sat down, and from under the bellows pulled out something forged from pig iron: two foot pedal like objects. Tang Hao held them to connect under the bellows, and used both his hands to draw the bellows closed,
“In forging, the effect of the bellows is also especially significant. Fully heated metal can be forged even better, and this can cause its toughness to become even stronger. Any block of metal, even if it is very impure metal, it all also has its own soul. If the temperature is inadequate, and when forging if too much physical strength is used it will shatter. Like that, even if melted and reforged this chunk of metal is still only waste. Therefore, when you use all your strength to hammer an iron chunk, you must maintain its temperature well. Pumping bellows is similarly also using the power of the lower legs. Not only can you as far as possible preserve physical strength, you can also cause the bellows effect to reach the greatest temperature.”
Both feet pressing down on the pedals, he abruptly released his strength. Starting at the legs, the whole body rapidly bounced back, both arms naturally driving the bellows handles to open, legs straightening and bending, again bringing the handles back. Between coming and returning, the bellows operated at full strength. Tang Hao’s movements certainly did not appear swift, but every one brought into play the bellows to the utmost. The muscles on the calf lead down, and as his body with the bellows took on a particular kind of rhythm, flames suddenly leapt up from the centre of the furnace, the iron chunk at once burned a fierce red.
“You come draw the bellows, according to my movements just now.”
Tang Hao gave over his seat to Tang San.
Having previously experienced wielding the iron hammer and carefully observing, Tang San sat on Tang Hao’s previous seat, very quickly grasping the method to work the bellows, although still somewhat jerky. But he attentively noted that every time strength released, it started from the lower legs. Sure enough, as Tang Hao said, not only did he save very much of his physical strength, but the result as compared to before was also incomparably better.
Tang Hao held Tang San’s forging hammer, and coolly said:
“Using all your strength in wielding the hammer to forge can fully bring your physical strength into use. But equally, with the hammer’s descent, the force from the rebound can create a very great load on you. In the event of being without a suitable guiding method, it is easy to injure yourself, and it can also cause part of the physical strength to be wasted, unable to act on the metal. Following my movement you must attentively observe, this is the key to whether you can beat this lump of pig iron into fist size in a short time.”
Inhaling deeply, Tang Hao’s eyes focused. Following Tang San’s working on the bellows, the whole iron lump already burned an intense red, blazing flames leapt up, causing the inside of the room to grow exceedingly scorching hot.
As Tang Hao moved, his motion did not seem to be any different from before, from leg to waist, waist to back, back to arms, with a clanging sound the iron hammer pounded down on the iron chunk.
Just as the iron hammer bounced up from the reaction force, Tang Hao abruptly made a turn, with the lower legs emitting power as before. The rebound swing of the hammer already rising, he wielded it in a circle overhead, bringing a sharp sound of wind, and again came a loud sound as it struck iron chunk. Not only was the speed of this strike remarkable, but the physical force was also stronger compared to the first.
The iron hammer rebounded up high, and Tang Hao’s movement with the magnitude of the iron hammer’s rise seemingly attained a kind of perfect harmony. Not early not late, just in the split second the iron hammer reached its upward peak, his body drove the iron hammer in a full circle, to once again smash down.
Tang San’s eyes shone. This was unmistakably a method to leverage force, utilizing the rebound force from the impact between hammer and metal and converting it into downward force. The motion was perfectly coordinated in order to the greatest degree avoid being harmed from the rebound force, and instead transforming this physical force to especially add to the hit. Starting from the second strike, the physical force of every hit surpassed Tang Hao’s full strength, but was still under his control.
Tang Hao moved faster and faster, the forging hammer lashing down on the iron chunk like a violent storm, the iron chunk continuously being deformed by the beats of the forging hammer. It was shocking, the precision of Tang Hao’s strikes was unreal. Every time the iron chunk was hit it was reduced to half its former thickness, and when it started to become flat, the forging hammer in his hand would at once hit the iron chunk’s edge, causing it to flip. Thus, the iron chunk was evenly enduring his hammer blows, and was not simply pounded into an iron flat cake.
In a flash, the hammer had already struck thirty six times, and Tang Hao’s both hands drove the iron hammer to spin overhead successively in three circles. Not until the force of the hammer was dispersed, did he stand down the hammer. His face not red, breath not laboured, as if that previous mad storm of blows had not been produced by him at all.
The whole iron chunk, after just thirty six blows in the whole small circle, with the naked eye it was actually already hard to see any impurities within.
This just now was true blacksmith mastery, a beautiful hammer method.
Tang Hao looked at Tang San who was unceasingly pumping the bellows.
Tang San thought, then said:
“Leverage the force, I understand the principle. Only, this seems to be not simple at all.”
Tang Hao indifferently said:
“If you want to accomplish my kind of level, there is only one way: skill comes from practice. Furthermore, you must bear in mind, if you are striking a piece of common metal, then when it is the most impure, it is also most likely to shatter. At that time, when you beat it the physical force must be smaller, and as its impurities gradually decrease, your physical force can begin to gradually increase to maintain the effect of the strikes. This way of dynamic control is pivotal. You slowly practice by yourself, ok. Don’t blindly increase force and speed: accuracy is equally important. At least you must understand the hammer’s descent, unless you can hit any place, what use is more physical strength?”
With the weight of the forging hammer returned into Tang San’s hands, Tang Hao turned and left.
‘Father did not go back on his word, he really taught his forging methods, and also, from father teaching his point of view on these things, any profession all have their own profound mysteries, they are all not so simple.’
In the next half months’ time, Tang San everyday practiced the force borrowing hammer forging method Tang Hao taught him. Despite having Controlling Crane Catching Dragon to assist his strength control, and having Purple Demon Eye to determine the position of his hammer blows, this forging method was still more difficult to master than he could have imagined.
Since it was hitting with all his strength, using full strength was in itself very hard to control. Drawing strength from the rebound, and again controlling the body’s balance in order to position the hammer blow was extremely difficult. With increasing hits, the required essential force control increased somewhat, and the body’s unceasing rotation could not only cause a sense of dizziness, but at the same time the force of each falling strike also became even harder to control.
Fortunately, he had already been striking that chunk of iron for a very long time, so its impurities were already very few and it was not so easy to shatter. Otherwise he would not be able to control the weight of that forging hammer, and would probably already have smashed it to pieces.
But, in the middle of this practice course, Tang San’s use of Mysterious Heaven Skill, as well as Controlling Crane Catching Dragon, Mysterious Jade Hands with Purple Demon Eye’s coordination, all advanced unnoticed.
From the first day when he was only able to swing twice before starting to deviate in position, up until today half a month later, he could already continuously swing seven times, accurately striking the iron chunk without error. The improvement was extremely obvious. At the same time, the iron chunk under his full strength beating became smaller and smaller; every day brought results.
Of course, this also had an inseparable connection with that lower leg force generating method. With this kind of force generating method, he could greatly reduce the consumption of the Mysterious Heaven Skill, enabling Tang San to have even more time to pump the bellows and forge.
Originally his father swung the hammer thirty six times, but also it would appear that he had surplus energy. He himself could only swing seven times, he didn’t know when he could reach his father’s level. Every time Tang San thought about this, he immediately had additional motivation to practice.
These days, as if he had forgotten about spirits and spirit rings, when cultivating Purple Demon Eye on the mountain top in the early morning, he also deeply thought about the problem of how to swing the hammer.
Three months’ time passed very quickly, and just as Tang San could begin to wield the hammer thirteen times, Tang Hao began to instruct him on how to forge tools. Tang Hao’s teaching method was very direct: exactly like before he would do it once, then let Tang San do it again, and as long as he saw some of the basics were learnt he did not interfere with his practice, never having many words of direction. Only at crucial parts, did he say a few words.
Precisely because of this, every time Tang Hao gave pointers, Tang San remembered it all the more clearly.