Chapter 5: Sneak Attack
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
At Old Craftsman’s smithing workshop, the old man began explaining in detail to Ou Yangming.
It was definitely not an easy job to forge a high-quality armament.
Using military sabers as an example, without the Military Fire, one would need to first turn raw iron into a ball, which would be heated at a high temperature in a coal furnace to produce sponge iron. It would later be made into a long rod, which would be separated into many sections for further processing depending on their grades. Those with better quality would be used to craft sabers, whereas poorer ones were used to make farming tools and the like.
Following that, fine materials were used to smith the saber blade through foldforming1, then the blade, the saber back, and the saber grip were beaten into shape.
The entire process was complicated, time-consuming, and could not be accomplished at one go.
However, it would be completely different using the Military Fire. If one were to smith using the fire, the whole process would speed up. With enough energy and profound skills, it would even be possible to forge a military saber in an hour.
Of course, it was a simple task for Old Craftsman, but could not be achieved by Ou Yangming yet.
“Fella, what do you think is the most important thing to do now?” Old Craftsman asked seriously.
Ou Yangming pondered for some time before he answered, “Prepare to forge an armament.”
Old Craftsman scoffed. “Wrong. The most important thing for you to do now is to learn how to operate your Military Fire because it’s not easy to use it. If you don’t know how to have control, or you’re oblivious to some details during the smithing process, hehe, it’ll be very difficult for you to be a qualified Military Fire Blacksmith.”
Although Ou Yangming was normally a rather playful person, he could settle down during crucial moments and be quite decisive, or he would not have chosen the Military Fire while being watched by Zhang Yinfan.
Through Old Craftsman’s careful guidance, he was totally focused on learning the operation and control of the Military Fire.
Controlling his Military Fire was certainly a technical skill even though it seemed like it only involved a ball of flame because the way to unleash its most powerful might was knowledge to be learned.
For the whole day, Old Craftsman had been correcting some minor moves by Ou Yangming when he used the Military Fire. Small movements looked like they made little difference, but the small details were the ones that helped one to have better control.
It was a fundamental skill, thus it was worth it for Military Fire Blacksmiths even if they had to consume more energy.
Sweat began dripping from Ou Yangming’s head like raindrops after numerous rounds of practice.
While his mental power helped him to have a better start in the control and the timing of the Military Fire, he had not controlled it for long, hence he was still quite far from starting life anew.
Upon noticing Ou Yangming’s weariness through his eyes, his body, and his movements, Old Craftsman felt sorry for him. “Can you endure it?”
Ou Yangming breathed heavily, but responded with a smile, “Old man, what are you saying? Isn’t this just a bit of work? It won’t be a problem for me!” He then took a deep breath and became extremely focused.
Another small flame emerged from his palm, and even though he was becoming more exhausted, his determination grew stronger.
Old Craftsman nodded gladly and decided to give Ou Yangming more food for dinner. Even if it was the opposite of how he usually treated him, he wanted to let the young fellow have the best food to eat.
For three whole days under Old Craftsman’s supervision, Ou Yangming focused on controlling the Military Fire. In the beginning, he could not achieve the ability to control the fire as he wished though he gave his utmost effort.
According to Old Craftsman, he had only scratched the surface and was still far from the real essence.
However, three days later, while the old man still kept a straight face, the delighted look in his eyes was obvious.
“Fella, you’re doing very well,” Old Craftsman commented satisfyingly. “In just three days, you’re able to release Military Fire from your heart and can activate the strongest energy in an instant. Mm, that’s pretty good.”
Ou Yangming’s eyes shone brightly. “Old man, how am I as compared to you?”
Old Craftsman’s expression instantly froze, and he sneered. “Hmph, you’re just a young b*stard, how dare you compare yourself with me?”
Nevertheless, he was actually very pleased with Ou Yangming’s performance.
A normal person had to explore for about a month just to stimulate the Military Fire and was considered talented if one could succeed in ten to thirty days.
While Ou Yangming had a head start since he possessed the natural gift of mental power, he was probably the only one who could incite the Military Fire and restore weapons the day after acquiring the fire.
“Old Man—” All of a sudden, a loud voice was heard outside.
Old Craftsman replied snappily, “Who’s that?”
“Old Man, General Chen has returned and asked that you pay him a visit.”
“What for?” Old Craftsman asked with a frown.
Ou Yangming clicked his tongue. General Chen’s full name was Chen Yifan, and he was a brigadier general in the military.
Although the post of a brigadier general was not a significant one in the dynasty, it was quite an honorable one in the military camp.
“Old Man, General Chen seems to have found a fine ore from his trip…”
Before the sentence was finished, Old Craftsman’s eyes shone. “Alright, I understand, inform him that I’ll be there right away.”
The reason he dedicated his life to being a blacksmith was that he truly loved the profession, thus he was moved the instant he heard that there was fine material.
“Fella, it’s dark now, so that’s all for today. You should pack up and go home,” he mentioned, then left in a hurry.
Ou Yangming shook his head with a bitter smile, but he did not stop the old man because he knew it was more than a job for him. It was his greatest hobby.
Once the old man left, Ou Yangming regained his composure and was about to continue practicing controlling the Military Fire when a soft knock was heard on the door.
He was stunned for a while, but he opened the door as he did not suspect anything.
His face changed the moment he saw who was standing outside.
Zhang Hanyu, the handsome, fair-skinned man was curling his lips at him.
A million thoughts crossed Ou Yangming’s mind, and when he was about to shout for help, Zhang Hanyu reached his hand out to hit him.
Ou Yangming tried his best to dodge the hit, but Zhang Hanyu’s palm moved as fast as lightning and hit his chest in the blink of an eye.
Subsequently, Ou Yangming’s chest hurt, which was followed by a hot stream gushing upward. Although his mouth was opened, he could not make a sound.
Since Zhang Hanyu planned this, he strode toward Ou Yangming to strike his neck as well. As a result, Ou Yangming collapsed to the ground as he fainted, and could no longer tolerate it.
After many years of being in the military, Zhang Hanyu had built a strong body, thus he was not someone who Ou Yangming, a young man who was not done with puberty, could contend with.
Therefore, it was as easy as a pie for him to capture Ou Yangming through a sneak attack.
Despite that, he still looked around carefully after knocking Ou Yangming out.
The sky was already dark, and while the military camp was not dead silent, there were very few people moving around in the Armament Camp.
He pulled Ou Yangming up, then walked around the camp discreetly. Before long, he brought him to the abandoned armory.
For all that, he was so focused on avoiding people along the way that he did not notice that Ou Yangming opened his eyes for a brief moment, then returned to normal.
In the armory, Zhang Hanyu glanced around to make sure that it was empty.
He put Ou Yangming on the floor, then retrieved a cylinder, and said with a hideous smile, “Fella, how dare you steal what’s mine? Hmph, I’ll let you pay with interest!”
After sticking the cylinder to the back of Ou Yangming’s head, he carefully took a talisman out and pressed it on the other end of the cylinder.
The talisman lit up without a fire source, and, as it burned, the cylinder shone.
When the talisman eventually finished burning, the cylinder’s light dimmed too.
However, Zhang Hanyu had a strange look on his face, because he did not see what he expected to see. There was no Military Fire Seed in the cylinder; it was still empty.
Feeling slightly at a loss, he muttered, “What, what is this? Where’s the Military Fire Seed? Where’s the Military Fire Seed? Was this fella so dumb that he didn’t acquire the Military Fire Seed from the Military Fire Badge? No, that doesn’t seem like it. Old Craftsman has been taking special care of him lately, he must’ve sensed the seed inside his body.”
He felt like an ant on fire as he held the empty cylinder.
After looking at Ou Yangming who was on the floor, he vented his anger at him, then put his leg out to kick Ou Yangming’s stomach. “It’s all your fault, you’re going to pay for this!”
Just as he was about to kick him, Ou Yangming, who was initially unconscious ,opened his eyes, then placed his hand in front of his stomach.
It was then that Zhang Hanyu widened his eyes at him as though he just saw the most unbelievable thing in the world.
There was only one thing on his mind. ‘Why didn’t he pass out?’
At the next instant, a hint of red light was seen at the corner of his eyes.
A ball of shining red light was seen in the hand that Ou Yangming used to stop him.
‘Oh god! It’s actually the Military Fire!’
At the spur of the moment, Zhang Hanyu came to a sudden realization.
‘No wonder I couldn’t gain anything, it’s because he has already stimulated the Military Fire.’
He was instantly appalled. ‘My foot, my foot…’