Qin Ye tapped on the bed frame, deep in thought.
The option involving the SRC is completely unscientific and illogical. It’s a bloody alloy egg that I’ve got to burrow through for goodness sake… Hang on a minute! Who’s drilling to begin with? And what do you mean alloy egg? What the hell am I thinking about?
“I guess I have no choice but to consider the next best option available… And I’ll have to ask Su Feng to let me have a look at the blueprints for the Academy to see just how far below ground level the construction works will go… Back then, I recall travelling six storeys down below ground level. If we take one storey to be approximately three meters high, that essentially means that somewhere approximately twenty meters below ground level is where the danger zone is located…”
Arthis chimed in, “Don’t worry, let’s wait and see… It’s still too early for the City of Salvation to fall just yet. There’s still time for you to make the necessary preparations. Can you really bear to give up the Exalted Father as an option just like that?”
Qin Ye shook his head.
He wasn’t willing to give it up.
But he had no other choice.
Arthis sighed, “If it really can’t be done… I suppose Cao Youdao’s lair would do… The manpower in Insignia Province is somewhat lacking, and the possibility of someone stumbling upon it is miniscule. The two questions you’d asked on the chat earlier weren't half bad, and you managed to hit the nail on the head. But let me warn you - you can never change the location of Hell’s main entrance once you’ve made the decision. Otherwise, why do you think Fengdu Necropolis has existed for thousands of years on end? Haven’t you wondered whether Hell has considered shifting it before?”
Qin Ye clicked his tongue and pulled the blanket over his head, “We’ll talk again.”
He rested well over the next few days.
There had been far too many things going on lately, so much so that he had been feeling incredibly high-strung. It was high time for him to loosen up slightly.
Over the next few days, he made a call to Zhang Baoguo. With the Teemo incident brewing at the back of everybody’s mind right now, Qin Ye simply wasn’t prepared to go out right now. Nevertheless, he still gave his word to have dinner with Zhang Baoguo over the new year.
As for the City of Salvation… things weren’t very different from the days of martial law.
The upper echelons of the government were the ones most concerned in the wake of the bloodbath that night. However, those who weren’t aware of this would never find out either. Life of a regular citizen had practically gone back to normal, and order was restored on the third day. Save for the fact that certain things were no longer hidden from the citizen, everything had gone back to its usual rhythm and pace.
All of the hospitals were equipped with new instruments and a new diagnosis room merely six days after the incident - the Cultivation Aptitude Testing Room.
The less-frequented funerary street had also seen a rise in patrons and visitors over the last few days. That said, the greatest draw was still to the new Taiji Street that was just adjacent to the funerary street.
Each and every order delivered by the government at the press conference had been publicly announced, so every citizen in the city understood full well what this place was.
It was the gathering place of all Taoists and their sects for interaction, exchange and trading of resources!
All of the previous shops in the region have been emptied out, and all of the incoming business that had replaced their predecessors displays goods such as peachwood swords, talismans, and antiques that were otherwise only seen on television. At the beginning, there were barely any visitors. Then, as time went on, the enthusiasm of the crowds grew and grew. Finally, on the last day of that week, monks and priests could even be seen striding through the street in a dignified manner, as though they were celebrated members of the royalty.
Cathayans didn’t expect very much. As long as they could lead fulfilling lives, they were pretty much prepared to bear with just about anything.
New orders were issued in the City of Salvation everyday. The internet was still down. In fact, it had been made clear that the internet would never be restored in the City of Salvation. Instead, a new system would be introduced to ensure that the citizens would be able to keep up to date with the news whilst still maintaining the restrictions on any outgoing information.
Schools had begun introducing a fresh new discipline of cultivation research studies. As soon as the first batch of teachers receive their qualifications and arrive in the City of Salvation, the subject would be taught across the board, including kindergartens, preschools, elementary school straight through to high schools. In fact, the First Academy of Cultivators would commence with its enrollment of students right after winter break ends.
The government was the first to roll out and implement a full integration of their systems with cultivators and cultivation. In this regard, the Special Investigations Department officially moved out from their underground office and took their station above ground on the third day. They even took over most of the assignments and investigations relating to the supernatural and cut off all contact between the other governmental departments and the rest of the world.
News of such nature continued to pour in to Qin Ye on a daily basis. On the other hand, having armed himself with Wang Chenghao’s card, Qin Ye was happily swiping away as he purchased article of clothing after article of clothing. He couldn’t be bothered much about the outside world.
The term “cultivation” had begun to gain traction in the City of Salvation.
Early on the morning of the seventh day, Qin Ye got out of bed.
After washing up, eating and doing the needful, it was already 7.30 a.m.
He had been added to a small group last night, “First Academy of Cultivators Class of 2018 Instructors’ Group.” The only requirement in this group was that they used their real names.
Qin Ye took a closer look. Hah, there are quite a number of people.
And it was not just that. There were even several acquaintances, as well as members of the scum of the earth party he had just been part of, including Lin Han, Li Runxue and their little group. Even Zhang Chenghai, who had previously bought him breakfast, was part of the group.
And there were also several other particularly noteworthy names.
“Honorary Head of Faculty: Zhou Xianlong.” “Honorary Head of Faculty: Chang Shun”
A quick count of the members revealed that there were close to two hundred people within this group. Other universities, even branch universities, generally had teaching staff that numbered well in the thousands. Next to these universities, their numbers could only be considered so lean it was practically skin and bones.
Qin Ye had spent the better part of last night chatting away at the socialist successor group, and he had only switched off his phone at midnight for his rest. In contrast, there was not a single word of banal banter or the like exchanged on this group at all.
He changed into civilian clothes, hailed a taxi, and went straight to Insignia University.
“The First Academy of Cultivators?” The driver was incredibly chatty. As soon as he heard Qin Ye’s destination, his eyes immediately shone brightly, “Brother, what business do you have there? Do they treat you well there?”
Qin Ye: “......”
“I’ve heard that those who have the qualifications are accepted with incredibly good conditions. I wonder if my son will be able to qualify for it. Hey… brother, couldn’t you tell me more about it? I’ll waive your bill this ride!” “Oh… that’s right! I was just wondering why you looked so familiar. Aren’t you that… Ah! That Teemo!” “You must be part of the ethnic minorities, right? It was my son who told me your name.” “Is there a special policy for ethnic minorities to enter the Special Investigations Department?”
Bloody hell, what do you mean Teemo?!
And what the hell do you mean by ethnic minority?!
Qin Ye remained silent, cold and distant the entire journey. His heart and his head was struck with intense pain as soon as he heard the mention of the word “Teemo”. Under the driver’s begrudging eyes, he got off the car and stood before the main gate of Insignia University.
Insignia University had changed somewhat.
The sign for Insignia University had already been disposed of. Instead, there was another sign erected in its place with the words “First Academy of Cultivators” written across in majestic calligraphic strokes.
The campus had hardly changed either. However, the former students were already nowhere to be seen. The OFO, Mobike, and other bike rental companies of their various trademark colours had all been removed. Even the kiosks that had previously been the gathering point of students had been completely revamped into an antique looking decoration. It was unfathomable how the government had managed to achieve all of this in just a short span of seven days.
The entire campus felt somewhat cold and distant.
He followed the notices all the way to a tiered lecture hall. It was already 8.30 a.m. The faculty meeting was slated to begin at 9.00 a.m., and there were already several people in attendance right now. As soon as he arrived at the door, he heard a passionate voice call out to him, “Yo, Teemo! Over here!”
Can I give you a bloody kick right now?!
Qin Ye didn’t have to look at the source of the voice to tell that the big buffoon, Lin Han, was waving at him. Qin Ye rolled his eyes at Lin Han, before taking his seat at a nearby empty spot.
“How do you do, Mr Tee?” There was a man in his forties seated just adjacent to him. The man looked very refined. He wore a thick pair of glasses and a matching Chinese tunic. Yet despite that, the energy surrounding his body was hardly any weaker than Qin Ye. With a faint smile, the man stretched out his hand, “I’m Zhao Hailong, a rogue cultivator. Please take care of me in future.”
Qin Ye nearly vomited blood in his heart. What do you mean Mr Tee?! Can I ever shrug off this humiliation?!
Gnashing his teeth, Qin Ye fervently suppressed the surging emotions in his heart, shook Zhao Hailong’s hand and revealed a contrived smile on his face, “Pleased to meet you. S9527, Qin Ye.”
S… The middle-aged man furrowed his brows. He was clearly taken aback.
That’s not right… I heard many people calling him Teemo that day. It’s understandable if he’s part of the ethnic minority, isn’t it… Or was I really mistaken? Why does he appear as though he minds it?
Everyone in the lecture hall was chattering with each other. A gathering of cultivators of this scale had practically never happened before. All who had broken through the bottleneck and become Hunter-class experts would be fully aware that it was useless to hide behind closed doors and slog away at their cultivation. Instead, the best means of progress was to draw on each others’ strengths to supplement their own weaknesses.
“Silence.” 9.00 a.m. sharp. A single word filled with gusto was all it took to silence the entire lecture hall.
Two figures stood up from the front row and made their way to the podium.
One was an old man with a full head of white hair. He wore a black chinese buttoned jacket embroidered with intricate patterns, and he looked incomparably ordinary.
The other man appeared to be in his sixties. He appeared almost like a deity, skinny and withered, replete with a long white beard. He was dressed in a long white robe, the hem of which was embroidered with lush bamboo trees on rolling green mountains. It was rather compelling.
However, Qin Ye didn’t have the slightest intention to underestimate them.
Despite their unassuming appearances, the two old men emitted true energy that flowed like a great river.
“Let me make some introductions. I’m Xu Anguo, the twenty-third generation head of the Central Cathay Alliance of Cultivators. Thanks to all of your faith and trust in me, I’ve been granted the honour of being appointed the principal of the First Academy of Cultivators.”
Qin Ye suddenly realized his mistake in not having taken his seat beside the burly buffoon Lin Han.
He knew far too little about the world of cultivators in the mortal realm, and he couldn’t bring himself to ask these things of a person with whom he had barely even met.
The white-bearded old man smiled and continued, “I’m Li Tao. I used to work as a director of the ‘Auspicious Omens’ website. You can say that I had single handedly built that website into what it is today. I’ve never taken advantage of others for my own personal gain. I, too, am honoured to be the vice principal.”
Qin Ye was finally unable to hold back any longer, and he coughed lightly and asked Zhao Hailong with a hushed voice, “Fellow Taoist Zhao, who are they?”
Zhao Hailong gave Qin Ye a look of surprise. But he then quickly noticed Qin Ye’s age and nodded his head, “Tee... Mr Qin, you must have just joined the Special Investigations Department, haven’t you? Some of us rogue cultivators are scattered across the lands, and we’re naturally not as well informed about matters pertaining to the Special Investigations Department.”
So who in the world is Tee Mr Qin? And you don’t even play LOL, so why would the name Teemo leave such a huge impression on you to begin with?!
Zhao Hailong was naturally oblivious to the complaints on Qin Ye’s heart, and he continued explaining placidly, “It’s hard to be a rogue cultivator. Some of us can’t even figure out a way to get started on the path of cultivation. The Central Cathay Alliance of Cultivators was founded by a group of rogue cultivators in the middle of the Ming Dynasty. Unfortunately, rogue cultivators have historically always possessed a lower realm of cultivation than the rest of the cultivators, so they’ve never been afforded much right to make their voice heard. Put bluntly, you can consider the alliance a gathering of commiserating rogue cultivators.”
Qin Ye was confused, “So…”
“So how is Old Man Xu qualified to be elected as the principal?” Zhao Hailong smiled faintly, “That’s right. Rogue cultivators aren’t strong. But Old Man Zhao began to make waves ever since the founding days of our nation when he broke through and became a Hellguard-class expert. That was when the relatively unknown Central Cathay Alliance of Cultivators shot to fame.”
“What’s even more astounding is his business acumen and handling of interpersonal relationships. Money and power will help you in any occupation. Within the span of a few decades, the Central Cathay Alliance of Cultivators grew to become the number one alliance across all six provinces in central Cathay, beating even several famous temples, sects and other Taoist institutions.”
Qin Ye finally understood everything.
One need not possess an incredibly strong cultivation in order to be a competent principal.
However, one has to be a good person, be able to canvass for sponsorship and support, and vie for resources.
Compared with other cultivators who only knew to bury their heads deep in the troughs of their own paths of cultivation, Xu Anguo’s resume was simply outstanding, to say the least. He deserved every bit of his position as principal.
“Then… what about the Auspicious Omens website?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter