Chapter 73: The Competition (1) (Part Two)
Fang Jie quickly acted as if he was overwhelmed and got onto the horse-drawn carriage. The official in the lead got onto the carriage as well, but others didn’t follow.
“You are lucky today.” The attitude of that official became even more passionate. Perhaps he was acting cold before others, or perhaps he was trying to hide the unease on his face right now.
“What do you mean?” Fang Jie asked.
The official laughed, “We don’t need to go to the Ministry of War. We are going to the training field outside the city. The last competition among the top three students of the Martial Arts Academy is today, so all the big officials of the ministry are there. You are lucky since you can enter the field; I can only wait outside.”
“Why do those big officials want to see me?” Fang Jie asked carefully.
“How would I know? I’m only a little worker,” that official said self-mockingly, “Only the big figures can watch this competition in the training field. Even Royal King Yi will be there, representing His Majesty. This just goes to show how important this competition is to Great Sui.”
“Please pardon me for my lack of knowledge. Who are the top three students?” Fang Jie asked.
“Jin Ao of the Jin Family, Luo Wen of the Luo Family, and Li Fubo of the Li Family.” The official instantly started to talk when this topic was brought up. “These three are the most talented people in the Martial Arts Academy. In the last three years, the top three spots of the Martial Arts Academy had been occupied by them. Their standings switched around, but no one else was able to get into the top three. This is the last competition in their three-year journey, and it concerns their future.”
This official got into the mood and said many things. Fang Jie learned a lot about the Martial Arts Academy, but it was hard to tell how much of the information was real, and how much was made up by this official’s imagination.
“According to tradition, the first seat would be given a rank 4 position in the military and enter one of the 16 Guards to command battle soldiers. Although the second seat and the third seat would be given rank 5 positions, they couldn’t directly enter the 16 Guards and would have to gain experience in remote places by commanding border soldiers.”
The official smiled proudly and added, “This isn’t only a difference in official rankings; it also represents different levels of honor.”
“Jin Ao is the close grandson of the Jin Family’s elder gentleman, and he is well-liked. As soon as he entered the Martial Arts Academy, he was given the Tiger-Stripe Bead which is the ultimate inheritance treasure of the Jin Family. Only the family leaders of the Jin Family could wear this bead; the elder gentlemen of the Jin Family’s intention is clear.”
“Luo Wen is the only son of Great General Luo Yao of Left Advance Guard. He is smart since he was little, and he is a powerful figure with his father being an unrivaled top-tier level 9 master. Different from the other two young masters, Luo Wen followed Great General Luo Yao as the latter went on expeditions. Many native tribes in the south rebelled frequently, so the Great General would kill about 1,000 enemies a year.”
“As to Li Fubo of the Li Family, he is the most lowkey among the three. Three years ago, he came into the Capital with a bag, riding on a low-tier horse. No one knew that he was from the Li Family at the time. No one paid attention to him for a period even after he entered the Martial Arts Academy. However, he shocked everyone starting from the first evaluation test. It was heard that even Principal Zhou of the Martial Arts Academy praised him many times.”
Hearing all this, Fang Jie couldn’t help but sigh in his mind.
The Martial Arts Academy was the most unique place in Great Sui, but the most talented people still came from big families. Even though the people from poor backgrounds had the chance to enter the Martial Arts Academy, most of them didn’t achieve anything big.
However, Fang Jie knew that the Martial Arts Academy wasn’t biased against those from poor backgrounds. Those from big families started learning at a young age, yet those from poor backgrounds had to struggle for survival.
Since they had different starting points, their futures were different.
“Sir, what is this last competition about?” Fang Jie asked.
“I heard that it is about siege and defense. Inside the training ground, there is a small city that is about one kilometer in both width and length. These three young masters are going to siege this city with their men, and they will be evaluated based on their performance.” This official self-mocked and said, “How can I know the details?”