Chapter 32: The Weakest Rookie
Although Shi Xiaobai was standing, he was trembling over all and drenched with sweat. His face was extremely pale, and his eyes seemed to be rolling upwards. Everyone knew that if Hisith hadn’t prevented him from collapsing, he would have long passed out.
At this moment, Shi Xiaobai’s condition was probably so bad that he found it difficult to take half a step, what more power a Psionic Shield to withstand the attacks of 72 rookies one after another? Why did Hisith want to play such a heartless and boring “game”?
A few rookies, who knew Hisith’s stained record, were confused. Hisith always felt disdain for boring toys and games, so why was he doing the opposite now?
Hisith gave his answer.
A poker card appeared out of thin air, in the middle of two of his fingers. As he fanned his wrist and threw it out gently, the poker card with strange iridescent sparkles flew onto Shi Xiaobai’s chest. As everyone looked on, it sank into Shi Xiaobai’s body and disappeared.
At the instant the poker card disappeared, a red beam blasted out from Shi Xiaobai’s back. A gigantic illuminated projection formed behind him, fading in and out of existence. It was a gigantic poker card—Eight of Hearts.
A seated rookie suddenly screamed!
“Eight of Hearts. That’s too.. too exorbitant!”
“Poker Hisith, Underworld King of the Mortal World!”
People successively stood up from the seats as they widened their eyes, refusing to blink. They were afraid to miss this rare scene. The looks they cast at the poker card-shaped projection was filled with fear.
“What is Underworld Poker?” Ye Jiaquan scratched his head as he asked Lingcun.
“Underworld Poker is Instructor Hisith’s A Class superpower. It’s known as the Poker from the Underworld. Some people say that Hisith’s poker cards are actually the Underworld.”
Lingcun had an odd expression as his voice contained a tinge of disbelief. He said, “Every Underworld Poker Instructor Hisith has is extremely precious. This is because Underworld Poker is constructed from the souls of the dead. Be it calamity fiends, astral beasts, aliens, alternate dimensional beings, mutated creatures or even humans, their souls are the ingredients Instructor Hisith uses to create Underworld Poker. Hence, Instructor Hisith is a true soul reaper, a spokesperson of the Underworld. As he is so powerful, he has been dubbed ‘Underworld King of the Mortal World’.”
“Use souls as ingredients to construct poker cards? That..That is actually possible?” Ye Jiaquan found it absolutely mind-boggling.
“Superpower also means the “ability to let your imagination go wild’. There are only things that cannot be imagined, nothing is impossible. This is the main reason why Psykers are so powerful. However, superpowers have their three elements, function, conditions and limitations. Instructor Hisith’s Underworld Poker must have weaknesses both in conditions and limitations, but that is Instructor Hisith’s greatest secret and I’m afraid no one knows.
Lingcun gulped his saliva to moisten his throat as he continued, “It is said that Instructor Hisith’s Underworld Poker has four functions. I remember that Hearts represent ‘healing’. Instructor Hisith is now using the healing Hearts on Tu Dahei. The higher the value of the face of the card, the better the effects. The Eight of Hearts is considered above average and rather precious. Silly Ye, if we use your soul as a standard of measure, a hundred of you won’t even be enough to produce one Eight of Hearts!”
“A hundred of Me’s souls won’t be enough!?” Ye Jiaquan stared in disbelief.
“Why is Instructor Hisith willing to spend his valuable Underworld Poker to heal Dahei? Why?”
Lingcun’s eyebrows deeply wrinkled. Be it tricking Shi Xiaobai into using the Body Incineration Curse to aid his growth through excessive means, or using the Underworld Poker to forcefully heal Shi Xiaobai, it was all for allowing the seemingly boring game to proceed smoothly. Was the game so important to Hisith?
“Could Instructor Hisith feel pleasure in seeing Shi Xiaobai being utterly defeated 72 times?”
Underworld King Hisith treated humans as toys, and life as a game. He treated the world as a theme park. All his actions and judgment should have been categorized as “interesting” and “boring”.
Love the interesting, trample on the boring was the only principle Hisith had.
And what Hisith was currently doing clearly proved something—Shi Xiaobai and the upcoming games were to him, relatively interesting, worthy of his love.
“Sigh, I shouldn’t have persuaded him to join rookie training. For him, [Gaia] is not a necessary choice, and wouldn’t even be considered an excellent option. But for my own selfish motives, I lured him into concealing his identity, sending a sheep into the tiger’s mouth. I have harmed him.”
Lingcun blamed himself in his heart as his fists clenched tightly. He habitually bit his thumbnail with his teeth as he tried to think of numerous methods to crack the situation, but he rejected each and every one of them, eventually become severely frustrated.
Hisith was too strong for him. In front of absolute strength, no strategy or trick was useful.
Hisith was not only the three powerhouses of [Gaia]. He was famous in China, and even internationally. When he suddenly volunteered to be a rookie instructor, it had caused quite a sensation in [Gaia] internally.
Although Hisith was eccentric, or even could be said to be perverse, his strength was beyond doubt. And when he became serious at teaching, the rookies benefited greatly from him. As such, even though they had witnessed Hisith’s “normal games” several times, they still felt more joy than sorrow.
But at this moment, they were completely at a loss. Wasn’t this “game that is slighty more difficult” a bit too perverse?
Some meticulous rookies noticed something strange. The poker card projection was essentially a soul! When the poker card’s energy was drained, the souls imprisoned by Hisith in the poker card would vanish, disappearing completely.
And the bumpkin was currently absorbing the soul energy, derived from the valuable “Eight of Hearts”. Why was Instructor Hisith giving him so much “love”? A few rookies with dark minds could no longer suppress their jealous emotions.
Everyone had disparate thoughts, as the “Healing Heart” on the platform was coming to an end.
The projection of the poker card suddenly transformed into a pale red rain of light that fell on Shi Xiaobai. As droplets of energy infused themselves into his white, tender skin, a pink fog began to immediately rise up around Shi Xiaobai’s surroundings. His sticky sweat droplets evaporated while he was bathed in the pink fog, and his pained and twisted face gradually looked relieved. His tightly clenched teeth gradually relaxed and the light in his eyes slowly returned.
The healing effects of “Eight of Hearts” were rather staggering. Within moments, Shi Xiaobai’s pain and fatigue was completely eliminated. His physical strength, mental strength and psionic power were all restored.
Just as the Underworld Poker’s soul was about to dissipate, everyone in the room could hear a roar that reached into their souls. The roar was filled with anger, resentment and indignation.
At the same moment, Shi Xiaobai’s eyes suddenly widened. An angry roar came out of his throat, resounding the entire classroom.
“You perverse person, what did you do to This King!?”
When everyone heard this, they were stunned with opened mouths. How did this bumpkin still dare to curse Instructor Hisith? And why was he calling himself “This King”? Doesn’t he know how dangerous his present situation was?
Instructor Hisith was one of the three powerhouses who could ignore the organization’s discipline. Even if he killed this bumpkin right there and then, or even turning his soul into an Underworld Poker, those members of the upper echelon of the organization, who loved having the words “justice” hang by their mouths, would probably just wryly smile and say ‘can’t you take it easy?’, and not mete out any punishment.
This bumpkin was simply courting death himself!
After using the Body Incineration Curse, Shi Xiaobai had experienced an excruciating pain throughout his body, and he fell into a trance, so how could he hear the voices around him? Of course he did not know what the Body Incineration Curse was, or else how would he have been so easily tricked by Hisith?
So in fact, Shi Xiaobai did not know that he had just taken a trip to Death’s door, nor did he know that the Hisith beside him was not only a game maniac, but also a cruel demon. Similarly, he did not know that he was about to face 72 rounds of ‘sparring’ that he had no chance of winning.
Shi Xiaobai only knew that after using Hisith’s imparted method, he had experienced great pain. Later on, the pain gradually subsided, but his brain kept producing heart-wrenching screams, as wave after wave of resentment struck his soul, causing him to nearly have a mental breakdown.
After a long period of suffering, he finally came to and saw Hisith immediately. Instantly, he recalled that all that had happened to him was a result of attempting Hisith’s method, so having found the culprit, he did not hesitate to rail out angrily.
Shi Xiaobai stared at Hisith with eyes filled with anger.
Air seemed to solidify, and a repressive atmosphere immediately emanated the entire room. Everyone could not help but hold their breaths, as to their horror, they saw Instructor Hisith’s gloomy expression. It was like the amassing of dark clouds before a thunderstorm.
This bumpkin will die a horrible death, right?
Just as everyone was having such thoughts, Hisith suddenly laughed. A coquettish smile suffused the corner of his lips as it turned into a charming smile.
“I was helping you open up a psionic sacred meridian.”
Hisith’s eyes narrowed slightly as he gently said, “The human body has eight psionic sacred meridians. Opening up any single one of them gives rise to a magical effect. What I just did was to help you open up at least one psionic sacred meridian. Opening up a psionic sacred meridians allows your control of Psionic Power to reach the ‘Grasped Basics’ realm. It will eliminate the requirement of a long period of accumulation.”
“Tu Dahei, you can now use Psionic Shield.”
Hisith’s gentle voice made him look like a kind and amiable instructor, as though he was not angered because of Shi Xiaobai’s cursing. Instead, he graciously tolerated his insolence.
Everyone immediately found it odd. What Instructor Hisith said was not wrong, but why did he deliberately skip the matter regarding the Body Incineration Curse? This bumpkin’s psionic sacred meridian was not opened up by Instructor Hisith, but obtained by having the bumpkin risk his life. He had won using heaven-defying luck!
What did Hisith do? He had maintained a mild, prim and proper look while producing such a shameless lie, and for what?
Shi Xiaobai neither knew that he had used the Body Incineration Curse or that Hisith had lied to him, nor did he know anything about the psionic sacred meridian, but he understood the last thing Hisith said.
“This King can already use Psionic Shield?”
That was a method that could withstand bullets. He could already use it?
Shi Xiaobai’s eyes lit up, but very quickly, he began frowning and looked with renewed wariness and suspicions at Hisith.
“Then why was This King’s divine body engulfed by an Eternal Calamity Inferno? Why were there Underworld Wraiths who infiltrated and wailed in This King’s mind? What did you do?” Shi Xiaobai asked angrily after a moment of silence.
With that said, everyone was dumbfounded. What did that bumpkin just say? Eternal Calamity Inferno? Underworld Wraiths?
Hisith was startled for half a second before the smile on his lips grew more intense. The way he looked at Shi Xiaobai turned even gentler. He said softly, “The gaining of strength is usually associated with the birth of pain. Tu Dahei, if you can obtain eternal strength for a moment of pain, is there a need for you to complain?”
Hisith’s expression seemed to say “you cheaped out and you still want to act innocent?”
Hisith’s expression was truly vivid. Numerous rookies hurriedly covered their mouths, afraid they would burst out with laughter. Was Instructor Hisith pulling a fast one on a fool?
However, when Shi Xiaobai heard Hisith’s words, he went into deep contemplation, with his gaze turning heavy. Moments later, Shi Xiaobai suddenly reached out his right hand, and instantly, a broken Psionic Shield, which was so white that it looked transparent, appeared in front of him. However, it was so thin that it resembled a cicada’s wing.
This motion that he had never rehearsed before had become nearly instinctive. It was as if a simple thought of fantasizing something would spew out of his palms, materialized into reality.
Was this power?
This was power!
Shi Xiaobai answered his own question, and immediately felt clarity in his heart. All the resentment he had, disappeared the next moment as a intense fighting spirit burned!
“If power can be exchanged with pain, This King is willing to suffer the agony of purgatory!”
Shi Xiaobai grinned and retracted his right hand. He looked at Hisith and said, “This King was wrong about you.”
Everyone nearly fell backwards as they were rendered extremely speechless. This bumpkin’s stupidity was peerless! They could not bear it, but did not make a single move. Instructor Hisith clearly had a scheme and he was enjoying it. If anyone dared to interrupt Hisith’s fun, that person would probably end up in a miserable state.
At this moment, Hisith was immersed in his world of games!
“Although you have obtained strength, this strength is unstable. You temporarily have control over Psionic Power, but you need to think of a way to consolidate it.”
A light smile suffused from Hisith’s mouth. It looked extremely coquettish and charming as he told Shi Xiaobai another lie.
People, who had a psionic sacred meridian opened up, would have their Psionic Ability cultivation speed accelerated. It was also very beneficial to one’s physical cultivation. It would also push one’s control of Psionic Power to another stage, and unsurprisingly, it would be an eternal lifting. The words “temporarily” and “unstable” Hisith said was something even a three-year-old would not fall for!
Everyone cast their eyes on Shi Xiaobai, thinking that this bumpkin couldn’t be that ignorant, right?
“Ah? Then what should be done? How can it be consolidated?”
Shi Xiaobai’s reaction made everyone at a loss, they did not know how to react as not only did he believe, he even turned anxious about it.
A strange glint flashed in Hisith’s eyes as he beamed even more. The way he looked at Shi Xiaobai was so gentle as though he was looking at a loved one. It gave Shi Xiaobai goosebumps.
“Very simple,” Hisith gently said. “By constantly destroying before establishment. Only then will it stand firmly. Dahei, the game I prepared for you happens to allow you to consolidate the energy that might disperse at any time.”
Shi Xiaobai knitted his eyebrows and said in a wary manner, “What game?”
Hisith’s grin turned sinister as he reached out his hand to point at the seated rookies. He said with a bewitching tone, “The 72 rookies here will be your training partners. Each and everyone of them will strike your Psionic Shield, breaking your Psionic Shield one after another!”
“Tu Dahei, even if you fail again and again, even if your dignity is trampled one after another, you must endure through it. Clench your teeth to hold on, because from multiple times of ‘destruction’, you will find that one opportunity at ‘establishment’. Infinite destruction before establishment. This way, you will be able to obtain power!”
“Tu Dahei, do you desire power?”
Hisith’s hands opened up, as if he was holding an invisible treasure in his hands. He was inviting Shi Xiaobai to hold it tight. His fiery words contained an irresistible magic, and the way he depicted “destruction before establishment” made people excited.
If the rookies in the room did not know better, they would probably have been deceived. However, reality was cruel. Hisith’s guise was just targeted at Shi Xiaobai alone, but in their eyes, he was fully exposed. It made people feel sick!
However this false disguise clearly deceived the “ignorant” Shi Xiaobai, and had even touched him.
Did Shi Xiaobai desire power?
“No, This King wants justice!”
Shi Xiaobai smiled coldly, but it then turned into a wry smile. “But justice requires power to maintain it.”
Shi Xiaobai spent only a second thinking, but he was able to come to a conclusion. He turned towards the seated rookies and shouted loudly, “Then, sorry for troubling all of you!”
Shi Xiaobai accepted Hisith’s game, and even believed that the 72 rookies present were “training partners” who would help him.
Everyone sighed in their hearts. This bumpkin had fallen for it after all.
Even though opening up a psionic sacred meridian was enough to push his control of Psionic Power to the realm of “Grasped Basics”, for him to produce a perfect Psionic Shield required the next realm of “Familiarized Proficiency”. That was a realm that required years of accumulation.
The Psionic Shield he produced was not only broken. It was so thin that it neared transparency. Even a 7–8 year old student could easily shatter it, what more them, who had passed [Gaia]’s rookie evaluation.
The bumpkin would indeed continuously experience “destruction”, but it was impossible to have “establishment”. It was something they had accomplished over thousands of times of practice, so how could this bumpkin achieve it within 72 times?
There was no doubt that he would suffer the bitter taste of failure 72 times! And the taste of defeat would slowly be augmented into a sense of oppression. With the last straw, the bumpkin would completely collapse. It could range from him losing his confidence to never recovering.
“This is what Hisith does best. He first gives the game participant immense hope, then he would shred the hope bit by bit, causing despair to slowly emerge out of the layers of hope.”
The seated Lingcun muttered to himself. He looked miserable as the unacceptable situation that was infinitely nearing on reality began to appear in his mind.
“Be it the price paid for the situation Hisith designed, or the amount of effort placed into it, Shi Xiaobai has already reached the level of ‘favorite’ in his heart. And a ‘favorite’ toy will be completely ‘played to brokenness’. This is the very core of Hisith’s games.”
“Hisith wants to completely destroy Shi Xiaobai! Then the game is definitely not that simple. He still has a trick up his hands!”
Lingcun’s pupils constricted as his heart skipped a beat. He looked at the stage where Shi Xiaobai was filled with fighting spirit, and Hisith who was beaming. He bit at his thumbnail, as his handsome face looked twisted, mind overloaded from thinking.
“Quick think. There must be a way, there must be some way. There must be a solution I didn’t think of. Hurry. Quick think! I’ll give you all my brain cells, so hurry up and think of a solution!”
Lingcun’s eyes were red as his teeth clamped harder.
The sound of his thumbnail being broken sounded.
At the same moment, Hisith’s excited voice resounded, instantly drowning out Lingcun’s thoughts.
“Then let the game begin! In the first wave of attack, let us begin with the weakest weakling to start the gongs of war!”
Hisith reached into his pocket, taking out a small notebook. He flipped through it rapidly as he murmured, “Let me look for it. Let me see what name the weakest little toy amongst this batch of [Annihilation] rookies has.”
After flipping for a moment, he finally stopped at a particular page. A joyful smile suffused along the corner of his lips.
“I found it. This batch’s weakest rookie. His name is—Chen Lingcun.”