Translator Announcement: Don’t be scared!! I just wanted to let you know of a name change. Prault Institute will henceforth be known as Providence College. For many reasons. It was a gaffe on my part when I first named it. I can’t remember what all chapters it was in, but I will fix it when I see it.
The rust taste in his mouth grew increasingly stronger. As a regular person, of course Zeno would not want to drink blood; he was not a bloodkin. He overestimated his fortitude and was barely able to resist the urge to vomit out the blood from his mouth. Zeno used the light of the bonfire to find the exact location of Xi Wei’s lips; he was so impatient he almost threw himself on top of him.
Xi Wei had not fallen into a deep sleep since he was so close to two strangers. He was unfamiliar with their surroundings and afraid of losing his way in the huge forest, so he could not risk leaving. Therefore, despite his gradually blurring consciousness, he still retained a sense of awareness.
Xi Wei felt that Zeno had very restless since they went to sleep. Although the child had already tried his best to lighten the movements of his limbs, things were very different now. He was able to detect any movements that the little one made. He knew that Zeno had taken away the dagger that he carried around, but he did not know what he planned to do with it. It was still quiet, and then a moment later Xi Wei suddenly felt a heavy sensation on his chest. Something landed on him and then he was struck by the heavy smell of blood, followed by the feeling of lips being pressed against his own.
Xi Wei opened his eyes almost instantaneously. Meanwhile Zeno, who had not seen that because he unconsciously closed his eyes, continued to put great effort into transferring the blood over.
“You…” Xi Wei had just opened his lips to speak when he felt his entire mouth fill with the heady taste of rust. He choked like he was drowning, and then swallowed it down as if it was water.
Zeno felt the volume of liquid in his mouth diminish. Pleased that he was successful, Zeno opened his eyes. Right before his eyes were Xi Wei’s own wide open eyes; he was caught red-handed and the air had a sudden chilliness.
“Hack! Cough cough cough!” In that critical moment, Zeno still remembered to turn his head away so that he would not spray Xi Wei in the face.
Xi Wei raised his hand and wiped the corner of his mouth. He took a closer look, and sure enough it was really the colour of blood.
The bonfire burned quietly, while the Miya Empire prince and princess slept deeply—all due to the fact that they had completely relaxed their guard. Xi Wei slowly sat up, and for the first time he looked at Zeno with suspicion in his eyes.
Could a five or six-year-old child have such a strong sense of awareness that they would be capable of understanding Xia An’s words, then autonomously carry them out?
Although Xi Wei did not raise any other children, he knew that this was not normal behaviour. In fact, if he thought carefully he could find more clues. For example, when the child could accurately call out Old George’s name to help them escape from danger, or else his overly precocious and quiet temperament.
In the past few years in the Mercenary Guild, although they were doing all kinds of trivial things, Xi Wei was able to learn more about the world from the conversations of different mercenaries. For example, a magician’s mental capacity was much higher than that of an ordinary person. Generally, a powerful wizard would show wisdom beyond most people in his childhood.
According to the dark magic wizard they had visited, Zeno had great spiritual potential and should be extremely intelligent. Despite that he had always been sillier than ordinary children, yet unusually calm in times of crisis; he was able to come up with and act on the best strategy to respond to the situation at hand.
Thinking that far, things were obvious; the ‘child’ was merely acting foolish and naive.
Xi Wei feared all unknown things, including children who were early maturing and similar to demons.
Originally, he thought a baby might be the only living creature in the world that did not scheme, but Zeno’s existence had smashed through his preconceptions.
Zeno bared his blood-red teeth, unaware of the great catastrophe that was looming over him.
Xi Wei fixed the little one with his eyes. He had never considered that the child he had held in his own arms could be so terrible. He moved his foot, suddenly struck with the urge to flee.
At that moment Xi Wei stepped on something hard and it made a loud noise. Xi Wei looked down towards the area and noticed the dagger that he had carried around for many years; the dagger’s blade was stained with crimson blood. When he saw the bright red blood, and then saw Zeno’s wrist where the boy had once again opened his wound, Xi Wei suddenly felt his heart that had always been solid as a boulder soften a bit.
He slowly walked over, held Zeno’s wrist in his hand, and without a single word he wrapped the wound with the only remaining strip of black cloth from the cloak originally given to them by Zeno’s mother. Due to repeated washing, the fabric had begun to discolour by this point. Owing to the fact that he was always sustaining injuries, Xi Wei always carried the strips of fabric around in his belt so they were on hand.
His bandaging technique was very simple, but the actions were very skilled. In a moment the wound was wrapped tightly and it had stopped bleeding.
However, Xi Wei’s softheartedness was quickly smashed to pieces by his rationality. Regardless of his motive, this child was not as simple as he seemed on the outside.
He determined in his mind to cut himself and let the blood, then sucked it up into his own mouth and passed it over into Xi Wei’s. This line of thinking was not something that a five or six-year-old child should have.
Xi Wei closed his eyes. When he opened them again, his expression was cold, “Come with me.”
Zeno was still unaware of Xi Wei’s state, so when he heard the protagonist’s command he followed after as a conditioned reflex.
Mt. Hua Forest was simply an ordinary forest. There were neither strong magical beasts, nor any other dangerous creatures. The most troublesome was the small magic red-eyed rabbit. It was relatively safe, so one could even walk about at night. At most it was easy to trip on a root in the dark, but that was not terribly challenging to avoid.
When they left the boundary of the magic array that kept the wind out and the area warm, Zeno could not help but sneeze and then shrunk his neck down to conserve heat.
Xi Wei walked silently in front and Zeno watched his figure from behind, somewhat bewildered; Xi Wei was not behaving normally. If he did not understand Xi Wei well, he would have thought that this pattern should be when a person killed someone and abandoned their corpse.
Xi Wei finally stopped, but he did not turn around.
Zeno hesitated and then decided he should go with acting cute to feel out the other boy. Thus he reached out to pull at Xi Wei’s cuffs that were full of holes and said, “Baba.”
Xi Wei avoided him.
Zeno was dumbstruck. That was the first time Xi Wei had actively avoided his touch.
“Who are you?” Zeno heard the protagonist ask.
“I’m Zeno, baba,” He replied at a loss.
“I’m not your father,” Xi Wei’s voice was ice-cold and devoid of emotion.
Zeno was surprised; he truly did not expect that Xi Wei would choose this moment to lay his cards on the table. He was not a fool. After a little thought it was clear why Xi Wei had said that, so Zeno also fell into silence.
Xi Wei turned around and saw the silly smile on Zeno’s face disappearing, replaced by contemplation and a faint dread.
What was he afraid of? Was he afraid that his camouflage would finally be torn off?
At this moment, however, Xi Wei became cool-headed to the extreme. It was like he had escaped his own body and spoke again, as if his words were a matter of no concern to himself, “I will send you to Providence College.”
Zeno did not know if he should be glad that he knew so much about Xi Wei. His protagonist only needed to say that one sentence and Zeno completely understood the meaning behind those words.
I am not your father, I have no obligation to keep you, I will send you to Providence College and then we will no longer have any connection.
Although he has long been expecting this, he had spared no effort pretending to be naive.
He truly hated the thought of parting, but he could not find a reason that would allow him to stay.
Their lives should have originally been two parallel lines, was that not so?
Zeno opened his mouth, but he could not make a sound.
If he was just an ordinary child, he could be taken care of. Unfortunately, he was not. He had the soul and thoughts of an adult. When he first transmigrated thanks to the infirmity of the baby’s body, he was able to find peace of mind because he could rely on the only one he was familiar with—Xi Wei.
Now that Xi Wei said he was going to send him to Providence College, was it even possible to ask to stay with him?
Xi Wei may have decided to take care of an ignorant child that lacked the strength to truss a chicken, but he did not dare to continue on with a dangerous magician.
Zeno felt cold. The frigid winter wind whipped his clothes and chilled him to the bone.
“Go back,” advised Xi Wei indifferently.
The two boys still walked back one after the other. In the past, Xi Wei would be slightly bent down and holding onto Zeno’s hand, while Zeno would only be half a step behind. In the present, he could look at Xi Wei’s figure from three paces behind him.
Although this was life, Zeno could not help feeling dismayed.
Early the next morning, Evan stretched out as he woke up, and found that the two, father and son, seated across the bonfire from him were unusually distant. They had clearly cuddled each other when they slept yesterday.
Evan touched his chin thought, is it possible that their sleeping posture is that terrible?
He wanted to look into it, but first he had to pinch Jonia’s nose and watch his sister’s cheeks flush red since it was difficult to breathe. When she awoke, he beamed at her and said, “Good morning, my dear sister.”
“Good morning my ass! Just go die Evan!” Jonia was livid and swiftly began stringing together incantations. Three light cyan wind blades condensed at the same time, and all three were directed at Evan. If he were stuck by those, he would be disabled if he was not dead.
Evan was apparently very familiar with this routine. He bent and twisted to complete several incredibly difficult looking movements. His movements basically twisted him into a pretzel, but the wind blades still passed by and struck the tree behind him violently. He did not forget to pay back the slight with his mouth, “Jonia you improved today. You were able to make three wind blades so quickly.”
Jonia had consumed too much spiritual power and massaged her temples while threatening, “You better pray to the Goddess of Light every day that you don’t fall into my hands.”
Evan, who had just finished his ‘morning exercise’, felt a bit of cold behind him and turned to look. He did not know when Xi Wei had woken up, but the young man was looking at him with a vigilant gaze.
Evan smiled kindly. He truly admired this little rag doll father. His use of martial arts was not fancy, but very practical. Yes, it was definitely to his liking, so if there was any free time he would like to try fighting once again and swap pointers.
As for the unpleasantness of yesterday, it was only due to an overreaction between strangers. His Royal Highness Evan had never been a stingy person; since it was a misunderstanding, it was best to explain clearly.
Zeno had dark circles under his eyes—apparently he did not sleep well the previous night. His sudden exposure had caused him to be flustered; there was no way he could be settled enough to sleep after that.
He should feel a bit fortunate; at least Xi Wei did not send him away to be a research subject.
The brother and sister both vaguely felt that the atmosphere was a bit strange. The comfortable air between them yesterday had withered—they could almost hear the crickets chirping in the awkwardness. Neither of them spoke, they were not too familiar with the boys and it was never good to intervene in the business of others.
Although Evan and Jonia did not actually think the two were really father and son, a closer look really did reveal similarities in their appearances. Their inquisitiveness could not be sated and they could only treat Xi Wei as a gifted and unusual individual.
Sure enough, as the siblings said, Providence City was not too far from Mt Hua Forest. It was only noon when they reached the most sacred city of the continent.
It needed to be said that although they were both unregulated cities, there was a world of difference between Providence City and Ye Sa City. Ye Sa City was a gathering place for criminals and refugees, while Providence City had the colossus know as the Temple and Providence College; they were on totally different levels.
As explained previously, there were genuine deities on this continent. Among these deities, the most ancient and revered by the people across the continent were the Goddess of Light and the Goddess of Darkness.
In many fantasy novels, the Goddess of Light and the Goddess of Darkness could not exist together, but it was quite different here. What they called their temple was divided into two parts. One side worshipped the Goddess of Light and the other side worshipped the Goddess of Darkness. The two factions jointly managed the temple.
Providence College was on the left and the temple was on the right; the entire city was built around these two buildings. Each year, the goup of people behind each building would spend huge amounts of money to improve the facade in a futile attempt to show who was superior between the two. However, the ordinary civilians did not understand this naive rivalry.
Providence City was very prosperous and the bustling city even made a modern man like Zeno gasp in amazement. He thought that he would be greeted with something like an old traditional western scene, but who could have guessed that Providence City would completely refresh his three worldviews?
The streets were neat and beautiful, with more a perfect integration of green spaces and plant life than even modern society. Even though it was winter, there was a steady stream of people to weave through. Everyone’s faces were brimming with happiness and satisfaction—something that could never have happened in Ye Sa City.
Zeno even saw steakhouses with young ladies out front to welcome guests, as well as a building he suspected was a supermarket.
One of the most conspicuous things he saw were three distinct dressing styles present. One style of attire worn by both men and women was similar to a school uniform. There were also individuals walking about in white robes, most with a serious look on their face, and lastly were those in black robes1. Looking at the three styles of clothing, Zeno quickly understood their corresponding identities.
Those in school uniforms were college students, the ones in white robes were the clergy of the Temple of Light, and the ones in black robes were the clergy of the Temple of Darkness.
The temple did not accept the royal family members of any empire, which was actually a tacit mutual understanding between both parties.
So naturally, Evan and Jonia could only go to Providence College, and that was solely thanks to their extraordinary talent. The Providence College admission requirements were very strict. Jonia’s few wind blades were not something to be looked down on. In fact, only a rare genius could accomplish that much at her age.
Most people at the age of seventeen or eighteen with magical talent had difficulties just sensing the magical elements through meditation.
Providence College advertised their admission requirements on every conspicuous building in the city. Even the entrance to the steakhouse had the basics for new students, as well as explaining that a referral from a qualified source could gain them preferential treatment.
Evan and Jonia had a clear goal; head directly to the admissions department. Zeno quietly followed Xi Wei, seemingly calm, but he was extremely anxious as he observed the protagonist’s attitude. It was clear that he truly intended to send him off to the college.
Zeno feared what was coming. It was clear that they had quite a long journey ahead of them. However, the two siblings paid for them to use the short-range transmission array like some nouveau riche pair, so they reached their destination within a split second.
They arrived at the registration area and were greeted by a seemingly amiable old magician who would start the process by conducting a preliminary test of a person’s innate magical talent. Zeno did not dare to open his mouth. He could only use the expression of his eyes to convey his appeal to the protagonist: Please don’t abandon me.
I won’t lie. I was totally heartbroken when I did a quick read through before working on this chapter. In fact, I was late getting it done because I finally bit the bullet and MTLed the whole thing. Firstly because I needed to know what happened, an secondly because I got caught up in the story once I started.
If you want spoilers, go to the thread and I might give some bare-bones explanations. You don’t have to tag me, I’ll see it.
That said, there is good news. The chapters mostly get shorter from here on out. I actually thought this one was shorter so I was sorely mistaken.
- The robes they wear are actually changpao. If you read RAAS then you will recognize this photo. Click here to see a slightly modernized version of one. ↩