“However, if you choose a course like this, you’ll have to expand more effort in the end.”
Mr Meng rose from the stone bench and walked to the pavilion.
The stone pavilion was built on the top of a mountain, and ahead it was a cliff. The mist stretched into an infinite sea of clouds in the abyss, rising in the direction of the sun. The rays of light filtered down, and the sea of clouds opened into a scene of unlimited gold and red.
Mr Meng was dressed in a blue wide-sleeved robe, and his robes shifted slightly in the morning breeze. He lifted his head to look up at the brilliant dawn, and lightly sighed.
“In the beginning, this academy did not have rules such as mandatory twenty courses. A disciple could decide on the number of years he spent at the academy. Back then, in one year, three hundred and sixty-five days, a disciple could sing while practicing the sword, or drink while debating, and be as free spirited as they wanted.”
Lin Shu quietly listened.
“It’s just that this swaying world is being swallowed by raging smoke, and we can’t afford for you to sing with wine and frolic about.” Mr Meng cupped his hands and slowly said, “You came to Shangling’s dreamscape, and I am a man in the dream, but the entire Shangling Academy is just nothing but a big dream in a troubled world. I only hope that each of you will diligently work hard, and when the day comes, you will help in upholding the rules to govern the world, or even just uphold your own personal integrity. I will be satisfied with just that.”
Probably seeing how Lin Shu hadn’t answered for a long time, Mr Meng turned around, and still smiled with that gentle and warm smile, saying: “Nevertheless, you are still young. With such a temperament, you don’t have to think of such things.”
Lin Shu wanted to speak, but he didn’t know what to say.
“Go along.” Mr Meng said. “I’ve said too much today.”
A moment before leaving the fantasy world, Lin Shu saw Mr Meng turning back to the cliff again, overlooking the vast sea of clouds.
He felt that Mr Meng was becoming less and less like a system in a fantasy world, and more like a real, living person.
Mr Meng called himself “the man in a dream”, and it was an apt description.
How a system can show so much care for his students, and worry about the country and its citizens is something Lin Shu cannot fathom, or do as a human himself.
The troubled times, big dreams, and societal issues mentioned by Mr. Meng to someone who constantly chose to stick to himself, did not make much of a difference.
Thus, Lin Shu continued living his very ordinary life.
After leaving the dreamscape, he went to the medicine garden of True Man Duruo in Hexu Heaven.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
True Man Duruo was preoccupied with a celestial shrub, and after handing him a journal detailing the methods of taking care of the plants in the garden, continued to trim the branches of the small tree in front of her.
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His schedule was packed, but once he fell into the rhythm, things would be smooth sailing. Along with the fact that he was rarely required to interact with other people, it was a much more comfortable life than his previous one as a student.
As classes did not start until two days later, Lin Shu had nothing to do. Thus, he relied on the books he took from the library to pass time.
At night, he discovered a scary fact.
The lights in the entire bamboo valley would be put out first, and only then would Lin Shu blow out his candles and prepare for bed.
At this time, Ling Fengxiao’s window would still be glowing, but not from candlelight. Naturally, the Big Miss did not use candles, but instead had an illuminating pearl. When it was time to sleep, she would put the pearl in a box, and that would be counted as putting the lights out.
However, when he woke up the next day, in accordance with his previous life, between four and five in the morning, and looked out the window, Ling Fengxiao was already up, practicing her swordsmanship.
Lin Shu was deeply disturbed. Her actions were very similar to the period of time before the college entrance examinations. He would be walking along the corridor of the classroom, and hear the groups of students next to him discuss: “last night I stayed awake until XX o’clock” “I only did one more paper than usual last night”.
Therefore, the following night, he did not sleep at his usual time.
Seeing that there was light streaming from Ling Fengxiao’s window, he sat down, and began meditating. Two hours later, he stirred awake.
Ling Fengxiao’s window was still bright.
He went back to meditating.
The next time he opened his eyes, the light was still there.
Lin Shu: “…”
What kind of human is she?
Lin Shu was tired.
He took one last look at Ling Fengxiao’s window, and decided not to waste anymore time on this person.
Blowing out the candles, he changed his clothes, laid down, and burrowed under his quilt.
Lin Shu was so tired that his vision blurred, and the moment his head hit his pillow, his felt eyes close.
However, right as his eyelids were about to shut, Ling Fengxiao’s window went dark.
Lin Shu: “?”
Was it a coincidence?
Had this person been competing with him?
If this was the case … Lin Shu imagined that Ling Fengxiao was also trapped in a barely conscious state, and smirked gleefully.
The day he woke up was also the day classes officially began in the academy.
It was September. Jade Heaven was still packed with green bamboo, but Hexu Heaven was full of autumn leaves.
After taking care of True Man Duruo’s garden, Lin Shu went to the hall where this morning’s class “Introduction to Dan Techniques” was located.
Thirty pill furnaces were scattered around the hall, and there were already people seated in front. Based on their attire, they were disciples from Shu Institution.
Lin Shu walked in, found a seat in the corner, and sat down expressionlessly, mentally calculating his jade souls.
Jade souls contain spiritual power, which can be used to start the sacred fire of the furnace, or to draw patterns of runes. Almost all of his classes in Shu Institution required jade souls.
And here, came a problem. It takes one-fifth of the spiritual power in a jade soul to light a furnace, and half to draw just the lowest-level rune. The furnace had to be ignited at least once during Dan Technique classes, which took place every two days. Rune classes were held once every three days, and students would be required to draw multiple runes.
Then, add some prerequisites to this elementary school math problem.
Lin Shu earned eight jade souls per day, Void Control Cinnabars were priced at one hundred jade souls and Essential Heavens Generating Veins Drinks were priced at two hundred. The coefficients of influence on Linshu’s meridian obstruction are x and y, respectively.
Finally, the question was posed.
How could Lin Shu meet the needs of the Dan and rune classes while consuming as many Void Control Cinnabars and Essential Heavens Generating Veins Drinks as possible to solidify the foundations in his body?
The elementary school math problem became a high school calculus problem.
Lin Shu did not have a pen and paper to do the exact math, but he knew in his heart that there was no solution to this problem.
In life, problems would always surface one after another. He would never have enough jade souls.
With this understanding, the first thought that crossed Lin Shu’s mind when he saw Ling Fengxiao entering, was: This person who studies hard, practices swordsmanship diligently, definitely is a god of learning, has reached an advanced level of cultivation, and is strong at martial arts, killing demons as easily as snapping her fingers, must have completed many commissions. Along with the fact that she hails from a rich clan, she must have countless jade souls to be used within the academy.
Rich wife, come to me.
Lin Shu berated himself and quickly banished this thought. A different question hit him.
Why did Ling Fengxiao come to Dan technique class?
No wait, this was not the most important issue at hand.
The biggest immediate issue, was that there were no more seats.
He watched with wide eyes as Ling Fengxiao’s gaze swept around the room, and reluctantly settled on the pill furnace next to his, an obvious glare in her eyes .
Only to see her walk over and sit cross-legged down, red robes spilling around her. The gold trimming clinked softly against each other, crisp and clear. It was a sight bestowed from heaven.
Unfortunately, nothing registered in Lin Shu’s eyes.
He finally understood where the wayward attitudes of the Immortal Daoist Institution’s disciples came from.
It was impossible to get close to such an untouchable person.
There were only two words in his mind right now. Jade souls.
And perhaps two others… Rich wife.