After being taken away from the sickbay, Ayrin was locked inside a metallic room with a window only as big as his head.
He wasn’t worried about whatever punishment he was going to face, however. On the contrary, his heart was filled with boundless determination now he successfully met with Chris!
After gaining a clear-cut dream and a goal for his struggles, he seemed to have gained focus and spirit all of a suddenly, gained a meaning to his life.
Ayrin saw the way forward become clear all of a suddenly. Even the starlight filtering through the small windows seemed much more beautiful than ordinary moonlight.
“You have to find a way to beat the other members of our team. You have to have enough strength to join the academy’s team first…”
Ayrin had been previously extremely tired because of his foundation exercises, even before going to the infirmary, but he stood up as soon as he thought of this sentence. He did squats in this narrow space, leaps, runs and stops, punches. He continued to train nonstop.
Time passed by. Ayrin’s looked as he’d been fished out from a river. Muscles all over his body and even his bones were scorching hot, painful as if they’d cracked, to the point he’d shout in pain every time he moved.
“What are you doing?”
The heavy iron door suddenly opened. A great rush of fresh air gushed inside. Wrapped in a red scarf, elite teacher Ciaran and her pretty brown shoulder-length hair stood in the doorway. She became surprised as soon as she saw Ayrin’s distorted face, dripping from head to toe.
“I’m training.” Ayrin panted in rough breaths. After recognizing teacher Ciaran, he said, filled with fighting spirit, “Because I want to join the academy’s team and participate in the Cup of Academy Braves.”
“A freshman wants to go straight to the academy’s team and participate in the tournament?”
Thinking back to what Ayrin and Belo had done, and seeing Ayrin still up to so many tricks even locked inside this place, Ciaran felt a headache rising, but also some surprise. “You watched the match today? Then did you see that every participant in the competition can suffer very heavy injuries and even put their lives in danger. Aren’t you afraid?”
“Not afraid. I want to fight against these powerful guys, defeat them!”
“Surprising, he doesn’t have any fear at all, no wonder Liszt…” Ciaran looked at Ayrin’s spirited expression. She couldn’t see any dread or hesitation inside Ayrin’s eyes. She couldn’t help silently shake her head, and didn’t speak much further. She merely said, “You can go back and rest.”
“I can go back and rest?”
“Yes, things have been clearly investigated, it has nothing to do with you guys. However, next time you want to come to the infirmary, you have come go through me and obtain my permission, otherwise if you rashly go in like this, it’s very possible it’d affect Chris’ recovery and cause harm to her body.”
“I understand, next time I want to go I’ll make sure to come find teacher Ciaran!”
Ciara took Ayrin to a great avenue inside the academy. They said their farewells and walked a few steps away, but he suddenly turned around and charged back toward teacher Ciaran who’d also walked a few steps away. He asked loudly, “Teacher Ciaran, many powerful arcane skills can only be used condensing arcane particles, right?”
Ciaran turned around, a little curious. Seeing Ayrin looking full of zest despite his extreme exhaustion, she nodded and said, “Of course, the real power of arcane skills comes from the might of arcane particles superposed with accumulated arcane power. As to the tricks gathering a little arcane power with mere body movements, they can only be called arcanist techniques. They can’t be compared to genuine mighty arcane skills.”
“Teacher Ciaran, how can I condense arcane particles then?” Ayrin asked immediately, hope and expectation written all over his face.
Ciaran stared blankly.
She’d almost never been asked such a question, because few freshmen were so hurried for instant results, because almost every student clearly knew they would slowly understand more about training and arcane particles in the course of their program. Moreover, almost every student very clearly knew there was simply no use considering this question during their freshman year, no matter how great their talents.
Perhaps in ordinary times, she would never have gone in details in answer to such a question from a freshman who’d joined the academy not long ago, but remembering some words from Liszt, and thinking again about this young man’s eyes filled with hot blood and devoid of any fear right now, her heart suddenly thumped inside her chest.
“You must already understand that physical strength is split into two parts. One part is the power stored inside all the tiny particles inside our body during ordinary times, and the other part is the power of our spiritual will. As to arcane power, it’s the power of external energy. Condensing arcane particles is about focusing our spirit and sucking the power of external energy inside our bodies, combining and compressing it together with the power accumulated inside every minute particles in the body.”
Ciaran took a deep breath and looked at Ayrin, saying, “If you want to condense arcane particles, you have to fulfill two conditions. One, you have to have strong enough a mental power, and two, the power stored inside the minute particles inside your body must also be sufficiently high. To put it simply, a strong enough spiritual strength and physical strength… Only by continuously challenging your own limits and surpassing yourself can you continuously increase your own spiritual strength and physical strength, break through to a new level. It’s the only way to reach the level you want to reach in the shortest time.”
Ayrin understood at once, saying with a fervent expression in his eyes, “So there’s no special method, the only way to becoming an arcane master is to train and exercise nonstop?”
“There’s no shortcut.” Ciaran nodded. “Ordinary foundation training can continuously increase your physical strength, training in some ordinary arcanist techniques can increase your perception of the vital energy in the air. For new freshmen like you guys, you can only sense and mobilize the power of external energy when you combine chants and unique movements. You can only condense arcane particles then, otherwise you can’t even sense external energy. What you’re sensing is something invisible, how could you touch it and make it enter your body?”
“Of course, when your spiritual strength and physical strength become strong enough and reach the point of being able to condense arcane particles, the school has a few unique meditations and movements that’ll help you with sensing or using external energy.” After a faint pause, Ciara looked at the incomparably earnest Ayrin and added, “When that time comes however, the most important thing is how to make your mind reach a high degree of concentration.”
“I understand now, that’s something to think about when the time comes, what I can do now is to continuously challenge myself, train hard and surpass myself. Am I right or not, teacher!”
“It’s better to think like this.” Ciara watched him and suddenly seemed to think of something. She said, “Teacher Huston who’s teaching you guys now can’t be said to be one with a strong battle power inside the academy, but he’s very knowledgeable when it comes to condensing arcane particles. Among all the teachers, he was one of the fastest ones to condense arcane particles.”
“Really?” Ayrin was a little doubtful. “Everyone says he can’t even be called an elite teacher though. Someone who’s able to condense arcane particles very quickly, shouldn’t he have trained the most assiduously, be among the most outstanding ones?”
Ciaran shook her head. “Assiduous training is only one facet. If you talk simply about fighting, what determines whether an arcane master is strong or not depends on his natural talent in comprehending arcane skills, as well as his fighting talents. Huston’s merely a little lacking when it comes to his natural talent for comprehending arcane skills, so he couldn’t grasp the most powerful skills of the academy. That’s all.”
“Is that so. Since teacher Huston’s so amazing, then I’ll surely progress a bit faster.” Ayrin felt the road in front of him became a little clearer still. He looked at Ciaran, filled with excitement and enthusiasm. “Teacher, is it possible within three months?”
Ciaran froze a second, her shoulder-length brown hair drifting like a waterfall in the night wind. “I have to say… the possibility isn’t too great.”
“Not a single person can achieve that?” Ayrin kept asking, without losing hope.
“In the entire Doraster continent, only a very few legendary arcane masters can do it.” Ciara told Ayrin, “In the history of our Holy Dawn Academy, there’s only one person who managed to condense arcane particles a few months after Awakening. On top of that, that predecessor had very pure dragon blood.”
“So there are people who succeeded!” Ayrin immediately shouted in happiness. “Then I have to strive hard and succeed as well.”
“…” Ciaran was immediately speechless.
Under the dancing shadows of the trees, the figure of Ayrin’s back seemed also a little flurried.
Ciaran wordlessly watched the silhouette of his back, tired yet seemingly brimming with energy.
Truth to tell, Ayrin previously seemed very ordinary no matter how you looked at him, no different whatsoever from those students with ordinary human blood.
But really coming into contact with him, Ciaran had a very strange sensation the moment she started talking with him.
This sensation didn’t come only from the total lack of fear and worry in Ayrin’s eyes, didn’t come only from the apparent feeling there was nothing under the starry skies he feared.
No, there was something else.
She couldn’t tell what it truly was until now. Only when Ayrin’s back almost vanished from her sight, thinking about Ayrin’s spirited smile just then, she finally understood.
No matter how brave and how lacking in fear, when thinking about the constant bitter training paving the road to arcane mastery, thinking about the bitterness of those exercises exceeding their own limits, everyone would be a little scared right?
Even her, thinking of those extreme hardships, those moments even more painful than death, she would feel very uncomfortable.
But when this guy thought of what he was certain to go through, the constant pain he was very soon to going to meet with, he was instead extremely happy, as if he was going to experience many extreme joys. What kind of sicko was that?
“I have to progress faster!”
“I have to condense arcane particles!”
“I have to beat the other members of the team and become a representative for the academy!”
“I have to become stronger!”
Walking toward the Ivy district, Ayrin waved his fist nonstop under the starry skies, soaring spirits written all over his face.