The ore collection center of Wild Wolf Castle was at the foot of a relatively flat hill south of Wild Wolf Castle. There was an iron rail that spanned hundreds of meters long down from the top of the hill to the collection center. The other end of the iron rail was the raw materials field of the iron smelting workshop in Wild Wolf Castle. The steam engine attached to the wheeled vehicle provided it enough energy so that it could pull carts filled with iron ores from the foot of the hill to the top using steel wires that were as thick as a baby's arm. Thanks to the iron rail and the vehicle that made use of the steam engine, iron ores could be easily brought into Wild Wolf Castle. If not for them, Zhang Tie really wondered whether there would be any person willing to dig in the mines, as they would have to walk a distance of over 1.5 km in order to reach this location while carrying the iron ores. In order to get here, he would have to walk up a slope and would most likely be tired to death after doing so.
Although some people would be able to accomplish such a feat, others would find it difficult to do the same.
At noon, after raining for a day, the sun finally rose, and it gradually became hot again. Due to the rain, the valley was still rather damp, but under the scorching sun, the water began to evaporate and rise from the ground. In a short period, the entire valley became a huge steaming cage that made people breathless.
Under such a high temperature, it became a huge test as to whether Zhang Tie would be able to traverse a distance of over 1.5 km while carrying more than 100 kg of iron ores on his back. On the way there, Zhang Tie gritted his teeth as he oozed sweat all over and felt as if his shoulder was burning because his shoulder constantly rubbed against his mining basket. On average, he would have to take a rest after walking every 200 or 300 meters. Finally arriving at his destination, when Zhang Tie placed his mining basket on the scale, it made a "Kuang!" sound. Upon hearing a different sound drifting from the scale, the other male students couldn't help but stare at the number displayed on the scale.
"Brother, nice work. You are the first to carry over 100 kg of iron ores at once. It seems you were born to do this!" Hearing his words, Zhang Tie did not feel like uttering a single word; he only rolled his eyes. Right now, he was extremely tired and wanted to take a rest for half an hour. Zhang Tie didn't have the strength to think about whether that guy was praising him or criticizing him. At the same time, the male student took out a notebook. After peering at the number displayed on the scale and checking the quality of the ores brought by Zhang Tie, he started to record the numbers in the notebook.
"Along withs this basket… how many kilograms of ores have I carried here today?" After panting for a quite while, Zhang Tie asked.
"Including this time, let me have a look..." Taking the notebook, the male student lowered his head and checked the record. "You are Zhang Tie, right? You brought in 76 kg the first time, 78 kg for the second time, and 69 kg for the third time. This time, you've brought 118 kg. Let me calculate it..."
"341 kg..." The instant the male student told Zhang Tie of the weight of the iron he had brought the third time, Zhang Tie had already visualized a seven column abacus in his mind, from which poured out the final result.
After calculating it with a pen, that male student got the same result as the one Zhang Tie got. Slightly amazed, he stared at Zhang Tie, but in the end, he didn't put too much thought into it.
"Right, it's 341 kg. This is the record for the most brought in. Since you didn't come in for the previous two days, you have just finished the amount needed for the past three days of required work..."
"Is there a reward for the highest record?" Zhang Tie casually asked.
"What is it?"
"You will be allowed to continue this promising career..."
Hearing this answer, Zhang Tie's face slightly turned dark before beginning to laugh. He didn't expect this guy to have a sense of humor.
Seeing them pouring his iron ores into the mining vehicle, Zhang Tie casually prattled with them and took a rest. Based on the weight of his iron ores, Zhang Tie received 0.35 kg of dried rations. Afterwards, bringing with him the dried rations, Zhang Tie carried the ugly mining basket and climbed to the top of the mountain, arriving at the square outside Wild Wolf Castle.
After having removed the 100 kg burden and taking a break, Zhang Tie gradually recovered his strength and realized that he was much faster than before. This time, since he successfully surpassed his own physical limit and was able to create a record among the group of unlucky fellows, Zhang Tie was in a good mood and felt a bit pleasant. It seemed that what Donder had said was true—people were always forced to conquer difficulties before they were able to succeed. That was really sincere saying that was often seen in Chinese texts.
As the sun had risen again, the square became more boisterous than before. Compared to the empty and shabby appearance that was here before, there were now some simple trading booths that could also be used as shelter in the square. At these booths, some of the female students would sell the wild fruits and vegetables that they had picked in the valley and would trade them for other food. At the other end of the square, the male students, as usual, grouped together as they showed off their "muscles" and the prey they had caught. Over time, they would find an opportunity to chat with girls. These days, more and more female students had begun to form solid teams with the male students. No matter whether they were male or female, after some time and after understanding each other, they became rather bold.
"Do you need blueberries or hawthorn fruits?" A voice from a booth to the side attracted Zhang Tie's attention. Turning around, Zhang Tie saw a male student shaking his head and walking away, while the owner of the booth, a female student, looked disappointed as she hugged her legs and sat on the ground. In front of the girl was a lotus leaf on which were a pile of unripe wild blueberries and hawthorn fruits that amounted to less than 0.25 kg. Much like the bashful female owner of the booth, the pile of blueberries and hawthorn fruits looked average. Although they were clean, they were not attractive at all and were not able to arouse the "appetite" of the horny students.
As Zhang Tie remembered that he had not spread the seeds of blueberries and hawthorn fruits on the soil in the Castle of Black Iron, Zhang Tie walked over and squatted in front of that poor girl's booth. "What do you want in exchange for these fruits?"
Hearing Zhang Tie's voice, the dejected girl raised her head up from her knees. Although she had freckles on her face, she looked clean and had an average figure; however, she had a pair of blue eyes that were crystal clear, much like a stream of water. She was just like an ugly duckling dwarfed by the brilliant beauties around her.
"0.25 kg of dried rations for both the wild blueberries and the hawthorn fruits. Ah, if you just give me 0.2 kg of dried rations, you can take them away. I'm also willing to trade for 0.1 kg of meat." Feeling that Zhang Tie was slightly glancing over her body, the girl sitting on the ground leaned a bit more forward, hiding her chest behind her knees.
"Gulugulu" Clear growling sounds drifted from the stomach of that girl into Zhang Tie's ears. At the same time, the girl lowered her head in embarrassment.
"Fine, I want them all..." Zhang Tie casually took out 0.5 kg of dried rations from his food container. After thinking for a short time, he added 0.05 kg of dried beef to the dried rations.
"This… this… is too much!" The girl was surprised; her pair of beautiful blue eyes gazed at Zhang Tie without blinking, seemingly as if she wanted to find something on Zhang Tie's face.
"Hmm… I am a disciple of the Guardian God School. During this survival training, I want to collect some seeds from various plants. As you can see from my looks, you should know that I dig in the mines and have no time to do this. If it's convenient for you and as long as it's safe, could you please collect some seeds for me? Whatever they are, I'll exchange food with you. The extra food is paid in advance." Zhang Tie casually said.
"Really?" The girl's eyes instantly became shiny.
Smiling, Zhang Tie put away the two piles of slightly unripe fruits and then pushed the dried rations and dried beef in front of the girl. His actions were more persuasive than any words. Seeing his actions, the girl firmly took the food, seemingly as if she feared Zhang Tie would change his mind.
"What's your name?"
"I am Zhang Tie!"
"After I collect seeds, how will I find you?"
"I come here often, so you don't need to come look for me. I'll come look for you!"
As he said this, Zhang Tie picked himself up and took away those fruits. After seven or eight steps away, Zhang Tie heard the timid voice from the girl behind him. "I am Pandora..."
Zhang Tie turned around and showed a smile to the girl. He then picked up a hawthorn fruit and stylishly tossed it into the air, letting it fall into his mouth; however, upon biting it, Zhang Tie instantly frowned, as it was really sour. What a failure! Seeing Zhang Tie's expression, Pandora giggled. Almost at the same time, she hurriedly covered her mouth with her hands, as she realized that she was the one who had sold him the hawthorn fruit. Raising her head to look at Zhang Tie again, she realized the black-haired adolescent with the mining basket on his back was waving at her before gradually disappearing among the crowd...
"Zhang Tie..." Pandora muttered this name several times.
After finishing today's work, Zhang Tie felt relaxed all over. Whistling, he began to climb down the mountain while eating the sour blueberries and hawthorn fruits. He then returned to the place where he had dug in the mines. As there were still four or five hours before he would leave the mine, he could casually spend them to do whatever he wanted. At this time, the hidden mining tunnel had become the best place for him to practice cultivation. In addition, after working in the morning, there were fewer people inside the mines, and the knocking sounds became sparser.
Sitting down on the relatively clean ground in the mine as he crossed his legs, Zhang Tie entered the cultivation state. As he had just finished carrying over 100 kg iron ores to the right location, he currently felt that he was in the perfect condition, as he felt relaxed and full of strength all over. Zhang Tie had once heard that every time a person broke through their physical limits, they would see a better effect when cultivating. At this moment, he decided to give it a try for the remaining hours...