A few weeks after the first test.
In a quiet classroom filled with around fifteen students, a single desk could be seen in the corner of the room, empty!
“Sigh~ Do you think he’s going to come today?” asked a young girl, sited at the front.
“Ha! You saw how he reacted at the introduction ceremony. Did that look like someone who’d honestly come to the class two days later?” snickered another student.
“Hmph! Who cares about that guy anyway? You guys all saw it with your own eyes, that person’s ability.” The one who spoke this time was a rather husky young hippo-like man much to the surprise of the others.
“Hooo…even a big shot like you acknowledges that person’s ability? That’s unexpected.”
“For me to be lumped with you people of lesser talents is the only thing that is unexpected.” Replied the husky youth.
In a courtyard somewhere else,
“Zilan, your first day and you’re already late…..this won’t reflect well on your record.” Stated a laughing Fujo.
“You act like he actually wanted the post.” Remarked Kifo.
Listening to the two of them go back and forth about the events that had transpired around him the past few weeks, Zilan could not help but shake his head.
“Those things aside, you really have grown.” Said Fujo as he looked up at the now 6 foot 10 inch tall Zilan.
“That’s not all that’s changed though…” Added Kifo.
Compared to the previous Zilan who was always dressed in scholarly robes, the current him, was now fully kitted out in robes that had been specially designed to function as light armour as well as cover up most of his body, including a strapped hood that made sure to hide all of his hair, all the way to his forehead. Both of his hands were also shielded from view because of the gloves he chose to wear.
“Anyway, as much as I’d like to see you in action. I have two very important guests to entertain, scheduled for today.”
“You mean desperate women who can’t tell they’re being lied to.” Scoffed Kifo.
“What!? I am many things but a liar is not one of them. I just tell interesting stories to those who wish to listen and more often than not I happen to attract *cough* ladies who would like me to perform an essential service, free of charge I might add.”
“*Cough* I’ll be going then.”
“He has to have some kind of brain problem.” Said Kifo.
“He probably does.” Laughed Zilan.
“Anyway, I’m tempted to watch you today but the punishment for missing duty isn’t something I can endure, so I’ll see you after. Do your best!”
Zilan rubbed his temples, as he thought about his assignment. “Who knew standing out would come with such troublesome consequences. If I fail, others see me as a fluke and my goal moves farther away from me but if I succeed, it’s viewed as the ‘expected outcome’ bringing me more resentment than praise. Sigh~ All that I can do now, is try my best.”
As he moved toward his destination, many people he passed by kept shooting him strange glances.
“Hey, isn’t that…?” whispered one.
“Yeah, it’s definitely him. I think his name was something..Malaika.” whispered another.
“It’s hard to believe what happened after the first test, then what occurred at the second test and finally the shock of the fire guardian trials.”
“Exactly thirty minutes after he disappeared from the screen, the test was immediately concluded and he was named first and in a shocking turn of events over fifty percent of all the records set by the Elders in their youth had been broken by him. No one knows how he was able to do it nor did anyone see it happening!”
“That was indeed crazy but what he did at the second test was mind numbingly unbelievable. I even asked one of the teachers about the principles involved in his Alchemy technique but surprisingly he too did not understand.”
“Malaika took the longest out of all the contestants to finish the test and while many people ridiculed him due to his lack of a flame, at the last moment he used the ingredients he collected in the first test and not only did he manage to fuse them together but he also somehow evolved them into a single concoction which he then refined using only water. No flame was involved from beginning to end, overturning my thoughts on Alchemy completely. It’s no surprise that he was immediately bestowed a rank as well as appointed as Teacher.”
“Hmm, too bad no one knows the details of his performance during the fire guardian trials. All anyone knows is that he passed.” Lamented one of the by-standers.
“Just who is he and where did he come from?”
Zilan could hear all of their conversations but with a stone cold face, he met none of their gazes nor did he allow for any opportunity to arise for them to approach him.
Back in the classroom,
An argument had broken out between the fourteen year old bunny girl and the husky hippo youth.
“Who did you call low born, you fat brute?”
“Hmph! I don’t expect someone like you to understand the nobility that comes with this physique.”
“Okay, both of you calm down. We all took a vote and the majority decision was to let Misty be the class leader.” An amiable looking youth stepped in to mediate however, almost immediately after speaking his mind, the husky youth sent him a death glare.
“You expect me to listen to someone of such low birth? Where I’m from, those words would mean the death of you! Lucky for you, I do not share the same barbaric traits as my lesser learned clansmen but if you dare to speak such nonsense again then, do not blame me.”
It was at this moment that the door to classroom suddenly flung open. Zilan then came strolling in, as calmly as possible.
All of the students simultaneously stood upon his arrival. “Greetings, Teacher Malaika.” They said.
“No need for all of that, please sit down.” Said Zilan. From the beginning, he did not want himself to be the prototypical teacher who spoke while his students blindly and unwaveringly listened. After all, it just wasn’t realistic. On one side, he was also a young lad thus expecting other similarly aged people to act accordingly was delusional. Then there was also the fact that Zilan himself did not want that. In his opinion, learning starts with oneself while a teacher’s job was simply to guide their students on the right path but at the same time being careful not to narrow that path down.
“I only know some of you from the introduction meeting so while everyone is gathered, I’d like to take the time to learn a few things about you. If you hear your name please raise your hand and answer my questions.” He said, as he took out a jade slip from his sack.
The unexpectedly tall Bunny girl instantly raised her hand shouting, “Here!”
“Hmm, fourteen years old, extremely talented, brash but also has a strong sense of disciple and justice? Where did the Association get this information? It even goes as far as saying that she’s used back door means to attempt the rank two test, only to end in failure each time. If she’s broken the rules and she’s still here then doesn’t that mean her talent is valued a lot? Then why assign her to this class?”
Looking around the classroom, Zilan could easily tell that his class was most likely the least talented out of all the other classes however, for unknown there were a few exceptions who’d been placed here.
For example, Misty Arcloud from the Iron sector, Hendrek Magnus from the Gold Sectors Ancient Warring Hippo clan, the mysterious amiable youth Lorn Mokin and the unquestioned most talented yet severely undisciplined, Zest IronBlood from the Iron sector who coincidentally, was not present for the first class.
“How many of you have dual attributes?” asked Zilan.
Most of the class put their heads down or pretended to look out of the window however, the predictable group of Misty, Hendrek and Lorn all raised their hands.
Important announcement :
Hey guys, it’s been about a month since I last posted a public chapter but now I’m back and ready to continue on our journey.
This chapter is one of seven that I’ve written during my break and I will continue to release a chapter a day for a while as we get back into the groove of things. If you would like to view all seven at once without having to wait days, then please feel free to check out my patreon page. Regardless of the amount you will get access up to chapter 100 however, after that only those who’ve pledged $3 or more will get to see the chapters in advance. (https://www.patreon.com/emeraldragon)
Finally, I would like to announce the launching of my twitter account. I’ve been using social media for a while for personal use but I’ve always shied away from using it as a platform to communicate with my readers…(don’t really know why) However, that has now changed! I will be using twitter to interact with my followers on a daily basis and not just have the usual, “chapter updates and then silence”. No! Through memes, gifs and well tweets I will strive to not only entertain but actually interact and converse…but as you know, one can’t talk to themselves at least not without having a mental problem so please follow me as we move on with our journey.
Your humble author,