Chapter 40: Just Like His Name
Zu An shot out a thumbs up. “This brother over here, I thought that I’m as trashy as a person could possibly get, but it looks like I still have a long way to go before reaching your level.”
The man didn’t lose his temper at Zu An’s words. Instead, he closed his fan and chuckled softly. “I can offer you some pointers if you want to. I am Xie Xiu. May I know what your name is?”
“I am Zu An.” Zu An thought that the man’s name was really reflective of his appearance—he sure was a suave man. 
“Oh? Your name sounds familiar. I seem to have heard it somewhere before,” Xie Xiu placed his fan beneath his chin as he spoke contemplatively.
Zu An was just about to respond when Cheng Shouping waved his hand at him and called out, “Young master, it’s going to be your turn soon. Come over!”
Zu An clasped his fist at Xie Xiu and said, “Brother Xie, if a chance arises, I hope to learn the art of how to become a scu… Pui pui pui! I mean, the art of courtship from you in the future!”
“You seem to be a fellow peer. Of course, I welcome you to do so,” Xie Xiu clasped his fist and replied.
Zu An quickly returned back to the queue. In front of him, Hong Xingying sneered coldly and said, “Birds of the same feather flock together. People like you can only make friends like that.”
Zu An shrugged nonchalantly. “What a pity that it’s a person like me who ended up marrying the goddess of your dreams.”
Hong Xingying immediately lost his temper. “You dare to insult the First Miss?”
You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +321 Rage!
Zu An chuckled in response. “We’re a married couple. How could this be considered an insult?”
“You!!!” Hong Xingying was so angry that he was about to draw his sword on the spot.
You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +344 Rage!
It was then that a staff of the academy knocked on the door and shouted, “What are you causing a ruckus for? Those who dare to cause trouble will be immediately stripped of their qualifications as a student!”
In the face of such a threat, Hong Xingying could only put aside his anger and turn his head to the front. He thought that it would be a huge loss if he were to ruin his own future over a wastrel like Zu An. Just wait till I accrue some accomplishments in the academy. I shall free myself from the position of a servant, and I won’t have to hold back anymore!
Meanwhile, Zu An felt that it was a pity that they were stopping here. He shook his head in disappointment before turning his attention to Cheng Shouping. “What’s the background of that man named Xie Xiu?”
Cheng Shouping replied, “He’s the Second Young Master of the City Lord Estate.” Then, he leaned a little closer and continued with a hushed voice, “He’s a renowned wastrel in the Brightmoon City. He’s well-versed in zither, chess, calligraphy, and painting, practically dabbling in everything. Be it eating, drinking, whoring, or gambling, there’s nothing that he wouldn’t do. However, his cultivation appears to be his weak point. Due to that, his father is at a loss as to what he should do with him.”
Just like you, young master, Cheng Shouping silently added in his heart. But soon, he shook his head in rebuttal. How can our young master compete with him? This Second Young Master Xie is at least proficient in so many skills!
“A wastrel? Interesting!” Zu An noticed that Xie Xiu had just approached another woman, and the latter, noticing his gaze, nodded slightly in acknowledgment.
“Next, Wei Suo!”
Zu An was just about to wave to Xie Xiu from afar when he heard the voice of the staff and widened his eyes in surprise. He never thought that he would hear such a refreshing name in this world. 
He turned his gaze over, only to see a young man of smaller stature stepping forward. He had an appearance that looked reminiscent of a sneaky rat, especially with the two buckteeth he had. His appearance gave him the impression of a cunning man who wouldn’t hesitate to do all sorts of underhanded things.
Wow, his parents must be prophets to actually give him such a fitting name!
Zu An noticed the academy’s staff taking out a crystal ball. The staff pricked Wei Suo’s finger and squeezed out a droplet of his blood onto the crystal ball. The crystal ball emanated a dim glow that would have been hardly visible if one wasn’t paying close attention to it.
(Equivalent to D-)
Wei Suo was initially looking at the crystal ball with eyes filled with anticipation, only for his excitement to deflate like a leaking balloon upon hearing the result.
Zu An was confused by the set of procedures. He turned to Cheng Shouping and asked, “What are they doing over there?”
Cheng Shouping quickly explained, “They are testing the students’ aptitude for cultivation. All students who seek to enter the academy must go through this process. The classes they will be assigned to, as well as the cultivation resources they will be allocated with, will be determined by the results of this test.”
Zu An was truly amazed. “Little Pingping, how is it that you have an answer to every question I ask?”
Cheng Shouping stuck his chest out proudly and spoke gleefully, “Of course! As a qualified study companion, it’s only right for me to find out such details beforehand!”
Zu An patted Cheng Shouping’s head, but deep inside, he was starting to worry a little. He didn’t think that he would have to go through an aptitude test in order to enter the academy. Given how many Marrow Cleansing Pills he had eaten, his talent should be maxed out by now. Would the result of his test blow the minds of everyone here?
For an incompetent wastrel to suddenly become a top-notch cultivation prodigy, such a sudden transformation was bound to incur great suspicion. Would he be kidnapped to the equivalent of a science lab in this world and be dissected for research?
Zu An’s first thought was whether he could possibly swap his blood for Cheng Shouping, but the chances of pulling that off were slim, considering that there were so many eyes here.
Forget it! If I can’t go the low profile and survive route, it isn’t that bad for me to walk down the domineering route just like the great Chen Beixuan!(Reference to Rebirth of the Urban Immortal Cultivator.)
The staff in front called out yet another name, “Ma Zhu!”
“Here!” A slightly plump young man ran forward.
The staff pricked his finger and squeezed a droplet of blood on the crystal ball. A moment later, the crystal ball emanated a soothing white light. If the result of Wei Suo’s test was like the spark of a firefly, the result of Ma Zhu would be a bright light bulb.
“To think that it’s upper Yi!”
(Equivalent to B+)
The surrounding crowd exclaimed in astonishment. Even the academy’s staff began whispering amongst themselves. One must know that there weren’t many cultivators in the country whose aptitude had reached Yi class. At least within the boundary of a prefecture, an upper Yi class cultivator could easily be considered as a genius!
It was clear that Ma Zhu understood the significance behind having an upper Yi class talent too. After bowing to the academy’s staff, he strutted down like a proud peacock, enjoying the looks of envy that others directed toward him.
Hong Xingying sneered coldly at Ma Zhu’s pretentious attitude. A mere upper Yi class talent, and he acts as if he owns the world. How embarrassing!
He had been waiting for this day for a long time. He knew that his talent was top-notch amongst his peers. Putting aside everyone else, he didn’t think that he would pale in comparison even against the First Miss.
The only reason why the First Miss was more outstanding than him was due to the abundance of cultivation resources she had at her disposal. A mere son of a butler like him couldn’t hope to compete with her on that. Over time, the disparity between the two of them only grew larger and larger.
Over the past few years, he had been doing his best for the Chu clan. He perfectly carried out all of the missions that the old master and old mistress assigned to him, no matter how tiring or difficult they were. Just looking at the ravishing profile of the First Miss from afar was enough for him to feel that his efforts were all worth it.
He felt inferior and unworthy of the First Miss due to the disparity in their backgrounds, so he chose to devote himself to silently protecting her. He hoped that she could find a capable man from an outstanding background that was worthy of her, and he thought that he would be satisfied with that.
To his delight, the Chu clan had chosen to draft in a son-in-law for the First Miss. It went without saying that those of distinguished standing wouldn’t lower themselves to become a drafted son-in-law of the Chu clan, so those who participated in the selections were lesser nobles and ordinary civilians. As such, he thought that his chance had come.
He might be no match for those young masters from distinguished clans, but against this bunch of small fries, he felt that his aptitude in cultivation was more than enough for him to catch the First Miss’ eyes.
In fact, there were even rumors flying around that Madame Chu had internally decided on him as her son-in-law. Everyone around him congratulated him as if it was already decided. While he maintained a nonchalant face, in truth, flowers were already blooming in his heart as if his spring had arrived. It was no wonder why the First Miss would direct a faint smile at him from time to time; it turned out that she was interested in him too.
Just thinking about how the beautiful and lofty First Miss would soon become his wife, and that he would be able to embrace her fragrant and soft body to sleep every night made him giggle in his sleep.
But the results were an utter shock. The First Miss actually chose a renowned wastrel as her husband instead. When he heard the news, he fell from cloud nine down to the pits of despair. He became the laughingstock of those around him.
After a period of despondence, rage began welling up in his chest. Why? If it had been an outstanding man, I would have willingly conceded defeat. But this Zu An is useless trash! How can he be worthy of the First Miss?!
Is it because he looks handsome?
Impossible! The First Miss isn’t such a shallow woman!
After spending a long time brooding over this issue, he finally came to a conclusion—it was due to his humble background. He was just a servant in the Chu Estate, so it had never crossed the mind of the First Miss to think of him as a man.
Thus, he begged his father to use his connections to get him into Brightmoon Academy. If he did well there, there was a chance that he could become an official and build up his own clan. By then, he would be able to stand on equal terms with the First Miss and have her notice him as a man.
So what if the First Miss is already married? Her husband is trash! I can definitely win her over!
The only regret about this was that the goddess in his heart was no longer a maiden anymore. However, as long as he could obtain her, all of this wasn’t a problem at all. Besides, isn’t there still Second Miss Chu? She might have a bad temper, but she already possesses moving beauty despite her young age. Just give it a few years, and she’s bound to become a gorgeous woman on par with the First Miss!
I have plenty of time anyway! I can wait for her to grow up!
“This day shall go down in the history of Brightmoon Academy. No, the entire country shall remember this very day! I, Hong Xingying, shall rise from dust to become a majestic dragon! Everyone here is no more than my stepping stone to highlight my greatness! Everyone here shall witness history being made! I have waited for this moment for a very long time!”
Hong Xingying’s heart harbored great ambitions.
“Next, Hong Xingying!”
Upon hearing the academy’s staff calling for him, Hong Xingying turned around to look at Zu An. “Watch and realize the gap that sits between you and me. There’s not a single part of you that’s worthy of the First Miss. Only I can bring the First Miss happiness!”
“Teacher, this man over here has a fetish for other people’s wives! He keeps thinking of taking my wife for his own. Wouldn’t the safety of the other female students and teachers be compromised if you were to take such a person into the academy?” Zu An raised his hand and complained to the academy’s staff.
You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +156 Rage!
Hong Xingying had never thought that Zu An would be so shameless as to lodge a complaint to the teacher! No matter where one was, those who made small reports on others were always the most reprehensible scum of the world! Does he have no sense of shame at all?
Just as Hong Xingying was about to lash out at Zu An, the academy’s staff raised his head and looked at him coldly. “That student over there, while our academy prioritizes the aptitude and cultivation of our students, we also pay great heed to the students’ character too. I hope that you can tread wisely in the future.”
Hong Xingying immediately bowed down and said, “Yes, I’ll heed your guidance.” He knew that the other party’s impression had already fallen to the lowest, but it mattered not. He would use his strength to reverse the other party’s impression of him!
Seeing respectfully Hong Xingying responded to his words, the academy’s staff nodded his head slightly before gesturing him forward. “Come over here and have your aptitude tested.”
Hong Xingying took in a deep breath as he made his way over. Just like the students before, he squeezed a droplet of blood onto the crystal ball. In the next moment, the crystal ball suddenly emanated a blinding radiance. If the previous Ma Zhu’s light was reminiscent of that of a light bulb, Hong Xingying’s would be equivalent to that of the moon.
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