Chapter 29: The Bow of Purple Steel
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
"Thank you, Brother Feng. This should pay for the rest of my order. Please take this, and make sure it's the right amount," Shi Mu nodded as he took out two silver notes from his sleeve and passed them to Feng Li.
"Haha... why would I doubt Brother Shi? By the way, are you really going to quit the enrollment test?" Feng Li laughed as he took the notes without even looking at them.
Shi Mu gazed at him inquisitively, "Has the date been set?"
"Seven days from now, between 11a.m. to 1 p.m.; in the Valley of Guang Ling. It is being said that the leaders of the city's big clans will be present at the venue. The officers, including the sheriff, are also supposed to be there," Feng Li answered without thinking.
"Then I'll probably quit the test. The blood messenger from the school has identified me as useless anyway. My presence at the test will only make me a laughing stock. Besides, the Qi Ling pill that the Jin clan had promised me... has already been given to someone else. So, I have no chance of sensing my real Qi. There is simply no reason for me to take the test," Shi Mu answered calmly.
"That's a shame. You could have passed the test with your strength and the pill... had the messenger had not found you," Feng Li said pitifully.
"It's alright. I can still practise martial arts at home even though I can't become a Hou Tian Warrior. My current state is proof that I can have a comfortable life even if I don't make much money," Shi Mu said as he tried hard to make light of his condition.
"It's probably for the best that you think that way. We won't disturb you any longer," Feng Li nodded, and immediately got up to leave.
Half an hour later, the two leaders of the Black Fox Gang were on the road. In fact, they were already several miles away from the manor.
"Brother Feng, that guy is useless now. Why are we helping him so much by bringing his stuff personally to his manor?" Gao Yuan asked. He had not spoken much in the manor. But, he couldn't hold his thoughts now.
"Third Brother, I became quite curious about his situation when he asked us to get that thing for him. That's why I asked you to accompany me when I went there," Feng Li answered unhurriedly.
"Heh. So, were you able to draw any conclusions?" Gao Yuan smiled.
"I think Shi Mu hasn't really given up his pursuit of martial arts. If that is the case, then we shouldn't offend him. After all, you must remember that the famous General Yue Tai was also a good-for-nothing in his starting years. But everyone in Da Qi still knows his name. So what happened later? He had several strange experiences and became a powerful Xian Tian warrior. Moreover, he killed thirteen Totem Fighters in the invasion of the barbarous tribes. He used a blade that weighed 500 Kg to accomplish that feat. That's why he was conferred with the title of the National Guardian despite the fact that his family name was different from the emperor's. And he has been guarding the three prefectures at the frontier fortress ever since," Feng Li said in a serious tone.
"Big Brother, are you comparing a bastard like Shi Mu with National Guardian Yue? He's not worthy of such words! Guardian Yue may have been feeble and sick in his early years, but that's not the same as having a wasted blood! We really didn't need to send the bow of purple steel to him. You know... only a Lieutenant or his superior can use that invaluable weapon. We had to bribe the retiring officer with costly presents to obtain it for Shi Mu. Only after the bribe did the officer agree to help us. And that too by disguising the bow as wastes from the armory," Gao Yuan twitched his mouth; he was notably displeased.
"Third Brother, I know that the bow is invaluable. However, it's worthless to us if we can't use it. What's the use of keeping it when we can't even pull it open? Shi Mu wants a nice bow. So what's the harm in sending him the one that is useless to us? You know, it's common to send gifts to those who are respected. But, no one give gifts to someone undergoing hard times. He'll remember our generosity, and repay us in future," Feng Li explained slowly.
"I'll follow you if you really see hope in him. After all, he did help us greatly in the past. Let the bow be a friendly gift then," Gao Yuan said; he was still unconvinced. However, he knew he was left with no other option since Feng Li had already made up his mind.
Feng Li said no more when he heard this, and only smiled in response.
After they had left, Shi Mu returned to his bedroom with the two big packs. He set one on the table and opened it. Inside, he found a square case made of wood; it was a few feet long.
He quickly opened the case, and found two gleaming daggers inside; one long and one short. The longer knife was a little over three feet long, and was slightly bent. Its handle was unusually long, and took up one-third of the entire dagger's length. The shorter one was only a little over an inch long, and had an abnormally thin body. It was a strange looking narrow dagger, but it looked exceedingly sharp. It had a small iron ring at the end of its handle.
Shi Mu studied both the daggers closely, and then thumped the table with one hand.
The abnormally thin dagger was immediately tossed from the table. Shi Mu caught it with his hand. Then, two piercing sounds were heard.
The dagger rolled in his hand after a tremble, and turned into a ball of cold light. Suddenly, the room was filled with cold lights. It was a sight that would make one's hair stand on end.
Shi Mu shook his arm, and the dagger reappeared in his hand. It immediately darted to one of the table's edges.
There was a dead silence in the room. The table had been cut... as if it was made of tofu.
Shi Mu was very pleased with the result. He was certain that the blacksmith had not been bragging. He had definitely used a large amount of cold iron to make these daggers. Otherwise, they would never have been so sharp.
Shi Mu grabbed the longer knife with his other hand. He nodded approvingly as he held it in the air. Then, he inserted the shorter dagger into the handle of the longer one, and twisted it slightly.
Crack! A crisp sound was heard.
The entire body of the small dagger had been immersed seamlessly into the longer one's handle. There was no trace of the small dagger.
This was how the 'Sun and Moon Dagger' looked.
Shi Mu put them back in the case once he had played with them for a bit. He opened the other pack while his interest was still riding high, and found a light purple bow inside. Its length was half the height of an adult. His expression changed slightly on seeing the bow. He took it in his hand; he gauged its weight to be at least 25 to 30 kilograms.
The surface of the bow felt slightly cold. It was decorated with an intricate and delicate pattern which seemed similar the scales of a fish. It appeared to be made of a certain metal. The bowstring was crystal-clear, and was milky white in color; it glittered with silvery lights. The silvery lights seemed to have come from the silver wires that had been mixed into the material.
"What is this?"
Suddenly, Shi Mu had an idea. He held the bow with one hand, and pulled the string with the other.
The long purple bow opened half way.
"A bow of purple steel!" Shi Mu blurted out the name in surprise.
He released the string from his fingers. The string rebounded as it penetrated the air. It let out a clear sound as it shook; the sound was similar to the sound of a dragon's singing. The entire room resounded with a droning sound.