After being told that he would have to pay merit points, even just to observe the assessment, Hei decided to wait instead.
He had to wait for quite a while. It wasn’t until he had seen many young ladies enter and exit the hall, that the three exited the assessment venue.
They came through the same double doors that they had entered through.
As they came out, Hei noticed that the young ladies both had shiny stars pinned to their robes and smiles on their faces. Which brought his attention to the rest of their appearances.
Jingfei, in particular, had hair that was so hair-like, one had no choice but to believe it was hair.
It seemed to be a collection of hundreds, if not thousands, of individual strands coming together to create a cohesive unit.
Her eyes were mysteriously placed one to the left and one to the right, her nose acting as a middle point creating symmetry.
Her nostrils were aligned horizontally and even her ears were one to the left and one to the right.
The only difference lay in her mouth, where her lips were placed one above the other, breaking the common pattern that had been seen thus far.
However, if one were to draw a line right in the middle of her face and perpendicular to the ground, one would see that both sides had similar features. Quite spectacular.
And as if icing on the cake, her skin covered her internal structures, leaving everything to the imagination.
It was almost like an epidermis, an outer layer of sorts, which covered her vascular system as well as her musculature and her skeletal structure. Eye-catching indeed.
If one didn’t know any better, one would think that this was how most human beings looked, but one would be sorely mistaken.
Upon closer inspection, one would find that her eyes would occasionally be revealed, then hidden, then revealed once more, playfully teasing all those who wanted to gaze into their depths.
Surprisingly, her height was greater than some and less than others. There were even those who had similar heights to her, such as Qiuyue who was next to her.
If one were to look at her clothes, one would notice she was wearing a purple robe. And above that robe was another, thinner robe.
The latter was covered in floral patterns leaving gaps for the purple robe to appear behind, creating an interesting layered look.
This seemed to be the standard uniform of the Radiant Jade Sect.
Upon witnessing her clad in such a robe, one had no choice but to admire Jingfei’s ability to put on clothes. That everyone else was also able to do so did not decrease its impressiveness at all.
Everything about her screamed country toppling beauty, and for obvious reasons.
Qiuyue, on the other hand, couldn’t be described in the same way as Jingfei.
She similarly had hair and was wearing a similar robe, but from there, things were very different.
Some would say she had crystal clear eyes, as calm as the night sky.
But to Hei, they were just eyes. Everybody had them.
Her eyebrows didn’t look like swords or anything, but Hei couldn’t find fault with them.
Her facial features were quite delicate and well proportioned. Nice and symmetrical.
But then again, everyone had facial features.
Some would describe her skin as jade-like and flawless.
Hei just saw skin that was pale enough to not be considered dark, but dark enough to not be considered pale.
It looked fairly uniform and soft though.
At the very least, she wouldn’t have to wear makeup to hide inconsistencies in her skin tone.
She was a generally attractive young lady. A country toppling beauty even. Who now had a star on her robe.
Indeed, they were both human females and were quite pleasing to the eye.
Having taken a moment to admire the stunning beauty of these two young ladies, Hei focused on Jingfei who was approaching him.
He could see that she was very excited.
She had just achieved something that had eluded her for many years and it was all thanks to the help of this young master, who had turned her into a maid.
Seeing the happiness on her face, and the shiny star pinned to her robe, Hei could tell that she had passed her assessment.
“I take it you were successful.”
Jingfei walked over to Hei with a bright smile on her face.
“It is all thanks to you, Young Master Hei.”
‘Didn’t she get used to that a little too quickly?’
Hei was surprised that Jingfei was so relaxed in calling him, Young Master. Even in public like this.
It was one thing when they were alone, but right now, they were in the formation hall, where people would come and go frequently.
Both Qiuyue and the elder heard the words Jingfei had spoken.
In Qiuyue’s case, she had already witnessed the effectiveness of Hei’s family clan’s technique, but the elder was unaware of what had happened before the assessment.
All she knew was that Jingfei had made a remarkable, almost miraculous improvement, in a very short amount of time.
She looked at Hei with a disdainful attitude as she spoke.
“You were the one who taught Jingfei those skills?”
Hei answered casually.
He hadn’t even turned away from Jingfei as he responded. He was more interested in moving on and seeing what else was in the sect.
This was only their first stop after all.
The elder responded.
“Then it would be your honour to hand over your techniques to the formation hall. We may even reward you with merit points if we deem them useful.”
The elder was sure that this boy would know what was good for him. He would hand over whatever inheritance he had found over to the sect and keep his head down.
She didn’t believe for a second that this young boy was capable of teaching Jingfei in such a short amount of time and to the extent that she was able to pass the assessment.
Contrary to her expectations, Hei turned over to her with an annoyed face.
“Is that how you ask for help? Your mother must have taught you poorly. Listen. When you are the one seeking assistance, you must be humble.”
He was trying to help this elder improve her negotiation abilities. This kind of approach was completely useless against him.
Who would happily hand over their possession when approached in such a way?
“You should take lessons from Peak Leader Jingfei, who humbles herself as she asks for help. It’s far more effective.”
Needless to say, the elder was not pleased to hear his words.
“Presumptuous little brat. It is your honour to assist the formation hall.”
Hei wasn’t moved in the slightest and instead came up with an idea.
Knowing that this situation would likely lead to more trouble later, he decided to at least take some benefit for himself while he was here.
He privately spoke to Jingfei using his Qi. Then he turned to the elder and spoke.
“How about we do it like this? Since your rude old self seeks my techniques, why don’t we have a little competition?”
He paused for a moment as if in deep thought. At which point, Jingfei hurriedly tried to stop him.
She had an extremely worried face as she tried to get him to reconsider.
“Young Master Hei! This is Elder Ping. One of the most accomplished array masters of the sect. Please reconsider.”
Hei ignored her words and waved her away.
“In this puny little sect? How could any of these inexperienced array masters match me?”
These words only served to anger Elder Ping.
The old lady had already told her of how Hei had no respect for his elders, and how he spouted whatever nonsense came to his mind.
When Hei saw that Elder Ping had lost her composure, he continued.
“Since we are both teachers, and I’m using the term loosely, why don’t you bring your best one-star array master student and I will instruct Peak Leader Jingfei. Whoever’s student performs better will take the spoils.”
Before Elder Ping could respond, Hei continued.
“If you win I’ll give you the techniques. However, if I win, you’ll give me 10 times the amount of merit points Peak Leader Jingfei has at the time of the end of the competition. Are you in or no?”
Hearing Hei’s words, Jingfei jumped in fright.
“Only 10 times my merit points? But that’s-”
Hei cut her off.
“Say no more! Do you really think I would lose? Me? Hmph.”
He then spoke to Elder Ping.
“Are you in or no?”
Jingfei could only fidget in anxiousness.
Elder Ping noticed this and was tempted. She was quite confident in her students, so she accepted the wager.
“Agreed. When I win you’ll give me the techniques.”
Hei didn’t pay the elder any mind. She had already decided that her defeat wasn’t a possibility, which was what he wanted.
He turned around and spoke as he walked towards the exit.
“The competition will be held in 7 days. We might as well make it an event. Invite the new disciples to come and watch. As for the arrangements and the format of the competition, you can handle those. But of course, keep it within the bounds of one-star array masters.”
He wrapped Jingfei in his Qi and vanished from sight, leaving his final words echoing throughout the lobby area.
“Have my merit points ready.”
Qiuyue was somewhat curious about this first man she had met.
At times he behaved like a normal person, but at others, he was just like the men that the sect described.
At times, he was Jingfei’s kind teacher, but at others, he was a domineering and overconfident narcissist.
She wanted to see what was true and what was false with her own eyes.
Knowing that Elder Ping was underestimating him, she debated whether she would warn her, but she decided not to ruin the fun.
Things like this rarely happened in the sect and she was interested to see how it would go.
After the two had left the formation hall, Jingfei led Hei to the Alchemy hall.
On the way, she raised her doubts.
“Do you really think it will work?”
Hei smiled in response.
“Of course, it will work. I have taken into consideration many factors. We are going to rob that elder blind.”
Before he had proposed the competition, Hei had instructed Jingfei to act like she was concerned about her rash young master.
He mentioned how he would be saying some crazy things and acting all arrogant, and she was to try to persuade him against his foolishness.
The whole scene was an act, meant to lure the elder into accepting.
“She won’t know what happened when she realises that her merit points have disappeared.”
Jingfei had told Hei that even the Elders had to earn their own merit points, so Elder Ping would be paying out of pocket when she lost the wager.
“You should pay attention to events like this in the future. There is often a chance to obtain benefits when trouble occurs.”
“Note the fact that we didn’t start anything. It was Elder Ping who sought after my possession but wasn’t amicable about it, trying to force me into an unfavourable situation.”
“We don’t seek trouble but when it comes, we will turn it into opportunity.”
Jingfei was interested in Hei’s plan as he had said it would multiply her merit points. And it would be much more than just a tenfold increase.
However, she had two points to make.
“But I don’t have all that many merit points. Most of them were used to purchase materials to practice formations.”
“That is no issue. We will raise your merit points rapidly over the next week.”
“But how will we do that? They aren’t so easy to acquire.”
“Beseech the heavens.”
“We will find a way.”
“Even so, how will we defeat the one-star array master? You should know that there are only a handful of juniors who have become official array masters.”
“Simple. Since you are a one-star array master now, you should be able to bring the appropriate books, right? I will study them for you and teach you the contents.”
“But… Books also require merit points…”
Hei didn’t expect this hitch in the road and in retrospect, he should have guessed it.
He was influenced by his harsh treatment and assumed that everything was sunshine and roses for the young ladies.
He placed his hand on his chin as he thought.
After a moment, he came up with a plan.
“Then we will use the go-to moneymaking method in situations like these.”
“Oh? What would that be?”
Jingfei was intrigued. It seemed Hei had found a solution to this problem that every junior in the sect faced.
“Hehe. Alchemy, of course.”