Chapter 64: Center of Attention
The Ice Abyss slashed onto the human tall metal mountain, splitting it apart as though mud. But halfway through, a screeching sound echoed, and the Ice Abyss was unable to go any further
Everyones faces darkened. Clan Head Cheng Hong was also astonished by the sight. With a flick of his wrist, he swiftly extracted the Ice Abyss from the metal mountain. Although he had reacted swiftly to the situation, the slash still inflicted scars upon the perfect blade of the Ice Abyss.
The cuts were small and they wouldnt affect the performance of the Ice Abyss in the least, but the crowd couldnt help but feel their hearts ache.
It was a family heirloom passed down within the Cheng Clan for several centuries. Even the slightest scratch was unacceptable.
Cheng Youqing couldnt help but speak. This was the result when pitting a sword against something beyond its capabilities. If he were to forcefully push the sword down the metal mountain, the damage to the blade would only increase.
The culprit, Cheng Hong, held the sword with a single hand as he stared at the wounds on the blade. He had a blank look on his face, as if deaf, traumatized by the matter.
Half! It can only cut halfway through! The Ice Abyss was crafted by the founder of our Cheng Clan, and he spent an entire decade to forge this blade. After completion, it was able to slice through any resilient armour. It took ten whole years to forge this single sword! How could there be another sword that could rival the one crafted by our founding ancestor?
Its impossible. I dont believe it! Investigate! Investigate it thoroughly! I must know who that Wang Chong is!
Clan Head Cheng Hongs voice resounded throughout the entire residence.
At the same time, a group had gathered in the courtyard of the Zhang Clan Residence. Layer after layer of people circled the area such that even a fly couldnt get through. But, unlike the Cheng Clan, there was only a dark, unimpressive, finger-sized piece of metal on the stone table.
What do you all think?
The head of the Zhang Clan was in his forties. Gowned in white, he had a gentle, scholar-like appearance. Rather than a swordsmith, he seemed like a teacher instead.
The matter at Bluebottle Pavilion had caught many off guard and the Zhang Clan was no exception.
Until now, the other clans were still in a daze, unable to understand what had happened. But the Zhang Clan was different. From the very start, they knew Wang Chongs identity. They also knew his sword was forged from the Hyderabad ore.
Its hard to believe that a sword forged with this ore could be that sharp. It seems like 300 gold taels for a jun isnt expensive at all.
Its just that, I am truly curious how that gongzi of the Wang Clan would know of such an inconspicuous matter. He seems to be just fifteen, and he doesnt look like the knowledgeable sort. Furthermore, the two Sindhi monks were stingy and they didnt allow anyone to touch their ores. Even our Zhang Clan was only given such a small amount and are unable to discover the true secrets of the ore. How did a kid like him know of them?
The Grand Elder of the Zhang Clan, Zhang Qi, spoke as he stroked his beard.
Complete silence. Even Zhang Cong and Zhang Jian didnt have an answer to his question. The conclusion in the Bluebottle Pavilion had also left the two of them shocked.
Actually Even until now, I find it hard to believe that the Hyderabad ores could be that sharp!
Zhang Jian replied honestly.
Zhang Jian had to admit that there was something special to that child of the Wang Clan.
Zhang Jian was unable to tell what it was, but every time he saw Wang Chong, he was unable to treat him as a kid.
Actually, its not difficult to confirm this.
The clan head shifted his sight to the piece of ore on the table:
Dont we have a piece here? Even though it isnt enough to forge a sword, it should be more than enough for a dagger. By then, well know the answer when we try it out for ourselves.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
Honestly speaking, using this limited amount of ore to forge a small dagger and bring out the full potential of the ore wasnt a walk in the park.
In fact, no other clan was capable of such a feat
However, the Zhang Clan was different. As the previous leader of the swordsmithing industry, the clan possessed technologies that far surpassed others.
Grand Elder, Ill be passing this to you then. Before daybreak, I want to see a complete dagger.
The clan head said.
Agreeing to the request, the Grand Elder took the piece of Hyderabad ore from the table and walked back to his residence as if this was an insignificant matter.
The forge operated throughout the night until dawn. In the span of a night, a dagger of around four cun long and a pinky finger thick appeared before everyone on the stone table.
However, upon looking at the dagger, Zhang Jian, Zhang Cong, and all of the other Zhang Clan members who had witnessed the Wootz steel sword for themselves were shocked.
Grand Elder, are you sure that this weapon is forged using the Hyderabad ore?
Zhang Jian stared at the dark dagger on the table suspiciously.
They had seen Wang Chongs Wootz steel sword, and clearly remembered the enchanting patterns which resembled flowing water on the blade. This was something unique to it, something that couldnt be seen on any other swords.
But the dagger which the Grand Elder forged didnt have such patterns at all.
Un, I dont know whether the Hyderabad ore you speak of refers to the same one I am thinking of, but I have forged this dagger using the material provided by the clan. Its a weapon forged to the greatest extent of my abilities.
I have used all of the smithing techniques of the clan that can be used on this dagger.
The Grand Elder sounded fatigued, and it seemed like he had devoted the entire night into forging the dagger.
Zhang Cong and Zhang Jian glanced one one another, unable to say a single word.
This was completely different from the sword which Wang Chong had displayed. It was impossible to tell that they were made from the same material.
Theres no need to argue over this matter. I have no doubts about the Grand Elders smithing skills.
The clan head stepped forward, grabbed the dagger, and commanded:
Fetch a sword.
Soon, a clan member brought a sword which was on the same level as the sword the one they sent to the Bluebottle Pavilion for the sword duel gamble.
As the two weapons crossed one another, an ear-piercing shrill sounded in the air. The dagger cut deep into the sword but the sword didnt split in two.
Those present here were all elites of the Zhang Clan. With a single look, it was clear that the dagger forged by the Grand Elder was superior to the high-quality sword in the clan heads right hand. However, it was still far from matching Wang Chongs sword, which was capable of cutting through over a dozen of top-notch swords with a single slice.
Even the Grand Elder was speechless by the result. He wasnt present at the Bluebottle Pavilions sword duel gamble, but he had heard a lot about it from the clan members.
Clearly, the weapon he had forged was still far from matching the uniquely patterned Number One Sword in the World.
Clan head, if the news from the Bluebottle Pavilion is true and the material is the same, Wang Chongs sword was forged using the Hyderabad ore, we can confirm that the reason why the sword is so sharp isnt just because of the Hyderabad ore. It must be matched with an incredible smithing technique.
And this technique far surpasses the ones of our Zhang Clan!
Even though the Grand Elder was tired, at this moment, he abruptly opened his eyes and they flashed with a gleam, causing others to avoid his gaze:
I suggest we should maintain an amiable relationship with Wang Chong. If we can obtain that swordsmithing method from him, we would be able to surpass the other clans, becoming the number one swordsmithing clan in the Central Plains!
The Grand Elders words determined the direction of the Zhang Clan.
This night was a difficult one for those involved of the sword duel gamble; the Four Great Swordsmithing Clans, the Zhang, Huang, Cheng, and Lu Clan stayed up through the night until dawn.
A similar sight could also be seen in the Imperial Army.
Unlike the swordsmithing clans who were mulling over the sword and material used, Zhao Fengchen was concerned about another matter.
Zhao Fengchens greatest reward from the sword duel gamble was that he had discovered an invincible sword! However, the only thing that caught him off guard was that the seller to unwilling to sell it, even when he had offered 40000 gold taels.
Just like when they first met, the lad called Wang Chong refused without any hesitation!
This was already the second time!
Given that he had revealed his identity as a commander of the Imperial Army, being rejected in such a manner was an insult to him.
If it was on any other occasion, Zhao Fengchen would have definitely given up on the idea. But, the moment he recalled how the Wootz steel sword sliced through more than a dozen of top-notch sword and a metal mountain at the height of an adult man into two halves, Zhao Fengchen found it hard to eat and sleep.
As a person obsessed with martial arts, he understood the importance of an outstanding weapon.
It was something that couldnt be valued by money.
Wang Chongs sword was completely different from the others Zhao Fengchen had seen before. For some reason, the moment he saw the sword, he felt that the sword belonged to him, as though it was something he had been searching his entire life for!
Even if the dispute with Huang Xiaotian never existed, Zhao Fengchen would still want to obtain that sword!
Zhao Fengchen knew neither Wang Chong nor his background, but the latter had left his name before his departure. Given the other partys close relationship with the son of the Duke of Wei, it wasnt difficult for him to look into his background.
When the candle was burning out and a white glow appeared on the eastern horizon, hurried footsteps and heavy panting could be heard from outside. Then, the door was pushed open and a figure walked in.
How is it?
On his seat, Zhao Fengchen lifted his head and asked while stroking his chin.
Lord, Ive looked into it and that fellow named Wang Chong is the grandson of Duke Jiu!
The bearded Imperial Army member answered.
Hearing those words, Zhao Fengchens face darkened and his heart suddenly chilled. Even though he didnt know who Wang Chong was, there wasnt a single person in the entire Central Plains who hadnt heard of Duke Jiu.
Zhao Fengchen didnt expect that the seller of the sword would have an even more prestigious background than the son of the Duke of Wei!
Leaving this note below because my beloved editor has spent four hours on editing this chapter. So, if its convenient, please leave your thanks for her :>