conducive libertarian

3r3h2 – Senior Sister is in the Second Grade?

“Are you shocked by how shabby the Blacksmith’s Association branch is here?” Mu Chen asked.

Tang Wulin nodded. “Yeah! Isn’t Shrek the greatest city on the continent? The Blacksmith’s Association branch should be amazing here! So why is it like this…”

“It’s so shabby precisely because this is Shrek City. Everything in this city is controlled by Shrek Academy. You can basically consider the city an independent state. Every trade and profession has an association set up by Shrek Academy. I believe you’ve already joined Shrek Blacksmiths Association? For the sake of not stirring up conflict between our two associations, we only maintain a small branch here. The Shrek Blacksmith’s Association and the Blacksmith’s Association branches you can find everywhere else on the continent are two very different things.”

“So it’s like that. Isn’t Shrek really overbearing then?” Tang Wulin asked.

Mu Chen shook his head. “Shrek isn’t being overbearing. They’re being self-governing. In truth, there are plenty of elites from every profession here, enough to support their associations. So you mentioned that Old Man Feng is looking for you? Did he do anything to you?”

Tang Wulin shook his head. “Elder Feng wanted to take me as his disciple, but I didn’t agree.”

“That old man is a real mad man. He only began blacksmithing in his forties yet he still managed to become a Saint Blacksmith. He has his own unique blacksmithing philosophy, so there’s no harm in you learning from him. If he asks again, you can accept him as your teacher as well. Just make sure he doesn’t force himself to be your only teacher.”

“Huh?” Tang Wulin had never expected Mu Chen to say something like this. “Teacher, I won’t abandon you! Don’t misunderstand.”

Mu Chen waved his hand dismissively. “I’m being serious here. Shrek City is different from other places. It’s not easy to establish yourself here. There’s no doubts about your forging talent, your strength is still lacking. Having a supporter would be good for you. Elder Feng is very powerful and he’s infamous for his fury. But everyone also knows he treats the people at his side exceptionally well. The things that he can teach you can complement the things I teach you. Besides, honestly speaking, I can’t defeat him. If you continue to refuse him, I’m sure he’ll come knocking on my door one day. Rather than that, it’d be better off to just let you have another teacher.” Mu Chen gave a troubled smile.

Naturally, Mu Chen didn’t want to share Tang Wulin with Feng Wuyu. No one would want to share their student after all. However, Tang Wulin would spend many years at Shrek Academy. If he didn’t accept Feng Wuyu as his teacher, it could possibly affect his cultivation in the future and his chances of becoming a Divine Blacksmith. Mu Chen absolutely wanted to avoid this.

So, Mu Chen had come to the decision of sharing Tang Wulin.

“Teacher, I…”

Before Tang Wulin could continue any further, Mu Chen raised a hand to stop him. “Tell me about what happened when you spirit refined. I’m very interested how things went. You’re the first blacksmith in history to spirit refine with only two soul rings.”

“Okay.” Tang Wulin proceeded to retell the events of the entrance exam and how he bore the burden of taking the trial to get Gu Yue admitted. Thanks to that pressure, he managed to pull through and spirit fine.

Mu Chen nodded along as Tang Wulin told his story. When Tang Wulin came to the part about his golden blood essence soul ring, Mu Chen’s face filled with shock.

“Show me that golden soul ring,” Mu Chen said.

“Understood!” Tang Wulin summoned the ring.

“It really is different than a normal soul ring. I can’t believe this is actually possible. I’ve never heard of something like this.” Mu Chen was in awe as he examined the energy emitted by the golden soul ring. He was an eighth-rank Saint Blacksmith and an eight-ringed Soul Douluo, and though he did not excel in combat, he did have a vast wealth of knowledge regarding martial souls in his brain. Even after racking his brains, he could not recall anything like this golden soul ring. It utterly different from an ordinary soul ring.

“No wonder you managed to spirit refine. It was all thanks to this peculiar soul ring.” Mu Chen nodded to himself. “When you get your third soul ring, immediately come find me. I want to watch you spirit refine.”

“Understood, Teacher. Oh right, I have something I want to consult you about.” Tang Wulin proceeded to explain the plans of his group to make battle armor.

Tang Wulin was convinced that Mu Chen, as a Saint Blacksmith, had definitely produced many metals for battle armor before, so he would be experienced with making battle armor.

“You group’s thinking is great.” Mu Chen gave a nod of approval. “The earlier you get experience with battle armor, the easier it’ll be to make powerful battle armor in the future.”

“Battle armor is split into four levels, and the difficulty to make it increases exponentially with each level after the first. Let me remind you, while there may not be any problem with you forging metal for a one-word battle armor, you can’t neglect the later processes. You have to participate in the designing, the making, and the fine-tuning of the battle armor. Once it comes time for higher level battle armor, in addition to forging the metal, you’ll have to consider the design, the making, and all sorts of things yourself. There’s a saying among us blacksmiths: ‘Half of the quality of a battle armor is determined by the blacksmith.’ So, the best blacksmiths are well acquainted with all parts of the battle armor creation process. The deeper your understanding of the battle armor that is to be made, the better you can forge the metal to be used for it.”

“Understood.”

Mu Chen’s advice cleared many doubts from the back of Tang Wulin’s mind. Although he was only responsible for forging the metal for the battle armor, he understood now that becoming familiar with the entire battle armor crafting process would be beneficial to him as a blacksmith! The battle armor crafting process shared many similarities with refining metal. The best refined metals were suitable for the battle armor they would be used in, and it was the blacksmith’s responsibility to forge it so.

Currently, the forging part of creating battle armor was the least problematic for his group. So, what Tang Wulin had to do now was quickly begin and forge his best products to lower the burden on his groupmates. His efforts would affect the making portion the most. With this in mind, Tang Wulin’s confidence soared.

“Mu Xi is also joining you at Shrek.” Mu Chen’s words stunned Tang Wulin.

“Senior sister is also attending Shrek Academy?” Tang Wulin gawked at Mu Xi.

Mu Xi glared at him. “Got a problem? Just because you joined Shrek, does that mean I can’t join as well?”

“O-of course you can. Senior sister is a once-in-a-generation genius! I’m just surprised. Senior sister didn’t directly enter the inner court?” Tang Wulin teased.

Mu Xi batted her eyelids. “It’s only been a few days since you left yet you’ve already become so glib. Do you use that sly tongue of yours on other girls too?”

Her words left him dumbstruck. Not even Mu Chen had any response to his daughter’s astonishing jab.

Mu Xi was older than Tang Wulin by four years, and she was seventeen this year. Because of the age gap, Mu Chen had never thought anything of Mu Xi and Tang Wulin’s relationship. Now, however, he was beginning to reconsider.

After a moment of silence, Mu Xi also realized her mistake. She snorted to break the silence. “I’m just worried that you’re not working hard. You have to properly study now that you’re in Shrek. Studying is the most important thing for a student, got it?”

“Yes, senior sister. Do you know what class you’ll be joining?”

“Little Xi got in as a special exception for her talent using the designated quota for the Blacksmith’s Association,” Mu Chen stepped in to explain. “She should be directly entering the second grade. While she might be a bit older than her classmates, she’s still within the acceptable range for Shrek. You two need to take care of each other at school in the future.”

“Understood, Teacher.”

The second grade? Then isn’t senior sister in the same class as Yuanen Yehui and Yue Zhengyu?

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