Life is like a bowl of water. In its blandness, there’s a barely noticeable sweetness. Wang Lin felt like his soul was being cleansed by this life without killing.
He forgot his identity as a cultivator and his 400 years of killing. He had truly blended into the mortal world and was experiencing the bitter and the sweet aspects of mortal life.
Every morning, Wang Lin would get up and open the door to his shop before beginning to carve. His shop was already filled with countless wood carvings.
All of the neighboring shops gradually found out that the shop Wang Lin was residing in had changed hands. Everyone had very good feelings toward this quiet and elegant young man.
As time passed, Wang Lin gradually began to have customers. Although they couldn’t see the spiritual energy in the wood carvings, they could see how intricate the carvings were. Over time, Wang Lin’s shop gained a bit of fame in the area.
In the blink of an eye, one year had passed. In this year, Wang Lin never saw that old man again. Although he would occasionally think about the old man, those thoughts gradually faded.
He was completely immersed in carving, searching for that long lost joy.
In Wang Lin’s shop, the most common carvings were these lifelike carvings of beasts. All of these beasts were creatures that mortals had never seen before.
In fact, even if cultivators were to come, they would barely be able to recognize them. After all, this place was too far from the Sea of Devils. The world was large and there were many different type of beasts, so there was no way for one person to know them all.
At the moment, Wang Lin held a square piece of wood in his hand. He moved his hand and a turtle shaped beast gradually emerged from the piece of wood.
Looking at the carving in his hand, he put down his carving knife and picked up a jug. Just as he was about to drink from it, he realized that there was no wine left.
At this time, Da Niu would normally come to watch him carve and bring along a jug of wine.
Sure enough, before long, Da Niu, who had grown a head taller in the past year, walked into the shop. Da Niu was that boy, and although he was only 12 years old, he was very tall.
His body was much stronger than it was one year ago.
After he entered the shop, he let out an unhappy sound as he sat down next to Wang Lin. He said, “Uncle Wang, you should go to my house some time and talk with my dad. He is always making me learn the art of ironworks, but I don’t want to learn. If anything, I want to learn uncle’s carving skills.” With that, he placed the jug of wine next to Wang Lin. His eyes narrowed as he stared at the incomplete carving in Wang Lin’s hand.
Wang Lin laughed and took a gulp of the fruit wine. This fruit wine was sweet with a hint of spiciness, causing his belly to heat up. This wine had became a daily essential to Wang Lin over the past year.
Da Niu looked at the carving. Confused, he asked, “Uncle Wang, what animal are you carving now? Why does it look like a turtle?”
Wang Lin rubbed Da Niu’s head and said, “This is not a turtle, but a creature called Zhong Gu. Although it looks like a turtle, it is far more powerful.”
Da Niu uncertainly nodded. In this past year, he had seen all kinds of animals inside Wang Lin’s shop, and every single one of them were ones he had never seen before.
Wang Lin held the carving knife and began to carve the creature’s features stroke by stroke. This turtle-looking creature was in fact a rare, mid quality spirit beast in this Sea of Devils. If it became angry, normal cultivators wouldn’t be able to withstand its strength at all.
But Wang Lin had killed many of these types of beasts and he has consumed a lot of their cores. Thus, its image completely formed in Wang Lin’s mind and his hand didn’t pause for a single moment.
Half an hour later, Wang Lin poked hard at where its eyes were supposed to be. At that moment, the carving seemed to have come to life.
The beast looked into the sky. Its eyes revealed a hint of frustration and fear. Its mouth wide was opening as if it were letting out waves of silent roars. An invisible aura that’s impossible for mortals to detect spread out from it.
But as the aura spread out, Wang Lin touched it with his right hand and the aura disappeared.
Wang Lin took a deep breath and casually put the carving on a shelf. In this past year, Wang Lin found that he could only carve up to mid quality spirit beasts. As for high quality spirit beasts, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t complete the carving.
Every time he tried to carve a high quality spirit beast, he would lose control during the last few strokes, causing the carving to shatter.
Wang Lin understood that this was because his cultivation level wasn’t high enough. After all, a high quality spirit beast was the same as the Soul Formation stage for humans.
Da Niu’s eyes revealed a mesmerized look. In this past year, he had come to watch Wang Lin carve every day. He gradually became addicted.
In this past year, he secretly tried to carve with a carving knife, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t carve anything decent. Now that he saw Wang Lin easily finish a carving, he couldn’t hold it in anymore and asked Wang Lin.
Wang Lin pondered a little. He raised his head and said to the boy, “Carving requires comprehension. If you want to learn, then you must watch me for 60 years. After 60 years, you can carve on your own.”
Da Niu stuck out his tongue and said, “60 years… but I’ve seen the carpenter in the southern part of the city. He is only 40 years old, but his carvings are pretty good too.”
Wang Lin drank a gulp of wine and said, “I’m different from him.”
Da Niu’s eyes were filled with confusion. He clearly didn’t understand the meaning in those words.
At that moment, loud noises suddenly came from outside. Da Niu ran outside. Not long after, he poked his head back in and said, “Uncle Wang, the Xu family’s eldest son came back. He is followed by more than ten carriages and a lot of people. He looks very cool.”
With that, he ran out again.
Wang Lin didn’t mind. He picked up another piece of wood and began to recall the scenes from the Land of the Ancient God, of that large desolate beast that left a deep impression in his mind. He hesitated for a while, then began to carve again.
Time slowly passed. More than an hour later, the door to the shop was opened by someone. Da Niu happily came in. Behind him was a very sturdy looking young man. The young man looked around at the carvings and his eyes lit up.
Da Niu quickly walked next to Wang Lin. He made a few expressions and whispered, “Don’t try to sell them for too much!”
With that, he quickly turned around and loudly said, “Master Xu, this is the shop I was telling you about. Look at these carvings. They are in no way inferior carpenter Zhou’s products. How about buying a few?”
Wang Lin smiled. This Da Niu obviously saw that Wang Lin hadn’t had many customers in this past year, so when a rich person came by, he pulled that person to Wang Lin’s shop.
The young man named Xu looked around the shop and his eyes became even brighter. He was very different from Da Niu. He had seen a lot, especially after becoming confidant of Lord Nan’s son. He could tell with a glance that the quality of these carvings was several times higher than the famous carpenter Zhou’s carvings.
Although carpenter Zhou’s carvings were also very lifelike, they were still missing something. After pondering a little, he finally understood. The one thing that carpenter Zhou’s carvings were missing was “life”!
One seemed almost real and one seemed almost alive.
A one word difference made them miles apart.
The young man named Xu’s eyes were shining as he walked up and picked up a carving. This carving was the dragon that Wang Lin had carved one year ago.
The dragon’s body was coiled, its head was facing the sky, and every scale on its body was expertly carved. What shocked the young man named Xu the most was that when he held the carving, he felt like it was alive. Terrified, his right hand suddenly loosened and the carving fell to the ground.
Da Niu already knew the expression on the young man’s face and he also knew that when someone touches the carving, they experience a mysterious feeling, which was why he mostly looked and rarely touched them.
With a thud, the carving fell to the ground. Good thing it was made of wood, because falling to the ground occasionally won’t break it.
The young man named Xu’s face turned red and he said, “Master Wang, what animal is this? Why does it look a bit like a snake to me?”
Before Wang Lin replied, Da Niu puffed his chest and said, “This is a dragon! Do you know what a dragon is? It is an immortal creature!”
“Dragon…” The young man named Xu remembered that name and asked, “For how much are you selling this dragon carving?”
Wang Lin casually smiled and said, “10 pieces of gold.”
The moment Da Niu heard this, he secretly sighed and thought that it was over. He had brought quite a few people to this shop in the past year, but every time people heard the prices, they would shake their heads and leave.
But he couldn’t believe that the young man named Xu only frowned and put 10 pieces of gold down on the table. The young man took off his coat, wrapped it around the dragon carving, and quickly left.
Da Niu stared dumbfoundedly at the ten pieces of gold on the table. His eyes shined as he muttered, “Incredible, a single wood carving can sell for ten pieces of gold. My dad can only make one piece of gold with one month of work, and even that is rare.”
After muttering to himself, he made a decision. It was only 60 years. He will do whatever it takes to learn this art. Once he has it mastered, he won’t have to worry about money for the rest of his life.
The current him didn’t think about how it would take 60 years before he could create carvings. Even if he didn’t have to worry about money, that was only in 60 years.
The young man named Xu left the shop and quickly went home to say goodbye to his parents. He didn’t even eat the dinner his parents prepared and quickly took all of the people and rushed back toward Nan Palace in the east side of the city.