Chapter 202 – High-Grade
While blue coppertite wasn’t the hardest of metals, the main reason it was so annoying to form was its constant transformations. As a result, Tang Wulin took advantage of his heavy silver hammer’s special ability: the Stacked Hammer effect. This way, he only needed a hundred or so strikes to finish hundred refining it.
He put away his hammer and raised his hand.
The staff member in charge of supervising the competition ran over, stumbling over his own two feet.
“You’re finished?” The staff member retrieved Tang Wulin’s number plate. Disbelief clouded his face when he saw the blue coppertite’s reduced size.
Tang Wulin asked, “Can I leave now?”
“You can since you’re finished. But are you sure you’re done hundred refining it? If you don’t succeed, you’ll be eliminated,” The staff member reminded kindly.
“I’m certain I succeeded,” Tang Wulin answered without a missed beat. Considering his current blacksmith rank, the Hundred Refinements was nothing to him.
The white-haired old man was the first to speak out from the stage. “Bring that child’s product over here. If he isn’t spouting nonsense, then he’s really a terrifying genius.” At first, he thought Tang Wulin was rude and impetuous. However, as a Saint Blacksmith, he noticed the music in each strike of his hammer, the steady rhythm with which it beat.
It was the innate rhythm of a blacksmith. When a blacksmith became in tune with their individual tempo, their forging efficiency would double. Blue coppertite wasn’t easy to refine. Yet, Tang Wulin had still refined it. As such, wouldn’t the result be spectacular?
Afterward, the refined blue coppertite was brought onto the stage.
The people sitting on stage were all influential figures in the world of blacksmithing. At that moment, their gazes converged on the chunk of metal like rivers to the sea.
Blue coppertite was a beautiful metal. In order to judge its quality, one must scrutinize how evenly its patterns were distributed and how close to the center its rings landed.
That was as thorough of an inspection as it gets. As long as the ring was centered, the hundred refining was a success; the reduction in size only served as further proof.
The white-haired old man lowered his head, carefully examining the blue coppertite. He held it in his palm and caressed it with gentle fingers, feeling the grain of the metal. His eyes lit up.
“This is a high-grade hundred refined piece! Quickly, go find out which association that child belongs to.”
By then, Tang Wulin had already left, feet in a blur as he hurried off to Skysea Stadium.
The gym wasn’t far from his next destination. H even planned out his route the night before, all for the sake of not being tardy.
There was still time before the individual competition started. After all, his forging went by without a hitch and he was the first one to finish. Moreover, according to his number plate, he would be participating in the third heat of the first round.
Due to the significant number of competitors, several heats were compiled with each heat consisting of fifty contestants. Appearing in the third heat would mean he had at least an hour to relax. Like other event grounds, Skysea Stadium was holding separate yet concurrent competitions. Only in this way could the Skysea Alliance Tournament be finished within a reasonable amount of time and accommodate its vast amount of competitors.
Once he reached the stadium, Tang Wulin headed toward the check-in area to begin preparing for the competition, but a figure obstructed him.
“Hmph!” A cold snort sounded and Tang Wulin raised his head to see who stood in his way.
It was a baleful Ye Xinglan directing a murderous glare at him.
Xu Lizhi stood beside her. To the untrained eye his aura exuded innocence, but underneath the layers of good will and plump cheeks was a hint of bitterness.
“I’ve finally caught you! Do you have anything to say for yourself?” Ye Xinglan stood with her hands on her hips. Her long eyebrows stood erect as her eyes blazed with fury.
“Say what? I don’t really know you that well anyway.” Tang Wulin remarked with indifference, “Stop blocking the way. I need to go prepare.”
“You’re competing?” Ye Xinglan tried to shove Tang Wulin by his shoulder, but she was unable to. She was astonished to find that his body was as heavy as a stack of steel. He didn’t budge a single inch from her push.
When Ye Xinglan recalled the events of the night before, her eyes grew sharp, anger tinting them red. She had never felt so wronged before in her life.
That night, the shop owner had stopped them and demanded payment. Neither she nor Xu Lizhi had any money on them. In the end she resigned herself to calling for help, teeth grinding together in frustration.
Adding to her indignance, the shop owner was convinced that they had planned to dine and dash from the very beginning. In any case, the two children were forced to wash dirty dishes until someone came to pay for their meal. The only other option was to continue until their debts were paid off.
The pitiful, delicate-skinned Ye Xinglan could only weep as she rubbed and lathered the dishes until they were squeaky clean. Not daring to break Shrek Academy’s rules, she swallowed down her anger. Though hard to admit, paying for her meal was justified. They were in the wrong, so how could she make a scene?
Thus, two students of Shrek Academy ended up washing dishes in a seafood restaurant in Skysea City.
The very memory of it caused Ye Xinglan grief. She blamed the entire agonizing experience on the boy before her.
First thing in the morning, she had dragged Xu Lizhi out to find Tang Wulin. Although at first they had no clue where to start looking, they soon realized one important fact: Tang Wulin was a competitor. Therefore, he would undoubtedly be at one of the event grounds. Sure enough, they found Tang Wulin using this method.
“Why wouldn’t I compete? What are you trying to do by blocking the way?” Tang Wulin frowned.
Ye Xinglan resentfully said, “Didn’t you say you would pay the bill yesterday? So did you? Did you pay the bill?”
Tang Wulin said calmly, “I paid for my share. Why should I have to pay for yours? It was Xu Lizhi who originally promised to treat me anyway. I just left after paying for myself. What’s wrong with that? Didn’t you eat too? Since you were trying to take advantage of me, then why are you spinning it the other way? Do you have a problem with me paying for my share of the bill? You don’t even want to be friends with me, so why should I pay for you?”
Tang Wulin’s words left her in a daze. He’s right! Why should he pay for me and the little fatty? I don’t really have much of a case here.
“You, didn’t you say it was an honor to eat with us?” Ye Xinglan quibbled.
Tang Wulin said, “Do I have to pay just because it’s an honor? I never said I would treat you. I wouldn’t have had a problem if we were friends, but you clearly didn’t want to be friends with me! I didn’t take advantage of you guys in any way!”
“B-but, you ate the most!” Ye Xinglan was nearly in tears. Her resentment and indignance rushed out of her heart like a roaring river, cheeks flushing like a tomato..
“Who stopped you from eating more?” Tang Wulin took a step forward, moved her aside, and proceeded onward with large strides. He couldn’t delay any longer if he wanted to compete in the individual competition.
“You! Stop right there!” Ye Xinglan shouted.
Tang Wulin ignored her and continued straight ahead.
“You bastard!” Ye Xinglan angrily yelled.
“Big sister Xinglan.” Xu Lizhi pulled on her sleeves. “Wulin’s words make sense.”
“Are you on his side?” Ye Xinglan turned to face him, lips peeling back in a sneer.
“I, I’m on your side of course!” The little fatty replied meekly.
“Tang Wulin, just you wait.” Ye Xinglan narrowed her eyes and made a fierce proclamation. She marched right into the stadium following him.
“Big sister Xinglan, what are you doing?”
“I’m signing up to compete! He was being reasonable, huh? Then I’ll beat some real reason into him on the stage!”
Unaware of the powerful opponent he had created, Tang Wulin checked-in right on time. Now all he had to do was wait; his match would start in another half hour or so.