“Again!” Instructor Wei demanded.
Xiaoxia started gathering his Ki and directed them to his left fist and pushed out. He was trying to control it, but all his Ki just surged out and lashed towards where his punched.
“Boom!” the training dummy 10 feet in front of him turned to smithereens.
“Again!” another dummy appeared where the previous one was.
“Boom!” the same result occurred, and yet another dummy reappeared.
“Change to your right fist, again!”
The practice started since morning, after Instructor Wei narrowly avoided sustaining serious injury. She showed Xiaoxia a few techniques and taught him some theories, they were to control the flow of Ki that was released.
“Change to your left index finger, go!” Instructor Wei ordered.
“Piak!” this time the dummy remained intact and swiveled around its base, rotating a few times before stopping. An indentation the size of a fist could be seen on its right upper torso.
“Ok stop, that’s enough for now, go have your lunch, rest and be back here in an hour” Instructor Wei noticed the time and continued, “Later we will recap this morning’s lesson”
“Yes and thank you Instructor,” Xiaoxia bowed from his waist, glad that it was over.
He did not feel any form of exhaustion, only a little bored due to the monotony of repeated actions. He did feel somewhat invigorated after expending Ki, as the continuous adrenaline and endorphin rush was addicting.
One day on the main world is 30 hours (it’s on the compendium) Xiaoxia had train a little before the 7th hour after their visit to Sem’s office. It is now the 15th hour, he was training for 8 hours straight.
“One order of Zingmadon with battered taters and an ice Chocachic!” the waiter shouted over the massive crowd in the student’s restaurant. (Read the compendium for what those are)
Xiaoxia always wanted to visit the student restaurants for some time now, but never really got to it. There were over twenty thousand of them everywhere on the campuses, but barely enough to cater to all the students.
Everything was free, since the school fees themselves were astronomical. Fortunately many students were sponsored by their Empires upon acceptance and entry to the Academy of the Six Elements.
Xiaoxia’s school fees were paid by MeisterSchloss as part of the agreement, and arranged by Menon.
Today after training for 8 hours straight, he built up a massive appetite and decided to finally try it out. First informing Fred to cancel the one in his dorm.
Upon hearing the waiter’s shout, he could not help but drooled. To make matters worse, the menu was in lack of a better word, amazing.
There were tons of items on the menu and Xiaoxia had no idea what he wanted, usually his meals were decided and prepared by Anthony, he did not make it a habit to specifically ask for anything.
“Is this table taken?” a male student was asking. Indicating to the empty seats around the table Xiaoxia had taken.
“Um, no it’s available,” Xiaoxia replied. Due to his SS Class status, he had no problem getting a table in the crowded restaurant. The Maître d’hôtel at the entrance was wide eyed when he saw Xiaoxia’s credentials, but promised to keep it a secret.
“Hey everyone come here, this place is free!” the guy shouted to his friends.
Soon a group of male and female students came over and quickly occupied the table. There were a total of 7 of them.
“Hello my name is Winfrey,” the guy introduced himself. His Chevron indicated he was a Titled class, and the strips on his sleeve show that he was a freshman as well. There were some other things on his chevron, but Xiaoxia paid no heed to them.
“I am Xiaoxia,” Xiaoxia replied.
“Nice to meet you, never seen you around,” Winfrey said, sitting down after introducing himself.
“Ah, I was not well for a few weeks, and just started,” Xiaoxia lied, he was told to do so in these types of situation by Instructor Wei.
Soon everyone exchanged formalities and started to order lunch from a waiter. All of them were freshmen.
The 7 of them were from various parts of the world, most of them were from Empires that were across the ocean from MeisterSchloss. However one of them was from another Empire on the other side of the world.
“Sir, what would like?” the waiter asked Xiaoxia who was the last to order.
“Erm, I am not sure, can I have one of everything they ordered?” Xiaoxia asked.
“Woah! Are you serious?” a girl named Charlotte asked, a little amazed. She is rather small and one of the Yue Ri Ren.
“Haha, its ok Char, if he can’t finish it then it’s off to the galley to wash dishes,” one of the guys called Sima replied. He is from the Feng Shan Ren, whose empire is on the other side of the world, and he was almost as tall as Xiaoxia.
“That’s true Xiaoxia,” Winfrey agreed. He is a Ma Shen Ren, average looking with no special traits.
“You mean they will really do that to us?” Xiaoxia was taken aback when he heard the news.
“Yes it is, it’s in the rules and regulation handbook, meow,” a girl called Mingyue responded. She is one of a pair of twin sisters are from the Bao Ya Lei, both of them have feline features.
“Meow?” Xiaoxia did not know what it meant. There were no small size felines in this world, most were big and ferocious creatures.
“It is their habit,” Sima informed him.
“Yeah, it means nothing,” Charlotte added.
“It’s ok, I will have one of everything, we can share some among ourselves,” Xiaoxia turned to the waiter and ordered.
“Yes sir, one of everything they ordered!” the waiter responded, not even reacting to Xiaoxia’s order, while repeating the total orders to confirm.
Once it was confirmed he did not shout like the other waiter had, instead he was heading directly to the order counter to submit the order list.
“So tell me Xiaoxia, where are you from?” Winfrey asked, he was clearly the leader of the group.
“I am from Hu Yuan 1st colony, Black Iron Anvil Village, Hu Yuan Empire,” Xiaoxia proudly announced.
Upon hearing this, one of the girl’s expression showed some interest. She is the only Gold Class in the group, and the tallest among the girls. Charlotte had inform Xiaoxia that she was from the Tai Ping Lei.
Noticing this as well, Charlotte asked Xiaoxia, “You are from a colony and a village?”
Xiaoxia replied, “Yes and no. My town is called ‘village’ because the people used that as a fond remembrance of its past, we are a 5th Tier town close to becoming 6th Tier.”
“Ah I see, Libby is from a 5th Tier town as well. She was bullied before we interceded and trashed the bullies,” a guy named Corian replied, he was from the Nature Elves who looked like the Moon Elves, except their skin was fair. Corian was referring to the girl from Tai Ping Lei.
Soon they were discussing Xiaoxia’s background and wanted to know about the colony, they were all born in the main world and never experienced travelling to another planet.
In the meantime their order arrived as well, and they were shocked at the appetite of Xiaoxia, he did not even leave a single remnant of food behind. Some of the others even had difficulty finishing their meals and gave it to others who could finish it. Most of it ended up in Xiaoxia’s stomach.
“Wow, you can really eat!” Charlotte exclaimed, as Xiaoxia finished his drink.
“It is common for my people to consume large amounts of food,” Xiaoxia honestly replied, however hiding the fact that even with the Sha Mo Ren’s hearty appetites, he was consuming 3 to 4 times what a normal person his age does.
“You are really different, meow” Minglan said, she is the twin sister of Mingyue.
“Is it that obvious?” Xiaoxia asked, he tried not to stick out, remembering one of the many advises from Instructor Wei.
“Hehe, pay no heed to her, we are all different in our ways,” Charlotte said upon noticing Xiaoxia was a little uneasy.
“Yeah, we are all different, no need to be worried about that,” Sima agreed.
“Well I guess we will be moving off now, we need to get some stuff and prepare for training this afternoon,” Winfrey informed as the rest of them stood and prepared to leave.
“Me too, I am heading to the training hall as well,” Xiaoxia replied.
“Great, we can go together,” Winfrey answered.
They left the restaurant, and looked at some of the shops along the way to the spatial portal. All the children were happily chatting, and joking as they moved around.
In front of a particular shop, Charlotte and Libby who had seen its window display were smiling from ear to ear and quickly entered. The rest stood outside and were still chatting away.
At this moment, Xiaoxia noticed his one hour was almost up, “Oh I need to go first, I am afraid I do not have time.”
“Ah! That is too bad, you can go ahead first, if you do not see us at the training hall, we can meet up for dinner at the same restaurant,” Winfrey regretfully replied.
“Yeah, we usually eat there for lunch and dinner, it’s the most convenient for us,” Sima added.
“That’s true, if you do not see us, you can contact us as well, we all stay at the Phoenix Dorm, our names are on the registry,” Winfrey informed Xiaoxia.
“I will do that, see you all later!” Xiaoxia waved goodbye, activated his personal spatial transportation device and was gone.
“Oh wow, he has a high grade device,” Corian was impressed.
“Yeah this guy isn’t as simple as he looks,” Sima agreed.
The others who are present, looked on with dumb founded expressions, they did not have the calm demeanor of Corian and Sima.
“What happened? Where is Xiaoxia?” Charlotte asked when she and Libby appeared later, she noticed a few of them had vacant expression.
Menon was grumbling, he did not want to do this, there was no way he was going to face that women again. Unfortunately he had no choice, not after the message Captain Jongbae relayed to him from Instructor Wei.
“Oh well, no point avoiding it, I may as well get this over now rather than later,” he grumbled to himself, picking up his stuff, shoving them into a quantum bag, and left his office.
“Xiaoxia, tell me what you learnt today,” Instructor Wei was saying.
“I learnt to circulate Ki in my body and push it out as a force.” Xiaoxia replied.
“Poof!” Instructor Wei knocked Xiaoxia’s head with one of the manual he had passed her.
“Idiot, anyone can do that, you are supposed to learn to control your Ki, focus it and project it. Did you forgot what I taught you just this morning?” Instructor Wei scolded him.
“My my, Instructor Wei, no need to abuse a child. What would the parents say if they found out the instructors were hitting their children?” a familiar voice came from the door.
“Menon!” Xiaoxia exclaimed, seeing Menon standing at the door to the training room.
“Hah! You bastard, you finally got the guts to see me?! How I train my student doesn’t involve a scumbag like you,” Instructor Wei angrily responded.
“Hey, it’s not like I really did something bad you know,” Menon replied.
“To hide the fact that you already appointed me and later pretending to want my assistance is not something bad?” Instructor Wei asked with an incredulous look.
“Look I know it was wrong, but faced with the situation, there was no one else of proper caliber to handle it besides you. You would not have agreed to anything if we asked, so I did what I had to do,” Menon tried to reason.
“There are hundreds of thousands of instructors in this school, why does it have to be me?” she asked.
“Instructor Wei, it is for that reason which we cannot mention, which is why you were chosen,” Menon replied, not mentioning exactly what that it was.
At this statement, Instructor Wei was silent. She did not retort nor was there any snide remarks, she momentarily seemed lost in thoughts.
Xiaoxia got the impression they were not saying many things in front of him, as if there were some secrets between them. He felt the same way when he was in Sem’s office.
“I won’t pursue this matter, but you owe me big time for this transgression, I will decide everything once you do what I asked,” Instructor Wei replied.
“Fair enough, but let me warn you nothing here goes out the door,” Menon cautioned her.
“Sorry Instructor Wei, Menon. But may I ask what is going on here?” Xiaoxia interrupted.
“I am here to check your meridians,” Menon replied.
“My meridians? How?” Xiaoxia asked.
“Oh I need to do just one test,” Menon was already removing equipment from his quantum belt as he answered.
Xiaoxia’s face clearly blanched upon seeing the various equipment on the table.
“No worries my young friend, you won’t be a human pin cushion this time,” Menon had a wide grin as he replied, noting Xiaoxia’s expression.
“I need to do something, I will back in a short moment,” Instructor Wei said as she left the room.
Once she left, Menon turned to Xiaoxia, “So how is school life treating you?”
“It’s nice, I met some friends in the restaurant today,” Xiaoxia told him, “and I am going to meet them for dinner later.”
“Ah, its always nice to make new friends,”Menon remarked, and started to ask other questions which Xiaoxia candidly replied.
The conversation continued, mainly focused on the past 2 weeks Xiaoxia was in the Academy. Menon noted with some dissatisfaction on how things were going between Xiaoxia and Instructor Wei.
At the same time, Menon was setting up the machine, and everything was settled shortly. After that, he started sticking many nodes onto Xiaoxia’s body and limbs, similar to the time they did the tests at Menon’s office.
When they were just about done, Instructor Wei walked in.
“So is everything ready?” she asked.
“Yes we can start the test now, just let me connect this,” Menon replied.
He took out an object in a metal case with a pair of large forceps, the object was totally black and it looked like a shadow.
Xiaoxia immediately felt the hairs on his body prickling as if his life was being sucked out the minute the object was removed from the case.
“How did you get that?” Instructor Wei asked, sounding startled
“This? Oh bought I off someone in the city,” Menon answer unconvincingly.
“Bought it off someone? Do you take me as a fool? People do not go around carrying Void crystals on them,” Instructor Wei chastised Menon.
“Look if you do not believe me fine, but the fact is I really bought it from someone in the city, although the circumstance in which it came about, is between MeisterSchloss and that person in question,” Menon replied, not budging.
“Fair enough, but why use this? Isn’t there another simpler way?” Instructor Wei, sounding dissatisfied with the answer, but understood enough to stop asking.
“Instructor Wei, it’s better to show you than to tell you,” Menon replied, shrugging off her question.
Once he inserted the Void crystal, he click a switch on the machine. Immediately it came to life.
At that precise moment, Xiaoxia felt the Ki draining from every part of his body. It was flowing into all the nodes that were placed at specific spots.
An ear splitting noise was heard a little less than four minutes into the test. Taken by surprise Menon slammed his palm onto a large circular button at the top of the machine. Immediately the machine stuttered and went dead, only the holographic device connected to it was still displaying the information.
“I’ll be damn!” Menon exclaimed as he was looking over the machine and discovered the place where the sound originated from.
When Menon turned the machine around, Instructor Wei and Xiaoxia could see the hatch which covered where the Void crystal was, had bulged outwards. It look like it was caused by a minor explosion inside the container.
Taking some crude looking tools, Menon started banging away at the hatch. In a short time, the hatch broke open and only the shattered remains of the Void shard could be seen.
“Errrggh, it is destroyed! My precious crystal!” Menon was really upset at the current situation.
“Well you can only blame yourself, no one asked you to use a Void crystal,” Instructor Wei was gloating at Menon’s misfortune.
“You will know why in a while,” Menon still did not tell her why. He was still looked extremely upset as he approached Xiaoxia.
“Are you ok?” Menon asked, looking a little concern.
“I am great, it was really invigorating!” Xiaoxia replied excitedly. When his Ki started draining, his adrenaline immediately kick in, follow just a while later by an endorphin rush.
“Oh interesting,” Menon’s eyes betrayed how much more amazed he was than his words.
“Old fool, isn’t it time to tell me everything?” Instructor Wei insisted.
“I will once we get our young friend out of these, both of you need to know anyway,” Menon answered her, while removing the links on Xiaoxia’s body. Xiaoxia immediately started to help remove them as well.
Once he was no longer hooked up to the machine, he was sitting on the cultivating platform, already changed into his training attire.
“Ok I have spoken to you before about your test results yes?” Menon looked at Xiaoxia and asked.
“Yes Menon, you said it was similar to people from the unknown realm,” Xiaoxia replied.
“Chh! I wouldn’t find it surprising, since all his information was classified,” Instructor Wei said nonchalantly, no seemingly interested in this information.
“Ok, that was then, but that was just the preliminary observation, I did not have sufficient information to re-confirm it,” Menon replied while adding, “Look, if I wanted to hide the information, I wouldn’t even be allowing his SS Class title to be shown.”
“So you said preliminary result, then where is the final one?” Instructor Wei asked.
“Yes what is the final result?” Xiaoxia interjected, suddenly worried it was bad news.
“See it for yourself, I just found the final piece of the puzzle last week to confirm the findings,” Menon replied, passing a print-out to Instructor Wei and Xiaoxia.
Ki talent: Verified – SS class
**Elemental Alignment: Verified – 7 elements
**Mental Capacity: Verified – Unmeasurable Genius
Ki Realm: Verified – Apprentice Realm 3rd Tier *
(*author’s note: this is the old information when the test was done at Menon’s compound, it is not the current test which is measuring something else)
Martial Affiliation: Unverified – none
Martial physique/aptitude: Verified – Unmeasurable Genius
Martial Instructor: Unverified – none
Ki Cultivation Instructor: Verified – Chen Daquan, Wanmei
**Ki Stamina: Verified – beyond Unknown Realm
**Ki Quality: Verified – beyond Unknown Realm
(**Author’s note: this is a measuring system for potential, according to the compendium. Hence the values are not current or actual but possible in the future)
Instructor Wei went silent, even as Xiaoxia had a look of amazement on his face.
“This is precisely the reason why we have a gag policy on Xiaoxia’s result,” Menon replied, “and also the reason why the Void crystal has to be used, it would not work with normal means.”
“You could have told me,” Instructor Wei meekly said, it was not often someone received a shock like this.
“Would it had made any difference, you still have to use every single experience you gained over the millenniums for training this child,” Menon stated.
“No, if you had told me earlier, I wouldn’t be in a position where I almost got myself killed,” she replied, realizing she made a grave mistake earlier thinking only 3 of her major meridians will be destroyed.
“I would also immediately start his training the day he enrolled. We were very fortunate that Xiaoxia did not kill anyone else before he could learn to properly control his Ki,” she added.
“Sorry but what is this martial physique/aptitude thing?” Xiaoxia suddenly interrupted their conversation, pointing to the part where the words were.
“That is something that was left out before I updated the device,” Menon replied.
“So why are you still testing me, if you already have all the measurements?” Xiaoxia ask curiously.
“That is because I suspected something else,” Instructor Wei interjected.
“Yes, after receiving her message, I realized something as well,” Menon agreed, as he walked towards the holographic device. Connecting another device to it, a larger hologram appeared displaying something that looked like a Xiaoxia’s body.
“Huhuhu, this is astounding!” Menon remarked, he was smiling with his mouth wide open while moving his head erratically as he looked closely at the readings.
Instructor Wei was almost mimicking him. The both of them stopped and looked at each other. Then Instructor Wei nodded towards Menon.
“Xiaoxia, I want you to listen to what Menon has to say,” Instructor Wei told him.
“Yes Instructor,” Xiaoxia replied.
“Xiaoxia do you know what meridians are?” Menon asked.
“Yes Menon, I read it on some of the martial arts manuals that Captain Jongbae passed me,” he answered.
“Good, are you aware of the number of meridians in the body?” Menon asked him again.
This time Xiaoxia shook his head.
“Ok let me explain. Every normal being has 12 minor meridians regulating the musculoskeletal parts, 12 minor meridians regulating the elements as well as emotions and mental capacity, are you following me?” Menon asked.
“Good, if you do not understand, feel free to ask,” Menon said and continued, “Besides these 24 minor meridians, there are 12 major meridians which are linked to your major organs, including your Ki center. Then there are 8 extra-ordinary meridians which are basically Ki refining and special energy storage areas.”
“There is one more particular and unique meridian, we do not know the name of it, but it was theorized by our 1st Enlightened of MeisterSchloss, this theory was further confirmed by other Enlightened later in our history. So far even till today we do not know what it is,” Menon concluded.
“Meridians are always narrow and blocked in majority of children,” Instructor Wei begin her explanation.
“There are rare cases where children are gifted with a portion of their meridians unblock and dilated since birth. It takes decades of Ki cultivation and rigorous training to open them as well as dilate them. The corresponding growth in power is a result of the expansion of not only their Ki reservoir, but also by the amount of Ki that flows through these meridians,” she said and continued,
“The more meridians that are opened and the larger the vessels connecting these meridians are, allows an individual to exhibit monstrous abilities,” she concluded, allowing Menon to continue.
“Unknown Realm individuals have already opened all 24 of their minor meridians, we only know of a handful who have opened half of their 12 major meridians, as for extra-ordinary meridians there are only less than 2 we know of who have opened at least 2 of them. There may be others, but so far many have refused to be tested by us,” Menon said.
“I am one of the Unknown Realm that was tested, the other is someone you have not met in the Academy,” Instructor Wei informed Xiaoxia, who suddenly understood why she had such a foreboding presence.
“Xiaoxia, do you know why we are telling you this?” Menon asked.
“Yes, the meridians are important to train, by unlocking them, it allows better control and use of Ki,” Xiaoxia replied.
“Well that is not entirely correct, but I will let Instructor Wei tell you more, since she has direct experience with meridians,” Menon gestured with his head at Instructor Wei who continued.
“Xiaoxia, all your meridians are opened, and your Ki vessels are rather dilated. The rest of us worked very hard over the years to achieve a fraction of what you have. However you did not achieve this via hard work, as a result you do not know how to assert control over all these meridians,” she said to Xiaoxia.
“You need to learn to control it as soon as possible, no one among your peers have learnt to defend themselves with Ki. You can kill them easily even by accident,” she warned him. (*Author’s note: peers referring to the freshmen, not all the students)
“With your Martial physique and aptitude, you should be able to get the hang of it sooner rather than later,” Instructor Wei informed him.
“On top of that, the biggest mystery is the unique meridian,” Menon excitedly said, “You have it.”