Chapter 150: Matriculation Ceremony

Qin Ye blinked as he watched the bubbly, spritely figures enter the bus. For some reason, his heart was suddenly filled with a desire to fix them… no, rather, it was a sense of responsibility to groom and nurture them into respectable members of society.

His sense of responsibility wasn’t an inherent one that he was born with, but more of a byproduct of a confluence of opportunity and the right circumstances - the right time, the right place, and the right people gave rise to an immaculately touching display of fireworks. And out of the ashes arises a single notion: what can I do for them?

Arthis was always whispering in Qin Ye’s ears, “You’ve got to try your best!” “You can’t be lazy anymore! You’re the future King Yanluo after all!”

But he didn’t have a single shred of any sense of responsibility at all.

Even when it came to the immensely grand order of reestablishing Hell, the thought of dropping everything and running away had crossed his mind countless times to date.

Yet the things that triggered that spark of responsibility and nurtured it into a burgeoning sense of determination were the incidents with That Amorous Affair, the impunity of the matricide, and the Yin spirits that continue to pour into Hell.

Each incident had but stirred a single fleeting moment of emotion within his heart, and yet those ephemeral moments managed to catalyze the germination of a sprouting deep sense of responsibility in his heart. After all, actions speak louder than words - just like right now.

The man’s sincere gaze, heartfelt gratitude, and even an ostensible reaction of immense joy at a single nod told Qin Ye that this man was indubitably here for him… and Qin Ye suddenly felt a sense of burden weighing on his shoulders.

“It’s good to be young.” He smiled and went back to work. As the sun rose higher into the sky, the number of students pouring towards the registration counters increased progressively. Accordingly, Qin Ye processed the registration for several more students. At 9.00 a.m., Su Feng arrived at the table right on time and smiled, “How are you feeling?”

“Pretty good.” Qin Ye packed his things, “I’m already looking forward to the teaching days ahead… I’ve already registered on this document the students who have reported thus far, so I’ll take my leave.”

After returning to his dorm room, Qin Ye didn’t rest immediately. Instead, he pulled out his lesson plan and began to go through his notes and scrutinize every detail intently.

“Arti, come over here and review it together with me. Let’s see if I’m missing anything, alright?” He spoke as he continued going through his plan. Arthis responded somewhat impatiently, “Is it really necessary?”

“Of course…” Qin Ye continued to scrutinize his work, “The arrival of the freshmen also means that… the second part of the instructors’ evaluation is soon about to begin.”

“So?”

“So I want to start right at the finishing point!” Qin Ye rolled his eyes at Arthis, before giving her a look which appeared to suggest ‘how could you not understand this much’, “Zhou Xianlong had earlier mentioned that the second part of the instructors’ evaluation has no rubrics at all. Wouldn’t I be right to say, then, that… every single moment in the upcoming semester would form part of the instructors’ evaluation?”

“This guy’s positioning... is starting to resemble mine back in those days… And he hasn’t even landed a single skill to boot. What a load of crap, eh? Cough… do continue, you do make a lot of sense. I’m listening intently.”

Qin Ye fervently suppressed the idea of cutting the power cord to the laptop because he knew that such an act would be the death of him. After all, she was in the heat of battle, and they were vying with others for the title of top three. Self-preservation took precedence, and he sensibly let go of Arthis’ perfunctory response as he coughed lightly, “The first class conducted reflects the standards of all of the instructors of the academy. If I do well, I would most certainly be able to gain for myself a good amount of teaching credits. The only event that can possibly trump the importance of this lecture would probably only be the final exam’s score evaluation…”

Do you see how sincere I’m pleading with you?

Why don’t you come over and review these things with me?

Almost as though she could hear the cry of his heart, Arthis finally shifted her feet slightly and made her way over with a gracious look on her face. After a thorough reexamination of the lesson plan, Arthis declared with utter certainty, “It’s fine.”

“The topic of my upcoming lesson is the diversity of Yin spirits.” Qin Ye shut his notes and sighed, “From the way I see it, the Faculty of Combat has far more experience dealing with Yin spirits than anyone else in other faculties. Survival is key. After all, it’s only when one survives that he can begin to think about slaying and purging Yin spirits. Incidentally, this topic would perfectly complement the purposes of our faculty. Do you think that… I’ll be able to secure the top spot with this topic of mine?”

“Why don’t you phrase that statement more in the imperative?!” Arthis snorted in dissatisfaction, “It’s not that I want to brag about this, but given the level of research on Yin spirits in the mortal realm, a single Anitya Hellguard from the glory days of the old Hell would be able to crush all of their experts altogether! This lesson plan was something that I’d personally picked out and crafted after deep discussion with you. It’s not like I’m targeting anyone in particular. It’s just that everyone here… You know what, forget it. The point here is simply this - everyone here are no more than little kids.”

“I’d specially picked out these examples because they’re clearly not the normal run-of-the-mill Yin spirits. Unfortunately, the mortal realm isn’t able to distinguish any of them from the regular Yin spirits. You’re just giving them a taster and an introduction of these things. Drop them a clue or two on their telltale features, and they’ll immediately understand what’s going on! Don’t you think that overwhelming your competition would be as easy as a flick of the wrist?”

Qin Ye was relieved. He went through his notes till 11 a.m., and then made a call to Professor Yu.

“Little Qin, what’s up?” Old Man Yu asked with a light chuckle. He was just as lively as ever.

Qin Ye smiled, “It’s like this, Old Man Yu, school has just started…”

“I’ve got it.” Old Man Yu paused meaningfully before adding, “I’d never break my promise to you. It just so happens that both of your principals have invited me over for a simple exchange and to take a look around. I should be able to make it in time. That said… I’ve got to remind you of something.”

Without missing a beat, his voice grew somewhat stern and somber, “Good is good, bad is bad. The rigours of education strictly comes first. I’ve heard news of the First Academy of Cultivator’s evaluation system, and I know that teaching credits are incredibly important to you. However, if your preparation is insufficient and goes against the grain of the First Academy’s spirit of education, I won’t be able to turn a blind eye to that.”

Qin Ye straightened his expression, “Don’t worry, Old Man Yu. I was just asking you to pop by and give me some moral support. I guarantee you that the contents of my lesson is going to be absolutely refreshing. I’d never deign to impose a duty of wilful blindness on you.”

Meanwhile, at the other end of the call, a fleet of five black Audis were currently driving from Mount Tai City straight towards the City of Salvation.

The Audi in the center had obviously been reinforced with bulletproof glass, while its doors were all made of special alloys. Even the undercarriage of the vehicle was reinforced.

Old Man Yu was seated right in the reinforced Audi, holding onto his phone in one hand while holding onto another notebook with his other as he scrutinized the data on it. When he heard Qin Ye’s declaration of confidence, he was slightly taken aback. However, the corners of his lips quickly curled up into a silent smile.

This kid… really has no fear.

Academia. What is academia? It is essentially painstakingly hard work tackling the difficult questions that span over centuries or even millenia. Some questions may even come up that remain unanswered by the concerted efforts of hundreds of academicians. Professor Yu was considered an outstanding talent across all of Cathay with a wealth of experience under his belt. Were there any questions he hadn’t seen before, much less questions posed by a young, sproutling instructor from a simple lesson plan?

Something that would be absolutely refreshing?

After exchanging some pleasantries with each other, they hung up the phone, and a man dressed in a white lab coat riding shotgun in the same vehicle turned to Old Man Yu with a smile, “Old Man Yu, what’s up?”

Old Man Yu didn’t respond immediately. Instead, he simply turned to gaze at the idyllic scenery of large plains that were passing by slowly in the distance as the vehicle rumbled on. After a long time, he quipped, “I’ve always thought that academia is like the mountains. Just like how one can always find a mountain taller than the other, the more we learn, the smaller we get. Oftentimes, we see people showing up, thinking that they are trailblazers in the fields of their own research, only to discover to their abject dismay that they are presenting no more than what others have been researching for ages. In fact, others might even have walked further down the path of that research topic, and the presenter’s concepts would be completely dwarfed by the same.”

He was one of the three great academicians and founding fathers of the SRC. He was naturally entitled to some latitude of confidence in this regard.

“That’s true.” The man in the white lab coat chuckled in agreement.

Old Man Yu tapped lightly on the window of his car, “You’ve seen Little Qin before. He just told me that he guarantees that the contents of his lesson is going to be absolutely refreshing. What do you think?”

The man in the white lab coat immediately understood why Old Man Yu was smiling to himself.

It was as though Buddha himself were looking at an ascetic monk. The monk thinks that he’s understood the true meaning of Buddha’s teachings, yet wasn’t able to discern the identity of the man across him.

“That’s rather unfortunate. During our last encounter, his observations were astute, and his perspective was sharp. It left an indelible impression in my mind. But things are going to be completely different this time. We’re talking about the accumulation of knowledge right now. It’s like a baking professor claiming that he can show us something completely fresh on the techniques of cake making. But can he really make something that hasn’t already been done before? I personally don’t think it’s very likely. But that said… I still do look forward to it.”

“That’s right. I’m looking forward to it as well.” Old Man Yu closed his eyes, “An absolutely refreshing topic huh… let’s wait and see what kind of a treat we’re in for.”

Qin Ye was completely oblivious to the kind of evaluation he was receiving right now. Regardless, he was filled with confidence. After all, he had consulted and pored through every database he could find over the last two months, only to learn that there had never been much progress on this research topic of his.

He was just about to review his lesson plan a second time when his phone suddenly buzzed.

It was a notification message from the Momo app. He opened it, and immediately noticed that he had already been added to the group called “First Academy of Cultivators Faculty of Combat” by a user with an ID of “Head of Faculty of Combat Zhou Xianlong”.

The five instructors and all of its professors were already in the group. Zhou Xianlong switched on the voice-to-text function, and immediately explained, “Of our first batch of students, none of them are the super geniuses of the clans, sects, bloodlines or other associations from which they hail from. After all, the First Academy of Cultivators isn’t tried and tested just yet. The first batch of students are naturally the second-class cultivators within their respective organizations. None of them have ever experienced a true supernatural incident before.”

None of them responded, and they continued to look at the texts intently.

“And it’s precisely because of this that we have to groom and nurture them so that they can display the fullest extent of their potential. We will make these cultivation organizations beg us to send their true elites and geniuses to the school in two years’ time!”

“The college term is approximately half of that of any other colleges out there. The full course takes two years’ time. In that regard, the Faculty of Combat is the faculty that will come into direct contact with supernatural incidents. I ask this of you - we have to show them that they’re being taken seriously by the academy, and at the same time, we will still have to keep the string taut and push them as far as they can go. What are your thoughts? Please share freely.”

Lin Han was straightforward, “Beat them up if they don’t listen in class!”

“Strong and Potent has been muted for one minute.”

The others immediately cowered at Zhou Xianlong’s display of criminal force. Li Runxue suddenly typed, “What about some orientation activitiies? I hear that other regular colleges generally have some form of this to welcome their students.”

“And who’s going to perform for them?” Zhou Xianlong immediately replied, “You? What performances can you put up? A group display of martial arts? Or are you suggesting that I go up and sing for them?”

Li Runxue grew taciturn.

That image is far too beautiful for my mind…

“Don’t get any wrong ideas. What we want to do is something somber, memorable, and also laden with educational undertones. It would be best if it achieves the goal of uniting the freshmen as well.”

Everyone fell deep into thought. Nobody wanted to be embarrassed by their suggestions. On the other hand, Qin Ye chuckled at his end of the phone.

These idiots have never been to college…

How could you possibly compare to an elite like me who’s been to college for six or seven times now?

If we talked about something impressive, educational, and memorable by all freshmen and instructors alike, it’s got to be that…

With these thoughts on his mind, he sent a line of probative text to the group chat, “How about an emergency drill?”

The evil, sinister intentions of his heart were abundantly clear to all.

The entire group suddenly went silent.

Lin Han sent him a private message, “Holy cow… you’re evil. You’re truly evil. I guarantee you that all the freshmen, without exception, will sincerely thank you and your eight generations of ancestors from the bottom of their hearts!”

“You flatter me.” Qin Ye smiled sinisterly as he responded.

An emergency drill was undoubtedly something that every Cathayan university student abhorred.

After all, people invariably show their ugliest side to the gods or goddesses of their dreams. How could they possibly reveal such a horrific image to each other?

How many people would want to bury their heads in the ground in shame and scream in agony whenever they were reminded of their last encounter with an emergency drill?

Yet, when Qin Ye considered the prospects of seeing the most humiliating image of each of his faculty’s students, he felt awash with… an inexplicably dark pleasure…

We’ve been training, while you’ve been playing games in the comfort of your own organizations… But now… let’s see if the heavens spare any of you...

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