Chapter 472 - The Storm of Enrolling Students (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
“Of course it's okay."
Tang Thirty-Six's face did not contain even a hint of defeat. "You haven't noticed, although no one has come forward, more and more people are coming to see us."
Xuanyuan Po, in utter suffering from the heat, panted for breath as he said, "The entire capital is coming to laugh at us. What's so good about that?"
Hearing this, Chen Changsheng couldn't help but laugh.
"You really are a stupid black bear." Tang Thirty-Six turned to Chen Changsheng and said, "Carefully examine the crowd. Aren't quite a few of them a bit younger than the usual crowd of spectators? Aren't their eyes a bit livelier?"
Chen Changsheng looked over at the crowd and discovered that it really was the case. Amongst the crowd coming to see the Orthodox Academy today were quite a few young people.
"They didn't come here just to spectate…" Tang Thirty-Six shot a glance at Xuanyuan Po, then continued, "And they didn't come to laugh either. They came to see us."
Chen Changsheng was a little taken aback. "Are you saying that they really are considering whether or not to apply?"
"Not bad." Tang Thirty-Six glanced at the nearby tea house, and then he glanced over at those Tianhai clan experts on the perimeter with their faces of scorn. "Everyone has forgotten one thing. The preparatory examination for next year's Grand Examination is going to be soon, and the Ivy Festival will follow right after. Right now is when the capital is most filled with new students. Successful Purification? Even Meditation Realm wouldn't be asking for too much."
Chen Changsheng recalled last year when he and Luoluo had been around the location of the preparatory examination for the Grand Examination, just how many young scholars they had seen on the streets. He now understood why Tang Thirty-Six had been able to maintain his confidence.
Those young students that had come from the other counties, and even the south, did not have the backing of their schools, unlike the students of the Six Ivies. As a result, their overall level was quite lacking, but that didn't at all mean that their talent was similarly awful. In truth, every year after the Grand Examination's pre-examination and the Ivy Festival, the Six Ivies would take in many students from the counties and provinces. Moreover, these young students assuredly hoped to enter one of the Six Ivies, learn truly profound cultivation methods, follow a renowned teacher, and obtain the backing of a powerful school.
The Orthodox Academy was also one of the Six Ivies. It presumably also possessed a sort of attractive force to these students from the counties.
"But…why is it that none of them is willing to come forward and apply, or even ask?"
Chen Changsheng asked in confusion as he looked at the young and rather tense face of one of the youths in the crowd.
"Please! Today…no, this entire summer, the Orthodox Academy has been the focus of the entire capital! These pitiful kids from the countryside, how could they have the courage to come forward? They need someone to give them a push."
"Ah…last year when I came to the capital, I was also a youth from the countryside."
"The first thing you did upon coming to the capital was to go to the Divine General of the East's estate to end the engagement. Do you think everyone has skin as thick as yours, and as much nerve as you do?”
It was at this time that Tang Thirty-Six noticed the young people in the crowd begin to show struggle and apprehension in their eyes. Even more assured in his mind, he whispered, "It seems like it's done cooking."
The area covered by the umbrella was not big enough, and so the ink stones on the tables were heated to a scalding temperature. When Xuanyuan Po went to move one, his fingers were burned to a tender and painful red. Hearing Tang Thirty-Six's words, he thought he was being made fun of. Thinking that this line would soon be followed by some nonsensical line about braised bear palm, Xuanyuan Po clenched his fists and prepared to talk some sense into Tang Thirty-Six. Just then, he was suddenly given a scare.
With a bang, Tang Thirty-Six leaped onto the table.
A gust of wind lifted up the umbrella.
The crowd abruptly grew quiet and all discussion ceased. The crowd looked at the gate of the Orthodox Academy, at Tang Thirty-Six, all thinking to themselves, just what is he up to now? As the sunlight shone upon his body, that gown of his, threaded with gold, was caught up in the breeze. The Wenshui Sword at his waist sparkled with light, but even brighter were the jade ornaments tied to his belt and that gold bracelet on his wrist.
Chen Changsheng looked over and felt like he was about to go blind. He finally understood why Tang Thirty-Six had dressed like this in the morning, and also understood what being a so-called signboard meant!
"I say, everyone here is young, is there any need to be so shy? If you want to, quickly come! Ah, friends, time waits for no one!"
Tang Thirty-Six stood atop the table, looking down at the crowd from up high, calling out to the youths in the crowd with great gusto and enthusiasm.
Chen Changsheng thought this was rather shameless and really wished that he could bore his head into the table. He probably understood now why the Wenshui Tangs were able to become the continent's wealthiest clan.
At first, the crowd was silent, but then it burst into laughter.
After a while, one of the common folk who had come to spectate yelled out from the crowd, "Hey, big guy! Why would someone want to apply for your Orthodox Academy?"
Not only was Tang Thirty-Six not upset, he was actually elated. I forgot yesterday to have the Heavenly Fragrance Market place a few professional plants in the crowd, but who would have thought that such a question would appear on its own! With a clear voice, he said, "Although the preparatory examination for the Grand Examination has been delayed, it's already just around the corner. There's only a few more days left, or are you saying that none of you want to advance by leaps and bounds, that none of you want to display your splendor at the Ivy Festival?"
A suntanned youth, possibly from some private school in the countryside, gathered up his courage and said, "There's a high chance that we can enter some other school."
What he said was true. Besides the famed Six Ivies, the capital was home to countless other schools.
Tang Thirty-Six turned to the young student from the countryside and said scornfully, "Just what school are you comparing to my Orthodox Academy?"
At these words, no matter if they had come to spectate or if they had come to laugh, everyone nodded their heads and thought, no matter how much the Orthodox Academy has declined, since it's reopened its doors, it's already incomparable to normal schools. Soon after, someone asked, "Then why can't we just enter the other five academies?"
"The Ivy Academies customarily only take in students after the conclusion of the preparatory examination. Only…everybody pay attention now…only our Orthodox Academy will enroll new students before the preparatory examination."
Tang Thirty-Six had extracted a folding fan from somewhere. While fanning himself, he said, "If you guys can't even pass the preparatory examination, which school is going to take you? When all's said and done, applying for our Orthodox Academy is the safest."
"We don't want safety," a rather gloomy-looking young scholar piped up. "Since we've already traveled a thousand li to get here, we've naturally made preparations to crash through the gates with a magnificent army. We would prefer to wait for the conclusion of the preparatory examination, and then apply to other schools."
It was obvious that this young scholar was extremely confident in his cultivation and education.
Tang Thirty-Six turned to that youth and asked, "How old are you this year?"
The young scholar replied, "This year, I am twenty and four months."
"Then you're still young, so why don't you have any of the edge of youth?"
Tang Thirty-Six perked his eyebrows as he looked the young scholar, seeming to view him with a little contempt.
The young scholar wanted to say a few words in refutation, but Tang Thirty-Six didn't give him the chance. Turning back to the crowd, he declared, "Just why must you all enter the Heavenly Dao Academy? Because His Holiness came from the Heavenly Dao Academy? Why must you get into the Temple Seminary or the Li Palace Academy? Because His Holiness's elderly self is somewhat closer by? Why must you get into the Thirteen Divisions of Radiant Green? Because of all the pretty senior sisters within?"
These words elicited roars of laughter from the crowd.
"If you guys insist on entering Star Seizer Academy, I have no objections, only well-wishes and respect. But if you originally wanted to enter those schools…" Tang Thirty-Six folded his fan and slapped it against his palm, proudly declaring to the crowd, "Then why don't you choose my Orthodox Academy? Ladies and gentlemen, we are all youths, fresh and clean, bright and cheerful! We don't follow the conventional pattern, don't walk the common path! My Orthodox Academy has many things that need to be done. A white sheet of paper is incomparably clean. For what reason do you not wish to take part in this grand undertaking? Moreover, how can those schools measure up to my Orthodox Academy?"
That young scholar felt like that fan had struck him in the heart. He inadvertently became much more serious and completely absorbed every word, and even felt this argument rather reasonable.
Those students that had come from the counties, the countryside, and even the distant south, had truthfully only heard rumors of the academies of the capital and weren't clear at all on the differences between them. As a result, they didn't think any part of Tang Thirty-Six's talk especially stood out. However, to the Tianhai clan experts in front of the awning and the many officials in their carriages, this talk was particularly grating on the ear.
The Heavenly Dao Academy, the Temple Seminary, the Li Palace Academy, the Thirteen Divisions of Radiant Green…all of them were inferior to the Orthodox Academy? It must be known that these several dozen experts that were prepared to challenge the Orthodox Academy today were basically all from these four schools. Even the as-of-yet missing Bie Tianxin, although his family was extraordinary, had always considered himself a disciple of the Li Palace Academy.
In the tea house, Mao Qiuyu and Daoist Siyuan also could not help but wrinkle their foreheads. Daoist Siyuan had also come from the Li Palace Academy. As for Mao Qiuyu, he had first been a student at the Heavenly Dao Academy, and then a teacher, all the way until he became its principal, spanning a period of several centuries. It was impossible for them to accept Tang Thirty-Six's words.
As expected, a furious question arose from the crowd, "And just what basis do you have to say this?"
Tang Thirty-Six didn't even look at the questioner, continuing, "His Holiness truly did come from the Heavenly Dao Academy. The Li Palace Academy and the Temple Seminary truly are within the Li Palace. But you all have to get one thing straight, the Principal of our Orthodox Academy is called Chen Changsheng…you guys can study your entire lives in the Li Palace Academy and the Temple Seminary and never meet His Holiness, but if you enter the Orthodox Academy?"
Here, he paused. He began to laugh and it seemed like there was some profound meaning in this laugh.
Everyone knew what attitude the Pope had to Chen Changsheng.
Many young students glanced at each other and there were whispered discussions. It seemed that they were gradually coming around to the idea.
"Let us say it even more directly…everyone, look! This mountainous little friend of mine is Xuanyuan Po, an ordinary demi-human youth of the bear tribe."
Tang Thirty-Six used the folding fan to point at Xuanyuan Po, saying, "In terms of talent, he has none. In terms of achievement, he has none. In terms of background, he has none. You can even say that if you want it, he doesn't haven't it. Even he's very ashamed of it, so much so that he voluntarily dropped out of Star Seizer Academy and then…was picked from the night market by Chen Changsheng and Princess Luoluo! The result?"
The crowd grew quiet.
He was very satisfied with this outcome, continuing, "The result? He entered the Orthodox Academy. Without even recovering from his injury, without even participating in the Grand Examination, the Pavilion of Divination ranked him in the Proclamation of Azure Sky!"
These words made those students from the counties turn pensive. Seeing Xuanyuan Po behind the table, they became even more willing.
This matter was known to many, and it truly was very persuasive. Perhaps the Orthodox Academy really was a place where touching a stone could turn it into gold?