The bright moon illuminated the nearly starless evening sky.
It was still the same Pond Cloud Rainforest, but there was an additional chilly air to the night. Occasionally, one would see rivers formed from the accumulation of rainwater, which appeared charming under the moonlight. However, the cries of beasts or birds easily left one feeling uneasy.
In a corner of the Pond Cloud Rainforest beside a river, there were two girls who looked a little wretched, but still innocent. One of them was tall, and the other looked adorable, each possessing a unique charm. The tall girl was watching her surroundings nervously while the adorable girl took off her undergarments, revealing her snow-white skin. She winced as she massaged the wound around her armpit. She had a chaotic look in her eyes as she muttered softly, "Du Min, it has been three days. Who knows when rescue will come? Our camp is quickly running out of food."
The tall girl, Du Min, fell silent when she heard that. She felt her life had changed completely over the past three days. She had been a student of Ethereal Dao College three days ago, but now, she was lost in a land filled with danger.
The Pond Cloud Rainforest looked beautiful, but in fact, its ground was moist and filled with decay. Animal bones could be seen from time to time, and there were many foot-long centipedes and colorful snakes making their occasional appearances. The sight left one's scalp tingling.
Animals had also evolved rapidly, like humans, ever since the Spirit Inception Era. They had great strength and were extremely savage. It made the wilderness a forbidden zone for humans.
As the two girls agonized over their predicament, a fatty who had an unyielding look on his face stood not far from them under a tree. With his head up, he stood there peeing.
The fatty was none other than Wang Baole. He had not noticed the two girls, nor did he see the tiny flowers beneath his feet. They had originally stood tall and proud, but now, the flowers were swaying wildly because of the stream of pee.
Darn it. I, Wang Baole, have always claimed to be able to read people, seeing through the hearts of all. I never expected that I would fall for Ethereal Dao College's scheme!
This Ethereal Dao College is way too wicked. They managed to put on such a realistic act. To convince us of the situation, they even made everyone see the cruiser explode!
Wang Baole was infuriated deep down. The past three days had truly put him on tenterhooks.
Three days ago, he and his schoolmates had fallen asleep in the Spirit Cultivation Chamber without even realizing it. They were awoken by a loud bang and before they could even get their bearings, their bodies were thrown right out of the cruiser by a powerful impact.
Thankfully, the Magnetic Spirit attire had the ability to reduce shock and repel lightning. He had landed in the Pond Cloud Rainforest safely but had then witnessed the cruiser explode amid the electromagnetic pulse.
Wang Baole and the others found themselves scattered across the forest. There was a lack of food, and the beasts were ferocious. Their future was still a question mark, and the horror the students faced made them change drastically. Some revealed their true characters. Others formed groups, and a few forged ahead alone. Some were decisive, and some were weak.
The concept of survival of the fittest was just too jarring and sudden for these students who had just been enrolled into Ethereal Dao College. But under such a drastic change, it seemed to trigger certain things in them. Be it greed or ferocity, selflessness or kindness, all of them sprouted and were magnified.
"Shameless!" Wang Baole grumbled deep down. He had believed everything he encountered the past three days to be real. He had been so frightened that he had put up with the thought of staying in the camp of his archrival, Du Min, when he bumped into her.
After three days passed, he realized that by not eating proper meals, he had miraculously lost about three kilograms through his voice transmission ring's weight-measuring feature. His shock from the revelation turned into suspicion.
This was just too different from the experience Wang Baole had in the past. He had once fasted and worked out crazily for a month in order to lose weight, but for an unknown reason, not only did he not lose weight, he even gained one and a half kilograms!
Now, he had lost about three kilograms in three days. That was completely impossible for him!
Especially when he recalled the autobiographies he had read. In them, people reminisced on their days in their respective Dao Colleges and seemed to mention, in vague terms, that the Dao Colleges would have so-called freshman tests from time to time.
If not for Wang Baole's thorough research, it would have been very difficult for him to have noticed this point. Having connected the dots together, he was baffled by how everything that had happened was done so realistically by Ethereal Dao College. It was very likely that there had only been a slip up because they had designed the experience based on an ordinary person. But clearly, he was no ordinary person.
He was fifty percent certain that everything he saw in front of him was an illusion.
And the evidence that fully convinced him of his theory was… the black half-mask that the old physician had returned to him!
With this thought in mind, the peeing Wang Baole could not help but lower his head to look at his chest. An indescribable sense of peculiarity arose in his heart.
He acutely remembered that he had casually kept the black half-mask close to his chest before he stepped into the Spirit Cultivation Chamber. After the terrifying turn of events, he'd had no time to even think about it. It was only moments ago that he realized by sheer chance that his hand could pass through the mask, despite it looking normal. It was as though he could not touch the mask.
It seemed like the virtual world, which could replicate almost anything, found it difficult to decompose the mask's components to model it.
And with the passage of time, even its external shape had begun to turn unreal. At the same time, it exuded some blurry fragments of text.
Although he could not read it clearly, the changes in the mask made Wang Baole's confidence in his theory go from fifty percent to a hundred percent!
If he continued analyzing according to his theory, it was not hard to guess the goal of the test with the fake catastrophe as its backstory.
It's impossible for it to be a measure of strength. After all, everyone has yet to study any ancient martial arts. Then, the goal of this test must be to test one's mettle in the face of danger. Perhaps it's also to test one's confidence in the Dao College?
As Wang Baole peed, his mind whirled constantly. From time to time, he would even have a few pee shivers.
As the tiny flower in front of him was getting pelted into a mess, Wang Baole's breathing hastened a little. He felt that he had to grasp the opportunity in front of him to gain bonus points.
That's what I'll do! Upon coming to this conclusion, Wang Baole shook himself vigorously, and just as he was about to pull up his pants, he suddenly saw the tiny river not far away.
Under the moonlight, although Du Min was standing there, Wang Baole's eyes were not on her. They were fixated on the adorable girl who was cleaning her wound.
There's a humanoid beast! Wang Baole's eyes widened as he gasped. His heart raced when he
caught sight of them. Du Min, who remained vigilant of her surroundings, sensed the gaze. She looked over, and her eyes met Wang Baole's. After a moment of shock, her expression changed, but before she could scream, Wang Baole glared at her, pulled up his pants, and shouted first.
"What are you looking at? Have you never seen a man pee?"
The moment he said that, Du Min choked from all the things that she wanted to say. She trembled in rage, for she had never met another man as shameless as Wang Baole. She could not help but curse.
"Darn Fatty, you call yourself a man?"
Wang Baole nearly swelled in anger when he heard that. The snarky Du Min had been his archrival since he was young. They felt repulsed by the sight of each other, and in a twist of fate, they had always been in the same class. Now, they had both enrolled in Ethereal Dao College. Wang Baole took a deep breath and scoffed.
"Darn Washboard, you call yourself a woman?"
Du Min nearly spat out a mouthful of blood when she heard the biting remark. A vein protruded from her forehead, and just as she was about to charge over, Wang Baole let out a long sigh.
"My untainted body has been completely seen by the two of you. How can I live on?" He looked as though life held nothing more for him as he pulled up his pants and ran off. His heart was racing while cold sweat covered his back. He complimented himself for being quick to react, or else he would have been in trouble.
Du Min widened her eyes angrily when she saw Wang Baole escaping. In response, she chased after him. As for the adorable girl in the river behind her, she had a bewildered look after hearing the duo's biting exchange. She did not feel like Wang Baole had sexually harassed her. When she saw Du Min run off in pursuit, she donned her clothes and quickly chased after the duo with her face red.
Du Min's angry tirade broke the Pond Cloud Rainforest's silence. People from the temporary encampment up ahead rushed over when they heard the disturbance, blocking Wang Baole from proceeding further.
The person leading the group was a torch-wielding youth dressed in white. He had a burly build with eyebrows like swords and eyes like stars. He stood out from the crowd with many students surrounding him. Clearly, he was the leader.
This person was Liu Daobin, the person who had united everyone in this encampment over the past three days, showcasing his personal charm.
"Wang Baole, what did you do!" Liu Daobin noticed Du Min rushing over furiously at a glance. And Wang Baole, who was being pursued, was holding up his pants as he proceeded forward. Liu Daobin had been taken aback by such an odd scene. He had long taken a liking to Du Min, so he instinctively loathed Wang Baole.
"All I did was pee…" Before Wang Baole could finish his sentence, they heard a loud scream coming from the two girls far away.
A stench instantly permeated the area as soon as they heard the scream. Swashing sounds like waves crashing into the beach spread quickly like a storm passing through.
Wang Baole jerked his head around, and at the same time, the expressions of Liu Daobin and the other students changed. They saw countless snakes slithering out from the ground and tree branches around Du Min and the adorable girl!
The snakes looked extremely venomous, judging from the myriad of colors they could see. The numbers were just too great, and it looked like a sea of snakes was surrounding the two girls.
The duo had a drastic change in expression when they saw the snakes surround them. It was even worse when the snakes opened their mouths lined with venomous fangs. Venomous liquid dripped down as they hissed. The stench was revolting.
Liu Daobin jolted. He did not have the time to bother with Wang Baole. He charged straight for Du Min. There were a few other students who ran over to help with reddened eyes.
All of this happened too quickly. At the instant everyone rushed over to help, there was an infantile cry coming from the distant forest. It left one's heart palpitating. A red line, which was as thick as a human's arm, could be seen clearly despite the darkness. It flitted over at an astounding speed.
The body that leaped occasionally revealed a pale white head. It no longer looked like a snake's head; it resembled that of a baby. However, the look in its eyes made everyone's heart thump heavily.
"Red Bone White Neonate Snake!" One of the students recognized it. Everyone panicked, and people retreated amid shocked exclamations.
Liu Daobin became flustered as his hair stood on end. He felt his heart palpitating furiously. The Red Bone White Neonate Snake was simply too infamous. It was listed as one of the top thousand dangerous creatures in the Spirit Inception Era. Although its body was weak, it was very fast, and its venom was potent. Just being tainted by a sliver of its venom was enough to reduce one to a pool of blood, leaving the victim with only red bones. That was also how it had earned its name.
Even though he liked Du Min, he instinctively felt that she was not worth losing his life for. He subconsciously took a step back to avoid the Red Bone White Neonate Snake, afraid that he and the rest would perish while it reveled in its murderous deeds.
Wang Baole took a deep breath when he saw this scene. Following that, he immediately recalled that everything was, in fact, fake. He immediately relaxed as his eyes lit up. He knew his opportunity to shine in front of the teachers had appeared.
Since it's all fake, what's there to be afraid of? Upon coming to this conclusion, Wang Baole immediately puffed out his chest and looked at his schoolmates, who were running away contemptibly.
"Although the flat-chested Du Min, has a biting tongue and is ugly, and she is her always using her privileges to make things difficult for me, I, Wang Baole, am a person of sublime character, a righteous person, a man not afraid of sacrifice, a person who has transcended mediocrity, and someone who is willing to help his schoolmates!
"In such a dangerous environment, how can I retreat? Others might be afraid to forge forward for fear of death, but… for my schoolmates, I have no fear!"
The shameless fatty nearly moved himself with his own words. Did he forget that he was only in a virtual world? It appeared he had forgotten the fact. He immersed himself completely in his acting.
"Washboard, I'll show you what it means to be a man today!"
When everyone else was retreating in horror, not only did Wang Baole refuse to retreat, he even roared and puckered his lips. He raised his chin as though his rotund face was as sharp as a blade. Filled with manliness, he strode forward and charged into the snake horde with indomitable might.
The figure with extraordinary might and an imposing stance seemed to represent righteousness. He ran straight for the two girls!
This scene immediately left Du Min dumbfounded. Even though she was amid the snakes, she still found the situation jarring. However, the adorable girl beside her could not help but become excited.
As for the rest, they were astounded by Wang Baole's roar and imposing might. At the instant the Red Bone White Neonate Snake approached the girls, Wang Baole arrived like a descending god. He grabbed the snake that struck horror into the hearts of many and threw it far away.
He exuded a mighty and overbearing aura, as though a saint had possessed him that very instant. He emanated an awe-inspiring air, and without even hesitating, he carried the excited girl and stuffed the dazed Du Min under his armpit before rushing back toward the crowd.
However, there were just too many snakes. On his journey back, he got bitten in the ass several times. His face was already black by the time he returned. However, he endured it by gritting his teeth. Only when he had safely brought the girls back did he lose his footing. Completely enervated, he collapsed.
It seems I was a little foolhardy… My ass hurts. It's proof that being a real man is very difficult, Wang Baole lamented inwardly. He saw Du Min still looking at him; she seemed to have fallen into a daze. As for the adorable girl, her eyes contained gratitude, as well as a peculiar look. The crowd around him looked at him as if they had seen a ghost. Although he found his eyelids heavy, he still felt a little proud of himself.
When the painful wounds on his ass began to turn numb, Wang Baole immediately grabbed Du Min's hand.
"Du Min, I saved your life. I can't feel my ass now. I heard that one can be saved if the venom is sucked out. Help me…" Without finishing his sentence, Wang Baole fainted. Just as his head toppled, he saw that he was about to fall on Du Min's chest. He realized something and forcibly changed directions, landing on the adorable girl's breasts.
Upon seeing this scene, the crowd had odd looks on their faces. Du Min's face turned grim when she saw how Wang Baole still had a repulsive look on his face despite being unconscious.
At that moment, in the Federation's dominion—a great distance away from the Pond Cloud Rainforest—a red cruiser was approaching Ethereal Dao College. Inside the Spirit Cultivation Chamber, hundreds of students were sleeping peacefully. Wang Baole was among them, too. He seemed to be having a beautiful dream—evident from the pleasant smile at the corner of his lips—as his head was cocked to the side.
In the main hull of the cruiser, all the teachers, including the old physician, were staring blankly with widened eyes. They were looking at one of the crystal screens floating in front of them.
The screen showed the unconscious Wang Baole, who had just saved Du Min in the Pond Cloud Rainforest.
"What's this fatty's name?"
"Although they are in a Hallucination Nexus, it feels no different from reality. His performance in there must stem from his true character!"
"Such bravery and the fearlessness when it came to saving his schoolmates makes him a good seedling, one not seen in a hundred years! He's the kind of excellent student that our Dao College yearns for the most!"
The teachers exclaimed one after another as they marveled at Wang Baole. There were even a few teachers who were moved as they considered if they should rope in Wang Baole immediately to join their faculty.
Even the old physician, also known as the Chancellor of Ethereal Dao College, was slightly dumbfounded. He hesitated, as he had a hunch that something was not right.
Did I really make an error in my judgment? As he pondered over it, he took out Wang Baole's file from the students' dossier and began reading it.