"What did you say?"
Li Yao stared with wide-opened eyes; his face was full of astonishment.
Huang Tong pursed his lips as he disapprovingly said, "For crying out loudisn't that obvious!? From the very beginning, our Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department was weak and was notorious as the worst department among the 'Nine Elite Universities'. The entire department was painstakingly supported by one person alone, who was none other than Professor Mo Xuan."
"Even if it was Professor Mo Xuan, he did not have any good reputation in the refiners' community, which is where he got the moniker 'Madman'!"
"Now, not only him but even a few slightly skilled and reputed professors and all the elite students have been killed by the explosion, leaving an associate professor along with rookies like us behind. Tell me, do you think our Refining Department has any future?"
This was the very same problem Li Yao had also been thinking about.
The blow this time was truly serious. It could be said that the Refining Department was completely annihilated.
Huang Tong smacked his lips: "For a long time, the institute believed that only the four major departments should remain and that it would be better to have as few ordinary departments as possible. Only in such a manner could they promote the academic level of the institute."
"Even if no accident had taken place in the Refining Department, many would still clamor to abolish the Refining Department every year, not to mention that such a tragic accident had occurred and had blown away more than half of the Refining Department. It would be impossible for them not to abolish the department."
"And from what I hear, the institutes management has already decided to officially announce it after the memorial service. Apart from the four major departments, for which they have to go through an examination, the students of the Refining Department can unconditionally choose other departments to transfer to!"
Only now did Li Yao come to understand why these students were beaming with delight.
The Refining Department of the Grand Desolate War Institution was a department which had the lowest cut-off marks, so if they arbitrarily choose any department other than the Refining Department, that would be a significant upgrade.
So to say, even if they closed their eyes and randomly chose a department, they would have made a killing.
A vast majority of the Refining Department's student were here because they had no choice, not because they liked refining. Naturally, man struggles upwards as water flows downwards.
Li Yao also could not say that their choice was wrong. After all, everyone had to consider their own future.
However, if the Refining Department was truly abolished, then where should he go from here?
"Is it going to be abolished? Is there no room for recovery? Can't we recruit professors again? Can't the school building be rebuilt?!" said Li Yao insipidly.
Huang Tong chuckled as he shook his head and said:
"Fellow Student Li Yao, to rebuild the Refining Department with words alone is impossibleit needs money! An astronomical sum is needed to just build a huge floating mountain that has various smelting workshops, refining workshops, and laboratories. Even 18 billion is not enough!"
"Generally, a university has three main sources of funding. The first is the education fund provided by the Federation government. However, it is so little that it can only be used to decorate the facade a bit, that's all."
"Second is the sponsoring of various cultivation sects."
"The Nine Elite Universities is sponsored by many powerful and flourishing cultivation sects from behind. For example, our Grand Desolate War Institution has powerful combat sects like the Devil Fist Sect and the Hundred Saber Alliance sponsoring us from behind."
"Naturally, those who are spending money would definitely sponsor the department they like. For instance, the Devil Fist Sect would definitely spend their money on the Iron Fist Club, whereas the Hundred Saber Alliance, for sure, would sponsor the Chaos Edge Hall. It is impossible to misappropriate the money to rebuild the Refining Department, and you can understand why they won't, right?"
"The third is each department supporting themselves using their own unique skills."
"For example, student unions from the Combat Department like the Iron Fist Club and the Chaos Edge Hall would often form a coalition between the students and the army to hunt demon beasts deep within the Wasteland together."
"Whereas, the Glyph Devils are open to the public and provide tattoo services for money. Due to the fame of the Glyph Devils, many cultivators come and spend a huge sum of money to ask the Glyph Devils' members to tattoo them."
"As for the Lancets, it goes without saying that in the field of surgery and orthopedics, the Lancets is second to none in the federation. God knows how much money they make every day."
"Besides the small part paid to the institute as management fees, every penny they earn is used to fill the coffers of their respective department."
"Any department that wanted to build a new floating mountain or do some revolutionary project would have to gather the funds from here and there. A part of the fund would often come from the institute, who would take out a part of the government education fund it has received. Some of the funds would come from the sponsoring of the familiar cultivation sects, while a small part would be taken from the departments small treasury, and finally, the remaining funds would come from the project leaders own pockets."
"What does the Refining Department have? The institute is not at all optimistic and hence they have no intention to invest a single penny on the department. As for familiar sects, we don't have any, so forget about sponsors. As for our treasury, that goes without sayingand I have even heard that Professor Mo Xuan went bankrupt for Project Mystic Skeleton. He had poured his entire fortune into the project and had even borrowed a huge sum from many. So, where is the money?"
Li Yao gritted his teeth so much that they were aching.
From Huang Tong's words, he found that the problem was extremely serious.
At this point, his eyelids madly started twitching.
The four spirit threads that were slumbering inside his forehead also became restless. He felt as if they were ready to come out at any moment.
Li Yao's intuition pointed at the sky where he saw a huge, disc-shaped flying shuttle quietly floating in the clear blue sky.
This flying shuttle happened to be a work of art; its hull was exquisite to the extreme, seemingly as if it was a work of nature itself, as if gentle breezes had congealed into a flying shuttle.
It was as if it has completely fused with the air to the point that if ones line of sight was not affixed upon it, then nobody would be able to perceive its existence.
And once Li Yao's line of sight landed on it, it released an incomparably profound aura in the blink of an eye.
It was unfathomable just like the sea itself, so much so that one could not help but have an impulse to bow in worship.
"Thats the flying shuttle of Deep Sea University!" Huang Tong let out a "Wow!" in admiration.
The deep as sea flying shuttle quietly glided to above everyone's head.
It was obviously moving at a high-speed, yet it gave everyone a "static" feeling, as if it was not at all flying, but rather, the entire world was attracted by it. This kind of feeling made everyone's scalp tingle.
Deep Sea University's refining ability was strong. From this small flying alone, they could get a glimpse or two of its depth.
Three men who were dressed in silver-white robes gradually landed on the ground and solemnly walked towards the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit statue.
They were the representatives of Deep Sea University's Refining Department.
Even though Deep Sea University's Refining Department belonged to the elite camp and Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department belonged to the grassroots camp, and even though they were occasionally engaged in a "struggle over the great daos" because of the clashing ideologies between the two...
At the end of the day, all of them were still members of the cultivation world and refiners as well. Under this kind of situation, the other party would always come to give their condolences.
Standing at the forefront was a man who was about thirty years old and wore an oval metal ring on his face that happened to completely cover his pair of eyes. The metal ring was inlaid with 18 glistening blue crystals, giving the misconception that they were 18 eyes of some strange monster.
This was very special spectacles. It should be some kind of high-rank magical equipment.
"He is none other than Supernova Jiang Sheng, the most outstanding newcomer of Deep Sea University's Refining Department in past two decades. I had never thought that he would personally come to participate in the memorial. This time, Deep Sea University seems to be sincere," Huang Tong said in a small voice.
"He is Jiang Sheng?!" Li Yao narrowed his eyes.
It was not the first time that he had heard of Supernova Jiang Sheng.
When he was still in Floating Spear City, Professor Xie Tingxian, in order to attract him, had once guaranteed that Deep Sea University would use everything at its disposal to nurture him into the "Second Supernova Jiang Sheng".
Later, Li Yao had also browsed information about Jiang Sheng. He was a rising star in the refiners' community who was hailed as the most gifted refiner amongst the younger generation.
He had graduated from Deep Sea University and was a direct disciple of Chu Xiuhong. He was also the only one who Chu Xiuhong had passed her mantle to. Even before the age of 30, he had refined a fair share of powerful magical equipment that had shaken the cultivation world and had become the youngest associate professor of Deep Sea University's Refining Department.
Because he was unusually brilliant and talented, his rising speed was just like a nova explosion, so everyone in the refiners' community called himSupernova!
Right now, because the time he has spent in cultivation was shorter than others, he could be considered to be lacking maturity.
However, many people believed that after a few decades, he would become the leader of the entire refiners' community within the Heaven Origin Sectorhe would be the most powerful Master Refiner!
Li Yao eyes flickered with undisguised flames when he gazed at the back of Supernova Jiang Sheng.
However, he quickly moved his line of sight.
Right now, Supernova Jiang Sheng had already accomplished both fame and success, caused a sensation in the federation, and was an associate professor of Deep Sea University's Refining Department.
As for him, he was just a nameless newbie who was just a freshman of Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department and nothing more.
And even the poor Refining Department was on the verge of getting abolished.
The difference in status between the two was extremely huge!
At present, he did not have the qualifications and the strength to challenge Jiang Sheng.
For now, he still needed to accumulate strength and conceal his talons and fangs till the appropriate time.
Jiang Sheng and the three professors of Deep Sea University's Refining Department walked in front of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit statue and gave a shallow bow, thereafter they walked up to Xiong Baili's and Yuan Manqiu's side before they started conversing in a low voice.
The students of the Refining Department had their own thoughts, many of whom started discussing in turns about which department they would choose in high spirits. No one was concerned about the arrival of Jiang Sheng.
Li Yao too started pondering about how he was going to walk on the road of cultivation in the future. God knows how long after he suddenly heard a sound of dispute.
As he raised his head to look, he saw Jiang Sheng and Yuan Manqiu had gone to a secluded place and were talking in a low voice. They were talking rapidly and an agitated look hung on their faces.
Li Yao's heart was stirred. He took a few steps towards the two as he attentively listened to a word or two coming along the wind.
Jiang Sheng said:
"Senior Sister Yuan, you are the most outstanding graduate of Deep Sea University's Refining Department before me and are also the direct disciple whom Teacher Chu is most proud of. This time, Teacher Chu is sincerely inviting you to come back. As long as you are willing, you can return to Deep Sea University regardless of any conditions, but why are you so stubborn? Why are you flatly refusing?"
Yuan Manqiu coldly said:
"Junior Brother Jiang, please go back and tell teacher that as early as twenty years ago, we have parted ways because of different refining ideologies. I have taken a different road, and now, I am the acting dean of Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department. I am not at all interested in going back to the Deep Sea University to be a teacher, please thank teacher for her kind intentions."
Jiang Sheng heaved a sigh and said:
"Senior Sister Yuan, in all likelihood, Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department is going to be abolished. Even if it is not abolished now, then next year, it will be forcibly abolished by the association. Why are you wasting a year? Once you join Deep Sea University's Refining Department, there are many projects waiting for you to take charge of. Resources, staff, heaven and earth treasures... you can have everything which is a hundred times better than that of here."
Yuan Manqiu was silent for a moment before she said in a gentle tone:
"Perhaps Deep Sea University's conditions are truly good, but only at the Grand Desolate War Institution can I continue... Project Mystic Skeleton!"
 It is very normal to pursue their own ideals, for a good life.