After appeasing the indignant puppet, Zhang Xuan headed up to the second floor.

The assessment on the second floor wasn't regarding beast tamer, formation master, or the other supporting occupations he was more skilled in but blacksmith.

As soon as he entered the room, he immediately saw a young man standing before a cauldron. Holding a fiery red hammer in his hand, he struck a metal ingot relentlessly. Gradually, the metal ingot took shape, and a cold glint reflected off of it.

The Tower of Master Teachers required him to choose eight different supporting occupations, and just so to save him from putting in additional effort in the future, the supporting occupations that he chose were all those which he hadn't obtained the 8-star emblem yet.

Ever since he had cleared the 6-star blacksmith examination in Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, he hadn't really touched it much anymore. This would be a good opportunity for him to raise his blacksmith rank up to 8-star.

Hu!

Noting Zhang Xuan's presence, the young man halted his hammering and introduced himself, "I am the Inceptive Sage of the Blacksmith Guild, Wu Youdao. The test I have for you is extremely simple. I have an ore over there, and as long as you can forge it into a Saint high-tier artifact within a single day, I'll deem you to have cleared my test!"

As the young man spoke, he gestured toward a weapon cauldron. In the weapon cauldron, Zhang Xuan found an ore floating amidst a fearsome inferno. The flames were so intense that heat waves rippled relentlessly from it, but even so, the ore still showed no signs of melting whatsoever.

"Is that the Violet Firmament Blazestone?" Zhang Xuan frowned.

The Violet Firmament Blazestone was known to be the hardest grade-8 ore to process. Even 8-star pinnacle blacksmiths would struggle to melt it down and refine it properly. Yet, the young man before him actually wanted him to refine such an ore!

It seemed like clearing the Tower of Master Teachers was truly not going to be easy.

Nevertheless, there was still an upside to this. While the Violet Firmament Blazestone was extremely difficult to process, it was an incredibly valuable material that could be easily forged into a Saint intermediate-tier weapon once refined and forged. Just by using a slightly more refined forging technique, it wouldn't be too difficult to forge a Saint high-tier artifact out of it.

In other words, the hardest aspect of the assessment lay not in the forging of a Saint high-tier artifact but the melting and smithing of the ore into a suitable weapon.

"Indeed. This serves to assess your understanding of processing ores and smithing. If you are unable to melt the Violet Firmament Blazestone within a day, I'll have no choice but to fail you." Wu Youdao replied with a wave of his hand before turning his attention back to forging his weapon, not bothering to pay any heed to Zhang Xuan anymore.


"Alright." Knowing that this was was a part of the assessment, Zhang Xuan immediately dived straight to work.

He activated his Eye of Insight and began examining the Violet Firmament Blazestone carefully.

There was no problem with the heat conductivity of the weapon cauldron or the coal fueling the flames; it was just that the melting point of the Violet Firmament Blazestone was way too high. It would require the hottest of the earth flames in order to melt it, and that was a temperature that would be nigh impossible to reach even if a blacksmith were to pump his zhenqi into the flames as quickly as he could.

However, the young man hadn't given him a formation to retrieve earth flames to work with, so that would probably mean that he would have to find some way to cope with the current materials he had at hand.

This will be really troublesome…

It must be said that this assessment was far more difficult than what Zhang Xuan had expected.

Nevertheless, there's no way I could let something like this impede my footsteps!

Were it to be any other 8-star blacksmith, they might have really felt utter helplessness at the situation. However, to Zhang Xuan, this actually wasn't too much of a problem at all.

He had gone through all of the books in the Blacksmith Guild, so his understanding of smithing had already reached a level comparable to 8-star pinnacle blacksmiths, perhaps on par with some 9-star primary blacksmiths even. Even without using the Library of Heaven's Path, there were at least several dozen methods he had at the top of his head to melt the Violet Firmament Blazestone.

With a leisurely chuckle, Zhang Xuan walked up to the cauldron and tapped his finger forward. Several dozen surges of zhenqi immediately shot forth from his finger and shrouded the flames.

Tzzzzzzzz!

Surrounded by Zhang Xuan's zhenqi, the flames suddenly surged in intensity, as if someone had breathed life into it. The crimson flames began taking on a blue tint, and the astounding heat that it emanated caused even the surrounding air to warp slightly.

That is... a grade-8 Spirit Gathering Formation? Upon seeing the sight, Wu Youdao halted his forging and exclaimed in astonishment.

Most formidable weapons would have unique formations carved onto them in order to reinforce their durability and bolster their fighting prowess. For this reason, most expert blacksmiths were highly skilled in formations too.

But to be honest, while he had expected the other party to attempt to toss in some kind of flame catalyst in order to bolster the intensity of the flames, he hadn't thought that the other party would actually dive straight into constructing up a mini Spirit Gathering Formation!

Furthermore, the other party actually managed to construct such a small-scale Spirit Gathering Formation with just his zhenqi... And more importantly, he did it within such a short period of time as well!

Tzzzzz!

With the massive influx of spiritual energy, the temperature of the coal swiftly rose. However, it was still some way off from reaching the level of heat required to melt the Violet Firmament Blazestone. Even though the violet ore reflected a brilliant blue-tinted light, there didn't seem to be too much change to its physical state under the searing flames.

It's not a bad idea to intensify the flames in the weapon cauldron by concentrating spiritual energy into it, but it's still insufficient to melt down an ore of the tier of the Violet Firmament Blazestone… Shaking his head, Wu Youdao was just about to turn his attention back to his weapon when the leg of the young man opposite of him suddenly sprung forth, kicking the weapon cauldron straight.

Dang!

A resounding metallic clang reverberated through the weapon cauldron. In the next moment, the flames within weapon cauldron began swiftly converging together at a single point, as if there was some kind of compelling force attracting them together. It took just an instant for the massive outburst of flames to be compressed down to a size reminiscent of the tip of a sword, and it began slicing the Violet Firmament Blazestone up into innumerable pieces.

That is... a fire concentration technique? But such a technique would require the cauldron's unconditional assistance! How in the world did he manage to pull it off?

Once again, Wu Youdao found himself dumbstruck.

Just as the name suggested, fire concentration technique was a skill that allowed one to focus the flames at a single point, thus driving the temperature up to an unbelievable degree. Indubitably, it was an extremely useful and effective technique, but unfortunately, it was a highly demanding exploit for both the cauldron and the blacksmith; the two would require a relationship of mutual trust and impeccable coordination in order to pull off a fire concentration technique. Considering that it had only been several dozen breaths since the young man opposite of him had only met the cauldron, how in the world did they manage to accomplish a fire concentration technique?

Just as Wu Youdao was completely flabbergasted by the situation, the weapon cauldron suddenly wobbled its massive body over to him and opened up its lid. A voice so deep that it was reminiscent of the rumbling of thunder echoed loudly in the room, "Lend me your Blue Incandescence Stone for a use!"

"Ah…" Not expecting his own weapon cauldron to speak to him in such a manner, Wu Youdao froze on the spot in shock. Before he could even answer, the weapon cauldron had already replied, "Thanks."

After which, without even bothering to seek Wu Youdao's agreement, it lifted up one of its tripod foot and stomped on the ground lightly.

Hula!

An ore immediately flew into its cauldron.

Xiong xiong xiong!

As soon as the flame came into contact with the Blue Incandescence Stone, the flames immediately burst forth, and the temperature began surging at an insane pace once more.

"You are going to snatch my ore for that guy's sake?" Wu Youdao's face twitched non-stop.

It had been many years since that weapon cauldron had acknowledged him as its master, and they had been constantly together ever since then. He was only lending it out for the other party's temporary use, and yet...

Not only did the cauldron coordinate perfectly with the other party to execute the fire concentration technique, it even helped him steal his ore!

Do you still know who your true owner is?

While he was leaping with rage, the cauldron suddenly turned to look at Wu Youdao once more and said, "I'll need your blood now."

After which, the cauldron suddenly leaped into the air and descended onto the young man vertically downward.

Pu!

Struck squarely on his chest, a pool of blood spurted forth from Wu Youdao's mouth and landed right within the weapon cauldron, and the flames intensified for the third time.

Tzzzzzzzz!

With the multiple surges in the temperature, the Violet Firmament Blazestonewas finally unable to retain its state any longer, and cracks began appearing on its surface. Following which, its tough exterior began to soften, showing signs of liquefying.

Seeing that it was a success, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up. He swiftly shot forth a burst of zhenqi with a tap of his finger.

Hu la!

The ore in the cauldron immediately flew out, and with the hammer in hand, Zhang Xuan swiftly hammered on the ore with incredible deftness. Three breaths later, the forged weapon was plunged into a specially-concocted cold fluid.

A stream of white smoke rose amidst a resounding sizzle. Soon, Zhang Xuan fished out the completed product and remarked with a satisfied smile, "I'm done smithing!"

"You're done?"

Perplexed, Wu Youdao turned his head over to the completed product, and just a single look was more than enough to send his cheeks into endless spasms, "Is that... even a weapon?"

What that was placed on the table wasn't a sword or anything that he would consider as a weapon. It was a perfectly square brick.

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