Chapter 8 – Caramel Academy
“Hey, Old man, Fundamental Tang’s salary can’t be too low either, remember that it is because of him that I am here!” Ah Mo Li said to Old Fart Wei, seemingly with a sense of brotherhood.
Tang Tian’s impression of the annoying cow momentarily changed to a good person!
The old man whispered “Alright, two times the salary, that is the furthest I can go. Bronze Grade Rank Two or Three Spirit Card, any of your choosing from what the school has to offer. However, any one card that you choose, you have to perfect before choosing a new card. After all they are for you to cultivate, do not bite off more than you can chew!”
The old man was very calculative. It was difficult to master rank two martial arts, needless to say, the third ranked martial arts were even harder than the second ranked. The old man did not lose out too much.
“Deal!” Tang Tian was relatively satisfied.
He intended to work to obtain the Spirit Card. To be able to get one Spirit Card, he would already be very pleased.
There was nothing more beautiful than focusing on cultivating.
“Oh right, What is our school called?” Tang Tian suddenly remembered this question.
“It’s called….called…”Ah Mo Li gave up and looked at Old Fart Wei.
“Caramel Academy” Old Fart Wei smiled.
Tang Tian frowned, drawing a line across his forehead. The founder of the academy probably loved caramel a lot. He quickly threw the weird name to the back of his head, rubbed his fist with his other palm and asked, “Where is our academy?”
Though the name was very strange to Tang Tian, it did not bother him. Many academies were built in the Star Wind City as they provided the most funding. For Andrew Academy to achieve a spot in the top ten positions, it was considered a prestigious academy. Even so, there were many other small academies which were never heard of before.
“Hehehe, young people are definitely full of vigour! I like it! Oh, not too far away.” Old Fart Wei smiled from ears to ears.
Two hours later, in a desolate and uninhabited dense forest.
Tang Tian was surprised to find a ragged wooden hut that looked as though it was about to collapse.
On a broken wooden pole hung a corroded metal plate. The words: ‘Caramel Academy’ were engraved onto it. As the wind blew, it banged against the metal plate, …
“This is the Caramel Academy?” Tang Tian lifelessly turned to ask, finger pointing to the several almost collapsed wooden huts.
“Hahahaha! Although the conditions are quite arduous, eh, you youngsters have self discipline!” Old Fart Wei was not even in the least embarrassed.
Ah Mo Li cried out in alarm:” Old man Wei, you’re too confused with misery already! Didn’t you say your school is in the top 50?”
“This, I will never lie to you. Fifty years ago, Caramel Academy rushed their way into the top 50.”
“How about now?” Tang Tian asked suspiciously.
“Ah ha, well now we have met with some slight difficulties. However…” Old Fart Wei laughed.
“Ranking!” Tang Tian glared at him.
“Ranking…Oh, we’re ranked, number 352.” Old Fart Wei squinted his eyes.
Tang Tian turned and asked Ah Mo Li, “How many schools does Star Wind City have?”
Ah Mo Li frowned and thought, “I think it totals up to 350.”
“Nonsense!” Old Fart Wei jumped up, “Definitely it’s 354!”
Tang Tian face darkened, “Third from last!”
Old Fart Wei innocently winked his little eye.
Ah Mo Li suddenly saw the light: “No wonder you’d bet on such huge amount of capital, you must be losing a lot, and they are going to cancel your academy’s qualification. Hey, old man, are you able to pay for our plight?”
Old Fart Wei patted his chest, “Don’t you worry about this, Caramel Academy already has eight years of history, definitely we will have some savings. I can pay a part of your salary right now.”
“Where are the students? Don’t tell me it is only us two?” Tang Tian asked.
Old Fart Wei continued to wink his eye innocently, “The last student changed school two days ago.”
“What about the teachers?” Tang Tian continued asking.
“Me” Old Fart Wei said in a matter of fact manner, pointing to himself.
Tang Tian turned to ask Ah Mo Li: “How did you get to know him?”
Ah Mo Li bashfully replied, “I think we met when I was very young. He praised that I was a genius. Every time we met, he would compliment me. After complimenting me for a few years, we got close.”
Not forgetting to add on the last sentence: “I think he’s right.”
Tang Tian was speechless. He stared at the ruins of the academy as he got closer to it.
“Don’t tell me you’re intimidated by this trivial level of difficulty?” Old Fart Wei squinched.
“Intimidated?” Tang Tian cringed his face, illfully staring at Old Fart Wei.
Tang Tian snorted, and with a sunken face, he started rolling up his sleeves.
“Well, Fundamental Tang, what do you want to do? You want to beat him? Actually I feel that he indeed needs a spanking.” Ah Mo Li tilted his head and asked.
“Build a hut.”
Not turning back once, Tang Tian walked into the forest.
“Build a hut?” Ah Mo Li glanced at the ruined wooden hut and came to realize: “Sure enough, he is worthy to be called godlike! As I was saying, this issue is nothing to Fundamental Tang…”
Annoyed by his long-windedness, Tang Tian pointed to the forest: “You go get some logs and bring them here!”
“No problem!” Ah Mo Li ‘peng peng’ patted his chest, turned and aggressively rushed into the forest.
Tang Tian started calculating. It was too far away from the Star Wind City, there must be a place to live in. there were three of them, each needed one room, that would total up to a three-room wooden hut. There was a need to build a simple yet crude hut to act as a training facility. Amongst those old and tiny wooden huts, there was one which housed a collection of books. Tang Tian estimated that those were good for nothing, but decided to build a small hut. To store all the junk.
Tang Tian had lived alone for quite some time, and fixed and repaired quite a number of things by himself. His style was to be swift and decisive, and very quickly, he cleared a plot of land.
Not long after, the floor shook vigorously.
Tang Tian immediately froze.
Sitting on Ah Mo Li’s shoulder was a 3 meter long tree. The other end of the tree was being dragged on the ground. Ah Mo Li looked as though he were a wild cow rushing over.
“Huo Huo Huo!”
Under the enormous log, Ah Mo Li’s strong stature looked really pitiful. With his mouth shaped like an ‘O’, tensing all of his body’s muscles, every step he took caved into the ground. With the enormous log perched on top of his body, it resembled a giant broom, forcefully sweeping up a big road.
Even with Tang Tian believing in his own strength wholeheartedly, when he looked at the barbaric bull, Tang Tian was still dumbstruck.
Once he arrived at where Tang Tian stood, Ah Mo Li threw the log that was sitting on his shoulder towards the ground. The ground beneath Tang Tian’s feet shook.
“Is this enough? Do you want me to grab you a few more trees?” Ah Mo Li asked energetically.
Instantly, Tang Tian made a wise decision. He found a broken knife in the pile of junk and passed it to Ah Mo Li: “Use it to chop the logs into wooden planks.”
“About this thickness will do.” Tang Tian demonstrated to Ah Mo Li with a stern face: “This is a very practical way to practice your cultivation! The requirement is to have absolute precision.”
“No problem at all!”
Ah Mo Li’s eyes glimmered. He snatched the broken knife and like the wind, rushed towards the wooden trees.
What a wonderful and perfect robot in a human form! Tang Tian’s heart was filled with gratitude. He started to work hard with his head buried.
“As expected, the young people are full of vigour!”
The Old Fart Man lamented and with great efforts, he climbed up a hammock that was tied underneath a shady tree, yawned, and fell into a deep sleep.
Looking at the new wooden hut in front of them, Tang Tian and Ah Mo Li were satisfied. Ah Mo Li’s planks and boards were rather consistent, and Tang Tian’s woodsmanship was not too bad as well. Both of them labored for the entire day, and was very tired.
“Let’s rest.” Tang Tian waved his hand, and entered his own wooden hut.
Ah Mo Li yawned, and immediately climbed into his own wooden hut to sleep.
Tang Tian did not immediately sleep. He opened up a letter, and started writing to Qian Hui.
“Qian Hui, I changed schools today, the new school is called Caramel Academy, it’s very interesting. This school is filled with nature’s smell.”
Under the moonlight, Old Fart Wei, who was on his hammock, opened his eyes, blinked and looked at the wooden hut filled with a hazy tangerine (TN: orange) light from the sun, a smile appearing on the corners of his mouth, a cloudy and deep look in his small eyes.
One night passed.
Early morning of the second day, Tang Tian woke up.
Due to having had the same routine everyday for the past few years, his body clock led him to wake up on time, despite the laborious work the day before. Beside the academy was a small creek, flowing with cold water that jolted him to be refreshed.
“Young man, as expected, you have enthusiasm!”
Old fart wei’s voice came from behind, Tang Tian did not even turn to look, and asked, “School principal also wakes up so early?”
“Hey, I am so old already, we don’t require as much sleep like you youngsters!” Old fart Wei said helplessly, and continued, “Right, which kind of Spirit Cards do you need?”
Hearing the words Spirit Cards, Tang Tian was immediately filled with energy.
“A second ranked one should do, oh, some that are related to fist techniques first.”
Tang Tian’s cultivation talent was average, and it was not clear if it was because of the recent fights, but lately, he felt invigorated and overjoyed whenever he used his fists to punch people.
“Fist techniques uh, not many people focus on them, give me some time to find some.” Old Fart Wei took out many Bronze Grade Spirit Cards, arranged them in front of Tang Tian: “Here, all these are related to fist techniques, pick one.”
Tang Tian was overjoyed to see the cards, and immediately took them up one by one.
Bronze Grade Spirit Cards were bronze at the top, and in the middle of the plate was a vague shadow of a person, standing straight and making a fist. Different types of cards had different shadows doing different actions and postures.
On the back of the card, were descriptions related to the Spirit Card.
Once martial artists create their own martial arts, they can proceed to make their own Spirit Cards. The newly formed Spirit Cards have differing qualities split into three grades: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Spirit Cards contain the martial artist’s Spirit Brand, and with it, some accumulated part of the martial artist’s comprehension of the martial art, the higher the grade of the card, the more complete the accumulation of comprehension. Bronze Grade Cards only contained up to thirty percent, Silver about sixty percent, while Gold contained all of the comprehension.
Created Spirit Cards had two functions; one was to summon the Spirit to use and train oneself, the other was possession. Once the Spirit Card is possessed, the message and comprehension from the spirit brand, will be accepted fully by the user.
Whether it were to summon or possess, they both had time restriction.
In the beginning, possession was invented as a type of fighting technique, but soon after, people realised that using it to practise martial arts was much easier and more convenient. After that, Spirit Cards started to become popular. Even now, Spirit Cards were still popular and spread for thousands of years, and its system had become extremely meticulous.
Tang Tian looked at them piece by piece, carefully selecting them.
[Thousand Whirlpools Fist Technique], fists spiralling like whirlpools, a hundred revolutions and thousand returns, leaving no loopholes. Requires water affinity to produce optimal power.
[Blazing Sun Fist Technique], Fists like the blazing sun, ten thousand rays of light, dominating the enemy. Requires fire affinity to produce optimal power.
[Withered Wood Fist Technique], as sharp as thin and dry branches, engages inelegance for breakthrough, using defence as offence. Requires wood affinity to produce optimal power.
Looking at these arts that required the affinity of one of the five elements to be effective, Tang Tian gave them up without the slightest hesitation.
[Flash Fist Technique], as quick as lightning, all types of affinity are suitable.
[Heavy Fist Technique], Immense and vigorous power, using its weight to breakthrough, all types of affinity are suitable.
Thinking about Ah Mo Li who was a madman and all about brute strength, Tang Tian decided to choose the [Flash Fist Technique].