IRNDGL - Chapter 35: Knowledge Is Power

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Five Years of Gaokao, Three Years of Practice


The stuff of nightmares for countless students as well as a super effective weapon used to suppress brattish kids.

As the saying goes, a child is only misbehaving because he doesn’t have enough homework. Therefore, a Five-Three could be used to treat various aspects.

Lin Jie pulled out a mathematics Five-Three from the shelf. Evidently, just one Five-Three mathematics subject wasn’t enough to provide this brat a more abundant extracurricular life.

Even though mathematics was a mysterious and profound subject, merely doing mathematics questions wouldn’t do. 

Therefore, following that, Lin Jie pulled out additional Five-Threes of physics, chemistry, and biology that formed at least half the full set.

The reason it was only half a set wasn’t because Lin Jie had a conscience, but rather, he had considered the cultural differences between Azir and Earth. 

In the three years since transmigrating over, Lin Jie had conducted a rather extensive research on Azir society so that he could better adapt to life in this place. This research was mainly done through books from this world, conversations with customers as well as news broadcasts from next door.

Till now, all the information he had recorded down was still on the desk in his bedroom.

The levels of science and technology in this world were similar to Earth in the 70s and 80s. There weren’t much differences in basic education either as the system and curriculum were still rather alike. 

Both had kindergartens, elementary, middle, high schools, and universities. Basic languages, sciences, humanities, and mathematics were the subjects taken here and examination results were used to determine the progression to the next grade and select schools.

The main difference was probably the additional special theology classes they had here. It might be a different world, but the nightmare was all the same.

Now, the reason Lin Jie had selected purely sciences was because of the differences in culture. Languages were still fine but subjects like history and sociology would be the same as asking for trouble.

Without a cultural context to fit with, humanities would be difficult for someone from Azir to understand, let alone solve questions on that subject.

Someone like Old Wil, who specialized in linguistic research and was an academic with a high level of mastery, could take these books as profound research material for a culture he had never touched on before.

But even Old Wil would have a very limited and one-sided understanding of these books. Thus, having a high school student understand all this might be a tad demanding.

However, it was a different story for basic science subjects at high school level. Even though the science and technology in this world slightly deviated from Earth’s, this divergence only occurs at later and deeper levels of research. 

The basics for sciences were practically similar, just that there wasn’t a complete education system nor were there various reference materials.

Actually, Lin Jie had always wanted to recommend rote learning to the teachers of this world but actually doing so would be rather complicated. This was conflicting with his pursuit of an idle and easy life so he thus decided against it.

However today, he was finally getting a chance to try out something. Having Teacher Lin teach one-to-one for free was a rather rare opportunity.

Lin Jie arranged the few books of Five-Three and placed them on the countertop with a loud thud.

Melissa couldn’t help be stunned when she saw those books. “What are these?” She suddenly recalled the bookstore owner’s words. Hadn’t he said to “make him sit up and take notice”?

Let Joseph sit up and take notice? How can that be done...

The former Great Radiant Knight always had high expectations and demands from her. Since young, she had never stopped training in combat skills, yet she never got much praise and was only spurred on through criticism.

She had been hurt numerous times and shed more blood, sweat, and tears than others but no matter how hard she worked, this was what she ought to receive...

Because she was Joseph’s child and everyone would naturally have great expectations of her. Even Joseph would often draw comparisons between his former self and her.

The only way to let Joseph sit up and take notice was to immediately achieve an actual Pandemonium-rank standard as her father often harped using the same phrase, “I was already a Pandemonium-rank when I was your age.”

Lin Jie’s heartfelt words broke her train of thoughts. “At the end of the day, your father just wants you to make something of yourself. As long as you meet his expectations and leave him convinced, you will be able to speak with him confidently.” 

He continued with a smile, “I can roughly guess how Joseph thinks. At that time, even if he doesn’t say it or he grumbles and curses, you can just request anything you want of him and his heart will surely soften.”

How does he understand dad so well… Melissa couldn’t help nodding. She turned her attention to the books on the countertop and said, “So, these books can help me become stronger and gain my father’s acknowledgment. Am I right?”

Perhaps it’s some training skill. No, perhaps it’s some special skill for aetheric control? All sorts of conjectures popped up in the young girl’s mind.

Lin Jie couldn’t help but sigh with lament. Knowledge is power, and at least this young lady understands this much.

With a smile, he pushed the half-set of Five-Threes across. “You want power? As long as you are able to gain enlightenment and endure this pain, these books will be the keys to open all those doors.”

Melissa stretched her hand out, inexorably feeling that something was going to happen. This made her slightly hesitant, but thinking about all the expectations others had for her made Melissa feel suffocated.

In the end, she took all the books. She lowered her head and saw the title on the first book.

Door Key: Origins

As if she was seduced by the devil, Melissa’s breathing got heavier as she extended a trembling finger and flipped to the first page.

Everything she saw before her eyes was as though she had opened a forbidden door.

Scrambled characters meshed in an indescribable way. Frightening symbols and erratic images unfolded, progressively wrecking rationality and warping the sense of reality.

Endless & Exhaustible.

Domain & Collective.

Sequence & Truth.

All Things & The Universe.

With cognition gradually being peeled away by the influx of taboo knowledge, all she saw before her eyes was everything collapsing and returning to its initial stage—The world in front of her deconstructing, then reconstructing.

Melissa wanted to shriek, not from physical pain but rather a thorough subversion of her soul. Trembling, she muttered, “No, don’t…”

She felt like a clay figurine that could easily be smashed into million grains of sand.

“Don’t be afraid. It’s the price you must pay to open this door. The future will definitely be grateful to the present you.” The bookstore owner’s voice sounded close yet distant.

Melissa glanced over in his direction and everything within her vision appeared to be strangely shattering.

She opened her eyes wide. Behind the bookstore owner was a huge, majestic book repository that was like a shrine, seemingly holding the cumulative knowledge of an entire world.

Above it was the flickering of billions of stars, residing in the farthest reaches of the universe. The dark, gloomy nebulae gave off the feeling as if it was hiding something.

However, in the next second a hair-raising sensation crept up on Melissa and she immediately withdrew her gaze. After a dazed moment, her vision returned to normal.

As before, it was the ordinary bookstore and the same, ordinary young man.

Thud!

Melissa abruptly closed the book in her hands. All that could be heard in the quiet bookstore was her panting and the pitter-patter of rain from outside.

BeetleBarker's Notes:

Anyone regrets not doing their homework as a kid now?

Special thanks to Tetra & Aco for editing and pr-ing

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