Book 1 - What Is A Genius

Chapter 65 - Sponger


Note:
6/20

At the dawn of the next day, He Yiming woke up and took a bath. The downtrodden and dejected appearance of his immediately turned better, and he started to look somewhat in a better shape.

It was true that his yesterday’s appearance was to pull wool over people’s eyes. However, since he’d already been inquired yesterday plus that seventh uncle himself had sent a word for him, he would be a fool to not make use of this opportunity.

Since he had to act as a sponger these few days, he must clothe himself a bit better. If he went with that downtrodden appearance, it would instead arouse more suspicion.

After completing his preparations, he left his room, settled his bill, and stepped on the road.

For a cultivator, a mere distance of few li’s didn’t require much effort.

However, He Yiming deliberately held back and only arrived at the Xu castle after an hour.

As he saw the castle for the first time, he couldn’t help but sigh inwardly. A clan that had been passed on through several centuries indeed wouldn’t be surpassed by He family so easily.

The entire castle occupied an area of several hundred Mu’s. Furthermore, a gigantic fence was laid along the mountains. The wall was about fifty meters high and made up of huge boulders. From afar, it seemed like a crouching beast of ancient times, emanating an impenetrable feeling.

He Yiming had seen the city wall of the county town. However, compared to the wall in front of him, the former paled significantly.

He sighed inwardly. The power of authorities in the Tai Cang county was indeed far inferior to that of the influential families.

His third brother had once said to him that although the main clan of the Cheng family resided in the county town, they also owned many manors outside the town. These manors were also strictly guarded, hard-to-attack-easy-to-defend structures.

Whenever He Yiming saw how many hidden cards Xu family and Cheng family had in their hands, he would sigh endlessly. Even after possessing a clear advantage in terms of peak strength, them being at the very tail of the influential families was indeed not baseless.

He suddenly thought of a matter. He family had not yet started to hire spongers. This was not entirely due to just financial problems. Any sponger who would look at the awe-inspiring Xu castle would obviously choose Xu family over He family. This was perhaps the true reason his grandfather had not tried to attract spongers yet.

He Yiming raised his head and looked at the sky for a while before eventually advancing towards the Xu family castle. As soon as he arrived at the entrance, he was immediately stopped by a man. This man was in his thirties- wearing a long robe which was evidently different from the outfit of servants that were entering and leaving the castle. He cupped his hands towards He Yiming said, “Brother, you look sort of unfamiliar here. I wonder what has brought you to our castle.”

He Yiming cupped his hands in response and squeezed out a smile as he said, “My humble name is Xiao Qin, a resident of Tai Chong county. I heard the reputed name of Xu family and decided to come here to look for a job.”

His words concisely clarified his identity and purpose.

That man didn’t show the slightest surprise as if he already knew this, “So, this is the case. My humble name is Xu Yuchang, one of the outer-castle managers. Brother, please follow me.”

After saying these words, he turned his body and started walking.

He Yiming hesitated a little before following after him. Since the latter’s name had the word ‘Yu’, he evidently belonged to the same generation as that of Xu Yucai. However, he seemed to be over thirty yet his Internal Energy was around the fifth layer and was only a manager of the outer-castle. He must have received the message from the town. Therefore, he specifically came to welcome He Yiming.

Regardless of any viewpoint, this man’s position in the Xu family was not high at all.

However, this once again caused He Yiming to sigh inwardly.

Xu family was truly flourishing in numbers. He family, on the other hand, their entire third generation combined didn’t the cross the figure of ten, let alone having a thirty-year-old member.

As soon as he entered the castle, a wide stretch of fine farmlands entered his vision. He faintly started and immediately figured out why this castle occupied so much space. It turned out that this castle had its own farmlands.

Although it might not necessarily be sufficient to feed all the people inside, in case of an emergency when the gates of the castle needed to be closed, the people inside would be able to sustain for a long time without any assistance from outside.

Hereby, it could be seen that the elders of Xu family must have gone through extensive amounts of thinking and planning before laying this foundation.

Going through the farmlands was a road which could fit eight horses galloping side by side. After this road was the residential area.

Leading He Yiming, Xu Yuchang arrived in a spacious courtyard and said, “Brother Xiao, I welcome you to the Xu castle. However, our Xu family has some rules in hiring spongers. I wonder if you have heard about this.”

He Yiming slowly nodded his head and said, “Before coming here, I have asked around. Xu family’s spongers must possess at least third-layer cultivation.”

While speaking these words, He Yiming was feeling rather emotional inwardly as well.

Although in He manor, those servants had all been meticulously cultivated by the Lord Master himself, among these servants, the highest cultivation was merely the third layer. Furthermore, the majority was below the third layer.

Whereas in the Xu castle, the minimum requirement to become a sponger was to possess a cultivation of the third layer. This difference was too big.

Xu Yuchang faintly smiled and said, “Correct. Xu family spongers must possess the cultivation of at least the third layer. However, if brother Xiao’s Internal Energy can attain the fifth layer, you can directly enter the inner castle and assume a commanding position. And if you earn enough merits for the castle, you can even enter the Book Pavilion and learn battle skills.”

He Yiming heavily nodded as his eyes showed a zealous light. However, his heart remained undulated.

Xu Yuchang calmly watched the counterpart. He had seen far too many wandering cultivators. Most among these failed to meet the required third layer cultivation. Even those who managed to meet this requirement only had mediocre basic strength.

However, this was to be expected. How could truly strong cultivators come to a desolate region like Tai Cang county. Most of the cultivators who opted to come here were those who scored big on the age department but not so big on the achievements’ and had no other choice but to look for jobs in remote regions.

He Yiming sucked in a deep breath, retreated a few steps, cupped his fists towards Xu Yuchang, crisscrossed his arms and began to perform a fist technique.

The technique he used was the water-type Silk Palm.

This was a widespread technique among all the cultivators. As long as a cultivator had cultivated in a water-type primary technique, the odds were that he would have cultivated in Silk Palm.

As He Yiming executed the Silk Palm, Xu Yuchang’s brows faintly creased while his evaluation of the counterpart went down quite a bit.

However, after a few moments, the contempt in his eyes was swept away by a peculiar radiance and even a slight astonishment.

Although He Yiming had suppressed his Internal Energy to the fourth layer, the Silk Palm he exhibited was far beyond what an ordinary cultivator could exhibit.

Although he only exhibited the basic movement sequences, they all contained an endless, continuous sort of feeling.

Xu Yuchang suddenly felt as if he’d forgotten to breathe.

Although according to his strength, he couldn’t associate himself with people and matters of high importance, having matured in the castle, he could at least determine the standard of a battle skill.

After looking at the water like Silk Palm exhibited by He Yiming, he had already made his evaluation.

This man’s Internal Energy is perhaps not too high leveled, but as far as battle skills are concerned, this expert has exceedingly high experience. He’s further a deeper understanding towards the Silk Palm. To say the least, he’s already grasped this skill’s basic essence.

And this was a feat which a lot of cultivators failed to accomplish throughout their entire lives.

In Tai Cang county, such a man could already be considered as a genius.

After the time that a incense stick takes to burn, He Yiming had already demonstrated the first sequence of the Silk Palm. He withdrew his fists and stood still, calmly looking at Xu Yuchang.

In reality, he was not quite clear on what the specific criteria Xu family had set. Thus, he was quite apprehensive as well, and as such, while employing the Silk Palm, he really had put in some effort.

Xu Yuchang faintly nodded, reached out with his palm and said, “Brother Xiao, please.”

He Yiming was speechless. So it turned out that even after this whole display of Silk Palm, this man was unable to discern that his Internal Energy was at the fourth layer.

However, this was not too strange. To be able to discern counterpart’s strength just by observing a few fist moves and techniques- this was not so easy. Such a feat not only required a sharp eye and strength, but also abundant experience.

For He Yiming to discern the old man’s cultivation just by his voice was an exceedingly unique case which wouldn’t occur to everybody.

Extending his palm, He Yiming, along with Xu Yuchang, aroused his Internal Energy momentarily as their palms made contact.

Xu Yuchang faintly smiled as he said, “Congratulations brother Xiao, your cultivation is at the fourth layer, and your achievements in Silk Palm is exceedingly high. You have cleared the qualifications to become a sponger for Xu family.”

He Yiming revealed a grin as if he’d just been freed from a huge burden. This expression further reduced the counterpart’s skepticism of him.

The subsequent procedure was quite simple. After receiving Xu Yuchang’s approval, one could obtain a house of about twenty square meters in the outer castle, three meals a day, and a silver coin per month. This treatment could already be scaled as a top level one throughout the entire Tai Cang county.

After ascertaining He Yiming’s strength, Xu Yuchang’s tried to probe the former’s native place.

He Yiming naturally understood the latter’s intention. Confirming whether an individual named Xiao Qin lived in a specific area of Tai Chong county posed no problem to Xu family with the strength they had their disposal. However, this would mean a delay of at least a month.

And by that time, He Yiming would be long gone according to his plans.