Chapter 96 - The Final Decision
"Professor Xie, why did you come? If you wanted to say something, you could have just sent me a spiritual crane message!"
Li Yao was caught by surprise. Deep Sea University was about 500km away from Floating Spear City, yet Xie Tingxian had personally driven his flying shuttle at a lightning fast speed here—this was truly surprising.
Xie Tingxian forcefully laughed. "How could I sincerely express my apology through a spiritual crane message? Student Li Yao, this time, you have truly given me a slap I won’t forget!"
Li Yao immediately replied, "Professor Xie, you don't have to apologize for anything. I still highly respect you, truly!"
Li Yao's conduct towards Xie Tingxian was clearly different than how he treated Zhao Shude.
Although Xie Tingxian had retracted his offer, he at least had his reasons. Besides, within the Refining Department of Deep Sea University, Dean Chu Xiuhong was the one with the final say, thus there were plenty of things that were outside a professor’s control, which was what happened with Xie Tingxian.
Once Xie Tingxian had even said that he would personally come and help him recover. Despite not carrying it out, he could not be blamed, as he was an expert who was busy with many things. In the end, what mattered was that what he had said had already greatly moved Li Yao.
Xie Tingxian very sincerely said:
"I know our Deep Sea University had wronged you. Our Dean Chu is someone who is obsessed with skill, and she is oblivious to the ways of the world. In the cultivation world, her hot temper is already well known. Additionally, in her eyes, the honor of Deep Sea University's Refining Department is above everything else. That day when you contacted me, she thought that you were trying to rely on our relationship to procure a seat in the Refining Department, so that’s why her tone was a little more harsh than usual."
"Currently, she is reflecting on her actions, as she thinks that she had quickly jumped to a conclusion and made an arbitrary decision. She should not have spoken like that before the college entrance examination. It was also her who had exhorted me to come here to officially invite Student Li Yao to join our Deep Sea University's Refining Department!"
Li Yao’s eyes shone brilliantly, much like fireworks; however, the brilliance was instantly extinguished.
Xie Tingxian continued, "I know in your heart you are angry. It could only be blamed on Dean Chu and I for failing to see the treasure before our eyes. That's why, even if you do not choose to enroll in our Deep Sea University, I will understand and agree. However—"
Xie Tingxian paused before he sincerely said in a trembling voice, "Student Li Yao, this is not the time for you to decide with your emotions. We are talking about your dream here! I know that it is your dream to become a great Refiner. You must not forget that our Deep Sea University has the strongest professional Refiners in the federation—we have even been granted the title of 'Refiner's Holy Land'!"
"Only if you choose our Deep Sea University could you fulfill your dream!"
"If you want to blame me or Dean Chu, we understand, but please don't take your dream as a joke. You will only be hurting yourself!"
"As for the conditions for joining Deep Sea University, you completely don't need to worry about it. Not only will you be completely exempted from your tuition fees, you will also be provided with a premium scholarship. Moreover, we will treat you as an elite student, one of the most important students at our university. We will assemble a team of our most elite Refiners to be responsible for fostering you and ensuring that you will become a registered Refiner within three years. Your future will definitely be brilliant!"
"Have you heard of 'Supernova Jiang Sheng'? He is the strongest newcomer who had been on the rise within the Refiners Community in the last decade. He is just thirty years old and had become an associate professor at our Deep Sea University's Refining Department. He is hailed as a leading figure who will be at the forefront of the Refiners Community for the next fifty years, and he was trained by none other than Dean Chu and I!"
"As long as you join our Deep Sea University's Refining Department, I promise you that you will enjoy the same treatment that Jiang Sheng had once received. After a few years, you will then be the second 'Supernova'!"
While speaking, Xie Tingxian swept through the entire field with a gaze as fierce as a tiger’s as he raised his voice to speak, "Ladies and gentlemen, you might be able to come out with better materialistic conditions than me; however, when it comes to refining, I'm afraid no other university has the qualifications to rival my Deep Sea University!"
Everyone was rendered speechless as numerous recruiting staff members looked at each other.
This fact was as plain as the nose on one's face. No matter how artfully they put it, they would still not dare to shamefully say that their university was also the strongest in developing refiners.
Even the Refining Department of the Federation’s First Military College, which ranked second, was far off from the Deep Sea University's Refining Department. It was like the difference between a mouse and an elephant; they were simply not at the same level.
Over, it’s completely over. It seems that this genius is going to be taken away by Deep Sea University!
Sure enough, the look in Li Yao's eyes gradually become as firm as a steel saber and as sharp as a sword. His gaze alone could cut off everything.
Glancing around, Li Yao bent his waist as he gave everyone a sincere bow. He then solemnly said "I apologize to everyone for wasting your time. While everyone's university is the top university in the federation, and the preferential treatment conditions provided are very appealing, I have already decided which university I will be applying for."
Many of the recruitment staff lamented and became dispirited.
"I have already come to my decision. In order to not waste Professor Xie’s and everyone's time, I will simply fill in my matriculation from online now!"
Li Yao started up the mini crystal processor and switched to spectator mode.
A hologram that overflowed with colorful lights and displayed each character crystal clearly appeared in the air.
By convention, from the moment the result of the college entrance examination was out, each examinee had 15 days to choose their desired university and fill in the matriculation form through the spirit net.
Normally, the examinee would carefully research each university and compare their merits. Not only would he have to consider his subject of interest as well as the employment rates, he would also have to consider whether his score was above the cut-off mark or not.
Thus, a majority of the examinees would fill in the matriculation form only in the last few days, as the application could not be changed once it had been filled in.
On the hologram, a scene of a turbulent river stream filled with countless ugly gray carps appeared. Within the river stream, the carps scurried along the stream as they struggled with one another to move forward. Within these struggling carps, there was one that was not like the others; this gray carp suddenly jumped above the stream and over a magnificent and grand dragon gate. The entire screen shone in dazzling streams of colorful light as the carp transformed into a golden dragon, rising into the sky and soaring to the highest heaven!
A carp leaping over the dragon gate in just one move.
This was the starting screen of the site used to fill out the college entrance examination matriculation form.
Like rain droplets falling in a storm, the name of every university fell from the top of the hologram one by one. The names of the Nine Elite Universities especially stood out from the rest as they shone in a dazzling glow.
"Click click click click click!"
Li Yao entered his student ID on the virtual keyboard before his score suddenly appeared on the hologram.
Along with his score was a long series of texts which provided a thorough analysis of his score as well as recommendations for a dozen of the top professions in the federation.
This was the system's built-in analysis function. Li Yao didn't even spare it a glance and directly closed the tab as he switched to the selection interface.
His gaze swept through the name of each and every university one by one and finally came to a halt at "Deep Sea University".
Li Yao stood still as he looked at the name for a very long time.
At this time, he heard the whistling of the wind.
No, not just the wind, he also heard the sound of fire crackling as a small sun tore through the darkness and rose into the sky.
Narrowing his eyes, Li Yao raised his head to look. God knows when a Crimson Flame Flying Shuttle wrapped in raging flames had appeared in the sky. Sitting inside the hatch was Ding Lingdang, who sat with her long and slender legs crossed as she gazed at him with a restless look.
Li Yao gave a smile, revealing his sharp canines as he curled his fingers at Ding Lingdang, motioning for her to "Come down!"
Ding Lingdang’s eyes widened, sending the message of "Who is afraid of coming down!?"
She lightly leaped up and rose a few dozen meters high into the sky before landing right in front of Li Yao.
The two stood nose-to-nose and lip-to-lip with one another. Breathing at each other’s face as their hearts pounded in synchronization.
"Sister Ling, I'm very thankful to the Grand Desolate War Institution for trusting in me. I will never forget how diligently you have tried to help me train for the college entrance exam in past this month!" Li Yao said straight from his heart.
"Enough with your nonsense. Didn't I say that as your friend, I will always support you no matter which university you ultimately choose? The Deep Sea University is the ‘Holy Land of Refiners’. You will be able to achieve your dreams there, so choose without hesitation. Don't be shilly-shally like a b*tch!" Ding Lingdang nibbled her lips.
Li Yao looked at her as he spoke, "Sister Ling, are you really going to support me no matter what I choose? No matter how crazy it is?"
"... Yes, but if you choose the Deep Sea University's Refining Department, you must do your best to become the strongest refiner, so the time I used to help you train this month is not wasted! Remember! You must become the best, not the second or the third—but the best! If you are even a bit lacking, I will smack your head!" Ding Lingdang earnestly said word by word.
Li Yao burst into laughter from the bottom of his heart, revealing a crescent row of white and shining teeth on his black face. Then, his next action shocked the hell out of everyone on the scene.
He suddenly stepped forward and embraced Ding Lingdang!
Everyone was immediately dumbfounded!
Among the recruitment staff of the Nine Elite Universities, Ding Lingdang could definitely be considered the strangest figure. Many knew that not only was she extremely powerful, she would also let her temper speak for itself. She was the kind of girl who would act first, talk later. No one dared to easily provoke her.
They never would have expected that Li Yao would have heaven-defying guts!
"S-so cool! He truly deserves to be the college entrance examination champion! He is truly a god among men!" Many men had their eyes almost jump out of their sockets.
Ding Lingdang stared with wide-opened eyes. As a cultivator at the peak level of the Refinement Stage, she obviously had thousands of ways to extricate herself from Li Yao's arms. However, she didn't know why she just listlessly stood there firmly held in Li Yao’s embrace.
An inexplicable fragrance wafted out from Li Yao's body and tickled its way into Ding Lingdang's nose.
No matter how much Ding Lingdang was drenched in fragrant perspiration, she would never give off this kind of sweaty smell. In her over twenty years of life, she had never once smelled such a scent.
Ding Lingdang had no idea what to do; her mind gave birth to a sliver of vacantness, a kind of vacantness which she had never experienced even when faced with demon beasts far stronger than her.
"What is this stinking brat doing in broad daylight!? If you want to do something, at least wait until you go home!" Ding Lingdang angrily roared in her heart.
Li Yao hugged her only for half a second before letting her go. He took a step back and solemnly said, "Sister Ling, ever since I was a child, I have been all alone. Besides the dead old man, I have no other relative. But, I have decided! From this moment onwards, I will treat you as my sister!"
"... Sister my ass! That’s so nauseating!" Ding Lingdang instantly felt goosebumps all over her body.
In the depths of Li Yao's eyes appeared dazzling brilliance while words weighing a thousand kilograms poured out of his mouth, "My dream has always been to become the best refiner. That's why I can not choose the Grand Desolate War Institution's Combat Department. For that, I'm truly sorry!"
"It's alright, I..." Ding Lingdang averted her gaze,
She didn’t know why, but besides the feeling of disappoint, there was surprisingly also a sense of loss in her heart.
Feeling as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, Xie Tingxian laughed and said, "Student Li Yao, you have made the right choice. After you have become the second ‘Supernova’ in 20-30 years, you will definitely look back and not regret today’s choice!"
"For my dream, I will never regret. However... the second ‘Supernova’?"
Li Yao just smiled and did not speak another word. His pair of hands quickly bounced over the virtual keyboard, and in a single breath, he had completed the matriculation form.
“Ding Dong!” With a loud and clear sound, a row of clear and large characters shining above everyone's head emerged on the hologram. At the center, two words were the most conspicuous.
"Congratulations, Student Li Yao! On behalf of Deep Sea University, I welcome you to the holy land of ref..." Finally, the stone over Xie Tingxian's heart was lifted as a smile crept across his face.
"Professor Xie, I'm sorry. I'm really, really, really sorry." Without even getting the chance to finish, Xie Tingxian was cut-off by Li Yao, who had an ashamed look on his face.
Xie Tingxian blinked a few times. For a short while, he didn't understand what Li Yao meant.
At this time, he discovered that the silence around him was a little strange. Everyone's face revealed a completely horrified look.
"Refining Department" The row of small characters over those two large words seemed to be somewhat strange.
Xie Tingxian narrowed his eyes and only then did he discover the entire text that had emerged in the hologram—
"Grand Desolate War Institution, Refining Department!"