Chapter 371 - Romantic Invitation
"Zhai Hao. He's your friend, right? Why don't you introduce us?" a short-haired male student asked. Obviously he knew who Nie Yan was. He only pretended not to know to get things rolling.
"I'd like you all to meet Nie Yan. He's a good friend of mine," Zhai Hao introduced Nie Yan with a bright smile, then pointed at the male student. "This is Liu Wei from Class 5, the son of the head of the Tianhua Enterprise. He also passed the fitness portion of the Top Military Academy's exam. Now he's waiting for the results of the academic portion."
"The academic portion is nothing." Liu Wei waved his hand with a confident smile on his face. "We should all stay in touch once we graduate."
"Certainly." Nie Yan nodded in agreement. He could tell six people in the group were part of Liu Wei's clique. The rest were acquaintances of Zhai Hao.
Seeing Nie Yan's courteous and approachable attitude, Liu Wei's expression softened. His old man had instructed him to do his utmost to befriend Nie Yan, or at the very least never antagonize him. Anyone could see Nie Yan's potential. Not to mention Father Nie, whose financial capital made even them feel wary, was also a force to be reckoned. With their current rise, the Nie Family was set to become the next powerful financial group. It was crucial to build good relations with them early on.
Zhai Hao introduced the people in the group one by one. Nie Yan only casually listened, memorizing their names without much effort.
These students felt Nie Yan wasn't overbearing at all but rather quite easy-going and approachable. He was a million times more likeable than that fellow Liu Rui.
Nie Yan had lived through two lives, having experienced a myriad of situations. Giving a favourable impression to these kids couldn't be simpler. He was at the same time well aware that anyone capable of entering Huahai High had at least some background. There was no harm in being on friendly terms with everyone. Earning people's ire would only incite plotting and scheming that was difficult to defend against.
As everyone chatted the topic eventually shifted to Conviction.
"Speaking of Conviction, Liu Wei is the strongest of our group at Level 51. He's the top player in Burning Heaven, and one of the top 1,500 players in the Viridian Empire," someone called Ge Baiyu said as he glanced at Liu Wei. He was a member of Liu Wei's squad. Naturally he had to give his leader some face.
Liu Wei felt pleased with himself after having his ego stroked. "It's nothing really. After the buried history expansion patch, levelling became much easier. Players over Level 50 are a dime a dozen."
"No need to be so modest. Given how many players there are in the Viridian Empire, getting into the top 1,500 is amazing! It's not something that can be achieved through luck alone!" another one of Liu Wei's lackeys chimed in.
"Since there aren't any guild activities scheduled today, I've got some time to kill. How about I take you guys levelling with me? I recently obtained three new area-of-effect spells, so it'll be a breeze." Liu Wei turned to Nie Yan and Zhai Hao. "Why don't you two join us as well? I don't mind helping you raise your levels, no strings attached of course."
Liu Wei was implying he would take care of everyone.
Nie Yan and Zhai Hao had helpless smiles on their faces.
Zhai Hao couldn't help but laugh to himself. This fellow actually wanted to help the Mad Rogue level. Could his area-of-effect spells match Lil' Gold's?
Burning Heaven was a small guild in Calore with only 10,000 or so players. Their average level was pretty low too. Compared to Asskickers United, they were a speck of dust on a country road.
Nie Yan politely declined, "I'd love to but I probably can't make it since there's a guild expedition coming up."
"Ah, what guild do you guys belong to?" Liu Wei asked. Lost in his complacence, he had completely forgotten to ask Nie Yan and Zhai Hao's levels. He had never met anyone in Huahui High above him in level. Everyone he knew just followed his heed.
"I'm from Warriors United," Zhai Hao replied on their behalf. He knew Nie Yan didn't want to reveal his identity. "I'm busy as well. A friend promised to take Xia Ling and me levelling."
Hearing this, a hint of jealousy surfaced on Liu Wei's face. He really couldn't understand how a numbskull like Zhai Hao managed to snag a beautiful girl like Xia Ling. It was simply sticking a bouquet of flowers in a pile of manure. He somewhat looked down on Zhai Hao, but he naturally wouldn't show it.
"Zhai Hao, why don't you bring Xia Ling and your friend along with us? The levelling will be quick, so one or two more people won't make much of a difference," Ge Baiyu said with a smile before secretly stealing a glance at Liu Wei. He knew Liu Wei wanted to flaunt his skills in front of a pretty girl like Xia Ling.
Zhai Hao shook his head. "It's fine. Maybe some other time. The class goddess doesn't like levelling with other people."
"Xie Yao?" Liu Wei's face lit up. Xie Yao was one of the girls in Class 3 he secretly lusted after. She was hands down the goddess of Class 3, and maybe even the prettiest girl in the entire school. Another was Jiang Yingyu. Her figure was simply stunning! Her lovely dancing filled men with lust and desire and made their hearts palpitate. Who knew how many male students fantasized about Jiang Yanyu in their dreams. The last was Xia Ling, who was pretty in her own right, only somewhat paling in comparison to Xie Yao and Jiang Yingyu.
"Why not invite Xie Yao along as well?" Ge Baiyu suggested. "The more the merrier, am I right?"
From their point of view, Xie Yao couldn't possibly be high level since she was a girl.
Zhai Hao glanced at Nie Yan and noticed his expression remained unmoved.
"I don't think the class goddess will agree. Let's just forget about it," Zhai Hao said. These people were a real riot. Them taking the class goddess levelling? More like the other way around!
"Isn't she a bit too full of herself?"
"Yeah! What's so wrong with everybody happily levelling together? There's no need to be so stubborn," several of Liu Wei's lackeys added in one after another. However, they didn't dare speak too rudely. They couldn't afford to offend someone of Xie Yao's status.
"It's fine if they don't want to come. We're inviting you with sincerity. Forget it. Let's talk about something else." Liu Wei acted as mediator, though he was inwardly a bit peeved.
Just at this moment, a female student walked over to them. Seeing her appearance, their hearts trembled as they held their breaths.
The female student was Jiang Yingyu. She wore a dancer's silk skirt, her slender and supple waist swaying seductively as she walked. Her chest was abundant and plentiful like a rich harvest. Everyone's attention instantly focused on her, their hormones running wild.
"Nie Yan, we meet again," Jiang Yingyu greeted. Her soft and melodic voice appeared to make Liu Wei and his group go limp.
Everyone gazed at Nie Yan with jealousy in their eyes, asking why they couldn't be the one Jiang Yingyu greeted instead.
"Hello, it's rare to see you in school," Nie Yan calmly greeted back. He and Jiang Yingyu were merely nodding acquaintances.
Jiang Yingyu's brows slightly furrowed at Nie Yan's distant attitude.
Nie Yan was undoubtedly the most outstanding person not just in the class but the entire school. He could potentially become the third student in the school's history to enter the Top Military Academy as an Ace. His fitness results met the mark. Now everyone was waiting for his academic results to be revealed.
Jiang Yingyu knew Nie Yan only had eyes for Xie Yao. But considering they had only known each other for a little less than a month, she refused to believe she didn't have a chance. She and Xie Yao always competed in secret.
"I passed the Top Military Academy's entrance exams too, so we'll be seeing a lot more of each other in the future. Maybe we should get to know each other better some time?" Jiang Yingyu asked.
Only now did Nie Yan recall that Jiang Yingyu had barely failed to get into the Top Military Academy in the previous timeline. But thanks to his outstanding performance in this life, the dean of the academy had increased the quota of students that would be accepted from Huahui High, with a focus on those who majored in the arts.
Huahai High's university acceptance rates were renowned. This year's batch of students was especially remarkable.
"Of course," Nie Yan politely replied.
"Here's a ticket for the Huahai Theatre. I'll be doing a show there this afternoon. So, classmate Nie, will you do me the honour of watching my performance?" Jiang Yingyu asked.
Everyone gulped at Jiang Yingyu's charming smile.
This was a romantic invitation!
"This afternoon…" Nie Yan hesitated as he glanced at Xie Yao at the front of the classroom.
Dammit! This guy is unbelievable! A pretty girl wants you to watch her perform, and you're taking so long to answer her! Everyone stared at Nie Yan with frustration and jealousy raging in their eyes, loathing the fact they couldn't just run up and snag the ticket for themselves.
"What's wrong, classmate Nie? Is the afternoon not good...?" Jiang Yingyu asked in a slightly awkward tone.
"If Nie Yan is too busy, I'm sure others would love to come and watch your performance!" Liu Wei interjected, then signalled Ge Baiyu with his eyes.
"Right! All of us here would love to cheer you on. Why don't you give us the tickets?" Ge Baiyu shamelessly suggested.
Jiang Yingyu gazed at Nie Yan with a hint of bitterness in her eyes. She took out a second ticket from her pocket and handed both to Ge Baiyu. "Take them. They're for adjacent seats. You can bring your girlfriend with you to watch."
Ge Baiyu accepted the tickets with a bright smile. Even his thick skin couldn't protect him from feeling slightly embarrassed.
Liu Wei and his group were a bit dejected. They naturally understood Jiang Yingyu's intentions. They looked at Nie Yan with complicated expressions. Why couldn't they be the target of such a beautiful woman's affections?
Nie Yan pretended not to see and turned to Zhai Hao. "Xie Yao's planning to take you guys levelling? What level is she?"
Zhai Hao hesitated for half-a-day before looking at Xia Ling in the distance. He didn't know how to respond. Xia Ling had specifically instructed him not to reveal anything about Xie Yao's identity.
Zhai Hao this fellow definitely knew Xie Yao was Yao Yao. Likely this was also true in the previous timeline. Nie Yan had an inkling to rush up and give him a good beating, though the fault couldn't be placed entirely on him. Zhai Hao back then had no way of knowing the complicated relationship between him and Yao Yao. He could only blame his own thick headedness for being kept in the dark for so long.
"Don't worry. I've actually known for a while now." Nie Yan helplessly waved his hand. He could tell Zhai Hao was henpecked.
"Huh, so you already knew. You should've said so earlier. It would've saved me a lot of stress!" Zhai Hao's expression instantly relaxed. Since Nie Yan already knew, he no longer had to keep it a secret.