“Evan, come out Evan,” a girl shouted while gasping for breath. She called out while she looked in all directions, but unfortunately there were too many trees in the surroundings. Despite searching for a long time, she did not find her target and could not help angrily kicking a nearby tree trunk. Unwilling to give up, she mumbled to herself, “You’re dead if you let me find you Evan!”
A burst of cold wind blew through. The young lady who was just recently having a fit of anger finally took note of the weather and shrunk within herself. Despite being unwilling in her heart, she reluctantly turned around and headed back.
Before she took more than two steps she stumbled. Her loss of balance led to her hitting her head on a nearby tree trunk. The girl’s eyes filled with tears and she rubbed her forehead, “What was that?”
After a week of heavy snow, even in the overgrown forest, the ground seemed to be covered with a thick white carpet. The girl turned to look back; whatever she had stumbled on was hidden beneath the snow near that tree. It was almost totally buried and only a small part was exposed.
The young lady’s curiosity was piqued. She reached out with her hands and began brushing away the snow, slowly revealing what truly lay underneath.
Afterwards, a loud scream resounded over the entire forest.
“You’re so damn noisy, Jonia,” complained a brown-haired teenager. It was not clear at what point he had actually emerged from the trees, but he had covered his ears to block the sound. Even though he looked like a 17 to 18-year-old, his manner of speech was quite old-fashioned.
The girl, known as Jonia, did not bicker with Evan over his comment. When she caught sight of the young man it was like her knight in shining armour had finally come. With a ‘whoosh’ she scuttled over and hid behind him, closed her eyes tightly, grabbed his shirt with one hand, and pointed her trembling finger towards the location where she had just fallen. Her voice squeaked out, “Ah…Evan, there are dead people.”
Evan looked down in the direction that her pale white finger was pointing, and sure enough he saw the outline of human legs and feet that were exposed when the snow was brushed aside.
“You magicians sure are cowardly.”
Evan was clearly much calmer than Jonia. He pried her fingers from his shirt and walked steadily over to the bodies. Pushing aside the rest of the snow, the teen was amazed when he finally dug up a young man and a little girl from where they were buried.
The young man’s clothing was in tatters and although his figure was slim, he was clearly not weak. Contrary to what one might expect, the little girl’s clothes were in good condition and seemed warm—the strange thing about her was that she had no hair on her head. The two people clung tightly to one another and although their appearances seemed uncoordinated, they gave off a very harmonious feeling.
Evan stretched out his finger by their noses, feeling for breath. His face became serious and he waved Jonia over, “Come quick, they’re still alive!”
Jonia, half doubting, moved closer and then Evan put the little girl in her arms and said, “You’re holding her.”
Jonia was so nervous she did not know where to put her hands. The unmelted snow on the little girl’s body was very cold and immediately caused the older girl to shiver. Standing with completely rigid posture, she awkwardly held the little girl and watched helplessly as Evan struggled to lift the teen and secure him oh his back. Afterwards, he started walking and then urged her to hurry.
Saving people was like putting out a fire; one could not delay for even a moment.
Both Jonia and Evan hurriedly walked along and neither of them noticed when the teenager on Evan’s back opened his eyes.
“Evan, why don’t you get a move on! Ordinarily a warrior’s strength would be many times that of a magician, so why can’t you catch up to me?” Jonia complained without looking back, but Evan never answered her.
“Evan? Evan?” Finally, Jonia became aware that something was wrong, turned back. Evan stood still about a dozen paces behind, facing her, with a forced smile pasted on his face.
The young man dressed in rags on his back, who was unconscious just a moment ago, had looped one arm across Evan’s shoulder and locked it around his neck. The other hand was gripping a slightly rusty dagger against Evan’s neck right where his jugular vein hid beneath the skin. Although it was not sharp, no one would doubt its lethality.
The youth was gasping for breath noisily in his ear. Evan could only raise his hands to show that he intended to do no harm and try, as much as possible, not to provoke that beast-like guy.
Xi Wei was very weak, but his eyes were cold and detached—unchanging since times immemorial. Owing to the lengthy period of time he had gone hungry, his mouth was parched and his voice was hoarse when he asked, “Who are you?”
Since his life rested in the hands of someone else, Evan took care to answer the question tactfully, “I am Evan, she is my twin sister Jonia, and we are going to Prault Institute to enrol as students.”
“Where are we?”
Evan suppressed the curiosity in his heart and answered quietly, “This is the Mt Hua1 Forest, a short distance from Prault Institute.”
Jonia was petrified for a moment and then returned to normal. She could not understand why the person they just rescued has turned around and threatened them with a knife.
As to the location of Mt Hua Forest, Xi Wei had never heard of it before today. His arm tightened once again, “How do you get to Ye Sa City?”
“Ye Sa City? You want to go to Ye Sa City?” Evan was shocked and his eyes revealed a complicated expression.
“Don’t ask anything unnecessary.”
“Well, then I have to tell you, Ye Sa City no longer exists. Two days ago it was attacked by a plague demon and it has already become an empty city. Not only that, you’d have to travel across nearly one third of the continent to reach it. Are you sure you want to go there?”
Once again, Xi Wei fell silent.
They had obviously fainted in the snowy mountains near Nice, so why was it that they had woken up in this place called Mt Hua Forest? It was exceedingly far from Ye Sa City—in the end, what strange thing happened? Or was this young man, who claimed his name was Evan, lying?
However, he did not actually take the time to consider the reason why they were brought so far. Jonia, who had finally snapped back to the reality that her younger brother was being threatened, moved her lips inconspicuously. A sharp whistling sound was carried through the air, and a cyan wind blade that had condensed near the girl shot through the air towards Xi Wei’s wrist.
Xi Wei turned his cold gaze onto the approaching attack, tensed his legs, and dodged the dangerous attack while carrying Evan with him. The wind blade struck a tree trunk behind them, leaving behind a shallow gash.
Evan asked helplessly, “Jonia, can you possibly use your brain when you do that kind of thing, or did you want to attack me as well?”
Jonia opened her mouth a few times, but although she wanted to speak she could not find the words to explain.
Evan continued to talk, “You should also have a little bit of confidence in your younger brother. Don’t forget, I am also a top student who is about to enter Prault Institute.”
The moment he finished saying those words, Evan kicked his right leg straight up across his body up beside the top of his head. Xi Wei was slightly taller than him and if he could not avoid it, then he was sure to be kicked in the forehead by Evan. At the same time, Evan bent his waist at an incredible angle and managed to move his neck out of range of the dagger.
In that moment a thousand pounds was hanging by a thread2. Xi Wei turned his head to dodge and used all his strength to grab Evan’s arm and his belt at the same time, then pulled back. The two young men both fell down awkwardly onto the snowy ground.
Jonia cried out in fear once again. She had watched the two teens, stunned, from when the first martial arts move had quickly developed into a fight, then finally ended on the snowy ground in a wrestling match.
The scream did not interrupt the fight between the two teenagers, but woke up the ‘little girl’ in her arms.
Zeno felt his head buzzing and he was muddled and completely collapsing, but then a burst of fragrance drifted into his nose. Some of his confusion was relieved and at that moment a person’s figure flashed before his eyes.
Jonia was reminded of the situation by those movements, then quickly directed a shout at the two fighting teenagers, “Don’t fight, ummm, if you don’t stop, you…then your younger sister is toast!”
Xi Wei halted all movements and went rigid. Evan was able to capitalize on the moment Xi Wei paused and punched him right in the eye. Zeno opened his eyes in time to witness his family’s protagonist spitting out blood. His heart seemed as if it would jump out, and he was extremely distressed.
Evan massaged his wrist and complained, “Hey Jonia, who let you butt in?”
Jonia was so angry she wished that she could twist his ears. She retorted, “Damn you Evan. All day long you only know how to fight, one day when you’re laying stiff like a corpse outside somewhere, don’t expect me to come claim you.”
Evan replied resentfully, “Obviously I was held hostage okay? Don’t invert black and white3.”
Zeno’s face was covered in black lines. Evan and Jonia—was there a coincidence like this!
Despite the fierce fighting that had just taken place, both Xi Wei and Evan were on the verge of running out of power. However, Xi Wei appeared as if he was eternally serene. One could not make out the slightest degree of mood fluctuation.
Evan stood up and took the initiative to reach out and extend a hand to Xi Wei, then spoke in a refined and courteous manner, “Your martial arts level is very good. Let’s start over again. I’m Evan, Evan-Youliya.”
Xi Wei merely looked at him coldly, wiped the blood from his mouth, and staggered to a standing position himself.
Jonia involuntarily stepped back two steps. Being stared at by Xi Wei was like being stared at by a beast. Even more abhorrent was the fact that Evan did not actually stop him. He was allowing a warrior far too close to a weak-bodied magician, was that not just courting death?
Zeno struggled for a little while. The scared Jonia did not catch him and that let him jump down into the snow.
Zeno fell, took in a mouthful of snow, coughed twice, then got up and ran towards Xi Wei.
Xi Wei caught him very skilfully and patted his cold, wet clothes.
Zeno returned to the protagonist’s side and his heart felt a little more secure. This allowed him more time to look at the other two people present.
They were a brown-haired boy and girl named Evan and Jonia respectively. It turned out that the twin siblings did not run away.
Understanding the identity of the two people in front of him, Zeno’s eyes suddenly became strange. These two were very popular in the novel’s comment section. When it came to these two people, the readers were divided into three factions: Jonia’s fans were largely male otaku, Evan commanded the admiration of many female readers, and lastly there was the neutral faction.
As for the details of the main dispute between the two opposing parties, in the end it all came down to which twin was Xi Wei’s, cough cough, ‘first love’. That caused Zeno to be very sceptical of those words, ‘true love’. When did ‘first love’ have that kind of hidden connotation?
Evan’s faction thought that they showed their love by trying to kill one another, while Jonia’s faction believed that an ordinary love with her was what the protagonist needed.
Of course, as the protagonist’s fanboy, Zeno was safely entrenched in the neutral faction. He merely watched the fires burning across the river.
At this very moment, all three of them stood in his presence. For some unknown reason, Zeno, who had witnessed part of their interactions, was somewhat inclined towards Evan’s faction.
Well. Volume two here we come! That said, I have a mountain of clean laundry to fold, so please look forward to a chapter of RAAS next.
Also, if you’ve read my novel Screen Partner, I’m still having a little giveaway contest if you have left/leave a review and comment on the giveaway. Just go to this post to check it out. It’s open for a couple more days.