In the beginning, the Potential meter would increase by one percent every two seconds, but now, it would only increase by one percent every four seconds. Furthermore, the speed of this increase was still regressing.
Garen closed his eyes to fully experience this change. From his pockets, the Potential flowed into his body, eventually ticking the Potential meter in his eyes. Soon, he immersed himself into the process of increasing the Potential.
"The density of qi has increased… but the concentration has decreased." Garen opened his eyes as he slowly stroked the emblem in his pocket.
As the density of qi decreased, the speed of his Potential meter’s increase had also slowed down. Finally, after ten minutes or so, the qi had steadily slowed down. Only a very thin flow of qi was still entering his body, and the Potential meter would only tick once in a long while.
"Normally, the antiques and jewelry would return to normal after having the qi inside them absorbed, but this emblem isn't doing that. Does it still have more Potential, or is the absorption of qi just slowing down? Could it be possible that the Potential has already been used up, and the emblem is producing more?"
The door opened.
Garen stopped his thought as he saw Ying Er, in her white pajamas, walk in while yawning.
"Why’d you come back so late?" After the accident from last time, she had become more relaxed around him. However, they still had not spoken much out of embarrassment.
"I had some business to deal with at the dojo," Garen casually answered in a low voice, completely forgetting to imitate the original Garen’s usual tone.
"Something at the dojo?" Ying Er was suddenly interested. "What, you finally got expelled?"
"You really want me to get expelled?" Garen asked back in disappointment.
"With your strength? I’m not gonna lie, but I can beat you up with one hand and one leg," Ying Er replied with despise in her voice. "Dealing with business; a kid trying to talk like a grown man. What kind of business could you possibly have?"
Ying Er yawned again after the rant and left to get some water. she went back to her room and turned off the light.
Garen sat in the living room a little longer before going back to his room after brushing and cleaning up. His Potential meter was still growing slowly, and this absurd situation was out of his expectation. The absorption of qi had all been a one-time thing, and none had this decreasing speed at the end. Turning on his desk lamp, Garen sat in front of his desk and took out the emblem. He touched the emblem and moved his focus onto the attribute panel.
"This time, the Potential meter increased to 361%, I can use three Attribute points. "
"Enhancing intelligence would enable me to quickly master some subjects, and my studying ability would probably improve as well. I don’t think this is useful right now.
The entirety of his last life was spent on studying: he went to college, got a master’s degree, and got a good job. However, that job’s salary was still pathetically low. Studying is only useful in order to reach a higher social class later; it’s more useful in the sense of improving one’s competency. Since he had already received the higher education from Earth, Garen wasn’t too concerned with improving his intelligence.
"Agility increases the reaction speed for both my body and my nervous system, and, in addition, it would also increase my speed. This is quite useful.
"Strength and vitality are both fundamentals to the White Cloud Dojo. By enhancing these attributes, my strength, explosiveness, and my body’s resilience and recovery would all improve. These are all great options."
Garen thought. A few days after the Formal Disciple Ceremony, he would be able to learn both the White Cloud Secret Arts and the Explosive Fist Arts, maybe even the Mammoth Secret Technique.
At that time, these th
ree Attribute points would come in great use. Using them right now seemed like a waste.
He carefully estimated the speed of qi absorption right now. "If this speed of absorption doesn’t change, I could probably get one more Attribute point in a week."
He didn’t know when this emblem would stop emitting qi; if all the qi was used up, it would be hard to find another antique like this in the entire Huaishan City. These antiques were extremely rare on their own, and they could not reproduce qi after absorption.
After confirming the situation to himself, Garen decided not to enhance his attributes frugally. These Attribute points were precious, so he could not afford to lose them on pointless enhancements.
"Let’s wait until after the ceremony."
The next morning, Garen woke up early and went to school after eating a pear. Ying Er had already left before him; the result of the competition had come out, and today was the day of the award ceremony.
Garen watched in the crowd and applauded with all his strength as Ying Er stood on the stage and received her third place prize money and award medal. Next to him were a few girls who wore heavy perfume that was cloying to his nose. As soon as the archery award ceremony ended, Garen hastily squeezed his way out.
"How was your sister, Garen?" Kalidor came out of nowhere and asked, tapping Garen’s shoulder.
"Third place, kind of expected, her opponents were too strong," Garen replied while covering his nose. "There’s too many people in there, I couldn’t bear the smell. How is Ai Fei, have you seen her?"
"I apologized to her about the other day, yet she didn’t say anything. What’s going on between you and her?" Kalidor asked in confusion.
Garen bitterly laughed. "She’s not talking to me either, I don’t know what’s going on."
"Who’s not talking to you?" Fayne joined from the side. "Let’s go over there. Also, Kalidor, I have to warn you about that thing."
"What thing?" Kalidor froze and asked.
"Jake told me all about it." Fayne smiled as he put his arm around Kalidor’s shoulder.
Jake came from the back and tapped Garen’s shoulder. "Fayne is overreacting, it’s not a big deal. Let’s go, Garen."
"What’s going on?" Garen was confused.
The four strolled on the path behind the classroom building; on the sides were tall and dense Winter Heron trees.
These trees were extremely cold-resistant, and their leaves do not fall during the winter. Piece by piece, the green leaves covered the morning sunlight.
Under the shades, Fayne spoke up in a low volume.
"Kalidor, do you really know Ai Fei?"
"She’s all right, a nice and kind girl." Kalidor blinked and asked, "What is it?"
Fayne hesitated before continuing, "We’ve been friends for so long, I’ll just say it. Ai Fei, she’s a gold digger. To be honest, I don’t think she’s right for you, man." He saw Kalidor’s face changing color.
"You are different from me. We all know I’m with a different girl every other week, but I’m not invested in them like you do, Kalidor. This is who you are."
"And, you know where I’m from and my family… I’m used to these kind of things…"
"Okay, enough, I get what you mean." Kalidor’s expression turned gloomy; he didn’t argue with Fayne, because he was already familiar with this friend of his.
Jake looked at Garen with a sympathetic expression.
"Why are you staring at me like that?" Garen asked.
"Don’t you like Ai Fei?" Jake whispered. "You even asked her out and got rejected."
"What?" Garen was dumbfounded. "I asked her out? And got rejected? Where did you hear this? When did I ask her out?"
"Ai Fei told her roommates so." Jake glance at Kalidor who was walking in front of them, and then gave Garen an even more sympathetic look.
"I… f**k…" Garen was speechless. These few days, he had been busy at the dojo, without paying much attention to things at the academy. He didn’t expect Ai Fei to gossip to her friends about that night’s misunderstanding. He was only trying to ease her embarrassment at the feast the other day, but Ai Fei misconstrued it as flirting
And, when he asked to escort her home and Ai Fei refused, that became him getting "rejected".
"When did I say I liked that girl?" Garen didn’t even want to say her name. He originally thought she was a nice and independent girl, yet he suddenly learned that she could make up a story out of thin air.
"So Ai Fei and Kalidor are together now?" Garen asked.
Jake nodded. "Ai Fei went to Kalidor’s dorm room last night and didn’t go back." Jake patted Garen’s shoulder. "Don’t be too upset."
"Garen, don’t blame Kalidor on this one, Ai Fei approached him first. To tell you the truth, Jake and I knew what kind of person she is; she got in touch with me a while ago and said she had a crush on me. I rejected her, then she started hanging out with all of us."
"Seems like she’s taking a move on Kalidor after knowing his family’s background."
Garen was speechless as he looked at Kalidor who was also looking back at him with a guilty expression.
"Don’t be like this, Garen. A girl like Ai Fei isn’t worth getting upset with." Jake once again patted Garen’s shoulders in an attempt to comfort him.
"But I honestly don’t even like her!" Garen helplessly explained. "Think about it, with my sister watching all day, how can I be interested in other girls?"
The three of them didn’t seem to buy it.
"I didn’t think she was this good at acting. I’m telling you the truth; I didn’t ask her out, she’s not my type. That night, I thought she was in trouble and helped her out. Since we went together, I asked if she needed me to escort her back. She said no, and I went home. That’s it."
"Don’t worry about it, we won’t look down on you. These sad memories, just let them go." Jake shook his head.
"Jake and I saw you guys getting really close to her, that’s why we couldn’t approach you these days," Fayne added. "Garen, she’s not worth it, don’t overthink this."
Garen helplessly shrugged his shoulders; he knew all of his explanations were in vain. "Does everyone in the class know about this?"
Jake and Fayne sympathetically nodded.
"Okay…" Garen felt a bit confused. "Well, not that I know what kind of person she really is. Who are we going to copy our homework from?"
"I guess I’ll ask Lan Ruo; see if she’s willing to lend us a hand," Fayne answered.
"Never mind, I’ll do it myself." Garen shook his head. Seeing the commiserative expression of the trio before him, he felt frustrated.
"That girl isn’t a virgin," Kalidor suddenly said.
"That’s for sure." Fayne nodded with a smirk. "Right, Garen, my cousin’s friend, Felicity, came to visit again. She asked if you have time. Apparently, she wanted to ask you something. Since when did you two hook up?"
"Felicity? That girl who went to Jaderipple Lake with us?" Garen asked. After receiving a positive answer, he was puzzled. "Why is she looking for me?"
"I don’t know." Fayne shrugged.
"She must have fallen in love with you at first sight." Jake laughed next to him. "Felicity’s family isn’t just ordinarily wealthy; if you could date her, you don’t have to worry about money for the rest of your life."
"Do I look like that kind of person?" Garen twisted Jake’s arm and said, "Can you talk like a human being?"
As they were speaking, two innocent girls approached them, with both of them holding delicate lace parasols, wearing white dirndl dresses; they both looked like daughters of nobles.
As the two groups approached each other, all the boys including Garen straightened their backs, paying much more attention to their appearances.
"Garen, your fly is open!" Jake suddenly shouted.
Right as the two girls looked over, they heard the shout. They both turned around and giggled while covering their mouth.
Garen’s face heated up as he looked down at his pant’s zippers. Thank god it was closed! He furiously turned around to go after Jake who had already ran far away.