Chapter 25 – Thousand Refinements
“Did you see it? My first soul skill is Knife Tip. I even spent an extra 10,000 Federal Coins to invite a Spirit Master over to help me pick this spirit soul! Since this spirit soul is also a knife, it directly complements my martial soul! My Knife Tip will conquer all!”
Tang Wulin furrowed his eyebrows, “Why are you so full of nonsense.”
Wan Yunchao glared at him, “At this point in time you’re still saying I’m full of crap? Since I’m worried I’d hurt you, just hurry up and admit defeat. I’ll let you off this time. If you don’t, my Knife Tip will not spare you any mercy.” As Wan Yunchao said this, he flicked his wrist and a knife tip shot out towards a sapling’s trunk. It was as wide as a bowl, but was still instantly cut down.
Tang Wulin stared at him disdainfully, “Plants are also living creatures, why did you cut that sapling for no reason?”
Wan Yunchao was going to open his mouth and reply when he saw that similarly, a white ring had materialized around Tang Wulin’s legs. Vine after vine of Bluesilver Grass grew simultaneously from the palm of his hand.
Those slender vines of Bluesilver Grass however, did not rush directly at Wan Yunchao. Their ends were instead suspended mid air around Tang Wulin. Moments later, ear piercing screams could be heard echoing out from the small forest.
Pa! Pa! Pa!
“Aiyou! It hurts! Tang Wulin, you are shameless! If you have the ability to do so, come closer and fight me!”
Pa! Pa! Pa!
“Aiyou! Aiyou! I surrender! Can I please surrender? How could you even use your Bluesilver Grass in such a fashion?”
When the two individuals left the forest, out of the two it was Wan Yunchao who looked the most pathetic. His entire body was riddled with numerous lash marks.
Tang Wulin was still incapable of fully controlling his Bluesilver Grass. He had spent all those days searching for Na’er, to the point where he had even neglected part of his meditation. This did not influence the whipping aspect of his control however, when he used it to attack Wan Yunchao.
Both of them were still kids, thus they did not know any battle techniques. That inch thick Bluesilver Grass proved how tenacious it was. Since Wan Yunchao’s short knife and Knife Tip could not attack from a distance and he had no knowledge of any other battle techniques, the result was obvious.
“Why? Why did it turn out like this? With a soul skill, I should have been able to beat you!” Wan Yunchao shouted indignantly at Tang Wulin who was currently supporting him.
Tang Wulin replied angrily, “Teacher Lin had already said it before; your martial soul is well suited for melee battles. Thus it is well suited for the path of the agility attack system. However, you’re so fat. How could you possibly be agile?”
Wan Yunchao had an unconvinced expression on his face as he asked, “Then why was it that when my Knife Tip attempted to hack your Bluesilver Grass apart, it was unable to do so?”
Tang Wulin replied, “Well this is my Bluesilver Grass’s specialty; so long as my soul power is not depleted, you cannot hack it apart.”
Wan Yunchao looked up to the skies and bellowed, “I WILL LOSE WEIGHT! I WILL BECOME AN AGILITY ATTACKER!”
“What are you going to eat tonight?”
“I think….. it should be pork shoulder”
After sending the lightly injured Wan Yunchao back home, Tang Wulin rushed over to Mang Tian’s workshop.
What surprised him was that Mang Tian was already waiting for him inside.
“Teacher.” Tang Wulin respectfully addressed Mang Tian. Ever since he knew that his teacher was a 40thranked Soul Ancestor expert, he had even greater respect for him.
Mang Tian nodded his head and asked, “So have you graduated?”
Tang Wulin replied, “Yes. I have graduated.”
Mang Tian then asked, “Will you have to go to the Intermediate Soul Academy in Eastsea City?”
“Yes! I was planning to tell you. Once I go to Eastsea City to study, I will not be able to continue learning how to forge from you.” Tang Wulin replied.
Mang Tian gave an unenthusiastic reply, “Just because I like this place for its peacefulness does not mean I won’t leave this place. The truth is, all of the work that is requested comes from Eastsea City. Your blacksmithing education cannot deteriorate. I also have a workshop at Eastsea City and I will give you your own blacksmithing workshop. Every so often, I’ll visit you and give you some instruction.”
Tang Wulin’s heart felt a surge of warmth, “Teacher, you…”
Mang Tian’s fiery gaze glared at him. “Eastsea City is a truly large city. It is not like here. Before you go, you have to first complete my test. If not, you have no qualifications to continue learning the blacksmithing craft from me there!”
“A test?” Tang Wulin stared blankly at him. “Teacher, what test?”
A ray of light gleamed in Mang Tian’s eyes. “The Thousand Refinements!”
Tang Wulin asked in surprise, “Teacher, you are finally going to teach me the Thousand Refinements?”
Mang Tian nodded his head. “You have fused with a spirit soul and your strength has risen sufficiently. You should be able to withstand the Thousand Refinements. Finishing one execution of the Thousand Refinements will count as you passing my test.”
As he said those words, Mang Tian felt a peculiar feeling within his heart. He could still clearly remember that when he had just started practicing the Thousand Refinements, he was already 15 years old and his soul power had surpassed the 20th rank. In addition, his martial soul was the Earth Hammer and was the one that possessed absolute physical strength. By completing the Thousand Refinements at 15 years old, he was already been seen as a talent in the blacksmithing world.
“Teacher, can we begin?” Tang Wulin’s excited voice brought Mang Tian out of his reminiscence.
“Hold on a moment, I have to first gauge your strength. These few days you have failed many of your assignments. Firstly, you were not focused on your work. Secondly, it seems as though problems have arisen with regards to your ability to control your strength.” Mang Tian had been silently observing his disciple and thus had determined the root of his disciple’s problems.
Indeed, it was not only Mang Tian, but also Tang Wulin who realized that problems seemed to have arisen with regards to his physical strength.
That day, after he fused with the spirit soul, he had tried to apply force through his arm and that had resulted in a resounding crack as his movements split the air apart. His strength had indeed grown immensely.
In the end, since he had been constantly out in search for Na’er, along with the fact that he was still extremely depressed due to her departure, he had not paid any attention to the situation of his body. It was only when Mang Tian reminded him of it that he remembered that there was such a problem that occurred prior to everything that had happened!
Thus for the last few days, as he had attempted to forge his assigned tasks, he had failed several times due to his strength being too forceful.
Mang Tian brought Tang Wulin to his own workshop. His workshop was a lot messier than Tang Wulin’s workspace. In a large pile of randomly strewn tools, Mang Tian managed to find the tool that was specially designed to gauge one’s physical strength.
Strength Testing Tool
While it was a simple act to manufacture such a tool, it still required one to be meticulous in order to ensure that it would be able to accurately gauge a person’s strength. This strength testing tool was built using two parts. The lower portion was a flat square base, while the upper portion consists of a round cylindrical pillar. Behind it lies a two meter tall metal pillar, whereas inside the pillar was a long thin tube filled with mercury.
When the blacksmith wishes to test his strength, all he has to do was strike the metal pillar, at that point, the mercury would rise according to the force of the strike and thus gauge the strength.
One would have to use a blacksmithing hammer weighing 50kg for the test; the strength testing tool would automatically deduct the excess force acquired from the hammer’s weight.
Ever since Tang Wulin arrived at Mang Tian’s workshop, he was required to test his strength each year.
The first time he tested his strength, he could produce a force of 70kg. At that point in time he was only 7 years old. When he was 8 years old, this had increased to a force of 100kg! Although being able to produce this force was largely in part to him constantly swinging the hammer as part of his work, it must still be said that producing such strength was extremely shocking.
He had yet to test his strength at 9 years old, thus, today was the perfect day to do it.
“First start the test with your left hand.” Mang Tian passed him the blacksmithing hammer required for strength testing.
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