Chapter 70: Flaming Beast Group
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: - -
Shi Mu didn't seem to care about the strange looks that he received from the surrounding people. Instead, he wielded his hammer and started to forge a red iron piece. His repetitive strikes led to a 'dang dang' sound which started to resound in every direction.
The sound produced by his continuous hammering attracted the attention of the surrounding people. They noticed the blue veins that were popping out of his arms. This indicated that he was forging without using his Real Qi; he seemed to be depending solely upon his demonic strength. Moreover, he wielded a 100 kilograms hammer as if it was as light as a feather.
This forced the surrounding people to suck in a deep breath.
The iron piece seemed to have been refined after a hundred or more strikes; its impurities had been thrashed out. The piece had been reduced to 10% of its original size. The redness had faded from its surface; it appeared black after extrusion.
A shirtless man stood near the furnace; he swallowed as he saw this. Then, he stepped forward and stopped Shi Mu with an awe-stricken expression on his face. After that, he grasped the refined iron piece with his big pliers and put it behind Shi Mu.
Shi Mu beckoned to another sturdy man who stood close to the furnace. That man hesitantly grabbed another piece of glowing-red iron and placed it in front of him. Then, Shi Mu wielded his hammer once again.
The three youngsters gaped at each other as they saw Shi Mu's speed of forging a piece of iron. A restless expression was spread across their faces.
The owner of the shop was also startled as he saw this. However, his face beamed with a cheerful smile since he felt quite satisfied with Shi Mu's speed.
Shi Mu moved to forging the fifth piece of iron after he had forged four pieces in continuation; there were no traces of fatigue on his face. However, the three other youngsters had exhausted themselves in the process of forging a single piece of iron; they were sweating from all over their bodies. They gritted their teeth as they stared at Shi Mu in a malicious manner. Then, they pushed their Real Qi and continued to work without taking any rest.
The three youngsters eventually took rest after they had reached their limits. However, Shi Mu was still forging - his twelfth piece - in succession.
He was in high spirits since he was aware that one piece of iron would pay him ninety silvers. This meant that he had earned around one thousand silvers in only half-an-hour.
The complexion of the three youngsters had turned pale; they looked at Shi Mu with look of disbelief in their eyes. They eventually lost their confidence as they saw Shi Mu forge the iron unceasingly - without taking a moment's rest.
The sturdy and semi-naked workers in the shop were extremely excited since this was a rare sight. They started to bet on the number of iron pieces Shi Mu would forge before taking rest. One of them guessed ten pieces; the other said fifteen. However, the boldest of them dared to predict thirty.
Meanwhile, the owner of the shop had quietly arrived near the forging platform; he stood just a few feet away. He watched Shi Mu's movements with a dignified look on his face.
However, Shi Mu didn't pay any attention to his surroundings. His mind was completely focused on the red iron piece placed in front of him. It required lots of skill and attention to forge an iron piece. So, one could forge an iron piece with minimal effort and high efficiency only by focusing one's attention and maintaining a proper pace.
Shi Mu finished forging his 102nd piece and noticed that the forging furnace had been closed. This meant that the required number of pieces had been forged.
He raised his head to find the three youngsters sitting on the ground in a corner; they looked completely exhausted. The three of them were staring at Shi Mu. Even the sturdy blacksmiths were staring at him as if he was a monster.
Shi Mu was puzzled at the sight of this. Then, his eyes fell on the owner of the shop; his face was gleaming with excitement. Shi Mu walked towards him and spoke with a smile, "Brother Zhao, it seems that the task has been completed. What about the pay..."
"Oh... it was a big help... here are your nine-thousand and two-hundred in silver notes," The owner took out nine notes of one thousand silvers and two notes of one hundred silvers. He then handed them over to Shi Mu. He seemed to have prepared this payment in advance.
"As far as the twenty silvers are concerned... you don't need to return the change. Consider that I have paid you in a round figure," the owner beckoned with his hand and stated as he saw Shi Mu fumbling in his pocket for the change.
"Thanks a lot, Brother Zhao." Shi Mu was little surprised. But then, his eyes glittered with joy. He received the silver notes without any argument.
"I am Zhao Ping. It's my first meeting with Brother Shi... but I have a feeling that we'll get along very well. By the way... I noticed that you forged more than one hundred pieces of refined iron without using your Real Qi. You possess an extraordinary talent. You must be a very talented person with an oppressive physical strength and vitality. May I ask something... is Brother Shi interested in joining our Flaming Beast Group? Several disciples in our group practice different kinds of body-strengthening arts. Myriads of free pills are provided to them every month. In addition, we share several Hou Tian level arts. These arts can help you to progress exponentially as compared to others; that too before next year's competition," the owner made a loud noise and spoke these words as he saw that Shi Mu was preparing to leave.
"Is Brother Zhao a member of the Flaming Beast group?" Shi Mu was surprised.
"Yes. Our group is very strict regarding our prospective members in comparison to the Holy Spirit Association and Blood Dragon Gang. The resources that we provide are more favorable than others. So, please consider it. You know... it's almost impossible to progress quickly when one depends solely on their own self," Zhao Ping looked at Shi Mu in a sincere manner. Then, he spoke these words to persuade him to join his group without waiting for him to speak.
The eyes of the three youngsters gleamed and their bodies turned fiery as they heard these words. They wished that they could somehow substitute Shi Mu and accept this invitation.
The disciples who aspired for body-strengthening arts yearned for the power and support of the Flaming Beast Group.
Such disciples often visited the blacksmith's shop. And they had two reasons to do so. Firstly - to make money; secondly - to get closer to Zhao Ping. This was because they knew that this shop belonged to the Flaming Beast Group. So, they could get a chance to enter the group by using Zhao Ping as a ladder.
Shi Mu didn't give a quick response even though the three youngsters had expected him to. Instead, he sank into a deep thought.
The offer was indeed alluring. He believed that the Hou Tian level body-strengthening arts would increase his chances of winning the next year's competition.
He had chosen two cultivation arts simultaneously. Therefore, he had been desperately looking for Hou Tian level martial arts techniques to enhance his strength. Moreover, his desire to practice these techniques had increased after he had watched the match between Bai Shi and Lan Feng. In addition, the competition would start after one year. His performance in the competition would determine whether or not he would gain a foothold in this Sect. So, Shi Mu couldn't afford to lose this chance.
"Brother Zhao, you are flattering me. I merely have a strong body with rough skin. Also, I have been practicing arts that strengthen my body. So, I seem to be relatively stronger than others. But, the fact is that my strength is superficial. So, I'm afraid that I might fail to live up to Brother Zhao's expectation." Shi Mu smiled apologetically as he declined the offer.
Shi Mu was dying to accept this offer. However, he knew that there was no such thing as a 'free meal' in this world. Moreover, he hadn't forgotten Huo Mao's advice about the 'dangers of joining groups' in the Sect. Therefore, he had refused the invitation after a second thought.
The three youngsters couldn't believe their ears as they heard this. They looked at him as if he was a fool.
Zhao Ping had intended to urge him again. However, he dropped the idea because he saw a very determined look on Shi Mu's face. He swallowed back his words and shook his head regretfully; he didn't say anything.
Shi Mu didn't repent even though he regretted his decision somewhat. He didn't wish to stay there any longer since he had been sweating profusely; it was quite uncomfortable for him. He clasped his hands across his chest and bid goodbye to Zhao Ping. He then departed from the blacksmith's shop.