Chapter 2 Assignments
No sooner had the Old Granny given the command, than a loud commotion rang out as Fang Xingjian's third uncle, Fang Yueming, walked in with a smile. "Mother, no need to call for me. Am I not already here now? Sigh, I was so busy last night... What good food is there to eat?"
Second aunt laughed coldly to herself as she thought, 'What could he possibly be busy with? He probably stayed at the casino the whole night and didn't come home until morning.'
The Old Granny picked up her chopsticks and whacked third uncle's hand, which had been reaching out towards the dining table. "How many times have I told you? We can only start eating when everyone has arrived. You have no manners at all!"
"Mother, it's because I'm hungry..." Third uncle felt grieved.
"You are really..." Looking at her youngest son, whom she pampered the most, the Old Granny's heart softened. But she still replied sternly, "Bear with it, we will be starting the meal soon."
While they were talking, third aunt had already carried a dignified and strong-looking four-year-old child into the room. When the Old Granny saw this grandchild of hers, the frozen expression on her face immediately melted, and she broke into a rare warm smile. In this family, the Old Granny was fondest of third uncle's family.
Third aunt also smiled. Then, looking at third uncle, who seemed very sleepy with his pair of panda eyes, she gave him a harsh kick. Fang Xingjian knew that his third aunt was also a tough character. Her family held military power while she herself, though shrewd and unkind, was especially good in getting into other people's good books. Not only third uncle, even the Old Granny liked her a lot. Furthermore, after giving birth to a son four years ago, the Old Granny now liked them even more.
Seeing this, second aunt became increasingly unhappy, throwing a harsh glance at second uncle, who only laughed.
The Old Granny calmly said, "Let's start the meal."
Maids entered like flowing water right away, setting down the cutlery, lifting the lids of various pots, and pouring wine and juice.
With a word from the Old Granny, everyone at the dining table immediately started looking alive. Fang Xingjian carefully ate the food in front of him, while second uncle occasionally got food for his wife.
Third uncle could not wait any longer, grabbing a chicken drumstick and digging in under third aunt's annoyed glare.
Everyone ate in an orderly and quiet manner, no one daring to speak a word. It was the Old Granny's rule that one did not speak when having a meal, and that one did not chatter before going to bed.
Unlike Fang Xingjian, who was only level 9, Old Granny had long reached the divine level, level 30. She no longer had high requirements for the food she partook in, and only took a few symbolic bites before stopping. Looking at her little grandson, who had oil all over his mouth because of the food, she smiled, picked up a napkin, and wiped off the oil stains from his mouth. She looked very amiable then, entirely different from her previous cold-as-ice look.
"Eat slowly. One must look proper when having a meal."
The four-year-old Fang Xingchen had been instilled with the various rules and regulations of great clans from an early age, unlike a commoner family's child. He looked like a small adult, sitting up straight, picking his own food, each movement prim and proper.
If one could say that the Old Granny doted on third uncle and his family the most, disliked second aunt, and detested second uncle for his uselessness, then towards her grandchild Fang Xingjian, for reasons unknown to him, she felt hatred.
Fang Xingjian was conscious of this, which was also why he stayed quietly in his corner, eating only from the dishes placed in front of him, and not standing up to reach for the dishes placed further away from him.
About twenty minutes later, everyone had almost eaten their fill. The maids cleared away the dishes and brought in a big pot of soup. The moment they saw this soup, regardless of whether it was second uncle and aunt, or third uncle and aunt, their expressions showed excited expectation.
The soup stock was made from an extremely vicious animal by the name of Nine-Headed Abyss Bird, its level having been over 25. The military had sent their forces to the Other World to hunt it and bring it back to Demonic City. Multiple alchemists had then worked together to create this Nine Blood Spirit-Changing Soup, with the heart of the Nine-Headed Abyss Bird as the main ingredient, complemented by eighty-one different precious herbs.
The soup not only filled one's stomach, it also had the effects of refining muscles and bones, replenishing vital energy and blood, cleansing impurities, and improving one's constitution, therefore significantly hastening one's training progress.
Even with the financial powers of the Fang Clan, each person could only afford to drink a very small bowl at lunch every day.
After the maids served the soup, everyone drank it up in haste.
"Xingchen, granny will give her share to you." The Old Granny seemed a lot happier watching her grandchild drink the soup in big gulps rather than drinking it herself.
The four-year-old Fang Xingchen was very polite, and said, "One bowl is enough for me. Granny is always busy handling important tasks and is the pillar of our Fang Clan. It would be better for Granny to take this bowl of Nine Blood Spirit-Changing Soup instead."
The Old Granny smiled and said, "It's alright. It has no effect on me, regardless of whether or not I drink it. Right now your body is still developing, you can have it."
"Thank you for the gift, Granny." Fang Xingchen raised his small hands and received the bowl of soup respectfully.
On the other hand, Fang Xingjian was, obviously, the last person to be served with the soup. Peering at the mysterious soup in his bowl, which looked as if it had the soul of a tiger, his throat trembled uncontrollably.
This bowl of soup would be able to provide his Qi, blood, veins and muscles with a great number of nutritious supplements. It was also the benefit of having been born in a big clan.
He quickly finished the whole bowl of Nine Blood Spirit-Changing Soup, feeling its warmth spread throughout his body as if a pleasant current was traveling through it and refining it. Fang Xingjian took a whiff of the soup, wishing that he could have more than one bowl as he glanced jealously at Fang Xingchen.
However, he knew that it was hopeless for him to be envious of the love that the Old Granny had for Fang Xingchen.
Once all the food had been finished, the servants cleared the cutlery and started to serve tea and snacks. Everyone knew that it was time for the Old Granny to discuss family issues with them, or to check on the progress of their assignments.
After taking a sip of tea, the Old Granny spoke out. "Have there been any problems with the daily necessities we have at home, recently?"
Second aunt immediately stood up. She had always been the one to supervise the daily necessities and accounting of the whole family. She said, "There's enough. Mother, do you want to take a look at the accounting records?"
"Mmm, it's good enough if they're sufficient. I won't look at the records." The Old Granny considered second aunt's expression and asked "What other issues do you have?"
Second aunt proudly said, "Mother, Yuehe (second uncle) has been training hard recently, and has finally reached level 19. He is already preparing for the second job transition."
Based on the current research conducted by humans, starting from level 1, a person's level could rise until one reached level 30. However, when on the verge of leveling up from level 9 to level 10, from level 19 to level 20, and from level 29 to level 30, there was an obstacle requiring one to go through a job transition before he or she could continue leveling up.
The Other World had a set of natural methods to successfully get through job transitions, passed down from long ago. While people on Earth had not inherited these methods, through the research of scientists from all over the world and with help from some of the forces in the Other World, a way to go through job transitions by extracting the essence of ferocious beasts and using it to draw magic prints on the human body had been invented.
Starting from the first job transition, up to the second job transition, and all the way to the third job transition, when one leveled up from level 29 to level 30, people could gain extraordinary strength and could also gain progress within the job type they chose with each job transition.
For example, before they went through the first job transition, at level 9 or lower, most people would only be able to attain a 1 point increase in an attribute of their own selection.
After the first job transition, from level 9 and all the way up to level 19, even the trashiest job would give a 1 point increase in strength, a 1 point increase in agility, as well as a 1 point increase in an area of one's own choice.
The more powerful the job one transited to, the more extraordinary the gained strength would be, and the higher the points required for each increase in job progression level. It was already hard enough for one to win over an opponent who was a level higher, and it was essentially impossible to win over one who was two levels higher, but one would be crushed by an opponent three levels higher than oneself.
Of course, there were exceptions, namely people who had exceptional talent. Even if they were no match for their opponents in terms of level, they would still be able to challenge opponents of higher levels by learning stronger techniques, and by gaining more exceptional specialties.
Attributes, techniques, specialties. These were the three major factors which determined one's combat powers.
Hearing second aunt's words, and seeing the look of complacency on her face, third aunt sneered to herself and interrupted, "Oh, second brother will be going through the second job transition so soon? It couldn't be that all of his experience was gained from killing monsters, could it?"
Leveling up required experience, and there were three ways to gain experience. Firstly, to kill ferocious monsters or humans; secondly, to study and learn; and lastly, to train one's skills or physique.
To other people, killing monsters was an extremely difficult task. However, a big clan such as the Fang Clan had the ability to purchase dying ferocious animals in bulk, just in order to kill them. Thus they would be able to level up quickly.
This way of leveling up, though, would tend to make one inferior to other people of the same level. If one did not rely on learning, training and upgrading their skills, one would not have as many attributes, techniques, and specialties as others.
It was also something which Fang Clan's Old Granny detested.
On hearing third aunt's words, second aunt frowned, and anger rose within her. But, seeing the Old Granny frowning, she immediately explained, "That's not true! Yuehe (second uncle) has been putting a lot of effort in his training! I got my eldest brother to especially give him some pointers in the path of the sword, and he has shown great improvement, and has now reached level 19."
The Old Granny nodded when she heard this. "I have also heard much of Zhan Xiandao's (second aunt's elder brother) renowned name. Son, it's a rare opportunity. You'll have to learn from him."
Seeing how submissive he was, the Old Granny said, satisfied, "You are my son, and Fang Clan's Second Master. Since you will be going through the second job transition soon, the clan will definitely have to help you. What are your plans?"
Very carefully, second uncle said, "I plan to choose between Blood Abyss Sovereign and Heavenly Disaster Medium."
"Mmm, they both sound good. But both of them would require quite the expenditure," said the Old Granny. "Later on I'll get someone to transfer you fifty million. You can choose the magic print required for the job transition yourself."
Hearing this, both second aunt and uncle were surprised and quickly gave their thanks. Third uncle did not seem to mind, but third aunt's countenance looked gloomy and unhappy.
Second aunt looked at third aunt proudly, then suddenly asked, "Oh, right. Sister, third brother has been leaving early and returning home late daily. He must have been training very hard as well. And with the two masters hired by mother herself, he must be showing progress and is sure to reach the second job transition soon, right?"
Third aunt obviously knew her husband well. Even if her mother-in-law invited instructors from the military, this fellow would still be worthless. Forget about training, she had to be thankful if he did not visit the casino every night!
He was merely at level 14, despite turning thirty soon.
Hearing the other party's words, third aunt could only smile bitterly and say, "Not yet. How could it be so soon? Yueming (third uncle) plans to focus on strengthening his techniques first..."
Following that, the Old Granny brought up some other issues, respectively testing second and third uncles' progress, and giving them feedback. Second aunt felt superior, looking boastful, while third aunt was overcome with exasperation and rage, hating her husband for his uselessness.
 Referring to Fang Xingchen