Chapter 25: Single-Minded
When Shi Kaihuang returned, he found Su Chen lying on the ground with a large piece of paper laid out in front of him. It was completely covered in formulas and talisman symbols.
Shi Kaihuang walked over to take a closer look. He knit his eyebrows and asked, “What is that?”
Su Chen was still mired in frantic calculations and flying talisman symbols. It took him a moment to realize that Shi Kaihuang had returned. He unwillingly pulled his attention away from his calculations and replied, “It’s called the Brooke Formula. It’s used to calculate how to combine Origin Energy Patterns. Just like your Origin Talisman Energy Formation, it can be used to calculate the effects that different fragment combinations would have on the Origin Energy output.”
When Su Chen replied, he felt quite pleased with himself.
In that moment, he fantasized that when Shi Kaihuang saw the Brooke Formula, he would be amazed and overjoyed. He would then use it to complete his calculations for Kaihuang’s Heaven, establishing a massive landmark in human history.
But he was wrong.
He had imagined it quite nicely, but reality was harsh.
Shi Kaihuang’s eyes slowly began to widen. “Origin Energy Patterns? What are you analyzing those things for?”
“I think that there are a few paths worth considering. They might be useful for resolving a few issues with Kaihuang’s Heaven……”
“Bullshit!” Shi Kaihuang’s coarse language jolted Su Chen into a daze, as if he had received a heavy blow to the back of his head.
“I told you on the first day that the human body contains a hidden treasure. What we need to do is draw out its full potential. The Arcana Race’s toys borrow the power of heaven and earth to unleash skills, which has no benefit towards one’s cultivation. That’s a mistaken path. What paths could they possibly lead to that are worth considering? Dividing your attention towards these things will only lead you down the wrong path!”
“But this formula really is quite impressive! Instructor, you should take a look at it; this formula is the reason why I was able to invent the Erupting Firebird skill and Clear Wind Net.”
“The reason why the wrong path attracts others is because it will entice you with a few treats every once in awhile!” Shi Kaihuang said mockingly. “What point is there in picking up something that has already been phased out by the passage of time? Don’t waste any time on it any more. Also, Kaihuang’s Heaven is not something that you can analyze at your skill level right now. Don’t think too highly of yourself! All you need to do right now is focus on your studies!”
“……Yes, Instructor.” Su Chen stood up helplessly and put the paper in front of him away.
Upon seeing Su Chen’s dejected appearance, Shi Kaihuang knew that he had been a little too harsh with his words. He sighed, “Don’t blame me for being so strict. You’re still young and at the beginning of your life. If you take the wrong path now, it will affect you greatly in the future. You need to know that in your life you have a limited amount of time and energy. Only if you focus all of your limited attention together can you achieve something great. Focus! This is my advice to you. You are very smart, but your main problem is that you aren’t focused enough. You’re also studying alchemy, right?”
Su Chen awkwardly nodded his head.
“Alchemy isn’t bad, but listen to my advice: give it up. The path you are taking is one that has never been achieved in the past. Only by focusing all of your energy will you even have the slightest bit of hope. Don’t be distracted by things like Ancient Arcana Techniques or alchemy.”
“Your disciple understands,” Su Chen replied.
After thinking for a moment, he continued, “Instructor, the end-of-year competition amongst the first years is going to happen. Do you think I……”
“Give up on it,” Shi Kaihuang waved his hand casually. “There’s no need to waste your time on such matters.”
Su Chen was not surprised by this answer.
“But if I don’t attend, my status as a seedling of the Hidden Dragon Institute will be taken away.”
“So let it be taken away. In the future you can just live here. There’s no need to go to the Clear Sky Tower anyways.”
“But there are still a few basic privileges that I want.”
“I will help you take care of them. You can keep your servant, and I will make up for the contribution points that you need using my own.” Shi Kaihuang waved his hand and impatiently said, “If you want to perform research, you will need to learn how to endure and keep a low profile. It is impossible for someone to accomplish great things without perseverance.”
“Yes, instructor,” Su Chen replied helplessly.
“Give up on the end-of-year competition?”
Su Chen and Wang Doushan were sitting inside a pavilion surrounded by water. Wang Doushan couldn’t help but yell, “Why?”
“Because I need to be focused,” Su Chen helplessly replied, his hand on the back of his head as he leaned against a column in the pavilion. “Not only that, but he also wants me to give up on studying Origin Energy Patterns and alchemy. When I tried telling him that I had discovered a way to solve a problem he had been struggling with, he told me that I was wasting time, that I shouldn’t research that, and that it wasn’t my business…… all of my excitement instantly vanished.”
Wang Doushan began to laugh somewhat inattentively. “You wanted this personal instructor.”
“I have no regrets.” Su Chen shook his head. “Although I am somewhat disappointed, I know that he’s doing this for my own benefit.”
Su Chen was very clear about that fact.
Although Shi Kaihuang’s decision made him disappointed, Shi Kaihuang and Su Cheng’an were very different.
Shi Kaihuang really did care for him.
He didn’t allow Su Chen to study Origin Energy Patterns and Alchemy because he thought that they would not be helpful for Su Chen’s future.
Perhaps his obstinance and conservatism had restricted his viewpoint, but this was not a reason that could let Su Chen down.
He truly cared for Su Chen and he had held nothing back while guiding Su Chen.
Thus, Su Chen didn’t hate him for his stubbornness. He just felt a little vexed.
He could only vent to Wang Doushan because he had no other outlet for his frustration.
“So what are you planning on doing?” Wang Doushan asked.
After thinking for a moment, Su Chen replied, “The old man had a point. A person who doesn’t know how to focus their attention will never achieve great things, but if I become too focused, I’ll become too narrow-minded and I will miss a lot of other possibilities. My progress will stagnate. When he accepted me as a disciple, he acknowledged that I possessed a different way of thinking than him. He was absolutely correct; I believe that improving the human race’s use of Origin Energy requires all kinds of tactics. Thus, I feel that I should have the ability to choose whether I listen to his suggestions or not.”
“That’s right! I was thinking exactly the same thing,” Wang Doushan laughed as he clapped his hands. “You can give up on things like Origin Energy Patterns and alchemy, but you can’t miss the end-of-year competition.”
Su Chen gave him a strange look. “What I mean is, I can give up on the end-of-year competition, but I cannot give up on studying Origin Energy Patterns and alchemy.”
Although Shi Kaihuang was very opposed to the Arcana Race, Su Chen believed that the Arcana Race’s understanding of Origin Energy could be of use in resolving the issues that plagued Kaihuang’s Heaven.
“What?” Wang Doushan began to yell, “How can you say that? I was looking forward to showing off with you during the end-of-year competition. In addition, you placed fifth in the Three Mountains Region exam. How many people will be watching you? If you give up now, people will definitely think that you are scared. You reached the top ten last time with a bit of luck. Many people remain unconvinced of your abilities. This is your chance to prove them wrong. How can you just give up like that?”
Su Chen shook his head. “Instructor was right. If I want to perform research, I will need to learn how to endure and keep a low profile. It is impossible for someone to accomplish great things without perseverance. If others want to ridicule and mock me, let them do it. If I can’t even endure this small humiliation, how will I achieve great things in the future? By skipping this competition, my status may take a dive, but I believe that I will succeed and ascend one day.”