Di Qi Ju: …what?
Hilda Karlyle: You are not qualified, Di Qi Ju.
It was as if an invigilator had just walked over to me at the start of an exam and gave me a big fat zero before I even got to open up the question paper.
Di Qi Ju: Why?
Hilda Karlyle: You know exactly why.
It was then that she began to give me a cold glare.
Hilda Karlyle: You’ve already heard of my ability so you should know that I saw exactly what you went through these past few days.
Hilda Karlyle: A certain matter that would’ve made you a wanted criminal in most countries.
Di Qi Ju: That matter…I’ve already been acquitted.
Di Qi Ju: I’ve never heard of the Divine Hall being the world’s policeman. Isn’t it inappropriate to fail me simply because of those criminal charges.
Hilda Karlyle: That isn’t why you were disqualified.
Hilda Karlyle: I saw a lot of things in you that a faithful shouldn’t possess.
Hilda Karlyle: To be able to survive that kind of ordeal and stand again perfectly fine…exactly what kind of ability did you gain using God’s blessing?
Hilda Karlyle: That ability, it must’ve at least cost you over a thousand wish points shouldn’t it?
Hilda Karlyle: If you were born in a human kingdom and naturally had that much wish points, how could you not have been noticed by the clergyman representing “birth”?
Hilda Karlyle: It’s not fair…
The last word she spat out through gritted teeth sounded almost like “fair”.
Hilda Karlyle: In light of the mission assigned to me by the clergyman of the Inner Ring, your existence seems even more problematic.
Hilda Karlyle: Di Qi Ju, were you recently “born” into this world?
Hilda Karlyle: Are you the real objective of my failed mission?
Di Qi Ju: …
Di Qi Ju: ……
…How should I answer that? Exactly how should I even answer a question like that? Hilda…she…did she already suspect that I was not a native of this world? If she realized this, what kind of treatment would I receive?
Di Qi Ju: ……
Di Qi Ju: I don’t know anything about this mission of yours or your objective, do they even have any bearing on my examination?
Di Qi Ju: If you fail me out of a personal grudge against me, I’m afraid I won’t be able to answer to the person who recommended me.
Hilda Karlyle: …
You can give me that judging look all you want but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what I said.
So what if I am hiding something or lying about something, this was nothing more than one of those high school debates I had in the past: even if my viewpoint doesn’t fit with the general consensus, I still have to argue for it in order to win.
This was a simple question and answer examination; this was exactly what I excelled in, so there was no reason for me to be afraid at all.
Hilda Karlyle: …so you’re saying my judgement is wrong?
Di Qi Ju: This isn’t a question of right or wrong, I don’t even understand what you’re saying.
Hilda Karlyle: Fine…I’ll ask you a few questions. Do you dare to swear that you will answer these questions truthfully?
Di Qi Ju: If I know the answer, sure.
Hilda Karlyle: Where is your hometown.
Di Qi Ju: From the moment I “gained consciousness”, my home had always been in one of the frontier villages located in the southwest of Honor.
Di Qi Ju: There might have been some misunderstanding about where I came from but I’ve never admitted to them.
Hilda Karlyle: What’s that village like? Are there any specialities about it?
Di Qi Ju: The houses are made of mud bricks and our main produce is Theat. Near the outskirts of the village is a giant lake.
Hilda Karlyle: What about your family members?
Di Qi Ju: They’ve…passed away in an accident.
Hilda Karlyle: And your friends?
Di Qi Ju: They are all friends I met after joining the expedition, you’ve even met some of them before.
Hilda Karlyle: Are your wish points inborn?
Di Qi Ju: I believe so, at least I don’t remember gaining them through any external means.
Hilda Karlyle: Were all of your wish abilities made of your own will?
Di Qi Ju: Yes.
Hilda Karlyle: How many points do you have?
Di Qi Ju: …I don’t know. I have never counted them.
Hilda Karlyle: You’ve never counted them?
Di Qi Ju: Every point I spend is every point less that I have. Only after they can be counted with my fingers will I care about how many I have.
Di Qi Ju: That’s just the kind of person I am, is there a problem with that?
Hilda Karlyle: ……
Hilda Karlyle: You guarantee that what you just said was all true?
Di Qi Ju: I definitely didn’t lie, believe me.
She glared at me once more, however, my face was as unfazed as it was just moments ago.
Regarding this scenario, I had already made preparations for it in advance.
Back when I heard about Breman’s hereditary wish ability, the first thing that crossed my mind was what if someone made use of this ability to uncover my secrets. However, I was completely wrong in my thinking, because telling the truth they wanted to hear and not telling a lie were two different matters altogether; especially when one had the option to throw in off topic information.
As long as one was skilled enough, one would even be able to mislead a person without ever telling a lie.
Ever since I found out that some clergyman had a variety of abilities to uncover a person’s secrets, I had prepared my “truthful” account beforehand.
After all, casually leaving behind an incomplete answer for the examiner to deduct marks off shouldn’t be a mistake any student should make.
Hilda Karlyle: ……
Hilda Karlyle: I have one last question for you.
Di Qi Ju: Mhm.
Hilda Karlyle: Do you have any unique wish you want fulfilled with the points you planned on getting through this application?
Di Qi Ju: …what do you mean by that?
Hilda Karlyle: For example, the person who recommended you. She asked for the ability to detect any changes in a person’s wish points.
Hilda Karlyle: All those who come to the Middle Ring in search of wish points all have a special wish of their own, these wishes tend to be ones that can’t be measured using one’s own wish points.
Hilda Karlyle: So what is your unique wish?
Di Qi Ju: …
Di Qi Ju: I…
My unique wish…that’s the objective of me coming here in the first place.
—I wish to completely sever the ties between Poppy and the Divine Hall.
But…should I say it?
She managed to suss out some traces of Poppy from my “mouth” the last time we met, so should I risk revealing my objective to her now?
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!