Chapter 15 – 10th Rank
A countless number of blue specks of light congregated from all around him, quietly boring into his body and permeating throughout.
Tang Wulin felt as if he was soaking in a blue ocean as countless tiny voices blanketed and called out to him.
The distinctive fragrance of Bluesilver Grass permeated into every cell in his body. The soul power within his dantian took on a warm feeling as it began to unfold.
In Tang Wulin’s perception, everything began to turn a bizarre blue color. The scent of Bluesilver Grass was present everywhere in his body.
Faint golden lines lit up on his forehead with the same pattern as before, extending outwards. After extending all over his skin, the golden lines gradually withdrew.
His body shone as he sat there in meditation. One moment it was a faint blue color and in the next the light shining from his body had traces of gold.
“Lin Lin, Lin Lin… “ Lang Yue’s anxious voice resounded in the streets.
Inside the small garden, Tang Wulin stirred from his cross-legged sitting position and slowly awoke from his meditative state. The morning dew moistened his lapels, but at this very moment he felt an indescribable feeling penetrating throughout his whole body.
“Lin Lin, Lin Lin…” Lang Yue’s distinct voice was heard.
“Mom, I’m over here.” Tang Wulin hurriedly responded as he got off the lawn and ran over.
As he hurried to answered his mother’s call, he could feel that his body was much more relaxed than before.
“You child, why are you out here? You nearly worried me to death.” Lang Yue said sternly as she examined her son.
“I’m sorry mom. I was meditating in the garden. I think I’ve broken through to the 10th rank.” Although Tang Wulin wasn’t sure, the changes in his body indicated that he had most likely had a breakthrough.
Lang Yue gaped at him for a moment before she lowered her head to examine her son. Tang Wulin’s height already reached her shoulders. Although his body was a bit moist, his skin still glistened with the luster of a gem and he was looking to her with a pair of large spirited eyes.
“Listen to mom’s words. Your safety is the most important thing. Let’s go home then. I’ll cook you some breakfast.” Lang Yue kissed his head a few times before she held onto his hand and walked him home.
“You’ve made a breakthrough?” When Tang Ziran found out that his son had made a breakthrough, he was very happy. “Since you think you’ve made a breakthrough, we’ll go to the academy today and test you. If you really have made a breakthrough, then I’ll take you to buy a spirit soul tomorrow.”
“Long live dad!” Tang Wulin cheered.
“Na’er, what’s the matter? Aren’t you happy for big brother?” Tang Wulin was in high spirits, but he discovered that unexpectedly, Na’er was a bit different today. Usually she would gorge herself on breakfast first thing in the morning, but she just sat there with a blank stare today. None of his excitement had rubbed off on her.
“Ah? Nothing’s the matter! Congratulations big brother!” Na’er gave him a sweet smile before digging into her breakfast.
Tang Wulin thought she was down because she didn’t have a martial soul, so he didn’t pursue the topic.
In fact, Tang Wulin’s guess about his breakthrough was correct. After arriving at the academy, he told Teacher Lin Ximeng about his feeling and was then taken to undergo the soul power test. The apparatus displayed that his soul power had indeed reached rank 10.
Every ten soul power ranks, Soul Masters would require a soul ring in order to break through to the next rank. They could kill a soul beast to obtain a soul ring, but soul beasts were too rare nowadays. It was much more common for people to choose the second method, of obtaining a spirit soul manufactured by the Spirit Pagoda.
Tang Wulin was the seventh student in his class to break through. After stepping through the threshold of the 10th rank, he had become a true Soul Master and had taken his first step on this road.
“Tang Wulin, have your family quickly take you to the Spirit Pagoda to buy a spirit soul. Once you’ve fused with a spirit soul, you’ll be a Soul Master. Official Soul Masters are able to receive a stipend of 1000 Federal Coins every month. That should be enough for your tuition fees at an intermediate academy.” Lin Ximeng urged him.
Tang Wulin nodded in excitement. “I already have enough money to buy a spirit soul, Teacher Lin. I’ll go buy one tomorrow.”
Lin Ximeng nodded with a smile. “Good. I’ll request a leave of absence for you tomorrow. I wish you the best of luck in obtaining a satisfactory spirit soul.”
“Thank you, teacher.”
After becoming a Soul Master, he would receive a monthly stipend. Although intermediate academy was compulsory, his monthly stipend of a thousand coins would just barely be enough to pay for his everyday expenses. He would have to leave Glorybound City to attend an intermediate academy. With his monthly stipend, he would no longer need to use his parent’s money. If he was able to cultivate to become a Soul Grandmaster, his monthly stipend would increase even more!
Tang Wulin was elated, step by step he was moving closer to his dream.
If it was any other child, they might not have been able to control their emotions, but Tang Wulin’s heart had grown exceedingly steady after three years of forging. That night, he went to Mang Tian’s workshop and completed his forging assignments. Only after finishing did he go home.
As soon as Tang Ziran received the notification from the academy, he went and requested the next day off, so that he could take Tang Wulin to buy a spirit soul. Lang Yue had requested a day off too, but because there was too much work, her request wasn’t approved.
“Na’er, why are you so lost in thought today?” Tang Wulin gave a puzzled look from the side. “Don’t worry. Even though you don’t have a martial soul, big brother will protect you instead. I’ll protect you for your whole life. All right?” Tang Wulin said as he rubbed her head.
Na’er raised her head and looked at him, revealing clear purple eyes which now displayed a fantastic splendor. “Big brother, can you take me to play on the beach after we eat?”
Tang Wulin turned to look at Tang Ziran.
“Go ahead. Just don’t come back too late.” Tang Ziran smiled.
Although Glorybound City was called a city, it was actually just a very large village. There weren’t any city walls. The commoner’s district where Tang Wulin’s family lived in was exceptionally close to the beach.
It only took a ten minute walk from their home to the beach.
This beach couldn’t be considered pretty as it lacked fine sand. Rather, it was filled with rough, gravel-like sand and shells. Legends said that due to humanity’s excessive hunting of the ocean’s soul beasts, they had attracted the wrath of nature.
The moonlight this night was just as beautiful as the night before as it glittered pure white, like snow. Stars as brilliant as gems were embedded into the canopy of the sky, which complemented the splendor of the moon.
The ocean reflected the radiance of the moon and stars in the sky, as waves constantly surged forth. The sounds of crashing waves and seabirds filled the air, addingextraordinary vitality to this image of the starry sky above the ocean.
Na’er looked out towards the ocean, then looked up towards the stars. “There sure are a lot of stars tonight, big brother!”
Tang Wulin laughed. “Yes! Maybe they’ve all come out tonight to congratulate me on becoming a Soul Master. Na’er, are you sad that you’re unable to become a Soul Master?”
Na’er shook her head. “That’s not it.” After a moment of silence, she turned around and looked into Tang Wulin’s eyes. “Would you miss me if I left one day, big brother?”