Beads of sweat slid like rain down along a muscly arm. The shadows casted by the fires of the forge drew clearly contrasting lines of light and shadow upon the thick and solid muscle, budding because of the forceful exertion of qi and blood.
A fifty or sixty catty hammer was deftly wielded in Chen Mo’s hands, heavily beating upon a large armor of snake skin upon the forging platform.
The scale armor slowly formed into one piece under his strike, finally taking shape as a prototype garment.
After going through a forge, press, cooling, mending, and other various processes, a Snake Scale Armor was fabricated. Chen Mo wiped off his forehead full of sweat. The muscles that had been excited by qi and blood slowly recovered their calm. His skin was stained with the marks of sparks that splashed upon him, red and densely packed, a ghastly sight, however, at this moment, Chen Mo did not feel the pain. All of his thoughts were placed upon the first genuine “magic tool”1 level armor he created after he became a casting master.
This armor was completely forged from the Fiery-eyed Python’s scales, inheriting the Rank Two Demon Beast’s formidable defenses against weapons. Average arrows would have no way to penetrate it, and compared to heavy armor like chain mail or plating, the Snake Skin Armor also inherited the benefits of the Fiery-eyed Python’s agility. Wearing it did not weigh the user down.
With Chen Mo’s current Star Energy tempering his body in addition to this Astral Tool Snake Skin Armor, it was no exaggeration to say that normal Qi And Blood Nine Turns warriors would be very hard-pressed to injure him.
“Young Master Chen Mo truly is too incredible.”
Shi Cheng let out a gasp of admiration as he looked at this beautifully outstanding armor. The man was elated as he felt this amazement. Among casting masters, items outside of weapons were very difficult to forge because of the very complex structure, the very precise material requirements, and the forging process would also need to be the pinnacle of perfection.
Shi Cheng saw from a glance that this snake skin was absolutely extraordinary. If this was a Demon Beast’s that would be exceptional.
For the sake of advancing his own casting craft, Chen Mo added a bit of Divine Clinging Cinnabar, so his refining naturally was even more smooth. Each time he forged, the Divine Clinging Cinnabar’s fire could excite the qi and blood in his body. His current casting level had already reached the completion of Early Stage.
“I’ll try it on.” Chen Mo equipped the Snake Skin Armor. The snake skin was extremely flexible with nothing superfluous as he wore it.
Chen Mo then called Iron Blade in.
“Iron Blade, use your Fish Scale and try to cut me.” Chen Mo smiled and said.
Iron Blade looked at him in confusion, “Young Master, you want me to cut you?”
“Exactly. I want to test this Snake Skin Armor.” Chen Mo nodded.
“Young Master, my Fish Scale already has One Star, I am afraid this is inappropriate.”
“Don’t be such a worrywart. I’m not afraid, what are you afraid of.” Chen Mo joked.
When Iron Blade saw Chen Mo’s resolute attitude, he forced a smile and used Fish Scale to test the armor. If the forged armor was not as perfect as he imagined, the end result of one slash would be difficult to imagine. Left with no choice, Iron Blade still drew Fish Scale. The edge was like a crescent moon, glowing snow-white. A single star twinkled along its blade, making its killing intent even more chilling and reserved.
Shi Cheng could not help but retreat faraway to avoid being injured by the saber-light.
Chen Mo focused his qi and blood to his chest, accompanying the Snake Scale Armor.
The clear sound of a blade. Fish Scale did not injure Chen Mo at all, though, not even posing even a bit of a threat to him. “Young Master, this armor of yours is very good. It can be sold for several hundred thousand on the market.” Iron Blade praised.
Chen Mo was not satisfied, “Iron Blade, cut it using your strongest technique! I want to see just how strong this Snake Scale Armor is.”
Iron Blade was alarmed, saying in terror: “Young Master, I mustn’t.” As his name implied, he practiced an iron-like method of swordsmanship. His strongest attack was capable of killing a Qi And Blood Nine Turns warrior even though he himself was at Qi And Blood Eight Turns. Hearing Chen Mo’s reckless words, the man was truly scared stiff.
“If I don’t see just how strong this armor is, I won’t have a clue. In the future, there will be more trials.” Chen Mo categorically refused.
“Young Master, please calm down a bit.”
Shi Cheng hastily advised: “Young Master Chen Mo, you can test this armor without wearing it. Ever since ancient times, warriors could hardly contend against weapons empty-handed. But wearing it is still too dangerous.” After Star World’s warriors obtained Star Weapons, their destructive power would no longer be average. Even warriors that refined their qi and blood to their minds found it very difficult to ward off weapons with their physical bodies.
For Chen Mo’s test, it the Snake Scale Armor was unable to withstand it, he would undoubtedly be cut in two. Shi Cheng saw that Chen Mo was a casting master whose future prospects were endless. If he died here testing his armor, that would be too depressing.
“Young Master Chen Mo, you already obtained the juren token, it would be better if you let me try the armor instead.” Shi Cheng volunteered himself.
Chen Mo was somewhat moved by his kindness, “Uncle Shi, relax, I have a plan. If I don’t wear and feel it myself, then I won’t be confident at all.”
“Iron Blade, if you feel I’m not a weak man, then cut me down with all your strength. Use your strongest attack.” Chen Mo sternly said: “If you have a bit of disobedience, then henceforth you are no longer someone at my, Chen Mo’s, side!!”
“Young Master!” Iron Blade was moved.
Shi Cheng’s mouth hung agape. He had never seen such an outrageous casting master.
This brat’s courage was extraordinary.
“Quickly.” Chen Mo ordered.
Iron Blade knew that if he continued to dillydally, his Young Master perhaps would actually be angered, and he would not bear a reputation as being weak. Gritting his teeth, Iron Blade steeled his heart.
If Chen Mo was actually hacked to death by him, worst comes to worst, he would apologize with his own death.
“Young Master, then forgive this Iron Blade. Please be careful, Young Master.” Iron Blade took a deep breath.
“Bring out your maximum power, let me see it.” Chen Mo showed a reassuring smile.
Iron Blade lifted his sword and circulated his qi and blood. His muscles bulged, and his veins made popping sounds, as if someone was pulling a bowstring, the sound of tension releasing. This was the display of a Qi And Blood Eight Turns warrior who had refined their qi and blood to the limit of their meridians. His whole body was taut as a bowstring, undulating like an arrow. His power seemed about to burst out of his meridians at any second.
Knowing that Iron Blade would use a full power strike, Chen Mo was fully alert.
Iron Blade’s eyes were like lightning. He swung Fish Scale.
A terrifying saber-qi cracked like a flash of lightning, cutting heavily against Chen Mo’s chest. But after hearing a clear and crisp ring, as if a lake was thrown into a massive pot. With a crash, a tidal wave-like force flowed out from the blade, fanning out in all directions.
The heavy tables in the surroundings were surprisingly split apart by this slash.
Chen Mo abruptly felt his chest go cold. He sensed the blade-light’s chill pass through his bones. Chen Mo’s shoulders shuddered, and he instantly circulating his qi and blood. The chill in his chest was suddenly driven away as if by fire.
Iron Blade’s attack power was extremely formidable. Even with Chen Mo’s robust body, he felt a slight pressure and could not help but take a step back.
But his back did not bend; he was not subdued in the slightest.
After this attack, Iron Blade turned from heaving breath to a gasp of shock.
His Black Iron Swordsmanship was surprisingly unable to bring his even a bit of harm.
But that Snake Scale Armor was left with only a faint slash mark. “Young Master, just what kind of material is this, it’s surprisingly so tough.” Iron Blade did not dare believe this.
“This is from the Rank Two Demon Beast, Fiery-eyed Python.” Chen Mo felt the Snake Skin Armor. It was pretty good. He more or less displayed the Snake Scale to its limit. It looked like he did not waste the efforts his mother put into the “Book of Casting.”
“Rank Two Demon Beast?”
The two men were both astounded.
To Shi Cheng or Iron Blade, a Demon Beast able to refine abilities could not be classified as something a worldly warrior was able to contend against. Even a Three Flowers Overhead warrior would need to be careful. Only after one underwent Greater or Lesser Thunder Tribulation, gained possession of a magic weapon, and similarly refined abilities could they possibly face a Demon beast.
To all of a sudden hear that Chen Mo surprisingly used a Demon Beast’s hide to create this armor, they were somewhat dumbstruck.
On second thoughts, Chen Mo had the Chang’an Mansion’s backing. To have some Demon Beast materials was not strange at all. This made Shi Cheng very envious. To be able to use a Demon Beast’s hide and bones to forge weapons was something many casting masters sought after, but Early Stage Casting Master were completely unable to have such opportunities.
No wonder Chen Mo’s casting skill was able to develop so quickly. Using this kind of rare material indeed allowed him to possess experience even greater than what other casting masters had.
“This Snake Scale Armor is for you.” Chen Mo took off the Snake Scale Armor and handed it to Iron Blade.
“Huh?’ Iron Blade was startled. “This is such a splendid magic tool, Your Servant cannot wear it.”
“If I want you to take it, you take it. It’s just an ordinary magic tool.” Chen Mo disagreed. After he killed that Fiery-eyed Python, he still had more than enough snake skin to work with. Chen Mo planned to first use this opportunity to raise himself to the peak of Early Stage Casting Master. Afterwards, he had an even bigger goal.
He would use the Lacquer Meteor Iron and Demon Crystal to forge a few throwing knives for protection.
In the future, when he increased his own level to Three Flowers Overhead, he would then find one of the Northern Dipper’s seven Astral Stones to embed, which would substantially raise his own power for the upcoming second stage of the Divine Warrior Examination, the metropolitan examinations. Chen Mo was very aware that although he had obtained Azure Dragon Town’s juren, his merely Qi And Blood Nine Turns strength was completely insufficient.
Each and every one of the warriors able to join the metropolitan examination practically were geniuses without exception, and those that reached the court examination were an even more concentrated gathering of the Great Chong Dynasty’s talent. Perfect Three Flowers Overhead warriors were not impossible existences.
Defeating Qing Wan was not worth making Chen Mo arrogant.
In the end, Azure Dragon Town was merely a little village. In the face of the capital Chang’an, it was completely not worth a mention.
Shi Cheng and Iron Blade had no way to know of Chen Mo’s thoughts, however, from their perspective, Chen Mo being able to defeat a Three Flowers Overhead using Qi And Blood Nine Turns strength and become juren was already very good. As for his further studies, they did not even dare to wish for more than zhuangyuan2 or tanhua.3
Staying in Azure Dragon Town for another seven days, Chen Mo then continued to forge several sets of Snake Scale Armor. Among them, four of them were given to Little Tao, Little Ping, and his two other maids for their protection. Besides leaving one set for himself, he also gave one to Qing Yuanshan to bestow to Qing Wan as an indication of his support of the Qing Family.
In the past, he held great enmity towards Qing Wan. In the Divine Warrior Examination, he experienced the girl’s chilling arrogance, and he was somewhat eager to see what level Qing Wan could reach in the future.
Of course, from the Qing Family’s perspective, this was an absolute favor, something that was somewhat overwhelming.
Over the course of several days like this, Chen Mo successfully reached the peak level of Early Stage Casting Master, however, when he was finally forging the throwing knives, he nevertheless was too late and unable do so.
To combine the Demon Pellet with the casting materials, he needed “Spirit Attaching Iron Essence,” and to blend them perfectly was also a completely new domain. This domain and experience was something Shi Cheng was completely unable to help with, no matter how much he wanted to.
On this day, Chen Mo looked through and pondered upon the “Book of Casting” when Shi Cheng suddenly came over and invited him to participate in Little Jade City’s casting master social banquet. Attending this banquet were all of Great Chong Dynasty’s amazing casting masters. The man had already acknowledge Chen Mo’s ability.