AIP - Chapter 115: Leaving the Academy
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The day of the birthday party finally arrived.
That morning, Tang Jie had just finished practicing his sword arts when someone knocked on the door.
He opened the door to find Lin Dongsheng.
Lin Dongsheng was scrawny and thin, looking like someone who was easily frightened, and his eyes constantly darted around. He was like a monkey.
The moment he saw Tang Jie, he put on a respectful smile. "Brother Tang, are you ready? Everyone else is waiting for you at the base of the mountain."
Tang Jie asked, "Wasn't the birthday banquet supposed to be held at night? Why are we going so early?"
Lin Dongsheng replied, "Ha, Brother Tang, you're wrong there. We so rarely leave the academy that we have to make the most out of the one day we have and have a fun time. We've all agreed to play around in the city during the day, and when night comes, we'll head straight over to my place for the banquet."
Tang Jie chuckled. "That's fine. Let me clean up a little first."
He returned to his room to change clothes.
Once he had dressed and come out, Lin Dongsheng saw that Tang Jie was only wearing his student robes and hadn't even brought a weapon, carrying only a box in his hand. He couldn't help but ask, "Tang Jie, why are you going with so little? What about the Heartbreak Saber?"
Tang Jie laughed. "It's not like I'm going out to spar. Why should I bring my saber?"
"You might be asked to put on a performance."
"I can perform a dance with any random saber. Come on; let's head to the post station first. I have something I need to mail out."
"For the old couple?" Lin Dongsheng casually asked as he walked with Tang Jie.
"No, for Lady Wei. The young master asked me to do it. I'm a servant student, you know," Tang Jie replied.
"I almost forgot that you were a servant student," Lin Dongsheng said, laughing. "But if I could have grades like yours, I would also be willing to be a servant student!"
"Forget about it. Who would be a servant student if they could be a young master? You're someone who lives in luxury while not knowing it. Rather than getting envious of all those heavenly geniuses, you go and envy servants like me. To stand on the side and look down on us lowly scoundrels from on high is the proper path!" Tang Jie teased.
"Doesn't that mean that I'm respectful to the wise?"
"Ha, it looks more to me like you have ulterior motives."
Lin Dongsheng erupted in laughter.
The two schoolmates talked and laughed as they made their way to the post office. Tang Jie passed the box to the student in charge. The student gave him a receipt, and after Tang Jie put it away, he waved his hand and said, "Let's go."
At the base of the mountain, he saw that Cai Junyang, Liu Hongyan, Ping Jingyue, Shu Mingyang, Li Yijing, and Yang Zhiyuan were all there.
For this birthday party, the Lin Clan had invited all the elite students of the Freedom Society.
After exchanging a few words, they all boarded the boat.
As the boat approached the other shore, Tang Jie took out a gold-embroidered fan from his sleeve and lightly fanned himself.
Everyone saw him putting on airs and expressed their wonder.
Ping Jingyue covered her mouth and chuckled. "Brother Tang, when you wave around a fan, you actually seem rather cultured."
Tang Jie casually answered, "So are you implying that there's a degenerate hiding in this body?"
Cai Junyang frowned and said, "Why are you taking out a fan? It's not like we're students off to the capital to take exams. What's the point in acting like a snob?"
Tang Jie continued to fan himself as he said, "We're entering the city as guests, so we can't seem like violent brutes. Putting on a dignified façade is necessary. And besides, it's hard enough in life to find an opportunity to play pretend!"
"Then please compose a poem for me to enjoy."
Tang Jie waved his fan and forthrightly replied, "Absolutely not! I'm feigning refinement, not actually refined."
Everyone again erupted in laughter.
They were soon at the shore. The party disembarked and headed into the city.
Once the group was rather far off, several people appeared in a distant grove of trees.
The leader was Gao Fei. Next to him were Zhao Xinguo and three other people, all of them wearing short-sleeved clothes made of rough cloth.
"Is it him?" Zhao Xinguo asked.
The three of them looked at each other and shook their heads.
Zhao Xinguo angrily said, "What does shaking your head mean? Talk! Do you still not know if it's him?"
The three of them replied together, "Master, we do not know."
"Trash!" Zhao Xinguo was so furious that he almost vomited blood.
One of the older men hurriedly said, "It's really too far, and he's waving that fan around, obscuring half of his face. But at first glance, he does look rather similar."
"Rather similar!" the other two replied in unison.
Gao Fei snorted, "If you can't see him clearly, you can't see him clearly. What's this about being similar or not? We require a definite answer, not this sort of wishy-washy reply. If you couldn't get a good look, then we'll follow him and get a closer one. We have the entire day, so get a good look and make sure. Don't make the same mistake as last time!"
Godhead Palace had never planned to wait until the evening banquet to make the confirmation. From the moment Tang Jie came out, they were ready to have his identity confirmed and then have him captured.
For this purpose, Godhead Palace had enclosed all of Wanquan City in a net!
Meanwhile, Tang Jie casually strolled around with the other students.
It was the middle of spring, when all the flowers were in bloom, and seas of flowers could be seen wherever one looked. There was a thick crowd around the Student Forest, and the carriages of wealthy clans were going in and out. The new school year was about to begin, and the next batch of students was about to arrive.
"Really, time just flies by. All of a sudden, it's been almost a year. I can still remember what it was like when we first entered school. I didn't think I would be seeing a new batch of students come in so soon. We're going from being junior brothers and sisters to their senior brothers and sisters," Liu Hongyan emotionally sighed.
These words drew the agreement of the others.
In their minds, this year had truly gone by quickly. They had never imagined that time would just rush past them so quickly.
They had initially believed that ten years in school was too long, but now, it seemed that if they completely devoted themselves to cultivation, ten years might be too short.
Cai Junyang sighed, "That's what the cultivation of Immortality is like. The mountains have no concept of years, and the cultivation of Immortality cares not for months. We haven't even really started yet. Once we get into the truly profound realms, we might meditate in the morning and only come out after a few years or even a few decades. When that time comes, when we look back, we might find that deep seas have turned into mulberry fields and that the people around us are all different. The ruddy cheeks of childhood might have even turned into white bones buried in the yellow earth."
Everyone couldn't help but be shaken by these words.
Tang Jie lightly said, "There's a good reason those who cultivate Immortality seek a clear mind and solitary lives. If you can't abandon your secular connections, you can never achieve the Great Dao."
Liu Hongyan smiled. "So according to Brother Tang, for us schoolmates to go out like this to leisurely enjoy the flowers and chat about the Immortal path is actually taking the incorrect path. Rather, we need to be like Qi Shaoming and An Rumeng, holding ourselves aloof from everyone else and being all alone?"
Everyone laughed, commenting, "That's exactly it! Our actions are not the correct path!"
Ping Jingyue pouted. "How boring. Even if we have to be all alone in the future, we don't have to do that right now. Why should we abandon our present friends for our future solitude? We should be cherishing these moments in which we can be together."
"But we'll ultimately have to part," Tang Jie casually said.
Everyone's hearts sank.
Liu Hongyan slightly creased her brow. "Brother Tang, your words are too…"
Before she could finish, she saw Tang Jie walking away.
Taken aback, Liu Hongyan shouted, "Where are you going?"
Tang Jie turned his head and smiled. "I'm parting for a bit."
He made a small gesture that he needed to pee.
Liu and Ping immediately blushed, and Liu Hongyan got so angry that she stopped her feet. She glared at Tang Jie before looking away, shouting, "But you'll have to come back at some point. Do you think you can run away?"
"Perhaps…" Tang Jie leisurely replied as he made his way into a nearby grove of trees.
Since he needed to pee, he naturally needed to do it in a place where no one was around while also keeping a watch on his surroundings.
Deep within the trees, Tang Jie looked around to make sure no one was around before taking out a flower from his bosom.
The flower transformed into Yiyi, who silently looked at Tang Jie.
Tang Jie squatted down and stroked Yiyi's face. "Yiyi, starting from now, your big brother won't be able to keep you company. You need to take good care of yourself and the little tiger."
He took out the refined beast token, wrapping it into a bundle with a cloth he had brought with him and then placing it in Yiyi's hands.
Yiyi began to cry. "Big Brother, I don't want to go. Can't you let me stay at your side a little longer?"
Tang Jie's heart winced at these words.
Alas, he could only shake his head.
The moment he stepped onto the shore, he was no longer safe.
Godhead Palace could move at any time.
Yiyi had to leave him as soon as possible. Each extra minute was another minute that she was in danger.
"I also don't want to leave, silly girl…" He hugged Yiyi and gave her a kiss.
This time, Yiyi didn't try to avoid it.
After kissing her, Tang Jie wiped away her tears. "Go on. Take the little cub away from this place, and make sure nobody notices you."
Yiyi could no longer restrain herself and began to wail.
She buried her head in Tang Jie's chest and bitterly sobbed, tears coming out from her like a fountain.
Even though he knew that the situation was dangerous and that each additional second of delay was dangerous, when he saw how sad Yiyi was, Tang Jie couldn't bring himself to push her away.
He lightly stroked her head and patted her on the back. "Yiyi, be good. If you want to see your big brother earlier, you have to listen to him. So long as your big brother can beat those bad people, Yiyi can come back to your big brother's side."
Hearing this, Yiyi restrained her sobs.
She looked up at Tang Jie and sniffled, tears still running down her face.
Tang Jie could look no longer. He turned around and began to leave.
"Big Brother!" Yiyi shouted.
Tang Jie's feet paused for a moment, but in the end, he left without another word.
He had already told her everything he needed to. There was nothing else to be said.
As she watched him leave, her tears gradually dried up.
She wiped away her tears and released the tiger cub.
The tiger cub clearly didn't like being in the token, and began to softly growl.
Yiyi hugged him and soothed, "Bao'er, be a good boy and don't make a fuss. Your big sister is here."
"Woo…" The tiger cub looked around, clearly wondering why Tang Jie wasn't here.
"Big Brother left us… Starting from now, it's just the two of us," Yiyi said, hugging the cub.
"Wooo?" The tiger cub looked at Yiyi in wide-eyed confusion.
"But he will come back," Yiyi seriously said.
She grabbed the cub's ear. "Come on, Bao'er. We have to leave… and do what Big Brother told us to so that he can beat those bad people. So long as we can beat those bad people, Big Brother will come back."
The tiger cub didn't understand what she meant, but when he saw Yiyi walk away, he followed her like a little lackey. The little girl and the tiger soon vanished into the depths of the forest.
At the same time, Tang Jie stepped out of the forest and saw a man walking toward him.
The man was wearing golden clothes and had a handsome and confident face.
When he saw Tang Jie, he smiled and said, "Is this Student Tang Jie of Basking Moon?"
"You are…" Tang Jie appeared confused.
"This one is Gu Changqing!"