Chapter 96: Promise
The economic confrontation between the two families of Wu Tan City finally ended with the Xiao Clan’s victory. Whereas the Jia Le Clan, as the defeated party, had their influence rapidly shrink. They would never be able to regain their former glory.
The confrontation between both clans stopped being a hotly contested topic in Wu Tan City after a week or so. People who loved the new and loathed the old, gradually shifted their attention away and started to place it on another important matter and this matter was regarding the enrollment of the Jia Nan Academy.
As one of Dou Qi Continent’s most famous institutions of higher learning, Jia Nan Academy was almost a holy place in every teenager’s heart. If they were able to graduate from it, their journey henceforth would be smooth sailing. Not only would they be able to pridefully return home, they would also be fervently sought after by all parties.
Jia Nan Academy was located in the vicinity where Jia Ma Empire’s borders intersected with two other large empires. In that no man’s land, Jia Nan Academy was almost like a small country in itself. According to common sense, for this trapped force, the three empires would naturally not ignore it, as there was no assurance that someday this power would be roped by an opponent; which would result in a major threat to that side of the empire’s defence.
Of course, this was under the condition that this force was weak, but if its prowess had already risen to be able to contest the three empires, the three empires had no choice but to stop their actions and leave Jia Nan Academy alone as if it was like a huge dragon coiling at the edge of their empire, and so no one would willingly provoke it.
After experiencing plenty of growth over many years. The current Jia Nan Academy was not only one of Dou Qi Continent’s most famous institutions of higher learning, but also quite reputable between the citizens of the three empires due to kind of concealed cooperation between it and the three empires.
For the incompatible three empires to smoothly maintain close to a century’s peace between them, the Jia Nan Academy was a large factor in mediating and threatening them.
These many things caused Jia Nan Academy’s reputation in the three empires to grow even stronger. In addition, every year, Jia Nan Academy would dispatch a large numbers of teachers to head into the three empires to recruit gifted students.
Towards Jia Nan Academy’s act of sending teachers into the three empires to recruit students, the three royal families all expressed a high degree of approval. After all, an academy is ultimately not a sect. Academies do not have many restrictions and after graduation, a large portion of the graduates would choose to return to their own empire. This would be the new and powerful blood into the empire’s strength, so as long as the royal families of the three empires had working brains, they would naturally agree.
After another few days, the recruiting instructors of Jia Nan Academy were about to arrive at Wu Tan City. All of Wu Tan City’s attention was shifted away from the matters of the two clans from about half a month ago into this new recruitment. This shift allowed the Xiao Clan which was constantly the topic of gossip to breathe a sigh of relief.
Jia Nan Academy’s enrollment placed importance on talent and not on the person’s background. Without sufficient talent, one would be hard pressed to enter the academy which signified a smooth future. Of course, nothing is for certain, if you were to have powerful backing, Jia Nan Academy would not mind taking you into the academy for a few years to collect a large sum of tuition.
Due to Jia Nan Academy’s indifference regarding status and position, now in Wu Tan City, even the young beggars or thieves or whatnot, began to await the arrival of the teachers eagerly. If they were able to get past the tests, they would finally leave their degrading jobs which was looked down upon by the public eye and henceforth become a respected Dou Zhe.
Under this driving mood, the recent atmosphere in Wu Tan City was even livelier than during the New Year and every day outside the city, there would be people eagerly gazing off into the distance with hope filled expressions.
Compared to these people with wholehearted expectations, Xiao Yan was extremely busy. Due to him having to travel soon, during this time period, he was almost always desperately making healing medicine. Looking at Xiao Yan’s desperate figure, Yao Lao finally felt bad and decided to help him. With Yao Lao’s unknown ability in alchemy’s help, huge batches of medicine were completed and was constantly entering the vaults of the Xiao Clan. With this stored amount, as long as the Xiao Clan sold it periodically, they could sell for a year or longer. After the Xiao Clan finally sold all of this healing medicine, they would have already earned an envious sum of money.
This high degree of alchemy of course made Xiao Yan tired. However, the refining process also allowed his control of his inner Dou Qi to become more and more smooth. Even his control over the temperature of the flames became more skilled. This improvement, combined with his highly praised soul perception, made Xiao Yan’s success rate in making blood clotting medicine almost close to sixty percent. Such a high success rate, would be something only an experienced second tier alchemist could accomplish.
Comparable to his improvement in alchemy, Xiao Yan’s own strength, under the help of Yao Lao’s carefully made elixirs, was also slowly and steadily increasing. After Xiao Yan’s last completion of a batch of medicine, the Dou Qi collected inside his body and forced itself to breakthrough and land Xiao Yan among the ranks of a four star Dou Zhe.
Xiao Yan was very delighted by this unexpected gain. Looking at this, the high intensity of alchemy had quite the reinforcement effect on raising one’s strength.
Of course, although alchemy had some reinforcement effects, it was very taxing on energy and once the last batch of elixirs were completed, Yao Lao immediately stopped Xiao Yan. Seeing Yao Lao’s severe expression, Xiao Yan considered the fact that the storage was sufficient and decided to stop. He then went to his room and tiredly slept for a day as his daily life became more relaxed again.
Slowly walking in his clan, gazing at the suddenly squeezed practice grounds, Xiao Yan was a little bored.
In each field, many young clan members were toiling away at training. These people were hoping that these last days worth of effort were enough to let themselves achieve Jia Nan Academy’s enrollment criteria.
Standing at the edge of the practice ground, Xiao Yan lazily looked at a few fields, then with a bored expression, turned and left. For these procrastinators, he didn’t have much compassion. Although he initially regained his talent, he also had to work like a dog to keep improving. These people, without much talent, always depended on their clan’s background to philander which didn’t settle well with Xiao Yan.
Jia Nan Academy’s enrollment baseline was not low: before the age of eighteen, one had to achieve 8 Duan Qi. This slightly stringent criteria alone had destroyed many people’s dreams. Of course, with Xiao Yan’s view, there would only be two people on this practice ground that could meet this criteria.
Both hands holding the back of his head, Xiao Yan threw these clansmen out of his mind since how many people being enrolled was none of his business. Shaking his head, Xiao Yan entered another small path, walking into the flower gardens in the backyard. A familiar female figure, was prettily sitting amongst the flowers, appearing very beautiful.
Slightly narrowing his eyes gazing at that perfectly curved back, a gentle look appeared on Xiao Yan’s face. Lightly smiling, he slowly walked toward the green clothed girl that was staring at the willow tree in a daze.
“Xiao Yan ge-ge, you… you are leaving soon?” Before reaching the young girl, a slightly sad voice entered Xiao Yan’s ears.
His footsteps stopping briefly, Xiao Yan powerlessly nodded his head and slowly walked forward to stand beside Xun Er. Turning his head, he saw that slightly dejected exquisite face. Lightly smiling, he reached out his hand and patted Xun Er’s small head before having his hand quietly sliding down her soft hair. The comfortable feeling made him feel a little enchanted.
“You aren’t going to Jia Nan Academy anymore?” Letting Xiao Yan intimately play with her hair which no other male had ever touched, Xun Er softly asked.
“Un.” Nodding his head, Xiao Yan gently laughed, “I also have my own things that I definitely must do.”
“Nalan Yanran?” Xun Er lightly bit her lips as she said in a low voice with her watery eyes throbbing with a kind of inexplicable coldness.
The palm that was playing with her hair briefly stopped, Xiao Yan shrugged, faintly laughed and said, “That promise that was set in front of so many people, I can’t miss it right? If that was the case, even you would despise me.”
Xun Er’s brow lightly knitted, softly sighed and then using a voice that only she could hear muttered, “I really shouldn’t have let her live back then.”
“Haha, rest assured, after this matter is finished, I will go to Jia Nan Academy to find Xun Er. Uh… at most a year and a half,. Wait no, just a year….” Looking at Xun Er’s face that had suddenly became bitter, Xiao Yan promptly laughed and changed his words.
“Xiao Yan ge-ge, actually…. If you follow Xun Er, Xun Er also has a plan to let you be able to defeat Nalan Yanran within the promised time.” Biting her lips after thinking for a while, Xun Er suddenly hesitantly spoke.
Bitterly laughing, Xiao Yan shook his head and self deprecatingly sighed, “This girl sometimes says some words that make me feel a little ashamed.”
“I know Xiao Yan ge-ge won’t think that this is charity.” Xun Er sweetly smiled and said.
Softly smiling, Xiao Yan lightly shook his head. He breathed out in consternation and laughingly said, “ Rest assured, I have confidence that after a year, I will ascend to Misty Cloud Faction and battle Nalan Yanran.”
Gazing at Xiao Yan who suddenly became prideful, Xun Er helplessly shook her head and was about to persuade him one more time, when Xiao Yan suddenly turned over, extended his arms, and in a split moment, grabbed Xun Er’s small waist, roughly pulling her into his embrace.
A gentle wind blew across the flower garden, the willow lightly floated, a young man tightly hugging a young girl like they would never split apart.
Xiao Yan’s sudden action scared Xun Er and after brief moment, Xun Er’s soft ear tips turned bright red. Lightly struggling for a while then shyly stopping, her small face was slightly suffused with an enticing layer of blushing red.
“Xun Er, after a year, I will go to Jia Nan Academy to find you, wait for me.”
Burying his head in that soft hair, the young man’s promise, finally let the girl, who was at a loss, to obediently nod her head.