Chapter 21:

1.21. Modern Exam

The Writer's Illustrator is Stuck in Cookie Cult (LN)

I finally took the time to research the web novel industry of this world. I will admit, I was a little taken aback.Bookmark here

An industry with a lot of potential? Contracts deals here and there, writers academy, commission services illustrators to help you create cover art. Systems designed to publish work on various sites at a single command.Bookmark here

Asides from the contracts, there were also plenty of freelance writers who are able to make a living through selling their NFTs. Story-integrated NFTs.Bookmark here

I did try to skim through a few novels to see if any familiar writing comes up. Through the sea of it all, I wasn’t able to determine if any of these are from Novelle. Typed up her pen name, it doesn’t exist.Bookmark here

If she exists in this world, I don’t believe she won’t publish her works.Bookmark here

“Can’t you even leave a clue?”Bookmark here

Maybe I need to be patient. Even though Novelle is a crazy fast writer, it still takes time to come up with the manuscript.Bookmark here

Top novels clinch popularity, but underneath all that fame are a million other failing, or struggling authors.Bookmark here

Struggling. Bookmark here

All humans struggle. There isn’t such a thing as a flowery path. Bookmark here

I remember hearing Novelle tell me why it’s a lot more practical to follow your passion than to keep your head low and let society determine how you should live.Bookmark here

As we progress towards adulthood as a child, we spend more than two decades learning. In kindergarten, elementary school, highschool, college and university combined, just to prepare ourselves to work a job we may not like and earn a living. Bookmark here

Even if it takes a decade of dedicated effort to make one's passion a reality, isn’t that a lot faster than two decades of preparing your life to become a cog? Bookmark here

It doesn’t matter if you don't have the support from your parents. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the qualifications. And it certainly doesn’t matter if you think you can’t do it.Bookmark here

If you can’t, just give up.Bookmark here

You lose all commitments.Bookmark here

And sometime soon, you’ll eventually find yourself coming back to try again.Bookmark here

Because what else is there to do in life?Bookmark here

That’s what kept me drawing.Bookmark here

And this similar philosophy we held was why I became her illustrator.Bookmark here

I completed a cover art concept and submitted it on the art category of the TeaReads platform. Bookmark here

My skills are way too good. How is it possible to create this level of art with only my finger? And it only took me 6 hours. Back in my previous life, I couldn't even achieve this feat with a stylus and drawing pad.Bookmark here

Whatever. I’ll take it. I would’ve hoped for a system shop like what Novelle’s brother had.Bookmark here

Eventually, I’ll need to generate an income stream because chances are, in the near future, Avner’s family will face a divorce incident. Bookmark here

I don’t know what will happen then. Bookmark here

[This isn’t the Avner I know.]Bookmark here

“Sorry Randell.”Bookmark here

[Randell is unable to diagnose Avner’s condition. I have no choice but to believe that Avner is somehow another person.]Bookmark here

“I was once a guy named Shin Dew that came from a country called Gilgamesh.”Bookmark here

[Shin Dew. I will keep that in mind.]Bookmark here

I didn’t think Randell would take it seriously.Bookmark here

“Is it almost 5?”Bookmark here

[Five minutes.]Bookmark here

“Okay.”Bookmark here

I got up from the living room table and stretched my body. Lia should be awake by now. Better prepare my bag and supplies.Bookmark here

Today was exam day.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

“What time does the exam end?”Bookmark here

“11:30.”Bookmark here

“Same.”Bookmark here

“Your father will pick you up slightly late at 1.”Bookmark here

“No problems.”Bookmark here

“Good luck on your exams.”Bookmark here

“You’ve been studying hard the past few days, believe in yourself alright?”Bookmark here

“Thank you.”Bookmark here

“Un.”Bookmark here

Breakfast was quick and light with insect protein bars and cereal. Not the most proper meal, but a meal nonetheless. Having now stayed in this world for a few days at least, I still find it hard to believe that insects and bugs are a staple food.Bookmark here

“Nm..”Bookmark here

On the way to school, Lia was staring at the screen, studying. I on the other hand, sat back and listened to more podcasts.Bookmark here

Today’s subject was English Literature and Mathematics.Bookmark here

Easy subjects. Bookmark here

Again, the moment I reached school, notifications popped up warning me of the exam. Our teachers even gave us last minute tips to study. What a way to ruin academics. Bookmark here

“Big bro. Are you scared?”Bookmark here

“No really. How about you?”Bookmark here

“I don’t have enough time to study..”Bookmark here

Lia looked like a frightened cat.Bookmark here

“You’ll do fine.”Bookmark here

Lia is the last-minute kind. It’s totally possible, acing the test by burning the midnight oil. I slept in while Lia did just that.Bookmark here

Shin will have to pull off the carry for Avner this time.Bookmark here

At class, people staring hard at their screens. I saw the top student, Allen, pacing up and down the aisle. And he would drop by some random classmates’ seats to test them with questions.Bookmark here

I got to my seat and began studying like everyone else. Basic skimming. Nothing too serious. The poems and short stories that need to be memorized are down in my head, only superficially. I plan to score on the other sections.Bookmark here

[“Can we meet up?”]Bookmark here

How unexpected.Bookmark here

[“Sure. Where? What time?”]Bookmark here

[“You’re having exams today, correct? After the exam, can you spare some time at 12?”]Bookmark here

School normally lasts all the way till the afternoon on a normal day. Today, we only have 2 subjects. Bookmark here

For seniors in highschool, they have more subjects, so while us juniors get to leave early. Their exams only end at around 3 pm.Bookmark here

[“Can do.”]Bookmark here

“Morning Avner. How’s prep?”Bookmark here

“Morning Ares. Okay, I guess.”Bookmark here

[“4I. I’ll meet you there.”]Bookmark here

“Who’s that?”Bookmark here

“Lynda.”Bookmark here

“Huh? What? You two are banging?”Bookmark here

I paused and regained my calm before continuing.Bookmark here

“Not quite. It’s a confidential matter, so that’s that.”
[“Is this something you can discuss in your class?”]Bookmark here

[“Not my class. We need to meet up first don’t we?”]Bookmark here

“Yo. Yo. Pu’er will be so jealous.”
“I thought xe made it clear xe doesn’t like me.”
“Huh? Since when?”
“Do you use ShareWiw?”Bookmark here

“You saw that post? I thought you don’t even use that anymore.”
“Actually, why are we even talking about this? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about our exam?”Bookmark here

“You’re right. But seriously though, I thought you don't use ShareWiw? What’s going on?”Bookmark here

“Nothing.”Bookmark here

[“Okay. Will see you then. And good luck with your exam.”]Bookmark here

“You’re so weird.. you’re definitely a vampire.”
“I just went to the hospital to get myself tested last Saturday. The result came back negative. You want proof?”Bookmark here

I was just about to show him the image of the result when he shook his head.Bookmark here

Ares was being quite pushy. I suppose it’s because I changed to a more introverted personality. It wasn’t just him, the cronies that Avner normally hangs out with also came to bicker around me after he left.
“You okay?”Bookmark here

“Good luck with your exam.”Bookmark here

“I didn't even study, lel.”
“Lel is so old school.”Bookmark here

“What? You want DYA?”Bookmark here

“No way!”Bookmark here

Dildo your aeth..Bookmark here

You fill in the blanks yourself. Apparently, dildos are still a thing in this time and age.Bookmark here

I checked the time, another 15 minutes to go before class starts, and 30 minutes to go before the exam. I took this chance to visit the washroom. As I got up from my seat, I snuck a glance at Pu’er. Our eyes met, xe looked away.Bookmark here

Hopefully xe didn’t misunderstand my intentions. I don’t know when hirs personality will undergo a shift, or when hirs angel system will show up. Bookmark here

I’m merely being prudent.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.