“That flame, don’t tell me it’s actually a Shadow Fireball?” The candidates below were completely stunned. The whole room erupted into laughter.
Xavier wanted to dig a hole and throw himself into it. The embarrassed blush on his face extended all the way to his neck.
“Such a shame… You scored so well in the written examination, but it turns out you’re a squib.” The proctor regretfully shook his head.
A squib was a normal person who was innately weak in terms of spiritual force. Although it wasn’t difficult for them to cast low-ranked spells, they were idiots at the practice of higher ranked spells. With their spiritual force unable to support them, they were like machine guns with no bullets.
“Pity… Final score: 0.1 Fail!” The military instructor announced loudly. Everyone around Xavier sighed.
Just as Xavier began to walk away despondently, he saw Crowley walking towards him. “Don’t be upset, everything will get better soon,” he said, and Leylin keenly noticed a look of relief in the man’s eyes. He shook his head involuntarily.
‘Normally, the juniors take advantage of their elders. Seeing a senior do that to a younger man is quite rare... ‘ Leylin watched rather speechlessly as Crowley used his acting skills to score points with Xavier.
“Next, Ley!” The proctor raised his voice as Leylin calmly stepped forward and walked into the pentagram spell formation.
‘It seems like my performance in the written exam scared them. Did I arouse some suspicion?’ Leylin saw the bewilderment in the proctor’s eyes, and laughed coldly to himself.
‘This Ley…’ Crowley fixed his eyes on Leylin’s back, ‘It’s very strange that our organisation never discovered someone like him. It’s very suspicious… I hope he’s a natural genius, otherwise…’
Very quickly, Leylin felt a gentle scan from the pentagram’s spell formation. [Beep! Soul aura sweep detected, creating a fake profile…]
His truesoul of laws suddenly shrank back a little, hiding itself in a crack between the spiritual and material planes. All his power left with it, making him seem like an ordinary person. With the A.I. Chip as well as his own self-concealment methods, nothing was discovered.
‘Everything is normal? It looks like he really is a genius. I hope he can pass and contribute to humankind in the future.’
The proctor glanced at the screen out of the corner of his eye and announced it in a loud voice, “The central neural net has selected the spell— Shadow Servant!”
“What? Isn’t that the hardest exam question? Shadow servants need a fixed amount of intelligence!”
“He’s finished! People say even high-ranked engineers with mechanic permits can’t cast it properly…”
The candidates who were watching below rejoiced in Leylin’s misfortune.
“Shadow servant? Ley’s luck is really too bad…” Xavier seemed to recover a little from his knockback, and began to worry for Leylin who stood at the centre of the pentagram.
“Begin authorisation of the Shadow Weave,” the proctor nodded. The pentagram suddenly let out a faint white light, and the Shadow Weave rumbled as the restriction on the middle level was lifted.
[Beep! Authority to use mid-ranked Shadow Weave acquired. Injecting background virus, beginning analysis…]
‘The middle layer of the Weave has been opened to its limits. There should be a small crack for me to exploit to get to the higher ranks. A.I. Chip, attempt analysis of the high-ranked Weave!’
[Beep! Mission established! Initiating task…] the A.I. Chip loyally answered.
“Mm, what’s the matter?” At this moment, the main proctor was suddenly enveloped in fear. But when he came back to consciousness, nothing seemed to have happened. The A.I. Chip had used that moment of unconsciousness to use a backdoor into the upper levels of the Shadow Weave, completely concealed from the man himself.
‘As expected, the Shadow Weave is quite imperfect. Although it’s like Mystra’s Weave on the surface, it’s severely lacking.’ Leylin’s eyes glowed, ‘After all, this is something Shar built alone, and not even as a god. If it’s like this…’
A sudden unbidden thought revealed itself within Leylin’s heart, ‘If I use the rank 12 arcane spell here, Karsus’ Avatar, what would happen?”
The World of Gods was far too powerful, with quite a few gods at the peak of rank 8. He couldn’t imagine their response if he broke the Weave apart. Here, though, it was different. The Shadow Weave was incomparable to the real Weave, and Shar herself was only an intermediate god when she left.
Leylin had quite looked forward to using the exam to test the Shadow Weave’s response to arcane spells and the like. A conscient that had already died but could still pass the crystal wall structure and make it to the Shadow World was rather curious.
‘Well, they’re both the Weave in the end. Karsus’ Avatar has quite a high chance of succeeding, and I only need to overwrite the Shadow Weave’s research program. It’s best to act only after I’ve analysed the tenth level of the Weave…’
Leylin’s mood vastly improved after he thought about this point. Shar wasn’t a full incarnation of the Shadow Weave, but their existences were tied inseparably. If the Shadow Weave was destroyed, the damage done to her would be terrifying.
It seemed like Leylin had a trump card in his hands, one which he could use to threaten Shar at any time. It said, ‘Don’t come over here, or I’ll let you have it!’
‘However, how do I let Shar know about this deterrent? That is the true problem.’ Even nuclear weapons were at their strongest before they were fired. Leylin naturally wouldn’t just act without a prior warning.
“Can you begin, Ley?’ the proctor seemed to have misunderstood, “If you aren’t sure about it, you can choose to give up. After all, your safety is of utmost importance.’
It had to be said that the proctor loved to protect ordinary human geniuses.
“Oh, thank you. It won’t be necessary,” Leylin politely waved him off and directly connected to the Shadow Weave.
*Zzzz!* A layer of concentrated black smoke formed beneath his feet, slowly sketching the outline of a person. The proportions of the four limbs were perfect and in harmony, only its facial feature left fuzzy and indistinct.
“Master…” A hoarse voice was emitted from the shadow servant’s body as he knelt down in front of Leylin.
“This intelligence… It’s the highest grade of shadow servant!” The proctor smiled fervently, “Ley! Your complete assessment score is 1, you gave an exceptional performance!”
“Woah…” The people below were stunned into silence. A long moment seemed to pass, and the cheers that erupted afterward were incomparable to the cacophony caused by someone passing before. After all, those before him had very barely passed, whereas Leylin had scored full points.
“Ley really is a brilliant person…” Xavier looked at Leylin who stood up on the stage. Everyone’s attention was focused on the black-haired youth, and in his heart he felt slightly inferior when compared to him.
“What’s the matter?” Crowley casually patted him on the shoulder, “Although you don’t have talent when it comes to controlling the Weave and using spells, your personal strengths lie in other areas. The one who invented the Rapid Shadows was also a squib! However, who can deny his contributions?”
‘That’s true! Even if I don’t have a diploma, I still have the Snakebite Fist!’ Xavier inwardly thought to himself and clenched his fist. Seeing this scene, a trace of gratification flashed across Crowley’s eyes.
His high-ranked permit was hot off the press, and the government had strongly urged Leylin to stay. He said he needed some time to consider his options, using that as an excuse to leave.
After that, he went directly to the shop for Rapid Shadows. He didn’t actually need one to cast shadow spells, but he had to conceal that fact so he ended up buying one.
“You want to buy Rapid Shadow 5.0? Please show me your permit.” This was the same shop assistant from before, and there was a trace of astonishment in her eyes, ‘He only had authority for the most basic model just a while ago. Now…’
“Mm,” Leylin calmly handed his new permit to the assistant. Once the computer attested to its veracity, her eyes were filled with fervent passion. It wasn’t just this assistant, the others nearby were completely starstruck as well!
Leylin didn’t suspect in the slightest that as long as he took care, it was very possible for him to get his hands on everything. However, now was not the time. He ignored the bitter gazes directed at him from hiding, settling the payment for the device and leaving the shopping centre. The gazes had never been a problem for him.
“Ding! Welcome to Rapid Shadow 5.0, customer. Your account balance is currently 23000 Seres.” His communication device flashed immediately after he equipped the wristwatch, receiving several messages in succession.
“Hello, Mister Ley! Thousand Bears Market is honoured to have served you your title. ID data and authorisation refreshed, citizen class changed to first rank. You can enjoy public facilities for free, overdraft on the Shadow Weave, and receive beneficial treatment when it comes to immigration visas. Please send an enquiry for further details…”
The messages of several private firms followed, offering sky-high salaries of hundreds of thousands of Seres a month.
‘No wonder those attendants all became like this. So high-ranked mechanics are equivalent to nobles here?’ After seeing this, Leylin involuntarily sighed. No matter how science and technology progressed, humans in the end were still divided into different ranks.
Sadly, he himself didn’t have the slightest of interest in these things. He was too lazy to even send a reply.
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