Chapter 144: A Fruitful Return

Qin Ye returned to the mortal realm to get some good rest after dealing with the major affairs of Hell. 

Arthis also returned to the City of Salvation. On the way back, she even told Qin Ye that she was bringing the Mirror of Eminence with her. Qin Ye couldn’t be bothered to interact with it in any event.

The next day, Qin Ye took three days off school from Zhou Xianlong. Despite his intense grief over the loss of three teaching credits, he immediately set off for the major cities within Insignia Province.

Ink City, Crosscreek City, Fixall City… One by one, he traversed each and every city in accordance with the directions given by Huang Liangchuan and the others. It took him two full days to accomplish what he set out to do.

Notwithstanding the fact that he had already braced himself for it, he still ended up being completely dumbfounded by the wealth and extravagance of the tycoons while they were still alive.

In particular, Huang Liangchuan’s villa was located in the most coveted locality known as Sanqingguan, and it was the only residence to be constructed in the most highly-rated scenic location in the region. Moreover, Huang Liangchuan even built a lavish private road that extended from the foot of the mountain straight to the middle of the mountain!

Swimming pool, multi-purpose courts, a spacious interior, gorgeous ancient cathayan decors, palace lights illuminating the towering walls everywhere… The ambience of the entire place felt like a luxurious residence of a prince during ancient times.

The residences of the other wealthy spirits weren’t too shabby either. Qin Ye had to forcefully repress any thoughts of ransacking these residences as he scuttled about his various destinations. Two days later, he finally returned to the main campus of Insignia University.

Nobody noticed his return at all. After all, there were far too many students coming and going from the university with their suitcases all the time. It was only when he finally stashed his suitcase under his bed that he finally heaved a massive sigh of relief.

There was at least sixty million RMB worth of treasures hidden right under his bed right now… even though he knew there was hardly any risk of losing these items right now, he still felt somewhat ill at ease.

“It’s not long now… just seven days to go before we return to the City of Salvation. Then, I would be back in my own territory, and there would be no need for me to be so on edge any longer…”

The next few days whizzed by, and several instructors powered through with a final sprint. The chat room for instructors was completely dead by now… until the two months of their study term was finally over.

That very night, Zhou Xianlong broke the one and a half months of silence in the chat room with a long voice message. All chat messages were temporarily banned. “Dear instructors, the two-month instructor training is going to end tomorrow.”

“Everyone has been working incredibly hard. Unfortunately, there are some things that can’t be earned with just hard work.”

“Instructors are a special group of people. Over and above the usual purging of Yin spirits that all of us are so proficient with, instructors have to teach and impart their experience. Instructing is completely different from merely executing. These last two months were supposed to have been a winter break, yet the professors and teachers of Insignia University had stayed behind to continue teaching at the request of our academy. Therefore, I sincerely hope that all of you will stay behind tomorrow.”

Qin Ye listened silently to Zhou Xianlong’s speech. This was a silent struggle amongst cultivators for resources and status. It was every man for himself. When somebody takes the lead, somebody else naturally falls behind.

Sympathy was entirely meaningless. Li Tao had already dropped hints on this intense competition as soon as the bus had arrived at Mount Tai City. Access to opportunity was equal to all, yet some seized it, while others let their guards down.

“Tomorrow at 9.00 a.m., we shall be announcing the list of official instructors and those who are in the running for the title of outstanding instructors at the lecture hall of the Faculty of Computer Sciences. We will also announce the number of students applying to each faculty, their qualifications, as well as the organization, sect, or clan they hail from. This is the first order of business.”

“Second order of business. We will be announcing the benefits and advantages that the official instructors and the official outstanding instructors are entitled to, as well as the requisite amount of teaching credits and other conditions necessary for a promotion.”

“Third order of business. We shall be announcing the rubrics for the second phase of instructor evaluation.”

“The inaugural awards ceremony shall be presided over by none other than Principal Xu Anguo. Please spread the message. Those who fail to show up tomorrow and those who show up late shall all be deemed to have voluntarily given up their right to be an instructor.”

The two-month instructors’ training was finally coming to its conclusion.

Qin Ye was about to close the Momo app when a notification suddenly popped up on his screen.

You have received a friend request from “Strong and Potent”.

Instant rejection.

You have once again received a friend request from “Strong and Potent”.

Rejected once more.

How can I have such a nasty ID appear in my pure and innocent list of friends?

Just then, the S-class community suddenly lit up. Qin Ye had already adjusted the settings of the app to automatically accept pings, but not send any notifications. Therefore, he didn’t know who it was who had pinged him.

“It’s me, the Local Bully! What are you doing rejecting my requests?!” -- Strong and Potent.

Bloody hell… Qin Ye rolled his eyes back so much that only the whites could be seen. Then, he promptly responded with an equally hateful message - You bloody idiot!!

You have for the third time received a friend request from “Strong and Potent”.

Qin Ye resisted the urge to crush his phone as he clicked the add button.

“How’s it? Do you feel confident about tomorrow?” Lin Han sent a voice message as soon as he was added.

“It’s passable… I’d taken three days’ off classes, got docked a few credits because of my failure to keep good notes, and yet another few credits because I was led astray by you! Otherwise, I wouldn’t even hesitate to declare right now that I would most certainly be the top of the class!” -- Muscular Pretty Boy.

There’s just something odd and ambiguous about a conversation taking place between a Muscular Pretty Boy and a Strong and Potent… Qin Ye’s eyes twitched uncontrollably as he added the alias of Local Bully to Lin Han’s username. Then, he responded, “What about you?”

“Don’t talk about it.” Lin Han responded with some measure of exasperation, “I’ve only managed to complete a D-grade mission. I’ve got no chance at the title of an outstanding instructor. At this rate, I’ll simply be relegated to an ordinary instructor… Do you have any ideas? Something that would allow me to gain ten or twenty points overnight?”

Qin Ye deliberated for some moments, and then sent Lin Han a picture of himself that had been subject to three sets of filters.

Strong and Potent - ????

Qin Ye explained, “Simply mass send the picture of this muscle man, and you’ll pass all your tests with flying colours.”

Strong and Potent has blocked you.

People these days simply can’t take a joke… Qin Ye grimaced as he tossed his phone onto the bed, leaned over, and fell into a deep slumber.

When Qin Ye arrived at the lecture hall of the Faculty of Computer Sciences the next day at 8.30 a.m., the entire lecture hall was already filled with instructors.

The lectern had already been set up, and a banner stating ‘First Academy of Cultivators Inaugural Awards Ceremony’ hung at the front of the hall, right between the two national flags mounted on the sides. The stage was decorated with only a few pots of flowers and plants. The decor was simple and plain.

Despite that, none of the instructors present looked in the least bit relaxed at all. Everyone simply sat silently at their own seats.

Nobody sat in groups this time. Qin Ye figured this must have been because nobody wanted anyone to notice their expression of disappointment. And even if they knew that their place was secure, none of them wanted to give any false hopes to their friends with whom they had lived and dined with for the last two months. Therefore, everyone tacitly sat approximately three seats apart from each other. Even Lin Han refrained from sitting next to Qin Ye.

The atmosphere in the hall was somewhat stifling and oppressive. Some time later, someone chuckled sardonically, “The new generation is outshining the old… I don’t think I’ll be retained today. Everyone, I wish you a bright future ahead at the First Academy of Cultivators.”

“Old Li’s being too courteous.” “Nothing is certain as yet.” A sparse response echoed from the rest of the hall. Qin Ye raised an eyebrow quizzically. The man who had just spoken was a middle-aged man. Unfortunately, Qin Ye was unable to recall his name.

“I reckon that things aren’t going to work out for me either.” Another person chimed in. This time, it was a white-haired old man, “Those who manage to stay on must persevere and press on. After all, having a term of service at First Academy of Cultivators in one’s resume is an impressive feat. Every single one of us here knows full well that prosperity doesn’t arise out of resources. Rather, it stems from good policy. With every single policy leaning in favor of the First Academy of Cultivators, coupled with the fact that the same will be established right in the heart of the city, we can only be certain that the academy is going to be the next rising star of the nation.”

After several more responses, the buzz quickly died down, and the atmosphere eased up a little. Soon, it was 9.00 a.m. As a melodious tune played through the speakers, a row of silhouettes emerged from the side and slowly made their way onto the stage. All of the instructors immediately sat up attentively.

It’s begun…

All of them were elites of at least A-class talent. The results of their arduous two-month training was soon about to be disclosed!

Xu Anguo walked ahead of the troupe, followed closely by the various professors and faculty heads. After bowing slightly to the instructors, the various professors and faculty heads took their seat on the first row of the hall, leaving Xu Anguo to take the stage alone.

With a faint smile on his face, he swept his gaze calmly across the entire audience before taking a deep bow, “Friends, comrades, the First Academy of Cultivators will undoubtedly become the promised land for all cultivators. I’ve invited you from all over the nation, but I have regrettably failed to keep each and every one of you here. I take full responsibility for this.”

Then, he straightened up and sighed, “There is no doubt that you are all elites in your own rights, and you are among the best in the world when it comes to purging evil spirits. However, there are some who are better with their hands, while others are better with their lips. Here, in the First Academy of Cultivators, words are more important than actions. Therefore… we’ve had to make some very tough decisions. Please understand.”

The entire lecture hall was filled with a pin-drop silence. Xu Anguo pulled out a brown string tie envelope and slowly unraveled the string. And then, he slowly pulled out a white sheet of paper with a somber expression on his face.

“After two months of rigorous observation and scrutiny, the full list of instructors at the First Academy of Cultivators are as follows.”

He paused for a moment, while everyone in the audience watched on with bated breaths. Qin Ye was no exception to this.

“In first place, S9527, 90 teaching credits.”

Haa… Qin Ye heaved a long sigh of relief.

The prairie husky had finally wormed his way into the great treasure trove.

“Comments: Bold yet conscientious. Incredibly strong. First expert to attain the cultivation rank of Soul Hunter at the age of twenty-one in the last one hundred years. Possesses meticulous observation, and is able to react to sudden changes to the situation. The only instructor to complete a C-grade mission…”

After reading one full minute’s worth of comments, he paused and looked in Qin Ye’s direction, “S9527 is herewith officially promoted from an instructor to the ranks of an outstanding instructor. He will henceforth gain access to certain resources and databases available only to associate professors and above.”

Countless gazes landed on Qin Ye’s body. Some were envious, some were complimentary, while others were resentful. Qin Ye welcomed them all with a straight face.

“In second place, S2328, with 80 teaching credits.”

Qin Ye turned to look in Su Feng’s direction with great astonishment, only to see him adjust his spectacles calmly. Qin Ye’s phone buzzed, and he discreetly opened the Momo app, only to be met with Strong and Potent’s furious yet tragic exclamation, “How could he land the second place?!”

This was a message that had been sent to the S-class community group chat. An administrator, Vast Ocean Smile, immediately responded, “It’s because while you were busy acting like a fool, I was busy studying hard.”

Qin Ye switched off his phone and continued listening to the report.

The list which Xu Anguo was reading out was a list of instructors who were being retained. This only meant one thing - the ones who failed to secure a place as an instructor numbered more than those who succeeded. After all, there was simply no reason for him to make things difficult for himself and read the longer list.

As though confirming his suspicions, Xu Anguo finished going through the entire list of names in his sheet of paper after approximately thirty-five minutes. 

Apart from the three top spots, he didn’t read the comments of any of the other instructors. The only thing which he had read out were their registration numbers.

The eyes of the instructors around vacillated between a fiery gaze of hope when each registration number was about to be announced, to a blank look of dejection as soon as the registration number was read.

“The next registration I’m reading is the last and final instructor on the list.” Xu Anguo looked up and smiled at everyone, “All of you are outstanding in your very own rights, and you’ve undoubtedly made our decision here incredibly difficult. Of the two hundred people who’ve answered the call to teach, we’ve only retained sixty-five of you. This isn’t on you; it’s on us. I sincerely wish each and everyone of you returning today continued success in your endeavours ahead.”

“Congratulations, A4329.”

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