Zong Jiu was very satisfied with Class 9’s positive attitude.
So with that, he took the opportunity while these people were in the heat of the moment to dump them more practice papers, ardently hoping they would turn their passion into motivation and make up for the fifteen marks Class 9 was short of as soon as possible.
"Yes! We’ll fight for the glory of Class 9! We will not let our class monitor down!"
The other ninety-eight trainees were all pumped up, tying white strips of cloth around their heads, immediately revving up for war against a fresh round of practice papers.
The bullet chat also cheered enthusiastically.
[Let’s gooooo, Class 9! I believe in you!]
[Yooooo charge!!! Watching this has my blood pumping! I also wanna whip out an exam paper and do it alongside Class 9. Today, we are all part of Class 9!]
[Fuck, sisters, chill. It’s nine subjects, man /im-shit-at-studying.jpg]
The white-haired young man stood at the podium, touching his chin in thought.
He didn’t have any real feelings behind his words earlier. After all, a magician was an absolute master of controlling the atmosphere, able to easily achieve desired results with just the art of speech.
However, uplifting the atmosphere did produce some incredible results. It wouldn’t do any harm to pump up their spirits a few more times.
Anyway, no matter what, Zong Jiu would never ever confess that just then… he had actually felt a teensy little bit of heroic spirit in his heart as well.
He watched the students of Class 9 arrange their desks and begin studying and helping each other, feeling considerably pleased. "Keep going first; I’ll be back to check on you all later."
"Yes! Class monitor!"
Thus all the trainees sent Zong Jiu, who was about to submit homework, out of the door with their eyes. They then bowed their heads back down, feverishly discussing study materials.
The white-haired young man paused for a while in the hallway, then sighed quietly. Carrying the stack of homework, he lengthened his stride onwards.
To tell the truth, Zong Jiu didn’t believe he could be considered a good person.
A long, long time ago, before he had become a magician, he was once a subject under observation. He lacked emotion, had poor empathy, and disregarded rules. He liked deception and disguises, playing humans on the palm of his hand. He lacked the necessary social interactions and didn’t care to make friends.
These particularities were no doubt a personality disorder—antisocial personality disorder, to be precise.
Such people were unquestionably a ticking time bomb in society. No one could tell when they would detonate, nor when they would be given enough triggers. So, after the psychologist had done counselling and check-up for his student cohort, this information was fed back by the class teacher to the old nun who had adopted Zong Jiu. The class teacher said the school was unable to bear this potential risk and tactfully asked the old nun to take Zong Jiu, then eleven years of age, back home.
From that moment on, Zong Jiu knew he was different.
More than life and death, he sought excitement. He preferred to ignore or downright break the rules ordinary people were supposed to follow than carefully conform to norms every step of the way. He preferred to be alone, rather than build intimate relationships or engage in unnecessary socialising.
Speaking of this, Zong Jiu was rather thankful for magic.
Without magic, he might not have turned out the way he did.
Just as in the present, ever since discovering the clue alone, Zong Jiu hadn’t planned on disclosing it to anyone. It was due to his lack of basic trust in people.
Tfa cbk… tf atbeuta bo Jijrr 9’r clcfas-fluta rwlilcu ojmfr.
Mbg j gfjrbc ecyfxcbkcra ab tlw, Ibcu Ale, ktb tjv jikjsr kjamtfv ogbw atf rlvfilcf ilxf jc bearlvfg, rffwfv ab tjnf yffc vgjkc lc.
Ktf ktlaf-tjlgfv Zjulmljc rlutfv ojlcais ab tlwrfio.
Lf kjr njuefis rajgalcu ab ecvfgrajcv kts Iteuf Cc tjv tlw mbwf ab atlr lcrajcmf.
He had to say, No. 3 was eerily accurate in reading people. Even without Zong Jiu having said anything, he’d long glimpsed the inklings.
Dimly, that pair of coarse hands once again touched the crown of his head.
"If you can’t find an objective to ground you, then respond to the expectations of others."
Turning the corner where sunlight cut through the shadows, Zong Jiu drew a tarot card from his pocket.
It was the tarot card representing No. 2 Van Zhuo; the Emperor, in the upright orientation.
After eliminating the possibility that he was being manipulated by the Devil, the Magician kept the deck inside his system backpack.
A red letter hung on a white wall a short distance away, indicating this was where Class 1 was.
Though it was now the interval between classes, there was no one in the hallway outside Class 1.
Only trainees from Class 2 were outside under the sun, intently reading the textbook in their hands.
The white-haired young man walked over, his appearance immediately attracting lines of sight.
Let alone the fact that the class with the highest average scores in the year were still desperately diving into their studies, the remaining classes who have yet to meet the standard were studying even harder. There was no difference between class time and the breaks in-between. Everyone was studying furiously, and very few trainees wandered around to drop in on other classes.
Even more so when the one touring other classes was the hottest newcomer on the up and up, firmly taking third place in the year.
"Why has the Magician suddenly gone to Class 1?"
Trainees from other classes whispered in the hallway, "It’s general knowledge Class 1 has the strictest rules. After class, they’re only allowed to fetch water or use the toilet, otherwise, they aren’t allowed a single step out of the classroom."
They stared as the white-haired Magician knocked on the glass window of Class 1, seemingly looking for someone.
"Yeah. Even if he’s looking for someone from another class, he’d have to wait until free time. It’s probably a wasted trip for the Magician."
However, after a minute, the trainees in the hallway gawked.
Class 1’s door opened.
Not only did it open, but the man who came out was even tall, had grey hair, and red irises, a ferocious aura emanating from him.
He nodded at the Magician. The two men rounded the corner, walking step in step to the stairwell.
Only after the two figures in blue and white uniforms disappeared around the corner did someone ask, his voice trembling.
"Wasn’t… wasn’t that No. 2?"
The atmosphere between the two of them was silent, but not awkward.
They walked up the stairs until they reached the rooftop.
First High School’s rooftop was on the sixth floor, thickly paved with concrete and surrounded by a rusty metal grille. There were gaps at the corners, as though someone had forcibly ripped them from the building.
The school authorities had no plans to repair the rooftop. After all, even if it was fully enclosed, it wouldn’t stop students who truly intended on jumping off the building.
The weather today was gloomy as always, daylight hidden from sight.
Van Zhuo spoke up first. "Did you come to find me with a purpose?"
Zong Jiu nodded.
He pulled the tattered diary out of the workbook he was holding.
Upon obtaining the diary as a clue, Zong Jiu didn’t prohibit word from getting out of Class 9.
So, during this week, quite a few had learned about Class 9 finding a diary.
Strangely, the class monitors in room 101 didn’t show any intention of holding another meeting over this.
Every meeting was initiated by No. 2. The ever-cold and aloof No. 8 Black Shaman obviously couldn’t be bothered to care, and No. 10 Tsuchimikado barely had enough time for his own studies as it was—he was already losing hair over this, let alone be in the mood to care about clues.
Since No. 2 didn’t call for a meeting, room 101 behaved as though nothing happened.
Furthermore, in the past few days, there were some rumours from other classes that they also seemed to have found clues.
When Zong Jiu thought closely, it did sound about right. It couldn’t be that out of the entire year, only Class 9 was the ‘Chosen One’. According to the usual set-ups of horror instances, it was logical for every class to have one clue in their possession.
After these days of observation, Zong Jiu could classify Van Zhuo as one of those who stuck to the status quo.
Appearances were deceiving. Who would have expected a half-vampire, the big boss of the Night Clan, a general who walked out of a bloody battlefield of corpses—would actually be someone who stuck to the status quo?
Zong Jiu could have taken his time to figure things out on his own, but now, perhaps out of a wish to see those silly fools in Class 9 smile a little more foolishly, he decided to take the initiative in looking for a few allies.
Everyone else had to focus on studying, so this glorious mission could only fall upon the third in the year.
Of all possible allies, No. 2, with his power and prestige, was undoubtedly the best solution.
As he expected, after hearing him out, Van Zhuo’s expression didn’t show any surprise.
This time, the leader of the Night Clan marked the conversation as strictly business, and his expression turned austere.
Zong Jiu was deeply appreciative of this businesslike attitude from No. 2.
After all, he had segregated himself from the character he had transmigrated into and didn’t wish the other party to see him through any unnecessary filters.
"I’m sure you’re aware of… the reason I didn’t call for a meeting."
Yes. There were too many variables in room 101 right now. For example, Class 5, as well as Class 10, which were gradually revealing similar tendencies.
Sharing information in such a situation could easily lead to a similar incident to the one that thwarted their plans for the first monthly exam.
"That isn’t important. What matters is cooperation."
The white-haired young man withdrew his hands from his pockets. "You and I both know this instance isn’t as simple as it looks. Without sharing intel, we’re sure to miss out on a lot of information."
Surprisingly, Van Zhuo agreed to the request for information sharing with alacrity.
The two of them exchanged their clues right there on the rooftop. No.2 passed him an old letter found inside a crack on the class’ door panel and Zong Jiu handed him the diary and graduation photo.
"If you hadn’t come to look for me, I’d planned to make a trip over to you in the future as well." After the exchange, Van Zhuo paused. "But now, it truly sets my heart at ease to see you’re still the same as you were before."
He added, "If Aunt in heaven knew you were in this place but still retained the same kindness, she would also be relieved."
Zong Jiu, "…"
He watched No. 2 leave the rooftop, for a moment at a loss as to what to say.
Evidently, the book’s Zong Jiu had left an indelible beauty filter on this mister Van Zhuo in their childhood, such that even after so many years, the kindness of his childhood sweetheart still lingered in his heart.
Of course, soon, Zong Jiu didn’t want to say anything else.
Because just as he lowered his head, wanting to open this new clue, an unbridled gaze wantonly roamed over him and crawled up his spine.
The hand holding the letter tightened and Zong Jiu sharply snapped his head up, shooting daggers with his eyes.
Sure enough, a dark and slender figure reclined lazily against the wall in the shadows.
Puppet strings danced and twirled in the man’s hands, wound around his ten fingers, as though weaving the fate of his next helpless victim.
In the split-second Zong Jiu looked over, the black-haired Devil’s expression of boredom immediately receded, as thick interest congealed in his dark golden eyes.
Inclining his head, he greeted the white-haired Magician not too far away, smiling mirthfully.