Luo Yuan’s “Specialist Knife Skill: 0” on the Attribute Board had become “Specialist Knife Skill: 1” the previous night. The side-effects were equally great though.
Restlessness, breaking out in cold sweat, the occasional anxiety, even fear of the mutated earthworm he had not been scared of previously – Luo Yuan knew that this was not normal, but he was unable to control his emotions. He had exhausted too much of his willpower the previous night.
Given his current condition, he had to give up going into the woods that day.
“Are you okay?” Huang Jiahui asked as she looked at him suspiciously during breakfast. “You look weird.”
“Just a bit tired from the lack of sleep,” Luo Yuan laughed dryly and switched the topic, turning to Wang Shishi, “Do you still have a headache, Shishi?”
“I was okay when I woke up, but I couldn’t help but test my power again this morning. I think it got a little got stronger, but my head aches again now,” Wang Shishi spoke in excitement, her frown disappearing.
“Don’t use your power too often. Who knows how it might affect your body,” Huang Jiahui said.
Even though she spoke calmly, her tone was still laced with a tinge of mockery. Wang Shishi looked unhappy as she listened to her. She pursed her lips in defiance, but kept quiet.
It was easy for youngsters like Wang Shishi to lose their level-headedness and become arrogant once they acquired powers. While Wang Shishi did not show it, there was definitely the telltale sign.
Without waiting for Huang Jiahui to speak, Luo Yuan said strictly, “Shishi, I know it’s very exciting to acquire the power of telekinesis, but you have to use it moderately. You’re still young and your body is not fully developed yet. You need to go slow to avoid getting hurt.
Wang Shishi immediately changed her attitude upon seeing Luo Yuan’s strict face, “Got it!”
Luo Yuan softened as well, “Come to my room after the meal. I have something to tell you.”
“Okay!” Wang Shishi agreed timidly, nervousness flashing through her expression. She did not know what Luo Yuan wanted to say to her.
After breakfast, Wang Shishi hesitantly followed Luo Yuan into his bedroom.
Luo Yuan closed the door and sat by the bed. There were no chairs in the room.
“You sit down too.”
“Okay,” Wang Shishi obeyed.
“Do you know why I wanted to talk to you in private?” Luo Yuan said.
Wang Shishi blinked in worry as she said softly, “I don’t.”
“You feel different than normal people after evolving, don’t you?” Luo Yuan asked, looking at her.
Wang Shishi avoided his gaze. “No!”
“I can see it. It’s not obvious, but it’s there.”
Looking at his disappointed face, Wang Shishi panicked. Fat tears rolled down her face as she rushed to explain, “Brother Luo, I was just a little upset. I wasn’t doing it on purpose.”
“Why were you upset?”
“I think Sister Huang was wrong. Her tone was also weird. I was angry, but I didn’t say anything!” Wang Shishi spoke like she had been wronged.
Now that Luo Yuan thought about it, he felt that he was indeed a little insensitive. A slightly more sensitive person would have recognized Huang Jiahui’s mocking tone. Wang Shishi had already been rational by keeping quiet, so he gently advised, “I know Sister Huang was also wrong, but you have to understand what a normal person feels towards an evolved person. Especially when both of you used to be normal before. Don’t provoke her by showing off in front of her. Learn to remain low-key. She’ll be back to normal soon. If you want to show off, then come at me, okay?”
Wang Shishi laughed at this as her face brightened. “Okay.”
After Wang Shishi had left the room, Luo Yuan pulled an unwilling Huang Jiahui inside and spent a while readjusting her thoughts, killing any budding ideas of jealousy.
The weather was rather gloomy.
There were not many people in the residential area that day. Luo Yuan strolled around the area and discovered a few extra holes. Two of them had mounds of soil that looked like earthworm poop. He looked into one of the holes, but it was pitch black. So much so, it looked like an endless abyss.
Soon he could not stand the stench anymore. He had to dry heave for a while before he felt slightly better.
He came across more people when he got out of the residential area and headed into a barbershop.
It had been almost three months since the last time he had trimmed his hair. It almost covered his eyes now, and that kind of length was inconvenient whe he was fighting.
The few posters of beautiful women on the barbershop’s wall had all turned yellow, and one of the glass doors had a big hole in it – that kind of damage was common after the mutation had started. Business was not bad, though. There were about 7 – 8 people waiting there when he entered.
Luo Yuan sat on the couch and grabbed that day’s newspaper from the magazine stand. However, the chitchat next to him caught his attention before he could even start reading.
“… he killed a whole team of armed policemen. Finally, several armed forces cars came and surrounded him,” a fat middle-aged man said in a low voice.
“What happened to the guy?” an old man asked curiously.
The middle-aged man sounded impressed as he said, “He was amazing, he managed to escape in the end! He was so fast it looked like he was flying. He must have gotten injured, though. I saw lots of blood at the scene.”
“Those evolved people are great. I wonder how they manage to evolve,” a young man in a yellow shirt said enviously.
“Probably naturally like the mutated beasts. We can only blame our luck,” the middle-aged man said regrettably. “Who knows, maybe we could evolve too in the future.”
“What were you guys talking about just now?” Luo Yuan asked as he’d only heard half the story. “How come there was conflict between an evolved man and the military?”
“You’re staying in Shuitang’s Block 12, right?” the middle-aged man asked with a smile.
“You know me?” Luo Yuan was shocked.
“We live on the same block. Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but I live on the 4th floor.” The man seemed a little embarrassed as he explained, “I used to sell insurance. I usually notice the neighbors, it’s a habit.”
That made everyone around laugh.
“We were talking about the evolved man from Lianhua Residential Area who resisted recruitment. It resulted in conflict,” the middle-aged man finally answered Luo Yuan’s question.
“I thought I’d heard gunshots in the morning. Why the sudden recruitment?” Luo Yuan asked, not giving anything away.
“Didn’t you read in the newspaper yesterday about the standard regulations on evolved people? All evolved people have to register and obey all arrangements made by the government. It’s too dangerous for normal people if these people stay here!” the middle-aged man explained.
Luo Yuan noticed the tacit expression on everyone else’s face.
Normal people both feared and admired the powers of evolved people. Nobody wanted people like that around them.
Luo Yuan had only gotten to Hedong City recently, so he had not interacted much with other people. The same went for Huang Jiahui. That was why he had not kept up with the latest news. He wanted to rush home right away and warn Wang Shishi not to expose her power.
He fought the impulse, though. It would only create suspicion if he left and headed home all of a sudden. He had to not show any signs. Things were not that urgent yet.