Chapter 136 - Eldest Senior Brother and the President
"If there is a student who is willing to stay in the Refining Department to continue his or her studies, then we will welcome them for sure. Every department has already reached an agreement that all basic training facilities will be open for the students from the Refining Department. At the same time, the resources and the budget which is due to the Refining Department will continue to be provided."
"And if any student feels that the Refining Department isn't enough to realize your dream, the institute will still support that student and every department will be open to them. We will give everyone the opportunity to transfer to another department."
"The choice is in your hand. As Professor Yuan had said, even if there is a single soldier left, as long as there is a student who is willing to stay in the Refining Department, the Institute will adhere to its principle. We will not abandon you, we will not give up on you, and we will continue to support you!"
"However, let me make it clear. If the Refining Department still has not produced a single student who could pass the Refiners' Registration Examination after a year, the Refining Department will then be forcibly abolished by the department of education, and as such, the student who had chosen the Refining Department would have wasted a year in vain."
"And I will also solemnly swear that if there is a student who is able to pass the Refiners' Registration Examination and become a true refiner after a year, then it would mean that Professor Yuan was right. I will then do everything in my power to help the Refining Department strive for more resources, so not only would the Refining Department be rebuilt, but the Refining Department which will be built would be ten times stronger than the past!"
"In the name of the dean of the Grand Desolate War Institute, I, Dean Xiong Baili, promise you this."
"Now, the students can make their choice!"
Xiong Baili's speech was like a lump of ice smashing into a boiling hot frying pan, which burst into a "crackling" noise on the spot.
A freshman who had just entered the institute impatiently shouted as if he was set on fire:
"Dean, I want to transfer!"
"Yes, Dean, we have already thought about this. We are all freshmen and we simply haven't learned any refining, so we request the dean to transfer us as early as possible, lest we give any trouble to Professor Yuan."
From the beginning, these freshmen had only chosen the Refining Department because they had no other choice but to do so; it was their final alternative. And now, as the Refining Department had turned to such a ghastly place in front of their eyes, who would be foolish enough to still head into the abyss of suffering? If they had the opportunity, they would definitely transfer to another department!
Yuan Manqiu had already prepared herself for the freshmen's reaction. From the start, she too did not want the freshmen to remain, and even if they stayed, it would be a waste.
Yuan Manqiu's gaze turned towards several of the older students who could be considered to have good qualifications.
The older students were even more at a loss. They may not like refining, but they had, after all, poured a lot of their time and efforts into it, and if they wanted to change their road of cultivation now, their past efforts would go down the drain.
However, how could Professor Yuan, one person alone, support the entire Refining Department?
"Zhao Ming, you have been learning refining for three years already and your level is highest amongst them all. I have high expectations for you to become a registered refiner next year, so why don't you stay in the Refining Department?!"
Yuan Manqiu sent an invitation to a boy.
Zhao Ming hesitated for a bit as he somewhat tried to dodge her gaze; he did not dare to look straight into Yuan Manqiu's eye. He shook his head and said, "I am sorry, Professor Yuan. After thinking about it, I have decided to transfer to another department."
"Why?" Yuan Manqiu was stupefied.
Zhao Ming honestly replied, "In the past, there was Professor Mo Xuan along with many other professors, which gave me some confidence to become a registered refiner. But now, only you alone, Professor Yuan, is left, and we don't even have a refining workshop. I am not sure whether I can pass next year, so why should I waste a year? It's time for me to cut my losses and change tracks as early as possible for the better tomorrow."
Zhao Ming paused for a bit before he lowered his head in embarrassment: "I am really sorry, Professor Yuan. A few days ago, my father came to know about this, and I have been chatting with him online for the past few days. My family also thinks the same."
"It's alright, it is really alright. You must definitely listen to your family, and you don't need to overthink it. Study whatever you wish to study, I will support you!"
Yuan Manqiu forced a smile before her gaze turned towards a girl who had somewhat rough skin.
A sliver of an ashamed look flashed past her eyes as she lowered her head; she did not speak a word.
Yuan Manqiu's complexion turned even more ugly. One by one, she swept a glance at the other older students, who did not dare to look her straight in the eyes, not even a single one.
Everyone was either bowing their head as they looked at their own shoes or raised their head to count the clouds in the sky.
"Isn't there a single student who is... willing to stay in the Refining Department?" Yuan Manqiu said in low voice.
Xiong Baili heaved a sigh as he also found it somewhat hard to bear. He earnestly said, "Professor Yuan, you don't need to worry. Even if the Refining Department is abolished, the institute could always use a refiner. There is definitely a place for you here."
He lightly patted Yuan Manqiu's shoulder before his gaze turned towards the students below the stage as he said in a loud voice that was akin to a great bell, "Alright, since everyone has decided so, then I... If there is any student who has anything to say, please raise your hand! Please be patient, as for the specific rules of transferring departments, I will announce it to you soon."
"Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!"
A few dozen gazes turned towards Li Yao, who had raised his hand.
"Dean, you misunderstood. I do not want to ask about the rules of transferring departments. I wish to remain in the Refining Department and follow Professor Yuan in order to learn refining," Li Yao said in a loud voice.
"What did you say?"
Xiong Baili was stupefied, all the professors were stupefied, all the student were stupefied.
Yuan Manqiu's back, all of a sudden, straightened up, and her whole body was shining like a shining Buddha.
After an hour.
Apart from Li Yao and Yuan Manqiu, everyone had left the Refining Department.
Li Yao, who was sitting under the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, set his eyes at the wreckage around him, which was very similar to the Magical Equipment Graveyard.
Everyone, in their childhood, would have some absurd dream.
Some people would dream of quietly sneaking into an amusement park so that they would not have to line up for rides, allowing them to play to their heart's content.
Whereas, some people would dream of entering a supermarket which had no one inside, where all the goods were brilliantly arranged on the shelf, so that whatever you wanted to take, you could take it, and whatever you wanted to eat, you could directly open the package.
When Li Yao was 6-7 years old, just for a meat bun or a rusted, broken sword, he would have to engage in a life-or-death struggle with a dozen robust adults.
At that time, his greatest dream was: if someday, a huge junkyard with no other scavenger but him alone appeared so that he could discover treasure to his heart’s content, how nice would that be?
He had never imagined that his dream would come true in such a way today.
For the past seven days, he had only cleared up a small part, thus there were still many things buried in the rubble.
Whether it was damaged magical equipment, jade chip fragments, or experimental data, in Li Yao's eyes, they were all priceless treasures whose worth was equivalent to a city.
If it was the Refining Department of the past, then it would have been simply impossible for a freshman like him to instantly get started.
But now, everything belonged to him. Whatever he wanted to study was something he could.
Because, the entire Refining Department only had one student and that was him.
He had become the president of the Star Fire Union as well as the eldest senior brother of the Refining Department!
"Teachers, fellow students, all of you rest assured. I will definitely complete your unfinished business. Your concepts will definitely flourish, and the name of our Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department will shake the entire world!"
Li Yao respectfully bowed at the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit wreckage.
God knows why, when he first laid his eyes on the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, he felt a wisp of a cordial feeling towards it
This crystal suit's design was very consistent with his taste.
It was common, coarse, and wild, and it looked kind of violent, which was completely different from those popular, fashionable, light, and gorgeous crystal suits.
Even though half of it had been melted, it still gave the impression of a tenacious warrior who was struggling to stand up to fight the enemy, to smash the enemy's head, and to bite the enemy's throat.
And most importantly...
Li Yao had a strange feeling. Seemingly sensing a slight fluctuation transmitting from the depths of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, it was as if something was slumbering within.
Or perhaps, it was the spirit, hope, and indomitable will to fight of all the Refining Department's students and professors!
Yuan Manqiu quietly stood on one side.
When she saw flickers of fire appear in Li Yao's eyes as he faced the wrecked Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit, her face revealed a smile of understanding.
She formed a spell as a spirit seal shot out and submerged into Li Yao's neural field.
"This spirit seal grants you Level-2 privilege in the Refining Department, something which only a 'lecturer'-level teacher could have and is second only to the privileges of us professors."
"You now have 80% of the privileges of the Refining Department with this spirit seal. Now, you can open a vast majority of jade chips and a vast majority of magical equipment will not resist you as well. In short, you can use whatever you can find here in the rubble as you wish!"
Yuan Manqiu sighed and said:
"Who would have thought that everyone would choose to leave and the final one who was going to remain would be a freshman? Student Li Yao, since you believed in me, I will also not treat you unfairly. Perhaps after a year, the Refining Department will truly be abolished; however, in this one year, I will use everything to foster you so that you can learn as many things as possible, which would help you pave a better road for the future."
Li Yao slightly smiled while touching his forehead: "Teacher, don't you believe that I can become a registered refiner in a year?"
Refiner was one of the most important professions in the cultivation world, and a registered refiner was a refiner who had been approved by the Refiners' Association and a standard refiner approved by the federation government.
The Refiners' Registration Examination was one of the most difficult qualification tests of the several professions in the cultivation world, with an annual passing rate of less than 10%. Many refiners after a decade or even a few decades would be unable to have the word "registered" added to the front of their title.
Strictly speaking, every one of them didn’t even have the qualifications to call themselves "refiners"!
Li Yao did not lose confidence.
Although the Refining Department had turned into rubble, as someone who grew up in the Magical Equipment Graveyard, he felt a great pleasure in finding treasures with his own hands from the ruins.
In these seven days, he had already unearthed many jade chips from the ruins, some of which were videos of classes given by the professors and some contained refining data and information stored by the professors, which for him were of great help.
‘With the experienced Professor Yuan Manqiu’s guidance along with the many tutorials and refining data left by the professors as well as Ou Yezi's memory fragments... if I train madly in this one year, I am sure I will be able to become a registered refiner!’
Li Yao secretly made a resolution in his heart.
Yuan Manqiu seriously said, "Perhaps you are truly talented and can advance by leaps and bounds within one year, but currently, you do not even have the qualifications to take part in the examination."
Li Yao was surprised for a moment before he scratched his head: "What are the qualifications required so that I could take the Refiners' Registration Examination?"