FXDL V3C1

I am alive! As I said before, V3 and V4 will take me a bit longer to translate because I’m using the physical books, but I will still try my best. This chapter starts out with so many laughs and ended with a super dramatic moment.

On a side note, with the help of Nagi on my Discord server, I completely revamped the Character Profiles and the Novel Synopses (now updated with V3 content). Check it out! I’m really happy with how the Character Profiles turned out – they’re so satisfying to look at~

Translated by: TaffyGirl13

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Chapter 1: Once summer vacation ends, just start counting backwards to Lunar New Year

“Why are you using this formula?” With his glasses, Dan Juan completely gave off a scholarly aura as he held his forehead in his hands and impatiently jabbed at the notebook with a finger.

“I-I can’t?” Fu Xing shot a distressed look down at the calculation he had written, then back at the textbook. However, he could not figure out what the issue was.

“If your objective is to find the incorrect answer, of course you can.” Dan Juan massaged his temples. “Your level of math would make Thays cry.”

“What does this have to do with the public’s beloved star?” Fu Xing was completely lost.

“I think that Speak Now was pretty good,” Emerald raised a hand to comment.

“I’m talking about the father of mathematics, Thales of Miletus, not that country singer1.”

“I see.” So erudite.

“Oh. Then who’s the mother of mathematics?” Momiji chimed in.

“Probably his wife.” Emerald shrugged. “Mrs. Thales or whatever.”

“Don’t say such stupid things – having one idiot here in charge of being dumb is already enough,” Dan Juan coldly stated.

“Are you talking about me?!” Fu Xing unhappily huffed.

“Oh, congratulations. That is the first correct answer you’ve given so far.”

“Dan Juan…”

“If you’re unhappy, you can leave.” Dan Juan crossed his arms in front of his chest in irritation. “After all, I’m not the one that failed math.”

“Also English, Chemistry, Basic Witchcraft, Medieval European History.” Brad sat nearby. He yawned and added, “Oh, also the most classic one: Basic Chinese Literature. Even I passed that one, you know.”

“Don’t say anymore…” Fu Xing weakly dropped his head.

The sweltering sunlight outside the window shone inside the self-study room. The spacious area was typically around 80% filled. But at the moment, there were only six people occupying this wide-open space.

That was because it was currently July, the second week of summer break. Most of Shalom’s students had returned home, and the students that dormed in the summer usually would not come to the self-study room.

Aside from those who had failed subjects.

“Don’t be so fierce. Fu Xing has already tried his best.” Zhu Yue hurriedly smoothed things over and smiled at Fu Xing. “Keep up the good work. You just need to last another hour.”

“Then it’s advanced conversational English and Basic Witchcraft.” Emerald glanced at the schedule. “You can take a twenty-minute break after eating dinner, then continue onto Basic Chinese Literature.”

Fu Xing let out a low groan.

Although he had perfectly resolved the spirit-blaming disturbance on campus last semester, he might have spent too much effort on that investigation. Thus, he had been unable to balance his schoolwork and…

On his end-of-term report, he had received red marks on six subjects. This was the most astonishing record since Shalom was first established.

The professors had graded fairly without any personal influences. Fortunately, they had all been willing to be flexible, letting him make up for the grades by handing in assigned homework.

This was why everyone had gathered here – to help Fu Xing complete his pile of assignments.

“Want to try boosting your intelligence with incense essential oil?” Not letting any opportunities escape, Emerald marketed his goods. “Its origin is said to be brain extract from a snow spirit ape. Using it will activate your brain activity for a surge of intelligence.”

“Once he uses it, he’ll be as smart as Pan-kun and can bring James to buy groceries. How amazing.” Flora patted Fu Xing, who lay defeated on the desk. “Don’t play dead, hurry up and write your answers.”

“Mhm, I know….” Fu Xing was exhausted. But for the sake of not letting down everyone that had specially stayed behind to help him with his make-up homework, he had to persevere no matter how tired he was.

He lifted his head and continued staring at the densely packed numbers on the exercise sheet that made him feel dizzy.

“You can’t directly use this formula.” Dan Juan used his pencil to point at the polygon in the question. “You have to first figure out this length here.”

“Ok. No problem.” Fu Xing quickly grabbed a ruler and placed it against the image. “1.8 cm.”

Dan Juan looked up to glare at Fu Xing. Right as he was about to rage out abusively, he spotted Zhu Yue’s worried expression and forcefully restrained himself. First, he took in a deep breath. His face twitched slightly as he tried his best to lift the corners of his mouth. “What a hilarious and creative way to solve a question, Student He.”

“Hehehe…” Fu Xing scratched his head in embarrassment.

“Do you really think I’m praising you?”

Momiji lazily commented with a smile, “What are you being so stern for? Isn’t it just some numbers and symbols? There are still plenty of more interesting things in life. Why spend your efforts on things like this?”

Dan Juan arrogantly shook his head with “how could you not know” written all over his face. “Your words faithfully revealed how thin-skinned you are.”

“You won’t find a girlfriend if you’re always so inflexible.”

“I don’t need that kind of thing.”

Momiji smiled thinly. Her arm suddenly reached over to grab Dan Juan’s pencil-holding right hand and raised it in front of her. Then she spoke to Dan Juan’s right hand, “Ah, hello, thanks for your hard work.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m greeting Dan Juan’s lifetime girlfriend.”

Before Fu Xing even registered what was going on, Brad had already burst out into laughter. Emerald chuckled and shook his head.

“How vulgar and tasteless.” Dan Juan jerked his hand out of her grasp and pushed at his glasses. “Girls like you are the ones that won’t be able to marry.”

“Oh, is that so.” Momiji chuckled and muttered, “I might actually become like you after I marry…”

Fu Xing looked up at Momiji, only to see her stretching. She languidly said in a very charming tone, “How boring. Taeharu, let’s go find something fun.”

“Sure!”

“Shoo, shoo, shoo!” Dan Juan waved his hand as though shooing a fly. “Don’t come back.”

Momiji laughed as she strode off. “Aiya, so painful. Don’t use your girlfriend to chase others away; you should be a bit nicer to the fairer sex.”

“You heathen!” Dan Juan let out a heavy scoff and turned his head to glare at the covertly sniggering Fu Xing. “What are you looking at? Hurry up and write!”

“Yes, yes, yes…” Fu Xing scrambled to wave his pen around to scribble rapidly.

“I’ve helped you mark the main points for Basic Chinese Literature. The answers to the exercises are all inside. Just flip through those pages and copy them.” Flora put down the heavy book in her hands.

“Thank you!”

“Flora, you’re so amazing,” Zhu Yue sincerely commented. “I really hope that I can help too.”

“Isn’t that easy? Just tell Fu Xing to fail the Geography exam next time and you’ll have a chance to help him.”

“Oi, oi, oi, don’t curse me!” Fu Xing protested unhappily. “Zhu Yue, the fact that you specially stayed behind to keep me company and encouraged me is a great help already! Otherwise, who could take Dan Juan’s Spartan training!”

Dan Juan raised a brow. “Now you’re blaming me?”

“I wouldn’t dare.”

Ahem.”  Brad lightly coughed, intentionally or not, drawing Fu Xing’s attention.

Fu Xing caught on and rushed to continue adding, “Oh, of course, Brad’s willingness to sacrifice his summer vacation time at home with his family by staying behind to accompany me while I study also makes me extremely touched. I will never forget this gratitude!”

In response to being praised like this, Brad was quite calm and indifferent. “It’s nothing.”

“Brad really is kind-hearted.” Zhu Yue smiled at Brad. “I’m really happy to be your friend.”

Ahem…Friend…Brad’s expression was a bit awkward, but he still maintained his smile like a gentleman.

Flora couldn’t help but let out a light chuckle.

With her head propped up, she gazed out the window. The afternoon sunlight shone on her face and her cat pupils narrowed into slits.

Ah, youth…

How much longer can the peace continue like this?

There was an inexplicable feeling of unrest.

When exactly will it disappear?

 

With his friends’ assistance, Fu Xing finally finished his tall mound of homework a week later. The night before returning home, Fu Xing headed to the medical centre to visit his sister, who had joined Shalom and become a member of the medical group last semester.

As it was summer break, the medical centre was vacant and completely silent. The cool-toned décor was pretty much the same as a hospital’s. The only difference was that Shalom’s medical centre did not have an antiseptic smell. Instead, a fresh scent of herbal medicine wafted through the air.

Fu Xing sat on the treatment chair in He Fu Qing’s office, comfortably enjoying the air conditioning. He held a glass of green tea with iced cold medicine syrup (this was a trick that Rocort had taught him – the taste was unexpectedly not bad). The tiny fairy Persi flew around in a nurse uniform, adding ice cubes into his glass. At the moment, Fu Xing was as relaxed as a rich person vacationing on a beach in south Florida.

“You really know how to enjoy yourself.”

“Eh, not really.” Fu Xing swirled the glass around, the ice cubes making clear clinking sounds. Then he took a light sip and sighed like a glutton, “Oh, the taste of happiness.”

“This office’s refrigerator doesn’t have a freezer drawer,” Fu Qing coolly stated.

“Oh, so?”

“Your ice cubes are from the specimen-holding room next door.”

Fu Xing spat out his mouthful of drink, drenching Persi completely. “What?!”

“Don’t panic, there haven’t been any ‘goods’ there for a long time now.” Fu Qing smiled thinly and walked over to the counter to toss a towel at Fu Xing. “Clean up your own messes.”

Fu Xing stuck out his tongue but grabbed the towel and resentfully bent down. Though it was likely a mental thing, his felt as though there was now a rotten taste in his mouth.

As Fu Xing wiped, he asked, “Lin Lin said she’s sad that you’re not going back.” His mom had complained about it for a long time over video call yesterday. “Why not go home?”

“I just accepted the job position and there are still many things I don’t understand. Besides, as the youngest professor in Shalom’s history, and a hybrid at that, I have to perform better so that I don’t get pestered by the conservative faction. Moreover, the school ceremony jointly held by both campuses will be next semester. As a new staff, I naturally have to stay behind and help with odd jobs…”

“I see.” He could understand the point about age. To the special animate beings that were already in their hundreds, the 26-year old Fu Qing was basically an infant. However—

“Are hybrids bad? I remember that Class D has a werewolf-fairy hybrid too.” He suddenly recalled that before entering the school, his dad had also reminded him not to casually mention his grandma if it wasn’t necessary.

“There’s nothing bad about hybrids, but those that are part human are uncommon.” Fu Qing lightly snorted, “Some of the conservative faction care very much about bloodlines. Those right-wing clan leaders regard humans the same way that White Triangle regards us. It’s completely unreasonable.”

“Is that so…” He had tossed his dad’s words off to the side ages ago. But fortunately, he rarely talked about his family with his peers. While he knew that his good friends would not treat him differently because of this, it was possible for his identity to draw attacks from busybodies.

Bloodlines, huh…

To special animate beings that were originally mixed species, what is the significance of bloodlines?

Would golden retriever spirits be higher level than mongrel spirits?

Fu Qing finished checking the medicines and pulled out a thick data packet from the shelf. She then sat behind her desk and began to flip through the information.

“What’s that?”

“The higher-ups want me to submit statistical data analysing all students’ ailments from the past fifty years,” Fu Qing indifferently replied.

“I see.” Sounds like a huge pain.

Starting from when he and his friends had started paying visits up until now, Fu Qing had never stopped working. Despite this, she had never asked them to leave.

This is probably Fu Qing’s way of showing kindness…

Fu Xing watched his older sister. He wanted to say something, yet felt as though no words were suitable.

After a moment of silence, he said, “Sis, good luck.”

September – the end of summer.

As Shalom was at a high altitude, the leaves were starting to turn red. The orange and pale green leaves existed together atop the trees, creating a varied myriad of gorgeous colours.

As the new semester started, Fu Xing and the others advanced to their second year. Their homeroom location did not change, though the plaque on the door changed to 2-C.

The new students were sent into the vacant classrooms that had originally belonged to third-years.

The students in the class had not changed much over summer break. Only Fu Xing had traces left on his body from the summer sun, as he had spent the vacation time frequently playing outside.

“Were you poisoned? Why are you completely dark?” Emerald asked in curiosity when he saw Fu Xing’s wheat-coloured skin.

“You’re the one that got poisoned! This is a tan!”

Emerald raised a brow. “I thought bats hated sunlight. You really are bizarre.”

“And I thought elves all liked floating around freely in nature and regarded money as dirt!” The elf that had whipped out his iPhone to check it on the first day of classes had no right to talk about Fu Xing.

“Only rich people would spend money like dirt. To the eyes of the poor, money is money.”

“That’s true.” Fu Xing tilted his head in thought. “Eh, so is Emerald very poor?”

“I can’t call myself poor. Strictly speaking, elves don’t require money. We live in nature and can exist by using any natural resources as we please.”

“Then what are you trying to earn so much money for?”

Emerald paused from fiddling with is phone for a second. “Because this world isn’t the world of the elves. Our laws don’t work…”

“Ah?”

“User costs. That’s all.” Emerald did not say anything more, looking down to focus intently on the screen.

Fu Xing wanted to ask further, but the classroom door opened. 2-C’s advisor, the lich Grod, proudly strolled into homeroom dressed in gaudy, eye-catching clothes as usual. Following this, Taeharu ran in and went over to Momiji to return to their usual seating.

Grod walked to stand in place at the podium. Without further ado, he cut straight to the main point.

“As everyone probably knows, there will be an important event this semester: the second joint school ceremony. While it is not yet certain whether there will be candidates from our class, I will give a general outline of the school ceremony, just in case—

Calculated based on Jupiter’s orbit, this year was the twenty-seventh anniversary.

This school ceremony was only held once within every twelve-year cycle, so it was exceptionally grand and meticulous. The month-long ceremony would be conducted starting from the first day of October.

The ceremony was divided into two sections.

The first section was referred to as “friendly matches” with traditional competition subjects that the school set. Common subjects included motor skills, special ability skills, and witchcraft application. Rather than calling them friendly matches, they were more like a setup for the southern and northern campuses to act on their long-lasting enmity and squarely duke it out.

The second section was the worship ceremony, which was basically the same as a typical school celebration. There would be everything from group performances with special abilities to student creations on display.

The most interesting point was that the academy would open the teleportation portal three days before the school ceremony for the two schools through the hundreds of staff on both ends. This would open a path connecting the southern campus and northern campus so that students could act together.

Of course, if they were just enjoying good food and drink, it would be too dull. During the evening party, there would be a voting event for Shalom’s Star. Students and staff would vote and choose who they believed was Shalom’s most beautiful “creature”—It did not matter if they were male or female or what race they were. Both professors and students could attend. Only one individual would win the prize.

The Shalom’s Star [event] was hosted by Aquarius. This year was its fourth occurrence. It was also the most attractive main event to the student body.

“Shalom’s school ceremony, which is only held around once every twelve-year period, is where all non-humans gather. All of you should make sure to properly enjoy it.” After Grod finished speaking, he swept his gaze across the entire class. “That is all.”

“How are the school representatives selected?”

“The school ceremony is on the Sacred Day, so it must be done absolutely fairly. The selection of school representatives uses a tradition that started when the academy was first created: bone divination.”

“Bone divination?”

“Using an ancient eudemon’s bones to divine the results. It’s similar to drawing lots. The people that get chosen will be the representatives.”

“Doesn’t seem very impartial…” What if someone weak gets drawn?

“Then do you think it would be impartial if a person chose?” Grod’s lips curled up in disapproval. “If you leave it to the heavens, the heavens will help us choose the most suitable candidates. Besides, the results from the bone divination have never been wrong. All the selected representatives have always been the school’s elite members.”

“Are there any benefits to being chosen as a representative?” Emerald raised his hand to ask, “For example, something like award money…”

“Being selected doesn’t have any benefits; you would need to win the competitions.” Grod shot an exasperated look at the eager Emerald.

Grod explained a few more general things and then dismissed the class about an hour later.

Fu Xing gathered his belongings and returned to the dorm.

Right as he was about to head to the dining hall, a faint wave of dizziness unexpectedly took over his mind.

Huh…?

Come here…

Fu Xing rubbed his eyes, wanting to stay awake. However, the invisible force curled up around his thoughts, as though bundling them without his permission. It then drew him towards a familiar yet also indistinct location.

Is it anaemia?

Fu Xing blinked hard and took in a deep breath.

Come over here…

Why? Go where?

Come. Here. Right. Now.

 

The nights were later in the summertime. Though it was well into the evening, the sky still carried dim light and had not yet completely turned dark. Rather, it was an indigo washed with grey, a somewhat lethargic colour.

A peculiar feeling.

Despite his eyes being wide-open, he could not see anything. Everything was a hazy white, as though he was recalling a dream inside a dream.

“…Fu Xing…”

A low voice rang next to his ear as his shoulders were gently shaken.

“Fu Xing?”

The light fog that had blurred all five senses instantly cleared.

“Ah? Eh?!” Fu Xing started and whipped his head around to look next to him.

He was met with the sight of Youny staring at him in confusion.

“What’s the matter?” He recognised this place to be the forest area in the eastern section of the campus – the usual location he met up with Youny.

The question was, when had he gotten here?

“We had just started talking about the school ceremony when you suddenly spaced out for around ten seconds or so.” Youny peered intently at Fu Xing.

Fu Xing scratched his head, his memories gradually surfacing.

After class, he had run over looking for Youny. The two had been sharing daily trifles as they usually did.

“Oh, I’m fine. Probably just a bit tired.”

“Do you want to go back and rest? For a bat spirit, the summer sun is a bit too intense…”

“It’s alright, Taiwan’s summer sun is much stronger than this.” He recalled his elementary school days. Back then, when all the students had been listening to the head director’s words while sweating under the blazing sun, only he had been able to leisurely stay in the classroom to rest. Everyone had been envious of him.

Youny saw that Fu Xing had returned to his senses, so he smiled and continued the topic. “The southern campus’s representatives will arrive next week.”

“Why so early? Isn’t the competition in October?”

“To get used to the environment, of course.”

“That’s a good point…” Apparently, the southern campus was built on the coral archipelagos in the south Pacific Ocean. The climate was likely a drastic difference compared to the northern campus in Switzerland. “Have you been to the southern campus before?”

“Nope. I probably only know about as much as you do about the southern campus…” The southern campus had only been created after the second war had ended, and was technically one of the headmaster’s “benevolent governments”.

And at the time, he had still been imprisoned in the rift box where even darkness was swallowed…

Spending the first wretched thousand years there.

His dark eyes changed with his emotions, revealing a faint amber glow.

“Is that so?” Fu Xing had not expected there to be something that Youny didn’t know about.

“When will they draw for the representatives?”

“The day after tomorrow, during the school opening ceremony. Grod said that the selection would be performed using ‘bone divination’, which uses a eudemon’s bones to divine the results—Youny, are you okay?”

Had Fu Xing been mistaken? When he had mentioned “bone divination”, Youny’s eyes had turned gold for an instant.

“Hm?” Youny cocked his head to the side as he smiled. The sun’s rays spilled over his handsome face, his eyes reflecting the brilliant light.

I probably saw wrong. “Selecting through divination just feels so unscientific.”

“Indeed. But the existence of special animate beings in the first place far surpasses the things that ‘science’ can supposedly explain too. From another standpoint, science is also a type of myth. The natural and supernatural manifesting everywhere in nature is one of many truths. It is simply because an observer’s vision is limited that the two feel different.” Youny looked up to gaze at the blue dome of heaven. “There is only one that can see through everything…”

Fu Xing did not really understand Youny’s words, but he still made a note of feigned affirmation and nodded.

“Though the results of the bone divination are said to consistently be outstanding elites, is the school not at all concerned that it will fail once and draw out a very weak student?” For example, an amateur bat spirit like him that always messed up spells and couldn’t even properly transform.

Youny turned to study Fu Xing. “Do you wish to participate?”

“How could I possibly?!”

“I’m just asking if you want to, not if you’re able to.” If the response he received now was certain…then he would make that answer a reality.

Hehe…being locked up for so long really is boring.

Fu Xing scratched his head and considered it for two seconds. “I don’t.”

Youny raised his brow in slight astonishment. “Why not?”

“How should I put this?” Fu Xing frowned as he tried his best to figure out how to express his thoughts. “Hm…just like how I like playing online games, but I don’t want to become one of the characters inside the game. That’s pretty much how I feel.”

He enjoyed the intersection between fiction and reality that connected the two worlds. However, he did not want to transmigrate into it. He liked sitting on this side and controlling people from the other side, quietly observing all the changes made under his command. Yet he did not want to place himself within.

“Simply put, I like watching the fires burning from across the river.” Fu Xing struck his palm with a fist as he summed up his thoughts.

Youny stared blankly at him for a second before… “Hahahahahaha!”

He was almost wild with laughter. Fu Xing had never seen the mild and introverted Youny display such excessive emotion in front of him before.

“That’s great, Fu Xing. That’s really great.” Youny held his laughter as he focused on Fu Xing in satisfaction. Then he couldn’t help but chuckle again. “That method of thinking is amazing! Very remarkable!”

Very good. That is my outstanding weapon, that is what can match up to my doctrine.

Only an idiot would want to get involved in an unfavourable situation. The actual heroes on the battlefield were not the close-combat soldiers at the front lines, but the officers commanding in the rear troops. Those that were truly strong were not the heroes accomplishing achievements in plain sight, but the ones that did them hidden in the darkness where no one could see. There, they would silently manipulate history as it developed—

Fu Xing was somewhat embarrassed by Youny’s commendation. He bashfully chuckled. “It’s nothing that amazing…I’m just a coward that only knows how to hide in the back and watch the fight.”

“That is indeed true.” Youny laughed out loud. But when he noticed Fu Xing’s smile disappear, he added, “But I will help you build a stage that belongs to you. And you can become a hero.”

“Something like that—” Could never happen…

“Something like that will start precisely now.”

“Huh?”

“You may return.”

“What?”

Youny reached out to gently pat Fu Xing’s head.

A familiar haze enveloped Fu Xing’s consciousness.

“Go back, then forget about me for the time being. Wait for my summons.”

Fu Xing nodded, then stood and dazedly began to walk towards the dorms.

“Sorry, right now, I can only use this way to meet with you…” Youny gazed towards Fu Xing’s back as he murmured, “Because you will become more and more dazzling, and the people that notice you will increase as well. That’s why, it must be like this…”

Because he was not someone that could be in plain sight.

He would control history, arranging his pieces one by one on the chessboard.

He Fu Xing…would become his King.

Twilight, the time when demons roamed.

The joyous sunset was a light pink and yellow blended together with dark indigo and violet.

Shalom’s opening ceremony was being officially held in the main bailey. All the professors and students in the school were gathered together.

The second and third-year students were sitting on the upper-level balconies of the main hall, while the new students sat front and centre.

Gazing down from above, one could see the newly admitted students. Some wore calm expressions, others seemed shy and uneasy in the new environment. The only common point they all shared were their exceptionally beautiful looks.

As Fu Xing watched the new students, he recalled himself from last year. When he had first entered Shalom, he had thought he was simply joining a foreign language school. For the first few days, he had even ended up bedridden in his dorm because of the unfamiliar environment, missing the opening ceremony.

Angled below the hall was Shalom’s band. They had been performing dignified symphonies since entering. The music carried a central Asian style, echoing around the space between the pillars and walls.

“They’re new students.” Fu Xing held onto the railing as he curiously stared down below. “So that’s what the new student ceremony looks like.”

“It’s just boring.” Brad yawned and lazily glanced over. “A bunch of rookies that need training.”

“Do you know anyone?” Zhu Yue smiled as she asked this question to Brad, who was “coincidentally” seated next to her.

“No! Nope!”

“Eh, are you nervous?”

“Of course not!”

“Pfft…” Rachel let out a snort of laughter from the back row. “The little puppy wants to eat fish…”

Brad immediately spun his head around to look viciously at Rachel.

“What?” Zhu Yue blinked in astonishment. “Aren’t werewolves allergic to seafood?”

“That’s right. That’s why his face is all red.” Rachel grinned at the embarrassed and angry Brad. “It’s because of the seafood, isn’t it?”

“Cut the crap!” Brad shot Rachel a glare then turned his head to gloomily stare at the tide of people below.

Zhu Yue glanced at Fu Xing with a confused look. Fu Xing shrugged and laughed dryly.

This guy really hasn’t made any progress at all…even though he’s so fierce when beating people up.

Fu Xing continued scanning the new students.

There was a particularly eye-catching fellow that drew his attention.

Sitting diagonally in the back right was a completely snow-white figure. His white hair rested behind his head, a black hairtie roughly tying the hair into a ponytail starting from the middle of his back. The fluffy and long hair stretching straight down to the floor, with the hair’s owner seemingly not minding that the ends of his hair were now dirty grey. It looked as though it frequently dragged along the ground.

His skin was like his hair – pale white, though it had a touch of pink. Even among the pale-skinned Westerners, this person was very conspicuous.

He wore an ill-fitted uniform, the overly large size spilling over the shoulder line unnaturally. Although it was summer, he was wearing the winter uniform, the long sleeves reaching past the arms to form wrinkled bunches [of cloth] at the bottom.

The somewhat delicate-looking youth had an eastern face. Bloodred pupils were embedded inside those long, expressionless phoenix eyes that gazed blankly forwards. He was also holding something semi-transparent.

Bubble wrap.

The youth’s long fingers seemed to move on their own as they pressed down on the bubbles, bursting them one by one.

All the seats around the youth were vacant. No one sat near him.

So strange…

Fu Xing inwardly pondered.

There really are all kinds of weird people in this world.

On the other corner of 2-C’s seats, there were others looking at the new student seats while whispering criticisms to each other.

“Look, look, the male in the third row from the back.” Momiji extended a finger to point towards the new student seats. She quietly said to Taeharu, “Don’t you think he’s pretty good-looking?”

Taeharu glanced over and frowned, then reluctantly forced herself to nod.

“What’s wrong?” Momiji asked in confusion.

“He looks like a young master from the city.”

Momiji paused for a moment, then chuckled as though laughing at herself. “I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it….”

“Could you two stop?” Dan Juan, who was sitting behind Momiji and Taeharu, shut his book and unhappily interrupted the girls’ idle chatter. “Don’t disturb me.”

Taeharu innocently looked at Dan Juan. “We were speaking very quietly.”

“It has nothing to do with volume. The sound of a mosquito buzzing around is more annoying than thunder.”

“So you want us to talk a bit louder?” Momiji purposely raised her voice.

“I want you both to shut your mouths and be quiet!” Dan Juan’s loss of patience showed on his face, clearly full of contempt.

“You’re seriously so fussy…”

“Momiji…” Taeharu chuckled and leaned over to murmur into Momiji’s ear for a while.

Momiji immediately broke out into laughter. She shot a mischievous glance at Dan Juan, then went back to laughing heartily.

This action made the veins on the corner of Dan Juan’s forehead immediately pop out.

“May I ask you two ignorant and rude women what you are laughing about?”

“You’re just trying to pull off a cool act to attract the attention of girls, aren’t you?”

“As if!” Dan Juan forcefully sputtered, as though he had heard the world’s most ridiculous joke.

“Then are you trying to attract the attention of guys?” Taeharu asked in a pure voice.

“Complete nonsense!”

Momiji clapped her hands as she laughed. Taeharu continued to ask innocently, “Dan Juan, are you a shou?”

“What?”

“Does Dan Juan like being on top or on the bottom?” Taeharu had curiosity written all over her face, like a diligent student eager to learn more. “Do you really use spider silk to bind yourself in search of pleasure?”

This strange question stunned both Momiji and Dan Juan.

“Taeharu, what are you saying?!” Momiji’s eye’s widened as though she had just seen an enema being administered in a Buddhist temple.

“Flora said so,” Taeheru mumbled out the name of the culprit.

Momiji and Dan Juan shouted in unison, “That damn cat spirit!” It was rare for the two of them to share a common opinion.

Meanwhile in 2-B’s seats, Flora sneezed.

When the last notes of the music came to an end, a tall male in a flax robe strode onto the stage in the centre of the hall.

He looked somewhere around his twenties and his figure gave off a profound aura. His skin was wheat-coloured, his eyes like pomegranates. His hair seemed black at first glance, but as it shifted under the light, it gave off a faint brown glow.

Shalom’s highest leader: Sanbi Fruenz.

This was Fu Xing’s first time seeing him. Although Sanbi was the headmaster, he never stayed on campus for long; usually, the school affairs were handled by Provost Grey. Even when the headmaster was at school, he normally stayed in the main bailey. Students would typically not have much opportunity to see him.

Sanbi surveyed the entire hall. Then he slowly said some official formalities, encouraging students to enrich themselves as they looked ahead towards the future. His tone was calm like a machine reading aloud. His facial expression was also very collected, making him appear no different from an emotionless puppet.

So boring… Fu Xing yawned.

An indescribable tremor faintly crawled up his back.

Fu Xing couldn’t help but shiver, then touched his nape in bewilderment. The air conditioning is probably too strong.

“Next, we will conduct the bone divination.”

Brownies suddenly appeared in the centre of the hall. Using peach wood, they built a platform about the size of two beds at an astonishing speed. Then they quickly vanished.

Sanbi retreated to the side to stand together with the other professors.

Following this, a peregrine falcon spirit named Yan Zhen respectfully came up in priest garb, carrying an ancient wooden box covered in gold runes. She approached the platform and knelt before it, lining up the objects inside the wooden box.

First was a dark red cloth. Both sides of the cloth were delicately stitched with art. One side had a large magic circle with complex images in the centre. It looked like a combination of Tibetan thangka, middle-aged alchemy, Daoism, voodoo, and a bunch of primitive religions that were so old that they were largely unknown.

The other side of the cloth had a stitching of beast totem. The excessively chaotic threads made it hard to clearly discern the beast’s original appearance. The silver threads transformed under the light, turning pitch-black in one moment, then pure white the next. The only unique trait that one could see was the sharp horn protruding from the beast’s forehead.

The instant Fu Xing spotted this totem, his heart unnaturally throbbed for a moment. However, it immediately returned to normal.

The cloth was laid out on the ground with the beast side facing downwards and the massive array facing everyone.

Then a round, dark purple crystal pot was pulled out. The pot was covered in gold symbols as well.

Yan Zhen slowly retreated and Grod appeared after her.

His face that was both masculine and feminine had enchanting runes drawn over it. He wore shaman robes and had protective charms hanging from his neck and hands.

Grod knelt before the platform and closed his eyes to quietly mutter out a spell.

The low, monotonous voice circled around and around the room, like smoke spiralling through the air.

Everyone concentrated with bated breaths, focused on watching. Only Rocort was as laidback as usual, eating jellybeans as though watching a movie.

Good thing I didn’t let him bring melon seeds, Fu Xing inwardly thought.

Finally, when the last of the spell was spoken, the chanting came to a sharp stop. When the lingering sound froze, Grod lifted his palm and swept it at the purple pot, drawing out a perfect arc. Like this, he flung the pot up into the air.

Fwoosh!

The lid of the purple pot flipped open and the objects stored inside tumbled out. A dozen or so pearl-sized white beads floated mid-air.

A eudemon’s bones that had been taken apart and polished down.

As the purple pot fell, Grod firmly caught it in his palm. The round bone beads remained suspended in the air, slowly revolving.

A dazzling glow was emitted from the beads as light reflected off them. They were more lustrous than all the gems of the world, yet also carried the slight haziness as a pearl.

This mystical scene made all the students stare in awe. Even Rocort had put down the cotton candy in his hand to lock his gaze onto the beads.

“Fu Xing.”

“Hm?”

“That looks like white chocolate…” Rocort gulped. “Did you bring chocolate? I want to eat some.”

“Sh!” You’re ruining the scene!

There was someone other than the people in the hall currently eying the beads.

Atop the tall domed roof of the hall was an observer lurking in the shade of the trees. His arms were crossed in front of his chest as he attentively watched all the actions ongoing inside the building.

When he saw the bone beads, his dark pupils immediately switched to a dangerous crimson. However, they then immediately turned back.

It’s been a long time. Those humiliating memories…

His line of sight shifted towards Fu Xing, pausing there for a few seconds. Then he spun around to face Sanbi, who was standing offside the centre of the hall.

It’s been a long time, hypocrite.

A few seconds later, the beads fell straight down towards the cloth as though they were alive. However, nine of the beads flew out in different directions towards the student seats.

The gaze outside the window turned cold, giving off a dark blue light. The bone beads all flashed the same colour in that extremely brief instant, then began to fall down towards their targets.

The room was completely quiet.

Fu Xing wanted to look around, but he did not dare to. It felt as though the eyes of all students and teachers in the school were focusing on their area.

Was he mistaken? Why did it feel like the beads had dropped near him?

“Those that have received a bone bead, stand. Report your name and race.”

There was one or two seconds of hesitation and uncertainty before the selected figures slowly stood. Restless murmurs then began to spread, like the ripples from a stone dropped into a pond.

“3-E, wind elf, Shiran.”

“2-C, flame fox spirit, Momiji.”

“2-C, jiaoren, Zhu Yue.”

“2-C, wind elf, Emerald.”

“Leon Sagveiss, darkblood.”

“Brad Albert, werewolf.”

“Dan Juan. Spider spirit.”

“2-B, cat spirt, Flora.”

“…1-D…xuanniao spirit, Zi Ye.”

Twenty classes, eight hundred students, nine competitors.

Aside from Flora, Shiran, and the new student Zi Ye, all the other beads had landed within 2-C.


1. Emerald and Fu Xing were talking about Taylor Swift, because Taylor Swift in Chinese sounds like Thales.


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