Chapter 374 - Determination
Investing time to forge good foundational metal was better than forging new metal later on. Tang Wulin understood this. However, forging spirit alloys was no walk in the park, and forging ninety percent harmony rate pieces was even harder. Every success was birthed upon a mountain of failures.
Yue Zhengyu's Holy Angel clan might have the resources to burn, but Tang Wulin didn't! Fortunately, Yue Zhengyu was providing him with raw materials for practice, not to mention he would pay for pieces with a ninety percent harmony rate or higher. That said, what Tang Wulin truly wanted wasn't money. It was more metal.
After blacksmithing for an entire afternoon, Tang Wulin took a break to meet his friends for dinner. He had worked up an appetite.
"Wulin, don't push yourself too hard." Concern flashed in Gu Yue's eyes as she took in his his exhausted expression.
"Gu Yue, I came up with an idea recently. Let's call Wu Siduo and Luo Guixing after we're done eating so I can tell you guys all at once," said Tang Wulin.
"Okay," said Gu Yue, nodding.
True to his word, Tang Wulin summoned them to his workshop after their meals.
"Class president, what'd you call us for?" Luo Guixing was quick to voice this question the moment they gathered.
Although Tang Wulin managed to gain some measure of respect from Luo Guixing and Wu Siduo, enough to make them behave, there was still a wide distance between them. Both were prodigies with their names etched onto the Genius Youths Rankings. Their pride made it difficult for them to accept Tang Wulin just yet. At the very least, they didn't acknowledge his strength.
"So here's the deal. I've got an idea I want to present to you guys. I've been forging metal for a second-grade student who's also preparing to make battle armor, and compared to us, he's going about it in a completely different way. His way seems like it'll lay down a better foundation. If we borrow his method, I think it'll really help us as once we become battle armor masters."
Tang Wulin explained Yue Zhengyu's plan. Yue Zhengyu had neither sworn him to secrecy nor was this method feasible for just anyone. It required a skilled blacksmith and a mountain of raw materials.
"Is that even possible?" Luo Guixing was unconvinced. "Just how much resources will it take to create a set of one-word battle armor made of spirit alloy? I can't approve of such a method."
Wu Siduo shook her head. "Your alloy forging success rate is low enough, but your chances of producing a piece with a ninety percent harmony rate is even lower. I'll admit I'm shocked that you can forge spirit alloys, but we'll have to bet on luck if we choose this method. Once we start on our battle armors, there's no going back. Beginning with ninety percent harmony alloy means using the same material for the entire set. Do you really think you can produce that much? If we go through with this and you can't, then even if we're only short one part, it'll be all for nothing. We won't even be able to graduate like that."
She frowned. "The sooner we finish our battle armors, the higher our chances of entering the inner court. Are you telling us to all gamble on your forging success rate?"
Tang Wulin couldn't help but nod at their words, his brow furrowing. "It seems I was too eager and didn't think things through."
Their criticisms were reasonable. Yue Zhengyu was wealthy enough to take this approach, but they weren't.
"Let's just stick with our original plan. Gu Yue's nearly done with the hand and forearm armor designs and I'm ready to start making them the moment she is."
"I think what Wulin said makes sense," Gu Yue interjected. "It'll be challenging to create our armors with alloys, but the rewards will be great if we succeed. It'll be far easier for us to upgrade our armors in the future. Are you telling me you two aren't planning on using spirit alloys for your two-word battle armor? You'll never become a three-word battle armor master otherwise. If you have to do it eventually, then why not get a head start? I know it'll be tough for us, but it's worth the risk. I say we do as Wulin suggested."
Gu Yue moved to stand by Tang Wulin's side.
Wu Siduo stared her down cooly. "If you want to gamble, then do it yourself. Since we're split on what to do, how should we resolve this? How will our group proceed from here on?"
Luo Guixing remained silent, but it was clear he agreed with Wu Siduo.
Tang Wulin patted Gu Yue's shoulder. "Forget about it. Let's just go with the original plan. I was letting my imagination get the better of me. Making our armors with alloys would be too expensive, and I'm not confident I could produce that much spirit alloy anyway."
"No. I want to use alloys for my battle armor," declared Gu Yue.
Tang Wulin was taken aback by her stubbornness, then warmth filled his heart. He understood that this was her way of supporting him!
Wu Siduo's expression blackened. "So are you saying we should disband?"
Gu Yue snorted. "If you want to disband, then we'll disband. You two didn't like us from the beginning anyway."
Wu Siduo sneered. "Fine! We're disbanding! Just remember that this is what you wanted! Don't regret this later. Let's see how you make your battle armor with just you two." With this said, she turned around to leave.
Before Tang Wulin could call out to her, Gu Yue stopped him with a tug of his sleeve.
However, Luo Guixing ran in front of Wu Siduo, barring her from leaving. "You're all so impulsive! This is no good for any of us. We were put in a group together by the Academy to make mechas or battle armor as a test. How do you think we'll be evaluated if our group breaks up? It'll crush out chances of getting into the inner court! Everyone, just take a moment to calm down. How about this: I'll continue with the original plan with Wu Siduo. You two will forge and design as was planned. But on my side, I'm not skilled enough to work with spirit alloys, so you'll have to find another maker."
Wu Siduo looked like she swallowed a lemon. She didn't leave, but she didn't say anything either.
Staring Luo Guixing in the eye for a moment, Tang Wulin gestured his approval. "Alright. We'll do that then. I'll first-grade thousand refine your metals and Gu Yue will finish the designs for your armor. As for our own armor sets, we'll find someone good enough to make them."
Luo Guixing smiled. "It's settled then. Let's end things here today. Give me a call when the designs are finished so I can start as soon as possible."
After watching Wu Siduo and Luo Guixing's figures disappear into the distance, Gu Yue turned to Tang Wulin with fury. "Why did you agree to that? That Luo Guixing is no good! He's just taking advantage of us now. We're forging and designing for them, but they're not doing anything for us!"
Tang Wulin gave her a reassuring smile. "Just because I didn't fight back doesn't mean I don't understand what's going on. First-grade thousand refining is as easy as cake for me now and designing for them will also serve as valuable practice for you. Luo Guixing was right about us being a group. Even if we have conflicting views, we have to do our best to work together. Don't forget we're the leaders of the class. We can't let the other students see us fighting with each other."