Volume 1 Chapter 9 – Half Full from Anger
6pm. The welcome dinner began.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please quiet down. First, let us invite the Headmaster to address us for tonight’s dinner.” No matter where, big scaled events always started with the leader’s speech. They usually said matters of not much importance, and were just platitudes.
However, the opening speech for the welcome dinner today was different, and it would prove to be an unforgettable event for Ouyang Tao.
Headmaster Grant was a man past his seventies but was still an energetic old man. He wore a grand black robe, and held a sample of a bird standing on a nest in his hand. He strode onto stage was followed by a group of workers carrying large metal boxes.
“To all new students and all outstanding graduate students, good evening!” Although it was only a normal greeting, the headmaster’s loud voice revealed his spirit, which caught everyone’s attention.
Holding up the sample in his hand, he asked: “Can everyone see the sample in my hand? Does anyone know which bird it is?”
“It’s a cuckoo bird, Headmaster.” Someone answered from below the stage.
“That’s right! It is a cuckoo bird.” Then, he removed an egg from the nest. “So what egg do you think this is?”
“Of course it the cuckoo bird’s, Headmaster!” The same person replied. Then, people from the Feral Beasts department started to laugh.
“Please sit down student. Very sorry, but this is a sparrow egg.” As he said that, more people started laughing. The embarrassed student could only sit down awkwardly. The headmaster signaled everyone to keep quiet before continuing: “The bird nest is a sparrow’s nest as the cuckoo does not know how to construct a nest.
Just what is this headmaster trying to say? The speech by the old man that Ouyang Tao thought was going to be boring suddenly got him interested.
“The cuckoo bird only lays its eggs in another bird’s nest. However the baby cuckoo is born earlier and is bigger than other birds. Therefore, it requires more food to grow. So how do they do it?” He let go out of the sparrow egg in his hands; it then fell to the ground and broke into pieces. “This is how they do it.”
After which, the headmaster even flipped the entire nest over, causing all the other sparrow eggs to fall onto the floor, and smash to become a pile of garbage —— Ouyang Tao did not know why, but this action felt very impactful to him. It was as if something in his heart had been smashed as well.
“Everyone here are like a newly born cuckoo, and these……” The headmaster suddenly stopped and waved his hands up. All the metal boxes around him suddenly opened up and paper from inside flew to the sky before spilling onto the floor. “Are the sparrow eggs who failed to survive.”
Ouyang Tao picked up one of the pieces of paper and immediately understood what the headmaster meant —— these were all application forms from people who failed to get into Augustus Academy. After a while, the papers self ignited, and did not even leave ash behind, as they disappeared into thin air. With that, the headmaster continued his speech.
“Every year, millions of people from all over the country and world send in their application for Augustus Academy, all vying to sit at the spot you are in now. But every year, we only accept three thousand and thirty people. Therefore, just by sitting here, you all have already defeated millions of enemies. Hence, I congratulate all of you!”
The applause rang aloud from below the stage and stopped quickly, but at this time, Ouyang Tao felt a sudden sense of fear.
“Maybe some of you might think that this is very cruel, heartless, and even empathise with the failures. However, I can tell your for sure, that there is no need for that. Because what a cuckoo faces is the Pine Lappet, what other birds cannot handle. And for all of you, what you need to accomplish in the future is a mission which normal people cannot perform.”
This is definitely not a normal academy! In Ouyang Tao’s heart, this was the conclusion he had already formed, and he was extremely certain about it because of what the Headmaster had pointed out at the end.
“Augustus Academy is a battle academy! Everyone of you is a fighter! Every day of your life here is a fight! Even though you won the first battle, do not relax, because the battle has only begun!”
A strict hierarchy of nobility and commoners and ruthless battles; learning and training in such an environment would no doubt, produce an elite of the magic world. As expected, this strictness was the reason why it was worthy of being called the top magic academy.
However, Ouyang Tao was worried about the “mission which normal people cannot perform” that the Headmaster had said, and wondered what it was.
As the headmaster finished his speech, the dinner officially started. Once again, Ouyang Tao was engulfed by a lonely atmosphere. Furthermore, he faced his first adversity after arriving at the Academy —— at the dinner, the special faculty students ate french cuisine, but he didn’t even know how to use a fork and knife.
The others at his table already began chatting and gracefully ate their meal, but Ouyang Tao could only eat the garlic bread, and stare at the remaining food without knowing how to start.
After some contemplating, he attempted to imitate the actions of others, but because of the friction between the knife and fork with the plate, he produced a “creaking” noise.This caused the others at his table to look at him in disdain, and made Ouyang Tao feel even more awkward.
Drats, I can’t even eat a meal properly! Ouyang Tao was anxious and angry; he was unusually discontent mainly because of how the others looked at him —— this silent kind of ostracizing would make one even more angry, compared to insults that were voiced. It was because this kind of contempt came originated from deep within their bones —— plainly speaking, they looked down on commoners.
And this, deeply injured Ouyang Tao’s pride.
At this point, Ouyang Tao felt as though he was sitting on pins and needles. Every second felt longer and several times, he thought of standing up and leaving; but in the end, he decided to not do so.
Leaving would mean that he was avoiding them. It would mean that he gave up and surrendered! This would make them look down on him even more.
Furthermore, the good food there, was definitely worth eating!
Screw it. Since it’s already like that, I shall just do it my way; all the manners and images should just go to hell! I should just eat first and decide later!
With this in mind, Ouyang Tao carried a determination to give it his all. He picked up the soup and gulped down the thick buttery soup. Then he used the fork and stuffed all the food into his mouth. No matter was it foie gras, cod fish, desert or whatever, Ouyang Tao did not care. As long as it was food, it entered the mouth. Even the steak was picked up using the fork and bitten off piece by piece. After finishing his dishes, he finally gulped down the fruit juice before wiping his mouth and rising to leave his seat.
“A commoner is a commoner.”
“I can’t believe such a person could enter Mechanical Engineering. This must be a joke.”
These comments that came from behind Ouyang Tao were clearly heard, but he did not care. All that was important was the fact that he was full! —— Even if half of it was due to anger.
Doing his own thing and not caring about the comments from others —— this meal in some ways, set down the tone of Ouyang Tao’s future school life.