AIP - Chapter 114: Student Loan (2)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the mortal world, two hundred thousand spirit coins was several hundred million. In the cultivation world, even Spirit Masters wouldn't be able to easily take out such a sum. Perhaps only those of the Celestial Heart Realm could pay out two hundred thousand with barely a twitch.
As for students, this was an enormous sum!
Tang Jie had a lion-like appetite, gobbling up two hundred thousand in one bite. Madam Shui could barely breathe after hearing his request.
Glaring at Tang Jie, Madam Shui said, "You've got quite the appetite. Two hundred thousand coins? What do you have to offer as collateral?"
Tang Jie chuckled. "This lowly one still understands the school's rules. It's one-to-five collateral value at most, yes?"
Collateral was needed before the loan could be provided, but Spirit Platform Pavilion offered loans primarily to help out students, so it naturally wouldn't only loan out as much as there was collateral for. Rather, it would make partitions according to the fame, status, and ability of the students.
There were five tiers. The worst was 1:1, requiring as much collateral value as the money offered, and the highest was 1:5, with the student being able to borrow five times the value of their collateral.
One's tier was usually closely connected to one's performance on the Divine Battleground. Normally, to borrow money at the fifth tier, one needed to have the Peerless evaluation.
But Tang Jie's situation was clearly somewhat different.
As she listened to Tang Jie, Madam Shui somewhat understood what he was getting at. "So you had this all planned out. Though you aren't a student with a Peerless evaluation, you've set a record and ventured into Tiger Roar Peak alone, so putting you in Tier 5 won't be too excessive. But… even so, you would need forty thousand in collateral."
"That's why I need Madam's help," Tang Jie said with a smile. "I have these goods, and I can also offer up the Heartbreak Saber and Silver Cloud Needles as collateral. If that's still not enough, then let's do a batch loan, and I'll use the puppet as collateral…"
He was trying to get a subprime loan.
He would use the borrowed money to manufacture goods and then use the goods to borrow money.
The Rosecloud Domain didn't have the concept of subprime loans, so it was much more cautious when it came to risk. But student loans had some credit worthiness on their own, so a certain level of risk was permitted. Besides that, this was a rather civilized era, so getting a small subprime loan might still be possible.
Alas, Madam Shui still shook her head. "That still won't do!"
Tang Jie wanted too much. This was no longer a problem of collateral.
A loan of two hundred thousand would mean that the interest payment alone would be one thousand spirit coins. There was no way a student like him could pay all that back on his own.
In the end, money was loaned so that money could be made. All other considerations were based on the borrower's ability to repay the loan.
Let alone a Spirit Spring student, even a Peerless Spirit Sea student wouldn't be able to make one thousand coins per month, so there would be no hope of borrowing two hundred thousand.
"Then let's make it one hundred thousand." Since two hundred thousand didn't work, Tang Jie made a concession.
Madam Shui was rendered helpless, and she chuckled, "Tang Jie, if you don't mind me saying so, you've got a good head and you work hard, but your ideas are a little too big. It would be one thing if you said you were just making a puppet, but spending one hundred to two hundred thousand? In the cultivation world, cultivation is the proper path. If you spend one hundred thousand on a puppet, you could rank first in the Divine Battleground five times a month and sweep through Tiger Roar Valley and still not make back your costs."
In competition, one had to consider one's costs.
Why was it that groups of students had failed to hunt the fiend tiger on Tiger Roar Peak while Tang Jie alone had succeeded?
It wasn't because he was stronger than those students, but because he had been willing to disregard profit and make a loss in order to win.
If he didn't have another goal in mind, such a victory was pointless!
But using the same method in school wasn't worth it.
Madam Shui had a very high opinion of Tang Jie, but she was very pessimistic when it came to Tang Jie's goal. Thus, no matter how much she liked him, she would never agree.
But in this matter, Tang Jie could not back down.
"Madam, please, show some generosity. If Madam is willing to lend, this student is willing to accept a monthly interest rate of 3%."
"3% monthly interest rate?" Madam Shui scoffed. "You talk big, but that's three thousand coins a month. How do you plan to pay that?"
"Using myself," Tang Jie replied. "If I can't repay it, then there's no harm in selling myself off to Spirit Platform Pavilion!"
Madam Shui was just about to say "You aren't worth that much" when she heard a voice come from outside: "Lend it to him."
Xie Fengtang had appeared at the entrance.
"Fengtang?" Madam Shui raised her head in surprise. "Why are you here?"
"For this kid, of course." Xie Fengtang pointed at Tang Jie. "You don't think he came here to borrow money from you without any sort of preparation, did you?"
So that's how it was! Tang Jie had even asked for help from Xie Fengtang in order to borrow this money.
When she understood this, she glared at Tang Jie.
Although she didn't fear Xie Fengtang, Xie Fengtang was the headmaster of Basking Moon Academy. Since he was allowing this loan, there was no need for her to haggle. All she could say was, "That being the case, I'll lend it out, but don't blame me for not warning you. If you don't have the ability to repay, this debt will crush you."
Madam Shui was unwilling to loan to him out of concern that he was taking too much pressure too early.
But she had no idea that Tang Jie was carrying a burden far greater than anyone could imagine.
Tang Jie smiled. "This lowly one will remember Madam's concern."
Madam Shui took out a slip of talisman paper, and as she wrote down the amount being loaned, she said, "Since you're borrowing money, you had best take a close look at the rules. I won't take 3% interest from you. The monthly interest is 1.5%, to be paid monthly. A quarter of the principal must be repaid every half a year, and the loan must be completely paid off in two years. As for your collateral, forget about it. These aren't rare things for Spirit Platform Pavilion. In any case, if you can't repay the loan, the people of the Basking Moon Sect will come to settle the debt with you. When the time comes, you'll have to take out everything you own to pay the debt, and if you lack the money, you'll have to sell your body… At your current level of strength, you'll be working for a lifetime."
"Naturally!" Tang Jie immediately agreed.
Once she had explained all the important conditions, Madam Shui handed over the loan receipt. "There are no problems. Please leave a drop of your blood here as a seal."
Tang Jie didn't even look. He simply bit his lip and left a red seal of blood on the paper.
The loan receipt used a special kind of talisman paper. The moment one dripped blood on it, the loan receipt would lock onto the borrower's position. There was no hiding unless one fled the Rosecloud Domain.
Once this was done, Madam Shui gave Tang Jie one hundred spirit jades, and Tang Jie left after receiving the money.
Madam Shui once more looked at Xie Fengtang, a chiding look in her eyes. "Really, what are you doing? How could you agree to lend him money? He's just a student. How long do you think it will take for him to pay it back?"
To her surprise, Xie Fengtang replied, "What I want is exactly for him to not have any money to pay it back with. There are some things that you don't know about, so there is no need for you to ask."
With a hearty laugh, he departed.
The Basking Moon Sect's patience with Tang Jie was beginning to run thin, but there had been no opportunity to interrogate him.
Now that Tang Jie owed one hundred thousand spirit coins, when he couldn't pay it back, the Basking Moon Sect would finally have its chance.
How could Xie Fengtang let go of such an opportunity?
With the money, Tang Jie took a stroll around Spirit Wonder Market.
With all of this money, he now only looked at the best items.
Fifty-year violet wolfiporia, one-hundred-year ice lotus, thirty-year-settled stone essence, and even Mortal Shedding fiend pellets. All of these were items that he sought.
These were all herbs used for cultivating the Parting Classic.
Tang Jie had never once planned to use these one hundred thousand coins on a puppet.
The biggest problem with providing loans in ancient times was that it was hard to keep track of how the money was spent.
The loan providers had only ever worried about the ability to repay the loan and what to do if the money couldn't be repaid. But problems like how to avoid clients who couldn't pay and the managing of finances had never been considered. The "seeking loan receipt" also meant that the chances of the borrower running off plunged such that nobody cared about seeing how Tang Jie actually spent the money.
With this giant sum, Tang Jie swept through Spirit Wonder Market.
This was the biggest shopping spree he had ever had in his time in the academy. In the space of two hours, he spent all one hundred and ten thousand spirit coins in his possession.
With his bundles of precious materials, he returned to the Carefree House. He had wiped Spirit Wonder Market free of its rare goods so that there were probably no herbs left in the academy, and the price of materials was certain to soar in the short term. But Tang Jie didn't care.
Once he got back to the Carefree House, he heated up a basin of water, prepared the herbs, and dumped them into the water. Thus, he began his fourth tempering bath.
This was the most expensive bath to date. With just the slightest circulation of the mantra, medicinal power would travel through the water and steam into his skin and onward into his body.
The excessive blood loss during the day had left him utterly exhausted, and his body was now like a hungry baby, greedily sucking on any source of nutrition.
Tang Jie's body was like a black hole, able to take in all the medicinal effects.
In the herbal haze, Tang Jie could feel his body changing.
His skin turned even whiter and cleaner, gaining the luster of jade, healthy and pliant. But nobody could tell that a berserk strength lay beneath this cultured exterior.
Tang Jie could feel a warmth madly surging through his entire body, and as this indescribable power filled him, he couldn't help but want to shout! Want to fight!
This originated from a desire to unleash his abundant blood energy.
But Tang Jie knew that he had to endure, had to keep focusing on circulating the mantra. The steam gathered over his head like a cloud, bizarrely spinning, and Tang Jie's face flushed red, then began to change into other colors under the steam… This bath was particularly long, lasting all the way until the afternoon of the next day before the medicinal power was finally spent.
When he finally emerged from the bath, he was no longer that dejected self who was weak from blood loss. He was brimming with energy and seemed entirely transformed.
It was an indescribable feeling, a sensation that the surrounding world was slightly different. Nothing had actually changed, but with one glance, Tang Jie felt like he could see the world down to the tiniest detail.
All was within his vision!
All secrets were revealed to him!
This was the realm of the minuscule and detailed.
Tang Jie understood that he had reached what cultivators referred to as the minuscule level.
The minuscule level was truthfully a display of a cultivator's abilities. Once a cultivator tempered their body to a certain level, the functions of their senses and organs would be strengthened. Vision, hearing, and other senses would be boosted, while the body's organs would become more capable of producing blood and recovering.
The minuscule level meant that one would be able to observe everything down to the tiniest detail, nothing escaping one's gaze.
Above the minuscule level were void-plumbing and illusion-breaking. At this level, one could see through the void, look beyond the pale of death, and penetrate through illusions without the need of spells. But Tang Jie wasn't able to reach this higher level yet.
Tang Jie hadn't expected this one bath to get him to the minuscule level, and he couldn't help but sigh in wonder. The Martial Lord's arts were expensive, but their effects were worth the cost.
His skin was so glossy that it truly seemed to be made of white jade. It was only now that he could be considered to have reached the Jewel Body.
The Jewel Body referred to a body like jade and marrow made from metal. The body had been strengthened from the outside to the inside, and all the organs had been bolstered. This was the primary reason he had been able to reach the minuscule level.
In terms of strength, while Tang Jie felt like he was much stronger, it wasn't what he had expected out of an investment of one hundred and ten thousand coins.
Tang Jie knew that this was primarily because this tempering bath had primarily bolstered his insides, and also because he had yet to fully develop his body.
The changes the Parting Classic effected on the body primarily focused on boosting the potential of the body. Thirty percent was in immediate effect while seventy percent was in potential. Further honing would be needed to see real change, and the method he used to hone his body would determine how this potential developed.
Someone who cultivated the Parting Classic could focus on fierce and swift attacks, endurance, incredible strength, skin as tough as metal, or even a recovery ability so formidable that it would make one unkillable.
Tang Jie's training in the Celestial Defense Hall had meant that his last few cultivation sessions of the Parting Classic had been focused on defense. When paired with the Aquagel Shroud and the Formless Golden Body, he could simply stand there and let an average student beat him to no avail.
As for how to develop this potential, that would depend on his experiences and what direction he chose.
Even so, Tang Jie's strength had already taken a massive leap.
The herbs he had bought with one hundred and ten thousand spirit coins had endowed him with a body that not even a Mortal Shedding Realm cultivator in the Hundred Refinement Period could match.
Though he appeared refined and gentle on the surface, a mad beast lurked beneath!