Qin Lie changed into a new set of clothes and returned to his forging station. The new fire crystals had already been supplied by the time he returned.
Silently, he retook his spot with his expression indifferent as he continued a new round of artifact forging. It seemed as if the small twists and turns which had occurred just now had not the slightest effect on him.
Many outer Armament Sect disciples all coldly glared at him, their expressions displeased.
Tong Jihua’s expression was also strange. His gaze had moved away from Liang Shaoyang’s as he began to focus on observing Qin Lie. As he watched, he became momentarily stunned. Afterwards, he subconsciously began walking towards Qin Lie.
His eyes were glued onto the metal ball which was within the furnace in front of Qin Lie. He watched as Qin Lie punched holes into the metal ball and then injected both water and fire.
Tong Jihua had silently moved over. He had finally became interested in Qin Lie and was now carefully observing Qin Lie’s every move.
He discovered that every time Qin Lie added spirit materials, the way he controlled the flames to polish the metal orb was very skillful. Furthermore, every time Qin Lie grabbed spirit materials, the way be moved was seemingly pleasant to look at, as if he had repeatedly done these actions hundreds if not thousands of times…
These discoveries caused Tong Jihua’s eyes to gradually light up.
Lian Rou’s figure quietly appeared. She pursed her lips and gently chuckled as she walked next toTong Jihua and gently greeted him, “Hello Uncle Tong.”
Tong Jihua retracted his gaze from Qin Lie as he nodded with a smile and asked, “Have you seen Siqi, that girl?”
Lian Rou’s eyes curved into crescent moons as she laughed, asking a question in response, “What exactly happened just now? Which heroic youth was it that actually caused Siqi to take a loss?”
“Yes? Ah, this one,” replied Tong Jihua, pointing at Qin Lie.
Lian Rou’s expression changed as she too moved slightly closer to Qin Lie’ and began watching him along with with Tong Jihua. Immediately, her eyes lit up somewhat as she gently commented, “This guy’s pretty good, huh…”
“Mn.” Tong Jihua and Lian Rou were only ten or so meters away from Qin Lie. Lowering his voice, he explained, “Earlier, I wasn’t paying attention to him. Only now that I’ve observed him have I discovered that this kid’s techniques are rather experienced. He’s definitely had a fair share of experience in forging artifacts. If I haven’t seen wrongly, he is much better at decomposing spirit materials and controlling the flames of the furnace than many of the people here.”
Lian Rou became increasingly attentive. She inwardly observed Qin Lie’s every action, watching as Qin Lie meticulously polished his metal ball and didn’t let a single rough point through and watching his expression which was so focused that it seemed like he had forgotten himself…
“If I had known earlier, I wouldn’t have agreed to Siqi’s request,” muttered Lian Rou as she reluctantly shook her head. “She wants me to book number two hundred and thirty for her. If this person is utilized properly, he will definitely become a great helper who will save us a lot of work. Siqi must have immediately noticed and purposely troubled him!”
“Her vision is indeed strangely accurate,” said Tong Jihua, nodding.
“Are there any other good seeds this time?” quietly asked Lian Rou.
“Those three in the front are also not bad,” mentioned Tong Jihua as he pointed at Liang Shaoyang, Ouyang Jingjing, and Yi Yuan.
Right when he pointed at Yi Yuan, even though he originally had his back towards them, he unexpectedly turned around. Yi Yuan resplendently smiled at Lian Rou, exposing his pure white teeth as he said, “Little Sister Lian Rou, didn’t I say that we would definitely meet again?”
“Yi Yuan!” Lian Rou couldn’t restrain her shock as she shouted, her pretty face full of surprise, “Y-you, how come you are here?”
The events of five years ago suddenly reemerged within her mind…
Five years ago, Lian Rou had gone to Purple Mist Sea with one of Armament Sect’s elders. At Purple Mist Sea, she met Yi Yuan, their guide for the a period of time who had guided them around Purple Mist Sea’s various eccentric locations of as they picked a great number of rare spirit plants and spirit herbs which were unique to the area.
It was during this time that Yi Yuan quietly found an opportunity to confess his love for her.
At the time, she, who had never been confessed to by a stranger before was stunned and immediately rejected him. Afterwards, she felt a sense of dread and had constantly avoided Yi Yuan all the way till when she was about to depart which was when she encountered him again.
At that time, Yi Yuan had watched as she left Purple Mist Sea. The only words he had left her were, “We will meet again.”
Five years later, right when Lian Rou was about to forget Yi Yuan, Yi Yuan had suddenly appeared once again as an examinee who was trying to enter Armament Sect.
“You two know each other?” curiously asked Tong Jihua.
Lian Rou’s expression was very unnatural as she nodded her head, strenuously saying, “We met before at Purple Mist Sea.”
“I hope Miss Lian Rou will choose me. I am most willing to become Miss Lian Rou’s assistant and will be willing to do any task for her.” In front of more than a hundred people, Yi Yuan brilliantly smiled. His expression was sincere as he bowed and made his request. Boldly, he expressed his love, not seeming to mind all of the surprised gazes of the crowd.
“Fool! Madman!” lowly swore Lian Rou as she hurriedly left as if she were fleeing.
Tong Jihua was stunned. He stared at the boldly shouting Yi Yuan. After a good half a while, he recovered his senses, muttering to himself, “This time is indeed truly interesting.”
Qin Lie who had been focused on forging artifacts also temporarily stopped his movements for a moment, raising his head to look at Yi Yuan, who was in front of him while professing his love as if there was no one else around. Watching as Yi Yuan’s two sentences shocked Lian Rou away, he was similarly shocked as he inwardly thought, “This fellow normally just smiles when he see people, but it seems that a person as kind as him still has their own crazy side?”
“Brother Qin Bing, Miss Lian Rou is someone who I had already claimed five years ago, you must not fight with me over her,” said Yi Yuan, looking at Qin Lie. With a brilliant smile, he saluted Qin Lie from a distance, continuing, “Miss Tang Siqi is much more beautiful than her, but her temper is also too vicious. I hope Brother Qin will narrow his focus a bit more and show magnanimity towards my Lian Rou…”
After his remark, the crowd went into an uproar. As for Armament Sect’s outer sect disciples, they had all already begun loudly swearing.
“F*ck, at first this fellow from Purple Mist Sea didn’t seem like anything special, but how come he became so crazy as soon as he saw Lian Rou? What kind of place does he think Armament Sect is? Did he come here just to find a wife?”
“Does he know just how precious Senior Sister Tang and Senior Sister Lian Rou are? He actually dares to talk with that bastard who burned Senior Sister Tang about splitting our two senior sisters in front of everyone within this large courtyard? This daddy here has already stayed at Armament Sect for three years and still doesn’t dare to speak rudely towards the two of them. Just what kind of place have these bastards jumped out from?”
“This daddy has also stayed for a long time. It’s best to not let these two in, otherwise I might not let go of them till they are dead!”
All of the Armament Sect disciples began to shout curses, each one filled with justice driven resentment. It was as if Yi Yuan and Qin Lie were snatching away the treasures that they considered their own.
Liang Shaoyang’s gaze also changed as he too raised his head and looked over at Yi Yuan.
“Madman!” cursed Ouyang Jingjing.
Yi Yuan loudly laughed. From when Lian Rou had appeared, he had seemingly suddenly become a different person, as if he were high shot up on drugs.
Yi Yuan didn’t pay any attention whatsoever to the curses and ridicule as he only looked at Qin Lie and continued, “Since Brother Qin isn’t saying anything, I’ll take it as if you have agreed. I’ll thank you first.” He cupped his hands and then once again focused on the furnace in front of him. His entire person was in high spirits as if he had suddenly become filled with energy and confidence for the future.
“So he’s also a madman,” muttered Qin Lie to himself. He lowered his head back down.
Lian Rou flusteredly returned to the small house where Tang Siqi was applying medicine on herself. Her pretty face was a bright red, as if she were drunk.
“Madman, I’ve met a madman!” she shouted as soon as she entered. Stomping her feet, she continued, “It’s already been five years, but that bastard is still lingering around me like a phantom. He actually chased me all the way to Armament Sect!”
“Who?” curiously asked Tang Siqi.
“The person I told you about before, the guy from Purple Mist Sea It’s been five years, and he, he actually came over this time! Dammit! Just now within the great courtyard, he, in front of everyone, requested that I choose him as my assistant!” Distress was written all over Lian Rou’s face as she said, “I, I ran away…”
“Hahaha, ahahaha!” Tang Siqi clutched her stomach as she began to loudly laugh, “You’re unexpectedly so useless! If it were me, I would have smashed that guy’s face into bits!” She powerfully waved her fist and repetitively made punching motions, her gorgeous face showing a cute, fierce expression.
“Then how come you weren’t able to smash in number two hundred and thirty’s face? How come you are hiding here?” angrily retorted an embarrassed Lian Rou.
“I- I…” Tang Siqi’s face became entirely flushed red. Breathing rapidly, she frustratedly exclaimed, “That bastard burned my clothes. I was almost fully exposed, so I could only retreat. Rest assured that once he falls into my hands, he’ll get what he deserves!” After speaking to this point, Tang Siqi expression changed as she loudly clamored, “How can we two sisters just accept being bullied by men? I definitely won’t let go of that number two hundred and thirty. Why don’t you choose that bastard who dared to spout so much nonsense as well and color him pretty?”
“Then let’s do that!” agreed Lian Rou, clenching her fist. She firmly exclaimed, “I’m going to get him back too!”
“Time’s almost up. Whether or not you have the qualification to remain is now becoming more apparent,” said Tong Jihua as he walked up to the front after calculating the time.
Starting with Liang Shaoyang, Tong Jihua would grasp each examinee’s forged artifact and sense the cohesion of its insides. Afterwards, he decide whether or not he would record down the examinee’s number.
Each person whose number was recorded had successfully passed the examination. If Tong Jihua shook his head, it meant that the examinee had been eliminated.
As Tong Jihua touched each artifact, people were constantly eliminated and their hopes were incessantly destroyed. The number of people within the courtyard, which originally numbered over a hundred, gradually declined.
Liang Shaoyang, Ouyang Jingjing, and Yi Yuan, who were all in the front, all had very relaxed expressions as Tong Jihua moved past them.
—They had all seen Tong Jihua record down their numbers.
Before long, Tong Jihua arrived beside Qin Lie. After touching the smooth surface of the metal ball for a moment, his eyes lit up and he profoundly gazed at Qin Lie for a second before also recording down Qin Lie’s corresponding number—two hundred and thirty.
Tong Jihua continued onwards.
Time flew by, and a full hour later, only twenty six people remained standing within the courtyard.
Those examinees whose numbers hadn’t been recorded all self-consciously left. They didn’t have the face to remain behind and wait for Tong Jihua to announce the final results, so they had all long since left the courtyard.
“Twenty six people passed the exam. Tomorrow, inner sect disciples will come and pick assistants from amongst you. If any of you are fortuitously selected, you will have the opportunity to experience true artifact forging.” Tong Jihua’s expression was stern as he continued, “Becoming an inner sect disciple’s assistant and helping them break down and grind their spirit materials, as well as aiding them while forging artifacts, will be a great help to your own growth. I hope you will all have this luck…”
“Elder Tong, Miss Lian Rou has sent over a note.” At this time, an outer sect disciple handed over a little slip of paper.
As Tong Jihua read it, his expression suddenly became abnormal as he began to laugh. Afterwards, he said, “There are already lucky fellows. Number nineteen, Yi Yuan! And number two hundred thirty, Qin Bing! Congratulations on being the first two to be selected. After taking a good look at you two, heh, I trust that your lives in the future will certainly be luxurious ones.”
Only at this time did Qin Lie finally understand the purpose behind Tang Siqi’s wanderings beside him. Upon hearing that he had been selected beforehand, not only did he not feel the slightest bit of happiness, he also felt a bad feeling blossom inside him, “Uh oh…”
Meanwhile, Yi Yuan was indeed elated as a smile overflowing with joy emerged on his face. He seemed to be unaware about what was coming.