Chapter 204: Sword Casting Villa

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The half month quickly passed by.

Today, Jing Province, Iron Horse City.1

Warriors converged, and the crowds seemed interwoven.

Iron Horse City’s Sword Casting Villa enjoyed a famous reputation in the Jianghu, always known as the “Ancestor of Weaponry.”2 Each major sect had dealings with it, especially the Great Chong Dynasty’s Four Great Sword Sects that cultivated the sword arts. In the Tail Fire Star Field, they stood out above all others. The Divine Weapons of the Sword Sects were all products of the Sword Casting Villa.

Because Iron Horse City was the center of casting masters, the city possessed very developed casting arts. Casted weapons and tools of every kind could be seen inside the city. It made the city look like a soldier fully equipped for battle, filled with bloodlust, a seriously powerful army.

Chen Mo followed the Western Branch’s carriage into Iron Horse City. The caravan flew the Western Branch’s banner, moving unimpeded the entire way, receiving the envious gazes of countless warriors. However, Chen Mo was currently fast asleep in his carriage. Jin Fu’er sat across from Chen Mo, staring at him the entire time, his gaze containing both admiration and a bit of worry. For the past half month, Chen Mo had all along been familiarizing himself with forging at the Great Tool Court, his every day and night spent with lung-fire made Jin Fu’er once again reaffirm that he himself was entirely not the sort to bear hardship. That was a challenge the average warrior could not bear.

That Chen Mo was able to persist made Jin Fu’er speechless.

Now, seeing Chen Mo sleeping completely defenselessly, he worried Chen Mo’s body would not last. However, how could Jin Fu’er have known that although Chen Mo was asleep, his Nose Locking Art was always active. All of his body’s pores maintained keen awareness of outside presences. No gust of wind or shifting of grass could escape his attention. Chen Mo realized this fat person’s mood was complex and fickle, however, he was disinclined to mind about the fake death.3

The carriage slowly rocked back and forth like a cradle. A long while after, it finally came to a stop.

“Young Master, we have arrived at the Sword Casting Villa.” A subordinate’s voice came from the outside.

Jin Fu’er hesitated over whether or not to wake Chen Mo.

Chen Mo opened his eyes, delighting Jin Fu’er: “Brother Shi Jin, you woke up just in time. We’re here.”

Chen Mo took out and donned a half face mask. This meticulously crafted face mask covered his mouth, like a face covering.

Outside the carriage, Jin Wuliang was gathered with the other managers waiting for Chen Mo. This time, the managers had brought along their own apprentices to participate in the Four Sects Wiping Sword, to give them knowledge of the wider world and grow their experience.

“Branch Master, have you truly decided to let that brat go participate in such an important competition?” Now that things reached this point, Manager Yun and the others were still not very reconciled that a casting master who appeared out of nowhere was able to become the Western Branch’s savior.

“My decision is final. Do not bring this up anymore.”

Jin Wuliang furrowed his brow, speaking with displeasure.

Manager Yun could only keep silent.

“Elder Yun, you are too worried. As far as I know, this Fellow Shi Jin has recognized all the rare materials in the Great Tool Court over the past half month. He even has much more profound understanding of many casting arts than we do. This time, the Western Branch has hope.” A female manager mediated.

“If only it were so.” Manager Yun stubbornly said.

Chen Mo and Jin Fu’er disembarked and walked over to them. When they saw Chen Mo was wearing a half face mask, the managers could not help but be taken aback. That mask was constructed very peculiarly, like an assassin’s, but layers of dragon scales were etched into the surface. It appeared out of the ordinary. In their eyes, Chen Mo had always been very mysterious. With this mask, they felt he was full of austerity, as if he was an emotionless sculpture.

Even Manager Yun could not help but feel a bit startled.

Heart as strong as iron, thought as firm as stone!

To have a heart like iron and thoughts like stone was a great level that a casting master reached after enormous experience. While casting an object, an iron-like determination could allow Divine Intent to be able to be imbued into that object. This allowed casted items to have even more powerful characteristics, but very few casting masters were actually able to reach this. The brat in front of him actually was able to him such a feeling.

When he looked at his own apprentice again, an envious and irritated expression was plainly visible. This was completely the difference between Heaven and Earth. Elder Yun could not help but sigh.

Jin Wuliang faintly smiled.

“Did Fellow Shi Jin forge this mask?” A manager asked.

“En, an experiment.” Chen Mo answered.

“Oh, not bad. Your casting skills have already reached the realm of perfection.” Everyone praised.

“But why make such a strange mask?” A casting master was always fond of etching their own imprint into a weapon. In other words, every casting master was very willing to make other warriors remember their appearance. This way, their fame would spread.

Only when a casting master had a strong reputation could they receive dealings with even stronger cultivators. Those that contrarily concealed their appearances like Chen Mo were very rare.

“Brother feels that this is instead even more distinct. Heh, heh.” Jin Fu’er explained.

Everyone seemed to understand the logic and could not help but feel even more impressed with Chen Mo’s thinking.

The rest of them did not realize that Chen Mo did this in order to avoid other people recognizing him. In the Divine Warrior Examination, he garnered fame as the White Clothed Tanhua. Although the Jianghu and the imperial court were two separate worlds, erring on the side of caution was always for the best.

The Sword Casting Villa was situated at the highest point in Iron Horse City. The outer walls of the villa were all constructed from casted steel, an iron bastion in both name and reality. The “stairs” leading to the Villa also showed a particular ingenuity, for the design of the steps were like swords.

Other than this, every kind of weapon direction spread as far as the eye could see.

But just standing under the Villa made any warrior who visited feel “reverence” for casting. As expected of the sect known as the strongest and largest for casting masters, Chen Mo could not help but be impressed.

Today just so happened to be the day the Four Sects Wiping Sword competition, when the Villa opened its doors and welcomed outsiders. All warriors who loved weaponry and received invitations had come to this place. They poured in like an endless stream, very bustling. 

The status of Jin Wuliang’s party evidently drew the attention of bystanders immediately, however, it was perhaps because of the past three years of defeats for the Western Branch during the minor examination that everyone showed sympathetic expressions.

Chen Mo followed Jin Wuliang to the Sword Casting Villa’s assembly hall.

The Sword Casting Villa’s master was a nearly seventy year old elder. His complexion was hale and hearty, a red glow across his entire face. The master was a Middle Stage Casting Master, his qi and blood more vigorous than a young warrior’s. He sat in the hall’s seat of honor, his gaze like a torch.

Jin Wuliang and Chen Mo immediately sensed the pressure from the old man’s eyes the moment they stepped in.

Chen Mo was already aware beforehand that the Western Branch’s Great Tool Court had been under the Jin Family’s management for generations. The Western Branch was situated in the Western Regions; although the environment was poor, it possessed great relationships with the Foreign Star Fields. Many of the different local groups came and went, possessing an abundance of ores and spirit sands for transactions. They were the most prosperous of the Four Branches, and the Sword Casting Villa had always wanted to take complete control over it but were powerless to do so. This time, the Jin Family breaking their ties as casting masters presented the best opportunity. The Sword Casting Villa’s master eyed the branch like a tiger would prey. His entire mind was focused on taking the Western Branch in this Four Sects Wiping Sword.

“Jin Wuliang, you’re here.” The Sword Casting Villa Master spoke, his voice full of boldness.

“Villa Master, your vitality is getting better and better. This is truly the fortune of the Villa.” Jin Wuliang cupped his fist. The both of them were ranked as Middle Stage Casting master, but the Sword Casting Villa Master’s experience was the most profound. Jin Wuliang was to maintain deference. 

“Of course, This Villa Master is very eager for this Four Sects Wiping Sword.” The Sword Casting Villa Master said.

“Jin Wuliang, your Western Branch has ranked last in the previous three contests. If you lose this time as well, according to the rules, you will have to forfeit your position as Branch master.” Sitting in the hall, a large-eared man laughed aloud.

“So it’s Eastern Branch Master Luo. I hear that the Villa has been very attentive to Branch Master Luo’s disciple. It makes This Jin very envious.” Jin Wuliang seemed to smile.

Branch Master Luo’s apprentice was a young man about twenty-five to twenty-six years old. His appearance was quite handsome, but his eyes contained a hint of malice, like he was a gloomy thundercloud. Branch Master Luo said: “Tairan’s talent is unparalleled. Receiving the appreciation of the Villa is only natural for him. If Brother Wuliang had such an apprentice, the Villa surely would not treat you unfairly. However, it is such a pity. This Luo heard that your son, Jin Fu’er, apparently is not up for the challenge.”

“Truly a pity, the Jin Family’s casting was renowned for centuries in the Western Regions. Now, this line has unexpectedly ended.”

“This is too rude. I fear the Jin Family ancestors will be upset.”

“Brother Jin should reflect upon himself.”

The others mocked him, and Jin Wuliang’s expression slowly changed. Their words touched upon his sore spot. If it was not for Jin Fu’er honestly being too spoiled, his Jin Family would not have had to worry about an apprentice worthy of the challenge.

Faced with everyone’s ridicule, Jin Wuliang could only grit his teeth and swallow back his words.

“Each person has their own aspirations, and there will always be something they are good at. Seniors, your words judge others based on your own standards. From Your Servant’s perspective, although Young Master Fu’er is not fond of forging, the Jin Family’s casting arts still are able to receive development.”

Chen Mo opened his mouth.

Seeing a junior surprisingly dare to contradict their words, the branch masters were taken aback. Then, they showed expressions of displeasure.

When they finally looked at Chen Mo, some sneered, others scoffed.

“Is this the apprentice representing the Western Branch in the competition?” The Sword Casting Villa Master smiled.

“I hear Manager Yun’s apprentice is pretty good. Can it be you did not allow him to come wipe away his previous humiliation?”4

“We’ve never seen this disciple of yours.”

“It can’t be that you felt your defeat was certain, so you went and found some random person to make the Sword Casting Villa Master lose face in front of all those people, right.”

The atmosphere was one of displeasure.

Chen Mo was too young, and because the Nose Locking Art sealed off his breath, everyone was unable to sense his strength and was thus naturally unable to perceive the degree of vigor in his Qi-blood. They only felt that Chen Mo was as unremarkable and ordinary as a sheet of paper. He completely lacked experience in casting.

“Ai, everyone, keep calm.” The Sword Casting Villa Master stopped everyone: “This Villa Master heard that this Fellow Shi Jin only entered the Western Branch half a month ago. To be able to receive your high regard, Jin Wuliang, he should have some genuine talent. This Villa Master is very eager to see his performance.”

Jin Wuliang slightly changed. The Sword Casting Villa Master’s words clearly suggested that he knew everything about the Western Branch like the back of his hand.

“Be at ease, Villa Master. Wuliang would never cause casting masters to lose face in front of everyone.” Jin Wuliang said.

The Sword Casting Villa Master smiled. After everyone sat down, they went through with other brief exchanges. Not long after, a subordinate reported that the Northern Branch’s Ten Thousand Edge Pavilion had arrived. Upon hearing this name, the branch masters including Jin Wuliang all showed grave expressions.. 

Chen Mo already knew from earlier that among the Sword Casting Villa’s Four Great Branches, the disciple of the Northern Branch’s Ten Thousand Edge Pavilion was the most formidable. He was known as the best casting master of the generation. Not only was he an incredible casting master, he himself had also practiced in the Northern Darkness Sword Sect; his cultivation was strong. To be clear, it was known that the current leader of the Four Great Sword Sects was none other than the Northern Darkness Sword Sect, and the sect master’s daughter was a natural genius. In the sects of the Jianghu, they enjoyed great popularity. Some senior cultivators were even left in their dust.

In this Four Sects Wiping Sword, the Northern Branch and the Northern Darkness Sword Sect were strongly linked. Their victory was practically already certain.

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  1. 靖州, 鐵馬城
  2. 兵器之祖
  3. Remember, Jin Fu’er was supposed to fake his death as a way to guilt Chen Mo into joining the Western Branch…except Chen Mo didn’t really care anyways.
  4. The fact they openly mock the Western Branch should be telling as to how insecure Jin Wuliang’s position is.


  1. I feel like the author does not really know what to make of the Sword Casting Villa. At one moment, the Western Branch is the weakest. At the next, it’s the richest. Suddenly, the Eastern Branch is the best genius. Not even one chapter later, the Northern Branch has the best genius, and his victory is assured.

    Of course, since we know the protagonist is involved, there is no contest and Chen Mo will win the competition, so it feels sort of disingenuous on the part of the narrator. But I guess that the tropes must be invoked, otherwise the readership would complain…

    1. The Western Branch is indeed the weakest when it comes to personnel (as demonstrated by 3 straight losses in contests) because the branch just can’t recruit talented people as a result of its poor climate and environment. However, what makes it especially valuable is its proximity to trade routes to the Foreign Star Field; this is what makes it attractive to higher-ups who want Jin Wuliang gone. So its location is sort of like a double-edged sword, providing enormous economic opportunity but also limiting the pool of people that the branch can employ.

      If it wasn’t located in a desert, I’d bet the Western branch would be the strongest in both skilled personnel and in economic influence.

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