The Legend of the Dragon King Chapter 421-430

Chapter 421 - Emissary of Pestilence

Chapter 421 - Emissary of Pestilence

A man emerged from the shadows. He was shrouded in a pitch-black cloak and held a scepter in his right hand. The instant Mo Wu laid eyes on this man, his back went cold with sweat. A sinister air gathered in the room.

“I was looking for the kid who foiled our plans, but I never expected to run into an administrator and one of you loathsome Shrek people. I might as
well kill you while I’m here and take the administrator with me.”

Soul rings rose from beneath the man. However, unlike the usual away soul rings would appear, his materialized in an eerie green mist. He had six soul rings, two yellow, two purple, and two black. The mist spread to surround him.

A chill went down Wu Zhangkong’s spine, and he pushed Mo Wu behind him. “An evil soul master!”

Mo Wu didn’t try to flee. As a government official, his willpower had to be strong. He also understood that the safest place he could be right now was beside this teacher from Shrek Academy. Running would be useless, and if Wu Zhangkong couldn’t defeat this evil soul master, then his fate was
sealed.

“You may call me the Emissary of Pestilence.” The man raised his scepter, his soul rings lighting up. Green mist poured out of it and began to fill the entire room.
 Wu Zhangkong snorted. A freezing aura exploded from him as soul rings appeared from beneath his feet. A total of seven appeared, two yellow, two purple, and three black. The Skyfrost Sword manifested in his hand and he slashed at the air, sending a sword beam straight for his opponent’s
stomach.

The emissary trembled in shock at the sight of Wu Zhangkong’s soul rings, but he didn’t leave himself unprotected. He pointed his scepter forward.
The green gem at the tip of the scepter shined as it met the sword beam.

A crisp note could be heard as sword beam met scepter. The beam split into countless threads of ice. It was Frost Scar!

After gaining his seventh soul ring and becoming a Soul Sage, Wu Zhangkong had grown far stronger than before. In the past half a year, apart from teaching, all he had done was cultivate. He had progressed by leaps
and bounds.

Wu Zhangkong’s frigid aura slowed the Emissary of Pestilence’s movements, and a storm of Frost Scars quickly enveloped him.

“Excellent!” the Emissary of Pestilence howled. He dropped to one knee, and a green light exploded from his body. The light expanded like a gas, pushing back Wu Zhangkong’s frigid aura.

If Wu Zhangkong had been alone, he would have been able to just use his soul power to protect himself and charged in. However, Mo Wu was there! Mo Wu would die in an instant if he were exposed to the poison mist of a six-ringed soul master. Wu Zhangkong had to protect him.

Icy determination flashed in Wu Zhangkong’s eyes. He burst into action,
and kicked at a wall, breaking it down in one strike. He grabbed hold of Mo Wu, hoisted him in his left arm, and leaped into the air. With his free hand, he brandished the Skyfrost Sword and used Frost Song, willing it to transform into an enormous sword!

Mo Wu watched in awe as an enormous crescent of ice slashed through the room they were just in, cleaving it in two and sucking in all of the green
 mist. When the dust settled, the Emissary of Pestilence was nowhere to be seen. The only thing that remained was a tunnel leading to the unknown.

“Don’t move!” An electronic voice cut through the air. Guards had been alerted by the commotion, and over a dozen mechas came flying over.
Spotlights lit up and illuminated Wu Zhangkong as the mechas completed their encirclement. All of them locked on to him with their soul cannons.

Wu Zhangkong released Frost Song and frowned. His encounter with the
evil soul master weighed on his mind. Evil soul masters had begun to stir in recent years. It was clear that they were behind this recent act of terrorism
as well. He had to report this matter to Shrek Academy as soon as possible.

Since its very conception, Shrek Academy opposed evil soul masters. Ten thousand years ago, the Spirit Ice Douluo led his generation of the Shrek Seven Monsters, along with many other powerhouses, to destroy the Holy Spirit Cult. The cult was wiped out and no more trouble arose from them.

Until the past few years at least.

“Don’t shoot!” Mo Wu shouted. “This man is a Soul Sage from Shrek Academy! He saved me!”

Wu Zhangkong awoke from his thoughts. He looked down at Mo Wu, who was dangling by his coat. With the flick of his wrist, Wu Zhangkong pulled him upright. Mo Wu quickly regained his stately appearance and ordered the mechas to stand down. Standard-issue military mechas wouldn’t be able to touch a hair on a Soul Sage from Shrek Academy anyway. Mo Wu had no doubt that Wu Zhangkong was a battle armor master. Even if there were ten times as many mechas present, he would still be able to obliterate them all.


“I can’t accept any missions without my badge?” Tang Wulin asked.

“Knock it off kid. You’re holding up the line,” the Blacksmith’s Association clerk responded tersely. When a young boy came asking to take on some
 fourth-rank blacksmithing missions, the clerk had thought it was a joke. The boy didn’t even have a badge. There was no way he could allow this boy to accept any missions.

“Could I trouble you to look me up in the database then? I’m certain you’ll find me in there. I’m a fifth-rank blacksmith. Please, I’m absolutely certain I’m in there.”

“Huh? Fifth-rank?” The clerk laughed. The people behind Tang Wulin laughed as well.

Heaven Dou Blacksmith’s Association was the headquarters of the
Blacksmith’s Association, as well as the largest one on the continent.
Countless blacksmiths were based in Heaven Dou City and came to accept missions every day. All the clerks were busy from dusk until dawn.

“Just how old are you, kid?” a gruff blacksmith asked as he moved to pat Tang Wulin’s head.

Tang Wulin evaded the man’s hand. He was at a loss. He didn’t realize how inconvenient things would be without his badge. He had already been pestering the clerk for ten minutes now, and had been subject to the jeering of the surrounding blacksmiths.

The man’s insulting question incited Tang Wulin’s childish nature. “I’m fourteen! What about it?”

“A fourteen-year-old, fifth-rank blacksmith, huh? You must be the number one genius in the entire association!” The man burst into laughter, and his fellow blacksmiths quickly joined in.

Tang Wulin took a deep breath, then turned back to the clerk. “What do I need to do to accept some missions?”

The clerk looked at him helplessly. “Kid, I admire your passion, but you’re causing a disturbance. Where are your parents? You’re at the right age to
start learning how to blacksmith, so come back when you’ve got your badge. Then you can accept some missions.”
 “Where can I take the blacksmith’s exam?” Tang Wulin was growing impatient.

“You want to take the exam? Alright. Go to the second floor to register for a slot. There are a lot of people today though.”

At that moment, a ringing sound filled the hall, alerting everyone that an announcement was being made.

“Attention all blacksmiths! Attention all blacksmiths! The President will be holding a half-hour lecture in the hall of the first floor in five minutes.
Please wait in orderly lines.”

“Ah!” the gruff blacksmith cried. “The President!”

The man rushed off, and everyone else also began to realize what was happening. Regardless of whether they were accepting a mission or waiting in line, they all turned around and ran off. They were currently on the third floor, but all were undoubtedly headed for the first. Even the clerk was gone!

Tang Wulin hastened to catch up, and once he reached the clerk, he asked, “Uncle, what’s going on? Does the President lecture often?”

The clerk spoke as he ran. “The President lectures at random times, and he only does so here in our Heaven Dou branch. A lot of blacksmiths come here everyday and hang around hoping he’ll hold a lecture. Attending a
single one of the President’s lectures is worth a year of blacksmithing by yourself.”

“Is the Association President here really that amazing?” Tang Wulin could hardly believe it. He was certain that the President of any city’s branch
could only measure up to his teacher at best.

The clerk stared at him. “You foolish kid. Don’t you love blacksmithing? This is an amazing opportunity for you. The President isn’t just the president of this branch, but the Blacksmith’s Association as a whole! He’s also the continent’s only Divine Blacksmith! He’s a very busy person. If he
 takes the time out of his schedule to give a lecture, just think about how valuable the must be! You’re really lucky. Just follow me to the hall, listen closely, and don’t be noisy.”

Chapter 422 - The Divine Blacksmith

Chapter 422 - The Divine Blacksmith

A Divine Blacksmith! Tang Wulin’s heart raced at the thought. His mind buzzed with excitement. Yeah! I can’t believe I got so lucky! I came here to make money, but I get a lecture from a Divine Blacksmith instead?
Awesome! I can’t do anything about the duration of the exam, but I can’t let this chance slip away!

The hall of the first floor was already packed by the time Tang Wulin and the clerk arrived. At the center of the hall, a space twenty meters in diameter had been left empty. It was fully furnished with all the necessary equipment to forge.

Everyone was bustling with excitement and expectation.

The clerk could only manage to bring Tang Wulin to the edge of the crowd. Although Tang Wulin was tall, the blacksmiths in the crowd were all muscular giants. He couldn’t see above the sea of heads at all. Tang Wulin ducked and squirmed his way through the crowd, slowly heading to the
center.

“Kid, be careful! Don’t squeeze in! You’re going to get trampled!” the clerk shouted after him, but he was already gone.

Tang Wulin pushed on through. Despite how lean he was built, his frame hid monstrous strength. With that strength and Controlling Crane,
Capturing Dragon, he quickly reached the center of the crowd and got a front-row spot.
 Tang Wulin was surrounded on all sides with blacksmiths bursting with anticipation. No one even noticed a kid like him sneak to the front.

Five minutes soon passed, and the crowd split to allow a man walk through to the center. A retinue of staff surrounded the man, and everyone cheered when they saw him.

“President! President!” they shouted zealously. The hall seemed to boil into a frenzy.

Tang Wulin looked over to see a handsome man with black hair and black eyes. He looked to be in his thirties, but his eyes showed profound depths
far beyond his years. His sideburns were completely white, a bright contrast with the rest of his black hair. But the most eye-catching thing about him
were his hands. They were at least fifty percent larger than an ordinary man’s, but instead of being bulky and rough, they were slender and fair. They looked like the hands of a young lady, but much larger. In fact, his hands sparkled like jade.

This man was a Divine Blacksmith, the greatest blacksmith in the entire
Blacksmith’s Association, and a Titled Douluo level existence! He couldn’t compare with Feng Wuyu in terms of combat strength, of course, but Shrek Blacksmith’s Association had never concerned itself with the continental
Blacksmith’s Association anyway.

He’s Zhen Hua, the continent’s only Divine Blacksmith! As a blacksmith himself, Tang Wulin had long since heard of Zhen Hua. He was a legend among blacksmiths. Contrary to his youthful appearance, he was actually forty-five! He had become a Divine Blacksmith at the age of thirty seven, and that had been eight years ago.

He was in his prime as a blacksmith, but even in his youth, he hadn’t been arrogant. He was originally the president of a small town’s Blacksmith’s Association. From there, he advanced step by step until he became the President of all of the Blacksmith’s Associations across the continent, and the continent’s only Divine Blacksmith.
 He had wanted to forge a four-word battle armor when he was a Saint
Blacksmith, and with the help of some Titled Douluos, and countless hours at the forge, he barely succeeded. However, the product could not be called true four-word battle armor. It was at the pseudo-four-word level at best. He only truly succeeded eight years ago when he became this generation’s
Divine Blacksmith. After that, he began forging four-word battle armors for Titled Douluos. Being the sole Divine Blacksmith, he held an exceptionally influential position.

Tang Wulin’s eyes sparkled as he watched this legendary figure. He would be fortunate to learn even the tiniest thing from him.

“Hello, everyone.” Zhen Hua waved his arms at the crowd.

Hundreds of voices overlapped in a deafening greeting. “Hello, President!”

Zhen Hua gestured for everyone to quiet down, and the hall immediately went silent. It was as if the sound had never occurred in the first place.

Now this is true prestige!

Zhen Hua smiled. “I don’t have much time, so I’ll begin immediately. I’ve been really busy lately, and it's been quite some time since my last lecture.
Today, I’ll explain some of my deeper understandings to all of you. I
encourage you to go and test what you glean from my lecture on your own time.” He walked over to the forging table as he spoke and placed his large hands on the table.

“This is a little trick for alloy forging I discovered not too long ago. As everyone knows, forging alloys is an important stage for us blacksmiths.
You can start forging alloys at the sixth rank, and as you progress, you become able to forge alloys composed of more and more metals. Of course, the more metals added, the harder the forging process becomes. This trick I’m about to teach you… well, it’s really a technique. This technique can lower the difficulty of forging alloys.

“It can be said that this technique is derived from melding or the way
catalysts work. Different metals have different characteristics, and when
 two metals come together, there is always some sort of chemical reaction. For example…”

Zhen Hua explained his thoughts in a clear and gentle voice, and everyone grew calm as they listened. They did their best to commit the details of this trick to memory.

Tang Wulin grew more and more amazed as he listened. He had heard of a similar technique from Mu Chen, but since he hadn’t reached the sixth rank yet and could only forge two-metal alloys, he wasn’t ready for it. Mu Chen hadn’t explained the technique then, and now that Tang Wulin was hearing about it from Zhen Hua, he felt as if everything was clicking into place. He had been practicing alloy forging for the past half year, so this lecture
couldn’t have come at a better time. His understanding of alloy forging deepened, and countless possibilities opened up to him.

“...and so, by mixing this in, your workload will decrease, and the chances of your alloy being successfully forged will increase significantly.” Zhen Hua smiled as he concluded his lecture.

“Amazing!” a young voice applauded.

Until this point, the audience had been watching with quiet reverence. So, when this voice suddenly obliterated the silence, everyone turned to look at its owner.

In reality, most blacksmiths didn’t really understand the underlying
concepts behind alloy forging. Blacksmiths of the sixth rank and above
were rare after all. However, such knowledge would still be helpful for any blacksmith’s future growth. In fact, many made a pilgrimage to Heaven
Dou City just to listen to the Divine Blacksmith’s lectures. Therefore, it was blasphemy for someone to cheer so loudly!

When everyone saw the owner of the voice, they were dumbstruck. It was a kid still in his teens!

Zhen Hua was astonished by the excitement shining in Tang Wulin’s large, bright eyes. He gave him a warm smile. “Did you understand my lecture?”
 “Mn!” Tang Wulin nodded. He was currently absorbed in his thoughts, pondering the concepts he just learned. His mind in a world of its own, just like when he forged. He didn’t notice the peculiar gazes of his peers at all.

“What a heroic child.” Zhen Hua chuckled. “Excellent. It looks like the future of our Blacksmith’s Association will be a bright one indeed.”

Chapter 423 - Can I Try?

Chapter 423 - Can I Try?

“President, can I try?” Tang Wulin bubbled with excitement. The concepts Zhen Hua had introduced were already mixing with what he understood
about alloy forging, but he still needed to put it all to the test. His was itching to give them a try.

Zhen Hua stared at Tang Wulin in astonishment. “You want to… try forging an alloy?”

Hushed whispers spread throughout the crowd. The clerk who had led Tang Wulin here was already pressing a hand to his face. This kid... he’s got too much courage for his own good! He’s just like a newborn calf in front of a tiger!

Tang Wulin nodded, taking a step forward. “President, may I?” Zhen Hua smiled. “If you think you can, then sure.”
The clerk ran over Tang Wulin, squatted down, and whispered, “Kid! Stop causing trouble! Just get out of here already, the President still has many matters to attend to.”

Zhen Hua chuckled. “Just let him come. It wouldn’t be right for us to trample over a child’s passion for blacksmithing. I can tell from his eyes. His love for blacksmithing is real. Come here, child.”

Tang Wulin hadn’t even glanced at the clerk. His eyes had been glued to Zhen Hua the entire time. He ran over to Zhen Hua’s side and began
speaking immediately. “I need some heavy silver, star iron, and that universal catalyst you talked about, the skymoon powder.”
 “Alright. Bring him what he asked for,” Zhen Hua said, gesturing to some of his staff members. Tang Wulin surprised him. In addition to a deep- rooted passion for blacksmithing, his eyes showed unwavering confidence. Not even the tiniest bit of stage fright could be seen on his face.

The blacksmiths in the audience shared in Zhen Hua’s surprise, but to Zhen Hua, none of them had so much as a fraction of Tang Wulin’s steadiness.
Someone as excited as Tang Wulin currently was would usually at least be trembling, but Tang Wulin was steady as a rock. Zhen Hua also noticed that the boy’s hands were larger than average, and his fingers moved in a steady patterns. This was a clear identifier of an experienced blacksmith, a sign of Tang Wulin’s deep understanding of blacksmithing.

Very few things could catch Zhen Hua’s attention, but now his interest was piqued. He wanted to see just how high this child could reach.

The Blacksmith’s Association did not lack any metals whatsoever. Everything Tang Wulin asked for was quickly delivered to the forging area that had been set up in the hall of the first floor.

Tang Wulin didn’t stand on ceremony and immediately got to work. He walked over to the back of the forging table and opened it up. He put two pieces of metal into it, adjusted the calcining temperature, and turned the table on.

Then he turned to Zhen Hua. “President, could I trouble you for one more thing?”

Zhen Hua smiled warmly. “What is it?” “May I borrow your hammers?”
The entire audience went into an uproar. Borrowing another blacksmith’s hammers was rarely seen in the world of blacksmiths, not to mention the hammers of the world’s only Divine Blacksmith!

Zhen Hua was stunned as well. This kid is really interesting!
 Tang Wulin had no other choice. At this moment, he was completely broke. All of his worldly possessions confiscated by his teachers. Even his thousand refined tungsten hammers had been taken.

“Okay,” Zhen Hua answered. He muttered a few words to himself, and a pair of hammers appeared in his hands in a flash of light. He handed them to Tang Wulin. The hammers glistened in the light, their shape completely adhering to orthodox methods. However, they were a rarely-seen white. In addition to that, blue clouds danced across the surfaces of both hammers, giving them an aura of mystical beauty.

“They’re spirit refined hammers!” Tang Wulin ascertained this with a single glance. The hammers were forged from spirit refined cloud gold, an alloy
composed of cloud copper and platinum crystal. Considering the fact that the hammers were crafted from a spirit refined alloy, he could only imagine how much better they were compared to his own spirit refined heavy silver hammers.

“I forged these hammers fifteen years ago, and they’ve been with me ever since,” Zhen Hua said. “I used them all the way until I could soul refine. See how they feel in your hands. If you really manage to forge an alloy today, I’ll give them to you as a gift.”

Although he didn’t believe Tang Wulin would succeed, he still wanted to encourage him. He himself had set a new record when he became the youngest sixth-rank blacksmith in the world at eighteen years of age. He knew from experience that such miracles were possible, and wasn’t as
critical of Tang Wulin as the rest of the crowd. He could also sense that
Tang Wulin had a solid foundation in blacksmithing. Yet he couldn’t fathom why Tang Wulin didn’t have his own forging hammers with him. A blacksmith’s hammers were their life. A proper blacksmith would never be without them. This was one of the first things a blacksmith learned.

“Thank you.” Tang Wulin gripped the hammers, one in each hand, then closed his eyes. When the staff and blacksmiths of the fourth rank and
higher saw how easily he held the hammers, astonishment crept onto their faces.
 Cloud gold was famous for its density. While the two hammers forged from cloud gold may have looked light, they were anything but. In fact, they
weighed over two hundred kilograms.

Strength was critical for blacksmiths. Zhen Hua lent these hammers to Tang Wulin as a test, yet Tang Wulin held them up with no difficulty at all. They were steady in his hands, as if he were merely holding a pair of ordinary hammers.

This kid is actually a blacksmith? Everyone in the crowd could hardly believe their eyes.

At that moment, Tang Wulin pressed the button on the side of the forging table, and a glowing piece of heavy silver rose to the table’s surface. He tapped it lightly with the hammer in his left hand. A melodic note rang out, echoing throughout the hall. Tang Wulin froze after that tap, his brow furrowed. His ears twitched slightly as he listened to how the metal
answered him.

The faint smile on Zhen Hua’s face finally cracked as he witnessed this. The lower level blacksmiths in the hall might not have understood what Tang Wulin was doing, but as a Divine Blacksmith, it was impossible for him to not.

Tang Wulin was listening to the heavy silver, conversing with the metal and deepening his understanding of it. But, more importantly, he was listening to the voice of the hammer. Forging with hammers they had never touched before was a massive challenge for a blacksmith. Listening to a hammer’s voice was one way for a blacksmith to get familiar with it. Only after understanding the character of a hammer could a blacksmith use it.

Zhen Hua had been testing Tang Wulin from the moment he handed the boy his hammers. The weight was merely the first part of the test. How Tang Wulin would use these hammers was the next, more important part. He’s so young. He couldn’t be older than fifteen or sixteen. Even if he isn’t able to forge an alloy yet, he may be a promising successor. Let’s see just how talented he is.
 The cloud gold hammers were the best test. Zhen Hua wanted to see if Tang Wulin could bring out their full potential.

These hammers were bloodbonded to Zhen Hua, and contained a piece of himself in them. They possessed a special effect similar to the stacked hammers effect of Tang Wulin’s heavy silver hammers.

Tang Wulin’s first strike was flawless. The resultant ringing made his eyes go wide with realization.. “Tremor!”

Golden light flashed in Tang Wulin’s eyes, and he struck down with the left hammer once more. This time, it descended upon the metal like thunder! A boom tore through the hall when the hammer struck the glowing red piece of heavy silver, yet the it did not rebound off the metal. The hammer remained firmly pressed to the heavy silver, and a moment later, a low hum began to fill the hall.

This was the tremor effect of the cloud gold hammers! The hammers harnessed the power of the vibrations that came from hammering metal to assist their wielder! Tremor was a high-grade effect, just like stacked hammers.

Tang Wulin kept the hammer pressed tightly to the heavy silver to bring out the tremor effect’s full power.

The crowd went silent. That strike was testament to Tang Wulin’s strength! The fact that he could wield the cloud gold hammers and prevent them from rebounding off the metal showed that his arms were strong enough to handle the recoil. Furthermore, the fact that he was able to stabilize the hammer showed how firm his blacksmithing foundation was.

Zhen Hua nodded in approval, a genuine smile forming on his lips. This kid is remarkable!

Three seconds later, Tang Wulin lifted the hammer and struck again!

Chapter 424 - Shocking the Divine Blacksmith

Chapter 424 - Shocking the Divine Blacksmith

A thunderous crash shook the room. A spray of powder burst from the heavy silver. This was proof of the tremor effect at work! It could vibrate impurities out of a metal!

Although the result was simple, this wasn’t something that just anybody
could do. In order to bring out the full potential of this effect, a blacksmith needed to possess overwhelming strength, a firm foundation of soul power, immense spiritual power, and a deep understanding of the metal they were forging. If the blacksmith did not fulfill even one of these requirements, it would be impossible for them to use tremor effectively. In fact, the tremor effect could even become a disadvantage.

And Tang Wulin’s second strike used it to his advantage. A third strike followed, then a fourth, and then a fifth. Three seconds separated each one.

As he watched the boy in front of him forge away, Zhen Hua’s amicable smile gradually grew concerned. A trace of doubt flickered in his eyes.

Tang Wulin continued hammering, and soon enough, his seventh strike landed. The heavy silver trembled, and in a flash of light, the impurities were separated. It was hundred refined!

It only took him seven strikes to hundred refine the heavy silver! Zhen Hua straightened his back slightly, and the more knowledgeable blacksmiths in the audience gaped. As a Divine Blacksmith, Zhen Hua could easily hundred refine a piece of metal with a single strike.
 A child in his teens had done it in seven!

It was then that Tang Wulin finally moved his right hand. He pressed a button to reveal the star iron, which had just finished calcining, and struck down with his right hammer. The blow sent tremors through the star iron.

H-he’s dual forging! The clerk who led Tang Wulin here was already
speechless. He couldn’t have possibly imagined that a teenage boy like Tang Wulin could be so skilled! This child is actually dual forging! And he’s dual forging two different metals at that! Even if he’s just hundred
refining them, that’s a feat only a third or fourth-rank blacksmith would be capable of!

Both of Tang Wulin’s hammers crashed down, forging both the heavy silver and the star iron simultaneously. Every strike shook the hearts of the
spectating blacksmiths.

Blow after blow thundered throughout the hall, and Tang Wulin’s world
shrunk down to just him and the metals. He was itching to put what he just learned about alloy forging into practice. He wanted to test it out and deepen his understanding. The itch began at the back of his consciousness at first, but as he continued forging both metals, it grew in intensity until, finally, he felt as if he were about to explode.

Everyone stared in shock as Tang Wulin hammered the metals with unbelievable might. Another droning hum, a fraction different in pitch, soon filled the hall to overlap with the first. Two lights shot into the air, one a resplendent silver, and the other a coalescence of countless specks of
starlight. The two combined, rising six feet into the air as a two-colored beam. It illuminated the hall, a magnificent sight that bathed the onlookers in a bright glow for one moment and faded to nothing in the next.

Two hammers! Two metals! And both metals were first-grade thousand refined with spirit!

It was plenty amazing for the light of a thousand refining to ascend five feet into the air, yet the child before everyone’s eyes had simultaneously refined two metals and summoned light that reached six feet high! That was the
 sign of a fabled saint-grade thousand refining, a feat that only Saint Blacksmiths should have been able to achieve!

Tang Wulin didn’t notice the reactions of the audience. In truth, this result was thanks to the cloud gold hammers he had borrowed. They were a
spectacular pair of hammers that had accompanied Zhen Hua for many years. They had taken in some of his strength, which bolstered the tremor effect. Tang Wulin had been absorbing some of Zhen Hua’s essence every time he swung the hammers. He was also in perfect condition. This
combination of factors helped him to just barely succeed in a saint-grade thousand refining.

However, he was not done yet!

Three purple soul rings rose up from beneath Tang Wulin. Soul power
coursed through his body and into the cloud gold hammers. A cloudy, misty aura immediately materialized around the hammers. A breath of life came from them, and they suddenly grew lighter. As a result, Tang Wulin was
able to wield them even faster than before.

The hammers moved in perfect sync, closing in on the pair of thousand refined metals like lightning. They struck with a resounding boom,
smashing the two metals together!

The hardest part was over! From that point on, it would be smooth sailing.

Every strike of the cloud gold hammers held tremendous power and
smashed the two metals closer and closer together. Tang Wulin used each blow to pour both life force and soul power into the metals, washing them from the inside out. The beam of light that stemmed from the two metals began warp, and the separate colors started intermingling and fusing together.

It was time to start forging the alloy!

The entire crowd collectively gasped. Where did this kid come from? He’s actually attempting to forge an alloy! Just how old is he! Not even the
 President could forge alloys at such a young age! It doesn’t look like this is his first time doing this either!

If it were up to the higher ranked blacksmiths, they would have spirit refined the metals then used both to forge an alloy. Yet Tang Wulin chose a different approach. He had jumped right to forging the alloy after thousand refining the metals. In the end, however, he ended up choosing this
approach because of his weak soul power. He would deal with spirit refining the metals once they had actually been forged into alloys. This was all for the sake of his one-word battle armor after all. Heavy silver and star iron were needed to forge star silver, an alloy he needed to craft the rest of his one-word battle armor set in the future. To that end, thousand refined metal would be sufficient for the time being. He could think about spirit refining once he was more powerful and skilled. Besides, forging alloys
was a walk in the park for him now.

Tang Wulin didn’t dare spirit refine the metals because the cloud gold hammers didn’t belong to him. He feared that the finished product wouldn’t be completely his if he did. He had actually considered spirit refining the
alloy as well, but the chances of success weren’t too high. Furthermore, his current priority was to learn Zhen Hua’s alloy forging technique!

As Zhen Hua watched Tang Wulin assault the metals like a raging tempest, he subconsciously stepped forward to get a better look at the metals on the table. The heavy silver and star iron gradually fused into one, their resplendent auras merging together as well.

Tang Wulin maintained a steady forging tempo. His upper body never
stopped moving, but his lower body remained an unshakeable foundation. He didn’t move a single inch from where he stood. Tang Wulin’s three soul rings thrummed in the hall, giving off a gentle light that seemed to envelop him.

He’s a three-ringed Soul Elder! And all of his rings are purple! No one dared ridicule Tang Wulin now. The gruff blacksmith who had voiced his doubts about Tang Wulin earlier was now staring at the scene before him with a blank expression. He was a third-rank blacksmith in the middle of delving into the mysteries of thousand refining. Tang Wulin, on the other
 hand, popped out of nowhere and showed off his skill as a fourth-rank blacksmith! I can’t believe I was mocking him…

All of Tang Wulin’s focus was on the two metals. He stared at them with rapt attention, watching every reaction as they fused. As he hammered
away, he brought forth the skymoon powder, sprinkling it over the metals in between strikes. The powder coated the heavy silver and the star iron as they slowly mixed together. The results of this turned out just as Zhen Hua had said they would. The metals became tougher and harder to forge, but the chance of failure drastically decreased.

That was when Tang Wulin began to forge faster. The hardest part about forging an alloy was preserving the spiritual nature of the component metals used. Blacksmiths couldn’t let the spirit of the metals die, so they needed to use their spiritual power to protect the metals. Zhen Hua’s technique made this part of the process much easier.

And all it required was skymoon powder.

Tang Wulin could sense the profoundness of what was happening with the two metals. It didn’t take long before they completely fused into one alloy. The barest hints of a star silver’s splendor could now be seen.

But at that moment, Tang Wulin withdrew his soul rings.

Zhen Hua broke out into a cold sweat. Did his soul power run out?

But then a golden soul ring appeared, and he sensed Tang Wulin’s blood essence go wild.

Chapter 425 - Creating Trouble

Chapter 425 - Creating Trouble

If this were any other alloy, Tang Wulin wouldn’t have needed to bring out his golden soul ring. However, he was forging this piece of star silver for his own use! He needed to bind his flesh and blood to it by injecting it with his blood essence! Then, once it was made into a piece of his battle armor, it would be even more compatible with him.

A golden aura enveloped the cloud gold hammers, and Tang Wulin hammered his blood essence into the emerging piece of star silver. Earsplitting booms shook the hall as he pounded away at the fusing metals. Every strike possessed tremendous weight and speed. The forging table trembled from the shock. The star silver gradually shrank under the weight of each blow.

Tang Wulin struck down with both hammers at once. He let out a draconic roar as a pair of golden lights flowed through each of the cloud gold hammers and into the star silver.

An illusory dragon soared out of the metal, spiraling up into the air. All the while the star silver twinkled bright with ample shine, its surface touched by specks of starlight in the shape of a dragon.

That dragon was Tang Wulin’s personal brand on the metal.

Tang Wulin was beyond pleased with the results. He roared for a full minute before settling in silence. In his eyes burned inextinguishable flames. He had the instinctive impression that he had broken through a boundary as a blacksmith. His growth was tremendous and his alloy forging success rate would undoubtedly eclipse the one prior.
 He did it! He really did it! He forged a spirit alloy! Zhen Hua stared with his brows furrowed.
“Thank you for lending me your hammers. I understand the technique now. Thank you for teaching me,” Tang Wulin said respectfully to Zhen Hua.
The strong were no stranger to secrets, and blacksmiths were not excluded from this rule of life. A good forging technique could help a blacksmith dramatically improve their skills and bolster their success rate. Especially a technique as invaluable as the one Tang Wulin just learned. Yet, Zhen Hua had imparted it for free. It was this action that solidified a previous notion within Tang Wulin’s heart, that Zhen Hua was a man worthy of respect and admiration.

Zhen Hua put on a stern expression. “Whose disciple are you? How old are you?”

These questions startled Tang Wulin. It was only now that he realized he had revealed himself. He had forgotten all about hiding his talents amidst his excitement. As such, before all these blacksmiths and the sole living Divine Blacksmith, there was no use lying anymore.

“My teacher is Mu Chen. I’m fourteen this year.”

The moment the words left his mouth, the entire hall went into an uproar. He’s only fourteen? And he can forge alloys?
Zhen Hua’s chest huffed as he listened, but a blank look crossed his face at the mere utter of Mu Chen’s name.

“Where’s your blacksmith’s badge? What rank are you?” Even as the President of the whole Blacksmith’s Association, Zhen Hua couldn’t help but harbor some doubts regarding Tang Wulin’s blacksmith rank. With his discerning eyes, he picked out an amazing fact: the harmony rate of the star silver Tang Wulin forged was over ninety-five percent!
 “I’m in the middle of an exam right now, so all of my possessions were confiscated. I’m a fifth-rank blacksmith.”

He’s a fifth-rank…

Everyone had guessed it, but hearing it out loud still brought out a tumult of gasps. He’s a fourteen-year-old fifth-rank blacksmith! He broke the record! And Zhen Hua’s, at that!

Zhen Hua smiled. “That damn Mu Chen. I can’t believe he was able to hide you so well! That bastard!”

“President, can I take this piece of star silver? I can pay for it by taking missions.”

Zhen Hua frowned. “No need for payment. It belongs to you in the first place. As promised, those hammers are yours now too.”

The cloud gold hammers that possessed the tremor effect were priceless treasures! Still, Tang Wulin shook his head, something else more important weighing heavily in his mind. “I don’t need them since I already have a pair of hammers, but thank you, President. Uh, instead, could I trade them back for money?”

Trade for money… He wants to trade them for money…

The clamoring crowd instantly went silent, shocked and frozen at the sight before them. The Divine Blacksmith was gifting his hammers to Tang Wulin, but he wanted to trade them in for money! They couldn’t believe their eyes.

Zhen Hua couldn’t maintain his poker face anymore. His jaw dropped, utterly dumbstruck. Is he just here to cause trouble? That’s gotta be it, right? Yeah! It has to be! That bastard Mu Chen must have sent him here to annoy me! He picked such a good time too! Just when I decided to give a public lecture! That bastard!
 “Fine!” In front of such a large crowd, there was nothing else he could do. He signalled to one of the nearby staff.

“Follow me,” he said to Tang Wulin as he approached the elevator.

Hushed whispers broke out behind Zhen Hua, fanning around him like the petals of a flower, incoherent in their volume but clear in their overall
sentiment all the same. Everyone in the hall had just witnessed the first appearance of this generation’s greatest blacksmithing prodigy.

Tang Wulin followed Zhen Hua into the elevator.

“Did Mu Chen tell you to come here?” Now that they were alone in the elevator, Zhen Hua sought to confirm his suspicions.

Once more did Tang Wulin shake his head, hanging it in embarrassment a moment later. “Actually, I came here because I’m broke. The Academy took all of our money to teach us how to be self-reliant and how to adapt to
society. I need to earn some money with my own methods to complete my exam.”

A thought struck Zhen Hua, bright and piercing like a lightning bolt. “Shrek Academy?”
Tang Wulin jerked his head up in astonishment. “How’d you know?” Zhen Hua chuckled. “No wonder Mu Chen resigned from the Eastsea
Blacksmith’s Association to suffer in Shrek City. It was all for your sake.
He sure knows how to keep a secret! I had always thought Little Xi was this generation’s greatest blacksmithing prodigy, but you were hidden away all
along!”

Tang Wulin scratched his head awkwardly. Teacher Mu, there was nothing I could do! This was all just a coincidence!

He focused his attention back on Zhen Hua. “President, I still have my exam to finish. Can you give me the money for the cloud gold hammers
now? I promise I’ll come visit you again in the future when I have time.”
 The elevator cruised to a stop, the doors sliding open to the highest floor of the building.

“You’re so young yet all that goes through your head is money. You’re just like your teacher.”

“I can’t do anything without money,” Tang Wulin mumbled. “If you’re not going to give me any, then I’ll just go do some missions. But since I don’t have my badge right now, the staff won’t let me take on any. Can’t you bend the rules a little for me?”

Zhen Hua let out a chuckle. “Fine then, kid. I’ll have someone bring over some money in a bit. Go accept some missions now, just don’t let anyone see you. Right, I wanted to ask you this. Since you’re Mu Chen’s disciple, did you also join Shrek’s Blacksmith’s Association?”

“Yes. I have a teacher there too.”

“Are you talking about that old madman?” Zhen Hua asked. Tang Wulin nodded.
Zhen Hua’s expression darkened. After a few moments of silence, he spoke up. “What do you need to do for your exam?”

Tang Wulin, without withholding a single detail, honestly explained the exam’s requirements.

“Wow! Shrek Academy sure is strict! Well, I can help you find an opponent for Heaven Dou City. I can arrange transportation for you too.”

Tang Wulin beamed. “Thank you, President!”

Zhen Hua flashed a warm smile of his own. “You know, Mu Chen and I were actually apprenticed to the same master. I’m his senior brother. You don’t have to call me President. Just call me uncle-master.”

Uncle-master?
 Never had Tang Wulin heard such a thing from Mu Chen before.

“Uncle-master.” Tang Wulin didn’t hesitate. It was a wonderful thing to have a Divine Blacksmiths as his uncle-master!

Zhen Hua nodded in approval. “Take a rest here. I’ll go arrange an opponent for you.” Before he could do anything else, Tang Wulin spoke again.

“Uncle-master, I’m hungry.” Tang Wulin had consumed a lot of blood
essence during the alloy forging, and the one meal he chanced upon today was only meant for ordinary people.

“Alright. I’ll have someone bring you over to my personal dining hall.” Zhen Hua smiled gently. He felt the embers of approval spark brighter and hotter in his chest. This kid isn’t the least bit nervous. Not bad.

As the President of the Blacksmith’s Association, his personal dining hall only served the best of the best. Blacksmithing was an exhausting job, and especially so for a Divine Blacksmith. There were few people on the
continent who ate better than him. Moreover, unlike most people, he had plenty of money!

As a Divine Blacksmith, each of his products were worth more than their weight in gold. His wealth rivaled that of a small nation.

Because blacksmiths needed a lot of money in the early and middle stages of their career, advancing was difficult. However, once they broke through the boundary of the sixth rank, the profits came pouring in. At that point, blacksmithing was undoubtedly the most lucrative profession.

Nevertheless, Zhen Hua’s personal dining hall was quite small, only about twenty square meters in area. A plain, round table sat at the center of the room, further contributing to the image of austerity.

When the dishes arrived, Tang Wulin was moved to tears.
 The first dish was a thousand-year land dragon’s tendon. This was one of the spirit items Tang Wulin had needed to break one of his previous seals, yet Zhen Hua treated it merely as food!

To be fair, the piece of tendon was small. It had been stewed for a long time and was soft and sticky, a tantalizing aroma rising from it, ensnaring the
senses with a single whiff. Indeed, one sniff and Tang Wulin’s blood essence thrummed in excitement. He began to drool.

The rice served with this tendon was the premium moonlight rice. It could only be found in extremely cold climates and took three years to grow and harvest. A small amount was produced each year. The grains of rice seemed to bend moonlight around it to produce a silvery aura and carried a refreshingly cold scent. When Tang Wulin took his first bite of this dish, the sweet flavor of the rice mixed with the warmth of the stewed tendon, blending together in a magical combination of textures and flavor. It was heaven for his taste buds.

Chapter 426 - Amazing

Chapter 426 - Amazing Amazing!
That was the only thought that crossed Tang Wulin’s mind as he gobbled down the rice and tendon. The plate of thousand-year land dragon tendon disappeared in a flash, along with six bowls of moonlight rice.

The chef, a wizened man in his fifties, had smiled happily as he watched Tang Wulin eat in the beginning, but by the end, his delight changed into astonishment. This kid really knows how to eat!

Though his servings were a far cry from their usual abundance, the moonlight rice and dragon tendons were much more nutritious than ordinary food. A single grain of moonlight rice would be enough to satisfy an ordinary person for a day. Tang Wulin still craved for more after six bowls.

Sensing Tang Wulin’s blood essence growing stronger with each bite, the chef jokingly thought to himself that all of the food was being turned into blood essence.

A while later, after soup was served and Tang Wulin finished his seventh bowl of rice, he looked up at the chef. “Uncle, is there any more?”

The chef didn’t know what kind of expression he should make. “You can even eat more than the President! There’s nothing left.”

Tang Wulin put down his bowl with a whimper. “You’re really still hungry?”
 “Yeah. My stomach is only a bit more than half full. Well, I’ll be fine. But what is Uncle-master going to eat?”

The chef flashed Tang Wulin a thumbs up, then stood up and walked back to the small kitchen in the back. “Wait a bit.”

Meanwhile, Zhen Hua was busy pacing the floor in a different room as Tang Wulin had been stuffing his gut.

“Mu Chen, I can’t believe you!” he shouted into his soul communicator the moment the call connected, his voice an octave higher than usual.

On the other end of the line, Mu Chen felt his heartbeat quicken. “Is something wrong? What’s going on?”

Zhen Hua sneered. “You have the nerve to ask me that? Are you telling me you didn’t deliberately send your disciple here to stir up some trouble?”

“Disciple?” Mu Chen’s pitch rose as well. “Did you meet Wulin?”

“Who else could I be talking about?” Sarcasm dripped from Zhen Hua’s words.

The line went silent.

“Say something! When did you pick up such an incredible kid?” Zhen Hua asked. The calm expression he had shown Tang Wulin was but a facade. It had taken all of his willpower from to hide the shock from his face. There was no way a Divine Blacksmith such as himself didn’t understand the
significance of a fourteen-year-old fifth-rank blacksmith.

Tang Wulin had a sturdy foundation, good wits, and a godly talent for blacksmithing. All of this Zhen Hua had discerned from Tang Wulin’s handling of the cloud gold hammers.

Tang Wulin was destined to become the next generation’s Divine
Blacksmith! As long as he grew steadily, this was inevitable. Of course, that meant he had to become a Titled Douluo. However, it was much easier for blacksmiths to become Titled Douluos than for combat-oriented soul
 masters. They could simply use some heavenly treasures to boost them up to that level. Although this would result in an unstable foundation, they
would still become a Titled Douluo and have the necessary soul power for their path to a Divine Blacksmith.

Aware of these facts, Zhen Hua wasn’t worried about Tang Wulin’s growth as a soul master. He was one of the ten richest people on the continent. He had more than enough resources for the items necessary to nurture a prodigy like Tang Wulin. The sole issue so far had been finding one!

“Don’t even think about it!” Mu Chen shouted back. “Mu Chen,” Zhen Hua said gently.
Mu Chen’s laugh was thick with sarcasm, voice coming out gruff from the other side of the line. “Don’t bother. I already know all about your tricks.”

Zhen Hua chuckled. “Weren’t we once fellow apprentices?”

“Yes, we were. But that has nothing to do with this.” In fact, Mu Chen understood Zhen Hua better than anyone else precisely because Zhen Hua was his senior brother.

Zhen Hua ignored the frost practically spreading through his speakers.
“Junior Brother! Don’t you remember how we were back in the old days? We were praised as the two greatest prodigies of the blacksmithing world. We’ve been through thick and thin together! Just tell me, didn’t I take care of you as your senior brother?”

But Mu Chen was an impenetrable fortress. “Anything else is fine, but not my disciple!”

“Didn’t I let you have my beloved Yuan Bao’er back then? And now you have an adorable daughter thanks to that! What about me? I have no wife, and I never will. The only woman in my heart is Bao’er. Do you have any idea how much it pained me to make that decision? I don’t really want a disciple. I want a son that can look after me as I age!” Zhen Hua cried,
choking back sobs.
 Mu Chen went silent.

Years ago, Zhen Hua, Yuan Bao’er, and Mu Chen had been apprenticed to the same master together. Zhen Hua was the eldest disciple, followed by Mu Chen and Yuan Bao’er in that order. Out of the trio, Yuan Bao’er was the only girl. She had a mischievous personality and, compared to the others, was a bit of a slacker in learning blacksmithing. Even so, she was the target of affection for her two senior brothers. As the three grew up together, so did their emotions for each other. But in the end, Zhen Hua
chose to dedicate his life to blacksmithing, and Yuan Bao’er ended up with Mu Chen. In a sense, Zhen Hua truly had given her to Mu Chen.
Blacksmithing had simply pulled ahead from the other important thing in his life, his beloved Yuan Bao’er.

Still, Mu Chen felt guilty. He had no retort to Zhen Hua.

“Eldest Brother, are you crying?” a gentle voice interjected through the communicator.

A cold shiver traveled down Zhen Hua’s spine. “Is that you, Bao’er?”

“Eldest Brother, how about I kick Mu Chen to the curb then run over to you?” she said sweetly.

“No! It’s fine!” Zhen Hua answered immediately. “Junior Sister, how could you say something like that? Mu Chen and I are brothers, I couldn’t possibly…”

“Then stop talking out of your ass! Don’t call if you have nothing to say!” Yuan Bao’er shouted. A moment later, the dial tone played.

Zhen Hua didn’t know how to react to all this.

On Mu Chen’s side, he stared at his wife, stupefied. He had never seen his wife act so violently before. She was usually mild-tempered.

“Bao’er, are you feeling alright?” Mu Chen rubbed her forehead.
 Yuan Bao’er took advantage of this and sat on his lap, throwing her arms around his neck in a tight embrace. All traces of her previous temper were
wiped off the face of the earth. “I’m fine. In fact, I’m great! My kindness is only meant for you though.”

Mu Chen looked at her curiously. “What about Eldest Brother then?”

Yuan Bao’er snorted. “I was just warning him not to use what happened back then to threaten you. I’ve already kept it a secret for so many years for his sake, but it looks like he doesn’t care about saving some face.”

A blank look crossed Mu Chen’s face. “What do you mean? What secret?”

Yuan Bao’er snickered. “Do you really think he fearlessly chose to devote himself to blacksmithing back then? You dummy. That’s too naive! Eldest Brother is really cunning. He had long since asked me to marry him by that time. You were so oblivious about it! Eldest Brother is a good person, but he’s too stubborn and ambitious. I couldn’t love someone like that. I just
wanted someone who I could have fun with. You might have been a bit dumb back then, but you were a lot more reliable than him. You only have me in your heart. If it had been him, then it would have been me and blacksmithing in his heart. And I’m sure blacksmithing would have still placed higher than me. Who would choose a guy like him? So I told him I liked you. After that, he went into seclusion. I didn’t mention any of this before only because I wanted to spare him the embarrassment.”

Mu Chen was dumbstruck. At first, he couldn’t believe what his wife was telling him, but as the seconds ticked by, the puzzle pieces started coming together.

“No wonder you chose me. You’re definitely more suited for a laid-back lifestyle. You would never be able to devote your life to blacksmithing life Zhen Hua did. You broke contact from a lot of people when we moved to Eastsea City too! Some people even think you died.”

Yuan Bao’er smiled. “I like this sort of simple life. It’s enough as long as I have you and Little Xi.”

Chapter 427 - Ruby Shrimp

Chapter 427 - Ruby Shrimp

When Zhen Hua returned to his personal dining hall, his expression was already back to normal.

Tang Wulin stood up straight from his seat at the sound of the door opening.“Uncle-master,” he said.

Zhen Hua waved for him to sit back down. “Are you done eating?” “Yes, I ate.”
“Alright. That’s good,” Zhen Hua said. “I just called your master to tell him you came over. He told me to take good care of you. I’ve also arranged an opponent for you. They’ll be waiting for you in the Blacksmith’s
Association’s sealed space. I’ll record the match so you can use it as proof.”

“Thank you, Uncle-master,” Tang Wulin said. After eating the moonlight rice and dragon tendon, he felt his body swell with warmth. His blood
essence bubbled within him, and his mind was sharp as a blade. He was in peak condition.

“No need to thank me. You’re my junior so this is only natural. So you’re a student at Shrek Academy with three soul rings, right? Do you have any plans for the future?” Zhen Hua asked.

Without skipping a beat, Tang Wulin replied, “I want to become a battle armor master!”

Zhen Hua cracked a smile. “How ambitious. You know, I forged most of the metals used to make the battle armors at Shrek Academy. Next time I visit,
 how about I find you and give you some pointers?”

“Yes, please! That would be awesome!” Tang Wulin could hardly contain himself with excitement. Not when a Divine Blacksmith had agreed to
afford him guidance!

“It’s settled then. Give me your number and I’ll call you next time I’m in town.”

Zhen Hua was a man of determination who reached the peak in his field! There had been more to his call with Mu Chen than just as an avenue to vent his frustration. In fact, underneath the many layers of subtext and his own personal brand of care, he was also telling Mu Chen that there was no use in hiding Tang Wulin anymore. Mu Chen may be able to teach Tang Wulin soul refining, but teaching him how to heavenly refine was a different story. That was where Zhen Hua came in. When that time came, things would be much easier for Tang Wulin under a Divine Blacksmith’s watchful eye.

Therefore, Zhen Hua’s current plan was to develop a good relationship with Tang Wulin, whom he had taken quite the liking to. Tang Wulin might be greedy, but greed was good motivation for a blacksmith! As long as Tang Wulin put in the work as a blacksmith, he would drown in money later on.

At that moment, the kitchen door swung open, the chef carrying a platter as he passed through the doorway.

Before the chef arrived at the dining table, Tang Wulin could already smell the tantalizing aroma wafting over from the platter. His eyes widened, mouth instantly watering. It was as if a wave of deliciousness had assaulted his nose. The strong aroma roused his blood essence far more than the previous dishes.

What dish is it?

The platter was half a meter in diameter. Six humongous shrimps lay plump on its surface, and the heads were similarly gigantic. The shells were
already peeled, revealing their glossy flesh, a bold shade of crimson. There
 were no seasonings or sauces to enhance their scent. The alluring aroma had come from these shrimp.

“What’s the special occasion? Why did you bring out the ruby shrimp? You’d normally never do that!” Zhen Hua exclaimed.

The chef snorted. “Your mind is always elsewhere, so how could you
appreciate a true culinary delicacy? This kid has got quite a stomach, and he loves my food from the bottom of his heart. I’m cooking this for him.
You’re lucky to have met him.”

Tang Wulin was surprised by how the chef treated Zhen Hua. Despite there not being a single shred of soul power radiating from the chef’s body, they gave off the image of being equals.

Zhen Hua chuckled. “Count me a lucky man then. My little nephew- disciple is so amazing. But aren’t you suffering a loss here too? In a sense, isn’t he one of your people?”

The chef smiled, mischief dancing in his eyes. “Did you think I couldn’t tell? Kid, eat up. These are ruby shrimp, also known as blood shrimp.
They’re one of the bizarre creatures living three kilometers below the Blood Trench. Their blood essence is similar to that of humans. I think you should be able to handle eating three of them.”

Which meant that the other three were clearly meant for Zhen Hua.

“Thank you.” Tang Wulin rose from his seat and bent into a slight bow to the chef. Never had he come across the name ruby shrimp before, but he was certain that it was an absolute delicacy!

The last fibers of his self restraint snapped. He grabbed a shrimp by its tail and popped it into his mouth.

The meat was sweet and tender, a hint of fruitiness dancing at the edges. When he pressed his teeth together for a chew, warm, flavorful juices gushed out of the shrimp and trickled down his throat.
 His body submerged into a pool of comfort. He could hear a buzz permeating his mind as his skin blushed red. A burst of warmth spread through him and the golden veined pattern of the Golden Dragon King
surfaced all over his body. His blood essence surged. Without any conscious control, it flowed in reverse, following the path set by Golden Dragon Shocks the Heavens.

At the sight of Tang Wulin’s golden skin and raging blood essence, Zhen Hua and the chef froze, stupefied. When a golden soul ring made its debut, the chef’s jaw finally dropped. His eyes were glued to Tang Wulin.

Sucking in a deep breath, Tang Wulin looked within himself to inspect his body. He was astonished to find his blood essence attacking the fourth seal on the Golden Dragon King. Wave after wave of blood essence crashed
against the seal, wearing it down bit by bit, and the seal flashed brilliantly each time.

Concerned at the scene, Zhen Hua shot the chef a doubtful look. “Is he digesting it immediately? Doesn’t it usually take a whole year to digest ruby shrimp?”

The chef shrugged. “I don’t know. You’re the one who brought this little monster here.”

Zhen Hua smiled. “Yeah. He really is a little monster. He’s from Shrek Academy.”

Once the chef heard that fact, a light flashed in his eyes, his cheeks beginning to twitch. “If I knew earlier, I wouldn’t have fed him the shrimp! But his body really is interesting. You weren’t wrong to say he’s one of my people.”

For over ten minutes Tang Wulin’s blood essence continued to bubble
within him before gradually settling down. In the end, the seal still held, but the feverous blood essence flaring within him was undeniable. It was as if his entire body had been refined and he felt utterly comfortable. His soul power surged, two months worth of cultivation added on after just a few moments of eating.
 “Thank you, Senior,” Tang Wulin said to the chef respectfully. There were only two shrimp left. The other three had already been eaten by Zhen Hua.

The chef shook his head. “This is an opportunity for you. If you want to take me as your master and eat food like this every day, then leave Shrek Academy. It’s your decision.”

Tang Wulin was taken aback. The chef’s food left a deep impression on him. If he could eat food of such quality every day, then his cultivation
would progress by leaps and bounds! He wouldn’t have to worry about his blood essence for the first nine seals either. That said, he was also a person of integrity.

“Senior, thank you for your offer, but I’m a student of Shrek Academy. I
can’t leave just yet. If you’re still willing to take me in after I graduate, then when that time comes…”

The chef waved in dismissal. He stood up in one brisk motion and returned to the kitchen.

Witnessing such a strange scene, Tang Wulin turned to Zhen Hua for guidance. “Uncle-master, is that chef uncle angry?”

“Chef? Hehe. He’s not angry. He just knows he has no hope. People from Shrek aren’t fools. Would they really let a talent like you graduate from the outer court? You’re definitely bound for the inner court. He knows he doesn’t stand a chance, so there was no point in staying. Here. These last two shrimp are yours. Kid, I’ve got to say, your stomach is amazing!”

Tang Wulin quickly took the remaining two shrimp and threw them into his mouth. His blood essence surged once more and assaulted the fourth seal.
However, his body’s ability to handle blood essence had improved, so the attack on the seal wasn’t as powerful as the first time. Even so, Tang Wulin could feel the fourth seal growing slack.

But he had no plans of breaking the fourth seal right then. Despite having enough soul power to do so, he also had to take into account the amount of
the Golden Dragon King’s power he could absorb after the seal was broken.
 His body wasn’t ready yet. Plus, there was still time to find the spirit items Old Tang had informed him.

Zhen Hua waited until Tang Wulin finished digesting the remaining shrimp before standing up from his seat and walking to the door. “Let’s go then. I’ll bring you to battle your opponent. Afterward you can be on your way to finish your exam.”

There was still one thing of interest, though. “Uncle-master, who was that chef uncle?” Tang Wulin asked.

Chapter 428 - Temptation

Chapter 428 - Temptation

“He’s just an eccentric guy! I’m his only friend. Well, in any case, I’m not sure if you’ll ever meet him again. But I’ll tell you this.” Zhen Hua motioned for Tang Wulin to lean closer, covering part of his mouth with a cupped hand. “He doesn’t have a good relationship with Shrek Academy, and he doesn’t like dealing with them.”

Zhen Hua’s ambiguous words left Tang Wulin puzzled, but he didn’t think much about it. Right now, he had to focus on finishing his exam.

A spatial door opened before them. The door reminded him of the one to the spirit soul tower at the Spirit Pagoda. He hadn’t expected the
Blacksmith’s Association would also have such a space.

“Are you familiar with this?” Zhen Hua noticed the glint in Tang Wulin’s eyes.

Tang Wulin nodded. “Yeah. The Spirit Pagoda headquarters has a door just like this.”

“Yes, they’re similar. Similar, but different. Apart from Shrek Academy, no other society can compare with the Spirit Pagoda’s resources. However, our Blacksmith’s Association also has a few tricks up its sleeve, and this sealed space is used for storing important treasures and classified materials. You
could call it our warehouse. Only high-level members of the Association can enter it. Once you become a Saint Blacksmith, you’ll gain access to it too. The key is a Saint Blacksmith’s badge.”

Saint Blacksmith’s were seventh-rank blacksmiths. Tang Wulin yearned for the day he could finally step on that plane of existence.
 “Uncle-master, is it hard to soul refine?” Tang Wulin asked.

Zhen Hua smiled and shook his head. “It’s both hard and not hard at the
same time. You have a strong foundation and good wits. But you’re lacking in soul power. I can help you with that, though. I have many treasures that can boost your cultivation. Would you like to go that route?”

Tang Wulin stared at him in astonishment. “Uncle-master, what do you mean?”

Zhen Hua chuckled. “I can see it in your eyes that you already understand. Don’t you feel embarrassed keeping up an act?”

Tang Wulin scratched his head, showing a meek smile. Of course he would want to get his hands on some treasures.

“If you use treasures to boost your cultivation, I guarantee you’ll become a Titled Douluo and Divine Blacksmith within fifteen years. However, I must warn you, your foundation won’t be firm and you’ll likely never advance into a Hyper Douluo. Still, that should be enough for you in my opinion.
Battle armor will improve your strength anyway. As long as you get a set of four-word battle armor and become a Titled Douluo, you’ll stand at the very peak of the world,” Zhen Hua said.

“Uncle-master, I’ve always been curious about that. If battle armor can make a Titled Douluo as powerful as a Limit Douluo, why do they still continue to cultivate to become Hyper Douluos?”

Zhen Hua sighed. “They’re not quite the same. You’ll understand once you reach that level. Even if you compared two Limit Douluos, or two Titled
Douluos with the same amount of soul power, the combat strength of the one who boosted their advancement through the use of treasures and the one who advanced normally would differ. And more importantly, only by relying on their own strength can they hope to ascend to godhood. No one has ascended in the last ten thousand years. But who doesn’t wish to ascend like the founder of the Tang Sect, Tang San? Or the Spirit Pagoda founder, Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao?
 “Think about this carefully. If you choose to accept my offer, then I’ll nurture you into a Divine Blacksmith by the time you’re thirty. You’ll be the youngest Divine Blacksmith in all of history and stand at the world’s summit. However, you’ll also be turning your back on the path of battle, forgoing the mysteries of the world.”

A moment of silence slipped by. ”Uncle-master,” Tang Wulin eventually said. “Can you give me some time to consider it?”

Zhen Hua’s offer was enticing. Tang Wulin’s cultivation wasn’t advancing quickly, but when it came to blacksmithing, he was blessed by the heavens. If he became a Divine Blacksmith and a Titled Douluo, he could easily proceed to become a four-word battle armor master as well. However, he had to consider if this was what he truly wanted. With this sudden choice thrust upon him, he didn’t know what to do.

Zhen Hua smiled. “Don’t worry about it too much. I didn’t know what to do back when I was your age too. Just pick whatever route you think is best for you. And even if you choose to cultivate with your own efforts, you still have a good chance of becoming a Divine Blacksmith. Consider your options carefully, and when you make your decision, make sure you do so with the resolve to see it through to the end with no regrets. There are
countless treasures in this world, but there are none that can cure regret.” “Thank you, Uncle-master.”
The two stepped through the spatial doorway and entered the sealed space. It was enormous, utterly different from that of the spirit soul tower. Truly a gigantic warehouse. Countless doors lined the perimeter and stood all
around, leading to unknown spaces.

With a wave of his hand, Zhen Hua brought Tang Wulin to the center of the space. Jarring was the brisk, instantaneous movement for Tang Wulin.

Zhen Hua placed a palm upon a door and entered with a gentle push. Inside was a large hall brimming with energy. A barrier created an arena in the middle of the hall, and a man in his twenties waited in the center.
 The man bowed when he caught sight of Zhen Hua. “President.”

Zhen Hua cracked a slight smile. “Prepare to begin. Wulin, let me introduce you. This is one of our Association’s guardians, Xie Yinling. Please take
care of each other.”

“Hello, I’m Tang Wulin.”

Although Xie Yinling couldn’t be called handsome, he had a refreshing aura to him, and examined Tang Wulin with curious eyes. What sort of background does this kid have that the President would recommend him to have a match with me?

Zhen Hua withheld from him details about Tang Wulin. All he let slip from his lips was that he had found a good opponent him. Xie Yinling had never expected his opponent would be just a kid!

“I’m Xie Yinling. Please advise me.” Without another word, Xie Yinling retreated a few steps. He extended his right hand and gestured for Tang Wulin to make his move.

Despite his youth, Tang Wulin had plenty of battle experience. He took a few paces forward to face Xie Yinling in a battle stance.

Two yellow and two purple soul rings rose from beneath Xie Yinling. Just as Tang Wulin had requested, Zhen Hua found him an opponent stronger than him.

Xie Yinling was twenty years old this year, and a rank 43 Soul Ancestor.

As Tang Wulin strode forward, three purple soul rings rose past his feet. The sight startled Xie Yinling.

“Begin,” Zhen Hua declared.

In a split second, Tang Wulin jumped into action. Rather than summoning his bluesilver grass, he stomped on the ground and shot forward like a
cannonball. He didn’t want to waste any more time.
 Xie Yinling took a step back. His lungs swelled with air as he let out a piercing bird’s screech. A pair of wings unfurled from his back and a green aura spread throughout his body as he ascended into the air.

His martial soul is a flying-type! It’s the eagle! Tang Wulin instantly judged. As a student of Shrek Academy, he could identify a martial soul at ease

Tang Wulin leaped after him. Unfortunately, he only reached eight meters into the air while Xie Yinling hovered at a height of ten. Seeing that, Xie Yinling relaxed his guard a bit, confident in his ability to take the win. The moment Tang Wulin’s three purple soul rings had materialized,
apprehension chewed at the edges of his calm. But as soon as he was up in the air, his domain, his doubts had been extinguished. Especially when Tang Wulin could not reach him in a leap

When facing a flying soul master, one of the greatest mistakes a soul master who couldn’t fly could make was jumping into the air to engage. At that point, they were practically sitting ducks. Flying soul masters boasted
exceptional speed in the air.

That said, Xie Yinling’s confident smile froze in the next instant.

Chapter 429 - True Strength

Chapter 429 - True Strength

Shooting a golden vine at the ground, Tang Wulin bounced upward using it as a spring.. His sudden acceleration brought him in front of Xie Yinling in a flash.

Not good! Xie Yinling was a bit slow to react. He pushed his hands forward as soon as he snapped free of surprise, stopping his ascent. His wings took on a sharp metallic shine as he brandished them and used Eagle Wing Slash! The wings came slicing down on Tang Wulin’s shoulder. At the same time, Xie Yinling circulated his soul power within his body to keep him
afloat in the air.

Eagle Wing Slash was his second soul skill. Yet, he didn’t dare underestimate Tang Wulin, his third soul ring lighting up as a result. His third soul skill was linked with his fourth, and eclipsed soul skills of the
same level in aerial combat. As such, he was convinced after blocking Tang Wulin’s charge victory would swiftly follow.

However, his plans were dashed in an instant.

Tang Wulin scrunched up his body in mid-air as the wings bore down on him, hands shooting out to deflect the attack. He stared Xie Yinling straight in the eye, his irises flashing purple. Bluesilver grass sprang out of the ground and curled around Xie Yinling like an iron chain. With his opponent restrained, Tang Wulin whipped out his right fist for a powerful knockout punch.

Although Xie Yinling was restrained, his arms were still still mobile,
extended in front of him in an effort to meet Tang Wulin’s attack. Unable to
 use his third soul skill in his current position, he had no choice but to divert Tang Wulin first!

Tang Wulin didn’t withdraw his fist as those two arms chopped down. His fist continued its trajectory, swift and brisk, easily evading Xie Yinling’s parry. In that hairbreadth of a moment, golden scales glimmered, popping into existence on his arm.

Xie Yinling was stunned at the sight of the transformation. The golden claw reached his chest in an instant.

I’m finished!

His mind went blank. But rather than the scalding pain of claw tearing through flesh, he felt a more subtle sensation. The claw lightly bumped him and disrupted his internal soul power circulation. Then Tang Wulin grabbed the bluesilver grass binding him and yanked, throwing him against the ground like a rag doll, the earth crackling beneath him upon impact.

Tang Wulin landed next to Xie Yinling and released him from his restraints then took two steps back. “Excuse me.”

Xie Yinling was speechless.

I didn’t even get a chance to fight! He was frustrated by how helpless he had been throughout the entire battle. He had only been able to use one soul skill before losing, the battle having ended too quickly. It pained him to
swallow the bitter pill of reality. He had lost. Admitting it wasn’t easy,
especially since he hadn’t been able to work out Tang Wulin’s martial soul.

Zhen Hua had stood by, watching from a distance with cold detachment.
Even for him, the battle had ended too quickly. A few moves and it was
settled. Tang Wulin hadn’t wasted any strength, each move wrapped tightly in a blanket of precision and consideration. Xie Yinling thought he hadn’t had a chance to show off his true strength, but in Zhen Hua’s eyes, it was Tang Wulin who had been reserved.
 Are all students from Shrek Academy this strong? He had thought that with a one ring difference, Tang Wulin would have struggled a bit.

He was jolted out of his thoughts by the sound of Tang Wulin’s voice, the young man approaching him with steady steps. “Thank you for helping me, Uncle-master.”

“Mn. Let’s go then.” Zhen Hua patted Tang Wulin’s shoulder.

Tang Wulin dropped one final glance at Xie Yinling and a curt nod before following Zhen Hua out.

Meanwhile, Xie Yinling still refused to accept the outcome of the match.
However, as one of the Blacksmith’s Association’s guardians, it would be too impudent to request a rematch in front of the President. If he knew Tang Wulin was the class president of Shrek Academy’s first grade, his attitude would have been far different.

“Wulin, I never would have thought you would be so strong. Not bad. Since this is the case, I don’t recommend you take me up on my offer. You’re still young. You can just wait until you’re twenty before you decide. And at that time, if you still don’t have five rings, then I would suggest the route I presented to you. Once you’re boosted to six rings, you can go the rest of the way with your own efforts. Your soul power is very strong, but it’s impossible to heavenly refine without becoming a Titled Douluo,” Zhen
Hua said.

“Understood.”

Before Tang Wulin left, Zhen Hua handed him a card containing one million Federal credits. It was enough for the rest of his trip. Zhen Hua also threw a storage ring into the mix, one much better than his previous few.
The storage space was larger with many compartments for easy organization. In Zhen Hua’s own words, this was a gift, and it contained everything that he exchanged the cloud gold hammers for.

Tang Wulin peeked inside the ring. Despite not containing money, there were eighteen different types of valuable metals stored within. Twelve of
 them he had only heard of but had never seen before. There were also over a dozen bottles of the alloy forging catalyst refined by Zhen Hua.

Zhen Hua didn’t make a fuss about the gift, and neither did Tang Wulin.

He didn’t see Tang Wulin out, but he did direct him to use the backdoor. Tang Wulin’s performance had been too outrageous. Everyone was still talking about him. Tang Wulin would draw too much attention if he left through the front, especially if he was escorted by the President himself.

After Tang Wulin stepped out through the back, as he was about to call a taxi, he paused at the sight of Wu Zhangkong.

“Teacher Wu,” he greeted.

Wu Zhangkong’s expression remained icy, not a hint of surprise. “I knew you would be here.”

Tang Wulin rushed to his side. And then, after thinking it over, he threw the hand with the ring behind him. “I got this ring after I left campus. You can’t say I’m cheating!”

Wu Zhangkong eyed him. “From now on, I will be following you closely until the end of the exam. Just do whatever you have to without minding me.”

Tang Wulin was taken aback. “Aren’t you supposed to be watching from the shadows? Could it be that…?”

Wu Zhangkong furrowed his brow. “An evil soul master appeared. The terrorist attack you foiled was arranged by that same person. I already notified the Academy, and they’ve dispatched more teachers to come protect the examinees. I will be watching over you personally. Due to the limited number of teachers, however, you will need to act as a group.” He pointed to the side as he spoke.

Tang Wulin tracked his gesture to see familiar faces. Gu Yue, Ye Xinglan, Xu Xiaoyan, Xu Lizhi, and Xie Xie stood a distance away, smiling brightly.
 Although they missed Tang Wulin’s train, they boarded the very next one with Wu Zhangkong, arriving at Heaven Dou City as a group. They were following the same route after all.

When Wu Zhangkong had lost Tang Wulin, the gears in his head spun in overdrive. Penniless yet possessing such high blacksmithing skills, Tang Wulin was most likely to be found near the local Blacksmith’s Association.

“Hi guys.” Tang Wulin beamed.

His mood soared. After visiting the Blacksmith’s Association, he no longer felt guilty over the security captain’s death.

Xu Lizhi took the initiative to walk over. He sized Tang Wulin up, then sniffed. Astonishment filled his face. “Did you eat something good?”

Tang Wulin’s jaw dropped. “How did you know?”

Xu Lizhi gave a toothy grin. “Us food-types have an amazing sense of smell! Come on! Hurry up and tell me what you ate!”

“What’s the use in telling you? It’s not like you can eat it now. I don’t want to make you hungry.”

Wu Zhangkong interjected. “Have you won a match yet?” Tang Wulin nodded.
“Alright. None of the others have finished yet. You guys decide on your plan. Don’t mind me. I’ll just follow along quietly.”

Tang Wulin understood that Wu Zhangkong was there to protect them, and a soft warmth brushed his heart. He turned to his friends and smiled. “It looks like we’re together again. Where do you guys want to go to find some opponents?”

“Let’s head to the Spirit Pagoda,” Gu Yue said, her eyes shining as she looked at him.
 The Spirit Pagoda? Tang Wulin’s smile flashed even brighter. That’s right! There’s tons of soul masters over there! Gu Yue has a high status there too, so it should be easy to find some opponents!

“Yeah. Let’s go.”

Heaven Dou City was bustling with activity. It didn’t take them long to find a taxi, and soon they were on their way to the local Spirit Pagoda.

In the car, Tang Wulin let Wu Zhangkong view the video of his fight with Xie Yinling and sent him the file soon after. Wu Zhangkong did not
comment on the battle. With that, Tang Wulin had cleared his first city.

Chapter 430 - These Trees Were Planted by Me!

Chapter 430 - These Trees Were Planted by Me!

Heaven Dou City’s local Spirit Pagoda was only second to the headquarters in Shrek City. It towered over the surrounding buildings, breathtaking in its height.

Currently, Xu Lizhi and Tang Wulin were walking together.

“I can feel that your blood essence is thicker than before! It’s definitely because of whatever you ate. I can’t believe you won’t tell me!” Xu Lizhi cried. “Aren’t we brothers?”

“Fine. I give. It was ruby shrimp.” Although the thousand-year land dragon tendon was potent as well, it couldn’t compare with the ruby shrimp.

At the sound of those words, Xu Lizhi trembled. “Ruby shrimp? Where did you get it?”

Tang Wulin looked at him suspiciously. “Someone else gave it to me. Do you know of it? It wasn’t until it was right in front of me that I even heard of its name.”

“It’s the ruby shrimp from the Blood Trench, right?” “Mn.” Tang Wulin nodded.
Xu Lizhi was dumbstruck. After gathering himself for a few moments, he spoke. “Are you sure that’s what you had? All soul devices malfunction near the Blood Trench because of its bizarre magnetic field. The trench is
 also several kilometers deep and teeming with soul beasts. It’s known as one of the world’s forbidden areas! That ruby shrimp you said you had are only found in the Blood Trench. Even four-word battle armor masters have trouble retrieving them. Are you sure that’s what you ate?”

Tang Wulin had guessed that the ruby shrimp was precious, but he had never expected it to be to this degree! It was a delicacy that could only be obtained by four-word battle armor masters! It was no wonder that even a Divine Blacksmith like Zhen Hua regarded it as precious.

“Who gave it to you? I want to try it too!” Xu Lizhi sulked.

“I don’t know his name,” Tang Wulin said. “He’s my uncle-master’s friend. There aren’t any left anyway. Or do you want me to puke it out for you to try? I think there’s still a bit left in my stomach.”

“You’re disgusting!” Ye Xinglan, who was walking ahead of him, shot a dirty look in his direction.

Xu Lizhi went silent with gloom. He was depressed that he missed out on such an experience.

They soon reached the Spirit Pagoda, their chatter culled to an attentive quiet. Wu Zhangkong followed behind them without a word, simply
watching them with his cold eyes.

Tang Wulin glanced at his teacher. The thought of Wu Zhangkong’s lover buried in the cemetary of Heaven Dou City lingered in his mind.

Wu Zhangkong returned his glance with a sharp look. Then his eyes drifted elsewhere.

Gu Yue flashed her ID and was immediately admitted inside. She led them up to a conference room on the third floor.

Before long, a middle-aged man entered the room. “Hello, Miss Gu Yue,” the middle-aged man said.
 “Hello.” Gu Yue stood and nodded to him.

The man made an awkward face. “I’ve passed on your request to the rest of the staff, but it would break too many rules. We’re an organization that
serves soul masters after all. We can’t just ask visitors to have a match. It would be too troubling for them. We have no duty to do that either.”

Gu Yue furrowed her brow. “Is there any other way?”

The man shook his head. “I asked the higher ups, but I’m afraid it’s impossible. The Heavenly Phoenix Douluo called and said you had to handle this yourself. We aren’t to lend you any help.”

Gu Yue went silent for a moment. “Teacher knows about this?” The man smiled meekly but remained silent.
“Okay.” Gu Yue nodded, then turned to her companions. “Let’s go.”

They followed Gu Yue out in silence, Tang Wulin jogging to her side in the process. “It’s fine. We’ll just find some other way. And if we can’t, we can just go to the Blacksmith’s Association. I’m sure my uncle-master will help us.”

Gu Yue shook her head. “That would be too inconvenient and take too much time. I have a plan.”

Ye Xinglan pursed her lips.“Are you saying…?”

The two shared a glance, eyes lighting up in mutual understanding. Tang Wulin felt a chill travel down his spine, apprehension creeping up on him.


Sun Runyu left the Spirit Pagoda in high spirits. His body felt light with his new and suitable spirit soul.

At thirty-five years old, he possessed two spirit souls before this one. Due to his average martial soul, his spiritual power wasn’t particularly strong,
 and he had only been able to sustain two spirit souls that allowed him four soul rings. After devoting blood and sweat to cultivating, he finally reached rank 50. He knew that he had no hopes of ever reaching seven rings, but he still wished to obtain a spirit soul capable of taking him that far. At the very least, he would be acknowledged within the world of soul masters.

He saved up money by living frugally until he scraped enough to visit the Spirit Pagoda. Luck smiled upon him. He obtained a good purple spirit soul and fused with it, becoming stronger than before..

From then on, he was a genuine five-ringed Soul King. Not to mention, he could now boast a thousand-year soul ring.

Soul Kings were quite respected among soul masters. Furthermore, he was a mecha pilot. With a strong spirit soul to fuse with his mecha, he now had the strength to reach the rank of lieutenant colonel and command a
squadron of thirty mechas.

Sun Runyu was filled with excitement as he thought about his future. His hard work was finally paying off. Even if he couldn’t become a Soul Sage, becoming a Soul Emperor was not beyond reach. Once he stepped into that level, he would have the qualifications to be promoted to a colonel. He
would be a decently high-ranking officer in the military at that time. Then he could settle down with a good wife.

As he entertained these thoughts, a few figures snuck up in front of him, dodging his peripheral vision.

“This mountain is mine!”

“These trees were planted by me!” “If you want to pass!”
“You must pay the mountain toll!”

Sun Runyu could not believe his eyes. Four strangers stood in a line in front him, forming a makeshift barrier between him and the path. Confused, he
 took some time to scan the area, confirming he had just exited the Spirit Pagoda. What mountain are they talking about? What trees?

When he shifted his attention back to his obstructors, he was taken aback by their youthful appearances. The last vestiges of baby fat clung to their
cheeks, skin soft and tender. It was obvious they were no more than teenagers. He could even pick out a young fatty crouching and another teen covering his face. .

“What are you kids doing? You shouldn’t be playing jokes around the Spirit Pagoda. Hurry up and go home!” Sun Runyu shouted with the imposing airs of a military officer.

Gu Yue had been the first one to recite their mugging play. The instant Tang Wulin had heard it, he turned his back to them and facepalmed. Similarly, Xu Lizhi had crouched down into a ball immediately, turning his back to them as did his best to fight back his laughter. Meanwhile, Wu Zhangkong stood far off in the distance, his figure barely visible.

Indeed, this was Gu Yue’s plan. It was simple. All they needed to do was fight a soul master stronger than them, and there were plenty of people who fit the bill at the Spirit Pagoda. So, they would threaten the people that
came out of the Spirit Pagoda and force them into a fight. After beating their opponent, they would hightail it out of there.

The only issue was finding someone stronger than them. As for their mountain bandit charade, it just piqued her fancy.

Ye Xinglan, Xie Xie, and Xu Xiaoyan had shouted the last three verses in that order. Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan grinned with excitement.

“What now?” Ye Xinglan asked Gu Yue.

“We get started,” Gu Yue said as soul rings rose from beneath her.

After spending a lot of time with Gu Yue, Ye Xinglan had found her quite compatible, and the sentiment was reciprocated. She charged forward the
moment she saw Gu Yue’s soul rings, the Stargod Sword manifesting in her
 hands as she ran. She slashed the air, shooting out a sword beam toward Sun Runyu.

The sudden attack startled Sun Runyu. The military experience engraved in him took hold and he subconsciously retreated a step. He summoned his martial soul. A thin mist spread from his body, condensing into a liquid
shield and deflecting the sword beam in the nick of time.
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