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    Chapter 204: A Gentle Peck

    Wen Ying pretended not to notice An Meng's discreet scrutiny and asked with confusion, "Why is my cousin's home visit taking place at our house?"

    An Meng pulled out the excuse he had thought of from the start. "Magic education is different from ordinary schools. We need to consider all aspects in order to deduce the suitable curriculum for a student."

    It sounded very impressive, and An Meng used a rhythmic tone to make the home visit sound impeccable.

    Wen Qinxue said, "Please come in and sit down, don't just stand at the door."

    As she spoke, she led them inside, subtly blocking An Meng's view of Wen Ying without any trace of awkwardness. Everything was done very naturally.

    Lin Tianbao smiled and said, "Teachers, why don't you have lunch at our place today?"

    After opening the door, Lin Tianbao seemed to have transformed into a different person. The man who had almost jumped out of his skin from the knock on the door didn't seem to be the same composed and dignified CEO now.

    An Meng and the three teachers behind him walked into the living room and sat on the sofa, politely observing their surroundings.

    One of the teachers casually commented, "There doesn't seem to be much magical energy gathered here. Have the two of you tried using magic?"

    Wen Qinxue approached with a fruit tray and, upon hearing this, commented, "I was busy scripting during the nationwide magic talent test, so I didn't join in the excitement. I heard that only one out of a thousand people possesses magical talent."

    Lin Tianbao continued Wen Qinxue's thought, "And it's not even guaranteed to be a useful talent. It's very challenging to use magic with low magical aptitude, right?"

    An Meng nodded in agreement. "That's true. Generally, one's magical aptitude is related to their bloodline. Wen Xinxin has a high magical talent, and since Mrs. Wen is related to her by blood, she should at least possess the minimum level of magical aptitude."

    Wen Qinxue expressed surprise. "So that's how it is?"

    "Yes, precisely because magical talent is tied to bloodline, our home visits also involve relatives other than the parents," An Meng smiled, promptly taking out a testing device. "I just tested her mother's talent. Would you two like to give it a try?"

    Lin Tianbao's eyelids flickered, maintaining his composed demeanor as he asked, "Would it be too much trouble?"

    "Not at all," a teacher assured him. "It's very convenient. The device we brought along is faster than the ones used for the mass talent assessment."

    Lin Tianbao maintained his composure. "In that case, I'll give it a shot. What do I need to do?"

    The teacher who had spoken earlier guided Lin Tianbao through the process, activating the device. After seeing the displayed numbers, they exchanged a subtle glance with An Meng.

    "How did it go?" Wen Ying asked curiously.

    He was genuinely curious about Lin Tianbao's magical talent, given that he had no blood ties with Wen Dingjue. He had no idea how gifted Lin Tianbao truly was.

    "The Lin gentleman possesses magical talent," the instructor said with a smile, "It's at an average level."

    Wen Qinxue exclaimed, "Surprisingly, it's average."

    "Madam Wen, would you like to give it a try?"

    Wen Qinxue extended her hand. Under Lin Tianbao's subtle nervous gaze, the numbers on the device gradually stabilized.

    "How is it?"

    An Meng glanced at the readings and replied, "Madam Wen, your magical talent is slightly lower than Lin Tianbao's, but it's considered decent among ordinary people."

    With both of them showing no issues, An Meng turned his attention to Wen Ying. The latter pretended to be eager to try. Upon noticing An Meng looking at him, he promptly stepped forward and asked, "Can I give it a shot?"

    "Of course," An Meng gestured for Wen Ying to extend his hand.

    Staring at Wen Ying's outstretched hand, An Meng observed that the color and shape of his nails were normal, showing no signs of demonic nails. This made him doubt the headmaster's speculation; perhaps the headmaster had overreacted.

    After the test results were out, An Meng was even more convinced that the Dean had guessed wrong. Not only was the boy not a demon, but his magical aptitude was merely average.

    "It's average, similar to Lin Tianbao's," Wen Xinxin keenly noticed the four teachers visibly relaxing after the results were announced, their tension easing compared to before. She relaxed as well.

    Lin Tianbao's smile became warmer and kinder. "Does an average talent have a chance to study at your academy?"

    Wen Xinxin, who had just relaxed, instantly straightened her back, screaming inwardly: Is Uncle Lin out of his mind?

    "Unfortunately, it's probably almost impossible," An Meng shook his head. "The minimum requirement is outstanding."

    Lin Tianbao turned to Wen Ying. "Our child enjoys playing demon-themed mobile games and even asked me yesterday if they could get close to a demon while watching a live stream. Seems like that won't be possible."

    One of the teachers couldn't help but interject, "You don't need to attend an exorcist academy just to get close to a demon. Besides, those demons aren't exactly good creatures."

    Wen Qinxue paused, her expression turning grave. "Why do you say that? Could it be that these demons would...?"

    An Meng looked at the teacher, who instinctively fell silent but clearly still wanted to 'educate' the ordinary people in front of him.

    Certainly, that teacher is from the Church, Wen Ying thought to himself. He wondered which faction the leader belonged to.

    With a gentle and soothing voice, An Meng drew people's attention effortlessly. "Demons can indeed be dangerous for ordinary folks. After all, even humans might resort to violence when they're extremely angry."

    Wen Ying couldn't help but interject, "But in the live broadcast, those demons seemed quite friendly."

    An Meng looked at Wen Ying, his eyes conveying warmth, yet upon closer inspection, they were coldly detached. "For now, that may be the case. We can't predict what will happen in the future. But we can assure you that should such a day come, exorcists will do our utmost to protect ordinary people from them."

    "Remember this, Wen Xinxin," An Meng turned to face her sister. "This is the mission of an exorcist. I hope you'll keep it in mind."

    Wen Xinxin, who had just been worried about her family, suddenly felt a surge of emotion welling up inside her. Her pounding heart seemed to acquire a new significance as her brain registered a sense of selfless dedication.

    "I... I will remember."

    The leader appears to be from the Association, Wen Ying mused. He detected a faint magical fluctuation earlier; the man had used a mental-type spell on Wen Xinxin.

    After some casual conversation, the four exorcists politely declined the offer of a meal and proceeded to the next house with Wen Xinxin.

    As the door closed behind them, Lin Tianbao slumped onto the sofa like a deflated balloon, staring blankly at the ceiling. "I've never been this nervous even when negotiating a billion-dollar project last time..." he muttered to himself.

    Qinxue Wen looked at the boneless Lin Tianbao with amusement and sat down herself, exhaling deeply. "We made it through."

    Wen Ying walked to the floor-to-ceiling window, watching as those people left and disappeared into the distance.

    "Did they suspect anything?" Lin Tianbao asked Wen Ying.

    Wen Ying turned and sat on the sofa, saying, "It doesn't seem like it. The potion did its job."

    Qinxue Wen inquired, "Do I still need to take that medicine tomorrow? Although you said there are no side effects, I feel so heavy after consuming it, as if I'm carrying sandbags."

    "No need. Tomorrow, I'll go to Auntie's house to retrieve the remaining doses and dispose of them properly. There's a risk of being discovered if we just throw them in the trash."

    The identity crisis had temporarily subsided, but to truly dispel the suspicions of the exorcists, Wen Ying would have to be present alongside Wen Jing, allowing everyone to see clearly that they were two distinct individuals.

    Wen Ying lowered his gaze in contemplation.

    Lin Tianbao and Qinxue Wen exchanged glances. Their son had indeed grown up. Although his face still held a youthful innocence, there was now a mature and composed aura about him.

    He was someone they could consult and rely on, not just an indecisive child.

    As Wen Ying lowered his gaze in contemplation, an aura of a command-giver faintly radiated from him, solemn and concentrated. Both Wen Qinxue and Lin Tianbao couldn't believe what he might have experienced in the Realm of Demons during the past half a year.

    Wen Qinxue silently scolded her grandfather in her heart once more.

    The two instinctively fell silent, creating an atmosphere conducive to Wen Ying's thoughts. In such a tranquil space, the sound of Wen Ying's phone notification was particularly abrupt and noticeable.

    Wen Ying snapped out of his reverie and took out his phone. It was a message from an old high school classmate. Below it was the class group chat, which had accumulated hundreds of unread messages at some point. The preview of the ongoing conversation in the chat kept updating.

    He had set the class group to receive messages without notifications. The sound that interrupted his thoughts came from a private message from Zeng Qiyang, one of his high school classmates with whom he had a mediocre relationship.

    "Wen Ying, don't forget to check the class group. You must come. It's been so long since we all got together. I'll treat everyone."

    Wen Ying dug through the corners of his memory to recall anything related to Zeng Qiyang's name.

    This person seemed to have a double-sided personality. Although he never explicitly expressed it, Zeng Qiyang definitely harbored envy and resentment towards him.

    Whenever Wen Ying received love letters or engaged in conversations with others during breaks, Zeng Qiyang would make remarks that sounded like jokes but carried a hint of sarcasm. The sarcasm always revolved around terms like "rich second-generation" or "noble young master."

    Wen Ying tapped into the class group chat with 99+ unread messages and quickly scanned through them, understanding why Zeng Qiyang suddenly proposed a reunion.

    He had been accepted into the Exorcist Academy.

    Zeng Qiyang hosted a dinner party at the Auspicious Hotel under the pretense of celebration, and most of their classmates in the group chat said they would attend.

    At this moment... Wen Ying's lips curled up slightly, his eyes shimmering with a chilling radiance.

    An opportunity that had come knocking was one to be seized.

    "Mom, there's no need to prepare my dinner tonight. I'm going to a high school reunion."

    Wen Qinxue expressed her concern, "Is it okay to attend a reunion at such a time?"

    Wen Ying smiled, as obedient as before, "It's fine. I have a plan."

    Lin Tianbao's tone was laced with anxiety, "Be careful then."

    "Let's eat first," Wen Ying stood up, "Dad, Mom, we haven't eaten yet, aren't you hungry?"

    "Earlier, I was so worried that I didn't even think about being hungry," Lin Tianbao rubbed his stomach, "Now that you mention it, I am indeed hungry."

    Wen Qinxue stood up. "Let's eat."

    Wen Ying followed his parents toward the dining table.

    The Mirror Image had already finished its lunch; the packed meal box sat on the dorm desk. The clone picked it up and threw it into the trash bin.

    Boros stood behind the Mirror Image, gazing at it with profound eyes, his expression grave as if contemplating some significant national affair, his brows knitted together.

    "Wen Ying, we need to have a talk."

    The Mirror Image discarded the trash and turned its head, asking in puzzlement, "What were you talking about?"

    Perseus keenly sensed the change in Wen Ying's tone, back to how it was before the recent coldness. Uncontrollable joy surged within him, smoothing out the creases between his brows.

    "Wen Ying, let's talk about your attitude towards me these past few days."

    Wen Ying shifted his focus onto the Mirror Image. Sensing Perseus' inexplicable resentment, he realized he needed to soothe Perseus before they could discuss their plan seriously.

    He approached and embraced Perseus with practiced ease, his voice gentle yet coquettishly alluring. "Why are you upset?"

    The familiar sensation returned, and Perseus could finally discard the insecurity that he might have become boring to Xin Xin. He trembled slightly and spoke with an intimidating tone, "Do you treat me like a toy you can summon at will and dismiss whenever you want?"

    Hugging tightly when you like me, and being cold or even silent when you don't.

    "Why do you say that?"

    Wen Ying looked up at Perseus, his silver-gray eyes filled with innocent confusion.

    He recalled the interactions between his mirror clone and Perseus over the past few days and quickly identified the issue. He gently smoothed things over with Perseus, "I've been a bit homesick these few days, so I might have neglected you. I'm sorry."

    Perseus was taken aback by Wen Ying's sincere apology. He opened his mouth but didn't know what to say. He should be angry, but now, he didn't feel that way anymore.

    Wen Ying wrapped his arms around Perseus's neck and, on tiptoe, kissed him gently on the lips. "Perseus, can you help me with something, please?"

    "…What is it?"

    Wen Ying licked his lips. "Tell those exorcists that you want to go find Wen Xinxin."

    "I won't go."

    Wen Ying persisted in tiptoeing, gently pecking at Balthos's eyelid: "This matter is very important to me."

    Pelorus felt the itch at the corner of his eye spreading throughout his body, yet he stubbornly retorted, "Your attempts to emulate other demons hold no sway over me. Disclose the truth you've been concealing."


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