Lucas, Aslo and Chrissa decided to stay outside the city. The Majestic Sword Academy only allowed students inside the premises and Chu Shen wasn’t sure he could sneak the other three by. His identity token given by the Majestic Sword Academy would let him by the formations but anyone else would need to receive a visitor's pass and Chu Shen knew he couldn’t get one of them until after he met his teacher.
Chu Shen walked up the mountain path. A large jade gate stood at the top of the path. Carved into the gate was these symbols, 雄伟剑学院. Translated, they meant Majestic Sword Academy. Two men clad in gold armor and equipped with spears stood guarding the gate.
Upon seeing Chu Shen, the guards became cautious. “Who goes there?” One of them called out.
Chu Shen bowed. “I am Chu Shen, a student of the Majestic Sword Academy.”
The guard had an unbelieving look on his face. “Why are you not in the academies uniform then?”
Chu Shen mentally berated himself for not thinking of something so simple but outwardly he was calm. “I’ve been traveling and my school uniform was destroyed. I do have my identification token though.”
He pulled it out and presented it to one of the guards. The guard studied it before nodding. “You may enter.” He gave a signal and the jade gate slowly swung open.
Chu Shen nodded at them before entering the academy. He found himself wandering past pagoda’s and huts, the familiar sites bringing him back. DingDongDing. The familiar sound of chimes rang out, the sound of classes being released.
He decided he needed to see someone. The person Chu Shen wanted to meet was his master, Master Lang. Following his memories, he soon found his way to the forge where Master Lang taught him artificing.
Ding Ding Ding
The familiar ring of a hammer striking metal could be heard. Chu Shen approached the forge, smoke billowing out the chimney. Opening the door, a wave of heat slammed into him. He looked into the room.
A man stood there above the forge, his hammer striking down continuously on the red-hot metal in front of him. His bare upper body was caked in sweat. His hair was long and straggled, his beard had parts of it on fire.
It was his master.
Chu Shen approached the anvil and coughed to get his master’s attention. The hammer he was wielding paused midair. It was placed on the workbench beside him.
Master Lang spoke without turning around. “To disturb me while I work, do you truly wish to die.” The voice was filled with bitterness and anger.
Chu Shen was shocked at what his master had become. The sheer despair he could hear in his master’s voice caused tears to come to his eyes. “It’s me master. Your student, Chu Shen.”
Master Lang stiffened, like he had been hit by a cattle prod. Very slowly, he turned around. He saw Chu Shen. Chu Shen saw him. Both stood there, neither doing a thing.
Very slowly, Master Lang walked over to him. He held out his arms. Chu Shen also held out his arms and went to hug him. A sharp blow to Chu Shen’s head knocked him to the ground. “YOU STUPID DISCIPLE! YOU COULDN’T EVEN LEAVE THE PAVILION ON TIME!” Master Lang yelled at Chu Shen.
Then Master Lang’s grabbed Chu Shen and hauled him to his feet. He gave him a hug that caused even Chu Shen’s enhanced bones to creak. “However, to have survived when even an elder of the Majestic Sword Academy could not, you truly are a good disciple after all.” Master Lang whispered these words in Chu Shen’s ear, tears streaming down his face.
Chu Shen hugged him back, tears forming in his own eyes. “I’m back master. I’m back.”
After many tears, Chu Shen and Master Lang finally pulled themselves together.
Master Lang grabbed Chu Shen’s shoulders and stared at him. Chu Shen was only two or three inches shorter than him and was just as wide. “You don’t look like you’re seventeen. You’re also two weeks earlier than the pavilion usually come.” Master Lang remarked offhand.
Chu Shen shrugged. “I don’t know why I got here early. However, I’m only fifteen years old. Time flows differently in the Heavenly Treasure Pavilion.”
Master Lang gawked for a second before shrugging. “Temporal acceleration artifacts are rare, but I’ve never heard of one that slows down time. Who would be stupid enough to do that?”
Master Lang shook his head. “Enough of that, we should go meet the principal. I am sure she will have much to ask you.”
Chu Shen nodded. “Before we do that master, can you allow some people inside the academy?”
Master Lang looked at Chu Shen confused. “Well, I guess I can allow them in. Who are they though?”
“They’re my friends. They’ve even saved my life a few times.” Chu Shen didn’t really know how else to explain it, but that was enough for Master Lang.
“Well then, they are also friends of mine.” Master Lang seemed satisfied with that. Then, he suddenly turned to Chu Shen. “What cultivation level have you reached?”
Chu Shen smiled. “Natural Realm, Nature Stage.”
Master Lang sighed. “Chu Shen, please take it easy on this old man. I don’t think lying to keep my hopes up will help anyone.”
Chu Shen shrugged before an enormous energy was released from his body. The shockwave alone pushed Master Lang back by two feet. Master Lang, even though he was caught off-guard, was still able to brace himself otherwise he would have been thrown even farther.
Master Lang turned to look at Chu Shen, his shocked expression conveying everything.