Chapter 281 – The Heart is the Hammer, the Martial Soul is the Guide
Chapter 281 – The Heart is the Hammer, the Martial Soul is the Guide At that moment, he was no longer Tang Wulin the soul master, but Tang
Wulin the blacksmith. He had stagnated for three years at the fourth-rank. Nevertheless, he had kept steadily forging and consolidating his foundation at the fourth rank.
Tang Wulin’s eyes flew open and with the push of a button, the molten chunk of heavy silver appeared.
He sucked in a deep breath and straightened his back.
“This brat isn’t normal at all!” Elder Cai said to Zhuo Shi.
He had also noticed it. “Judging by how well he carries himself, he must’ve had a good teacher. I’m looking forward to seeing what heights he will reach with his potential and foundation. I heard that the Blacksmith’s
Association’s greatest genius is a young girl named Mu Xi, a fourth-rank blacksmith yet to reach twenty years old. Looks like I’ll have to pay the
Blacksmith’s Association a visit and find this kid a good master. Maybe he can reach the same level as that Mu Xi.”
Tang Wulin began.
Three crisp rings rang throughout the room as he lightly tapped the metal with his hammer, breaking the silence.
Power pooled at Tang Wulin’s feet and ran up his spine, surging into his
arm then his wrist. Tang Wulin twisted his body, the air whistling past as he simultaneously swung his two hammers in an explosive strike.
Two booms thundered out, the sound loud enough that the entire room and glass window panes trembled.
My god! Is he forging or is he trying to smash apart that table?
Zhuo Shi’s eyes flashed in surprise as he felt his body resonate with Tang Wulin’s strike. He then frowned, quickly releasing a strange aura to dispel the sensation.
Tang Wulin whirled around, using the momentum of the rebounding force of the hammers to attack the heavy silver with greater ferocity than before.
The room reverberated with the resulting blasts of sound. If one listened carefully though, one could hear quieter, fragmented rumbles.
The thunderous booms and subdued rumbles slowly fused together into a fantastical rhythm, every beat of his strikes wild and deafening. Still, it made everyone’s blood race and their fingers twitch.
Tang Wulin continued to rain his hammers down on the metal, each swing powered by his full strength. The heavy silver began to shrink under his furious tempest, slowly revealing minute transformations that began to
shine with a muted brilliance.
Zhuo Shi knitted his brows, turning to Elder Cai as he asked, “Have you
ever seen forging like this? I don’t seem to remember blacksmiths doing it this way.”
Elder Cai was similarly bewildered. “I agree, that’s definitely not a normal forging technique, but it does seem familiar. I think I recognize it. Though it looks wild, it has a delicate rhythm to it. Do you hear it? This brat’s hammers aren’t bad. They have the rare stacked hammers effect, and he can actually fully control them. He’s definitely a third-rank blacksmith at the
very least. The Blacksmith’s Association has done well to hide a thirteen- year-old third-rank blacksmith like him!”
Zhuo Shi smiled, his eyes curving upward with satisfaction. “As expected of my granddisciple.”
Elder Cai rolled her eyes at him. “Yeah, yeah, he’s your granddisciple. Just don’t fight with me over that girl.”
He snorted in response. “She’s also my granddisciple. Seeing how your relationship with her is already so strained, I don’t think she’d be willing to accept you as her master. You know the saying, when the heavens bring
calamity, there is a chance of forgiveness, but when one has sinned, there is no escaping punishment.”
Tang Wulin’s hammers flew faster and faster even as the two spoke,
whirling like a tornado as he hammered the heavy silver without end. The metal shrunk rapidly under his assault, its vein lines becoming more distinct while the booming sounds turned into sharp rings, a clear sign of the metal transforming on a fundamental level.
The three Shrek Academy elders were powerful individuals, but none were blacksmiths. If Mu Chen was present, he would be thoroughly speechless.
Tang Wulin had hundred refined the heavy silver in ten strikes. His hammers continued to gain momentum with every strike until soon, the forty-eighth strike fell.
A blast tore through the air, quickly followed by a soaring pillar of silver light.
Everyone present could hear the heavy silver cheer as the light flew up like a roaring dragon.
Tang Wulin’s arms finally stopped. His eyes flashed purple, two purple soul rings rising from underneath him.
“He thousand refined it with spirit! It’s first-grade thousand refined!” Elder Li finally broke his silence, his eyes filled with shock.
Neither Zhuo Shi nor Elder Cai were blacksmiths, but as powerful experts, they had a rudimentary understanding of blacksmithing and were similarly dumbstruck.
A fourth-rank blacksmith had to second-grade thousand refine a metal, but this heavy silver possessed spirit and was first-grade thousand refined! This meant Tang Wulin was at the peak of the fourth rank! This was a far more
shocking than his combat prowess or his leadership skills. There wasn’t no better word to describe him than a ‘monster’. In fact, he was a monster that surpassed all other monsters!
Purple light shot from Tang Wulin’s eyes as he stepped to one side of the metal. He tapped it lightly. A crisp, tinkling sound rang through the air.
As if resonating, the heavy silver sang in response.
A far different scene then played out. Tang Wulin began circling around the metal, tapping it lightly. Each knock carried a spark of white light, as he had imbued soul power into his hammers.
Meanwhile, Bluesilver Grass wrapped the scorching hot metal. The strands shriveled, burning under the metal’s heat. Still, not once did Tang Wulin’s expression waver. He continued to circle the metal while gently tapping it.
“You two have made a mess of things,” Elder Li sighed as he glanced at Zhuo Shi.
Zhuo Shi looked over. “What do you mean?”
Elder Li shook his head and explained solemnly, “I dare say that this kid is the greatest blacksmithing genius in the history of the world. At the tender age of thirteen, he’s already at the peak of the fourth rank. This is simply unheard of! But, this kid is actually trying to spirit refine! Spirit refining is far different from thousand refining as one has to infuse life into the metal using one’s martial soul as the bridge. When metal has spirit, it’s nothing
more than first-grade thousand refined. But, if it has both spirit and life, then things are completely different. This is impossible to accomplish unless the blacksmith has enough soul power.
“Usually, blacksmiths don’t even entertain the idea of spirit refining before they have four soul rings. Even then, the chances of failing are high. Every spirit refining is a major ordeal for blacksmiths as they must harmonize soul power, life force, and metal together, and this process is taxing on the mind. This child only has two spirit rings. He isn’t ready to even attempt to spirit refine! If he fails, he’ll face a major backlash that may be impossible to recover from.” Elder Li groaned. “You two really have done it now. If this destroys his future as a blacksmith, you will face Feng Wuyu’s wrath.”
Zhuo Shi began to panic. “Can we still stop him?”
Elder Li shook his head helplessly. “We can’t, he has already begun
connecting his life force with the metal. Any disturbances while he guides life into the metal will harm him, and he might even die. All we can do now is pray this child’s failure won’t be the end of his life as a blacksmith.”
Zhuo Shi spun to glare at Elder Cai. “This is all your fault!”
She, however, didn’t take it lying down. “Why didn’t you stop me then?
How was I supposed to know blacksmiths are so strange, or that this brat is such a monster that can try for fifth-rank right now?”
Tang Wulin was oblivious to the discussions of these three elders, immersed in his own world.
Metal gains a spark of intelligence from spirit after being thousand refined, and it was the martial soul’s job to fan it, bridging the gap between it and life.
The heart as the hammer, the martial soul as the guide, their minds become one in ten thousand refinements of life. This was Spirit Refinement.
Chapter 282 – One Step to the Heavens! Ten Thousand
Refinements of Life!
Chapter 282 – One Step to the Heavens! Ten Thousand Refinements of Life!
The difference between spirit and thousand refining was as great as night and day, much like the power of a one-word battle armor versus a two- word’s.
Once spirit refined, the metal sublimated to another level. It was for this reason that fifth-rank blacksmiths were rarer and no weaker mecha
craftsmen or designers of the same rank.
To break through the fifth rank, Tang Wulin only needed to successfully spirit refine once. This was considered a major milestone for any blacksmith.
Three years ago, Mang Tian had attempted this, and though he succeeded, it came with a price. Unknown to Tang Wulin, the man had sustained several injuries as a result and could not endure more advanced forging requests from then on.
Mu Chen would never have permitted Tang Wulin to spirit refine if he were present. For this process, the demands placed on the blacksmith’s mind
were immense. It could be dangerous for a soul master at Tang Wulin’s level..
Fortunately, Tang Wulin was no ordinary blacksmith.
Compared to his peers, his spiritual power towered over the rest at over two hundred points. With this, he could keep a clear mind as he poured his heart and soul into forging.
Immersed in his connection with the heavy silver, he could feel its joy and timidness. It was afraid of taking the next step, but Tang Wulin coaxed it along.
One step to the heavens! Ten thousand refinements of life!
The ten thousand refinements of life was to continuously connect with the metal. Each tap preserved the spirit of the metal, pouring soul power into it to obtain life.
Cultivating intelligence in metal was similar to that of soul beast. For soul beasts, there was a slight difference in intelligence between a ten-year soul beast and a normal animal. However, a soul beast’s intelligence skyrocketed once it reached the thousand-year level, until breaching the ten-thousand year mark. At that point, its intelligence rivaled a human’s. From there, it
accumulated wisdom until it reached the ten-thousand-year level where it was no less intelligent than a human.
Higher leveled soul beasts weren’t stronger just because of their energy growing, but also due to their increase in intellect.
Metal was no different. The greater its spirit, the closer the metal was to obtaining its own ego and changing on a fundamental level.
Oddly, under Tang Wulin’s gentle taps, the heavy silver trembled. Each tap coaxed a burst of light, a pattern of a whirling cloud pushing its way into
existence on the metal’s surface. As its bulk shrunk, the silver grew brighter and brighter.
This signified a successful spiritual connection between Tang Wulin and the heavy silver, hinting at a smooth process until the end.
Now it was a matter of maintaining this connection and leading the heavy silver to transform and complete its refinement.
Tang Wulin drove his soul power into the heavy silver, using his Bluesilver Grass as the bridge. Although he relied on the Mysterious Heaven Method to restore as much of the lost soul power as possible, the chunk of heavy
silver was a bottomless pit. This was a dire problem.
I have to succeed! Everyone’s acceptance depends on me! I have no choice but to succeed!
Three years of body tempering and experience gaining. The fruits of his labor were now revealed. He willed every ounce of strength and skill hidden in the nooks of his body to the surface.
Since two years prior, he’d been able to first-grade thousand refine. Owing to his diligence, Tang Wulin had not fooled around the slightest, striving to improve his foundation. Now he stood at the apex of the fourth rank. He only lacked the soul power necessary to take the next step forward.
Otherwise, he would have long since attempted to spirit refine.
With his full strength unveiled, every strike of his hammers transformed the heavy silver more than before. His connection with the metal thrust him to new heights.
He would likely succeed if this continued on.
What was most frightening about spirit refining was the possibility of a premature disconnection. Should this happen, the metal lost its spirit, turning it into its normal, inert counterpart. This was why Spirit Refinement was expensive to attempt.
Countless blacksmiths failed at this step and never crossed into the next realm. Apart from talent and skill, money was a limiting reagent.
Blacksmiths backed by large clans had better chances than the rest. They could succeed through brute force of resources.
Tang Wulin’s circling speed accelerated. Had he known Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track, the process would have gone even smoother.
Unfortunately, he had been forced to spend his contribution points on spirit items instead of Tang Sect secret arts.
As the silver light flourished and the heavy silver shrunk, Tang Wulin’s hammers resonated with the lump of silver and emitted a similar hue of light. Crimson veins crawled over the surface of his hammers, the mark of his blood sacrifice.
These two hammers had always accompanied him in the last few years, his go-to tools for his innumerable first-grade thousand refined pieces. After he had performed the blood sacrifice, he fueled the hammers’ growth, to the point where they were now first-grade thousand refined.
The moment the hammers struck the heavy silver simultaneously, a strange connection opened between them.
Under careful inspection, one would notice the shrinking in size of Tang Wulin’s hammers. They also grew smaller and brighter with each strike.
His soul power consumption was too high. Ten minutes had passed and he was approaching his limits. The second he ran out, his connection with the heavy silver would be broken. Despite the smooth start the connection was fragile, and could break at any moment.Once the spirit refining failed, this chunk of heavy silver would become useless and its spirit would attempt to devour the blacksmith in its fury.
Even four-ringed blacksmiths would need a long time to recover from the backlash, not to mention Tang Wulin who had two rings. Perhaps, he would never be able to recover from such a setback.
What can I do?
My soul power is almost depleted but I’m not done yet. The heavy silver has a speck of life in it now. However, I still need to feed it more energy.
I can’t stop. No matter what, I can’t stop.
Tightening his resolve, Tang Wulin’s next move astonished everyone.
He held both hammers in his left hand, grabbing the ingot with the one that’s free. Not once did the pounding stop.
As his skin met with the heavy silver, thick white smoke released from the metal’s surface, loud sizzles permeating the air. His hand convulsed from the sharp tendrils of pain, the temperature enough to melt off a person’s hand!
But Tang Wulin was spared of this fate. Besides a few wisps of smoke rising from his palm, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He called back his Bluesilver Grass in favor of his golden soul ring, gold scales appearing over his arm.
Determined, Tang Wulin suppressed the daggers of pain stabbing into his body, beads of sweat dripping down his forehead as ignored wave after wave of exhaustion, his soul power depleting by the second.
He held the connection, though blood essence replaced soul power as the bridge.
Tang Wulin shouted with resolve. His clothes burst into shreds, revealing the lean and rugged body, the golden scales snaking across his toned torso and arm.The scales shined resplendently under the effect of Golden Dragon Body.
A golden fog rose from the scales, enveloping the chunk of heavy silver. This prompted him to circle around the mass of metal once more, striking its sides with the two hammers in his left hand the entire time.
Chapter 283 – Spirit Refined
Chapter 283 – Spirit Refined
The moment Tang Wulin switched to a blood essence bridge, he sensed the heavy silver’s life diminishing and his heart nearly leaped out of his throat.
However, before scales had popped from his arm, his blood essence ignited and flowed into the heavy silver, feeding it the life force needed to stabilize.
With blood essence pouring into it, the heavy silver gained a faint golden luster, a glint of crimson melding with its silver radiance as well.
He’s substituting soul power with blood essence?
As the three elders looked at each other, dismay plagued their expressions. Yet, Tang Wulin’s eyes glistened.
I can do this! I can replace my soul power with blood essence to spirit refine!
Rather than unaware of the heavy silver’s scorching temperature, he had chosen not to summon his scales previously and let his hand burn!
Blood essence seeped out of the gaps between his scales, the heavy silver gurgling as it drank it up. Peculiarly, as his hammering slowed, a portion of the heavy silver would separate and attach to his hammers upon contact.
This scene baffled Tang Wulin himself. However, he paid it no mind. His hammers cheered with each strike against the heavy silver, and with his blood essence connection, the sensation was crystal clear.
This was the blood sacrifice’s basic effect. Since his hammers were of the highest quality and had undergone the blood sacrifice, and he was currently pouring his blood essence into the heavy silver, they could transform to the next level.
The chunk of heavy silver grew smaller and smaller and Tang Wulin’s right hand dropped lower with each strike. Meanwhile, his hammers gained a faint layer of gold. The cloud patterns underwent metamorphosis, now resembling a ferocious dragon baring its fangs.
The heavy silver absorbed his blood essence quicker than it did his soul power. Exhaustion penetrated into his bones.
I have to hold on! I must! He was determined to create a miracle.
A wonderful melody rang through the air, brought out by the tinkling of metal.
At this moment, everyone was on the eve of witnessing a miracle.
The silver glow weakened, the gold attaching itself to Tang Wulin’s hammers.
At last, an ounce of heavy silver remained; the rest had been absorbed by his hammers. Tang Wulin trembled, coughing up a mouthful of blood onto the metal’s remnants.
He shuffled a hammer into his hand and, holding it high above his head, struck down like lightning!
Thunder boomed as golden light soared one and a half meters into the air. Yet, the most baffling part was the dragon’s roar rumbling past the pillar of light, as if a real dragon was soaring to the heavens. The golden light burst with an aura of life, a peculiar sensation for everyone present. The heavy
silver had gained life and was declaring its existence for all to hear! It was born!
The thousand refinements with spirit, ten thousand refinements of life. Now, it was spirit refined!
The golden light persisted for tens of seconds before gradually dying off. Tang Wulin fixed his eyes on his hammers. His hammers were completely colored a dull gold, the faint form of a golden dragon now on its surface.
Instead of connecting to him through blood, his hammers had become
extensions of his body. A flash of gold and the hammers melted into his hands. Indeed, they merged into his hands and not into his storage devices.
To spirit refine was to connect one’s life with the metal!
Spirit refined metals could dissolve into the user’s body. This was what made the products so precious.
Anyone who wanted to use spirit refined metal had to be present during the forging, feeding the metal with their blood drip by drip. This was the only way to fuse with a spirit-refined metal once it was completed.
This was also the reason Wu Zhangkong’s battle armor had instantly
appeared once he had summoned it. Spirit Refinement connected one’s mind with the metal’s. The metal composing a suit of battle armor existed as an extension of one’s body; as such, it was like a another part of their martial soul, and all powerful battle armors shared this trait
Although a one-word battle armor was formidable and lightweight, it
couldn’t hold a candle to a two-word battle armor, in which spirit refined metal had melded with the user’s body. That was true battle armor. Only then would the battle armor’s amplification effect shine, amplifying the armor’s might and existing as one part of the user’s martial soul.
Spirit Refinement could evolve into Soul Refinement, but the Thousand Refinements could not evolve into Spirit Refinement. This was the unbridgeable gap between one-word and two-word battle armor.
Possessing a two-word battle armor granted one a battle armor master’s impressive might.
The instant the hammers fused into his body, Tang Wulin lost all strength and fell backward, straight as a steel rod.
Xie Xie managed to catch him. Tang Wulin’s complexion was snow-white, his breaths feeble.
After exhausting both his soul power and blood essence, he fainted. Elder Cai and Zhuo Shi shared a glance, mouths parted.
Zhuo Shi gaped. He succeeded… He actually succeeded at spirit refining! He’s a thirteen-year-old fifth-rank blacksmith, a master blacksmith!
Can he still be called a mere monster? Even Shrek Academy would scramble to recruit him! He’s definitely a future Divine Blacksmith!
In the entire Douluo Continent, there was only one Divine Craftsman.
Because of this, the most powerful battle armors in Shrek Academy were only three-word. Only Divine Craftsmen could create could create four- word battle armor.
If Shrek Academy can raise him into a Divine Blacksmith, then all of our three-word battle armor masters will be able to get an upgrade…
The thought funneled all sorts of excitement through Zhuo Shi’s veins, and he gulped. He rushed toward Xie Xie and took Tang Wulin into his arms.
Drained of energy, Tang Wulin was fast asleep, eyes shut tight.
Xie Xie flipped his gaze at Zhuo Shi. “Grandteacher, are we finished with the exam now?”
Zhuo Shi nodded. His eyes shined bright as stars and in the next instant, he encased Xie Xie with a red light, delivering him to the side.
The red aura around Zhuo Shi seemed almost corporeal, possessing a
scarlet jade-like luster. The aura towered above everyone present, weighing
down upon them.
Then, it lifted Tang Wulin into the air.
Zhuo Shi’s eyes flashed crimson as the scarlet light around him unleashed a dragon’s roar. The redness condensed, the roar becoming clearer, a change proceeding over Tang Wulin.
Golden lines zipped over his body like makeshift veins, as if their birth was instigated by the scarlet light. Compared to before, however, these lines
were much dimmer. Even so, they appeared to suck in the scarlet light, infusing it into his body.
“Woah.” Despite his surprise, Zhuo Shi did not stop the crimson aura’s transmission. It continued to pour into Tang Wulin’s body, growing brighter and brighter.
If not for the golden lines snaking their way through his body, Tang Wulin’s form would have been indiscernible, enveloped in the thick scarlet aura.
Elder Cai drew near to Gu Yue slowly, the latter’s fists balled and breath bated as she took in Tang Wulin’s unusual circumstance. She didn’t bat an eye to Elder Cai’s approach.
“Don’t think that you’re done with tests now that you’ve passed. If you’re not battle armor masters by the age of twenty, you can forget about entering the inner court.”Elder Cai snorted then left.
Gu Yue turned a deaf ear to the old lady’s words, gripped with tunnel vision toward Tang Wulin. Face was wracked with worry and heart aching.
Elder Li examined the three students, his gaze falling on Xu Xiaoyan for a hairbreadth of a second. Smiling, he exited the area, arms folded behind him.
Chapter 284 – Master Craftsman
Chapter 284 – Master Craftsman
As Tang Wulin absorbed the scarlet light, the golden veins snaking their way across his skin grew more pronounced. In a blink of an eye, golden
scales rippled into existence across his right arm, his blood essence growing vigorous.
The light vanished from Zhuo Shi’s eyes and he directed Tang Wulin’s body down to the floor, a finger withdrawing the scarlet aura with a curl.
However, something out of the ordinary occurred, as the light prepared to leave Tang Wulin’s body. The golden pattern on his skin issued out a dragon’s roar, sucking back the scarlet light, not permitting it to leave.
Zhuo Shi was baffled out of his wits. He waved his hand, cutting off the aura’s connection to Tang Wulin, leaving only a bit of the scarlet light for
Tang Wulin’s body to gobble up. After the majority of the scarlet light was absorbed, Tang Wulin became visible. The golden lines mapping out his body slurped up the aura’s remnants.
The three from class zero gaped as they took in the bizarre sight, but Shen Yi knew exactly what was happening! Without a doubt, Tang Wulin was devouring Zhuo Shi’s soul power. Considering Zhuo Shi’s cultivation level, it was obvious his soul power would be extremely dense. Yet a kid with only two soul rings was gobbling it up. This meant Tang Wulin’s martial
soul restrained Zhuo Shi’s!
H-how is this possible! Teacher’s martial soul is the Scarlet Jade Dragon! It isn’t some second-rate dragon, it’s a supreme martial soul possessing a true
Zhuo Shi thrust out his finger and poked Tang Wulin with a beam of red. A groan released from Tang Wulin’s lips, and he slowly flicked his eyes open.
Tang Wulin felt cosy, something he hadn’t experienced for a long time. He was less feeble than before and his soul power was filled to the brim. Soon his blood essence would reach its normal level through the help of soul power circulation.
He sat up, rubbing his head. His pallor gave snow a run for its money, after losing so much blood. But in the end, he had succeeded.
“Grandteacher.” Tang Wulin rose and saluted.
Zhuo Shi wore a gentle expression. “You four, follow me.” He turned around and strode away.
Gu Yue ran to Tang Wulin’s side in an effort to steady him.. “Are you okay?” she asked softly.
Tang Wulin nodded, a wry smile on his lips. “Don’t worry, I’m fine.”
She let out a breath of relief. “Why did you do something so risky? Do you know how much danger you were in just now? If you had overdrafted any more of your energy, you might have sustained permanent injuries!”
Tang Wulin opted for a meek smile, not a word of argument leaving his mouth.
Class zero’s members followed Zhuo Shi and Shen Yi out of the room.
Although Zhuo Shi gave the appearance of walking slowly, they had to use their soul power to keep up with him.
Where are we going?
Tang Wulin pondered over spirit refining as he followed behind Zhuo Shi.
He had profited from a disaster this time. Somehow, he was able to pull through and succeed despite not yet having his third soul ring. He never
expected to triumph, but solely by coincidence, his hammers had also been made of heavy silver and were blood sacrificed, enabling them to absorb the metal he had forged. Tang Wulin studied his hand. He could feel the blood
connection between him and the hammers.
Normally, thousand refined metals could not evolve and become spirit refined. The circumstances this time, however, were too abnormal. In fact, a miracle had occurred, facilitated by his blood sacrificed hammers and blood essence.
Though he did not have the time to examine his hammers at the moment, he expected them to be incomparable with before. He had given them some of his life force, and in turn, they became an extension of his existence. It was a mystical sensation.
He also felt his soul power strengthened and more harmonious with his blood essence after succeeding at spirit refining.
In reality, his soul power was nowhere near the level necessary to spirit refine. His blood essence helped him make up for his lacking soul power.
Because Tang Wulin’s blood essence carried the energy of the Golden
Dragon King, it could be considered an unconventional source of energy for him. He could use this energy to improve his combat ability through Golden Dragon Body, the soul skill from his golden soul ring.
So, though he only had two rings, if his blood essence soul ring was counted, he would have three rings in total.
To succeed at spirit refining, a blacksmith needed conviction, and it was only because he possessed such firm conviction that he succeeded. The first spirit refining was the most important to a blacksmith. Subsequent attempts would proceed much more smoothly.
Of course, Tang Wulin didn’t dare attempt it again before he obtained his third soul ring. The danger of having an insufficient cultivation base was
terrifying. It was just like Gu Yue said; he couldn’t count on his luck. If he had overdrafted any more of his energy and the damage had been irrecoverable, failing the trial would be the least of his troubles.
However, succeeding at spirit refining meant he had ascended to the level of a Master Craftsman.
Tang Wulin overflowed with pride. He was a thirteen-year-old Master
Craftsman, the youngest in history to accomplish spirit refining. He had set a heaven-defying record.
He was certain no one but him could accomplish such a feat.
The four chased after Zhuo Shi through the campus until he finally slowed as someone came into view.
It was a person they were all extremely familiar with.
He kneeled with his back straight and proper, long blue hair cascading over his shoulders and making for a picturesque scene.
Tang Wulin yelped in surprise and rushed over to his teacher’s side. “Teacher Wu?”
Indeed, it was their teacher, the white-robed man who carried a blue sword, cold as the frozen heavens, Wu Zhangkong.
At the sound of Tang Wulin’s voice, Wu Zhangkong raised his head. He watched as his four students sprinted toward him, Shen Yi and the mountain-like Zhuo Shi trailing behind.
When his gaze fell on Zhuo Shi, trembles gripped his form. His icy face thawed to reveal a tumult of emotions warring within him.
Before his students even reached him, he turned to Zhuo Shi and kowtowed, his head dropping to the ground.
Once close to Wu Zhangkong’s side, his four students stood behind him with thumping hearts as the witnessed this shocking scene. Tang Wulin
kneeled down next to Wu Zhangkong, paying respects to Zhuo Shi as well. He may not be aware of the circumstances surrounding his teacher and Zhuo Shi, but he was smart enough to know what he should do.
At his example, Xie Xie, Xu Xiaoyan quickly got on their knees, leaving Gu Yue standing behind Tang Wulin. Rather than kneel, she sat down beside Tang Wulin.
Zhuo Shi faltered mid-step. He no longer approached with the ferocity of a dragon, but his expression kept its stiffness. A few steps later and he was right before Wu Zhangkong.
“Thank you, Teacher.” Wu Zhangkong met his gaze, surprise coloring his eyes.
“I’m not your teacher. I don’t have a disciple as troublesome as you,” Zhuo Shi coldly said.
Wu Zhangkong hung his head in silence, though something unexpected happened in the next instant.
“These granddisciples though, I’ll recognize them.”
Wu Zhangkong’s eyes popped wide and he kowtowed once more. “Thank you, Teacher.” He understood his teacher better than anyone else. Zhuo Shi was stubborn, strict, and uncompromising. Although he did not explicitly
state he forgave Wu Zhangkong, he did not rule out the possibility either.
Chapter 285 – Sea God’s Island
Chapter 285 – Sea God’s Island
Tears welled in Wu Zhangkong’s eyes as he recalled the years he spent under this strict teacher. A teacher is a father, yet I…
“Follow me.” Zhuo Shi furrowed his brow then turned around and entered the inner court.
Hearing Wu Zhangkong call out, Zhuo Shi stopped moving. “I was wrong.”
Zhuo Shi’s large body went stiff for a moment before he continued walking, this time moving even faster.
Wu Zhangkong stumbled as he stood up, his legs numb. Tang Wulin hastened to support him and help him into the inner court.
Welcoming green grass covered the ground of the inner court, and various trees and shrubs encompassed the area. A set of majestic sculptures stood a bit farther in.
Tang Wulin instantly recognized them as depictions of the first generation of the Shrek Seven Monsters, legendary figures who were also spoken of in the annals of the Tang Sect.
The likenesses of three middle-aged people stood in front of those seven legendary figures, two men and one woman.
Already familiar with the story of Shrek Academy, it only took Tang Wulin a moment to guess their identities. These three were the true founders of Shrek Academy. In the center stood Flander, the first president of Shrek
Academy. The man to his left was the one known as Grandmaster, the teacher of Tang San, Yu Xiaogang! On the right was Liu Erlong. Together, they were known as the Golden Iron Triangle. They were the ones who founded Shrek Academy with the help of the first generation of Shrek Seven Monsters.
Zhuo Shi stopped in front of the sculptures and bowed.
Wu Zhangkong and Shen Yi did the same. Following their lead, Tang Wulin and his teammates bowed as well.
After everyone paid their respects, Zhuo Shi turned left onto a small path.
As he walked, Tang Wulin discovered that an azure lake lay beyond the towering trees. The lake was clear as crystal. Night had already fallen by now, and the lakewater glistened under the moonlight as mist hung around the surrounding plants to create a scene of pure tranquility.
Tang Wulin instantly liked this place. It’s so peaceful here!
Zhuo Shi waved a hand, sending out a wave of red light that enveloped everyone. One moment Tang Wulin’s feet were placed firmly on the ground. In the next, he found himself in a completely different place.
Everyone was now on a small island in the middle of the lake. An island? Could this be the legendary Sea God’s Island?
Countless rumors about Shrek Academy circulated throughout the
continent. They included whisperings about the most important part of Shrek Academy, as well as its core, Sea God’s Island. It was said that Sea God’s Island sat in the center of Sea God’s Lake. In addition to that, one other place in Shrek Academy was called Sea God’s Pavilion. All of Shrek Academy’s most important decisions were made in Sea God’s Pavilion. In
other words, whatever was decided there would send waves throughout the continent.
Tang Wulin had never even dared to imagine he would be able to visit Sea God’s Island so soon.
Viridian trees and shrubs sprouted everywhere on the island, as if it were a miniature forest.
Zhuo Shi led them further into the island. After climbing two hills, they
arrived at a two-story wooden house. He opened the door, and warm light flooded from within.
This… this is his home! Wu Zhangkong stopped at the doorway, a conflicted look in his eyes.
“Come in already,” Zhuo Shi called out.
Wu Zhangkong sucked in a deep breath, bowed his head, and entered. His four students followed closely behind.
The house was decorated in a simple manner. Everything was crafted from wood, including the worn chair that Zhuo Shi sat down in.
“Shen Yi, tomorrow, take these kids to get registered. Tang Wulin gets a full score. Calculate the points for the other three as usual.” Zhuo Shi shifted his gaze to the four students. “From this moment onward, you are working
students of the outer court.”
“Yes,” Shen Yi responded quickly.
“Are you going to leave now that you’ve brought them here?” Zhuo Shi glanced at Wu Zhangkong.
It was then that Wu Zhangkong dropped to his knees.
“I won’t run anymore, Teacher,” he said. “Even if I have to work part-time, I want to stay. I won’t run. My only request is that you allow me take care of you. I’ve come to understand that a person can’t live for themselves
alone. I made a mistake back then, and now I wish to spend the rest of my life making up for it.”
He lowered his head to the floor, kowtowing. “Please allow me to stay, Teacher.”
Before returning to Shrek Academy, Wu Zhangkong had stubbornly held onto his past grudges. After arriving in this familiar place, however, his those grudges washed away when he saw how much his teacher had aged.
Zhuo Shi was dumbstruck. Never had he expected Wu Zhangkong to say such words.
It was exactly as Elder Cai had said. Like teacher, like student.
Zhuo Shi understood just how stubborn Wu Zhangkong was. He had just picked up Wu Zhangkong, an orphan, while out on a stroll one day. Since Zhuo Shi had always pursued the pinnacle of strength, he had very few disciples, all of whom he considered his own children. But of them all, Wu Zhangkong was undoubtedly his favorite. Only he could match Zhuo Shi’s stubbornness. He even aimed for the pinnacle of strength as well.
Yet despite his stubborn nature, Wu Zhangkong sincerely acknowledged his mistake. Never in his wildest dreams would Zhuo Shi have imagined this.
The Wu Zhangkong he knew would choose death rather than lower his head.
“Teacher…” Shen Yi tugged at Zhuo Shi’s sleeve, pleading with her eyes.
“Fine, you can stay,” Zhuo Shi said indifferently. “I need someone to make tea and keep the house tidy anyway.”
“Thank you, Teacher!” Wu Zhangkong rejoiced.
The four students quietly exchanged knowing looks. Although they were
still children and weren’t exactly sure what happened between their teacher and their grandteacher, they were smart enough to see that Zhuo Shi was firm in speech but soft in heart.
Tang Wulin secretly signalled to his companions and the four of them hurriedly said, “Thank you, Grandteacher!”
Wu Zhangkong stood up and walked over to stand at Zhuo Shi’s side. His icy eyes had thawed and were now full of vigor. It was the first time Tang Wulin had ever seen his teacher so passionate.
Zhuo Shi nodded, then looked at Tang Wulin.
“You will visit me once a week so I can examine you. Your body is very
strange. Despite the fact that your martial soul is just Bluesilver Grass, your blood essence is extremely robust. I paid careful attention to the changes in your body while you were forging and I’m certain you don’t have a second martial soul. That golden soul ring’s power seems to be a special soul ring that came from your blood. I think you’re somewhat similar to me. After you’ve settled in, come visit me next week when you have a day off, and I will… inspect your body.”
“Yes. Thank you, Grandteacher,” Tang Wulin said, barely able to contain his joy. He could clearly tell that this grandteacher of his was a major figure in Shrek Academy!
Zhuo Shi swept his gaze over Xu Xiaoyan, Xie Xie, and Gu Yue. “All of you will need to work hard. Just as Elder Cai said, you will be working
students since you were late to the exam. In order to enter the inner court, you have to become one-word battle armor masters by the time you turn twenty. You have a long way to go and six years left to do it. Rest here tonight and Shen Yi will take you to complete the registration process in the morning.”
“Yes. Thank you, Grandteacher.”
Of the four students, Zhuo Shi clearly considered Tang Wulin the most important, a fact that made even Xie Xie green with envy. But in any case, they had succeeded. They were now Shrek Academy students. They could hold their heads high and proclaim themselves as part of Shrek Academy.
As for becoming a one-word battle armor master before they turned twenty… that was a daunting task. Becoming a one-word battle armor master meant having at least five soul rings.
Zhuo Shi turned around and began climbing the stairs. Shen Yi gave Wu Zhangkong a meaningful look. Only then did he go and help Zhuo Shi up the stairs.
Instead of struggling free from Wu Zhangkong’s arms, Zhuo Shi simply
accepted the help. After many years apart, the troubles between master and disciple seemed to have been resolved.
Seeing that her grandteacher and teacher had left, Xu Xiaoyan slid over to Shen Yi’s side and asked, “What’s going on between Teacher and
Grandteacher? Did something happen in the past?” Shen Yi glanced at her.
“It was just a difference in beliefs,” she answered. “In a sense, your teacher was not in the wrong. However, neither was your grandteacher. The troubles between them arose from a combination of many different factors, but they’ve resolved the issue now, so everything is well. Come, I’ll bring you kids to somewhere you can rest. I’ll have you know, not even inner
court disciples have the privilege to come to Sea God’s Island. You should consider yourselves lucky to have this opportunity.”
Chapter 286 – Dreams of Battle Armor
Chapter 286 – Dreams of Battle Armor
With Wu Zhangkong and Zhuo Shi settling their differences, Shen Yi was in a stellar mood and was, without a doubt, the person most pleased with this outcome.
“Gu Yue, remember to be conscious of your behavior, especially within the academy. In front of the countless seniors who have experienced world-
shaking events, we are nothing. It’s essential that you pay your respects to them, otherwise your stay here won’t be long. Moreover, your companions will be affected too. Got it?”
Gu Yue nodded silently.
Tang Wulin pulled her hand. “Gu Yue, Teacher Shen is right. You were too impulsive today. Elder Cai was only testing my strength in the fourth trial, I wasn’t injured at all. Teacher Shen, can I trouble you to bring us to Elder
Cai later to apologize?”
Shen Yi stared at him in shock. This kid is just too mature.
When Tang Wulin had first started forging, his father had thoroughly drilled this lesson into his head, and as he grew older and broadened his horizons, his maturity surpassed his peers. Besides, he was the captain of class zero.
As the leader, he always had to consider what was best for his team. It was precisely because of both his maturity and leadership that Gu Yue, Xie Xie, and Xu Xiaoyan accepted his decisions so willingly.
Gu Yue furrowed her brows slightly, puffing her cheeks in an adorable pout.
Tang Wulin looked her directly in the eyes and said, “I know you acted for my sake, but we’re a team, Gu Yue. Your actions affect the rest of us too, just like how my deep meditation forced us to become working students.
Don’t be so stubborn. Elder Cai wants you as her disciple because she saw how talented you are. This is an amazing opportunity for you. It’s not easy to become a one-word battle armor master by twenty, you know? Having such a great teacher would
be an amazing stroke of luck for you.”
Under his sincere gaze, Gu Yue couldn’t do anything but lower her head and quietly mutter, “I’m sorry, I was impulsive today. I want to go
apologize to Elder Cai.”
Tang Wulin smiled at her words, reaching out to give her a big hug. “That’s the way.”
Though Gu Yue blushed crimson, she did not push him away.
Xie Xie sauntered over, a sly smirk tugging his lips. “Yeah, that’s the way.” He opened up his arms.
Gu Yue’s leg shot out. “Go away.”
Xie Xie dodged, immediately grumbling, “You’re so biased. How come you let Captain hug you?”
“Because he’s handsome,” Gu Yue stated matter-of-factly.
“Yeah, that’s right. Captain is way handsomer than you.” Xu Xiaoyan also did not forget to dig deeper into Xie Xie.
Shen Yi smiled as she watched their antics. They reminded her of herself at their age, bouncing with excitement when she was first admitted to Shrek Academy.
“Alright. We’re registering tomorrow and you’ll need to be alert, so go
sleep early. Being a working student isn’t an easy thing.” Shen Yi’s words seemed to carry some hidden meaning.
The wooden house didn’t have many rooms, so the boys shared one room while the girls shared another.
Wu Zhangkong also didn’t reappear again that night. The instant they hit the bed, they fell into a deep sleep. It had been a long day for them.
Of the four, Tang Wulin was the last to enter meditation.
Sitting cross-legged on the bed, he looked down at his hand. Golden light burst from his palm and, an instant later, his spirit refined heavy silver hammers appeared within them.
Tang Wulin reveled in this magical sensation. Now that it was connected to him by blood, it had become an extension of his own body.
Although mechas were powerful, first-grade thousand refined metals were the strongest materials they could be made from. Even then, that would just be a first-rate mecha. If spirit refined metals were to be used to create a mecha, soul masters would need to be involved in the creation process. That very fact, as well as the sheer size of a mecha, made such an endeavor practically impossible..
Mu Chen had told Tang Wulin that though blacksmiths were viewed as less important than mecha designers, makers, and mechanics, they were indispensable for creating battle armor. In fact, the first battle armor prototypes wouldn’t have existed without the discovery of spirit refining..
Mechas, with their bulk, couldn’t fuse with a person. Battle armor, on the other hand, molded to a soul master’s body and could perfectly fuse with and improve the user’s abilities.
Battle armors were like a circuit carved into the user’s martial soul that granted the martial soul its own set of armor and sublimating it.
With the advent of battle armor, humanity’s strength soared onto a whole different level. However, their newfound superiority also drove soul beasts to the brink of extinction.
The Spirit Pagoda was originally established to mediate peace between humans and soul beasts. However, for the sake of their research into the invention of artificial spirit souls, there was a period of time where the Spirit Pagoda slaughtered countless soul beasts with the Federation’s
support. Under the relentless pursuit for science, the soul beast world
crumbled. The value of soul beasts plummeted with the invention of spirit souls and with the Spirit Pagoda’s current research speed, they would only need another few thousand years to create ten-thousand-year spirit souls.
Golden lines swirled around the spirit refined heavy silver hammers, similar to the ones on Tang Wulin when he cultivated. A golden dragon could be faintly discerned on the hammers, but rather than a pattern, it seemed to be a living entity as it roamed around the hammers.
This was clearly the effect of their blood connection!
Spirit refining granted metal life and made it a part of one’s own body. If one were to evolve it into soul refined, it would then be a part of one’s martial soul. Soul refining was akin to forging one’s own martial soul into a higher realm.
It was for this reason that Saint Blacksmiths were revered throughout the continent. Their status was no less than that of a three-word battle armor master, because without them, three-word battle armors would never exist.
As for Divine Blacksmiths… Tang Wulin could only imagine what sort of realm that was. Even Mu Chen could not explain it to Tang Wulin as he himself didn’t know what it was like. It was his life’s goal to reach that level.
With Tang Wulin’s recent success in spirit refining, it meant he could now forge his own battle armor. Not only that, he had set his sights on not one- word, but two-word battle armor!
As for why he set his goal so high, it was because he understood now that battle armor didn’t have such strict soul power requirements, just like how he could spirit refine despite only having two soul rings.
For a blacksmith to even attempt spirit refining, the normal standard was four soul rings as only then would they have enough the necessary life force to sustain the entire process.
Yet he had succeeded with only two soul rings! This feat was only possible due to the combination of his innate divine strength, talent, profound understanding of the metal, and his blood essence soul ring.
If that was the case, then perhaps the soul power requirement he needed for battle armor would be lower too. At the very least, it couldn’t hurt to try.
A set of battle armor wasn’t made all at once. Each item was made piece by piece. He decided to start experimenting with the simplest part!
Tang Wulin brimmed with confidence now that he was successful at spirit refining and firmly believed that he didn’t need five soul rings to become a one-word battle armor master. With his blood essence soul ring, he could make it with just four soul rings! Besides, since he could already spirit refine, he wouldn’t settle for just one-word battle armor. It would be a waste of time to start there. Instead, it was more efficient to make two-word battle armor that could continue to evolve with spirit refined metal.
Once that time came, he could immediately name his battle armor with two words!
Chapter 287 – Black Steamed Buns
Chapter 287 – Black Steamed Buns
Teacher Wu’s battle armor is called Sky Ice, which means he’s Sky Ice Wu Zhangkong. So… what should I call my battle armor then?
Tang Wulin’s blood raced at the thought. He looked forward to the day he obtained his own battle armor.
He didn’t know when he began meditating, but when he awoke, the sun already shone through the window.
He had meditated longer than usual and missed his chance to train his Purple Demon Eyes this morning.
However, Tang Wulin could clearly feel that his cultivation speed was faster than it was before.
“You’re up?” Xie Xie said. “Come on, let’s go eat.”
“Xie Xie, can you feel that?” Tang Wulin asked suspiciously.
Xie Xie nodded and smiled. “I knew you would ask. I feel it too. This Sea God’s Island is extraordinary! The energy here is far thicker than outside. I bet this island is connected to how Shrek Academy is capable of producing so many powerful experts. The speed of our cultivation would increase
significantly if we could stay here and cultivate! Why don’t you go see if Grandteacher will let us stay longer? Maybe he’ll let us live here.”
“Keep dreaming.” Tang Wulin wasn’t amused. “Shrek Academy’s rules are very strict, you know. Anyway, let’s get going. Aren’t we gonna eat? I’m
about to starve to death.”
He only had one full meal the day before, and that consisted of the steamed buns from the sixth trial. Those buns didn’t pack anywhere near enough nutrition for him!
The wooden table in the living room held a spread of food. The others were already eating when the two boys arrived.
Zhuo Shi pointed at the seat beside him. “Come sit, Wulin.” “Okay.” Tang Wulin went over to sit.
Zhuo Shi then pointed at a bamboo basket on the table. “Zhangkong told me you have a big stomach, so let’s see how much of this basket you can finish.”
Inside of the basket were odorless, black objects. Tang Wulin couldn’t figure out what they were, but he knew they didn’t look appetizing.
“Alright,” he said.
There were twenty black objects in total. They resembled fist-sized steamed buns. It would be apt to call them black steamed buns.
Tang Wulin scoffed inwardly at the food. This is nothing to my stomach!
He quickly grabbed two buns in each hand. It was now a habit of his to grab as much food as he could at a time. Considering his voracious appetite, he would waste too much time if he ate slowly.
Tang Wulin took a bite of a bun. It was tender and sticky, had a decent texture, gave off the faintest trace of a fishy aroma. No matter how he considered it, this bun could not be called delicious.
However, after chewing it a bit more and swallowing, his expression changed.
He felt a clear wave of warmth travel down his throat and spread throughout his body. His blood essence seemed to react to this and surged
toward the source. As it did, that warmth instantly dispelled some of his hunger.
This is good stuff!
When Tang Wulin was at Eastsea Academy, he ate food from the first
window every day, so he naturally knew that if he ate more nourishing food, he wouldn’t have to eat as much. Yet these seemingly unimpressive black
steamed buns were the most nutrient-packed food he’d ever eaten!
Although he didn’t actually know what they were, he knew for a fact that they could fill him up!
After two more bites, the bun disappeared into his stomach. Several more bites later and his hands were empty. Tang Wulin happily patted his
stomach as he smiled at Zhuo Shi and grabbed four more buns.
“Can you really digest all of that? Overeating isn’t good for your body.” Zhuo Shi furrowed his brow.
“I should be able to. Thank you, Grandteacher.” Since Tang Wulin had
exhausted his blood essence and only eaten one meal the previous day, there was no way he would let such great food out of his grasp.
Zhuo Shi’s narrowed eyes slowly widened in shock as he observed Tang Wulin’s blood essence grow stronger and stronger with each bun he ate.
Zhuo Shi could even hear the pulse of Tang Wulin’s blood and aura strengthening. This change was completely unrelated to soul power.
The cause of everything… was his blood essence.. Your bloodline is truly extraordinary, boy!
Only after Tang Wulin swallowed the sixteenth bun did he finally stop eating.
Is he full now? Zhuo Shi thought.
The buns were just too filling. Tang Wulin felt his blood essence surge through his body like a raging river. He was now in peak condition. He felt
relaxed as he his soul power circulated throughout his body, unable to eat any more.
If I can eat this stuff every day, it’ll be much easier to break my seals!
All of a sudden, Old Tang’s voice echoed in Tang Wulin’s head. These are fantastic. You’ll benefit from them greatly if you can eat them daily. You might even be able to break the third seal without an spirit items.
Tang Wulin looked at Zhuo Shi with shining eyes. “Grandteacher, may I eat these every day?”
Zhuo Shi’s face twitched. “You can have the rest.” After saying this, he stood up and left.
Puzzled, Tang Wulin turned to Wu Zhangkong. “Teacher, did I say something rude?”
Wu Zhangkong made a strange face at him. Shen Yi, who was beside him, spoke up.
“These are Teacher’s monthly rations. He usually only lets himself eat one per day,” she said. “Do you have any idea what those black steamed buns are? They’re made from a deep sea fish that lives three kilometers underwater. This fish isn’t a soul beast either, so you can imagine how
strong it must be to survive at such a depth. Only elders of the Sea God’s Pavilion are given the privilege of eating these buns, yet you actually ate more than half of Teacher’s monthly share! And you even have the guts to ask if you can eat them every day? Such a thing would only be possible if all of the elders yielded their shares to you!”
“Eh…” Tang Wulin scratched his head awkwardly. “Then I’ll leave the rest for Grandteacher.”
“Teacher told you to take them, so just take them.” Shen Yi smiled warmly. “An old man like him wouldn’t be upset over something as trivial as this.
When you have a free day next week, Wu Zhangkong will bring you over
here to visit. It seems your grandteacher is quite fond of you since you two are so similar.”
After eating breakfast, Shen Yi brought the four students off the island on a boat. Wu Zhangkong chose to stay, so they waved goodbye to him before leaving.
Sea God’s Lake was even more breathtaking during the day. Refreshing air lingered around it, the rippling waters like a giant sapphire embedded into the earth as sunlight reflected off its surface.
After leaving Sea God’s Lake and the inner court, they ventured back to the outer court’s school building.
A whole day had passed since they had taken the entrance exam.
“You will have to work harder than others as working students,” Shen Yi said as she walked. “Normal students only have to pay twenty percent of
the tuition since it’s subsidized for them. You, however, will have to pay the entire tuition through doing jobs for the academy. For example, the most basic task could be to sweep the campus. Of course, you could take some jobs related to your secondary profession too.”
“Teacher Shen, is the tuition expensive?” Tang Wulin asked
Shen Yi glanced at him. “Very. Shrek Academy grants you access to resources impossible to obtain anywhere else. These resources are invaluable, so working students will have to take on many jobs to pay off their fees each year. Don’t worry, the administration will arrange things for you all.”
Although it wasn’t their first time there, the four were still awed by the grandeur of the main school building.
Shen Yi brought them to the administration to handle their registration and enlist them in their class.
A scholarly administrator in his fifties issued each of them a dark-green
school uniform after completing their enrollment. “Don’t bring shame to the working students,” he said.
Don’t bring shame to the working students? What does he mean by that? As clever as Tang Wulin was, he couldn’t comprehend the meaning behind the administrator’s words. He sent a questioning look at Shen Yi, but she
simply smiled and shook her head. She clearly had no intentions of explaining.
“Your first job is to clean Spirit Ice Plaza. The deadline is before dusk.” The middle-aged administrator spoke in a bored manner.
Clean the plaza? I can’t even see the end of the plaza!
“Dispose of any trash and mop the floor. Not a single speck of dust is to be seen, otherwise points will be deducted.”
Their enrollment was complete now that they were assigned a job. They were then led to their dormitory.
To be precise, they were brought to the dormitory for working students.
Chapter 288 – The Status of a Working Student
Chapter 288 – The Status of a Working Student
Since the main school building was so enormous, Tang Wulin thought that their dormitory would be as well. Reality, however, begged to differ.
Shen Yi brought them to a building in a forest west of Spirit Ice Plaza.
“This is the dormitory for working students,” she told them “Go find the room corresponding to the number on your key. Classes will start for you tomorrow. In the meantime, you can complete the job you were just
assigned. I’ll be leaving now.”
Shen Yi left while Tang Wulin and the others were in the middle of exchanging looks of dismay.
All of them thought the same thing.
Isn’t this building a bit too crude? It’s basically a slum compared to the school building!
The building only had one floor and was extremely run-down. It sat in the middle of the forest, but it was now clear that this was done to hide the building and save face for the academy.
It was a truly unsettling place.
There seemed to be about twenty or so rooms in the mottled building. Some of the rooms didn’t even have windows. They had long since broken, the
wood around them completely rotten.
Checking the numbers on their keys, they soon discovered that they had only been given a single room.
This room had no walls to separate the boys from the girls. It was about thirty square meters in area. Although it wasn’t small, there were only two metal-frames of bunk beds in the room. Other than that, it was completely bare.
A thick layer of dust covered the floor and two of the windows were broken. A single string dangled from the light bulb in the ceiling.
Considering the state of the room, determining whether that bulb was a useless ornament or a functional light source was a coin toss.
“This… isn’t this just too cruel? Are we sure we’re currently in Shrek Academy and not a slum?” Xie Xie was dumbstruck. Compared to their
dormitory at Eastsea Academy, the difference was like heaven and earth! No basic necessities were provided, not even a mattress.
“Quit complaining. If you have spare time, spend it tidying up instead,” Tang Wulin said. Since they were here now, they might as well make the best of things. He knew that working students wouldn’t have it as good as normal students, but he was still shocked at the conditions of their dormitory.
“Captain, how are all of us supposed to live in just a single room? Men and women shouldn’t be in the same room,” Xu Xiaoyan said with a hint of
Xie Xie laughed. “How old do you think you are? You haven’t even kissed anyone yet.”
“Hmph!” Xu Xiaoyan looked to Gu Yue for support, but Gu Yue only had eyes for Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin stood rooted in place, his face pensive. “Since we’ve been assigned to this room, all we can do is make the most of it. Let’s get our
basic necessities in order first. We can start by cleaning this place up and getting something to cover the broken windows. We can then use some
curtains to separate the room in halves, one side for the boys and the other for the girls. Yeah, let’s start with that and improve things as we go.”
“Alright,” Gu Yue said.
It was clear how much Tang Wulin’s teammates trusted him. Everyone immediately leaped into action. As soul masters, it wouldn’t take them long to clean up.
As they tidied the place, they began to understand the pain of being a working student.
Their only source of clean water was a single faucet meant for the entire dormitory. It didn’t even provide any hot water. They had to go to the
school building to get hot water and bath.
Aside from that… well, they didn’t have anything else. There were no other facilities at the dormitory for working students. The dining hall could be found in the main school building, so they had to cross the enormous plaza each visit.
With the four of them working together, the room was soon neat and tidy.
They even found a cloth to cover up the windows. As for curtains to separate the room with, they would buy them in the evening.
“Let’s go clean the plaza now.”
Since they were working students, they still had to complete their job.
Spirit Ice Plaza was truly enormous. They had to start sweeping early in the morning if they wanted to finish by the evening of the same day.
When they went get some water to clean with, they discovered that
someone was already using the faucet. That someone was a frail-looking boy. He had a towel draped over his shoulder as he collected water in a bucket.
Upon seeing this boy, astonishment filled Tang Wulin and the others.
Xie Xie gulped. He was particularly taken aback because he knew the boy more intimately than the others.
This boy was student number two, the one who had beaten Xie Xie in the entrance exam with explosive power. He was a mighty power-type soul master and the greatest three-ringed soul master that they had encountered thus far. Even Gu Yue’s chances of defeating him were slim. His martial
soul was simply too powerful and overwhelming.
Carrying a bucket, Tang Wulin walked over to the other student’s side and flashed a radiant smile.
“Hi!” he said. “We meet again. I’m Tang Wulin.”
The youth gave him an apathetic look, and only acknowledging him with a slight nod.
His bucket was nearly full, so he picked it up, nodded to Tang Wulin once more, and left.
Four sets of eyes followed him until he was out of sight.
Xie Xie looked at his companions in shock. “That guy’s a working student too? He’s so amazing… yet he’s a working student? I thought he was an inner court student!”
Tang Wulin contemplated this realization.
“Do you guys remember what the administrator said before we left?” he asked. “He told us not to bring shame to the working students. I think
there’s some secret about working students that we don’t know about. Well, we can think about it after finishing our task.”
“The administrator didn’t say we couldn’t use our martial souls to clean, right?” Gu Yue interjected.
Tang Wulin shook his head. “He didn’t. I don’t think it would be possible without the use of martial souls anyway.”
“Then we don’t need to bring water. I’ll be enough.” A faint smile appeared on Gu Yue’s lips, her eyes shining.
“Hm?” Tang Wulin’s eyes lit up in understanding, and he grinned. “Alright!”
Gu Yue turned and began marching toward Spirit Ice Plaza, her three
companions in tow. Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan bubbled with excitement as they also understood her intentions.
Gu Yue stopped beside the plaza. She took a deep breath, narrowed her eyes, then summoned her three soul rings.
Her first soul ring lit up as she activated Elemental Tide.
She held her hands up in the air, gathering specks of green light in her palms. Blue light soon followed until the two equally-sized lights swirled in her palms.
She exuded an aura of serenity as she manipulated the two elements. She moved much slower than she would if she were in combat.
However, Tang Wulin could sense how stable the elements she gathered had become. They were far stabler than usual.
Moreover, she was currently only using her first soul skill.
The green and blue lights grew ever brighter as they spiraled within her hands, transforming into a tiny whirlpool. It rotated faster and faster until the two elements completely mixed.
Gu Yue’s second soul ring lit up and the elements poured into the whirlpool faster than before. With both Elemental Control’s amplification and her
spiritual power in the Spirit Sea realm, the whirlpool of elements soon grew two meters tall and didn’t stop there.
Her third soul ring then lit up and she activated Elemental Fusion. The two elements completely fused into one. Armed with her mighty spiritual power, she had absolute control over the swirling elements. She was one of
a handful of people who possessed three soul rings and had reached the Spirit Sea realm.
Chapter 289 – Tang Wulin the Wicked
Chapter 289 – Tang Wulin the Wicked
The whirlwind of elements grew until it was five meters high. Just when Tang Wulin and the others felt it was about to go berserk, Gu Yue gently said, “Go!”
Spirit Ice Plaza wasn’t dirty to begin with, merely covered in dust. There wasn’t even a single piece of trash in sight.
A bizarre scene played out the moment Gu Yue’s whirlpool landed on the plaza. Dust gathered together, whirling around the hurricane in a frenzy before being sucked inside and leaving the floor as spotless as if it had been scrubbed by a brush.
Gu Yue withdrew her first and third soul skills, leaving only Elemental
Control in effect as she followed the whirlpool forward. They began to walk around the plaza, watching everything within its path become clean.
“Wow!” Xu Xiaoyan clapped gleefully.
She really is amazing! Tang Wulin inwardly gave Gu Yue a thumbs up. She was the most skilled master of elements he had ever seen. Moreover, not only could she wield six different elements she could even fuse them together into infinite offensive and defensive moves.
Her future was boundless. She was the first soul master in history to wield
so many elements. With fire, water, wind, earth, light, space, and the variant ice attribute, nothing was impossible for her.
If they were ordinary people instead, even two days worth of time wouldn’t be enough to finish cleaning the plaza. Yet, in the face of Gu Yue’s water-
and-wind whirlwind sucking in dust and cleaning everything within a twenty meter radius, this task would be completed without breaking much sweat. At their current speed, they would be finished within three hours.
This was obviously assuming that Gu Yue’s soul and spiritual power would last.
In truth, Gu Yue was no superhuman. She was forced to recall the now black whirlpool and drain it into sewers after cleaning a third of the plaza. She then walked off to the side and sat down cross-legged to meditate.
“I’d be embarrassed if I let Gu Yue do it all,” Xie Xie mischievously grinned.
Tang Wulin smiled. “Then you can just treat us to dinner tonight.”
Xie Xie saw through Tang Wulin’s scheme, however. “Sure, as long as you’re not coming! Those two girls can’t eat much, but if we add you, I’d be concerned if the restaurant even has enough stock. I swear, your stomach is an endless hole!”
Tang Wulin chuckled. “You’re so insincere.”
“Fine!” Xie Xie ground his teeth as he reluctantly said, “I’ll treat you all to dinner. But! You have to finish those black buns before we go out.”
Those black steamed buns would do well to curb Tang Wulin’s appetite. “Okay.”
They left the rest of the plaza to Gu Yue. In the meantime, Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, and Xu Xiaoyan would spruce up their dorm room.
They had only received two sets of school uniforms and a Shrek Academy identification card when they were registered.
The card was made of metal and had obvious signs of soul circuits running within it. The administrator had told them they needed this card to go
anywhere within the academy, as well as leaving and entering.
Shrek Academy’s administration wasn’t extremely strict though. They didn’t actually restrict its student’s passage in and out of the academy.
Besides, the outer court was a small town in of itself. Students could find everything needed for their daily lives here and rarely needed to leave
While Gu Yue cleaned up the plaza, Tang Wulin went to go buy some planks. He had Xie Xie use his daggers to fashion proper beds out of them.
As for the mattress, they had actually brought their own. After buying a cloth to divide the space, the room had shaped up quite nicely.
But they stopped there. Tang Wulin believed that since the dormitory was for working students, it would be best if they didn’t live extravagantly
compared to the others. At the very least, they all understood how fatal it could be for them to act blindly without thinking.
Tang Wulin had already noticed that not all the rooms in the dormitory were occupied. In fact, only three or four rooms had signs of any recent occupation. Even then, those rooms appeared simple and crude on the outside.
Since this living condition seemed to be a tradition among working students, it wasn’t their place to break the status quo.
Gu Yue’s cleaning speed was unbelievably quick with the use of her martial soul, but it still took her until noon, a total of four and a half hours to finish cleaning the gigantic plaza. Of those hours, half were simply spent recovering her soul power.
The four meditated in their room together in the afternoon. Though they had just enrolled and were still unfamiliar with Shrek Academy, they could
already feel a mountain of pressure weighing down on their shoulders.
All the continent’s geniuses gathered here in this haven and while Tang Wulin and the others may be exceptionally talented, Shrek Academy had no shortage of students of their caliber. There were people like that student
number two who had stomped Xie Xie. None of the four companions would dare say they could absolutely defeat him.
The only way they could flourish in Shrek Academy was to become stronger faster.
The dining hall was enormous and filled to the brim, as if all of the outer
court students were packed into the place. Unlike normal students, working students had to pay for their meals here with points obtained from
Since it was their first day at the academy, however, they were allowed a free meal. They would only start paying tomorrow.
They had received one hundred Shrek contribution points each after
completing their assignment at the administration building, but it was then that Tang Wulin discovered that one hundred points was only enough to feed them for one day. Moreover, they faced another problem; to be more precise, Tang Wulin faced a problem. His stomach was simply too gluttonous and the dining hall wasn’t a buffet.
Fortunately, the dining hall served food comparable to Eastsea Academy’s first window.
It’d be great if I could eat here for free. Tang Wulin exclaimed inwardly as he ate lunch.
Since their dinner was free tonight as well, Xie Xie would treat them on another day.
Perhaps, because he had to start paying for his meals the next day, Tang Wulin finally revealed his true wickedness during dinner.
He first found a large table. Then, he started collecting food. The dining hall was large enough to accommodate one thousand diners at a time, so his
actions were laid bare for all to see. He went from window to window, showing his Shrek ID card to get as much free food as he could carry.
At first, few took notice of his actions, but by the time his table had three levels of food stacked up, people began to watch.
A stern-looking man around twenty years old wearing a red armband walked over.
“I’m Xie Peichen, a member of the discipline committee. Which class are you from? Why did you get so much food? Don’t you know that according to the academy’s rules, if you waste food, you have to pay ten times its
weight as a fine?”
Tang Wulin stopped mid-step. “Hello senior. I can finish all of this food.”
“You can finish all of this? By yourself?” Xie Peichen’s voice raised an octave. He had originally thought that all this food was for him and his
classmates to eat together, but that wasn’t the case. Tang Wulin had filled a table for ten with enough food to feed thirty!
“Yeah. I can finish this all myself. I still have three friends joining me though,” Tang Wulin sincerely answered.
“Four people can finish all of this?” Xie Peichen was evidently not convinced. With how nourishing the dining hall’s food was, people generally didn’t need to eat as much to become full.
Tang Wulin nodded earnestly.
“Alright, let’s see you eat it all then. If you can’t finish, don’t blame me for being rude.” Though Xie Peichen’s had a dark expression, but he couldn’t do anything as Tang Wulin had yet to violate any rules. He stood to the side and watched.
Tang Wulin smiled, exposing his sparkling white teeth. “Senior, how about we make a bet? If I finish all this food, you’ll help me get another round. If I can’t, you can punish me as you wish.”
“Alright.” Xie Peichen agreed immediately.
With the bet established, Tang Wulin began eating. He ate leisurely, taking his time. Nonetheless, his eating speed was shocking.
Chapter 290 – Ceramic Mountain
Chapter 290 – Ceramic Mountain
Gu Yue, Xie Xie, and Xu Xiaoyan had long since gotten trays full of food and sat themselves at a neighbouring table, pretending not to know Tang Wulin out of embarrassment. .
Tang Wulin restrained a sigh from escaping his mouth. He always hated it when he couldn’t eat his fill. Since Shrek Academy didn’t offer free food, he partook in the ancient art of penny pinching, calculating exactly how much it would cost to feed himself. With a free pass tucked within his pocket, he was determined to eat a mountain’s worth, enough to last him through breakfast the next day.
Xie Peichen stood calmly behind Tang Wulin at first, but as he took in Tang Wulin’s gorging, his jaw dropped.
I-Is he even human?
Xie Peichen subconsciously gulped as he stared at the mountain of empty plates in front of Tang Wulin, whose momentum increased by the bite.
It wasn’t long before other diners took notice of this spectacle.
“Did this guy starve to death in his past life? How can he eat so much?” “Heavens! Don’t tell me he cleared all those dishes by himself?”
“Wow! Awesome! I’ve always admired people who can eat a lot.”
People began gathering around Tang Wulin, drawn like moths to a flame. The sight of his gluttony drove their stomachs wild with hunger, and they
dug into their meals with renewed vigor.
“Senior, can I trouble you to get me ten orders of that dish, the one that looks like sea cucumbers? Thanks.” Tang Wulin beamed at Xie Peichen.
Xie Peichen was numb with shock. He obediently went and got Tang Wulin ten orders of the dish. This was his third time getting Tang Wulin more food. There wasn’t much food per dish, but the number of dishes was
The second Tang Wulin cried out in delight, drooling over the steaming dishes, the crowd parted to let a middle-aged man through, face grim and pinched. His body trembled when he saw the staggering pile of dishes. As the manager of the dining hall, he had miraculously received a notice that there was a shortage of food. He was well aware they overstocked on ingredients each day and had more than enough to accommodate extraneous circumstances. So it goes without saying how flummoxed he was after hearing their stock was empty.
But when he saw Tang Wulin, he finally understood the situation. When did they recruit such a glutton?
“Hey you, student over there. Your stomach is beyond the realm of normal. The Academy can’t feed someone like you. If you ate this much for every meal, then I’ll petition the Academy to get rid of your right to a free meal,” the middle-aged man said.
Tang Wulin blinked in surprise. “Teacher, you don’t have to worry. I’m a working student so I can’t eat this much for free starting tomorrow. This is my last free meal, so can’t I eat my fill?”
Everyone’s expression changed after those words. The peanut gallery quickly retreated into the backdrop, and minded their own business.
“So you’re a working student! Alright then. Have a good meal.” After saying this, the middle-aged man left as well.
“Why didn’t you tell me you’re a working student earlier?” Xie Peichen asked, clearly flustered.
“What about being a working student?” Tang Wulin curiously asked.
Xie Peichen groaned, refusing to pay any more attention to Tang Wulin and disappearing into the crowd.
It looks like there really is a backstory surrounding working students! Tang Wulin suspicions were confirmed, his curiosity growing, but he kept
shoving the food into his mouth.
This was the most enjoyable meal Tang Wulin ever had in his life. Perhaps because he broke the second seal, his appetite was greater than ever. The dining hall had twenty windows serving food, and Tang Wulin had cleared them all. He felt embarrassed.
“Are you still not full? Here, eat this.” An older girl placed a steamed bun on his plate before going off on her merry way. Under her breath, she said, “He’s so pitiful. He’s still not full after eating all that.”
She was the first, but not the last to offer him food. Not long after, another student came and handed him a bun.
The corner of Tang Wulin’s mouth twitched.
Am I dreaming? Maybe I won’t have to complete jobs to feed myself! One hundred points isn’t enough to keep me full anyway. It’s only enough for five or six meals for a normal person.
His eyes lit up at the thought.
Tang Wulin had scouted out the prices at every window, and the cheapest dish was ten points. The meal he ate today costed over a thousand. Come tomorrow, and he might starve to death.
He staggered out of the dining hall once he finished eating. With every step, he felt closer to bursting.
“Captain, can’t you restrain yourself a bit?” Xie Xie wore an odd expression. “Everyone in the outer court recognizes you by now.”
Tang Wulin stared at him wide-eyed. “How will restraint feed me? Do you have any idea how painful it is to be hungry?”
“Fine. Just pretend I didn’t say anything.”
“You know, I seem to remember someone saying he would treat us all to dinner. Let’s go.” Tang Wulin smirked.
“Y-you’re still hungry?” Xie Xie’s jaw dropped.
Tang Wulin chuckled. “I’ll be done digesting by the time we get there.” In truth, there was something strange bubbling in his veins. His blood essence was surging through his body before he ate, as if it were boiling. The
sensation reminded him of fusing with the Golden Dragon King’s energy after breaking a seal.
He was the one who understood his body best. After gorging himself, his blood essence thickened, growing more vigorous, and his blood seemed richer than before. Perhaps this was a method of cultivation for him.
Due to this sensation, he prodded Xie Xie to go out for another round of food. He wanted to test what was going on with his blood essence, along with the effect more nutritious food had on it.
“Fine, you win. Let’s go eat. Let’s see if your belly will burst.” Xie Xie turned to the girls. “Come on, I’m treating you all. We can stroll through the outer court too! The outer court is practically a town itself. We’ve gotta
“Okay.” Both Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan approved of his plan.
The four left Spirit Ice Plaza and entered a street lined with warm orange lights and bustling with people.
Soon after they arrived on this street, they found a shop full of rowdy people.
“What’s that place?” Xu Xiaoyan looked with curious eyes.
Xie Xie peeked into the shop. “It looks like this place sells drinks. Huh, so Shrek Academy has this kind of thing too. Let’s go in. We can grab some juice or something.”
“Yeah! Let’s go. I want ice cream!” Xu Xiaoyan exclaimed in delight.
The drink shop was busy and was nearing capacity. The server dashed to and fro, taking orders and bringing customers their orders, the latter who mostly wore Shrek Academy uniforms.
The four managed to find a table with great difficulty and sat down. They waved for a waitress, ordering juice and ice cream.
It seemed that no matter the place, girls couldn’t resist ice cream. Not even the detached Gu Yue could keep her paws off of it. Once their orders
arrived, the two girls happily dug in.
After taking a sip of his orange juice, Tang Wulin nudged Xie Xie, whose eyes wandered everywhere. “What are you looking at?”
Xie Xie smirked. “I’m just scouting the place to see if there are any pretty senior sisters here! I need to prepare for adulthood, you know?”
Doubt clouded Tang Wulin’s features. “How are you preparing?”