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The Finals and the Declaration

Location: Atlantis
Time: 10:14 am

I only saw Leido the next morning after what had happened.

I saw him at the large field, but because it’s a public place, I couldn’t ask him about what happened yesterday.

Speaking of which, why didn’t I know that our school had a large field besides the arena and the area where the classrooms take their walks?

Early in the morning, I received a short message from the class rep on my cell phone saying that at half past ten, there would be an introduction of the players on the large field. The schools had retained spaces for their own students, but it was differentiated according to the grades. It also told those people who wanted to go and look to gather in the classrooms.

As I quickly finished washing up and hurriedly rushed out of the dorm to the classroom, the time was already a little delayed. “Yang Yang, you’re a little late.” Standing on the podium in the classroom reading the name list, Olivia heard me opening the door. She lifted her head and said, “I just finished calling the names.”

“Ahaha… I’m sorry, just now I seemed to have gotten a little lost.” I should have said that it actually wasn’t a little.

Which bastard changed the school’s buildings and paths!? It caused me to be stunned in front of the dorm when I climbed out of bed so early in the morning, and found out that it was completely different from the usual school paths; the gardens, ponds, and what-not all had their locations moved. The entire way those things that I didn’t want to encounter all appeared by themselves, and people, whom I could have asked for help from, wouldn’t appear no matter what.

I walked for a full hour and a half before I found the teaching building where the classrooms were located, and I almost cried.

Why, why does God do this to me? I’m just a passer-by and obviously not someone who obstructs others, nor did I mess with anyone or anything that would cause me to run into some natural disaster. Why is it that my life just has to go through so many twists and turns…

“Because of the competition, the school was completely changed. You didn’t receive the map?” Olivia drew a dash on the book and then closed it; it was obvious I was the last person to arrive. “These are all sent to the place where you’re currently staying. Among the stuff, there’s also a self-help when-getting-lost-in-school manual.”

What the hell is with the self-help? You guys changed the school. I can still accept that, but you even put some things inside as well!?

I suddenly felt that during this competition period, I’d better not casually wander around in the school. Otherwise, it would probably be very hard to keep my life, safety, and personal properties intact. But I really didn’t receive any whatchamacallit manual, and I also had one last question; is there such a thing as a mailbox in the Black Dorm?

Because every time I received a letter, it’s either slotted in under the door or above the door, or it’s someone bringing it to me. So I really don’t know where the mailbox is, and I also don’t have any interest in knowing about it. I felt the mailbox in the Black Dorm wouldn’t be anything normal.

Looking around our classroom, the attendance rate was very low; only a few of us.

“Because the opening ceremony will take some time, the other students will probably only enter during the start of the first official match in the afternoon.” Seeing my expression full of doubts, Olivia was indeed our class rep, taking only a few seconds to clear my doubts. “The seats for the finals is differentiated according to the grades, so late comers don’t need to be afraid of not having any seats.”

“Oh.” Looks like our school made really good adjustments for all the seats.

After deducting the school’s students’ seats, the remaining seats would then be open for the other schools.

The class was a little noisy. A majority of them were excitedly discussing the sports competition, and it was rare for Olivia not to stop such noises. She probably didn’t want to dampen everyone’s interest. I took a look; I didn’t have much interaction with the few people in the classroom because each and every one went to their own classes. So, there were even some whom I hadn’t even spoken to before, and there were also people whom I had no impression of. Are you really someone from our class, dear student?

Just as I was getting lost in my thoughts, the classroom door was opened with a swish, in addition to a very familiar, horrible scream.

I subconsciously turned around, and saw an enigmatic human face being squashed on the path through the opened classroom door.

Wait a minute. I thought that thing wouldn’t appear as long as there weren’t any manifesting incantations?

“To the students who are interested in the boring ceremony, morning.” Stepping past the squashed face thing, the bald African American homeroom teacher refreshingly strode in, holding onto a big bag of popcorn.

It’s not that early anymore, dear teacher.

I discovered that, in fact, our homeroom teacher was also a person who was very fond of coming late to class. And then every time he was late, the class rep would find many different ways to fix him up; but even after fixing him up, he would still continue to come late.

Olivia handed the name list to the teacher, and then she obediently went back to her seat. Unexpectedly this time, she actually didn’t revolt.

“Let me take a look. This time our class really surprised everyone. There are actually quite a lot of students being chosen as backup members. Sure enough, although this class is filled with brainless students, but with high damage power. This really makes your homeroom teacher look good in front of the other teachers.” Our homeroom teacher threw the bag of popcorn onto the table, and a very thick fragrance immediately filled the classroom. “Fortunately, today’s attendance is not high, otherwise I’ll need to go and buy more. Ah, little class rep, distribute the snacks, we’re heading to the field soon.”

Snacks? Popcorn? Can we really bring such cinema essential goods to the field?

“Teacher, we’re prohibited from bringing snacks from outside into the large field.” There was a student who wasn’t afraid of death, raising up his hand and giving this information. “It’s the school’s rules, because they are afraid that someone would bring in dangerous food.”

“I know, that’s why this was bought from the internal sales department. There’s even the sales department’s mark on it,” the teacher very smoothly answered.

You actually went to the sales department’s gathering place to buy popcorn so early in the morning before coming back to the classroom?

You’re really good!

From the start, I had feeling that our teacher was very weird. Other than the first box at the top which was opened (I suspect the teacher secretly ate some), the bottom was stacked with rectangular paper boxes, where a similar fragrance was coming from inside.

“Teacher, you really aren’t considerate. Since you bought popcorns, you should also treat us to some drinks. This kind of thing is so dry, and eating them would make us very thirsty.” Olivia said while distributing the paper boxes to everyone.

“Hey, hey, I only lost the bet for popcorns, so isn’t buying drinks a little too much?” The teacher took no more than a second to respond.

I knew it was weird for him to suddenly treat us some snacks. So it was actually because he lost a bet.

Did I hear wrongly? He actually had a bet with a student? And even lost the bet!

In the end, what was the object of your bet…

“Hehe, this is a time to test a teacher’s tolerance and generosity.” After she finished distributing the snacks, Olivia carefully folded the bag and then narrowed her eyes. There was a split second where I felt her smile was similar to a certain animal, a fox.

“Aiyo, since you already said this, can I really not treat you guys? Later, I’ll buy them when we reach the gathering place together!”

In that second, the students in the classroom cheered and applauded.

In fact, this was the first time I saw our class being so united.

Just for a cup of drink.

* * *

The so called large field was completely different from I had thought.

Alright, I admit that the memory I have regarding my previous school’s sports competition is rather outdated… but this field is too shocking!

What I saw in front of my eyes was a vast white flooring; all around were long columns of buildings with unknown-patterned decorations, and circling around at the sides were a few stages floating in mid-air without any pivot points. There’s one that I’ve seen before, it looked like the stage in the arena, and at the central department of the two grounds in the air was a huge magical array that was slowly turning. Above the arena floor were some rectangular screens, and on the screens were the detailed happenings of the stages, just like a big broadcasting TV’s live feed.

Slightly behind the towering decorative columns were the audience seats surrounding the entire arena and circling around, causing the entire open air arena to immediately look like a larger version of a medieval super arena. The central part of the audience seating looked a little different. I guess it should be the legendary judges stand, or could also be called the review stand, and the like. Expanding at both sides of the review stand were the player’s resting area, with every school being separated, and above were different schools’ flags and badges fluttering, surrounded by huge flagpoles where the whole thing was very apparent to the eye.

If a shooting of a movie was done here, I guess one could break the Annual Award for the best scenery.

So to say, does the Movie Award have this kind of award? Forget it, whether it exists or not, it doesn’t have anything to do with me.

“Grade one’s area is over here.” Olivia brought us to somewhere nearby the player’s resting area. In fact, the seats were quite obvious because there was a grade one badge on the wall above the grade one’s audience seats, and next to it was grade two and so on. The planning was very complete so that one wouldn’t get lost or head to the wrong area. The resting area was very high up, so high that if one was not careful and fell down, one would die horribly from that kind of height. Looking down, it was really very high above the ground, but the view was very good, as one didn’t need to worry about being blocked by someone in front.

Wait a minute, it’s only now that I noticed that I actually didn’t encounter Chifuyu today!

It can’t be that yesterday Gasai gave him too huge of a blow, causing him to be traumatized and unable to be present?

Don’t joke around! That’s totally impossible. I guess he probably didn’t want to waste time, and will only appear when the fights start?

I noticed that behind the player’s area was a huge resting room, with the medical team’s blue robes inside. It looked like that should be the medical team’s temporary emergency first aid room because Miao Miao was inside too. Our sights crossed, although it was very far, and Miao Miao kept waving towards this side.

Opposite the medical team’s room was also a huge resting room, and there were people inside too.

That’s strange, this was the first time seeing people wearing dark red robes. All of them were wearing a white mask with strange markings on their faces, completely hiding them. There’s such a robe level?

Or was it actually another kind of group representatives’ uniform or the like?

“That is the intelligence assisting team’s resting area.” Someone suddenly patted the top of my head hard, almost causing my brain to be vomited out through my mouth. I lifted my head and saw that without my knowledge, the bald homeroom teacher appeared beside me with a big hotdog in his hands. “Barriers, intelligence, and a wide variety of an assisting team. Unlike the medical team, who appears in public, they secretly collect XX materials and also assist with this and that. So one can barely even see their shadows, and they don’t need to use their real identity to represent themselves. You understand now, student Chu.”

“Un, understand.” I hastened to escape the teacher’s evil clutches.

So, robe levels are really very interesting. In the past, I would think about why blue was different from the purple, white, and black. Actually there’s one more, dark red, but I’ve never seen it before. The colors are really varied that it’s thoroughly differentiated.

“After the official finals start, no matter the robe level, the person has to wear his formal robe when appearing on stage as a respect towards the competition.” As Olivia said this and looked across, I really did see many supernatural-ish black robes and some strange people appearing at the review stand. Some of them had their school badge on their bodies and should be the principals or representatives or what-not of each school.

Speaking of representatives or principals, where’s our school’s?

My wrist watch was pointing at twenty-seven minutes past ten; there’s three more minutes.

The homeroom teacher was sitting on the seat directly behind me. I had the feeling of some kind of wild beast staring at the back of my head that I didn’t even dare to open the popcorn and eat.

Just as I was hesitating, the two coolies who went to buy drinks hurriedly ran back carrying a large box. “You stupid kids, you actually bought the most expensive ones.” The homeroom teacher took the bill, and black lines fell from his head. “You need to know it’s very hard for your homeroom teacher to just survive due to my meager salary. But you actually went and bought the most high-class beverage.”

You sure it’s very hard for you to just survive? Why do I feel that this is probably just the tip of the iceberg of your huge bank savings…

“Oh, uh, since it’s a rare treat, of course it should be a good one.” The angel Olivia narrowed her eyes and smiled.

I was thinking, probably in the past my attention was held by other things. So, it’s only today that I realized the people in our class weren’t kind-hearted people.

“Uh… fruit juice is fine, thank you.” And then I received a fruit beverage of which I didn’t know the contents of. Under the cover, I could hear some unknown “bo bo” sounds plus the shadow of bubbles rolling about.

Too horrible. I don’t dare to drink it.

* * *

The time passed by really quickly.

In the blink of an eye, the second-hand of the assembly’s clock’s pointed at the last second, and the minute-hand also moved at the same time. The originally noisy surrounding suddenly quieted down. The surrounding was silent, the atmosphere immediately became tensed, as if not even a tiny bit of sound was allowed.

In that moment of silence, a faint golden array of light suddenly appeared on top of the white arena. There were numerous glittering totems, extremely complex to the extent that it would cause one’s brain to explode if he kept looking at it.

In the middle of the array of light, a little girl slowly emerged… Actually, I’m not sure if it was a little girl because she didn’t look like one. She didn’t have the aura of a little girl or juvenile, probably about sixteen or seventeen years old instead; she didn’t look very old.

She was wearing extremely gorgeous, ancient clothing filled with beautiful embroideries that looked very expensive. It looked rather like a kimono, but the style wasn’t too similar, with many layers. In one second, it would cause one to think of a flower bud blossoming… I really didn’t think that I would use such an aesthetic adjective, causing me to shiver due to the chills.

That girl (because the gender was unknown, so let’s temporarily call her a girl) lifted her head with shining, pale golden hair tied up in various styles behind her head causing it to look even smaller. She opened her slightly purplish gold eyes.

“Welcome, all of you, to Atlantis Academy.” She opened her mouth and spoke. It felt like she was speaking normally, but her voice was echoing throughout the whole arena; everyone could clearly hear it. “I’m one of the three heads of Atlantis Academy. Today, on behalf of all of Atlantis Academy’s cadre, I’d like to thank the representatives, players, and higher echelon of each school from all around the worlds. And of course, to all of you who are at the audience seats, thank you all for coming as well as sponsoring, allowing the big sports competition to be even more grand.”

There was a moment where I wasn’t aware of what he had said.

One of the three heads of Atlantis Academy?

“He is the founder of Atlantis Academy!” Olivia and the entire student population became very emotional; it felt like they were about to jump out of the audience seats. Then they loudly applauded, and the general assembly’s field immediately became extremely lively and seething with excitement.

… One of the school’s founders?

Lies! He obviously look so young!

“I’m the representative of one of the Atlantis Academy’s three founders, and also one of the three current school directors, Jing of the Demon Weight, and will be presiding over this opening ceremony.” He straightened his body, and layer by layer, his hem spread out above the array of light; even the patterns on top seemed to be shining. “From today onwards, for four to five days, three big sports competition will be held. Every subject for the sports competition will be different, the scores for the three competitions will be integrated, and the final winner will be this year’s top players who will be able to receive the three high-class otherworldly treasures.”

“And the runner-up and the second runner-up will also be assigned to different rewards. Let’s hope this competition would be as brilliant, as fair and square as in the past.”

Director Jing very neatly and tidily ended his opening speech, so quickly that one didn’t even have the time to yawn.

The audience immediately burst into applause.

“Next, all the finalists, please enter the stage.”

The array of light on the stage instantly disappeared, and when I finally found the person, that young director was already sitting at the middle of the stage.

The most important seat? He was sitting at the most important seat?

Surrounding him were people who were so much older than him and also the weird unknown objects. So with him sitting on the most important seat, it made him the exceptionally odd one out instead, causing people to put their attention on him.

I suddenly felt that our school’s director wouldn’t be any ordinary person.

At least in the premise of establishing this school, he is definitely not the kind of person you would casually see on the road.

He is the King of Martians!

* * *

As soon as the director left, ten huge arrays of light immediately appeared on stage, each one was a distance away from the other. In the next second, there were people standing on them, all were people who were originally in player resting area. There were a few teams that I’d never seen before; I guess it was probably the other school representatives that didn’t make it the other day. The number of people in the ten teams was rather uneven, and it felt like not all the players had arrived.

In the midst of the black, white, and purple robes, there was a team that was especially different from the others. There were no robe levels in that team with only three participants. I know that on the stage, the ten teams had backup players, but only their team did not.

I don’t know how to describe the clothing that they were wearing; it looked like some oriental vestments with wide hats on their heads made of hard-cloth with decorations. A piece of yarn satin that reached the floor hung at the bottom like a moving curtain, and one couldn’t see their faces. Just as I was focused on that group, one of the players suddenly turned around looking at my direction. There was a moment where I was wondering if our sights crossed.

But how was it possible, he probably just coincidentally turned towards my direction, causing me to have this illusion.

In just a few seconds, that player turned away, proving that my thinking was right.

Turning my sight away, the number of people in senior’s team at the other side was also very few. Even with the five-coloured rooster head, there were only three people.

The main point was that the five-coloured rooster head actually wore more normal clothing compared to his previous Taiwan visitor clothing. Today he wore a normal shirt plus jeans, making it so extremely normal. It was just his hair that wasn’t changed; it was extremely shiny and very abrupt within that bunch of people.

Classmate, didn’t they say that you need to wear formal clothes during the big sports competition!?

Even if you don’t have any, wouldn’t it be better to wear your uniform?

Gasai, who was slightly in front, was still wearing his mask and his purple robe. He was someone who seemed like he was from a completely different world compared to the Taiwan visitor behind him.

Speaking of masks, my attention was attracted towards the other team of our school, Randall’s team.

Almost all the members of his team were people whom I’d never seen; only the backup white robe, Ryan, was someone familiar, along with the other person. I’m not the only one who was stunned, I also heard many puzzled voices.

That was a red robe of the assisting team. He was wearing something similar to a Japanese Yasha Ghost mask.

Randall’s team was using someone from the assisting team as a backup?

The last person was someone from class A, similar to us, someone from grade one. It looked like this time the school really was using a lot of newbies to allow them to have a better chance to succeed in the future. Comparing it this way, senior’s team only having one backup, totally felt very risky.

Especially when that is the world’s most unreliable five-colored rooster head!

Other than that, I don’t know if it was due to seeing the small human projection, but I kept feeling that the two Clear Wind’s teams felt very weird no matter how I looked at them. Although they looked the most normal, something seemed like it wasn’t right.

“Hateful, Evil Spirit Academy was also selected this year. Their reputation was so bad in the last competition that they actually allowed them to participate this year,” Olivia said. I followed her sights and looked across just to see one team, totally giving me the creeps and spreading a spider web kind of extra dimensional feeling.

Other than that, it was Tiya Academy and et cetera, whom I’d already met before.

Next, one person came out of each of the teams. I knew it should be the captain of each team because those that came out were almost all in black robes. Only a few were the other two colored robes; for example, Yido’s white figure was the most eye-catching.

Seeing Yido made me think of what happened yesterday. Later if I get to meet up with Leido, I need to quickly ask him if he was alright.

They were standing at the middle of the huge array of light that just appeared, and then each of them raised one hand with their palm opened and facing their chest.

“We are willing to swear to be fair and square during the competition, doing everything we can to unleash our power, respect the opponents, and achieve the highest position.”

After the ten people finished saying that in a unified voice, a small light sphere appeared on their palms; a bunch of bright spheres of light instantly flew up like fireworks, sticking together, and exploded in the blink of an eye.

Just like a large fireworks show.

A silver phoenix appeared, issuing a loud cry as it flew across the sky, and then scattered into numerous and beautiful points of light like heavy rain falling down. All around were bright shiny dots, completely entering the shining fantasy world of fairies.

After the last silver point of light fell down, a small little girl appeared at the center of the ten people, holding a small bucket in her hands. “Please take your grouping number plate.” She held the bucket high to allow each person to take a small sphere with a number on it. “This is every team’s represented number, and from today onwards for each and every competition, this will also be your team’s number. Dear team captains, please do take good care of it and don’t lose it.”

“The first big sports competition will be a single elimination tournament where every team only has one chance, the winner against the winner, until the last team emerges as the overall winner. The total is divided into ten matches, a number of five-days including the off days. Now please fill the group number in your hands into the competition configuration name list.”

Just as the little girl finished her speech, behind her a huge bright plate appeared above as one on one battles were immediately lined up on the battle table.

“Today, in the afternoon, there will be two matches starting at one. In the first arena, Atlantis Academy’s second representatives versus Barbulis Academy’s representatives, and in the second arena, Clear Wind Academy’s first representatives versus Giya Academy’s representatives will be conducted at the same time.”

“Tomorrow morning, starting at nine, in the first arena, Evil Spirit Academy versus Alis Academy, and in the second arena, Tiya Academy’s representatives versus Seven Hills Academy’s representatives will be conducted at the same time. Starting at two in the afternoon, Clear Wind Academy versus Atlantis Academy’s first representatives, and so on.”

Looks like everyone is the same at the beginning, one team versus another.

I looked at my watch, eleven sharp. There are still a few hours before the afternoon match.

The finals have started.

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