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AIP - Chapter 90: Record

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

The Seven Celestial Halls.

Tang Jie suddenly appeared in front of a hall. He staggered backward, his face as white as a sheet.

Cough… Tang Jie spat out a mouthful of blood. "The last ten points are really difficult to get."

He took out the jade token and looked at it. It said that he had 91 points.

But Tang Jie knew that this one extra point had been gotten in exchange for an injury. This one extra round of beating he had endured had caused him to vomit blood. If he had tried to endure another one after that, he might have been beaten to death.

The elder wasn't here, so Tang Jie moved to the side to rest.

With nothing else to do, he looked at the record wall next to him.

The record wall recorded the grades of the students. The formation on the wall was linked to the jade tokens held by all the students. When the score on the token changed, the ranking on the wall would also change.

On the wall that recorded the rankings for Celestial Defense Hall of this year's class, Tang Jie held the top spot, so his ranking didn't change. His score simply went from 90 to 91.

In second place was Qi Shaoming, with 83 points.

"He's catching up rather quickly," Tang Jie frowned.

If he recalled correctly, Qi Shaoming had only had 80 points yesterday. In just one day, he had gotten three more points.

Further down was a student called Fang Zhi who Tang Jie had never seen before.

On this wall, there was one name that was even higher than Tang Jie: Cang Qingfeng.

There was a note under it:

"Cang Qingfeng, a student of the 442nd class, current record holder of Celestial Defense Hall's Spirit Spring Tier, lasting a total of thirty-five seconds."

"Cang Qingfeng, thirty-five seconds…" Tang Jie furrowed his brow.

According to the rules of the Seven Celestial Halls, each puppet represented ten points. The first ten points were the easiest to get, attained as soon as the puppet started attacking. After that, it depended on how long one could last. If one could last until the tenth puppet entered the battle, one got one hundred points.

But how long one could last would depend on one's ability, and each additional second would be a record.

Basking Moon Academy's Seven Celestial Halls had existed for one thousand years, so these records were always being broken. Thus, the records on these walls were actually the best records left by countless elites over one thousand years.

Each broken record would mean that the strongest record in the 1800-year history of Basking Moon Academy had been established.

The record of this Cang Qingfeng had been set 1400 years ago, and had remained unbroken to this day.

As looked at the other walls, he saw that Cang Qingfeng was the record holder for the Spirit Lake Tier, Spirit Sea Tier, and even the Mortal Shedding Realm.

Tang Jie suddenly had an idea and went to see who the record holders of the other halls were.

At Celestial Execution Hall, Tang Jie saw large names written on the walls.

One of these names drew his attention.

"Xiao Biehan, a student of the 1326th class, current record holder of Celestial Execution Hall's Hundred Refinement Period."

"So it was the third martial uncle of the Basking Moon Sect. As expected of the sword maniac, after breaking the records of his predecessors, his own record has remained unbroken," Tang Jie remarked with a chuckle.

After looking around Celestial Execution Hall, Tang Jie went to see the other halls and saw quite a few famous people.

It was Yan Changfeng for Celestial Pivot Hall, Ming Yekong for Celestial Flash Hall, Lu Yuanzhen for Celestial Pearl Hall, and Feng Hongluan for Celestial Variation Hall. Excluding Cang Qingfeng, these were all illustrious individuals of the current age, with Feng Hongluan being the current headmaster of Basking Moon Academy.

But none of these people had been like Cang Qingfeng and occupied the top records for all tiers. Most of them only displayed their strength at a certain stage.

After all, there were countless talents over one thousand years, and leaving one's name on the records once was a feat for the ages.

This was what made Cang Qingfeng even stranger. Who was this person? As someone who had set out to understand the Basking Moon Sect, he had never heard of the sect having this sort of person.

Was it a student who wasn't willing to join the sect? Tang Jie couldn't help but think.

Though Basking Moon Academy was designed to recruit talents for the Basking Moon Sect, not every exceptional student was willing to join. There were always one or two independent-minded geniuses who might choose otherwise.

These people were normally called "outstanding students". This title held the same status as "outer disciple" and was indicative of students who had stood out but had not joined the inner sect.

As he wandered and pondered, he ended up walking back to Celestial Defense Hall. He looked blankly at Cang Qingfeng's name for a while, at which point someone came out. It was none other than Qi Shaoming.

He was also surprised to see Tang Jie, but he just gave a perfunctory nod and left.

Tang Jie didn't try to act close. He similarly gave a nod and left.

Qi Shaoming glanced at his departing back, and then he took up the position Tang Jie had just left, in front of the wall.

"91 points… It went up again, so fast!"

Just like how Tang Jie thought Qi Shaoming was rapidly improving, Qi Shaoming thought that Tang Jie was rapidly improving. After all, the more points one got in the Seven Celestial Halls, the more difficult it was to get more.

That dazzling 91 made Qi Shaoming feel rather uncomfortable.

He outwardly appeared very mild and gentle, but down in his bones, he was as proud as anyone else.

For he was Qi Shaoming!

Nine-cycle-Jade-Gate Qi Shaoming!

He was normally cold and aloof not because he did not like to make friends, but because he felt that Basking Moon Academy was awash with mediocrity, that no one else here except An Rumeng had the right to be his friend. 

He wasn't taking part in sparring training because he knew after losing several times that the Spirit Spring Tier wasn't enough for him to truly dominate. Thus, he had begun to bitterly train at the Seven Celestial Halls.

One day, when he was truly peerless, he would return to the sparring ground and sweep through all opposition.

But here, he had encountered other rivals.

There was Cai Junyang at Celestial Pivot Hall, Li Huanian at Celestial Simulation Hall, Shu Mingyang at Celestial Variation Hall, An Rumeng at Celestial Flash Hall, Li Yunfan at Celestial Execution Hall, Heng Wei at Celestial Pearl Hall, and here, at Celestial Defense Hall, was Tang Jie.

Though he, Qi Shaoming, considered himself a genius, he couldn't get first place in any of the halls.

Of course, this partially had to do with his pride causing him to fight for supremacy wherever he went. Even though he had no first place, his name could be found in the top ten of every hall. In terms of total score, he was naturally the indisputable number one.

But for him, this was far from enough.

His eyes burned with fighting intent as he muttered, "I'll surpass all of you. One by one… I'll defeat all of you!"

There was nothing to do in the afternoon, so Tang Jie went to see Wei Tianchong.

Wei Tianchong was messing around with his puppet in the courtyard.

This puppet was clearly bigger than the first. Rather than using Electro Wood, which lacked in defense, for the torso, Wei Tianchong had chosen to use the tough and durable Violet Sandstone.

To the west of Sageheart was a region known as the Violet Desert, which produced Violet Sandstone. Violet Sand had a tendency to aggregate and could easily be compacted into stone. This was a rough stone that was very porous, making it easy for spiritual energy to flow through it. It was perfect for those kinds of puppets that had smooth shells but were internally filled with holes.

It could be said that Violet Sandstone was the ideal material for low-level students to make puppets with. While it couldn't be infused with lightning like Electro Wood, it was tough and durable, and most importantly, it was cheap.

It was just that working with it was rather tiresome. After all, this was sculpting with stone, not wood.

In truth, Tang Jie had thought about selecting Violet Sandstone for Wei Tianchong at first, but Wei Tianchong was too lazy and had refused, so he had to go with Electro Wood.

Ye Xing's hammer had shattered his puppet and knocked him out of his laziness. He realized that so long as he was lazy, he would have to pay the price.

This time, he had maturely chosen the material most appropriate for his level.

Of course, this meant that his puppet would take at least three months to finish.

For this, Wei Tianchong had learned the Ghost Axe spell. Through spiritual energy, one could make any weapon sharp and tough, making it perfect for sculpting. Of course, it could also be used in close combat.

Wei Tianchong was busy working on his puppet, but when he saw Tang Jie, he happily put down his chisel and hammer and rushed over. "Why did you come to find me today?"

Tang Jie chuckled. "Look at what you're saying! I'm your servant student. I should be coming to see how you're doing whether I have business or not."

"Oh my, someone still remembers that they're a servant student," a sarcastic voice said from the back. Shi Meng was standing in the small spirit grain field, a small raincloud in front of him watering the plants.

The Raindrive spell.

Tang Jie knew that Shi Meng was angry.

Tang Jie had been busy cultivating, so he hadn't been taking much care of Wei Tianchong… Alright, it wasn't like he had done much in the past.

Wei Tianchong was currently relying on Shi Meng to handle all his daily needs.

While Shi Meng had learned Immortal arts that had made a lot of his work easier, sometimes, it wasn't just a matter of more or less, but one of comparison.

He watched as Tang Jie cultivated every day and ignored their young master, so he naturally felt uncomfortable. Moreover, Wei Tianchong was always complimenting Tang Jie.

Thus, Tang Jie wasn't angered by Shi Meng's reprimand. Wei Tianchong, on the other hand, was rather unhappy, saying, "Shi Meng, what are you saying? Tang Jie is taking care of my studies. Without him, I wouldn't have been able to pass the exam, and he helped me teach a lesson to that group of scoundrels just recently."

Tang Jie hurriedly stopped him. "Forget it, forget it. Shi Meng is right. I have been neglecting my duties to you recently, and I owe a lot to Shi Meng for taking up my duties."

He walked over and took out a bottle of spirit-nurturing pills that he gave to Shi Meng. "I'm sure that taking care of the young master has hindered your cultivation. There are some things that I should have done that you helped me do instead. I don't have any good way of repaying you, so take this as a sign of my gratitude. In the future, if I get any more, I won't forget about you."

Shi Meng was rather startled as he took the bottle. He looked at Tang Jie. "You…"

Tang Jie very seriously said, "We all entered the academy together, and there are times when one person can't go it alone. I received some instructions from an elder a few days ago, and upon thinking back, I feel like there are some things that I failed to do well enough. If I did anything that displeased you, please forgive me."

His words made Shi Meng start to feel awkward. Scratching his head, he said, "Forget it. We'll just count this as you paying for my time."

Shi Meng knew that his abilities were limited, and even if he had thrown all his work onto Tang Jie, he would have never been able to get into the top five and enjoy its rewards as Tang Jie had. Since that was the case, it was better to do a good job as a support. In any case, life here was simple, and Wei Tianchong had become much more reliable such that he could handle the work alone. With these spirit-nurturing pills, he was actually making a profit, so he gladly accepted them.

"It seems like you've reached Spirit Spring, right?" Tang Jie asked.

Shi Meng chuckled. "Mm, a little later than the young master. I got to Spirit Spring only a few days ago, after which I learned the Raindrive spell."

Just like Wei Tianchong, he had a four-cycle Jade Gate, but he didn't have the resources, so he was always slower than Wei Tianchong. To be honest, if not for Tang Jie, Shi Meng would have been considered one of the more decently talented servant students.

"You won't have much of a future if you only learn things like this," Tang Jie said.

Shi Meng dropped his head. "I know that, but there's nothing else to be done. I only have four cycles and don't have any resources, just barely meeting the school's minimum standard for entering Mortal Shedding. If I divide my attention into learning spells, I wouldn't be able to succeed in either aspect."

Tang Jie replied, "You're right, but learning spells doesn't necessarily mean dividing your attention."

"Oh? What do you mean by that?" Shi Meng was confused.

"Not every spell requires you to get proficient in them before you use them," Tang Jie explained. "Battles are dangerous, with every second mattering, so the faster you can cast a spell, the better. But not all spells are like that. Take healing spells as an example. There isn't much of a difference between casting one in the blink of an eye and casting one over the course of five minutes."

"You're saying…"

"There are also scouting spells, counter-stealth spells, and other support spells. So long as they're spells that don't need to be used in battle, they don't be practiced to too high of a proficiency level. You simply need to know how to use them."

Shi Meng's eyes brightened at these words, and Tang Jie continued, "You cultivate the Water Spring Reflection Mantra. This mantra specializes in recovery and healing spells, so why not try to learn a few? In future missions, you'll have plenty of space to display your ability." 

"Missions?"

"Yes, missions!" Tang Jie patted him. "You've only just stepped onto the Immortal path, and no one can say what the final outcome will be, so why give up so easily? Since you can't make yourself stand out like the others, why not find your own place? Right now, most students are seeking proficiency, not variety, focusing on combat. There's nothing wrong with this line of thought, but some things lose their value when there's too much of it around. Since everyone else is pursuing purity, you might as well walk the path of variety and learn a lot of spells. Learn all sorts of spells, specifically the ones that other people don't know, and they might prove more useful than you think."

Shi Meng's eyes brightened even more, but then they swiftly dimmed. "But I don't have the money to learn that many spells."

"Hey, I'll pay it. It's just twenty spirit coins for one book, right? I'm your young master, so I can certainly afford it. You can just repay me later!" Wei Tianchong confidently thumped his chest.

"Yes, that's exactly what I mean," Tang Jie said with a smile. "Every person has their own position, and once you find yours, you'll have a path forward."

Shi Meng finally looked at Tang Jie with a hint of gratitude in his eyes. "Thank you."

Hypersheep325's Notes:

Tang Jie has suddenly become such a kind and generous soul! Surely, he must be feeling some of that holiday spirit (even though Christmas isn't actually a thing in this pseudo-Chinese fantasy land).

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