For anyone that hasn’t seen my announcement on my Discord server, I have been too busy with grad school applications to translate much (it doesn’t help that these chapters have all been on the longer side), so releases may slow and/or pause just a bit, though I’ll continue trying my best!
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
Chapter 9: The instant you see furrowed brows, you know that the case isn’t a simple one1, though the motive behind it is very stupid
In accordance with Youny’s words, Fu Xing returned to the incident’s starting point, where the abnormal occurrence first began.
He requested an investigation grant from Shiran and headed to the female dorms. The first one that had seen the ghostly figure was the first-year fairy, Ruby.
“What was the situation like when you saw the ghostly figure?”
“After I rushed back to the dorms around eleven and entered my room, the lights suddenly went out. At the same time, I heard some noises, so I shouted out, ‘Who’s there?’.”
“A black shadow leapt out.”
“What kind of shadow was it?” Fu Xing recorded notes as he asked.
“The shadow was roughly the height of a person. It suddenly materialised on the wall then quickly vanished. After that, I shouted ‘departed soul’!”
“How are you sure that it’s a departed soul?”
“It was brought up in Special Ability Theory that day. At the time, my thoughts immediately connected the two together, so that’s why I shouted that out.”
“I see…” That meant she had not actually seen the body of the departed soul and could not confirm if that really was the shadow’s identity.
“Did that shadow attack you?”
Fu Xing nodded and checked his notes. “Wait a minute, you said the lights broke, which means the room was pitch-dark, right?”
“Then how did you see the shadow?” Shadows were only present if there was light. They couldn’t exist in the darkness.
“Now that you mention it…” Ruby tilted her head as she considered this. “There was a faint light…a faint light for an instant that reflected the shadow on the wall!”
“May I look around your room?”
She generously made way for him. Fu Xing glanced around to scan the dorm’s living room. He studied the wall where the shadow had appeared, then turned his head to look at the French window that was opposite the wall. Fu Xing walked over to the window and tugged at the curtains.
He continued searching the room, and something drew his attention.
There was a small box made of bamboo placed in the corner. He bent down to inspect it closely. “This is?”
“Oh, it’s a junk box. I usually use it to store some things like drinks or snacks.”
“It’s broken.” Fu Xing turned the bamboo box so that the back was showing for Ruby to get a clear look.
“Really?” Ruby lowered her head to stare at the fist-sized hole, but did not seem to care much about it. “I didn’t notice.”
“Is it a rat?”
“That can’t be possible. Xian Xian from next door is a rat spirit. She wouldn’t let her kind cause trouble in the dorms.”
After leaving Ruby’s room, Fu Xing headed to the third floor.
The second female student that suffered the departed soul’s attack was the second-year snake spirit, Qing Lin.
“I’d arranged to meet with Charles at twelve that night. When I came home, my skylark spirit roommate, Wu Xiao, was already asleep. She has a huge temper when she wakes up, so I didn’t want to disrupt her sleep. That’s why I went to the public baths to wash up.”
“The lights went out. A strange noise came from the bathroom…”
“What kind of strange noise?”
“It sounded like drinking, a muffled sipping.”
Fu Xing swallowed. “And then?”
“I tried to detect the other party’s position and presence, but I couldn’t sense anything like the presence of a special animate being. So I panicked, worrying that it was Countess Kirst’s departed soul….”
“Wait, wait!” Fu Xing hurriedly interrupted. “How were you able to conclude that it was Countess Kirst’s departed soul?”
“Wu Xiao is in 1-B and has a pretty good relationship with Flora. I had heard about you guys going into Sunset Forest.” Qing Lin somewhat unhappily declared, “Speaking of which, you’re also to blame! Why go into that kind of place for no reason? Causing a bunch of disasters!”
“But it’s not confirmed to be Countess Kirst’s departed soul either!” Fu Xing defended.
“Well, there’s definitely a departed soul!”
“How did that departed soul attack you?”
“Eh, actually…” Qing Lin awkwardly paused for a few seconds. “If I had to say, it didn’t really attack me.”
“Then your injury?”
Qing Lin was silent for a few seconds before spitting out the answer in embarrassment, “…I cut myself when I slipped.”
This completely matched Fu Xing’s conjecture from when he had first heard about the incident.
It also meant that Qing Lin was not the first true victim.
The first one that actually ran into an attack-like act was the deer spirit, Rong Zhi.
“I don’t know. I only heard a strange noise. Then there was an intense flash of light that rendered me unable to move, and I passed out. Afterwards, I kept throwing up non-stop. It must’ve been a curse,” Rong Zhi recalled with lingering fear.
“Meaning at that moment, you weren’t actually attacked?”
“You believe the vomiting is related to the departed soul?”
“Why else would I start throwing up for no reason?! I must’ve come into contact with the departed soul’s curse.”
Fu Xing furrowed his brows in confusion. “Do you usually throw up?” He felt that vomiting was a very common minor symptom.
“No, unless I eat meat. Meat is incompatible with the bodies of us herbivorous jingguai. If we eat it, our bodies will instantly react and try to reject it.”
“Could it be that you just happened to have eaten meat that day?”
Rong Zhi frowned, as though offended. “Would you accidentally take dog shit as chocolate?”
“Eh…no.” Alright, I get it.
“Hmph!” Rong Zhi turned her face away somewhat unhappily.
“Was any of your vomit saved?”
“I don’t know, the medical centre might have kept some for lab tests.” She shot an annoyed glare at Fu Xing and dismissed him, “Anything else? If not, could you please leave?”
“Yes, yes, yes…”
Fu Xing headed to the medical centre to ask Edes about the symptoms of the students that had previously suffered attacks.
Unexpectedly, Edes not only didn’t give him any difficulty, but even directly handed copies of medical reports to Fu Xing.
“This is all the data. Perhaps it’ll be of help to you.” Edes smiled and said, “These are copies, so you can just take them with you.”
Fu Xing blankly accepted the documents and voiced his thanks. Then he somewhat perplexedly reviewed them as he walked back to the dorms.
But midway, he immediately turned and raced straight to the teachers’ office.
After skimming through the information, he realised the true common points tying these incidents together!
Too obvious! This isn’t Countess Kirst’s work at all! Accurately speaking, it has zero relation to departed souls!
Fu Xing bounded up the stairs, skipping steps along the way to directly head to Grod’s office.
He anxiously knocked the door several times. After a moment, the door opened. When he stepped inside, he was surprised to find Samukawa inside as well.
“Is there a problem?” Grod sat behind the desk, lazily glancing at the two visitors inside the room. “Edes just called me to say that you might come looking for me in the next two days, but I hadn’t imagined it would be so soon. Did something happen?”
Fu Xing gripped the data in his hands and took a deep breath as he began, “I reinvestigated the incident and discovered…”
“You really have a lot of free time,” Samukawa maliciously interrupted. But he immediately received a glare from Grod.
Fu Xing continued to announce his own discovery. “Actually, these incidents have nothing to do with fierce souls.”
“Oh, what a surprise.” Grod lazily yawned. “I recall that I told you this from the very beginning.”
“Right, but I thought it was just words to keep people calm…”
“How egotistical.” Grod chuckled. “And then?”
“Although Ruby and Qing Lin were the start of the entire fierce soul matter, they didn’t actually get attacked. Plus, based on their descriptions, the ‘fierce soul’ seems more like it fled when it saw them.”
“Deer spirit Rong Zhi saw a white light, which I’m guessing is a camera flash bulb. It just so happened that the day before the incident, Flora mentioned that her camera bag that contained flash bulbs was missing. However, she found it in another area of the room the next day, so she didn’t pay it much mind. As for the vomiting—”
Grod continued for him. “The medical centre’s report indicated that there were meat fragments in her vomit. Herbivorous jingguai have violent reactions to meat. It was hypothesised that she was given meat broth while unconscious.”
“Zhu Yue said she smelled a familiar scent while in the middle of her bath. It was like her homeland—the scent of the ocean.” Grod glanced at Samukawa. “After that, Professor Samukawa just happened to complain to me about something in the lab being moved, so he wanted me to strengthen the defence system. The object that was moved was coincidentally deep-sea spirit grass. Burning deep sea spirit grass causes a space on land to become like the bottom of the sea. To water-type races, the air would turn into seawater. It’s a necessity for summoning sea-type spirit beasts. Jiaoren Zhu Yue’s biological system reacted to the ocean-like space created by the deep-sea spirit grass, automatically switching into a half-jiaoren form that was suited for living at the bottom of the sea.”
“That’s right!” Fu Xing flipped several pages of the report. “And Leon—”
“In addition, concerning the darkblood Leon’s sunburns, his skin was tested to contain light-sensitive medication that doubled the energy absorbance of sunlight. The inu-yokai had chitin found in its vomit, and its skin was severely swollen and full of red rashes because of its seafood allergy. The butterfly spirit’s blood contained pyrethroid, a natural main component of pesticides. The centaur and rabbit spirit were found to have a unique plant essence in their bodies, which had components that just happened to harm their bodies. As for the goose spirit, its internal magnetic field was disrupted, and it was determined through examination that their body contained a stimulant drug that affected its brain waves.”
Grod concisely listed all the data from the report in a single breath, looking smug at the sight of Fu Xing’s stunned expression.
“Thus, simply speaking, these so-called ‘curses’ were just allergic reactions. Right?”
“Ah, yes! That’s it!” Fu Xing added. But he immediately asked in disbelief, “You guys already knew everything?!”
“Did you think that the professors were brainless enough to not notice?” Samukawa sneered.
Grod rolled his eyes in exasperation. “It wouldn’t be accurate to say we knew everything either. We only knew the causes for certain incidents, but don’t know the motive behind this matter. We’re certain that the other party is proficient in the physiology of special animate beings, but that’s too weak of a factor. Moreover, we still have not found the causes behind Brad’s, Emerald’s and Isaac’s symptoms.”
“Why not announce this?” Fu Xing did not understand.
“Do you think it’s better to let the students believe that there ‘seems’ to be a departed soul causing trouble, or to directly announce that there is ‘definitely’ an unknown factor attacking people all over campus?”
“So you mean that someone inside the academy did it?”
“That’s a possibility.” Grod stood. “But the main point is, why? The victims don’t have any commonalities or shared haters. We can’t find any motive for committing these crimes.”
“Could it have been done by White Triangle?” Fu Xing voiced Leon’s guess.
“White Triangle wouldn’t do something this low-grade. It’s like how the mafia wouldn’t try throwing shit at each other in the middle of a showdown.”
Ah, yeah. He got it.
So that’s what it was…everything is just as Grod said. There’s no fierce soul; it’s all related to individual behaviours.
However, there was one thing that Fu Xing still did not understand. “Why are you telling me these things?”
“Because of Aquarius’ request. They asked for us not to publicly announce any information for the time being, claiming that they wanted to test the abilities of the new students. They’re watching to see who can find clues amidst the chaos.” Grod smiled dryly. “Though I don’t particularly like those fake guys, congratulations for being the first one to come and ask.”
“Er, thank you…” Should I be happy?
Which means that the professors’ passive attitudes were because of Aquarius? Did Shiran plan that? Or was it incited by the mysterious president? He did not really like being played with in schemes like this.
“This is just a minor case, but handling it is extremely troublesome. If the professors investigate the dorms, it’ll cause the students to feel uneasy. Moreover, information will leak out.” Grod continued as he flashed a meaningful smile. “Oh great student Fu Xing, do you have a way to find this troublemaker?”
Without even thinking about it, Fu Xing automatically replied, “Are there any benefits?” Ah, I’ve been corrupted by Emerald.
“Who do you think you are?!” Samukawa angrily rebuked.
“Samukawa, don’t be so short-tempered.” Grod glanced at Samukawa before turning his head to state, “Aquarius is offering to have you become a formal member without any conditions attached. As for what benefits I can give you—3000 points in addition to one years’ worth of stipends!”
“Quiet down, Samukawa.” Grod looked at Fu Xing. “What do you think?”
Fu Xing beamed. “I’m very willing to be of service to the school!”
The first question was now resolved. Only one more question remained. Where had the rat in the dorms come from?
Although this matter had no connection with the attacks, for some reason, Fu Xing kept hearing a voice telling him to investigate. He had a premonition that as long as both these issues were addressed, the academy would be at peace again.
When Fu Xing returned to the dorms, he headed to the female dorms and went to Rong Zhi’s floor.
He found similar traces in the several rooms on that floor. Most boxes storing food had fist-sized holes in them. Fu Xing asked multiple people and confirmed that they had all experienced things in their rooms disappearing. However, most of them had only encountered this once. In addition, the disappeared items were just some minor things so no one had paid it mind.
Aside from one person.
Fu Xing left the female dorms and backtracked to the male dorms, storming directly to the victim that had persistently “suffered disaster” the entire time.
“Fu Xing! My snacks were stolen again!” The instant Fu Xing stepped into the room, Rocort immediately wailed out, “It’s too much! I already hid them on the very top shelf of the cabinet, yet they still went missing! That terrible rat!”
It looked like Rocort’s room was the critical point.
“When did it go missing?” Fu Xing asked.
“Last night, I guess. When I woke up this morning, I discovered that my croissants and blueberry jam were gone.”
“Is that so…”
“What do I do, Fu Xing?” Rocort looked at him expectantly. “Can you help me?”
Fu Xing contemplated it for a while, and an idea that even he thought was a bit dumb appeared in his mind.
“I think I might have a way…”
This rat was extremely intelligent. If they set a spell, it could possibly just alert the other party. Thus, they could only use the most primitive, traditional method.
Several people gathered in Rocort’s dorm room at noon. The lights were dimmed and the group of people were crouched in a corner of the bed area. There was a weak ward set up on the ground, concealing their presence.
“This is so stupid.” Flora was crouched near the wall as she muttered in annoyance, “People already stopped using this trick back during the days I was still drinking milk.”
Fu Xing held onto a rope that followed the wall, stretching out to reach a corner above the living room. The end of the rope was securely tied onto a pot lid, while the pot was placed diagonally against the window frame. Directly under the pot was a bamboo basket filled with food.
“Do you have any other great ideas?” Although Fu Xing also thought it was foolish, he still had to defend himself. “The simpler the trick, the more difficult it is to draw suspicion.”
“Can this capture the rat, Fu Xing?” Rocort curiously asked.
“I don’t know what it’ll catch—” Fu Xing murmured in reply.
“Sh!” Flora suddenly reached out to cover Fu Xing’s mouth, her sharp ears twitching. “There’s noise.”
The three of them immediately went quiet, holding their breath in wait.
A moment later, a faint sound came from next to the window. The curtains bunched to the side shifted faintly. A palm-sized figure wormed inside through the crack along the window. The moonlight that shone into the room reflected a human-tall shadow on the opposite wall.
This was the silhouette that Rong Zhi had seen.
Upon entering the room, the tiny figure paced around for a while. Finally, it slowly advanced towards the bamboo basket in the corner.
The shadow paused for a moment when it reached the bamboo basket. After an indistinct grinding sound, the bamboo basket was opened, and the figure immediately climbed in. Then they heard quiet chewing.
“Now!” Grabbing the right timing, Fu Xing yanked on the rope, and the pot lid set up above immediately fell down.
Rocort immediately pounced forwards to sit down directly on the pot. Flora quickly put up a sealing ward around them.
When they carefully opened the pot, a tiny red body appeared inside.
It was about the height of one’s palm. Its white face was as rosy as a peach, and it had gem-like wine-red pupils. Its jagged and short red-brown hair rested on its neck and it wore a triangular cap on its head. There was a tattered and patched-up loose robe on its body.
“Ah! A little fairy! It’s a little fairy!” Fu Xing cried out in delight.
“There’s a ton of fairies in the academy, what are you getting all excited about?”
“But this is an actual little fairy! A little fairy that looks exactly like the ones described in cartoons and fairytales!” So moe! So cute!
“I’m a little fairy too,” Rocort interjected, unwilling to be left out.
“Er, you’re a bit too big.”
“You’re the main culprit!” Flora looked down on it as she sternly asked, “Why did you do it? Who sent you here?”
“Sorry…” The tiny figure began to sob. “Sorry, I wanted to join…together…”
“What is she saying?” Fu Xing asked.
“That’s a pixie, a low-level fairy race. They mainly gather in England’s Cornwall area. They have very little spirit power and don’t usually possess language ability. Since long ago, they would reside in human homes and rarely show themselves. They’re proficient in pharmacology; apparently if a human bullies them, they’ll stuff poison in the other party’s mouth at night as revenge,” Flora explained, then turned to continue asking questions. “Were the attacks happening around the campus caused by you?”
The small fairy nodded. “Sorry…”
Fu Xing gently inquired, “Were you bullied by someone?” He could not tell at all that something this cute could be so fierce!
The fairy shook its head. “Wanted to join, together…”
The small fairy continued to stammer out a chain of words, but the beginning and the end did not connect. There was a strange language mixed in the middle too, making it hard to understand.
“What is she saying?”
Flora shook her head.
“It said that Shalom is a very amazing and a very famous school. It’s always dreamed of studying at Shalom and becoming a student here. But because its level and spirit power are too low, it couldn’t enter,” Rocort explained.
“You can understand?” Fu Xing was astonished.
“You can’t understand?” Rocort was astonished.
“Er, forget it.” Fu Xing gave up on pursuing this question and refocused on the little fairy. “Then how did she enter?”
Rocort lowered his head and the two spoke for a while using an unintelligible language.
“Oh, bad child.” Rocort sighed. “It said that it waited at the airport everyday for a student from Shalom to pass by. Then it snuck into my luggage at London Airport, muddling its way into the school. There were many people on campus that looked very strong as well. It was afraid of being discovered, so it’s been hiding in a castle in Sunset Forest the entire time.”
“That means it was you that opened the door during our night adventure that day?”
The tiny fairy nodded.
“But doesn’t the academy have a defence system?”
“Pixies are very low-level special animate beings, basically the same as a typical small animal. Just like that octopus you bought, it’s below the defence system’s detection scope.” As Flora explained, a look of realisation dawned on her face. “No wonder the school couldn’t find the infiltrator no matter how much the detection network has strengthened.”
“Why did she attack students?”
Rocort lowered his head to ask this question, then replied, “It said that was part of its strategy to become part of the school.”
The fairy added some more words.
“It said Fu Xing taught this.”
“What?! As if I did!” Don’t just make false accusations!
Rocort continued to explain.
The story was like this…
After Qing Lin’s incident, the little fairy had hidden in Rocort’s room of the male dorms. After class that day, Fu Xing and Emerald had headed towards Rocort’s room and brought up the story of Legend of White Snake. The fairy hiding nearby had also heard it.
The fairy had received a profound revelation from the part about Bai Suzhen poisoning the well and then opening up an immortal pill shop with Xu Xian.
If a strange, untreatable illness appeared in the academy, it could appear while everyone was helpless in face of the crisis and help them cure the sickness. That way, Shalom might end up letting it enter the school. Just like how the villages had been grateful for Xu Xian curing their illness, presenting many gifts as a result.
What a great plan! The execution went quite smoothly as well. The school fell into panic due to the bizarre attacks.
However, the illness was unexpectedly tied together with a departed soul’s curse. The entire situation reached an uncontrollable point, so the little fairy no longer dared to show its face.
This was the entire course of events.
The main culprit behind Shaldom’s month-long disturbances was actually a tiny fairy that the detection system could not even sense. And the reason for causing this chaos was to receive recognition, a surprising turn of events.
The whole matter felt hard to believe.
After knowing the awkward truth, they were momentarily all speechless.
Flora was the first to speak up, breaking the silence. “Basically, if we traced down to the roots, it was because Fu Xing blabbed out that story.”
“As if that’s the reason!”
“Sorry!” The fairy lowered its head.
“You said you stopped after the goose spirit? Then what about Brad, Emerald, Leon, and Isaac?”
“Aside from Leon, everything else wasn’t its doing.” Rocort explained, “Because Leon nearly discovered its nest in the castle, it could only…”
Ah, I see.
As Fu Xing looked at the cowering figure, his resentment was completely dispelled. He just could not do anything to this adorable creature.
Fu Xing bent down so that he was eye-level with the fairy as he kindly asked, “What is your name?”
The fairy shook its head.
“Low-tier fairies like pixies usually don’t have names.”
“I see…” Fu Xing paused for a second. “Why don’t I give you a name?”
The little fairy’s eyes widened in astonishment, then it happily nodded profusely.
“Your hair is very beautiful, just like a persimmon. Why don’t I call you Persi?”
Flora couldn’t help but let out a sputter of laughter.
The tiny fairy contemplated this for a while, then flashed a brilliant smile. “Persi.”
“Right!” Ooooh! So cute! “Persi!”
“Once you’re done being dumb, can you hand it to the professors?” Flora coldly pointed out the reality. “Don’t forget, regardless of its objective, it is the main culprit behind the disasters on campus.”
Persi’s smile instantly vanished, morphing into one of fear and worry.
“What are you scaring her for!” Fu Xing turned to reprimand Flora, then hurriedly comforted, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. That older sister is naturally very fierce. It’ll be fine once you get used to it…”
“He–Fu–Xing!” Flora’s tone rang out in annoyance.
“I know!” Fu Xing glanced back at her and let out a heavy sigh. “I’ll notify the professors. But—” He turned his gaze back onto Persi and confidently declared, “I’ll also protect you! Don’t worry, you’ll be fine!”
1. This is actually a pop-culture reference to a line from a Taiwanese TV show that became viral and is now a meme. ↑