QZ Chapter 2
Quality Checker: Kittsune, Kai
First Published on Ainushi.
The slap Yao Tai gave the action-sensor-board also resonated harshly within the hearts of the young Tianxiu people.
“An average Tianxiu Nestling will enter the awakening phase around ten years after they wake up. There are mainly two factors that can trigger an awakening: the first one is spontaneous, taking place as one ages, and the second one is that if someone has reached their sexual maturity, the Nestlings around them can be easily influenced and enter awakening themselves. Hence, in each year, students’ awakenings tend to manifest in large outbreaks.”
“If anyone finds their body experiencing changes that are different from usual, there’s no need to panic. Those are normal reactions before awakening, that everyone will eventually go through sooner or later.”
“After you officially enter the sexual maturation stage, you will start to experience sexual desires and feel a thirst for finding the other half of you. This desire can be controlled by one’s will, therefore no one needs to feel nervous about it. If you can’t find a suitable mate, you can also choose to stay in the Nestling stage till you find the perfect other half, then complete the Adult Ceremony and officially step into the Adult world.”
“Inform.” A student raised his hand: “In the end, what is an Adult Ceremony?”
“You idiot. It’s sex.” The one next to him laughed at him with a low voice, setting off a burst of guffaws around them.
The commotion below did not escape Yao Tai’s ears. She waited till everyone stopped laughing and continued, “Wrong! Sex is not the Adult Ceremony. It’s not even a part of it. The real Adult Ceremony is getting the first drop of blood from the heart-tip.”
“Between each couple, only one person is able to gather the heart-tip blood of the other. This person is what we call a Qizhu, and the one whose blood is taken, from that day on, will become their Qizi.”
“Both male and female can become a Qizhu, or a Qizi similarly. The difference in identity completely depends upon the result of the Adult Ceremony and has nothing to do with one’s gender or their role in the relationship while dating.”
“What if only one person in a couple awakens but the other does not? What should we do then?” A student raised his hand.
“You can only wait. A Nestling who has not awakened cannot take blood, nor can his blood be taken. But just as what I was saying, awakening can be easily triggered by others. For a couple with an intimate relationship, who stay together all day long, it’s very likely that they’ll enter awakening phase simultaneously.”
“How do we actually get the heart-tip blood?”
“This is our instinct. We don’t need to learn from anyone. You will know it automatically once you enter the Adult Ceremony.”
Yao Tai waited for a minute and noticed that no one asked any further questions, so she continued her lecture.
“The spousal relationship between a Qizhu and their Qizi is one-to-one, but they don’t have equal rights. A Qizhu has absolute control, and when commanded by his Qizhu, a Qizi can do nothing but obey him. In other words, the result of one’s Adult Ceremony will decide their status for the rest of their life.”
“This is the social hierarchy I was talking about. It’s the only inequality on Tianxiu Planet, but it is also the most critical and the most irrevocable class system. Whether you want to or not, you have to comply with it.”
“This relationship is lifelong and can never be removed. Even if one party dies, the other cannot have a second awakening to search for another partner. As for this point, it’s the same for both the Qizhu and their Qizi, and there is no exception.”
Yao Tai snapped her fingers, and the body shapes on the action-sensor-board started to change automatically. “After the bonding of a relationship completes successfully, both parties will enter the second phase of maturation, with the maturation of the Qizhu being more obvious. Taking a male as an example, a male who is a Qizhu will have an obvious increase in height. His muscles will become stronger as well, outclassing males who are Qizi in both strength and stamina.”
“At the same time, the male Qizhu’s secondary sexual characteristics will also experience significant changes. His larynx becomes bigger; his vocal cord thickens; his sexual instrument increases in size, and his body hair will start to grow as well.”
“It’s the same for female Qizhu as well, as they will have pronounced changes in their body curves. According to statistical reports, females who are Qizhu, in average, will be at least fifteen centimeters taller than females who are Qizi, and their physical fitness will be more outstanding as well.”
“Dr. Yao, does that mean that the Qizi will stop growing from the point on?”
“Of course not. Everyone will continue to grow. It’s just that compared to the changes in a Qizhu, a Qizi’s growth appears more limited and can be easily influenced by his Qizhu’s mind as well.”
“How is it influenced?”
“For example, if a Qizhu prefers fat people who are over 100 kilograms in weight, then don’t be surprised that his Qizi will probably also develop towards that direction. Even if they cannot reach the standard, they will try to be as close to it as possible. Therefore, don’t get the idea that all male Qizi are short and all female Qizi are flat-chested. These are all fallacies. The Qizi’s congenital body constitution being one of it, the postnatal influence of the environment being one of it, and the Qizhu’s subconscious being one of it–the three factors above together decide the level of growth of a Qizi.”
Her words triggered a new round of whisperings between the students.
“What is the difference between their abilities?”
“The most important thing during an Adult Ceremony is that the Qizhu will gain the ability of the Qizi as an overlay to his own. Briefly speaking, the stronger the Qizi, the stronger his Qizhu. This is the reason that when Tianxiu people are searching for partners, they tend to be more attracted to the stronger ones.”
“It’s the same as how some species of birds prefer the opposite sex with colorful feathers, and many mammals use their strength to compete for the right to mate. Those animals’ instinct is to find better genes for the next generation, and our instinct is to become stronger. In order to gain stronger abilities, we need to conquer stronger people, though the premise is that you are actually capable of conquering them.”
“Our earliest souls, through generations of inheritances and evolutions, in order to fight against all kinds of harsh environments and ferocious enemies, gradually developed this kind of relationship between spouses, where the winner takes it all. So that the stronger ones from the deciding matches can become even stronger, till they become strong enough to protect the entire race.”
“Even though the era that we live in is peaceful and abundant, with neither the pressure for living nor chaos or wars. But this does not make it a good reason for us to slack off. The Dom-Sub relationship is the best stimulus that our forefathers have left for us, so that we descendants of the Tianxiu people, even in years of peace, will still train ourselves with all our might in order to make sure that we don’t become the ones being dominated.”
“In the past ten years, the institute has made great effort to train you to become stronger. However, the real winning only depends on that one moment during the Adult Ceremony. This is also the lifelong pursuit of every Tianxiu people–to become strong, to conquer the strong, to become stronger.”
The four words, “To conquer the strong” caused a stir in Ling Xiao’s heart. He didn’t even pay attention to what Yao Tai was saying afterwards.
“Above, is the the Institute’s annual pre-awakening mobilization for the Nestling stage students who are about to enter the awakening phase.”
“Every single year, we would repeatedly emphasize to our students: to win, to obtain dominance, to become Qizhu. This is our rule of survival. However, the results are often not as pretty as we have wished.”
“As a health doctor, every year, I have to deal with several cases of Qizi who suffer from depression because they refuse to accept the fact that they ended up becoming Qizi due to their losses during the Adult Ceremony. The most severe consequence can even be death.”
Her passionate voice switched into an oppressive tone, and along with it, everyone felt their heart sink.
“The odds for one to become a Qizhu is fifty percent, while the odds to become a Qizi is also fifty percent. For all of the students who are sitting here today, one out of every two of you will lose the Adult Ceremony. If that person is you, will you be able to accept it?”
While she was asking the question, many people were also asking themselves, their glances filled with anxiety.
“If you lose, your entire life will fall into the hands of someone else, and they will have the rights to control every part of you… Who thinks that this system is unreasonable?”
She waited for a long time. Finally, a boy raised his hands in trepidation.
The woman on the platform smiled silently and disappeared in front of everyone in the blink of an eye. As all the students were searching around upon realizing that this person had vanished into thin air, a hoarse cry went off inside the classroom. When they saw Yao Tai again, she had actually appeared behind that boy without turning a hair. A dagger was in her hand, pressing against the boy’s throat.
Even Ying Feng in the last row was startled. Her speed was so fast that even he, who had always been keen in observation, was only able to capture nothing but a shadow.
This incident petrified everyone in the class. No one had expected that a mere health doctor could have such agility, let alone guess the purpose of her action.
Under the gaze of the frightened students, Yao Tai spoke casually, “With my ability, I can put you to death in less than a minute. Not just him, any one of you inside this classroom is not a problem for me.”
The first half was spoken to the boy, but the latter half was spoken to everyone in the class. After she finished, she looked around the classroom. “But now, with me standing right here, does anyone feel that your life is threatened? ”
They all looked at each other and then shook their heads in an undesigned coincidence, including even the one who was being seized.
Yao Tai retracted her hand. “That’s right. Even though I have the ability, I don’t have the intention. Therefore, you won’t be afraid, or even take it as a threat. You can even gain a sense of security because of it.”
“It’s the same for the relationship between a Qizhu and a Qizi. Even though the Qizhu himself has strong controlling power, if they are truly a couple, this kind of power will not have any effect. If their souls are equal, then so will their status be.”
She walked towards the platform step by step. “As for the words that you have just heard, this is the first time that I’ve spoken them in front of students. I’m not teaching you how to lose, but I simply wanted to let you know that there’s nothing wrong with everybody wanting to become the winner. However, being the loser might not be as bad as you think. Becoming a Qizi doesn’t mean that you are left hopeless for the rest of your life.”
“In true love, there is neither superior or inferior, nor winner or loser. The rules might be cruel, but the one who executes the rules is indeed the one chosen by you. Whether they will harm you or not, you should know better than anyone else.”
She passed by Ling Xiao’s seat and woke him from his mental journey with a tap.
“Can this student tell me what I was lecturing about just now?”
“I…” Ling Xiao stammered and could not come up with an answer.
“If you didn’t hear me, I’ll repeat it for you once again. It’s true that the Qizhu has the ultimate control between the two of them, but if anyone wants to use this power as a weapon against their enemy, then they better think twice about whether they want to spend the rest of their life with someone they hate.”
Ling Xiao’s eyes gleamed a few times  as he was listening to the words, but Yao Tai pretended not to notice.
“We Tianxiu people, are of a race most loyal to our spouse. One pair in one world, for one lifetime. Never cheat on. Never betray. Hence, I’m warning every one of you in this room,” She was talking to Ling Xiao, yet she was talking to everyone in the classroom as well. “Don’t choose your partner rashly just because you were at loggerheads with someone when you were young. The one who will stand by you and accompany you all your life is neither your enemy nor your foe…”
In the end, her eyes fell onto Ling Xiao’s face, as she said slowly yet steadily, word by word:
“But only your love, forever.”
The first Health Class for the tenth graders came to an end in such a way. Since the students had gained knowledge that they had never learned over the past ten years, they were all gathering together and discussing it enthusiastically. Ling Xiao had always been the active one, yet at this moment, he stayed in his seat in silence, as though Yao Tai’s words had touched some nerve in him.
At the same time, Ying Feng, who just walked out the classroom, was stopped by Yao Tai.
“I’m sure you heard everything that I said in lecture just now.”
Ying Feng nodded in silence.
“There was nothing wrong for me to speak like that in front of everyone, but for you, I have only one line: whoever your opponent is, whatever method you take, you MUST win in the Adult Ceremony.”
Ying Feng squinted his eyes. “Why?”
“Last year, there were 102 students who had completed the Adult Ceremony, but only 99 of them were able to graduate successfully.”
“What about the other three?”
“They committed suicide.”
Ying Feng was startled, even though he did not show it.
“In fact, every year, some Qizi give up their lives because of the defeat. The institute doesn’t want this tragedy to repeat every single year, therefore the pre-awakening mobilization meeting this year had a much gentler tone; even the real relationship between the Qizhu and the Qizi has been intentionally softened in lecture.”
“The so called Adult Ceremony is just a process of natural selection down to its very bone. The one who fails will be ripped of all rights, and the degree of control a Qizhu has towards his Qizi is utmostly cruel. From the mental state to the physical body, it’s an absolute dominance in every sense.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“I’ve been working here for over thirty years and have met several thousands of Nestlings. Some of them are very adaptable. Even if they end up being a Qizi, they can still live their lives with ease. But some of them are born to be dominants, and they can only become dominants. I’m very aware of the kinds of personalities that leads to self-destruction, and all I can do is to offer my best efforts to prevent it from happening.”
Ying Feng lowered his eyes and stayed silent for a minute. “I get what you mean. You are saying that I have only one choice – either win, or die.”
Yao Tai did not reply, which could be taken as an acquiescence to what he said.
He lifted his eyes. “Thank you for the warning, Dr. Yao. I’ll take it to heart.”
Yao Tai nodded. She watched him walk a few steps away before he stopped and turned his head.
“Is the power of a Qizhu really that strong? Or was that just an overstatement?”
Yao Tai’s expression was very solemn. “Not even one sentence from me was an overstatement.”
 An Chinese expression indicating that someone either feels guilty or has other thoughts inside.