When Shao Xuan retracted his power of inheritance, he immediately sat on the ground, panting.
Controlling the ornaments had used up almost all the power of inheritance in him. He was exhausted, lacking even the energy to stand. That one step had taken up all his energy.
Thank goodness there were no beasts or threats here. As long as Shao Xuan did not attack anything on purpose, the valley was still safe. The Xia shaman had set up a defence system here. However, even without this protection, Gongjia Mountain was still within Xia valley. That was a dead place without even a rat. So there were no beasts.
After regaining his breath, he moved his stiff, aching muscles and slowly stood up. He walked to nearby and plucked some fruits to eat. He needed some fruit to ease his thirst and hunger.
These fruits didn’t look like much but they were juicy and crispy. It was refreshing to the soul, washing out the burning aches to his body. The injuries he sustained from overexerting his blood vessels and muscles were quickly repairing themselv.es
There was a type of grain growing nearby too. He didn’t know what it was but Gongjia Heng said the things here were edible. It must have been something the Xia once planted. Since the Xia tribes separated and they all left, these grains were left to grow and reproduce on their own. Plus, every time a Xia person arrived, they would clean this place up.
Shao Xuan ate many fruits. His hunger slowly subsided and the power of inheritance slowly returned. He didn’t know how long it would take for him to fully recover. This time he had indeed pushed his limits but he knew that in the future, he would be able to yield the totemic power and power of inheritance in his body at the same time. Compared to the past, he would be strong.er
He would have to wait for a full recovery to know if it was true. If it happened, that would be a good thing. Shao Xuan planned to train with the ornaments again. If he could wield its power, it would be of great help to the Flaming Horn tribe.
There were all kinds of creepers growing on the walls of the mountains, some bore fruit while some had blooming flowers. Some didn’t, probably because they weren’t in season.
Shao Xuan walked over and plucked a fruit from the vines. It was a rare opportunity to visit this place, of course he had to check out their local produce.
As he plucked the fruit, the vines shook. He paused, then let go of the fruit to pull the leaves and vine apart to reveal the mountain wall behind.
There were words. However, they were all different writings and in different sizes too.
Since they were not cloud patterns, Shao Xuan could read them.
He realised they were answers to problems these people had encountered. Shao Xuan skimmed through all of them to find the earliest writing.
The person who carved the words shouldn’t be a Xia. Apparently, this person had come here only to realise he was not allowed into Gongjia Mountain and almost got himself killed. The traps set by the Xia shaman were no jokes. Outsiders were not allowed in.
After thinking for a long time, that person carved questions he never understood on the wall. He had faced problems when casting and forging bronze ware. He thought it might be a problem when he was smelting the ore.
It had been a long time since this was carved. Perhaps casting and forging was not as common then as it was now. Very few people had mastered the art. This person had not been able to master it and could not find a Xia person to answer his questions. Somehow, he heard of Gongjia Mountain. Since this person was very determined and realised he lacked talent in this field, he decided to come here. He succeeded too.
However, after carving his questions, he left. There were no more carvings left by this person.
Finally, one day, a Xia person who arrived here saw the words on the mountain. He must have been in a good mood to carve his answer on the wall. The summary of what he meant was: first you must control the flames. Then, you have to take note of the smoke when you are melting the ore. There was a nonchalance to the writing, reading the words was like meeting the person.
While these words were carved, the writing looked so natural and was not choppy. Hidden in this handwriting was a deep internal power. The person who carved this must have been very strong.
After the first person’s answer, another Xia person must have arrived and seen the one question and one answer too. Out of amusement, he added to the other guy’s answer. He made a more specific explanation: there are different colours of smoke during melting. First, dark and thing smoke that would rise as the temperature increase. Then, the smoke would turn yellow. The ore wasn’t ready yet. The temperature had to rise more, until green-white smoke appeared. That meant the ore had completely melted. When the smoke was green, the metal was ready to be cast.
The second person’s words were neat, every character was solemn and serious. They weren’t as nonchalant as the previous guy’s writing.
Then, there was a third person who answered the question. He even gave the best ratios and timings for casting different wares. Bronzewares were not made purely of bronze, there were other materials sometimes too. Different tools also required different metal ratios to make suitable alloys.
Shao Xuan took out a piece of animal skin and wrote down everything.
There was a fourth answer. He confirmed what the previous guys said and then put down his opinion. During the melting process, he recommended adding a kind of beast’s blood. This would make the bronzeware stronger. Bronzeware made like this would be light, yet strong enough to crack rock.
He continued copying as if recording a miniature version of the wall on his scroll. He even copied their writing style too. Especially the fourth guy. However, Shao Xuan did not recognise the characters used for the beast’s name. They looked like punctuation marks to him. However, he copied them down all the same. He could always ask someone else later.
As he read, someone started to rebut the previous answers. Perhaps out of respect to their ancestors, they did not curse but there was one comment-- “How could impurities be inserted into precious wares?!”
This person seemed very emotional when this was carved. Every character was carved deep, like this person could not wait to tell them what he thought. He thought it was horrendous that anyone would suggest adding blood into metal.
Then, other people commented- also talking about blood. They talked about adding foreign matter into products or obscure methods in making weapons. Someone even mentioned they once used human blood. Some people agreed, some disagreed.
In the end, the last guy said: my ancestors and elders, you all make sense. Wait for me, I’ll test out all of them when I get back…
There was nothing after that. The last guy didn’t return. Not just this guy, even the rest. If not there would have been further discussions. Although these people were respectful, they weren’t like other tribes, thinking their ancestors were absolutely correct. Their craftsmanship was always improving and revamped because while they respected and were grateful towards their ancestors, they also believed in themselves.
Shao Xuan did not know if the last guy succeeded, nor he didn’t know, in the end, if he should add stuff into his metals or not. He recorded the thousand-year-long ‘debate’ on the wall carefully.
When Xia people were outside, they were very protective of their arts. They would never let outsiders know of their skills. However,r here, the barrier was not present. For them to discuss their arts like that, perhaps they wanted descendants to admire them too. At the end of their answers, they even put down their names.
It was a pity they all only commented one time. After this, none of them returned.
He kept his stationery when he was done, rolling up his scroll. Shao Xuan rolled his shoulders, ate a few more fruits then looked for a resting spot.
The sky was darkening, plus he had used up a lot of energy today. He needed a good night’s rest to quickly replenish the energy he lost.
The night was chilly but it did not bother him. He plucked a melon as his pillow and then fell asleep on the grass.
Within Gongjia Mountain, Gongjia Heng was admiring the things his ancestors left behind. He had been reading through the night. During the day, there was some sunlight streaming in from transparent crystals so he could read the words on the wall and the things previous prodigies and ancestors left behind. At night, he took out the glowing crystal Shao Xuan gave him and continued reading.
When he snapped back to reality, his eyes were red. However, he was energetic as ever and couldn’t wait to continue.
Other than things left behind by the earliest ancestors, every Xia person would leave behind their best work as an offering so future descendants could see their proudest work. The Xia people were an impressive group, all of the things here were priceless treasures. Something many Xia people dreamed to have.
Treasures! They were all treasures!
Right now, these treasures were right in front of him. How could Gongjia Heng stay calm?
However, he was a little angry. Also, there was Shao Xuan outside, the guy he was wary of. He had to go check on Shao Xuan or he would never rest well.
Gongjia Heng had wanted to head out to check after yesterday’s incident but he was deeply immersed in the work and the movements stopped after a while. That was why he didn’t leave.
There was a pond in the middle of the mountain made from an underground spring. It was named the Ding Pond because the pond looked like a Ding cauldron. The little stream outside came from this spring.
The water in Ding Pond was clear and never dried up. There were even fish as big as a palm swimming in it.
Gongjia Heng used some tools nearby to catch a few fish, then got up to leave.