(Forge for me then!)
Didi! Just as he la!d on his bed, Tang Wulin’s soul communicator beeped.
Tang Wulin had nearly forgotten about this matter. As a Soul Master, he didn’t need to buy soul electricity to recharge his batteries. He could simply use his soul power to maintain it.
The communicator displayed a particular number.
“Hello.” Tang Wulin accepted the call.
“What are you doing?” A familiar voice came from the other side of the communicator. When he heard this voice, Tang Wulin immediately grew alert and hastily sat up.
“Teacher.” The owner of the voice was Mang Tian.
“What’s the matter with you? You haven’t completed the second rank mission even after a full week?” Mang Tian harshly said.
Tang Wulin hastily responded, “That’s not it teacher. I’ve just been preoccupied with my training and studies lately. I really haven’t had the time to go to your workshop, but I had planned to go tomorrow – on my rest day.”
Mang Tian went silent for a moment. “You’re only in the first grade, yet you’re already so busy?”
Tang Wulin explained the course of events he had gone through starting from his arrival. As he spoke to Mang Tian, both Zhou Zhangxi and Xie Xie inclined their heads towards Tang Wulin in search of gossip.
“En. Come over tomorrow then. I’m also here now.” Mang Tian hung up after saying these last few words.
“Hey, Tang Wulin. Didn’t you say you have no money? How are you able to afford a soul communicator?” Xie Xie questioned unhappily.
Tang Wulin answered, “This was part of the benefits I gained after I joined the association. I didn’t buy it. I wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise!”
“Association? What association?” Zhou Zhangxi curiously asked. Yun Xiao also turned his head from the side in curiosity.
Needless to say, after a whole week’s worth of physical training, everyone’s bodies revealed a clear change. Since they were Soul Masters, their physical recovery speed was much faster than an ordinary person’s. Ordinary people would be hard pressed to endure such harsh training, but for Soul Masters like them, most would have recovered after a night of meditation.
“The Blacksmith’s Association. My martial soul’s innate talent wasn’t high enough, so I began to learn how to forge at a young age.”
Yun Xiao pensively asked, “Does forging have anything to do with your ridiculous strength?”
Tang Wulin nodded.
Xie Xie said, “A blacksmith; the kind that purifies metal?”
Tang Wulin nodded once again.
“En,” Xie Xie said, “Do well on this path and you’ll have a good future. I remember my father buying a mecha core component that had been Thousand Refined once – it seemed to have been really expensive. How about you purify some metals for me once you reach the Grandmaster rank?”
Tang Wulin inquisitively asked, “You want to become a Mecha Master?”
Xie Xie proudly answered, “Of course. I come from a family of famous Mecha Masters. It’s only natural that I want to become one as well.”
When he spoke these words, both Zhou Zhangxi or Yun Xiao had climbed down from their bunks with their curiosity piqued. For youngsters like them, mechas were the dream.
“Tell me, tell me. What is a real Mecha Master like? What qualifications would a person need to meet?” Zhou Zhangxi urged him on with a childlike wonder befitting his age.
Xie Xie had grown familiar with them these last few days, and no longer had his initial air of arrogance. The atmosphere within their room had now grown harmonious.
“After countless years of development, Soul Mechas have gone from smaller frames to larger then back during the modern era. Despite going through a cycle, their individual strengths have increased by a great deal. A mecha of a powerful Mecha Master would be about the same size as their body. Even with its small size, the amplification effects are huge. With the addition of its fusion with a martial soul, one can become a super solider. Supposedly, the mechas of divine rank Mecha Masters were personally created by their own hands.
Tang Wulin said, “Then doesn’t that mean all divine rank Mecha Masters are blacksmiths?”
Xie Xie rolled his eyes. “Of course they aren’t. When I say create, I meant that the Mecha Master personally inscribed arrays into their mecha so that it’s more compatible with them. Naturally, if they also happen to be skilled in forging, then the compatibility rating would be even higher. So, how high is your forging skill then?”
Tang Wulin hesitated for a moment, but he felt that he couldn’t lie to his friends. He had already considered Xie Xie his friend since the day Xie Xie had stood up to Mu Xi for him.
“I’m just barely able to complete the Thousand Refinements,” Tang Wulin said.
Yun Xiao and Zhou Zhangxie didn’t have much knowledge of forging, but the aristocratic Xie Xie was somewhat aware of details of the field. He asked in astonishment, “Are you saying you’ve already reached the rank of Grandmaster?”
Tang Wulin shook his head. “I haven’t yet. I’m still just a second rank blacksmith.”
“Wow!” Yun Xiao cried in alarm. Although he had little knowledge with regards to forging, he still understood the rankings of professions such as blacksmithing. “You’re only nine years old yet you’ve already reached the second rank in your trade?” It had to be stated that a second rank craftsman was already able to provide for themselves and survive within their association. All of them were still children, but they understood that even if Tang Wulin’s martial soul was just Bluesilver Grass, as a second rank craftsman, his situation was completely different.
There was a qualitative leap between a second rank craftsman and a third rank craftsman. Once one reached the third rank, they would have stepped through the threshold between commoners and the upper class. Moreover, once they reached the fifth rank, they would be considered one of the elites of society, regardless of their trade. At that rank, they would receive the title “Master Craftsman”.
Xie Xie’s eyes spun as he came to a realization and wrapped an arm around Tang Wulin’s neck. “Tang Wulin, we’re brothers aren’t we?”
Tang Wulin unhappily shot a glance at him. “With nothing to offer while hiding evil intentions like that, what are you up to? Just say it directly.”
Xie Xie gave a mischievous laugh, “I’m not up to anything. How about your help me forge mecha components in the future? How about it? I’ll definitely pay you the market price.”
Tang Wulin distrustfully said, “What do you need me for? Can’t you just go to the Blacksmith’s Association and directly issue a request? It would also be at the market price.”
Xie Xie looked at him in amazement. “It seems that you don’t have a good understanding of the blacksmithing industry yet! Do you think that just because a task is issued, it is guaranteed to be taken? There are very few blacksmiths at the Grandmaster rank and above, and the people who are willing to Thousand Refine something are even fewer. Not just anyone can issue a task. In order to switch out all of the old components for Thousand Refined versions for my father’s mecha, it had taken no less than four years! And that was with the good relationship he had with the Blacksmith’s Association.
“You’re able to Thousand Refine things right now; in a few years, you’ll have reached the Grandmaster rank. If you become my personal blacksmith, then wouldn’t I be able to get a full Thousand Refined mecha even sooner? That’s the symbol of a true noble.”
After hearing him speak, both Yun Xiao and Zhou Zhangxi’s eyes lit up.
Tang Wulin helplessly nodded. “Fine. I’ll help you guys once I’ve reached that rank.”
“Good brother!” Xie Xie tightly hugged him before loudly declaring, “From this day forth, Tang Wulin is under the protection of I, Xie Xie. Whoever dares to offend him will answer to my Light Dragon Dagger!”
“Keke,” Yun Xiao coughed out, “You should wait until you can defeat Gu Yue before saying such words.”