Chapter 88 – This Isn’t a Dream!
The golden light said, “If you have made it here, then it is proof you have the foundation necessary to assimilate the energy of the first seal. In order for you to absorb the soul1 of the Golden Dragon King, you must first be physically strong. Secondly, you will also need external help. For your first seal, you will need to find three objects. These three objects can be used to help increase your physical strength. I have been awakened, so I will wait for you to prepare these three objects. When you apply all three of them at the same time, I will then help you break through the power of the first seal.
“You have to remember: the soul of the Golden Dragon King has a double-edged effect on your body. When you consume the soul, it will strengthen you. If you take too long to absorb it, however, then the seal will not be able to continue its suppression of the soul. You will die once you reach ten years of age. Find those three objects, otherwise, I will not be able to withhold the pressure of the first seal.”
Ten years old? He was only half a year away from his tenth birthday.
“What, what are those three objects?” Tang Wulin hurriedly asked his question.
“Hundred-year Ice Crystal Fruit, hundred-year Scarlet Flame Fruit, and ten drops of blood from a hundred-year soul beast with a dragon bloodline.”
Just by hearing those names, Tang Wulin knew that the items would come with a hefty price tag. He hadn’t even previously heard the names of those two aforementioned fruits, not to mention the ten drops of blood from a hundred-year soul beast, which was even more…
“Excuse me, but soul beasts are extinct! Where can I find them?” cried Tang Wulin, his expression stunned.
The golden light quieted down for a moment, as if in thought. It then answered in a glum-sounding voice, “I do not know as well. I can only tell you what information I have. As to how you are to be able do this, or how you accomplish it, that is your problem to solve. I cannot help you figure this out. I can only remind you that you must break the first seal and absorb the suppressed soul by ten years of age. Otherwise, you will die.
“When you have found these objects, enter a meditative state once more and focus on the image of a dragon. I will then escort you here. Now, I shall bring you out of this place.”
“Please wait,” Tang Wulin hurriedly pleaded.
“I am only a thread of divine consciousness, and there is a limit to how long I can stay here. Please stop prolonging my stay.” The golden light sounded severe as it spoke.
Tang Wulin asked, “Why do scales appear when I’m in contact with certain objects? Like when I was stabbed by Xie Xie’s Light Dragon Dagger? Does this have something to do with the Golden Dragon King?”
The golden light replied, “Yes. When your blood makes contact with other dragon-type objects or beings, the power of the Golden Dragon King will temporarily appear. You cannot control this power as you have yet to break the seal. Therefore, you must find these three objects quickly.”
Tang Wulin had much more to ask, but his surroundings suddenly distorted and began to spin. He woke the next moment.
His body was soaked in sweat, and he felt an unspeakable pain. He also clearly felt that his high body temperature had begun to cool.
Was it a dream or not a dream?
No, it was not!
If it wasn’t for his previous experiences, then he would have thought it were a kind of dreamland. Yet, was it truly as simple as a dream?
If it were a dream, then why did it feel so real to him? Why did golden scales appear when he was stabbed by the Light Dragon Dagger? Why was he so weak and ordinary when he was young, yet had become so much stronger after his martial soul awakened?
But if it wasn’t a dream, then why was there a dragon’s soul within his body that was constantly endangering his life?
That golden figure of light had said that although this was a crisis, it was also an opportunity. To absorb the soul of a dragon, what would he become then?
There were numerous questions in his head, and the golden light’s explanations didn’t answer them.
Shaking his head forcefully, he calmed his thoughts and got out of bed. He went to the washing room in order to clean his body and then changed into dry clothes. After that, he went back to bed.
Calm. I have to be calm, he said to himself.
As he took in a deep breath, Tang Wulin’s eyes became focused. At least two points could be summarized. First, there truly was a dragon’s soul in his body and it was a threat to his life until he could absorb it. Second, if he could absorb the dragon’s soul, then his strength would gradually become even stronger.
Thus, the first thing he had to do was find those three objects the golden light had mentioned to him. After that, he would then try to absorb the power suppressed by the first seal. Only when he tried it could he understand what it was. If he absorbed the soul, could he then control the power of those scales?
He was only nine years old, and his mindset wasn’t too mature yet. The concept of death to him wasn’t as terrible as what adults thought. Even if his heart did have fear, the fear wasn’t that strong.
Hundred-year Ice Crystal Fruit, hundred-year Scarlet Flame Fruit, ten drops of blood from a dragon-type soul beast. Merely the names of those objects gave him the impression that they were not commonly found. Where could he find them?
With a belly filled with helplessness, Tang Wulin restarted his meditation. This time around, he successfully entered a meditative state.
Morning arrived and the four occupants of the dorm woke up, appearing fully recharged.
“Let’s go! Wulin, let’s go eat.” Xie Xie jumped off his bed.
Tang Wulin answered him helplessly, “You haven’t even washed yourself.”
“Eh… I’m a little hungry. Let’s go wash ourselves quickly!”
Tang Wulin spoke up, “Xie Xie, I have something to ask. Have you heard of some objects called an Ice Crystal Fruit and a Scarlet Flame Fruit?”
Xie Xie was stunned when he heard Tang Wulin. “Ice Crystal Fruit? Scarlet Flame Fruit? Of course I’ve heard of them! Aren’t those ordinary spirit fruits? You can easily find them in the marketplace. They’re fruits that are very effective in nourishing martial souls with ice and fire properties. Your martial soul is plant-type though, so aren’t those fruits pretty useless?”
Tang Wulin was jubilant after hearing what Xie Xie said. He was most afraid that no one would know of these items or where to get them.
“Then, are those spirit fruits expensive?” Tang Wulin lowered his voice as he asked further.
Xie Xie said, “Not bad, about 10,000 to 20,000 federation coins for each, depending on quality.”
Ten thousand to twenty thousand? This was a sum he could afford! Tang Wulin brightened up. “If its quality is good, would that mean it’s something like a hundred-year Ice Crystal Fruit and such?”
Xie Xie rolled his eyes. “Have some common sense, please! A ten-year spirit fruit would be considered pretty good. A hundred-year fruit would only be found in auctions, and would be considered spirit treasures. If it’s a thousand-year fruit, then it would be considered a heaven and earth treasure. The meaning of a heaven and earth treasure is that it would be considered priceless.”
Tang Wulin gave a bitter laugh. “Then, how much would a hundred-year Ice Crystal Fruit and Scarlet Flame Fruit cost?”
Xie Xie answered, “Those two fruits are more commonly seen than others, but the demand is quite high as well. As such, the price is still reasonable. I’d say it would cost probably 80,000 to 100,000 federation coins for each one at an auction.”
Tang Wulin was awestruck when he heard of the price. Eighty thousand to a hundred thousand? For each one?
Following the golden light’s explanation that he had only half a year to find these items, how would he gain the ability to earn such a large sum?
“Wulin, what’s going on with you? Why would you ask this all of a sudden? Spirit fruits have little use for us, as their medicinal effects are too strong. They might even endanger a human’s life. Unless it were a unique situation, they wouldn’t be something you’d normally use. They could possibly affect our foundations. There might even be side-effects! Thousand-year fruits should be excluded, however, yet those aren’t things just anyone can easily obtain. A thousand-year spirit fruit can also be counted as rare as a soul beast. If it reaches ten-thousand years, it would even have its own soul.”
Tang Wulin’s mood gradually calmed down, and he looked towards Xie Xie. “Xie Xie, can you bring me to the auction house during this week’s rest day? I have never set foot in an auction house before.”
“Sure!” Xie Xie agreed without a second thought. He was one who treated strangers coldly, but he changed drastically when treating a friend. Xie Xie was actually a person with frank characteristics.
Xie Xie moved on to wash up, but Tang Wulin stayed back and retrieved his rarely used soul communicator from the storage ring. He dialed the first contact stored on the communicator.
“Wulin? What’s the matter?” Mang Tian’s familiar voice flowed from the other end of the communicator.
“Teacher, would you be coming to Eastsea City during this week’s rest day?” Tang Wulin asked.
Mang Tian questioned, “Why? Do you have some questions about forging?”
Tang Wulin replied, “No. but I have something I would like to discuss with you.”
Mang Tian grew silent for a while before saying, “That’s great. Teacher has something to discuss with you as well. I’ll come by in the afternoon of that rest day.”
“Yes, I’ll wait at the workshop,” Tang Wulin answered respectfully,
Tang Wulin’s eyes gave off a hint of deep contemplation as soon as the communication ended. The seal was there, but he had only half-year’s worth of time. What he needed the most now was money. He needed to earn more money. Yet, he knew well that with his current situation, this was impossible. He had to think of some other ways.