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Chapter 283: An Accident

    Chapter 283: An Accident

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    A few days later...

    In the reception hall of the Heavenly Wu Arms shop...

    Shi Mu's eyebrows were tightly knitted, and he seemed to be discussing something with Manager Tian. There was a cup of fragrant tea placed on the table beside him. But, the steam had dispersed by now... But, it seemed as if it hadn't been touched so far.

    "I had never thought she would come to the ancient Xixia country... Manager Tian, can it be possible to pass her a message on my behalf?" Shi Mu said after a momentary hesitation.

    "Yes. You can give your message to Master Xu. But, we will charge Dear Friend Mu fifty percent of the total price from before to settle this bill. And, that will be... five-hundred spirit stones," Manager Tian said.

    Shi Mu didn't say anything again. He simply took out a letter from the Vast Earth Ring, and handed it over to him along with five middle-grade spirit stones.

    Manager Tian extended his hand to receive them. The two exchanged a few words for a while. Afterwards, Manager Tian bid him farewell and departed.

    Shi Mu leaned on the back of a wooden chair, and closed his eyes in order to raise his spirit.

    However, a moment later... the voice of an old man spread from outside the door.

    "Dear Friend Mu, I'm very sorry to have kept Your Excellency waiting for so long. However, this old man had an important task to take care of," Xu Lu rushed into the room through the door. But, he didn't take a seat. He walked straight toward Shi Mu.

    "Master Xu has a lot of work to do. So, waiting for you for some time is not a big deal. I just came here to ask about the progress of my weapons' refinement assignment..." Shi Mu asked.

    "This... is very hard to explain in words. Dear Friend Mu will naturally understand it if he sees it with his own eyes," Xu Lu's footsteps stagnated, and a hint of embarrassment flashed through his face as he said.

    "Well, please lead the way, Master Xu." Shi Mu's heart skipped a bit on hearing these words. He then said.

    Xu Lu didn't drag the conversation further. He turned around, and walked toward the hall's exit door.

    The two men passed through the courtyards of several warehouses in a row. Then, they finally arrived before a courtyard that had been built with grey boulders.

    The courtyard's gate was wide-open at this time. Plenty of iron-made materials were piled up inside in a neat and organized manner. In addition, several huge stone-made water tanks could also be seen inside.

    The courtyard seemed very crowded. A number of people were constantly moving around in it. Most of these people were sturdy and powerful men. The upper part of their bodies was bare. They held various kinds of materials or tools in their hands, and were frequently accessing various rooms.

    Xu Lu went into the courtyard, and walked straight to a small and independent stone room. Shi Mu followed him closely. Simultaneously, he kept sweeping his eyes to examine the surrounding area.

    The entire body of this stone room had been made from a kind of light-blue stone. Therefore, it looked special in the courtyard.

    "Master Xu!"

    "Master!"

    Xu Lu and Shi Mu bumped into many sturdy men on their way, and those men stopped to greet Master Xu.

    Xu Lu responded to them with a brief nod and a smile.

    Soon after, Xu Lu and Shi Mu entered a stone room made of blue stone.

    This small and private fire-room had a large stove placed in the middle.

    However, the temperature of the room surprised Shi Mu. The stone room should've been scorching hot since a faint-red light could be seen in the fire of the stove. However, it wasn't even slightly hot. It seemed that a kind of high-ranked magic formula had been used to isolate the temperature of the room.

    There was a shiny black forging platform not far from the big stove. It was square in shape. In addition, there was also an iron-made weapon's rack next to this forging platform.

    A long black blade and a short stick were placed on the shelf in addition to a long bone-white bow. The appearance of the bow looked almost same as before. There was also a pot of arrows beside the shelf; those arrows had black-feathered tails. There were approximate twenty such arrows in that pot.

    "Dear Friend Mu, why don't you take a look at this bow first? This old man has used the black-winged gryphon's muscles to refine the string of this bow. Also, I've made twenty pieces of vulture-tailed arrows using the gryphon's feathers." Xu Lu took a few steps forward, and picked up the Sky Splitting Bow and the pot of black feathered arrows from the weapons rack. Then, he handed them over to Shi Mu.

    Shi Mu received them, and poured his gaze on them. He noticed that there were many spirit patterns engraved on the surface of the Sky Splitting Bow's body and wings. The bowstring had also changed beyond recognition. There were indeed twenty black-feathered arrows in the pot. And, the tail feathers of these arrows had indeed been taken from the black-winged gryphon's feathers. In addition, a circle of detailed magic characters had been engraved on the shafts of the arrows.

    The bow and the arrows were emanating bursts of strong magic power waves. The fact was that they had been upgraded into high-ranked magic tools after refinement.

    Shi Mu nodded with satisfaction. Then, a white light flashed in his hand, and the Sky Splitting Bow and the vulture-tailed arrows were received by him in his ring.

    "Thank you so much, Master Xu."

    Xu Lu waved his hand. Then, he picked up the black blade and the short stick from the weapons rack, and handed them over to Shi Mu.

    Shi Mu put out his hand and received them. He felt that the weight of these two weapons hadn't changed by a big margin. However, their diameter had changed slightly from before. Presumably, it had happened because the impurities had been removed.

    Furthermore, the structure of the two weapons also hadn't changed much. In fact, they could still be joined together to form an eight-foot-long extended blade.

    However, Shi Mu couldn't shake off a kind of indescribable feeling that had welled up in his heart when he held the blade and the short stick.

    This made him recall the strange behavior that Xu Lu had shown a moment ago. He then examined the weapons once again in a careful manner, and discovered an anomaly. He noticed that the black blade and the short stick hadn't been engraved with any magic formulas.

    Shi Mu raised his head, and looked at Xu Lu with a dubious look on his face.

    But, Xu Lu immediately took the initiative to give a proper explanation to him before he could open his mouth to speak anything.

    "Dear Friend Mu, I'm embarrassed to speak about this matter. Actually... this old man had taken utmost care, but..."

    Xu Lu had refined these two weapons to remove the impurities. After that, his plan had been to send people to inscribe magic spells on these two weapons. However, the hardness of the two weapons had increased very insanely after the purification process. He had then used all kinds of methods... both conventional and unconventional to inscribe magic spells on the weapons. But, all of his efforts had ended in vain. In fact, those methods hadn't been able to leave even a little trace on the weapons.

    "Master Xu, do you mean to say that there's no possibility to develop these two weapons into magic tools anymore?" Shi Mu's brows creased as he asked.

    "That's right," Xu Lu's face got suffused with an apologetic look, and he nodded in agreement.

    After that, a ray of light flashed in Xu Lu's hand, and a bag full of spirit stones appeared in it. This was the same bag that Shi Mu had given him as payment for this task. Xu Lu then handed the bag over to Shi Mu.

    "Dear Friend Mu, this old man has committed a mistake. This old man has failed to achieve the result that he had promised. Therefore, I have no other choice but to return the reward money to you," Xu Lu said with a soft sigh.

    "I wonder whether Master Xu will allow me to use his fire room for some time," Shi Mu received the spirit stones. Then, he abruptly asked.

    "Of course you can." Xu Lu was surprised to hear his request. But then, he nodded and explained the way of using the fire room in detail.

    Xu Lu left after he had explained everything. After that, Shi Mu flipped his palm, and a porcelain bottle appeared in his hand. The bottle contained the remaining venom of the golden lizard.

    Then, he looked at the forging platform with his brows slightly creased, and a hint of nervousness bubbled-up in his heart.

    ... ...

    In the official meeting hall that was situated in the Dark Shrine of the Dark Moon Cult's Main altar.

    The spacious stone chairs of the ten Palace Lords were fully occupied except for two seats - Liu An's and the wide-mouthed middle-aged man's.

    "Where are Palace Lord Liu and Palace Lord Tang?" the white-haired old man asked; he was seated on the right-hand side of the seat-of-honor.

    His face looked a lot older than it was a few days ago. The deep ditches on his face that were densely covered with wrinkles looked even more noticeable at this moment.

    "Respected Right Wing Minister, Palace Lord Tang's spirit pet - the crystal skeleton - had an accident near the altar of the Dead Spirit World. Therefore, he has rushed to the Dead Spirit World to find the murderer. As for Palace Lord Liu... I don't have any concrete information about him." Huo Qing, the curly-haired young man said.

    "It doesn't matter where they are. I presume that everyone has heard about the past two days' matters. The specific details of the situation will be recounted by one of the Palace Lords who has just returned from the front line." Right Wing Minister said while casting his gaze at a man on his left side. That man had a knife-cut scar on his face. There was a trace of exhaustion on that man's face at this moment.

    "Everyone, Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult and Heavenly Demon Sect have entered the Wei country and Chen country respectively in these past two days. Eastern Woods and Lin Hai provinces in the southeast and Black River province in the northeast have been captured by them in the span of a day and a night. The people of these two sects have also mounted full-on attack on the towns and cities. They have left a small number of disciples behind to take care of these matters. And, the rest of the troops have continued to travel day and night to approach the western region as soon as possible. I'm afraid that their soldiers will reach the city within one month if they continue to forge ahead at such a pace," The scar-faced man gave a brief nod to greet everyone. Then, his hoarse voice resounded in the hall.

    A sense of gloominess pervaded the entire hall the moment he made his report. Everyone was trying to digest the news they had just heard.

    "Everyone is now aware of the present situation. So, Palace Lords... you are free to put forth your ideas," the white-haired old man said.

    "Almost all the disciples who had been selected in the preliminary selection competition for the sea-trip have arrived here. So, Liu An's plan to embark on the journey can be executed if the boats are in position," the royally-dressed young woman said after a moment of silence.

    "Palace Lord Sun, may I venture to ask the whereabouts of those ships? Palace Lord Liu hasn't showed up yet. I'm afraid that he might not have gotten hold of those ships yet!" Huo Qing snorted.

    "Palace Lord of the Dark Green Wolf Palace, your words don't sound fair and reasonable. We all know that Palace Lord Liu had asked for two months of time when he had taken an oath before us. However, only half-a-month has passed since then." Di Feng, the man with red eyebrows, said in a reprimanding tone.

    "That is indeed true. However, the war seems to be on verge of erupting. We may be ready to wait for the ships for two months. But, do you think the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult and Heavenly Demon Sect will give us the time? It seems to me that our Main altar will have been encircled by the enemy by the time Palace Lord Liu arranges those ships. What would be the use of those ships then...? To load the corpses?" Huo Qing sneered.

    "You..." Di Feng was infuriated for a moment.

    "Right Wing Minister and my fellow Palace Lords, I had some important matter to deal with. So, I couldn't mark my presence on time. I hope for your forgiveness," An air of reluctance to comprise had permeated the palace hall when Liu An's voice spread from the outside.

    Liu An walked into the hall in a calm manner. He was still clad in a pale-white long robe. He then made a respectful gesture to greet the white-haired old man. After that, he stood still in the same place.

    "Palace Lord Liu, you are late for such an important meeting. Can it be possible that you had gone to receive the delivery of your twenty ships?" Huo Qing sneered.

    "Yes. Exactly," Liu An replied with a smile.

    The people in the hall were left stunned as soon as this statement was made. They were pleasantly surprised on hearing Liu An's reply.

    "Good!" The white-haired old man's eyes brimmed with exultation, and he immediately got up in excitement. He couldn't stop himself from appreciating Liu An for his splendid work.

    "How can it be possible?!" Huo Qing said. It seemed as if he didn't want to believe Liu An's words.

    "Everyone, this is a matter of life and death for our Cult. So, I would request you to take a step, and follow me to the seacoast to see the truth with your own eyes," Liu An put on a mild smile as he said.

    The people naturally didn't have any objection to Liu An's proposal.

    Half-an-hour later...

    A crowd of high-ranked figures of the Dark Moon Cult had assembled somewhere on an uninhabited and remote shore of the Yellow Sea outside Qu Yang City.

    "Palace Lord Liu An, let's see your ships now." Huo Qing said.

    Other people in the surrounding also cast a hopeful look at Liu An.

    Liu An didn't speak anything. But, a ray of light suddenly flashed in his hands, and a square-headed mini-sea-boat emerged out of nowhere. It had a squared tail as well. The boat's whole body was engraved with numerous exquisite magic characters, which appeared exceptionally mysterious.

    Then, an unusually strong wave of spirit power spread from it. Surprisingly, it was the formidable aura of a spirit tool.

    "Yes, it's the Gigantic Vast Sea Boat!" Right Wing Minister said while nodding.

    Liu An didn't speak anything. He simply poured his magic power into the mini-sea boat in his hand, and then tossed it in the air. The mini-sea boat got wrapped-up in a cloud of grey Qi, and slowly landed on the surface of the sea.

    Then, the miniature sea-boat's whole body gleamed with a splendid brilliance, and started to expand at a visibly fast speed. Eventually, a massive black ship appeared on the sea's surface.

    The square-tailed ship's entire body had been painted with all kinds of magic characters and patterns. This ship was five-hundred feet in length, over a hundred feet in width, and nearly forty-or-fifty feet in height. It seemed as if a majestic hill was floating on the sea surface. Also, there were two rows of pitch-black square-shaped muzzles on its side strings. And, those muzzles were covered with fencing wood.

    The main body of the ship was a five-storied garret that had an aura of antiquity. The rear area of the the garret had a large main mast. Also, a hundred-or-more-feet-tall huge sail was a hung on the mast. A miraculous glow was flickering on the surface of the sail.

    Liu An kept his right hand in the same manner for some time, and a ray of light continued to flash in it. Simultaneously, Gigantic Vast Sea Boats continued to appear near the seacoast.

    Twenty Gigantic Vast Sea Boats had appeared before everyone's eyes. They were parked on the seashore in a row. It seemed as if a large dark cloud had descended to the surface of the sea...

    "How could it be..." Huo Qing was left stunned as he saw this scene.

    The remaining people including Di Feng clicked their tongues in Liu An's appreciation. They couldn't help but feel a surge of reverence for Liu An as they gazed into his eyes.

    They had twenty Gigantic Vast Sea Boats at their disposal now. So, they could relocate a large number of their cult's elite disciples to the Western Continent at any time.

    "Good! Palace Lord Liu indeed doesn't renege on his promises. However, we mustn't waste any time. Let's work together to execute Palace Lord Liu's plan now. Transmit an order to impose a curfew throughout the city. All war-related news must be sealed off. Also, no one is allowed to leave the city." Right Wing Minister commanded.
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