Binding to Geniuses To Become Stronger - Chapter 55
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
That evening was fated to be out of the ordinary.
On the third floor of the seventh study block, the lone sound of a disheartened sigh lingered in the otherwise tranquil silence.
At the mentor’s desk, Mentor Wen was rendered speechless when he heard Fang Lang’s murmur.
‘Only two hundred and forty points?
‘How could you say that?’
Name: Fang Lang
Sword Mastery: 100
Spell Mastery: 80
Martial Arts Mastery: 60
Demon Tongue: 50
Total Score: 385
Luojiang Academy Rank: 1st
Mentor Wen scanned through Fang Lang’s results again and again. He was sure Fang Lang only managed to exceed the total score because he chose to complete the major studies section of all three disciplines.
More importantly, he noticed Fang Lang not only excelled in sword mastery—he scored pretty well in the spell mastery and martial arts mastery sections too!
If a student had chosen to treat all three disciplines as their major subjects, their opponent in the practical assessment would have had a more well rounded skill set in all three disciplines as well.
He could not believe Fang Lang was able to obtain such impressive scores under those conditions!
His score broke the all-time record in Luojiang Academy!
The study block was still immersed in silence. The students were all dumbfounded.
‘385 points? Is that even humanly possible?’
Yang Zhengyi’s jaw dropped to the floor. He widened his eyes, his long fringe drooping over his forehead. At that moment, Fang Lang felt so distant.
He wondered what it felt like to suddenly turn from an imbecile to a genius.
There was no going back…
Lang’zi was no longer the boy he used to be!
Yang Zhengyi sighed.
Meanwhile, Ni Wei’s eyes were glimmering. ‘Fang Lang’s results are so frightening!
‘Fang Lang… He’s so strong!
‘He… He’s incredible!’
With his results, they would be able to enter the Spirit Pagoda together the very next day!
After a long while of silence, chatter and discussion as loud as thunder broke out in the study hall.
Liu Hao shouted as he widened his eyes and stood up from his desk.
“The total score of the internal exam is three hundred and fifty, so how did he score three hundred and eighty-five!
“There must have been a mistake!”
Liu Hao was exasperated.
After the humiliating defeat by Fang Lang, Liu Hao had planned to regain his dignity through the internal examination. Nonetheless, with Fang Lang’s inhuman score, what dignity could he possibly regain?
Just his combat score alone was already higher than Liu Hao’s total score!
The uproar in the study hall grew louder after Liu Hao expressed his skepticism.
Even the disciples from wealthy families were beginning to question Fang Lang’s results.
On the other hand, the genius students sat in silence with troubled expressions on their faces.
That was because they knew how Fang Lang achieved that final score. That monster was a three-discipline cultivator!
That was a path only genius students would bother to look into. Ordinary students did not even know it was possible.
Mentor Wen took a glance at Liu Hao and frowned.
“Why are you so worked up?”
Mentor Wen had no intention of explaining. After all, he knew with utmost certainty that Fang Lang’s exceptional score was the result of his own hard work and capabilities.
Fang Lang had become a ninth-grade sword disciple. When taking into account the fact that he killed Lin Yun in the entertainment house as well, it came as no surprise that his combat score was remarkably high.
“Are you questioning the rules of the internal exam? Well, if that’s the case, you can stay back after class and copy the academy exam regulations ten times over. Then, you’ll be clear as to how Fang Lang achieved that score.”
Liu Hao was taken by surprise.
He opened his mouth to argue back.
However, the moment his eyes met Mentor Wen’s stern gaze, he chickened out and sat back down.
Nonetheless, Mentor Wen did not let him off the hook. He added, “Let me check your work once you’re done copying.”
Liu Hao was speechless.
Meanwhile, Fang Lang paid little to no attention to Liu Hao. He stood up and went to the front of the class to receive his red result slip while countless pairs of eyes stared at him in shock, in awe and even in admiration.
In the previous internal exam, Fang Lang did not stand out in the least bit. No one paid any attention when he went forward to receive his results. Like a nobody, he stood in a corner watching the geniuses along with others.
However, after just ten or twenty days, Fang Lang emerged with inconceivable strength, breaking the academy’s all-time record. He stood at the highest peak of Luojiang Academy.
Fang Lang returned to his desk. His brows were still tightly scrunched together as he stared at the sheet of red paper. It seemed his sigh from before was genuine, and not just him pretending to be dumb. 240 points in the combat exam was truly not enough for him.
‘How could these scores be enough to become the champion!’ Fang Lang thought.
‘Every single point counts in the battle for highest distinction!’
Fang Lang still had an additional 30 points from the Gathering of Swords to spare, but the other geniuses, too, had gained additional points from other events.
For example, the spell discipline had multiple rune-based competitions similar to the Gathering of Swords.
Similarly, the martial arts discipline had their own major competitions.
30 additional points was not a big advantage in the battle for champion. There was no way Fang Lang would relax just because he had some extra points.
“Students in the top 50 rank in this exam will be granted access to the Spirit Pagoda tomorrow. The rest of you will study cultivation in your respective study halls as usual. It will be your final push before the Imperial Examination.”
Mentor Wen announced after he handed out all the result slips. He gazed at all the students in the study hall with stern eyes.
The students replied.
Mentor Wen dismissed the students.
Before leaving the hall, Mentor Wen glared at Liu Hao and reminded, “Copy down the academy exam regulations and pass it up to me.”
Alas, he did not forget about Liu Hao.
The students left the study hall bearing the news of Fang Lang being the top scorer in the academy. Soon, the news would spread like wildfire, reaching every corner of the academy and stirring up an untamable storm among the students.
Fang Lang stood up, folded his red paper neatly and stuffed it into his sleeve.
He had once looked up to the genius students who could achieve first place in the internal exams with ample admiration; he had once thought about how he would pick up his red result slip with utmost care and caution when he became the champion of the Imperial Examination.
However, now that he had actually gotten first place in the internal exam, he realized he could never experience that compelling feeling of admiration again.
It turned out getting first place did not feel as magical as he imagined. After all, he had a higher goal in mind—becoming the champion in the Imperial Examination.
The red result slip was nothing more than a sheet of paper.
Fang Lang took out his Tang Dynasty’s Spell Scripture and went up to Ni Wen with a friendly smile. He engaged in interactions with Ni Wen pertaining to cultivation.
They were about to enter the Spirit Pagoda the very next day. Fang Lang had the bold idea of using the Spirit Pagoda to break through the shackles and become a sword master.
He also had a challenge mission to complete—to challenge his own limits. That way, he could turn all the spiritual energy he absorbed in the Spirit Pagoda into System experience points.
It was the best time to shear the sheep, so why would Fang Lang let the opportunity go to waste?
Fang Lang had to make ample preparations.
First, he had to settle his Grade-Rush Card. Although they could be used to reduce partner binding time, they could still be used for their originally intended purpose—breaking through into the next grade.
It could be used to help Fang Lang break through into sword master level the next day. Thus, he had to milk Little Wen as much as he could.
Little Wen was a treasure. Everytime he engaged in a modest interaction with her, he would obtain a Grade-Rush Card Fragment, which was very useful.
Furthermore, Fang Lang had planned to spend his 250,000 pieces of gold coin that night. He wanted to buy a premium blade to eliminate the shortcoming in his Dual Sword Technique. Moreover, he could gain experience points from it and allow the System to advance into the next level.
On top of all those, he could receive a Reward Egg for spending the coins. The Reward Egg given for spending a fixed amount could only be claimed once throughout a System level. Unfortunately, there was no way of farming these Reward Eggs.
‘Ding! You have engaged in a modest interaction with your binding partner, Ni Wen. Passive ability triggered. You have obtained a Grade-Rush Card Fragment.
‘Ding! You now have five Grade-Rush Card Fragments that can be fused together to form one Grade-Rush Card. Would you like to fuse them?’
Ni Wen’s cheeks were already red from her enthusiasm toward their conversation about spell mastery. Finally, Fang Lang achieved his goal of obtaining five Grade-Rush Card Fragments through her.
‘Fuse!’ he instructed.
‘Ding! Fusion complete. You have obtained a Grade-Rush Card.’
The System’s notifications faded away.
Fang Lang examined the Grade-Rush Card he had just obtained. His lips curled up instantly. He gazed at Ni Wen with adoring eyes,
‘This little girl is such a treasure!’
Fang Lang’s gaze made her blush. Her cheeks were burning. She quietly claimed she had to go home to help her mother sell tofu pudding. Having said that, she hurriedly gathered her things and scuttered down the study block. She ran out of the academy as the sun set.
Fang Lang stood up, smiling. Satisfied with the day’s rewards, Fang Lang stretched his body as he watched Ni Wen scurry away.
After leaving the academy, Fang Lang loitered around the main street of Luojiang City.
He went to the very end of the main street, made three right turns in a row and continued on around a hundred steps forward. Finally, he arrived at a blacksmith’s workshop located at the end of a quiet alley.
Although he had the Blooming Lotus Blade, Fang Lang still needed another premium-grade sword for his Dual Sword Technique.
He could spend the coins and make up for the weakness in his fighting technique—it was like killing two birds with one stone.
This blacksmith was recommended to him by Mentor Wen as Fang Lang had previously gone to him to inquire about places to buy swords.
It was not like the Jade Pavilion, neither was it some large company.
It was just a tiny, no-name workshop at the corner of an alleyway!
Mentor Wen had even warned Fang Lang about the strange temper of the workshop owner. The blades he forged were especially expensive, and one even had to pass some test just to buy his swords.
The owner had many peculiar quirks but Mentor Wen had nothing but praises for the blades he forged.
Clang, clang, clang!
At the forging table in the blacksmith’s workshop, a teenager was striking away at a red hot blade with a gigantic sledgehammer.
Sparks flew everywhere, like comets in the night sky.
Fang Lang could feel waves of heat bombarding him the moment he entered the workshop.
Not far from the teen sat an old man on a rocking chair. He was taking a nap with a blanket over his lap.
“Excuse me, old man, are you selling blades?”
Fang Lang turned to the old man and asked in a soft voice.
The teen continued to strike his blade while the old man continued to nap.
“Wen Ting… Master Wen—he’s the one who recommended your workshop to me.”
Fang Lang decided to bring up Old Wen’s name after some thought.
The moment he said his mentor’s name, an odd feeling overcame Fang Lang. The hair on his body all stood erect.
Something about the atmosphere felt wrong!
The sound of the teen’s hammering from within the workshop came to an abrupt stop.
The eyes of the old man who sat upright on the rocking chair suddenly shot open.
An invisible yet terrifying energy pervaded the interior of the workshop. Every hanging blade within the building vibrated and rang.
Bang! The wooden door of the workshop’s entrance slammed shut behind Fang Lang and bolted shut!
‘What are these people doing locking the door so early?
‘What exactly did Old Wen do? Did he steal a blade from them or something!’ Fang Lang wondered.
Fang Lang took half a step back but suddenly found himself frozen at the spot!
He was too careless.