Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 505
Ten Tons of Star Iron
It didn’t take long for Zhang Yang to jot down Tang Wulin’s basic measurements. Hmm. That’s 174 centimeters and 66 kilograms. Pretty good for his age.
Many things had to be considered in the mecha’s design, including Tang Wulin’s age and build. And the fact that he was still in the middle of puberty. It took a full two hours to adjust the design after taking more specific measurements.
“You’ll need to pay one hundred thousand points as a down payment. If you decide later on that you no longer want a mecha, well tough luck. No refunds. The final design will be done in about ten days. After you go over it and give your approval, bring the materials and we’ll start on your mecha,” Zhang Yang said.
Tang Wulin nodded. He paid the down payment and left.
Once he stepped foot outside the Mecha Association Tang Wulin let out a long sigh. This was his biggest purchase to date. His hands still shook and he locked them together to stop the shaking. But he understood why a mecha was so necessary, so important. He’d be a fortress with both a mecha and a set of battle armor. He’d save a lot of energy this way too. It went without saying that the best battle armor masters eached rocked a mecha.
That was the mindset Tang Wulin must adopt if he wanted to justify the purchase. Buying a mecha simply for transport wasn’t going to cut it. Especially since it used more energy to operate than a car. Still, there was another reason he purchased a mecha. The most important reason. This way, once piloting classes started, Tang Wulin would have his own mecha to practice with. It’d save him money in the long run; otherwise, he would be forced to rent one from Shrek Academy. And the rental added up and wasn’t cheap. After considering that, he decided it was better to just bite the bullet. Buy his own.
Generally, the lower-tier white mechas could be made from simple cast metal and were mass produced. In fact, even yellow-grade mechas contained parts made of cast metal. Tang Wulin naturally refused to stoop to such a level. While he had asked for his mecha to be made with light armor, the thinness of the armor wouldn’t matter if he used thousand refined metals. With his current skill, he could thousand refine the metal needed for an entire mecha in a short ten days.
“You want how much star iron? The hell are you going to do with all that?” blurted Yue Zhengyu, eyes wide as he stared at Tang Wulin.
A sly grin played across Tang Wulin’s face. “You don’t have to worry about that. Just tell me if you have enough or not.”
Yue Zhengyu gulped. “Ten tons of star iron is a lot, you know? That’s over ten million credits of metal.”
“Well, I’ll trade you some spirit alloys for them. I’ve already paid you four of pieces of jade silver, each over eighty-five percent in harmony rate. According to your armor design, you should need seven more. If you get me the star iron, then you won’t have to pay me any money for the remaining pieces of jade silver, and I guarantee to finish them within three months. How about it?”
“Deal!” Yue Zhengyu grabbed Tang Wulin’s hand and forcefully shook it.
On paper, Yue Zhengyu was the loser of the deal. He was already tasked with supplying Tang Wulin the raw materials and now ten tons of star iron on top of that, all for about a dozen pieces of jade silver. But the guarantee of so many pieces over an eighty-five percent harmony rate within three months was well worth the price.
When Yue Zhengyu obtained his fourth ring, he came to an agreement with Yuanen Yehui to help each other craft battle armors. He was sixteen years old, just four years shy of twenty. Even so, he was anxious to become a one-word battle armor master. The more materials he had, the higher his chances of success. Furthermore, jade silver with an eighty-five percent harmony rate could be reforged five times. Failing once or twice wouldn’t be much of an issue.
“I can’t supply you with ten tons immediately. It’ll have to be in batches. I can deliver it all within half a month,” Yue Zhengyu said.
“Sure. No problem.”
“Hey! Wulin, what have you been so busy with lately? I never see you around,” Xie Xie asked, grabbing a halfway-out-the-door Tang Wulin by the sleeve.
Tang Wulin’s schedule had been packed lately and he rarely returned to the dormitory. Xie Xie only managed to see him in class.
Tang Wulin cracked a mysterious smile. “It’s a secret. You’ll find out soon enough though. Oh right. I wanted to remind you guys that the optional mecha piloting classes start next week. It’s two hours long starting every afternoon at three. We need to all learn how to pilot properly.”
Xie Xie narrowed his eyes, taken aback. “What are we learning to pilot for? We’re aiming to become battle armor masters.”
Standing right beside them, Xu Lizhi chimed in, “Wulin’s right. We gotta learn how to pilot. We can use mechas and battle armor at the same time. There’s no reason not to.”
Doubt creeped into Xie XIe’s heart, but he pushed it down and shook his head. “I’m good. I’m an agility-type. It’d be weird to use a mecha. I don’t have the extra energy to invest in it anyway. It’s better for me to just focus on using my speed better.” In the few weeks since classes started, Xie Xie had been training under Liang Xiaoyu every afternoon. He made rapid progress but the exercises exhausted him afterward.
Xu Lizhi goraned. “Man, I feel bad with how little I’m doing compared to you guys. I really gotta put in effort into mecha piloting. Well, it’ll be fine if you don’t learn, Xie Xie. A mecha can seat two people anyway.”
Xie Xie smirked. “Huh? You’re gonna carry me? What a good friend!”
Xu Lizhi shook his head, smirking. “As if. I’ll take Big Sis Xinglan. I don’t think she’s gonna learn how to pilot either.”
“Wow! I can’t believe you’re putting girls before bros!”
Xu Lizhi chuckled. “Well, I’m not the one sweeping the floor, wiping the windows, and drawing water for a girl everyday. A fatty like me has gotta be a bit lazy. Can’t be acting so whipped like a certain someone!”
“You d--n fatty! You trying to start shit? I’ll whoop your ass!” Xie Xie said, shaking his fist.
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but crack a wry smile. “Don’t bully Lizhi. It’s not like anything he said was a lie! And since we’re talking about it, how are things going with you and Yuanen?”
Xie Xie instantly deflated like a balloon. “Nothing is going. She still hasn’t responded to my confession. Jeez. Do you think it’s easy for me to do all those chores for her everyday? I’m working myself to death here.”
Tang Wulin patted Xie Xie on the shoulder. “Just persevere. Who knows what rewards your efforts will bring?”
Xie Xie balled his hands into fists. “That’s not enough. She’s way too strong. There’s no way I’ve got a chance unless I can surpass her. I have to devote myself to getting stronger than her.”
At Xie Xie’s serious expression, Tang Wulin couldn’t help but snicker. “Good luck then.” The gap between Xie XIe and Yuanen Yehui was by no means small.
With the matter settled, Tang Wulin ran off to clear the rest of his daily objectives. His schedule really left no wiggle room. After morning classes, he thousand refined star iron for three hours. Then came dinner and a night of cultivation in a specialized cultivation space. When morning came, he would cultivate his Purple Demon Eyes. Rinse and repeat. It was only natural that his friends rarely saw him.
But Tang Wulin wasn’t the only one in such a rush. The rest of his team were hard at work cultivating and studying too. The first three years at Shrek Academy were always the most stressful.
“What? Why do you need more money?” Tang Wulin asked Zhang Yang, his face sour.
“Junior Brother, you’re too great. You’re actually bring out a pile of thousand refined metal just for a yellow mecha? Don’t you know this is harder to craft with than normal metal? The Mecha Association will be taking a loss if we don’t charge you more. Well, it’ll be fine to build the frame like this, but the most important part are the circuit cores. You’re giving us thousand refined heavy silver to make those. In order to do that, we need to carve inscriptions and whatnot into the metal. But you know that this heavy silver is five times harder than ordinary metals, right? All you need to pay is an extra three hundred thousand points. It’s not that much more,” Zhang Yang said earnestly.
Zhang Yang had been dumbstruck when Tang Wulin took out several tons of thousand refined metals. The armor wouldn’t have to be that thick when constructed from thousand refined star iron, which was among the toughest of metals. A top-tier mecha was guaranteed to be made from such high-quality materials. In fact, such materials would be luxurious even for a purple-grade mecha.
Zhang Yang couldn’t comprehend why Tang Wulin was using such expensive metals just for a yellow-grade mecha. But Tang Wulin’s reasoning was simple: he wanted a durable mecha.
“You really should go for a purple-grade mecha instead,” urged Zhang Yang.
Yet Tang Wulin just laughed. “You’re joking right?” It cost nine million points to commission a purple-grade mecha. Even if he supplied the raw materials, it would still be at least four million. No way he could afford that! To begin with, he didn’t need this mecha for combat. He only planned on using it for practice and getting around. The extra functionality of a purple mecha would be useless to him, and he’d rather just skip to buying a black-grade mecha in the future when he had the money.
A yellow-grade mecha would do in the meantime.