Translated by JayQue of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: Gwyndolyn, Kris
Time flies by when no one pays attention to it.
The illusion Chen Bai created in Heinz’s mind using his own mental energy was quite successful. At least, Heinz didn’t seem to suspect anything, and the system also didn’t detect anything.
No matter what, it was still an AI. Under the law of human rights, the system couldn’t video record the process of coupling on the bed. Other measurements however, like the weight on the bed, how long it stayed there and so on, were very easy to fool.
Using mental energy to create an illusion to deceive Heinz was already extremely risky. Chen Bai did not dare leave his apartment building when Heinz was asleep anymore. Any arising issues would bring forth a lot of trouble, so most of his meetings with Mani were set during the day.
Luckily, after getting back from the Stone Recognition competition, Heinz’ workload had started increasing. While it wasn’t to the extent of leaving early in the morning and coming back late at night, he couldn’t just skip work to hang around Chen Bai.
Even so, they didn’t grow distant because of it. When someone really cared about you, your relationship wouldn’t become bland because of time spent apart.
Heinz would try his best to let him know the care and concern he had for him, so even though Chen Bai was always very resistant to intimate physical contact with another, both his body and mind seemed to have a much higher tolerance for Heinz after such a long time together, especially for his mental energy.
Chen Bai noticed that every time his mental energy stepped into Heinz’ brain region, this guy’s excitement towards Heinz’ mind would increase. To put it simply, whenever he wasn’t paying attention, his mental tentacles would instinctively reach out to hook around Heinz’ mental tentacles. They acted on their own accord, to the point of shamelessness that Chen Bai really didn’t want to admit that these things were his mental tentacles.
Inadvertently, Chen Bai thought back to something that had happened long ago in Berkeley.
There was a very old scholar who died of a sickness when Berkeley was just established. Most of Berkeley’s research after that was extended from the old scholar’s theories.
For example, the research on psychological manipulators, the ones Berkeley valued most right now, had also been brought up by that old scholar.
He had said, after his very long investigation, that most of the soldiers were explosive controllers. And explosive manipulators, even with the guidance of contractual beasts, would begin to lose control over their brain regions after using it for an extended period of time, such as focusing too much on their surroundings until they became unable to acquire any key information. Another example would be losing their information processing abilities, until their brain region goes into shock from the high amount of pressure, or even death and so on.
These symptoms had been present in almost all the young people in the Alliance before discovering contractual beasts, especially the explosive type, and they had hardly ever lived until after thirty years old. You must know, the average lifespan in the Alliance was two hundred years old and above.
After the appearance of contractual beasts, this average age had increased by a lot. But that scholar had believed that everything was interrelated. Along with this, he had thought that contractual beasts were definitely not the only way to help mental manipulators control their own brain regions. Their potential was far beyond that.
He had once researched a mental manipulator who had volunteered to become an experiment subject after his death and discovered that he had had a lot of tentacles in his brain, much more than that of an explosive manipulator. Not only that, his brain region was also very sturdy, and his defenses were very hard to breach.
This person had not been great at battles, but the scholar had unexpectedly discovered that when putting this person’s partner, a classic explosive manipulator, near his brain region’s frequency, that explosive manipulator’s constantly rioting mind from his partner’s death had calmed down by itself.
Therefore, that scholar had made a very bold hypothesis. Just like males and females, many things in the world came in pairs. If there was an explosive controller, extremely strong in both physicality and battle skills, then there must be an equal mental manipulator. These kinds of controllers would be terrible at most physical skills, but their sharp control of brain regions could make them somewhat on par with an explosive manipulator or maybe even possess larger destructive capabilities.
From this, the scholar had proposed that if an explosive controller and a mental manipulator were to bind together, then the explosive controller’s brain region would become more stable under the latter’s harmonization. Not only would they have less recurring berserk episodes, they could also increase their own lifespan and abilities greatly.
Because of the old scholar’s remarks, Berkeley had then tested a lot of couples at a vulnerable age and discovered the value in researching mental manipulators. Chen Bai was one of the earliest subjects of this experiment.
But these things can only explain why Heinz’ mental tentacles would always like to wrap around his without any reason, not why his mental energy would always like to tease Heinz’ mental energy, even looking for the other to play every day.
Chen Bai thought as he pulled back the mental tentacle preparing to launch itself out and tsked with disdain.
“What is it?” Heinz asked.
This guy’s sense of mental energy was far below Chen Bai’s. Only sometimes would he feel that his brain region was very comfortable and relaxed when Chen Bai was around him. As for the details, he knew nothing.
“Nothing.” Chen Bai sat in his seat, glancing outside at the Alliance Hospital that had just come into view.
Heinz looked to where his gaze was and said understandingly, “Nervous? It’s alright, just perform normally.”
Four to five days had passed by without anyone noticing. Today was the second to last day of the students’ final exams. Which means, the Teacher’s Competition was in two days.
The day before was to let all the teachers rest for a day, hoping that they could give their very best performance in the competition. And the day before that, which was today, was the day of their physical checkup.
Today’s mission was to check up on some of their body’s stats to confirm that they wouldn’t have any sudden illnesses, do a test on their mental energy, then categorize them into groups.
Aldia was a military academy after all. These teachers would not mainly be those soft and fragile teaching misters. All of them would have to be strong enough and have their students look up to them, so that they could bring their students to a higher level. This was one of the criteria Aldia had for their teachers.
And for all the teachers here, if they were not intellectually superior civilians, then they were high ranking military officers who had stepped down from the frontlines. To say this competition was a battle between teachers wasn’t wrong either. If there was any saving grace, they were all still teachers. So Aldia might not prevent them from getting hurt, but at least they would make sure their lives were not in danger.
“Look after yourself. If you can’t hold on, just quit,” Heinz reminded softly, seeing Chen Bai preparing to leave.
The hand opening the door paused, and Chen Bai turned to glance at him. Theoretically, this conversation was extremely common between spouses, especially when one of them was about to be involved in some dangerous activity.
Not to mention with Chen Bai’s newcomer position, this show of concern was very normal.
Chen Bai could have just given a simple response to end this conversation, but he stopped and looked at the hand that was placed on the door handle, as though pondering about something. Then, he turned his head and said to Heinz with an indistinct smile, “It’s just a body checkup today. I may not have participated in this before, but I’m not incapable of handling this.”
He had worn that mask for such a long time. Aside from taking it off for a breath of fresh air when exchanging information with Mani at the teachers’ dorm, it really seemed to be plastered onto his face now.
Strangely, the completely mediocre face under Chen Bai’s control let off a different style of handsomeness. The students in Aldia all resonated with this aspect. At first, it was only the students in Class 3-1 who thought like that, but soon after, almost every student who had seen Chen Bai believed so too.
Adding on Chen Bai’s usual attitude, the discussions on the forums were not completely one-sided anymore.
Such as right now, the look Chen Bai had when he tilted his head and curled his lips slightly at Heinz made the latter dazed for a short while.
“I know,” Heinz furrowed his brow, “I’m not saying you can’t. I just hope that you could be more careful, since it’s your first time participating in this kind of competition…”
“The moment I decided to come to Aldia, I’d already prepared myself mentally for everything I’ll face,” Chen Bai said as he opened the cabin door. At the same time, one of his legs stepped out, “If you are expressing your concern as a spouse, I hope you can trust me a hundred percent that I will get the best results I can.”
When he was done, Chen Bai blinked at Heinz, then closed the cabin door and strolled towards the hospital not far away.
Heinz watched Chen Bai’s far away silhouette from behind, then curled his lips slightly.
Of course, he knew that Chen Bai would get the best results. In actuality, he thought that all of Aldia’s teachers combined couldn’t even compare to Chen Bai’s finger. But he also believed that Chen Bai would try his best to stay out of the limelight.
With his response now, did it mean that he had changed his mind or that he had started believing in himself?
Aldia would hold similar events such as the Teacher’s Competition from time to time. The one Chen Bai coincidentally would participate in was none other than the highest rank advancement competition held once every three years.
In Aldia, there are many forms of competitions, written tests, examinations and so on that Aldia’s teachers would have to face every few months. The highest rank advancement competition this time, however, was not only limited to these forms.
Not only do they have to go through a body checkup and be separated into groups based on their mental energy in the first round, they would also be put on a tiny military planet near Venus.
That place was usually used as a training ground for military staff. There were many similar military planets, so Aldia had signed a deal with the military department early on. When the latter agreed to the competition and lent the location to the academy, they would also send out soldiers to supervise and try to guarantee their survival.
On that planet, they would not simply have body checkups and written tests but also the cruelest actual combat training.
Of course, not every teacher had to participate in this competition because Aldia didn’t add up scores from every competition as they would have an overall evaluation at the end of every year. This competition was the most dangerous and difficult, so it had the highest score. If one got good results here, then they definitely wouldn’t need to worry about the year end examination.
And for a teacher who has already achieved a lot of good results before, this competition would be a critical point to push them towards victory.
The whole series of this competition lasted for three days. Today’s body checkup was but a small opening ceremony.
They would have their body checkup done at the Alliance’s most prestigious Central Hospital. Not only did they have to do a regular checkup to ensure they didn’t have any hidden diseases that would cause problems later on in the competition, they also had to do a mental energy examination.
This examination would affect their grouping in the first round.
Aldia placed importance on teamwork efficiency. So whether it was a teacher or student examination, they would be placed into small group units to compete. While it didn’t object to someone from displaying their abilities, those who completely disregarded their group’s benefit would have their overall scores deducted.
“The mental examination results will come out in a while; I-I’m a little nervous,” in the corner, a female teacher dressed in blue spoke to her friend. She was called Eileen. “I’ve tried really hard to practice my concentration recently, but I’m not sure if it was affected by a previous examination. It always doesn’t feel good enough.”
People with low mental energy will be greatly restricted in the competition. Ranking aside, being eliminated early on would cause their marks to fall to the very bottom, and it would be the most embarrassing thing to them.
“Teacher Eileen is still too young,” on a chair at the other side, an old professor wearing glasses said with a grin. “In the academy, every teacher must always have the strings in their minds tense and ready, not a single moment relaxed. Even if they had an examination the day before, they must recover for the second day. This is the most fundamental rule in Aldia.”
The old professor’s name was Vanda, and he was one of Aldia’s most famous professors. He repeatedly got first place in past competitions, and he had very strong mental energy. Those waiting for their mental examinations were already pondering which lucky person would be allocated to Professor Vanda’s group, as it would be a shortcut to getting the highest scores.
“Don’t say it like that, Ol’ Vanda.” The woman leaning on the wall opened her eyes. She had a curvaceous body and spoke with a voice full of charm. “Even if they can recover the next day, it doesn’t mean that first place will be within their grasp.”
Her words carried hints of mockery. No matter her age or seniority, she went a little overboard. But the people around seemed used to it.
“Faye.” A deep voice sounded as the man standing across from the woman interrupted.
“Yes, yes.” The woman raised her arms in a surrendering motion, then smiled provocatively at the man.
Those waiting here for their examination results were all Aldia’s elite teachers. Whether it was the seemingly cautious and timid newbie Eileen, or the experienced old professor Vanda, or even the sexy goddess Faye, as well as the muscled man who interrupted her, Mundi, they were all participants of the upcoming competition.
All of them had different motives for getting high scores. Some were hoping to get a higher status in the academy, and some were looking to work together with the military department. Some of the military department’s cases and research projects were given to Aldia’s teachers who had high scores.
To them, being able to snatch one precious project was already something worth being proud of.
Since he entered the school only a short time ago, Chen Bai was the last in line to be done with his body checkup. When he finally came to this waiting room, most everyone was already there.
Therefore, when he entered the room, everyone immediately gave him a salute with their eyes.
“Well, well, well! Isn’t this the famous Mr. Chen?” Faye lit up an electronic cigarette as she leaned on the wall, then batted her eyes at Chen Bai. “Looks cute.”
“Teacher Faye, your eyes are probably not well?” Just as she finished speaking, another person replied, “Just entered the school and still wet behind the ears yet he came to participate in this competition. When he loses face, who will help out in the end? Not sure which unlucky person will be in the same group as him.”
Chen Bai looked at the female teacher who spoke with barbs from the corner of his eye. He recognized this person. She was Class 3-2’s head teacher, called Fen Duo, and she was also a teacher well-versed in psychological manipulation.
Her attitude was not strange in the slightest. In fact, if all the teachers in the room had it in for him, it wouldn’t be strange at all.
Because Chen Bai was the newest qualified teacher here, everyone was probably afraid of him dragging them down no matter which group he went in.
Thinking about it, Chen Bai didn’t refute, instead he smiled politely at Fen Duo.
It’s not only these teachers. The competition would be broadcasted live, and all of Aldia’s students as well as the Alliance would watch it. In the circumstances now, there was no need to say much. When the competition started, everyone would see for themselves.
His thoughts wandering here, Chen Bai pondered for a bit. When he was doing his examination, he had controlled his powers enough to only let out S-ranked mental energy. It wouldn’t make the Divine Realm’s judgement look weird, nor would it make him stand out too much. After that, he could turn it up slightly in the competition. There were those with this rank and could show growth in their mental energy, but he definitely couldn’t show off all of his abilities.
Berkeley would definitely find out if an SSS-ranked psychological manipulator teacher appeared. Now was not the time to go head-to-head with them.
On that topic, this was why Chen Bai had participated in this competition, or rather his biggest reason for deciding to come teach at Aldia.
To Berkeley, Aldia was the best place for it to search for psychological manipulators. To have continued without much hassle, it would mean that Berkeley had its own circuit within Aldia Academy.
So, many teachers here might not be as simple as they looked on the surface. He wanted to find the doorway in between and cutting in would be the best choice.
“The list for the 5th group is as follows: leader- Mundi, SS-ranked explosive controller, ex-lieutenant general of the military headquarters.”
“Members: Faye, SS-ranked explosive controller.”
“Chen YiBai, S-ranked psychological manipulator.”
“Carlyle, A-ranked psychological manipulator, ex-data analyst of the military headquarters.”
“Waldo, A-ranked balanced manipulator.”
During the grouping, they would report the officer level of those teachers who had served in the military. When Chen YiBai’s name was called, it was already the fifth group, and yet every single pair of eyes were on him again as expected.
Faye shrugged with a helpless expression, but her lifted eyebrows were more like she’s looking forward to enjoying the show.
Carlyle looked like a small bookworm, nervous to the point that he couldn’t find any key points yet. As for Waldo… his agitated stares at Chen Bai were too obvious!
There were a total of fifty teachers in this round’s competition. With five per group, there was a total of ten groups, and the distributions of each group were quite fair.
“Congratulations, Faye.” Fen Duo was assigned to Professor Vanda’s group, looking in high spirits, as though the champion cup was already within her grasp, and spoke tauntingly towards Faye, “You can look at your cutie as much as you want for the next three days.”
“Right, at least it’s more interesting than looking at a boring old man,” Faye said as she reached out a hand to put on Chen Bai’s shoulder, grinning. “Right?”
Chen Bai looked up into Faye’s eyes and smiled lightly. Then he seamlessly moved his shoulders away and spoke with a soft voice, “It’s an honor to be in the same group as Miss Faye.”
She was too close, and the superior pheromones almost engulfed him. He was already more sensitive than the average person, which was why he was very resistant towards Heinz’ touch before.
It was interesting to say the least, as he was once very resistant towards the smell of Heinz’ superior pheromones. Now that he had accepted it, he was even more repelled by other people’s smells.
Fen Duo hummed coldly, “So what if he has S-ranked mental energy? Someone from a rural place like the Beta area wants to create a storm in Venus? We’re not even sure if he had contracted some dirty disease after the Century War. So, go back to where you came from, newbie.”
“Fen Duo.” The silent Professor Vanda sitting on a wheelchair and watching everything happening suddenly interrupted her, then turned to look at the ever silent Mundi. Smiling meaningfully at him, he instructed, “Be where you should be.”
This competition did not forbid teams from accepting new members, leaving and entering groups, or even combining groups. Every group leader could lead up to 10 people, and Vanda had his eyes on Mundi’s destructive power.
But Mundi acted as though he didn’t hear Professor Vanda’s hint, walking through the crowd with unwavering eyes until he was in front of Chen YiBai. Seeing him move, Waldo and Carlyle, who were standing in different corners of the room, glanced at each other before walking over as well.
Five people stood together; with Mundi in the lead, the rest of them reached out to put their hands together. Faye, who was closest to Chen Bai, gave a light laugh.
“Let’s work well together.”