Everyone in the forging room crowded around immediately. Based on their experience, Shao Xuan would not show them an ordinary rock.
“This is from that place, isn’t it?” An older man pointed at the cave with the core seed.
Everyone understood immediately.
“I heard there were changes but I didn’t know it changed this much!” They rubbed their palms. They were not afraid of change, just very curious about all kinds of peculiar phenomena.
“Hold it first.” Shao Xuan gave the slab of crystal to the older man.
“It’s heavy!” The man’s expression changed, his brows knitted with thought.
Impatient, everyone quickly passed the crystal around before he could react.
“It IS heavy!”
“Grand Elder, why is it so heavy?”
“Regular rocks would change too but never this much. This crystal is indeed very strange,” commented another.
Everyone in the room made similar comments, though the older man turned to Shao Xuan to ask, “Grand Elder, what do you think?”
“Crack it open, let’s look at its core.” Shao Xuan was very direct.
Everyone perked up and brought over the required tools. Ever since they made green bronze, even their tools had been modernized.
The outer layer of almost transparent crystal was neither thick nor too hard so it was quickly hacked off using their bronze tools.
“Eh? What’s this?” They studied the crystal core curiously.
The heart of the crystal still had colourful pieces of crystal stuck to it, which were the patches Shao Xuan previously saw and much harder than the transparent layer.
“These colourful pieces are pretty. Let’s knock those off and store them.” Many of them came from the other side of the ocean and were aware that these were valuable. After hacking these pieces off carefully from the crystal heart, they were kept in a box.
After another half hour, the crystal heart about half an arm long and one palm wide remained. Most of the outer layers had been hacked off and most of the heart was already exposed.
“It’s black?” Shao Xuan wondered what this black substance with a metallic shine was.
“Grand Elder, there’s still a lot of crystal stuck to it that we can’t knock off. Do you think we should just melt it?” Usually, ore would be melted to remove impurities so the metal remained.
“Alright, do that.” This chunk was meant to be experimented on anyway, they could do whatever they wanted.
Someone came looking for Shao Xuan so he left first. Gui He had sent a messenger who heard from another person that Shao Xuan was here. Since it was not urgent, he told Shao Xuan to only go up the mountain when he was done.
By the time Shao Xuan returned to the forging room, they had already placed the black crystal heart in the cauldron. He looked around and asked, “Is this the set of tools you usually use?”
This set was used to melt ore during weapon-making. Now they were melting an unknown substance!
Everyone suddenly realised it after his question. They had put the crystal heart into the cauldron out of habit but had not thought about the consequences of putting an unknown substance inside.
It should be fine… right?
The thought came right before Shao Xuan yelled, “MOVE AWAY!”
Shao Xuan had felt a chill before he yelled for them to move. There was no time to save the crystal heart in the cauldron.
An explosion ensued, the roof torn off by the shockwaves and all the tools in the room blasted into a mess. Stone chips and dust flew.
Alarmed, everyone guarding outside the room quickly ran over after the explosion. They did not know what had happened but everyone inside was in charge of making weapons and important to the tribe. Plus the Grand Elder was inside too!
Occasionally, little accidents would happen in the forging room as they continued to improve their forging techniques plus the blacksmiths would experiment every now and then. However, the roof had just fallen in! This was no small accident!
And they saw something flying out of the room…
Regardless, they rushed into the forging room to check on everyone inside.
“Grand Elder! Grand Elder, are you alright?” someone yelled from outside.
‘I’m fine!” Shao Xuan pushed a few bricks off himself and got up to pat the dust off himself. Then, he helped drag the rest of the blacksmiths from the ruins.
Thank goodness for his warning, and him pulling a few nearby away from the cauldron or it could have been disastrous.
The lucky ones were only scratched but the flying tools had hit a few people, resulting in broken bones and bruises. Shao Xuan scanned the room to find that none were fatal though. People with severe injuries were carried away on stretchers for Gui Ze to check for internal injuries.
People in other parts of the tribes also heard the commotion and whistled to ask for more information.
The people in charge of the area looked at Shao Xuan, who waved, implying not to spread the news.
Understanding his implication, the guards whistled back. The rest of the tribe relaxed after receiving the reply and went on with their work.
After the injured were carried away, he looked at the destroyed forging room and dug through the ruins. Unable to find the crystal core, he asked around.
“When you heard the explosion, did you see anything else? Something black, this big.” Shao Xuan gestured.
They all shook their heads because they were focused on the people inside.
A warrior said with a small voice, “I think I saw something flying out of the room.”
“Flying?” asked Shao Xuan.
“Yes, it flew out through the roof. I don’t know where it went though, it was fast and I thought I’d made a mistake.”
Shao Xuan knew it could be the black crystal heart but they might not be able to find it easily.
“Tell me if you see it anywhere.” Shao Xuan then left to brief other patrol teams and guards to remain alert of anything suspicious falling from the sky.
Shao Xuan looked over and saw the pterosaur crouched on a branch, looking worriedly at a point in the sky.
Following its gaze, Shao Xuan saw something flying in the sky. It was tiny and hard to be seen even with light.
Shao Xuan headed towards the object.
It was falling quickly from the sky too. Activating his special vision, it looked like a bright star.
Shao Xuan blew his wooden whistle.
The object was projected to fall not in the tribe but opposite the river, likely the trading point!
After blowing the whistle, he ran across the stone bridge, hoping the Flaming Horns in the trading point were prepared so it would not be taken by someone else first.
Shao Xuan’s whistle message was passed by the guards at the bridge. Due to the commotion at the trading point, they might not hear Shao Xuan’s whistle but will understand from these guards’ whistles.
After hearing the whistle, Duo Kang and Zheng Luo came out to look up at the sky. The whistle could contain limited information after all, Shao Xuan merely told them to watch the sky.
At this point, the object had fallen a lot so people on the ground also saw the fiery light falling from the sky.
“What’s that?” gasped someone in the trading point.
“Is that fire?”
“Can fire do that?”
“Must be something good, the Flaming Horns are rushing over!”
Duo Kang had personally led a few people towards where the object would land, this reaction was picked up by the crowd. While outsiders could not understand the whistles, some still looked up and soon, the news spread like wildfire so more and more people looked up.
Curious onlookers followed them but only to watch. This was after all Flaming Horn territory and they might not be able to beat the Flaming Horns to it.
Yi Si, Wu He and many others started to privately speculate. A falling ball of fire sparked imaginations.
Especially Wu He who forgot about his injuries and disappeared in a flash to steal the object. Something falling from the sky must be valuable!
The fireball approached the ground like a meteor, finally crashing in a spot near the trading point with a deafening boom. The bustling trading point fell silent immediately.
“What… what happened?”
“The thing in the sky fell?”
“That’s scary! Absolutely terrifying! I wonder what it is.”
“Why do strange things always happen with the Flaming Horns around?”
Many did not have the guts leave the trading point to check, instead huddling together in discussion. Some wanted to take the opportunity to steal the object but arrived to see that Flaming Horns had already surrounded it. Sensing their murderous auras and realising that a few thieves had already been killed, these people woke from their impulsive intentions upon smelling blood and stayed away.
Wu He and the rest in the air saw the crash site. The Flaming Horns had surrounded a crater with hot smoke billowing out of it.
“Such a pity! Why must it land in Flaming Horn territory?” If this were somewhere else, Wu He and the rest would have taken it but after experiencing the wrath of the Flaming Horns, they did not have the guts to act recklessly here.