159 We Strive for Excellence

    The young man couldn't predict that Daniel and Alesia would be this close, but Daniel's words gave him a response to one of the most pressing questions in his head. Whether the two were together or not.

    Excited about the newly acquired information, the young man said "That's an awful thing to say to such a beautiful young lady. But it doesn't surprise me that someone of your standing would lack manners."

    The joke had gone far enough for Alesia's taste, and she wanted to stop the young man in his track, before he would start to think that his behaviour deserved her recognition. Unfortunately, before she could even speak, she heard another voice coming from behind them.

    "I would argue that it is a rude thing to say that to any woman.. Are you suggesting that it would be alright if it was said to a less charming lady?" Said a fourth young man which slowly approached from the side.

    On his chest, this young man showed a golden badge.

    The moment this young man approached, the tall silver-badged young man backed away. Neither Daniel or Alesia knew about it, but the three young men were brothers, and their father, worked for the mother of this gold-badged young man.

    The four of them had grown up meeting each other very often.

    Their company dealt in the production, engineering, and sale of alchemical instruments, and alchemy was the main field. That's why they had been sent to study here.

    Alesia wanted to clear this problem, and explain that she and Daniel were joking, or she might end up being bothered by these people in the future.

    She looked at the gold-badged young man approach her, and tried to say something, but once again, she was interrupted by a distant voice that resounded through the entire hall.

    "You are the elite of this city, and you came here to take the hard path to success. Gaining a standing through our world thanks to our intelligence, and drive to knowledge, is a worthy and honorable cause.. It's the superior cause, and it is, worthy of us." This speech came from a distinct looking thirty years old man that had appeared in the middle of the hall from out of nowhere.

    Even from the distance, this man emanated a powerful smell of chemicals. Yet, he wore distinct clothes, and it was clear that it belonged to a well-off family. On his chest, was a platinum badge, and a golden crest embed in his black shirt.

    As he talked, nobody dared to make a sound, or to not pay attention.

    "The lot of you have already received a certain type of badge when you've registered into the school. This badge will affect the quality of your teachings, and stay within the academy. It will also mark your person forever, and will only change in case your social standing will increase." Said the man with a clear tone.

    He then pointed at the crest on his chest, and said "This crest indicates your contribution to the academy, and its rank can be increased through the completion of assignment, or achievements in your studies. These two symbols are worth the same, and we strive to aim for the best in each of them. We strive for excellence."

    The meaning behind the man's words were clear. 'You are initially only worth as much as your background is, and you can only prove your true potential through hard work and commitment.'

    On this, cultivation and knowledge were on the same side. No matter how talented one was in cultivation, or how intelligent they were.. They would account to nothing in the end, unless they committed a hundred percent to the path they were destined to walk.

    "You are allowed to commerce, make transactions, and even bet if your belongings if you want.. But one thing is not allowed.. Physical violence will cause an immediate expulsion from the academy, and murder will cause your backing powers to become the target of our entire group. You have been warned."

    Daniel had already guessed that there would be this sort of rule in this academy. After all, these young men and women had come here to learn a job which would allow them to pick up on what their parents would leave to them. That also meant that they didn't spend as much time cultivating as Daniel would.

    Despite that, they had cultivated with extremely high resources since a young age, and barely any of them had a lower cultivation than Alesia. Unfortunately, what was truly scary about these young men and women, was the financial power they possessed.

    Each of those with a silver badge or higher, had a reach much higher than Daniel's company itself, as they were heirs of companies and groups that operated on continental, planetary, or solar system's level.



    Once the introduction was over, the various students were sent to familiarize with the structure, and their dorms.

    The academy possessed various high quality laboratories, and shops from which people could purchase ingredients in order to practice. Alternatively, there was a section of the academy where people could obtain assignments, which after completion, would give them contribution points which they would be able to exchange for materials as well.

    There were also various gardens, inside which many different plants and herbs were planted. Their purpose was for students to learn, practice, and observe botany. An essential skill for these young men, which would have to make use of their knowledge if they wanted to avoid being tricked into purchasing worthless objects, or be able to recognize a real deal after seeing it.

    The dormitories were separated into male and female, and the quality and area of the room, depended on the level of badge one possessed.

    Daniel and Alesia had received two copper badges, so they had been assigned to the parts of the building with the lowest level of rooms.

    Despite that, each room was very luxurious, and had every type of comfort in it. Unfortunately, they had to share it with another student of the same level.

    The difference between different levels of rooms, were that silver level rooms were single rooms, golden level rooms had internal laboratories, and platinum level areas had a private teacher that could be questioned at any time during the day for help.

    It was now early in the night, and Daniel was getting ready to go to the mess hall.

    *Knock Knock* He suddenly heard knocking on his door. When he went to open, he saw Alesia with another girl by her side.

    "Hey." Said Alesia casually, before adding "This is Talia, she is my roommate."

    Daniel turned to look at the girl that stood right next to Alesia, and immediately, he noticed that she looked slightly uncomfortable. It was clear that she wasn't totally okay with going to the men's dorm to pick someone up for dinner. Unfortunately for her, Alesia could not be convinced otherwise.

    "I am Daniel." He said while nodding politely.

    At the same time that Daniel presented himself to Talia, Alesia moved her head to look behind Daniel's back. She seemed to be looking for someone, and he confirmed it by saying "Where is your roommate?"

    "I don't know. He arrived earlier than me, and never left his room.. I didn't really have a chance to meet him.." Responded Daniel right away.

    "Okay then, let's go." Said Alesia while turning towards the end of the corridor and walking away.

    Daniel followed suit.

    Talia was about to move as well, but after taking another peek at Daniel's room, she said "Isn't it smoke that's coming from under that door?"

    In response to Talia's question, Daniel spread his spiritual sense into his dorm, and inside his roommate's room, unfortunately, his sense wasn't allowed through the limits placed on the walls.

    The next moment, he teleported right in front of the door.

    *Knock Knock Knock* "Hey, everything alright there?" Asked Daniel with curiosity.

    From underneath the door, a greenish smoke kept oozing out slowly. It smelled like burnt food, and various distinct herbs of which Daniel could not recognize the name.

    In a matter of seconds, Daniel started to hear a few heavy steps, which stopped right in front of the door. The door opened slowly, and behind it, an extremely fat and tall man appeared.

    This young man seemed to weight at least two hundred kilograms, and he reached a height of almost two meters. People could easily joke about him being as large as a wardrobe. He had a nice head of brown short hair, and an amiable face covered in smudges. The only part clean part left on his body, were his limpid green eyes.

    Daniel couldn't recognize this person as one of the people within the main hall earlier that day. Yet, that was not what shocked him the most.

    Above his head, Daniel saw a 2,744,369 float in a dark green color. That, was the highest amount of positive karma points he had ever seen on any person since he had received the system.

    "Why were you cooking inside your room?" Asked Daniel with surprise.

    The fat young man didn't respond, and instead, asked "Who are you?"

    Behind Daniel, Talia and Alesia approached as well.

    "I'm Daniel, your roommate. And these are my friend Alesia, and Talia, her roommate." Responded Daniel with a polite tone. "We've arrived here this morning."

    An expression of realization appeared on the young man's face, as he cleaned his dirty hands on his dirtier clothes, and while trying to shake Daniel's hand, he said "Hi, name's Serf."

    Daniel shook his hand without the slightest hint of hesitation.

    After Daniel, Alesia followed suit, and shook his hand, while Talia, looked at the two of them as if she was looking at a group of crazy people.

    "We were going to eat something in the mess hall.. Want to join us?" Said Alesia with her pleasant and melodious voice.

    "I.." Responded Serf, almost as about to refuse the offer.

    "Come on, we'll have to know each other if we have to live together. Go clean up, we'll wait for you here." Said Daniel, preventing him from making an excuse to refuse the offer. He then walked towards the couch within his room, and sat patiently.

    "What's wrong?" Asked Alesia to Talia, which appeared slightly irritated.

    "Didn't you see the condition that guy was in? Why are we even waiting for him." She responded in annoyance.

    If it wasn't that Alesia would have had to share her room with this girl for a fairly long time, he would have already suggested that she left by herself a long time ago. He could see in her the clear arrogance of a proud heiress.. Despite the fact that she was at the lowest level of the food chain here.

    After ten minutes, Serf came out of his room looking like a new man. He wore clean clothes, even though slightly tight. His hair were combed neatly, and his puffy face had gone back to its healthy rosy color.

    "Great, let's go.. I'm famished." Said Daniel while getting up from the couch, and leading the small group into the mess hall.

    The building was extremely large, and the majority of its walls contained formations that didn't allow immortal essence or spiritual sense to filter through, causing the four of them to lose their way more than once.

    Luckily, Serf offered to lead them into the right way, as he appeared to be already extremely familiar with the layout of the academy.

    Five minutes later, the group managed to arrive at the entrance of an extremely large hall.

    This hall contained tens of large tables divided into four different levels of luxury, and each kind of table was occupied by a different rank of student. In the wall at the end of the hall, was a large opened kitchen, on which dozens of cook worked tirelessly to prepare the meals that these young masters ordered.

    Before Daniel and the rest could seat, a loud voice arrived from the area occupied by the gold-badged students.

    "Hey lard-ass! Who told you that you could come here?"
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