Chapter 458: Copper Hammer
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Not make it too big... and three thousand spirit stones?"
Elder Chen nearly fainted on the spot.
If he were to take out all of his assets, he could fork out this sum. However, he would be as good as bankrupt if he were to do so.
To take out so much money for a bet, you must be insane!
"Three thousand spirit stones... Do you have that much money?" Seeing that his old friend was placed in an awkward position, Elder Lu stepped forward to intervene.
"Of course I don't have that much money!" the plump man declared proudly.
"You don't have that much?"
Everyone fell speechless.
You spoke as though you had several ten thousand of spirit stones in your possession... Despite having nothing at all, you still dare to initiate a gamble, not to mention, to speak so brazenly. Aren't you being way too arrogant!
Zhao Feiwu slapped her forehead in frustration.
She had witnessed this fearless fool acting up many times, but still, she couldn't have imagined that he would go straight up to a 4-star appraiser and propose a bet... And more importantly, he didn't even have the money to pay up!
The heck, you sure are an incredible person!
"It sure is true, birds of a feather do flock together..."
She couldn't help but shake her head.
The young master of that plump man, Sun Qiang, was a fellow who seemed to fear nothing but peacefulness. Just a while ago, the young master taught Hall Master Sai a lesson in public, and now, the servant was going even further. Honestly, where did these two eccentric fellows pop out from?
"Since you don't have any money, why should I gamble with you?" Elder Chen replied with a steeled face.
"It's true that I don't have any money, but Hall Master Sai does. It's just three thousand spirit stones, he'll at least lend us this meager sum!" Sun Qiang smiled.
Hall Master Sai, who was watching the commotion by the side, didn't expect to get brought into all of the sudden. He nearly spurted blood.
He did say that he would lend some money to Zhang Xuan but that was more of a pleasantry. Yet, this master and servant duo took his words seriously; putting aside how one tried to borrow three thousand spirit stones from him for an auction, the other one was now trying to get three thousand spirit stones from him for a gamble... Do you all know what politeness is? Can you all show some restraint?
Do you all need to be so darned?
Hall Master Sai was just about to explain when the plump man before him shook his hands casually and said, "Even if Hall Master Sai is ungrateful decides to disregard how our young master helped him, Zhao Feiwu gongzi would also surely loan the sum to us. It's just three thousand spirit stones, to gongzi, it doesn't mean anything much!"
"..." Zhao Feiwu.
I'm just an innocent passer-by, why did you have to involve me in the conflict...
Hall Master Sai's eyes also flipped over.
What do you mean by calling me ungrateful and disregard how your young master has helped me? Haven't I given him a Spirit Calming Grass already? In fact, I even suppressed all opposition and paid a hundred spirit stones for him so that he can enter the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets...
Is this not considered as repaying the favor?
The duo was just about to protest when Sun Qiang shook his hands and spoke up once more, "Look, neither of them are disagreeing with me. This shows that three thousand spirit stones mean nothing to them at all! Don't worry, if we were to lose, we'll surely be able to rake up the money to repay you. But as for you... You just declared so confidently that our young master will surely fail, it can't be that you're regretting what you said right now, can it? To think that you're a 4-star appraiser at that! To be unable to take out this little bit of money to prove yourself, how embarrassing..."
Not expecting to be looked down on by a servant, Elder Chen's face flushed red in anger.
"What you? If you truly don't dare to gamble with me, then let's just forget about it. However, you'd better keep your mouth in check next time. Our young master is incredibly talented, and your insignificant Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets means nothing to him at all!"
Harrumphing coldly, Sun Qiang tilted his head upward arrogantly. He had complete confidence in Zhang Xuan.
"Fine, I'll wager with you then!" Seeing how the other party was getting more and more arrogant, Elder Chen couldn't hold himself back anymore.
As a 4-star appraiser, it was indeed embarrassing for him to argue with a servant. However, this plump man had truly gone too far.
His tone was contemptuous and his attitude was arrogant. On top of that, his disdainful glance... How did a 4-star appraiser like him, who was respected no matter where he went, become no different from a shameless beggar?
He could tolerate being looked down on by a 5-star appraiser, a 4-star master teacher, or even the hall master. However, being looked down by a fellow whose cultivation was only... only... He simply couldn't take this lying down!
"Not bad, does anyone else dare to wager with me? I thought that all of you doubted our young master's capability? It's not too late now. Otherwise, you won't get a second chance..."
Sun Qiang chuckled gleefully upon seeing that he had managed to hook this big fish. He immediately scanned the room for any potential customers.
Hearing that the fellow still wanted to wager with the rest of them, the crowd fell speechless.
"Look, the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets is beginning..."
Just as Sun Qiang was trying to dupe a few other people to wager with him, a voice amidst the crowd suddenly sounded. Everyone immediately turned to look at the wall, only to see it growing brighter and brighter, as though some formation was gradually whirling to its peak.
What that lay beyond the door wasn't another room but a garden. It was filled with flowers, and a faint aroma lingered in the air. There was a stream within the garden flowing from the distance, and a 'tik tak' sound echoed in the air as it struck against the rocks, forming a melodious tune.
The stream was winding, and right before Zhang Xuan was an arc that was sufficiently wide for an individual to stand on.
As soon as Zhang Xuan walked over, it was as though a formation was activated instantly. A leaf slowly flowed over from the distance.
A bizarrely-shaped object was placed on top of the leaf. Its irregular shape made it difficult for one to tell what it was.
"Seems like this is the artifact that I'll have to appraise..."
Activating the Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan realized that he couldn't see through the properties of the artifact and his eyes immediately lit up.
As expected of a treasure that stumped even 4-star master teacher. Even the Eye of Insight was unable to discern what it was.
Of the name, Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets, goblets referred to wine cups and it was commonly used by literati. They would often sit by the stream and allow a goblet to slowly flow along with the currents, and whoever it reaches shall gulp down the wine and come up with a poem.
As most artifacts would simply sink due to their weight, the leaf of a Purple Mountain Tree was used to float them.
This leaf was extremely light, and it could easily keep one or two adult humans afloat on the surface of the water without any problem. This was also the reason why the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets was also known as Harmonious Stream of Flowing Leaves.
"What in the world is that?"
Since the leaf hadn't reached Zhang Xuan yet, he could only assess the artifact by its shape and outer appearance.
It was around the size of a watermelon, and it was indigo in color. It seemed to be forged by some kind of special alloy.
After staring at it for a moment, Zhang Xuan couldn't help but shake his head.
He had never read any book on appraising so he wasn't too sure how appraisers work.
Given how many master appraisers couldn't identify these artifacts, how could an amateur like him possibly see through them?
Turning his head away from it, Zhang Xuan took out a paper and brush. Then, when the leaf finally reached him, he stretched out his hands to touch it.
A book appeared in his mind.
The main reason why he dared to challenge the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets was due to the Library of Heaven's Path. Otherwise, given his lacking appraising skills, he would surely be unable to identify even a single one of the artifacts.
Flipping open the book, Zhang Xuan began jotting down the details.
"Copper Hammer, crafted three thousand years ago by 5-star Blacksmith Duanmu Yiguang. Its material is an alloy consisting of thirteen rare minerals, Hundredwar Metal, Cleardust Sand, Indigold Metal... and crafted over a period of forty-nine days..."
While Zhang Xuan was writing on the book, the crowd outside was staring at the wall nervously.
Sun Qiang ran around to persuade others to wager with him but no one bothered with him. At this moment, everyone's attention was fixated on the wall. They wanted to know whether this young man could successfully identify an artifact and clear the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets.
"Judging from the time, the first treasure should have reached him already. Do you think he'll succeed?" an appraiser amidst the crowd asked.
"Succeed? You must be joking! Even Hall Master Sai has challenged the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets multiple times but he was unable to identify a single one of the artifacts. This just shows how difficult the matter is. How could a young lad like him possibly succeed?"
"Putting everything aside, just look at that arrogant servant of his. Do you think that a real appraiser would have such an arrogant servant?"
"That's hard to say though. Since he's willing to propose this bet, it could only mean that he's confident..."
Everyone discussed with hushed voices.
Even the youngest of the appraisers in the room were in their thirties. They found it hard to accept that a lad who wasn't even twenty yet was challenging the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets.
"Don't worry. If the artifacts in the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets could be identified so easily, it wouldn't be taken as the 5-star appraiser examination!"
Seeing Elder Chen staring at the wall nervously as well, Elder Lu walked over and consoled him.
In truth, he didn't think much of Zhang Xuan either.
He had attempted the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets before, and putting aside how difficult it was to identify those peculiar artifacts, more importantly, the time which one had to examine them was way too limited. In just ten breaths, it would have already flowed away from one. How could one successfully appraise an artifact which one had never seen before in just ten breaths?
"Worry? What do I have to worry? He's just an ignorant brat. Even though he isn't an appraiser at all, he still dares to spout such arrogant words..."
Elder Chen harrumphed, but halfway through his words, a bell chimed and his body suddenly jolted.
That sound came from the beyond the wall, and it seemed to resonate in the depths of one's soul.
"A chime? Did he fail?"
"Wait, that shouldn't be. Only after all of the artifacts have been appraised will a bell chime to indicate the challenger's failure. Judging from the time, he should have just barely appraised his first artifact!"
The crowd was taken aback. A confused look appeared on their faces.
The chiming of a bell usually meant that one had failed to identify a single artifact in the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets and that one had failed the trial.
Was it over already? But Zhang Xuan had only just entered a moment ago, and judging from the time, he should have only just appraised the first artifact!
"It's said that if one didn't offer the slightest appraisal on the first artifact, one will be declared to have failed the trial immediately!"
"There's such a saying?"
"Wait a moment. Now that I think about it, I recall reading it somewhere in the books before!"
Some amidst the crowd shouted and a bizarre expression immediately crept on everyone's faces.
Even if a challenger couldn't identify the first treasure, he could at least make a rough guess. If Zhang Xuan had really failed because he didn't write anything at all, that would be truly embarrassing!
Everyone immediately turned to look at Sun Qiang with eyes of sympathy.
Without a doubt, this fellow had lost tragically this time.
But at that moment, the sound of a teacup falling to the ground echoed in the room.
Following which, everyone saw Hall Master Sai's body trembling ceaselessly, and his face gradually paled.
"That isn't... a chime. It's... Spirit Euphoria! In other words, not only did he manage to identify the artifact, he even gained the acknowledgement of the artifact's spirit!"
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 458
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