Castle Of Black Iron - Volume 1 - Chapter 2
Among The Men Of The Country
#7 Black Flame National School is a typical boys school, as the term implied, there is not a single girl in the whole school, this is because there is a huge difference between the subjects taught to boys and the subjects taught to girls. To save resources and increase teaching efficiency, after the first phase of compulsory five-year coeducation, the boys and girls will be split into their respective campuses. All the subjects taught in the boy schools, it focuses on one purpose: survival, to allow every young man that enters the school, in this era, with the fastest speed, the least cost, to accumulate their capital to survive! Everyone that graduates from this school are not presented the so-called graduation certification because after leaving school, if you can survive in this world, that itself becomes the greatest proof. Therefore, every subject taught in school and the teachings taught in every class are all linked to improving your odds of survival in the world. Rumor has it that the education in the girl schools are more gentle, there are lessons on music, literature, cooking, art, dancing etc. However these subjects are not related to the boy schools, except for the most basic language, law, mathematics classes, each subject taught can be said to be a type of skill that will allow a person of this era to survive, for example:
How to take care of a seed, and allow it to be cultivate in fields to become harvested for food.
How to use every resource on hand to manufacture the most basic of survival tools.
How to use the resources on hand to construct the simplest form of housing.
How to mix wild plants and herbs to create traumatic drugs
How to treat some of the common diseases
How to fight with weapons
How to train and increase your strength
After a total of 8 years of national compulsory education, for most students, 99% and above will leave school and officially enter society to begin their lives. The things learnt in school, if some effort was made, along with some additional training, when you pick up a hoe, you will become a farmer, if you enter a factory, you will become a worker, if you join the military, you will be a warrior, or to be more specific, cannon fodder or the food of other races. The national education spirit of the Black Iron Age is to use the least cost, with most efficient methods, to develop the best capabilities for people to survive in this age, and not to become white elephants or a source of wild beast manure.
Of course, like the humans before the cataclysm where each era's compulsory education is never the highest of levels. After the 8 years of compulsory education, every school will have a small number of true elites, people with powerful backgrounds or some lucky individuals who displayed exceptional talents in certain fields, can join a higher level and more mysterious place of learning to obtain more specialized knowledge and receive the true elitist education. Black Flame City being developed by a group of merchants and factory owners therefore naturally does not have any of those high level elite institutes, they only an ordinary business school, which to ordinary people, is still a place highly sought after.
It was said that true elite institutes can only be found outside, where human cities or core populated areas with deep foundations, and the requirements to enter such institutes are very demanding, basically choosing only one in every ten thousand applicants. Taking #7 Black Flame National School for example, every year there are a high few thousand graduates, but even in such a school, for eight consecutive years there has not been a single graduate that fulfilled the requirements to enter an elite institute. 8 years ago, a student of Chinese descent by the name of Li Shi Zhen was chosen by the Great Continent Alchemist Guild and was taken away immediately after graduating becoming the pride of the whole school, a personal photo of Li Shi Zhen is being displayed in an exhibition room for 8 years since. Every time during the school opening ceremony, the school principal will always without any hint boredom bring up this person during his speech, everyone's ears grew calluses from all that talk. Together with this person's photo are two other individuals, they are both legends of the school. This era's higher education is true elitist education, the higher education institutes where tens of millions can attend before the cataclysm are now just stuff of tales and legends. The knowledge of this era is very expensive, so expensive it is beyond one's imagination, and the ones who held on to these knowledge are certain selected individuals, a few family clans, as well as in the hands of some highly influential sects, various churches and religious places. Only the real elites will have the opportunity to come in contact.
Although Zhang Tie felt that he has put in a lot of effort in school, but in this era where everyone is working hard for their own survival. The fruits of Zhang Tie's effort did not make him an elite nor a lucky person. There are no big shots in Zhang Tie's family, resulting in Zhang Tie's performance in various aspect to be very average, it is not the worst but it is not enough to stand out, although not considered an elite but also not garbage.
If there are no accidents in life, Zhang Tie felt that his future will be the same as his father, search for a quiet and stable occupation after completing military service. Using every method that he can imagine to find work in one of the factories within the city, becoming a normal worker, marry a diligent woman who isn't ugly and capable in managing household chores, have a few kids, then work as hard as an ant every day so that he can bring food to the tables for his family, until the day he was lying on his bed with his dying breath, thinking back at his insignificant dull life of being just another one of the many insignificant cog wheels of this era, thinking of the many beautiful women he has never met such as Goddess Dinah for example, until the moment just before he closes his eyes, shakily raises his hand, and give this f*king era a firm and straight middle finger, and gave his last fart.....
This idea sent a shiver down Zhang Tie as he enters the classroom, such a discontented way of life, Zhang Tie has long ago made up his mind and once again severely reminded himself today: My life, must be long enough, must have enough gold coins, must have bedded enough beautiful women. If one day Zhang Tie must leave this world, Zhang Tie hopes to see this scenery, there is a big group of beautiful and alluring woman crying their hearts out for him even as far as wanting to commit suicide for his love, and at the same time a big group of unfilial children and grandchildren will uncontrollably laugh madly in their hearts from joy at the sheer amount of gold coins that they will be inheriting from him, and finally this old guy gave his last fart....
Perhaps, one of these days he will be able to live the life of those big honchos, with dozens of underwear in his closet, dozens of new leather boots, meat in all his three daily meals, and beautiful and coquettish serving maids with huge breasts and huge butts etc etc...
Zhang Tie often got thinking and in his thoughts, all big honchos should have lives without worrying about food or attire, just that this is a very distant dream, it is as far as between an ugly duckling rolling in the mud plains wanting to transform into a huge dragon.
There is about ten more minutes before class starts, the morning class is Mechanics, when Zhang Tie arrived at the Mechanics classroom, he saw some of the animals of his class lining up along the windows of the classroom, each of them having their heads sticking out of the windows while one of their hands is in front of their hips moving in fast motion, some even let out low moans. As Zhang Tie looked out of the window, below the Mechanics classroom, Goddess Dinah's swaying figure is walking thru the flower garden below, the view from the top provided an angle that allows an unrestricted view of the top of Goddess Dinah's breast, exhibiting them in their full glory.
Zhang Tie swallowed his saliva.....
’’Big Head, how about it, let us enjoy this together....’’ A guy with a face of full of acne is shafting the tool that is coming out of his pants while turning his head and 'sincerely' suggested.
’’Nope, I just saw Captain Colin making his way towards the direction of our classroom, you guys slowly enjoy!’’
Upon hearing Zhang Tie's words, everyone stopped their movements, the face of the acne guy went pale, everyone's tool that was brought out began to deflate like a balloon, shrinking in an alarming rate that is visible to the naked eye. After that, the classroom went into chaos, many of them either injured their tool or got their hair caught in the zipper from zipping up too fast, causing a round of shrilling howls, also makes people wonder if they will become impotent in the future. May god forgive me, Zhang Tie quickly retreated, if word spreads of what happened in this classroom, Captain Colin might really come over to inspect and crush the balls of every single one of these animals....
Everyone quickly returned to their seats, each of them lowered their heads in shame and embarrassment as they stand in front of their respective work stations. The classroom quickly quietens down, Zhang Tie also stood in front of his work station and casually cleaned the dust on top before starting to inspect the condition of the rows of tools displayed. With that, ten minutes quickly went by when the class bell strikes as the Mechanics teacher carrying big bags of things enters the classroom, the figure of Captain Colin did not appear. Along with a breath of relief, the bunch of assholes glared at Zhang Tie however as the class is in progress they are unable to act.
The Mechanics teacher is a middle age man in his 50s, bald, gives off a gloomy and heavy aura, not forgetting to mention boring as hell. He never said much during class but no one dares to look down on him because this old guy once demonstrated in front of Zhang Tie and everyone's face, using a random brazier off the shelf to activate a steam engine. In this era, anyone who can become a teacher are not as simple as they seemed.
As usual, the bald guy enters the classroom and wrote the words ’’hand manufacturing spiral springs’’ on the blackboard and began his self-serving speech. After talking, he wrote on the blackboard some spring circumference ratios, compression slender ratios, core axis diameter and tensile strength integrity formulas before distributing three steel wires to each student. To Zhang Tie and the rest, the morning lesson today is to manually create with their hands any three types of spiral springs. After receiving the steel wires, everyone got to work in their respective work stations, even those assholes currently seemed like changed persons, working towards accumulating the capital for their own survival, while the bald man walked out of the classroom holding a cup of water in his hands.
The difference between humans and the powerful monsters or with other races that only knows how to slaughter, is our ability to use and manufacture tools. The spring seemed inconspicuous but is in fact a widely-used item, to be able to hand manufacture them is without a doubt a type of survival skill.
held the steel wires, he went into thought, formulated an idea, after memorizing the formulas on the blackboard, he measured the three pieces of steel wire on his hand before using a notebook on his work station to start his calculations. Eventually decided the three types of springs he is going to manufacture, one is the simplest cylindrical shaped spring, the next a concave compressed spring, the last a cylindrical shaped twisted round hook spring....