Chapter 322: Spiritual Blacksmith
“So I need to find a spiritual blacksmith,” Hui Yue mused to himself as he looked at the broken weapon in his lap. He suddenly felt incredibly excited and hopeful. He gently placed the sword within a memory stone before he stood up and left the park. He went through the mansion and eventually returned to the bustling street outside where he was greeted by the guards stationed outside the mansion. Nodding their way Hui Yue rushed down the street heading downtown to find the marketplaces. He wanted to find shops and forges belonging to spiritual blacksmiths.
Entering the shopping district, Hui Yue saw many weapon stores that had items in their windows trying to tempt the shoppers and lure them into their stores. Looking around, Hui Yue decided to enter a random shop and ask for the location of the most skilled spiritual blacksmith in the city. Pushing the door open he entered a small shop. The instance he entered the dim lit room his nose was assaulted by the scent of new leather. A bell announced his entrance into the store, and as he turned towards the desk, a young woman appeared behind it. Her gentle face had a welcoming smile and was looking at Hui Yue expectantly.
“I am looking for a spiritual blacksmith,” Hui Yue said instantly not wasting any time. “Could you tell me the name and location of the best smithy in town,” He quickly requested, and the smile on the woman’s face stiffened slowly as she was asked such a question. “Our smithy is incredibly skilled,” She said with a someone hurt expression on her face. “He is skilled and experienced. I am certain that he will be capable of providing you with what you ask for.”
Understanding that he had insulted the young lady, Hui Yue withdrew a small bag of coins from his golden money storage stone. Within this memory stone was copper, silver, and gold coins. Rummaging through the bag, he picked out three gold coins which he placed on the counter. “It is not that I doubt your smithy’s ability,” He said apologetically, “I just have a task which I need the best blacksmith in town to look at.”
Seeing the gold coins, the eyes of the woman narrowed slightly. Although she was slightly insulted, she also knew that the coins she had been offered was a lot of money. With a sigh, she collected the three coins and removed her feelings of being wronged. “The best blacksmith in town has a smithy three blocks away from here. The shop is on a small, narrow street. You will easily miss it if you don’t look for it. The name of the blacksmith is Cou Ling.”
Having given the information the woman scurried into the back of the shop, and Hui Yue understood that he had been dismissed. Storing the rest of the coins in his hand he turned and left the shop after which he followed the instructions given to him by the woman. The narrow street she mentioned was indeed incredibly narrow. It was so small that it could hardly be considered a street and instead was more of an alleyway. Moving down this alleyway Hui Yue quickly found that it was almost impossible for his body to fit, but after walking around fifty meters the alleyway became a bit wider, and a shop suddenly appeared in front of him.
The shop did not look fancy, and there were no precious metals, stones, or gemstones adorning the outside of it; instead, it was made from just wood with one large window showing one item after another all of the items very steeply priced. They were more than double the prices of the shop he had been at previously.
Entering the store it had the smell of stale air and new leather much like the other one but the light here was even dimmer. No sunshine reached the narrow alleyway, and the only light which shone on the wall was from a single torch. From the back of the store, a rhythmic hammering could be heard.
Unlike the other shop no one came to greet Hui Yue, and the young man was left alone for an extended amount of time. Although he was incredibly eager to know whether or not it was possible to repair his weapon he knew that if he rushed the blacksmith, it was quite likely that he would not get any help. A half hour went by while Hui Yue looked at all the items in the shop.
After another hour passed by Hui Yue started to wonder if he should have gone to another store as he restlessly paced the floor. “I need the best blacksmith if I want to have any hope of restoring this Sword of the Icy Tempest to its original, or at least close to original, shape.” He mumbled to himself every time he was just about to leave, and in the end, he waited for two and a half hours before he managed to finally see a young man around his age enter the shop.
“Sorry for the delay,” The young man grinned as he looked at Hui Yue. It was clear that he knew that they had left the shop for an extended amount of time, yet they still dared to pretend that they were sorry. It was impossible for Hui Yue not to look at them as slightly rude. Still, he was here to ask their help and did not expose any of his inner emotions on his neutral face.
“I am looking for Cou Ling,” Hui Yue said without letting the young man know that he felt somewhat insulted because when asking for a favor one needed to stay humble. Enduring was something Hui Yue had learned long ago.
“Cou Ling, huh?” He asked with a smile and turned around, “Follow me.” He said and gestured for Hui Yue to follow behind as the two of them left the front room and entered the smithy itself. Looking around, Hui Yue still heard the rhythmic sound of a hammer landing on metal. The force was so strong that the entire ground shook, and the harder the hammer hit, the more the ground trembled beneath the young men. Walking straight towards the sound, Hui Yue soon found that he was standing in front of Cou Ling.
As soon as he saw her, his eyebrow rose and his eyes widened. He had expected a muscular man but instead he found a petite woman. Although she was petite, her muscles were massive, and her skin was drenched with sweat. The second the two young men approached her the piece of metal she had within her hands was placed in a large bucket, and a sizzling sound escaped when it touched the cold water. She laid her hammer on the anvil.
“What can I do for you?” She asked as she wiped the sweat from her forehead with a cloth she had taken from a table close by. Her eyes were blue, and they stared directly at Hui Yue. Her gaze was clear and direct, looking straight into the eyes of the younger man.
Looking at this woman, Hui Yue instantly withdrew the sword from his storage stone and placed it on the anvil in front of the two of them. “I need this restored,” He said. “They told me you were the best blacksmith around so if anyone can do it, it has to be you.”
Her eyes brightened slightly from the flatter, but the moment she took the sword into her hands her face turned sour, and she placed it on the anvil after nothing but a few seconds. “Sorry, it is too broken; I cannot restore it,” She said instantly, and Hui Yue felt completely dumbfounded as he looked at the blacksmith, “You did not even look at it properly. How can you be so sure?” He asked, but the only answer he got was a shake of her head.
The young man who led Hui Yue into the smithy cleared his throat, “We could use the Nine Heaven’s Blood Forging,” He suggested, and the suggestion caused Hui Yue to look at him with renewed hope. “What is this Nine Heaven’s Blood Forging?” He asked curiously and did not miss the sharp and hateful gaze that Cou Ling sent the youngster.
“It is not possible. There are too many conditions and things that need to be met before I can use that forging technique. Either you won’t be suited for it, or it will be too expensive,” She said dismissively, but Hui Yue refused to give up. “Try me,” He said while his lips curled upwards. If there were a way to restore such a sword, he would definitely do it.
Sighing the woman once more took the sword into her hands and this time she truly spent time to look at it. She twisted it in her hands, scraped against the rust with her fingers and although her eyes were hesitantly a stubbornness appeared within. Looking at Hui Yue for a short while she finally asked, “There are a lot of conditions for this to become possible. Firstly, do you have affinity with the Metal element?” She asked, and Hui Yue nodded his head. Seeing this the unwillingness in her eyes increased exponentially, “Are you rich? If we attempt the Nine Heaven’s Blood Forging, I better make a hell of a lot of money from it.”
Confused Hui Yue looked at the blacksmith but still nodded his head. He could be considered rich.
“I will not settle for anything less than ten spirit coins,” The blacksmith said, and Hui Yue instantly took out ten spirit coins which he traded to her. Seeing the coins, the unwillingness somewhat subsided.
“Okay, the rules are simple,” She began, “Come here three days from now, before the day breaks. We will need to leave the city to attempt the Nine Heaven’s Blood Forging, and when we leave here, you will follow my every order. Even if it makes no sense to you; you will do everything I tell you,” The woman continued, and Hui Yue nodded his head. He dared not go against the woman when she had finally agreed to do the forging. As to what kind of forging it was, Hui Yue had no idea, but it sounded both bloody and dangerous. So much so that it could not be attempted within the city itself.
“I will see you in three days,” Cou Ling said as she tossed the rusty sword to Hui Yue, who caught it in the air and placed it in his memory stone while looking at the woman who returned to the piece of metal she had been shaping previously. The dismissal was clear, and Hui Yue slowly left the shop and headed towards his mansion. Having to wait three days could prove troublesome, but Hui Yue knew how to deal with it. It was simply time for him to fully immerse himself in training a new martial or spiritual art given to him by Lan Feng.
Even though he was incredibly excited about restoring the sword, he had long since learned that rushing things would only make them worse, so instead he accepted that he would have to wait. While moving back to the mansion, he scoured his memory until he found the Sacred Solarflare technique floating within his memory. This was a spiritual art he had been gifted by Lan Feng, and also the spiritual art that he was currently trying to learn. With a smile on his face, he rushed home and straight out to the park behind the mansion; the park where he had peace and quiet to train to his heart’s content.