Volume 1 – Between Daybreak and Evernight, Chapter 12: The Cost of the Past
Hearing Sun Ni’s words, Zhang Jing immediately relaxed. Shrugging, she said, “That’s a game of the higher ups. It shouldn’t concern us, should it?”
Shadow did not speak. He simply nodded.
Sun Ni’s gaze came to rest on Qianye’s body. “It concerns us, but only a little bit. We don’t need to concern ourselves with why this child survived. At this moment, we just have to worry about what to do with him. Give him the typical training in accordance with regulations. If he wants to survive, he can only rely on himself. Even if he does survive, it won’t concern our Yellow Springs.”
After a moment of silence, Sun Ni continued, “No matter what, we will treat the origin power theft as nothing. Regardless of who did it, it doesn’t concern our Yellow Springs. If that person wants to cause us trouble, we have nothing to fear! There is no need to worry about this matter. This is the chief’s wish.”
At that moment, Zhang Jing’s absentminded expression turned into one of shock. Everyone else was shocked as well. She asked, “The chief is back?”
Sun Ni did not reply, but slightly nodded his head.
The instructors that were present revealed excited expressions. Even Long Hai smiled childishly.
Director Sun walked around Qianye and said, “Well, giving him a bit of care right now is fine. He probably would not survive this otherwise. The timing is quite unfortunate… him dying now would make the Yellow Springs Training Camp seem afraid of those families! Mn, I’ve already inspected his body. The Combatant Formula’s method of assailing the Aura Sea node needs some tweaking. Zhang Jing, when this kid wakes up, explain it to him like this!”
Sun Ni nodded, then turned to leave.
The instructors glanced at each other, and Shen Tu started treating Qianye.
At this moment, a hint of pity appeared in Zhang Jing’s eyes as she gazed at Qianye. This was actually an extremely talented child whose talent resulted in him being targeted by the taboo act of origin power theft!
It was a pity that it was too late. Even the most talented of individuals would become mediocre after having their origin power stolen and would only amount to a normal cultivator.
When Qianye woke up, he immediately noticed that the scenery he saw was familiar. He was on the metal stage of the classroom for Biological Structure. His heart immediately thumped. If it weren’t for the fact that his body was still numb, he would have accidentally fallen from the stage because of this.
He immediately felt a hot sensation in his chest, and throbs of pain would wash over him occasionally.
“You’re awake? Come down on your own!”
Turning around, he saw Zhang Jing currently had her back toward him. Her upper body lay across one of the laboratory workbenches as she constantly wrote something. The curve of her back extremely attractive.
After wiggling his fingers, Qianye barely managed to sit up and then get off of the stage. The moment his feet landed on the ground, however, his body went limp as he collapsed to the ground.
The sound of surprise escaped from Zhang Jing’s lipsin sudden realization. “I forgot that you still have anesthesia in your body.”
After walking over, Zhang Jing helped Qianye up and placed him onto a chair before passing him a piece of paper. She said, “Memorize this right now and ask me about anything you’re unsure of. You can only read this here—bringing it outside is not allowed.”
Zhang Jing’s unexpected kindness did not make Qianye comfortable. On the contrary, he felt uneasy. She was definitely not as gentle as she currently seemed to be. She was a vicious woman that even Long Hai avoided.
An formula was described on the paper. In just a moment, Qianye understood what it was. This was an edited version of the Combatant Formula that talked about the assailing the Aura Sea node.
“From today onward, use this cultivation method until you’ve ignited your Aura Sea node. However, there may be some pain in the process. If there are other uncomfortable repercussions, you find me in my living quarters. I will instruct the guards to grant you entry.”
Zhang Jing left the room after speaking, leaving Qianye by himself to memorize the formula.
Qianye finished memorizing it half an hour later. He then followed Zhang Jing’s instructions to rip the formula into shreds before placing it on the table and leaving.
Zhang Jing’s living quarters were not far from the camp. As he passed through the forest, Qianye noticed Song Zining resting against a tree and looking up at the sky.
Following his eyes, Qianye looked up as well, but it was just the normal blue sky above them. Clouds were speckled across it, but nothing else present, not even a bird.
“What are you looking at?” Qianye asked curiously.
“The great way and the future,” was Song Zining’s surprising answer.
Qianye knew what the word, “future,” meant, but he did not know what Song Zining meant by “great way”.
“Are you okay?” Song Zining nonchalantly asked before Qianye could reply.
After some hesitation, Qianye replied, “An instructor said that there’s something wrong with my original cultivation method and helped me edit it.”
Song Zining suddenly became rather nervous as he asked, “Which instructor?“
“Then it’s fine!” Song Zining’s expression relaxed. “Don’t worry, everyone has different dispositions, and using a specific cultivation method might not suit some people. A method would naturally be tweaked if there were any problems with it. Zhang Jing is not simple, but if she’s the one teaching you about cultivation, it will be nothing but beneficial. However…”
Seeing that Song Zining wanted to say something, but for some reason couldn’t, Qianye hurriedly asked, “However what?”
Song Zining did not reply. He just looked Qianye up and down with interest before saying, “Nothing. You’ll find out eventually. Hehe!”
He laughed rather strangely before leaving, ignoring Qianye.
Watching Song Zining’s departing figure, Qianye was full of suspicion. Song Zining wouldn’t have come all the way here just to look at whatever great way and future in the sky. Perhaps he was worried about something and came here to wait for Qianye?
Despite being able to secure the top position for a few months, the children behind Song Zining were hot on his tail. Cultivation periods were extremely precious here. Without hard work, one would easily be left behind. In the hearts of the children, the things that were most important to them were time and the Vermillion Countenance Blood.
Because of this, Qianye engraved the image of Song Zining’s back deep into his heart.
Some things were better left unsaid. When the time came, one would naturally understand.
This was the first time in these past few months that they spoken so much with each other. Qianye had never before heard of many things that Song Zining talked about. It seemed that this child’s identity was not as simple as his introduction.
Checking the time, Qianye noticed that there were only ten minutes left before the next lesson. Therefore, he quickened his pace and rushed to the small valley ahead.
Once the fragrance of the Vermillion Countenance Blood surrounded him, Qianye entered a state of meditation and started cultivating. This time, he slowly led the origin tides according to the new formula, slowly inching toward the Aura Sea node in his chest.
However, the moment that the origin tides entered the scarred area, it was as if they had entered a road made from mud—every movement was difficult and arduous. The movement of the origin power in the area of his wound was like having a iron brush rub his scar raw. The intense pain almost caused Qianye to faint once more.
The newly edited Combatant Formula definitely reduced the pain that Qianye felt, allowing him to stay conscious.
Animosity and determination permeated Qianye’s bones as he gritted his teeth and endured the pain without making a sound. He quickly noticed that not only was there intense pain coming from his injury, the movement speed of the origin power had also slowed, decreasing the strength of his origin power. He could only try to accumulate a denser amount origin power to match his usual attacking strength.
However, heavier movement meant even more pain.
Qianye could only bear it as he tried to ignore the senses of his body. The pain was something that normal humans wouldn’t be able to endure, and after only half an hour passed, Qianye could no longer hold on. He depleted all his strength.
This cultivation session did reap some rewards, however. His origin power did increase, just at an incredibly slow speed. Darkness appeared in Qianye’s heart as he rubbed the scar on his chest. He did not know who left such a scar on him, but it had been affecting his fate and his life up to this point, dragging him through the mud and into the abyss!
The children had a short amount of free time at night. This was the time to learn something or train. This was the little bit of freedom that the children were given, which they could use to control the development of their future.
Qianye chose to go to Zhang Jing. The guards who had received her instructions did not stop him.
Zhang Jing lived by herself in her courtyard. The buildings here were different from the ones in the camp, where the only materials were green stone and gold. The entire courtyard had a retro imperial style. The main building was a corniced two story building with an elegant theme.
Just by looking around, one could tell that Zhang Jing was different from the other instructors. Long Hai and the others lived in an apartment building with an exterior that resembled a steel box.
Just as Qianye raised his hand to gently knock the copper lion ring on the door, Zhang Jing’s voice could be heard. “Just enter. The door isn’t locked.”
Walking through the courtyard and into the house, Qianye carefully avoided anything and everything.
Zhang Jing was not in the living room. Instead, she was in the bedroom where the sounds of rushing water could be heard. She was taking a bath.
Qianye did not feel annoyed at all, and he simply stood there. He had already learned patience and obedience in these past few years. Before he was given an order, staying still was the best choice.
After a while, Zhang Jing walked out from the room with only a bathrobe covering her. Glancing at Qianye, she sank into her sofa.
Her bathrobe seemed to be rather small. It was also short—too short to cover her extremely long, snow white legs. Her ample chest, which was restrained by the robe, threatened to spill out at any moment.
In Qianye’s eyes, those long legs seemed very attractive. Their every movement was like a light flashing in front of his eyes.
Children who grew up during wars and in the countryside matured very quickly. Before the empire had been created, humankind continuously produced soldiers for war, constantly lowering the age of marriage. For the survival of mankind, the human body adapted to mature faster and faster, and now even fourteen to fifteen year olds could create a family.
Ten year old Qianye was not considered that young. Furthermore, these children had cultivated the Combatant Formula, which was oriented toward explosive growth, since they were young, and it played a role in changing their bodies. The Biological Structure class had also given them a very detailed explanation regarding the human body.
Zhang Jing, however, did not seem to realize that Qianye was no longer an innocent child, and carelessly stretched her back. This made her legs straighten, almost revealing something that shouldn’t be seen.
As if his heart had been smashed by a hammer, Qianye saw stars in his vision and his mind felt a little dizzy. It was as if the entire world had become different… but did the world change, or did he?
“Little Qianye, what are you here for?” Zhang Jing asked lazily.
Qianye did not dare to look at her too much and quickly asked about the problems he came across while cultivating. He couldn’t tell if the pain he felt during cultivation was normal or abnormal.
Becoming somewhat serious, she gestured to Qianye with her hands. “Come closer.”