Chapter 50: A Sword from Dad
Nothing special happened on that weekend.
On Friday afternoon after school, Zhang Tie went to the lowest level of the Iron Thorns Fighting Club again to be a flesh-bag; however, it was different from two days ago. Zhang Tie, who had already become a LV 1 fighter, could easily deal with Andrew Benet's attacks. Sometimes, Zhang Tie could even control the rhythm of attacks from that kid, purposely allowing some of his attacks to connect on specific parts of his body. Of course, Zhang Tie would pretend to be kicked over by that kid to satisfy his vanity. Whenever he was knocked over, he would always stand up before saying, "Come on, baby". As a result, that kid would always charge toward him with red eyes.
This job of being a training partner was seen as a hard job to many people; however, for Zhang Tie, it gradually turned into an interesting game-he would receive payment to accelerate the growth of the Iron Body Fruit. Through constantly being beaten up, Zhang Tie had also noticed that his fighting skills had improved. He was able to respond to his opponent's attacks faster than before and could more accurately identify the opponent's attacking intention. As the party that was on the side of purely being beaten, Zhang Tie would sometimes even take control of the rhythm of the battle.
"That one-eyed man really helped me a lot!" Zhang Tie felt happy inside.
As Zhang Tie hadn't been knocked out from the past couple of times and had performed better than before, he felt that his standing in the fighting club had improved. At the very least, the two bastards from the equipment room would no longer mock or place bets on whether he would be knocked out again. Additionally, when he left the Iron Thorns Fighting Club, Director Beck had even encouraged him to work harder and settled his weekly payment of 3 silver and 40 copper coins. This marks the first time Zhang Tie had earned money.
Zhang Tie tightly held onto the coins in his pockets on his way home. When he arrived at his house, he realized that the coins had already become hot. Handing over the coins to his mom, Zhang Tie felt extremely satisfied at the sight of her amazed expression. In the end, his mom only took two silver coins and said she would store them away for Zhang Tie, leaving the rest as his pocket money. This was the first time he contributed to his family through his own efforts, causing him to be filled with pleasure and pride.
On Saturday, as usual, Zhang Tie helped his mom make rice brew at home; however, it was different this time. This time, his sister-in-law joined them, thus Zhang Tie felt that it was much easier than before since he had less to do. His sister-in-law was diligent and clever. She was someone who excelled at housework and had a good reputation in the neighborhood. Since her arrival at their place, she had also gradually become accepted by the Zhang's family.
Watching his mom teach his sister-in-law how to make rice brew, Zhang Tie became dejected. His mom was growing old, yet he only had a little time left to accompany her...
The lives of commoners always had its ups and downs. On the same Saturday, Zhang Tie found that the price of rice had once again increased when he arrived at the rice store with his ugly three-wheeler. This time, the price went from 4 silver and 58 copper coins per 25kg to 4 silver and 61 copper coins per 25kg. He inquired different rice stores and was quoted the same price. Additionally, he found that the prices of other foods had also rose in price at different degrees, among which the price of sugar rose the most sharply. Compared to the price of rice, the price of rice sugar had increased by more than 10% per kg this week, surpassing the price of 1 silver and 11 copper coins per kg...
However, Zhang Tie had no choice but to buy it. As a result, the Zhang Family had to increase the price of the rice brew, which would definitely weaken its sales. This would definitely prove to be detrimental to their living standards.
Hearing the news of the increasing cost of rice, the wrinkles on his mom's forehead seemed to be more pronounced, although her expression remained unchanged.
In the same evening, Zhang Tie sowed a lot of pumpkin seeds on the land in the Castle of Black Iron. Those seeds were scooped out from a pumpkin by his mom several days ago. His mom was so diligent that she felt reluctant to throw them away, hence she washed them and dried them in the courtyard. She knew that those pumpkin seeds would be delicious after being fried.
Zhang Tie sowed about 200 to 300 pumpkin seeds. Zhang Tie did this for two reasons. The first reason was the increasing price of grains. The second reason was that he had realized that the Castle of Black Iron was really suitable for agriculture. Including the gifts he received from Grandma Teresa, all the seeds he had sown the week before had already sprouted and were growing well. The potatoes and niblets especially seemed to grow better. And as a result, the Castle of Black Iron started to show more signs of vitality as the aura value in the Castle of Black Iron was growing quickly every day. By Saturday, the aura value would turn to 70, surpassing all the other values.
After throwing the bag of trash from home into the Pool of Chaos, Zhang Tie had only gained 0.1 unit of basic energy storage. After land reclamation in the Castle of Black Iron, he checked the fruits on the small tree. The Iron Body Fruit was 50% ripe; it seemed that he would be able to enjoy it after being beaten another two times. Additionally, the second Leakless Fruit would also become ripe on the next Thursday evening. This small tree had become the largest source of Zhang Tie's confidence to become prominent in this age.
Right when he exited the Castle of Black Iron and was about to cultivate in his room, Zhang Tie heard a long and sharp sound outside his window that drifted from afar. As the sound of this manual fire alarm could spread very far in the evening, Zhang Tie was immediately able to hear it, thus Zhang Tie hurriedly went over to the windowsill and opened the window as he looked into the far distance. In the pitch black night, a strong fire brightened the entire distant sky. Judging from the source of the fire, Zhang Tie felt that it happened in the old agglomeration of Blackhot City where people from all walks of life gathered. Faint cries and shouts reverberated from the distance...
Zhang Tie wondered whose house caught fire near the railway station. He then ignored it and closed the window. Picking up the crystal from the windowsill, Zhang Tie sat cross-legged on his bed and started to cultivate.
After having ignited the Shrine burning point, Zhang Tie could instantly feel the "small point" near his tail bone shaking once he entered meditation. In the opposite direction of the Shrine burning point, the first burning point on the spine became the next target of Zhang Tie. In accordance with the introduction of the history teacher on Friday, this burning point was the one burning point he had to ignite to reach LV 2. According to the Fibonacci Golden Number Sequence, he would then have to ignite two burning points to reach LV 3, followed by three burning points to reach LV 4, then five burning points to reach LV 5, and eight burning points to reach LV 6... Those burning points lined up on the 34 vertebrae on the human body. There were many secrets hidden in the vertebrae burning points. Similar to the vertebrae, those burning points were also the support and the source of a human's strength. When ignited, each burning point could enhance a person's physique and strength greatly. That explained why the other students were not a match for Glaze, a LV 2 fighter...
After entering meditation, along with Zhang Tie's spiritual energy, the energy gathered by the crystal passed into the first burning point on the spine. After more than 2 hours, Zhang Tie was only able to cause the burning point to be slightly brighter as it started to burn with a small red flame the size of a rice grain. Compared to the blazing Shrine burning point, that was only a small firefly. It was time and energy consuming for most people to practice igniting each point...
On Sunday afternoon, Zhang Tie stayed at home to take care of the rice brew store, while his dad and mom changed into new clothes and left with his soon-to-be sister-in-law with goods in hand. Naturally, Zhang Tie knew where they were heading to. In the evening, his mom and his soon-to-be sister-in-law returned in a pleasant mood. Seeing the two of them, Zhang Tie knew they must have gone to visit his sister-in-law's parents.
Today, he had increased the price for Zhang's rice brew by one copper. Despite having put up a notice in advance, their sales were immediately lowered. Today, they had only sold a bit more than half of their usual sales
"Mom, where's dad?" seeing them, Zhang Tie asked curiously.
"He's got something to deal with. He will come back later!" his mom replied in a mysterious tone.
At the time they prepared to have supper, his dad came back with a long article wrapped in cloth in hand. At the sight of Zhang Tie, his dad smiled and undid the package, revealing a sheathed, slightly arched black sword in front of Zhang Tie.
"Ah!? The Blackhot Sharp-Edge Sword..." Zhang Tie exclaimed and instantly ran forward as if he saw a treasure. Grabbing the sword from his dad's hands, he unsheathed the blade, revealing a sharp two-handed sword in front of his eyes. Etched onto the body of the sword next to the handle was two words-Zhang Tie. He couldn't help but exclaim. This was a gift from his dad.
"You will be attending the survival training next week, so here's my gift for you. Heh...heh..." His dad looked a bit embarrassed. "This is an ordinary, sharp sword made by the forge of Blackhot City. Although it can't match the swords used in the military and the sheath is only made of ordinary iron and wood, it's the best I can afford. So I hope you..."
"I love it, dad!" Before his dad was able to finish his sentence, Zhang Tie instantly hugged him as he kissed his dad's face. He was really satisfied with the gift. Zhang Tie clearly knew that this ordinary Blackhot Sharp-Edge Sword would cost his dad at least one gold coin. That was a great expenditure for his family.
Seeing Zhang Tie so happy, his dad also showed a warm smile...
"Two of you, come on. Let's eat while the food is still hot..." his mom warned them, trying to alleviate the atmosphere...
In this age, the first sword of many people was gifted by either their father or their brother. Aside from representing the blessings and concerns of their relatives, the sword also carried the meaning that the owner will be fighting for their own life with it. This was the inevitable fate of many males and their families!
In the last week before he left school, Zhang Tie, a 15-year old boy, frankly accepted his own fate along with the first sword in his life, which was engraved with his name...