Chapter 98 - Taking the First Step
Three days later in a shabby little station in the western area of Floating Spear City.
In just three days, Floating Spear City had been turned upside down.
On the second day of the Disabled Servicemen Association's victory parade, Crimson Nimbus Sect had announced that it would be restructuring the personnel of “Crimson Nimbus Second Senior High School”, the educational institute that was directly subordinate to it.
Both the principal and the head instructor had been transferred to a primary school under the Crimson Nimbus Sect.
And Trustee Helian Ba had been found to have committed several acts of malpractice during the period when he assumed the position as a trustee of the Crimson Nimbus Sect and as well as other four posts within the Crimson Nimbus Sect.
The Crimson Nimbus Sect had immediately taken emergency measures and had sent an investigative team led by two Elders to investigate the issues regarding the Helian Family. Furthermore, they even called for a press conference and had once again reaffirmed that they were one of the righteous factions in the long line of history of the Star Glory Federation. They would absolutely not tolerate any kind of illegal behavior and would definitely deal with it strictly and severely.
One by one, the cultivators of the Helian Family took their stand and announced that the Helian Ba father-son duo were the outright black sheep of their family and that the Helian Family was completely ignorant of their actions. They claimed to feel deeply aggrieved for not having educated the Helian Ba father-son duo well. They said they would support any kind of investigation and punishment meted by the Crimson Nimbus Sect from their end, and after the punishment given by the Crimson Nimbus Sect, the Helian Ba father-son would be dealt with according to the family rules!
Whether it was inside the Crimson Nimbus Sect or the Helian Family, any of Helian Ba’s supporters were, in the blink of an eye, completely uprooted—he was completely forsaken by friends and allies!
Some of the family members who were not related closely drew a clear line. One by one, some even took out pieces of evidence hidden in their safes and ruthlessly stabbed the Helian Ba father-son duo in one move.
The core members of the family did not panic and waited for the arrival of the investigation team. No one dared to even take half a step outside the gate.
Helian Ba even had an urge to hang himself.
Even though Helian Lie was the second best scorer of Floating Spear City in the college entrance examination, due to this matter, he didn't receive even a single invitation from any of the "Nine Elite Universities". Through unofficial channels, a few universities had even hinted that Helian Lie would not be accepted into their university even if he were to apply.
—— When Helian Lie said “Waste” to Li Yao’s face for the first time, he never would have imagined that it would end like this.
But as far as Li Yao was concerned, he didn't care whether Helian Lie lived or died.
A world with an even broader horizon and a target even more worth fighting for had already presented itself in front of him—his challenge to the Deep Sea University's Refining Department!
And to achieve this target, he must become a cultivator as soon as possible.
After his Spiritual Root Development Quotient had advanced to 90%, the spiritual root had entered an "awakening period".
The final step of awakening the spiritual roots was no longer as simple as the accumulation of resources; the final step was training the spirit.
Once one has arrived at the stage of training the spirit, even if they had a Spiritual Root Development Quotient of 90%, it was quite possible for them to acquire a sudden epiphany, thereby finishing the development of their spiritual root in one fell swoop and embarking onto the road of cultivation.
If the spirit was not trained enough, even if the Spiritual Root Development Quotient had reached 99%, it would still be near impossible to cross the final 1% using an abundance of resources.
At most, they could only become a martial artist with boundless power, that's all.
In short, only when one has found their own path, when one has discovered the “Truth” that they must pursue, and when one has realized the reason why they wish to become a cultivator could their spiritual root be awakened!
The college entrance examination ended in mid-June. Generally, the new students would enter the college in early October.
For the majority of the students, this three-month break was the most relaxed golden period in their life as a student.
They had been relieved of the pressure of the college entrance examination, and the onerous studying they must undergo during their time in college had yet to arrive, so everyone could enjoy their life to the fullest.
In this three-month time, Li Yao planned to travel to the northern and southern parts of the federation.
In order to broaden his horizons and knowledge, it could also be considered as making up for the regret of having always dwelled in the Magical Equipment Graveyard of Floating Spear City.
And more importantly, he was going to train his heart and soul. He was hoping to get some inspiration from the beautiful mountains and the rivers of the motherland. A sliver of an opportunity or a little epiphany was all he needed to awaken his spiritual root, allowing him to embark on the road of cultivation before stepping foot into the college campus
At this small, shabby station, with a bag on his back, Li Yao was ready to depart.
His close friends arrived one by one to see him off.
"Uncle Zhao, thanks a lot. If there was no pressure from the Disabled Servicemen Association this time, the Crimson Nimbus Second Senior High School would not have been so quick to admit defeat!"
Li Yao spoke sincerely as he tightly bear-hugged Zhao Xinglang, the president of Floating Spear City's Disabled Servicemen Association.
Zhao Xinglang laughed from the bottom of his heart and heavily punched Li Yao in the stomach.
"I also have to thank you. You have truly increased the prestige of our Disabled Servicemen Association. Hei hei, a seriously injured 'Disabled Soldier' had actually made a comeback and topped the college entrance examination. When I heard this information, we uncouth fellows were all completely dumbfounded. We had even suspected that there was something wrong with our ears! Hahahaha!"
Li Yao flushed red.
"Uncle Zhao, since I have already proven that I have completely recovered and have no disability, can the 'disabled veteran' status still not be taken back?"
Zhao Xinglang stared at him with wide-opened eyes.
"Do you think that the national honor is something that could be given and taken so easily? You once have suffered serious injuries, and your spiritual root had been ruptured which led to a severe disability—these are clear facts. You can’t say that just because your body has recovered, the nation should reclaim the rightful treatment you deserve!"
"But I have always felt that I was not a true 'disabled soldier'. I have always felt like I am impersonating one."
Li Yao was rather embarrassed as he spoke.
"It's simple. As you tread forward in your path of life, you just have to be strict with yourself so that your actions are worthy of these five words, 'Class 1 Federation Disabled Soldier'. Isn't this alright? If the opportunity presents itself, you can always join the federation army and happily fight in the Demon Beast Wasteland. Then, it would be even more justified!"
Zhao Xinglang waved his hand as he resolutely and decisively spoke.
Li Yao stuck out his chest and solemnly said, "I will. After I graduate from the Grand Desolate War Institution, regardless of whether I join the federation army or not, I will go deep into the wasteland and slaughter demon beasts. I will kill every single demon beast in my path!"
Zhao Xinglang burst into laughter as he patted Li Yao's shoulder with force. "Alright, kid. I know I have not misjudged you. Go! Remember, no matter where you go, you must first find the local Disabled Servicemen Association. All the disabled soldiers in the world are one big family. If you encounter any big difficulties, you can just share the burdens with your family. Your brothers will shoulder the burden with you!"
"Thank you, Uncle Zhao!"
A trace of warmth spread through Li Yao's heart. He was an orphan, and his foster father had already been dead for a good several years. He did not expect that he would have such a special "home" at almost twenty years of age.
While thinking like this, his gaze turned towards his second friend with a trace of guilt in his eyes.
"Brother Hai, I'm sorry. These days, the Crimson Nimbus Sect's stocks are tumbling down. It has already tumbled down by 18%, so your loss should be pretty big, right?"
From what Li Yao had heard, Fiend Blade Peng Hai had a lot of Crimson Nimbus Sect shares. It was unknown how much loss he had suffered this time.
"My loss is certainly not small!"
Fiend Blade Peng Hai grinned. Without caring about appearances, he said, "That's why kid, you must cultivate well and become a cultivator as soon as you can. You better compensate your brother!"
"Is the loss really that big? Is it going to have some effect on your position in the Crimson Nimbus Sect?" Li Yao felt a little tense.
Before Fiend Blade Peng Hai was able to answer, Sun Biao, who was standing beside them, laughed and said:
"Silly brat, you don't need to worry about him. These stocks are of little matter. The most crucial thing is his position in the Crimson Nimbus Sect! Peng Hai is the representative of the new generation within the Crimson Nimbus Sect and many of the sect affairs are handled by him. His ways are rather radical, while Zhao Ying is the representative of the older generation who upholds conservative and prudent methods. The two factions had long been locked in a fierce struggle! This time, you, as Peng Hai's junior brother, had actually brought bad luck to the Crimson Nimbus Second Senior High School and had discreetly made Zhou Yin suffer a pretty big loss. Because of you, the younger generation had a big win. You just don't know how happy you made Peng Hai!"
"Peng Hai's junior brother?" Li Yao was surprised for a moment which was followed by a sense of relief.
He and Peng Hai were not only fellow students of the Grand Desolate War Institution, they were also both unearthed by the "Scum of Cultivation World", Sun Biao.
In the past, their relation could only be described as ordinary. These days, just an arbitrary university would have thousands upon thousands of students where fellow students calling each other "Senior Brother” or “Junior Brother" did not have much substance.
But later on, this relation was nothing trifling. If placed in the ancient cultivation world, Sun Biao could be considered as their "Enlightenment Master", and both of them would be Sun Biao's direct disciples. The closest relation was definitely that of a senior brother and a junior brother.
Peng Hai smiled as he openly rectified Sun Biao’s words:
"Junior Brother Li, you do not need to fret over it so much. The Crimson Nimbus Sect is not necessarily my final destination. Could a mere loss of some shares be counted for something? After you enter the Grand Desolate War Institution, you must focus on cultivation and become a cultivator as soon as possible. Perhaps there may come a day when I establish my own organization. I might even come looking for you to join my own sect as an Elder or some other post. Hahaha!"
"You want to establish your own sect?"
Li Yao was a little astounded. However, when he carefully gave it a thought, he felt that it was reasonable.
Peng Hai was the best among the best in the younger generation of the federation. As the saying goes, a flood dragon would not stay in the pond for too long. To be able to win over such a fierce figure could be considered as a matter of luck. If there comes a day when the treatment of the Crimson Nimbus Sect made him displeased, pulling out his followers and standing alone would be the right course of action.
Thinking of this point, Li Yao nodded his head as he laughed and said, "There is no need to make me an Elder. If Brother Hai truly sets up his own sect, you must leave the 'Chief Technical Supervisor' position to me. I will be responsible for refining all the magical equipment in the sect!"
"It's a deal!"
As Li Yao firmly shook hands with Peng Hai, blue veins stood out on his temples.
Afterwards, he walked up to the three ordinary people before him.
Perhaps these three ordinary people did not have powerful strength or blazing fast computational prowess, and they might not even be able to help him in cultivation...
Li Yao was equally grateful to them.
Grandpa Wang, Principal Mao, and his buddy, Meng Jiang.
"Grandpa Wang, thank you for always buying my magical equipment at a high price and also for occasionally recommending me for jobs. It’s all thanks to you that I was able to gather some money and graduate from high school!"
"Principal Mao, thank you for taking me in and letting me attend the college entrance examination as a student of Mining Clan High School!"
"Little Jiang, there is no need to say anything between us. When I was in a coma, you took some time out of your schedule to visit me at the hospital. When others were jeering at me as 'Fleeting Fiend Star', you rebuked them on my behalf and even fought with others over this—don't think that I don't know anything!"
Li Yao walked up and tightly hugged his buddy.
Meng Jiang's eyes turned red as he emotionally said, "What is this? Aren't we brothers? If even brothers are not going to believe each other, then who will? Little Devil, I knew that you would not fall so easily., To me, you have always been a monstrous genius! Once you arrive at college, you must cultivate well and become a powerful cultivator as soon as possible. At that time, I can go and brag that my buddy is Nascent Soul Stage strange old devil. Hahaha! It will definitely scare the hell out of a large number of people!"
"Rest assured. I will not let you wait for too long. I will definitely let you have the opportunity to boast. But, why is your face all black and blue? Did you have a fight with someone?"
Li Yao carefully looked at his buddy's face. He discovered that there were heavy bruises under his eyes.
Meng Jiang grinned and said, "It was my father. As a matter of fact, it's all your fault!"
 Enlightenment Master(启蒙恩师) - There is no correct English term for this, as this word in China represent the teacher who acts as a guiding pole, who encourages you and suggests to you the right path or future choices you should make. Sometimes he is also the one who that trains you. All in all, he is just a normal teacher but with pretty big moral values, who really act like a teacher.]