Ancient Strengthening Technique - Chapter 1144-1145
AST 1144 –Fish In Water, the name is Firecloud Blacksmith Store
Qing Shui looked through the things available here. They were all ancient. However, the style of the building structure looked just like the rest of the stores. They were all built in palace style. Overall, he found the store quite satisfying. The blacksmith store was connected to both the eastern and western sides of the street, whereas the door was located north of it.
Towards the southern side of the blacksmith store, there was also a courtyard. The courtyard wasn't really big, even further south was a pavilion. Qing Shui looked through it very briefly. He found everything here really bleak. It was no wonder this place was for sale.
There was also a boy in the store. He should be around thirteen or fourteen years of age. At this moment, he was forging metal. The boy looked fairly strong and seemed to still be growing.
Qing Shui approached the boy. He smiled and said, "Greetings, where is your shopkeeper?"
Even though Qing Shui had assumed the old man forging metals to be the shopkeeper, he could also be a blacksmith who was hired by the shopkeeper. Hence, he found it more appropriate to ask beforehand.
"That's my grandpa, he is the shopkeeper here!" The boy quickly smiled and said. It seemed like he knew what Qing Shui wanted.
Qing Shui nodded and walked towards the old man. At this moment, the old man seemed to have finished what he had been doing. Coincidentally, when he turned around and found that both Qing Shui and his grandson were approaching him, he let out a smile.
"Grandpa, this person is looking for you," the boy told the old man.
At this moment, Qing Shui saw the old man's face. He looked a bit old, but he seemed to be quite energetic. There were a lot of wrinkles on his face. The traces of old age were embedded within every single one of the wrinkles on his face.
"Nice to meet you old man. I see that you are selling the store, I would like to know if this is true?" Qing Shui smiled and asked.
"Nice to meet you, I go by the surname Wang. You can call me Old Man Wang. How shall I address you?" The old man patted his body. After that, he hinted Qing Shui to walk towards the southern side of the courtyard.
"My surname is Qing. But you can just call me Qing Shui." The two went towards the stone table outside and sat down.
This stone table was really small. There were only two small stone stools on both sides. On top of it was a small pavilion. Beside it was a small pond with a diameter of three meters. On top of that, there were a few goldfish and water plants in the pond. Even though this place was small, Qing Shui liked it very much.
"Are you really planning to buy this place? This small store of mine is unable to provide any competitive edge." The old man shook his head and smiled at Qing Shui.
"Could it be that the store couldn't maintain its income? Or else, why are you selling it? Oh, what do you two plan to do in the future?" Qing Shui remembered that the boy from before was still really young.
"I wouldn't have put it up for sale if it could maintain our livelihood here. It is indeed because we can no longer maintain our livelihood. There is no more use in keeping it up and running. After selling this place, we will move on to buy another small courtyard and look for a blacksmith store to play second fiddle to it. Considering that I have forged metal throughout my life, this is something that I can manage." The old man smiled as he explained.
"Then how much are you planning to sell this store for?" Qing Shui smiled and asked.
"I don't know. Sir, how much are you planning to pay for it? I am not going to lie to you, this store is hard to sell. The reason being that it's located on divine Weapon Street. Once you buy it, you will have to start another project to suit your business. Most importantly, the place is really small. If you were to continue its business as a blacksmith store, you wouldn't be able to compete against the others," the old man looked at Qing Shui and said seriously.
"Old man, are you not afraid that I won't buy it once you told me all of this?" Qing Shui really admired the honesty of the old man.
"I'd rather it not be sold." The old man shook his head.
"How about this, I will buy your blacksmith store and half of your yard. I will pay you three thousand gold for it." Qing Shui gestured up to the small pavilion.
Three thousand golds was definitely considered to be quite a lot of money. To a normal family, three thousand silver was already enough to make them incomparably rich, let alone the fact that this was gold they were talking about.
"Ah, mister, that is too much. It's not worth that much," the old man responded quickly.
"Old man, is this yard something left behind by your ancestors? According to the current market price, this should be roughly the right price. This is the divine Weapon Street, there shouldn't be a huge gap between my price and the average price. However, I think that normal people would also have difficulty trying to pay such a huge amount." Qing Shui didn't care about the money, hence, he would definitely not make the old man suffer a loss.
"No, this is too much. How about this, just pay me a thousand. We will be staying right there. Oh yeah, sir, where do you plan to stay?" The old man looked at Qing Shui confused.
"Not far away from here, I have a house. I will pay you the money immediately. You don't have to help me save money, I'm not trying to take advantage of you. This place suits me very well. If I were to buy other blacksmith stores, this amount might not be enough to pay the price." Qing Shui smiled.
The old man took out the deed for the land. Qing Shui didn't really mind. Fortunately, the deed only included the blacksmith store, hence the deal went very quickly. Qing Shui took out banknotes and several gold and silver ingots.
"Old man, if you and your grandson still have to look for other blacksmiths for a similar job, would you mind staying here? I will talk to you about salary later on," Qing Shui asked after thinking for a while.
"Can I really do that?" The old man looked at Qing Shui in surprise. This was something that his ancestor left behind, being able to continue working as a blacksmith here was also a good thing.
After that, Qing Shui would start to be really occupied with work. He removed the For Sale sign outside and started to forge another shop sign himself. Qing Shui also made up his mind to call it the Firecloud Blacksmith Store.
Since Qing Shui's store was small, he purposely made the shop sign bigger. Furthermore, he forged it with brilliant forging skills. One who did research in forging would definitely be able to tell that this was made from outstanding craftsmanship.
Qing Shui decided to mix in some Violet Jade. He forged it with Thousand Years Metallic Essence. It was unlikely that people would steal the shop sign, wasn't it? Qing Shui was wondering if there could be such possibility.
It was already quite late today. Qing Shui planned to close his shop for today and continue tomorrow. After that, he could organize an opening ceremony. But as he thought deeper, he decided to not hold one instead. After all, this place still belonged to the grandpa and his grandson. What he was doing now……
As Qing Shui thought up to this point, he decided to not organize one. Nevertheless, the shop sign still had to be changed. After bidding farewell to the old man, Qing Shui returned to the yard that he just bought.
"It's such a cheerless yard!" Qing Shui returned and said in a sad tone.
He hired two guards and two caretakers to raise the atmosphere around the yard. The two guards watching over the door were two disabled people. Considering that they were already quite old, Qing Shui allowed them to do their own things in front of the door. As long as this place was guarded, it was alright for them to have some tea and talk to each other as well. The two caretakers were mainly here for housework and to maintain the yard, pond, flowers and trees.
On both side of the gates, there were housing. Even though they were small, they were still quite comfortable to live in. They seemed fitting for the two guards.
When Qing Shui came back, he greeted the two old men and went in. Qing Shui only knew that one of the old men had the surname Mu whereas the other one went by the surname Lu. They were poor people from nearby. Even in a luxurious place, poor people were the majority of the population.
By the time Qing Shui returned to his room, he made himself some dinner. Actually, he didn't really need anyone to help look after him. It was only when he was with the girls that they would prepare him food and tidy up the room.
Of course, the dishes that the girls prepared wouldn't taste as good as Qing Shui's, after all, Qing Shui was quite skilled in cooking. The reason why he felt that the dishes that the girls prepared were tasty had something to do with his subjective opinion. It was more like something that was a resonance effect between lovers.
When Qing Shui entered the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal, he observed the two Longevity Fish. There wasn't any notable change in them. They were still very active in the pond. Qing Shui could tell that they were very agile in the water as they drifted through the water like fairies. This was a kind of feeling, nevertheless, it was still quite surprising for it to happen on a fish with body less than a foot long.
Qing Shui observed the two Longevity Fish' bodies. The way they avoided things in the water, the way they moved forward. Without realizing, he once again got immersed in watching.
Suddenly, Qing Shui moved his body. He soared into the sky and swung his hands.
Tidal Wave Rush!
In just an instant, Qing Shui got swallowed into a huge wave of water. A while back when he was still in the Southern Sea, he already felt like a duck in water when he was practicing Tidal Cloud Wave Seal. Now, he once again made his move.
Both his body and footsteps were incomparably smooth. It felt as if he had blended himself with nature. There was an indescribable harmony in the way he moved from every step that he took. Slowly, the tidal waves disappeared. However, Qing Shui was still constantly drifting through the sky.
Was this the Free Spirit Steps, the Ghostly Steps, or the Cloudmist Steps? None of them were like the steps he was taking. If someone was here, they would definitely sense his figure like the swimming movements of the Longevity Fish in the pond except that they were more brilliant than the movements of the fish themselves.
Fish In Water!
It was as if his body could pass through anything just like a fish that would never clash into rocks or walls no matter how fast they swam in water.
By the time Qing Shui came to a stop, it felt as if a long time had passed. He took a peek at the demonic beasts in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal only to find them refining their techniques. It would be a long time before they could once again take part in battles.
There was no sign of the Nirvanic Fruit ripening just yet. From time to time, the Fire Bird would keep watch on that area. Sometimes, it would even breathe out a bit of fire towards them. At first, even Qing Shui himself got scared by it. But now, he was no longer concerned. Not only were the Nirvanic Fruit not damaged, the quality also got an increase from this.
Qing Shui plucked a Mysterious Fruit. This was already the second one he plucked. He didn't use the last one as his original plan was to only use it when he got two of them. After all, the percentage of success was too small. With two of them, the percentage of success would be slightly higher. Despite there never being any cases of failure from before, he still didn't feel safe doing it.
He put it down as he wasn't in a rush to consume it. Lately, he had been feeling a bit restless. It might have been because he had recently just arrived at Western Oxhe Continent and that he wasn't really familiar with the things here. Nevertheless, things happened to be developing in a positive way now, hence he also managed to slowly find peace in himself.
He took out some metallic essence, a bit of Violet Jade and began forging. On top of that, the words Firecloud Blacksmith Store were also made by himself. Qing Shui's handwriting was the best of the best. He also drew a blurry silhouette on the signboard. That blurry figure belonged precisely to that of Huoyun Liu-li. Even friends who were close to him wouldn't be able to recognize her. Nevertheless, the figure was very pleasant to look at.
Qing Shui was able to do all of this smoothly and easily. Furthermore, he managed to pull it off really interestingly. Even Qing Shui himself was stunned after seeing what he made.
The words Firecloud Blacksmith Store were carved on top of Qing Shui's signboard. Towards the left hand side, there was a blurry silhouette that seemed to be looking towards the right side. On the right hand side were weapons drawn by Qing Shui. There was the Violet Jade Sword, Greenedge Sword, Battle axe as well as whips.
Qing Shui's drawing had already reached the level of drawing bones. He drew them out, carved them and cast them with molten metal. Compared to the shop signs here, Qing Shui's looked a lot more beautiful and graceful.
Most importantly, there were still the armor and accessories.
After putting down the shop sign, Qing Shui calmed his mind and started looking around. He was thinking to himself about the path that he should take in the future. He thought to himself that it would be best to settle down here for the time being and only think about the rest once he was calmer.
After that, Qing Shui cultivated the Tidal Cloud Waves Seal and the Fish in Water. Little by little, time passed. By the time he came out, the day was almost over.
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AST 1145 –Taichi Golden Qi, Grand Opening, Could He Become World Famous?
On the next day, Qing Shui woke up really early. He lived in the last courtyard at the corner. After waking up, he immediately started practicing his Taichi Fist there. As of now, Qing Shui could pull off his Taichi Fists perfectly without any extra thoughts, so much so that he even felt like he wasn't really focusing when practicing them. He wasn't actually performing any particular techniques. Instead, he was just moving his hands around gracefully.
The Taichi Fist had once again entered another state. Even though it looked like it didn't consist of any techniques and seemed to be unthreatening, if the thought of attacking someone was to ever cross Qing Shui's mind, the fist itself would instantly turn into a mighty killer move.
With a taciturn technique, using the weak to defeat the strong, conquering brute strength with softness, initiating attacks only after the enemies made their move. Killing the opponent was just something that could be done in a fraction of a second.
Slowly, Qing Shui practiced his Taichi fists. He could feel a faint Golden Qi surrounding himself. It was very faint, so much so that one would think that it was just an illusion. It was something that could only be seen when one really concentrated to look at it.
Taichi Golden Qi!
Qing Shui at this moment revealed a very carefree expression. His face was filled with a very relaxing smile, no one would actually be able to predict the techniques which he practiced were so deadly.
Fish in Water!
What Qing Shui was currently doing was mixing both his Taichi footwork along with the footwork which he just learned. His movements looked elegant and agile. Each of his movements were accompanied by a very fierce and dominant aura. Despite this, it felt as if Qing Shui could immediately retreat backwards if he wanted to. Qing Shui at the moment felt like a very agile feather.
The sun had slowly risen. Qing Shui stopped practicing. After eating some food, he went out with the intention of going to divine Weapon Street. He wanted to see if he could open his store today since he had already more or less organized the place yesterday. There were very few weapons inside. Furthermore, they were all ordinary weapons. The reason why this was the case was because they were all made of ordinary quality materials.
By the time Qing Shui arrived at the blacksmith store, the store was already open. The front of the store was very clean. This was the divine Weapon Street, even the front door as well as the interior parts of the store would be clean. In comparison, the only dirty places were the fabricating and forging stations.
As soon as Old Man Wang saw Qing Shui, he hurriedly approached him, "Mister, please come!"
"Old Man Wang, today our shop is opening. Please let me go and hang the shop sign first! Please help me spread the carpet on the floor as well!" Qing Shui smiled as he passed him a red carpet.
Qing Shui had observed other blacksmith stores had a carpet. It looked really classy or at the very least, it made people feel comfortable to have a carpet on the floor. Hence, he also made up his mind to use a red carpet on the day his shop opened. He made it himself. The material used to make it was the beast leather of a red demonic beast.
They finished up all of that fairly quickly. Everything in the blacksmith store had been replaced with new things by Qing Shui. They had new forging stations. The Jagged Sword, Bluebronze Sword, Bluebronze Axe as well as pitchforks were also exhibited in the store. They were obviously a lot stronger than those displayed in the past.
Qing Shui had quite a few of these things. He found them unusually suitable to be displayed here. In any case, he would just think of them helping the store look better stocked. All of the weapon racks here were also new.
Qing Shui left behind quite a lot of forging materials in the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal. He also had a lot of weapons and armor which he had made while practicing forging in the past. He didn't really need them but at the same time, it also felt a bit wasteful to throw them out, hence, he has always kept them within the realm. Considering that he had accumulated a huge pile of them, this would be the most suitable time for him to use them as displays.
Back in Southern City, he used to be a blacksmith for quite some time. Hence, he was incomparably skilled in doing all of this.
On the other side of the rack, he also displayed some Golden Medicinal Salve and other medicinal pills. They were all of the best quality amongst the low grade medicines. By the time he finished all of this, it was almost noon.
Old man Wang and his grandson also gave Qing Shui a hand with sorting out the stores. As he saw all of these newly displayed weapons and armor, the old man came to realize that he was really far off this young man in terms of forging weapons.
Despite his family being generations of blacksmiths, they were all only ordinary blacksmiths. Never would they be able to forge the quality of weapons that were currently being displayed. He looked at his own grandson and thought of him as his only hope in the future. His grandson was already considered to be in great luck to be able to meet such a young man and be his disciple here. He found his decision to stay behind the most sensible decision he could have made. Even if his grandson was to only learn a tiny bit, it would still benefit his life forever.
Back when Qing Shui was in the five continents, these weapons could be sold for sky-high prices. Hence, he felt that he still needed to sell them for quite an expensive price here, only with the exception that it was within range of how much someone could afford.
Qing Shui labeled every one of their prices as five hundred gold. Of course, it was also another option for the customers to exchange something for it. Similarly, the price was negotiable. With more gold, he could use it to make Golden Extract Essence. However, the amount of gold needed to extract Golden Extract Essence itself was already an astronomical number.
Old Man Wang's hands shivered as he watched Qing Shui labeling all the prices. He felt that some people would buy all of those weapons immediately as soon as they saw them. Even though there were a lot of poor in the country, there were still a few that were rich. The only thing was that obvious was that these weapons were something the poor wouldn't be able to use.
All of Qing Shui's weapons looked beautiful and sturdy. They were the best grade weapons among the low rank warriors. The market was still really huge. His goal was to make a name for the Firecloud Blacksmith Store.
Di Chen knew about this blacksmith store. If he really managed to make a reputation for the store in the Great Yu Dynasty, would things be able to finally get into her ear? Would she come and pay a visit?
After that, Qing Shui continued thinking. If he was to make himself well-known, would it help to make Di Chen recognize him? He became absent-minded for an instant. But after that, he was more clear about what he should do in the future. Right at this time, a group of people came into the blacksmith store. There were eight of them. The clothes they wore looked like those that belonged to rich men. Every single one of them looked really proud of themselves. "Old Man Wang, why did you change the shop sign? To be honest, this shop sign really captured my attention. This was the first time I ever saw such a nice sign. Eh? Everything here looks so new," The young man taking the lead chuckled.
He was almost the same age as Qing Shui. On top of that, he looked handsome and had long and thin eyes. His brows were sharp and his nose was tall. He was standing with both his hands clasped behind his back.
"Young noble Bai, the shop is already sold. I am only working here," Old Man Wang responded politely with a smile.
"It sold? Didn't I tell you that I wanted it? Why did you sell it to someone else?" The man looked at Old Man Wang and said in a displeased tone.
The people behind young noble Bai were all smiling and looking around casually.
"Ah, to think that a broken sword like this would actually cost five hundred gold…… Go and get t!"
"Yeah, it costs five hundred gold……"
Young noble Bai overheard the conversation. He forgot about Old Man Wang and looked towards the weapons rack. All of the objects there cost five hundred gold. Five hundred gold wasn't really anything in young noble Bai's eyes. It was just that just a while ago, the things here were all weapons that cost around ten silvers. On top of that, very few people would buy them. But now, everything immediately got raised up to five hundred gold.
At a corner not so far away, Qing Shui melted down the iron which he got before. At the moment, he was hammering it. Since he had nothing to do, he would treat it as practicing his Thousand Hammer Techniques by first making them into Tempered Metallic Essence.
"Old Man Wang! Who's the current owner of this shop?" Bai Riyi asked Old Man Wang with his brows knitted.
"It currently belongs to Mister Qing over there." Old Man Wang pointed at Qing Shui who was still hammering the iron.
Bai Riyi switched his sight to Qing Shui. He saw him hammering the iron. At the moment when Qing Shui was doing that, the hammer in his hand somehow made people felt really bizarre. It was really mysterious.
He took up one of the weapons in the rack and in an instant, got stunned by it. After that, he shouted, "Third Brother Yang, you guys should go out first."
The few people who were originally still chattering immediately walked out when they heard what Bai Riyi said.
"Young master, what's wrong?" A man who looked slightly older walked towards Bai Riyi and asked softly.
"Stop asking. Third Brother Yang, make all of them shut up and not say anything stupid. I should have been more strict with you guys."
"Alright, I will make them stop." Third Brother Yang quickly walked out.
Bai Clan which Bai Riyi was in was quite a large clan here. At least it was considered one around this area. It wasn't something which Ma Clan could stand up against. Bai Riyi held quite a decent position in his clan. It was just that by normal regulations, it was impossible for him to gain the position of the clan's head. He had decent cultivation, but he wasn't the best. Also, there weren't any powerful individuals supporting him from behind. It was still early for his generation to take over the clan's head. He on the other hand, he was considering looking for a helper.
He observed the hammer which Qing Shui was holding. There was a very profound feeling to it. To think that one would be able to achieve this state despite being so young…And also from those weapons, he could feel that this young man was no ordinary person. In the past, he used to be someone who didn't give the least bit of concern towards blacksmiths.
Clear yet depressing noises could be heard constantly. The noise got transmitted quite far away. Bai Riyi was just standing there and observing the figure quietly. It took a long while before he retracted his gaze. And at this moment, there were already a lot of people in the shop. Most of them were discussing the shop. There were guys and girls and also mistresses from rich families. Among them, there seemed to be quite a lot of wealthy people as well.
From time to time, surprised voices would be heard. Three weapons had already been sold. On top of that, quite a few accessories had also been sold. Old Man Wang's face was filled with smiles. He ended up as the cashier here.
Merely a few of these weapons had already cost more than his store. A lot of people moved their gazes to Qing Shui who was forging metals. Qing Shui also managed to hear a few comments from them. His hand almost began to shake when he heard them.
"That blacksmith looks really handsome and young. He must be really strong!"
"Yeah, he looks so handsome when he forges metal. Who knows if he would also be this handsome in bed. He looks so much better compared to those young masters that have their eyes above their heads."
"Sister Lang, you are so unrestrained. Look at him, he is so steady and calm. His eyes look really nice. Stop watching. I feel like I will fall for him if I continue watching."
"We get it, Miss Yu. As if it you haven't fallen for handsome men multiple times," the woman speaking from before laughed.
The girls laughed as they walked out of the store. By the time they reached the entrance of the store, they glanced back at Qing Shui with seemingly reluctant looks.
By the time Qing Shui put down the hammer in his hand, it had already been two hours. He stepped forward. Similarly, Bai Riyi approached him and said with a smile, "Mister Qing, nice to meet you, I am Bai Riyi."
Qing Shui looked at the man with a smile and shook his head, "Nice to meet you, I am Qing Shui. What are you after? It's written all over your face."
(功利目- meant someone was thinking about the benefit one could bring forth to them. With that being the purpose, approached the person for the advantages.)
Bai Riyi was stunned. An unnatural look flashed across his face. After that, he gave an awkward smile: "I just want to be friends with you."
"Why me? Why not Old Man Wang?" Qing Shui calmly looked at Bai Riyi. He was still smiling.
It was the first time Bai Riyi felt so passive standing in front someone almost his age. He didn't know that Qing Shui had secretly released a formless spiritual pressure.
"Is it because Old Man Wang couldn't help you with what you need? I told you everything was written very clearly on your face. If Old Man Wang was to say something similar about being friends with you, what would you do?" Qing Shui looked at Bai Riyi. He didn't like people like this. If it was not due to circumstances, he would not mix with people like this.
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