FXDL V3C9

If you do not remember the ending of the Halloween trials from the first volume, I recommend you go back and reread V1C9 before reading this chapter to fully appreciate it. :)

Translated by: TaffyGirl13

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Chapter 9: School ceremony’s march: Resplendent flames

The curtains to Shalom’s twenty-seventh school ceremony opened on the magical hour when the sun began to sink into the night.

Tiered, circular bleachers towered high above the west field of the campus. The centre of the ring was where everyone’s gazes were gathered: a competition stage reinforced by multiple strong wards. Up high in the air was a thick fog of spells and technology mixed together to project every change on the stage and transfer the images to the other campus on the southern hemisphere.

Starting from four o’clock, students and staff had begun to file in and sit down. By the time it was half an hour prior to the competition, the seats were all packed with figures and filled with noisy clamour.

The multicoloured sunset dyed the clouds a myriad of bright colours. The representatives from both northern and southern campuses slowly entered the candidate seats, and applause surged to a peak. Then, as the head of Shalom, Sanbi’s form faded into the centre of the competition stage. The surrounding noise came to a sharp halt.

Once the main judges had taken their seats, Sanbi announced, “This is Shalom’s twenty-seventh school ceremony. Hopefully, when Jupiter’s orbit passes us for the twenty-seventh time, the school will still exist, and all the special animate beings will receive the peace and respect they deserve in this world.”

After this concise opening remark, the main judge – an elder from the imperial family of wind elves – announced the competition rules on the stage.

“The competition points are collected and added together. There will be a total of nine rounds. Each school will send out candidates onto the stage for twenty minutes at a time. If times runs out, a party goes out-of-bounds, or a party is unable to continue fighting, the contest will be proclaimed to have ended.” The old elf with long snow-white hair had bright eyes as his voice rang out like a great bell. “The first round is Special Ability Contest (Ground). Northern campus representative: cat spirit, Flora; southern campus representative: darkblood, Kyle.”

「Flora」 was dressed in black, sturdy clothing. As she stood, enthusiastic applause rang out from the bleachers.

“Be careful…” Flora reminded. “That guy is skilled in long and short weapons as well as concealed weapons. Attacking from both close range and long distance is very dangerous.”

Shiran smiled thinly. “I am extremely grateful for your concern. If you could destroy the photo placed in the third shelf inside the cabinet, I would be even more thankful.” Due to an accident, he had carelessly opened a drawer and seen several photos that were borderline illegal. Some of these had himself as the main subject.

Flora shrugged nonchalantly. “Hopefully it won’t become your funeral picture.”

Shiran flashed his usual brilliant smile. “My vice president position is not a fake one…”

He stepped onto the competition stage and scanned his surroundings out of habit. Then he smiled at the students to express his thanks, though his response was multiple looks of terror. It was like they had seen Freddy Kreuger appear next to the pillow of a helpless young maiden.

Flora…what exactly did you do to everyone…

“Tch…” Kyle spotted Flora onstage and immediately took on an attitude of annoyance and irreverence. “Muzter is such a lucky bastard…”

“Does that count as praise from you?”

“Originally, the opponent should’ve been Leon. Slaughtering the Sagveiss heir is at least a bit interesting.” Kyle yawned, “You, on the other hand, have zero battle worth. Why don’t I let you off by going one-handed? That way, others won’t claim I’m committing animal abuse.”

Shiran arched a brow, the smile on his face glittering even more.

“You are correct, Muzter truly is lucky.” While keeping his smile, Shiran slowly walked to the centre of the stage. “He escaped the tragic fate of being humiliated in front of three thousand people.” Then, when Shiran was roughly seven metres away from Kyle, he abruptly leapt up and brandished his claws.

Kyle did not dodge, thinking that 「Flora」 had just transformed her fingers into claws. But then, four wind blades shot out from the tips of the beast claws, slicing Kyle’s shoulders.

Kyle stumbled back several steps from the impact, just barely stabilising his centre of gravity.

What was that? Special ability? Or witchcraft? The unexpected attack made Kyle struggle to grasp an approach.

Shiran slowly extended his claws, his brows knitting together as he let out a wry chuckle. “Tch. Even though I want to hold back, I’d better not. That way, other won’t claim I’m discriminating against the weak.” His attack just now had been a combination of Flora’s natural claws and the wind elf’s special ability.

Despite being in a body that was not his, special abilities were not branded into the flesh. The soul also had a special animate being’s distinctive talents fused with it.

“Seems a bit interesting now…” Kyle erased his mocking attitude and whipped out two blades before suddenly striding towards 「Flora」 in a single step. The blades in his hands whirled around to strike at various angles, launching successive, fierce attacks at the opponent.

Shiran used the cat spirit’s nimble jumping prowess combined with a wind elf’s ability to control the wind and, with a strong stomp, flew through the air. Zigzagging through the school flags and various decorated poles set up, Shiran evaded Kyle’s attacks.

Seeing that close-range attacks were ineffective, Kyle drew a sharp throwing blade and used his palm to shoot it powerfully towards 「Flora」. However, it was struck down mid-air by a claw made of wind.

“Sorry, I’m a bit tired.” Shiran stood atop a flagpole. He closed his eyes to enjoy the breeze blowing on his face and said, “Let’s end this as quickly as possible.”

His eyes shot open, the pupils transformed. Two tall and pointed cat ears were now perched on his head, and his teeth turned into fangs as well. This signified the moment when a substantial amount of a demonic power was released. Shiran gathered all his energy into the tips of his claws; as Flora’s  demonic power and his wind elf special ability mixed together, a bizarre red and blue light materialised from his white talons.

Shiran shot a glance at Kyle before leaping down, the high speed increasing his attack power. Kyle held the two blades up in front of him to block, prepared to receive the blow while simultaneously countering appropriately.

The instant the metal blades came into contact with the two types of special animate being abilities, they could not withstand the blow and immediately snapped.

Bang! A loud crash rang out, and the ground caved in, causing a flurry of dust to fly up.

Once the dust and smoke dispersed, everyone saw Kyle miserably collapsed on the ground. Meanwhile, 「Flora」 was proudly standing on the side with faint tiredness.

“Kyle is unable to fight, Flora wins. The first round has ended. The northern campus receives one point.” The main judge clearly announced the conclusion. Cheers exploded from all directions. Shiran smiled and waved at the crowds before slowly returning to the candidate seats.

“Good work!”

“Very amazing!”

“Thank you,” Shiran modestly accepted the commendation.

“The second round is Practical Application of Race’s Special Ability. Northern campus representative: Zhu Yue; southern campus representatives: Zhu Yu, Hai Yue.”

Brad stood and looked back at Zhu Yue.

Zhu Yue patted Brad’s hand. “Although they look like children, they have vast potential. You must be careful…”

“I will be careful not to injure them.”

“No,” Zhu Yue immediately rejected.

“Hm?”

“There’s no need hold back.” It’s about time those two understood the dark side of reality.

“Ah, ok…” Brad was somewhat astonished by Zhu Yue’s change, though this suggestion perfectly matched his feelings.

“Brad, good luck!” Zhu Yue smiled. “Let’s attend the celebration banquet together.”

Flora had told her to say these words.

“When you do, Brad’s fighting ability will increase,” Flora had said before the competition.

Zhu Yue had not quite understood the reasoning. In any case, if it helped the competition, it would not hurt to just say it.

Brad’s eyes widened, and he stood there in a daze. Only once the main judge called him a second time did he stumble onto the stage.

“Zhu Yue-jiějie is so slow!” Zhu Yu complained.

“What are you spacing out for? Don’t tell me you have stage fright?” Hai Yue sniggered.

“Although we’re competing special abilities, Zhu Yue-jiějie is a healing type, right? Are you going to show how you can heal yourself once you’re injured by us?”

“So lame.”

As the two continued noisily prattling on without end, a wave of water suddenly slapped their faces. Pa, pa!

“So noisy.” Brad lost his patience and reprimanded, “You two are the ones that will need healing!”

This was the first time the twins had seen Zhu Yue like this. For a moment, they just stared in shock, even forgetting the pain from their faces. After a few seconds, the two chorused, “I’m going to tell the Chief!”

“Go ahead! Rotten brats.” Brad crossed his arms in front of his chest. “You might even get some candy.”

“Damn it!”

“Zhu Yue-jiějie was led astray by the northern campus!”

“We have to quickly put her back on the right track!”

Zhu Yu and Hai Yue held hands and summoned multiple basketball-sized water bullets to shoot at 「Zhu Yue」. Brad dodged each one while using a water whip to knock away some of the water bullets at the very front. His condition was amazing; he could feel the power unceasingly flooding through his body. Zhu Yue is going to attend the celebration banquet together with me…together…together!

“Brad…ahem, 「Zhu Yue」 seems quite excited?” Fu Xing, who was sitting in the back of the candidate seats, lowered his head to ask Flora, “Did something happen?”

“People become powerful because of their dreams.” Flora only dropped this bizarre, secretive response before continuing to focus on the stage.

Right then, a rainbow appeared as Hai Yue materialised solid streams of water to arc beautifully through the air and strike 「Zhu Yue」.

「Zhu Yue」 swung the water whip, and its form changed into water blades. She raised the long blades in her hands up high to slice the attacking water streams into two. Before the blades cut through the streams completely, they dissipated and fell to the ground.

As the opponent was turning, Zhu Yu abruptly threw out a water sphere.

Brad watched the water sphere coming at him and did not even evade. He directly reached out and used his beastmen strength to forcibly catch the straight ball, then used his power to burst it with his grip.

“Are you done playing around?” Brad frowned. “It’s disappointing enough for two people to come on stage together, yet now you’re even throwing sneak attacks! Isn’t that too despicable?”

“Not like it matters…”

“Shut up, you rotten brat!” Brad roared.

“Zhu-Zhu Yue-jiějie?”

“There are limits to how much you can act spoiled and unruly! If you want attention, want to be loved, then don’t use these kinds of petty tricks!”

“As if I—”

“And you’re still arguing back!” Brad easily summoned the water whip again and swung it so that it whizzed loudly through the air. “A man shouldn’t find excuses for his own weakness and failure!”

It was the twins’ first time being scolded by Zhu Yue like this, so they were momentarily at a loss. Meanwhile, when Ryner heard these words from where he sat in the southern campus candidate seats, his body started slightly.

“Zhu Yue-jiějie is so mean…” The twins cowered together and sullenly gazed at 「Zhu Yue」.

“You’re not allowed to cry! You—”

Ding, ding, ding! The ending bell rang out, stunning the three on stage.

“Time is up. The contest has ended.” The main judge’s level voice announced the contest results. “Second round, tie.”

“What?!”

“No way!”

“The contest has ended. I ask the candidates to please return to their seats.” The main judge impatiently glared at the three of them. “Immediately!”

Despite feeling extremely dissatisfied, they could only resentfully leave. Brad’s expression was extremely foul; everyone assumed he was furious about not winning, though he was actually inwardly mourning the death of his celebration banquet.

The third round’s contestants were 「Shiran」 and Emily.

Before the competition, Shiran carefully told Leon, “I beg of you to please be lenient.”

“Why?”

“She is like a little sister to me. I do not wish for her to get injured…”

Leon raised a brow. He could understand this feeling, though he felt that Emily was much worse than his Lia by comparison despite both being younger sisters.

“I understand.”

As soon as Emily got onto the stage, she did not hold back from challenging 「Shiran」.

“I will prove my strength to the elders!” She let out a feminine shout while initiating her attack.

Leon coolly dodged and responded to her attack with silence.

So noisy…

“Is this your strength?! Guess that’s all the northern campus amounts to! Looks like your choice that year really did fall flat!”

So annoying…Leon suddenly felt sympathy towards Shiran for having such an annoying “little sister”. Lia is definitely more adorable…

“Why won’t you use your full strength? Are you looking down on me?!”

Leon, who had remained silent from beginning to end, finally spoke. “Yes.”

Emily furiously activated a more powerful attack. “Why won’t you return to the southern campus! Didn’t we agree we’d be together?!”

Leon paused for a second as comprehension dawned on him.

“We had already agreed back then, so why did you go back on your word! Why didn’t you follow the path that the elders planned out for you?!” Emily indignantly swooped down from the air. Right as she was about to swing her sword at 「Shiran」—

“Emily.” 「Shiran」 softly called out her name with a warm smile.

Emily froze and hurriedly moved her sword aside. “What!”

“I’m very sorry…” 「Shiran」 walked up to her and gently patted Emily’s head. “I’ve disappointed you…”

Everyone sitting in the northern campus candidate seats watched with wide eyes, then simultaneously turned to gather their gazes on 「Flora」.

“Er, that isn’t me.” Shiran awkwardly said, “Haven’t switched back yet…”

So the one on stage is still Leon?

“Is he drunk?” Fu Xing quietly asked Flora.

“Don’t know. Maybe he was just born with the potential to be a playboy…”

Their eyes focused back on the stage to see Emily instantly blush. However, she frowned and attempted to reprimand in a stern tone:

“Don’t look down on me!”

“You can stop throwing a tantrum, alright…?” 「Shiran」 neared Emily while gazing at her with an adoring expression. That look made all the female students in the audience gasp as their hearts skipped a beat.

“As if I am!” Emily continued to retreat, trying her best to defend herself.

“Are you not purposely acting mischievously to draw my attention?” 「Shiran」 suddenly went up closer.

“I’m not!” Emily immediately shot back several steps.

“Emily, did you know…” 「Shiran」’s smile was the brightest it could be. It was as though an angel had descended from the heavens, and it stunned everyone.

“Wh-what?”

“You’re out-of-bounds.”

Emily’s head whipped around and saw that one of her feet had crossed the boundary. Before she could even react, the main judge made the announcement.

“Third round, northern campus wins.”

Ignoring Emily’s rage, Leon strode back to the candidate seats to rest.

“Leon…”

“She’s uninjured, is she not?”

“But isn’t this too—”

Fu Xing and Rocort cut off Shiran’s words. “Leon, what was that just now?”

“So amazing! It was like you became an entirely different person!”

“Yeah! I thought you had drunk alcohol again!”

“It was nothing,” Leon indifferently replied. Then he paused for a second. “Speaking of which, how do you know what I am like when I drink alcohol?”

Fu Xing stared blankly with the strong urge of biting his own tongue off. He shot a glance at Flora, but Flora had absolutely no intentions of intervening to save him. You have to bear your own karma.

“Ahem, that’s—Ah! The contest already started! Quick, look!” Fu Xing used a diversion to successfully draw Leon’s attention away.

Phew, escaped once again!

The fourth round was a showdown between 「Emerald」 and Margaret.

The stage was filled with fiery sparks.

“I heard you were messing around with that female fox? What a disaster.”

“Like hell it has anything to do with, damn bitch,” Momiji rudely retorted.

“Are you still mad about what happened back then?” Margaret switched to an emotional offense. “I know I was wrong…Actually, I regret it very much. But the reason I did that was because I had hardships that gave me no other options…”

“What hardships? It was just you being a thief.” Trying to act pitiful in front of me? Hah. I’m the fox spirit Momiji that understands the thoughts of all men and has mastered every bad girl move!

Margaret’s expression suddenly twisted. “You really have changed and become more tasteless!”

“To better match with you, auntie.”

With mutual hostility in the air, the battle unfolded. Smoke from witchcraft and spells from wind elves rose and fell in succession, bursting into a shower of multicoloured light with countless booms.

Finally, Momiji took advantage of a moment when Margaret was chanting a spell and used a tornado to sweep her out of the stage, winning a victory.

“You dare to treat me like this?!” Margaret crawled up miserably to block 「Emerald」’s way.

“Think about how you treated me first,” Momiji smartly replied. While she did not know what had transpired between Emerald and this whore in the past, she could guess from her experience that Margaret had done something infuriating to Emerald.

Margaret’s face immediately turned ugly and she did not speak again.

Fifth round: Shiroizumi vs 「Momiji」.

Seemingly because of that night, Shiroizumi attacked without restraint the instant he came up onto the stage, charging forwards at full force.

While Dan Juan was already used to Momiji’s body, he was still unable to control foxfire as skilfully as Momiji herself. He managed to last until the final three minutes of the contest before he was thrown out-of-bounds by a wave of flames. The southern campus earned their first victory.

“Sorry, I lost,” Dan Juan said in self-reproval as he returned to the candidate seats.

“It’s fine.” Momiji studied the wounds on Dan Juan’s body and let out a chuckle. “Hehe, looks like you really angered Shiroizumi if you managed to make him use his full strength.”

“As it should be.” Dan Juan smirked. “Did you hear the group of girls shout ‘pervert’ at him when he came onstage?”

“I did. Quite beautiful to the ears.”

The two exchanged a look, then burst out into laughter together.

Sixth round: Ryner vs. 「Brad」.

Flora and Ryner gave it their all, exchanging blows through a contest of physical skills. Their fists and feet moved so quickly that it was a blur in the audience’s eyes, leaving them confused.

The two were equally matched. “Addicting” was what both of them thought during the battle.

Finally, the bell rang, bringing a reluctant end to this showdown.

Sixth round: tie.

Seventh round: Hu Rong vs. 「Dan Juan」.

The moment Rocort entered the stage, he extended a sturdy defensive spell and leisurely sat in one place while letting Hu Rong shout outside the array. The latter shot various attacks at the defensive screen.

According to the strategy, if Rocort secured another tie, then the worst result the northern campus could get for the entire competition would be a tie. However, in the seventh minute of the contest, Rocort suddenly felt his stomach twist in pain because he had eaten six bean-paste buns before the competition. Without a backwards glance, he shot up onto his feet and raced off the stage to beeline for the bathrooms, leaving behind a very astonished audience.

The seventh round: under bizarre circumstances, the southern campus earned another victory.

The eighth round of the competition was Muzter vs. 「Leon」.

Zhu Yue had originally been attacking and defending as appropriate, but accidentally jumped out-of-bounds to dodge an attack. The northern campus grievously took their third loss.

The school ceremony’s friendly matches were drawing to an end.

Ninth round: Yu Tai vs. 「Zi Ye」.

The current competition score was two ties and each school having three wins and three losses. They were equally matched. The final contest became the critical decider of the score.

“Ninth round is Beast Summoning. Southern campus representative: Yu Tai; northern campus representative: Zi Ye.”

Fu Xing was frozen in place as he felt all his limbs go numb. The pressure from the situation before him made him want to throw-up.

What do I do…I somehow became the key to the northern campus’s victory or defeat…

What if I lose? That’s a very likely possibility! Not only would I be ruining the northern campus’s reputation, but more importantly, I’d also be letting my teammates’ hard work go to waste—

I’ve never had to deal with such a massive occasion before! I hate this! I’m used to hiding in the dark and driving things from behind the curtain; I don’t like standing directly on the stage to carry things out. I-I’m not main character material at all!

He could feel his intestines starting to twist together painfully. He really wanted to run away.

“Northern campus representative: Zi Ye,” the main judge announced again urgently.

Fu Xing moved his body in attempt to stand. However, he discovered that he was so anxious that he could not get onto his feet.

He wanted to escape…

A warm and sturdy hand rested on his shoulder. Fu Xing turned his head to see 「Shiran」 looking at him seriously.

“Don’t think too much…” Leon quietly stated. “It’s not a big deal.”

Fu Xing blinked. Leon was giving him encouragement?

“You’ve already worked very hard.” Zhu Yue gently patted his other shoulder with Leon’s wide palm. “It’s been hard on you these past few nights.”

“You guys knew?”

“I’m the one that told them!” Rocort returned from the bathrooms and began to eat an ice cream cone without restraint. “Last time I went looking for you, I found you asleep at your desk.”

Fu Xing was a bit surprised. When did that happen? He had no idea when Rocort had come looking for him—Ah, no, that bag of Kuai Kuai corn chips that disappeared indirectly says it all.

“I even went and took a picture.” Flora passed over the photograph. “「Zi Ye」’s sleeping face doesn’t look bad at all.”

“Flora…”

“Seriously, you just make others worry every time.” Brad frowned in exasperation. “Why silently hide to practice secretly? It’s not like we’d laugh at you.”

“You said two days ago that my training was ruining the space’s cleanliness.”

Brad was dumbstruck for a moment, then he replied in angry embarrassment, “That doesn’t count as making fun of you, that was just stating a fact!”

“Don’t be nervous!” Emerald pulled out a large bunch of charms from his pocket and shoved them into Fu Xing’s arms. “Here, these are charms that the upper gods once held. They’re genuine goods! Go on and take them!”

Fu Xing took them and muttered, “For free?”

“I’m just temporarily lending them to you! I won’t collect rental fees today.”

“What did you mean by ‘genuine goods’ just now,” Dan Juan coldly questioned. “Does that mean the charms that I bought at the ‘friendship price’ of 7.5 euros were fake goods?”

“Er…!” Emerald was momentarily tongue-tied. “Genuine and fake are just opposite concepts…calling it fake goods is too much…I can only say that your charms aren’t as genuine…”

A laugh escaped from Fu Xing’s lips. The pressure and gloom in his heart unconsciously dissipated.

“Northern campus representative: Zi Ye. Please come on stage, or else you will be forfeited!” The impatient voice pushed again.

“Go on, Fu Xing.” Momiji smiled as she pulled Fu Xing up from his seat. “We’ll be supporting you.”

Fu Xing glanced at his teammates and took a deep breath. Then he turned around and stepped onto the competition stage.

“Got stage fright? Look at how much of everyone’s time you’ve wasted,” Yu Tai’s sneer was quite effective as it rang out. “Why not just save the effort and forfeit? That would be safer too.”

“I will not forfeit,” Fu Xing resolutely declared.

Even if he did not win, even if he lost, he would persevere until the final moment!

Yu Tai raised a brow. “Then allow me to experience your ability!” He immediately knelt down on one knee and began to chant a summoning spell.

Fu Xing did the same, gathering his focus and repeating the steps that he had practiced over a hundred times.

A few seconds later, a tall glowing door simultaneously materialised in front of both Yu Tai and Fu Xing. Various waves of light circulated inside the square-shared entrance to another dimension.

The crowd watched with bated breaths. The bird spirit Bifang slowly stretched out it’s snow-white beak from the glowing door in front of Yu Tai, followed by its blue-green body.

Whoosh— Bifang soared up in the sky and spewed indigo-red demonfire at Fu Xing.

Gurgle-gle-gle-gle— The glowing door before Fu Xing shuddered, then spat out a pile of dark brown-green sticky lumps like diarrhoea.

“What is that? So disgusting!”

“Those are low-level demons! The lowest of the low-levels!”

“Why summon that kind of thing?!”

“But…being able to summon that large of a number in a single breath isn’t an easy feat either…”

A hubbub of discussion rose from the audience bleachers.

On the stage, the low-level demons surged forth like a flood, blocking Bifang’s flames before charging towards Yu Tai and cutting off his chants. Bifang let out a screech as it was sucked back into the glowing door.

Fu Xing smirked. “If quality won’t do, then I’ll use numbers to score a win!”

Yu Tai was beyond enraged. “What the hell are you doing?!”

He furiously tackled Fu Xing, breaking the glowing door by impact. The wave of lower demons let out a miserable cry before being absorbed into the shattered door of light.

“Do you feel that proud of summoning that kind of lower demon?! What do you think these friendly matches are!”

“That-that’s my tactic…” Fu Xing involuntarily shrank back from Yu Tai’s anger.

“That isn’t anything at all! You’re degrading your own ability! Ruining your family’s reputation! It’s disgraceful!” Yu Tai quickly summoned two arctic swallows that sprayed an icy mist at Fu Xing.

Not to be outdone, Fu Xing once again summoned a multitude of random fish. The barrier that the lower demons formed was frozen into an ice sculpture when it touched the mist.

“Why do you keep targeting me! What did I ever do to you?!”

“Everything!” Yu Tai summoned a thunder ape. A flash of lightning cut through the sky, disintegrating the lower demons into ash.

“Why do you keep picking on me! You really have nothing better to do!”

“Why don’t you examine yourself so that you don’t have a bunch of things for others to pick on!”

“If you hate me so much, you might as well just ignore me entirely and treat me as air—” Fu Xing suddenly went quiet.

He realised something.

Every person avoided Zi Ye and regarded him as empty air, looked at him with cold gazes and hoped he would disappear—

Except for one person.

The person that came running over to talk with him every class, the person that spent so much effort to find him every day and then arrogantly reprimand him…

Was Yu Tai.

Although Yu Tai always said terrible things to him, he had never wished for Zi Ye to disappear. Yu Tai only criticised him rather than shaming or slandering him for no reason.

He knew why Yu Tai was always angry; because Zi Ye was always unconcerned about what happened around him. Even when Zi Ye was being cursed or treated coldly or bullied, he would remain silent and accept it without a word.

“What are you spacing out for!” Yu Tai roared, “Don’t just stand there looking like a fool!”

Fu Xing suddenly laughed, a sincere laugh. The smile on Zi Ye’s face widened and unexpectedly…stirred people’s hearts.

Quite a few girls gasped from the bleachers, and the shutter from the camera in Flora’s hands quickly went off multiple times in succession.

“What are you laughing at!”

“You care for Zi Ye.” Though your methods are very strange.

No wonder I couldn’t bring myself to sincerely hate Yu Tai…

“Don’t-don’t be ridiculous!” Yu Tai’s tone was filled with disdain, but his face was flushed red, as though his secret had been exposed.

“You are Zi Ye’s friend,” Fu Xing chuckled.

“Shut up!” Yu Tai furiously roared. He gritted his teeth and concentrated all the energy in his body to summon, resonating with a powerful spirit beast from the netherworld.

The air around them vibrated and an abnormal aura began to spread outwards.

Fu Xing sensed something wrong, and he hurriedly amended, “Ahem, I can just not mention it. No need to feel embarrassed…”

Another door of light appeared before Yu Tai. This time, it was much larger than before, practically as tall as a single-story building. A monstrous winged bird with nine heads swiftly flew outwards.

“It’s Jiufeng!” Shocked cries came from the audience. “He actually summoned a guardian beast! That’s incredible!”

Wh-what kind of move is this… Fu Xing was dumbfounded.

Jiufeng lazily circled through the air, and bright demonfire appeared around it. It slowly turned its body to lock its eyes onto Fu Xing.

Boom!

A long pillar of fire spewed out from one of the heads. Fu Xing scrambled to evade it, and although the flames did not touch him, the high temperature still scorched his clothes and burned his skin.

The other bird heads began to attack as well. Lightning, fire, ice, and venom all shot towards Fu Xing.

Fu Xing ran around the entire stage, dodging while weakly summoning some lower demons to help block the attacks. The entire area was soon covered in fragmented chunks of flesh.

“Just admit defeat,” Yu Tai coldly declared as he watched 「Zi Ye」 gasping for breath, body covered in wounds.

“No!” He refused to concede!

“Then don’t blame me for being merciless.”

A combined wave of ice and lightning fired at Fu Xing, breaking the barrier of lower demons and striking Fu Xing heavily on the shoulder blades.

“AH!” Fu Xing couldn’t help but cry out in pain before falling backwards.

All the northern campus representatives simultaneously shot up from their candidate seats to race up and save Fu Xing.

“It is forbidden for others to interfere in the middle of a contest,” the main judge coldly reminded.

“It’s enough already!” Brad worriedly watched Fu Xing struggling to stand up on the stage.

“You can count it as us conceding. Please stop the contest!” Momiji shouted.

“Unless the competitor is unable to battle, the contest will continue carrying on,” the main judge flatly replied.

After being struck down, Fu Xing flipped over and tried his best to get back up. However, the intense pain from his shoulder blades made it impossible for him to muster any strength.

“Hurry up and admit defeat.” Yu Tai had his arms crossed in front of his chest as he glared down at 「Zi Ye」’s sorry form. “What are you persevering for?”

“I don’t want to become useless garbage again…”

“But you are anyways.”

Fu Xing coughed heavily, spitting out some chunks of blood. “At least I can try my best until the end…”

“Is there any use in that?” Yu Tai angrily shouted, “You can’t even summon an ordinary monster! Who could bear to watch you now that you’ve regressed to this stage!”

Fu Xing did not reply. He used one arm to hold himself up onto one knee as he panted hard.

I absolutely will not concede…I have to press on…

The uninvolved observer in a distant tower grinned appreciatively.

Now you’re qualified to be my king chess piece.

Fu Xing gathered his focus to summon again. However, this time he could not even call out the lowest of the miscellaneous monsters. It felt like he was sticking his hand into the water and fishing around for a long time without catching anything.

“Sigh…” Is it just going to end like this?

“Try again.” Zi Ye’s voice suddenly rang through his head.

Fu Xing was taken aback for a moment, then discovered that the ring on his finger was emitting a faint golden glow.

“Think back to what I told you last time…” Zi Ye’s unhurried voice entered Fu Xing’s ears through the sound transmission function. “You need a specific target in order to receive a response from the other end…”

Fu Xing let slip a bitter chuckle. It was truly unfortunate that he did not know a single resident of the netherworld.

Ah, no—I do have an impression of having had the fate of meeting a guy from the netherworld.

When he had been a new student, that night during Halloween, on top of the Forbidden Tower…

Fu Xing began to recall his memories of that night.

Its voice is as deep and ear-piercing as thunder.

Its smell is like burnt sulphur, which apparently is the smell of Hell.

Energy began to flow through his body. Although he did not utter a word, the summoning spell that he had repeated over a hundred times automatically began to circle through his mind, indistinctly activating.

The dimensional door opened in front of Fu Xing, warping into a shapeless light vortex. The chaotic rays that spilled out of it gave off a disturbing feeling.

The competition stage began to shake, and tearing sounds came from both under the ground and in the air. The tremors spread, and the audience began to shiver as well. Terrified mutters echoed like a rushing tide while the atmosphere of restlessness and fear continued to grow.

Yu Tai anxiously widened his eyes at the glowing door in front of Fu Xing, unease filling his heart as well. However, he feigned calm as he stood rooted to the spot.

Its body is like a small mountain, dark and sturdy. It possesses the head of a lion, the body of a ram, the tail of a snake. It is the guardian of the space rift, and its name is—

Fu Xing opened his mouth to call out in a low voice, “Chimera.”

Roar—

With a deep, deafening roar, the deformed, dimensional door was ripped open as an enormous figure proudly made its appearance.

Everyone was shrouded by fear. The students wanted to flee, but were so frightened that they were frozen in place, afraid to move. The teachers and guests all stood, eyes widening in disbelief at the blindingly eye-catching and terrifying existence.

“What in the world is that guy doing!”

“He summoned the guardian of Shalom’s space!”

Zi Ye, who was sitting in the back of the candidate seats, was somewhat astonished. However, he remained collected as usual, as he knew that “the one” observing in the darkness would not let things go out of hand.

The observer on the distant tower was applauding in delight, as though he was watching the most brilliant performance in the world.

Too amazing! You really are something, Fu Xing…

Youny gleefully narrowed his eyes. He felt like he was seeing the chessboard he had plotted advancing towards the end point of victory step by step.

After appearing, Chimera suspiciously surveyed the surroundings, seemingly not comprehending why it had been summoned here. Finally, its eyes with yellow flames blazing in them focused onto the Jiufeng that Yu Tai had summoned.

Enemy…

Once Chimera identified its target, it launched into offence without any hesitation. It opened its lion’s mouth, and a ball of purple and orange flames began to gather together.

Faced with the sudden appearance of a powerful opponent, Jiufeng was clearly a bit frantic as it continuously shot attacks at the other. However, these actions did not bring much harm to Chimera, instead only infuriating it.

Kaboom!

Massive flames burst towards Jiufeng, the explosion blasting out a hole in Jiufeng’s wings. Scorched feathers flew through the air.

The giant bird let out a blood-curling shriek and dragged its broken body back to miserably leap through the glowing door and escape back to the netherworld.

Now that Jiufeng had vanished, Chimera turned its focus onto the others present and began to attack the defensive ward around the stage. The sturdy wards flared crimson from the repeated, violent assault, and began to split into cracks in a few places. Despite this, it did not collapse.

The audience broke out into an uproar as a sea of people began to retreat outside, fearful cries filling the air.

Yu Tai, who was evading attacks from a distance, shouted at 「Zi Ye」, “You’ve already proven you’re very strong! Isn’t that enough?! Hurry up and send it back!”

Fu Xing was sitting on the ground, completely drained. It felt as though all the strength in his body had been sucked dry, and he was about to lose consciousness at any moment. He struggled to keep his eyes open. “I don’t know how…”

I’m so tired…

Chimera finally pointed its gaze at the impudent person that had summoned it to this space.

Roar— A furious roar split their eardrums. A deep black fireball began to gather in its mouth, this time pointed at 「Zi Ye」.

“Watch out!” All the representatives in the northern campus candidate seats simultaneously felt their hearts clench.

He’ll die! Fu Xing will disappear—Such a thing cannot be allowed to happen! This identical thought fiercely emerged in eight people’s minds at the same time.

The black flames finished gathering and blasted towards 「Zi Ye」.

Whoosh!

Nine figures charged onto the stage like lightning. As the great flames descended, they crashed into an invisible, sturdy barrier and dispersed.

“Are you alright?!” Rocort supported Fu Xing and gave his face a solid slap. “Here, here! I have candy! You can eat it, you can eat it! Don’t sleep!”

“Didn’t I give you a charm! Why didn’t you activate it! It can open an absolute defence for thirty seconds! Are you stupid or what?!” Emerald scolded with furrowed brows, his bright green eyes filled with worry. “Didn’t I say I wouldn’t collect rent from you?!”

Fu Xing shifted his head and blinked. “Rocort, Emerald, you guys switched back?”

They stared blankly for a moment. Now that Fu Xing had mentioned it, they realised in astonishment that they had all returned to their original bodies, aside from Fu Xing, Zi Ye, and Taeharu, who were still in each other’s bodies.

Crack—

There was no time to celebrate. The defensive barrier that Rocort and the others had erected began to crack.

“I’m the one that called it here…” Fu Xing was dizzy and lightheaded as he dazedly murmured, “How about it? I didn’t let the northern campus lose face, right…”

Zi Ye slowly walked up to Fu Xing and pressed a hand against his “own” forehead. “No need to think about anything more.”

Fu Xing closed his eyes and felt a warmth pour into his forehead. Then, he felt weightless, floating upwards before slowly descending again.

When he opened his eyes once again, the pain in his body had vanished entirely. He lowered his head to see that he had already returned to his own body.

He glanced over to his side to see Zi Ye endure the pain and unyieldingly stand up.

“Leave the rest to me.”

Seeing that its attack was ineffective, Chimera furiously circled through the air at high speed, demonfire appearing around its body.

Roar— Chimera swooped down to send them all straight to Hell.

Zi Ye grabbed the ends of his hair, then transformed his fingers into bird talons and sliced the long white hair off before tossing the snow-white strands into the air.

“Open.” As he quietly called out, the strands of hair connected together in mid-air to form a net. Then the gaps of the net merged together to create a large ring that flew up to encircle Chimera.

Like a magic trick, the instant Chimera passed through the white ring, its entire body was sucked into a space rift. It immediately vanished to return to the netherworld where it belonged.

The stage returned to a tranquil state as though nothing had ever happened. All that remained as a testament to the thrilling battle was smoking holes in the ground.

“Ahem, is it over?” Fu Xing asked uncertainly.

“Should be…” Brad surveyed the beyond damaged area. “At least, the place is too destroyed to compete.”

The students that had been in the middle of fleeing saw that the disturbance had settled down and they returned to the bleachers to quietly stare at the stage. They did not quite know how to react, or what the results of the competition were.

The main judge stood and slowly walked towards the competition stage.

“Quite an outstanding display.” He studied the northern campus representatives, his eyes landing on Zi Ye. “That is the first time I have seen someone capable of directly summoning Chimera. Although things went out of control a bit in the middle, that finishing move was quite remarkable.”

He bent over to pick up Zi Ye’s white hair and sighed in pity, “Tsk tsk, the hair of one from the xuanniao race carries a high degree of spiritual power, and a variant’s spiritual power is even more extraordinary. It was so long, yet now it’s all been cut off…”

“It’s no big deal, it’s summertime anyways…” Zi Ye nonchalantly commented.

The main judge stared at Zi Ye, then let out a chuckle as he turned back to face the audience. Using a clear voice, he announced the results of the competition:

“For the ninth round of the competition, as both parties’ summoned beasts have been sent back and the contestants can no longer compete, there is no victor or loser! Shalom’s twenty-seventh friendly matches end in a tie! Both sides are champions!”

The arena was silent for a second before exploding into cheers.

Every special animate being showed unconditional respect towards the competition outcome, completely accepting regardless of whether the conclusion was a win or a loss. They could also be called the world’s most sensible audience.

After all that chaos, Shalom’s school ceremony friendly matches drew to an end.

The representatives from both northern and southern campuses were regarded as heroes, receiving everyone’s support wherever they went. This continued to last up until very late in the night.

When Zhu Yue dragged her exhausted body back to the dorms, she coincidentally bumped into Rachel as she turned a corner. Thinking back to how they had last parted on bad terms, Zhu Yue awkwardly nodded at her.

“You’re the real Zhu Yue, aren’t you,” Rachel assessed Zhu Yue with a smile.

“Mhm…” Zhu Yue dropped her head, wanting to quickly flee into her room.

“You fought pretty well in the competition.”

“Ah, huh?” Zhu Yue stared at Rachel in astonishment. “Er…thank you.”

“Although I hate your timidness,” Rachel did not gloss over her blunt honesty. “I do admire you.”

Zhu Yue’s brows shot up. Not to be outdone, she muttered, “I am the same…” Then she hurriedly left.

Rachel grinned wordlessly and calmly returned to her room.

With these chaotic friendly matches, some understandings had formed, while some people had begun to grow and change.


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2 thoughts on “FXDL V3C9

  1. Zi Ye and Fu Xing you sweet over powered babies, please be friends now!

    That was a fantastic ending. Thank you so much for translating.

    Liked by 2 people

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