Translator: Immortal Dreamer
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“Thank you, Master Xia!” Liu Shan felt overjoyed. He had witnessed the might of this ‘magic artifact’ with his own eyes. He would have transferred fifty million to Xia Yan for it on the spot if he had asked for it, let alone merely five million.
“Mr. Liu. The… magic power inside the tusk will only last for another two uses, don’t forget this.” Xia Yan thought about it for a bit and explained it using a comparatively simpler term – magic power – as undead elements and so on wouldn’t make sense to others.
“Twice is enough! More than enough!” Although Liu Shan felt a little disappointed, being able to use it twice was already good enough. He then asked, “Master Xia, how do we use this magic artifact?”
“Eh…” Xia Yan had finally realized that he had completely missed this point. The bone spirit wouldn’t appear unless activated through magic power. He ruffled his hair as he pondered on it, and then answered, “How about this? I’ll give another two little things to you that can activate it.”
“Thank you for your hard work, Master Xia!”
Xia Yan took the surroundings into his purview as he sought for suitable materials. Although there was still another mammoth tusk left, since that was something which already belonged to him, he didn’t wish to carve a piece off it.
In the next instant, his eyes fell on the beaded bracelet around Liu Xue’er’s arm. Though he didn’t know what material it got made from, it at least looked like wood. He then said, “We will just need two wooden beads from that bracelet.”
“That’s…” Liu Xue’er hesitated for a moment as she liked this bracelet a lot and didn’t wish to part with it. But it was just for a moment. She finally took off the bracelet and offered it to Xia Yan.
She could just buy another eaglewood beaded bracelet, but a real, lifesaving, exorcist, magic artifact rarely came by. Liu Xue’er knew which one was more important.
“Aren’t they just two wooden beads? What’s with that reluctant expression? I’ll be returning it to you after I’m done carving anyway!” Xia Yan took the beaded bracelet while muttering in a low voice.
The members of the Liu family looked at each other’s faces. In their minds, this youth was an expert in exorcism, but he was also undoubtedly a bumpkin. He hadn’t even considered that a Liu family member wouldn’t wear an ordinary wooden bracelet.
Liu Xue’er also became speechless. She only hoped that Xia Yan would give it a beautiful design and not waste such an excellent thing.
“Uh, you over there… Go bring my backpack over.” Xia Yan glanced at Dong Quan but couldn’t recall his name.
“Master Xia, I’m called Dong Quan!” Dong Quan felt gloomy. [It seems like you haven’t checked the card I gave you. No matter what, I provoked you once, but how come it’s like I don’t even exist in your perception?]
Dong Quan brought over Xia Yan’s backpack gloomily. Xia Yan opened it, brought out the jute bag, and took out the carving knife. He showed no fear towards the gazes of the others, calmly sat down on the chair like that, and began carving.
Although old man Liu loved to hoard antiques, he was actually just a layman. All he could make out was Xia Yan’s swift movements as the carving blade moved on top of the bead. It flowed well with no obstructions. As for how the carving was, he couldn’t make any sense of it.
Actually, there was someone who understood it more than him. Liu Shan looked at Xia Yan with amazement. [His smoothly flowing carving skills are proof of the hard work he’s put into it by practicing for years. It’s rare for the youth to have such a calm mind, verily so!]
Liu Xue’er was looking at Xia Yan’s face instead. [They say men look their most handsome when they are working, looks like that’s true! This guy behaves like a bumpkin usually, but the moment he picks up the carving knife, that rustic aura disappears and an indescribable grandeur fitting a ‘Master’ exudes from him.]
Xia Yan’s movements were swift. He etched two neutered versions of spirit storage magic circles on the beads. As for why these were neutered versions, it was because they were single-use items that would become scrap after using them.
He stored some magic power inside the two beads and blew off the shavings. Then, he handed the bracelet back to Liu Xue’er, “When you want to use it, just knock the tip of the tusk with the bead lightly; there’s no need to use too much force.”
“Mhm!” Liu Xue’er took the bracelet and handed it over to Liu Shan, but he didn’t receive it, “Xue’er, you wear it. If something happens, just do as the master instructed.”
“Okay!” Liu Xue’er wore the bracelet on the wrist and felt that those two beads were ice cold, bringing a soothing sensation through her skin. Her face blushed when she suddenly realized something. [I’m wearing something he carved on my hand now!]
“Elder Liu, how much is my crafting worth now?” Xia Yan glanced at old man Liu and beamed a smile. He had told him that his craftsmanship was worth five thousand back then, but the old man’s judgment was too poor, so he had returned the goods. Xia Yan always brooded over this and didn’t feel good. Now that he had regained some face, he wanted to see whether the old man felt embarrassed.
Old man Liu’s face flushed up. [This brat is too repulsive. Even on the battlefield, I haven’t met an opponent with such a vicious mouth. He shows no mercy to those who were in the wrong!]
“Xia Yan, what did you carve on this?” Liu Xue’er saw the embarrassment on her grandfather’s face, so she shifted the topic immediately.
“A rose.” Xia Yan answered absent-mindedly.
[It is a rose, but a death rose, the kind you create from the blood. It would probably scare her if I told her that.]
“A rose…” Liu Xue’er’s cheeks became hot as she caressed those two beads lovingly and whispered, “It looks pretty!”
Liu Shan’s heart sank. All fathers knew their daughters well, and from his daughter’s expression, he had gleaned that she liked him. Although Xia Yan possessed skills, these skills were a little too scary and not suitable to make connections with others. He believed that keeping contact with such a person was good enough and hence couldn’t allow his daughter to fall for him.
“Oh, right. Master Xia, I wonder if you can give those two Soul Ataraxia Stones to me?” Liu Shan also shifted the topic. He knew those two stones were good things. Even if they couldn’t save lives, they would surely provide some benefits if he got them.
Liu Shan had given it some thought. Xia Yan hadn’t noticed the change in Liu Xue’er at all. As a glorious virgin, he didn’t know the subtleties of a maiden’s mind. Perhaps even Liu Xue’er wasn’t clear about her own feelings and maybe only had a good opinion of him, far from reaching a blind love stage.
“Sure!” Xia Yan agreed to it and said directly, “No need to buy it from me. Mr. Liu has already spent so much, so I’ll just send them to you as a bonus.”
“No, that won’t do!” Liu Shan became anxious. He believed that if Xia Yan’s relationship with them became closer, that might change his mind. He might help with dealing with the enemy hidden in the dark then. [If I don’t send you money, how will you feel closer to us? Money is a must!]
“The Soul Ataraxia Stones crafted by Master Xia are excellent things for sure. They are much more precious than those jadeites and Shoushan stones, which only have their looks going for them. Since those things have such an outrageous price, how could I get your things for free?!” Liu Shan spoke with gusto and immediately took out the phone to operate it.
Xia Yan checked his phone when it beeped. It was another message from ICBC. He blanked out again after checking the amount; it was another million!
He had only planned to sell these stones for ten thousand in the beginning, but old man Liu had returned them. He hadn’t expected that Liu Shan would now buy them at a hundredfold price. This made him elated yet also embarrassed.
Since he had the money in his hands already, he couldn’t refuse it now. So, he didn’t insist on it and just chuckled, “Mr. Liu is too polite. It makes me a little embarrassed!”
“It’s the value, I tell you!” Liu Shan had seen through it already. [This kid is a money grubber, but that’s good too since we Liu family have no lack of money!]
Xia Yan handed the two Soul Ataraxia Stones to Liu Shan who accepted it with no reservations. Liu Shan then turned towards old man Liu, “Father, since someone entrapped you, wear one of them. Didn’t Master Xia say it? It can ward off evil!”
“Sigh!” Old man Liu wore the Soul Ataraxia Stone with a flushed face and sighed towards Xia Yan, “This old man failed to recognize a treasure and offended Lil’ Xia. If I had worn this before, I might not have had to pay a visit to the gates of Yama’s Palace!”
“You had a major windfall. Those fake magic artifacts from Fengshui Street all sell for a few hundred thousand, but you got Master Xia’s real goods for just five thousand. That’s so enviable!” Liu Xue’er’s mother, Luo Xiaojuan, stated with a smile.
“Haha! You’re right, it is a windfall!” Old man Liu also chuckled.
“You’re too polite!” Xia Yan didn’t fear when someone scolded him, yet he was afraid of praises. Everyone praised him one after another, and this made his face as red as a tomato. Although he felt good about it, he still left some modest words.
Everyone from the Liu family had experienced life. With just a few sentences, they had made him feel closer to them, all without Xia Yan realizing it. He was a kid who had come from the countryside, just an eighteen-year-old university freshman. So, he lacked worldly wisdom a lot.
However, Xia Yan wasn’t someone who would gloat in pleasure with just a few praises from someone. He had his own principles. He wouldn’t get involved in things that weren’t good even if the other side gave him an absurd amount for it.
“Xue’er. How about you wear the other Soul Ataraxia Stone?” Liu Shan handed the other one to Liu Xue’er. Although she wanted this exquisite piece of work, her parents didn’t wear something like it, so she couldn’t act selfishly, “Dad, keep it aside for you and mom. Those baddies might also target you. If it’s with you, I will feel reassured too!”
“Do as I tell you, take it!” Liu Shan raised his voice while staring at her.
“No way!” Liu Xue’er put her hands behind her back and shook her head vehemently.
Xia Yan couldn’t bear it anymore. This parent-child piety show was too touching, too… corny. It made him recall how hard his father had worked at the construction company to gather tuition fees for his education. He also doubted Liu Shan had intentionally done this. As he could have just waited for Xia Yan to leave and then give the Soul Ataraxia Stone to Liu Xue’er.
“Mr. Liu, Ms. Liu, there’s no need to…”
“Don’t call me Ms. Liu!” Liu Xue’er responded.
“How should I address you then?” Xia Yan blanked out for a moment and asked instinctively.
“Just… call me Xue’er!” Liu Xue’er stated with a blush.