Chapter 281 – Heavenly Meridians Prodigy
The female instructor rubbed her eyes. Was she dreaming?
However, the child with extremely delicate facial features but a neutral expression was clearly at the third layer.
The other instructors were alarmed too, walking over to take a look. They saw Xiao An and looked at her like she was a monster as well. They were filled with disbelief.
According to the rules of the academy, children that could not develop a feeling of qi within three months would be expelled. Even if they managed to sense it, they would still have to remain here for three months and learn some basics, forbidden to make contact with the outside world.
Xiao An had originally been rather reluctant to stand out too much, but the thought of not being able to see him for three months immediately made her worried. This was a form of yearning, and it was even more unbearable than being burnt by fire.
As a result, only one choice was available before her, which was to complete the Innate Method of Practising Qi and reach the third layer as a Qi Practitioner. To her, this was nothing difficult.
The female instructor screeched, “That’s impossible! She must have been hiding her cultivation.”
In the history of the academy, there were geniuses who had managed to complete the Innate Method of Practising Qi within three months, but just how long did it take her? Two hours?
The other instructors all nodded. This was the most logical explanation. After three months, the child with the highest cultivation would receive a precious reward. Since she was in possession of something as precious as a communication ring, possessing a spiritual artifact that could hide her aura would be nothing strange at all. The person behind her wanted to use this method to get his hands on the reward, but he must have never expected children to be so simple-minded.
The female instructor called out, “How despicable. I was wondering how she could fool my eyes when she kicked that kid. Little liars like this should be severely punished and immediately expelled from the academy.”
The large hall became noisy. The restless children just happened to be at the end of their patience with meditation, so they all opened their curious eyes now that something so interesting was going on. They began discussing among themselves, and some of them even gathered over slowly.
Only Xiao An remained as quiet as before, but a rare sliver of worry appeared on her face now. She said, “I’m going.” before making her way out of the hall.
“Where do you think you’re running off to?” The female instructor extended her hand sternly, kicking up a swift breeze. She wanted to teach her a proper lesson.
Xiao An looked back and clenched her fist.
“Stop!” A plump old man made his way over in just a few steps and grabbed the female instructor’s hand.
The female instructor said, “Professor, she…”
“There’s no need to say anything. I’ve heard it all.”
The instructors of the academy were all composed of disciples who could not afford the school fees but wanted to remain in the academy. Their cultivations were not necessarily higher than the disciples of the various schools. For example, the female instructor had only just overcome the major obstacle of the sixth layer.
Professors were equivalent to high level instructors. Their cultivations were even higher. The plump old man was at the ninth layer, and he was responsible for all the education on this island, guiding these children who were new to cultivation.
The plump, old man was a kind person. When he saw how she was about to lay her hands so heavily on such a cute little girl, he objected very much inside. “Let’s leave this up to the leaders of the schools!” Afterwards, he said to Xiao An kindly, “Little girl, can you lend me your hand?”
Xiao An nodded. She loosened her fist and raised her hand.
The plump old man gripped her thin wrist with three fingers and injected some true qi. At first, he was in doubt, but soon, he was overcome by shock. “T- this…”
The female instructor said, “She’s just a little liar!”
The plump old man barked, “Shut up!”
The female instructor shivered in fright. Even the other instructors rarely treated her so harshly, so they were taken aback. They wondered what he had discovered.
The plump old man ignored their doubts. He removed the jade tablet from his waist and injected it with true qi.
Just as Liu Zhangqing argued with everyone else over which school Chu Tian should belong to, the jade tablet on his waist flashed. He picked it up and touched it gently with a finger. The plump old man’s rather hoarse voice rang out, “Leader, a child has already reached the third layer.”
Liu Zhangqing frowned. “You’re kidding with me.”
“They must have hidden their cultivation!” Liu Zhangqing gave it a moment of thought and came to the most logical conclusion. However, being able to reach the third layer at such a young age was still quite rare. They might have possessed ill intentions, but it was still a pity, so just a slight punishment would do.
Right as he was about to order the plump old man to bring the child over, he heard the old man say, “It’s not that either.”
Every single person seated there had sharp senses. They all stopped bickering and looked over at Liu Zhangqing.
Liu Zhangqing asked impatiently, “Then what’s going on?”
“I think… she’s a Heavenly Meridians prodigy.” The old man gulped, as if even he was not convinced.
Liu Zhangqing was momentarily stunned. He wanted to cover up the jade tablet, but it was already too late. The eyes of the various leaders all lit up like the eyes of wolves.
All Liu Zhangqing could do was continue asking, “Are you sure?”
The ears of all the leaders pricked up. Not only were they excited and eager, but they were also rather doubtful too. All of them had heard about Heavenly Meridians prodigies before, but none of them had seen one. That was even rarer than the Pure Yang and Five Elements constitutions.
“All eight extraordinary meridians, twelve standard meridians, and various acupoints are open,” the plump old man uttered a total of twelve words, completely summarising a Heavenly Meridians prodigy.
The slovenly daoist priest immediately snatched over the controls for the Watermirror disc. The image changed, depicting a tiny island. The island enlarged rapidly, flying into their faces. The image passed through the golden-yellow eaves and landed on the old man. His expression was both stern and solemn. The image immediately moved over to Xiao An beside him, and the daoist priest cried out, “It’s her!”
As a result, no more doubts existed anymore. The Watermirror disc had depicted her just earlier. Back then, she truly did not possess any auras befitting of a Qi Practitioner. There were no concealing spiritual artifacts that could fool the eyes of a group of Foundation Establishment cultivators. Even if a spiritual artifact like that did exist, it was not something a third layer Qi Practitioner kid could control.
She really was a Heavenly Meridians prodigy!
Everyone’s expressions changed. Heavenly Meridians prodigies were born with connected meridians, allowing their true qi to circulate without any obstructions at all. Cultivating to the tenth layer would be a piece of cake for them. Another way to put it would be that their constitutions were similar to tenth layer Qi Practitioners who had lost all of their true qi. All they needed to do was fill it up with true qi again.
Most cultivators in the world would be stuck as Qi Practitioners forever. Even those in possession of the Pure Yang constitution and the Five Elements constitution required great effort to break through the bottlenecks one by one, climbing up step by step. However, Heavenly Meridians prodigies did not share this issue. Instead, the issue they faced from the very beginning was how to reach Foundation Establishment.
The Pure Yang constitution was more suited to the schools of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. Meanwhile, although the Five Elements constitution did cover a larger range, at least it was not enough to interest the school of Yin-yang. However, all sects, schools, and clans would be interested in a Heavenly Meridians prodigy. No matter how aloof these leaders were, they would still roll up their sleeves, ready to contend with one another. If they won, then they would be winning over a Foundation Establishment cultivator at the very least.
They finally understood why Qiu Haitang had offered her that promise. She was enough for any sect or clan to support with all the resources they possessed.
Liu Zhangqing said, “Bring her to Contention island immediately and have her yin, yang, and five elements tested!”
“And, that woman, whatever she’s called, she’s not suitable for guiding children. Send her back to Contention island for her to reflect on her actions!”
This time, even Wang Pushi agreed with the decision. What kind of dirty woman are you supposed to be? Is a Heavenly Meridians prodigy someone you can wrongly accuse?
Suddenly, he thought of something and secretly cursed Liu Zhangqing for his craftiness. He has been so loud on purpose, clearly wanting to ingratiate himself with the kid. No, I need to get little Hua to talk to Li Qingshan about this. Whether he can be promoted to a Scarlet Wolf will depend on his behaviour this time.
“Sir, sir!” The female instructor’s cries rang out from the jade tablet. Through the Watermirror disc, they could all see her face turn sheet white the moment she heard Liu Zhangqing’s decision.
Only Xiao An remained unfazed, which disappointed Liu Zhangqing slightly. Suddenly, he raised his head and looked at Wang Pushi. Sparks seemed to fly. The leaders of the schools all look at one another with hostility.
Clang! Clang! Clang! There were three resonant sounds.
In the corner of the room, an old man brimming with a rustic aura struck the ground three times with his smoking pipe, shaking out the ash.
The old man’s face that was riddled with gullies was a brownish-yellow, as if he himself had been smoked. He wore a short, white gown as he half-sat, half-crouched on the chair. He seemed like an old farmer who had tended to the land his entire life, which made him stand out very much. Suddenly, his eyes swiveled, and the light and wisdom that flickered through them gave away his true identity, the leader of the school of Agriculturalism.
He was the oldest here, so old that no one knew exactly how old he was. Everyone showed some respect to him, and even the slovenly daoist priest was no exception. No one knew his original name anymore either. All they knew was that his surname was Huang, and he called himself earth elder Huang.
“Everyone, please calm down. It’s just a Heavenly Meridians prodigy. Look at how startled you’ve become, losing your composers as leaders of schools.” As earth elder Huang said that, he added a tobacco leaf to his pipe. Firelight flickered in the darkness, and the smell of smoke wafted out.
When he saw Yu Zijian or Chu Tian, he did not say a single word. Affairs involving humans were never constant. They would constantly fluctuate. He seemed to have grown accustomed to it, so he no longer placed much emphasis on it.
“Have you seen one before, elder?” Liu Zhangqing asked politely.
“Over two centuries ago, I did see one.”
“What about now?”
All of the leaders listened closely. Even the coldest out of all of them, Han Anjun, could not help but listen attentively. Just what had the Heavenly Meridians prodigy attained after two hundred years? They must have reached much more than Foundation Establishment, but if they did, they would not be a figure without renown, yet they had never heard of someone like this before.
Earth elder Huang let out a puff of smoke. “Now, I’m sitting here, and he has already been buried for a century.” He did not go into any more detail. The death of a nameless figure was not worth any more detail than that, no matter how great of a genius he was in the past.
The leaders all came to a realisation. Good talent bore no semblance on how far someone could make it. In particular, Wang Pushi lamented about this a lot. Back then, there were so many Qi Practitioners with better talent than him that he could not even count them all even if he had ten hands, but in the end, only he had made it so far.
They all could not help but sigh that experience came with age, and people would only grow firmer with age.
The Watermirror disc was still locked onto Xiao An. They would still contend against one another for her, but they had settled down.
Finally, the last Qi Practitioner had been tested. The instructors let out a yawn, about to take the Qi Practitioners to lunch.
Suddenly, a shuttle pierced through the sky. The plump old man got off with Xiao An, while behind them was the sunken female instructor. She was very dissatisfied, and she utterly refused to accept this. She was basically staring daggers at Xiao An, tempted to slice her up. However, the child never took her seriously the entire time.
At this moment, she felt a sharp gaze sweep past her face. She raised her head and saw a frosty young man staring at her with a frown, which made her shiver inside for some reason.
PS: I normally celebrate my birthday by the lunar calendar, so not October 2, but the 22nd of the 8th month. Yep, which was two days ago. The issue is that my mum just remembered it today, and then I only remembered it after she reminded me. What did I eat for lunch on that day? Half a bowl of salty as hell noodles, and that’s not even the first time. Table flip! I must be adopted, right? I must be adopted! At least remember which day I was adopted! Sobs.