unmarked comrade

3e2v2 – Everyone Schemes

Tang Wulin smiled. “It’s just as you say. This is first-grade thousand refined meteoric iron. You should know how high-quality it is, but because of its arrogance, it can’t be imbued with life. So, it’s limit is first-grade thousand refined. But it’s still the best material for a mecha or one-word battle armor. If you’re interested, then make me an offer.”

Indeed, the metal in his hands were the two chunks of meteoric iron he had obtained from Feng Wuyu. He could sell them to Yuanen, but they had an amicable relationship and he couldn’t gouge him for a high price. Meteoric iron was rare and possesed amazing qualities. Furthermore, these two pieces were first-grade thousand refined, so they were comparable with spirit refined metals. He would be ashamed if he couldn’t sell these two pieces for a high price! He couldn’t possibly miss out on a single contribution point. Those points would soon add up into his expensive meals after all.

“State your price,” Yue Zhengyu said.

With a flip of Tang Wulin’s hands, the two metals disappeared. “I guess you’re not that interested then.” Tang Wulin turned around to leave.

“Hey! Hold on a second! How can you be so impatient?” Yue Zhengyu hastily called out.

For people at their age and cultivation level, their number one priority was becoming a one-word battle armor master. Moreover, top quality metal was in high demand here at Shrek Academy, and it was a miracle for meteoric iron to even be put on sale!

“I don’t have too many points,” Yue Zhengyu said helplessly. “I just resumed my studies here at the Academy, so I have a lot of money but few points. I haven’t started earning points yet, and we both know it’s impossible to buy points with money. How about I just directly pay you with money?”

Tang Wulin’s pulse quickened at the thought of money, but he shook his head. “No. I’ll only accept contribution points or spirit items.”

“Spirit items? What spirit items do you want?” Yue Zhengyu asked.

“I want a thousand-year Earth Dragon Crystal, a thousand-year Ice Essence, a thousand-year Dragon Spiritgrass, and a thousand-year Longevity Grass.”

“Are you a bandit? That’s robbery!” Yue Zhengyu huffed. “Do you think I’m an idiot? The total value of those four spirit items is way higher than that of your two pieces of meteoric iron. Thousand-year Longevity Grass is already way rarer than meteoric iron. It can extend longevity, you know? You can search as hard as you want, but it’ll be a miracle if you find it for sale. Anyone who eats a thousand-year Longevity Grass will have their life extended by five years! If you are lucky enough to find it, the price is astronomical! No deal. You’re asking for too much. At beast, I can get you two of the four spirit items.”

“Two?” Tang Wulin was taken aback. In the end, however, a smile blossomed on his lips. “Alright. We’re both working students sto I understand how hard things are for us. Two is fine. Then I want a thousand-year Longevity Grass and a thousand-year Dragon Spiritgrass. Can you do that?”

Yue Zhengyu rolled his eyes. “Tell me how you got these two pieces of meteoric iron first.”

Tang Wulin didn’t hide anything. He explained how he was abducted by Feng Wuyu, forced to thousand refine some metal, and successfully thousand refined these two pieces of meteoric iron.

“So you’re telling me you first-grade thousand refined these two pieces yourself? And at the same time?” Yue Zhengyu’s eyes sparkled as he asked.

Tang Wulin nodded. “There’s no point for me to lie about it. If you don’t believe me, then just ask Elder Feng. Here, take a look at my fourth-rank blacksmith’s badge.” He handed over his badge.

Yue Zhengyu carefully accepted the badge in his hands. After a moment of inspection, he nodded. “Yeah. This badge is definitely real. Alright. You’ve got a deal then. I’ll get you a thousand-year Longevity Grass and a thousand-year Dragon Spiritgrass. It’ll take me about a week to get them, so don’t you dare sell those two pieces of meteoric iron in the meantime!”

“It’s settled then.” Tang Wulin held out his hand. Yue ZHengyu accepted and the two shook hands.

As Tang Wulin left Yue Zhengyu’s room, he revealed a fox-like expression. He had originally only aimed for one spirit item, and wasn’t hopeful to get it. Although meteoric iron was valuable, it was just a bit rarer than other metals and couldn’t hope to compare with spirit items in rarity or price. According to Tang Wulin’s estimates, each piece of his meteoric iron was worth about two or three million federal coins. So, the two were worth about five or six million in total.

Every single one of the listed spirit items was necessary for breaking his third seal, and any one of them alone was well worth more than six million federal coins. Yue Zhengyu had been right about Longevity Grass. It was extremely rare and there were few opportunities to buy it. Money was important, but life was more important. Throughout the ages, lifespan increasing spirit items were always the most expensive.

So, Tang Wulin had fought to contain a grin when Yue Zhengyu offered to pay with two spirit items.

For the previous seal, he had just barely been able to buy the four required spirit items afters scrounging up money for three years straight. But now, he was already halfway done for the third seal!

With this stroke of luck, he would be able to relax and focus his efforts on cultivation for a while.

However, he didn’t see Yue Zhengyu’s expression after he left. Yue Zhengyu revealed a similarly sly smile as if he was a fox.

“Working students really are geniuses! He’s has to be at the peak of the fourth rank to first-grade thousand refine! I’ll butter him up now and make him feel like he’s in the superior position, then he’ll give priority to my requests in the future! My clan doesn’t lack in money nor spirit items anyway.” He mischievously laughed. “That guy’s only about thirteen years old too. I’ve never heard of a fourth-rank blacksmith so young. Moreover, he’s at the peak of the fourth rank! I have to create a firm connection with him!”

In Yue Zhengyu’s view, not just anyone could act like a rich man. A rich man had to be knowledgeable. By suffering a loss now and giving Tang Wulin the illusion that he had the upper hand in their relationship, he would become one of Tang Wulin’s favorite customers! For the rich, networking was far more important than money, and fledgling businessmen couldn’t hope to compare with the networks of people from old money.

The chances of treasure falling into old money’s hand was far higher than those of new money. The reason was simple: established businessmen could leverage their connections for access to treasures!

Tang Wulin mistake had been limiting himself to only considering the market price of meteoric iron. He had failed to consider his value as a blacksmith prodigy. Yue Zhengyu had eyes for the future, and acted to create a favorable relationship. No matter how one thought of it, Yue Zhengyu had been cheated in their deal, but he still came out ahead!

“Before I start teaching today, I want to say two things. First, for the council representatives, count the number of people in your profession after class today and have them register for the appropriate association. If anyone is reluctant, it’s fine to not join. But they will receive preferential treatment if they do join. You will also need the backing of the associations to progress in your profession, otherwise you’ll have to pay for the costs yourself. Naturally, the price is in contribution points.”

Shen Yi declared the class council’s job from the lectern.

“Secondly, Wu Zhangkong will be teaching class today.” Shen Yi nodded to Wu Zhangkong, then offered her position at the lectern to him.

Teacher Wu! Tang Wulin subconsciously straightened his posture.

Once Wu Zhangkong ascended to the lectern, he swept his icy gaze through the whole class. The entire lecture theater/s temperature seemed to drop and everyone’s focus seemed to sharpen.

“Today is the first day classes start officially. The curriculum here will be nothing like what you learned at your old academies. For any questions about your martial souls or what cultivation path to take, you may ask Teacher Shen or I after class. In today’s class, we will be going over the basics of mecha making.”

Mecha making? Tang Wulin stared blankly at Wu Zhangkong. Teacher Wu, why are you teaching us about mecha making? Aren’t we working to become battle armor masters?

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