Chapter 26:

Ch 26 - A Change of Scene

St Chaos Healer

I was still walking through this long hallway that seemed to have no end.

There were no windows or any doors in this long passage that seemed to lead to the 2nd trial room. The only thing in here was the dimly lit lamps hanging on the wall that lit this passage.

I can’t fathom why the two trial rooms are placed so far apart.

I didn’t have any urge to rush to the next trial room anyway. I was walking at my normal pace to conserve all my energy for the next trial that I have to go through.

I started to think back to my experience back in the first trial room.

The strange thing was that I felt some sort of rejection from the crystal ball at first. Even the mana threads were avoiding my hands. I almost thought I was one of the rejects for a second there.

But then I had that strange dream.

What was it again?

“Arrgh!” I screamed, clutching my head.

Just when I tried to remember what I had dreamed, the headache kicked in.

The severe pain was like something that I never experienced before.

It felt like somebody was hitting a nail in my head piercing through my skull.

I almost was about to pass out but I quickly managed to grab onto the wall and kept myself on my feet. I gritted my teeth and started taking deep breaths. If I pass out now, the authorities will definitely fail me.

I still have a lot to do and I can’t just fail here on the very first trial.

It took a few minutes before the pain disappeared like it never even existed.

What the hell is going on?

Why am I starting to get these headaches, all of a sudden?

I never had this problem ever before but after coming in contact with that crystal ball.

Is this some sort of sign of some diseases?

Am I rejected by the mana?

Many more such doubts started to rise in my mind.

But I shook off all the negative thoughts and just focused on what to do next.

“I wasted a lot of time, I should hurry.,” I said to myself while speeding up.

After walking for a few more minutes I finally reached a big double door.

This door looked exactly like the entrance of the first trial room.

Although unlike before, nobody was standing here to welcome the candidates.

I stood in front of the door and gave myself one thorough checkup.

I saw there were no visible injuries or even patches of blood on my full bodysuit. The only thing I did suffer was a bit of headache which didn’t last long. It’s best if I don’t mention it to my supervisors.

I finally grabbed onto the door handles and pushed the door open.

Just as I opened the door, I was greeted by a bright light that almost managed to blind me.

I walked inside the room taking a few steps and waited for my vision to adjust.

A gust of cool wind hit me, surprising me a bit.

After a few seconds, my vision finally started to set in and I could finally see.

“Where the hell am I now?” I asked myself.

Right at this moment, I was standing on a grassy mound on some hill. The grassy field stretched across the horizon to no end. The sun shone brightly in the blue cloudless sky. I had never seen such a clear sky in my village either.

After glancing around I finally saw the group of candidates gathered around a tower. The tower was about 50 meters in height, but small in breadth and length. There were no windows on the tower but on the top of the tower, there was a glowing pinkish aura.

The young candidates were all gathered around the tower in a circular formation and were broken into groups. I also noticed people dress like Miss Thesia and Mr. Hagar in those groups.

There was some activity going on within the groups but I was too far away to see what exactly was going on.

Wasn’t I just onboard the ceremony train?

Did the train halt and I just exit through this door?

That’s when I turned around to glance behind me just to notice the double door standing on the open grassy mound.

There was no train or any carriage, just a double door that someone left here in the middle of nowhere. Taking another look, I finally noticed on the top of the double door was a signboard with a ‘B-7’ title on it.

That was the name of the wagon that I had boarded.

“If that’s the door leading to my wagon then-”

I looked around and saw many more such doors kept at a distance from each other. It all had different wagon numbers on it. I also saw some of the candidates walking out of those doors and they were definitely not from our wagon.

Just when I was midst looking around I heard a voice,

“Boy. Stop standing there like a buffoon and come here to state your name and village.”

That’s when I finally noticed a man dressed like a supervisor was standing a few meters away from me with a notepad and a pen.

He was a middle-aged man with a very mean-looking face.

He looked annoyed as he glared at me furiously.

I without wasting any time I hurried,

“My bad, I didn’t notice you were”

Suddenly I heard a creaking noise and saw the B-7 door opened once again.

Out of the door, another candidate appeared.

The candidate was a boy from our wagon. He had long spiky hair that stood upright like a bunch of thorns. He also was wearing a headband on top of his head, I guess to maintain that hair of his. His head looked like a porcupine’s back. The most surprising thing was his short height.

Now that I took another look at him, I remember this guy. Back then he was the one who took a stance against those girls back in the corridor before. That headband and hairstyle surely stood out. Are we allowed to wear headbands though?

The shorty also was surprised by the sudden change of the scenery.

His reaction was almost similar to mine.

“Hey stop daydreaming and state your name here.” shouted the supervisor.

It almost slipped my mind there was a supervisor here for a second.

The shorty hurried towards the supervisor.

“My name is Benjamin Almond from Merrian town in Velor district,” I replied.

The supervisor didn’t say much and just continued scribbling in his notepad and then glanced at the shorty.

The shorty gave a light cough,

“The name’s Tracker Welch from Hines village in Benia district.”

“Alright, head down to your camp where all the B-7 wagon candidates are gathered.”

He pointed in one direction and went back to his position.

Now I and Tracker walked down from the mound heading to our camp.

Tracker kept his hands behind his head and whistled while walking down. He didn’t seem interested in chatting with me. Not that I was eager to spark any conversation either.

I looked around and saw there were a lot of such double doors placed on this mound. A lot of students like ours were heading down like the rest of us.

The door that I just came out actually managed to teleport us to another place or this dimension exists within the train itself. I wonder which it is.

This ceremony train is indeed a genius work of the architect.

No wonder the other kingdoms wanted to put their hands on the railway’s trade secret of our kingdom. I wonder what else there could be to explore in the ceremony train.

Maybe I could find some valuable artifacts and weapons too here.

Who knows?

Thinking about exploring the train a smile appeared on my face.

“Hey!” said Tracker as he was staring at me, “What are you laughing about?”

I was caught off guard because he suddenly decided to talk.

“Are you talking to me?” I asked.

“Yeah, you. Who else is here? So what got you so smiling all of a sudden.” he said while glaring at me.

Alright, this shorty’s attitude of bossing me around was pissing me off.

But I don’t want to be rude and create bad blood between us.

“Nothing,” I replied politely.

“Speak the truth. Why were you smiling just now?”

Okay, this kid is pissing me off,

“Me, smiling is my business and it has nothing to do with you.”

“Stop trying to lie. I know what you got so smiling.” he then glared at me fiercely, “You were laughing at my height, right?”

“Huh? What?” I exclaimed.

“Nice try hiding but I can see through you. You were just laughing at my height, just admit it.”

“Why would you even jump to that conclusion?”

“My instincts are always right,” he replied smugly.

“Your instincts are faulty.”

“I might be a bit on the short side in the height for now, but I will hit my growth spurt anytime soon. Then we’ll see who’ll have the last laugh,” said Tracker.

This dude is quite sensitive about his height.

As for the matter of the growth spurt, I don’t see much hope for him.

He looked like he was just an 8-year-old kid.

I guess that’s why he has his hair all tall and spiky just to gain a little more height.

“What’s with the sympathetic look all of a sudden?” he asked while glaring at me.

“Nope, nothing. I just wish you good luck with your growth spurt.”

“Oh, so you’re trying to be nice and befriend me now. I see that you noticed I am a genius and a prodigy who is destined to become a mage. The first trial was a piece of cake for me. You noticed my greatness and hence why you want to befriend me~ Oh! I see now, you want to befriend me to gain future benefits after I become a mage. Nice try but I can see through your motives.” replied Tracker with a sneer.

“You are one delusional kid. Could you stop talking to me?” I asked while rolling my eyes.

“Hey! Who the hell are you calling a kid! We are the same age.”

“We are here,” I said, cutting our conversation short.

Before I could waste any more energy arguing with Shorty, we seemed to reach to meet our fellow B-7 group.

At this moment, the B-7 candidates have all gathered around in a circular formation. Everyone’s attention was in the center for some reason.

“What the hell’s going on? Why’s everyone so worked up here?” asked Tracker as we quickly approached.

“It seems the 2nd trial has begun already, let's go!” I said while rushing to join the group.