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AIP - Chapter 50: Carefree House

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Teaching Wei Tianchong the disciple rules went on until the evening, when a flying message talisman informed all of them that it was mealtime.

The academy's cafeteria was called Thousand Taste Pavilion. Befitting its name, it served various delicacies from all across Rosecloud. You could basically get anything you could think of.

But only when they got in did they realize that reality was not as beautiful as they had imagined.

1500 students needed to eat in this cafeteria, but there was only one service window!

One!

A line made up of 1500 students extended all the way out of the cafeteria, forming an extremely long dragon.

Wei Tianchong and Tang Jie arrived late and were instantly scared out of their wits by the sight.

Wei Tianchong shouted, "How are there so many people? How long will we have to wait?"

"Save the chatter for later and get in line." Tang Jie hurriedly dragged Wei Tianchong to the back of the line.

Wei Tianchong had never experienced this before. He shouted, "No, let me see if I can get in front."

"Young Master," Tang Jie said with great heartache, "apply your studies!"

Aghast, Wei Tianchong looked around. Not noticing anything, he whispered, "Are they all hiding?"

"Do you even need to ask?" Tang Jie grunted.

It wasn't long before Tang Jie's prophecy came true.

Some young master saw how long the line was and wanted to just get his food without waiting in line. At this point, two students wearing moon-white robes appeared in the cafeteria like ghosts, chuckling to themselves as they pulled the young master to the side and whispered a few words to him. That young master became deathly pale as he obediently took out his point card. There was a flash of light, and then the card was returned to him.

The two students disappeared, and that young master went back to quietly stand in line.

Wei Tianchong was sweating from the sight. "Traps everywhere, everywhere! This isn't some cultivator academy! It's an academy of fraudsters."

Quite a few people lost points because they couldn't stand in line. Thankfully, it was only one point. The only problem was that the line was simply too long.

Wei Tianchong's group had to wait for ages to finally get their food. But when he saw the food he had received, he immediately shouted, "What the hell is this?"

It consisted of a bowl of brown rice, two pieces of salted meat, a few cauliflowers, and a bowl of broth.

Even Shi Meng gasped at this sight.

"Isn't it said that you can eat spirit foods in the academy?" Wei Tianchong angrily said. "Wasn't it said that Thousand Taste Pavilion has every kind of food? What is this? Not even pigs would eat this!"

Tang Jie pointed at the cafeteria's sign, on which was clearly written: "Limit of ten sets of spirit food. Limit of one hundred sets of gourmet food. No limit on coarse foods."

Tang Jie pointed at his rice bowl. "Do you see it? Just like with Li Yu's spirit wine, everything is of limited supply. If you come late, you can only eat coarse food. We should try to get here a little earlier next time."

Wei Tianchong was on the verge of tears. "Is there no other way?"

"There is. There's a payment service window over there." Tang Jie pointed at the corner.

Wei Tianchong really did see a little service window there, but when he walked over to take a look, he was blown away. "One bowl of refined rice costs one spirit coin?"

"A bowl of pork costs three spirit coins." Shi Meng gloomily shook his head.

"And a serving of spirit grain costs ten spirit coins." Tang Jie also felt a deep sense of helplessness.

This was highway robbery!

"I really don't know how those students managed to get through this," Shi Meng sighed.

These words made Tang Jie realize something.

That's right!

Why didn't he see any of their upperclassmen buying their food here?

Looking around, he saw that almost everyone in the cafeteria was a new student.

What did the upperclassmen do for food?

But even if he asked this question, he would be asking in vain. The only upperclassmen Tang Jie had interacted with were the monitors, and all of them were just waiting to take their points. Trying to get anything from them would be like sending a lamb into the mouth of a tiger. He could only slowly ponder this matter on his own time.

Though the price was unacceptable, in the end, Wei Tianchong gritted his teeth and bought a bowl of refined rice and a fish that he ate along with his broth. As for Tang Jie and Shi Meng, they had to satisfy themselves with the coarse meal.

As they ate, they silently cursed Basking Moon Academy. Occasionally, they saw some unfortunate soul losing points, over which they rejoiced.

At times, happiness was best when it was established on the suffering of others.

It hadn't been very long, but seven or eight people had already lost points, and were standing in line with tearful faces.

Wei Tianchong wanted to see what would happen when someone got angry and caused a ruckus, but alas, there were no such idiots to be seen.

But Wei Tianchong soon realized that something was off. He asked, "Why is it all young masters who are meeting misfortune, while none of the servant students get into trouble?"

"What's strange about that? Young masters have never really suffered before, so they're naturally easy to fool. As for us servants, we've all gotten used to mistreatment," Tang Jie answered.

Wei Tianchong was enlightened. "It's no wonder that student chose to provoke me… Hold on, Tang Jie; what did you mean by that? Are you saying that you feel like I've mistreated you before?"

Tang Jie raised his head and laughed. "Young Master, look at what you're saying! I am talking about the majority, but that doesn't include you."

"Then you're saying that I am a very good master?"

"Of course. Young Master is respectful to all and has always regarded the servants as friends. You are as magnanimous as can be," Tang Jie said without the slightest blush.

"As long as you know," Wei Tianchong said, content with the answer.

And then he saw Tang Jie moving his chopsticks over, taking a big chunk of meat from that fish that had cost him three spirit coins, and eating it.

Wei Tianchong was furious, but just when he was about to rebuke Tang Jie, he recalled how he had just acknowledged that he treated servants as friends. As a result, he could only suppress his anger.

Shi Meng saw Tang Jie eating the fish and was going to get some for himself, but to his surprise, Wei Tianchong had learned and already placed the rest of the fish in his bowl.

Shi Meng decided that he couldn't steal fish out of the young master's bowl, so he could only reluctantly give up. He looked down at his broth and brown rice, wanting to cry but having no tears to spare.

Even as a servant, he had never eaten such poor food back in the Wei Clan!

After dinner, the master and his two servants decided to take a stroll around the academy, having nothing else to do.

Basking Moon Academy was truly beautiful. Just by walking around, they could see picturesque landscapes all over the place.

Occasionally, one or two female cultivators would pass by. Wei Tianchong and Shi Meng would immediately stare, barely restraining themselves from wolf-whistling.

At sixteen years of age, a young man's body was beginning to mature and he began to understand the positives of women.

Alas, Basking Moon Academy had many men and few women. Out of ten students, only one would be a woman, and for this reason, the female cultivators had extremely high standards and were very unlikely to pay attention to any particular man.

As they walked along, Wei Tianchong suddenly said, "I think I get it."

"What does Young Master understand?" Tang Jie asked.

"In Basking Moon Academy, you have to fight for everything!" Wei Tianchong resentfully said. "You had to fight for that spirit wine, you have to fight for points, and you even have to fight for food! The only thing you probably don't have to fight for is taking a shit!"

"That's right, that's right," Shi Meng agreed.

"Understanding this isn't enough. You must apply what you have learned, Young Master," Tang Jie reminded.

"I get what you mean. If my guess is correct…" Wei Tianchong shook his head and then said like a strategist divulging his analysis, "Then when classes start tomorrow, we'll also have to fight. There are probably only a few seats, so if we come late, we'll have to stand during class."

Tang Jie punched his palm and said, "Young Master, you finally understand!"

Wei Tianchong raised his head and laughed, very satisfied with himself.

But after a while, he paled. "Shit; doesn't that mean I can't oversleep?"

"You should get up before daybreak," Tang Jie casually said. "Don't worry. I'll wake you up."

As they were on their way back, Tang Jie found a plank of wood to take back.

Wei Tianchong curiously asked him what it was for. Tang Jie said that it was for a signboard, so that he could give his residence a name.

While Basking Moon Academy was all about fighting, it enjoyed cultivating a cultured appearance, and the students were the same. Students often liked to make signboards for their residences, giving them names like "Crouching Dragon Pavilion", "Clear Heart Hall", "Bright Aspiration House", and the like.

Tang Jie felt that he should give his house a name, since he was going to live there for ten years.

Wei Tianchong was interested, and he and Shi Meng found their own planks to bring back.

When he got back, Tang Jie decided to name his residence "Carefree House". He sought freedom without restraints. Although this sort of carefree and happy life, aloof from the matters of the world, wasn't actually a good fit for his state of mind, it exuded an aura of transcendent freedom.

Shi Meng was much simpler. Since this was all about feigned refinement, he just decided to call his residence the Refined Pavilion.

As for Wei Tianchong, despite racking his brains, he couldn't think of a good name, so he ultimately decided on an old one.

His brush swished.

The words "Meditation Garden" had been written with ugly strokes on his signboard.

A house within the Student Forest had the serial number of Jade Overlook #45.

But in secret, it had another name: "Eagle Nest".

In the Eagle Nest, Gu Changqing sat at his desk, reading through a large stack of files.

These were all student files for this year's class. Godhead Palace had gone through great effort to obtain them.

As Gu Changqing looked through them, he would occasionally write down comments, indicating that so-and-so should be observed or that so-and-so should be placed under heavy surveillance.

In the middle of his research, a man in golden clothes rushed inside. "Good news–"

"Out!" Gu Changqing barked without raising his head.

The golden-clothed man froze. Gu Changqing barked again, "Out! And learn to knock before coming in!"

The man's face twitched, but he swallowed his rage, left the room, and closed the door before knocking on it. "Subordinate Zhao Xianguo has a report for the Deputy Eagle Master!"

"Come in."

Zhao Xinguo pushed open the door and said, "When the new students were coming in, a student called Tang Jiye jumped out of the crowd and made a declaration."

"And?"

"'And'?" Zhao Xinguo was startled. "And then… and then he said that he, Tang Jiye, would definitely be one of the top ten disciples…"

Gu Changqing finally raised his head, looking at Zhao Xinguo with scorn. "This is your good news?"

Zhao Xinguo took in a deep breath. "All of the new students were timid, not daring to speak too loudly. He was the only one who did anything different, and he called himself Tang Jiye. I feel that he is very suspicious."

Gu Changqing gave him a deep look and then pointed at a chair next to him. "Sit."

Zhao Xinguo sat down, and Gu Changqing proceeded to ignore him and carry on with his work.

Zhao Xinguo grew impatient and called out to him, but Gu Changqing's sharp gaze forced him back into silent waiting.

After a little while, there was another knock. "Gao Fei of the Hawk Hall has a matter to report to the Deputy Eagle Master."

"Come in."

Another man entered, but he wore coarse robes of cloth rather than golden robes. Upon entering, he gave Gu Changqing a slight bow and then said, "We've discovered a new student called Tang Jie. This person is somewhat similar to the target we are pursuing."

"Junior Brother, you're late. I've already gotten ahead of you and reported this matter to the Deputy Eagle Master. You have to be fast when it comes to things like this!" Zhao Xinguo smugly said, his voice dripping arrogance.

Gao Fei simply smiled. "Senior Brother Zhao's reaction speed is truly fast. Your junior cannot compare."

"What did you find?" Gu Changqing asked, ignoring Zhao Xinguo.

"Upon investigation, I found that this person was called Tang Jie, the Jie (劫) of 'kidnap' (劫持). The pronunciation is the same, but the character is different. He comes from the Canglong Prefecture Wei Clan and is a servant student for the Wei Clan's third young master, Wei Tianchong, and possesses a five-cycle Jade Gate. As too much time has passed, it is impossible to match his height to our original information, but his appearance is somewhat similar to Tang Jiye's. However, as my lord said, there are far too many people who match Tang Jiye's features, so it cannot be used as evidence. Thus, I had someone gather some information from the Wei Clan's young master. I learned that this Tang Jie joined the Wei Clan three years ago. I have not gotten the exact details yet, and further investigation is required."

"Three years ago… Canglong Prefecture… Wei Clan…" Gu Changqing chuckled. "Then we can make him one of our objects of investigation."

He then glanced at Zhao Xinguo. "News can't just be fast. It also has to be as detailed as possible."

Zhao Xinguo said nothing, his ears turning red.

Gao Fei said, "But it's rather strange. If this Tang Jie is really who we're looking for, he should have hidden himself when he saw us. Why would he jump out instead?"

Zhao Xinguo found a chance to speak and disdainfully said, "You even need to ask that? He must have guessed that someone was observing the reactions of the students from the shadows and knew that shrinking back would just draw suspicion. Thus, he made a feint so that we would believe that since he had stepped out, he couldn't be Tang Jiye. As they say, the most dangerous place is often the safest."

"Bullshit!"

To Zhao Xinguo's surprise, Gu Changqing slapped his desk, leaving a palm-shaped hole in the redwood desk. Gu Changqing roared at Zhao Xinguo, "What sort of nonsense explanation is this? So based on your theory, since the Gold Ignis Astral Winds are the most dangerous, he must have gone flying up there! Is a danger that you can hide in still considered a danger?"

Zhao Xinguo shrank back in the face of Gu Changqing's anger, explaining, "What I mean by 'the most dangerous place' is… a mental gap."

"A mental gap means not thinking things through thoroughly! Only an incompetent would place his hopes on his opponent's mistakes!" Gu Changqing continued to speak bluntly. "Tang Jie knew that shrinking back would draw suspicion, so he decided to stand up and shout? Then we won't suspect him? What sort of idiotic logic is this? Are we not suspecting him now? If he was this sort of person, then he is undoubtedly the biggest idiot in the world. Do you think such an idiot would be able to avoid our rigorous search for three years? Useless thing! Out!"

Ashamed and frustrated, Zhao Xinguo could only salute and depart.

Gao Fei watched Zhao Xinguo leave, then he said with a frown, "Eagle Master, Senior Brother Zhao is still True Person Zhao's son. Isn't scolding him like this a little too excessive?"

"If he weren't True Person Zhao's son, do you think I would tolerate this piece of trash?" Gu Changqing snorted. "I was already sick of him. He's just a True Person's son. There's no reason for me to be afraid of him!"

Gao Fei smiled, but he didn't dare to reply.

Gu Changqing said to Gao Fei, "This Tang Jie, number 96. We'll put him in Grade B for now while we gather more information. Let's do everything according to procedure."

Hypersheep325's Notes:

Godhead Palace has its eyes on Tang Jie! But it seems like it's not too much attention yet.

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