Chapter 18: Star River Association
AGM 0018 – Star River Association
Within the Qin Residence’s discussion hall, the members of the Qin Clan were all gathered with unsightly expressions on their faces.
“What’s the situation now? Qin Chuan asked while he swept his gaze around the surroundings.
“Clan Leader, the end of the year is approaching. Many of those who went out of the city for cultivation purposes have returned, but the situation was still the same — they were only allowed to enter, not exit. Although our Qin Clan’s troops somewhat counterbalanced the threat posed by the Silver Feather Legion and the Chu Dragon Guards, the people of our Qin Clan are still often subjected to bullying and humiliation, and rumours are spread. They are saying that this time round, our Qin Clan won’t be able to overcome this danger.
“How about any news from the Royal Capital, and what about the Emperor Star Academy, is there any news?” Qin Chuan asked again. The Qin Clan naturally had their own network of spies within the Royal Capital.
“As for news from the Royal Capital……”, the speaker’s expression flickered, “The Royal Capital seems to have no knowledge of what’s happening to the Sky Harmony City, as well, the news has been sealed. And as for Ye WuQue, a few days ago, he stepped into the 9th level of the Arterial Circulation Realm, with a few hints that he’d soon breakthrough to the Yuanfu Realm. This caused people with high status and authority to value him. The Emperor Star Academy was strongly restricted by the Royal Clan pressuring them, and there seems to be no positive news towards the matters of the Young Master.”
“KaCha!” A crisp sound rang out as Qin Chuan clenched his fist, as a sharp look flashed in his eyes.
“That showy display by Wentian seemed not to have garnered enough attention. Ye WuQue’s talent, coupled with the strong pressure from the Royal Clan, caused the light of Qin Wentian’s talent to be snuffed out.” Qin Chuan mumbled in a low tone, “Wentian, please grow up faster, and show them your talent.”
“Pass this news down, the members of Qin Clan are to cut down on the number exiting the city, and in addition, withdraw all the remaining Yuan Meteor Stones in our storage, and send them over to Wentian.” Qin Chuan’s expression flickered, causing the hearts of the crowd to tremble. Regardless of anything, it seems like Qin Chuan wanted to nurture Qin Wentian. If an event happened that brought any misfortune on the Qin Clan, they would still have a trace of hope.
Qin Wentian soon received the Yuan Meteor Stones which Qin Chuan sent. This time round, there were a total of three pieces, causing a slight disquieting feeling in his heart. He knew that the Qin Clan, in recent years, has been truly been in decline. Their income could no longer cover their expenditures, and their resources were unceasingly consumed, and their finances could be said to be in dire straits.
However, this served as the motivation to further strengthen Qin Wentian’s conviction.
Today, Qin Wentian left the Qin Residence through a side gate. The Silver Feather Legion had stationed their troops outside the main door of the Qin Residence, facing the Qin Clan’s troops in confrontation, but the Silver Feather Legion did not go overboard and go for the kill. On the surface, it looked calm and peaceful, but Qin Wentian knew that there are bound to be a surging undercurrent hidden within this grand scale of a game.
However, he ignored all of this, and arrived alone at the central district of the Sky Harmony District where the Star River Association was located.
There were countless branches of the Star River Association throughout the country of Chu, with its headquarters located within the Chu Capital. The association located in the Sky Harmony City was just a branch. The Star River Association had never interfered with affairs of the outside world, yet it was a fact that they possessed unquestionable authority, and their true strength was unfathomable. To Qin Wentian, he felt that the branch located within the Royal Capital, might not even be the true headquarters of the mysterious Star River Association.
And it was precisely because of the unique position of the Star River Association that Qin Wentian came here today. Firstly, he wanted to learn more about the arts of forging weapons, and secondly, to protect himself and his clan – he wanted to join the Star River Association to gain a certain status. If he was a member of the Star River Association, when he arrived in the Royal Capital in the future, even the assassin groups had to be wary of the power behind him.
“The River Star Association can be segregated into four divisions – Weaponsmith Division, Pill Concoction Division, Martial Fate Division, as well as Heavenly River Division. Foster Father had said that the status and power of the River Star Association, may be even greater than that of the Royal Clan.” Qin Wentian silently intoned in his heart, as he stared at the majestic building in front of him.
“Qin Wentian.” At this moment, a voice rang out, Qin Wentian turned his body, and saw a graceful silhouette appearing before him, it was none other than one of the four beauties of the Sky Harmony City – Lin Yue. A few days ago, she had been invited to join the Divine Wind Academy.
Lin Yue had wanted to travel to the Royal Capital after the year ended, and thus, had wanted to make some preparations beforehand, coming to the Star River Association to request Grandmaster Francis to create a divine weapon for her. Grandmaster Francis was someone that could forge a 1st-level top-tier divine weapon.
“The Qin Clan is already going to be eradicated, to think that you still have the time to seek out a master to forge a divine weapon to make preparations for entering the Royal Capital?” Lin Yue sneered slightly, as she looked towards Qin Wentian.
Qin Wentian slightly furrowed his brows, before coldly stating, “Even if the whole of your Lin Clan was annihilated, my Qin Clan would still be surviving well.”
The first words out of Lin Yue mouth’s was already something condemning the Qin Clan, causing Qin Wentian to be extremely irritated.
“Impudent.” Lin Yue’s countenance underwent a slight change, from young, she had always been lavished upon with all possible love and doting, and had never once met a person who dared to contradict her. However, Lin Yue’s mouth slightly curled up into a sneer before she added, “Oh I almost forgot, the Qin Wentian today is already a genius, different from the Qin Wentian previously. No wonder you have such a filthy mouth.”
“Filthy mouth?” Qin Wentian was speechless, the woman before him seemed to be suffering from the princess syndrome. Qin Wentian stared with disgust at Lin Yue, before turning his back away from her.
“You……” Lin Yue could sense the disgust and contempt in his gaze, which in turn, caused her expressions to sink.
Lin Yue, was not only one of the four great beauties, she could also be counted as a genius, and was extremely dazzling in the Sky Harmony City. Everytime she went out, she would have loads of people admiring her. But ever since Autumn Snow condensed her Astral Soul from the 3rd Heavenly Layer, there were many who felt that she was inferior to Autumn Snow, and when the representatives hailing from the Royal Capital came for the purpose of recruiting Autumn Snow, Lin Yue couldn’t help but feel a bad taste in her mouth.
That day of the examination, she had hoped to be invited to either the Royal Academy or the Emperor Star Academy based on her talent, but, it was not to be. However, both Autumn Snow and Qin Wentian had managed to easily secure the invitations! And by then, all the attention of the crowd was only focused on the both of them, neglecting her. She hated this type of feeling immensely, hated that earlier look of contempt from Qin Wentian, it could be said that, in her heart, she was jealous of Qin Wentian.
Qin Wentian, along with many other people, was in the Grand Hall of the Star River Association. The design was such that the moment you entered, you would be able to see the reception counter.
Qin Wentian proceeded onwards, only to encounter a beautiful receptionist, wearing the Star River Association uniform, accentuating her curves, slightly bending her body in a bow of greetings.
“Sir, do you need to forge a weapon? Or require assistance in pill concoction?” The woman smiled as she looked at Qin Wentian. Majority of those who come to the Star River Association was either for weapon forging or pill concoction.
“I wish to become a weaponsmith apprentice.” Qin Wentian replied.
“Oh if this is the case, your luck today is excellent. Grandmaster Francis is here today, I could put in a recommendation for you, but there would be no guarantees that Grandmaster Francis will be accepting apprentices. Please wait over there.” The female receptionist did not find it strange, after all, there was always plenty of people wanting to master the crafts of either weapon forging or pill concoction.
“Becoming an apprentice? Wishful thinking.” Lin Yue, who entered the building alongside with Qin Wentian sneered sarcastically. How difficult was it to become a weaponsmith? And not to mention the fact that most weaponsmiths would usually not pass down the divine imprints they possessed to their apprentices.
“Miss Lin Yue, you’re here, Grandmaster Francis already knew of your visit and would be attending to you personally after a short while.” The countenance of the beautiful receptionist were adorned with smiles as she greeted Lin Yue, causing the gazes of many in the crowds to turn towards Lin Yue as well. This young genius who was about to enroll in the Divine Wind Academy, was a ravishing beauty indeed.
“Please convey my thanks to Grandmaster Francis.” after causing so many heads to turn in her direction, Lin Yue glowed with pride, as a smile broke out on her visage.
“Master Francis and Old Master Lin are bosom buddies, naturally he would take special care of you.”
“That’s right, Lin Yue, your dad and me are old acquaintances, don’t call me Grandmaster Francis, just calling me Uncle would do.” A bright and clear sounding voice drifted over, Francis too, was wearing the robe of the Star River Association, and had a radiant smile on his face as he walked over.
“Uncle Francis, this time round, I would have to trouble you.” The corners of Lin Yue’s mouth had a slightly complacent smile, as she intentionally swept her gaze at Qin Wentian.
“No trouble at all, since Lin Yue you had managed to become a member of the Divine Wind Academy, no matter what weapon you need, including any special requests, just let me know, I will forge a divine weapon that is suited to you.”
“Uncle Francis, my Astral Soul is a rabbit, agile and nimble, what I want is a sword, a sword with the length of 3 feet, primarily it should be best suited for speedy swordplay techniques.”
“Fine, I will inscribe the divine imprint of the feathered wings on to it, lightening the weight of the sword, while having the inherent effect of boosting your speed and agility.” Master Francis laughed.
Lin Yue smiled with satisfaction apparent on her face after she heard that, and after which, the pretty receptionist from earlier approached them once again, looking at Grandmaster Francis as she stated, “Grandmaster Francis, those people there wished to make a request for you to forge them divine weapons, and among them, there is one who wished to become an apprentice.”
“For those who made a request, take down the details of what they want and the compensation they would offer. After that, pass the list to me and I will select a few out that list and get those who are selected to come back here three days later. And as for the one who wanted to become an apprentice, who is he?” Francis opened his mouth and said, causing the hearts of the crowd to silently sigh, this was indeed the rights of a weaponsmith. Having the ability to choose which divine weapon he wanted to forge and the person who made the request, had to first list out what he wishes to compensate first. In the Chu Country, the position of weaponsmiths were extremely revered.
“It’s him.” Lin Yue pointed to Qin Wentian, “That person with a filthy mouth.”
Qin Wentian creased his eyebrows slightly, he had a filthy mouth? Lin Yue was obviously the one with the filthy mouth right? Everyone knows that this woman is suffering from the princess-syndrome.
“Did he somehow offend you?”
“Yes.” Lin Yue inclined her head.
“Leave him for me to handle.” Francis laughed, “Lin Yue, come back 3 days later to collect your divine weapon.”
“As for the one who wanted to become a apprentice, follow me.”
QIn Wentian hesitated for a moment, before standing up, and following after Francis.
Francis waved goodbye to Lin Yue, as he accepted the record paper the receptionist passed him, before bringing Qin Wentian to a huge door, situated in the left section of the grand hall. Inside that door, was an entirely different world. This was, the weaponsmith division of the Star River Association.
As a first-level weaponsmith of the Star River Association, Francis had his own weapon forging hall, and as Qin Wentian followed Francis to the entrance of the hall, a wave of fiery heat billowed out, causing rivulets of sweat to instantly formed on Qin Wentian’s forehead.
“Come with me.” Beckoning to Qin Wentian, Francis stepped into the hall. Qin Wentian saw that there were quite a few rooms located within the hall. Francis walked directly to a room with a huge smelting furnace, that sank into the ground. Below that smelting furnace, there were numerous terrifying flame embers that was continuously heating it up.
“You can look around first.” Francis indifferently said, as Qin Wentian lightly nodded his head. He could feel that the sense of pride that emanated out from Grandmaster Francis. Only those at the first-level of weaponsmith masters, would be bestowed the title of a master forger, and thus held in high regards by others.
“These are the materials for forging weapons.” Qin Wentian walked towards the entrance of a side chamber.
After which, Qin Wentian walked to the entrance of another side chamber and contained within it, was the weapon mold for sabres, spears, swords, halberds, shields, glove, etc.
“What? It’s empty!” Qin Wentian’s countenance slightly froze. He realised that all the weapon molds contained nothing within.
“Those are a special embryo for weapons that were molded into the shape of divine weapons, as long as the materials for the divine weapons were melted into a liquid form by the smelting furnace, transferring the liquid into the mold casted by the special embryo, and allowing it to harden, the embryonic form of the divine weapon would be created. Now, bring all these special embryos to the space beside the smelting furnace, I want to get started on creating the divine weapons.”
The voice of Francis drifted over, as Qin Wentian silently nodded his head, bringing all the special embryo to the space beside the smelting furnace. While Francis was consulting the record paper, seemingly deciding who to forge a divine weapon for.
“A sword, a shield, a long spear and two sabres, pour the metallic liquid into the molds of weapons which I had just mentioned.”
“Has all the liquid completely filled up the mold?”
Qin Wentian furrowed his brows in confusion, although he had never forged a weapon before, he understood the logic behind the forging of weapons. Different weapons would require different ratio of materials. For example, a sword would need to be sharp, while a shield would need to be thick and heavy. How could it be so simple like what Grandmaster Francis described?
“Did you know? The metallic liquid in the smelting furnace was mixed according to the golden ratio, so it is sufficient to forge divine weapons of any shape. Once the shape of the divine weapon had materialised, one would only need to inscribe different divine imprints to achieve the different effects that are required. The most important thing when forging a divine weapon, is the inscription of the divine imprints. Do you understand now?” Master Francis involuntarily coldly explained as if he was pissed off by the questioning look in Qin Wentian’s eyes.
“Understood.” Qin Wentian calmly replied, yet coldly smiling within his heart. This Francis, he was just too lazy to spend the efforts to truly forge a weapon. All the divine weapons were forged by the same materials ratio, before inscribing a divine imprint on it and repackaging it as a “divine weapon” and could be exchanged for the compensation. No wonder all weaponsmiths were extremely wealthy!