Chapter 69: Forging Iron
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: - -
Shi Mu pondered over the grandeur of being a rich magician for a while. Then, he shook his head and cast this thought aside. The innate skill needed to become a magician was quite rare. Therefore, the possibility of him possessing that skill was extremely low. He needed to focus on finding a task that suited his presently known abilities; a task that rewarded him at the earliest.
Most of the tasks mentioned on the screens were related to the collection of some kind of rare and precious herbs or minerals. A few tasks related to assistance-required on some special arts; some other tasks needed help with some of the day-to-day problems. The rewards offered for these strange tasks were five to six thousand silvers.
Shi Mu felt discouraged as he compared this reward with that of a magician's.
A few tasks were described in blue-colored words; the rewards they offered were considerably higher. However, the difficulty-level to perform these tasks wasn't low; a group of people would be required to complete most of these tasks. Some of these tasks even offered the 'unattainable' Flaming Demon Token as reward.
Unfortunately, Shi Mu couldn't complete these tasks on his own.
Suddenly, his facial expressions changed. He walked towards a screen as his eyes fell on a row of black-colored words - "Recruiting a vigorous Hou Tian warrior to forge two hundred pieces of refined iron; Reward - ninety silvers per piece!"
Shi Mu had possessed a strength of 500 kilograms even though he hadn't practiced any Hou Tian Art. He had now made a breakthrough to the first stage of the Art of Breeding Heavenly Elephants. Therefore, his brute-strength had increased by 30-40 %; he could push it even further he was to draw support from the Real Qi that he had accumulated by the practice of this Art. Therefore, this task was suitable for him. It also offered a good reward.
There were several red marks on this row of words. This meant that this task had been taken-up by some other people as well. However, the task hadn't put any limit on the number of mission-takers.
Shi Mu beckoned his hand in the direction of the main hall's counter; it was quite distant from the place where he stood. A black-robed janitor-disciple walked over after a moment.
Shi Mu had a black-colored iron token in his hand a moment later. An image of fire was imprinted on its back, while number "73" was carved on its front. Shi Mu smiled mildly and walked out of the hall.
It was noon; the sun was showering its scorching light over the valley. A blazing flame was roaring inside Zhao Ji's blacksmith shop. This had made the temperature of the shop extremely high. Three sturdy young men were resting and enjoying the cool air as they sat on either side of the doorway.
"Brother Lin, it seems that we can forge a hundred pieces of iron today," a diminutive yet sturdy youngster said with delight.
"Right... We can forge fifty more pieces this afternoon. Then, we'll be successful in getting nine thousand silvers. So, each one of us will be entitled to three thousand silvers," another youngster with a soybean-sized mole on the corner of his mouth spoke-up. Then, he smiled as he turned his head and looked at the fifty iron pieces that had already been forged.
These three thousand silvers were insignificant in comparison to the several-thousands that were offered by harder missions. However, those missions could take a considerable time; more than a day or even half-a-month wouldn't be enough to complete some of those tasks. Therefore, the reward of three-thousand-silvers-a-day was exceptional from that perspective.
"No one can earn this money since this task is too difficult for ordinary people to complete. We have strengthened our bodies with the help of special medicines since childhood. So, our physical strength is more than an average person's," a dark-skinned youngster rubbed his sore and tired arms as he said.
"But... this work is too exhausting. So, we'll have to rest for a few days after we've forged those hundred pieces of iron."
The words of the dark-skinned youngster aroused the sympathy of the other two men since their bodies were also aching. The task of forging iron was quite tiring. Moreover, the temperature in the blacksmith's shop was extremely high. Each piece of iron needed around three hundred strikes of a hammer that weighed more than 100 kilograms; only then could it be forged. Their sweat would stream down their bodies as they'd work. This had forced them to take rest at regular intervals.
These three youngsters were new disciples, and had been recruited by the Black Demon Sect in the current year. They had a good relationship with each other since they used to practice their body-strengthening cultivation arts together. Therefore, they took-up this task together in the morning. They had then arrived here.
"It seems like another person has taken-up this task," the dark-skinned youngster wrinkled his brows as he said in a low voice.
The other two youngsters turned their gazes and saw Zhao Ping - the owner of the shop - leading a strong and tall disciple towards the shop with a smile on his face.
"Humph! I'm afraid that he'll give-up and quit after he sees the difficulty-level of this task. Moreover, how will he compete with the three of us? Let's try harder and forge as fast as possible," the guy with the mole snorted and said in a low voice.
After that, he got up and walked towards the shop to continue his work. The other two youngsters also stood up and followed him. Then, 'dang' 'dang' sounds of forging iron started to resound.
The slightly plump owner of the shop stopped in front of the door and turned his head towards the tall young man, "Brother Shi, put the refined iron chunks behind you once you're done with forging them. If the quality is up to the standard... then I'll pay you ninety silvers for each piece. As far as the iron token that you have is concerned... I'll take care of that when the time comes... I will return it to the Hall of Wealth."
The sturdy and tall disciple was obviously Shi Mu.
"Well... thank you so much Senior Zhao," Shi Mu nodded and replied respectfully.
Then, he strode towards the blacksmith's shop and vanished inside.
A wave of heat hit Shi Mu's face as he stepped inside. He saw a huge iron furnace. Five or six shirtless men were working around it; they didn't seem to be affected by the extreme heat.
An iron forging platform was located near the furnace. It was made of cast-iron and was twenty feet long, ten feet wide and two feet thick. Three sturdy and semi-naked youngsters were gathered around the platform. Sweat dripped from their bodies as they wielded the huge hammers to forge the red-hot iron.
The facial expressions of these three men didn't look friendly; they were looking at Shi Mu with anger in their eyes.
However, their bone-piercing glare didn't have any effect on Shi Mu. Shi Mu looked around and discovered fifty dark refined irons behind the three youngsters. His heart skipped a beat as he remembered that the task posted in the morning had requested to forge two hundred iron pieces in total. However, one-fourth of these iron pieces had already been forged by these youngsters in only half-a-day.
His vision explored more of the surroundings. He found two huge hammers kept in a corner. These hammers were similar to the ones the three youngsters were using. Shi Mu walked towards the corner without taking-off his shirt. He then grasped one of the hammers with his right hand. He waved it a few times - as if the hammer was as light as a twig.
This brought a faint smile on his face.
The iron hammer weighed more than 100 kilograms. This meant that one had to have 250 kilograms of strength to lift it. However, Shi Mu lifted it without even using his real Qi.
One of the shirtless men working near the stove grabbed a piece of refined iron with a pair of large tongs. He then placed it on the iron platform. Shi Mu walked towards the platform as he saw this. Then, he pounded his hammer down fiercely.
"Dang!" an ear-piercing sound rang-out as he pounded the hammer. It was followed by sparks that showered around from the spot where the hammer had hit the red-hot iron. Consequently, the iron piece got slightly bent.
There was a trace of amazement in the eyes of the three youngsters.
"This guy's strength is off the charts!"
They would've taken at least three strikes to have such a tangible effect on the same iron piece.
The complexion of Zhao Ping - the owner of the blacksmith's shop - changed as he saw this. He felt quite pleased. He knew that the greater strength Shi Mu had... the quicker the speed of his work would be. The task would've taken until the next day to finish if he had relied on those three men alone. But now, there was a possibility that the task may get finished ahead of its scheduled-time since Shi Mu had joined them.