4 The Three Scriptures
Thinking about all the cool stuff that could've belonged to Han Sen but now was up for the grabs, Ling Yun couldn't help but let out a low chuckle.
'Really, plot armor is the best gold mine if you know what to look for.'
He then chuckled some more.
As anticipated, sleep just wasn't possible that night. He had spent it exploring the system and browsing the store, buying techniques, and making plans for his training.
Morning arrived and he got out of bed with red eyes and bags under his eyes, but still it did not dampen his energy. He was just happy enough knowing he could plan to get all the goodies. While he was thinking this, Rou was walking towards him.
"Big brother, are you sure you are okay? You look like a racoon." She asked with genuine concern, but it still made Ling Yun choke on a sip of coffee.
"Who's a racoon? You're a racoon! Come here, Rou'er! I must punish you!" He answered in mock anger.
She shrieked and they started a chase game which lasted for about five minutes until the time starting to get on their shoulders.
"Rou'er, eat your breakfast already or you'll be late to school." She pouted.
"But big brother, you also need to eat, or YOU are the one who is going to be late. If you fail mom will punish you." She answered in a genuine concerned tone.
This was the reason King Yun loved his sister even if she only became one the previous day. From his memories, he could tell she was a very gentle soul. Always worried about everyone and trying her best to help them. She was also very forgiving, but she never forgot. That coupled with her careful nature made her a very fine example of a human being in his eyes. But still, she was a little rough around the edges. If she wanted to survive the sanctuaries, she would need to curve her good nature a little.
"Don't worry about me. I need to take care of something, but I will call the school and make sure they know. Maybe I will even finish school remotely. I only have less than a year to go, after all."
Since compulsory education lasted 9 years, starting when a kid was five and finishing at fourteen, he would have about one year completely free to prepare for the first sanctuary. More if he could achieve the first part of his plan.
"Okay. But you must not get in trouble!"
Quickly finishing her breakfast, she took the bus to school. It was 9:00 am and she would not be home until midafternoon, plenty of time to get the ball rolling. As he sat down in the table, he talked with his ai.
"Anne, I need you to retrieve all the information of the last two years for compulsory education as well as at least five previous graduation tests. I also need you to compare that information with the required subjects for the entrance exam of the top 100 ranked military schools in the system and add the missing information. Once you have done that, send me the material and make sure there are no repeats. Can you do that?"
"Affirmative. Starting process."
It only took five minutes for Anne to compile all the necessary information and arrange it in order. And even then, it only took that long because of the low processing speed of the comlink, which Anne operated out of.
"Great. Until I call you, try to develop everything you can from other AIs, and prioritize hacking information. Once you are done keep learning. This is a standing order. Unless I say otherwise, you are to always be learning. Understood?"
"Understood." With that done, Ling Yun started to check the information gathered by Anne.
In total, there were about fifteen thousand pages of information, which he could finish reading in about a month. The material for the compulsory education was far less, with only fifteen hundred pages of information.
After checking all that, Ling Yun called his school.
"Good morning, principal Ye. It's student Ling Yun of eight grade." He greeted politely.
"Yes, good morning. What can I do for you? I hope there is a good excuse for you not being in school. We might not be a private school, but we will not tolerate tardiness in here."
"Yes, principal. I will be short. As you are probably aware, my family is in a very bad economical situation. Recently, it has gotten worse and we are having trouble making ends meet. As such, I want to take a job in order to cooperate with the expenses of my household. That being the case, my call this morning is to request to be allowed to participate in the ninth-year graduation test in two weeks."
This was Ling Yun's plan. He was a genius, in his past life and in the present one. Why not take full advantage of it?
"Are you sure, student Ling? I'm not being rude, but your performance in all your years has been… ordinary. Are you sure you can skip a whole year of material and pass the exam?"
'Not my performance, the previous Ling Yun's. Mine will blow your heads off.' But obviously, he did not dare to speak that out loud.
"Yes, principal Ye. I am confident in passing the examinations. If not, I can always take the course next year, but I really want to help my family a bit. Since my dad died mom has always pushed herself too much, and in the sanctuaries that is a very bad thing. I don't want little Rou'er to lose her mom too. She never knew her dad, she is all she has now."
And of course, being a genius also meant picking up things with appalling speed. And since acting is a skill, why would Ling Yun not be able to do it too?
"Alright. I will allow you to take the test. Feel free to come to the library in order to prepare, but you aren't required to come for the last weeks of the year. Of course, if you fail, you will have to take the eight-year test too and spend the next year in the ninth."
"Thank you, principal. That is all I can ask for."
"You're welcome. Make sure to study hard."
After hanging up, Ling Yun sighed in relief. That was one less problem to take care of.
Finishing breakfast, he dressed completely in sweats and opened the inventory. He started reading the introductory parts of the weapon techniques and the cultivation manuals.
He was eager to start training in them, but in order to do it in the most efficient way, he needed to study for the compulsory education first.
With his intelligence, it took him only three days. And that was triple checking everything. He was tempted to start the military school program, but as luck would have it, his mother arrived when he was opening the material.
He quickly closed the comlink and greeted her.
Ling Liqiu was a pretty woman. Not a godly beauty, but still pretty high up on the scale. But when she arrived with days' worth of dirt, grime, and creature gore on her, she didn't look so good.
Still, that was the woman who did the impossible to provide for her children. It was a great role model for Rou'er, too. And she was, after all, his mother. With his inherited memories, Ling Yun loved her more than anything.
"Yun'er, what are you doing here? Why aren't you in school?"
But of course, mothers always worry about their children education, and Liqiu was no exception.
"Mom, I am taking the early graduation exam in two weeks, I was just studying." He answered dutifully.
"Really? But why? You should stay in school, son. Life is tough out there, you know." Her face only revealed worry.
"I know. It's okay, mom. I know what I am doing. And even if I fail, I can still take the final exam for my year and take ninth the net one. There are no risks. And I want to spend the next year training for the sanctuary. I need to be ready." He answered resolutely.
Seeing his son so confident and sure of himself, she couldn't help but let out a tired smile and shaking her head fondly.
"Okay, fine. Do your thing, just make sure you do well enough. I'm taking a bath and going to sleep, it's been a rough couple of days." She said and left.
As much as he wanted to ask, he couldn't. His mom never told them anything regarding ger life in the sanctuary, only in which shelter she was and a few of her associates. Anything else was almost a state secret.
Shaking those thoughts, Ling Yun entered his room and opened his inventory, extracting the three scrolls with cultivation techniques on them, he activated them.
The three of them turned into motes of light and entered Ling Yun's mind. After a couple of seconds, he had all the knowledge of the introductory stages and an overview of the complete techniques. Still, he was only worried with the preparatory stages in the moment.
"The preparatory stages of the "Seamless Diamond Body Scripture" are the more complicated ones of the three of them. The first stage is the organ refinement, which involves strengthening the heart for strength, the kidneys for stamina, the liver for harmful substance resistance, the stomach for food intake, the lunges for better blood oxygenation, and the blood itself for better function of all other organs. When mastered, it should increase the general strength by 50% for a few minutes at the cost of exhaustion, but it still would passively strengthen the body's fitness level. The second stage is the foundation stage, where you would strengthen the bones and muscle density, which once again increases the fitness level. The last level is the hardest one, in my opinion. Effortless Body, controlling every single bone and muscle consciously and reach inhuman levels of dexterity. The results should be as strong if not stronger than jadeskin before the first lock. It is a pretty amazing technique."
Once he finished reading that, he started with the "Spirit Sense Scripture" preparatory stage.
"Once again, separated into three levels. The first stage, accelerated cognition, speeds up the neural process. It should be useful in every situation, and with my already outstanding mind it should yield even greater results. The second stage is the Heavenly Eye, which involves maintaining a mental image of your surroundings permanently and making changes to it in real time. This should be tricky, but incredibly useful if used in combat. The last stage is Foresight, with which I should be able to predict a couple of seconds of the future with a 99% success rate. Foresight combined with the heavenly eye can sure be tough to beat. I only wished I could learn a kiting skill like Heavenly Go, but I would feel like ripping off Han Sen too much, even if it is an incredibly useful skill to have."
After musing for a couple of minutes, Ling Yun's attention moved to the last of the preparatory stages for cultivation techniques.
"The preparatory stage for the "Thirteen Heavens Scripture" also has three stages, the first three heavens. It is the easiest and least useful, but they must be completed in order to access the late levels and if used correctly, even a stick can be deadly. The first stage is self-sensing, which allows you to use your inner energy to sense your whole body to a minuscule detail. This can aid every other training and even help with injuries. The second stage is elemental energy, which involves partially transforming your inner energy into an element in order to buff your body. Earth for a more solid physique, fire for warming, water for cooling, and wind for agility and speed. The buff is not a lot, but in a battle, can be very useful. Also, it can regulate the temperature, so extreme weather conditions can be handled more easily. The last stage is energy radar, in which I will be able to instinctively find energy around me, such as lifeforces. It is a very good skill and can be combined with Heavenly Eye for the most optimal result. It is not a good stand-alone technique, but it's auxiliary capabilities are very good."
After checking the cultivation techniques, Ling Yun read the introductions for the weapon techniques once again and sighed. Training would start once he took his exams.
He was awfully excited to start his path of cultivation, but the dangers would be around every corner. Not only creatures, but humans would be a very real threat if he indeed completed his plans the way they were taking form, and it scared him.
He was scared, yes, but not for him. He would be able to take care of himself, that was those two years were for. No, he was scared for his family. He and Han Sen were similar in that regard. He had no political power nor contacts which would ensure the safety of his family. The best option he could think of was hiding his identity, but that would obstruct his long-term plans. The only other option was joining military school and serving for the army, but that would take valuable time he didn't have. His thoughts were a mess and he couldn't find a real solution for his problems.
But still, he was in track for now, so everything else would have to wait. He needed to ace the graduation exam, finish studying for the military school entrance exam, complete at least the first two stages of each scripture, learn the three weapon mastery techniques to at least 75%, learn two different skills for each weapon and unarmed combat, and at least one auxiliary skill, preferably a movement technique. All of that before entering the sanctuary.
It was going to be a tough couple of years, but if he managed to achieve his goals, his foundation would be set, and life would be a lot easier.
It would've been preferable if he had a tutor for the cultivation techniques, but he had three of them. And they were of a standard so ridiculously high, the points for each tutor exceeded the tens of billions. And he had three of them. In total, he would spend at least 100 billion for them.
And really, who had that kind of money? Certainly not him. Not until he completed his partially formed plan for the second sanctuary, anyway.
But that was still years off.