"Even though this monster's depth of knowledge is more profound than that of Teacher Jin and he had refined a magical equipment even stronger than the one refined by Teacher Jin, at least... at least Teacher Jin is more handsome than him!"
"That's right! Teacher Jin's refining style was confident, smooth, and even graceful. He's just plain awesome. How can this monster even compare?"
"Teacher Jin, by all means, don't be dismayed. Even if you can't match up to him in all sorts of ways, at least you're better looking!"
The high school students thought for quite a while and were still unable to think of an aspect where Teacher Jin Quan was stronger than Li Yao. In the end, they just thought of this strong point that wasn't really a strong point.
Actually, even though Jin Quan appearance was quite effeminate and cool, Li Yao's appearance wasn't as bad as they were saying.
Even though Li Yao couldn't be said to be handsome, he still had a set of features that was both good and bad. His figure was tall and straight, and he possessed a coarse, wild, and brash charm. This charm that was steeped in his entire body possessed an energy that made people's blood go racing involuntarily.
If Jin Quan was a standard lady-killer, then Li Yao was a "model man" to the letter.
This was especially so when they witnessed the might of the Seven Layered Heavens Nail, which even Grandpa Lei had praised Li Yao to the high heaven for. The "mad convulsions" that Li Yao had demonstrated during his refining had transformed into a "radiating passion that revealed his dominance" within the hearts of quite a few youngsters.
In regards to Li Yao's particular personality from the perspective of these youths whose rebellious tendencies ran strong, Li Yao's matchless, tyrannical style of a monster was quite appealing.
However, Teacher Jin Quan was one of their people, so how could they embolden the enemy while putting out their own might?
Obviously, they had to boast up their Teacher Jin Quan as the number one most handsome dude under the heavens!
Jin Quan's spirit was at its lowest, but the childish and ridiculous cheers of the youths had roused his energy with laughter. He rubbed his face with some effort as his eyes turned clear. Letting out a long, relaxing breath, he nodded:
"Everyone's right. Victory and defeat are commonplace in conflicts. A single loss is not that serious. I'll cultivate properly when I return and surpass him next time!"
Jin Quan gripped the fragments of the dragon scale nail tenaciously within the palm of his hand, totally unaware that he was squeezing out blood. He walked with large strides to go face to face with Li Yao and performed a deep bow.
"Junior Brother Li, I accept this loss with all my heart and I thank you greatly for this profound lesson. I will forever carry this shattered dragon scale nail by my side to always have today's lesson engraved in memory. I will certainly madly cultivate when I return to the Empyrean Terminus Sect. There will be a day when I will come find you to swap pointers, and when that day comes, I hope you won't refuse!"
"That's right! Revenge is a dish best served cold. Our Teacher Jin will go back and go through bitter training for ten years. He will surely come back to find you, you big devil, and wipe out this grudge!"
The small fatty, Li Shanhao, howled while ducking behind Jin Quan.
His best friends, a few smooth-talking boys, continued to stir up trouble: "That's right, big devil! Just you wait! Teacher Jin will certainly annihilate you!"
Jin Quan was both happy and amused at the same time. His heart clearly said that he was a gifted student of Deep Sea University while his opponent was a freshman of Grand Desolate War Institution. So how could it be that Li Yao had become a big devil whose prowess was unrivaled in the mouths of the group of little rascals, while he was considered to be lower by more than a single level and needed ten years of bitter training to come back for revenge?
Theyre looking down on him too much, right?
Jin Quan looked back and gave a ruthless glare to Li Shanhao. He explained with some embarrassment:
"You must not misunderstand, Junior Brother Li. I sincerely want to compare refining techniques with you. I absolutely don't harbor any grudges."
Li Yao was unable to restrain a smile. He laughed: "You're welcome to come and compare refining techniques at any time. However, I too will madly cultivate. I will certainly be stronger than I am now when you come over next time!"
"That's good then. I am very much looking forward for that day to come. When that happens, we will see just who is crazier in the end!"
After a moment's pause, Jin Quan's expression suddenly turned utterly serious. He spoke while pausing after each syllable, "Junior Brother Li, today's loss was just my sole defeat. It has nothing to do with Deep Sea University."
"Our Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department is full of crouching tigers and hidden dragons. The powerful come forth in large numbers. I won't talk about the previous generation for now. There are nine great true disciples and three hundred direct disciples among Professor Jiang Sheng's students. I am just one of the three hundred direct disciples ranked near the end. I am far from being able to represent the true level of Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department.
"And so, based on the strength I see before me, you are still far from being proficient enough if you truly wish to challenge the Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department!"
Li Yao's eyebrows raised up high like the unsheathing of two black sabers:
"What's the difference between a true disciple and a direct disciple?"
Jin Quan explained:
"Direct disciples are recognized by Professor Jiang Sheng. They are fortunate students who are allowed to listen to his personal lectures and are naturally much more powerful in strength than a typical student."
"Not every student who receives personal instruction from Professor Jiang Sheng can receive his true teachings. This is because the professor speaks far too profoundly and mysteriously. Those who are lacking in aptitude by even just a little bit won't be able to make heads or tails of his words."
"In the last ten years, there have only been nine students who were able to obtain his true teachings. They are known as the Nine Great True Disciples. On their own, they formed together a refining seminar called... The Nine Star Chain!"
"The Nine Star Chain is like nine little stars orbiting around Supernova Jiang Sheng!"
Jin Quan spoke with seriousness:
"The nine great disciples, the Nine Star Chain, represents the highest level of Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department. Each one of them is stronger than I am by ten-fold. I needed ten years of bitter training to master a method such as the Casting Nine Scales. They look at me with disdain and contempt, for they possess even stronger ultimate techniques!"
"Only those who can prevail over them are qualified to formally challenge Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department!"
The radiance of nine star dots appeared within Li Yao's eyes, only to explode one after another in an instant.
"The Nine Star Chain? A very impressive name, but in the face of my endlessly rising Fiend Star, you all are destined to perish into the darkness!"
"The appearance of the Fiend Star and the explosion of the Nine Starsthis is the path I will walk!"
The little fatty, Li Shanhao, came boring out from behind Jin Quan right at this moment. Holding his chest up high, he sucked in his stomach, placed his hands on his hips, and spoke loudly:
"That's right! The experts of Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department are like the clouds, and the powerful are like the rain. Just based on you, this big devil, you wish to single-handedly challenge Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department? This is simply the ravings of a lunatic! Even if you're better than Teacher Jin, even if you manage to wipe out some Nine Star Chain, you still need to get past me!"
The little fatty raised his thumb and stabbed it towards his chest: "Today, I witnessed the ultimate confrontation between you two experts. Let alone the burning passion in my heart, it has made my blood race and boil! I vow from this day forth that each day, I won't sleep until past midnight. I will train like crazy and fight to test into Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department and become a formidable opponent of yours, big devil!"
Li Yao was stupefied on the spot, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. When did he become a "big devil"? Wasn't his refining style just a bit sharper than normal?
"In any case..."
Li Shanhao suddenly changed expressions as he changed topics. His entire face was covered with a flattering smile as he rubbed his hands and spoke, "The minimum passing score required for Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department is very high. No matter how hard I work from here on, I most likely won't be able to pass. I don't know if your Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department is still recruiting new students this year. How high is your minimum passing score?"
So this was his real goal.
Immediately, there was someone amongst the group of friends behind him who howled:
"Alright, you dead fatty. Just now, you even said that we would test into Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department together and face off against this big devil together with Teacher Jin. How can you betray us so soon?"
"You don't understand crap!"
Li Shanhao's skin was super thick. He snorted with disdain: "If I can test into Deep Sea University, I will obviously follow Teacher Jin. But such a high score requirement... Can crappy people such as us test into it? We might as well join the big devil's side. After all..."
He looked at the contours of Li Yao's muscular arms with some envy. He swallowed then spoke: "Big Devil... wait no. Other than Teacher Jin, the second young refiner that I revere the most from the depths of my soul is... Teacher Li Yao, the eldest senior brother of Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department. The quality of education there has to be excellent and top-notch!"
"And there's also how bold, ferocious, and awesome Teacher Li Yao's refining style is. It simply gives a feel of being unrivaled and unmatched in the boundless expanse of the universe. It is very suitable for me, who possesses this sort of powerful strength of awesome buff manliness!"
He smoothed up his sleeves upon speaking, exposing a fat arm, and shook it with immense pride as he spoke, "Can you see it? This body of muscle!?"
Everyone was stunned by his shamelessness.
Only a few of his best friends, being cut from the same mold, came out. They defected to the enemy in the blink of an eye on the spot, crowding around Li Yao one by one:
"Teacher Li Yao!"
"Eldest senior brother!"
"Give us a quick lecture then, Eldest Senior Brother. Is the Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department still recruiting students this year? The minimum score shouldn't be that high, right?"
This group of good-for-nothings headed by Li Shanhao was quite notorious within Empyrean Terminus Central High School.
Even though these good-for-nothings were somewhat gifted, they were known as troublemakers in school. Their hearts and minds weren't completely concentrated on studying, and every few days, the school would ask their parents to come to handle things.
They normally relied on their talent and wasted their days, barely considered top students. How would it be possible for them to pass into the golden field of study that was the Deep Sea Universitys Refining Department?
They never expected to have their eyes opened wide on this day. Yes, Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department's environment was lacking a bit, but they had such a bold and powerful eldest senior brotherthis department seemed to be quite decent!
Most importantly, Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department didn't have a big reputation, so the minimum score requirement must be quite low, right?
"Teacher Jin, in my mind, you are still the number one unrivaled handsome refiner, and I will forever worship you, admire you, and grieve for you; however, I am forced to helplessness in regards to the future!"
The little fatty mouthed silently to himself in his mind: "If worse comes to worst, when I learn this big devils tyrannical and matchless refining technique, I'll defect back to Teacher Jin's side!"
The little fatty's eyes bulged round and wide as he recollected about a certain matter. He smacked a fierce palm towards his greasy and shiny forehead as his expression changed greatly: "Teacher Jin just said that the Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department will be abolished this year. Could that be actually true?"
Several of his best friends recalled this one after another. They howled in agony: "It can't be! We just barely managed to find a minimum required score that was low and yet was in a relatively strong field. Will our hopes and dreams be crushed?"
Li Yao gave a slight chuckle and pinched Li Shanhao on the back in a not light yet not intense manner. He looked at the good-for-nothings crowded around and spoke with decisiveness:
"Go ahead and be at ease! Do your best when you get back!"
"Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department won't be abolished! We welcome your applications!"
"Today, this place may be just a sheet of ruin, but I believe that there will be a day when the ones to walk out of here will be the strongest refiners of the federation! For sure!"