Chapter 53 – Provocation
Although the Lin Family had a very rich heritage, if a family wanted long-term development, they had to concentrate their financial resources. The family business could only be passed onto direct descendants, otherwise the business would become more and more generation fragmented and within a few generations, more or less, the family would exist in name only.
Lin Ming was born within the branch family, and he was also separated by several generations, it was impossible for his family to be given a business; they could only be responsible for management. Since he was born, Lin Ming never had much contact with the direct descendant juniors of the Lin Family, so he simply hadn’t recognized this brother-sister pair.
Lin Wu said, “We only found out a few days ago that the number one spot in the Martial House entrance examination was a junior of the Lin Family, it really gave us juniors a huge shock. And rarest of all, you were from the branch family. You managed to achieve this success without the resources and support of the main family; it really makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed.
Lin Fengyuan also interjected, she said, “Young Cousin, the news that you managed to obtain the first place result in the examination has already been passed onto the family; it even alarmed the head of the household! This is a remarkable achievement! The head of the household has already visited Young Cousin’s parents and gifted the restaurant to Young Cousin’s parents. He thanked the two elders for rearing such a wonderful talent in the Lin Family. When Young Cousin goes back, the Lin Family will go high and low to give you the most welcoming dinner for your reception.”
After hearing these two siblings’ words, Lin Ming was speechless. He hadn’t thought that such a series of events had occurred. Regarding the Lin Family, he had never felt much of a connection or sense of belonging to them, and as for the welcoming reception, he wasn’t much interested.
However, what Lin Ming also knew, was that this was his parents’ fondest dream and hope that he would obtain glory. For parents, who didn’t want their children to enjoy the world and return home with riches and honor?
Moreover, his parents had a very strong sense of tradition, and forever hoped to bring honor to their ancestors and provide an umbrella for their descendants. The honor of being the first place candidate in the Seven Profound Martial House was an honor that would give the Lin Family bragging rights for several generations. The total population of Sky Fortune Kingdom was between 70 to 80 million. To be the first place candidate in the Seven Profound Martial House was equal to being at the forefront of all these people. Even setting a memorial for this occasion would not be an exaggeration.
Aware of this, Lin Ming felt a deep sense of satisfaction. All children naturally wanted to make their parents happy.
Lin Ming smiled and said, “When I first came to the Seven Profound Martial House, I was unfamiliar with the people here and the place here. It’s my luck to be able to meet my family’s elder brother and sister. Elder Sister was especially kind. Please take care of me in the future.”
“Haha! Young Cousin is too polite. If you have any difficulties in the future, just open your mouth and say so. Although my own power is limited and weak, the family will still be able to bring some resources into Sky Fortune City.”
The two boys exchanged Sound Transmitting Talisman contact information. After this, the classroom quieted down. A voice said, “The elder professor has arrived.”
Lin Ming looked up and saw an old man wearing a white robe walk into the Martial Lecture Hall. He grasped a thick old tome in his hand as he headed on stage. The fluctuations of his true essence was weaker when compared to Muyi, he was probably at the Pulse Condensation Period.
In Green Mulberry City, Pulse Condensation Period martial artists were quite rare. But after entering the Seven Profound Marital House, he had seen Pulse Condensation Period experts everywhere. It seemed that all the instructors and professors were at least at the Pulse Condensation Period.
The old man placed his old tome on a long and narrow table and slowly said, “From today, I am responsible for lecturing all of you. This will include body techniques, sword techniques, attack skills, defensive skills, escape skills, and the most foundationary true essence and martial arts skills. If there are no further questions, we shall begin.”
The old man had a very succinct opening, and he began to delve into the topics he was teaching. He spoke with much knowledge about simple movement abilities and was able to sum up many useful skills, such as how to conserve or restore strength, when to avoid attacks or how to evade. For instance, how to forcefully reverse the body when airborne, or counter attack when being pressed upon by an opponent.
These skills were not in skill manuals, but by utilizing them, a martial artist would greatly increase their combat prowess. This was the difference between a seasoned veteran and a newbie. Of course, one had to actually engage in combat in order to realize the true art and use of these skills.
The old man spoke about these subjects for one hour, tidied up his desk and said, “Class ends here today. All new students may stay and receive your true essence stone.”
“True essence stone?” Lin Ming startled. He had heard some things about these true essence stones. They naturally contained true essence and had many uses such as activating magic arrays.
Lin Wu said, “Young Cousin, this true essence stone is a really good resource. It has true essence contained within, it can be used to speed up one’s cultivation, and is also very pure, so it is easy to refine.”
“Young Cousin, since you are the first place candidate, you can receive 10 true essence stones.” Lin Fengyuan also echoed, and in her voice was a twinge of envy.
“Oh? The true essence stone is that precious?”
“Mm. The truth is that the Sky Fortune Kingdom also had a lode of true essence stones to mine, but they have to turn them in to the Seven Profound Valleys. The large sects have many true essence stones, but only some of them trickle down into the general populace. There are very few true essence stones that you can buy in the Sky Fortune Kingdom.”
In the entire surrounding area of hundreds of thousands of miles, the Royal Family had to submit to the authority of the Seven Profound Valleys. Strength decided all; this was nothing surprising.
“Young Cousin hurry and go. Later you will be able to rank on the Ranking Stone and might even receive more every month.”
Ling Ming walked up and received his 10 true essence stones. The true essence stones looked as if they had many impurities like natural quartz, and were not transparent at all.
A true essence stone weighed about one tael after it passed through the cutting process. Lin Ming sent his soul force inside, and really did feel the pure true essence residing within.
After Lin Ming, Wang Yanfeng also received his true essence stones, but he only received five of them. The following Earth Hall disciples only received two. As for the Human Hall, they received one. Moreover they were told that if they were unable to enter the Earth Hall in the future, they would not receive any more.
Lin Wu said, “Young Cousin, we rarely meet, would you like to drink a cup or two with me?”
Lin Ming slightly hesitated, and then apologized, “I am very sorry but I want to increase my strength as much as possible before the Ranking Stone test begins. As for drinking, I will invite Elder Brother and Sister another day.” The inscription technique practice required a massive amount of time. In addition to martial arts practice and attending class, Lin Ming had several things he had to do at the same time, and also needed to practise his breath control during his sleep time.
“Haha, Young Cousin is truly diligent in his cultivation. No wonder you have such high achievements at such a young age. Good, then we will gather again another day.”
Lin Ming bid farewell to Lin Wu and his sister. After the lecture, he left the Martial Lecture Hall alone and came to a fork in the road. There he discovered Wang Yanfeng and two similar looking men standing together. Wang Yanfeng was frowning; obviously his relationship with these two was not good at all.
“Hey! Isn’t this the amazing genius of the Wang Family, Wang Yanfeng? Haha, alas, Yuelu City’s elite tournament first place winner, master of the ‘Nine Paths of Truth’. Hehe, I thought you were so amazing and great, but you lost to some little boy at the Second Stage of Body Transformation. It really makes us Yuelu City youths lose face.” A young man cynically said. His age looked to be 18-19, and he was at the peak of the Third Stage of Body Transformation. He held a longsword in his arms and had a very haughty appearance.
Wang Yanfeng’s complexion immediately sank, “Liu Mingxian, you are just a cheap child of the Liu Family, and yet you also blabber on in front of me! You took so many treasured medicines and yet you couldn’t even place in the top ten of the entrance exam! Even a pig that was raised by your Liu Family would do better compared to you!”
“Hey! You say that I am a pig? Very good, then how about we compare? Let’s see if you can step on me beneath your foot.” Liu Mingxiang said with disdain, a playful smile hung on his face.
Wang Yanfeng stopped speaking and clenched his first. The other was a man who was at the peak of the Third Stage of Body Training, and had also been studying at the Seven Profound Martial House for two years. Compared to him, he would most likely not be able to defeat him.
However, this was how things stood. Wang Yanfeng did not want to retreat, he knew that if he did not accept this challenge today, then this Liu Mingxiang would spread this news in all directions and say he was as timid as a mouse. “The ‘Nine Paths of Truth’ is famous everywhere. Liu Mingxiang, you really do not know what is what! Your talent is inferior to me so you want to use your age to beat me? An 18 year old against a 15 year old? Good! Very good!”
“What a joke and a half! If you were killed on the battlefield would you also complain that the man who killed you was older? Cut the chit-chat, do you dare have the guts to challenge me?”
“Why would I not dare!” Wang Yanfeng coldly snorted. Although he knew that this guy was stirring up trouble and goading him, with his arrogant disposition he still accepted the challenge. If he retreated then his spirit would be defeated, and it would break his heart of martial arts.
“Good. Then we will duel in accordance with the rules of the Martial House. Since we’re battling, then we also must make a little gambling stake. You had just received 5 true essence stones? Use them as your gambling stake.”
Wang Yanfeng clenched his teeth. He was not dumb, he immediately understood that Liu Mingxiang came today to intentionally provoke him for these 5 true essence stones!
This was a good premeditated plan!
But even if he knew this, Wang Yanfeng could not retreat. He could afford to lose 5 essence stones, and he might not even lose!
“If you want to bet, then let’s bet!”
Lin Ming watched the scene from a distance and only shook his head. The other party had obviously grasped the flaw in Wang Yanfeng’s character, and had provoked him with his loud mouth. If Wang Yanfeng had been timid and retreated, then his loss would be even greater. If he avoided the fight and swallowed the insult, this would be a dark day for his martial arts cultivation!
Martial arts cultivation involved not only Body Transformation, but also cultivation of the mind. Cultivating the mind involved being true to you nature and living life freely. If one only kept bearing insult after insult, then their cultivation would halt.
Perhaps Wang Yanfeng would lose. These two were experts at the peak of the Third Stage of Body Transformation and had practised at the Seven Profound Martial House for a long period of time. Their battle prowess might be comparable to a martial artist at the Fourth Stage of Body Transformation. With this strength, even Lin Ming did not have a shred of confidence.
“This Liu Mingxiang is just too rampant and arrogant, but he is indeed an expert. And that youth standing near him is even more unfathomable. Just with these two random people, I do not have any chance of winning. The Seven Profound Martial House is really a crouching tiger, hidden dragon.” Lin Ming thought that this was also normal. Everyone that entered the Seven Profound Martial House was a talent. They were geniuses who were older, and also had enjoyed the many resources of the Martial House. They practiced for such a long time, if they weren’t able to defeat a new disciple, then they had truly wasted their efforts.
This matter was irrelevant to Lin Ming. He turned around to leave and had just taken several steps when a voice sounded from behind. He stopped in his tracks. “Yo! Isn’t that the first place examination candidate? Lin Ming! What a fortunate meeting, a truly fortunate meeting.”
Although the words were pleasant, the provocative meaning behind them was too obvious. Lin Ming frowned. He turned his head to see that the man who spoke was the other youth who had stood beside Liu Mingxiang and Wang Yanfeng, the young man with immeasurably deep strength.