The reason Xi Wei could become the novel’s protagonist was because he had the willpower and staunch nature that an ordinary person was simply not capable of. Therefore, the miserable expression in Zeno’s eyes simply could not achieve its purpose.
As for the twin brother and sister, they were merely surprised that rather than registering himself, Xi Wei only intended to register the little one.
After all, although Providence Academy had childhood education classes, there were no differences between its content and that of regular schools. Apart from the locals, parents elsewhere did not need to send their children vast distances to learn when they were still young, because at that point their lessons were indistinguishable from any other school across the country.
The education programs for magic and martial arts in the Hong Yue Continent were very strict. Ordinary children would not touch that type of lesson before the age of 16, because the dangers of magic and martial arts training were too risky for children who were not yet very sensible. For comparison: giving a loaded gun to a naive kid could not only hurt others, but it could also hurt oneself.
In general, a teenager could begin to learn the basics of magic and martial arts at the age of 16. They could only formally learn to master these powerful forces at the age of 18.
Of course, the fact that there were powerful old families with greater resources and affluence meant that there were some who could afford to hire private instructors. That made it possible to advance far sooner than ordinary people, which was why aristocratic families were more likely to produce outstanding warriors and magicians.
However, at the age of 18, whether it was aristocrats or civilians, they would all be willing to send their children to college to learn. There were many things that could not be achieved alone through self-study.
According to the results of the census carried out on the Hong Yue Continent every ten years, students that graduated from colleges tended to have a higher level of excellence than those who studied at home.
Of course, Zeno did not reach these conclusions on his own. Rather, the admissions office was full of similar information that was disseminated to the public. It was presumably for parents who came with their children to enrol in the elementary school in order to reach the widest range of targets possible with their advertisements.
Xi Wei was illiterate, so he did not understand any of it. The reason he decided to send Zeno to Providence College was quite complicated.
First of all, Xi Wei had never dared to forget what that old magician1 had said back then; only Providence College and the Temple had suitable teachers for Zeno. Without proper guidance, he would be faced with the consequences of his mental power going out of control, and such a dangerous person could not be tolerated in their world. Secondly, he did not want to let Zeno learn magic before. He was afraid that he was too young and could not distinguish between good and evil—this may have led to him wantonly behaving as he wished. If he had known that Zeno had wisdom transcending that of a child, he would not have worried about it. However, Zeno was too adept at disguising himself.
After thinking carefully about the various issues again, Xi Wei determined that it was unlikely he had overlooked anything. He stepped forward and stood before a benign-faced magician, then said, “Register.”
The old magician had just finished testing the root bone of the previous student that had come to register. He was very satisfied with the outcome, and was stroking his chin satisfactorily. When he heard that cold, abrupt word, he considered its source, “Young man, don’t speak so coldly. Let’s sign you up, take a seat and I’ll give you the test.”
Xi Wei skilfully dodged the old magician’s hand that he had extended and pushed Zeno forwards, “The test is for him.”
The emotions in the old magician’s eyes were not very good. He bowed down to take a look. Hey, what’s with this little one? He could not help shaking his head, “Children need to be registered in the kindergarten area. This is where we test for martial arts aptitude.”
Since it was nearly the end of registration, there was hardly anyone left at the registration desk. No one urged them to hurry along.
The old magician could see that Xi Wei was still obstinately refusing to comply. He was a little anxious, stood up falteringly, and touched his dry lips. Xi Wei felt a wave ripple below his feet that made him unstable. He wanted to jump away instantly, but a yellow earth wall appeared behind him at lightning speed. It slowly advanced forward with an overwhelming force—Xi Wei was completely incapable of resisting it.
This was the earth magic technique known as earth wall.
Seeing this antisocial youth before his eyes being pushed by the earth wall, the old magician narrowed his eyes and picked up an exquisite magic staff from the table. He chanted another magic incantation and then said, “Gravity field.”
The sudden extreme gravitational pull forced Xi Wei into a half kneeling position on the ground. He was completely unable to raise a single finger.
Zeno was even more anxious than the old magician. He ran up to Xi Wei and grabbed his face—he wanted to pull him up from the ground. Unfortunately, he was helpless—his thin arms and legs could not even move.
Xi Wei gritted his teeth and the physical exertion caused him to perspire so profusely that his back was wet. However, he did not say a word because he knew that the old magician was not deliberately making things difficult. Begging for forgiveness did not make any sense.
Sure enough, after a while the old magician once again waved his staff and withdrew the gravity field that was only applied to Xi Wei. Satisfied by what he saw, he said, “Although you have no magic talent, you possess an excellent root bone for being a warrior. Your physical strength is more than five times that of ordinary people the same age as you. Your willpower and resistance to stressors is top-notch—it’s all very good. Young man, you are officially accepted into Providence College. Next week come to the college to properly sign up for the martial arts courses, you can bring the young one with you.”
Zeno and Xi Wei were both a little dumbstruck. Zeno wondered if he would need to be admitted like that. Xi Wei, on the other hand, thought that there must be a conspiracy—it was too easy!
Of course, he had not come to sign himself up. Xi Wei took a deep breath and then called out to stop the old magician, “I have no money.”
Without money, one could not pay for tuition. There were no free lunches in this world. Providence College was not a charity; it made no sense to train students for free.
As for Zeno, why could he sign up? That was because there was a compulsory education system implemented across most of the Hong Yue Continent. All ordinary people could go to an academy to receive a general education until they were 16 years old. After that, if they had talent, they were given opportunity to continue their studies in the direction of martial arts or magic. If they lacked ability, they could return home to their families and farm.
What, the college would be overcrowded? Of course not! Although not all of the colleges charged tuition, students were still responsible for the cost of their food and accommodation. The higher level the college was, the more costly the food they provided would be. Of course, if students found ways to eat and sleep outside the school every day without affecting their studies, then that was their decision to make.
However, if students could never truly satisfy their hunger, how could they even think of going to college and learning what seemed to be very high-end, elegant, and classy subjects such as literature and history?
When the old magician heard those words he fixed his turbid gaze on Xi Wei. It was only then that he suddenly realized that this was certainly the case. Xi Wei’s clothes simply could not be any more broken down and worn out. It was evident from his appearance that he could not afford the costly tuition fees.
However, the old magician would not allow such a small difficulty to overthrow him. Xi Wei’s physical constitution was absolutely incredible. If Providence College missed out on such a talent and he was recruited by one of the Temples then they could only expect mockery and ridicule. How could the number one college bear to lose so much face?
Thinking to here, the old magician suddenly had an idea. He was all smiles as he explained, “There’s no need to worry youngster, Providence College is a place to train talented people. How could we lock the door and refuse to see you for such a tawdry reason as not having any money? There are work-study programs in the college. As long as you finish your work, tuition and living expenses absolutely won’t be a problem.”
Xi Wei did not protest. He was sensible enough to know what kind of resistance was necessary and effective, and when that resistance became stupid and futile.
The old magician was speaking of things by the book. If it was not with purely good intentions, then there was another purpose. If his kindness was rejected then he may fly into a rage out of humiliation, and if his purpose was not achieved, then there may be grave consequences.
Of course, this time the protagonist was indeed thinking into things too much. In the old magician’s opinion, there was not a single person who did not want to enter Providence College. Xi Wei ought to be thankful towards him.
It was in this somewhat accidental way that Xi Wei successfully entered Providence College, while on the contrary Zeno’s situation was left hanging.
Zeno was very happy. If his protagonist attended the college, that meant he would not leave. It also meant that there was more time to think of ways to make him change his mind. The worst result would be if the protagonist dropped him off at Providence Academy, and then left alone to follow the story line with someone else where they would love each other and then kill one another.
It could not be any better for now.
Xi Wei was forced to accept the reality of his admission. Remembering his original purpose, he continued to push Zeno forward and reminded the old man, “His registration.”
The old magician was in a good mood. Since the student registration was basically over he could leave others to deal with any remnants without a problem. He kindly took them to the kindergarten registration area.
Zeno thought while he walked, I hope I don’t make any mistakes. As long as I can succeed and stay, I’ll see the protagonist often. As the most knowledgeable person on the continent with regards to Xi Wei, Zeno was confident that he would once again accept him. The future was long.
I had a wattpad account I was posting my novel translations on so that other people wouldn’t, basically. But it was deleted on me, so if you were reading there, sorry it’s gone.
That said, don’t be afraid to hit that next chapter button. Tonight is a big night!
- This was the dark magician, Gray, from earlier in the novel ↩