Chapter 247 – Ready
After storing a black box in his storage ring, Tang Wulin followed Wu Zhangkong into a taxi.
“Are you using those spirit items immediately once we return?” Wu Zhangkong asked Tang Wulin.
“Mn.” Tang Wulin was still the picture of agitation. So much money! I wasted so much money! I’m practically burning money to break each seal.
His only comfort was the increase in his strength per unsealing. If not for that, his money would have been wasted.
Three years of fulfilling blacksmithing orders culminated into just four spirit items. If not for the items, he would have been able to afford to learn the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track.
Apart from Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon, he had also exchanged contribution points for some grappling techniques and the Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer technique. The former increased his close combat prowess while the latter improved his forging. Supposedly, the Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer technique was developed by a great clan from an era long gone. It was the clan of the Tang Sect’s revered founder, Tang San—the Clear Sky Clan.
As time progressed, the Clear Sky Clan faded into oblivion, leaving behind the Disorder Splitting Wind Hammer technique as its sole legacy. The technique could be used both in battle and for blacksmithing, perfect for Tang Wulin and his innate divine strength.
However, the Tang Sect still had many arts he still wished to learn. A couple arts that he had been most taken with were the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track and the Soft Bone Eight Stage Drop, the latter which was formidable in close-combat.
To put it harshly, Tang Wulin’s body was inhuman. Not only did he possess overwhelming strength, he also had astonishing flexibility that enabled him to learn this technique. Alas, his wallet woefully light at present and it would take him ages to accrue enough points for the Soft Bone Eight Stage Drop.
Naturally, if he reached the Spirit Refinement realm, he would accomplish that goal much faster.
Tang Wulin didn’t like being stingy, but he had no other choice! Everything required money. He needed money to attempt spirit refining and break his seals. Not to mention, in order to become a battle armor master, just having enough cash stashed for a rainy day wasn’t going to cut it. He needed mountains of gold, rivers of coins, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. No, if he didn’t practice frugality now, he’d be in for a big surprise in the future.
“How long do you estimate it will take?” Wu Zhangkong asked.
The helpless shake of his student’s head was his answer.
Wu Zhangkong knitted his brows. “If you don’t even know how long it will take, then why did you choose to bid on the vine?”
The corner of Tang Wulin’s mouth twitched. Teacher Wu, do you really have to rub salt in my wounds? I’m already so poor!
“I, I just wanted to save some money…” Tang Wulin muttered.
Wu Zhangkong didn’t mind twisting the dagger as he continued, “And how much did you save?”
Tang Wulin gritted his teeth. “Nothing.”
Wu Zhangkong said coldly, “If you rush to refine your bloodline once we return, you may miss the opportunity to take the Shrek exam. So, you have two choices: either hone your bloodline now and risk missing the test, or participate in the exam without the refinement. Think it over carefully.”
Tang Wulin frowned, brow creasing as he pondered this dilemma. I don’t know how much time the unsealing will take. If it goes on for too long, I’ll be in a pinch.
But can I pass the exam as I am now? It’s Shrek Academy after all!
“Teacher Wu, as I am currently, what do you think of my chances of passing the Shrek exam?” Tang Wulin asked.
Wu Zhangkong looked him over, eyes unblinking. “It will be tough.”
Tough? Is that good or bad?
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but loosen his lips. “How tough?”
“Very tough!” With that, Wu Zhangkong turned toward the window.
Tang Wulin felt a massive headache coming on. Can’t you say anymore than that! Help me analyze this! Isn’t this your responsibility as my teacher?
However, he didn’t dare speak out of turn. Instead, he endured through gritted teeth. “If that’s the case, I rather not risk it. Teacher Wu, if you knew all this before, then why didn’t you tell me to buy the vine three days ago! Then I would have had enough time.”
To his outburst, Wu Zhangkong said, “You’ve already grown up and it’s your own money. Any decision is solely your own responsibility.”
There was no denying it; the truth was severe and Tang Wulin lamented in his heart. He had expected this sort of answer, but he had to ask. He had been defeated the moment he spoke.
“I choose to refine my bloodline.” Tang Wulin sucked in a deep breath, his eyes twinkled with resolve.
If passing the exam will be difficult without breaking the seal, then I have to risk it! At least my chances will be better!
“Alright.” Wu Zhangkong nodded and spoke no further.
Once they returned to the inn, Wu Zhangkong spared no time pointing to his own room. “You can make you breakthrough in my room. I’ll guard you.” He opened the door and entered.
Taking in Wu Zhangkong’s regal figure, Tang Wulin experienced an ember of warmth crackling within his heart. He understood Wu Zhangkong’s reasons for his hands-off teaching approach. It was for his sake, so that he would grow independant.
Taking another deep breath, Tang Wulin stepped foot into Wu Zhangkong’s room. After directing his student to the bed, Wu Zhangkong pulled up a stool beside it and sat down.
Tang Wulin placed the four spirit items on the desk.
Is it time to start?
It’s been three years since the last one… and now it’s time for the second. What will I obtain this time?
His pulse raced at the thought, heart thumping so hard he could almost hear it.
But I have to finish within four days! If I succeed, I’ll be able to take the exam in peak condition.
Time waited for no one and Tang Wulin dared not tarry. He sat on the bed cross-legged and closed his eyes. He summoned Old Tang, bent on learning how to utilize these treasures.
Ever since Tang Wulin was saved by Old Tang from spirit energy overload, he hadn’t heard a peep from him. Funnily enough, he only realized this just before he attempted calling for him. He’ll appear, right? Anxiety squirmed in his heart, pulsing. If he hadn’t already broken a seal before, he would have doubted its existence.
Fortunately, Old Tang did not leave him waiting.
Within the depths of his consciousness, Tang Wulin once again found himself in that mystical spiritual world.
“You’re ready?” Old Tang’s voice resounded throughout the space.
“Old Tang.” Hearing that familiar voice, Tang Wulin felt the tension in his body melt away. In a burst of golden light, Old Tang appeared before him. He looked the same as he did since their last meeting.
“Mn. Long time no see you little rascal.” Old Tang’s voice was marked with regret. “You’ve done well improving your body all this time. It shouldn’t be a problem for you to break the second seal. Have you prepared the four necessary spirit items?”
Tang Wulin’s voice was thick with agony, “I have them.” He was still bitter over spending so much money.
Old Tang said, “Then you’re ready to start. The way to use the four spirit items is a bit different from last time. You will ingest the Dragonscale Fruit directly. However, you will crush the other three items into juice. Afterward, dilute the juice with some hot water for a bath, which you will soak and meditate in.
“You need to do this simultaneously. In other words, don’t eat the Dragonscale Fruit until the bath is ready. Understood?”
“Yes, I’ve got it.” Although it was troublesome, it wasn’t a difficult task.
“That’s good then. You go prepare. You can start anytime once you’re ready, but make sure your body is in top condition when you do.”
The four spirit items were the Dragonscale Fruit, Land Dragon Tendon, Azure-veined Vine, and Sea Dragon Marrow.
In order to allay Wu Zhangkong’s suspicions, Tang Wulin meditated first, coaxing his body to peak condition. Half an hour later, he rose.
“Teacher Wu, I’m beginning now,” Tang Wulin said.
“Mn.” Wu Zhangkong nodded as a response. He hadn’t left his seat beside the bed and was ready to probe Tang Wulin’s body with his senses. Tang Wulin’s bloodline refinement evoked in him a sense of wonder.
Tang Wulin said, “I need to actually eat the Dragonscale Fruit, but I’m smashing the other three into juices. Could you help me with that? I also need to dilute the juices with hot water and use it for a bath to soak in.”
Wu Zhangkong stared at him, face as impassive as a blank mask. “You’re absorbing it by soaking?”
A quirk of the brow. “Is there an issue?”
Wu Zhangkong shook his head. “There’s no problem with that, but it’s not very efficient. You won’t be able to absorb all of the nutrients that way.”
Tang Wulin said, “That’s fine. I’ll trouble you to help then.”
After nodding, Wu Zhangkong stood up from his seat. He couldn’t help but let a few words slip through. “That’s such a waste of money!”
At his teacher’s uncharacteristic outburst, Tang Wulin’s face twitched. Can you not talk about the money!
The inn’s amenities were nothing special; yet, a bathtub was still provided. Tang Wulin adjusted the nozzle to let out a scorching stream of water, filling the tub halfway. Then, Wu Zhangkong brought in the four spirit items.