“Is he gone?”
“He can run away even like that?”
Only after several minutes after Lotton’s figure had vanished from sight did Charlotte truly come back to her senses.
“Ayrin almost killed such a fearsome existence?”
“A fearsome figure even Audrey and Ivan fighting together couldn’t handle, but Ayrin actually sent him running away?”
Thinking back to Ayrin’s figure when he fought moments ago, then thinking back to his figure desperately protecting her, Charlotte’s tears once again fell like a broken string of pearls.
“What are you crying for…We won after all…” The slow-on-the-uptake Ayrin actually still said something like that just then.
“How are you feeling?”
Hugging Ayrin, Charlotte couldn’t come to a decision: to leave from the tunnel Lotton had escaped from, or to stay where they were and wait for an arcane team to rescue them.
The only thing she was certain of was, someone ordinary would have been long dead already with injuries like these.
“I’m a bit cold… I think I really want to sleep…” Ayrin said.
Charlotte hugged him even tighter. “Don’t fall asleep no matter what.”
“Then keep talking to me… Talk to me about interesting things, then I won’t fall asleep probably.”
“Then… After we go out, I’ll go with you eat very tasty things. Weren’t you saying chicken legs were your favorite? I’ll treat you to a lot of chicken legs.”
“Can we try something else instead? Actually, I ate too many chicken legs, I’m a bit bored of them now.”
“Of course we can.” Charlotte was between laughter and tears. “As long as you’re fine, we can eat anything you want.”
“I wonder how Chirade’s deep-sea octopus would taste like roasted…”
“Chirade?” Charlotte suddenly shook. She only remembered then that Chirade had also been washed there, but when she looked back, she saw that the originally passed out Chirade seemingly not even breathing anymore.
“What’s this skill of Lotton’s?”
She saw that Chirade’s body was dyed with quite a few of those pale-white particles, because of the fight between Ayrin and Lotton. And the places polluted by those pale particles were already showing deep corrosion, exposing some terrifying wounds on him.
“Ayrin, say, what do you think we should do now? Stay here? Or try to find a way out ourselves?”
Charlotte had a little trouble standing upright herself when she remembered that Ayrin had also been pierced through by these pale-white particles.
“I used the skunk skill at the beginning… Audrey and the others are surely looking for us… We might as well shout.”
“Shout for help.”
Usually, if Charlotte were to be trapped or find herself in danger, she would definitely feel embarrassed to desperately shout for help. But in the present moment, she cared nothing about embarrassing or not.
“Is there someone? Someone, please come! Ayrin’s too heavily wounded!”
“Someone please come!”
She shouted for help with all the energy she could muster.
Her voice echoed in the quiet darkness of the surroundings, of the tunnels, but no answer came back while Ayrin’s eyes seemed to be slowly closing.
“No, Ayrin, you must hold on. They’ll definitely come here very quickly!”
“You mustn’t fall asleep whatever happens! After we go out, I’ll buy enough food to stuff an entire room, and pile it in your room,” Charlotte shouted at the top of her lungs, looking at Ayrin’s face.
“I’m so hungry…” Ayrin was actually still saying something like that at a time like this.
“No, no, he’s going to fall asleep soon… if he sleeps now, he might well never ever wake up again…”
Where did her courage come from? She had no idea. Thinking of keeping Ayrin stimulated in order to keep him from falling asleep, Charlotte closed her eyes and kissed him.
“Ah…” Ayrin gasped softly, his eyes suddenly widening.
“You…” Charlotte’s face was bright red.
“I think I hallucinated right now… I saw you kiss me…” Ayrn said, seemingly worried his injuries might have worsened.
“It wasn’t a hallucination!” Charlotte almost passed out. She closed her eyes once again and gave Ayrin a kiss.
“…” Ayrin was dumbstruck.
At the same time Charlotte lowered her head and kissed him, a black figure flashed inside at a stunning speed, coming from the tunnel Lotton had left from.
Charlotte only realized it when this black figure zipped near Ayrin and her.
Suddenly petrified, Charlotte saw an old man appear near her and Ayrin, clothed in a black robe, his mien seeming mysterious and inflexible.
The old man’s outline was the only thing Ayrin could distinguish by now, but he still recognized who he was by his old-fashioned appearance. “Why are you here?”
“Is it someone from Holy Dawn Academy?” Charlotte relaxed then, her body devoid of strength. At the same time, with a whoosh, her face blushed all the way to the roots of her ears.
“I saw nothing at all just now,” Professor Plum first said, his face expressionless.
These words seemed to have the opposite effect; even her neck reddened.
“Don’t talk anymore.”
Professor Plum gave Ayrin a once-over. A gentle blue light shone from his hands and enveloped Ayrin.
“I want to sleep. Are Audrey and Ferguillo and the others alright? Can I sleep?” Ayrin was still saying.
A few more wrinkles appeared between Professor Plum’s eyebrows, but he didn’t get angry. He nodded. “They’re alright. You can sleep.”
“Charlotte, I’m going to sleep then.” Ayrin looked at Charlotte and said a few more words, then stopped fighting against the sleepiness that threatened to swallow everything. He quietly closed his eyes.
“Pro… Professor Plum.” Charlotte gathered her courage and asked, “Is Ayrin alright?”
“Someone else might have died, but since he survived until now, then nothing will happen to him.” Professor Plum replied in a stiff tone, but then, he looked at Charlotte and nodded in praise. “All of you did very well. Your spontaneous actions this time are enough to earn you the kingdom’s Starry Skies Brave Medal. You’re the pride of St. Lauren, the pride of the entire kingdom.”
“I…” Entirely exhausted already, Charlotte paused, then asked again, “What about Ferguillo and the others?”
“They’re already being treated. Ferguillo’s wounds might be very heavy, but thanks his special bloodline, he should also be fine.”
Professor Plum looked at her, his face inflexible, yet his tone was patient.
“Oh right!” Only then did Charlotte remember something particularly important. She urgently said, “That Lotton, the Hellfire Academy student from the national tournament, he’s the one who wounded Ayrin, then he also received heavy wounds. He escaped from here not long ago.”
“I already heard about your battle from Audrey. Many arcane teams are searching in the sewers right now. Even if he escapes, it’s none of our business,” Professor Plum said.
“Swish!” “Swish!” “Swish!…”
They heard the sound of the wind just then.
At least more than a dozen arcane masters came in.
The three in the front wore the arcane uniforms from the Office of Special Affairs. Everyone following behind them was a medical master.
When these arcane masters looked at Professor Plum, their eyes were filled with obvious reverence.
Professor Plum didn’t say much, he just let the arcane teams take Ayrin and Charlotte.
“Just look at their condition after the fight.”
“At the most crucial time, those young people were actually the ones who stood up and protected Eichemalar.”
Seeing Ayrin covered all over in injuries, their eyes all shone with genuine respect, whether the arcane masters from the Office of Special Affairs or the medical masters.
“Is it the Evil Dragon Followers’ scheme?”
“How many people did the Evil Dragon followers dispatch this time? They even managed to damage the water tower?”
That night in Eichemalar seemed to go on forever. Chaos was everywhere, inside the city, inside the athlete village.
A night where fighting occurred everywhere… Moreover, the terrifying auras coming from some genuine taboo skills led almost every contestant participating in the tournament to stay inside their own residences at the authorities’ request.
When the sounds of battle completely died down, when many arcane teams went into the athlete village, including many teams from the Office of Special Affairs one would never see in ordinary times. Only then did concrete information spread: the previous fighting was all due to the Evil Dragon followers’ plan.
Only, news came that their plan had been thwarted again. As to the concrete number of casualties, they were counting them. Some fugitive Evil Dragon followers were still being tracked down.
Because no one knew whether some Evil Dragon followers’ assassins were still hiding, all the participant teams were still requested to stay inside their lodgings.
In team Dragon Breath’s residence, Audrey, who’d already changed her clothes, Morgan, and the other members were all gathered and waiting in the lounge.
When they heard urgent footsteps outside the door, Audrey and Morgan and the others stood up in spite of themselves.
A tall man over thirty came inside, clearly the teacher in charge of team Dragon Breath.
“Teacher, how is it?” Audrey was the first one to speak, her voice anxious.
“We found everyone else. Joyce is fine. Your freezing skill was very timely,” that Dragon Breath teacher said, “We also found Ayrin and Charlotte. Only, Ayrin’s injuries are extremely severe, we already took him to the Office of Special Affair’s infirmary to provide for critical treatment, just like Ferguillo.”
Audrey blinked in a daze. “He… How did he become so heavily wounded?”
“This little guy from Holy Dawn Academy, there’s really more to him than meets the eye, just like you said.” This teacher looked at her and the others, saying with a sigh of emotion, “I heard he and Charlotte came upon Lotton again afterward. Also, the arcane teams inspected the fighting scene afterward. Apart from several skills even I can’t see through, Lotton has clearly mastered the Evil Dragon’s secret skill ‘Hatred Particles’ as well. Still, Lotton couldn’t kill Ayrin and Charlotte even so. They even broke his neck.”
“They actually met that guy again? And even defeated him?” Remembering her own feelings while confronting Lotton, remembering the scene of her fight with Lotton, there was a cold chilliness rising inside her chest even after all this time.
The Office of Special Affair’s infirmary was one of the best medical centers in the entire kingdom. Only those important arcane masters at the edge of death would be sent there to receive critical treatment.
She couldn’t even imagine just how fierce the battle would have been after Ayrin met a guy like that.
“Ayrin, you must survive!”
She couldn’t stop herself from clenching her fists, exhaling softly.