Chapter 358: Alarms Outside the Barracks
After some time, the vigorous heartbeats of the six Holy Dawn Academy youths slowly returned to normal as their breathing fell back into a steady rhythm.
The sun was hidden behind the clouds, yet these youths seemed to be glowing with light in the eyes of the referees and medical masters.
“This team will definitely go down in history,” Clancy thought to himself as he watched the six youths undergo their transformations and grow stronger.
“Ayrin,” Leonardo abruptly called out.
“What is it, Mister Leonardo?” Still immersed in the blissful sensation of getting stronger, Ayrin looked curiously towards Leonardo.
“I… have something for you.” Leonardo replied with a slight hesitation as he took a scroll out of his robes and handed it over to Ayrin.
“What is this, Mister Leonardo?” Ayrin asked as he looked curiously at the scroll.
The scroll made of reddish-purple leather was extremely weathered and peeling in certain areas. It looked incredibly ancient.
“It contains an extremely ancient arcane skill,” Leonardo explained slowly.
“An arcane skill?” Stingham interrupted, “Ayrin, it absolutely cannot be something good, or he would not just give it to you like this.”
“Shut up!” Leonardo roared as he resisted the urge to beat Stingham up. Veins bulged atop his face as he said powerfully, “This scroll contains the skill, Lunar God’s Domain!”
“Lunar God’s Domain?!” Clancy and several of the nearby referees trembled in shock.
“What? Is this an extremely powerful domain?” Ayrin asked excitedly upon seeing the reactions of Clancy and the others. His eyes completely lit up as he continued, “What kind of domain is this?”
“Lunar God’s Domain is the strongest domain taboo skill from the Era of the War with Dragons,” Leonardo began to explain. Taking a deep breath, he slowly continued, “When cast, the skill envelops the caster and a spherical area around them in a layer of bright light, forming the image of a moon. The caster’s presence is thoroughly erased within this enclosed area. Afterwards, a force will suck all nearby opponents into the area, forcing them to do battle with the caster.”
After a short pause, Leonardo continued, “But the most critical aspect of this skill is that the domain energy of Lunar God’s Domain is restricting. Within the domain, no other domain energies are allowed. That is to say, if you manage to master this domain and use it in battle, your opponents who are sucked into it will not be able to use their own domains. Furthermore, Lunar God’s Domain contains the arcane energy of three natures, illusion, light, and safeguard.”
“Illusion? Light? And safeguard?” Ayrin’s eyes brightened.
“Illusion. Within the domain, your opponents will not be able to see clearly, and their perception will also be off. Furthermore, illusions of you and your skills will appear every time you reveal yourself or cast a skill. Light. Any skill, or even physical strike, you release within the domain will carry a layer of blinding light, strengthening it. And finally, safeguard. Within the domain, your body will be bathed in a splendorous moonlight which functions as an armor,” Leonardo explained.
Ayrin gulped as he exclaimed, “So powerful!”
“Naturally!” Leonardo nodded vigorously, “Otherwise it wouldn’t have been considered the strongest domain during the Era of the War with Dragons.”
“Mister Leonardo, why are you giving this scroll to me?” Ayrin asked.
“He definitely has a sinister intention,” Stingham muttered off on the side.
Leonardo took several deep breaths to keep calm as he replied with a bitter smile, “It is because I am unable to learn it.”
Ayrin, Rinloran, and the others exchanged looks.
“I obtained this scroll, and the one containing Warlock Variation, when I was around your age. I became renowned as the Cocktail Grandmaster due to the latter, but… all these years, I have never been able to master the former.”
“I no longer know how much time I have spent analysing Lunar God’s Domain,” Leonardo reminisced as his expression became increasingly bitter. In a whisper, he added, “I often can’t help but think that if I hadn’t wasted so much time on it, perhaps I would be vastly more successful than I currently am.”
“Honestly, Ayrin, you are the main reason why I applied with the Office of Special Affairs to become a referee.” Leonardo’s expression turned complicated as he continued, “I believe that only someone like you, who managed to learn Warlock Variation just by observing my battle with Liszt, will be able to master a skill like this.”
Rinloran, Chris, and the others exchanged looks.
They empathized greatly with Leonardo.
It was a regret held by all arcane masters.
When faced with the chance to learn a powerful skill which might transform their life, many arcane masters would decide to pursue mastering it. But in the end, they would fail to, even after pouring countless years and energy into it. It would become their life’s greatest regret.
“Perhaps the paths Teacher Liszt, Carter, and the others chose for us is correct. One must focus on one aspect and progress step by step until the limit is reached,” Rinloran and the youths silently thought to themselves.
“Ah, so it’s like this! Don’t worry Mister Leonardo, I will do my utmost to master this skill and show it to you!” Ayrin shouted as he waved his fist towards the sentimental Leonardo.
“Then you better work hard. Only by opening the fourth arcane gate will you even be able to store enough arcane particles to use the domain. But judging by your current pace, that time is probably not so far off in the future,” Leonardo nodded towards Ayrin.
Images of himself at Ayrin’s age flashed through his mind.
His friends called him to go and play... but he had refused because he was too busy pouring over the scroll.
A girl invited him to train with her… but he had refused because he was too busy pouring over the scroll.
As time passed, these scenarios dwindled.
And so did the number of people by his side.
“In life, there are many things which cannot be obtained by force. One must know when to give up.” Leonardo exhaled slowly as the sorrow in his heart subsided.
“Yes! I will give it my all!” Ayrin roared as he pumped his fist in the air. He carefully put away the scroll.
At this moment, his gaze abruptly landed upon the vast wreckage which had used to be the fourth district.
“The arcane teams which eradicated this Corps killed their way through from there? So many piles of debris and ruined clockwork puppets. What a fierce battle… even now, I can hear refusal to accept their defeat… Mister Leonardo, Mister Clancy, now that everything is over, can we go over there and dig around?”
“… Kid, can’t you see that I am still in the middle of reminiscing! How can your attitude change so quickly? Or do you not understand what I am feeling?!” Leonardo exclaimed as he nearly tripped over his feet.
“Of course you can,” Clancy said with a smile.
An old saying appeared in his mind: Life is so short, one should not waste time regretting.
But only youths like the ones before him would keep rushing forwards without looking back.
“All of the structures in this line have been turned to dust… what strength… of course the defenses didn’t do anything. Perhaps numerous six gate arcane masters gathered here and attacked simultaneously?” Ayrin muttered to himself as he stood near the center of the ruined district and looked around.
On either side of him were two mountains of debris and wreckages of clockwork puppets which had reached several meters tall.
A path snaked through the middle. It was covered with countless familiar golden limbs and broken springs.
“I bet that the arcane masters of this Corps never imagined that all of their clockwork puppets would be defeated and piled up here like rubbish…”
As Ayrin looked at all the wrecked puppets, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of pity.
An image of extremely powerful arcane masters invading like a raging tide and destroying everything in their path arose in his mind.
He could see the helplessness of the Corps as they tried to defend. Wave after wave of clockwork puppets threw themselves at the invaders, yet they were smashed as easily as rotten wood.
Eventually, all the clockwork puppets were destroyed.
“Just how large and powerful were Corps back in the day? Even tens of thousands of clockwork puppets would not result in such a wreckage?” Moss exclaimed in pure astonishment.
“This is why the War of the Dragons started by the Evil Dragon King is also known as the War of Extinction. So many powerful empires and kingdoms all fell. In the end, not even a tenth of creatures survived.” Rinloran was extremely solemn as the scene before him reminded him of the larger invasion which had destroyed the ancient Elven Kingdom.”
“Were there any arcane masters as handsome as me back then?” Stingham interrupted as he rubbed his chin.
Sick of Stingham’s antics, the five of them prepared to press Stingham down and give him the beating he deserved.
But at this moment, the sharp sound of space being torn rang out at the end of the ruin where the entrance to this barracks was located.
Sirens and whistles began going off everywhere.
The sky darkened as a cluster of clouds covered the sun.
Everyone’s eyes widened as they looked around for a clue as to what had occurred.
Several figures who were rapidly approaching them abruptly appeared in their vision
Looks of disbelief emerged atop their faces.