Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Above the second floor, the sound like dripping water spread from Ben’s hands, going in all directions, evenly cascading down on the floor below.
The music was as smooth as flowing water, but suddenly become violent like fire and lava, and illuminated everything that the students had repressed along its way.
“Write it down!” Ben coldly stared at the candidates below, as if he was looking at dirt. On the floor as clear as crystal, his shadow loomed down like a terrible creature. Defying the laws of nature, his shadow quickly expanded and invaded the candidates’ shadow.
Instantly, everyone seemed to have been hit by lightning. Their bodies stiffened and they seized their pens.
A demon seemed to roar within them, “Write down your most painful secret!” The harsh voice surged violently, like a chainsaw battling a sword!
“Dad, brother, I’ve failed you!”
In the examination room, a boy about seventeen-years-old suddenly burst into tears. He grabbed his pen and started writing frantically on the blank exam paper,
“I’m sorry, I am worthless. I did not study the music theory well. I have disgraced the family. Please forgive me!”
From his writing, the image of a poor family emerged. They were hard working, and borrowed a lot of money, but they had provided him, their youngest child, the chance to an education. There was an older brother, who had been close to the younger brother once, but alienated him as they grew older because of money. And himself, who could never get good grades no matter how hard he tried.
“Haha! You all deserve to die! To die!” in the corner, a red-haired man laughed hysterically. He held the pen in his hand as if he was holding a knife, frantically stabbing the air in front of him, and writing names on the paper.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, Severus…a dozen names crossed out like a hit list. He kept stabbing with a grim smile, “Die everyone! Anyone who stands in the way of the Draco’s family has to die!”
“Give me the money first, I want a deposit!” A thin and hunched candidate with fiery eyes wrote down his plan on the paper, “I promise you, as long as I get into the academy, I will help you steal that thing…”
Above the second floor, the examiners stared at the scandals down in the examination room, expressionlessly recording their students’ actions in their own notes.
“Didn’t think he’s a spy.” Someone saw the hunched candidate, and shook his head coolly. “At the end of the examination, transfer him to the discipline department.”
The examiner responsible for the northeast corner raised her hands, “I found two here as well. They were spies from the other schools.”
“This man desires his own sister? Bad character, flush him out.”
“Ruthless character, get him out.”
“A murderer? Take him to the police station.”
“This man forged his medical report, he has to go.”
This was the most difficult part of the exam. Led unconsciously by the music, everyone would reveal their deepest secret.
Moreover, this was “Shadow of the Interrogation” played by a real musician. Even a spy with official training could not hide, let alone a group of immature minors.
Ben smiled coldly. When his eyes reached the young man in the middle of the examination room, he was shocked.
In his seat, Ye Qingxuan was struggling to hold up his head, twisting painfully like he was struggling in a nightmare. His hands were twitching, but refused to grasp the pen.
His mind was resisting against the influence of the music.
“As expected.” Ben smiled and increased the intensity of the music. “Let me see into your little heart. What secrets are you hiding?”
On the chair, the boy’s body was shaking frantically, like a dying snake. His hands were tightly clutching the pen, but not a word was written down.
He was still fighting! Fighting hard!
“Say it.” Ben growled. The music increased by two octaves, becoming more and more sharp.
The white-haired was in pain, his body was trembling violently. He almost could not bear it any longer.
“Tell me!” Ben demanded as if the devil was roaring next in his ears. He raised the pitch even higher.
As if a strong current had gone through his body, Ye Qingxuan suddenly jumped from his seat, his eyes turned white.
He was still biting his teeth, refusing to talk.
Finally, the music shattered like broken glass. Iron residue fell from above resulting in a horrifying screeching noise that made all of the proctors cringe. They did not know, but it had exceeded the safety threshold by more than three times!
This was not a mild test, but a vicious torture breaching the souls! Even adults could not bear such terrible pressure!
“Say it all!” Ben’s eyes turned bloody red with a hellish madness and malice. His voice boomed like thunder inside the young man’s heart, “Tell all your dirty secrets, say it all!”
As if the last string had broken, the young man’s body suddenly seized up. While holding his pen, he struggled and opened his mouth. He looked up, staring at the invisible sky, his eyes rolling back.
Under the viscous force, his finally gave in.
“Yes, say it.” Ben cheerfully laughed, “Say it! Say it! The biggest secret in your heart. What’s on your dirty mind! Reveal it all!”
With Ben’s mad laugh, Ye Qingxuan opened his mouth slowly. With a painful voice he began to pray.
Ben was stunned, “…Huh?!”
“I will fill this river, let it run endless, for you, my Lord, for you.” The young man prayed intently. He opened his hands and drew an emblem in the air. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”
Bathed in the afternoon sunlight, the young man clasped his hands together over his chest. He was moved to tears by the God’s teaching, and praised the glory of the Lord with devotion. In the sunlight, his body was like a saint…not! Ben was seething with rage.
“What is this? What is this f*cking sh*t!? What is he doing!?” Ben screamed inside his head.
Ben’s face had turned from green to bright red. He felt as if he were about to collapse.
In the afternoon sunlight, the examination room was like an asylum.
Someone was cursing fate with anger. Someone was crying with fear. Someone was begging for money with greed. Someone was writing a sex novel while performing a striptease. Someone was writing down a plan to kill all his brothers and sisters in competition for their inheritance.
With everyone running wild, only the white-haired young man was crying with compassion for the world, writing down the century-old scripture, a creed inscribed in every devout believer–the “Self-cultivation of Clergy.”
His smile was merciful, and his tears flowed with compassion as if a saint from the kingdom of heaven had fallen upon him. At his fingertips, a humble ring quietly shone with a silver glow.
“God, praise you, Hallelujah!”
Ye Qingxuan had a vague dream.
At first, noises came from all directions and his heart was filled with pain. It had become unbearable for him, but suddenly, all the noises disappeared as if the dream angrily deflected all of the external noises.
All the torture was gone, and he was back in the church again.
In the afternoon sunlight, Father Bann was holding the Holy Bible. His eyes were serious as he guided Ye through the holy poems. The elegant poetry had almost moved Ye Qingxuan to tears.
He was immersed in this strange feeling, loudly praising the great God, and could not help himself. He scribbled down the teachings of God, and the saints.
In this dream, everything had seemed normal. Only the ring was slightly hot, and exuded a strange light.
When he woke up, it was close to sunset.
He found himself not in the examination room, but was leaning against a soft chair in an office, spacious and bright.
Opposite him, Ben with his face deathly pale gave him a very mean look.
“Ye Qingxuan?” He asked.
Ye Qingxuan nodded blankly.
“Congratulations, you have passed the written test.” Ben squeezed out an ugly smile, “Full marks.”
“Wow.” Ye Qingxuan chuckled, “Thanks for all of your consideration.”
“Considerations your *ss!” Ben nearly said.
Ben wanted to flip the table again, but when he recalled the scene in the examination room, and he felt pain in his testicles again.
“What kind of drug was this guy on?! Being a psychopath was not enough, he had to turn into a nut possessed by God!” Ben thought.
He had reformed dozens of candidates on the spot. They cried at his feet for the Lord’s forgiveness, and then vowed to repent. Even their written confessions had been washed away by the light, the paper as pure as the white lotus!
The Royal Academy of Music had a hundred years of history! And this examination more than forty times! This kind of sh*t had never happened!
Because of this bastard, the passing rate was more than eighty percent! And as this was his own doing, Ben had to suffer all the consequences, from the elite faction’s counterattack, the Principal’s withdrawal, and this guy’s obstruction.
When he thought of this, Ben could not help but want to grab this little bastard and beat him up. But with that letter of recommendation, real or not, he could only suppress his anger and squeezed out an ugly smile worse than crying.
“That little bastard better not be too happy too early. The exam is not over yet. We will see!” Ben schemed inside of his head.
“Because it is difficult to gather the teachers from different schools, the hands-on exam will be in ten days.” Ben smiled reluctantly and maintained a gentle voice, “In addition to the exam, you will also have to complete a hands-on examination. I’m looking forward to your performance.”
“Hands-on exam? What is that?” Ye Qingxuan was stunned. He had a bad feeling.
“Do you not know?” Ben asked rhetorically, managing a surprised look. “The Royal Academy of Music had always focused on both knowledge and actual practice, so this test is also an important part of the exam.”
He paused, and softly said, “This part is mainly to determine the basic eligibility of the candidates. As long as you can correctly use notes, and are able to interact with the aether, you will be fine. But for someone as good as you are, I’m sure it won’t be a problem.”
When he finished, Ben subtlety glanced at Ye Qingxuan’s eyes. Using a voice only he could hear, he snickered softly, “Of course someone like you who had never interacted with aether will be a different story.”
Ye Qingxuan was petrified.
After his long silence, he softly asked, “What happens if I don’t pass?”
“Eliminated,” Ben opened his hands casually, his voice cold.
Ye Qingxuan was suddenly dumbfounded.
Eliminated certainly did not mean he would have to wash dishes for the Royal Academy of Music. If he failed, he would not even have the opportunity to wash dishes! But the problem was that besides the one time in the forest when he almost died, Ye Qingxuan had not felt aether in almost ten years!
“Can…an exception be made?” Ye Qingxuan asked weakly.
“No.” Ben shook his head, “Have you heard of a magician without magic?”
Ye Qingxuan understood him, and was silent.
A magician without magic was just someone playing tricks on the streets. Similarly, how could some who cannot control aether have anything to do with being a musician? Just go and play the trichord in the pub?
Ye Qingxuan had thought of everything, but had not counted on the school asking for this.
He thought that once he got accepted by the school, he would have lots of time to resolve this problem, but did not think he would be tested on this so quickly. He turned around silently and asked where he could buy an aether ball, then went straight to the store.
The hands-on exam would be in ten days! There was no time to hesitate or to waste.
If he passed, then he would be on his way to becoming a musician.
If he failed, everything would be lost.
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