There were some real monsters in this school. Zen found out that not everyone had accurate rankings. The more famous individuals didn’t show their full potential in the starting game. It was a wise decision, and those individuals were the ones Sasha advised Zen to stay clear off. They were simply too dangerous to handle.
“They’re usually within the top 20 for the benefits. Class A and Class B are very far from our reach, even for me. If you see them coming close, run away. Immediately. Understand?”
Zen nodded. So far, Sasha told him about the three scariest students in the academy. The first was “Death Princess” who was currently ranked 5. The second was a crazy psychopath, better known as the “Terrorist”, who ranked 11. The third was a blind and effeminate man with the nickname “Seer”, ironically. He was ranked 9.
“Do you have their character profiles card?” he asked, and Sasha shook her head. “Don’t need them to know what they’re capable of. It’s an open secret. Do you not know?”
Zen shook his head. Brought up as the useless third young master of the Taro family, Zen was more knowledgeable about the different kinds of games and power-ups than real figures in the underworld.
“Due to circumstances, I didn’t receive the same knowledge and education as other heirs and heiresses… I was sent here to die.”
Sasha looked at her newly adopted younger brother with blue eyes full of pity, crushing him into her bony hug. Zen was startled by the reaction and became slightly nervous. He felt a tad bit uncomfortable with the physical contact and didn’t return the hug as Sasha blabbered in Russian, cooing at him in an attempt to comfort him.
The odd scene made them the centre of attention in the cafeteria. Zen looked around with his heart in his mouth. He was about to push her away when he received another message.
[The Godfather is impressed by your lady-killer techniques. You have been awarded 100 credits.]
Instead of getting happy over the sponsored amount, Zen could only calculate the number of sandwiches he could currently afford. His virtual wallet balance was now 400 credits, and Zen didn’t know if he should be thankful about being able to barely tide through the next two days until the Egg Hunt event.
Eventually, Sasha let Zen go and the nosy onlookers dispersed. Zen avoided Sasha’s eyes after such intimate contact. Instead, he changed the topic and thanked her for the meal.
“It’s no problem. You’re not the only one who suffers from lack of credits to buy food. Many other girls are claiming to go on a diet as well. Those below rank 90 can be found in the kitchen eating raw food to fill their stomachs. The school allows anyone to use the kitchen and any ingredients, but we’re mostly mafia tacticians and assassins. There’s no way we know anything about the duties of a maid or a butler! The same applies to those invigilators. Most of them are better fighters and killers. It’s a horrible place to be in.”
When Zen heard that the kitchen was a place free for all to use, his eyes lit up, and he stood up quickly.
“You asked what kind of skills I had, right? I might not be a good fighter, but I have one very unique skill that I think might just pull me ahead of others in ranks.”
Hearing that Zen was going to reveal his unique skill, she became excited and leaned in close enough for Zen to see her pores. Gently, he pushed her away and picked up his tray.
“If you want to know, you can follow me.”
As Zen and Sasha left the cafeteria after returning the tray, a few pairs of curious eyes followed them. One by one, these individuals also excused themselves and left the cafeteria. There was hardly any entertainment in this hell hole. Hence, it was only natural that everyone wanted to know who rank 100 was.
When the good-for-nothing troublemakers left, a certain long-haired gentleman frowned. Alone in a far corner of the cafeteria, there was an unapproachable air around him. Unlike Zen and Sasha, who wore the provided training uniforms, Liu Feng wore an elegant qipao that accentuated his long legs crossed beneath the table. From far, he looked like a beautiful fairy descended from the heavens. However, people knew better than to associate with the man known as the “Seer”. After all, he was the Pied Piper of death in Hong Kong.
The tea tasted like shit, so Liu Feng abandoned it. The last ranked child and Russian sniper girl were in trouble. Although Liu Feng was not a compassionate person by nature, he didn’t tolerate bullying of the weak. Besides, something told him that something fun was about to happen if he followed Zen Taro.
With the help of a school map and directory, Zen and Sasha found the kitchen. There were people in the kitchen, and Zen paused outside, not daring to go in. Sasha didn’t care. She simply barged in and slammed the door open in a forceful manner.
“Sasha “Two Shots” Angeloff is here! Low rankers get out now. I’m claiming this kitchen!”
Indeed, the low ranking students were trying to figure out what they could eat without cooking. Zen thanked his lucky stars. Nobody here knew how to cook, and this could very well be his advantage! It cost too much to buy everyone’s character profile cards, and Sasha advised him to get game highlight clips instead. Without much knowledge about anyone in the academy, Zen needed information.
“Big sister Sasha, would it be possible to cook in this kitchen using any ingredient?”
The sniper’s eyes widened. “You know how to cook?”
Zen nodded and averted his eyes a little. “I learned how from cooking simulation games but have not done it in person. I’m not very confident, but as thanks, I would like to cook you a meal.”
Hearing that there was someone who knew something about cooking, Sasha whooped in delight and agreed. Zen smiled and wondered if the godfather would expose his little trick. According to rule two, all transactions should use credits. There was no mention of trading favours. Would he be able to use food to buy people’s hearts, allies and information? If someone agreed to show him their character profile card in exchange for a nice warm meal, would that count as a rule violation?
Nervous about the risks he was taking, Zen felt his heart rate accelerate. The ingredients in this kitchen were fresh. Someone must be restocking it constantly. There was enough to feed everyone, and it didn’t cost anything. Zen decided to make something quick and simple for starters. He found the condiments he needed and picked out a few vegetables with a packet of meat.
Sasha watched how confidently Zen moved in the kitchen, grabbing strange utensils that she didn’t even know the names of. He looked like he belonged in the kitchen more than in the battlegrounds with how fluid his movements were. This wasn’t something a simple simulation game could teach.
The sound of a knife expertly hitting the chopping board from the kitchen made Liu Feng curious. He just finished taking out the trash and piled the last unconscious body on top of the neat pile with a casual toss. Something smelled good as well, and the sizzling sounds in a pan made the Chinese triad young master salivate.
Liu Feng wasn’t the only one enthralled by the delicious smell in the vicinity. The lower-ranked students scavenging the kitchen for food earlier returned and waited by the door, stealing peeks into the kitchen where Sasha was guarding. Liu Feng simply walked past them and entered.
Sasha snapped at the sound of bold but light footsteps and turned around, ready to growl at the intruder when she recognised the man.
“S-seer? What are you doing here?”
The fear in Sasha’s voice broke Zen’s concentration. The man who entered was effortlessly gorgeous. He could be a model if he wanted to with his effeminate appearance. Thos black and long straight hair flowed gently with every step he took, and Zen felt his jaw drop. How could anyone be so beautiful?
“I was enticed by the smell of something divine. Young chef, is it alright to keep gawking I smell some burning in your pan.”
Zen looked back at the meat he was frying and cussed. Liu Feng simply laughed at the cute reaction as Zen tried to salvage the burger patty he was making. Sasha stiffened when Liu Feng found a seat and made himself comfortable.
What was the Seer up to?