This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and Yeenie.
The First Preliminary Field
Time: 9:55 am
On the twelfth of October the school officially stopped classes.
It was said that it was because the school was hosting the first preliminary section, so they had to rearrange the school from the twelfth to the fifteenth.
Thanks to having no classes, the majority of the students started arranging a three-day trip. Everyone planned their own vacation, so the school was suddenly very empty.
During those three days, I was at Andy’s place learning basic charm incantations, either that or be dragged by the five-colored rooster head to the left shopping street to buy something.
Since Miao Miao was a member of the medical team, she was sent to the competition grounds for early preparation and training.
Ryan and the five-colored rooster head were the backup members, and Chifuyu had completely disappeared for quite a while. In the three days, not even half a person came looking for me.
Then, the fifteenth of October had arrived.
* * *
It was past nine in the morning, and as I left the black dorm, I was stopped by someone.
I heard our school will be providing facilities for a total of eight schools on the first day, which is to say, there will be four preliminaries to be witnessed, and one of them included people from our school. The preliminary starts at two in the afternoon.
I turned around. Although the only person who would call me by that name was senior, it was not his voice. Then, I saw a plaster face… no, I mean a pale mask.
“Uh, senior Gasai?” He was wearing a purple robe and a wearing a mask, waving at me from a short distance away. Truthfully, if I didn’t know he was a robe representative, I would think he was some like some pervert, wearing a cheap plastic cartoon mask, the type of character who would suddenly tear off his own clothes.
“We are going to Giya Academy to take part in the first preliminary, do you want to come along?”
“Ah?” Senior Gasai suddenly asked me that question, which caused me to feel very surprised.
Nevertheless, I don’t recall ever having any interaction with senior Gasai before? So why did he ask me if I want to tag along with them? Did his nerves suddenly got tied into knot together, and caused sparks to appear?
Wait a moment, this means the ones taking part in the first preliminary would be Randall’s team?
To be honest, I didn’t have much interest regarding the Vampire’s match. However, Ryan was their back-up member, and since Miao Miao and the other would also be there, it would be weird if I didn’t go.
“Today there will be two preliminaries in Giya Academy, one would be us against Giya Academy’s representatives, and the other one is Alis Academy against Evil Spirit Academy’s representatives. This year, Alis Academy had an impromptu change of team’s members, so we wanted to ask if you wanted to come along?” Senior Gasai added some more details, “The people of Alis Academy seemed to be acquainted with you, yesterday when we met, they were asking about you.”
Impromptu change of team members? Weren’t they Yido’s team? But why was the name of the school they are facing so strange?
“Evil Spirit Academy is…?” As soon as I heard it, I felt it wasn’t a good school.
“It’s a disgusting school.” He seemed to have guessed my thoughts, and used the simplest way explain it to me.
The name of the school coincide with what kind of school it was, a very easy and old-fashion way to define them.
“I’ve made an appointment with Ziray, and he said he would go there by himself. What about you?”
That’s right, I had completely forgotten the five-colored rooster head was also a backup. I’m very hesitant, extremely hesitant. I really wanted to go and watch senior’s match, but I also felt I should be at Miao Miao’s side and find Ryan.
A colorful book was suddenly placed in front of me.
“What’s this?” I looked at the book cover, but I couldn’t determine what it was by the texture. Just looking at it allowed me to discern that it was a very expensive. It was shining with a very high class feel, and printed on top were worm-like words I couldn’t read.
“That’s the stage record of this preliminary. Inside are introductions of all the team members, up until the current cut-off. There’s a total of thirty-six schools, sixty seven teams, contending for victory.”
I flipped the rather thick book open. The inside was fully covered with golden worm of words, black background, and a significantly large picture. On each page, there was the detailed information of a team. Then a supernatural thing occurred, the picture would actually change. Every few seconds, it will change to another picture, and there were approximately five to six pictures per team.
“Normally, one would need to reach the place for the preliminaries before they can get this limited-edition stage record, but before the competition, our teams already received them. This book is an extra, for you.”
In fact, even if you got it for me, it was useless to me. Because I, totally, could not, understand, it!
Nevertheless, there were quite a number of Black Robes, Purple Robes, and White Robes in the pictures. It looked like every school seemed to have sent out their elites.
Senior Gasai was very considerate…
He knew I was not someone who would be able to grab limited-edition products.
I turned to a page with “Giya” written on it, and then was deeply attracted by the picture on top.
Its surface refracted shining bright lights, which was similar to something my Grandpa would often take down from the television cabinet to let me see. He would then say that when he was around my age, for this thing, he had to throw his younger brother into the ditch before he could get his hands on it.
This, this is the legendary Mazinger, right? Giya’s contestants were Mazingers!?
“I want to go to Giya.”
After I saw the pictures of Mazingers, I immediately became determined. Grandpa, your grandson is going to help you clear that year’s resentment for not being able to witness Mazingers.
“Alright, let’s go.”
* * *
Senior Gasai didn’t use a teleportation charm to travel to the other school.
Due to the preliminaries, the security in all the school became stricter, since they were afraid groups with bad intentions would take advantage to create chaos. Thus, it was agreed beforehand that everyone would travel to another school through a fixed connection point, and there would also be guards guarding those connection points.
The connection point was a large round light, and in the middle there’s a magical array, but it was too complicated so I couldn’t discern it. In any case, it was the type that would be able to send us to our destination.
The purpose of the light was the same as a teleportation charm. After two seconds the scene before my eyes changed. Then, I was stunned.
The guard who was standing at one side had changed, changed into… a Motorized Armored Warrior?
“We’re here.” Gasai walked out of the light, not taking into account that my eyes were staring at the two Motorized Armored Warrior on either side, and quickly walked towards the door.
“Wait for me!” What kind of weird place is this!?
As soon as I left the transportation building, I was completely dumbfounded. Was this place really a school?
What I saw was an area completely made of iron, iron classrooms, iron trees (trees made out of iron), and iron paths. In addition, the road was filled with people who were walking around, people who were wearing armor.
If the sun shone, my eyes would probably have been blinded by the ensuing flashs, right? I regretted it because I should have brought a sunglasses along.
The steel armor on all of their bodies were polished to a high gloss, and could be used as a mirror.
There was this kind of weird special ability school?
Senior Gasai didn’t mind me, he was still walking in front, and had already walked for quite some distance. Then, I saw him entering a classroom, on top were worm-like words I couldn’t read, but they were actually very considerate since the words were translated into Mandarin and English below it.
“Atlantis Academy’s lounge.” Looks like it’s here. But, was it alright for a member of the general audience to enter? If I entered, I wouldn’t be driven out? Or would it be better for me to wait in the spectator’s seats? But where are the Giya’s arena spectators seats?
No matter where I looked, it was all iron. It really is hard for me to tell the difference.
“Since just now, you’re alone outside muttering to yourself, just what the hell are you trying to mutter to yourself about!?” The lounge’s door was kicked opened with a “bang” sound, and a White Evil Ghost appeared in front of my eyes.
“Uh!” I forgot he could listen to my thoughts! Since it has been too long since I last encountered him, I had completely forgotten about it.
“Tell me, who’s an Evil Ghost?” Senior slightly curved up a smile, as though he was urging a poor soul to come to him. He cracked his knuckles issuing “clack, clack” sounds, “Chu.”
“Please pretend my brain malfunctioned and had the wrong thoughts.” I took one step back, getting ready to run away.
“You want to run away, right? Giya is a school who researches steel technology, so beware of their powerful alarm system. If you simply ran around and was later dismembered, I won’t care. However, in this place there’s no way to fix yourself by resurrection unlike Atlantis Academy.” Senior leaned next to the door, and yawned.
…Which is to say, if I were to die here, I’ll definitely stay dead, right? I withdrew my leg that was about to step out, and started dripping in cold sweat.
“Yang~” Another person emerged from behind the door, “You really came.”
I turned back, saw the five-colored rooster head, and was dumbfounded. I saw an enhanced version of a Taiwan tourist.
“What’s with those clothes?” I pointed at the shirt the he was wearing, he was currently dressed up even more like a Taiwan tourist compared to last time. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt as well as the beach shorts, looking completely bright from top to bottom, just like a ghost. And he was still wearing flip-flops on his feet, though they were new.
But that’s not the main point! Boss! This is an official game, right!?
“This is something I bought a few days ago. Very cool, right?” The five-colored rooster head grinned, extremely pleased with himself.
I discovered that our definitions of cool were rather different, just like Leido and Yado’s definition of aesthetic sense were different.
“Yes, yes, very cool.” I already didn’t have the energy to refute him, “That’s right, did you…” tell senior about the matter of someone wanting to resort to dirty tricks? Before I even finished what I was about to say, I was cut off by senior’s sharp killer eyes.
“Come in and talk, we’ve already made a barrier in the lounge.” Senior slightly lifted his chin, and urged all of us inside.
There were tables and beds in the lounge, looking just like a small dormitory, even a computer and whatnot were prepared. There was even a bookshelf and small refrigerator, very complete.
In the end, senior didn’t mention anything about someone plotting dirty tricks, and I didn’t say anything either.
“Our competition is scheduled to start at eleven, and Alis Academy’s is scheduled to start at one in the afternoon.” Senior told me, “The conference, chose a lounge specially for our school. You can directly watch from over there. You don’t have to watch from the audience seats, the view there is good.”
According to my experience, the degree of danger is high, too, right?
Senior exposed a cold smile.
“Then isn’t it going to start soon?” I looked at my watch, it was already after ten.
“Nn, so we are heading there now.”
* * *
Giya was a steel academy.
According to what I had put together from senior and the five-colored rooster head’s information, Giya was relatively more of a high-tech special ability school. Unlike Atlantis which specializes in supernatural abilities, Giya’s special abilities are based on the combination of high-technology and supernatural abilities.
The so called special abilities…
I thought only people like senior and the others were called people with special abilities, but seems like there are other completely different explanations.
Looks like the amount of things I needed to learn was getting bigger and bigger that I’d die learning them.
“You are Atlantis Academy’s representatives?” As soon as we stepped out of the lounge, a pool of silvery liquid immediately emerged from the surface of the floor, and the whole thing became taller, turning into a silver girl, the silver liquid then slowly faded and turned back into a normal human’s color. This made me recall the movie I’ve seen before. There was also a liquid metal man, “I’m developed by Giya Academy, Cyborg #3, nice to meet you.”
A very generic name…
Isn’t the term Cyborg very outdated? And it was really is uncreative!
“My name is Jieer, I’m your guide, so if you have any questions I’ll gladly answer them.” Jieer exposed a pretty smile, and as she stretched out her left hand, a palm-sized transparent ball emerged on top of her left hand. On top was a ball of information, rotating in circles, “The three representatives of Atlantis Academy are already confirmed, may I ask who this extra person is…?”
I knew she was referring to me. She didn’t know who the extra person was; me.
“For running errands.” Senior said to her.
Hey! What do you mean by for running errands!?
Red eyes narrowed as they looked at me, “Are you implying I was mistaken?” Senior’s tone had changed into a higher pitch.
Alright, if you say so, then so be it. I’ve already lost count of how many times I had been defeated by this evil force.
“I understand, so this means there is one more of your school’s support member.” Jieer smiled at me, then the ball sunk into her palms and disappeared, “Then I’ll lead you to the competition site, please stand firmly.”
Before I got to understand the meaning of the words please stand firmly, I felt the bottom of my feet moving, and then it floated.
I didn’t fall down thanks to the five-colored rooster head pulling my collar.
With the five of us as the heart of the circle, a big circle was drawn on the floor, a thin, silver, circular plate was cut out from the floor and floated in the air. Although the speed wasn’t fast but it kept rising.
… There were no safety railings around us, yeah… I was rather scared I would fall off.
The circular plate rose to the height where we were able to view the entire Giya Academy.
It was only then when I realized what I had seen before was too shallow. The school was not actually completely covered with silver rails and silver steel. It was built by a variety of materials, each buildings were made using methods that couldn’t be imitated in my world, formed and built into one body. From high above I could see the school was very well organized. It was a super modern and futuristic building.
“Giya Academy is made out of essence extracted from round iron, in which the campus was coordinately built with various elements and the latest technologies — able to communicate worldwide, enable arrays, etcetera at the same time.” Jieer briefly told us, “In our school, we are the most abundant in shape and design books. We welcome you to visit our school to exchange knowledge and friendship whenever you have free time, and we will do our utmost as the host to entertain you.”
After the circular plate went roughly one round, allowing us to have a better look at the whole school, it flew towards an open space which should be somewhere at the back of the school.
A stage had already been built at that place. The whole thing was very tall, probably about a dozen stories high. The strange thing was, the audience seats were actually floating in the air, one connected to another. Huge iron balls that can fly as how they were orderly scattered around, and were filled with people inside.
The stage prepared only for the preliminary was huge. It had a flat surface, and was also floating in the air On the side, there was something that was most probably a referee station with a few weird people sitting over there.
“Giya’s representatives had also arrived.” After the five-colored rooster head said that, I also noticed that at the other end of the preliminary stage, a similar circular plate appeared.
The surrounding was very quiet, extremely quiet.
From the circular plate we were standing on, one by one, silver strings of liquid started to silently appear from the edge. They then interweaved upwards, turning into an arc shaped roof. On the side facing the competition stage, the silver liquid flowed down and slowly, and a staircase connected with the competition stage appeared. The same went for the opposite circular plate.
So this was actually our resting room… This was really frugal and convenient.
At the opponent’s side, there was also a girl who looked exactly the same as Jieer. And then their players… Oh, my God!
I saw a brave robot and a steel saint gladiator.
And inside, there was something not human, it was something completely silver in the shape of a scorpion, with several protruding sharp spikes on top. It looked like something where you’d die just by touching it.
Beeping, my watch issued a sound to signal the start of a new hour.
At that second, the hall that was originally deathly quiet suddenly had a huge burst of applause. Just like the sudden appearance of thunder, with a loud boom, making my ears hurt.
“This marks the official start of the preliminary of Giya Academy versus Atlantis Academy!”
In the middle of the preliminary arena, silvery liquid started to rise from the ground, and suddenly sprout up, turning into a girl. However, but on her back was a pair of silver iron wings, looking rather unusual, yet very beautiful, “I’m Sandra, your broadcaster for today.”
Her voice was very loud, when it went through a microphone, the entire area was filled with her voice.
“The first round of the large-scale joint competition, our competition is, guessing competition!”
Was my ears hearing things, and heard the wrong thing? What kind of thing is that!?
* * *
Our surrounding exploded with enthusiastic applause.
Forgive me for not being able to understand. I thought sports competition would be something like the competitors going up to the stage, and they they would start fighting with a either you die or I die kind of resolution with blood spraying all over. Then, they would beat each other to death, and get dragged out of the stage.
Now what? What’s with this peaceful and cute sports competition!?
“Both parties please send in your player for the first round.”
The opposite side, someone wearing an iron Knight armor immediately walked down, and on his back was a decorative circle of fencing swords, and it looked incredibly heavy.
“Sai, I’ll leave this to you.” Senior was very bored as he yawned.
Gasai nodded, and walked down.
Honestly, I also began to feel very bored. And it was a guessing competition!
Then wouldn’t it be better if I just go back and looked at Lantern Festival riddles!
[T/N: Riddles written on the lanterns displayed during the Chinese Lantern Festival or Chinese Mid-autumn festival, and so on.]
What a rotten sports event.
Several papers about the size of playing cards appeared around Sandra, rotating in a circle around her. Then, a piece of paper left the circle and floated up, and then she smiled as she took it.
“Our first topic: After the banana falls from the stairs, what would it turn into?”
The audience suddenly quieted down.
… F——!!! What kind of rotten topic is this———!!!
“Eggplant.” Gasai raised his hand in less than half a second, and accurately said the answer.
I was sure that when Gasai was bored, he would most definitely be looking at silly cold jokes online.
“Yang~ why did you suddenly freeze?” The five-colored rooster head draped his arm over my shoulder, and asked.
“I was chilled by that joke.” Very cold, very cold, extremely cold. The whole competition hall was chilly.
Sandra revealed a huge smile, “That’s correct!”
In fact, I’ve seen other answers before, one was mashed banana, another one was cucumber (because it was frightened till it turned pale), but it’s clear they decided to choose the argument of the fall causing it to be completely battered, and turning it into an eggplant.
Really it is very cold. They won’t continue asking this type of questions, right? In the end, how many topics were there?
“There’s a total of ten topics.” Senior turned around and kindly explained to me, “It ends as soon as all of them are answered.”
That’s still fine. Cold topics normally won’t take longer than ten minutes. In the end, after five seconds, I found out that I was too naive.
“Next, the punishment begins.” The girl smiled as she raised her left hand.
I saw a horrifying scene I would never ever forget in my entire life.
Numerous silver liquid strands surfaced on top of the stage, and then turned into huge knives. Hanging high up in the air, all of them were pointing at the heavy Steeled Knight.
The Steel Knight took one step back.
“The one who didn’t answer, or guessed wrongly, would be hacked by a hundred knives, completely avoiding all the knives, or surviving after getting hacked. Only then can they move on to the next question.” Senior coolly said, and the five-colored rooster head nodded to confirm his explanation.
I saw numerous black lines appearing on top of the head of the Steel Knight who was surrounded by the knives.
Mommy… This really is a punishment game!? People will die!!!!