Su Chen slowly lifted the stone dumbbells, alternating between his left and right arms. He turned his body and formed a strange posture. Then he raised his right arm…
In the martial practice yard, Su Chen was holding stone dumbbells in his hand and performing the Eight Methods of Body Tempering and the Basic Absorption technique.
The Eight Methods of Body Tempering was the most common Body Tempering technique amongst human clans. It could be considered the very foundation of Martial Dao Cultivation. The Basic Absorption Technique was a method to absorb energy to strengthen the body. With the two combined, one could simultaneously strengthen the body and establish one’s future foundation to become an Origin Qi Scholar.
As Su Chen was practicing, he heard footsteps from behind him.
“Father?” Su Chen stopped the stone dumbbells in his hands and turned his head.
He heard Su Cheng’an speak, “Didn’t you say before that my footsteps sound very similar to your Third Uncle, and that it was hard to tell them apart? How were you so certain it was me this time?”
Su Chen answered, “While Father’s and Third Uncle’s footsteps are very similar, Third Uncle practices the Brilliant Day Sword. It is now noon, when the Yang Qi is at its greatest concentration. As such, Third Uncle should now be cultivating and wouldn’t easily come out. Thus, it could only be Father.”
Hearing this, Su Cheng’an couldn’t help but sigh inwardly.
The ancestors had blessed him with an intelligent son. But the Heavens were jealous and had Su Chen encounter misfortune.
Even trapped in darkness, Su Chen hadn’t given up on himself. This caused Su Cheng’an to feel both happy and uneasy. With a conflicted heart, he didn’t know what he should say.
Finally Su Chen broke the silence, “Father, why did you come find me?”
Su Cheng’an composed himself and said, “Follow me. I want to speak to you about a few things.”
Departing from the martial practice yard with his son, Su Cheng’an arrived at a pavilion and took a seat.
Su Cheng’an didn’t talk about the main subject right off the bat. Instead, he first asked his son about his experiences and comprehensions from training. In return, Su Chen gave him a thorough and detailed answer.
“In three years, you are certain that you will enter Qi Drawing Realm? Not bad, Not bad at all.” Su Cheng’an repeatedly nodded his head.
The Qi Drawing Realm was the first of the seven stages of an Origin Scholar. Only after entering Qi Drawing Realm could one be considered a true Origin Qi Scholar. As for Body Tempering, it was only in the realm of martial arts and wasn’t considered to be of the seven Origin Qi Scholar stages.
Although Su Cheng’an spoke praises, his face wasn’t the slightest bit happy.
He looked at his son with a gaze that spoke of profound sorrow.
After a long while, he said, “Chen’er, You are incredible. So incredible that you surprise even me. Although fate has struck you down, you didn’t wallow in despair. Instead, you strove hard and managed to make your way back up again. But this father of yours is useless. Back then, I hadn’t assigned anyone to protect you, and even after I couldn’t find any medicine gods to cure you. I haven’t even found that assassin.” Su Chen laughed, “Father, there is no need for all this. In this past year, Father and Mother have greatly suffered for me. Although this child cannot see, he can feel it in his heart.”
Hearing those words, Su Cheng’an sighed, “It is good you understand. Last night, your Second Uncle came to find me… regarding the end of year evaluation.”
Su Chen’s fingers tightened around the teacup he was holding.
He said, “He wants me to withdraw from the end of year evaluation?”
The Primordial Continent was a chaotic world. Demonic beasts occupied over sixty percent of the landmass, and what remained was fought over by several tens of intelligent races. The human race was but one of those several tens. In a world where one was constantly surrounded by enemies in waiting, military strength was the only law that mattered. Thus, the Primordial Continent had become one that revered martial prowess. A race’s martial ability was the only indicator of their prestige and status.
In order to encourage the children of later generations to improve themselves, the great clans each had a clan rule to host an end of year evaluation to test children of the later generation and see whose cultivation was the most powerful.
As time passed, this method to promote friendly competition and development became tradition. Regardless of whether it was a clan that dated back years or a burgeoning clan, if they had the resources to, they would hold a similar evaluation. At the most, they would simply change a few details on how the tradition was carried out.
The evaluation was simple, just testing a child’s strength much like an exam. The reason why most clans didn’t use martial exchange as a test was because of how easily it would lead to injuries and cause internal strife. While internal competition was a good thing, internal strife was disastrous.
Thus, the great majority of clans evaluation method was a formal comparison of strength instead of a martial exchange. One’s grade would be determined by the strength of one’s technique.
The Su Clan used this same method.
At the end of every year, the children of the Su Clan’s third generation would undergo a formal comparison to evaluate each child’s strength.
In previous examinations, Su Chen had always been the unquestioned champion.
After Su Chen was blinded, many believed Su Chen was already doomed to give into despair.
But who would have thought that after a few months of depression, Su Chen would spring forth with even faster progress.
He was still the most remarkable child of the third generation.
That was to say, if nothing unexpected occurred in this year’s evaluation, it was likely to be Su Chen’s victory once more.
This caused many people to feel uneasy.
With regards to the children of the third generation, losing to a blind person was simply a question of losing face.
But for the elders of the second generation, there was a more practical matter at stake. The champion of every year would have more resources allocated to them from the Su Clan.
To have the strong become stronger was the usual practice for many clans!
In this world where the limits of one’s martial power could be broken through over and over again, one genuinely strong person was often more useful than a large group of weaklings! In the pavilion, Su Cheng’an nodded with a heavy complexion, “Chen’er, you were originally the most outstanding child of our Su Clan. If nothing unexpected had occurred, you would have been the future leader of the Su Clan. Regardless of whether it was your grandfather, your second uncle, your third uncle, your fourth aunt or any other of your branch elders, this was how they all saw it.”
“But unfortunately, I encountered mishap,” Su Chen interrupted, “ I can no longer see. Thus, even if I have a greater cultivation, I may not be able to win against an opponent of the Third Layer of Body Tempering. Thus, I no longer have the qualification to lead the clan.”
His calm tone was completely unlike that of a thirteen year old child.
Su Cheng’an sighed again, “Yes.”
“Which is why Second Uncle felt that any resources given to me would be a waste?”
Su Chen was extremely intelligent. Intelligent to the point where he had completely understood the generalities of the situation without an explanation.
This caused Su Cheng’an to feel relaxed, but he then felt restless afterwards.
“And it just so happens that my other brothers don’t believe they are able to win against me?” Su Chen further asked, revealing a slight smile.
This was the key question.
Su Chen’s excellence was the target of much admiration and praise. But when crucial interests were involved, that way of thinking naturally changed.
Su Chen was blind!
A blind child couldn’t necessarily make use of those resources they would be allocated.
Su Cheng’an looked at his son, “Yesterday Keji and I spoke for a long time. It wasn’t just for his own child. The Su Clan’s foundations are still shallow, shallow to the point where we absolutely require an outstanding junior to support the Clan. As a result, he wished that the Su Clan could produce a child capable of becoming a disciple of the Hidden Dragon Institution. He originally supported you. But now that you’re blind…”
Su Cheng’an didn’t finish his seentence. He only looked at Su Chen.
If Su Keji was only acting of behalf of Su Qing, Su Cheng’an absolutely wouldn’t agree to the request of his second younger brother.
However, Su Keji had repeatedly claimed that this was for the Su Clan. With such honest reasons behind his arguments, Su Cheng’an was unable to respond.
To be honest, Su Cheng’an personally felt that since Su Chen’s future no longer held hope, he should give up as well.
However, Su Chen was unwilling.
He believed he would be able to recover. That old beggar had said so, his eyes had been exchanged.
Originally, Su Cheng’an was also confident.
But after two years, Su Chen’s eyes hadn’t improved in the slightest.
Su Cheng’an had no choice but to believe that this was only a hallucination born from when Su Chen was in a stupor or some mere rubbish that the old beggar had said.