chummiest robustness

3j2f3 – Dividing the First Grade

Wu Zhangkong was as cold as usual. “Among you, there are designers, makers, mechanics, and blacksmiths. Simply put, these four professions are required to work together to create a mecha. I’m sure you’re all curious why the Academy is teaching you the basics of mecha making. Well, that’s because in order to become a battle armor master, you first have to study the foundation of battle armors: mecha!”

“High-end mecha are about on par with low-end battle armor. The blacksmith forges the metal used, the designer drafts the blueprint, the maker assembles the mecha, and the mechanic decides how long the mecha can be used. The process is no different for battle armor.”

“Now let’s discuss the fundamental principles of mechas…”

Wu Zhangkong began his lecture. However, he didn’t merely cover the basics of mecha making. No, he also discussed how makers worked with blacksmiths, designers, and mechanics. It was a comprehensive lecture.

By the time the morning classes were over, Tang Wulin’s understanding of mechas had grown far more profound.

After counting the students of each profession, they discovered that in their class of 101, only eight were blacksmiths. Moreover, this was reportedly the highest number of blacksmiths in a class in recent years, not to mention the fact that they had blacksmithing geniuses such as Tang Wulin and Yang Nianxia.

The mecha designers numbered the most with thirty-four in total. Mecha makers followed closely behind with thirty-one, and the remainder were mechanics. The three main professions were relatively balanced.

“Class is over. The class council members, stay behind,” Shen Yi announced.

Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, Wu Siduo, and Luo Guixing stayed in their seats.

“Go to each of your respective associations and get their help with registering all the people in your profession. Also, discuss how to divide the rest of the class into groups with an even balance of each profession. We only have eight blacksmiths, so, excluding Tang Wulin, that’s seven you need to distribute. It would be best to create seven groups centered around a blacksmith each. Understand the abilities of the students in your profession and divide them so that the groups are about equal in talent.”

Tang Wulin nodded. The class council received a contribution points allowance, but it didn’t come free of cost!

“Here are the everyone’s school registration forms. On them, the profession and rank of everyone student is recorded. Their martial soul and soul power rank are also listed. You four will have to go over everyone of them and analyze their strengths.”

As the trickle of leaving students finally ended, only Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, Wu Siduo, and Luo Guixing remained in the classroom.

The four flipped through the stack of papers in silence. It wasn’t unusual for Luo Guixing to remain silent, but Tang Wulin caught sight of a rare mysterious smile on his lips occasionally. Tang Wulin couldn’t begin to guess what was going on in Luo Guixing’s mind.

Wu Siduo crossed her arms and gave Tang Wulin a cold glare.

Gu Yue leaned back in her chair with an aura of serenity around her.

“This is our first time working together, so I’ll say a few words.” Tang Wulin flashed a radiant smile at them. As class president, he couldn’t shirk his responsibilities. His post was lofty and his responsibilities were equally as heavy.

“According to Teacher Shen’s instructions, we’ll be dividing everyone into groups centered around the profession with the lowest number of students. Not including me, we have seven blacksmiths. So, we’ll have seven groups with one blacksmith each. I skimmed the papers already and saw that we have five at the second rank, one at the third rank, and one at the first rank. There’s a gap between second and third rank, but it isn’t too major. The difference between first and second rank, however, is gigantic. So in order to be fair, I’ll trouble you three to help me place stronger designers, mechanics, and makers in the first-rank blacksmith’s group. It was pretty clear that Teacher Shen wanted the overall skill level of each group to be equal after all.”

Gu Yue nodded. “I have no problems with that. Designers number the most. With thirty-four, there’ll be six groups with five, and one group with four. The third-rank blacksmith’s group should have the four designers, and I’ll make sure the skill levels are balanced.”

“I don’t have a problem here either,” Luo Guixing said. “It shouldn’t be too hard to distribute them fairly. I’ll get started then. The sooner we finish, the sooner we get off.” He beamed a friendly smiled at Tang Wulin as he spoke.

Wu Siduo simply nodded silently.

The group making wasn’t too hard, and after a while the four finished. It was impossible for every group to be exactly equal in strength, but they got as close as possible.

After they finished, Tang Wulin took the papers in his hands.” Alright. We’re done then. You guys can go home and rest and I’ll go submit the groups to Teacher Shen.”

Luo Guixing smiled. “I’ll trouble class president to do so then.” He stood up and left.

With a grim expression and not exchanging a single word, Wu Siduo stood up and left as well.

After the other two left, Gu Yue’s impassive expression thawed a bit as she shot a glance at Tang Wulin. “Wow, the president is so well respected. None of them accept him yet.”

Tang Wulin revealed a wry smile. “This is normal. Everyone here at Shrek is a genius, so who wouldn’t be proud? I’ll just win them over slowly. If I’m no longer qualified in the future, or someone better comes, then I don’t want to be class president anyway. Well, let’s get going. I’ll go deliver these papers to Teacher Shen first then go back and meditate.”

Although food consumed a large chunk of his contribution points every day, Tang Wulin could clearly feel benefits on his blood essence and the cultivation speed of the Mysterious Heaven Method. Regardless of the circumstances, increased soul power growth was a good thing. He wasn’t too far from breaching rank 30. He understood that his number one priority right now was to gain his third ring, then he would be able to spirit refine and his contribution point worries would vanish. Disregarding the first grade, every student in Shrek Academy was a prospective battle armor master who were always on the prowl for spirit refined metal. Moreover, it was possible to fail at making battle armor. In fact, the higher the quality of the materials used, the higher the chances of failure.

Tang Wulin already had a sneak peak into the benefits of being a high-ranked blacksmith. He knew that once he firmly cemented himself in the fifth-rank, he would have no problems obtaining anything he needed in exchange for his work.

So, his current plan was to reach rank 30 then perfect his spirit refining skills, all while studying mechas and battle armor. He could push combat practice and other things back until later. Goldlight was a thousand-year spirit soul, so he didn’t have to worry about obtaining another one for his third soul ring either.

After accepting the papers, Shen Yi quickly skimmed through them then gave an approving nod. “Excellent. You’ve all worked hard. Tang Wulin, as class president, you will be burdened with many responsibilities in the future. Prepare yourself.”

“Yes.” Tang Wulin understood that the heavier his responsibilities, the more he would learn from them.

Shen Yi carefully watched him. “Shrek Academy has always focused on nurturing well-rounded geniuses, but we also raise specialist geniuses. As a blacksmith, you are blessed by the heavens, but that doesn’t mean you can relax just yet. I heard you were abducted by Elder Feng the other day?”

Tang Wulin forced out a bitter smile and nodded. “You don’t have to worry. I’m a member of Shrek’s Blacksmith’s Association now.” He was at a loss when it came to Feng Wuyu. The man was a true eccentric, but fortunately for Tang Wulin, his teacher would be coming soon. In blacksmithing skill at least, he was confident in his teacher.

“Who said my name?” At that moment, the blazing-red-haired Feng Wuyu walked in.

His eyes lit up when he saw Tang Wulin and he roared with laughter. “I was just looking for you! I sure am lucky to find you so soon. Kid, wait on the side for a bit. I have something to talk with that girl Shen Yi about.”

“Hello, Elder Feng.” Shen Yi had long since stood up and respectfully saluted Feng Wuyu.

Feng Wuyu waved his hand dismissively. “It’s fine, it’s fine. I just have a small matter to talk with you about. It’s about this kid actually. He’s a blacksmithing genius gifted by the heavens, and I want to carefully nurture him. But he won’t accept me as his teacher. What do you think should be done here?”

Shen Yi stared at him, dumbstruck. She sent a look to Wu Zhangkong, pleading for help.

How am I supposed to know what you should do? Am I a blacksmith? No! I can’t force him either!

Wu Zhangkong walked over. “Hello, Elder Feng. As I’m sure you know, we only have the authority to make suggestions regarding our students’ professions. We can’t force anything upon them and it’s up to them to make the choice. Could it be that you’re unable to persuade him?” His expression was as icy as usual, but his words were sharper than ever. The ball was passed right back to Feng Wuyu.

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