First guaranteed chapter of the week – and I would like to dedicate it to ZootDoot, my new Patron on Patreon 😀
Hui Yue was looking at Wang Ju Long who was currently sitting next to him with closed eyes and his arms resting across his chest. It was obvious that the other boy was completely ignoring Hui Yue, causing the white-haired boy to sigh deeply and return his eyes towards Teacher Li Yuan.
This morning Hui Yue had gone to the classroom just like the previous day and Teacher Li Yuan had explained the different subjects that the students could choose from. At first Hui Yue had not found any of the subjects particularly interesting, however upon hearing about Cultivation History within the Taiyang Kingdom, he was instantly interested as he hoped it would be possible for him to find some clues to Shenyuan and the Dark Age.
The majority of the commoner students had been placed within the Qi Refinement and Theory Class as they had never been taught about the fundamentals of cultivation at the Martial Art Schools.
A few noble students had been placed within the same class as the commoners, however the majority had been ranked in a class one level higher, the class called Understanding and Practice of Martial Art Skills. This class was for those who knew the basics of Qi cultivation and needed to learn more about how to use this Qi when it came to Martial Art Skills.
The class which Hui Yue had been expected to enter was called Disciple Ranked Cultivation Methods as Hui Yue was considered one of the geniuses in the class, however Hui Yue had still chosen the extra class which anyone could enter.
Cultivation History within the Taiyang Kingdom was a subject where anyone who wished to enter could enter, however it was also considered a subject where the student would not gain any help with their cultivation, and it was very rare for anyone to actually choose it. Teacher Li Yuan had been greatly shocked when he saw Hui Yue chose it.
The classes were split between morning, noon and afternoon and each class would be taught by Teacher Li Yuan. The Cultivation History within the Taiyang Kingdom was sat on the afternoon schedule, which slightly annoyed Hui Yue, but there was nothing he could do about it.
What was even worse was that right after Hui Yue had moved towards the corner designated to the Cultivation History within the Taiyang Kingdom, Wang Ju Long had risen from his seat and followed.
Hui Yue had been slightly startled upon seeing the young master follow him at first, but afterwards he felt rather annoyed as neither of them had a favourable impression of the other.
At first a few of the commoners had intended to join Hui Yue for the sake of building a relationship with him, however upon seeing Wang Ju Long seating himself next to Hui Yue, everyone quickly dropped the idea of joining the class. The tension was so thick that it caused Teacher Li Yuan to sigh.
At first he had been shocked to see Hui Yue move towards the Cultivation History of Taiyang Kingdom, but inside he had been cheering with happiness as it had given him the hope that the two geniuses would be split into different classes, however upon seeing Wang Ju Long following the white-haired boy, the cheering quickly turned into the sound of mourning as Teacher Li Yuan could feel how he suddenly aged more than ten years from worrying alone.
Lan Feng laughed upon feeling the annoyance within Hui Yue’s soul, ‘don’t worry,’ he said with his usually cheerful voice, ‘have you never heard the idiom of keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?’ he asked.
‘Obviously I know about it,’ Hui Yue sighed back, ‘but this guy does not deserve to be seen as an enemy. If anything he is just a slight bump on the road.’
Lan Feng started cackling with laughter upon hearing the words from Hui Yue. It was obvious that the white-haired boy had gained some of Lan Feng’s arrogance after so many years of interaction, and although Hui Yue claimed that Wang Ju Long was nothing but a bump on the road, it was obvious that this bump caused Hui Yue even more annoyance than Deng Wu, who had proven to be a real threat to them.
Hui Yue let out a sound of contempt before he chose to completely ignore Wang Ju Long. Instead he dug into one of the pockets in his clothes and picked up the non-combat skill Fire Spark. Hui Yue turned his full attention towards the Martial Art Skill that he had borrowed the day before, and once again looked through all the explained patterns.
‘What is it about this skill you are so interested in?’ Lan Feng asked curiously while looking over the scroll within Hui Yue’s hands. Looking at the skill, Lan Feng was unable to see anything hidden within. To him it was just a very simple non-combat Martial Art Skill which allowed the cultivator to ignite a small spark within two palms.
Teacher Li Yuan sighed deeply upon noticing how the two boys at the back of the room once again completely ignored him and instead focused solely on their own studies. One was reading a scroll while the other was cultivating. Teaching the two would take incredible amounts of patience.
Hui Yue had ignored Lan Feng, and the phoenix had not asked further as he suddenly noticed a slight excitement grow within Hui Yue’s soul. The excitement grew tremendously within an instant and a big smile spread across the young boy’s face.
With smooth movements, Hui Yue placed the scroll on the table in front of him before he started making a series of hand seals, activating the Qi from within his lower dantian and allowing it to flow through his meridians in a particular pattern.
Lan Feng was observing the entire process with curiosity, but suddenly he felt shock upon noticing a few additional hand seals had been added to the original Fire Spark. The flow within the meridians had changed slightly, and the change caused amazement to appear in Lan Feng’s eyes.
The Qi that had moved through the meridians split into two lines and they each shot out of Hui Yue’s two palms, colliding with great force in the space between the palms and ignited a small fire.
The fire was small, however it grew in size as Hui Yue kept feeding it Qi that had rushed through the meridians in a specific pattern, drawing in a foreign power which caused the flames to sudden soar into the skies.
Lan Feng was stunned, ‘You..’ he started his sentence, ‘don’t tell me you managed to…?’ he never got further before the flame escaped Hui Yue’s control and roared in strength, exploding out into the classroom.
Hui Yue’s eyes grew slightly with surprise, but he reacted quickly to the escaped flame, closing off the flow of Qi and extinguished the flame before it managed to cause any damage to neither people nor interior.
A smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face as he was incredibly satisfied with the result from his experiment, but he had forgotten where he was, and he quickly noticed the students who were gaping at him with shock in their faces, even the teacher was stunned upon seeing the flame that had appeared from Hui Yue.
The reason that Teacher Li Yuan was shocked was very different from the students. Although the students knew that Hui Yue was stronger than they had expected, they only thought it was a normal Martial Art Skill that he had used, however Teacher Li Yuan knew better.
Hui Yue was a student ranked cultivator. He was currently relying solely on his lower dantian which could refine Essence into Qi, however what Teacher Li Yuan saw was real flames. Fire, which could not be created unless Hui Yue was able to activate his middle dantian or had another skill which imitated the Spirit Art Skills.
Teacher Li Yuan was not the only one who was deeply shocked upon sensing the profound skill that Hui Yue had just used. Wang Ju Long had stopped cultivating and had opened his eyes as soon as he felt the first movement of Qi fluctuations next to him. Upon looking at the scroll which was placed in front of Hui Yue, Wang Ju Long had quickly guessed that this was the skill Fire Spark, but he had felt deep shock upon noticing how Hui Yue had fed the flame his Qi that had been mixed with a power which Wang Ju Long had not felt before. The power was definitely much more profound than any Qi he would be able to refine.
Wang Ju Long gritted his teeth and glared at Hui Yue, worrying that the young boy who was sitting next to him was gaining the upper hand, so instead he closed his eyes and rushed back into the meditative stance to refine his Qi little by little.
Hui Yue noticed the behaviour of Wang Ju Long, and although he did not like the other boy, he had to admit that he had severely underestimated him upon their first meeting. Although Wang Ju Long was a young master and he moved around with great arrogance he was clearly a boy who worked hard to achieve what he wanted, and even if Hui Yue disliked him, it was impossible to not acknowledge his hard work.
“Teacher,” Hui Yue rose from his seat with an apologetic expression on his face, “I deeply apologize for interrupting your lecture. I was experimenting with a Martial Art Skill that I found within the Martial Art Skill Hall yesterday, and I got carried away as I was close to mastering it. I apologize for not paying attention to your lecture for a short moment.”
Teacher Li Yuan could not help but snort upon hearing this. Hui Yue had not paid attention to anything Li Yuan had said the entire day, however upon hearing such an apology he had no other option than to nod his head and accept the apology. Instead he quickly continued with the lecture.
“As you all know, tomorrow will be the Pill Distribution Day.” Teacher Li Yuan started, and instantly the entire classroom turned silent, students were breathless as they listened to what Teacher Li Yuan had to say, “Although the name is called Pill Distribution Day, you will not receive the pill before it is night time. The pills will be distributed when the full moon rises on the sky and pushes away the final sunlight of the day. To be eligible for a pill a student need to enter meditation and cultivate from high noon until the pills are distributed.”
Some students were shocked upon hearing this as they had never heard about special requirements before, but Hui Yue nodded his head slowly. Cultivating for half a day was not hard and if it gave him a medicinal pill as a reward, it was definitely something Hui Yue was prepared to do.
“During your cultivation you need to have your Student medals placed in front of you. This student emblem will record the amount of Qi you manage to refine, and the more Qi you refine, the higher grade the medicinal pill you receive will be.”
Hui Yue could not help but narrow his eyes upon hearing the words Teacher Li Yuan just said. Although it was good to refine high amounts of Qi, it was very likely that some students would rush their cultivation and end up with inferior quality of Qi, causing them to be unable to make breakthroughs later on in their cultivation.
‘That is most likely the intended result,’ Lan Feng pointed out as he felt the sudden vigilance appear within Hui Yue, ‘it is true that the Royal Family is using these academies to reel in geniuses, but if they are too outstanding their idea of fostering geniuses can very well turn into a threat to them.’
Hui Yu understood this reasoning, he nodded ‘even if they have a fairly low quality of Qi they should be able to rely on Qi Refining medicine to break into the middle dantian range. Although experts who are at the middle dantian range are strong, they are still nothing if we compare them to the real experts of the higher dantian ranks.’
‘I guess that the majority of the cultivators in this class will end up as soldiers,’ Lan Feng said with a sigh, ‘and they will stay grateful towards the Royal Family for providing this sort of opportunity for them.’
Hui Yue decided not to worry anymore about the subject. In the end it had nothing to do with him whether the Royal Family wished to create real geniuses or mediocre ones, instead he was excited upon thinking about the Fire Spark Skill that he was practicing.
Teacher Li Yuan ended the lesson as soon as he had finished explaining about the Pill Distribution Day, and he waited within the classroom until every student had left. As soon as he was alone he allowed his body to slump into a chair and he slowly picked up his Teacher’s Emblem once again and replayed the recording of Hui Yue playing with the Fire Spark skill.
No matter which way Teacher Li Yuan looked at this skill, it had to be some sort of Spiritual Art Imitation as the fire looked like real fire, but once again it was a skill he had never seen before, and based on Hui Yue’s expression, this was a skill he had found recently.
Teacher Li Yuan once again sent the recording to every other staff at the school, and hoped to be able to see them explain the Martial Art Skill he had seen.
After sending the recording out, Li Yuan started investigating which skills Hui Yue had picked from the Martial Art Skill Hall, but even while looking through, all he could find was low ranked skills which were unable to produce such a terrifying flame.
Once again the recording spread across the school. At first they had seen Hui Yue as a genius with an unknown background, but now their interest was piqued even further. The librarian recognized the hand seals as a variety of Fire Spark, and the memory stone did record the Fire Spark Martial Art Skill as one of those that Hui Yue had taken from the Skill Hall.
Instantly the teachers tried to gain a copy of the Fire Spark skill, but it was a very unpopular skill and the academy only had a few copies which were taken almost instantly. However, looking at the skill roll, none of the teachers were capable of understanding how such a weak flame could turn into the blaze they had seen on Teacher Li Yuan’s recording.
Within the Academy’s office building was an old man sitting at a desk filled with books and paper scrolls. His hair and beard was white and long, showing that this man had lived for a very long time. He was the school chairman who had been sent here on behalf of the Royal Academy, and he was the one who had been distributing the courtyard to Hui Yue the first day he had entered the Academy.
The first time the Chairman saw Hui Yue he had not paid any attention to the white-haired boy, instead he had rushed him away. When he first saw the video from Teacher Li Yuan, he was not particularly bothered by it as although it was rare for students to have high ranked martial art skills, it was not so rare that he needed to personally bother about it.
But this time it was different. The Chairman had instantly recognized the skill to be the non-combat low ranked student skill Fire Spark, and knowing the rank and the skill, the Chairman was also very certain about the amount of power it should have been able to release.
The skill, however had evolved, and it was clear that Hui Yue was the one who had made it evolve. He had added two extra hand seals which he had integrated into the series of hand seals that were expected for the Fire Spark, and those hand seals were used to release another power from within Hui Yue, a power that should not exist within a student ranked cultivator, much less a ten-year-old child.
The Chairman looked at his Emblem which was a higher rank than the Teacher’s emblem. All these emblems were created from memory stone, but they had been altered by an ultimate expert from within the Royal Family. All the emblems had different functions, however the students and teachers only knew of few of the actions.
Upon binding an emblem with Qi, that emblem was capable of recording the owner’s cultivation rank and Qi quality. It was only the Royal Emblems which were capable of observing the cultivation rank and Qi quality, and this was a function that the Chairman had just used. Upon seeing the results, the Chairman could not help but slowly lower the memory stone from his forehead and slowly sit still, contemplating what he was supposed to do. This child was filled with surprises.
The Chairman once again lifted the Royal Emblem and placed it on his forehead before he activated another function exclusively to the Royal Emblem and contacted the Chairman of the Inner Branch of the Royal Academy. Although he contacted him, the two of them were not capable of having a conversation through the memory stones, instead the Chairman sent his memories and knowledge through the Royal Emblem, and allowed the other Chairman to decide what they wished to do with this genius. For now, the only option he had was to keep observing.
Another function that both the Teacher’s Emblem and the Royal Emblem had was the ability to instantly record the actions of any Student Emblem, however this was useless if the emblem was packed down within a pocket or a bag.
Currently multiple teachers within Riluo City’s Royal Academy were currently sitting with their Teacher’s Emblems pressed against their foreheads and observing Hui Yue, hoping that he would reveal more of his skills or maybe a little about his past. Unfortunately, the memory stone was unable to deal with sounds, so the only thing that they could currently see was the inside of his pocket. Still, these teachers were patient and they stayed in their positions, observing Hui Yue and waiting for the just the tiniest bit of information.
As Hui Yue had left the classroom he had put his Student Emblem into his pocket and moved towards the canteen where he ate a quick lunch before he rushed back to his courtyard. His excitement had not dimmed and he wanted nothing else than to quickly try out his Fire Spark skill once again.
Hui Yue rushed into his house where he quickly switched clothes before rushing back outside, accidentally leaving his Student Emblem within his jacket pocket inside the bedroom.
‘How did you figure it out?’ Lan Feng asked with astonishment still clear within his voice as Hui Yue once again activated Fire Spark and noticed how at first the flame between his palms was small, but quickly growing in size as pearl white Qi, mixed with a few blue drops of liquid kept on feeding the flame.
‘It’s you,’ Hui Yue said with a big smile on his face, but at the same time focusing on the flame to ensure that it did not run wild again. ‘I might not be able to use Spiritual Energy, but you are a Saint Ranked Expert with elemental affinity already!’ Hui Yue was excited
‘Your soul and mine are combined, so even if I am unable to actually use Spiritual Energy, I am still able implement some of your affinity into my Qi and cause this fire to grow from a harmless spark into a murderous blaze!’ As Hui Yue’s excitement grew, his control over the Fire Spark fell and he had to quickly cut off the Qi supply as the flame roared and slithered, fighting to escape the boundaries that Hui Yue had sat up.
The hand seals that Hui Yue had added to the Fire Spark were the hand seals of the Bird, which he had learned by Lan Feng right as he had entered this new world. Hui Yue had since long ago realized that the contract between him and Lan Feng had changed everything about him.
His appearance had changed but so had his soul, and although he by himself was nothing more than a Student ranked cultivator, a part of his soul had gained the strength of Lan Feng, however so far Hui Yue had no idea how to implement this strength as he was still unable to execute Spiritual Arts.
That being said, Fire Spark was not a Spiritual Art Skill, it was a skill which required Qi to create a flame. Using the phoenix’s affinity with fire, and merging it into the Qi allowed Hui Yue to increase the flame and control it to a certain point.
Hui Yue spent the rest of the day while practicing Fire Spark, and he quickly learned his limits. As a student rank he was unable to make the flame truly dangerous, but both Lan Feng and Hui Yue knew that this would become rather deadly upon reaching the Disciple Rank.
The teachers had ended up giving up on observing Hui Yue the previous day as they knew he had forgotten his Student Emblem within his house, however this morning all the teachers once again observed Hui Yue.
It was the day known as Pill Distribution Day, and today Hui Yue would be forced to cultivate in front of the Student Emblem if he wished to be granted a medicinal pill. All the teachers were excited upon the chance to see how he cultivated, and they started observing Hui Yue from early morning.
Unfortunately, Hui Yue was in no hurry. He slept fairly long for once as he felt very relaxed after succeeding the Fire Spark skill and when he finally woke up he spend the next half hour in the bath, relaxing.
Hui Yue’s leisurely lifestyle was causing all the teachers to grow impatient and some of them even wished that they could yell out to the student that he had to start studying.
Hui Yue on the other hand chose to slowly move towards the canteen where the Rong twins were waiting for him, and the three of them ate their breakfast together. Hui Yue was smiling and feeling incredibly good this day, and after food he ended up walking around the campus with his friends, talking about the plans for the following day where they would be going back to Riluo City.
Hui Yue knew that he owed the Rong twins a great deal, and he was certain that he would repay the two of them one day.
Hui Yue waved goodbye to the twins as the three of them split up and moved towards their courtyards as they needed to prepare for the Pill Distribution Day. The entire campus was filled with students that were rushing back to their home where all of them sat down in meditational stance and their Student Emblem’s in front of them.
Hui Yue sat down like all the others, and the many teachers felt a great sense of satisfaction as they could observe the unknown genius cultivate. Unfortunately, they quickly got disappointed as they noticed that Hui Yue was cultivating the exact same way as anyone else. At least that was how it looked for those who witnessed him cultivate.
Hui Yue had sunken deep into his consciousness and was focusing solely on absorbing Essence and refining Qi, and he did not notice how the high sun slowly sunk down on the sky, and finally got pushed away by the majestic moon.
What he did notice was that the stands of pearl white Qi increased tremendously while he was within this mountain top courtyard, and a shiver went through his body as he finally broke through into the sixth Star Student rank.
The Chairman was the only one who was capable of noticing how much Qi each student had gathered, and he split those students into three groups. The ones who gathered the least would all receive an Essence Gathering Pill which allowed the student to quickly absorb essence and refine it at a slightly increased pace.
The second pill was a Qi Grasping Pill which contained refined Qi. This Qi would merge with the Qi within the cultivator’s dantian and automatically refine itself until it reached the same level of refinement as the Qi present within the dantian. Both Hui Yue and Wang Ju Long had gotten into the middle category as neither of them had rushed with their cultivation.
The final pill, and the most wanted one was the Qi Refinement Pill which provided a slight refinement of the Qi within the cultivator’s dantian. Every student wanted to gain this pill as they relied on those to break through from one rank to another.
Hui Yue opened his eyes happily upon noticing that he had reached the sixth star, and his eyes shone with excitement as he looked at the sky. There were still a few strands of light from the sun which was sinking down below the mountains and Hui Yue decided to watch as the final glints of sunshine died out on the sky.
The moon was round and suddenly it lit up with a silvery shine. This shine turned into thousands of beams of light that shot from the moon and towards each of the courtyards within the mountains.
One of these light beams were aiming straight at Hui Yue and it landed in his hands, revealing a small jade bottle.
Hui Yue was excited as he slowly opened the bottle and a faint smell of medicinal plants erupted from within, causing Hui Yue to remember his parent’s shack where the father would gather the medicinal plants before going to the City to sell them off.
Hui Yue felt a smile spreading on his face. It was time to start his plan.