Chapter 18: A dangerous newcomer
“It's teacher Carter!” Ayrin suddenly saw a familiar face.
“He's actually the teacher in charge of our Holy Dawn team?”
“Don't look down on him.” Belo glanced at Carter who was in the middle of saying something to the Holy Dawn five. He said with a snort, “They call him a nice teacher, but he's also an elite teacher of the academy. They say he's the one with the best control over “arcane particles” among all the teachers in the school. I didn't think he'd be the one in charge of the competition this time, this is getting interesting.”
“Teacher Carter is so strong?” Remembering he said right to teacher Carter's face that he was surely not as strong as teacher Minlur, Ayrin couldn't help but sweat a bit.
Belo lifted his head and looked at the stands occupied by the Southern Monsoon people. He ground his teeth and said, “This bunch is as annoying as crows.”
Students from Holy Dawn Academy still outnumbered those from Southern Monsoon Academy in this arena, but their momentum had already been entirely overwhelmed by the noisy students from Southern Monsoon.
At this moment, Ayrin's sight was also attracted to that green-haired shorty from Southern Monsoon.
Although this shorty seemed very low-key and stood there without saying much, the other four still seemed to gravitate around him and always say something to him. As to the teacher in charge of the Southern Monsoon team, a middle-aged man with a seemingly very gloomy square face, the first one he spoke to was also the green-haired shorty.
Soon after, that shorty left his teammates and walked alone toward the center of the field.
“He's the first contestant to come out for Southern Monsoon Academy?”
Ayrin only realized this when the stands occupied by the Southern Monsoon students erupted in even louder cheers and encouragement. The match was about to formally begin, and the first contestant representing Southern Monsoon Academy was precisely that newcomer Belo had never seen before.
On Holy Dawn Academy's side, a tall male student stepped out.
This student had a very ordinary face, but his stature attracted almost everyone's attention. He couldn't be said to be sturdy, but the feeling he gave off was that of a body without an ounce of excess fat, the feeling that every line of his muscles was filled with strange explosiveness.
“The first one is Gerrin.” Belo's glasses seemed to once again flash with cold light.
“Holy Dawn Academy versus Southern Monsoon Academy, first round, Gerrin against Zola.”
Before Ayrin could say anything, a teacher acting as referee loudly proclaimed the start of the match.
The atmosphere became suddenly solemn.
“It's indeed Gerrin, looks like Holy Dawn Academy wants to take the first round and get momentum going.” Five persons whispering among themselves in an unremarkable corner of the stands, without the slightest trace of nervousness.
Those five persons were precisely the team of five that had scared Moss witless!
“They're all the same old faces as last time. Gerrin is the strongest one in the Holy Dawn team apart from Chris. The one called Zola from Southern Monsoon Academy looks very dangerous though.” Sitting in this unremarkable corner, his hair slightly red, the tall boy called Hansen frowned. “Stingham, what do you think?”
The boy was looking at a small mirror, in the middle of brushing his golden hair. He casually said, “That one from Southern Monsoon? He's nothing, he can't beat me.”
“You!” Hansen and the others had faces immediately filled with black lines. “Can't you take it seriously! I asked you how he compares to Gerrin, not to you!”
The golden boy called Stingham grudgingly put the mirror away and cast a glance at the center of the field. His eyes had somehow become an astonishing green, as if they were extremely pure green gems. “The levels of their arcane particles seem about the same. It doesn't matter whether I watch or not though, there's absolutely no way they can beat my brilliantly handsome self, haha!”
On the field covered with remembrances of past fighting, inside an arena filling Ayrin with a peculiar feeling, Gerrin and Zola stood face to face.
Gerrin was the oldest one in Holy Dawn Academy's team, also the one who'd participated in the most matches, the team member with the greatest experience.
Facing this mysterious team member from Southern Monsoon, one who'd never made an official appearance, the omen of danger suddenly rose in his heart.
“I'm very happy to fight with you.”
This match had already begun, but Zola actually said a few very polite words to Gerrin first.
“I'm also very happy to fight with you,” Gerrin answered with equal courtesy.
“Go go Gerrin!”
“Gerrin, you have to win!”
Holy Dawn Academy had had very disappointing results in the past few years, but of course, the vast majority of Holy Dawn students present in the arena hoped Gerrin could take this one. That was why the stands still erupted with clamorous cheers when they heard Gerrin's voice.
Amidst such cheers, the seemingly very polite, very low-key Zola faced Gerrin and said, “I'm starting.”
“Ok.” Gerrin nodded.
Hiss! A sudden piercing sound.
Zola stood where he was, seemingly not having moved at all. In front of him, Gerrin actually toppled backward all of a sudden, one hand bracing on the ground, bright magenta arcane particles glittering on that hand. His body tumbled backward with alarming speed.
The stands burst into an uproar.
Gerrin's figure settled down after toppling ten meters backward. Ayrin saw a cut appear on Gerrin's face, fresh blood flowing out continuously from the wound.
Ayrin remembered seeing the vague flash of a blade just now, and couldn't restrain his loud shout, “Cheating! He used a hidden weapon!”
“Don't shout randomly and embarrass yourself.” Belo pushed his glasses, his eyes staring tight at Zola's hands. “It was a wind blade, this is a skill using arcane particles.”
“Wind blade? He's wounded, the blood won't stop flowing, hurry up and staunch the bleeding!”
“Idiot, no one will heal him.” Belo looked at Ayrin with contempt. “It's precisely because you have to keep fighting even if wounded... It's precisely because you'll be wounded in such matches, and even pay with your life in serious cases, that many talents dare not participate in the competition, that such a competition is called the Cup of Academy Braves. This is a competition that only braves can participate in.”
Ayrin was stunned. “Pay the price with your life... Won't teachers stop the match?”
Belo let out a cold snort. “The teachers can't stop it in time every single time. There are some guys so strong even teachers are shocked, and there are also some people who, in order to obtain victory, will use some arcane skills that bring great harm to themselves. If you're afraid of injuries, if you don't have the courage to throw caution to the wind, there's simply no way you can become a powerful battlemaster.”
“It was a Shapeless Spinning Sword, it's been a long time since someone from Southern Monsoon last learned this secret skill. I never imagined you actually grasped it.” Fresh blood fell down from Gerrin's face drip by drip; his expression became increasingly solemn.
“That's right, this is indeed our Southern Monsoon Academy's Shapeless Sword.” Zola nodded, but he didn't say anything further.
Gerrin lowered his waist, suddenly pushed explosively on his legs.
Magenta particles billowed ragingly on his feet. His body immediately became a series of blurs that were simply impossible to distinguish clearly.
At the same time, bright magenta particles suddenly gushed from Zola's feet. He'd kept still until now, but now his body likewise became a series of blurs.
His speed seemed at first glance even a little faster than Gerrin's. Gerrin frantically pursued behind, but he simply couldn't reduce the distance between them.
Another piercing sound.
Ayrin saw it clearly this time. Zola's right palm seemed to catch fire in an instant even while he dashed forward, many magenta particles wrapping around it. It was only an instant, then these particles compressed inside his palm and disappeared, and a thin, almost transparent blade spun in his hand then flew out, chopping toward Gerrin's figure in close pursuit behind!
Gerrin's fist punched out, his right arm crackling with eye-dazzling lightning bolts. The slender blade broke to pieces with a single strike.
Blades almost indiscernible flew out nonstop from Zola's hands, slashing their ways toward Gerrin.
Gerrin's threw out his punches nonstop with astounding frequency, the blurs of his fist forming a lightning shield in front of him.
Raging gusts spilled to the four sides. Each and every blade that came his way was broken.
“This is Thunder Crushing Punch.”
“Gerrin actually managed to train this skill to such a level.”
“He can't go on like this. The Thunder Crushing Fist definitely consumes many more arcane particles compared to his opponent, and senior Gerrin can't reduce the distance between them. He'll end up dead from attrition if he goes on like this!”
Comments and surprised cries came to Ayrin's ears one after another.
He could see that Gerrin's and Zola's blurs dashed all over the field, maintaining a certain distance between them all along, hence he turned around and asked Belo, “What can we do? Can we find a way to warn Gerrin?”
“What could we possibly do?” Belo said in derision, “Do you think what they say makes sense? That green-hair kid learned a powerful secret skill from Southern Monsoon Academy, but I can't believe Gerrin's only at this level, I won't believe he'll lose so easily to that kid.”
Almost at the same moment Belo said these words, Gerrin suddenly shouted deeply, “You fell for it!”
His quiet shout contained unspeakable steadfastness. His feet trampled ferociously on the ground at the same time.
Two yellow streams of energy fiercely broke into the ground like two pythons.
The ground at Zola's feet suddenly swelled up, cracking and splitting. His figure that was forging forward like a demon suddenly staggered.
At this instant, Gerrin leaped up like a bullet.
The power of all the arcane particles he was able to call upon had clearly been gathered on that trample right now.
The lightning around his hands had vanished. Two spinning blades sliced past his body, slashing open two wounds on his chest and rib cage. His body seemed to stretch taut like a bow in the middle of the air, and, with a hum, his fist smashed down toward the top of the unsteady Zola's head.
“What a powerful physical strength!”
Ayrin couldn't help but utter a cry in surprise. Ayrin could tell he simply had no time to gather any arcane particle with this strike. It relied entirely on his tyrannical physical strength.
“I see now.” Belo's hand pushed his glasses while he mumbled to himself.
In Belo's opinion, this fight was about to reach its end, Gerrin its inevitable victor.
At this very moment, Zola's gentle face suddenly turned sinister. He also acted with extreme simplicity, firing a punch like an arrow, ruthlessly striking at Gerrin.
“Pa!” An ear-splitting sound of flesh hitting flesh.
The two fists collided firmly together. This sound gave all the spectators a very unpleasant feeling.
Gerrin's face suddenly stiffened.
His arm had gone entirely numb!
He felt as if his entire body had been hit by a raging bull. He had no way to resist.
Another fist appeared in front of him, striking his chest.
His body flew backward straight away.
The whole arena became deathly still.
Ayrin stared in stunned silence. Belo was also petrified. His hand fell on his glasses out of habit, but he stood immobile, frozen.
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