Chapter 10 – I will protect you in the future
The qualifications of a genius naturally differed depending on a person’s age.
A six year old child who was able to swing a metal hammer a thousand times, he was absolutely worthy of being called a genius.
However, Mang Tian didn’t tell him to stop. Instead, he stood to the side and silently watched Tang Wulin continue hammering.
His movements were direct, and powerful. However, there wasn’t any mitigation of the rebounding force in his technique, all of it was taken in by his arms.
Fifty times, eighty times, one hundred times.
Sweat began pouring forth once again and the aching he felt now far surpassed the aching from before. Both of his arms heated up. Each time he exerted himself, his scalp began to swell. However, Tang Wulin still continued to grit his teeth and bear the pain as he never stopped hammering.
After hammering it 150 times, Tang Wulin’s body began to sway. His vision was hazy, both of his arms were swollen and aching to the point that they felt foreign to him, yet he continued to persevere with clenched teeth.
I can persevere. I can overcome this test. I am a man. Perseverance will lead to victory.
Tang Wulin couldn’t even count the number of times he had swung the hammer when Mang Tian finally called for him to stop. If Mang Tian hadn’t supported him, he would have collapsed onto the floor.
As he took the hammer from his hands, Mang Tian clearly saw Tang Wulin’s hands had been worn out by the hammer and had became swollen.
The fierce blacksmithing master was finally moved. It was not only due to Tang Wulin’s innate talents, but his perseverance too.
His strength could still be trained later, but for such an unwavering determination to appear in a six year old child, it was truly too precious.
“You two have raised a good child. I’ll accept him as my disciple. From tomorrow onwards, have him come over everyday at the same time as today. Once you’re home, smear this ointment on his arms.” When Lang Yue came to pick up Tang Wulin, she was greeted with Mang Tian’s gentle expression as he passed over a bottle of ointment.
After an hour of rest, Tang Wulin had already regained his vigor. It was just that his arms ached too much to raise them.
Mang Tian’s explanation of forging still lingered in his mind.
“What is forging? Forging and casting are entirely different. Casting only requires a mold, and afterwards, the use of machinery to grind out the desired shape. That is casting. As for forging, it requires a blacksmith to personally hammer the metal from start to finish. Of course, you could use a machine to pound the metal and forge it, but metal is a living thing. A machine will never be able to grasp the veins of the metal. Thus, all first-rate machine components were forged by a blacksmith. A good blacksmith is a true craftsman that possesses a status no less than that of a Spirit Master.”
Spirit Master and Machine Master, those were the dreams of all young boys.
“Ouch.” Tang Wulin cried out in pain when Lang Yue pulled on his hand.
It was only then that Lang Yue discovered the wound on her son’s palm.
“Heavens! He, he did this to you?” Tears were streaming down from her eyes. She had never expected that her son would suffer so much in only two hours.
Tang Wulin shook his head and replied, “He didn’t do anything! Uncle Mang Tian tested me and I passed. Aren’t I strong mom? Don’t cry! It doesn’t hurt.”
“Let’s go home.” Lang Yue said as she wiped her tears away with eyes full of sorrow.
“There’s really nothing wrong mom. In fact, I’m really happy. I passed Uncle Mang Tian’s test. Aren’t you happy for me? Isn’t this the sense of achievement that dad talked about?”
“I’m happy, I’m really happy.” Lang Yue patted her son’s head and once more, glistening teardrops appeared in her eyes.
As soon as they returned home and crossed the doorway, Tang Wulin saw Na’er sitting to the side. With a bounce, he immediately ran over to her while Lang Yue went to the kitchen to cook dinner.
“Na’er, did you know? I passed Uncle Mang Tian’s test today so I can learn how to forge from him now. Wait for big brother to earn some money with forging, then I can save money to buy a spirit soul. I can also buy food for you….” With the temperament of a child, he had already forgotten the pain in his arms as he spoke of his accomplishment to Na’er.
Na’er earnestly listened, but her eyes occasionally revealed a trace of blankness.
“Na’er, you really don’t remember anything about your family?” After he finished talking about his accomplishment, he asked the question which had been lurking in his mind.
Na’er shook her head. “I really don’t remember. I only remember that my name is Na’er. Everything else is fuzzy. Big Brother Lin, am I stupid?”
Tang Wulin hastily replied, “No. Of course you’re not stupid, Na’er. It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember. This is your home now. My mom and dad are your mom and dad. You’re my little sister.”
Na’er stared at him, as she gradually revealed a sweet smile. This was the first time she had smiled since she had came to their house.
“Wow! Your smile is really pretty, Na’er. I’ll tell you a secret then; big brother will work hard to become a Soul Master, then I’ll be able to protect you in the future. All right?”
When Tang Ziran returned, dinner was already prepared.
“Zi Ran, come with me. Go ahead and eat first, children.” With a serene appearance, Lang Yue shot a glance at Tang Ziran before heading to their room.
Tang Ziran distractedly looked at his son with an inquiring look. In return, Tang Wulin shrugged, indicating that he didn’t know what’s going on with his mother either.
Tang Ziran hastily followed Lang Yue into their room, then Lang Yue closed the door.
“We’ll eat first, Na’er. Aren’t you hungry?” Accounting for how many snacks they had eaten before, Lang Yue made sure to cook lots of food today.
Na’er clearly had no resistance when it came to eating. She nodded and began to eat heartily.
After she ate for a while, she noticed that Tang Wulin wasn’t acting the same as the day before. She raised her head and looked at him, and discovered that he was miserably turning and twisting his body with a pained face.
“Big brother, what’s wrong?” Na’er crisply asked.
“My arms are really sore after my test. I can’t raise them at all.” Tang Wulin had been unusually hungry lately; with the addition of his work after school, one can only imagine his longing for food now…
Na’er blinked a few times. “I’ll feed you then.”
“Yes! Alright!” Tang Wulin said in exultation.
With shaky movements, Na’er clumsily fed Tang Wulin one spoonful after another.
Two children, one six years old and the other five and a half years old, enjoyed each other’s company with the naivety of youth. In this small house, the atmosphere made the lights appear gentler as well.
“Na’er, You’re the best”