Chapter 59: Excavating Ore (Part 5[1. The author starts to split up arcs into parts here. This can kind of be confusing, because the chapters are still sometimes split up, but I felt that this helps keep track of which arcs are present.])
After completing negotiations with Black Hand, the two of them ended up in an alliance of sorts, making it so that there were no new issues that popped up in the following days.
After eighteen days, Su Chen had arranged to transfer ownership of his store. From that moment on, all the business in the store had nothing to do with him. However, before he left, Su Chen slightly raised his price on buying starsilver, and traded most of the Origin Stones that he possessed for starsilver. This made Black Hand somewhat unsatisfied; after all, this would affect his future business a little.
Su Chen didn’t want to offend or go too far, so he gave Zhang Yuanliao’s storage ring to Black Hand. Black Hand just so happened to be lacking a ring to store goods in, and Su Chen’s gift was extremely handy. Thus, he received it in understanding.
On the day that Su Chen was giving up his business, Li Shu asked Su Chen, “Boss, where are you planning on going after this?”
Su Chen replied, “I am still planning on staying in the Scarlet Mountain Range for another fifteen days or so. Since I have basically completed my original goal, I would only be idling around otherwise, so I am going to go take a look at the mining tunnels and test my luck.”
Li Shu said, “Boss, Li Shu wants to come with you.”
“Oh?” Su Chen looked at him. “You want to officially follow me?”
Li Shu nodded his head definitely.
“Do you have any others in your family?”
Li Shu’s face revealed a trace of sadness. “This little one no longer has any remaining family. If I did, I wouldn’t come to such a dangerous place like the Halcyon Gorge, in a bid to risk it all.”
“So that’s how it is......” Su Chen thought for a moment.
After getting to know him for two months, Su Chen began to understand Li Shu more. He knew that this person not only knew how to read and write, he also had great discernment and his brain was very sharp. Li Shu had a lot of his own thoughts, however, and relying on him too much would probably be impossible. But Su Chen also knew that those with any ability would always have their own thoughts and ambitions. As long as they were well-controlled, this wasn’t a problem.
At the moment, Su Chen only had Ming Shu and Zhou Hong as his underlings. While the two of them were extremely loyal, their abilities were only so-so.
Sometimes, using people depended on more than just loyalty. To ambitious people, the strength of their underlings was more important than their loyalty to a certain extent. That was because masters with ability trusted that no matter how many thoughts or methods their underlings had, they would never be able to escape their master’s oversight. Thus, those with sufficient strength did not worry that their underlings had talent; rather, they feared the exact opposite.
Su Chen was such a person.
Su Chen had been able to utilize Li Shu quite effectively. Since Li Shu wanted to follow him, he was willing to keep him.
However, this would mean that he would need to bring Li Shu along with him back to the Su Palace. The danger was that Li Shu would also know that he was Su Chen and that Su Chen was no longer blind.
Whatever. In any case, there was no way for him to continuously pretend as if he were still blind. It made sense to let Li Shu become the second person to know the truth.
Upon thinking to here, Su Chen said, “Tomorrow Black Hand’s men will come to retrieve the goods. I will give Black Hand a heads-up to send people to escort you out of the Scarlet Mountain Range. Once you exit this place, go to the True Jade Pavilion in Northface City and ask for someone called Tang Zhen. Let him know what has happened here, and he will take care of everything for you.”
“This little one understands,” Li Shu replied.
Su Chen did not explain things in any more detail. Based on Tang Zhen’s wealth of experience and Li Shu’s wits, he trusted that some things didn’t need to be said.
Having taken care of Li Shu, Su Chen brought Iron Cliff with him and headed in the direction of the cave. He was now Iron Cliff’s master.
The once beautiful Halcyon Gorge had become filled with potholes and ditches.
Discarded rock fragments and ore slag were everywhere, turning the beautiful, enchanting scenery into a dirty and chaotic quarry.
In this quarry, the best excavation locations had been claimed by the strongest Origin Qi Scholars. Even medium quality locations had been claimed by various martial artists. Although their individual strength was not great, they formed small alliances and attempted to protect each other. Only places with the lowest quantity of ore were empty, and they were given to excavators with the least strength.
The location that Su Chen had chosen was one such location.
This location was in the southern area of the gorge and was an abandoned mineshaft. It was called the Southern Gorge Number 14. When Southern Gorge Number 14 was at its peak, thousands of kilograms of starsilver had been mined here. At that time, at least four different groups of people had surrounded it, fighting for it. However, following extensive mining, the ore in this location gradually decreased to virtually none. Others had given up on this place, and it became an abandoned mineshaft.
Today, apart from a few miners who would come around to take a quick look, and who might find some starsilver if their luck was good, not many people stuck around here anymore.
Su Chen had come here this time because he was truly testing out his luck.
All of the other mining locations were occupied. The other mines had been very clearly divided, and it was necessary to provoke others no matter which one one chose to go to. If one caused a dispute, one would need to also be prepared to be killed. there was no recoil when Su Chen had killed Wolf Blade, not just because of Su Chen’s strength, but also because Su Chen had simply counterattacked to protect himself. In this world, while fists often did the talking, rules and principles were also important.
If one didn’t want to bring trouble, one could only go to the poorer-quality mines. Thus, Su Chen chose this place that had once flourished to see what kind of luck he had.
Upon entering the mine shaft, he was greeted by pitch-black gloom, as if he had returned to those days where he couldn’t see.
As someone who had been blind for three years, Su Chen was not unaccustomed to this kind of darkness at all. Rather, he felt almost like a fish in water. He easily walked along the dark mine shaft, not even bothering to use a crystal lantern. However, Iron Cliff, who was following him, had to step on uneven terrain. Occasionally he would fall over.
After walking down roughly two mine shafts, Su Chen stopped in front of a piece of wall and said, “Let’s do it here.”
“Yes.” Iron Cliff raised a pickaxe made of steel and began to mine.
He was still of the Mountain Race. Thus, in terms of raw strength, Iron Cliff was probably stronger than Su Chen. Every time he mined, large chunks of mountain rock would crumble. His efficiency was many times greater than that of regular workers.
As the pieces of rock fell to the ground, Su Chen would inspect them. Discovering starsilver was very easy. In the dark, starsilver emitted a distinctive silvery light. How much starsilver he would obtain when purifying the ore depended on his luck. Su Chen broke apart rock after rock, but unfortunately he didn’t see a single bit of light.
After mining for roughly an hour or so, Su Chen finally uncovered his first piece of starsilver.
The ore was roughly the size of a fist, and its surface was covered with scattered dots of silver light. Evidently, the amount it contained inside was not high either. Most likely, not much starsilver could be purified from this piece of ore.
“Indeed, this place is so barren that it cannot possibly be more barren,” Su Chen bitterly laughed. “It seems as if this place no longer has any value. Let’s go, we’ll switch locations and try our luck there.”
Su Chen brought Iron Cliff along with him as they wandered aimlessly in the mineshafts.
A day later, Su Chen took out all of the starsilver ore he had obtained to refine it. In the end, he was actually able to refine a tael, and this was after Iron Cliff had essentially done the work of three people all on his own.
Although this was very little, Su Chen did not mind.
He came here to try out his luck in the first place. He was essentially wasting time, so whatever he found was what he found, regardless of what the outcome was.
Thus, in the following days, he continued to bring Iron Cliff around to all the other mineshafts, mining here and there. Although he didn’t get much, he felt very unrestrained and free.
Of course, this “unrestrained and free” only came about under Iron Cliff’s hard work. Young Master Su only needed to look at rocks, and in the remainder of his time he would practice his Origin Skills. This unrestrained lifestyle would not be possible if he had to personally mine.
Today, Su Chen took Iron Cliff to go mining with him as per usual.
Iron Cliff tightly hugged the wall of the mineshaft. His strength was so great that he could excavate large amounts of stone and earth every single time.
As he was mining, suddenly a loud rumble sounded, and a large dust cloud flew into the air.
When the dust settled, Su Chen and Iron Cliff were greeted by a vast, open vacant space in front of them.
This excavation from Iron Cliff had actually uncovered another paradise.
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