About ten people were gathered in the yard outside the forging room.
Gongjia Ren walked out, a knife with a cold glint in his hand.
This cold glint was not just light reflected off regular metal. The ‘coldness’ could be truly felt in one’s heart, that the blade was truly dangerous.
Meeting the blade was like standing before an icy mountain peak.
Gongjia Ren was shirtless, drenched in sweat. Due to the high temperatures within the forging room, it was normal to be drenched in sweat. However, the few other Gongjia people who left together with Gongjia Ren felt both hot with excitement and chilled by the blade. The clash of ice and fire. Their faces were red from emotion, contradictory to the cold sweat dripping down their faces.
They still recalled the chill they felt while hammering the blade. They inhaled scorching air through their nostrils but a chill dug deep into their bones. After leaving the room, every muscle still trembled from both exhaustion and the chills.
When they thought about how the material morphed with every hammer until the final look, an infinite sense of gratitude rose within them, their fatigue forgotten.
This was the best metal ware they had made to this day! Their instincts told them even before the blade was finished.
It was different from the rest.
New green bronze was made from bronze and green-faced fanged beast blood while this knife was made from crystal core and the star butterfly larvae blood.
Before this, Gongjia Ren and the rest did many experiments. In the beginning they followed the green-bronze making procedures to test the material ratios. Due to limited worm blood, they were as frugal as possible during each test. Right now, they finally found the best combination ratio.
The knife made from crystal core and star butterfly larvae blood was much better than bronze wares!
Why were they so emotional?
The Gongjia ancestor who discovered star butterfly larvae blood only made his wares using bronze while they had the opportunity to merge both worm blood and crystal core!
A breeze blew past and a murderous buzzing came from the blade, so eerie the hairs on their necks stood on end. They retracted their necks as if a snowy winter breeze had blown past.
Taking a deep breath, Gongjia Ren walked to the Flaming Horns with the knife in both hands, then passed it to Shao Xuan.
“Let’s test the blade.” Gongjia Ren’s eyes shone with anticipation.
Shao Xuan looked at the blade in his hand. They made it according to the previous knife he made, though one finger’s width wider so it was almost as wide as a grown warrior’s palm.
The knife was silver-white and bore no patterns, quite heavy- much heavier than the previous knife made of crystal core. It was not suited for other tribes but this weight was good for the Flaming Horns to hunt with.
When he turned the blade, it reflected the sunlight coldly, causing the surrounding crowd to squint.
Usually, they started with mid-grade rocks but this time, Gongjia Ren tossed a top-grade rock for the test.
With a blinding flash of light and a crisp thud, the rock was split into two, the cross section clean and smooth. The slash was unhindered and the blade did not dent.
The crowd drew in a sharp breath, then cheered.
“That’s a good knife!”
“Shao Xuan, can you do what you did in the desert with this knife?” asked Gui He.
When Shao Xuan was in the desert, he set his knife ablaze with blood. It was very useful against reanimated corpses.
However, Shao Xuan shook his head. “No.”
There was a feeling of explosive violence within new green bronze while crystal core gave a sense of sharpness. Although this blade also had violence hidden within, it was on the other end of the spectrum- like the violence of a winter storm. This blade contained star butterfly larvae blood so human blood had no effect on it.
Shao Xuan stroked the blade with a finger. The chill did not come from a physical chill. Although it was slightly colder than its surroundings, there was not much of an actual temperature difference. The blade was ‘cold’ only because it could evoke psychological chills.
“I heard you all named the knife?” asked Shao Xuan.
Gongjia Ren looked even more excited when he heard the question.
“The knife is called… Cold Star!”
When the Gongjia people forged a particularly satisfactory blade, they would name it. This was their way of showing their pride and attachment to it.
Every blacksmith hoped the names of their own products would become famous. Humans lived short lives but blades lived beyond human lifespans. When the crafter died, the name of the metal wares would live on in memory. People would, in return, remember the person who created it and this was how they left behind a legacy.
Ever since they arrived at the Flaming Horn tribe, they made many exquisite weapons. After a while, they had more experience with crystal core and saw more metal wares so their skills improved greatly. Admittedly, the Gongjia people were indeed talented in this aspect and could always innovate and improve faster than the rest.
This ‘Cold Star’ was their best work to date, surely their future works would only be better. No one knew if anything else better was possible for the moment but they were extremely satisfied with Cold Star and wished for its name to live on.
Since Gongjia Ren and his group arrived, Gui He, Ao and the rest of the tribe leaders all replaced their weapons and now used crystal core weapons that were one grade higher than new green bronze. Now the tribe warriors no longer desired bronze- everyone wanted crystal core.
However, despite making so many, none of them were good enough for the Gongjia people to name them. Until this blade.
From stone and bones to metal, new green bronze and crystal core, and to this new Cold Star, this generation of Flaming Horns had experienced five material revolutions.
Gongjia Ren still remembered the way white sparks flew in all directions when they hammered it. It felt like shooting stars flying across the cold night sky.
Due to limited time, they had only made one successful knife. They had made many more through various experiments that were obviously better than regular metal weapons but to the perfectionistic Gongjia people, those were negligible failed products. Those failed knives were all melted and never given away, in their words, ‘they are embarrassing and will only ruin our reputations’.
Now that Cold Star was completed, the Gongjia people’s minds started to wander. They knew that Shao Xuan wanted to go to King City. there were many Gongjia blacksmiths there- if they pit their Cold Star against the other blacksmiths’ work, what would happen?
These people were forced out of the Gongjia family, perhaps they had become irrelevant characters to the other clansmen. They were abandoned. How would those people react when they see Cold Star?
Gongjia Ren could not wait. If they could, they wanted to visit King City and see their faces for themselves. Unfortunately, they could not go. They could not go to King City because they might not make it back alive. For the moment, they were satisfied with their lives here and were already mentally prepared to live their entire lives here.
Looking at the cloud patterns on Cold Star’s handle, Gongija Ren privately sighed. It’s fine if they cannot go. When the Flaming Horns return from King City, the Flaming Horns would tell them about it. They were confident in Cold Star, though they were still anxious thinking about the talent-filled Gongjia clan. They were not exactly the best in the family either.
A piercing bird call came from the skies.
It was Gui He’s snow falcon.
The moment Gui He’s instructions were issued, the tribes with missing tribesmen took action immediately. The falcon’s call informed the Flaming Horns of their arrival.
As King City was far and there was limited space on the boats, they had to limit the number of people. Not everyone could come.
Gui He had already specified for the tribes to pick their own people to leave with the Flaming Horn tribe. The tribes with better combat skills, stronger physiques and better adaptability sent more people while the rest not suited for long journeys provided supplies in place of warriors. Everyone contributed.
“How’s progress with the Longboat tribe?” asked Shao Xuan.
Shao Xuan had contacted the Longboat tribe because this tribe had already explored vast areas of the ocean by now and opened up various marine routes. Talking to the Longboat people was the best way to go.
When they received news, the Longboat tribe also decided to go with the Flaming Horns, this time building three new ships for the voyage.
“We just received the letter this morning. The Longboat tribe requests we wait at the usual spot,” said Gui He.
Since this was not their first partnership, they knew what it meant.