"Sorry, but you are not exactly my type," Michael apologized.
He was not exactly apologetic, but the fierce beauty didn't seem to be the type of person who accepted getting rejected. Oddly enough she didn't seem to mind the rejection. On the contrary, the fierce beauty began to chuckle, as if she enjoyed it.
"Then what is your type?" she asked nonchalantly.
'The type that is not sick in the head, probably?' He thought but didn't speak aloud.
Michael gave a light shrug and changed the topic.
"I don't think we've met before. You don't really look like a teacher either," Michael pointed out, "So why are you telling me all of this?"
He had a lot more to say, but he decided to stop right there. His first impression of the fierce beauty was pretty simple. She had a few loose screws, but she was powerful and with highly influential backing.
"Hmm..." She hummed lightly while keeping her gaze locked on Michael. Her intense gaze would intimidate most, yet Michael didn't seem to fazed. He looked her in the eye and returned her gaze with a tinge of suspicion and curiosity.
"Let's just say that I felt like you're more interesting than my brother's fiancÃ©," She revealed.
"You seem like a hard-working youth, who can overcome the lack of a good teacher. Your natural combat awareness is not bad either. Of course, you need a lot of refinement, but that can be done in the Saphirelake Military Academy."
'Is she searching for someone to play around, an idiot without backing? Well, I won't be that bastard, sorry sis!' Michael could say that but that would mean he had to deal with this crazy woman even longer.
This woman was just too talkative!
He was already mentally exhausted due to the final examination and that dream â€“ or whatever it was that he saw â€“ bothered him quite a lot.
'Why are you telling me all of this?'
Michael wanted to return home and read the records in the tattered book once again. He could find out more about the dream he had or witness another snippet of his ancestor's past.
'Do you even know who you're talking to?' The fierce beauty wanted to ask upon seeing the impatience in Michael's eyes, but she remained silent, unlike her usual self.
'Why did I even approach him? I shouldn't have told him to apply at the Saphirelake Military Academy either. What if he won't manifest a War Rune? No, even if he manifests a War Rune, there is no reason for me to invite him...'
The fierce beauty sighed deeply. She was not sure why she had done what she did. She had only reluctantly arrived at the Golden Sun province after being forced by her parents told her to look at her younger brother's potential fiancÃ©. However, what she saw disappointed her greatly.
Jasmine Blade, her potential sister-in-law, was born in the renowned sword master family of the Blade and was definitely beautiful. But that was already it.
She received enough resources and guidance from well-known instructors to rank in the province's top 5. However, everyone with discernable eyes could tell that Jasmine didn't try her best during the final examination. Her ambition was non-existent, and one could tell that she was spoon-fed everything necessary to rank at the top without even trying.
Was such a woman truly fit to join their family?
On the other hand, the young man in front of her was a sly fox and a fighter at the same time.
Michael Fang belonged to the middle class. His parents' whereabouts unknown, and his brother busy being the Lord of a small territory in the Origin Expanse, Michael gave his utmost to the most prestigious elite school in the Golden Sun province.
Unfortunately, he faced his classmates' bullying upon ranking first in the first exam. As a result, his grades slumped to the bottom of the class, barely enough to advance. Nobody thought that Michael would be able to graduate, not even his own homeroom teacher. But that was a grave mistake!
He may not rank first because he didn't have the necessary resources and training which his classmates received since they were young, but he would certainly give the top rankers some tough competition.
That was what she found out about Michael after she heard his homeroom teacher speak ill about him in the observation room. She just wanted to gauge his worth and look at him, at first.
However, something about him piqued her interest.
Michael did his best to adapt to his environment, make use of the little resources he was given, and attack when the opportunity arrived. His patience and work ethic were impeccable, and it was something the military needed.
It was much more interesting to see someone struggle with blazing flames of determination and ambition in their eyes than watching the spoon-fed idiots fighting amongst each other half-heartedly.
After mulling over it for a while, she held out her right hand and manifested a holographic screen.
"Give me your contact details. You can ignore my invitation if you don't like it. Maybe, I came across as too pushy," The fierce beauty said, following her gut feeling. Her vibrant smile had been replaced with a light, genuine smile. She toned down a bit, understanding that her excitement and interest had been a little bit over the top.
There was no need to pounce on Michael, not when things were still uncertain. She might be mistaken about him, but she felt that this was very unlikely.
Michael tilted his head but then nodded.
It was not as if it was hard to procure his contact details in the era of technology and Starnet. Sharing them with the unknown lady didn't pose a threat.
"By the way, my name is Alice Zenovia," she said suddenly, grasping the hand Michael held out.
lightsΝοvεl ƈοm'A total weirdo...' He thought but the corners of his lips curled upward, even if it was just a little.
"I'm Michael Fang..."
His trip home didn't take too long. He ordered a flying shuttle to bring him home, which was a five-minute flight through the aerial paths of Laki, the province's capital.
Laki was a big city with several million residents. It was a city that was alive all day, with crowded shopping malls, and bustling restaurants.
Michael lived near the central area, in a big family apartment that had three bedrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms, a big living room, and a crowded office. In a city like Laki where the estate prices were high enough to cause constipation, this was already luxurious.
The apartment's value was in the tens of millions. Fortunately, his parents paid off their loan early on. Despite not being at home at all, his parents sent a monthly allowance high enough to cover all the expenses. Thus, a message from them every other month was more than enough for Michael.
"Danny is not here? Maybe, he will be there tomorrow? No, he is probably busy with his territory," Michael mumbled when he realized that his brother was not home either. He didn't expect anything from his parents, but he felt a slight sting in his chest because of the absence of his brother.
'Time flows differently inside the Origin Expanse. It's just a birthday, not a life-and-death situation. Don't act like a weakling!' Michael told himself off. He shouldn't act like a spoiled child and instead accept reality. It was better that way.
Michael wanted to take a long nap now that he was finally at home, but he chose to enter the office. It was filled with books that Michael had read multiple times by now.
In the center of the office was a large wooden table and chair made of similar material â€“ one of the old kinds. Michael sat down on the chair and retrieved the old, tattered book from his backpack.
He put the book down on the table and opened it.
He began reading through the pages and entered a state of utter focus as he found himself captured by the book. He even lost track of time as he found the contents of the book highly riveting.
"Yes, I'm certain...that's literally the same as the events in the dream I had...It's literally the same..."
It was impressive and somehow made sense the more he thought about it. Logic didn't apply to what happened earlier this morning but then there were so many illogical things that one more thing didn't really make a difference.
"How can I experience it again? If I can learn something about the Origin Expanse, or about our ancestors through these snippets of the past which others don't know about, I should be able to gain an advantage others can only dream about..." Michael mumbled to himself.
He was deep in thought and didn't even notice the figure that had appeared in the doorframe of the office.
"Are you still reading the story about that bastard, Michael?" A familiar â€“ though judgmental â€“ voice reached his ears.
Michael flinched and his heart skipped a beat in shock while his head flicked upward. A smile blossomed on his face just a moment later.
"You're back, Danny? Why didn't you message me?" he exclaimed, forgetting about the tattered book at once.
He jumped up and approached his brother with a faint smile.
Daniel Fang was only a few years older than him, but he was not often at home because he was busy with his territory. Too many incidents shook his territory in the last few months, forcing him to stay in the Origin Expanse much longer than usual.
Dany ruffled through his younger brother's hair with a loving smile. He took a final glance at the old, tattered book and shook his head lightly afterward.
"I don't really like this book," He muttered under his breath before he added a little loudly, "I always feel like he is at fault for our misfortune."
Michael understood what his brother meant but he didn't really want to talk about it. He was not going to fight with his brother now that he was finally back from the Origin Expanse.
Their family might be pursued by misfortune but that could have many reasons.
Danny's eyes glimmered suddenly, and he punched Michael lightly on the shoulder. However, Michael had already predicted this. It was always the same with his brother! Danny's punch missed the target by a large margin.
Michael's smile widened upon seeing the frown on his brother's face.
Danny shot forward with a speed no ordinary human could dream of reaching. He appeared in front of Michael, his flat hand lifted.
His flat hand landed hard on Michael's head.
Michael slumped on the ground, holding his head in pain.
"Don't be a crybaby and come down to the training hall. I want to see if you're ready for tomorrow!" Danny ordered, his expression a little more serious than before.
Michael continued to rub his forehead, but he obeyed. Saying something to anger his brother when he was this serious wouldn't do him any good.
With that, Danny turned on his heels. He walked out of the office.
"If I'm not ready for tomorrow by now I will never be," Michael muttered to himself, "I worked my ass off for this day. It's impossible not to be ready..."
Michael had made ample preparations for tomorrow. He would turn 18 and his War Rune would form as well.
Not everyone would manifest a War Rune, but the Fangs were a little special in this regard. Since the arrival of the Origin expanse, the Fangs had always formed a War Rune after reaching the required age. Nobody could say for sure why that was the case, but most presumed that it was because of their first ancestor, the 'bastard'.
Michael looked a last time at the tattered book on the wooden table before he turned around as well.
[Legend of the Calamity]
It was one of a kind and harbored the truth behind a tale that would have been forgotten if not for the tattered book.
He left the office and closed the door behind him.