Chapter 29: Saint Spiritual Stove (III)
Long Hao Chen, who would soon be 12 years old, was different from a year and a half ago: his pretty face and his delicate cheeks looked tougher. From his formerly weak and beautiful appearance, he now looked quite robust. His body was still slender and well proportioned, and his shoulder also grew larger. His appearance was basically flawless.
Li Xin, what’s up with you? He’s your Lil’ Bro and he’s eight years younger! Don’t tell me you want to become like the old cow that eats soft grass[ref]Idiom, interpretation: The old cow is supposed to be eating old grass and leave soft grass to be eaten by the younger ones, I guess.[/ref]? She rebuked herself in her mind; she was supposed to be quite a resolute person but, at the same time, she was quite fond of Long Hao Chen. In fact, she was the youngest at home and had always yearned for a younger brother, so even though she hadn’t been with Long Hao Chen for a long time, in her heart, she felt unusually close to him.
“Wow, Lil’ Bro, from what I can remember, your eyes didn’t have this color! They should have a dark blue color, so why have they taken this golden color?”
Long Hao Chen came back to his senses and scratched his head: “Father helped me undergo the Divine Awakening and then they became like that.”
Li Xin became stupefied, “Divine Awakening can result in a change of color of your eyes? How is it that I have never heard about this? Ah! You have already undergone the Divine Awakening you say? Then your spiritual energy has already broken through the 200th level! Quickly tell Big Sis, how high is your innate internal spiritual energy level?”
Long Hao Chen nodded and said: “Big Sis, I don’t want to fool you; the truth is that my father forbade me to reveal it.”
Suddenly, Li Xin looked as if she realized something and covered her own month before muttering in a low voice: “Heavens! A third step knight below 12 years-old. Let’s go, I’m bringing you to see Uncle Nalan Shu; he will be absolutely frightened by your progress.”
“What is going to frighten me?” Hearing a voice that seemed a bit playful, Long Hao Chen and Li Xin turned their head, only to see that Nalan Shu has just come down the stairs.
Upon seeing Long Hao Chen, Nalan Shu was quite surprised, but he quickly took an earnest expression. He hurried in front of Long Hao Chen, looking at him from top to bottom, before asking without restrain: “That day… that day, wasn’t it your teacher that…”
Long Hao Chen was a little surprised, but he quickly understood what he meant and proudly nodded.
Nalan Shu took a deep breath, his eyes revealing a scorching hot feeling of adoration, “I knew it! I knew it!”
Li Xin answered, unconvinced: “Uncle Nalan, what are both of you talking secretly about?”
Nalan Shu took a serious expression before asking her: “Why haven’t you already left for practice? You are already a seventh rank knight, so whether you can participate in the Magical Hunting Selection and Competition prior to breaking through the level of Grand Knight will relate to how well you will be able to do in this magical selection.”
Li Xin stuck out her tongue and looked at Long Hao Chen: “Lil’ Bro, I am going to practice first. In the evening, dinner will be my treat, I’ll invite you to eat a large meal. Hihi.” As she finished, she turned around and ran out.
Nalan Shu said with a helpless smile and, at the same time, doting tone: “This kid, she’ll soon be 20 but is still so mischievous. Those who come from normal households are supposed to marry by this age.”
Turning back, Nalan Shu took a look at Long Hao Chen before nodding and said: “Hao Chen, come with me.”
Long Hao Chen went together with him to his office on the second floor, where Nalan Shu couldn’t hold back his feeling of anxiety any longer: “The Divine Throne of Doom and Slaughter! Hao Chen, do you know how big this surprise attack of the demon race was? But with a single move from your teacher, their five army forces simply fled from the Alliance’s border. He’s your teacher right? Would it be possible to let me meet Senior Xing Yu?”
Long Hao Chen shook his head: “Nalan Hall Master, he left. This is for you.” As he spoke, he took out the letter that his father left to him, passing it to Nalan Shu.
Nalan Shu couldn’t hold himself back and took apart the letter before taking a look, and a surprised look quickly appeared on his face. Still looking at the contents of the letter, he revealed a look full of disbelief as he looked at Long Hao Chen, “You, you were actually Senior Xing Yu’s son? But, why would Senior Xing Yu let you study abilities used by Guardian Knights together with us? Why is it not the path of a Retribution Knight? Senior Xing Yu is the number one Retribution Knight of the Knight Alliance!”
Long Hao Chen said: “Nalan Hall Master, Father did not want me to reveal everything, so I cannot tell you anything that was not written in his letter.”
Nalan Shu took a deep breath and, while putting the letter away with a great care, he said: “Okay. Regardless of his reasons, I cannot disobey Senior Xing Yu’s instructions. From now onwards, you will become a genuine member of Hao Yue Hall. I will give my best in training you. In his letter, Senior Xing Yu explained that he wanted you to participate in the magical selection.”
“Em, I will follow your guidance.” Long Hao Chen straightened his posture and faced Nalan Shu with a basic knight salute.
Nalan Shu clapped his shoulders and said: “In the future, you will be like Xin’er, so call me Uncle Nalan. Honestly, the knight skills I will pass on to you are, from my honest point of view, rather imperfect; but I believe that in the near future, you will definitely be able to become the biggest glory of our Hao Yue Hall. Come, I will bring you to a nearby location that I have arranged for you to stay at.”
“Thank you, Uncle Nalan.”
Hao Yue Hall occupied an enormous area. It was definitely not limited to what Long Hao Chen could only see: from behind the hall, there was also a big region. Among the three main parts, there was one where knights could rest as well as a public square where they could practice as knights and be passed on knowledge and skills belonging to the Knight Hall.
At the center of Hao Yue City, the scheduled arrival of the group of Knight Squires from the villages and small towns to Hao Yue Hall for their examination would happen in three years. Those who were successful at becoming Standard Knights would be able to remain in Hao Yue Hall to study and practice. If they could break through the third step within five years, they would then turn into genuine members of Hao Yue Hall as well as genuine members of the Knight Hall. If they couldn’t, the alternative for these Standard Knights would be to join the army or take up another kind of occupation in the Knight Temple.
Actually, what Long Hao Chen saw was only the facade of Hao Yue Hall. The real Hao Yue Hall was actually hidden behind this facade; 100 Knights[ref]Knights is the used by the author when he speaks about Genuine Knights, and probably levels above[/ref] and 2,000 Standard Knights lived there, but according to Nalan Shu’s presentation, besides its outward appearance, Hao Yue Hall actually also had an Earth Knight as well as seven Grand Knights[ref]4th step knight[/ref]. All those who could advance to the step of Grand Knight would sooner or later leave for the Knight Temple to begin a new journey.
Together with the differences in rank, the living conditions also varied. Standard Knights had to share a room among four people, but each Genuine Knight had his own room.
Nalan Shu arranged Long Hao Chen’s room to be next to Li Xin’s room, and after eating, Nalan Shu told Long Hao Chen to rest for the remainder of the day. The next day, he would come back for practice.
When people reached the third step, no matter from which Temple they came, they would be treated well because they would be the main force against the demon race in battle.
Long Hao Chen’s room was currently inside of a three-story monastery[ref]refined house, with a meditation room, that’s why I assumed it’s a monastery[/ref] reserved for Genuine Knights. It was a suite. There was a bedroom, a quiet meditation room for practicing, and a private bathroom for personal hygiene. Inside the meditation room, there was a simple Magic Circle surrounded by a few Light-based magic crystals. Since the light-element affinity inside the room was much higher than outside, it had a supplementary effect when practicing inside.
Unaffected by the generosity he received, Long Hao Chen just took out his clothes from the space ring before sorting himself out a bit and went into the meditation room to practice.
Practice made time pass quite faster, a whole afternoon quickly passed. Before night fell, a clear yet calm knocking sound on the door could be heard.
“Who is it?” Long Hao Chen regained consciousness from his quiet practice.
“Lil’ Bro, it’s me.”
Long Hao Chen opened the door and saw Li Xin standing at the entrance. At the moment, she did not wear her light armor but had changed into a white-colored attire, looking as though she had just taken her bath. Her pink colored hair that hung down to her shoulders’ level was still somewhat wet. Her current appearance looked quite less heroic and much more charming.
“Come with me, Uncle Nalan wanted me to take you to test your spiritual energy, but before I take you there, let’s have a good welcome dinner.”