Chapter 331 – Mu Chen Arrives
Tang Wulin knitted his brows. After seeing Xu Xiaoyan’s anxious face hours ago, he had been caught in mental turmoil over what to do about her and Xie Xie.
In their mecha making groups, the most influential people were those who were strong or skilled in their professions. Neither Xie Xie nor Xu Xiaoyan were particularly outstanding in these two aspects, especially in the second. Both were still at the first rank, dangling at the bottom of the ladder.
“How about we ask the teachers to move them to our group?” Gu Yue asked.
Tang Wulin shook his head. “Sometimes, setbacks aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It can serve as pressure to make someone work harder. When I first discovered my martial soul was bluesilver grass, I was crushed. At that time, I had even lost hope of ever becoming a soul master. And when my first spirit soul turned out defective, I was close to giving up. But I pushed on, taking one step forward at a time, striving to improve myself and never giving in to laziness. I knew if I did, I was sure to fall behind the rest of you and would never be able to catch up. That’s why I think we can subtly help them but not do too much. Besides, our group is made of all four members of the class council,. We’re stronger than the rest of the groups. If we added anyone else, the other students would be discontent.”
Gu Yue mulled over his words, a hand to her chin. “That makes sense. Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan are both from large clans and have been spoiled since childhood. They never had to face any real setbacks or had been forced to put in as much effort as you do, and as such haven’t displayed their full potential. Some stress will be good for them. Let’s do as you say then.”
“If it becomes necessary, we’ll step in and help them,” Tang Wulin said. “Xie Xie is a mecha maker and Xu Xiaoyan is a designer. Xie Xie needs to become stronger by himself, so you don’t have to worry about him so much. I’m confident he’ll be able to pull through. As for Xiaoyan, you can help her improve as a designer. Oh right, when did you become a fourth-rank designer? You’re amazing!”
Gu Yue rolled her eyes at him. “Are you complimenting me or yourself? Don’t forget, you’re already a fifth-rank blacksmith. Plus it’s easier for designers to progress in rank than blacksmiths. My spiritual power is really high, so I have a large advantage when it comes to designing. Because Xiaoyan’s spiritual power is approaching five hundred points, it shouldn’t be a problem for her either. It’s only a matter of time before she increases her rank.”
The next course of action was to obtain heavy silver and magic silver. Fortunately, Tang Wulin had some in stock.
All of a sudden, Tang Wulin’s soul communicator rang.
A smile formed on his lips when he saw the number.
“Mn. I’m at Shrek City now. When can you come out?” Mu Chen’s voice came across clearly through the communicator’s speakers.
“In the afternoon—I don’t have class then. Where are you staying?” Tang Wulin asked.
A few moments later, Tang Wulin scribbled down the address, a place tucked within the outer city.
“Gu Yue, I need to go out for a bit after we finish eating. I won’t be on campus in the afternoon, so if you need anything, just call me.”
“Okay.” She didn’t pry any further.
After finishing an enormous lunch, which was basically a cultivation method for him, he left campus and hailed a taxi, heading straight for the address Mu Chen gave him. Tang Wulin could hardly contain his joy knowing his teacher was here. Mu Chen had traveled a long journey for his sake to Shrek Academy, a strange and unfamiliar place for him, not to mention gigantic! Even on a soul taxi, it took a bit more than an hour for Tang Wulin to reach his destination.
But when he saw the sign hanging on the side of the building, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
It was a shabby three-story building. It wasn’t particularly large despite being located in the city center and facing the street. Most shocking of all, the building’s sign said ‘Blacksmith’s Association: Shrek Branch’!
The Blacksmith’s Association was a top-notch association that spanned the entire continent. Furthermore, every major city had an imposing Blacksmith’s Association branch. Even Eastsea City’s had been a towering building that had left Tang Wulin awestruck the first time he laid eyes on it.
The branch before him shocked Tang Wulin as well, but for the opposite reason.
This was Shrek City, the greatest city on the continent! It was unfathomable for such a majestic city to have a desolate, downright shabby, Blacksmith’s Association branch.
Pushing the door open, Tang Wulin felt a wave of deja vu after looking around the first floor. The floorplan identical to the one in Eastsea City, the only difference being the smaller size.
“Tang Wulin, over here.” Hearing his name called, he turned toward the sound of the voice, coming face-to-face with Mu Xi’s sweet smile.
“Senior sister.” Tang Wulin’s eyes lit up as he rushed to her side. His heart couldn’t help but warm at meeting an old friend in a foreign place.
Once he was a step away, Mu Xi’s expression hardened, a grim edge tugging at her lips. She pulled his ear. “You still remember this senior sister of yours? Why haven’t you called me even once since you came to Shrek? Did you forget all about me?”
“Ow! Senior sister, please take it easy on me! My ear is going to rip!” Tang Wulin cried out, attracting the attention of the surrounding people.
Mu Xi’s face flushed red as she let go of his ear. “What are you screaming for? Come with me to see Dad.” She turned around and led Tang Wulin up a staircase on the side. With her back to Tang Wulin, he couldn’t see her grin.
With only three floors, there naturally wasn’t a need for an elevator in the building. Soon, the two arrived at the third floor.
The moment they stepped foot on this floor, they heard the telltale metallic clanging of blacksmiths at work.
Mu Xi brought Tang Wulin to the deepest chamber, opened a sliding door, and ushered him in.
It was an office about one hundred square meters. The furniture looked old and worn, clearly antiques. Mu Chen beamed at Tang Wulin from behind his desk.
Not skipping a beat, Tang Wulin stepped forward and bowed. “Teacher.”
Mu Chen chuckled. “Take a seat. Little Xi, go pour a cup of water for Wulin.”
Mu Xi snorted, but still did as she was told.
Accepting the cup and taking a sip, Tang Wulin was surprised to discover it was actually a cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice—his favorite. It was clearly prepared a while ago. He turned to Mu Xi, wide-eyed. She smirked at him before taking a seat at his side.
“Wulin, congratulations!” Mu Chen said.
“Teacher, I was just lucky that day. I don’t think I could succeed if I tried again right now.”
“How can it just be luck? It’s the fruit of your efforts. You were already a fourth-rank blacksmith three years ago, and since then, you’ve been polishing your skills every day, slowly preparing to spirit refine. Preparation is the key to success, and without your efforts, you wouldn’t have succeeded. If not for your lacking cultivation base, you would have become a fifth-rank blacksmith long ago. So, how far are you from rank 30?”
“I’m still at rank 28,” Tang Wulin answered. “But I’m very close to rank 29. I’m confident that I’ll reach rank 30 within two months.”
“Fantastic. Have you gotten used to life at Shrek yet?”
“I’m doing well. There’s a lot of pressure though, so I can’t relax for even a moment.”
Mu Chen smiled. “That’s good. Pressure will strengthen you. I’m not worried with your perseverance and endurance. As long as you can continue increasing your soul power, you’ll definitely have the chance to become a Divine Blacksmith in the future. Just remember to never become complacent. Your number one priority right now is to increase your soul power. I have hope that you’ll become a Saint Blacksmith before your twentieth birthday. If you do, then you might become a Divine Blacksmith by thirty.”
“Huh? Isn’t that too quick?” Tang Wulin had never expected his teacher to have such high expectations for him.
Mu Chen shook his head. “It’s not too fast. Everyone’s body reaches its peak in their twenties. For us blacksmiths, it becomes exponentially harder to attack the next rank once we reach our thirties. Take Mang Tian for example. He became a fifth-rank blacksmith in his forties, so it’s virtually impossible for him to ever become a Saint Blacksmith.
“Blacksmithing is a profession that’s energy-demanding to the extreme. The only way we can climb to higher ranks is with a strong body, an abundance of blood essence, and a clear mind. Later on, you’ll understand how important your perception is, that in a split-second, it could elevate you to the next level. From spirit refining and onward, your understanding of metal is just as important as your talent and luck. Therefore, the faster you increase your rank, the higher your chances of becoming a Saint Blacksmith.”
“Understood.” Tang Wulin nodded, resolving himself to work even harder than before.