Chapter 41: Dawn Academy Evening News
Xiao Lin was enrolled in both magic and combat-related courses, but that strategy was not recommended by the Academy. His classes always overlapped. He really needed a flexible schedule, but the Academy would never change the entire freshmen schedule just for one recruit. If Xiao Lin could have the privilege to listen in on any course he wanted, it would be perfect for him.
At that moment, Department Head Song, who had someone high-ranked looking after him, was handing Xiao Lin this opportunity.
Xiao Lin left the logistics department and returned to the dorm that he had left for two days. There was another half an hour left until the next class, so he had dinner in the buffet cafeteria alone. He was not rushing to rest; he had ample sleep for the past two days. He went to the common room around the corner instead, poured himself a cup of tea, grabbed a stack of newspapers from the rack, and began reading with interest.
There were few options for entertainment at Dawn Academy; although everyone was given a computer, there were no games on it. Moreover, in this realm away from Earth, one could not surf any further than the Academy’s intranet. This was no place for people to waste their time.
Thus, on top of the tight class schedules and intense training, the Academy’s paper was one of the few entertainment options with which people could spend their time. Some people choose to revise their compulsory courses or train for their electives in their free time.
However, this was no game where you could continuously defeat monsters to level up 24/7. Humans would naturally become exhausted, especially after finishing tough courses like Basic Fitness. It was ineffective to train or meditate when one was exhausted.
There was only one publication available in the common room named the ‘Dawn Academy Evening News’. The paper’s issue, it seemed, had inconsistent publication dates; it could go from once every week to one every ten to 14 days. Thankfully, the paper’s contents were pretty engaging. For freshmen who barely knew anything, this paper was the best way they could get to know this New World.
The paper was split into two sections; one for Intra Academy news, and the other was on the New World. The Intra Academy section was not really interesting; it usually published either praises for some capable seniors or motivational pieces for students to work hard. The latest news was the welcome for freshmen: the dean participated in the orientation for the first time, gave an important speech, and expressed his high hopes for the freshmen.
On the other hand, the New World section was of interest for many students. There were adventure stories from recruits in the New World, as well as photos of peculiar flora and fauna and unique sceneries. The paper used the same virtual reality technology; tapping on photos would make magical multidimensional projections appear, looking more realistic than 3D movies. That was the main reason why freshmen loved reading the paper.
Copies of the paper were limited, so it was impossible to give everyone a copy. Xiao Lin was there early, and he was the only one in the empty common room. He found a soft sofa, sat down, and flipped the paper open. He wanted to skip the Intra Academy section, but he was quickly attracted by its headline.
A few huge, black words on the first page of the Intra Academy section read: Exposé! Suspicion Over Song Junlang’s Continuous Tenure As Department Head!
Xiao Lin’s eyes twitched; this was an aggressive headline. Although he only knew Song Junlang for a brief time, and acknowledged that it was suspicious for him to continuously claim that someone high-ranked was looking after him, this young and handsome department head had been pretty friendly and pleasant.
The article was lengthy; it described Song Junlang’s life. He was accepted by the Dawn Academy eight years ago, and he displayed great capability back then, on top of being a talented recruit. Although no one knew the true extent of his talent, his life at the Academy had been pretty smooth-sailing–even the dean put him on a pedestal. After his graduation, Song Junlang was fortunate enough to explore the New World with the dean for the colonization.
Xiao Lin was mildly confused at this point while reading about the Department Head’s past. The first part of Song Junlang’s life at the Dawn Academy was undeniably grand, but given the provocative headline of this article, it was impossible for it to only talk about his achievements. Xiao Lin held that thought and continued reading.
Soon after the adventure, to secure their colony in the New World, Dawn Academy launched multiple attacks on the Mermaids who interfered with the colony. Mermaids were a weak species on Planet Norma, so this war was led by graduates and interns; researchers and postgraduates were not involved. As someone already at Gold rank, Song Junlang commanded the operation.
This conflict should not have had any unexpected circumstances. It was just like how the US invaded smaller, underdeveloped African countries; victory was already in the bag.
However, Dawn Academy lost horribly in this war. Material losses aside, this affected Dawn Academy’s colonization strategy overall. As a result, the Dawn Academy was forced to go on defense for the next few years in the New World instead of hastily expanding its colony. This was why the Academy eventually trailed behind the US and Europe.
As commander, Song Junlang was severely injured, and he was degraded from Gold to Bronze level. Upon returning to the Academy, Song Junlang was targeted by many and accused of causing the defeat. Some vicious folk even spread the rumor that Song Junlang had reached an agreement with the Mermaids and betrayed the Dawn Academy.
Although this rumor was unreliable, everyone thought that Song Junlang should have been severely punished for it; he should have been stripped of his duties at the student union, or have his memory wiped before getting thrown back to Earth. He should have been expelled from Dawn Academy.
However, results of the student union’s investigation shocked everyone. Not only was Song Junlang not punished, he was also handed the position of the logistics department head, which had been vacant for some time. This caused an uproar, especially from seniors who made a fuss about it multiple times. However, since the dean gave his silent approval to it, everyone had to let the issue go.
The logistics department head was a unique position. Although it was a department head position, there was not much authority to it. The department head was only responsible for providing meals to the Academy. That was why Song Junlang was known as the Delivery Department head among the seniors.
In an environment where the strong was distinguished from the weak through their capabilities, this nickname was the greatest insult to Song Junlang. His capabilities had never recovered since he was degraded to Bronze. Over time, everyone gradually forgot that he was the talented Song Junlang of once upon a time. They only knew him as the department head who managed to hold the position for four years while only being at the Bronze rank.
The article was filled with sarcasm. It criticized Song Junlang for being unfit to be a department head and that he only managed to stay put through his connections. The student union would probably strip him of his position in the next election cycle.
After reading the article, Xiao Lin put the paper down and went silent. He finally knew some things about this unreliable, yet friendly department head, and he also understood why Chen Yu, as a second-year leader, dared butt heads with Department Head Song that night.