Chapter 246 – New Student
“It’s almost time for class. Let’s head back.”
Nie Yan and the rest of his classmates returned to the classroom.
“Hey, do you play Conviction?” Zhai Hao asked. Almost everybody was talking about this game right now. For many, it was an essential part of their lives.
Xie Yao couldn’t help but perk up her ears as she turned her attention to Nie Yan. She felt he resembled a certain someone she knew inside the game to an uncanny degree. Their names were pronounced the same. They spoke and acted in a similar manner. She also felt that same sense of deep familiarity.
However, Xie Yao reminded herself that some people took on completely different personas in game. For example, she was fairly reserved in reality. But when she entered Conviction, she became livelier and her temperament was also more cheerful. Inside the game, she could release all the stress bottled up inside her after a long day.
Then again, some people behaved the same both in game and reality.
“Of course I play,” Nie Yan replied. The students talked the most about their level and equipment inside the game. High level and good gear equated to face. If they found an amazing piece of equipment, the first thing they would do was show it off to their peers. Although this sort of pissing contest was somewhat childish, it was something that was always brought up.
“What level are you?” Zhai Hao immediately grew excited when he found out Nie Yan played the game.
“Level 23,” Nie Yan replied. After dying, that was his level now.
Xie Yao revealed a disappointed expression. So it’s not him…? The person she was thinking of had reached Level 35 long ago, and was most likely at an even more astonishingly high level right now. But Nie Yan was only Level 23. After thinking it over again, she was reminded of that person’s low-key nature. It was entirely possible that Nie Yan was lying about his true level. As such, she quickly recovered from her disappointment.
However, conflicting emotions arose in Xie Yao’s heart. She hoped Nie Yan was that person since they truly were alike. These underlying feelings affected her mood. At the same time, she also hoped Nie Yan wasn’t that person because she wouldn’t know how to face him.
If Nie Yan and that player she was thinking of were truly one and the same, would she eventually get together with him? Her heart palpitated at the possibility.
She admired the leader of her guild, the heaven-defying Nirvana Flame. But the distance between them was as wide as the vast sky. If that person entered her life, how should she react?
“I’m Level 26. I formed a party with five other friends. I’ll bring you levelling with us the next time you get on,” Zhai Hao said, sounding pleased with himself. His current level could be considered relatively high among the player base. Of the numerous students in the school, there were only a few that surpassed him in level. As a young male, he still had that little bit of vanity. Even though he was a sincere and honest individual, that didn’t mean he was completely immune to such things.
“Sure, just call me up whenever,” Nie Yan agreed in a straightforward manner. Among the people he was acquainted with in the previous timeline, Zhai Hao was a good friend so he saw no reason not to meet up with him inside the game.
“Miss Class Flower, do you play Conviction? Care to tag along?” Zhai Hao asked in a slightly eager tone. If Xie Yao joined up, then those hot-blooded wolf pups in the party would definitely go wild with joy.
Xie Yao pursed her lips into a smile before shaking her head. “No, I’ll have to pass. You should ask Xia Ling and them if they’re interested.”
Very few people in the class knew Xie Yao played Conviction, let alone her level or how good she was as a player. Even her female classmates who were very skilled had never once met her in the game.
“That’s fine too. Do you really think Xia Ling and them will agree to come?” Zhai Hao asked, looking over at a lithe figure on the other side of the room. His expression grew somewhat shy.
When Nie Yan saw how Zhai Hao was acting, he couldn’t help but slightly smile. Zhai Hao and Xia Ling were a couple in the previous timeline. They always kept in touch with each other in university. Later on, their jobs had them moving to two different cities. After enduring a long-distance relationship for eight years, they were finally reunited. Their story was a shining testament to the ideal of love finding a way through any obstacle.
“They’ll definitely agree. But you guys will have to take care of them. Their levels aren’t nearly as high as yours. I can help invite them on your behalf,” Xie Yao replied. She also knew Zhai Hao had a crush on Xia Ling.
“Then you have my thanks, Miss Class Flower!” Zhai Hao was slightly unable to contain his excitement. He turned to Nie Yan and asked, “When are you free? Is tommorow fine? We can meet up when the servers reopen.”
Nie Yan pondered for a moment. Although he desired to foster his friendship with Zhai Hao and the others, he was going to be very busy tomorrow.
“I’m good with tomorrow, but I can only hang out with you guys for around two hours before I have to leave. I already made plans with some other friends,” Nie Yan replied. He felt no harm in sparing some time to mingle with old friends. They were always together during his past life, especially when they were forced to retreat deep into the mountain forest after attracting the ire of Victorious Return. Recalling all the trials and tribulations they went through, he couldn’t help but grow nostalgic. Just because he struck out in this life didn’t mean he could simply forget these good friends. He decided to meet up with them, then attempt to pull them into Asskickers United.
“You’re that busy?” Zhai Hao asked in surprise. Their excuse for asking Xia Ling and the other girls to join them was so that they could get to know the new transfer student better. Nie Yan’s performance today was truly impressive, so everyone was curious about him. If he left, what reason would Xia Ling and the other girls have to stay behind?
“Huh, we’re just meeting up. You guys can still continue levelling together after I leave, right? I’ll join up with you guys some other day,” Nie Yan replied. This was a rare opportunity for Zhai Hao and Xia Ling to get together. He didn’t want to be a nuisance.
Zhai Hao thought for a moment. “I suppose that’s okay too. Since you’re so busy, let’s just get in touch with each other in the game first. We’ll schedule plans for some other day. How do we meet?”
“What’s your IGN?” Even though he already knew what Zhai Hao’s character name was, he chose to ask anyway. If he revealed his own, it would definitely send out shockwaves throughout the school, let alone their class. The Mad Rogue Nirvana Flame was renowned across the entire Viridian Empire.
“It’s Mad Warframe. I play a Berserker,” Zhai Hao replied.
“Alright, I’ll find you tomorrow,” Nie Yan said. He didn’t wish to speak about his circumstances inside the game. Zhai Hao and the others would find out anyway when they met up with him tomorrow, and he could swear them to secrecy about not revealing his identity.
“You still haven’t told me yours,” Zhai Hao said. With Nie Yan acting so secretive, he was a little curious.
Nie Yan smiled and shook his head. “Don’t worry, you’ll know.”
“Okay,” Zhai Hao said helplessly. Was there really a need for this guy to act so mysteriously!?
If Zhai Hao knew who Nie Yan was inside the game, he definitely wouldn’t be thinking this.
Xie Yao looked at Nie Yan, her clear eyes blinking inquisitively. The suspicions in her heart grew even stronger. Why was he unwilling to divulge his name inside the game?
“I’ll go invite Xia Ling and the others,” Xie Yao said. She was feeling a little smug. Hmph! Even if you aren’t willing to say it, the truth will be revealed tonight anyway. Xia Ling is my best friend. She won’t hide anything from me!
Very soon, Zhai Hao received word from Xie Yao; Xia Ling agreed to join them. Tagging along with her would be two other female classmates. All of them were around Level 21, not high but not low either.
The school bell rang, signifying the start of class. Everyone sat in their assigned seats.
Nie Yan pretended to look for his seat before stopping at the desk beside Xie Yao. He turned to her and smiled. “What luck! My assigned seat is right next to yours.”
Xie Yao glanced at the name displayed on the neighbouring computer. It really was assigned to Nie Yan. This spot was previously occupied by a female classmate, but she later transferred schools and it became empty. Who would’ve expected it would be given to him.
Xie Yao pursed her lips. Was there really such a coincidence? There were over a dozen empty seats in the class, so why was Nie Yan placed right next to her?
Nie Yan sat down, resting his elbow on the desk with his hand supporting his head; he gazed at Xie Yao. Pretty desk-mate, looks like we’re neighbours again.
Xie Yao was only a short distance away. He wouldn’t let himself be separated from her ever again.
Nie Yan felt truly blessed. Even though he suffered greatly in his past life, he was receiving ample compensation in this life. There was a suitable saying. The heavens allowed people to suffer so that they learned to truly cherish happiness.
The teacher in charge of this class, Yang Boyi, walked into the room and swept his gaze over the students before stopping on Nie Yan.
Nie Yan didn’t avert his eyes. He recalled Yang Boli was a strict but fair teacher.
“We have a new student joining us today. I assume all of you already know his name by now. As for Liu Rui, I’ve received word back from the school infirmary, he’ll need to spend some time on his recovery. Since this was a spar, not a fight, I won’t say any more on the matter. According to the laws set by the government, Nie Yan won’t be held responsible for this incident. Furthermore, since Liu Rui won’t be able to attend school for a while because of the injuries he sustained, he won’t be able to fulfil his obligations, so the position of teacher’s assistant will be tentatively transferred over to Nie Yan. When Liu Rui returns, the class can decide who they want the position to go to by vote.”
Yang Boyi’s announcement gave rise to a great deal of whispered discussion. Liu Rui really kicked a steel plate this time. Even his position as teacher’s assistant was snatched away. However, most of the class felt the sweet tang of schadenfreude. After all, Liu Rui’s personality rubbed many of his classmates the wrong way.
Teacher’s assistant… Nie Yan couldn’t help but secretly rejoice. In in the future, he could take advantage of this to spend more time with Xie Yao. The teacher’s assistant had the authority to make students with less than stellar grades stay behind for tutoring. Although Xie Yao was by no means a bad student, in fact she was the complete opposite, finding an excuse was a very simple matter. The water on the roof was the first to receive the moonlight.1
Yang Boyi glanced at Nie Yan and said, ”Our class has many promising students who have a good chance at entering the Top Military Academy. I hope that you all work hard, and don’t fall behind in your studies. If you want to get in, you’ll also have to pass the academic portion of their recruitment examination. Before you is a sample of one of their entrance tests.”
Everyone let out groans as several pages’ worth of test problems appeared on their screens. There were a total of 1,200 points divided into mathematics, machine theory, physics, and so on. Nothing was left out. These subjects were all very difficult, but almost all of them had practical applications in the real world.
Nie Yan couldn’t help but sigh. This was his life as a senior-year in high school! When he turned to look at Xie Yao, she was already focused on the test problems, scrolling down the screen with her fingers. Sensing his gaze, her long eyelashes faintly trembled and she couldn’t help but become somewhat restless and flustered.
“Focus on your test!” Xie Yao lightly stomped her foot. She didn’t know why Nie Yan affected her mood so easily. It was probably due to that sense of familiarity she got from him. Her tone was much less formal, almost as if she were scolding a lover.
Nie Yan didn’t dare to act presumptuously after hearing the words of his pretty deskmate. He focused his attention back onto the computer screen. Various scenes from the previous timeline flashed through his mind, filling his body with a faint feeling of warmth as though he was soaking in a relaxing hot spring.