Qin Wentian and Fan Le finally met Elder Thousand-Hands. During these past several days, there'd been people who’d delivered their food to them, however Elder Thousand-Hands had never appeared in front of them.
"Elder." Qin Wentian respectfully stood up as he greeted.
"Hmm." Thousand-Hands nodded his head, "Qin Wentian, the matter in the Dark Forest has already been clearly investigated. There was someone who was willing to be a witness, and stated that Orfon had indeed gathered others and attempted to kill you. As for the matter in the arena a month ago, the academy has already publicised that it was a personal grudge, and wasn't considered breaking the academy’s rules. Other than this, you’re currently ranked last among the new batch of students. Both of you have completed the imprisonment term of one month, and can leave this place as of now."
After hearing the Thousand-Hands words, Qin Wentian broke out into a smile. It was absolutely forbidden to kill students from the same school within the academy grounds, but the disciplinary committee had actually just used the two words ‘personal grudge’ to explain everything. This was obviously showing favoritism and siding with him. This, Qin Wentian naturally understood. And moreover, this punishment couldn't even be considered a punishment at all. At most, this one month of imprisonment could only be considered as closed-door training.
Such obvious favoritism, even the blind could see. But still, this was what reality was. As long as you displayed a sufficiently high talent, you'd be able to receive a grand level of treatment such as this.
"Thank you, Elder." Qin Wentian thanked him with a smile before bidding him farewell. After which, Fan Le and him both departed from that place.
The moment they came outside, a white blur of shadow jumped right into Qin Wentian’s chest, and extending his tongue, Little Rascal began licking the Qin Wentian’s face.
A charming silhouette stood in front of Qin Wentian, and when the owner of the charming silhouette glanced over in the direction of Qin Wentian, traces of flirtation could be seen flickering in her irises.
"Demoness." Fatty’s eyes displayed a bright glow, as he stared unblinkingly at Luo Huan. Her figure, hehe… Fatty was already salivating.
"Senior Sister." Qin Wentian smiled as he stepped forwards. Luo Huan too, approached Qin Wentian, and as she linked her arms with Qin Wentian she laughed, "Little fellow, you’re finally out."
Qin Wentian only felt the extreme softness of Luo Huan’s skin. He laughed bitterly, could she not tempt him so much? After all, he was only 16, a period where his hormones and blood were surging.
Fatty ran forward as he prepared to link his arms with Luo Huan on the other side, as he obediently called out, "Senior Sister."
Luo Huan glanced at Fan Le, and froze when she realised that he was about to link arms with her, before she giggled softly.
"Senior Sister, I’m the brother of Qin Wentian." Fatty initiated the introduction as he stepped even closer to Luo Huan.
Luo Huan laughed, as she willingly linked arms with fatty as well. That moment, an expression of absolute enjoyment appeared on the face of fatty. Fatty’s spring days were coming soon!
"Argh…" Fatty let out a shriek of agony, as he nearly fell to the ground, clutching his right arm, as a sheen of perspiration could be seen on his forehead.
As he inclined his head, Fatty could only see the backs of Luo Huan and Qin Wentian walking away. His tears almost seeped out. Both of them were brothers, but why was there such a difference in the quality of treatment… Weren’t brothers supposed to share weal and woe together?!
"Boss, wait for me!" Fan Le thickened his skin as he rushed forwards. It appeared that in the future, he would have to follow Qin Wentian to get scraps of other good fortune.
The Emperor Star Academy was incomparably vast. There was the Disciplinary Courtyard, the Elder’s Courtyard, the Honor Courtyard, and the Student’s Alliance. Naturally, there was only one Disciplinary, one Elder, and one Glory Courtyard, while the Student’s Association were made up of groups of students who banded together. The four strongest student groups in the Emperor Star Academy were collectively known as the Asura, Heavenly Demon, Knight, and Greencloud Associations.
Other than this, there were three other places of extreme importance inside the Emperor Star Academy.
The first place, was known as the Heavenly Star Pavilion. The Nine Heavenly-Layer Star Pavilion was a place where countless cultivation arts and methods, and even innate techniques, were stored.
The second place was known as the Astral River Hall. In the Astral River Hall, there was a mysterious force and pressure that simulated the pressure Stellar Martial Cultivators would face when they were attempting to condense their Astral Soul. This place could be used to strengthen their focus and increase their affinity, allowing them to use the astral pressure to temper themselves, break past their limits, and condense Astral Constellations of an even higher heavenly layer.
The third place, was known as the Dreamsky Forest. This place was a vast, boundless, dreamscape, that was exceedingly mysterious. As long as one entered it, they would enter into a dreamlike state in that dreamscape. And what’s more, the dreamscape was connected to all of the four great martial academies in the royal capital. The Emperor Star Academy, the Royal Academy, the Divine Wind Academy, and the Seven Stars Martial Palace.
"Heavenly Star Pavilion, Astral River Hall, Dreamsky Forest." Qin Wentian murmured in a low voice. His heart trembled with anticipation after hearing the introduction from Luo Huan. No wonder the Emperor Star Academy was the number one academy in all of the Chu Country - capable of causing youths from all over to travel thousands of miles just to have a chance to enroll in it.
"Senior Sister, what’s up with the Dreamsky Forest? Why is it connected to the other three great academies?" Qin Wentian curiously asked.
"The Dreamsky Forest was originally created by an extremely powerful figure of our Emperor Star Academy who was proficient in knowledge about dreamscapes. In the beginning, the Dreamsky Forest was only connected to the Emperor Star Academy, which allowed students to temper their skills through spars and fights without the fear of death. After that, the other three great academies implored that Senior for help. In the end, that Senior agreed because he felt that with even stronger students from the other academies entering the dreamscape, our Emperor Star Academy students would be able to benefit even more."
Luo Huan continued explaining, "Hence, this formidable Senior went to each of the four great academies, and used a special innate technique to create a vast dreamscape, connecting all four of the great academies to it. This was extremely advantageous for them. Previous batches of students have all received immense gains, and have heightened their combat abilities through the dreamscape that that Senior created. Not only that, within the ranks of students from the other academies, those with extraordinary talent love to challenge students from our academy through the Dreamsky Forest."
"The heart of this Senior was extremely magnanimous, willing to benefit others as well as benefitting ourselves." Qin Wentian laughed, "Since there’s no risk of death in the Dreamsky Forest, of course they would unceasingly try to heighten their combat ability by dueling with students from our academy."
Traces of laughter were displayed upon Luo Huan’s visage, as she looked towards Qin Wentian, "Junior Brother, don’t you underestimate the Dreamsky Forest. That dreamscape causes you to enter a deep dream state, bringing your real body into an alternate reality. The battles and duels in it will still sap your Astral Energy, and, if you’ve tasted the sensation of death in that state before, definitely won't be willing to taste it again."
The countenance of Qin Wentian froze as he slowly nodded his head. Currently, he was also cultivating the Dreamcast Art - of course he knew of the alternate reality inside of dreamscapes. Especially in the 2nd and 3rd level of the Dreamcast Art; in the 2nd-level, the Immersed Dream State, his real body, instead of his consciousness, would enter the dreamscape. If he died in there, the sensation of death would be strikingly real. That feeling, would surely be extremely nasty to bear.
Based on the content of the Dreamcast Art, when he cultivated it to the 3rd level, the Forgotten Dream State, the dream would no longer be a dream. If he died in the dream, he would, die in reality too.
The Dreamsky Forest… the strength within the dreamscape should roughly be at the 2nd level of the Dreamcast Art, similar to the effects of the Immersed Dream State. That Senior had created an entire, vast, spacious dreamscape, in order to aid the four great academies in their cultivation practices.
"Boss, should we first go to the 7th level of the Heavenly Star Pavilion to choose some ultimate cultivation arts or innate techniques?" Fan Le’s eyes shined with a brilliant light, as he directed the question towards Qin Wentian.
With a light smile on her face, Luo Huan glanced at Fatty as she replied, "According to what I know, both you and Junior Brother Qin are both ranked last, out of the newest batch of students. Your Emperor Star Jade Medallion should still be at the first grade, which means that you'll only be allowed entry to the first level of the Heavenly Star Pavilion, which houses only the most mediocre cultivation arts and innate techniques.
"..." Qin Wentian and Fan Le were depressed. To think that people of their calibre were ranked last amongst this batch of new students.
"How about the Astral River Hall?" Fan Le asked.
"Same thing, you're only allowed entry to the first level."
"Don’t tell me we can’t even enter the Dreamsky Forest."
"There’s no limitations placed on the Dreamsky Forest, you can go there anytime." Luo Huan laughed as she continued, "I'll escort both of you to the place where you will be staying. As for if you should go or not to to the Dreamsky Forest, you can make the decision then."
"Right." Qin Wentian and Fan Le both nodded their heads in agreement.
Luo Huan brought both of them to the place where students stayed. The houses provided were all extremely simplistic, causing Fan Le to sigh as he cast his thoughts back to during the time when they had been imprisoned. Was that a punishment, or was it a reward.
"All the new students from this batch have already moved in here, I’m afraid that there might not be any more rooms remaining." Luo Huan smile lightly, as she continued leading the way. Their efforts were in vain, all the rooms seemed to be filled with people. In the end, they finally discovered a small house near the roots of an ancient-looking tree that was empty.
"The environment here isn't too bad, you only need to walk a short distance before you arrive at the Dreamsky Forest." Luo Huan laughed. The dorms for the new students were just to the back of the Dreamsky Forest. This was to allow for them to enter the Dreamsky Forest for training easily.
"Senior Sister, where are you staying at?" Fatty pitifully looked at Luo Huan, this small house was just too dilapidated....
"Stop dreaming, you have to raise your Emperor Jade Medallion to the 4th grade before you have the right to choose other region to stay in." Luo Huan replied, "Work hard!"
"How do we increase the grade of the Jade Medallion?" Fan Le asked. This was something Qin Wentian wanted to know as well. It appeared that in order to enjoy resources and benefits, one had to increase the grade of their Emperor Star Jade Medallion
"The grade of your Jade Medallion is determined by the Honor Courtyard. For new students, the Jade Medallion of those who are ranked below the top 30, they will remain at grade 1. From the 30th to the 4th rank, their Jade Medallion grade will be raised to grade 2. For the top three ranks, their Jade Medallion will be grade 3. Actually it’s extremely simple if you want to increase the grade of your medallion. All you have to do is to direct a challenge at the students in the top 30 ranks. As long as your ranking replaces theirs, your medallion will level up as well.
"However, if you want to raise the level of your medallion from the 3rd grade to the 4th, you will need to transfer 100 pieces of 2nd-layer Yuan Meteor Stones to the Honor Courtyard. From the 4th grade to the 5th grade, you will need to transfer 300 pieces of 2nd-layer Yuan Meteor Stones, from the 5th to the 6th grade, a 1,000 pieces, from the 6th grade to the 7th...."
"Stop." Qin Wentian exclaimed, as he marvelled silently at the amount. From the 5th grade to the 6th grade, a 1,000 pieces of 2nd-layer Yuan Meteor Stones were needed - did they wanted to frighten him to death?
Luo Huan giggled as she looked at Qin Wentian, "The Emperor Star Academy has to provide for so many people, where do you think they get the resources from? How could they depend on the elders to procure the resources, they will naturally depend on the students. This is a form of training as well."
"But, this is too brutal" Qin Wentian mumbled.
"Brutal?" Luo Huan laughed, "a Jade Medallion at the 6th grade will allow you to enter the 6th level of the Heavenly Star Pavilion. In there, there is peak-level, top-tier Yuanfu grade cultivation arts as well as top-tier Earth-grade innate techniques. The worth of a thousand 2nd-layer Yuan Meteor stones, is only equivalent to 10 3rd-layer Yuan Meteor Stones. If you think about it, the cost for upgrading the medallion, is not high at all."
Qin Wentian froze as he heard the words of Luo Huan, and carefully considered them. It appeared that what she said was true. The 6th level of the Heavenly Star Pavilion was extremely useful for cultivators at the last three levels of the Yuanfu Realm. This special treatment was only available at the Heavenly Star Pavilion. A thousand 2nd-layer Yuan Meteor Stones, could truly not be considered much.
Despiterealizing this, Qin Wentian still felt somewhat depressed in his heart. In the past when he was in the Sky Harmony City, even a 1st-layer Yuan Meteor Stones would be considered a precious treasure. A 1st-layer Yuan Meteor Stone, other than holding the possibility of allowing a Martial Cultivator to become a Stellar Martial Cultivator — in addition to how scarce resources were — used to be treated like a treasure. But it was totally different here at the Royal Capital. There was no comparison at all!
TL Note: I’ve checked the raws, Seven Stars Martial Palace used to be known as the Seven Stars Academy.
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