Chapter 35: Wood Affinity
As Ma Kong gave up the fight, the Rong twins and Gao Yan were rushing towards the infirmary. However, Deng Wu had stayed behind to oversee Hui Yue’s progress in the tournament.
It was not that Hui Yue did not care for his friend and did not worry. The truth was, currently, his blue eyes had locked onto Wang Ju Long who was staring back at him, both trying to conceal an easily seen challenge in their gazes.
A smile spread on each of their individual faces. Both smiles were filled with self-confidence and promised an epic battle to come. The two were locked in their mutual gaze like this for a few moments, until Hui Yue finally nodded his head and turned to walk towards the infirmary.
The academy’s infirmary was situated behind the office building; during the tournament a temporary tent had been established behind the arenas, where all teachers with wood affinity were stationed.
The infirmary was actually not one big tent but rather a small village numbering twenty tents. Within each of these tents were some teachers with wood affinity and within others there were seriously injured students resting.
In front of all the tents occupied by the teachers, long queues of students in need of treatment had gathered. These students had suffered everything from broken limbs to internal injuries, however, none of them serious enough to be life-threatening.
Ma Kong was one of these students. He stood in the middle of a queue while his Qi gathered around his leg, still in effect to help him support his weight and keep the pain subdued.
As soon as Hui Yue and gang had spotted Ma Kong, they instantly rushed towards him. Ma Kong was not a weak-minded person and his face was calm as a lake where not even the smallest ripple could be seen.
His calm face did break into a smile, as he saw his friends on their way to give him mental support. Rong Ming and Gao Yan spoke constantly about how unfair it was that Wang Ju Long had such an overpowered skill. None of them could comprehend how he had managed to evolve his skill to such an extent, not to mention how he had managed to break into the disciple rank at the age of ten. His latent talent was clearly more impressive than any of the other students apart from Deng Wu. In Hui Yue’s opinion, Deng Wu did not count, as his talent was given to him by little dragon, much like he had gained all of his from Lan Feng.
The queue proceeded slowly, and while they patiently waited for it to be Ma Kong’s turn, they took the chance to look around.
A young woman ran around, either shouting orders to the staff or scolding youngsters who thought the infirmary was a playground to pass their time while waiting. This woman was no stranger to Hui Yue, as he had seen her back when Shan Ping had been injured, although right now she was far too busy to notice the white-haired boy standing in one of many queues.
Only five master-ranked teachers were healing at a time while the others were meditating to replenish their supply of spiritual energy.
Wood elemental affinity was the affinity giving control over life and death. It was especially well-connected with the vegetation realm, but it could in some instances be trained to focus on humans. Those were called healers, and they specialized in using the wood element to help mend the human body rather than growing and refining medicinal herbs.
The wood element was usually used to attack the soul of the opponent, but when it came to the spiritual attack skills, they usually attacked the body directly, distorting the life left within or in some more extreme cases even draining the longevity.
Having a wood elemental affinity was not terribly rare. The balance between the heaven and earth had caused a fifth of each cultivator to have wood as an elemental affinity; however, less than one percentage of these cultivators also had an affinity for fire, making them able to become an alchemist.
Elemental affinities were something Hui Yue had found incredibly interesting ever since Lan Feng had told him that it was very much akin to what his old world had considered magic. Unfortunately, Hui Yue was not even close to unlocking the middle dantian, but he was very excited to see how the wood element users would expend their spiritual energy to heal an injury, such as a broken bone.
The time passed slowly and Deng Wu did his very best at making Rong Xing feel comfortable while waiting. At first, he had somehow managed to provide a chair, although as soon as he had proudly shown it to Rong Xing, she instantly gave it to Ma Kong instead.
This had caused a depressed expression to appear in Deng Wu’s eyes, however, when Rong Xing started to praise him for thinking about their injured friend, the happiness in his eyes returned.
Afterwards, he brought snacks and drinks for everyone in hopes of once again being praised for his consideration. Deng Wu’s actions caused them all to feel light-hearted, and even Hui Yue lost the last roots of the killing intent embedded in his blue eyes ever since exchanging glances with Wang Ju Long.
Finally, after waiting for a few hours, it was Ma Kong’s turn to enter the tent in front of the queue. The tents were large enough to fit up to ten people and Hui Yue and the others followed.
The Rong twins and Gao Yan were obviously there for the sake of giving mental support to Ma Kong. Deng Wu was here because of Rong Xing and Hui Yue. Hui Yue in turn was obviously there because he cared about his friend, but he ended up weighing heavier the spiritual healing by the wood element teachers over his friend’s injuries.
Everyone within the tent, apart from Hui Yue, had seen the healing before. For them, this was no big deal; healers were people all the major families within Riluo City had a few of, and as children who cultivated, they all had to visit them from time to time.
Entering the tent, Ma Kong was placed on a bed and the clothes were cut off around his legs, displaying a broken bone and open wound.
Looking at the open wound caused Hui Yue to feel slight nausea, but he quickly steeled himself. This was after all only a broken leg, it could easily have been much worse.
Looking at his leg, Ma Kong’s face paled slightly, and as he removed the Qi assisting him in dulling the pain, he grit his teeth and closed his eyes. Wave after wave of pain flooded over Ma Kong, making the friends feel uncomfortable, fidgeting and wondering what they could do to help him feel better.
Before any of them could ask if they could help, the teacher finally turned towards them and looked at the lying Ma Kong. This teacher seemed fatigued. His cheeks were hollowed out and his eyes were filled with a misty cloud.
As the teacher turned towards Ma Kong, the entire air within the tent suddenly came to life with miniature green dots of light everywhere. These green dots quickly gathered around the bed where Ma Kong was resting and after a few minutes started fluttering around his entire body, as if they were scanning for any ailments.
The green dots which had reached the wound on the leg had clumped together into a green layer of light, which looked a lot like a set of armour. At first, these green specks of light stayed still, gathering immense amount of light and other dots before they gradually started to sink into the leg itself.
The process reminded Hui Yue a lot about how it had looked when he had been fortifying his organs with Qi. As this looked a lot like fortifying with Qi, Hui Yue had assumed that the healing would be over by the time these specks of light had been fully absorbed by the leg, however, this was not the case.
As the specks of light made their way into the leg itself, the wound started changing and the fractured bone began mending at an alarming pace. It slowly grew together and the skin healed, as Hui Yue stared at it in amazement. It was as if someone had recorded a grievous wound being mended by itself but had fast forwarded it.
As soon as the entire leg was back to the same appearance that it had been before the fight with Wang Ju Long, the small specks of green light once again emerged from within the skin.
This time, the green dots no longer shone with light but instead rose into the air, where they slowly disintegrated into nothing.
As the final green speck of light had vanished the teacher slumped down into a chair. His hair was soaked in sweat and his complexion was even worse than it had been before. Bags under the eyes were visible and the fatigue was so obvious that they all knew it was now time for them to leave.
Just as they left through the door, the woman who had saved Shan Ping rushed past them.
“You stubborn old man,” she said with a severely scolding voice, “you need to make sure that you get enough rest. Yes it is important to heal the children, but you need to rest and replenish your spiritual power, or you will just drag us down.”
It seemed this sort of discussion between them had been had before, however, the only thing they heard was an agreeing grunt from the tired teacher.
“Meditate or sleep a little,” the woman said, with a much gentler voice, “the fact that you managed to heal over hundred students today surely shows how superior your healing skills are.”
Having said that, the woman turned around and marched out of the tent, running around the infirmary village to put a new teacher on healing duty.
“You need to be careful,” Ma Kong said with an admiring sigh. “Wang Ju Long might only be a first-star Disciple ranked cultivator, but his Qi is of really pure qualities.” He looked at the Rong twins before an awkward smile appeared on his face. “Haha forget it,” he said laughingly. “It is not like the two of you will have any trouble with a mere Disciple ranked cultivator. There is an entire nine stars and a bottleneck between you.”
Hearing this made everyone, apart from Hui Yue, laugh and joke around with the thought of the twins, while so highly ranked, could lose to Wang Ju Long.
‘What do you think?’ Lan Feng suddenly asked, as he observed the spectacle through Hui Yue’s eyes. Hearing the question made Hui Yue snort in discontent.
‘Look at Ma Kong. He is a seven-star student but he did not even qualify for Wang Ju Long to release his lightning bolts. Although it will not be easy, I do have a feeling that my dear rival will be able to pull out something rather astonishing if we give him the slightest opportunity to do so.’
‘Never underestimate your opponent, was it?’ Lan Feng said with a cheeky grin. ‘Well you do not have the time to play around here,’ he continued as Hui Yue kept observing his happy friends who once again enjoyed the beer available during the tournament.
‘I know,’ Hui Yue nodded before saying his goodbyes. ‘Let’s return home and train.’
With that, Hui Yue disappeared into the twilight, preparing for yet another night of painstakingly hard training. He had to be careful he did not make any mistakes. A cultivator of his rank could not afford to take any liberties. Each fight would be fought as if it was the last. Eventually, every last other student would have been usurped, and Hui Yue would have emerged at the end of the road with a victory against Wang Ju Long.