Chapter 21 – Rank 11 Soul Master
Chapter 21 – Rank 11 Soul Master
The same transformation appeared on the little Grass Snake as its earthen yellow body gradually turned yellow. Its scales stuck out a bit now, and they contained a distinct radiance to them. Those golden stripes extended from its tail and up its body, converging at a single point on its head. The Grass Snake grew one centimeter from its previous eight centimeters. Its protruding tiny scales had turned golden in color.
The murky look in its eyes was gone, replaced with clarity. So hot. Ah, so hot!
Tang Wulin wasn’t aware of what was happening to his body. The only thing he could feel at the moment was an indescribable pain from an intense heat, as if his body was being smelted inside a furnace.
After an unknown period of time, the scorching heat began to cool down. However, it was replaced by a numbness which permeated throughout the four limbs and hundred bones. It was as if a myriad of insects was crawling about within his body. Tang Wulin wanted to cry out in pain, but he was unable to release a single sound. He already began to look back fondly at the scorching heat he had experienced beforehand.
The pain tormented him to the point that his body wished for a release of death, but his mind was abnormally clear. He could clearly feel all of the pain throughout his body.
If the Spirit Master from before were here to test his spiritual power, he would have discovered that Tang Wulin’s spiritual power continually rose under this torment.
The pain in his body gradually disappeared and his fuzzy consciousness
went with it. Under his clothes drenched in sweat, the golden veined pattern hadn’t waned at all; instead, it had permeated into his skin.
The Bluesilver Grass moved like a receding tide as the little Grass Snake climbed onto the hollow of Tang Wulin’s palm and entered it. The golden scales upon its forehead returned to normal as its body returned to its original dullness.
When Tang Ziran joyously returned home, he encountered Na’er blocking the doorway.
“Big brother is fusing with the spirit soul. You can’t go in.” Na’er resolutely said as she gazed at Tang Ziran.
Tang Ziran asked with a dull voice, “What did you say? He’s already begun fusing with it?”
Na’er nodded. “Big brother said that he didn’t wanted to burden mom and dad.”
Tang Ziran stumbled a few steps backwards and collapsed into a chair. His expression changed in an instant as pain colored his face.
He forcefully struck his own head and said to himself, “Tang Ziran, why can’t you face reality? Why must you be so weak. It’s because of your weakness that you’ve harmed your child!”
The large federal coins he clutched in his hand spilled onto the table. It was too late. It was too late!
He suddenly lifted his head. “Na’er, how long has Lin Lin been fusing with the spirit soul?”
Na’er said, “He started shortly after you left.”
Tang Ziran cried out in alarm, “He still hasn’t finished? He should have already finished after so long. Let’s go take a look quickly.”
Na’er hesitated for a moment before nodding her head.
After he opened the door, Tang Ziran saw Tang Wulin lying on the bed. “Lin Lin!” He cried as he flew over to Tang Wulin’s side.
The spirit soul ball was left beside the bed, already devoid of the Grass Snake spirit soul. Tang Wulin’s brow creased as he lay on the bed, his clothes completely soaked in sweat.
Tang Ziran blamed himself within his heart. He thoroughly understood that such a situation shouldn’t have occurred during a spirit soul fusion. It was highly likely that his son encountered an accident while he was fusing.
Tang Wulin was immersed in deep sleep. Fortunately, his vital signs were normal.
Two streams of tears flowed down his cheek as Tang Ziran tightly embraced his son. His son was only nine years old, yet had to bear so much already! ‘I’m sorry, son. Dad is so sorry! It’s all because of dad’s incompetence.’
Na’er stood to the side and silently watched as Tang Ziran cried. Once again, a look of perplexion colored her pretty purple eyes.
In the evening, Tang Wulin woke up. As he opened his eyes, he gradually regained awareness of his surroundings.
He abruptly sat up, sensing the changes within his body.
The scorching heat and numbness had already completely disappeared and his body now felt as light as a feather. What’s more, his clothes had already been swapped for a set of clean, fresh ones.
Breathing had even turned into a type of pleasure for him as his whole body felt free and invigorated.
The soul power within his body had strengthened by a lot. With just a thought, a layer of soul power emanated from his body. Rank 11. He had
broken through and entered realm of rank 11 soul power, officially becoming a Soul Master.
Although the little Grass Snake was indeed a defective spirit soul, it still managed to complete its mission. Its heart was full of sadness as it entered Tang Wulin’s body. Tang Wulin thought to himself, ‘Even if I can’t become a powerful Soul Master, I still have the support of soul power. At the very least, I’ll be able to become a pretty good blacksmith.’
After thinking these thoughts, he swung his arms out energetically.
Pa! A popping sound resounded in the room. Tang Wulin was astonished at the feeling in that instant when he had waved his arm through the air.
What kind of situation was this?
The door opened before he had the chance to try again as three adults and one child entered the room.
“Son, son, are you alright?” Lang Yue had already burst into tears as she rushed ahead and embraced Tang Wulin.
The sky had darkened outside of the window. Surprisingly, it was already evening.
Tang Wulin still remembered that he had begun fusing in the morning. It had actually taken him this long?
Aside from Lang Yue, Tang Ziran, and Na’er, there was one other person. That person was Tang Wulin’s forging teacher, Mang Tian.
Tang Wulin hadn’t gone to work that day, so Mang Tian had called over with a soul communicator. After finding out about this matter, he immediately rushed over.
“I’m fine mom.” Tang Wulin softly said.
Lang Yue looked down towards her son and firmly said, “Son, let’s not try to become Soul Masters anymore, just staying as an ordinary person is
Tang Wulin smiled. “Mom, I really am fine! It’s just that I’m a true SoulMaster now. I’m at rank 11. My fusion finished without a hitch. That Grass Snake spirit soul was really suitable for my martial soul. If it was a powerful spirit soul, I can’t say for sure that I would have been able to fuse with it.”
Lang Yue’s tears couldn’t help but surge forth again when she heard her son’s comforting words.
Tang Ziran let out a sigh. The matter was finished; continuing the
conversation would be pointless. It was impossible to reverse a spirit soul fusion. It would only upset Tang Wulin more if he was told that Tang Ziran had managed to secure the money.
“Rank 11? Bring out your martial soul and let me take a look,” Mang Tian said with a deep and resounding voice.
Chapter 22 – Teacher is also a Soul Master?
Chapter 22 – Teacher is also a Soul Master?
Tang Wulin finally noticed him and hastily said, “Teacher.” Mang Tian nodded. “Come here.”
Tang Wulin looked at his mother, then his teacher, before jumping off the bed. He lifted his right hand and with just a thought, the dim room immediately lit up.
A white ring of light slowly rose from his feet and revolved rhythmically around his body.
This was a Soul Master’s soul ring. A white soul ring represented a 10 year soul ring, the lowest type.
Spirit souls hadn’t existed ten thousand years ago when soul rings were still the most defining characteristic of a Soul Master.
Tang Wulin opened up his hand to reveal a brilliant yellow radiance. Within it appeared the little grass snake. Immediately afterwards, a slender blade of blue vine-like grass as thick as a finger twirled into existence. The vine
spread outwards, quickly spreading into every corner of the room.
This was the first time he had released his martial soul since he had become a true Soul Master. The difference between not having a soul ring before
and having one now was as different as black and white. He felt as if this grass was an extension of his own consciousness. Anything it touched
would be immediately transmitted back to him. In fact, he could even sense
the elated mood that the little Grass Snake sent. This feeling was much clearer than during his fusion.
Despite the fact that it was merely a 10 year soul ring, the rhythmic up and down motion of the white light still basked Tang Wulin’s body with a radiant luster. This was the glamor of a Soul Master. Even a single soul ring would make a Soul Master and an ordinary person as different as night and day.
Lang Yue was stunned, Tang Ziran’s eyes finally regained some determination, and Na’er was once again at a loss.
Mang Tian lifted up his arm and pulled on some Bluesilver Grass. It seemed as if these slenders vines were really weak. After all, how could a trash martial soul and a defective spirit soul fuse together to produce a good
Mang Tian’s heart was a bit dreary as looked towards Tang Wulin and said, “Don’t be discouraged. Although your spirit soul isn’t too good, you have
still become a true Soul Master. Your soul power now has space to continue growing. The possession of soul power will prove helpful to any profession you choose. Ten thousand years ago, many Soul Masters had approved of the first soul tools because their martial souls and soul rings weren’t powerful. It was with the help of soul tools that they were able to increase their own power. The same goes with mechas. As long as you have soul power, you can still become a mecha master even if without the aid of a powerful soul soul. A mecha master with a weak martial soul but a formidable strength isn’t necessarily impossible. soul power is also very useful when forging; it can sharpen your senses while also increasing your strength.”
Mang Tian released the Bluesilver Grass as he said this, letting it fall onto the ground to make a crisp sound.
“Ah!” Mang Tian revealed a look of surprise as he once again picked up the Bluesilver Grass. His brows immediately creased.
Tang Wulin’s heart was filled with hope again at Mang Tian’s words. Even if he couldn’t become a powerful Soul Master, he could still become a formidable mecha master.
“Brother Mang, what is it?” Tang Ziran noticed Mang Tian’s reaction, and asked thoughtlessly.
Mang Tian didn’t speak. Instead, he grabbed some Bluesilver Grass and tried to pull it apart.
One could only imagine the physical strength he possessed as a blacksmith.
However, the Bluesilver Grass only straightened out when he pulled it without any signs of it snapping. This seemingly weak existence was unexpectedly so tenacious.
“Your Bluesilver Grass is a bit abnormal.” Mang Tian said to Tang Wulin. Tang Wulin doubtfully asked, “Teacher, what part of it is abnormal?”
Mang Tian answered, “First of all is its weight. I didn’t feel it at first, but I noticed when it fell onto the ground that the sound it made wasn’t light at
all. After inspecting it again, I discovered that although it is very slender, its body is actually very heavy. It’s even heavier than a vine. Bluesilver Grass with only one soul ring shouldn’t possess this type of attribute. Let me test it again first.”
His eyes suddenly began shining as he said this when four soul rings
appeared, one white, two yellow and one purple. They immediately lit up the room. As a fellow Soul Master, Tang Wulin subconsciously retreated from the aura released by Mang Tian.
Tang Wulin was shocked into speechlessness.
According to how Soul Masters were ranked, 0 to 10 were Soul Scholars, ranks 11 to 20 were Soul Masters, and after every ten ranks they would be promoted to a new title. After Soul Master was Soul Grandmaster, Soul Elder, Soul Ancestor, Soul King, Soul Emperor, Soul Sage, Soul Douluo and at the very peak with nine soul rings, Title Douluos.
His blacksmithing master was unexpectedly a powerful Soul Ancestor with four soul rings!
After the soul rings appeared, three spirit souls became visible on Mang Tian’s shoulders. The first one was the smallest and weakest, a tiny rabbit. It was crawling about his body while emitting a white ring of light. The yellow spirit soul was a pair of hammers that flickered with a yellow shine.
Artificial spirit soul manufacturing process could even make tool spirit souls. It would be impossible for a tool spirit soul to appear naturally.
The last spirit soul was purple, a brown bear that was about a meter tall with two unusually thick arms. It looked very fierce as it bared its fangs whilst jumping down upon Mang Tian’s shoulders, as if it was deciding who it wanted to bite.
In addition to the three types of spirit souls released, Mang Tian’s martial soul was also shown. It was actually a hammer that glowed with a dim
white light nearly identical in appearance to a forging hammer. On top of the hammer were some deep brown vein lines.
Mang Tian’s martial soul was the Earth Hammer.
After releasing his martial soul, Mang Tian appeared much more imposing as well as magnificent. His first spirit soul shined for a moment before the little white rabbit transformed into a layer of white light that covered his body.
First soul skill, ten year soul ability, Tenacity.
This was an ordinary soul skill that made Mang Tian’s muscles more flexible and powerful.
Mang Tian forcefully pulled on the Bluesilver Grass with the backing of his soul skill as well as his formidable soul power.
A bizarre scene appeared in front of them all. Everyone, including Tang Wulin, expected the Bluesilver Grass to be torn apart. Unexpectedly
however, the dim body of the Bluesilver Grass began to shine under the opposing forces exerted upon it.
Chapter 23 – Variant Martial Soul
Chapter 23 – Variant Martial Soul
It twinkled with a blue radiance as it turned translucent, revealing a faint golden light from the veins within. Even as Mang Tian continued to pull at it, it showed no desire of breaking.
However, Tang Wulin felt his soul power throb for a moment before it abruptly decreased.
“Aiyou!” He cried out.
Mang Tian looked towards him in surprise. “Did you feel something?”
Tang Wulin told the truth and said, “It seems like my soul power has been consumed.”
Mang Tian revealed a complex expression as he looked at his disciple. He no longer tried to pull apart the Bluesilver Grass. Instead, he recalled his martial soul and spirit souls, then released the grass.
Tang Ziran anxiously asked, “Brother Mang, what’s the situation?”
Mang Tian gave him a slight smile. “It seems that the Heavens haven’t abandoned this child. I’m certain that his martial soul is a variant and what’s more, it’s a good kind of variant.”
Variant? Tang Wulin was at a loss when he heard this word, as he had never learned anything about variant martial souls.
Mang Tian answered, “Under special circumstances, variations can arise in the martial soul. For example, fusing with a highly compatible or highly
incompatible spirit soul or soul ring, or being stimulated by an external factor, will all create the circumstances necessary for variation to occur. It’s also possible for someone to be born with a variant martial soul or that their martial soul undergoes variation during awakening.”
“There are good and bad kinds of variations. It’s possible for a powerful martial soul to be weakened by its variation. On the other hand, it’s also possible for a weak martial soul to become powerful due to the variation.”
His eyes contained a profoundness in them as he looked at Tang Wulin and said, “Everyone knows that Bluesilver Grass is a trash martial soul, but a
snake type spirit soul is nevertheless still very suitable for it. Generally speaking, it is possible for Bluesilver Grass to transform into a vine.
However, with a martial soul like Bluesilver Grass, the odds of soul power appearing was simply impossibly low. However, I knew someone in the past who also had Bluesilver Grass. When he cultivated to rank 10, he too fused with a snake type spirit soul and his Bluesilver Grass became a vine even thicker than yours. Yet, it was still very weak. I didn’t even need to utilize my martial soul in order to tear it apart.
“However, your Bluesilver Grass is completely different. Even with my first soul skill, I still wasn’t able to tear it apart. Common sense would dictate this to be impossible. This is also the first time that I have seen a martial soul’s strength in relation to one’s soul power. That is to say, it
would have been impossible for me to tear apart your Bluesilver Grass until your soul power ran out. I can’t think of any other explanation other than a martial soul variation.”
Tang Wulin sluggishly looked at Mang Tian. “Teacher, so is this is a good thing?”
Mang Tian answered, “Of course this is good. However, it isn’t absolutely good. It’ll all depend on how well you control your martial soul. Logically, when Bluesilver Grass becomes a vine, you should be able to develop towards the control system. Your soul skills should mostly be of the basic harassing vine type. In the scenario that you are able to entwine your opponent, as long as your opponent’s soul power is higher than yours, he’ll be able to struggle free while also exhausting your soul power. Thus, it will
turn into a war of attrition. You won’t have any chances of winning in that case. Therefore, it wouldn’t be too bad to use your Bluesilver Grass more like a whip. Moreover, who knows if there’ll be another variation once you obtain your second soul ring. Due to this, I can’t judge how it will turn out in the future, but at the very least, it’s promising. From now on, it’s no longer a trash martial soul. You can consider yourself to have profited from a disaster.”
“Really?” Tang Wulin asked. He looked towards Mang Tian with an
expression that revealed his reluctance to believe. It wasn’t a trash martial soul anymore? Even if it’s not a powerful one, at least it’s no longer a trash martial soul!
Mang Tian said with a dull voice, “You saw it just now. My first soul ring is a white 10 year spirit soul, and is equally as weak. However, I was also able to obtain a 100 year spirit soul after putting in great effort. Moreover, I was even able to obtain a 1000 year spirit soul. Due to me being a blacksmith, I’m able to earn enough money to buy the spirit souls that I wanted. You’re very talented at forging, so anything that I’m able to do, you will be able to do as well.”
Nothing could move someone as much as being able to sympathize with someone in a similar situation. The depression within Tang Wulin’s heart
had been wiped clean. He didn’t have a trash martial soul anymore and he also had his teacher as a goal for the future now. This re-ignited the hope in his heart. I still have a chance at becoming a powerful Soul Master!
“You didn’t request a leave of absence today from work and you didn’t show up, so I’ll deduct one day’s worth of wages from your pay.” Mang
Tian made to leave after saying this, but Tang Wulin’s excitement wasn’t influenced in the least. He jumped up and gave Mang Tian a big hug.
“You’re so light.” Mang Tian said in surprise. Yet, this child’s strength…
After Mang Tian left, the Tang family’s cloud of worries and fog of cruelty had transformed into an atmosphere of joy.
“I’m sorry mom, dad. I made you two worry.” Tang Wulin was somewhat ashamed as he said this.
Lang Yue once again pulled her son’s head into her bosom. “It’s us who should be apologizing. You’re still so young, yet you have to bear such a large burden already.”
Tang Ziran lowered his head as if to contemplate some unknown matters.
Na’er’s lips quivered a bit. It seemed that she wanted to say something, but wasn’t able to do so in the end.
After eating dinner, another day had passed by once again. Tang Ziran and Lang Yue slept early that night while Na’er also entered the land of dreams in a similarly tired state.
Only Tang Wulin was left awake.
He quietly snuck out of the house, and went to the garden where he had previously made a breakthrough. After sitting down, his heart began to stir as he gazed at the bright moon in the sky.
From joy to sorrow, he once again had hope. What he experienced this day influenced him far more than anything else in the past three years.
With a thought, the little Grass Snake appeared in the hollow of his palm.
“Thank you little fellow. You have given me hope, yet I turned my back on you. I’m so sorry!” Tang Wulin softly said.
The little Grass Snake seemed to have sensed something as it raised its head slightly and flicked its tongue.
Tang Wulin smiled, “I’ll give you a name alright? We’re going to be partners from now on.” A spirit soul would accompany its master for life, and would dissipate only upon its master’s death.
The little Grass Snake seemed to understand his words and gently wiggled its body in response.
Tang Wulin said, “Now what’s a good name for you?”
Right at that moment, the little Grass Snake’s body suddenly began to shine. The little scale on its forehead flashed a golden light.
“Yi! Is this also due to the variation?” He firmly believed in the words of his teacher without a single doubt. His martial soul had undergone variation and was no longer an ordinary, trashy Bluesilver Grass.
“That gold color was really pretty just now. How about you flash it one more time for me to see? Is that fine?” Tang Wulin giggled as he spoke.
However, the little Grass Snake showed no reaction to his words. It couldn’t fully comprehend Tang Wulin’s desire with its low intelligence. This type of low level spirit soul could only offer one soul ring, and couldn’t give any other type of aid.
Tang Wulin’s heart stirred as he said, “You can turn golden, so I’ll call you Goldlight. How’s that? If your whole body can turn into gold in the future, then just think of how formidable you’ll be!”
Naturally, the little Grass Snake couldn’t reject at all. Thus, its name was decided to be Goldlight. A simple name, yet brimming with beauty and freedom.
Chapter 24 – Na’er Leaves
Chapter 24 – Na’er Leaves
Early in the morning, Tang Wulin awoke from his meditation and discovered himself surrounded by grass.
It was as if he was meditating in a world of Bluesilver Grass. The feeling here was much better than the one at his home. He was unaware that this was due to the fact that his soul power had entered the realm of Soul
Masters, as well as due to the variation in his martial soul. His cultivation speed was much faster now.
Tang Wulin jumped up from the lawn and shook the morning dew off of his body.
“Lin Lin! Lin Lin!” Lang Yue’s anxious voice called out from afar.
“Mom, I’m over here,” Tang Wulin said as he hastily ran out of the little garden.
“Something’s wrong. Na’er, Na’er… She…” Lang Yue was panting as she ran over.
“What happened to Na’er?” Tang Wulin’s heart tensed up.
Lang Yue took a deep breath to calm herself before she anxiously said, “She’s gone. Na’er is gone.”
“Ah?” Tang Wulin was gobsmacked and quickly followed his mother back home.
It was true. Na’er was gone. She had only left a letter on her bed.
Mom, Dad, big brother, I’ll be leaving now. Thank you for taking care of me these past few years, but I remember who I am now. My family has
come to pick me up, so I have to go. I was really happy during the days I spent with you all. Extremely happy. I really didn’t want to part with you all, but from the memories I’ve recalled, I know that I must leave. I have many things I must do. Big brother, I will always remember how you looked when you protected me from those bad guys. I will always remember the taste of all the treats you’ve bought me.
Tang Wulin was dumbfounded as he stared at this letter.
Despite adding to their burdens, Na’er had brought them numerous joys ever since she’d joined their household.
Tang Wulin was so happy after getting a little sister. He always felt unusually satisfied whenever he watched Na’er eat the treats he bought with his forging money, especially when she gave him a sweet smile.
“How can this be!? Na’er, how could you leave like this? How could you? Even if you found your family, you can’t leave like this! You can’t leave…”Tang Wulin turned around and ran out. Lang Yue wasn’t able to
stop him before he rushed out of the house.
“Na’er, Na’er!” Sobbing screams resounded throughout the small town as Tang Wulin madly ran about, shouting out as he searched for Na’er’s silver hair and violet eyes.
Na’er tightly held onto a crude rag doll as she leaned against a wall, one tear drop after another dripping down her face.
That was the first present Tang Wulin had bought her with his monthly
wage. The rag doll had violet eyes and silver hair that Tang Wulin had dyed himself. It looked just like her.
Tang Wulin’s image unceasingly revolved in her mind.
It was only when they were together that both of them were full of smiles. He seemed to have always been thinking of ways to bring a smile to her face.
He was always there to protect her when someone tried to bully her. Even if he was facing a powerful bad guy, he would still be as stubborn as before.
“Big brother, big brother…” Na’er whispered, as pearl-like teardrops fell onto the ground.
“Young Lady, we must leave now.”
He scoured the whole town, searching every corner for anywhere Na’er might have gone. He even ran along the coastline in search of her for a long time. In the end, Tang Wulin couldn’t find a single trace of her.
His throat had long since gone hoarse from shouting. Regardless of that, Na’er was gone without a trace.
Aside from the letter, Na’er had left behind a few other things. She had left a small silver pendant necklace with an inlaid silver gem. The gemstone
was perfectly round, with a silver thread around its edges.
Seven rays of light could be faintly distinguished as they twinkled within the gem. One look and it was easy to tell that it held considerable value.
However, in Tang Wulin’s heart, this gemstone couldn’t possibly compensate for his little sister’s presence.
Tang Wulin attended school and went to the forging workshop with a muddled head.
For the next several days, it was as if Tang Wulin had lost his soul. Every day, he would prowl the great streets and small alleys of Glorybound City until late in the night to search for a trace of Na’er.
He made many mistakes in his forging work due to his mental state, and
was firmly scolded by Mang Tian. Tang Wulin couldn’t help but continually ask himself, ‘Why did Na’er leave? Why didn’t she tell me where she
His spirit didn’t recover until a whole week later.
Red Mountain Academy.
“Tang Wulin,” Lin Ximeng called out from the lectern.
“Here.” Tang Wulin stood up. His sadness over Na’er leaving had lessened a bit after a whole week had passed.
He went up to the lectern and accepted Lin Ximeng’s recommendation letter. This was the special recommendation letter from the Red Mountain Academy. As long as one was granted this letter, they would be able to register for an intermediate Soul Master academy. Every single student in the elementary academy who successfully became Soul Masters could be recommended to continue their studies at an intermediate academy. No matter what one’s martial soul was, they would meet the requirements if they possessed a soul ring.
Accepting this letter also signified the conclusion of Tang Wulin’s days of attending the elementary academy.
Wan Yunchao winked at Tang Wulin from the seat beside him. “We’re graduating now. Let’s go swap pointers later.”
Tang Wulin unhappily shot a glance at him. “I’m busy. I have to go to work later.”
Due to the mistakes he had made a few days ago, Mang Tian had added three hours to his daily working hours.
Wan Yunchao’s mouth twitched as he said, “Coward. You’re just afraid to lose to me.”
Tang Wulin eyes flashed with a furious light. “I’m not a coward. Fine then. I’ll spar with you after school in the grove.”
There was a large grove behind Red Mountain Academy. This was where students usually took their Nature Studies Class.
It was very quiet here after school, since very few people would generally come here.
Wan Yunchao was still as fat as before. He joyfully dragged Tang Wulin to the grove as soon as the school day ended.
“Let me tell you, Tang Wulin, you absolutely can’t match up to me as an opponent!”
Tang Wulin didn’t utter a word.
“Good, then. We’ll start right here!” Wan Yunchao stopped walking, then impatiently released his martial soul from his hands.
After a flash, a short blade appeared in his palm. Compared to when it didn’t have a soul ring, the short blade seemed somewhat wider, with lit-up veined patterns on its surface.
A white 10-year soul ring rose from the soles of his feet. Wan Yunchao
silently moved the soul ring onto the short blade, causing the blade’s tip to extend out as 15 centimeters of length were added to the upper part of the martial soul.
Chapter 25 – Thousand Refinements
Chapter 25 – Thousand Refinements
“Did you see it? My first soul skill is Knife Tip. I even spent an extra 10,000 Federal Coins to invite a Spirit Master over to help me pick this
spirit soul! Since this spirit soul is also a knife, it directly complements my martial soul! My Knife Tip will conquer all!”
Tang Wulin furrowed his eyebrows, “Why are you so full of nonsense.”
Wan Yunchao glared at him, “At this point in time you’re still saying I’m full of crap? Since I’m worried I’d hurt you, just hurry up and admit defeat. I’ll let you off this time. If you don’t, my Knife Tip will not spare you any mercy.” As Wan Yunchao said this, he flicked his wrist and a knife tip shot out towards a sapling’s trunk. It was as wide as a bowl, but was still instantly cut down.
Tang Wulin stared at him disdainfully, “Plants are also living creatures, why did you cut that sapling for no reason?”
Wan Yunchao was going to open his mouth and reply when he saw that similarly, a white ring had materialized around Tang Wulin’s legs. Vine after vine of Bluesilver Grass grew simultaneously from the palm of his hand.
Those slender vines of Bluesilver Grass however, did not rush directly at Wan Yunchao. Their ends were instead suspended mid air around Tang Wulin. Moments later, ear piercing screams could be heard echoing out from the small forest.
Pa! Pa! Pa!
“Aiyou! It hurts! Tang Wulin, you are shameless! If you have the ability to do so, come closer and fight me!”
Pa! Pa! Pa!
“Aiyou! Aiyou! I surrender! Can I please surrender? How could you even use your Bluesilver Grass in such a fashion?”
When the two individuals left the forest, out of the two it was Wan Yunchao who looked the most pathetic. His entire body was riddled with numerous lash marks.
Tang Wulin was still incapable of fully controlling his Bluesilver Grass. He had spent all those days searching for Na’er, to the point where he had even neglected part of his meditation. This did not influence the whipping aspect of his control however, when he used it to attack Wan Yunchao.
Both of them were still kids, thus they did not know any battle techniques. That inch thick Bluesilver Grass proved how tenacious it was. Since Wan Yunchao’s short knife and Knife Tip could not attack from a distance and he had no knowledge of any other battle techniques, the result was obvious.
“Why? Why did it turn out like this? With a soul skill, I should have been able to beat you!” Wan Yunchao shouted indignantly at Tang Wulin who was currently supporting him.
Tang Wulin replied angrily, “Teacher Lin had already said it before; your martial soul is well suited for melee battles. Thus it is well suited for the path of the agility attack system. However, you’re so fat. How could you possibly be agile?”
Wan Yunchao had an unconvinced expression on his face as he asked, “Then why was it that when my Knife Tip attempted to hack your
Bluesilver Grass apart, it was unable to do so?”
Tang Wulin replied, “Well this is my Bluesilver Grass’s specialty; so long as my soul power is not depleted, you cannot hack it apart.”
Wan Yunchao looked up to the skies and bellowed, “I WILL LOSE WEIGHT! I WILL BECOME AN AGILITY ATTACKER!”
“What are you going to eat tonight?”
“I think….. it should be pork shoulder”
After sending the lightly injured Wan Yunchao back home, Tang Wulin rushed over to Mang Tian’s workshop.
What surprised him was that Mang Tian was already waiting for him inside.
“Teacher.” Tang Wulin respectfully addressed Mang Tian. Ever since he knew that his teacher was a 40thranked Soul Ancestor expert, he had even greater respect for him.
Mang Tian nodded his head and asked, “So have you graduated?” Tang Wulin replied, “Yes. I have graduated.”
Mang Tian then asked, “Will you have to go to the Intermediate Soul Academy in Eastsea City?”
“Yes! I was planning to tell you. Once I go to Eastsea City to study, I will not be able to continue learning how to forge from you.” Tang Wulin replied.
Mang Tian gave an unenthusiastic reply, “Just because I like this place for its peacefulness does not mean I won’t leave this place. The truth is, all of the work that is requested comes from Eastsea City. Your blacksmithing
education cannot deteriorate. I also have a workshop at Eastsea City and I will give you your own blacksmithing workshop. Every so often, I’ll visit you and give you some instruction.”
Tang Wulin’s heart felt a surge of warmth, “Teacher, you…”
Mang Tian’s fiery gaze glared at him. “Eastsea City is a truly large city. It is not like here. Before you go, you have to first complete my test. If not, you have no qualifications to continue learning the blacksmithing craft from me there!”
“A test?” Tang Wulin stared blankly at him. “Teacher, what test?”
A ray of light gleamed in Mang Tian’s eyes. “The Thousand Refinements!”
Tang Wulin asked in surprise, “Teacher, you are finally going to teach me the Thousand Refinements?”
Mang Tian nodded his head. “You have fused with a spirit soul and your strength has risen sufficiently. You should be able to withstand the Thousand Refinements. Finishing one execution of the Thousand
Refinements will count as you passing my test.”
As he said those words, Mang Tian felt a peculiar feeling within his heart. He could still clearly remember that when he had just started practicing the Thousand Refinements, he was already 15 years old and his soul power had surpassed the 20th rank. In addition, his martial soul was the Earth Hammer and was the one that possessed absolute physical strength. By completing the Thousand Refinements at 15 years old, he was already been seen as a talent in the blacksmithing world.
“Teacher, can we begin?” Tang Wulin’s excited voice brought Mang Tian out of his reminiscence.
“Hold on a moment, I have to first gauge your strength. These few days you have failed many of your assignments. Firstly, you were not focused on your work. Secondly, it seems as though problems have arisen with regards to your ability to control your strength.” Mang Tian had been silently observing his disciple and thus had determined the root of his disciple’s problems.
Indeed, it was not only Mang Tian, but also Tang Wulin who realized that problems seemed to have arisen with regards to his physical strength.
That day, after he fused with the spirit soul, he had tried to apply force through his arm and that had resulted in a resounding crack as his movements split the air apart. His strength had indeed grown immensely.
In the end, since he had been constantly out in search for Na’er, along with the fact that he was still extremely depressed due to her departure, he had not paid any attention to the situation of his body. It was only when Mang Tian reminded him of it that he remembered that there was such a problem that occurred prior to everything that had happened!
Thus for the last few days, as he had attempted to forge his assigned tasks, he had failed several times due to his strength being too forceful.
Mang Tian brought Tang Wulin to his own workshop. His workshop was a lot messier than Tang Wulin’s workspace. In a large pile of randomly
strewn tools, Mang Tian managed to find the tool that was specially designed to gauge one’s physical strength.
Strength Testing Tool
While it was a simple act to manufacture such a tool, it still required one to be meticulous in order to ensure that it would be able to accurately gauge a person’s strength. This strength testing tool was built using two parts. The lower portion was a flat square base, while the upper portion consists of a round cylindrical pillar. Behind it lies a two meter tall metal pillar, whereas inside the pillar was a long thin tube filled with mercury.
When the blacksmith wishes to test his strength, all he has to do was strike the metal pillar, at that point, the mercury would rise according to the force of the strike and thus gauge the strength.
One would have to use a blacksmithing hammer weighing 50kg for the test; the strength testing tool would automatically deduct the excess force
acquired from the hammer’s weight.
Ever since Tang Wulin arrived at Mang Tian’s workshop, he was required to test his strength each year.
The first time he tested his strength, he could produce a force of 70kg. At that point in time he was only 7 years old. When he was 8 years old, this had increased to a force of 100kg! Although being able to produce this force was largely in part to him constantly swinging the hammer as part of his work, it must still be said that producing such strength was extremely shocking.
He had yet to test his strength at 9 years old, thus, today was the perfect day to do it.
“First start the test with your left hand.” Mang Tian passed him the blacksmithing hammer required for strength testing.
Chapter 26 – Five Hundred Kilograms of Strength
Chapter 26 – Five Hundred Kilograms of Strength
The blacksmith’s strength test was split into the left and right arms. Tang Wulin had surprised Mang Tian the first time he had taken the test, as his left and right arms were exceedingly balanced in strength. His right arm had only been a bit stronger than his left.
Tang Wulin gripped the forging hammer in his left hand. The spiral pattern on its handle dug into his tender hand and tough calluses. His grip became exceptionally firm.
He took a deep breath and turned his body around halfway. Then his arms suddenly swung the forging hammer with the condensed power of his
whole body. At that moment when he fully exerted his strength, he felt a surge of warmth flowing from his tailbone. In a flash, this warmth spread
up throughout his vertebrae. The hammer let out an ear-piercing whistle as he swung it, ruthlessly smashing the plate.
The mercury inside of the pillar shot up in a flash. A clear sound rang out in Tang Wulin and Mang Tian’s ears, giving them a brief moment of tinnitus.
Mang Tian kneaded his eyes, as if to confirm that what he saw before him was the truth. At this time, the screen revealed a number.
An electronic voice coldly stated, “Striking power, 483 kilograms.” Tang Wulin and Mang Tian could only stand there foolishly in shock.
When he took the test the year before, Tang Wulin was already able to
shock Mang Tian when his right arm exerted 200 kilograms of force. But now, this number already exceeded the fully grown Brother Long’s!
In but a short year, his strength had shockingly increased dramatically again. Moreover, this was just his left arm… A nine-year-old child was
actually able to exert nearly 500 kilograms of force with a single arm! This truly had to be innate divine strength!
Mang Tian did his best to restrain his emotions as he said, “Right arm.”
Tang Wulin switched the hammer over to his right hand and once again took a deep breath. A flash of golden light appeared within the deepest depths of his eyes. He twisted his body again, then swung his arm. Once more, a warm feeling began flowing into him from his vertebrae. This time, the hammer howled through the air with an even greater ear-piercing ferocity, causing a series of explosions to sound in the air.
The whole room trembled slightly under its power. This time, Mang Tian had to cover his ears to protect himself from the ringing. The room
continued to tremble from the impact.
“Striking power, 543 kilograms.” 543 kilograms? He had broken through 500 kilograms!?
Mang Tian was once again at a loss. Although he had already guessed the boy’s strength increased by no small amount, he definitely hadn’t expected it to have increased by such an extent.
At nine years old, his two arms had a combined strength of over a thousand kilograms. His existence could already be considered to that of a little monster’s. Although this was merely explosive power, this was still the
strength that could be used when forging. Even with the machine’s
automatic deduction of the hammer’s weight, his arms could still reach a strength of about five hundred kilograms. Even power system Soul
Grandmasters wouldn’t necessarily possess such strength! It wasn’t until the Soul Elder ranks that this type of strength could be seen.
He had this kind of innate divine strength, but why was his martial soul Bluesilver Grass!? It should have been a power type martial soul. If his martial soul had been a hammer, then he truly would have been a genius.
Tang Wulin was also shocked by his own strength. Even if he didn’t understand the significance of 500 kilograms of strength, he still clearly understood how terrifying this type of strength was for someone who only had one soul ring. Few could compare with his strength even if they used a soul skill.
“Teacher, c-can I really learn the Thousand Refinements?” He asked tentatively.
Mang Tian woke up from his daze and nodded. “I didn’t expect your
strength to actually reach such a level. Let’s go to your forging room.”
After returning to Tang Wulin’s forging room, Mang Tian took out a chunk of silver-white metal. “I’ve already taught you what types of metals can undergo the Thousand Refinements. This here is a piece of Heavy Silver. Its ductility is superb and it possesses excellent soul power transferring properties. Only the Thousand Refinements can bring out the full potential of this grade of metal. Take it and use it to attempt your first Thousand
“The so-called Thousand Refinements isn’t as simple as just pounding the metal a thousand times. Rather, the metal’s impurities must be dispelled under continuous forgings, thus increasing its density. Also, the most important effect of the Thousand Refinements is refining. It can only be
called Thousand Refinements if the metal is refined and improved.”
“For example, there’s the tungsten steel in the Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammer you’re using. It was already very strong, but after undergoing Thousand Refinements, its size has been reduced by a third while its
strength has doubled! Another effect is that its weight has increased by thirty percent. Compared to another piece of tungsten, only a qualitative
change could increase its weight as well as its exceedingly tremendous strength.
“The tungsten steel’s refinement is among the simplest of refinements. Exceptionally good Thousand Refinements can give rise to even more unusual effects. The better the effect of its refinement, the higher the value of the Thousand Refined metal. After reaching the level of the Thousand Refinements, you must first have the metal undergo the Thousand
Refinements before you use other techniques to shape it. As a result, the value of anything made with Thousand Refined metal is a hundred times higher than those made of Hundred Forged metal. Only after you’ve
attained the skill of utilizing the Thousand Refinements can you then be considered a true blacksmith.”
Tang Wulin didn’t know that for ninety percent of blacksmiths, the level Mang Tian spoke of was an unattainable dream.
Thousand Refinements required more than just strength; what truly mattered was comprehension. Especially in regards to the feelings of the metal.
Tang Wulin had studied hard for three years. Only now, coupled with his innate divine strength, did he finally have the qualifications to attempt the Thousand Refinements.
“Teacher, what techniques are needed when performing the Thousand Refinements?” Tang Wulin asked.
Mang Tian shook his head. “There aren’t any techniques that I can teach you. The only thing I can tell you is that when you are forging, you must treat the metal as if it were a living organism. You must think of a way to communicate with the metal while you are forging it. Only with perfect communication will you be able to attain its approval. Find its secrets, its
veins. Thousand Refinements is also called Thought Forging. Every single blacksmith’s style of doing the Thousand Refinements is different. They all have their own distinct characteristics. Use your heart to forge. Go and try to comprehend my words.”
“Yes.” Tang Wulin nodded.
He had originally thought that Mang Tian would at least give him a demonstration, but it seems that his teacher had completely different ideas. Rather, he left Tang Wulin to learn it on his own.
After opening up the forging table, he placed the Heavy Silver within the forging table’s furnace and began heating it.
This piece of Heavy Silver was about 30 centimetres squared. It twinkled a soft silver light. When it entered the forging furnace, Tang Wulin began to recall the introduction to the properties of Heavy Silver that Mang Tian had given him before.
Heavy Silver was an uncommon metal that could only be found on the
seafloor at depths surpassing one kilometer. It was extraordinarily hard and possessed amazing ductility under high temperatures, it was also an
excellent conductor of soul power. In fact, it was so good that it could amplify soul power and give it a five to ten percent boost.
Whether it is used for industrial purposes or for manufacturing mechas, it was still an excellent metal that was hard to come by.
Still, Heavy Silver was not without its own flaws. It was simply too dense, bestowing upon it an extraordinary weight. For instance, this piece of
Heavy Silver that was less than a third of a meter long was over 200 kilograms in weight. In fact, it likely neared 300 kilograms!
As a result, even if Heavy Silver was produced in excess, it would still be impossible to use it in large-scale mecha manufacturing. Its weight also restricted its applications in mecha manufacturing. It was much more prevalent in large, solid state soul devices.
Heavy Silver was rarely found in cities that were located further inland. It was instead much more common in seaside towns and acted as an important source of income for these seaside towns.
His teacher had given him a chunk of Heavy Silver. Upon inspection, it
appeared extraordinarily perfect. Its color was very even, signifying that it had already been purified before. Lastly, it felt heavier than usual.
The Heavy Silver was hard, but it was still softened under the blazing heat of the furnace, becoming far more ductile. Only when Heavy Silver was in this state would it be suitable for forging.
Chapter 27 – Concentration of Forging
Chapter 27 – Concentration of Forging
Tang Wulin picked up his Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers as he had recalled his knowledge about Heavy Silver.
The cold handles of his Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers’ invigorated him. At this moment, his depressed self disappeared. There was only two words in his mind: Thousand Refinements.
If you look closely, you would find that the Thousand Refined Tungsten
Hammers’ body had turned black. On the hammer one, could vaguely see a petal pattern that was unique to the Thousand Forgings.
After heating the Heavy Silver in the forging furnace for half an hour, it finally reached a suitable temperature for forging.
Tang Wulin took out the Heavy Silver. He then gripped his Thousand
Refined Tungsten Hammers and focused his vision. Raising the hammer in his right hand, he lightly tapped the Heavy Silver, producing a “ding”
This test was called the testing hammer. Before blacksmiths began their work, they would do this to test the forging metal’s toughness.
Mang Tian nodded when he saw Tang Wulin’s look of complete focus. This child’s perception was exceptionally high, otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to lay down such an excellent foundation in three short years. He
had a steady temperament while also being extremely clever. It was only fitting for Mang Tian to pass on his legacy to this child.
The Thousand Refinements he faced at the moment was undoubtedly a very important test for him. As Mang Tian stood at the back and observed Tang Wulin, he was convinced that Tang Wulin had the ability to pass this test.
Above all else, his body wasn’t lacking in anything that could cause complications after Wulin’s recent growth in strength.
He was only nine years old this year. If he was actually able to complete this Thousand Refinements, then Mang Tian feared that Tang Wulin would have broken a record. The Blacksmith’s Association current record holder for Thousand Refinements was held by a Saint Craftsman level blacksmith at 13 years, 3 months and and 2 days!
Naturally, Tang Wulin was unaware of Mang Tian’s thoughts. He was
currently concentrating all of his attention and spirit on the Heavy Silver in front of him.
He raised the hammer in his left hand then smashed it down on the edge of the Heavy Silver. Dang! Even as the entire chunk of Heavy Silver throbbed, the hammer in his right hand was already descending at lightning speed, pounding at the silver once again.
Although he hadn’t reached the realm of Thousand Refinements, he had already produced many Hundred Refined metal components before.
Regardless of how the Thousand Refinements were, it had to start with a Hundred Refined metal! During the process of Hundred Refinements, he would come to understand its characteristics.
Tang Wulin wouldn’t usually forge with such an uncommon and high grade metal. This was his first time forging with Heavy Silver, so he had to understand its characteristics first.
The pair of hammers moved in harmony, continuously pounding the Heavy Silver. He wasn’t even using his full power, merely thirty to forty percent of his full power.
Sparks flew off in all directions in flashes. A rich tempo of pounding filled the room as it created a lively song of forging,
Soon after, the Hundred Refinements had been completed. Similar to Thousand Refinements, Hundred Refinements wasn’t as simple as pounding the metal a hundred times. Rather, the impurities within the metal had to be gotten rid of while preserving the integrity of the metal and increasing its density.
After the Hundred Refinements, Tang Wulin understood the valiance of the Heavy Silver. First of all, Heavy Silver’s hardness surpassed all the metals he had previously forged. Furthermore, it was exceptionally flexible. When struck, it would only vibrate for a moment, as if it were resisting Tang Wulin’s strength.
Fortunately, Tang Wulin hadn’t used his full strength to strike it, so he still had plenty of energy to control the casting hammer.
When faced with the Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers that weighed 40 kilograms, ordinary metals weighing 80 kilograms would have a cavity struck into them with only one strike. However, the Heavy Silver was only slightly deformed after one strike, even after being heated to a suitable forging temperature. This kind of uncommon and strong metal wouldn’t be Thousand Refined easily.
During these three years of tempering himself with forging, Tang Wulin had learned the value of patience long ago. He didn’t feel even a trace of
anxiousness. For such an uncommon metal, even if he couldn’t finish the Thousand Refinements, he would at least purify it with the Hundred
He treated it like his most precious treasure. His pounding force didn’t increase at all, rather, he restrained his strength a bit. Through his unceasing pounding, he had come to understand the Heavy Silver’s veins and
characteristics. Little by little, he purified it completely.
Although Mang Tian was just as serious as any other day, he gradually began to reveal a smile. This child truly was clever. He hadn’t given Tang
Wulin any tips at all, yet he was able to find his own rhythm.
This chunk of uncommon metal should be treated like one’s most beloved woman. One had to cherish it during the forging process rather than blindly pounding it. Although it seemed valiant on the outside, its inner viens
would be met with destruction, causing all of its other characteristics to suffer too.
Although pounding it with a weaker strength would take much longer, it was undoubtedly the most dependable method, especially with an
unfamiliar chunk of metal. Through a long process of forging it, he can also familiarize himself and feels its internal structure changing.
Tang Wulin became more and more concentrated in his forging as time
went on until finally, he entered a fantastic state. To him, the only thing that existed was the Heavy Silver in front of him. His soul power enhanced his strength, thus increasing his stamina and focus even more.
In fact, after undergoing such pain and suffering, his spiritual power had definitely grown by a degree.
soul power below the realm of Spirit Opening didn’t seem useful at all, its effects, however, was actually present everywhere. It could improves one’s perception as well as support one’s persistence.
Tang Wulin was even more focused on his forging under the effects of his increased spiritual power. His three years of forging hadn’t definitely
contributed to his spiritual power being assessed at level 38 by the Spirit Pagoda’s spiritual power machine.
An hour later, the Heavy Silver didn’t seem to have changed much, it was only slightly deformed.
Two hours later, the Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers began pounding the metal even more intensively.
Tang Wulin’s forehead was covered with sweat. After his unceasing forging, his body was already exhausted, but his spirit was still extremely
stimulated. Two hours later yielded little results. In fact, the state of the Heavy Silver wasn’t too far off from when it was only Hundred Refined. However, he had managed to gradually communicate with this chunk of Heavy Silver in these two hours.
If someone looked closely at the surface of the Heavy Silver, they would find that each corner had a small circular depression. Tang Wulin didn’t know how many times he struck each of the corners with the Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammer.
Every time it was struck, its whole body would vibrate, giving Tang Wulin more insight into its characteristics.
Dang! This strike was clearly louder than the previous ones, raising the eyebrows of the nearby Mang Tian.
Tang Wulin finally started to use more strength! Afterwards, loud hammering noises resounded one after another.
After two hours of careful forging, he had already understood the character of this metal. Now it was time to truly begin forging it.
His whole body trembled each time he hammered the metal. Starting from his calves, his power then travelled to his waist, before moving onto his back, then arms, until finally, it descended down towards the Thousand
Refined Tungsten Hammers. The power of each strike already exceeded 300 kilograms!
The button for controlling the furnace’s flames were underneath. With a light tap of his left foot, the furnace fire reached its maximum intensity. The orange flames that were sputtering out of the furnace’s ventilation holes had already heated the Heavy Silver into a bright red color.
Chapter 28 – Thousand Refined Heavy Silver
Chapter 28 – Thousand Refined Heavy Silver
The higher the temperature, the more ductile the Heavy Silver became.
Two hours of patient forging passed. The metal suddenly erupted, but Tang Wulin continued his relentless forging. With each powerful strike, the
Heavy Silver gave off sparks as it began to deform.
Whenever his arms began to ache, another wave of heat would circulate out from his vertebrate. It dissolved all of his aches the moment it flowed into the hundred bones of his four limbs. Tang Wulin also automatically transferred soul power into his arms in order to maintain his strength.
Gradually, the chunk of Heavy Silver grew smaller and smaller as it became progressively more pure.
It must be said that Heavy Silver’s strength was that it already had very high and incredibly dense characteristics. If one wanted to purify and shrink it, it would be exceedingly difficult, especially if one wanted to avoid destroying its veins.
As Tang Wulin’s hands purified the metal, however, this chunk of Heavy Silver’s value would increase by at least two or three-fold.
Tang Wulin wasn’t even aware of how many times he had struck the chunk of metal. Gradually, the sounds of pounding died down. In front of him was a chunk of Heavy SIlver that was releasing a faintly discernable radiance.
Everytime he struck, it appeared as if it would breathe in unison with him.
Tang Wulin’s vertebrae was already scorching hot and, hidden under his clothes, a dim golden-veined pattern appeared.
Off to the side, Mang Tian’s attention was completely focused upon the chunk of Heavy Silver and he hadn’t noticed the change in his disciple’s body at all.
A golden spark appeared within the deepest depths of Tang Wulin’s eyes as his hammer became one with his body. With every strike, the Heavy Silver would sing out a comforting note.
Tang Wulin’s eyes shone brighter and brighter as his hammering also sped up. All of his strength was condensed into the pair of Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers he held in his hands.
The Heavy Silver was beginning to reveal its purest state. It shrunk more and more. Shrinking by five percent, ten percent, fifteen percent. After reaching this degree of shrinking, its density had also reached its limit. It couldn’t possibly shrink inwards anymore. Tang Wulin still continued to
hammer it. With every strike, the Heavy Silver’s vein lines would improve a little. Its vein lines were becoming more and more fair.
The light of the forging flames had long since illuminated the blacksmiths within the room, turning them into a deep red. Tang Wulin’s clothes were soaked in sweat. Even Mang Tian, who was watching from the sidelines, had his forehead covered with sweat.
Thousand Refinings. This was the feeling of the Thousand Refinings.
As a Grandmaster Blacksmith, Mang Tian had an outstandingly acute perception and knew that Tang Wulin and the Heavy Silver had come to an agreement.
This was a type of indescribable feeling that one could only understand after completing the Thousand Refinements.
Mang Tian had originally wanted Tang Wulin to just gain an understanding of Heavy Silver, and then he could finish his first Thousand Refinements
any time before he went off to attend the intermediate academy. He absolutely didn’t expect that Tang Wulin would be able to begin his
Thousand Refinements the very first day he touched the Heavy Silver. Moreover, he had already entered this special state.
This could be attributed to not just Tang Wulin’s strength, but also his perception! A child like this was definitely destined to become a great master!
Throughout his life, Mang Tian’s greatest regret was his inability to become a Saint Craftsman level blacksmith. As he watched Tang Wulin however, he could see the boy fulfil his dreams in his place.
Three hours had passed. Tang Wulin had never forged continuously for such a long period of time, especially with such intensity.
Soon, three and a half hours went by and it was four hours!
Unaware of what was happening, Tang Ziran stood outside of the forging room’s doorway and waited. His son hadn’t returned after so long, so he had come looking for him, just in time to see his son dripping with sweat.
That fantastic tempo was like a symphony of hammering played under the focused gaze of his son.
This was the first time he had seen his son forging. Clearly, this was a higher level of forging than he had expected! Tang Wulin was only nine years old too! In these three short years, he had unexpectedly already reached such a level in forging. Tang Ziran had met his fair share of master blacksmiths before, and now he could discern the aura of a master blacksmith coming from Tang Wulin!
Tang Ziran didn’t dare disturb him. Tang Wulin was clearly focused on his forging and gave it his heart and soul. Furthermore, Mang Tian was still observing from the side, clearly indicating that Tang Wulin was making a breakthrough in his forging right now.
Four and a half hours later, Tang Wulin’s expression had turned pale. The golden pattern on Tang Wulin’s body had even disappeared long before Tang Ziran’s arrival.
The swollen ache that he felt in his first year of forging emerged once more at this time. His arms began feeling heavier and heavier. Evidently, he was overdrafting his strength, but still he didn’t stop. He persistently continued using the majority of his strength, each strike having an equal amount of power as the one before. His body was being supported through sheer
willpower as he continued on forging.
‘Almost done. I’m almost done. I can’t stop now. Not now. I’ll have wastes all of my efforts if I stop now.’
Due to a sort of profound connection between him and that piece of Heavy Silver, Tang Wulin was able to grit his teeth and bear the pain as he
Mang Tian subconsciously clenched his fists as he watched worriedly. In fact, he was even more anxious than Tang Wulin!
If this child was able to succeed on his first attempt at the Thousand
Refinements, then without a doubt, he would gain a lot of confidence. With that confidence, it would greatly benefit in any attempts at the Thousand
Refinings he does in the future. His success rate would be much higher than other blacksmiths!
However, would he be able to hold on until the end? It had nearly been five hours now. Even for Mang Tian, he would have to spare no effort and use his soul power in order to continuously forge for five hours straight.
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang… The Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers continued hammering the metal as it baked in the fires of the furnace and
stayed a bright red. If the hammers hadn’t been Thousand Refined already, then they likely would have broken down long ago.
Suddenly, that chunk of Heavy Silver trembled a bit under Tang Wulin’s hammer blow and released a silver radiance, basking the whole room in a
Tang Wulin lifted that hammer and then heavily smashed downwards with both hammers at once. In response, the silver light grew even more wild.
Fast as lightning, Mang Tian reached Tang Wulin’s side. A knife had
suddenly appeared in his hands as his quickly slashed the tired boy’s wrist.
Once the blood sprinkled out, it landed on top of the twinkling Heavy Silver.
Tang Ziran cried out in alarm but in the next moment, Mang Tian already covered up the wound on Tang Wulin’s wrist. He was intensely staring at the twinkling chunk of Heavy Silver as he simultaneously closed the furnace.
The blood drops on the Heavy Silver made a series of ‘chi chi’ sounds as they evaporated into smoke. The fires were extinguished, revealing the metal.
The chunk of Heavy Silver was now a whole circle smaller than it was before. Its fiery red color quickly faded away and along with it, the twinkling silver light also dimmed.
Before it had been forged, its dazzling silver color was already worn away and looked closer to a humble gray. There had been an additional layer of detailed lines on its exterior, just like the great waves of the sea. These
veined patterns seemed as if they were carved on its body, yet it actually felt exceedingly smooth.
The grey Heavy Silver had given off a profound feeling. It truly had fantastic qualities.
It was the same for the Thousand Refinements version. Different metals would have varying difficulties for being Thousand Refined. If the
difficulty of forging his Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers was said to be a level of one, then the difficulty of the Heavy Silver could said to be level five, maybe even level eight!
When Mang Tian had Tang Wulin try the Thousand Refinements with this chunk of Heavy Silver, he had never expected Tang Wulin to actually
succeed. Rather, he wanted to use this sturdy metal to temper Tang Wulin and let him gain a feeling for the Thousand Refinings.
However, five hours later, a whole five hours, he had succeeded! That Heavy Silver had been Thousand Refined!
Chapter 29 – Understanding Refinement
Chapter 29 – Understanding Refinement
Tang Wulin sat down on the floor as he was overcome by a surging wave of weakness. Mang Tian expertly removed a bandage from his pocket and pasted it onto his apprentice’s wrist, covering the previous wound.
Mang Tian, a master blacksmith, had a strange look on his face. His mouth was still slightly ajar at the sight of what had just happened.
A genius was still a genius at the end of the day. Even if Tang Wulin didn’t have a hammer as his martial soul, this fact remains unchanged. His ability to comprehend more than makes up for this deficiency.
The Thousand Refinements. Even amongst most blacksmiths, it was a
challenge that could not be accomplished. Yet, it was actually done at the hands of this 9 year old child! This was an unbelievable act.
Tang Ziran had already rushed in to hold his son up.
Mang Tian had been quietly mulling over his thoughts for quite some time before he spoke. “Genius, this is a genius at work. Wulin, you must always remember the feeling you had today. To you, this is just the beginning… This is just the first of the shocks you will bring to the blacksmithing
Unfortunately, the five hours of forging had led him to being completely spent and Tang Wulin hadn’t heard the words his teacher spoke. He had already dozed off in the arms of his father.
When he next awoke, Tang Wulin was on his bed.
The sky was bright and the sun’s rays pierced through the window sill and into the room. It shone on the bed Na’er used to sleep on.
Although Na’er had already left, Tang Wulin had never allowed his parents to remove her bed. Deep down, he had always felt that Na’er would come back one day.
Although his wrists no longer caused him pain, his body still felt weak. His body felt warm, thus he lazed about on his bed. He felt an odd sense of
A faint smile broke out on his face. The Thousand Refinements, it should have been completed!
So this was how it felt like to experience the Thousand Refinements.
Even when he lost consciousness, he could still clearly remember the feeling. At that point during the final stages of the forging, every hammer stroke resonated with the Heavy Silver. There was an extremely profound feeling. To him, the Heavy Silver felt as though it were alive. As Tang Wulin took a breath, so too did the Heavy Silver. Every stroke of the hammer was like a massage for the Heavy Silver and it called out with feelings of relief.
When this feeling reached a peak, the Heavy Silver transformed. Its physical changes had accumulated to a point where it had become fundamentally engraved into the metal.
Even if he didn’t know what happened afterwards, he was still confident that he had succeeded.
‘I am not a piece of trash, at least not when it comes to blacksmithing. Even as a Soul Master, my Bluesilver Grass is no ordinary Bluesilver Grass.
‘Na’er, if you were still around, how great would this have been. You would definitely be happy for me! Brother will get stronger and will protect you, I will never let anyone harm you.
‘Na’er, please come back soon, if not, tell me where you are! Why did you not explain yourself clearly before you left? I really miss you.’
Na’er’s sweet smile was etched into his mind. Her voice was like that of a skylark. When she called out for her brother, that pleasantness left him greatly satisfied.
‘I will definitely find you in the future. I promise you.’
Gradually, the warmth from his body had led him back to dreamland and he fell into a deep sleep.
When he next awoke, it was due to his hunger. The sky had already turned dark. Considering that he had slept since last night, this meant he had slept for an entire day!
“Mom, dad!” Tang Wulin shouted as he got up. His exhaustion had already dissipated but his stomach was still empty. He felt so hungry that he could eat an entire cow!
“Son, you’re awake!” The door opened as Lang Yue rushed in.
Tang Wulin said with a hint of pride, “Mother, I can already execute the Thousand Refinements!”
Lang Yue’s eyes were bloodshot. To her this was not important, what was important was her son’s well being!
“Good boy, is your body uncomfortable in any way?” Lang Yue asked gently.
Tang Wulin shook his head, “Nope! I’m just hungry. Mom, since I’m hungry, is there anything to eat?”
“Yes, yes, Mom bought a fat chicken for you and boiled chicken soup with it. Its waiting for you to drink. Your teacher said that you overexerted yourself and after waking up, you would need some nutritious and digestible food.”
15 Minutes Later.
Lang Yue and Tang Ziran stared speechlessly as their son gorged himself. To their son, what was a nutritious and digestible dish? So long as it could be eaten, it could be digested!
An entire fat chicken, along with a pot of chicken soup, 5 buns, and 2 plates of vegetables had already been consumed by this 9 year old child and
stuffed into his stomach. In addition, he looked as though he still hadn’t had enough. He was still eating his sixth bun.
“Go and cook a few more dishes for our son,” Tang Ziran said as he
swallowed a mouthful of saliva. Looking at his son eating with such gusto, even he felt like eating.
Lang Yue hurriedly stood up.
Tang Wulin really could eat, especially after spending such a large amount of energy. He spent almost an entire hour gorging before finally letting out a sigh of relief.
“Son, you didn’t hold anything back, right?” If it hadn’t been for Tang Ziran stopping her, Lang Yue would have stopped letting Tang Wulin eat his fill.
That capacity for food had already long surpassed a normal individual.
Tang Wulin had a smile on his face as he said, “Mom’s cooking is still the best. I ate till I was content.”
Tang Ziran carefully inspected his son’s wrist, his eyes shining with a
strange light. The place where Mang Tian had cut open Wulin’s wrist just
the day before had truly already healed. There was only a faint red line left in its place.
At this point, Tang Wulin remembered and asked, “Father, was I successful in yesterday’s Thousand Refinements?”
Tang Ziran smiled and nodded, “Of course! You were successful, very
successful! Your teacher could not stop praising you and said that when you awoke, you should quickly go and find him.”
Tang Wulin jumped off his chair and said, “Then I will be on my way!” Lang Yue frowned. “It’s so late already, why don’t you go tomorrow?”
Tang Ziran also stood up and said, “He just awoke, an hour and a half later and he will still not be asleep. Since it still isn’t too late, I will bring him
and we’ll be back after that.”
Lang Yue gave him a glance, then threatened, “If anything happens to my son, I tell you, you will be sleeping in the living room.”
Tang Ziran sheepishly touched his nose. “Well, he’s my son as well.”
The father and son duo left the house and made their way towards Mang Tian’s workshop.
“Master, I’m here!” Tang Wulin shouted once he entered the doorway. He eagerly anticipated what his first Thousand Refinings work had produced
and what it looked like. The feeling of finishing the Thousand Refinements had led him to feel exceptionally happy at the moment.
Mang Tian, clothed in his worn work clothes, walked out from the inside of the workshop. He usually had a cold exterior but today, upon seeing Tang Wulin, he actually let out a smile. Unknowingly, his eyes were full of
He looked at Tang Ziran and nodded his head before beckoning to Tang Wulin. “Follow me.”
That piece of Heavy Silver was still in Tang Wulin’s workshop. Mang Tian did not even shift the metal from its location after Tang Wulin was taken by father yesterday.
“Take a look at your work,” said Mang Tian to Tang Wulin. He pointed towards the Heavy Silver.
Chapter 30 – Blood Sacrificed Thousand Refinement
Chapter 30 – Blood Sacrificed Thousand Refinement
Actually, without Mang Tian’s urgings, Tang Wulin had already moved over to inspect his own creation.
Compared with its original state, the metal had already shrunk by one circle and the originally lustrous silver had turned into a dull grey colour. Tang Wulin’s first impression was that the object possessed a deep, reserved, and simple quality.
Engraved on the surface of that gray metal were endless layers of a wave- like pattern, as though it represented unlimited life force. What was even more surprising was that when Tang Wulin looked, it felt as though there was a connection between him and that piece of metal.
This feeling was extremely strange. It was as though that piece of metal were a part of him.
Mang Tian’s voice resounded from behind him. “To be honest, I had never expected that you would succeed on your first try. This result is due, in part, to your body and its physical abilities. Most importantly, it was possible because of your comprehension of the process while you refined it. I did not recognize the wrong apprentice; in this regard, you are a genius. Even if your martial soul is unsuited for forging, your ability to comprehend, along with your innate divine strength has more than made up for that gap.”
Tang Ziran looked at Mang Tian in astonishment. He understood this old friend of his. With his personality, being able to praise someone with such
high regard was something that happened rarely.
“Mang Tian, you better not spoil this son of mine.” Tang Ziran laughed.
Mang Tian looked him in the eye and said, “I have already restrained myself.”
Indeed, he did not give praise to every aspect of this achievement. He did not mention that Tang Wulin had actually broken a new record of being the youngest individual to achieve this. If news of his age and his achievement were to be spread, it would definitely lead to a large uproar in the blacksmithing world.
“Do you understand what the Thousand Refinements are now?” Mang Tian asked Tang Wulin. His method of teaching was different from others, he
would usually not give a lot of guidance and would only speak when his disciples had attained enlightenment through practice.
Tang Wulin nodded his head and said, “It was as if the metal had gained a life of its own. Every time I struck it, I could hear the sounds it was making.”
Mang Tian smiled yet again. These two days he had smiled more than he had in the past year!
“Not bad, what you said is true. The Thousand Refinements create vitality. The Hundred Refinements purifies and removes the impurities. The Thousand Refinements bestows life into the metal. The Thousand
Refinements was originally a method created by us blacksmiths to infuse life into a metal. The metal that has life can then be considered to be the most precious by us, and in turn this can allow it to awaken its innate
“The Thousand Refinements creates vitality?” Tang Wulin silently mulled over those words before his eyes lit up in understanding.
Mang Tian continued, “This is your first Thousand Refinements work. Traditionally, in the blacksmithing world, when a blacksmith creates their
first Thousand Refined work, this object should undergo the Blood Sacrifice, in order to forever be part of the blacksmith’s belongings.”
“Blood Sacrifice? What is that?” Tang Wulin asked curiously.
Mang Tian continued, “If one were to say that the Thousand Refinements were to bestow life to the metal, then the Blood Sacrifice would be to let it become one with your blood vessels. It would become a part of your body. Combining the Blood Sacrifice with a metal that has undergone the Thousand Refinements, this would result in your blood vessels having the same improvement, being able to bring out stronger innate qualities!”
At the side, Tang Ziran couldn’t help but shout out, “Brother Mang, if every Thousand Refinements requires the Blood Sacrifice, how much blood will a blacksmith lose?”
Mang Tian retorted, “If you don’t understand, don’t blabber rubbish. Do you think that every Thousand Refinements produces an object worthy of using the Blood Sacrifice on?
“A blacksmith’s first Thousand Refined work will have to undergo the Blood Sacrifice, as this is our tradition. From today onwards, very few
objects will require the Blood Sacrifice. Usually, only when one is wholly satisfied with the result would one do so. Once you utilize the Blood Sacrifice, this piece of metal can only be used by the individual. Even if others were to attempt to forge with it, it would not be possible as the metal would not recognize anyone else. Even if they tried, the metal would just
shatter; it only recognizes its master.”
“Thus, a Thousand Forging’s work, would usually not undergo the Blood Sacrifice. Unless the client wishes to use their own blood to do so, then it would work. Tang Wulin, I want to emphasize to you on this point. In the future, unless you really need the metal and the Thousand Refinements is successful, do not easily utilize the Blood Sacrifice. That will only harm your vitality.”
“Yes, Master,” Tang Wulin promised as he nodded furiously. His eyes, however, were already focused on that piece of Heavy Silver.
“It’s yours.” Mang Tian smiled as he said it.
Wulin replied in shock, “But Master, I cannot afford it.”
Mang Tian continued, “This is what you deserve, this Heavy Silver might have a price on it, but the Thousand Refinements is priceless. Also, as per the rules of the blacksmithing world, regardless of whomever provides the material, for the first work produced by the Thousand Refinements , it belongs to the blacksmith who made it. Being able to undergo the Thousand Refinements, that tungsten hammer is not very suitable for your use. With the size of this Heavy Silver, it is perfect for producing two hammers.
Before you leave to for an intermediate academy, first finish crafting this. I also want to see what your first Thousand Refinements work’s awakened
special quality is.”
“Are you really giving it to me?” Tang Wulin’s eyes shone with happiness as he asked.
“Do you actually think I want to fool you?” Mang Tian retorted. “It’s no longer early, go back tonight and rest well. Come again tomorrow to forge your Heavy Silver hammer.”
“OH YEAH! Thank you master!” Tang Wulin cheered happily. He gave a deep bow to Mang Tian before grabbing the Heavy Silver and hugging it.
As the Thousand Refined Heavy Silver was grasped in his hand, Tang Wulin could feel that it was extremely heavy. This piece of Heavy Silver was approximately 150 kilograms in weight! When one looked upon it, it didn’t seem all that large.
Metal in hand, Tang Wulin could feel what his Master had said about the
connection with his blood. He could already feel that this Heavy Silver was a part of him as he held it. This feeling was both wonderful and strange. If he were to use this material for his forging hammer, what kind of result
would that bring?
For the next few days, Tang Wulin was immersed in the forging process. Blacksmithing brought him a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
What he didn’t know was that only after he finished the Thousand
Refinements had Mang Tian truly recognized him as his disciple, to the point where Mang Tian stopped his work to patiently teach Tang Wulin.
Three days later, the Heavy Silver forging was finally complete.
Looking at the hammer on the forging anvil, Tang Wulin’s heart was filled with pride. When he had just finished the Thousand Refinements on the
Heavy Silver, that was just the base of what was to come. Now, this was truly his first complete Thousand Refinements work.
Looking at the appearance of the hammer, this Thousand Refined Heavy Silver Hammer was no different from the Thousand Refined Tungsten hammer. Even its size was similar. The difference was that the weight was several times heavier. If not for Tang Wulin’s strength combined with his spirit soul’s strengthening, even moving the hammer would not have been an easy task.