Chapter 864: Regarding the Ability of the Sword Master (Part 2)
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Ren Baqian met Qing Lian on the second day.
He already knew that this convoy had passed through Ping City 13 days ago, but only learned that Qing Lian was in the convoy yesterday.
On the morning of the second day, Ren Baqian saw an elegant lady waiting at the entrance of the academy.
The appointment was supposed to be in the afternoon, but seeing her at this time, Ren Baqian understood that she was here to familiarize herself. Since she was his student, he let her in and didn’t object.
When they sat down, Ren Baqian looked at Qing Lian. She had been in the rebel army for more than a year, but hadn’t changed much. Her skin didn’t turn darker, she was still a determined person, and she was still like the refined lady she had been when she was here earlier.
“Principal! I’m here to return the books!”
Qing Lian had a wide forehead and her mouth was a little big, but these features weren’t blemishes on her face, and she was beautiful when she smiled. Her most important attribute was her scholarly temperament, which was rare in this world.
Ren Baqian took the books. Three of them were mathematical tomes. Two were about probability theory while one of the books was about calculus.
In this world, this was advanced knowledge.
Well, they were also considered complex subjects on Earth, and many people were attracted to them, yet confounded by them.
Anyway, Ren Baqian knew that if she wanted to depend on him to pass the calculus examination, it would be as difficult as defeating the empress.
“Have you understood it?” Ren Baqian asked genially even though he was full of malicious thoughts. He would let them see the power of calculus.
He had thought that he would be able to lock his students in the classroom for a few years as they pulled their hair in despair while studying calculus, but surprisingly, someone had knowledge of it in advance.
“I understand most of it, but there’s a little bit that I do not understand and I was about to consult you! As for the fixed point theorem, there’s one part that I can’t understand.”
Qing Lian took out a wooden board and used a hairpin to engrave numbers on it.
“It’s this: if F is a continuous mapping function from sphere to sphere, then there must be a point c such that F(c) = c or – c. That is, F either has a fixed point or has a point mapped to its diametrical point… ”
Ren Baqian’s smile was immediately frozen.
The terrifying memories of calculus resurfaced. He felt a headache and had the urge to pull his hair.
Well, there was no hair now.
“Stop!” Ren Baqian interrupted and asked evasively, “Are you here to test me today?”
Qing Lian blinked and replied, “How can that be? I’m your student and am here to consult you. As for this question, I do not think there is anyone else in this world besides you who can explain it to me!”
She deduced the reason why Ren Baqian refused to answer her. Ren Baqian’s reason was probably only 30 percent true, there was a 50 percent probability he couldn’t answer, and the rest are probably 20 percent.
In other words, there was a 50 percent chance that Ren Baqian could answer her question.
Plus, the probability of meeting others who could answer this question within three years was one in a million. Within ten years, it was one in about 10,000 and in 20 years, one in a 100.
The probability of success improved with time. 20 years later, she might meet the right person… but this was too long.
She still had to depend on Zhao Prince Consort.
Ren Baqian inexplicably felt goosebumps all over his body. He suddenly had the impression that there was a demon underneath Qing Lian’s peaceful outlook.
Ren Baqian would never touch calculus again!
However, he couldn’t admit it now.
“The group of students you know are about to graduate in two months. After graduation, some of them will continue to learn more advanced knowledge. If you can give up everything and go back to school, then I will talk about calculus. I lent you my books because you are sincere in studying, but in what capacity are you asking me for my advice now?” Ren Baqian thought that his excuse was good. She wasn’t his student now, but was an adviser of a rebel army in Great Xia.
He continued, “I will not answer your tough question as you currently aren’t my student.”
Actually, this reason wasn’t that good, but Ren Baqian couldn’t give a better reason without exposing his ignorance.
Qing Lian was taken aback and laughed, saying, “I was too rash.”
She smiled brightly as she proposed a request with an 87 percent probability of success, “To ensure better communication with Dayao, Duke Su wants to send an envoy to Lan City. After completing my affairs, I will be the ambassador. By then, Principal Ren shouldn’t refuse to accept me into the academy.
Ren Baqian exclaimed, “Send an envoy? In whose name?”
Duke Su was Su Qing. He called himself Duke Su after the uprising. The rebel army had grown in scale to about a million people, but it was still a peasant army. It was normal to ask Dayao for help, but sending an envoy was another matter.
“In the name of Emperor Ping!” Qing Lian said with a slight smile.
Ren Baqian gently tapped the table with his fingers as he pondered.
The battle between Dayao and Great Xia seemed to sap their vigor. In addition to the corrupt officials who imposed excessive taxes, there were spies dispatched by Su Qing to spread unrest, and many people were left destitute.
The slogan used initially was “Food for everyone!” This slogan won over many citizens who were barely surviving. Coupled with the shortage of soldiers in Great Xia, the uprising became fervent.
Although most of the elite soldiers in Great Xia had been wiped out, there were still many capable generals in the imperial court who were able to train a batch of competent soldiers after one to two years. Although half of their territory was gone, they managed to stabilize their position. This resulted in a stalemate that was unlikely to be broken in the short run.
Su Qing wanted to proclaim himself as emperor due to this situation.
In the short term, Ren Baqian thought that the situation was unlikely to progress and this wasn’t considered the best solution, but it would reassure the people.
If he sent the envoy after proclaiming himself emperor, it would still be acceptable.
“I will fill you in with more details when we meet this afternoon.” Qing Lian gave a slight bow.
Ren Baqian nodded. In the afternoon, she would be treated as an emissary in public.
Right now, it was a private matter.
It was a pity she had to bring up the topic of calculus.
Qing Lian tucked her hair behind her ears and said, “I want to borrow more books, and I don’t think you will reject me. You just said that I was sincere in studying…”
“You may leave!” Ren Baqian waved his hands. “Take your wooden board away!”
“I will leave this here. When I return next time, I will ask Principal Ren to answer the question again if I still do not understand!” Qing Lian bowed and then retreated.
Ren Baqian sat in his chair, looked at the writing on the wooden board, and started to get a headache.
A long time after Qing Lian departed, Ren Baqian went out to dig a hole and buried the wooden board. He felt relieved after doing this.
Ren Baqian returned to his office and was soon deep in thought.
Although Qing Lian had learned mathematics before, it was only up to a junior high school level. She came to the academy to learn modern elementary school and junior high school geometry and algebra. Unexpectedly, she picked up calculus by herself.
Without any guidance, she taught herself high school and university level mathematics… and her standard was high.
This was something extraordinary!
He had to admit that there were people favored by heaven.
For example, the martial arts skill of the empress, Ning Caichen’s performance on Earth, and Qing Lian…
Suddenly, Ren Baqian thought of something.
Ning Caichen and Qing Lian?
He only knew two sword masters. Was it a coincidence that both were so talented?
Did he happen to meet all the geniuses?
Ren Baqian recalled that he had read this before. A thousand years ago, there was a magnificent period where thousands of sword masters were born. They fought against each other and passed down their fame.
However, it was too far in the past, so there weren’t many details and he didn’t think much about it.
Furthermore, these sword masters were forbidden from becoming court officials.
The reason was very simple. Sword masters needed a lot of resources to build their sword incubating pool. Thus, the chances of corruption and bribery were very high.
In addition, for the sake of their lives, these sword masters had to spend a lot of energy collecting strange treasures and even had to stay for long periods in the remote mountains and forests to search for these treasures.
Gradually, people didn’t notice them anymore.
However, Ren Baqian was doubtful. Suddenly, a question popped into his head.
Of the Spirit Wheel experts from a thousand years ago, how many were recorded in the history books? Even their fellow disciples didn’t know.
A thousand years, which was 10 generations, was really too long ago.
Furthermore, the lifespan of a sword master was short and very few became Spirit Wheel experts. Therefore, their numbers were certainly lower than the number of martial artists.
Under such circumstances, to be able to leave a great imprint on history wasn’t dependent on strength alone.
Was it possible that the sword masters’ skill was diverted? Although they couldn’t practice martial arts, their talents in other aspects were much greater than that of ordinary people. If this was the case, it was rather scary!
After seeing Ning Caichen and Qing Lian, Ren Baqian felt that this conjecture was not invalid and that the possibility was very high.