Chapter 172 – To Lose and Regain!
“It’s true that ordinary people can become Mecha Masters now and that Auxiliary System Soul Masters can become quite formidable with a mecha, but the origin of true strength hasn’t changed in the past hundred thousand years. Only truly talented Soul Masters can become genuinely powerful entities. It is for this reason that real Battle Armor Masters are unequivocally powerful Soul Masters. On its own, battle armor doesn’t have any power, only serving to amplify a Soul Master’s abilities. A six-ringed Auxiliary System Soul Master with a mecha is merely cannon fodder in front of a similarly ranked Soul Master with battle armor. That is the unbridgeable gap between the two. Understood?”
“Yes! I understand!” Tang Wulin answered with a heavy breath.
He had long known the history of soul mecha. Soul Masters were rather doubtful when they were first introduced since it narrowed the distance between Soul Masters and ordinary people. It also reduced the significance of one’s martial soul; Soul Masters of similar ranks would be almost of equal strengths regardless of their martial soul.
It wasn’t until the following era that Soul Masters finished developing battle armor, returning the world to how it had always been. The strong were always strong!
Although Tang Wulin couldn’t comprehend the level of power a Soul Master possessed when equipped with battle armor, Wu Zhangkong’s reverence for battle armor was clear in his tone of voice. Considering how powerful Teacher Wu is, he must have seen one before!
“The starting price is two million, and the minimum bid increase is two hundred thousand. Let the bidding begin.”
The three pieces of battle armor each sold for sky-high prices, their combined bids easily surpassing twenty million. This was only natural since they were battle armor after all.
Virtually all battle armor were custom-made for specific Soul Masters and rarely sold, so it was difficult to find a piece on the market.
Furthermore, it was challenging to make them, each piece requiring Thousand Refined metal and a design specific to one’s martial soul. For some markedly unique Soul Masters, their battle armor wouldn’t sell even if they put it on the market.
For these reasons, powerful Soul Masters devoted their time to create their own battle armor and the situation was similar for divine rank mecha.
Even six-ringed Soul Masters rarely had a battle armor to call their own, not simply because they lacked the strength but also from a financial deficit and plain bad luck. It was impossible to master every secondary occupation, and even if they did, they most definitely wouldn’t have the energy required to develop as a Soul Master. In the end, they needed to rely on craftsmen to design, make and adjust the armor for them.
Every set of battle armor was like an extension of the user’s flesh and blood, their most valued treasure as well as a sign of power and wealth.
Battle Armor Masters had long become the most prestigious existences on the continent; even one could outshine an entire Mecha Master regiment.
To have even a chance of using battle armor, at least four soul rings were necessary. With such a requirement, it was no wonder that the great clans of the Douluo Continent were able to maintain their positions throughout the ages as they possessed both the finances to make battle armor and the Soul Masters to equip them.
Tang Wulin still buzzed with excitement after leaving the Heaven Dou Imperial Auction. If the Dragonscale Fruit appeared once, then it’ll appear a second time. I don’t have enough money right now anyway. Once I earn enough money, I’ll definitely be able to get it.
After setting his eyes on the battle armor, a burning desire had been ignited within Tang Wulin’s heart, his mind filled with scenes of donning such armor on himself in the future. The domineering figure he conjured up made his blood boil as he wondered if Battle Armor Masters were like the generals of olden times.
“Wait a moment.” Wu Zhangkong called out to Tang Wulin who was already making his way back to the inn.
Tang Wulin paused, and without any explanation, Wu Zhangkong led him to stand on the side. The two quietly observed the other bidders coming out.
Tang Wulin’s didn’t ask for the reason why, his mind still preoccupied with fanciful thoughts about battle armor. With his adolescent temperament, this was all it took to sweep away his gloom over the loss of the Dragonscale Fruit.
When a familiar figure entered his view, however, Tang Wulin’s brows jumped in surprise.
Isn’t that Branchmaster Zhao? The plump branchmaster exited the auction and headed straight for them. He handed a jade box to Wu Zhangkong and dully spoke, “Pay back the money to the company’s account. I’m going now.” He rubbed Tang Wulin’s head with a faint smile before walking away, leaving Tang Wulin baffled.
The jade box in Wu Zhangkong’s hands disappeared in a flash of light.
“I’ll help you sell the rebellion entry card later. It should fetch enough to cover the price of the two intermediate entry cards. You can pay me for the Dragonscale Fruit once we get back,” Wu Zhangkong said in his usual cold tone.
Tang Wulin was dazed. “Dragonscale Fruit? What are you saying…?” Understanding hit him suddenly.
Remembering Branchmaster Zhao’s exit from the auction house, a possibility occurred to him. The mysterious bidder from the sixth box was actually Branchmaster Zhao! So he was the one who won the bid.
From this new perspective, he realized that five million federal coins wasn’t actually that expensive. Teacher Wu was taking advantage of the intimidation from Branchmaster Zhao’s counterbid on the thousand-year Frozen Grass to save me some money.
Although Wu Zhangkong had clearly stated the debt, this was just what Tang Wulin wanted—to earn it through his own efforts without having to rely on other people. Only then would his conscience be clear.
“Let’s go back now.”
The master and disciple duo returned to the inn. Back in their room, Wu Zhangkong said to Tang Wulin. “Rest properly tonight. Tomorrow morning we’re entering Heaven Dou City’s spirit ascension platform to upgrade your spirit soul. After that, we’ll return to Eastsea City.”
Tang Wulin passed the night meditating and cultivated Purple Demon Eyes at dawn. He was now practically bursting with energy. This trip had brought him generous returns. He obtained one of the four spirit items he needed and had an idea of where he could acquire the rest. Now he would enter the spirit ascension platform under Wu Zhangkong’s guidance to ascend his spirit soul. It was almost guaranteed that he would return to Eastsea City with a thousand-year spirit soul! Now his rubbish Little Goldlight would transform into a powerful thousand-year Little Goldlight.
At this moment, Tang Wulin could finally tell himself: I’m not a loser anymore; I have the potential to become a powerful Soul Master now!
Wu Zhangkong had Tang Wulin pack early in the morning before checking out of their room and boarding a soul bus headed for the spirit ascension platform.
Compared to Eastsea City’s, Heaven Dou City’s spirit ascension platform was smaller in scale but brimming with heritage. The dazzling mural in the hall clearly depicted a tale that was far more complex than the one in Eastsea City.
Yet Tang Wulin was in no mood to appreciate it, still jumping with exitement. I wonder what the intermediate spirit ascension platform will be like?
The cards were easy to use; after a simple registration they were brought to a room resembling the one in Eastsea City except smaller in size and with glass chambers instead of metal boxes.
The staff member who guided them didn’t question the master and disciple. It was quite normal for a clan to send a powerful adult to escort members of their younger generation and aid in upgrading their spirit soul to the limit since a sturdy foundation was crucial. But while it wasn’t difficult for large clans to obtain entry cards, only the most gifted children earned such an opportunity.
Before entering the glass chambers, the two were required to strip down due to additional restrictions set before entering the intermediate level. Wu Zhangkong explained to Tang Wulin that it was a rule set by the Spirit Pagoda to prevent others from wearing battle armor into the spirit ascension platform. No one except the innermost members of the Spirit Pagoda knew the reason behind the regulation.
It was impossible for someone entering the elementary level to possess battle armor, but the intermediate level was different, forcing strict inspections to enforce this rule.
After finishing their preparations, metal rings fastened onto their bodies, holding them in place as the glass chamber’s cover closed.
“Prepare to enter!”
A golden light radiated from the metal rings, spreading a numbness throughout Tang Wulin’s body. In the next moment, his vision of the outside was replaced by a blank void.
Only after some time did the dark space transform into a sea of green filled with a refreshing air that he knew all too well.
Intermediate spirit ascension platform, here I come!