MeisterSchloss is a unique city. The heart of the city reaching a few hundred leagues in radius did not have much skyscrapers.
If one was to look at a map, the skyscrapers are found from the perimeter of this massive island city, slowly leading into the heart.
Prices of property were cheaper at the perimeter, hence when they started building skyscrapers, it started from there and slowly inched its way inwards.
Xiaoxia had arrived at the city’s perimeter and made his way to Menon’s compound situated just before the city’s heart.
MeisterSchloss had moved all their public long distance spatial hubs to its perimeter, it was for strategic purposes. This was due to certain political threats in the empires that were surrounding them.
At this point in time, oblivious to the outside, two individuals were in a discussion. One that would affect the life of one of them.
“Menon I am sorry, I don’t quite understand,” Xiaoxia was saying.
“Xiaoxia, I am asking you if you ever thought of moving away from Black Iron Anvil Village, or rather the Hu Yuan 1st colony,” Menon replied.
“Menon I got that part, but I need to know why?” Xiaoxia debated.
“Xiaoxia I am asking this question, because I would like for you to attend school in our academy,” Menon told him.
“I can’t, I still need to look for my cousin at Black Iron Regional School,” Xiaoxia rejected, still remembering there was no news about his cousin.
“It is not something I can decide on my own and I have yet to contact my parents for the past few days,” he added.
“Xiaoxia, your potential will be wasted there. Let me tell you what I learnt from your results.”
Taking out the readings, he further explained, “Your Ki talent is unmeasurable not because you do not have talent. It is unmeasurable because you have a special physique.”
Xiaoxia nodded somehow expecting it based on his experience in the village but letting Menon continue.
“Added to that, the results have shown that you have an extremely high mental capacity, the highest we have record in aeons.”
Xiaoxia nodded again.
“To top it all, you have some things which are very remarkable,” Menon ended while waiting for Xiaoxia to speak.
“What things? Are they bad?” Xiaoxia asked, suddenly feeling afraid.
“No no no, not bad but very remarkable. On top of having a special physique and mental capacity, your results have many similarities to results we have obtained from people in the Unknown Realms,” Menon replied, while waiting for the impact of what he just said sink into Xiaoxia’s thoughts.
“You mean I am in the Unknown Realm?” Xiaoxia quickly asked, understanding only a half of what Menon was implying.
“No, while you exhibit remarkable similarities to people who have entered the Unknown Realm, your actual Ki Realm is not even Apprentice Realm Tier 1,” Menon answered him.
Upon hearing this Xiaoxia immediately felt crestfallen.
“But as talents go, I daresay you are not below Special Class,” Menon added.
Immediately Xiaoxia’s face lighted up.
“However,” Menon quickly added again, “It would be a total waste for you to attend school in Black Iron, they simply do not have the resources and know how to harness your potential.”
“But Menon, I really need to know what happened to my cousin, and the decision does not rest with me,” Xiaoxia explained his situation.
“Well boy, what if I promise you that MeisterSchloss will spare no effort to find your cousin and we will speak to your parents as well regarding this matter?” Menon asked.
“Only if you can promise telling me the moment any news is found on my cousin, and my parents can visit me regularly,” Xiaoxia made his demand, knowing having his parents visit him regularly will be very costly and he thought this would be a deal breaker.
“Fair enough, it is a deal,” Menon agreed with a smug grin, knowing Xiaoxia didn’t think he would agree.
Xiaoxia at that moment felt lost for words. He only felt he dug his own grave at this point.
“We shall contact your parents once it is day over there,” Menon replied, looking at some gadgets that showed him the time it was on Hu Yuan 1st Colony.
“Mother! Father!” Xiaoxia call out the moment he saw them on the hologram.
“Xia Er,” his parents replied in unison.
“How are you my son?” Daquan asked.
“I am fine father, how are you and mother?” Xiaoxia replied and asked.
“We are both doing well, is everything ok over there, we heard from Lord Maling you have been requested to MeisterSchloss,” Wanmei answered.
“Yes, this is his Excellency Lord Menon, Vice-Leader of MeisterSchloss. He needs to speak with you regarding something,” Xiaoxia introduced Menon.
“Hello parents of Xiaoxia,” Menon greeted them.
“Hello your Excellency,” Xiaoxia’s parents both greeted him and bowed.
“You are too courteous, please hear me out,” Menon spoke to them.
“Due to unprecedented events, and on behalf of MeisterSchloss your son Chen Zhen Xia has been … argh … cough .. cough … whheeze … ac..accepted into our academy. We will be offering you as his parents regular visits, expenses are borne by MeisterSchloss,” Menon officially informed them without haste.
“Your Excellency, this is an honor, but we will like Xiaoxia to be close to us as he is studying,” Daquan replied, and Wanmei nodded as well.
“Parents of Xiaoxia … ahem.. cough..wheeze…ahem… you will be wasting your son’s talents by insisting he remains there. His Ki talents is beyond what we understand. Aside from being Unique, his talents even makes Special Class ones look normal,” Menon said and continued before Daquan and Wanmei could object,
“I strongly believe there is no academy more capable than ours to groom and polish his talents. Our academy is fully equipped to nourish his growth. If that is not important for you, then I will send him back,” Menon ended his speech this time not coughing in the middle of it, and ended with a nite trying to guilt Xiaoxia’s parents into accepting.
“We understand, please allow us some time with our son, we need to discuss this as a family,” Daquan requested.
Menon nodded in acknowledgement, and left the room. After he left, Wanmei asked her son.
“Xiaoxia, are you fine with this?”
“Mother, I do not want to be here and be away from home,” Xiaoxia replied.
“But if what Lord Menon said is true, it will be a waste for you to return,” Daquan replied.
“Yes, this is very true my dear Xia Er. It is not a matter of whether you would like to come back. What is really important is if you would really wasted your talents here, then will you not be able to achieve your dream to protect those you love,” Wanmei asked him.
“Yes, this is so true Wanmei,” Daquan agree, then looking at Xiaoxia he said, “Xia Er, your father knows you are young, and reluctant to move away from home. Your mother and I feel the same as well. However we do not want you to regret losing out on this opportunity, it is rare for people here to attend an academy outside of Black Iron, but none have went to the main world.”
Xiaoxia did not reply, he knew it was true.
“Since we can often visit you, I guess it isn’t so bad, since even if you attended school here, you can only come home once between academic years,” Wanmei added.
“Yes mother, as you wish,” Xiaoxia replied, things are not turning out the way he expected it.
“Moreover he is the Vice-leader of Mastersauces, by reputation alone he would not hastily insist if he wasn’t sure about you,” Daquan added, not being able to pronounce the city’s name, but he knew its reputation well enough.
Xiaoxia could not refute this, rather he was also forcing himself not to giggle when he heard his father trying to say the city’s name.
“So it is decided, you shall study at the Artisan City,” Daquan finally said, not using the name MeisterSchloss as he couldn’t really pronounce the name of the City.
“You can call Lord Menon in,” Wanmei told Xiaoxia.
Xiaoxia went out the door into the antechamber and found Menon lounging on one of the chairs.
“Menon my parents will like to speak with you,” Xiaoxia told him, feeling a little down.
“Oh well, I hope it is good news,” Menon replied, actually knowing the answer just by observing Xiaoxia’s body language.
“So Parents of Xiaoxia, what is the decision,” Menon asked loudly as he entered the room.
“Lord Menon, we have decided to place Xiaoxia into your care, please look after him,” Daquan replied on behalf of Wanmei and himself.
“So be it, let it be recorded that from this time forth, Xiaoxia will … agghh .. wheeze .. wheezee… cough cough …b..b.be under my care, I will be his guardian and will be fully responsible for his well being up to his graduation from our academy,” Menon said as he color changed a little and added “I shall arrange for all lodgings, meals and other necessities, you do not have to worry.”
“Thank you Lord Menon,” Wanmei gave her thanks, somehow a little worried that Menon was not in the best of shape to look after Xiaoxia, but she relented.
“I will leave you with Xiaoxia and proceed to arrange the details with my staff,” Menon said, and left.
So the Chen family were once again alone. Xiaoxia’s parents noticed their son was not really happy with the decision and spoke to him at further length.
They informed him on various development over the past few days he was not in town. It warmed him up a little and soon he spoke of his experience with Maling and Amelia.
His parents were very surprised when he had told them Maling had been promoted to Viscount and will be governing Scarlet Condor Province.
They informed him that Black Iron Region was actually under Scarlet Condor Province, and with Maling on the seat, it will spell good news.
This is due to Maling’s reforms. When he took over the reins of Black Iron Region, he made what was one of the poorer region into a dominant powerhouse.
Proper infrastructure that were in dire need was built and access to villages and towns were made readily available by expanding the spatial hub network, bigger spatial devices were also placed at key areas where large amounts of cargo had to go through.
Trade begun to flow into the region and towns like Black Iron Anvil Village grew as a result.
Hence with him in control of Scarlet Condor Province, the various regions who reported to him will be much better off than they were under the previous person.
If they were surprise at Maling’s promotion, they were shocked when Xiaoxia showed them the items he had received from Amelia.
Wanmei who dealt with all the town’s administrative duties, was speechless at the total value of the items Xiaoxia received.
When she rounded off the value, it turned out to be more than a few decades worth of the town’s earnings after taxes.
Xiaoxia did not do much bookkeeping while he was learning town administration, as it was mainly done by his mother. As such he was still a little ignorant on the matter of money. He only knew the ranks of Ki crystals and their value as compared to each other.
Hence after hearing more information from his parents on the subject of money and its importance in society, Xiaoxia made a mental note to learn more, and to learn it really fast.
Xiaoxia asked many things of his parents, one time asking about Xiuxiu, but the only reply was they didn’t know and have also been trying to reach her.
After that their conversation had trickled down to mostly silence, his parents reluctantly bade him farewell, Xiaoxia himself also felt a pang of sadness when the conversation ended.