“What’s Silver Trout doing?”
“They’re actually fielding an all-substitute lineup just like Golden Stag Academy. They might have won five three, but it looks like their victory was full of danger.”
“Top teams are top teams after all. Even their substitutes are formidable. But they’re still clearly a bit worse than Golden Stag substitutes. Among all the teams this year, Golden Stag Academy should have the strongest bench.”
In the Arena of Fire and Blood, excited cheers and shouts and comments came nonstop from the stands.
After the match between Holy Dawn Academy and Rapier Academy, the members who’d fought for Silver Trout Academy had all been substitutes. As a result, the match had been rather thrilling as each side scored in turn, and it went all the way to five three before they finally defeated Salt Armor Academy.
“It seems their state of mind has adjusted pretty well. Next round will be more difficult for us,” Chris quietly said, looking at team Silver Trout as they stood not far away.
“Are these guys showing off to Golden Stag Academy?” Stingham said with a hearty laugh and a toss of his hair.
“What kind of reasoning is that? Is this guy’s brain filled with mush?”
Apart from him, the group of people from team Holy Dawn almost all crashed down head first on the ground.
Because a genius freshman like Shinro had appeared in team Silver Trout, their strength had suddenly risen to a new level in every team’s opinion. They’d become a powerful challenger for the cup this year.
From a genius freshman who could greatly increase the power of his team to a henchman of the Evil Dragon followers all of a sudden, it’d made the whole team ashamed. This was certainly a huge blow for those in team Silver Trout.
Right now, though team Silver Trout already won the match, there weren’t many smiles to be seen on their faces.
Previously, in Chris’ opinion, a wild, unrestrained, spectacular victory would have been the best way to restore their reputation. So she thought Silver Trout Academy would use breathtaking methods to achieve a decisive victory.
This way, whether “Triforce” Nolan, “Poison Dragon” Shugillas, or perhaps “Sharp Suzerain” Salina, she could have been able to see the tactics and arcane skills of one of the three most powerful figures in Silver Trout Academy.
Instead, Silver Trout Academy had sent an all-substitute lineup and obtained victory in this match with a rather unflattering score.
This meant team Silver Trout had already stopped paying attention to momentary reputation. They’d already sobered up and came to realize that going further in the national tournament, even fighting their way to the cup’s finals, would be the only way for them to restore their reputation and earn respect.
For that reason, everyone else in team Holy Dawn clearly realized their next round would be more of a struggle when they heard Chris’ words. Only, the genius Stingham’s brain was really made of different stuff from ordinary people; he linked it to Golden Stag Academy instead.
“Are you ready?”
In a testing site inside the Office’s infirmary, the “perverted doctor” Songat with his disheveled hair looked at a steaming Ayrin. “You barely passed the strength and endurance tests just now. If you can’t pass this one, then you’ll have no choice but to wait for a couple more days before condensing arcane particles.”
Ayrin looked at the wide venue in front of him, his face brimming with fighting spirit and self-confidence. “Teacher Songat, I’ll definitely make it!”
“Is that so? Then go and give it a try.” With a strange smile, Songat pointed at the site in front.
Full of confidence, Ayrin charged inside the wide and empty site, but his body felt heavier as soon as he stepped on the glossy cyan floor. He almost lost his balance.
Just then, strange creatures ran his way from the edges of the site. They looked like big-headed fishes, yet also possessing sturdy lower limbs, a short and pointy tail, as well as a disproportionately huge mouth and fangs, to the point fangs even stuck out from their bodies.
“Is it a gravitational gym that makes the body heavier? Also, what are these things now?” Ayrin couldn’t help but shout.
“These things are called evil toutous. These vicious carnivores can be traced back to the era of the War of the Dragons when the Evil Black Dragon bred them in great quantity. After that, there were gnomes especially in charge of training evil toutous in the armies of the Evil Dragon King. They even formed an evil toutou army. Nowadays, the Evil Dragon followers breed a great number of these evil toutous. In some border areas inside our kingdom, the Evil Dragon followers often launch surprise raids with a great number of these things on arcane masters’ encampments.” Songat looked at Ayrin, full of schadenfreude. “Don’t look down on these small things. If they bite you, not only they’ll tear a sizable hole, their saliva even has a dizzying effect.”
Looking at the extremely brutal-looking evil toutous madly charging his way from all sides, their jaws clicking open and shut, Ayrin didn’t seem afraid of Songat’s words in the slightest. Instead, he swallowed his saliva and asked, “Can you eat these things?”
Songat suddenly blinked, a little blank. “They aren’t toxic in theory and are edible. Evil toutous eat fresh meat and don’t carry any awful parasites on them. But they look so vicious and are so eager to eat people, I think no one ever had the urge to eat them?”
“But these huge beasts are also very vicious, and they’ll also eat people if they come across them. Like sharptooth tigers, grand wolves, their meat is delicious. Don’t restaurants in Eichemalar sell them all the same?” Ayrin added, looking at the evil toutous rushing his way, full of excitement.
“That makes sense.” Songat suddenly took on an excited look. “When you’re done with the test, we’ll roast a couple toutous and try them out.”
“So much roasted meat!”
With a cheer, Ayrin actually charged toward those evil, ominous and ferocious toutous instead. In his eyes, those toutous had totally become moving barbecues.
Those evil toutous had very low intelligence. They were very vicious in ordinary times, but they actually seemed a little scared when they saw the light in his eyes.
“This guy, he was really born to be a battlemaster. The more he fights, the more excited he is.”
“When they come here, others get scared when they see these evil toutous and lose quite a lot of strength, but his condition is even better instead,” Songat couldn’t help but mutter.
Ayrin’s figure still seemed nimble despite being inside this gravitational stone building; it was obvious he’d adapted quickly to the different gravity.
“Pop!” “Pop!” “Pop!” “Pop!”
Explosive sounds banged in quick succession like dense raindrops. Ayrin’s figure could be spotted charging left and dashing right among the evil toutous. All the toutous that rushed near him and tried to bite him were met with his punches and kicks and immediately sent flying.
In a mere few minutes, there was already a carpet of evil toutous lying on their backs inside the site, killed by his blows. Not one of them had landed a bite on him.
“Alright, this should do. If you keep at it, the evil toutous here will become extinct.”
Seeing that evil toutous wouldn’t be able to bite Ayrin no matter how long they continued, Songat clapped his hands and ended the test. “Apart from the part where you put on an uncommon display, let’s say you barely meet the standards of the test this time.”
Jumping out of the site, already drenched all over in sweat, Ayrin exclaimed in excitement, “Does that mean I can finally condense arcane particles?”
“I have another good piece of news for you.”
Songat looked leisurely at him. “Your Holy Dawn Academy’s match today is already done, you guys beat Rapier Academy five nil. Moss, the first one you guys sent, handled all the opponents by himself. I heard that kid can already manifest his double transformation at will.”
“He can freely control his double transformation? He defeated the whole opposite team all by himself?”
Ayrin suddenly laughed.
He sucked in a deep breath, looked in the direction of the athlete village, his heart filled with unspeakable satisfaction and expectancy.
“Even Moss has become so strong already. I also recovered enough I can condense arcane particles. If I can master the arcane skills teacher Liszt taught me, I’ll definitely become even stronger.”
“You guys must beat Silver Trout Academy, wait for my return!”
He couldn’t stop himself from waving his fists firmly in the direction of the village.
“Why does it smell so good?”
Pushing a dining car toward the testing site, Cana already smelled a very strong barbecue fragrance even while still a hundred meters away.
“What are you eating?”
She saw with astonishment that Songat and Ayrin had made a barbecue under a tall tree outside the site’s gates and were roasting meat.
Songat patted his belly round as a ball, as though his stomach was already about to burst, while Ayrin was still eating, full of zest.
“You try one, give a taste.”
Songat lifted a well-roasted piece of meat to Cana.
It seemed really good to Cana, but when the meat was already near her mouth, she suddenly noticed to the side a pile of bones as tall as a small hill. These bones looked particularly familiar.
She tossed away the meat from her hand the next second and yelled in disbelief, “You guys actually roasted all the evil toutous inside the training gym and ate them?”
“Not all of them, maybe a greater half.” Songat looked at her and laughed merrily. “Ayrin’s really amazing when it comes to eating. That said, these evil toutous truly taste good.”
“To even eat evil toutous… Why don’t you eat the drakes of the Evil Dragon followers while you’re at it?” Cana was almost speechless.
“What are drakes?” Ayrin’s eyes started glinting.
Songat glanced at him and explained, “Something that resembles a winged dragon but is in fact classified as a monster, a dragon-type beast that doesn’t belong to the dragon clan.”
“Does it taste good?” Ayrin asked, wiping his mouth.
Songat said in all seriousness, “I don’t know, never tried it.”
Ayrin said, full of excitement, “Then I’ll catch one and try it if I have an opportunity in the future.”