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Translator: KurazyTolanzuraytor Editor: Lucas
"Duan Ling Tian!" Duan Ling Tian nodded to Sima Chang Feng as he replied.
"Duan Ling Tian?" Sima Chang Feng’s brows knitted. He was slightly surprised. "You’re a Duan Clan direct descendant?"
Besides Xiao Yu and Xiao Xun, the other students that were somewhat acquainted with the Imperial City’s Duan Clan looked at Duan Ling Tian as well, as the direct descendants of the Duan Clan in this generation all had the name Ling… However, all of the students, including Sima Chang Feng, felt it to be slightly strange. If Duan Ling Tian was really a member of the Duan Clan, he probably wasn’t a nobody. Moreover, not mentioning how the strategy he spoke of earlier was more than enough to prove that he was intelligent and resourceful, just being able to enter Paladin Academy at the age of 18 was extremely rare as well.
"No." Duan Ling Tian shook his head. So what if the blood that flowed through his veins was the blood of a Duan Clan direct descendant?
That clan that was cold and detached was something he disdained!
"Sit down." Sima Chang Feng nodded. If Duan Ling Tian wasn’t a Duan Clan disciple, then he could understand why he’d never heard of him. The Crimson Sky Kingdom encompassed a vast area of land, and there were plenty of people surnamed Duan, so this was nothing strange.
The other students heaved a sigh of relief.
"If he was a Duan Clan disciple, his name would probably have spread through the Imperial City long ago."
"However, even if he isn’t a Duan Clan disciple, being able to pass one of the tests within the 18 counties at such an age is indeed monstrous!"
Many student glanced at Duan Ling Tian with gazes that contained slight fear.
"This Duan Ling Tian, not only does he have great natural talent in the Martial Dao, he has such an intelligent mind as well… The strategy of crossing the river while deceiving the heavens, to think he can think of such a strategy!" As Xiao Xun glanced at Duan Ling Tian, a feeling of admiration was aroused within him.
Xiao Yu’s gaze flickered. Although he was surprised of the strategy that Duan Ling Tian spoke of, when he thought of all the repeated miracles that Duan Ling Tian created, he felt at ease.
In his opinion… Duan Ling Tian was a little freak!
Meanwhile, Sima Chang Feng’s voice sounded. "Duan Ling Tian’s strategy of crossing the river while deceiving the heavens can be considered to be flawless. Even the plan I thought of contains some of the essence of the strategy of crossing the river while deceiving the heavens. Overall, my plan can’t compare to his strategy of crossing the river while deceiving the heavens!"
Sima Chang Feng’s voice had only just faded when the entire classroom burst into an uproar. Never had they imagined that the dignified Star Mastermind Department teacher of Paladin Academy would actually show a bearing of being ashamed of his inferiority to a new student…
However, with a few thoughts, they came to an understanding. The strategy that Duan Ling Tian spoke of was indeed worthy of admiration; it left no room for criticism.
"This teacher seems slightly interesting." Duan Ling Tian focused his gaze onto Sima Chang Feng and was slightly surprised.
Ordinarily speaking, a teacher would place great importance on maintaining their pride and would absolutely not admit themselves to be inferior in any aspect to a student, but Sima Chang Feng, however, behaved in a frank and open manner and didn’t feel even slightly ashamed.
Such admirable demeanor!
In next to no time, an entire morning’s worth of time passed within Sima Chang Feng’s lengthy lecture. Amazingly, Sima Chang Feng’s lectures were considerably interesting and contained much interaction, so for the entire morning, there actually wasn’t a single new student among the 18 of them that dozed off.
The vastness of Sima Chang Feng’s knowledge was something that even Duan Ling Tian couldn’t help but admire!
When it was nearly noon, Sima Chang Feng collected Duan Ling Tian and the other students’ proof of qualification before handing out delicate, small badges that were the same on both sides. Besides having some patterns on the edges, the middle was engraved with two words: Paladin Academy.
"This is the Paladin Academy Student Badge. You can use this badge to travel in and out of Paladin Academy." As Sima Chang Feng spoke up to this point, his eyes, which were just filled with wisdom, abruptly became slightly fierce. "However, if someone uses this badge and uses the name of a Paladin Academy student to bully the innocent and commit crimes in violation of the law, then Paladin Academy has the right to reclaim the badge and expel him from Paladin Academy!"
Sima Chang Feng’s warning caused some of the students that planned on using this badge to show off later quickly dispelled the thoughts that had just arisen.
They had all spent tremendous effort to enter Paladin Academy, and only they were clear of the hardships they faced. Now that they had become Paladin Academy students, they were the focus of attention and even brought honor to their families. If they were to be expelled from Paladin Academy, then it would really be an extreme loss of face!
"Paladin Academy is divided into six grades, and you’re all grade 1 new students. Grade 1 new students have classes for five days and rest for two. According to the school’s rules, the students of the Star Mastermind Department will have classes in the morning, have lunch in the academy’s cafeteria at noon, and have free personal activity time within the Martial Arts Practice Grounding in the afternoon, where they may discuss the Martial Dao or spar with another, but it’s disallowed to harm another’s life!" Sima Chang Feng left after finishing.
Xiao Xun stood up and said to Duan Ling Tian and Xiao Yu, "Let’s go have food!"
The three of them headed to the academy’s cafeteria, where they found an empty table and sat around it.
The cafeteria in Paladin Academy was similar to the restaurants in the city. Before long, an attendant walked over and asked respectfully, "Young Masters, what would you like to have?"
The three of them ordered some dishes and a jug of wine.
"Teacher Sima’s knowledge is really vast, and he is admirable." Xiao Yu said.
"Indeed." Duan Ling Tian agreed with him.
Xiao Xun glanced at Duan Ling Tian with a strange gaze. "Duan Ling Tian, Xiao Yu saying he admires teacher Sima isn’t strange to me… but you, who could think of a strategy that caused teacher Sima to be ashamed of his inferiority, also admire teacher Sima?"
The more he savored the strategy of crossing the river while deceiving the heavens that Duan Ling Tian presented earlier in class, the more he felt it to be profound and difficult to be fully understood!
This strategy was not something that could only be applied on the battlefield; it could also be used in a myriad of different places… And it was a very practical strategy!
A trace of embarrassment appeared on the corners of Duan Ling Tian’s mouth as he heard what Xiao Xun said, as the strategy of crossing the river while deceiving the heavens wasn’t something that he thought about but rather was based on the 36 stratagems of his previous life…
Now that Xiao Xun said that it was he who thought of it, he couldn’t help but feel ashamed.
Before long, the students that arrived at the cafeteria grew in number. Among these students, some were 20-year-old new students, and there were also some that were over 20 years old and were higher grade students.
In next to no time, the spacious cafeteria hall was filled with people, and some students could only stand aside and wait.
"Duan Ling Tian!" A familiar voice sounded from afar. It was Tian Hu and Su Li who had arrived. Even though the table wasn’t too large, with a little squeeze, it could still fit the five of them.
"Why are you all so late?" Duan Ling Tian was slightly surprised.
"Don’t mention it. There are a lot of people in our Star General Department, so it was further divided into two classes… And we were unlucky to be divided into Niu Mang’s class. That Niu Mang is a freak! He only spoke briefly about the Dao of being a general in the classroom before dragging us off to the Martial Arts Practice Grounds to run, and we ran the entire morning. I’m dead tired." Tian Hu cursed as he spoke.
Meanwhile, Duan Ling Tian noticed that the clothes on Tian Hu’s body were drenched in sweat.
Xiao Yu glanced at Su Li who seemed to be sitting there leisurely and teased, "Tian Hu, it’s you who can’t handle it, right? Su Li doesn’t seem to be out of breath nor flushed. It doesn’t seem to be as bad as you say."
"Can I compare to him? He’s a fre…" Tian Hu was just about to call Su Li a freak when he noticed Su Li’s gaze, which was like sword, look over at him, and he hurriedly shut his mouth.
"In other words, our Star Mastermind Department is much more relaxed than yours. We enjoyed sitting in the classroom the entire morning." Xiao Xun laughed.
"If I knew earlier I would’ve chosen the Star Mastermind Department," Tian Hu said in slight regret.
Su Li grunted coldly and disdainfully said, "Are you even suited for that?"
Duan Ling Tian and the others started laughing. If Tian Hu were to really become a mastermind that mapped out strategies, it would indeed be quite difficult on him.
Before long, the steaming hot dishes arrived, and Duan Ling Tian asked the attendant for two more pairs of chopsticks.
The five of them had only just picked up their chopsticks and were about to eat.
"Hey! You five, put down the silver for this meal, and then you can leave." Just at this moment, an abrupt voice broke the peace at Duan Ling Tian’s table.
Duan Ling Tian’s face sank as he looked over at the person who spoke.
The person who spoke was a young man over the age of 20, and there were three more young men with similar ages behind him. Based on Duan Ling Tian’s guess, these four people should be grade 2 students.
"There’s nothing wrong with you, right?" Tian Hu’s eyes glared with his enormous eyes. He was not one bit fearful as he crossed eyes with the young man in the lead.
"Kid, I asked you to leave your money and f**k off. Didn’t you hear me?" The young man in the lead’s expression sank.
Last year, when he was faced with the threats of a higher grade student, even though he, who was a new student at the time, felt like refusing to obey, he still obediently put down his money and left in the end. Now a new group of students had arrived at the academy, and he originally thought that he would be able to throw his weight as a higher grade student about, but who would have known that he actually encountered someone that would refuse to give in!? Thus, he was slightly embarrassed.
"We asked you to f**k off, didn’t you hear?"
"Remember to put down the silver for this meal. Just take it as showing respect to us, and in the future we’ll protect you in the academy."
"What’re you looking at? F**k off!" The other young men spoke out as they glared angrily at Duan Ling Tian’s group.
Duan Ling Tian, while looking at the surroundings, noticed that there were many new students that were faced with similar conditions. Most of the new students chose to swallow the insult and humiliation silently by leaving after putting down their silver and giving away the dishes and wine they’d chosen for themselves to the higher grade students.
"There are disgusting flies around everywhere these days, so annoying." Duan Ling Tian shook his head and sighed before clamping some food and eating, completely ignoring the higher grade students.
Upon hearing what Duan Ling Tian said, Tian Hu, whose rage was rising rapidly, was stunned for a moment and couldn’t help but laugh. "Yeah, I didn’t think that flies were so poor these days. They don’t even have the money to eat… Tsk tsk, if you ask me, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have money; just kneel down and sing a few tunes, maybe this Young Master will be pleased and will reward you with some spare change." After hearing what Duan Ling Tian and Tian Hu said, Xiao Yu and Xiao Xun laughed loudly. They stopped paying attention to the four higher grade students that were staring furiously at them; they minded their own business and started to eat.
As for Su Li, he was sweeping through the food on the table with a cold expression without any fluctuation in his emotions.
"You… you all…" The young man in the lead’s expressions was filled with anger and embarrassment, and the fury in his eyes soared.
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