Chapter 323 – Dividing the First Grade
“Among you, there are designers, makers, mechanics, and blacksmiths,” Wu Zhangkong said, cold as usual. “Simply put, creating a mecha requires these four professions to work together. I’m sure you’re all curious about why the Academy is teaching you the basics of mecha making. In order to become a battle armor master, you first have to study the foundation of battle armor: mechas!
“High-end mechas are just about as powerful as low-end battle armor. A blacksmith forges the metal used to make the mecha, a designer drafts the mecha’s blueprint, a maker assembles the mecha, and a mechanic decides how long the mecha can be used. Battle armor is made in much the same way.
“Now let’s discuss the fundamental principles of mechas…”
Wu Zhangkong began his lecture. However, he didn’t cover the basics of mecha making alone. He also discussed how makers worked with blacksmiths, designers, and mechanics. It was a comprehensive lecture.
By the time morning classes were over, Tang Wulin’s understanding of mechas had grown far more profound.
After counting the students of each profession, this class of 101 students discovered that it only had eight blacksmiths. This was reportedly the highest number of blacksmiths in a class in recent years, not to mention blacksmithing geniuses like Tang Wulin and Yang Nianxia.
Mecha designers were the majority, tallying up to thirty-four in total. Mecha makers followed closely at thirty-one, and the remainder were mechanics. The three main professions were relatively balanced.
“Class is over,” Shen Yi announced. “Class council members, stay behind.”
Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, Wu Siduo, and Luo Guixing stayed in their seats.
“Go to your respective associations and get their help with registering all of the people in your profession. Then discuss how to divide the class into groups with an even balance of each profession. We only have eight blacksmiths. Excluding Tang Wulin, you need to distribute seven, so it would be best to create seven groups, one around each blacksmith. Get familiar with the abilities of the students in your profession and divide them so that the groups are about equal in talent.”
Tang Wulin nodded. The class council received an allowance of contribution points, but it definitely wasn’t free!
“Here are everyone’s school registration forms. The profession and rank of each student is recorded. Their martial soul and soul power rank are listed as well. You four will have to go over every single form and analyze the strengths of each student.”
As the last of the other students trickled out of the classroom, only Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, Wu Siduo, and Luo Guixing remained in the classroom. The four of them flipped through the stack of papers in silence. It wasn’t unusual for Luo Guixing to keep quiet, but Tang Wulin occasionally caught a glimpse of a rare, mysterious smile on his lips. Tang Wulin couldn’t even begin to guess what was going on in Luo Guixing’s mind.
On the other hand, Wu Siduo crossed her arms and gave Tang Wulin a cold glare.
Gu Yue simply leaned back in her chair, an aura of serenity around her.
“This is our first time working together, so I’ll say a few words.” Tang Wulin flashed a radiant smile at them. As class president, he couldn’t shirk his responsibilities. His position was lofty and his responsibilities were just as heavy. “According to Teacher Shen’s instructions, we’ll be dividing everyone into groups centered around the profession with the lowest number of students. Aside from me, we have seven blacksmiths, so we’ll have seven groups with one blacksmith each. I have already skimmed through the papers and ascertained that we have one blacksmith at the first rank, five at the second, and one at the third. There’s a gap between the second and third ranks, but it isn’t too large. The difference between first and second ranks, however, is gigantic. In order to be fair, I will be troubling you three to help me place stronger designers, mechanics, and makers in the first-rank blacksmith’s group. After all, Teacher Shen was pretty clear about wanting the overall skill level of each group to be balanced.”
Gu Yue nodded. “I have no problems with that. Designers make up a majority of the class. With thirty-four of them, there’ll be six groups with five designers and one group with four. The third-rank blacksmith’s group should have four designers. I’ll make sure the skill levels are balanced.”
“I don’t have a problem with that either,” Luo Guixing gave Tang Wulin a friendly grin as he spoke. “It shouldn’t be too hard to distribute them fairly. I’ll get started. The sooner we finish, the sooner we get off.”
Wu Siduo simply nodded silently.
Making each group wasn’t too hard. It was impossible to make every group perfectly equal in ability, but they got as close as they could.
After a while, the four of them finished up and Tang Wulin took the papers in his hands.
“Alright, looks like we’re done,” he said. “You guys can go home and rest. I’ll submit the groups to Teacher Shen.”
“I’ll trouble class president to do so then,” Luo Guixing said, and he stood up and left.
A grim expression on her face, Wu Siduo stood up without saying a word and left as well.
After the other two left, Gu Yue’s impassive expression thawed a bit as she shot a glance at Tang Wulin.
“Wow, the president is so well respected,” she cooed. “Neither of them accept him yet.”
“That’s to be expected,” Tang Wulin replied, giving her a wry smile. “Everyone at Shrek is a genius, so who wouldn’t be proud? I’ll just win them over slowly. In the future, if I no longer qualify for the position or someone better comes along, I wouldn’t want to be class president anyway. Well, let’s get going. I’ll deliver these papers to Teacher Shen then go back and meditate.”
Although food consumed a large chunk of his contribution points every day, Tang Wulin could clearly feel how beneficial it was for for his blood essence and the cultivation speed of the Mysterious Heaven Method. Regardless of the circumstances, increased growth in soul power was a good thing. Tang Wulin wasn’t far from reaching rank 30. He understood that gaining his third soul ring was currently his number one priority. He would then be able to spirit refine and his contribution point worries would vanish.
It was possible to fail when making battle armor. In fact, the usage of higher quality materials increased the probability of failure. In light of this, every student in Shrek Academy, all of whom were prospective battle armor masters, was always on the prowl for spirit refined metal.
Tang Wulin already had a sneak peek at the benefits of being a high-ranked blacksmith. He knew that, once he firmly established himself in the fifth rank, he would have no problems obtaining anything he needed in exchange for his work.
His current plan was to reach rank 30 and perfect his spirit refining skills all while studying mechas and battle armor. He could push combat practice and other things back until later. Goldlight was a thousand-year spirit soul, so he didn’t have to worry about obtaining one for his third soul ring either.
Once Tang Wulin arrived at the teacher’s office with Gu Yue, Shen Yi accepted the papers from him. She quickly flipped through them before giving him a nod of approval. “Excellent. All of you have worked hard. Tang Wulin. As class president, you will be burdened with many responsibilities in the future. Prepare yourself.”
“Understood!” Tang Wulin knew that, as his responsibilities grew, he would learn even more.
“Shrek Academy has always focused on nurturing well-rounded geniuses, but we also raise specialized geniuses. As a blacksmith, you are blessed by the heavens, but that doesn’t mean you can relax just yet.” Shen Yi watched him carefully. “I heard you were abducted by Elder Feng the other day?”
Tang Wulin forced out a bitter smile and nodded. “You don’t have to worry. I’m a member of Shrek’s Blacksmith’s Association now.”
When it came for Feng Wuyu, Tang Wulin was at a loss. The man was a true eccentric, but fortunately for Tang Wulin, his teacher would arrive soon. At the very least, he was confident in his teacher when it came to blacksmithing skill.
“Who said my name?”
At that moment, the blazing-haired Feng Wuyu walked in.
Upon seeing Tang Wulin, his eyes lit up and he roared with laughter. “I was just looking for you! I sure am lucky to find you so soon. Wait to the side for a bit, kid. I have to talk to that girl Shen Yi about something.”
“Hello, Elder Feng.” Shen Yi had long since stood up and given Feng Wuyu a respectful salute.
Feng Wuyu waved his hand dismissively. “It’s fine, it’s fine. I just have a small matter to talk with you about. It’s about this kid actually. He’s a blacksmithing genius blessed by the heavens, and I want to carefully nurture him, but he won’t accept me as his teacher. What do you think should be done here?”
Shen Yi stared at him, dumbstruck. How am I supposed to know what you should do? Am I a blacksmith? No! I can’t force him either!
She sent a pleading look over to Wu Zhangkong who stood nearby.
“Hello, Elder Feng,” Wu Zhangkong spoke up as he walked over. “As I’m sure you know, we only have the authority to make suggestions regarding our students’ professions. We can’t force anything upon them, and it’s up to them to decide. Could it be that you haven’t been able to persuade him?”
Wu Zhangkong’s expression was as icy as usual, but his words were sharper than ever. He passed the ball right back into Feng Wuyu’s court.