Many arcane masters hard to spot usually were gathered in the Law-Keeping Department’s conference hall in Eichemalar.
Apart from some arcane masters at Special Affairs rank, the same as Liszt or Donna, there were even great figures belonging to the highest level, figures from the Office of Justice.
Even Angil, the chief royal adviser previously in charge of the national tournament’s opening ceremony, could only face these great figures on equal footing.
“Are we certain it’s Dias?”
“Reynolds used a secret skill the moment he died and left a death imprint. We are certain it’s Dias, the most wanted criminal by the Office of Special Affairs.”
“According to the reliable information we previously had, Dias has already become one of the thirteen bishops of the Evil Dragon followers. His personal strength is enough to pose a threat to every arcane team in the Office of Special Affairs.”
“Dias is Wechberg’s son. Wechberg was once one of the best craftsmen in Eichemalar’s Renovation Guild. He was in charge of construction and remodeling projects for most areas in Eichemalar, so he was extremely familiar with every corner of the city.”
“Dias’ strength and status are very different now. Him appearing again in Eichemalar this time is absolutely not simply a matter of killing some enemies of his.”
“Transfer the members of team one and team seven in the Office of Special Affairs here. They have experience fighting against Dias. We need to make sure to fish him out before he can implement whatever sinister plan he has.”
“Don’t make bigger waves. The tournament is already underway. We are going to give them more opportunities if we create more chaos and panic.”
Though there were many great figures present, the entire course of the meeting was very plain and succinct.
In the end, Palmer, one of the oldest chief judges in the Law-Keeping Department, swept his muddy yellow eyes across everyone and concluded, “This is war. Success and failure, both would be an extremely crucial turning point.”
“Group one, upper half: Dragon Breath Academy, Hellfire Academy, Severn Academy, Adventurers Academy.”
“Group two, upper half: Abel Academy, Fearless Academy, Alchemy Academy, Fire Mountains Academy.”
“Group three, upper half: Silver Trout Academy, Holy Dawn Academy, Rapier Academy, Salt Armor Academy.”
“Group four, upper half: River Bend Academy, Reaper Academy, Ionia Academy, Wayfarer’s Rest Academy.”
“Group one, lower half: Golden Stag Academy, Hawkmoon Academy, Agate Lake Academy, Oakman Academy.”
“Group two, lower half: Winterfell Academy, Stone Hedge Academy, Raventree Hall Academy, Karhold Academy.”
While the secret meeting was underway in the Law-Keeping Department, only the matches of the last two groups in the lower half were left in the unstoppable Cup of Starry Sky Braves.
Inside the athlete village, in Holy Dawn Academy’s residence, an issue of Breith Magazine lay beside professor Plum, a more detailed presentation about the qualified teams in it.
“Knock knock knock…”
Professor Plum closed the huge ancient book with a copper cover in his hands. He said, his face even, “Come in.”
“Professor Plum, teacher Carter said you were looking for me?”
Ayrin walked inside after opening the door. He asked, brimming with expectancy, “Are you going to teach me another skill?”
“Did you learn the two skills I gave you last time?” the professor asked with a glance his way.
“About that… haha…” Ayrin started laughing awkwardly all of a sudden. He scratched his head, a little embarrassed, “They look really too hard. I only learned one of them, I still can’t use the other one yet for now.”
“You already mastered one of them?”
Professor Plum’s pupils shrank imperceptibly all of a sudden. “Which one is it?”
“It’s that very powerful Dragon Scale Absorption.” Ayrin was a little depressed. “In fact, I even spent a bit more time practicing the Eyes of the Dark Goddess. I’m not sure why, I only managed to learn this skill that’s only good for taking a beating.”
“The first one is indeed Dragon Scale Absorption.”
Professor Plum didn’t blink even once, but his eyes kept narrowing until they shrank into a straight line.
“Since you haven’t learned the other skill yet, why did you keep running to the arena to watch the games these past couple days?” he continued to ask Ayrin.
“Because, professor Plum, didn’t you tell me to pay attention to enhancing my self-learning capacity?” Ayrin looked at the very old-fashioned professor, a crafty glint flashing through the depths of his eyes. “I went to watch the fights so I could steal arcane skills from them.”
Professor Plum stayed silent for a moment. “Can you learn them?”
“If someone happens to repeat a skill many times, and it’s not as complex as Dragon Scale Absorption or Eyes of the Dark Goddess, then I can learn it.” Ayrin looked at the professor, all smiles. “Professor Plum, it just happens I learned a very powerful arcane skill, do you want to take a look at it? Oh right, it absolutely won’t damage the books here.”
“What powerful skill?” Professor Plum also felt a little curious all of a sudden.
“Skunk Devil Summoning!”
Seeing the professor’s agreement, Ayrin moved his hands, and a shadow immediately appeared in the air in front of him. A skunk striped with black and white stripes all over its body emerged within.
“A summoning skill?”
“What kind of skill is that?”
Professor Plum never saw this skill either. He couldn’t understand what on earth what use was this skill, because he thought this striped skunk didn’t seem to possess any great power. That was the reason why he came a little closer, feeling a little puzzled, wanting to research it.
Just then, the striped skunk released a stinky fog from its butt.
Professor Plum’s face suddenly turned green.
“Ayrin, you devil, you did that on purpose right?!”
Professor Plum ran out of the room the next second.
Then rose the sound of his angry swearing.
“Haha, professor Plum, it’s really not healthy staying inside the room all day long without even seeing the sun. You should go outside and bask in the sunlight.” Ayrin had also made an early escape, and now he was clutching his belly and dying from laughter.
The only thing the green-faced professor was afraid of was that the stink would also sink into the books. He couldn’t spare any more time swearing at Ayrin. A peculiar whirlpool of water appeared floating inside his room, sucking all the stinky air inside. Then it vanished again in the air, as strangely as it appeared.
Professor Plum couldn’t hold back a couple retches. He looked at Ayrin roaring with laughter, a little speechless. A strange complex and shaken mood was taking ahold of him.
“It’s really that unique bloodline without compare… This guy, he’s truly the successor of that bloodline…”
The strange complex mood surged a long time inside him before this old professor’s wrinkled face recovered its calm. He looked at Ayrin; the latter seemed as though he still couldn’t hold back his laughter, yet was also prepared to face punishment. He slowly said, “You have to understand something. An academy with as long a history as Holy Dawn Academy is never lacking in all kinds of arcane skills. But many skills are entirely useless for an arcane master with only one open gate.”
“Professor Plum, I understand what you mean.” Ayrin thought for a moment, then immediately nodded. “What you mean is, compared to learning even more arcane skills, it’s more important for me right now to open more arcane gates instead. This way, you’ll choose even more arcane skills for me, ones even more powerful?”
“Training also needs a focus. It’s good that you understand what you should focus on.” Professor Plum looked at Ayrin, admonishing him, his tone old-fashioned and solemn. “Some arcane masters with earthshaking talent would lose themselves to the novelty of learning new skills. They lose their way learning one skill after another, mastering one skill after another, and forget that the meaning of arcane skills lie in battles, in defeating your opponents. Some people learn several dozen types, or even a hundred arcane skills, but they waste a great deal of time on the way, to the extent the level of their arcane particles is very weak.”
“I understand this reasoning now.” Ayrin started laughing, a little proud of himself. “That’s why I’m going to have Charlotte and the others help with my training, have them fight with me.”
“Don’t you worry professor Plum. I’ll never become the kind of arcane master who only knows a lot of arcane skills and doesn’t know how to fight.” He firmly brandished his fists at the professor.
“After searching left and right, the successor turns out to be someone like this… That said, it’s truly a marvel. The shadows of the Evil Dragon looms over Doraster. These Evil Dragon followers are desperately stirring up things, when they meet this guy in the future…”
For some reason, thinking about the Skunk Devil Summoning that almost smoked even himself mad just a moment ago, professor Plum suddenly couldn’t hold back a hearty laughter.
“Professor Plum, why are you laughing?” Ayrin blinked.
Professor Plum had already taken back his laughter. His face was expressionless now. “Did I? When did I ever laugh?”
Ayrin almost fell down face first. “Just now?”
“You must be mistaken for sure.” After the professor said these words, he turned around and walked into his room.
“Am I really mistaken?” Ayrin scratched his head. He truly started to doubt himself.
A dwarf only half the size of a normal person reverently saluted a figure from behind.
This was a gorgeous underground wine cellar. The walls on all four sides were engraved with magnificent relief sculptures. The stone carvings of mermaids sticking out from the walls held burning torches in their hands.
The light from the fire caused the back of the tall figure to somewhat flicker as though it were fluttering in the air.
The fugitive presently hunted by countless arcane teams standing at the top of the kingdom held a crystal wine cup in his hand, swirling the blood-like red wine. He said with a smile, “Pyrro, old friend. Let us set our plan in motion tonight.”
“Starting tonight?” The dwarf raised his head in shock.
“In all likelihood, they should have noticed Lotton’s team already.” Dias nodded with a faint smile. “They’re certainly thinking that I planted Lotton and the others in this tournament and want to use the competition to kill some outstanding arcane masters in a fair and aboveboard way. They must surely be thinking that the longer I make Lotton and the others stay, the more people Lotton can kill as the tournament goes on. That’s why they will be caught unprepared if we start now.”