Chapter 205 – Breaking a Record
Helpless, Xu Lizhi greeted Tang Wulin. Ye Xinglan glared at Tang Wulin, as if her gaze could burn him alive.
Tang Wulin ignored her, treating her as air. “Let’s go.”
At his actions, Xie Xie moved to whisper into his ear. “Why do I get the feeling that there’s some deep grudge between you two?”
Tang Wulin shrugged in response. “No way. We’re just acquaintances.”
Gu Yue approached them after seeing the current situation. Unlike Tang Wulin, she wasn’t as tactful and stared at Ye Xinglan with indifference, her words as cold and piercing as ice. “Just wait and see.”
A disdainful snort left Ye Xinglan’s mouth. “We’re registered too. Let me see just what it is you have to show.”
They also signed up? But aren’t they from Shrek Academy? Can Shrek Academy even participate in a public tournament like this?
Tang Wulin stared at them, incredulity painting his face.
Ye Xinglan said pridefully, “We’ll just join another academy temporarily before the match. No one will say anything if we do that. Tang Wulin, you just wait! You better pray that you’re defeated before you meet me. If not… Hmph!” As she spoke, she raised her fist to Tang Wulin in a menacing way. She glared at him with malicious eyes.
The atmosphere grew heavy and tense. He had no choice but to be cautious of Ye Xinglan now. After all, she came from Shrek Academy! Everyone had watched their exhibition match. Though how they won was still unclear, the strength of Shrek Academy was not. If such a powerful opponent appeared because of his provocation, he would have wronged his teammates!
Tang Wulin wanted to speak out, but Gu Yue stopped him.
“Alright. We’ll see then. Captain, let’s go.” Gu Yue pulled Tang Wulin away, not giving him the chance to resolve anything.
On the road back to the hotel, Tang Wulin recounted the events that nurtured hostility between him and Ye Xinglan.
“Captain, you’re so cool,” Xu Xiaoyan said, bright-eyed. “They’re from Shrek Academy yet you still ran out on them! You’re too awesome! Not bending to power and unshaken by poverty, you’re a true role model!”
Xie Xie’s mouth twitched. “What do you mean ‘not bending to power’! He just hates spending money!”
Tang Wulin shot him a look. “That’s right! It’s exactly like that.”
At this confession, Xie Xie stopped ridiculing Tang Wulin in an instant. Gu Yue exclaimed, “That’s how he really is.”
Xie Xie stumbled over his own two feet. “Dammit Gu Yue, can’t you be a little less biased! Is everything he does just to you?”
“Of course!” Gu Yue stated it as if it was fact.
Fury rose within Xie Xie, bubbling like lava from a volcano. “So you want to marry him when you grow up, then? Are you just planning ahead?”
Gu Yue was taken aback. For a moment, she shot Tang Wulin a gloomy gaze, then rushed back to the hotel.
Xie Xie was flabbergasted. Until now, he had not won a single verbal duel against Gu Yue. Now that he came out victorious, uneasiness crept into his heart as he watched Gu Yue storm off. Did I say something wrong?
“What’s up with her?” Xie Xie asked in confusion.
Tang Wulin said unhappily, “Don’t speak about so much nonsense. What do you understand about marriage at your age?”
For the rest of the trip back Gu Yue did not utter a single word, leading them from the distance.
Nonetheless, Tang Wulin was in a good mood. Since they won the team match, he would advance to the second round for all three of the competitions he entered. Such an achievement was worthy of rejoicing.
He was not one bit nervous about the blacksmith’s competition. However, he was starting to understand where he stood among his peers regarding the individual and team events.
Despite lacking in soul power and soul rings from their age, their true combat strength wasn’t as weak as others believed.
As such, Tang Wulin could guess the Shrek Academy students’ true strength. Their might did not come only from possessing a high cultivation base, but from the sum of their parts. Regardless of their combat experience, coordination, or martial soul, those elements were all first-rate. It was impossible to have a higher soul power at their age.
Shortly after Tang Wulin returned to his room, he heard someone pounding on his door.
“Senior disciple sister, please don’t be so loud.” Tang Wulin already knew who it was; only Mu Xi could be so aggressive when knocking on someone’s door.
“Open up already. You brat, are you looking to get into the limelight?” Mu Xi charged in once the door opened.
“What did I do?” Tang Wulin eyed the energetic Mu Xi, his face dyed in doubt.
“Don’t you know you broke a record? It was the record for the fastest high-grade Hundred Refinements in the history of the Skysea Alliance Tournament. You. Broke. A. Record!” Mu Xi hissed the last few words through gritted teeth,
“Huh?” Tang Wulin stood there stupefied. “I was just in a hurry to get to the individual competition. I…”
Mu Xi eyed him up and down. “Did you know that after you left, a flock of people were running all over the gym searching desperately for you? I didn’t dare to say anything. All I heard was that you broke the record for high-grade Hundred Refinements, and with blue coppertite at that! You only used one minute and six seconds. Way to go!”
“I… I didn’t meant to.” Tang Wulin had been repeatedly warned to stay low-key beforehand, yet no one had thought something like this would happen. His self-control was blown away the moment he began forging. In that state of mind, he focused on creating the best product he that could.
Mu Xi snorted. “Well, anyway, you’re in the limelight now. I expect that everyone will be focusing on you in the next round. You better prepare yourself.”
“Eh… What am I going to do?” Tang Wulin was at a loss.
Mu Xi said, “What will be, will be. Just don’t let it affect you. It’s not like Eastsea City is forbidden from producing geniuses, right?”
Tang Wulin stared at her in astonishment. “Senior disciple sister, are you saying I’m a genius?”
Mu Xi raised a brow in surprise then proceeded to pinch his cheeks. She kept pinching his cheeks as she gnashed her teeth. “Yeah! That’s right! You’re a genius!”
Tang Wulin was barely coherent as he spoke. “Senior disciple sister, please don’t pinch me when you can just talk. You should go now…”
With great difficulty, Tang Wulin managed to fend off Mu Xi’s demonic fingers from his cheeks and saw her out. Despite his aching face, his heart warmed. Perceptive since childhood, he knew that Mu Xi’s bared fangs was to remind him not to draw the world’s attention.
Since they’ve noticed my forging, I’ll need to think of some plan.
As the first day of the tournament came to an end, some rejoiced while others sulked. For those who failed, this was the pain of being eliminated. For those who passed, it was the anxiety for what’s to come.
The tournament schedule was packed, with matches conducted everyday.
Tang Wulin would have to wake up early in order to attend the second round of the blacksmithing competition. This was an exceptionally important round.
The blacksmithing tournament’s champion would be decided by the sum of their marks awarded by the judges. Thus, the performance was additive. Without a doubt, Tang Wulin was the first round’s frontrunner, having produced a high-grade hundred refined product in the shortest amount of time.
The second round was a free-forge round where participants would pick a metal and forge it to the best of their ability.
For the junior division, anyone who succeeded in hundred refining a metal was considered talented. Now, if they could succeed in the Thousand Refinements, then they would be heralded as geniuses.
After a whole night’s meditation, Tang Wulin came up with a plan.
The next morning, a horde of blacksmiths assembled. They were heading toward the competition grounds.
Tang Wulin trailed behind the group, whispering quietly to Mu Xi, “Senior disciple sister, do you believe in me?”
“I don’t.” Mu Xi retorted without missing a beat.
Tang Wulin was stunned, a bitter laugh escaping from his lips. “Can’t you be a bit more pleasant? Do you really not believe in me?”
Mu Xi smiled inwardly at the sight of Tang Wulin deflating, but outwardly, she snorted. “Why should I believe in you? What do you have for me to believe in?”
“Integrity!” Tang Wulin exclaimed.
“You have that? How many kilograms?” Mu Xi said disdainfully.
Tang Wulin was helpless to her words. “Fine. If you don’t believe in me then you don’t.”
Suspicion roused in Mu Xi’s heart. “Just tell me what you have to say already. Out with it.”
Tang Wulin smirked. “If you believe in me, then choose heavy silver later.”
“Heavy silver? Are you trying to harm me on purpose?” Although heavy silver was a decent metal, it ranked in the middle relative to other materials. Since this was a tournament, the more difficult the metal was to forge the more points would be awarded.
Since it was far easier to forge than blue coppertite, heavy silver at the very best could be considered at the peak of mid-grade metals By choosing it, her chances of success would increase. Yet, this was still depending on chance. Should Mu Xi fail, her score would plummet and she might even be eliminated.