Lucas to be reborn. Depending upon the benefits and restrictions, this should be exactly what he needed
“I will join the Four Materials Shop.”
“Okay, come with me. I will take you to join them.”
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