Garen found a seat in the back of the bus next to his sister. He glanced at the students sitting in the seats in front of them and saw that everyone else was also wearing Shengying Academy’s uniforms. The girls were dressed like his sister, wearing a white t-shirt paired with a black miniskirt and black leggings.
On the other hand, the boys were wearing stylish slim-fit white shirts, black trousers and black shoes. They looked neatly uniformed.
The students were chattering in groups, with laughter all around them.
Not long after they stepped on, the bus stopped again, and two more students from the academy came in.
After many stops in the same manner, two handsome boys hopped on while chatting; one of them was tall and slim, while the other had a sturdy build. Both looked confident and classy, and they immediately drew the attention of the girls on the bus.
Garen sat next to his sister and saw her unconsciously staring at the two guys that just boarded the bus. He was comparing himself to them but shook his head helplessly. He looked at them just once more before withdrawing his eyes.
There were too many ordinary guys like him sitting at inconspicuous corners on the bus; compared to those two, they were merely foil characters.
Garen watched as the scenery outside the window flew past. Street lamps stood one by one on both sides of the tidy streets. The surroundings were mostly composed of ordinary-looking concrete houses, but occasionally he could see some white marble buildings. The architectural style was a bit similar to the Europe’s. From time to time, there were cars speeding past the bus.
"Mom and dad told us not to go back home next week, so we need to spend the weekend at school. The company assigned them to a business trip, and since they might not come back this week, they told us to take care of ourselves," said Ying Er in a low voice.
"Got it," he nodded and replied in his usual tone. "Oh right, your rank went up after the last exam. Dad bought you a teddy bear right?"
"So what?" Ying Er turned her head, "If your grades went up mom would get you something as reward too."
Garen smiled and stopped talking to her. Unexpectedly, he noticed that five red transparent numbers slowly emerged in the bottom part of his field of vision.
Garen restrained his smile. Shocked for a moment, he looked around, but no one had noticed his peculiar behavior. Those who were laughing continued, those who were chatting carried on with their conversations. Beside him, Ying Er pulled out a history textbook and started silently memorizing.
"What is this, is it the benefit of traveling to an alternate reality?" Garen had read many webnovels before, and some mentioned that people who traveled to alternate realities would have gifts bestowed upon them. He just thought he didn’t receive any, but after a while, something unnatural showed up. There were red symbols that apparently only he could see.
He focused on the five symbols at the bottom of his vision, and his lips moved silently as he read the information: "Strength 0.31, Agility 0.22, Vitality 0.27, Intelligence 0.32, Potential 25%."
Right after he finished reading them, a short and brief memory suddenly surged into his mind.
Garen closed his eyes and stood still on his seat. A moment later, he slowly opened them back, enlightened. "I changed and gained superpowers as a result of electrocution and transmigration?" He clearly remembered the whole process of how this power came to be after the mutation, countless coincidences and complex unimaginable changes occurred before this ability was created.
"When the Potential attribute reaches 100%, I can increase one of the other four attributes?" Garen was puzzled and looked at the 25% Potential, but still could not believe it. "Isn’t this the same as playing RPG games? I can choose which of my attributes I would like to increase in real life."
Garen was aware that in this world, the technology was behind, and thus melee weapons were still used together with firearms. Therefore, if this ability could really improve his attributes, his future would be unimaginable compared to ordinary people.
"But, this isn’t just an illusion, right…" Garen thought with a mocking smile, "Maybe I’m going crazy thinking about getting a superpower."
The bus suddenly stopped.
"We’re here, everyone get off the bus." The driver was a man with hard whiskers, he was yelling with his body turned around.
The students started getting off the bus one after another. Ying Er pushed Garen lightly to bring him back from his daydream and got off the bus first, carrying her backpack.
A line of black school buses was parked near the edge of a huge green lawn, while students of the Shengying Academy were continuously moving toward a group of buildings at the other side, all dressed in the same uniform, white at the top and black at the bottom.
At the far end of the lawn stood a swath of buildings. The main building had a white dome with yellow patterns, and around it there were towering buildings with dozens of floors with white domes and dark yellow patterns. In the distance, one could vaguely see large buildings with similar architecture styles. Many students were moving between them, and among them there were some teachers wearing black uniforms.
On the edge of the lawn, a skinny boy walked away from one of the buses. He had purple hair, red eyes, and an overall pallid appearance. He looked listless.
Garen roughly glanced at the academy’s facilities. Looking behind him, he saw a ring of tall white fences surrounding the academy. The buses came in through a white arched gate and were leaving the campus after dropping off the students.
"This is pretty much like the schools on Earth." Garen followed the other students toward the buildings across the lawn.
"Garen is from Grade 9, class 2…" He moved based on his memories, quickly following the crowd to the left side of the vast campus. He stopped in front of a trapezoidal building and walked up the stairs.
The second classroom on the second floor had the brass tag, Grade 9 Class 2, hanging above it.
Garen followed two boys into the class and walked toward his seat near the window in the back of the room. He threw his backpack inside the desk’s compartment and began thinking about the five attribute symbols at the bottom of his vision. Since he had only been here for one semester and he was introverted, he had no friends in the class.
The first class was mathematics; the professor was a middle-aged woman with a stern face. The material was only of elementary school level. Garen listened for a few minutes and continued minding his own business. The class after that was language, which taught them the language and writing as well as literature of this country. Garen didn’t bother listening.
The third class was etiquette, but instead of paying attention, Garen was testing the connection between the attributes and his body -- when suddenly, the Potential attribute number in his vision shook, drawing his attention and making him flinch.
Shocked, Garen looked around the class, but no one had noticed it, so he raised his head and looked at the podium.
At the front of the class, the etiquette teacher was holding an open rosewood box, which had various gems and jewelry inside. "One’s own appearance is also a representation of how much respect you have for the people you interact with, and jewelry is one of the key factors in improving one’s image. Last class we talked about gold and silver jewelry, and today we will be going over how gems and diamonds are used in fashion."
The etiquette teacher was a man wearing an elegant beard and glasses. His expressions were meticulous, giving a natural and elegant vibe. "Now you will pass on these gems and observe them one by one. Nobles are not just wealthy in the materialistic way, more important is the nobleness in your heart. Self-discipline, elegance, self-esteem, responsibility, courage, and so on, together with a good image and quality attire. Combine all of these and you can call yourself a noble. If one’s only pride is in his lavishness and wealth, then he is merely a parvenu."
Garen sat in the back of the room watching as the box was passed on for the students to see. Before he could react, the numbers on the bottom of his vision started changing. The last attribute, Potential, started slowly increasing from 25% to 26%, like the second hand on a clock moving up.
He paid attention to his classmates as they passed on the box; most of them were just casually glancing through them since they were obviously used to gems and jewelry like these. Only a few students seemed excited when they held the box, as they were the ones from the not so well-off families.
After waiting for long ten minutes, the rosewood box was finally passed to the chubby kid wearing glasses in front of Garen. He roughly flipped through the contents, and then handed the box to Garen. "Here you go."
"Thanks." Garen carefully received the box. The moment he held it in his hands, he felt his body becoming numb, with a tingling sensation that started on his fingers and flowed through his body like the steady flow of cold air inside a fridge.
Garen quickly put down the box and fiddled inside with his hands until he found a black and red pearl. "That’s it…" He picked up the pearl lightly, and the cold flow became stronger.
At the bottom of his vision in the attribute pane, the Potential percentage jumped up crazily like it took drugs, within ten seconds, from 26%, it rushed to 50%, then 80%, and 100%.
As the number reached 100%, Garen felt the black and red pearl in his hand dimmed, as if it had aged.
He quickly put the pearl back into the box, and passed it to the last student on his right-hand side. Even then, the box had been in his hands for quite some time.
The student to his right was a redhead girl with a ponytail. She looked at him with a frown, took the box and immediately passed it on to the guy in front of her, without even glancing at the jewelry.
Garen knew this girl; her name was Ai Fei. Like him, her family was not well-off, but unlike him Ai Fei had good grades and great self-discipline; it could even be said that her personality was somewhat rigid. They were also a little similar in that they didn’t have any friends.
He didn’t bother with the girl since his focus was on the Potential percentage that only he could see. An unknown flow of air was hovering in his eyes, but it only started after he achieved 100% in Potential. He had a feeling that if he focused on one of his attributes for three seconds, this flow of air would jump onto that attribute, increasing it.
"So it really wasn’t my imagination… I really got this superpower!" Garen was excited; after living for decades, he unexpectedly achieved his childhood dreams of having superpowers. Even with his temperament, it was a little unnerving.
"Then, which attribute should I put this flow into?" Garen’s eyes cruised between the four attributes.
Strength, Agility, Vitality, and Intelligence.