Chapter 428 - Temptation
“He’s just an eccentric guy! I’m his only friend. Well, in any case, I’m not sure if you’ll ever meet him again. But I’ll tell you this.” Zhen Hua motioned for Tang Wulin to lean closer, covering part of his mouth with a cupped hand. “He doesn’t have a good relationship with Shrek Academy, and he doesn’t like dealing with them.”
Zhen Hua’s ambiguous words left Tang Wulin puzzled, but he didn’t think much about it. Right now, he had to focus on finishing his exam.
A spatial door opened before them. The door reminded him of the one to the spirit soul tower at the Spirit Pagoda. He hadn’t expected the Blacksmith’s Association would also have such a space.
“Are you familiar with this?” Zhen Hua noticed the glint in Tang Wulin’s eyes.
Tang Wulin nodded. “Yeah. The Spirit Pagoda headquarters has a door just like this.”
“Yes, they’re similar. Similar, but different. Apart from Shrek Academy, no other society can compare with the Spirit Pagoda’s resources. However, our Blacksmith’s Association also has a few tricks up its sleeve, and this sealed space is used for storing important treasures and classified materials. You could call it our warehouse. Only high-level members of the Association can enter it. Once you become a Saint Blacksmith, you’ll gain access to it too. The key is a Saint Blacksmith’s badge.”
Saint Blacksmith’s were seventh-rank blacksmiths. Tang Wulin yearned for the day he could finally step on that plane of existence.
“Uncle-master, is it hard to soul refine?” Tang Wulin asked.
Zhen Hua smiled and shook his head. “It’s both hard and not hard at the same time. You have a strong foundation and good wits. But you’re lacking in soul power. I can help you with that, though. I have many treasures that can boost your cultivation. Would you like to go that route?”
Tang Wulin stared at him in astonishment. “Uncle-master, what do you mean?”
Zhen Hua chuckled. “I can see it in your eyes that you already understand. Don’t you feel embarrassed keeping up an act?”
Tang Wulin scratched his head, showing a meek smile. Of course he would want to get his hands on some treasures.
“If you use treasures to boost your cultivation, I guarantee you’ll become a Titled Douluo and Divine Blacksmith within fifteen years. However, I must warn you, your foundation won’t be firm and you’ll likely never advance into a Hyper Douluo. Still, that should be enough for you in my opinion. Battle armor will improve your strength anyway. As long as you get a set of four-word battle armor and become a Titled Douluo, you’ll stand at the very peak of the world,” Zhen Hua said.
“Uncle-master, I’ve always been curious about that. If battle armor can make a Titled Douluo as powerful as a Limit Douluo, why do they still continue to cultivate to become Hyper Douluos?”
Zhen Hua sighed. “They’re not quite the same. You’ll understand once you reach that level. Even if you compared two Limit Douluos, or two Titled Douluos with the same amount of soul power, the combat strength of the one who boosted their advancement through the use of treasures and the one who advanced normally would differ. And more importantly, only by relying on their own strength can they hope to ascend to godhood. No one has ascended in the last ten thousand years. But who doesn’t wish to ascend like the founder of the Tang Sect, Tang San? Or the Spirit Pagoda founder, Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao?
“Think about this carefully. If you choose to accept my offer, then I’ll nurture you into a Divine Blacksmith by the time you’re thirty. You’ll be the youngest Divine Blacksmith in all of history and stand at the world’s summit. However, you’ll also be turning your back on the path of battle, forgoing the mysteries of the world.”
A moment of silence slipped by. ”Uncle-master,” Tang Wulin eventually said. “Can you give me some time to consider it?”
Zhen Hua’s offer was enticing. Tang Wulin’s cultivation wasn’t advancing quickly, but when it came to blacksmithing, he was blessed by the heavens. If he became a Divine Blacksmith and a Titled Douluo, he could easily proceed to become a four-word battle armor master as well. However, he had to consider if this was what he truly wanted. With this sudden choice thrust upon him, he didn’t know what to do.
Zhen Hua smiled. “Don’t worry about it too much. I didn’t know what to do back when I was your age too. Just pick whatever route you think is best for you. And even if you choose to cultivate with your own efforts, you still have a good chance of becoming a Divine Blacksmith. Consider your options carefully, and when you make your decision, make sure you do so with the resolve to see it through to the end with no regrets. There are countless treasures in this world, but there are none that can cure regret.”
“Thank you, Uncle-master.”
The two stepped through the spatial doorway and entered the sealed space. It was enormous, utterly different from that of the spirit soul tower. Truly a gigantic warehouse. Countless doors lined the perimeter and stood all around, leading to unknown spaces.
With a wave of his hand, Zhen Hua brought Tang Wulin to the center of the space. Jarring was the brisk, instantaneous movement for Tang Wulin.
Zhen Hua placed a palm upon a door and entered with a gentle push. Inside was a large hall brimming with energy. A barrier created an arena in the middle of the hall, and a man in his twenties waited in the center.
The man bowed when he caught sight of Zhen Hua. “President.”
Zhen Hua cracked a slight smile. “Prepare to begin. Wulin, let me introduce you. This is one of our Association’s guardians, Xie Yinling. Please take care of each other.”
“Hello, I’m Tang Wulin.”
Although Xie Yinling couldn’t be called handsome, he had a refreshing aura to him, and examined Tang Wulin with curious eyes. What sort of background does this kid have that the President would recommend him to have a match with me?
Zhen Hua withheld from him details about Tang Wulin. All he let slip from his lips was that he had found a good opponent him. Xie Yinling had never expected his opponent would be just a kid!
“I’m Xie Yinling. Please advise me.” Without another word, Xie Yinling retreated a few steps. He extended his right hand and gestured for Tang Wulin to make his move.
Despite his youth, Tang Wulin had plenty of battle experience. He took a few paces forward to face Xie Yinling in a battle stance.
Two yellow and two purple soul rings rose from beneath Xie Yinling. Just as Tang Wulin had requested, Zhen Hua found him an opponent stronger than him.
Xie Yinling was twenty years old this year, and a rank 43 Soul Ancestor.
As Tang Wulin strode forward, three purple soul rings rose past his feet. The sight startled Xie Yinling.
“Begin,” Zhen Hua declared.
In a split second, Tang Wulin jumped into action. Rather than summoning his bluesilver grass, he stomped on the ground and shot forward like a cannonball. He didn’t want to waste any more time.
Xie Yinling took a step back. His lungs swelled with air as he let out a piercing bird’s screech. A pair of wings unfurled from his back and a green aura spread throughout his body as he ascended into the air.
His martial soul is a flying-type! It’s the eagle! Tang Wulin instantly judged. As a student of Shrek Academy, he could identify a martial soul at ease
Tang Wulin leaped after him. Unfortunately, he only reached eight meters into the air while Xie Yinling hovered at a height of ten. Seeing that, Xie Yinling relaxed his guard a bit, confident in his ability to take the win. The moment Tang Wulin’s three purple soul rings had materialized, apprehension chewed at the edges of his calm. But as soon as he was up in the air, his domain, his doubts had been extinguished. Especially when Tang Wulin could not reach him in a leap
When facing a flying soul master, one of the greatest mistakes a soul master who couldn’t fly could make was jumping into the air to engage. At that point, they were practically sitting ducks. Flying soul masters boasted exceptional speed in the air.
That said, Xie Yinling’s confident smile froze in the next instant.