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Chapter 7: Friendship Boat

By the time Xu Yangyi returned to his room, it was already eleven o'clock in the evening.

"How are things?" A voice could be heard from within the closed room: "I can't help but to remind you, but the period of time the graduation exam is limited to is a week. Currently, five days have already passed. The provincial division head is in the middle of waiting for Yuyang City Branch's summary report…… I hope I don't have to repeat to you how low the graduation rate is for Heaven's Law? And how many people are watching each branch's exam?"

"I found it." Xu Yangyi started up his computer and glanced at the web page. Following, he began to knit his brows: "...... Mao Ba'er…… I've warned you many times, you're only my agent. My allowance each month before I haven't graduate is only a thousand……"

"What's the problem?" The voice within the room echoed out suspiciously. 

Xu Yangyi looked at the opened string of Taobao web pages, his eyes narrowing somewhat dangerously: "How many cleansing talismans from the treasure pavilion do you have to cycle for half a month to step into Qi Condensation at fifty bucks a pop……The drifting snow of Mount Emei's Nine Hidden Monasteries' Jade Pools can enhance a smidgen of spiritual energy, but the most important aspect is the absolutely great taste…… Five hundred for a treasure? Go ahead and explain how it's the secret of cultivation. A one-time tip is a hundred, but you went and tipped five times, using all of my alipay…… Get the hell out."

The falling sound of a lock echoed in the room, clear and cut to the point without fooling around.

Xu Yangyi picked up his cell phone and looked at it. Great…… Of the 10,000 RMB that he had deposited, only 800 remained.

"Ding Dong……" At this moment, a familiar sound rang out from the web page. He glanced at it: "Are you sure to mail the Jade Pool Drifting Snow to Yuyang City? According to our regulations, this is our online shops final question. To state once more, this store is dedicated for cultivation. Without a photograph, the result will ask you to please seek customer service. Disclaimer: this store is under the protection subject to a S-rank law of government policy. If ordinary people buy this shop's treasures as they please, this shop cannot take responsibility for all the consequences that happen afterwards."

Connecting to customer service ID: Mie Jue*.

Xu Yangyi swiftly used his unmarried, twenty-one-year-old hand to swiftly hit refund.

The shop owner of "Five-Year Crown —— Mount Emei's store for the cultivation of your personal Dao" was stunned. 

"You…… canceled?" Mie Jue asked uncertainly.

"I bought the wrong item." Xu Yangyi typed without the least bit feeling guilty: "What about cultivation, it's simply a joke. In what age would you still believe in it!"

"No…… Dao-Friend, didn't you just also just confirm your identity as a cultivator a moment ago? How come now……"

"You saw wrong." Xu Yangyi shut off the Taobao without a bit of mental pressure. He opened QQ — the amount of people he had on it were quite few — to look for the portrait of a husky and sent a message: "Get ready to evacuate tomorrow evening. After this business is finished, we're going to discuss today's matter again."

"For what does thou blameth the sickness of study…… This one understandeth…..."**

Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes and looked for two seconds: "Are you certain?"

"Thou speaketh plainly as the depth white silk……"***

"I'm going to report to the school to change my agent; I'm incapable of communicating with martians."

"My computer was having some issues a moment ago, clear out tomorrow, right? Not a problem." The portrait of the husky immediately said vaguely: "Relax, it's our first collaboration. I'll put out a hundred percent of my sincerity!"

Xu Yangyi lit a cigarette and took a faint drag, replying with a single hand: "Your good faith is to use my online payment to settle the bill?"

"That isn't important…… Gosh! It's time for my beauty sleep! See ya!"

The portrait of the husky quickly turned grey, not one second more and not one second less. The friendship boat could be said to have capsized.

Xu Yangyi didn't pay attention to him, slowly taking drags of his cigarette. He clicked on the treasure shop known as "Since Time Immemorial".

"It's here?" He asked. Sounding the bell was a customer service agent named Yan Nanzi.

"So it turned out to be Dao-Friend Xu. Your advance purchase of the lectures of 'Pertaining to a Cultivator's Self-Cultivation and Future Programming' has already arrived. Our series of instructions is lectured by one of China's ten great Core Formation cultivators, Daoist CloudCrane, who goes by the web handle of 'Idle Clouds, Feral Crane'. Through the field of science, rational analysis, and a good many actual examples that offer evidence one by one to dissect the environment of the new cultivation age, how to properly handle the resources of both humans and demons, how it is an industry of massive-scale of the entire nation and so much as the entire globe, and the formation of cooperative relationships of these mega corporations. It won't let you win at the starting line, but you'll rise straight at the finishing point."

"......" Xu Yangyi's hand paused: "I'm sorry, can I pay this in installments?"

"I apologize. This shop doesn't accept paid installments at all. This Dao-friend is afraid that he doesn't know, but Daoist CloudCrane's web lessons all come from Heaven's Law's General Hospital. He himself holds the post of academic doctoral advisor to master's students for 'The Study of Society and Cultivation' and 'The Science of Structure of Society and Cultivation'. If you don't have the opportunity to listen the teachings of the cultivation world's premier establishment for education, it alone is capable of dispel the doubts that muddy the way of the Grand Dao. Dao-Friend, please take a look, the last cycle's lesson on 'The Composition of Qi Condensation and How to Distinguish Excellent Network Relations' reached 500,000 units in sales. Surpassing the lessons of the other few Core Formation cultivators in sales, Daoist CloudCrane is also publically recognized as the foremost Daoist educator.

"I don't have enough money."

"Dao-Friend, nowadays, scientific methods are employed to analyze cultivation. This isn't the Cultivation Age anymore, but that of Cultivation Civilization. How does the human body absorb spiritual energy? What is the division of composition of the essence of spiritual energy? Perhaps it is the proton? A quantum? How is it circulated within the human body? How do the ancient circulation techniques promote its operation? All of this is analyzed in detail for you by Daoist CloudCrane…… My meaning is, to miss out on this would be your greatest loss. In understanding of the situation of financial hardship that many initial stage cultivators, our shop doesn't support payment in installments. However, we do support payment with items."

"I can use items to pay?" Xu Yangyi's eyes shimmered and immediately asked.

The times were different.

Cultivation was a thing of the past that dated back several hundred years, several thousand years, and as far back as over ten thousand years. Currently, cultivation had already become a kind of civilization. In comparison with the ancient cultivators of several thousand years ago, the nature was different!

This so-called civilization has strengthened humanity's adaptation and perception of the objective world. In accordance with the spiritual pursuit of humanity, it had been approved by the overwhelming majority of people and the accepted cultural spirit, the sum of invention, innovation, and as well as the better customs of public order. It was the assembly of all of society's conduct and structure of natural behavior caused by the situation of humanity's departure from retrogression, coursing through the concept of family, tools, language, script, conviction, religious ideology, law, the ideas of city states and nations, and so on.   

Present cultivation was a lubricated thing that was secretly and soundlessly integrated into the lives of every person. From small things like clothing, food, residency, and work, and then to major aspects such as the secretive mining reclamations and the contrast of strength between nations.

In the age of science, cultivation civilization, which was incapable of being explained by science, just happened to slowly become the ceaselessly-expanding primordial apex.**** 

"It's quite simple. If you hunt a demon, there are auctions undergoing at the many treasure pavilions in every city. Our store holds close collaborative relationships with many treasure pavilions and through the appraisal of our experts at our many treasure pavilions, they can send the assessment to our shop. If the object and the price of the treasure are equal, our shop will make the delivery instantly. If the price isn't the same, we'll still have to as Dao-Friend to continue his best efforts. If the value exceeds the price, our shop will reimburse Dao-Friend with the excess portion. You see?"

A contract adhered to WangWang. Xu Yangyi glanced over it for a fair period of time and nodded: "It's not a problem. I'll have prey tomorrow night. My agent will contact the treasure pavilions."*****

"Okay, I wish you to be of good health and a pleasant mood. May you eternally remain without heart devils, not chance upon thunderous calamity, and your cultivation soar by leaps and bounds."

Shutting the computer off, Xu Yangyi needed a good sleep. Flying, at the very least the flying of human cultivators, was the threshold of the graduation exam!

The graduation rate in Heaven's Law wasn't high, yet every single graduate was the crème de la crème. However, the community of cultivators was so big, with merely China's preliminary statistics being that of a million people! Did a Daoist master require an intelligent and capable assistant?  Did Foundation Establishment seniors want for themselves right-hand men to settle a few inconvenient matters they had ill-completed in the past? Did Qi Condensation cultivators not want to join some organizations to dispel their doubts? To seek assistance?

There were job openings everywhere, but…… excellent talents were yet too few in number!

Each year's major graduation exam was the the opportunity for everyone to reveal themselves. He was extremely clear about it, even if he achieved the realm of a Core Formation master, all eyes would be closely following the list of names for the graduation exam. Their think tanks would make evaluations from every aspect, from a student's potential, inner quality, and strength. A majority of people would enter a branch of Heaven's Law. However, in the case a person was extremely favored by a Daoist master or some super organization, although they still wouldn't know how they would be treated, it would be absolutely much much better than their present circumstances!

Inhaling deeply, he shut his eyes. Tomorrow's demon extermination would be his first; he was determined to succeed!

Time passed quickly. Through the night there wasn't anything that occurred. On the next day, Xu Yangyi sat down in his seat and drank his tea as always, indifferently observing the chatter of his "subordinates. He picked today's newspaper coolly, watching all the people in front of him.

To step into cultivation, a person had to be born with type of thing called spirit sense. Simply put, it was something a person could send out countless "feelers", and through these "feelers", they could access the world.

In other words, he could see things; he didn't need to use his sight at all. Perhaps it could be said this "vision" on the contrary was to let them see through true or false obstructions. For example, he could see things that a few ordinary people of Sanshui City were simply unable to see. Even if these things were right in front of them, it would be of little care to them.

Presently, his newspaper concealed the front of him, making it seem like he couldn't see a thing. Yet his spirit sense swept over the appearances of all the people present.

Chatting and cracking melon seeds between their teeth, there wasn't a single person paying attention to him.

If he were to go slay a demon, he would need the support of firepower. 

He didn't hope for the firepower support to be of any use. The critical point was…… that after both sides truly started to battle, everyone would throw caution to the wind and grind themselves away to their last bones. On one side were humanity's overlords, and on the other side, were the the living fossils that had carried on since the ancient times. The premier fear was that the other was greatly older than him by over a dozen years. If he didn't completely kill his opponent, the other would flee, and the entire city would become the floor of an unexpected catastrophe!

As long as the support of fire power could obstruct it…… just a little bit, the government and the agents of Heaven's Law would be able to completely suppress the matter.

In China, the power of the government was formidable. Completely different from that of western multiparty nations. 

The question was presently…… How was he to make the people that who viewed him as an eyesore to obediently listen?

T/N: Lot of work went into this chapter……

* Mie Jue = 灭绝. The thing is, I'm not sure if this is a name or something along the lines of an online username. Given the nature of the characters, I'm inclined to believe it's more of a screen name if anything along the lines of "Extinguished" as the name.

** This text speak is almost like gibberish to me. TBH i'm taking a strong guess what is being said here. Some of these characters I had to guess what they mean because their archaic. The way the husky image person is speaking is rather archaic. It's lost on me why someone would speak like this (it doesn't appear to look like text lingo) other than because that person is an otaku/chuuni whatever word you prefer. "學痮伱恠説甚庅……朲鎵聽囨忄董……"

*** 尓説白勺σκ縞堔 is one line. I have absolutely no clue what part of this means. It incorporates archaic speech and what I believe is online slang? If anyone knows please do tell LOL and I thought working on FTA gave me a good basis for slang……

**** WangWang = 旺旺上. At first I thought it was an adjective per definition, but it didn't make sense to me. Honestly, wouldn't have made much sense if I didn't do some more digging. WangWang, is from what I can discern, an app devised for Taobao by Alibaba, which allows customers direct access for product assistance or even the seller.

***** 太极 = Taiji. Referred to in Chinese mythology as the origin of things or perhaps that which is supreme/absolute/omnipotent and omniscient. I translated this as primordial apex. Perhaps this is one thing better off left untranslated.

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