The men beside Yan Chengcai were stunned too. Although he was the quiet one among them, he was the strongest. After all, the best fighter in the military camp was always the most respected one.
Therefore, after seeing Yan Chengcai’s attitude, they thought somewhat highly of Ou Yangming too even though they did not know who he was.
Ou Yangming nodded slightly. “Did he steal your pouch?”
Yan Chengcai nodded. “Yes, he’s very fast, and he almost got it.”
For some reason, Ou Yangming felt compassion for the young man who was groaning on the floor. He thought about himself because he could not have made it to where he was if he had not met Old Craftsman by chance, who even took him in after. Perhaps the young man in front of him would have been his ending.
“Brother Yan, what do you plan to do with him?”
Yan Chengcai hesitated for a while. “We’ll cripple the hand that he used to steal.”
After all, the town was actually built for the military camp. Though the military had strict rules, if someone attempted to bully a soldier, the military superiors would choose to protect the soldier even if one were to kill the bully by accident, let alone if one broke the bully’s limb.
A fearful look was seen on the young man’s face as he implored with his eyes.
Ou Yangming sighed. “Brother Yan, let him go for my sake.”
“Okay.” Yan Chengcai was stunned. He could not understand why Ou Yangming sympathized with the man, but he could not decline him too.
“Big Bull, let him go, and let him leave.”
The strong man who was lifting the young man hesitated for a while before dropping him hard to the ground. “B*stard, you’re in luck!”
After giving Ou Yangming a kowtow, the young man endured the pain as he stood up, then escaped.
Yan Chengcai asked softly, “Master Ou, you’re in town because…”
Ou Yangming did not hide it from him. “I’m here for the bazaar to see if I can bring some ores back.”
“Master Ou, I’m very familiar with this place. How about I guide you around?” Yan Chengcai’s eyes glowed.
Ou Yangming could not help but chuckle. He was familiar with the town too, but since Yan Chengcai just did him a favor, it was not like him to leave like that.
Yan Chengcai was elated when he received Ou Yangming’s permission, and he began bringing him around the town happily. On the other hand, the other men who followed behind them were confused as they did not know why their proud boss fawned over the young man.
They arrived at a bustling area after taking a few turns.
The bazaar was held around the same time every month, where people from different places came to trade, thus the place was jam-packed with people.
Nevertheless, Yan Chengcai did not bring Ou Yangming into the crowd. They entered a shop instead.
“Master Ou, the mobile stalls outside are disorderly. God knows what ores they’re selling! On the contrary, this shop has been here for a hundred years, and customers are treated with honesty, so you get what you pay for,” Yan Chengcai mentioned, “We come here when we have enough money to buy equipment.”
Ou Yangming nodded. In actual fact, he was well-informed about the shop, but he never planned to shop here.
After all, he could very well make a request if he wanted ores, and it would be a smooth process for him due to his current status in the Armament Camp. Even if Zhang Yinfan would aim at him, Kang Weibo would bear the responsibility.
A Military Fire Blacksmith who could provide three pieces of Attribute Equipment a month and was comparable with Old Craftsman was worth protecting at all costs.
Ou Yangming initially wanted to take a look at the bazaar to see if he could pick up something great, but since he was already at the shop, he might as well looked around.
It was evident that Yan Chengcai was a regular customer because he was instantly attended to by a friendly person.
“Ah, Military Master, you’re here again. Please, come in and have a rest!” A person who seemed to be the shopkeeper approached him with a smile.
Yan Chengcai nodded then said, “Master Ou, this is Shopkeeper Lin. He’s bold, forthright, and someone worth getting acquainted with.”
‘He’s so young, how is he a master?’ Shopkeeper Lin raised his eyebrow, and was puzzled when he looked at Ou Yangming. Nevertheless, he dealt with all sorts of customers all year long, so he did not express it through his face.
“Military Master, this is…”
Yan Chengcai stuck his chest out when he answered, “This is Master Ou Yangming, the youngest Military Fire Blacksmith in our military camp.”
‘Isn’t he just a Military Fire Blacksmith? He probably isn’t very capable since he’s so young,’ Shopkeeper Lin wondered even after finding out Ou Yangming’s identity, but he looked delighted.
Right then, an indifferent voice was heard coming from the door. “Oh, so this is Old Craftsman’s helper. Hehe, he’s just a young fella who just sensed the Military Fire, does he deserve to be called a master?”
Everyone was startled, so they quickly turned to look. Yan Chengcai was furious.
It seemed like he had been slapped in the face because he had just introduced Ou Yangming.
Ou Yangming was also triggered. He could obviously tell the person’s ill intention through his words, but he could not figure out who the voice belonged to.
Afterward, a number of men entered the shop one after another. They were equally burly and had sharp eyes, and did not seem inferior to Yan Chengcai and his men at all.
Since Ou Yangming stayed in the military camp for a long time, he could tell by looking at their steps that they were soldiers too. In fact, they were elite soldiers who underwent strict training.
“Huang Jingtian, what nonsense are you talking about?” Yan Chengcai yelled when he realized who the leader was.
“Yang Chengcai, stop putting gold on that fella’s face. Hehe, he’s Old Craftsman’s helper. I wonder if he put a spell on the old man or if the old man pitied him, I can’t believe that he was given a chance to acquire the Military Fire. That being said, the fella benefited from it because not only did he not work hard after stimulating the fire, but he also submitted the armaments smithed by Old Craftsman and claimed he produced them instead,” The leader was a young man around Yan Chengcai’s age, and he spoke scornfully, “Ask him! Is it true, or not?”
The rest instantly had a strange look on their face, whereas the men behind Huang Jingtian were disdainful. While Shopkeeper Lin had the same facial expression, he secretly belittled Ou Yangming. As for the men behind Yan Chengcai, they looked embarrassed.
Ou Yangming’s age was actually very deceptive. Unless one witnessed his smithing process like Old Craftsman, Chen Yifan, and Sui Hezhi did, it was extremely difficult for one to believe that his control over the Military Fire was not inferior to Old Craftsman at all.
“You, you’re making a dirty accusation…” Yan Chengcai shouted with a reddened face.
Huang Jingtian curled his lips. “Alright, enough with the acting. Aren’t you only flattering Old Craftsman so that he’ll smith weapons for your general? Hehe, I’m telling you that the old man with an unearned reputation is not going to be the chief of Military Fire Blacksmiths anymore soon!”
Ou Yangming raised his eyebrows. He was deeply infuriated.
He heard rumors that he handed in the armaments smithed by Old Craftsman and faked that he made them, but he was not bothered at all, and did not plan to explain himself. In any case, Old Craftsman was not going to care about the rumor at all too because it would confuse the public.
Hence, Ou Yangming did not mind no matter what Huang Jingtian said about him, and was secretly glad. The further the rumor spread, the happier he was.
However, he could not stand it when Huang Jingtian mentioned that Old Craftsman had an undeserving reputation.
A strong, indescribable rage rose inside of him as he glared. “Old Man is the chief of Military Fire Blacksmiths in the military be it the past, the present, or the future…”
Huang Jingtian laughed and derided him. “Oh, looks like you’re not aware? Our general just invited a real master from the prefecture. Hehe, once he performs his skills, can Old Craftsman still secure the throne?”
The faces of Yan Chengcai and the others changed. Although they did not interact much with Old Craftsman, everyone in the military camp knew that he was smithing a weapon for General Chen Yifan, and a new master would undoubtedly cause a negative impact, which would be disadvantageous.
“Huang Jingtian, don’t you dare speak carelessly again!” Yan Chengcai took a step forward and shouted, “It seems like you didn’t have enough of your last lesson. Would you like to lie in bed for another ten to fifteen days?”
Huang Jingtian was embarrassed and enraged. “Yan Chengcai, don’t be so arrogant. If you’re so capable, let’s have another fight appointment!”
Yan Chengcai laughed out loud, and was not going to be outdone. “It’s just what I wanted!”
“The same place!”
They mentioned at the same time, “Be there or be square!”
The two of them spoke with strong killing intent, and the soldiers looked so fierce as though they were ready to fight any time.
Upon seeing the terrible situation, Shopkeeper Lin quickly said, “Everyone, military masters, please talk things out!”
Huang Jingtian was rather fearful when he looked at him. He suddenly reached his arms out to clash them together.
A loud voice echoed in the shop.
Huang Jingtian expressed seriously, “Yan Chengcai, I’m not going to take advantage of you. Let me tell you, the master invited by the general has already researched on a smithing skill to transform arm guards into Good Grade, and it’ll likely become the military’s standard in the future. Hehe, we’re lucky to have enjoyed the benefit first, so we’re already wearing the equipment. If you’d like to surrender, it’s not too late yet.”
Following them, the men behind him reached their hands out to clash them together too.
The sound of metals clashing was heard endlessly.
After Huang Jingtian and his men demonstrated, they turned to leave, and no longer had the mood to stroll around the bazaar anymore.
On the other hand, Yan Chengcai and the others had a grave expression on their faces, and a few of them even gasped. For some reason, their fighting will reduced by a lot.
All of a sudden, a cold, chilly voice was heard.
“Brother Yan, what’s a fight appointment?”