Chapter 208 – Comprehension and Mu Xi’s Advancement
From where they were standing, they could clearly see the two chunks of thousand refined heavy silver on the table.
That’s definitely thousand refined heavy silver! And it’s second-grade! Second-grade thousand refined heavy silver was usually in the domain of fourth rank blacksmiths, yet two kids who had succeeded in forging it now stood in front of him.
Tang Wulin’s and Mu Xi’s state of comprehension was short-lived, but it told the Elder Duan everything he needed to know—both youngsters were at least third rank.
The old man turned to Cen Yue. “Little Yue, your Eastsea Blacksmith’s Association sure has some tricks up its sleeve! Mu Chen is truly formidable. I never expected that he would have groomed two young successors, especially that brat over there. I looked into him and discovered he’s only ten years old. Just where did you find such a freak?”
Cen Yue delighted in the old man’s bitter expression. “Elder Duan, you don’t have to be so worried. We were just lucky. You should know that Mu Xi has shown promise since she was a child, but Wulin is our president’s only direct disciple. He’s quite talented. Maybe he could exchange notes with blacksmiths from Skysea City in the future.”
Cen Yue’s reply was truly a needle hidden in silk floss. He flawlessly explained Tang Wulin’s status as Mu Chen’s direct disciple, secretly warning Elder Duan to discard any ideas of preying on him.
Each blacksmith had their own blacksmithing techniques and ways to pass down their teachings. Just like how a good master was hard to find, a good disciple was also hard to find! What master wouldn’t want a disciple that could one day surpass them?
Forging a second-grade thousand refined metal wasn’t much in their eyes; what was significant, however, was how young Tang Wulin was! He was only ten years old! In the entire history of blacksmithing, a ten-year-old who could thousand refine was unheard of! This was simply…
Elder Duan felt short of breath as he stared at Cen Yue. “Why hasn’t anyone told me that Mu Chen took in a disciple? Have any of you heard about this?” He swept his gaze across the other blacksmiths present.
“I haven’t heard about this,” each of the blacksmiths from Skysea City said one after another, shaking their heads.
Cen Yue’s expression darkened. “Elder Duan, what are you implying?”
Elder Duan snorted. “Nothing. Let’s just head back then. We don’t want to influence the children’s competition.”
He glanced at Tang Wulin one more time before leading the others back to the stage.
Just after they left, Tang Wulin raised his head. His state of comprehension hadn’t been as great as Mu Xi’s since he was forging the familiar heavy silver, but he did manage to grasp the barest traces of what a first-grade thousand refining was like.
The fact that Tang Wulin had used his tungsten hammers needed to be kept in mind. He wondered just what the result would have been if he used his heavy silver hammers. If he had used them, he probably would have had at least a sixty percent chance to produce a first-grade metal.
A first-grade Thousand Refinement was also called Half-Spirit Refinement. The sooner that Tang Wulin could achieve this, the easier it would be for him to comprehend Spirit Refinement. The only thing he currently lacked was soul power. Even with his innate divine strength, Mu Chen was confident in his assessment that Tang Wulin would need to have at least three rings before Spirit Refinement would be possible. This was because, during the process of spirit refining, blacksmiths needed to infuse the metal with the vitality that came from the blacksmith themselves. In other words, the gap between the blacksmith’s martial soul and the metal.
An ordinary blacksmith needed to have at least four rings before being able to spirit refine, but with his innate divine strength, Tang Wulin only needed three rings to sustain the process.
Nonetheless, a first-grade Thousand Refinement could be considered the gateway to Spirit Refinement. The greater the feeling and the deeper his comprehension, the closer he got to the realm of Spirit Refinement.
Tang Wulin had set a goal for himself prior to the start of the tournament—before reaching three rings, he would thousand refine every metal he could get his hands on to the standard of first-grade. This way, when it the time for him to attempt Spirit Refinement arrived, his chances of success would dramatically increase while lowering his material costs.
Mu Xi let out a long sigh as she lifted her head, sluggishly gazing at the twinkling silver metal before her. The moment she laid eyes on the heavy silver, she was dazed.
It’s thousand refined second-grade!
Although she couldn’t compare to grandmaster blacksmiths, her understanding of high-level forging was still extraordinarily deep since she grew up as the daughter of a Saint Blacksmith. She was naturally able to identify the level of the metal she had just forged.
I-is it actually second-grade? She hadn’t even grasped the fundamentals of the Thousand Refinements, yet she had somehow managed to forge a second-grade metal? Mu Xi simply couldn’t believe it! Furthermore, she just comprehended the true essence of the Thousand Refinements and was now confident in her ability to thousand refine any metal. Taking this into consideration, she knew that she was now a third rank blacksmith.
She turned to Tang Wulin, her eyes welling with all sorts of emotions—relief, admiration, envy, and another emotion she didn’t understand.
A teacher guides the way, dispelling the disciple’s doubts; that was exactly what it felt like with Tang Wulin leading her. He was the one who elevated her to the third rank, something not even her father had been able to accomplish.
Using his own rhythm to spur her on, Tang Wulin pushed her into that state of complete focus and reveal the path to the Thousand Refinements.
After putting away her hammers, Mu Xi walked over to Tang Wulin’s side. She reached out to rub his head and pinch his cheeks, not expressing her gratitude.
“Let’s go,” she said, leading the way out.
A smile tugged at Tang Wulin’s lips as he watched Mu Xi leave gallantly. At that moment, the two understood each other even without giving voice to their thoughts.
Mu Xi stopped once they left the blacksmithing competition grounds. “Are you participating in the individual competition?”
Tang Wulin nodded. “Senior disciple sister, why aren’t you participating? You’re definitely strong enough to place highly.”
Mu Xi currently has three rings, and from Tang Wulin’s understanding, her martial soul was a powerful one.
“I can’t,” she replied and shook her head. “My talent for blacksmithing can’t compare with yours, and I’ve had a change of heart since you arrived. I’ve been contemplating whether my path is that of a blacksmith, a soul master, or a battle armor master. I want to embrace all three of these identities, but I am ultimately destined to be a blacksmith. In light of that, I’ve decided to focus my time and energy on forging.”
Mu Xi paused for a moment to give Tang Wulin a profound look. “Wulin, you are far more talented than I am, so much so that you’re a once-in-a-century blacksmithing genius. Dad told me that, if you continue to steadily develop like this, you would one day become a Divine Blacksmith. So if you enjoy forging, you need to put even more effort into it from now on.”
Tang Wulin nodded slightly, understanding Mu Xi’s intentions. She wished to remind him that, if he wanted to be a blacksmith that stood at the peak, he could not let himself get unnecessarily distracted. However, his goal was to become a battle armor master. That was his dream.
Tang Wulin dreamed of becoming a mecha pilot when he was a child, but after Wu Zhangkong educated him about battle armor masters who stood above mecha pilots, his dream changed. Blacksmithing had initially been a way for him to earn money that he just so happened to enjoy, but now it fueled his hope of one day becoming a battle armor master.
“Senior disciple sister… I love blacksmithing, but my circumstances are different from yours. Your martial soul is way better than mine. I only have Bluesilver Grass. People have been telling me that my martial soul is trash since I was six. Even though I’ve devoted all of my energy into steadily cultivating, the results have been lackluster. Becoming a great blacksmith also requires soul power, so if I want to do that, I have to put in the effort cultivating. Aside from that, my one true dream is to become a battle armor master.”