Chapter 235: Closed Special Training
“No need for thanks.” Lan Jue said softly.
Wu Junyi regarded his young employee. “Professor Lan. Thinking on the ARC class, do you think that one class a day is sufficient? All of our students seek to improve, and they’ll do that quicker if they’re working with you more. Otherwise we’re just wasting time. I intend to open the classes up, and have them working with you all day long. Of course you won’t need to be there all the time. If you create a lesson plan, I can have another instructor or your assistant lead the class in your absence.”
Lan Jue narrowed his eyes. This was a problem, for truly one class a day wasn’t enough to impart the information these students needed to improve. If they wanted to get better, they would have to work ten times as hard.
Luckily the students weren’t aware of Wu Junyi’s plans, otherwise they would be trembling at the prospect. They were standing on the precipice, looking out over an abyss of suffering. If Lan Jue agreed, they’d be tumbling towards a world of pain.
“Let me put together a teaching curriculum, Director Wu, then we can see about implementing it. Just make it clear that these classes require absolute discipline. They’ll be exceptionally difficult, and once you start you can’t back out. You can’t just quit halfway through. This may lead to some complaints by the family, who will likely cause you some trouble. I’ll do my best to reduce the likelihood of this, though. Now that we’re making it full time, it’s best to include evenings as well. I’ll also need a closed out space, big enough for training. The first condensed ARC class will run for two months of intense training. What do you think?”
Wu Junyi narrowed his brows. “Make the ARC classes closed?”
Lan Jue nodded in response. “That’s right, close it off. Yesterday I got a feel for their power level as a group. Frankly speaking, they’re foundations are alright but their practical combat experience is absolutely deplorable. Even their combat philosophy. If we want them to feel and understand that they’re here learning, they can’t be allowed to simply give up. We want to turn quantity in to quality, and that means imparting knowledge through strict discipline.”
Wu Junyi fixed Lan Jue with a resolute stare. “If that’s so, we’ll do it as you say. You have the university’s full support, Professor. No matter the methods, you have the backing of myself and Dean Xu. Teach as you see fit.”
Lan Jue was genuinely surprised. He hadn’t expected Director Wu to agree so readily. He figured the director would at least have to consult his superiors before anything could go forward.
“Alright, then I’ll submit a lesson plan later today. No point in wasting time, we’ll get the new class started tomorrow.” Lan Jue murmured thoughtfully.
“Good,” Wu Junyi replied. “I’ll get things started.” With that he bid farewell to Lan Jue, and left.
He watched the director leave, a small smile on his face. “They’re lucky to have a director like him,” he mused. “At the very least they won’t be missing opportunities. I have to ensure I do my best, this time, and help the East develop a generation of talents.”
He lifted his wrist and tapped a number in his to communicator.
“Boss.” Mika’s voice answered from his wrist, her voice affectionate and lazy.
“Mika,” he replied. “How’s Jin Tao been doing lately? Has he finished absorbing the first round of treatment?”
Mika’s response was quick and informal. “He’s doing great. The first round of treatment should be finished in the next few days.”
“Alright, let me know when he’s finished. I’ll help him get used to the Discipline increase myself.”
Taking the Fantascia Genetica decoction required three stages, each lasting about a month. Of course the time varied from person to person, so Jin Tao would require observation.
From what he’d seen in the student battle yesterday, all of the students sported at least a fifth-rank Discipline. Where they would eventually end up in that regard, he’d just have to wait and see. There’d be more information at the end of their intensive training course.
His hope was that he’d temper them in to hardened pilots in this short period. But, what about Zhou Qianlin?
The Soulcaller gem warmed:
Lan Jue: Qianlin, there’s something I need to speak with you about. I just had a conversation with Director Wu, and we’ve decided to close off the ARC classes, make ‘em private. For the extent of the class, students will have to stay in the school. They’ll live, train and study together.
Zhou Qianlin: Alright, so what?
Your Discipline is still weak. Your body… I think it might be best if you drop out. I can train you individually.
No. If it’s no problem for others, then it’s no problem for me. I’ve told you before, I’m not some princess with a silver spoon in her mouth. I’m the same as everyone else. What you did during class was right, we don’t want others to know about our relationship. I’m to be treated the same as everyone else. And if they can stomach it, so can I. I’m not going anywhere.
With that said, Lan Jue felt the Soulcaller gem cool.
Lan Jue stared blankly at nothing. This girl… an iron fist in a velvet glove, he thought. She may look soft on the outside, but she had an unbreakable spirit. Perhaps she didn’t understand just how torturous this class would be. Although it would not be as bad as the hellish treatment he and his brother suffered, it would certainly change the way these students thought about improvement. She wouldn’t come out of it unscathed – would she be able to handle it?
He squelched the qualms within him, pushing them away.
He wandered towards the electives building, lost in thought. Almost in a daze, he made his way to his desk and sat. Only then, much to his surprise, did he discover the steaming cup of tea situated there.
“You’re back, Professor Lan.” Wang Hongyuan greeted him as he sat. He approached, indicating the tea. “I bought some. Jasmine tea, give it a try. It’s pretty good.”
Lan Jue gave him a skeptical look. “What’s all this? Making up for some unknown evil, eh?”
When Wang Hongyuan answered, his voice was low but excited. “I realized you were right, Professor. My Discipline has been stagnant for a long time, but after the shock I received yesterday I’ve felt it improve. I spent the night focusing on cultivation, and sure enough it was stronger. I was hoping that, if you had some time you could shock me again.”
The edges of Lan Jue’s mouth twitched mirthfully. As he’d told them, bioelectric shocks certainly could enervate one’s Discipline. For Adepts a blast wouldn’t do any lasting harm, but may help push their powers to a higher degree. But that wasn’t certain. He’d just thought to give it a try when he shocked Wang Hongyuan, but apparently it had really helped.
“Aren’t you afraid my control might slip? I could kill you.” Lan Jue asked the question through a smirk. He lazily lifted the teacup and sipped the fragrant liquid within. The lingering, pungent scent seeped through him, filling him with a sense of ease.
Wang Hongyuan laughed. “If you did, I wouldn’t have any regrets. It’s settled, then.”
“First I have something to discuss with you,” Lan Jue said. “A few minutes ago I spoke with Director Wu. He wants to make the ARC class a closed, intensive course. Since I can’t be there all day, every day, I was hoping I could rely on you to fill in the gaps. And as a heads-up, the Savage Goddess will definitely be there. There’s no way she’ll give up the chance to participate in this class.”
Wang Hongyuan’s excitement only grew. “Not a problem, Professor. Do you think I should post-pone my dance class for now?”
Lan Jue shook his head. “That won’t be necessary. It won’t take a lot of time out of our schedule, and besides if you were to suddenly stop the classes it might raise suspicion. You could inadvertently reveal your identity. While you’re teaching, I can look over the students.”
“Alright.” The dance instructor nodded in acquiescence. His experience yesterday confirmed it; if he stuck with Lan Jue, it certainly wouldn’t lead to any disadvantage on his part. It was a short-cut to improvement.
“What are you guys talking about?” The curious voice interrupted their exchange.
Jin Yan walked in to the office, and immediately spied Lan Jue and Wang Hongyuan chatting, all smiles. It was a strange enough scene to cause her confusion.
“There sure has been some changes between you and Lan Jue since you’ve gotten back from Taihua, Professor Wang. So harmonious all of a sudden.”
The dance instructor smiled. “We’re all colleagues here. Why shouldn’t we work together as a unit? At any rate I’ll have to get going, I’ve things to take care of. Nice chat, Professor Lan.” Wang Hongyuan shot Jin Yan a winning smile before returning to his desk.
Jin Yan approach Lan Jue, looking at him through skeptical eyes.
“What’s with the look?” Lan Jue asked.
“I hadn’t realized you were so charming,” she answered. “I’ve known Wang Hongyuan for some time. He’s a serious man, avoiding frivolity. Even to a fault, maybe. And yet, lately the two of you have been the best of friends.”
Lan Jue laughed. “It’s like he said: we’re all colleagues. We should all try our best to get along.”
Jin Yan piped up, as though suddenly remembering something. “Oh yes, and by the way Professor, how is Jin Tao? I hope he isn’t causing you any trouble.”
Lan Jue shook his head. “It’s actually been a while since I’ve seen him. I imagine your family is also worried. You shouldn’t be, in a few days the first round of treatment will be complete and he’ll be back to classes. However, I’ll still need him to stay in the Avenue at night. He can’t return home yet. I’ll have him find you as soon as he is able.”
Jin Yan lit up with pleasure at his assurances. “Thank you so much.”
For the first few days Jin Tao was gone for his training, his family felt liberated. Without the trouble-maker around, they enjoyed a level of peace they hadn’t had in ages. However, despite his rocky history it didn’t take long for family to long for their own. Whether it was Jin Yan, or her parents, they had begun to desperately miss the naughty kid. The fact Jin Tao hadn’t kept in contact with them at all since started compounded matters, and increased their apprehension about the whole arrangement. It was for this reason Jin Yan had sought Lan Jue out, to find more information about her brother. Now, after hearing from him that her brother was fine, she felt more at ease. It was a pleasant quality he possessed, she thought, by making other people around him comfortable.
It had been nearly a full day before Lan Jue showed his face in the office. He’d been occupied by the ARC class all day. His thoughts wandered back to the first meeting, and he pondered over how to improve. There were always ways to improve, but he had to be careful he didn’t make it too similar to the life he and his brother suffered through. He wanted to strengthen those fifty students, not kill them.