DS Chapter 2

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Graduation (2)

The sun was gradually sinking to the west, and a thin layer of rays of light shrouded the upper floor of the dormitory in the Sixth College. Jiang Jianming leaned against the window, then he slowly carried the dark combat bag to the bedside and firmly placed it there. His eyebrows and eyes were deeply outlined by the setting sun.

The desks, chairs and bookshelves in the dormitory were clean and had apparently been tidied up. Graduation means leaving the military school to go their separate ways, and the time to say goodbye has come. Suddenly, the dormitory door slammed open, and a young man rushed in three steps, “Xiao Jiang! Jiang Jianming!!”

“Huh?” 

Jiang Jianming just turned his head, when he was immediately seized in the arms by someone. 

The young man that came couldn’t help but laugh. “What ‘Huh?’ The graduation ceremony is about to begin! Forget about the usual classes, don’t tell me you also want to skip attending the graduation ceremony too?”

The young man was handsome with thick eyebrows, big eyes, and strong facial features. He wore the usual cyan-colored uniform for a military officer and the whole person was full of vivid enthusiasm.

Every student in the Sixth College knew this face. Tang Zhen, the genius young master of the Tang family in the Imperial Capital. Even if he leaves the Sixth College, he would still be ranked first in the entire Imperial Capital’s Military Academy.

Jiang Jianming was grabbed by Young Master Tang and was shaken frantically several times. He limply swayed, then stared at his friend expressionlessly and said, “…I forgot, I’m sorry.”

“…”

Tang Zhen was about to collapse. “Teacher Luo made a roll call for a long time but he couldn’t reach you and no one answered his call… Where’s your wrist phone!?”

“…Oh.” 

Jiang Jianming was stunned for a while before he slowly said, “Teacher Luo Hai?” He looked down at the small LCD screen he wore on his wrist, then raised his eyes and said lightly, “Every three or five days, he would send military personnels to me, but I don’t really want to go. That’s why I blocked him last week, sorry.”

Tang Zhen was in despair and slapped his forehead.

Block the teacher… blocked… What kind of a heaven-defying operation is this!?

****

The graduation ceremony was held in the auditorium, and when Tang Zhen grabbed Jiang Jianming and rushed over, it had already started.

“May the glory of the empire and the heroic soul of mankind guide the young successors forever—” The brass-colored light fell, and the officer who was speaking on the podium had a black face, a figure like an iron tower, and three gold stars on his epaulets glowing silently, symbolizing the rank of a colonel — surprisingly it was their teacher, Mr. Luo Hai.

The two had no choice but to go in through the back door, and stood at the end of the queue of graduates from the Sixth College. 

To be honest, Kaios Military Academy, known as the No. 1 Military Academy of the Empire, had little formalism and vanity, but the graduation ceremony was still very long.

Several faculty members delivered speeches in turn. Tang Zhen also came to the stage as a representative of outstanding graduates to recite a manuscript. The graduates sang the national anthem of the empire, followed by the president’s speech.

Finally, standing on the podium was an old man with gray temples but a straight back.

Almost all the graduates were instantly excited.

No imperial citizen who does not know of this old man, because he was the current head of the Imperial Army, and had the highest military authority other than His Majesty the Emperor, who was conferred the honorary commander-in-chief twenty years ago— Mr. Chen Hanke.

Jiang Jianming only felt drowsy.

Maybe it’s because he once saw this old man with his own eyes, blushed and sang a military song such as the Fate Hero to him after drinking eight glasses of vodka. As his impression of the old man changed, it’s difficult to see him in the same light as before again. 

He silently clicked open his wrist phone, released Teacher Luo Hai from the blocklist, and closed his eyes to rest. Tang Zhen asked worriedly beside him. 

“Why do you look so pale? Are you messing around again?”

“…I haven’t slept well in the past two days.”

Tang Zhen frowned. Words “don’t you fool me” were clearly reflected on his face.

Jiang Jianming sighed, pressed his eyebrows and said in a low voice, “When I went to the First College in the afternoon, I met two people in which one released a crystal bone. It was an accident. I was affected a little…..but it’s okay, just a night’s rest and I’ll be fine by tomorrow.”

Tang Zhen’s face changed suddenly and cursed in a low voice. He immediately took Jiangming by the shoulders and took him to a corner with few people. “Don’t move, wait for me here.”

Jiang Jianming was slightly startled, he didn’t even have time to stop Tang Zhen, and the latter squeezed out of the crowd. When Tang Zhen sneaked back, Old Marshal Chen was walking down the stage. Sounds of warm applause were heard all around.

“Here.” Tang Zhen stretched out his hand in front of Jiang Jianming like a conjurer and handed a small bottle of juice.

Of course it wasn’t just ordinary fruit juice. This adult man’s palm-sized bottle had a film label on it, with the words: With added 15% crystal particle tranquilizer.

Jiang Ming raised his eyes and glanced at his friend in a subtle mood.

“…you know I can’t afford it.”

Tang Zhenqi laughed, unscrewed the bottle cap and handed it over again.

 “Nonsense, please.” When he moved, the red and maroon crystals on his wrists were slightly glowing—this proud young master of the Tang family, naturally, was a new human being too.

When Jiang Jianming took it, louder cheers and applause suddenly exploded in front of the two of them, echoing in the auditorium.

The headmaster came back on stage and announced that the forty-ninth class of Kaios Military Academy cadets officially graduated at this moment. As a result, countless students threw their military caps excitedly, waved their hands or embraced their companions, and the fiery atmosphere reached its climax.

Jiang Jianming nested in the corner and drank the juice slowly and felt that they were somehow excluded from the festive atmosphere. He cleared his throat and said, “Aren’t you going to go over there?”

Tang Zhen indifferently stretched his waist and snorted. “I was used to being surrounded by people from a young age. You actually want me to go over there and listen to those vulgar flattery? Tsk, spare me.” After speaking, he glanced at Jiang Jianming beside him and raised his eyebrows meaningfully. “Hey, speaking of which, have you heard that someone picked up a very astonishing transcript in the recycling bin at the entrance of the First College.” 

Jiang Jianming: “…”

“Ninety points in tactics, full marks in strategic history… Since the school was founded, no one has achieved such results, and in just one afternoon, all the six colleges in the academy have gone crazy.”

Tang Zhenmi raised his eyes and grinned, “Xiao Jiang, it was yours. Isn’t it?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t look at the scores.”

Jiang Jianming held the juice in both hands, and said, “Didn’t you get full marks in the tactics class?”

“…”

Tang Zhen choked for a moment. With a strange expression on his face, he sighed for a while and said, “You are stupid, since our school opened this course, no student has been given more than 97 points!”

“When the military academy entered this batch of new antiwar simulators, His Majesty the Emperor personally came to supervise the inspection. He tried it out once, and scored ninety-eight… What’s the matter, you still want to ride on His Majesty’s head?”

Jiang Jianming understood, so he nodded to show his understanding.

——Although as he nodded, it simply appeared like “Yes yes, I just want to try to ride on His Majesty’s head”.

“Master Tang!”

Fortunately, a crisp female voice not far away interrupted Jiang Jianming’s “dangerous behavior”. A beautiful figure passed through the crowd, carrying several onlookers behind her as she came over.

The beautiful girl with short brown hair fluttered her eyelashes and jumped happily to Tang Zhen’s side. “Happy graduation. Why are you here, a group of people are looking for you.”

She also smiled sweetly at Jiang Jianming. “Student Jiang is here too! How is it going, have you already settled down yet? Master Tang and I both want to go to the frontline. What about you, do you have any thoughts on where to go?”

Jiang Jianming nodded politely. “Thank you, it’s almost decided.”

More and more students quietly watched the excitement around. It was said that Bei Man’er, the First College’s beauty, was frantically pursuing the young master of the Tang family. Even if the latter had no interest, she would not give up, thus becoming one of the popular gossip in the Kaios Military Academy in recent years.

Sure enough, Bei Man’er blinked her bright and watery eyes, ignoring the onlookers around. “Do you have any plans next, Master Tang and classmate Jiang? If not, then let’s go to West Galaxy Street together!”

Jiang Jianming laughed lightly, raised his hand, put on his cap and pressed it down above his head. “You guys go play, I haven’t packed my things yet, and I have to go to the library to return the books later.”

He lied. As a poor man who was reluctant to buy tranquilizers and augmented drinks, of course he couldn’t go shopping with the noble young masters and noble ladies. Although today’s empire had almost realized all the explicit human rights protection and the law was also developing in the direction of equality and freedom every year… However, there were still great hidden class differences between new humans and remnant or “disabled” human beings, also with the nobles and ordinary civilians.

Jiang Jianming was only an orphan, and he was adopted by an ordinary military officer. Five years ago, his adoptive parent was recruited by the Empire to go to the Far Star, and until then, he never returned. It was said that the military had awarded titles for the martyrs according to their sacrifices.

In that year, Jiang Jianming entered the military academy. Until now, most of his living expenses had been supported by subsidies from the Empire and grants from the military academy.

For young masters and young ladies like Tang Zhen and Bei Man’er, their monthly pocket money can be fully worth his daily expenses for half a year.

Tang Zhen’s expression darkened, he turned his head and said to Bei Man’er, “No, Xiao Jiang is in poor health today. I will send him back to the dormitory.”

Bei Man’er was taken aback, and hurriedly said a few words of concern. Jiang Jianming had to refuse their words again, “It’s okay, it’s okay. I’ll just drink some tranquilizers and get some sleep.” And firmly rejected Miss Bei’s proposal to take him to see a private doctor.

He also knew that Miss Bei was good to him because Tang Zhen hung out with him every day. This girl was kind-hearted, but he was self-sufficient himself.

There were faint whispers from all around. “Miss Bei was used again….Tsk tsk tsk, women chase men across the mountain.”

“You said it right.  Bei Man’er is so beautiful, and can even be a perfect match for him. However, he doesn’t even look at others and just runs behind that disabled roommate every day.”

“Ah, don’t you know?” Immediately, a student from the Sixth College raised his eyebrows and laughed, and said in a plausible manner, “Jiang Jianming, the little immortal of our Sixth College, is not an ordinary person!”

Of course the person next to him was curious. “Why? Is this person very powerful? I haven’t heard of his name before.”

The young man who was talking made a mysterious expression. “It’s not a question of whether he is powerful or not… He is really just one of those kinds, a very special person…”

“His average attendance rate is 49%. The courses of the six departments are mixed, but he never participates in any public election competition. He is a strange guy. He doesn’t pay much attention to people and his whereabouts are generally unknown.”

One on the side immediately laughed and echoed, “Oh, I understand. Isn’t that a freak, There must be one in every class!”  Then he whispered, “So Master Tang likes this kind….. What is this called? Domineering young master fell in love with me?”

Jiang Jianming just pretended he couldn’t hear him, and casually comforted Tang Zhen, who was about to explode, then turned and walked towards the entrance of the auditorium. Suddenly the LCD screen on his wrist phone kept on flashing. 

He looked down and saw that the caller was Teacher Luo Hai – the one he had just released from the blocklist. Jiang Jianming connected the headset and clicked to connect. A small projection window flashed in front of him, and a serious cold light flashed in Colonel Luo Hai’s eyes.

“Jiang Jianming, come to the reception room on the first floor of the Sixth College immediately.”

“…..” 

He was silent. Jiang Jianming secretly regretted not blocking him for a while longer. 

“Teacher Luo, I…” Luo Hai interrupted him immediately, “The one looking for you is a distinguished person, you have no right to refuse. “

Jaing Jianming was stunned for a moment, and a glimmer of insight flashed in his eyes.

“…Yes, I understand.”

He said goodbye to Tang Zhen and Bei Man’er for the time being. It was already dark when he came out of the auditorium, and he could vaguely see a few cold stars and the beautiful white moon above. With the cool breeze, Jiang Jianming hurried to the Sixth College through a shady path with dense pines and cypresses.

The Sixth College of Kaios Military Academy— full name, the Medical Logistics College, was a department mainly for remnant humans or the “disabled” humans. Most of its main courses were logistics command, field medical and civilian related, and there were also many miscellaneous courses.

The low and small white building, just like the disabled students of the Sixth College, depicted harmlessness and feebleness.

Jiang Jianming swiped his fingerprints at the gate of the college and entered, walked through the empty corridor alone, found the reception room on the first floor, and knocked on the door.

An old man’s voice came from inside. “Please come in.”

This voice was just at the graduation ceremony. Jiangming held the cold door handle, he closed his eyes and took a breath, then pushed open the door.

The reception room was very quiet. Teacher Luo Hai was not in it, and there was no one sitting on the leather sofa. Tea and snacks were all available on the table, but apparently it was untouched.

There was only an old man in military uniform standing by the window basking in the gentle night. The epaulets with golden tassels shone brightly, and it reflected on the old man’s head full of white hair.

Jiang Jianming stood up straight at the door and gave a military salute. “Old Marshal Chen.”

Chen Hanke turned his head slowly, the old marshal had a pair of deep eyes, which seemed to be filled with the boundless starry sky outside the window, and this set of deep eyes fell on the young man at the door.

After a breath of silence, the distinguished old man suddenly took off his military cap and bowed to the thin military cadet in front of him.

Jiang Jianming frowned in embarrassment and said softly, “…Please don’t be like this all the time, I can’t stand it.”

“What can’t you bear?” The old marshal raised his head, and there was a naughty smile in the corners of his wrinkled eyes, and the cold and hard temperament around him silently melted into amicability.

“If His Royal Highness was still alive, Your Excellency would be the orthodox Crown Princess of the Empire.” The old man put on his military cap and patted it. He sighed then shook his head, “And me, I’m just an old man full of evil deeds.”

“You said it so yourself,” Jiang Jianming walked over with a blank expression, lifted the teapot on the table and poured the tea slowly, “That’s if.”

“His Royal Highness is no longer here, this “if” is meaningless.”

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