Martial King’s Retired Life – Vol. 09 Ch. 123

Purple Forbidden Enclosure’s Nerve Nurturing

“Patriarch!” A servant of Luo Clan burst into the smithing workshop, risking his neck, and prostrated himself on the ground to report, “Th-the situation outside has devolved into utter chaos! That Shen lady shot a firework, and then everyone started a riot. We outnumber them, but, for some reason, Young Master stopped us, and Mr. Tang demanded the smithing department surrender. Nobody dares to oppose them because they have both supreme weapons. They will soon outnumber us at this rate. Patriarch, please take control!”

“Really? Sounds like quite the pickle,” an old man responded. “You should hurry back to help, then.”

“Wh-who are you? Where is Patriarch?” The servant saw a sinister sneer a human being shouldn’t be capable of showing in the darkness.

“It doesn’t matter who I am. Your patriarch is occupied; you can’t interrupt him.” Poison King flicked out a smoke bomb, killing the servant before the latter could make a peep. “Situation is deteriorating by the second, eh? Guess it’s time for me to get going.”

Inside the workshop was a passage leading to a place underground, which was also connected to the big cauldron. Only the highest-ranked blacksmiths in the clan were allowed inside the only room that they could forge the divine sword.

Poison King was charged with the smithing workshops’ last line of defence and when Luo Ming was at his weakest. To make an extreme example, Poison King wouldn’t have known Luo Ming was beheaded outside if nobody told him because the only sound audible was the hammering underground.

Hearing a blacksmith hammer away was nothing unordinary. What made this sound special was that it felt as though the sound was travelling through the human body – similar to suffering an internal injury. The reason Luo Ming was personally working on it was due to him being the only individual who could produce the sound.

To assume that Luo Ming only trained internal styles based on his refined appearance would be an erroneous assumption. He grew up in the smithing workshops and did all the manual labour associated. Yes, he started learning how to wield a sword at a young age, but he learnt how to forge swords at an even younger age. At five years old, he began hammering away to forge swords and his body. At fifteen years of age, he was up to the standard of blacksmiths focusing exclusively on forging weapons. By thirty, he was the clan’s best blacksmith, hence his chiselled physique.

Over the last decade, Luo Ming distributed his design of Nine States Enervating Blades’ blueprints to various blacksmiths and spent a steep sum on tap to purchase materials, demanding each part was perfectly controlled for. Few people knew that he was the sole person running the operation behind the scenes. Furthermore, he went to the effort of masking the fact that only a small part of the blueprints followed the ancient designs.

The first blueprint Poison King supplied Luo Ming with was a single sheet – if an incomplete sheet still counted. The design required twenty years to complete, not accounting for the lack of a procedure. For that reason, Poison King never believed anyone could forge the fantasy sword said to grant its wielder the blessed destiny of a sovereign. All Luo Ming gleaned from that blueprint was what sort of sword core and sword nerve was needed – in addition to how to combine the two. It took Luo Ming a year of peruse to start working toward it, beginning with designing, which took up three years.

All the best assistant blacksmiths needed to do was aid Luo Ming where he needed them so that he could merge the prepared hardware into the sword. So far, the sword nerve had already been inserted into the sword a hand wide, a hundred and sixty-six centimetres long. It was finally time to find out if the fragmented sheet from ages ago could turn the sword forged from four rare metals. It was time to see if the dragon head with an open mouth at the blade of the quaint sword was worthy of being there.

“Not enough…” Whether Luo Ming’s red eyes were due to the reflection of the sword or something of his own will was unknown, but his hammering speed eerily contrasted his slow muttering. “Not enough… Not Yet… Not enough!”

Luo Ming aggressively hammered faster and faster until he snapped his hammer. The biggest taboo in smithing is to cease hammering before one should as it would ruin the weapon.

“Patriarch, how about using that?” The blacksmith pointed to Fool.

Luo Ming lifted Fool up and used it as a hammer: “This will work. Continue!”

Though there was a red layer of energy coating Fool, startling the blacksmiths, Luo Ming ostensibly didn’t notice it, focusing solely on forging the sword.

Almost there. Almost there…

Luo Ming worked as though he was back at Nieyao City and was racing against the enemy to forge the sword before he was done in. The increasing visibility of the dragon pattern on the sword as they added materials eluded him until the last slam.

“Done! The sword core is done!”

A blacksmith fetched a rosewood case that was supposed to have evil-repressing attributes, yet he still felt cold in the hot workshop. Luo Ming extracted the snapped arrow covered in frost. He stared intently at the “Emperor” text on the black arrow exuding heat. He unscrewed the incomplete hilt of the sword he was forging, revealing an arrow sleeping inside.

“Since you were born in the land of an Emperor and to slay a dragon” – Luo Ming slotted the blade into the hilt and then the bottom of the furnace – “You shall be called Purple Forbidden Enclosure Dragon Slayer.”

The big cauldron sprayed its biggest flame in Luo Clan’s history!

Glossary

Purple Forbidden Enclosure – one of the three enclosures that are part of Chinese constellations. The other two are Supreme Palace enclosure and Heavenly Market enclosure. From the viewpoint of those in old times, the Purple Forbidden enclosure lies in the middle of the sky and is circled by all the other stars, which was why Purple Forbidden enclosure is used as a synonym of sorts when referring to a capital.

 

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