Chapter 201 – The Tournament Begins
Chapter 201 – The Tournament Begins The next day.
At the first glimmers of dawn, Tang Wulin set forth to meet with the delegation from the Blacksmith’s Association.
The blacksmith’s competition kicked off the start of the tournament. After participating in that event, he would have to rush to the individual
competition. Following that would be the team battle in the afternoon. Tang Wulin’s schedule was packed full. As such, there was no time to spare; he hurried to find Cen Yue right after cultivating the Purple Demon Eyes and eating a heaping pile of breakfast.
Sporting a sixth-rank blacksmith’s badge on his chest, Cen Yue led the procession of blacksmiths like a hen leading its chicks. Because they were the youngest, Tang Wulin and Mu Xi stood at the back of the line.
“Senior disciple sister, do we have to wear our badges?” Tang Wulin asked softly.
Mu Xi was currently flaunting her own. Dyed in blue hues, it was adorned with two striking white stars, signifying her status as a second-rank blacksmith. Once she reached the third rank, Mu Xi would be bestowed a badge dipped in the orange glow of dusk, decorated with three yellow stars. The outline of a blacksmith’s hammer was a constant theme among the ranks.
As a fourth-rank blacksmith, Tang Wulin’s badge was orange and displayed four yellow stars.
“Oh, that’s right. Dad told me to tell you that you must not wear your badge. If possible, hide the fact that you’re a fourth-rank blacksmith. He only wants you to place in the top three. That way, you’ll qualify for
advanced competitions in the future.” Mu Xi lowered her voice as she answered.
Zheng Tianlin faced her and smiled. “Junior sister Mu Xi, you’re still worried about your placement? Let’s go compete in the Shrek City’s Comprehensive Blacksmith’s Tournament later.”
The moment Zheng Tianlin spoke, the girl’s arrogant demeanor vanished like a dream. The tense wrinkle on her delicate brow transformed into a gentle smile. It was quite flattering.
Mu Xi said, “Mn. Sounds good! Good luck senior disciple brother!” Zheng Tianlin’s teacher was Eastsea Blacksmith’s Association’s other Saint
Blacksmith. He was also the vice-president of the association. However,
since he was a seventh-rank blacksmith, his strength was a slightly less than Mu Chen’s. Acknowledging his talent, Mu Chen had given Zheng Tianlin
some pointers in the past. Mu Xi treated him like a senior disciple brother because of this.
Zheng Tianlin laughed, shifting his gaze at Tang Wulin. “Why are we bringing this brat? Is it so he can experience the world? Anyway, can he even lift a forging hammer at his age?”
Tang Wulin cursed Zheng Tianlin in his heart. Even if you’re trying to talk yourself up, you don’t need to belittle me. Despite feeling indignant, Tang Wulin kept silent since he didn’t want to cause trouble for his teacher.
Mu Xi couldn’t ignore this. Even though she constantly picked on him, Tang Wulin was still under her father’s personal guidance. With a cold snort, she said, “Senior disciple brother, are you questioning my dad’s
decision? Wulin is my dad’s direct disciple. So, do you still think he can’t lift a forging hammer?”
Zheng Tianlin gawked. Never had he expected Tang Wulin to be Mu Chen’s disciple. After gathering himself, a trace of jealousy flashed through his
eyes like an electric bolt. Mu Chen was an outstanding figure in the
continent’s blacksmithing world. Including those who hid their status, there were no more than a dozen Saint Blacksmiths. Similarly, eighth-ranked blacksmiths totaled to four individuals,
He wasn’t only kissing up to Mu Xi because he liked her. Her father’s lofty position was also factored in. Since his own teacher was a Saint
Blacksmith, acquiring the aid of Mu Chen would greatly increase his chances of reaching a similar level.
It was preposterous to believe that that the ten-year-old boy was actually the direct disciple of Mu Chen. This was the same Mu Chen who had refused to accept a student for several years. In Zheng Tianlin’s thoughts, this legendary figure only intended to nurture and guide his daughter.
“No way! You look just like a little kid! Well, I’ll be awaiting your performance.” The corners of Zheng Tianlin’s mouth quirked up in an imitation of a smile, but his eyes revealed his hostility.
Why’s this guy acting like this? I don’t remember offending him in any
way! Tang Wulin was baffled, but soon he understood how his teacher had been protecting him. The tasks he accepted came from a special channel.
Such preparation was made to shield him from the eyes of jealous hawks.
The only way to solve this problem is for me to become stronger! Once I’m strong enough, then what do I care if others are jealous?
The blacksmith’s competition was held in a small gym near Skysea Stadium. Tang Wulin trembled like a newborn calf when he entered the area.
Over a hundred forging tables were set up as far as the eye could see. Moreover, they were all from the newest generation, flaunting features superior to the one he usually used. His prior experience with this technology stemmed from the advanced tables of the association.
Although the Skysea Alliance lacked in powerful individuals, it still possessed overwhelming economic influence.
There weren’t many spectators in the stands. To the public, blacksmithing was neither interesting nor important. People were more drawn to soul master battles, mecha crafting and other exciting things.
Forging was a dry and dull affair in the eyes of the general populace.
Considering Mu Chen’s status, such an event was too insignificant for him to attend. However, the stage was filled with blacksmiths that Tang Wulin didn’t recognize. What was more amazing was that they were all blacksmiths of the fifth rank and up.
Cen Yue had already explained to him that the first round required proficiency in the Hundred Refinements. As long as he forged like usual, he would pass. Tang Wulin didn’t feel any pressure at all since he was already a fourth-rank blacksmith.
The junior division’s competition was held first since hundred refining was a short process.
Still, when the metals to be forged were delivered onto the stage, Tang Wulin was startled.
It was a metal he was familiar with and was the one used in his fourth-rank blacksmith exam. The metal was blue coppertite.
Among uncommon grade metals, blue coppertite was one of the hardest to forge. As expected of the junior division competition!
“Junior division participants, pay attention. Your objective is to hundred refine this metal. Anyone who fails to do so will be eliminated. Of those who succeed, the best will be selected to continue to the next round.”
Regardless of the particular event, everyone attending the Skysea Alliance Tournament had their eyes peeled for the adult division’s competitions, as
those contenders were the most formidable. For this reason, the arrangements for the junior division were simple and fair.
Indeed, requiring the competitors to hundred refine blue coppertite would weed out the sparrows from the eagles. Since they would be picking the
cream of the crop, the number of individuals advancing to the second round wouldn’t be large.
I wonder how many people will make it to the next round?
Tang Wulin glanced at Mu Xi whose station was next to his. Mu Xi’s brows were creased, but her aura was as serene as a flowing river. She had already been somewhat successful in the Thousand Refinements, so hundred refining blue coppertite wasn’t a challenge for her.
“Let the competition begin!”
Following the proclamation from the stage, all of the young blacksmiths participating took out their hammers.
If he wasn’t in a rush, Tang Wulin would have wielded his tungsten hammers, but he needed to register for the the individual competition right after. He unleashed his heavy silver hammers instead.
He lightly tapped the blue coppertite lightly with his left hammer, issuing out three crisp notes. His next strike followed afterward, smashing the metal with considerable force.
A loud bang resounded throughout the gym. Without a doubt, Tang Wulin was the first to begin.
Situated next to him, Mu Xi was not concerned. She was familiar with this freak’s surprises and expected him to possess a thorough understanding of blue coppertite. The big shots on the stage, however, couldn’t help but
wrinkle their brows, foreheads scrunched up like prunes.
An energetic, white-haired old man frowned. “Children will be children. Doesn’t he know that he needs to thoroughly understand blue coppertite
before beginning? Just who is his teacher?”
“That’s right! From the sounds of it, he shouldn’t be lacking in strength yet he’s so impatient. But I guess it’s to be expected considering his age.”
Regardless of their disapproval, they soon witnessed Tang Wulin forging at full steam.
As soon as Tang Wulin begins forging, he would lose sight of the rest of the world. Trapped in this tunnel vision, he would devote his entire focus to his craft. He failed to realize that no one else has started forging besides him.
Nevertheless, Tang Wulin was already unleashing a tempestuous shower of hammer strikes on the blue coppertite.
A queer expression slid across Mu Xi’s face. This guy! I shouldn’t have picked the spot next to him.
Every blacksmith had their own rhythm. They would suffer from any outside disturbances. Cramming so many participants in a single stadium to forge simultaneously was to test their focus. If Mu Xi was this disturbed, then wouldn’t all the other blacksmiths nearby be troubled too?
Tang Wulin’s hammers were as swift as the wind, each strike carrying over 600 kilograms of force. With each hit, a boom reverberated throughout the gym, the sonic waves piercing the air.
Mu Xi paused and sat cross-legged, biding time.
Although the competition had a time limit, she knew that Tang Wulin would finish soon. She might as well wait for his hundred refining to complete.
That way, his forging would not affect her concentration.
Mu Xi was able to retain her composure, but the same couldn’t be said of the other junior participants. Some chose to steel themselves and forge
anyway. This kind of impatience would be their downfall; in the end, Tang Wulin’s influence manifested as defects in their forging.
Chapter 202 – High-Grade
Chapter 202 – High-Grade
While blue coppertite wasn’t the hardest of metals, the main reason it was so annoying to form was its constant transformations. As a result, Tang Wulin took advantage of his heavy silver hammer’s special ability: the
Stacked Hammer effect. This way, he only needed a hundred or so strikes to finish hundred refining it.
He put away his hammer and raised his hand.
The staff member in charge of supervising the competition ran over, stumbling over his own two feet.
“You’re finished?” The staff member retrieved Tang Wulin’s number plate. Disbelief clouded his face when he saw the blue coppertite’s reduced size.
Tang Wulin asked, “Can I leave now?”
“You can since you’re finished. But are you sure you’re done hundred refining it? If you don’t succeed, you’ll be eliminated,” The staff member reminded kindly.
“I’m certain I succeeded,” Tang Wulin answered without a missed beat. Considering his current blacksmith rank, the Hundred Refinements was nothing to him.
The white-haired old man was the first to speak out from the stage. “Bring that child’s product over here. If he isn’t spouting nonsense, then he’s really a terrifying genius.” At first, he thought Tang Wulin was rude and impetuous. However, as a Saint Blacksmith, he noticed the music in each
strike of his hammer, the steady rhythm with which it beat.
It was the innate rhythm of a blacksmith. When a blacksmith became in tune with their individual tempo, their forging efficiency would double. Blue coppertite wasn’t easy to refine. Yet, Tang Wulin had still refined it. As such, wouldn’t the result be spectacular?
Afterward, the refined blue coppertite was brought onto the stage.
The people sitting on stage were all influential figures in the world of blacksmithing. At that moment, their gazes converged on the chunk of metal like rivers to the sea.
Blue coppertite was a beautiful metal. In order to judge its quality, one must scrutinize how evenly its patterns were distributed and how close to the
center its rings landed.
That was as thorough of an inspection as it gets. As long as the ring was centered, the hundred refining was a success; the reduction in size only served as further proof.
The white-haired old man lowered his head, carefully examining the blue
coppertite. He held it in his palm and caressed it with gentle fingers, feeling the grain of the metal. His eyes lit up.
“This is a high-grade hundred refined piece! Quickly, go find out which association that child belongs to.”
By then, Tang Wulin had already left, feet in a blur as he hurried off to Skysea Stadium.
The gym wasn’t far from his next destination. H even planned out his route the night before, all for the sake of not being tardy.
There was still time before the individual competition started. After all, his forging went by without a hitch and he was the first one to finish.
Moreover, according to his number plate, he would be participating in the third heat of the first round.
Due to the significant number of competitors, several heats were compiled with each heat consisting of fifty contestants. Appearing in the third heat would mean he had at least an hour to relax. Like other event grounds, Skysea Stadium was holding separate yet concurrent competitions. Only in this way could the Skysea Alliance Tournament be finished within a reasonable amount of time and accommodate its vast amount of
Once he reached the stadium, Tang Wulin headed toward the check-in area to begin preparing for the competition, but a figure obstructed him.
“Hmph!” A cold snort sounded and Tang Wulin raised his head to see who stood in his way.
It was a baleful Ye Xinglan directing a murderous glare at him.
Xu Lizhi stood beside her. To the untrained eye his aura exuded innocence, but underneath the layers of good will and plump cheeks was a hint of bitterness.
“I’ve finally caught you! Do you have anything to say for yourself?” Ye
Xinglan stood with her hands on her hips. Her long eyebrows stood erect as her eyes blazed with fury.
“Say what? I don’t really know you that well anyway.” Tang Wulin remarked with indifference, “Stop blocking the way. I need to go prepare.”
“You’re competing?” Ye Xinglan tried to shove Tang Wulin by his shoulder, but she was unable to. She was astonished to find that his body was as heavy as a stack of steel. He didn’t budge a single inch from her push.
When Ye Xinglan recalled the events of the night before, her eyes grew
sharp, anger tinting them red. She had never felt so wronged before in her life.
That night, the shop owner had stopped them and demanded payment.
Neither she nor Xu Lizhi had any money on them. In the end she resigned herself to calling for help, teeth grinding together in frustration.
Adding to her indignance, the shop owner was convinced that they had planned to dine and dash from the very beginning. In any case, the two children were forced to wash dirty dishes until someone came to pay for
their meal. The only other option was to continue until their debts were paid off.
The pitiful, delicate-skinned Ye Xinglan could only weep as she rubbed and lathered the dishes until they were squeaky clean. Not daring to break Shrek Academy’s rules, she swallowed down her anger. Though hard to admit, paying for her meal was justified. They were in the wrong, so how could
she make a scene?
Thus, two students of Shrek Academy ended up washing dishes in a seafood restaurant in Skysea City.
The very memory of it caused Ye Xinglan grief. She blamed the entire agonizing experience on the boy before her.
First thing in the morning, she had dragged Xu Lizhi out to find Tang Wulin. Although at first they had no clue where to start looking, they soon realized one important fact: Tang Wulin was a competitor. Therefore, he
would undoubtedly be at one of the event grounds. Sure enough, they found Tang Wulin using this method.
“Why wouldn’t I compete? What are you trying to do by blocking the way?” Tang Wulin frowned.
Ye Xinglan resentfully said, “Didn’t you say you would pay the bill yesterday? So did you? Did you pay the bill?”
Tang Wulin said calmly, “I paid for my share. Why should I have to pay for yours? It was Xu Lizhi who originally promised to treat me anyway. I just left after paying for myself. What’s wrong with that? Didn’t you eat too?
Since you were trying to take advantage of me, then why are you spinning it the other way? Do you have a problem with me paying for my share of the bill? You don’t even want to be friends with me, so why should I pay for you?”
Tang Wulin’s words left her in a daze. He’s right! Why should he pay for me and the little fatty? I don’t really have much of a case here.
“You, didn’t you say it was an honor to eat with us?” Ye Xinglan quibbled.
Tang Wulin said, “Do I have to pay just because it’s an honor? I never said I would treat you. I wouldn’t have had a problem if we were friends, but you clearly didn’t want to be friends with me! I didn’t take advantage of you guys in any way!”
“B-but, you ate the most!” Ye Xinglan was nearly in tears. Her resentment and indignance rushed out of her heart like a roaring river, cheeks flushing like a tomato..
“Who stopped you from eating more?” Tang Wulin took a step forward, moved her aside, and proceeded onward with large strides. He couldn’t delay any longer if he wanted to compete in the individual competition.
“You! Stop right there!” Ye Xinglan shouted.
Tang Wulin ignored her and continued straight ahead. “You bastard!” Ye Xinglan angrily yelled.
“Big sister Xinglan.” Xu Lizhi pulled on her sleeves. “Wulin’s words make sense.”
“Are you on his side?” Ye Xinglan turned to face him, lips peeling back in a sneer.
“I, I’m on your side of course!” The little fatty replied meekly.
“Tang Wulin, just you wait.” Ye Xinglan narrowed her eyes and made a fierce proclamation. She marched right into the stadium following him.
“Big sister Xinglan, what are you doing?”
“I’m signing up to compete! He was being reasonable, huh? Then I’ll beat some real reason into him on the stage!”
Unaware of the powerful opponent he had created, Tang Wulin checked-in right on time. Now all he had to do was wait; his match would start in
another half hour or so.
Chapter 203 – A Swift Victory
Chapter 203 – A Swift Victory
When it came to Ye Xinglan, Tang Wulin believed his efforts toward her were just and acted confidently. To him, bringing up how much he ate was illogical.
Since she looked down on him, why did he have to pay for her? From the beginning, they existed in two different worlds, two parallel lines never meant to touch.
The event grounds were buzzing with activity. Since junior division
competitors in the individual competition wielded three soul rings at most, the space provided wasn’t much. Each arena spanned about thirty meters in diameter. Arranged next to each other, the rings of battle showcased dazzling duels between all sorts of martial souls and soul skills.
Tang Wulin watched the battles with the eyes of a hawk, understanding that every participant was a potential opponent. He possessed a single soul ring; he’d need to grasp every advantage possible to win.
Not long after, the third heat commenced.
Tang Wulin glanced at his number plate. According to the lots drawn yesterday, his first appearance would be in the third heat in arena 16.
A soul barrier encased the circular arena so that the audience wouldn’t be harmed by any stray attacks.
Although it was his first time participating in this sort of competition, Tang Wulin carried not an ounce of anxiety on his being. After his adventures in
the spirit ascension platform and his real life combat experiences, all he felt was excitement coursing through his veins. Just how far can I go?
His opponent soon arrived. It was a petite kid shorter than Tang Wulin. His opponent’s eyes failed to mask the confusion and anxiety running rampant beneath their outward posturing.
Every arena had a referee and theirs was a middle-aged man.
“The rules are simple. You may use any means to attack without worry. I will interfere if the need arises to ensure your safety and the result will be decided when one side concedes. In the event that participants cannot or will not concede, I will judge when one side is no longer able to continue fighting. I will also judge if the gap between contenders is too great. You
both have thirty seconds to prepare. I will countdown the last five seconds. You may begin preparing now.”
The moment the middle-aged man finished speaking, Tang Wulin’s opponent summoned two dazzling yellow soul rings.
Don’t we still have thirty seconds? Tang Wulin was baffled by his opponent’s actions since unleashing one’s martial soul consumed soul power. Is he trying to show off his martial soul?
His opponent’s martial soul was a long, silver staff. A black dragon coiled around its length. It was the Coiling Dragon Staff—an impressive martial soul.
It has dragon in its name, so maybe…
Tang Wulin’s heart hammered at the thought, pushing away his last remnants of fear toward his two-ringed opponent.
His opponent seemed to have realized his mistake and quickly recalled his martial soul. He stared back at Tang Wulin.
“Five, four, three, two, one, begin!”
Following the end of the countdown, Tang Wulin stomped forward with his left foot, launching himself like an artillery shell. He wasn’t an agility-type soul master, but in that hairbreadth of a second, he exploded with speed. It took a few swift steps to close the thirty-meter distance between him and his opponent.
Once again hIs opponent released his martial soul. The Coiling Dragon Staff appeared in his hands yet no soul rings lit up; this was a clear sign he had yet to use any soul skills.
This was because he was startled by Tang Wulin’s frightening speed, completely forgetting about his soul skills.
The youngster heard a cold snort before a dizzying wave swept through his brain, all while watching as Tang Wulin’s fist drew closer. The golden-
scaled fist glittered beneath the sun. An indescribable feeling of terror gripped him.
The sudden draconic might coupled with his nervousness caused the boy to fall back onto his butt.
Tang Wulin slapped away the Coiling Dragon Staff then, placing his scaled hand on the boy’s head. Naturally, he neither grabbed the boy’s head nor revealed his Golden Dragon Claw.
“Stop!” The referee appeared in front of them in an instant, blocking Tang Wulin’s hand. Of course, the referee could feel the lack of strength
circulating through his limb.
“You’re too lacking in combat experience! How can you even think of participating in the competition like this?” The referee reprimanded the pale-faced boy on the ground.
“B-but my soul skills are really strong. I thought I could…”
The referee snorted. “Go back and gain some real combat experience first. Even if your soul skills are powerful, you still need to be able to use them. Tell me, did you even get a chance to use them?”
Essentially, Tang Wulin’s first match in the knockout round was a victory.
The referee nodded in approval before granting him a new number plate for his second match.
Tang Wulin won his first battle without using his martial soul.
After this match, he was brimming with confidence since his opponent had been so weak.
Because he had finished his morning matches earlier than expected and the team competition wasn’t until the afternoon, Tang Wulin headed back to the hotel.
When he reached his destination, he found that Gu Yue and Xie Xie had arrived before him. Xu Xiaoyan didn’t leave the hotel at all.
“How did things go for you guys?” Tang Wulin asked.
“Of course I won without a hitch! We’re strong after all!” Xie Xie stated proudly.
Gu Yue nodded in agreement.
A smile appeared on Tang Wulin’s lips. “Then we’ve already passed the first round. Congratulations everyone.”
Gu Yue said, “Isn’t our goal to become the champions? Then we need to win in the team competition too.”
Tang Wulin sighed. “Experience is extremely important here. My opponent was a two-ringed Soul Grandmaster, but he was somehow defeated before using his soul skill. Of course, he couldn’t believe he lost, but if it had been a real battlefield, I would have already killed him.”
Gu Yue said, “The process isn’t important; only the outcome is. Strength has always been a combination of multiple things, with soul power and soul skills being just a part of it. Even a powerful soul master could be killed by
a child’s dagger strike if they let their guard down. Therefore, actual combat experience is crucial as it hones one’s reaction time and vigilance.”
Tang Wulin let out a chuckle. “I just hope that I don’t get matched up with you next round.”
Gu Yue was taken back for a moment before she regained herself, smiling warmly. Indeed, she didn’t want to meet Tang Wulin in battle either.
“It seems we all did pretty well. So boss, what’s the plan for this afternoon?” Xie Xie asked Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin answered, “Our opponents shouldn’t be that strong, so we can just fight as we always do. We don’t have to worry about our strength in the first round; we should be able to win without a sweat.”
“Mn.” The other three nodded in agreement.
Long Hengxu lead Tang Wulin’s group to the team competition grounds, since Wu Zhangkong was off somewhere else.
“Are you brats ready?” Long Hengxu smiled pleasantly at the children.
He did not want the children to participate in the individual competition originally, but after checking their results for today, he changed his mind. They had an excellent start to the tournament.
Needless to say, he still wasn’t aware of Tang Wulin’s participation in the blacksmith’s competition.
“We’re ready.” Tang Wulin answered for his entire team.
Long Hengxu nodded with approval. “I’ll be watching you all then. I don’t know if Teacher Wu told you this, but due to the high resources invested into such a small class, this tournament is being used to test your class’s
success. So you should aim for the best result. If you can get a good ranking, then in the future, the academy might invest more resources into your class. Especially you, Tang Wulin. I’m sure you’re aware that you’ve eaten away all of the academy’s funds. So, good luck kids!”
Tang Wulin nodded. “We’ll definitely do our best.”
Wu Zhangkong hadn’t spoken to them about these matters, but when Tang Wulin heard the director’s words, his heart stirred. Teacher Wu has been bearing all this pressure for our sake! What’s the best way to repay him? Of course it’s victory!
The space provided for the team competition was much grander than the individual competition’s. The arenas for the three versus three team battles were each fifty meters in diameter.
Their opponents this time came from a small town called Seafare City, which was a level below Skysea City. It was about the same level as Glorybound City, but the former’s economy fared much better and it managed to retain an intermediate academy.
However, the three versus three team competition wasn’t that popular. That was because powerful academies would all send seven-man teams to
compete instead. Only academies lacking in people or already possessing a main seven-man team would have a three-man team.
This was another fact that Wu Zhangkong had neglected to tell them, which they learned from Long Hengxu.
‘Win regardless of the opponent!’ That was Wu Zhangkong’s philosophy.
After observing several matches, Tang Wulin and the others came to the
conclusion that they had no serious competition within the junior division’s three-man team event. Nothing of note occurred while they watched.
“Boss, why are these matches making me so sleepy?” Xie Xie said helplessly.
Tang Wulin said, “That’s because we haven’t seen anyone strong yet. But don’t get careless; we’re only observing one part of the stadium. Let’s plan our strategy now…”
Chapter 204 – Wait and See
Chapter 204 – Wait and See
As Tang Wulin watched the matches progress, he formulated a plan. Half an hour later, they were called for their match.
Tang Wulin led the way, followed by Xie Xie… and Xu Xiaoyan. Indeed, Gu Yue wasn’t participating.
After scrutinizing the previous battles, Tang Wulin was confident and saw no need to reveal Gu Yue. Not to mention, their opposition hailed from a small town’s intermediate academy. In Wu Zhangkong’s own words, their sole objective was to become the champions. Tang Wulin understood his teacher’s philosophy and as such, regardless of their opponents’ strengths, their main objective would not change.
A devious strategy was required for such a goal. Since Gu Yue was without a doubt class zero’s strongest student, it was best to conserve her strength for future matches.
Although Xu Xiaoyan wasn’t powerful in the daytime, her awareness and team coordination were excellent. When a crucial moment arrived, she
would be the one to capitalize on it.
Xie Xie described her as a radiant and pretty young lady, but in reality she was a two-faced little schemer.
Xu Xiaoyan’s eyes sparkled at the unexpected chance to appear in the first match. When she had heard of the others’ victories in the individual
competition, she was wrought with envy. However, she understood that her
abilities were not suited for a one versus one scenario; it would have been foolish to follow the trend.
Even though the team competition’s first round was scheduled today, how
could Xu Xiaoyan have imagined that she would be participating? Contrary to her beliefs, Tang Wulin swapped her in.
Once Tang Wulin’s group arrived on the stage, their opponents soon appeared—three teenagers about fourteen to fifteen years old.
When these teenagers from Seafare Academy saw the youthful faces of their opposition, joy washed over them like summer rain.
It was as Tang Wulin had guessed: Seafare Academy was mediocre and focused all their resources on their representative team.
When they had thought of themselves as mice in a world of men, they
encountered a team of brats. How could they not feel as if Lady Luck was smiling down on them?
Aren’t these kids only about eleven or twelve? That’s a huge gap in age! Their cultivation should be weak then. In an instant, their faces lit up.
The referee climbed onto the stage. “You have thirty seconds to prepare. The countdown will begin at five seconds. The rules state that you cannot deliberately disable your opponent and you must immediately cease battle if I order so.” His tone was monotonous after repeating the same thing for
“My name is Mo Ka and these are my teammates, Yu Shi and Duanmu Lianlian. You kids are from Eastsea Academy?” They had also checked the matchups.
Kids? Tang Wulin smiled humbly. “Yeah! Seniors, we’re first graders from Eastsea Academy. Please advise us.”
Xie Xie’s initial reaction was to explode in anger, but stopped himself when he saw the hand signals Tang Wulin flashed behind his back. Xie Xie
understood his teammate’s intentions and lowered his head quickly to hide his face.
Xu Xiaoyan wore an odd expression. This guy! Isn’t he usually an upright and virtuous captain?
“Five, four, three, two, one, begin!
With that declaration, class zero’s first official team battle began.
Tang Wulin took the initiative to charge forward. Like in his individual match, he did not bother to release his martial soul yet. Doing so would cost a precious second at his cultivation level. Every second mattered and all of his actions were done for the sake of efficiency.
Though he couldn’t compare with Xie Xie in speed, he was not inferior
when it came to explosive power. With a simple stomp of his foot, a boom resounded. Xie Xie jumped into action after Tang Wulin, all according to their plan. The two advanced in tandem, Tang Wulin in front and Xie Xie hidden behind like a shadow.
Following her teammates’ actions, Xu Xiaoyan grasped the light coalescing into her ice staff, a soul ring appearing beneath her.
Their opponents were taken aback by the sight of the two charging toward them, without releasing their martial souls or soul rings. Furthermore, Xu Xiaoyan brandished a single ring. What are these two kids doing not even summoning their soul rings?
The three teenagers released their martial souls.
All three had a pair of yellow rings. This was to be expected from the representatives of an academy.
In that moment, a shining purple soul ring entered their view, blue vine tentacles swarming around them.
The Seafare Academy’s representatives couldn’t react in time. Before they were able to activate their soul skills, the blue vines already struck at their
faces. They were all tied up, their resistance bearing no fruit.
“Stop resisting!” Xie Xie pummeled their heads with his Light Dragon Dagger.
Xu Xiaoyan stood in the rear with her ice staff ready, but had yet to use a soul skill.
“Stop!” While trying to contain his surprise, the referee shouted.
A single two-ringed and two one-ringed soul masters were able to overcome three two-ringed soul masters.Moreover, it was over in a blitz. It was simply inconceivable!
The battle finished too quickly. It was too much for the eye to take in.
How can this be? Mo Ka, Yu Shi, and Duanmu Lianlian harbored the same thought. They hadn’t even had a chance use their soul skills!
It’s combat experience! These words flashed through Tang Wulin’s mind. Compared to him, his opponents were simply too lacking in that regard.
He had felt this deficiency among the contenders of the individual
competition. Even now in the team competition, he felt the same. Do they not have any combat training?
In truth, his accusation was wrong. All soul master academies had combat training. However, their level of combat training could not compare with
class zero’s. Class zero’s standard was inching on the border of masochism and its students were geniuses selected carefully by the academy. Wu Zhangkong’s personal guidance was also an important contribution.
As he had hailed from Shrek Academy, Wu Zhangkong’s teaching methods came from the same place.
Because class zero’s students had been either cultivating or battling in the
spirit ascension platform, they were shocked to find how lacking their peers were.
“Captain, I never knew you were so two-faced!” Now off-stage, Xu Xiaoyan was giggling at Tang Wulin.
Wasn’t it true, though? Before the battle started, Tang Wulin was already misleading their opponents with an innocent and naive persona. He had been the embodiment of the ideal cute kid. Once the match started, however, he discarded his facade and stormed his opponent, giving them no time to react. With such a devious strategy, Tang Wulin cinched victory
If he hadn’t done this, then they wouldn’t have been able to obtain such a sweeping win. Throughout the entire battle, Tang Wulin used his soul skill once. It was his thousand-year soul skill!
Tang Wulin chuckled. “If I can save us some effort and conceal our strength a bit longer, then why not? Our goal is to be the champions after all.”
“Aren’t you afraid of eavesdroppers?” An icy voice cut in.
The trio turned to see a pair of familiar faces—Ye Xinglan and Xu Lizhi.
Chapter 205 – Breaking a Record
Chapter 205 – Breaking a Record
Helpless, Xu Lizhi greeted Tang Wulin. Ye Xinglan glared at Tang Wulin, as if her gaze could burn him alive.
Tang Wulin ignored her, treating her as air. “Let’s go.”
At his actions, Xie Xie moved to whisper into his ear. “Why do I get the feeling that there’s some deep grudge between you two?”
Tang Wulin shrugged in response. “No way. We’re just acquaintances.” Gu Yue approached them after seeing the current situation. Unlike Tang
Wulin, she wasn’t as tactful and stared at Ye Xinglan with indifference, her words as cold and piercing as ice. “Just wait and see.”
A disdainful snort left Ye Xinglan’s mouth. “We’re registered too. Let me see just what it is you have to show.”
They also signed up? But aren’t they from Shrek Academy? Can Shrek Academy even participate in a public tournament like this?
Tang Wulin stared at them, incredulity painting his face.
Ye Xinglan said pridefully, “We’ll just join another academy temporarily before the match. No one will say anything if we do that. Tang Wulin, you just wait! You better pray that you’re defeated before you meet me. If not… Hmph!” As she spoke, she raised her fist to Tang Wulin in a menacing way. She glared at him with malicious eyes.
The atmosphere grew heavy and tense. He had no choice but to be cautious of Ye Xinglan now. After all, she came from Shrek Academy! Everyone had watched their exhibition match. Though how they won was still unclear, the strength of Shrek Academy was not. If such a powerful opponent appeared because of his provocation, he would have wronged his teammates!
Tang Wulin wanted to speak out, but Gu Yue stopped him.
“Alright. We’ll see then. Captain, let’s go.” Gu Yue pulled Tang Wulin away, not giving him the chance to resolve anything.
On the road back to the hotel, Tang Wulin recounted the events that nurtured hostility between him and Ye Xinglan.
“Captain, you’re so cool,” Xu Xiaoyan said, bright-eyed. “They’re from Shrek Academy yet you still ran out on them! You’re too awesome! Not bending to power and unshaken by poverty, you’re a true role model!”
Xie Xie’s mouth twitched. “What do you mean ‘not bending to power’! He just hates spending money!”
Tang Wulin shot him a look. “That’s right! It’s exactly like that.”
At this confession, Xie Xie stopped ridiculing Tang Wulin in an instant. Gu Yue exclaimed, “That’s how he really is.”
Xie Xie stumbled over his own two feet. “Dammit Gu Yue, can’t you be a little less biased! Is everything he does just to you?”
“Of course!” Gu Yue stated it as if it was fact.
Fury rose within Xie Xie, bubbling like lava from a volcano. “So you want to marry him when you grow up, then? Are you just planning ahead?”
Gu Yue was taken aback. For a moment, she shot Tang Wulin a gloomy gaze, then rushed back to the hotel.
Xie Xie was flabbergasted. Until now, he had not won a single verbal duel against Gu Yue. Now that he came out victorious, uneasiness crept into his heart as he watched Gu Yue storm off. Did I say something wrong?
“What’s up with her?” Xie Xie asked in confusion.
Tang Wulin said unhappily, “Don’t speak about so much nonsense. What do you understand about marriage at your age?”
For the rest of the trip back Gu Yue did not utter a single word, leading them from the distance.
Nonetheless, Tang Wulin was in a good mood. Since they won the team match, he would advance to the second round for all three of the
competitions he entered. Such an achievement was worthy of rejoicing.
He was not one bit nervous about the blacksmith’s competition. However, he was starting to understand where he stood among his peers regarding the individual and team events.
Despite lacking in soul power and soul rings from their age, their true combat strength wasn’t as weak as others believed.
As such, Tang Wulin could guess the Shrek Academy students’ true
strength. Their might did not come only from possessing a high cultivation base, but from the sum of their parts. Regardless of their combat
experience, coordination, or martial soul, those elements were all first-rate. It was impossible to have a higher soul power at their age.
Shortly after Tang Wulin returned to his room, he heard someone pounding on his door.
“Senior disciple sister, please don’t be so loud.” Tang Wulin already knew who it was; only Mu Xi could be so aggressive when knocking on
“Open up already. You brat, are you looking to get into the limelight?” Mu Xi charged in once the door opened.
“What did I do?” Tang Wulin eyed the energetic Mu Xi, his face dyed in doubt.
“Don’t you know you broke a record? It was the record for the fastest high- grade Hundred Refinements in the history of the Skysea Alliance Tournament. You. Broke. A. Record!” Mu Xi hissed the last few words through gritted teeth,
“Huh?” Tang Wulin stood there stupefied. “I was just in a hurry to get to the individual competition. I…”
Mu Xi eyed him up and down. “Did you know that after you left, a flock of people were running all over the gym searching desperately for you? I didn’t dare to say anything. All I heard was that you broke the record for high-grade Hundred Refinements, and with blue coppertite at that! You only used one minute and six seconds. Way to go!”
“I… I didn’t meant to.” Tang Wulin had been repeatedly warned to stay low-key beforehand, yet no one had thought something like this would happen. His self-control was blown away the moment he began forging. In that state of mind, he focused on creating the best product he that could.
Mu Xi snorted. “Well, anyway, you’re in the limelight now. I expect that everyone will be focusing on you in the next round. You better prepare yourself.”
“Eh… What am I going to do?” Tang Wulin was at a loss.
Mu Xi said, “What will be, will be. Just don’t let it affect you. It’s not like Eastsea City is forbidden from producing geniuses, right?”
Tang Wulin stared at her in astonishment. “Senior disciple sister, are you saying I’m a genius?”
Mu Xi raised a brow in surprise then proceeded to pinch his cheeks. She kept pinching his cheeks as she gnashed her teeth. “Yeah! That’s right! You’re a genius!”
Tang Wulin was barely coherent as he spoke. “Senior disciple sister, please don’t pinch me when you can just talk. You should go now…”
With great difficulty, Tang Wulin managed to fend off Mu Xi’s demonic fingers from his cheeks and saw her out. Despite his aching face, his heart warmed. Perceptive since childhood, he knew that Mu Xi’s bared fangs was to remind him not to draw the world’s attention.
Since they’ve noticed my forging, I’ll need to think of some plan.
As the first day of the tournament came to an end, some rejoiced while others sulked. For those who failed, this was the pain of being eliminated. For those who passed, it was the anxiety for what’s to come.
The tournament schedule was packed, with matches conducted everyday.
Tang Wulin would have to wake up early in order to attend the second round of the blacksmithing competition. This was an exceptionally important round.
The blacksmithing tournament’s champion would be decided by the sum of their marks awarded by the judges. Thus, the performance was additive.
Without a doubt, Tang Wulin was the first round’s frontrunner, having produced a high-grade hundred refined product in the shortest amount of time.
The second round was a free-forge round where participants would pick a metal and forge it to the best of their ability.
For the junior division, anyone who succeeded in hundred refining a metal was considered talented. Now, if they could succeed in the Thousand
Refinements, then they would be heralded as geniuses.
After a whole night’s meditation, Tang Wulin came up with a plan.
The next morning, a horde of blacksmiths assembled. They were heading toward the competition grounds.
Tang Wulin trailed behind the group, whispering quietly to Mu Xi, “Senior disciple sister, do you believe in me?”
“I don’t.” Mu Xi retorted without missing a beat.
Tang Wulin was stunned, a bitter laugh escaping from his lips. “Can’t you be a bit more pleasant? Do you really not believe in me?”
Mu Xi smiled inwardly at the sight of Tang Wulin deflating, but outwardly, she snorted. “Why should I believe in you? What do you have for me to believe in?”
“Integrity!” Tang Wulin exclaimed.
“You have that? How many kilograms?” Mu Xi said disdainfully.
Tang Wulin was helpless to her words. “Fine. If you don’t believe in me then you don’t.”
Suspicion roused in Mu Xi’s heart. “Just tell me what you have to say already. Out with it.”
Tang Wulin smirked. “If you believe in me, then choose heavy silver later.” “Heavy silver? Are you trying to harm me on purpose?” Although heavy
silver was a decent metal, it ranked in the middle relative to other materials. Since this was a tournament, the more difficult the metal was to forge the more points would be awarded.
Since it was far easier to forge than blue coppertite, heavy silver at the very best could be considered at the peak of mid-grade metals By choosing it, her chances of success would increase. Yet, this was still depending on
chance. Should Mu Xi fail, her score would plummet and she might even be eliminated.
Chapter 206 – Believe in Me!
Chapter 206 – Believe in Me!
Tang Wulin said, “Actually, I’m not completely sure either. But if you believe in me, I’ll definitely succeed in making you the champion.”
Mu Xi stared at him in astonishment. “You really want to help me win?”
A smile appeared on Tang Wulin’s lips. “I’ve already broken a record; if I don’t get out of the limelight, teacher is going to punish me when I return. Besides, didn’t you say you would give me the first place prize? You know how much I love money. If you take first place and I take second, then I’ll get both prizes and complete teacher’s assignment. It’s a win-win!”
Mu Xi wasn’t convinced. “I’m your rival. There’s no way I can believe you! Hmph!” She hastened her pace.
Unseen by Tang Wulin, Mu Xi’s expression depicted warring emotions, as turbulent as a monsoon.
Ever since she met Tang Wulin, she would always pick on him for some reason. Later, she realized her actions stemmed from jealousy.
In the blacksmithing world, Mu Xi was heralded as a proud girl sent from the heavens. That being said, Tang Wulin’s appearance threatened her position, forcing her to see him as a rival. In the end, however, she was unable to compete with Tang Wulin.
Whenever she drummed up the courage to challenge Tang Wulin to a blacksmithing duel, his astounding progress made her lose her confidence.
Yet no matter how bruised her ego became, Mu Xi strived harder and harder, until her past self was incomparable with her present self. Even so, the distance between Mu Xi and Tang Wulin continued to widen. When Tang Wulin was promoted to a fourth-rank blacksmith, she could finally relinquish her jealousy. In this world there were geniuses that an ordinary person like her could never hope to match, regardless of how much effort
was invested. She understood this now. With this realization, Mu Xi’s heart grew calm and she was able face their relationship.
Mu Chen had urged her repeatedly to maintain a good relationship with Tang Wulin. Now that she let go of her envy, she found that he wasn’t as loathsome as she thought. The distance between the two gradually faded away and her attitude toward Tang Wulin gradually improved.
However, she did not expect Tang Wulin to return the favor so quickly by helping her win the competition. Unaware of Tang Wulin’s two-faced nature, Mu Xi thought the ten-year-old’s words were ninety-nine percent serious! Nevertheless, she was the senior disciple sister here! Although
Tang Wulin wanted to cede first place to her, it was only right that she cede it to him.
For this reason, she chose to decline. It was unconscionable to deprive him of his deserved glory.
Mind in a haze, she heaved a long sigh after entering the competition grounds. Junior disciple brother, I hope you can reach even greater heights. One day, you’ll definitely become an amazing blacksmith like dad.
“Senior disciple sister, here.”
Tang Wulin’s voice halted her depressing train of thought. He had appeared in front of her and held out a chunk of heavy silver.
“You…” Mu Xi stared at him, dumbfounded.
Tang Wulin said seriously, “Senior disciple sister, please believe in me. If you acknowledge me as your junior disciple brother, then trust me.”
How could Mu Xi not believe in him now? “Wulin, I…”
Tang Wulin stepped forward, hugging her. “Senior disciple sister, believe in me.” Despite standing half a head shorter than her and holding a piece metal in his hand, Tang Wulin calmed her and blew away her hesitations
with his embrace.
He released her a moment later, picking up a metal ingot. Meanwhile, Zheng Tianlin was staring at Tang Wulin from the distance. His stupefied expression grew dark. Though not in the same division, they still entered the competition grounds together.
That little brat hugged Mu Xi? And she didn’t fight back at all? What’s their relationship?
Jealousy stabbed his heart.
Tang Wulin soon returned with a nearly identical piece of heavy silver. He smiled at Mu Xi, showing off his pearly whites, before heading to the forging tables.
Mu Xi had no choice but to follow him. Her previous anxiety was now replaced with calm and curiosity. Just what is Tang Wulin up to? Why did he tell me to pick heavy silver? And why did he choose it as well?
Tang Wulin placed the heavy silver onto the forging table, before calcining it. This was the required basic preparatory process.
Not everyone chose the highest quality metal they could. The higher the metal’s grade, the harder it would be to forge, thus awarding more points in its success. This encouraged competitors to balance the metal’s difficulty
with their proficiency in refining it..Therefore, no one thought much of Tang Wulin and Mu Xi picking heavy silver.
Mu Xi echoed Tang Wulin’s actions and began calcining the heavy silver. A moment later, she whispered to Tang Wulin, “So just what’s your plan, Wulin?”
Tang Wulin’s whispered response could barely be heard. “Senior disciple sister, when the competition begins, just follow my rhythm. We’ll forge
together. Heavy silver is the steadiest and sturdiest of the mid-grade metals. We’ll forge in sync and you can just follow along, understanding it as you go. As long as you follow my rhythm, there shouldn’t be any problems.”
Mu Xi didn’t understand completely. What does he mean by ‘follow’ him? “The second round of the Skysea Alliance Tournament’s blacksmith’s
competition is about to begin. Please finish your preparations, competitors. Only thirty percent of the initial participants remain. I hope you all treasure this opportunity and display all of your forging ability,” The official in
charge of the competition declared.
Passing the first round would guarantee entrance to the second and third rounds. The final rankings would be decided by the sum of those scores.
With rapt attention, the participants stared at their forging table.
The foundation of every blacksmith’s skills was an unrelenting focus. Those who had passed the first round demonstrated a satisfactory level of this.
Tang Wulin was no exception. His concentration could not be broken and he forged as if he were in his own world. As Mu Xi watched him, she felt that Tang Wulin’s breathing and mental state existed in its own rhythm, like the personal beat of one’s heart. It was as if his entire being melded with the forging table, blurring the lines between the two.
Sure enough, there’s no way someone father recognizes as a genius is an ordinary person! Mu Xi exclaimed in her thoughts. She could feel Tang Wulin’s sheer talent for forging, crashing into her like a tidal wave. The
source of his talent wasn’t something as simple as possessing innate divine strength.
“Ten, nine, eight…” The countdown began.
“Three, two, one, begin!”
In one full sweep, blazing scarlet chunks of metal rose to the surface of all of the blacksmiths’ forging tables, signaling the start of the second round.
Atop the stage, numerous officials swept their gaze over the myriad of tables. At the same time, the white-haired old man at the center singled out Tang Wulin from the crowd.
“Is that the brat from yesterday?” The old man pointed at Tang Wulin.
Chapter 207 – Follow My Rhythm
Chapter 207 – Follow My Rhythm
“Yes. The result of our investigations verified that he came from Eastsea City’s Blacksmith’s Association. The girl next to him is Mu Chen’s daughter, who is praised as one of this generation’s greatest blacksmiths. Who would’ve thought that they’ve raised an even greater and younger genius? It seems the Eastsea Blacksmith’s Association has truly been fortunate these last few years!” A middle-aged man exclaimed beside the old man.
The white-haired old man nodded. “I want to see if this brat can surprise us again today. Investigate deeper into him. Determine his family’s
circumstances and his background.”
“Elder Duan, what are your intentions?” The middle-aged man asked in surprise.
The old man smiled slyly. “Although a fair share of geniuses has come from our Skysea Blacksmith’s Association, they can’t compare with those from Eastsea. It’s important to constantly think of ways to improve our situation since the younger the blacksmith, the less polished they are. This could also be an opportunity for us.”
“I understand. I’ll arrange it right now.” The middle-aged man finally grasped the old man’s plan. He quickly made some calls with his soul communicator.
Unaware of these events, Tang Wulin began forging.
A flash of light later, his forging hammers were in his hands. However, instead of his heavy silver hammers, they were tungsten.
He gently tapped the heavy silver, and a crisp note rang out. Paying attention to his actions, Mu Xi copied him.
With her own thousand-refined hammers, Mu Xi’s tap issued a second, successive note.
Tang Wulin wrinkled his brows. He turned to Mu Xi and gave her a curt nod.
Although Mu Xi had yet to understand Tang Wulin’s plan, she was resolute and responded with a firm nod. Regardless of what Tang Wulin planned to do, she chose to believe in him and do as he said. If she could see what
surprise Tang Wulin had up his sleeve, then so what if it ended in failure? They were still young and had plenty of opportunities waiting for them in the future.
Tang Wulin’s hammer descended.
Mu Xi mirrored him. She felt the delay between their movements disappearing; furthermore, Tang Wulin’s strikes seemed heavier than usual, almost as if they were her own.
Moving in sync, Tang Wulin and Mu Xi raised their other hammer and smashed the metal.
The surrounding blacksmiths had also begun to forge. Many had been
caught up in the tempest of Tang Wulin’s forging rhythm the day before, but today they had learned their lesson and threw themselves into the process as soon as possible.
With each resounding boom of Tang Wulin’s tungsten hammer, another soon followed.
Although Tang Wulin had slowed his pace, it still possessed a peculiar tempo to it.
Their hammers raised and fell together as they forged in unison, gradually increasing in speed and similarity.
As Tang Wulin’s hammers began to practically fly through the air, so too did Mu Xi’s.
These two words lingered in the back of Mu Xi’s mind. She had forged heavy silver countless times before, yet, this time, it was an entirely different sensation.
As Mu Xi forged with Tang Wulin, she discovered that she could sense the heavy silver’s breath clearer than usual, following her rhythm and cadence. As a genius in her own right, she soon immersed herself in this feeling.
A smile peeked out as Tang Wulin observed her changes. Senior disciple
sister really is senior disciple sister! If she puts her mind to it, then she can really do it!
Few paid attention to them in the beginning due to their slow pace, but as the two sped up, a forging tempest like the day before appeared.
Tang Wulin’s hammers struck faster, spurring on Mu Xi to do the same. Their hammers rained down on the metal like a whirlwind, each strike resounding.
The most unusual thing was that the two reflected each other perfectly; even the location of their strikes and pull of the hammer were identical. Under their assault, the heavy silver slowly shrunk and transformed.
The blacksmiths on stage soon noticed this bizarre situation, giving them no small shock. What are these two kids doing? Why are their forging rhythms identical?
This was the first time they had ever seen anything like this.
Now that Mu Xi was completely immersed in the process of forging, she
could clearly hear the heavy silver’s voice as it cheered with each strike on
its body. She no longer needed to follow Tang Wulin’s rhythm, using her own senses to continue.
This was her first time experiencing such a mystical sensation. Her mind void of any distracting thoughts, she focused all her attention on forging.
Hammer after hammer descended, gradually shaping the heavy silver. Joyful rings sounded out in response to being purified .
Beautiful cloud patterns emerged onto the twinkling surface of the heavy silver.
Beads of sweat rolled down Mu Xi’s forehead. Although her soul power exceeded Tang Wulin’s by far, she couldn’t compare with his physical
strength. Even after Tang Wulin lowered his strength to match Mu Xi’s usual output, their pace was exhausting her.
Only by concentrating her soul power into her arms did she just barely manage to continue this fast-paced forging. Mu Xi’s years of blacksmithing came together, culminating into a sensation that made her want to sing as
she was held spellbound by this feeling.
Yes! It’s like this! Exactly like this! This thought echoed within her heart. Bang!
The two’s final strike landed simultaneously. Two beams of light shot into the air from the heavy silver; though the light lasted no more than an instant, it had clearly been seen by everyone on the stage.
“What? A light came out?” The old man unconsciously shouted. Without a single exception, all the blacksmiths from the Skysea Alliance gawked at the duo.
Cen Yue was also on the stage, but on the other end. He had been paying attention to the two since the start of the competition.
Even with his prior understanding of the two, he was flabbergasted by their synchronized rhythms. What are those two brats doing? Why isn’t Tang
Wulin using his heavy silver hammers? Just what is he doing?
However, all of his doubts were blown away when he saw the beam of light. Cen Yue was aware of Tang Wulin’s ability to thousand refine second- grade metals, but unexpectedly Mu Xi had accomplished it too! It was
simply unfathomable. Mu Xi wasn’t even a third rank blacksmith yet and her Thousand Refinements was still unstable!
Even if it was the dimmest of lights that came from a thousand refined metal, it still signified that from that moment on, Mu Xi was a third rank blacksmith. Reaching third rank at the young age of fourteen was no small matter.
Not a single third rank blacksmith existed within the junior division; Tang Wulin was fourth rank, so he didn’t count.
The old man roused from his stupor by the sound of a gulp. He strode forward and leapt down from the stage with nimble movements unlike that of an elderly man.
He no longer cared that the competition was still in progress, directly charging in Tang Wulin’s and Mu Xi’s direction.
A light blue halo glimmered around the silver metal as Tang Wulin put away his tungsten hammers. The pattern spread evenly across the heavy silver’s surface, covering every single inch. He narrowed his eyes as he reflected on the process.
Mu Xi propped herself up against the forging table with her arms. That feeling just now! That feeling! Her eyes twinkled like stars as she kept recreating that feeling in her mind. She knew she had reached the next rank.
It had been the first time she could perceive the will of the metal. As she carved this experience into her heart, she had a newfound appreciation for everything that came before.
“Don’t go over.” Just as the old man was about to reach the two, Cen Yue
stopped him. “They’re comprehending things right now. We mustn’t disturb them,” Cen Yue said with a lowered voice.
The old man, as well as the other blacksmiths that had followed, all halted in place. As they were all of at least the fifth rank, they understood how important times of comprehension were to blacksmiths.
Chapter 208 - Comprehension and Mu Xi's Advancement
Chapter 208 - Comprehension and Mu Xi's Advancement
From where they were standing, they could clearly see the two chunks of thousand refined heavy silver on the table.
That’s definitely thousand refined heavy silver! And it’s second-grade! Second-grade thousand refined heavy silver was usually in the domain of fourth rank blacksmiths, yet two kids who had succeeded in forging it now stood in front of him.
Tang Wulin’s and Mu Xi’s state of comprehension was short-lived, but it told the Elder Duan everything he needed to know—both youngsters were at least third rank.
The old man turned to Cen Yue. “Little Yue, your Eastsea Blacksmith’s
Association sure has some tricks up its sleeve! Mu Chen is truly formidable. I never expected that he would have groomed two young successors,
especially that brat over there. I looked into him and discovered he’s only ten years old. Just where did you find such a freak?”
Cen Yue delighted in the old man’s bitter expression. “Elder Duan, you don’t have to be so worried. We were just lucky. You should know that Mu Xi has shown promise since she was a child, but Wulin is our president’s only direct disciple. He’s quite talented. Maybe he could exchange notes with blacksmiths from Skysea City in the future.”
Cen Yue’s reply was truly a needle hidden in silk floss. He flawlessly explained Tang Wulin’s status as Mu Chen’s direct disciple, secretly
warning Elder Duan to discard any ideas of preying on him.
Each blacksmith had their own blacksmithing techniques and ways to pass down their teachings. Just like how a good master was hard to find, a good disciple was also hard to find! What master wouldn’t want a disciple that could one day surpass them?
Forging a second-grade thousand refined metal wasn’t much in their eyes; what was significant, however, was how young Tang Wulin was! He was only ten years old! In the entire history of blacksmithing, a ten-year-old
who could thousand refine was unheard of! This was simply…
Elder Duan felt short of breath as he stared at Cen Yue. “Why hasn’t anyone told me that Mu Chen took in a disciple? Have any of you heard about this?” He swept his gaze across the other blacksmiths present.
“I haven’t heard about this,” each of the blacksmiths from Skysea City said one after another, shaking their heads.
Cen Yue’s expression darkened. “Elder Duan, what are you implying?”
Elder Duan snorted. “Nothing. Let’s just head back then. We don’t want to influence the children’s competition.”
He glanced at Tang Wulin one more time before leading the others back to the stage.
Just after they left, Tang Wulin raised his head. His state of comprehension hadn’t been as great as Mu Xi’s since he was forging the familiar heavy
silver, but he did manage to grasp the barest traces of what a first-grade thousand refining was like.
The fact that Tang Wulin had used his tungsten hammers needed to be kept in mind. He wondered just what the result would have been if he used his heavy silver hammers. If he had used them, he probably would have had at least a sixty percent chance to produce a first-grade metal.
A first-grade Thousand Refinement was also called Half-Spirit Refinement. The sooner that Tang Wulin could achieve this, the easier it would be for him to comprehend Spirit Refinement. The only thing he currently lacked was soul power. Even with his innate divine strength, Mu Chen was
confident in his assessment that Tang Wulin would need to have at least three rings before Spirit Refinement would be possible. This was because, during the process of spirit refining, blacksmiths needed to infuse the metal with the vitality that came from the blacksmith themselves. In other words, the gap between the blacksmith’s martial soul and the metal.
An ordinary blacksmith needed to have at least four rings before being able to spirit refine, but with his innate divine strength, Tang Wulin only needed three rings to sustain the process.
Nonetheless, a first-grade Thousand Refinement could be considered the gateway to Spirit Refinement. The greater the feeling and the deeper his comprehension, the closer he got to the realm of Spirit Refinement.
Tang Wulin had set a goal for himself prior to the start of the tournament— before reaching three rings, he would thousand refine every metal he could get his hands on to the standard of first-grade. This way, when it the time for him to attempt Spirit Refinement arrived, his chances of success would dramatically increase while lowering his material costs.
Mu Xi let out a long sigh as she lifted her head, sluggishly gazing at the twinkling silver metal before her. The moment she laid eyes on the heavy silver, she was dazed.
It’s thousand refined second-grade!
Although she couldn’t compare to grandmaster blacksmiths, her understanding of high-level forging was still extraordinarily deep since she grew up as the daughter of a Saint Blacksmith. She was naturally able to identify the level of the metal she had just forged.
I-is it actually second-grade? She hadn’t even grasped the fundamentals of the Thousand Refinements, yet she had somehow managed to forge a
second-grade metal? Mu Xi simply couldn’t believe it! Furthermore, she
just comprehended the true essence of the Thousand Refinements and was now confident in her ability to thousand refine any metal. Taking this into consideration, she knew that she was now a third rank blacksmith.
She turned to Tang Wulin, her eyes welling with all sorts of emotions— relief, admiration, envy, and another emotion she didn’t understand.
A teacher guides the way, dispelling the disciple’s doubts; that was exactly what it felt like with Tang Wulin leading her. He was the one who elevated her to the third rank, something not even her father had been able to
Using his own rhythm to spur her on, Tang Wulin pushed her into that state of complete focus and reveal the path to the Thousand Refinements.
After putting away her hammers, Mu Xi walked over to Tang Wulin’s side. She reached out to rub his head and pinch his cheeks, not expressing her gratitude.
“Let’s go,” she said, leading the way out.
A smile tugged at Tang Wulin’s lips as he watched Mu Xi leave gallantly.
At that moment, the two understood each other even without giving voice to their thoughts.
Mu Xi stopped once they left the blacksmithing competition grounds. “Are you participating in the individual competition?”
Tang Wulin nodded. “Senior disciple sister, why aren’t you participating? You’re definitely strong enough to place highly.”
Mu Xi currently has three rings, and from Tang Wulin’s understanding, her martial soul was a powerful one.
“I can’t,” she replied and shook her head. “My talent for blacksmithing
can’t compare with yours, and I’ve had a change of heart since you arrived. I’ve been contemplating whether my path is that of a blacksmith, a soul master, or a battle armor master. I want to embrace all three of these
identities, but I am ultimately destined to be a blacksmith. In light of that, I’ve decided to focus my time and energy on forging.”
Mu Xi paused for a moment to give Tang Wulin a profound look. “Wulin, you are far more talented than I am, so much so that you’re a once-in-a-
century blacksmithing genius. Dad told me that, if you continue to steadily develop like this, you would one day become a Divine Blacksmith. So if you enjoy forging, you need to put even more effort into it from now on.”
Tang Wulin nodded slightly, understanding Mu Xi’s intentions. She wished to remind him that, if he wanted to be a blacksmith that stood at the peak, he could not let himself get unnecessarily distracted. However, his goal was to become a battle armor master. That was his dream.
Tang Wulin dreamed of becoming a mecha pilot when he was a child, but after Wu Zhangkong educated him about battle armor masters who stood
above mecha pilots, his dream changed. Blacksmithing had initially been a way for him to earn money that he just so happened to enjoy, but now it fueled his hope of one day becoming a battle armor master.
“Senior disciple sister... I love blacksmithing, but my circumstances are different from yours. Your martial soul is way better than mine. I only have Bluesilver Grass. People have been telling me that my martial soul is trash since I was six. Even though I’ve devoted all of my energy into steadily
cultivating, the results have been lackluster. Becoming a great blacksmith also requires soul power, so if I want to do that, I have to put in the effort
cultivating. Aside from that, my one true dream is to become a battle armor master.”
Chapter 209 – She’s the Opponent?
Chapter 209 – She’s the Opponent?
Mu Xi was stupefied. “That’s right! You still only have one ring… How
could I forget? You’re not that great after all! You’re still so much weaker than me!”
Tang Wulin felt as if three black lines were sliding down his forehead. Just what is she thinking?
An unexpected smile spread across Mu Xi’s face. “My heart calmed down as soon as I remembered that. Yeah! No one could be that unbelievably powerful and you’re no exception. Alright, hurry up and go then. I’m not participating in the individual competition, but I am in the team
competition. I won’t go easy on you when we face off. Well… assuming you make it that far.”
Tang Wulin waved goodbye to Mu Xi as he ran off. It was nearly time for the individual competition.
Watched his departing figure, Mu Xi’s smiling expression gradually vanished. She muttered, “Dad was right… I really should form a good relationship with him. That brat… hmph! I really want to pinch him to death.”
A smile spread across her lips as she spoke the last few words. It was far more brilliant than the one that had previously graced it.
Once he arrived at the competition ground, Tang Wulin rushed to check the progression of the matches. Fortunately, there was still some time before his match. Since the individual competition had advanced to its second round, each match was far longer than before.
After making sure that he was on time, Tang Wulin spotted his teammates nearby.
Xie Xie and Gu Yue stood next to each other, observing the battles of their competition. Tang Wulin quickly walked over.
“Your blacksmithing competition is done? How’d you do?” Gu Yue asked.
“I did great,” Tang Wulin answered. “The champion will be decided tomorrow.”
Since the blacksmith’s competition wasn’t very popular, it only took three days to finish.
“Have you guys fought yet?” Tang Wulin asked.
Gu Yue shook her head. “Not yet. I’m still waiting.”
“So what’s the situation?” Tang Wulin asked. “Has anyone powerful appeared yet?
Gu Yue answered, “A few. We just saw a three-ringed soul master. A three- ringed opponent will be kind of tough.”
With an upper age limit of fifteen, it was certainly to be expected that some three-ringed soul masters would be found in the junior division. Compared to Xie Xie and Gu Yue, both of which had two rings and powerful martial
souls, Tang Wulin merely had a single soul ring and the trash-tier Bluesilver Grass. Although he brought his martial soul up to the thousand-year level, he was still an infant against those three-ringed giants.
Yet, in spite of that, Tang Wulin’s confidence did not waver. He never expected to do particularly well in the individual competition; he only
entered in order to further temper himself. It wouldn’t be much of a loss if he were defeated by an opponent that was more powerful than him.
At that moment, Tang Wulin’s eyes went wide.
Ye Xinglan and Xu Lizhi approached him like enemies meeting on a narrow road. The former led the way while the latter followed like a servant.
There’s no way she signed up for the individual competition, right?
Tang Wulin was speechless, but anticipation flickered within his heart. The two were from Shrek Academy, so he couldn’t help but wonder just how
strong they were.
“Are you waiting for your match?” Ye Xinglan approached Tang Wulin with a sinister grin.
Tang Wulin pretended to be disinterested. “Did you sign up for the individual competition too? If I remember correctly, the competition was already underway when you decided to sign up.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Ye Xinglan asked. “I just needed to speak with the organizers and tell them that I wanted to spar with you guys. Of course they made an exception for me. Since I guaranteed I
won’t fight for the top eight, they happily agreed to my participation.” Tang Wulin’s heart stirred, anxiety seeping into his heart.
“Oh, right, I wanted to tell you the good news. The opponent you drew for today is unable to make it, so another opponent has been arranged for you
Faced with the smirking Ye Xinglan, Tang Wulin felt as if he had
encountered a little devil. He knew her what she was aiming for without even needing to think about it.
Xie Xie’s and Gu Yue’s faces darkened. This was especially the case for Gu Yue, whose narrowed eyes held a cold sheen.
Tang Wulin, on the other hand, continued to meet Ye Xinglan’s gaze
without faltering. Their gazes locked, and he flashed a radiant smile at her. “Fantastic!”
Fantastic? He isn’t scared at all? Ye Xinglan was stunned. This guy isn’t scared of having a match with me? But I’m from Shrek Academy!
She couldn’t sense the slightest bit of anxiety from Tang Wulin’s confident expression. In fact, his smile was simply to dazzling for her.
As if to tell Tang Wulin to surrender right then and there, Xu Lizhi gave him a meaningful look from behind Ye Xinglan. However, Tang Wulin ignored Xu Lizhi’s warning. Instead, he was completely calm as he
continued to hold Ye Xinglan’s gaze.
Ye Xinglan’s expression quickly turned dark. She nodded at Tang Wulin repeatedly. “Good. Very good. Let me see just how skilled you are then.”
After spitting out these words, she swiftly turned around and left.
A wry smile appeared on Tang Wulin’s lips as he returned his attention to the matches in progress.
Feeling a tug on his arm, Tang Wulin turned to see Gu Yue grabbing onto him and staring right at him with eyes filled with worry.
The corner of Tang Wulin’s mouth curled in amusement. “It’s fine! We’re here to challenge the powerful and gain more combat experience after all. Battling a student from Shrek Academy is a rare opportunity. You wouldn’t believe how happy I am right now. Why are you guys making that face?
Are you thinking it’s certain that I’ll lose?”
“Well said,” an icy voice interjected. “Do your best and battle with all your strength. You might just have a chance at winning if you do.”
The trio swiveled their heads in the direction that it came from, slightly surprised at Wu Zhangkong’s sudden arrival.
Wu Zhangkong nodded at Tang Wulin in satisfaction. His appreciation for this disciple of his only continued to grow. Not only did Tang Wulin have a good head on his shoulders, his perception was sharp and his heart was large. The boy was only ten years old, so Wu Zhangkong could only imagine what he would be like when he was twenty. Tang Wulin’s growth was unpredictable.
A lot could change in ten years. Although Tang Wulin’s martial soul was
weak, it had mutated and made the path to greatness available to him. If this trend continued, Tang Wulin would be destined to reach great heights in the future.
“Teacher Wu,” Tang Wulin hastily said in greeting.
Wu Zhangkong walked to stand in front of the three, gravely saying, “Do your best in your battles and don’t feel pressured. Regardless of how it turns out, everything will be fine as long as you give it your all. In my opinion, the battle isn’t completely hopeless for you.”
“Yes!” Tang Wulin answered respectfully, eyes sparkling. Battling an opponent from Shrek Academy was a wonderful chance to test himself.
Tang Wulin sat down where he was, closed his eyes, and began regulating his breathing. He wanted to be in top condition when he faced Ye Xinglan.
Xie Xie was the first to have a match. His opponent wasn’t particularly strong, and a little less than five minutes later, he stood victorious.
Then it was finally Tang Wulin’s turn. He sprang up from the ground, a confident smile on his face as he strode toward the arena.
“Big sister Xinglan, Wulin didn’t really do anything wrong. You should go easy on him!” Xu Lizhi implored. He still had a good impression of Tang Wulin, especially since Tang Wulin could eat so much. Such a limitless
stomach was something he had never seen before, and one could only
conquer a glutton by eating more than them after all! It was only because of this that Xu Lizhi approved of Tang Wulin.
“You still have the face to say that? Would I have had to suffer so much if not for you? Stop letting this bother you so much and just watch me put him in his place. Hmph!” Ye Xinglan freed herself from Xu Lizhi’s nagging and charged toward the stage.
During the exhibition match that kicked off the tournament, few had taken note of her since she had been in the back. Furthermore, she wasn’t clothed in the iconic green Shrek Academy uniform today. Instead, she wore a yellow dress. She only seemed to be a young, pretty girl.
Both Tang Wulin and Ye Xinglan ascended to the stage. Upon seeing Tang Wulin’s assured smile, fumes of anger poured from Ye Xinglan’s head. In her eyes, that smile was provocation. Grievances filled her heart as she remembered how Tang Wulin had mooched off of her and even had the gall to pick the dishes.
This bastard! Today we’ll see how I put you in your place!
Today’s referee was the same as yesterday’s. After unceremoniously announcing the rules for the match, he let the two start preparing.
Tang Wulin’s narrowed eyes were locked onto Ye Xinglan. After his short rest, his mind was sharp as a blade.
He was like a spring—the greater the pressure placed on him, the stronger he would bounce back. At this moment, he was bursting with fighting spirit. He would rather face a powerful opponent like Ye Xinglan instead of an inexperienced one like the one from yesterday. This way, he would gain
something from the battle. “Three, two, one, begin!”
Tang Wulin sprang into action immediately after the referee’s declaration. He stomped down with his left foot, charging straight at Ye Xinglan while a single purple ring twinkled beneath his feet.
Chapter 210 – Stargod Sword
Chapter 210 – Stargod Sword
Purple? A thousand-year soul ring? This realization shocked Ye Xinglan. She hadn’t seen any of Tang Wulin’s previous battles; her only impression of him was his weak soul power fluctuations.
She had expected that he had one ring, but never did she imagine that it would be a purple ring.
Ye Xinglan instantly reassessed the situation with this new piece of information.
To be able to support a thousand-year soul ring, both his body and spirit must be powerful! There’s no other explanation for it. Looks like he’s more talented than I gave him credit for!
But Ye Xinglan wasn’t worried despite this shocking revelation. Her
confidence as a student of Shrek Academy couldn’t be shaken by something as minor as this.
Two yellow soul rings rose from her feet as she reached out and grasped her coalescing martial soul. Although her ring configuration was identical to
Tang Wulin’s opponent from the day before, Ye Xinglan’s martial soul gave him a completely different feeling.
A long sword materialized in her hand. Sparks of light twinkled along the slender brilliance of its yellow blade like the stars in the night sky,
showcasing a splendor that was attention-grabbing even in daylight. Ye Xinglan’s presence faded with the appearance of the sword, her essence fusing with it.
One with the sword!
A ten-year-old girl has reached such a realm?
Every powerful, perceptive observer in the stands was astonished.
As the two approached each other, Tang Wulin forwent his Bluesilver Grass; instead, he reached out to grab her shoulder.
Ye Xinglan made her move at the very last moment; she took a step to the right.
This seemingly simple action had Tang Wulin’s gut twisting in alarm.
Ye Xinglan’s one step put her in the perfect position to strike his most vulnerable weak point. However, momentum propelled him forward and he passed through the spot that Ye Xinglan had just moved from. It was too late for him to turn around.
Ye Xinglan slashed at Tang Wulin’s ribs. Her sword stroke was casual and smooth, slow and steady. Unavoidable.
It was in that moment of crisis that Tang Wulin displayed his body’s flexibility. He twisted his body and his back arched like a bow—while he was still within striking distance, it bought him enough time for golden
scales to ripple across his arm and block the blade..
A metallic tink rang out. Ye Xinglan spun around, dispersing the excess energy of the clash. To her surprise, she found herself two meters from where she originally stood.
Anxiety gripped Tang Wulin. A strange chill had penetrated his scales during their clash and had violently rushed into his body. He summoned his bloodline power and soul power into action, sealing the foreign energy off. Only with the combined power of the two could he keep it at bay.
Even then, light exploded from his right arm, sending him reeling back two steps.
From just this brief clash, Tang Wulin was clearly the one at a disadvantage.
However, astonishment flashed in Ye Xinglan’s eyes. My Stargod Sword’s stargod energy couldn’t invade his body? Usually even three-ringed soul
masters can’t defend against it! This guy’s body is weird. His arm has scales on it…
Despite her mind whirling with shock, Ye Xinglan did not pause. Her first soul ring lit up the moment she stopped spinning, imbuing starlight into the blade as she aimed at Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin trembled in the face of this attack. Her first move had already displayed the terrifying strength of her sword; he had already been hard- pressed to defend against her sword when she wasn’t using a soul skill, so he could only imagine how powerful it would be when it was combined with one.
Tang Wulin could no longer afford to hold back. Strand after strand of
Bluesilver Grass sprang out and wove together into a large net in front of him, intent on enveloping the stellar attack.
His martial soul has nothing to do with the scales on his arm? Does he have twin souls? Ye Xinglan’s mind quickly processed this new knowledge.
The starlight and Bluesilver Grass collided. Nothing exploded. Instead, golden light dyed each and every strand of grass it touched, wrestling
control of the grass out of Tang Wulin’s hands. What is that?
Tang Wulin’s shock deepened as Ye Xinglan pointed her sword at the sky, directing the gold-touched Bluesilver Grass into the air. Now, nothing stood between the two.
What a strange soul skill.
Even though he was startled, Tang Wulin quickly retreated. Violet light flickered in his eyes as he activated Purple Demon Eyes.
Faced with such a powerful opponent, he couldn’t afford not to use every trick up his sleeve.
The moment she saw the purple glint in Tang Wulin’s eyes, Ye Xinglan closed her own. She activated her second soul skill, shrouding herself in starlight. The defense was airtight, without a single gap for Tang Wulin’s Purple Demon Eyes to attack.
That shield can defend against spiritual attacks?
Ye Xinglan cut through the net of Bluesilver Grass she had seized control of and thrust her Stargod Sword at Tang Wulin; flickering duplicates charged
at Tang Wulin as her footwork changed into mysterious erratic steps. Not good!
Tang Wulin had a wealth of combat experience, but even the cleverest housewife couldn’t cook without rice! With the control of his martial soul stolen by his opponent, what else could he do?
Tang Wulin made a surprising choice: he closed his eyes. Since he couldn’t clearly ascertain the situation, he would use his other senses.
Tang Wulin’s spiritual power exceeded two hundred points, meaning he was in the intermediate Spirit Connection realm. Taking his constant forging into consideration, his perception could not be compared with that of an ordinary person. With his gaze still shuttered, he willed his right hand to transform into the golden dragon claw.
Tang Wulin brandished his claws, blocking the strike to his shoulder.
His claw blocked the stargod energy. Even when the Stargod Sword released more energy, it couldn’t move a single inch forward.
Tang Wulin held the sword in place, but Ye Xinglan’s responded swiftly.
She freed her sword with a flick of her wrist and commanded the surrounding starlight to gather around her sword.
The Stargod Sword grew with a brighter radiance. At the same time, Tang Wulin regained control over his Bluesilver Grass.
Tang Wulin clawed at her, but Ye Xinglan simply swatted his attack down. His ability to sense Ye Xinglan’s location, on the other hand, was increasingly accurate.
“You’ve got some good tricks. It looks like I’ll need to take this seriously.”
Ye Xinglan nimbly retreated. Her eyes brightened, then shone as if they were two stars. Specks of starlight converged around her and without any warning, she charged forward again, twice as fast a before. Her Stargod
Sword seemed to become the manifestation of the myriad stars in the skies as it advanced upon Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin recalled his Bluesilver Grass to fortify his defense.
Ye Xinglan’s sword danced as she struck the thicket of grass. With each
stroke of her blade, a strand of Bluesilver Grass would explode in a burst of light.
The tip of her sword fluttered about like a butterfly. Bluesilver Grass would scatter wherever it touched, until dozens of swords stabbed at Tang Wulin
simultaneously, completely surrounding him. This wasn’t a soul skill—it was pure technique!