Chapter 1195: Things I Want to Do
Good could not even remember how he get back to his residence.
By the time he arrived at his house, it was around nightfall, and everyone was on their way back home. Smoke curled up from the chimneys, and he could hear people greet their families. The air was soaked with sweet aroma of porridge and the salty odor of sweat. The neighborhood was so lively and energetic that nobody would believe that this place was actually a residential area for refugees.
Good could smell the hope that empowered the energy and liveliness of the refugees. Residents here would be well fed as long as they worked hard. Within half a month, people could afford eggs and pork. Everyone was hopeful about their future, with their voice confident and their spirit high. Although the residential area was untidy and raucous, it was by no means dismal and miserable like a slum.
Everything here was colorful.
As he saw his neighbors smiled at him broadly, his eyes started streaming, and a scathing voice kept ringing around his ears, "Look at what you did, you thickhead. You ruined everything!"
Had he not been so headstrong to request a trial from Princess Tilly but instead accepted the punishment, he would have still been a student of the Aerial Knight Academy. Even if he could not become a pilot, he could still have a decent job in the future, much better than being homeless.
His courage had soon ebbed away after Princess Tilly had agreed with his proposal. Now, he only felt fear and despair.
If he failed, he would lose everything.
Good pushed open the door and entered as he was crestfallen.
A silvery voice greeted him brightly, "Good, you're home. See what I made for you."
Rachel ran up to him in excitement and settled him in his chair. She uncovered the lid of the plate and pronounced triumphantly, "Tada — egg pancakes! Looks good, eh?"
The so-called egg pancake was divided into two layers. It looked more like a pancake topped with scrambled egg than an egg pancake. Nevertheless, it still looked delicious. Its egg white thin, and its golden rim slightly furled, with an orange yolk right in the middle while yolk was still runny. The melted butter trickled down to the plate, giving off a rich and devilish smell.
Obviously, Rachel had put a lot of efforts into this meal.
Stunned for a split second, Good said, "You bought eggs?" Eggs were not particularly expensive in Neverwinter, but we still could not afford to have them everyday.
"Yes," Rachel said as she handed Good a wooden fork. "Uncle Bucky took me to the marketplace today. Don't worry. I still have savings. You rarely have a break, so it's okay to have eggs occasionally. Plus, once you become an aerial knight, we'll soon have more savings. I already thought this through!" Rachel patted her chest in confidence.
Good took the fork stiffly and mumbled, "Y-yes, you're right."
"Now, eat it and see if you like it," Rachel urged.
After a moment of hesitation, Good slowly put a morsel of the egg pancake in his mouth. Instantly, the flavor of the yolk mingled with the butter permeated his entire mouth.
Memories started to flow out from the deepest part of his mind.
He and Rachel had suffered a lot on the way from the Kingdom of Wolfheart to the Western Region of Graycastle. In the past, he would have never dreamed of having such tasty food. However, things turned better miraculously after they arrived at Neverwinter. They were fed and clothed in this city, and probably, in the near future, Rachel could eat this "egg pancake" every day, only if he continued to study at school.
Good did yearn to soar the sky, but was it really worth him to bet with his life?
He had nothing to lose before, but it was different now.
Good had to take care of Rachel.
Then why did he make such a selfish choice?
He had never thought of Rachel when he had agreed with Finkin to take a look at the planes.
He could not forgive himself for being so selfish!
"Do you like it? It shouldn't be... that bad, right? I haven't cooked for a while, and I'm not sure whether my cooking skills have got rusty or not," Rachel said with uncertainty. "Oi, say something. Is it okay? Hang on, why are you crying? Is the food that bad?"
"No..." Good replied, his face glazed with tears, as he gulfed down the pancake. "It's good, really good. I'm just... I couldn't help..."
Startled, Rachel walked up to him, patted his head and asked quietly, "Did something happen?"
"I'm sorry... I probably couldn't continue to study in the academy..."
Good then told Rachel everything.
"I see," Rachel said at length. "I just have one question for you. Do you... like flying?"
"I — " Good broke off, groping for words that did not come. He found it hard to lie in front of Rachel's face, so he nodded.
"Then there is nothing to worry about," Rachel smiled. "This is your first time finding something you like, right? You've done so much for me on our way here. I asked you to leave the Kingdom of Wolfheart, and you could have refused, but you still did. So how can you be a selfish person?"
"The worst scenario is to start all over again, right?" Rachel suggested with her head tilted on one side. "And I'm literate. Even if I don't... well, I could find jobs by myself. So, just do your best."
"Anyway, you don't have time to regret. It's better to think about how to pass the trial than worrying about our future. Just make sure to keep your temper next time."
Good stared at Rachel for quite a while until he said, "Sometimes, I feel you know much more about the world than me."
"I'm older than you, so naturally I know more. You insisted me to be your younger sister, remember?" Rachel mumbled and smiled at Good. "If you're expelled, then let's switch it up. I'll be your elder sister."
The next day, in the airport for the aerial knights.
Sixteen students stood out in a line at the end of the runway. As these students passed the exam first, they got the chance to have the trial first.
Four brand new planes gradually glided over the runway and came to halt in front of them.
Mumurs instantly swept over the crowd. Everybody was studying attentively at the four beautiful machines with great interest.
Except Finkin and Hinds whose face was screwed up.
Good closed his eyes.
He felt the cool breeze blowing at his face, trying to revisit his training, memorize the instructions of the officer, and visualize each move. Gradually, a blur of images showed up in his mind.
When Princess Tilly appeared, everybody kneeled down on their knees. Finkin tugged Good's sleeve to remind him.
"Your Royal Highness!"
"Rise," Tilly said expressionlessly. "It's your first time seeing these new planes, but you should have been familiar with them by now. All the materials in the textbook are based on the 'Unicorn', and these planes are the upgraded versions of the 'Unicorn', so they function better. Therefore, as long as you follow the instructions received in your training, you should be able to pass the trial. Considering it's your first time flying a plane, I'll sit you through the process and supervise you. I'll also mark your performance. Of course, I would rather you not needing my instructions."
Tilly paused for a second and went on, "However, in consideration of possible errors you would make in this test, I invited Miss Nana here. As long as you don't die on the spot, you'll survive, but it also means that you'll get a really low mark. If you can't improve yourself in the subsequent training, you'll be expelled. So, I hope you'll do your best. Also, if the plane sustains substantial damage, you'll get a zero mark because we don't have enough planes for you to crash. Understand?"
"Yes, Your Highness!" the sixteen students chorused.
"Now, let's begin. First examinant, Good." Tilly announced solemnly.
Good took a deep breath, walked up to the plane, and crawled into the cabin.