Chapter 21: Qi Return
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Ou Yangming was never a flower in a greenhouse, and he understood many things from a young age as he was an orphan.
It was obviously good to be outstanding, but not if he was too outstanding. The bird that poked its head out would be shot, and he knew this very well because of the battles between gangsters in town, and the consequences of fault-finders who were new in the military camp.
After taking a deep breath, Ou Yangming said, “Old Man, the other greave is missing, so I’ll make another one.”
“Okay.” Old Craftsman smiled. He was quite pleased with his disciple.
Ou Yangming put the remaining iron ingot together with another Agility Ore, then used his mind to envelope his Military Fire around the iron ingot.
The usage of the Military Fire to refine an iron ingot was the most basic requirement for smithing art, but it was as simple as breathing for Ou Yangming, who was unusually calm due to the purple light. Before long, the greave was done.
When he tapped the Agility Ore, it went into the Military Fire.
[Drawable composition found, draw?]
The Agility Ore instantly melted in the Military Fire, and it flowed down like liquid to cover the greave.
[Upgradable composition found, upgrade?]
The purple light that contained the Agility attribute remained still.
[Upgradable composition found, upgrade?]
On the other hand, another purple light for Toughness integrated into the greave.
It would definitely be shocking if Ou Yangming were to smith another Attribute Armament, but it would be too pretentious if he could not even smith a White Slate Armament.
Therefore, it was inevitable for him to disguise his skill.
A brief moment later, the Military Fire disappeared, and a brand new greave was formed.
[Item: Outstanding grave]
[Equivalent Rank: Ordinary Tool, Good Grade, Rank Three]
[Attributes: Toughness +8, Durability 8]
Ou Yangming was secretly satisfied when he saw the attributes revealed by the Military Fire.
Although it was still of Good Grade, it was not at its peak, and it did not have extra attributes. Nonetheless, a greave of such grade was rare to normal soldiers.
Of course, Ou Yangming looked disheartened instead of delighted.
Old Craftsman was stunned, then he laughed after he looked at the greave. “Young fella, why do you look discouraged when you smithed a Good Grade greave?”
Ou Yangming mumbled, “Old Man, I didn’t smith an Attribute Armament, which means I wasted a precious ore…”
Old Craftsman laughed out loud, and pointed at his nose as he commented, “Why do you have such wishful thinking? You smithed two Attribute Armaments successfully out of the three precious ores, so why are you dissatisfied? Hehe, do you think that you’re a godly blacksmith who can smith Attribute Armaments without fail?”
He blinked. “Old Man, you don’t blame me?”
Old Craftsman shook his head, then pointed at the remaining precious ores. “Why would I? When the general gave you ten precious ores to train with, we were already prepared for the worst, so we won’t blame you even if you can’t smith any Attribute Armament. Hehe, I didn’t expect you to succeed on your first try, so this is enough to cover the cost.”
Normally, Military Blacksmiths could only smith While Slate Armaments. Unless one was the best among one’s peers and had a unique sense in Attribute Ores, one could not attach attributes to equipment.
Even if one was talented and was guided by a teacher, one would probably ruin around ten precious ores in the beginning before smithing an Attribute Equipment. Furthermore, Military Fire Smithing Art could only be perfected through practice. While a master craftsman had a high success rate, a beginner’s success rate could be frustrating.
Old Craftsman was second to none in the military camp, but his success rate in smithing Attribute Equipment was only around thirty percent, whereas the other Military Fire Blacksmiths who were qualified to smith such equipment were worse.
Apart from two of them who barely passed the twenty percent mark, the others only had a ten percent success rate, or could barely hit the mark.
Old Craftsman’s words were of enormous weight in the Armament Camp. Though he was not the supervisor, even the supervisor dared not disrespect him, because his strength was matchless.
Therefore, since Ou Yangming smithed two Attribute Equipment successfully, nobody would criticize him even if the rest he smithed would be scrapped.
Besides, Old Craftsman believed that Ou Yangming could smith at least one Attribute Equipment from the seven remaining precious ores.
“I should be blamed for being too greedy. You’ve consumed too much energy to smith two Attribute Equipment in a row, yet I didn’t ask you to rest.” He comforted Ou Yangming by patting him on his shoulders, then mentioned after looking at the seven precious ores on the smithing table, “That’s all for today, we’ll continue tomorrow. You’ll smith only two each day from now on, no more than that.”
Ou Yangming nodded in agreement.
He initially wanted to stay in the smithing workshop to practice the Military Fire’s controls, but Old Craftsman scolded him and forced him to rest.
After returning to his room, he wondered if he went overboard earlier, and decided after some considerations that he would be more careful in the future.
Even though Ou Yangming previously smithed three pieces of equipment in a row, he was not exactly tired at all and was extremely excited instead.
The days he spent working hard to temper his body were obviously rewarding. Of course, he was able to achieve those results because he replenished his Qi and blood endlessly, or he could not have withstood the tough cultivation.
When he paced back and forth in his room, he felt as uncomfortable as a cat scratching an itch.
Once a man became addicted to something, he would subconsciously want to put his mind and body into it.
Similar to people who were obsessed with playing online games, Ou Yangming was extremely interested in Military Fire Smithing Art at the moment since he was just starting to get somewhere.
It would be fine if he could not smith due to the lack of qualifications. However, he had the strength to do so, but could not perform it, thus it made him feel uneasy.
All of a sudden, he was struck with an idea.
He could still make a move even if Old Craftsman disallowed him to practice.
Upon having the thought, Ou Yangming left his room without hesitation and headed to the abandoned depot with ease. When he looked at the piles of discarded weapons, he began absorbing their attributes quickly.
Ever since he acquired the Dantian Light, his mental power increased correspondingly, and he knew after a few tries that the upper limit of the purple light capacity in his mind was fifty. In other words, he could store fifty attributes at most.
Nevertheless, instead of using up his quota, he would usually leave around five of them empty just in case.
The attributes of the abandoned armaments were generally Power and Toughness, but Ou Yangming found a unique one by chance.
Needless to say, the chances of finding Unique Attributes were very low. He had come to the depot numerous times in a month, but apart from the Power +1 attribute that he found, he did not find a similar one.
His Military Fire flashed as it absorbed the remaining attributes one after another.
Each time he did that, an armament would be completely scrapped, so much so that it could not be melted in the furnace to be used again.
Nonetheless, the wastage was not worth mentioning at all as compared to the piles of armament.
At the spur of the moment, Ou Yangming was stunned, and he could not help but exclaim.
His Military Fire found a Unique Attribute when he picked up a damaged breastplate.
Qi Return +1.
‘What is this attribute? Why have I never seen it before?’
Despite that, Ou Yangming could somewhat make a guess when he saw the name of the attribute.
He absorbed the rare attribute without hesitation, which turned into a purple light in his mind. Subsequently, he realized that he had stored forty-five lights.
After patting his butt to get rid of the dirt, Ou Yangming left the abandoned depot.
Instead of returning to his room, he headed to the Armament Camp’s equipment depot.
The equipment depot was completely different from the abandoned depot as it was guarded by soldiers and overseen by a person in charge.
As soon as Ou Yangming arrived at the equipment depot, he noticed that the person in the accounts office was familiar. The person was Xiong Gaoan, one of the two people in charge at the Armament Camp’s accounts office. He seemed to be making a record in the account book at the moment.
“Hello, Officer Xiong.” Ou Yangming smiled.
Xiong Gaoan stopped what he was doing to look at him. “Oh, it’s you. Why are you here?”
Ou Yangming quickly replied, “Officer Xiong, I’m here to retrieve some iron ingots.”
Xiong Gaoan’s face darkened a little. “Didn’t we distribute the featured iron ingots for this month already? Does Old Craftsman not have enough?”
Ou Yangming thought to himself, ‘Of course he has enough, but I don’t…’
He chuckled embarrassedly. “Officer Xiong, too many were used, so please give us some more.”
Since Old Craftsman was reputable, it would not be a big deal for Ou Yangming to withdraw more featured iron ingots. He had done the same in the past and believed that the old man would not deny it even if Xiong Gaoan were to question him.
That being said, Xiong Gaoan looked troubled. “Ou Yangming, I can’t agree with that.”
Ou Yangming asked as he was stunned, “Why?”
“It’s a military order given by our superior. He said that the Armament Camp’s consumption is too high, so in order to control the cost, nobody’s allowed to withdraw equipment at their will.” Xiong Gaoan felt helpless. He paused for a while before he continued, “Unless you have a warrant from Supervisor Kang, I can’t help you.”
Ou Yangming was startled. “Who gave the order?”
“Sir Zhang Yinfan, the Provision Camp’s assistant supervisor.”