“Ayrin, don’t tell me you don’t even know that.”
Moss said in a quiet voice, “It’s precisely because dragons of pure lineage can take the forms of both a dragon and a human. The thing that sparked the War of the Dragons is that some Draconic scholars started to raise the opinion dragons were merely another form of man. In their point of view, there wasn’t any hard evidence that could prove which form was the main form. They even thought that dragons were merely men with special bloodlines who could switch between two different forms. This was pulling the dragons that many people previously worshiped as gods down to the same level as ordinary people. In a nutshell, they only had a special bloodline. That’s why Ned, the most powerful among the dragons, the one men called the Evil Dragon King later on, couldn’t bear it any longer, and ultimately launched the War of the Dragons to govern the other races as a ruler.”
“Then, can Stingham also transform into a dragon?” Ayrin couldn’t help but feel curious. He pointed at Stingham, and said in a hush, “Didn’t teacher Carter say he had green dragon blood?”
“He could, in theory. His dragon bloodline shouldn’t be low-level. That said, if it’s not a pure-blooded dragon bloodline, you can only transform into a dragon for a limited time and can’t maintain it forever,” Moss said.
“Isn’t that very powerful then?” Ayrin couldn’t help but mumble. If he hadn’t seen with his own eyes that chief adviser called Angil switch between dragon- and human-form, he simply couldn’t believe a man could enlarge into such a dragon.
“I heard that affinity for arcane power becomes better in dragon form. That means that when using the same arcane skill, the power would be a bit greater.” Moss nodded. “Also, what’s more important is that a dragon’s body is particularly huge… When the same arcane skill hits his body, the injury is comparatively smaller. His vitality seems even more tyrannical this way, he can take more of a beating.”
“That’s right.” Ayrin blinked. “If my Evil Flaming Eye hits a huge dragon like this, it’d be a small black hole at most probably.”
At this moment, Angil said from the royal stands, “I am chief adviser Angil. I am very honored to be in charge of the drawing ceremony for the Hegemonical Cup of Starry Skies Braves this time.”
“The reason I descended here in the form of a dragon isn’t to display the might and prestige of dragon bloodlines. It’s to make every participant think, if there were hundreds of dragons forming an army, if such an army were about to destroy the kingdom you protect, would you still have the courage to rush into battle with the other braves?”
“To serve or to die, to obtain the final victory through unyielding battles. To trade even your own life for your companions’ survival, for victory in war. What’s true bravery, what’s your mission? Those arcane masters who fought without regard for their own lives, what on earth were they trying to achieve? This is a problem we have to always keep in mind.”
“To be afraid of responsibilities, to wait for someone else to fight for the kingdom without fighting yourself, this is pure selfishness. That’s why, from the very start, the vocation of an arcane master is to fight. Those of you who can stand in this place, you’re all bound to be the elite of the kingdom. That’s why I hope that, no matter on this field or hereafter, you can shoulder your mission and become a true brave warrior!”
“Believe me, as long as you always hold on tight to the conviction of an arcane master, from today on, men will remember your names sooner or later!”
One couldn’t say that Eiche’s chief adviser Angil spoke that many words, but the entire arena became silent for a long time. Then cheers and applause soared like a tsunami.
In such a moving atmosphere, Angil declared with a faint smile the official start of the draw.
As soon as he heard the draw was starting, Stingham immediately couldn’t help but shout, “Let me do the draw, I’m the most handsome!”
“Weeds-level teams will be weeds-level teams. They don’t even know that, they’re even yelling about going to draw themselves.” Mocking voices soon rose around them.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Stingham looked around. He saw that the ones who spoke were from team Mountain Kings, the ones who came into the field after Rinsyi and co.
“He still doesn’t understand what it’s about.”
“What are you looking at, what an idiot.” Several members of team Mountain Kings directly looked at Stingham with contemptuous eyes. From the shapes of their mouths, it was very easy to tell what they were whispering.
“What the hell is it with these guys? They actually keep trying to make trouble for us, do they want to die or what!” Stingham was so angry veins bulged on his forehead, to the point he wanted to charge their way.
Even Sophia couldn’t stand it any longer. She couldn’t help but explain in a whisper, “In this drawing ceremony, they don’t need every team to send someone to represent them. The distinguished guests they invited over for the occasion will be the ones doing the drawing. These guests are all characters like the chief adviser, either important figures in various clans or leaders of the armies. They’re all arcane masters standing at the peak of the kingdom.”
“It doesn’t matter. Stingham, you acted very well, it’s enough to confuse the opponents,” Belo, the one who most disliked Stingham, readjusted his glasses, and said with a straight serious face.
“I wasn’t faking it!”
Gnashing his teeth, Stingham stared at the people from Mountain Kings Academy. “Even if I didn’t know about it and said something wrong, so what? These guys have been staring at us from the beginning. We never provoked them, but they keep trying to find trouble for us! They actually have the gall to mock my incomparably wise handsome wargod self. I absolutely have to beat them up until they can’t even recognize each other.”
After swearing for a bit through clenched teeth, Stingham suddenly lifted both his hands and clasped them together in front of himself, looking especially pious.
“Stingham, what are you doing?” Ayrin couldn’t stop himself from asking.
“Don’t disturb me, I’m praying,” Stingham said with in all seriousness. “I’m praying for the draw to put us directly together with team Mountain Kings, that we’ll face them in the first match already.”
“Hurry up, put us together with team Mountain Kings.
“Put us together with team Mountain Kings already!
“You have to put us together with team Mountain Kings!”
After answering Ayrin, Stingham once again started mumbling to himself, praying as hard as he could.
“Is that useful? He really doesn’t need to fake anything to look like a big idiot…” Many people in team Holy Dawn couldn’t help such a thought from popping in their heads.
“Group one upper half, Dragon Breath Academy, Hornwood Academy, Cerwyn Academy, Square Castle Academy…”
Just at this time, everyone couldn’t help but shake. In the royal stands, chief adviser Angil was already reading out loud the results of the draw.
The sixty-four teams that came from all over the kingdoms were divided among eight groups in the upper or lower halves.
“Upper half, group three, Silver Trout Academy, Acorn Academy, Harrenhal Academy, Mountain Kings Academy, Longtable Academy, Rapier Academy, Salt Armor Academy, Holy Dawn Academy!”
When they heard about group three, everyone from Holy Dawn Academy was struck dumb, while Stingham suddenly cheered.
“Don’t tell me the prayers were really useful?”
Moss was really speechless. “We really got drawn in the same group just like in his prayers?”
“It’s really too miraculous!” The girls from Agate Lake Academy also stared blankly.
“Hurry hurry hurry. In the group stage, we have to face Mountain Kings Academy in our first match!”
“You have to let us face Mountain Kings Academy in our first match!”
“Gods of Doraster, hurry up and make us face Mountain Kings Academy in our first match!”
Stingham was already praying very devoutly at this time.
“Don’t tell me this guy’s gonna be like a blind cat stumbling on a dead mouse and hit the mark again?”
Chris, Ayrin, Moss, and the others all looked at each other.
“Silver Trout Academy against Longtable Academy!”
“Acorn Academy against Rapier Academy!”
“Harrenhal Academy against Salt Armor Academy!”
“Mountain Kings Academy against Holy Dawn Academy!”
When they finished announcing the specific match-ups for the first three groups, everyone in Holy Dawn Academy and Agate Lake Academy had a blank foolish face.
That sort of coincidence really happened. Holy Dawn Academy really faced Mountain Kings Academy right for their first match!
“Ahahahaha!” After staring blankly for a few seconds, Stingham immediately laughed, wild with joy. “How about that. When it comes to my brilliant handsome wargod self, even my prayers are more useful than others!”
“Did we really draw that weeds-level team?”
“What’s that fellow laughing for?”
On the other side, the people in team Mountain Kings hadn’t come back to their senses yet.
After a short time, all the members of team Mountain Kings started to laugh as well. “Our luck’s unexpectedly so great, we actually ran straight into a weeds-level team just like that!”
“Is that weeds-level team really dumb? They’re meeting us in the first match, but they’re still happy over there.”
“That bunch of guys is really excessive.” Sophia frowned, looking at team Mountain Kings pleased beside themselves. “Even if they look down on someone, they should hide it at least. They don’t even have the most basic of manners.”
“Silver Trout Academy’s the seeded team?” Ayrin thought a while and asked, “I think it’s the team we saw just a bit ago, that team that wears silver school uniforms?”
“That’s right. You can’t say the results of your draw are good, you can’t say they’re bad either. Luck’s average probably.” Sophia nodded. “Team Silver Trout is ranked seventh. Breith Magazine ranks them as an outstanding team… You haven’t run across the top three from last year, monster-level academies like Dragon Breath Academy, Abel Academy, or Golden Stag Academy. But you still have two strong veteran teams like Mountain Kings Academy and Harrenhal Academy.”
“Luck’s not too great and not too bad either?” Ayrin nodded. “Next, we just have to wait for your group.”
“Lower half group one, Golden Stag Academy…”
“It’s Rinsyi’s school!” When they announced group one in the lower half, Ayrin’s eyes suddenly became stern and icy.
“Golden Stag Academy, Hawkmoon Academy, Orkmont Academy, Agate Lake Academy…”
Ayrin, Sophia, and the others sucked in a deep breath at the same time.
As it happened, Agate Lake Academy was actually drawn together in the same group as Golden Stag Academy!