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    Chapter 350


    Yue Zhengyu was taken aback by Tang Wulin’s suggestion. “Really?” Such an offer was definitely in his favor. First-grade thousand refined meteoric iron was one of the best materials he could hope for to make his one-word battle armor, and all the better if it was free!

    True to his word, Tang Wulin retrieved a piece of meteoric iron from his storage ring and handed it over.

    Yue Zhengyu accepted it, inspecting it with a sharp eye. The way light reflected off the metal confirmed it was the real deal, and he gulped as his surprise grew.

    “And here I thought you were a stingy person. I would never have expected you to be so generous! Let’s do as you said and call it even between us. Also, if you make any good stuff in the future…”

    He almost swallowed his tongue as Tang Wulin unbuttoned his shirt, revealing something white beneath. It was a dazzling five-starred badge..


    Yue Zhengyu’s eyes nearly jumped out of their sockets. He pounced on Tang Wulin and ripped open his shirt.

    At that very moment, Xie Xie happened to be passing by Yue Zhengyu’s room, a bucket of water in his arms. His attention strayed to the window, and he caught a glimpse of the scene within.

    Huh? Isn’t that Wulin? What’s he doing in Yue Zhengyu’s room?

    From his perspective, Xie Xie could only see Tang Wulin from behind. Then he nearly yelped in surprise when he saw Yue Zhengyu crash into Tang Wulin and tear his shirt open like a madman. And most shockingly of all, drop his head to a very suspicious level.

    What the hell are they doing?

    Then it hit him like a speeding bullet. N-no way! It couldn’t be…

    “Oi! Just what are you trying to do?” Tang Wulin shoved Yue Zhengyu off of him, recoiling back as he covered himself.

    “Fifth rank? Y-you’re a fifth-rank blacksmith?” Yue Zhengyu could hardly believe it. In the brief moment he had come in contact with the badge, he felt its energy and knew it was a genuine fifth-rank badge forged by a Saint Blacksmith. A scion of the Holy Angel clan, he definitely wouldn’t be wrong about such thing. Not when there were seventh-rank craftsmen in his family.

    For every profession, the fifth rank existed as a great divider that separated peasants from lords. The moment a blacksmith hit the fifth rank, their status increased a hundredfold! At that rank they could forge spirit refined metals, material that served as the foundation of two-word battle armors! But in the face of all this, all Yue Zhengyu could think about was Tang Wulin’s age. Despite being a few years his junior, Tang Wulin had reached the fifth rank!

    This… Yue Zhengyu’s heart lurched, and countless thoughts flooded his mind in an instant. He was certain that Tang Wulin was the youngest fifth-rank blacksmith in history!

    “Yeah, so? If that’s all you wanted to talk about, I’m leaving.” However, just as Tang Wulin turned away, an object fell out of his sleeve.

    Yue Zhengyu’s eyes darted to the object.

    Isn’t that jade silver?

    Meteoric iron was precious, but in no way could it compare to jade silver, an alloy!

    “I-is this a spirit alloy? Yue Zhengyu asked, bending to pick it up. Tang Wulin was a step ahead of him, however, and he snatched it from the floor..

    “D-did you forge that?” The words tumbled out of Yue Zhengyu’s mouth.

    Tang Wulin smiled wryly. “Yes, though it was a fluke. I can’t even remember how many times I failed before I succeeded in forging that. The harmony rate isn’t that great.”

    “How high is it?” Yue Zhengyu asked, suspicious.

    “I don’t know. My teacher just said it isn’t that high.”

    If Mu Chen were present to witness this exchange, he would be struck speechless. Never in a million years would he have guessed that his treasured disciple possessed such a cunning side.

    “Let me have it. I can deliver it to my family and have them check. It’s important to know exactly how high the harmony rate is, you know.””

    “I can just check it at the Blacksmith’s Association,” said Tang Wulin..

    Yue Zhengyu didn’t flinch. “You still don’t trust me?”

    A chuckle escaped from Tang Wulin’s lips. “Alright then.” He handed the jade silver to Yue Zhengyu, departing with a wave goodbye.

    Yue Zhengyu resolved himself as he took in Tang Wulin’s departing figure.

    If he really can forge alloys, then I need to form a relationship with him no matter the cost. It’ll be worth it!

    By the time Tang Wulin was out the door, his face had morphed into a pleased smirk. His charade wasn’t for the sake of teasing Yue Zhengyu, but to manipulate him in an effort to carve out a good relationship between them. Tang Wulin still remembered how haughty Yue Zhengyu had acted the day they first met, throwing his weight around and purchasing a drink shop to get a girl’s number. The Holy Angel clan must be wealthy and influential, a great help in acquiring spirit items he would later need.

    There were eighteen Golden Dragon King seals, each one stronger than the previous. Each required spirit items more expensive than the last to break. Fortunately,Tang Wulin shattered his third seal without paying anything, but the process still required a ten-thousand-year spirit item! He couldn’t rely on luck or the free gifts of others. He had to prepare to buy what he needed himself.

    Only by becoming a great blacksmith could he afford the materials needed to cultivate, break the seals, and preserve his life! Because of this, blacksmithing had crawled its way to the top of his priority list without him realizing.

    Every seal he broke made him more powerful, but poor as he was and struggling to buy the items needed, he feared more for his life. The strength the Golden Dragon King offered him was as dangerous as it was great. Failing to shatter a seal would mean death!

    Tang Wulin couldn’t for the life of him guess what he would need to break the later seals. Just the fourth required spirit items of the two to three-thousand-year level. Perhaps ten-thousand-year spirit items before the ninth seal were in order. But then there was the problem of finding them.

    For now, he had to prepare for the future.

    His stomach wailed midstep. Even if the sky shattered to pieces and fell tomorrow, food always came first!

    Tucked within the shadows, Xie Xie watched Tang Wulin march for the dining hall, face twisted into a grimace. He glanced behind him, zooming in on Yue Zhengyu’s room, gulping. He fled.

    After eating dinner, Tang Wulin returned straight to the working students dormitory. Finished forging for the day, he planned to extend his cultivation period for the night.

    Instead of walking to his room however, he made a detour once he stepped inside, heading for the grove behind the dormitory. It was a quiet place, generally untouched by the hubbub of many people living under the same roof. More often than not, he was the only person there.

    Tang Wulin stood in the center, basking in the tranquility of the forest, silently adjusting his soul power and blood essence.

    Little by little the range of his perception expanded, and he became in every sense of the word aware of the surrounding plants. He could feel the life pulsing from them, their simple emotions. Joy. Anger. Fear. He could feel it all.

    Although bluesilver grass was not strong in the traditional sense, it enabled him to connect the the world of plants. In addition to his increased cultivation speed, his perception range grew in this state as well.

    Not only that, because he was also a fifth-rank blacksmith, which had raised his spiritual power, his senses were especially sharp today. He could hear the murmuring voices of the trees, the gurgling of the blood within his veins. The powerful and rhythmic beat of his heart that pumped the scarlet liquid of life throughout his body.

    Tang Wulin took pleasure in those sensations.

    He slowly swung his hands in circles, a gentle breeze lingering in their wake. Pure white light emitted from them. It was the soul power of the Mysterious Heaven Method, and circles of the same white light formed with the movement of his hands.

    And Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon kicked into action.

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    daniel wiredaniel wire
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    too short @delexzy01 roger on

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    Chapter 351

    The Right Path

    A golden soul ring appeared around Tang Wulin, bathing him in its glow. He activated Golden Dragon Body, and the ring’s glow intensified, enveloping his figure with brilliant light. His aura surged forth blood essence flooded through his body, filling it with strength. Then his hands slowed down, and the flow of his blood essence reversed. He pulled one hand back toward him, then moved both of them along a peculiar path. As he did, his blood essence became more potent, and the golden light around him grew even more radiant. The faint roar of a dragon broke the quiet of the forest. It didn’t come from Tang Wulin’s mouth, but instead resonated from his blood essence. Despite how soft the roar was, its oppressive might was clear.

    It sounded as if a slumbering dragon were awakening.

    Tang Wulin’s hands continued to move slower and slower and the draconic roar grew weaker. After ten minutes, the roar faded into silence and his blood essence returned to normal.

    He let out a long breath, then shook his head. This isn’t how it went!

    Ever since Zhuo Shi showed Tang Wulin Dragon Shocks the Heavens, he had been practicing it every day after dinner. He had determined that his blood essence was the most potent around that time. However, he had yet to succeed in mimicking Zhuo Shi movements even once.

    It was hard for Tang Wulin to control his blood essence. When he practiced, his heartbeat would accelerate, and his blood essence would surge through his meridians, filling them to the brim and straining his body. Despite all the progress he had made thus far, Tang Wulin could only succeed in circulating his blood essence one-third of the way. Even so, he felt his blood essence grow thicker every time, toughening up his meridians, muscles, and viscera. He was certain that this would aid him in breaking future Golden Dragon King seals. The only unfortunate side effect was that his appetite had grown as well.

    It was then that Tang Wulin understood just how much he needed to thank Feng Wuyu. If he hadn’t met that crazy old man, he would still be wracking his brains trying to figure out how to feed himself every day. With that taken care of, he could wholeheartedly throw himself into cultivating and blacksmithing!

    After his blood essence settled, Tang Wulin sat down and began practicing the Mysterious Heaven Method. Cultivating in the forest allowed him to put in half the work for twice the benefits!

    Back in their dorm room, Xie Xie paced back and forth, struggling with indecision. In the end, he resolved himself and walked over to the curtain dividing the room. “Come here for a second, Gu Yue. I have something I need to talk to you about.”

    Gu Yue was usually gone in the afternoons, be it to draft battle armor designs or go to wherever she usually disappeared to, but it was evening now, and she had returned not too long ago.

    “Hm?” Gu Yue answered with suspicion, but got up and walked over to Xie Xie nonetheless.

    “Can I listen too?” Xu Xiaoyan asked.

    “No way,” Xie Xie said firmly.

    Xu Xiaoyan clicked her tongue. “Why are you being so mysterious? I’m going to tell Captain about this when he gets back!”

    Xie Xie followed Gu Yue out of the room. After glancing around for a moment, Xie Xie led her toward a quieter location.

    The nervousness on Xie Xie’s face piqued Gu Yue’s curiosity. He called me out so seriously… Just what does he want to talk about?

    Soon enough, they arrived in a secluded area, and Gu Yue spoke up. “So, what’s going on?”

    “Listen to what I have to say, Gu Yue, but don’t be mad…” Xie Xie said anxiously.

    Gu Yue frowned. “Out with it already! What do I have to be mad about?”

    “It’s like this…” Just as he was about to speak, he looked into her doubtful eyes and deflated like a balloon. “Oh, nevermind. Just forget about it. Let’s head back.”

    He turned around to leave for their dorm room, but Gu Yue grabbed his arm. “Don’t just hum and haw like that. If you have something to say, spit it out. Are you even a man, or were you just pestering me with your chirping?”

    Xie Xie’s mouth twitched. Then he gulped. “Okay, fine. I’ve been thinking about this all day and wasn’t sure if I should tell you, but I’ll just say it. We’re still young, so we still have a lot to look forward to in the future.”

    “What are you on about?” Gu Yue stared at him in complete bewilderment.

    Xie Xie gathered his resolve, his chest puffing out courageously, when he suddenly saw someone enter their dormitory.

    Yuanen Yehui walked by, wearing a male uniform as usual. She saw Xie Xie and Gu Yue, and Xie Xie saw her. She stared at them in surprise.

    “Out with it already!” Gu Yue shouted, growing impatient.

    “Shush! I’ll tell you in a bit.” Xie Xie gestured to Gu Yue, indicating that Yuanen Yehui was present.

    Then Gu Yue saw her and acknowledged her with a nod. Yuanen Yehui responded with a cold nod of her own and left with large strides.

    Xie Xie let out a deep breath, regaining his composure, and moved to whisper into Gu Yue’s ear, but she pushed him away. “You can tell me from over there,” she said.

    “Why do you have to be so difficult!” Xie Xie said grumpily.

    Gu Yue raised an eyebrow. “Who’s the annoying one between the two of us? Are you going to tell me or not?”

    “Fine, fine. I’ll tell you now.” Xie Xie looked around, checking for any eavesdroppers. “Wulin and Yue Zhengyu have an improper relationship with each other!”

    Quite a distance away, Yuanen Yehui was just about to enter her room. Her was hand on the doorknob when her ear suddenly twitched and she went stiff.

    Meanwhile, Gu Yue just stood there in utter stupefaction. She regarded Xie Xie with a blank stare. “What do you mean by ‘improper relationship’?”

    Xie Xie lowered his voice. “Do I really need to explain? It’s exactly as you think. I never expected Captain to swing that way, but he’s still young! I’m sure we can still bring him back to the correct path. If I’m not mistaken, you like him, right? We need to think of a way to fix this. Maybe there’s some remedy for it. If we can’t fix it, then Captain is…”

    Gu Yue took an unsteady step backward. “N-no way! He never showed any signs of that! That’s impossible! Are you sure you’re not just imagining it?”

    Xie Xie grimaced. “I saw Captain in Yue Zhengyu’s room today. Yue Zhengyu tore his clothes from him, and it looked like he was rubbing him somewhere near his stomach. I didn’t see anything more than that, but it was clear to me…”

    Gu Yue immediately went pale. Without another word, she ran like the wind, heading straight for the grove. Left behind, Xie Xie scratched his head awkwardly. He saw where she was running off to, and worry welled up inside of him. He let out a long sigh. “Captain, I’m doing this for your sake. We might be free to do whatever we want here, but if you do that, Gu Yue would just be too pitiful.”

    Gu Yue rushed toward the grove like a mad gale, fully aware that this was where Tang Wulin meditated every day. She was certain that he was there right now. The moment she entered the grove, she found Tang Wulin sitting at its center.

    “Huh?” Tang Wulin cried out in surprise. “Gu Yue?”

    Gu Yue approached him in an instant, grabbed him by the lapels of his shirt, and shook him. “Why? Why are you doing this?”

    The shaking addled Tang Wulin’s brain and it took him a moment to get over his confusion. “What? What did I do?”

    Gu Yue’s lips quivered, her face ghostly white as she stared at him with soulless eyes. “Why do you like men? What’s so good about men? Tell me! Why!”

    Tang Wulin was stunned. “Who told you I like guys? Where’d you get that idea? Gu Yue, why are you thinking about such things at our age? We’re students! Our job is to diligently study and cultivate. Aren’t we working toward becoming battle armor masters? Just what has been going on in that head of yours?”

    His words left her in a daze. “B-but… Xie Xie said you…” Then she suddenly realized something. She was far more familiar with Tang Wulin than Xie Xie was, and she was certain he had never shown any signs of veering toward that path. Realizing the error of her impulsive actions, she blushed a furious crimson. This misunderstanding had caused her to embarrass herself.

    She bit her lower lip, then stammered out what Xie Xie had told her.

    “Xie… Xie…” Tang Wulin seethed with anger. Now that he knew who caused this commotion, he turned toward the dorm and flew off.

    Gu Yue stood there in a daze, watching Tang Wulin leave. After a moment, she couldn’t help but giggle. “His angry face is cute too.”

    Tang Wulin burst through the door to their dorm room, his face a stone mask devoid of emotion. Xie Xie looked up to see who had arrived, concern flashing on his face when he saw that it was Tang Wulin.

    “Captain, did you see Gu Yue?” Xie Xie asked. “She was just looking for you.”

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    Chapter 352

    Tower Attack

    “Yeah, I saw her.” Tang Wulin nodded. “Xie Xie, I really have to thank you for what you did. How about we go out for a moment and you explain what happened? We’re good brothers, aren’t we? There shouldn’t be any misunderstandings between us.”

    Upon hearing Tang Wulin’s words, Xie Xie sighed in relief. He shot up from his bed and followed Tang Wulin outside.

    Just beyond the curtain dividing the room, Xu Xiaoyan stared at the door in confusion. “What happened today? They’re all acting so strange.”

    After closing the door behind them, Tang Wulin headed for a secluded location with Xie Xie in tow.

    “Captain, it’s good that we’re getting this matter out in the open,” Xie Xie said as they walked. “It’s easy to get confused at our age, and Yue Zhengyu isn’t a good guy either. If it weren’t for him, would the misunderstanding between Yuanen and I have occurred? Well, don’t worry! I won’t tell anyone your secret. Actually, I have nothing against you for having that kind of preference, but I still think girls are the best. So, what did you want to tell me?”

    “Yeah, sure.” Tang Wulin replied. “That makes sense.”

    They soon turned a bend, arriving in the forest that separated the working student dormitory and Spirit Ice Plaza.

    Xie Xie wore a carefree smile as he walked over to Tang Wulin and patted him on the shoulder. “You really scared me though! So what happened between you and Yue Zhengyu today? I happened to catch a glimpse of you two while I ran some errands, otherwise I’d still be in the dark…”

    Tang Wulin smiled in response, but it didn’t quite show in his eyes.

    “C-captain, what are you doing?” A shiver ran down Xie Xie’s spine, and he stumbled backward. Fear and suspicion began creeping into his heart. “Hey! Didn’t you say you were going to explain things to me?”

    Tang Wulin cracked his knuckles. “Explain things your ass!”

    “Ah! No! Captain, please! Have mercy!”

    Miserable screams pierced the serenity of night’s embrace.

    Back at the dorm, Gu Yue entered her room and flopped onto her bed. She t----t her face, still flushed crimson, into her blankets.

    “Big Sis Gu Yue, you’re finally finished? What is it that all of you are hiding?” Xu Xiaoyan asked, pouting. “I thought we were friends!”

    Gu Yue glanced at her. “If you don’t know… that’s probably for the best. Where’s Xie Xie?”

    “Captain came back and took him outside to talk. He said he had to explain something to Xie Xie… to clear up some sort of misunderstanding? What’s that all about?” Xu Xiaoyan asked curiously.

    After a moment of hesitation, Gu Yue went over to Xu Xiaoyan and whispered into her ear.

    The longer Xu Xiaoyan listened, the wider her eyes opened. They eventually got to the point where they were almost popping out of their sockets. “N-no way! Xie Xie’s just talking out of his ass! I bet he’s feeling miserable right about now.”

    Gu Yue nodded. “No, not just miserable. He probably regrets being alive at all!”

    Half an hour later, Tang Wulin walked in with Xie Xie slung over his shoulder. He threw Xie Xie onto his bed, snorted, then climbed into his own.

    Silence reigned on the other side of the curtain.

    Xie Xie’s face twitched with pain as he lay on his bed. No bruises or wounds could be seen on his body, but his convulsing limbs betrayed his suffering.

    Then, without warning, Gu Yue’s voice cut through the air.

    “Xie Xie… don’t you need to explain things to me as well?”

    The ice in Gu Yue’s voice made Xie Xie’s eyes open wide. His entire body began to spasm violently, and terror grasped his heart.

    The remainder of the evening passed quietly. The usual chirping of crickets couldn’t be heard. Instead, a constant slap of fist against flesh softly resounded in its place, the calming rhythm lasting well into the night.

    Early the next morning, Gu Yue returned to the dorm just as Tang Wulin and Xu Xiaoyan finished practicing with their Purple Demon Eyes. Her entire being seemed refreshed and free of all pent up stress. She walked over to Tang Wulin and Xu Xiaoyan. “Wulin, I made a few inquiries at the Spirit Pagoda for Xiaoyan and discovered that students at Shrek Academy can get spirit souls by means other than purchasing them. There’s even a way to get higher quality spirit souls. Considering Xiaoyan’s situation, she absolutely has to get a thousand-year spirit soul, but such a spirit soul would cost an astronomically high price and it isn’t even guaranteed that she’ll get one that’s suitable. There’s another method to get spirit souls at the Spirit Pagoda, but it’s much more difficult than simply gathering funds.”

    “Oh? What method is that?” Tang Wulin asked.

    Xu Xiaoyan, on the other hand, stared at the two of them with a strange look on her face. The way they acted, pretending as if the song of pain from last night hadn’t been sung, clearly surprised her.

    “The tower attack,” Gu Yue answered. “The Spirit Pagoda has it set up so that it’s possible to get a thousand-year spirit soul from the tower attack. They built a spirit soul tower with 108 floors and different defense mechanisms on each one. If we conquer a floor, we’ll get the opportunity to purchase the spirit soul found on that floor at a fifty percent discount.

    “There are only two types of people who can do the tower attack: members of the Spirit Pagoda or prodigies that the Spirit Pagoda has bestowed its approval upon. I can help Xiaoyan with getting approved, but I can’t help her clear the tower myself.

    “Since different soul masters need different kinds of spirit souls, and also taking support-type soul masters into account, the Spirit Pagoda allows the tower attack to be done in teams of up to seven people. As a result, the difficulty is also tailored to fit a seven-man team. The first eighteen floors are filled with thousand-year spirit souls, but the strength of those souls increases with every floor. The Spirit Pagoda has populated each floor from the eighteenth to the thirty-sixth with ten-thousand year spirit souls that it has collected over the years. Hundred-thousand-year spirit souls can be found from the thirty-sixth floor onward, and the final nine floors supposedly contain the spirit souls of the strongest soul beasts to ever exist.

    “The Spirit Pagoda only allows soul masters aged thirty or under to participate in the tower attack, so even a member of the Spirit Pagoda like me won’t be able to enter the tower to get spirit souls once they pass the age of thirty. From then on, we’ll have to buy them. I heard that Shrek Academy also has a way to grant spirit souls, but that privilege is reserved for those in the inner court. Right now, our best bet is to gather some people to help Xiaoyan clear the tower. It’ll be a learning experience for us as well. What do you think?”

    “No problem!” Tang Wulin replied instantly. “Of course I’ll help.”

    “Ugh. How come I never knew about something as great as that until now…” a voice groaned from the side of the room, and a person walked over.

    It was Xie Xie, but his face was so bloody and swollen that, if the others hadn’t known him for years, they wouldn’t have been able to recognize him. Tang Wulin had shown him some mercy by avoiding his face when he beat him, but Gu Yue hadn’t been nearly as kind.

    Gu Yue glanced at Xie Xie. “I only found out after coming here. The tower attack is only available here at the headquarters of the Spirit Pagoda, and no other spirit soul tower exists on the continent. Even the Spirit Pagoda’s staff members need to undergo strict audits before they can be approved for entry.”

    Tang Wulin turned to Xu Xiaoyan. “It’s settled then. When do you want to go?”

    “The audits will take several days, so I think our next day off should work,” Gu Yue interjected. “We still need to prepare and find three more people. If we want to get as far up the tower as we can, we’ll need a full team of seven. Wulin, I’ll let you handle the search for more team members. I’m sure you’ll find the best people to join us.”

    “Alright, I’ll go think about who to invite. Are there any specific requirements for our teammates?”

    “Yeah. The ages of everyone on the team have to fall within a range of three years.”

    Tang Wulin furrowed his brow. The first person to pop into his mind was Wu Zhangkong. He knew for a fact that their teacher had yet to turn thirty. If they could bring him, then the first eighteen floors would pose no problem. However, it was clear that the Spirit Pagoda has foreseen such situations and created rules to prevent people from gaming the system.

    “Then we can only invite people from our grade or the second grade.”

    “How about Yuanen Yehui?” Xie Xie flubbed with his swollen face. Tang Wulin looked him in the eye. She’d be a pretty good choice, but… considering how rocky our relationship is at the moment, would she agree to come?

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    Chapter 353

    Ninety-one Percent

    Although Yuanen Yehui only had three soul rings, she was a force to be reckoned with. In fact, with her two great martial souls, the likelihood of her strength surpassing the four-ringed Wu Siduo’s was high.

    “Let me think about it first. If we’re looking for someone from our class, then Wu Siduo, Luo Guixing, Xu Yucheng, and Yang Nianxia each fit the bill. But if we want someone from the second grade, then our choice is cut short to only Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu.”

    This event was a rare opportunity that would be packed full of new experiences. It was set in stone that the four teammates from the original class zero would be going together. For the last three spots on their team, however, Tang Wulin would choose from a pool of six people.

    After mulling it over some more, he was hit with a sudden idea, his eyes lighting up.

    However, he didn’t voice it for now.

    “Captain,” whispered Xu Xiaoyan. “Actually, I don’t really want to ask for help from people in our class.”

    Tang Wulin looked at her in bewilderment. “How come?”

    “Everyone in our class is competing against each other, and at the end of the academic year, ten percent of the class will be expelled. I don’t want to reveal the spirit soul I obtain or my Starwheel Ice Staff so early. Besides, we can do the tower attack whenever we want. I don’t want to put myself in a disadvantageous situation before the end of the term.” Due to Xu Xiaoyan’s weakness in one-on-one combat, she had to be especially prudent, hiding several tricks up her sleeve.

    Tang Wulin nodded. “That makes sense. Then we’re down to only Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu. We’re still missing one person. It’s fine though, I have someone in mind. If he’s up for going, then he’ll be a major asset to our team.”

    “Who is it?” Xu Xiaoyan asked curiously.

    Taking care to look for eavesdroppers, Tang Wulin whispered a name to his companions. As the words left his lips, Xu Xiaoyan’s eyes glistened and Gu Yue and Xie Xie gestured their approval.

    “Alright, now I’ll see if I can persuade Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu.”

    “Mn. Okay.”

    Tang Wulin banged on the door.

    “Who is it?” Yue Zhengyu called out from inside.

    “It’s me!”

    Yue Zhengyu opened the door, still wearing his pajamas, eyes full of sleep. He stifled a yawn. “Why are you bugging me so early in the morning? What do you want?”

    “I have something I want to talk with you about.”

    “Fine. Come on in.” Yue Zhengyu ushered Tang Wulin into his room. The difference between his current attitude and yesterday’s was day and night.

    “So, how did the appraisal go?”

    Yue Zhengyu rolled his eyes. “Just how greedy do you think I am!”

    Tang Wulin chuckled. “What? You’re a scion of the Holy Angel clan. Why would I be afraid of you stealing from poor little me?”

    Yue Zhengyu’s laugh was sharp as a knife. “I see now. Wulin, shouldn’t we be good brothers to each other?” As he said this, he moved to wrap his arm around Tang Wulin’s shoulder.

    Tang Wulin sidestepped in one fluid motion, dodging the incoming physical contact. His plan to reveal his status as a fifth-rank blacksmith yesterday had worked out perfectly, minus Xie Xie getting the wrong idea. With the mishap fresh on his mind, Tang Wulin was desperate not to act in a way that would birth a new misunderstanding. His reputation couldn’t take another hit.

    “If you have something to say, then say it. Don’t go groping me.” Tang Wulin glared.

    Taking a step back, Yue Zhengyu said, “Alright, so it’s like this. I had your jade silver appraised and I found out its harmony rate is really high. Ninety-one percent! Are you sure you’re the one who forged it?”

    Tang Wulin nodded. “Of course.”

    “Then can you forge more metals with the same quality?”

    “How would I know? The harmony rate is affected by my mood that day, the quality of the metal, and all sorts of other tiny factors. Do you have any idea how hard it is to forge spirit alloys?”

    Yue Zhengyu let out a dark laugh. “Of course, of course. That’s good then. I want to order a large batch of jade silver from you, but they must have at least a ninety percent harmony rate. You can set the opening price, contribution points or spirit items, you name it. How does that sound?”

    “You’ll let me set the opening price?” He stared at Yue Zhengyu, eyes wide.

    “Yes, that’s right.”

    “I’ll have to think about this. But even if I do agree, I can’t guarantee success. It’s too hard to forge alloys with above a ninety percent harmony rate. I don’t have the money to buy all the raw materials either.”

    “I’ll supply you with the raw materials.” Yue Zhengyu fired back, flaunting his riches.

    “I’ll trade the spirit item you asked for the other day for your piece of jade silver. I’ll also put down a thousand kilograms each of high-grade heavy silver and magic silver for you to forge into jade silver. But you’ll have to sign a contract that stipulates any pieces above a ninety percent harmony rate will be sold to me. We can discuss a price later. How about it?”

    “Things are a bit more complicated than that,” Tang Wulin countered. “I’ll trade you the jade silver now and we can discuss the price for the future jade silver later on.” Although that piece of jade silver was very valuable, it was only thousand refined. Its price would skyrocket if it were spirit refined. That said, it was about as valuable as the meteoric iron he had sold Yue Zhengyu in the past, definitely worth a two-thousand-year spirit item.

    “Alright, the heavy silver and magic silver will be delivered to you within three days.” Yue Zhengyu said without missing a beat, a twinkling light in his eyes.

    Unknown to Tang Wulin, Yue Zhengyu had his family’s butler test the jade silver immediately the day before. When the results came back as a ninety-one percent harmony rate, the butler could not believe his eyes. Not even their clan’s Saint Blacksmith could forge an alloy with such a high quality!

    Moreover, their clan’s Saint Blacksmith wouldn’t bother to forge for the clan’s younger generation. The Holy Angel clan’s rules were strict, and unless one reached a certain level, the support given by the clan would be very limited. All the children in the clan had to claw their way up by their own efforts.

    As a result of the clan rules, Yue Zhengyu had learned to take full advantage of every resource available to him since childhood.

    The reason he was so interested in the jade silver was because it was highly compatible with his martial soul. Jade silver amplified the elemental and physical attributes, both of which the Holy Angel martial soul was concerned with and balanced. Despite not being a top-grade metal, it was the perfect material to make his two-word battle armor. Of course, that was assuming it was spirit refined.

    The harmony rate of an alloy was significant because for every five percent above sixty, it was possible to reforge the alloy with an additional metal.

    It was common knowledge the more metals an alloy consisted of, the stronger it was, assuming the ratios were correct.

    An alloy with a ninety-one percent harmony rate allowed for six reforging attempts! The success of future reforgings was anyone’s guess, but this piece had six tries to succeed. This was why it was so valuable.

    Jade silver with a sixty percent harmony rate was nowhere near the price of the spirit item Tang Wulin wanted. His jade silver with the ninety-one percent harmony rate, however, was a priceless treasure well worth Yue Zhengyu’s offer, even if it was only thousand refined.

    While Tang Wulin had his schemes, Yue Zhengyu wasn’t sitting around twiddling his thumbs either.

    With the matter settled, Tang Wulin flashed Yue Zhengyu a pleasant smile. “Zhengyu, I need your help with something else. If you agree, I’ll give you the other piece of meteoric iron.” As stingy as he was, Tang Wulin knew how to treat his best clients.

    “What do you need?’ Yue Zhengyu asked.

    “Are you familiar with the Spirit Pagoda’s spirit soul tower?”

    “Of course I know. Are you going to do the tower attack? Aren’t all your soul rings already thousand-year?” Yue Zhengyu asked, puzzled. Since Tang Wulin had a purple spirit soul, he had automatically obtained his third soul ring when he made his breakthrough. For the time being, he had no need for another spirit soul.

    “It’s not for me, but my friend. She’s also a working student and her name’s Xu Xiaoyan. She’s ready to get her third ring, but needs another spirit soul to do so. You’re strong. Will you lend us a hand?”

    “No problem!” Yue Zhengyu answered in delight. “I’ve been wanting to exercise my body.”

    Tang Wulin chuckled. Achieving his goal, he casually tossed the promised piece of meteoric iron to Yue Zhengyu. “I’ve paid you now, so make sure you get me my spirit item. As for the jade silver matter, let me try it out first. We can discuss a price when I actually manage to forge another one of that level.”

    Yue Zhengyu was powerful. Although he wasn’t quite Yuanen Yehui’s match, he didn’t fall too short of her. The Holy Angel martial soul combined high offense, support, and control into one deadly package. The Fallen Angel didn’t lose out to the Holy Angel in terms of offense or control, but wasn’t able to provide support to the vast majority of soul masters.

    After leaving Yue Zhengyu’s room, Tang Wulin glanced at the door leading to Yuanen Yehui’s chambers. In his moment of hesitation,, he decided not to disturb her. Their paths crossed every morning anyway, courtesy of busy student life, and they attended classes in the same building. There was still time to talk to her later

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    daniel wiredaniel wire
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    Buckle up @delexzy01 roger on

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