Chronicles of Primordial Wars - Chapter 34 – Change of style
Chapter 34 – Change of style
Translated by Sunyancai
Ke suddenly jumped off his stone stool as he rubbed his eyelids. With the lack of a leg, he swayed when standing. His big action of course drew Shao Xuan’s attention.
Shao Xuan dropped his almost-completed stoneware and grinding stone, and looked at old Ke curiously. He was in a pretty good state of mind and felt that he had not made any mistakes. With everything in the process reaching old Ke’s standard, why was he acting like he was in a “what the fuck” kind of mood?
“Ah-Xuan, you… you… you…”
Ke finally said a complete sentence after many you’s, “How do you train yourself normally?”
Not knowing why Ke asked that, Shao Xuan explained the training arrangements he had recently, in detail, of course not mentioning the special power he had.
To be honest, his training recently was more like preparing for stone crafting than normal training. There were many newly-awakened kids by the training ground, just like Shao Xuan. They were either training their strength, or practicing by throwing stuff. Shao Xuan was the only one focusing on finding stone cores. Some people even secretly mocked him for doing the wrong thing.
After some thinking, Ke did not find any abnormal points based on Shao Xuan’s description. Shao Xuan worked very hard and he showed endless effort when he was doing the stone crafting. That was also the reason why Ke was willing to teach him. However, Ke himself was pretty hard-working when he was learning the skills, why didn’t he achieve such significant progress?
Anyways, Ke could not figure out the reason, so he had to attribute Shao Xuan’s achievements to his talent. No wonder he awakened at the age of ten.
Old Ke waved his hand to tell Shao Xuan to continue after he calmed himself down. On second thought, he stopped Shao Xuan and took out a big straw curtain and divided the stoneware workshop into two parts. He asked Shao Xuan to go to the inner room to keep crafting.
Although feeling curious, Shao Xuan followed his command. Old Ke must be doing it for some reason.
From the other side of the straw curtain, old Ke could still see the small figure of Shao Xuan, crafting and refining a piece of stone flake. Old Ke’s eyebrows relaxed, and he couldn’t help but smile as if he had thought of something.
Shao Xuan came out from his separated workshop when it was almost sunset, covered with sweat. He passed the stoneware he completed to old Ke for examination. He crafted more stone flakes and stone cores than usual, so he got out later than usual.
However, old Ke did not examine Shao Xuan’s stoneware one by one as usual, instead, he put them aside after a glimpse at them, old Ke chose not to look more, but he told Shao Xuan, “You should go now. Starting from tomorrow, you may carve and refine stones according to your own judgement. Do whatever you think is right.”
“Okay, I will.”
In fact, Shao Xuan wanted to make something of his own a long time ago. However, he was not that skilled, so the thing that he created was totally different than what he had in mind, and sometimes he failed during the process. Now since old Ke had said so, Shao Xuan wanted to do it again properly.
In order to make a satisfying stoneware, he needed to go through the process of carving stone flakes, refining, pressuring, heating and so on. Also a lot of tools were required, such as a hammer, press-roller, plunger, grinding stone, chopping stone and other fixing materials. The tools in Shao Xuan’s cabin were not enough, so Shao Xuan needed to come to old Ke’s place every day if he wanted to craft something.
However, at the very beginning, Shao Xuan did not dare to dream so wildly, so he decided to start with the normally used stoneware in the tribe.
The next day, Shao Xuan took the stone cores he had selected that morning to old Ke’s place, and began to craft.
Shao Xuan intended to craft a double-winged stone arrowhead by himself, one of the most frequently used stone arrowheads. Lang Ga alone, had a large consumption of them.
Old Ke had taught Shao Xuan about the techniques to make a stone arrowhead, and said the other skills could only be gained during the process of practicing. Of course old Ke pointed out some details that were worth paying attention to.
For the next few days, old Ke did not watch Shao Xuan closely from his side as Shao Xuan did the crafting. After all, Shao Xuan could do just as well without his supervision. Leaning on a wooden cane, old Ke took out a wooden box filled with all kinds of stoneware in different sizes and put them out in front of his house.
They were the stoneware made by Shao Xuan over the past few days. Most of them were spearheads and arrowheads and had a style a little different from old Ke’s.
In fact, old Ke had changed his rules lately. During the afternoon he no longer allowed people to come inside his house. In the mornings he would come out with some completed stoneware. One needed to do the trading fast if he wanted some of his stoneware, because old Ke would collect his things and go inside the room at noon, and not come out in the afternoon.
So when seeing that old Ke took things out at that hour, people gathered.
“Hey, old Ke, why are you doing business at this time now?”
“Hi, old Ke, these things are not Ah-Xuan’s handcraft, right?”
Many people knew that Shao Xuan was learning stone crafting from old Ke, but people were not optimistic about it. Some would discuss in private how long Shao Xuan could manage to keep learning, and whether he would be like old Ke’s former apprentices that left, or got kicked out by old Ke forcefully. However, unexpectedly, Shao Xuan was still learning, and it seemed that old Ke was not frustrated or mad as well.
Wasn’t that strange?
Actually, the one who guessed the stoneware was made by Shao Xuan laughed at himself after he finished his sentence. People coming with him also laughed over it, and none of them took it seriously. After all, in their perspective, Shao Xuan had only been learning for a few days, and it was impossible for him to craft such successful stoneware. They were just messing with old Ke.
“This is a nice stone arrowhead, and it could be used for setting up ground bows… Hey, the barbs are wonderfully polished! I like that!” one squatted down and began to select his favorite items.
Seeing that someone had begun choosing, the others stopped messing around and hurriedly began to choose their own favorite items, as if fearing that all the good stuff would be bought by others. After all, the stoneware from old Ke’s place was much better than the other’s.
“Hey, old Ke, have you changed your style? The barbs on your arrowheads used to be shorter.” A warrior said as he touched the wings of a stone arrowhead.
Ke just sat there with his poker face as usual, in silence.
The warriors that came to do the trading were already used to old Ke’s character and did not expect old Ke to explain. After all, it was normal that a stoneware crafter changed his style.
When hunting, warriors had a large consumption of stoneware, because unlike metals which could be recycled, the stoneware could only be used once. This resulted in a rather high scrap rate, which led to warriors preparing a lot of stoneware before every hunting mission.
Almost twenty days had passed since the other hunting team left, normally speaking, hunting teams would return home in twenty days. Even when they met some hardships or other difficulties, the hunting period would not be more than thirty days. Their families were still in the tribe after all, and they would starve if the warriors did not return.
So if someone did some calculations, one would know that the hunting team was about to return. Meaning the other hunting team was preparing to leave. Once the hunting team returned, the other one would set off for hunting after handing over their daily duties. The earlier they prepared their stoneware, the better.
“They will return in a couple of days. In the morning I saw that wounded people were sent back. This time two warriors were badly injured, but not fatally. I heard that no one got killed this time.” Someone said as he chose the items.
“So we are about to set off? I have to go back home and take a few more things to trade with old Ke.”
“You said that two were injured? Who were they?”
People began to discuss but their selection speed did not slow down. Once they had chosen an item, they would grasp it tightly in their hand, and the others would regret not grasping it sooner.
“You do the trading or not, hold your tongue, and get lost if you’re done with trading!” Old Ke waved his arm with an icy face. They’d better do the discussion elsewhere. Ah-Xuan was still in the room, crafting, they might disturb him!
In the eyes of the crowd, old Ke was a tough guy and he was not easy to deal with. It seemed that he cared about nothing but stoneware. He was also quite aggressive when yelling. However, in fact, old Ke valued Shao Xuan more than anyone else in his heart. He became unhappy when people started making noise and he began to drive them away.
People were not angry. They stopped talking and hurriedly continued their picking.
When the majority of the stoneware was picked out by others, and seeing that no more people were coming, old Ke collected the remaining small stoneware into the wooded box. He shook his head as he talked to himself, “Why are the small stoneware unappreciated? When used properly, they can be more lethal than the big ones.”
When Shao Xuan had finished today’s work, he headed back home with his exhausted body when at the very same time, the hunting team on mission returned.
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