Strength, Junior Leopard had never lacked it!
He adroitly set up a fire and put a piece of Embryonic Metal into the furnace. As for what weapon he was going to forge, Junior Leopard had already thought of it.
He wanted to forge a plain saber. With his standard now, he could easily forge Nine Forges. Nine Forges were the things that ordinary craftsmen can forge. To be able to craft a weapon of the Nine Forges, he definitely could be selected as an inner core disciple. As for better things...
"Outstanding people are always envied or those who are in a high position are liable to be attacked. If I perform too outstandingly, it's definitely not a good thing. Besides, isn't that Wang She accepting the Wu Family's Second Young Master? If I accidentally get into the bad books of this young master, then my days ahead definitely won't be nice!"
Thinking about this point, Junior Leopard began to dismiss the idea of showing off. He held the Embryonic Metal in his hands. He had some reservations, but others didn't. On the one hand, there was another kid about 10 cauldrons away from him whose age and height were not that different from Junior Leopard. Yet he was much brawnier than Junior Leopard. The big hammer that weighs dozens of catty was held in his hand as if he was holding grass. The hammer was like raindrops smashing onto the Embryonic Metal. The speed was fast and accurate. Even though it was not as uniform as Junior Leopard's, however, he couldn't compare with that kid's monstrous strength. He can only pitter patter. After a wave of loud smashing sounds, he was not even halfway to the point of what people had hit, he quickly put the Embryonic Metal back into the furnace to refine, then took it out once again to hit.
As if he was wholeheartedly trying to show off himself, every time he smashes, the sound was much louder than others. The smashing sound occurred across the whole parade square, arousing the attention of people. Similarly, this also affected the state of mind of everyone else.
On this parade square, everyone was hitting metal. One by one began to hit their metal louder and louder. They were all tough men, how could they be satisfied that their limelight was stolen by a small kid? Hence, they all uncontrollably smashed the hammer harder and harder. In a moment's time, there were loud noises from all across the parade square. It was so loud that the spectators, as well as those sitting on the platform, began furrowing their eyebrows.
Wang She on the platform couldn't bear it either and started laughing.
However in that smile, was a mocking intention that couldn't be hidden. It made Wu Yansheng and the group of Elders feel extremely embarrassed.
"I'm sorry to let you see this!" Wu Yansheng replied somewhat embarrassedly.
"That kid is not bad and it seems like he has an inborn divine strength!" Wang She smiled lightly while pointing at that sturdy kid. "There's strength in hammer after hammer. Even though the strength is not uniform, but after striking with so much strength, the weapon he forged should not be bad!"
"Yes, this kid has some abnormal strength, he only needs some guidance, my Wu Family will definitely have another talent!" the First Elder Lyu Yiyue who has been all smiles and silent suddenly said, "with this kid's aptitude, he's suitable to practice my Mountain Shattering Palm, not bad, not bad!"
"Your intention is — !"
"If the Family Head has no objections, I am willing to accept him as my disciple!"
"It's good this way!" Wu Yansheng nodded repeatedly and said, "However, with him creating such a scene, I'm afraid there are only a few that can pass the test!"
"Yes, the most important thing in the way of forging and refining weapons is in the rhythm. Once the rhythm is messed up, even if one has abnormal strength, it will be all for naught!" Lyu Yiyue nodded and said, "This parade, most of the people have had their tempo already messed up by him... Aye!"
"First Elder, any discovery?!"
"Look at that kid!" Lyu Yiyue raised his hand and pointed at Junior Leopard, "He can actually maintain his own tempo and rhythm, that is rare to see!"
"Not bad, his strength can't be compared to that kid, however when it comes to talent in the way of forging, he is way ahead. It's rare that under this kind of situation, he still can calm his heart and maintain his peace. He is a piece of good material!" the Elder sitting third from the right seat suddenly interrupted.
"Why, is Elder Xu interested in him?!"
Lyu Yiyue smiled and asked.
"He's a piece of good material, so if the Family Head agrees... !"
"This is a good thing. It's rare that both Elders are willing to accept disciples. This is a joyous occasion!"
"These two old fellas are quick with their hands!" The corner of Wang She's mouth revealed a strand of a cold smile, yet he didn't say anything.
There was silence on the platform. Only the sounds of hammers forging from the parade square could be heard. Junior Leopard and the rest were the same and their sweat poured like rain while their hammers hit against the Embryonic Metal. Under his forging, a saber's image started to gradually take shape.
Everything was very smooth. The only hearty thing was that the ears could hear the never-ending loud sound. Even though he wasn't affected, hearing it was still irritating.
Damn, this is obviously to stir the mental state of other people. Who knows what he's thinking. He hasn't even entered the inner core, yet he has already started forming enmity with other people, is his head spoilt?
Indeed, with Junior Leopard's actual emotional age, he naturally couldn't understand a 10-year-old child's mentality and thoughts.
Weapons forgery was an extremely arduous task, at the same time it was something that was extremely time-consuming. Six hours quickly passed. The results were nothing to be fascinated nor shocked about. The person who obtained the first place was that kid who hammered ferociously producing loud sounds. His name was Shi Jing, 11 years old, Yunzhou Lelang County. Even though his control was not that fantastic, yet just depending on his innate divine strength he managed to create an Eleven Forges steel knife. This made Junior Leopard impressed. Junior Leopard obtained the second spot. That Nine Forges saber of his also touched the hearts of people. He was accepted as a disciple by the Elder sitting third from the right on the spot. Of course, Shi Jing was also accepted by the Wu Family's First Elder.
Apart from the two of them, among the other Wu Family disciples who attended the selection, only 10 passed.
572 people, only 12 passed. This ratio was way out of expectations. However, when thinking about the scene during the selection, the public felt relieved. And the remaining 560 people looked at Shi Jing with unfriendly expressions. When faced with this kind of hostility, Shi Jing treated it as if he didn't notice. On the contrary, he had a smug expression and this made people hate him till they bit their teeth.
However thinking carefully, even if they bit their teeth there was no use. Shi Jing had already been accepted by First Elder Lyu Yiyue. This was not as simple as becoming an inner core disciple of the Wu Family. With Shi Jing's potential, it could be possible that he would inherit Lyu Yiyue's status, becoming the Wu Family's Elder. This bunch of people who couldn't even pass the selection and thus they were destined in this life to never compare with Shi Jing. Unless a miracle could happen.
In this world, even though there were many legends about miracles, only few could truly happen.
Of course, for Junior Leopard and these Wu Family disciples who came from Qingyang Market, what happened today could be considered a miracle already.
Nobody would think that Junior Leopard would actually really be accepted by a Wu Family Elder.
Originally, according to traditions from past years, this selection would have two rounds. The remaining round would be divide into groups and they would compete with martial arts. After all, this Wu Family could be considered a well-known family with a tight connection to the pugilist world. This could let those who didn't have any talent in forging weapons, but had talent in practicing martial arts had a chance to shine. Now all was good, after this first round only 12 people were left. Furthermore from the situation, apart from Shi Jing, those 11 who could complete the task under the interruption of Shi Jing, and still forge satisfactory weapons, just based on this point, they had sufficient qualifications to enter the Wu Family inner core.
What was more, two of them had been spotted by the Elders and accepted to be inner core disciples. This was already a satisfactory result.
To add on, Wu Yansheng who was watching this match, was really afraid that amongst these people there would be one or two fellas with extremely outstanding performances, that outshone his own son's limelight. In that case, his face would really not look good.
After the selection ended, Qin Xuanlong's attitude towards Junior Leopard became much more courteous. As for the others, they had fawning expressions. Of course, Junior Leopard believed that if it was not because of the face, Qin Xuanlong would be just like the rest, trying to gain his favor.
For his position now was already different. He was no longer just a normal inner core disciple. Strictly speaking, he was now Wu Family's inner core disciple and he had an identifiable teacher who was an Elder. Not like normal inner core disciples who were with no identifiable teacher. This could be described as jumping rank twice, similar to how a fish jumped over a dragon's gate.
"Great! This is too great Junior Leopard. This time around you've viciously gained glory for us who came from Qingyang Market!" On the way back, Qin Xuanlong excitedly rubbed his hands. "Junior... Zhou Bao, now that you've been recieved by Elder Xu. In three days you'll be officially acknowledging him as your teacher. Do you know the formalities for acknowledging a teacher?"
He definitely thought that there was a possibility that Junior Leopard would be looked upon by some Elder. However, that was only a wish in his heart. Now the wish had materialized, contrary to his wish, he became somewhat unable to accept it.
Junior Leopard was slightly stunned. He suddenly got called by his family name, he was unable to adapt to it. "I really am not clear about the formalities for acknowledging teachers, so please let Teacher Qin direct me!"
"I don't dare, I don't dare, now your identity is different and I can't bear this word 'Teacher'!" Qin Xuanlong hurriedly said.
"Teacher Qin, you're so modest! Without you, there would not be a Junior Leopard today, how can you not bear it!" Junior Leopard said, revealing a horrified expression.
"Okay, okay!" Qin Xuanlong nodded his head repeatedly, "It's enough with your words. However, this word 'Teacher', you definitely cannot say it in the future!"
Seeing that Junior Leopard still wanted to say more about it, Qin Xuanlong hurriedly said, "Okay okay, let's not talk about this. Now I'll talk to you about the formalities for acknowledging your teacher... !"
The formalities for acknowledging a teacher was actually not complicated. Qin Xuanlong only guided with a few sentences, and Junior Leopard kept it in his heart. After returning to the inn, the excited Qin Xuanlong paid a lot to treat the people from Qingyang Market to a big meal and show celebration. Everyone was very happy and excited. However, the person who should be happy was quiet instead. After downing one bucket of wine, apart from Junior Leopard who was still awake, they were all unconscious by the end in midnight.
"Aye, I don't know if this step is right or wrong!" After carrying a few unconscious people back into their suites, Junior Leopard had no sleepy feeling. Hence he walked to the balcony of the inn.
The moonlight was clear and cool like water. After being blown by the night wind, Junior Leopard who was originally a bit tipsy, was wide awake.
Slowly moving to the stone table by the balcony, Junior Leopard sat down. His fingers slowly tapped on the stone table and began to organize his messy thoughts.
"Wu Family is an extremely good place to go. However, this big family has its own rules. There are pros and cons. Compared to Qingyang Market, this is the Wu Family headquarters. There are numerous experts. I have to proceed carefully. If in any case, I reveal my bottom line, it'll be a disaster. Luckily, nowadays, I took into consideration my own body, only purifying the Internal Qi within my body. My cultivation as compared to my peers, even though it's not bad, it's not that terrifying a stage. Other attention-seeking stuff is also not on my body, I think there won't be any weaknesses exposed!"
"Little friend, what are you thinking?!"
An unexpected voice was transmitted. Junior Leopard was caught by surprise. He jerked and swerved his body, making a guarded stance.
"Why are you so nervous? From your look, the stress that you have inside of you is not small. What secret are you hiding exactly?"
In the voice, there was teasing. A green figure, under the gaze of Junior Leopard, sat down on the stone bench in front of the stone table. "Is it, that strange eye of yours that makes you nervous?"
"Who... Are you... ?"
Until the green figure sat down, Junior Leopard could then tell, the person was actually Wang She who sat in the center of the platform.
"Wang, Chief Wang, you... !"
Looking at Wang She, Junior Leopard was in tumbles. Not only did this person suddenly appear, there were also the words he just said.
"I was really worried that you would exert the power of the Fiery Eyes to catch the limelight!" Wang She seemed to not be bothered about Junior Leopard's strange gaze. He said, "I haven't seen you for a few years and you grew so fast. Though it doesn't leave me dazed. With your age and maturity, it's rare!"
"We, have we met before?!"
Looking at this green clothed young man in front of him, Junior Leopard's heart gradually calmed down. He doubtfully asked.
"Of course you haven't seen me before. However, I've seen you before. The previous time I entered Misty Mountain, I saw you struggling with a black bear. Keke, you just opened your secret eyes. I never thought that now, you would have already grown to such an extent!"
Speaking of this, Junior Leopard suddenly recalled it.
"So you were there as well?!"
"Yes, I was present. If not, how will I know that you possess the Fiery Eyes?!" Wang She raised his eyes to look at Junior Leopard. Seeing his surprised expression, Wang She laughed. "Don't be so nervous, little friend. This is just a private conversation between us, it won't be heard by others!"
"Oh!" Junior Leopard was a bit stunned, he said, "My eyes are called Fiery Eyes? I didn't know that!"
"Of course you don't know. The people in this world who know about the Fiery Eyes are few. Even if they know, they're... !" Speaking till here, Wang She stopped. "Forget it, since you've already entered the Wu Family, and are about to become that old fella's disciple. Regarding the Fiery Eye's situation, you'll know sooner or later. The reason I came here today is to remind you, you must be careful in the Wu Family. Never ever, no matter the circumstances, reveal the Fiery Eyes. If anyone finds out, you must kill and silence them. If not, big trouble will arise. Not only for you, for your family, and those who have any blood ties to you will have no place to be buried!"
Junior Leopard was extremely shocked. He never thought that Wang She came here just to tell him all this!
"Don't be so alarmed. The matter of the Fiery Eye is something you will know sooner or later!"
"I'll mark Chief Wang's words in my head, but I don't understand why do you want to tell me this?!" Since he had already said it, Junior Leopard naturally was not afraid. This Wang She by coming here to look for him was obviously having intentions on it. Just like Xue Wuya of the old days. No matter what, Junior Leopard was someone who had blasted a Level Eight expert. Facing this kind of expert like Wang She, he still had some form of resistance and fighting power. After the initial shock, his heart stabilized and calmed down, and he had looked at Wang She and asked.
"I'm different from that bunch of people. They want to destroy a miraculous bloodline like yours. Me on the other hand, I can't wait to have more and more people like you!" Wang She laughed. He looked at Junior Leopard, with an eye that seems to have seen a rare mysterious treasure. "Kid, such a person like you with Fiery Eyes can't be easily killed by other people, do you want me to teach you a method or two to preserve your life?!"
Junior Leopard's gaze lit up. He immediately smiled fervently. "That... Naturally is something that I yearn for. I hope you'll be magnanimous in teaching me!"
"You do know how to hit the snake and follow the pole. This is just as well. The reason why I came here today, is to teach you a mental cultivation method. Fella, listen closely, this Snake-like Breath Holding Skill is one of the Seven Wonderful Techniques. It looks normal, yet it has endless uses to it. If you have the chance to obtain one of the other six techniques and infuse them, it's power will be multiplied by tens. A pity—!" Speaking till here, he seemed to have thought of something. The corner of his mouth twitched twice, and he said, "Okay, it's pointless to think about this. I'll now tell you the Snake-like Breath Holding Skill. This skill is easy to learn and easy to master. It's easy to memorize. Hence, I'll only say once, you must remember it with your heart!"
Speaking till here, not waiting for Junior Leopard to reply, he began speaking out a long line of pithy formula from his mouth. He spoke for a full incense worth of time.
Junior Leopard did not dare to relax, hence he firmly remembered it in his heart.
"Okay, my little friend, the Snake-like Breath Holding Skill's mental cultivation method has been passed down to you. After you cultivate it, you'll naturally know this Breath Holding Skill's wondrous use. Someone is coming, I won't speak much with you, remember my words... !"
"But... !" Junior Leopard was just about to open his mouth, Wang She's figure disappeared right in front of him. Just like how he appeared just now, extremely sudden. As if he was never there.
The night wind blew. Junior Leopard sat lonely by the side of the stone table and he couldn't figure out head nor tail.
"Fella, remember my words, I'm doing this for your own good, Keke — !"
Wang She's voice rang in his ears, slowly getting further, till it disappeared.
Following that, a wave of messy footsteps rang. It was actually Qin Xuanlong who woke up from his drunken slumber. He came out to go to the toilet. He saw Junior Leopard standing within the balcony, and started laughing, "Junior Leopard, it's so late, still not sleeping? Or are you too excited to sleep!"
"Yes, I couldn't sleep while lying down, hence I came out to catch some wind!" Junior Leopard turned his body and smiled, yet his heart was still musing over the Snake-like Breath Holding Skill.
"Strange, this Snake-like Breath Holding Skill's mental cultivation method has similar areas with that of the Extraordinary Strength Fist passed down by Xue Wuya?!"