The Legend of the Dragon King Chapter 241-250

Chapter 241 – Golden Dragon Dreadclaw

Chapter 241 – Golden Dragon Dreadclaw

Though he had fused with the soul bone, if asked whether he could sense any obvious changes, the answer would be a flat no. His right arm was unremarkable, not a glimpse of the previous fusion in sight.


Xu Xiaoyan blurted out, “Was that soul bone a counterfeit?”

Gu Yue shook her head. “No way! Even if this is the spirit ascension platform, creating such a powerful hundred-year Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear requires a real soul bone. It’s like how ordinary soul beasts need spirit
energy to be made. There’s no way it’s fake. But…”

Absentmindedly, Tang Wulin transformed his hand into a golden dragon claw, the limb first showered in a burst of light.

As his claw sprang into view, his arm swelled with power. However, neither that nor his scales seemed any different. They still sported a sparkling gold. How disappointing.

“Maybe your bloodline overwhelmed the soul bone’s power?” Gu Yue purposed helplessly. “Well, there’s bound to be a difference! There’s no way nothing changed.”

A bitter smile crawled its way over Tang Wulin’s lips. “Only the heavens know.” As he spoke, he waved his claw, urging soul power into it.
 For a split second, he felt a peculiar sensation.

His claw trembled and a dark-gold light enveloped his fingertips.

Although it lasted just a hairbreadth of an instant, he realized what it was.

“Woah. You two, move away from me.” Tang Wulin retreated a few steps back before pouring soul power into his claw.

At his call, his scales obeyed, twinkling like the countless stars in the sky. The tips of his fingers regained their dark-gold luminescence. Though faint, their existence was undeniable..

A strange feeling welled within him. His heart rate skyrocketed, his blood a team of horses galloping through his veins. Its destination: his right hand.
Such a sensation was overwhelming, immense, and he brandished his claw out of reflex.

Five streaks of dark-gold light zipped through the air.

All of a sudden, a third of his soul power dissipated. His blood was practically boiling over now.

This time, what transpired was crystal clear. Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan did not miss how the dark-gold claws, which were a whopping meter long, materialized in thin air after a single slash. They only took form for a moment, though.

“I knew it couldn’t have been worthless. How do you feel?” Gu Yue asked, her words nearly tripping over each other from their rush.

Shock hit Tang Wulin like a lightning bolt as he examined his hand, eyes widened and lips parted slightly. “It felt like soul power leapt out of my
body. Like it extends the range of my claw attacks? But it consumes a lot of soul power; I’m already down by a third. It’s even more demanding than using my golden dragon claw regularly.”

Amidst their discussion, a growl reverberated in the air as a jade figure peaked out from the thicket.
 It was a slender four-meter tall lizard-like beast. If not for its glowing body, it would have been camouflaged. .

The lizard’s skull was enormous and its mouth flaunted rows of sharp jagged teeth. A sawtooth-like horn sat atop its head.

Crawling Dragons were a species of land dragon with a feeble amount draconic blood running through their veins. They had violent temperaments. Coupled with powerful streamlined bodies, these beasts took advantage of the terrain to ambush prey.

Compared to a Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear, a Crawling Dragon was nothing much. Still, it was on the same level as a Blazing Demon Lion.

“Wulin, this a perfect chance for you to test it out,” Gu Yue said.

Light coalesced in Xu Xiaoyan’s hands, forming her staff. She raised it up high and chanted, “The stars in the heavens that shine forever tranquil, grant me strength! My starwheel!”

It was as if a meteor shower took place, their tails trailing along the horizon, each ending in a glimmer of stardust.

Unwittingly, time had flew by and it was already night.

When the Crawling Dragon sensed the reaper’s scythe at its neck, it was already too late. It was impaled by starlight, its body bound by shackles made of light. No matter how hard it tried, it couldn’t move an inch. This was Xu Xiaoyan’s first variant soul skill, Starwheel Shackles.

Completely in sync, Tang Wulin shot forward like a rocket, while soul power surged within his body. He paid no heed, cramming it all into his claw.

Then he stopped just a meter short of the Crawling Dragon and brandished his claw.

Under the tyrannical might of Tang Wulin’s draconic aura, the Crawling
Dragon nearly released its bladder. A split second later, a flash of five dark-
 gold lights flickered in the air.

It did not stir the wind at all. In fact, the five points of radiance sliced through the beast like a knife through butter.

Before one could blink, the Crawling Dragon scattered into a mass of spirit energy.

Xu Xiaoyan gaped at the sight. Such terrifying power! It’s just…

Tang Wulin was of the same sentiment. The product of the fusion was definitely superior to his golden dragon claw.

Although the latter was formidable, it had suffered from a lack of range. In order for it to be effective, he needed to fight in close quarters. That was all behind him after fusing with the soul bone; not only did his attack range increase, his power was not sacrificed!

Yes, these were dark-gold blades, but under careful inspection, he noticed that they were covered in small scales! A mutation had occurred! There was no way one could compare the present form with the original.

What made Tang Wulin overjoyed, however, was that he discovered the
attack distance was related to the amount of soul power consumed. Pouring in two-thirds of his capacity equated to an increase of one-and-a-half meters to his range of attack! The best part was, the Golden Dragon Dreadclaw
would grow in might along with his own cultivation. Perhaps in the future, its attacks would stretch as far as the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s.

Indeed, Tang Wulin had decided to name the product of the fusion the Golden Dragon Dreadclaw.

Even so, its power came at a steep cost. He could only use it two or three times per battle before running out of soul power, and that wasn’t even at its full strength.

“Congratulations, your attack range has increased.” Gu Yue smiled as she approached him.
 Yet, a smile was absent from Tang Wulin’s lips. “Let’s go. We should hurry and check on Xie Xie.”

Slapping the buttons on the back of their hands at the same time, the trio disappeared in a flash of light.

Not long after their departure, though, a pair of jade-green eyes burst open deep in the forest, a terrifying aura swallowing the surrounding area whole.

After exiting the metal box and clearing his head, Tang Wulin darted out of the room.

Upon seeing Xie Xie, huddled in a blanket and twitching like mad, Tang Wulin let out a breath of relief.

Xie Xie was in bad shape. There was no doubt about it. His body couldn’t stop trembling, his pale face soaked with sweat.

Wu Zhangkong sat beside him. He circulated soul power into his body with the Mysterious Heaven Method to stabilize his condition.

As long as he had regained consciousness, everything would be fine. After many adventures in the spirit ascension platform, they knew the disharmony in his body disappear momentarily.

Tang Wulin nudged close to Xie Xie with a smile. “It’s good that you’re alright. I was worried you wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

Xie Xie rolled his eyes. “How am I ‘alright’? Don’t you see me shaking? So, did you kill it?”

Tang Wulin nodded. “Yeah, I avenged you.”

Xie Xie managed a few laughs. “That’s good then. We’ve finally gotten rid of that blasted thing. Now I won’t be haunted by it anymore.”
 “You weren’t the one who killed it,” Xu Xiaoyan interjected as she and Gu Yue arrived.

Xie Xie said, “You’re always picking a fight with me! Can’t you be nice to me for even a moment after seeing how much I’m suffering!”

Xu Xiaoyan giggled. “If we let you be prideful now, then who knows how cocky you’re going to act in the future!”

Xie Xie said, “So you guys didn’t cross over and take look?”

To that,Tang Wulin shook his head. “We were afraid something happened to you so we rushed out. Oh right, we got a Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s right hand soul bone…” He continued to recount the events that transpired.

Chapter 242 – Passing the Exam

Chapter 242 – Passing the Exam

Wu Zhangkong hadn’t watched it happen despite having been shown on the screen, since he was preoccupied with Xie Xie’s condition.

Xie Xie’s jaw dropped. “T-that’s possible? A soul bone! You got a soul bone! Wulin, you can pay me back with it.”

Gu Yue knitted her brows. “Now you’re trying to snatch it away?”

Xie Xie snorted. “Is it no good? Alright, fine. Then you can just forge my battle armor for me instead, Wulin.”

Tang Wulin smiled wryly. “Alright.”

Initially taken aback by Xie Xie, Gu Yue began smiling a moment later.

As comrades, they were going to help each other make their battle armors anyway! They wouldn’t have chosen different professions otherwise.

Wu Zhangkong’s watched over them firmly. “You’ve all passed your final exam.”

With the exam now over, the first semester of the fourth grade was
concluded. Their journey, however, was only just beginning, as the next chapter of their story would soon lead them to the haven of their dreams.

In a room pervaded by and heavy with the element of darkness, a purple halo lit up, driving back some of the oppressive atmosphere.
 “My Lord,” a deep voice said deferentially, its owner kneeling. In spite of his human appearance, he had an aura as frightening as the abyss.

“Mn.” A petite figure emerged, a sight for sore eyes in the midst of the heavy gloom. She had silver hair which flowed down to the floor, and her two violet eyes seemed to pierce the darkness.

“What’s the progress?” A delicate voice rang, as if from a young girl.

“We have already completely integrated ourselves, and collected information from all parties. Please take a look,” the black figure said softly.

“Mn.” In a blinding flash, a silver claw gripped the figure’s head. Intense shudders ran through his body for an instant before gradually easing down to a slight quiver.

On a high-speed train headed for Shrek City from Eastsea City.

In the most ordinary of second class seats, the four students of class zero were bursting with excitement. This was their first trip to such a distant place.

On top of that, this journey was bound to forever change their fates.

The two girls sat on one side while Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, and Wu Zhangkong sat on the other, separated by the center aisle.

Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan chirped noisily from time to time while Gu Yue looked out the window quietly. Tang Wulin’s vision was also directed outside, but his eyes were unfocused. He had many things to ponder.

Wu Zhangkong leaned back in his chair, eyes closed; he was fast asleep.

As he stared absentmindedly out the window, Tang Wulin recalled the warnings received from his other teacher before his departure.

“Wulin, I wish you success on your trip to Shrek Academy. However, you cannot neglect your blacksmithing practice. You must forge daily. In these past three years, you have made startling progress even by my standards. I’m certain that once you gain your third ring, Spirit Refinement will naturally follow.”

It was clear how much Mu Chen, a Saint Blacksmith, approved of Tang Wulin for him to speak such praise.

After recovering from his injuries three years before, Tang Wulin swiftly became able to first-grade thousand refine, and started to do so for any metal he could get his hands on. He had completed countless first-grade thousand refining tasks.

Spirit Refinement would usually be attempted once the blacksmith reached a thirty percent success rate for first-grade thousand refining. In fact, some blacksmiths would even attempt it while only having a ten percent success rate for first-grade thousand refining.

Meanwhile, Tang Wulin had reached a guaranteed success rate!!

In comparison, Mu Chen only had a fifty percent success rate when he first attempted Spirit Refinement!

While Tang Wulin’s situation stemmed from his low cultivation, with his immense talent for forging, he quickly honed his skills to such a level that he could instead focus on cultivating.

Yet his discipline never wavered as he continued to forge diligently while also requesting guidance from Mu Chen on every single detail about first- grade thousand refining. His Thousand Refinements were honed beyond perfection now.

During the past three years, he had engraved into his heart every quirk and property of a myriad of metals. Even Mu Chen found such a standard too
 harsh to impose on anyone. He was hard-pressed to find even the slightest fault in this gifted disciple of his.

Mu Chen did not dissuade Tang Wulin from leaving for Shrek City to take the Shrek entrance exam. If he managed to pass, not only would he grow into a powerful soul master in the future, he would also become a battle
armor master.

Soul power and blacksmithing complemented one another. Mu Chen sincerely hoped for his disciple to reach the greatest heights possible.

“Yes, Teacher,” Tang Wulin promised respectfully.

Mu Chen said, “If you pass the Shrek exam, give me a call and I’ll make arrangements for your blacksmithing studies.”

“Understood.” Tang Wulin’s tone grew even more respectful.

Without Mu Chen’s careful guidance, Tang Wulin would never have been able to obtain all the metals he had forged from the market! Mu Chen had provided him with many rare metals produced in small quantities. Only Master Craftsman rank blacksmiths and above had access to them for the sake of Spirit Refinement.

Despite that, Mu Chen had provided him with countless such metals and taught him all of their characteristics one by one. Only this way could Tang Wulin manage to achieve a one hundred percent success rate for first-grade thousand refining.

Tang Wulin was aware of that, and tried to return the favor as he could. He always forged together with Mu Xi and led her along with his own rhythm, helping her skills to progress by leaps and bounds in the last three years.
She was seventeen years old now, and a fourth rank blacksmith. To the public, she was the number one blacksmithing genius of Eastsea City.

Mu Chen rubbed Tang Wulin’s head. “Be safe. Even if you don’t pass the entrance exam, you can just come back and I’ll think of some way to get you into a good academy.”
 “Thank you, Teacher.” Tang Wulin hugged Mu Chen with teary eyes.

If he passed the exam, then who knows when the next time he returned would be. The thought of parting with Mu Chen was heartwrenching.

Mu Chen chuckled. “Foolish child. What are you crying for? With today’s soul technology, can’t you just visit whenever you want? Alright, go say goodbye to your senior disciple sister now. She’s been depressed ever since she found out you were leaving.”

Mu Xi hadn’t even come to the Blacksmith’s Association in the past few days. She began ignoring him when he told her he was leaving to take the Shrek entrance exam. She rejected all his calls, and he was unable to enter the girls’ dormitory.

Once he was back at the academy, Tang Wulin dialed a number.

“Big sis Zixin, is my senior disciple sister there?” Tang Wulin asked. “She’s here. Come over,” Ouyang Zixin replied.

Chapter 243 – The Boy and the Man

Chapter 243 – The Boy and the Man

After jogging together for the last three years, Tang Wulin and Ouyang Zixin had become good friends. She was now in the advanced department,
and though not as talented as Mu Xi, after graduating she’d get into a higher level school without a cinch. According to Mu Xi, Ouyang Zixin was a gifted mecha designer and prime new blood that many advanced academies were hoping to scout.

Lacking the nerve to walk through the front door of the girls’ dormitory, Tang Wulin snuck in through the back. With no one in sight, he scaled the wall with his Bluesilver Grass to a third-floor window.

The window was wide open, ready for Tang Wulin to slide into.

It led to a washroom. Luckily, it was seldom occupied throughout the day.

Ouyang Zixin was waiting for him. Seeing Tang Wulin land with the grace of a cat, she couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh you! You’re getting better and better at this! Don’t go philandering too much when you grow up.”

Tang Wulin blushed to the roots of his hair and rushed his words, “Big sis Zixin, don’t tease me like that. How is my senior disciple sister?”

Ouyang Zixin said, “She’s been tiger-faced the last few days. She’s so glum! Speaking of which, you’re leaving so suddenly. I never expected that that boy back then would take the Shrek entrance exam so soon.”
 When they had first met, Tang Wulin had been no more than a boy. But now, they were the same height.

Shrek Academy was the land of dreams for all soul masters. She knew she didn’t have a chance, but when she saw the little brother she jogged with
everyday prepare to take the entrance exam, frustration plagued her heart. If he was accepted, then the gap between them would widen.

Tang Wulin smiled, the apples of his cheeks dyed a delicious pink. “It’s not certain if I’ll pass yet. If I don’t I’ll just come back here!”

A smile tugged at the corner of Ouyang Zixin’s mouth. “I believe in you, and so does your senior disciple sister! Why else would she be so depressed?”

Tang Wulin was stunned. He had never considered this.

“Let’s go. I’ll bring you over.” Ouyang Zixin retrieved a coat from the side and placed it over his body.

Tang Wulin blushed at their proximity when she put it over him, her fragrance making him redder.

To the general student population, class zero had long since faded into the backdrop, with sightings of its students as rare as that of seeing a unicorn. However, that didn’t stop the two’s early morning routine.

Perhaps what Xie Xie had said back then was true; inside every man’s heart was a pretty senior sister. Ever since they’d met, Tang Wulin looked forward to seeing her. She was both beautiful and gentle, always looking
after him like a big sister.

However, the two rarely shared a meal. If there was one thing she couldn’t handle, it would be Tang Wulin’s bottomless pit of a stomach.

Because his return was uncertain, he had come to bid Mu Xi and Ouyang Zixin farewell on the eve of his departure.
 “Big sis Zixin, are you still going to jog every day?” Tang Wulin asked as he adjusted the hat.

Ouyang Zixin was taken aback, lashes fluttering as her eyes widened just a tad. “I will. I’ll have no choice but to jog all alone.”

After a moment of silence, Tang Wulin resolved himself. “Big sis Zixin, I like you.”

A pause. She was taken off-guard by his sudden confession, but a sweet
smile soon blossomed on her lips. “You foolish boy, big sis likes you too!”

Tang Wulin didn’t explain himself. He knew that his ‘like’ and hers were different, but try as he might, he didn’t know how.

Once they arrived at a door, she jabbed her finger toward it, whispering into his ear, “Go in. She’s inside. Don’t tell her I was the one who brought you here! I’m going to leave now.”

“Mn. Thank you big sis Zixin.” Tang Wulin pushed open the door and entered.

As Ouyang Zixin watched it close, emotions warred within her like a storm, trembling, mystifying. She did like Tang Wulin. He was cute, handsome,
and talented. Who wouldn’t have a soft spot for him?

Although Tang Wulin never bragged to her, the fact that he was in class zero spoke for itself. She had heard from Xu Xiaoyu how amazing class zero was and how Tang Wulin, sweet little Tang Wulin, was actually the team captain.

It’s a pity he’s so young. I can’t like a boy that much younger than me.

Girls matured earlier than boys. There was no way she didn’t understand the meaning in Tang Wulin’s confession. Even so, she could only pretend to be ignorant. If not, it might affect their friendship.

“You’ll definitely find a girl suitable for you in the future. If only I was four or five years younger, then maybe I would have snatched you up. I wish
 you the best on your path.” Without saying goodbye, Ouyang Zixin turned around and left, pretending the glistening tears rolling down her delicate
cheeks were just a figment of a dream.

Inside of the room.

Mu Xi stood by the window, peering through the clear glass with her hands in her pockets.

She was tall for a girl. In fact, even if Tang Wulin had a growth spurt now, he probably wouldn’t be able to beat her.

“Zixin?” Mu Xi asked deadpan.

Tang Wulin stopped in place, calling out in a soft tone, “Senior disciple sister.”

Mu Xi spun around. She was stunned upon seeing him, but schooled her features into a mask of indifference. “What are you doing here? Aren’t you going to Shrek Academy? Shouldn’t you be preparing? How did you even sneak into the girl’s dormitory?”


“Just go. It would be bad if you’re discovered. I don’t want to see you either,” Mu Xi said coldly.

Tang Wulin forced a smile, though it might be more accurate to call it a grimace. “Senior disciple sister, I’m really leaving. I’m here to say goodbye. You can be assured that I will never forget my blacksmith roots. If I don’t pass, then I’ll return. And even if I do make it I won’t slack on blacksmithing. I’ll come visit you and Teacher whenever I can.”

Mu Xi didn’t interrupt him again. Instead, she swallowed him with her stare, eyes filled and trembling with unknown emotions.
 Tang Wulin continued speaking under her gaze. “Senior disciple sister, thank you for looking after me these last few years. I’ll take my leave now then.”

He bowed to her before turning around to leave her room, footsteps trailing behind him.

After closing the door gently, he was surprised to find that the hallway was empty. Ouyang Zixin was already gone. He let out a breath of relief. Senior disciple sister’s gaze is so heavy!

When his presence no longer lingered, Mu Xi’s cold gaze thawed, turning into tears.

That brat! He’s really leaving!

Since the very beginning, Tang Wulin had been a boy in Ouyang Zixin’s mind, but for Mu Xi, it was different. To her, he was a young man.

This change in perception transpired three years ago when Tang Wulin led her along with his forging rhythm during the Skysea Alliance Tournament.

It was only after that experience did her talents blossom, elevating her to the level of a first-rate genius.

It hadn’t left a deep impression on her at the start. Yet as time went on and she mulled over her thoughts, she felt as if she had been protected and
blessed by him. Despite being so much older than him, she felt at ease in his presence.

Since then, it was as if the shackles chaining her back were broken; Mu Xi made quick progress in her forging with Tang Wulin. She was now a fourth- rank blacksmith. She was capable of first-grade thousand refining.

According to Mu Chen’s original estimates, such progress should have taken her five years!

Ever since she was small, Mu Chen had hammered into her head the shape of humility. She was talented, but there were always those more brilliant
 than her. However, as she honed her craft together with Tang Wulin, her father began giving her more guidance.

He gave me all of this, but now he’s leaving. He’s leaving for Shrek City.

The day she found out, she approached her father in tears, begging him to make Tang Wulin stay.

Mu Chen answered her, “Tang Wulin doesn’t belong in this small pond. His future is among the sea of stars.”

Chapter 244 – Departure

Chapter 244 – Departure

Mu Xi didn’t know why she was so broken-hearted as she wept through the night. Only in the morning did the truth sink in. She couldn’t let him go and wished to stay by his side.

However, in the end, he was still leaving. Even if she was younger than Ouyang Zixin, there was no hiding her age. She was also eighteen years
old. From their four-year age gap, they were destined to walk two different paths. When she entered an advanced academy, he would still be working through his intermediate academy studies.

He was more gifted than her, his future as boundless as the ever-expanding universe. Perhaps, she must resign herself to travelling on a path parallel to his, so close but never intersecting.

Her emotions were in turmoil as memories of their last three years together flashed through her mind.

Fate would not change for a single person’s desires, and his departure was inevitable.

“Wulin, what’s on your mind? What are you daydreaming about?” Xie Xie nudged Tang Wulin, a quirk to his brow.

Tang Wulin snapped out of his stupor and smiled. “It’s nothing. I’m just going to miss Eastsea City.”

With that, Xie Xie’s jaws dropped. “You, aren’t you arrogant!”
 Tang Wulin burst into laughter. “How so?’

Xie Xie looked like he swallowed a lemon. “Didn’t you just imply that we’ll definitely pass? If that’s not what you meant, then why would you miss Eastsea City?”

Tang Wulin pursed his lips, the dip to his brow becoming utterly significant, “You’re overthinking it.”

Although he dismissed his friend’s accusations, in reality, buried within the deepest, softest crooks of his heart, he did feel this way. It would be a long time before he next returned to Eastsea City.

There were tons of things he needed to do in Shrek City, such as searching for traces of his parents.

Before his departure, he had met with Mang Tian once. Mang Tian had been convinced that his parents had left for a major city. Since Shrek City was the biggest city on the continent, it was likely they were there.

He had received a message from his parents after their retreat, stating he would have the qualifications to search for them once he became a fifth- rank blacksmith.

Yet, in the three years since he had left Glorybound City, he had not received a single call from them.

Tang Wulin couldn’t bear to think of his parents. Every time he awoke from meditation, his mind would wander in that direction and daggers stabbed his heart.

Mom, dad, where are you?

He had matured a lot in this string of lonesome years. His resolve has sharpened like a knife. Mang Tian had said nothing, but it was evident
something had transpired. No news was good news, until it wasn’t. If his parents were fine, then there was no reason not to give him a call! At the very least, they should have been able to get in touch with Mang Tian!
 Tang Wulin did not strive so hard in cultivating solely for the sake of his dream of becoming a battle armor master. No, he desired the power to necessary to find his parents and protect them.

In his spare time, he had visited his home before. However, it had become an empty husk of what he remembered. There was nothing there, no personal items of his parents, nothing to suggest it hadn’t been abandoned and tossed aside like rubbish, and the four bare walls felt as if they were
closing in on him. He had visited again, though. This time it was a little more than a year ago, and he discovered something interesting. A double- layered wall hid in his parents’ room. Within was a peculiar-looking badge with an even more peculiar symbol, and Tang Wulin couldn’t for the life of him figure out what it was.

He had recognized the significance of the badge immediately. With it being the sole clue to the puzzle of his parents’ whereabouts, he safeguarded it in his storage ring.

As the soul train sped along, the carriage became bathed in hushed whispers until just the squeaking of the wheels could be heard. For the young
students of class zero, the second-class seats were slightly cramped, but it gave them a sense of adventure.

Outside the window, the landscape flitted by. The sound of breathing within the carriage steadied as passengers fell asleep one by one.

Tang Wulin took a deep breath. Exhaled. Took a deep breath again. A journey is traveled step by step and rice is eaten by the spoonful… I just need to continue working toward my goal.

On this trip to Shrek City, the first thing on the itinerary was to find a thousand-year Azure-Veined Vine. He had the other three spirit items prepared and the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s soul bone had strengthened his body. He was ready to break the second seal now.

Once he accomplished this, his strength would soar to new heights. His chance of passing Shrek’s entrance exam would skyrocket.
 According to Wu Zhangkong’s scheduling, they would arrive one week
early, giving Tang Wulin just enough time to find the thousand-year Azure- Vein Vine, break the seal, and take the Shrek exam.

His expectations for the second seal’s surprise continued to grow as the time approached.

Compared to Heaven Dou City, Shrek City was slightly closer to Eastsea City.

The train slowed when it neared their destination. Then, an announcement sounded.
“Dear guests and travellers, we have arrived at the greatest city on the
Douluo Continent, Shrek City. Shrek City’s roots extend tens of thousands of years and is a cultural hub. The legendary Shrek Academy was founded here, as well as the Spirit Pagoda headquarters. As the number one city in the Federation, Shrek City boasts immense economic and political influence. Everyone, please take a look out the left window. The tower in the distance is the headquarters of the Spirit Pagoda.”

The four students of class zero flipped over to take a peek. Sure enough, a majestic tower pierced the heavens. Because it was so far away, only the upper-middle portion was visible. All eight sides sparkled with silver
splendor,, slowly tapering into the clouds, the peak unseen.

The Spirit Pagoda’s headquarters was the tallest building in the continent. Everyone, including Tang Wulin, knew this. In fact, the Federation had rules forbidding buildings with greater height as a show of respect.

If the Tang Sect was the most mysterious organization, and Shrek Academy the most illustrious, then the most powerful was undoubtedly the Spirit Pagoda.

With their artificial spirit soul technology, the Spirit Pagoda was able to gather a horde of researchers, powerful soul masters, and amass riches on par with that of a nation. Its influence was undeniable in the Federation.
 In the Federation’s parliament, seven of the 108 seats were taken by the Spirit Pagoda.

This didn’t even account for parliamentary members under their influence. Shrek City truly transcended the realm of the ordinary!
An interesting array of buildings surrounded the tower. Both ancient and modern buildings stood side-by-side, an odd sight.

It was different from Heaven Dou City’s air of antiquity and Eastsea City’s fresh metal scent.

Shrek City felt like a vast melting pot.

Its boundaries extended beyond what the eye could see!

After entering the city, the train sped along for another hour before cruising to a stop.

In his entire life, Tang Wulin had never laid eyes on a larger train station than this. It was at least five times larger than those of Heaven Dou City and Eastsea City.

An enormous dome roof hovered above them, marked by simplistic
architecture. Sculptures were scattered across the station for travellers to marvel.

“Teacher Wu, where are we going first? Straight to Shrek Academy?” Xie Xie asked eagerly. Even if he hailed from a wealthy family, it didn’t mean a thing; he couldn’t control his excitement after stepping foot in this city of legends.

Chapter 245 – The Legendary Shrek City

Chapter 245 – The Legendary Shrek City

Though Wu Zhangkong wore his usual mask of iciness, his eyes seemed to flicker with conflicted emotions.

“Let’s find an inn first.”

The word ‘luxury’ didn’t exist in the dictionary of the inn that Wu Zhangkong chose, simply finding one that was near the station and booked three rooms.

The inn gave off an antique feel with its simple architecture and mottled
exterior of stone and wood, and its interior was neat and tidy, though their amenities were plain.

Each room had one bed, two bedside cabinets, a wardrobe, a desk, and a
chair. Only two people could fit in the washroom at a time, and that was all. It had four white walls and a window with a view of the train station.

Wu Zhangkong had a room to himself while the students were split by gender into two other rooms.

Wu Zhangkong had wanted to get a three-person room, but this inn only had two-person rooms. Otherwise, they would have only needed two rooms.

“So comfortable.” Xie Xie pounced on the bed the instant they entered the room, and spread his limbs.
 Tang Wulin, on the other hand, went to the window to take in their new environment.

“Wulin, why do you think you think Teacher Wu is so stingy with the rooms? He should have a good salary from the academy, and he’s even a battle armor master! You should have seen how awesome it was! He’s got to be rich since he made his battle armor!”

Tang Wulin laughed. “Teacher Wu just doesn’t care about such mundane things. Now you! You should be a bit more modest. We’re not here to have fun.”

Xie Xie said, “Fine, fine. I’m going to nap first then. The train was so
cramped I couldn’t even stretch my legs.” Although trains were convenient, second class seats were by no means comfortable.

Xie Xie’s breathing soon steadied.

Tang Wulin took a bath and, after putting on some clean clothes, he went to Wu Zhangkong’s room and pressed the doorbell.

When Wu Zhangkong opened the door and saw him, he let him in silently. “Teacher Wu, can we go now?” Tang Wulin asked.
Wu Zhangkong glanced at the sky. “Don’t be anxious. Auctions are held in the evening, so we still have plenty of time and Shrek City’s auction has quite a selection; I’m sure we’ll be able to find it. You need to be patient.”

“Okay.” Tang Wulin took a deep breath in and calmed himself. His nerves really were a bit jittery.

He had never thought himself talented. His martial soul was the trashy
Bluesilver Grass, and though his two soul rings were at the thousand-year level, they were still merely thousand-year Bluesilver Grass soul rings. As for his golden dragon claw, while it was powerful, it wasn’t sustainable.

He was confident in his combative skills and would only place himself below Gu Yue, but this was Shrek Academy! If he wanted to pass the exam,
 he had to take it up a notch!

Wu Zhangkong said, “Wulin, let me ask you again. Are you sure your strength will increase once you have all four spirit items? If you’re not
absolutely certain, then I recommend that you not act hastily. The slightest mistake could negatively affect your future.”

“Teacher Wu, I’m certain.” Tang Wulin said without the slightest hesitation. “My martial soul will evolve positively and it will definitely be a success.” Despite being unable to tell Wu Zhangkong about the Golden Dragon King seals, Tang Wulin was certain that breaking the second seal and absorbing its power would bring great rewards for him.

Wu Zhangkong nodded. “I won’t say anything else then. It’s almost night; we’ll set off in a bit.”

“Thank you, Teacher Wu.”

Tang Wulin returned to his room and began to meditate. The sun soon sunk below the horizon, twilight eating away at the sky.

They ate dinner at the inn. Although the place was small, perhaps because it was an inn in Shrek City, its food was unexpectedly delicious.

Tang Wulin’s mind was clearly wandering even during dinner, only eating half as much as usual. Still, he ate more than everyone else combined.

“Go rest and meditate in your rooms. If you want to go out, stay within the area and always carry your soul communicators on you,” Wu Zhangkong warned Xie Xie, Gu Yue, and Xu Xiaoyan.

Xu Xiaoyan said, “Teacher Wu, where are you and Captain going then?” She had become accustomed to calling Tang Wulin ‘Captain’ now, rarely calling him by name.

“There are some matters we need to take care of. We’ll be back later.”

Wu Zhangkong had never bothered to explain his plans to anyone. He quickly left with Tang Wulin after speaking.
 Before following Wu Zhangkong out, Tang Wulin signalled to his friends that there was no problem.

Wu Zhangkong was clearly familiar with Shrek City but, unlike their time in Heaven Dou City, they hailed a taxi instead of walking.

Soul taxis were comfortable, but more expensive than public transport. It was the first time Tang Wulin witnessed Wu Zhangkong opt for such a
costly method of transportation.

But he soon realized the reason; Shrek City was just too gigantic.

The taxi was faster than a bus, yet it still took them forty minutes to arrive at their destination.

Wu Zhangkong led him into a pointed building.

A staff member welcomed them once they were inside. “Excuse me, may I ask if you two are participating in the auction? Could you please take out your invitation letter.”

Wu Zhangkong retrieved something out of his pocket and flashed it. The staff member instantly acted more respectfully. “So it was our Esteemed Guests that have arrived. Please come this way.” The staff member no longer pestered them for an invitation letter and led the two inside.

Tang Wulin finally understood what true luxury was.

Past the door was a hall made of white wood, golden patterns swirling
across them like elegant flowers while the floor was lined with a scarlet rug that had golden embroidery running down its length. Crystal lamps lining the walls sparkled on the walls, their shimmering light attracting the eyes of the guests.

An unseen pressure weighed down upon Tang Wulin as he walked down this magnificent hall. He sent Wu Zhangkong furtive glances, but was only met with a calm expression no different than when they were at the
 The two were brought to an opulent room and someone delivered drinks. A moment later, a middle-aged woman walked in.

“Honored guests, welcome. I am Ruo Ling, an auctioneer for the Yaluo Auction. May I ask if there is anything I can help you with?” She gave a slight bow to Wu Zhangkong and Tang Wulin.

“Bring me your catalog,” Wu Zhangkong said.

Ruo Ling smiled. She walked over to Wu Zhangkong’s side and crouched. With a flash of her golden bracelet, a small soul screen appeared in her hand. After a few taps on the screen, a list of items appeared.

“May I ask what type of items you are looking for?” Her smile never left her lips as she furtively glanced at Wu Zhangkong’s stern face from time to time.

Together, Wu Zhangkong and Tang Wulin were a pair of peerless lady- killers! Of course, she was more attracted to the mature Wu Zhangkong
and, in consideration of his status, she acted friendlier than normal to him. She valued both looks and status. If she left a good impression on him, then perhaps she could advance their relationship another step.

A pleasant fragrance lingered on Ruo Lin. It wasn’t perfume, lest she offend anyone. Her gentle smile lacked any pretense, creating a sense of familiarity.

Unfortunately, neither her complexion, figure, nor smile could thaw Wu Zhangkong’s icy heart.

Wu Zhangkong said, “Spirit items.”

“Yes.” Ruo Ling quickly navigated to them.

“Do you have a specific item in mind? I can help you search for it.” Ruo Ling sighed in her heart. He’s not even sparing me a glance! Am I not even enough to enter his eyes?

“Thousand-year Azure-Veined Vine,” Wu Zhangkong said.
 “Please wait a moment.” Ruo Ling swiftly inputted the name and the listings changed.

There were high-grade, mid-grade, and low-grade thousand-year Azure- Veined Vines, each with a different price. The starting auction price and estimated sale price were listed beside each one.

“When will it be put on auction?” Wu Zhangkong asked.

Tang Wulin’s eyes sparkled. Yes! They have it! As expected of Shrek City!

Chapter 246 – The Surprising Auction

Chapter 246 – The Surprising Auction

“The next time an Azure-veined Vine will be auctioned is in three days, with the bids starting at eight in the evening. I believe there are three sets available.” Ruo Ling said, a smile so sweet it could rot teeth.

Wu Zhangkong frowned. “If I want to buy a high-grade vine immediately, how would I do so?” It had been years since he last visited this auction and rarely did he visit any auction in general.

Ruo Ling hesitated for a moment, biting back her words as she organized her thoughts. “According to our rules, we’re not allowed to sell items directly. But I can make an exception for someone as honorable as you. An instant purchase will cost twenty-percent more than the estimated sales price. We can offer an accurate quote once you’ve considered it.”t

Wu Zhangkong turned to face Tang Wulin. “How about it?”

An extra twenty percent? That’s a lot of money! Tang Wulin’s heart hurt at the mere thought of it. The listed price for a high-grade vine was five million federal coins. With twenty percent added on, he’d be shelling out
six million!

Yes, he saved up a small fortune over the years, but that had been earned with his sweat and blood!

“Teacher Wu, isn’t the auction in just three days?” Tang Wulin answered finally, though not without some hesitation.
 Their eyes met, teacher and student communicating in silence before the former nodded. “Fine. Give us two auction tickets. We’ll come bid for the vine in three days.”

“Alright. Please wait a moment. I will go handle this.” Ruo Ling agreed
with a smile before leaving. In the brief period she had been in contact with Wu Zhangkong, she understood that he was not one to offend. She was less than a speck in his eyes.

After obtaining tickets to the auction, Wu Zhangkong left for the inn with Tang Wulin in tow. Everything had been left to Tang Wulin to decide
without Wu Zhangkong making a single remark or suggestion.

In truth, Tang Wulin had been nervous. Not only was the Shrek exam in a week, but he had to wait three days before he could lay hands on the Azure- veined Vine. That left him with four days to break the seal. Luckily, his body was stronger than it had been during the first unsealing. As such, he
should just make it.

His nerves settled at this epiphany, relief swallowing him whole.

Tang Wulin cultivated in his room until the day of the auction. Xie Xie followed suit, his friend’s diligence rubbing off on him, even though he knew deep down that sharpening the spear at the last minute was pointless.

Three days later, Tang Wulin and Wu Zhangkong returned to the auction house.

They were led immediately to the VIP seats. Only two types of people could be found here: those with money and those with strength. Wu Zhangkong belonged to the latter.

The auction beat Eastsea City’s in grandness by a longshot. Every single item auctioned was a rarity and the mood was soon set.

“The eleventh item to be auctioned is a high-grade thousand-year Azure- veined Vine. The starting price is three million. The minimum bid increase is one hundred thousand. Let the bidding begin.”
 It was finally time.

Tang Wulin clenched his fists without realizing. He stared at the item like a desert-bound man would look at water.

Nonchalantly, Wu Zhangkong slipped the number plate into Tang Wulin’s hands, as if the bidding had nothing to do with him.

He was generous when advising Tang Wulin on everything related to
cultivation, but was a mute when it came to money matters. This spurred Tang Wulin to learn and adapt fast, to become independent, lest he be taken advantage of.

“Three million,” Tang Wulin said as he raised his number plate.

“Three million one hundred thousand.” A person followed quickly.

Because of the lack of side effects and its ability to increase one’s
constitution while strengthening the physique, the Azure-veined Vine was expensive. Tremendously so, in fact. For large clans, it was seen as a necessity, used in rearing the younger generation. Thus, the demand for it was always high.

“Three million five hundred thousand.” “Three million eight hundred thousand”
The price kept increasing. The hand in which Tang Wulin held the number plate grew sticky with sweat. At the current bidding rate, the price would soon exceed five million!

Regret crept into his heart. If he had known this would be the outcome, he would have paid six million up front!

For every item on the program, the sales price listed was the minimum amount of money the auction house needed in order to break even. Tang
Wulin had seldom attended auctions in his life. Therefore, he didn’t know this important fact.
 If the treasure wasn’t popular, then the final price would usually hover around the estimated sales price. Items in high demand, however, often exceeded the estimated value by far.

In reality, the price Ruo Ling had given Wu Zhangkong was heavily discounted in consideration of his status. There was rarely enough thousand-year Azure-veined Vines to go around, and this fact was reflected in its price.

It was Tang Wulin’s ignorance that bit him in the back.

Wu Zhangkong had known, yet chose not to warn his student. In his mind,
Tang Wulin had to experience this bitterness himself so that the lesson would be carved into his heart.

“Five million four hundred thousand!” Tang Wulin was on the verge of tears, almost crumpling into himself as he raised his number plate.

“Five million seven hundred thousand!” Another person shouted out.

Tang Wulin didn’t have a single moment to spare in regret. Although he was stingy, breaking the seal was more important. The chances of success were the highest with a high-grade vine. There was only one being
auctioned today. Even if he threw out the six million right now, he wouldn’t be able to buy a second one.

His sole option was to fight tooth and nail for it.

“Six million two hundred thousand!” Tang Wulin’s face was morphed into an unsightly expression as the price breached the six million mark. I was
stupid. Why didn’t I just buy it back then? I could have broken through three days earlier and saved some money!

“Six million three hundred thousand.” He had no choice but to continue. “Six million five hundred thousand.”
“Six million eight hundred thousand.”
 “Seven million three hundred thousand!” Tang Wulin gnashed his teeth as his number plate shot up once more.

Finally, the audience was quiet. A pin drop could be heard. “Seven million three hundred thousand going once!
“Seven million three hundred thousand going twice!

“Seven million three hundred thousand going three times! “And sold!”
Tang Wulin’s entire body went limp in his seat the moment gavel sounded. One million three hundred thousand… I paid an extra one million three hundred thousand!

Wu Zhangkong looked him in the eye and said, “I showed them my identification as a battle armor master that day. Popular items usually
exceed the estimated sales price. The price you won it for today is about normal. Do you understand now?”

Tang Wulin forced out a smile. “I understand, but the price is still painful.”

“Let’s go.” Wu Zhangkong didn’t comfort Tang Wulin. This had been Tang Wulin’s own choice; thus, he must live with it himself. It was useless to blame others. He didn’t tell Tang Wulin this explicitly, and instead chose to teach him this lesson through his actions.

Tang Wulin trembled with remorse as he paid the bill. He had earned about fourteen million federal coins after three years of hard work. The vine
costed half of his entire savings!

If it wasn’t for his high chance to succeed at Spirit Refinement which would save him some material costs, he would have coughed up blood on the spot. His remaining amount of savings was a pitiful shadow of its former self.

Chapter 247 – Ready

Chapter 247 – Ready

After storing a black box in his storage ring, Tang Wulin followed Wu Zhangkong into a taxi.

“Are you using those spirit items immediately once we return?” Wu Zhangkong asked Tang Wulin.

“Mn.” Tang Wulin was still the picture of agitation. So much money! I
wasted so much money! I’m practically burning money to break each seal.

His only comfort was the increase in his strength per unsealing. If not for that, his money would have been wasted.

Three years of fulfilling blacksmithing orders culminated into just four
spirit items. If not for the items, he would have been able to afford to learn the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track.

Apart from Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon, he had also exchanged contribution points for some grappling techniques and the Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer technique. The former increased his close combat prowess while the latter improved his forging. Supposedly, the Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer technique was developed by a great clan from an
era long gone. It was the clan of the Tang Sect’s revered founder, Tang San
—the Clear Sky Clan.

As time progressed, the Clear Sky Clan faded into oblivion, leaving behind the Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer technique as its sole legacy. The technique could be used both in battle and for blacksmithing, perfect for Tang Wulin and his innate divine strength.
 However, the Tang Sect still had many arts he still wished to learn. A couple arts that he had been most taken with were the Ghost Shadow
Perplexing Track and the Soft Bone Eight Stage Drop, the latter which was formidable in close-combat.

To put it harshly, Tang Wulin’s body was inhuman. Not only did he possess overwhelming strength, he also had astonishing flexibility that enabled him to learn this technique. Alas, his wallet woefully light at present and it
would take him ages to accrue enough points for the Soft Bone Eight Stage Drop.

Naturally, if he reached the Spirit Refinement realm, he would accomplish that goal much faster.

Tang Wulin didn’t like being stingy, but he had no other choice! Everything required money. He needed money to attempt spirit refining and break his
seals. Not to mention, in order to become a battle armor master, just having enough cash stashed for a rainy day wasn’t going to cut it. He needed mountains of gold, rivers of coins, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
No, if he didn’t practice frugality now, he’d be in for a big surprise in the future.

“How long do you estimate it will take?” Wu Zhangkong asked. The helpless shake of his student’s head was his answer.
Wu Zhangkong knitted his brows. “If you don’t even know how long it will take, then why did you choose to bid on the vine?”

The corner of Tang Wulin’s mouth twitched. Teacher Wu, do you really have to rub salt in my wounds? I’m already so poor!

“I, I just wanted to save some money…” Tang Wulin muttered.

Wu Zhangkong didn’t mind twisting the dagger as he continued, “And how much did you save?”

Tang Wulin gritted his teeth. “Nothing.”
 Wu Zhangkong said coldly, “If you rush to refine your bloodline once we return, you may miss the opportunity to take the Shrek exam. So, you have two choices: either hone your bloodline now and risk missing the test, or participate in the exam without the refinement. Think it over carefully.”

Tang Wulin frowned, brow creasing as he pondered this dilemma. I don’t know how much time the unsealing will take. If it goes on for too long, I’ll be in a pinch.

But can I pass the exam as I am now? It’s Shrek Academy after all!

“Teacher Wu, as I am currently, what do you think of my chances of passing the Shrek exam?” Tang Wulin asked.

Wu Zhangkong looked him over, eyes unblinking. “It will be tough.” Tough? Is that good or bad?
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but loosen his lips. “How tough?”

“Very tough!” With that, Wu Zhangkong turned toward the window.

Tang Wulin felt a massive headache coming on. Can’t you say anymore than that! Help me analyze this! Isn’t this your responsibility as my teacher?

However, he didn’t dare speak out of turn. Instead, he endured through gritted teeth. “If that’s the case, I rather not risk it. Teacher Wu, if you knew all this before, then why didn’t you tell me to buy the vine three days ago!
Then I would have had enough time.”

To his outburst, Wu Zhangkong said, “You’ve already grown up and it’s your own money. Any decision is solely your own responsibility.”

There was no denying it; the truth was severe and Tang Wulin lamented in his heart. He had expected this sort of answer, but he had to ask. He had been defeated the moment he spoke.

“I choose to refine my bloodline.” Tang Wulin sucked in a deep breath, his eyes twinkled with resolve.
 If passing the exam will be difficult without breaking the seal, then I have to risk it! At least my chances will be better!

“Alright.” Wu Zhangkong nodded and spoke no further.

Once they returned to the inn, Wu Zhangkong spared no time pointing to his own room. “You can make you breakthrough in my room. I’ll guard you.” He opened the door and entered.

Taking in Wu Zhangkong’s regal figure, Tang Wulin experienced an ember of warmth crackling within his heart. He understood Wu Zhangkong’s reasons for his hands-off teaching approach. It was for his sake, so that he would grow independant.

Taking another deep breath, Tang Wulin stepped foot into Wu Zhangkong’s room. After directing his student to the bed, Wu Zhangkong pulled up a
stool beside it and sat down.

Tang Wulin placed the four spirit items on the desk. Is it time to start?
It’s been three years since the last one… and now it’s time for the second. What will I obtain this time?

His pulse raced at the thought, heart thumping so hard he could almost hear it.

But I have to finish within four days! If I succeed, I’ll be able to take the exam in peak condition.

Time waited for no one and Tang Wulin dared not tarry. He sat on the bed
cross-legged and closed his eyes. He summoned Old Tang, bent on learning how to utilize these treasures.

Ever since Tang Wulin was saved by Old Tang from spirit energy overload, he hadn’t heard a peep from him. Funnily enough, he only realized this just before he attempted calling for him. He’ll appear, right? Anxiety squirmed
 in his heart, pulsing. If he hadn’t already broken a seal before, he would have doubted its existence.

Fortunately, Old Tang did not leave him waiting.

Within the depths of his consciousness, Tang Wulin once again found himself in that mystical spiritual world.

“You’re ready?” Old Tang’s voice resounded throughout the space.

“Old Tang.” Hearing that familiar voice, Tang Wulin felt the tension in his body melt away. In a burst of golden light, Old Tang appeared before him. He looked the same as he did since their last meeting.

“Mn. Long time no see you little rascal.” Old Tang’s voice was marked with regret. “You’ve done well improving your body all this time. It shouldn’t be a problem for you to break the second seal. Have you prepared the four necessary spirit items?”

Tang Wulin’s voice was thick with agony, “I have them.” He was still bitter over spending so much money.

Old Tang said, “Then you’re ready to start. The way to use the four spirit items is a bit different from last time. You will ingest the Dragonscale Fruit directly. However, you will crush the other three items into juice.
Afterward, dilute the juice with some hot water for a bath, which you will soak and meditate in.

“You need to do this simultaneously. In other words, don’t eat the Dragonscale Fruit until the bath is ready. Understood?”

“Yes, I’ve got it.” Although it was troublesome, it wasn’t a difficult task.

“That’s good then. You go prepare. You can start anytime once you’re ready, but make sure your body is in top condition when you do.”

 The four spirit items were the Dragonscale Fruit, Land Dragon Tendon, Azure-veined Vine, and Sea Dragon Marrow.

In order to allay Wu Zhangkong’s suspicions, Tang Wulin meditated first, coaxing his body to peak condition. Half an hour later, he rose.

“Teacher Wu, I’m beginning now,” Tang Wulin said.

“Mn.” Wu Zhangkong nodded as a response. He hadn’t left his seat beside the bed and was ready to probe Tang Wulin’s body with his senses. Tang Wulin’s bloodline refinement evoked in him a sense of wonder.

Tang Wulin said, “I need to actually eat the Dragonscale Fruit, but I’m
smashing the other three into juices. Could you help me with that? I also need to dilute the juices with hot water and use it for a bath to soak in.”

Wu Zhangkong stared at him, face as impassive as a blank mask. “You’re absorbing it by soaking?”

A quirk of the brow. “Is there an issue?”

Wu Zhangkong shook his head. “There’s no problem with that, but it’s not very efficient. You won’t be able to absorb all of the nutrients that way.”

Tang Wulin said, “That’s fine. I’ll trouble you to help then.”

After nodding, Wu Zhangkong stood up from his seat. He couldn’t help but let a few words slip through. “That’s such a waste of money!”

At his teacher’s uncharacteristic outburst, Tang Wulin’s face twitched. Can you not talk about the money!

The inn’s amenities were nothing special; yet, a bathtub was still provided. Tang Wulin adjusted the nozzle to let out a scorching stream of water, filling the tub halfway. Then, Wu Zhangkong brought in the four spirit items.

Chapter 248 – Breaking the Second Seal

Chapter 248 – Breaking the Second Seal

Wu Zhangkong opened the case containing the thousand-year Azure-veined Vine and took it out.

Like its name suggested, the vine was azure in color and only about as long as one’s forearm. It sparkled like a crystal, and a dim glow emanated from its stalk as liquid circulated within. A sweet, refreshing fragrance capable of clearing a person’s mind lingered on it.

Wu Zhangkong pointed a finger at the vine and released a gentle stream of soul power that encapsulated it and carried it over the water. When he made a pinching gesture, an invisible force wrung the vine and broke it in half, letting its juices drip into the bathtub.

The vine’s juices quickly mixed with the water, imbuing the water and the steam that rose from it with an azure color. A heavy aroma hung in the air.

With the last of the vine’s juices extracted, only its husk was left. Wu Zhangkong’s eyes flashed as his finger swiftly moved, creating blades of Mysterious Heaven Method soul power. They stabbed the vine countless times, instantly turning it into a fine powder as if it had suddenly exploded. The powder floated down into the water without a single particle wasted.

Tang Wulin’s eyes shimmered at the astonishing sight. Throughout the entire process, Wu Zhangkong hadn’t used his martial soul. He
accomplished this feat purely through his control over the Mysterious Heaven Method!
 Now that’s power!

The Land Dragon Tendon came after the Azure-veined Vine.

Of the four spirit items, the tendon was the least remarkable. All of its two meters of length was tan, and it was several times thicker than the vine.

“This thousand-year Land Dragon Tendon originally should’ve been five meters long, but it shrunk to this size after being processed. You would normally need to boil it for three days and three nights to soften it before being able to use it. Since you want to make a broth of it, there’s only one unique method to do so.”

Wu Zhangkong moved his left foot one step to the left and bent his legs, maintaining half-squat position. With a wave of his right hand, the tendon floated up just like the vine did. Then he brought his hands in front of him, palms facing each other, and a gust of wind came into existence between them.

Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon!

Tang Wulin instantly recognized this Tang Sect art.

He’s using Controlling Crane with his left hand and Capturing Dragon with his right.

Eyes narrowed, Wu Zhangkong’s hands began to move in circular, rhythmic motions. The fluctuations of his internal soul power grew stronger and
stronger while the tendon began to rapidly spin.

As the tendon’s revolutions grew faster and faster, a whirring sound could be heard. Aside from the slight oscillating movements of his hands, Wu Zhangkong’s upper body was completely still. His soul power fluctuations, however, increased in strength as he fought to suppress the draft. Although Tang Wulin could sense the immense power gushing from Wu Zhangkong, it didn’t affect him at all.

Teacher Wu’s control over his soul power is amazing!
 The tendon’s tan coloring gradually turned red. Howling wind accompanied its high speed rotations.

The pressure from Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon; the high-speed revolutions; and the air friction all merged together to tenderize the tendon.

The tendon slowly began curling inward, eventually resembling a scarlet dumpling

Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon can be used like this? It was Tang Wulin’s first time seeing it used in such a magical way.

A quarter of an hour later, red liquid began dripping from the tendon. Each time a drop of the liquid hit the water, puffs of steam rose into the air. Tang Wulin could feel the temperature of the water rising.

The scarlet tendon juice mixed with the water, making it murkier.

Another quarter of an hour later, the entire tendon had been converted into juice and mixed with the water of the bathtub, making it dark green. It truly looked bizarre. A queer smell had replaced the pleasant fragrance. A hint of the vine’s freshness was still there, but it was overpowered by a fishy odor. The two smells fought back and forth, the dominant smell changing from one moment to the next.

Wu Zhangkong stood up and retrieved the thousand-year Sea Dragon
Marrow. The marrow was easier to turn into juice; all he had to do was use his soul power to squeeze it like he did with the vine. In fact, he didn’t even need to crush it with his finger swords. When the marrow mixed with the
water, nothing really changed other than the steam taking on a pink hue. No matter how one looked at it, the water now seemed terrifying.

“Go in.” Wu Zhangkong nodded at Tang Wulin in encouragement.

It was Wu Zhangkong’s first time seeing someone absorb spirit items like this, so he was curious to see how it turned out.
 Tang Wulin took a deep breath and forced any thoughts equating this bath with three years of hard-earned money out of his mind. He picked up the Dragonscale Fruit and took a bite of it.

The Dragonscale Fruit didn’t taste wonderful like its sparkling blue skin suggested. Its juices were extremely sour, and he nearly choked.

It’s three million! It’s worth over three million! Tang Wulin shouted its price in his heart over and over, forcing himself to eat it bite by bite. In the end, he even ate its skin.

With the Dragonscale Fruit now in his stomach, heat spread throughout his body. Tang Wulin didn’t forget what he was supposed to be doing and quickly shed his clothes, dipping his toe into the tub’s water.


Perhaps due to the thousand-year Land Dragon Tendon, the water was much hotter than he anticipated—so much so that he nearly cried out.

Steeling himself, Tang Wulin managed to put both of his legs into the
scalding water. He was on the verge of tears, but he couldn’t bear letting his money go to waste.

“Clear your mind and calm your breathing,” Wu Zhangkong said.

Tang Wulin’s mind trembled as he hastily released a long breath and circulated his soul power.

The Dragonscale Fruit quickly took effect; warmth spread from his belly as he used the Mysterious Heaven Method.

Tang Wulin thought that the heat within his body would help him adapt to the scalding water, but it was the opposite. Instead of adapting, he grew more sensitive to the heat, causing his body to tremble uncontrollably.

At that moment, Old Tang’s solemn voice resounded in Tang Wulin’s mind. “Soak your entire body in it. Leave only your head exposed.”
 With no choice but to bite the bullet, Tang Wulin plunged the rest of his body into the water, emerging himself in the scalding heat. It took all his willpower to keep himself from jumping out.

Endure it! Endure it!

Eyes tightly shut, Tang Wulin willed himself to continue soaking in the water and endure the pain of being boiled alive.

From Wu Zhangkong’s perspective, Tang Wulin’s body had instantly become scarlet the moment he entered the water. It was as if he were a cooked shrimp. Tang Wulin’s body began to twitch.

Wu Zhangkong’s brows furrowed. Will he really be fine? This is the first time I’ve heard of a recipe like this. Just where did Wulin get it from?

Wu Zhangkong raised his hand, preparing to aid Tang Wulin by cooling him down with his martial soul.

At that moment, however, a golden mark appeared faintly on Tang Wulin’s forehead, shocking Wu Zhangkong. Even with his excellent eyesight, he
could just barely make it out.

The golden mark appeared to be consist of three golden lines, but Wu Zhangkong couldn’t identify it.

Chapter 249 – Dignity and the Future

Chapter 249 – Dignity and the Future

It only took moments from when the golden mark first appeared for Tang Wulin’s entire body to be covered in a network of golden streaks. It gave him an air of resplendence.

Once the golden lines appeared, his breathing calmed down. He seemed to be adapting to the scorching pain.

The golden lines pulsed intermittently, spreading a peculiar energy which enveloped his body. It wasn’t soul power, but something far more special.

Wu Zhangkong narrowed his eyes at the sight. He used only his senses to silently investigate.

His blood essence is so powerful!

It was inconceivable for someone’s blood to course so vigorously.

Golden scales emerged on Tang Wulin’s right arm, stopping just shy of turning into the dragon claw. In contrast with their usual appearance, however, the current scales were far more brilliant and jagged. A golden radiance shone through them in a dazzling display.

Tang Wulin’s frame trembled gently when the water began to bubble, seemingly boiling him alive.

The golden pattern covering his body became more distinct as it began
emitting a rumbling noise. Streams of golden air left through his nose and
 mouth, with each breath serving to further refine his body. His bloodline really is getting refined.
Wu Zhangkong nodded to himself. He could now be certain this endeavor would prove beneficial for Tang Wulin and that he could bear it.

Three days later.

“Zhangkong, why are you staying in a place like this? Why not pick a place closer to the academy?” Shen Yi frowned as she inspected his ordinary room.

Wu Zhangkong calmly replied, “It’s enough as long as I can rest here. What difference does it make if I stay somewhere else? Besides, I don’t like how noisy it is near the academy. ”

He had already contacted Shen Yi before departing for Shrek City.

The Skysea Alliance had a little more than one hundred quotas for Shrek’s entrance exam each time, and it was only after racking his brains and making many compromises that President Yu Zhen had been able to acquire four of them.

Naturally, these four quotas were for the outer court exam. Considering their standing in the Alliance, the Eastsea Academy had no way of procuring any of the prized inner court exam slots.

Shen Yi had been caught off guard by Wu Zhangkong’s sudden call, but she rejoiced when she heard he wanted to bring his disciples to take the exam.
Her joy sprung once from the news of his return, and twice at the thought of his promising disciples.

They had left a deep impression on her three years earlier, during the Skysea Alliance Tournament. Their captain had a keen awareness of the situation and was decisive enough to sacrifice himself for the sake of his
 teammate. In her eyes, Tang Wulin stood out among the others. Following closely, however, was Gu Yue. When Tang Wulin was gravely injured, she chose to give up some of her own life force to heal him. She had wanted to take Gu Yue for herself right then and there!

Gu Yue’s control over the elements was truly shocking!

Three years later, Wu Zhangkong was finally bringing those children to Shrek Academy. Shen Yi looked forward to seeing how much they had matured under his guidance.

“The exams are tomorrow. Are your students ready?” Shen Yi changed the subject as she sat down in a chair.

Wu Zhangkong’s forehead wrinkled. “I asked you to come because I have a favor to request of you. The others are ready, but I have one student who has entered deep meditation and still hasn’t awakened. So, is there a way to delay the exam?”

Shen Yi went silent, her brows drawn together as she considered. “I’m afraid it’s impossible. You know how strict the academy’s rules are.
Besides, we have so many applicants of which only one hundred will pass, and there are many rounds of examination. We can’t change the exam time just for your students. It wouldn’t do to make them all wait for one person’s sake. It’s a tough situation. Which student are you talking about?”

Wu Zhangkong said, “The captain, Tang Wulin.”

Shen Yi’s heart skipped at the sound of that name. She recalled the scene of him rushing forward in the face of a soul fusion skill, using his own body to shield his teammate.

Deep meditation was a rare opportunity that brought many benefits for soul masters. If disturbed, a backlash would likely occur.

“Zhangkong, you know how hard it’d be. Virtually impossible. Don’t you know how inflexible teachers are?” Shen Yi said helplessly.
 Wu Zhangkong nodded. “Alright then. I’ll have my other students take the exam first.”

Present in the room together with Wu Zhangkong and Shen Yi were Gu Yue, Xu Xiaoyan, and Xie Xie. Wu Zhangkong had already told them about Tang Wulin’s state of deep meditation.

Hearing that Tang Wulin couldn’t take the exam, Xie Xie immediately said, “Teacher Wu, that’s out of the question! Wulin has been looking forward to taking this exam for years, and this is our only chance! He would regret missing it for the rest of his life.”

Wu Zhangkong frowned. Even after three days of bathing in the medicinal water, Tang Wulin’s bloodline refinement had yet to finish. Disturbing him was out of the question, so the most they could do was wait patiently. But time waited for no one.

Xu Xiaoyan said, “Yeah! Teacher Wu, how can we accept Captain not participating?”

For soul masters, it was practically a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter Shrek Academy. If Tang Wulin missed it, then regret would haunt him forever.

Calm returned to Wu Zhangkong’s expression. Shen Yi sighed and said, “There’s no point in thinking about it any further. Nothing can be done.
Unless he wakes up before the exam starts, he’ll have to miss it. I’m sorry I can’t help you.”

Having been silent the entire time, Gu Yue suddenly walked to stand before Wu Zhangkong and Shen Yi. “Hello, Teacher Shen. May I ask if it’s possible to take the exam as a substitute? Is there a way for me to renounce my exam qualifications so Wulin can take the exam? He’s stronger than I
am, so he could surely pass the exam if I’m able to.”

Shen Yi was taken aback. This girl that she regarded so highly actually made such a daring proposition, leaving her unsure whether to laugh or cry. “Little girl, you’re overthinking it. Just what kind of place do you think
 Shrek Academy is? If normal academies don’t allow for substitutions, why would Shrek? It’s true that you’re strong and have a high chance of being
admitted, perhaps even into the inner court, but you shouldn’t be so naive.”

Gu Yue shook her head. “If Wulin can’t go, I won’t go either. If he can’t join Shrek, I also refuse to join.”

Her voice was steady, and her eyes blazed with resolve. Shen Yi was
astonished that Gu Yue possessed such deep devotion despite her young
age. She had met many people like her in Shrek Academy. As long as they decided on something, they would never falter. In fact, Wu Zhangkong was also this type of person!

Like teacher, like student.

“Zhangkong, your students are excellent. You shouldn’t let one person hold them back,” Shen Yi said.

Dead silence permeated the air as the clock ticked on. Seconds felt like years until Wu Zhangkong finally raised a hand to pat Gu Yue’s shoulder. “Take your mind off of this issue. Just go back and rest. I will handle it.”

Gu Yue stared at him in shock. His words left no room for debate; they carried the same type of unwavering determination hers did.

“Thank you, Teacher.”

Gu Yue left first. Xie Xie wanted to speak out but held his words back when Wu Zhangkong raised a hand.

After leaving the room, uncertainty flickered in Xie Xie’s eyes. Xu Xiaoyan said quietly, “What did you want to say just now?”

A moment of silence later, Xie Xie asked, “Tell me, Xiaoyan, our friends or Shrek Academy, which do you consider more important?”

Xu Xiaoyan laughed. “You don’t need to ask me that. As far as I’m
concerned, Captain is the most important. My chances of passing were low anyway.”
 Xie Xie chuckled and hung an arm around her shoulder. “Comrades truly think alike! If Wulin can’t take the exam, then I won’t either!” As the words left his lips, his heart seemed to be relieved of a great burden and his entire being relaxed.

Staring at the door, Wu Zhangkong’s breathing grew rapid. “Let’s go then.” Shen Yi asked, “Where are we going?”
Wu Zhangkong replied, “Back to the academy.”

A tremble ran down Shen Yi’s spine. “You’re going back to the academy? You…”

Wu Zhangkong said indifferently, “The children all understand, so how
could I not? If I can trade my dignity for their future, that’s a small price to pay. I will go back with you and apologize.”

The bathtub’s water had long since become clear, leaving behind only a golden mist to shroud Tang Wulin.

Chapter 250 – The Academy City

Chapter 250 – The Academy City

Shrek Academy, the number one academy that was located in the number one city of the continent, was a place that countless people yearned to enter.

Shrek Academy’s campus was vast, a small town unto itself.

It actually used to be the original Shrek City until Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao, the Spirit Pagoda’s founder, proposed an expansion. Only then did the city grow much larger.

Every three years, Shrek Academy would recruit new students, signaling a grand occasion for soul masters.

Merely qualifying for the entrance exam of Shrek Academy was a point of pride for many young soul masters. The continent even had a saying: Each and every soul master that qualified to take Shrek’s entrance exam and failed would still be scouted by advanced academies.

This saying was grounded in truth. People who qualified to take this exam were the cream of the crop.

Despite being the elite of the elite, only a fraction of the examinees were admitted to Shrek Academy’s outer court.

Shrek Academy only accepted two hundred outer court disciples every three years. Among the two hundred, fifty were set aside for those who failed to pass the inner court exam.

Only fifty people were allowed to take the inner court exam at a time. Passing the exam was obviously the desired outcome, but failing to do so
 still allowed entrance to the outer court, as well as the chance to enter the inner court in the future.

This was the exact reason why President Long Huantian of the Skysea
Academy treasured the five inner court quotas. It essentially guaranteed five students entrance to Shrek Academy!

Those students would naturally be expelled if they didn’t measure up to
even the outer court’s standards. Shrek Academy’s history had seen its fair share of such situations.

Anyone who graduated from Shrek Academy’s outer court would already be considered a person capable of standing at the summit of the continent. Great clans and organizations would spare no expense to invite such a person into their fold.

The inner court, however, was a realm of prodigies. Graduates of the inner court rarely chose to leave Shrek Academy. Most would stay.

In the world of academia, the inner court disciples of Shrek Academy were destined to become battle armor masters. This fact was undisputed.

Every single battle armor master was an existence of strategic importance to the Federation! There were always a few students who chose to leave the inner court for some reason or another, of course. Any such student would instantly attract the attention of the world’s superpowers.

Since today was the eve of Shrek Academy’s entrance exams, every inn in the city was filled to the brim with hopeful examinees, their teachers, and the heads of their families. The city was overrun with people.

Merchants seized this opportunity to turn a profit by selling old exam questions and rules. Some sold spirit items while others sold soul devices.
These masses of people worked in tandem, benefiting from one another. The Shrek Academy entrance exam had three requirements. First,
examinees had to be sent by a major city. Second, examinees could be no
 more than fifteen years of age. Third, the soul power of an examinee had to be rank 25 at the very least.

These were the basic requirements, but the most important requirement of all had been decreed 20,000 years ago.

Shrek Academy did not accept ordinary people. On the contrary, they only accepted monsters. As a result, Shrek Academy has championed the moniker of “Monster Academy” since ancient times.

Wu Zhangkong slowly approached Shrek Academy’s western gate. His
wore a solemn expression, but something else seemed to be lurking in the depths of his eyes.

Upon seeing “Shrek Academy” carved into a sign board hanging from the
city-turned-academy gates, he couldn’t help but come to an abrupt stop. His heart stirred as he pursed his lips.

Shen Yi walked over to stand beside him. “Go inside. Teacher has missed you all these years. You’re both just too stubborn to make up. I was really happy when you agreed to come back, you know!”

Wu Zhangkong wordlessly lowered his head. He walked toward the gate, his pace brisk and faster than before. It was almost as if he were afraid of getting cold feet.

Two youths clad in dark-green uniforms guarded the western gate of Shrek Academy, also known as “Shrek Inner City”.

The two saluted in respect when they saw Shen Yi. “Senior sister.” “This is my friend,” Shen Yi said. “Please grant him entry.”
As she spoke, she took out a hexagonal metal plate and handed it to them. One of the youths examined it for a moment, then nodded to Shen Yi and stepped aside.

Shen Yi and Wu Zhangkong entered Shrek Inner City.
 “I originally prepared this entry token for that female disciple of yours. I didn’t think I’d end up using it for you.”

She hadn’t expected Wu Zhangkong to return with her when she set out this morning.

Wu Zhangkong remained silent; his mind was already wandering in a world of its own.

Once they entered the inner city, it seemed as if they were in a completely different place. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of the outer city, here, silence reigned. Stores lined the sides of a wide street paved with black brick. The architecture of every store was ancient, and they were mostly made of wood. It was as if Wu Zhangkong and Shen Yi had been transported ten thousand years into the past.

The architecture resembled that of Heaven Dou City, but the buildings weren’t as closely concentrated. Vegetation grew through the gaps and
alleys between the buildings of Heaven Dou City, instilling it with a sense of grace.

All the stores were open, but few people wandered the streets. Wu Zhangkong quickened his pace, quickly heading into the city’s core.

Shen Yi walked at his side, her eyes glazed over as she reminisced about years ago when she would shadow him on a stroll through the inner city.

However, that time had long since passed. Everything was different now. The sunny youth who always wore a brilliant smile had become a man as cold as heavenly frost that wore white robes and carried a blue sword.

Shen Yi didn’t know how many years had gone by since she had last seen Wu Zhangkong smile. When his beloved passed away, his smile froze.
Since then, he spent years in isolation at Eastsea City, refusing to return.

Sometimes, Shen Yi felt as if Wu Zhangkong’s spirit had already faded
away and that he only continued living because of a promise to his beloved. A promise to preserve her name alongside his within his battle armor.
 Even after leaving Shrek Academy, Wu Zhangkong continued to demonstrate how outstanding he was. He was only thirty-two years old, yet he was a seven-ringed Soul Sage. He could now work on crafting three-
word battle armor. Shen Yi was convinced that, even if it were several times more difficult, he would still be able to accomplish it because of his unyielding will.

When she met his disciples and saw how carefully he guided them, Shen Yi had rejoiced. Wu Zhangkong finally had something important in his life
again. Along with his beloved, four more people had made their way into his heart.

Wu Zhangkong had returned to the academy for the sake of his disciples.

After passing through several streets and finding himself in a familiar area, Wu Zhangkong came to a sudden halt.

Shen Yi bumped into his broad back, yelping in surprise.

“Why did you stop so suddenly!?” she protested as she rubbed her nose.

Wu Zhangkong’s cold eyes thawed a little as he remembered the junior
sister that had always followed him around in the past. She always said the same exact thing.

More than ten years had passed in the blink of an eye. He was no longer the Wu Zhangkong from back then, and she was no longer the young lady with a sweet smile. They had grown up. They had matured. However, doing so
came at a price, and he had definitely paid the most. “Where is Teacher?” Wu Zhangkong asked.
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