Why Did You Summon Me? Chapter 280: Critically Acclaimed

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For some reason — probably due to the curiosity of many people, or due to the existence of a fair-sized betting poll focused on him — the Examination process was far more efficient for Baiyi then it normally was. It did not take long for his thesis to change hands, from Fat Joe's to the panels', which consisted of elderly scholars. 

The arbiters of the Examination were gathered in the Association's headquarters meeting room, and every elder had a thesis in their hands, which they slowly read.

After a long period of quiet reading, one of the elders, who read the quickest, finally put down his copy, nursing a mild fatigue. He rubbed his eyebrows and muttered, "When they urged us to review these dissertations, I thought the reason behind their request was because these theses were written by another bunch of people who just happened to know a high-ranking official. Thus, I believed we were about to gag ourselves with imbeciles trying their hardest to emulate wordsmiths, but I was wrong…"

He finished voicing his thought and froze, expecting a response from the other elders. But the collective reply was an awkward silence; the type that one usually got when a roomful of people had ignored them. Only the sounds of pages being flipped repetitively rang throughout the room.

Feeling embarrassed, he looked up, and immediately, he understood what had happened. The rest of his peers were still engrossed in the theses, completely oblivious to his prior words.

Apparently, the theses which the elder who had spoken was assigned to — which was a thesis about the Rohlserlian formations — was too complicated for him. The only reason why he had been the first to finish his assigned thesis was because he had skipped over the parts he did not understand.

As more elders reached the end of the respective dissertations they were assigned to, the silence in the meeting room was gradually replaced by a growing hubbub of praises; such as, "Amazing!", "Spectacular!", "Mind blowing!" etc.

"I'm at loss for how to rate 'A Discourse on the Application of Simplified Runic Magic in Battles by Modern Sorcerers'. You know what? I think we should just skip the rating, and immediately move it to the 'Pay to read' category," one of the elderly scholars on the panel suggested.

"Ho! You're this impressed?" Another elderly scholar who was sitting close to him replied doubtfully. "I thought 'simplified runes' were an invention of those heretical war druids. Isn't one of the points of proud traditionalists like you to never accept deviants like them?"

"...Well, I'll admit that I started out as a critic aiming to tear the thesis apart, but as I read, I just had to admit that my understanding of war druids and the knowledge I had of this treatise was just too shallow. I really recommend giving this a read. It's not too academically difficult, neither is too abstract; it is an essay that High-level sorcerers to Holy-level sorcerers would be able to comprehend. It may look simple at first glance, but the knowledge embedded within is far more revealing than its humble presentation! That part about its practical usage in battles really gave me a rude awakening! No wonder the man could defeat Thaas; his understanding of pragmatic battle tactics has long since surpassed old nerds like us," a panel who was known for being uptight and uncompromising in standards did not hold back in his praises as he explained.


He continued, " Being able to present a highly-stylized philosophy of battle in such a simple manner, which can be read by just about any literate, has already belied Master Hope's academic proficiency. I think… I think he has already surpassed me in this regards, too. Compared to those complicated, abstract theories that we engross ourselves in, I understand that the true purpose of academic researches had always been for pragmatic applications. I think we have all forgotten our original intent… After reading his thesis, I must admit that I have changed my mind about those whom I once believed to be heretics."

"Oh, you could say that again," the elderly scholar who had been the first to finish spoke up. "Laugh at me all you want, but I was the first to finish reading only because I didn't understand many of the details in the essay…"

He waved the thesis he was assigned to as he spoke — one that explored the differences between Rohlserlian formations and modern runes. "His knowledge on both Rohlserlian formations and modern runes are already way out of my league! In fact, I think it's way out of the league of Legendary-level sorcerers! He is obviously, at least, as capable in complicated researches as we are…"

"H-Hold on a minute. You didn't understand it as well? Are they really this tough?" Another panel, whose expertise was in magic related to alchemy, chimed in curiously. He then pointed at the thesis he was given and said, "The one I got here is pretty unbelievable, too! Many of the ideas shown were really fresh and incredibly riveting, especially on the application of uncommon combination materials in the construction of formations and runic complexes. The concepts behind his proposal are simple, yet for some reason, he still discovered them, while we were eluded! Methinks many of the techniques in his proposal should be patented, especially because a lot of these may very well serve as the backbone to generate impressive revenues."

"I heard that he's not into patents, though!" Someone from the crowd interjected.

"No problem. I'll do all of the heavy lifting for him, then," the panel replied. It would not be difficult for him to work on such procedures on Baiyi's behalf because he occupied positions within the Sorcerers Association and the Alchemy Association.

To summarize their reviews, Baiyi's multidisciplinary theses had captivated his panels more than they had expected, which, of course, served as fuel to stoke the fire of curiosity they had towards his real identity.

"Does anyone think his real identity may be, well, the Great Unbending Sage? Think about it! Only someone like this man from legend could be this knowledgeable. Have the Doors of Conundrum ever commented about this possibility?"

"I have beaten you to that. The Great Unbending Sage was from ancient times, a sage of yore; and with the terrible administration system which the Doors of Conundrum is infamous for, no one there is even able to tell the gender of the sages, let alone concrete information regarding their identity!"

"I heard from rumors within the Doors that the Great Unbending Sage was actually a woman. Master Hope doesn't act like a woman in any way, though. Don't you think?"

"Oh, I wouldn't rule that one out so easily if I were you! I heard that he has an earnest partiality towards little girls, and he has always gone to great lengths to groom his students. All of them are always garbed in gorgeous outfits that really make them shine! Doesn't that remind you of the caring nature of mothers?"

While the crowd of elderly nerds began debating on Baiyi's gender — with some even going as far as to suggest that the great Master Hope could be a drag queen — Baiyi himself was having a normal lunch with Aya and Mordred back in Arfin City.

His nose had been mysteriously itching to sneeze for a while now, which amused him. Thousands of years had passed since he had experienced this feeling, but now, it felt very unfamiliar!

"Don't tell me someone's talking bad about me behind my back," Baiyi commented in the Void. "I can't think of a reason for anyone to do so, though, especially because of how perfect those theses had been, right? I had already read them, and each author really put in their best effort!"

"That piece of shit was enough to show our 'best effort'? Oh please, jokes are supposed to be funny, Sir Hope. Have you forgotten who I really am? I… am the Penetrator of Realms, the —" The Alchemist began blurting out a barrage of edgy, chuunibyou-like descriptions, and this made the Voidwalkers unfortunate enough to listen him feel like they had developed cancer.

To be fair, however, the Alchemist was not completely wrong. The Alchemist's true capabilities and mad-scientist-like-qualities were not brought to light in the relatively conservative and orthodox thesis that he wrote for Baiyi. It did feel a bit like a professor being forced to write a junior high essay; thus, it was not surprising that he would feel crossed for being recognized for the faked traditionalist approach he embedded in his submission.

"Where is your mind wandering to this time, hmm?"

Opposite Baiyi was a perceptive Aya, who quickly questioned him when she noticed him keeping quiet. The little dragon-lady had dressed exceptionally beautifully for today's family-gathering meal, putting on a lavender long dress that bared her shoulders. She then wore a handful of jewelry that she usually reserved at home. She had even put on some makeup that accentuated her beautiful features, making her seem as though she had come from a masterful painting.

She had now managed to outdo her previous appearance at the banquet, revealing the effort that the belle put into what Baiyi saw as a normal lunch, which she had been looking forward to.

"I was just thinking about this kid," Baiyi replied as he looked at Mordred carving her steak by her side. The daddy-clinging troublemaker was also dressed nicely for the occasion, making her look even more adorable than normal. She seemed very obedient today and ate her meal steadily without trying Baiyi's patience.

"Papa?" Mordred heard Baiyi's words and turned her gaze to him. Her innocent jade-green eyes brimmed with curiosity. Then, she proceeded to spear a piece of steak with her fork and extend the meat to Baiyi. 

'Whenever this troublemaker is not being difficult, she can be so endearing…' Baiyi ruffled her hair, even though he declined her offer.

Of course, her stubborn habit of calling him 'papa' had turned into a headache for both Aya and Baiyi. To get around it, Baiyi could only make Mordred promise him that she would only call him that when no one else was around. That meant that other times, including when his students were around, Mordred was to call him 'Sir'.

The Troublemaker only agreed hesitantly, but Aya was secretly overjoyed; her mind came up with a lot of ideas to use the evident leeway Baiyi had given her daughter. She felt lucky to have Mordred take up the role of a child, completing the look of a typical nucleus family, even if dragons and Soul Armatures could not produce offsprings. 

'It's a good thing that 'Hmph.mp3' and 'Nature's Catastrophe' can't exit the Void. Or else, the catfight between both women would turn everywhere into a scene of carnage!'

After their meal, Baiyi took the mother-daughter duo to the mansion he had requested Vidominar's Butler and servants to clean completely. The mansion was situated opposite his, so the only distance which his new teacher would have to cross to his reach his place would be the width of their street.

Everything they would need was prepared; fresh vegetables, fruits, and poultry, for instance, were already on standby in the dragon pair's new kitchen. Mordred's room was already decorated with all kinds of adorable plushies, emitting an ambiance of girlish youthfulness. The troublemaker was ecstatic as she hugged a gigantic whale plushie and rolled around on her new bed.

'The expertise and quality of the Butler and Co.'s service is simply reliable…' Baiyi thought as he quietly compared them with his chaotic Kitty Cat Maid.

Shortly after, he discovered that Aya's room was furnished with a large double bed covered with a very coquettish pink bedsheet.

"Okay. Is it me, or is this quite inappropriate?" Baiyi thought quietly to himself.

Aya's chiseled face turned crimson almost immediately. She gently leaned into his back and said bashfully, "I-I know we haven't performed a sacred nuptial ceremony, b-b-but… if you can't contain it anymore, I'm fine too…"Chuunibyou is an often-derisive Japanese slang meaning "Middle School Syndrome. Other readers recognize it as "Eighth-Grader Syndrome
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