Chapter 426 - Amazing
That was the only thought that crossed Tang Wulin’s mind as he gobbled down the rice and tendon. The plate of thousand-year land dragon tendon disappeared in a flash, along with six bowls of moonlight rice.
The chef, a wizened man in his fifties, had smiled happily as he watched Tang Wulin eat in the beginning, but by the end, his delight changed into astonishment. This kid really knows how to eat!
Though his servings were a far cry from their usual abundance, the moonlight rice and dragon tendons were much more nutritious than ordinary food. A single grain of moonlight rice would be enough to satisfy an ordinary person for a day. Tang Wulin still craved for more after six bowls.
Sensing Tang Wulin’s blood essence growing stronger with each bite, the chef jokingly thought to himself that all of the food was being turned into blood essence.
A while later, after soup was served and Tang Wulin finished his seventh bowl of rice, he looked up at the chef. “Uncle, is there any more?”
The chef didn’t know what kind of expression he should make. “You can even eat more than the President! There’s nothing left.”
Tang Wulin put down his bowl with a whimper.
“You’re really still hungry?”
“Yeah. My stomach is only a bit more than half full. Well, I’ll be fine. But what is Uncle-master going to eat?”
The chef flashed Tang Wulin a thumbs up, then stood up and walked back to the small kitchen in the back. “Wait a bit.”
Meanwhile, Zhen Hua was busy pacing the floor in a different room as Tang Wulin had been stuffing his gut.
“Mu Chen, I can’t believe you!” he shouted into his soul communicator the moment the call connected, his voice an octave higher than usual.
On the other end of the line, Mu Chen felt his heartbeat quicken. “Is something wrong? What’s going on?”
Zhen Hua sneered. “You have the nerve to ask me that? Are you telling me you didn’t deliberately send your disciple here to stir up some trouble?”
“Disciple?” Mu Chen’s pitch rose as well. “Did you meet Wulin?”
“Who else could I be talking about?” Sarcasm dripped from Zhen Hua’s words.
The line went silent.
“Say something! When did you pick up such an incredible kid?” Zhen Hua asked. The calm expression he had shown Tang Wulin was but a facade. It had taken all of his willpower from to hide the shock from his face. There was no way a Divine Blacksmith such as himself didn’t understand the significance of a fourteen-year-old fifth-rank blacksmith.
Tang Wulin had a sturdy foundation, good wits, and a godly talent for blacksmithing. All of this Zhen Hua had discerned from Tang Wulin’s handling of the cloud gold hammers.
Tang Wulin was destined to become the next generation’s Divine Blacksmith! As long as he grew steadily, this was inevitable. Of course, that meant he had to become a Titled Douluo. However, it was much easier for blacksmiths to become Titled Douluos than for combat-oriented soul masters. They could simply use some heavenly treasures to boost them up to that level. Although this would result in an unstable foundation, they would still become a Titled Douluo and have the necessary soul power for their path to a Divine Blacksmith.
Aware of these facts, Zhen Hua wasn’t worried about Tang Wulin’s growth as a soul master. He was one of the ten richest people on the continent. He had more than enough resources for the items necessary to nurture a prodigy like Tang Wulin. The sole issue so far had been finding one!
“Don’t even think about it!” Mu Chen shouted back.
“Mu Chen,” Zhen Hua said gently.
Mu Chen’s laugh was thick with sarcasm, voice coming out gruff from the other side of the line. “Don’t bother. I already know all about your tricks.”
Zhen Hua chuckled. “Weren’t we once fellow apprentices?”
“Yes, we were. But that has nothing to do with this.” In fact, Mu Chen understood Zhen Hua better than anyone else precisely because Zhen Hua was his senior brother.
Zhen Hua ignored the frost practically spreading through his speakers. “Junior Brother! Don’t you remember how we were back in the old days? We were praised as the two greatest prodigies of the blacksmithing world. We’ve been through thick and thin together! Just tell me, didn’t I take care of you as your senior brother?”
But Mu Chen was an impenetrable fortress. “Anything else is fine, but not my disciple!”
“Didn’t I let you have my beloved Yuan Bao’er back then? And now you have an adorable daughter thanks to that! What about me? I have no wife, and I never will. The only woman in my heart is Bao’er. Do you have any idea how much it pained me to make that decision? I don’t really want a disciple. I want a son that can look after me as I age!” Zhen Hua cried, choking back sobs.
Mu Chen went silent.
Years ago, Zhen Hua, Yuan Bao’er, and Mu Chen had been apprenticed to the same master together. Zhen Hua was the eldest disciple, followed by Mu Chen and Yuan Bao’er in that order. Out of the trio, Yuan Bao’er was the only girl. She had a mischievous personality and, compared to the others, was a bit of a slacker in learning blacksmithing. Even so, she was the target of affection for her two senior brothers. As the three grew up together, so did their emotions for each other. But in the end, Zhen Hua chose to dedicate his life to blacksmithing, and Yuan Bao’er ended up with Mu Chen. In a sense, Zhen Hua truly had given her to Mu Chen. Blacksmithing had simply pulled ahead from the other important thing in his life, his beloved Yuan Bao’er.
Still, Mu Chen felt guilty. He had no retort to Zhen Hua.
“Eldest Brother, are you crying?” a gentle voice interjected through the communicator.
A cold shiver traveled down Zhen Hua’s spine. “Is that you, Bao’er?”
“Eldest Brother, how about I kick Mu Chen to the curb then run over to you?” she said sweetly.
“No! It’s fine!” Zhen Hua answered immediately. “Junior Sister, how could you say something like that? Mu Chen and I are brothers, I couldn’t possibly…”
“Then stop talking out of your ass! Don’t call if you have nothing to say!” Yuan Bao’er shouted. A moment later, the dial tone played.
Zhen Hua didn’t know how to react to all this.
On Mu Chen’s side, he stared at his wife, stupefied. He had never seen his wife act so violently before. She was usually mild-tempered.
“Bao’er, are you feeling alright?” Mu Chen rubbed her forehead.
Yuan Bao’er took advantage of this and sat on his lap, throwing her arms around his neck in a tight embrace. All traces of her previous temper were wiped off the face of the earth. “I’m fine. In fact, I’m great! My kindness is only meant for you though.”
Mu Chen looked at her curiously. “What about Eldest Brother then?”
Yuan Bao’er snorted. “I was just warning him not to use what happened back then to threaten you. I’ve already kept it a secret for so many years for his sake, but it looks like he doesn’t care about saving some face.”
A blank look crossed Mu Chen’s face. “What do you mean? What secret?”
Yuan Bao’er snickered. “Do you really think he fearlessly chose to devote himself to blacksmithing back then? You dummy. That’s too naive! Eldest Brother is really cunning. He had long since asked me to marry him by that time. You were so oblivious about it! Eldest Brother is a good person, but he’s too stubborn and ambitious. I couldn’t love someone like that. I just wanted someone who I could have fun with. You might have been a bit dumb back then, but you were a lot more reliable than him. You only have me in your heart. If it had been him, then it would have been me and blacksmithing in his heart. And I’m sure blacksmithing would have still placed higher than me. Who would choose a guy like him? So I told him I liked you. After that, he went into seclusion. I didn’t mention any of this before only because I wanted to spare him the embarrassment.”
Mu Chen was dumbstruck. At first, he couldn’t believe what his wife was telling him, but as the seconds ticked by, the puzzle pieces started coming together.
“No wonder you chose me. You’re definitely more suited for a laid-back lifestyle. You would never be able to devote your life to blacksmithing life Zhen Hua did. You broke contact from a lot of people when we moved to Eastsea City too! Some people even think you died.”
Yuan Bao’er smiled. “I like this sort of simple life. It’s enough as long as I have you and Little Xi.”