Chapter 10: The Dark Horse
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ye Futian looked at Ling Xiao, who was laughing at him with irony. However, Ye Futian seemed calm as usual.
“This list only contains those who merely qualified; why are you laughing like that?” Ye Futian spoke slowly, then glanced around to see that other people were also chuckling.
“Come on, seriously,” Ling Xiao laughed even harder and stared at Ye Futian. “You don’t think you made it onto the List of Excellence, do you? You have been daydreaming for three years, and you are clearly not going to stop now. You know what? You are just hopeless.”
“Look at your face. Stop that outrageous laugh, please. I doubt you will be able to keep it when I make it onto the list of the highest rankings.” Ye Futian frowned at him. He knew Ling Xiao had always looked down on him, but how severe was his hatred that Ling Xiao was excited about his failure?
“Sounds like you will not shed a tear until you see the coffin, right? Then keep waiting.” Ling Xiao sounded cold. Ye Futian shook his head and ignored him.
The lecturers were still busy organizing the test papers and lists. After a while, Qin Yi came onto the stage to announce the names of 72 students who had made it onto the List of Perfection. Of course, a remarkable student like Ling Xiao was on the list. He was now behaving even more arrogantly towards Ye Futian. He was waiting until the end of the list announcement to throw every insult right in Ye Futian’s face.
Feng Qingxue felt excited because her name had not shown up on the List of Perfection. She had definitely passed the test, which meant that her name was possibly on the List of Brilliance. Once she performed well after the written test, she would have achieved her goal.
“Feng Qingxue.” The List of Brilliance was being announced, and Feng Qingxue was first. Her eyes shined as she smiled with ecstasy. She definitely deserved her spot.
“Yu Sheng.” The announcements continued. Every name on the list really meant something at the academy.
“Murong Qiu.” This was the last name on the list. The announcer lowered their hands.
Murong Qiu suddenly turned pale, and looked as if he were truly frustrated.
There were 36 names on the List of Brilliance. For most ordinary people, it would be glorious; but sadly for him, this was not the case. Anything other than the List of Excellence meant failure to him.
Last time, he had ranked third on the List of Excellence. He had participated in the exam this time to challenge the legendary girl, but he had failed again, and by an even worse margin. In the stands, a member of the Murong family also looked pretty gloomy.
“Murong Qiu only made the List of Brilliance. There’s not even a rank for this list,” the Murong family member mumbled. They were right, as only the top three could be ranked for being on the List of Excellence.
Other people were also wondering and discussing to themselves. There should be three on the List of Excellence. Common sense said that the legendary girl and Yang Xiu would be the top two. But if that was the case, who had taken Murong Qiu’s place and forced him onto the List of Brilliance?
It was even more mysterious because the famous students had all already been listed on the List of Brilliance. People could not find anyone that was missing.
“Looks like we have a dark horse; but who is it?” People started looking around to figure out who they were missing for this possible honor.
This mystery had nothing to do with Ling Xiao. He watched Ye Futian intently, believing he was just bluffing and pretending to be calm after the first two lists had been announced.
In the very front, several masters of the academy were having a debate over the ranks of the last three tests. Yang Xiu took a deep breath; he was not sure whether he would beat Hua Jieyu this time. He had already promised the College of Sorcery that after this Fall Quarter Exam that he would join the college and become an official student, which meant that this was his last chance to beat Hua Jieyu.
Finally, the masters reached a consensus. Someone recorded the decision, and a master went towards the crowd, prepared to give the final announcement. The whole place was suddenly cloaked in silence. Everyone’s ears perked up for the final decision.
“Yang Xiu, number three on the List of Excellence,” the master gave the first name. Everyone immediately began gossiping.
Yang Xiu was only number three? For real?
Yang Xiu, someone who had always ranked under Hua Jieyu, was suffering the same tragedy as Murong Qiu? Who had caused that?
Impossible! Yang Xiu had gotten nothing but disappointment from the wait. He seemed lost. This has to be impossible….
His entire mind had been fixated on being ranked over Hua Jieyu. However, this time, it had turned out even worse. How was he supposed to accept this reality?
“Who is it, for god’s sake?” People were becoming even more curious. They began focusing on the master announcing the list.
“Number two on the List of Excellence, Hua Jieyu.” Another name came out, and it bewildered the entire crowd.
Hua Jieyu had consecutively ranked number one for three straight Fall Quarter Exams. Now she was number two? How could that have happened?
What was even more strange was that neither Yang Xiu or Murong Qing had beaten her. There was only one thing on the minds of everyone in the building: who was this John Doe?
Hua Jieyu was even a bit surprised herself. She subconsciously looked at Ye Futian, and suddenly realized that something unusual might have been happening.
The tension was at an all-time high. Everyone waited in suspense to find out who it was.
He made it. Yu Sheng tightened his fists. He was kind of excited. No one knew why he was suddenly behaving like this, or whether there was anything worth being excited about. However, he was the only one who knew what was coming.
The eyes of the master passed all over the crowd, eventually stopping on a boy. The master seemed astonished and surprised. For three years he had been a nobody at the academy, but now he was going to be the superstar?
“The number one ranking on the List of Excellence for the Qingzhou Academy Fall Quarter Examination is…” the master paused, then said slowly:
The crowd immediately shut down and became silent upon hearing this name. It was as if the entire building was muted.
Every possible expression was showing on the crowd’s faces. They had considered every possibility, but not Ye Futian. How could their imagination have been that wild? This guy had abandoned the exams for three years, and had been stuck in the Collection Plane. Ye Futian, champion of the written test, sounded like the worst joke ever.
However, people soon realized that the masters of the academy would never pull a prank like that for this exam. Suddenly, they were even more shocked by the decision.
“Ye Futian, champion of the test? Tell me I am dreaming, please.” Some were doubting whether they had heard the announcement correctly.
“Ye Futian?” Qin Yi was next to the master. She repeated the name, seemingly dumbfounded. Nobody had thought that his name would show up on the List of Qualification; they thought he wouldn’t have done well enough to even accomplish that. It was incredible that he had performed so well that he had made it onto the List of Excellence.
Ling Xiao’s face turned to stone. He had believed Ye Futian would be expelled from the academy soon, and had prepared a long, humiliating speech for Ye Futian. Now, Ye Futian was number one. How could that have even happened?
Feng Qingxue was in such awe that she could not speak. Her eyes moved from the master who had announced the list slowly to where Ye Futian was sitting.
Ye Futian sat in his spot quietly. The smile on his face was the same as usual; calm and light. It seemed like he knew he deserved this honor, and that nothing was shocking about the outcome to him. What strong confidence he had.
Could it be possible that the last three missed years had only served to make this moment more glorious?
Hua Jieyu was sitting next to Ye Futian. She observed this boy with her beautiful eyes. This boy had broken her record, but she did not seem too disappointed; it was not like the bitterness that was on the faces of Yang Xiu and Murong Qiu. Instead, she felt curious and surprised.
Her father had told her that Ye Futian was as talented as she was. At first she had refused to admit it. Actually, she had looked forward to this Fall Quarter Exam, because Ye Futian would not have been able to conceal his talent anymore. She was eager to know why her father had broken his rule and accepted him as his student. She was quite surprised by the results.
“Something must be wrong,” someone yelled all of a sudden. All the eyes were suddenly drawn to the shouter, Yang Xiu, who was standing in front of Ye Futian.
It was already disappointing enough to be listed as third place on the List of Excellence, but it was even more humiliating to see that it was Ye Futian who had made this happen. Ye Futian had been humiliated by him moments before the lists were announced. How could this have happened? Had he made himself look like a total fool?
“What’s the problem, Yang Xiu?” The master looked at him.
Yang Xiu paused for a second, then glanced at Ye Futian with contempt. “He sat next to Hua Jieyu. He must have cheated off of her to earn that score.”
“Yes, plagiarism, that’s definitely it,” Ling Xiao followed. Many others seemed to be in agreement about this reasonable explanation.
“Who do you guys think we are? Professors, or just a bunch of old blind folks?” It was like cold water was being thrown right in their faces. The test papers of the top three had gone through the strict review of multiple masters. How could plagiarism have gone unnoticed by them?
Ye Futian slowly tapped on the desk with his fingers. He was casual and relaxed; he believed that all the doubt would be silenced by the truth.
“You are all honorable masters, but people just have different preferences. I cannot accept the fact that I am listed as number three and that Ye Futian is number one because you preferred his viewpoints.” Yang Xiu was completely agitated. He was desperately trying to pull Ye Futian off his throne.
The master looked at Yang Xiu with disappointment. It seemed that this student had little patience for failure. Without ever enduring failure, even a talented student like Yang Xiu could never make significant achievements in the future.
Ye Futian looked at Yang Xiu. He was so persistent, even when it only brought shame onto himself.