Chapter 43 – Second Rank
Harmonizing was when the blacksmith builds on a resonance with the piece of metal he was crafting, until it reaches a state of fusion between both. It was in this state that the chance of producing an excellent product became higher. Every single work of forging contained both the blacksmith’s feelings as well as their ideals.
Mu Chen didn’t enter the forging chamber because he couldn’t, even as the President. Nobody was allowed into the chamber when during a blacksmith’s ranking test. Entering might falter the blacksmith’s concentration, thus resulting in their failure or even casting a shadow on them.
Mu Chen once again returned to the front desk asked the staff, “What is the name of the examinee in room three?”
The staff, upon his inquiry, checked through the list and answered almost immediately. “The examinee’s name is Tang Wu Lin. He was recommended here by Grandmaster Cen Yue. He is currently being tested.”
As he spoke, he passed Mu Chen a copy of Tang Wu Lin’s forms.
When Cen Yue’s name was mentioned, he smiled. “I say, who else other than someone recommended from Old Cen would be able to enter a state of harmonization in the midst of an examination? Ah! Nine years old?”
With an expression of disbelief, he turned his eyes towards the staff. “Are you sure this isn’t a mistake of some sort? This examinee is only nine years old?”
The staff confirmed immediately. “That’s right. We had doubts about it previously too. I couldn’t believe that a child that young would come for a ranking test.”
Mu Chen was stupefied. ‘For a child his age, he must be taking the first rank blacksmith’s test?’
Beep beep! Mu Chen removed the soul communicator from his waist belt and answered the call.
“Daddy, I’m ready. Are you coming? I’m in room six.”
“I’ll be there shortly.”
Though he still had doubts, it didn’t matter as much as his daughter. Mu Chen quickened his steps towards room six.
“Time’s up!” The surveyor announced in a weird-sounding voice.
Dang! Tang Wu Lin finished off his last hammer strike and retracted both his hammers. With a flash of light, his pair of hammers vanished into his Heavy Silver Rings.
His chest rose and fell gently. Tang Wu Lin seemed to be slightly short of breath, his cheeks scarlet with a blush, and sweat was glistening from his forehead. But that was all.
The forging room was once again silent, albeit only for a short time. While the surveyor had her attention on the piece of Heavy Silver, Cen Yue directed his gaze to Tang Wu Lin’s eyes.
In Tang Wu Lin’s eyes, Cen Yue thought he caught a hint of a glimmering silverish light that had been emitted from the Heavy Silver. Though the forging process had ended, Tang Wu Lin’s focus was still in its initial stage. He believed that the child would one day grow up to become a peerless individual should he stay on the path.
“Heavy Silver. Purification exceeding Hundred Refinements. Volume reduction of seven percent. State of purification – Hundred Refined, three times.” The surveyor announced precisely after a careful inspection of the piece of metal.
If the forging was done by a Grandmaster Blacksmith, getting the Heavy Silver to such a state wouldn’t mean much. This forging, however, was done by a mere nine year old child whose body had not even hit puberty yet. It was an incredible feat from this child.
“The evaluation has passed.” The surveyor announced, her gaze directed towards Cen Yue.
Cen Yue broke into a bitter smile. “Mang Tian did this on purpose.”
The surveyor was shocked upon hearing Cen Yue’s remarks. “This kid, he’s a disciple of Mang Tian?”
Cen Yue nodded his head. “I couldn’t believe it either. But I now confirm that the kid is eligible for the second rank test.”
The surveyor considered Cen Yue’s comment before turning towards Tang Wu Lin. “Kid, other than metal purification, do you have other skills?”
It was then that Tang Wu Lin awakened from his carefree forging state. However, his only faults were hammering too lightly while using the Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers and the forging process ended a little earlier than he would have liked it to. If sufficient time was given, he was sure he could complete the Thousand Refinements.
“I can forge some basic small and medium-sized components,“ Tang Wu Lin described earnestly.
This didn’t surprise Cen Yue since Tang Wu Lin previously mentioned it, and even Mang Tian agreed that Tang Wu Lin was capable of receiving jobs himself.
“Please forge a medium-sized component,” The surveyor said with a deep voice, “and if you manage to succeed, you will be promoted to the second rank.”
The requirements to be a second rank blacksmith was simply to forge a medium-sized component and to have the ability to Hundred Refine rare metals.
Tang Wu Lin’s previous purification process was excellent, so he only needed to forge some components now.
“Yes!” Tang Wu Lin answered before immediately beginning to forge the component.
The pair of Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammers reappeared, and rhythmic hammering sounded out once again.
The surveyor was about to call out and tell Tang Wu Lin that he could use common metals to pass the test, but was silenced by a glance from Cen Yue. He wanted to see how well a nine-year-old child could perform this task.
As he hammered the chunk of Heavy Silver again, a surge of happiness filled Tang Wu Lin’s heart. Within his heart, he felt as though he was reunited with his friends.
At his endless pounding, the chunk of metal produced a crisp hum, as if in response to his hammering. Tang Wu Lin’s hammering speed gradually increased. Under his hammer’s pounding, the metal started to change.
With every strike of his hammer, it bounced off the metal even higher. Afterwards, Tang Wu Lin would add even more force into his next strike. The Heavy Silver gradually formed into a circular-shaped medium component, under his constant pounding.
The hammering process that Cen Yue witnessed was one without any faults, as if every strike had its place and every move was natural. In his eyes, this was the textbook’s ideal of forging!
This child’s foundation skills were unmatched. Even if he were to be compared with 18 or 19 year olds with an apprenticeship of more than eight years, he would still surpass them by far!
Though in this forging process, Tang Wu Lin simply hammered the metal without any superfluous techniques, it extruded an abnormal feeling of pureness to the bystanders.
Generally, small components would be used in mecha joints, and medium components would be inlayed within the main body of the mecha.
Tang Wu Lin had crafted a semi-circular component, an important component within the knee joint of a mecha. Joint protection components were most susceptible to wear and tear, however, this also made them the most suitable to be used for soul guide arrays. Heavy Silver was a good conductor for transmitting soul power. Thus, forging the joint component out of Heavy Silver would be the most appropriate. Tang Wu Lin had indeed considered these points prior to his forging.
Another hour passed by before Tang Wu Lin produced a semi-circular component that was free from any defects and brought it up to both Cen Yue and the surveyor for their assessment. The two of them were even more speechless than before.
“Masters, did I pass the test?” Tang Wu Lin couldn’t be more proud with his piece of work. In fact, this was his first time forging a component with Heavy Silver. When he recalled the past, Tang Wu Lin thought that the only flaw to his work was that the component was not Thousand Refinemed. He was confident that he would have been able to Thousand Refine it.
After his previous Thousand Refinements, he discovered that his understand of forging had gone up by a level. After forging Heavy Silver again, he felt that it was simply wonderful.