Chapter 296 – Time Waits for No One
“If all of your believe battle armor masters are merely that, then you are all gravely mistaken.
“Battle armor masters are completely different from mecha pilots,” Shen Yi firmly stated.
“A mecha pilot puts clothes on their person, but a battle armor master puts clothes on their martial soul because at their core, they are still soul masters. This is the fundamental difference between the two. Let me emphasize this. One-word battle armor masters are simply the beginning. Only at two words, when you’re one with your armor and it becomes an extension of your body and martial soul, are you truly considered a battle armor master.”
“It is for this reason that you must fuse your battle armor with your martial soul first. They must resonate with each other, attract each other until they become whole.”
“There are four levels of battle armor: one-word, two-word, three-word, and four-word battle armor.”
“Four levels may not seem like much, but the gap between each one is immeasurably deep. If you want to become a battle armor master, you must pick a secondary profession relating to building the armor. At the moment, the most efficient professions are mecha maker and mecha designer. Mecha makers carve circuits into their battle armor, easing the fusion of battle armor and martial soul. Designers create battle armor that perfectly complements their martial soul as you know yourself better than anyone. I suggest you all choose one of these two. Of course, you’re all free to choose to become a blacksmith or a mecha mechanic instead. Blacksmithing is both demanding and strenuous, and forging armor is much more difficult. However, it is the most appropriate profession for creating powerful battle armors.”
“Not one person can reach the peak of all four professions, so choose wisely. Don’t forget that you also need others to help you finish creating your armor, so consider how to best earn contribution points in order to commission them. If their work is good, I suggest befriending them and helping each other out. Personal relationships is a part of one’s strength too.”
“The strength your battle armor can exert depends on your compatibility with it. Perfect unity can boost your power by twenty soul ranks.”
“The requirement to become a one-word battle armor master is five soul rings and the third rank in your second profession. Not only that, the metal must be thousand refined, the design drafted by a grandmaster designer, and the armor assembled by a grandmaster maker. Its compatibility rate must be at least sixty percent, and at least nine pieces of armor are needed for it to be considered battle armor.”
Tang Wulin, Xie Xie, Gu Yue, and Xu Xiaoyan attentively listened to Shen Yi’s lengthy explanations, not daring to miss a single word about how to become a battle armor master.
Tang Wulin also realised at that moment just how much more Elder Cai demanded from them than normal students. Normal students had to become battle armor masters by twenty-five years old, but Tang Wulin and his team members were only given until they were twenty years old! That five year difference was huge!
Reaching soul rank 50 was challenging enough. They needed to increase 20 soul ranks in six years! The fact that soul power cultivation slowed with progression only made things worse. Yet apart from that, they also had to advance in their secondary professions so they could actually make their battle armor. They really had their work cut out for them.
But time waited for no one!
Tang Wulin lamented inwardly. He couldn’t waste even a second of his life for the next six years.
Morning classes didn’t have breaks in between, just one lecture after another.
After classes finished, Tang Wulin pondered over Shen Yi’s explanation of battle armor while they walked towards the dining hall.
“Captain, what are you going to eat?” Xie Xie asked.
“Huh?” Tang Wulin snapped out of his daydream, surprised to find they were in the dining hall already. The tantalizing aroma of food assaulted his senses and his stomach immediately growled in response. Hunger overwhelmed his mind.
It was at this moment Tang Wulin faced his greatest crisis of the day: lunch. He only had one hundred contribution points, and that was nowhere near enough to fill him.
Despite the mountain of food he ate the day before, his appetite was just as large today. Even the leftover black steamed buns he had for breakfast could only temporarily tide him over and save him a few points. One hundred points was enough to feed twenty people, but he could eat for far more than twenty!
Recalling the blacksmithing job he accepted, Tang Wulin said, “You guys go eat first. I’ll figure something out for myself.”
Then he turned and walked towards the dining hall’s door, internally making some calculations. Once he completed it, he would have the points necessary to eat.
His friends turned to look at each other.
“Where is Captain going?” Xie Xie asked doubtfully.
“Why do I feel like he’s up to something?” Xu Xiaoyan muttered. “Well, let’s just eat first.”
Standing next to the door, Tang Wulin retrieved a board from his storage device, wrote a few words, then held it in front of himself.
Fourth-rank blacksmith capable of first-grade thousand refining. I’m short on points, so I’d trade first-grade thousand refining for a year’s worth of meals. Anyone who is interested, please treat me to a meal.
Xie Xie, who was walking over to see what Tang Wulin was up to, bolted back the moment he read the board.
“Boss really is willing to do anything for food! But isn’t this a bit too embarrassing? Why is he selling his body to everyone?”
Xu Xiaoyan giggled. “Captain doesn’t care about anything as long as he can eat. Let’s quickly eat lunch then leave. Besides, after his display yesterday, I don’t think anyone is going to take him up on his offer. Imagine the cost to feed him for a year! It would be way more expensive than all of his first-grade thousand refinings. A month might work, but Captain’s stomach is just a bottomless pit.”
Watching Tang Wulin advertise himself at the door Gu Yue frowned. She lowered her head and ate with renewed vigor, her mind seemingly occupied.
An unending stream of people passed through the door during this lunchtime. Many of them noticed Tang Wulin, but not a single person showed any interest.
Tang Wulin had chosen to act modestly and omitted the fact that he was fifth-rank blacksmith. Yet, considering his age and how he looked no more than fifteen years old, no one would believe him anyway. It was almost unheard of for there to be such a young fourth-rank blacksmith.
In Shrek Academy, mecha designers or makers were as common as clouds. On the other hand, blacksmiths were as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns.
Just as Shen Yi said, it was hard to become a blacksmith, and even harder to climb up the ranks. Most importantly, blacksmiths took longer to progress through the first three ranks compared to designers and makers.
Once mecha designers and makers reached a certain amount of soul power, their growth relied solely on their comprehension. Of course, progressing past the third rank becomes exponentially harder.
Blacksmithing was a whole other story.. Understanding the metal was not enough. No, a blacksmith had to steadily build themselves up to the next level. They needed to wield their hammer every day, devoting their heart and soul to the craft.
With his innate divine strength and comprehension level, Tang Wulin was a naturally gifted blacksmith. He started forging at six years old. Now, seven years later, he was coincidently able to harness the power of the Golden Dragon King to spirit refine at thirteen years old. This feat was unprecedented in all of history!