Chapter 12: Deeply Hidden

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Several days later.

“Incredible. This Book Of Casting’s casting arts are simply hundreds of times superior to any casting master methods the Great Chong Dynasty has. Just what is mother’s identity, to surprisingly be able to have this kind of experience.”

Chen Mo hid the book away, sighing heavily. Ever since he returned to his residence, he impatiently read through the Book Of Casting. He unwittingly lost himself in it. Before he realized it, it was already dusk.

Everything recorded in the Book Of Casting far surpassed his imagination. Chen Mo specifically had Little Tao move a large number of casting books for a comparison. After delving deep, he found that those circulating on the market, even the Sword Casting Villa’s sword casting register, could not compare.

According to the Book Of Casting’s methods, upgrading Star Weapons perhaps was not so difficult.

Chuan Province’s Chen Family was engaged in the industry of casting weapons. They controlled several iron mines in Chuan Province, and they forged quite a number of weapons for the vassal states in the surrounding provinces and counties. Chen Mo considered going to try his hand at this if he had the chance in the future. The Book Of Casting’s techniques were out of this world. That his mother left this behind signified she was full of hope for him. He must not let down her painstaking efforts.

Chen Mo looked at that massive ladle beside him, inwardly making a resolution.

After reading the Book Of Casting, Chen Mo trained the Northern Dipper Great Overflow, and he used the Yin Yang Qi Gathering Needles to temper his organs. Before he knew it, his organs that had undergone qi and blood tempering were already at a satisfactory level. The organs in his body were full of power, his qi and blood abundant.

Loosing a punch, the intense wind blew and shook several of the paintings decorating the room. A large fish-patterned four lotus vase showed several cracks, exploding with a bang.

“My Qi And Blood Six Turns was accomplished faster than I thought. Xiyi’s Nose Locking Art is too miraculous. Looks like reaching Qi And Blood Seven Turns in time for the provincial examination shouldn’t be a problem. If I can train in the first level of the Northern Dipper Great Overflow, I’ll be confident enough to defeat even that Qing Wan.” Chen Mo silently thought.

“Young Master, did something happen in there?”

Little Tao heard the sound of pottery breaking in the room and immediately knocked on the door in worry.

“I’m fine.”

Chen Mo stored the Northern Dipper into the Astral Stone.

Little Tao pushed open the door and entered. Seeing the shattered ceramic littering the floor, she had a complex expression. Then seeing the expressionless Chen Mo sitting cross-legged on the bed, she inwardly breathed a sigh of relief. She called for two sister maids to quietly collect the shards.

The maids’ expressions were tender and helpless, making Chen Mo a bit speechless.

As it turns out, they were under the impression that he had lashed out at the pottery after another failure at cultivating qi and blood.

As expected, Little Tao said: “Young Master, do not lower yourself to the same level as those people. With Young Master’s identity, even if you cannot learn martial arts, they must still respect you.”

Chen Mo gave a wry smile: “That respect is nothing more than hypocrisy. On the contrary, accumulating anger bit by bit can result in taking a tooth for a tooth should the chance for a turnaround present, to pay them back with interest.”

Little Tao was startled. “Young Master.”

“I’m fine. I’m going to go out for a walk.”

Coming out of the room, Iron Blade followed behind him all the way. Although this imperial bodyguard was dispatched by Chen Qing for his protection on the surface, those steel-like eyes were always glued to Chen Mo.

Ever since Chen Mo returned from Azure Dragon Mountain, Iron Blade felt that this trash young master had somehow changed, but he could not put his finger on what had changed. If he was at last able to practice martial arts, then he oddly showed no signs of it at all. He was still the same as always. If there was no change, then Iron Blade would not believe that either. It was the cold months right now, when the weather was frigid, yet Chen Mo seemed to basically not feel the cold at all. 

This was too strange.

Could it be his long times spent training had adapted his body?

Mulling it over, Iron Blade felt this was the only reason worth mentioning.

How could he have known that Chen Mo cultivated the Nose Locking Art, shutting all of his body’s qi inside his body. He could even breathe as smoothly as he pleased. Normal people would naturally be unable to discern from Chen Mo’s outward tranquility that the inside of his body was in fact containing explosive energy as powerful as a volcano.

“Iron Blade, I have a question for you.” Chen Mo said as he walked.

“Young Master, please ask.”

“Between my family and Chuan Province Chen Huhao’s Chen Family, who do you feel is stronger?”

“Young Master is joking. How can Chuan Province’s Chen Family compare to Lord Chang’an.” Iron Blade deferentially said. Everyone knew that Lord Chang’an Chen Zhangtian was a character even the Emperor would feel some fear about. The Chuan Province’s Chen Family was nothing more than a branch family. To be able to prosper like this, they had relied on Lord Chang’an’s prestige. Forget a comparison, they could not hold a candle to him at all.

Iron Blade did not understand why this trash young master would ask a question one could answer as long as their eyes were open.

Chen Mo then asked: “Then if given the opportunity, are you willing to be one of Chen Qing’s many lackeys, or to become the first imperial bodyguard for me, Chen Mo?” 

Iron Blade’s rigid face showed an astounded expression. He hastily said: “If Iron Blade has somehow offended Young Master, then please punish Iron Blade, Young Master, but ever since becoming Young Master’s imperial bodyguard, Iron Blade has not dared to be disloyal.”

Iron Blade suppressed the anger in his heart, thinking to himself, So what if a trash Young Master like you is the son of Lord Chang’an. To follow at the side of a cripple, he was as good as abandoned. Although the Chuan Province Chen Family could not compare to the Chang’an Chen Family, Chuan Province was a powerful dragon at any rate. The sky was high and the emperor far away; Chen Zhangtian perhaps would not be bothered.

Iron Blade only dared to think these words. His outward expression still showed a faithful and forthright attitude.

“Someone had dispatched a warrior to deal with me, don’t you know?” Chen Mo nonchalantly said.

“What, who ate lion guts to surprisingly dare harm Young Master. Can it be that Qing Family…” Iron Blade’s expression changed, his tone righteous: “I shall inform the Elder of this. There will be need to investigate the assassin and punishment by familial execution.”

“There ‘s no need to investigate something small like this. I have my own plans. If they thought that I, Chen Mo, came to Azure Dragon Town only to die of old age, then they are sorely mistaken.” Chen Mo’s person showed an innocent smile.

For some reason, Iron Blade’s heart filled with a chill for the first time towards this trash Young Master’s smile.

On the town’s streets, Chen Mo found that Azure Dragon Town had apparently livened up greatly, noticing that many warriors were coming and going, carrying satchels on their backs; some even held weapons. From their active qi and blood surges, it looked like many were training their qi and blood to the Inner level.

This many Qi And Blood Six and Seven Turns warriors appearing at the same time in Azure Dragon Town made Chen Mo feel somewhat perplexed.

Azure Dragon Town was a town belonging to a corner of Chuan Province. Although the town was not small, it did not have any natural resources. The average warrior was basically unlikely to set foot in this place. Ambitious warriors would leave Azure Dragon Town once they reached Nine Turns in search of greater breakthroughs. This was also why the Qing Family’s elder Qing Bugai would open the One Flower level of “Three Flowers Overhead” and place the Qing Family at the top of Azure Dragon Town.

Chen Mo did not feel like thinking anymore. The current him was already no longer that son of Lord Chang’an who was unable to practice martial arts. These Qi And Blood Seven and Eight Turns warriors already could not pique his interest.

Just as he thought this, the warriors on the street suddenly reverently saluted one after another, showing expressions of flattery. Chen Mo looked to see a man and woman walking over.

She was none other than Qing Wan.

Azure Dragon Town’s princess.

The young man walking beside her was very handsome and attractive, tall and straight. He wore a silk brocade and had treasures worn around his waist. Every one of his gestures had a hint of grandeur. His qi and blood had begin to gather into his heart and mind. Though he showed no sign, it was apparent he was already nearly at Qi And Blood Nine Turns power.

“Little Sister Nanyuan, seriously, I take my eyes off her for one instant, and she just vanishes.” That youth’s gaze swept all over the place, a very worried appearance.

Qing Wan slightly smiled, “Prince Li, there is no need to worry. Perhaps the princess has already gone to my house. There is no one in Azure Dragon Town who would dare hurt the Princess of Wuyang.”

Just as she said this, Qing Wan’s smile froze. She took notice of Chen Mo.

“That is?” The man beside Qing Wan sensed the girl’s change and asked her curiously.

“The son of Lord Chang’an, Chen Mo.”

“Chen Mo. So he is that cripple who is unable to practice martial arts.” The youth disdainfully smiled. “Little Sister Qing Wan apparently is not too fond of him.”

“Can it be that Big Brother Xiaxi is fond of a cripple who abuses his authority?” Qing Wan asked back.

Li Xiaxi laughed, “What Little Sister Qing Wan says is very true. As the son of the Duke of Wei Kingdom,1 I must properly greet him.” Just as he said this, Li Xiaxi flicked a finger.

A ray of blood and qi shot forth, concentrated like a sword, coldly glinting as it cut apart the snowy landscape, rushing towards Chen Mo’s shoulder. This “Coronation Finger” was the Duke of Wei Kingdom’s cultivation method. One finger could turn qi into a sword capable of melting gold and breaking steel. Its might was tyrannical. Normal weapons could not resist it easily.

Li Xiaxi was interested in making a fool of Chen Mo but did not dare use full power. He used only about fifty percent of his power, but this was enough to heavily injure a warrior that did not cultivate qi and blood.

When Coronation Finger attacked, it was as swift as lightning. It was unclear whether Chen Mo was unable to react or if he was disinclined to, but he did not move at all. The eyes of Iron Blade beside him flashed. According to Chen Qing’s earlier orders, if this attack could cripple Chen Mo, he should be happy to act a spectator. However, Iron Blade suddenly recalled Chen Mo’s previous words, unsettling his heart a bit.

Hesitating for an instant, Iron Blade still grit his teeth and stepped forth, his hands clenched into fists as he used “Iron Fist,” circulating his Qi And Blood Eight Turns. His fists that were as sturdy as steel collided with Coronation Finger.

A metallic sound exploded.

Iron Blade was dramatically pushed back.

Qing Wan’s eyes narrowed. As she sneered, she discreetly stamped her foot. The ground jolted as a wave spread in all direction. Some warriors that were caught off guard were nearly knocked over by this wave. Even those that were on guard suddenly felt their internal organs were endlessly unwell.

The crowds on the street were astonished one after another, in awe of the girl’s power.

Iron Blade’s heart sank. He knew that he was about to lose face. That Coronation Finger just now had practically dispersed his Qi And Blood. This jolt was enough to send him flying. That was a minor thing to disgrace himself, but this would make the Chen Clan a laughingstock. Iron Blade exerted all of his strength to gather his Qi And Blood to the soles of his feet in an attempt to steady himself. The shockwave shook him, and the arches of his feet scorched with pain.

Just as his body staggered backwards, Iron Blade suddenly felt someone prop him up from behind. His whole body only felt as light as a feather. The shaking of the ground inconceivably passed by him like a tide.

Iron Blade was stunned, turning his head back in astonishment to look at Chen Mo.

Chen Mo bore this hardship with equanimity. His Bagua Chant already had minor accomplishment, and with the support of his stake training, dispersing this excess force was naturally easy.

“Huh?” Qing Wan showed bewilderment. It was reasonable to say that imperial bodyguard was no more than Qi And Blood Seven or Eight Turns in strength. Having sustained the attack of Coronation Finger in addition to her “Python Passing River,” this should have been enough to knock him flying. How was it that this imperial bodyguard staggered for a mere moment before surprisingly emerging unscathed.

“This imperial bodyguard is a bit interesting.” Li Xiaxi said, intrigued.

Qing Wan’s brows deeply wrinkled. Her gaze was firmly fixed on the elusive, shadow-like youth behind Iron Blade.

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  1. 威國公. This is not the same as the Duke of Wei that most people are familiar with (衞).


  1. Qing Wan’s mental gymnastics here don’t make sense at this time (they will have a semblance of logic in a later chapter), but still, it’s quite aggravating to see her reverse victim and perpetrator.

    1. Don’t forget the fact that these people are part of an aristocratic society. Pomp and circumstance is part of the package.

      1. Please don’t confuse being aristocratic with being jackasses. The vast majority of aristocrats through history were well aware of their position and the obligations towards those who were above them, as well as below them. The saying “noblesse oblige” encapsulates this well.

        Unfortunately, this novel needs villains, and it is convenient to paint nobles as some sort of Nitzschean nightmare scenario where the strong abuse their power so that the protagonist may overcome them. It’s the well-worn trope of the arrogant young master.

        This is fine, though; I’ve read far worse, and “She’s Cold as Ice” is at least competent at going about using the tropes he has at his fingertips.

        1. I didn’t mean to say that being part of the aristocracy was necessarily the same as being an asshat; what I meant is precisely your last sentence. The author is presenting a scenario following the “here’s some shitty nobles” trope. Obviously, Chen Mo is part of the aristocracy that isn’t being a jerk to other people.

          1. I don’t mean just thecaristocracy. I kinda meant how damn near most EVERYONE save like side/and some main characters are either toatal jackasses, or kinda bitchy.
            108MOD had A LOT of jerkasses who weren’t nobles, but I can see MG being filled with much more jerkassery by virtue of ‘strength is everything’. Social Darwinism at its finest, which is okay. I just wish they werent ALL jerks about it.

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