Chapter 2: Qi Fang (Weapon Shop)
“So much money… that fat man… interesting.”
Looking at the wallet in his hands, Zhang Mu was shocked. He checked the wallet again and again, then sighed with emotion.
The wallet actually only had money in it; it was stuffed with three thousand RMB.
Zhang Mu felt that something was wrong. That fat man didn’t even put any identification or bank cards in his wallet. Zhang Mu remembered the fat man’s nonchalant performance, then slightly frowned.
The fat man wasn’t a nobody.
However, Zhang Mu didn’t have too much time to think again. He was really lacking time right now. Anyway, he had obtained enough money, which meant that he could go ahead with his plan.
As the passers-by looked at Zhang Mu with surprise, he ran towards a certain direction. If one didn’t know the reason, they would probably think that he was a robber. It wasn’t because Zhang Mu was reluctant to take a taxi, but because his clothes was too ragged. None of the drivers were willing to take him.
After about ten minutes, Zhang Mu swiftly stole into an alley. He bent forward, put his hands on his knees and gasped for air. Although he had a robust and youthful body, he had been running at full speed after all. He had almost used up his strength.
Zhang Mu rested for a while, then raised his eyes, carefully looking at the shop sign.
Qi Fang (Weapon Shop).
That was right. It should be here.
Fortunately, the shop was famous in the future. When he talked about Luoyang City with the merchants he knew, they often talked about that man called “Soldier King”. Hence, Zhang Mu remembered that there was such a powerful character in the city he lived.
Zhang Mu adjusted his breathing and arranged his messy hair and clothes. He was about to see a legendary person, even Zhang Mu couldn’t stop himself from feeling nervous.
Zhang Mu walked through the old wooden threshold. Due to curiosity and longing, he looked around the room.
There were a few account books and a lunch box randomly placed on the desk and several empty bottles of tsingtao beer were on the ground.
The whole shop was empty and there was no weapon displayed. It was a little bit different from Zhang Mu’s imagination. He was a little disappointed.
Zhang Mu didn’t see anyone in the room. He walked a few steps, then saw a door with light blue curtain in the corner. He thought that the shopkeeper should be in the room, so he shouted towards the door.
“Hey, is the shopkeeper there?”
The shopkeeper should have heard his voice. After a while, with a rustling sound and the sound of a few heavy footsteps, a thick, black arm suddenly lifted the curtain.
What a tall and muscular middle-aged man! The shopkeeper was taller than Zhang Mu about half a head. His eyes stared at Zhang Mu, giving him a very piercing feeling. However, after taking a careful look, Zhang Mu found that the shopkeeper hadn’t gotten a shave for a long time and looked unkept.
The middle-aged shopkeeper looked at Zhang Mu up and down. He saw Zhang Mu’s ragged clothes, then his bright eyes dimmed, but it was not very obvious.
He asked Zhang Mu in a heavy voice, “Little brother, what’s the matter?”
Zhang Mu caught the change in the middle-aged shopkeeper’s eyes, but he didn’t mind it. He knew his current appearance. It was already very lucky that the shopkeeper didn’t treat him as a beggar and drive him out.
He raised his eyebrows, looked up at the shopkeeper and said with a smile, “Hey, I want to buy a sword.”
The middle-aged shopkeeper showed a playful look, gazing at Zhang Mu in silence.
The shopkeeper realized that Zhang Mu was serious. Although Zhang Mu was ragged, but he didn’t fear to look at him eye to eye. Therefore, the shopkeeper changed his attitude, beginning to face to the young man.
“Anyone who comes to by my swords is my guest. I’m Xue Liang, the shopkeeper of this handmade sword shop. What style of swords do you like?”
After hearing Shopkeeper Xiao’s question, Zhang Mu didn’t answer him immediately, but asked him a new question which he had been wanting to ask the shopkeeper ever since he enteredinto the shop.
“Boss Xue, my friend told me that I could buy high-quality swords from you. Why isn’t there any swords in your shop? Had they all been sold out?”
Shopkeeper Xiao showed an embarrassed look on his face. He smiled bitterly and said, “Little brother, don’t make fun of me. These days, less and less people like collect swords. Even if some young people wanted to buy some swords to decorate their houses, they wouldn’t buy my handmade swords, but ordered machine-building swords from the Internet.
To be honest, my shop hasn’t received any orders for a whole month. I have taken back all the swords in the basement, because in that case, I don’t have to close the shop even if I was resting in my room. After all, who knows when will I have new guests?”
Zhang Mu sighed with emotion in his heart. Out of his imagination, the shopkeeper wasn’t domineering like what his friends told him, but very honest and amiable. He didn’t aggrandize himself, but made a self-mockery.
However, that wasn’t a surprising thing. The people who could survive in the catastrophic future had all experienced a lot. It wasn’t surprise to know that the shopkeeper twisted his soul into a different person in that environment. The people who struggled at the bottom of the society, but still remained positive were extremely rare.
Of course, Zhang Mu knew that some machine-building swords were really good, but their price was also terribly expensive. Besides, he didn’t know where he could buy them.
As for the machine-building swords which were not more expensive than the handmade swords… They had only eye catching shape. Their body proportions and antipersonnel forces were far inferior to the shopkeeper’s handmade swords.
After all, merchants always flattered each other.
Zhang Mu didn’t try to take the opportunity to cut the price, but said with a smile, “Boss Xue, don’t be modest. I was introduced by one of my friends. I trust your craftsmanship.
Besides, handmade sword pursues not appearance, but practicability. Although we don’t need it to have high antipersonnel force in the modern world, but that is a tradition. Personally, I admire you for keeping this craft faithfully.”
After listening Zhang Mu’s words, Boss Xue’s eyes brightened up. Zhang Mu’s words directly hit his heart, making him have a feeling that he suddenly met a bosom friend.
“Little brother, thank you for your comfort. I feel better now. Oh right, little brother, I forgot to ask your name.”
“Zhang Mu. My name is Zhang Mu.”
“Zhang Mu, Zhang Mu… good name!”
Boss Xue whispered, then made a hearty laugh, “Brother Zhang, let’s get straight to the point. What kind of sword do you want? A ready-made sword or a tailor-made sword? If you want me to tailor a sword for you, I don’t have any orders now, so I only need three days to make it for you.”
Zhang Mu frowned, “Three days… I’m in a hurry, so I can’t wait that long. Please sell me a ready-made sword.”
“Ok. Come with me,” Xue Liang turned around and walked to the back room. Zhang Mu immediately followed him.