Chapter 44 – Aren’t You Just Showing Off?
When Tang Wu Lin walked out of the forging room, his face was painted with joy. It wasn’t because of the recognition from both masters, nor was it because he had risen up to a second rank blacksmith. Rather, he was euphoric from the sum of 10,000 federation coins he received from the Heavy Silver component he had forged.
One can actually make such a huge fortune from forging rare metals!
Cen Yue had informed him, prior to his exit, to report back again to the Blacksmith Association in two-days time to receive his blacksmith’s badge, and to start receiving jobs from the Association.
“Mang Tian!” The call to his old acquaintance finally got through.
“En?” Mang Tian’s voice was just as indifferent as the time they last spoke.
“Where did you find yourself such a treasure?” Cen Yue spoke into his device impatiently.
Mang Tian replied plainly, “What are you talking about?”
“Who else do you think I am referring to? Your nine-year-old, second rank disciple. What’s more shocking, he just forged a component directly with Heavy Silver. With his young age, he could definitely master the Thousand Refinements within a few years of serious training. With that, he would be good on his way towards a Grandmaster Blacksmith. How did you train this child?”
“Hey, can you say something?”
Cen Yue was not pleased with the lack of response he got from Mang Tian.
“I have nothing to say. That child was born with innate divine strength and he has a diligent character. That’s all.” Mang Tian still spoke plainly.
Cen Yue snapped back at Mang Tian’s explanation. “Was your intention to brandish this kid’s abilities at me when you recommended him here?”
“Yes!” Mang Tian acknowledged his true intention.
“Speak, what are your conditions for you to give that child to me? Since you will be at the deserted Glorybound City most of the time, do you even have time to guide your disciple? He would be better off if you let him come with me. I will guide him carefully if you trust me.”
“I’m hanging up!”
“Bastard!” Cen Yue almost dropped his soul communicator out of rage.
“Teacher, were you looking for me?” At that very moment, a youngster in his twenties walked into Cen Yue’s room.
“What blacksmith rank are you at? How many years have you been under me? Can’t you even complete the Thousand Refinements……” The youngster, while in a state of loss, was unfortunately the target of all of Cen Yue’s anger. This master of his was usually known for his good temper.
Tang Wu Lin was, however, clueless of the impact his outstanding ability had on the others, and he was on his way back to the Academy.
“Take it!” Tang Wu Lin pushed forth the bagful of 10,000 federation coins to Xie Xie, who was propped up on his bed. The bruise from Tang Wu Lin’s punch had not subsided.
Xie Xie eyed him coldly, “Are you trying to run away from the match?”
Tang Wu Lin shook his head in reply. “I couldn’t pay up previously because I did not have any coins. Since I ruined most of the property, I don’t think you should be paying for all of it. Here is 10,000 federation coins. I will pay you back the other 10,000 federation coins when I have them. I am a man of my words, and since I have accepted your offer, I will be there tomorrow after school. You can set the location.”
Tang Wu Lin left the bunch of coins next to Xie Xie and headed for his bed after stating his intentions.
Zhou Zhang Xi and Yun Xiao exchanged a glance as they observed the exchange from the top bunks. Ever since his defeat against Tang Wu Lin in the steamed bun eating contest, Zhou Zhang Xi’s attitude towards Tang Wu Lin had changed. Yun Xiao, on the other hand, was curious at how Tang Wu Lin managed to produce the 10,000 federation coins. It seemed impossible for him to get such huge sum within this short span of time.
Tang Wu Lin entered a meditative state easily after moving into his cross-legged posture on his bed. In fact, today was his first time using his martial soul in battle. He didn’t have any experience in these matters and this was even the first true battle he had been in.
Tang Wu Lin felt that Xie Xie was a formidable person. If he hadn’t used his Bluesilver Grass’s soul skill, his skills alone wouldn’t stand a chance in withstanding Xie Xie.
From the fight earlier today, he gained some understanding of his own martial soul too. He recalled the advice his teacher had given him, and agreed that he truly needed to improve his control over his Bluesilver Grass.
Xie Xie, however, merely lay down on his bed. His mind was filled with images of the match earlier today as well, specifically on his inability to cut the grass with his Light Dragon Dagger. ‘Is Tang Wu Lin’s martial soul really just Bluesilver Grass? Did I underestimate the ability of Tang Wu Lin’s trash martial soul?’
‘I will show him my true colours in the match tomorrow! I will make him pay for that punch!’ As he thought this, Xie Xie touched his swollen cheeks, reigniting his heart’s fury.
Meditation should be done prior to and after dinner. After all, the clumsy bird flies early for the forest. This saying had left a deep impression in Tang Wu Lin’s mind.
Dawn. Tang Wu Lin woke up as soon as the first rays of sunlight poked at him through the windows.
A night of meditation did help in recovering some of his soul power. As soon as he entered rank 10, he had felt a distinct difference in the time needed to regain his energy. At the same time, he would need more soul power to advance to the next stages. This required him to use far more time to accumulate the amount.
As he got off his bed, his gaze rested unintentionally on the occupant within the lower bunk of the other set of beds across the room. Xie Xie, who seemed to be meditating, opened his eyes suddenly.
Both pairs of eyes locked for a few moments. Xie Xie’s gaze was frosty, whereas Tang Wu Lin had a look of indifference. Shortly after, Tang Wu Lin broke his gaze and headed for the shower.
In his opinion, Xie Xie was just another wealthy city kid; he gave off an image of bossiness, assertiveness, and insolence. Tang Wu Lin would rather make friends with Zhou Zhang Xi than the rich city kid.
After finishing his morning shower, there was nothing else to stop him from the most important activity of all, meal time.
However, Tang Wu Lin was unaware that his previous challenge in steamed-bun-eating had earned him the nickname of “Rice Bucket”, even though he hadn’t even started his journey in the academy.
As he woke up earlier that others, he was greeted with an empty dining hall. Within the hall were the same three windows. Breakfast was, like previous meals, categorised into three categories. Tang Wu Lin naturally headed for the third window, which provided free food.
Breakfast was a spread of milk, eggs, sausages, bread, and vegetables.
Tang Wu Lin helped himself and piled up a pyramid’s worth of food on his plate before leaving for an empty table at the corner to devour his food.
The dining hall’s chef recognised Tang Wu Lin for his record-breaking appetite and was worried that the child’s stomach could not take up all the food. But he now knew that the child was doing fine when he caught view of Tang Wu Lin’s actions through the window.
Xie Xie entered the dining hall just when Tang Wu Lin started with his meal. Like Tang Wu Lin, his mind had already been made up and he headed straight for the 1st window, collecting a plateful of food as well.
One would think that the food on Xie Xie’s plate was similar to Tang Wu Lin’s from a mere glance. A closer inspection, however, would make one realize the difference. Take for instance the milk; it was not just any milk, but one that was taken from a soul beast bred in captivity. As with the other food on his plate, they contained a higher amount of nutrients, all from various origins.
But, if one were to compare the portions of rice consumed between the two, he would realise that Tang Wu Lin’s portion was as much or even more than ten times that of what Xie Xie had on his plate.
Though both of them were seated far apart, each in solitude, Xie Xie kept glancing occasionally in Tang Wu Lin’s direction. Tang Wu Lin was, however, concentrated on the breakfast before him.
The dining hall grew crowded as students began entering. Just like how it was the night before, they started pointing and directing their comments at Tang Wu Lin.
As the sun rose high, the opening ceremony started.