“Why isn’t he here yet?”
In the Arena of Fire and Blood, whether Charlotte in the stands or team Holy Dawn in the team preparation area, everyone was anxiously waiting for Ayrin.
Except for Stingham.
The spectators had already entered the arena. There were only about ten minutes left until the start of the match against Silver Trout Academy. In a few minutes, the two teams had to hand over their fighting sheets, but there was no trace of Ayrin anywhere even now, even though he said he’d be there.
“Did he fail his final physicals? Even so, we already agreed he’d come as a spectator in that case. Did anything happen?”
The always calm and wise Carter was also a little restless.
“Ayrin isn’t here yet. It seems like it’s his fate to be absent from this match.”
In a corner of the stands, a group of people from Golden Stag Academy was also coldly observing team Holy Dawn. After hearing the flirty Megan’s words coming from beside him, an overly pale-faced Rinsyi said in a mocking tone, “After such a heavy injury, how could he leave the infirmary so fast?”
After being benched by Rinsyi because of his insufficient performance the first time he fought, Pires cautiously agreed: “Who knows, he might even have become handicapped.”
But just then, his face completely froze.
Rinsyi’s face also stiffened all of a sudden.
“Ayrin came back on the team!”
Tremendous shouts and cheers instantly erupted from the whole stands.
The countless people who’d come from Holy Dawn Academy couldn’t resist standing from their seats, forming a human tide.
Ayrin was precisely the one making his appearance as he came out from the tunnel reserved for the participant teams, wearing Holy Dawn Academy’s school uniform.
Making his way out of the tunnel, Ayrin seemed to overflow with vitality just as he always did, his face brimming with excitement. Where was any sign of injury or deformity to be seen?
“Ah? Why are there so many people from our academy?”
As soon as he came into the field, Ayrin suddenly saw countless people wearing the light-blue uniform of Holy Dawn Academy in the stands. He blinked in surprise.
“This annoying freak who steals my thunder hasn’t died yet! He really came!”
Just as the jubilant Moss and the others couldn’t stop themselves from rushing at Ayrin, Stingham actually took out a comb and combed his hair, while threatening Carter at the same time like a fiend, “I don’t care, today’s the day I’m going to astonish the whole arena, save Holy Dawn Academy, and seduce ten thousand pretty girls. Teacher Carter, you absolutely need to put me before Ayrin. Otherwise, I won’t ever come out in the future.”
Stingham’s threat made Carter smile. “It’s deal, Stingham. Only, after I arrange before Ayrin this time, you must listen to my arrangements every time in our future matches.”
“It’s a deal!”
Stingham suddenly laughed out loud with a toss of his hair. “Haha, I’ll already have become a fashionable idol for ten thousand pretty girls after this match. It doesn’t matter to me how you plan it in the future.”
“Then it’s settled!” With a smile, Carter brandished his fist at Ayrin from afar.
“Ayrin, how are you?”
“Are you about healed?”
Moss and Chris and the others couldn’t stop themselves from squeezing Ayrin’s arms and shoulders and whatever.
“Almost. I just can’t go all out.” Ayrin was a little ticklish because of their squeezing and couldn’t help giggle out loud.
“This guy’s really almost healed!”
“Why hasn’t the boss left the infirmary yet?”
Seeing Ayrin and the others in Holy Dawn in a group hug, Wilde and the others were happy, while feeling a little lump in their throat the same time.
Charlotte suddenly looked down at this time as though in response to something, turning shy and bashful.
Sure enough, the next second, Ayrin had already charged to where she and Wilde and the others were and seated, shouting at the top of his lungs, “Charlotte! Remember our promise!”
“What promise?” Ivan teased with an impassible face.
“Hehe. Charlotte has to kiss him as long as they win this match,” a musclehead from Iron Forest Academy said in a dirty tone.
“You… How did you know, did you actually peek at my letter?!” Charlotte shouted in anger and embarrassment, looking about to lose control of herself and give him a beating.
“It’s… it’s just a random guess. You guys really…” The group of guys from Iron Forest Academy suddenly looked at each other, their eyes wide.
“…” Charlotte couldn’t help but feel the urge to kill everyone around her so they couldn’t speak from the grave.
“Rinloran! Brave warrior!”
In team Holy Dawn, Ayrin didn’t say much when he saw the blood mark on Rinloran’s forehead. He merely shouted Rinloran’s name, then firmly hammered his fist against Rinloran’s chest.
“That hurt. Couldn’t you have done it a little softer?”
Rinloran swore, but his lips curved upward despite himself.
Just then, a resounding song rose from the stands.
When the darkness before dawn twisted and whirled, the Evil Dragon’s forces gradually unfurled;
A world-destroying crisis, despair uncurled, the flickering flame of hope on the verge of extinction;
Arise and fight, brave warrior!
Fight with courage! Brave warrior!
A resounding song boiling with hot-bloodness made the entire Arena of Fire and Blood seem like Holy Dawn Academy’s home arena.
“He actually recovered from his wounds?”
“No matter how strong Ayrin truly is, as long as he’s there, the atmosphere in the entire team Holy Dawn and in the stands looks totally different.”
In team Silver Trout, Captain Nolan took a deep breath and slowly said, “Now, our opponents are even more formidable.”
“We must win nevertheless, no matter how strong the opponent!”
Sarina and the other members of the team all took a deep breath and said those words resembling an oath.
“Hand over the fighting lineups!”
As the teachers in charge of both teams handed over their fighting sheets, the atmosphere in the arena became even more ardent.
“Stingham, have you been training hard lately?”
Stingham hadn’t even looked at Ayrin so far, but Ayrin took the initiative to give him a wide smile.
Stingham tossed his hair in a very arrogant gesture and humphed. “None of your business. Why aren’t you dead yet?”
“In fact, I’m already dead. I’m a ghost who came back to haunt you,” Ayrin said with a smile.
Stingham immediately rolled his eyes. “Ayrin, do you think I’m an idiot or what.”
Ayrin gave him a thumbs-up. “You’ve made progress, it looks like you’ve trained assiduously.”
Stingham humped, but he suddenly thought something was wrong a second later. He shouted, “Ayrin, just now when you said I’ve made progress, what the hell did that mean!”
The group from Dragon Breath looked at the noisy members of team Holy Dawn and couldn’t help but mumble, “It’s really a strange team you can’t see through at all. Even against an opponent like Silver Trout, they still don’t seem the slightest bit nervous or afraid.”
“Holy Dawn Academy against Silver Trout Academy, first fight, Rinloran against Shukla!”
The singing in the arena suddenly disappeared when Kleis’ voice rose in the field.
“The first one Holy Dawn Academy is sending out is the freshman who charged into the field and swore the Blood Vow against Rinsyi last time?”
“Shukla! Silver Trout Academy is sending one of their three strongest among them as soon as the match begins, Poison Master Shukla!”
The stands suddenly erupted one second later.
“Is that the Shukla who has the rarely-seen dual-headed poison dragon’s bloodline?”
Ayrin saw that the one making his way out of team Silver Trout was a short-haired boy without too tall a stature. He had a natural red to the rims of his eyes, his face looked a little tender and immature, but a formidable aura was clearly radiating from him.
“Teacher Carter, do you think Rinloran can win?” he couldn’t resist quietly asking Carter.
Carter merely smiled and didn’t answer directly. He said, “I didn’t send him on stage so he could get a thrashing.”
While slowly making his way to the center of the field, Rinloran took a small red bottle and sprinkled a few drops of the Tears of the Forest Goddess on his hands.
A familiar fragrance, full of memories, slowly emerged.
“It’s because they had dearly-loved people in this country, people they had to protect at the cost of their lives, that they fought without a care for their own lives!” Nikita’s voice once again appeared in his mind.
“I’ve already stepped out of my own world… I will fight just like you did.”
Rinloran closed his eyes when he reached the center of the field and silently said a few words to his parents.
The arena gradually became still and silent.
Almost at the same time, Rinloran and Shukla gestured at Kleis they were ready.
“Shadow of the Winged Serpent!”
The instant Kleis waved down his flag, a beam of arcane particles swiftly sprayed out from one of Shukla’s fingers.
“It’s actually dark-green!”
Ayrin immediately noticed that Shukla’s arcane particles were different from the usual magenta color. They were unexpectedly dark-green.
The instant this dark-green light flashed, a slender shadow flew not far away in front of Rinloran, biting at him!
“Did it hit?”
The arena erupted in exclamations.
However, even louder exclamations immediately erupted afterward.
Rinloran’s figure faded away from his original spot.
Rinloran stood five or six meters away from his original position, perfectly safe and sound.
“Even the eyes can’t follow him! And.. he didn’t use any arcane skill! It was purely physical evasion!”
In team Holy Dawn, Ayrin’s eyes stretched wide. “Was Rinloran not going all out when we were training together? His speed can actually reach such a degree?”
“Indeed a high-level elven bloodline. Your speed is inconceivable. Too bad though, you fell into my trap!”
Just then, Shukla coldly raised his head in front of Rinloran.
A dark-red mist rose from the ground in an area five or six meters around Rinloran.