Chapter 23 – Eternal Substitute Puppet (IV)
Ma Liang thoughtfully said, “That shouldn’t be right! According to your strength, you should have already known the secrets of our Eastern Dragon. Since you don’t know, I’m not telling you. Have Patriarch Qin tell you later; you only need to remember what I say. Be careful, strive to cultivate and increase your strength. Those of us in the Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts will need to take care of one another in the future.
“Oh, by the way… the generational disciple of the Chess Sect has already entered the institution and is in the same year as us. He was with me and was the Spatial Domain division general for the Freshman Competition. You missed each other in battle, so you have yet to meet him. Some other day, I will arrange for the two of you to meet. My injury should require roughly a week to heal. Fortunately, I will be able to participate in this year’s border defense war. When the time comes, we can fight side by side.”
Walking back to his dormitory, Ye Yin Zhu’s mind couldn’t help but brim with misgivings. ‘When all’s said and done, what secrets does the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects have? Why didn’t my grandfather or Grandfather Qin tell me? Maybe dad’s departure from the Desolate Jade Sea at the same time had something to do with the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects.’
A long time had passed since leaving the Desolate Jade Sea and entering the mainland. Ye Yin Zhu’s mind had rapidly matured since then, especially when he entered the Courageous Zither Heart Realm.
Just as he arrived at the door of his dormitory, an aroma assaulted Ye Yin Zhu’s senses. His belly subconsciously growled, making him realize that he was hungry.
“Yin Zhu, you’re back. Come eat. I just finished.” Passing through the door, Ye Yin Zhu came upon a busy Sura, who pulled him over. Today’s evening meal was particularly scrumptious. There were four dishes and soup; there were even two meat dishes. Ever since the two of them began living together, this was the most delicious cuisine presented.
Sura smiled and said, “What? Come and eat, I don’t want to hear you talk nonsense. Look.” As he spoke, his body flashed slightly. Ye Yin Zhu felt as though his eyes were playing tricks on him. Sura had unexpectedly become see-through. Yes, his entire body had become transparent.
Reaching out a hand to touch this illusion, Ye Yin Zhu was shocked to discover his hand phasing through Sura’s body. He exclaimed in shock, “Sura, what happened to you?”
Sura smiled. “Fool, this is the Eternal Substitute Puppet’s effect! When the Eternal Substitute Puppet is used, it can fuse together with its master. Whenever I receive an attack or exercise control over it, the fused body becomes illusory. I realized that not only will I be immune to all physical and dou qi attacks, but my speed increases as well. This is indeed fitting for an assassin.”
Ye Yin Zhu looked like a child as he used his hand to poke at Sura’s body. He truly felt nothing. “Phenomenal. This really is phenomenal. Doesn’t this make you unparalleled?”
Sura broke out into laughter. “How is that possible? Magic can still harm me. Magical attacks are the only things capable of circumventing the Eternal Substitute Puppet. I can only rely on my dou qi to resist magic. Well, let’s eat.” Once he finished speaking, his figure flashed, and Ye Yin Zhu’s hand was rebuffed as he became a corporal existence once more.
Color, scent, taste, every part of this evening meal made Ye Yin Zhu delighted as he ate. He didn’t realize that the Eternal Substitute Puppet he gifted Sura would create such large changes in Sura’s mood. His appearance, facial expression, and the look in his eyes all became softer.
Early the next morning, when the sunlight roused new life into the Milan Institution, Ye Yin Zhu had already arrived to the first-year classroom of the Divine Music division’s school building. Today was the first day of classes, and he wanted to learn new things from the Milan Institution. At the same time, he came early for an additional reason.
When the beautiful ladies of the Divine Music division arrived at the school building, Ye Yin Zhu located Hai Yang and his own classmates, Lan Xi, Xue Ling, and Kong Que.
“What type of reward do you want? It’s a pity that it’s only three items; I can’t give each of you an item.” Ye Yin Zhu felt embarrassed as he explained the issue to the four girls. After the competition concluded yesterday, Ferguson had told the top three divisions’ generals to come early this morning to select their prizes.
The four girls glanced at each other. Lan Xi said, amazed, “Yin Zhu, it’s natural for the institution’s rewards to go to the victorious division general!”
Ye Yin Zhu smiled. “We competed as a team! The rewards should be divided amongst everyone. I can’t monopolize all of it. As far as I’m concerned, the waived tuition fee and dormitory expenses are excellent rewards.”
Hai Yang gazed calmly at Ye Yin Zhu. She shook her said, saying, “I don’t want anything. All of you can talk it over. I need to get to class.” Once she finished speaking, she turned around and left for her classroom, not waiting for Ye Yin Zhu to respond.
Kong Que groaned. “Always so cold and icy, who does she think she is? I also don’t want anything because… I am also not lacking in anything.”
Xue Ling and Lan Xi nodded simultaneously. Xue Ling candidly smiled and explained, “Yin Zhu, we appreciate your kindness, but we really don’t need anything. Besides, without you, we wouldn’t have even taken part in the competition. We have seen you invest a lot of effort into becoming the final champion. On the field, if you hadn’t protected us, I’m afraid we would have been wounded. You deserve those rewards.”
Lan Xi supported Xue Ling’s words. “Yes! Yin Zhu, just remember to teach me how to play well when you have the time.”
“Alright,” Ye Yin Zhu helplessly said. “Then I’ll choose based on my needs. If you ever need anything, just talk to me.”
The Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts’s treasury held many magic items; it was unlikely that its contents would pale in comparison to the Milan Empire’s Royal Treasury. As well, the gifts from the nobility in each country and the rewards from the Milan Royalty couldn’t be compared. Ye Yin Zhu, Ma Liang, and Nesta followed Ferguson past the three security checkpoints, then passed through an additional, powerful magically defended entrance afterward.
Ferguson chanted lowly and closed the entrance behind them. He smiled and said, “Well, you can now choose as you please. There are common weapons and magic items here, along with many fine works. You can choose anything, so I wish you luck and insight.” Only the President had the power to open the treasury. If he didn’t guide them, then even a rank 9 magical beast would find it impossible to break in.
The treasury was enormous, spanning as far as the eye could see. Row after row of innumerable shelves were filled with items, the majority of them flickering with lustrous rays of light. In the dark they appeared dazzling. Different kinds of elements fluctuated here at irregular intervals, causing people to feel very uncomfortable.
“This guy, Ye Yin Zhu, ruined my armor, so I will need a good set.” Nesta already determined his goal, so he immediately walked towards the defense equipment that were left of the display shelves.
Ma Liang smiled faintly and said, “I want a magic defense type of treasure, preferably one that can lessen magic consumption.” Using the Six Components of the Silver Dragon with his current strength was honestly difficult. He was naturally anxious to find a suitable item for himself. After he spoke, he headed towards the magic items on the right and began to carefully search.
“Yin Zhu, what about you? You can choose three items.” Ferguson smiled towards Ye Yin Zhu.
Ye Yin Zhu blankly said, “Teacher, I don’t know what to choose. Why don’t you choose for me?”
Ferguson continued to smile. “That’s out of the question. I won’t choose for you. This way people can’t say I’m showing my disciple favoritism! Choose on your own, okay? I can remind you, however, that at times it is the unremarkable things that can be exceedingly precious.”
Ye Yin Zhu’s heart was moved. He said, “Teacher, are there any zithers here?” He had lost the five ranked zithers of the Zither Sect, so he now only had the zither Dean Nina gifted him—the Moon and Tides’ Clear Brilliance Zither. Different zither songs suited different zithers, and the perfect combination would bring out the best effect.
Ferguson chuckled. “There might be. There are a lot of items here, so I can’t remember. Go and see if you can find any. I have to leave. In an hour, I will come back for all of you. Bear in mind that you only have an hour’s time. When that moment comes, regardless of what you have chosen, you have to follow me and leave. Don’t think about stealing any of the items, as each item has a magical trace only I can remove. Only with its removal will you be allowed to leave with it.”