Chapter 35 - Challenge

Gu Lingzhi silently let out a sigh of relief as the dismissive treatment by the teacher had reduced the amount of attention on her.

Yet, just as she started to feel relaxed, the next sentence from the teacher caused her to jump in surprise.

“This new student, aren’t you going to introduce yourself?”

Gu Lingzhi turned around only to see a sly look flash across the teacher’s face under his dark eye circles.

Could it be that the teacher was picking on her because she did not take the initiative to greet him?

No matter what, now that the teacher had personally called on her, Gu Lingzhi had no choice but to force herself to speak under the various gazes of her classmates, “I am Gu Lingzhi from the Gu Clan. I hope to improve myself with everyone’s help while I am studying in this school.”

Gu Lingzhi shut her mouth promptly after a simple and quick introduction.

She could very clearly feel that her classmates looked at her with a cynical look as she said her name. She wished that it was an illusion but it was not - she could feel malice radiating off the people around her.

“Gu Lingzhi? Isn’t that the First Mistress of the Gu Clan who’s a wastrel?” A voice filled with malice rang out just as she stopped talking. A burst of laughter then followed.

“I can’t believe she would dare to come to school. If I were her, I would have hidden my face.”

“That’s right, I heard that her mother was caught cheating and committed suicide as a result. I didn’t think that shamelessness was an inheritable trait.”

“…”

Gu Lingzhi heard everything clearly as the malicious words about her filled the air. Blood rushed to her face, causing her face to redden.

She was not afraid of being ridiculed by others. After experiencing such a tragic end in her past life, what could tolerate anything.

But no one had the right to insult her mother!

Gu Lingzhi was about to flare up when the teacher standing in front of the class, who looked like he was fighting to stay awake suddenly called out.

“Silence, everyone!”

It only took one single sentence to end the commotion that was building up among the class.

Even Gu Lingzhi was stunned by the teacher’s sudden outburst. She never thought that the teacher, who was as skinny as a homeless man, could be so scary when he raised his voice.

“All I asked was for the new student to introduce herself so that you can all get to know each other better. It was not for all of you to start gossiping.”

It could have been an illusion, but she thought it seemed that the teacher’s gaze swept over the girl who had insulted Gu Lingzhi’s mother as he talked. His eyes then landed on Gu Lingzhi.

“I believe the Third Prince is someone who knows how to differentiate between private and public matters and since he has invited you to study in the Royal School, it means that he has recognized your ability. If you don’t want to be known as a wastrel, then you should prove them wrong!”

Gu Lingzhi was momentarily touched by the teacher’s words as she did not expect the teacher to stand up for her.

In both the lives that she had lived, she did not think that the only person who had helped her unconditionally was a stranger that she had just met.

“But teacher, isn’t that the truth? I heard that ever since her Spiritual Roots were awakened, she hasn’t done anything outstanding other than externalizing her spiritual energy on the first day of training. It is known that whoever possesses both wood- and fire-based Spiritual Roots will naturally be talented in Alchemy. She has these Spiritual Roots but it is such a waste because the Master Alchemists that taught her had claimed that they have never come across someone as stupid as her. There’s no way that the Gu Clan’s Master Alchemists would intentionally tarnish their clan’s reputation.”

As the girl finished, several shouts of approval could be heard from the class.

“What Zhi Xuan said was right! If she really isn’t stupid, there isn’t any reason for the Master Alchemists of the Gu Clan to say that.”

In an instance, the whole classroom burst out in conversation trying to validate that claim.

With regards to the rumors about her that was circulating in the city, Gu Lingzhi had heard most of it from Ye Fei the previous night. She had spread further and quicker than she imagined - it seemed to her that the entire student population had now known about her.

Amongst the crowd, some of them were just as well-informed as Ye Fei. These few people who had known the truth decided to remain silent due to certain considerations.

After all, Gu Lingzhi was from the Gu Clan and if they could get rid of her using the rumors, it would be one less opponent for all of them to deal with. On the other hand, if Gu Lingzhi could deal with the rumors and persevere, it would not be too late to become friends with her.

With his eyes shut as he leaned against the teacher’s table, Wen Qing did not help Gu Lingzhi this time around and simply allowed the students to argue. He wanted to see if the daughter of ‘that woman’ was as outstanding as her mother.

He observed that the beautiful young girl that was being pressured by her classmates did not express any hint of grievance. Instead, all she did was give out a small smile and said in a light but determined voice, “If everyone would like to know if I got in by seducing the Third Prince or by my own capabilities, just challenge me and you’ll find out.”

“So be it!” Xin Zhixuan huffed, “Let’s compete in Alchemy then. Just don’t go crying to the Third Prince when you lose.”

Curious, Gu Lingzhi asked noncommittally, “Senior, may I know what’s your current level at Alchemy?”

“Middle-grade Yellow Level,” Xin Zhixuan replied.

She then stuck her chest out and bathed in the admiring gaze of her classmates. It was not as simple being an Alchemist as it was being a Martial Artist. There were many failures and setbacks that an Alchemist had to face with every Spiritual Medicine that they tried to cultivate in order to succeed. Even after their first success, it was not one hundred percent certain that they would succeed on every try. Normally, it was already admirable if three out of five attempts were successful.

Gu Lingzhi, however, was special in the sense that she had learned her Alchemy techniques from the Spirit Tribe’s Inheritance Space. Her techniques were the most complete and thorough as it was passed down many generations. There was no need to even consider her proficiency in the most basic Alchemy techniques.

For an Alchemist to advance to the next level, not only do they need experience, they also need a certain level of talent so that in the process of refining the medicine, they are able to easily find the balance among their composition of medicinal ingredients and successfully complete the medicine.

Due to the difficulty in advancing to the next level, the Alchemy District was only split into Yellow and Black Levels.

Xin Zhixuan was a student that had enrolled last year and was able to advance to a middle-grade Yellow Level Alchemist in a year’s time. Amongst her peers, she was definitely more outstanding and possessed a certain level of talent, which made her extremely arrogant.

“Middle-grade Yellow Level, was it?” Gu Lingzhi repeated her words and tilted her head down slightly. The corners of her mouth lifted up in an undetectable smile.

Thinking about it, Gu Lingzhi could easily guess how those ridiculous rumors had spread in the capital. It did not take much for one to find out who was the one who had started the rumors.

Since all these people were targeting her based on some rumors that they heard, then she would prove to them what it meant by the saying, ‘a wise man pays no heed to rumors’. Those that listened to rumors were all idiots!

“Alright, let’s compete then.”

Right as Xin Zhixuan smiled at her response, Gu Lingzhi pretended to be troubled as she added, “Before we begin, you should know that this is my first day in school so I have not gotten any points. I am afraid that even if you win, there will be no points for you to gain.”

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