FXDL V2C1

I’ve updated the Character Profiles and the Novel Synopses page to add V2 information! Go check it out~

Translated by: TaffyGirl13

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Chapter 1: Summer break can’t be far if winter break has already passed

The snow-white corridor in the hospital’s second basement level was completely empty. The lights gave off faint grey-blue beams, dyeing the atmosphere with a somewhat secluded coldness. Perhaps this strange ambiance was not from the light, but from the department of anatomy and pathology along with the morgue at the end of the hallway.

When the door was pushed open, a sombre and cold wind blew out. The temperature was not much different from the chilly January winds outside, which caused one’s hairs rise on end from the bottom to the top. The spacious office had a metal worktable with a steel cabinet on each side filled with rows and rows of neatly lined folders. There were also medications with foreign labels, as well as thick glass bottles containing unidentifiable objects floating inside.

On the other side of the wall was the morgue: the temporary dwelling place of those that had passed on.

“This is my workspace. The area behind that metal door is the morgue.” The cold and silent beauty sporting a ponytail explained impatiently, “This place is mainly under my jurisdiction. The other two workers are basically assistants. But they previously submitted an application to move into the office upstairs and only come down when there’s work.”

The corners of her lips quirked in disapproval. “It actually saved me quite a bit of trouble.”

“Ohhh.” Fu Xing lowered his head to record the other’s words in his notebook. “Um, the main contents of your work include…?”

“Managing the people that enter and leave here. Occasionally some pathology dissections. There was a period of time long ago when I would get sent out to do some criminal dissections. Do you need a more detailed description?”

“Ah, this is enough.” He hurriedly jotted it down with no intentions of asking further.

He was not accustomed to this kind of setting, but he had been forced to come here for the sake of homework…

Another self-introduction: He was He Fu Xing, eighteen years old, a first-year student at Shalom’s Academy for Special Animate Beings.

An inexperienced bat spirit.

The cold and silent beauty was his sister older than him by eight years: He Fu Qing.

A few months ago, he had still assumed that he was just a human with poor health. However, that was not the truth. He was not only a human with poor health, but also a bat spirit with poor aptitude.

About half a year ago, he had just found out his family’s secret – that they were all monsters that had concealed themselves into human society – and the world that existed had instantly flipped around at the same time. Humans did not dominate the world. There were life forms hidden throughout history that had silently existed in society, secretly influencing the entire civilization.

After learning of their true identity from his family members, he had gone to study at a school established especially for special animate beings: Shalom Academy, in order to develop his abilities and learn how to “be a proper lively student while acting as a proper impressive monster”. He had become classmates with other spirits and monsters too.

And now, he was currently doing his winter break homework.

Shalom’s educational system was different from that of Taiwan. They had a three-week vacation starting from Christmas, and the second semester started around the middle of January.

Human sociology was a compulsory course for all three years. Over winter break, the class required all students to interview a special animate being that had worked in human society, preferably a relative.

Every member of his family had proper full-time jobs in human society. His dad was an author, his mother was a community college professor, and his sister was an examiner that doubled as a coroner at a private hospital. His mom’s job was pretty similar to the professors at the academy, so writing about it wouldn’t be very interesting. As for his dad, that person hung around at home all day battling inspirations, dreams, and reality. A flexible job sounded very open-minded, but completing the interview questions would be a bit sad. For example, filling the box about average monthly income would just incite feelings of sorrow.

“What else do you need to ask?” He Fu Qing asked impatiently.

“Ahem.” Fu Xing looked at his questionnaire. “What do you think about your work environment?”

“It’s great, I can keep the cold air on without restraint.” Fu Qing sat on a comfortable swivel chair behind the worktable. She picked up a mug of iced coffee to take a sip, the ice cubes inside the cup clinking together.

“It’s January right now.” Fu Xing couldn’t help but tug at his thick scarf. Originally, he thought entering the office would let him avoid the cold, but upon turning into Fu Qing’s workspace, a freezing wind even lower temperature than outside surrounded him immediately. He was so chilly that he was shivering. “Even a polar bear would cry boohoo like this.”

Fu Qing raised a brow in annoyance. “If this temperature isn’t maintained, the ‘people’ inside would cry boohoo too.” She pointed her chin towards the morgue door, then imitated Fu Xing’s manner of speech and teased in a low voice, “Then Fu Xing will pee himself from fright, making his butt all wetty, smelling ew stinky, and looking dumb-dumb.”

“Stop!” Damn it! Sis loves mocking me the most! To minimize his chances of being humiliated, it was best to hurry up and throw something together for his homework and leave quickly.

“Ahem, being together with so many dead…um, deceased people doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable in any way?”

He Fu Qing’s brows shot up. “To some special animate beings, this would be a top-grade bread basket.”

“Ew!” I’ve seriously had enough! Even though that’s true, hearing it is still very… “Why did you choose this job?”

“There are many reasons. One, I like peace and quiet. Two, in order to stay in a hospital without attracting others’ attentions.”

“Why?”

“Most special animate beings cannot get treated at a typical hospital, so they need some people to assist in secret. There are a few special animate beings that will receive medical treatment at private clinics opened by their companions, but there are also illnesses out there that can only be addressed in large hospitals. Moreover, there’s more equipment here, making it easier to do research.”

“The chairman doesn’t mind?”

“The chairman is just a guy that loves eating sweets. As long as there are no major issues, the higher-ups won’t care. Besides, this hospital isn’t very upright in the first place. There’s an illegal force supporting them from behind. Everyone just turns a blind eye at each other.”

“I see.” Seems pretty complicated.

Fu Xing glanced at his questionnaire. “Erm, there’s nothing else to ask. Oh right, do you have the hair of a female Scorpio? Also the fingernails and ground ribs of a male over the age of sixty-five. If possible, could you also give me a jar of blood from a virgin male?” These were things that Emerald has asked for him to get. He could guess that these items would definitely end up being used to create a product to sell for a high price.

Fu Qing stood and placed the cup into the sink. “I didn’t know this interview required you to bring souvenirs back.”

“My friend asked me to bring them…”

Fu Qing was silent for a moment. Then she turned to enter another room. It wasn’t long before she came out with a few sealed bags.

“Take them.” She passed the bags over to Fu Xing. “As for a virgin male’s blood, just use your own!”

“Why would I draw out a jar’s worth of blood for no reason—ah! You’re dissing me, aren’t you!”

“You have too many things that I can diss you about. There’s no need to choose that particular one.” He Fu Qing smirked. “Besides, it’s not that I’m refusing to help. But you tell me how to identify someone of your type from among the dead.”

“That’s true too…” Although it sounded painful to the ear, it was a fact.

Fu Xing took the sealed bags and placed them into his backpack. “Thanks, I thought you would refuse.”

“It’s nothing.” Fu Qing returned to her seat and lowered her head to read documents. “After all, you finally managed to make a friend.”

It looked like an ordinary action, but it was to conceal the awkwardness. She was not good at expressing care for others. However, under her cold personality and poisonous tongue, she felt deep concern for her family.

Fu Xing stared at her, the corners of his lips rising upwards. His sister was just someone sensitive about how she appeared to others.

“Then I’ll head home first!”

“Oh right, the flu is spreading recently, so remember to get a vaccination before school starts.” Fu Qing’s gaze was still paused on the same page of the documents.

Fu Xing stopped in his tracks. “I though special animate beings couldn’t get colds. Or at least, couldn’t get human illnesses.”

“There’s no such thing.” Fu Qing raised her head. With the shift into a profession-related question, her attitude returned to normal. “Right now, the viruses are infecting both [humans and special animate beings]. Some even mutate, and even special animate beings will get hit if they touch it.”

“I see.” It appeared that special animate beings were not as strong as he had imagined.

A werewolf with a runny nose, an elf with the mumps, a vampire with diarrhoea—these kinds of thoughts made them seem quite lame.

“Uncle Lu got it last time. While they were ‘swindling’, they were tested positive for influenza by a human and nearly caused a case of it transferring from human to deer. Fortunately, it was detected and treated early, or else it could’ve been a mess.”

Uncle Lu was a good friend that their dad had made after coming to Taiwan. He was a sika deer spirit, as well as the president of the Taiwan division for the World-Endangered Special Animate Beings Organization (short form: Special Protection Group).

The Special Protection Group was a group formed by endangered animal-type special animate beings. Disregarding their pompous objective (defend rights, strive to fight for the value of life, showing honour, etc…), the Special Protection Group’s main reason for being established was to conduct “fair retributions” for humans and develop a set procedural flow. The exact steps were as below:

  1. Endangered animal-type special animate beings should transform into their original forms.
  2. A different companion should pretend to be a hiker and go report to either a government institution or a specific private organization (usually upstarts) about encountering an injured endangered animal.
  3. Hand over their transformed companion and retrieve reward money.
  4. Secretly help their companion escape.

Simply put, it was a scam.

It was a pity that bats were not endangered animals, or else they could also take part. However, considering his dad’s peculiarly lofty character, he would probably give a sermon about propriety, justice, integrity, and honour as his ideals and moral principles, then refuse to join.

“Go up to the third floor counter and say my name. The staff will give you a discount.”

“Got it.” Although he did not want to get a shot, he didn’t have the heart to refuse upon seeing his sister’s rare display of concern.

“Don’t cry boohoo when you get the shot~”

“So annoying!”

 

The three-week winter vacation quickly passed. In January, most of the Taiwanese students were still suffering in the abyss of finals, while Fu Xing’s break had already ended.

The Lunar New Year hadn’t even arrived yet by the time he took a plane back to Shalom to start his second semester of classes. When one could live for several centuries, Lunar New Year and other festivities no longer seemed particularly special.

Switzerland was at a higher latitude, its climate significantly colder than Taiwan’s. It was even snowing, so the scenery was completely different from when he had come to the school last July. The white snow covered all the roads and the buildings. As far as the eye could see, every European-style building seemed like giant gingerbread houses covered in powdered sugar.

He Xuan Yi brought his son onto the several hours-long flight to arrive at a small town in Switzerland. This time, the school bus was already waiting at the corner of the street; there was no need to pass through majority of a forest to arrive at the campus anymore.

First-year students could only take the private school bus in the second term, since their turnover rate was on the higher side in the first term. Quite a few people would drop out after registering (most special animate beings were very conservative and would rather stay in their original habitat rather than live together with different races in a foreign land). Thus, this rule was set to cut down on administrative work.

The school bus had the words: “Peace International Student Exchange Centre” printed on both sides to disguise itself as a typical school bus, and the vehicle was also equipped with special enchantments that allowed it to jump through space once it left the urban district. It took only two minutes to enter the school campus located in the distorted space.

Their first day of classes opened with a meeting in homeroom. When he opened the door, the noisy hubbub was similar to as it had been in the last semester. However, this time quite a few people took the initiative to greet Fu Xing when they saw him. Seeing his companions that he had been separated from for a while swept aside the unwillingness of parting with his family.

The elf, Emerald, had a large bag next to his feet. He was clicking the iPhone in his hands, a delighted expression on his face. Fu Xing figured the other was either thinking about ways to earn money or had already earned a profit.

The fairy, Rocort, had gone over with great interest to watch while chewing on a cracker. If it weren’t for the crumbs on Rocort’s face, he would really look like a good-looking character that had stepped out from a Western film.

“Emerald, where did you go over winter break?” Fu Xing immediately walked towards his good friends and warmly started to chat.

“Tons of places. I went home for a bit, then went to Japan and Korea to ascertain goods.” Emerald counted the merchandise in his bag while verifying the buyers on his list of names. “A lot of people get fatter over the winter, so I went to retrieve some weight loss products to sell.”

As he spoke, he opened a bag with twelve pairs of black tights. These were commonly referred to as Little Piggy’s flexible stockings. Apparently, it was so powerful that it could promote fat-burning and resulting in model-like curves. A very hot product on the internet market.

“Who did you write about for your interview over the break?”

“I wrote about my older cousin. He runs a bakery. My relatives rarely work in human society, unlike yours. Who did you write about?”

“I wrote about my sis.” His dad’s author profession seriously didn’t have much to present, since he wasn’t a best-seller and few people could understand his writing. He claimed this was an example of “difficult songs finding few singers”; his sis claimed it was their dad singing as he pleased in the stage of his head. Aside from being able to resound with a few aliens, there was only their dad’s own reflection.

As for Fu Xing’s mom’s profession as a professor at a community college, it seemed a bit tasteless to introduce a teaching profession to his teacher.

“Mhm, I know, she works in a hospital, right? Um—”

Before Emerald had even finished speaking, Fu Xing beat him by taking out a paper bag. “Here, the things you wanted are inside.”

“Thanks.” Emerald happily accepted it to scrutinize its contents like a drug offender drooling over drugs.

Fu Xing suddenly felt very much like a drug dealer himself.

“You’ve gotten what you wanted. What do I get in return?”

“I’ll upgrade you to Gold VIP for free so that you can enjoy the privilege of a 30% discount on your purchases from now on.”

“That’s so horrible.”

Fu Xing turned his head to look at Rocort, who had the same drooling gaze at the high fiber, low calorie weight-loss foods. “Rocort, how was your winter break?”

“I stayed at school. It was a bit boring, but the dorms were very warm, and it was comfortable sleeping there.”

“You didn’t go home?”

“I went back for two days before school started to buy some things.”

“Your family won’t worry?”

“I’ve always been alone.” Rocort licked his fingers. “Oh, that’s not right, everyone has always stayed with me and followed me, so I’m not alone.”

Fu Xing couldn’t help but feel his nose burn as he saw Rocort’s pure smile. What a touching declaration of friendship! “Everyone” refers to us good friends, right? Even when we’re apart, our hearts and our friendship are still tied together!

“Don’t worry, we’ll always stay with you,” Fu Xing said sincerely as he placed both hands on top of Rocort’s decently taller shoulders.

“Ah?” Rocort stared blankly at him, then tilted his head in thought for a second before smiling brightly. “Thanks.”

“Oh right, I brought an electric stove and spicy soup base!” This was a promise he had made with his friend before winter break. “Let’s find a night to all eat in the dorms together!”

“OK!”

A wine-red figure like a flame ignited the warmth inside the classroom, and the clamor instantly decreased. Class 1-C’s advisor, the lich, Grod, had gorgeously arrived.

“It’s been three weeks since we last saw each other. Everyone seems to have had a good time.” Grod placed down the documents in his hands. “Everyone has more freedom to move around in the second semester of Shalom, but there is also more self-disciplining too.”

“Don’t tell me it’s another weird activity…” Fu Xing quietly muttered to Emerald.

He thought back to the Halloween event from last semester. While it had been exciting, it was still a bit too great of a burden on his heart.

“Apparently there’s a school ceremony this year, and the campus in the southern hemisphere will join us to hold it.”

“The people from the south campus will come too?!” That was a huge matter.

Shalom Academy had two campuses, one in each hemisphere. Fu Xing was at the northern hemisphere’s Switzerland campus. The southern hemisphere campus was located in the Polynesian Archipelago on the south Pacific Ocean, constituted by multiple fragmented islands. Thus, it was also called the Archipelago campus.

The students at the Archipelago campus were older than the ones at the Switzerland campus, mostly races that were more ancient and conservative. As a result, the students at the Switzerland campus always teasingly called the Archipelgao campus an old people’s home.

Emerald glanced at his calendar and his eyes lit up. “The school ceremony isn’t held every year. For one, it’s not easy to conduct, and for two, without a special reason, nobody wants to spend the effort thinking about doing such a thing. This time just happens to be the twenty-seventh anniversary since the academy was created, so it’s very likely they’ll hold it…but the confirmed conclusion won’t be announced until March.”

“Only twenty-seven years old?” He had thought this academy had possessed at least a history of several centuries!

“The twenty-seventh time Jupiter has passed by Earth. Special animate beings have longer lifespans, so they mostly use Jupiter to calculate time.”

So that’s what it was. “Seems pretty grand!”

But how do special animate beings conduct a school ceremony? A school fair?

 Fu Xing couldn’t help but imagine Brad with rolled-up sleeves, roasting squid in front of a charcoal fire, as well as a scene of Leon squatting in a corner twisting balloons…Pfft! He was starting to look forward to it.

“…Basically nothing to take special note of, it’s similar to last semester. However,” Grod slammed a hand down on the table to bring the fragmented mutters inside the classroom under control and draw everyone’s attention back. “A new class representative needs to be chosen for the new semester.”

“What?!” All the students began to stir restlessly as nobody wanted to receive this position.

“How could the same sacrificial lamb repeatedly appear on the altar? That’s why, a new person will be serving everyone this semester.” Grod glanced at Fu Xing with a grin.

Fu Xing reluctantly smiled back. So he had been a sacrifice…at least this semester would be more relaxed.

Just as Fu Xing was sighing in relief, Grod once again spoke up. “Let’s just leave the responsibility to Leon.”

There was the sound of everyone in the classroom simultaneously taking in a sharp breath. Then, everything fell silent.

“Any problems?” Grod said with a bright smile. “Or does student Leon have other matters he’s busy with that would make taking this position an inconvenience?”

Fu Xing looked over towards Leon. Leon had previously snuck out of the campus grounds multiple times and had even been heavily injured last time. Although there had been no concrete evidence left behind, perhaps some traces had been enough for suspicions to land on him.

Leon maintained his usual cold and detached expression without showing any reaction. “No.”

“Then that’s settled!” Grod glanced at the documents he was holding. “On an additional note, we must vote to choose intern reserve members for Aquarius. Every class must send two people over.” He lifted his head. “Those who would like to join, please stand.”

“What’s Aquarius?” Rocort leaned towards Fu Xing to quietly ask, “Is it related to the drink vending machine in the dining hall?”

“Aquarius is a group formed by students on-campus, similar to a student council. However, the student council in the world of special animate beings handle matters that are naturally mightier than a typical student council. There’s even a reason behind its name,” Fu Xing proudly replied. This was the information he had learned while being the class representative.

“Why is it called Aquarius?”

“Um…” Fu Xing did not know.

“Aquarius’s ruling planet is Pluto, a symbol of change that possesses double inclinations towards life and death,” Emerald continued.

Fu Xing noticed that when Emerald mentioned Aquarius, he seemed to show a hint of disdain.

“Oh.” Rocort nodded. “Then what exactly does Aquarius do?”

Fu Xing shrugged. “Don’t know.” He didn’t even understand the student councils in the human world, let alone this Aquarius. “In any case, it can’t be matters like dealing with the nutrition meals being too unappetizing or requesting to abolish bans.”

“Do you want to join, Fu Xing?”

“No.” Why would go looking for trouble for no reason?!

Aside from the two of them whispering to each other, Class 1-C’s students all looked at each other in silence in response to Grod’s question.

Grod raised his brows, clearly surprised. “Oh, looks like our class is full of loners to the end. Usually everyone fights to enter Aquarius, and harmonizing everything takes quite a bit of effort.”

Grod’s smile was partially amused and partially conflicted. “Collectedness is a good thing, but it will cause complications if no one takes the post either. In that case—Fu Xing!”

Fu Xing lowered his head to play dead.

“Fu Xing!”

Playing dead was ineffective. “Yes.” Hmph! Here it goes again.

“I’ll leave it to you.”

“Didn’t you say that the same lamb couldn’t be presented to the altar twice?” Although protesting was definitely pointless, he still could not keep himself from asking.

“This is another altar, so there’s no issue.”

“There needs to be two people in total. The other one will be…” Grod looked around for a while before staring at a tall figure in the corner. “Um…er, Isaac Nyeva?”

The pale darkblood wearing thick clothing raised his head, melancholic light blue eyes peering at Grod through his messy bangs.

“You can take the position.”

Isaac was quiet for a moment. Then he slowly nodded.

“Very good.” Grod brushed away his long hair from his neck. “While being calm and reserved is a strength, being overly closed off isn’t a good thing. Take this chance to interact with others more so that everyone can know you better.”

You totally forgot what he was even called, right. Fu Xing mentally roasted.

Isaac was one of the low-profile members of the class and was not part of any clique. Although he was a darkblood, he did not move with Leon’s group. He was always going around alone, quietly staying in the corner and minding his own business, or simply staying silent. Yet his tall figure was quite conspicuous.

An deeply profound person.

Hopefully this future companion will be easy to interact with. Fu Xing inwardly prayed.

 

When homeroom ended, everyone went back to the dorms. The cleaning brownies inside the school had already moved each student’s luggage into their rooms.

He opened the elegant wooden door to see a familiar figure sitting inside the room on a chair next to the window.

“Long time no see!” Fu Xing happily waved at Leon. “Did you put away your luggage already?”

“Mn.” Leon’s gaze lifted from the book to glance at Fu Xing as he indifferently hummed a note of affirmation. Then he returned to his book.

While this action seemed cold and rude, for Leon, this was already much friendlier than last semester.

“Was your winter break good? Did you go anywhere to have fun?” Fu Xing sat outside the area between the beds and the living room to tidy his luggage while chatting with Leon.

“Went back to Ludwigsburg.” It was rare for Leon to reply. Moreover, his tone carried a faint hint of complacency.

“Oh? For travel?” Ludwigsburg? Hm, don’t know it. “Did you bring any souvenirs back?”

Leon’s lips curled upwards. He pulled out something from his backpack and tossed it at Fu Xing.

Fu Xing somewhat clumsily caught it. When he opened his hands, he found a thin, short, and hard white object.

“What is it?” Seems a bit like a goat milk tablet. Does this place have goats?

Fu Xing lifted it up to his nose to take a sniff, then lightly licked it.

“That’s a pinky finger bone.” Leon was still smiling as he read his book, unable to conceal his pride. “Retrieved from a [member of] White Triangle.”

“Fuck!” Fu Xing let go in horror, and the short fingerbone dropped onto the carpet. “Why didn’t you say so earlier?! Pfthhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Ahhhh! I even gave it a lick!

“You put it in your mouth?” Leon coldly looked at Fu Xing. “You dirtied my spoil of war.”

“Um,” Fu Xing snapped out of his thoughts. “Sorry.”

He had nearly forgotten that special animate beings had a different system of values than humans did. The term “human” carried much greater hostility than amiability.

Fu Xing picked up the finger bone and suppressed the fear in his heart as he wiped it on his sleeve and passed it back to Leon.

White Triangle was a secret group that had hidden themselves among human society. Like special animate beings, they were unknown by the people. However, the reason for White Triangle’s existence was to annihilate special animate beings.

“Um, so, this is Lia’s…” The perpetrator that killed Lia?

Leon’s expression returned to its usual stern look. “No.”

He walked to the cupboard to take out a glass bottle and threw the pink bone inside. Fu Xing noticed that there were over twenty similar pinky finger bones in the bottle.

Leon made him feel the intimidation that hunters possessed. Fu Xing shuddered, instantly having the sudden, fierce realisation that the person in front of him was not a human—though he himself was not one either.

This academy for special animate beings was where non-humans gathered. He had come here to learn how to be a monster, how to separate himself from humans.

However, he believed that he was a human too. He thought that every person in the academy was a human. Not just because their external physiological form was that of a human, but because of something more abstract that was difficult to describe.

He felt a confusing, unbidden surge of acknowledgment mixed with helplessness.

To erase the strange feeling from his heart, Fu Xing changed the topic.

“Oh yeah, speaking of eating,” Fu Xing pulled out a red and brown vacuum-sealed bag from his leather suitcase. “Look! It’s spicy soup base!”

Leon stared at Fu Xing expressionlessly.

“We all agreed together that we would eat hotpot together.” Fu Xing continued to flip through his luggage, taking out a heavy, black metal stove. “We’ll be eating it in the dorms the night after tomorrow. But meat and vegetables need to be ordered from the kitchen first. Is there anything in particular you want to eat?”

Leon was silent for a moment. Then he coldly voiced, “While some things occurred last semester, it does not mean our relationship has changed.”

“Eh?” Relationship? Aren’t we roommates? “What do you mean?”

“Do not interact too much with me.” Leon loftily turned to walk towards the bed area.

Fu Xing stared blankly for a moment before returning to his senses.

Oh, I get it. Someone wants to play the recluse again. However, it wasn’t as if they had been roommates this past half a year in vain.

Fu Xing feigned a long, regretful sigh. “In that case, who will help you deal with your work as class representative?”

Leon paused in his steps.

“The class representative has many responsibilities. Moreover, I heard that a school ceremony between both south and north campuses might be conducted this semester. When the time comes, you might be so busy being class representative that you won’t even be able to get a break, making it impossible to go out—of course, that’s if you don’t have any help.”

Fu Xing intentionally pointed this out and helplessly sighed again. “What should I do, Leon?”

Want me to help, Leon? Hehehe.

Leon turned his head to glare at Fu Xing. “Up to you.” After saying this, he strode back to the bed area.

Fu Xing watched the proud figure from the back and sniggered to himself. He knew Leon would not be absent on hotpot night.

 

For the second semester, his mid-level mathematics class had changed to seven in the morning. This was not anything difficult to Fu Xing, but it was basically as painful as paying taxes to Emerald, who would always stay up all night engaging in his online business.

After the time had changed, there were even less students attending the class, though there were one or two new faces too. To Fu Xing’s surprise, Isaac Nyeva was one of these people.

When Isaac appeared, he was wearing another long overcoat over his usual uniform jacket. He also had a face mask, sunglasses, and even a fur hat on. If it weren’t for the teacher taking attendance, Fu Xing would have had no idea who this person was.

He had originally not had much of an impression of this quiet classmate. However, ever since Grod had called Isaac out to take the position of an Aquarius reserve member, Fu Xing had started to take notice of this companion.

“I thought darkbloods were afraid of sunlight,” Fu Xing casually said to Emerald during the break period.

Emerald was sprawled across the desk as he lazily replied, “Oh, that’s another typical stereotype. Darkbloods hate sunlight, but not to the point where they’re afraid of it. Their bodies’ mucous membranes are sensitive to sunlight, and if any organs with that membrane are directly exposed, it will cause violent swelling and even bleeding. As a result, they very rarely move around in the daytime.”

“Mucous membranes?”

“Like lips and eyes and stuff!” Emerald let out a huge yawn and scratched his cheek. “Of course, the organ below the hip also has a mucous membrane, but that organ isn’t one that’s usually exposed out in the open. Understand now?”

“Ah, understood.”

In other words, if darkbloods didn’t wear sunglasses and face masks during the day, they would turn into a creature like Q-Taro or a catfish. It was no wonder Isaac was dressed as if he was about to rob a bank.

Fu Xing studied Isaac. Even though it was during class’s off-hours, the other person was still quietly staying in his seat and not interacting with others. His tall figure sitting upright at his desk was like a statue.

While Leon was similarly cold and did not like paying attention to others, Isaac gave off a feeling that was even harder to grasp.

The sunglasses-wearing face turned slightly to towards Fu Xing. Fu Xing hurriedly shifted his head away.

What a weird person.

 

Thursday evening was the compulsory Basic Witchcraft course. This time, the main topic was related to curses and departed souls. As if in coordination with the class subject, Grod was wearing a gothic-style long coat, with silver and black spider webs embroidered on the cuffs and butterfly shapes formed by skulls.

“When life reaches its endpoint, the soul will leave the body. At this point, the soul is a weak energy form that does not possess a consciousness. Most of the time, it will dissipate after lingering in the material world for a few days. However, some of the dead that have intense fluctuations of emotions before death will have that intent attached to their souls, giving the souls a consciousness similar to when it was alive. This becomes a bodyless departed soul.”

Grod wrote some critical terms on the blackboard. “Among special animate beings and humans, only a small minority of people can see souls, and even fewer can use or control departed souls, or even turn them into curses.”

The cold winter air and the warm air of the classroom interweaving together created conditions that could not be more perfect for sleeping. Fu Xing kept his head propped in his hands, struggling to resist the sleepiness and leaving behind what looked like planchette writing on his notebook.

It was a very exiting subject, but it wasn’t any new concept to him. TV and video games would always use things like undead corpses and fierce souls in their plots so frequently that he was already somewhat tired of this type of topic.

The contents of this class seemed a bit dull and ordinary compared to special abilities or witchcraft, knowledge he had never come into contact with before. He felt that this type of unoriginal arrangement often seen in horror films was nothing.

Yet against his expectations, this material incited quite a number of reactions and discussions from his classmates after class.

“I heard that departed souls with resentment will stay in their original location and attack anyone that invades their territory,” Vicki, an elf with the appearance of a young child, said in a low voice. However, that young and soft baby voice still made her sound very moe 1.

“Yayoi, that’s one of the trademarks of your country. Have you heard any information before?” Viki’s twin older brother, Venn, asked curiously.

“How is that a trademark!” Yayoi grumbled back in exasperation.

“Mt. Koyasan, Mt. Osore, and Mt. Hiei are Japan’s three major spirit mountains. I’ve heard that they meet together with the spirit realm.” Taeharu excitedly added, “Our elder even prohibited young kits from going near there!”

As Fu Xing listened to these words meant to scare people off, he felt as if he had returned to Taiwan.

“I thought special animate beings wouldn’t be interested in this kind of topic,” he murmured in slight surprise to Emerald.

“Why?”

“Erm, how should I put it?” Fu Xing scratched his head. “Oh, for example, humans wouldn’t particularly discuss other humans roaming around at night because it’s a very common thing! Unless the person just so happened to be carrying a universal unlocker or is carrying a bag full of girl’s underwear.”

“You’ve got it wrong again.” Emerald let out a huff. “Special animate beings are like humans, living beings. The realm after death is also mysterious, unknown territory to us.”

“But during the test of courage, nobody seemed to be afraid.”

“Because that was fake,” Emerald replied matter-of-factly.

Seeing the confusion written all over Fu Xing’s face, Zhu Yue sitting next to them kindly explained, “Unlike humans, special animate beings are on the slower side when it comes to changes in setting. Humans would be afraid when watching a horror film, but most special animate beings would have a hard time reacting if they know it’s fake.”

“Is that so…” That means there are significantly fewer life pleasures then.

“Do you guys know of the fierce soul in Sunset Forest?” The erudite Dan Juan voiced this question, immediately attracting the crowd’s attention.

“What is it?”

Sunset Forest was located on the west side of Shalom. It was a maple forest that bordered the campus. Although it was not blocked off, it was a restricted area on the campus like the Forbidden Tower. Sunset Forest was the boundary of the distorted space, an extremely unstable location. The entire forest stretched without end, and there were ruins from all over the world and various time periods left behind inside the forest.

Apparently, these ancient buildings carried a few things that had not faded away with time.

“I’ve heard that there is a Budapest castle inside Sunset Forest that was brought to this place by the warped space.” Dan Juan pushed his glasses up. “It’s Countess Lee Kirst’s castle.”

Drawn by the subject, Emerald stopped doing his calculations and asked curiously, “You mean that Bloody Countess?”

At this name, the darkbloods that had originally been staying out of this also turned their heads to look in their direction.

“Who’s that?” Fu Xing inquired in a quiet voice.

“A female homicidal maniac from 18th century Hungary. Legends say that she was a countess that bathed in fresh blood.” Zhu Yue softly explained, “She was part of the darkblood race. Her crazy conduct had surpassed the darkbloods’ regulations, and she had also facilitated White Triangle’s interest in them. As a result, the darkbloods loathe her very much.”

“Then is she dead?”

“Although the humans condemned her, it actually had no effect at all. In the end, the darkbloods dealt with her internally.” Hearing the conversation between Zhu Yue and Fu Xing, Rachel interjected of her own accord to explain, “However, Countess Kirst’s corpse disappeared after her execution. It’s said that she had established a pact with a demon and dabbled in black magic so that even if her physical body was destroyed, her vicious soul still continued to linger in the mortal realm.”

Zhu Yue worried that her discussion about the darkbloods’ matter would incite a bad reaction from Rachel, so she smiled apologetically. But Rachel simply quirked the corners of her lips upwards before turning around to chat with others. It seemed that she did not mind, though she carried a sliver of annoyance as well.

Fu Xing shifted his gaze to see that Emerald had been listening to this story with excitement on his face.

“You’re not scared?” He was frightened to death!

“Others hear fierce soul, I hear a business opportunity.” Emerald smugly waved the merchandise inventory on his iPhone. “The more scared everyone is, the better. That way, the evil-warding goods that have been in the warehouse forever can finally be sold away.”

Wow, seriously? Fu Xing could guess that to Emerald, these so-called scary stories meant things that pointed to a tsunami of bank; moreover, the Lehman Brothers were probably a hundred times more horrifying than Kayako Saeki.


1. The Japanese term “moe” is used here, which usually meaning inciting feelings of adoration/affection.


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