Translating foreign names in Chinese novels is always such a struggle….thanks to all the people in my Discord that helped me come up with names haha.
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
Chapter 2: School ceremonies and students are all sacrificial offerings for teachers’ amusements
“Six out of nine people are from 2-C?!”
“Isn’t that too strange?!”
Discussions spread throughout the hall. The quiet whispers amongst the crowds turned into a sea of noise. Even the instructors and staff were all showing shocked expressions.
Fu Xing curiously glanced around, surveying the candidates that were standing up.
Zhu Yue looked slightly embarrassed with a bitter, apologetic smile. Momiji was still as bold and open as usual. She repeatedly waved and sent flying kisses to the students as though she had been chosen to be a school idol. Leon, Brad, and Dan Juan wore their typical cold expressions, annoyance towards the crowd showing in their gazes. Only Emerald was smiling; naturally, Fu Xing knew that the reason Emerald was happy wasn’t because he had been chosen as a school representative, but because of the plentiful rewards that would be received post-competition.
Shiran was as he normally was, with a small, introverted and reserved smile. Flora did not show any particular reactions, though she kept turning to look back at where 2-C was sitting.
As for the new student named Zi Ye…
Fu Xing craned his neck to look downwards. The pale, tall and skinny figure was standing among the new student seats. The youth gripped beads in one hand, his face blank as though his mind was elsewhere. His head was tilted upwards to stare out the tall windows.
The instructors were also astonished by these results. Many eyes were gathered onto Grod, who was at the centre of the hall.
Grod furrowed his brows as he returned everyone’s gazes.
“Professor Grod, why did they all land in 2-C?”
“What are you trying to say?” Grod glared at Ned.
“Calling it a coincidence is a bit too ridiculous…”
Suspicious whispers of speculation rose among the instructors and staff.
“These are the results of the bone divination.” Grod confidently declared, “A ceremony shaman’s calling is to present Heaven’s Will. Even if you die, you cannot possibly do something against your calling.”
Despite this, the dissatisfied complaints refused to rest. Quite a few people were criticising 2-C, malicious glares and curses shooting endlessly at them.
How could this happen?
Although Fu Xing also found the results bizarre, Grod would never do this type of thing!
Fu Xing anxiously glanced at the person with the highest position in the entire school. He was astonished to discover that Sanbi was not looking at the commotion at all, but rather, was staring upwards at a certain open window on the high section of the wall.
What is he looking at?
Sanbi immediately shifted his attention back and strode to the middle of the hall. Grod respectfully moved aside to make way, and all the noise immediately dissipated.
Sanbi bent down to pick up a bone bead from the purple pot and held it in his palm. After studying it for a few seconds, he returned it to its place.
“Cease your meaningless guesses. This is no ordinary bone divination. Acting presumptuously without permission will only bring misfortune upon yourselves.” Sanbi calmly spoke, settling the crowd, “These are the results; we can only respect Heaven’s Will. Congratulations to the nine students that have become the representatives of the northern campus.”
Applause rang out, though slightly scattered.
“Chosen representatives, please come up to the stage to receive your blessings.”
The nine representatives each walked up to the stage, with Sanbi praying for them one by one.
After the ceremony finished, Sanbi turned around and left. Grod led the representatives to leave the hall. Then, another instructor went up to the stage to announce some important matters.
The students listened half-heartedly, and the hall fell into another listless silence.
Outside the window, a person was grinning on a branch high up in the dense forest.
He had been smiling the entire time throughout the course of events.
Hehe…I was nearly discovered.
As he watched Sanbi leave from the side door, his grin died down slightly.
Although he loathed this person, he had to admit that they did have some tricks up their sleeve. As expected of that person’s posterity…
His line of sight switched over to the neatly lined up seats of students, his eyes zeroing in onto one person.
Are you satisfied? This is the stage I have arranged for you.
Prepare to make your debut, Fu Xing.
Although the results of the bone divination had created an uproar, the commotion still died after the ceremony ended.
The many people on campus definitely questioned the results, but they did not seem to have anything against the candidates themselves.
Leon and Brad were the elites among darkbloods and werewolves respectively, while Emerald was part of the superior wind elf race.
Momiji was a rarely seen flame fox spirit (fox spirits with unique attributes were not common), and Dan Juan was an excellent student in the top rankings.
As for Flora, no one dared to say anything about her even though her performance was not particularly outstanding. On the one hand, Flora held back much of her strength rather than displaying it. On the other hand, Flora knew too many things—
—Many things that people did not wish for others to know about.
It one wanted to challenge the blackmail queen that possessed tons of information, one had to be prepared to have their reputation shattered.
The new student representative, Zi Ye, was someone who most people didn’t know the background of. However, when he had shown himself, quite a few of the older jingguai had shot him odd looks that seemed to look down on him while also being fearful of him.
The only person that was willingly accepted as a representative without anyone finding it strange was Shiran, the current vice president of Aquarius.
After the candidates were confirmed, they began their secret training gatherings. While not in class, all the contestants would gather in the special ability application classroom.
While some people turned busy, others became bored.
“So bored.” Fu Xing was sprawled across the medicine dresser next to the treatment bed as he yawned.
Fu Qing was not on duty at the medical centre tonight. Fu Xing had come to the office as usual to visit Persi.
He usually always had at least three people by his side. But today, only Rocort was keeping him company.
Whose fault was it that his friends were so outstanding?
The moment Rocort entered the room, he headed straight to the fridge out of habit. He pulled out a plastic bottle, then smoothly reached out to swipe a paper cup, pouring the viscous magenta liquid out into the cup and downing it all in one swig. Then he longingly smacked his laps.
“Oi! Don’t drink too much. Control yourself a bit.”
Ever since discovering the sweet cold syrup, Rocort had immediately become infatuated with it. He would drink a small cup every time he visited. He’s clearly just treating the medical centre as a bar!
Fu Xing sat in the swivel chair, spinning around in circles around the medical office like a jellyfish aimlessly floating in the sea.
Then the jellyfish crashed into a reef called a “scale”, the loud clang resounding in the air.
“If you’re just going to be retarded, please leave.” He Fu Qing had her arms crossed in front of her as she coldly watched her dumb little brother.
“Sorry, sorry.” Fu Xing hurriedly sat properly. Then he let out a bored sigh.
He Fu Qing furrowed her brows. “What?”
“I didn’t think that so many people from our class would be chosen.”
“Isn’t that good?”
He Fu Qing could tell what the other was thinking. She let out a soft, helpless sigh. “This type of bone divination result isn’t very normal.”
Fu Xing lifted his head, his focus shifting. “So you suspect horseplay?”
Clad in a nurse outfit, Persi struggled to lift up a roll of bandages, shakily flying towards the cabinet before losing their centre of gravity and unsteadily falling onto the steel container of alcohol pads.
Fu Xing quickly stood and reached out to pick up Persi, who was now shivering after taking a dunk in alcohol.
“That’s basically impossible. The bone divination can only respond to two things, neither of which belong to this world. Most importantly, it’s moved by a higher spiritual power from an upper realm, equivalent to an oracle’s sign. That can’t be faked. Besides, although this result is a bit ridiculous and has a low percentage of occurring, there is always a possibility if the chances aren’t zero.”
“True.” Fu Xing pulled out some tissue paper to wipe Persi while they were sneezing non-stop.
“With how much you’re moping around, don’t tell me that you’re depressed because you weren’t chosen?”
“How could that be.” He knew his own strength. “It’s just that since everyone around me was chosen, being left all alone is a bit boring.”
So lonely. So dull. Like I’m back at my previous school…
Rocort put down the syrup he was drinking when he heard this. “There’s still me! Right?!”
He Fu Qing shot Fu Xing an indifferent look. “If you don’t want to feel lonely, why not just go with them?”
“It’s not like I’m a school representative…”
“Have your ears rotted away like your brain has? I’m not telling you to participate in the competition.” He Fu Qing snorted, “You can watch on the side while they practice.”
“It’s fine as long as the candidates agree. Actually, during the school ceremony, the school representatives can exercise many privileges. Even the instructors will give them some leeway. This is one of the secret unspoken rules.” Fu Qing paused for a moment, “Don’t say I told you.”
Fu Xing blinked as became overcome with joy. “Thank you! Sis, you’re the best!”
Faced with such candid praise, Fu Qing looked down awkwardly to continue reading the files on her desk. Then she flatly asked, “Anything else?”
“Oh yeah, there’s something I wanted to ask you about…” Some matters had bothered him during his last chat with Youny.
It’s—something that was said by…
You. Must. Not. Say. It.
His thoughts instantly turned into turmoil. It was as though his entire brain had been stuffed into a wad of cotton. Right as the words reached the tip of his tongue, he would suddenly forget how to continue.
“Hm?” Fu Qing raised a brow.
“Eh, I forgot.” Fu Xing scratched his head as he attempted to recall his train of thought. However, he could not find it.
“Don’t keep acting like you’ve gotten early Alzheimer’s. It just makes you look even dumber.”
Fu Xing rubbed his head in bewilderment. The last hazy thought had already dissipated into thin air like smoke.
It’s probably nothing important…
Fu Xing left the medical centre and happily returned to the dorms. Despite it already being past dinnertime, the school representatives still had not returned. They only began to appear one after another when it was already near ten.
“How was it? Was it interesting?” After Leon returned, Fu Xing couldn’t help but question him. “What did you do?”
“It wasn’t interesting.” Leon impatiently tossed his backpack onto his bed and changed his clothes.
“In order to match everyone’s potentials and make plans for the competition subjects and the competition candidates, we’ve just been conducting tests these past few days.”
“Mhm, and then?”
“After the tests are done, the results will be announced on Friday. Then we’ll start practicing.”
“Then what about tomorrow?”
“The southern campus representatives will arrive tomorrow, so all classes and activities in the evening will be on pause.”
Fu Xing nodded. “So who’s the instructor coaching you guys?”
“There are several, though it’s mainly Samukawa.” Leon let out a heavy sigh of dissatisfaction.
Fu Xing wore a sympathising expression. “But fortunately, all the selected teammates more or less know each other. That way, you don’t have to worry about encountering any troublesome people.”
Leon suddenly froze. “…The results of the bone divination are too abnormal.”
“Oh, yeah. For six out of nine people to be from 2-C really is super unusual. But although the chances are low, they aren’t zero, so it’s still possible.” Fu Xing immediately expressed what he had just learned, throwing out everything he had heard from Fu Qing in the afternoon. “The bones only respond to spiritual beings on the higher realms. They can’t be falsified.”
“There’s something else too.” Leon fell deep into thought as he murmured, “Aside from all of them being in 2-C, they also…” They also have another common point…a common point that’s even more obscure and has a much, much lower chance than just being in the same class.
“What did you say?”
Leon only studied Fu Xing for a while without responding.
It should just be a coincidence.
Fu Xing refused to accept Leon’s strange response and continued to ask, “What kind of person is that new student, Zi Ye?”
“Jingguai type, Xuanniao race, basically a raven spirit.”
“Raven?” The image of that white figure with crimson eyes materialised in Fu Xing’s mind, and it did not match with a raven in any way.
“He’s a variant, an albino due to genetic mutation.”
“Is that so?” That was bizarre, he had no idea that special animate beings could also have mutations! “What happens if…special animate beings go through mutations?”
“Nothing. It’s just the conservative faction will often view them as cursed.”
“Why? Because they don’t look the same as others?”
“That’s one of the reasons, but the deeper reason is that mutants are over 90% likely to be hybrids.” Leon paused for a second. “Children mixed with human blood.”
Fu Xing started, his expression changing abruptly. Fortunately, Leon’s back was facing him and did not notice the abnormal behaviour.
“I don’t know, it makes no difference to me. Trash from a prominent family is trash too. But the conservative faction thinks that human hybrids are products formed by mixing with something impure and inauspicious.”
“I see…” He swallowed hard.
“Some hybrids possess abnormal powers, and moreso if they are mutants. People will always be fearful of the unknown, whether humans or special animate beings…”
Rejected because of how they were born; those of a different kind could never be accepted, and were therefore condemned with death.
Bringing rise to countless wars and tragic, lamentable natures.
“Yeah…” While Fu Xing felt slightly uneasy about the impressions that special animate beings made based on blood, Leon’s response and opinion made him feel much more relieved.
Fu Xing did not want to continue this topic, so he changed it. “Can Rocort and I come with you to future trainings? Fu Qing said that as long as the representatives agree, other students can go watch too. Can we? Leon?”
In his excitement, Fu Xing rushed to continue, “Of course, it wouldn’t just be sitting and watching from the sidelines. I’ll try my best to support your guys! If you need me to help buy dinner or go run random errands, I can—”
“You don’t need to steal the brownies’ job…”
After a full second of silence, Leon spoke in a slow and quiet voice so low that it was barely heard.
“…Just showing up is enough…”
Two days later, at nighttime.
A red carpet was set up along the middle hallway of the main bailey to welcome visitors. After three, the pathway was cleared as students were forbidden to enter. Some curious students gathered on the lawns nearby to observe.
All the members of Aquarius were present to receive [the guests]. The representatives for the northern campus were waiting inside the hall of the main bailey.
Fu Xing and Isaac, who were part of the intern group, were standing a hundred metres in front of the main bailey along with the other lower-ranked members, looking forward to their esteemed guests.
“How are they getting here? By school bus?” Fu Xing quietly asked Isaac next to him.
“Don’t know. But I heard they use a special method….”
“After taking a plane to Switzerland, they use a ward to jump across space,” Flora muttered the information she had received from an indeterminate source. “They might have had a specific person operate their plane…”
“Hmph, bumpkin.” Tyste, also in the intern group, proudly stated, “Their means of entering the stage is one way to show their strength. The guest school will take this chance to show the host school their might in a roundabout way as a form of mutual competition.”
Fu Xing turned and asked, “You’re here?”
“I’ve been here the entire time!” Tyste shot back with a pout. “Don’t ignore me!”
“Shhh!” An instructor in the front row shushed them, and Tyste immediately shut her mouth in fear.
The instant an arc of light shot through the mountain surroundings, the southern campus team appeared on the main bailey’s path. They materialised without a sound or warning, the entire team just emerging from empty air. Then, they proceeded to stride forward with their heads up high, advancing down the red-carpeted path as though it was the most natural thing to do.
The southern campus had brought around forty people including instructors and students. As they walked in a line, they gave off a chilling, majestic aura, slowly moving towards the main bailey in a composed manner.
“I heard that their leader this time wants to hold back their strength so they took a reserved, lower-profile approach to travel,” Tyste couldn’t help but whisper this information to show off.
Then, as soon as she finished speaking, a deep and resonant explosive sound rose loud and clear up towards the horizon.
Bright blue fireworks burst through the violet and orange-dyed clouds, one after another. Various shades of blues and greens gathered in the air to form the southern campus’s mascot—a pair of sea dragons.
The winding dragons circled around through the air and spat out giant waves that were resembled both tides and flames at the same time. Then they descended, turning into droplets of water that landed on the ground. The students watching on the side were not able to dodge in time and subsequently became drenched. Unhappy grumbles immediately rose.
The fireworks were created using water, an advanced water spell being controlled mid-air using special abilities.
“Low-profile, my ass.” Flora snorted.
Tyste shot Flora a glare and then frowned up at the second wave of water fireworks.
Isn’t that too arrogant….
After the team entered the main bailey, the double doors were shut. As a northern campus representative, Flora led the guests to the second floor.
Fu Xing and Isaac stood in the intern group, following behind the southern campus members like a royal entourage as they headed into the drawing room.
Fu Xing stole glances at the people in line. While there were many students moving together, most were behind the instructors and staff. There were ten students walking at the very front.
The southern campus’s uniform was different from the northern campus’s. It was navy style, with the males wearing a snow-white military uniform and the females wearing white sailor tops matched with a sea-blue pleated skirt.
There were five people with Eastern features: one was a refined, glasses-wearing male. Though he was not particularly eye-catching, he gave off a reserved type of aura.
There was another one who had crazy red-orange highlights, his hairstyle looking as if he had used pomade to stick it up in all directions. His uniform was unbuttoned, revealing his tattooed chest. His fingers were covered in metal rings, and there were various sized hoops and earrings on his ears.
The other two were twins that had the appearance of fourteen-year old girls. They wore navy berets over their neck-length, lake-green coloured hair. The sailor uniform they wore had been modified so that there were dark-blue bows where the collars were, with the pleated skirt changed into snow-white shorts instead. They radiated a bright aura brimming with youthfulness.
The last one was a boy with a long ponytail. Despite his straitlaced appearance, he had a gorgeous and complex image of a phoenix embroidered along his cuffs and bottom shirt hem.
The other three males and two females had Western features. There was a girl with long, wavy magenta hair. She wore a thigh-length pleated skirt and high heels. The sexy smirk on her face gave off an alluring charm.
The other girl with her golden hair tied into a ponytail had delicate facial features that made her seem like an enamel doll. Her uniform was not really modified, though she did have a long, flowing, pale blue tattoo that wrapped around her right arm like another layer of skin.
The remaining three male students had tall and sturdy figures as well as extremely handsome faces. However, two of them possessed very pale skin, revealing their identities as darkbloods.
The meeting room on the third floor appeared before them. The white double-doors opened outwards to reveal the northern campus representatives and the headmaster waiting inside.
The southern campus people stepped inside with the instructors and staff first, then the accompanying students, and finally the main players in this ceremony: the nine southern campus representatives.
When the representatives from both sides saw each other, something unusual occurred.
By complete chance, both parties were wearing shocked expressions.
While there was not any particularly huge response, the atmosphere clearly turned awkward instantly.
Sensing the abnormal mood, Fu Xing curiously surveyed the people on both sides and discovered that each person seemed to be taken aback by a specific person from the opposite party, the type of astonishment where one would cry out, “How could it be you?!”. Their awkward expressions were like that of meeting an ex-spouse at a wedding.
What’s going on?
“Is something the matter?” Professor Grey asked.
“There just happens to be someone I know.”
Momiji, Shiran, Zhu Yue chorused this together along with one of the males and the twins from the southern campus.
“Don’t tell me you’re all acquaintances? Haha.” The southern campus’s leader was a middle-aged, slightly chubby woman. She chuckled as she courteously spoke.
“I’m not.” Flora lazily raised a hand.
Almost everyone from both groups stiffly nodded before shifting their gazes over to someone else on the other side.
“Long time no see, Emerald.” The beautiful mauve-haired girl openly fluttered her eyelashes amorously at Emerald.
Emerald responded with a low curse and turned his head away.
“We never would’ve imagined Zhu Yue-jiějie to get chosen too,” one of the twins curiously quipped.
The other identical face smiled at Zhu Yue. “Was it intentionally arranged like that?”
“Of course not. The selection of candidates was decided per the results of the bone divination,” Samukawa rebuked in a low voice.
“Then this truly is a coincidence, hahahaha…” The middle-aged woman laughed insincerely once again.
An uneasy restlessness slowly spread through the room.
Too coincidental. To the point where it was strange.
The second coincidence enshrouded the school ceremony with an unknown sense of anxiousness and mystery.
“Since it is Heaven’s Will, we should simply obey its command,” Sanbi’s calm appeased the uneasiness in the air.
Fu Xing noticed that Isaac next to him seemed to be affected too, as the latter was now trembling uncomfortably.
“Oh, there’s a familiar face here too.” One of the darkbloods from the southern campus turned towards Isaac, who held an intern position.
“Isn’t this the Lady of Sin’s descendent?”
“Mind your words,” Leon growled in an extremely threatening tone.
“Anyways, let’s have the southern campus representatives introduce themselves.”
“Fox spirit, Shiroizumi,” the refined-looking male said. He then lowered his head, seamlessly avoiding Momiji’s gaze.
“Jiaoren, Hai Yue.”
“Jiaoren, Zhu Yu.” The twins who shared a similar face to Zhu Yue spoke simultaneously.
“Dream spirit, Margeret Subeis.” The red-haired girl glanced at Emerald with a seductive smirk.
“Okuri-inu, Hu Rong.” The punk-style boy provocatively raised his middle finger.
Samukawa heavily coughed disapprovingly, and the southern campus leader somewhat insincerely reprimanded Hu Rong.
“Wind elf, Emily Jasper.”
As the golden-haired girl spoke, Fu Xing heard Shiran softly let out a weak sigh.
“Darkblood, Kyle Coscart.”
“Darkblood, Muzter Teria.”
“Werewolf, Ryner Albert.”
“Xuanniao spirit, Yu Tai.”
“Those are the southern campus representatives.”
Samukawa politely nodded in greeting, then immediately pointed out an issue to the leader. “Madam Belita, it may be presumptuous of me to ask you this, but why are there ten candidates from your campus?”
“Oh, I was also taken aback by this result.” Belita chuckled, the extra flesh on her body trembling with her laughter. “The dragon scales simply fell into their hands. It can only be said to be Heaven’s Will that cannot be touched. Just like the northern campus’s bone divination.”
“We picked up the sea dragon’s scale together,” the twins chorused with a grin.
Samukawa did not quite accept this excuse. “There is only one dragon scale. Logically speaking, it should—”
“Legends say that twins are from the same soul that was split and placed into different bodies. If one half was chosen, the other half would follow as well.” Madam Belita confidently explained, “Besides, these two candidates are still young – only forty years old. So having them participate together is reasonable.”
Forty years old is still young…? Fu Xing mentally grumbled, unwilling to accept this.
Samukawa was very unhappy about being cut off. However, he could not refute, and simply looked towards the academy’s highest-ranked leader: Sanbi.
“We can only accept the results of the divination,” Sanbi indifferently replied with the same response as before.
Under the intensely awkward and bizarre atmosphere, they proceeded to complete a formal welcome ceremony and start the information meeting.
The setting sun outside the window was halfway below the horizon, suspended below the dense branches. A tall and slender figure had their arms crossed in front of their chest as they coolly observed the scene inside the room.
Tsk tsk tsk…looks like I’m not the only one that intervened…
He raised his head, his dark pupils gazing up at the vacant, indigo sky.
“You’ve been watching without lifting a finger for so long, why not just stay silent until the end…”
He knew what this signified. He knew “that person” was always observing.
But so what? He knew “that person” would not casually destroy the law he had laid down. Even if “that person” could not ignore his ways, “that person” would not meddle.
It was because “that person” would not act that the responsibility to uphold truth and righteousness—
Was something he would take on as a proxy!
The not-quite-harmonious welcome ended, and the southern campus representatives noisily headed to the guest hall on the western side of campus.
After the meeting with the opponents, the northern campus representatives moved to the student dining hall to eat with a gloomy air around them. No one said anything on the way, their morale clearly much lower.
It was a rare occasion for all of them to eat together, but they seemed to be worrying over something. Only Rocort piled his sweets into a mountain on his plate as usual, happily eating his meal that would definitely make a nutritionist vomit blood.
“Ahem, Zhu Yue.” Fu Xing could not take this abnormal atmosphere, and was unable to restrain his curiosity. He blurted out, “You know that pair of twins?”
“They’re my little brothers. Before I left home, they were the youngest in line, though I don’t know if I got any newer siblings since then.”
“Brothers?!” With those looks?
“They’re still young, so their gender isn’t very obvious from their external appearances.” Zhu Yue smiled, “They’re very cute, aren’t they? When they were little, they stuck to me like glue.”
“Yeah.” Then why did they seem so…
“Before coming to Shalom, I had already been away from home for a long while. Suddenly seeing family members like this is a bit conflicting.” Zhu Yue knew what Fu Xing was thinking, so she explained first with a smile, “It’s fine! No need to worry. Things are already different from before.”
Fu Xing saw that Zhu Yue had returned to normal, so he shifted his gaze onto Leon. “Leon, do you know those darkbloods from the southern campus?”
“Are they your friends?”
Leon let out a heavy snort. “I haven’t fallen to that level yet.”
“Kyle and Muzter’s families are extremely right-winged among darkbloods.”
“They’re extremely conservative parties. There are even quite a few that insist on carrying out a human purging policy. They believe themselves to be the controllers of the world, with the authority to ‘administer’ human society. While the conservative faction expended a vast amount of mental and physical effort while going up against White Triangle…” Leon paused for a moment. “Sometimes, I really don’t think they are any different from White Triangle.”
“Darkbloods seriously have so many issues.” Brad chuckled, “Never able to know their place.”
Leon raised a brow. “I actually wanted to ask you something. What relationship does the southern campus’s werewolf, Ryner Albert, have with you, Brad Albert?”
“Ah?! You guys have the same last name!” After getting used to calling the other by their first name, Fu Xing had nearly forgotten Brad’s surname.
Brad frowned. “He’s my older brother. That’s all.” Then he lowered his head and began to gnaw at his spare ribs.
“Your esteemed older brother looks very similar to you,” Flora suddenly voiced after being silent the entire time.
“Yeah,” Brad agreed reluctantly.
These were familiar words. He was already used to hearing himself be compared to his older brother. And he would always be the slightly inferior one…
“But you’re more handsome,” Flora stated matter-of-factly.
Brad started. “Ah, thank you….” He was somewhat unsure of how to respond. Honestly speaking, he thought of this cat girl as a struggle to deal with…
Flora calmly ate her meal as she lazily and naturally stated, “I hate that dog who dresses like a street thug but thinks of himself as a punk.”
“You mean Hu Rong?”
“Yes.” Flora picked up the head of her Pacific saury and smoothly extracted the entire backbone from the fish. “He seems to know you, Dan Juan.”
“We used to live on the same mountain. The okuri-inu and spider [spirit] clans count as friendly towards each other, so we’ve had some interactions before,” Dan Juan downplayed his response.
“In other words, you’re childhood friends, huh.” Flora nodded as she drew this conclusion.
“That’s not true!”
“Emerald, what’s with that pheromone-emitting dream spirit that kept staring at you?”
“I knew her back in Venice.” Emerald replied in annoyance, “It’s an ill-fated relationship that isn’t worth noting. That woman is simply evil incarnate!”
“In other words, a mistress then.” Flora nodded as she concluded again. “So you’re her lover?”
“That’s not true!” Emerald strongly denied.
“Momiji, what relationship does the other fox spirit, Shiroizumi, have with you?” Flora targeted Momiji, who was sitting in the corner exchanging private whispers with Taeharu. “Family? Friend?”
“My mountain clan and Shiroizumi’s river clan can be called family friends. I used to spend a lot of time together with Shiroizumi, and I stayed with his river clan for a period of time before.”
“In other words, an engaged couple for political reasons, is it?”
Fu Xing couldn’t help but retort, “Isn’t that too off?”
“That’s precisely it.”
“What?” Fu Xing stood in shock. “He’s your fiancé?”
“To be accurate, he ‘used to be’,” Momiji confessed with a smile.
“Eh?” Then…what about now?
“All I need is Taeharu!” Momiji beamed as she cuddled Taeharu against her chest. “We saw each other at the clan meeting over summer break. I never would’ve imagined we’d meet again here. What cursed fate…”
“Shiran seems to be connected to that wind elf. Same with the new student and the other Xuanniao spirit, Yu Tai.” Flora continued, “Aside from me, everyone has an acquaintance. I’m guessing that all of you might have had some conflicts with your opposites. If we first put aside the possibility of tampering with the results, the fact that both divinations that were cast together had simultaneously selected these related people is impossible.”
Flora paused for a minute. “We have no choice but to face this Heaven’s Will. I hope that none of you allow your emotions to affect the competition results.”
The atmosphere around them instantly turned defiantly restless.
“Perhaps this is an opportunity that the Heavens arranged for everyone to resolve their conflicts,” Fu Xing optimistically quipped. “It’s great! I think taking advantage of this chance to settle grudges is super amazing!”
“Really…” It was evident that many people did not believe this. However, each and every one of them was more or less affected by Fu Xing’s innocence and optimism.
“Plus, the southern campus is super arrogant. Did you guys see the fireworks that went off when they entered? It was clearly a threat!” Fu Xing went on chattering, naturally and frankly expressing his opinion. “The carpet was drenched, and the brownies weren’t happy at all. Also, I heard that they complained that the guest hall was too destitute! And a bunch of intern members were sent to be ordered around!”
“That’s probably a habit they gained from their nursing home.”
“The southern campus is clearly just a care centre for old people.”
“Idleness and pleasure can kill them.”
“We’ll make it so that they can’t act arrogant anymore.”
Unknowingly, the atmosphere at the table gradually warmed up, returning to its normal state. Although their hearts were still uneasy, they temporarily restrained their future distress and worries and tossed them off to the side.
It’s a good thing we have you, Fu Xing.
This exact same thought simultaneously flashed through everyone’s minds.
On Monday, after two days of break, the new members from the southern campus assimilated with the students, working and attending class together.
The southern campus’s snow-white uniforms were particularly conspicuous among the northern campus’s dark-blue uniforms. They would garner looks no matter where they went. However, since they were few in number, the candidates were not easy to encounter.
Up until the compulsory course they all shared at night.
The second-year, middle-level special ability theory and application class was in a spacious lecture hall. Mixed among the dozen or so white figures were four of the southern campus representatives.
The dream spirit Margaret, the darkblood Kyle Coscart, the okuri-inu Hu Rong, and the fox spirit Shiroizumi.
Emerald, who was seated next to Fu Xing, immediately lowered his head upon seeing Margaret appear. However, the other party still spotted him.
“Emerald!” Margaret gracefully strutted over in high heels to stand before Emerald. Then she boldly sat down on Emerald’s legs as though it was the natural thing to do. “Long time no see, my wind elf.”
Emerald furrowed his brows. “Please go away, Margaret.”
“You don’t miss me?” Margaret leaned towards Emerald, her well-rounded breasts squeezing against his chest. “So heartless…”
“Who would miss a woman that swindled away all their assets?” Emerald couldn’t help but lash out in retort.
“Hey, hey, how was that swindling?” Margaret chuckled. “You were the one that wanted to give me a gift. I just happened to choose the most expensive one.”
Fu Xing’s eyes widened. “Gift?” Emerald can give others gifts?
“Yep.” Margaret looked at Fu Xing. “When he was young, he was much cuter and more innocent than he is now.”
“Hmph! Because I handed over nearly twenty gold bricks for school fees.” Emerald shook his legs in attempt to move Margaret off, but it was in vain. “Please go away!”
“Do you know what I love the most about you?” Margaret reached out to caress Emerald.
Emerald shoved her hand away, but Margaret smoothly caught his wrist and moved it in front of her face.
“Your angry look.” With this, she lightly pecked the back of his hand.
Not caring that she was sitting on his legs, Emerald suddenly stood up. However, Margaret stood first and grinned at him.
Emerald shot her a glare and picked up his backpack. Then without even looking back, he left the classroom. Fu Xing and Rocort dumbly watched it all happen, unsure of how to react.
Feels like a plot from an afternoon replay of a romance drama…
“That guy is still the same as before.” Margaret laughed wryly before turning to look at Fu Xing. “Can I sit here?”
“Ah, yeah!” Fu Xing immediately nodded.
“Thank you.” Margaret smiled. “Are you Emerald’s classmate?”
“Yeah!” Fu Xing warily watched Margaret.
Margaret scanned Fu Xing. After a while, she grinned. “You seem to be a great person.”
“Not really…” Fu Xing scratched his head in embarrassment.
“No, no, no, anyone that can become friends with Emerald must have inhuman patience.” Margaret lowered her voice, “That guy is crazy miserly even with those close to him.”
“Indeed,” Fu Xing replied somewhat sorrowfully.
“He’s always peddling some bizarre goods that you don’t even know what to use for after you buy them.” Margaret rolled her eyes in exasperation. “It’s basically just a fraud corporation!”
“That’s right, that’s right!” The caution in his heart unconsciously died down bit by bit. “Um, you and Emerald….” Fu Xing curiously asked, “What’s with the swindling assets?”
Margaret helplessly sighed. “I thought that wind elves did not care much for money, so when he said he wanted to give me a present, I naively chose something I wanted.”
She extended her arm out to reveal a simple yet elegant circlet of gemstones around her right wrist.
“It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?” Margaret rotated her wrist, the gems reflecting a beautiful light.
“It looks like the rainbow gummy bear jello,” Rocort commented with a watering mouth.
“Thank you.” There were faint traces of regret and frustration behind her pretty face.
As Fu Xing studied Margaret, a surge of emotion involuntarily rose in his heart. Perhaps she was not as evil as Emerald said. Emerald seems too affected by his emotions, while she seems to like Emerald quite a bit…
“Er, um…” Fu Xing clumsily blurted, “Good luck! I’m sure things will take a turn for the better!”
Margaret smiled. “Thank you.” She reached out hug Fu Xing for a few seconds before letting go. “You really are a good person.”
Fu Xing’s entire face was bright red.
Margaret chuckled at Fu Xing.
Good people…are usually easy to deceive.
At 9 PM, the northern campus representatives gathered on the east side of campus inside the special ability application classroom. As the location was in a more remote instruction building, it was quite suited for secret training.
Samukawa had a very restrictive ward set up around the classroom to prevent any spying activities.
Intelligence wars were essential prior to the official competition. Any information on the enemy was a necessary token for boosting chances of victory. However, the general leader Samukawa had no interest in this field.
“Any information on your current levels have absolutely no value for them to steal. They would only think of it as a joke! All of you simply need to work hard and strengthen yourselves!” Samukawa had said.
Fu Xing and Rocort had also arrived at the practice location. While Samukawa had been very resentful upon seeing the two tag along, he had forcefully suppressed his oppressiveness and adjusted the ward to let them enter as well, since Fu Xing had minor secrets to hold against him. He had only shot dark glares at Fu Xing and Rocort to express his unhappiness.
“Yesterday, I went over everyone’s performance records together with Professor Yan Zhen and Professor Grey, and we drew some conclusions.”
Samukawa snapped his fingers. Two helping brownies immediately moved a whiteboard to the middle. The board had some diagrams stuck onto it that covered each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
“The representatives here are all skilled in different abilities, but share a common point: everyone is slightly more prominent in special abilities and physical strength. As for basic academic fields, your performance is quite mediocre.”
Dan Juan coughed in discontent.
The one ranked first in their year was clearly unable to accept the word “mediocre”.
Samukawa side-eyed Dan Juan. “Your exam scores do not mean much. I am not belittling you, but merely staring the facts.”
Fu Xing couldn’t help but inwardly think, This guy’s words are still as terrible as ever…
Yan Zhen, who had her hair in a ponytail and wore an apron that made her look like a preschool teacher, hurriedly mediated, “What Professor Samukawa means is that we can focus on the competition subjects that emphasize physical strength. As for intellectual subject tests, it should be fine as long as everyone stays above average level.”
“Based on my observation, those guys from the southern campus are just muscle-heads too.” Samukawa pushed his glasses up. “Physical skills are the critical point this time.”
Fu Xing couldn’t help but speechlessly sneak a look at Brad. But unexpectedly, the little brother of the “muscle-head” did not seem particularly angry.
“We’ve already drawn up a plan that matches each individual’s strengths with the appropriate competition subject.”
The whiteboard had the following list:
- Zhu Yue: Practical Application of Race’s Special Ability (Healing)
- Momiji: Practical Application of Race’s Special Ability (Fire Dance)
- Leon: Varied Weapons Battle
- Emerald: Special Ability Contest (Air)
- Shiran: Special Ability Contest
- Flora: Special Ability Contest (Ground)
- Brad: Physical Free Battle
- Dan Juan: Spells
- Zi Ye: TBD
“The new student’s competition subject is indeterminate for now due to insufficient data. But it should be somewhere in the direction of Special Ability Control or Beast Summoning—Oi! Pay attention!” Samukawa reprimanded.
The pale figure crouching in the corner was playing with his ponytail with a vacant expression. Upon hearing Samukawa’s shout, he slowly lifted his head.
“Oh,” Zi Ye blankly replied.
Fu Xing assessed Zi Ye while secretly observing his every action.
This guy seems to be living in his own little world…
Zi Ye would sometimes start weaving small braids into his ponytail and sometimes space out at the ceiling, making it hard to guess what he was thinking.
“Fu Xing, he’s really weird,” Rocort commented while eating cod strips, the cheeks on his handsome face bulging from being stuffed with food.
“You have no right to say that about others.”
Suddenly, Zi Ye glanced up, his eyes pointed towards Fu Xing’s direction.
“Eh?” Did he hear that?
Fu Xing awkwardly stood and waved at the other person, then walked over.
“Hello, I’m Class 2-C’s He Fu Xing. He’s Rocort.”
Zi Ye stared at Fu Xing without a word.
“Ahem, do you want to eat some?” Fu Xing swiped the family-sized bag of cod strips from Rocort and passed it over to Zi Ye.
“It’s really yummy!” Rocort chimed in next to him.
Zi Ye hesitated for a few seconds before accepting the cod strips. Then he pulled out strips one after another and knotted them together to form a long string. He remained silent the entire time without uttering thanks or making any small talk.
“Eh, ah, then I won’t disturb you any further?” Fu Xing did not know how to communicate with Zi Ye, so he could only take his leave.
“Hm?” Fu Xing turned around and patted his head. “Is something wrong with it?”
Zi Ye did not speak any further. He only lowered his head and continued tying the cod strips together into a long chain.
Fu Xing blinked, then returned to his own spot with Rocort.
So weird… His greatest weakness was interacting with these types of people where it was impossible to tell what was going through their heads.
Fu Xing sat off to the side while watching the professors have discussions with the candidates, then watching them practice. Although he could not provide any input or help, he was already very content with being able to simply sit here in attendance.
Throughout the process, Zi Ye would occasionally look up at Fu Xing to glance at the abnormality that only he had discovered.
There was a single, fine strand of magenta hair mixed in with Fu Xing’s hair. It gave of a faint glow as it absorbed the sound and light waves in the room and transferred it to another space.
Shalom’s southwest corner: guest hall.
The candidates were lazily lounging around the comfortable and luxurious communion hall, tasting the food and wine that the brownies had delivered.
There was a silver basin placed in the middle of the hall. It was filled with water, and there was a single, thin strand of magenta hair that stood straight up in the centre of the water, like a needle.
Sound came from the air around the hair.
“…Zhu Yue’s healing ability needs a high level of concentration. Yan Zhen will assist your practice. Brad will go through basic weight training for a few days first. As for Leon…”
The conversations spoken in the special ability classroom were being broadcasted without fail.
“See, you hear that?” Margaret smiled. “The northern campus’s status is in our grasp.”
“Good job, Margaret.” Kyle praised, “Your performance during the joint class was perfect. Your acting skills have gotten more and more exquisite.”
During the joint class, Margaret had tied the enchanted strand to Fu Xing’s hair. This spell was quite easy to maintain, but it required a few conditions to be simultaneously met:
Firstly, it required the user to touch a large area on the target’s body in order to conceal the spell in their aura.
Secondly, it required the other party to be willing for the spell to connect, or else it would be rejected.
Margaret had used brilliant social skills to lower Fu Xing’s defences and smoothly implant the intelligence-gathering spell onto Fu Xing’s body. This extremely tiny spy had now infiltrated into the northern campus’s side.
“Can you see images?”
Margaret stretched out a hand to pass it over the water’s surface. An image slowly materialised.
Several people gathered close together to study the familiar faces in the water.
“Tch, same as usual.”
Margaret passed her hand over the water again, and the scene vanished. “The magic power fluctuations are stronger when transferring images, which makes it easier to discover. It’s not suited for long-term viewing.”
“Whatever, the information is already enough.”
The pitiful northern campus candidates were simply meat laid out on a rack waiting to be sacrificed.
“Ah, I really look forward to the day of the competition.” He very much anticipated seeing their shocked and upset faces.
“Do we need to continue tracing them?”
“Of course.” Kyle raised his goblet and took a light sip. “Just treat it as a pastime before the competition.”
The harder they try, the more worth it is to see their frustration when they fail.