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AIP - Chapter 83: Planning

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Though Tang Jie was at the Divine Battleground, he didn't take part. He spent the entire day watching how they trained, even asking for a list of all the victorious students in the half a month he had been in seclusion—not just the top five, but the entirety of the top one hundred.

It wasn't easy to get this information, and Tang Jie was ultimately forced to rely on his reputation as a student who had entered Heaven One's ninth floor and obtained the Divine Firmament Sword Classic to get it.

Wei Tianchong didn't understand why he wanted it. Tang Jie only explained, "Young Master, don't underestimate the value of this information. There's a lot of knowledge in here. Only with sufficient information can we design a plan and get a good ranking, perhaps even get into the top five."

"You still need a plan?"

Wei Tianchong was speechless. You got the legacy of the Divine Firmament Sword Classic. Why do you need to be so careful?

From the moment Tang Jie was permitted into the ninth floor of Heaven One, he entered the ranks of the strong students. But because of his seclusion, he had not had a chance to display his strength. However, all the students believed that while Tang Jie might not be strong enough to get first place, after inheriting the Divine Firmament Sword Classic, he could at least get into the top five. 

Tang Jie smiled. "I'm not doing this research for me, but for you. If the plan is good, there's even a hope of getting you onto the public ranking."

"Get me onto the public ranking?" Wei Tianchong felt his knees getting weak.

What sort of joke was that?

He knew his own strength. He had nothing else besides puppets.

And he wasn't the only one with a puppet.

In this period of time, some people had seen how good Wei Tianchong's puppet looked and started to make their own.

Tang Jie replied, "Yes, since I'm going to make you a disciple, I naturally have to put in a little work. A good plan maximizes a person's strength, even allowing the weak to overcome the strong."

"The problem is that I'm too weak…" Wei Tianchong weakly replied.

Tang Jie: "…"

This kid might have seemed foolish, but he actually knew what was going on.

Tang Jie could only try to buoy his spirits. "I'm the one who wants to get you onto the public ranking, and I wouldn't do such a thing if I wasn't confident. Look here. According to the school rules, to prevent a small number of people from monopolizing all the resources, anyone can only enter the ranking five times a month. What does this mean? On the surface, the academy says that only five people per cultivation tier can get a reward, but in reality, it's at least thirty people. Considering that the majority of people can't guarantee that they'll rank five times, this number is even greater! Thus, in reality, you're not fighting for the top five, but the top one hundred."

"I get that, but what does it matter?" Wei Tianchong didn't get it. For him, whether it was the top five or one hundred, they were all too distant.

"'What does it matter'?" Tang Jie chuckled. "The difference here is huge. You have to understand that according to the school rules, so long as you get into the top five, it counts as one time, regardless of whether you're first or fifth. If all the experts occupy the rankings on the same day, that means that at least five of the strong students have lost one chance. If this repeats itself a few times, doesn't that mean your chances will increase the later in the month it is?"

"So you're saying I should avoid the strong students?" Wei Tianchong's eyes brightened.

"To be more precise, you need to choose your opponents!" Tang Jie smiled. "You're still too weak, so even if you didn't run into the likes of Qi Shaoming or An Rumeng, anyone mildly competent would still beat you. Let alone the top one hundred, even the top three hundred is no good. Thus, rather than avoiding the strong, our plan is choosing the weak."

Tang Jie used the same mindset he had used when dealing with Zhuang Shen.

"But even like that, the more I fight, the stronger my opponents will be, and I'll still have no hope."

Tang Jie patiently explained, "Actually, everyone has things they're good at and bad at. Cultivators often counter each other in certain ways. If you find an opponent that you counter, even if they're stronger than you, you will still have a chance at beating them."

"I see…" Wei Tianchong was enlightened. "You're saying that I should specifically look for opponents that I counter? Which opponents are those?"

Tang Jie laughed. "The current you can't counter anyone. You only know a total of two spells: the Spirit Guidance spell and the Fearless spell. Who do you think you can counter?

"However, that doesn't mean you can't counter anyone in the future. You've already grown proficient in the Spirit Guidance spell, and the Fearless spell doesn't need any sort of proficiency, so now, you can learn a few more spells and develop your own specialty."

"What should I learn?"

"You absolutely have to learn the Sovereign Command spell. This is the upgraded version of the Spirit Guidance spell, and it is the actual basic spell for controlling puppets. With it, you won't need to use spirit lines to control the puppet and will more easily control it. With the Spirit Guidance spell as your foundation, you should be able to adapt to this spell very quickly. As for other spells, this depends on two factors. The first is you, and the second is your future opponent," Tang Jie said as he patted the information he had gathered.

Wei Tianchong was somewhat getting it. "You're saying I should first see what the specialties of my potential opponents are, and then… take the right medicine for the illness."

"Correct," Tang Jie chuckled. "First, we have to find the opponents that we want to counter, and then we should choose spells targeted against them. They will be your stepping stones in the future. After that, we need to see when your opponents will appear. Look right here. This records all the people who managed to rank, when they participated, and the sparring room they fought in. A person has their own habits. For example, they have a certain time of day when they cultivate, when they practice spells, and when they go training. Once you have grasped their habits, you'll know when they come and when they'll leave. Once you know this, you can then understand their fighting styles and strength, after which we can choose which opponent to challenge and avoid the opponents we don't want to fight."

"But they could change their habits at any time."

"Then you just lose one. So what? When victory depends on long-term accumulation, one or two variables is nothing at all. So long as their behavior and fighting style doesn't change, our chances of victory are higher! The chance at victory is the foundation! Moreover, even if they really change, we just need to relearn the rules."

"It seems very troublesome," Wei Tianchong worriedly said.

Tang Jie smiled. "Young Master, you don't think every good idea doesn't have to consider the difficulties of execution, do you? The plan I propose isn't very difficult to think of, at least not for the hundreds of elites present in Basking Moon Academy. The real problem is that gathering all this information is difficult, as is analyzing it. A lot of time and effort is required to get a good result. Rather than wasting that time, it would be better to focus your efforts on cultivating and increasing your strength. I'm doing this for you. If I had to do it for myself, I really wouldn't be willing to go through the effort!"

Getting the movements and habits of all those people down wasn't an easy task, which was why Tang Jie had asked for all that information. Moreover, he didn't need it just for today, but for many other days in the future.

Only with this vast sea of information would Tang Jie be able to find the right opponents for Wei Tianchong.

Wei Tianchong nodded.

Tang Jie continued, "Of course, finding the right opponent still isn't enough. Basking Moon Academy has far too many students, and not even I have the energy to handle it all. Fortunately, we have another method of remedying this problem."

"What's the method?"

"The second method is the school's point system. According to the school's rules, each victory is worth one point, and the student ranking depends on how many points you can get every day. In other words, if Qi Shaoming came to the battleground today and only fought ten matches, he would only get ten points at most. And if you fought thirty and won twenty-one, you would get twelve points, so you would beat Qi Shaoming in the daily ranking. Do you get it?"

Wei Tianchong finally got it. "So you're saying I should increase the time I spend in training?"

"Correct!" Tang Jie affirmed. "People like Qi Shaoming normally won't spend their entire day at the battleground. After all, they need to cultivate. I've glanced over these records and found that people like Qi Shaoming and An Rumeng almost always go to the battleground in the morning, and they only spend four hours at most in training, so the number of daily battles they have doesn't exceed ten. Do you know why that is?"

"Why?"

"They go to the battleground in the morning because they're used to going to class in the day and cultivating at night. A capable person must have habits. Thus, after the exam, they use class time for training and continue to devote the rest of the time to cultivation. And they fight only ten battles because they don't have enough spiritual energy!"

A human's power was limited, and even the most pugnacious fighter would feel tired after ten rounds.

For geniuses like Qi Shaoming and An Rumeng, all they could do was guarantee their chances of victory, but when fighting opponents of a similar level, they weren't necessarily able to endure more battles than their opponents.

Not even they could win every single match.

Tang Jie continued, "They won't waste too much time on the battleground recovering spiritual energy, and since they can only get onto the rankings five times a month, it's not worth competing every day. But this is an opportunity for us."

"That's true. Since you can only get onto the top five five days a month, we can choose to put all our efforts into one day. I might not be able to get onto the top five five times, but I should have a chance at getting onto it one time, right?" Wei Tianchong confidently said.

"Correct. But other people might also have realized this, and they will also make their own decisions. Fortunately, your Lesser Sea Spiral Essence Mantra gives you an endless stream of energy, so you have the advantage when it comes to recovery." When talking up the advantages of the Spiral Essence Mantra, Tang Jie had to stop himself from smiling. Fortunately, he quickly got ahold of himself and continued, "Of course, when choosing a spell, we should choose those that use up less energy. You fight using puppets, so in protracted battles, you have the advantage."

With these words, Wei Tianchong was finally confident.

He loudly said, "Alright, we'll follow your plan!"

He had no idea that everything Tang Jie had said was utter nonsense!

His plan was to get Wei Tianchong up in the rankings, but the top five was still far away.

However, Tang Jie was well aware that while some people didn't work hard because they were lazy, other people didn't work hard because they couldn't see any hope.

"If this is all you have, I think that you won't get anywhere no matter how hard you try." These words could utterly destroy a person's life. "Work diligently. I think that you have some potential in this field, that you have room for development." These words could create a successful individual.

People needed hope to motivate them into fighting with all they had.

Wei Tianchong might have feared pain and might have lacked grand ambitions, but this didn't mean that he didn't want to keep advancing.

But in his view, with his four-cycle Jade Gate, he really couldn't compete against the others.

Since that was the case, he naturally didn't feel like putting in any effort.

Thus, to make this sort of person work hard, one needed to give them hope.

Tang Jie had done a little more. He didn't want to just spur Wei Tianchong on; he also wanted to use beautiful words to sketch out the "perfect" plan, to draw a beautiful cake. This painted cake would be so alluring that he could draw Wei Tianchong forward step by step… This was his real goal.

Tang Jie didn't need him to be capable of fighting the world, but he at least needed to know how to fight and struggle!

In the midst of this struggle, his strength would gradually increase, he would gradually mature, and he would get closer and closer to the goal.

Tang Jie's efforts finally bore fruit. Seeing that Wei Tianchong was finally energetic again, Tang Jie was somewhat moved. He patted Wei Tianchong on the shoulder and said, "Relax. So long as you're willing to put in the effort, I can definitely make you stand out. Starting from today, I will be your golden finger, your old grandpa. No matter what, I'll help you carve out a little space of your own on the path of Immortality!"

Wei Tianchong was completely baffled by what he was saying.

Hypersheep325's Notes:

To put it more bluntly, Tang Jie scammed his young master again!

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