The ceiling was fully engulfed by the purplish blue vines, where at the center the Hampered Bask fruit hung like the sleeker chandelier with its petite size of being as large as one’s fist while emanating an intriguing fruity aroma. The scent was poking Ye Chong’s nose, it was tickling his gourmet sense so much that on several occasions he would rather remain in darkness while his hands approached the ceiling and nearly plucked the glowing fruit to have a taste.
Ye Chong shifted his thoughts back onto the materials before him, which were staring into his eyes with their expressive foreignness. Practically speaking, judging by the materials he had discovered thus far, most of them shouted literally foreign to him. He was not even sure if he could make anything likely to be called a metallic weapon with these materials.
This… mildstone that rested in his palm with heat leaking from its partially transparent body for example, seemed to be commonly used material among the villagers. It was so domestically common that even the steak Ye Chong had before was grilled using it. Its rate of heat emittance was considerably sluggish, so there would never be a problem of overcooking one’s food or even one’s hand, although the cooking process took much longer than what Ye Chong had experienced in other planets. The villagers seemed to have a practice of storing a certain amount of mildstone in every room to maintain the temperature indoors.
Mildstone was technically something new to Ye Chong’s perception.
He gave a grip, then a rub, his fingers rolled the smooth crystallization back and fro. The warmth reminded him of a mini heater.
His approach of metallurgy identified such stone as part of the energy ore category. The basic apparatus on the engineering mech was able to return an amazing figure on the amount of energy imbued within the stone. Ye Chong would love to perform a detailed analysis on its component but he lacked the necessary apparatus to do so. Similarly he could not carry out any meaningful experiment. Only if he was on the Coxcomb, he would have found out a way to utilize the energy.
And there he was, stuck on a virtually remote village without even the fundamental facility to aid his research. As someone who had gotten use on the most avant-garde devices, Ye Chong was not feeling easy of his situation.
"Sir, I’m here," said Sang Fan at the door.
Ye Chong flinched, as he hardly discerned Sang Fan’s footsteps till Sang Fan was right by the door.
An expert! Commented Ye Chong in his mind.
Sang Fan was not tall, with a height about 1.65 meters. Most likely due to the effects of strong gravitational force here, all villagers turned out to be dwarfish by nature, where someone who stood 1.7 meter high could be considered as someone with the body of a model. Sang Fan’s body was not the hefty kind, it was fit and lean. His eyes were lustrous as they rolled around the room actively.
"Oh, so you’re Sang Fan?" asked Ye Chong flatly, even though curiosity was twitching inside him, as his mind was in a shock. Aren’t you a quick healer, Sang Fan? Thought Ye Chong. He glanced at Sang Fan, whose body seemingly recovered. If it was not his slightly pale face, no one could tell he was the one who had just received a heavy blow on his life two days ago.
"Yes sir," politely the man replied. "The chief had me under your command." His eyes were large upon being informed that Ye Chong was going to make weapons for the Sang villagers. His eyes went larger when he heard Ye Chong asking him to be the assistant, he almost could feel the next step to heaven.
"You’ll be my assistant from today onwards. Learn it properly. Learn with efforts. I could see the talent in you, don’t waste it," Ye Chong sounded really like one of those elderlies from Aurora.
"Yes sir!" The formality intensified in his response.
"To begin…" The first task from Ye Chong was to sample all stones and plants around the village.
Sang Fan did not really understand what this craftsman was saying but he did not respond with skepticism as he ran to the chief right away, since this was not a task he could handle by himself.
Towards the task, the old chief also responded with bewilderment. It would be reasonable to sample minerals but… what does he want to do with plant samples? But well, I believe this Ye Chong is somebody who would do things for a reason, not on a whim. My men! The chief waved his hand and called upon all villagers to carry out the task right away.
All villagers from all walks of life were involved. Children, women searched the surroundings while the men would bring a few stones and plants every time they returned from their hunt outskirt.
And within the next few days, the room dedicated for Ye Chong’s research had been flooded with all sorts of stones and plants.
On the following days what Master Ye Chong did was having tutorials with his new assistant on categorization of plants and mineralites. Sang Fan was seemingly the intelligent and quick learner. During the process Ye Chong would also brief Sang Fan on any ores he recognized, but whether Sang Fan caught it right away would depend on his own diligence.
Ye Chong first underwent a selection process on the stones, where most of them turned out to be rather worthless in his opinion. And among the stones which he could identify the values, only a handful of them appeared to be in his recollection.
And there was this particular ore which caught most of his attention, namely the Lavagold. It was not a kind of gold, rather it was a kind of alloy precisely speaking, as recorded in Mu’s databank. Apparently, Lavagold also exerted excellent physical properties for an alloy. Its composition was not that complicated compared to the others, but it was rare. In no other way than extraction from nature the Lavagold could be acquired. Researchers so far had yet performed a successful formation of Lavagold through artificial means. And its rarity was absolute given the fact that it only appeared in a certain type of environment.
So he was holding this piece of Lavagold ore, where curvy gold lines finely rested over the surface of the tainted pebble like a stream of melted gold lava. That was probably how the ore got its name.
"Would you go and ask your men where they got this?" asked Ye Chong as he pass the Lavagold ore to Sang Fan.
Sang Fan responded with a flinch at first and then his expression looked overjoyed, as he sprinted away. It was the first different response from Ye Chong after hunting and gathering for so long, obviously it would mean…
Wow… that speed. Amazed Ye Chong as he looked the man blasted off to the outside. He could actually run even under such potent gravitational force… Ye Chong was certainly impressed since he had yet gotten used to such tedious environment, the gravity pull was wearing him out. And he thought his body was strong, till he saw villagers like Sang Fan running…
Very soon after, Sang Fan brought the villager who found the piece of gold. The catch was, according to the villager, the place where the piece of gold was found turned out to be a certain distance away from the village. To escort Ye Chong safely, a team of exactly hundred men were sent along under the lead of Sang Pu. And one could imagine how grand it would be if 100 ace fighters escorted a single man in the 5 major galaxies.
Yes, they were indeed the ace fighters. Their steps were firm and their nature was calm. Ace! Total ace! Ye Chong reminisced his encounters with the fighters from all sorts of places before, and they could hardly fill half of the army around him. Several beasts appeared on the way but they did nothing to the army.
Cleaving touch, simple yet brutal! The real combat! The true fighting! Shocked Ye Chong in his mind. The martial arts developed over five centuries after tasting countless ounces of blood and murder, the techniques were simplistic and direct, no fancy movement, no swing, only the sound of bone cracking after a violent slam. And this, would the true brawling technique.
Ironically, the brawling techniques that had been long abandoned in the outside world remained as the essential survival techniques here.
Well, Ye Chong did not shame himself as an outsider when he demonstrated his speed. The army advanced pretty quickly but never once Ye Chong was lagging behind. One may argue that such instance could not prove his speed, but that little tip to the toes he made would change the story, as his body would fling itself to the front - a burst kind of speed, unlike the villagers who were stampeding in tiny quick steps at high frequency.
The standards were there among the villagers. They were trained, Ye Chong could tell from their disciplined marching. Nobody was chattering, there was the sound of stampeding and only the stampeding itself. Ye Chong was not the chatty kind either, so his mouth remained zipped without initiating conversation, as he sank at the centermost position in the team, a protected position where the members of the outermost layer would head out from time to time to perform scouting and observation.
Ye Chong was astonished by the discipline, he was confident that even the so-called soldiers from the 5 galaxies would be wetted by their cold sweats upon seeing the quality of the army here.
The stampeding stopped.
"It was at the lowest point between the two peaks at the front, right when we hunted a Tandem Peeper," pointed one of the villagers at the col.
Sang Pu waved his hand and 4 men sprinted their ways forward. Ye Chong was going to drop his jaws if he were to witness more of the unexpected speed among the villagers.
"They are the reconnoiter, sir," smiled Sang Pu upon seeing Ye Chong’s expression. "They are good runners and good fighters too." The recon- what? Reconnoiter? It was the first time Ye Chong heard of such term. Technically anyone who knew their histories well would be able to tell what a term that had appeared in the war history of humanity countless times like reconnoiter was. Ye Chong was a history-illiterate however, so such term meant nothing to his mind, although he could kind of guess what that term with complicating syllable possibly meant judging by what the 4 men were doing.
They did not actually head directly through the entrance of the ridge. Instead, they launched themselves and climbed upon the slopes around the col. And they flung themselves over the mountain agilely. It only took them a few tens seconds before one of the patrols gestured them a proceed to safety.
The 60 villagers at the outer circle disengaged from their team and flooded into the col immediately. "A moment sir." And Sang Pu led Ye Chong and the last 35 villagers into the col only after the place had been confirmed to be safe.
Well, that was probably the best justification for their survivals on this planet. They certainly had the skills. Ye Chong was amazed.
The col was not that spacious, one could grasp every spot inside within one sight. No lava gold was discovered and no happy face was found on Sang Fan.
Ye Chong had not given up just yet, as he requested the villagers to back off.
He then deployed the engineering mech, which scared everybody else upon seeing a giant mech crawling out of nowhere. And as usual, Ye Chong the dexterous climbed right into his cabin without any rope. The difference was, nobody really cared what he was achieving. Climbing high barehanded was nothing new among the Sang villagers.
The villagers remained in awe nevertheless, including Sang Pu the sedate one, as owning a mech was like a fantasy, a wish of the fairytale for all the villagers from Sang.
And Ye Chong hopped off the engineering mech after 30 seconds.
Everyone set their eyes upon Ye Chong, as they wondered the intention of Ye Chong’s every move, but one thing for sure - they had faith in this young man.
"There," pointed one corner of the col. "Dig it," Ye Chong instructed.