Menon felt a cold chill penetrating his body. He sneezed a few times even as Captain Jongbae arrived.
“My Lord, is it wise to have used Instructor Wei like this?” Captain Jongbae was asking.
“This is the only way, she would not have accepted it easily if anyone was to ask her,” Menon replied, having rushed off once he left Xiaoxia in Instructor Wei’s care. Afraid if he were to be even a step slower, he would have hell to bear.
“But wouldn’t she just ask the Academy’s Chairman to rescind the appointment?” Captain Jongbae was also looking a little worried. Instructor Wei’s temperament was famous even among the Military.
“My dear friend, since Chairman Liu Yiyang exercised the ‘Extenuating Circumstances’ clause to appoint her, there is no way for the Academy’s Council of Elements to rescind it so soon,” Menon replied with some hint of confidence, but still not convincing enough.
“Sigh, I hope she doesn’t take it out on Xiaoxia,” Captain Jongbae stated with a slightly worried expression.
Instructors in the Academy do not take disciples who have not proven themselves. Students had on an average goes through 3-4 years of rigorous training, difficult tasks, competitions, examinations and progressive lab results.
The lab result were taken upon start of school term, midterm and end of term. It was used as a chart to monitor the improvements of the students across each academic year.
Students who have achieved the basic requirements for discipleship will approached Instructors for acceptance. Some students achieve the requirements sooner than others. On rare cases there are exemplary ones who make it in only two years.
Many Instructors do not even take on disciples, preferring to instruct general classes. General classes are students who do not obtain discipleship and consists of 10-20 students.
Hence students who qualifies for discipleship trained very hard and fought with each other over available discipleship spots.
There is also the expulsion/resignation of disciple regulation in the Academy. It states clearly that if by midterm the Mentor is unsatisfied of his/her disciple’s results or vice versa, they can lodge a formal expulsion/resignation hearing during a meeting of the Council of Elements.
The Council of Elements are the top Instructors from each Elemental alignment. Most have at least served the Academy for 200 years. During the hearing, both parties will bring forth evidence.
The Mentor will produce sufficient evidence for grounds to defend/prosecute while the disciple produces evidence against it. If the disciple is not expelled or resigns successfully, he/she will be granted the opportunity to seek a new Mentor instead of returning to general classes. The opposite is true if the disciple fails to make his/her case.
As for the ‘Extenuating Circumstances’ clause, it is not widely known and only a small number of Instructors roughly know what it was. As Instructor Wei was not among those who knew, she was in the dark when Menon said ‘under extenuating circumstance’.
Instructor Wei never had a single disciple, so no one bothered explaining the clause to her, nor were there any students under this clause who wanted her to mentor, due to her infamous temperament.
However even the Council of Elements knew only half the details. This was the information they were given:-
- S Class Ki talent; or
- If not S Class Ki talent, minimum one or more abilities that far exceeds those of an S Class Ki talent; or
- Information classified – Vice / Chairman only
- Information classified – Vice / Chairman only
Menon’s test results showed that Xiaoxia easily met the first two, but unlike the others under this clause, he was appointed a Mentor. In addition he was only a freshman.
The clause declares that no expulsion or resignation is allowed for two years. Hence all those under this were very cautious and carefully gathered more information before they requested Mentor-ship from an Instructor.
By norm, it took one academic year before the Instructor’s capabilities as well as character can be seen. Hence it was usually after this period that these children under the ‘clause’ made their move.
Under normal circumstances, no Instructor will accept anyone who have not at least had 2 years of Academic qualifications.
“You are lucky Boy,” Instructor Wei had arrived back at the antechamber outside the Council of Elements office. She wanted to petition for an expulsion, but unfortunately could not.
“Seems like I am stuck with you for two years,” Instructor Wei lamented and said quietly, “Damn with this.”
“Instructor Wei, I am sorry for disappointing you.”, Xiaoxia stood up from where sat waiting and apologized.
“There is nothing to apologize, a man should not …. Ah forget it, I doubt you will understand,” she was about to quote another idiom, but thought the better of it since, he was a country bumpkin with no formal martial arts training or alliance.
Children on the main world were sent to dojos after they could start cultivating Ki. The dojos taught not only martial arts, they also taught idioms, phrases and other literature to their students.
On top of that, each dojo belonged to an alliance. Big clans have formed together to create alliances. They usually represent a type of martial art like Imperial Sword Alliance who uses the sword, Alliance of the Iron Fist who practice fist stances, Silver Spear Alliance who uses Spears, as well as other similar ones.
Alliances practice a body and mind culture, and they were all very powerful and wealthy, they have experts training the children’s Ki and physical development and top scholars educating them.
It was not Xiaoxia’s fault he did not understand Instructor Wei’s many idioms or phrases, it was due to the fact that the society and culture on the main world and the Academy were on a totally different scale than back in Black Iron Anvil Village. There Xiaoxia would not have been sticking out like a sore thumb.
“Boy so you are called Chen Zhen Xia?” Instructor Wei asked as if to confirm.
“Yes Instructor!” Xiaoxia confirmed, he instinctively stood at attention whenever she spoke to him.
“Can you relax a bit? I am not a child abuser,” Instructor Wei noticed that Xiaoxia was very stiff.
“Sorry Instructor I could not help myself,” Xiaoxia replied, easing a little but still tense.
“What are you usually called?” Instructor Wei ask, finally cooling down somewhat after her outburst earlier in the day. She took a sit opposite Xiaoxia.
“I usually go by Xiaoxia, my parents call me Xia Er,” Xiaoxia replied.
“Good, I will call you Xiaoxia, since we are not formerly Mentor and Disciple yet,” Instructor Wei replied.
“As I do not know what you are capable of, I will not accept you as a disciple yet, regardless of what the Academy has decided. Are you clear?” she asked.
“Yes Instructor,” Xiaoxia replied.
“However since I am appointed officially as your Mentor, you will be receiving training from me, on occasions I will personally assign you to someone. As for the Disciple matter, you will not qualify until I am truly satisfied with your performance,” Instructor Wei informed him.
“In the meantime, continue to address me as Instructor or Instructor Wei. For today I will only brief you, assign your dorm and give further instructions,” she informed Xiaoxia and continued, “and this is for you.”
She gave him a token which had a polished chrome-like surface. On it were a pair of crossed sabers etched over a pair of angel wings. At the top of the token was a ‘W’. It was made of a special Rhodium alloy.
“This token has my personal crest, its shows that you are under my care, if people asks just tell them I am only your Instructor, not your Mentor,” Instructor Wei warned.
“Yes Instructor,” Xiaoxia replied.
“Anyway that Menon bastard is avoiding me, but I managed to contact Captain Jongbae, he will be arranging for your essentials to be brought to your dorm” (At where Menon was, one could here sneezing and wheezing and coughing)
“Thank you Instructor.”
“Put on the token and this,” she passed Xiaoxia a shawl, which he hung around his shoulder. The weather was not even cold, but the shawl did not cause any discomfort, so Xiaoxia did not object.
“Thank you Instructor,” he said with a smile.
“Don’t get me wrong, I did not give you that out of affection, it’s to cover that obscene thing on your collar,” Instructor Wei pointed to the chevron clipped to the tip of his collar.
“That thing will attract far more trouble than it is worth for you,” she cautioned him.
“Here are the brochures for the freshmen, it should guide you to your dorm,” a few articles were passed to him, “You can join the welcoming festivities and do whatever you like. Just do not get into any trouble, you cannot afford that now,” she added.
Xiaoxia nodded, placing the items into the quantum bag Amelia had given him.
“Tomorrow at the 6th hour, go for breakfast and meet me at my office at the 7th hour, are we clear?” she asked.
“Yes Instructor,” Xiaoxia replied.
“You can find directions to my office at the information kiosk situated around the campus. That is all, you may leave,” Instructor Wei waved her hand dismissing him.
After Xiaoxia had left, Instructor Wei quickly headed towards the Vice Chairman’s office.
The Academy of the Six Elements is an immense place. It was like a city in itself. The main campus grounds were already bigger than Xiaoxia’s hometown, and he have not even seen the other campus that were connected.
The festivities were in full bloom and the entire place was overflowing with people. There were plenty of activities going around, with students and their families milling about makeshift streets lined on both sides by booths.
Fireworks filled the sky with an amazing brightness even though it was day. Confetti were strewn all around as gadgets spewed them out in large amounts over certain intervals.
Activity club members shoved pamphlets into the hands of passing freshmen and some clubs even physically had their members carrying freshmen to their booths.
It was a scene of utter chaos, but everyone seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere.
Xiaoxia at the moment was looking at a gigantic holographic image that was floating above all the festivities.
Academy of the Six Elements
Welcomes all freshmen and their families!!
Even with our strict criteria the number who were accepted and enrolled this year is astounding.
Enrollment statistics 15th Day, 6th Moon
Year 107,931 (107th Era)
Total application: 20,007,913,811
Transferred Students: 21,715
Grand total enrolled: 1,320,886
Special Class: 5
Titled Class: 396,265
Gold Class: 924,621
He was amazed at the numbers, it was nearly double what the brochure had mentioned. Previous year’s statistics were all recorded in one of the information brochures.
Within the information provided, the Academy of the Six Elements was comparable to a Knight class City. The brochure also stated that the majority of the population here were not the students.
The official teeth to tail ratio for Instructors were 1:10. The ratio for the support staff were 15:1. Apparently the most powerful and advance military force in the world only had support staff at 1:10 ratio. (the front number is the teeth and the back number the tail, the tail are the students, the teeth are the support staff)
The brochure went on to proudly announce that the Academy took care of all the needs of its students, and since many of them were young children, it had required more support staff than any other Academies in the world.
It had all the required amenities to support and cater to 10 million students. Based on figures last year, the school had almost 8 million students, taking away the graduated seniors and adding the current year’s freshman, it did not quite reach 9 million, but it was still a stupendous figure for Xiaoxia.
While looking at the hologram, suddenly a figure zipped right through it,
“Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” it screamed.
“Quick! Catch him or he is going to kill someone!!” there was a shout, followed soon by two figures chasing after the figure.
“Someone stop that guy!” another shout could heart.
“Yaaaaah!!” “Ahhhh!!” “EEEeekk!!!” screams filled the air as the figure flew through the booths and pedestrians.
Xiaoxia immediately knew what was going on. He hurriedly ran in the opposite direction and found what he was looking for.
REACH FOR THE SKY!!
Come join us! Uncle Sem Wants You
The Grand Flying Club
There was a middle age man standing there with various older looking students, but Xiaoxia did not notice them. He immediately spotted a sole plate, took the glove, hopped on and took off after the figure.
“Whoosh!” suddenly a gush of wind burst out from the spot Xiaoxia left, blowing off the toupee on the middle age man, who just stood there with his mouth ajar.
“Hey what are you doing?!! Thief!” an older student shouted, finally reacting to what just took place. But he was too late, and no one could reach Xiaoxia.
Xiaoxia accelerated the moment he stepped on the sole plate, forgetting he did not have any protective gear on. Quickly gesturing at his quantum belt, he took out his goggles which almost flew off against the force of the wind.
Hurriedly slowing down and putting them on, he blasted off again. At that time a warning sound emitted from the glove, one too familiar to him. The sole plate was running out of energy.
Not bothered, he continued at maxed out speed and quickly managed to catch the figure who was haphazardly struggling with the sole plate, an obvious sign it could not be removed.
While avoiding most of the flailing limbs, he managed to grab onto the person. As he had spent a significant amount of time on the sole plate, he knew exactly what to do.
He immediately grabbed the other person’s gloves and ripped it off the clenched fist with just brute strength.
The person scream once and went silent. At the same time the person’s sole plate went dead in the air.
Xiaoxia quickly braced himself for the extra weight and tried to make a soft landing and he needed to do it quick, the beeping from his gloves was rapidly increasing in frequency. This meant shut down was imminent, but he had nowhere to land, it was filled with people everywhere.
“Get out of the way!” Xiaoxia shouted, “Get out!! and hurry!”
He was so close.
“Beep beep beep, bleeee…ee.ee.e.p.”
“Whoompppphhhh,” he crashed.
Xiaoxia opened his closed eyes expecting the worst, but he did not feel any pain or anything. Rather he felt he was sitting on something soft.
“Eeerrrghh, get up off me!!!” a muffled voice was heard.
They had landed on an oversize costumed mascot. It belonged to one of the activities club.
Carrying the unconscious person while getting off the mascot, Xiaoxia took off the face mask and goggles.
It was a she.