Zhen Hua frowned slightly. "The association is a place where blacksmiths exchange their experiences. Of course, we can have a friendly match. However, you've come here with such a great fanfare. Dear sir, it wouldn't be good if we were to disturb the others here."
The old man spoke in a deep voice, "I only wish to see if the Blacksmith's Association is only fishing for fame and praise. Why? As Zhen Hua the Divine Craftsman, are you afraid?"
When he said this, he caused an uproar all around him with some even cursing at him. Zhen Hua was highly regarded in the Blacksmith's Association.
Zhen Hua raised an arm, and the lobby quieted down instantly.
"How do you wish to compete, sir?" This was the Blacksmith's Association's headquarters, so Zhen Hua had no choice when he was challenged. If he refused the challenge, the name of the entire Blacksmith's Association would be soiled. Regardless of the outcome, he would have to accept the challenge, other matters came second to this.
The old man pointed at the teenage girl beside him and said, "This is my disciple Lin Yuhan. We'll have a fair competition of forging, one-against-one. As long as there's a blacksmith under the age of twenty who can beat her, it'll be our loss. If we lose, we'll join the Blacksmith's Association."
Zhen Hua smiled. "What happens if you win? What happens when you lose?"
The old man replied with his deep tone, "If we win, we have no other wishes aside from President Zhen Hua admitting defeat. If we lose, we'll join the Blacksmith's Association and follow your orders."
This seemed to be a fair competition. If they lost, they would submit themselves. If they won, they only wanted Zhen Hua's admission of defeat. However, the old man was a sly one. What did he mean by following orders? That sounded very vague and was difficult to define. Also, he made Zhen Hua's admission of defeat sound light but as the Divine Craftsman of this generation, as the top blacksmith under the heavens, and as the president of the Blacksmith's Association, his admission of defeat would signify an admission by the entire Blacksmith's Association as well. This would definitely be a great blow to the dignity of the Blacksmith's Association!
"It's unfair! This isn't fair!" the brighter minds among the crowd understood the old man's intentions and shouted their discontent.
"Everyone. Quiet, please," Zhen Hua calmly replied and the great lobby quieted down in an instant.
"Okay, I accept. If you lose, dear sir, I won't need you to follow any orders of mine. We'll just keep learning from each other in the future. All blacksmiths are kin since the world of forging is unrelated to anything else. As long as everyone is working hard to reach the pinnacle of the forging world, everything else is insignificant."
Zhen Hua had been generous in his speech, but Changgong Yan's expression had a subtle change. The deep gaze he had that was locked onto Zhen Hua flickered.
"Prepare two forging tables," Zhen Hua ordered his workers.
"Yes, Mister President!"
Preparing a forging table was one of the easiest things in the Blacksmith's Association. In no time at all, two forging tables were already set up in the center of the lobby.
"Pray tell, who'll compete from President Zhen Hua's side?" Changgong Yan asked in a deep voice.
Zhen Hua smiled drily. "Wulin, you're up."
"Yes, uncle-master." Tang Wulin slowly went forward. He stood still behind his forging table and was immediately recognized many blacksmiths once he came forward. Tang Wulin had been in the limelight for quite some time before this incident.
When he saw Tang Wulin, Changgong Yan knitted his brows. This teenager did not look to be any older than Yuhan. She was the peerless genius of the century. Could it be that there was another forging genius?
Lin Yuhan stood opposite Tang Wulin. When she saw this handsome teenager who was about her age, she was also slightly taken aback.
As he grew older, Tang Wulin's charm slowly began to show up. Big, clear eyes, along with long eyelashes, a tall nose, and a handsome face. Not only was he good-looking, he had a natural charisma about him that exuded positivity and freshness. Toward his female peers, he naturally generated quite a strong attraction.
Zhen Hua asked Changgong Yan, "Brother Changgong, how would you like to have this competition?"
Changgong Yan seemed to have already made up his mind. He paid no mind to courtesy and said directly, "The simplest way of determining a blacksmith's ability is through the refinement of metal. Let's have two rounds, we'll pick a metal for them to refine in the first round, and your side will pick a metal for the second round for them to refine. We'll see whose refined metal is better after both rounds. Everyone here has discerning eyes, President Zhen Hua is even a Divine Craftsman. I don't think it'll be too difficult to judge the outcome."
"Alright," Zhen Hua said no more and immediately agreed to his terms. Then, he retreated backward and vacated the center of the lobby. Just as Changgong Yan had confidence in his disciple, he also had complete confidence in Tang Wulin. He did not believe that Tang Wulin's peers could best him in forging as well.
Tang Wulin looked toward Lin Yuhan in front of him and gestured. "Please select the metal."
"I pick Blue Coppertite," the teenage girl said without hesitation.
When he heard the words 'Blue Coppertite', Tang Wulin's gaze slightly flickered. Among the rare metals, Blue Coppertite was regarded as one of the most difficult to forge. It had an internal structure which needed to be continuously cared for throughout the refining process to prevent it from scattering. It was immensely difficult to refine.
"Okay, go ahead."
Rather quickly, two identical blocks of Blue Coppertite were placed on the forging tables.
Changgong Yan and Zhen Hua were top professionals in forging. They only needed a single glance to determine that these two blocks of rare metal were of similar quality.
Lin Yuhan looked at Tang Wulin, and he returned the gaze with a faint smile. "Let's begin."
Lin Yuhan nodded. In the next instant, her gaze became intently focused. Her eyes were blue and once she focused her attention, they began to shine like two sapphires.
She stretched her arms to her side, and two beams of light flickered as two forging hammers instantly appeared in her grasp.
This pair of forging hammers glittered with a bluish luster. Surely they were made of Blue Coppertite? They were decorated with beautiful spiral patterns and were obviously well refined. Also, it had a life of its own and gave off an indistinct buzz. These were Spirit Forged Blue Coppertite Hammers!
Tang Wulin's heart felt cold. It seemed that this opponent of his would not be so easily defeated! She must have had some special abilities for her to be able to use those Blue Coppertite Hammers.
Then, he raised his arms in a similar pattern, causing two beams of silver light to flicker before two Spirit Forged Heavy Silver Hammer appeared in his hands.
Changgong Yan had kept his eyes on Tang Wulin. This young man must have been something else for him to be sent forward by the Divine Craftsman Zhen Hua. When he saw Tang Wulin's Spirit Forged Heavy Silver Hammer, he immediately sighed in relief.
Heavy Silver was far lacking in quality when compared to Blue Coppertite. They were not rare metals of the same level, and forging hammers were the most important tools for blacksmiths. When there was a difference in the quality of the forging hammer used, there would naturally be a difference in the product's quality throughout the forging process.
Once they completed the calcination process. The two blocks of Blue Coppertite rose from within the forging tables.
They struck their hammers down almost simultaneously, to the point where their movements seemed to be in sync. Although their left hammers lightly hit the Blue Coppertite at the same time, both produced different effects.
When Tang Wulin's left Spirit Forged Heavy Silver Hammer hit the Blue Coppertite, it made a crisp sound, "Ding! Ding! Ding!" It was the Stacked Hammers effect.
On the other hand, when Lin Yuhan's forging hammer struck the Blue Coppertite, no sounds were heard. Instead, the metal seemed to ripple.
The Spirit Forged Blue Coppertite Hammer seemed to come alive as its spiral patterns rotated silently. Flow marks undulated on the block of Blue Coppertite which had been struck by the hammer and the complicated patterns on the metal began showing signs of it being refined.
This was also a special effect. The Spirit Forged Blue Coppertite Hammer's special effect was Propagate!
Yes, it had the ability to propagate and nourish the metal it struck.
This was a special effect exclusive to Blue Coppertite. The effects may not obvious when other metals were forged by these hammers, but the metal that they were forging now was Blue Coppertite and Propagate presented shocking results even on the first display of its prowess.
Even Zhen Hua frowned when he witnessed this scene. It seemed that the other party came prepared!
Tang Wulin did not spare a glance for Lin Yuhan. When he began forging, he entered a world of his own. The only thing he desired to do was to show his best and forge a metal to the best of his abilities.
By representing his master in this competition, he was representing the entire Blacksmith's Association! He must not lose!
As both parties began the forging process, Tang Wulin waved his Spirit Forged Heavy Silver Hammers at lightning speed. Every strike brought with it a strong gale. The immense force created violent booms when the Heavy Silver Hammers and Blue Coppertite came into contact. The lobby seemed to reverberate from the sound, and with the addition of Stacked Hammers, the only apt description for his forging style was majestic.
On the other hand, Lin Yuhan's was a stark contrast to him. Tang Wulin's was like a stormy shower whereas Lin Yuhan stood like an unmoving mountain.