The next day, Guo 12th walked out of his room and Auntie Lan helped him clean up. Chen Chun Zhai came out of his room with a big yawn. Guo 12th couldn't help laughing as he saw dark circles under his eyes. He had been disturbed the whole night and did not sleep at all.
Huo Bao also came out and said, “Grandpa Chen, who came over last night? I am so sleepy, they were too loud.” He continued, “Are we going to the inner court today? Am I living inside the inner court from now on, Grandpa Chen?”
Chen Chun Zhai did not sleep for the whole night. He was cranky. “Of course you will be living in the inner court, you are a disciple of the inner court! Go prepare your belongings right now! Get ready to leave!”
12th quietly waved his hand , motioning to Huo Bao to be silent. Chen Chun Zhai did not get enough sleep, whoever talked to him will be out of luck.
Huo Bao was not a fool, he immediately understood 12th's intentions, and quietly went back to his room to pack.
After having breakfast, they went in a carriage and left for the inner court.
On the way, there were elders on horseback riding along. What was interesting was that they were all surrounding 12th’s carriage. Chen Chun Zhai said with a bitter smile, “12th, you are in big trouble.”
Guo 12th surely understood what was happening, but he chose to play the fool. He smiled, “Grandpa Chen, how will I be in trouble, you will always be here to help me.”
Chen Chun Zhai said to himself, “I cant help you this time, these elders are scary… sigh, let us get to the inner court as soon as possible.”
There were three carriages in total, with hundreds of people surrounding it. There was only a dozen elders, but hundreds of their supporters followed. A strong group was heading towards the inner court.
Huo Bao asked softly, “12th, did all of them come for you?”
Guo 12th said, “I am just a child. I do not know anything. Don't ask me!”
Chen Chun Zhai was amused and said, “It is good to be a child, worry free, nothing to be annoyed with.”
The inner court was located in a vast valley, looking from the valley, it looked like there was a city inside. It was not exactly a city, but the combination of big and small towns. Chen Chun Zhai explained, “This is an important station of the inner court, it is divided into 2 sections, with a total of 4 regions. The FuZhou Knight station, Fu Knight station, Zhou Knight station, and Fu Warrior station covered the two regions of the first section.”
“The second section had mostly service facilities, which also covered two regions. You will come in contact with these two regions when you start learning FuZhou.”
“You will be living here until you become a FuZhou Knight, I don't think it will be difficult for you to advance, but I suggest you stay inside until you become a FuZhou Knight before considering going to the outside world. The outside is just too dangerous, only until you are a FuZhou knight, will you be able to survive.“
Guo 12th was silent for a moment and asked, “How difficult is it to become a FuZhou Knight?”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “FuZhou Knight…is the weakest amongst the Fu Knight, Zhou Knight and Fu Warrior... it is also the hardest to advance. Fu Knights rarely jump into battle, Zhou Knights and Fu Warriors have to fight to grow stronger. A FuZhou Knight is actually the combination of a Fu Knight and a Zhou Knight. However, when FuZhou Knights advance to FuZhou Masters, they will be more powerful than the both the Fu Masters and Zhou Masters. “
Guo 12th asked again, “What is the difference between the Fu Knight and Zhou Knight?”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “Fu Knights mainly produce FuZhou, and Zhou Knights mainly use Fuzhou. There is not a strict difference between the two, some Fu Knights can use FuZhou to attack, and some Zhou Knights can make good FuZhou. However, FuZhou Knights have the most balanced abilities.”
“Someone with middle FuZhou potential could perhaps be less powerful than Fu Knights or Zhou Knights with high potential. However, if someone have high FuZhou potential, they will be very strong, they are not someone a Fu Knight or a Zhou Knight can compare to”
Guo 12th now understood why the elders are fighting for him to be their disciple. He was happy that he did not hide his actual strength. He asked, “If someone had middle FuZhou potential, how do they usually cultivate?"
Chen Chun Zhai smiled and said, “That is the advantage of having FuZhou potential, they could choose either to cultivate as a Fu Knight or a Zhou Knight. A single development path will be more effective. “
The elders listened to their conversation in silence. They were very surprised because the questions asked did not seem to be from a child. 12th would always find the critical points to ask. He was only eight years old and started to learn the differences between the professions. They recognized that 12th was considering his own future. This kid really is quite extraordinary.
Guo 12th thought for a moment, and asked again, “Fu Warriors....What is their role?”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “ Fu Warriors exist as an attachment to the Fu Knights or FuZhou Knights. They will be uncomfortable if they leave their Fu Knight's or FuZhou Knight's side. A Fu Warrior cannot properly grow without their Fu Knight or FuZhou Knight.“
12th asked, “Why?”
Chen Chun Zhai then explained, “Because the growth of a Fu Warrior’s strength relies on the use of Enhancing Fu. The Enhancing Fu has to be provided and created by Fu Knights or FuZhou Knights. Others cannot create it. Fu Warriors will not change their masters once they have chosen one and even if they decide to change, there will be no Fu Knights or FuZhou Knights willing to accept them. That is the reason why wandering Fu Warriors exists. If they lose their masters, they will be in situation that is more miserable than ordinary people.”
Guo 12th said, “Now I understand, Fu Warriors do not have any other abilities except for going into battle. They will have difficulty surviving once they lose their masters. Because of their pride, they are not willing to run to another master, but would rather serve as an ordinary guard.” 12th thinks of his Uncle Puer.
Chen Chun Zhai said, “That is why Fu Warriors would rather die themselves, than let their masters die. Also, good Fu Warriors are trained when they are young, very rarely do one gets trained when they are old, even if they have a Fu Warrior Master potential.”
Guo 12th could not help but be marveled by this bizarre world.
Chen Chun Zhai said, “12th, you have to remember that Fu Warriors are not servants, they are brothers, they are our most solid shield and our sharpest spear. We have to respect our supporting Fu Warriors. We have to do our best to enhance their strength.”
Guo 12th nodded and said seriously, “I understand and I will.”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “Huo Bao, you are lucky.”
Huo Bao let out a giggle and said confidently, “I will do whatever I can to protect 12th, until the enemies step over my dead body, I will not give up!"
12th felt warm. He did not say anything, but he made up his mind to treat Huo Bao as his lifetime brother.
Chen Chun Zhai said, “12th, my grandson also have Fu Warrior potential, let him follow you from now on. Ha Ha I really have high expectations of you.”
Guo 12th nodded and said, “Grandpa Chen, please ask him to come over. I will also have to examine him for one year, it will be important for the both of us.”
Chen Chun Zhai admired Guo 12th’s calmness and reasoning. He did not seem like an 8 years old child. He had neglected his status while talking to him. “Sure.” He said.
The elders riding on the horses were glancing doubtfully at each other. 12th has given them too many surprises. Their appreciation of 12th was becoming stronger and stronger.
The carriages road for three hours, before finally reaching the destination.
The elders said goodbye to Guo 12th and left. Chen Chun Zhai knew that the elders will help Guo 12th even if he did not become their disciple. Guo 12th understood that as well, thus he pretended to be cute using his childlike appearance and sweetly called them by grandpas and grandmas which made them all joyful.
Huo Bao was obviously not familiar with situations like these, he did not know what to say. From his appearance, he was four years older than Guo 12th. But in reality, he was the real child who did not know how to socialize. It caused others to think Guo 12th was smart for his age.
The FuZhou Knight's Station was a small town. There were hundreds of individual courtyards and every FuZhou Knight could occupy one, Half of the courtyards were empty. Chen Chun Zhai’s house was at the border of the town. Chen Chun Zhai had arranged for Guo 12th to live next to him.
Chen Chun Zhai said, “I will get some Fu Warriors for you. These Fu Warriors are warriors of the inner court and you do not have to pay for them as you are just temporarily borrowing them. Auntie Lan and Auntie Xin will take care of your daily life. A couple of days later I will introduce you to my grandson.”
“Auntie Lan, go tidy up the room, I will take 12th and Huo Bao to the inner court to handle some affairs.”
Auntie Lan was very happy. She knew that Guo 12th will have a promising future. She felt so lucky this time, because living in the inner court was very safe.
In this world, safety will always be uncertain, unless you are someone who have power or was able to rely on your family for protection, the only other way to have a feeling of safety was to live in the big cities. But in the cities if you weren't able to find a decent job, then you will very likely starve to death. And if you choose to live in the wild the beasts will most likely kill you. In this world it is truly a blessing to be alive.
Guo 12th and Huo Bao followed Chen Chun Zhai to the registry of the North Fu Sect.
Chen Chun Zhai had arranged everything in advance, but the identification cards can only be applied personally. The person had to leave their Fu Prints so the Fu Knights could create their identification cards.
Guo 12th’s identification card was gold while Huo Bao’s was black. Chen Chun Zhai explained, “12th, you will be a disciple here for four years. Your expenses during this period will be paid for by the inner court. After the four years are up, you will have to pay for your own rent and the expenses of your supporters whether or not you advance into a FuZhou Knight by that time. Now for yourself, let me remind you, FuZhou Knights are a very Fu Bill consuming profession.”
“Huo Bao also have four years, during these four years, the inner court will provide the basic Enhancing Fu. But remember the inner court will only pay for four of your Fu Warriors. If you have five, you will have to take care of the 5th one yourself.”
“The number of people you can take care of right now are, four Fu Warrior potential disciples, four Fu Warriors provided by inner court that are responsible for your safety, two aunties that are responsible for your daily life, and you. A total of eleven people, and later you might even hire more people to serve you.”
Guo 12th asked, “What is the average expenses for a FuZhou Knight, including the number of Fu Bills?”
Chen Chun Zhai laughed, “10 thousand Big Fu Bills a year is my most conservative estimate, but 20 to 30 thousand is pretty conservative too, depending on how the Fu Bills are spent.”
[t/n] The colors of the bills were not mentioned in the raw.
12th was shocked, “That much?”
Chen Chun Zhai’s face became tense and serious, “That was my most basic and conservative estimation. It is fairly common to spend 70 to 80 Big Fu Bills every year if you want advance and become powerful. 12th, you have to figure out ways to make money, if you wait until the end of your apprenticeship period of four years, it will be the death of you.”
This suggestion was very important. However, Guo 12th still felt puzzled and he thought to himself, "Would an 8 years old child understand what Chen Chun Zhai meant? An 8 years old child taking care of 10 adults, was just too scary."
Of course Guo 12th was an exception. A child might not understand, but 12th clearly understood that money was everything. He would starve if he did not have enough money, not to mention studying and advancing.
Chen Chun Zhai also felt puzzled, looking at Guo 12th who was silent and did not seem to care. He then said, “Actually, you don't have to be too worried…”
Guo 12th said, “I'm not worried!”
“……If you are under the apprenticeship of a powerful FuZhou Master, you will have lots of opportunities to make money.”
Guo 12th asked, “Where do FuZhou disciples go to study?”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “They would either follow their FuZhou Masters if they have been acknowledged, or if they did not become an apprentice yet, go to the FuZhou Hall. There will be a FuZhou Knight and a FuZhou Master there to assist the disciples in case they have questions. There are also books for disciples to rent or purchase.”
“Is it self study?”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “Self study? Yes, it is an appropriate term to describe it, the disciples here all does self studies except for the ones who have masters.” He looked at Guo 12th and saw that he was thinking of something. At last he asked, “What are you thinking of?”
Guo 12th gave an innocent smile and asked, “Grandpa Chen, the grandpas and grandmas yesterday...who is at the highest level? I mean…who have the most money?”
Chen Chun Zhai was stunned. He has lived for more than eighty years, of course he understood Guo 12th's intentions. “12th, you mean…” He wanted to confirm. When he was 8 years old he was still ignorant, but 12th was already so knowledgeable.
12th said shyly, “Grandpa Chen, you know that…I am far away from home, my family cannot help me, so…finding a powerful master will be of great help to me, right?”
Chen Chun Zhai answered unintentionally, “Yes, it is pitiful, you have to find a good master…”
Guo 12th asked immediately, “Who is the best master among them?”
Chen Chun Zhai said, “The one with the most profound strength is Chang Ye Ran and he also have the most money! Wild Uncle…Ah, 12th, you cannot have these types of ideas, FuZhou Knights should be independent, they do not take advantage of others!”
Guo 12th pretended to be wronged and said, “I am not. I just want to find a powerful master, and that is it. Hehe, Thank you Grandpa Chen.” 12th's heart has already decided who he wanted to be his master. It did not matter who was the master as long as they treated their disciple well and was wealthy.
Chen Chun Zhai shook his head, he felt misguilded. An 8 years old child could not think this much he thought. He said, “12th, remember, don't rush to find a master, drag on for a period of time first.”
“Why?”Guo 12th did not understand.
Chen Chun Zhai laughed, “Ha Ha, there is a policy here. All the elders want to make the children with good potential their own disciples. But these children were rare so the elders would quarrel endlessly every time they discovered one. Therefore, a policy was created which states, not only can elders choose their disciples, disciples can also choose their own masters, plus nobody is allowed pressure them.”
“Therefore…when all of them choose the same child, that child will be the deciding factor. During that period, the elders can communicate with them, they can make promises, they can give them gifts, but they cannot request the child to take them as their master. After a while, the child will choose for themselves!”
With a twinkle in his eyes, Guo 12th smiled and said, “Great! Great! I like this policy!”
Chen Chun Zhai sighed to himself, “What is there not to like? This policy was created just for those children with good potential.” If Chen Chun Zhai was not planning on introducing his grandson to Guo 12th, he would not have gave such a detailed explanation.
“Do we have to wear this? Or just put it in the pocket?” Guo 12th asked while playing with his identification card.
Chen Chun Zhai said, “You have to put in on your left chest. You are a disciple so you will have to wear a disciple's uniform for four years. This uniform will be your best protection in the inner court, no one will be rude to you and no one will dare to bully you. When four years are up, you don't have to wear it anymore.”
A cold wind blew into the room.
An elder sneaked into the room and saw them. The elder said loudly, “Little Chen, what are you doing here…Is 12th here?” Chang Ye Ran appeared smiling.
Chen Chun Zhai gave a meaningful smile, and said, “Oh, what a coincidence? Ha Ha, I brought 12th here to apply for his identification card. “
Guo 12th salutes, “Good to see you Grandpa Chang!”
Chang Ye Ran patted 12th's head, smiled and said, “This child is so polite. 12th, two days later I will have a feast at my house, come join me. You probably never tried any Fu food before. Come try some at my house, Ha Ha, it's decided… I will send someone to pick you up.”
He then turned around and disappeared before 12th could give an answer.
12th was dumbfounded. Chen Chun Zhai cursed inside, “This old fox.” He said to 12th, “12th, don't be surprised. There will be more strange events in the future, you will have to get used to it.”
“It started already?” Guo 12th talked to himself in surprise.
Chen Chun Zhai laughed, “You’re right, it has started!”
Guo 12th smiled and with a good feeling he said, “Want to go to the FuZhou Hall and get some books?”
It took them five minutes to reach the FuZhou Hall. After getting a lot of basic books, Chen Chun Zhai said, “12th, you don't have to rush to read the books, get settled in first. When you start reading and have a question, come by my house...I can temporarily help you since my mission is over, I have a lot of free time.”
Guo 12th lived in a small courtyard, which was arranged specially for disciples. It can accommodate up to 30 people, but right now only ten people lived there, so it felt very spacious.
The most important thing in the courtyard was not the buildings on the surface, but the huge laboratory underground, it was an essential place for learning FuZhou. The walls, floor, and ceiling were all reinforced with Fu inscriptions and there were specialized inlets, outlets and can even produce fire. Guo 12th was quite astonished by seeing how advanced the room was.
Guo 12th was not interested in science in his previous life. Although he had a college degree, it was from a military academy, this did not mean he disliked science, his ability to learn was not objective. He loved to learn new abilities because he understood that the more abilities he had, the easier it was for him to survive. It was always nice to learn.
Guo 12th had four years to grow. He was very nervous. These days, Guo 12th would read some books about the history of the world as well as notes about FuZhou Knights. He already gained a general understanding of this world. It was different from his previous world, there are no concepts or existences of nations here.
The harsh environment of this world has caused the conditions for the humans to so bad that it was beyond Guo 12th's imagination. If humans did not unite, the possibility of destruction was extremely high. As a result, powerful sects like the North Fu Sect have emerged to unite the humans.
North Fu Sect represented the north, East Fu sect, also known as Sea Fu Sect, represented the east. The west was a prairie and it was protected by the West Fu Sect, known as Beast Fu Sect. In the south, there was the South Fu Sect, which was made up of two sects, respectively the Insect Fu Sect and the Plant Fu Sect.
The four biggest sects have gathered the power of humans together to create a small footing in this horrible environment. The strength of each sect was also powerful.
In order to live safely, Guo 12th had to learn to survive here. Maybe he would get reincarnated back to his old world, he cannot die here. Even though he had never experienced death, he guessed that he would lose the power of reincarnation if he dies, meaning he would disappear forever.
Living to his third life, Guo 12th was still not satisfied. It was better to live even more. When he realized he was not in his original world, the experience of living in another, completely different world became one of his strongest desires.
Guo 12th carefully cleaned up the underground laboratory. It had a raw material storage room, material processing room, underground flame room, cleaning room, as well as an experimental hall, also known as Fu producing hall. He did not ask anyone else to help. Even though he was only 8 years old, he has the strength of an adult from his previous life, thus he finished cleaning up quickly.
Guo 12th went back to his master bedroom upstairs.
The master bedroom was small because the winters in this world was extremely cold. A wooden table took up most of the space in the room. The walls, floor, and the ceiling of the room were all reinforced by Fu inscriptions, it was used to block the cold air and to release heat. There was a coat hanger next to the wooden table and besides that, there were no other items. The door leading to the underground laboratory was next to the coat hanger.
Right outside of the master bedroom was the reading room, where Guo 12th would go study, the room has been cleaned up nicely by Auntie Lan and Auntie Xin.
The books from the FuZhou Hall and the ones he bought were placed neatly in a row on the bookshelves. There were paper and inkstones on the desk. Guo 12th was familiar with the use of brush since he had learn to write using the brush in his previous life. He was good at calligraphy.
He read books during the day, and chanted at night. The quality of sleep was superb because of his strengthened soul. Four hours of sleep each day was enough for him to feel refreshed mentally and physically.
Three days went by. That afternoon, Huo Bao came into the reading room and said, “12th, there are two carriages outside with 2 Fu Warriors, they came to pick you up to Grandpa Chang Ye Ran’s house.”
Guo 12th smiled and said, “Good, let's go together.” He really wanted to see how Chang Ye Ran planned to attract him.