Chu Liuyue paused in her movements. “I didn’t know about this.”
The elder laughed and waved his hands. “It’s normal that you haven’t registered. When new students come in every year, they’ll go for a mass test and be registered in the booklet. It’s normal that you don’t have it because your situation is special. Just find some time to take the test later on.”
Chu Liuyue then remembered that, when the people in front of her placed their nameplates on the black jade, it would show their names and their Yuan meridian and cultivation levels.
However, the stone only showed her name after she placed her nameplate on it. No, there was still a number after it—19.
Chu Liuyue curiously looked at the number behind her name. “This is…”
“This is the amount of time you can spend cultivating in Jiuyou Tower. According to the mid-term assessment results, every student will be allocated different cultivation durations. Since you took second place in the Xuan Master assessment and first place in the warrior assessment, your total cultivation duration is 38 hours.” The elder was very patient and explained everything to Chu Liuyue.
When he finished his explanation, Chu Liuyue could clearly feel quite a few people turn to look at her. Their gazes were filled with envy, unlike the previous curiosity and fear.
Envy? Is it because of these 38 hours? Chu Liuyue knew that one had to meet conditions to cultivate in Jiuyou Tower, but it seemed like it was much harder than what she imagined. With her results, she only had 38 hours. It was easy for her to guess how many hours other people had.
“Teacher, can I freely allocate these 38 hours?”
The elder smiled a little cunningly. “It’s not that simple. Even though you have many allocated hours, there’s a limit to how long you can spend cultivating inside every day.”
Xuan Masters and heavenly doctors did not really care about cultivating in this area, so they rarely came to Jiuyou Tower to absorb the Heaven and Earth Force. Warriors were the ones who came the most.
After all, Jiuyou Tower’s Heaven and Earth Force was much denser than outside. One’s cultivation speed would greatly increase if they could enter the tower and cultivate.
This was an enormous attraction to any warrior.
“The cultivation duration is naturally allocated according to the warrior’s stage. Stage-one warriors can train for up to two hours in Jiuyou Tower a day. Stage-two warriors can train for four hours, and so on and so forth.”
The elder’s eyes shone with excitement and curiosity as he stared at Chu Liuyue. “I heard you beat Chu Xianmin previously, so you should be a stage-three warrior at least, right?”
When Chu Liuyue heard him talk about the warrior stages, she knew that something bad was about to happen. She was not weak, but who would have guessed that she had just become a stage-one warrior?
No matter how hard she worked, an extra line would not be added to her pearl of essence.
Chu Liuyue could not do anything about it. She could only helplessly and shamelessly say, “I’m… a stage-one warrior.”
The Chu family estate.
“First Elder, do you mean that you’re not giving Minmin a dowry?”
Even though Chu Yan and Lu Yao were not satisfied with their daughter marrying the Crown Prince as a concubine, they did not have any other choice now and could only agree.
Three days were too much of a rush, so they could only prepare a bigger dowry to make them look good. It would also allow Chu Xianmin to live an easier life after she married Rong Jin. However, they did not expect to be stopped by First Elder.
First Elder was expressionless. “The family doesn’t have much income these few years, and the two of you know this the best. Now that the ceremony date has been settled so abruptly, we don’t even have time to prepare such a big dowry.”
Chu Yan suppressed his anger. “Minmin is going to marry the Crown Prince, and she represents our Chu family. If Minmin gets belittled, our Chu family’s reputation will also be tarnished.”
“Hmph, it’s not bad that she’s marrying the Crown Prince, but she’s only going to be a concubine.” First Elder forcefully placed the teacup in his hand down and looked at the duo with a darkened face. “If her dowry is too extravagant now, what will she do when the Crown Prince marries a Secondary Consort and a Royal Consort? Rather than showing our affluence temporarily, we should just be low-key and avoid getting into more trouble.”
His words stumped Chu Yan and his wife, but the anger in their hearts rose even more. Even though the Chu family could not be compared to the past, they still had enough money to afford this.
Besides, Chu Xianmin was the first wife’s daughter, and the Chu family had long been preparing gifts secretly ever since she got close to the Crown Prince.
First Elder only said he did not have the gifts because Chu Xianmin had lost the Crown Princess position. Thus, he purposely became mean to her and wanted to save his money.
How could Chu Yan and his wife agree to this?
“First Elder, even though Minmin is not marrying the Crown Prince as his legitimate wife, it’s hard to tell the future. If you insist—”
“Who can accurately predict the future?” When First Elder heard Chu Yan’s words, he interrupted Chu Yan. However, he was slightly convinced, so he said, “But seeing that you two only have one daughter, the Chu family will fork out 32 gifts to be her dowry.”
Lu Yao sneered in her heart. He is just brushing us off with this slight amount of money! It’s too shameless if the strong Chu family only forks out 32 gifts to be Minmin’s dowry!
First Elder seemed to have read her mind as he calmly added, “Lu Yao, you’ve been in charge of the household for many years. I bet you’ve already prepared some gifts for Minmin. It’s already very nice for the family to give so much. What do you think?”
First Elder is essentially threatening me about me pocketing the money. Lu Yao clenched her teeth. However, she really did not dare to cause much trouble as her reputation would be ruined if word got out. She was also very indignant. Yes, I did take money, but clothes and food both need money.
The three of them were too used to living luxurious lives and only loved the best of everything. Thus, they did not have much savings.
The most important thing was that Chu Xianmin had spent more than 100,000 silver taels in Zhen Bao Pavilion the previous month. Lu Yao was planning to ask her marital home for money after Chu Xianmin claimed first place in the academy’s assessment and earned the Crown Prince’s liking.
Who would have expected Chu Liuyue to appear out of nowhere and disrupt her plans?
The Lu family was now mocking her openly and secretly. Why would they give her another cent?
Zhen Bao Pavilion had also chased her very tightly. She definitely did not dare to offend them, so she could only use her own money.
She no longer had money to prepare a dowry for Chu Xianmin. However, judging by First Elder’s look, it was clear that he would not change his mind. Saying anything else would only humiliate her.
Lu Yao stood up and glanced at Chu Yan—who wanted to say something else—before the two of them left with many grievances.
Tian Lu Academy, Jiuyou Tower.
Chu Liuyue ignored all the gazes around her and pinned the nameplate on her left chest again. She calmed herself down and looked up.
Jiuyou Tower was a majestic tower with nine levels and was made of black cast iron. When viewed from the bottom to the top, the tower looked like a sharp knife going straight for the clouds, as if it would tear the sky into pieces at any moment.
Every level had eight corners that curled up. A bell hung from each corner. When the wind blew, one could hear crisp bell rings nearby.
The person in front of Chu Liuyue had already entered the tower through the dark-green copper door.
The door was rectangular and had a weird drawing etched on it. It seemed to be an eagle. The eagle looked down slightly, and its eyes were tightly shut. Its pair of enormous wings were folded in front of it, making it look especially stern while enveloped by a fiery and crazy aura.
For some reason, Chu Liuyue took one look at it and felt its ferocious aura.
She suppressed her strange feelings and stretched her hands out to push the door.
At this moment, the eagle suddenly opened its tightly shut eyes.
Bloody! Violent! Terrifying!
Harsh, cold intent went straight for Chu Liuyue.