After finishing his meal, Lin Shu went to the treasure hall next to the library.
As its name suggests, the Treasure Hall was a place in the academy filled with riches and precious artefacts. Of its ten floors, only the first three floors are open to everyone. Following that, for each additional year a student stayed in the academy, he was allowed entry to a level above. The tenth floor is the only floor which was restricted to authorized personnel.
Treasures all over the world can be found within this hall. Be it gold or silver, the elixirs of the Celestial Family, countless types of weapons, and even small spirit beasts that can be kept pets.
-However, these artefacts were not provided for free. There was a system which required payments to be made.
In Lin Shu’s eyes, this treasure hall operated like a point exchange system.
On the first floor of the Treasure Hall, was a huge wall covered densely with jade contracts.
On each jade contract was a commission—such as sweeping the courtyard of He Xutian’s palace; taking care of the animals in the mountain range where spirit beasts roamed; lending a hand in the medicine garden; cutting vegetables for the dining hall, etc. Higher-level contracts included going down the mountain to slay demons. Disciples can accept commissions by themselves, and upon completion, they can receive different amounts of “Shangling Jade Souls”.
Not only did jade souls contain spiritual power, they were also like a form of currency in the academy, and could be used to exchange for items in the treasure hall.
Commissions were also available in the Shangling Dreamscape, but the Treasure Hall was where disciples had to come to receive and exchange jade souls.
Lin Shu glanced at the jade contracts.
The commissions at the bottom listed some simple matters of the academy, and the number of jade souls offered in return was very small. There was going to the dining hall to cut vegetables in exchange for one jade soul every two days; helping True Man Duruo to take care of the Yellow No. 3 Herb Garden for one jade soul per day—If it was replaced with “Help True Man Duruo to take care of the Black No. 3 Spirit Medicine Garden”, the returns would rise to five jade souls per day.
Higher on the wall, commissions required some professional knowledge. For example, helping True Man Duruo to take care of Sky No. 2 Celestial Medicine Garden; going to Kirin Valley to clean the scales of the baby kirins; help True Man Juding to take care of the pill furnace; help Mr Liu to organize the scriptures… are all worth more than 10 jade souls.
Contracts even further up on the wall are for commissions within a thousand mile radius of the academy. A disaster that happened; the pending case of a local government… whenever a person requests for assistance, the academy will respond in kind and issue a commission to the disciples. After completing the commission, the disciples can get up hundreds or even thousands of jade souls.
Lin Shu continued to look up.
Explore the “Stone Cave Dungeon”; kill the “Golden-eyed Flower Dragon”; solve a “Go Chess Round” k2026;
All of a sudden, he was stunned by the contracts at the highest point of the wall
“The Territory of Julin has been changed and the people are displaced. Help required.”
“The Emperor wishes to change the tax system. Please offer suggestions.”
“The Shuxi River is facing imminent flooding and the dam needs to be repaired. Please offer suggestions.”
Those commissions were issued by the Nanxia Imperial Court, and were mostly related to the nation’s economy and the people’s livelihood. The number of jade souls offered depended on the degree of completion, and could be up to tens of thousands.
“Learning literary and martial arts makes you an invaluable asset to the Imperial family.” A voice spoke suddenly beside him.
Lin Shu turned, and saw a young man wearing the grey robes of the Confucian Institution standing a near distance from him.
When he saw Lin Shu looking at him, the man smiled: “I spoke my mind. Pay me no heed.”
Lin Shu: “It’s all right.”
“Is this your first year here?”
Lin Shu: “Yes.”
“Brother’s time here in the academy has been short, and is not able to take on commission beyond the boundaries of the academy. Brother can consider True Man Du Ruo who has a good temperament, or Mr Guan Liu who is an easy-going person.”
Lin Shu: “Thank you.”
That man nodded: “You’re welcome.”
Lin Shu looked at the contracts at the bottom for a while, and finally chose two: “Help True Man Du Ruo to take care of the Black No. 3 Spirit Medicine Garden” and “Rearrange the books on the tenth floor of the library every day at sunset”.
——From taking care of the Medicine Garden, he would get 5 jade souls daily, and 3 from rearranging the archived books. It was a little less than what he had expected, but although he almost reached Mahayana in his past life, he had yet to see such a system of cultivation, thus he did not mind this opportunity to take a look at some books.
He pressed his finger on the jade contract, imprinting his fingerprint, and the jade that had been glowing faintly instantly dimmed, indicating that the commission had been taken up.
The two commissions would take about two hours a day, so he could not take up anymore-he had to attend classes and practice.
The academy required students to take at least 20 courses each year. At the end of each course, the disciples would receive grades of A, B, C, D, or E. If they received an A, they would be given 1,000 jade souls, 500 for B, half of that C, half for D, and none for E.
The “Void Control Cinnabars“ and ”Essential Heavens Generating Veins Drinks“ that Lin Shu wanted costs 100 jade souls per pill and 200 jade souls per bottle respectively.
According to the Cleansing Black Meridians for Cultivation book, these two must be eaten at least hundreds of times over time to be effective.
As for the more expensive elixirs, he would have to wait until his courses are over to be able to buy those.
In conclusion, the road is long and arduous. He would have to work hard and study hard.
After taking on the commissions, he had planned to return to Jade Heaven to find Mr Meng and choose his courses, but was stopped by the disciple of the Confucian Institution.
“Brother, hold on.” He called.
He was looking at the top of the wall, and Lin Shu followed his gaze.
At the very top, the largest piece of white jade contract was engraved with only one line.
“Calm the North. Quell the West. Restore the peace and glory of the Great Xia Kingdom.”
“Many new brothers and sisters will come to take up that commission, almost turning it into a tradition among the academies,” said the person.
Lin Shu stood in place, as if he was considering, but in actual fact, he had long made up his mind.
“No it won’t be necessary,” he said. “Many thanks, Brother.”
“The younger brother seems to be an idle person.” The man did not press any further. “Everyone has his own will. I guess it can’t be helped.”
The two of them bid farewell.
Lin Shu truly did not mean to come off as such.
First of all, he did not know much about the structure of this world. His knowledge of the Imperial family was vague and he did not have a sense of belonging. Secondly, for so many years, he had no large ambitions, other than cultivating, hoping to achieve the so-called “Freedom to Walk the Heavens and Earth”, then break away from humanity and live in solitude.
It was just a salted fish. Currently, apart from being able to save up to buy some pills daily, his dreams only consisted of obtaining a one sword worth 10,000 jade souls on the third floor of Treasure Hall.
The world really dimmed in the eyes of a poor.