Chapter 477 - Returning to the Academy
Moon slaving away in the middle of the night for this
Tang Wulin shook his head. "I'm fine, Your Eminence. I still have things to do with my uncle-master."
"Oh, I forgot you're a blacksmith," Yali said. She turned to the Divine Blacksmith. "Zhen Hua, I'll leave this child in your care."
"Don't worry. I'll send him back right after his business is done here." Zhen Hua was alarmed by Tang Wulin's bad luck as well. In both instances that he came to Heaven Dou City, terrorists attacked his train. An evil soul master nearly killed him the second time. It was a blessing of the heavens that he survived until now. Zhen Hua couldn't let such a great blacksmithing prodigy die so early and resolved to personally deliver Tang Wulin back to Shrek Academy afterward.
Yali nodded at Zhen Hua, then turned around and left. Mo Wu bowed deeply at her retreating figure. He could not treat his daughter's saviour with any less respect! Even if she never asked for payment, he would never forget her kindness, or the might of Shrek Academy as well.
A doctor walked over. "Miss Mo's vitals have returned to normal, so we can move her to an ordinary room now. We heard what the lady said earlier. Please talk to her so she'll wake up earlier."
Tang Wulin finally let out a sigh of relief at the doctor's words.
"Please notify Wulin when she wakes up," Zhen Hua said to Mo Wu, gesturing to his nephew-disciple. "Wulin, you can come visit her when she's better."
"Okay." Wulin wrote down his number on a scrap piece of paper and gave it to Mo Wu.
"Wulin, thank you," Mo Wu said, gratitude welling from the depth of his heart. "If you need anything in Heaven Dou City in the future, just give me a call." The words were said gently, but they carried the weight of a mountain.
After leaving the hospital, Tang Wulin's body relaxed as the tension from the heavy and grim atmosphere in the emergency room drained away. Zhen Hua took him back to the Blacksmith's Association. They entered from a back door, taking an elevator straight to Zhen Hua's office.
"Starving!" Tang Wulin answered, his eyes shining at the thought of eating the food in Zhen Hua's personal dining hall. He quickly wiped drool from the corner of his mouth.
Zhen Hua chuckled. "We should celebrate after going through all that. I'll have some food prepared. Right, aren't you on vacation? Stay in Heaven Dou City for ten days this time. I'll give you pointers on your blacksmithing technique. Your alloy forging fundamentals are good, so I'll help you refine your technique and increase your success rate."
"Thank you, Uncle-master."
"I've also prepared the two spirit items you asked for. You don't have to pay me back, I'll just take everything you forge in the next ten days as payment. I'll consider the money you borrowed last time paid off as well."
Tang Wulin knew that Zhen Hua was just making excuses so he could personally teach him. The guidance of a Divine Blacksmith was worth far more than some alloys.
In the next ten days, Tang Wulin dedicated himself to learning from Zhen Hua and eating first-rate food. By the third day, thanks to the nourishment of such excellent food, not only did he completely recover, but his blood essence and soul power also grew significantly.
The more Zhen Hua spent time with Tang Wulin, the more shocked he was. He was startled to discover that Tang Wulin's blacksmithing foundation may be better than even his own. The boy's skill with his heavy silver hammers was superb and his control over the stacked hammers effect masterful. With the badge crafted by Mu Chen supplementing him, his alloy forging success rate had already reached fifty percent. Such a rate was rare even among sixth-rank blacksmiths.
If not for Tang Wulin's low cultivation level, Zhen Hua would have moved right on to spirit refining. Even so, Zhen Hua still considered Tang Wulin as a sixth-rank at the very least.
On the final day, Zhen Hua called Tang Wulin to his office.
"Uncle-master," Tang Wulin said respectfully. He had learned much in the past ten days.
As a Divine Blacksmith, Zhen Hua's philosophies and teaching methods differed greatly from Mu Chen and Feng Wuyu. He was especially keen on researching new techniques, and had generously taught Tang Wulin as many as time permitted. A prodigy of Tang Wulin's calibre was worthy of inheriting his techniques. The boy possessed the potential to understand metal on a level far deeper than even him.
"You've done well as a blacksmith," Zhen Hua said. "You've already reached the peak of what you can achieve with your current cultivation level and are ready to learn how to forge three-metal alloys and resume your spirit refining practice now. Since your blood essence is so potent, I estimate you'll firmly cement yourself in the sixth rank once you gain your fourth soul ring. When the time comes, I'll personally forge your sixth-rank badge."
"Yes! Thank you, Uncle-master!"
"Your cultivation level is restricting you as a blacksmith right now. However, your soul power foundation is firm. The Tang Sect's Mysterious Heaven Method is indeed an excellent method, but your martial soul is weak and grows slowly. Fortunately, you're still young. Since you've chosen the path of cultivation, I will support you as much as possible. Just remember this: in order to become a Divine Blacksmith, you must become a Titled Douluo. Even if your blood essence grows stronger, it won't be a substitute for the power of a Titled Douluo and you'll never gain the enlightenment necessary to cross the threshold of a Divine Blacksmith. Heaven refining is to understand the mysteries of the universe. Only Titled Douluos can do that.
"That's why when you get back to Shrek Academy, focus on cultivating your soul power. Since your martial soul is bluesilver grass, I suggest you find a place rich in the natural energies of the world to cultivate in. You'll grow much faster in such an environment."
Zhen Hua took out two boxes from his storage ring and handed them to Tang Wulin. One was purple and the other yellow, both about a foot long and wide. "Here are the two spirit items you wanted. Be careful when you use them, they're very potent. Well, with your strength, you shouldn't have any problems." Zhen Hua had spent 10 days teaching Tang Wulin. He had come to understand that the boy was tough, strong enough to rival an adult soul master already.
Tang Wulin stored the two boxes into his storage ring. Excitement stirred within him. As soon as he got back to Shrek Academy and bought the remaining two spirit items from the Tang Sect, he could break the fourth seal!
"I was planning on sending you back myself, but something important came up so I can't do that anymore. Instead, I've arranged an escort for you. They'll take you back to Shrek."
"Thank you, Uncle-master. I've already troubled you enough," Tang Wulin said with heartfelt sincerity.
Zhen Hua rubbed Tang Wulin's head. "Alright, enough of that. If you have any blacksmithing questions, just give me a call."
The person Zhen Hua had arranged to escort Tang Wulin back to Shrek City was the black-grade mecha pilot and captain of Heaven Dou City's 1st Mecha Regiment, Liu An. With his strength and his black mecha, he could even keep a Titled Douluo occupied for a while.
Tang Wulin had learned the basics of mecha piloting at Shrek Academy, but it was his first time being inside a black-grade mecha.
All mecha cockpits had enough space to accommodate two pilots, although only one operated the mecha at a time usually. The second pilot only came into play when they engaged in long distance combat.
Typically, the higher the grade of the mecha, the smaller it was. The standard issue yellow-grade mechas stood over twelve meters tall while the purple-grade were around ten meters. Black-grade mechas were around eight. Red-grade mechas were supposedly no more than six meters tall. In contrast to mechas, battle armor fit snugly to its user without any excess bulk.
Once in the cockpit, Tang Wulin looked around curiously. Liu An had a similar look in his eyes, but his gaze was focused solely on Tang Wulin. This kid's already saved two trains from terrorist attacks. He's saved hundreds of lives and he's from Shrek. His future is limitless.