13 Chapter Thirteen
(Correlated with the manhua's chapter 13)
Mystifying the examiners and other students, Mo Fan released a powerful fireball which shot up into the air and exploded, causing the air to rumble and quake. The eyes of those watching were quite comical to Mo Fan, which he did relish in slightly. He admitted to himself that the feeling of aweing a large crowd which previously doubted his magical capabilities was pleasant. Especially the examiners.
"Aah, my mistake, Mo Fan. You have clearly aligned all your stars. But…"
The examiner wasn't the only person scratching their head in confusion. Far from it! The stands within the stadium were full of whispers, speculations of what had just occurred. They ranged from Mo Fan purposefully withholding his magical energy just to cause a stir to the idea that a powerful magician was actively sabotaging the exam.
Yet, Mo Fan didn't need to go to such lengths as casting magic at the ceiling of the stadium and risk damaging school property, because the situation was clear to the more powerful individuals in the building. Particularly to Ms. Tang Yue, a few other teachers, and the principal.
"Student Mo Fan!" Suddenly, the attention of the entire stadium was pulled to a gray-haired and mustached man with a large build standing before the school's teachers atop a balcony reserved for school staff—the principal. The principal allowed a few seconds to pass, waiting for all talking to cease before he continued. "Allow me to provide you an apology on Tian Lan Magic High School's behalf for the examiners' inability to see that that examination orb did not function properly." The principal's words rang a bit harsh in the examiners' ears. To them, it was unfair that they were expected to notice when equipment they didn't understand malfunctioned! Hell, they thought, the situation was fine after Mo Fan displayed his fire magic. "Of course, you may test again after I take a look at the orb."
Utilizing a technique, the principal shot down from the balcony he previously stood on and appeared beside Mo Fan, who jumped in fright at his sudden appearance.
"Heh heh. That's the reaction I always hope for." The principal chuckled after seeing Mo Fan's expression and took a step toward the examination orb. With a single hand, the principal lifted the glass-like orb and investigated the pedestal it previously sat on. The principal's face quickly darkened as he noticed traces of a substance on the pedestal.
"Damn! This is nullstone! And it's almost depleted!"
His words were uttered loud enough for Mo Fan and the nearby examiners to hear, prompting the three examiners to shutter before exclaiming the same thing.
"Nullstone? What's that?"
"The principal made it sound dangerous. Could it be…?"
"Maybe the exam was really sabotaged?"
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Another round of whispers swept through the stands full of students while the teachers quietly discussed among themselves.
"I will be sure to investigate the root of this matter! As for you, student Mo Fan, please reexamine your magical energy with the orb."
On the surface, Mo Fan appeared confused while he thanked the principal for his assistance and stepped forward toward the orb, but underneath, Mo Fan fought the urge to smile coldly.
*"Nullstone? That's the best those damned Mu could do? Then again, this IS a live examination, making it incredibly difficult to falsify records. Whatever. The plan might have worked if it weren't for the fact that I've aligned my stars. If I hadn't, then I'd have no evidence that I'd made any progress in the quality of my magical energy."*
Mo Fan read about nullstone from the school's library, learning that it was a valuable substance which could absorb magical energy released by magicians and was heavily controlled by the government. However, nullstone was also very unstable and would go through a process similar to evaporation and disappear, leaving no trace of tampering on the orb.
Although, that tiny bit of nullstone proved useless against Mo Fan because all it could do was absorb the magical energy Mo Fan directly injected into the examination orb. If Mo Fan hadn't aligned his stars like most of the other first-years, he'd be forced to continue injecting energy into the orb, but no amount of his beginner magical energy would have elicited a response from the orb with the nullstone in place. Thankfully, he was already able to cast spells.
Shouts and exclamations sounded from the audience of students as Mo Fan inserted his fire aspect magical energy into the examination orb once more, causing it to brightly shine with a crimson flare.
"That's my boy! Brother Fan, always making me proud!" Up in their seats, Xiao Hou prodded Zhou Kun San with his elbow. "You see that? You see that?! What were you saying about Mo Fan earlier?!"
Meanwhile, the other members of Mo Fan's class had very different reactions, shouting, "Holy crap! Haven't we been calling Mo Fan a loser?! Not only can he cast magic but it's on par with if not even stronger than Mu Bai's ice! Ah, Young Master Mu!"
Mu Bai pushed the loud student aside to get a better view of the stage, clear disbelief in his eyes as he wondered what went wrong. "There's no way! He couldn't even control a single of his stars properly before this! Why…was he hiding his ability this whole time?!"
After making sure his magical energy quality was rated ten of ten, Mo Fan was about to challenge one of the examiners when…
"Our Tian Lan High School truly has no shortage of exceptional students! Boy, your talents with fire are really something else. You should come train at the Mu family manor. I will grant you more resources to train with."
Incredulous at first, Mo Fan's expression transformed into one of rage as he turned around to see the hateful man who made him the offer. His fists clenched and his body trembled as he forced himself to look the man in his eyes, ready to smack his outstretched hand.
"Mu Zhuo Yun… IT'S YOU!"