Chapter 1 – Awakening Day
Chapter 1 – Awakening Day
Glorybound City was a small town sitting on the border between the ocean and the eastern coast of the Sun Moon Federation.
Today was an exceptionally bustling day in the city, it was the annual Awakening Day.
All of the people residing upon the Douluo Continent possessed something called a “martial soul.” The martial soul was a part of the body which could be awakened when they became six years old, regardless of whether they
were animals or plants. Through the means of an awakening ceremony, they were able to awaken their own martial soul. This was precisely the purpose of the annual Awakening Day, to awaken their martial souls.
If someone’s martial soul was a hoe, then their ability to till the fields would far exceed those of others. If instead they had an animal for a martial soul, they might possess some of the abilities of said animal. Due to this, the martial soul had long since become the most significant factor in determining someone’s life.
However, the emergence of soul power was even more important. Soul power was a type of energy that nourished and upgraded the martial soul. Although everyone possessed a martial soul, only one in a thousand people might possess soul power.
The soul power rank represented someone’s future and power. As soon as their martial soul was awakened, they could cultivate soul power in order to nourish and upgrade their martial soul. Thus, over the 100,000 years the
Douluo Continent has existed, the most noble profession has been that of a Soul Master.
Due to this, even commoners would look forward to their children becoming six years old and awakening their martial soul, in hopes that they would possess soul power. If they possessed soul power, their lives would be transformed, benefitting them and their whole family.
The moment dawn arrived, the streets in front of the Red Mountain
Academy were packed. The streets were flooded with parents and their children who had come to participate in the Awakening.
“Dad, what do you think my martial soul will be?” A small boy, just barely six years old, said with excitement as he looked towards his father. He loved to listen to his father’s stories about Soul Masters. He had a pair of large eyes filled with a longing for the future.
The young boy had a head full of short black hair and a stature slightly taller than others of the same age. However, his most attractive feature were his large, clear black eyes and long eyelashes which wouldn’t lose to a girl at all. Even with his commoner’s clothing, his outstanding appearance could easily draw the eyes of others.
His father was a middle aged man who shared a similar appearance. He had a medium build and an average height, everything about him was just
“Dad doesn’t know either. It all depends on luck.” His father released a gloomy sigh within his heart. Actually, the Awakening Day was a decisive day that decided one’s life and future. Whether or not someone had soul power would decide the trajectory of their life. Fortunately, in this era those who were unable to become Soul Masters were still able to have a pretty good future.
“I’ll definitely have soul power, right?” The pretty young boy’s eyes were filled with hope.
His father patted his head and smiled. “Regardless of whether or not you have soul power, dad will always love you.”
There was an unceasing torrent of parents and children passing as they
exited the academy. The overwhelming majority of them all left with sighs of disappointment, but occasionally one of them would be overjoyed. There was no need to ask why; their martial soul must have given birth to soul power. This immediately attracted the envious and jealous gazes of others.
As time passed, the sun’s radiance intensified, while the pretty young boy’s previous enthusiasm continued to wane.
“Tang Wulin!” A teacher walked out from the Red Mountain Academy with a list in hand, calling out the next name.
“I’m here!” With wide eyes, the pretty boy jumped up full of excitement.
Tang Ziran was also slightly startled as his excited son pulled him forward with his small hands.
“Follow me.” Perhaps it was due to the excessive workload on Awakening Day, but the teacher seemed somewhat apathetic as he quickly turned
around and began walking ahead. Tang Ziran brought Tang Wulin and hastened to catch up with the teacher.
As they walked along the small path inside of the academy, Tang Wulin was excitedly taking everything in. It was just like he had said, everything was a novelty to him. Red Mountain Academy was an elementary grade
comprehensive academy able to hold two thousand students. The buildings within the academy were all simple and unadorned with white roofs and red walls. The academy grounds were exceptionally clean. Awakening Day was right before the start of a new term. In comparison to the clamor outside of the walls, the academy seemed unusually peaceful. Tang Wulin’s excited heart seemed to have been calmed by this environment.
The teacher brought them to the front of a circular building before telling Tang Ziran, “Would the child’s parent please wait here for a moment?”
Tang Ziran nodded his head and told his son, “Listen to the teacher’s
commands, and good luck son! Dad will be waiting right here for you.”
Tang Wulin rigorously nodded his head. “I’ll definitely have a powerful martial soul, dad!”
As he watched his son follow the teacher into the circular building, a trace of disappointment and frustration appeared within Tang Ziran’s eyes as he reminisced of the past. Every single elementary academy would have this circular building. It was called the Awakening Chamber, and it was
specifically used to aid six year old children in the awakening of their martial soul. Before the day of the awakening ceremony, the academy would invite a Spirit Master from the Spirit Pagoda to conduct the
awakening ceremony. Decades ago, he had the same hopes when he entered the Awakening Chamber.
There wasn’t just a single awakening area within the Awakening Chamber, rather there were seven floors and within each one was an Awakening
Chamber. Tang Wulin was brought to the Awakening Chamber on the third floor.
As soon as he entered the Awakening Chamber, Tang Wulin was dazzled. All of the floors, the walls, and even the ceiling had wonderful inscriptions carved into them to create an elegant, decorative design.
Within the Awakening Chamber was a middle aged man wearing a simple orange robe, that featured the embroidered form of a soul beast.
Since childhood, Tang Wulin had loved to listen to his father’s stories and within those stories, Spirit Masters would always appear. These Spirit
Masters from the Spirit Pagoda were powerful and mysterious existences.
They were an exceptionally special group of Soul Masters and held an
extremely majestic status on the Douluo Continent. However, this was the first time he had ever seen one.
“Hello.” Tang Wulin shyly replied.
The Soul Master wore a gentle smile on his face. “Come here child. Stand in the middle.”
Tang Wulin blinked for a moment before he cutely walked over and stood in the middle. He couldn’t help but ask, “Lord Spirit Master, what kind of martial soul will I have?”
The Spirit Master replied with a smile, “Ah, I don’t know either! After you’ve awakened, you’ll naturally be able to see what it is. Anyway your
eyes are so pretty, it would be just perfect if you got a martial soul related to your eyes.”
Tang Wulin’s eyes shined. “Soul eyes? I heard that the first master of the Spirit Pagoda had spirit eyes….”
The Spirit Master interrupted him, “Quiet down. I’m about to begin.”
Chapter 2 – Martial Soul Awakening
Chapter 2 – Martial Soul Awakening
Tang Wulin stood nervously in the middle of the Awakening Chamber with his eyes darting all over the room, after all, he was only six years old.
Without a parent accompanying him in this strange and exciting environment, how could his mind be serene?
Right at that moment, a gentle white light shone from the Spirit Master’s hands and attracted his attention.
That white light, could it be the fabled soul power that only Spirit Masters possess?
While under his astonished gaze, the Spirit Master raised his right arm slightly. The white light vibrated before flying off towards the sky and
blossoming into fireworks that illuminated the Awakening Chamber with its splendor.
Starting from the ceiling, the inscription lines filled with light as it moved towards the walls. It was as if it possessed a strong and revitalizing energy, as well as a life of its own. The lines kept lighting up until they converged below Tang Wulin’s feet.
A comfortably numbing energy crept up his legs before entering his body from his heart. Tang Wulin’s body couldn’t help but tremble as he struggled to hold on. It felt as if his body was being electrocuted.
Everything blurred before his eyes, and an unclear image unceasingly flickered within his mind. He wanted a clear look at it, but he could only feel its flowing shadows. In the end, he was able to see it, but he couldn’t remember what it was.
From the view of the Spirit Master, Tang Wulin’s body was already being enveloped in the light, and in turn, was releasing its own light. Within this ancient traditional ceremony, his martial soul had been awakened.
“Ah——!” Tang Wulin suddenly screamed, causing the Spirit Master to jump in fright. An ordinary child usually wouldn’t feel too much during their Awakening, but an extremely low number of them would experience intense pain due to their weak bodies being unable to bear the energy.
The Spirit Master’s body disappeared in a flash and appeared in front of Tang Wulin. In case the situation truly did take a turn for the worse, he would immediately stop the ceremony and ensure Tang Wulin’s safety.
After he got close, he was astonished to see that some golden lines were flickering on Tang Wulin’s forehead. Afterwards, those golden lines began to spread to his four limbs, creating a network of golden lines.
What kind of martial soul was this? This Spirit Master was extremely
experienced; he had awakened thousands and tens of thousands of children. Yet, this was the first time he had seen the situation that was occurring in Tang Wulin’s body.
A faint energy undulated as it was emitted from Tang Wulin’s body. This
energy originated from his lower abdomen, the most common place for soul power to appear from. Although the energy was feeble, its existence was undoubtedly real.
The Spirit Master was pleasantly surprised, this was a martial soul with soul power! Most of the time, he could conduct the ceremony for days without
encountering a child with soul power. It would seem that today’s luck was pretty good. The only question was: what was his martial soul?
The previous golden lines from before had already disappeared without a trace, as if they had never existed at all. Tang Wulin seemed to be enduring an immense pain as his eyes were tightly closed. He slowly raised his right arm.
The hollow of his palm faced upwards, and a pale blue light emitted from it.
In his hands appeared a small light blue grass that quietly rotated and
extended in his hand. With a delicate and soft sway, an exceptionally feeble energy fluctuated out.
“Bluesilver Grass?” The Spirit Master’s voice exuded disappointment, but it was once again substituted with amazement in a moment. He had seen the Bluesilver Grass martial soul so many times before, this was a completely ordinary martial soul! Bluesilver Grass was so common that it covered the whole Douluo Continent as well as the Star Luo Continent and Sky Dou
Continent. Even the lawn of Red Mountain Academy was covered in
Bluesilver Grass. How could this type of trash martial soul give birth to soul power?
So painful! It felt as if Tang Wulin’s body was being ripped to shreds.
His body became limp and numb to the point of being nearly comfortable, as that gentle energy continued to be poured into his body. However, an intense heat quickly bubbled forth from the hundreds of bones of his four limbs. The heat wrecked havoc on his body, making him feel like he had a bloated stomach that was about to burst. Under this pain, he was unable to breathe.
His whole body felt as if it was being ripped apart. Bone, muscle and flesh. There wasn’t a single aspect spared from the pain.
After what seemed like a very, very long time, this fit of pain gradually dissipated. Afterwards he felt a warm thread from the hollow of his palm, Tang Wulin opened his eyes.
A small light blue grass, verdant and lush, was undulating in the palm of his hand. ‘Bluesilver Grass?’
Although Tang Wulin was young, he clearly remembered what he was doing at that moment. Immediately after waking up to reality, he said, “Bluesilver Grass? This is my martial soul?”
Even though he hadn’t properly studied spirit beasts before, he still had
some common knowledge. Naturally, he knew that Bluesilver Grass was a type of trash martial soul. Furthermore, it was the worst trash of them all.
“En. It is. This is your martial soul.” The Spirit Master said so with a smile, yet his eyes couldn’t help but reveal a trace of pity.
Possessing soul power was definitely a good thing, but if his martial soul was Bluesilver Grass…
Tang Wulin’s lips softly quivered, and an intense torrent of sadness attacked his tiny heart. After anticipating for so long, it turned out that he actually had a trash martial soul.
“Child, don’t be sad. You possess soul power.” The Spirit Master hastily said.
“I, I have soul power?” Tang Wulin met his words with a look of astonishment.
The Spirit Master nodded in response. “After I tested it, you actually have rank 3 innate soul power. Although it can’t be considered amazing, it still means that you possess soul power. As long as you put in great effort, then you will be able to become a Soul Master too!”
Tang Wulin foolishly stared. “But, but my martial soul is Bluesilver Grass…”
The Spirit Master laughed. “Have you ever heard the tale of the Tang Sect? The founding patriarch of the Tang Sect’s martial soul was actually the
Bluesilver Grass! He relied on this martial soul that other deemed as trash to rebuke the Heavens and Earth and defeated the wicked Martial Soul Hall twenty thousand years ago.”
Tang Wulin blinked in surprise. How could he have never heard of the tale of the Tang Sect’s founding patriarch? After all, the legend of the almighty masters of the Tang Sect and Spirit Pagoda were the most widespread legends on the continent as well as the most universally appreciated.
“But wasn’t the Tang Sect’s founding patriarch’s martial soul the Bluesilver Emperor?” Tang Wulin earnestly asked.
“Eh…” The Spirit Master was somewhat embarrassed. Clearly, this little guy wasn’t so easy to fool. “The Bluesilver Emperor is the equivalent of an evolved Bluesilver Grass. If you wish to become a Soul Master, then you must put in your greatest effort.”
Tang Wulin bit his lip. “Thank you, Lord Spirit Master.”
Chapter 3 – Little Wulin’s Family
Chapter 3 – Little Wulin’s Family
Even as he exited the gates of Red Mountain Academy, Tang Wulin was flummoxed.
Like every year, those who awakened soul power along with their martial soul were invited to join the Soul Master class of Red Mountain Academy as new students. No matter which elementary academy it was, the Soul
Master class was undoubtedly the most important.
Tang Wulin’s previous agitation hadn’t completely dissipated; his head felt swollen, and his body was heating up. He dizzily continued walking.
“Son, you really are one in a million!” Tang Ziran’s gentle voice awakened Tang Wulin from his dazed state.
Tang Wulin raised his head and faced his father’s gentle and loving expression. “Dad, is Bluesilver Grass a trash martial soul?”
Tang Ziran solemnly replied, “How could it be a trash martial soul? You need to know only one in a thousand people have soul power! You have both a trash martial soul and soul power, doesn’t that mean you’re one in a million? Therefore, my son is unique and by definition unmatched. Haven’t I told you the story of the founding ancestor of the Tang Sect, Tang San? It was with his Bluesilver Grass….”
Tang Wulin’s family lived in the commoner’s district of Glorybound City. His father was a machine repairman specializing in soul machines.
However, his skill was only ordinary so he could only earn a meager wage to support his family.
His mother, Lan Yue, was a housewife and had single handedly taken care of Tang Wulin. She was exceptionally skilled at cooking delicious dishes.
The entirety of their home was comprised of a living room about a dozen square meters large, a small kitchen, a washroom and two rooms with less than ten square meters in space.
“Son, you’re home! You must be hungry. Mom will cook up something delicious for you.” Lang Yue couldn’t be regarded as a beauty, but she was definitely charming. She crouched down and hugged little Wulin.
“I’m not hungry mom, just a bit sleepy. I want to go take a nap.” Tang Wulin hugged her neck in response before scurrying off towards his own room.
Lang Yue watched the little figure retreat into his room before gently
sighing. “This child has wanted to become a Soul Master since childhood, but becoming a Soul Master isn’t that easy! We need to go comfort him.”
Tang Ziran entered the small living room and sat down beside the dinner table. For lunch, there was sauted vegetables, stewed pork ribs, some salad and a bowl of three vegetable soup. This was already considered luxurious for the Tang family.
“He has soul power, but I wish he didn’t.” Tang Ziran sighed.
Astonished, Lang Yue sat down beside her husband. “What did you say? Wulin possesses soul power? Doesn’t that mean he can become a Soul Master?”
Tang Ziran forced out a bitter laugh. “How could it be that easy? His martial soul is Bluesilver Grass, and his innate soul power is only rank 3. Becoming a Soul Master is easier said than done. Although he is able to enter the Soul Master class, I fear that the pressure will be too much for him.”
Lang Yue was confused for a moment, but quickly understood the meaning of her husband’s words. “Then Wulin, he….”
Tang Ziran replied, “He seems to be in shock. He didn’t say anything on the way back. In the process of growing up, our family’s little man will definitely encounter some setbacks. It’s best to just leave him be for now.”
Lang Yue glanced at her son’s room with worried eyes. Sighing loudly, she refilled her husband’s bowl of rice. “Let’s eat first then, we won’t disturb him either. Wulin has always been obedient. So we’ll transfer him to the normal class if it doesn’t work out.”
Tang Ziran and his wife both didn’t know that it wasn’t because he
encountered this setback that Tang Wulin didn’t eat lunch. He truly was too exhausted to eat.
As soon as he returned to his room, he fell headfirst onto his bed and entered the land of dreams.
Soon after, Tang Wulin’s body began twisting and turning atop the bed, his skin flushed crimson. If Tang Ziran or Lang Yue were there, they would discover that Tang Wulin’s body temperature was increasing at an
The deep red pigmentation of his skin began to gradually penetrate deeper and deeper until his meridian channels were becoming faintly visible. Even with this faintness, his blood flow could be seen. His heartbeat began increasing rapidly; it had become at least three times his normal heartbeat.
The gold lines that had appeared in the awakening chamber, once again re- emerged on his forehead. The line pattern began to extend from his head to his toes, before returning upwards once again.
After three cycles of traveling the length of his body, the gold line pattern quietly receded back into the depths his body once again. Tang Wulin’s whole body began making slight creaking noises, but after a moment, the undisturbed silence returned, and his body returned to its normal temperature. He then entered an even deeper slumber.
In his dreams, Tang Wulin found himself in a prairie completely covered in Bluesilver Grass with a golden sky overhead. In front of him stood a gigantic colossus possessing a large golden mouth that seemed to have dropped from the golden sky. In the next moment, he was swallowed by the golden mouth and entered a borderless golden realm.
“Ah~” He cried out in surprise and abruptly sat up. Tang Wulin found himself covered in oily and sticky sweat. He couldn’t even find the words to describe the discomfort he was in.
Having been raised in an impoverished family, Tang Wulin was
significantly more sensible and mature than others of his age. He didn’t go disturb his mother and father. Rather, he peeled off his clothes and went to the washroom to wash himself off. He was amazed to discover that the odorous sweat immediately disappeared after he washed himself.
“Ah, where’s Lin Lin?” Just then, Lang Yue’s voice called out from outside.
“I’m in here mom. I’m taking a bath.” Tang Wulin hurriedly dashed out in nothing but his underwear, trying to respond to his mother’s calls.
Rebukingly, Lang Yue said, “Hurry up and put on some clothes. You’re going to freeze.” She pinched her son’s tender little pink face before pushing him into his room.
After closing the door, Lang Yue muttered to herself, ‘That little guy’s skin is even more tender and elastic now. Mom is so jealous!’
It was only after Tang Wulin dressed himself and left his small room that he realized the sky had already turned dark. He had actually slept away the
Tang Ziran had taken a leave of absence today, so he would be at home the entire time. He beckoned to Tang Wulin, “Come over here son.”
Tang Wulin sat down beside his father. Right when Tang Ziran was about to speak, Tang Wulin’s belly cried out. Gugu. After hearing it Tang Ziran immediately broke out into laughter with Lang Yue.
Tang Wulin happily smiled, at their good-natured laughter. “Mom, can I go eat? I’m really hungry.”
“Go eat.” Lang Yue served him a bowl of rice. She shot her husband a glance, indicating that they should speak after he finished eating.
When Tang Wulin raised his rice bowl a fourth time, Tang Ziran and Lang Yue were already extremely shocked. Even if he hadn’t eaten lunch, it was impossible for him to be able to eat this much!
“Mom, it’s delicious. I still want more…”
Chapter 4 – Entering the Academy
Chapter 4 – Entering the Academy
Tang Ziran and Lang Yue hadn’t eaten their fill yet as all the food on the table had been sucked into their son’s belly like a tornado. Yet, Tang Wulin still wasn’t full.
“Son, are you the indignant food devourer of legend?” said Tang Ziran helplessly. In the end, all of the food on the table was inhaled by Tang Wulin’s belly, and Lang Yue had to forbid him from eating anymore.
Puzzled, Tang Wulin looked at his father. “Dad, why am I indignant?”
Tang Ziran replied, “Dad really wants to ask you son, do you plan on
entering the Soul Master class, or do you want dad to help you enter the ordinary class?”
Tang Wulin answered. “Of course it’s the Soul Master class! I want to become a famous Soul Master!”
Tang ZI Ran firmly said, “Your martial soul is the Bluesilver Grass. Even in the legends about the Tang Sect’s ancestor, the Bluesilver Grass was an
extremely average martial soul. Cultivating it will definitely be difficult,
and you will encounter many challenges. Do you really wish to walk down this path?”
“Yeah! I want to become a Soul Master. After I become a Soul Master, I can make lots of money and buy mom and dad lots of delicious food.” Tang Wulin was full to the brim with childish dreams. To the side Lang Yue
watched him with red eyes and thought about how he had always been well- behaved and thoughtful since he was little.
“Good,” Tang Ziran nodded. “Since you’re set on this, then mom and dad
will support you. But if you regret this choice in the future, just tell dad, and I’ll help you transfer classes. Just remember that mom and dad have never wanted you to become a dragon or a phoenix. We only want you to be happy. We’ll be content as long as you’re happy. There’s nothing else more important in our hearts than your happiness. Do you understand?”
Tang Wulin beamed a bright smile in reply. “I’m already really happy right now!”
Aside from being hungrier than before, Tang Wulin also seemed much thirstier and sleepier as well resulting in him going to bed early.
The next day, just as the sky revealed the first glimmers of light, Tang Wulin was woken up by his father. Today was the day he would begin attending the academy. He had officially entered the Red Mountain
Academy’s Soul Master class. This would be the first day of his nine years of learning.
According to the regulations set by the Sun Moon Federation, elementary and intermediate academies had free tuition and were compulsory.
Elementary academy was three years while the intermediate academy was six years long. There were several ways to enter an advanced academy: outstanding achievements, paying an exceedingly expensive tuition, or
entering an academy of science and specializing in a field of study.
Tang Ziran accompanied Tang Wulin to the academy gates before leaving as the academy was very close to their home. Before leaving to go work,
Tang Ziran repeatedly urged Tang Wulin to directly return home after school.
The Soul Master class specially had a teacher at the front doors to welcome the new students. Clearly, they were treated much better than the ordinary
The ordinary class would receive a normal cultural education while the Soul Master class would also learn how use their innate soul power to become
Soul Masters. They would also be taught knowledge essential to Soul Masters and prepare to enter an intermediate academy.
This year’s Soul Master class only had 15 students, the number of children who had awakened soul power were simply too low. It was even more
apparent in a small city like Glorybound City. This year’s arrivals could actually be considered a lot.
“Hey, what’s your martial soul?” A chubby boy who wasn’t too tall asked, happening to be beside Tang Wulin.
They were all the same age, all brimming with curiosity and anticipation for the Soul Master class.
Tang Wulin proudly answered, “It’s the same as the Tang Sect’s founding
ancestor’s, the Bluesilver Grass.” As he said this, his flipped his hand, and a blue light flickered in his palm. A single strand of Bluesilver Grass danced in his palm. However, he didn’t notice that this Bluesilver Grass was different than yesterday’s, near its roots the grass had changed to a faint golden color. It was so indistinct that if no one would be able to discover it unless they meticulously examined it.
“Pff.” The little fatty said disdainfully, “Ah, Bluesilver Grass! That’s a trash martial soul.” After insulting Tang Wulin, he ignored him and coldly
Tang Wulin couldn’t accept this. “Then what about you? What’s your martial soul?”
With a snort, the little fatty waved his right hand, causing a cold light to glow and a small knife to materialized in his hands. “Have you had a good look? My martial soul is a knife. If I’m able to cultivate to the rank of Titled Douluo, then I’ll be the Knife God Douluo. I have rank 5 innate soul power. I can casually chop your Bluesilver Grass into tatters.”
Looking at the difference between the fatty’s short knife and his own
Bluesilver Grass, Tang Wulin suddenly recalled the words his father had said the evening before.
Will cultivating Bluesilver Grass as a Soul Master really be that difficult?
All of the other students had already displayed their martial soul and boasted about its characteristics. Regardless of which martial soul it was, they were all far better than his Bluesilver Grass. Due to this, none of the other students paid any attention to him as they began forming their groups.
‘I’ll definitely become a Soul Master!’ Tang Wulin resolved to himself with clenched fists.
“Hello everyone. I’m your homeroom teacher, Lin Ximeng. I’ll be teaching you the basic knowledge required for Soul Masters over the next three years. How about you all introduce yourselves now? Tell us your name, martial soul and innate soul power rank.”
There were only 15 students, so the introductions went by quickly. When Li Ximeng heard that Tang Wulin’s martial soul was Bluesilver Grass, he
couldn’t help but be startled while the other students roared with laughter.
Tang Wulin’s little face blushed a deep red. It felt as if he was restraining a ball of fire within his heart. ‘Were these the challenges that you spoke of dad?’
Lin Ximeng quickly regained his composure and smiled. “Today is your first day of class, so I’ll be explaining the different classifications for martial souls first. In the afternoon, I’ll teach you how to meditate.
Meditation is the only way to temper and improve your soul power. If you want to become a true Soul Master, then you all must strive your hardest.”
“As you all know, everyone in our world has a martial soul. One’s martial soul awakens at the age of six, and it can be anything. If one also awakens soul power, then they can cultivate to become a Soul Master. Now a question for all of you, what classifications are there for martial souls?”
“First of all, the two main classes are tool souls and beast souls. Among them, all of the martial souls that appear on the body are beast souls. If they appear separately from the body, then they’re tool souls. By cultivating your
soul power, you’re able to upgrade your martial soul. After your soul power reaches rank 10, then you’re able to become a Soul Master.”
“There are also two main classes of Soul Masters. The Battle Soul Masters and Utility Soul Masters. Those who cultivate with the goal of fighting are Battle Soul Masters. Regardless of what someone’s martial soul is, they are still a Soul Master. There are also many minor classifications…”
Tang Wulin’s depression gradually faded away as he listened to Lin Ximeng explain the classifications of martial souls and Soul Masters. He had been filled with a curiosity towards Soul Masters since he was small. To him, this knowledge was like a door, opening up a brand new magnificent world.
Chapter 5 – Na’er
Chapter 5 – Na’er
Tang Wulin was clearly unhappy as he walked out of the Red Mountain Academy’s gates. The long day coupled with these major events clearly dampened his expectations.
He had grown up in an ordinary household, full of harmony. His parent’s relationship was excellent, and they loved him dearly. Even when he made a mistake, they would sincerely correct him.
However, today was the first time he had ever encountered these so called “challenges.” Because his martial soul was Bluesilver Grass, he was rejected at by the other students. To make matters worse, the teacher didn’t treat him very well either.
During the afternoon, the teacher clearly spent the least amount of time instructing him on how to meditate.
“Is my martial soul really that bad?” Tang Wulin’s depressed expression gradually changed into one of stubbornness. “Even if my martial soul is no good, I’ll definitely become an important Soul Master. Dad told me before, success is 99% effort and 1% talent. Since my martial soul isn’t any good, then I’ll just have to put in even more effort!’
With his optimistic nature, he had already overcome the depression of the day while inadvertently resolving himself.
‘Anyways, why am I so hungry?’ Tang Wulin was puzzled as he rubbed his belly. The academy included one meal for lunch, and that meal was limitless. In the aspect of food, the Soul Master class also had much better food than the ordinary classes. Tang Wulin had eaten so much that he was
given the nickname of “Rice Bucket.” He had eaten enough to fill half a dozen other students, and far surpassed the capacity of an adult.
His eating capacity wasn’t small before, but it certainly hadn’t reached this extent! It was only afternoon now, yet he was already hungry.
He was going to go and see if there was anything good to eat at home. His eye lit up at the mere thought of eating.
As he was walking down the road, a small figure attracted his attention.
The afternoon sun wasn’t too harsh, but the weather that day was unusually good. So, the sunshine simply produced a comfortable warmth. The
sunlight had shined down upon a smear of silver, catching Tang Wulin’s attention.
A little girl was squatted down near the roadside. She was slightly shorter than him with a head of short silver hair. The sunlight had reflected off it, creating a silver flash and attracting Tang Wulin’s attention.
It was as if there was some sort of profound attraction between the two of them. The young girl raised her head and returned his gaze. She wore
shabby clothes in addition to a dirt stained face, clearly resembling a little beggar. However, aside from her silver hair, she also had two eyes that
stood out from the crowd.
She had big eyes, with two crystal clear amethyst pupils. Even though they were separated by a distance, Tang Wulin could see his image reflected in her eyes, naturally long eyelashes framing them.
Tang Wulin’s eyes were very pretty, so when he encountered a fellow large- eyed person, he automatically had a favorable impression of her. He had unconsciously stopped walking. Two pairs of eyes peered into each other as the little girl directly met his gaze with her pretty eyes, somewhat bewildered.
“Little girl, where are your parents?” Right at that moment, several young delinquents surrounded her after being attracted by her silver hair.
The little girl avoided their eyes, once again lowering her head.
The delinquents shot looks to one another before one of them called out, “Silver hair is really rare! Could you be from one of the other two
continents? I reckon the black market dealers will really like her silver hair and purple eyes.”
Greed colored their eyes as they nodded towards each other.
The youngster who had previously spoken squatted down. “Hey, little girl. Where’s your family?”
Without speaking, she shook her lowered head.
Beaming with smiles, the youngster said, “Are you hungry? Big brother will bring you to eat some good things, how about it?”
The little girl shook her head once again, but this time, she shook it much more forcefully.
The youngster shot a meaningful look to his companions before reaching out his hand to pull the little girl’s arm, lifting her up against her will. His companions encircled them, obstructing others from seeing this.
Even as the little girl let out a frightened scream, the youngster already had her over his shoulders.
“What are you doing?” Right at that moment, a childish voice full of fury called out, giving the youngster and his companions a fright.They couldn’t
help but reveal resentful faces when they turned around to look. The person who had come to aid the one suffering an injustice was unexpectedly a tiny pretty boy who didn’t even reach their waists.
The youngster in the back revealed a trace of cruelty. He raised one of his legs and kicked Tang Wulin away. “Brat, you dare to meddle with us.”
Tang Wulin tumbled away and landed a little more than two meters away, completely covered in dirt.
“You guys are villains!” He had rolled on the ground but immediately got up. He charged towards the youngsters in order to bar their way.
The youngster who was carrying the little girl exposed a vicious face. The ruckus they had made had already attracted the attention of some pedestrians. After all, this had all occurred on a main street.
A cold light flickered from his wrist and a dagger appeared in the youngster’s hand. He gestured towards Tang Wulin, “Fuck off if you don’t want to die!”
Tang Wulin stubborning glared and furiously replied, “Villains won’t have a good end. I’m a Soul Master; I’m not afraid of you. Release her!”
As he spoke, Tang Wulin lifted his right hand, and a light blue ring of light twinkled. The Bluesilver Grass appeared in his palm in its waving fashion. A faint energy undulated outwards from it.
What could rank 3 soul power do? It only made him a bit more powerful than his peers. He didn’t have a soul ring to support his soul. His soul was far from being battle capable. This was also the reason why cultivation was essential to being promoted from the lowest Soul Scholar rank to the Soul Master rank.
The youngster blanked out for a moment as his companions tugged on his arm.
If it was only a regular boy, then they wouldn’t have to do anything in particular. They would only have to cover for each other, and there
wouldn’t be any trouble. But a child that possessed soul power was different, the government maintained special records on these children. Even the Spirit Pagoda had records on these children. If anything happened to these special children, the federal government would definitely put in
expend a lot of resources to search for the cause. What’s more, many bystanders have already witnessed their deeds.
“Such bad luck!” The head of the youngsters was unresigned, but he set down little girl with an angry growl and quickly left with his companions.
The little girl stumbled and fell onto her butt. Seeing this, Tang Wulin hurriedly ran over and crouched beside her. “Don’t be scared. I’m a man. I’ll protect you!”
The little girl raised her head and looked at him. Up close, those large purple eyes of hers were even prettier. Within her pupils, a layer of mist seemed to have appeared.
“Don’t cry, don’t cry. I’ve already driven away the villains. My name is Tang Wulin. What’s your name?”
The little girl foolishly stared at him for a moment before finally opening her mouth. “My name is Na’er.”
Chapter 6 – Bringing Her Home
Chapter 6 – Bringing Her Home
“Na’er? That’s a nice name, and your voice is so pleasant to hear.” Tang Wulin helped her up.
Na’er lowered her head but didn’t say a word.
“Where’s your mom and dad? Where is your home?” Tang Wulin asked. Na’er shook her head.
“Gu gu!” A peculiar sound suddenly disrupted their harmony.
Tang Wulin hastily lowered his head to look at his stomach, but he quickly realized that those sounds weren’t made by him. Even though Na’er’s face was covered in dust, an indistinct blush could be seen.
Are you hungry? If you can’t find your mom and dad, I can bring you to my house. My mom’s cooking is delicious!” As Tang Wulin spoke, he pulled onto Na’er’s hand while walking in the direction of his home.
Na’er raised her head and looked towards him. From her position, she could only see the side of his face. His face was rosy thanks to the previous fight with a few youths, turning red with vigour. He had large black eyes and long eyelashes. She couldn’t help but stare blankly at his meaningful glance.
“Mom, I’m home!” Tang Wulin shouted before even stepping into his home.
“Child, lower your voice! Don’t disturb the neighbours.” Lang Yue rebuked him while opening the door.
“How was school today? Hmm? Why are you covered in dirt?” Lang Yue frowned as she looked at her son, who was covered in dust. After that, she saw Na’er, whose hand was being held by Tang Wulin.
“Mom, I’ve encountered some villains.” Tang Wulin lively and realistically told her what had just transpired.
After hearing his words, Lang Yue’s expression changed before she dragged him inside the house. Na’er, whose hand was being held by Tang Wulin, naturally entered the house as well.
“Child, don’t you know how dangerous that is? How could you…….” Lang Yue was obviously anxious, judging from her erratic breathing. She
completely understood what those youths from the common streets were capable of doing.
Tang Wulin replied stubbornly, “But Father had said that boys need to be brave and gutsy to fight against villains.”
“You……” When Lang Yue saw the resolution in her son’s large eyes, she didn’t continued to reproach him. Was he wrong? Of course not. What he did was right. However, as a mother, she was more worried about her
Tang Wulin giggled and ran forward to hug his mother’s leg. “Mom, don’t be angry. Na’er and I are hungry. Can you make some delicious food for us?”
Regarding this adorable and obedient child, Lang Yue really couldn’t continue to be mad at him. She helplessly shook her head before she
crouched down towards Na’er, who didn’t say a single word. “Little friend, are you called Na’er? Where’s your mother and father?”
Na’er just shook her head as she had done previously, without saying a single word.
Only a kind hearted mother could bring up such a kind hearted son. Lang Yue said, “Alright. Look at how filthy the two of you are, you should go and wash up first before changing your clothes.”
5-6 year old children naturally didn’t need to be separated by genders. Lang Yue pulled the two dirt covered monkeys into the bathroom to give them a wash.
When Tang Wulin asked Lang Yue why he and Na’er were different, she only laughed without answering. However, Na’er bashfully hid behind Lang Yue.
“Wah! Na’er, you’re so pretty!” As Tang Wulin sat at the side of the dining table, he supported his chin with both of his hands while looking at Na’er who was at his side, wearing his clothes.
Tang Wulin was taller than Na’er by half a head, so his clothes were very baggy when worn by Na’er. Yet, this didn’t affect Na’er’s beauty at all.
Her skin was even fairer than Tang Wulin’s. It was so white and delicate that it seemed as if water could be squeezed out with the slightest pinch, and after she showered, a faint, refreshing light fragrance was given off from her body. She was akin to a porcelain doll cut out of the finest pink jade.
Na’er raised her head and looked at him, but she remained as silent as before. It seemed that she really disliked speaking.
It wasn’t time for dinner yet, so Lang Yue served the two hungry children two small plates of biscuits and two cups of milk.
One shouldn’t judge Na’er, because she didn’t like to talk. When she ate,
she was unhesitant and devoured the food rapidly. In a short period of time, she had completely eaten all of the biscuits and drank all of the milk before her.
Although Tang Wulin was hungry, it was clear that his curiosity towards
Na’er was beyond his hunger. When Na’er was looking at the biscuit on his
plate, he knew that Na’er had already finished her portion.
“Here you go.” Tang Wulin generously pushed his biscuits to be in front of Na’er.
Na’er looked at him as she shook her head.
“It’s ok. You can have it. I ate a lot at noon.” Tang Wulin said beamingly.
Na’er hesitated for a moment, but clearly the enticement of the biscuits was too great for her. In the end, the biscuits were eaten by her.
Lang Yue also sat down. “Na’er, do you know where you come from or where your home is?”
Na’er shook her head.
Lang Yue continued to ask, “Do you know any methods to contact your family? Anything will do.”
Na’er still shook her head.
Lang Yue said, “Then how old are you?”
Na’er shook her head once again, but at last, she opened her mouth. “Five and a half.”
“Wah! This means that I’m your elder brother. I’m older than you as I’m six years old.” Tang Wulin said in high spirits.
Lang Yue snappily glared at him. “Mother will bring Na’er to the
Administrative Office to investigate in a moment. We’ll see if we can locate her family. You stay here and behave yourself, understood?”
“Oh.” Tang Wulin obediently nodded his head but as he looked at Na’er, he didn’t know why he felt reluctant. It was probably because she was too beautiful.
Lang Yue brought Na’er out. Na’er was her typical self as she didn’t talk much before leaving with her.
After they left, Tang Wulin returned to his room. He thought about what the teacher had taught in class today and decided to give meditation a try.
Tang Wulin sat up straight in serenity. Meditation required tranquility to sense one’s self and nature. This was the first step.
Tang Wulin originally didn’t have any distracting thoughts so he quickly calmed down. He subconsciously felt his Bluesilver Grass martial soul
which wasn’t strong but had feasible soul power. When first meditating, he was just required to accomplish that step. He should first feel his own martial soul and soul power, forcing his mind to maintain an intimate
connection with each other. After this step was done, he could then continue to really meditate.
Bluesilver Grass lightly swayed in his mind. Tang Wulin suddenly felt that he could sense some of the world’s Bluesilver Grass.
It was delicate yet strong with one year of withered glory as the spring breeze was reborn.
Chapter 7 – Stay here and be my little sister
Chapter 7 – Stay here and be my little sister
While immersed in the Bluesilver Grass’s world, Tang Wulin thought he heard many voices. These voices came in bits and pieces, yet were
Bluesilver Grass was gentle, but it had tenacious vitality. It was the most
abundant plant on the continent. Their staunch existence traced back tens of millions of years.
Powerful soul beasts from that era were on the verge of extinction, but
Bluesilver Grass covered the planet, the same as it did tens of thousands of years ago.
Tang Wulin’s faint awareness allowed him to sense the tiny existences in the air, as they were quietly absorbed into his body. Those existences blended completely in his feeble soul power. This fusion was neither fast nor substantial, yet he could still sense that this fusion was gradually increasing his soul power. Although it was only increasing it slightly, this increase was stable and persistent.
After an unknown period of time, Tang Wulin naturally awakened from his state of meditation. His body felt cool and relaxed, as if he was wrapped up in countless strands of Bluesilver Grass.
However, he was given a fright when he saw his father sitting opposite of him.
“Dad, how come you’re home so early?” Tang Wulin asked in astonishment.
Tang Ziran smiled, “I’m not early. It’s already night time. I see that you’ve already learnt meditation? It seems the Red Mountain Academy’s education is pretty good!”
Tang Wulin excitedly responded, “That’s right! It seems that I can meditate now. Earlier, it felt as if many little things entered my body, dad.
Afterwards, my soul power began increasing. Can this be considered as learning meditation?”
Tang Ziran was startled within his heart. In only one day, Tang Wulin was able to grasp the secrets of meditation? The things his son had sensed was definitely the art of meditation! This wasn’t as simple as good instruction.
Originally, he himself…
“Yes, that’s right. You’ve learned how to meditate. It seems that my son’s comprehension abilities are pretty good!” Tang Ziran has always been
generous with praise towards his son. One must praise one’s child when one saw their growth after all. For children, confidence was the most important thing.
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but be proud of himself when his father praised him. However, Tang Ziran interjected solemnly before Tang Wulin could respond.
“Son, there’s something I need to ask you.”
Tang Wulin rarely saw his father so serious, so he immediately restrained himself. “What’s the matter dad? Have I done something wrong? You said that men have to be brave enough to battle villains. Furthermore, I didn’t fight the other students when they ridiculed my Bluesilver Grass at school today. I was very obedient.”
Tang Ziran answered, “There’s nothing wrong with being brave. But you also need to be wise in addition to being brave. When you know you don’t have enough power to save others, then you must seek the help of others
rather than rushing forward. If they weren’t scared off by you showing your martial soul, you would have been caught up in a dangerous situation son.
That isn’t brave, it’s reckless.”
Tang Wulin contemplated this and took it to heart before lowering his head. “I was wrong Dad.”
It was only now that Tang Ziran’s smile reappeared. His son only had to be willing to acknowledge his mistake for him to truly realize his error.
“Men won’t make that kind of mistake.” “Hn.” Tang Wulin nodded.
Tang Ziran smiled. “Good then. Let’s discuss the next matter.” Tang Wulin asked in surprise, “There’s still another matter?”
Tang Ziran let out a grunt. “Naturally, right when you turn six years old, you bring home a girl. Then what will you be like when you’ve grown up? What’s more, you were the hero who saved a beauty. Not bad!”
It was only now that Tang Wulin remembered the matter of Na’er and hurriedly asked, “Dad, has Na’er found her family? She’s certainly very pretty.”
Tang Ziran shook his head. “Your mother brought her to the administrative office to inquire, but we didn’t find her information.”
Tang Wulin asked, “Then what’s going to happen to her?”
Tang Ziran responded, “You tell dad. What do you want to do?”
Tang Wulin pondered over this. “How about we let her live with us dad? Is that alright?”
Tang Ziran revealed a smile that wasn’t quite a smile as he look at him. “Live in our house? Mom and dad couldn’t possibly take care of two
Tang Wulin hastily said, “I can take care of her. I can look after her after school.”
Tang Ziran smiled. “Alright then. Let’s eat first.”
When he entered the living room, Tang Wulin was surprised to see Na’er already sitting at the dinner table with a docile appearance.
“Na’er!” Tang Wulin shouted before bouncing vivaciously to her side and very naturally began pulling on her delicate small hand.
Lang Yue said, “We couldn’t find any records on this child. We can only send her to the orphanage.”
“No! Let Na’er stay mom.” Tang Wulin stood in front of Na’er with his
arms spread wide. “Don’t send her to the orphanage. Can’t we let her stay here? At worst, I’ll just have to eat a little less in the future.”
Na’er raised her head, and looked at Tang Wulin in a daze. Tang Wulin’s body wasn’t big or tall, but when Na’er saw him protecting her, she
couldn’t help but tear up a bit.
Lang Yue said, “Linlin, you can’t do as you wish and take the place of her family. You have to ask Na’er if she wants to stay here or go to the orphanage!”
Tang Wulin immediately turned around, looking directly at Na’er. “Na’er, why don’t you stay with us? My mom makes really good food, and my dad is really nice. You can live together with me, and I’ll definitely protect you. I’ve always wanted to have a younger sister. Why don’t you stay and be my younger sister?”
“En.” Unexpectedly, Na’er took the initiative to nod this time.
“Yay. This is great, I have a younger sister now.” Tang Wulin happily bounced up and down.
Afterwards, it was discovered that the children were unable to control their hunger. Despite the fact that Lang Yue had made extra food today, it still
wasn’t enough to satisfy the two big eaters. That was right, not only did
Tang Wulin’s food capacity increase, that petite body of Na’er’s was also a bottomless pit. Unexpectedly, her stomach wasn’t any smaller than Tang Wulin’s. They even ate the lunch Lang Yue had prepared for Tang Ziran to eat the next day. Even after all that, they didn’t look satisfied at all.
The house only had two rooms, and with the addition of Na’er, she could only share a room with Tang Wulin. Tang Wulin and Tang Ziran had put up a divider in the middle of the room.
Na’er was very tired, falling asleep quickly.
“Dad, I’m going to meditate now.” Tang Wulin felt unusually satisfied
when he was meditating, and was impatiently desiring to feel that sensation again. He wanted to become a Soul Master. He had even more reason to become powerful now. He now had a little sister to protect.
Chapter 8 – Learning to Forge
Chapter 8 – Learning to Forge
“Wait a moment.” Tang Ziran called out to Tang Wulin. “What is it dad?”
Tang Ziran patted the chair beside him. “Come and sit down. Dad has something to discuss with you.”
“Oh.” Tang Wulin went over, sitting beside his father while giving him a suspicious look.
Tang Ziran said, “Son, you chose the path of becoming a Soul Master so dad will support you. However, you must understand that you will face many challenges. This not only includes your studies, but also at home.”
“Once a Soul Master cultivates to rank 10, they will require a soul ring in order to break through. In the distant past, you could obtain a soul ring by hunting soul beasts. However, ten thousand years later, that is now, we have discovered through research that the spirit soul is superior to soul rings. In fact, high level spirit souls can possess the ability to grow, furthermore, they can be artificially manufactured. Thus, spirit souls are equivalent to soul rings. The various ranks of spirit souls can bestow a Soul Master with one or more soul rings. However, for us commoners we can only buy them from the Spirit Pagoda.”
“Dad can’t do anything about this with my meager wage. I make just
enough to provide for our household. However, with the addition of Na’er and how much you two eat, dad will be hard pressed to buy even the lowest grade spirit soul for you when you cultivate to rank 10 soul power.
“There are two methods to get a spirit soul from the Spirit Pagoda. The first is to be a genius Soul Master with an exceedingly fast cultivation speed.
Those geniuses will be be granted their first spirit soul free of charge. However, it’s clear that your Bluesilver Grass won’t qualify for that opportunity. Therefore, we are left only with the second method of purchasing one.”
Tang Wulin was stunned at his father’s words. He had never considered this problem before. That’s right! Soul Masters required soul rings. soul rings
could be obtained from soul beasts or from a spirit soul. Soul beasts were exceedingly rare now, making it very difficult to obtain a high grade soul ring from them. His only option was to purchase one.
As a six year old child his concept of money was still quite faint, yet the issue of money was now forced upon him.
“What should I do then dad?”
Tang Ziran bitterly laughed, “This is the extent of dad’s abilities. In the next few years, dad will work hard to earn enough money to at least help you out a little bit. However, you will still have to rely on your own efforts. Do you still remember Uncle Mang Tian?”
“I remember! Isn’t he the one who visited us before?” The image of a tall rugged middle aged man appeared within Tang Wulin’s mind.
Tang Ziran said, “Your Uncle Mang Tian is an outstanding blacksmith. I’ve told him about our circumstances and he said that he can give you the opportunity to apprentice under him. For two hours everyday, over the next three months, he will teach you. If you can forge some simple things after three months, then you’ll be able to earn some money.”
Tang Wulin’s eyes were shining. “I want to do it Dad. When can I begin?”
Tang Ziran meaningfully looked at him and said, “Forging is a highly difficult profession. Do you truly want to do this?”
Tang Wulin nodded. “I can do it! I’ll earn the money to buy a spirit soul myself.”
Tang Ziran smiled in response. “Good. You can go and try it out then. If it doesn’t suit you, then you can stop.”
“Alright. I’m going to go meditate then dad.”
After Tang Wulin returned to his room, a single drop of a liquid fell upon Tang Ziran’s shoulders. He turned his head around to see his teary eyed wife.
“Wulin is still so young, why did you have to do this? If we live frugally,
we should be able to help him save some money for a spirit soul.” Lang Yue said, choking with emotion. She had never gone against/contradicted her husband before, but this time…
Tang Ziran released a sigh. “It truly is too difficult to become a Soul Master with Bluesilver Grass. Blacksmithing is a craft, Lin Lin is still young but he has a strong character. Blacksmithing can be more than just forging metal, it can also serve to temper himself in the process. If he can truly persevere through these hardships, he’ll have another means to make money when he grows up. Furthermore, he can toughen himself up. It truly has too many
advantages and no disadvantages for him, you also understand our
circumstances. I only fear that one day, we will…. Naturally it would also be great if Lin Lin manages to obtain Mang Tian’s approval, his occupation’s status would be even higher than mine.”
The morning of the next day, after bidding farewell to his mother and Na’er, Tang Wulin hurried to school in high spirits.
After a night of meditation, Tang Wulin felt even more intimate with the
Bluesilver Grass. His intimacy was to the point that he gained a courageous and amiable feeling towards it.
Soul Masters didn’t learn about Soul Master topics everyday. Instead, they alternated between Soul Master topics and cultural classes. Today was the cultural classes’ turn.
Tang Wulin was very smart. He listened to the lectures earnestly and even earned words of praise from his cultural teacher.
“Why have you come to pick me up, mom? Where’s Na’er?” After the end of the school day, Tang Wulin was greeted with the sight of Lang Yue.
A thread of regret was present within Lang Yue’s eyes. With quick steps, she walked over and picked up her son.
“Hurry up and let me down mom. I’m already a big kid. You’re embarrassing me in front of my classmates!”
Lang Yue spurted out a laugh, “No matter how big you are, you will always be my son. I’m here to bring you to Uncle Mang Tian. Do you really want to learn blacksmithing?”
Tang Wulin nodded. “That’s right! Dad said that men can only rely on themselves. I want to earn the money for a Spirit Soul on my own.”
Lang Yue put down her son and crouched down in front of him. “Son, if you’re unable to persevere through ten million difficulties, then mom will find some work to help you buy a spirit soul.”
“No, I want to earn the money myself.” Tang Wulin resolutely said.
Lang Yue fought against her own tears, instead, she repeatedly kissed her sons face. “Good. Let’s get going.”
Fundamentally, Glorybound City was large but there wasn’t a need to use vehicles. After walking for approximately 20 minutes, Lang Yue and Tang Wulin arrived in front of a somewhat, large workshop’s door.
The exterior of the workshop seemed somewhat shabby. On top, three words were written,
Mang Tian’s Workshop.”
Even when they were in front of the doors, the smell of metal assaulted their nostrils.
Lang Yue pushed the doorbell, and it was not long before the door opened. Standing in the doorway was a middle-aged man.
The middle-aged man was tall and dark skinned. With his full beard, he appeared somewhat fierce and tough.
“Younger sister has arrived,” his deep voice was low and forceful. Listening to it, Tang Wulin felt a little buzz.
“Uncle Mang Tian,” he politely addressed his uncle, who he had met several times previously.
“En,” Mang Tian expressionlessly nodded. Turning to Lang Yue he said, “Younger sister should return first, you can pick him up two hours later.”
“Big Brother Mang Tian, thank you for your troubles.” Lang Yue, slightly unwilling, parted with her son, taking one last look at him. She had
something to say, but in the end she gritted her teeth and restrained herself.
Chapter 9 – Gifted
Chapter 9 – Gifted
“Come on in,” Mang Tian said to Tang Wulin. “Oh.”
Tang Wulin followed Mang Tian into the workshop’s chaotic hall. The hall was littered with all sorts of metal components Tang Wulin could barely recognize. Most of these were likely components for soul machines, though.
Mang Tian didn’t pause as he walked deeper into the workshop, causing Tang Wulin to hasten his steps.
The shop wasn’t large nor small. After passing through the halls, Mang Tian brought Tang Wulin to one of the inner rooms.
Inside of the room was a workbench, which was just barely taller than Tang Wulin.
Mang Tian stopped here, turning around to face Tang Wulin. “Do you know what forging is?”
At a loss, Tang Wulin shook his head.
Mang Tian indifferently said, “Actually, I didn’t want to accept you in the beginning. You’re too young, completely unsuited for forging. However, your dad was determined to have me give you a chance. If I don’t find you acceptable, then you’ll have to leave. When that happens, don’t stay here and weep endlessly, understand?”
“I won’t cry, Uncle Mang Tian,” Tang Wulin defiantly answered.
“This is your task for today,” Mang Tian said as he pointed to the side.
Off to the side was a half meter tall metal table. On top of the table was a round lump of metal and below it was a soul machine screen.
Mang Tian picked up two small metal hammers from the side and held them out to Tang Wulin. “You see that lump of metal? Use this hammer to strike it a thousand times. The screen will display the number of hits with
sufficient strength. It’ll require all your strength to swing it down. If you’re able to complete this task, I’ll tell you what forging is. If you’re unable to finish, then you don’t have to come here tomorrow.”
After speaking, he placed the two hammers in Tang Wulin’s hands before turning around and walking away.
The metal hammer’s handle was about a third of a meter with a cylindrical head that was half a foot long and ten centimeters in diameter. They
weighed about five kilograms each. For a six year old child, this wasn’t light at all, let alone the fact that he had to swing it a thousand times.
Tang Wulin had looked at the hammer with a bitter expression, but when he took the hammer from Mang Tian, he was amazed to discover they weren’t so heavy, after all.
Is it hollow? Uncle Mang Tian looks very fierce on the outside, but he’s actually so kind.
Tang Wulin smiled to convey his understanding and swung the hammer in his right hand down on the lump of metal.
Bang! The metal boomed and he jumped in surprise. The soul screen below it activated, displaying the number ‘1.’
He raised the hammer in his left hand and smashed it down with a bang! 2.
‘This isn’t too hard!’ Tang Wulin thought as he began swinging his arms in a steady rhythm.
“Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!” The numbers on the screen increased unceasingly in tune with the continuous thumping. Neither hammer
wavered at all, as Tang Wulin didn’t feel they were too much of a burden. The pair of hammers constantly beat down the the lump of metal, and in return, the number on the screen persisted in its ascension.
After hammering it for the hundredth time, Tang Wulin was already beginning to sweat. At three hundred, his arms began to feel sore.
I must persevere. Dad said so. I must persevere!
Tang Wulin continued to swing the pair of hammers, enduring the soreness.
At five hundred, the soreness turned into aching, but he continued on just as before and persisted with all his power, refusing to stop.
As the aching in his muscles intensified, Tang Wulin’s arms shifted to a faint red, but he just clenched his teeth, pushing past the pain.
He repeated to himself, ‘I must do my best to learn forging and earn money to buy a spirit soul. That way I can make mom and dad happy, and protect Na’er.”
At the seven hundred mark, he couldn’t even feel his arms when he raised them and his hammering speed was much slower.
Just like before, he clenched his teeth and persevered. His sweat had practically turned into broth, making his school uniform to stick to his body. His sweat dripped like a waterfall, and Tang Wulin felt his spine go numb.
His whole body shuddered as if he were electrically shocked. His original aching eased up, and the hammer felt a bit lighter.
“Bang, bang, bang!” He proceeded to strike the last three hundred times with even more ease than the start.
“One thousand!” It was only after reaching the objective Mang Tian had set for him that Tang Wulin lowered his hammers. As he gasped for breath,
Tang Wulin could feel an unspeakable aching from his palms and his arms
had swollen so much that they were beyond recognition. Apart from this, he felt unexpectedly invigorated. The numbness in his spine spread to his
seven vertebrae and back down his spine in cycles, leaving him speechless.
What he didn’t notice was a golden veined pattern accompanying the numbness he felt in his spine.
It was only after five minutes that he was able to catch his breath.
“Uncle Mang Tian, I’m done.” Tang Wulin searched for Mang Tian for a long time before finding him in a room, fiddling with some components.
Mang Tian blankly stared at him. He glanced at his wristwatch and discovered that it had only been half an hour since he left Tang Wulin to his task.
“You’re done hammering it?” “Yes!” Tang Wulin nodded.
Mang Tian didn’t question him again after seeing his sweaty appearance. He would rather let the facts speak for themselves. After standing up, he brought Tang Wulin back to the previous room.
‘1000.’ The number was displayed on the screen. Mang Tian had set up the screen himself; naturally, it was impossible for a six year old child to cheat. But the result was still unbelievable.
The two metal hammers couldn’t be considered heavy for him, of course, but neither were they hollow. Each hammer was truly 5 kilograms in
weight, and even an adult male’s arms would be too numb and limp to raise after a thousand swings. Furthermore, it would be very difficult for them to finish in only half an hour, much less a six year old child.
The test Mang Tian had given him was just a way to tactfully decline him. His relationship with Tang Ziran was pretty good, so he couldn’t directly refuse. After all, he didn’t want to instruct a six year old child who he deemed unsuitable for forging.
But before his eyes…
“Hammer it a few more times for me. Don’t stop unless I tell you to.” Mang Tian said heavily.
“Yes.” Tang Wulin picked up the hammer once again. After having rested a moment, the aching in his arms had already dulled.
“Bang, bang, bang…” Each strike was done without any technique, or even leverage. He was relying purely on strength to hammer the metal lump!
After only a few times, Mang Tian was able to ascertain with his own eyes, based on his past experience, that this child’s strength was sufficient to
completely pound the metal lump. Was this a legendary genius?
Chapter 10 – I will protect you in the future
Chapter 10 – I will protect you in the future
The qualifications of a genius naturally differed depending on a person’s age.
A six year old child who was able to swing a metal hammer a thousand times, he was absolutely worthy of being called a genius.
However, Mang Tian didn’t tell him to stop. Instead, he stood to the side and silently watched Tang Wulin continue hammering.
His movements were direct, and powerful. However, there wasn’t any mitigation of the rebounding force in his technique, all of it was taken in by his arms.
Fifty times, eighty times, one hundred times.
Sweat began pouring forth once again and the aching he felt now far
surpassed the aching from before. Both of his arms heated up. Each time he exerted himself, his scalp began to swell. However, Tang Wulin still
continued to grit his teeth and bear the pain as he never stopped hammering.
After hammering it 150 times, Tang Wulin’s body began to sway. His vision was hazy, both of his arms were swollen and aching to the point that they felt foreign to him, yet he continued to persevere with clenched teeth.
I can persevere. I can overcome this test. I am a man. Perseverance will lead to victory.
Tang Wulin couldn’t even count the number of times he had swung the hammer when Mang Tian finally called for him to stop. If Mang Tian hadn’t supported him, he would have collapsed onto the floor.
As he took the hammer from his hands, Mang Tian clearly saw Tang Wulin’s hands had been worn out by the hammer and had became swollen.
The fierce blacksmithing master was finally moved. It was not only due to Tang Wulin’s innate talents, but his perseverance too.
His strength could still be trained later, but for such an unwavering determination to appear in a six year old child, it was truly too precious.
“You two have raised a good child. I’ll accept him as my disciple. From tomorrow onwards, have him come over everyday at the same time as today. Once you’re home, smear this ointment on his arms.” When Lang Yue came to pick up Tang Wulin, she was greeted with Mang Tian’s gentle expression as he passed over a bottle of ointment.
After an hour of rest, Tang Wulin had already regained his vigor. It was just that his arms ached too much to raise them.
Mang Tian’s explanation of forging still lingered in his mind.
“What is forging? Forging and casting are entirely different. Casting only requires a mold, and afterwards, the use of machinery to grind out the desired shape. That is casting. As for forging, it requires a blacksmith to personally hammer the metal from start to finish. Of course, you could use a machine to pound the metal and forge it, but metal is a living thing. A machine will never be able to grasp the veins of the metal. Thus, all first- rate machine components were forged by a blacksmith. A good blacksmith is a true craftsman that possesses a status no less than that of a Spirit
Spirit Master and Machine Master, those were the dreams of all young boys.
“Ouch.” Tang Wulin cried out in pain when Lang Yue pulled on his hand.
It was only then that Lang Yue discovered the wound on her son’s palm.
“Heavens! He, he did this to you?” Tears were streaming down from her
eyes. She had never expected that her son would suffer so much in only two hours.
Tang Wulin shook his head and replied, “He didn’t do anything! Uncle Mang Tian tested me and I passed. Aren’t I strong mom? Don’t cry! It doesn’t hurt.”
“Let’s go home.” Lang Yue said as she wiped her tears away with eyes full of sorrow.
“There’s really nothing wrong mom. In fact, I’m really happy. I passed Uncle Mang Tian’s test. Aren’t you happy for me? Isn’t this the sense of achievement that dad talked about?”
“I’m happy, I’m really happy.” Lang Yue patted her son’s head and once more, glistening teardrops appeared in her eyes.
As soon as they returned home and crossed the doorway, Tang Wulin saw Na’er sitting to the side. With a bounce, he immediately ran over to her
while Lang Yue went to the kitchen to cook dinner.
“Na’er, did you know? I passed Uncle Mang Tian’s test today so I can learn how to forge from him now. Wait for big brother to earn some money with forging, then I can save money to buy a spirit soul. I can also buy food for you….” With the temperament of a child, he had already forgotten the pain in his arms as he spoke of his accomplishment to Na’er.
Na’er earnestly listened, but her eyes occasionally revealed a trace of blankness.
“Na’er, you really don’t remember anything about your family?” After he finished talking about his accomplishment, he asked the question which had been lurking in his mind.
Na’er shook her head. “I really don’t remember. I only remember that my name is Na’er. Everything else is fuzzy. Big Brother Lin, am I stupid?”
Tang Wulin hastily replied, “No. Of course you’re not stupid, Na’er. It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember. This is your home now. My mom and dad are your mom and dad. You’re my little sister.”
Na’er stared at him, as she gradually revealed a sweet smile. This was the first time she had smiled since she had came to their house.
“Wow! Your smile is really pretty, Na’er. I’ll tell you a secret then; big brother will work hard to become a Soul Master, then I’ll be able to protect you in the future. All right?”
When Tang Ziran returned, dinner was already prepared.
“Zi Ran, come with me. Go ahead and eat first, children.” With a serene appearance, Lang Yue shot a glance at Tang Ziran before heading to their room.
Tang Ziran distractedly looked at his son with an inquiring look. In return, Tang Wulin shrugged, indicating that he didn’t know what’s going on with his mother either.
Tang Ziran hastily followed Lang Yue into their room, then Lang Yue closed the door.
“We’ll eat first, Na’er. Aren’t you hungry?” Accounting for how many snacks they had eaten before, Lang Yue made sure to cook lots of food today.
Na’er clearly had no resistance when it came to eating. She nodded and began to eat heartily.
After she ate for a while, she noticed that Tang Wulin wasn’t acting the same as the day before. She raised her head and looked at him, and
discovered that he was miserably turning and twisting his body with a pained face.
“Big brother, what’s wrong?” Na’er crisply asked.
“My arms are really sore after my test. I can’t raise them at all.” Tang Wulin had been unusually hungry lately; with the addition of his work after
school, one can only imagine his longing for food now… Na’er blinked a few times. “I’ll feed you then.”
“Yes! Alright!” Tang Wulin said in exultation.
With shaky movements, Na’er clumsily fed Tang Wulin one spoonful after another.
Two children, one six years old and the other five and a half years old, enjoyed each other’s company with the naivety of youth. In this small house, the atmosphere made the lights appear gentler as well.
“Na’er, You’re the best”