Chapter 43 Flower of Hades’ Underworld (1)
“Little Fatty, did you cause trouble?” When Zhou Weiqing returned to the dormitory building, he ran into Shangguan Bing’er who had been rushing out.
As soon as he saw her, Zhou Weiqing’s gloomy feeling was dissipated, and a smile returned to his face as he said: “It was just a bunch of people who were trying to collect a protection fee, and I beat them up.”
Shangguan Bing’er furrowed her brow in disapproval as she said: “Little Fatty, we are here to study, not to cause trouble.”
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily, holding her around her waist as he said: “When others cause trouble, we can’t be afraid of it as well right? Do not worry, I know how to control myself. However, it seems that this academy is a lot more messy than I expected. I’m really worried that it will affect our studies or cultivation. Should we just rent a house outside?”
Shangguan Bing’er slapped his hand away. “Don’t dream about it, I’m going back to my dorm room, I want to get to know my roommates more. Oh, right, how about Da Huang and Er Huang? What can we do with them? After all, if we are staying in the dormitory, they will not have a place to stay. We can’t leave them in the spatial ring forever, they will be bored to death.”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Heh heh, that’s why I said, we should rent a house outside!”
Shangguan Bing’er hesitated a little, saying: “But, didn’t the academy say that we shouldn’t leave school grounds?”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Leave it to me, there will always be a way. Let me ask around, I’m sure that these so-called rules are there just for them to make money, otherwise they wouldn’t have such a separation between noble and commoner students. Money makes the world go around indeed. To be honest, the atmosphere in the school is really not conducive for cultivation, it is just too messy in the dormitory. Let me check around and we can leave to find a place outside once I find out how… at most… we can always sleep in separate rooms.” As he said the bit about separate rooms, his tone and face showed an obvious disappointment.
Shangguan Bing’er flushed deeply and was about to retort, but thinking about the cute Da Huang and Er Huang, for their sakes, she could only shake her head helplessly.
Just as Zhou Weiqing had expected, when he went to the freshmen reporting area to ask about living outside the academy area, he was given a direct answer. It was not unheard off for students to live outside, and there was no direct rule against it. However, the dormitory fee still had to be paid, and the student also had to apply and pay for an exit permit from the school – it would last for a year and would cost ten thousand gold coins. In his heart, Zhou Weiqing cursed the school for such daylight robbery prices, but he gritted his teeth and bought two exit permits.
Of course, he would not mention the price to Shangguan Bing’er, lest her heart ached about the price. He had no choice but to buy the exit permits, not only was it for Da Huang and Er Huang, it was also for his own future possible ‘happiness’1. Furthermore, in the future, when he created Consolidating Equipment Scrolls for sale, he definitely needed to go out to sell them. Of course, in the future, he would not be creating the basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, after all, for Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, the higher the quality, the greater the profit.
The reason why basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were a lot cheaper, with only several tens of thousand gold coins being able to buy a set of 1000 sheets, was that the success rate of Consolidating is very low. Even with a set of 1000 sheets, there was no guarantee that they would be able to succeed in Consolidating Equipment. More importantly, to actually go through trying Consolidating all of those 1000 Scrolls, it would take almost 3 years! Unless they had no choice, who wouldn’t prefer to use a higher level Consolidating Equipment Scroll which was not only more powerful, but with a higher success rate?!
However, Mid Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were different, and much better indeed. First of all, there was only 100 pieces to each Mid Level Consolidated Equipment, with each having a three in a thousand chance of success. With a hundred of them, that meant about a thirty percent chance of success in total, and more importantly, it would take a much shorter time to complete Consolidating all hundred of them, with a much higher success rate than the one in ten thousand rate of the Basic Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. As such, the price and profit margin on Mid Level Consolidating was already much larger, ad with Zhou Weiqing’s success rate, it was even more so.
In the recent two years, Consolidating Equipment Scrolls had been getting rarer, thus causing the price to shoot up higher than what it used to be. Taking Zhou Weiqing’s original Overlord Bow with a single socket as an example, such a Grandmaster Consolidating Equipment Scroll like that would probably fetch at least five hundred thousand gold coins in an auction house, far beyond the two to three hundred thousand that Huyan Aobo had quoted him several years ago. At the same time, this had caused the lives of Physical Jewel Masters to be a lot more miserable than Elemental Jewel Masters, with many four or five Jeweled Physical Jewel Masters having only two to three Consolidated Equipment, and that was already considered pretty decent.
In the world of Jewel Masters, Heavenly Jewel Masters were indeed at the tip of the pyramid. As for whether Physical Jewel Masters or Elemental Jewel Masters were better than the other, it was a hotly debated topic, with each having their own various pros and cons. All along, Elemental Jewel Masters had a slight edge, one of the reasons being their numbers being rarer, and also with a greater destructive capabilities. Another reason was that it was much more difficult to Consolidate Equipment than to Store Skills.
After all, with the presence of the various Skill Storing Palaces, it was the best training area for Elemental Jewel Masters. As long as they had sufficient cultivation level and money, it was not difficult to train up an outstanding Elemental Jewel Master. However, it was much harder for Physical Jewel Masters due to the rarity of Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, and even more so to find one which was suitable for them. Without all their Physical Jewels with Consolidated Equipments, how could Physical Jewel Masters possibly compare to Elemental Jewel Masters? In truth, if a Physical Jewel Master had all their Physical Jewels Consolidated Equipment, especially if they were good or suitable ones, or even better, an entire set, their power was no weaker than Elemental Jewel Masters!
With exit permit in hand, Zhou Weiqing left the academy to hunt for a nearby house to rent. Indeed, his luck was pretty good, and before long he had found a suitable house nearby. It was about 300 square metres2, with 8 rooms all well furnished and relatively new. The rent was also pretty cheap, around 50 gold coins a month, which was considered a steal in this area of the city. In fact, it was even cheaper than the dormitory room fees, which told the tale of how expensive these high ranking academies were.
The reason why commoner students were treated so badly was because they lacked the financial backing. If not for the fact that the Fei Li Empire had passed the law to force them to accept commoner students in order to keep talents within, perhaps the top academies would not even accept commoner students.
Without hesitation, Zhou Weiqing paid a deposit to the landlord before running back to the academy. Since he had found a place, he couldn’t wait to bring Bing’er to the place to have a look, and they could also move over with Da Huang and Er Huang.
However, he did not know that his battle with Zang Lang had already spread like wildfire amongst the entire population of commoner students, causing quite a stir. Including the freshmen, there were more than 160 commoner students currently studying in the academy. Although they numbered much less than noble students, they were all Jewel Masters! As a contrasting example, the entire Heavenly Bow Empire did not even have that many Jewel Masters! Of course, most of the commoner students were of rather low cultivation level, most only having a single Jewel. Being able to defeat Zang Lang, who had been their ‘boss’ and protective figure for several years, it had caused Zhou Weiqing’s name to be known throughout their circle. Before school had even started, he was already famous.
“Stop! You cannot enter the girl’s dormitory!” Zhou Weiqing headed into the dormitory and was about to look for Bing’er when he was stopped by an aunty of around 50 years or so. Previously, when Bing’er and he had entered the dormitory, she had not been around.
“Err… I’m here to look for someone.” Zhou Weiqing gave a honest, pleasing smile.
The aunty glared at him, saying: “Looking for someone? Every boy who comes over says that. No excuses are accepted. You can call out, but you definitely can’t enter.”
Zhou Weiqing once again felt that his idea of renting an apartment outside was just too genius. Without any choice, he yelled out loud: “Bing’er! Your husband is here to look for you!!”
He shouted out so loudly that not just the entire girl’s dormitory heard it, even the entire boy’s dormitory heard it. As some of them looked out to see it was him, the entire boy’s dormitory fell into silence.
Before long, Bing’er rushed out with a red face, quickly running to him and glaring at him. Rolling her eyes, she said: “Stupid Little Fatty, why did you shout out like that?”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “I didn’t yell anything wrongly. Aunty, this is my wife, please take care of her!”
The aunty did not give him face, and just gave a cold humph, and Bing’er quickly grabbed his arm and dragged him away at a run. She was just too afraid that this little rascal would say something else more to throw both their faces.
As they reached the entrance, Zhou Weiqing heard the aunty mutter to herself: “A fresh beautiful flower stuck on bullshit, what a waste of such a good girl.” 3
Zhou Weiqing stumbled and almost fell down, while Bing’er couldn’t help but giggle upon hearing the aunty’s words. “Little Fatty, why did you call me out?”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “I found our love nest! This is the exit permit, Bing’er, with it we can leave the academy at any time without restrictions.” As he said that, he passed her one of the exit permits he had bought earlier.
“You already found some place to rent and stay?” Shangguan Bing’er asked in surprise.
Zhou Weiqing said with a smug face: “Of course, when your husband puts his mind to it, how can there be something he can’t accomplish? Come, let me bring you to see our new home. I’ve already paid the deposit, but I must of course let my beautiful wife look and see first before confirming it.”
Seeing Zhou Weiqing’s hot gaze on her, Shangguan Bing’er rapped him on the head and said softly: “We stated beforehand, we are sleeping in separate rooms ok! If not, you can stay there alone with Da Huang and Er Huang.”
Zhou Weiqing nodded without hesitation. “No problem, I am a respectable gentleman, my nickname is called Honest, Dependable Little Gentleman, the Spotlessly Clean Handsome Youth. I would never do something like peek at a beauty bathing, or sneak into your room at night *ahem*, anything like that.”
Shangguan Bing’er gave a cold humph and said: “You better not! If you get caught by me, I will immediately move back into my dorm room. Wait for me, I’ll go take my things, I bought some daily sundries earlier.”
Zhou Weiqing slapped himself on the forehead and said: “Yes right, how could I forget! I also need to bring the sweet cotton quilt that my beloved wife Bing’er bought for me!”
Bing’er flushed red again, but felt sweet in her heart. “You are always such a sweet talker!”
As the pair of them returned back to the dormitory, the aunty was still sitting at the entrance to the girl’s dormitory. Seeing that they had returned, she immediately looked at Zhou Weiqing vigilantly. “Little brat, why? Are you trying to take revenge on me? Let me tell you, if you dare touch I, Your Mother, I will immediately yell out Molest!”
Zhou Weiqing didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he stared at this unbelievable aunty. “Aunty, you are my like my real mother okay? How could I dare touch you? I’ll definitely keep my distance from you.” As he said that, he quickly ran back to his room.”
As soon as he pushed open his room door, he immediately sensed a strange atmosphere in his room. As he entered, all the other seven roommate’s gazes swiveled to and landed upon him.
- He made a pun here. 幸福 (xingfu) means happiness, but he used 性福 (also xingfu), where 性 means sex. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ↩
- It wasn’t specifically stated which unit of measurement, although they used chi previously, I assumed 300 square metres due to the room descriptions ↩
- Literal translation of 一朵鲜花插在牛粪上 – an idiom saying wasting of a beauty/talented lady on a ugly/untalented man. ↩