“Let’s go, we can only eat somewhere else.” Team Mountain Kings’ captain, Werther, the “Wild Battlemaster” of resounding fame, looked through the windows at team Holy Dawn in high spirits. He shook his head in contempt. “Look at them, it’s like they’re celebrating a victory.”
The vice-captain Rykiel, nicknamed the “Violent Bear,” said with a great laugh, “Haha, captain, that’s not far from the truth. For them, it’s already a victory to reach the nationals.”
Austin was a very eerie-looking starting member of the team. His face was veiled by long, black scattered hair, with only a strip in the middle of his face left exposed, both his eyes almost covered in half. He coldly said, “Let them eat. When the match comes around, I’ll beat them up until they puke it out.”
“It’s not like the match is tomorrow. They’ll have digested all of it by the time we fight, they won’t spit it out even if they wanted to.” The group of people laughed loudly while while they went away behind captain Werther.
Just at this time, the laughter of everyone in team Mountain Kings died all of a sudden.
A boy wearing a deep-red school uniform walked past them.
This boy wasn’t particularly tall. He had an oval face, short brown hair left in disarray, his features looking very pretty and delicate. The moment he brushed past team Mountain Kings, he turned around and glanced at team Mountain Kings. It was only a single glance, but it suddenly killed their laughter.
“Who’s that guy?”
After a dozen seconds or so, vice-captain Rykiel was the first to say something: “Why did that guy’s eyes look gray, they didn’t even seem to have pupils?”
“I have no idea either… He seemed to be looking at us like dead men… He seems to be looking at everyone like dead men.” Werther frowned. “What a strange feeling.”
“That’s Hellfire Academy’s uniform.” Looking at a magazine, Austin said with astonishment, “Is he from team Hellfire?”
“Hellfire Academy?” This bunch of people suddenly looked at each other.
At the same time, Chris, Moss, and the others also noticed Ayrin freezing all of a sudden. He looked a little abnormal.
“A frightful feeling, as if a powerful monster that could easily eat me at any time glanced my way.”
Ayrin looked outside the windows, puzzled. His gaze also stopped on the back of that boy with short messy brown hair.
“You’re talking about him?”
Following his eyes, Chris, Sophia, and the rest also saw the boy from behind.
“Anyway, it’s very strange. He seems different from ordinary people, even different from powerful people like Rinsyi.” Ayrin nodded. He only felt that the sensation inside him was very strange. But exactly how strange, he couldn’t say.
“That’s Hellfire Academy’s uniform,” Chris immediately said.
“Hellfire? Why does it sound so familiar?” Ayrin and Moss were both startled.
“Because just like us and team Wolven Knights, they’ve been ranked as a weeds-level school.” Chris flipped open the magazine and put it in front of them.
“Another one of the weeds-level teams?” Ayrin blinked. A thought suddenly emerged in his mind. Was it also a team that was severely underestimated?
“Hellfire Academy fights tomorrow already. They’re one of the eight teams in group one, upper half. Their opponent is Hornwood Academy.” Sophia told Ayrin, “After the inaugural match tomorrow between Dragon Breath Academy and Sea God Academy, the match just after that is between them and Hornwood Academy.”
“The second match tomorrow?”
“Right. Hornwood reached the top thirty-two last year, their captain and vice-captain are twins, the Norton brothers. They’re also very powerful celebrity-level contestants.” Sophia nodded. “I saw a match of theirs last year, they’re both good with an arcane skill called ‘Holy Light Splendor.’ It not only has a formidable power, the most crucial is that the opponent can’t keep their eyes open under their skill’s intense light. They can only close their eyes and fight by relying on their other senses.”
“I really wonder what kind of team Hellfire Academy is. Why did they get ranked weeds-level just like us?” Ayrin mumbled. He couldn’t stop himself from taking the magazine and reading Hellfire Academy’s introduction.
“A team that never reached the nationals?”
“A second-rate academy in Southern Setting Sun City?”
Moss also crowded forward. Just glancing over the magazine, he was suddenly struck a little dumb.
Though Holy Dawn Academy had had very bad fighting achievements in recent years, they at least were once vice-champions in the whole kingdom, and they also had a brilliant record of reaching the top four many times. But this Hellfire Academy actually never reached the national tournament once.
On top of that, Hellfire Academy was located in Southern Setting Sun, in the most southern part of Eiche. That was a small city at the tip of the Dragon Breath Mountains. Every year, the Awakened young people their academy could recruit numbered about two hundred. The tuition fee was only one-third compared to the other academies in the city. They were all students that wanted to join an academy and learn, but their families were very poor.
“They actually never ever had even a single outstanding feat. But since Ayrin had this kind of feeling, that guy could very well be a genius with a special gift.” Belo pushed his glasses. “It’s not something impossible for a powerful character to suddenly emerge in a school.”
“There’s another possibility!” Stingham suddenly shouted out loud just at this moment, looking dead serious.
“What possibility?” Everyone looked inquisitively at him, waiting to hear what brilliant opinion he had.
“The other possibility is that…” Stingham said with a proud look, “It’s that Ayrin’s feeling was wrong!”
“…” All those who were waiting to hear what discovery he made immediately rolled their eyes at him, totally speechless. If he weren’t the one inviting, they very well might have kicked him out.
“Even a team like team Holy Dawn dares to say they want to be champions. It’s really so funny.”
“These southern blokes from St. Lauren, what are their brains made of?”
“The teams coming out of St. Lauren, did they all come here to clown around?”
“Nonsense. You guys think about it, how many years has it been since these southern blokes from St. Lauren made it into the top eight? Even if they come out, it’s just a formality. They can only attract attention by making people laugh, right?”
In Grassy Plains Restaurant, two school teams chatted in high spirits while they ate.
Grassy Plains Restaurant was also a very distinctive restaurant. It was entirely an outdoor courtyard, and it was even close to a crystal ferry square. One could clearly see the huge sky crystal ferries shuttling back and forth in the sky like giant monster birds.
These two teams both came from the north.
One of them, Cold Winter Academy, was also a frequent visitor in the nationals, traditionally a strong team. The other one, TrailBlazer Academy, also reached the top thirty-two last year.
“What do you mean, teams from St. Lauren all came to clown around?”
They suddenly heard a wild, arrogant voice.
When the members of these two teams turned their heads around, astonished, they saw, in a corner of this restaurant, a bunch of people standing up. They all wore very casual clothes, but they all looked like musclemen covered in muscles. All of them looked their way, their faces filled with violence. Among them, one had hair hanging down on one side like a sharp blade, covering half his face, looking especially fierce and sinister.
When they saw the ones who spoke, the two teams didn’t recognize them at first, and were wondering which mysterious people they were. But suddenly, behind the ones who spoke, they saw someone who looked the calmest and also the thinnest of the lot, with pink hair and a pink eye. These two teams realized then: “Ferguillo? Iron Forest Academy?”
“Holy Dawn Academy reached the nationals after beating us.” Ferguillo looked at these two teams, faint and indifferent. “Insulting them is the same as insulting us to begin with, to say nothing about you guys saying we people from St. Lauren come out to clown around.”
“And what of it?” The two northern teams clearly weren’t good to provoke either. More then half of them had already stood up in a jiffy, sneers across their faces. “We’re eating and chatting here, going on about our own business. If you don’t like hearing it, you can all leave.”
“They think they’re all that and can look down on the whole of St. Lauren, but it turns out to be two mere unfashionable northern schools.” Another cold voice rose at this moment outside the restaurant’s entrance.
Everyone looked that way. They saw a group of people coldly walk inside, straight as javelins. The boy in the front had extremely short hair, with a bright, red scar on the left side of his face.
The girl at his side was very pretty, tall and slender, and also brimming with a heroic air.
“Ivan, Charlotte, you guys also came?” Several people from Iron Forest Academy immediately shouted in surprise.
“I was wondering who it was. It turns to be people from Divine Shield Academy.” Team Trailblazers’ captain Jupiter also smiled coldly. “What, acting so aggressive, do you want to fight with us?
“Even if you wanted to fight with us, you guys aren’t qualified to do so, because you haven’t even made it to the nationals. There’s no way we’ll waste any strength on you guys. Of course, if you’re interested, we won’t mind comparing notes with you after the end of the tournament.”
“Is that so? We really aren’t qualified?”
Ivan smiled coldly.
At this precise instant, Jupiter and two of his teammates suddenly felt enveloped in a wisp of shadow gushing from under their feet.
“What arcane skill is that, why is it so scary!”
“Such a terrible power, we simply can’t fight back against it.”
“Why didn’t he give off any sign or aura? He actually dares to act directly here?”
It was the space of an instant. When these overwhelming thoughts emerged in the minds of the members of these two northern teams, the gushing shadows had already vanished.
As if they’d never existed to begin with.
“Do you think you’d be my match?” Ivan immediately turned around and walked out of the restaurant.
“Ivan Fadh. Is he actually this powerful? This arcane skill of his, is that Clan Lannister’s Ghost World – Touch of Death? He can actually use even a taboo skill like this?”
Looking at Divine Shield and Iron Forest people walking away, the members of these two northern teams were all deathly pale, covered from head to toe in cold sweat.