Chapter 27: O’ My Beloved Little Toy
Shi Xiaobai decided to take up Lingcun’s proposal and conceal his identity. Hence, he came up with the dorky name, ‘Tu Dahei’, successfully mixing with these two Team Red members.
It was noon, and it was also the precious break period for the rookies. However, Lingcun suggested Shi Xiaobai to use this period of time to meet Instructor Hisith, and explain the reason for missing classes for the past few days. As such, the three immediately set off for the rookie training grounds.
Ye Jiaquan did not seem to have the slightest doubt about Shi Xiaobai’s identity or name. His extremely simple brain was already filled with the two matters—”Captain Shi Xiaobai might be beside us” and “Team Red has gotten a new member”, so all he could do was giggle in a silly fashion. From time to time, he would issue a good-natured “Heh heh” chuckle.
On the way, Lingcun would occasionally make conversation with Shi Xiaobai, mainly to inform Shi Xiaobai of certain things to look out for, for example, a few taboos regarding Instructor Hisith, or a few figures amongst the rookies in this batch that should not be provoked, as well as the power distribution amongst the [Annihilation] rookies.
“This batch of [Annihilation] rookies are split into Team Blue and Red. Team Blue has always been in a dominant position, because their captain is a strong person at the fourth level of the Psionic Mortal Realm. As such, the team cohesion of Team Blue is extremely high, so they are united against external enemies. As for Team Red, we already have internal fractures.”
Lingcun sighed and gave his analysis. “Due to differences in opinion for voting, Team Red currently has three different factions. The strongest faction is Song Xiao’s gang, and the faction that can barely compete with them is the one which Ye Jiaquan and I are in, the Han Feng group. The remaining weakest faction are comprised of those who believe voting should be personal, so they refuse to join any group.”
“Due to two rounds of elimination after voting, Team Red’s internal strife has reached such an intensified point that it is irreparable. Although Song Xiao is the strongest person in Team Red, but I personally am dismissive of Song Xiao’s exploits, so I do not wish you would join Song Xiao’s group. However, after you join Team Red, we would respect your decision regardless of which faction you join.”
As Shi Xiaobai listened to Lingcun, he gently nodded his head, and occasionally issued an “Orh” as a response.
Although Shi Xiaobai looked uninterested, Lingcun still carried on mentioning things Shi Xiaobai had to look out for with great patience.
In fact, Shi Xiaobai did not listen to any of this. He was actually considering more important things, such as how did Ye Jiaquan’s fist cause a depression in the wall over empty space? For example, how did Lingcun suddenly appear out of thin air? What sort of technique did he use?
“This Steel Ox is only ranked third in Team Red, and isn’t even in the top five when it comes to the all the rookies in [Annihilation]. This King can’t even understand his fist!”
As Shi Xiaobai recalled the power struggle between the factions described by Lingcun, he immediately felt the stress.
“Looks like Violent Girl did not lie to This King. This King is probably ranked at the bottom of this batch of rookies.”
Shi Xiaobai felt somewhat indignant, but he had no choice but to admit that he was weak. As he glanced at the silver-haired youth and the muscular man beside him, he could not help but think of the words, “maybe Shi Xiaobai has always been by our side”. Immediately, he felt a warm rush in his chest.
“Whatever, whatever. This King shall use a millionth of my effort. A serious Shi Xiaobai even makes This King feel afraid of himself.”
“Wahaha, Laugh out loud! Be excited! Rookies of [Annihilation], your King is here!”
With this thought in mind, Shi Xiaobai immediately felt his repressed moods swept away. He began to feel great anticipation for the rookie training.
The steel building Ye Jiaquan used to practice his fist was not too far from the rookie training grounds. After a few minutes of walking, the three of them arrived at their destination. On the way there, they had encountered quite a number of rookies, however, only a handful of people casually greeted Ye Jiaquan, and looked at Shi Xiaobai with thoughts on their mind, while all of them completely ignored the extremely handsome Lingcun without any prior arrangement.
Shi Xiaobai immediately began jeering in his heart how unpopular this silver-haired youth was. However, his mind was quickly attracted by the rookie training grounds.
He saw a vast field, about the size of ten soccer fields, constructed out of steel. Sunlight reflected off the field in a hot intense beam, and there were several large arena rings dispersed around.
Located around the field were five steel buildings. Each building had its own purpose. Some were used for lectures, while others were special training rooms. One of the steel buildings was where the Instructors rested. It was said that there were three instructors for this batch of [Annihilation] rookies in the beginning, but later on, Instructor Hisith felt that he alone was enough, and chased the other two instructors away.
Regarding Hisith’s unusual enthusiasm for teaching, [Gaia]’s upper echelons found it strange, but could do nothing about it. As the other two instructors appeared to have experienced a haunting encounter, they had firmly refused to return.
From Lingcun’s depiction, Shi Xiaobai slowly outlined a weird person who liked to play others, while seeking pleasure from the games in life.
However, when Shi Xiaobai entered Hisith’s office, and truly met him, he felt that the image in his mind was not weird enough.
The man, named Hisith 1, in front of his eyes was beyond the description of weird.
His red hair stood up like flames, and his crescent-shaped eyes squinted in a cheeky and playful look. He wore face paint: a star on his right cheek, and a teardrop on his left cheek. It was impossible to tell his age, and his mouth hung with a sinister-looking smile. He was clearly a man, but his facial features gave an illusionary coquettish look.
When he stood up, he was tall, and had symmetrical muscles. He had long limbs, and wore a tight outfit, with long sleeves and pants. There were several golden rings that tightly bound his waist, making his waist look like a compressed spring. Under the rings’ wrapping, his waist looked so thin that it seemed like it could be snapped with a tight grip.
“You are here.”
At this moment, Hisith’s office only had the two of them. The first person to break the silence was Hisith. His voice was gentle, and his footsteps were light. His slender figure was filled with a strange repressive feeling. Every step he took seemed to make the ground tremble.
Hisith slowly walked in front of Shi Xiaobai, and a strange breath was released from his mouth as his eyes narrowed into a slit. His coquettish smile bloomed on his face.
“So, what do you intend to do? My beloved little toy?”
Hisith held up two fingers to raise Shi Xiaobai’s chin, lifting his head high up. That motion was like a thug teasing a girl.
Shi Xiaobai frowned and immediately wanted to retreat, but he was shocked to discover that his body could not move at all. His limbs did not seem like they were under his control. After using all his strength, he was only able to tremble his muscles slightly.
Hisith focused his eyes to study Shi Xiaobai’s face. His eyes sparkled with a strange glint, as if he was admiring his favorite plaything.
From the bottom of Shi Xiaobai’s heart, a sense of nausea suffused. He stopped struggling against the invisible bondage his body was experiencing as he said loudly, “This King, Tu Dahei, has missed classes for a few days. Am here for reporting!”
Upon hearing this, Hisith issued a strange laughter as he released his hands and took a few steps back.
“So that’s what it is. Your choice is very interesting, but also very boring. You probably have the presumptuous thought that I would agree to your approach, and even help you conceal your identity. However, my beloved little toy, you missed out something. For me, I wish that the game will carry on proceeding and wish that it would become more dynamic. I like things that are different and out of the blue. I hate being read by anyone, and hate an ending that is obvious.”
As Hisith spoke, he pulled out a brand new deck of poker cards from his breast pocket. The back of the poker cards was a short sword that pierced through a six-pointed star.
Hisith suddenly threw the poker cards into the sky and immediately dozens of poker cards scattered in the sky like falling leaves. However, surprisingly, the poker cards did not flutter to the ground as one would expect. Instead, they were frozen mid air, as if they were fixed in place.
“Come, my beloved little toy, let us play a little game that no one can guess the outcome.”
Hisith charmingly smiled with squinted eyes.
Author’s Note: Mentioning the reasons why Shi Xiaobai is able to conceal his identity.
1. The upper echelons deliberately withheld information (afraid other organizations would poach him).
2. The rookies who participated in the evaluation did not wish to mention anything (deep mental scars).
Hence, the rookies of [Annihilation] only know of Shi Xiaobai’s evaluation results (this is publicly released internally), but do not know of Shi Xiaobai’s appearance or character.
I know writing it in this way isn’t exactly stringent. But everything is for the plot. I do not wish to waste words, dragging out the story, to ensure that everything is made completely perfect, as the story is what is important. I personally think that the past few chapters were a bit too dragged out while I was setting up the plot. Thanks to the two characters, Steel Ox and Lingcun, it was still considered interesting.