"Oh, there is only one left." The prophet smirked knowingly as his eyes landed on Xue Wei. It was very much akin to a monster eyeing prey, and Xue Wei could not help but feel uncomfortable.
"I am fine," he said hesitatingly. "I don't need to be told about my future prospects."
"Now, now, young man, don't hesitate. It is not like I will bite you," the prophet said, and the smile on his face widened. It was as if he had found himself a new favorite toy, and that he knew something about Xue Wei that Xue Wei himself did not know.
"Tell me about yourself," the prophet asked, and Xue Wei hesitated slightly. "I grew up in a small town when I was a child. I am an orphan now, and my uncle has looked after me."
Xue Wei tried to say as little as possible. He had a feeling that the more he spoke, the more he'd regret it.
"I see, you come from such humble origins, but when I look at you, I see a person who will become a great person. You will become a great warrior who makes the world change! That is if you manage to survive until you grow up."
Xue Wei frowned. The words he said were basically useless. "Is he just some sort of charlatan? His prophecy is so loose, and anyone can fit the bill," he muttered to himself under his breath, but the moment Xue Wei spoke the eyes of the prophet glimmered and a toothy smile appeared on his lips.
"Well, I am done. Why don't you ask this young man to show me around?" Prophet Lan asked the commander politely while looking at Xue Wei with attention on his face, but Xue Wei quickly shook his head, "I am new here, I am not able to show anyone around."
The commander frowned. He was an experienced man, and he had noticed how Xue Wei had attempted to avoid this prophet a few times already, yet every time Xue Wei had tried to avoid him, the prophet had done all in his power to spend more time with the youngster.
"Mister Lan is a heavenly-sent genius, even within the middle of the continent, and he is the only prophet that our world has seen!" The commander praised Prophet Lan to the skies, and with every word he said, Xue Wei's face twitched.
"Mister Lan is going to be with us for a period of time before he continues on his adventures. While he is here, Xue Wei is to be his guide."
Hearing this, the face of the prophet blossomed into a smile and he gave a satisfied nod of his head.
"Xue Wei is a great name!" he said with exaggerated praise. "I will be honored to deal with someone like you while I am here in the camp. Your destiny is bright and shining; your behavior is knightly and gallant. You are a dragon amongst men and a peerless youth!"
The more Lan praised him, the higher his voice got, and soon it boomed through the entire area, making every other member of the Genius Camp stare at Xue Wei with animosity, jealousy, and complex emotions in their eyes.
"He is doing it on purpose," Xue Wei sneered with a low voice, and his eyes were blazing with anger. "He is intentionally making the others hate me, but why? I have never met him before, nor have I insulted him. I just want him to stay as far away from me as absolutely possible."
"I won't," a voice suddenly emerged in Xue Wei's mind, making him jolt in surprise. "Now, now, don't act so scared, this is a simple trick of compressing one's voice and sending it with Qi into the mind of another. It is frequently used in the rest of the continent, but I guess this backwater place is too uncivilized to know how to do it."
"Now, you be a good boy. Do what I am telling you to do and show me around the army camp for the next two weeks, and I will in return teach you a thing or two."
Xue Wei was appalled. He clearly had no option other than to do what this strange prophet told him to do, but why was the prophet so interested in him?
"Don't think about it too much," the disembodied voice amusingly laughed inside Xue Wei's mind. "I am a collector of strange and weird things, but I have never seen anything as rare and interesting as you. It is only natural that I want to see just what you are capable of doing with your life and to allow me to have my curiosity satisfied. I will in return teach you some things that are useful to you."
Xue Wei was unable to answer this Lan figure. He had no means to do so either, and if he spoke out loud, others would hear him instead.
The commander was aware that something was going on right now, and he dared not interrupt the conversation between the prophet and the young man, so he just waited while antsy on the side.
Although he had a great rank within the Kingdom of Heping, he felt trepidation whenever it came to this prophet. If he wished, he could wipe the entire Heping Kingdom from the face of the planet.
Although humans did not fight one another, no one wished to provoke a terrible existence. In the middle of the continent, almost every influential figure owed this prophet a favor. To go against him was truly committing suicide.
"Everyone return to your tents. You will have today off to look through the camp and familiarize yourself with the various locations, such as the dining hall, the infirmary, the bathrooms, and so on. Tomorrow, we will take you to the restricted area where our military-grade martial arts, resources, and other interesting items that only the strongest are allowed to enjoy are stored!"
"And you, Xue Wei, your task is to just follow Mister Lan around. When he has finished his visit to our compound, you will be allowed some time in the restricted areas too. But for now, learn as much as you can from this great individual."
Xue Wei grimaced, but he still bowed to acknowledge that he had heard the order, and then he dragged his feet towards Lan, looking at him with dismay written all over his face. Meanwhile Lan grinned from ear to ear.
When everyone else had left, Lan placed his hands on Xue Wei's cheeks and started pulling them. "A smile won't hurt!" he said cheerfully, but Xue Wei just scowled. He was not in the mood to smile at this strange and also rather dangerous prophet.
"Don't look so glum; I promise you I will help you become number one in this strange little camp that someone so optimistically named a Genius Camp."
"I don't need your help," Xue Wei snapped back. He was not sure why, but something about this prophet made him mad beyond belief. A single look at him and he could not help but feel a headache from the great smile the man had on his lips and the cheeky look in his eyes.
"Oh, believe me, you will!" Lan grinned back. "I can also help you learn how to use the heritage ring on your finger. And I can teach you how to telepathically transmit your voice into the mind of your peers."
The prophet was tempting him with a lot of strange things, and Xue Wei was shocked the more he heard. Although he was unsure of why this prophet had taken a liking to him, he would be lying if he said he wasn't tempted, but he also knew that there was no such thing as a free meal in this world.
"What do you want in return?" he asked while on high alert, and his eyes narrowed.
"It's simple," Lan said with a grin, "I want your dantian. I've never before seen such an amazing dantian that is shaped like a pearl. You are a one in a trillion for having such a special physique! It is not a beast core, but it is not a normal dantian either. I want this for my collection!"
Xue Wei's face turned pale, and he suddenly felt a danger to his life that he had never felt before. Without a dantian, he would without a doubt become a complete cripple, but this man had requested his dantian so casually as if it was something that could be traded away easily.
"Look at you, all scared," Lan began laughing again. "I am just joking, just joking," he said as he waved his hand at Xue Wei who had begun to retreat backward.
"Although I am quite curious as to what it will evolve into. Will it become something formidable that I have never seen before or will you flop and become a useless genius that could not survive the test of time?"
"How should I know?" Xue Wei snapped back. "You are the prophet here, not me."
"That's true," Lan rubbed his nose and looked a little embarrassed. "I am a prophet," he repeated the words and his cheeky expression returned to his eyes, his lips once again blooming into a great smile.
Xue Wei rolled his eyes. He quickly understood that he was dealing with a madman. He was impossible to understand, and he would do whatever he wanted to do whenever he wanted to do it.
"Well then, Mister Lan, please tell me what you wish for me to do now?" Xue Wei sighed and lamented his fate. There was no way for him to escape the task of accompanying this Lan guy, but he truly had no idea as to where things were, so he was useless as a guide.
"Well, let us stroll the area and get familiar with the dining hall and all those things that the commander mentioned first," Lan decided and started walking, not waiting for Xue Wei to follow.
While walking through the tent camp side by side, neither of them said a word, but by now Xue Wei had understood that this dangerous man was not that dangerous as long as one did not oppose him. On the other hand, he was incredibly odd and hard to figure out.
As they walked around in the tent camp, many of the geniuses came up to greet Lan. Some had a few questions, others just wished to curry favor with him.
But strangely enough, Lan was not friendly at all. Although he was smiling at them, his face showed complete and utter boredom. He did not even pretend to listen to them.
This strange change in behavior from how he treated Xue Wei and how he treated everyone else puzzled not only Xue Wei but also the other geniuses.
Not many believed that Xue Wei was special. Most knew that his advance was rushed and thought he had an unstable foundation. Some even thought he had cheated to manage to enter the Genius Camp.
How the prophet treated Xue Wei made the others jealous. They were anything but happy with his sudden rise to fame, but none of them dared to say or do anything about it right now as it was clear that Lan favored him.
The two walked through the entire camp, and Xue Wei was capable of looking for the things he needed to locate. He was now able to look around the area, when Lan stopped in front of a tent.
"This is our tent, huh?" he asked and all color drained from Xue Wei's face. They were in front of Xue Wei's tent, but he had never in his wildest dreams thought he had to share it with anyone. It was not very large and although it could hold both of them it would be a tight squeeze.
"You don't have a guest tent for yourself?" Xue Wei asked with a trembling voice.
"Don't know, don't care." Lan answered and entered the tent that Xue Wei had claimed to be his own, causing Xue Wei to stand outside trembling from anger.
"Don't tell me he has fallen in love with me," Xue Wei said through gritted teeth, but then a voice appeared in his mind, "you wish."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking