Chapter 288 – The Status of a Working Student
Since the main school building was so enormous, Tang Wulin thought that their dormitory would be as well. Reality, however, begged to differ.
Shen Yi brought them to a building in a forest west of Spirit Ice Plaza.
“This is the dormitory for working students,” she told them “Go find the room corresponding to the number on your key. Classes will start for you tomorrow. In the meantime, you can complete the job you were just assigned. I’ll be leaving now.”
Shen Yi left while Tang Wulin and the others were in the middle of exchanging looks of dismay.
All of them thought the same thing.
Isn’t this building a bit too crude? It’s basically a slum compared to the school building!
The building only had one floor and was extremely run-down. It sat in the middle of the forest, but it was now clear that this was done to hide the building and save face for the academy.
It was a truly unsettling place.
There seemed to be about twenty or so rooms in the mottled building. Some of the rooms didn’t even have windows. They had long since broken, the wood around them completely rotten.
Checking the numbers on their keys, they soon discovered that they had only been given a single room.
This room had no walls to separate the boys from the girls. It was about thirty square meters in area. Although it wasn’t small, there were only two metal-frames of bunk beds in the room. Other than that, it was completely bare.
A thick layer of dust covered the floor and two of the windows were broken. A single string dangled from the light bulb in the ceiling. Considering the state of the room, determining whether that bulb was a useless ornament or a functional light source was a coin toss.
“This… isn’t this just too cruel? Are we sure we’re currently in Shrek Academy and not a slum?” Xie Xie was dumbstruck. Compared to their dormitory at Eastsea Academy, the difference was like heaven and earth! No basic necessities were provided, not even a mattress.
“Quit complaining. If you have spare time, spend it tidying up instead,” Tang Wulin said. Since they were here now, they might as well make the best of things. He knew that working students wouldn’t have it as good as normal students, but he was still shocked at the conditions of their dormitory.
“Captain, how are all of us supposed to live in just a single room? Men and women shouldn’t be in the same room,” Xu Xiaoyan said with a hint of worry.
Xie Xie laughed. “How old do you think you are? You haven’t even kissed anyone yet.”
“Hmph!” Xu Xiaoyan looked to Gu Yue for support, but Gu Yue only had eyes for Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin stood rooted in place, his face pensive. “Since we’ve been assigned to this room, all we can do is make the most of it. Let’s get our basic necessities in order first. We can start by cleaning this place up and getting something to cover the broken windows. We can then use some curtains to separate the room in halves, one side for the boys and the other for the girls. Yeah, let’s start with that and improve things as we go.”
“Alright,” Gu Yue said.
It was clear how much Tang Wulin’s teammates trusted him. Everyone immediately leaped into action. As soul masters, it wouldn’t take them long to clean up.
As they tidied the place, they began to understand the pain of being a working student.
Their only source of clean water was a single faucet meant for the entire dormitory. It didn’t even provide any hot water. They had to go to the school building to get hot water and bath.
Aside from that… well, they didn’t have anything else. There were no other facilities at the dormitory for working students. The dining hall could be found in the main school building, so they had to cross the enormous plaza each visit.
With the four of them working together, the room was soon neat and tidy. They even found a cloth to cover up the windows. As for curtains to separate the room with, they would buy them in the evening.
“Let’s go clean the plaza now.”
Since they were working students, they still had to complete their job.
Spirit Ice Plaza was truly enormous. They had to start sweeping early in the morning if they wanted to finish by the evening of the same day.
When they went get some water to clean with, they discovered that someone was already using the faucet. That someone was a frail-looking boy. He had a towel draped over his shoulder as he collected water in a bucket.
Upon seeing this boy, astonishment filled Tang Wulin and the others.
Xie Xie gulped. He was particularly taken aback because he knew the boy more intimately than the others.
This boy was student number two, the one who had beaten Xie Xie in the entrance exam with explosive power. He was a mighty power-type soul master and the greatest three-ringed soul master that they had encountered thus far. Even Gu Yue’s chances of defeating him were slim. His martial soul was simply too powerful and overwhelming.
Carrying a bucket, Tang Wulin walked over to the other student’s side and flashed a radiant smile.
“Hi!” he said. “We meet again. I’m Tang Wulin.”
The youth gave him an apathetic look, and only acknowledging him with a slight nod.
His bucket was nearly full, so he picked it up, nodded to Tang Wulin once more, and left.
Four sets of eyes followed him until he was out of sight.
Xie Xie looked at his companions in shock. “That guy’s a working student too? He’s so amazing… yet he’s a working student? I thought he was an inner court student!”
Tang Wulin contemplated this realization.
“Do you guys remember what the administrator said before we left?” he asked. “He told us not to bring shame to the working students. I think there’s some secret about working students that we don’t know about. Well, we can think about it after finishing our task.”
“The administrator didn’t say we couldn’t use our martial souls to clean, right?” Gu Yue interjected.
Tang Wulin shook his head. “He didn’t. I don’t think it would be possible without the use of martial souls anyway.”
“Then we don’t need to bring water. I’ll be enough.” A faint smile appeared on Gu Yue’s lips, her eyes shining.
“Hm?” Tang Wulin’s eyes lit up in understanding, and he grinned. “Alright!”
Gu Yue turned and began marching toward Spirit Ice Plaza, her three companions in tow. Xie Xie and Xu Xiaoyan bubbled with excitement as they also understood her intentions.
Gu Yue stopped beside the plaza. She took a deep breath, narrowed her eyes, then summoned her three soul rings.
Her first soul ring lit up as she activated Elemental Tide.
She held her hands up in the air, gathering specks of green light in her palms. Blue light soon followed until the two equally-sized lights swirled in her palms.
She exuded an aura of serenity as she manipulated the two elements. She moved much slower than she would if she were in combat.
However, Tang Wulin could sense how stable the elements she gathered had become. They were far stabler than usual.
Moreover, she was currently only using her first soul skill.
The green and blue lights grew ever brighter as they spiraled within her hands, transforming into a tiny whirlpool. It rotated faster and faster until the two elements completely mixed.
Gu Yue’s second soul ring lit up and the elements poured into the whirlpool faster than before. With both Elemental Control’s amplification and her spiritual power in the Spirit Sea realm, the whirlpool of elements soon grew two meters tall and didn’t stop there.
Her third soul ring then lit up and she activated Elemental Fusion. The two elements completely fused into one. Armed with her mighty spiritual power, she had absolute control over the swirling elements. She was one of a handful of people who possessed three soul rings and had reached the Spirit Sea realm.