Chapter 206 - Believe in Me!
Tang Wulin said, “Actually, I’m not completely sure either. But if you believe in me, I’ll definitely succeed in making you the champion.”
Mu Xi stared at him in astonishment. “You really want to help me win?”
A smile appeared on Tang Wulin’s lips. “I’ve already broken a record; if I don’t get out of the limelight, teacher is going to punish me when I return. Besides, didn’t you say you would give me the first place prize? You know how much I love money. If you take first place and I take second, then I’ll get both prizes and complete teacher’s assignment. It’s a win-win!”
Mu Xi wasn’t convinced. “I’m your rival. There’s no way I can believe you! Hmph!” She hastened her pace.
Unseen by Tang Wulin, Mu Xi’s expression depicted warring emotions, as turbulent as a monsoon.
Ever since she met Tang Wulin, she would always pick on him for some reason. Later, she realized her actions stemmed from jealousy.
In the blacksmithing world, Mu Xi was heralded as a proud girl sent from the heavens. That being said, Tang Wulin’s appearance threatened her position, forcing her to see him as a rival. In the end, however, she was unable to compete with Tang Wulin.
Whenever she drummed up the courage to challenge Tang Wulin to a blacksmithing duel, his astounding progress made her lose her confidence.
Yet no matter how bruised her ego became, Mu Xi strived harder and harder, until her past self was incomparable with her present self. Even so, the distance between Mu Xi and Tang Wulin continued to widen. When Tang Wulin was promoted to a fourth-rank blacksmith, she could finally relinquish her jealousy. In this world there were geniuses that an ordinary person like her could never hope to match, regardless of how much effort was invested. She understood this now. With this realization, Mu Xi’s heart grew calm and she was able face their relationship.
Mu Chen had urged her repeatedly to maintain a good relationship with Tang Wulin. Now that she let go of her envy, she found that he wasn’t as loathsome as she thought. The distance between the two gradually faded away and her attitude toward Tang Wulin gradually improved.
However, she did not expect Tang Wulin to return the favor so quickly by helping her win the competition. Unaware of Tang Wulin’s two-faced nature, Mu Xi thought the ten-year-old’s words were ninety-nine percent serious! Nevertheless, she was the senior disciple sister here! Although Tang Wulin wanted to cede first place to her, it was only right that she cede it to him.
For this reason, she chose to decline. It was unconscionable to deprive him of his deserved glory.
Mind in a haze, she heaved a long sigh after entering the competition grounds. Junior disciple brother, I hope you can reach even greater heights. One day, you’ll definitely become an amazing blacksmith like dad.
“Senior disciple sister, here.”
Tang Wulin’s voice halted her depressing train of thought. He had appeared in front of her and held out a chunk of heavy silver.
“You…” Mu Xi stared at him, dumbfounded.
Tang Wulin said seriously, “Senior disciple sister, please believe in me. If you acknowledge me as your junior disciple brother, then trust me.”
How could Mu Xi not believe in him now? “Wulin, I…”
Tang Wulin stepped forward, hugging her. “Senior disciple sister, believe in me.” Despite standing half a head shorter than her and holding a piece metal in his hand, Tang Wulin calmed her and blew away her hesitations with his embrace.
He released her a moment later, picking up a metal ingot. Meanwhile, Zheng Tianlin was staring at Tang Wulin from the distance. His stupefied expression grew dark. Though not in the same division, they still entered the competition grounds together.
That little brat hugged Mu Xi? And she didn’t fight back at all? What’s their relationship?
Jealousy stabbed his heart.
Tang Wulin soon returned with a nearly identical piece of heavy silver. He smiled at Mu Xi, showing off his pearly whites, before heading to the forging tables.
Mu Xi had no choice but to follow him. Her previous anxiety was now replaced with calm and curiosity. Just what is Tang Wulin up to? Why did he tell me to pick heavy silver? And why did he choose it as well?
Tang Wulin placed the heavy silver onto the forging table, before calcining it. This was the required basic preparatory process.
Not everyone chose the highest quality metal they could. The higher the metal’s grade, the harder it would be to forge, thus awarding more points in its success. This encouraged competitors to balance the metal’s difficulty with their proficiency in refining it..Therefore, no one thought much of Tang Wulin and Mu Xi picking heavy silver.
Mu Xi echoed Tang Wulin’s actions and began calcining the heavy silver. A moment later, she whispered to Tang Wulin, “So just what’s your plan, Wulin?”
Tang Wulin’s whispered response could barely be heard. “Senior disciple sister, when the competition begins, just follow my rhythm. We’ll forge together. Heavy silver is the steadiest and sturdiest of the mid-grade metals. We’ll forge in sync and you can just follow along, understanding it as you go. As long as you follow my rhythm, there shouldn’t be any problems.”
Mu Xi didn’t understand completely. What does he mean by ‘follow’ him?
“The second round of the Skysea Alliance Tournament’s blacksmith’s competition is about to begin. Please finish your preparations, competitors. Only thirty percent of the initial participants remain. I hope you all treasure this opportunity and display all of your forging ability,” The official in charge of the competition declared.
Passing the first round would guarantee entrance to the second and third rounds. The final rankings would be decided by the sum of those scores.
With rapt attention, the participants stared at their forging table.
The foundation of every blacksmith’s skills was an unrelenting focus. Those who had passed the first round demonstrated a satisfactory level of this.
Tang Wulin was no exception. His concentration could not be broken and he forged as if he were in his own world. As Mu Xi watched him, she felt that Tang Wulin’s breathing and mental state existed in its own rhythm, like the personal beat of one’s heart. It was as if his entire being melded with the forging table, blurring the lines between the two.
Sure enough, there’s no way someone father recognizes as a genius is an ordinary person! Mu Xi exclaimed in her thoughts. She could feel Tang Wulin’s sheer talent for forging, crashing into her like a tidal wave. The source of his talent wasn’t something as simple as possessing innate divine strength.
“Ten, nine, eight…”
The countdown began.
“Three, two, one, begin!”
In one full sweep, blazing scarlet chunks of metal rose to the surface of all of the blacksmiths’ forging tables, signaling the start of the second round.
Atop the stage, numerous officials swept their gaze over the myriad of tables. At the same time, the white-haired old man at the center singled out Tang Wulin from the crowd.
“Is that the brat from yesterday?” The old man pointed at Tang Wulin.
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