'Final assesment— 0-star rank New Human with unknown innate talent'
Xenith, who passed out during the registration exam, woke up after hearing the test assessment. He could barely remember anything after the last few seconds of his final attempt to reach the 5-minute mark.
'Ah— The truth came out, I am really just a 0-star New Human.' Xenith muttered as he rubbed his sore forehead. 'The impact felt so real, reducing the pain tolerance by 10% didn't really matter in the end.'
Erzel could not help but feel angered about the sudden twist of fate.
He simply could not retort against Director Lin's "favor". Pacing back and forth inside the director's office, he thought of a way to dig himself out of the loophole. 'I could not rely on the help of Saerom City branch… Damn it! What do I have to do!?'
Tossing the folder aside, Erzel sat on the chair to contemplate.
"If I were to go to the main branch— Ack, that would be idiotic! Why would they even do me a favor if I'm the one in debt? Stupid Erzel… think!" Erzel slapped his own head. He then laid back on the leather chair, sighing.
On top of the desk were piled up files regarding the increasing casualties of New Humans responding to rift threats; including the recent one that happened near the Xin Corporation's construction site.
Erzel could not help but notice these documents, as the titles were written in bold letters with a red stamp across it that read: 'Urgent'. "If only I could change this shitty place into a better one then… wait, that's it!— "
Looking through the records, including the ones from other branches, Erzel could easily tell the root of the problem; talents weren't really scarce in Shen City, it's the distribution and the use of it was what made things worse.
Misreporting, such as what happened recently, could also factor in the high failure rate of the Exterminators. Unusually, the Shen City still had maintained its "sovereignty" over the rift creatures.
"Most of the initial responses reported failure, yet rifts are still closed even after said failure?" Something felt off, and Erzel, as a director, was an expert in finding anomalies in documents and reports such as this one.
Flipping through a few more reports, Erzel was able to fill in the gaps and pieces of the puzzling dilemma of the association's branch. "The S.R.R.F. had been meddling with us all along? How could Lin not even notice this!? That pea-brained bastard…"
Piecing the clues within the reports; it became clear that the government-based special forces— The S.R.R.F. —had obviously been meddling with the success rate of the association. "This association needs cleansing, there's obviously some 'rat' inside here sending out the wrong reports."
It was apparent that the S.R.R.F. had accurate reports while the association was being fed with lies and inaccurate information; leading to quest failures; ultimately, deaths of weak exterminators, which in turn "decreases the available talent" for the association.
"This city is just full of scums, huh? First, this association's director? And now, even the government's special forces? What kind of hell hole have I been subjected into?" Erzel had a look of worry and disappointment at the same time.
First, he was worried about his sister. The folder tossed by Lin towards him back then was basically a quota; something that stated, 'If the Shen City branch were to fail, The main branch would have no choice but to sell "Project Kryste" to the foreign investors.'
Kryste, his sister, was someone who was experimented on by the government due to their family's debt. It had been reported that she had the gene that could hasten the growth of New Humans, making it possible to go up a rank higher with no effort.
It had been breaking news back then, and the innocent little Kryste could only weep in pain as she was being experimented on. It was 20 years ago, and Erzel was just 15 back then and could not do anything regarding the situation.
Second, Erzel was extremely disappointed by how humans have been viewing rifts as of recently. New Humans have been looking at rifts as if they were gold mines instead of threats against humanity.
It would obviously lead to bad effects; as they would, without thinking, respond to any rift appearance without even properly assessing its threat or the degree of danger that it poses. The association's goal was the exact opposite of this, but New Humans, especially the strong ones, would most likely act independently and would do as they please.
Erzel, who was now somehow calm, rubbed his chin as he pondered. 'I could easily solve both problems if I were to form reliable parties…' An idea suddenly came to him as he jerked back in forth in excitement. "Right, the new registrants!"
Erzel's eyes would not betray him when it comes to scouting talent, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration that he saw plentiful when he first came in. It was definitely not what he expected at first when arrived, but seeing that it was his hope of solving his own dilemma, it would be foolish of him not to take a shot.
"The results for their tests should be out now… I should go and check."
He was especially looking forward to seeing the results of the young tamer back then.
"Wh— What? 0-star!? H— How's that even possible?"
Erzel's jaw dropped at the results of Xenith's registration test. He had excitedly taken the results from the third floor and brought everything back to the director's office that he had not peeked at it even for a second or even asked the assigned receptionist.
He repeatedly checked if it was a typo, or if the tab had only errored, turning 10 into 0 instead. Alas— It was accurate. Almost falling into another deep disappointment, Erzel suddenly noticed the lengthy 'final assessment' at the bottommost part of the tab.
Erzel's spine shivered. He had heard of the term "innate" somewhere before. It was the very word that doomed her sister back then. Her 'Innate Trait'- Pure Mana Fountain, caused the uproar, and ultimately, the experimentation that happened upon her.
Erzel exhaled in relief. It coincidentally was the right decision to grab ahold of the results before any of the staff within the association had taken action regarding the discovery of a New Human with an innate talent.
His gut feeling wasn't incorrect all along, albeit—
"How could a 0-star New Human be able to possess such amazing thing? I guess the world knows how to cruelly balance things in a way…" Erzel thought as he opened a video containing the footage of the registration test—
"...What the hell is going on!?"
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