Chapter 349 – Saint Blacksmith’s Notebook
Mu Chen glanced at the jade silver in Tang Wulin’s hands and then switched his attention to his student. “Of course you can take it,” he said.
This piece of jade silver was first-grade thousand refined. Normally, the grade of the metal was finalized after the first forging, but alloys were different. If the alloys forged still retained their life, then they could be reforged a second or third time. The higher the grade of the alloy, the more times this was possible. By the second forging, most blacksmiths were able to grasp the essence of the metal and bring out it’s true potential. Compared to most spirit refined metals, the jade silver in Tang Wulin’s hands was far more valuable.
Mu Chen’s stare grew blank. He was at a loss, unsure how to progress with his student’s instruction.
Tang Wulin’s success proved the validity of Feng Wuyu’s teaching methods. After a few short days of lectures, he was able to fuse forge. His next step was to polish his technique and practice forging more alloys. Spirit refining would naturally follow, and by the way things were looking he would become a sixth-rank blacksmith in no more than three years. Not only that, Tang Wulin made up for his lacking soul power with his blood essence soul ring, and coupled with his powerful draconic bloodline, he was stronger than other blacksmiths.
Now this was what it meant to be gifted! He belonged at Shrek Academy truly, no doubt about it. Only here could his monstrous talent blossom into a stunning flower.
“Take this.” Mu Chen retrieved from his storage ring a book and handed it over
Tang Wulin accepted the book. He inspected it, noticing its lack of any titles.
“This notebook contains everything I know about spirit refining and alloy forging.” Mu Chen watched as the sound of his words brought his student’s line of sight back to his own. “I was going to wait for you to become more familiar with spirit refining before giving it to you, but it seems you’re ready.
“Honestly speaking, you’re growing faster than I ever expected. Once you reach a certain level, there wouldn’t be much I can do for you besides warning you if you ever stray down the wrong path. Never forget that your perception and efforts are crucial to advancing as a blacksmith. Take a look through the notebook when you have some time. Every blacksmith has their own forging style, so cross-reference it with both Feng Wuyu’s and your own. Keep it safe and don’t lose it. I wrote some of my secret alloy formulas in there. You can’t let anyone else read it, understood?”
“Got it.” Tang Wulin gazed at the notebook like it was a treasure. Its pages contained all of an eighth-rank Saint Blacksmith’s knowledge pertaining to spirit refining and alloy forging! Not to mention, secret formulas. It was truly priceless no matter how anyone thought of it..
Mu Chen smiled warmly at Tang Wulin’s gentle handling of the notebook. “This is all I can give you for now. I’m sure you’re busy with various things at Shrek Academy, so you don’t have to visit me so often in the future. Just come once a month. Feng Wuyu’s teachings won’t be any worse than mine. Study the contents of the book, focus on deepening your comprehension of blacksmithing, and find your own path. Think of spirit refining as gathering your strength and soul refining as taking flight. But I don’t want you to be anxious to become a Saint Blacksmith. Build a solid foundation in the spirit refining stage, just like you did for thousand refining. That way, you’ll be able to immediately grasp the meaning of soul refining when it comes time. The stronger your foundation, the higher your chances of becoming a Divine Blacksmith.”
A flash of light, and another object appeared in Mu Chen’s hand.
“Here. This is your new blacksmith’s badge.” A pleased smile formed on his lips.
Compared to Tang Wulin’s current one, which was orange in color with four yellow stars, this badge showcased five twinkling purple stars peppering a white background. It was the noble and elegant badge of a fifth-rank blacksmith.
In other words, those five stars represented a grandmaster blacksmith!
Tang Wulin carefully exchanged his old one with the five-star badge. The moment his fingers grazed the surface, he felt a cool breeze enveloping his body. His concentration grew. The badge felt heavy in his hands, at least twice as heavy as his old badge.
“Five-star badges are all forged by Saint Blacksmiths. I personally forged yours and added a soul circuit. More specifically, a focus circuit. It clears and invigorates your mind. Wearing the badge will help your spiritual power grow and increase your concentration when you forge. I soul refined the stars on the badge. That way, you can inspect them and have a glimpse of what soul refined metal feels like. I’m sure it’ll be helpful for your development.”
“Thank you, Teacher.” Tang Wulin couldn’t keep his eyes off the badge, marvelling at it. After a moment of hesitation, he finally put it on and hid it under his clothes.
The cool breeze spread to the rest of his body, his mind sharpening and his perception expanding from three meters in range to five. I
Although Mu Chen had explained the uniqueness of the badge in simple terms, it was far from that. Tang Wulin’s strong mind and the added effects of the badge brought him to a shocking revelation: his spiritual power was now on par with those in the Spirit Sea realm.
Teacher went through all the trouble just to make this for me!
“I’ll add another star for you once you get to the sixth rank.” Mu Chen smiled.
“Yes.” Tang Wulin grinned.
“How did Elder Feng assess your blacksmithing skills?”
Tang Wulin hesitated then lowered his head, not knowing how to answer.
Mu Chen stared at Tang Wulin in surprise. “What? Was he dissatisfied with you?”
Tang Wulin shook his head. “He’s not dissatisfied. He just always says I’m a slow learner and stupid.”
“Is he crazy?” Mu Chen blurted out, realizing how inappropriate his comment was a moment later. “My bad. I’m not trying to insult him. I think Elder Feng is treating you like this because of how highly he values you. Therefore, his expectations are similarly high. Since you succeeded in forging an alloy, it’s clear that his teaching methods aren’t wrong.”
Mu Chen kept his more negative thoughts hidden. He thinks Wulin is stupid? Then are there any smart blacksmiths at all? Wait, isn’t he also insulting me then?
After stepping foot outside the building, Tang Wulin felt invigorated by the effects of his new badge. He was now officially a fifth-rank blacksmith. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth when he thought about the jade silver he forged. It was definitely worth loads of money.
Despite successfully forging a few alloys during Feng Wuyu’s instruction, he had not been permitted to keep them. The old man had kept them all. It wasn’t unreasonable, however, since Feng Wuyu provided the metal for him to practice with. Moreover, forging alloys was the same as spirit refining. Failure resulted in a useless spiritless metal.
The jade silver was the first alloy Tang Wulin had been allowed to keep.
By the time he returned to his dormitory, the sun had set beyond the horizon. He didn’t head to the dining hall at once as he grew accustomed to late-night meals. By arriving later, he could avoid becoming a spectacle, the working student with a bottomless pit for a stomach.
The trees rustled in a gentle night breeze, the cool scent of evening dew filling his nostrils. Shrek Academy was marvelous. Tang Wulin had come to fall in love with this place even with his hectic cultivation schedule. He was certain that he would enjoy his time here even more if he weren’t so busy.
The working student dormitory was as spotless as usual, not a single speck of dust to be seen. Instead of returning to his own room, he paid Yue Zhengyu a visit.
Tang Wulin knocked on the door. “Anyone home?”
Yue Zhengyu opened it, peeking his head through the crack. “Come in.” Then he turned around and walked back to his desk without another word.
“Aren’t you being too cold? I only switched out one of the items from our previous agreement,” said Tang Wulin, smiling.
After his breakthrough, Tang Wulin had visited Yue Zhengyu to amend his order, requesting the spirit items needed for his fourth seal instead. However, Yue Zhengyu had already obtained one of the spirit items he had originally asked for and was furious. The whole event created a rift between them.
“It’s shameful to not keep your word and alter the conditions at the last moment.” Yue Zhengyu spat, jaws clenched..
Tang Wulin scratched his chin in embarrassment. “I didn’t have a choice. Besides, didn’t I lower the terms for you? It was originally two spirit items but now it’s one. I’m losing out a lot as well.”
“Bullshit. The two spirit items you originally requested were both one-thousand-year, but now you want something that’s two-thousand-year. You really have the gall to say you’re taking a loss?” Yue Zhengyu glared at him.
Tang Wulin sighed. “Alright, alright. How about I just give you one piece of meteoric iron, and you don’t have to pay me anything anymore? We’ll just call it even.”