Learning to Forge
“Wait a moment.” Tang Ziran called out to Tang Wulin.
“What is it dad?”
Tang Ziran patted the chair beside him. “Come and sit down. Dad has something to discuss with you.”
“Oh.” Tang Wulin went over, sitting beside his father while giving him a suspicious look.
Tang Ziran said, “Son, you chose the path of becoming a Soul Master so dad will support you. However, you must understand that you will face many challenges. This not only includes your studies, but also at home.”
“Once a Soul Master cultivates to rank 10, they will require a soul ring in order to break through. In the distant past, you could obtain a soul ring by hunting soul beasts. However, ten thousand years later, that is now, we have discovered through research that the spirit soul is superior to soul rings. In fact, high level spirit souls can possess the ability to grow, furthermore, they can be artificially manufactured. Thus, spirit souls are equivalent to soul rings. The various ranks of spirit souls can bestow a Soul Master with one or more soul rings. However, for us commoners we can only buy them from the Spirit Pagoda.”
“Dad can’t do anything about this with my meager wage. I make just enough to provide for our household. However, with the addition of Na’er and how much you two eat, dad will be hard pressed to buy even the lowest grade spirit soul for you when you cultivate to rank 10 soul power.
“There are two methods to get a spirit soul from the Spirit Pagoda. The first is to be a genius Soul Master with an exceedingly fast cultivation speed. Those geniuses will be be granted their first spirit soul free of charge. However, it’s clear that your Bluesilver Grass won’t qualify for that opportunity. Therefore, we are left only with the second method of purchasing one.”
Tang Wulin was stunned at his father’s words. He had never considered this problem before. That’s right! Soul Masters required soul rings. soul rings could be obtained from soul beasts or from a spirit soul. Soul beasts were exceedingly rare now, making it very difficult to obtain a high grade soul ring from them. His only option was to purchase one.
As a six year old child his concept of money was still quite faint, yet the issue of money was now forced upon him.
“What should I do then dad?”
Tang Ziran bitterly laughed, “This is the extent of dad’s abilities. In the next few years, dad will work hard to earn enough money to at least help you out a little bit. However, you will still have to rely on your own efforts. Do you still remember Uncle Mang Tian?”
“I remember! Isn’t he the one who visited us before?” The image of a tall rugged middle aged man appeared within Tang Wulin’s mind.
Tang Ziran said, “Your Uncle Mang Tian is an outstanding blacksmith. I’ve told him about our circumstances and he said that he can give you the opportunity to apprentice under him. For two hours everyday, over the next three months, he will teach you. If you can forge some simple things after three months, then you’ll be able to earn some money.”
Tang Wulin’s eyes were shining. “I want to do it Dad. When can I begin?”
Tang Ziran meaningfully looked at him and said, “Forging is a highly difficult profession. Do you truly want to do this?”
Tang Wulin nodded. “I can do it! I’ll earn the money to buy a spirit soul myself.”
Tang Ziran smiled in response. “Good. You can go and try it out then. If it doesn’t suit you, then you can stop.”
“Alright. I’m going to go meditate then dad.”
After Tang Wulin returned to his room, a single drop of a liquid fell upon Tang Ziran’s shoulders. He turned his head around to see his teary eyed wife.
“Wulin is still so young, why did you have to do this? If we live frugally, we should be able to help him save some money for a spirit soul.” Lang Yue said, choking with emotion. She had never gone against/contradicted her husband before, but this time…
Tang Ziran released a sigh. “It truly is too difficult to become a Soul Master with Bluesilver Grass. Blacksmithing is a craft, Lin Lin is still young but he has a strong character. Blacksmithing can be more than just forging metal, it can also serve to temper himself in the process. If he can truly persevere through these hardships, he’ll have another means to make money when he grows up. Furthermore, he can toughen himself up. It truly has too many advantages and no disadvantages for him, you also understand our circumstances. I only fear that one day, we will…. Naturally it would also be great if Lin Lin manages to obtain Mang Tian’s approval, his occupation’s status would be even higher than mine.”
The morning of the next day, after bidding farewell to his mother and Na’er, Tang Wulin hurried to school in high spirits.
After a night of meditation, Tang Wulin felt even more intimate with the Bluesilver Grass. His intimacy was to the point that he gained a courageous and amiable feeling towards it.
Soul Masters didn’t learn about Soul Master topics everyday. Instead, they alternated between Soul Master topics and cultural classes. Today was the cultural classes’ turn.
Tang Wulin was very smart. He listened to the lectures earnestly and even earned words of praise from his cultural teacher.
“Why have you come to pick me up, mom? Where’s Na’er?” After the end of the school day, Tang Wulin was greeted with the sight of Lang Yue.
A thread of regret was present within Lang Yue’s eyes. With quick steps, she walked over and picked up her son.
“Hurry up and let me down mom. I’m already a big kid. You’re embarrassing me in front of my classmates!”
Lang Yue spurted out a laugh, “No matter how big you are, you will always be my son. I’m here to bring you to Uncle Mang Tian. Do you really want to learn blacksmithing?”
Tang Wulin nodded. “That’s right! Dad said that men can only rely on themselves. I want to earn the money for a Spirit Soul on my own.”
Lang Yue put down her son and crouched down in front of him. “Son, if you’re unable to persevere through ten million difficulties, then mom will find some work to help you buy a spirit soul.”
“No, I want to earn the money myself.” Tang Wulin resolutely said.
Lang Yue fought against her own tears, instead, she repeatedly kissed her sons face. “Good. Let’s get going.”
Fundamentally, Glorybound City was large but there wasn’t a need to use vehicles. After walking for approximately 20 minutes, Lang Yue and Tang Wulin arrived in front of a somewhat, large workshop’s door.
The exterior of the workshop seemed somewhat shabby. On top, three words were written,
Mang Tian’s Workshop.”
Even when they were in front of the doors, the smell of metal assaulted their nostrils.
Lang Yue pushed the doorbell, and it was not long before the door opened. Standing in the doorway was a middle-aged man.
The middle-aged man was tall and dark skinned. With his full beard, he appeared somewhat fierce and tough.
“Younger sister has arrived,” his deep voice was low and forceful. Listening to it, Tang Wulin felt a little buzz.
“Uncle Mang Tian,” he politely addressed his uncle, who he had met several times previously.
“En,” Mang Tian expressionlessly nodded. Turning to Lang Yue he said, “Younger sister should return first, you can pick him up two hours later.”
“Big Brother Mang Tian, thank you for your troubles.” Lang Yue, slightly unwilling, parted with her son, taking one last look at him. She had something to say, but in the end she gritted her teeth and restrained herself.