"Alright, how much would we need to pay for the blank array plate? We should buy them in bulk as a start," Dyon asked.
"Well, array plates come in different levels of durability. The durability of the one here is enough for a first common level array. So, you can buy about 10 for a single common stone. Depending on the effectiveness of your array, which should be fairly high, you can sell them from any from 50 common stones to 100 or a single profound stone."
Eli stumbled, "that expensive?"
Uncle Ail sighed, "our profession is really lucrative. The problem is that we've never had anyone skilled enough to make such a business plan feasible. Since I had to forcibly awaken my aurora, mine is only partially awakened, like most. So, not only would it take more than a day for me to inscribe the same array Dyon did, my amplification for an array like that would only be 1.2 at the most, if I did my best. In actuality, it'd probably be 1.1x. At that rate, I could only sell it for a common stone at the most. My salary as an elder already pays out much more than I'd get back. So, it really isn't worth it."
Eli came to a sudden realization, then shook his head. Dyon really was amazing.
"So Dyon, what's your amplification at?"
"Um, if I take my time with it like I did here, it should be at 2x. Adding the 5% boost from a single heaven's chime, and it would be at 2.1x."
"That… Forget what I said, at 2.1x, that's an elite enough to be used by blacksmiths, even 5 profound stones might not buy your array plate at an auction…"
A look of excitement came across Dyon's face before he tempered it, "Supply and demand is always an important concept in business. Although I can make 10 of these before my stamina runs out for the day, it'll just cause the price to drop. But, I could make hundreds if not thousands at the 1.5x level in a day and still be perfectly fine using my speed arraying technique. Even if we sell them for 50 common stones each, we'd probably end up making much more in a day than if I only made 10 peak level ones. It'd also minimize the curiosity for the heaven's chime. After everyone in the school has these tablets, we can have an auction for the 2.1x amplification ones. This way, we might get even more than 5 profound stones per. If everyone has 1.5x amplification plates to use in battle, the elite will want an edge and end up spending extra."
Uncle Ail and Eli looked at Dyon, shaking their heads as if he was speaking the law of the world.
"Aside from this amplification array, I can also make a hardening and defensive array as well. If we market the hardening and defensive arrays well, everyone will know that each can block an attack from a peak 1st layer of the foundation stage fighter. And they'll know that stacking them is possible to achieve better results. Soon, we'll have a monopoly on the market," Dyon's smile was getting brighter and brighter.
"Uncle Ail, I'm not going to lie to you. I'm really broke right now. I'll need your help," Dyon said while slowly shrinking his 2.1x amplification array to place it onto the plate, "for every common stone you spend in buying the plates, I can give you 3 back. Eli, I can try and teach you what I know about speed arraying. If you understand, it'll help you once you awaken your own aurora."
Eli smiled in gratitude but still said, "thank you Dyon, but the theories behind your speed arraying are much too abstract for me. Before I could even get there, I'd need to understand the original array to the point where I could do the same as you and draw a 2x amplification. I don't think you know how hard it is for us regular people to do that. But, I'll work hard. I want to contribute too."
Dyon smiled. He had a lot of respect for Eli's mentality, "I understand. I'll never underestimate your expertise. The complexities of a plant pale in comparison to the complexity in raising them. Especially when you have to raise plants of vastly different characteristics together. You're a genius in your own right."
Eli started, 'Dyon is really observant. He's been here for less than an hour and already understands my responsibilities.'
"Don't worry little Dyon, I may not be much of an array specialist, but the reason they keep me around this academy is because of my alchemy. Although the purity of my pills can't be said to be top notch because of the barriers sets by a forcibly awakened aurora, I can still forge 4th common level pills with 50% effectiveness. So, my funds aren't too bad. I'll buy you 10,000 plates for free, you don't have to pay me back. I'm your senior, how ridiculous would it be if I couldn't help you with such a small task."
The gratitude Dyon felt was clear. Although he didn't say anything, the kindness that was shown to him today was etched in his heart.
Dyon smiled, "for now I can help you de-seed those plants, Eli."
Eli clapped, "finally some help. There's so many."
"By the way, where's your garden?"
"Oh, it's actually at Patia-Neva peak. Later, we can go. If we're lucky, we might see the princess," Eli's face flushed red as he said those last words.
"Oh, you may not know since you're new. But, School head Patia-Neva has one daughter. She lives on Patia-Neva peak. Usually, direct descendants of the pillar families live at their own peaks too. But, obviously, she can't occupy an entire peak alone. So, she was nice enough to allow us to use a portion of her territory to garden some common plants. Actually, she gave us quite a large clearance in her forest. She's much nicer than the other pillar family descendants."
Dyon chuckled, "nice huh? I guess she is pretty nice"
Dyon didn't remember seeing a clearance large enough for a garden in the forest. But, then again, he was only there for a small time and followed a straight path to the elevator.
Eli sighed, "yea… she's very good with a sword. I often hear her practicing when I go to tend the garden. It seems like the first years for this pillar family class are all ridiculous geniuses. They've far surpassed their older brothers and sisters in terms of talent. I heard rumors that the pillar families have been grooming them specifically for this coming big sect tournament. Some of them have even reached the 5th layer of the foundation stage!"
"Sect tournament?" Dyon continued picking seeds while listening to Eli intently.
"sometimes I think you live under a rock, Dyon. The sect tournament is a tournament amongst us lower level academies. A few big sects above our jurisdiction come to watch, and if they like our talents, those chosen get to study with them. It's a huge matter of prestige for us and also decides how much resources we get for the next few years. The tournament happens half a year after the start of every school year."
"So why would they groom geniuses for this one in particular?"
"Well, this is apparently a hundred-year mark. And every hundred years, a special treasure that the large sects share amongst each other has been adequately recharged to open a small dimensional world left by a long dead expert called a Legacy World. Think about that! To open a dimensional world as a burial place, that expert must have, at the very least, transcended to the saint level and their understand of spatial will might have even evolved to the level of an intent. That's a level of expert I can't even fathom."
Dyon widened his eyes in shock, 'you can open dimensions just to bury yourself if you get powerful enough? That's ridiculous.'
"But, why would they need kids like us to enter realms like that? Wouldn't it still be beneficial for elders and school heads to take a part in world's like that?"
"Well, these worlds tend to have restrictions on cultivation or age. And those powerful enough to break those restrictions, would obviously have no interest in those treasures. Think about it, if you were dying and wanted someone worthy to continue on your legacy, would you want someone who was old and had already tapped out their potential to get it? Or would you want someone who had the chance of surpassing you to get it?"
"I see. So, these experts are looking for people to continue their legacy even after their deaths. I understand."
"I hear the world they've found to open this time is particularly special. Actually, they had found this world many centuries ago, but it wasn't until after hundreds of years they pinpointed the exact location. But, even then, the last 4 times they've tried to open it, the power in the treasure wasn't enough. This year, they hope that 500 years worth of built up energy will be enough to finally break into the world."
Dyon raised his eyebrows, "wow. Seems like we might get lucky this time around"
"Don't joke around Dyon, we're first years without pillar family backing. How could we get strong enough to compete with those monsters? Maybe you have a chance if you cultivate and combine your array formation understanding. 6 months might be enough for a genius like you."
Dyon smiled, "I see the determination in your eyes Eli. You don't like what happened a few weeks ago just as much as I don't. We'll do this together."
Eli froze, but then nodded firmly. What Eli didn't know is that Dyon had no intentions of cultivating at all for the foreseeable future.
"Wait, Dyon. You're a first year like me, but you haven't been to class at all. In fact, every time the teacher calls for you at the beginning of class, everyone laughs. They think you're a coward," Eli balled his fists, "I'm sorry I'm not strong enough to fight for you."
"Don't worry about that, Eli. We'll be at the top soon," Dyon smiled as if he wasn't bothered, but there was a cold glint in his eyes that made Eli shiver.
"I say this because a class evaluation is coming up. Everyone from first year has to have the power of a mid tier 1st layer of the foundation stage fighter after a month, or else their place here will be revoked. 2nd years have to be at the peak of the first, 3rd years at the lower tier of the second, 4th years have to be at the peak of the second, 5th years at the bottom of the 3rd and so on. To graduate you just need to break through to the 4th layer before 18. I'm worried Dyon, you have no cultivation and the evaluation is at the end of this week, just 3 more days. I don't want you to get kicked out."
Dyon chuckled, "you worry too much Eli, how could I not pass if I use array alchemy. I'm sure they test you by your strength. A normal peak 1st layer foundation stage expert would have punching power comparable to the strongest mortal human, right? About 1000 pounds of force. My regular punching power is at about 300-400 if I put my full weight behind it. To hit the punching power of a mid level 1st layer fighter, I'd only need to bother with 1 amplification array."
Eli sighed in relief, before looking at Dyon like he was a monster, "300-400 lbs of force as a mortal 13-year-old with no cultivation? I didn't even hit that level until I cultivated to the lower tier of the foundation first level. What a monster," Eli said under his breath.
"Okay, done! Let's go see the prin – I mean let's go tend the garden."
Dyon laughed at how flustered the first friend he had made here was getting, "sure, let's go see the princess."
Eli's face burned red as he picked up the basket and turned away, not wanting to face Dyon.
"I'll be back tomorrow Uncle Ail, see you!" Dyon said, waving to the young-old man.
Once the door to the faction closed, Uncle Ail's eyes could be seen glistening with tears, "seems like a savior's been sent to me and little Eli. It's good he's made a friend."
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