“I discovered something recently. Ooh, it was so fun,” said Ye Lang. He looked at the seventh princess and smiled.

“What is it?” The seventh princess looked at Ye Lang cautiously because of the grin on his face. It signaled was about to do something weird.

“I don’t know what to call it yet, I just invented it, but it was fun…” Ye Lang continued to smile.

“Fun, huh? Go play on your own, I don’t want to be your experiment. Haven’t you gotten me into enough trouble already?” said the seventh princess.

Between these years, Ye Lang had accidentally and deliberately pranked the seventh princess a lot. There was this one time, the seventh princess did not step out of her room for a whole month. As for the reason? No one knew. All they know was, it was because of Ye Lang.

According to the rumours, the seventh princess once refused to leave her room because her hair had turned a different colour. 

Even then, the seventh princess was never mad at Ye Lang. She still cared for him a lot- this made everyone think her love towards Ye Lang was stronger than anyones. 

“Don’t worry, I’ve tested it out on someone, it was a success…” said Ye Lang.

“What was the result?” asked the seventh princess.

“I’ve been chased around for three days, she won’t even cook for me now,” answered Ye Lang truthfully.

“… So, it’s Xiaoyan. She was so angry she won’t cook for you? It must be very serious, I don’t want anything to do with it!” The seventh princess refused.

“What do you mean? I just turned her into a little bunny, don’t you girls like bunnies?” said Ye Lang innocently.

“Into a little bunny?!” asked the seventh princess and Ye Lanyu.

“Yeah, I kinda failed an experiment. I created a weird alchemy formation that could turn any living things into rabbits. As for how long it would last, I’m not sure. The longest lasted for three days, the shortest only five minutes,” said Ye Lang. 

“Oh…”

“That one time, you guys tried to find me but couldn’t see me anywhere, then you guys picked up a rabbit in your arms, saying it is adorable and wouldn’t stop cuddling it? That was me!”

“… That was you! No wonder the rabbit disappeared then you appeared out of nowhere. Hold on, I hugged the rabbit and even brought it into the shower with me... I even said some things… Ye Lang!!” the seventh princess shrieked, realising the problem.  

“It’s not like it’s our first time showering together, what’s the big deal?” said Ye Lang, he shrugged.

Slap! 

The seventh princess smacked Ye Lang, “That was when we were little, it’s different now that we’re grown!”

“What’s the difference, it’s still you and me…” said Ye Lang innocently.

“Hmph! Go to hell!”

“Cough, cut it out you two. Brother, your rabbit formation, does it work on all living things?” asked Ye Lanyu.

“In theory, yes. I’ve tried it on a lot of things and it works!” said Ye Lang.

“Then, if we turned all our enemies into rabbits, wouldn’t we be invincible?” said Ye Lanyu excitedly.

“No, this alchemy skill could only transform the physical form, mentally they would still be the same. If we turned enemies into smaller rabbits, they would be even harder to deal with! Also, the rabbits would instantly transform them back if they’re wounded. Therefore, we can’t fight them! There might be even more ways to transform back, it won’t work…” said Ye Lang. He shook his head and denied this absurd possibility of being invincible. 

 

“Oh, is that so? What a waste, then we can only use this for fun,” said Ye Lanyu. She was a bit disappointed but not for long, it was not a big deal for her. 

“Turning into a bunny isn’t a big deal, why would Xiaoyan be mad? Did you do anything to her?” The seventh princess was confused, there was no way Zhen Xiaoyan would be mad at Ye Lang to a point where she would not cook for him over something trivial.

“Nothing much, when she changed into a rabbit, her clothes did not. Once she turned back to normal, she had no clothes on…” said Ye Lang.

“…”

“Was anyone there when it happened?” The seventh princess believed if no one was there and it was only Zhen Xiaoyan and Ye Lang, she might not be this mad.

“Yeah, at that time, mum, dad, seventh brother with his wife came to visit. But they didn’t see anything, I used my body to cover her when she turned back to normal!”

“Idiot. What’s the use that you covered for her? You embarrassed her in front of mum and dad, she would want to die…” Ye Lanyu knocked on Ye Lang.

“Is that so?”

“Sigh...” Ye Lanyu and the seventh princess shook their head simultaneously.

“Fatty…” Ye Lang shouted at Zhen Xiaoyan.

“Hmph!” Zhen Xiaoyan turned over and ignored him.

“I want cake!” said Ye Lang instantly. He ignored her ignores.

“Here, I hope you choke!” Zhen Xiaoyan shoved some cake into Ye Lang’s mouth.

Dark forces could be detected everywhere within the capital these days. Not many knew about it though. Even the ones who thought they were well-informed were all oblivious. 

However, in such insidious situations, even in the face of inexplicable crisis, there was a struggle for power. The children of the Emperor were all wrestling for power in their respective ways. 

There was a fight at the Royal Institute of Education too, but it was not as dark. It mostly gave off a positive vibe of youthful passion.

Try-outs at the institute for next year’s big competition!

Just as Ye Lang insisted, he did not participate in this try-out although the entire institute was there. He did not want to go, no one could change his mind in any way.

But he kept appearing on the try-out field. Not only at the alchemy academy, but at the magic academy too…

The reason?

“Sis, it’s your turn,” said Ye Lang. He sat near the field and ate snacks Zhen Xiaoyan prepared.

“Got it! Brother, do you have any words of encouragement?” said Ye Lanyu while she looked at Ye Lang.

“Go easy on them. Don’t kill anyone!” replied Ye Lang.

“What? What do you mean don’t kill anyone, you talk like I’m a violent person!” said Ye Lanyu angrily.

“You’re not violent, you are extremely violent. Who hasn’t gotten hurt after competing against you? The worst case was that one pitiful person who was stuck in bed for God knows how long!” said Ye Lang casually.

“I don’t recall…” Ye Lanyu blushed.

Ye Lang thought about it and said, “But you don’t have to go easy on them. Fights are not predictable, it’s easy for accidents to happen. It’s better to be careful!”

“Should I not kill someone or should I be careful?” asked Ye Lanyu. Ye Lang contradicted himself.

“Be careful!” said Ye Lang without a second thought.

“Good boy, I knew you loved your sister,” said Ye Lanyu happily. She went off to the fields with a smile.

“Ye Lang, why don't you talk to me like that?” said the seventh princess with a hint of jealousy.

Ye Lang looked at the field, without turning his head, he said, “You don’t need it. You’ve always handled things well, unlike my sister.”

“Sigh, I want to be Ye Lanyu sometimes. At least you would pay more attention to me,” said the seventh princess.

“Isn’t it the same? There’s no difference anyway,” said Ye Lang.

“Bullshit, you favour your sister more, it’s not the same!” said the seventh princess.

“Of course, she’s my sister. You two are two different people, obviously, it’s not the same,” replied Ye Lang.

“Then why did you say it’s the same?” scoffed the seventh princess. She looked a bit pissed off. 

“The same part was, how I treat you would not be any different. I’m not saying you and my sister are the same people,” said Ye Lang dumbly. 

“…”

The seventh princess would not discuss this further, Ye Lang did not favour his sister too much anyways. Ye Lang still showed up for her try-outs, this counted as encouragement.

This was enough for her…

This was the reason why Ye Lang showed up on the magic academy’s try out, but what about tryouts at the alchemy academy?

Was he there for Zhen Xiaoyan?

Wrong, not only was he there for Zhen Xiaoyan, but he also had an important mission —

“You… can leave, come back next time!” said Ye Lang while he pointed at a novice. That novice’s expressions went from hopeful to disappointed. 

This was what was going on in the alchemy academy. Ye Lang was the authority figure, amateurs looked up to him as if he was the God of Hope. At the same time, he was their God of Despair.

Right, Ye Lang was one of the judges for this event. He was also the first ‘amateur’ judge in history.

Since Ye Lang could not participate in the competition, then he should be in charge of picking the ones with the most potential. This was also an excuse to let Ye Lang lead a team. 

Ye Lang might not know this yet. Judges were later required to pick out a team from among the students. The teachers had spent a very long time thinking of a way to get Ye Lang involved. 

Perhaps he was in a very good mood that day. They hadn’t expected him to accept the offer of being the judge this easily. With his skills in alchemy, he didn’t disappoint, being a very good judge indeed.