Chapter 17 - First Sword
Lin Mu was able to gather his wits eventually in the end, and wisely chose to ignore the phenomenon that had occurred; not questioning the old man or the woman. He understood that there were some secrets that need not be exposed.
If it was the Lin Mu of the past, he would have definitely questioned the old man; but now that he had experienced the wonders of the mysterious ring, he did not want to take any chance that may create needless conflict.
After the phenomenon disappeared the old man scrutinized Lin Mu, but did not find anything suspicious with him except for having an unfocused gaze. Determining that Lin Mu did not seem to have noticed the phenomena, Jing Wei dropped his guard.
"Come lift this sword, see how you feel." The old man said with an expectant gaze.
The woman standing behind Jing Wei was looking on with bated breath, ready to act in case anything unusual happened. But it was all for naught as Lin Mu casually lifted the short sword. Seeing that nothing happened, the woman let out a sigh of relief.
Holding the sword in his hand, Lin Mu felt as if it was the perfect sword for him. All the other swords he tried before were always lacking in some aspect, yet this sword felt perfect. Even a complete novice like Lin Mu could tell the sword was unusual; that an expert craftsman had created it.
The old man was closely observing Lin Mus every action, and with his years of experience, he could tell that Lin Mu liked the sword.
"Now try swinging the sword and tell me how it feels." Said Jing Wei.
Lin Mu nodded to Jing Wei, as both the old man and the woman stepped back to give him some space. Lin Mu had never used a sword before, so the way he swung the sword was clumsy and full of flaws, yet it still incited a glimmer of approval in the eyes of Jing Wei.
Having tried the short sword a few times, Lin Mu liked it even more and had decided on buying it.
"I would like to buy this sword," Lin Mu affirmed.
"It will be fiftee..." Before the woman could complete her sentence, the old man interrupted her and spoke.
"The total cost is 30 silver coins." The old man had a teasing smile when he spoke.
Lin Mu was stunned upon hearing the voice and then protested,
"B-But I specified my budget was 15 silver coins."
"The price includes the cost for other items, and also for appraising and choosing a suitable sword for you."
"And you have more than 30 silver coins with you, dont you" Jing Wei asked with a mocking tone, yet his face was expressionless.
Listening to the old mans tone, Lin Mu was about to object but then swallowed his words upon seeing the mans face. He understood that he had seen something he should not have - the old mans aura, and this was the price he had to pay. Considering the quality of the sword, it was not that overbearing either; thus Lin Mu decided to grit his teeth and just pay for it.
Same as before, Lin Mu pretended to pull out the silver coins from his robe and passed them to the woman. The woman then gave Lin Mu 30 copper coins back as change, which made him feel a little helpless. After putting the coins away, the woman also gave Lin Mu a sheath for the sword. The sheath was the same size as the sword, but did not match its style.
"Why does the sheath not match it" Lin Mu questioned the woman, to which the old man replied,
"That short sword does not have its own sheath, it was always meant to be kept unsheathed."
Seeing that Lin Mu was about to talk again, the old man continued,
"Besides, that sheath will help you to hide the swords appearance. You dont want any strong hunters or thieves to snatch it from you, right"
"Yes, that makes sense. Thank you for thinking ahead for me." Lin Mu replied after understanding Jing Weis intentions.
"Thank you too, miss..." Lin Mu said in a questioning manner.
"My name is Duan Ke." Said the woman curtly.
"Ah yes, thank you Miss Duan Ke." Replied Lin Mu.
Lin Mu sheathed the sword and tied it to his waist. With the light weight and short length of the sword, it was easy for Lin Mu to carry it on his waist. Having completed the transaction, Lin Mu took the sack and pouches before walking out of the shop and headed towards an area where he could buy some sets of clothes and more food ingredients - since he had more money now.
After Lin Mu had left the dusty old shop, the old man was still standing there, lost in his thoughts, when the woman named Duan Ke spoke:
"Grandfather, why did you give your old sword to that boy"
"And you even did a proper appraisal for him, using the testing swords."
Duan Ke seemed to have a little confusion and worry in her eyes as she asked Jing Wei. The old man stayed silent for a while, during which Duan Ke waited patiently. After an incense sticks worth of time, Jing Wei let out a sigh before answering.
"You said that the boy was not carrying any coins on him when he came in, yet he was able to produce them when you questioned him. I would have taken it as you being mistaken, but I could not sense it either."
Duan Ke was shocked upon hearing this. Even though her grandfathers cultivation base was sealed, his senses were not something to be taken lightly. Seeing Duan Kes shock, Jing Wei continued,
"The boy was also able to withstand a wisp of my aura without fainting."
"At first, I only intended to probe him a bit and was going to withdraw the moment I felt the boy was unable to bear it; yet against all odds he withstood it, and somehow his strength even increased."
The baffled Duan Ke then asked,
"But grandfather, that still wont be enough for you to sell your old sword, which you used during your youth, for so cheap."
The old man smiled a little upon hearing his granddaughters words before speaking again.
"It has been more than a decade since I sealed my cultivation base, yet my sword intent still leaked out. Commoners should not be able to sense it, only cultivators can."
The woman was a little taken aback, but her confusion was not resolved,
"Yes grandfather, the boy was unaffected by it. He did not show any response when your sword intent was leaked."
"No, the boy not only sensed my sword intent, but he was also able to see its appearance as well. He wisely chose to pretend that nothing happened, but I know he saw it. His heart betrayed his façade."
"As for how that boy was able to pull the coins out of nothing, I dont know either. He does not have a spatial storage ring, or any other spatial storage treasure on him either."
Duan Ke was completely lost for words this time and did not know what to think of it. Seeing that his beloved granddaughter was lost in her thoughts, Jing Wei turned around to go back to rest but stopped in the doorway and spoke,
"Keep an eye on that boy Keer. The one thing Im sure of is that the boy has secrets, and we dont know if there is someone secretly backing him either."
The old man left after saying these words to Duan Ke, who snapped out of her thoughts after hearing them.
Lin Mu had just walked into a clothes shop, completely unaware of the shocking conversation between a pair of grandfather and granddaughter. Lin Mu also did not know that neither Jing Wei nor Duan Ke were able to see the mysterious ring on his hand.
Lin Mu was thinking of all the events that happened in the shop and the phenomena that he experienced there. First, the gaze of the old man which made him suffocate, and then the appearance of the sword-wielding giant were all completely unimaginable to him.
I seem to be experiencing one shocking thing after another ever since I found the mysterious ring, and they only seem to be getting worse. Thought Lin Mu inwardly.
The old man was not simple. He was surely a cultivator and way stronger than the ones Ive seen before.
By the time Lin Mu finished his thoughts, he found himself on the street where a lot of clothes shops were located. He randomly chose and entered one of them, seeing a few people in the shop; but not overly crowded. A clerk soon spotted him and asked what he was looking for. Lin Mu only asked for four sets of clothes that were durable but did not mention anything specific.