AIP - Chapter 89: A Chance
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Tang Jie wasn't going to be polite now that he had already shown his ability.
Starting from this day, Tang Jie officially began his life of training on the sparring ground. While he never actually used the Formless Golden Body, he didn't keep any of his other tricks hidden.
The Divine Battleground might have been the cruelest place in the academy. The students bitterly fought over the limited resources available, displaying all their abilities. They would strike with savagery, and injuries were commonplace.
It wasn't rare for students to resort to extreme methods such as the kind Qiu Jing's crew had employed against their opponents. If someone thought that they could win if they were just strong enough, then they were gravely mistaken.
Even the likes of Qi Shaoming, An Rumeng, Cai Junyang, and Shu Mingyang had losses recorded on the Divine Battleground.
As for Tang Jie, though he had gotten first place on the first day, starting from the next day, he did not have such an easy time.
After losing to Cai Junyang, Tang Jie fought nine more matches, winning five and losing four.
One of the four who beat him was none other than Shu Mingyang.
Unlike Cai Junyang, Shu Mingyang had learned as many as eighteen spells. With all these spells, he naturally couldn't cast them as quickly as Tang Jie and the others could cast theirs, but he was skilled in talismans. In every match, he was certain to use talismans, unleashing a plethora of spells that left Tang Jie dizzy and confused.
But Tang Jie quickly managed to counter Cai and Shu with a painful blow.
On the third day, Tang Jie designed his tactics specifically to counter Cai and Shu. For Shu Mingyang, he used a rapid offensive, while against Cai Junyang, he put up a hard wall of defense, thus defeating both of them.
But people soon began to target him… The battles went on in this intense and exciting fashion, and it was only in this phase that Tang Jie truly interacted with the experts of the academy—there were always those people who didn't garner much fame at the start of the term but would gradually reveal their edge on the Divine Battleground.
In the process of fighting with these worthy adversaries, Tang Jie was constantly improving himself and gaining more and more combat experience. It was also at this point that he truly understood what it meant for there to always be someone that was better.
In this period of time, he fought with Cai Junyang five times, losing three times and winning twice. After his first loss, he and Cai Junyang had fought four more times and each won twice. He had fought with Shu Mingyang six times, with three victories and three losses. He had gone against Liu Hongyan three times, winning twice and suffering an unexpected third loss. Against Ping Jingyue, he had fought two times and won both times.
He had fought against Hua Yang three times and won three times. In the first battle, he had shattered Hua Yang's spell weapon, leaving him so angry that he had vomited blood on the spot.
It was two other students who truly dealt Tang Jie a painful blow.
One was called Li Yunfan, and the other was called Li Huanian.
The former was a seven-cycle-Jade-Gate student from the same class who also cultivated the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra. Tang Jie had fought him four times and lost every time—his worst record to date. Li Yunfan had an almost divine mastery of the Silk Rending Hand and the Mountain Cleaver Sword, and his attacks were sharp and vicious. This was a student who had gained fame purely through combat.
Li Huanian was from last year's class, one of the minority who had failed to advance to the Spirit Lake Tier in a year and a half. However, that he hadn't reached the Spirit Lake Tier was not because he lacked talent, but because he had put a significant part of his energy into practicing spells. He was proficient in seven or eight spell arts, and his cultivation had lingered on the edge of the Spirit Lake Tier. The students from his class all cursed him out for being shameless, relying on his extra year of study to steal resources from the lower-level students.
But these were the rules of the academy.
So long as the students didn't break the rules, they could exploit them however they pleased. It was all just a problem between students.
In truth, for the majority of students, even with an extra year of cultivation, they might not have been able to win if they ran into geniuses of the lower class, and they might have only delayed their own cultivation.
Li Huanian wasn't the only one who had done this, but he was the only one who had succeeded.
Tang Jie had fought with him four times, losing three times and winning once.
There was also a student called Heng Wei. This person had average strength, but he was extremely durable, and fighting with him was like trying to eat a sticky cake.
Tang Jie had fought him three times and won every time, but after each battle, he was absolutely exhausted. Later on, he learned that this guy was the top scorer of Celestial Pearl Hall, just like how Tang Jie was currently the top scorer of Celestial Defense Hall.
Lastly, he had fought An Rumeng once.
That was possibly the most beautiful one-sided defeat of his lifetime.
This girl had an extremely fast movement technique, and Tang Jie had yet to master the Violet Lightning Lunge. Throughout the entire battle, Tang Jie hadn't even been able to catch the edge of An Rumeng's skirt before he was defeated. The battle left some psychological trauma on Tang Jie for quite some time afterward.
This girl was currently the only person who had maintained her evaluation of Peerless.
As for Qi Shaoming, Tang Jie had yet to fight him, for Qi Shaoming had yet to participate in sparring training.
He was training in the Seven Celestial Halls, of which Celestial Pearl Hall alone could drain a person, so he didn't have the time to do anything else. Tang Jie had met him a few times over there, but of course, since they didn't know each other well, they normally just nodded at each other and smiled. Of course, Tang Jie didn't often go to Celestial Pearl Hall, as he focused more on tempering his body in Celestial Defense Hall.
Tang Jie officially began to make a name for himself, and he gradually climbed back up from being a "coward" to the top twenty. In this month, he managed to rank three times: first, fourth, and fifth.
But what truly made Tang Jie famous was his habit of easily destroying the weapons of others.
As there were always a few people in this initial phase who wanted to make trouble for Tang Jie, Tang Jie would never be polite. Whenever he fought them, he would turn their weapons into scrap metal, after which he came to be known as the "Weapon-Shattering Madman", and the Formless Golden Body enjoyed an even greater reputation in the academy.
Tang Jie felt that this was the most interesting part. A spell art that he had never actually used once was now viewed as the strongest spell in the eyes of others.
With all these weapons being broken, Tang Jie's golden grain grew larger until he could now form it into a needle.
Tang Jie had tried to wrap the golden grain in the Energy Needle and then throw it out in the shape of a needle. One strike had been able to punch a hole in a large stone. After the Formless Golden Body, this was the second of Tang Jie's secret trump cards.
His only regret was that when he threw out the golden needle, he would need ages to find it again. He had no way of knowing when it would get big enough for him to sense it from a long range, so Tang Jie felt like he might need to find a chance to learn the Sovereign Spirit spell and see if this could solve the problem.
The Sovereign Spirit spell was similar to Wei Tianchong's Sovereign Command spell, but while the latter emphasized control, the former emphasized sensing. It was better when it came to searching for objects with spirituality, and it could also control puppets to a certain degree.
But if he did this, he would once more be putting off learning the spells that were a set with the Grotto Metal Mantra, and Wei Tianchong would probably rebuke him until his jaw fell off.
Without a puppet, Wei Tianchong was dejected for a few days, but he soon regained his energy and planned to make a stronger combat puppet.
For this purpose, he invested all the money the Wei Clan sent to him into materials. Tang Jie saw his efforts and gifted the medicines he got for getting in the top five to him.
Wei Tianchong was shocked by this gesture. "And you? What are you going to do?"
Tang Jie chuckled. "You don't need to worry about me. I'm definitely going to get into the top five more in the future and will have medicines like these available to me. These spirit-nurturing pills aren't very useful for me, so I would rather give them to you. So long as you are willing to put in the effort, everything is negotiable."
Wei Tianchong stared at Tang Jie, and it took a while for him to finally say, "My mom… really made the right choice."
Time rapidly passed in this sort of passionate and excited fashion, half a month going by in the blink of an eye.
Today, after fighting ten matches in the sparring ground, Tang Jie had gone on to the Seven Celestial Halls to cultivate.
Tang Jie preferred this place to the noisy environment of the sparring ground.
It was a clean and simple place where he could bury his head in training, as if everything outside had nothing to do with him. He didn't need to think about Godhead Palace, didn't need to think about relations with others, and didn't even need to think about his young master. Though he sweat and bled, he also gave his brain some time to take a break. Boom!
A giant hammer smashed down, and Tang Jie flew into the air. Without even time to look, he rolled across the ground, and a large foot slammed down next to him.
Tang Jie continued to roll as more and more feet stomped down around him. Tang Jie was forced to make ten-some rolls before finally jumping to his feet.
The moment he jumped to his feet, the dark silhouette of a puppet rushed to his side and punched, hitting him right in the belly. Tang Jie's entire body trembled, but he roared, grabbed the puppet, and threw it aside.
"Success!" Tang Jie shouted out in delight.
The grab and throw was something Tang Jie had learned after being pummeled for quite some time. It seemed very simple, but it required seizing the moment when the opponent had just struck and had yet to exert new strength. It was most suited for use against those opponents who relied on their speed to attack.
With this puppet thrown aside, a gap appeared in the encirclement of the eight puppets, and with a roar, Tang Jie charged at it. But just when he was about to break out, the ninth puppet appeared, blocking Tang Jie's path and giving him a punch.
Tang Jie tried to grab its fist, but his hand missed, the punch savagely striking him in the face and sending him flying.
"Shit!" Tang Jie cursed. The nine puppets suddenly accelerated, becoming blurs as they attacked Tang Jie.
Tang Jie was forced to activate the jade token and teleport out of the hall to escape this terrifying assault.
The elder outside glanced at Tang Jie and nodded in satisfaction. "Not bad. You've reached ninety points. Your progress recently has truly been surprising."
Tang Jie took in a deep breath. "Thank you for your instruction, Senior. This lowly one will continue to work hard."
Though that was what he said, he knew that he had essentially used up the potential he had obtained through the Parting Classic. He had felt his body's strengthening beginning to slow down. If he wanted to bring the pace back up, he would probably have to spend more money.
Alas, after he had inherited the Divine Firmament Sword Classic, the Basking Moon Sect had seemingly stopped thinking about him and was no longer inclined to act. Thus, trying to get benefits from the Basking Moon Sect had become extremely difficult.
If it's really no good, I'll just use all my strength and get one hundred points, Tang Jie said to himself. But this would mean exposing one of his trump cards.
As he was hesitating, he saw a person approaching in the distance.
Tang Jie looked over and saw that it was Wu Xing.
Wu Xing also saw him, and he immediately dropped his head and walked away.
Tang Jie's mouth opened, wanting to shout something, but he couldn't manage to speak.
The elder noticed this and asked, "You have some sort of quarrel with that student?"
"Ah. Not really… He's my older brother," Tang Jie very awkwardly replied. Wu Xing's figure was fading into the distance.
"Oh?" The elder raised a white eyebrow. "If I remember correctly, that student's surname is Wu."
"His parents are my adopted parents," Tang Jie replied. He asked the elder, "Has he been coming to the Seven Celestial Halls lately?"
The elder nodded. "Yes, he comes here every day and trains until he's totally spent. Alas, his talents are limited, and he has poor comprehension, so though he trains hard, he hasn't made much progress. Rather than training, it seems to me that he's torturing himself… He has a great load on his mind."
"Is that so," Tang Jie mechanically replied.
The elder smiled. "It seems that your relationship with your older brother isn't that good."
"There were a few problems…" Tang Jie didn't continue.
The elder seemed to understand. "Was it related to cultivation?"
Tang Jie nodded.
The elder sighed. "Haaa, the path of Immortality is beset with struggles. For the sake of a few cultivation resources, brothers will turn on each other, and father and son will become enemies. There is not even the slightest bit of the human touch there. Such Immortals… are better off not cultivating."
"It's not like that!" Tang Jie hastily replied. He wanted to say more, but the old man waved his hand and stopped him.
"I know. He was probably the one in the wrong, but, in the end, he's still your older brother. While you might not be related by blood, he is still your older brother. He might have done wrong, but did you ever give him a chance?"
Tang Jie froze.
The elder closed his eyes and unhurriedly said, "I'm old, and I've seen too many things like this. Cultivating for a lifetime, living for a hundred generations, I have seen the people around me die off one by one. A thousand years go by in a flash, but when I look back in the twilight, I realize that finding my former companions is very difficult. What does it matter if you have cultivated until your power reaches the heavens and reverberates through the earth? Some things that are lost… cannot be brought back. When it comes to relatives, if you can get along, why fight? All of you are still young, and on the path of youth, making mistakes is very common. If possible, there is no harm in trying one more time. Better than to look back on the past and regretfully sigh."
Tang Jie was dumbfounded. After a long while, he bowed to the elder. "Senior, thank you for your instruction!"
He turned and left.
That afternoon, Tang Jie didn't cultivate. He sat in his room pondering something, even ignoring Yiyi's teasing.
Late in the night, Tang Jie finally made up his mind.
He walked out and went to Wu Xing's residence. After hesitating for a while, he knocked on the door.
The door opened to reveal Wu Xing.
He was much more haggard than when they had first met.
Upon seeing Tang Jie outside, Wu Xing paled. "What did you come here to do?"
Tang Jie took out the bottle of lifespan-extending medicine. "I want to ask for your help in sending out this medicine… I couldn't find any other way of sending it out, so I ended up coming back to you."
"What do you mean by this?" Wu Xing looked at the medicine and then angrily glared at Tang Jie.
"Don't misunderstand me. It was just that there was an old man who told me that everyone makes mistakes, and we sometimes need to learn how to give others more chances… I want to try it out."
Tang Jie placed the bottle on the table and silently looked at Wu Xing.
Wu Xing's body trembled. Suddenly, he dropped to his knees and began to weep.