A hint of astonishment flashed in the archbishop's eyes, and he stood up abruptly. The chair he was seated on instantaneously turned into dust.
Seeing how astonished the archbishop was, everyone present was taken aback as well. They looked at the archbishop, not knowing what was wrong.
The archbishop had his eyes fixed on Fang Xingjian, as if he had just seen something unbelievable.
Fang Xingjian turned and asked, "What's wrong?"
"No... nothing... Why are you... Uh... no..." the archbishop uttered incoherently. This showed just how astonished he was.
However, he was, after all, an archbishop. After a short moment, he took in a deep breath and calmed down completely. Then he took in another deep breath and said, "Xing... Xingjian, there's no issue at all for you to participate in the Martial Techniques Grading Plan with your talent and sword arts cultivation. I'll be reporting the result of our inspection, and the management will send news very soon. With regard to the concrete amount of funding and plans, I'll be staying for a few days and going through them with you slowly."
Gardner looked toward the archbishop in surprise. The archbishop was a person of high status, in charge of spreading their beliefs in a region. In many small countries in the north, his status was even beyond that of the King.
However, at this moment, Gardner sensed from the archbishop’s tone an imperceptible hint of... terror.
Amidst everyone's surprised gazes, the archbishop became extremely cooperative. For the next few days, he discussed the concrete details of the Martial Techniques Grading Plan with Fang Xingjian on friendly terms.
Fang Xingjian would be in charge of about 1% of the progress schedule, which consisted of approximately 1,000 sets of sword techniques. The Church of Universal Truth would provide funding of about 15 million gold, which would be paid in a total of ten instalments. The speed at which the instalments were made would be based on the rate at which Fang Xingjian completed the appraisal of the sword techniques. With each 100 sets of sword techniques he completed, he would get 1.5 million gold.
One could imagine how tremendous a sum of money would be required for the Church of Universal Truth to gather the martial techniques required for the entire Martial Techniques Grading Plan. The amount of wealth required for the preparation phase of this project would already be sufficient to cause the collapse of many small countries.
The specifics of the appraisal process would be to use the information provided by the Church as the basis and issue an overall appraisal to each sword technique based on their control, destructive force, explosive force, difficulty of learning, and other aspects. There were seven tiers of grading, which were S, A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively.
The Church of Universal Truth had planned this out extremely carefully, and the statistics provided were very detailed. For example, the exact temperature of the said high temperature, what was the destructive force when it exploded, how much agility was added... Each document had a very detailed list attached to them.
The tremendous amount of manuals was sufficient to almost fill up an entire room. There were also 1,000 sets of detailed materials and cultivation methods. One could only begin to imagine how much work was required.
As for the royalties for the Rebirth Sword Technique, due to the archbishop's change in attitude, Ferdinand's and Zhou Xingwen's progress with the negotiations was fantastic.
A few days later, in the academy's dining hall, Fang Xingjian was seated at the table, waiting for food to be served. He closed his eyes, and various sword moves continued flashing incessantly in his mind. Even when he was waiting for his meal to be ready, he did not stop cultivating his sword arts.
Just then, Rota walked over. In the past, this female Knight had sworn to catch up to Fang Xingjian. Having not met Fang Xingjian for several months, she now had short hair, her eyes were filled with chivalry, and her limbs appeared longer and more slender. These features, accompanied by her originally tall and slender figure, made her appeared even more enchanting.
When Rota saw Fang Xingjian at the table, the corners of her lips curled up as she walked up to the table and sat down. "You've been keeping yourself in the Sacred Land all day long. It was really hard to find you."
When Fang Xingjian saw her joyous expression, he asked, "Is something up?"
"I succeeded in my second transition, the Flame Dragon Cavalry." Rota said, "The Flame Dragon Cavalry can create the Grand Solar Flame Dragon which can compensate for the weakness I had previously of not having sufficient prowess with my Killing techniques." She looked at Fang Xingjian. She did not know why she felt like running to tell Fang Xingjian after she had successfully completed her second transition.
Fang Xingjian nodded, "That's good news. To have succeeded in your second transition in your twenties... You're considered a genius."
"Who would dare to claim to be a genius before you? You managed to pick up two sets of sword techniques in three minutes. And you even maxed out the level for the Universal Truth Longsword. The news has already spread through the entire Great Western City." Rota's beautiful eyes assessed Fang Xingjian like she wanted to sound him out.
Fang Xingjian smiled. "You don't believe it?"
Rota said, "To be honest, if it was someone else, there's no way that I would believe it. However, if it's you, then I'll have to give it more thought. Isn't that why I've rushed over to ask you?"
Just then, the shadows on the ground trembled. Then Anderson, with his second transition job, Shadow of Death, emerged from the shadows. He stared at Fang Xingjian and said, "I heard that you managed to cultivate the Universal Truth Longsword to the maximum level within three minutes. Is that true?"
After he heard the news, Anderson had been sleepless for the past few nights. The dark eye circles under his eyes made him seem just like a panda.
'If that's true... If Fang Xingjian's talent has already reached such a level... then wouldn't it be impossible for me to catch up to him in this entire lifetime?'
Fang Xingjian looked at the person before him and nodded casually. "It's true. Is there a problem?"
Both Rota and Anderson fell silent, and their gazes reflected a sense of confusion and loss.
For them to suddenly realize that it had taken Fang Xingjian only a few minutes to complete something which they would need several months, or even one to two years, to complete... This was a devastating hit to their confidence level.
Fang Xingjian could not help but say, "There's no need for the two of you to compare yourself with me. We aren't the same."
"What's different?!" Anderson spoke angrily, "Fang Xingjian, are you looking down on me? In your eyes, are we all very silly? When you watch us cultivating, do you feel like bursting out in laughter?"
Fang Xingjian shook his head. Then right at that moment, Diana brought five servants with her to serve the food. "This is Golden Lobster. The Golden Lobster is a level 29 ferocious beast. Its outer shell is far too hard, but I got help from Lord Zhou Xingwen to cut off its shell and extract the meat."
On a huge plate approximately one meter long, all of the Golden Lobster's flesh was lying there quietly with its shell removed.
Be it the flesh in its claws or body, they were all perfectly left in one piece, with no signs of damages.
"For the sauce, I've used Royal Butter from the north and the Ferocious Wild Chicken soup, that I stewed for 12 hours, at a 1:1 ratio. I've also added a little wine. Please try it."
Fang Xingjian looked at the Golden Lobster which took five people a tremendous effort to bring to the table, and the corners of his lips curled up.
He looked toward Rota and Anderson. "The two of you should try it as well."
Rota gulped as she looked at the tender, juicy, and huge golden lobster which was emitting a tempting fragrance. She could not help but ask, "Level 29 Golden Lobster? How much does this cost?"
Fang Xingjian cut off a piece of the lobster meat, dipped into sauce, and swallowed it in one mouth. The sweetness from the lobster as well as the freshness and saltiness of the sauce went perfectly together. The fragrance of the wine blended in superbly as well, making Fang Xingjian smile once again.
Hearing Rota's words, he said nonchalantly, "100,000 gold. It's the specialty of the Federation. I got Zhou Xingwen to get it specially for me."
Anderson had just taken a bite of the lobster, and upon hearing that it cost 100,000 gold, he spat it out. Then using a hint of shadow from his palm, he caught the lobster meat and swallowed it in one shot.
"100,000 gold?! Are you crazy?! 100,000 gold for a meal?!"