AIP - Chapter 48: Li Yu
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Tang Jie's boast immediately had the crowd growing livelier. Those students who had been suffocated by the majesty of the Basking Moon Sect saw that Tang Jie was fine and immediately began to loudly talk. Of course, one of the topics of conversation was Tang Jie's actions just now.
"What clan was that young master from, that he was so bold?"
"From his clothes, he's clearly a servant student."
"Servant students are this bold nowadays?"
"He must be some naive country bumpkin. Declaring that he will make it to the top ten? Such arrogance!"
"I'd like to see what he can do."
"What's there to see? He's clearly just playing to the crowd."
"I'd still like to see. Once we get into school, we have to look for a chance to take care of someone so arrogant."
Amid all these conversations, there were admirers, the envious, and even those who inexplicably hated Tang Jie… As the chattering went on, all the students finally boarded the ship, after which, without any sort of oars or sails, it began to move toward the Clear Sky Mountains.
As this was their first time here, most of the students gathered on the deck to view the scenery.
Jade Belt Lake was a beautiful sight, the lake's surface rippling with silver light in which one could faintly make out fish swimming beneath the surface. There was also a small island on the lake, and one could see pavilions and towers through the lush foliage of the trees, though no one knew what their purpose was.
In the distance, on the summit of Rising Star Peak of the Clear Sky Mountains, was a complex of buildings that soared into the clouds. That was Basking Moon Academy.
Someone familiar with the academy began to call out the various buildings. "Look! That's the Heaven One Pavilion, the Ink Fragrance Court, and also the Alljoin Garden, the Hall of Supreme White, the Five-Side Pavilion, and the Heaven Circuit Platform… It's a pity we can't see the Divine Battleground."
A less knowledgeable student asked, "What are all these places?"
The student who had first spoken explained, "Heaven One Pavilion is the library of Basking Moon Academy, and it derives its name from the saying 'Heaven one generates water'. Stored inside are the various Immortal arts that the Basking Moon Sect has gathered over the years. The Ink Fragrance Court is the place where the scriptures are passed on to us and we can clear up any questions we have. As for Alljoin Garden, it is where we will live in the future. The Hall of Supreme White is where we learn about talismans, the Five-Side Pavilion is where we learn about pill refining, and the Heaven Circuit Platform is where we learn about the Dao of Formations. Besides that are the Gold Tempering Platform and the Divine Battleground. The former is where weapons are forged and the latter is the training ground, but we can't see them from this angle."
"I see. Brother, thank you for clearing up my confusion."
"It was no trouble at all. Starting from now, we'll be living in Basking Moon Academy for the next ten years. It would be no good if we went in knowing nothing."
Ten years was the school term that Basking Moon Academy had set down. Regardless of your progress, once the ten years were up, you had to leave the academy. But if you could enter the Mortal Shedding Realm within this period, you could choose whether or not to stay in the academy.
"True. Starting from today, we will all be fellow classmates, so let me introduce myself. This lowly one is Mo Wencai, a son of the Mo Clan of Min Province."
"My name is Li Xuxi, and my father is Li Yun."
"So the son of the Tiger Might General is here. This one is Xu Yuexiang. My father is Xu Yourong, the current chief inspector of Hongwu City."
"Jin Jiajun, a native son of Wanquan City."
"Your surname is Jin? Could you be a young talent of the Prince of An's clan?"
"I would not dare call myself talented."
The attentive observer would notice that as the students introduced themselves, they began to unconsciously organize themselves into groups.
The officials made up one group, the scions of rich clans formed another group, and the servants had their own group. There was also a group composed of a small number of excessively talented people who came from poor backgrounds. Essentially, like attracted like.
Communication skill was one of the important classes that noble scions had to go through. A rich son could be clueless about everything else, but they had to recognize a sufficient number of noble and powerful people, for these nobles were the most valuable resource. Just like how Tang Jie had tried every method possible to hug the leg of the Wei Clan, the rich scions were born with the chance to monopolize these resources. When they came to school, whether or not they achieved success, so long as they became friends with enough nobles and nurtured sufficiently deep relationships, they had already succeeded in a certain sense.
Some modern entrepreneurs enthusiastically joined MBA programs not because those programs could teach them anything, but because the people who joined these programs were often powerful entrepreneurs. The more of them they knew, the more opportunities they had.
This was why Wei Tianchong also mixed in with this group. He quickly became acquainted with a few classmates and made some friends, and even Shi Meng managed to get a few servant friends.
In contrast, Tang Jie was much quieter. He didn't try to make connections with anyone. He only looked at that distant summit, the image of Xu Muyang appearing in his mind.
Big Brother Xu, I finally lived up to your hopes and arrived at Basking Moon Academy, Tang Jie mentally muttered.
As the students conversed with each other, there was a giant splash of water, and a golden carp the size of a boat jumped out of the lake, slapping its tail against the surface and splashing out even more water.
"It's a fiend carp! A fiend carp!" several students shouted.
"There's a fiend, a fiend in Jade Belt Lake!" someone shouted.
Another worked up his courage and said, "Don't be afraid. This is an Immortal boat. That carp fiend wouldn't dare to attack it."
As he spoke, that golden fiend carp made a flip in the air and then turned into a muscular, bearded man who burst out in laughter. "Kids, do you really think this puny talisman boat can stop me? Let me board this boat for all of you to see!"
He began to walk across the waves like they were solid ground.
"A great fiend who can transform!" Everyone backed away in fear upon seeing that carp turning into a human.
Fiends were different from sprites. Sprites were born from plants, so they had no blood energy and thus had no set state. Upon attaining spirituality, they could immediately change form, and this transformation was primarily a transformation of spiritual energy and had little to do with strength. But fiends evolved from birds, beasts, insects, fish, or other animals. They had bodies of flesh and blood, and were thus innately restricted. When they attained spirituality, they could not immediately transform. They needed to go through protracted cultivation, and only when they reached a certain level could they take human form.
This was why a fiend with the ability to transform could be called a great fiend. They were at the Celestial Heart Realm at the minimum, some even capable of reaching the Violet Palace Realm.
The carp fiend man needed only a few steps to get onto the ship, and the students backed away in fear, grouping together. Someone even fell off the ship into the lake because of it.
The man found this very boring, waving his hand and shouting, "A bunch of cowards. You want to cultivate Immortality with this little guts? It would be best if you went back home now to suck on your mothers' milk."
"Senior, these words are mistaken," a voice piped up. "When facing someone stronger than oneself, fear is simply a method of protecting oneself. Is not knowing fear when facing a fierce tiger or wolf no different from sending oneself to death?"
The fiend carp glared. "Who? Who dares to say that I was wrong?"
Though he demanded an answer, his eyes were already on Tang Jie.
Tang Jie had been the one to say those words.
Tang Jie wasn't afraid, either. He stepped forward and bowed to the fiend carp. "Basking Moon student Tang Jie pays respects to Senior."
The students all turned to Tang Jie with sympathetic looks. How could he dare to butt heads with this great fiend?
The fiend carp looked at Tang Jie and barked, "Kid, your words don't make sense. I cultivated Immortality by boldly and vigorously pressing forward, cutting down all the obstacles in my path and being unafraid of any opposition. How could the craven and cowardly who are greedy for life and afraid of death cultivate Immortality?"
"On the contrary, why would one cultivate Immortality if one were not greedy for life and afraid of death?" Tang Jie countered. "Are the great aspirations the cultivators seek not long life, the undying body, the eternal existence? If they didn't fear death, why even seek Immortality? A human lives one hundred years which pass by in the blink of an eye. Death could happen at any time, so why go through the trouble of cultivation? If you don't want to live anymore, wouldn't a knife across the throat be simpler?"
"This…" The fiend carp was rendered momentarily speechless.
Tang Jie continued, "Cultivators emphasize bold and vigorous advance because they seek a tough and tenacious resolve, but a tenacious will is no replacement for supreme Immortal arts. If one faces an insurmountable mountain, then drawing back can also be considered a wise decision."
The fiend carp was left dumbstruck. All he could do was point at Tang Jie and ask his own question. "Then why aren't you afraid of me?"
Tang Jie smiled. "That is because I have already heard about Senior Li Yu of Jade Belt Lake, one of the year-long protectors of Basking Moon Academy. As one of the three great guardian fiends of Basking Moon Academy, you have a most forthright and loyal nature. Every year, you like to play around with the students, so there's no need to be afraid. If I did not know Senior's background, then this lowly one would have run just as quickly as anyone else when Senior suddenly appeared."
The man was taken aback for a moment, and then he raised his head and laughed. "Good! Truly someone with both knowledge and daring, and you even know how to talk! I like it. Correct—this one is Li Yu. Feng Hongluan requested me to supervise today!"
When they found out that this was one of the guardian great fiends of Basking Moon Academy, the students calmed down. Now that they thought about it, it was true. There was no way a fiend or monster would dare to run around in Basking Moon Academy without permission.
In truth, Tang Jie wasn't the only student who knew about Li Yu. It was just that he had emerged with such momentum and such a savage visage that everyone had been momentarily scared out of their wits.
Of course, there were some others who weren't afraid, but they simply stood on the deck and watched. None of them had been like Tang Jie and spoken to Li Yu. Inwardly, they found Tang Jie using this moment to curry favor with this great fiend to be shameless and not the correct path. There were also those who wanted to curry favor but didn't have the guts to speak after seeing their own masters putting on airs, giving Tang Jie the chance to speak up.
There were few like Tang Jie who did not take their masters seriously.
At this moment, Li Yu produced a jar of wine as if by magic. Patting Tang Jie, he said, "Come, come, come. You've got some guts, so share a drink of wine with me."
"This junior will humbly comply." Tang Jie didn't stand on ceremony, taking the wine bowl and drinking down the wine. He felt a fiery sensation that traveled from his stomach to the rest of his body. All of his blood energy seethed, and Tang Jie couldn't help but shout, "Good wine!"
This comment caused all the students to glance at him. They all believed that he was just feigning heroism and viewed him with contempt.
"If there's anyone else who wants to drink, come up together!" Li Yu shouted.
The other students looked at each other, and some of them came forward.
Wei Tianchong was somewhat hesitant, but he saw Tang Jie saying to him, "Young Master, come here and try a little. This is excellent wine."
With the carpet laid out for him, Wei Tianchong stopped acting polite. He took the wine bowl and drank. Sure enough, his entire body heated up, and he blurted out, "This is spirit wine?"
But he felt remorse the moment he shouted.
As expected, Li Yu laughed, "Hahahaha, you only understand now? I've come today to gift spirit wine, but I didn't expect all these students to not appreciate my gift. That being the case, I'll just leave it to those who appreciate my gift!"
"It was spirit wine?"
"I want to drink too!"
"I want to drink too!"
The students immediately rushed up in excitement upon hearing that it was spirit wine.
But to their surprise, Li Yu waved his hand, and an invisible barrier manifested in front of them. "Too late. Since you were so affected and aloof before, there's no need to suddenly act so greedy now. Since you're going to be noble and aloof, you should be noble and aloof to the end!"
After saying this, he allowed Tang Jie, Wei Tianchong, and the others to continue drinking.
There were 1500 Basking Moon students here, but only ten-some were sitting by Li Yu, guzzling down the wine until it was completely emptied. Li Yu threw away the wine jar and shouted, "The wine has been gifted, so this one will be off!"
With a flash, he turned into a giant golden carp and vanished into the lake.
When the other students saw that the man was gone and the wine jar was empty, they sighed in regret. Only those who had partaken in the wine were overjoyed.
This spirit wine had extraordinary effects, strengthening one's body and spirit. Though the students had yet to cultivate, they still benefited greatly from the spirit wine. Normally, a single jar of spirit wine could go for one hundred spirit coins.
Those who had failed to drink it fumed, and someone coldly mocked, "My aspirations are set on the Great Dao, and one of tenacious resolve does not need external aid. How can someone who gets smug after gaining a few benefits through flattery consider themselves a cultivator? They bring dishonor on the name of Immortals!"
"That's right, that's right! Do they really think we couldn't see that that was Li Yu, one of the three great fiends?"
"Those who practice flattery are all lowly people."
"You don't think he isn't? He's a servant, after all!"
Laughter broke out, more than half of it aimed at Tang Jie.
Tang Jie wasn't angry. "Everyone, you're right. I am truly a flatterer. If someone is willing to offer me benefits, I will be effusive with my praise so that the other side is all smiles. Someone makes a request of me and I fulfill it. It is simply a mutual exchange. Since all of you are lofty and unyielding characters who do not rely on external aids, I presume that you feel it beneath your dignity to be with me. But who were all those people who rushed up together to get at the spirit wine?"
Everyone fell silent.
Tang Jie added, "I used flattery in exchange for advantages, but none of you said anything at all, so why should you get anything? Just as Senior Li said, since you decided to be noble and aloof, be noble and aloof to the very end. What's the point in being envious and mocking others? If your heart truly sought nothing, then whatever I do should be of no concern to all of you."
These words caused those people who had mocked him to pale. One of them, who wore luxurious clothes, angrily said, "What a clever tongue! It's a pity that cultivation of Immortality does not depend on the sharpness of one's wit."
Tang Jie immediately replied, "True. One must have resources, so I have to seize every chance, flattering everyone I should flatter. Of course, I know that all of you have grown used to being flattered by others, so you need some time to adjust to this change, but why disapprove of the flatterers just because of this?"
The other students wanted to retort, but they couldn't find the words. But when it came to arguments that concerned one's pride, it truly didn't matter how reasonable one's argument was.
Someone immediately jumped out and said, "Clever-tongued toady! I don't think that great fiend Li Yu was anything much either. Just a few words were enough to get some spirit wine out of him. This sort of person who only likes to hear compliments and rejects harsh advice is certain to be fooled by some lowly person in the future!"
"Right, right!" A chorus of agreement came from the crowd.
Tang Jie laughed. "Excellent words, brimming with righteousness. In other words, all of you are able to take in harsh advice? All of Tang Jie's words just now came from the bottom of his heart, were sincere advice. On the other hand, are all those people calling out in agreement not flatterers? If voices of opposition count as harsh advice, then my words right now count as harsh advice, but how many of you can accept it?"
Those proud scions were once more rendered speechless. As they looked at each other and racked their brains for a response, Tang Jie said, "Even if you were right, did none of you realize why Senior Li Yu suddenly appeared? And why he suddenly gifted spirit wine?"
They were all dumbfounded.
Tang Jie explained, "He did all this to tell everyone that you have to rely on yourself for everything here!"
Tang Jie paused a moment before continuing, "This place is Basking Moon Academy, and your former status is irrelevant here. Otherwise, there would have been no reason to forbid the clans from bringing in servants. Starting from today, there will be many more incidents like the one just now. The academy will give everyone some resources, but it definitely won't be enough to satisfy each one of you. If all of you wish to remain proud and aloof, don't blame opportunity for passing you by. Let me give you a word of advice: if you don't accept the gifts of the heavens…
"Don't blame the heavens for not giving you gifts!"