“Look, it’s team Silver Trout.”
“Who would have thought the genius freshman Shinro would be a henchman of the Evil Dragon followers.”
“I thought we had a new crazy genius freshman in town, I thought team Silver Trout had the strength to challenge for the cup this year, but now…”
Walking down an avenue in Eichemalar on sundown, all of team Silver Trout seemed very tired after just coming back from a long investigation.
Every member of team Silver Trout had been very proud before, but their mood was very low now that comments like these dogged them. They had a little trouble walking with their heads held high.
His head low, his eyes staying on the ground all along, never looking up a single once, captain Nolan suddenly said in a quiet voice when they reached the end of the avenue, “When we were being interrogated by lord Newslan from our house earlier today, I already applied as a sentry in the Southam Demon Forest after the tournament. I’ll join the Shadowfiend Corps there.”
All the other members of the team were shocked when they heard him.
Southam Demon Forest was also called the Devil Forest. It was the most dangerous place in the entire south of the Kingdom, and also the most dangerous place in all the territories belonging to House Tully. Ferocious monsters would often trespass from there. In order to keep some extremely fearsome and vicious monsters from advancing into the kingdom’s territories, many arcane masters would heroically sacrifice their lives there every year.
“Captain! You can’t be blamed for what happened with Shinro. No one would have thought he was a freshman like that, that he would actually collude with Evil Dragon followers. Also, the house had already investigated him to begin with, they’d already decided to let him become an arcane master of the house. Even the house’s investigation didn’t reveal any issue, how can any of the blame be put on you?”
“That’s right, captain, don’t feel guilty about it,” several members of team Silver Trout suddenly shouted.
“It has nothing to do with guilt.” His stature tall, a red patch between his eyebrow, Nolan looked up and looked at the passersby nearby with a quiet sigh. “No matter what, Shinro was a member of our team. He almost helped the Evil Dragon followers succeed with their evil scheme. Now, people will mention team Silver Trout whenever they talk about Shinro. Our team’s fame and glory has already been marred whole. With our honor lost, the only thing we can do is to earn it back with our own hands.”
“In fact, I’d already been planning on going to Southam Demon Forest before. This matter only accelerated my plans.” Nolan breathed in deeply after a pause and said, straightening his posture, “You’ve also heard all the talk and comments on the way. After what happened with Shinro, all of them think our Silver Trout Academy is probably done… But I want to say this: even if there’s only a single member left, we still are team Silver Trout, a team that strikes fear into the heart of our opponent every single year. Also, this should the last tournament I’m going to participate in… We can only validate the sense and value of our existences in battle. Only then can we earn back the glory we lost. That’s why I hope all of you can fight to the best of your abilities in the upcoming matches. Let’s not think about fair or not fair anymore, or anything else.”
“Captain… For the sake of our honor lost, for your sake, we’ll definitely fight with our lives on the line!”
“We are Silver Trout! Silver Trout never gives up, Silver Trout is ever feared!”
Disregarding the gazes coming from the others on the street, all the members of team Silver Trout put their hands together, firmly swearing with eyes overflowing with emotion.
“Teacher Carter, is the new schedule published yet?”
In team Holy Dawn’s residence, all the members apart from Ayrin gathered around Carter.
“There’s no big change. Apart from team Hellfire who directly forfeited after losing Lotton, and the abstention of team Grey Garden, the other teams lost a member or two at the very most. The tournament schedule is mostly the same. Only two teams will get a bye, the other matches will proceed as normal.” After glancing at the new schedule, Carter addressed everyone and said, “Only, because it’s already been delayed for a considerable time already, the timing of the face-offs will be adjusted in order not to drag the tournament for too long, not to let the spectators pile on for too long here and disturb the order of the entire kingdom. In the group stage, we had a single group fighting on a given day before, but two groups will be fighting every day now. That said, when the quarterfinals begin after the group stage, the tournament will entirely go back to normal. So, that means we’ll only have a shorter time between the remaining two fights in the group stage.”
“Then our next match is on the morning of the second day after the tournament begins again.” Chris looked at the new schedule and asked, “Teacher Carter, how’s Ayrin’s recovery going? Rapier Academy might have won their previous match, but three of their main members have been very heavily injured. We shouldn’t have a problem beating them even without Ayrin. Only, according to this schedule, our match against Silver Trout Academy happens a short four days after our match against Rapier Academy. Will Ayrin be in time to participate in the match against them?”
“Even accounting the rest days, there’s only fifteen days left until Silver Trout Academy.” Carter lightly shook his head. “He might recover very fast, but this should be too short a time for him.”
“What, Ayrin will be absent even against Silver Trout!” Moss exclaimed when he heard Carter.
“Ahahahaha!” Stingham stuck his hands on his hips and couldn’t hold back his laugh. “Great! Without this nuisance, it’ll finally be the time for my brilliant wargod super handsome self to shine. Fighting against the tide in a desperate situation, shouldering the responsibility of carrying the whole team, it’s finally all on me now.”
“Are we really going to rely on a guy that won’t go into action even when the teams is under attack, and who even inside the toilet will get blasted by water and sent in the air through the roof, together with the toilet bowl?” Moss looked at Stingham, speechless, such a thought emerging in his mind.
“What? You really feel like you can already grasp Holy Gate of Life?!”
“That’s right. It’s dead boring here… Teacher Liszt, how about you teach me another skill? Doesn’t Holy Gate of Life need to be used in juncture with another skill anyway?”
Inside the empty afternoon sickroom, more than half his bandages torn down, his arms and legs already able to move, Ayrin looked as though he had no idea where to put his hands, seemingly bored stiff. Meanwhile, standing beside him, Liszt was wearing a blank, stunned expression.
“You really think you can grasp it?”
“That’s right. I feel it’s just a tiny bit harder than Eyes of the Dark Goddess. That’s about it. If you let me condense arcane particle now, I should be able to learn it today already, I think?”
After hearing Ayrin’s self-assured answer once again, Liszt could only helplessly pinch the bridge of his nose.
The Holy Gate of Life that not even five people altogether in the history of Holy Dawn Academy managed to learn became something not that difficult in Ayrin’s mouth… Although he was aware Ayrin was a extraordinary monster when it came to his learning ability, this degree still made Liszt thoroughly speechless.
“Big bro, I spent a full four years learning it. I learned it so hard my head was filled with scrolls every day, even when I went to sleep… I almost became a simpleton before I finally managed to learn it. Now you’re telling me it’s not very hard?”
“It seems that any skill whatsoever looks about the same difficulty in your eyes?” With great difficulties, Liszt held back the urge to call Ayrin big bro. He helplessly said, “You haven’t recovered yet to the stage you can condense arcane particles. If you’re not pulling my leg… I have no choice, I can only let you learn another two skills.”
Ayrin immediately hopped down from the bed. “Teacher Liszt, why would I pull your leg… There’s nothing to do all day here, I can’t go out either, it’s really too boring. Hurry up, teach me!”
Cana happened to walk inside just then, carrying two bottles of medicine. Her face blanched as soon as she saw Ayrin hop down from the bed.
“No problem, no problem. I”m already fine.”
Seeing Cana’s face, Ayrin immediately lifted his arm and move his legs, his laughter a little awkward: “My body feels like it’s going to become stiff already if I don’t move it right now.”
“Cana, good timing.” Liszt also laughed out loud. “Put your Thunder Blaze Wall in a detailed scroll while you’re here and give it to Ayrin.”
“Teach him my skill?” Cana hadn’t heard Liszt and Ayrin’s previous conversation, but listening to Liszt words, then seeing Liszt and Ayrin’s expressions, she understood almost instantly. A shock hard to describe with words once again filled her. “Even Holy Gate of Life, did he already…”
“Teacher Liszt, Teacher Cana, what kind of skill is Thunder Blaze Wall?” Ayrin became excited all of a sudden.
“It’s an large-scale damage taboo skill just like Audrey’s Absolute Zero. It’s also a skill that very few people in our Holy Dawn Academy can grasp,” Liszt lazily explained.
“A large-scale offensive taboo skill?” Ayrin’s eyes shone bright as soon as he recalled Audrey going into action. In one versus one duels before, he didn’t have a clear concept of the differences between targeted and large-scale offensive skills. But after going through the fight against Massay and the others, he’d felt very keenly how useful a large area damaging skill could be in a battle with many arcane masters involved. Even in a one versus one duel, they could cut off the opponent’s retreat and force them into blocking it instead of avoiding it.
“Plus, this skill of hers isn’t a pure fire skill. It’s a combination of fire arcane energy with lightning. That way, even if the opponent had something like Fire Embers just like you do, or perhaps a skill that can withstand pure lightning skills, they still wouldn’t be able to completely block the power of this skill,” Liszt said with a faint smile. “Together with the skill Ruin Fetters I’m going to teach you that specializes against single targets, it should be enough for you right now.”
“Huff…” Ayrin exhaled, extremely satisfied. But the next second, he seemed to think of something else, and said, “But teacher Liszt, I still have many days left I have to stay here. I should be able to learn these two skills very fast, I’m going to be very bored again after that.”
“…” Liszt almost fell down head first.