The Human Emperor - Chapter 35: Pioneering Cold Forging
Days passed one after another. Everyday, there would be progress in the refinement of the Hyderabad ores.
Wang Chong did not understand forging, but he believed in the craftsmen Wei Hao brought him. Given their abilities, they should be able to fully satisfy his demands.
Five days later.
“It’s done! We’re about to forge metal ingots!”
The air in the cavern was burning. The perspiring head craftsman suddenly shouted, and his words caught the attention of everyone in the cavern.
The moment the furnace opened, four bulky craftsmen almost simultaneously stretched out their tongs into the hot furnace to take out four successfully refined Hyderabad ores, or rather, Wootz steel, and placed it on the metal platform.
“It’s truly incredible!”
“How heavy! To think that a single ore could form such a huge metal ingot, the metallic content of the ore must be incredible!”
“There is a hint of blue in the flames! I have processed ores from decades and came into contact with countless ores, but this is my first time encountering such an ore!”
“Look, just the ingot itself already had the shine of a metal, something which should have taken hundreds of refinement and hammering to achieve. It is truly a miracle!”
The crowd gathered around the four Wootz steel ingots around the metal platform. Their eyes were widened to the brim and words of amazement spouted from their mouths. When Wang Chong took out the four black metal ores and passed it to them, he didn’t say much about it.
However, given their experience in processing ores, no matter how slow-witted they could be, it was apparent that the ore Wang Chong had given them to process didn’t come from the Central Plains.
It was impossible for the Central Plains to have an ore that could cause the flames of the furnace to glow blue. It was even more impossible for it to have the shine of a metal just after the primary refinement.
They had never seen such a sight in the past several decades of their life.
“No wonder he had me lower the temperature to below 1500 degrees!”
The forty-year-old head craftsman came to a realization.
“Great! It’s indeed Wootz steel!”
At this moment, Wang Chong was extremely agitated.
Even though he had seen Wootz steel weapon in the past, he had never seen the rough cast of Wootz steel after its primary refinement. This was the first time Wootz steel was showing its shine on the Central Plains.
This was a significant improvement from his previous life.
“We can start forging weapons now!”
Wang Chong clenched his fist tightly. Now that the primary refinement was done, the next step was to use the ingot to forge the final weapon. This step was even more important than refining the ore. The craftsmen had to be additionally careful to prevent any errors from occurring.
“Shut the furnace! Use pine branches to fuel the flames. Align the bellows. Make sure that the temperature does not exceed 300 degrees!”
Wang Chong commanded.
His words attracted everyone’s attention. The twelve craftsmen looked over with bizarre expressions. Wang Chong’s command was inconceivable to them.
“Young Master Chong, isn’t the temperature a little too low?”
“Indeed! There isn’t a single person in the entire Great Tang that uses such low temperature to forge weapons. The results of doing so will be extremely poor and even a week wouldn’t be sufficient to create a single weapon.”
Several craftsmen mustered their courage to say. It was one thing to lower the temperature from over 2000 degrees to 1500 degrees earlier; after all, 1500 degree was still a high temperature.
But, what Wang Chong was demanding now was for them to forge weapons at 300 degrees. This was something completely unheard of, as though a request from an ignorant oaf.
Even if Wang Chong was of higher standing than them, they couldn’t help but refute him. This wasn’t the proper way to forge weapons.
“This is called cold forging, just do as I say!”
Wang Chong said impassively. His gaze remained resolute even when it met the eyes of the twelve experts craftsmen. Cold forging was a unique weapon forging method, it could greatly strengthen the resilience and toughness of a weapon.
However, in this era, cold forging had yet to appear. Most of the weapons were still created under high temperature. That was because high temperature softened metal, making it easier to mold them into shape. Furthermore, it reduced the time required to forge it.
However, not a lot of people knew that even though cold forging took a significantly longer time, the weapons forged through so were much stronger and tougher than the weapons forged under high temperature.
If Wang Chong wanted to forge a top class Wootz steel weapon, he had to cold forge it.
Of course, cold forging did not mean forging in a cold environment. Rather, it was comparative to the mainstream high temperatures required for forging. The ideal temperature to forge Wootz steel was around 300 or so.
If one failed to comprehend this, the weapon forged out of Wootz steel would still be far from its full potential. Even though the Abbasid Calipahte was closer to Sindhu and they were able to get their hands on the Hyderabad ores earlier than Wang Chong, they would need at least five to six years before they could forge Wootz steel weapon of comparable quality to Wang Chong’s.
Wang Chong’s words sounded ridiculous to the craftsmen, they truly had no idea what Wang Chong was talking about.
“Enough! Why do you need to think so much over the matter? Just do as you are told!”
Wei Hao wasn’t as patient as Wang Chong. He immediately started to reprimand them all. Why do you need to care so much? Just forge as you are told, it’s not like it’s your weapon, why argue so much over it?
Wang Chong chuckled. He knew that Wei Hao wasn’t really discontent with them. Rather, it was just his personality. However, after being reprimanded by Wei Hao, these craftsmen stopped all complaints and got to work once more.
“Three people will be in a team, and all teams will start work together. If seven days is insufficient, we will use ten days! This is the blueprint for the first weapon, let’s begin!”
Wang Chong opened a blueprint and shouted to the craftsmen.
Wang Chong didn’t know how to forge weapons, but all those who were here were one of the best craftsmen. Wei Hao had chosen them over the rest, so how could they be inferior? Furthermore, they posed countless questions to Wang Chong over the refinement and forging, almost nitpicking the details. If they weren’t the top craftsmen, they wouldn’t be behaving in such a way.
The more talented a craftsman was, the more arrogant they tended to be. They didn’t want inferior goods to be created under their hands. Just by the fact that they nitpicked the details itself showed that they were capable.
Ding ding dang dang!
Soon, the craftsmen got to work once more. Other than Wang Chong, no one knew of cold forging, an entirely new forging method in the era. For the first time, it was appearing in this world.
“Little sister! When the weapons are done, I need you to help me with something.”
Wang Chong suddenly turned around to say.
“What is it?”
Wang Family’s little sister yawned in boredom. When she heard ‘Sindhu’ and ‘Hyderbad’, she thought that it was something fun. Yet, it turned out to be ‘forging. Boring!
“Help me hammer these weapons once more! Three thousand times for every weapon!”
Wang Chong said.
Shua! Wei Hao was impressed and he shot a thumbs up. Wang Chong, you sure are incredible! To think that you would think of using Xiao Yao’s unrivaled strength to hammer metal.
With her strength, the quality of these weapons would be raised by an entire level.
However, it was wishful thinking on the duo’s part.
Wang Family’s little sister rolled her eyes. Without even thinking about it, she rejected him outright. To think that he would try to use her as free labor, did he think that she was a three-year-old kid? He must be dreaming.
“A hundred gold taels! I won’t work for free!”
Without any hesitation, Wang Chong shot her a thumbs up.
The Wang Family’s little sister eyes lit up. Abruptly, her eyes widened into perfect circles. It seemed like she was truly moved by her brother’s words. A hundred taels… of gold! She might be young, but she could still tell the difference between gold and silver.
She only had ten silver taels every month, and Wang Chong was promising to give her a hundred gold taels! If she had that much money, wouldn’t she be rich?
Just by thinking of it made her agitated!
Wang Family’s little sister pouted and she abruptly turned her head over, rejecting Wang Chong’s offer. Wang Chong and Wei Hao were astounded. Just when they thought that they had miscalculated her and that the Wang Family’s little sister was truly unwilling to work, they heard her voice echo by their ears:
“Two hundred taels! Not a single tael less! ——Otherwise… Otherwise, I will tell it to my mother! I will have her teach you a lesson.”
The primary astonishment turned into a bizarre expression as Wang Chong and Wei Hao heard her words, especially when she said the final sentence. Wei Hao couldn’t hold it in any longer and burst into laughter. Clutching his stomach, he nearly died of laughing.
“Hahaha… Truly hilarious! Wang Chong, to think that you would have such a day! Haha, Xiao Yao, there is no need to stand on ceremony with him. Your brother is truly a wealthy man now. If he refuses to pay up, have your mother teach him a lesson!”
Seeing the serious look on Wang Xiao Yao’s face, his lungs nearly collapsed from all the laughter.
Wang Chong shook his head awkwardly. This time, they had really made a joke of themselves before Wei Hao. As expected, this little sister of his was a true money-grubber, exactly the way she was in the past.
He had a lot of money on his hand now. Using Wei Hao’s words, he was a tycoon now. Two hundred gold taels wasn’t a big matter for him now.
The Wang Family’s little sister clenched her fist in agitation and her face flushed. She was only trying him out, but to think that she would succeed. But soon, Wang Family’s little sister seemed to have thought of something and she immediately calmed down. With a doubtful look, she glanced at Wang Chong:
“Two hundred gold taels right? Gold is not the same as silver. Third Brother, you cannot lie to me!”
Wang Chong burst into laughter. This lass! She was the one who demanded two hundred gold taels from him. Yet, when he promised her that, she did not believe him and started to doubt him. This fortune came too easily for her!
“Of course! When did your brother ever lied to you? Here are two hundred gold taels. If you don’t believe me, I can pass this to you first.”
Wang Chong took out the gold from his embrace and passed it over.
Even though two hundred gold taels was a significant sum, using it to employ the ‘herculean’ Origin Energy Tier 9 little sister of his was still acceptable by Wang Chong.
In his previous life, the reason why Wootz steel could be sold for tens of thousand, sometimes even a hundred thousand, was not only because Wootz steel was a precious commodity. More importantly, it was due to the aesthetics the weapon possessed.
Every single Wootz steel weapon was crafted painstakingly to perfection. Even though Hyderabad was where the ore came from, Abbasid Caliphate and Damascus were the true hubs of Wootz steel.
The Hyderabad ore had just emerged and everything was in its primary phase. Wang Chong still didn’t have any competitors. What Wang Chong wanted to do wasn’t to sell ‘Hyderabad ores’ but to build his own brand!
Those who use several tens of thousand and even hundreds of thousands to buy Wootz steel weapons weren’t fools either. If Wootz steel didn’t possess quality that was unmatched by the other weapons of its tier and required great technique and technology to forge, no one would be willing to spend the money on it.
Cold forging was an important process of the forging and required the blacksmith to use all of his strength into every single hammer for thousands of times. The greater the strength exerted into it, the stronger the weapon would be.
On this aspect, given his little sister’s unrivaled strength which was equivalent to that of an Origin Energy Tier 9 expert, Wang Chong was certain that the weapons forged out of Wootz steel would definitely possess incredible quality and outstanding aesthetics.
“Deal! Don’t you dare renege on your promise!”
Seeing the two hundred taels of gold, Wang Family’s little sister’s eyes nearly popped out. Taking it from Wang Chong’s hands, she stared at him nervously, as though afraid that he would go back on his words.
“But brother, where did you get so much money from?”
Wang Family’s little sister eventually found what was amiss of the situation. That fatty, Youngster Wei, only said that her brother had earned a lot of money, but he didn’t say where did the money come from.
“Another ten taels, don’t tell anything to mother!”
Wang Chong stuffed another golden ingot to her.
After gaining possession of so many gold taels, Wang Family’s little sister was overjoyed. At this point, she no longer cared where Wang Chong got the money from.
“Heck, she truly is a money-grubber!”
Seeing the sight, Wei Hao perspired profusely.
With the ‘expert’ little sister working, the progress of the Wootz steel’s forging increased significantly. Wang Chong wasn’t in a hurry either. He spent his days cultivating and overlooking the progress of the craftsmen, waiting patiently for the day of the completion of the cold-forged Wootz steel weapons.
Yesterday, I had a friend edit Chapter 36 for me and the first thing she pointed out was that I did the hanyupinyin for Yao Kuang Yi wrongly. It should be Yao Guang Yi T_T