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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