Yuanen Yehui looked up at Xie Xie, who had barged in. He met her scarlet eyes and gulped, then meekly asked, “A-are you okay?”
Xie Xie had been waiting for her the entire time. Just like Yuanen Yehui had suspected, he was the one who cleaned the dormitory. He had drawn the bucket of water outside her door as well, using his Shadow Dragon Dagger to invisibly lurk in the vicinity, waiting for Yuanen Yehui to return. When he saw her dump out the bucket of water, he felt as though he were getting punched in the gut. Just as he was about to leave, however, he heard her pained screams and charged into her room without a second thought. Only as he stared into her crimson eyes did he start to feel awkward.
“Get out!” she screamed.
“Ah!” Xie Xie turned tail and ran off. Fear continued to linger in his heart when it came to her. The memory of her attempting to kill him had been burned into his mind, and even as he ran out, Xie Xie did not forget to close the door behind him.
Yuanen Yehui panted for breath as she wiped tears from her face. She then curled up in her bed, gripping her blanket tightly.
“Do you know what the greatest difference is between blacksmiths who can spirit refine and those who can’t? Feng Wuyu asked Tang Wulin.
“Well... they can spirit refine,” Tang Wulin answered.
“That’s a shit answer. It’s nowhere near as simple as that! Just what has Mu Chen been teaching you?” Feng Wuyu glared at Tang Wulin, the intensity in his gaze forcing the boy to stumble backward a step.
“Teacher Mu said that I shouldn’t bite off more than I can chew… that he’ll teach me what I need to know about spirit refining when I could actually do it,” Tang Wulin answered meekly. “That way, I can focus on improving my skills.”
“Nonsense!” Feng Wuyu shouted. “His way of teaching is half-assed. Only with a comprehensive understanding of your blacksmithing path will you be able to properly prepare and progress on it. Now pay attention. I’ll teach you just what a grandmaster blacksmith is.
“Prior to spirit refining, blacksmiths only need have to work according to routine. In other words, they just have to practice skilled labor. After spirit refining, blacksmiths can finally show their flair and character in their work. This is a major milestone for blacksmiths.” Feng Wuyu paused for a moment, letting the information sink in. “Herein lies the greatest difference between fourth and fifth-rank blacksmiths. From now on, in addition to single, homogenous metals, you’ll be forging alloys.”
“Alloys?” The idea left Tang Wulin dumbstruck, and an inkling of what was to come began forming in his mind.
“To spirit refine is to bestow life upon metals,” Feng Wuyu declared. “You’ve succeeded in doing so once before, so let me ask you this: when you were spirit refining, what was the hardest part of the process?”
“Giving the metal life,” Tang Wulin answered instantly. “The metal gradually gains
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