Di Qi Ju: …
Di Qi Ju: ……
It had been three days. Three uneventful days of schooling that almost reminded me of my high school days spent preparing for my finals.
In those three days, nothing happened that was even remotely dangerous; not even something like a plate shattering and pricking my finger.
At that moment, I clearly felt a reaction from my ability to distance myself from fatal danger. So…what’s going on? Did this mean that I inadvertently avoided that danger?
Bailey: What are you doing spacing out like that Di Qi Ju?
Bailey: You’ve been like that these few days, I bet you fared poorly in that test just now as well.
Di Qi Ju: Oh that…I got a perfect score as always.
Bailey: See, I just knew—
Di Qi Ju: A perfect score.
I turned around and gave her a serious look.
Di Qi Ju: Is there some problem with that?
Bailey: …of course there is, aren’t you illiterate?
Di Qi Ju: I answered with phonetics. I just picked that up a few days ago.
That and the fact that this language’s grammar was basically the same as chinese helped a ton.
No matter what, I did manage to master all the science and arts subjects of my high school curriculum at 16. If I didn’t even possess such a basic learning ability, my years in school would’ve been a total waste.
Naturally, I didn’t explain that fact to Bailey.
Putting aside this small matter, my mind was basically preoccupied with that previous question during the times I wasn’t in school, especially with regards to how my ability worked.
As of now, I’d come to the conclusion that this ability manifests itself in two different possible ways.
The first way was when it alerted me to impending danger that was lethal. An example would be when it activated on that narrow bridge above the Grand Ravine. In that situation, the danger would show itself within a short span of time and would most likely be lethal to a normal person.
Naturally what was lethal to a normal person would not be lethal to me thanks to my abilities, yet this wish ability of mine would still alert me to such a danger. Of course it could just be that my disguise ability managed to fool this ability into thinking that I was an ordinary person, which resulted in it alerting me falsely.
The second way was one that I hadn’t had the opportunity to test or even understand.
Back when I had just wished for this ability, it activated a scant few minutes later.
“Poppy: Well, Little Ju, how many points do you have?”
That was the first time it had ever triggered and it was because of Poppy’s question. I avoided answering that question back then and ever since then I had avoid answering any such question regarding the amount of wish points I had.
If my ability manifested itself in the first way, did that mean that Poppy would kill me right after I answered that question?
No…based on my later understanding of her, I don’t think she would do that. In that case, why did my 1 wish point ability activate? What did it base this alert off?
Di Qi Ju: ……
If I took into account what happened a few days ago, there was only one conclusion I could draw:
At some later indeterminate date, I would encounter a lethal threat that arose from my action that day, and that was the basis for that alert my wish ability gave me. If I had told her how many wish points I had back then, it would have resulted in a future threat to my life.
However if that’s true, then there’s still two points that I’m not sure about.
One, what was the root cause of my wish ability activating a few days ago.
Back then, there was nothing strange happening around me; although, it was possible that something happened and I simply wasn’t aware of it.
Two, how far away was this threat? Days? Weeks? Years? I couldn’t tell.
Even if I were to invest more points into it, based on the logic of this wish ability, it wouldn’t send me a more detailed alert.
This feeling of “you know it’s going to come but just not when” was almost similar to…death.
Even if I was immune to most causes of death that didn’t mean that I wasn’t afraid of it. It was precisely this feeling that plagued me for the past few days. Whether it was a stab to the heart, a shove off the stairs or even getting poisoned…no matter what, just come at me!
This feeling of knowing that something was about to happen to you and having it not happen was the absolute worst! Or should I say—my ear felt absolutely terrible right now!
Di Qi Ju: …
Naysis Ferne: Yo Di Qi Ju, so you’re willing to look at me?
Di Qi Ju: I say Princess…don’t you think that your current actions are rather dangerous?
She halted her hands right at the precipice of my ear hole, as she said that she gave it a little twist.
Naysis Ferne: Shouldn’t cleaning out your ears be a comfortable thing?
Di Qi Ju: I’ve never heard of someone using a pencil to clean out their ears and finding it comfortable…and are you trying to pierce my eardrums or something??
Naysis Ferne: —it will just regenerate itself wouldn’t it?
Di Qi Ju: …that’s not a reason for you hurt someone!
Naysis Ferne: Sigh—but you’re the one who keeps ignoring me.
Di Qi Ju: That’s not a reason at all…
How willful can you get…I heard Bailey mention that all her boyfriends ended up dumping her, no matter how you look at it, this was totally her fault.
Even if you stare at me with that innocent little girl look it’s useless! I already know that you’re only one year younger than me and I even know about your illogical personality! Any desire to protect you had already been ground away by that pencil in my ear!
Naysis Ferne: Di Qi Ju, do you have time to spare tonight?
Di Qi Ju: I do, but I plan to return home and sleep the night away.
Naysis Ferne: How boring is that…actually my family is hosting a banquet tonight, do you want to come?
Di Qi Ju: …
Di Qi Ju: Do you mind me asking what kind of banquet is that?
Naysis Ferne: Tomorrow’s the starting date of the registration for the “Three Battles” so my Royal Father plans to hold a banquet for the residents of Reitdarke’s Corridor who plan on taking part.
Naysis Ferne: It’s a way to highlight our country’s valor so it’s a meaningful activity for us as well.
Di Qi Ju: …I’m not even planning to take part in the Three Battles so I don’t fit the requirements for such a banquet.
Naysis Ferne: That’s no issue, I can arrange a fitting identity for you.
Di Qi Ju: But I can’t imagine any identity you can come up with that will be fitting…
Naysis Ferne: What’s the matter, are you not willing to take part in my banquet? What’s not to like about a princess inviting you to a banquet?
Poppy: Miss Naysis.
Di Qi Ju: There’s no such thing…I’m just not worthy of such an event.
Naysis Ferne: Whether or not you’re worthy is not up to you, there’s no such standard in Reitdarke’s Corridor.
Poppy: …Naysis Ferne.
Di Qi Ju: Even if you say that…
Naysis Ferne: Let’s just cut to chase, are you going or not?
Poppy: —Princess Naysis Ferne!
She finally turned around to face Miss “Cherry”.
Poppy: Class is over, Princess.
Naysis Ferne: ……
Naysis Ferne: Just come to my home—
She stood there constantly beckoning towards me with her hands as if she was a child inviting someone to play. However, even to this day I noticed that she hadn’t once touched me. If she truly had so much experience dating other men, shouldn’t she be accustomed to this by now?
For example, wrapping her arms around someone…
Bailey: …Di Qi Ju.
Di QI Ju: Hm?
As Bailey was about to leave the classroom, she inexplicably turned around and called out to me.
Bailey: …Lady Clergyman is looking for you.
Naysis Ferne: …?
Standing at the doorway of the classroom was a lady dressed in the garb of a Middle Ring Clergyman surrounded by layers after layers of students. They stared at her restlessly as if they were looking at some rare creature, but didn’t dare to speak, out of fear of alerting the person in question.
By the time I pushed my way through the crowd and glanced at her pale face, I immediately recognized who she was.
Conney: I’m the clergyman who represents and governs “contacts”, Conney.
Di Qi Ju: …greetings.
Compared to the time we met in Poppy’s office, she seemed to have assumed the role of a stranger. If that’s the case, I can roughly guess the purpose of her visit.
Conney: Regarding the second examination for your application to enter the Middle Ring and perform the Sacred Rite, it begins now. Please follow me to the examination hall.
Di Qi Ju: …I understand.
In the midst of the sudden outburst of chatter, a dimensional rift tore open beside her. I turned around and gave Naysis an apologetic smile.
Di Qi Ju: Looks like I won’t be able to make it in time for that banquet. I don’t know how long this examination will take.
Di Qi Ju: …
Well…I guess that settles that.
If I ended up attending that banquet, who knows if my false identity might end up becoming a real one. Even I’m not dense enough to be ignorant of her intentions; however, I just can’t accept her feelings whether it’s because of our personalities or other reasons.
It’s just…I don’t know how to reject people. The best I could come up with was to put up an obvious show of unwillingness and hope that they give up.
I just hope that it wasn’t the wrong move.
Stepping through the rift, I entered a hallway similar to the one I visited last time.
Similar to my previous visit, a clergyman was already waiting for me at the end of the hallway, and judging from her silhouette, it should be Hilda Karlyle.
Conney: I request that you make this trip on your own, Di Qi Ju.
Di Qi Ju: Alright…may I ask what kind of examination will this be?
Conney: A test of your abilities, an interview regarding your wishes, setting a test that you have to complete and finally giving you your evaluation.
Conney: This doesn’t have to be completed in one day, depending on the circumstances, it could take place over several days.
Di Qi Ju: ..thanks.
In short, it’s a one one one test.
Even though the room had an extremely solemn feel to it, it couldn’t be compared to the stress of going through entrance exams; especially given the fact that the examiner was someone I knew.
I calmly made my way towards Hilda Karlyle, and with a slight bow, greeted her.
Hilda Karlyle: ……
She had a placid look on her face today that betrayed little of her thoughts.
Hilda Karlyle: Di Qi Ju.
Di Qi Ju: Hm.
Hilda Karlyle: You…
Hilda Karlyle: Failed.
Di Qi Ju: …
Di Qi Ju: ……
Di Qi Ju: Huh???
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!