Editor: Piper Panda
“Oh, you came back,” Evan teased jokingly. He was sitting on the table in the middle of the living room, using his finger to poke at the magic bulletin.
Xi Wei had a fairly good opinion of him, but he did not want to start a fight right then. He could only ignore him and, without even glancing to the side, he carried Zeno straight into his room.
Evan jumped down and mumbled to himself, “Good opponents are difficult to find, I won’t bother you for now.”
He was truly a martial arts madman.
As everyone knew, Providence College was the number one educational institute on the continent. Furthermore, it was also the continent’s ‘nouveau riche’ college. Due to the fact that its students’ qualities defied the natural order, the college was always very generous. For instance, if a student had excellent innate talent, but no money for tuition, there were many work-study program opportunities. As long as there were no mishaps, the lost tuition fees could never compare to the rewards they would gain in reciprocation.
For this reason, when it came to the student dormitories, everyone was treated equally. None could be classified as luxurious; one large dorm room was shared between four students, and each student had their own private room. If they needed to practice martial arts or magic, their private space was not especially suitable. They simply could not be more intimate.
After so many days apart, Zeno was finally reunited with Xi Wei. The dormitory was protected by a special magic array, so although it was the dead of winter there was not even the slightest feeling of coldness inside. Xi Wei tossed him onto the bed, then said in an indifferent voice, “Sleep.”
After spitting out such a succinct word, Xi Wei turned away from the bed and took a seat and started looking at something.
Zeno was still immersed in the joy of finally clearing the barrier, so when he heard that word he was somewhat stunned. He unexpectedly found that he felt a little wronged, “And you?”
Xi Wei turned his head to look at Zeno. His eyes were as dark as a pool of stagnant water and at that moment they reflected the light of the magic stone lamp. Unexpectedly, Xi Wei revealed a slightly puzzled look. Zeno was unsure if it was just his own illusion, but he felt that over the last two years Xi Wei had slowly been revealing more human emotions. Although they were not obvious, he could still discern them.
It was not the same little beggar who struggled to survive, seemingly alone in the world, on that snowy night five years ago.
Zeno hopped down from the bed, and ran over to the desk. He looked up on the table and saw the basic martial arts technique book from Nami sitting there. He did not expect Xi Wei would have it on hand and, moreover, that he had been studying it.
The technique book had numerous diagrams and relatively few words, so they were not a hindrance to him. Also, when Nami had free time she had taught Xi Wei some basic words, so rather than being totally illiterate, he could be considered semi-literate.
When Zeno saw the basic martial arts book, they simultaneously fell into silence. They did not know what became of Nami, that beautiful and charming woman. Ye Sa City was destroyed at the hands of the plague demon. Nami had gone into the mountains, so it stood to reason that she should have been able to escape.
What they did not know was that Nami would remain on those snow-capped mountains forever, even before the destruction of Ye Sa City.
As intelligent and cautious as Xi Wei was, how could he not know that strength was the only way to guarantee security in this world? Therefore, this basic martial arts book was far more valuable to him than anything else.
Besides, based on Evan’s reaction, this was not a simple ‘basic martial arts’.
Zeno smiled bitterly. Recently, all he had been thinking about was how to make Xi Wei change his mind and accept him once again. He did not have the time to think about Ye Sa City and his feelings over what happened there. In that moment, all of those experiences bubbled up to the top. Xia An and his dual personality, the beautiful and kind Nami, their small dilapidated boat cabin they called home for many years, and even the boorish mercenaries—all those things would forever live on in just their memories.
Zeno touched his neck. Xi Wei should only have that dull and rusty dagger, as well as the basic martial arts manual left. The only thing that Zeno had was the tarot card box that had shrunk down in size.
He was not sure how Hill accomplished it, but after that man disappeared, the tarot card box had become very tiny. It now had the appearance of a pendant that adorned Zeno’s neck.
When Zeno thought of Ye Sa City, he could not prevent a large number of misgivings from emerging. For example, the Queen of the Elves had requested to go to the snow-capped mountains together, but disappeared without a trace as soon as they got there. Another concern Zeno had was about Xia An; after releasing the plague demon, where did he go? Would he incur any more terrifying incidents? Would Xia An’s alternate personality be able to continue existing safely?
The novel, “Curse”, made it clear that the original boss Xia An died. This time, however, he survived and they could not guarantee he would not endanger society again. On the one hand he hoped for the death of Xia An, but on the other hand he also hoped that he survived—sure enough he could not satisfy both sides.
Zeno stood there blankly as he thought about those matters. Once Xi Wei determined he would not speak, he no longer paid any attention to Zeno and concentrated on perusing the basic martial arts technique book. The night was still and tranquil. Snowflakes floated down outside the window and they could hear muffled voices passing by the dormitory. Inside the room it was as warm as spring, and Zeno was overcome with a quiet feeling of peace and calmness.
Probably because his circumstances were so comforting, and due to the resolution of a major event, Zeno’s mood finally relaxed. As he stood alongside the desk in this atmosphere, Zeno began feeling sleepy, and he soon began to lean his head against Xi Wei little by little.
Through his daze, Zeno felt a pair of familiar callused hands pick him up and place him down gently on the bed. Right then, he seemed to hear someone say, “You don’t have to shave your head from now on.”
It was indeed a beautiful dream. The corners of Zeno’s mouth turned up; he was very happy that he no longer had to be a buddhist monk.
Zeno’s work and rest habits were always quite good and his biological clock was accurate, so he generally woke up at six or seven in the morning. Today he woke up at the same time as usual, but the voice that entered his ears was that of a little girl.
Lorraine shouted as she knocked on his door, “Zeno, Zeno, get up quickly. There is a big older brother here looking for you.”
Zeno was in the midst of getting dressed when he heard Lorraine’s voice. That sparked his memory, and suddenly remembered that he was seeking Xi Wei yesterday. How was it that he woke up in the loli’s dormitory so early, could it be that everything that happened yesterday was just a dream? In fact, did Evan not come to get him?
Think of this possibility, Zeno went green in the face, he threw on the rest of his clothes carelessly, and ran out at top speed. Lorraine excitedly pulled his hand as he hurried by and while they continued on she said, “Zeno, that big older brother looks so serious ah, he looks so scary.”
Zeno wanted to hang his head with exasperation. Little sister, with that look of excitement pasted on your face, in what way are you scared?
However, that very serious big older brother, was it his family’s Xi Wei?
Immediately, Lorraine began to pull him as they continued to walk.
Teacher Tassia stood outside and when she saw Zeno coming she beckoned to him, “Zeno, today is the weekend. Someone came to pick you up, but remember to come back tomorrow before the doors are sealed for the night.”
She purposely made her words vague to avoid making things awkward. There was no stipulation against early marriage and childbearing on the Hong Yue Continent, but it was indeed rare for such a young person to have a child already. As to whether it was fake, they truly did resemble one another. If they were the more believable brother and sister, then there was no need to claim to be father and child.
Tassia turned around and the other person outside the door came into view. He had short black hair, and his impassive face looked like he had never shown a single expression. Who else but Xi Wei?
Zeno suddenly felt assured down in his heart. He understood Xi Wei. If he did not intend to have any contact between the two of them, then it was improbable that he would take the initiative to come find Zeno. It seemed that yesterday was not a dream, but rather that Xi Wei had quietly sent Zeno back to his room after he had fallen asleep.
At the same time, in Xi Wei’s dorm room, Evan had covered his head with his quilt to avoid having his older sister Jonia’s magic pierce through his brain. He protested, “Dear sister, can you let me go back to sleep? Do you know how early I got up today?”
Jonia pulled his quilt unyieldingly, “Who cares how early you woke up this morning. You promised that after we got to Providence College you would accompany me to register at the Mercenary Guild. You’re not thinking of reneging on your promise are you?”
Evan groaned and moaned weakly. He powerlessly attempted to tame the bird’s nest made of brown hair on his head, and then listlessly crawled out of bed.
Jonia showed a triumphant smile. Hmph! Damned Evan, I finally managed to recover some lost ground against him.
The simple little loli Lorraine stared blankly at Zeno, who was only two years younger than herself. Then, she looked at Xi Wei, who was clearly still a young man, and her processor completely crashed.
Lorraine’s father was Master Clark’s son. He was now nearly 50 years old, and because of long-term immersion in the study of magic, he seemed a little unscrupulous. The little loli understood his difficulties.
While Xi Wei only hung his hand naturally, Zeno took the initiative to hold onto it spontaneously. The snow was somewhat slippery, and in some places the snow and ice combined together and made it somewhat dangerous for children.
Tassia and Lorraine watched them both leave, and thought that the big one and small one holding hands were so harmonious and loving. Even the age gap had become a little cute.
Of course, Zeno would not be silly enough to say that his sense of balance was very good and he would not fall for something like that. From this series of events, it was clear that Xi Wei was not really an emotionless robot. Five years of living together, after all, had certainly affected him. That was apparent from the way that he actually accepted the strangeness of Zeno, and the fact that he did not carry out any harmful actions toward Zeno when he first discovered the truth.
Therefore, Zeno was even more determined to play the emotion card. He wanted to get closer to the protagonist and cultivate deeper feelings. Only when their feelings were strong and deep enough would he carry enough weight to influence Xi Wei’s decisions.
Zeno did not know where Xi Wei wanted to take him, but wherever he went it was the same.
This time, they did not go to Principal Colin’s residence, but headed to his formal office instead. Belle was disgusted with them, so she did not come along with them. She understood that although her father loved her, he would not compromise when it came to matters of business based on her feelings. What the eye did not see, the heart would not grieve over.
Xi Wei knocked on the door and, after hearing Principal Colin’s voice consenting for them to enter, he took Zeno’s hand once again and walked in.
Principal Colin took a sip of water and looked up, but at that moment he could no longer move. His fingers trembled, and he was totally unaware that the water had splashed on the back of his hand.
Colin rose to his feet unconsciously. His voice was a little excited and he faced Zeno, questioning, “You, do you know Master Asil?”
No footnotes!! Yaaay!!
I was gone to the lake all weekend, and this week my neice and nephew are staying at our house, so I won’t be able to spend as much time working on this. However, I have gotten a bit of the way through the next chapter of RAAS, and will aim to get through quickly. I might work on two chapters in a row there instead of going right back to a chapter of PUP right away.
If there’s a delay though, now you know why!