Chapter 185: Rewards Based On Merit
That evening, the human camp threw a massive celebration in the name of Su Chen and the others. Many of the officers and soldiers took turns pouring drinks for them. Normally, as Origin Qi Scholars, they could easily neutralize the alcohol; however, the troops brought out wine brewed from spirit medicines, strengthening the alcohol content. Su Chen ended up dead drunk.
This was the second time in his life that he had gotten drunk, and he awoke with the same splitting headache as last time.
Upon leaving his tent, he was greeted by the sight of soldiers training, yells and shouts filling the air.
Su Chen went to take a closer look out of curiosity. Every soldier possessed a powerful physique, and the soldiers were all at the peak of Body Tempering.
The troops were usually separated by ranks. Apart from a few elite ranks, Body Tempering realm individuals were usually soldiers, while Origin Qi Scholars would at least be low-ranking officers.
For every one of this battalion’s soldiers to be at the peak of Body Tempering implied that this regiment was quite strong. Against common Body Tempering soldiers, Su Chen would probably be able to take on a hundred at a time without issues. However, Su Chen wasn’t confident that he could take on a hundred of these soldiers all at once; even if he were to win, he would have to pay a big price.
“Well? What does Prince Su think about my troops?” Xiao Feinan walked in Su Chen’s direction.
Su Chen thought for a moment before replying, “Their formations are well-defined, and their bravery is impressive. They should be elite troops who have gone through many battles.”
Flattery was always quite effective. Xiao Feinan tilted his head back and laughed, “Well said! Every soldier here is a veteran; after all, Goldriver Fort is the first line of defense against the Ferocious Race. Although they aren’t as powerful as you geniuses, they’re still a force to be reckoned with when they work in tandem. However......”
Xiao Feinan suddenly changed topics and said, “Good soldiers need good officers to command them. My Goldriver Fort isn’t lacking good soldiers, but we lack commanders who have both brains and brawn. What do you think? Would you be interested in joining the Heaven’s Mist Army?”
Su Chen finally realized that Xiao Feinan was here to recruit him.
That wasn’t that strange. Anyone from the Hidden Dragon Institute was definitely an elite amongst their peers in the country. They were talents who were always highly sought after. Anyone who participated in this expedition was an elite even amongst elites.
Now that Heaven’s Mist was so close to these kinds of talents, how could they not try to get first picks?
Because of that, Xiao Feinan kept everyone near under the guise of throwing a celebration even though they were free to go after the inspection was complete. He could thus express his goodwill to them one by one and try to rope them in.
He didn’t expect to rope in everyone, but if he could convince even one of them to join, he would have made a huge profit.
Su Chen’s performance was the most outstanding within the ruins, which was why Xiao Feinan had come to recruit him personally.
Su Chen understood Xiao Feinan’s meaning and bitterly laughed, “I’m afraid I’ll have to let General Xiao’s goodwill down......”
“Don’t be so hasty to refuse,” Xiao Feinan said. “If you’re willing to join, I will put you in command over a ward.”
Armies of the Seven Kingdoms were organized into squadrons, fireteam, guards, wards, battalions, garrisons, and armies.
A ward contained three hundred soldiers, which would make Su Chen a mid-ranking officer.
Su Chen was only in the Blood Boiling Realm and had no experience in leading troops. Putting him in command of a ward immediately was absolutely an exception to the rule; from this, it was clear how much Xiao Feinan valued Su Chen.
However, Su Chen still shook his head. “Sorry, my ambitions aren’t here.”
Xiao Feinan sighed, “If you’re not willing, then forget about it. A talent like you will have a bright future. Right, the higher-ups have made their decision. You can keep that spirit tablet as a reward for the dangers that you braved, but it will count towards your contribution points.”
Su Chen felt his heart tighten. “You mean I won’t have any other rewards?”
Xiao Feinan laughed, “How could that be possible? You all risked death for Long Sang Country. If we acted this way over such a trivial matter, everyone would hate us. Don’t worry, it’ll just be a small deduction.”
Indeed, they had just returned to the Hidden Dragon Institute when the higher-ups informed him that he had made the most contributions during the expedition. They rewarded him with a 2nd-tier Heroes Medal, the only one handed out to any of the students. All the other students received a 3rd-tier Heroes Medal. In addition, he was allowed to choose three treasures from the Emperor’s treasure stores not worth more than his current possessions, the spirit tablet being one of them. In other words, Su Chen was allowed to pick out two treasures from the Emperor’s treasure stores. In addition, though he had to turn in all of the hidden books he had found in the ruins, he was allowed to keep copies of them.
Undoubtedly, they were being extremely generous.
On that day, a court official took him to Long Coiling City to visit the imperial palace’s storeroom.
Upon entering the storeroom, Su Chen was greeted with the sight of innumerable Origin Tools, precious medicinal ingredients, etc. Every item was of the highest possible quality.
The old man who was responsible for leading him there said, “This is the imperial palace’s storeroom. Prince Su, you may select two treasures from this room. If you have anything you need, you can also let me know.”
“Thank you, sir. I would like to choose a technique that condenses Origin Energy first,” Su Chen said.
The old man led Su Chen to the cultivation technique storeroom. Indeed, the technique that he was looking for, the Golden Scripture Art, was there.
Because this technique’s value was extremely high, it hadn’t been placed within the Emperor’s personal library. Instead, it was treated as a treasure and kept in the storeroom. After Su Chen took it, however, the imperial family wouldn’t be able to cultivate that technique anymore in the future.
After completing the task entrusted to him by Shi Kaihuang, Su Chen was in a good mood. He began to slowly peruse the treasures, looking for something that suited him.
After searching for nearly half an hour, he had circled the entire storeroom once but hadn’t found anything suitable.
The old man asked, “There are so many treasures here. Are none of them worthy of Prince Su’s valuation?”
Su Chen laughed, “Sir, you’ve misunderstood me. I have a unique fault; I think that anything that can be bought with money isn’t worth my time. Only items that cannot be purchased with money are real treasures. There are indeed many treasures within the imperial palace’s storeroom, but most of them have an associated price tag. I can’t get too excited about anything with a price tag on it.”
The old man laughed upon hearing this and said, “Prince Su is indeed a clever man. I believe what you are looking for are treasures that are without equal. There are such treasures here, but perhaps Prince Su may not be able to use them!”
“Oh?” Su Chen’s interest was piqued. “I can only determine whether or not I’ll be able to use them after I take a look.”
“Prince, please follow me.”
The old man led Su Chen to a certain corner in the storeroom.
A pile of grey rocks was erected in that corner. They seemed quite unassuming.
The old man picked up one of the rocks and said, “These stones were accidentally discovered by His Excellency one day when he was exploring the outer realms. They have the extremely unique effect of causing one’s Origin Energy to boil.”
“Causing one’s Origin Energy to boil?” Su Chen asked in shock.
As the name suggested, an Origin Qi Scholar’s Origin Energy would boil and fluctuate violently, giving it an extreme ability to condense.
The effect of condensing one’s Origin Energy in this way would greatly increase the power of all of one’s Origin Skills, but because of how effective it was, it would make the Origin Energy difficult to control.
The rocks in the storeroom had been obtained by Lin Mengze, the current emperor of Long Sang Country, during his travels amongst the other realms before he ascended the throne. At the time, he discovered that they could cause one’s Origin Energy to boil, making him think that he had found an ingredient that could increase the strength of one’s Origin Skills. Unfortunately, after performing a few experiments on the rocks after his return, he discovered that the Origin Energy fluctuations were too chaotic and simply impossible to control. After trying out numerous ideas to no avail, he finally gave up on them and kept them in this place.
Because he had found these stones inadvertently while exploring the outer realms, no similar existence could be found on the whole continent. No price tag could be placed on them; calling them treasures without equal, for which there were no substitutes, wasn’t wrong in the slightest.
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