Short, Light, Free - novelonlinefree.info
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"Azure Flight? Fake Joint Body Inst.i.tution? What in the world is that about?" he grumbled unhappily.
"Actually, I've heard of that. Do you remember the administrative chairperson who managed the Disabled People Federation?" Mom asked.
"That d.a.m.ned fatty?"
"He broke an arm when he was little but he was a real Ordealer. He's quite the big figure, you know that, but he was transferred to the federation. I heard he even made improvements to it and he's the one who invested in Azure Flight Inst.i.tution. It started off as a Real Joint Body Inst.i.tution, but after accepting some under-qualified or disabled student, it was demoted to a Fake Joint Body Inst.i.tution. If they do accept our son, it won't sound as bad. Plus, there's no harm in going to talk to them first," Mom suggested.
Dad nodded. "But Fake Joint Body is still Fake Joint Body."
"But at least you've tried. Those Real Joint Body Inst.i.tutions aren't willing to accept him, no matter how friendly your relations.h.i.+ps with them are. No Real Joint Body Inst.i.tution will risk accepting a student that might not graduate."
"I'm really not that bad. Why won't you let me try?" I pleaded.
"This fatty has a strange personality. I've seen him at a meeting but we did not get to interact much. I'll try," Dad said before calling for his sword.
Again, he jumped on it before disappearing into the horizon moments later.
"Are you really interested in these?" Mom asked me.
"Yes. I've been dabbling in it for a few years now," I told her.
"Is that why you've been faring so poorly in school?" she deduced with a sigh.
"No, I just can't study," I explained, without mentioning that the pressure they put on me was part of the reason.
"Alright. Go upstairs."
That night, Dad knocked on my door. "Are you asleep?"
"No, come in," I called out.
He opened the door and walked in.
"Don't tell me it's not settled?"
"The princ.i.p.al's called Pang Dahai. Call him Uncle Dahai. I'll bring you to meet him tomorrow. Share all your strange ideas with him and I think he'll let you in," Dad told me.
"But you burned my book, Dad. I might mess up if I do it verbally," I replied nervously.
Dad smiled before sticking a strip of jade onto his head.
I perked up. "Oh! You read it all before burning it so you remember?"
He removed the jade strip and threw it at me before ruffling my hair. "I've told Uncle Dahai all about it but only briefly. He wasn't keen on meeting me before, but after sharing some relevant knowledge, he was impressed and accepted my request. Of course, I talked about the things you wrote inside, so I believe you two will get along," he encouraged.
"So you're not mad at me, Dad?" I asked sheepishly.
"Mad? What a joke. No one's taken the path that you're about to embark on! But if you don't do me proud, I'm going to give you a good beating," he said.
Comforted, I nodded.
After he left the room, I stuck the strip of jade onto my head and saw a beam of light along with the whole content of the book.
The next morning, Dad knocked on my door again.
He entered wordlessly and proceeded to drag me outside. I haven't even begun processing anything when I felt a towel slapping onto my face. Clothes came flying toward me and in a second, I was all dressed.
"Are you going to eat breakfast?" Mom asked, smiling.
"Nah, we're going to see Pang Dahai," Dad replied.
"Be respectful!" Mom reminded.
Before I could agree, Dad dragged me out of the house.
Two swords flew out from within the house. "Are we going together or are you going to follow behind me?"
"I... I got a D for sword control. We're only allowed to fly with a C and above..." I stammered.
The next thing I knew, Dad had already willed one of the swords to tilt to the side to give me a good whack on the b.u.t.t.
He was about to hit me a second time but he stopped. He sighed loudly and said, "What in the world have you been learning these few years?"
"I told you, I'm just not made for these," I answered frustratedly as I ma.s.saged my b.u.t.t.
Dad shook his head and released his control on the sword. The sword floated gently in the air.
"What else are you hiding from me. Spill it all," Dad demanded before pulling me up and onto his sword.
I shook my head. "I can fly without controlling the sword."
He stopped and let me down. "Show me. If you can do it, I'll never hit you again."
"What are you going to use?"
I ran back into the house and came back out with a backpack.
"Can this backpack match my speed?" Dad asked.
"As long as you don't go too fast. My speed is adjustable, but I'm not ready to go fast yet since I only made this recently," I answered nervously.
Dad hopped onto his sword and made his way up.
I pulled a rope hanging from the backpack. Two jet engines started spinning rapidly and hot air shot out, pus.h.i.+ng me into the air. I controlled the direction of the air flow and caught up with Dad.
Turning around and seeing me close behind, Dad moved his lips slightly and I heard his voice ringing in my head, "What on earth is this?"
"It's a jetpack. It's not as fast as your sword but it can still go at ten meters per second and there's still room for improvement," I shouted.
Dad shook his head. His crisp voice sounded from within my ears, "You can't even use voice travel? How bad are you, exactly? You don't have to raise your voice, I can hear you. What is this jetpack powered by?"
I explained, "Gasoline and a motor. These are cheap materials, easily available in the market. They're even cheaper than a bottle of limitless water that is being used by those cultivating medicine. I got a D for voice travel, too. So far, what I've learned to do is to read with the jade strip and some basic levitation techniques."
"Why didn't your teacher call to inform us about your atrocious performance?" Dad asked, raging.
"I have a voice-changing device. I'll record my voice with the jade strip, tweak it, and send it to her. She didn't suspect anything at all and I've been using it for years," I replied with a bitter smile.
"You unfilial boy! I'm going to beat you to death!" he shouted, slowing his sword down.
I yelled back, "You promised not to hit me if I could catch up!"
Dad stopped a meter in front of me and sighed. "Alright, alright. I think you're all grown up now, anyway. I shan't hit you anymore."