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Chapter 279: Curious Occurrence

    Chapter 279: Curious Occurrence

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    "He he, so this is our noble friend Mu Shi? Our noble friend's appearance... makes it seems that you should be a disciple of the Dark Moon Cult," the green-robed old man said with a soft chuckle.

    "It's a pleasure to meet you, Master Xu Lu." Shi Mu stood up.

    "Noble friend, please have a seat," Xu Lu sat down on the same seat Manager Tian was previously seated on. And, Manager Tian stood by his side in a respectful manner with his hands hanging alongside his body.

    "I've heard that the quality of our friend's magic weapons is kind of special... so much so that even Manager Tian wasn't able to recognize it. Can they possibly be these two weapons?" Xu Lu didn't continue with the idle conversation. He came directly to the point, and said while referring to the black blade and the stick on the table.

    Shi Mu nodded.

    Xu Lu rested his eyes on the blade and the stick on the table. There had been a solemn expression on his face since the beginning. However, his eyes carried a casual look as he gazed at the weapons. But then, his facial expression dignified, and he stared at them with the earnest attention... as if he had noticed something.

    He examined them for some time. Then, he gripped the meteoric iron short stick, and held it in front of his eyes. After that, he stroked the blade with his fingers in a gentle manner.

    Shi Mu looked into the old man's eyes, and a gleam of happiness spread across his face.

    Xu Lu put down the short stick after almost a quarter-of-an-hour. Then, he picked up the meteoric iron black blade, and sized it up for a moment. He then nodded, and put it down on the table.

    Shi Mu sat-up straight, and cast a curious look at Xu Lu... as if he was looking forward to hearing his analysis.

    "Noble Friend Mu, the materials of these two magic tools are indeed unusual. In fact, they didn't fail to baffle this old man," Xu Lu said.

    "I would like to ask Master Xu to enlighten me a bit more," Shi Mu said.

    "Noble friend, you mustn't be able to put these two magic weapons in your storage ring, right? Also, they should be slowly gaining weight with the passage of time?" Xu Lu looked at the ring on Shi Mu's hand and asked.

    "That's exactly the case," Shi Mu replied.

    "As I had expected... This old man isn't very familiar with this black material, but he had seen something similar to this thing in the Eastern Sea a long time ago when he had been travelling away from this continent," Xu Lu nodded as he said. Meanwhile, a trace of recollection flashed through his eyes.

    Shi Mu's heart received a jolt.

    "This kind of material is extremely special since the texture of this thing is very hard. But, it seems that this material is rare. However, Noble Friend Mu has collected so much of it. Moreover, he has also found someone to forge them into magic tools. This is commendable." Xu Lu threw a glance at Shi Mu and continued.

    "It had been nothing but a stroke of luck that I had bumped into these materials. Then, I had found a refiner who had racked his brain to upgrade these two weapons to magic tools. However, he had stopped at a point, and had failed to go any further. Therefore, I have paid you a visit. I wonder whether it is possible to move a step further, and upgrade these two weapons to top-grade magic tools. Can you accomplish this task?" Shi Mu asked.

    "It's not difficult to refine them into top-grade magic tools. The materials of these two weapons are one of a kind. So, they can easily support a high-ranked magic formula. However, they are doped with a lot of impurities. So, you will first have to remove the impurities; only then can you think of enhancing their rank," Xu Lu said after a momentary consideration.

    "So, you need to clean up these two weapons for some time in order to upgrade their strength, right?" Shi Mu asked.

    "Exactly. But, the quality of these two weapons is very special. So, I'll have to use a unique and secret technique to refine these weapons if you want to cleanse them. However, it will be very expensive," Xu Lu said.

    "May I know how many spirit stones will be needed?" Shi Mu asked.

    "Ten-thousand spirit stones." Xu Lu didn't even think for a second. He immediately stretched out a finger, and said.

    "What!" Shi Mu abruptly stood up out of shock.

    Ten-thousand spirit stones were considered a huge sum of money even for an Earth-ranked warrior. However, Shi Mu had more than that amount on him at the moment. After all, he had slaughtered several Xian Tian-ranked as well as Earth-ranked powerhouses over the past few years. Therefore, he had been able to collect plenty of spirit stones.

    "This old man's unique secret technique has evolved from the method of refining Spirit tools. So, it requires a bountiful supply of spirit stones. Its Noble Friend Mu's call whether to accept the deal or not." Xu Lu sat down and said.

    "Well then, I request Master Xu to proceed." Shi Mu hesitated for a moment. But then, he clenched his teeth and agreed.

    After that, he waved his hand, and a small pile of spirit stones appeared on the table.

    Xu Lu looked at the spirit stones on the table, and made a gesture with his hand. Manager Tian then came forward and counted the spirit stones. Then, he gave a nod to Xu Lu.

    After that, the two men discussed for some time, and eventually arrived at a decision. They had also determined the magic formula that would be inscribed on the two magic tools.

    "By the way, this thing on the lower part of my body has also been made from the same material. Master Xu can melt it, refine it, and put it together with the blade and the stick." Shi Mu thought of something. Then, he loosened the small meteoric hammer that was tied at his waist and said.

    The fact was that this hammer had fallen into the category of less-needed weapons for Shi Mu due to the enhancement of his strength.

    "No problem." Xu Lu looked at the meteoric hammer once, and then nodded in agreement since this was only a trivial matter for him.

    "In addition, can you take a look at this magic tool as well, Master Xu? Can you refine it and make it a top-grade magic tool too?" Shi Mu said. Then, he drew out a small green bow from the storage ring. This bow was the Sky Splitting Bow, and there were a dozen or more Wind Chasing Arrows along with it.

    The Sky Splitting Bow was undoubtedly a high-quality magic tool. However, this bow seemed much less effective to Shi Mu now. It had become unsuitable to use with the ascension of Shi Mu's strength. It seemed to Shi Mu that the might of this bow wouldn't be fierce enough to break the defense of a high-ranked warrior or magician.

    Xu Lu received the bow, and observed it for a moment. Then, he said, "This bow is also regarded as a high-quality middle-ranked product in the category of magic tools. So, it's easy to upgrade it to the high-grade magic tool. However, there is a little problem... this old man doesn't have the required material."

    "What material do you need? I carry some materials with me. So, there is a possibility that you can get the material to refine this bow from me," Shi Mu's face revealed a delighted look as he asked.

    "Ordinary materials are already at my disposal. However, this bow is somewhat special. In fact, both the bow and the arrows are made from the materials obtained from the body of a bird-class demon beast. So, you need similar materials if you want to upgrade the rank of your bow and arrows," Xu Lu said.

    "Bird-class demon beast..." Shi Mu muttered to himself. And, it seemed as if he had figured out that he indeed didn't have this kind of material.

    "May I venture to ask Master Xu whether the black-winged gryphons of the Black Demon Sect meet the criteria?" Shi Mu's eyes flickered as he recalled the Heavenly Demon Sect's gryphons. He had got the chance to know about these gryphons on his way to Qu Yang City.

    "The Black-winged gryphons are cherished bird-class spirit beasts. The requirements to upgrade your bow will certainly be satisfied if you can catch one, and fetch its feathers and bones. However, those black-winged gryphons are mostly raised by the Heavenly Demon Sect. So, their strength is equivalent to that of Xian Tian-ranked warriors. The strength that they display in the air is alarming and beyond comparison. Moreover, their speed is also unusually fast," Xu Lu cautioned.

    "I will try to find the solution to this matter. I will pay Master Xu a visit if I turn out lucky in getting hold of the required materials," Shi Mu said.

    The Heavenly Demon Sect was his Sect in a way. However, it had failed to distinguish between right and wrong. On top of that, it had joined hands with the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult, and had issued an order for his arrest. This had forced Shi Mu to leave his native land. Therefore, he had no intention of considering feelings and sensibilities anymore.

    Shi Mu knew that the expedition was around the corner. However, he had no idea how many untold hardships and obstacles would be waiting for him. So, he had to promote his strength as soon as possible. This was a matter of the utmost importance for him at present.

    "Dear Friend, let's assume that you will be successful in capturing a black-winged gryphon. However, plenty of materials will remain unused even after upgrading your bow. I will keep those remaining materials, and will consider them as my making charges. So, my dear friend won't have to pay me in spirit stones for that task," Xu Lu said.

    "Fine. It's settled then. How much time will Master Xu need to complete the promotion of these three magic tools?" he asked.

    The next competition was scheduled to be held after one month. So, Master Xu had better finish the task before that.

    "Dear friend can collect the blade and the stick after half a month. But, this bow can be delivered to you in only five days if you get me the required materials," Xu Lu pondered for a moment, and replied.

    "Master Xu's tool-refining technique is indeed very exquisite. I truly admire you." Shi Mu heard Master Xu's words, and made a heartfelt statement in admiration.

    This speed of refining was beyond comparison. It was much superior to that of Black Demon Sect's Zhao Ping.

    "Noble Friend Mu is over-praising me," Xu Lu replied in a flat tone. After that, he picked up the two magic tools from the table, and was about to get up and depart when Shi Mu said something

    "Master Xu, please wait for a moment. There is still something that I wish to discuss with you." Shi Mu said.

    Xu Lu was dumbfounded on hearing Shi Mu's words. But, he took his seat again.

    "I've heard that your shop doesn't only undertake the task of refining. It also deals in news and intelligence. So, there is a matter I wish to ask about," Shi Mu said.

    Xu Lu's grizzled eyebrows moved a bit... It seemed as if he hadn't expected this.

    "Oh, what does my dear friend wish to inquire about?" Xu Lu asked.

    "I want to know the news pertaining to the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony, and the Demon Yang Ceremony." Shi Mu said.

    Shi Mu had been concerned about this matter the entire time. Unfortunately, he had been wandering about in a desperate plight for a long time. So, he had never got the chance to inquire about this matter.

    "So, this is the case. However, this matter is known to most of the people. So, this intelligence is not worthy of money. You can consider it as a token of our first cooperation. I won't accept any fees from my dear friend for this. So, what does Friend Mu wish to know in particular?" Xu Lu smiled and asked.

    "The list of winners," Shi Mu was a bit surprised, but he replied without a thought.

    Xu Lu turned his head, and looked at Manager Tian once. The latter understood the gesture, and walked out of the hall. He returned after a moment with two white jade charms in his hands, and handed them over to Xu Lu.

    "These are the Water Mirror Jade Charm of our Chamber of Commerce. The list and appearance of the people who have won the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony and the Demon Yang Ceremony are recorded in them." Xu Lu stretched out a finger, and gently pointed it at one of the jade charms as he explained.

    A "Buzz" sound was heard. Then, a layer of white light emerged on the jade charm, and condensed into a watery mirror-like surface.

    After that, the silhouettes of three men and three women appeared on the surface of the mirror. Simultaneously, the names of these people also appeared beside their images.

    "These six people are the winners of the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony." Xu Lu said.

    Shi Mu's gaze moved, and fell directly on the silhouette that was on the left-most side. She was clad in a snow-white robe, and had a very graceful figure. She looked like a fairy-like exceptionally beautiful maiden. Shi Mu's bright eyes were suddenly replaced by a touch of bleakness when he saw her face.

    However, his altered mood regained its equanimity in an instant.

    This woman was none other than Ximen Xue.

    "So, she fulfilled her wishes..."

    Shi Mu's gaze rested on the peerless face of this woman for a moment. Then, he forced himself to retract his gaze, and look at other people's images.

    Shi Mu wasn't acquainted with any of these people except for Princess Yue Ni with whom he had had a chance encounter.

    "It must be mentioned that a strange and unprecedented incident had occurred in the Ascension to Immortality Ceremony this time." Xu Lu looked at the three men and three women, and said with a smile.

    "My subordinates have also heard about it. There was a certain someone who had obtained the qualification to attain the Ascension to Immortality. However, that person renounced their qualification in front of everyone. This incident has left everyone baffled," Manager Tian spoke-up with a hint of regret dripping from his voice.

    "Such a thing happened there?" Shi Mu was stunned on hearing this information.
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