Chapter 25 “Seeing through the scam”
There are a lot of ores, including Yuan Iron inside the forge. If Ling Yue only takes a piece or two, no one will notice.
She’s seen it all already. Cutting, hammering, and smelting for refinement, all of that was too laborious for her. Going at the speed of that fifth rank martialist, the most one could produce are at best three pieces of course Yuan Iron.
Also, the purity rate lies only at thirty to forty percent. That’s no different from a thankless task.
She has a plan. If the cauldron can be used to refine herbs into liquid form and consume impurities, then maybe she can also use that feature to her benefit by refining the Yuan Iron.
Finding a remote location, she began her experiment on the two ores she took with her.
The palm sized Yuan Iron ore was sucked into the cauldron.
After about half an hour later, her hands now holds a pebble sized silvery block of iron.
Hurrying, she invokes her spirit smoke from the cauldron to venture inside.
“Fifty percent!” Ling Yue’s hand trembled at her good fortune. How incredible, the purity was as high as fifty percent!
Earlier Ye Saint mentioned it too. The Ye family’s forge can only roughly refine the Yuan Iron ores until the purity rate reaches thirty to forty percent. Unless it was delivered to the deep pocketed commerce entities at the main county, it’s usually very rare to get the same result she got here.
If this were to be found out by those rough big men’s over at the forge, who knows what sort of envious faces they will make.
Giving it another try, this time she used the regular iron ore and came out with a sixty percent purity rate.
A side from that, Ling Yue also found that after refining the two ores, the spirit smoke inside her cauldron had become more vigorous compared to when she used it on the spirit grasses.
It seems that refining metal ores can help assist the spirit smoke’s growth, but correspondingly, the consumption rate of her Yuan energy was magnified accordingly.
With Ling Yue’s current cultivation level, a fifth rank martialist, the maximum amount of times she can do this was at most five.
Storing away the processed ores in her possession, Ling Yue began wandering around the forge again.
It was at this moment that she saw a group of people gathering around big cousin Ye Saint. From their words, it seems several of the stewards are discussing something important with him.
“Young master Ye Saint, the purity of this batch of Yuan Iron ore is as high as forty percent, a rarity that’s hard to come by even in a decade. If I didn’t urgently need money, I wouldn’t be selling it here like this.” A man looking like a foreign merchant was busily bargaining with Ye Saint.
Earlier when Ye Saint was making his rounds across the forge, he just so happens to meet up with this guy, a merchant with the surname Chen.
He claims to be a neighboring ore merchant from the next town over. Originally he was supposed to bring this shipment to the main county for sale, but heaven likes to play people. Hearing his mother suddenly came down with a difficult illness, he desperately needs money to aid her. For that reason, he made a detouring stop at Autumn Maple Town to dispose of his inventory.
Yuan Iron ore with a purity rate of forty percent. Even for the Ye family’s mine, the amount of they can dig out was at most a hundred Jin per year.
(1Jin = 0.9pound)
This Chen merchant in total has a thousand Jin worth of Yuan Iron in his hands. If the Ye family can roughly refine it some more, then this deal would be pure profit once over at the main county.
Seeing this, Ye Saint will unavoidably be tempted. But for careful measures, he called over some of the more experienced appraisal masters in the forge for help. Their assessment was a unified yes. Regardless of color or weight, there are no problems.
Issue was the calling price here. For the thousand Jin worth of ores, this merchant was asking twenty thousand gold for it all.
This number was equal to the Ye family’s entire year of profit. If there’s any problem or mistake here, Ye Saint won’t be able to afford it.
Ye Saint’s originally intended to call for Ye Huang Yun, his father to make the decision, but this Chen merchant refuses to wait, claiming he’s in urgent need of money. If the decision wasn’t made here and now, he will go over to the opposing Song workshop to sell.
Speaking of the Song House, everyone in Autumn Maple Town knows that the Song family and the Ye family are opposing enemies.
If just comparing history, the Ye family had a longer history in Autumn Maple Town than the Song family who had only been formed a hundred years ago. However that may be, the strength of the Song family head was the same as Ye Gu, both are upper celestial martialists.
Whether it be mining or the supplying of Yuan Iron, both houses would compete to death without giving up.
If this batch of high quality Yuan Iron were to be sold to the Song house, then he, Ye Saint, will truly be the criminal of the ages.
“We will take this batch of Yuan Iron. However, twenty thousand gold is too much and we don’t have that kind of fund in the forge. I can only gather five thousand to be used as deposit. The rest will certainly be handed over within three days.” Ye saint gnashes his teeth and tasked some people to bring over the funds.
As long as the Ye family can pin down this batch of Yuan Iron ore, then they can easily profit fifty thousand gold upon resale.
Upon hearing this, that Chen merchant’s mouth unconsciously curled into a strange smile and was caught by Ling Yue’s sight.
“Wait a minute big cousin, can I have a look at those ores.” The sudden insertion of a little girl’s crisp voice was very abrupt.
The eyes of the crowd lit up as a beautiful girl dressed in blue came forward.
“Ling Yue, what nonsense are you saying? This is your first day here, what do you know?” Due to his own anxiousness to take down this sale, Ye Saint’s attitude towards Ling Yue became very unpleasant.
Stepping forward, he was about to grab Ling Yue to force her to come back when his wrist suddenly became numb by the pinch on his wrist. Next thing he knew, Ling Yue had taken the opportunity to dodge his advances and slid right past him.
Having his own little cousin so easily break through his offensive, Ye Saint’s face can’t be very good right now.
Not minding, Ling Yue picks up one of the “high quality” Yuan Iron ores from the pile and inadvertently began fiddling with it. At the same time, her spirit smoke had begun working its magic and dug deep into the rock.
With only one look inside, things turned serious. Let’s not mention Yuan Iron, just the regular iron composition was next to nothing. The only thing close to being an ore was the thin layer of iron superficially planted on the outside.
What a clever little gimmick. No wonder even Ye Saint and those old ore masters got fooled.
Making a cold grunting sound, Ling Yue secretly exerted a bit of force on her fingers. Following a sudden cracking sound, the supposedly Yuan Iron ore in her hand shattered into four pieces.
“Gee, is this really a Yuan Iron ore? Why is it as soft as tofu?” As soon as Ling Yue’s comment left her mouth, everyone including Ye Saint’s face went ghastly pale.
Superior Yuan Iron ores are unbreakably hard, how can a little pipsqueak like Ling Yue so easily shatter the thing with a little squeeze.
Rushing up to get a closer look, Ye Saint and the other ore masters fell into a cold fright. Every single one of these was a fake!
“Bastard! They’re all fake! Someone come, take this swindler away!” Knowing he’s been fooled, Ye Saint was still shaking inside from what could’ve happened if things turned out differently.
But as soon as the merchant realized he’s been caught, his face instantly turned green. Frothing at his mouth, the Chen merchant puked a mouthful of dark blood and then fell to the ground, losing all signs of life.
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