Chapter 522 - Stability

Chapter 522 - Stability

Immortal spirit mushrooms were the kings of mushrooms. They only grew in locations where extreme amounts of yin and yang converged, and such locations were extraordinarily rare. It was hard for its spores to survive on the earth, but when they did and the mushroom itself formed, it was instantly at the thousand-year level. Every year of growth after the mushroom’s formation was equivalent to a thousand years of cultivation until it reached the ten-thousand-year level. At that point, the mushroom would no longer be able to contain the energies it developed, and that energy would rapidly fade away. Immortal spirit mushrooms could not develop sentience, but they naturally condensed all of their energies once they hit the limit of how much they could contain. Only after they did that, effectively shrinking themselves, were they ripe for harvest. 

These mushrooms were even rarer than ten-thousand-year soul beasts. The conditions needed to grow one were far too harsh, but if a person put in the blood and sweat required to do so, they would be rewarded handsomely. Immortal spirit mushrooms balanced the yin and yang in the body of the being that ingested them. Put simply, they stabilized the energies of the body. This significantly lowered the chances of a soul master experiencing cultivation deviation and suffering irreparable damage, and also made it easier for them to breakthrough to the next level. 

This mushroom couldn’t be considered mere food. It was a divine treasure! 

A single immortal spirit mushroom bobbed up and down in each of their soup bowls, painting the clear broth a soft tan. Although everyone at the table had been served a mushroom, the one in Tang Wulin’s was clearly the largest and most nutritious. 

“Here, Uncle-master!” Tang Wulin quickly exclaimed. “I’ll trade you mine.”

Zhen Hua smiled. “I appreciate your respect, but the chef gave you that mushroom. I couldn’t possibly steal his kindness from you. Hurry up and drink it. Immortal spirit mushrooms aren’t just nutritious. They’re also super delicious.” 

Tang Wulin nodded and spooned himself a mouthful. The moment the broth touched his tongue, he felt as though he were floating on clouds, as if all his burdens had been lifted from his shoulders. His face flushed crimson as he forced himself to swallow down the heavenly soup, and he immediately began gasping for breath. 

“Don’t worry.” Zhen Hua chuckled.  “That’s just the mushroom purifying your body. I was like that when I drank this soup the first time too, but I made it out fine. It happens to everyone.” Then he turned to Gu Yue, ready to reassure her in the same way, when his eyes widened. “Huh? Girl, have you eaten immortal spirit mushrooms before?” 

Gu Yue nodded. Unlike Tang Wulin, she had shown no reaction to drinking the soup.

Zhen Hua’s gaze sharpened. Immortal spirit mushrooms could not be obtained by any ordinary person. He himself had to go to great lengths to obtain some!

“Uncle-master, Gu Yue is a member of the Spirit Pagoda,” Tang Wulin hurriedly explained. “She’s also the direct disciple of the Heavenly Phoenix Douluo.”

Zhen Hua blanched at the sudden explanation, and it took him a moment to collect himself. “So you’re her disciple, huh? No wonder. Well, that’s just fantastic!” 

Zhen Hua had no grudges against the Spirit Pagoda. As the continent’s only Divine Blacksmith, he had to forge strong relationships with every major power. In fact, those powers were the ones who approached him first. They had no choice but to do so. He was the one who created every set of modern four-word battle armor.. 

Gu Yue simply nodded once more. Not a single word left her mouth.

Meanwhile, Tang Wulin was surprised to find that he was nearly full after finishing his soup. He was beginning to understand just how potent the immortal spirit mushroom was. He felt like all the pores on his body had opened up and he was now breathing through all of them. With each breath he took, he felt lighter. Impurities left his body bit by bit, his soul power grew, and even his blood essence became purer. 

Tang Wulin had absorbed most of the energies from the fourth seal already, but some still resided in his bones. With the help of the immortal spirit mushroom, his body was rapidly absorbing the last bits of it. He was overjoyed with the progress. Eating truly was a form of cultivation for him.  

More dishes were served after the soup, eight in total. Each was small, but had been made with the finest, most treasured ingredients, all packed full of nutrients and exquisite flavor. After finishing all the food, for the first time in his life, Tang Wulin felt bloated. He lay on the floor in a food coma, sweating profusely. He could already tell that he wouldn’t need to eat dinner that evening. His body would still be digesting this meal. 

Tang Wulin could hardly believe how satisfied he felt. His body usually digested anything he ate as soon as he ate it, and was always hungry for more. All the treasures he had just eaten, however, were enough to stuff him full. He knew that breaking the fifth seal would be much easier now. 

“The food was great!” Tang Wulin said to the chef, reverence in his eyes. “Thank you!”

“You don’t need to thank me.” The chef smiled.“But I do have something I want to talk to you about.”

“Sure! Whatever you need!”

The chef paused for a moment, then stood from his chair. “Let’s get some privacy first. Follow me.”

Although Tang Wulin didn’t know what this was about, he trusted his stomach, and his stomach told him this chef was a good guy. He hastily got up to follow the man.

But right at that moment, a bell rang throughout Zhen Hua’s dining room. 

“Hm?” Zhen Hua furrowed his brow. None would normally disturb him during meals. “What is it?”

“President, a situation is developing in the hall!” a frantic voice came from outside the door. “Some people are here to cause trouble!”

“Alright. Come in and tell me about it.” 

A middle-aged man quickly entered the room and walked over to Zhen Hua. “President, two unidentified people are here, one old and one young. The older one seems to be a Saint Blacksmith. He issued a blacksmithing challenge. However, he isn’t the one participating in the challenge. The younger one is, a child that looks to be about fifteen or sixteen years old.” 

“Huh?” Zhen Hua raised an eyebrow. Throughout his years as President of the Blacksmith’s Association, this was the first time someone came to issue a challenge. 

“Alright, let’s go take a look,” Zhen Hua said, standing up and turning to the chef. “You guys can go ahead. I’ll join you after I handle this.”

The chef frowned. “If they dare to challenge the Blacksmith’s Association, they must have a reason to be so confident. I’ll come with you. My business with Tang Wulin can wait.” 

Zhen Hua looked surprised for a moment, then nodded. “Fine. Let’s go.” 

Tang Wulin and Gu Yue followed right behind the two, and all four took the elevator to the hall at ground level. The elevator doors opened to reveal that the hall was packed with burly blacksmiths.

“President!”

“Thank god you’ve come, President!” 

The men hastily paid their respects to Zhen Hua as they parted to make a path to the center of the hall. There, an old man and young lady stood alone. The man looked to be in his sixties or seventies and sported a head of white hair. He had a large, muscular build and a pair of sharp eyes. The girl was a pretty young woman with a mature figure that belied her youth. The part of her that stood out the most, however, were her hands. Her fingers were long and thin, skin fair as marble, but in spite of their tender beauty, they were quite large, nearly matching the size of a man’s hands yet far more slender. 

The two gazed out into the crowd, watching it part, and their eyes eventually drifted over to Zhen Hua’s party of four. The old man looked straight at Zhen Hua in particular. 

“Are you Divine Blacksmith Zhen Hua?” he asked.

Zhen Hua smiled and nodded. “And who might you be?”

“My name is Zhanggong Yan,” he said. “My background does not matter. I have come here today to issue a challenge to the Blacksmith’s Association’s rising generation. I want to see if you have a young blacksmith talented enough to match my disciple.” 

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