Chapter 472 - Four-word Battle Armor Master
The flames dancing around the scarlet armor receded, and the armor dissolved into specks of light, layer by layer, disappearing into the body it had surrounded.
"I'm Zhen Hua of the Blacksmith's Association. I had received a request for help from my nephew-disciple and came to save him. No traces of hostiles were spotted when I arrived." His voice carried the authority of a Titled Douluo and a four-word battle armor master.
Since there only existed a handful of red mechas, black mechas often stood in as the top of the hierarchy. But Liu An, the pilot of the black mecha, had stopped and respectfully greeted Zhen Hua. It wasn't for nothing. No, it was because he could sense that the difference in strength between them was not gap but a chasm, simply insurmountable. Untouchable.
After verifying Zhen Hua's identity, Liu An relaxed and let out a deep breath. If Zhen Hua had been a hostile, then this place would have been his grave.
"My respects, Lord Zhen Hua. Please forgive me for not exiting my mecha to properly greet you. I am unable to at this moment due to my mission," Liu An said, his tone far more humble than before. The man before him was the continent's only Divine Blacksmith after all!
There was no one on the continent of Douluo who dared offend a person of such status. In addition to battle armor, mechas also used metals forged by blacksmiths during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, the higher grade the mecha, the better the metal needed. Even among black-grade mechas, apart from their circuit cores, it was the quality of their metals that determined superiority. Liu An's own black mecha was made of thousand-refined metal and a core of spirit-refined metal. In order to upgrade his mecha, he would need to replace its parts with ones made of higher quality metals. Only then could the mecha advance to red grade. Therefore, Liu An treated the Divine Blacksmith with the utmost respect.
Zhen Hua landed on the ground with a soft thud and a curt nod. He picked up Tang Wulin's unconscious body. Inspected his condition. His face clouded over when he saw the bloodstains blossoming on Tang Wulin's chest. No, I can't let a genius as great as him fall. He's a gift to us blacksmiths. He clenched his jaw. And how would I even explain to Mu Chen if he becomes crippled?
During his rush to the ninth carriage, Tang Wulin had called Zhen Hua for help since Heaven Dou City was closer to the train than Shrek City. Although Zhen Hua had dropped everything to rush to the scene, the trip still took him over ten minutes. And when he arrived, the battle was already over.
Zhen Hua pressed a finger to the smooth skin of Tang Wulin's inner wrist, feeling for a pulse. His eyes lit up. He's alive! He quickly poured his soul power into Tang Wulin's body. Sure enough, Tang Wulin's heart still beat. But it was weak. A soft fluttering of butterfly wings against the thick of his chest. Even so, he had a chance to live.
"I'm bringing this kid back with me to Heaven Dou's Blacksmith's Association first. Investigate the crime scene and look for the tracks of any hostiles. When the kid recovers, I'll have him cooperate with your investigation." Without another word, Zhen Hua soared into the air, Tang Wulin cradled securely in his arms. And they disappeared in a streak of scarlet.
There was nothing Liu An could have done to stop Zhen Hua. Hell would freeze over before he purposefully sparked the ire of a Titled Douluo and a four-word battle armor master. Also holding the title of a Divine Blacksmith, he sat at the top of the list of people who couldn't be offended on the continent.
Liu An gave the order to his regiment to search the surroundings. But in the end, they never found any trace of hostiles. Not even a single hair to go on. The only evidence of the tragedy, besides the blood and the corpses and destruction, was a small mound of ashes tinged green. The rest of the terrorist's remains had already been blown away by the wind.
Tang Wulin sat adrift in a sea on a small boat. The waves ushered the boat around, up and down. Up and down. He held back the urge to empty the contents of his stomach. Pain drilled into every inch of his body.
This must be the limbo between life and death. He couldn't imagine any other outcome but death after being subjected to the Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement.
The boat gradually steadied, the waves dying down. The pain subsided and a comforting warmth filled him.
A while later, the warmth disappeared and his mind churned awake. He opened his eyes. Spotless white, spanning above him and marred only be the thin ridges differentiating each ceiling tile. I'm not dead? Tang Wulin stared into space, motionless.
Minutes later, he finally snapped out of his reverie and jerked into a sitting position. A groan ripped through his throat, past gritted teeth. His body felt sore, the muscles heavy and tight like a coiled spring, and his chest. His chest felt on fire.
The pain brought him back to his senses. I'm alive! He heaved a sigh of relief.
But how am I not dead?
He scanned the room. There was nothing of note besides the lack of clutter and dust. He couldn't imagine this being a room for a prisoner. There was no way the evil soul master would treat him this well either. That man was the vilest of the vile, capable of committing unspeakable acts without batting an eye.
Tang Wulin sent his senses inward, examining the state of his body. To his surprise, he was completely fine. Aside from the slightly damaged meridian channels in his chest, he couldn't find anything wrong. All of his energies were normal, indistinguishable from before. But what truly astonished him was that his spiritual power had grown significantly. It was to the point that he could now sense the smallest of changes within all his meridian channels.
The sensation left him in a state of awe. He knew what this meant. He had broken into the Spirit Sea realm. This was a major milestone. His cultivation wouldn't be restricted by his spiritual power until he hit seven rings, and that was if it didn't grow any further by then. Furthermore, he could theoretically fuse with three purple spirit souls, enough to provide nine rings. The path to becoming a Titled Douluo was now open.
The requirements for admission into Shrek Academy's inner court were as followed: status as a one-word battle armor master, possession of five soul rings, and achieving the Spirit Sea realm.
Achieving five soul rings was the easy part. Tang Wulin may still be far off, but he had six years. He could easily reach that level and possibly exceed it in that timeframe by absorbing the power of the Golden Dragon King. Having reached the Spirit Sea realm, his only real obstacle was becoming a one-word battle armor master. Furthermore, his gauntlet made of spirit alloy pushed him a step ahead.
Tang Wulin grinned. He was well on his way to becoming an inner court student.
After a few cycles of the Mysterious Heaven Method, Tang Wulin's mind cleared the lingering traces of his sleepy haze. His memory rang free of obstruction, the pallor of Mo Lan's face during her abuse a ghost haunting his psyche. He had survived the Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement, but he couldn't assume the same for her. He needed to find her to know. For closure. He couldn't forgive himself if he didn't.
Tang Wulin jumped off his bed and changed into a set of clean clothes from his storage ring. The second he finished changing, the door opened and a man entered.
"Uncle-master!" Tang Wulin exclaimed.
"You can stand already?" Zhen Hua's voice was thick with concern. The image of Tang Wulin's still and bloody body was vividly emblazoned in his mind.
Zhen Hua had gotten a first-rate soul master medic to heal Tang Wulin as soon as they returned to Heaven Dou City. While Tang Wulin's heart hadn't been damaged, his other internal organs had not been as lucky.
But to the medic's astonishment, there was minimal blood loss and his body was on the road to recovery. What should have been serious, unsightly wounds had already healed