Once the five students heard their names being called, each of them began to make their way towards the sergeant, who was waiting for them in front of the crowd.
Apart from Quinn and Vorden, there was another boy in their group. Peter looked to be the most nervous among anyone there. He would constantly look around him and he couldn't stop fidgeting either. His body frame was quite small, but it suited him for he wasn't that tall either. Looking at him reminded Quinn of himself. A small frame with glasses and scruffy brown hair, he was not much for a physical attraction.
The other two members were both girls. Layla had short brown hair and a tall figure and she was carrying a bow on her back, which surprised Quinn since not many people carried a weapon these days apart from a specific group of people called Pure.
They were a group of people who claimed that abilities were a blight upon humanity and instead opted to use weapons. However, they were very rare and Quinn had never met anyone who belonged in the faction in his life. He had merely heard stories about them.
Erin, on the other hand, was the type of girl whose beauty turned necks. Her proportions were perfect, not too big and not too small, and she had long silky hair with a magnificent golden hue. The only problem was her facial expressions. Even while walking through the gathering of people, not once did her expression change. It stayed stiff and neutral and made her appear cold. The awe on the faces of the other kids was lost on hers.
As Quinn was walking to the front, he noticed that he couldn't recognize any of the students there and it seemed like the others were not familiar with anybody either. Quinn could only assume that this was done on purpose.
Their group soon stopped just behind another group that was being transported to the testing area.
Vorden walked around and greeted each one of the people in his group with a handshake and a confident smile. Vorden was very polite, so most of them accepted his greetings. All of them, except for Erin.
She merely stared at Vorden's hand when he offered it to her, then turned her gaze away after a second.
"Come on, you don't have to be like that," Vorden said as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
A terrible mistake. Erin moved faster than anyone could react. She grabbed Vorden's wrist and twisted his hand. Specks of ice started to crawl up his hand and began to freeze his limb.
They were making a scene, and everyone gleefully watched.
"Wow, she has ice abilities?" one of the boys said.
"Isn't that very Rare?"
"I would let her freeze me any day."
Several students expressed their amazement in unison.
"Stop it, you two," Griff barked at their little fight. "If you have that much energy to pick a fight, then save it for the test!"
Erin immediately dropped Vorden's hand, leaving him gasping in pain. Slowly, his hand started defrosting. He scrambled back to the line and stood behind Quinn, his face flushed with embarrassment.
"Can you believe her?!" Vorden complained, "I nearly lost my hand."
"You can't just go around touching people without their permission," Quinn replied.
"Yeah, I know. She's lucky I didn't wipe the floor with her just 'cause she's a pretty girl."
His words were creating enemies for him. Many of them admirers of Erin who felt disgracing Vorden might earn them points with the beautiful girl.
Looking at the people around them, Quinn could tell what the others were thinking. It was on their faces. Instinctively, Quinn moved away from Vorden, hoping that others wouldn't mistake the two of them as friends.
At last, Quinn and the others were called forward and were told to stand inside a square, drawn with white lines on the ground. The space inside of it was just big enough to fit the five of them in.
One would notice that outside of the square, there was a hooded man who was standing nearby.
"Send them away!" Griff ordered.
As soon as Griff gave the command, the hooded man planted both of his hands on the ground and the square started to light up, shining in a bright purple color.
"An ability to transport others, huh," Vorden said, leaning forward to speak into Quinn's ears, much to the latter's discomfort. "What a rare ability."
The plain fields faded from their sight and they were thrown into a whirlwind of colors. The very next second, they found themselves in another outdoor area, this time an empty wasteland. There was no sign of life nor greeneries.
Two people stood before the group. A woman dressed in black and next to her another man whose face was hidden beneath his hood. Quinn could not make out the badge on the arm of either of their uniforms, making it impossible to tell what rank they possessed.
The woman held a tablet in one of her clutches, busy thumbing through it. She ignored the group that had appeared before her and continued till she was done. Once she had finished, she shifted her gaze to the students and began to speak.
"Hello, I am Jane and I will be the one in charge of your test today. Once the test has been completed, I will be updating your information and your score will then be reflected on your wristwatches." Quinn noted that her face appeared to display the same emotional range as Erin's.
"Now, who should we call first? Oh, it looks like we have a couple of previously levelled ones?" Jane noted as her eyes ran across her tablet screen. The tablet seemed such a delicate thing to hold in this place where the beautiful city was out of sight. The information the woman made mention of had been passed down from their previous schools.
"Peter Chuck, step forward."
The nervous, small physiqued Peter did as he had been told, looking even worse than before. Quinn thought that he appeared unsightly, yet he looked to be in perfect condition if you were to compare the two. At least Quinn was able to stand up, whereas Peter looked like he would fall over at any second.
"What is your ability?" Jane asked.
"Eh, I don't have any ability," Peter answered quietly.
Quinn and the others now understood why Peter had been so nervous. Having no ability wasn't rare. Because of the war, many children had ended up as orphans like Quinn. This usually meant that there was no chance for them to buy an ability book.
"Don't be afraid Peter." Jane said, "Here, take this."
The hooded man, who was standing beside Jane, suddenly conjured a book in his hand and held it out quietly. Jane took the book and handed it over to Peter.
"F-for me? You're just giving this to me for free?!" Peter asked with utter excitement in his voice. "Thank you!"
"Study the book in your own free time. When you have finally learned to use it, you can come back to redo the test, but for now, I'll have to temporarily award you a level 1 power status."
Even though Peter had received a level 1 power status, he didn't care about it. At this moment, he only felt hope. His life could finally turn around due to the book that he had just received.
"Quinn Talen, step forward," Jane ordered, looking at him.
Quinn did as he was told.
"What is your ability?"