Chapter 41: The Ten Great Beauties

Chapter 41: The Ten Great Beauties

“This is… Jia class aptitude!”
(Equivalent to A)

“My gosh! How many students of Jia class aptitude does our academy have in total since its founding?”

“It isn’t just for our academy. Even on the level of the entire country, every single cultivator with Jia class aptitude is an invaluable asset!”

… 

The crowd in the surroundings exclaimed in astonishment. Even the teacher who had conducted the test changed his previous cold attitude toward him. With a bright smile on his face, he began asking Hong Xingying for his personal details.

This was simply what reality was like. As long as you’re sufficiently strong, a minor flaw means nothing at all. 

Not to mention, there was no evidence to what Zu An said earlier either. The truth could have been something very different.

Hong Xingying walked down the stairs with a gleeful smile on his face, enjoying the feeling of being in the limelight. It was a feeling reminiscent of eating a chilled watermelon on the hottest day of summer. At the same time, he also felt a little regretful. If only he knew it would be like this, he would have never wasted his time serving humbly in the Chu Estate.

No matter how well I do, the First Miss thinks of me as nothing more than a servant. If only I entered the academy a little earlier, perhaps, I might have already been of equal standing as the First Miss by now.

Such thoughts only made him feel greater rage toward the fellow who had picked up a convenience due to his mistake.  So, he walked up to Zu An and spoke coldly, “Do you finally understand the difference between the two of us?”

You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +66 Rage!

Zu An was a little perplexed. Shouldn’t Hong Xingying be feeling fulfilled and gleeful right now? Why is he still contributing Rage points then? Could it be that he’s suffering from hormonal imbalance or something?

“Next, Zu An!”

Upon hearing the teacher’s call, Zu An stepped forward. The teacher pushed the crystal ball to him, and with a cold expression, he said, “A man should rely on his own strength to defeat his opponent. Making such small reports is truly unbecoming.”

“Who is the strongest person in your academy?” Zu An asked calmly.

The teacher was taken aback by the question. He answered subconsciously, “It’s the principal, of course.”

Zu An continued asking, “If the principal were to slap you for no reason one day, how will you respond to it?”

“I…” The teacher was at a loss for words. “The principal would never do something like that. Even if it happens, I believe that the principal has a deeper reason behind it.”

Zu An smiled wryly in response. “If I were you, I would report it to his superior. I don’t know how you can criticize others when you don’t even have the courage to make little reports?”

You have successfully trolled Ni Dian for +233 Rage!

“Calm down, calm down.” The teacher beside tried his best not to laugh as he pulled his fuming colleague aside. Then, he turned to Zu An and said, “Cough cough. Let’s get straight to the test, alright?”

Looking at the crystal ball from close-up, Zu An noticed a few nearly indiscernible lines on its surface. Most likely, it was a formation of some kind. He pricked his finger and squeezed a droplet of blood onto the crystal ball. 

“What aptitude could that fellow possibly have?” Hong Xingying sneered coldly as he craned his neck over to take a look.

There was a brilliant outburst of light, as if the crystal ball had turned into the sun itself! If anyone hadn’t been blinded yet, he would have been shocked to see that the intensity of the light was still growing at a visible pace.

“The hell! I’m turning blind!”

Such cries sounded all around as the surrounding crowd covered their eyes in horror.

Then, with a pop, the crystal ball blew up. It was only then that the blinding light finally faded, leaving behind just glass fragments and a stream of smoke rising from the table.

“W-what happened?”

“Is that… upper Jia?”
(Equivalent to A+)

“That’s impossible! Even a cultivator at upper Jia class couldn’t possibly blow the crystal ball!”

“Then, is it the legendary transcendent class talent?”

“Transcendent class talent is just a rumor. No one has seen it for the past few centuries!”

… 

A beautiful figure halted her footsteps along the street in the distance. Her lips curled up into a beautiful smile. “The son-in-law of the Chu clan sure is an interesting man.”

While the teachers of the academy were discussing the matter intently with one another, Zu An walked over to Hong Xingying’s side and said calmly, “Do you finally understand the difference between the two of us?”

You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +999 Rage!

Hong Xingying felt his hands and feet turning icy-cold. His eyes reflected confusion, rage, and embarrassment all at once. He couldn’t understand how such a situation could have happened. It should have been his turn to shine and make a name for himself, but he ended up becoming a mere sidekick to the man he looked down upon all this while. Why is the world so unfair to me?!

Meanwhile, Zu An clasped his fist toward those around him and said, “Thanks for going easy on me.” He spoke as if they were intentionally damping down the results so as to highlight his greatness.

You have successfully trolled Wei Suo for +66 Rage!

You have successfully trolled Ma Zhu for +66 Rage!

You have successfully trolled… 

He looked at the stream of Rage points he had just earned, and he suddenly felt that it was not a bad idea for him to attend the academy. After all, he had such adorable classmates whom he could milk Rage points from whenever he needed to.

While Zu An was feeling gleeful about this situation, a weak voice suddenly sounded from behind, “Young master, weren’t you only at lower Ding the last time the old master conducted an aptitude test for you?”
(Equivalent to D-)

Zu An turned around to take a look, only to see Cheng Shouping staring at him with a pair of confused eyes.

How can anyone be so bad at reading the situation… Once again, Zu An felt that it was truly a miracle how Cheng Shouping was able to live to this day.

Upon hearing Cheng Shouping’s words, Hong Xingying felt as if he had found a ray of hope. He burst into laughter. “I remember now, I remember now! He has been through the aptitude test before, and he’s only at lower Ding class…”

Then, he began revealing Zu An’s identity, as well as the reputation he had in Brightmoon City.

“He’s the young master of the Chu clan?”

“What young master? He’s just a drafted son-in-law!”

“How in the world did a person like him catch the eye of the First Miss of the Chu clan?”

“Perhaps, he might have some exceptional strengths?”

… 

The bunch of men revealed a crude ‘you-know-it’ smile.

Meanwhile, the group of girls was also discussing amongst themselves.

“That man is quite the looker. He isn’t as bad as the rumors put him out to be.”

“You don’t say! How else could he have caught Chu Chuyan’s eye otherwise?”

“Heh. No matter how capable Chu Chuyan is, she still ended up marrying such a useless husband.”

“Hehehe…”

The teachers who were managing the aptitude test had also heard of the rumors surrounding the drafted son-in-law of the Chu clan. The teacher known as Ni Dian scoffed in disdain. “I knew it! The crystal ball must have been spoilt. Since the Brightmoon Duke has tested it himself, there can’t be any mistake. Zu An, lower Ding, Yellow class!”

The academy was divided into three grades, and each grade was further divided into four different classes, namely Yellow, Black, Earth, and Sky. Those of Hong Xingying’s talent were bound to be allocated to the Sky class, and the same went for the student who was tested to be of upper Yi class talent earlier. As for Suo Wei, who was of Ding class talent, he was likely to be allocated to the Yellow class, just like Zu An.

Another teacher was about to say something in protest when his ears suddenly pricked up. He gazed across the crowd to look at the beautiful figure standing in the faraway forest before choosing to hold his tongue. As a result, this matter was decided just like this.

Zu An was just feeling frustrated that his ‘maintain a low profile and survive’ plan had gone to the drain after revealing his talent when he saw everyone coming to such a conclusion on their own. Naturally, he welcomed such a misunderstanding, so he didn’t bother arguing at all.

“A crow is, in the end, just a crow. No matter how desperately it flaps its wings in an attempt to scale higher, it’ll never morph into a phoenix.” Hong Xingying walked up to Zu An and harrumphed coldly before taking his leave. It was almost as if his honor would be besmirched just by speaking an additional word to Zu An.

On the other hand, Zu An was still feeling glad that one of his worries were resolved, so he chose to let Hong Xingying have the last say this time around. He turned to Cheng Shouping and said, “I’ll be entering the academy now. You can return on your own.”

“Young master, did I say something wrong earlier?” Cheng Shouping asked a little unconfidently.

Zu An patted his shoulder lightly and smiled. “Not at all. You did well.”

A brilliant smile broke out on Cheng Shouping’s face. “Young master, you’re the best to me!”

Zu An immediately pushed him away. “Hey, speak properly. I forbid you from speaking in such an effeminate manner in the future!”

It was then that a staff member walked over and led them into the academy. Along the way, the staff member reminded, “There are activated formations around the perimeter of the academy. Their main purpose is to guard against intruders, but still, it’d best for you not to wander around too much. Otherwise, it could be dangerous if you accidentally trigger one of them.”

Those words alarmed Zu An. It was fortunate that he didn’t accidentally wander into one of these formations yesterday, or else he could have accidentally triggered them. That being said, he was a little curious as to how formations in this world looked like. Could it be similar to the formations that Huang Yaoshi set up on the Peach Blossom Island?(Reference to Legend of the Condor Heroes and Return of the Condor Heroes.)

“How dangerous are those formations?” Zu An asked curiously.

“You’ll know in the future,” the staff member replied with a smile that could almost be described as dark. It seemed like he had seen through Zu An’s thoughts.

Following that, they passed by an empty field that looked a little like the schoolyard in his previous life. However, what was more conspicuous was the group of youths squatting in the middle of the field.

“Squat properly! Let’s see if you dare arrive late again in the future!” A middle-aged man holding a ruler glared at the bunch of youths on the ground.

The middle-aged man had a bald patch in the middle, but he forcefully combed his hair sideward in an attempt to cover it up. It didn’t work, though, as he didn’t have much hair by the sides too. The bald patch was still very much visible through the few strands of hair barely covering it.

Perhaps it was due to him sensing Zu An’s intent gaze, the middle-aged man turned around and glared at him. “What are you looking at?!”

Oh my, this fiery temper!

Zu An wasn’t the type to take such provocation lying. He was just about to argue back when the young man named Wei Suo tugged on his sleeves and said, “You mustn’t offend him!”

Surprised by the remark, Zu An turned to look at Wei Suo and asked, “Why? Is he a formidable figure?”

Wei Suo lowered his voice and said, “He’s the discipline master in our academy, Lu De, nicknamed Baldhead. He’s known for being extremely strict with the students. Do you see the ruler he’s using to beat the students?”

“I see it.” Zu An noticed one of the students wailing in pain after being struck by the middle-aged man’s ruler.

“The word ‘Virtue’ is inscribed on the ruler. Every time he teaches the students a lesson, he claims that he’s using ‘Virtue’ to win over the students. It’s said that getting hit by that ruler is even more excruciating than being struck by the Second Miss of the Chu clan’s Wailing Whip. He’s not like the teachers we met earlier on; he has great authority in this academy. It’s best for you not to provoke him,” Wei Suo warned.

“Look at what era it is now! Is physical punishment still in trend?” Zu An retorted. “Is no one going to stop him?”

“Shhh, don’t speak so loud!” Wei Suo anxiously rushed forward to cover Zu An’s mouth. “In the academy, he’s the one who boasts the greatest authority after the principal. Not to mention, he’s a sixth rank cultivator. Who would possibly dare to butt into his affairs? Besides, there are plenty of students in this academy who are proud and like to cause trouble, so it’s necessary for someone like him to curb them. Due to that, his behavior has been implicitly approved by the superiors.”

Zu An nodded in realization. Out of curiosity, he asked, “I thought that you’re a new student in the academy as well? Why are you so familiar with all of this stuff? For you to even know about my sister-in-law’s Wailing Whip…”

“Of course, I did my homework before coming here!” Wei Suo replied gleefully. He thought that he saw respect in Zu An’s eyes, and that spurred his desire to boast. So, he nudged Zu An’s shoulder and said, “Have you heard of the Ten Great Beauties of our academy’s Sweetheart Ranking?”

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starvecleric's Thoughts

My bad, forgot to update yesterday woops! But anyway if you spot any errors, feel free to PM me on Discord (Starve!!!)