Chapter 17: Fighting for Gold Leaves
An argument ensued atop the lofty and majestic Tree of Resonant Power. The two teachers of the First and Second Schools were butting heads over the distribution of Gold Leaves.
“Xu Shanyue, you need to understand that our First School has numerous outstanding students as a hotbed of talent. Their abilities far surpass those of the other schools, and if we were to provide better conditions, they would naturally develop even better results. They would also make better use of the resources and be able to leapfrog ahead,” Lin Feng said in a deep tone.
Xu Shanyue coldly retorted, “It might be true that the First School is exceptional, but that doesn’t mean that my Second School is trash. Does that mean that they should not be allowed to enjoy the benefits of these Gold Leaves? Plus, the Tree of Resonant Power has fifty Gold Leaves. Your First School already monopolizes forty of them. How is that not enough?”
Lin Feng frowned. “The issue isn’t whether it’s enough or not. It’s simply about who can make best use of the resources. The students of the First School are better able to take advantage of the Gold Leaves. I’m not trying to target your Second School, but it’s just the truth of the matter.”
Xu Shanyue gave a cold smile. “You are simply trying to monopolize all of Southwind Academy’s resources, all to allow just a few more of your students to enter the Astral Sage College, all for the sake of your own ego and reputation! You’re just trying to get yourself into the Astral Sage College the way I see it.”
The truth was that the Astral Sage College was not just the aim of students. Even the numerous academies’ teachers treated it as their holy land. All of their efforts were directed to their goals of teaching within the Astral Sage College. This would bring them great stature and an improvement in social status.
Having such a goal wasn’t a bad thing. However, Xu Shanyue felt that Lin Feng was being too utilitarian, only focusing on his own goals and benefits. Even the act of kicking Li Luo to the Second School wasn’t necessary. Li Luo wasn’t a bad student, he merely had a blank palace and wasn’t even a hindrance.
The only reason he had done so was to prove his might, to show the First School that he, who had just joined at that point, was not to be trifled with.
As Lin Feng took in those scathing words, his expression changed for the worse. “Xu Shanyue, don’t be an irritating troublemaker.”
The rest of the teachers of Southwind Academy tried to calm the two down at this point as they continued to trade verbal barbs to prevent the situation from worsening.
Dean Wei Sha was also left with quite a headache. The Gold Leaves of the Tree of Resonant Power were limited to begin with, and every school wanted more. This was to be expected as it would provide more opportunities for their students to develop their potential. It also affected their rankings and possible promotions.
Lin Feng had been pestering him for quite a while by now, and he had always chosen to buy more time. In the end, it seemed that a decision was in order today.
Wei Sha stared at the numerous shadows below and then gave a command with his deep and resonant voice. “The Second School’s Gold Leaves cannot be given away without reason. The fact that the First School is more illustrious is not a good reason to deprive those of the Second School the opportunity to develop.
“If you wish to compete for Gold Leaves, then leave it to the students to fight for it themselves.
“Let’s do it this way. The First School and the Second School will both pick three students, none of them exceeding the Sixth Seal Stage. Both parties will compete against each other. If the First School wins, then the Second School will give up five Gold Leaves. If the Second School wins, the First School will give up ten Gold Leaves.” Immediately after speaking, Lin Feng and Xu Shanyue both stopped arguing, their brows furrowed in deep thought.
“Dean Wei, could you kindly explain why the First School would have to give up ten Gold Leaves if they lose?” Lin Feng asked in a dissatisfied tone.
Wei Sha smiled. “That is because this entire situation was raised by you. Furthermore, the First School is stronger and hence has to pay a larger price. What else would give the Second School the incentive to challenge you?”
Lin Feng remained unconvinced, but after thinking things through, he replied in the affirmative.
This competition may have been restricted to the Sixth Seal Stage, but his First School did have the advantage here.
Xu Shanyue was a little hesitant. Even though the First School would lose ten Gold Leaves, he understood that the First School was the shining star of Southwind Academy. Their students were also head and shoulders above the ones of his school.
“Dean Wei, our Second School only has two individuals who have reached the Sixth Seal Stage,” Xu Shanyue said helplessly.
Lin Feng smiled. “You can rest assured. The students of the First School won’t give you a chance to reach that tiebreaker match.”
Xu Shanyue’s face turned black and his gaze seethed with fury.
The old dean sighed and said, “Don’t worry so much, Little Xu. If you lose, I will compensate Second School next year. This arrangement will only last for this month.” After hearing Dean Wei’s explanation, Xu Shanyue paused to consider the situation, eventually begrudgingly nodding in agreement. It seemed that in the dean’s heart, the students of First School did possess a slightly greater stature than those of the Second School.
Xu Shanyue knew that he couldn’t fault the dean for this. This was just human nature. If he didn’t favor the First School, then what else would he do? Favor the Second School?
“I will go and make the necessary arrangements.” When Xu Shanyue finished speaking, he immediately vaulted down from atop the treehouse.
Lin Feng’s face was full of smiles as he also went to find his students.
Meanwhile, going back to the students…
Bei Kun led his lackeys away while cutting a sorry figure, completely unreconciled with how things had turned out. What was worse was that Li Luo had completely disregarded him and his anger, opting to utilize unorthodox means to deal with him… This had turned into a truly headache-inducing situation.
Youths were hot-headed! Disagreements between them should be resolved with fists! Even if one was left with a bleeding head, they ought to clench their fists and just keep struggling! Who could be so shameless as to call their family thugs on a whim to settle these petty grievances?
Seeing the group of goons run off, the students of the Second School stared at Li Luo with strange expressions. They had never expected for him to bring out such a method to deal with the provocations.
“You… This… Don’t you think that was a little shameless?” Zhao Kuo couldn’t find the right words as he scratched his head, speaking in a low tone.
Li Luo lazily gave him a look. “If they wanted to bully me for having a blank palace, can I not do the same to them? An eye for an eye!”
“Well, that’s not what I mean…” Zhao Kuo wanted to retort but couldn’t put his thoughts into words, only shaking his head. This young lord was truly a little unruly.
As they spoke, Xu Shanyue appeared in front of the students of the Second School. He clapped his hands, signalling for all of the students to gather. Following which, he quickly explained the situation.
When the students heard his words, they were incensed!
“This First School has gone too far! They’ve already taken forty Gold Leaves and they still aren’t satisfied? Even going so far as to snatch ours?”
“There’s no chance in this fight. Our Second School only has two who have reached the Sixth Seal Stage…”
“Hai! Why don’t we give up…?”
After a brief period of fury, the mood became quite pessimistic. They understood the gravity of the situation, and even if they did manage to scrounge up another Sixth Seal combatant, they would still be at a relative disadvantage.
Seeing the disappointed gazes of the Second School students, Xu Shanyue helplessly sighed before deciding. “Zhao Kuo and Yuan Qiu, the two of you will be selected.”
“I won’t let you down, Teacher. I will definitely not bring shame to the Second School; I will let them know that the Second School isn’t so easily challenged!” Zhao Kuo bellowed, demonstrating his intent to battle and his hotbloodedness.
Yuan Qiu was a tall and willowy young lady. Her expression was calm as she asked, “Who’s the third?”
Xu Shanyue’s eyes swept across the group of students. All who met his eyes immediately dodged and hid. No one had the confidence to stand upon the stage.
In the end, he could only look at Li Luo. He might have a blank palace, but he was an expert in resonance arts. When it came to absolute combat strength, he was almost a match for Zhao Kuo and Yuan Qiu, making him a decent candidate.
“Alright, the last one will be Li Luo.” Xu Shanyue made his decision. “Don’t feel pressured, and losing doesn’t matter. You will be the first one up, just do your best. Once you can’t hold on, you can give up. This way, you should be able to attrite the opponent’s resonant power, giving the others after you a better chance.”
Being chosen didn’t really mean much to Li Luo. Furthermore, the Second School only had so many students who could fight.
Clearly, Xu Shanyue’s intention was for him to be cannon fodder, to deplete the opponents’ resonant power.
Li Luo’s gaze seemed to have become more complicated. He had originally wanted to keep a low profile, but it looked like the heavens wouldn’t permit it. In that case, it was truly time for the hero to showcase his exceptional hidden abilities!
Old Xu, you clearly don’t understand what sort of existence you’ve picked for this role…
There could truly be no one more fitting for such a critical task…
Your bright ideas might lead to your face becoming even more resplendent than the sun when he impresses everyone with his…
Xu Shanyue slapped Li Luo on the shoulder, causing him to stumble. “Why are you standing there in a daze? Are you scared out of your wits?”
All of the cool, brooding hero momentum that he had gathered up for the stage… had been ruined by that one slap. Almost causing him to fall face first…