Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Dim light shone into a gigantic room. The corner of the room was dotted by shadows as four figures, which could barely be made out, sat at different corners. They were spaced out from each other, but there a hint of confrontation pervading between them.
The shadows shrouded their looks, but the fleeting dim light illuminated their body contours. One of them was thin like a stick, another as fat as a pig, one was graceful and another with a strong build.
These four completely different people not only differed in looks and figure. They seemed to have great differences in will and beliefs. In this silent atmosphere, the strife and the colliding repression was choking.
Suddenly, a tightly closed door was pushed open. A plume of light crept through the open door. It did not illuminate the corners, but revealed clearly the person who had opened the door.
The person who entered was an elder who wore a wizard's hat and held an old wooden staff. White beard hung down to chest level, as strands of white hair protruded out from the hat. That wrinkled face and white hair easily masked the gray robe draped on the person's body. It was hard to tell if the person was male or female, or which old man or old woman this person was.
"Gaia!" The four people at each corner stood up and bowed respectfully. They shouted out in unison, as if addressing the elder.
"Oh, so you are all here. Then, let us begin." The elder's voice was hoarse, but again it was hard to discern that person's gender.
After the elder finished speaking, with a wave of his wooden staff, the steel door closed automatically, emitting a loud clear slam. The originally dark room turned dim again as the elder walked to the middle of the room. The four people at each corner sat down spontaneously.
"I believe all of you have placed a 'surveillant' beside Shi Xiaobai, so there is no need to add much description to the reason why I called for all of you. What should be done is the focus of our discussions."
The elder looked towards the top left corner and said, "[Annihilation], Shi Xiaobai is a rookie that your Division is in charge of. Tell us something first."
The muscular and strong figure by the top left corner stood up and said in a deep voice, "Shi Xiaobai's monstrous talent has already been coveted by other organizations. If the news of him rising to the third level in ten days is leaked, it could lead to disaster. Thankfully, when Shi Xiaobai was exposed, you had personally requested Her Excellency, Kali, to kill all the 'surveillants' hidden in [Gaia]. Since Her Excellency, Kali, has acted, we can be sure that the news hasn't leaked out of [Gaia].
"And most thankfully, Shi Xiaobai cleverly chose to hide his identity. His current identity to others is 'Tu Dahei'. We have longed made an information blockade on him, so the only ones who know of Shi Xiaobai's looks are the twelve people during the Rookie Evaluation Test. I believe everyone here has informed those few people not to divulge any information about Shi Xiaobai."
"In that case, Shi Xiaobai can simply use his identity as 'Tu Dahei' as a cover. We just need to think of a way to wipe away any traces of suspicion that happened today, and when it is finally completely safe, we can let Shi Xiaobai restore his true identity."
"Hence, my suggestion is to let Shi Xiaobai continue on his identity as 'Tu Dahei'. That is all."
After [Annihilation] finished speaking, he sat down consciously.
After the elder pondered for a few moments, the elder turned to the bottom right corner and said, "[Creation], what do you think?"
The graceful figure at the bottom right corner stood up, immediately causing a fresh fragrance to fill the room. A charming voice sounded, "I believe it is time to find a mentor for this child."
The elder's hand paused slightly after hearing this. He said, "In accordance with established practices, Psykers would be assigned an exclusive mentor, but it usually happens at the fourth level of the Psionic Mortal Realm. Only after the mentee's superpower is awakened, and what category the superpower is confirmed, would a mentor be chosen. Why do you think that we should select one now?"
[Creation] laughed with an extremely charming sound that made one's heart waver. "With that child's talent, regardless of his superpower, there will definitely be people scrambling to be his mentor. There won't be a chance to care who is more suitable. And coincidence has it that us four Division Ministers are here, so why don't we take this opportunity to decide on the child's mentor. Let's take this period of time when One-Pun and Hisith are rushing to Southern Gold City to make it a done deal?"
The elder hesitated for a moment before whispering, "This might be inappropriate. If One-Pun or Hisith is willing to be that child's mentor, we should strongly support it. After all, in terms of strength, across the entire [Gaia], or even across the entire world, these two Excellencies are one of the strongest."
"Heh heh, Gaia, you silly old fool!"
The top left corner's thin person suddenly issued a sharp laugh. In a dark voice, the person said, "Why did [Gaia] go from first-tier Hero organization to second-tier? Wasn't it all thanks to these so-called three powerhouses? Those three are indeed strong, but they never take the initiative to contribute to the organization. They may be a member of [Gaia] officially, but it is just in name. If the three of them were willing to dedicate more effort, [Gaia] may not become one of the top first-tier Hero organizations, but at least we wouldn't fall from first-tier."
"Shi Xiaobai is a precious talent [Gaia] painstakingly unearthed. If those three powerhouses were to become his mentor, what happens if Shi Xiaobai grows up to share the same virtues as them? Wouldn't the organization be wasting all sorts of resources just to get an empty name? Then another fourth powerhouse who is '[Gaia] in name but doesn't do anything' will be born!"
The moment that person finished speaking, the fat person on the bottom right corner immediately echoed, "This time, I agree with [Chaos] and [Creation]'s point of view. Now is a golden opportunity. One-Pun and Hisith are in Southern Gold City, while Kali never bothers about such things. If we take this opportunity to assign an exclusive mentor for Shi Xiaobai, and using a little touch of emotions, then it would be a done deal. When the time comes, One-Pun and Hisith would likely not ask for a rebuff. Those two are extremely proud people, so there's no way they will be shameless enough to vie for students!"
After hearing the three people's discussion, the elder hesitated for a moment before sighing, "Although I am unwilling to admit it, the three of them indeed do not have their minds on [Gaia]. Even the request for Kali's help this time took me a lot of persuasion. I even gave her the 'Heart of the Ocean' before she agreed. Whatever. For [Gaia]'s future, I'm willing to lose my face. Let us choose Shi Xiaobai's exclusive mentor right here and now!"
The moment the elder finished speaking, a powerful voice from [Annihilation] sounded, "Shi Xiaobai is [Annihilation]'s rookie, so it is just natural that I will be his dedicated mentor."
"I don't think so."
[Creation] immediately objected as she said with a chuckle, "Don't you forget that Shi Xiaobai is a little pervert. He even lusted over a young girl like Riko. With my charm, it would take moments to make him fall deeply in love. To make the child have a complete sense of belonging to [Gaia]. Letting me become his exclusive mentor is the best solution!"
[Chaos] sneered, "If you were made the child's mentor, his Psionic Ability realm might not improve, but his skills in bed will. In a few days, he will become a slave for sex, his guts and perseverance would be immersed amongst women!"
[Order] said solemnly, "I am the most suitable mentor. [Annihilation] is too righteous, while [Chaos] is too vile. [Creation] is just a sex fiend. I am the best choice to nurture the child with all the treasures I have!"
"Pui! As a fat pig, you will nurture Shi Xiaobai into a dirty and cheap swine!" [Creation], who was derided as a 'sex fiend', returned with an invective.
"Righteousness is what the child needs to nurture the most." [Annihilation] said with a deep voice.
"To survive in this vile society, being scheming and vicious is what the child needs to learn the most." [Chaos] rebutted as well.
The four of them desired to become Shi Xiaobai's exclusive mentor, and originally had differences that made them appear like fire and water, so there was no way they could persuade each other. Immediately, they began quarreling.
"Regardless of the case, this child is in my Division, so he should be my student!"
"Heh heh, I am the best choice."
"Tsk, I will make that child become a die-hard for [Gaia]."
"I have the best resources for nurturing!"
The four people's back-and-forth statements became monologues. As the four voices mixed together, none of them wanted to be overshadowed by the other, hence, their voices grew louder. Soon, it became like a quarrel between neighbors, as endless invectives were exchanged, interspersed with screaming and bellowing.
The elder stood quietly in the middle of the room. He neither interrupted them, nor had the intention to stop them. He was only silent, with no visible emotions. However, the elder had already made up his mind. The child, named Shi Xiaobai, would become his student.
At this moment, he would let the four people argue, and let them come to a natural stop after they were exhausted. As [Gaia]'s Gaia, at the four people's most exhausted moment, he would give the unquestionable command, and would surely win the right.
"That child is worth it for me to lose my old face."
The elder thought as he patiently waited, like a sly old fox hunting rabbits.
The ruckus continued on as though it was going to tear down the room, with no end to it.
Suddenly, a bell-like giggle that sounded pleasant to the ears filled the room from all directions. It was as though it came from the sky and also from the ground. It seemed to pass through the walls and also the windows. The giggle was everywhere, but no one knew where it came from.
However, there was one thing for sure. When the giggle sounded, the ruckus came to an abrupt end.
At the same time, that melodious voice sounded once again.
"The Vessel of the Darkness."
"Removing a mask to reveal the ugly face of self-seeking interest."
"Cutting off from the righteous Light."
"Yet thirsting the glory from bathing in the Light."
"How funny, how pitiful, how sad, but so what?"
"Foolish humans, you are all completely negligible."
"You would just be a pile of white and gray in a hundred years."
"And the immortal me shall hide in the darkness, mocking your inferiority."
"At this moment, let the Light illuminate your filth!"
The melodious sound descended lightly upon them as light surged in from every direction. With infinite beams of light blooming, the dark room was entirely lit up, leaving nowhere for the five figures in the room to hide.
At the same moment, a petite figure appeared out of the light...
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