QZ Chapter 13
Quality Checker: MochiMochi95
First Published on Ainushi.
The duel between the two great experts drew the entire class’s attention in an instant. Even the few students who were practicing there voluntarily left the place to the two. For a moment, Ling Xiao and Ying Feng were the only two people on stage. They seemed to be standing casually, but they had kept their eyes on each other throughout this time, ready to take action at any moment once they managed to spot an opportunity.
Everyone was watching this competition attentively, but some of them had their attention on the wrong thing. Zhu Yue cast Ling Xiao a malicious glance. To be able to get all of Ying Feng’s attention was something he craved for so much, and yet someone else had achieved it so easily. Unfortunately, this person just happened to have also blocked a blade for him with his bare hands in the most critical moment.
“I’ll bet Ling Xiao will be the first to attack.” The voice of the person standing next to him fell into Zhu Yue’s ears. He turned his head. It was Lan Sheng, Ling Xiao’s closest friend in class.
On the other side of Lan Sheng, Ping Zong smiled knowingly. “Then you’ll certainly win. He’s always the first one to attack at any time; Ling Xiao is not a patient person.”
As if to prove that their words were true, the two people launched an attack simultaneously in a flash. However, only people with the keenest observation were able to see clearly that Ling Xiao was the one on the offensive between the two. Actively attacking had always been his defining combat feature, but Ying Feng’s extraordinary ability to react could also be seen from it. Otherwise, how could he who was on the defense display an attacking speed almost the same as Ling Xiao’s?
In a split second, the two people had already exchanged a dozen or so moves in the center of the field. Their movements were so fast that the other people were only able to capture their afterimages. Most of Ling Xiao’s movements were very gorgeous, attacking left and right while flipping up and down, making it immensely enjoyable for people to watch.
By contrast, Ying Feng was more remarkable in terms of his observation and response skills. No matter how fast Ling Xiao’s speed was, or how complicated his move was, Ying Feng could always find his weak points to attack on the spot. It often compelled Ling Xiao to change his movement at the last moment before he even could finish it. But despite that, Ling Xiao was still able to connect his moves so naturally and smoothly that the spectators couldn’t perceive that at all.
The two of them fought all the way from the center of the field to its edges then back to its center again. The entire training room had become their battle arena. Anyone could tell that it was not an ordinary combat practice anymore. Their attacks were thirty percent strength and seventy percent fierceness —— it was basically a real combat maneuver! If the training room had not been built with special materials, it would probably have suffered a calamity already.
During another round of attack, Ling Xiao once again avoided Ying Feng and leaped onto the wall in order to dodge the other person’s offensive. This actually gave him a chance to use the wall as an assistance. Taking the opportunity, he stamped twice against the wall and bounced back like an arrow.
This speed was already too fast for any ordinary person to dodge, except for Ying Feng.
Ying Feng clearly captured the route Ling Xiao was bouncing back at, and had already automatically formed his response. However, at that instant, his body suddenly went numb. His limbs stopped responding to his order.
A big “bang” was heard, followed by a burst of cries of surprise. Ying Feng stumbled a few steps backwards. Ling Xiao’s attacks were surprisingly successful. He didn’t have enough time to analyze the reason for it. Feeling that this was the best chance for him to finish off his opponent, Ling Xiao ruthlessly launched a series of follow-up attacks.
Everything blurred in front of Ying Feng’s eyes. In his sight, Ling Xiao became merely traces of afterimages left by high-speed movements, one after another. At the same time, sharp pain burst out in his chest, back, and shoulders. In front of Ling Xiao’s offensive from every direction, he actually had no power to fight back.
The audience outside the field all realized that something was wrong. At first, they thought Ying Feng was injured by Ling Xiao’s punch after the bounce, making him unable to charge up and organize another round of attack for a while. However, he wasn’t even able to carry out the most basic defense afterwards, which was definitely not the level of Ying Feng they knew of.
The spectators always saw the game better than the players. Ling Xiao didn’t realize at all that it was Ying Feng’s body that had problems. On the contrary, he had completely gained the upper hand and was now fighting wildly. Punches and kicks rained on every part of other person’s body, while Ying Feng’s limbs were still numb —— he was in a situation where he was completely thrashed at Ling Xiao’s will.
The onlookers finally realized that things were not going well. If it continued like this, Ying Feng was definitely going to have problems from all the beatings. Among them, the person who was the most nervous and worried was no other than Zhu Yue.
A scream streaked across the space above the training room, waking up Ling Xiao who had already turned red-eyed from the fighting. As rationality returned to his brain, he finally detected his opponent’s unusualness.
But at that moment, he was already rapidly charging toward Ying Feng, ready to give the other person the final blow. Ling Xiao had sobered up too late. If he dashed over with a speed and power like this, Ying Feng who was now powerless against it would definitely be seriously injured!
Before he knew it, however, a shadow had flashed across and stood between Ling Xiao and Ying Feng, physically taking the full punch. Despite Ling Xiao desperately trying his best to pull it back, the strike still carried eighty percent of his power. The person’s face instantly turned ghastly.
Ling Xiao finally stabilized himself. He shouted nervously, “Ping Zong!”
Lan Sheng’s voice sounded almost simultaneously with Ling Xiao’s. Calling Ping Zong’s name loudly, he rushed over from the side of the field and anxiously grabbed Ping Zong by his arms. “How do you feel?!”
Even though Ping Zong had mobilized his entire defensive power to block Ling Xiao’s punch, he still felt his arms go numb. If the blow had been to hit Ying Feng, the consequences would have been too disastrous to even imagine.
Facing Lan Sheng’s worried frenzy and Ling Xiao’s remorse, Ping Zong slowly steadied his breath. He moved his arm a little bit and was glad that nothing serious had happened to him.
“I’m fine.” He pointed to the person behind him with his chin, “Go check on him.”
It was entirely Ying Feng’s pride that was holding him up so that he didn’t collapse in front of everyone. Zhu Yue who had rushed over at almost the same time as Lan Sheng was now standing next to him, asking him this and that nervously, but for Ying Feng, he only felt a buzz ringing next to his ears. The noise made him fret even more.
For a moment, he stood there in silence, his eyes closed. The lost feelings finally returned to his body little by little. Only after he could once again control his limbs did he slowly open his eyes. He cast a glance at Ling Xiao emotionlessly —— this glance made Ling Xiao so stiff that he could not utter out even one word of what he initially wanted to ask.
Under everyone’s staring eyes, Ying Feng walked out step by step. Despite his effort to keep them as steady as possible, his footsteps still appeared a little shaky. Zhu Yue wanted to come up and assist him but was rejected explicitly, so he could only follow with his eyes, just like other people did, as Ying Feng left the training room by himself.
Ling Xiao was still staring blankly even though Ying Feng’s figure had already disappeared outside the door a long time ago. As he came back to himself, he finally sensed a gaze full of hostility coming from a certain direction. At this moment, Zhu Yue was not hiding the hatred in his heart at all. Even the previous kindness of saving his life failed to offset the growth of this enmity.
Ling Xiao didn’t know that from this very moment on, he had already planted a seed of hatred inside Zhu Yue’s heart. He was aware that he was in the wrong, so he turned away his head out of uneasiness. On the side, Lan Sheng was still solicitously questioning Ping Zong about his health. Ling Xiao suddenly felt he was excluded from everyone else —— some people hated him, some people ignored him, some people had someone that they cared more about, and he was the only one still alone. Thinking up to this point, an indescribable flame started to burn within his body, and the feeling of loneliness associated with it crawled over him.
The other person whose inside was also filled with a hot flame was now lying on the examination table in Dr. Yao’s infirmary. Not far from him, a printer was completing its job conscientiously.
Yao Tai pulled out the printed examination report and quickly skimmed over it once. “Congratulations. You’ve already entered the pre-awakening phase, and will soon have your first awakening. Your body is now ready for the second round of maturation. The indexes are all very excellent.”
“Excellent to a point where I can’t fight back when attacked?” Ying Feng found it ridiculous.
“Your reaction just now is a normal pre-awakening sign, also commonly referred to as a false-awakening. All Nestlings will formally enter their awakening phase about ten days after the pre-awakening. In the real awakening phase, there won’t be any symptom such as numbness of limbs like this one. You don’t need to worry.”
She pulled up Ying Feng’s profile. “How are things? Have you chosen your other half yet?”
“No,” Ying Feng answered very fast.
Yao Tai nodded, “It’s fine even if you haven’t. I can give you a type of sedative injection once per month so that the awakening phase won’t cause you any trouble until you find a suitable partner.”
“Is it harmful to the body?”
“Not at all. Of course, you can choose to not have the injection. You’ll only be experiencing normal physiological reactions after awakening. Every single Nestling has enough rationality to take care of these reactions, as long as you avoid violent bodily confrontations like the one you had just now. They can easily lead to a hormone disorder within your body otherwise. Oh right, just in case, Nestlings who are in their awakening phase but haven’t received the sedative injection are not allowed to participate in the field practices.”
“I’ll take the injection.” Field practices were very attractive to every student, and Ying Feng was no exception.
Yao Tai was a very straightforward person as well. She soon finished preparing the syringe for the hypodermic injection. Ying Feng watched her as she injected the needle into his skin and pushed the transparent liquid into his veins at a uniform speed. His body cooled down almost immediately. The heat just now completely evaporated in an instant.
“Bear in mind, even though this sedative injection can suppress your bodily reactions, you still need to pay attention to not get too close to people in their awakening phase. Otherwise, the hormone secretion inside their bodies may affect you as well and indirectly cause the medicine to lose its effectiveness.”
“For how long can I keep taking this medicine?”
“You can continue to have the injection for as long as you want. It’s true that we are really looking forward to you all becoming Adults soon, but we will never force any student to complete the Adult Ceremony when they are not ready. The oldest student in the Institute is already twenty-two years old in Nestling stage. He still hasn’t found a suitable partner yet, and we respect his decision.”
“What if I can’t find one?”
“Bikong is an elementary institution, and the highest grade here is twelfth grade. When you are over this age, you can continue to stay here, or you can choose to enter the next grade school as a Nestling. The same rule applies when you start working in the future. These cases are normal in previous years as well.”
“However, only in Bikong can you enjoy the most secure protection. If you choose to enter next grade school or work as a Nestling, a lot of majors and professions prone to hazard will become unavailable to you, and I think you know the reason for it.”
“I see,” Ying Feng briefly replied.
“There is another thing that you probably don’t know yet. Looking for a spouse after entering awakening phase is also one of our instincts. It’s true that the sedative drugs can suppress your bodily reactions, but it can’t alleviate your psychological needs.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve already reached the pre-awakening phase. Don’t tell me that you’ve never felt lonely staying by yourself, that you’ve never thirsted to share your life with another person?”
Ying Feng was silent for a moment. “No.”
“Well then,” Yao Tai gave up, “some people are a little slower in emotional developments, but you’ll slowly feel it. This kind of thought will become more and more urgent until it will eventually compel you to actively look for your other half.”
Ying Feng sat up. The twitch at the corner of his mouth due to the pain didn’t escape Yao Tai’s eyes.
“Do you need me to treat your wounds in other places?”
Ying Feng put his hand on his chest. He could feel the pressing pain if he were to use just a little power. From his experience, he knew it must have been bruised. One could easily tell how heavy Ling Xiao’s attacks were, and the terrible memories made him frown a couple more times.
“There’s no need,” Ying Feng politely declined Yao Tai’s good intention. He said goodbye to her and then left the infirmary.
When he returned to the dormitory, there was an unexpected guest in front of his door. Even though Ling Xiao and Ying Feng were in the same class, their dorms were in the east and the south section respectively. The rooms were separated by a huge corner, therefore Ying Feng clearly wouldn’t think that the other person just happened to pass by.
Ling Xiao seemed to be rather reluctant to appear here, but at the same time, a desire to take a look at it himself suppressed this kind of unwillingness. The two conflicting emotions had kept him pacing back and forth at this place for quite a while. There were many times when he lifted his feet and was about to leave, but he somehow stayed in the end.
The moment he saw Ying Feng returning safe and sound, a feeling called worry disappeared while another one called relief immediately filled the gap. However, it was a pity that neither of these two emotions coming from deep within one’s subconscious mind was noticed by their owner. Yao Tai said that some people were slow in emotional developments. Unfortunately, Ling Xiao belonged to this type as well.
After seeing him, Ying Feng pulled at the corner of his mouth in disdain. “What are you doing here? I don’t have any banana-flavored energy bread for you at my place.”
Ling Xiao’s eyes were a little evasive. “Are you okay?”
“Thanks to you, I’m still alive.”
He reached out his hand to open the door, but Ling Xiao blocked his path.
“What are you doing?” Ying Feng asked impatiently.
“You can beat me. I won’t fight back.”
“I don’t want to take advantage of you.”
Ling Xiao’s expression seemed like he was willingly walking to his death. Ying Feng found it a little funny and laughed out for real.
Ling Xiao felt ridiculed and pulled a long face, “Are you looking down on me?”
“Under such circumstances, shouldn’t a normal person be apologizing instead?”
Ling Xiao opened his mouth in silence as if apologizing to Ying Feng was the most humiliating thing in the world.
In the end, he ground his teeth, and said, “Just beat me.”
“Huh,” Ying Feng sneered, and then opened his mouth to drive him away, “I’m going back to my dorm. Please get out of my way.”
Ling Xiao straightened up his neck and simply would not budge.
This time, Ying Feng was truly enraged by him. He grabbed the other person’s collar ferociously and pulled Ling Xiao closer to himself. He was actually shorter than Ling Xiao, but somehow his oppressive air had completely overwhelmed the other’s. Under such an overbearing aura, Ling Xiao found it hard to even breathe.
They were barely a centimeter apart from each other, the tip of their noses almost going to touch. Ying Feng’s voice hit Ling Xiao’s face just like this, one word at a time.
“Rest assured. Sooner or later, I’ll get back at you for it.”
Sorry it has been a while since my last update. Thanks everyone who is still following~ — MoMoe Pom