at his mother, while Nanfei stood at the window with her back to him, looking at the quietly flowing canal outside.

After a moment, he uttered, 

“So not only are you an Ascender now, but you've also joined Night Walkers?”

The young man nodded eagerly, 

Night Walker has already applied for a dorm for me.
Once it's approved, we'll move.
I've even thought about renting a nearby house for you to live in.
I can visit you whenever I'm on breaks.
Also, I'll see if I can help Kaidi open a bar in the upper city.”

“I'll be a shareholder in the bar.
If you have nowhere to go, you can come and work there to kill the time.”

Nanfei said, 

“You are quite thoughtful.”

Tianyang scratched his head and replied, 

“Well, I guess.
So, you don't object, do you?”

Nanfei responded calmly, 

“I object.”

Tianyang was surprised, 


Nanfei bit her lip gently, “Anyway, just listen to me.
I don't want to move.
We're fine here.
I just want you to be safe and sound.”

Tianyang forced a smile, “Mom, I'm already an Ascender.
I can make our lives better.
Among Night Walker, Storm, Iron Wall, the three major legions, Night Walker has the best offer.

Nanfei suddenly exploded, 

“I said quiet! If you must join the army, join Iron Wall! But not Night Walker or Storm, I won't allow it!”

She rarely lost her temper, and Tianyang had rarely seen her like this.
He tried to calm her down, “Mom, listen to me…”

“No, you listen to me!”

Nanfei grabbed her son's shoulders, her eyes a little bloodshot and excited, 

“If you still see I'm your mother, go and quit Night Walker now!”

Tianyang finally couldn't bear it, pushed her hands away and said, 

“Why should I? Mom, I'm not a child anymore! Why don't you trust me? Last time when I wanted to join the collection team, you were like this too! I don't understand why you don't want me to join the army! Is it wrong for me to want to make our lives better?!”

He took two steps back and yelled, 

“And every time I ask you who my father is, you always say I'm too young to know.
Is it because you're too controlling? Maybe my father couldn't stand it and left!”


Nanfei slapped the boy on the face, her eyes red and her body trembling. 

“How could you say such a thing?” she said.

Tianyang grunted, holding his face, and stormed into his own room.

The door slammed shut.

Nanfei thought about going after him, but hesitated and sighed instead.
She walked out of the shack and squatted at the door, lighting a cigarette.

Tianyang's bedroom was small, with a neatly made bed and a stack of books at the foot of it.

“Synopsis of Fortress Law,” “Overview of the Nine Levels,” “Inverse Universe Survival Rules,” “Classic War Analysis of Ascenders”…

The covers of these books were mostly worn and the pages yellowed.
They had been Tianyang's playmates since he was young.
Ever since he could remember, these books had been around, but whenever he asked his mother where they came from, she wouldn't say.

Tianyang secretly guessed that they were left by his father because of some of the annotations inside.
The handwriting was obviously a man's.

Looking at them, Tianyang sighed.
He regretted being impulsive.

It was difficult to raise a child in the lower city, and Tianyang knew how much his mother had suffered over the years.

Although he felt that Nanfei's demand for him to quit Night Walker was unreasonable, the boy still regretted saying such harsh words to his mother.

He thought to himself that he would apologize to her tomorrow.

Tianyang lay in bed, thinking.

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