Library of Heaven is Path
746 Zhang Xuan“s Flaw
Chapter 746: Zhang Xuan's Flaw
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Ah…" Zhang Xuan scratched his head.
It seemed like the other party was truly determined to have him become his junior.
However, despite the various benefits that could come from the opportunity, he still thought that it was better for him to turn down the deal. The privileges would come with a set of responsibilities, and he wasn't willing to bear them.
"Since Yang shi is also one of our own, surely it should be fine for us to just meet?" Zhao Bingxu stroked his beard.
He was indeed interested in meeting the teacher behind such an outstanding student.
"This… The truth is that my teacher has no fixed lodging, so I don't know where he is at the moment either. However, I'll make sure to relay your intentions to him the next time I meet him," said Zhang Xuan with a conflicted expression.
'What the heck is this?
'All I wanted to do was to read my books patiently, take all of the required examinations, and leave dashingly. Who could have known that… everyone I met would be so intent on taking me as their student or their junior…
'Do I look like an easy man?!
'Seems like it's about time to have Yang shi make an appearance. Otherwise, if the Ten Great Master Teachers visit me one after another, how can I read my books in peace?
'I want to keep a low profile, you know!'
"Alright, that's a promise then!" Zhao Bingxu chuckled.
"School Head Zhao and the other vice school heads, I have overexerted myself in the 6-star blacksmith examination, so I would like to return to my residence to rest. I'll be taking my leave now!" Fearing that Zhao Bingxu would continue asking him about Yang shi's affairs and put him on the spot, Zhang Xuan clasped his fist.
"Right, you must be drained by now. You should quickly return and have a good rest!"
"It must be exhausting to forge six weapons in four hours. Let's talk tomorrow then!"
It was only after hearing those words that it struck Zhao Bingxu, Yuan Hong, and the others that the young man before them had just finished forging six weapons. In a moment of agitation, it had slipped their minds.
It was indeed rude of them to keep the other party with them when he was already on the verge of collapsing.
Hearing their agreement, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief. However, just as he was about to leave, Zhao Bingxu's voice sounded once more. "Since you have just joined the academy, you must be staying at the shared dormitory at the moment. Here is my personal token. Get yourself a residence in the Elite Sector with this. This will make it more convenient for us to meet and talk."
As he said those words, School Head Zhao took out a token similar to the one Elder Mo had given him previously and proffered it to Zhang Xuan.
Back at the School Head's Office, Yuan Hong had only spoken about how Zhang Xuan had destroyed the Passageway of Records. He didn't mention that the latter had Elder Mo's token in hand.
Besides, Zhao Bingxu clearly intended this as a gesture of goodwill to get on the good side of this rising talent. Were it not for Yuan Hong's own personal token commanding less authority than the Ten Great Master Teachers', he would have wanted to give his own to Zhang shi as well.
"This…" Zhang Xuan blinked in surprise.
"Take it. My token should bring you some convenience in the academy." Zhao Bingxu nodded, indicating that it was fine for him to accept the gift.
"Thank you, School Head Zhao!" At the other party's insistence, Zhang Xuan accepted the token.
He had already rejected the other party's offer once, so it would be disrespectful of him to turn down this gift as well.
However, as the crowd saw the look of reluctance on Zhang Xuan's face as he accepted Zhao Bingxu's token, their mouths twitched violently, and they nearly burst into tears.
One must know that it was be difficult for an average student to even meet School Head Zhao.
School Head Zhao had come personally to meet that fellow, and not only did he reject the offer to become his junior, he was even unwilling to accept the token… Where did this freak come from?
Did he know how many of them wanted to pummel him to death right then because of that reluctance on his face?
"I'll be taking my leave then!"
Taking the token, Zhang Xuan immediately turned around and left. Before long, he had already disappeared over the horizon.
"It sure is a huge pity…" Watching as Zhang Xuan's silhouette disappear, Zhao Bingxu shook his head.
"A pity?" Yuan Hong asked, uncomprehending of Zhao Bingxu's words.
"Zhang shi is an incredible genius. Despite his politeness, I can still see the pride in his eyes. It will be hard to win him over with material gains. It will be nigh impossible to retain him in the Blacksmith School!" Zhao Bingxu sighed.
"You're right." After a moment of contemplation, Yuan Hong nodded as well.
That was an opportunity to become School Head Zhao's junior, but he still rejected it without much hesitation… As such, what else could the Blacksmith School offer him?
Surely there wasn't anything as attractive as that?
"Let's just take a step at a time and see what we can do. In any case, make sure to treat him with respect and don't offend him," Zhao Bingxu said.
After which, he turned his eyes to the Ocean of Weapons and said, "Yuan Hong and Xiong Bing, follow me in. I am really interested to see how he managed to forge six weapons in four hours!"
Even Zhao Bingxu himself had to concede that it was impossible for him to forge six weapons and advance from an apprentice to a 6-star master teacher within four hours. How did a Cosmos Bridge realm blacksmith accomplish a feat that was even beyond him?
"Yes!" Yuan Hong and Xiong Bing nodded.
In truth, they harbored the same doubts as well.
Thus, the group pushed open the towering doors of the Ocean of Weapons and walked in.
As the head of the Blacksmith School, Zhao Bingxu wielded special privileges that allowed him to enter the Ocean of Weapons even without using Academic Credits.
"Let's look at the recordings of the examination!" Zhao Bingxu said as he flicked his finger.
The Ocean of Weapons whirred into action, and Zhang Xuan's figure from a moment ago, when he was still taking the examination, appeared before the group's eyes.
There was a special installation in the Ocean of Weapons that allowed it to record the happenings in the examinations and replay it, so that others could study and learn from outstanding examinees.
Under the gazes of the group, Zhang Xuan casually grabbed a couple of ores and metals and threw it into the furnace. After which, he retrieved them and synthesized them together before tossing it into the quenching fluid straight.
"He went straight into quenching without forging the weapon?" Everyone froze in shock.
"However, forging is indeed the most time-consuming phase in the smithing of a weapon. He could indeed save himself a lot of time through skipping it. This is a brilliant idea! Why didn't I think of it?" Zhao Bingxu's eyes glowed in excitement as he slapped his thigh.
Of the three phases of smithing, the most arduous and complicated procedure was, without doubt, hammering the ingot into its intended shape. If one could skip this step, one could indeed save a fair bit of time.
However… could the product of this smithing still be considered a weapon?
Soon, they saw Zhang Xuan retrieving a metal lump from the quenching fluid before placing it on the grading pedestal. After which… he cleared the examination.
"To think that a mere alloy which hasn't undergone hammering yet could reach Phantom low-tier. Incredible!" Xiong Bing nodded in commendation.
It was not without reason that weapons were called "creations under a thousand hammerings". The purpose of the forging phase wasn't just to shape the weapon but to strike out the impurities in the weapon and balance out the alloy as well, thus enhancing its quality. Yet, without a single hammering, that fellow was able to make a mere metal lump achieve the quality worthy of being deemed as a weapon.
Even as 6-star pinnacle blacksmiths, none of them were capable of doing the same!
"To craft such a perfect alloy would require a thorough understanding of every single property of the ores and metal, so as to determine the temperature of the furnace, the timing of the synthesis, and deduce the reaction from the synthesis…"
"On top of that, he has to work on the metals and ores simultaneously in the synthesis process while controlling the heat in the furnace through his zhenqi… To be able to multitask that well, it could only mean that he has a powerful soul as well!'
"Furthermore, to be able to remain unfazed at such proximity to the furnace, and even grab the searing alloy barehanded… How powerful must his physical body be?"
"His movements are fluid, devoid of the slightest hesitation. This goes to say that he possesses mental fortitude, allowing him to move confidently without allowing doubt to hinder him!"
The longer they watched, the more astonished the group became.
Synthesizing the metals and ores into an alloy and quenching it straight after, they could easily do the same as well. However, it was a different question whether they would be able to clear the examination with what they created.
In fact, even the legendary grandmaster blacksmith, Wu Yangzi, didn't seem to be capable of this feat!
Was that fellow really an inheritor of Wu Yangzi's heritage and not his teacher?
Soon, they reached the 6-star blacksmith examination simulation.
With each flick of a finger, a melodious metallic ring sounded. Before long, a massive metal hammer appeared before Zhang Xuan.
"Is this really a weapon forged by a blacksmith?"
Judging by how skillful that young man was in his hammering, they'd thought that the end product would astound them, just as he had done many times before. Who would have thought that… his work would turn out to be so hideous!
Are you sure that it is a metal hammer and not a steel tower?
Everyone glanced at one another speechlessly.
After watching the entire examination, Zhao Bingxu couldn't help but remark, "It seems like… Zhang shi does possess great talent, but… his forging skills are still a little lacking!"
"Lacking is an understatement… It is as if he has never learnt hammering before!" Yuan Hong shook his head.
Honestly speaking, not even an apprentice blacksmith would create a hammer as terrible as his.
Flame control, synthesis, quenching… All of these, Zhang shi had perfect grasp over. Yet, why would he simply fail so utterly in the hammering phase?
One must know that this was actually the simplest phase of the entire smithing process. It could easily be mastered through repetition…
"But this works to our advantage as well. We can use this opportunity to teach him and rally him to our Blacksmith School!" Zhao Bingxu smiled.
He was still thinking about how he could win Zhang Xuan over and tie him down to the Blacksmith School when this opportunity appeared before him. With this, he could step forward and guide the other party along, thus making him indebted to the Blacksmith School!
"Yes, that's a good idea!" The other vice school heads also nodded in agreement as well.
Their only fear was that Zhang Xuan would have no flaws at all. As long as he had a flaw, they could use it as an impetus to approach him and build a close relationship with him.
Once he started learning from one of them, it would just be a matter of time before he was tied down to their ship!
On the other hand, after returning to his residence in the Elite Sector, fatigue finally set into Zhang Xuan's body, leaving him feeling weak throughout.
While he did cut some corners in his work, it still hadn't been an easy feat for him to smith six weapons within four hours.
His zhenqi was depleted, and his spirit and soul were worn out.
If not for his soul having broken the ten meters bottleneck, he might have just collapsed in the midst of the examination.
"I didn't have a chance to examine it before, but it seems my soul has undergone a qualitative change after breaking the ten meters bottleneck."
After absorbing some spiritual energy from his high-tier spirit stone to recharge, Zhang Xuan suddenly recalled a matter.
Back in the Chamber of Earth Flame, when his soul had successfully overcome the ten meters bottleneck, he vividly felt some changes in his soul. However, with the chamber collapsing on him right afterward and the various troubles afterward, he hadn't had the opportunity to check on it yet.
Since he had some time now, it would be good for him to see what was going on.
His soul, physical body, and zhenqi: these were the three factors that stood at the foundation of his strength. Through past experience, he'd learned that it was essential for him to maintain a perfect grasp of his condition so as to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.
Activating the formation around him to block out any prying eyes, Zhang Xuan sat on the ground and closed his eyes.
His soul left his body.
At this moment, his soul was as enormous as a giant. Even with his feet on the ground, his head could still easily reach the roof of the residence.
Zhang Xuan activated the Eye of Insight to view the situation in his soul.
"What is this? H-how is this possible…"
Upon first glance, Zhang Xuan suddenly froze, and shocked exclamations escaped from his mouth.