Chapter 328 - The World Isn't Fair
Tang Wulin sighed. There’s nothing that can be done then. I’ll just have to help Xie Xie pay off his debts.
“Xie Xie, do you accept your punishment?” Elder Cai asked.
In response to those words, Xie Xie lowered his head. “Yes, I accept it. This was all my fault. If I had striven to be more aware of what was going on around me, Yuanen Yehui wouldn’t have had to suffer such an embarrassment. I’ll accept the punishment.”
Seeing the sincerity in his eyes, Elder Cai nodded, her expression softening. She turned to Yuanen. “Yuanen Yehui, he peeped on you and has admitted to being guilty. However, you were still wrong to injure him in your rage. According to the investigation, if not for the other students stepping in to stop you, you really might have killed Xie Xie. I can understand your embarrassment as a girl, but Xie Xie’s mistake is not worth his life. Moreover, you already injured him heavily, so don’t think about getting revenge on him later on.”
Yuanen Yehui’s breathing grew more ragged by the second, jaws tight and hands balled into shaking fists, though she managed to remain silent.
“Hm?” Within Elder Cai’s eyes shined a perceptive light, a wave of pressure instantly crashing upon everyone present.
“Mn.” Yuanen Yehui finally nodded, tears streaming down her face.
Satisfied, Elder Cai turned to Yue Zhengyu. “As for you, Yue Zhengyu, I know that your Holy Angel clan takes it upon yourselves to eradicate evil soul masters, but Yuanen Yehui isn’t one. She has twin martial souls, with the the main one being the Titan Giant Ape. Moreover, the Academy has even investigated her and judged that she isn’t an evil soul master. Despite being warned by an enforcer previously, you chose to act independently against her. Since you ignored the judgement of the Academy, we cannot pardon you for your actions this time. For your punishment, you will have to clean Spirit Ice Plaza by yourself for an entire month. In addition, you will pay five thousand contribution points to Yuanen Yehui for her mental trauma, understood?”
“I…” Yue Zhengyu still didn’t believe he had done wrong and was reluctant to accept punishment. However, as a member of the Holy Angel clan, he understood just how terrifying the Silver Moon Douluo was. Talking back was not an option for him! He could have broken something with how fast he nodded. “I’ll accept my punishment.”
Elder Cai now directed her lion’s gaze at Tang Wulin, Gu Yue, and Xu Xiaoyan.
“As working students, you should have understood the situation clearly before you acted. Especially you, Tang Wulin. Don’t forget you are the class president of the first grade. Yet, all of you charged in like idiots. I don’t care what you thought the circumstances were, you all mishandled the situation. Except for Gu Yue who didn’t act, and as such won’t be penalized. Xu Xiaoyan, you’re fined one thousand contribution points, and Tang Wulin, you’re fined ten thousand contribution points. Five of those ten thousand are to be paid to Yuanen Yehui as mental trauma compensation. Understood?”
W-what? Tang Wulin raised his head to look at Elder Cai, eyes wide. Ten thousand? But Xie Xie was fined fifteen thousand for peeping on her! Why am I being fined so much when I didn’t even do anything?
“I don’t accept this!” Tang Wulin blurted out without the slightest hesitation. He would have been fine with a punishment like Yue Zhengyu’s, but it was different when it came to money! First-grade thousand refined metal could be sold for about two thousand contribution points, but that didn’t take into account the material costs. Acquiring the metal to forge took quite a large chunk out of his profits.
Everyone stared at him in shock the moment the words left his mouth. He actually dares talk back to Elder Cai?
“You don’t accept? Twenty thousand then.” Elder Cai said indifferently.
Gu Yue stepped forward. “This isn’t fair.”
Elder Cai sneered. “You should all remember this: you’re in the real world now. Fairness? That’s ridiculous. If you don’t have strength, how can you even think of talking about fairness? If you were a small country and a larger neighbouring country attacked you, would you complain to them about the unfairness? Do you think they would have their army retreat, or fight you in one-on-one battles instead? Come back and talk to me about being fair when you have the strength to stand on the same ground as me. If you still don’t accept this, then you can just drop out.”
Elder Cai got up and stormed out, leaving these words lingering in the air.
Tang Wulin stood there, dumbstruck. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Although he didn’t want to admit it, he knew Elder Cai was right. He pinched his thighs as he fought to steady his breathing. In this world, fairness did not exist. No, it could only be achieved through a foundation of strength. The powerful made the rules, not the weak.
But he couldn’t stomach the thought of having to pay twenty thousand points! My punishment is even worse than Xie Xie’s! Who’s trying to provoke who here!
Filled with grief and indignation, Tang Wulin led his companions back to their room. Not a hint of joy were on their faces.
“I’m so sorry! Wulin, I’m sorry I got you caught up in this. Just let me handle your twenty thousand point punishment! I’ll work hard and earn enough points to pay it all off!”
Tang Wulin let out a bitter laugh. “Who are you trying to trick? That’s twenty thousand points! In any case, we’re brothers! Don’t even mention something like that. We’ve all suffered a loss this time, so in the future, we have to be more careful.” With his blacksmithing skills, Tang Wulin could make the most money of them all.
Before they had left, Shen Yi had called him over and whispered a few words into his ear. She advised him that Elder Cai’s strictness stemmed from his title as class president.
The class president represented the entire class when they interacted with teachers. Naturally, their status was high among their peers. For that same reason, class presidents were punished more harshly than other students for the the same mistakes.
After Shen Yi pointed this out, Tang Wulin understood the significance of his position and error. He knew now that there was nothing he could do but accept his punishment.
Xie Xie forced a smile out. “It’s my fault for being too curious. If I had just come back and asked you, none of this would have happened. I still need to thank you for saving me. If not for you guys, I might have really been cut down by Yuanen Yehui. By the way, why do you think she hides the fact that she’s a girl?”
“I think it’s because of her martial soul,” Tang Wulin said. “Her main martial soul is the Titan Giant Ape, and it probably has a lot of influence over a girl’s body. Maybe she’s afraid of people mocking her for it. Then there’s her Fallen Angel martial soul, which makes it easy for others to mistake her as an evil soul master. So it’s likely she hid her gender to protect herself. In any case, she’s amazing! Both of her martial souls are peak-level existences. It’s no wonder that she’s the class representative for the second grade. I don’t think I can stand against her at all.”
“So what if she transforms into the Titan Giant Ape?” Xie Xie muttered. “That’s just during battle. Isn’t she still really pretty during other times?”
Hearing his hushed words, Tang Wulin raised a brow. “Alright. No need to think so hard about it. Let’s head to bed early.”
While Tang Wulin had some idea what sort of circumstances Yuanen Yehui had, he decided not to look any deeper. It would be rude to pry into someone else’s secrets after all. Considering the formidable natures of both her martial souls and her talent, which surpassed even Wu Siduo’s, he assumed her abilities had certain restrictions. If that wasn’t the case, then Tang Wulin was clueless as to why her second martial soul didn’t also have three soul rings.
After climbing onto bed, Tang Wulin jumped into meditation. He focused on circulating soul power throughout his body via the Mysterious Heaven Method. In his dantian formed a whirlpool of soul power, sucking in more of that energy and dispersing it among his body. His blood essence coursed through his meridians, hastening the circulation. Although his martial soul and soul power improvement rates were both slow, his cultivation speed kept pace with those of powerful martial soul users.
At the first signs of light breaking through the horizon, he switched to practicing his Purple Demon Eyes. Following that was breakfast with his friends.
He caught sight of Xie Xie and frowned. Although Xie Xie had been treated the night before, he was still pale from the blood loss. On the way to class, Xu Xiaoyan teased him for peeking at what he shouldn’t look at and that his injuries only served him right. Gloom hung around Xie Xie, making him seem like a shadow of his former self. It was as if he carried a heavy burden in his heart.
“What’s going on, Xie Xie? Are you still thinking about what happened yesterday?” Tang Wulin nudged him with an elbow.
“Yeah.” Xie Xie raised his head and looked straight into Tang Wulin’s eyes. “Wulin, do you think I acted horribly yesterday? A girl would obviously be angry if someone peeped on her, right?”
Tang Wulin shrugged. “Of course. You saw her naked. So, you should quickly earn enough to compensate her. But be careful if you run into her again. Absolutely do not do anything to anger her. She was really trying to kill you yesterday, you know?”
Xie Xie nodded in silence.
Soon, the four found Wu Zhangkong waiting for them in the lecture hall. He continued where he had left off in the previous lesson, diving into the basics of mecha making. The topic had intrigued him since childhood so he listened with rapt attention, enjoying the intermission before thinking of his staggering debt again.
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