Rui was lying on his bed, the next morning. He had been contemplating about his path forward from here on out.
('The official announcement hasn't come yet, but I should forget about it. What I ought to do is eradicate the cause of my failure.')
He was doing fine until he fought Fae. But what caused that loss? Well, he was outclassed physically and technically; in skill. She was on a whole other level. He still didn't even know what she did to him in their fight. The last thing he recalled was dashing towards the lower half of her body for a takedown, grabbing her and then the lights went out for him and he woke in a medical facility later on.
('She knocked me out, obviously. The question is how.')
He wasn't sure how. He was especially confused on how she managed to generate such raw power when caught off-guard, mid-strike with her whole body still in motion in the failed strike, at point blank range. Was such a thing even possible?
('With Earth's martial arts, that was impossible. No MMA or UFC fighter would ever be able to generate such absurd amount of power, enough to instantly knock someone out like that at point blank range. But she did, how?')
This served as a little reminded that he knew too little about the Martial Art in this world. On Earth, both humans and martial arts had hard limits. But as he had witnessed twelve years ago, neither humans nor Martial Art had hard limits like this. The laws of physics were somehow still the same, as he'd noticed. This world obeyed the three laws of motion, Newton's law of gravitation, Rotational mechanics, kinematics, Euclid's Axioms etc. Yet, somehow, the limits that the universe and Gaea had placed on humans seemed to simply not exist. He wasn't sure if this was something could ever be investigated through scientific induction; the scientific method. But did he care?
('No, not really. I'm grateful for it, of course. It allows me to live in a world of my dreams, and live a life of my dreams. But I don't really care why this reality is so different, I'm not a cosmologist or a theoretical physicist. I will simply exploit the opportunity this reality has presented me with, and fulfill the dream I couldn't fulfill in my previous life.')
Still, it begged the question he hadn't answered yet, how did she knock him out so quickly? He didn't know, and it didn't seem like he could figure out either.
('Some day… I'll reach that level, I'll reach it and far surpass it.')
He leapt up from his bed with renewed vigour.
"I'll work even harder and definitely pass the Exam next yea-"
"RUI YOU PASSED THE EXAM!"
"…?" Rui tilted his head towards a boisterous Alice running towards him.
"YOU. PASSED. THE. EXAM." She screamed, shaking him back and forth.
Rui couldn't understand.
('Is this her way of cheering me up? Alice's cheeriness was always abnormal, but this is something else even for her.')
"Your letter came!" She shoved a paper into his chest.
"It says you passed the exam!"
"Huh?" Rui squinted his eyes in skepticism as he looked at the letter. "There no wa-…!!"
He choked when he read the letter;
('Greetings, Mr Quarrier.
We are pleased to inform and congratulate you have passed the Kandrian Martial Entrance Exam, and have been accepted into the Kandrian Martial Academy. We have evaluated you as a student candidate of our Academy thoroughly, and you have indeed demonstrated that you are more deserving of a seat in our Academy than your peers.
We write to you to do more than just congratulate you, we invite you to the official Induction in the Kandrian Martial Academy on the thirty-sixth Autumn at 14:00. There, important matters such as the rules and regulations, fees structure, payment method and structure, scholarships, housing and food amenities, schedules and academic year structure and other facilities and amenities will be presented in great detail, you may consult with our staff on any enquiries you have after. You will also receive your student identification and uniform. It is an extremely important and necessary meeting, so please make sure to attend it. If you cannot, then please make sure to book an appointment with our staff prior to the start of the Academic year on the sixty-sixth Autumn.
And lastly, this letter serves as the official invitation to the Induction, please bring it with you along with identification...')
Rui memorized the relevant information as he read every single word with great scrutiny.
('...We look forward to meeting you.
With sincere regards,
~The Admission Department of the Kandrian Martial Academy.')
The letter ended after rambling on for a while about details. But the important part had already been conveyed.
"I'm accepted." He asserted, chuckling.
"I'M ACCEPTED." The realization had finally struck his core.
He began guffawing uncontrollably, until he grew embarrassed enough to stop.
('But how did I pass? I lost my badge, and the objective was to retain and accumulate badges and points. I objectively failed that task.')
('I'm definitely going to find out how I didn't fail in the Induction.')
('But still, I got in after all! YES!)
('I can't wait to begin!')
"Sigh, you were so engrossed you didn't even hear us." Alice said with tired helplessness.
"Oh, I didn't notice you guys here, sorry." Rui said as he realized a lot of people had gathered around him. He was scolded by the adults for being so self-absorbed, but ultimately everyone congratulated him. It was a well-known fact within the Orphanage that Rui dreamt of becoming a Martial Artist.
"Congratulations Rui, you made it." Julian smiled at him.
"I have to say, I am extremely surprised. I thought the chances of you passing the exam at the age of thirteen were practically negligible."
"Ha, thanks for the vote of confidence." Rui snorted.
"Still, the fact that you made it through despite your low odds is the strongest testament to your sheer determination and perseverance. If it's you, you'll be able to tread the Martial Path to the very end." Julian smiled warmly.
"…Hindsight is 20/20 they say." Rui retorted playfully.
"That's a mean thing to say in response."
Rui smirked "Thanks."