Tens of thousand of years had passed and technology had made several leaps since humanity grasped the power of martial souls. With the advent of Titled Douluos, humans no longer ran from soul beasts with their tails tucked between their legs.
The number of soul rings a person possessed reflected the strength of their cultivation. Mankind had advanced to the point where amassing more than nine soul rings was no longer a dream. Every soul power rank from 90 onward provided a surge in strength.
In order to become a Titled Doulou, one needed to break through the threshold of rank 90. After reaching rank 95, they would stand at an even higher peak and possess the powers of a Super Douluo. Ultimately, a soul power of rank 99 gave rise to a Limit Douluo. Only with a Limit Douluo could humanity contend with the greatest of soul beasts, for the two types of existences stood on equal footing.
The first appearance of a Limit Doulou marked a turning point in mankind's history, opening the door to humanity's rise as the masters of the continent. Then came the mythical generation in which the Tang Sect Founder, Thousand Hands Douluo Tang San, was born. With his Tang Sect arts and twin martial souls, he surpassed his limits, rose to the summit of the world, and ascended to godhood. He was the sky beyond the sky.
But he wasn't the only legendary figure to appear. His six companions, which along with him wore the banner of the Shrek Seven Monster's first generation, also reached the heavens.
To this day, after thousands of years of progress, no subsequent generation of the Shrek Seven Monsters surpassed the first.
Another turning point for humanity occured ten thousand years after Tang San's ascension. That was when the Spirit Ice Douluo Huo Yuhao appeared, bent on reviving the Tang Sect. In a time of a declining soul beast population, he created spirit souls in order to ease the tensions between soul beasts and humanity. With spirit souls as the basis, he founded the Spirit Pagoda.
From then on, soul technology rapidly progressed and mankind invented all sorts of soul devices and mechas.
After a few thousand years, battle armour was introduced to the world. This marked the occasion in which mecha technology could finally transcend the might of soul masters.
Battle armor gave a soul master an incredible power boost. With four-word battle armor equipped, a new Titled Douluo could match a Limit Douluo in might!
Although a Limit Douluo was the highest form of existence attainable by mortals, aided by battle armor, no soul beast could stand a sliver of a chance. In the end, most of the common soul beasts were wiped out.
So, Tang Wulin and the others clearly knew how formidable a four-word battle armor master was. They could count the number of these powerhouses on the continent on their fingers! The most revered of beings. Rumor had it that the other two continents also had their share of four-word battle armor masters, the residents of the Douluo Continent wholeheartedly believed that with their homeland being the birthplace of soul masters, theirs were the greatest!
Tang Wulin was already acquainted with a few Titled Douluos: his grandteacher, Scarlet Dragon Douluo Zhuo Shi, his blacksmithing teacher, Blazing Dragon Douluo Feng Wuyu, and the Silver Moon Douluo, Elder Cai! However, according to Wu Zhangkong, none of them were four-word battle armor masters!
There were people at Shrek Academy who were capable of being four-word battle armor masters. But they were stuck with three-word armor due to the academy's limited resources, unable to advance to the next level. This was because creating a set of four-word battle armor was nigh impossible.
Yet just a moment ago, Tang Wulin and the others met the youthful-looking Heavenly Phoenix Douluo who was a four-word battle armor! From that alone, they could piece together the puzzle. Her authority in the Spirit Pagoda must be astonishing.
For once, Yuanen Yehui reacted to Yue Zhengyu's words. "The Heavenly Phoenix Douluo? The vice-chairman of the Spirit Pagoda's council?"
Yue Zhengyu forced out a smile. "Who else could she be? I never expected I would be so lucky to meet the Heavenly Phoenix Douluo today! That's three lifetimes worth of luck right there!" Yearning filled his face, as if he had just met his idol.
Tang Wulin glanced at Gu Yue and was met with a smirk.
"Let's go," said Tang Wulin.
They were finished with everything they had set out to do today. It was up to Xu Xiaoyan and Yuanen Yehui to think of a way to pay for their new spirit souls.
"Tang Wulin," Yuanen Yehui called out.
He flashed her an amiable smile. "You don't need to thank me. We're all working students here, so we should help each other out."
"I'm not thanking you," she said. "I wanted to tell you to pay me my twenty thousand contribution points as soon as possible. I need to raise money to pay for my spirit soul."
"Oh…" Tang Wulin's face froze, prompting Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan to burst out laughing.
Then his expression soured. Twenty thousand contribution points… twenty thousand! I'm never getting into debt again! Never, dammit!
As soon as they arrived back on campus, Tang Wulin made a beeline for his blacksmithing workshop. Being in debt gave him an unbearable, unpleasant itch. He wanted to work it off as soon as possible.
Just as he was about to begin forging, a knock sounded on the door. He opened it to find Yue Zhengyu outside.
"Why are you here? Are you here to watch me work? Oh right, you still need to pay me for the jade silver. I'm sure you saw Yuanen Yehui asking me for her money," Tang Wulin said helplessly.
Yue Zhengyu smiled. "I came here for exactly that reason. I don't have enough contribution points to pay you yet, but I do have federal coins. According to the Academy's exchange rate, it should be one hundred federal coins per contribution point. She needs federal coins to pay for her spirit soul anyway, so you can just pay her two million federal coins. I thought I'd pay you two million federal coins as a downpayment for the jade silver, and I'll make up the rest with metals. That should be better for you, right?"
"Sounds good," said Tang Wulin.
With the way blacksmiths slowly chipped away at their work, raw metal was far more valuable to Tang Wulin than contribution points. He needed materials to forge battle armor in the future. Since Feng Wuyu was paying for his food now and he didn't have anything to spend points on, he didn't need to hoard points for the time being.
With a wealthy customer like Yue Zhengyu lined up, he didn't need to worry about how to obtain spirit items in the future either. He could just forge for Yue Zhengyu in exchange for what he needed.
Lately, forging jade silver had been on the top of his blacksmithing list. It was better to focus on one goal at a time. He would forge other alloys once he was satisfied with his jade silver
His current success rate for alloy forging was thirty percent, which amounted to seven out of ten forgings being trash. Of the successes, most barely reached a sixty percent harmony rate. He had only forged two pieces with over a ninety percent harmony rate so far, and he had given both to Yue Zhengyu. As for the low harmony rate pieces, he just kept them to himself. There were over a dozen pieces he saved to spirit refine them properly in the future.
The value of spirit alloys and spirit refined metals were pretty close, but a spirit refined alloy was on an entirely different level. Everyone yearned to use such metal and the price was exponentially higher. For this reason, Tang Wulin wasn't too anxious about making money from forging at the moment, patiently waiting to reap greater rewards down the road instead.
There was another reason why he wasn't losing sleep about this. Even though spirit refined alloys might contain impurities, the higher the harmony rate of the alloy, the more chances he had to reforge and perfect it.
Yue Zhengyu's scheme was coming to fruition as well. He wasn't in a hurry for Tang Wulin to spirit refine the ninety percent harmony rate pieces of jade silver. With his current cultivation level, a one-word battle armor was his limit. As such, thousand refined metal was sufficient. If he created his one-word battle armor with thousand refined jade silver, then he could add another metal to the jade silver in the future, spirit refine it, and directly upgrade his armor to two-word.
Going about his battle armor this way was luxurious. Tang Wulin had been reluctant to comply with Yue Zhengyu's requests at first, but now that he understood what Yue Zhengyu was aiming for, his heart raced as he imagined the possibilities.
Two-word battle armor could fuse with its user. Whether it was spirit refined metal or a spirit alloy, both possessed some intelligence and life. Because of this, the longer one was in contact with it, the greater their compatibility rate.