The Human Giant

There is always the desire to be the strongest, the fastest, the smartest, and to reach the apex of everything. To some, they believe that talent determines everything. To others, hard work is more important. For many to reach the apex of any field a combination of talent, hard work, and determination is needed. In a world where powerful demons, unkillable immortals, and strange monsters ran amok. Where human lives were treated on the same level as ants. Yoze, a young man who had transmigrated from Earth to this dangerous world could only rely on his hard work, strong will, and his cheat, the Second Best System to that makeup for his lack of talent and resources. With his desire to improve his family's life and his ambition to surpass human limits, he set his eyes on passing the Scholar exam as he took his first step toward dominating the world. Whether it was humans, demons, monsters, immortals, or gods they all were within his sights and would soon become a stepping stone for his rise to excellence. "You are a genius of 1000 years. Okay, I'm a genius of 900 years. I'll surpass you in three years." "You are the most talented runner in the world. That's okay, I'm fine with being the second most talented runner but I bet I can surpass you in three months." "Having the most talent doesn't mean anything unless you use it. You are born with talent. I earned it. You are afraid of demons while I cherish seeing every demon." Yoze smiled as he looked at the nine-headed immortal under his feet. "I heard that Immortals can't die. Let's test that rumor." As Yoze advanced on his journey he slowly discovered that there was no supreme power system or logic that this strange world followed. Whether the Spiritual Energy that the demons monopolized, the Crystal Energy that could create entire worlds, or the Inner Vigor that humans held close to their hearts. Yoze was determined to become the master of them all!

Mr_Palados · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
394 Chs

Chapter 2: The Scholar Exam and the Martial Artist

A week had passed by in a flash, and Yoze and Evi found themselves standing in front of a large green building. There were obvious signs that this building was freshly built as they could smell fresh paint coming off the walls and how the walls were pristine as the weather hadn't dirtied them.

Looking around, they both sighed from amazement as they saw that hundreds of young men and women were standing in front of the building with anxiety. Evi was stunned by the number of people as he had never seen so many people gather in such a small area.

Even when he and his family visited the nearby towns, they didn't see many people since the villages around them were very small. The largest town he had ever visited only had a population of two hundred people, and of course, he never would see all of them gather in one spot.

Yoze, on the other hand, sighed as he felt as if he had returned to school and was about to take an important test. The stakes for this test were much higher than in his past life. Compared to his past life, where if he failed a test, he would only get a bad grade and move on, this time, if he didn't perform well, his life would be ruined.

"Yoze, how are you feeling? I'm feeling kind of nervous myself." Evi said with a nervous chuckle.

He was not only worried about himself passing the scholar exam, but he also felt worried on Yoze's behalf. He knew that for Yoze passing this test would potentially save his father's life. If Yoze didn't make it in the end, then his father would be forced to watch from above.

*Nervous but nothing we can't handle. With how much we had studied for this exam, there was no chance we would fail."

"In any case, you need to have more confidence in yourself. If you pass the test, then the chances I pass are almost a hundred percent." Yoze smiled as he placed his hand on Evi's shoulder to help him relax.

Even though his stakes for this test were higher, he tried not to let the stress and anxiety get to him. Being nervous wouldn't do him any good since he did everything he could.

"Even though I wasn't able to get any other talents from other people. I still collected a few that should help me get through this. Paired with the nearly a hundred hours of studying with his improved talents, I should be well prepared." Yoze kept this last thought to himself as he pulled up his profile.

[Name: Yoze]

[Age: 21 years]

[Talents: Literature Comprehension (Grade 3), Networking (Grade 2), Logical Reasoning (Grade 1), Mathematics (Grade 1)]

[Talent Mark: 1]

Compared to when he first unlocked his cheat, the number of talents he acquired was much higher, with all of them coming from Evi alone. Throughout the week, he had tried to find some other people to copy talents from, but given how close the scholar exam was, everyone else was too busy studying in their own study groups to meet up with him.

Still, he was confident that he had accumulated enough knowledge and skill to pass the scholarly examination. He was incredibly confident in his math and literature abilities, so as long as these two subjects were on the test, he could pass without much effort.

"I guess you are right. Even if one of us passes the test, we can still support one another." After being reassured, Evi smiled as he made sure to let Yoze know that he wouldn't let Yoze's father die if he passed the scholar exam.

Just as Yoze was about to agree with Evi's suggestion, he noticed that the entrance to the Scholar Examination building was slowly opening. It wasn't only him who noticed, as the hundreds of potential scholars all went silent as they nervously stared at the door.

As the pressure from the hundreds of people staring at the two large doors built up, two middle-aged men wearing simple clothes walked out with a table, a pile of papers, and a large wooden board. After placing the table far away from the entrance, one of the middle-aged men stuck the piles of papers neatly on the wooden board and placed it in an area where everyone could see what was written on it.

On each of the slips of paper were dozens of random names, and from the number of pieces of paper stuck on the board, there were at least hundreds of names written down. After a quick search, Yoze found that his name was also written down on the fifteenth piece of paper.

"The examination is about to begin in an hour, and thus, everyone is allowed to enter the building to find a seat. The rules for the scholar exam will be explained in more detail a few minutes before the test officially starts."

"Until then, make sure to find your name on one of these slips of paper. This means that you have been registered with the City. If you don't see your name, that means you have not registered, and thus, taking the test will be considered a federal offense!" The middle-aged man who had sat down at the table looked at the large crowd with an emotionless face.

After noticing that some people's faces had turned pale after failing to find their names, he continued with a softer tone.

"If you can't find your name, but you are sure you are registered, come to this table so we can double-check that your identity is real. If confirmed, we will register you again so you can take the test without worry." 

After hearing the middle-aged man's words, the tension that had formed evaporated as a few dozen people quickly stepped forward to confirm their identities with the City. Since he and Evi had found their names on the wooden board, they did not need to verify their identities and re-register.

But Yoze seeing how seriously the City was taking the scholar exam, couldn't help but feel that his expectation of this world increased slightly. 

"Jade City… Dad said that he always dreamed of visiting but was never able to since he couldn't afford the cost. Entering the City for most people is expensive since they need to pay the registration cost upfront."

"But as a scholar, not only would the registration fee be waived if he passed the test, but I can also bring Dad in for free. Once I pass, then Dad and I can live in Jade City without worry." 

Knowing the current state of his father's health, Yoze worried about whether his father's frail body could endure the harsh journey. Noticing that he was getting distracted, Yoze heavily shook his head to clear his thoughts before finding an available seat inside the building. 

Though most of the information about the exam was not available to the public, some information about the structure was known. For one, the test would take place all day, so he had to make sure he was comfortable since he would have to sit down on a chair all day. 

The exam itself was divided into several sections that covered different topics, and between each section would be a 15-minute break. It was enough time to eat a snack and drink some water but not enough time to figure out how to cheat on the following sections, which were randomly selected.

"Look, the test examiners have arrived," Evi whispered to Yoze after noticing several dignified people had entered the room.

Hearing that the examiners had finally arrived, Yoze shifted his gaze to see that three middle-aged men were wearing scholar robes and had auras of superiority. Just them walking into the large room caused all the examinees to turn their full attention to those scholars.

Yoze, on the other hand, was the only person who paid any attention to the fourth middle-aged man who followed behind the three middle-aged men. With a casual glance, he knew that the man wasn't a scholar and had an indifferent gaze in his eye which was different from the examiners. If anything, the man's strong muscles, exaggerated by his tight shirt and pants, sharp gaze, and sheathed sword tied to his belt, showed he was prepared to fight to the death.

"A martial artist?"

Realizing the man's profession, Yoze felt his heart shiver as he remembered the rumors and stories his father told him when he was younger. This world was filled with monsters, demons, witches, and immortals that played with human lives like toys.

As someone who wasn't from this world, he had always wanted to see if Immortals were real, but he never came across a martial artist, much less an Immortal. Even if he could come across a real-life immortal, there was nothing he could do to attract their attention.

As soon as Yoze realized he had met a martial artist, he immediately wanted to throw his talent mark at the martial artist, but he eventually shook his head and temporarily rejected the idea. He wanted to save his only talent mark in case there was a part of the test he was confident in. With his talent mark, he could at least attempt to use it on someone to get a boost in talent.

"The exam will begin in 10 minutes! Make sure to take care of your natural needs beforehand, as there will be no exceptions to leaving during this period." One of the middle-aged examiners suddenly shouted to the crowd, instantly drawing Yoze's attention away from the martial artist.

After getting everyone's attention, the examiners went over the rules and repeatedly mentioned that cheating would not be tolerated. Soon after the rules were noted for the tenth time, the doors to the outside world were sealed, signaling the beginning of the scholar exam.

After discovering that the first section was about math, Yoze breathed a sigh of relief. This was the subject that he had the most confidence in since he had taken math classes in his previous life, which helped him easily comprehend the math in this world since they were similar.

Two hours passed in a flash, and Yoze finished with the last question. Even though he was confident, he still double-checked his answers to ensure he didn't make a mistake. 

It took him another half an hour to double-check and fix the few math mistakes he made, and he waited patiently for the first break to start. Even though he finished before the time limit, he wasn't allowed to try and turn in his papers early due to the rules. All he could do was wait patiently for the examiners to collect his papers alongside everyone else's at the same time.

"Time's up! Pens Down!"

Yoze looked around to see that a third of the people had sweat covering their foreheads but seemed satisfied with the exam, with another third seeming like they wanted to kill themselves. The last third were people like himself, who appeared to be relaxed and rested.

Of course, as part of that last third percent, Evi was smiling as he also felt confident that he did well on the test. When he noticed that Yoze was looking at him with confidence, he nodded slightly before allowing the examiners to collect their papers.

"A 15-minute break starts now!"

When they heard that the break had started, Yoze and Evi stood up and left the exam room to breathe fresh air and calm their nerves. After briefly chatting about how confident they were about the first part of the exam, they walked outside the unlocked doors.

The moment Yoze and Evi stepped outside, they were immediately assaulted by the intense heat of the blazing sun. After staying in the cool building all morning, they weren't prepared that the weather would be this hot. 

"Damn, it's hot. The insulation of this building must be incredible to still be so cold even from this heat wave. I think I'm going to go back inside; what about you?" Even before Evi finished his sentence, he had turned around instinctively, only stopping half after noticing that Yoze was still standing outside.

"You can go inside. I want to stay outside to enjoy the cool breeze a little longer," Yoze said casually as he ignored the weird look he got from Evi.

"Alright, but make sure that your sweat doesn't soak your clothes from sweating too much, or else you're going to regret it." 

Even though Evi wanted to continue talking with Yoze, when he saw that he was looking at the martial artist who had entered the room with the examiners standing outside in the blazing sun, he wisely left.

After temporarily bidding Evi goodbye, Yoze focused on the middle-aged man as he could see that he was in a terrible mood, even from a distance. It wasn't hard for him to imagine how awful he must be feeling having to endure standing in the hot sun for hours without any breaks. If it was any other person, they would have suffered from a heat stroke and died immediately, but strangely, the middle-aged martial artist was only slightly sweating with no signs of heat exhaustion.

Making a snap decision, Yoze walked up to the martial artist with a bag of water in his right hand. Before he even took a step, the martial artist turned to face him and gripped his sword tightly.

"Sir, I couldn't help but notice that you have been standing outside for a while and wanted to offer you some water." Putting up his best smile, Yoze lifted his water pouch full of water.

The martial artist first looked at Yoze with a look of suspicion, but seeing his smile without ill intent, he accepted the offering. With his offering and pure intentions, the martial artist's hand tightly gripping his sword relaxed as he uncapped the pouch of water with clear intentions of drinking it.

"Thanks, kid. What do you want?" The middle-aged martial artist spoke with a neutral tone as he lazily stared at Yoze or, more accurately, his plump pouch of snacks.

"Are you a martial artist?" Having gotten to this point, Yoze immediately asked the question he wanted to know the most.

If he could confirm that the man was a real martial artist, he could ask whether demons could consume souls and immortals that could destroy mountains. If true, he would have to adjust his plans for his and his father's safety.

"Yup. If this kid's questions are this simple, it should be acceptable that I take a few bribes. This job doesn't pay that much anyways." The middle-aged man quickly responded to Yoze with a simple nod as he kept his last two sentences to himself.

"Have you encountered any monsters and demons?" With this confirmation, Yoze felt his blood rush as he quickly asked his next question.

Noticing the trend of Yoze's question, the middle-aged martial artist confidently gulped water and looked deeply into Yoze's eyes before calmly saying.

"No, you are more likely to die at the hands of another martial artist than a demon."

"Of course, it doesn't mean that they aren't real. They are very much real. I might never have encountered any demons or monsters, but I have heard stories from friends that you are more likely to encounter them as one gets stronger."

Even though he didn't get the answer he wanted, Yoze adjusted his heart and asked some questions. Since he had already used his water as a bargaining chip to talk to this martial artist, he wanted to at least get his money's worth.

"How does one become a martial artist?"

"Kid, the path to becoming a martial artist is tough and filled with death. I recommend that you stick with becoming a scholar. It is not only safer, but you are more likely to have a better life."

"I see," 

Understanding the martial artist's advice and being able to accept it were two different matters. Since Yoze confirmed that this world might have demons from legends that treated human lives like ants existed. He no longer felt comfortable placing his life in the hands of others. Especially now that he had gotten the power to copy talents, he knew he could reach the sky.

Maybe it was because the martial artist saw that the flame in Yoze's eyes didn't diminish. Or perhaps he wanted to maintain their exchange for water with questions going. But he gave Yoze his water pouch and told him to return during the next break session.

"If you still want an interest in learning about the world of martial arts, come find me next break."