Chapter 596 - Boring

Chapter 596 - Boring

“He hit you,” Gu Yue said, tone cold enough to freeze. 

“I’m fine,” said Tang Wulin, smiling wryly. “I’ve got thick skin, you know?” 

Gu Yue pouted. “No one else is allowed to hit you other than me.”

Whatever expression Tang Wulin had worn froze on the spot. But after a moment, he couldn’t help but smile. “What kind of rule is that? Why are you allowed to hit me?”

Gu Yue raised her chin proudly. “I can because I say so. Do you have a problem with that?”

“No. No problem.” After so many years of working together, he knew well enough there was no arguing with her when she got into these moods. It was best to just nod and smile. 

Because of his helpless affirmation, a smile blossomed on Gu Yue’s face. “Good. Let’s go then.” She twisted her wrist out of Tang Wulin’s hold, and now it was her that pulled him along. Her mood was much better than before. Her eyes twinkled as she scanned the shops around them, hunting for anything of interest. 

“Look! There’s a metal shop over there. I wonder what kind of metals they have in Star Luo. Let’s check it out,” Gu Yue said, dragging Tang Wulin toward the store. 

Her actions warmed his heart. There was no way a girl like Gu Yue would be interested in the cold touch of metal. She was doing this out of consideration for him. 

The moment they entered the shop, Tang Wulin was dazzled by the myriad of metals arranged on the shelves. The metal available  in Star Luo really was different from that of Douluo. After sweeping his gaze through the whole store, he discovered that he couldn’t identify nearly a third of the metals. 

The shop clerk approached them. “Hello, do you need any assistance? I can tell you about any metals you’re interested in.”

Tang Wulin shook his head. “I’m fine. Do you have any assay hammers I can use?” 

The shop clerk’s eyes lit up. He’s asking for an assay hammer! This kid’s a pro! Only experts who truly understood metals would ask for an assay hammer when shopping for metals. Using the assay hammer, they would tap the metal to figure out the differences between each chunk.. 

“Yes we do, I’ll get it for you immediately,” the shop clerk said, disappearing to the back of the store. A few moments later, the clerk returned, a small hammer in his hands. He presented it to Tang Wulin.

Tang Wulin made his way to the shelves and lightly tapped a blue metal he had never seen before. A deep metallic note rang in the air. His ear twitched as he listened to it. A moment later, the note faded into silence. This signified a weak metal. Although it looked quite solid, after purifying it, there would be little left of its original bulk. Its basic attributes and properties were poor as well, such that it wasn’t even worth his time. 

The shop clerk followed along as Tang Wulin went down the shelves, tapping any metal he was unfamiliar with. As the clerk watched, his astonishment grew. Tang Wulin’s evaluations of the metals were all swift and correct. 

After evaluating a dozen or so metals, Tang Wulin stopped and turned to the shop clerk. “Do you have any better metals in stock? I’m not interested in ordinary metals like these.” After his rounds with the assay hammer, he had determined all the products on the shelves to be beneath his notice, worse than the heavy silver he often used, not to mention the other higher-tier metals.

“Yes, we do. Please wait here.” Now that the shop clerk was aware of Tang Wulin’s expertise, he treated him with more respect than before. However, he did find it strange that Tang Wulin spent so much effort and care evaluating those metals that were considered common to Star Luo. At his level, he should have been able to determine their worth with a glance.  

Shortly after, the shop clerk returned from the back of the store and beckoned to Tang Wulin and Gu Yue. “Please follow me. I’ll bring you to our VIP lounge.” 

They soon found themselves in a room far more illustrious than the shopfront outside. A metal table was set up along with two chairs and two cups of water.

“Please take a seat. I’m sorry to say that I only have the authority to show you some of our better metals and not our top quality products, but I’ll bring you all that I can.” 

Tang Wulin and Gu Yue sat down, a wry smile on their lips. “You guys have good service here!”

The shop clerk smiled. “I’m happy you’re pleased with us. Please wait for a moment.” He walked through a sliding metal door on the side, and before long, returned with a large wooden box. He placed it on the table. Unclasping the locks on the box, he lifted the lid. 

Tang Wulin’s eyes lit up as soon as he saw what was inside. A golden metal that seemed to sparkle. It reminded him of star iron, but with a golden shine. The metal didn’t exude an overpowering aura. Rather, its aura seemed evenly distributed. 

Tang Wulin picked up the assay hammer and tapped the metal before him. The metal hummed its response, echoing hundreds of times as it shimmered. Tang Wulin listened intently for a moment before tapping it once more. Another cacophony of echoing hums sounded. 

“It’s really dense, yet it has a high affinity for channeling the elements. It seems to have a special property as well. It rang nine times after I tapped it, each one growing in strength. What is this metal’s special property?” Tang Wulin asked the shop clerk.

“This is gold crystal, an extremely rare metal,” answered the clerk. “It possesses the ability to amplify energy. Just like what you just witnessed, it can amplify energy nine times, stacking each one and increasing the effects by about one percent. But after the effects compound on each other, it can reach up to a thirty percent increase. It’s an exceptionally hard metal while also possessing top-class solubility. Generally speaking, it’s only used for top-tier spirit alloys.”

“How much is it?” Tang Wulin blurted. He was already a sixth-rank blacksmith, so he could pull off three-metal alloys. It was certain that he would need more spirit alloys in the future for his friends’ battle armors. This gold crystal was a great metal for that since its effects were relevant to everyone in his team. 

“One chunk costs ten thousand Star Luo stels,” the clerk said, beaming. 

Tang Wulin’s expression stiffened. Star Luo stels? It finally hit him that foreign lands used foreign currencies! Although he had brought plenty of money, all of that was in Federation credits! He had no idea how much ten thousand stels were, or the conversion rate with credits. Without this information, he couldn’t judge whether this was a good price or not. Furthermore, he would need at least a ton of this metal if he wanted to use it for everyone in his team. That was a huge sum of money! 

“Do you have any other metals? I want to look some more,” Tang Wulin said, a facade of calm. 

“Please wait a moment.” The clerk retrieved seven more chunks of metal. Of the seven, Tang Wulin recognized three of them since those three were also found on Douluo. The other four were native to Star Luo. Each had their own peculiar properties and were fairly good metals. 

“These are all the precious metals we have on hand at the moment that I have the authority to take out. Sir, will you be interested in any of them?” 

Tang Wulin gulped. “You’ve got a great selection. If you have the supply as well, I might be interested in ordering a large quantity. Oh, right. I have a question. Do you guys buy refined metals here?”

The shop clerk was taken aback. “We do. But we only accept thousand refined and above metals,” the clerk said, his tone a bit colder than before. He realized now that he was dealing with a pair of teenagers. Even if they were blacksmiths, there was a limit to how skilled they could be. They were probably first or second-grade blacksmiths at best, only capable of hundred refining.

Tang Wulin nodded. “I’ve got some metals I want to sell. I’ll trouble you to take a look at them.” With a wave of his hand, twinkling chunks of metals piled up on the table in a flash of light. 

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