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AIP - Chapter 49: Entering School

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

"Good words!" someone suddenly shouted.

There was another splash from the lake as Li Yu suddenly returned.

"Senior!"

This time, all of the students respectfully prostrated to Li Yu.

Only Tang Jie stayed standing, looking at Li Yu and asking, "Didn't you leave?"

Li Yu rolled his eyes. "This Jade Belt Lake is my home. Where do you expect this old man to go?"

He burst out in laughter. "It's been a long time since I've met such an interesting baby. Not bad, not bad. I quite like you. Oh, this is for you, but it's not some gift from heaven, nor does it have anything to do with the academy. It's a personal gift from this old man!" 

A golden light flew toward Tang Jie, and he reached out and grabbed it. In his hand was a golden fish scale, and he immediately knew that this was one of the scales from Li Yu's body.

Something taken off the body of a great fiend that could transform, even if it wasn't a treasure, would still have a unique value, and Tang Jie was overjoyed.

Li Yu shouted, "Kid, you've received my gift, so you must pay your respects!"

"Senior, many thanks for your generous gift. This lowly one bows to you!" Tang Jie immediately prostrated.

"Good, then this old man will accept your gratitude!" Li Yu loudly said. "All you other kids, listen well. This old man loves to be flattered and fawned on. If you want something good from this old man, then you first need to know how to behave. But while this first gift only needed a few compliments, the second gift might need a kowtow. If you want something nice from me, you had best think of a way to make me happy! Hahahaha!"

His laughter resounding in the air, he jumped back into the lake, leaving the students to glance at each other in silence, not daring to casually speak.

But this had little to do with Tang Jie's words from before. Only an extremely small number of them had understood the key of the argument just now. They were quiet only because they were afraid that Li Yu could still be listening.

Li Yu had definitely heard the argument just now, and he had probably not given Tang Jie such a generous gift because he found Tang Jie interesting. Rather, it was probably because he wanted to infuriate the other students. Thus, while Li Yu seemed like a forthright person, he probably wasn't particularly broad-minded. Anyone else who dared to keep insulting him might infuriate him so badly that he could pop up onto the deck to give them a beating.

Since they were no longer arguing about this matter, they all gawked at the golden fish scale in Tang Jie's hand. Wei Tianchong curiously walked over and asked, "Let me take a look. What is this? What does it do?"

Tang Jie put away the scale. "You also saw how I got it. His venerable self didn't say, so how could I know?"

"Let me look. Don't be so petty."

"I'm worried that once you take a look, you won't give it back."

Wei Tianchong saw that he was exposed and chuckled, "Then what if I ask you to give it to me?"

Tang Jie said in a serious tone, "…Do you think that this is appropriate?"

"I'm the young master. Why would it be inappropriate?"

"Yes, you're the young master! I've only ever heard of servants eating from the hands of their young master, but I've never heard of a young master stealing treasures from the hands of a servant."

"Then what if I buy it with silver?"

"Do you think our senior will be happy if we haggle over the price of a gift he gave on Jade Belt Lake?"

"Then forget it." The moment Tang Jie brought up Li Yu, Wei Tianchong had to reluctantly give up.

Everyone found this scene rather amusing. A student that Wei Tianchong had recently befriended said with a laugh, "Tianchong, this servant of yours is quite interesting. Is he not afraid of you? He must be the son of some elder of your estate, who grew up together with you in the Wei Clan?"

Wei Tianchong sighed. "That's not the case. He only entered our estate three years ago. But he saved my life, so I can't really argue with him." But what's most important is that my mom gave him the clan discipline stick, and he can beat me…

Someone chuckled, "I see. No wonder he's so arrogant. But since he's a servant, a servant student, he should keep to his duties. Even if he does have achievements, he can't grow conceited because of them. Brother Tianchong, when I get the chance, I'll help you teach him a lesson and make him understand what a servant is."

Wei Tianchong grinned as he answered, "Heh, thank you, but there's no rush. He's normally very obedient."

As they joked with each other, the boat arrived on the other side.

The students disembarked, and there was someone waiting to lead them up the mountain.

Basking Moon Academy was built on a mountain, and designed with a lofty and majestic style. Upon going through the gates, they immediately saw a bronze statue that stood thirty feet high. This was the founding ancestor of the Basking Moon Sect, the Water Moon Celestial Sovereign.

It was said that when the Water Moon Celestial Sovereign was passing by the Moon-Reflecting Pond in the Cloudrise Mountains, he bore witness to the golden roseclouds engulfing the moon. Enlightened, he used his Scooping the Moon Out of Water divine connection to have his moon bask within the light. Breaking through the barrier around the domain, he questioned his heart and comprehended the Dao, thus breaking out of the domain and ascending. His descendants took up his legacy and established a sect, and thus, the Basking Moon Sect was born. It referred to a sort of realm where one could turn the illusion into reality, but it had nothing to do with any sort of art. Even the name of the Sageheart Kingdom originated from how the Celestial Sovereign had questioned his heart.

Thus, the Basking Moon Sect's primary focus was the Origin Heart. As it focused on the Origin Heart, it naturally wanted only the courageous and bold to strive and succeed on the Immortal path. Thus, it had no apprehensions about contention and struggle, and it was why there had been that gift of wine. In truth, there were little games like this every year, but they would always be different, and they would always be difficult to notice.

Of course, you could only contend over what you were permitted to contend over, and it was best not to think about what you had not been given permission for. Dauntless advance could only be performed on the path drawn out by the school. Leaving the main road and stepping onto empty air was suicidal.

Once they were in the academy, there was a registration desk where everyone could register their names and origins.

"Name?"

"Tang Jie."

"Jade Gate?"

"Five cycles."

"So he did only five cycles, and he dares to claim a place in the top ten? Ridiculous?" Scornful laughs came from the crowd.

Tang Jie had grown famous because of his declaration, so quite a few people were paying attention when he registered. They had taken him for some nine-cycle-Jade-Gate genius, but he was only a five-cycle.

On the other end, Wei Tianchong and Shi Meng were also registering. Once they were done, a student distributed to them student cards.

The student cards were made of some dazzling golden metal and could be tied to the waist. This was the point card for the academy students. A recording formation had been inscribed inside it that would keep the point total of every student.

When a student made a mistake, the academy's monitors would deduct the appropriate number of points from this point card. There were two copies of the point deduction. One was on the student's point card while the other was recorded with the monitor, so even a genius who could undo the formation would be powerless.

Once they got the point cards, someone came to lead everyone to Alljoin Garden.

Alljoin Garden was where all of the students resided, more than ten thousand in all, so it was a rather suitable name.

Though Alljoin Garden was the student dormitory, it was laid out rather elegantly. Rather than a modern checkerboard layout, the houses were spread out randomly like pieces on a go board, little bright points of light concealed within the mountain forest. Within this forest were also little streams, pavilions, and winding corridors. The place was like a landscape garden.

The Alljoin Garden was simply the dormitory area, yet it was already so beautiful. From this, one could see that Basking Moon Academy's reputation had not been faked.

Though it occupied such a vast area, one couldn't tell from the outside. Tang Jie suspected that this was because of a formation. However, it could also be because he was a newcomer and wasn't very familiar with the area.

Tang Jie was just a servant student, but this was an unofficial status. On the surface, all students were equals, and so Tang Jie and Wei Tianchong did not live together.

The student guide led Wei Tianchong to a courtyard and pointed out, "This is your residence."

Wei Tianchong saw that this courtyard was rather spacious, the surrounding environment simple and elegant, and he nodded in satisfaction. "Though it's not as big as my clan's Meditation Garden, it's a pretty good environment. The only drawback is that this courtyard has too much empty space."

The student guide coldly snorted. "Another ignorant fool. Every blade of grass and tree here is a precious plant, and even the dirt on the ground is of a higher grade than that of your home. How could you compare it to your countryside hovels, stained with mortal energies!?"

"You…" Wei Tianchong had never seen someone talk to him like this before, and was just about to curse him out when Tang Jie stopped him and shot him a glance.

Wei Tianchong suddenly recalled the rules of the academy. When fighting with students, striking someone was -5 points, injuring someone was -10, and taking someone's life was expulsion. He could only swallow his anger.

The student saw that Wei Tianchong had restrained himself, and chuckled. Only then did he lead Shi Meng and Tang Jie to their residences.

Tang Jie's residence was next to a grove of apricot trees, and there was even a little stream nearby, and a little farther off was a small pavilion. It was located at the edge of the mountain and offered a wonderful view.

Once he was settled, Tang Jie went to Wei Tianchong's place. He saw that Wei Tianchong was still grumbling about that senior student within his house while Shi Meng was trying to calm him down.

Tang Jie smiled. "Are you still angry?"

"That kid criticized me, yet he's just as bad! I don't even know what I did to him that caused him to ridicule me like that," Wei Tianchong angrily said.

"It's not strange at all. He was trying to provoke you. If you really couldn't control yourself and started fighting him, then you would be falling into his trap."

"Ah? Why's that?" Wei Tianchong didn't get it.

Tang Jie replied, "Because he's a school monitor! The school monitors are only concerned with deducting points, and according to the school rules, if he deducts 100 points, he can get a point reward."

"This academy even has point rewards?" Wei Tianchong was shocked.

"Naturally. We're going to be in this school for ten years! Who knows when you could make a mistake and lose a few points? 100 points seems like a lot, but divided across ten years, that's only 10 points per year. A single fight and that's it for your points for the year. If there weren't point rewards, how could anyone survive? As they say in my hometown, a carrot in one hand and a big stick in the other. Points aren't merely proof that you can stay in the academy. They also serve as an important criterion for who gets selected as outer disciples and disciples!"

"So that fellow was trying to cheat me?" Wei Tianchong finally understood.

He knew that the cultivation world was cruel, but he hadn't expected to find a pithole at every step. He had just entered school, and someone was already trying to bait him. If Tang Jie hadn't managed to make him learn the disciple rules, he really would have walked into that trap.

Wei Tianchong was starting to understand Wei Ming's words.

"Of course." Tang Jie smiled. "These monitor students are trying to get points from us, and their greatest fear is that we don't make mistakes. When it comes to deducting points, they're ruthless, and they always try to push the upper limit. If we don't make mistakes, they'll seek chances to lure us into making mistakes. In my hometown, they call this 'entrapment'! How do you think those hundred-plus students get eliminated every year? Do you really think there are that many stubborn and ignorant fools?"

Wei Tianchong started to sweat. He resentfully said, "I'll have to keep my distance from those fellows in the future."

"There's no avoiding them. The one from just now was out in the open, but there are also those hiding in the shadows, just waiting for you to mess up. They've all learned Immortal arts, and some of them can even use concealment spells. These are vicious sorts, and there's no telling when they might pop up. Thus, you just have to be careful to not make mistakes…"

Wei Tianchong shivered and instinctively looked around.

Tang Jie saw how nervous he was and knew that he had accomplished his goal. "There's no need to worry here. Not even the monitors can sneak into a student's residence. If they're discovered, they'll be immediately expelled."

Whew! Wei Tianchong sighed in relief.

"But…" Tang Jie paused, immediately putting Wei Tianchong on edge once more.

"But according to the school rules, cultivator students must keep a neat appearance and clean houses. No dust or dirt is permitted, and certainly not any sort of mess. Violators will be deducted one to five points if discovered, and each time it's discovered is a new deduction. Thus, they can't sneak in, but they can come in for sanitation checks."

"Heh, can you just say everything at once? You scared me silly! This is a simple matter."

Wei Tianchong didn't worry once he heard about this requirement. He turned to Shi Meng and said, "Shi Meng, hurry up and clean the house."

What were servant students for? Weren't they for situations exactly like this?

Thus, they not only had to care for their master, they also had to ensure that their master wasn't driven out of school for things like this.

Shi Meng looked at Tang Jie as if saying, "What about him?"

There had been many boy servants on the road, and he had been able to leave this kind of work to them, leaving little for Shi Meng and Tang Jie to do. But now, it was just the two of them, so they needed to decide how to divide the labor.

Wei Tianchong firmly declared, "I need to memorize the disciple rules. Tang Jie, explain to me clearly what all these rules are about."

Ugh, I guess I'm doing it by myself.

Tang Jie said, "Memorizing the disciple rules is simple, but understanding their deeper meaning, how to use them, and analysis of possible pitfalls and loopholes will take some time."

"Relax; I'll pay attention!" Wei Tianchong answered.

No matter how willful he was, he knew to be obedient after suffering a little.

Tang Jie put on a helpless expression. "The problem is that I haven't cleaned my house yet either."

"Shi Meng, clean my room, and then clean up Tang Jie's room."

"Yes, Young Master!"

Shi Meng's face was so overcast that it looked like it would start raining soon.

Hypersheep325's Notes:

Basking Moon Academy also nurtures a healthy sense of paranoia in its student body.

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by Hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.