Chapter 286 – The Five Schools Chosen
The afternoon sunlight poured into the bookstore, illuminating the dust in the air.
Under the plaque of “Sea of Books” were a few long tables, covered in books. Sun Fubai had his head lowered as he sorted them. Suddenly, he felt his vision darken. A young man stood in front of the table. He had a robust figure, and while his bronze face was not handsome, he radiated with masculinity.
“Sir, what are you looking for?”
Li Qingshan glanced at Sun Fubai. Hope you are well. He lowered his head to check out the books and almost burst out laughing. The tables were covered with books like “Secrets of the Confucian Exam” or “Eight Methods to the Daoist Exam”. They were not pricey either, just a spiritual stone for one.
“I haven’t decided on the schools to enrol in yet. Do you have any recommendations, uncle?”
Sun Fubai immediately took out a book that gave a brief introduction to each school. Li Qingshan flipped through it slightly and paid a spiritual stone, but he put the book back down. “I’m not good with books. You don’t have any guests right now, so why don’t you give me some recommendations, uncle? I’ll buy another five books according to my needs.”
Li Qingshan placed great trust in Sun Fubai’s experience and moral character. After arriving in the Town of Flowing Clouds, he had rushed right over here immediately, wanting to hear his recommendations.
Sun Fubai was surprised. There were not a lot of people like him. He passed the spiritual stone back to Li Qingshan and smiled. “If you want to buy them, then I’ll explain them to you for free! Pass it over so that I can take a look!” After looking at the colourful piece of paper, he nodded. “Seventeen years old. Not bad, not bad. Do you have any schools that you’d like to join?”
Li Qingshan said, “I’m originally a Hawkwolf Guard, so the school of Legalism would be my first choice. I’ve also dabbled in some Body Practitioner techniques too, so the school of the Military seems like quite a good choice too. I have an old friend in the school of Mohism, so that’s also within my considerations. As for the school of Confucianism and Daoism, they’re both impressive major schools, so they seem to be five.”
Sun Fubai shook his head with a smile. “The school of Mohism is good, but it doesn’t suit you very much. If I’m not mistaken, you practise Gui Water true qi!”
Li Qingshan said, “Yes.” And I even purchased the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi from you.
“Why don’t I tell you which schools you’re not suited for first?”
“I won’t go into the school of Mohism. As for the school of Buddhism, I don’t think you look like a person who wants to become a monk. The school of Confucianism prefers Profound Yang true qi, but of course, Gui Water true qi works too. Though, if you want to pass the school of Confucianism’s examination, you’d need to be rather good with literature. At the very least, you need some foundation, or you’ll struggle to pass even if you buy my Secrets of the Confucian Exam.”
Li Qingshan shook his head. Ever since he reincarnated, he had barely read any books at all. He could still recite some poetry and lyrics from his past life, but he knew that was nowhere close to being rather good with literature. And, he had no interest in holding a position in the government either, so it seemed like he could only give up on the school of Confucianism.
“Although the school of Legalism is technically your original school, the core cultivation methods they practise require you to resonate with the realm of Hell, which regular people refer to as the netherworld. Normally, it’s best if you practise Profound Yin and another type of true qi from the five elements. Your Profound Yang surpasses your Profound Yin, so it’ll be difficult for you.”
The realm of Hell! Only then did Li Qingshan learn that this aspect existed for the school of Legalism. The school of Legalism primarily dealt with punishment and torture, but there was no place more punishing and tortuous than hell. If it were not for Sun Fubai, he would have absolutely no inkling about the school of Legalism. So much for Hua Chengzan, not even warning him in advance.
Though, Hua Chengzan did not deserve the blame here. Li Qingshan was different from those weaker, second or third layer Qi Practitioners. He had already reached the sixth layer with the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi. There was no need for him to switch cultivation methods. If he reached Foundation Establishment and stepped through these gates to cultivation, would a suitable cultivation method really serve as an issue to him? In this aspect, Sun Fubai was instead not as knowledgeable as Hua Chengzan.
Li Qingshan thought, It’s not like damned ol’ Wang Pushi likes me anyway. If I join the school of Legalism, I’ll have to put up with him every single day. That would be horrible. “Then I’m not going to enrol for the school of Legalism.”
Sun Fubai said, “The school of Yin-yang requires a general balance between yin, yang, and the five elements, so you don’t have a chance either. Let’s see, just how many remain now?”
“The schools of Daoism, the Military, Miscellany, Names, Agriculture, Novels, Medicine, and Music.” Li Qingshan felt his thoughts clear up. All he needed to do was drop another three schools now.
Sun Fubai said, “The schools of Daoism and the Military are both major schools, so you have to choose them. Gui Water true qi is suited for the schools of Names and Agriculture too, so that’s four schools now. All you need to do is fill in the remaining spot with any of the minor schools. You have enough talent to freely choose among them anyway.”
“Alright!” Li Qingshan immediately borrowed a brush and some ink from Sun Fubai, filling in the sheet of paper with the schools of Daoist, the Military, Names, and Agriculture. Only one blank was left. The remaining schools were all minor schools, so they could not rival these major schools when it came to both cultivation methods and resources. Often, they would be the final options for Qi Practitioners with the worst talent.
Li Qingshan did not hesitate much at all. He was about to fill it in with “Music”. During times of loneliness in the past, the reed pipe would accompany him. He had grown rather attached to it.
And, when he saw the school leaders earlier, the leader of the school of Music was a beautiful madam in palace wear. Her beautiful voice that sounded like an oriole’s song left a deep impression on him. If he joined that school, perhaps something immoral and condemned by society could unfold.
Of course, this was just the deep-rooted bad habits of men at work.
Sun Fubai stared at the “high jia” evaluation for Li Qingshan’s water element. After faltering for quite a while, he finally blurted out, “Uhh, the Gui Water true qi is extremely suitable for the school of Novels.”
“Really?” Li Qingshan was surprised, but soon afterwards, he filled in the blank with “Novels” with a flick of his brush. He brought it to the sun and took a look. “Done!” It was just a filler anyway, so it did not matter what he wrote.
Right now, it was time for Qi Practitioners to choose their schools. All they needed to do was to take part in the tests for their five schools, and it would be up to the schools to choose their Qi Practitioners. If they passed all the tests, then the choice would be up to the Qi Practitioner again. It basically guaranteed everyone to join a school, with nobody missing out. It was very different from how sects recruited disciples.
Li Qingshan took out five spiritual stones. “Uncle, please give me the books for the five schools!”
As if he was extremely embarrassed, he refused one of the spiritual stones. “The test for the school of the Military is actual combat, so you don’t need a book.”
Li Qingshan was extremely confident in his ability for actual combat. “Then four books! Heh, I wonder what the school of Novels tests. Don’t tell me it’s writing stories!” For some reason, he thought of the shitty book Sun Fubai had given to him in the past again. If he wrote a story like that, he would probably be chased out of the exam venue!
Sun Fubai became even more uneasy. He shoved all the spiritual stones back into Li Qingshan’s hands. “Sigh. Actually, with your talent, you don’t need to make any preparations at all. As long as you show up, the school leaders will all accept you.”
At the end of the day, the tests and examinations were just a formality. Whether someone passed was completely up to the school leader. With Li Qingshan’s cultivation at the sixth layer as a seventeen year old and his “high jia for water” talent, he would be enough for many schools to fight over during other years.
Once someone’s talent reached a certain point, such as Xiao An, they would even be directly taken away by the school leaders, without any regard for the rules. They would not have to undergo any tests at all. Strength was respected in the world of cultivation. There was no point in trying to reason around.
“Umm, okay then.” Li Qingshan was perplexed. He was turning down business.
At this moment, Qi Practitioners walked over in groups of fives and threes.
Sun Fubai’s gaze wavered. “I have customers now, so you should go!” Once Li Qingshan had left, he suddenly shook his head with a bitter smile. What’s there to be uneasy about? It’s not like he’d end up in such a miserable situation. I’m just doing the last bit that I can.
Li Qingshan strolled through the town alone before suddenly hearing a call for him.
“Oi! Qingshan! Over here!” Hua Chenglu waved at him from afar. Beside her was Yu Zijian and a few disciples of the Hua family.
Li Qingshan went up to greet them. Obviously, they asked each other which schools they had enrolled in too.
Hua Chenglu took out her piece of paper. The only school filled in there was “Legalism”. The rest was left blank. She wanted to join the school of Legalism anyway. It was not like she would be rejected, so there was no need for her to waste time on additional tests.
“What did you enrol for?”
Li Qingshan took out his piece of paper too. Hua Chenglu frowned as soon as she saw it. Li Qingshan thought she was unamused over the fact that he did not enrol for the school of Legalism, but she pointed at the school of Novels. “Why’d you enrol here?”
Li Qingshan said, “It’s just a filler.”
Hua Chenglu said, “Whatever. It’s not like it’s possible for you to end up there. Hmm? You haven’t enrolled for the school of Legalism!”
Li Qingshan gave a slight explanation. Hua Chenglu did not probe him any further either. She told him a few more things before parting with him.
Li Qingshan shook his head slightly. He really should not treat himself like a big deal. To Hua Chenglu, he was just an acquaintance she had seen a few times. In terms of familiarity, he probably even paled in comparison to the descendants of the Hua family.
Although he was unaccustomed to, or even detested, mingling with others, all people liked attention from others. However, after contemplating the secrets he hid, sure enough, less attention was better. Only by laying low could he fly high.
But there would be one day when he would make his name spread throughout the world.
“That damned brat! So much for me picking him out from the mountains! He has shown me no respect at all! If the other school leaders weren’t present, I would’ve killed him on the spot.” Wang Pushi slammed the desk, jolting all the items on there.
Hua Chengzan knew that he was just venting his anger. He comforted him with a smile. “Old Wang, just calm down. Don’t stoop to his level. The kid could use the One Thought master’s Guardian King’s pearl the moment she laid her hands on it, so maybe she actually does have a destiny with the buddha. It’s not like we can insist against fate.”
Wang Pushi continued to fume. “Want to be promoted to Scarlet Wolf? Want to join my school of Legalism? Don’t even think about it!”
“Do you have to be like that? He still originates from our Hawkwolf Guard after all, and with his talent, the other schools definitely won’t let him slip by if you don’t want him. Combined with his relationship with the child…”
Under Hua Chengzan’s gentle persuasions, Wang Pushi’s anger subsided. “Fine. Once he joins the school of Legalism, I’ll get him good.”
In the blink of an eye, four hours had passed. Li Qingshan handed the piece of paper to the instructor, which was then passed onto the school leaders. Every single one of them possessed a copy.
Wang Pushi held Li Qingshan’s paper as his face darkened. Everyone familiar with Wang Pushi would know that this was an expression of extreme anger. Who would have thought that Li Qingshan had not enrolled in the school of Legalism at all. All of his plans had fallen apart now, as if he was being mocked.
It was as if he could hear Li Qingshan say, No matter how powerful or how impressive you are, you’re nothing to me. There’s nothing you can do about me if I don’t join your school of Legalism.
Hua Chengzan smiled bitterly. He was unable to pacify Wang Pushi anymore. If he didn’t fill in the school of Legalism, then so be it. At least I can try to calm him down with how your elemental affinity doesn’t match. But of all the schools to fill in, why the school of Novels? You could have filled in any other school, and I’d be able to speak up for you!
“He has gone too far!” Wang Pushi roared. It pierced the roof of the building and reached the sky, alarming a flock of birds in the forest.