A beast in estrus didn’t have any sanity to speak of, the one in front of them was an obvious example of this. With a thunderous roar, the beast lunged towards them.
The five cadets ducked out of the way. Astra took out his quantum weapon, which was the size of his palm and made out of a silver-colored metal. Silvery-white energy gathered at its opening, crystalizing into the shape of a sword. ‘Dang it, so the weapon from the Academy was actually this light-saber like thing’, Astra thought.
The others also silently took out their swords. The energy swords looked like a child’s toy next to the rampaging beast in front of them.
But, the energy swords seemed to make the beast wary, making it all the more enraged. A pair of blood red eyes stared at the figure closest to it, which just happened to be Astra. The ground beneath the animal sank under its stomping feet, shallow craters appearing with each of its heavy steps.
Astra was actually a little excited.
This excitement was entirely unexpected, especially since this was his first time facing a life or death situation like this, confronting an angry beast. It was as though he was born to be an adventurer, the danger made the very air he breathed taste like sweet anticipation. He desired to use the sword in his hands to pierce the beast’s thick hide with the most primitive act of warfare, this primal desire for power engulfed him more completely than any want for the high towers and sparkling lights of the modern world.
He raised his blade, holding it in front of his body.
His motion attracted the attention of Wen, who stood beside Astra and saw the fervour in his eyes.
Hunger, intent, and anticipation.
Wen pursed his lips, impressed by what he observed, and a smile threatened to break free. But he still rushed forward before Astra could do anything.
Wen’s appearance was that of an eighteen year old, he possessed the same energy as one as well, but no one in the world actually knew his secret.
He was not an eighteen year old recruit, he had actually lived for thirty eight years already.
His spiritual energy was that of an adult who had experienced twenty years of gruelling practice. The medicine Wen drank made his spiritual energy increase dramatically, the increase especially prominent as he had already been one of the most powerful men in the universe before consuming it.
To him, returning to the body of a teenager was a bittersweet experience.
The energy sword sliced a gaping wound on the beast’s body. Astra followed close behind and made the wound even deeper before the beast could react.
Just in time as they backed away, the beast smashed its tail onto the ground in blind fury. The force of its movement created a deep trench in the ground.
“Fanged Beast, corrosive saliva, poisonous tail spike, thick hide.” Linus flipped through the content hurriedly. “One of Vagor’s top five most dangerous animals.”
There was little information available about the Fanged Beast, so Linus couldn’t find anything on how to kill it.
“Just our luck.” Simon swore as he tried to attract the beast’s attention. For some reason, the animal seemed dead set on killing Wen, so all Simon could do was try to draw its attention away. “I just stabbed it twice on the head, the hide didn’t even break, does this thing even have any weaknesses?”
Under the beast’s chin, Wen thought as he fought.
But he didn’t speak up. Not only did he choose to remain silent, he also pretended to be losing strength, slowing down the speed and force of his attacks.
Wen and Astra attracted the majority of the beast’s attention, so after Wen backed off, the intensity of the animal’s attacks directed at Astra increased.
Astra had no time to ponder what the protagonist was thinking, right now, the blood in his body was positively boiling with excitement of the hunt, thoughts of “I’m going to kill this beast” filled his head.
What type of man couldn’t even kill a wild animal?
Just as Wen was acting as if he was succumbing to the beast’s attacks, Astra took a step back, planted his feet, and lunged into the air. The energy sword cut deep into the beast’s body, dragging over that thick hide and slicing a long gash onto its side.
The Fanged Beast shook its body violently, its tail thrashed about, but Astra had already leapt to Simon’s side.
The hide was too thick, all their efforts at physical attacks were not enough to bring it down. Astra needed something that would kill the beast all at once, but how could he kill it with one move?
Spiritual energy, how could Astra attack with spiritual energy?
“Underside of its jaw!” Jiyu’s observation skills were no joke, his eyes lit up with the sudden realization. He attracted the beast’s attention to himself, so that the team members on the other side had a clear view of the beast’s chin. “Can you guys hit it?”
“Too hard.” Simon was extremely frustrated. He jumped to Jiyu’s side to help him out. “I can’t get close enough.”
Astra, “I can.”
He gripped his weapon tightly, thin wisps of spiritual energy wrapped around the light blade like strands of lightning, crackling as they twisted in the air.
The manifested spiritual energy followed its owner’s intentions, every strand of the lightning exuded danger and killing intent.
The feeling of releasing spiritual energy was very nice, it was as if the whole world was in his control. He could sense his surroundings down to the shifting of a single leaf, the swaying of a single grass blade.
The energy sword couldn’t inflict a wound deep enough to kill, but Astra had a feeling that spiritual energy could.
He was confident that all he needed was one strike.
A flash of amazement lit up in Wen’s eyes.
He moved to the side, giving Astra a clear strike zone, Jiyu and Simon gave their all to distract the beast’s line of sight.
When the Fanged Beast sensed the threat, it was already too late, the energy sword pierced just under its jaw, quick as a flash of lightning, drilling through the flesh and into the skull.
The energy sword passed cleanly through the animal’s head.
The lightning-like spiritual energy dispersed into the air, and the colossal beast collapsed onto the ground with a deafening BOOM.
Before the beast even appeared in front of them, Wen had already sensed its presence, and reacted by using his own spiritual energy to invade the beast’s brain. His spiritual energy had already been perfectly hidden inside its mind, integrating so deeply into it that Wen could’ve killed it with a single thought.
After the battle, the five of them stood still and looked at each other. Linus suddenly swiveled to Astra, his gaze burning as he spoke excitedly, “You used your spiritual energy to attack!”
For some reason, Astra felt a little guilty. “Yeah.”
Simon and Jiyu had also just realized this. “What the fuck!”
“We didn’t even start class yet and you already know how to use spiritual energy attacks, didn’t everyone agree to start on the same damn line?!!”
The same starting line? You dare to even think of that in front of the male lead? Astra grumbled internally.
But he didn’t know how to hide his spiritual energy yet, this was a big disadvantage, and he needed to deal with it as soon as possible.
Even though the comparison made them feel as if they were a different species from Astra, this was their friend that they were talking about. They quickly consoled themselves, at least they were all on the same team.
Jiyu suddenly asked, “Did anyone get injured?” He looked at Wen, worried.
Wen thought for a moment before retracting his energy sword and stowing the metal weapon back into its holster. “A little bit tired, that’s all.”
A beauty was still a beauty no matter what. Wen only looked a little worn out, but everyone else still couldn’t help but treat him gentler.
“You’ve worked hard.” Simon looked at him sympathetically. “No one knows why the Fanged Beast kept on chasing after you. Just now, almost all of its attacks were directed at you.”
In all honesty, Simon admired Wen a lot. Wen didn’t even look half as strong as he did, but he had a lot of stamina. If it had been him being attacked by the beast for so long, he wouldn’t have come out of it just a little tired. He would’ve been struggling to survive in one piece.
They all retracted their weapons. Astra took Wen’s arm and draped it over his shoulder. “You can lean on me.”
He wrapped an arm around Wen’s waist.
Astra’s hand was very large, and his palm was very hot. When he wrapped his arm around Wen’s waist, he suddenly realized that the protagonist’s waist was actually very thin.
One of Astra’s hands was enough to wrap halfway around Wen’s waist.
Astra’s spiritual energy sprouted and reached outwards like a plant towards sunlight, climbing along his arm and slithering onto Wen’s body, bringing with it the numbing and tingling sensation of electricity.
There was even a strand of spiritual energy curling over Wen’s cheek, playing with his long, dark eyelashes. The strand of spiritual energy carefully slipped against each lash, as if counting every last one of them. Wen closed his eyes in discomfort. “Stop playing around, Astra.”
Yet the beautiful fan of dark lashes remained trembling under the playful strand of spiritual energy.
Astra paid him no heed, instead he said, “Watch your feet.” He suddenly tightened the grip on his left arm. Before the male lead could startle and open his eyes, Astra had already scooped Wen securely into his arms, pressing him into his embrace. Wen’s waist was drawn forward into this soft and sudden hug, causing it to curve slightly against Astra’s hand. The two bodies met, plastering close together with no space in between. For a split second, the warmth from their bodies touched and melted into one. Before Wen could fully register this sensation, Astra had already let go of him.
Wen’s alluring scent was too close, too seductive.
“How are you?” Astra’s smile was positively shining, the gleaming row of white teeth was neat and pretty.
“It’s nothing.” Feeling a little strange, Wen paused. “Thank you.”
He leaned his entire weight on Astra’s body. “Where’s that fox?”
Simon ran to take a look, and then replied with a hint of disappointment in his voice, “It ran away!” He stomped his foot in frustration. “I’ve never eaten fox before! It was right in front of our eyes too, and we let it go.”
Wen sighed as well. “And here I thought we could add something to our menu today.”
Astra began to think seriously after being reminded by the two of them. “Even if we did catch it, we still have no way of eating it. We don’t have any tools or utensils.”
They had a knife, but without the proper spices, skinning the fox and cooking it just like that probably didn’t taste very good.
“I brought some.” Linus, handsome and paralyzed in the face as usual, pushed the button on his waist. There was a tiny storage space under the metal button, with several types of spices stored in clear plastic bags. Each bag was around the length and thickness of a thumb, but the Empire’s spices had all gone through the process of concentration and filtration, so just this amount was more than enough.
All the team members’ faces lit up at the sight, looking even happier and more relieved than they had when they killed the Fanged Beast. “Holy shit, we can actually eat meat!”
Linus remained expressionless. “Did you guys think I was joking when I said to reserve the nutrition packs for emergencies?”
“I’m already hungry.” Astra scrunched his face into a puppy begging face. “The fox already ran away, but if we walk towards the water source, we can definitely find another animal. If all else fails, we can still catch fish. Let’s hurry up.”
Linus looked at him with an expression of disgust, his eyes seemed to say, “How did an idiot like you ever rank number one?”
The second half of their journey was entirely peaceful, but no one dared to relax this time. Wen turned to the side to look at Astra, probably in an attempt to disperse the awkward feeling from before, and spoke, “Your talent for spiritual energy always manages to surprise me.”
Astra’s face split into a wide grin, the hand on Wen’s waist patted him twice as if in comfort, the movement slow and gentle. “Don’t worry, I still have a lot to learn.”
How could this place be so perfect in giving him so many excuses to hold Wen in his arms?
“You can take your time,” Wen’s words had a tone of assurance, “You don’t have to feel too pressured, because you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else, so you have all the reason in the world to relax and take a break.” Wen spoke with great certainty, as if he was discussing an established fact, “They won’t be able to catch up to you.”
Astra, “You think so highly of me, I feel embarrassed and shy now. If what you said is true then, partner, you better hurry up, second place can’t be too far behind the first.”
The way he said it was so cute. Wen laughed until his cheeks hurt. “Then I’d better hurry up,” He agreed.
The sound of flowing water came from somewhere in front of them. Simon yelled in surprise and elation, before dragging Jiyu and Linus with him as he sprinted towards the stream. He didn’t forget to turn around and look back at Wen and Astra. “What are you guys doing? C’mon, come on! Catch us if you can!”
“-as a reward for your encouraging words,” Wen continued what he was saying before, “I…”
The rest of his words were cut off by the splash of water and the sound of giggling.
The three youths stood frozen to the spot, as if they had completely forgotten what to do with their hands and feet, unsure whether to back away or go forward.
In the middle of the water, four gorgeous girls were playing in it. Their clothes were piled at the bank of the stream, and all of them wore only the most intimate articles of clothing. The water droplets rolled along and dripped from their creamy, exposed skin.
The girls’ laughter rang in the surrounding air like silver bells.
T/N: actually a better translation would be: “What balls can he use to fuck a man if he doesn’t even have enough to kill a wild animal?” It’s punny in Chinese but unfortunately it doesn’t cross the language barrier well. Still, I’d like to take a moment at the end here to present to you author-chan’s 18+ sense of humor. You’re gonna see a lot of it in the future 😀
T/N: also for those that are not aware, I do have advanced chapters avaliable on Patreon in case you’re interested. Otherwise I plan on posting 1-2x per week. Many thanks to Bubbles and Ves, amazing proofreaders that have decided to take on this charity case. I’ll post more official-looking credits section once Vex finds a nice fat cat pic for her profile 🙂