Chapter 924: The Four Princ.i.p.als
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
“He has already cleared the examination?”
“In just two short months, he successfully raised a Conferred Kingdom into an Unranked Empire?”
“If I recall correctly, even the current record holder for our academy, Princ.i.p.al Mo Liuzhen, took three whole years, right?”
“Two months… that is really way too fast!”
The school heads couldn’t help but be dumbstruck by the shocking revelation.
They had no doubt that their princ.i.p.al would clear the Empire Building test, but they hadn’t thought that it would be so fast!
To clear it within two months, he had probably broken the record of the Master Teacher Pavilion!
School Head Mo nodded. “Indeed, that’s really fast! At the moment, Princ.i.p.al Zhang should be on his way back…”
“That is good. At this rate, he should be able to make it for the Combat Master Selection,” Zhao Bingxu said.
As soon as the Combat Master Selection was brought up, grim faces immediately emerged in the room.
The Four Great Master Teacher Academies would gather together for the Combat Master Selection once every hundred years, and while it might seem like nothing much on the surface, there was actually strong rivalries and compet.i.tion in the dark. If the princ.i.p.al could return in time, that would be for the best.
“Over the past two months, our Martial Arts School has managed to sieve out the top twenty of each grade to partic.i.p.ate in the Combat Master Selection,” Xu Changqing said.
The only requirement for the Combat Master Selection was superior strength. The students of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy had been fighting against one another in a selection exercise over the last two months, and finally, the twenty strongest students of each grade to represent the academy and vie with the other three academies for the slots in the Combat Master Selection had been decided.
Hearing that the results were out, Zhao Bingxu hesitated for a moment before asking, “How is the strength of our students?”
“Judging from the previous Combat Master Selections, our students are still a little weak. I fear that not many of them will be selected.” Xu Changqing sighed deeply.
The Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy had always been at the bottom of the Four Great Academies. In the ten thousand years since its establishment, only 327 people had succeeded in becoming combat masters. This meant that only three to four people, on average, were selected in the Combat Master Selection each time.
Hearing that the situation was not really optimistic, Zhao Bingxu shook his head and said, “There are still a few days before the selection. Let us gather the students together and try pus.h.i.+ng them one last time before the selection. Perhaps, we might get more of them in.”
“This is the only thing we can do now.” The others nodded in agreement.
The effects of last minute training were usually minimal at best, but there was nothing else they could do at this point.
The other Master Teacher Academies had 7-star master teachers to offer pointers to their candidates, and the resources they received from the Master Teacher Pavilion were also far greater. As such, most top geniuses would opt to enroll in the other three academies if they had the chance, leaving the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy with just the remaining ones. It couldn’t be helped that they weren’t a match for the others.
It was not sufficient to have good teachers. Without ample resources and talented students, it would be extremely difficult for the students of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy to qualify in the Combat Master Selection.
This formed a vicious cycle. After many years of being unable to achieve good results, the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy received fewer resources from the Master Teacher Pavilion, and its reputation fell as well, thus resulting in the more talented master teachers shunning the academy, which lowered the performance of the academy even further.
While the school heads of the Master Teacher Academy were discussing this matter, just outside Hongyuan City, a ma.s.sive flying s.h.i.+p came to a halt.
The entire s.h.i.+p was nearly eighty-meters in length, and it was more than ten stories tall. All of the required facilities were on it, and from afar, it looked extraordinarily extravagant.
The front and the back of the s.h.i.+p were supported by eight saint beasts, each harnessing the Dragon Bloodline. Through perfect coordination among the sixteen saint beasts, they were able to bring the ma.s.sive s.h.i.+p down without the slightest tremor.
On the deck stood two elders, who gazed at the towering city walls beneath them with a smile.
“Princ.i.p.al Wo, I am truly thankful for your ‘Cloudcliff Flying s.h.i.+p’. Otherwise, it would have taken me a fair bit of effort to reach here so quickly!” the blue-robed elder standing on the left said as he stroked his beard.
“It is only right for us, the Four Great Academies, to help one another. Besides, the Combat Master Selection is held at the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, and your Luoqing Master Teacher Academy happens to be en route from our Yunxu Master Teacher Academy, so it’s no trouble at all. This is also an ideal opportunity for our students to interact with one another and learn that the world is far larger than they thought so as to reduce their complacency. Otherwise, if they stayed within the confines of the Master Teacher Academy, they would just think that they are the greatest in the world, and that contributes nothing to their growth at all,” the gray-robed elder on the right replied with a smile.
Both of these elders wielded the strength of a Saint, and the aura they emanated felt unfathomable, rendering one incapable of accurately determining their strength.
On top of that, there was an emblem pinned on their master teacher robes, on which, there were seven brilliantly s.h.i.+ning stars. From this, it was clear that they were both 7-star master teachers.
7-star master teacher, this was a height that not a single person of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy and Master Teacher Pavilion had achieved.
“Indeed. The crux to learning lies in knowing one’s ignorance… The fact that these students are able to stand out among their peers in the academy and partic.i.p.ate in the Combat Master Selection goes to show that they are incredible talents. Thus, it is inevitable that they will be complacent about their own abilities. As such, there is a need to have them know that there is always a mountain higher than the other, a person greater than himself. This will help them reach greater heights in the future.” The blue-robed elder nodded.
(The full phrase is that ‘Logic that is not debated is weak, and knowledge that is unspoken is unclear.’)
After a moment of silence, Princ.i.p.al Wo asked, “Where is Princ.i.p.al Wu? We have already arrived, so why is he nowhere to be seen?”
“It’s not like you don’t know about Wu Ran, that fellow. He is fixated on the insight that Kong s.h.i.+ left behind at the Saint Ascension Platform, and he even became the leader of the Saint Ascension Circle. For that, he set forth several months in advance, so he should already be in the city by now!” the blue-robed elder replied.
The blue-robed elder was the princ.i.p.al of the Luoqing Master Teacher Academy, Shen Pingchao, and the person he was speaking to was the head of the Yunxu Master Teacher Academy, Wo Tianqiong.
(Note: Wo Tianqiong’s surname is supposed to be Wu as well, just like Wu Ran, but as both of them are Princ.i.p.al Wu, I tweaked the former a little to Wo so as to avoid confusion.)
The person they were talking about, Wu Ran, was the princ.i.p.al of the Qingzhu Master Teacher Academy, as well as the leader of the Saint Ascension Circle whom Zhang Xuan had met back on the Saint Ascension Platform.
Yunxu, Luoqing, Qingzhu, and Hongyuan. These were the Four Great Master Teacher Academies under Qingyuan Conferred Empire.
Among the four, Yunxu ranked at the top whereas Hongyuan stood at the very bottom of the list.
“Princ.i.p.al Wo, Princ.i.p.al Shen, my teacher, Wu s.h.i.+, invites you over to meet him!”
While the two of them were speaking, a middle-aged man suddenly descended onto the s.h.i.+p and clasped his fist respectfully to them.
“See, I told you, didn’t I? That fellow is sure to have long arrived before us…” Shen Pingchao chuckled softly to Wo Tianqiong before turning to the middle-aged man and replying, “We will be heading over now.”
After which, he and Wo Tianqiong issued some instructions to the teachers behind them before following behind the middle-aged man and heading toward the depths of Hongyuan City.
It didn’t take them too long to arrive at a huge manor.
As soon as they entered the main hall, they immediately saw Wu Ran seated within, elegantly and leisurely pouring hot water into a teapot. With just a glance, they could immediately tell that the latter was a skilled tea master.
“You old fellow, you sure are fast! Did you invite the both of us over for tea? I will just say these words beforehand, if the tea isn’t good, don’t expect us to drink it!” Wo Tianqiong said with a smile.
“Rest a.s.sured, I won’t treat you to anything less than good tea!” Hearing those words, Wu Ran chuckled softly. “I had to pull some connections and pay a heavy price for this pot of tea, and I have been waiting for the both of you to arrive to share it with you.”
As Wu Ran spoke, he poured the tea within the teapot into the small teacups by the side and offered them to Wo Tianqiong and Shen Pingchao.
The duo took the teacups, but before they could take a sip, a thick layer of mist suddenly rose from the tea, lingering around the teacup, creating a dreamy haze around it.
“What a beautiful cup of tea…” The eyes of the duo lit up in amazement.
Putting aside the flavor of the tea, just its presentation in itself already made it far superior to most teas.
The drifting layer of mist shrouding the cup felt reminiscent of the thin mist that veiled the dawn river. Even before the consuming the tea, it had already induced relaxation and comfort within one’s heart.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way! This pot of tea is made from the renowned Cloudmist Flower, produced exclusively in Hongyuan Empire’s Cloudmist Ridge, and it has cost me ten whole high-tier spirit stones! Furthermore, had I not pulled my vast connections, I might not have been able to purchase it at all. Even so, I was only able to obtain one liang of it. I couldn’t bear to drink it all this while, deciding to wait for you two to arrive to share it with you,” Wu Ran said with a smile.
(One liang = 0.125 grams)
“Just the aesthetics itself makes it well worth the price!” Wo Tianqiong smiled. “Let me try and see how it tastes!”
Chuckling softly, he took a sip, and his eyes immediately lit up in wonderment. “Good tea!”
Beside him, Shen Pingchao also sipped the tea without any hesitation, and brilliant, astounded gleams swiftly appeared in his eyes.
“Where did you purchase the tea from? Help me get some too…”
“Get some too? If I were able to do so, I would have definitely bought ten jin on the spot…”
“Then… sell that one liang of tea leaves you have procured to me. I will pay double the price!” Shen Pingchao said anxiously.
He was also a person who savored a good tea. With just a sip of that marvelous tea, he had already fallen in love with it.
“Don’t even think about it, I won’t sell it to you no matter what price you offer! Alright, let’s get to the main business at hand.” Wu Ran shook his head. “Have you heard of the news regarding the old princ.i.p.al of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy?”
Wo Tianqiong sighed deeply and said, “I did. He disappeared two years ago, and to date, it is unsure whether he is alive or dead. The top seat in the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy should still be empty, right?”
The princ.i.p.als of the Four Great Master Teacher Academies were of similar standings, and they shared an amicable relations.h.i.+p with one another. As such, it was impossible for them to be unaware of the disappearance of the old princ.i.p.al, and they had even mourned over that matter for quite a while.
“You are right that the old princ.i.p.al went missing two years ago. However, the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy has already found a new princ.i.p.al!” Wu Ran replied.
“Found a new princ.i.p.al? Have you looked into what kind of person he is?” Shen Pingchao asked.
“Even without intentionally looking into the matters of the new princ.i.p.al, there is already plenty of news regarding him going around Hongyuan City. If I tell you his deeds, I bet you two will definitely have the shock of your life!”
He had arrived in Hongyuan City just a few days ago, and considering that the news regarding the new princ.i.p.al was literally everywhere, it would have been hard for him not to know who the new princ.i.p.al was.
“Have the shock of our lives?” Wo Tianqiong and Shen Pingchao glanced at one another in bewilderment before asking, “Is the new princ.i.p.al very famous? Could he be a representative dispatched from the headquarters?”
“Of course not! The new princ.i.p.al is only in his early twenties, and he is a student who enrolled into the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy earlier this year. He goes by the name of Zhang Xuan!” Wu Ran said.
“A student who enrolled into the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy this year?”
“In his early twenties? Is this really accurate?”
The two princ.i.p.als were stunned, and they couldn’t help but doubt their ears.
Did the entire Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy go insane all of a sudden? Or did they just give up on themselves?
A fellow who was barely in his early twenties, inexperienced, and immature, and yet they had chosen him to become their princ.i.p.al? Was this for real?
“Of course, this is accurate! If you don’t trust me, feel free to ask anyone in Hongyuan City!” Wu Ran replied with a bitter smile. “If you underestimate the new princ.i.p.al just because he is in his early twenties, you will be in for a great shock. I have heard a lot about him, and to date, I still find it all inconceivable.”
“Inconceivable? Interesting. Tell us!” Wo Tianqiong said.
“Princ.i.p.al Wo, when you inaugurated back then, you also invited the predecessors and sought their recognition, right? How much of their recognition did you receive?” Wu Ran asked out of the blue.
“I was incompetent, so I only received 45% of the predecessors’ recognition. Of the hundred princ.i.p.als in the history of the Yunxu Master Teacher Academy, I am only ranked seventh!”
Even though Wo Tianqiong claimed that he was incompetent, the slight hint of pride contained within his voice still betrayed his true thoughts.
To receive a recognition of 45% among a hundred preceding princ.i.p.als meant that he had the recognition of more than forty of them. Even compared to all of the preceding princ.i.p.als, his record was indubitably outstanding.
After all, one only needed a recognition rate of 20% to clear this formality, and he had received more than twice that figure.
Wu Ran turned to the blue-robed elder and asked, “What about Princ.i.p.al Shen?”
“I only received 37% of the predecessors’ recognition, failing to get into even the top ten in the history of princ.i.p.als in the Luoqing Master Teacher Academy. I am truly ashamed,” Shen Pingchao said.
“45% and 37% are outstanding records, considering the difficulty of the formality. However, when compared to the record of the new princ.i.p.al of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, they are indeed not worth mentioning!” Wu Ran said as he subconsciously shook his head. Disbelief was reflected in his eyes.
The news he had received was simply so shocking that he found it simply impossible to accept.
“You mean that… he has surpa.s.sed our records?”
The two princ.i.p.als frowned.