A limping Lin Xi and Bian Linghan walked over to the rainbow-like medicine valley, heading towards the bamboo building at the limits of the stepped fields.
Even though they had a different class each day, the special training for Windstalkers still continued without interruption.
On the mountain slope on the other side, Medicine Department’s plowing of the new stepped fields had already been completed, all kinds of soft shoots transplanted over.
If there was a sea, together with this brilliant valley scene, it definitely wouldn’t be inferior to France’s Provence.
“You two arrived ten minutes later than usual.”
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer waiting in the forest behind the old bamboo building first released a voice of dissatisfaction, but immediately afterwards, he saw Lin Xi’s furrowed brows and limping appearance, causing his single eye to become slightly cold. “What happened?”
“Beaten by Teacher Xu. He had me and him demonstrate that the so-called martial skill was just being faster and having stronger killing methods. In the end, even after I did everything I could, I couldn’t even tear off the edge of his clothes.” Lin Xi gave the single-eyed black-robed lecturer a bitter smile. Xu Shengmo’s willow branch strikes, especially the one against his ankle, really were a bit heavy, making it so that even now, whenever his feet landed on the ground, it would bring back a heart wrenching, lung tearing pain.
“Even if you reached Soul Master level cultivation, you still might not be able to touch the corner of his clothes, let alone now.” The single-eyed black-robed lecturer’s face was covered in a layer of frost. He stared at Lin Xi. “Why were you beaten like this? I don’t see the slightest trace of dissatisfaction in your eyes. Don’t tell me that your natural disposition lacks the slightest trace of bloodthirstiness?”
Lin Xi looked at the single-eyed black-robed lecturer with eyes full of curiosity. “This student doesn’t understand what Teacher Tong is saying. The more strict a teacher is on the student, the more benefits the student will receive.”
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer looked at the underripe and frail Lin Xi and Bian Linghan, saying with a sneer, “I really don’t know if you are reassuring yourself or if you are just stupid. Don’t tell me that you really thought that Xu Shengmo was treating you favorably, that because you were heaven’s choice, moreover accompanying Bian Linghan in this special course, that was why he was purposely tough on you?”
“Is this not the case?” Lin Xi stared blankly for a moment, “This is what this student thought.”
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer gave Lin Xi a look. “Xu Shengmo has never gotten along with me, moreover not in just a few matters.”
Lin Xi stared blankly for a moment, and only then did he ask in embarrassment, “Then… there is also public pettiness to avenge private wrongs even in the academy?”
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer laughed coldly, and then said, “Where there are people, there is conflict. Just like how you all are naturally divided into bumpkins, golden spoons, and border barbarians. After entering the academy for a few days, just because of your backgrounds and temperaments, didn’t you all still naturally split into groups? If this is the case with the Self Defense Department new students, there is even less of a need to talk about the entire department, the entire academy.”
Lin Xi’s brows furrowed even deeper.
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer’s words weren’t difficult to understand at all. It was precisely as he said, in these few days, Self Defense Department’s new students naturally formed small groups, while the ones he was closest to were Li Kaiyun, Tang Ke, Hua Jiyue, Bian Linghan, and the others. However, as a holy land full of glory and dreams, he originally thought that every lecturer’s starting point would definitely be noble, and regardless of whether it was Mu Qing or this outwardly vicious single-eyed black-robed lecturer, they both left him with an extremely good impression. However, if Xu Shengmo purposely tormented him precisely because he was someone picked by this single-eyed black-robed lecturer, then his assessment of Xu Shengmo would definitely plummet.
“Teacher Tong, why do you and him not get along? Is it because of a difference in beliefs?” After muttering to himself for a moment, Lin Xi asked seriously.
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer picked up a black bow, carrying a quiver of arrows on his back, continuously drawing and firing arrows. Every single arrow accurately struck the red center of the targets, full of a wonderful rhythm and elegant beauty, naturally leaving a type of deep impression within Lin Xi and Bian Linghan’s minds. This class already begun, but he didn’t hide anything either. Under the continuous firing of arrows, he explained with a cold voice, “My background and Xu Shengmo’s were different, I was also a bumpkin, while he was a golden spoon. His aptitude and cultivation have always been higher than mine as well, but I still obtained the two same emblems as him, moreover acquired one of them even earlier than he did. However, our greatest divergence of opinions lies in our fundamental view towards life. Me, Professor Qin, Vice Principal Xia, and the others have always firmly opposed a proposal of his. This, is the biggest dividing line between me and him, as well as some other lecturers and professors in the academy. Only, most of the professors who don’t see eye to eye with us aren’t as narrow-minded as he is.”
Lin Xi watched every movement the single-eyed black-robed lecturer made carefully, including the slight gentle movements the three fingers made on the arrow before it was released. At the same time, he asked with a frown, “What kind of proposal was it that made you all completely incompatible?”
“He advocated for using living people to teach.” The single-eyed black-robed lecturer spoke with a somewhat cold voice. “To have the students directly face the enemy, kill prisoners and enemy captives. According to his proposal, only true slaughter can truly allow the students to improve.”
Lin Xi and Bian Linghan both froze momentarily, the two couldn’t help but exchange a look. “This type of proposal does have some reasoning.” Lin Xi took a deep breath, and then said while looking at the single-eyed black-robed lecturer, “Especially in the Self Defense Department, since we all have to face the cruelest battles one day… this type of training should indeed be able to produce more formidable students. Then, Teacher Tong, why did you all not agree with his proposal?”
“Our reasoning was also extremely simple. If you faced the enemy on the battlefield and killed the enemy, then there is nothing much to say about it. However, to kill enemies that have already been captured, there is no glory to speak of at all, and it also seems a bit too cruel… Xu Shengmo and the others believed that we are too soft, but we feel like this is precisely humanity, because the principal was previously already opposed to this.” The single-eyed black-robed lecturer stopped, looking towards Lin Xi and Bian Linghan. “The principal had previously said that even if killing machines end up walking out from our Green Luan Academy, they should still at least have humanity, that we aren’t killing to kill.”
“Are you trying to use the ideals you believe in to imperceptibly influence, change this world?” Lin Xi thought of that middle-aged uncle who he had yet to meet. He smiled bitterly to himself. “It seems like those who stand on his side aren’t few… why are you telling us these things? Are you not worried that we might suspect you of trying to rope us onto your side?” After shaking his head, Lin Xi directly looked at the single-eyed black-robed lecturer, asking this.
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer sneered in disdain, a sneer that came directly from the bottom of his heart to the surface of his face. “I merely wanted you two to understand that regardless of whether it is Green Luan Academy’s lecturers or Yunqin Empire’s high officials, they all have blood and flesh, people with their own selfish desires and opinions. In the academy and in the empire, there will always be some factions formed from authority and ideas one believes to be correct. I don’t care which faction you all join in the future, I just hope that the students I personally taught will always have that bit of humanity within them, I hope that they will examine every person with a bit of carefulness and doubt, as this can also allow a Windstalker to live a bit longer.”
Lin Xi and Bian Linghan both felt the good intentions behind this single-eyed black-robed lecturer’s words. In this peaceful forest, the two of them both gave a serious bow. “This student is thankful for your teachings.”
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer didn’t say anything else. Lin Xi and Bian Linghan also naturally raised their own black longbows.
“Right,” Lin Xi suddenly recalled something, and then with a laugh, said, “Don’t tell me that Teacher Xu even carries resentment towards the bow and arrow because of his disagreements with you? During today’s Martial Skills class, he said that all weapons can be viewed simply as extensions of the self, like one’s own limbs, apart from foolish toys like arrows that can’t be controlled after they are released.”
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer curled his lips in contempt, prideful to the point where he didn’t even want to comment on this.
Lin Xi continued with a smile, “Teacher, when our Green Luan Academy faces enemies, do we really not have any techniques? Do we really only sharpen the most basic dodging and attack methods through endless battles?”
“That is also just his own opinion.” The single-eyed black-robed lecturer said with a sneer. “He says that, but he’ll teach you the Green Luan Twenty-Four Forms Body Technique in the next lesson all the same. This Twenty-Four Forms Body Technique contains many movements for facing the enemy in itself. Later on, if you decide to use a bladed weapon, which way of attack allows you to strike first, which angle is the most difficult to defend from, aren’t these techniques too?”
“Okay, last question.” Lin Xi who was already accustomed to this lecturer’s temper cleverly nodded his head, asking with a serious expression, “If you and Teacher Xu were to fight seriously, who is a bit stronger?”
“If we were to suddenly face each other in Green Luan Academy, his chances of killing me are a bit higher. However, if we are outside and I wanted to kill him, the chances of him being killed by me might be greater.” The single-eyed black-robed lecturer frowned, giving Lin Xi a deep look, slowly saying this.
Lin Xi revealed a faint smile, and then no longer spoke any more nonsense. He instead focused on repeating the archery motions.
However, this time, the single-eyed black-robed lecturer was the one who instead said coldly, “Starting from now, you two can release the arrows.”
“We can release the arrows?” Lin Xi immediately became overjoyed, feeling a bit pleased with his position. “It seems like my training of archery isn’t all that slow.”
“In order to deliver the most precise attack, not only does one’s posture need to be correct, what is more important is the control over the fine influence the bowstring’s vibrations have on the arrow’s release, sensing the effects of changing winds on the arrows. If we are talking about a windless environment, out of ten border army archers, I reckon twenty percent of them could hit the center of every target within a hundred steps.”
The single-eyed black-robed lecturer didn’t see through Lin Xi’s complacency, only calmly stating facts. “Wind can make an arrow deviate from its target, but Windstalkers can achieve a level where they won’t be influenced by the wind, able to use it to their advantage.”
While he was still talking, Lin Xi’s first arrow officially left his fingers, landing on the lower half of the target he was facing. If this was a person, it would perfectly land on their feet.
Lin Xi chuckled, not feeling like this was embarrassing, instead adding an arrow and drawing the bowstring again with single-hearted devotion.
Within this forest, black arrows flew past one after the next, traveling through the wind.