Castle Of Black Iron - Chapter 64
Chapter 64: Human Calculator
Translator: WQL Editor: Geoffrey
As expected, with the rise of the prices of grains and sugar, the sales of the Zhang Family's brew
store also gradually declined. Although the wealthy would probably not be affected by the
change of several copper or silver coins, for many at the lowest rungs of society, even a trivial
increase in the price of grains or other commodities would greatly put pressure on their ability
to survive. Naturally, they were more sensitive to the changes in price. Although the Zhang
Family had only increased the price of a bowl of rice brew by a single copper coin, to some, it
was a 20 percent increase in price and was something that would be difficult for them to accept.
Seeing the Chinese woman dragging away her kid, who kept swallowing his saliva, in the rice
brew store, Zhang Tie could only force a bitter smile. In the past, this kid used to eat rice brew
in their store, but due to the recently increasing price, the kid's mom had no choice but to drag
him away. For commoners like them, the rising price of grains not only affected the price of a
bowl of rice brew but also their overall living expenditure. Influenced by rising price of grains,
the price of the other daily necessities like cooking oil and salt also increased. In addition,
Zhang Tie heard that the price of coal had also started to rise in Blackhot City for the past few
couple of days. Obviously, the price of a wagon full of coal balls had also increased by 5 copper
coins. As the price of grains and coal increased, the price of steel produced from ironworks
would also naturally increase. Although it was only a small fluctuation, it was not a good feeling
for many of the commoners.
The Zhang Family's ugly, remodelled three-wheeler had been borrowed by a neighbor to buy
grains. These past two days, several people had come to borrow it to transport necessities. As
his sister-in-law said she was a bit uncomfortable this morning, his mom became worried and
accompanied her to the hospital, leaving Zhang Tie alone at home. In the rice brew store, Zhang
Tie boringly drove away the flies with a fan.
Absent-minded in the rice brew store, as Zhang Tie concentrated, an interesting thought
appear in his mind...
With his spiritual energy increasing by seven fold, Zhang Tie realized that the <Mental
Arithmetic by Abacus>that he had been painstakingly training for the past two weeks had
greatly improved. Before yesterday, it would take him a long time to visualize an abacus with
three columns in his mind, the image of the abacus wouldn't be steady, and he couldn't
calculate quickly using it either it wasn't even able to match the speed of just calculating
manually. All in all, he could not use it to do daily calculations easily. Surprisingly, this
situation has improved sharply this morning.
At this moment, a golden abacus with seven columns was suspended steadily in Zhang Tie's
mind. The beads on the abacus were moving up and down automatically, outputting results.
What's 36 multiplied by 98? 3528!
What's 1269 plus 9621? 10890!
What's 362 times 125? 45250!
What's 639 divided by 12? 53.25!
What's 98564 divided by 125? 788.512!
In the past, Zhang Tie needed to use the abacus techniques in order to get an answer, but now,
he was able to know the answer the instant he saw the question. After practicing for a while,
Zhang Tie realized that he didn't need to use abacus techniques anymore. After using the
abacus for two years, Zhang Tie finally realized how powerful and effective the time-honored
calculator was. He didn't know where the book <Mental Arithmetic by Abacus>that was marked
as ’’After-class reading for preliminary students’’ was from; however, Zhang Tie didn't believe
that any preliminary school student could match him from the intensity and effect of spiritual
energy. Previously, his spiritual energy might have been similar to that of a preliminary school
student, but ever since his spiritual energy had combined with the Fruit of Brilliance, it has
already become seven times of that from before; it was much more powerful at this moment.
Benefitting from the new spiritual energy, he could fully experience the powerful effects of
<Mental Arithmetic by Abacus>, as he could work it out the instant he saw any calculation
question within seven digits. Additionally, Zhang Tie realized the abacus was easily stabilized
after it was visualized. During this entire experience, Zhang Tie had even sold a few bowls of
’’I am able to calculate faster than the manual metal calculators used in trading agencies and
commercial banks!’’ Zhang Tie became excited. He never would have imagined that the sharply
increased spiritual energy would help improve his <Mental Arithmetic by Abacus>skills so
greatly over night. Zhang Tie was sure that Donder would definitely be startled if he saw his
As Zhang Tie felt great about using <Mental Arithmetic by Abacus>so easily, an extremely
absurd thought suddenly came to mind maybe this was how people used the abacus in the
beginning? A long time ago, people had powerful spiritual energy and could easily use this
calculating tool in their mind; however, later on, their spiritual energy declined and they could
barely finish calculation in their mind. Thus, someone decided to use a real object to replace the
imaginary object in their mind and started to operate by hand. After another hundreds or
thousands of years, when everybody was accustomed to operating an abacus by hand, a guy
suddenly realized this calculator could be visualized in the mind and could replaced by
visualized object. As a result, he invented the <Mental Arithmetic by Abacus>, which reflected
the original usage of this calculator...
If his assumptions were correct, then he would be the only person who could master the true
usage of this calculator. Zhang Tie didn't know whether this marvelous calculator could be
improved. He remembered that Donder had once told him about a powerful profession in the
East called ’’fortuneteller’’, which would own a calculator known as ’’Yi’’. This calculator was not
used to calculate numbers but instead the fortunes or disasters that would befall a person and
the changes between the heaven and the earth. Was <Mental Arithmetic by Abacus>related to
While Zhang Tie was pondering on this thought, his mom and sister-in-law had returned.
Instantly breaking the abacus formed in his mind, he ran towards them. ’’Mom, what's wrong
After speaking, Zhang Tie realized that he had said a really silly question. In response to his
question, the face of his sister-in-law flushed slightly, and his mom glared at him ferociously
and flicked his forehead. ’’What matter? Go make lunch...’’
In the afternoon, as usual, Zhang Tie helped his mom make rice brew, but this time, it was
different; his sister-in-law had joined them. As a result, they finished much faster than before.
After lunch, their neighbor brought back the three-wheeler, and thus Zhang Tie rode it to shop
for rice and sugar. As expected, the prices had risen a bit again. Considering the poor sales of
rice brew last week, he only bought two bags of rice this time. Returning home, Zhang Tie
noticed that his mom was teaching his sister-in-law how to make liquid yeast.
’’This liquid yeast is the key, as it determines the final taste of the rice brew. Our Zhang Family
makes our own liquid yeast, and we store it inside the spare jars boiling water after they have
cooled down. We prepare two jars of rice brew; one is to be used, while the other is to be left to
ferment. When one jar of rice brew is almost used up, we'll add some water, cut-up fruits, fruit
rinds, and kernels, and we'll open it every day and give it a shake to give it some fresh air. After
a week, a new jar of rice brew would be ready. We usually put two spoons of well-fermented
liquid yeast into each jar before covering the lid. Taste some, this liquid yeast is delicious.
Zhang Tie used to stealthily eat it before...’’ Zhang Tie had remembered those steps deeply in
his heart. He didn't pay attention to what mom had told to his sister-in-law at the beginning;
however, his mom really made him lose face in front of his sister-in-law. While listening to
what his mom had said, Zhang immediately thought about something...
Yeast Rice brew
Mutated and evolved yeast Mutated and evolved rice brew ？
Zhang Tie remembered that there was an option in the Castle of Black Iron that allowed all
living beings to mutate and evolve, and he had even tried it on a sprouted potato the first time
he entered the Castle of Black Iron. As he hasn't seen any improvement lately, he had almost
forgotten about it. Watching his mom teach his sister-in-law how to make liquid yeast, Zhang
Tie had a sudden realization. If he could help mutate or evolve the yeast used to make brew,
would the taste of the rice brew be improved? If so, that would help improve the sales of the
Zhang Family's rice brew.
After thinking for a while, Zhang Tie felt this way was feasible. At the very least, he could have a
try. ’’The Zhang's family has already used the same method to make rice brew for the past two
decades, so why not try something new? Nothing is lost even if it fails!’’
Thinking of this, Zhang Tie became excited. In response, in the evening, he found a clean glass
jar in the kitchen and stealthily filled it with half a bottle of liquid yeast. Afterwards, he took it
back to his room and quickly entered the Castle of Black Iron. Opening the ’’Living Beings and
Species Management’’ option, he chose ’’Carbon-based Living Beings and Species Management’’
and then ’’Microorganisms’’. After selecting that bottle of liquid yeast, he inputted 300 points of
aura value, 5 points of merit value, and 0.1 point of basic energy storage and started the first
evolution and mutation for the yeast.