AIP - Chapter 73: White Crane
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
That afternoon, Tang Jie took a trip to Heaven One Pavilion to redeem a spell.
He had reached Spirit Spring long ago, but he had been training his spell for the battle, so he had yet to redeem his new spell.
He had killed who he needed to kill, so he naturally needed to prepare for the next phase of his cultivation.
He redeemed two spells, the same as last time. One was the Aquagel Shroud, which was the upgraded version of the Aqualight Shroud. It still emphasized reducing damage, but it could endure stronger attacks. It was a rather decent spell, and it could theoretically be used all the way until the Mortal Shedding Realm.
Since he had already practiced the Aqualight Shroud, he naturally had to walk this path to the end. There was no reason to waste the foundation he had put so much work into. The art manifestation for the Aquagel Shroud was slightly more complicated than that of the Aqualight Shroud, but since he was proceeding from the foundation of the Aqualight Shroud, his cultivation time would be much more efficient.
The other spell was the Energy Needle.
The Energy Needle belonged to the same school as the Energy Shield that Zhuang Shen had used before. Among the low-ranked spells, it was decently strong, but when it came to the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra, it still wasn't the best choice.
The Energy Needle was renowned for its fast art manifestation, but it lacked armor-piercing ability. When it came to the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra, it only utilized the fast energy circulation, but its power was limited.
If Wei Tianchong were to find out about Tang Jie's choice, he would inevitably once more jump around and curse Tang Jie for being wrong in the end, always choosing spells that didn't match his path.
Well, at least this was one third of the path.
Tang Jie chose it primarily because of a certain advantage this spell had. It could be wrapped around other objects, imbuing them with spiritual energy and increasing their power.
He had shattered the Violet Flame Sword in exchange for a golden speck, but he didn't know what it was for. However, he knew without a doubt that it was incredibly tough, so if he wrapped it in the Energy Needle and used it for an attack, its power would soar.
As for the Twelve-Form Horizon Sword, it had no upgraded version, so it could only be cast aside. But this didn't matter to the Twelve-Form Horizon Sword. After all, he had only chosen it to utilize the power of the Azure Light Sword.
After redeeming the two spells, Tang Jie was just about to walk out when he spotted Liu Hongyan walking over.
"Eh?" Tang Jie was shocked. "You're not going to tell me that you also came to redeem a spell book, right?"
Liu Hongyan asked with a smile, "And what if I was?"
"That would be strange. You have a six-cycle Jade Gate, but you're redeeming a spell book now. If this is Spirit Spring Tier, then you're a little slow. If this is Spirit Lake Tier, then you're a little fast."
Liu Hongyan smiled. "You're quite good. It seems like no matter what someone is trying to do, they can't hide anything from you. However, I really did just reach Spirit Spring."
"How could you be this slow?" Tang Jie frowned.
There was no reason someone of Liu Hongyan's aptitude should have just reached Spirit Spring. Had she been hiding her progress just like him?
Liu Hongyan bluntly replied, "Isn't it because of the big exam half a month from now? You think everyone is like you, able to memorize everything the esteemed teacher has lectured on after only one class."
She shot him a flirtatious glance.
"The big exam?" Liu Hongyan's words reminded Tang Jie that there was such a thing.
Basking Moon Academy had a major examination every half a year, and it seemed like it really would be about that time in half a month.
The students of Basking Moon had always grumbled about the big exam, since failing it meant that one had to keep attending class, and attending class would delay one's cultivation.
But this wasn't the most important thing.
According to the rules of the school, the evaluation for disciples and outer disciples involved comprehensive consideration of one's points, culture classes, cultivation progress, performance in missions, and potential, and those with the highest overall assessment would take precedence.
Anyone who thought that the strongest was certain to become a disciple was gravely mistaken.
Thus, those without hope of becoming an outer disciple had to work hard at studying so they had more time to cultivate. Those students who had hope of becoming a disciple or outer disciple also had to work hard at studying to increase their overall evaluation.
Thus, these students also wanted to study hard so that they could get through the culture studies as quickly as possible.
Alas, sometimes, things just didn't go how one wanted.
When the teachers of Basking Moon Academy lectured, they would pack their lectures with immense amounts of information, at times throwing out so much information at once that it made one dizzy. And when it came to mathematics, which required meticulous calculations, even hard memorization was useless.
Students needed to cultivate in the afternoon and at night. It was often the case that after a night had passed, they would grow more familiar with the Major Circuit Heaven but would be incapable of remembering more than a few words from the culture classes they had attended just yesterday.
This was why the students who passed the big exam every year were few in number. In the end, everyone would be forced to continue attending classes. It was said that there were even students at Spirit Sea and Mortal Shedding who still attended classes.
Those students who had been through these tribulations before had explained, "I actually wanted to listen to the lecture, but for some reason, I always get sleepy in class. In order to stop myself from falling asleep, I have to circulate the Circuit Heaven and cultivate my mantra, but after circulating a few Circuit Heavens and finally getting back my focus, I find out that the class has already ended…" and all other kinds of bitter complaints.
Those, other than those professional students, even the cultivation prodigies had to resort to last-minute cram sessions.
It was said that even Qi Shaoming and An Rumeng had stopped their cultivation to bury their heads in books, hoping that they wouldn't have to enter these damned culture classes after this one big examination was over.
Liu Hongyan was naturally one of them.
Of course, for Tang Jie, these problems truly weren't problems.
He longed for knowledge about this world, and this was his motivation to study. With interest, he was naturally attentive in class, making the contents easier to understand. As for math, there wasn't even a need to bring it up. He could pass even without attending class.
Thus, he truly hadn't thought about this frustration that all the other students faced until Liu Hongyan brought it up. He awkwardly laughed. "It was my mistake. Right, how are your studies going? Are you confident in passing?"
"Ah!" Liu Hongyan heavily sighed. "If I were confident, I wouldn't be so miserable. That said, do you really not plan on helping me?"
She placed a fair hand on Tang Jie's shoulder.
Tang Jie calmly took a step back. "Little Sister Hongyan, if you're looking for supplementary lessons, wouldn't Young Master Shu be better? When it comes to culture classes, he doesn't lose out to me at all."
Tang Jie could get through the culture classes because of his past experiences, but Shu Mingyang was a real genius. As well as being an eight-cycle-Jade-Gate genius of Basking Moon Academy, he did better in his culture classes than in cultivation, and he was second only to Tang Jie.
Liu Hongyan was surprised by Tang Jie's rejection. She angrily rolled her eyes and said, "If you don't want to help me, forget it, and why are you bringing him up with me? Don't you know he no longer has anything to do with me?"
"Oh? You two are quarreling?" Tang Jie knew that Liu Hongyan and Shu Mingyang were very close, and there were rumors around the academy saying that they were a pair. But from her tone, it seemed like some problems had cropped up between them.
Liu Hongyan tersely answered, "There was no argument. It's just that seeing him carrying around that book all day gets really annoying. Even if he cherishes the world, is there any need for him to put on such airs? He seems really fake to me, so I don't want to associate with him. Is that not allowed?"
You think he's really fake now? How is that different from before? Tang Jie chuckled to himself. He said, "It's not my place to pass judgment on your relationship, but if this is the case, it's even less my place to help you. If someone else saw me, wouldn't they think I was getting in the way of your relationship?"
"If you get in the way, you get in the way. Are you scared?" Liu Hongyan glared at Tang Jie.
"Yes, I'm afraid." To her surprise, Tang Jie openly admitted it, leaving Liu Hongyan stunned.
Tang Jie bowed to her and went on his way, completely ignoring the resentment on Liu Hongyan's face.
She watched Tang Jie leave, after which the look of resentment disappeared. A soft chuckle came from behind her. "He doesn't seem to trust you very much. He's probably noticed something."
"I think so too," Liu Hongyan said without turning her head. "He intentionally tested me last time, and I accidentally forgot myself and said that he was older than me. That definitely must have raised his guard."
"You're sure that he was testing you?"
Liu Hongyan hesitated for a moment, and then she shook her head. "I can't be sure, but if I were Tang Jie and in the same situation, I would definitely find it strange and at least ask, 'How did you know how old I was?' But he didn't ask. This means that he was trying to test me. Ordinary people don't go randomly testing other people, so I think there's really a high chance that he's Tang Jiye! Of course, this isn't a sure thing, and I don't dare to make any assertions."
"Then you advise…"
Liu Hongyan laughed. "Are you joking? I'm only telling you what I'm seeing. What's to be done is your business."
The other party laughed. "You're just like your master. Alright, I'll tell them. Right, there's another person you need to pay attention to."
On Tang Jie's way back, a paper bird suddenly flew over to him.
Upon reaching Tang Jie, it burned up on its own, leaving only a few words: "Pay me a visit. Xie Fengtang."
Headmaster Xie is looking for me?
After some thought, Tang Jie decided that this probably had to do with Min Dong's death.
It was impossible for the Basking Moon Sect to not have suspected him.
Unafraid, he went over to Xie Fengtang's residence.
Xie Fengtang lived on a mountain slope on the southern side of the Clear Sky Mountains. It was an elegant and serene environment, and there was even a grove of purple bamboo planted in front of his house. After passing through the bamboo forest, he saw Xie Fengtang seated in his courtyard. Across from him stood a red-headed white crane, and there was clearly a chessboard between the two of them.
He was playing chess with the crane.
Tang Jie said nothing at this sight, simply stood on the side and waited.
Xie Fengtang seemed to be unaware of his arrival. He placed a piece on the board and then took a sip of his tea.
The white crane used its beak to place a piece in retaliation.
The two of them battled on the board, but Tang Jie was in no rush. When he saw that Xie Fengtang had finished his tea, he even grabbed the teapot and filled the cup back up before returning to the side to quietly wait.
Xie Fengtang smiled. "Little Dan, what do you think about this kid?"
The white crane turned to glance at Tang Jie and spoke in a melodious female voice. "There are few at this age who can be so composed. He is a very steady and tactful child."
Xie Fengtang chuckled. "It's not easy for you to call someone decent. This child only just entered this academy, but he has already received the approval of you and Old Li."
The white crane raised her head and disdainfully said, "Don't compare me to that big idiot that loves flattery."
Xie Fengtang shook his head, and then he placed another piece on the board before turning to Tang Jie. "This is Senior Bai Dan. Why have you yet to greet her?"
"Yes! Student Tang Jie pays respects to Senior Bai Dan!" Tang Jie hastily bowed to the white crane.
Basking Moon Academy had three great fiends: the golden carp, the white crane, and the old turtle. This was naturally the white crane, but she was a proud sort with a beautiful body, so unless it was necessary, she disliked taking human form.
The white crane nodded her slender neck and replied, "As I have received your respects, I must naturally give you a gift. This is for you."
A white feather floated off the white crane's body and into Tang Jie's hand.
Tang Jie was left dumbfounded.
Why did these great fiends like using parts of their body as gifts to others?
But after some thought, he realized that this made sense. The most valuable thing they had was probably their flesh and blood. He wondered what would happen if ever met the old turtle.
Would it knock off a piece of its shell for him?
That would truly be interesting.