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 Chapter 275: The First Pass in the Secular World

Translator: WQL Editor: EbonyFrost

Walking behind the juveniles and observing them teetering and gritting teeth with wire sacks on their back, Zhang Tie started to feel a bit weird about Hidden Dragon Palace.

Before coming to Hidden Dragon Palace, Zhang Tie also imagined the scene when he entered it for the first time. In his imagination, an immortal old man with wholly white hair and a beard was holding a pile of secret books to teach students; a perverted one-eyed coach was strictly training plenty of juveniles under the hot sun; great piles of various marvelous weapons and fighting skills books were put in front of him which made it hard to even choose. Zhang Tie had fantasized all kinds of scenes with the exception of that where some mistreated slave laborers were teasing him--welcome to Hidden Dragon Palace

Among the four juveniles in front of Zhang Tie, the weakest one was in the back with a wire sack on his back. He was also the shortest one. The moment he walked out of the castle and stepped onto the steps of the mountain pass, this juvenile suddenly felt soft on his feet as he continued forward. Thankfully, Zhang Tie, who was behind him, had a pair of sharp eyes and caught the wire sack on his back to keep his balance.

"Can I help you?" Zhang Tie smiled as he directly took over the sack from the juvenile's back. The weight of the wire sack was less than 150 kgs, which was trivial for Zhang Tie. After taking over the sack, Zhang Tie found the skin on his shoulder had been broken, exposing a bloody skin.

"Argh, no need, I will be alright soon..." With tears rolling in the juvenile's eye sockets, the juvenile kept it from dropping off.

"Yunfei, are you okay?" The stronger juvenile in the front stopped as he turned back to ask.

"It's okay, I lost my footing just now and almost fell down."

"Hold on a little longer, we'll soon arrive at the Items Center."

"That's fine!" The juvenile called Yunfei responded as he looked at Zhang Tie, "Thank you, but I have to carry the sack over there by myself. If you help me carry them there, they will not pay me. This is the rule of Hidden Dragon Palace--no other's assistance is allowed when one performs labor."

Seeing the juvenile called Yunfei being so persistent and learning the rules here, Zhang Tie then returned the sack back to this juvenile as he became increasingly curious about the rules of Hidden Dragon Palace.

They then kept walking upward. Thankfully, less than 100 m away on the stone steps, Zhang Tie had heard a bell ringing.

Walking through the bamboo woods and the shallow stream, Zhang Tie saw the smoking chimney and the blast furnace outside the tall wall while a house with a courtyard marked with "Items Center" appeared in front of Zhang Tie.

Zhang Tie and some juveniles then entered the courtyard. On the left of the first door was a warehouse. Zhang Tie followed the juveniles into the warehouse and pulled the items out of the sacks. After that, they weighed them on the scale. Zhang Tie found all the items inside their sacks were ores that radiated a pale blue metallic luster.

The housekeeper was also a 15-16 juvenile. As he weighed them, he told them the weight. After that, he would take money out of the drawer beside him and gave it to the juveniles one by one, making them very happy.

"The total price of 241 kg of navy-blue iron ore is 24 silver coins..."

...

"The total price of 203 kg of navy-blue iron ore is 20 silver coins..."

...

"The total price of 195 kg of navy-blue iron ore is 19 silver coins..."

...

"The total price of 148 kg of navy-blue iron ore is 14 silver coins..."

"Argh, it's too pitiful. With 2kg more, Yunfei would get 15 silver coins!" Another guy sighed. Hearing their words, Zhang Tie found that juvenile called Yunfei was slightly clenching his fists. Meanwhile, Zhang Tie understood the terms of payment--10 kg of navy-blue iron ore for 1 silver coin. Those less than 10 kg would not be included inside.

"You will also come here later on." That stronger juvenile put his money in his pocket as he told Zhang Tie.

"Does everyone entering Hidden Dragon Palace have to do these things?" Zhang Tie asked.

"Yes, everyone entering the Hidden Dragon Palace should at least submit 30000 kg of navy-blue iron ore at first so as to gain 30 gold coins as your personal property on the island. It's mandatory." The juvenile turned back as he recalled something, "Oh, I'm Zhang Keliang, what's your name?"

"I'm Zhang Tie!"

"I'm Wei Wei!" That juvenile who told Zhang Tie "Welcome to Hidden Dragon Palace" also introduced himself.

"I'm Zhang Hongsheng!"

"I'm Zhang Yunfei!"

After introductions, they all felt more familiar with each other.

"Come on, let's go back to take a good rest. In order to bring these ores back, we've been staying outside for almost 2 days. We will take a rest today to recover before going back there tomorrow." Zhang Keliang wove his hand and said while the others nodded.

After that, Zhang Tie and the others left the Items Center.

The Zhixing Department was not far from the Items Center. Walking out of the gate of the Items Center, they walked 200 m towards the east of the hillside along the stone path in the bamboo woods before arriving there. On the way there, through their introductions, Zhang Tie gradually understood many things.

People had to face the most important first hurdle in the secular world--making money!

In regards to money, you can despise it by treating it as dung, but you could need it at any time. Therefore, you have to accept its importance.

All the juveniles entering the Hidden Dragon Palace should first learn how to survive on their own on the island instead of mastering great fighting skills, secret knowledge, poems and ancient Chinese classics or the laws on ruling the country.

Each new arrival lived in the Zhixing Department. They were given 3 days to adapt to the living environment here, during which period, you can eat and live for free. After 3 days, you had to think about how to survive on the island as by then the Zhixing Department would not provide you food or accommodation for free.

One had to pay 5 silver coins for the lodging and 2 silver coins for food, namely 7 silver coins each day in the Zhixing Department. Credit was allowed, but an interest of 5 cents a day was also required. It would be calculated as compound interest. When your credit was as high as 1 gold coin, if you couldn't pay it off, sorry, you had to roll out of the Hidden Dragon Palace and stay wherever you had to stay.

"Do you mean one can leave the Hidden Dragon Island then?" Zhang Tie asked.

"Leave Hidden Dragon Island?" Wei Wu gritted his mouth and mocked, "No more than dream of it, those driven out of Hidden Dragon Palace are not allowed to leave the island at all. Instead, they have to make money to pay off their credit on the island. If one owed 1 gold coin to Hidden Dragon Palace when he was driven out of it, he had to pay off 2 gold coins in 2 weeks at the compound interest of 5 cents a day. After 1 month, one had to pay off 4 gold coins. The longer one lasted, the more one would owe. Those people being driven out of the Hidden Dragon Palace might not able to pay off in the rest of their lives if they could not pay off the debt in half a year and have to stay on the island for the rest of their lives..."

"Stay on the island for the rest of their lives?" Zhang Tie felt very chilly inside, "Is there anyone like that?"

"There is!" Zhang Keliang replied, "Those people who could not pay off 1 gold coin and could not even survive alone on the island could only be regarded as trash by their clans. It's better to keep them on Hidden Dragon Island safe and sound than letting them out to be killed or stir up troubles."

"There are rules on Hidden Dragon Palace in the Zhixing Department. If you go there, you would know that you need money in many places..." Zhang Yunfei added.

As they chatted, they had arrived at the Xingzhi Department.

The Xingzhi Department as a whole was like a huge triple-layer quadrangle. There were all sorts of pavilions, terraces and fish ponds and a martial-arts arena that covered 1334-2001 square meters. On the martial-arts arena, there are all kinds of drill weapons. When they arrived, Zhang Tie saw nobody else except for an old man in green clothes sitting under a persimmon tree outside the gate of the Zhixing Department who was staring blankly at a stone desk under the tree. He could only hear chirps of birds and insects in the courtyard, which made it very tranquil.

"Have you seen that old man? He has been staying on the island for more than 50 years as he could not make enough money to pay off his debts when he was young. Because he's old now and is a member of Zhang clan, he was brought back by Hidden Dragon Palace and is responsible for watching the gate for Zhixing Department!" Zhang Hongsheng murmured to Zhang Tie.

"Argh!" Zhang Tie became really startled.

"What are you shouting loudly over there for? I've just thought up a marvelous play step, yet was driven away by your noise. Look at your disheveled hair and dirty face, where are your elders? I will definitely let them teach you well!" It seemed that their words had disturbed the old man as he raised his head to blame Zhang Tie and the others. After that, he took out of a black player from the side of the desk and lowered his head again with frowning eyebrows to consider the next step on the desk like before.

Zhang Tie and the others exchanged glances at each other and stuck out their tongues as they hurriedly walked inside.

"Room No. 73 is over there. The rules and instructions of Hidden Dragon Place are on the stele in the pavilion beside the pond." Zhang Keliang pointed at the two places in the Xingzhi Department, "We will eat supper at 6 pm in that canteen over there. We need to go back to our rooms to take a rest first!"

"Fine." Zhang Tie nodded as he departed from the others.

Zhang Tie held his key and came in front of No. 73 room. When he opened the door, Zhang Tie stared blankly at the empty room for quite a while.

Nothing was inside the room except for a bald wooden board bed.

"F*ck!"

...

10 minutes later, after recognizing the reality of his situation, Zhang Tie went to the pavilion which held the rules and instructions of Hidden Dragon Palace and read them carefully. He then gradually understood the situation of the Hidden Dragon Palace.

Those who came to the Xingzhi Department were all new arrivals of Hidden Dragon Palace. All the newbies had to meet two minimum standards before left Xingzhi Department: first, reach level 6 to become a fighter and form battle qi; second, submit 30000 kg of navy-blue iron ores.

After leaving the Xingzhi Department and entering Lingtian Department which was 1 level higher, one would start his or her life within Hidden Dragon Palace. Entering the Lingtian Department, one could enjoy more of the resources belonging to Hidden Dragon Palace. Accordingly, one should pay more there. Although one needed to pay at least 7 silver coins for lodging and food each day in the Zhixing Department, the fee would become at least 30 gold coins per month, almost 1 gold coin a day.

The 30 gold coins that one gained by submitting 30000 kg of navy-blue iron ores in the Xingzhi Department could only afford one's first month's living in Lingtian Department.

Reading this, Zhang Tie almost swore out loud, "1 gold a day, for a presidential suite?"

However, another paragraph on the stele made Zhang Tie calm down at once.

--Money was an influential power. It was one's basis for freedom. If one could not make enough money, freedom would be an illusion.

Zhang Tie gradually understood the real meaning of those rules in the Hidden Dragon Palace--to force each one here to strive for "freedom with money". The best attitude to money was to step on it ferociously instead of spitting towards it and being stepped on by it. The former attitude belonged to the powerful ones while the latter one belonged to the weak ones...

Those who could survive on their own on Hidden Dragon Island which was covered with powerful creatures and dangerous environment, could definitely make money to survive when they were back on the mainland. What the Hidden Dragon Palace would like to train were not those "powerhouses" who could not even survive by themselves by doing hard labor and finally had to be restricted by others.

After knowing that, Zhang Tie instantly accepted the rules on money inside Hidden Dragon Palace, instead of being disgusted by them like before.

'It's just making money, I don't think that I will lose out to anyone else on this aspect. If others can do it, I can do it too, even by imitating them!' Zhang Tie mumbled.

When he read the rest of the rules and instructions of Hidden Dragon Palace, Zhang Tie finally found a benefit to entering Hidden Dragon Palace.

All the people who had awakened their ancestral bloodlines could gain 100 clan donation points automatically, which, for those people who had no foundations in martial arts, could be exchanged for some simple and fundamental secret techniques or fighting skills to help them form battle qi, breakthrough level 6 and finish the initial task of submitting 30000 kg of navy-blue iron ores.

Those navy-blue iron ores were not on the land, instead, in the sea. Before one carried those navy-blue iron ores from under sea level, one needed to master a secret technique that allowed them to stay underwater and move freely.

Preliminary Fish-like Diving Skill--

Exchange price: 50 clan donation points.

Exchange site: Secret Technique Pavilion of Hidden Dragon Palace.

When he read this news, Zhang suddenly came up with an idea, "I wonder what kind of fruit can I gain by setting free fishes..."

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