Chapter 38: The frightened teacher and the missing Moss
“No big deal.” Liszt winked and said, all smiles, “I have no wish to see a beautiful girl like you losing a hand.”
“Her hand's fine now, you can move away, no need to keep holding her without letting go right?” Berryn came from behind him, wearing his white clothes. He was very famous, but very few people had genuinely seen his face. He looked coldly at Liszt and said, “No wonder people said back then you and her were an item, and that was why you deliberately lost to her team in the tournament.”
Donna's face reddened faintly, but Liszt still had his lazy smile, spreading his hands out as if nothing were out of the ordinary. “Rumors are ever close to the truth, yet not the truth either. I see that a certain someone is actually especially tense because of rumors.”
Berryn snorted loudly, his face full of haughtiness, before he turned his head away.
“So it turns out you're one of the members of the team that's been tracking these guys down.” Donna actually smiled warmly, watching a proud-looking Liszt. “Only, you caught up only after the action began, you're a little too slow. Weren't you worried about a mishap happening to us?”
“These guys are appearing more and more frequently.” Liszt became a little more serious, saying in a soft tone, “It's much more important to investigate the true reason why these arcane masters obtained the power of the evil dragon's bloodline, rather than killing these guys popping out.”
“It seems like you first went on another mission.” Donna threw a glance to that spot the pale-faced man died at. “Did you find out where these guys come from, or their goals?”
“There are some clues.” Liszt said to her, “It's possible they have a secret encampment in the wilderness in the south of our kingdom. Even some of their abilities come from that place. In my previous mission, someone heard the phrase 'Fallen Shadow Valley.' Only, does this place really exist, where is it? We haven't found that out yet.”
“As to this guy...” Liszt turned around and also looked at the place the pale-faced man died at. “We actually traced his provenance. He's unexpectedly not an arcane master of our kingdom, but from Doa instead.”
“The kingdom of Doa?” Donna and Berryn were both astonished.
“He used to be an arcane master from Doa without much fame, without much insight into arcane skills, with only a little expertise in close-combat body skills.” Liszt nodded. “He somewhen suddenly became such an existence and started to assassinate some arcane masters.”
“The most important thing is, we have absolutely no idea what the goals of these arcane masters are,” Donna said with a heavy face.
“Alright, let's not talk about these heavy topics anymore.” Liszt smiled, “How've you been lately? Do you still go back and take a look at your 'River Bend' Academy?”
“Of course, our academy's still a strong contender for the final victory this year.” Donna also smiled. “I'll probably go back and watch our academy's every match. It's too bad, I heard you guys had very bad results in the past few years, or else we can set an appointment for another meeting at the finals.”
“What are you saying. Even if our school can't fight its way to the finals, I can still go and watch them with you.” Liszt rubbed his nose and smiled, saying, “We have some interesting little guys this year though, it's not impossible we'll meet in the tournament in the future.”
Donna smiled, even happier now. “Then I'll look forward to that day.”
“I really can't stand you two, flirting all day long.” Berryn snorted loudly at the side. “Just get together already.”
Thinker's Stone Forest.
Huston's mood was extremely conflicted as he traveled therein.
He used to be full of expectation every time he taught his classes, full of excitement. The reverence in his students' eyes, his every casual order begin firmly carried out, this gave his inner self an incomparable satisfaction.
But it was different now. Especially after being scared by Ayrin's ghost-like face last time; his self-confidence suffered a lethal wound. Now, walking inside the Thinker's Stone Forest, he even felt a certain fear, fear that Ayrin would suddenly do something and make him make a fool of himself again.
When he anxiously came in front of the freshmen already waiting for him, he was a little surprised not to find Ayrin's figure among them.
This most vexing Ayrin wasn't the only one missing among the freshmen waiting for class. That often impulsive Belo and that red-haired Moss were also missing.
“Where did these three guys go?”
He couldn't help but mumble in his mind. He didn't feel at all the anger he ought to feel for the three's lateness. He felt inexplicably relaxed instead.
A voice suddenly sprang behind him right at this moment.
Huston almost jumped forward up in fright like a conditioned reflex.
“Why are you up there!” When he turned his head around and saw Ayrin's head peek out on top of the huge boulder, Huston really had the urge to smash his head against the rock and die.
“I ran up here of course.” Ayrin immediately jumped down from the huge white boulder, landing with a bang.
“What, ran up!”
“He can actually run on top of this boulder!”
None of the freshmen previously noticed Ayrin on top of the boulder either. Now they were abuzz with alarm like headless chickens. When Ayrin ran sixteen steps before during the test, it was still a mere third of the boulder's height. Moreover, wall-running like this wasn't only a question of speed and explosiveness. After running up a few steps, it was completely impossible to continue without sustaining the explosiveness, and the stamina required for that.
“What! What did you say?” Huston conditioned scare turned into genuine fright. “You can already run all the way up?”
“Yeah! When I came here, I tried many times before succeeding. The most important thing is that I always fell when I reached the top.” Ayrin said, his face a wide smile, “Now I know how not to fall though.”
“Impossible, try it again, let me see!”
Huston's lips began to quiver. The test was merely a few days ago. Even the students he was most proud of back in the days couldn't have progressed so fast.
“It's true, teacher Huston, I'm not lying to you.”
Ayrin and his slow reactions were entirely ignorant of Huston's blank stare. He shouted out loud, then once again charged toward that huge white boulder.
“Pa!” “Pa!” “Pa!” “Pa!” …
At first, his sprinting silhouette was just like a blue gust of air, so fast it was entirely impossible to see him clearly. His body became distinct after running up the rock. Every step he took seemed especially strong, giving off the feeling of a raging bull stamping on stone.
Faint tremors rang through the faintly tilted boulder. Faint tremors ran through the hearts of Huston and the freshmen as well, continuously.
There was a girl among the freshmen who couldn't hold back such a cry.
Wild. This was the feeling that came most intuitively from Ayrin's figure charging up the stone with everything he had.
They all could see that Ayrin's steps never slowed down while he charged up. He never fell, he just continued to shout as before and ran towards the sky, ran straight to the top of the huge boulder!
On top of the rock, when his foot stepped in the air, looking as if he were about to fall, he pushed on his foot still stepped on the stone, his body fiercely bending forward at the same time with a strange “Ah!” yell. He didn't directly jump atop the rock, but his wildly swinging hands grabbed the edge on top of the rock. Then he firmly pulled himself up and flipped over on top.
This ending seemed to make for a sorry scene, but everyone who watched the entire process was already thoroughly astounded.
“Impossible... Impossible... Impossible...”
Huston looked like the mentally-challenged kids of St. Lauren, looping the same word over and over.
“Is this guy human?”
“Is it really the Giant Food Monster bloodline? Is the Giant Food Monster bloodline this strong?”
“Don't tell me he was hiding his strength before, how could he progress so fast in a few days!”
Most freshmen were also dumbfounded, staring blankly for a long while without coming back to their senses.
Ayrin jumped down from the boulder, his face filled with joy. He saw Huston mumbling to himself nonstop, his eyes looking vacant, so he curiously waved his hand in front of Huston's face.
“...You!” Huston retreated back a step, looking at Ayrin as if he were seeing a monster. “You really became like this just by training a few days in the ball bouncing gym with an empty stomach?”
“Yeah.” Ayrin excitedly said, “Teacher Huston, look at the speed of my progress, do you think it's possible for me to condense arcane particles in three months?”
“Condense arcane particles in three months?!” Huston felt as if his vision was going to go black. “Why do you want to condense arcane particles in three months?”
“To beat the school's team members and join the team, to participate in the Cup of Starry Skies Braves.”
Ayrin seemed to remember something, and said excitedly to Huston, “Teacher Huston, didn't you ask me what my dream was last time? Didn't I tell you I didn't know yet, well now I know, my dream's to help Chris become the national champion in the tournament.”
“This guy isn't even an arcane master yet, he's actually shouting about participating in the tournament already?”
“Does he know how powerful the other teams are?” Many freshmen watched Ayrin as if they were looking at an insane kid.
“He already has the guts right now to set his goal as participating in the tournament and become the champion. Really amazing.”
“With the speed of his progress, maybe he truly can become a character that'll astonish everyone in the great competition.” The expression in quite a few freshmen's eyes filled with passion and adoration however, when they looked at Ayrin.
Huston was soon going to lose his capacity for rational thoughts under Ayrin's repeated blows.
He stayed blank for a long while, only saying then, unsure of his own mood, “You continue working hard then.” Then he asked, “What about Belo and Moss?”
“I forgot to ask a leave for him.” Ayrin immediately scratched his head, embarrassed. He said, “Teacher Carter came to find Belo, he had some business with him. He also told me to tell you, when he's free he'll come find you and explain something.”
“Carter?” Huston blinked, restoring a little sanity. “What about that red-haired kid then?” He couldn't resist glancing all around, worried whether this “partner” of Ayrin's was also hiding somewhere, waiting to suddenly scare him.
Ayrin shook his head. “Moss? I don't know why he didn't come to class.”
Huston didn't show much of a reaction for the moment, but the rest of the freshmen all looked at each other. There was actually someone who dared to skip the Notebook Teacher's class without even a leave?
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