Binding to Geniuses To Become Stronger - Chapter 51
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In the study hall, students were brimming with excitement and anticipation. There were students who could not resist squealing with delight.
It was the Spirit Pagoda after all!
It was a cultivation resource every academy coveted. On paper, each academy was allowed to apply for the usage once every five years, but in reality, some academies had been applying for ten years without success!
The fact that Luojiang Academy’s application for the Spirit Pagoda was approved this year presented a golden opportunity for the students!
The students from peasantry backgrounds were especially riled up. They clenched their fists excitedly, ready to give their all in the internal examination taking place three days later.
They treated the internal exam as if it was the actual Imperial Examination!
After all, cultivation resources were difficult to come by for them—even spirit crystals were not easily accessible. The only way they could obtain spirit crystals was through the academy’s cultivation assistance program that occurred once every six months. Thus, they treasured and looked forward to this golden opportunity more than anyone!
Among the crowd, Liu Hao, who once had a fallout with Fang Lang, clenched his fists tightly. Flames raged within his eyes.
This was his chance to soar to the top!
A distance away, Yang Zhengyi was staring at Liu Hao. He flipped the hair that covered his forehead and mocked, “What are y’all so excited about? You’re acting as if all of you here can become the academy’s top fifty.”
Yang Zhengyi’s voice was not loud, yet the enthusiastic crowd in the study hall instantly turned silent.
Liu Hao’s chest heaved heavily, his eyes bloodshot. Like a plant withered by the harsh winter, he slumped down onto his desk dejectedly.
The students from peasantry backgrounds and disciples from rich families all felt a sudden dullness in the air.
Liu Zhengyi’s words were not overly hurtful, but they sure were humiliating.
His words did not sit well with the other students.
Fang Lang could not help but smile when he heard Yang Zhengyi’s words. Old Yang had a point.
Fang Lang smiled and stood up from his desk. Deep in thoughts, he looked as if he had seen through the meaning behind Mentor Wen’s gaze before he left the study block.
‘Perhaps the Jiang family had a role to play in the academy’s success in applying for the Spirit Pagoda…’
Fang Lang felt that there was a high chance his theory was right.
‘Is that why Mentor Wen hinted at me to not hold back? Is that why he wants me to be greedy?’ he wondered.
The Spirit Pagoda was a spirit crystal jackpot. Coincidentally, Fang Lang was just worrying about not having enough spirit crystals!
Just then, a ring sounded in Fang Lang’s head.
‘Challenge mission unlocked.
‘Challenge mission: Cultivation is not all about going with the flow; it is more important to challenge one’s limits! To crash and burn at one’s limit, then rise from the ashes to surpass that limit! When you successfully break through your limits in the Spirit Pagoda, you shall be rewarded with Instant Reward and Dividend Reward.
‘Instant Reward: Spiritual energy absorbed in the Spirit Pagoda can be directly converted into System experience points.
‘Dividend Reward: Ten percent of all spiritual energy absorbed by a binding partner in the Spirit Pagoda will be awarded to the host as dividend.
‘Would you like to accept the mission?’
Fang Lang raised his brows as he learned about the mission.
‘Challenging my own limits?’ he thought.
Of course, the attractive Instant Reward and Dividend Reward was not what roped Fang Lang in.
He genuinely wanted to challenge himself.
There was no doubt Fang Lang would accept this mission. Only men with no balls would back down from a challenge!
Even without a mission prompt from the System, Fang Lang would never miss this opportunity. After all, his goal was the highest achievement in the Imperial Examination. If he did not seize an opportunity like this, why would he deserve the highest distinction?
‘Ding! The challenge mission has been accepted. The mission will begin when the host sets foot in the Spirit Pagoda.’
Enthusiasm filled Fang Lang’s heart. He quickly stood and went to look for Little Wen.
With the Dividend Reward at stake, Fang Lang had to give Little Wen and Liu Bubai some motivation. He could not afford to let them fall behind!
Fang Lang did not expect to get such a beneficial mission right after he bound Liu Bubai. He did not even have to work for it.
Could it be that the greatest reward from binding with Liu Bubai was actually gaining his ability to win without putting in any effort?
Fang Lang came to Ni Wen’s desk and made himself comfortable on the floor as if they were best friends. She was not as shy as she used to be—she even had the courage to meet his eyes.
“Little Wen, show some spirit! Let’s go to the Spirit Pagoda together and drain the entire tower!
“This is a chance for you to change your fate! I’ve told you this before: your future is to lie among the stars. This is where you take off!”
Fang Lang’s eyes twinkled as he spoke.
Hearing that, Ni Wen’s long lashes fluttered gently. Filled with excitement, a tinge of red appeared on her pale face.
She clenched her little fists, pressed her lips together and nodded hard. “Okay! Let’s… Let’s go there together!”
Not far away.
Liu Hao’s disgruntlement was evident in his expression. He scoffed when he heard Fang Lang’s words.
“You? You’re speaking as if a measly fifth-grade sword disciple can get into the top fifty honor roll.”
Liu Hao’s words were clearly meant to throw a damper on Fang Lang’s enthusiasm.
He thought, ‘Fine, I may not be able to get to the Spirit Pagoda, but what makes Fang Lang think he can?
‘Sure, his sword mastery triumphs over mine a little, and sure, he was even rewarded for it, but his cultivation abilities are too weak!
‘Gaining extra points for the Imperial Examination doesn’t mean anything for the internal exam!’
Nonetheless, Fang Lang chose to ignore Liu Hao’s mockery. With his current abilities, getting into the top 50 in Luojiang academy was a piece of cake.
There was no point in boasting. After all, actions spoke louder than words—Fang Lang chose to let reality slap Liu Hao across his face when their results were released.
Fang Lang ignored Liu Hao and took out his textbooks to engage in an exchange of cultivation knowledge with Ni Wen.
Ni Wen enjoyed these interactions very much. The shy little lady instantly turned vivacious. Even her words were filled with spirit.
Completely ignored, Liu Hao’s face flashed green and red. He scoffed coldly and left the study hall.
‘Ding! You have completed a modest interaction with your binding partner, Ni Wen. You have obtained one Grade-Rush Card Fragment.’
Another Grade-Rush Card Fragment. Fang Lang did not chat with Ni Wen for too long. She packed up her stuff soon and hurriedly left the study hall. She had to help her mother sell tofu pudding.
Fang Lang left the study block and came to the practice grounds where Liu Bubai was training in a corner.
Liu Bubai’s eyes sparkled when he saw Fang Lang. He called out to him immediately. “Come, Fang Lang! Let’s duel!”
Naturally, Fang Lang did not reject his invitation. He put on a kind smile as he unsheathed his Blooming Lotus Sword. It shone magnificently.
A short while later.
Liu Bubai’s four limbs turned to mush. He leaned against his sword, breathing heavily. In his eyes, one could see that he had gained insights about sword mastery.
‘Ding! You have enlightened your binding partner, Liu Bubai, about sword mastery, thus, completing a meaningful interaction with him. Passive ability triggered. You are rewarded with one Physical Buff Card.’
The System’s notification appeared.
Fang Lang’s eyes twinkled with joy. ‘A new card!’
‘Physical Buff Card: Single-use card. After activation, the host’s physical abilities will be buffed as if the host’s body has gone through a whole year of rigorous training. (The training process involves pain and suffering. Please use the card at your own discretion.)’
‘Amazing!’ Fang Lang thought.
The Physical Buff Card could strengthen the body. Usually, only martial arts disciples would train their bodies.
Fang Lang focused mainly on sword mastery and had no time to dabble in the alternatives.
After all, cultivation through martial arts required too much time and commitment. Nonetheless, Luojiang Academy still had its fair share of martial arts disciples. Every day, Fang Lang could see them beating themselves up with weapons on the practice grounds in an effort to train their bodies.
With this Physical Buff Card, Fang Lang could become strong just by lying on the ground!
Fang Lang shot a glance at Liu Bubai. The ability to win without effort…perhaps it was contagious?
“The internal exam is three days from now and the top fifty students will get to enter the Spirit Pagoda. You know about this, right?” Fang Lang asked.
Leaning against his sword, Liu Bubai held his chin high. Of course he knew about this.
“I’m not far away from breaking through, so I don’t know if it’ll actually benefit me,” Liu Bubai replied.
Hearing that, Fang Lang quickly seized the opportunity and advised, “Then you must hold back these two days and focus on preparing for the exam! Use the Spirit Pagoda to break through the barrier and become a sword master! You’ll be able to accomplish it in one go and not leave any regrets!”
That way, Liu Bubai would gain more spiritual energy.
In turn, Fang Lang could earn more dividends.
Liu Bubai pondered on Fang Lang’s words for a moment and decided he was right.
Breaking through in the Spirit Pagoda was the safest option. Furthermore, he could build a stronger foundation for the next stage of cultivation!
Liu Bubai raised his chin and nodded.
He admitted Fang Lang had successfully persuaded him.
Liu Bubai was about to break through into second-class sword mastery. Soon, the two would part ways.
Fang Lang kept thinking about the Physical Buff Card on his journey back to the Fang Manor. The moment he reached home, he went to his room and worked hard on his cultivation.
Old Fang appeared in the courtyard for a while but quickly left. He did not disturb Fang Lang but simply instructed the servant girl to prepare some food for Fang Lang and to reheat it every hour.
In the house.
Fang Lang had switched to Triple Binding Mode. Sitting cross-legged on the bed, he took out his spirit crystals and began to absorb the spiritual energy within.
After four hours of tedious absorption, Fang Lang found himself surrounded by piles of empty crystal husks.
He opened his eyes and exhaled a puff of air.
“System, activate Physical Buff Card.”
Fang Lang had the sudden urge to try out the card.
Resources were meant to be used; Fang Lang was trying to earn the highest distinction in the Imperial Examination, so there was no point in hoarding resources.
‘Ding! Binding mode cannot be maintained while Physical Buff Card is being activated. Activating the card will bring about excruciating pain to the host. Would you like to proceed?’ the System notified.
Fang Lang did not hesitate to proceed.
For the highest distinction, he would endure any pain.
‘Ding! Physical Buff Card activated. Training will begin in three seconds. Training lasts for ten breaths.’
The moment the countdown ended, Fang Lang belatedly realized he had greatly underestimated the amount of pain the System had warned him about.
In an instant, he felt excruciating pain consuming every inch of his body!
His veins, his bones, his skin…
Every part of him—every organ—felt as if they were being sliced open by a million blades!
After merely two breaths, Fang Lang was already drenched in sweat from top to toe.
He needed to rely on his spiritual sense and sheer will to endure the pain.
Ten breaths felt like twenty hours.
Nevertheless, Fang Lang did not give up!
For the highest achievement!
He would endure it!
Fang Lang’s eyes were bloodshot, his breathing heavy and his jaw tightly clenched. Sweat coated his skin and a low, hoarse growl sounded within his throat.
His body shook violently and he curled up into a ball.