The old man replied, “It’s precisely because things aren’t easy that you should share the burden with the imperial son-in-law. The empire is presently going through troubled times, and it will be more difficult for Young Master Qianye to return to his ancestry than before. After all, we have left the imperial capital for many years, and there’s no one reliable left at the noble ancestry archives. Anyone looking to stir up havoc can easily make his move during the bloodline talent assessment and once again destroy Young Master Qianye’s foundation. The imperial son-in-law probably hasn’t brought up the matter of Qianye’s return to ancestry because of this.”
Princess Gaoyi nodded. “Indeed. The maternal family inspection won’t be easy to pass, either. There are so many eyes fixated on husband’s clan lord position.”
“Blood relations are strict, and a foster son cannot inherit noble titles. However, there’s still a lot of room for maneuver, and it's still a much more respectable position than a normal aristocratic descendant. It won’t be a problem to seek a noble title as long as Young Master Qianye accumulates enough military contributions. In this way, there will be a path for him to advance and make up for his lacking identity.”
Princess Gaoyi pondered for a moment before saying, “This matter involves too many things. I must listen to husband’s opinion. Moreover…” She didn’t continue speaking.
The old man continued after stealing a glance at the princess’s expression, “As this old servant sees it, in addition to the two young masters Junhong and Jundu’s brotherly affection for Qianye, the young miss also seems to be quite fond of him. It’s understandable that she recalls him warmly since, after all, his origin crystal saved her life.”
“Back then, husband only went out just once…” Princess Gaoyi sighed and said in a lonely tone of voice, “Let’s do it this way, we’ll have Husband prepare everything else for him. I still have some Dark Crystal Threads in my personal storage. Deliver a bundle of it to the Crafts Manor and have them add it to that East Peak. It should raise the weapon by half a grade. Moreover, you should pay some attention these days and see what he might need.”
“This old servant understands. I’ll go and handle it.” The old man hesitated for a while before speaking cautiously, “With the Young Miss in her current physical condition, it seems most of the future burdens will fall on Young Master Jundu’s shoulder despite the other Young Masters’ outstanding talents. It’ll be a good thing if he has another brother to support him, moreover, it’s someone he, himself, selected.”
Princess Gaoyi only waved her hand without saying anything.
The old man glanced back as he was leaving through the palace doors and saw the brightly lit origin lamps in the hall outlining a blurry, unmoving figure.
After Qianye had rested for two days in the Mountain Splitter Courtyard, the Crafts Manor dispatched a report saying that East Peak has completed the first round of tempering and was about to undergo an important forging process. Qianye decided to observe the forging process as per Zhao Weihuang’s instructions, and with Zhao Yuying’s penchant for seeking liveliness, she was naturally rearing to tag along.
Qianye had originally thought that this so-called Crafts Manor was a place similar to a workshop—he thought they would specialize in the traditional hand-made production of exquisite superior armaments. He had never expected that after he had gotten on, the car would drive out of the Zhao clan gates and deep into the mountains along the winding road.
It was clear that this mountain road was specially constructed to accommodate four heavy trucks at the same time. Qianye saw no small number of trucks shuttling back and forth along the way. Just from the carrying capacity of these trucks, one could see the amount of resources circulating through the Crafts Manor each day.
Qianye was somewhat surprised to see many heavy trucks loaded with black stones. It was quite unimaginable that the Zhao Clan Crafts Manor would actually need to use Black Stones as an energy source. Many similar facilities in the major clans have already abandoned the use of Black Stones and had switched to Black Crystals instead. Some of the more extravagant places would even use void-crystals.
For instance, the Song clan’s sky-grade workshop which worked specifically for the lineal descendants and higher-ups of the clan was powered entirely by a kinetic furnace constructed around a void-crystal core. Now, that was high-end. Black stone was considered a commoner’s power source among the major clans of the empire.
Thus, they drove for several dozen kilometers along the mountain road before turning around a mountain pass. Appearing before them at this point was a giant natural rock, on one side of which was carved the words: “Crafts Manor”.
As they went on, the view before Qianye suddenly opened up. Only then did he understand that this so-called Crafts Manor actually took up an entire valley and could even be considered a city.
The guards at the entrance of the valley checked the proof of passage seriously before an attendant boarded the vehicle to guide the way. This Crafts Manor was replete with main roads, small alleys, plazas, and street blocks—it could already be considered a city. Who knew how long it would take to find the right place if not for the guide.
There was a kinetic tower at each corner of the Crafts Manor, each almost a hundred meters tall. Their silvery grey metal walls glittered under the sunlight as white steam from poured out continuously into the sky. Qianye couldn’t help but compare this scene to the cities he had seen. There was no need to discuss Blackflow with its single kinetic tower; the difference between the two was like that of a grown man and a child. Only a county capital like Darkblood was barely comparable.
After seeing the four kinetic towers, Qianye realized why he had seen so many black stone trucks along the way.
The jeep advanced along the road, driving past the tall, lofty buildings and the occasional loaded trucks.
The rumble of machinery in the valley was deafening. The steam and smoke from the combustion of black stone mixed together to form a giant pillar of smoke extending into the sky. The Crafts Manor was like an incomparably large steel beast—it continuously devoured metal and black stones, then spat out all types of armaments.
The last time Qianye was shaken by a similar scene was when he first arrived on the Qin Continent many years ago. Back then, he was just a young boy who knew not where his future lay.
They went all the way into the depths of the Crafts Manor and arrived before a giant structure thousands of meters in radius.
The attendant introduced things along the way, “Young Noble Qianye, this place is the core area of the Crafts Manor. Your East Peak’s material is special and requires the use of the Kuafu Press here in order to incorporate the Heavenly Dew Silver into it. Miss Yuying’s Mountain Splitter and Young Master Jundu’s Blue Firmament were also forged here.” 
Qianye and Zhao Yuying followed the attendant through two sets of doors and into an incomparably large hall. At the center stood a giant press—it was nearly a hundred meters in height with its four supporting pillars stretching all the way to the roof and each of its components as tall as a person. Before this steel-castle-like machine, the working craftsmen resembled little ants as they climbed up and down upon it.
Countless coiling pipelines stretched out from the press and went to every direction.
A series of rumbles rang out at this moment. Qianye watched as the incomparably large machine rose up slowly to reveal the press-bed below. Several craftsmen jumped rapidly onto the press-bed and proceeded to paint East Peak carefully with liquid silver.
This silvery fluid was Heavenly Dew Silver, and just a small can of it was inconceivably heavy. A palm-sized container actually required two strong men to move around. Qianye scanned them with his True Sight and found that the two strong men were rank-eight fighters, and the three craftsmen painting his sword were unexpectedly champions.
Moments later, the heavy silver had been painted. The craftsmen applied another thick layer of unknown material atop the heavy silver, placed East Peak in its mold, and arranged it atop the press-bed.
The craftsmen and workers all jumped down and stood outside of the red indicator line as an ear-piercing bell echoed through the hall. After the bell rang three times, the press spewed out a large cloud of steam as the ram descended and smashed heavily onto the press bed. The movement seemed slow but its actual speed was extremely fast.
The massive machine trembled and along with it the earth and the great hall—it could be considered a huge quake.
After the ram rose up, the craftsmen jumped onto the press-bed to pry East Peak out of the mold. They then applied the paint and coating material before switching out a brand new mold; this process was repeated several times. Silver stripes gradually appeared on the blade’s body as layer upon layer of heavy silver seeped into East Peak.
During the gap, the attendants took the time to briefly explain to Qianye the principles and functions of the press. The force produced during the ram’s descent was in the tens of thousands of tons. Even with Qianye’s current strength, he would be flattened a meat patty in the blink of an eye if he were to stand on the press bed.
Nothing could stop such pressure even if it were to descend slowly.
Since succeeding in the cultivation of the Profound Combatant Formula, his attacks were growing stronger by the day, while his dexterity was in gradual decline. Qianye seemed to have gained a vague comprehension as he watched this indefensible ten-thousand-ton press—the more he gazed, the more engrossed he became.
East Peak showed subtle changes under the pressure as the Heavenly Dew Silver blended continuously into the sword. After a while, the can of Heavenly Dew Silver had been used up, and the craftsmen opened up yet another one. Qianye noticed a special insignia on the seal of the silver can, one he recalled seeing at Princess Gaoyi’s Lucid Calm Palace.
He turned toward the preparation area and found three cans of heavy silver, all of them labeled with the princess’s insignia. This Heavenly Dew Silver was so heavy and also able to mend East Peak. Its material nature was wondrous and apparently priceless. Judging from the present situation, Princess Gaoyi’s contribution far surpassed that of Zhao Weihuang. This value of this gift was indeed quite high.
When Princess Gaoyi mentioned the Heavenly Dew Silver, Qianye hadn’t thought that it would be such an amount. What was the reason for this generous gift? Qianye had already guessed it vaguely.
Zhao Yuying had also noticed the insignias. She immediately patted Qianye’s shoulder and said, “It seems those things are from Princess Gaoyi. Will you use them?”
Qianye took a deep breath and said calmly, “Of course I will. Why wouldn’t I?”
Zhao Yuying shrugged but didn’t say anything. She only continued to accompany Qianye in watching the forge work.
Another can of heavy silver was emptied in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, several batches of craftsmen had already been swapped out as even champions would be drained of origin power after operating the press for three or four times.
The workers and strongmen were just about to open up a new can of heavy silver when a feminine voice suddenly came through from the side.
Qianye glanced back and saw the elder attendant who had led the way that day walking over quickly with several eunuchs in tow.
One of the eunuchs presented a circular tube wrapped in golden silk as the elder attendant reached out. The old man greeted Qianye and said with a smile, “Young Master Qianye, the princess ordered this old servant to deliver a bundle of Dark Crystal Thread. Adding this material into the weapon can increase its might.”
“Dark Crystal Thread?!” Zhao Yuying was greatly astonished.
“It is indeed Dark Crystal Thread.” He opened the tube and carefully pulled out several hair-like crystal threads, flickering with a faint golden glow. These crystal threads were so thin that it looked like they would break in the breeze. Meanwhile, the elder attendant’s senile appearance was an inevitable cause for worry—the threads seemed as though they would break into several segments should his hand tremble even slightly.
The Dark Crystal Thread was a natural medium for the transport of origin power. Any weapon would be able to better accommodate origin power and gain greater power after assimilating them. This bundle of Dark Crystal Thread was even more valuable than the Heavenly Dew Silver.
Zhao Yuying shot a glance at Qianye and said meaningfully, “The sword’s price is no longer cheap.”
Qianye laughed. “It has a price, and so do I.”
Zhao Yuying shrugged. “As long as you understand.”
Hydraulic Press Jargon: https://beckwoodpress.com/articles/hydraulic-press-terminology/Previous Chapter Next Chapter