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Chapter 39

Part 1

Originally when Tang San was at Tang Sect, he was specially in charge of making hidden weapons, and before he leapt from the cliff he had already reached the rank of outer sect manager. He was extremely familiar with the manufacturing process for Tang Sect hidden weapons. Tang Sect’s income relied practically exclusively on the outer sect’s manufacture of poison and hidden weapons, after Tang San carefully reflected, he decided to copy this method to Douluo Continent. Although some of this was already somewhat difficult, it was still possible to try it out.

Thus, Tang San decided to take advantage of today’s holiday to find a smithy to cooperate with.

Entering the Spirit Elder realm, as long as he again underwent the rank test next month when he went to Spirit Hall to draw his stipend, Tang San would each month have a hundred gold coin income. As blacksmiths were a low rank occupation hiring them was cheap, he believed he was able to afford it. Furthermore with all the hidden weapon manufacturing costs split among everyone, money was no problem.

The reason why he made the resolution to find a smithy to cooperate in making mechanism type hidden weapons, was because Tang San decided he had to make several kinds of even more powerful hidden weapons. This world was after all different from his previous world, all the materials had to be collected by himself. Making even more powerful hidden weapons naturally required even more time and effort.

Of course, Tang San certainly wouldn’t tell others the craft of making Tang Sect hidden weapons, he only needed to contract a smithy to make hidden weapon components, doing the final assembly himself was sufficient to maintain secrecy. More than the smiths being unable to copy, whether they could even make what Tang San wanted was impossible to know.

After asking several passers by, Tang San finally found his destination, the largest smithy in Suotuo City. This smithy’s name was very simple, just called ‘Smithy’[1], without any additional words.

Without entering the smithy, he could already hear the intensive hammering noises, the sound concentrated and melodious. Clearly there were numerous blacksmiths working.

From its external appearance, this smithy was clearly much larger than the one Tang San worked at in Nuoding City. Easily five or six times larger than Shi San’s smithy. In the wide anteroom were laid out various kinds of finished products arranged by type, divided into three large areas: everyday implements, weapons and armor, respectively.

Of these, everyday implements occupied roughly half the area, the remainder split equally between weapons and armor. The store’s anteroom was separated from the main work area by long black curtains, the curtains were three meters wide, with a white one meter in diameter ‘iron’[2] character, looking very imposing.

In the shop’s anteroom were six or seven assistants in charge of receiving customers, meeting those arriving and sending off those departing. The division of labor was extremely clear. Some were in charge of receiving customers and doing business, some were in charge of delivering finished goods. Furthermore a tall and sturdy middle aged man sat behind a counter responsible for collecting money.

Tang San stepped inside the shop, heading directly to the counter.

A shop assistant hurried over to meet him, obstructing Tang San,

“Young mister, what do you require?”

Tang San smiled inwardly. A mister was mister, but they still unfortunately added the word ‘young’. Although his height still approached an adult’s, a childish face showed he was a youngster.

“I want to talk about a business deal.”

Tang San said with a smile.

The assistant sized up Tang San several times. Tang San’s clothes were very plain, made from cloth without anything special. Appearance average. Stature well built. Looking like an ordinary person.

“If you want something made, you can speak directly to me.”

Tang San said:

“You might be unable to, this is a long term deal, if possible, a permanent collaboration.”

While speaking, Tang San took out a paper from his chest,

“Can you read this?”

That was a hidden weapon component design diagram. When Tang San made hidden weapons himself, he also required advanced drawings, carefully measured and calculated to later be able to make. It wasn’t something anyone could remember in their head.

The assistant took the plans and with only a look was nonplussed. On the plans were drawn several complicated designs, let alone reading it, he couldn’t even understand what this thing was.


The assistant once again looked at Tang San, then said:

“I will trouble you to wait a moment. I will consult the shopkeeper at once, to see whether it is something we could make.”

Finished speaking, he immediately turned and ran for the counter.

The sturdy middle aged man behind the counter quickly took the drawing handed over by the assistant. In a moment, his face was already filled with an astonished expression, saying something to the assistant, he came out from behind the counter and was led by the assistant to Tang San.

“Young man, did you bring this plan? I can’t see why you would want these things made. Could you explain it?”

Tang San said:

“You don’t need to know what they’re needed for, I only want to know whether you can make them. They must be made from the highest quality refined iron, ideally forged from iron essence[3].”

The middle aged man frowned,

“I’m the boss of this shop. I’m called Tie Xin[4]. Young man, do you know the price of iron essence? Adding to the manufacturing cost that is no small amount, you’d best ask the adults of your family to come speak.”

Tang San’s heart suddenly shifted, from the middle aged man before him he could feel the fluctuations of spirit power. Unexpectedly the boss of this smithy was a Spirit Master?”

“Of course I know the price of iron essence, I won’t hide it from you, I’m also a smith. Only I’m simply not strong enough, I can’t make this many things by myself, therefore I’ve come to you here. The price of iron essence, by weight, one kilogram of iron essence is ten gold spirit coins, sure enough. With the the scale of your place, I trust you should be able to refine iron essence.”

The middle aged man nodded, saying:

“You have the price right. But you should know that the toughness of iron essence is far higher than common refined iron, so forging it is naturally much more difficult. When using it to create any goods, the cost of processing it is equal to the price of the iron essence itself. In other words, to use one kilogram of iron essence to forge anything, we have to charge ten gold spirit coins for processing expenses. And the objects on this schematic of yours are also so complex, we must still charge another fifty percent.”

If an ordinary person was here, hearing the smith speak of forging something unexpectedly weighing the price in gold coins, would certainly be greatly shocked. But Tang San knew that the price this boss Tie Xin spoke of was already unusually fair. In his heart his favourable impression immediately increased.

“Uncle, your price is no problem. If the quantity I need made is comparatively large, is it possible to have some discount?”

Although Tang San wouldn’t haggle too much, he would still strive for a necessary discount.

Tie Xin muttered:

“Certainly. If you order iron essence to forge these things, even if it’s our biggest customer, the material cost can’t decrease, I can’t lose money. But I can strike off ten percent of the labour cost for you. If your order of iron essence exceeds ten kilograms, then I can go down to eight tenths. The lowest I can go is also eight tenths.”

Tang San nodded straightforward, saying:

“Then it’s decided. I will trouble you to make ten according to the plans I gave you. I already calculated it in detail. Each one should require roughly two kilograms of iron essence. Altogether it’s twenty kilograms.”

Tie Xin looked startled at Tang San,

“You want so many? This is indeed twenty kilograms of iron essence. Including labor costs it’s five hundred gold spirit coins. Even if I give you the labor cost for eight tenths, it’s still four hundred forty gold spirit coins.”

Seeing Tie Xin’s appearance, Tang San understood he was afraid he didn’t have that much money.

“Uncle, you are also a Spirit Master.”

Tang San suddenly said.

Tie Xin’s heart trembled, looking at Tang San frowning.

Tang San said:

“I would like to speak with you alone, is it possible?”

More than four hundred gold spirit coins of business, even if it was this Suotuo City’s largest smithy, it was absolutely a large deal. One must know, their whole yearly turnover was only roughly three thousand gold spirit coins.

Tie Xin nodded, saying:

“Then please follow me in the back.”

At once, he brought Tang San to walk towards the back.

Passing through the separating curtains, Tang San immediately saw an astonishing scene. This smithy’s anteroom was already very large, but this rear work area was even larger, as far as the eye could see, filled with a deep furnace fire red. At least fifty smiths were working simultaneously.

Tang San’s Purple Demon Eye was exceptionally acute, gaze simply sweeping across these smiths, in his heart secretly nodding. Although the smiths here were not all so robust, whether it was their expressions or their hands they were all extremely calm. Clearly all were senior smiths. Able to support this large smithy, also required the existence of this many outstanding smiths.

Suddenly, Tang San made a small expression of surprise, thinking out loud:

“Why are you also here?”

Tie Xin stopped walking, puzzled looking at Tang San,

“Young man, is there a problem?”

From in his heart, Tie Xin didn’t have confidence in Tang San, after all he looked like he was too young. But the plans Tang San provided did not have the appearance of a joke. Furthermore, this was a more than four hundred gold spirit coins large order, Tie Xin couldn’t let it slip by because of his suspicions. Although they were Suotuo City’s largest smithy, they were in no way the only smithy.

Following Tang San’s gaze, what Tang San took note of were two young smiths in the middle of their work. They appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old, both had leopard eyes, appearing extremely similar, powerfully built, tanned muscles rising like small hills. The forging hammers in their hands were also much larger than other smiths’, forging extremely steadily, even to the extent that they were more efficient than some of the middle aged smiths around them.

Part 2

Tie Xin saw Tang San taking note of them, and couldn’t help but chuckle proudly, saying:

Tang San was a smith and a Spirit Master himself, naturally he clearly understood that forging with the support of spirit power was much better than common smiths’ forging. Balancing the degree of strength as well as controlling strength, both were things ordinary people couldn’t hope for.

Tie Xin looked closely at Tang San, smiling slightly, he said:

He directly brought Tang San behind the work area to a room within the room with a desk and seven or eight chairs, as well as a simple wooden bed, it clearly was the office of this boss. Ordinarily it might also be used to rest. From the window the situation in the work area could be clearly seen.

Tie Xin without speaking immediately walked behind the desk and sat down, at the same time with a gesture inviting Tang San to sit. From his first impression of this youngster, Tie Xin was actually quite fond of Tang San’s style of down-to-earth manners, but if it was about business, he felt it was even more ridiculous. If it wasn’t for the one in ten thousand possibility, he wouldn’t have let Tang San follow him inside.

What business could a not seeming more than fifteen years old youngster provide him? Moreover he even spoke about iron essence.

“Young man, you said you also were a smith?”

“So it’s like that. By your accent, you shouldn’t be from around here. Did you move to Suotuo City with your family?”

Tang San shook his head,

Tie Xin looked slightly expectantly at Tang San. Although there were all kinds of schools on the Continent, doubtless the Spirit Master academies were the most notable. Generally speaking, studying other things rarely meant moving, only Spirit Master academies were different. Only major cities had advanced Spirit Master academies.

In addition, Tie Xin saw that although Tang San’s clothes and appearance were ordinary, his style of conversation clearly surpassed those of his age. Obviously he had seen some trading, which was why he asked this question. He naturally hoped Tang San was the student of some Spirit Master academy. Although by his age he only appeared to have just entered an intermediate Spirit Master Academy, a Spirit Master’s status was after all different, all were recorded at Spirit Hall. Doing business with Spirit Masters, he only had to see the counterpart’s Spirit Master rank and verify it with Spirit Hall, and he no longer had to worry that the counterpart would play any tricks.

Tang San nodded, saying:

“From looking at the plans, the things you want are all extremely elaborate. Forging them isn’t at all easy. Moreover, the fee isn’t small. Although our Smithy has a certain scale, four hundred forty gold coins is still a very large sum to us. How do you intend to collaborate with us?”

Tang San had already properly thought through the method for collaboration on the way,

“Young man, since you already are a smith, you should know that very many meticulous things require making molds. These molds are also the largest manufacturing cost. If it’s only making one, let alone me being unable to give you a discount, I’ll even lose money. Although one hundred gold spirit coins is sufficient for an initial payment, I hope you can add a guarantee. Since you are a Spirit Master, is it possible for you to let me take a look at your Spirit Master letter? As long as I confirm there is no problem, our collaboration can begin.”

Hearing Tang San would first pay a hundred gold spirit coins, Tie Xin already somewhat believed this youngster, however he had run this smithy for many years, and he couldn’t recognize these things Tang San wanted made, consequently, for dependability, he of course first wanted to get a feel for Tang San. As long as Tang San’s Spirit Master status was no problem, he would at once dare continue with this large deal.

As for the Spirit Master letter, that was provided the first time one received a stipend at Spirit Hall, it could be called a Spirit Master’s symbol of status, on it was recorded the Spirit Master’s information, and Spirit Hall’s special serial number. Just relying on this number, for a certain fee one could contact Spirit Hall and verify whether this Spirit Master was the same person.

Tang San didn’t hesitate, swiping his right hand over Twenty Four Moonlit Bridges, he took out his Spirit Master letter. It was nothing shameful to him, and he also hoped to be able to complete this arrangement, so naturally he first had to gain the other party’s trust.

The Spirit Master letter wasn’t paper or silk, but a palm sized disk of metal. Reportedly only Spirit Hall had this kind of metal, and it was very difficult to counterfeit. The metal selected for use with Spirit Master letters was also in order to prevent damage, after all, under ordinary circumstances this letter would follow the Spirit Master through his life.

On the palm sized metal object was engraved each time the Spirit Master advanced, altogether ten lines. On the first line was engraved the time and place of registration as well as the Spirit Master’s spirit. From the second line on were engraved the times of advancement as well as the spirit master levels. On the other side of the Spirit Master letter was carved Spirit Hall’s first insignia, a long sword. This side of the letter was the same for all Spirit Masters, only people from Spirit Hall would have some variations.

Watching Tang San take out the Spirit Master letter and hand it over, Tie Xin hastily stood up and walked out from behind the desk, solemnly using both hands to receive it. The Spirit Master letter was a Spirit Master’s symbol of status as well as advancement record, and ordinarily would not easily be shown. As important as the Spirit Master’s dignity. Even though Tang San looked young, Tie Xin still didn’t dare slight him.

Holding the ice cold metal disk, Tie Xin carefully looked at the surface, first to enter his eyes was the topmost line of small characters. These engraved characters were all specially created by Spirit Hall’s, no matter which Spirit Hall, the font was always the same. On the top could be seen written:

“Young man, isn’t there a mistake in the records on this Spirit Master letter, why is your registration for becoming Spirit Scholar and Spirit Master unexpectedly the same year?”

Tang San smiled slightly,

Part 3

2637, 2638, 2639. With only three years of time, he was already a Spirit Grandmaster? A Spirit Grandmaster over rank twenty? He didn’t look over fifteen, but it was year 2643, which meant he broke through rank two to four years ago.

This time, Tie Xin was thoroughly surprised. Ignoring the useless blue silver grass spirit and just judging by spirit power, he definitely was a prodigy, so much more outstanding than his two sons.

“Uncle Tie, have you finished looking?” Tang San asked politely.

Iron Heart silently gave the Spirit Master letter back to Tang San. He had already memorized the serial number on it and could verify it at anytime.

“Spirit Grandmaster Tang San, I apologize for the offense earlier.” Tie Xin said solemnly.

Tang San smiled while shaking his head, “It’s nothing, it’s hard to do business. If it was me, I might be even more suspicious. After all, I am quite young.”

Tie Xin couldn’t help but ask, “Can you tell me how old you are?”

Tang San didn’t keep it a secret, “I’ll be thirteen in a few months.”

Tie Xin sucked in a cold breath. Not even thirteen, which meant he was only twelve, and it was four years ago, which meant he became a Spirit Grandmaster when he was only eight. Was this real? Was it possibly real?

“Spirit Grandmaster Tang San, I still have one last request. Can I see your spirit rings?”
A twelve year old Spirit Grandmaster, to Tie Xin, was an absolutely unbelievable thing. After all, there were only seven of Shrek’s monsters, and it wasn’t something normal people could understand.

When Tie Xin said this, even he felt it was a bit excessive, a bit too paranoid, his face slightly apprehensive.

Tang San however didn’t mind. He needed a long term cooperation with the smithy. Getting their trust was obviously very important. Tie Xin’s every action was steady, and combined with the size of this smithy, everything was very satisfying.

“Sure.” Tang San slowly raised his left hand, a blue glow quietly bubbled forward.

Tie Xin looked closely at Tang San, waiting for the spirit rings that follow the appearance of the spirit.

Maybe the Spirit Master Letter could be forged, but spirit rings couldn’t be faked. That was the real proof of a Spirit Master’s rank.

Lustrous purplish blue Blue Silver Grass milled out of Tang San’s palm, instantly spreading out, hanging down onto the ground and quickly covering the entire room’s floor. At the same time, three beautiful spirit rings appeared and levitated from his feet, two yellow and one purple. Three very distinct spirit rings revolved around his body rhythmically bobbing.

At this time, the air seemed as if it solidified, everything in the room became ethereal.

Tie Xin’s mouth gaped open, eyes staring rigidly at the spirit rings on Tang San. His hands unconsciously shuddered.

“You. You…..”

Tang San said:  
“I just got my third spirit ring. I haven’t had time to register it at Spirit Hall, so the Spirit Master Letter doesn’t have the record of me becoming a Spirit Elder.”

Three, was that really three? Tie Xin’s heart was shaking. Twelve years old, Spirit Elder, over level thirty, blue silver grass. These words constantly circled around in Tie Xin’s mind. His mind blanked, an indescribable feeling filled his chest.

From Tang San, Tie Xin felt a pressure, the pressure of a higher ranked Spirit Master.

“Are you really only twelve?”

Tie Xin asked difficulty.

At that moment, suddenly the door opened. A tall figure walked in from outside.

“Dad, I heard the people at the front say that there is a big customer? Ah!? This is….”

The tall figure suddenly froze. Under the pressure of the blue silver grass, he immediately released his spirit, two yellow hundred year spirit rings rising from his feet.

“It’s you.”

It was Tie Long who came in. When he saw Tang San, he cried out in surprise. Especially after he saw the purple third spirit ring on Tang San, his expression changed abruptly.

Tie Xin after all had been through a lot. He already recovered from his shock.

“A Long[5], you recognize Spirit Elder Tang San?”

Tie Long opened his eyes wide open, staring at Tang San’s third spirit ring. Slightly dejected, he said:

“Dad, you still remember the time my brother and I lost to two children in the Spirit Arena? It was Tang San and another girl’s group called the Three Five Combination. That time Tang San even stopped Xiao Wu from heavily injuring us. Tang San, you actually broke through rank thirty?”

Tang San retracted his spirit, the blue silver grass and the spirit rings disappearing at the same time. Smiling and nodding towards Tie Long, he said,

“Big brother Tie, greetings. Last time we were battling at the Spirit Arena, I was already rank twenty nine. A couple of days ago, I had a bit of fortune and broke through rank thirty.”

Tie Long laughed bitterly,

“Compared with you, my brother and I are simply useless. The people at the front said a big customer came. Is it you?”

Tang San chuckled and said

“How is it not me? This time I intentionally came to inconvenience you. Only I didn’t realize it was your family’s smithy.”

Tie Xin sighed in his mind. His gaze towards Tang San had changed entirely. Maybe he wasn’t sure what a twelve year old Spirit Elder really meant, but even if he had no foresight he could see that Tang San’s future was immeasurable.

“Spirit Elder Tang San, I apologize for the doubt I had. I have no problem with working together. Let’s do it the way you said before.”

Tang San secretly let a breath out. He finally agreed to the cooperation. This way, Tang San could have more time to cultivate and create stronger hidden weapons.

“Uncle Tie, I still want to buy a set of blacksmithing tools of the best quality. Please help me deliver it to the academy. I’ll tell you the address later.”

Tie Xin decisively said: “No problem, whatever you need in the future, just come to us for it. If it is within our ability, we’ll give it to you. Don’t worry, I will let Tie Long and Tie Hu take it over, so the quality won’t be a problem. Those two kids were taught by me. Their skills are the best in the smithy.”

Tang San said: “Then sorry for the inconvenience, Tie brothers.”

After leaving the address of Shrek Academy and paying one hundred gold spirit coins, Tang San, under the escort of the Tie family, left the smithy.

“Uncle Tie, Tie Brothers, you don’t have to see me off anymore. I’ll put my purchases in your care. After you finish forging them, let someone notify me and I will come retrieve it. Sorry for the inconvenience, but try to send the blacksmithing tools to me as soon as possible, as well as the minerals I specified.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll tell someone to send those things to you tomorrow. By the way, Spirit Elder Tang San, does your school still accept students? If my two useless sons can go to your academy, I think their abilities will grow very quickly.” Tie Xin saw with his own eyes Tang San’s abilities. An academy that can educate spirit masters like Tang San was definitely something enticing.

Tang San said: “I’m afraid not, my academy has high standards and only admits people under twelve. The Tie Brothers are already too old.”

Tie Long said: “It’s fine dad. Being at Suotuo Advanced Spirit Master Academy also works. We will try hard to get to rank thirty as soon as possible.”

When they came Ma Hongjun already told Tang San to not wait for him. After Tang San left the smithy, he didn’t linger in Suo Tuo City and immediately went back to the academy. To him, the rest of the day will be past through cultivating. Tang San never thought he was a prodigy. He only brought the Mysterious Heaven Treasure Record to this world. The innate full spirit power and the fast cultivation was all due to the Mysterious Heaven Treasure Record. So, he must not slack off.

The next morning, Tang San habitually climbed to the rooftop to cultivate his Purple Demon Eyes, breathing in the purple air from the east brought by the morning sun.

The sky was clear. Looking at the gradually rising orange sphere and the golden sky far away, Tang San slowly breathed out impure qi, his eyes full of purple. The three essences of his spirit almost simultaneously reached their peaks. he knows, he improved again. Coming back from Star Dou Great Forest up to now, he finally recovered all his power.

Although everyday he had to wake up early to cultivate, he didn’t actually cultivate for long. The purple air from the east only maintained for a very short period.

It was time to eat. Tang San flipped down from the roof, going straight to the dining hall.

Without even going inside, Tang San smelled an overwhelming smell, a thick fragrance of meat with a few other smells wafted over, alluring Tang San.

Going into the dining hall, Tang San was immediately shocked by the sight. He was definitely the earliest of the students, but there was already a busy figure.

He continuously watched the pot, controlling the fire and busily managing all kinds of food, wearing a white chef’s hat. Sweat dripped down the stiff face. It was Grandmaster. Unexpectedly, he was making everyone breakfast.

“Teacher.”Tang San stepped into the cafeteria.

Grandmaster looked up and when he saw Tang San, he smiled. “You are never late.”

Tang San quickly walked to the side, washed his hands, and returned to Grandmaster’s side. “I’ll help you.” He knew, whenever Grandmaster did things, he did it to the end. There wasn’t room for giving up halfway, so he didn’t ask Grandmaster why he wanted to make breakfast for everyone, nor did he try to stop Grandmaster.

Grandmaster shook his head, “No need, I already finished everything. Come, try my workmanship.”

[1] The Chinese characters are (tie jiang pu 铁匠铺) which translates literally to “Iron Craftsman Shop”. The chapter title is then “‘Iron’ Craftsman Shop”.

[2] (tie 铁)

[3] (Tie jing 铁精) Doesn’t seem to have a real world counterpart. Google will suggest it’s forge ash, which is supposed to have medical implementations, or hematite powder.

[4] (铁心) “Iron Heart”. So the English equivalent of this would be for a smith named Smith to run a smithy called Smith’s.

[5] (阿龙) He uses an “ah” prefix particle that implies familiarity.

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