Chapter 471 - Annihilation
Chapter 471 - Annihilation
Tang Wulin hissed. His body shuddered without end, limbs tense and joints locked, teeth chattering. Chaos. His blood essence thrashed in chaos. A
searing heat engulfed his mind, and if he were any less in pain, any more lucid, he would have wondered if it was actually set ablaze. The Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement was undoubtedly one of the world’s most vile torture methods. He screamed, the pain sharp and unforgiving, all-encompassing. He screamed, begging for it to end.
At the sound of Tang Wulin’s miserable cries, the ashen-robed man broke into a grin full of sharp teeth. The greater his victim’s spiritual power, the greater their spirit’s resentment after refinement. And the larger his revitalization.
Tang Wulin couldn’t bear it. He lost consciousness as the green flame
encroached on his spiritual world. But just as he was about to succumb to it, his forehead shone with a mysterious golden mark, the light bright enough to coax tears. In a flash, his spiritual world was rid of the flame.
When the man laid eyes on the golden mark, his eyes dyed the same gold,
superego and ego snapping momentarily. Then he let out a miserable shriek, retracting his bone spikes from Tang Wulin and retreating as if he had just
encountered a monster.
Tang Wulin’s blood sprayed from his open wounds, but he didn’t collapse. He stood there, motionlessly. His eyes still shut.
“You bastard! What was that? What the hell did you do to my fire?” the man howled.
The phosphor fire was the source of power for his martial soul. Every bit of it added to his strength. He had spent decades torturing and refining people’s souls to increase the hungry flames, to coax them brighter and brighter. But to his shock, a tenth of it had just disappeared.
“I’ll kill you!” The man soared into the air. The bone spikes on his finger transformed into large claws and he slashed down at Tang Wulin.
Suddenly, Tang Wulin’s eyes shot open.
A wave of dizziness struck the man when he looked into Tang Wulin’s eyes, his movements slowing to a crawl. Those eyes! What are they?
No longer their original obsidian, Tang Wulin’s eyes had bled into a brilliant gold. A tinge of blue danced at the outer perimeter. Gone was youthful innocence, in its place an aura of omniscience.
His body jerked, tilting backward until it was almost parallel to the ground. And then it bounced back like a coiled spring. His limbs twitched, his muscles spasmed, the crackle of joints echoing throughout the carriage. He brought his right hand over the gaping holes in his chest. Waved it once.
The wounds hissed and sewed themselves back together, the leaking of blood obstructed in the process. Then the golden mark appeared on his forehead again.
The man had felt his soul power freeze the moment he laid eyes on it. A golden three-pronged trident.
The person before him was not the brave young boy who had dashed head- first into danger for the ones he loved. No, this was someone different.
Someone else entirely.
He raised his right hand, but didn’t bring out his dragon claw. Instead, golden light converged within his palm, manifesting as three-meter-long double-headed spear.
Tang Wulin’s figure flickered, reappearing right in front of the man’s nose, his spear in a thrust.
The man howled. His prey had become the predator. His instincts screamed doom as the spear closed in. He urged his body to the side, desperate to
avoid the impending stab. But no matter how much he yelled at his body, it refused to move.
The spear impaled him.
What? But he was just over there a second ago! The man groaned, disbelief in his eyes at the spear protruding from his chest. His soul power would not circulate despite his desperate attempts. Then a chilling cold seeped into his body, the spear greedily sapping his soul power and life force away. Out from his body and into Tang Wulin.
The ashen-robed man shuddered. He could feel himself rapidly aging, skin sagging and bones thinning by the second. W-what’s happening to me?
How is taking my life force?
Not only was he a Soul Emperor who had slayed Soul Sages in the past, he was also a one-word battle armor master! He was utterly shocked to be powerless before Tang Wulin’s spear.
Those with the least regard for life feared death the most, and this man was no exception. Organs failing, body shriveling up, and life force flowing
away, he could only stay still and watch as the spear grew brighter and brighter until it was a dazzling gold. He let out a silent scream at the thought of his inevitable, impending death. He screwed his eyes tight.
When he opened his eyes again, he found himself surrounded in suffocating green. Mournful wails filled the air, countless flaming green wraiths in tow. They flocked to him. Embraced him. They swallowed him whole in their flames.
“Evil leads to destruction!” Tang Wulin said in a faint but clear voice. Far from his usual brand of boyish determination. He touched his face with his left hand, feeling the features, then smiled warmly.
He let out a sigh. Tang Wulin lifted his spear with the man still dangling from its end, flicked it to rid the spear of the shrivelled up husk of a body.
A second sigh slipped from his lips. The spear disintegrated into specks of light. They flowed back into his hand, disappearing among his skin. He lowered himself to the ground and lay still as the golden mark on his forehead dimmed and vanished.
A minute later, a red glow spread through the skies. But it disappeared as quick as it had come. In its wake, a person clad in scarlet armor descended to Tang Wlin’s side.
The armor had flames engraved onto it, each and every one unique, each and every one a powerful circuit core. The flames were numerous, as if intent on devouring the world. A scarlet visor obscured the user’s identity. Large bat-like wings sprouted from the person’s back, enabling flight, and with a single flap of the wings the flames flared to life.
“There’s someone over there!” someone shouted from a distance.
A whistle pierced the air somewhere off in the distance. Moments later, the silhouettes of a dozen mechas approached, most of them sporting purple models.. They were led by a single black mecha with three pairs of wings, flames spewing from its propulsion jets. As the black mecha neared the person in the scarlet armor, it unfurled all six of its wings. It slowed to a halt a hundred meters away.
“Hello, Your Eminence. I am Captain Liu An of Heaven Dou City’s 1st
Mecha Regiment.” His voice rang loud from the speakers. “May I ask you to identify yourself?”
Chapter 472 - Four-word Battle Armor Master
Chapter 472 - Four-word Battle Armor Master
The flames dancing around the scarlet armor receded, and the armor dissolved into specks of light, layer by layer, disappearing into the body it had surrounded.
“I’m Zhen Hua of the Blacksmith’s Association. I had received a request for help from my nephew-disciple and came to save him. No traces of hostiles were spotted when I arrived.” His voice carried the authority of a Titled
Douluo and a four-word battle armor master.
Since there only existed a handful of red mechas, black mechas often stood in as the top of the hierarchy. But Liu An, the pilot of the black mecha, had stopped and respectfully greeted Zhen Hua. It wasn’t for nothing. No, it was because he could sense that the difference in strength between them was not gap but a chasm, simply insurmountable. Untouchable.
After verifying Zhen Hua’s identity, Liu An relaxed and let out a deep breath. If Zhen Hua had been a hostile, then this place would have been his grave.
“My respects, Lord Zhen Hua. Please forgive me for not exiting my mecha to properly greet you. I am unable to at this moment due to my mission,” Liu An said, his tone far more humble than before. The man before him was the continent’s only Divine Blacksmith after all!
There was no one on the continent of Douluo who dared offend a person of such status. In addition to battle armor, mechas also used metals forged by
blacksmiths during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, the higher grade the mecha, the better the metal needed. Even among black-grade mechas, apart from their circuit cores, it was the quality of their metals that determined superiority. Liu An’s own black mecha was made of thousand- refined metal and a core of spirit-refined metal. In order to upgrade his mecha, he would need to replace its parts with ones made of higher quality metals. Only then could the mecha advance to red grade. Therefore, Liu An treated the Divine Blacksmith with the utmost respect.
Zhen Hua landed on the ground with a soft thud and a curt nod. He picked up Tang Wulin’s unconscious body. Inspected his condition. His face
clouded over when he saw the bloodstains blossoming on Tang Wulin’s chest. No, I can’t let a genius as great as him fall. He’s a gift to us blacksmiths. He clenched his jaw. And how would I even explain to Mu Chen if he becomes crippled?
During his rush to the ninth carriage, Tang Wulin had called Zhen Hua for help since Heaven Dou City was closer to the train than Shrek City.
Although Zhen Hua had dropped everything to rush to the scene, the trip
still took him over ten minutes. And when he arrived, the battle was already over.
Zhen Hua pressed a finger to the smooth skin of Tang Wulin’s inner wrist, feeling for a pulse. His eyes lit up. He’s alive! He quickly poured his soul power into Tang Wulin’s body. Sure enough, Tang Wulin’s heart still beat. But it was weak. A soft fluttering of butterfly wings against the thick of his chest. Even so, he had a chance to live.
“I’m bringing this kid back with me to Heaven Dou’s Blacksmith’s
Association first. Investigate the crime scene and look for the tracks of any hostiles. When the kid recovers, I’ll have him cooperate with your investigation.” Without another word, Zhen Hua soared into the air, Tang Wulin cradled securely in his arms. And they disappeared in a streak of
There was nothing Liu An could have done to stop Zhen Hua. Hell would freeze over before he purposefully sparked the ire of a Titled Douluo and a four-word battle armor master. Also holding the title of a Divine
Blacksmith, he sat at the top of the list of people who couldn’t be offended on the continent.
Liu An gave the order to his regiment to search the surroundings. But in the end, they never found any trace of hostiles. Not even a single hair to go on. The only evidence of the tragedy, besides the blood and the corpses and destruction, was a small mound of ashes tinged green. The rest of the terrorist’s remains had already been blown away by the wind.
Tang Wulin sat adrift in a sea on a small boat. The waves ushered the boat around, up and down. Up and down. He held back the urge to empty the
contents of his stomach. Pain drilled into every inch of his body.
This must be the limbo between life and death. He couldn’t imagine any other outcome but death after being subjected to the Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement.
The boat gradually steadied, the waves dying down. The pain subsided and a comforting warmth filled him.
A while later, the warmth disappeared and his mind churned awake. He opened his eyes. Spotless white, spanning above him and marred only be the thin ridges differentiating each ceiling tile. I’m not dead? Tang Wulin stared into space, motionless.
Minutes later, he finally snapped out of his reverie and jerked into a sitting position. A groan ripped through his throat, past gritted teeth. His body felt sore, the muscles heavy and tight like a coiled spring, and his chest. His
chest felt on fire.
The pain brought him back to his senses. I’m alive! He heaved a sigh of relief.
But how am I not dead?
He scanned the room. There was nothing of note besides the lack of clutter and dust. He couldn’t imagine this being a room for a prisoner. There was no way the evil soul master would treat him this well either. That man was the vilest of the vile, capable of committing unspeakable acts without batting an eye.
Tang Wulin sent his senses inward, examining the state of his body. To his surprise, he was completely fine. Aside from the slightly damaged meridian channels in his chest, he couldn’t find anything wrong. All of his energies were normal, indistinguishable from before. But what truly astonished him was that his spiritual power had grown significantly. It was to the point that he could now sense the smallest of changes within all his meridian
The sensation left him in a state of awe. He knew what this meant. He had broken into the Spirit Sea realm. This was a major milestone. His
cultivation wouldn’t be restricted by his spiritual power until he hit seven rings, and that was if it didn’t grow any further by then. Furthermore, he could theoretically fuse with three purple spirit souls, enough to provide nine rings. The path to becoming a Titled Douluo was now open.
The requirements for admission into Shrek Academy’s inner court were as followed: status as a one-word battle armor master, possession of five soul rings, and achieving the Spirit Sea realm.
Achieving five soul rings was the easy part. Tang Wulin may still be far off, but he had six years. He could easily reach that level and possibly exceed it in that timeframe by absorbing the power of the Golden Dragon King.
Having reached the Spirit Sea realm, his only real obstacle was becoming a one-word battle armor master. Furthermore, his gauntlet made of spirit alloy pushed him a step ahead.
Tang Wulin grinned. He was well on his way to becoming an inner court student.
After a few cycles of the Mysterious Heaven Method, Tang Wulin’s mind cleared the lingering traces of his sleepy haze. His memory rang free of obstruction, the pallor of Mo Lan’s face during her abuse a ghost haunting
his psyche. He had survived the Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement, but he couldn’t assume the same for her. He needed to find her to know. For
closure. He couldn’t forgive himself if he didn’t.
Tang Wulin jumped off his bed and changed into a set of clean clothes from his storage ring. The second he finished changing, the door opened and a man entered.
“Uncle-master!” Tang Wulin exclaimed.
“You can stand already?” Zhen Hua’s voice was thick with concern. The image of Tang Wulin’s still and bloody body was vividly emblazoned in his mind.
Zhen Hua had gotten a first-rate soul master medic to heal Tang Wulin as
soon as they returned to Heaven Dou City. While Tang Wulin’s heart hadn’t been damaged, his other internal organs had not been as lucky.
But to the medic’s astonishment, there was minimal blood loss and his body was on the road to recovery. What should have been serious, unsightly
wounds had already healed
Chapter 473 - Statement
Chapter 473 - Statement
“Are you sure you’re fine? You don’t have to force yourself.” Concern coated Zhen Hua’s voice.
Tang Wulin flashed a smile. “Yes, Uncle-master. Thanks for rescuing me!”
Zhen Hua shook his head. “There was no trace of any hostiles when I
arrived. You can’t exactly say I’m the one who saved you. But really, your body’s recovery speed is amazing. Without any help, you healed so quickly. How about I take you for another examination?”
“I’m fine,” Tang Wulin said, shrugging. “I already inspected myself.
There’s just some minor clogging in my meridian channels from the
wounds. They'll unblock themselves in a few days. Everything else is under control.” He frowned, clearing his throat. “Uncle-master, what happened to the conductor? She was attacked too.”
Zhen Hua knitted his brows, sinking deeper within his sea of thoughts until only his head stayed unsubmerged. “If I remember correctly, she isn’t doing too well. I heard she was sent into emergency care, but her brain.” He
sighed. “Her brain’s pretty damaged and so is her spirit. I’m sorry Wulin, but they don’t know when she’ll wake.”
Tang Wulin felt as if he were plunged in freezing water, sinking deeper and deeper, the light at the top shrinking into silent darkness. The air
surrounding him condensed, thick and viscous and hard to contain in his lungs. He had guessed it. He had guessed this outcome but had turned his cheek in the face of reality, and was now suffering the stinging slap. His
hands, cold and damp, curled into fists at his side. How could this happen to Big Sis Mo Lan?
“Uncle-master,” he broke the silence after what seemed like hours, “can you bring me to see her? Big Sis Mo Lan is a good person. She did all she could to protect the passengers both this time and the last. She didn’t hesitate to
sacrifice herself for their lives.” Tang Wulin’s voice grew frantic, uncontrolled. “She’s a saint! Please! Can’t you help her?”
“I must escort you to give a report on what happened first. The only
eyewitnesses of the whole ordeal are you and that train conductor. Since you’re the only one in any condition to talk…” Zhen Hua frowned, not sure how to frame his words. “Anyway, you’ll give your statement first, then we can go visit her. Alright?”
With that settled, Zhen Hua led Tang Wulin out of the Blacksmith’s
Association and the two boarded a car to the city’s administrative offices.
The Blacksmith’s Association had a good relationship with the city
administration. Captain Liu An of the 1st Mecha Regiment was specially sent to receive them.
“Hello, Your Eminence,” Liu An said as he opened the car door for Zhen Hua.
Zhen Hua and Tang Wulin got off the car. The sight of Tang Wulin startled Liu An. He clearly recalled how severe Tang Wulin’s state was a few days ago. He could hardly believe how quickly Tang Wulin recovered.
“Let’s go. We can talk inside.” Famous as he was, Zhen Hua was in a hurry to get out of the public eye.
“Your Eminence, this way please.”.
Their footsteps echoed upon the pavement. “I have already informed Administrator Mo of your arrival,” Liu An said as he walked. “He’s
currently in a meeting, but he will come meet you as soon as it concludes.”
Even without a government position, Zhen Hua was one of the most influential people on the continent. That Mo Wu stayed in the meeting rather than receive Zhen Hua personally spoke volumes of its importance.
“It’s fine. I don’t want to trouble him. I’ve brought Tang Wulin to give his statement. Perhaps he can provide assistance in catching the criminal.” Zhen Hua smiled kindly. He was sure there wouldn’t be any problems. He had questioned Tang Wulin himself during the ride here, and was satisfied with how Tang Wulin handled everything.
“Please wait a moment then. I’ll take his statement right away,” Liu An said courteously, wasting no time in escorting them to a private room. A black- grade mecha pilot might have high status, but he was nothing compared to Zhen Hua. He couldn’t afford to waste such a man’s time.
“Please state your full name, age, and what school you attend.”
“Tang Wulin. Fourteen years old. Shrek Academy’s first grade,” Tang Wulin answered.
Liu An raised a brow. No wonder the Divine Blacksmith values him so much! He’s a Shrek student! Knowing this, he instantly eliminated any possibility of Tang Wulin’s involvement in the act of terrorism. There was no need to question the morals of a Shrek Academy student.
“Please tell me what happened that day.”
Tang Wulin did. From the moment he boarded the train to the point when he lost consciousness, he left nothing out.
Liu An gasped. “So you’re the young hero who saved all those passengers during the last terrorist attack?” Respect welled in Liu An’s heart for this brave boy. Although he had known more than most about the true hero of the last terrorist attack, namely that they came from Shrek Academy, and that said academy kept the student’s identity secret, he didn’t expect to
come across the hero so soon. Yet here he was, in the flesh.
Tang Wulin could make out muffled voices from the other side of the door before it swung open, revealing Mo Wu. His expression was dark, eyes bloodshot and clothes flaunting fifty shades of disarray.
“Lord Zhen Hua,” Mo Wu said, bowing slightly.
“No need to be so formal, Administrator. I’m just here with this junior of mine to help with the investigation.”
Mo Wu’s grave expression refused to budge. “I have to take responsibility for this incident. It happened in my jurisdiction.”
“Nobody can blame you for what happened. Those evil soul masters are too cunning. It won’t be easy to catch one. You’re all doing your best anyway.”
Liu An approached Mo Wu. “Administrator, I’m nearly done taking his
statement. This boy and the hero of the last attack are one and the same. He just happened to get involved in this incident as well.”
Mo Wu’s eyes were bright as he studied Tang Wulin. “You’re Tang Wulin? The young hero who saved Mo Lan?”
“Hello Administrator. I’m not really a hero. I’m just Tang Wulin.”
Finally, the cold exterior of Mo Wu’s expression melted away. “I want to thank you on behalf of Heaven Dou City. If it weren’t for you, the previous tragedy would have been far worse. I reviewed the reports and accounts of the recent incident as well. The other carriages were cut from the ninth
carriage, saving many lives. Were you the one responsible for that?” Tang Wulin nodded.
“Once again, thank you for your bravery.” Mo Wu managed a faint smile.
Liu An handed his written record of Tang Wulin’s statement to Mo Wu.
After skimming through a few pages, Mo Wu frowned. “Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement?”
“Yes,” Tang Wulin said. “That’s what the terrorist called it. Administrator, is Big Sis Mo Lan alright? She’s not in danger, is she?” His voice came out in near whimper.
Tears formed at the corner of Mo Wu’s eyes, threatening to fall. He did his best to hold back from breaking down. “Thank you for your concern. To tell you the truth, I’m her father. You don’t have to be so formal with me. Just
call me Uncle.” He sighed. “You’ve saved her life twice already. She’d be dead if it weren’t for you.”
Tang Wulin’s eyes went wide. He had found the administrator to look
somewhat familiar, unsure of where to place his face. To hear that he was Mo Lan’s father was unexpected, but at the same time, given a better opportunity to examine the man, Tang Wulin was able to pick up the
striking resemblance between them.
“So where’s Big Sis Mo Lan?” The Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement had been pain incarnate. Tang Wulin couldn’t help but worry for Mo Lan,
couldn’t hope for an ordinary person like her to be as resilient as him, a soul master.
Chapter 474 - Coma
Chapter 474 - Coma
“She’s in the hospital. Critical care unit.” Mo Wu rubbed at the bridge of his nose.
“Is she… I heard she’s in a coma,” prompted Tang Wulin, hoping it wasn’t true.
Mo Wu’s face contorted in grief. His entire body sagged, the weight of the world upon his shoulders. “The medics managed to preserve her life but we don’t know when she’ll wake up.”
The familiar sensation of drowning was back, yet Tang Wulin pushed it to the far recesses of his mind. This was no time to lose himself to sorrow. But he couldn’t ignore the fact that the brain was an extremely complicated and weak organ. Unlike soul masters, ordinary people did not have the luxury of spiritual power to protect their brains. It would take a miracle for Mo Lan’s brain to recover completely from the abuse it had sustained.
“The doctors and soul master medics can't do anything?” Tang Wulin asked, grasping for any straws.
Mo Wu heaved a sigh. “They’ve tried everything. Nothing worked. It’s just too difficult to restore someone’s mind. The best they can do for now is preserve her life.”
Tang Wulin turned to Zhen Hua. “Uncle-master, is there anything you can do?”
Mo Wu’s eyes lit up. As a Divine Blacksmith, he might know a soul master powerful enough to heal Mo Lan.
After a moment of thought, Zhen Hua said, “I can’t let a hero’s sacrifice go unrewarded. Administrator Mo, I will do my best to help her. Let me make a few calls. I’ll be back in a moment.”
Mo Wu laughed, deep and hoarse, and with one look it was certain he had brightened, shrugging off the greys that had colored his being. While he had put up a brave front as an administrator of Heaven Dou City, Mo Lan was
still his daughter! His life would lose all meaning without her. Zhen Hua’s help rekindled the dying embers of his hope. He clung to it. If Zhen Hua’s contact still could not save her, then that would be the moment he despaired.
A few minutes later, Zhen Hua returned. He said to Mo Wu, “I asked a Titled Douluo healer to come treat your daughter. Let’s hope for the best.”
Mo Wu rejoiced, bowing his head again and again as he thanked Zhen Hua.
In terms of cultivation difficulty, food and healing-types ranked the highest among soul masters. A healing-type Titled Douluo was as rare as a unicorn! The best healing-type Heaven Dou City had to offer was a Soul Sage. That was a difference of two whole soul rings. With a Titled Douluo treating her, the chances of Mo Lan’s recovery were high! But if a Titled Douluo failed, then Mo Lan’s fate was sealed. Even so, Mo Wu couldn’t help but desperately cling to this thread of hope.
“There’s no need to thank me,” Zhen Hua said. “I just happened to be here and have the ability to help, so I did. The Titled Douluo should be here in about an hour. Get ready to receive her.”
“Uncle Mo Wu, can you take me to see Big Sis Mo Lan?” Tang Wulin asked.
Mo Wu nodded, his eyes still red with tears. He glanced at Zhen Hua, wondering what the man's plans were.
“I haven’t seen my friend in a long time. I’ll come with you and wait for her arrival. I don’t have any plans today anyway.” He had to see things through the end.
Mo Wu couldn’t express how grateful he was to Zhen Hua. As a Divine Blacksmith, Zhen Hua was undoubtedly one of the busiest people in the world. There was no way he hadn’t had any plans for the day.
Mo Wu called for a car to take them to the Heaven Dou Hospital a few blocks away. This was where Mo Lan was being treated. Careful to not
cause a disturbance, he brought his guests in through the VIP entrance, then led them straight to the critical care ward.
Due to Mo Lan’s condition, they weren’t allowed into her room. They could only watch her through the thin glass wall.
Tang Wulin’s vision blurred as he took in the sight of Mo Lan. He could barely recognize her. Her head was swollen and her features deformed, layers of gauze covering the worst of the worst. Tubes and wires ran through her, hooked up to a monitor, sustaining her life.
“Big Sis Mo Lan…” Tang Wulin couldn’t hold it back any longer. The tears flowed, down, down. His shoulders shook as much as his hands.
The last memory he had of her, not the red and still body crumpled on the cold ground nor the white of her face as the life flashed dimly in her eyes, but the real Mo Lan, full and healthy, was when she had brought him to the private room. She had hugged him as she shed her own tears, those of joy
and thanks and not the bitter taste of sorrow of his own. He closed his eyes. Opened them again. She still lay there, silent. Hooked up to a hundred different things, life hanging on by a single thread.
A quick glance at Mo Lan, and Mo Wu had retreated to a corner, one hand covering his face and the other pounding the wall like a defeated drum.
Zhen Hua’s expression hardened at the sight.
Tang Wulin clenched his fists tight, his head lowered as tears trailed down his face. He hated how weak he was. How he failed to protect Mo Lan. And most of all, he hated how vicious that evil soul master had been. You damn scum of the earth! Never again! I’ll become strong and protect everyone I
love! You won’t get to hurt someone like you did to Big Sis Mo Lan! I swear on it!
“Why you cry?” someone asked in a childish voice.
Tang Wulin widened his eyes. A toddler stood closeby, a little over three years old. He tugged at his pants and looked up at Tang Wulin with large, innocent eyes.
Tang Wulin was taken aback. He crouched down and looked the boy at eye level. “Big Brother is a bit sad right now, so I’m crying. What’s your name? Where’s your mom and dad?”
The boy blinked a few times. “Mommy sleep. I wait.” He seemed to deflate upon saying those words.
Tang Wulin trembled, legs giving in beneath him. He’s Big Sis Mo Lan’s
son! He sniffed. He rubbed furiously at the tears that seemed to overflow in the face of this child’s innocence.
Nodding once, he opened his arms wide. The little boy seemed to take the hint, edging closer to him, until their feet brushed. Tang Wulin threw his arms around the small boy, hugging him tightly, as if he were afraid any looser an embrace and the boy would disappear. He choked back sobs,
saying, “Your mom is just tired. She’ll be better in no time. She just needs to sleep some more.”
The boy didn’t resist Tang Wulin’s hug. “I want mommy.”
Tang Wulin’s heart sank. He decided to pick the boy up, but just as he was about to stand, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Don’t pick him up,” someone said with a hoarse voice.
Tang Wulin turned to see a handsome man in his late twenties. This man was doing his best to hold back his tears. He gave Tang Wulin a curt nod. “Don’t let my baby see his mom like that.”
Realization hit Tang Wulin like a speeding bullet. With how small the boy was, he couldn’t see Mo Lan through the glass. Tang Wulin’s heart felt like it was being wrung out. He’s just a child but his mom’s already…
Releasing his hold on the toddler, Tang Wulin stood up. “Mister, it’s all my fault. I wasn’t able to save Big Sis Mo Lan.”
The man sighed, shaking his head. “Don’t blame yourself. If it weren't for you, last time she would already have been… She would never listen to me. She always said that if everyone hid because they were afraid, the Federation would go down in chaos. She always put others before herself.
She…” He broke down in tears.
The boy looked up at Tang Wulin, then at his father, and began crying as well. His father quickly crouched and hugged his son, patting the small head. “Don’t cry baby. Everything is fine. It’s all fine.”
Tang Wulin stood there in shock. Every since he was young, he wanted to become strong so he could be like one of the heroes of legends. Later he wanted strength to find his missing family. But now, he wanted strength to protect those he cherished and bring justice to the world.
If he had strength, he could have prevented this tragedy. But there was nothing he could do now. He was powerless to help Mo Lan as she lay there, her fate uncertain. All that was left was to pray. This sense of powerlessness pained him.
I have to work harder! The hopelessness of the situation twisted into something else, a fire rekindling his resolve.
He would never let something like this happen again. Never.
Chapter 475 - The Angel of Hope
Chapter 475 - The Angel of Hope
In the end, Mo Lan’s husband had led their young son out of the critical
care unit. Reining in his emotions had been a hard task in that cold, clinical wing. Yet, he also could not for the life of him keep away from it. He had
specially rented a suite near the hospital to that end, hired a nanny to help look after his son. If it weren’t for his son’s constant cries, he never would have brought him to the ward to begin with.
Noticing his nephew-disciple’s distress, Zhen Hua approached Tang Wulin’s side and patted him on the shoulder. Tang Wulin glanced up, despair in his eyes. “Uncle-master, why must so many people do evil upon others?
Releasing a long sigh, Zhen Hua said, “There’s no real reason. When there’s good, there must be bad. Two sides of the same coin.” He frowned.
“There’s no use in praying for justice. Work hard and gain the strength to protect those dear to you with your own hands.”
A cloud settled upon Tang Wulin’s face. “I’m still too weak. I couldn’t protect Big Sis Mo Lan.”
Zhen Hua pressed his lips into a thin smile. “Foolish child. You’ve already done all that can be expected of you at your age. In fact, you’ve exceeded all expectations. Do you know how scared I was when I found you
completely soaked in blood? Just remember, no matter what, your safety comes first. If you die, that'll be the end of everything.”
Zhen Hua grinned. “I’m telling you this for your sake. I want to see you thrive! Your master’s got a really good disciple. I’m really envious.” His
words of praise were shocking, but they came from the bottom of his heart. It was rare for him to evaluate someone so highly. Tang Wulin was an unprecedented blacksmithing prodigy with the unyielding will, dedication, and passion needed for success. But what made him truly shine was his
character. He had the courage to sacrifice himself for others. Noticing this trait about Tang Wulin, Zhen Hua couldn’t help but put aside his
competitive streak against Mu Chen and come to love Tang Wulin like a son.
It was unthinkable for a fourteen-year-old boy to accomplish such heroic feats. He was a fearless newborn calf, turning heads with the unadulterated good of his actions.
When Zhen Hua had rescued Tang Wulin, he had resolved himself to raise Tang Wulin to greatness. Even if Tang Wulin wasn’t his disciple, Tang Wulin was still a member of the Blacksmith’s Association. As a Divine
Blacksmith, it was his responsibility to nurture such a talented boy.
An hour soon passed. Light footsteps approached from the hall. Zhen Hua looked up when the door opened. A woman entered with brisk steps and before he could take another breath, she stood before him.
Anxiously waiting the whole hour, Tang Wulin tilted his head upward to see the identity of the mysterious woman. To his astonishment, it was someone he recognized: Holy Spirit Douluo Yali.
Yali acknowledged Zhen Hua with a nod, then turned to Tang Wulin with a warm smile. “So it was you again. I heard about what you did last time too. You’ve done well. You bring honor to Shrek Academy.” She placed a hand on Tang Wulin’s head, rubbed it, and poured a warmth into him, dispelling the dark energies whispering in his core. A sense of ease settled in his heart.
Mo Wu quickly walked over and bowed in respect. He didn’t recognize Yali, but her high status was obvious by her interactions with Zhen Hua. “Hello. I am Mo Wu, Mo Lan’s father.” He refrained from mentioning his
position as an administrator because at this moment in time, before anything else, he was a father worried about his daughter.
Yali peered through the glass, her gaze settling on Mo Lan’s pale and still body. Her brows knitted, a frown sliding across her lips. “Alright. I’m going to examine her.”
The doctors and nurses Mo Wu had called in preparation for Yali’s arrival offered her a set of sterile garments. She rejected them, and with a wave of her hand, sterilized her entire body with a flash of light. She proceeded to enter the room, passing through two sets of doors before she reached Mo Lan’s sickbed.
Tang Wulin anxiously watched from behind the glass. Mo Wu did the same. Although Mo Wu didn’t know who she was, he had no doubts in her ability.
Yali caressed Mo Lan’s shaven head gently, fingers feeling for every bump and dent. She examined her patient. Her eyes held compassion as she took in the immense swelling. Nine soul rings appeared around her, six black and three red. Besides Zhen Hua, everyone else around was astonished by the
Tang Wulin had seen the soul rings of Zhuo Shi and Feng Wuyu before, but neither had rings as impressive as Yali’s. Her soul ring composition was only possible with two ten-thousand-year spirit souls and a hundred- thousand-year spirit soul. In this current era, few, if any, soul master could top that!
Longing flickered in Tang Wulin’s heart. When will I reach that level? I have to become as strong as her! Not even Elder Cai or Grandteacher can compare with the Holy Spirit Douluo!
Meanwhile, Mo Wu stared with his mouth wide open. “The Holy Spirit
Douluo?” Voice weak and barely audible. “Lord Zhen Hua, is that her?” As a politician of the Federation, he naturally had basic knowledge of all the known Titled Douluos, and the only healing-type soul master known to reach the Titled Douluo level was the Holy Spirit Douluo. She had a unique healing-type martial soul. The Angel of Hope. It was exceptionally hard to
cultivate. As the realization dawned on him, his heartbeat quickened, a joyful staccato for the impending tune. With the Holy Spirit Douluo treating his daughter, there was no need to worry. Mo Lan would wake up. He
couldn’t begin to express his gratitude.
The Holy Spirit Douluo’s legend was far from publicized. She had never been one to chase fame. However, all the higher ups of the Federation were privy to her existence.
Yali’s heart had always been kind, an ocean deep with empathy. Although she had been born in the slums, when she became a soul master and
obtained the opportunity to leave, she chose to stay. She chose to help those that society had turn its back on. By doing so, Yali unknowingly cultivated the Angel of Hope, the energy from patients’ faith a prime factor for her martial soul’s growth. Before she knew it, she had stepped forward into the realm of Soul King.
Of course, her cultivation did not stop there. About fifty years ago, when she was still a seven-ringed Soul Sage, an epidemic spread across the
continent, ruthless in its approach. Millions gone, some without the luxury of a marked grave.
Yali would not have it.
In the span of fifteen days, she traveled through all fourteen provinces of the continent, bringing only herself and the clothes on her back. Not a
single person was turned away from her treatment. Over that period, she continuously drew on her faith energy and life force to push on. It slashed
fifty years from her lifespan, drove her onto her deathbed at the very end of it, and she was delivered back to Shrek Academy comatose.
But her sacrifice had been worth it. From the next day onward, those plagued by the disease showed signs of recovery. The energy of their faith trickled into Yali at first, gradually transforming into rushing river.
One year later, she awakened. A Soul Sage into a Titled Douluo, the quickest in history.
Chapter 476 - The Idol of Douluo
Chapter 476 - The Idol of Douluo
Despite treating countless people, Yali kept her name secret. Her patients simply called her the Angel of Hope. The mere mention of that name sent waves throughout Douluo.
The Federation had offered her a high-ranking office for her deeds, but she rejected it, asking for her identity to be kept under wraps. She wished to
save people, pure and simple. She had no desire for fame. Soon after, Yali went into seclusion in Shrek Academy, only coming out whenever a disaster occured.
Innumerable were tales of men besotted with her. They waxed rhapsodic
about her kind heart, her charming looks, the greatest in both categories on the continent. Her goodness was contagious, spreading to every person she encountered, changing them into better people. They couldn’t help but
adore her. Love her. Those in powerful positions throughout the continent had been drawn to her, all vying for her affection.
She became the idol of Douluo.
Such an eligible bachelorette was bound to garner suitors. One day, a man declared to the world that he would take her as his bride. He was resolute in this, unyielding. He challenged his rivals in love to face him in a duel.
When the time came, he single-handedly defeated sixteen other Titled
Douluos, three of which were three-word battle armor masters and the rest two-word. After every victory, he told his opponent with heartfelt sincerity to be at ease. He would protect Yali with his life.
Ten years later, the man stood at the peak of the world, the greatest of his generation. He and Yali had wed and were proclaimed as a couple fated by the heavens. Wherever Yali went, he would follow.
The realization of his love had changed him. He turned his back on worldly affairs, his wife the only thing that mattered to him. The perfect gentleman, he did his best to support her in her endeavors.
This story was well known among the upper echelons of society. Mo Wu couldn’t help but tremble as he recalled it. He had just met a legendary figure!
He studied her once more. Time was kind to the Holy Spirit Douluo. She had the appearance of an attractive woman in her twenties, when in reality, she was well over eighty years old. In fact one hundred might not be pushing it.
Mo Wu remained silent watching Yali through the glass, heartbeat relaxing at the sight of the Holy Spirit Douluo caressing his daughter’s head. Light bloomed around Yali, soft and pure. A small angel appeared out of her back. It had three pairs of wings and curled up into a ball upon landing on Mo Lan’s body. A second later, it dissolved into wisps of golden light and entered through Mo Lan’s nose.
Yali waved her hands, commanding streams of golden light to enter Mo Lan. Some, rather than enter her, wrapped around her tightly, cradling her in a cocoon of light. It floated a few inches in the air, growing brighter, thickening, too blinding for anyone to peer within..
Still, Mo Wu held complete faith in Yali. According to legend, the Holy Spirit Douluo could save someone’s life as long as they had a single breath left to breathe!
The golden light slowly receded until it was but a dim glow.
At that moment, Mo Lan’s husband returned. In a few quick strides he was right before Mo Wu. After a brief explanation from his father-in-law, his face brightened with joy.
In the moments that had passed since Yali started her work, those on the other side of the glass could vaguely make out Mo Lan’s state making remarkable progress. The swelling of her head rapidly receded. A dark green gas was expelled from her eyes, ears, nostrils, and mouth, immediately swallowed by the surrounding golden light. Not a trace of it remained.
Shudders ran through Mo Lan’s body, her brows knitting together and eyes closing tight. Ten minutes later, her head showed no signs of swelling.
Expected results of the Holy Spirit Douluo, the most powerful healer in the world.
Another ten minutes later, the golden light faded away and the little angel slipped out of Mo Lan’s body, returning to Yali. She gently pressed her index finger on Mo Lan’s head. A beat later, black hair sprouted from the
top of Mo Lan’s head. A hint of color to her cheeks. She no longer appeared to be sitting on death’s doorstep.
Shock painted the faces of the current medical staff. This was nothing short of a miracle! Without knowledge of Yali’s identity or the legend of the Holy Spirit Douluo, they were still able to comprehend something incredible had happened, how amazing she was.
Yali’s soul rings faded. She left the room, robes swaying behind her.
In a blink of an eye, Mo Wu was by her side, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Thank you. Thank you, Your Eminence.”
Yali heaved a long sigh. “Don’t thank me just yet. She hasn’t fully recovered yet.”
“Huh?” Yali’s words were a bucket of ice water over his head. If even the
Holy Spirit Douluo could not guarantee her recovery, then all hope was lost.
“Her situation was too extreme,” Yali said, her lips pressed together in a frown. “The brain damage from the Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement is
severe, and unfortunately for her, the most complex part of the human body is the brain. There are numerous regions of the brain, each that control
various functions of the body. Not only that, her spirit was damaged. I did manage to treat the damage to her brain and piece back together her spirit, but as I said before, they’re complex things. I can’t be one hundred percent certain that I didn’t miss something, or that she’ll be able to make a full recovery.
“Don’t get me wrong. Her life is no longer in danger. But the important question now is whether she will wake up. If she does, then she’ll be fine. She might lose some of her memories, but that’ll be it.” She pointed to Mo Lan’s slumbering form through the glass. “Even though she’s unconscious, I want you to talk to her. The sooner she wakes up, the better. You can also move her to a normal room now.”
Mo Wu and Mo Lan’s husband let out a sigh of relief. Before this, the doctors had told them her condition was critical. Not even a seven-ringed soul master could heal her. They couldn’t hope for anything more from Yali. Just her life no longer in danger and her body recovering was good enough, especially since she still had a chance of a full recovery.
“When she wakes up, call me. I'll come back to help her sort her memories and heal any remaining cracks in her spirit. I want to minimize her memory loss.” Yali handed a card to Mo Wu.
“Thank you. Thank you, Your Eminence.” Mo Wu accepted the card and bowed. Although he was a city administrator, he knew that he didn’t have the means to pay back Yali’s kindness, and that this kindness came with no strings attached. The Holy Spirit Douluo’s desire to save others was generous, altruistic. Was pure.
Yali smiled. Her aura was peaceful and lightened the burdens everyone around her, their fatigue washing away.
Zhen Hua approached and bent in a curt bow. “Your Eminence, you’ve worked hard,” he said, careful to respect her seniority.
“It was nothing. I will now take my leave.” She turned to Tang Wulin, affection in her eyes. “Wulin, do you want to go with me?”
Mo Wu and Mo Lan’s husband dropped their jaws. They were not without knowledge of Tang Wulin’s enrollment in Shrek Academy, but this. The Holy Spirit Doulou’s acknowledgement. This was on a whole new scale.
Chapter 477 - Returning to the Academy
Chapter 477 - Returning to the Academy
Moon slaving away in the middle of the night for this
Tang Wulin shook his head. “I’m fine, Your Eminence. I still have things to do with my uncle-master.”
“Oh, I forgot you’re a blacksmith,” Yali said. She turned to the Divine Blacksmith. “Zhen Hua, I’ll leave this child in your care.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll send him back right after his business is done here.” Zhen Hua was alarmed by Tang Wulin’s bad luck as well. In both instances that he came to Heaven Dou City, terrorists attacked his train. An evil soul master nearly killed him the second time. It was a blessing of the heavens that he survived until now. Zhen Hua couldn’t let such a great blacksmithing prodigy die so early and resolved to personally deliver Tang Wulin back to Shrek Academy afterward.
Yali nodded at Zhen Hua, then turned around and left. Mo Wu bowed deeply at her retreating figure. He could not treat his daughter’s saviour
with any less respect! Even if she never asked for payment, he would never forget her kindness, or the might of Shrek Academy as well.
A doctor walked over. “Miss Mo’s vitals have returned to normal, so we can move her to an ordinary room now. We heard what the lady said earlier.
Please talk to her so she’ll wake up earlier.”
Tang Wulin finally let out a sigh of relief at the doctor’s words.
“Please notify Wulin when she wakes up,” Zhen Hua said to Mo Wu, gesturing to his nephew-disciple. “Wulin, you can come visit her when she’s better.”
“Okay.” Wulin wrote down his number on a scrap piece of paper and gave it to Mo Wu.
“Wulin, thank you,” Mo Wu said, gratitude welling from the depth of his heart. “If you need anything in Heaven Dou City in the future, just give me a call.” The words were said gently, but they carried the weight of a mountain.
After leaving the hospital, Tang Wulin’s body relaxed as the tension from the heavy and grim atmosphere in the emergency room drained away. Zhen Hua took him back to the Blacksmith’s Association. They entered from a back door, taking an elevator straight to Zhen Hua’s office.
“Starving!” Tang Wulin answered, his eyes shining at the thought of eating the food in Zhen Hua’s personal dining hall. He quickly wiped drool from the corner of his mouth.
Zhen Hua chuckled. “We should celebrate after going through all that. I’ll have some food prepared. Right, aren’t you on vacation? Stay in Heaven Dou City for ten days this time. I’ll give you pointers on your blacksmithing technique. Your alloy forging fundamentals are good, so I’ll help you refine your technique and increase your success rate.”
“Thank you, Uncle-master.”
“I’ve also prepared the two spirit items you asked for. You don’t have to pay me back, I’ll just take everything you forge in the next ten days as payment. I’ll consider the money you borrowed last time paid off as well.”
Tang Wulin knew that Zhen Hua was just making excuses so he could personally teach him. The guidance of a Divine Blacksmith was worth far more than some alloys.
In the next ten days, Tang Wulin dedicated himself to learning from Zhen Hua and eating first-rate food. By the third day, thanks to the nourishment of such excellent food, not only did he completely recover, but his blood essence and soul power also grew significantly.
The more Zhen Hua spent time with Tang Wulin, the more shocked he was. He was startled to discover that Tang Wulin’s blacksmithing foundation may be better than even his own. The boy’s skill with his heavy silver hammers was superb and his control over the stacked hammers effect masterful. With the badge crafted by Mu Chen supplementing him, his alloy forging success rate had already reached fifty percent. Such a rate was rare even among sixth-rank blacksmiths.
If not for Tang Wulin’s low cultivation level, Zhen Hua would have moved right on to spirit refining. Even so, Zhen Hua still considered Tang Wulin as a sixth-rank at the very least.
On the final day, Zhen Hua called Tang Wulin to his office. “Wulin!”
“Uncle-master,” Tang Wulin said respectfully. He had learned much in the past ten days.
As a Divine Blacksmith, Zhen Hua’s philosophies and teaching methods differed greatly from Mu Chen and Feng Wuyu. He was especially keen on researching new techniques, and had generously taught Tang Wulin as many as time permitted. A prodigy of Tang Wulin’s calibre was worthy of inheriting his techniques. The boy possessed the potential to understand metal on a level far deeper than even him.
“You’ve done well as a blacksmith,” Zhen Hua said. “You’ve already reached the peak of what you can achieve with your current cultivation level and are ready to learn how to forge three-metal alloys and resume
your spirit refining practice now. Since your blood essence is so potent, I
estimate you’ll firmly cement yourself in the sixth rank once you gain your fourth soul ring. When the time comes, I’ll personally forge your sixth-rank badge.”
“Yes! Thank you, Uncle-master!”
“Your cultivation level is restricting you as a blacksmith right now.
However, your soul power foundation is firm. The Tang Sect’s Mysterious Heaven Method is indeed an excellent method, but your martial soul is
weak and grows slowly. Fortunately, you’re still young. Since you’ve
chosen the path of cultivation, I will support you as much as possible. Just remember this: in order to become a Divine Blacksmith, you must become a Titled Douluo. Even if your blood essence grows stronger, it won’t be a
substitute for the power of a Titled Douluo and you’ll never gain the
enlightenment necessary to cross the threshold of a Divine Blacksmith.
Heaven refining is to understand the mysteries of the universe. Only Titled Douluos can do that.
“That’s why when you get back to Shrek Academy, focus on cultivating your soul power. Since your martial soul is bluesilver grass, I suggest you find a place rich in the natural energies of the world to cultivate in. You’ll grow much faster in such an environment.”
Zhen Hua took out two boxes from his storage ring and handed them to Tang Wulin. One was purple and the other yellow, both about a foot long and wide. “Here are the two spirit items you wanted. Be careful when you
use them, they’re very potent. Well, with your strength, you shouldn’t have any problems.” Zhen Hua had spent 10 days teaching Tang Wulin. He had come to understand that the boy was tough, strong enough to rival an adult soul master already.
Tang Wulin stored the two boxes into his storage ring. Excitement stirred within him. As soon as he got back to Shrek Academy and bought the remaining two spirit items from the Tang Sect, he could break the fourth seal!
“I was planning on sending you back myself, but something important came up so I can’t do that anymore. Instead, I’ve arranged an escort for you.
They’ll take you back to Shrek.”
“Thank you, Uncle-master. I’ve already troubled you enough,” Tang Wulin said with heartfelt sincerity.
Zhen Hua rubbed Tang Wulin’s head. “Alright, enough of that. If you have any blacksmithing questions, just give me a call.”
The person Zhen Hua had arranged to escort Tang Wulin back to Shrek City was the black-grade mecha pilot and captain of Heaven Dou City’s 1st
Mecha Regiment, Liu An. With his strength and his black mecha, he could even keep a Titled Douluo occupied for a while.
Tang Wulin had learned the basics of mecha piloting at Shrek Academy, but it was his first time being inside a black-grade mecha.
All mecha cockpits had enough space to accommodate two pilots, although only one operated the mecha at a time usually. The second pilot only came into play when they engaged in long distance combat.
Typically, the higher the grade of the mecha, the smaller it was. The
standard issue yellow-grade mechas stood over twelve meters tall while the purple-grade were around ten meters. Black-grade mechas were around
eight. Red-grade mechas were supposedly no more than six meters tall. In contrast to mechas, battle armor fit snugly to its user without any excess bulk.
Once in the cockpit, Tang Wulin looked around curiously. Liu An had a similar look in his eyes, but his gaze was focused solely on Tang Wulin. This kid’s already saved two trains from terrorist attacks. He’s saved hundreds of lives and he’s from Shrek. His future is limitless.
Chapter 478 - Tang Wulin's Plan
Chapter 478 - Tang Wulin's Plan
Although Shrek Academy had asked Heaven Dou City to keep quiet about Tang Wulin’s heroic deeds, Mo Wu still granted him the title of Honored Citizen, and along with it, a badge. With that badge, Tang Wulin could buy
anything in Heaven Dou City with a twenty percent discount, auction house included.
The title of Honored Citizen was the highest honor that could be awarded in Heaven Dou City. It was non-hereditary, given only to the most outstanding of people. Even as the city’s administrator, Mo Wu had to apply in order to grant two of them. One for Tang Wulin, and the other for his daughter. Both deserved it.
“Uncle Liu, isn’t it hard to operate the mecha in such a cramped space?” Tang Wulin asked, his eyes shining with curiosity as he looked around.
A typical mecha contained a human-shaped groove for the pilot within the center of the cockpit, located at its belly region. Here, the pilot controlled the mecha’s every movement, mecha operation relying mainly on the pilot’s own movements, supplemented by their thoughts. Due to the method of operation, strong bodies was a must for pilots. Partial control of the mecha could be given over to the mecha’s operating system during combat, but high-grade mechas had minimal such programs and operation relied mainly on the pilot.
Liu An explained some of the unique traits of his cherished mecha, one of the few black-grades on the continent.
Black-grades had astronomical production costs. Furthermore, since the Federation only supplied the circuit cores, the rest of the materials and labor had to be provided by the pilot. But the mecha belonged solely to the pilot who put forth the resources to produce it. As long as they earned enough
achievements, they would be able to take their mecha with them whenever they chose to leave the military.
The circumstances were similar for purple-grade mechas. Lower-grade mechas, while built upon mass-produced chassis, were customized by their pilots. As such, mecha pilots treated their mecha as their second life, an
extension of themselves.
Both strength and money were needed to become a mecha pilot. If the pilot didn’t come from a wealthy clan, then they would have to earn the money necessary to advance, be it via their salary, bonuses, or sponsorships.
During his lecture, Liu An touched upon all sorts of troubles and issues faced by mecha pilots. In the end, however, they all revolved around one thing: the metals necessary to build and upgrade mechas were expensive!
“Ugh. I think you get it by now, but being a mecha pilot isn’t as glamorous as it seems. It might be a prestigious job, but life grows harder by the day! Pilots can never stop working hard, competing in competitions for the prize money, and working for bonuses if they want to have a mecha they can truly call their own. Really, the Federation’s treatment of us high-level pilots is inhuman. We don’t have any time to think about anything but making money and growing stronger.” Liu An sighed, shaking his head.
“Still, I have to say I’m doing pretty well for myself actually. My mecha is a solid black-grade, so I’m just focusing on upgrading all of its parts with spirit refined metal. I think I’ll be able to accomplish that in my lifetime.”
“Wow! It’s tough being a mecha pilot!” Tang Wulin said.
Liu An let out another long sigh. “Yeah. You still need to temper the iron
after forging it. Anyone can become a mecha pilot as long as they’re strong enough for the training. But a good one? That’s a different story. It’s hard to advance from there, so that’s where the real value of pilots emerges.”
Tang Wulin’s heart thumped, an idea forming in his mind. “Uncle Liu, do pilots buy their metals directly from the Blacksmith’s Association?”
Liu An nodded. “That’s right. We generally make requests for what we want, then pay the price. It’s pretty straightforward and the Blacksmith’s
Association fees aren’t too bad. But things get troublesome when it comes to spirit refined metal. There aren’t enough blacksmiths capable of spirit refining! The demand far outstrips the supply, so the price is skyhigh to match. And even with money, a blacksmith still needs to take on the request. With the low odds of success for spirit refining, they’re cautious
when it comes to taking on requests and we clients have to bear the burdens of failure for them. It’s just a tough situation all around.”
“Huh. So it’s like that,” Tang Wulin murmured. The metals required by mechas were lower quality than those of battle armors, but their demand far oustripped the supply. His eyes flashed with a calculating glint. A golden opportunity!
“Uncle Liu, I’m a member of Shrek Academy’s Blacksmith’s Association. If you need some metals forged in the future, feel free to come find me. Our prices over there might be a bit cheaper and we’ll definitely finish on time.” Tang Wulin beamed.
Tang Wulin had no intentions of scamming Liu An. Rather, he wanted to tap into the market of mecha pilots. After all, he could undercut the market as much as he wanted, but he needed access to the buyers to actually move his products. There was no need to conduct business under the table
During the ten days he spent with Zhen Hua, Tang Wulin learned just how costly it was for the higher levels of blacksmithing. This translated into battle armors being expensive to make as well. With the growing speed of Tang Wulin’s seal breaks, he would need more and more money to keep up with the rarer and rarer spirit items needed. Even if his uncle-master treated him well, he couldn’t expect the man to buy him items with astronomical prices. In the end, it all came down to making more money!
“Sounds great!” Liu An said immediately, his eyes shining.
Tang Wulin had taken care not to explicitly reveal who would be taking on the requests. Namely, him. He was aware how hard it was to trust a young blacksmith, especially one who declared himself a genius. On the other hand, Shrek Academy’s name demanded trust and was very effective for his purpose.
Nearly an hour later, they finally arrived at the outskirts of Shrek City. As a mecha pilot from Heaven Dou City, Liu An didn’t have permission to enter Shrek City with his mecha. After exchanging numbers, Liu An flew off in his mecha, leaving a streak of flame in the sky.
Tang Wulin hailed a taxi for the local Tang Sect headquarters. He wanted to get the remaining two spirit items as soon as possible, and return to campus afterward.
Fraught with danger and challenge his trip to Heaven Dou City had been, Tang Wulin was quick to remember he had gained more than his troubles. The path ahead now sprawled neat and clear before him. With his newly- secured Honored Citizen discount, he could purchase things cheaply from Heaven Dou City, forge items for himself and his friends, and sell the rest.
A grin slid its way across his lips. The fact that he had secured Liu An as a potential buyer brought all sorts of tickling in his belly. And perhaps best of all, he could take advantage of the discount to acquire any spirit items he needed in the future. His uncle-master backing him and the title of Honored Citizen attaching to his chest like a badge, he was sure to get the best price.
It would all result in a positive feedback loop.
Of course, Tang Wulin still needed to earn contribution points with both the Tang Sect and Shrek Academy. He decided to sell any spirit alloys with a less than eighty percent harmony rate, and with this plan, his bank account would continue to grow.
Chapter 479 - The Four Spirit Items
Chapter 479 - The Four Spirit Items
Upon obtaining his two remaining spirit items, Tang Wulin skipped merrily to his dorm, stopping by a restaurant to buy lunch on the way, the campus dining hall closed as it was. By the time he returned, the sun had just reached the middle of the sky.
His agenda was to break the next seal immediately to empower his blood essence, then visit Zhuo Shi for guidance.
With that in mind, he made his way to Yuanen Yehui’s room and knocked on her door.
Tang Wulin did, catching the strangely domestic sight of Yuanen Yehui in the middle of cleaning. She was lightly dressed in a tank top and short skirt to fight off the sweltering summer heat, bent over with a washcloth, thighs exposed.
Tang Wulin felt his face catch fire, averting his eyes and stopping in place. “Shouldn’t you be a bit more cautious?”
Yuanen Yehui didn’t bother looking up. “Why should I? It’s not like you like girls.”
“Huh?” Tang Wulin could hardly utter a word. I don’t like girls?
Finally finished cleaning, Yuanen Yehui rose from her bent position. “You just got back from your trip to Heaven Dou City, right? Everything go
well?” She was quick to change the subject. The image of Tang Wulin and Yue Zhengyu’s clandestine affair was still seared into her mind, the most awkward brand. It gave her goosebumps just thinking about it. But she
wasn’t one to judge, the type to let others live their lives as they saw fit.
Tang Wulin cracked a bitter smile. “It went well. I nearly died, but that’s about it.”
“Huh? What happened?”
Expression slightly hardening, Tang Wulin recounted the tale of his brush with death on the train.
“An evil soul master?” Yuanen Yehui’s eyes went wide and she clenched her hands into tight fists.
“What’s with you?” Tang Wulin asked.
She shook her head, her complexion pale. “It’s nothing. Just remembered something from the past. Anyway, I’m surprised you managed to survive that.”
“Actually, I have no idea what happened at the end or how I survived. I fell unconscious at the last minute, and when I woke up, my uncle-master had already rescued me. He told me he found me unconscious, so he doesn’t
know what happened either.” He brought a hand to his lips. “Maybe the evil soul master thought I was dead and left, or he sensed my uncle-master
coming and didn’t have enough time to finish me off. I have no clue.”
A pause. Eventually, Yuanen Yehui spoke. “I don’t think either of those things happened. But I can’t think of any other explanations either. Were you injured?”
“I’m fine. Fit as a dragon,” Tang Wulin said, flexing his biceps with a sunny smile.
“I forgot how tough you are.” Yuanen Yehui smiled wryly, remembering his perseverance in their last battle, his refusal to give up. Like a cockroach.
“Yuanen, can I ask a favor of you?” “What?”
“I’m about to make a breakthrough and I want to go into seclusion for a few days. If you don’t have anything to do off campus, could you help protect me during it? There shouldn’t be anyone passing by, but still. All you’ll have to do is make sure no one bothers me for a few days,” Tang Wulin
“Hmm. How many days will it take?” Yuanen Yehui asked.
“I’m not sure, but I think at least three. At most seven.” With the fourth seal already weakened and his body stronger than ever, Tang Wulin was
confident it wouldn’t take too long.
She shrugged. “Okay. Call me when you’re ready.”
“Great. I’ll pay you back with a piece of spirit alloy after.”
Her eyes shone. “Those were your words. Remember that! You can’t back out! I want one with a harmony rate over ninety percent!”
A tight smile formed on Tang Wulin’s lips. “Are you after my life? Ninety percent is way too much and will take too long. Let’s make it eighty percent and we’ll have a deal. Shouldn’t take too long to forge one.”
“Deal!” Yuanen Yehui got what she had wanted, pitching higher than necessary. The odds of success for a ninety percent harmony rate were too low after all. Even if Tang Wulin had agreed, no one knew how long it
After a moment of thought, Tang Wulin said, “I need to prepare some things first. I’ll be ready in about two hours.” With no proper way to store his four spirit items, he didn’t want to delay any further. It was better to break the
seal while the potency of the items was at its peak.
Once he returned to his room, Tang Wulin shut the curtains, then got on his bed to meditate.
This was his fourth time breaking a seal. He had been fully prepared for the first two. Abruptly broke the third. There wasn’t a trace of anxiety in his heart for the fourth. Rather, he eagerly looked forward to what he would gain. He wanted to experience the rush of power into his veins and the might of his second blood essence soul ring. The first golden soul ring granted him the Golden Dragon Body skill, providing a massive boost in
strength and combat power. He could only imagine what the second would grant him.
Tang Wulin hoped that the next skill he gained would be a long-ranged
attack skill. No matter how he looked at it, ranged attacks were definitely his weakness right now, completely unbalanced with his close combat
As Tang Wulin mulled over his thoughts, he brought out four boxes from his storage ring and placed them on his desk. One box was made of wood, two of jade, and one of metal.
He opened the wooden one first. An intense aroma immediately struck him. Within sat a brilliant flower with over a hundred golden petals. Each petal was covered in fuzz, the entire flower coiled up to fit in the box. A single
sniff got his blood essence boiling.
The flower was a thousand-year mystic heaven chrysanthemum. A rare spirit medicine that strengthened a person’s limbs. Even at the thousand- year level, it was extremely rare.
Tang Wulin opened the next box, a small one made of yellow jade. Inside
was a sepia lump. It was ugly compared to the chrysanthemum, but an air of power swirled around it, its aroma thick and heavy.
It was a thousand-year pine spirit mushroom, also known as the scarlet spirit mushroom. It had a gentle character and mellow energies that
nourished one’s internal organs. While not the best spirit mushroom around, there was no denying it had the most mild character, able to tame the
wildest of spirit medicines when ingested together, allowing the user to absorb the energies easily. And the mushroom fell slightly short of the chrysanthemum in value, an almost insignificant difference.
Next was a green jade box. Tang Wulin slowly lifted the lid, sighing as he breathed in a bright fragrance, life and vitality incarnate. A string of small fruits sat inside the box, about forty of them altogether. They were all the size of a bean, a shade of lush green jade. In truth, the box had originally been pure white, dyed the fruit’s color after holding it for some time.
Simply breathing the air from the box invigorated him.
A thousand-year life fruit. Its name stemmed from its tenacious will to live, the fruit growing only in the most barren of lands, praised as the greatest treasure of the deserts. If anyone lost their way there, they would be saved as long as they found this fruit. A single berry was enough to sustain a person for ten days. A truly magical fruit. Its existence in such barren terrain, one of the many mysteries of the world.
Tang Wulin had purchased it from the Tang Sect. It had cost quite a large
sum of contribution points. Old Tang had reminded him several times to get one with at least thirty berries. He went above and beyond that, getting his hands on a life fruit with forty. It was even more valuable than the mystic heaven chrysanthemum.
He moved on to the final box. The box was made of a silver metal,
completely sealing any fragrance that lay within. He pressed a button to unlock it, the lid opening up in one fluid motion. A black object with a metallic luster sat at the base, and upon closer inspection, a pattern of
eleven dark purple rings could faintly be made out on its surface.
Chapter 480 - The Fourth Seal
Chapter 480 - The Fourth Seal
This was thousand-year purple cloud wood, a wood with peculiar
characteristics. It was harder than most metals, and was actually toxic. Ingesting it would cause metal poisoning. It only took a small amount to endanger an ordinary person’s life. Fortunately, its hardness made it difficult to ingest.
In spite of how dangerous purple cloud wood could be to normal people, for soul masters it was a wonderful treasure. By pouring soul power into it, a
soul master could transform the wood’s toxicity into an energy that could
strengthen their body and increase their flexibility. This thousand-year piece of purple cloud wood couldn’t be found in ordinary markets. It was priceless.
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but sigh as he gazed at the four spirit items. He needed all of them just to break the fourth seal! The mere thought of what the future seals would require made him start to sweat a little. He had to make more money.
Tang Wulin stood up from his desk and brought over a basin of water he prepared earlier. He placed the pine spirit mushroom in it first, letting it
soak for ten minutes. Next he put in the mystic heaven chrysanthemum. The water took on a weak golden hue the moment the chrysanthemum entered it. After another ten minutes, a sepia color seeped from the mushroom and
encroached upon the chrysanthemum’s golden domain. Third was the purple cloud wood. The instant it touched the water, inky colors spread from it, giving the water a muddy quality.
This was a secret recipe Old Tang had told him about. Of the four spirit items, purple cloud wood was the cheapest. This was mainly due to its
excessive hardness that made it difficult to use, as well as its strong toxicity. A single mistake could endanger the user’s life, so few dared to use it.
However, when combined with mystic heaven chrysanthemum, the
situation became entirely different. This recipe took advantage of that.
The chrysanthemum excited the wood, and their medicinal properties
spread through the water, mixing together. The wood’s toxicity faded away. It was now usable as medicine.
The value of this recipe couldn’t be measured. Purple cloud wood only cost a sixth of the mystic heaven chrysanthemum accepted value, but if this recipe became widely known, the purple cloud wood’s price would
When the water finally grew calm and its color deepened to an impenetrable darkness, Tang Wulin took the thousand-year life fruit out of the basin and ate it.
The fruit wasn’t tasty at all. It was painfully sour to the point that it made Tang Wulin’s teeth ache. Even so, he endured the unpleasantness and ate
every single one of the fruit’s berries. As he did, life energy surged through him. Saliva welled up in his mouth, transforming the sourness to a burst of sweetness. He then swallowed his saliva, and the sweetness spread through him as well. An ethereal high filled his body, a sensation that he quickly became drunk on. He felt as if he were an ascetic that had reached
Tang Wulin’s skin took on a green glow as he finished eating the fruit. Oblivious of this, he picked up the basin and gulped down its contents.
Ugh! It tastes gross.
The murky liquid ran down Tang Wulin’s throat, combining with the life fruit he had just eaten. A sharp bitterness joined the sweet and sour that pulled at his tongue. His brow furrowed, a frown of disgust warped his mouth, and a groan escaped him, but even so, he forced himself to drink.
The thought of how much money this dark mixture was worth gave him every reason to keep drinking. He absolutely couldn’t waste it.
It was now that Tang Wulin’s stomach showed its might. He withstood the harsh taste of the liquid, which waned as he drank, and all of the it disappeared into his belly. It left his belly fuller than before, but that was it. He still had room for more.
The remains of the three spirit items sat at the bottom of the basin. They hadn’t completely dissolved into the water, but all three looked nothing like they had before. The mystic heaven chrysanthemum had transformed from a dazzling gold to a dull gray, its aroma completely absent. The purple
cloud wood now looked like an ordinary chunk of wood, the purple rings gone from its surface. Although its spiritual energies were gone, the pine
spirit mushroom had fared better than the others, simply turning from sepia to black.
Tang Wulin was amazed by the recipe. It used the properties of the three spirit items, exploiting how they reacted to one another to draw out all of their energies and medical potency.
Then Tang Wulin’s stomach started to churn and ache. He rushed to his bed and began meditating. Only now would the breaking of the seal truly
The mystic heaven chrysanthemum and purple cloud wood both possessed powerful medicinal properties, and with their toxic edge having been dulled from being combined, their medical potency had grown exponentially. The inclusion of the pine spirit mushroom in the recipe, on the other hand, was meant to mellow out the other two spirit items further and nourish the user’s organs. The life fruit was added to boost the user’s life force. The four came together in a perfect fusion, minimizing risk and maximizing benefits.
In spite of all of that, Tang Wulin was in intense pain. He could feel his
stomach and the surrounding muscles spasming. He had to fight back the urge to vomit everything he just ingested. He couldn’t afford to squander all the money he had spent on them! Spirit items worth millions of credits and points were in his belly!
Tang Wulin’s miserly nature easily overcame such an insignificant level of pain. He clenched his jaw and endured, urging his soul power to circulate within him, carrying the medicine along with it. The pain gradually transformed into a blazing heat. The green glow of Tang Wulin’s skin became scarlet, as if he were a human lobster.
The heat inside Tang Wulin grew hotter and hotter, rampaging through his body. All of his pores opened up, releasing a thick medicinal aroma.
Outside of Tang Wulin’s room, Yuanen Yehui sat cross-legged, guarding the door. Her nose twitched, smelling the aroma. Astonishment colored her face. She couldn’t believe how potent it was. A single whiff of it had relaxed her body. She straightened her back and continued to take in the medicinal aroma, breathing deeply through her nose.
Back in the room, Tang Wulin’s entire body felt like it was on fire. A faint golden glow rippled within him, through his veins, muscles, bones, and organs. He somehow knew that this golden light was the reason for his insane recovery ability. It was this recovery ability that had saved him numerous times now.
It’s time to break the fourth seal!
Spurred on by his soul power, the medicinal energies assaulted the fourth
seal. The seal shuddered, a boom rumbling within him. Tang Wulin’s entire body trembled. He saw a golden light envelop his body and heard a draconic roar echo from deep within himself. He could feel everything inside of him being dyed a radiant gold.
Before this, every time Tang Wulin broke a seal he had either been unconscious or had his eyes closed. This was his first time seeing the
changes that occurred to his body when he broke a seal. He could feel the fourth seal splitting open, releasing a torrent of energy that dyed his entire body gold. This energy began fusing with his flesh, bones, and blood as it devoured the remaining medicinal energy to empower him further. The golden energy filled him, and he felt bloated, fit to burst.
But his body, hungry, ravenously so, ate it all up.