The tournament had finished and the group was waiting for Shi Die to come back to them. Shi Die had fought in the Final match and had lost against an older opponent. He was disappointed but he was quickly cheered up by his new friends.
"Don't look so glum Shi Die, it's just a single loss. In the future, you'll lose many battles. It doesn't mean you are bad or anything. It could be that the opponent was too strong or that you were unable to counter your opponent because of lack of experience. Your losses will help you improve because you learn to correct your own mistakes. By losing you'll be able to see where you went wrong and you can correct those flaws. It'll also prevent you from getting big-headed from winning too much."
Shi Die smiled at Ye Xiu for giving him such an inspirational speech, "Thanks... I've never had somebody cheer me up before. Back when I was younger, on the streets, a loss would mean death. I had the instinct of survival is victory ingrained in me."
Xiao Tu decided to comfort him. "That instinct in the future may actually save your life. It's good to have that instinct ingrained into you from an early age so that you would always try your best in everything that you do. It gives you a sort of motivation, to know that if you don't try your best in training or other things, it could cost you or others' lives."
Xiao Tu was not as wary as before when he heard Shi Die speak about his life. "Could you tell us more about yourself?"
Shi Die hesitated for a moment before thinking that it wouldn't do any harm to be truthful to his first few friends. "I don't remember much of my life before I was three, but I know that I was left on the streets for as long as I can remember. I was thought how to fend for myself by a kind old man who left to continue his travels around the countries by himself. He had taught me bare-handed martial arts and gave me a cultivation technique to learn."
"He gave me a cultivation technique that would last me until the third realm of cultivation and I'm very grateful to him for it. I managed to reach this stage of cultivation by fighting the beasts in the forests around the city I had inhabited. From there I got lots of combat experience and had several life and death situations. The Qi Beasts that I was able to kill earned me some money by selling their carcasses."
"The original martial arts I had learned was the first one I had used against Ye Xiu, however, I learnt two other types of martial arts when I found a cave when I was trying to escape one of the Qi beasts that I had tried to kill. From there I was able to expand my repertoire of bare-handed martial arts. I'm looking for more fighting styles that I can learn so that I'll be able to react to most situations."
"I never made any friends because they would run away at the sight of me. I managed to enrol in this school by pure luck. The vice-principal had spotted me fighting and had asked me for my cultivation realm and age. When I told him that I was only 10 years old, he had asked me whether I wanted to join the school to have a stable environment to train. I decided that it might be possible for me to make friends here so I accepted his offer."
'Now that I've made friends, I feel happy. He told me that I had great talent and that true talent can't actually be identified by talent stones. It's because the talent stones only test a person's current talent but don't actually test if their talent will continue to improve or whether it would degrade."
Ye Xiu nodded at his words, "That's very true, the three of us haven't used any resources just like you but have cultivated without any resources. Shang Yang and I are both Alchemists so in the future when we are able to form pills of the third grade and higher, we can use the pills to expedite our gains during cultivation."
"When both Xiao Tu and I start to be able to forge our own weapons, we can help you forge things like gauntlets to improve your striking power. You don't always have to use your bare fists and legs to fight. You can wear protective items to protect or to trick your enemy that your body isn't as strong as it actually is."
Shi Die looks slightly worried and uncomfortable. "Are you guys going to ditch me...? The three of you can provide each other with something whilst I don't actually have any type of support that I can give you guys. I'm afraid that I'd be dead weight in the group..."
Shang Yang slapped Shi Die with a furious expression on her face. "Don't you dare think that again. You are in our group now and a friend of ours. We won't ditch you for such a small issue. Also, you can't depreciate yourself like that. You'd be our main attacker for most fights if we get into trouble so you'll have to disrupt the enemy as much as you can. We have to be the ones dishing out the damage which isn't as important as keeping everybody away."
Xiao Tu nodded with a serious expression on his face, "Very true, you'll be taking most of the damage in fights so the least we can do is help support you. You don't have to worry about being dead weight because we'll support each other whenever there are troubles."
Ye Xiu smiled at the side as his friends comforted Shi Die. The bonds of friendship were strengthening at this very moment and would continue to do so.
The group had arrived at the academy's assembly room. All the students and staff of the academy were there milling around and talking to each other. A man with strikingly bright crimson hair walked in from the side of the stage. The arrival of this man quickly stopped all conversation in the room beside the freshmen's. With a single throat clear which was audible to all those in the room, the freshmen stopped talking to look at the man.
"Thank you for those who have joined or come back to the academy this year. It's a start of a new year, and there are things I'd like to announce. The new gravity training rooms have been built so please utilise it for your training as best as you can. There are only twenty rooms available at a time so you may have to share if you have not reserved a slot beforehand. Please try not to wreck the rooms this time. The rooms are expensive to replace and if it happens again then the rooms will have to be restricted."
"We have a few new staff this year, so I'll be introducing them. First, we have our new hammer combat teacher, Xing Liu Fan."
Ye Xiu nudged Xiao Tu, "Look there's master. Not surprised he's teaching how to fight with a hammer."
The group tuned out the rest of the introductions and were talking to each other silently which most students were doing as well.
"The last thing that I have to say is to keep on striving and cultivating with determination. If you don't believe in yourself then how will you be able to make progress? The rankings for this year are displayed on the board outside of the auditorium and will change as usual. Register who you will be living within a dormitory room. Mixed rooms are fine, just go to the academy's front entrance and register from there."
With that, the man left the stage briskly and the noise levels began to rise in. The four left the auditorium to go register for a room. They were tired from the trip and the multiple fights that Shi Die had fought had definitely made him fatigued. The walk to the registration desk was long and tedious. By the time the four reached the desk, they were exhausted from the day. Ye Xiu prompted the person at the desk to look up.
"Are you here for room registration?"
"Yes, I'd like a room for four people, a mixed gender room. The four of us here will be living together."
The receptionist wrote something down before handing over four tiny badges over to Ye Xiu. "These badges will help lead you to your designated room. People without the badges will be unable to enter the room if they aren't invited. The badges will be linked to your Qi signature so you don't have to worry about theft."
With the badges in hand, the group started their long trek over to the student residence. The walk took them an entire hour until they spotted other students around the massive entrance. Most of them were just talking and heading into the building. With the exhaustion bearing down on them, they quickly followed where the badge was pointing to.
The badge was an arrow that spun to the direction of the room when held in the hand. This made it extremely easy for students to find their rooms and not get lost.
They found their room, entered it and locked the doors. Shang Yang, Ye Xiu and Xiao Tu started unpacking their things from their inter-dimensional storages whilst Shi Die just stared.
Xiao Tu noticed the stare and tilted his head in confusion, "Aren't you going to unpack?"
Shi Die looked at his feet and mumbled. "I didn't have anything to take with me..."
Ye Xiu just hugged Shi Die from behind. "It's fine I'll lend you some of my things until you get your own. We're both the same size so we can just share. My mum packed way too many clothes as usual. It won't matter if I lend you a few of them."
Shi Die just nodded in appreciation for Ye Xiu's kindness towards him.
It took them an hour or so to finish unpacking everything. The boys decided to go and wash themselves up first whilst Shang Yang decorated the room with things she had brought with her.
The bathroom that the academy provided was definitely classy in Ye Xiu's opinion. It had several things similar to what hotels would have back in his previous life. There were different types of scented bar soaps around the area where bathing could take place. The water was heated and changed by several formations placed into the building. Even indoor heating and cooling was added for when the seasons changed.
The boys had a relaxing bath and when they got out, their room was completely changed. Shang Yang had brought multiple things with her to decorate the room. She had vases for flowers on the bedside tables and study tables. She had placed candles so that there would be light for a person trying to study or read something.
Ye Xiu was extremely surprised at the decorated walls however, it had seemed that this world had things such as wallpaper. She had placed a simple oriental flower styled wallpaper to make the room less dull. She had hung several paintings around the room.
Ye Xiu whistled at the sight and Shang Yang beamed at him. "Do you like it? I brought so much to decorate our room. I still have more but I think this should be enough for us."
"Yeah, it's definitely enough. How much did you bring exactly?"
Shang Yang's eyes lit up. "I still have like a quarter of the room's space worth of furniture and decorations."
Xiao Tu snickered. "You really do like decorating don't you?"
"Of course I do. Now I'm going to take my time to wash up. Turn off the light formation if you don't need it. Qi stones are costly to replace though that shouldn't be a worry for Ye Xiu and I." She walked out of the bedroom and into the bathroom with sass in her step.
The boys decided to just rest for the next day and the room was silent when Shang Yang came back. Smiling at the innocent faces of all the boys in the room, she walked over to her bed to sleep.