Zu An felt that these two women were really interesting. Both of them ended up asking him the same question about one another. “You can say so. With my dashing appearance, it’s inevitable that women would fall for me.”
“…” Shang Liuyu.
She sighed for a brief moment before offering him a piece of advice, “You best not say those words before our principal. She doesn’t like people with slick tongues.”
Zu An was surprised to hear that. But the gorgeous principal seems to like me quite a bit though. Is this because I’m too charming? I’ve long heard that the power of love allows one to overlook their partner’s flaw.
“Big sister Shang, I’m flattered by your concern,” replied Zu An with a chuckle.
Shang Liuyu harrumphed. “I’m only helping you since you played me a decent melody. However, I’ve already repaid the favor, so don’t expect me to help you anymore.”
She thought that Zu An would be disappointed, but to her surprise, the latter’s eyes lit up and said, “Oh, that’s simpler than I thought. I have plenty of melodies in here. I’ll play you another one if an opportunity arises in the future.”
A rare tinge of excitement flushed Shang Liuyu’s usual composed face. “Really? You have more melodies of the same level as the one you played previously?”
“Of course! Let’s find a convenient night to bond over music, shall we? Where’s your dormitory room? I also have a room in the staff’s dormitory now. We might even be neighbors with one another!” Zu An couldn’t help but think about how his senior transmigrators had plagiarized all kinds of poems from their previous world to show off their ‘literary talent’.
Since this world doesn’t allow me to plagiarize poems, surely I should at least be able to plagiarize some melodies right? Pui, what am I even saying? It’s called propagating the wondrous culture of the modern world. A noble act like this shouldn’t even be called plagiarism!
An enigmatic smile surfaced on Shang Liuyu’s lips as she asked, “Isn’t it perfectly fine to meet in the day? Why must we meet at night?”
“That’s because we have lessons in the day. Right now, I’m taking on the roles of a student and a teacher simultaneously, so I’ll be busier than ever. I reckon that I’ll only be free at night,” replied Zu An earnestly. “Other than exchanging melodies with one another, you can also help me with my studies. It has been a while since I came to the academy, but I realized that I haven’t even attended any of your classes.”
“Help you with your studies?” Shang Liuyu repeated with a bizarre look on her face. “We’ll talk about it another time.”
Other students had started streaming out of the classroom. She didn’t want to be seen too close to him in public, so she quickly bade her farewell and headed off.
Looking at her beautiful departing silhouette, Zu An couldn’t help but think that she was a little bipolar. She would be friendly at one moment, only to be distant in the next.
The foreign language class ended quickly due to the earlier bet eating into the class. Next up was the cultivation class.
Zu An was excited about this. He had been through all sorts of useless lessons the past few days, but he believed that none of them would be as practical as this. While he did have a convenient system that allowed him to level up through an alternative method, his lack of conventional cultivation knowledge made it hard for him to assess the threat of his opponents. Due to that, he had a strong desire to learn more about this subject.
The cultivation teacher was Bai Susu. As soon as he walked in with his bum shaking seductively, the noisy classroom immediately settled down.
This was not the class of some third-rank teacher. It was a true sixth rank expert standing right before them right now. Unless they were tired of living, it would wise not to act up before him.
On top of that, Bai Susu’s eerily seductive aura was a huge deterrence to the students; no one wanted to risk piquing his attention. If they were to be somehow called to the office for a private chat, they might just end up losing their first time.
Bai Susu walked up to the podium and scanned the faces before him before his eyes finally stopped on Zu An. A smile emerged on his face as he said, “I have been to this class many times now, but this is the first time I’m pleasantly surprised. There’s actually a colleague of mine seated here as well.”
The surrounding students immediately directed looks of envy toward Zu An whereas the person-in-question simply responded with a shy smile. He was delighted to see yet another wave of Rage points coming in.
Bai Susu cleared his throat and said, “Before I begin the class, let me make an important announcement first. The Ursae Dungeon is about to be opened, and while most of you are unlikely to stand a chance, you may still register for the selections if you’re interested.”
Those words caused a stir in the classroom. The students began whispering amongst one another excitedly.
Zu An was a little surprised to see that everyone actually knew about the Ursae Dungeon. It looks like I really need to brush up on my common knowledge. Yup, that’s the perfect excuse to get Shang Liuyu to tutor me after school…
“Hm? The dungeon is opening up much earlier this year.”
“Yeah, it’s half a year earlier than the usual time, right?”
Those who were more well-informed were surprised by the news.
Bai Susu quickly explained, “Dungeons are existences that are shrouded in mystery to us. The conclusions we have made about them at the moment might not necessarily hold true, such as the opening times. However, there’s indeed something peculiar about the premature opening of the dungeon this time around, so it’s likely that it would be more dangerous than usual. Unless you have the capability, it’ll be best for you not to covet what’s inside the dungeon. Know that the academy will not be taking responsibility for your death.”
“Teacher Bai, you’re thinking too much. We have at least that much self-awareness.”
“Indeed. Those who usually qualify to enter dungeons are always those from the Earth class or the Sky class. How could anyone from our Yellow class possibly qualify?”
“We’re just here to watch the commotion.”
“It’s good that you understand. Alright, let’s start today’s lesson. Even though most of you are likely to take on academic-related roles in the future, our Great Zhou Dynasty is, after all, founded on military might. There is some fundamental knowledge that you should still know about so that you won’t disgrace yourself and our academy with your ignorance,” said Bai Susu.
“I’ve already imparted to you the basic cultivation technique. As for how far you can reach, that depends on your talent and fate. For today, I’ll be teaching you some combat skills. While your cultivation technique allows you to strike harder and move faster than mortals, it’s meaningless if you don’t put your strength and speed to good use.”
Those words made Zu An’s eyes light up. He could already sense the difference between the two of them when he fought with Snow back then. In his severely injured state, his strength and speed had already risen to a level comparable to Snow under the effects of the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra.
However, as soon as Snow used her combat skills, he was forced to a corner, unable to retaliate at all. It was similar to the differences between an ox and a tiger. In terms of absolute strength, an ox was likely to be stronger than a tiger, but it was always the latter hunting the former simply because the ox couldn’t exert its strength effectively. Right now, Zu An was facing the same problem too.
Thus, he immediately gathered his attention upon hearing that Bai Susu was going to impart to them combat skills.
Bai Susu pushed the hems of his robe backward and pulled out a meter long sword. The students before him widened their eyes in astonishment. They were certain that Bai Susu didn’t have a sword on him when he entered, so where did he conjure it from?
There were some students who looked down to see if there was any way to feasibly hide such a big sword, but it simply didn’t seem possible
Hm, wait a moment. He can’t possibly be hiding it there, can he?
A flicker of excitement flashed across Bai Susu’s fair face as he said, “Alright, I’ll be imparting to you the Thirteen Forms of Elementary Swordplay.”
Zu An nearly spurted blood upon hearing those words. He had read plenty of novels in his previous life, and all of them had awe-inspiring names for their techniques. He thought that given how lofty Brightmoon Academy was, it should have some secret arts on the level of Dugu Nine Swords or Six Pulse Divine Sword.
Yet, it turned out to be such a humble name. ‘Elementary Swordplay’, this name reeked of weakness!
There were many students who shared the same thoughts as him, and they began booing.
Bai Susu seemed to have expected such a reaction. He waited for the students to calm down before he started explaining, “Don’t look down on the Thirteen Forms of Elementary Swordplay. You should know that these Thirteen Forms are the foundation of all swordsmanship. All of those mystical and amazing swordplays you see are basically an extension of the Thirteen Forms.
“The Thirteen Forms have been continuously refined over the centuries to maximize their prowess. Its aim is to bring down your enemy using the fastest speed in the shortest distance. Most powerful experts in the world eventually come to a point where they return back to the bare basics, and their movements are more or less similar to the Thirteen Forms.”
The students were placated by those words, and they began earnestly listening to Bai Susu once more.
Bai Susu nodded his head in satisfaction. He raised his sword up high and began lecturing, “The Thirteen Forms are namely ‘Stab, Chop, Tap, Swing, Pick, Flick, Intercept, Sweep, Slit, Shed, Cloud, Revolve, and Rise’. All of them are simple and direct to the point, nothing fancy about them at all. However, even though they look simple enough, it’s not easy to master them. I’ll demonstrate the Thirteen Forms once for you before slowly imparting them one by one in the subsequent lessons.”
Following that, Bai Susu’s disposition suddenly changed. His air of femininity faded as the sword in his hand morphed into a cold burst of light, causing the students in the classroom to shudder.
Watching the swordplay on the podium, Zu An couldn’t help but recall a poem.
Once there was a fair lady by the name of Gongsun, a great commotion she would stir when she danced with her swords.
Mountains are shamed by the crowds she draws, even heaven and earth would sway with her grace.
Her blade glimmers as bright as the nine suns Hou Yi downed, her moves swift like the dragon chariots of the heavenly gods.
With thunderous fury she commences her dance, but with the tranquility of the reflected moon in the sea it concludes.
Haaa, what a pity that he’s a guy. What a waste of his beautiful appearance, or else it would be a truly marvelous sight.
The Thirteen Forms soon fully demonstrated. Seeing the awed looks of the students around, Bai Susu asked with a smile, “Isn’t it formidable?”
“The Elementary Swordplay actually wields such great prowess!”
“I think it looks suave too. Girls will surely fall for me if I can master this!”
“That’s because Teacher Bai has a beautiful appearance. Just look at your own face… Tsk tsk tsk.”
Bai Susu took out a little mirror to check if his hair was disheveled before continuing on with the lecture, “Alright, I’ve shared with you the strengths of this swordplay, so naturally, I should also talk about its weaknesses lest you lot attempt to do something rash with it.
“My swordplay might have looked formidable, but in truth, it’s because my cultivation is higher than you. Strength and speed are necessary to bring out the prowess of this swordplay to its maximum potential. If your cultivation is not high level, executing this swordplay will reveal all sorts of openings. The crux of this swordplay lay in its powerful offensive prowess, resulting in its lacking defense in comparison.
“However, you need no worry. It’s unlikely that you’ll clash with powerful cultivators in the future. You should find this swordplay sufficient to deal with common thieves and bandits.”
Upon hearing the weaknesses of the swordplay, the excited crowd found their motivation dampening significantly. I should have known. Any combat skills that are imparted to our Yellow class are bound to be nothing special.
However, Zu An was moved by Bai Susu’s description of the swordplay. He found that its weakness didn’t apply to him since he had no lack of strength and speed. In fact, if he could synergize Grandgale’s instantaneous movement together with this swordplay, wouldn’t he be able to exert an incredible amount of force
He thought about the Bixie Swordplay in the Smiling, Proud Wanderer, a wuxia drama series he had watched in his previous life. It was straightforward and focused mainly on offense. In the eyes of true experts, it was filled with openings. However, if it were to be used in unison with a powerful movement technique, the swordsmanship would become nigh impossible to curb.
As long as you’re fast enough, openings are not openings anymore. You’d be able to release your prowess to the greatest degree.
The more Zu An thought about it, the more excited he was. However, he soon realized something. He lowered his head to look at ‘little Zu An’, and tears began brimming in his eyes.
Is it destiny?
My footnotes don't seem to be processed properly welp.
Bixie Swordplay is infamous in the Wuxia community as a skill that requires one to castrate himself in order to learn, which is similar to Zu An’s plight