Chapter 235 The Promised Reward 
"Huh It is not here!"
Zero was confused after not finding the Art after searching for it for a long time. Since he had already decided which item to take, he thought that it would only take a little bit of time but he didn't expect that the Art that he wanted was very difficult to find.
He searched for it carefully once again and it took another hour to go through everything that was present there. After another round of checking, Zero confirmed that the Art was indeed not present there.
"Did I come too fast"
If there is no Art then it means that the Art that he wanted was procured between now and the second year of Hiro's time next year. This means that presently the Art is not there.
( … )
Now, it was a bump for him. He thought he would go to the Treasury, pick up the Speed Art, and go back, but in reality, the Art was nowhere to be found.
"Let's search for another Art."
Zero had no choice but to give up on searching for that Art. With the treasures present in front of him, he thought that even if he didn't get the Art he wanted, he could probably get a similar Art.
He then directed his concentration on the piles of artifacts and treasure that were lined up in front of him.
"Not this one either!"
Zero looked through the treasures one by one. There were lots of weapon artifacts that included Rank-S but Zero was not really interested as he already had a reliable weapon that was compatible with his strength and techniques.
He was basically looking for a skill or an artifact with nice abilities. However, it seemed that most artifacts were either weapons or Fighting Art.
He thought he would find a similar Art to the one Hiro would find, but that was just a dream. There were not many speed Art and at most, the level was just 4.
He even had to give up on finding a Speed Art. Now, he just wished that he would get a helpful artifact from the treasury or else everything that he worked hard for would be for nothing.
"This is good!"
Eventually, after some time, finally an item caught his attention after some searching.
He picked up an artifact that was oozing with vitality and seemed to recover his fatigue and mana. Alongside, there was also a description of the artifact.
Name: Phoenix Feather Pendant
Description: A necklace made with a Phoenix feather has huge energy. It is capable of healing any injuries that users sustain. Also, the mana recovering rate will increase by 10 %.
The ability was useful and it could even help him recover his mana which is one of the rare abilities, not to mention its ability to heal the user. As he did not have any identification scroll to scan the artifact, he was unaware of any other information besides what is written there.
However, since it is made from a phoenix feather, Zero knew some things about the item, such as the ability of the phoenix feather to prevent death. Unless the head is chopped off, artifacts made from phoenix feathers prevent the user from dying.
However, he didn't choose the artifact immediately. He browsed through other batches of artifacts. He tried to find another speed Art but the strongest Art was only LVL 4, which was not worth looking at.
He also browsed through other artifacts which had interesting abilities but none of them were as useful as the Phoenix Feather Pendant.
There were many artifacts that had a rank of S and Art that had LVL 6 but they were not very useful to Zero. In terms of its usefulness, Zero preferred this Phoenix Feather Pendant over other artifacts.
Zero was a little disappointed that he didn't get the item that he planned to get. He never thought that the item he wanted would not be there.
He could have asked to postpone the day for choosing the treasure but Zero didn't know when it would arrive or whether it would arrive at all. He thought that Art might not be here because of the change of course of this world due to his intervention.
However, he still got something that would help him immensely in his goal, and he didn't entirely think that it was a bad thing. At least, he got something.
Zero opened the door and wanted to leave. He didn't think that there would be anyone waiting for him. He took almost 4 hours to choose the item.
"How did it go Did you choose carefully"
Professor Mia, who was waiting for him, asked.
Zero was surprised to see Professor Mia. He didn't think that there would be anyone there.
Zero directly showed the item that he brought.
He would not have necessarily shown the item if the one who asked him was another professor. Having your artifact capabilities known to others was not a very good thing.
However, Zero didn't hesitate even a little to show what he bought to Professor Mia. For Zero, other than his parents, he felt that he owed Professor Mia the most.
"This is a Phoenix Feather Pendant!"
Professor Mia said.
She knows most of the artifacts that were in the Treasury as she also got the opportunity to get the treasure from the Treasury when she was promoted to Rank-S.
"Are you sure this is what you want"
Although its abilities were good, they weren't the best that you can find in the Treasury. Although it was the best of the Rank-A artifacts, it didn't measure up to the other Rank-S artifacts.
Zero has the choice to choose any artifact from the Treasury and Professor Mia felt that he should choose those strong Rank-S Artifacts as those are the artifacts that are truly hard to get.
Zero said confidently.
From Professor Mias' expression, Zero knew what she was thinking. But Zero had also chosen this artifact after thinking carefully.
Rank-S was more expensive but he was confident that he could get that in the future. And the reason why he didn't take it now was that the weapon artifact of Rank-S that was in the treasury was not very compatible with him.
And Phoenix Feather Pendant was Rank-A but its rarity was not lower than other Rank-S artifacts.
Professor Mia wanted to give Zero another chance to change the artifact but seeing his determined expression, Professor Mia knew that it was not a decision based on impulse.
He was no fool and she knew that.
After that, Zero joined the class which was taking place as normal. The participants were highly respected by all, especially Lisanna. She was like the goal of most students.
Hiro was also regarded highly by seniors and peers alike. For a first-year, his achievement was almost unbelievable. To get into the Top-4 of the Tournament of Academies, there was no one other than him.
As for the Zero, he was also respected and feared for his power. But regardless of the fact that Zero contributed more to the victory of Ace Academy, students were more focused on the ranking.
Since Hiros' ranking was higher than Zero, they naturally regarded Hiro as superior. But those who had watched the whole tournament held more admiration for Zero than Hiro.
The higher-ups of Ace Academy also valued Zero for this reason. His contribution to the victory was far more than Hiro and they also thought that Zero held more potential than Hiro.
The reason for this thinking was that Hiro was Rank-E , while Zero achieved Rank-F during the entrance exam. Fast forward to today, both of them are at the same rank, which was more than enough to prove that Zero was more talented.
However, Zero also had the advantage of being trapped in the Gate, giving more time two more months than Hiro to cultivate. Though, not many will say that being trapped in the Gate is an advantage.
Being trapped in the Gate means that there is no time to cultivate and most of the time is spent finding food and fighting monsters. Therefore, not many people think that being in the Gate has given Zero any advantage at all.
Therefore, while many think that Zero is more talented, others do not necessarily think like that and say that he had an advantage. Though what both sides agree on is the fact that Zero was not your everyday student.
Even if Zero were not at the same rank as Hiro, after watching Zero defeat Ruelle, they believe that Zero would be talented enough to compete with Hiro.
As for right now, disregarding their rank and only comparing strengths, no one thinks that Hiro is stronger than Zero. While Hiro was in another league when compared with other people of the same rank, Zero was also in a different league compared to Hiro.
If the average Rank-C- was compared to Hiro, it would be the same as comparing a tiger to a cow. But if you compare Hiro to Zero, then it would be the same as a tiger being compared to a dragon.
Anyway, they started to pay great attention to Zero.
Lisa and Sylvia were also greatly appreciated for their powers. Even though monsters like Hiro and Zero had made them somewhat like side characters, both of them had shown incredible skill at a young age.
Being able to compete with geniuses who are older than you was already very difficult. Despite this, they had managed to beat a couple of them in the first round, showing that they were geniuses among geniuses.
Though their achievements were overshadowed by Zero and Hiro.
In front of Zero and Hiro, they could only be considered average students.-