Chapter 44: Blackmail

Chapter 44: Blackmail

Jiang Luofu tossed a sack over and said, “You can get lost and return to your classroom now.”

Zu An caught the sack and opened it up. He saw a few medicinal herbs and a red gemstone that was roughly the size of his finger. Intrigued, he asked, “What’s all this?”

Jiang Luofu replied, “Cultivation resources that you’ll need. The medicinal herbs are used for a medicinal bath, and the energy in the ki stone is to be absorbed and assimilated into your body.”

Fearing that Zu An would misunderstand her intention again, she quickly added, “All students receive a set of this. This is the amount that students in the Yellow class are entitled to.”

“So this is a ki stone?” Zu An took out the red gemstone to take a closer look at it. It looked identical to the ruby he knew of in his previous life.

“You’ve never seen it before? How did you cultivate up to your current rank then?” Jiang Luofu asked in bewilderment.

Zu AN was unwilling to reveal the details surrounding his keyboard, so he quickly changed the topic and said, “Didn’t you mention that my aptitude is at transcendent class? If so, I should be at least qualified to get into the Sky class, right? Even if you don’t intend to assign me there, I should at least be entitled to the cultivation resources that a student in the Sky class receives!”

Jiang Luofu harrumphed coldly in response. “Do you think that I can adjust the amount of cultivation resources you receive arbitrarily? The resources that every student in the academy receives is decided by the royal court’s Ministry of Rites. We need to account for every bit of cultivation resources we distribute to the student and submit the records for checking. If you don’t mind anyone finding out about your aptitude, by all means, take more.”

“Forget it then,” Zu An replied sheepishly. He had the keyboard anyway, so there was no need for him to take on additional risk just for a few ki stones.

“Get lost.” Jiang Luofu was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to hold herself back from pummeling him if he were to continue loitering before her.

After leaving the Principal Office, Zu An thought about Jiang Luofu’s long and sexy legs… Pui pui pui, I’m thinking about the words that she had just said! It looks like trouble keeps coming one after another. This Tripitaka constitution of mine will surely bring great trouble in the future. I might just get vixens pouncing on me while I’m walking down the street.

He headed over to the classroom where he parted with Wei Suo, only to find that the seats were almost completely filled. At the same time, the students in the classroom noticed some movements outside, so they quickly turned their eyes to the doorway out of curiosity.

I thought that I was an ordinary freshman, but it turns out that I’m a transfer student who joined in the middle of the semester?

The teacher standing on the podium was an average-looking middle-aged man. He was the kind of person whom one would find it hard to recognize amidst a crowd.

Clearly, he had received the news that Zu An would be joining his class too. He stopped his lesson and gestured for Zu An to enter the classroom. “Everyone, this is a new student who will be joining us from today onward. Please give him a warm welcome!”

“Wel~come~”

Some applause could be heard from the classmates as they spoke with an elongated yet lifeless tone.

Zu An couldn’t help but remember his days in middle school. The scene before him was simply too familiar to him.

“New classmate, come over here and do a self-introduction,” the middle-aged teacher said.

So, Zu An walked up to the podium and said, “Zu An. Male. Heterosexual.” After saying his piece, he walked off.

The middle-aged teacher: “…”

Is that all?

Some of the female students below began whispering amongst themselves.

“Wow, he has an attitude. I like it!”

“How suave!”

“He looks like a philanderer though.”

“Heh, how can someone as good-looking as him possibly not be a philanderer? Bad guys are more attractive.”

… 

On the other hand, the male students had a very different response. They looked at Zu An with eyes filled with hostility.

“That fellow is really arrogant. I really want to beat him up.”

“How is he good-looking? He’s no match for me at all!”

“Why is it a guy again? Our resources are going to be thinned again.”

… 

Zu An looked at the several hundred Rage points he had earned in an instant, and he suddenly felt that all of his new classmates looked incredibly cute.

“Here, here!”

From afar, Wei Suo was waving his hand toward him. Zu An was a little hesitant—he wanted to find a beautiful woman to sit with—but the quick look he took from the podium earlier showed no particularly gorgeous lady here. Thus, he eventually chose to settle down beside Wei Suo.

Tok tok tok!

The middle-aged teacher knocked on the podium. “Let’s continue the lesson. Where was I?”

He quickly flipped his book before continuing on, “Ah, here it is. Alright, I’ll be continuing the lesson… 

“Curb the sinners with punishments, and compliment the brave. Reward handsomely those who work for the people, but with tact and wisdom. Enforce the business laws, and evict those who seek to profit illegally. Build the commerce but focus on agriculture, for a decline in agriculture shall spread unease and tear the country from within. Should there be spare food, allow the people to donate them for higher standing. The people will be motivated and not be indolent in their work. 

“Just like how a pipe with holes will never be full, an official who receives payment not on the basis of his hard work will never work. Rewarding the meritorious with official positions; this is what it means to tap into the wisdom of the people. With the people standing brave and motivated, the country will be invincible. If a country rewards by merit, the country will govern itself, and doubts will be quelled. This is what it means by using politics to reduce politics and to use words to destroy empty words. This is why a system of merit and nobility is necessary.

“As long as a country stands strong, it shall be inviolable. Soldiers dispatched will return victorious, and territories annexed can be safeguarded…”

Those long texts made Zu An’s eyes glaze over. He understood every individual word that the teacher spoke, but when strung together, they made no sense to him at all.

“What is he talking about?” Zu An turned to look at Wei Suo with a confused look on his face.

“I don’t understand either.” Wei Suo shook his head.

“What is this lesson?” No matter what, Zu An used to be a university student. It didn’t make sense for him to suddenly become illiterate here.

“This seems to be a lesson on the principles of criminal law,” Wei Suo explained. “That teacher over there is Zhang San, nicknamed ‘Sinner Beyond Laws’. He’s one of the advisors serving under the vice magistrate, and he’s well-versed in legal loopholes of the country. He occasionally visits as a guest lecturer to impart knowledge about the legal process to the students. You also know that given our aptitude, it’s impossible for us to progress anywhere in our cultivation. Thus, most of our lessons involve such practical knowledge so that we can do something useful in the future.”

Zu An had more or less understood the various official positions and their corresponding cultivation level in this world. The lord of Brightmoon City was at the seventh rank, and serving directly under him were the vice magistrate and the chief administrator. Those two can be considered as his right-hand men, and the two of them were at the fifth rank. 

Under the vice magistrate was the Six Departments, namely the Military Affairs Department, Law Department, Civil Department, Personnel Department, Tax Department, Agriculture Department, and they were responsible for managing matters relating to their own fields. The leader of each department was at the third rank.

Of course, the fact that Brightmoon City was a major city played a huge role in explaining why the cultivation levels of its officials were on the higher side. As for middle-sized cities, their city lords would only be at the fifth rank, and their vice magistrate and chief administrator were only at the third rank. As for small-sized cities, their city lords could only be at the fourth rank.

The middle-aged teacher lecturing on the podium, ‘Sinner Beyond Laws’ Zhang San, was in the Law Department under the vice magistrate of Brightmoon City. Whenever he had free time on hand, he would drop by Brightmoon Academy to hold lectures and educate the students.

This was a practice that wasn’t foreign to Zu An. There were plenty of part-time lecturers in the university in his previous world too.

“How is it? Isn’t Principal Jiang wonderful?” Wei Suo shot a knowing look at Zu An as he asked. It was almost as if he was showing off his own girlfriend.

Zu An recalled that warm yet smooth sensation on his finger earlier, and he subconsciously replied, “Indeed.”

“What’s the color of her stocking today?” Wei Suo asked excitedly, almost like a true fanboy.

Zu An couldn’t help but back away a bit to put some distance between them. “Black stocking, I think.”

“As expected of my goddess! Oooh~” Wei Suo let out an incredibly embarrassing moan, as if just the knowledge of the color of her stocking was enough to fill him up with pleasure.

Zu An shook his head in disdain. This fellow sure was a pervert!

A sharp whizzing sound suddenly echoed across the room, and Wei Suo cried in pain. A huge bump formed on his forehead. 

Zu An noticed that a chalk had fallen onto the floor right beside Wei Suo. Who could have thought that all teachers, regardless of which world they had come from, were skilled in this secret art?! 

But again, it would have just been a slight knock in his previous life, but the teachers in this world were powerful cultivators. If they were to get serious, even a flying chalk could take a person’s life.

On the podium, Zhang San looked at Wei Suo with a livid face. “That student over there, come up here and answer this question.”

Wei Suo was bewildered. “What question?”

Zu An quietly gave him a thumbs up. This fellow sure is brave to ask such a question.

Zhang San furiously bellowed, “If you don’t know, scram to the back of the classroom and obediently listen to my lecture!”

Wei Suo immediately ran to the back of the classroom without any hesitation.

Meanwhile, Zu An also sat upright while cursing in his heart. Damn it, I hate it when teachers ask questions. It always leaves my heart thumping in fright. Just what did I do so wrong to have to go through such torture even after transmigrating over into another world?

It wasn’t easy for Zu An to survive till the lesson was finally over. He lay on his table with a desolate look on his face. He wondered when would such days finally come to an end.

All of a sudden, a shadow was cast over Zu An, as if the sky had turned dark. He opened his eyes and saw a fatty standing right next to his seat, looking down on him loftily.

“Yes?” Zu An asked disinterestedly. If the other party was a beautiful woman, he could have still considered entertaining her a little. But since it was just a darned pig, he couldn’t even be bothered at all.

“I’ll be waiting for you in the forest.” That fatty left behind such words before leaving the classroom first. A few other students who looked like his henchmen quickly followed him.

“Who’s that fellow? Is he ill in the head?” Zu An remarked speechlessly.

It was also then that Wei Suo returned from the back. Upon hearing Zu An’s words, he quickly said, “Shh, don’t talk so loudly! That fellow is this class’ boss, Man Yu. He’s quite a vicious character.”

“You got beaten up by him before?” Looking at the fearful look on Wei Suo’s face, Zu An couldn’t help but chuckle a little.

Wei Suo could only laugh awkwardly in response. “I advise you to just head there to take a look. If you go, the most he’ll do is to take away your ki stones. Otherwise, you’re just going to get a beating from him.”

Zu An’s interest was piqued. “That fellow steals ki stones?”

Wei Suo nodded. “That’s right. They took away the ki stones that I just received. You don’t need to pay too much heed to it; people of our aptitude aren’t going to progress far in our cultivation anyway. Ki stones are useless to us; there’s no point offending that fellow over this.”

“But I heard that ki stones are quite valuable,” Zu An remarked.

“Ah, that’s true. I heard that they are worth at least 10 gold taels each on the black market, and that’s if anyone is willing to sell it at all,” Wei Suo replied.

Zu An’s eyes lit up in excitement. If you’re talking about money, I’m all in. 10 gold taels, that’s 180,000 RMB! It hadn’t been long since he arrived in this world, so he was still more used to the currency in his previous world. It sounded much more relevant to him.

It just so happened that he was lacking money right now. If he could just obtain a few more ki stones, wouldn’t the problem be settled?

With such thoughts in mind, Zu An found himself unable to curb the excitement in his heart anymore. He immediately leaped up from his seat and rushed out.

It didn’t take long for him to arrive in the forest the fatty had pointed out to him. He noticed that the area was a little remote, and there weren’t many people around. Clearly, the other party had scouted this area beforehand.

“Looks like you still know your place.” Upon seeing Zu An, the fatty, Man Yu, walked over and stretched his fleshy hand forward. “Hand me all of the cultivation resources you received today, and I’ll protect you from now onward.”

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starvecleric's Thoughts

Civil Department manages marriage, civil cases, and all kinds of civil-related affairs. Personnel Department manages KPI and manpower allocation. 

The city lord is equivalent to the magistrate of the county. There is no direct translation to ‘vice magistrate’ and ‘chief administrator’, but basically, as the name suggests, the vice-magistrate handles security-related issues and the apprehension of criminals, whereas the chief administrator supports the magistrate in terms of administrative affairs.