Chapter 26 – Five Hundred Kilograms of Strength
The blacksmith’s strength test was split into the left and right arms. Tang Wulin had surprised Mang Tian the first time he had taken the test, as his left and right arms were exceedingly balanced in strength. His right arm had only been a bit stronger than his left.
Tang Wulin gripped the forging hammer in his left hand. The spiral pattern on its handle dug into his tender hand and tough calluses. His grip became exceptionally firm.
He took a deep breath and turned his body around halfway. Then his arms suddenly swung the forging hammer with the condensed power of his whole body. At that moment when he fully exerted his strength, he felt a surge of warmth flowing from his tailbone. In a flash, this warmth spread up throughout his vertebrae. The hammer let out an ear-piercing whistle as he swung it, ruthlessly smashing the plate.
The mercury inside of the pillar shot up in a flash. A clear sound rang out in Tang Wulin and Mang Tian’s ears, giving them a brief moment of tinnitus.
Mang Tian kneaded his eyes, as if to confirm that what he saw before him was the truth. At this time, the screen revealed a number.
An electronic voice coldly stated, “Striking power, 483 kilograms.” Tang Wulin and Mang Tian could only stand there foolishly in shock.
When he took the test the year before, Tang Wulin was already able to shock Mang Tian when his right arm exerted 200 kilograms of force. But now, this number already exceeded the fully grown Brother Long’s!
In but a short year, his strength had shockingly increased dramatically again. Moreover, this was just his left arm… A nine-year-old child was actually able to exert nearly 500 kilograms of force with a single arm! This truly had to be innate divine strength!
Mang Tian did his best to restrain his emotions as he said, “Right arm.”
Tang Wulin switched the hammer over to his right hand and once again took a deep breath. A flash of golden light appeared within the deepest depths of his eyes. He twisted his body again, then swung his arm. Once more, a warm feeling began flowing into him from his vertebrae. This time, the hammer howled through the air with an even greater ear-piercing ferocity, causing a series of explosions to sound in the air.
The whole room trembled slightly under its power. This time, Mang Tian had to cover his ears to protect himself from the ringing. The room continued to tremble from the impact.
“Striking power, 543 kilograms.” 543 kilograms? He had broken through 500 kilograms!?
Mang Tian was once again at a loss. Although he had already guessed the boy’s strength increased by no small amount, he definitely hadn’t expected it to have increased by such an extent.
At nine years old, his two arms had a combined strength of over a thousand kilograms. His existence could already be considered to that of a little monster’s. Although this was merely explosive power, this was still the strength that could be used when forging. Even with the machine’s automatic deduction of the hammer’s weight, his arms could still reach a strength of about five hundred kilograms. Even power system Soul Grandmasters wouldn’t necessarily possess such strength! It wasn’t until the Soul Elder ranks that this type of strength could be seen.
He had this kind of innate divine strength, but why was his martial soul Bluesilver Grass!? It should have been a power type martial soul. If his martial soul had been a hammer, then he truly would have been a genius.
Tang Wulin was also shocked by his own strength. Even if he didn’t understand the significance of 500 kilograms of strength, he still clearly understood how terrifying this type of strength was for someone who only had one soul ring. Few could compare with his strength even if they used a soul skill.
“Teacher, c-can I really learn the Thousand Refinements?” He asked tentatively.
Mang Tian woke up from his daze and nodded. “I didn’t expect your strength to actually reach such a level. Let’s go to your forging room.”
After returning to Tang Wulin’s forging room, Mang Tian took out a chunk of silver-white metal. “I’ve already taught you what types of metals can undergo the Thousand Refinements. This here is a piece of Heavy Silver. Its ductility is superb and it possesses excellent soul power transferring properties. Only the Thousand Refinements can bring out the full potential of this grade of metal. Take it and use it to attempt your first Thousand Refinements.”
“The so-called Thousand Refinements isn’t as simple as just pounding the metal a thousand times. Rather, the metal’s impurities must be dispelled under continuous forgings, thus increasing its density. Also, the most important effect of the Thousand Refinements is refining. It can only be called Thousand Refinements if the metal is refined and improved.”
“For example, there’s the tungsten steel in the Thousand Refined Tungsten Hammer you’re using. It was already very strong, but after undergoing Thousand Refinements, its size has been reduced by a third while its strength has doubled! Another effect is that its weight has increased by thirty percent. Compared to another piece of tungsten, only a qualitative change could increase its weight as well as its exceedingly tremendous strength.
“The tungsten steel’s refinement is among the simplest of refinements. Exceptionally good Thousand Refinements can give rise to even more unusual effects. The better the effect of its refinement, the higher the value of the Thousand Refined metal. After reaching the level of the Thousand Refinements, you must first have the metal undergo the Thousand Refinements before you use other techniques to shape it. As a result, the value of anything made with Thousand Refined metal is a hundred times higher than those made of Hundred Forged metal. Only after you’ve attained the skill of utilizing the Thousand Refinements can you then be considered a true blacksmith.”
Tang Wulin didn’t know that for ninety percent of blacksmiths, the level Mang Tian spoke of was an unattainable dream.
Thousand Refinements required more than just strength; what truly mattered was comprehension. Especially in regards to the feelings of the metal.
Tang Wulin had studied hard for three years. Only now, coupled with his innate divine strength, did he finally have the qualifications to attempt the Thousand Refinements.
“Teacher, what techniques are needed when performing the Thousand Refinements?” Tang Wulin asked.
Mang Tian shook his head. “There aren’t any techniques that I can teach you. The only thing I can tell you is that when you are forging, you must treat the metal as if it were a living organism. You must think of a way to communicate with the metal while you are forging it. Only with perfect communication will you be able to attain its approval. Find its secrets, its veins. Thousand Refinements is also called Thought Forging. Every single blacksmith’s style of doing the Thousand Refinements is different. They all have their own distinct characteristics. Use your heart to forge. Go and try to comprehend my words.”
“Yes.” Tang Wulin nodded.
He had originally thought that Mang Tian would at least give him a demonstration, but it seems that his teacher had completely different ideas. Rather, he left Tang Wulin to learn it on his own.
After opening up the forging table, he placed the Heavy Silver within the forging table’s furnace and began heating it.
This piece of Heavy Silver was about 30 centimetres squared. It twinkled a soft silver light. When it entered the forging furnace, Tang Wulin began to recall the introduction to the properties of Heavy Silver that Mang Tian had given him before.
Heavy Silver was an uncommon metal that could only be found on the seafloor at depths surpassing one kilometer. It was extraordinarily hard and possessed amazing ductility under high temperatures, it was also an excellent conductor of soul power. In fact, it was so good that it could amplify soul power and give it a five to ten percent boost.
Whether it is used for industrial purposes or for manufacturing mechas, it was still an excellent metal that was hard to come by.
Still, Heavy Silver was not without its own flaws. It was simply too dense, bestowing upon it an extraordinary weight. For instance, this piece of Heavy Silver that was less than a third of a meter long was over 200 kilograms in weight. In fact, it likely neared 300 kilograms!
As a result, even if Heavy Silver was produced in excess, it would still be impossible to use it in large-scale mecha manufacturing. Its weight also restricted its applications in mecha manufacturing. It was much more prevalent in large, solid state soul devices.
Heavy Silver was rarely found in cities that were located further inland. It was instead much more common in seaside towns and acted as an important source of income for these seaside towns.
His teacher had given him a chunk of Heavy Silver. Upon inspection, it appeared extraordinarily perfect. Its color was very even, signifying that it had already been purified before. Lastly, it felt heavier than usual.
The Heavy Silver was hard, but it was still softened under the blazing heat of the furnace, becoming far more ductile. Only when Heavy Silver was in this state would it be suitable for forging.