291 New Semester at Phecda University

    For many people, August 19th represented a sleepless night; for others, they woke up to a changed world with supernatural forces, FBM, Phecda, Global Occult Alliance... Similar headlines covered national newspapers and websites. They were accompanied by the eight Phecda members who revealed themselves to the world for the first time. Following this revelation, the government announced many corresponding new policies to deal with this new era. Measures were taken to calm the public. The new policies would test the government's intelligence as well as the capability of various governmental bodies.

    Even though the name, Phecda, was now public knowledge, its actual job scope and department responsibility were still shrouded in mystery. Even on the recently updated official website, not much details could be found on it. However, the website did provide a Phecda Hotline, a number that the citizens could call should they encounter anything supernatural. Actually this hotline had been in existence for a long time already, but it was working under a different name. The announcement of the hotline came with its own problem. Calls flooded in from across the nation.

    "Hello, is this Phecda Hotline? I feel like someone is stalking me..."

    "Is this Phecda? I live on the top floor, the 23rd floor to be precise, but recently I keep hearing the sound of marble bouncing coming from upstairs." Actually research showed that 80 percent of tenants from apartment buildings heard this sound before. The scientific explanation was the sound was made by the cracking of metallic pipes in cement as they contracted and expanded due to the change in heat.

    99 percent of the calls led to nothing but the hotline was kept open just in case.

    Of the many new policies, there was one that captured the public's attention. The government was setting up a Phecda University and it would accept its first batch of students soon!

    The Phecda University was actually a repurposing of the headquarters' training academy. The government planned to expand on Phecda's training and educational system in the future and they would involve the supernatural in normal educational syllabus to help cultivate and discover more latent talents. This provided an avenue for those potential to further their studies, instead of being lured away by the promises of the devil. Undeniably this got the most resounding response from the youths. They wanted to enter this circle, to witness the power of supernatural forces for themselves.

    That early morning, Chen Jiahwa was greatly inspired by Gu Jun's speech. In spite of his nervousness, he had made a decision which he immediately announced to his parents. "I'll continue my study in medicine and then I'll join Phecda!"

    To his surprise, the opportunity came earlier than anticipated. The enrollment of new students for the first semester at Phecda University was open to final year high school students and the examination would be held in another 10 days. The content of the exam was not announced but the teachers received notification from the education department to have the students take good rest before the exam, for a fresh mind would be extremely important. This unique exam adopted a voluntary module, those who did not wish to participate or fail would sit for the normal university exam afterwards.

    Chen Jiahwa registered at first notice, so did his good friends, Xiao Lin and Renyu... even Wang Zirui did as well. Almost half of his class volunteered, those who did not either wanted to go overseas or were stopped by their parents due to their worry of possible danger. On the other hand, seeing the privilege Captain Gu enjoyed from the government, some parents thought Phecda was a well-suited career path for their children. Regardless, the students were all excited as they imagined in the near future they'd be flying through the cities and taking down supervillains with superpower.

    The 10 days passed in the blink of an eye. The world changed aplenty. One thing of note was that the black fog never returned. New York and London rescinded their lockdown. Air samples were taken multiple times and the result was satisfactory. The legionella pneumonia epidemic petered out, there was no new outbreak and existing outbreaks were effectively dealt with. Drug No. 1 was improved upon to increase its effectiveness. Through the official statements of various governments, the origin of the medicine was clarified. Public believed that it was due to this drug that the formation of Global Occult Alliance or GOA went so smoothly.

    On the 19th, the United Kingdom made the announcement to join GOA. She was followed by Russia and other European countries... as well as other smaller countries. But it was not until 1 week later that the United States decided to join GOA. However, at the same time, they too announced a different international organization named World Mystery Organization, or WMO. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and other countries became its members, as did China. As per human nature, instant unity was impossible. According to specialists on tv programs, currently GOA and WMO were in a cooperative yet competitive relationship. Perhaps in the future, the two might become one but who would be the leader, that would depend on how each of the counterparts acted in the imminent future.

    The public had a lot to say about this development, there was a clear competition between GOA and WMO; Phecda and FBM; Gu Jun and Grant Bell. Some even suggested an arena for both parties to have it out before the global audience. Winner takes all.

    In any case, the exam for Phecda University started at the end of August. Finally the content of the exam was revealed. The students were led into a silent room. They were then equipped with some vital reading devices and exposed to multiple pictures... The exam appeared to be a test of their mental power. This fitted with their teacher's advice of, "The government is looking for talented individuals, forget about your final results and physical condition. If you're selected, then it means the country sees a purpose in you. Just take a good rest and do not be nervous during the exam."

    Regardless, Chen Jiahwa could not stop his nervousness. He had no idea how he performed, for there was no yardstick for him to measure his performance. The result was announced earlier than he anticipated. When Chen Jiahwa returned home that afternoon, he already got the notification. His friend group was shaken once more. Even the teachers did not expect that only two students from their school were accepted, one was Chen Jiahwa and the other, Lu Xiaoyue from another class. There were in total less than 30 students from their city who were accepted.

    Chen Jiahwa's acceptance into Phecda University was treated as an equivalence to him winning a lottery, both his teachers and the school headmaster came to congratulate him. A congratulatory banner came up at the school gate, "Congratulations to our graduates, Chen Jiahwa and Lu Xiaoyue for getting into Phecda University! We are so proud of you!"

    Father Chen and Mother Chen could not tell whether this was a good thing or not. When their relatives came to ask for updates, they had nothing to share. Chen Jiahwa himself was under great pressure but thankfully, the new semester soon started on 1st September.

    The new students from Eastern State were ferried away on a special bus, it was like they were heading to military camp. They were led by Phecda members to Phecda University which was situated at Da Hwa City. A mysterious allure permeated this place. For that split moment, it felt like they had entered Hogwarts.

    They were split into schools based on their future profession. Chen Jiahwa chose to continue his study of medicine and he noticed many of the new students did as well. During the opening ceremony, 20000 new students stood in attention at the large pavilion as the various leaders took the stage to make speeches. Even though the teachers stressed on the importance of discipline, these new recruits were still teenagers, their excitable nature had not been tempered.

    Therefore, when Phecda University's Guest Lecturer, Gu Jun took the stage, many students, especially the girls squealed with excitement. It caused a palpable tremor through the crowd.

    The lecturers frowned instantly.


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