3 Foul-Mouthed Jam
Jam's arrival sparked massive amounts of attention, as his arrival had interrupted an ongoing lecture. Everyone in the room shot Jam questioning looks before the lecturer spoke up.
"Jam" Jam might be buddy-buddy with Woody but he was unaccustomed to talking to strangers. He wasn't exactly a social butterfly; preferring to spend all his time training. Whether it was his peers or seniors, Jam had no sense of etiquette.
"... Why did you use the principle teleportation array? It is only used for the most important matters of the entire Academy." The lecturer had to pause for a second, as Jam taciturn response came to him as a surprise. Usually, a junior, like Jam, would be polite when talking to a senior and would explain themselves, if they were put in Jam's situation.
Jam shrugged his shoulders before saying "I don't know, the people from the branch in Reed City told me to enter this array. I'm just a new member of the Academy."
"Mhmm? A new member you say? State your name, age, cultivation, and superpower." Jam's attitude annoyed the lecturer a bit, but before acting on impulse he kept questioning Jam.
"Uhh… sure. Again, my name is Jam, I'm 10 years old, just entered the Meridian Connecting Stage, and my superpower is uhh… Cosmic Control."
Most people in the room drew audible gasps. 'Ten year old Cosmic Controller? What prominent family is this kid from?' was more or less what the audience thought to themselves.
Most superpowers were inherited but — while it was uncommon — it was still possible for children to manifest superpowers outside the scope of their bloodline. All these people thought that Jam came from a powerful family, as all the families with superpowers as great as Cosmic Control, were prominent and well established.
"Oh. I understand now. By the way what family do you come from?"
"Family? My only family member is Woody. We're not blood related. I'm an orphan."
"Wait that doesn't make any sense. I haven't heard of any cultivator named Woody… You can't possibly tell me that you experienced awakening without cultivation resources. Right?"
"Woody is a regular mortal, she can't even cultivate. We're poor..."
This time, literally everyone in the room was floored. Is this real life? A ten year old Cosmic Controller that was raised without any resources. That seemed like an impossibility even if he started training since he was in the womb. Cultivation resources, like medicine, were not only used to help cultivators cope with the pain of cultivation, there were also used to hasten progress.
"H-How long have yo-you been training?" The lecturer was seriously shaken.
"Well, Woody adopted me when I was five, she's the one who put me on the path to body training, so I guess around 5 years." Woody did indeed teach Jam Body Training, however, Jam had taken it upon himself to research on the Internet how best to train his body.
"Did you just say BODY TRAINING? Perhaps you misspoke and meant Body Refinement. R-right?" Body Training is dozens of times more inefficient than Body Refinement. In Body Training, a cultivator would train his body "naturally;" imagine a person at the gym, doing exercises, lifting weights, running kilometers…
Body Refinement on the other hand, would have cultivators gather close to nonexistent energy, and pass that energy through a specified route through their body indicated on whatever technique their body refining technique was based on. Even the worst refining technique methods were dozens of times more efficient than Body Training.
However, they required additional resources as refining techniques were more than likely to cause internal injuries; many of which were hidden and or hard to treat. To add a cherry on top, aside from the resources needed to heal injuries caused by refining the body, Body Refinement technique themselves were worth a pretty penny in and of themselves.
"Uhh… no. Woody and I are poor regular mortals, where are we going to get Body Refinement manuals? Better yet, even if we did have a Body Refinement Manual, where would I get the resources to practice such a technique?"
Jam tried to hide the mocking expression his face was making naturally, he had just said he came from a poor family. 'Is this idiot qualified to teach here? I thought all cultivators were more intelligent than average people; guess it's not the case for this retard.'
Jam thought that this information would be revealed sooner or later, so he might as well be honest now. Besides, this information shouldn't be that shocking, I mean he was in the Cultivation Academy Headquarters; sects are, after all, one of the best places to practice cultivation.
The lecturer had the urge to ask Jam to be his disciple, he had already forgotten about Jam's rude remarks and lack of etiquette, but, after thinking for a moment he realized he almost acted recklessly. 'What if the sect head wants him to be her disciple and I stole him?' A thin streak of cold sweat ran down the side of the lecturers face as he had that thought.
The lecturer ended his lecture prematurely and walked Jam over to the Sect Head's Mansion. On the way to the Sect Head's mansion, Jam was shocked by the housing scheme of the Cultivation Academy. There were thousands of courtyards, which came in every shape and color, presumably after their owner's preferences, extending into the horizon. Jam began to fantasize about where they would send him to live.
After walking for half an hour, Jam reached a stupidly large courtyard, at least several dozen square kilometers in size. He honestly couldn't understand why someone would need so much space. The Sect Head's mansion had dozens of pillars surrounding the main building with gold and platinum plated inscriptions spread around the building, making the entirety of the Mansion look esoteric and mythical. Jam knew from Woody's stories that these inscriptions were probably the enhancing runes of a magical treasure.
The lecturer just stood outside the Sect Head's "courtyard" and even though he didn't visually do anything, the Mansion doors opened and Jam was forcefully moved into the mansion. Jam couldn't resist even if he wanted to, so he just enjoyed the ride.
Within the Mansion, in what Jam assumed to be the Sect Head's Office, there stood a girl that looked to about Jam's age next to an middle aged woman. The young girl had crimson red hair, fair skin, and the aura of a nurtured noblewoman. The middle aged woman on the other hand, had blonde hair with white streaks, and was conservatively dressed, not letting others get a detailed description of her; Still, her clothes could not hide the ravishing body it was attempting to conceal. The woman then spoke to Jam.
"Hey kid, mind your manners, you're in my academy." The Sect Head, expecting Jam to give the proper martial salute and greeting, immediately had her anger sparked. As the Head of the academy, she had to treat her face very seriously. No one was allowed to disrespect her, even if it was by accident; of course, Jam had no clue what the lady was talking about. Jam was raised by Woody, "raised" being a term used extremely liberally, as Woody only told Jam some stories and told him to train.
"What?! You're the Sect Head? And what do you mean mind my manners? I literally haven't done anything yet!" To Jam, the Sect Head was shouting at him for no reason.
"Boy! Your lack of action is exactly what I'm talking about!" The woman ignored Jam questioning if she was the Sect Head. She seemed to understand that Jam had never learned about Daoist etiquette or the importance of face.
"The fuck am I supposed to do?" Jam's habit of cursing when he felt wronged kicked in. Jam had this habit since even before Woody had adopted him, and it never came up when Jam was with Woody, so she never had a chance to snuff out this bad habit out of him. Now his bad habit was potentially endangering Jam's life, as he didn't know what kind of person the Academy Head was; he didn't know if she would snap at him and kill him in the process.
"..." Both the Sect Head and the young girl were speechless at Jam's response.
"You're suppose to at least bow to those who are at your level of status or power, not to mention pay respects to those stronger than yourself… Where you raised in the woods or something?" The young girl spoke up, she read the situation and tried to diffuse the situation by telling Jam his mistake.
"Bitc… Little girl remember this, ok? You can insult me, you can attack me, but never in your life dare belittle Woody. Got that? I didn't have the luxury of being raised in a major power like a sect. I'm an orphan, raised by Woody in a regular mortal household." Not concise at all and very confusing were the words poor little Jam chose to use, to "defend" himself.
Referring to living in his house with Woody, as living conditions similar to the woods was an extreme insult to Jam. His bad habit didn't just kick in, it almost spiked at the girl's obviously rhetorical statement. Too bad Jam didn't get the social cue, treating it as an insult, instead of the situation-diffusing statement it was intended to be.
To be honest, to both the young girl and the Sect Head, being raised in a noble mortal household was the same as being raised in the woods, never mind Jam's household which was one of the lowest possible living standards in the mortal world.
"Oh… Usually for speaking to me in such a tone, I'd have you disintegrated but I can't blame you, since you obviously don't know any Daoist etiquette. Rina dear, why don't you coach our new disciple on the most basic etiquette for the cultivators?" The Sect Head showed better than average patience — especially for a cultivator as stronger as herself— by not lashing out at Jam.
If it weren't for Jam being so absurdly talented and his sincere lack of cultivation etiquette, the Sect Head would probably kill Jam, and he knew it. That heavy pressure coming of the Sect Head and crushing his will was hard to miss.
Woody had always mentioned how extreme cultivators behaved, and he had momentarily lost his cool. This little experience helped build a sense of pressure within Jam; now, there was constant reminder that an unsuspecting stranger could sentence him to death for being informal.
Rina, the young girl, already developed a bad first impression of Jam after his outburst. But, to comply with the Sect Head's wishes, she just nodded her head. For a ten year old, raised in a sect she also showed patience, not acting arrogantly towards a country bumpkin like Jam.
"Kid!! The next time I see you, you better have some sense in you! Now get out of here before I change my mind!"
Jam had already learned his lesson and put on his poker face to comply with this overbearing Sect Head, and left with Rina. However, internally the curses he was shouting within his heart would make a sailor blush.
Once he was finally outside of the Sect Head's mansion, he couldn't help himself and muttered "Dumb bitch once I get strong enough, I'll wipe that pretentious smirk off your face."
Unfortunately for Jam, he didn't know about the abilities higher level cultivators had, and his words reached the Sect Head, even though he was several kilometers away from her position.
"That fucking kid! How long has it been since an idiot dares to say such things to my face!? If he weren't so god damned talented and young..." The Sect Head learned about Jam's talent during her telekinetic conversation with the lecturer that brought Jam to her office; even she didn't want to admit it, in her heart she she knew that Jam was a talent she couldn't afford to lose.