Everyone was shocked to hear the old man’s panicked voice.
This old man was one of the Sword Casting Villa’s Elders, with formidable Sixth Layer Lesser Thunder Tribulation cultivation. He could hold a thousand catty boulder in his hand as easily as he would a toy, but to see him nearly unable to lift up a tiny piece of jade, everyone was astonished.
The old man exercised his magic energy and stared at this jade in his hand, his gaze sharp as a blade.
“Senior, were you careless just now.” Ding Haiyan blankly said.
“He must have done something to this rock.” Tairan said.
The old man snorted and did not even look at them.
“Senior, who do you feel is heavier compared to the others.” Chen Mo calmly asked.
The old man was no longer displeased like he was before. He gazed at Chen Mo, his eyes showing an expression of awe. Staring at Chen Mo for a while, the old man suddenly said: “This jade requires the judgment of the Branch Master and the others.” Saying so, his body techniques soared, and he very quickly reached the high platform.
“Elder E,1 just what is going on?”
“You’re not doing this on purpose?”
On the high platform, the branch masters, sect masters, and others of the high level bombarded him with questions.
Right now, everyone was discussing Elder E’s loss of manners quite spiritedly. To be able to make a nearly Greater Thunder Tribulation cultivator unable to hold up a jade, this joke had unavoidably gone too far. Elder E presented the jade without saying a word. The Sword Casting Villa Master took it into his own hand. His expression suddenly changed, for he was nearly unable to hold it up as well.
This jade was about the size of an egg yolk, but it was as heavy as a thousand catties. With only a lapse in concentration, one could possibly end up making a fool of themselves.
“Gentleman’s Oath Jade!!”2 The Sword Casting Villa Master gasped, finally seeing through the background of this jade he held.
“What? Gentleman’s Oath Jade?”
“No way, that’s one of Star World’s Hundred Great Strange Stones.”
“Is that true?”
The Sword Casting Villa Master handed it over to the other Branch Masters. When everyone held it, their expressions instantly changed, and they immediately felt that this jade was heavier beyond belief. The Four Great Sword Sects also dispatched people to check, and confirming this was its true weight, they could not help but turn pale.
“What is the history of this Gentleman’s whatever jade?” Northern Darkness Has Snow took the jade that her father also appraised, and her brow creased. This seemingly very ordinary pure white jade was impenetrable to her Divine Intent. Playing around with it in her hands, there was an invisible weight suppressing her magic energy, a weight beyond imagination.
“Fairy Northern Darkness, this jade is but one of Star World’s Hundred Great Strange Stones.”
Casting masters were very knowledgeable about Spirit Stones and Spirit Sands, and they knew about some of Star World’s Hundred Great Strange Stones. The Gentlemen’s Oath Jade appeared to be a regular White Field Jade on the outside, also encased in a stone shell as well. Outsiders were unable to perceive even the slightest difference, but once extracted and fully revealed, the Oath Jade’s weight would finally be exposed. Because the jade was like a gentleman,3 and a gentleman’s word was worth a thousand gold, it received the name Gentleman’s Oath Jade.
But Gentleman’s Oath Jade was extremely rare. Among casting masters, there were many theories surrounding it.
The most commonly circulated theory was that the Gentleman’s Oath Jade required a very special cutting method. Casting masters that possessed the clear mind of a gentleman were able to extract the Gentleman’s Oath Jade. If there was even the slightest impurity, the Gentleman’s Oath jade would crumble, unable to display any usefulness.
This degree of difficulty reportedly could only be mastered by the best of casting masters.
To see an Early Stage Casting Master actually able to extract the Gentleman’s Oath Jade intact, everyone was struck dumb as a wooden chicken. Even the Branch Masters present did not have the confidence to extract the Gentleman’s Oath Jade.
Jin Wuliang laughed aloud. “The victor of this contest cannot be anymore obvious, right.”
The Branch Masters, who had been so complacent with themselves a moment ago, now awkwardly smiled.
“First contest, Shi Jin has extracted the Oath Jade and received four points!”
“Oh, this is a bit more interesting than I thought.” Northern Darkness Has Snow’s eyes lit up, seriously looking to the young man in the ring.
A black mask and a stern temperament from head to toe again made him appear mysterious in everyone’s eyes.
“Impossible, it’s Gentleman’s Oath Jade.”
In the ring, Ding Haiyan was in a daze. He had heard of this jade before, but he had always believed it to be a legend. He never imagined he would see it with his own eyes.
The Book Of Casting had an introduction for it, and Chen Mo had the Deva Eyes. Thus, he was able to easily recognize the Gentleman’s Oath Jade. However, from everyone else’s perspective, he was very mysterious.
“Impressive, impressive. This Pan was blind earlier.” Pan Shi’an graciously admitted defeat.
“Amazing, Junior Brother Shi Jin is truly amazing. I also admit defeat.” Tairan immediately changed his tune.
Ding Haiyan sneered: “Hmph, I think this was merely a fluke, nothing more. There are still four other contests. I actually want to see just how capable you are.”
The audience’s atmosphere had been impassioned by the Gentleman’s Oath Jade. After a moment, the grey-robed elder finally signaled for everyone to be quiet.
“Then we shall immediately begin the second contest.”
The grey-robed elder composed himself and placed more of his attention on Chen Mo.
The second contest was “melting metal.”
Servants moved four identically sized pieces of gold. These pieces of gold were not the ordinary kind. Contained inside were red veins, earning them the name Scarlet Blood Gold. Compared to normal gold, it had even higher purity and possessed extremely formidable heat resistance.4
The old man again prepared several dozen types of Spirit Sand. This time, the competition was very simple. The casting master was required to use any method to thoroughly melt down the Scarlet Blood Gold. The first to succeed could obtain four points. The casting master could choose from those dozen Spirit Sands as they pleased to add into the Scarlet Blood Gold to assist in the smelting process.
Smelting materials were not unfamiliar at all to a casting master. To use the fastest time and the greatest level of smelting on a material tested the casting master’s pure skill.
Ding Haiyan still brooded over his prior defeat in this contest. He was even more alert compared to before. This time, he looked at the Scarlet Blood Gold and pondered for a moment. From among the dozens of Spirit Sands, he made his choice, finally selecting a Metal-type Spirit Sand, “Gold-puncturing Sand.”
The Scarlet Blood Gold possessed a very formidable resistance to fire. A casting master with even just a bit of experience would understand that smelting Scarlet Blood Gold could not be done using Earthly Fire. The fire from a leyline would only make the Scarlet Blood Gold become even more resilient.
In the domain of casting masters, there were many methods of smelting, and the worldly Five Elements could all be used to do so.
Ding Haiyan chose to add the Metal-type Spirit sand into the flames, changing the nature of the fire. After he added the Spirit Sand, the fire turned a scathing golden hue, very beautiful like glittering gold. The women in the audience could not help but exclaim in admiration.
Pan Shi’an chose and combined Metal-type Spirit Sands. Although his fire was not as gorgeous as Ding Haiyan’s, it was effective. Tairan used an Earth Element, making the fire become even thicker. Suddenly, a scorching heat hit them in the face, and sparks showered over them. Both of them were taken aback and turned their gazes, suddenly going blank.
Ding Haiyan controlled the heat, again using Spirit Sand as an aid. The Scarlet Blood Gold quickly melted.
He put strength into his upper body. When he pulled the bellows, the contours of his muscles bulged exquisitely, fully displaying a masculine beauty. Ding Haiyan proudly grinned, as if he could hear the entire arena cheer for him.
Ding Haiyan noticed that the surroundings were silent, completely without sound. His smelting of the Scarlet Blood Gold should be very eye-catching. Ding Haiyan raised his head and finally noticed everyone’s stares were not on him. Even his two other opponents Tairan and Pan Shi’an were both subconsciously glancing over at another person.
Ding Haiyan wrinkled his brow, then looked over as well.
As he expected, Chen Mo had once again drawn everyone’s attention.
But this time, Ding Haiyan nearly wanted to burst out laughing.
Chen Mo was leisurely smelting the Scarlet Blood Gold, his manner easygoing, neither fast nor slow. That fire was as red as blood, surging into the heavens, completely wrapping around the Scarlet Blood Gold.
As I thought, is this man just lucky? Ding Haiyan sneered. Scarlet Blood Gold had powerful fire resistance, and a capable casting master would avoid tackling it head on. But he saw Chen Mo had seemingly added a Fire-type Spirit Sand to his flames, making his flames roar even more. However, this was completely useless against the Scarlet Blood Gold.
Indeed, he was just a layman, actually committing such a big mistake.
Ding Haiyan had only just wanted to snicker a few times when he suddenly recalled that the same thing had happened before. This brat did something that was confounding to others, and the result would turn out to be unexpected. Ding Haiyan furrowed his brow, forcing his words of mockery back down his throat. He buried his head into his own work. As long as he finished smelting the Scarlet Blood Gold first, that would do.
Just at this moment.
The grey-robed old man said.
“Fellow Shi Jin’s smelting is complete, four points!!”
“What?” Ding Haiyan nearly dropped his tools as he lifted his head in astonishment.
He then saw that Chen Mo had already extinguished his flames. That Scarlet Blood Gold in the furnace flowed down the pipe, already becoming a puddle of molten metal. The reason why no one made a noise just now was because they were shaken looking at the molten metal’s rapid flow.
“This is impossible!!” Ding Haiyan shouted, the color draining from his face.
The old man expressionlessly looked at him: “This is reality, what is impossible.”
“The Scarlet Blood Gold resists fire, it’s impossible for it to be melted by fire this quickly. This brat must be cheating, I won’t accept this!!” Ding Haiyan was unable to suppress that rage in his heart. He already used the most appropriate materials, why would he still lose.
“It appears that Fellow’s casting level still requires more tempering.” Chen Mo was apathetic.
“What did you say!” Ding Haiyan
“Branch Masters, what is the meaning of this?” Northern Darkness Has Snow asked.
Seeing that the bored Northern Darkness Has Snow was also curious, the vanity of everyone in the Sword Casting Villa swelled. The Villa Master said: “This is very simple. Although the Scarlet Blood Gold resists fire, it is Fire that subdues Metal in the Five Elements. To smelt Metal-type materials, you must use fire.
“Although other people understand this logic, the Scarlet Blood Gold has a resistance towards Fire. In this competition, using only fire will result in defeat.”
Northern Darkness Has Snow nodded. So that was the reason why that whatever man would use other Spirit Sand. However, he still lost instead.
“The majority of casting masters would avoid a facing the problem head-on, but some casting masters will take a desperate risk, to use Fire-type Spirit Sand to contrarily enhance the flames even more. However, this is not useful at all. The important point is to follow the Scarlet Blood Gold’s characteristics. The blood-marks of the Scarlet Blood Gold are its sole breakthrough point. As long as one smelts the blood-marks, the Scarlet Blood Gold will very easily melt.
“This requires that the casting master choose a combination of appropriate Spirit Sands without the slightest mistake in the details. Otherwise, it will fail.”
“Yes. This is why that Apprentice Shi Jin was able to complete his smelting so quickly. Even for us Seniors, while we understand this point, it is still very difficult to achieve. We would be lucky to be able to succeed ten percent of the time. He actually dared to attempt this during a contest. Ai, the younger generations will indeed succeed us.” The Sword Casting Villa Master at this moment had forgotten his dispute with the Northern Branch.5 He was profoundly affected by Chen Mo’s talent.
Although the other Branch masters were not very convinced, what a casting master relied on was the ability of true talent. It was impossible to remain unconvinced.
Northern Darkness Has Snow gazed at Chen Mo’s black eyes. She propped up her cheek.
“This man…is interesting.”6
Everyone could not help but look at each other in astonishment. To make Fairy Northern Darkness feel intrigued was a terrific thing.
- 鄂長老 ↩
- 君子誓言玉 ↩
- 君子, the Confucian tradition emphasizes that people should aspire to be 君子, that is, a “great person” or “superior person.” In short, these are people of exemplary character. ↩
- ??? How can something like this be “purer” than pure gold? ↩
- There was a dispute? I think the author meant “Western Branch.” ↩
- And now, she’s joined the ranks of all trashy ML’s from otome isekai’s. ↩